Riots in King's Landing

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Sandor saves Sansa from the rioters - by Mathia Arkoniel ©

The Riot of King's Landing is a large riot in the city of King's Landing during the War of the Five Kings. It leaves several notable people dead and burns parts of the city.[1]


The cause of the riot is due to a lack of food and sense of dissatisfaction of the general populace during Tyrion Lannister's preparation for the eventual assault on King's Landing by Stannis Baratheon, a claimant to the throne. With the Reach cut off due to the war and the Riverlands awash in blood, King's Landing is supplied mainly by House Rosby and House Stokeworth, whose lands have been largely untouched by the war.[2] This leads to shortages in most basic foods. Already incensed with King Joffrey's brand of justice, the city is in a bad way when the lords and ladies ride out to the harbor to see Princess Myrcella Baratheon off to Dorne.[1]

The Riot

On the way back to the castle, as the king's party rides up the Hook at the foot of Aegon's High Hill, a woman walks out of the crowd with a dead baby and blocks the way. Sansa Stark encourages the king to win the people by throwing the woman some gold, but the woman ignores the coins as they fell around her and continues to hold the baby before her. Someone throws dung at the king, hitting him squarely in the face. Incensed, Joffrey demands to know the culprit and sends Sandor Clegane in the general direction of where the crowd said he was. This angers the crowd and shouted curses shower down on the party, further inflaming the situation. The crowd begins to move in and soon the party is surrounded and has to fight their way out.[1]

Not all of the party escape the mob. Among those killed are Ser Aron Santagar, Ser Preston Greenfield and the High Septon. Lollys Stokeworth is raped and Tyrek Lannister is never found. Dozens of the smallfolk are killed by the gold cloaks and the knights of the Kingsguard who defend the King.[1]

Even after the king is safely within the walls of the Red Keep, the riot continues. Flea Bottom is set afire.[1] A goldsmith is killed for having a full larder while the city starves. His manse is burned down.[3]


Nine gold cloaks are killed and over forty are wounded. However, the smallfolk pay for their attack. By night-time, the fires are out and most of the mobs disperse. There is no improvement in the welfare of the general populace and now a curfew is set in place so that anyone found in the streets after dark is to be killed. Tyrek Lannister remains missing. Lollys has a son, who is subsequently named Tyrion Tanner. Tyrion Lannister has a new High Septon named, and Ser Balon Swann fills Preston Greenfield's place in the Kingsguard.[1]

Ser Jaime Lannister later notes that Varys was not present to see Myrcella off to Dorne, thereby avoiding the riot. He wonders if Varys had agents abduct Tyrek during the riot due to the fact that Tyrek squired for Robert Baratheon.[4]

Notable participants




References and Notes