Robert's Rebellion

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The War of the Usurper
Robert's Rebellion
Date 282 AC-283 AC
Location Westeros
Battles Summerhall
Battle of the Bells
The Trident
King's Landing
Storm's End
Tower of Joy
Result Decisive victory for the rebel forces
The rebels
House Baratheon
House Stark
House Tully
House Arryn
House Lannister (late war)
The royalists
House Targaryen
House Tyrell
House Martell
Notable commanders
Robert Baratheon
Stannis Baratheon
Eddard Stark
Hoster Tully
Jon Arryn
Tywin Lannister
Aerys II Targaryen
Rhaegar Targaryen
Owen Merryweather
Jon Connington
Qarlton Chelsted
Mace Tyrell
Randyll Tarly
Barristan Selmy
Lewyn Martell
Overview of the war:
1 Summerhall,2 Ashford,3 Battle of the Bells,4 The Trident,5 King's Landing,6 Storm's End.
The colours represent faction amies:
Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. Lannister. Targaryen.

Robert's Rebellion, also known as the War of the Usurper, was a rebellion against House Targaryen, primarily instigated by Eddard Stark, Jon Arryn, and Robert Baratheon, for whom it is named. It lasted almost two years and resulted in the end of the Targaryens dynasty in the Seven Kingdoms and the beginning of Robert Baratheon's reign.


The conflict was instigated after Rhaegar Targaryen had kidnapped Lyanna Stark, who was betrothed to Robert Baratheon. Despite the pleading of Hoster Tully for patience, her brother Brandon Stark rode to the city of King's Landing. There, he went into the Red Keep shouting for Prince Rhaegar to come out and die. Aerys the Mad King arrested him and his companions (his squire Ethan Glover, Jeffory Mallister, Kyle Royce, and the nephew and heir of the Lord of the Eyrie Elbert Arryn) for threatening the crown prince[1] Aerys ordered the fathers of the men to come south to answer the charges against their sons. When they did this, they and their sons were all murdered without trial[1] Ethan Glover was the only survivor. Lord Rickard Stark who demanded a trial by combat was roasted in his armor, as his son Brandon Stark was put in a strangulation device and was forced to watch, strangling himself in the process of trying to save his father. [1]

When the Mad King demanded the heads of Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark from their guardian, Jon Arryn, Lord Arryn of the Eyrie. Rather than comply, Lord Arryn raised his banners in revolt against these unjust acts.[2] However, many of Jon's bannermen sided with the King, chief among them Lord Grafton, who called the other loyalists to aid him in barring Jon and Robert from entering his port of Gulltown. After the fall of Gulltown's defenses, Robert was able to return to Storm's End, while Eddard returned North. Both men called on their own bannermen.

House Tully was recruited to the rebels when Eddard and Jon married Catelyn and Lysa respectively, the daughters of Hoster Tully, Lord of Riverrun.[2] However, like the Vale, not all of his bannermen joined the rebel cause. Houses Ryger, Darry, and Mooton took the side of the Targaryens in the war. Frey remained neutral until the situation became clearer.

The other great houses, Tyrell and Martell stayed loyal to the throne as did all of their bannermen, including Redwyne and Hightower. Greyjoy decided to remain neutral throughout the conflict.


Battle of Summerhall

The Battle of Summerhall (1 on the map) was actually three battles all fought on one day. Robert hit three independent loyalist forces before they could converge upon him. Lords Grandison, Cafferen, and Fell planned to join their hosts at Summerhall and march on Storm’s End, but Robert learned of their plans and struck first, attacking each army individually. Lord Fell died in the battle and Robert's forces captured his son, Silveraxe. Lords Grandison and Cafferen, both loyalist commanders, went over to Robert after the battle, as did Silveraxe.

Battle of Ashford

The Battle of Ashford (2 on the map) was an indecisive victory for loyalist forces when Randyll Tarly's van smashed Robert’s forces before the bulk of Mace Tyrell’s main force could be brought to bear. Lord Cafferen, a former Loyalist turned rebel after the Battle of Summerhall, was cut down by Randyll Tarly while fighting under Robert’s banner. Lord Tarly sent Lord Cafferen’s head to King Aerys. By all indications, the battle was indecisive, however Mace likes to remember it as his one great victory over Robert.

Battle of the Bells

The Battle of the Bells (3 on the map) took place at Stoney Sept. Aerys’ forces were chasing after Robert Baratheon, attempting to cut him off from Eddard Stark’s forces. Robert was wounded and hiding in Stoney Sept. Jon Connington, the Hand, took the town by force and began searching from house to house. Eddard and Hoster Tully's forces swept into the town. Connington fought back fiercely. Robert came out at that point and led a counterattack. When Connington saw the battle was lost, he retreated in good order. After the battle, Aerys realized that Robert was not some outlaw lord, but rather the greatest threat to the realm since Daemon Blackfyre. He exiled Lord Connington for his failure and ordered his pyromancers to place caches of wildfire throughout King’s Landing, even within the Red Keep itself.

Battle of the Trident

The Battle of the Trident (4 on the map) was the decisive battle of the war, matching the forces of Robert against the Targaryen loyalists. Rhaegar and Robert met in single combat on the ford of the Trident while the battle crashed around them. Robert slew Rhaegar with a blow to the chest from his warhammer so powerful that it smashed the rubies right from the armor. After Rhaegar fell, the Targaryen host broke and ran. Because Robert had suffered a grievous wound in the battle, he gave the command of the army to Eddard Stark.

Sack of King's Landing

The Sack of King’s Landing (5 on the map) occurred one year into the rebellion. Lord Tywin Lannister, who had remained neutral until the Battle of the Trident and Rebel victory was a foregone conclusion, marched to the gates of King’s Landing, claiming loyalty to Aerys and asking to be let in. Aerys favored the advice of Grand Maester Pycelle over that of his spymaster Varys and opened the gates of the city. The Lannister forces then began to sack the city in Robert's name. Aerys ordered his most recent Hand, the pyromancer Rossart, to ignite the wildfire caches throughout the city, saying, "Let him [Robert] be king over charred bones and cooked meat. Let him be the king of ashes."

Aerys then ordered Jaime Lannister, one of his Kingsguard and Tywin's own son, to kill his father. Instead, Jaime slew Lord Rossart and then murdered Aerys himself on the Iron Throne. Tywin sent his knights Gregor Clegane and Amory Lorch to deal with the rest of the royal family, securing the throne for Robert and proving that House Lannister had forsaken the Targaryens forever. Gregor killed the baby crown prince Aegon while his mother watched, and then proceeded to rape and murder Princess Elia herself. Amory dragged princess Rhaenys from under her father's bed and killed her. When Eddard Stark arrived shortly thereafter, he found Jaime seated on the Iron Throne and Aerys's corpse slumped below it. Tywin Lannister presented the bodies of Elia, Aegon and Rhaenys as tokens of his fealty. The resulting argument between Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon over this brutal act led to Stark riding out alone to finish the war in the south.[3]

Siege of Storm's End

Although more attrition than actual battle, the Siege of Storm’s End (6 on the map) held up Mace Tyrell’s forces at Storm's End for the better part of the entire war. During this siege the forces of the Reach, led by Mace and Paxter Redwyne, feasted within sight of the castle while Stannis Baratheon and his men starved inside. Help eventually came in the form of Davos Seaworth, who smuggled a cargo of onions past the blockade. In the end, Stannis and his forces held out until Eddard Stark arrived and Lord Tyrell dipped his banners.[4]


After the Siege of Storm's End was lifted, Stannis was given command of a fleet to take the last Targaryen stronghold, Dragonstone. Some nine months or more earlier, before the Sack of King's Landing, Queen Rhaella and Prince Viserys had fled to the island with Ser Willem Darry. The Queen died in childbed giving birth to Daenerys Targaryen during a great storm that destroyed the Targaryen fleet at anchor.[5]

Before Stannis's arrival, Ser Willem and a handful of men smuggled Viserys, Daenerys, and her wet nurse from the nursery and sailed for Braavos, where the last Targaryens began their lives of wandering exile.

Battle of the Tower of Joy - The End of Aerys's Kingsguard

Ser Arthur Dayne, Ser Oswell Whent, and the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Gerold Hightower had been absent from the battles on the Trident, King's Landing, and Storm's End. They were guarding a small tower, named the Tower of Joy, in the red mountains of Dorne where Prince Rhaegar had been holding Lyanna Stark. Lord Eddard rode there with six companions Howland Reed, Willam Dustin, Ethan Glover, Martyn Cassel, Theo Wull and Mark Ryswell , after lifting the siege of Storm's End. The seven companions fought the three Kingsguard, with only Eddard and Howland surviving. Lyanna died shortly after she extracted a promise from her brother. Afterwards, Eddard rode to Starfall to deliver Arthur's sword Dawn to his sister Ashara Dayne, who leapt into the sea shortly afterwards.


In the aftermath, House Targaryen was displaced and most of its members wiped out, with only two survivors who fled into exile across the sea. Robert Baratheon took the Iron Throne and made Jon Arryn his Hand. As Lyanna Stark had died after her abduction, he married Cersei Lannister instead. Arryn negotiated a truce with Dorne, and the Seven Kingdoms confirmed Robert as king.

References and sources

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