Siege of Storm's End

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Siege of Storm's End
War of the Usurper.png
Location 6, Factions: Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. Lannister. Targaryen.
Conflict Robert's Rebellion
Date 282-283 AC
Place Storm's End
Result Baratheon victory
Combatants
House Baratheon.svg Rebels House Targaryen.svg Loyalists
Commanders
House Baratheon.svg Ser Stannis Baratheon
House Stark.svg Lord Eddard Stark
House Tyrell.svg Lord Mace Tyrell
House Redwyne.svg Lord Paxter Redwyne
House Rowan.svg Lord Mathis Rowan
Strength
garrison of Storm's End host from the Reach
Redwyne fleet
Casualties
unknown
unknown, though unlikely to be significant

The siege of Storm's End took place near the end of Robert's Rebellion. Lord Mace Tyrell and most of his forces from the Reach besieged Storm's End, which was held by Stannis Baratheon, for the better part of a year. The siege was lifted only when Lord Eddard Stark arrived after the Battle of the Trident and the Sack of King's Landing.

Prelude

Robert Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End, took the majority of the stormlands' forces with him after the battles at Summerhall. He left his younger brother, Stannis, and a small garrison to hold Storm's End.[1]

Following Robert's defeat by Lord Randyll Tarly at the Battle of Ashford,[2] driving Robert away from his base of power, the Tyrell host defeated resistance in the stormlands and marched on Storm's End. The castle's granaries and storehouses were only half full, as war had been unexpected.[3]

Siege

Soon after Lord Mace Tyrell began besieging Storm's End with the Reach's host, Lord Paxter Redwyne arrived with the Redwyne fleet from the Arbor and closed Shipbreaker Bay to all trade, essentially cutting Storm's End off.[4]

The siege continued for the better part of a year, with the garrison having to eat their horses, dogs and cats, and were nearly forced to eat their own dead.[1] Donal Noye lost an arm during the siege[5] after an axe wound festered. Meanwhile, Mace and his bannermen, such as Paxter and Lord Mathis Rowan,[6] feasted within sight of the walls.[1] Some of Mace's strength joined the army of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen.[7]

There was at least one breach in discipline within Storm's End, when the castle's master-at-arms, Ser Gawen Wylde, and three knights were caught trying to sneak out a postern gate to surrender. Stannis Baratheon prepared to have them hurled at the Tyrell host via catapult. Maester Cressen convinced Stannis to imprison the men, however, since the garrison might need to eat the dead if their food ran out. Gawen eventually died in his cell during the siege.[6]

Davos, a notorious smuggler, eventually slipped through the Redwyne fleet's lines one night and entered Storm's End with a ship loaded with onions and salt fish for the starving garrison. This food allowed the garrison to survive long enough for Lord Eddard Stark to lift the siege after the Battle of the Trident, in which Rhaegar was killed by Stannis's elder brother Robert, and the ensuing Sack of King's Landing.[1] With King Aerys II Targaryen dead and the surviving Targaryens fled to Dragonstone, Mace dipped his banners as soon as Eddard and the rebels appeared on the field outside Storm's End.[8]

Aftermath

According to a semi-canon source, the successful defense of Storm's End prevented Stannis and Renly Baratheon from falling into loyalist hands, and it helped the rebel storm lords remain loyal to their liege, Robert Baratheon.[7]

After Lord Mace Tyrell surrendered, Stannis was ordered by the new king, his brother Robert I, to build a new fleet and assault Dragonstone.[1] The majority of the Reach's lords and knights were later pardoned by Robert for their part in the war.[9]

Stannis granted Davos a knighthood for assisting the garrison, as well as a keep and lands on Cape Wrath, a war galley to be commanded by himself, and later two more to be commanded by his two eldest sons.[1] Stannis personally removed the first joint of each finger on Davos Seaworth's left hand as punishment for his smuggling past, however.[1] Davos's younger son Devan would later be taken as a squire by Stannis.[10]

Having lost an arm, the blacksmith Donal Noye left Storm's End to join the Night's Watch.[5] During a visit to Greenstone, King Robert slept with a widowed Estermont cousin whose husband and father died during the siege.[11]

Quotes

Storm's End was not geographically strategic, but it was the base of Robert's power, as important to House Baratheon as Winterfell was to the Starks. If it had fallen, Robert would have lost his home and his lands... and two of his brothers would have been hostages in enemy hands. All important chips. Also the fall of Storm's End might have convinced many of the storm lords supporting him that the time had come to bend the knee.[7]

Within Storm's End, the horses had long since been eaten, the dogs and cats were gone, and the garrison was down to roots and rats. Then came a night when the moon was new and black clouds hid the stars. Cloaked in that darkness, Davos the smuggler had dared the Redwyne cordon and the rocks of Shipbreaker Bay alike. His little ship had a black hull, black sails, black oars, and a hold crammed with onions and salt fish. Little enough, yet it had kept the garrison alive long enough for Eddard Stark to reach Storm's End and break the siege.[1]

—thoughts of Cressen

I held Storm's End for him, watching good men starve while Mace Tyrell and Paxter Redwyne feasted within sight of my walls. Did Robert thank me? No.[1]

Maester Cressen told Stannis that we might be forced to eat our dead, and there was no gain in flinging away good meat. Thanks to the Onion Knight we were never reduced to dining on corpses, but it was a close thing.[6]

References