War of the Five Kings

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War of the Five Kings
Date 298 AC-300 AC
Location Westeros
Result Decisive Baratheon of King's Landing victory
1. The King on the Iron Throne
2. The King in the North
3. The King in the Narrow Sea/The King at the Wall
4. The King in Highgarden
5. The King of the Iron Islands

The War of the Five Kings was a large, multi theater conflict fought in the Seven Kingdoms. As the name implies, at one time during the war five people claimed the title of king: Joffrey Baratheon, Stannis Baratheon and Renly Baratheon all claimed the Iron Throne, whilst Robb Stark claimed the title of King in the North and Balon Greyjoy claimed the title of King of the Iron Islands, attempting to secede their lands from the the rule of the Iron Throne.


Following Robert's Rebellion, where Robert Baratheon successfully overthrew the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen, and began a new dynasty. He married Cersei Lannister and they had three children, Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen, apparently easily securing the succession.

However, the King's Hand, Jon Arryn, and the king's brother, Stannis, became suspicious over the legitimacy of Robert's three children. They investigated and eventually concluded that the children were not Robert's at all, but the product of incest between Cersei and her twin brother, Jaime Lannister. Jon continued his investigations, hoping to produce enough evidence to convince the king. However, his actions exposed himself to the Queen, and he was fatally poisoned. Stannis, fearing for his family’s safety and believing Jon was murdered for knowing the truth, immediately returned to Dragonstone and began mustering troops.

Oblivious, King Robert appointed Eddard Stark to the position of Hand. Lysa Arryn sent a coded letter to her sister Catelyn, Eddard's wife, claiming that the Lannisters had her husband murdered. Catelyn convinced her husband to go south and investigate as Hand. During the King's trip to Winterfell, Bran Stark, Eddard and Catelyn's son, had seen the queen and her brother having sex while climbing the walls of the castle. Jaime Lannister threw the child from the tower to ensure that the secret died with him, but the boy survived, lingering in a coma. Some days after the King and Hand had left, a hired assassin came to kill the still-comatose lad, but was prevented from doing so by the boy's pet direwolf. Lady Catelyn elected to go south to inform her husband of the attack.

When she arrived in King's Landing, she was met by her old friend, Petyr Baelish, who told her that the hired assassin's dagger had belonged to Tyrion Lannister, another brother of the queen. This was a lie, but neither Catelyn nor Eddard suspected it. Eddard told his wife to return home. While on the return journey, she encountered Tyrion at a roadside inn, and had him arrested for the attack on Bran. She took him to her sister in the Vale, where Tyrion faced trial by combat for his alleged crimes. He won his freedom, but the mere fact of his arrest had inflamed tensions between Houses Stark and Lannister.

Eddard also investigated Jon Arryn's death and found out the truth about Cersei's children. Eddard revealed his knowledge to the queen, ordering her to go into exile with her children. Instead, Cersei had Robert given unusually potent wine, while he was on a hunt. While in this inebriated state, he was mauled by a boar. The dying king ordered that Eddard serve as his regent until Joffrey came of age, but Eddard sent a letter offering Stannis the throne, as Stannis was the rightful heir. The queen learned of Eddard's plot and had him arrested and imprisoned. Sensing a power struggle, Renly Baratheon and Loras Tyrell fled King’s Landing. Learning of Eddard's arrest, his son and heir Robb Stark called his father's armies together and marched south. Although there was only one king in the realm, the newly-crowned King Joffrey, the War of the Five Kings had begun.

Course of the war

Initial Conflicts

Following Tyrion Lannister's arrest by Catelyn Stark, Tywin plans to imprison Lord Stark and trade him for Tyrion. He does so by sending Gregor Clegane to burn and pillage the Riverlands, who are ruled over by Catelyn's father. He also starts to mass two hosts at Casterly Rock, one 20,000 to be commanded by him and the other 15,000 by his son Jaime. As Lord Tywin Lannister began amassing an army, he sent Gregor Clegane ahead to raid and pillage in the Riverlands.

King Robert Baratheon dies after a hunting accident, just before he dies he names Eddard Stark as Regent. Eddard Stark denouncing Joffrey and names Stannis Baratheon the rightful heir to the throne but was politically outmaneuvered by Cersei, he is being arrested for treason and Joffrey, assumes the Iron Throne. Following Eddard Stark arrest, Renly Baratheon flees from King's Landing and Robb Starks, calls his father banner-men at Winterfell, assembling a host of 12,000 men and marching south.

  • Battle of the Golden Tooth. Jaime Lannister led some 15,000 men against the defensive encampment of 4,000 men east of Golden Tooth, under the command of Lord Vance and Lord Clement Piper. Jaime’s host won an easy victory. Lord Vance was killed while Lord Piper led the survivors back to Riverrun. The new Lord Karyl Vance also led some survivors away to attack the Lannister supply lines.

  • Battle of Riverrun. Edmure Tully was training an army of some 16,000 levies near Riverrun, when Jaime Lannister’s host attacked. Jaime won another easy victory. Edmure was captured along with many of his bannermen and Lord Tytos Blackwood led the survivors into Riverrun as Jaime’s host besieged the castle.

  • Battle at the Mummer's Ford, Lord Beric Dondarrion force, sent by Lord Eddard Stark, to put a stop to Gregor Clegane, raiding and pillaging, and bring him to justice, are ambushed while crossing the Mummer's Ford, They are attacked by combined force of Gregor and Tywin and nearly wiped out. However, Thoros and Alyn rallied the survivors and manged to escaped. Later, Thoros inadvertently resurrected Beric while performing burial services for him and then they continued to lead the remaining men against Gregor and the Lannisters. After the death of Eddard, the group became an outlaw organization called the Brotherhood Without Banners.

Robb Stark, host of 12,000 men, arrive at Moat Cailin. With Riverrun under siege, Robb needs to go on the offensive, for this he needs to cross the river. However, his options are limited as he can cross the river either at the Twins, controlled by the Frey's who remained natural and unlikely to side with northerners, which leaves the Ruby Ford over the Trident, which Tywin can easily reach and seal off.

  • Conquering the Riverlands. Tywin Lannister led an army of 20,000 men north from the Golden Road to travel across the Trident conquering the Riverlord’s holdfasts of all but the Twins, Riverrun and Seagard. Tywin took Ravenhall, as Lord Tytos Blackwood was trapped in Riverrun. Lady Shella Whent yields Harrenhal as she had no soldiers to defend it. Gregor Clegane led attacks that burnt out the Pipers and Brackens. In this campaign Ser Cedric Payne was killed, therefore leaving Podrick Payne, his squire with Ser Lorimer the Belly.

  • Battle of the Whispering Wood. Having split his cavalry from his main force prior to the Battle of the Green Fork, Robb Stark forged an alliance with House Frey in order to cross the river and gain fresh troops. Resupplied, he brought these forces, with additional soldiers from Seagard, to bear against those besieging Riverrun, first attacking the northernmost camp led by Jaime Lannister in a surprise night raid. As Jaime and his forces were caught asleep and completely off guard, the battle quickly became a slaughter. Seeing the battle was lost, Jaime attempted to cut his way to Robb Stark, hoping that the death of the northern leader would create chaos and confusion in the northmen. He slew many in the attempt, including Daryn Hornwood, Eddard Karstark & Torrhen Karstark, but was captured before he could succeed.

  • Battle of the Camps. The night after the Whispering Wood, Brynden Tully led a force against the sleeping, leaderless north camp at Riverrun and quickly defeated them. Lord Andros Brax led his men in the west camp to cross the river, however most of their rafts were destroy by the defenders of Riverrun. Those that reached the northern side were easily defeated by Ser Brynden. Robb then attacked the west camp with the remainder of his men. Seeing Robb’s attack, Lord Tytos Blackwood also attacked the west camp. Ser Forley Prester led the remaining south camp back to Golden Tooth.

The Crowning of Kings

In black the Iron Men forces.In Blue Stark Loyalists. In Red Bolton forces.

During this time in the war, various men began crowning themselves kings. First was Renly Baratheon, at Highgarden he weds Margaery Tyrell and declared himself King of the Seven Kingdoms with the support of the lords of the Stormlands and the Reach. Lord Mace Tyrell lord of Highgarden stars to assemble a great host.

Next was Robb Stark, following the news of Lord Eddard Stark's death and with Riverrun secure, the lords of the North, joined by the Riverland lords, proclaimed Robb Stark as the King in the North and Riverlands.(should be noted that House Arryn stayed natural). Robb Stark sends Theon Greyjoy to the Iron Islands to treat with Balon Greyjoy, his aim was to forge an alliance with Lord Balon Greyjoy, recognize him as king in return for him striking into the westerlands, taking Casterly Rock, while Robb draw the Lannister forces away from it. Soon after Robb marched from Riverrun invade the Westerlands, slipping past Lannister fortress of Golden Tooth. He also sent Catelyn Tully to Bitterbridge to treat with Renly Baratheon.

The third king was Stannis Baratheon, who was declared king by his few banner-men, at Dragonstone. feeling it was his duty to take the Iron Throne as the next in-line of succession, given the illegitimacy of Robert's children. Last was Balon Greyjoy, who declared for the second time King of the Iron Islands by his banner-men in an attempt to secede from the Seven Kingdoms and return to their old ways. He ignores the alliance offered by Robb Stark and instead plans his own invasion into the undefended North.

  • Reclaiming the Trident. King Robb gave his Riverlords leave to reclaim their lands. Tytos Blackwood reclaimed Raventree as the Lannister men fled and scorched the land. Jonos Bracken reclaimed Stone Hedge after a fierce battle costing the life of his nephew and heir Hendry. Darry bannermen also reclaimed Darry for their young Lord Lyman Darry. Karyl Vance and Marq Piper took riding parties to attack Lannister foragers. Much later, the other bannermen were also able to reclaim their holdfasts as the Lannisters retreated.

  • Sack of Darry Gregor Clegane attacked the castle with his fierce company. After his victory over the garrison, he had the entire household put to the sword, including the young Lord Lyman which led to the end of the Darry line.

  • Battle of Moat Cailin. Victarion Greyjoy led the entire Iron Fleet of a hundred ships up the Saltspear Bay to descend upon the 400 men left to defend the North in the Neck. Attacking from the north, the natural defenses of the keep were useless and the Northmen were easily defeated by the ironmen. By capturing Moat Cailin, King Balon Greyjoy, effectively strand the Northmen forces in the Riverlands, cut off from their home, allowing him to execute the rest of his plan.

  • Battle of Deepwood Motte. Asha Greyjoy led a dozen ships around Sea Dragon’s Point in the far north to attack the small wooden keep of House Glover located just off the coast. The keep was easily overrun by the ironmen, making captives of Sybelle Glover, her young children Gawen and Erena, and Larence Snow, the ward of Galbart Glover.

  • Battle of Stony Shore. Theon Greyjoy led eight ships in raiding along the Stony Shore. Benfred Tallhart led an undisciplined company he had dubbed the Wild Hares to deal with the raiders. Theon ambushed this company, killing them all, while the only ironmen casualty was Todric, killed by Theon after the battle.

  • Battle of Torrhen's Square. Dagmer Cleftjaw was commanded to besiege the small keep by Theon in a ruse to draw out Rodrik Cassel and the guards of Winterfell. Rodrik arrived as planned to lift the siege, easily defeating the ironmen, only to hear that Winterfell had fallen in his absence.

  • Battle of Oxcross. Stafford Lannister was charged to raise a new Lannister army after the defeat at Riverrun. Having no fear of being attacked in the westerlands, he posted few sentries. However, Robb has discovered a goat track, by passing the fortress of Golden Tooth, which guard the entrance to the westerlands and took the Lannister host by surprise, after they quietly killed the sentries, winning Robb an easy victory and badly bleeding the Lannister host. Stafford was killed by Rickard Karstark and Rupert Brax was also killed. Lymond Vikary and Antario Jast as well as Martyn Lannister were captured. There was a report that Lord Crakehall was killed but this seems inaccurate as Lord Roland Crakehall appears alive after the Battle of the Blackwater. On the North’s side, Stevron Frey was wounded and died three days later.

  • Battle of Ashemark. After Oxcross, King Robb’s army fell on the nearby keep of House Marbrand. The keep was easily sacked and the castellan was killed.

  • Siege of Storm’s End. Stannis Baratheon, realizing he did not have the strength to sack King’s Landing, sails with his 5,000 men from Dragonstone to lay a siege on Storm's End, the seat of his brother, King Renly Baratheon. Hearing of this, Renly marched his mounted forces of 20,000 from Bitterbridge to deal with his brother. After a failed parlay where neither would yield, Stannis offered his younger brother the night to reconsider before fighting the battle at dawn. While preparing for battle, Renly was killed by an animated shadow summoned by the red priestess Melisandre, ending the battle before it began. Many of Renly’s bannermen now swore allegiance to Stannis; however, Cortnay Penrose refused to yield Storm's End, partially because the safety of his ward, Edric Storm, a bastard son of Robert Baratheon, could not be guaranteed. Loras Tyrell, Randyll Tarly, Mathis Rowan, and Arwyn Oakheart refused to give allegiance and fled to Bitterbridge. Late one night, Davos Seaworth rowed Melisandre past the castle walls, where she summoned a shadow that went forth to kill Cortnay. After his death, the castle submitted to Stannis.

  • Battle of the Fords. Tywin Lannister, hearing of King Robb’s victories in the Westerlands, marched his armies from Harrenhal, intent on reclaiming his lands. Edmure Tully, not wanting Tywin to cross the Trident un-bloodied, placed an army of 13,000 men along key fords of the Red Fork. After sending many small forces trying to test the defenses, Tywin had his men attack in force at a dozen places. The most heated battle was at Stone Mill, where Edmure turned back Gregor Clegane’s men. Gregor was wounded from a dozen arrows and Leo Lefford drowned. The other Lannister forces were also defeated and Robert Brax was killed. Lyle Crakehall, called the Strongboar, was captured.

  • Sack of Harrenhal. Roose Bolton was ordered by Edmure to take Harrenhal after Tywin, who went marching west, left Amory Lorch as castellan of 200 men. After joining with Helman Tallhart’s company from the Twins, Bolton's host marched down toward the castle. Vargo Hoat, the commander of the Brave Companions, reportedly gave battle to Roose’s vanguard at the Ruby Ford, capturing its commander Robett Glover, Ser Aenys Frey and 100 lesser prisoners. However, the Northmen were quickly freed by Arya Stark with the help of Jaqen H'ghar, Rorge and Biter. At the same time, the Brave Companions turned on the Lorch men and let Roose Bolton's men into the castle. Amory was captured and later killed for sport in a bear pit. Vargo was rewarded for joining the North with the Lordship of Harrenhal.

  • At Bitterbridge. Garlan Tyrell, commanding the remaining 60,000 men of Renly’s army, was joined by the returning bannermen from Storm’s End as well as Mace Tyrell’s host of 10,000 men from Highgarden. Stannis sent Parmen Crane and Erren Florent with the hope of winning the armies there. After the news went through the camps, several fights broke out between those that wanted to aid Stannis and those who remained loyal to Renly. Many returned to their homes, while some quickly traveled to join Stannis’ host as he marched toward King’s Landing. Parmen and Erren were taken prisoner by House Tyrell. Soon after, Petyr Baelish, representing the Iron Throne, won the allegiance of House Tyrell, and riders were sent north to warn Tywin Lannister of the danger to the capital. Tywin joined his near-20,000 men to Mace Tyrell's remaining 50,000 men to march against Stannis.

Battles ending the war

The War of Five Kings was near its end after two major battles were fought, effectively winning the war for King Joffrey. Tyrion Lannister, acting Hand, had bind Dorne to the Iron Throne by the betrothal of Myrcella Baratheon to Trystane Martell and sending her south with much of the Royal Fleet.

  • Battle of the Blackwater. Cersei Lannister arranged for the creation of vast amounts of wildfire, to be used in the defense of King's Landing, and Tyrion had a long metal chain prepared across the Blackwater. Imry Florent, commander of Stannis’s fleet, led nearly all of Stannis's ships into Blackwater Rush to engage the remainder of the Royal Fleet. However, Joffrey's ships were unmanned and filled with wildfire. The ships were set ablaze while the chain was raised to cut off any retreat. Trapped in a river of fire, some of Stannis' ships managed to transport the remainder of his 20,000 troops across the river, where they met the city's defenses of 5,000 Goldcloaks. Despite his many setbacks, Stannis took two of the city gates and was near victory when his rearguard was attacked by the combined Lannister-Tyrell host of 70,000 men, securing victory for the Iron throne and which now was under control of the whole south and west. However, Stannis and many of his most loyal men were able to retreat and return to Dragonstone.

  • Sack of Winterfell. Rodrik Cassel returned to besiege Winterfell with Leobald Tallhart, Cley Cerwyn, and knights of White Harbour, totaling 2,000 men. By threatening Rodrik's daughter Beth, Theon delayed the northmen's attack until Ramsay Bolton returned with 400 men from the Dreadfort. Believing them to be allies, Rodrik's men were taken completely by surprise when they attacked. Rodrik, Leobald and Cley were killed and the leaderless northern host was routed by the Bolton men, who lost only 20 of their own. Theon allowed Ramsay's men into the castle, where he quickly turned on the ironmen as well, killing them all except Theon. The castle was put to the torch and many of the Stark household were killed, including Maester Luwin. Theon, Little Walder Frey, Big Walder Frey, Kyra, Old Nan and Beth Cassel were all taken back to the Dreadfort as captives.

  • Sack of Torrhen’s Square Dagmar Cleftjaw returned to the keep after Rodrik and Leobald departed for Winterfell. The sparsely defended keep was easily stormed by the ironmen. They killed the castellan and took Berena Tallhart, her children Brandon and Beren, and heiress Eddara Tallhart captive.

  • Battle of the Crag. Robb’s army then fell on the Westerlings' keep, conquering it with ease. In the battle, Robb was wounded and needed some time to recover. When news reached him of Theon's murder of his brothers, he sought comfort in the arms of Jeyne Westerling. Shortly after, to avoid shaming her honor, they were wed despite his promise to marry a girl of House Frey. Lord Walder Frey's forces withdrew their support of Robb in protest.[1]

  • Battle of Duskendale. Helman Tallhart, Robett Glover & Harrion Karstark were given command of 3,000 loyal northmen to take the town of Duskendale and its keep Dun Fort. This command was falsely given, however, as Roose Bolton had heard news of Tywin’s great victory at the Battle of the Blackwater and switched sides to join King Joffrey. Robett arrived at Duskendale to find Randyll Tarly’s larger force waiting, and was easily defeated. Robett led the survivors back towards Harrenhal and encountered another army led by Gregor Clegane. Robett and Harrion Karstark were captured, while Helman Tallhart was killed.

  • Beheading of Rickard Karstark. Lord Rickard Karstark took out his revenge against the Lannisters by murdering the captives Willem Lannister and Tion Frey when he heard that Catelyn Tully had released Jaime Lannister. Robb Stark held Rickard and a handful of his men responsible and they were hung. Robb beheaded Rickard himself for the crime of murdering prisoners. This act drives the Karstark forces away from Robb's army, leading them to act against him in later incidents.

  • Battle of the Ruby Ford. Roose Bolton marched his forces slowly from Harrenhal. This calculated move allowed Gregor Clegane time to attack his rearguard, 2,000 loyal northmen led by Wylis Manderly. Gregor won an easy victory, taking Wylis captive. To defend the ford, Roose left some 600 loyal northmen led by Kyle Condon and Ronnel Stout.[2]

  • Clegane retakes Harrenhal Roose Bolton decided to switch his allegiance to the Lannisters and left the castle to its new lord, Vargo Hoat. Under orders from Tywin, Gregor Clegane and his men retake Harrenhal. Most of the Brave Companions garrison fled before he arrived, allowing Gregor to retake the castle easily. Gregor then butchered Vargo Hoat.

  • The Red Wedding. King Robb Stark, hearing of King Balon Greyjoy’s sudden death and how many ironmen had returned to theisles to choose a new king, planned to quickly retake the North. However, Lothar Frey sent him word that Lord Walder Frey would reconcile with him if Robb would apologize in person and marry Edmure Tully to Roslin Frey. Robb marched his army to the Twins for the wedding feast, where he was soon joined by Roose Bolton and his remaining 3,500 men. Unknown to him, the feast was a trap, during which Frey and Bolton men turned on Robb and his soldiers, killing him, his mother Catelyn, a large number of his noble allies and virtually annihilating the Northern armies. For his part in the slaughter, Roose Bolton was appointed Warden of the North.

Ongoing conflicts

With three of the four Kings dead, Robb Stark betrayed and murdered at the Red Wedding, Renly Baratheon killed at Storm's End and Balon Greyjoy dead in a freak accident, whilst Stannis was defeated at the Battle of the Blackwater was too weakened to be a threat. The whole south and west was under control of the Iron throne and most of the Lords of the Trident yielded except Tully, Mallister and Blackwood. King Joffrey’s and the Lannisters' victory seem secure, but it did not last long: the sudden deaths of Joffrey, poisoned at his own wedding, and shortly after his hand Tywin, was murdered by his son, proved severe blows to House Lannister. In their stead the young Prince Tommen was crowned, with his mother, Cersei Lannister, regent.

However, the conflict is far from over: Euron Greyjoy, succeeds Balon Greyjoy and his ironborn remained in control of large areas of the North, whilst Stannis is still alive, and following his arrival at the Wall and assisting the Night's Watch in repelling the wildling horde, attempts to establish a new power-base there, to seize control of the North and use it to renew his fight for the Iron Throne.

  • Attacks of Lady Stoneheart . After the Red Wedding, Beric Dondarrion discovered Catelyn Stark's corpse and sacrificed his life to resurrect her. The mutilated Catelyn took control of the Brotherhood as "Lady Stoneheart" and led them on an even more aggressive vendetta against the Freys and Lannisters. The band kidnapped and executed several Freys present at the Red Wedding.

  • Siege of Seagard. Black Walder Frey led a host to besiege Jason Mallister's forces. However at the threat of his son and heir Patrek’s hanging, he quickly conceded. The two became prisoners of their own keep.

  • The Fall of Moat Cailin. The Ironborn occupied Moat Cailin is approached from the North by the army of Roose Bolton and from the south by the forces of Ramsay Bolton. Ramsay sends Theon Greyjoy to offer terms and safe passage to the Ironborn if they surrender unarmed. When they do surrender Ramsay has all sixty three flayed alive and impales their skinless bodies on pikes along the route of the moat.

  • Siege of Storm’s End. Mace Tyrell was commanded to take the castle. After a lengthy siege, he heard of Margaery's imprisonment at the Great Sept of Baelor. He broke off the siege, leaving a token garrison, to march on King's Landing after ordering Randyll Tarly to march south from Maidenpool and join him there.

  • Siege of Dragonstone. Loras Tyrell pledged to take command of the siege after hearing of the Battle of the Shields. In return, Cersei Lannister allowed the Redwynes' fleet to sail west and defend the Reach. Upon arrival at Dragonstone, Loras launched an immediate attack. After suffering many losses, the Tyrell army forced the defenders to retreat to the inner keep. Loras again led a fierce attack and successfully captured the keep, but at a high cost. Loras himself was reportedly burned with boiling oil and severely wounded during the battle.

  • Siege of Riverrun. Ser Brynden Tully held the castle of Riverrun in defiance of a large host of Frey, Lannister and defeated Riverlords camped outside. Edmure Tully was displayed on a gibbet, but Brynden did not surrender and exposed the display as an empty threat. The lords outside bickered and could make no progress. Jaime Lannister was sent to the castle to expedite the fall of Riverrun. Jaime released Edmure Tully and threatened that if he, as heir to Riverrun, did not yield the castle, then Jaime would sack it and kill Edmure's unborn child. Edmure surrendered the castle but not until after he aided his uncle in escaping capture. The castle was left in the care of its new lord, Emmon Frey, with 300 guards.

  • Siege of Raventree. Lord Jonos Bracken was commanded to besiege the castle of his nemesis, House Blackwood. Jonos had only sided with the Lannisters in the first place because the Blackwoods had stayed loyal to King Robb. Fighting was fierce at the castle and neither side triumphed. Jaime Lannister arrived though and Tytos Blackwood surrendered to him (as Blackwood would never have surrendered to Bracken), Blackwood forfeited several lands to Bracken and Lord Tytos had to give Jaime his son, Hoster Blackwood, as a hostage and also suggested to take a hostage from House Bracken aswell. The surrender of Raventree represented the unoffical end of The War of the Five Kings in the Riverlands.

  • Battle of Castle_Black. After receiving a plead from the Night's Watch for help, Stannis Baratheon decided that he wanted to concentrate on the king's duties, rather than his rights, which meant first and foremost to defend the realm - not that he had much choice, since his remaining forces could hardly make much of a stand anywhere else. Stannis took his forces north and arrived at the Wall just in time to crush a wildling assault at Castle Black. Having defeated the main force of Wildlings, who were now either scattered or allied with the Watch, Stannis decided to rally the support of the Northern Lords.

New hostilities


While conflicts continue to engulf the Seven Kingdoms, the War of the Five Kings resulted in vast devastation, the burning of crops and food supplies by rival armies means that with Winter now engulfing Westeros as of 300 AL, many more will starve and die. The Riverlands bore the brunt of the fighting, but the North, Westerlands and Stormlands were hit heavy by the war also. The only two regions to so far to stay out of the war and keep there crops and food supply intact are the Vale and Dorne.

Related Conflicts

The time period during the War of the Five Kings is noted as containing other conflicts and campaigns that were directly or indirectly related, although not part of the conflict proper. The two principal theaters are Daenerys Targaryen's eastern campaigns against the Ghiscari and the Night's Watch renewed conflict with forces beyond the Wall.

Beyond the Wall

While the War of the Five Kings raged in the south of Westeros the Night's Watch was engaged in heavy fighting not only against resurgent Wildling forces but their ancient enemy, the Others. While the conflicts at and north of the Wall cannot be characterized as a campaign or war by any one side it can be viewed as a three-sided conflict between forces each pursuing their own goals at the expense of the others.

In the East

Whilst the War of the Five Kings raged in Westeros and the Night's Watch battled for its survival, several other conflicts erupted on the eastern continent. Many of these wars were minor: the Dothraki mounting their usual heavy raids on the lands of the Lhazareen, another brewing war between Myr and Lys for control of the Disputed Lands and so forth. However, one was major and significantly shifted the balance of power. This war would also later directly impact on affairs in Westeros.

After the War of the Usurper, the eight-year-old Viserys Targaryen and the newborn Daenerys Targaryen took refuge in the Free Cities. When she was nearly fourteen years of age (ca. 298 AL) Daenerys was sold to the Dothraki Khal Drogo in return for the use of his forty thousand bloodriders in placing Viserys on the Iron Throne. However, Viserys proved impatient and unwisely insulted Khal Drogo, resulting in his death at Drogo's hands. Drogo eventually perished from a wound taken in battle and his khal was divided up amongst his old lieutenants. Daenerys and a small entourage of the remaining, made up largely of the old, sick or young were left to die in the red wastes, but eventually found safety in the city of Qarth on the Jade Sea. During this time three ancient eggs belonging to House Targaryen and restored to Daenerys by her ally Illyrio Mopatis hatched into dragons. After attempts on her life in Qarth, Daenerys was able to return to Pentos on ships sent to rescue her by Mopatis.

However, on the way back to Pentos, Daenerys chose to divert to Slaver's Bay to purchase a slave army from the three great Ghiscari slave cities: Astapor, Yunkai, and Meereen.

  • Sack of Astapor. After taking the three merchant vessels of Illyrio Mopatis, Daenerys followed the council of Jorah Mormont to buy Unsullied soldiers from Astapor for her conquest of Westeros. She traded her dragon Drogon for 8600 Unsullied and immediately used them to take the city, taking back her dragon as well. She freed the slaves of Astapor, including her Unsullied, and left a council of freedmen to rule the city, led by a healer, a priest, and a scholar. With her new army, Daenerys marched north on Yunkai. Many Astapori freedmen followed her.

  • Battle of Yunkai. The Yunkai'i met her three leagues from the city with a host of five thousand, including two sellsword companies of five hundred each, the Stormcrows and the Second Sons. The bulk of the host consisted of slave soldiers. However, Yunkai's specialty was sex slaves, and one of Daenerys's captains dismissed its soldiers as 'bedboys armed with spears.' Daenerys treated with the captains of the enemy contingents, giving Yunkai three days to surrender. She attacked that night and the Stormcrows betrayed the Yunkai'i. The rest of the host was scattered or captured. The Second Sons joined Daenerys after the battle. The Yunkai'i surrendered several days later, releasing all their slaves.

  • Siege of Meereen. Meereen, the northernmost city of Slaver's Bay, was also the best-fortified. The Meereenese used a scorched earth defense against Daenerys's army and nailed up slave children pointing the way to the city. A champion, Oznak zo Pahl, emerged to challenge the invaders, and was slain by Daenerys's eunuch bodyguard Strong Belwas, a former gladiator in Meereen. Daenerys broke up her ships for timber in preparation for a siege. To avoid an extended campaign, Ser Jorah, Barristan Selmy and Strong Belwas led a small force through the city's sewers. They released the gladiator slaves of the fighting pits and used the ensuing chaos to open the city's gates. In contrast to her previous Ghiscari occupations, Daenerys lingered at Meereen and ruled it as queen. This was because at this time, she received word that her ruling council in Astapor had been overthrown by a dictatorial butcher resulting in much suffering. Not wanting to let this happen to Meereen, she decided to stay.

  • The Shadow War. An organization known as the Sons of the Harpy have been performing night attacks killing lone freeman, Shavepates and Unsullied. A Shadow war is being fought in Meereen since Dany decided to stay and rule Meereen. They draw a bloody harpy near the bodies of those they slay. They have grown bolder and there attacks more vicious as time goes by and the number of nightly killings have slowly increased.

  • Siege of Astapor. The armies of Yunkai and several hired sellsword companies besiege Astapor. The armies of the new butcher king attack the besieging army in a dawn attack and almost succeed in overrunning the ill prepared Yunkai nobles. If not for the sellsword companies the Yunkai would have lost. The Butcher King and the entire city is put to the sword. Several freeman manage to escape and flee to Meereen brining with them the Pale Mare a disease that spreads quickly.

Daenerys desperate for peace marries Hizdahr zo Loraq and temporary peace is established. Yunkai and Meereen sign a treaty. The fighting pits are reopened to celebrate the wedding. Drogon drawn to the smell of blood and the noise arrives and is almost slain. Daenerys seeing her "child" in peril runs to him. Drogon takes Dany on dragonback away from the city, many believe her dead. The peace is fraying, The Yunkai demand the dragons be put down. Ser Barristan Selmy learns that the Yunkai are planning to re-enslave the former slaves Daenerys freed and Hizdahr is possibly in on the plot. He seizes control and captures Hizdahr. Volantis is sailing its fleet to Meereen to aid the Yunkai. Selmy prepares for war.

The Iron Fleet

The Ironfleet under Victarion Greyjoy sails to Meereen to bring Daenerys and her dragons to Westeros. His fleet conduct several raids capturing dozens of ships. While the fleet is anchored near Volantis to take supplies, Victarion learns the Volantis fleet is sailing to Meereen to end the reign of Daenerys Targaryen. Victarion has the Iron Fleet sail to Slaver's Bay and it is most likely the Iron Fleet will arrive before the Volantis Fleet.

References and Notes

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