Battle in the Whispering Wood

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Battle in the Whispering Wood
Battle of the Whispering Wood.png [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
Fan-made map of the battle
Conflict War of the Five Kings
Date 299 AC[6]
Place Whispering Wood
Result Stark victory
Iron Throne/House Baratheon of King's Landing:

Westerlands, led by House Lannister

Robb Stark's Host:
The North, led by House Stark


Ser Jaime Lannister Robb Stark
Ser Brynden Tully
~1,500-2,250 westermen ~6,000 northmen and rivermen including forces of House Mallister, House Frey, and remnants of Edmure's host after the battle at Riverrun.
Entire force killed or captured

Jaime Lannister (captured)

Tytos Brax (captured)
Willem Lannister (captured)
Quenten Banefort (captured)
Gawen Westerling (captured)
Not significant (~200)
Eddard Karstark
Torrhen Karstark
Daryn Hornwood

The battle in the Whispering Wood,[7] often simply called the Whispering Wood after its forested setting,[8] is a pivotal battle during the War of the Five Kings. The Stark victory relieves Riverrun while shattering one of the Lannister armies in the riverlands.[9]


Ser Jaime Lannister grows overconfident after the easy victories in the riverlands. He smashes the river lords' forces at the Golden Tooth and Riverrun, capturing the heir to the riverlands, Ser Edmure Tully, and many of his knights, and forming a siege on its capital, Riverrun. The host of Jaime's father, Lord Tywin Lannister, holds the crossing in the east, essentially securing a Lannister victory in the riverlands. Of late, Jaime has been leading large parties to attack the scattered surviving riverlord forces at their own strongholds.

Unknown to Jaime, Robb Stark has forged an alliance with House Frey of the Twins, securing him passage over the Green Fork of the Trident. Joined by additional soldiers from the Freys and House Mallister of Seagard, Robb moves on Riverrun from the north in an attempt to outflank the unsuspecting Lannister forces and relieve the besieged forces at Riverrun. Robb manages to keep his march secret, thanks to the efforts of his great uncle, Ser Brynden Tully, and his outriders, who are able to shoot down all of the Lannister ravens and any outriders screening the camps.

The Battle

Since his father Clement Piper lost to Jaime in the battle in the hills below the Golden Tooth, Ser Marq Piper has been harrying the Lannister supply trains with half a hundred men.[10] As Robb nears, he joins in these efforts. In an attempt to draw Jaime from his camp, Robb Stark sends a small force of a few hundred men carrying Tully colors to lure him out. Jaime, who has been leading a party of few hundred men, is lured north, where the seasoned outriders and scouts under Ser Brynden Tully kill his own outriders. Instead of turning back after being blinded, Jaime strikes at the first enemies he encounters, entering a forested valley and right into the trap Robb set for him. When Jaime comes out, the raiders fall back to a point where the rest of the Stark force are waiting.

Forces of Lady Maege Mormont sound horns to signal the moonlit trap has been sprung. Lord Greatjon Umber, Lord Rickard Karstark, Ser Stevron Frey, and Lord Jason Mallister have subordinate commands. The outcome of the battle is a complete success for Houses Stark and Tully. According to Theon Greyjoy, the Lannisters lose ten men for every one of Robb's that falls.[9] When Jaime sees the battle is lost, he rallies his retainers and attempts to cut his way through the host to slay Robb Stark in single combat. He is halted, but not before Daryn Hornwood, Eddard Karstark and Torrhen Karstark of Robb's personal guard are slain.

Jaime is captured, along with near a hundred knights and a dozen lords bannermen including: Lord Gawen Westerling, Lord Quenten Banefort, Ser Garth Greenfield, Lord Regenard Estren, Ser Tytos Brax, Mallor the Dornishman, Willem Lannister, and the Lannister cousins Cleos Frey and Tion Frey.[9]


Ser Jaime Lannister is captured © FFG
Catelyn, Robb, the Greatjon, and Jaime after the Whispering Wood - by Mathia Arkoniel©

The capture of Ser Jaime leaves the Lannister army surrounding Riverrun leaderless, leading directly to its disintegration at the Battle of the Camps and leaving Lord Tywin Lannister and Queen Cersei Lannister despondent. Having Jaime as a hostage, and recognizing his value as a prisoner, the Starks gain enormous bargaining power. The deaths of Eddard and Torrhen Karstark by Jaime's hand plant a seed of vengeance in the heart of their father, Lord Rickard Karstark, however.[10][11]


My lady, the realm has not seen such a victory since the Field of Fire. I vow, the Lannisters lost ten men for every one of ours that fell.[9]

- Theon Greyjoy to Catelyn Stark

Some tried to flee, but we'd pinched the valley shut at both ends, and we rode out of the darkness with sword and lance. The Lannisters must have thought the Others themselves were on them when that wolf of Robb's got in among them. I saw him tear one man’s arm from his shoulder, and their horses went mad at the scent of him. I couldn't tell you how many men were thrown...[11]

- Theon Greyjoy to Riverrun's garrison

How could it happen? Ser Jaime taken, the siege broken ... this is a catastrophe![10]

- Harys Swyft to Tywin Lannister's war council

Your brother defeated my uncle Jaime. My mother says it was treachery and deceit. She wept when she heard.[12]

- Joffrey Baratheon to Sansa Stark

References and Notes

  1. A Game of Thrones, Catelyn Chapter 63: To the left (which probably corresponds with west) Robb Stark's force.
  2. A Game of Thrones, Catelyn Chapter 63: "Here was the call of Maege Mormont's warhorn, a long low blast that rolled down the valley from the east."
  3. A Game of Thrones, Catelyn Chapter 63: "To east and west, the trumpets of the Mallisters and Freys blew vengeance."
  4. A Game of Thrones, Catelyn Chapter 63: "North, where the valley narrowed and bent like a cocked elbow, Lord Karstark's warhorns added their own deep, mournful voices to the dark chorus."
  5. A Game of Thrones, Catelyn Chapter 63: Across the valley to the far ridge, she (Catelyn Stark) saw the Greatjon's riders emerge from the darkness beneath the trees.<
  6. See the The War of the Five Kings calculations.
  7. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
  8. A Clash of Kings, Appendix.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 63, Catelyn X.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
  11. 11.0 11.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn XI.
  12. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 67, Sansa VI.

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