|Location||Iron Islands, riverlands, westerlands|
burning of the Lannister fleet |
storming of Seagard
sea battle off Fair Isle
siege of Great Wyk
siege of Old Wyk
siege of Pyke
Decisive victory of Baratheon of King's Landing|
Deaths of Rodrik and Maron Greyjoy
Theon Greyjoy made a ward of House Stark
Greyjoy's Rebellion or the Greyjoy Rebellion was an attempt at secession by Balon Greyjoy against the Iron Throne in 289 AC, nine years before the beginning of A Game of Thrones. Balon tried to break away from the Seven Kingdoms to secure independence for the Iron Islands and restore the Old Way, lost almost three hundred years before, during Aegon's Conquest. The rebellion was crushed and Balon was forced to surrender, cementing the hold of King Robert I Baratheon on the Iron Throne.
Quellon Greyjoy, Lord Reaper of Pyke, desired to strengthen the ties of the Iron Islands with the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, but he died in battle at the Mander near the end of Robert's Rebellion. His successor and eldest son, Lord Balon Greyjoy, rejected Quellon's reforms and desired independence for the ironborn. Over five years Balon constructed a new fleet of one hundred war galleys, the Iron Fleet. Since House Greyjoy had remained neutral for most of Robert's Rebellion they did not suffer heavy losses like the other Great Houses. Lord Rodrik Harlaw unsuccessfully advised Balon against rebelling.
In 289 AC, six years after Robert I Baratheon overthrew House Targaryen, Balon proclaimed himself King of the Iron Islands and led a rebellion against the Iron Throne. He was crowned beneath Nagga's ribs, by the priest Tarle the Thrice-Drowned with a driftwood crown. Balon believed that King Robert's rule was still insecure, that he lacked support amongst the nobility and would not be able to muster a host against him. According to George R. R. Martin,
Lannisport and Seagard
Hoping to control the Sunset Sea, Balon began his rebellion with the burning of the Lannister fleet at anchor, a surprise attack on Lannisport in the westerlands planned by his brother Euron and led by another brother, Victarion, Lord Captain of the Iron Fleet. Victarion tossed the first torch onto the flagship of Lord Tywin Lannister.
The victory at Lannisport gave King Balon freedom to launch an attack against Seagard in the riverlands by Rodrik, his eldest son. Rodrik was slain by Lord Jason Mallister during the storming of Seagard, however, and his reavers were thrown back into Ironman's Bay in defeat.
Counterattack by the Iron Throne
Robert used superior numbers and resources to crush the rebellion. His brother Stannis Baratheon, Lord of Dragonstone and the master of ships, joined the royal fleet with the Redwyne fleet from the Arbor and ships from Oldtown. They caught and smashed Victarion's Iron Fleet in the Straits of Fair Isle. The husband of Gwynesse Harlaw was killed in this sea battle off Fair Isle, while Aeron Greyjoy was captured and spent the rest of the war beneath Casterly Rock. Stannis's victory over Victarion near Fair Isle allowed Robert's forces to cross from the green lands to the Iron Islands.
Robert was supported by Eddard Stark, his Warden of the North, and Tywin Lannister, his Warden of the West. Ser Gregor Clegane was part of Tywin's forces. Stannis subdued Great Wyk in his brother's name, while Ser Barristan Selmy, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, led the attack on Old Wyk. Orkmont was also invaded.
Siege of Pyke
- See also Siege of Pyke
The final battle was on the island of Pyke, led by Robert and his childhood friend, Eddard. The nearby Botley castle was destroyed, as was the town of Lordsport beneath it, before the main attack on the castle of Pyke was launched. Robert's forces assaulted the southern wall with siege engines, shattering the main watchtower and bringing parts of the surrounding wall down. Maron Greyjoy, the second of Balon's three sons, was killed in the breach. Thoros of Myr was first through the breach wielding a sword coated in wildfire. The fighting in the castle was fierce, but eventually the castle was taken. Lord Jorah Mormont, who was shortly behind Thoros, and Jacelyn Bywater, who lost a hand during the fighting, earned knighthoods from Robert for their bravery. Old Nan's grandson was killed during the siege.
Balon, brought before Robert in chains, bent the knee and was forced to swear fealty once more to the Iron Throne. His surviving son, the nine-year-old Theon, was given into the care of Lord Stark as a hostage to ensure Balon's good behavior.
Balon Greyjoy surrendered, his two eldest sons Rodrik and Maron were killed, and his last surviving son, Theon, was made a ward of House Stark as hostage. Robert I Baratheon's victory cemented his hold on the Iron Throne, having overthrown the Targaryens six years before. He threw a great tourney at Lannisport to celebrate his victory.
The rebellion resulted in the castle of Pyke being severely damaged and partially rebuilt. The Faith of the Seven suffered abuse in the Iron Islands at the hands of fanatics who worship the Drowned God. Baelor Blacktyde, Lord of Blacktyde, was a child when his father died in the war. As a result he was taken away to Oldtown as a hostage following the end of the rebellion. He returned eight years later as a follower of the Seven.
Robert should have scoured the isles after Balon Greyjoy rose against him ... He smashed their fleet, burned their towns and broke their castles, but when he had them on their knees, he let them up again. He should have made another island of their skulls.—thoughts of Cersei Lannister
- A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- A Storm of Swords, Appendix.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 24, Cersei V.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 14, Brienne III.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Old Way and the New.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 11, The Kraken's Daughter.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 18, The Iron Captain.
- So Spake Martin: Tidbits from the Con (Worldcon, Philadelphia, PA) (September 01, 2001)
- So Spake Martin: Asshai.com Forum Chat (July 27, 2008)
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 24, Theon II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 11, Theon I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 1, The Prophet.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 26, The Wayward Bride.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 12, Daenerys I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 8, Tyrion II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 24, Bran IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 32, Cersei VII.
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