King of the Iron Islands
King of the Iron Islands is the title claimed by the rulers of the Iron Islands, when they have historically been independent. The monarch of the ironborn has also been known as the High King, the King of the Isles, the iron king, and the driftwood king. When House Hoare ruled the Iron Islands at the same time as the riverlands, they used the title King of the Isles and the Rivers.
In antiquity each of the Iron Islands was ruled by two petty kings, a rock king who ruled the land and a salt king who led the island's ships, who were chosen by the island's captains in a kingsmoot. The prophet Galon Whitestaff eventually called all of the minor salt and rock kings and the captains to Nagga's Hill on Old Wyk, where Urras Greyiron was chosen as the first High King of the Iron Islands since the Grey King. When a high king died, his driftwood crown would be broken into the sea, and his successor, who was always chosen on Old Wyk, would craft his own crown of driftwood. These early rulers were thus also known as driftwood kings.
According to Archmaester Haereg's History of the Ironborn, there were at least 111 high kings. During the reign of King Qhored Hoare, the ironborn held the western shore of Westeros along the Sunset Sea. Over the centuries Qhored's successors lost the Arbor, Bear Island, and much of the western shore, however, as mainland houses such as the Hightowers, Gardeners, and Lannisters gained in strength.
The kingsmoot tradition ended thousands of years ago when King Urron Greyiron murdered the other candidates and made the throne hereditary. The choosing of salt and rock kings in local kingsmoots ended and they were instead reduced to lords. House Greyiron ruled the Iron Islands for a thousand years, using the simpler title King of the Iron Islands and wearing an iron crown which passed from king to successor. They were ultimately overthrown by rivals and Andal warlords during the Andal invasion, however. They were then succeeded by House Hoare, who ruled until the War of Conquest save a brief period of domination by Lord Aubrey Crakehall and the Westerlands.
King Harwyn Hoare extended the ironborn rule over the riverlands by taking the Trident from the Storm King Arrec Durrandon. His grandson, King Harren Hoare, known as Harren the Black, ruled all the lands between the mountains from the Neck to the Blackwater Rush. Harren the Black was the last King of the Isles and the Rivers, dying during the War of Conquest in Harrenhal when Aegon the Conqueror unleashed his dragons upon the castle. Some ironborn lords claimed to be iron king, but they were crushed by Aegon when he invaded the isles in 2 AC. Rule of the islands then passed to Aegon's vassal, Vickon Greyjoy, the new Lord of the Iron Islands.
Centuries later Balon Greyjoy declared himself King of the Iron Islands, in what was later called Greyjoy's Rebellion. However, Balon was defeated by King Robert Baratheon and the ironborn were again subjected to the Seven Kingdoms.
A Clash of Kings
During the War of the Five Kings, Lord Balon Greyjoy recrowns himself King of the Iron Islands and also claims the North. Balon styles himself the Ninth of His Name Since the Grey King, King of the Iron Islands and the North, King of Salt and Rock, Son of the Sea Wind, and Lord Reaper of Pyke.
A Storm of Swords
King Balon is reported to have fallen to his death at Pyke during a storm.
A Feast for Crows
Balon's brother, Aeron Greyjoy, calls a kingsmoot to select Balon's successor. This leads to the crowning of another brother, Euron Greyjoy, at Nagga's hill on Old Wyk. Euron intends to conquer all of Westeros with Daenerys Targaryen's dragons.
A Dance with Dragons
Known High Kings of the Iron Islands
- Urras Greyiron, known as Urras Ironfoot, the first high king since the Grey King.
- Erich I Greyiron, who was deposed by Galon Whitestaff.
- Regnar Drumm, known as Raven-feeder.
- Sylas Flatnose
- Harrag Hoare
- Loron Greyjoy, known as the Old Kraken.
- Qhored Hoare, known as Qhored the Cruel, expanded the rule of the ironborn over the entire western coast of Westeros
- Theon III Greyjoy
- Balon V Greyjoy
- Erich V Harlaw
- Harron Harlaw
- Joron I Blacktyde
- Urragon III Greyiron
- Urrathon IV Goodbrother, known as Badbrother.
- Torgon Greyiron, known as Torgon the Latecomer.
- Urragon IV Greyiron
- Urron Greyiron, known as Urron Redhand, the last High King of the Iron Islands.
Known Iron Kings/Kings of the Iron Islands
Urron Redhand made the kingship hereditary and took the simpler title of King of the Iron Islands or Iron King.
- Urron Greyiron, known as Urron Redhand.
- Rognar II Greyiron, the last Greyiron king.
- Harras Hoare, known as Harras Stump-Hand.
- Wulfgar Hoare, known as Wulfgar the Widowmaker.
- Horgan Hoare, known as Horgan Priestkiller.
- Fergon Hoare, known as Fergon the Fierce.
- Othgar I Hoare, known as Othgar the Soulless.
- Othgar II Hoare, known as Othgar the Demonlover.
- Craghorn Hoare, known as Craghorn of the Red Smile.
- Harmund I Hoare, known as Harmund the Host.
- Harmund II Hoare, known as Harmund the Haggler.
- Harmund III Hoare, known as Harmund the Handsome.
- Hagon the Heartless, Harmund III's brother.
- Aubrey Crakehall, who declared himself King of the Iron Islands after casting down Hagon the Heartless
- Qhorwyn Hoare, known as Qhorwyn the Cunning.
- Harwyn Hoare, known as Harwyn Hardhand, conqueror of the riverlands
- Halleck Hoare
- Harren Hoare, known as Harren the Black, builder of Harrenhal and last King of the Isles and the Rivers.
Following the Targaryen Conquest, some claimants to the title of King of the Iron Islands rose:
- Qhorin Volmark, declared himself heir of House Hoare through his grandmother, sister of Harwyn Hardhand. Slain by Aegon the Conqueror in 2 AC.
- Lodos, a priest of the Drowned God, declared king by two score fellow priests. Walked into the sea to take counsel with the Drowned God after krakens failed to answer his summons.
- Another man claiming to be Lodos reborn rose during the reign of Aenys I Targaryen. His rebellion was quickly put down by Lord Goren Greyjoy
In recent years, the Iron Islands have risen in rebellion against the Iron Throne, with a member of House Greyjoy as King:
- Balon IX Greyjoy, known as Balon the Twice-Crowned, first iron king after Aegon's Conquest. He lost his first rebellion to Robert I Baratheon and bent the knee. During the War of the Five Kings, he rose in rebellion once again and declared himself King of the Isles and the North.
- Euron III Greyjoy, known as Euron Crow's Eye, raised to the title of King of the Isles and the North by kingsmoot. However, as in the case of Torgon Greyiron, this kingsmoot may be considered unlawful since Prince Theon Greyjoy, son of King Balon, was not present to put forth his name.
- The World of Ice & Fire.
- A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Driftwood Crowns.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 11, The Kraken's Daughter.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Kings.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Black Blood.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Conquest.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Greyjoys of Pyke.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 11, Theon I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 24, Theon II.
- A Storm of Swords, Appendix.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 45, Catelyn V.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 1, The Prophet.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 19, The Drowned Man.
- A Dance with Dragons, Appendix.