Taking of the Shields

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Taking of the Shields
Battle for the Shield IslandsTomasz Jedruszek.JPG
Battle for the Shield Islands - by artist Tomasz Jedruszek. © FFG.
Conflict War of the Five Kings
Date 300 AC
Place Shield Islands, the Reach
Result Greyjoy victory
Kingdom of the Isles and the North/House Greyjoy Iron Throne/House Baratheon of King's Landing:

The Reach, led by House Tyrell

King Euron Greyjoy
Victarion Greyjoy
Ser Harras Harlaw
Ser Talbert Serry
Iron Fleet: 94 longships
Other Ironborn fleets
Fleets of the Shield Islands: At least 50 ships
6 longships, including Hardhand significant
38 ships captured
Lord Humfrey Hewett
Lord Moribald Chester
Lord Guthor Grimm (POW)

The taking of the Shields[1][2] is the opening battle of Euron Greyjoy's new campaign after his ascension to King of the Isles and the North. It takes place in and around the Shield Islands off the western coast of the Reach.


When Euron Greyjoy is chosen by the ironborn at the kingsmoot he promises to conquer the Seven Kingdoms and return the ironborn as a significant power.[3] His first strike will be a surprise attack on the unguarded Reach, whose armies are campaigning in the crownlands, riverlands, and stormlands whilst their main naval force (the Redwyne fleet) is besieging Dragonstone and Storm's End.[4][5]


(1) The Iron Fleet sails far from the coast.
(2) Vanguard sails up the Mander.
(3) The defenders follow the vanguard.
(4) The main force attacks the Shields.
(5) Having taken the islands the main force waits
for the returning fleet.
(6) The Iron Fleet is victorious.

Torwold Browntooth and the Red Oarsman lead twelve ironborn longships up the river Mander to draw out the defenses of the Shield Islands. Instead of sailing along the Reach's coastline, Euron leads the other ironborn ships into the Sunset Sea and attacks the Shields from the west, with the setting sun hiding their approach.[5]

Ser Harras Harlaw lands at Grimston and plants his standard beneath the castle walls. Daring the defenders to face him, he kills five and forces two to yield. After the seventh man is defeated the septon in the castle declares the gods have spoken and surrenders the castle. The islands of Greyshield, Greenshield, and Southshield are captured before the next morning, while Oakenshield lasts half a day. Euron uses Oakenshield Castle at Lord Hewett's Town as his base, with Lord Humfrey Hewett and his family captured.[5]

When the Shields' ships abandon Torwold and the Red Oarsmen in the Mander and return to the islands, they are trapped by the Iron Fleet at the river's mouth. Lord Captain Victarion Greyjoy slays Ser Talbert Serry during the boarding of a Serry vessel when Talbert falls overboard. Victarion loses only six ironborn ships, including Hardhand, but captures thirty-eight. Victarion allows a dozen southron ships to escape to the Mander.[5]


Victarion Greyjoy attributes the success of his brother Euron's attack from the west to blood sacrifice and the assistance of warlocks. King Euron raises four new lords, granting Oakenshield to Nute the Barber, Southshield to Andrik the Unsmiling, Greenshield to Maron Volmark, and Greyshield to Ser Harras Harlaw, men who previously were supporters of potential rivals to Euron.[5]

The lords sworn to Highgarden who escaped destruction on the islands or the Mander retreat and wait for reinforcement from Highgarden. The peasant women and children whose husbands and fathers died during the battle are sold into slavery instead of thralldom by the ironborn.[5] According to the tidings that reach King's Landing, Lord Chester and Lord Hewett are slain, Lord Grimm is held captive in his own castle, and Lord Serry flees to Highgarden with the remnants of his fleet. Ser Willas Tyrell sends word to House Hightower at Oldtown and Ser Garlan Tyrell begins raising men to retake the Shields.[1]

Later, after capturing his brother Aeron Damphair, Euron admits he does not intend to hold the Shields. Attacking them opened the Mander to their raiding ships, and giving them away allows Euron to appear open handed. The ironborn will remember his victory taking the islands, but will blame their loss on the new Houses that try to hold them.[6]


It is a great victory.[5]
Nute, to Victarion Greyjoy

Aye, a great victory for the Crow's Eye and his wizards.[5]
Victarion Greyjoy's thoughts

This was my victory, not his. Where was he? Back on Oakenshield, lazing in a castle. He stole my wife and he stole my throne, and now he steals my glory.[5]
Victarion Greyjoy's thoughts, regarding Euron Greyjoy


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