Targaryen campaign in Slaver's Bay

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Targaryen campaign in Slaver's Bay
Queen Daenerys - by StephenNajarian ©
The surrender of Meereen, by Stephen Najarian

Date 299 AC - Ongoing
Location Essos
Result Coronation of Daenerys Targaryen as Queen of Meereen
Abolition of slavery in Meereen
Conflict ongoing
1. House Targaryen
2. The Good Masters of Astapor
3. Yunkai
4. Great Masters of Meereen
Sons of the Harpy
5. Freedmen in Astapor

The Targaryen campaign in Slaver's Bay is an ongoing conflict in Essos, mainly in the region of Slaver's Bay. Daenerys Targaryen's main goal is to free the slaves in Slaver's Bay and abolish all slavery. This primary military conflict is mainly depicted in A Storm of Swords and A Dance with Dragons, and continues into the unreleased sixth novel, The Winds of Winter.


Following the death of her husband, Khal Drogo, Daenerys Targaryen manages to hatch her three dragon eggs on his funeral pyre.[3] As Drogo's khalasar has disbanded into several smaller factions, Daenerys sees herself forced to travel through the Red Waste, as she considers the chance of encountering an enemy too large when traveling in any other direction.[4] Daenerys eventually arrives in Qarth,[5] but following the destruction of the House of the Undying and the resulting hostility of the Qartheen, finds herself in need of a new destination.[6] Whilst looking for a passage on a ship at the docks of Qarth, Daenerys is approached by the eunuch Belwas and the squire Arstan Whitebeard (secretly Ser Barristan Selmy from Westeros), who were sent to Qarth by magister Illyrio Mopatis. Illyrio wishes her to return to Pentos, and has sent three ships to Qarth for Daenerys to use.[6]

However, whilst on route to Pentos with her dragons and the remnants of her khalasar, Jorah Mormont convinces Daenerys to change course to Astapor instead, arguing that she will need an army to conquer Westeros. Jorah believes she should buy Unsullied, slave soldiers trained and sold in Astapor with an extraordinary reputation.[7] In Astapor, Daenerys inspects the Unsullied, but is sickened by the misery of the slave trade.[8] However, she agrees to acquire all the Unsullied available - eight thousand six hundred - as well as the boys still in training - an additional five thousand - in exchange for her three ships, all trading goods on board, and the strongest of her dragons: Drogon.[9]


The Targaryen campaign in Slaver's Bay is a multisided conflict, during which many factions make alliances and change sides on numerous occasions. The following main factions participate in the conflict:

  • The Good Masters of Astapor: The slaver city Astapor lost its Unsullied during the fall, and finds itself included in the struggle with few soldiers and without allies.
  • Freedmen in Astapor: Following the fall of Astapor, a council of three rules the city. These three are executed after a former slave, Cleon, convinces the Astapori that the council meant to return the Good Masters to power. Cleon assumes the reign of Astapor as its king, and enslaves the noble survivors in the city, to be trained as Unsullied.[13]

The War

Battle against slavery

In search of an army, Daenerys Targaryen arrives in Astapor where she is disgusted by the training and the treatment of the slave soldiers, the Unsullied, and the treatment of slaves in general. Nonetheless, she strikes a deal with the Good Masters of Astapor, promising her three ships, all her trading goods, and the strongest of her three dragons, Drogon, in exchange for all Unsullied present in the city, both those who have completed their training, and those who are still in training.[9]

The Fall of Astapor
By Majoh.
  • Fall of Astapor: At the Plaza of Punishment, upon receiving the promised payment, the Good Masters of Astapor give over the command of the Unsullied soldiers to Daenerys Targaryen. Daenerys betrays the terms of the deal and orders the Unsullied to slay the masters, and anyone wearing a tokar who is twelve years old or older. Astapor’s defense is in a poor state; its walls are old and crumbling, and the towers hold no guards.[8] Without their Unsullied, the Astapori Good Masters have little defense, as only a few soldiers remain. Daenerys allows her three dragons to join in the ensuing fight. As a result, Astapor is sacked, and all slaves are freed.[9] In the stead of the Good Masters, Daenerys leaves a council of three men (a healer, a scholar, and a priest) to rule the remaining Astapori.[14]
  • Battle near Yunkai: Following her victory at Astapor, Daenerys frees her Unsullied, and offers them the choice to swear their loyalty to her, or to abandon her service. Most decide to follow her to Yunkai. The Yunkai'i, aware of what befell Astapor, have raised a slave army of four thousand men strong. Their army is supported by two sellsword companies of five hundred men each: the Stormcrows and the Second Sons. Daenerys invites envoys of Yunkai and each of the sellsword companies into her camp. The Stormcrows refuse to join her. Mero, the captain of the Second Sons, laughs at her offer as well, though accepts wine for his entire company to be send to his men. The envoy from Yunkai attempts to bride Daenerys, but she sends him off with the message that Yunkai have three days to give up its slaves before she attacks. However, Daenerys plans to attack that same night, claiming the Yunkai'i will falsely feel safe, the Stormcrows will be fighting among themselves, and the Second Sons will be drunk. Prior to the battle, Daario Naharis from the Stormcrows arrives, presenting Daenerys with the heads of his fellow captains, Sallor the Bald and Prendahl na Ghezn. He offers Daenerys the service of the Stormcrows, who participate in the battle on her side. The battle ends in Yunkish defeat; Yunkai surrenders and gives in to Daenerys's demands, freeing all of their slaves. In return, they are allowed to remain in control of the city. The freed slaves swell the ranks of Daenerys's freedmen and cement her reputation as the "Mother" among her followers.[15]
  • Siege of Meereen: Having learned about the fates of Astapor and Yunkai, the Meereenese retreat behind the walls of their city. The lands are stripped clean, and a hundred and sixty-three slave children are nailed onto the mileposts placed on the coast road between Yunkai and Meereen. Daenerys's host now numbers more than eighty thousand, though fewer than a quarter are warriors. After Belwas slays the "hero of Meereen", Oznak zo Pahl, Daenerys sends men into the sewers of Meereen, so they can secretly enter the city and free the slaves. The slaves of Meereen rise in rebellion, while Daenerys's warriors break down the eastern gate using a ram made from Daenerys's ships.[16][13]

While Daenerys conquers Meereen, a former butcher from Astapor named Cleon convinces his fellow Astapori that the council of three men (a healer, a scholar and a priest) that Daenerys had left to rule Astapor intended to return the Good Masters to their positions of power. Naming himself king after having the council executed, Cleon has all highborn boys seized to begin training new Unsullied. Each pyramid within Astapor becomes an armed camp, the dead lie in the streets, and the markets are devoid of food and slaves.[13] When she learns about Astapor's troubles, Daenerys chooses to remain in Meereen and installs herself as queen, taking the Great Pyramid as her seat.[13]

Yunkish campaign

Following Daenerys's departure from Yunkai, the Yunkai'i returned to slavery.[10] The city begins to prepare for the upcoming conflict by hiring new sellsword companies, i.e. the Long Lances, the Windblown, and the Company of the Cat.[17] They send envoys to Qarth and other cities spreading false tales about Daenerys in order to gain support to cast her down. Grazdan mo Eraz travels to Volantis to persuade the triarchs to send their fleet against Daenerys, and other envoys ally Yunkai with New Ghis, Tolos, Elyria, and Dothraki.[18]

Meanwhile, several factions set sail towards Daenerys. Prince Quentyn Martell has been sent to Slaver's Bay by his father, Prince Doran Martell,[17] with a marriage pact signed by his uncle, Prince Oberyn Martell, on Doran's behalf, and by Ser Willem Darry. The pact promises the hand of Princess Arianne Martell, Quentyn's elder sister, to Viserys Targaryen, Daenerys's older brother.[19] With Viserys dead, Doran hopes to marry Quentyn to Daenerys, and so ally Dorne to the cause of House Targaryen.[19] However, Quentyn meets with troubles on his journey, and once in Volantis, is unable to find a ship to Slaver's Bay, due to the war.[17] Quentyn and his two remaining companions eventually join the Windblown, a sellsword company hired by Yunkai to fight against Daenerys, in order to get closer to her.[20]

  • The Sons of the Harpy: A resistance group of Ghiscari noblemen from the city of Meereen, known as the "Sons of the Harpy" or "the Harpy's Sons" engage in a shadow war against Daenerys after she has named herself Queen of Meereen. They slay freedmen, Unsullied and shavepates during the night, and leave a mark over the body of their victim: a harpy, drawn in blood.[10] In response, Daenerys orders the creation of a city watch, made up from the Meereenese themselves:[11] the Brazen Beasts.[12] While Daenerys sets the reward concerning the Sons of the Harpy to one thousand honors,[10] the Sons of the Harpy offer wealth and glory and a hundred slave girls to whoever slays Daenerys, while promising death to anyone, and their families, who serve Daenerys. Because of this, the members of the Brazen Beasts hide their true identities by wearing masks.[12]
  • Imprisonment of the dragons: Drogon, Viserion and Rhaegal have been becoming wilder as they are growing. They have taken to hunting down sheep, and Drogon especially goes far afield. Daenerys begins to pay the shepherds for the loss of their animals, which leads to an increase in claims, which some of the shepherds try to proof by presenting the court with burned bones. However, during court one day, when Daenerys grants compensation to be given for the loss of twenty-three animals, one man lingers until all petitioners have departed. He presents her with the burned bones of his daughter, Hazzea, and claims that it had been "the winged shadow".[10] In response to Hazzea's death, Daenerys orders her dragons captured. Viserion and Rhaegal are captured and locked in a pit underneath the Great Pyramid. Three attempts are made to capture Drogon, but he trice escapes, and flies off towards the Dothraki Sea.[11]
  • Siege of Astapor: Following his defeat at the Horns of Hazzat, King Cleon had fled back to Astapor.[12] The Yunkai'i are not far behind,[12] and the Red City is soon under siege.[21] Cleon is slain by his own men when he orders them to march out and fight. His successor, Cleon the Second, is slain eight days later, and the killer takes up the crown. The concubine of the first Cleon claims the crown as well, and the Astapori name them "King Cutthroat" and "Queen Whore".[21] While Astapor starves, the King and Queen accuse one another of eating the slain.[22] When the Green Grace of Astapor has a vision that the first Cleon will soon deliver the Astapori from the Yunkai'i,[22] the Astapori make the decision to strap Cleon's corpse into his armor and onto his horse to lead the Unsullied in battle.[22][20] When the dead King Cleon is slain once again, the Astapori break and attempt to flee, only to find the gates to the city closed. The battle itself is butchery.[20]
  • The Pale Mare: Many of the surviving Astapori have the bloody flux. The Yunkai'i command the sellswords to hunt them down and turn them, driving them back to Astapor or north to Meereen to prevent the Astapori from going near Yunkai.[20] Daenerys receives the news of the fall from three escaped Astapori, and following the advice of her counselors, refuses to allow the other Astapori to settle in the city,[22] but instead settles them outside the walls.[1]
  • The Windblown: Meanwhile, the Tattered Prince, captain of the Windblown, one of the sellsword companies hired by Yunkai, plans to increase his odds by sending some of his own men into Meereen, by pleading they want to change sides.[20] The Windblown he sends are comprised of only Westerosi descendents and include Prince Quentyn Martell and his two companions.[20] They eventually encounter the Stormcrows and, as per the instructions of the Tattered Prince, defect to Daenerys's side.[1] Daario Naharis convinces Daenerys to meet his new Stormcrows, and Prince Quentyn, known among the Windblown (and thus to Daario) only as "Frog", requests he and his companions may speak to Daenerys and her court in private. He reveals his identity to her, as well as his purpose.[19]
  • Start of the second siege of Meereen: Following the defeat of Astapor, Yunkai marches on to Meereen.[20][1] Ships from Qarth, Tolos, and New Ghis are choking off the bay, aided by ships from the Meereenese fleet who had fled when Daenerys first arrived at the city.[22] The Yunkai'i march their new slave soldiers up the coast road, accompanied by four sellsword companies, four Ghiscari legions, a hundred elephants, Tolosi slingers, and a corps of Qartheen camelry, while another two legions from New Ghis are set to arrive by ship.[1] After Daenerys refuses to use her dragons in battle,[22] Ben Plumm allies his Second Sons with Yunkai.[1] The Yunkai'i are in contact with Hizdahr zo Loraq, and inform him that they are willing to give Meereen peace, on the condition that the Yunkai'i can resume slaving, Astapor, once rebuild, will be a slaver city once again, and the promise that Daenerys will not interfere. The agreements are to be sealed by Daenerys's marriage to Hizdahr.[1] The Yunkai'i lay siege to Meereen, building catapults, scorpions, and tall trebuchets, aiming to weaken Meereen until famine and disease brings the city to its knees.[19] The bloody flux has by now already spread across Meereen,[19] as well as the Yunkish camps.[23]
  • Daenerys Targaryen's marriage to Hizdahr zo Loraq: In an attempt to stop the murders committed by the Sons of the Harpy, Daenerys follows the advice of Galazza Galare and agrees to a pact with Meereenese nobleman Hizdahr zo Loraq. If he is able to stop the Sons of the Harpy from killing for ninety days, Daenerys will marry Hizdahr.[21] Hizdahr and the Yunkai'i come to an agreement regarding the peace, in which the marriage is an important aspect.[1] Following ninety days of peace, Daenerys and Hizdahr are wed.[19] The peace, however, also includes Yunkai being allowed to engage in slavery unmolested, with the Yunkish Wise Masters setting up a slave market within sights of the walls of Meereen.[24]
  • Poisoned locusts: Following Daenerys's marriage to Hizdahr, the peace between Meereen and the slavers is to be signed and sealed, and the fighting pits are to be opened once more.[23] Meereen's ports have already been opened following the wedding,[24] and Hizdahr has invited the Yunkai'i commanders to witness the opening of the fighting pits and sign the peace. Three Yunkai'i noblemen and the four commanders of the sellsword companies enter Meereen, and in return seven Meereenese hostages are sent to the camps of Yunkai.[24] The following day, Daznak's Pit is opened. During the fighting matches, Belwas eats the honeyed locusts Hizdahr had been pushing Daenerys to eat, and becomes sick as they were poisoned. Just as Belwas falls, Drogon returns to the city. While the public panicks and attempts to flee, Daenerys rushes to Drogon's side and flies away from Meereen on his back.[25]

After Daenerys's departure on Drogon, Hizdahr has taken over the rule of Meereen. Hizdahr has removed many of Daenerys's people from command, and angered Grey Worm, resulting in the loss of the Unsullied. Skahaz mo Kandaq, who has been stripped of his command of the Brazen Beasts by Hizdahr, contacts Barristan Selmy and informs him that Hizdahr's confectioner has confessed to having poisoned the locusts on behalf of the Sons of the Harpy, who had threatened to kill his daughter. As Daenerys survived, his daughter was killed. Skahaz has been gathering support against Hizdahr, but needs Barristan to bring the Unsullied to their side. Barristan agrees.[26] Following the accidental death of Yunkai's Supreme Commander Yurkhaz zo Yunzak in Daznak's Pit, the Yunkai'i speak of a breach of the peace, and present Hizdahr with Groleo's severed head in response. They return three hostages - all family to Hizdahr - as a show of good faith, while promising to return the other three after Hizdahr has slain the dragons.[27] Barristan and Skahaz agree to imprison Hizdahr, as well as Reznak mo Reznak and rule Meereen by a council.[28] In the meantime, Prince Quentyn Martell has contacted the Tattered Prince and enlisted his help in capturing Daenerys's dragons, as to not return home empty-handed.[29] Their plan, however, occurs the same night as the plan of Barristan and Skahaz. Quentyn and several of the Windblown go to the pit where Viserion and Rhaegal remain. They attempt to lure a dragon, but the dragons attack. The Windblown flee, and Quentyn is mortally injured.[30] While Barristan is confronting Hizdahr about his role in the poisoning attempt of Daenerys, a cupbearer informs them that the dragons have been loosened on the city.[28]

Following Hizdahr's arrest, the Yunkai'i resume their siege of Meereen. Additionally, the Sons of the Harpy have resumed their killing. Barristan sends Galazza Galare to the Yunkai'i to negotiate, but realises that the Yunkai'i are not likely to agree to any terms, and that it will eventually come to battle. He enlists Gerris Drinkwater and Archibald Yronwood, who had been imprisoned following their failed attempt to steal a dragon, to act as his contact to the Tattered Prince, offering Pentos in return for the loyalty of the Windblown. When Galazza returns, she informs Barristan that the Yunkai'i will only accept the death of the dragons in return for the peace. At the same time, the Yunkai'i begin to fling corpses into Meereen, using the trebuchets.[31]

Fire and Blood

This information has thus far been released in a sample chapter for The Winds of Winter, and might therefore not be in finalized form. Keep in mind that the content as described below is still subject to change.

Drogon brings Daenerys to a hill in the Dothraki Sea, which she dubs "Dragonstone", after the place where she was born. Daenerys begins her journey back to Meereen, but has to go on foot, as Drogon refuses to listen to her. She eventually spots a Dothraki scout, from who she is able to remain hidden. The rider flees upon sighting Drogon, who returns to Daenerys's side. Daenerys mounts Drogon, who flies over the Dothraki khalasar and hunts down a horse. Daenerys and Drogon feed on the roasted horse. The khalasar of Khal Jhaqo eventually finds her, standing beside her dragon.[32]

While Daenerys attempts to return to Meereen, Yunkai and Meereen prepare for battle. Victarion Greyjoy, sent to Slaver's Bay by his brother, King Euron I Greyjoy, to bring Daenerys back to Westeros as Euron's bride,[33] is about to arrive.[34] Having learned of Daenerys's troubles during his journey, Victarion and his fleet prepare to enter the battle on the side of Meereen. Victarion has a horn, Dragonbinder, in his possession, which he believes will bind one or more dragons to his will.[35]

The battle of Slaver's Bay is set to be one of the opening-battles of The Winds of Winter.[36]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 36, Daenerys VI.
  2. asoiaf.westeros.org: Boskone 2013, reading of Barristan I and Barristan II
  3. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 72, Daenerys X.
  4. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 12, Daenerys I.
  5. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 27, Daenerys II.
  6. 6.0 6.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 63, Daenerys V.
  7. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 8, Daenerys I.
  8. 8.0 8.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 23, Daenerys II.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 27, Daenerys III.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 2, Daenerys I.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 11, Daenerys II.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 16, Daenerys III.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 71, Daenerys VI.
  14. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 49, Catelyn VI.
  15. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 42, Daenerys IV.
  16. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 57, Daenerys V.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 6, The Merchant's Man.
  18. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 22, Tyrion VI.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 43, Daenerys VII.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 25, The Windblown.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 23, Daenerys IV.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 30, Daenerys V.
  23. 23.0 23.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 47, Tyrion X.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 50, Daenerys VIII.
  25. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 52, Daenerys IX.
  26. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 55, The Queensguard.
  27. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 59, The Discarded Knight.
  28. 28.0 28.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.
  29. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 60, The Spurned Suitor.
  30. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 68, The Dragontamer.
  31. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 70, The Queen's Hand.
  32. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 71, Daenerys X.
  33. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 29, The Reaver.
  34. 34.0 34.1 The Winds of Winter, Tyrion II
  35. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 63, Victarion I.
  36. 36.0 36.1 George R.R. Martin Talks Season Two, 'The Winds of Winter,' and Real-World Influences for 'A Song of Ice and Fire' (March 26, 2012)
  37. The Winds of Winter, Barristan I