The Trident is a major river in the riverlands of the Seven Kingdoms. Made of numerous smaller tributaries, it is one of the largest rivers on the continent of Westeros. It is a confluence of three main branches, the Red Fork, the Green Fork, and the Blue Fork.
The Red Fork of the Trident begins in the foothills of the westerlands. The meandering river flows northeast past Pinkmaiden Castle toward Riverrun, where it is joined by the Tumblestone. The Red Fork continues east through the riverlands, with the lands of House Bracken to the south and those of House Blackwood north of the river.
The Green Fork of the Trident begins in the swamps of the Neck and flows southeast through the lands of House Frey, with the kingsroad nearby. There is no crossing on the river between the Twins and the ruby ford on the Trident.
Beginning in rills and marshes near Sevenstreams south of the Twins, the Blue Fork of the Trident flows southeast between the Red Fork and the Green Fork. At least two towns, Ramsford and Fairmarket, lie on the Blue Fork, and Seagard lies near its headwaters. The ancient castle called Oldstones is also on the Blue Fork.
All branches of the Trident are swifter and at least twice as wide as the Little Rhoyne in Essos. The Green Fork and the Blue Fork meet first, and the enlarged river is then joined by the Red Fork west of Lord Harroway's Town and the crossroads. The Trident then continues east past the ruby ford and eventually flows into the Bay of Crabs. Saltpans and the Quiet Isle are located at the broad mouth of the Trident, with fields and farms found nearby. Darry and Harrenhal are south of the Trident.
The forks of the Trident are the easiest way to move goods and men across the riverlands, with common sights including fisherfolk on skiffs, grain barges, floating shops, mummers' boats, and river galleys. The rivers can have lines of poleboats stretching for a mile. The ruby ford and the Twins are two of the major crossings over the rivers. The Trident and its branches can be effective barriers during wartime, but they can also facilitate quick travel by longship.
Tristifer IV Mudd, King of the Rivers and the Hills, ruled from the Trident to the Neck. During the coming of the Andals to Westeros, the newcomers used longships to sail up the Trident and its tributaries to attack the kingdoms of the First Men.
The Storm King Arlan III Durrandon conquered the Trident from the Teagues, the last of the Kings of the Rivers and Hills. Harwyn Hoare, King of the Iron Islands, conquered the Trident from Arrec Durrandon by using ironborn longships to quickly move about the territory.
During Aegon's Conquest, Lord Edmyn Tully of Riverrun declared for Aegon I Targaryen and led the river lords of the Trident in rebellion against Harren Hoare, King of the Isles and the Rivers. After the burning of Harrenhal, Aegon the Conqueror named Edmyn his Lord Paramount of the Trident. Later during the war, Torrhen Stark, King in the North, marched a great northern host to the banks of the Trident. Instead of fighting, Torrhen chose to submit to Aegon on the south bank. The Inn of the Kneeling Man is allegedly located where the two kings met.
Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen visited the Trident in 112 AC. Most of the river lords supported Rhaenyra during the Dance of the Dragons, although the ruling Tullys were divided in intention. Prince Aemond Targaryen used Vhagar to become the terror of the Trident, attacking Old Willow, White Willow, Hogg Hall, Merrydown Dell, Harrenhal, Stonyhead, Sweetwillow, Sallydance, Bowshot Bridge, Old Ferry, Crone's Mill, and Bechester. Led by the Lads, however, the Lords of the Trident hastened the downfall of Aegon II Targaryen and the rise of Aegon III Targaryen. Once the civil war ended, Alysanne Blackwood suggested that some of Lord Cregan Stark's host of northmen could marry widows and help rebuild the war-torn Trident.
The inn at the crossroads once was located next to the Trident. It became known as the River Inn, since at that time the river flowed beneath its back door and half the rooms were built out over the water. It was said that the inn's guests could throw a line out their window and catch fish. There was also a ferry landing at the inn, where travelers could cross to Lord Harroway's Town and Whitewalls. However, c.220 AC-230 AC, the course of the river moved, flowing miles south of the inn.
During Robert's Rebellion, Robert Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End, defeated Rhaegar Targaryen, Prince of Dragonstone, in the decisive Battle of the Trident. The site of Rhaegar's death became known as the ruby ford.
A Game of Thrones
When the retinue of King Robert I Baratheon stops at the crossroads inn, Sansa Stark and Prince Joffrey Baratheon range along the woods on the northern bank of the Trident. The youths explore riverbank caves, track a shadowcat to its lair, and eat fresh trout at a nearby holdfast. Near the ruby ford, however, Arya Stark tosses Joffrey's sword, Lion's Tooth, into the Trident after an altercation.
A Clash of Kings
For his service in allying House Tyrell with House Lannister and House Baratheon of King's Landing, Lord Petyr Baelish receives the title Lord Paramount of the Trident, replacing Lord Hoster Tully as liege lord of the riverlands according to the Iron Throne.
A Storm of Swords
Heavy rain make the Trident and its forks overflow their banks, slowing travel for Robb and Roose as they march to the Twins. Gregor Clegane defeats a group of northmen in the fighting at the fords of the Trident. The green and brown torrent of the Trident looks a mile wide when it is reached by Arya and Sandor Clegane on their way to the Twins, and they find Lord Harroway's Town to be flooded.
In the aftermath of the Red Wedding, Gregor crosses the Trident and seizes the ruby ford. Sandor and Arya head for Saltpans after fighting the Mountain's men at the crossroads inn, and Arya notices that the once-raging Trident has died down. Arya eventually abandons the wounded Sandor to die along the banks of the river, and she continues on to Saltpans alone.
A Feast for Crows
Searching for Sansa Stark, Brienne of Tarth is told by Timeon that Beric Dondarrion is seeking a Stark girl who was with Sandor all along the Trident, but she does not realize that Beric's outlaws are seeking Arya instead of Sansa. At the Quiet Isle, the Elder Brother tells Brienne that the Hound died in his arms along the Trident and that Sandor is at rest.
A Dance with Dragons
—thoughts of Catelyn Stark
The river had returned meekly to its accustomed channel, Arya saw, all its wet brown rage vanished with the rains. It's tired too, she thought.—thoughts of Arya Stark
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- Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
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- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant.
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- Fire & Blood, Aftermath - The Hour of the Wolf.
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- A Storm of Swords, Appendix.
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