Band of Nine

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Band of Nine
Type Outlaw alliance
Region Free Cities
Founder Ninepenny Kings (see below)
Founded 258 AC, beneath the Tree of Crowns

The Band of Nine, also known as the Ninepenny Kings, was a group of merchants, mercenaries and pirates from the Free Cities who banded together to carve out kingdoms for themselves and who caused great turmoil in Essos and the Stepstones. This group was the cause of the War of the Ninepenny Kings.[1]


The Band of Nine was born in 258 AC, when nine outlaws, exiles, pirates, and sellsword captains met beneath the Tree of Crowns as to form an alliance, swearing to aid each other in conquering kingdoms for each of the nine members.[2] They began their conquests by overrunning the Disputed Lands and sacking Tyrosh, where they set up Alequo Adarys as a tyrant. They then marched on the Stepstones, conquering them with ease.[1]

King Jaehaerys II Targaryen had known that the Band of Nine meant to win the Seven Kingdoms for Maelys the Monstrous, who styled himself "King Maelys I Blackfyre". But he hoped that the alliance of rogues would founder in Essos, or fall at the hands of another alliance in the Free Cities. When that did not happen, the thin and scrawny king, who did not lack for courage or intelligence, resolved to meet the Ninepenny Kings upon the Stepstones, choosing to take the war to them. The actions that followed are collectively known as the War of the Ninepenny Kings, or the Fifth Blackfyre Rebellion.[1]

The Targaryens responded quickly, sending their own force to the Stepstones. Maester Eon's Account of the War of the Ninepenny Kings, is a splendid source for the details of fighting, with its many battles on land and sea. It showed that the war ended when Ser Barristan Selmy killed the pretender Maelys I Blackfyre. The remainder of the Ninepenny Kings had no interest in Westeros and fell back to their own domains. Half a year of hard fighting remained before the Band of Nine lost the Stepstones and the Disputed Lands, but Alequo, the Tyrant of Tyrosh, managed to remain in power for another six years, before the Archon of Tyrosh was restored.[1]

The Names and Styles of the Band of Nine

Behind the Scenes

In an early draft of A Feast for Crows, there were ten present beneath the Tree of Crowns. Liomond Lashare refused to make a pact and vowed to defeat the other nine in turn. They then drew their swords, cut him down, and buried him beneath the tree and made their pact with his blood on their hands. Among the Ninepenny Kings in this version of the story is a Meereenese nobleman named Corzo zo Merreq, the Basilisk. Further differences in the draft are that Nine Eyes is named Rogo the Red Jester, Alequo Adarys is known as "Goldentongue" instead of "Silvertongue", and Spotted Tom's company is specified to be the Maiden's Men.[3]