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702 Black Wind

The Black Wind leading a Greyjoy fleet.

The Black Wind is the ironborn longship commanded by Yara Greyjoy.

History

Background

By the time Theon returns to the Iron Islands, Yara has been captain of her own ship for some time, led men into battle, and killed men in raids

Season 2

At the direction of her father Balon Greyjoy, Yara commands an ironborn fleet from the Black Wind to attack the North, landing men on the west coast to capture Deepwood Motte.

Season 3

Yara returns to Pyke at some point, and upon learning of Theon's capture and torture by House Bolton defies her father by leaving on their fastest ship with 50 men to raid the Dreadfort (apparently not the same ship as the Black Wind, otherwise she would have just said "my ship").

Season 6

605 Boarding Black Wind

Yara boarding the Black Wind following the Kingsmoot.

After Balon's sudden death falling from a rope bridge (in fact, an assassination by his own brother Euron Greyjoy) a Kingsmoot is called to select a new monarch for the Iron Islands. Yara is a candidate but surprisingly loses to Euron - after which she and Theon promptly flee the Iron Islands about the Black Wind, taking much of the Iron Fleet with them.

Yara and Theon take the fleet east, hoping to reach Meereen before Euron can to ally with Daenerys Targaryen against him. During the long voyage Black Wind and the rest of the fleet briefly stop at Volantis to rest and resupply, before continuing on to Meereen. After Yara successfully enters into an alliance with Daenerys at Meereen, they agree to help transport her army to Westeros. As Daenerys's dragons fly over the fleet, Yara and Theon watch from the deck of the Black Wind.[1]

Season 7

702 Fleet Siege Aftermath

Obara and Nymeria's corpses displayed on the bowsprit of the Black Wind.

The Black Wind arrives at Dragonstone with the rest of Daenerys Targaryen's fleet, before departing once more, with Yara, Theon, Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes aboard, to pick up the armies of Dorne in preparation for a siege of King's Landing by the Tyrells and Dorne. However, en route, they are attacked by Euron Greyjoy aboard the Silence, accompanied by his newly-reconstructed Iron Fleet, and boarded. In the ensuing battle, Black Wind is severly damaged, and Obara and Nymeria Sand are killed by Euron himself. Meanwhile, Ellaria, Tyene Sand and Yara are captured, with Theon jumping overboard to escape. Euron displays Obara and Nymeria's corpses on the bowsprit of the Black Wind, with Obara's body pinned to it with her own spear, and Nymeria hanging from it by her own whip, and leaves it to burn.[2]

In the books

Asha Greyjoy (called Yara in the TV series) has been captain of the Black Wind for at least three of our years by the time of the second novel. Asha has taken her on voyages to Lannisport and Fair Isle (also on the western side of Westeros), but has also taken her on raiding expeditions against Lyseni pirates in the Stepstones.

When the ironborn turn against the North in the War of the Five Kings, Asha takes the Black Wind to Sea Dragon Point to capture Deepwood Motte.

Asha remains there until word reaches her of her father Balon Greyjoy's death in a fall from a rope bridge at Pyke. She never returns to debate their failing strategies face to face with her father as she does in the TV series. The very next day, her uncle Euron Greyjoy openly appears on Pyke and quickly seizes control of the castle and island of Pyke. When news of this reaches Asha she takes the Black Wind back to the Iron Islands but doesn't dare return to Pyke for fear of Euron: instead she lands on Harlaw island, ruled by her maternal uncle Rodrik Harlaw; the powerful House Harlaw becomes her main base of support in the resulting succession crisis. When her other uncle Aeron Greyjoy declares that the issue must be solved with a Kingsmoot, Asha sails the Black Wind to Old Wyk island, where the election is traditionally held.

It is exceedingly rare for an ironborn woman to be captain of her own ship, though there is no formal rule against it. Similarly, the rules of the Kingsmoot state that any ship captain gets a vote or may present themselves as a candidate, guaranteeing Asha the right to do both - again, there is no formal rule against a woman standing as a candidate in the Kingsmoot, simply because none ever have.

Immediately after Euron wins the Kingsmoot Asha promptly flees with the Black Wind, but only manages to withdraw with it and three other longships because Euron ordered the mouth of the harbor blocked (and started killing lords who voted for Asha). In the books, Asha has a third maternal uncle named Victarion, but he was cut from the TV series for time and her storyline was condensed with his:

Victarion was another candidate in the Kingsmoot, and absolutely loathes Euron. After his victory Euron orders Victarion to take the Iron Fleet to Meereen to woo Daenerys Targaryen, offering that Euron will marry her. Victarion leaves as ordered, but plans to betray the insane Euron by going to Meereen but then marrying Daenerys himself. The TV series just has Asha/Yara and Theon escape with most of the Iron Fleet and head to Meereen openly turning against Euron, instead of how Victarion secretly planned to betray him.

In the book version, Asha manages to escape the Iron Islands aboard the Black Wind and her three other ships and withdraw back to Deepwood Motte, but once there she and her remaining 200 men run out of options. Before she can decide what to do next, Stannis Baratheon attacks her camp, along with local Northern Houses who have rallied to his army on the march. In the resulting Second Battle of Deepwood Motte Asha and her men fight a running battle as they try to escape back to her ships. Eventually, however, they are overwhelmed before they can even reach the coast: only 9 ironborn including Asha herself survive (among the other eight are Tristifer Botley, Qarl the Maid, Roggon, Cromm, Grimtongue, Fingers and Rook), all captured by Stannis, taken alive because they are important enough that they can be ransomed later.

Asha's retreat would have been in vain even if she had reached the coast: while her main force was caught at Deepwood Motte, Alysane Mormont (older sister of Lyanna Mormont, both loosely condensed into one character for the TV series) led warriors from Bear Island on fishing sloops to make a surprise attack against the skeleton crews manning Asha's remaining four ships, which were "either burned or captured". The Black Wind thus may have been destroyed - though there is also a chance that it has fallen into the hands of the warrior-women of House Mormont.

The crew of the Black Wind followed Asha fiercely: half loved her like a daughter, and the other half wanted to have sex with her, but either sort would die for her. One of Asha's crewmen is actually also a warrior-woman like herself - a beautiful red-head who steers a ship as well as any man. Her given name is unknown, only that she is the daughter of Hagen, another member of Asha's crew. Hagen is killed by Stannis's forces at Deepwood Motte, but his daughter's fate is unknown.

Known crew members

  • {Cromm}. Taken captive at the second battle of Deepwood Motte, and dies of his injuries at captivity
  • Droopeye Dale
  • Grimtongue. Taken captive at the second battle of Deepwood Motte
  • {Hagen the Horn}. Killed at the second battle of Deepwood Motte
  • Hagen's daughter
  • Six-toed Harl
  • Eerl Harlaw
  • Fingers. Taken captive at the second battle of Deepwood Motte
  • Lorren Longaxe
  • Qarl the Maid, Asha's lover. Taken captive at the second battle of Deepwood Motte
  • Roggon Rustbeard. Taken captive at the second battle of Deepwood Motte
  • {Rolfe the Dwarf}. Killed at the second battle of Deepwood Motte
  • Rook. Taken captive at the second battle of Deepwood Motte

See also

References