- "When a new army of Green loyalists marched up from the Reach and laid siege to the city of Tumbleton, Rhaenyra sent two of her dragonseeds to lay waste to them. Instead, the dragonseeds proved their bastard nature and betrayed her. They burned the city and all the Black forces garrisoned within."
- ―Viserys Targaryen
The Sack of Tumbleton was a battle during the Dance of the Dragons.
An army of Greens arrived at The Reach and laid siege on the the city of Tumbleton. After hearing of the siege, Queen Rhaenyra sent two of her Dragonseeds along with an army of Blacks to put an end to the siege.
However, when they arrived of the city of Tumbleton, the 2 Dragonseeds changed sides and burned all the Black army that have accompanied them. The Green army emerged victorious, although confused by this turn of event.
In the books
Lord Ormund Hightower led an army of greens from the Reach toward King's Landing, which at the time was held by Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen and the blacks. Ulf White and Hard Hugh Hammer were sent with their dragons, Vermithor and Silverwing, to Tumbleton, the last leal stronghold of Rhaenyra's between the capital and Ormund's advancing army. The Tumbleton of that era was a thriving market town. The blacks defending it numbered nearly 9,000, including troops from Bitterbridge, Longtable, and the Riverlands, as well as the Winter Wolves. However, they were greatly outnumbered by the host commanded by Lord Hightower. Prior to the start of the battle, members of the greens infiltrated the town disguised as refugees.
At the start of the battle, 6,000 blacks fought against the troops of Lord Hightower, but his archers thinned their ranks and his heavy horse sent the blacks retreating to Tumbleton. Lord Roderick Dustin then lead the Winter Wolves out a postern gate against the Hightowers. Although the northmen were outnumbered ten-to-one, the Winter Wolves managed to reach the commander of the greens. Roderick managed to slay Lord Ormund and his cousin, Ser Bryndon Hightower, before succumbing to his wounds.
The dragon Tessarion, mount of Daeron the Daring, was present at the battle, but her appearance across the field did not dismay the defenders, as they had Vermithor and Silverwing on their side - each much larger than Tessarion herself. Apparently, both sides held their dragons in reserve, waiting to react to how the other side committed its dragon(s).
The defenders of Tumbleton thought the battle was won when the Hightowers were killed, but Ulf and Hugh betrayed the blacks and turned their dragons upon the town. Buildings throughout Tumbleton burned to ash. Thousands burned to death or drowned trying to cross the Mander. Lord Footly's men yielded, but were beheaded by the greens. Girls as young as eight were raped by the victors.
After hearing of the Battle of Tumbleton, Dowager Queen Alicent Hightower is said to have laughed, promising, "All they have sowed, now shall they reap." Many in King's Landing tried to flee, fearing that the same would happen to the capital, but Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen had the gold cloaks seal the city's gates. Ser Hobert Hightower took command of the greens at Tumbleton, which later saw a second battle.