I can only assume you're going to rename this "The War of the Five Kings" when the Greyjoys make their move in season 2?
- Since there is no such thing as the War of the Four Kings, but the books call it sometimes the War of the Five Kings, I think we all can assume that it will be renamed in the future. I am not even sure why this article is named as it is at moment, would be better if it had been named Clash of Kings or something like that, but not with a title that does not exists. - Drudenfusz 08:05, July 1, 2011 (UTC)
- It was to avoid spoilers. The war does not have five kings at the moment (and that in itself is a spoiler), so we settled on this as a very rough compromise. It's not great, but no other solution really presented itself. 'Clash of Kings' might well be the title of an episode in Season 2, which is why we didn't use that.--Werthead 19:37, July 1, 2011 (UTC)
- I haven't read the books, but I thought the five were: Joffrey, Renly ,Stannis, Roob and Daenerys (actually a queen).--KIWIBOλ 05:14, July 3, 2011 (UTC)
I've had to revert an edit to the page which added spoilers for Season 2. Yes, this title is contentious and I'm not happy about it myself. However, we need a name for the war and this is an adjustment of an existing term from the books. It's an ad hoc measure. Assuming the show follows the books, we should be able to change the title to the 'correct' designation the second the first or second episode of Season 2 has finished airing.--Werthead 18:40, November 22, 2011 (UTC)
The UK magazine SciFiNow has published (in issue 64) a large poster map showing the course of the war in the last few episodes of Season 1 and, interestingly, use the term 'War of the Four Kings' to describe it, indicating the term has got some traction, at least as a stopgap measure.--Werthead 11:39, February 16, 2012 (UTC)
Lets keep it that way until Balon rises, or Tywin says the line from the trailer.--Gonzalo84 00:45, March 5, 2012 (UTC)
I agree it is a reasonable solution until it is no longer necessary.--Opark 77 12:49, March 5, 2012 (UTC)
- She isn't considered a combatant in the source material at this point because her forces have not fought any battles on the continent of Westeros. Should she arrive the maesters would have to reconsider their naming of the conflict. Of course the same was true of Stannis, Renly and Balon until this episode. But Stannis has defeated Renly by assassination and Balon has begun sacking holdfasts in the North so they are now all fully involved.--Opark 77 14:28, April 30, 2012 (UTC)
- Should Daenerys arrive...book spoilers, but Dany hasn't shown up in Westeros as of the recently released Book Five, A Dance With Dragons, though they're kind of building up to that. And the War of the Five Kings is essentially "Act One" of the Three Act structure in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. She officially isn't in the War of the Five Kings, its even in the name. The Targaryen Restoration will be a separate conflict. --The Dragon Demands 15:55, April 30, 2012 (UTC)
- Ohhh, okay. Thanks guys! --QueenBuffy 17:06, April 30, 2012 (UTC)
I hope this has become clear now after Season 3. At this point, after the Red Wedding, the Lannisters have basically won.
Stannis is still a holdout on Dragonstone, his status as the rightful heir of Robert is a thorn in the Lannisters' side, but he has no army left. The only reason they haven't attacked him throughout Season 3 is because so much of the Royal Fleet was destroyed that it's going to be a while before they can mount amphibious attacks. Similarly, the Iron Islands have been doing pretty well for their smug selves so far; "go for the low-hanging fruit" as Balon said. But now that Robb is dead Tywin can turn his attention to them, and they really don't have strong numbers nor are they good at land warfare. They opportunistically succeeded for this long because the Baratheons and Starks were distracting the Lannisters. Now? Judgement time. But that's because Dragonstone and the Iron Islands need to be reached by ship. After the Red Wedding, the Lannisters (along with their allies, the Tyrells, Boltons, and Freys) dominate all of the mainland of the continent.
Anyway, I hope the "three act structure" makes more sense now (the novels were planned as a trilogy but it grew from there). "Act I" was "the War of the Five Kings", and Act III is building up to be "the war against the White Walkers". Now we're on the verge of Act II, and as you can see, Daenerys Targaryen is finally building up to the point where she's starting to be a geo-political power to be reckoned with - her dragons are growing into really usable weapons of war, she has her own armies, etc. She's not strong enough to retake Westeros by the Season 3 finale, of course, but you can really tell that her star is on the rise, she's on the cusp of doing something big. I'm happy that "The Bear and the Maiden Fair (episode)" tried to work this in, having an episode where Joffrey and Tywin are discussing that the last Targaryen is still alive and now has dragons; as the saying goes, it's good politics to worry about the next war even as you're winning the current one.
And of course the Tyrells "helped" the Lannisters....much as the Lannisters "helped" the Baratheons take over from the Targaryens. And look how that turned out. In both cases they ended up becoming dependent on their so-called "help".--The Dragon Demands (talk) 01:10, July 18, 2013 (UTC)
"The End" of the WarEdit
Given that certain...events, which happened in the second half of Book 3 now won't be happening until Season 4, this is a moot point for now; but once we get to those points...
Basically, the Red Wedding ends the Stark-Lannister war, and Stannis was already out after Blackwater - though his very survival remains a threat. The ironborn are fighting for entirely different reasons.
Mild book spoilers, but the Northern armies have been destroyed, and the remaining Riverlords surrender because they've taken huge losses and have no hope of victory - except for House Tully and House Blackwood, though Tywin says they're just hanging on out of pride because they'd rather die than submit to the monsters who committed the Red Wedding and killed Ned Stark. So Brynden Tully is besieged at Riverrun, the Blackwoods are besieged at Raventree Hall, so that "mopping up" drags on for a while, but on the whole the Red Wedding ended that part of the war.
Anyway, given how everything comes to a head in book 3 - which may now be early season 4, I think we need to break up the War of the Five Kings into different articles; the actual "War of the Five Kings" is over, but ongoing conflicts remain. This is loosely what A Wiki of Ice and Fire did.
I'm not sure if the books even still call it "the War of the Five Kings" after the Red Wedding (do they?).
The alternative plan, which I favor (due to not having a real name to give events post-Red Wedding) is to handle the War of the Five Kings much as particularly long, multi-sided wars in real-life history are handled by historians (wars in which certain members changed sides). Like the Hundred Years War or Thirty Years War. Similar to the Wikipedia articles on those long, multi-sided and multi-phase wars, I propose that - only after certain events in early Season 4 - we break up the articles into "War of the Five Kings (Phase I)" and "War of the Five Kings (Phase II)", with House Lannister listed as the winner of Phase I.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 18:12, June 26, 2013 (UTC)
I agree with the alternative plan, considering that Stannis and Balon are still on the fight, and we have new upcoming players too spoilery too mention *ahem*Young Griff*ahem*.--Gonzalo84 (talk) 19:08, June 26, 2013 (UTC)
The bastard of Blackfyre? A trifle. But the War never really ended from Stannis' perspective, so I'm more inclined to separate them into "phase I" and "phase II", using the analogy of the real-life Thirty Years War and how it is handled on Wikipedia.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 19:21, June 26, 2013 (UTC)
The alternative plan is a possible approach, but the war is definitely not over until all of the opposing forces surrender. The Starks have not done that, neither has Stannis or the Greyjoys etc. Even without getting into spoilers, it's clear in the TV series I think that the conflict will remain ongoing for now.--Werthead (talk) 12:15, June 27, 2013 (UTC)
Major differences between the books and TV seriesEdit
It would help if we sort out the major differences of the war between the books and TV series:
- The most prominent is that to simplify the narrative, the Northern army doesn't split into two groups, a western army led by Robb and an eastern army led by Roose Bolton - roughly 10,000+ footsoldiers under Roose, all of the cavalry, about 6,000 riders, under Robb. Cavalry count as more than footsoldiers so this is still generally "half" of the army. Some more get spread around here and there.-->Instead, at the end of Season 1, Robb sends a feint of only 2,000 men to the Battle of the Green Fork, who all perish, while the bulk of his army goes to Whispering Wood.
- Rather stupidly, the TV show didn't really think out the repercussions of this well: Robb only had 6,000 Northern cavalry at Whispering Wood, and was outnumbered two to one by Jaime Lannister's army, numbering about 15,000 -- which was about half of the Lannister forces in the Riverlands, as the other half was commanded by Tywin Lannister and numbered almost 20,000 men (including 3,000 Hill Tribesmen). Thus to maintain the drama of "Robb is outnumbered two to one", they simply DOUBLED the size of the entire Lannister standing army: Tywin states in the TV series that they have 60,000 men, and he's giving Jaime half of that, thus Robb's 18,000 men are still outnumbered almost two to one. This is ridiculous, as they didn't proportionately increase the number of troops supplied by every other region of Westeros - i.e. the entire reason that the Tyrell alliance is so important is because they can raise twice as many troops as any other region, almost 70,000 -- the importance of this diminishes when the Lannisters' standing army is doubled. This is one of the things I would directly ask the writers about if ever given the chance.
- Given that Green Fork was a feint and the army totally destroyed there, Robb's entire army is at Riverrun - now almost doubled because they're reinforced by the Riverlords who officially join Robb after that. Robb launches an invasion of the Westerlands but it is ultimately fruitless, and he returns his army to Riverrun after the Battle of the Blackwater. They solved the problem that the narrative needs Roose to take Harrenhal rather simply: Robb subsequently launches a push east from Riverrun to Harrenhal. They also solved the omission of Arya's role in the fall of Harrenhal easily, by saying the Lannisters are just pursuing a Fabian Strategy and pulled out of Harrenhal without battle. Robb then deposits half of his army at Harrenhal to hold the east flank, while going back with the other half to Riverrun - this bringing the army positions back in line with what they were at this point in the books.
- As a complete side-note, the Arya storyline in Season 2 was completely mishandled, but there isn't much point complaining now because the TV show already learned its lesson by Season 3 - they have to be willing to just give certain characters a pause for two or even three episodes, as they have such a large cast that others need screentime as well. Somehow they got it into their heads that the fickle TV-first fans consider Tyrion and Arya the "main characters", and thus would invent filler scenes for Arya in Season 2....despite the fact that they actually CUT OUT much of Arya's storyline from the second book. The result were baffling and inconsequential filler scenes which *took badly needed time away from other characters*, and paradoxically, ended up taking time away *from Arya's own storyline* -- why not just but the "Weasel soup" incident in? I think the problem is that they think the audience won't remember things across seasons, thus all of Roose Bolton's stuff at Harrenhal got moved to Season 3. I digress, of course, and thankfully the writers do seem to have learned this lesson by Season 3. Season 1 was a linear story surrounding Ned Stark, and by Season 3 it's apparent that "anyone can die, there is main character" after the Red Wedding. But Season 2 was an odd transitional phase where they thought they had to make stuff up to insert characters into episodes...even though there was plenty in the books they could have fleshed out (particularly, as Linda pointed out on Westeros.org, how the Qarth storyline for episodes 7 and 8 turned into "where are my dragons?!" -- only the utter awesomeness of the Astapor storyline managed to finally burn this internet meme out of the minds of viewers). Sigh. But I digress...
- The Battle of Ashemark was renamed the Battle of Yellow Fork, apparently because they thought we'd confuse it with the Battle of Ashford. No big crisis here. Also due to the Talisa changes...don't get me started...the Surrender of the Crag was slightly different; but conceptually it still remains "Robb goes on raid from his main force ending up at the Crag".
- The TV show was stupid to not treat the marriage to Talisa as the political disaster it actually was; Roose openly calling Talisa "Queen" with ZERO REACTION that "dear gods, Robb just ruined our alliance with the Freys"? I was honestly expecting a big dramatic scene where all of the Frey soldiers, 4,000 strong, ride out of camp. INSTEAD, the loss of the Karstarks is treated as a major disaster...as if to bizarrely make up for the loss of the Freys. They have Robb say that with the Karstarks gone he's lost "half his army" - which we can only badly account for by saying either that he was "speaking loosely" or that he meant "half of my army currently at Riverrun", i.e. 2,000 or so men. The Karstarks can't make up half of the ENTIRE Northern army, that is ludicrous.
- My understanding was that the Battle of Stone Mill is the TV version of the Battle of the Fords, which was more of a campaign, in which Stone Mill was the central target/where the main thrust under Gregor himself came. Others have argued that Stone Mill was not the exact equivalent of the Battle of the Fords and only consisted of a fraction of the Lannister army under Gregor himself; moreover, that it happened *after* the Battle of the Blackwater. I think the implication is still clear that the "Battle of Stone Mill" happened "off screen" before the Battle of the Blackwater, and that Edmure is telling Robb about it now because they haven't been physically in the same room together for many months.
- The TV series introduced the minor change that rather than going to the Twins to attempt to retake the North, Robb just wanted to rebuild the Frey alliance so he could strike at Casterly Rock -- given that before, Tywin was at a central location in the Riverlands, but he's now committed his forces to the east to defend King's Landing - thus Robb's only plausible action would be to strike west where he doesn't have any major army groups; even given the difficulty in taking Casterly Rock and siege warfare it is only defended by a skeleton force. While this is a change from the books, the logic is entirely rational, and either way, it doesn't actually happen anyway -- it was all dramatic misdirection so the audience wouldn't realize the Red Wedding was going to happen, would be focused on "Robb the great boy-king is about to make a dramatic counter-attack"...which admittedly sounds better on TV than "at least retake the North"....though of course, the books at this point made a bigger emphasis that Robb has basically lost the war at this point, post-Blackwater post-losing the Freys post-losing the Karstarks. Though at least they do have him yell at Edmure that Stone Mill was a meaningless victory which squandered an opportunity. Things aren't going all that well. Again, dramatic misdirection, I'm all for that, it didn't happen anyway.
Well that was long, the short version is this:
- The TV show streamlined the movement of armies by having the Battle of the Green Fork be only a feint of 2,000 men, leaving the bulk of Robb's army to attack at Whispering Wood/Riverrun. Robb then invades the Westerlands and returns after Blackwater as in the books. Their solution is that instead of a western army and an eastern army, Robb's main army first goes west, then post-Blackwater goes east to Harrenhal, where he leaves Roose Bolton with a large garrison of half his army, bringing things back in line with the books. Status: Okay - the TV series is at least internally consistent on how these armies moved around.
- If the Battle of Duskendale occurred in the TV continuity, it has not yet been mentioned. I hold out hope something will be mentioned in Season 4 that Roose intentionally sent Northern soldiers under his command on suicide missions which lost two thirds of the soldiers trusted to his command, to bleed out any Stark supporters. But we shall see.
- A bad repercussion of streamlining Whispering Wood and Green Fork is that they felt the need to double the total size of all Lannister armies from 30,000 to 60,000, to increase dramatic tension. The fact that this makes the Lannisters drastically more powerful relative to other regions of Westeros is not explored. Also because Robb's army is now 18,000 strong...possibly more or less depending on how many Riverlands soldiers joined him post-Whispering Wood...how many men were in both armies at the Battle of Oxcross, and how many died? Even a "five to one kill ratio" as mentioned on-screen is too high; practically no Stark soldiers died, it was a massacre of 10,000 green Lannister conscripts. Status: Bad; unresolved and unanswered.. I would directly ask the writers about this.
- Puzzling references to Robb losing "Half my army" when the Karstarks leave - how are these to be interpreted? Why wasn't more attention given to the fact that 4,000 Frey levies abandoned him before that? Status: Bad and unresolved, though at least given that its armies returning home and disengaging from the war entirely, it isn't all that important; still Robb's line about "half" is puzzling, and I hope we can lampshade/reinterpret it to just mean "a lot" or "half my current garrison at this castle". I would ask a writer about this.
- Did the Battle of Stone Mill take place before or after the Battle of the Blackwater? If it occurred before it is much closer to the Battle of the Fords in the books, involving Tywin's main army with Gregor commanding a major subsection, and Edmure's "victory" at Stone Mill kept the Lannisters pent up in the Riverlands and thus within enough distance from King's Landing to reach there in time to win the Battle of the Blackwater. Occurring after the Battle of the Blackwater means it only involved a fraction of Lannister forces under Gregor Clegane's command, and Robb was just looking for a tactical victory to remove a major enemy commander/chip away at their forces.
- We must also consider the season 2 bluray War of the 5 Kings feature that brings the Battle of the Camps into canon, as well as the liberation of Raventree Hall and Stone Hedge under the Greatjon's leadership.
Also, you can ask the writers via the Ask a Writer feature: 
- Well I tried using WiC's Ask A Writer but they filter out the "boring" questions; even the one I managed to get through to Cogman about "Is Jaehaerys II cut?" was met with a simple "yes". But I'm not too concerned about Raventree/Stonehedge and Camps - those just happened "off screen" - it did bring them into canon, thankfully, but didn't really change too much.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 15:29, July 3, 2013 (UTC)
A Couple of Things about the Infobox Edit
Hey, I've noticed a couple of things that need to be changed/added to the infobox for the leaders/combatants. For the King in the North column, shouldn't there be a note indicating that Houses Frey and Bolton switched sides or does the fact that such notes are there for the King on the Iron Throne sufficient? Also, shouldn't the pirate lord (forgot his name) that aided Stannis be listed? For the leaders section: Lord Hoster Tully needs to be listed under Robb while Ser Gregor Clegane needs to be listed under Joffrey. Thanks. TheUnknown285 (talk) 18:50, October 29, 2013 (UTC)
- Your concerns are valid. This is going to be one of our longest and largest pages, given that it summarizes so much of the plot. Major overhauls are due. I'm personally in lockdown due to thesis work. I can check in on the daily edits for quality control but a full revamp of the war article is a massive undertaking...--The Dragon Demands (talk) 00:14, October 30, 2013 (UTC)
Overhauling the article Edit
I do not have time to launch into a massive overhaul at the moment. But I must point out that the "combatants" section has grown unruly. It should only be a brief paragraph or two summation for each king on why they entered the war and their initial dispositions. Instead, we've got a description of Robb's ENTIRE storyline throughout the entire war - which is redundant with the actual core section of the article.