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The Field of Fire (Complete Guide to Westeros)

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"The Field of Fire" is a set of two featurettes in "History & Lore" section of the Complete Guide to Westeros, one of the special features present in the Blu-ray of Season 1 of Game of Thrones. They are narrated, respectively, by Harry Lloyd as Prince Viserys Targaryen and by Richard Madden as Robb Stark.

Viserys Targaryen's perspective

Viserys opens his narration reminding that the days of the Andals were numbered. One by one their "so-called kings" were bending the knee or facing the wrath of Aegon Targaryen: Aegon of Old Valyria, Aegon who was blood of the dragon.

After defeating the ironmen at Harrenhal and slaying the last of the Storm Kings, Aegon and his sisters, Rhaenys and Visenya, set their sights on other prizes: the gold mines of the Rock and the fertile lands of the Reach. King Loren Lannister of the Rock and King Mern Gardener of the Reach foolishly, to Viserys' opinion, thought their combined armies could beat back the Targaryen host. They rode forth together, their proud banners flapping in the wind, and faced Aegon in a vast, golden field of wheat. The two Kings commanded a massive force of nearly sixty thousand men, and it appeared the battle would be theirs. However, Aegon unleashed all three of his dragons for the first and only time.

Each beast was named after the Valyrian gods of Aegon's forefathers. Visenya rode Vhagar, whose fiery breath could melt armor. Rhaenys rode Meraxes, whose jaws were big enough to swallow a horse whole. The greatest of all was Balerion the Black Dread, with fire "dark as night" and wings so huge whole towns were covered in shadow when he flew overhead; this magnificent creature was rode by Aegon himself.

Four thousand men were bathed in "glorious" dragonflame that day, on what came to be known as "the Field of Fire". King Mern was among the dead and House Gardener died with him. His stewards, the Tyrells, surrendered his ancestral stronghold of Highgarden to Aegon, and were appointed Lords Paramount of the Reach and Wardens of the South. Meanwhile, when Loren Lannister witnessed Mern's fate, he wisely bent the knee. Aegon spared Loren's line, and the Lannisters were made Lords Paramount of the Westerlands and Wardens of the West.

After his triumph, Aegon's conquest was assured. In a short time time, the so-called Seven Kingdoms were melted down in the heat of the dragons' flame and transformed into a single realm. Aegon would forever be known as "Aegon the Conqueror".


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Robb Stark's perspective

Robb opens his narration assuring that the ascension of Aegon Targaryen and the fate of the Seven Kingdoms were sealed in the Field of Fire. Kings Loren Lannister of the Rock and Mern Gardener of the Reach stood against Aegon's invasion. They commanded a united force of six hundred banners, five thousand mounted knights and fifty thousand men-at-arms.

Aegon's host was vastly outnumbered, and when the army of the two Kings charged, the invaders turned heel and ran; but Andal might was no match for dragon flame. When Aegon unleashed all three of his dragons, four thousand souls were horrendously burned alive on the battlefield, King Mern among them. Realizing all hope was lost, King Loren surrendered.

The Starks of Winterfell had no intention of surrendering to Targaryen rule. They had reigned as Kings in the North since the days of the First Men, and were determined to resist the Targaryen invaders, just as they had resisted the Andals thousand of years before.

King Torrhen Stark led his army to the Red Fork, just east of Riverrun, hoping to succeed where Loren and Mern had failed. But when he saw the size of Aegon's now mighty host along with his monstrous dragons, he knew he couldn't subject his followers to another Field of Fire. He bent the knee and swore fealty to Aegon, who allowed the Starks to maintain their lordship over the region as Lords Paramount and Wardens of the North. Without question, Torrhen Stark had saved thousands of lives that day. He was ever after known as "the King Who Knelt".


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