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{{Quote|The Seven Kingdoms are at war with one another... false kings destroying the country... the Usurper is dead. The Starks fight the Lannisters, the Baratheons fight each other.|[[Daenerys Targaryen]] to Ser [[Jorah Mormont]].|The Ghost of Harrenhal}}
 
{{Quote|The Seven Kingdoms are at war with one another... false kings destroying the country... the Usurper is dead. The Starks fight the Lannisters, the Baratheons fight each other.|[[Daenerys Targaryen]] to Ser [[Jorah Mormont]].|The Ghost of Harrenhal}}
   
The '''War of the Five Kings''' is a major military conflict that erupts in the wake of the death of King [[Robert Baratheon|Robert I]].   In essence, the war is a three-way battle for the [[Iron Throne]] along with two independence movements.  The five kings in question are Robert's heir [[Joffrey Baratheon]], Robert's two younger brothers [[Renly Baratheon]] and [[Stannis Baratheon]], [[Robb Stark]], and [[Balon Greyjoy]]. 
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The '''War of the Five Kings''' is a major military conflict that erupts in the wake of the death of King [[Robert Baratheon|Robert I]]. In essence, the war is a three-way battle for the [[Iron Throne]] fought alongside two independence movements.  The five kings in question are Robert's heir [[Joffrey Baratheon]], Robert's two younger brothers [[Stannis Baratheon]] and [[Renly Baratheon]], [[Robb Stark]], and [[Balon Greyjoy]]. 
   
Upon Robert's death, his heir, [[Joffrey Baratheon|Joffrey]], takes the Iron Throne, but the revelation that he along with his [[Tommen Baratheon|brother]] and [[Myrcella Baratheon|sister]] are [[bastard]]s born of incest between Queen [[Cersei Lannister|Cersei]] and her twin brother, Ser [[Jaime Lannister]], leads both of Robert's younger brothers: Stannis and Renly Baratheon, to claim the throne for themselves.  Stannis sees himself as the rightful heir by right of blood, being Robert's heir with the removal of Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen due to their being bastards.  Renly claims the throne on the basis that he would be a better king, despite being second to Stannis in a lawful line of succession.
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Upon Robert's death, his heir, Prince Joffrey, takes the Iron Throne, but the revelation that he along with his [[Tommen Baratheon|brother]] and [[Myrcella Baratheon|sister]] are [[bastard]]s born of [[incest]] between Queen [[Cersei Lannister|Cersei]] and her twin brother, Ser [[Jaime Lannister]], leads both of Robert's younger brothersStannis and Renly Baratheon, to claim the throne for themselves.  Stannis sees himself as the rightful heir by right of blood, being Robert's heir with the removal of Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen due to their being bastards.  Renly claims the throne on the basis that he would be a better king, despite being second to Stannis in the lawful line of succession.
   
Meanwhile, Robb Stark, Lord of [[Winterfell]] and [[Lord Paramount of the North]], is declared the [[King in the North]] by his lords bannermen in the wake of the execution of his father,  [[Eddard Stark]], under false charges of treason.  Robb had been in command of a host marching south to free his then-imprisoned father and to relieve a [[House Lannister|Lannister]] attack on the [[Riverlands]]. As the King in the North, Robb declares that [[the North]] and the [[Riverlands]] (which ruled by his [[Hoster Tully|maternal grandfather]]) are now a sovereign kingdom no longer subject to the rule of the [[Iron Throne]].<ref>[http://viewers-guide.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/season2/#!/map/special/areas-of-control/ HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Areas of Control]</ref>
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Meanwhile, Robb Stark, Lord of [[Winterfell]] and [[Lord Paramount of the North]], is declared the [[King in the North]] by his lords bannermen in the wake of the execution of his father, [[Eddard Stark]], on false charges of treason.<ref>"[[Fire and Blood]]</ref>  Robb had been in command of a host marching south to free his then-imprisoned father and to relieve a [[House Lannister|Lannister]] attack on the [[Riverlands]]. As the King in the North, Robb declares that [[the North]] and the [[Riverlands]] (ruled by his [[Hoster Tully|maternal grandfather]]) are now a sovereign kingdom no longer subject to the rule of the [[Iron Throne]].<ref>[http://viewers-guide.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/season2/#!/map/special/areas-of-control/ HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Areas of Control]</ref>
   
With the attention of the North and the Iron Throne diverted,[[Balon Greyjoy| Balon Greyjoy]], [[Lord Reaper of Pyke]] and ruler of the [[Iron Islands]], seizes the opportunity to declare the Iron Islands independent once more.  He then styles himself [[King of the Iron Islands]] and launches raids in the North while most of its defenders are south of [[the Neck]].
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With the attention of the North and the Iron Throne diverted, Balon Greyjoy, [[Lord Reaper of Pyke]] and ruler of the [[Iron Islands]], seizes the opportunity to declare the Iron Islands independent once more.  He then styles himself [[King of the Iron Islands]] and launches raids in the North while most of its defenders are south of [[the Neck]].
 
<small>
 
<small>
 
{{War
 
{{War
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|end=Ongoing
 
|end=Ongoing
 
|place=The [[Seven Kingdoms]]
 
|place=The [[Seven Kingdoms]]
|result=Current decisive [[House Baratheon of King's Landing]] victory
+
|result=Current pyrrhic [[House Baratheon of King's Landing]] victory
 
*Scattering and exile of [[House Stark]]
 
*Scattering and exile of [[House Stark]]
 
*Attaintment of [[House Tully]]
 
*Attaintment of [[House Tully]]
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*[[Red Wedding]]
 
*[[Red Wedding]]
 
*[[Purple Wedding]]
 
*[[Purple Wedding]]
  +
*[[Assault on the Dreadfort|The Dreadfort]]
  +
*[[Trial of Tyrion Lannister|King's Landing(III)]]
  +
*[[Fall of Moat Cailin|Moat Cailin(II)]]
  +
*[[Trial by combat of Tyrion Lannister|King's Landing(IV)]]
 
|BG2=
 
|BG2=
 
|side1=[[Robb Stark|The King in the North]]†
 
|side1=[[Robb Stark|The King in the North]]†
*[[House Stark]]
+
[[File:Stark mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Stark]] [[House Stark]]
 
**Houses sworn to [[Winterfell]]
 
**Houses sworn to [[Winterfell]]
**[[House Bolton]]
+
***[[File:Bolton mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Bolton]] [[House Bolton]]
**[[House Umber]]
+
***[[File:Umber mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Umber]] [[House Umber]]
**[[House Karstark]]
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***[[File:Karstark mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Karstark]] [[House Karstark]]
**[[House Glover]]
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***[[House Glover]]
**[[House Mormont]]
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***[[File:Mormont mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Mormont]] [[House Mormont]]
**[[House Hornwood]]
+
***[[File:Hornwood mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Hornwood]] [[House Hornwood]]
**[[House Tallhart]]
+
***[[File:Frey mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Frey]] [[House Tallhart]]
**[[House Manderly]]
+
***[[House Manderly]]
*[[House Tully]]
+
***[[File:Tully mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Tully]] [[House Tully]]
 
**Houses sworn to [[Riverrun]]
 
**Houses sworn to [[Riverrun]]
**[[House Bracken]]
+
***[[File:Bracken mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Bracken]] [[House Bracken]]
**[[House Mallister]]
+
***[[File:Mallister mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Mallister]] [[House Mallister]]
**[[House Blackwood]]
+
***[[File:Blackwood mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Blackwood]] [[House Blackwood]]
**[[House Frey]]
+
***[[File:Frey mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Frey]] [[House Frey]]
***Houses sworn to [[the Twins]]
+
**Houses sworn to [[the Twins]]
 
|side2=[[Joffrey Baratheon|The King on the Iron Throne]]†
 
|side2=[[Joffrey Baratheon|The King on the Iron Throne]]†
*[[House Baratheon of King's Landing]]
+
*[[File:KL Baratheon mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Baratheon of King's Landing]] [[House Baratheon of King's Landing]]
 
** Houses sworn to [[King's Landing]]
 
** Houses sworn to [[King's Landing]]
*[[House Lannister]]
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***[[File:Lannister mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Lannister]] [[House Lannister]]
 
**Houses sworn to [[Casterly Rock]]
 
**Houses sworn to [[Casterly Rock]]
**[[House Marbrand]]
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***[[File:Marbrand mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Marbrand]] [[House Marbrand]]
**[[House Crakehall]]
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***[[File:Crakehall mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Crakehall]] [[House Crakehall]]
**[[House Clegane]]
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***[[File:Clegane mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Clegane]] [[House Clegane]]
**[[House Lefford]]
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***[[File:Lefford mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Lefford]] [[House Lefford]]
**[[House Sarsfield]]
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***[[House Sarsfield]]
**[[House Swyft]]
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***[[File:Swyft mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Swyft]] [[House Swyft]]
*[[House Tyrell]] (after Renly's death)
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***[[File:Tyrell mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Tyrell]] [[House Tyrell]] (after Renly's death)
 
**Houses sworn to [[Highgarden]]
 
**Houses sworn to [[Highgarden]]
*[[House Bolton]] (after the Red Wedding)
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***[[File:Bolton mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Bolton]] [[House Bolton]] (after the Red Wedding)
 
** Houses sworn to [[The Dreadfort]] and [[Winterfell]] (in theory)
 
** Houses sworn to [[The Dreadfort]] and [[Winterfell]] (in theory)
*[[House Baelish]] (after the Red Wedding)
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***[[File:Frey mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Frey]] [[House Frey]] (after the Red Wedding)
**Houses sworn to [[Harrenhal]] (in theory)
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**Houses sworn to [[the Twins]] and [[Riverrun]]
**[[House Frey]] (after the Red Wedding)
 
**Houses sworn to [[the Twins]]
 
 
|side3=[[Stannis Baratheon|The King in the Narrow Sea]]
 
|side3=[[Stannis Baratheon|The King in the Narrow Sea]]
*[[House Baratheon of Dragonstone]]
+
*[[File:House-Baratheon-of-Dragonstone-heraldry.jpg|20px|right|link=House Baratheon of Dragonstone]] [[House Baratheon of Dragonstone]]
 
**Houses sworn to [[Dragonstone]]
 
**Houses sworn to [[Dragonstone]]
 
***[[House Velaryon]]
 
***[[House Velaryon]]
**[[House Seaworth]]
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***[[File:Seaworth mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Seaworth]] [[House Seaworth]]
 
**Houses sworn to [[Storm's End]] (after Renly's death)
 
**Houses sworn to [[Storm's End]] (after Renly's death)
 
***[[House Estermont]]
 
***[[House Estermont]]
***[[House Tarth]]
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***[[File:Tarth sigil.jpg|20px|right|link=House Tarth]] [[House Tarth]]
 
***[[House Errol]]
 
***[[House Errol]]
***[[House Caron]]
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***[[File:Caron mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Caron]] [[House Caron]]
**[[House Florent]] (after Renly's death)
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***[[House Peasebury]]
**[[House Fossoway]] (after Renly's death)
+
***[[House Musgood]]
  +
***[[File:Florent mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Florent]] [[House Florent]] (after Renly's death)
  +
***[[House Fossoway]] (after Renly's death)
  +
***[[House Haigh]]
 
|side4=[[Renly Baratheon|The King in Highgarden]]†
 
|side4=[[Renly Baratheon|The King in Highgarden]]†
*[[House Baratheon]] of [[Storm's End]]
+
*[[File:Renly mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Baratheon]] [[House Baratheon]] of [[Storm's End]]
 
**Houses sworn to Storm's End
 
**Houses sworn to Storm's End
 
***[[House Estermont]]
 
***[[House Estermont]]
***[[House Tarth]]
+
***[[File:Tarth sigil.jpg|20px|right|link=House Tarth]] [[House Tarth]]
 
***[[House Errol]]
 
***[[House Errol]]
***[[House Caron]]
+
***[[File:Caron mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Caron]] [[House Caron]]
*[[House Tyrell]]
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*[[File:Tyrell mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Tyrell]] [[House Tyrell]]
 
**Houses sworn to Highgarden
 
**Houses sworn to Highgarden
***[[House Tarly]]
+
***[[File:Tarly mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Tarly]] [[House Tarly]]
***[[House Hightower]]
+
***[[File:HightowerHeraldry.jpg|20px|right|link=House Hightower]] [[House Hightower]]
***[[House Florent]]
+
***[[File:Florent mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Florent]] [[House Florent]]
 
***[[House Fossoway]]
 
***[[House Fossoway]]
 
|side5=[[Balon Greyjoy|The King of the Iron Islands]]
 
|side5=[[Balon Greyjoy|The King of the Iron Islands]]
*[[House Greyjoy]]
+
*[[File:Greyjoy mini shield.png|20px|right|link=House Greyjoy]] [[House Greyjoy]]
 
**Houses sworn to [[Pyke (castle)|Pyke]]
 
**Houses sworn to [[Pyke (castle)|Pyke]]
 
***[[House Harlaw]]
 
***[[House Harlaw]]
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*Lord [[Jonos Bracken]]
 
*Lord [[Jonos Bracken]]
 
*Lord [[Walder Frey]] (turncoat)
 
*Lord [[Walder Frey]] (turncoat)
|commanders2=King [[Joffrey Baratheon|Joffrey I]]†
+
|commanders2=King [[Joffrey Baratheon|Joffrey I]]†<br>King [[Tommen Baratheon|Tommen I]]
King [[Tommen Baratheon|Tommen I]]
+
*Lord [[Tywin Lannister]]†, Hand of the King
*Lord [[Tywin Lannister]], Hand of the King
 
 
*[[Tyrion Lannister]], Hand of the King
 
*[[Tyrion Lannister]], Hand of the King
 
*Ser [[Kevan Lannister]]
 
*Ser [[Kevan Lannister]]
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|commanders5=King [[Balon Greyjoy]]
 
|commanders5=King [[Balon Greyjoy]]
 
*Princess [[Yara Greyjoy]]
 
*Princess [[Yara Greyjoy]]
*Prince [[Theon Greyjoy]]}}
+
*Prince [[Theon Greyjoy]]
</small>
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|||name="War of the Five Kings"|width = }} </small>
   
==Combatants==
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==Current factions==
The current factions involved in the War of the Five Kings:
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Although three factions technically remain at large in the War of the Five Kings, two of them retain very little influence, to the point where the King on the Iron Throne is the ''de facto'' victor. Even so, the Greyjoys are still in rebellion and Stannis has sailed to the Wall.<ref>"[[The Children]]"</ref>
   
===[[Joffrey Baratheon|The King on the Iron Throne]]===
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===[[House Baratheon of King's Landing|The King on the Iron Throne]]===
 
[[File:Joffrey_throne_season_2.jpeg|right|thumb|Joffrey I Baratheon, the "King on the Iron Throne"]]
 
[[File:Joffrey_throne_season_2.jpeg|right|thumb|Joffrey I Baratheon, the "King on the Iron Throne"]]
King Joffrey Baratheon claims the Iron Throne by right of inheritance from his publicly-declared father, the late Robert Baratheon. He holds the capital city of [[King's Landing]] and his claim is supported militarily by the powerful and well-equipped armies of [[House Lannister]], as well as the lords of the [[Crownlands]]. As the king in control of the capital he is referred to 
+
King Joffrey Baratheon claims the Iron Throne by right of inheritance from his publicly-declared father, the late Robert Baratheon. He holds the capital city of [[King's Landing]] and his claim is supported militarily by the powerful and well-equipped armies of [[House Lannister]], as well as the lords of the [[Crownlands]]. As the king in control of the capital he is referred to as the King on the Iron Throne.<ref>[http://viewers-guide.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/season2/#!/map/special/areas-of-control/3/ HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Areas of Control, Joffrey Baratheon entry]</ref>
as the King on the Iron Throne.<ref>[http://viewers-guide.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/season2/#!/map/special/areas-of-control/3/ HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Areas of Control, Joffrey Baratheon entry]</ref>
 
   
The Lannister armies became bogged down in fighting the Stark forces in the Riverlands, leaving the capital potentially vulnerable to assault by sea or from the south, but when Robb Stark led his troops west to attack the Lannister homelands, their armies were free to march to relieve King's Landing from [[Battle of the Blackwater|assault]] by Stannis' army. His supporters were also able to negotiate an alliance with [[House Tyrell]] after Renly Baratheon's death.
+
The Lannister armies became bogged down in fighting the Stark forces in the Riverlands, leaving the capital potentially vulnerable to assault by sea or from the south<ref>"[[The Prince of Winterfell]]"</ref>, but when Robb Stark led his troops west to attack the Lannister homeland, their armies were free to march to relieve King's Landing from [[Battle of the Blackwater|assault]] by Stannis' army.<ref>"[[Blackwater]]"</ref> His supporters were also able to negotiate an alliance with [[House Tyrell]] after Renly Baratheon's death.<ref>"[[Valar Morghulis]]"</ref>
   
During his [[Purple Wedding|wedding to Margaery Tyrell,&nbsp;]]Joffrey was poisoned by an unknown party and died. His uncle, former [[Hand of the King]] [[Tyrion Lannister]], was arrested for the murder. Joffrey's lawful successor is his younger brother, [[Tommen Baratheon]].
+
During his [[Purple Wedding|wedding to Margaery Tyrell]], Joffrey was poisoned by an unknown party and died.<ref>"[[The Lion and the Rose]]"</ref> His uncle, former [[Hand of the King]] [[Tyrion Lannister]], was arrested for the murder. Joffrey's lawful successor is his younger brother, [[Tommen Baratheon]], whom nobles and smallfolk alike are already hailing as a worthy king at last.<ref>"[[First of His Name]]"</ref> After being broken out of confinement, Tyrion Lannister killed the current Hand of the King, [[Tywin Lannister]], leaving the rule of King's Landing in an uncertain position.<ref>"[[The Children]]"</ref>
  +
  +
===[[Stannis Baratheon|The King in the Narrow Sea]]===
  +
[[File:StannisNorthRemember.jpg|thumb|right|180px|Stannis Baratheon, the "King in the Narrow Sea"]]
  +
King Stannis Baratheon, the younger brother of King Robert and the elder brother of Renly, claims the Iron Throne by right of inheritance from his brother. Stannis power is centered on the island fortress of [[Dragonstone]] in the [[Narrow Sea]] and he is therefore referred to as the King in the Narrow Sea.<ref name="VG AoC Stannis">[http://viewers-guide.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/season2/#!/map/special/areas-of-control/1/ HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Areas of Control, Stannis Baratheon entry]</ref>
  +
  +
Based on intelligence received from [[Eddard Stark]] before his arrest and execution,<ref name="E7"/> Stannis claims that Joffrey and his younger siblings are not Robert's children at all, but instead the product of incest between Queen Cersei Lannister and her twin brother, Jaime.<ref name="E11">"[[The North Remembers]]"</ref> This makes Joffrey a usurper, pretender and bastard, and leaves Stannis as the rightful king. At the beginning of the war very few supported Stannis' claim to the throne, even after he sent a letter of Joffrey's true parentage to all the high lords of [[Westeros]].<ref name="VG AoC Stannis"/><ref name="E11"/> Stannis was also furious that most of the lords of the [[Stormlands]] had supported his younger brother [[Renly]]'s claim to the Iron Throne.<ref name="E11"/> A parley between Stannis and Renly failed, so Stannis authorized his priestess, Melisandre, to kill Renly through magic.<ref name="E14">"[[Garden of Bones]]"</ref> The storm lords went over to Stannis, but the Tyrells withdrew their armies.<ref name="E15">"[[The Ghost of Harrenhal]]"</ref> Stannis was still left with a large enough army and fleet to [[Battle of the Blackwater|attack King's Landing]]. Despite initial successes, the tide turned against him when the Tyrells allied with the Lannisters and attacked him. Stannis was forced to flee with only a small number of survivors.<ref>"[[Blackwater]]"</ref>
  +
  +
Although Stannis hoped to continue to press his claim to the Iron Throne, Ser Davos and Melisandre, in a rare moment of accord, convinced him that the threat of the White Walkers is greater than the War of the Five Kings.<ref>"[[Mhysa]]"</ref> Stannis then secured a loan from the [[Iron Bank of Braavos]]<ref>"[[The Laws of Gods and Men]]"</ref> and departed for the North to support the Night's Watch.<ref>"[[Mockingbird]]"</ref> At the Wall, his forces have obliterated the wildling army that was about to crush Castle Black and taken the [[Mance Rayder|King-Beyond-the-Wall]] prisoner.<ref>"[[The Children]]"</ref>
  +
  +
===[[Balon Greyjoy|The King of the Iron Islands]]===
  +
King Balon Greyjoy, likewise, does not claim the Iron Throne, but did declare himself [[King of the Iron Islands|King of th]][[King of the Iron Islands|e Iro]][[King of the Iron Islands|n Islands]] again.<ref>"[[The Night Lands]]"</ref> He rejected Robb Stark's proposal for an alliance against House Lannister, preferring to carve out a Kingdom of the Iron Islands alone.<ref>"[[What is Dead May Never Die]]"</ref> He's motivated by his hatred for the Starks for the death of his two [[Rodrik Greyjoy|older]] [[Maron Greyjoy|sons]] during the [[Greyjoy Rebellion]] and the ironborn tradition of 'paying the iron price' - which dictates that a man must take his riches by force, not negotiation or payment. To this end Balon took advantage of the North's under-defended state while most of its forces were fighting with Robb in the Riverlands: the ironborn raided the coasts and captured the castle at [[Deepwood Motte]]. Out of his own initiative, his son [[Theon Greyjoy|Theon]] then captured the main Stark stronghold at Winterfell and refused to relinquish it despite the difficulties in resupplying a location so far from the sea.<ref>"[[The Old Gods and the New]]"</ref> However, the [[Ironborn|ironborn]] finally abandoned Winterfell, and Theon was captured by [[House Bolton]] <ref>"[[Valar Morghulis]]</ref>, although Balon is somewhat dismissive of Theon's predicament given the failures at Winterfell.<ref>"[[Mhysa]]"</ref> Not only has his [[Yara Greyjoy|daughter]]'s attempt to rescue Theon been unsuccessful <ref>"[[The Laws of Gods and Men]]"</ref>, but also [[Ramsay Bolton]] has taken [[Moat Cailin]] from the ironborn. Since this is the key to go in and out of the North, the whole Bolton army has reentered the North and taken Winterfell, forcing most ironborn out of the North.<ref>"[[The Mountain and the Viper]]"</ref>
  +
  +
==Former factions==
  +
Two of the five kings have been slain and their factions in the war are not defunct.
   
 
===[[Renly Baratheon|The King in Highgarden]]===
 
===[[Renly Baratheon|The King in Highgarden]]===
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The presence of Renly's large army in the south forced Tywin Lannister to leave the bulk of his forces at Harrenhal, mid-way between Robb in the north and Renly in the south, to react against whichever of them moved on King's Landing first. Renly was in no great hurry, content to let Robb Stark continue bleeding the Lannisters in the Riverlands and holding tourneys and feasts with his lords bannermen and sworn knights. Time was largely on Renly's side, and he could afford to wait longer to assemble as large an army as possible before ultimately marching on King's Landing.
 
The presence of Renly's large army in the south forced Tywin Lannister to leave the bulk of his forces at Harrenhal, mid-way between Robb in the north and Renly in the south, to react against whichever of them moved on King's Landing first. Renly was in no great hurry, content to let Robb Stark continue bleeding the Lannisters in the Riverlands and holding tourneys and feasts with his lords bannermen and sworn knights. Time was largely on Renly's side, and he could afford to wait longer to assemble as large an army as possible before ultimately marching on King's Landing.
   
However, Renly was killed by a [[shadow]] creature under the control of [[Melisandre]], a [[Red Priest|priestess]] in the employ of Stannis. [[The Stormlands]] lords, and a few Reach lords went over to Stannis, but the Tyrells<span style="background-color:rgb(71,70,70);"> refused to support him. They were eventually convinced to join </span>Joffrey's<span style="background-color:rgb(71,70,70);"> supporters through negotiations.</span>
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However, Renly was killed by a [[shadow]] creature under the control of [[Melisandre]], a [[Red Priest|priestess]] in the employ of Stannis. The majority of the [[The Stormlands|Stormlords]], and a handful Reachlords went over to Stannis, but the Tyrells and the majority of the Reachlords refused to support him. They were eventually convinced to join Joffrey's supporters through negotiations.
 
===[[Stannis Baratheon|The King in the Narrow Sea]]===
 
[[File:StannisNorthRemember.jpg|thumb|right|180px|Stannis Baratheon, the "King in the Narrow Sea"]]
 
King Stannis Baratheon, the younger brother of King Robert and the elder brother of Renly, claims the Iron Throne by right of inheritance from his brother. Stannis power is centered on the island fortress of [[Dragonstone]] in the [[Narrow Sea]] and he is therefore referred to as the King in the Narrow Sea.<ref name="VG AoC Stannis">[http://viewers-guide.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/season2/#!/map/special/areas-of-control/1/ HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Areas of Control, Stannis Baratheon entry]</ref>
 
 
Based on intelligence received from [[Eddard Stark]] before his arrest and execution,<ref name="E7"/> Stannis claims that Joffrey and his younger siblings are not Robert's children at all, but instead the product of incest between Queen Cersei Lannister and her twin brother, Jaime.<ref name="E11">"[[The North Remembers]]"</ref> This makes Joffrey a usurper, pretender and bastard, and leaves Stannis as the rightful king. At the beginning of the war very few supported Stannis' claim to the throne even after sending a letter of Joffrey's true parentage to all the high lords of [[Westeros]].<ref name="VG AoC Stannis"/><ref name="E11"/> Stannis was also furious that most of the lords of the [[Stormlands]] had supported his younger brother [[Renly]]'s claim to the Iron Throne.<ref name="E11"/> A parley between Stannis and Renly failed, so Stannis authorised his priestess, Melisandre, to kill Renly through magic.<ref name="E14">"[[Garden of Bones]]"</ref> The storm lords went over to Stannis, but the Tyrells withdrew their armies.<ref name="E15">"[[The Ghost of Harrenhal]]"</ref> Stannis was s<span style="background-color:rgb(71,70,70);">till left with a large enough army and fleet to </span>[[Battle of the Blackwater|attack King's Landing]]. Despite initial successes, the tide turned against him when the Tyrells allied with the Lannisters and attacked him. Stannis was forced to flee with only a small number of survivors.<ref>"[[Blackwater]]"</ref>
 
   
 
===[[Robb Stark|The King in the North]]===
 
===[[Robb Stark|The King in the North]]===
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King Robb Stark does not claim the Iron Throne at all. Instead, his initial goal is to secure the release of his father Ned Stark, who has been imprisoned on charges of treason against King Joffrey, as well as to rescue his sisters [[Arya Stark|Arya]] and [[Sansa Stark|Sansa]]. Besides commanding the forces of the North, Robb is joined by the forces of the Riverlands, ruled by Robb's maternal grandfather [[Hoster Tully]], although the [[Vale]] (currently ruled by Robb's aunt [[Lysa Arryn]]) remains neutral. Robb's goals further evolve when he is proclaimed the [[King in the North]] by his bannermen, his new aim being to secure the independence of the North and the Riverlands, as well as to possibly exact revenge following the execution of Ned Stark.
 
King Robb Stark does not claim the Iron Throne at all. Instead, his initial goal is to secure the release of his father Ned Stark, who has been imprisoned on charges of treason against King Joffrey, as well as to rescue his sisters [[Arya Stark|Arya]] and [[Sansa Stark|Sansa]]. Besides commanding the forces of the North, Robb is joined by the forces of the Riverlands, ruled by Robb's maternal grandfather [[Hoster Tully]], although the [[Vale]] (currently ruled by Robb's aunt [[Lysa Arryn]]) remains neutral. Robb's goals further evolve when he is proclaimed the [[King in the North]] by his bannermen, his new aim being to secure the independence of the North and the Riverlands, as well as to possibly exact revenge following the execution of Ned Stark.
   
Despite Robb's youth and inexperience, he proves to be an enthusiastic and canny battle commander, his ferocity in battle earning him the nickname "The Young Wolf" (a reference to the sigil of House Stark).<ref>[http://viewers-guide.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/season2/#!/map/special/areas-of-control/4/ HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Areas of Control, Robb Stark entry]</ref> In the first real test of his leadership, Robb uses disinformation against the Lannisters, not only making them believe his army is larger than it actually is but also tricks them into believing he is marching against [[Tywin Lannister]]'s forces. Instead, Robb sends only a small diversionary force to face Tywin at th<span style="background-color:rgb(71,70,70);">e </span>[[Battle of the Green Fork]]<span style="background-color:rgb(71,70,70);"> while sending the rest of his forces to face </span>[[Jaime Lannister|Jaime Lannister's]]<span style="background-color:rgb(71,70,70);"> army at the </span>[[Battle of the Whispering Wood]]. Robb scores a decisive victory, destroying Jaime's army and capturing Jaime himself. Robb goes onto to win every engagement he fights against the Lannisters, including the [[Battle of Oxcross]]<span style="background-color:rgb(71,70,70);">.</span>
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Despite Robb's youth and inexperience, he proves to be an enthusiastic and canny battle commander, his ferocity in battle earning him the nickname "The Young Wolf" (a reference to the sigil of House Stark).<ref>[http://viewers-guide.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/season2/#!/map/special/areas-of-control/4/ HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Areas of Control, Robb Stark entry]</ref> In the first real test of his leadership, Robb uses disinformation against the Lannisters, not only making them believe his army is larger than it actually is but also tricks them into believing he is marching against [[Tywin Lannister]]'s forces. Instead, Robb sends only a small diversionary force to face Tywin at the [[Battle of the Green Fork]] while sending the rest of his forces to face [[Jaime Lannister|Jaime Lannister's]] army at the [[Battle of the Whispering Wood]]. Robb scores a decisive victory, destroying Jaime's army and capturing Jaime himself. Robb goes onto to win every engagement he fights against the Lannisters, including the [[Battle of Oxcross]].
   
 
Despite his success on the battlefield, Robb loses the momentum of the war. Robb reluctantly tries to seek an alliance with [[Balon Greyjoy]], hoping to use [[Ironborn|ironborn]] ships to launch an attack on [[King's Landing]] and sends [[Theon Greyjoy]] as an envoy. Instead, the ironborn launch raids in the North, and Theon betrays Robb and personally leads the attack on Robb's capital of [[Winterfell]]. Robb loses the support of [[House Frey]] when he marries [[Talisa Maegyr]], breaking his vow to marry one of [[Walder Frey|Walder Frey's]] daughters. He also loses the support of [[House Karstark]] when he executes Lord [[Rickard Karstark]] for treason. While Robb's forces dwindle and face more enemies, the opposite is true for his main enemies, the Lannisters. They gain a formidable ally in [[House Tyrell]] and their vassals following the alliance arranged by Littlefinger on behalf of the crown. Also, with Stannis' forces having been decimated at the [[Battle of Blackwater]], the Lannisters are able concentrate on the Stark army.
 
Despite his success on the battlefield, Robb loses the momentum of the war. Robb reluctantly tries to seek an alliance with [[Balon Greyjoy]], hoping to use [[Ironborn|ironborn]] ships to launch an attack on [[King's Landing]] and sends [[Theon Greyjoy]] as an envoy. Instead, the ironborn launch raids in the North, and Theon betrays Robb and personally leads the attack on Robb's capital of [[Winterfell]]. Robb loses the support of [[House Frey]] when he marries [[Talisa Maegyr]], breaking his vow to marry one of [[Walder Frey|Walder Frey's]] daughters. He also loses the support of [[House Karstark]] when he executes Lord [[Rickard Karstark]] for treason. While Robb's forces dwindle and face more enemies, the opposite is true for his main enemies, the Lannisters. They gain a formidable ally in [[House Tyrell]] and their vassals following the alliance arranged by Littlefinger on behalf of the crown. Also, with Stannis' forces having been decimated at the [[Battle of Blackwater]], the Lannisters are able concentrate on the Stark army.
   
Determined to regain his momentum, Robb plans an attack on [[Casterly Rock]], capital of the Westerlands and one of the biggest sources of gold for House Lannister. To acquire the needed men, he attempts to repair his alliance with House Frey by marrying his uncle, [[Edmure Tully]]<span style="background-color:rgb(71,70,70);">, the new </span>[[Lord of Riverrun]]<span style="background-color:rgb(71,70,70);">, to </span>[[Roslin Frey]]. Walder Frey gives the appearance of accepting, and the two are married. However, unbeknownst to Robb, Walder Frey and Robb's bannerman Lord [[Roose Bolton]] have secretly joined with Tywin Lannister. At the [[Red Wedding|wedding]]<span style="background-color:rgb(71,70,70);">, Robb, his wife, his mother, and almost the entire Northern army are betrayed and massacred, putting an end to his rebellion and to the North's dream of independence.</span>
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Determined to regain his momentum, Robb plans an attack on [[Casterly Rock]], capital of the Westerlands and one of the biggest sources of gold for House Lannister. To acquire the needed men, he attempts to repair his alliance with House Frey by marrying his uncle, [[Edmure Tully]], the new [[Lord of Riverrun]], to [[Roslin Frey]]. Walder Frey gives the appearance of accepting, and the two are married. However, unbeknownst to Robb, Walder Frey and Robb's bannerman Lord [[Roose Bolton]] have secretly joined with Tywin Lannister. At the [[Red Wedding|wedding]], Robb, his wife, his mother, and almost the entire Northern army are betrayed and massacred, putting an end to his rebellion and to the North's dream of independence.
 
===[[Balon Greyjoy|The King of the Iron Islands]]===
 
King Balon Greyjoy, likewise, does not claim the Iron Throne, but has declared himself [[King of the Iron Islands|King of th]][[King of the Iron Islands|e Iro]][[King of the Iron Islands|n Islands]] again. He has rejected Robb Stark's proposal for an alliance against House Lannister, preferring to carve out a Kingdom of the Iron Islands alone. He's motivated by his hatred for the Starks for the death of his two [[Rodrik Greyjoy|older]]<span style="background-color:rgb(71,70,70);"> </span>[[Maron Greyjoy|sons]]<span style="background-color:rgb(71,70,70);"> during the </span>[[Greyjoy Rebellion]] and the ironborn tradition of 'paying the iron price' - which dictates that a man must take his riches by force, not negotiation or payment. To this end Balon has taken advantage of the North's under-defended state while most of its forces are fighting with Robb in the Riverlands: the ironborn raid the coasts, and capture the castle at [[Deepwood Motte]]<span style="background-color:rgb(71,70,70);">. Out of his own initiative, his son </span>[[Theon Greyjoy|Theon]] has also captured the main Stark stronghold at Winterfell, but has refused to relinquish it despite the difficulties in resupplying a location so far from the sea. The [[Ironborn|ironborn]] have now abandoned Winterfell, and Theon's location remains unknown, potentially causing problems for Balon.
 
   
 
==Non-combatants==
 
==Non-combatants==
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House Arryn and the knights of [[the Vale]] have declared themselves neutral in the conflict. Lady [[Lysa Arryn]], acting as regent for her young son, [[Robin Arryn]], has stated that the Vale will hold its strength and not take part in the war, despite entreaties from her sister, [[Catelyn Stark]], to join the Stark cause. Lysa is skeptical of Robb's ability to defeat the seasoned, more experienced [[Tywin Lannister]] in battle.
 
House Arryn and the knights of [[the Vale]] have declared themselves neutral in the conflict. Lady [[Lysa Arryn]], acting as regent for her young son, [[Robin Arryn]], has stated that the Vale will hold its strength and not take part in the war, despite entreaties from her sister, [[Catelyn Stark]], to join the Stark cause. Lysa is skeptical of Robb's ability to defeat the seasoned, more experienced [[Tywin Lannister]] in battle.
   
In an attempt to bring the Vale back under the authority of the Iron Throne and House Arryn into the forces against Robb Stark, Tywin Lannister sends [[Petyr Baelish]], newly-made [[Lord of Harrenhal]] and de jure Lord Paramount of the Riverlands, to propose matrimony to Lady Lysa as Littlefinger's new titles make him a suitable match for the Lady Regent of the Vale.
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In an attempt to bring the Vale back under the authority of the Iron Throne and House Arryn into the forces against Robb Stark, Tywin Lannister sends [[Petyr Baelish]], newly-made [[Lord of Harrenhal]] and de jure Lord Paramount of the Riverlands, to propose matrimony to Lady Lysa, as Littlefinger's new titles make him a suitable match for the Lady Regent of the Vale.
   
 
===[[House Martell]]===
 
===[[House Martell]]===
House Martell of [[Dorne]] has pursued a course of isolationism since [[Robert's Rebellion]], and declares no interest or faction in the current conflict at its outset. [[Tyrion Lannister]] attempts to win the Martells' support by offering their [[Trystane Martell|youngest son]] the hand of Princess [[Myrcella Baratheon]] in marriage. They have accepted the offer, and Myrcella is sent to [[Sunspear]] as a ward of Prince [[Doran Martell]]. However, House Martell still has not taken an official side in the war. After the [[Purple Wedding]], with the threat of the ironborn and the Targaryen resurgence in the east, [[Hand of the King]] [[Tywin Lannister]] offers [[Prince]] [[Oberyn Martell]] a seat on the [[Small Council]], as he will need the support of the only House that has never been subjegated by anyone before, not even [[Aegon the Conqueror]] and his dragons.
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House Martell of [[Dorne]] has pursued a course of isolationism since [[Robert's Rebellion]], and declares no interest or faction in the current conflict at its outset. [[Tyrion Lannister]] attempts to win the Martells' support by offering their [[Trystane Martell|youngest son]] the hand of Princess [[Myrcella Baratheon]] in marriage. They have accepted the offer, and Myrcella is sent to [[Sunspear]] as a ward of Prince [[Doran Martell]]. However, House Martell still has not taken an official side in the war. After the [[Purple Wedding]], with the Ironborn still a threat and the rumors of a Targaryen resurgence across the Narrow Sea, Tywin Lannister offers [[Prince]] [[Oberyn Martell]] a seat on the [[Small Council]], as he will need the support of the only House that has ever successfully resisted [[Aegon the Conqueror|a Targaryen]].  However, relations between the Houses of Martell and Lannister have been hostile ever since the death of Elia Martell (wife of Rhaegar Targaryen and Oberyn's sister) at the hands of Lannister bannerman Gregor Clegane; attempts to heal the rift have since been soured again by the death of Oberyn in a trial by combat against Clegane.
   
 
===[[Night's Watch|The Night's Watch]]===
 
===[[Night's Watch|The Night's Watch]]===
The Night's Watch plays no role in the internal political affairs of the Seven Kingdoms, having been sworn to defend the realm as a whole, no matter who is on the Iron Throne or competing for it. As a result, they are neutral in the current conflict. Several individual members of the Night's Watch do have ties to some of the combatants. For example, [[Lord Commander]] [[Jeor Mormont]] was once the [[Lord of Bear Island]] and thus a former bannerman to House Stark before abdicating; his sister [[Maege Mormont]] fights for Robb Stark. [[Jon Snow]] is the bastard son of Eddard Stark and thus Robb Stark's brother. [[Samwell Tarly]] is the son of Lord [[Randyll Tarly]], who -- as a bannerman for House Tyrell -- fights for Renly Baratheon and later Joffrey Baratheon. All three choose to follow the Watch's policy of neutrality (though Jon Snow does heavily consider joining the fight before being persuaded not to).
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The Night's Watch plays no role in the internal political affairs of the Seven Kingdoms, having been sworn to defend the realm as a whole, no matter who is on the Iron Throne or competing for it. As a result, they are neutral in the current conflict. Several individual members of the Night's Watch do have ties to some of the combatants. For example, [[Lord Commander]] [[Jeor Mormont]] was once the [[Lord of Bear Island]] and thus a former bannerman to House Stark before abdicating; his sister [[Maege Mormont]] fights for Robb Stark. [[Jon Snow]] is the bastard son of Eddard Stark and thus Robb Stark's brother. [[Samwell Tarly]] is the son of Lord [[Randyll Tarly]], who -- as a bannerman for House Tyrell -- fights for Renly Baratheon and later Joffrey Baratheon. All three choose to follow the Watch's policy of neutrality (though Jon Snow does heavily consider joining the fight alongside Robb before being persuaded not to). Currently, the Watch are playing host to Stannis Baratheon's army at Castle Black.
   
 
===[[Brotherhood Without Banners|The Brotherhood Without Banners]]===
 
===[[Brotherhood Without Banners|The Brotherhood Without Banners]]===
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===[[Daenerys Targaryen|The Queen Across the Sea]]===
 
===[[Daenerys Targaryen|The Queen Across the Sea]]===
Daenerys Targaryen is the last of [[House Targaryen]], the house that ruled the Seven Kingdoms prior to being overthrown during [[Robert's Rebellion]]. Daenerys has thus staked a claim for the Iron Throne for herself and has begun building an army in [[Essos]] for this goal, hoping the use the in-fighting within the Seven Kingdoms to her advantage. However, Daenerys and her forces still remain in exile in Essos and thus have not entered the war. She has also not yet received any open support from any of the power players within the Seven Kingdoms, though [[Varys]] does apparently support the [[Targaryen]]s privately.
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Daenerys Targaryen is the last of [[House Targaryen]], the house that ruled the Seven Kingdoms prior to being overthrown during Robert's Rebellion. Daenerys has thus staked a claim for the Iron Throne for herself and has begun building an army in [[Essos]] for this goal, hoping the use the in-fighting within the Seven Kingdoms to her advantage. Daenerys ultimately decides to remain in Essos, hoping to gain practical experience ruling the city of [[Meereen]] while ensuring that [[slavery]] is wiped out.<ref>"[[First of His Name]]"</ref>. She has also not yet received any open support from any of the power players within the Seven Kingdoms, though [[Varys]] does apparently support the Targaryens in secret.<ref>"[[The Wolf and the Lion]]"</ref>
   
 
==Turncoats and Oathbreakers==
 
==Turncoats and Oathbreakers==
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===[[Theon Greyjoy|The Prince of Winterfell]]===
 
===[[Theon Greyjoy|The Prince of Winterfell]]===
Initially sent as an envoy to his father, Balon Greyjoy, Theon Greyjoy breaks the vow he made to Robb Stark during his proclamation as King in the North and sides with his father in his plans to conquer the North and restore the independence of the Iron Islands. Driven by his desire to gain the respect of his father and his people and resentful of his status as a glorified hostage of House Stark, Theon successfully seizes control of the Northern capital, Winterfell and installs himself as Prince of Winterfell. With this move, Theon seemingly gains the respect of his crew, but also deals, unwittingly, a major blow to the position of King Robb, as some of his vassals begin to doubt the Young Wolf's ability to lead the North to complete independence.
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Initially sent as an envoy to his father, Balon Greyjoy, Theon Greyjoy breaks the vow he made to Robb Stark during his proclamation as King in the North and sides with his father in his plans to conquer the North and restore the independence of the Iron Islands. Driven by his desire to gain the respect of his father and his people and resentful of his status as a glorified hostage of House Stark, Theon successfully seizes control of the Northern capital, Winterfell, and installs himself as Prince of Winterfell. With this move, Theon seemingly gains the respect of his crew, but also deals, unwittingly, a major blow to the position of King Robb, as some of his vassals begin to doubt the Young Wolf's ability to lead the North to complete independence.
   
 
However, Theon's hold over Winterfell proves to be quite weak. With only a small crew and without the support of either his father or [[Yara Greyjoy|sister]] to support the Northern retaliation, Theon is betrayed by his own men and delivered to [[House Bolton]], who make him a hostage for their own purposes.
 
However, Theon's hold over Winterfell proves to be quite weak. With only a small crew and without the support of either his father or [[Yara Greyjoy|sister]] to support the Northern retaliation, Theon is betrayed by his own men and delivered to [[House Bolton]], who make him a hostage for their own purposes.
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===[[House Tyrell]]===
 
===[[House Tyrell]]===
 
Following the death of Renly Baratheon, House Tyrell refuses to declare to Stannis, and instead turn its forces back to Highgarden to await the further development of war. Having learnt of [[Margaery Tyrell]]'s ambitions to become Queen, however, Petyr Baelish suggests Tywin Lannister to arrange a marriage between King Joffrey and Margaery. With the might of Highgarden - 12,000 infantry, 1,800 mounted lances, and 2,000 in support as well as half a million bushels each of wheat, oats, and rye, 20,000 heads of cattle and 50,000 sheep - House Lannister both repels Stannis' siege against the capital and solves the famine affecting its population, and becomes the most powerful player in the war.
 
Following the death of Renly Baratheon, House Tyrell refuses to declare to Stannis, and instead turn its forces back to Highgarden to await the further development of war. Having learnt of [[Margaery Tyrell]]'s ambitions to become Queen, however, Petyr Baelish suggests Tywin Lannister to arrange a marriage between King Joffrey and Margaery. With the might of Highgarden - 12,000 infantry, 1,800 mounted lances, and 2,000 in support as well as half a million bushels each of wheat, oats, and rye, 20,000 heads of cattle and 50,000 sheep - House Lannister both repels Stannis' siege against the capital and solves the famine affecting its population, and becomes the most powerful player in the war.
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With the wedding of Joffrey and Margaery, the alliance is about to be sealed and House Tyrell stands to become a major power behind the throne. However, Lady [[Olenna Tyrell]], desiring to protect her granddaughter from the violent Joffrey, poisons him at the [[Purple Wedding|wedding feast]]. The Tyrell-Lannister alliance, however, doesn't shatter (as the true culprit remains unknown to the Lannisters and the Realm at large), as a new marriage is arranged: that of Margaery with Joffrey's heir, Tommen. To further secure the support of House Tyrell, Lord Tywin grants [[Mace Tyrell]] a place in the small council as [[Master of Ships]].
   
 
===[[The Reach|The Lords of the Reach]]===
 
===[[The Reach|The Lords of the Reach]]===
Like their liege lords of House Tyrell, the noble houses of the Reach such as [[House Tarly]], [[House Florent]], [[House Hightower]], and [[House Florent]], declare for Renly Baratheon at the opening of the war and join him in his slow march on [[King's Landing]]. After the death of Renly Baratheon, most of the Tyrell bannermen follow Margaery and [[Loras Tyrell]] back to Highgarden. However, a few of these noble houses, such as [[House Florent]] and [[House Fossoway]] defy their liege lords and go over to Stannis Baratheon.
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Like their liege lords of House Tyrell, the noble houses of the Reach such as [[House Tarly]], [[House Hightower]], and [[House Florent]], declare for Renly Baratheon at the opening of the war and join him in his slow march on [[King's Landing]]. After the death of Renly Baratheon, most of the Tyrell bannermen follow Margaery and [[Loras Tyrell]] back to Highgarden. However, a few of these noble houses, such as [[House Florent]] and [[House Fossoway]] defy their liege lords and go over to Stannis Baratheon.
   
 
Following the Battle of the Blackwater, most of the Reach houses that went over to Stannis, save for the Florents, bend the knee to King Joffrey and are welcomed back into the King's peace.
 
Following the Battle of the Blackwater, most of the Reach houses that went over to Stannis, save for the Florents, bend the knee to King Joffrey and are welcomed back into the King's peace.
   
 
===[[House Karstark]]===
 
===[[House Karstark]]===
As bannermen to and distant relatives of the Starks, House Karstark forms a large part of Robb's army. Lord [[Rickard Karstark]]'s [[Harrion Karstark|two]] [[Torrhen Karstark|sons]] are killed, the first in battle and the second when Jaime Lannister attempts to escape. Enraged at the death of his sons, Lord Karstark demands Jaime's execution. Fearing that Jaime's murder would end any hope of ever getting her daughters [[Sansa Stark|Sansa]] and [[Arya Stark|Arya]] back from the Lannisters, Lady [[Catelyn Stark]] frees Jaime. Lord Rickard grows increasingly frustrated after the discovery that both Northmen and Rivermen imprisoned at Harrenhal have been put to the sword. He murders two young Lannister hostages imprisoned at Riverrun: [[Martyn Lannister|Martyn]] and [[Willem Lannister|Willem]] to exact revenge. As this action was against the express orders of Robb Stark, Robb declares Lord Karstark guilty of treason and personally executes him, according the ways of the [[First Men]]. Afterward, the Karstark forces withdraw their support, severely depleting Robb's forces and forcing him to seek a renewed alliance with House Frey.
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As bannermen to and distant relatives of the Starks, House Karstark forms a large part of Robb's army. Lord [[Rickard Karstark]]'s [[Harrion Karstark|two]] [[Torrhen Karstark|sons]] are killed, the first in battle and the second when Jaime Lannister attempts to escape. Enraged at the death of his sons, Lord Karstark demands Jaime's execution. Fearing that Jaime's murder would end any hope of ever getting her daughters [[Sansa Stark|Sansa]] and [[Arya Stark|Arya]] back from the Lannisters, Lady [[Catelyn Stark]] frees Jaime. Lord Rickard grows increasingly frustrated after the discovery that both Northmen and Rivermen imprisoned at Harrenhal have been put to the sword. He murders two young Lannister hostages imprisoned at Riverrun: [[Martyn Lannister|Martyn]] and [[Willem Lannister|Willem]] to exact revenge. As this action was against the express orders of Robb Stark, Robb declares Lord Karstark guilty of treason and personally executes him, according the ways of the [[First Men]]. Afterward, the Karstark forces withdraw their support, severely depleting Robb's forces and forcing him to seek a renewed alliance with House Frey, which eventually caused Robb's downfall by betrayal at the Red Wedding.
   
 
===[[House Bolton]]===
 
===[[House Bolton]]===
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==Course of the conflict==
 
==Course of the conflict==
 
===Opening moves===
 
===Opening moves===
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====Tyrion Lannister's abduction====
 
{{Quote|That bit of theater will haunt our family for a generation.|[[Tyrion Lannister]] to [[Cersei Lannister]], speaking about the execution of [[Eddard Stark|Ned Stark]] by her son [[Joffrey Baratheon|Joffrey]].|The North Remembers}}
 
{{Quote|That bit of theater will haunt our family for a generation.|[[Tyrion Lannister]] to [[Cersei Lannister]], speaking about the execution of [[Eddard Stark|Ned Stark]] by her son [[Joffrey Baratheon|Joffrey]].|The North Remembers}}
   
The stage was set for the war when Catelyn Stark seized [[Tyrion Lannister]] at the [[Crossroads Inn]] and accused him of the attempted murder of her son, [[Bran Stark|Bran]].<ref>"[[Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things]]"</ref> House Lannister summoned its armies and marched on the Riverlands with 60,000 men.<ref name="E7">"[[You Win or You Die]]"</ref> Ser [[Gregor Clegane]] led an auxiliary force and began striking at bannerhouses supporting Catelyn's father, Lord [[Hoster Tully]], in reprisal.<ref name="E7"/> King Robert attempted to defuse the situation, but failed, and soon after died.<ref name="E7"/> Immediately upon hearing of his brother's death and having failed to win the support of the [[King's Hand]], [[Eddard Stark]], Renly Baratheon fled the city with Ser [[Loras Tyrell]] and rode hard for [[Highgarden]].<ref name="E7"/> There, the Tyrell banners were called and began gathering, whilst Renly was crowned King of the Seven Kingdoms.
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The stage was set for the war when Catelyn Stark [[First Trial of Tyrion Lannister|seized]] [[Tyrion Lannister]] at the [[Crossroads Inn]] and accused him of the attempted murder of her son, [[Bran Stark|Bran]].<ref>"[[Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things]]"</ref> House Lannister summoned its armies and marched on the Riverlands with 60,000 men.<ref name="E7">"[[You Win or You Die]]"</ref> Ser [[Gregor Clegane]] led an auxiliary force and began striking at bannerhouses supporting Catelyn's father, Lord [[Hoster Tully]], in reprisal.<ref name="E7"/>
   
Prince Joffrey also immediately claimed the throne upon Robert's death.<ref name="E7"/> Lord Eddard had a proclamation written by King Robert which named him regent, but was ignored. When Eddard tried to take Joffrey into custody as an imposter, Joffrey, forewarned by Lord [[Petyr Baelish|Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish]], had Eddard arrested instead.<ref name="E7"/> Unfortunately for Joffrey, he was unaware that Eddard had already sent a letter to Robert's brother Stannis, telling him that Joffrey was not legitimate and the crown belonged to Stannis by right.<ref name="E7"/> On Dragonstone, Stannis likewise claimed the throne and began gathering his supporters.<ref name="E10">"[[Fire and Blood]]"</ref>
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====The death of Robert Baratheon====
   
===War in the Riverlands===
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King Robert attempted to defuse the situation but failed, and soon after died.<ref name="E7"/> Immediately upon hearing of his brother's death and having failed to win the support of the [[King's Hand]], [[Eddard Stark]], Renly Baratheon fled the city with Ser [[Loras Tyrell]] and rode hard for [[Highgarden]].<ref name="E7"/> Prince Joffrey also immediately claimed the throne upon Robert's death.<ref name="E7"/> Lord Eddard had a proclamation written by King Robert which named him regent, but was ignored. When Eddard tried to take Joffrey into custody as an imposter, Joffrey, forewarned by Lord [[Petyr Baelish|Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish]], had Eddard arrested instead.<ref name="E7"/> Unfortunately for Joffrey, he was unaware that Eddard had already sent a letter to Robert's brother [[Stannis]], telling him that Joffrey was not legitimate and the crown belonged to Stannis by right.<ref name="E7"/> On Dragonstone, Stannis likewise claimed the throne and began gathering his supporters.<ref name="E10">"[[Fire and Blood]]"</ref>
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====War in the Riverlands====
 
{{Quote|Ser Gregor will head out with five hundred riders and set the riverlands on fire from Gods' Eye to the Red Fork.|Tywin Lannister|Fire and Blood}}
 
{{Quote|Ser Gregor will head out with five hundred riders and set the riverlands on fire from Gods' Eye to the Red Fork.|Tywin Lannister|Fire and Blood}}
   
Line 254: Line 261:
 
Receiving news of his father's arrest, Robb Stark mobilized the armies of the North and assembled a host of 20,000 men (due to the urgency of the situation and the vastness of the North, he could not wait for more).<ref name="E8"/> He marched to the relief of the Riverlands.<ref name="E8"/> Lord Tywin moved to the east bank of the [[Green Fork]] of [[the Trident]] to intercept the Stark force.<ref name="E8"/> Even winning the support of [[House Frey]] and its troops could not bring Robb's forces up to parity with the Lannisters.<ref name="E9">"[[Baelor]]"</ref> Robb sent 2,000 men to pretend to attack Tywin's army.<ref name="E9"/> As planned, this small force was defeated at the [[Battle of the Green Fork]], but it delayed the Lannisters long enough for Robb's main army to slip past them and into the Whispering Wood near Riverrun.<ref name="E9"/> There, Robb staged a feint to draw Jaime Lannister and a portion of his army into the woodlands. During the [[Battle of the Whispering Wood]], Robb inflicted a significant defeat upon the Lannisters, destroying Jaime's host and capturing the Kingslayer himself.<ref name="E9"/>
 
Receiving news of his father's arrest, Robb Stark mobilized the armies of the North and assembled a host of 20,000 men (due to the urgency of the situation and the vastness of the North, he could not wait for more).<ref name="E8"/> He marched to the relief of the Riverlands.<ref name="E8"/> Lord Tywin moved to the east bank of the [[Green Fork]] of [[the Trident]] to intercept the Stark force.<ref name="E8"/> Even winning the support of [[House Frey]] and its troops could not bring Robb's forces up to parity with the Lannisters.<ref name="E9">"[[Baelor]]"</ref> Robb sent 2,000 men to pretend to attack Tywin's army.<ref name="E9"/> As planned, this small force was defeated at the [[Battle of the Green Fork]], but it delayed the Lannisters long enough for Robb's main army to slip past them and into the Whispering Wood near Riverrun.<ref name="E9"/> There, Robb staged a feint to draw Jaime Lannister and a portion of his army into the woodlands. During the [[Battle of the Whispering Wood]], Robb inflicted a significant defeat upon the Lannisters, destroying Jaime's host and capturing the Kingslayer himself.<ref name="E9"/>
   
Receiving word of Jaime's defeat, Tywin realized that the Starks and Tullys were now free to unify against him, potentially bringing much greater numbers to bear against his smaller force. He retreated to [[Harrenhal]], the formidable castle on the north banks of [[Gods Eye]], intending to fortify it and use it as a base of operations to conduct operations in the Riverlands. By this time news of Renly and Stannis gathering armies had reached both the Stark and Lannister camps. After considering joining forces with one of the brothers, the Northmen and Riverland lords chose the path of independence, rejecting the authority of the Iron Throne all together and swearing fealty to Robb Stark as the [[King in the North]].<ref name="E10"/>
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Receiving word of Jaime's defeat, Tywin realized that the Starks and Tullys were now free to unify against him, potentially bringing much greater numbers to bear against his smaller force. He retreated to [[Harrenhal]], the formidable castle on the north banks of [[Gods Eye]], intending to fortify it and use it as a base of operations to conduct operations in the Riverlands.
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===​The rise of Kings​===
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By this time news of Renly and Stannis gathering armies had reached both the Stark and Lannister camps. Both men had claimed the Iron Throne; Stannis as the legitimate heir after his brother's death and Renly on the claime that he could be a better king than his brothers. Meanwhile, in King's Landing, Eddard Stark confessed to treason and recognized Joffrey as the King in an attempt by the [[Small Council]] to reach a truce with the Starks and allow them to deal with the Baratheons. However, in an unexpected move, Joffrey ordered Eddard's execution instead of allowing him to join the Night's Watch. Eddard's death caused the North to reject the authority of the Iron Throne. After considering joining forces with one of the Baratheon brothers, the Northmen and the Riverlords chose the path of independence, rejecting the authority of the Iron Throne all together and swearing fealty to Robb Stark as the [[King in the North]].<ref name="E10"/>
   
 
King Robb Stark followed up on his success at Whispering Wood with several minor skirmishes against Lannister forces intending to drive them from away from the Red Fork of the Trident, to free the lands and holdfasts of the Riverlords who had recently sworn allegiance to him. He met little serious resistance, as the Lannisters were already in the process of withdrawing their forces to Harrenhal in the eastern Riverlands to regroup.<ref name="E11"/>
 
King Robb Stark followed up on his success at Whispering Wood with several minor skirmishes against Lannister forces intending to drive them from away from the Red Fork of the Trident, to free the lands and holdfasts of the Riverlords who had recently sworn allegiance to him. He met little serious resistance, as the Lannisters were already in the process of withdrawing their forces to Harrenhal in the eastern Riverlands to regroup.<ref name="E11"/>
   
===Robb Stark invades the Westerlands===
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King Joffrey appointed his grandfather, [[Tywin Lannister]], as the new Hand of the King. However, due to the precarious situation of their forces, Tywin decided against going to King's Landing and instead appointed his son [[Tyrion]] as acting Hand of the King. His task was to keep the King under control and prevent him from committing another mistake such as Eddard Stark's execution, and to prepare King's Landing for an assault by the Baratheon forces in the south.
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====Robb Stark invades the Westerlands====
 
{{Quote|The Lannisters have been running from us since Oxcross.|Robb Stark|Valar Dohaeris}}
 
{{Quote|The Lannisters have been running from us since Oxcross.|Robb Stark|Valar Dohaeris}}
 
[[Image:Battle of Oxcross.jpg|200px|thumb|right|The aftermath of the [[Battle of Oxcross]].]]
 
[[Image:Battle of Oxcross.jpg|200px|thumb|right|The aftermath of the [[Battle of Oxcross]].]]
With Tywin encamped at Harrenhal, which was too strong to attack directly, Robb instead launched an invasion of the [[Westerlands]], the Lannister homeland. He launched a surprise attack on the new Lannister army gathering at the village of [[Oxcross]], where new conscripts were being trained to replace the Lannister army group destroyed at Whispering Wood. Robb totally destroyed the green Lannister army group in the resulting [[Battle of Oxcross]], killing Ser [[Stafford Lannister]] in the process.<ref name="E14"/> The victory leaves the Westerlands lightly defended. Robb goes on to win a minor victory at the [[Battle of the Yellow Fork]]<ref>"[[A Man Without Honor]]"</ref> and force the [[surrender of the Crag]].<ref name="E18">"[[The Prince of Winterfell]]"</ref> With the Lannister homelands under attack, Tywin had a difficult choice to make: to ride out and meet Robb's forces in battle, abandoning their strong defensive position at Harrenhal, or to fall back on King's Landing and help defend the city from Stannis. Tywin eventually decided to ride west because of the threat Robb's forces posed to his own castle at [[Casterly Rock]].<ref name="E18"/> Tywin had already authorised secret negotiations with House Tyrell to begin following Renly's death, in the hope of winning an alliance with them and their powerful army.<ref>"[[The Old Gods and the New]]"</ref>
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With Tywin encamped at Harrenhal, which was too strong to attack directly, Robb instead launched an invasion of the [[Westerlands]], the Lannister homeland. He launched a surprise attack on the new Lannister army gathering at the village of [[Oxcross]], where new conscripts were being trained to replace the Lannister army group destroyed at Whispering Wood. Robb totally destroyed the green Lannister army group in the resulting [[Battle of Oxcross]], killing Ser [[Stafford Lannister]] in the process.<ref name="E14"/> The victory leaves the Westerlands lightly defended. Robb goes on to win a minor victory at the [[Battle of the Yellow Fork]]<ref>"[[A Man Without Honor]]"</ref> and force the [[surrender of the Crag]].<ref name="E18">"[[The Prince of Winterfell]]"</ref> With the Lannister homelands under attack, Tywin had a difficult choice to make: to ride out and meet Robb's forces in battle, abandoning their strong defensive position at Harrenhal, or to fall back on King's Landing and help defend the city from Stannis. Tywin eventually decided to ride west because of the threat Robb's forces posed to his own castle at [[Casterly Rock]].<ref name="E18"/> Tywin had already authorized secret negotiations with House Tyrell to begin following Renly's death, in the hope of winning an alliance with them and their powerful army.<ref>"[[The Old Gods and the New]]"</ref>
   
===Baratheon conflict===
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====The Death of Renly Baratheon====
[[Stannis Baratheon]] and his younger brother, [[Renly Baratheon]], both claimed the Iron Throne of Westeros. Stannis had a small army at Dragonstone and was influenced by the red priestess [[Melisandre|Melissandre]], while Renly amassed the strength of his bannermen, the Stormlords, and that of the Reach by marrying [[Margaery Tyrell]], daughter of [[Mace Tyrell]].
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[[Stannis Baratheon]] and his younger brother, [[Renly Baratheon]], both claimed the Iron Throne of Westeros. Stannis had a small army at Dragonstone and was influenced by the red priestess [[Melisandre]], while Renly amassed the strength of his bannermen, the Stormlords, and that of the Reach by marrying [[Margaery Tyrell]], daughter of [[Mace Tyrell]].
   
After a failed meeting, Stannis gives an ultimatum to Renly to pledge his loyalty before he attacks, but Renly ignores him. Melissandre gives birth to a [[shadow]] which later on enters Renly's tent and kills him. While the Tyrell army leaves for [[Highgarden]], the Stormlords swear fealty to Stannis as the remaining head of [[House Baratheon]], with his brother's armies at his command Stannis prepares his invasion to [[King's Landing]].
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After a failed meeting, Stannis gives an ultimatum to Renly to pledge his loyalty before he attacks, but Renly ignores him. Melisandre gives birth to a [[shadow]] which later on enters Renly's tent and kills him. While the Tyrell army leaves for [[Highgarden]], the Stormlords swear fealty to Stannis as the remaining head of [[House Baratheon]], with his brother's armies at his command Stannis prepares his invasion to [[King's Landing]].
   
===Riot in King's Landing===
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====Riot in King's Landing====
 
{{Quote|They're starving, you fool! All because of a war you started!|[[Tyrion Lannister]] to King [[Joffrey Baratheon]]|The Old Gods and the New}}
 
{{Quote|They're starving, you fool! All because of a war you started!|[[Tyrion Lannister]] to King [[Joffrey Baratheon]]|The Old Gods and the New}}
During the course of the war the streets of the capital city began to overflow with many starving refugees escaping the war. Both [[Tyrion Lannister]] and [[Janos Slynt]] warned Queen [[Cersei]] that if something was not done with the starving refugees there would be a mounting discontent with her son's rule however the Queen ignored their warnings. The King and the Royal Court had gathered in the docks to see [[Myrcella Baratheon]] being shipped to Dorne. On their way back to the Red Keep, the refugees and commoners of King's Landing hurled insults at King [[Joffrey]], and ultimately, hurl cow excrement into Joffrey's face. Despite being accompanied by only a few dozen guards facing hundreds of peasants, Joffrey impetuously shouts orders for his soldiers to kill them all. A general riot then breaks out and spreads throughout the city, with the royal party barely making it back to the castle in one piece. With most of the regular Lannister army in the Riverlands fighting in the war under Lord [[Tywin Lannister]], the scant two thousand City Watch guards had a difficult time containing the riot, and the chaos that reigned throughout the city. In the end the riot was put down but many peasants and City Watch guards were killed during the riot along with the High Septon who was torn limb by limb by an angry mob.
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During the course of the war the streets of the capital city began to overflow with many starving refugees escaping the war. Both [[Tyrion Lannister]] and [[Janos Slynt]] warned Queen [[Cersei]] that if something was not done with the starving refugees there would be a mounting discontent with her son's rule however the Queen ignored their warnings. The King and the Royal Court had gathered in the docks to see [[Myrcella Baratheon]] being shipped to Dorne. On their way back to the Red Keep, the refugees and commoners of King's Landing hurled insults at King [[Joffrey]], and ultimately, hurl cow excrement into Joffrey's face. Despite being accompanied by only a few dozen guards facing hundreds of peasants, Joffrey impetuously shouts orders for his soldiers to kill them all. A general riot then breaks out and spreads throughout the city, with the royal party barely making it back to the castle in one piece. With most of the regular Lannister army in the Riverlands fighting in the war under Lord [[Tywin Lannister]], the scant two thousand City Watch guards had a difficult time containing the riot, and the chaos that reigned throughout the city. In the end the riot was put down but many peasants and City Watch guards were killed during the riot along with the High Septon who was torn limb by limb by an angry mob.<ref>"[[The Old Gods and the New]]"</ref>
   
===Rise of the Kraken===
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====Rise of the Kraken====
 
{{Quote|The North is ripe for the taking.|Balon Greyjoy|What is Dead May Never Die}}
 
{{Quote|The North is ripe for the taking.|Balon Greyjoy|What is Dead May Never Die}}
While the Lannister and Stark forces were fighting in the Riverlands, [[Theon Greyjoy]] traveled to [[Pyke]], the Iron Islands capital, and his family castle, to negotiate with his father, [[Balon Greyjoy]], under Robb Stark´s orders. At Pyke, Balon Greyjoy told Theon that he would proclaim himself King on the Iron Islands once more, and attack the North. He then asks his son on which side he was: his or the Starks. After much soul-searching, Theon Greyjoy chose to declare loyalty to his father. Balon Greyjoy would attack the coasts of the North, with his navy. [[Asha Greyjoy]] would lead most of the fleet, while Theon was given only one ship, the ''[[Sea Bitch]]'', and was supposed to attack small fishing villages. Theon Greyjoy then changed his plan and sieged Torrhen´s Square, and then attacked Winterfell. [[Bran Stark]] yielded before him, and Theon proclaimed himself [[Prince of Winterfell]].
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While the Lannister and Stark forces were fighting in the Riverlands, [[Theon Greyjoy]] traveled to [[Pyke]], the Iron Islands capital, and his family castle, to negotiate with his father, [[Balon Greyjoy]], under Robb Stark´s orders. At Pyke, Balon Greyjoy told Theon that he would proclaim himself King on the Iron Islands once more, and attack the North.<ref>"[[The Night Lands]]"</ref> He then asked his son on which side he was: his or the Starks. After much soul-searching, Theon Greyjoy chose to declare loyalty to his father.<ref>"[[What is Dead May Never Die]]"</ref> Balon Greyjoy would attack the coasts of the North, with his navy. [[Yara Greyjoy]] would lead most of the fleet, while Theon was given only one ship, the ''[[Sea Bitch]]'', and was supposed to attack small fishing villages. Theon Greyjoy then changed his plan and sieged Torrhen´s Square, and then attacked Winterfell. [[Bran Stark]] yielded before him, and Theon proclaimed himself [[Prince of Winterfell]].<ref>"[[The Old Gods and the New]]"</ref>
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However, Bran and his younger brother, Rickon, soon escaped with two of their household servants and their [[Direwolf|direwolves]], and were unable to be found by Theon. They managed to sneak back into the crypts of Winterfell, though Theon has convinced most of his men they are dead by hanging two children's burnt corpses atop the walls of Winterfell.<ref>"[[A Man Without Honor]]"</ref> Her sister Yara arrived with just twenty men and warned him that everyone in the North wanted him dead because of his killing the Stark boys, and that he was too far from the sea to supply or reinforce his position, but Theon refused to give up Winterfell.<ref>"[[The Prince of Winterfell]]"</ref>
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A relief force of five hundred men, led by [[Ramsay Snow]] of [[House Bolton]] and sent under the orders of [[Robb Stark|King Robb Stark]], laid siege to the castle for at least one night. Theon Greyjoy attempted to rally his men to defend the stronghold and die fighting with an inspiring speech; his First Mate, [[Dagmer Cleftjaw]] betrayed him, and Theon's small force presumably handed him over to Ramsay, who had been sent with an offer of mercy to the ironborn if they handed over Winterfell and Theon. Dagmer mortally wounded the castle's Maester, [[Luwin]], as he had Theon dragged away from the courtyard.<ref>"[[Valar Morghulis]]"</ref>
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[[Sack of Winterfell|Winterfell was sacked and put to the torch]] shortly afterwards by Ramsay Bolton, while the dying Luwin moved to the Godswood. The majority of the castle and outlying town still stands. In secret, [[Bran Stark|Bran]] and [[Rickon Stark|Rickon]] [[House Stark|Stark]] managed to escape the castle, along with [[Osha|two]] [[Hodor|servants]] and their [[Summer|two]] [[Shaggydog|direwolves]].<ref>"[[Valar Morghulis]]"</ref>
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====The Battle of the Blackwater====
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Stannis's army and fleet launched an assault on King's Landing. The initial attack was blunted when Tyrion Lannister sprung a trap, detonating a boat filled with [[wildfire]] in the midst of Stannis's fleet, destroying a significant part of it. The surviving ships were able to put ashore thousands of troops, led in person by Stannis. [[Sandor Clegane]] and Tyrion Lannister himself led several sorties that destroyed the Baratheon siege equipment, but were almost overwhelmed by superior enemy numbers. However, the armies of House Lannister (under Tywin, in contrast to his stated intention to attack the Starks) and House Tyrell (under Ser Loras) arrived and defeated Stannis's forces, sending them fleeing from the field. House Tyrell have now formally declared themselves for the King on the Iron Throne in return for a marriage pact, giving King Joffrey Baratheon a large numerical advantage over King Robb Stark.<ref>"[[Blackwater]]"</ref>
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===The Fall of Kings===
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====​The Red Wedding====
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Robb Stark subsequently withdrew his forces back to the Riverlands. He liberated Harrenhal, but the Lannisters had simply withdrawn and gave no battle.<ref>"[[Valar Dohaeris]]"</ref> After the death of his maternal grandfather, Robb marched his army back to [[Riverrun]], but faced a bleak situation.<ref>"[[Dark Wings, Dark Words]]"</ref> The Lannisters meanwhile focused on consolidating the south with their new Tyrell allies, content that time and resources were now on their side.<ref>"[[Walk of Punishment]]"</ref><ref>"[[Kissed by Fire]]"</ref>
   
However, Bran and his younger brother, Rickon, soon escaped with two of their household servants and their [[Direwolf|direwolves]], and were unable to be found by Theon. They managed to sneak back into the crypts of Winterfell, though Theon has convinced most of his men they are dead by hanging two children's burnt corpses atop the walls of Winterfell.
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Robb Stark's army was ultimately lured into a trap at [[the Twins]] where he was betrayed by [[House Frey]] and [[House Bolton]], who switched sides to the Lannisters. The Freys and Boltons not only betrayed their liege-lords, but the Freys broke the solemn [[Guest right]] by attacking the Starks after formally accepting them into their castle as guests, and on top of that, during a wedding. Robb Stark and his mother Catelyn were killed in the massacre, which subsequently became known as the [[Red Wedding]].<ref>"[[The Rains of Castamere]]"</ref> The entire Northern army led to southern Westeros by Robb Stark to fight in the war was annihilated, with the few survivors captured as political hostages.<ref>"[[Mhysa]]"</ref>
   
A relief force of five hundred men, led by [[Ramsay Snow]] of [[House Bolton]] and sent under the orders of [[Robb Stark|King Robb Stark]], laid siege to the castle for at least one night. Theon Greyjoy attempted to rally his men to defend the stronghold and die fighting with an inspiring speech; his First Mate, [[Dagmer Cleftjaw]] betrayed him, and Theon's small force presumably handed him over to Ramsay, who had been sent with an offer of mercy to the ironborn if they handed over Winterfell and Theon. Dagmer mortally wounded the castle's Maester, [[Luwin]], as he had Theon dragged away from the courtyard.
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====Aftermath of the Red Wedding====
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The destruction of the Northern army and the death of Robb Stark at the Red Wedding marked a major turning point in the war, with the allied houses of Lannister and Tyrell achieving a major victory over their largest and most numerically significant enemy.<ref>"[[Mhysa]]"</ref>
   
[[Sack of Winterfell|Winterfell was sacked and put to the torch]] shortly afterwards, while the dying Luwin moved to the Godswood. The majority of the castle and outlying town still stands. It is unknown who is responsible for the sack of Winterfell. [[Bran Stark|Bran]] and [[Rickon Stark|Rickon]] [[House Stark|Stark]] managed to escape the castle, along with [[Osha|two]] [[Hodor|servants]] and their [[Summer|two]] [[Shaggydog|direwolves]].
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However, the victory didn't mark the end of the war, as Stannis Baratheon and Balon Greyjoy continued to claim their respective crowns in opposition to King Joffrey. While most of Stannis' forces were destroyed at the Blackwater, he himself remained at liberty with some loyal bannermen and adamant to fight till the bitter end. The ironborn, who had partially occupied the North, still commanded great sea power and refused to bend the knee to the Iron Throne.
   
===The Battle of the Blackwater===
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At the same time, the Iron Throne emerged from the conflict weakened. Its debts to foreign banks such as the [[Iron Bank of Braavos]] were still far from being repaid and, if the debts should default, the Bank would turn its support to other people who could guarantee the repayement of the loans, such as rebellious claimants like Stannis Baratheon.<ref>"[[Walk of Punishment]]"</ref><ref>"[[The Lion and the Rose]]"</ref>. Indeed, later the Iron Bank was convinced to fund Stannis after his his Hand of the King, Ser Davos Seaworth, argued that the Lannisters would soon be in trouble.<ref>"[[The Laws of Gods and Men]]"</ref> Also, tensions continued to exist in the alliance between the Lannisters and the Tyrells, a relationship which is beneficial to the latter but necessary for the former. The Tyrells' popularity has also been rising in parts of the Kingdoms such as [[King's Landing]], where they have been guaranteeing the food supply.
Stannis's army and fleet launched an assault on King's Landing. The initial attack was blunted when Tyrion Lannister sprung a trap, detonating a boat filled with [[wildfire]] in the midst of Stannis's fleet, destroying a significant part of it. The surviving ships were able to put ashore thousands of troops, led in person by Stannis. [[Sandor Clegane]] and Tyrion Lannister himself led several sorties that destroyed the Baratheon siege equipment, but were almost overwhelmed by superior enemy numbers. However, the armies of House Lannister (under Tywin, in contrast to his stated intention to attack the Starks) and House Tyrell (under Ser Loras) arrived and defeated Stannis's forces, sending them fleeing from the field. House Tyrell have now formally declared themselves for the King on the Iron Throne in return for a marriage pact, giving King Joffrey Baratheon a large numerical advantage over King Robb Stark.
 
   
===The Red Wedding===
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Things have steadily been getting worse for the Lannisters, whose position is weakening every day. Tywin Lannister revealed to his daughter Cersei that the gold mines beneath Casterly Rock had run dry and the Westerlands did not produce as much riches as they used to, making the debt crisis look even worse.<ref>"[[First of His Name]]"</ref>
   
Robb Stark subsequently withdraws his forces back to the Riverlands. He liberated Harrenhal, but the Lannisters had simply withdrawn and gave no battle. After the death of his maternal grandfather Robb marched his army back to [[Riverrun]], but faced a bleak situation. The Lannisters meanwhile focused on consolidating the south with their new Tyrell allies, content that time and resources were now on their side.
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====​The Purple Wedding====
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During his wedding to [[Margaery Tyrell]], King [[Joffrey Baratheon]] was [[Purple Wedding|killed]] by poison. His uncle, [[Tyrion Lannister]], who had been regularly humiliated by Joffrey and was holding his wine glass before his death, was accused by Queen Regent [[Cersei Lannister]] of the murder.<ref>"[[The Lion and the Rose]]"</ref> Tyrion was arrested and was put on [[Trial of Tyrion Lannister|trial]] for the deed. His wife, [[Sansa Stark]], was also seen as having planned the murder as Joffrey's abuse of her was common knowledge. However, Sansa managed to flee King's Landing with help from [[Petyr Baelish]].<ref>"[[Breaker of Chains]]"</ref>
   
Robb Stark's army was ultimately lured into a trap at [[the Twins]] where he was betrayed by [[House Frey]] and [[House Bolton]], who switched sides to the Lannisters. The Freys and Boltons not only betrayed their liege-lords, but the Freys broke the solemn [[Guest right]] by attacking the Starks after formally accepting them into their castle as guests, and on top of that, during a wedding. Robb Stark and his mother Catelyn were killed in the massacre, which subsequently became known as the [[Red Wedding]]. The entire Northern army led to southern Westeros by Robb Stark to fight in the war was annihilated, with the few survivors captured as political hostages.
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Joffrey was succeede​d as King by his younger brother, [[Tommen Baratheon]]. After his coronation, Tommen reappointed Tywin Lannister as Hand of the King and also granted him the title of [[Protector of the Realm]], making Tywin the true ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. Tommen was also betrothed to his brother's widow, Margaery, in order to keep the loyalty of House Tyrell.<ref>"[[First of His Name]]"</ref>
   
===Aftermath of the Red Wedding===
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====​Trial of Tyrion Lannister​====
The destruction of the Northern army and the death of Robb Stark at the Red Wedding marked a major turning point in the war, with the allied houses of Lannister and Tyrell achieving a major victory over their largest and most numerically significant enemy.
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​During his trial, Tyrion was faced with many accounts of his confrontations with King Joffrey such as slapping him after the King's Landing riot to prove his guilt. Tywin Lannister was willing to give his son a way out if he plead guilty and joined the [[Night's Watch]] so that his other son, [[Jaime]], would accept to be his heir again. However, the perjury of Tyrion's lover, [[Shae]], who claimed that both Tyrion and Sansa planned Joffrey's murder led him to refuse the deal and, after a brutal declaration to the court, he demanded a [[Trial by combat|trial by combat]].<ref>"[[The Laws of Gods and Men]]"</ref> Cersei chose ​Ser [[Gregor Clegane]] as her champion while Tyrion was approached by [[Prince]]<span style="font-size:14px;"> </span>[[Oberyn Martell]]<span style="font-size:14px;"> of </span>[[Dorne]] to act as his. Oberyn's true objective was to have revenge on Clegane for the rape and murder of his sister, [[Elia Martell]]<span style="font-size:14px;">, during the </span>[[Sack of King's Landing]]. Although Oberyn managed to fight the Mountain until he was badly wounded, he was himself killed, sealing Tyrion's fate.<ref>"[[The Mountain and the Viper]]"</ref>
   
However, the victory doesn't mark the end of the war, as Stannis Baratheon and Balon Greyjoy continue to claim their respective crowns in opposition to King Joffrey. While most of Stannis' forces were destroyed at the Blackwater, he himself remains at liberty with some loyal bannermen and adamant to fight till the bitter end. The ironborn, who have partially occupied the North, command great sea power and have refused to bend the knee to the Iron Throne. And some members of the northern leadership, such as [[Greatjon Umber]], who were not present at the Red Wedding, remain as holdouts against Lannister rule.
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​However, the death of Oberyn Martell could have dire consequences for the Lannisters; indeed, Oberyn was the younger brother of [[Doran Martell]], the ruling [[Prince of Dorne]], and he had been popular in Dorne. The Lannisters having now killed not one but two of his siblings, the allegiance of the Dornish prince is no longer guaranted to the Lannisters despite a marriage alliance between [[Trystane Martell]] and King Tommen's sister, [[Myrcella]].
   
At the same time, the Iron Throne has emerged from the conflict weakened. Its debts to foreign banks such as the [[Iron Bank of Braavos]] are still far from being repaid and, if the debts should default, the Bank would turn its support to other people who could guarantee the repayement of the loans, such as rebellious claimants like Stannis Baratheon. Also, tensions continue to exist in the alliance between the Lannisters and the Tyrells, a relationship which is beneficial to the latter but necessary for the former. The Tyrells' popularity has also been rising in parts of the Kingdoms such as [[King's Landing]], where they have been guaranteeing the food supply.
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====​Reconquering the North====
  +
After the Red Wedding, [[Roose Bolton]] was appointed [[Warden of the North]] until such time a son was born to [[Tyrion Lannister]] and [[Sansa Stark]], the rightful heir of [[Winterfell]]. However, the Ironborn held the majority of the once Stark-held lands and it was up to Lord Bolton to reconquer them. Despite the fact that he was officially supported by the Iron Throne, Bolton knew that [[Tywin Lannister]] would not do anything to help him against the Greyjoys. With the Ironborn in possession of the fortress of [[Moat Cailin]], his army remain trapped south of the [[Neck]]. Knowing that his bastard son [[Ramsay]] had captured [[Theon Greyjoy]], he planned to use him as ransom and exchange him for Moat Cailin. First, however, he needed to return North: Bolton and a small company of his men, including [[Locke]] and his new wife [[Walda Bolton]], smuggled themselves into the North and made for the Bolton seat at the [[Dreadfort]]. There, Bolton discovered that his bastard had badly mutilated and broken Theon Greyjoy, using him as a plaything more than a hostage. Angered, he was nevertheless interested to hear that Bran and Rickon Stark were still alive. Realizing that the continued existence of the Stark boys would harm his hold over the North, Bolton sent Locke to hunt them down and kill them. He also instructed Ramsay to head south and reclaim Moat Cailin.<ref>"[[The Lion and the Rose]]"</ref>
   
===​Reconquering the North===
+
After a [[Assault on the Dreadfort|failed attempt]] by [[Yara Greyjoy]] to rescue her brother from the Boltons<ref>"[[The Laws of Gods and Men]]"</ref>, Ramsay headed south to Moat Cailin with ​a Bolton army and Theon, who entered the ironborn-occupied keep with the Boltons' peace terms. When [[Ralf Kenning]], the Ironborn commander refused to surrender, his men [[Fall of Moat Cailin|turned on him and offered themselves up.]] Ramsay ended up flaying the Ironborn garrison as a message to the remaining Greyjoys. His army later met up with his father's and Roose rewards Ramsay's actions by legitimizing him as a Bolton. With the fall of Moat Cailin, the Bolton army has returned north and the Ironborn have begun to leave their positions. Roose subsequently leads his reassembled forces further to the North, to claim the Stark ancestral seat of [[Winterfell]].<ref>"[[The Mountain and the Viper]]"</ref>
After the Red Wedding, [[Roose Bolton]] was appointed [[Warden of the North]] until such time a son was born to [[Tyrion Lannister]] and [[Sansa Stark]], the rightful heir of [[Winterfell]]. However, the Ironborn held the majority of the once Stark-held lands and it was up to Lord Bolton to reconquer them. Despite the fact that he was officially supported by the Iron Throne, Bolton knew that [[Tywin Lannister]] would not do anything to help him against the Greyjoys. With the Ironborn in possession of the fortress of [[Moat Cailin]], his army remain trapped south of the [[Neck|Neck.&nbsp;]]Knowing that his bastard son [[Ramsay]] had captured [[Theon Greyjoy]], he planned to use him as ransom and exchange him for Moat Cailin. First however, he needed to return North.
 
   
Bolton and a small company of his men, including [[Locke]] and his new wife [[Walda Bolton]], smuggled themselves into the North and made for the Bolton seat at the [[Dreadfort]]. There, Bolton discovered that his bastard had badly mutilated and broken Theon Greyjoy, using him as a plaything more than a hostage. Angered, he was neverthless interested to hear that Bran and Rickon Stark were still alive. Realizing that the continued existence of the Stark boys would harm his hold over the North, Bolton sent Locke to hunt them down and kill them. He also instructed Ramsay to head south and reclaim Moat Cailin.
+
====Asassination at the Tower of the Hand====
  +
After being broken out of confinement just before his execution, Tyrion Lannister [[Assassination at the Tower of the Hand|killed]] the current Hand of the King, his father Tywin Lannister, leaving the rule of King's Landing in an uncertain position.<ref>"[[The Children]]"</ref>
   
 
==In the books==
 
==In the books==
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While it is popularly known as the War of the "Five" Kings, in a later book a character points out that this is somewhat inaccurate, as [[Balon Greyjoy]] openly declared himself King of the Iron Islands only slightly after Renly died, so there were never five kings actively fighting each other at one time. Nonetheless the name has stuck, and it does still refer to the fact that five kings were involved. For the TV series, however, it might be somewhat accurate, depending on when Balon Greyjoy's secession of the Iron Islands "officially" began. Renly was killed at the beginning of the [[The Ghost of Harrenhal|fifth episode]] of Season 2. Balon explains to Theon that he intends to make himself a king by force in the [[The Night Lands|second episode]] of Season 2, but this isn't followed by a polite declaration: the ironborn make a surprise attack against the North at the beginning of the [[The Old Gods and the New|sixth episode]] of Season 2, taking [[Torrhen's Square]] and Winterfell. Thus Balon briefly claimed the title of King while Renly was still alive, but the first the other factions knew about this was when [[Iron Fleet|ironborn raiders]] were at their doorsteps, after Renly died.
 
While it is popularly known as the War of the "Five" Kings, in a later book a character points out that this is somewhat inaccurate, as [[Balon Greyjoy]] openly declared himself King of the Iron Islands only slightly after Renly died, so there were never five kings actively fighting each other at one time. Nonetheless the name has stuck, and it does still refer to the fact that five kings were involved. For the TV series, however, it might be somewhat accurate, depending on when Balon Greyjoy's secession of the Iron Islands "officially" began. Renly was killed at the beginning of the [[The Ghost of Harrenhal|fifth episode]] of Season 2. Balon explains to Theon that he intends to make himself a king by force in the [[The Night Lands|second episode]] of Season 2, but this isn't followed by a polite declaration: the ironborn make a surprise attack against the North at the beginning of the [[The Old Gods and the New|sixth episode]] of Season 2, taking [[Torrhen's Square]] and Winterfell. Thus Balon briefly claimed the title of King while Renly was still alive, but the first the other factions knew about this was when [[Iron Fleet|ironborn raiders]] were at their doorsteps, after Renly died.
   
It is generally a four-sided war, between the Lannisters, Starks, Baratheons, and Greyjoys. Renly's brief time as a claimant, controlling most of the armies of the Stormlands and the Reach, did affect the strategic position of the Lannisters, but he didn't set out to engage them on the battlefield. Instead the Tyrells had cut of the Roseroad, effectively blockading resources and foodstuff from reaching the capital, and Renly was content to sit back and let the Lannisters exhaust themselves against the Starks while he built up his own strength to overwhelming levels, at which point he intended to march directly on King's Landing. Also while there are four "sides", this does not include political machinations and large territories changing sides, i.e. [[the Vale of Arryn]] or [[Dorne]], and particularly House Tyrell of the Reach, which considerably tipped the balance of the war when they switched their allegiance to the Lannisters. Due to simple geography, of course, any one faction isn't actively fighting three others all the time. Simply due to the fact that they are located on opposite coasts of the continent the Greyjoys (off the west coast) and [[Stannis Baratheon]] (off the east coast) aren't actively fighting each other while he's on Dragonstone. Stannis does nominally consider the North to be in rebellion against him, but in practice, doesn't actively fight the North, because he's more concerned with retaking the capital city from the Lannisters. As seen in the TV series, the Starks do send peace overtures to the Baratheons, but Stannis refuses to allow the North to secede and take away vast territories which he feels are rightfully his. While the Greyjoys aren't actively fighting Stannis, they are not on the side of the Starks or the Lannisters, and are truly looking out only for their own interests.
+
It is generally a four-sided war, between the Lannisters, Starks, Baratheons, and Greyjoys. Renly's brief time as a claimant, controlling most of the armies of the Stormlands and the Reach, did affect the strategic position of the Lannisters, but he didn't set out to engage them on the battlefield. Instead the Tyrells had cut off the Roseroad, effectively blockading resources and foodstuff from reaching the capital, and Renly was content to sit back and let the Lannisters exhaust themselves against the Starks while he built up his own strength to overwhelming levels, at which point he intended to march directly on King's Landing. Also while there are four "sides", this does not include political machinations and large territories changing sides, i.e. [[the Vale of Arryn]] or [[Dorne]], and particularly House Tyrell of the Reach, which considerably tipped the balance of the war when they switched their allegiance to the Lannisters. Due to simple geography, of course, any one faction isn't actively fighting three others all the time. Simply due to the fact that they are located on opposite coasts of the continent the Greyjoys (off the west coast) and [[Stannis Baratheon]] (off the east coast) aren't actively fighting each other while he's on Dragonstone. Stannis does nominally consider the North to be in rebellion against him, but in practice doesn't actively fight the North, because he's more concerned with retaking the capital city from the Lannisters. As seen in the TV series, the Starks do send peace overtures to the Baratheons, but Stannis refuses to allow the North to secede and take away vast territories which he feels are rightfully his. While the Greyjoys aren't actively fighting Stannis, they are not on the side of the Starks or the Lannisters, and are truly looking out only for their own interests.
   
 
==See also==
 
==See also==

Latest revision as of 23:01, September 17, 2014

"The Seven Kingdoms are at war with one another... false kings destroying the country... the Usurper is dead. The Starks fight the Lannisters, the Baratheons fight each other."
Daenerys Targaryen to Ser Jorah Mormont.[src]

The War of the Five Kings is a major military conflict that erupts in the wake of the death of King Robert I. In essence, the war is a three-way battle for the Iron Throne fought alongside two independence movements.  The five kings in question are Robert's heir Joffrey Baratheon, Robert's two younger brothers Stannis Baratheon and Renly Baratheon, Robb Stark, and Balon Greyjoy

Upon Robert's death, his heir, Prince Joffrey, takes the Iron Throne, but the revelation that he along with his brother and sister are bastards born of incest between Queen Cersei and her twin brother, Ser Jaime Lannister, leads both of Robert's younger brothers, Stannis and Renly Baratheon, to claim the throne for themselves.  Stannis sees himself as the rightful heir by right of blood, being Robert's heir with the removal of Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen due to their being bastards.  Renly claims the throne on the basis that he would be a better king, despite being second to Stannis in the lawful line of succession.

Meanwhile, Robb Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Lord Paramount of the North, is declared the King in the North by his lords bannermen in the wake of the execution of his father, Eddard Stark, on false charges of treason.[1]  Robb had been in command of a host marching south to free his then-imprisoned father and to relieve a Lannister attack on the Riverlands. As the King in the North, Robb declares that the North and the Riverlands (ruled by his maternal grandfather) are now a sovereign kingdom no longer subject to the rule of the Iron Throne.[2]

With the attention of the North and the Iron Throne diverted, Balon Greyjoy, Lord Reaper of Pyke and ruler of the Iron Islands, seizes the opportunity to declare the Iron Islands independent once more.  He then styles himself King of the Iron Islands and launches raids in the North while most of its defenders are south of the Neck.

Previous

Greyjoy Rebellion

Concurrent

Conflict Beyond the Wall
Targaryen campaign in Slaver's Bay

{{{}}}
Beginning

298 AL

End

Ongoing

Place:

The Seven Kingdoms

Outcome:

Current pyrrhic House Baratheon of King's Landing victory

Assassination of King Joffrey on his wedding feast

  • Elevation of Tommen Baratheon to the Iron Throne
Combatants

The King in the North

Stark mini shield
House Stark

The King on the Iron Throne

The King in the Narrow Sea

The King in Highgarden

The King of the Iron Islands

Leaders

King Robb Stark

King Joffrey I
King Tommen I

King Stannis I

King Renly I

King Balon Greyjoy

Battles
 

Current factionsEdit

Although three factions technically remain at large in the War of the Five Kings, two of them retain very little influence, to the point where the King on the Iron Throne is the de facto victor. Even so, the Greyjoys are still in rebellion and Stannis has sailed to the Wall.[3]

The King on the Iron ThroneEdit

Joffrey throne season 2

Joffrey I Baratheon, the "King on the Iron Throne"

King Joffrey Baratheon claims the Iron Throne by right of inheritance from his publicly-declared father, the late Robert Baratheon. He holds the capital city of King's Landing and his claim is supported militarily by the powerful and well-equipped armies of House Lannister, as well as the lords of the Crownlands. As the king in control of the capital he is referred to as the King on the Iron Throne.[4]

The Lannister armies became bogged down in fighting the Stark forces in the Riverlands, leaving the capital potentially vulnerable to assault by sea or from the south[5], but when Robb Stark led his troops west to attack the Lannister homeland, their armies were free to march to relieve King's Landing from assault by Stannis' army.[6] His supporters were also able to negotiate an alliance with House Tyrell after Renly Baratheon's death.[7]

During his wedding to Margaery Tyrell, Joffrey was poisoned by an unknown party and died.[8] His uncle, former Hand of the King Tyrion Lannister, was arrested for the murder. Joffrey's lawful successor is his younger brother, Tommen Baratheon, whom nobles and smallfolk alike are already hailing as a worthy king at last.[9] After being broken out of confinement, Tyrion Lannister killed the current Hand of the King, Tywin Lannister, leaving the rule of King's Landing in an uncertain position.[10]

The King in the Narrow SeaEdit

StannisNorthRemember

Stannis Baratheon, the "King in the Narrow Sea"

King Stannis Baratheon, the younger brother of King Robert and the elder brother of Renly, claims the Iron Throne by right of inheritance from his brother. Stannis power is centered on the island fortress of Dragonstone in the Narrow Sea and he is therefore referred to as the King in the Narrow Sea.[11]

Based on intelligence received from Eddard Stark before his arrest and execution,[12] Stannis claims that Joffrey and his younger siblings are not Robert's children at all, but instead the product of incest between Queen Cersei Lannister and her twin brother, Jaime.[13] This makes Joffrey a usurper, pretender and bastard, and leaves Stannis as the rightful king. At the beginning of the war very few supported Stannis' claim to the throne, even after he sent a letter of Joffrey's true parentage to all the high lords of Westeros.[11][13] Stannis was also furious that most of the lords of the Stormlands had supported his younger brother Renly's claim to the Iron Throne.[13] A parley between Stannis and Renly failed, so Stannis authorized his priestess, Melisandre, to kill Renly through magic.[14] The storm lords went over to Stannis, but the Tyrells withdrew their armies.[15] Stannis was still left with a large enough army and fleet to attack King's Landing. Despite initial successes, the tide turned against him when the Tyrells allied with the Lannisters and attacked him. Stannis was forced to flee with only a small number of survivors.[16]

Although Stannis hoped to continue to press his claim to the Iron Throne, Ser Davos and Melisandre, in a rare moment of accord, convinced him that the threat of the White Walkers is greater than the War of the Five Kings.[17] Stannis then secured a loan from the Iron Bank of Braavos[18] and departed for the North to support the Night's Watch.[19] At the Wall, his forces have obliterated the wildling army that was about to crush Castle Black and taken the King-Beyond-the-Wall prisoner.[20]

The King of the Iron IslandsEdit

King Balon Greyjoy, likewise, does not claim the Iron Throne, but did declare himself King of the Iron Islands again.[21] He rejected Robb Stark's proposal for an alliance against House Lannister, preferring to carve out a Kingdom of the Iron Islands alone.[22] He's motivated by his hatred for the Starks for the death of his two older sons during the Greyjoy Rebellion and the ironborn tradition of 'paying the iron price' - which dictates that a man must take his riches by force, not negotiation or payment. To this end Balon took advantage of the North's under-defended state while most of its forces were fighting with Robb in the Riverlands: the ironborn raided the coasts and captured the castle at Deepwood Motte. Out of his own initiative, his son Theon then captured the main Stark stronghold at Winterfell and refused to relinquish it despite the difficulties in resupplying a location so far from the sea.[23] However, the ironborn finally abandoned Winterfell, and Theon was captured by House Bolton [24], although Balon is somewhat dismissive of Theon's predicament given the failures at Winterfell.[25] Not only has his daughter's attempt to rescue Theon been unsuccessful [26], but also Ramsay Bolton has taken Moat Cailin from the ironborn. Since this is the key to go in and out of the North, the whole Bolton army has reentered the North and taken Winterfell, forcing most ironborn out of the North.[27]

Former factionsEdit

Two of the five kings have been slain and their factions in the war are not defunct.

The King in HighgardenEdit

Renly promo

King Renly I Baratheon, "the King in Highgarden"

King Renly Baratheon, the youngest brother of King Robert, claimed the Iron Throne by right of strength and conquest. He is supported by his vassals, the Stormlords and the armies sworn to House Tyrell, who can field the largest armies in all of Westeros. He is known as "the King in Highgarden" because of the alliance.[28]

The presence of Renly's large army in the south forced Tywin Lannister to leave the bulk of his forces at Harrenhal, mid-way between Robb in the north and Renly in the south, to react against whichever of them moved on King's Landing first. Renly was in no great hurry, content to let Robb Stark continue bleeding the Lannisters in the Riverlands and holding tourneys and feasts with his lords bannermen and sworn knights. Time was largely on Renly's side, and he could afford to wait longer to assemble as large an army as possible before ultimately marching on King's Landing.

However, Renly was killed by a shadow creature under the control of Melisandre, a priestess in the employ of Stannis. The majority of the Stormlords, and a handful Reachlords went over to Stannis, but the Tyrells and the majority of the Reachlords refused to support him. They were eventually convinced to join Joffrey's supporters through negotiations.

The King in the NorthEdit

Robb 2x01

Robb Stark, the King in the North

King Robb Stark does not claim the Iron Throne at all. Instead, his initial goal is to secure the release of his father Ned Stark, who has been imprisoned on charges of treason against King Joffrey, as well as to rescue his sisters Arya and Sansa. Besides commanding the forces of the North, Robb is joined by the forces of the Riverlands, ruled by Robb's maternal grandfather Hoster Tully, although the Vale (currently ruled by Robb's aunt Lysa Arryn) remains neutral. Robb's goals further evolve when he is proclaimed the King in the North by his bannermen, his new aim being to secure the independence of the North and the Riverlands, as well as to possibly exact revenge following the execution of Ned Stark.

Despite Robb's youth and inexperience, he proves to be an enthusiastic and canny battle commander, his ferocity in battle earning him the nickname "The Young Wolf" (a reference to the sigil of House Stark).[29] In the first real test of his leadership, Robb uses disinformation against the Lannisters, not only making them believe his army is larger than it actually is but also tricks them into believing he is marching against Tywin Lannister's forces. Instead, Robb sends only a small diversionary force to face Tywin at the Battle of the Green Fork while sending the rest of his forces to face Jaime Lannister's army at the Battle of the Whispering Wood. Robb scores a decisive victory, destroying Jaime's army and capturing Jaime himself. Robb goes onto to win every engagement he fights against the Lannisters, including the Battle of Oxcross.

Despite his success on the battlefield, Robb loses the momentum of the war. Robb reluctantly tries to seek an alliance with Balon Greyjoy, hoping to use ironborn ships to launch an attack on King's Landing and sends Theon Greyjoy as an envoy. Instead, the ironborn launch raids in the North, and Theon betrays Robb and personally leads the attack on Robb's capital of Winterfell. Robb loses the support of House Frey when he marries Talisa Maegyr, breaking his vow to marry one of Walder Frey's daughters. He also loses the support of House Karstark when he executes Lord Rickard Karstark for treason. While Robb's forces dwindle and face more enemies, the opposite is true for his main enemies, the Lannisters. They gain a formidable ally in House Tyrell and their vassals following the alliance arranged by Littlefinger on behalf of the crown. Also, with Stannis' forces having been decimated at the Battle of Blackwater, the Lannisters are able concentrate on the Stark army.

Determined to regain his momentum, Robb plans an attack on Casterly Rock, capital of the Westerlands and one of the biggest sources of gold for House Lannister. To acquire the needed men, he attempts to repair his alliance with House Frey by marrying his uncle, Edmure Tully, the new Lord of Riverrun, to Roslin Frey. Walder Frey gives the appearance of accepting, and the two are married. However, unbeknownst to Robb, Walder Frey and Robb's bannerman Lord Roose Bolton have secretly joined with Tywin Lannister. At the wedding, Robb, his wife, his mother, and almost the entire Northern army are betrayed and massacred, putting an end to his rebellion and to the North's dream of independence.

Non-combatantsEdit

The following factions have either not declared an interest in the conflict, or have already declared their neutrality:

House Arryn/The Vale of ArrynEdit

House Arryn and the knights of the Vale have declared themselves neutral in the conflict. Lady Lysa Arryn, acting as regent for her young son, Robin Arryn, has stated that the Vale will hold its strength and not take part in the war, despite entreaties from her sister, Catelyn Stark, to join the Stark cause. Lysa is skeptical of Robb's ability to defeat the seasoned, more experienced Tywin Lannister in battle.

In an attempt to bring the Vale back under the authority of the Iron Throne and House Arryn into the forces against Robb Stark, Tywin Lannister sends Petyr Baelish, newly-made Lord of Harrenhal and de jure Lord Paramount of the Riverlands, to propose matrimony to Lady Lysa, as Littlefinger's new titles make him a suitable match for the Lady Regent of the Vale.

House MartellEdit

House Martell of Dorne has pursued a course of isolationism since Robert's Rebellion, and declares no interest or faction in the current conflict at its outset. Tyrion Lannister attempts to win the Martells' support by offering their youngest son the hand of Princess Myrcella Baratheon in marriage. They have accepted the offer, and Myrcella is sent to Sunspear as a ward of Prince Doran Martell. However, House Martell still has not taken an official side in the war. After the Purple Wedding, with the Ironborn still a threat and the rumors of a Targaryen resurgence across the Narrow Sea, Tywin Lannister offers Prince Oberyn Martell a seat on the Small Council, as he will need the support of the only House that has ever successfully resisted a Targaryen.  However, relations between the Houses of Martell and Lannister have been hostile ever since the death of Elia Martell (wife of Rhaegar Targaryen and Oberyn's sister) at the hands of Lannister bannerman Gregor Clegane; attempts to heal the rift have since been soured again by the death of Oberyn in a trial by combat against Clegane.

The Night's WatchEdit

The Night's Watch plays no role in the internal political affairs of the Seven Kingdoms, having been sworn to defend the realm as a whole, no matter who is on the Iron Throne or competing for it. As a result, they are neutral in the current conflict. Several individual members of the Night's Watch do have ties to some of the combatants. For example, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont was once the Lord of Bear Island and thus a former bannerman to House Stark before abdicating; his sister Maege Mormont fights for Robb Stark. Jon Snow is the bastard son of Eddard Stark and thus Robb Stark's brother. Samwell Tarly is the son of Lord Randyll Tarly, who -- as a bannerman for House Tyrell -- fights for Renly Baratheon and later Joffrey Baratheon. All three choose to follow the Watch's policy of neutrality (though Jon Snow does heavily consider joining the fight alongside Robb before being persuaded not to). Currently, the Watch are playing host to Stannis Baratheon's army at Castle Black.

The Brotherhood Without BannersEdit

The outlaw group known as the Brotherhood Without Banners is active in the Riverlands and, so far, has acted against the Lannister occupation, though they haven't declared their loyalty to either House Stark or House Baratheon. The Lannister forces have responded to the Brotherhood's activities by further sacking villages and torturing and executing peasants with the hope of tracking down the Brotherhood's leaders and their collaborators among the smallfolk.

The Queen Across the SeaEdit

Daenerys Targaryen is the last of House Targaryen, the house that ruled the Seven Kingdoms prior to being overthrown during Robert's Rebellion. Daenerys has thus staked a claim for the Iron Throne for herself and has begun building an army in Essos for this goal, hoping the use the in-fighting within the Seven Kingdoms to her advantage. Daenerys ultimately decides to remain in Essos, hoping to gain practical experience ruling the city of Meereen while ensuring that slavery is wiped out.[30]. She has also not yet received any open support from any of the power players within the Seven Kingdoms, though Varys does apparently support the Targaryens in secret.[31]

Turncoats and OathbreakersEdit

Several houses and individuals change or abandon their allegiances during the course of the war, altering the course of events and the possibilities of victory for the different factions:

The Prince of WinterfellEdit

Initially sent as an envoy to his father, Balon Greyjoy, Theon Greyjoy breaks the vow he made to Robb Stark during his proclamation as King in the North and sides with his father in his plans to conquer the North and restore the independence of the Iron Islands. Driven by his desire to gain the respect of his father and his people and resentful of his status as a glorified hostage of House Stark, Theon successfully seizes control of the Northern capital, Winterfell, and installs himself as Prince of Winterfell. With this move, Theon seemingly gains the respect of his crew, but also deals, unwittingly, a major blow to the position of King Robb, as some of his vassals begin to doubt the Young Wolf's ability to lead the North to complete independence.

However, Theon's hold over Winterfell proves to be quite weak. With only a small crew and without the support of either his father or sister to support the Northern retaliation, Theon is betrayed by his own men and delivered to House Bolton, who make him a hostage for their own purposes.

The StormlordsEdit

During the opening stages of the war, most, if not all, of the Stormlords declare for their liege lord, Renly Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End and Lord Paramount of the Stormlands. However, after Renly's mysterious assassination, noble houses such as the Estermonts, Tarths, Errols, Swanns, and Caron go over to the remaining Baratheon and new Lord of Storm's End, Stannis, ignoring that he orchestrated the death of his brother. This course of events gives Stannis the much needed land forces he requires for his planned assault on the capital of the realm.

However, after the Lannister victory in the Battle of the Blackwater, the Stormlords are divided between those who bend the knee to the Iron Throne and those who remain loyal to their liege lord.

House TyrellEdit

Following the death of Renly Baratheon, House Tyrell refuses to declare to Stannis, and instead turn its forces back to Highgarden to await the further development of war. Having learnt of Margaery Tyrell's ambitions to become Queen, however, Petyr Baelish suggests Tywin Lannister to arrange a marriage between King Joffrey and Margaery. With the might of Highgarden - 12,000 infantry, 1,800 mounted lances, and 2,000 in support as well as half a million bushels each of wheat, oats, and rye, 20,000 heads of cattle and 50,000 sheep - House Lannister both repels Stannis' siege against the capital and solves the famine affecting its population, and becomes the most powerful player in the war.

With the wedding of Joffrey and Margaery, the alliance is about to be sealed and House Tyrell stands to become a major power behind the throne. However, Lady Olenna Tyrell, desiring to protect her granddaughter from the violent Joffrey, poisons him at the wedding feast. The Tyrell-Lannister alliance, however, doesn't shatter (as the true culprit remains unknown to the Lannisters and the Realm at large), as a new marriage is arranged: that of Margaery with Joffrey's heir, Tommen. To further secure the support of House Tyrell, Lord Tywin grants Mace Tyrell a place in the small council as Master of Ships.

The Lords of the ReachEdit

Like their liege lords of House Tyrell, the noble houses of the Reach such as House Tarly, House Hightower, and House Florent, declare for Renly Baratheon at the opening of the war and join him in his slow march on King's Landing. After the death of Renly Baratheon, most of the Tyrell bannermen follow Margaery and Loras Tyrell back to Highgarden. However, a few of these noble houses, such as House Florent and House Fossoway defy their liege lords and go over to Stannis Baratheon.

Following the Battle of the Blackwater, most of the Reach houses that went over to Stannis, save for the Florents, bend the knee to King Joffrey and are welcomed back into the King's peace.

House KarstarkEdit

As bannermen to and distant relatives of the Starks, House Karstark forms a large part of Robb's army. Lord Rickard Karstark's two sons are killed, the first in battle and the second when Jaime Lannister attempts to escape. Enraged at the death of his sons, Lord Karstark demands Jaime's execution. Fearing that Jaime's murder would end any hope of ever getting her daughters Sansa and Arya back from the Lannisters, Lady Catelyn Stark frees Jaime. Lord Rickard grows increasingly frustrated after the discovery that both Northmen and Rivermen imprisoned at Harrenhal have been put to the sword. He murders two young Lannister hostages imprisoned at Riverrun: Martyn and Willem to exact revenge. As this action was against the express orders of Robb Stark, Robb declares Lord Karstark guilty of treason and personally executes him, according the ways of the First Men. Afterward, the Karstark forces withdraw their support, severely depleting Robb's forces and forcing him to seek a renewed alliance with House Frey, which eventually caused Robb's downfall by betrayal at the Red Wedding.

House BoltonEdit

A number of events pave the way for Lord Roose Bolton to decide that King Robb's cause is doomed to fail and ultimately betray his king the Red Wedding:

  • King Robb's refusal to engage in acts such as torture to gain information useful against Tywin Lannister.
  • The ironborn invasion of the North in general and loss of Winterfell in particular, which puts Robb's ability to hold the new Kingdom of the North into question. It remains unknown if the Sack of Winterfell carried out by Ramsay Snow is done under Lord Bolton's orders or if the Bastard of the Dreadfort acts on his own. In any event the destruction of the castle is blamed on the ironborn, while Theon's status as a prisoner is kept secret.
  • King Robb's marriage to Talisa Maegyr, which the Northern lords recognize as a terrible political move.
  • The Lannister victory at the Battle of the Blackwater and the Lannister-Tyrell alliance, which makes House Lannister the most powerful house in the realm.
  • Lord Bolton being left holding Harrenhal, which places him in the ideal position to communicate freely with Lord Tywin. Locke's capture of Jaime Lannister also gives him the chance to further cement his secret alliance with House Lannister.

As reward for his betrayal of King Robb, Roose Bolton is pardoned for taking arms against the Iron Throne and is made Warden of the North.

House FreyEdit

Lord Walder Frey plots with Roose Bolton and Tywin Lannister to betray Robb Stark and his liege lord, Edmure Tully, as revenge for the slight on his family's honor caused by the breaking of Stark-Frey marriage pact as well as the resentment for the derision House Frey suffers from other noble houses.[32]

For the "service" of slaughtering most of the Northern leadership as well as their forces, Lord Walder is awarded with Riverrun, the ancestral seat of the now-attainted House Tully.

Course of the conflictEdit

Opening movesEdit

Tyrion Lannister's abductionEdit

"That bit of theater will haunt our family for a generation."
Tyrion Lannister to Cersei Lannister, speaking about the execution of Ned Stark by her son Joffrey.[src]

The stage was set for the war when Catelyn Stark seized Tyrion Lannister at the Crossroads Inn and accused him of the attempted murder of her son, Bran.[33] House Lannister summoned its armies and marched on the Riverlands with 60,000 men.[12] Ser Gregor Clegane led an auxiliary force and began striking at bannerhouses supporting Catelyn's father, Lord Hoster Tully, in reprisal.[12]

The death of Robert BaratheonEdit

King Robert attempted to defuse the situation but failed, and soon after died.[12] Immediately upon hearing of his brother's death and having failed to win the support of the King's Hand, Eddard Stark, Renly Baratheon fled the city with Ser Loras Tyrell and rode hard for Highgarden.[12] Prince Joffrey also immediately claimed the throne upon Robert's death.[12] Lord Eddard had a proclamation written by King Robert which named him regent, but was ignored. When Eddard tried to take Joffrey into custody as an imposter, Joffrey, forewarned by Lord Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish, had Eddard arrested instead.[12] Unfortunately for Joffrey, he was unaware that Eddard had already sent a letter to Robert's brother Stannis, telling him that Joffrey was not legitimate and the crown belonged to Stannis by right.[12] On Dragonstone, Stannis likewise claimed the throne and began gathering his supporters.[34]

War in the RiverlandsEdit

"Ser Gregor will head out with five hundred riders and set the riverlands on fire from Gods' Eye to the Red Fork."
―Tywin Lannister[src]

The Lannister force separated into two armies of 30,000 men each.[12] Ser Jaime Lannister led one force with the aim of capturing Riverrun, the principal stronghold of House Tully. Jaime smashed the Riverlords at the Battle of the Golden Tooth.[35] Jaime followed his victory at Golden Tooth by laying siege to Riverrun.[35] Lord Tywin Lannister led the other force himself. Jaime's victories allowed Tywin to move north west through the Riverlands unimpeded.[35]

Green Fork

The aftermath of the Battle of the Green Fork.

Receiving news of his father's arrest, Robb Stark mobilized the armies of the North and assembled a host of 20,000 men (due to the urgency of the situation and the vastness of the North, he could not wait for more).[35] He marched to the relief of the Riverlands.[35] Lord Tywin moved to the east bank of the Green Fork of the Trident to intercept the Stark force.[35] Even winning the support of House Frey and its troops could not bring Robb's forces up to parity with the Lannisters.[36] Robb sent 2,000 men to pretend to attack Tywin's army.[36] As planned, this small force was defeated at the Battle of the Green Fork, but it delayed the Lannisters long enough for Robb's main army to slip past them and into the Whispering Wood near Riverrun.[36] There, Robb staged a feint to draw Jaime Lannister and a portion of his army into the woodlands. During the Battle of the Whispering Wood, Robb inflicted a significant defeat upon the Lannisters, destroying Jaime's host and capturing the Kingslayer himself.[36]

Receiving word of Jaime's defeat, Tywin realized that the Starks and Tullys were now free to unify against him, potentially bringing much greater numbers to bear against his smaller force. He retreated to Harrenhal, the formidable castle on the north banks of Gods Eye, intending to fortify it and use it as a base of operations to conduct operations in the Riverlands.

​The rise of Kings​Edit

By this time news of Renly and Stannis gathering armies had reached both the Stark and Lannister camps. Both men had claimed the Iron Throne; Stannis as the legitimate heir after his brother's death and Renly on the claime that he could be a better king than his brothers. Meanwhile, in King's Landing, Eddard Stark confessed to treason and recognized Joffrey as the King in an attempt by the Small Council to reach a truce with the Starks and allow them to deal with the Baratheons. However, in an unexpected move, Joffrey ordered Eddard's execution instead of allowing him to join the Night's Watch. Eddard's death caused the North to reject the authority of the Iron Throne. After considering joining forces with one of the Baratheon brothers, the Northmen and the Riverlords chose the path of independence, rejecting the authority of the Iron Throne all together and swearing fealty to Robb Stark as the King in the North.[34]

King Robb Stark followed up on his success at Whispering Wood with several minor skirmishes against Lannister forces intending to drive them from away from the Red Fork of the Trident, to free the lands and holdfasts of the Riverlords who had recently sworn allegiance to him. He met little serious resistance, as the Lannisters were already in the process of withdrawing their forces to Harrenhal in the eastern Riverlands to regroup.[13]

King Joffrey appointed his grandfather, Tywin Lannister, as the new Hand of the King. However, due to the precarious situation of their forces, Tywin decided against going to King's Landing and instead appointed his son Tyrion as acting Hand of the King. His task was to keep the King under control and prevent him from committing another mistake such as Eddard Stark's execution, and to prepare King's Landing for an assault by the Baratheon forces in the south.

Robb Stark invades the WesterlandsEdit

"The Lannisters have been running from us since Oxcross."
―Robb Stark[src]
Battle of Oxcross

The aftermath of the Battle of Oxcross.

With Tywin encamped at Harrenhal, which was too strong to attack directly, Robb instead launched an invasion of the Westerlands, the Lannister homeland. He launched a surprise attack on the new Lannister army gathering at the village of Oxcross, where new conscripts were being trained to replace the Lannister army group destroyed at Whispering Wood. Robb totally destroyed the green Lannister army group in the resulting Battle of Oxcross, killing Ser Stafford Lannister in the process.[14] The victory leaves the Westerlands lightly defended. Robb goes on to win a minor victory at the Battle of the Yellow Fork[37] and force the surrender of the Crag.[38] With the Lannister homelands under attack, Tywin had a difficult choice to make: to ride out and meet Robb's forces in battle, abandoning their strong defensive position at Harrenhal, or to fall back on King's Landing and help defend the city from Stannis. Tywin eventually decided to ride west because of the threat Robb's forces posed to his own castle at Casterly Rock.[38] Tywin had already authorized secret negotiations with House Tyrell to begin following Renly's death, in the hope of winning an alliance with them and their powerful army.[39]

The Death of Renly BaratheonEdit

Stannis Baratheon and his younger brother, Renly Baratheon, both claimed the Iron Throne of Westeros. Stannis had a small army at Dragonstone and was influenced by the red priestess Melisandre, while Renly amassed the strength of his bannermen, the Stormlords, and that of the Reach by marrying Margaery Tyrell, daughter of Mace Tyrell.

After a failed meeting, Stannis gives an ultimatum to Renly to pledge his loyalty before he attacks, but Renly ignores him. Melisandre gives birth to a shadow which later on enters Renly's tent and kills him. While the Tyrell army leaves for Highgarden, the Stormlords swear fealty to Stannis as the remaining head of House Baratheon, with his brother's armies at his command Stannis prepares his invasion to King's Landing.

Riot in King's LandingEdit

"They're starving, you fool! All because of a war you started!"
Tyrion Lannister to King Joffrey Baratheon[src]

During the course of the war the streets of the capital city began to overflow with many starving refugees escaping the war. Both Tyrion Lannister and Janos Slynt warned Queen Cersei that if something was not done with the starving refugees there would be a mounting discontent with her son's rule however the Queen ignored their warnings. The King and the Royal Court had gathered in the docks to see Myrcella Baratheon being shipped to Dorne. On their way back to the Red Keep, the refugees and commoners of King's Landing hurled insults at King Joffrey, and ultimately, hurl cow excrement into Joffrey's face. Despite being accompanied by only a few dozen guards facing hundreds of peasants, Joffrey impetuously shouts orders for his soldiers to kill them all. A general riot then breaks out and spreads throughout the city, with the royal party barely making it back to the castle in one piece. With most of the regular Lannister army in the Riverlands fighting in the war under Lord Tywin Lannister, the scant two thousand City Watch guards had a difficult time containing the riot, and the chaos that reigned throughout the city. In the end the riot was put down but many peasants and City Watch guards were killed during the riot along with the High Septon who was torn limb by limb by an angry mob.[40]

Rise of the KrakenEdit

"The North is ripe for the taking."
―Balon Greyjoy[src]

While the Lannister and Stark forces were fighting in the Riverlands, Theon Greyjoy traveled to Pyke, the Iron Islands capital, and his family castle, to negotiate with his father, Balon Greyjoy, under Robb Stark´s orders. At Pyke, Balon Greyjoy told Theon that he would proclaim himself King on the Iron Islands once more, and attack the North.[41] He then asked his son on which side he was: his or the Starks. After much soul-searching, Theon Greyjoy chose to declare loyalty to his father.[42] Balon Greyjoy would attack the coasts of the North, with his navy. Yara Greyjoy would lead most of the fleet, while Theon was given only one ship, the Sea Bitch, and was supposed to attack small fishing villages. Theon Greyjoy then changed his plan and sieged Torrhen´s Square, and then attacked Winterfell. Bran Stark yielded before him, and Theon proclaimed himself Prince of Winterfell.[43]

However, Bran and his younger brother, Rickon, soon escaped with two of their household servants and their direwolves, and were unable to be found by Theon. They managed to sneak back into the crypts of Winterfell, though Theon has convinced most of his men they are dead by hanging two children's burnt corpses atop the walls of Winterfell.[44] Her sister Yara arrived with just twenty men and warned him that everyone in the North wanted him dead because of his killing the Stark boys, and that he was too far from the sea to supply or reinforce his position, but Theon refused to give up Winterfell.[45]

A relief force of five hundred men, led by Ramsay Snow of House Bolton and sent under the orders of King Robb Stark, laid siege to the castle for at least one night. Theon Greyjoy attempted to rally his men to defend the stronghold and die fighting with an inspiring speech; his First Mate, Dagmer Cleftjaw betrayed him, and Theon's small force presumably handed him over to Ramsay, who had been sent with an offer of mercy to the ironborn if they handed over Winterfell and Theon. Dagmer mortally wounded the castle's Maester, Luwin, as he had Theon dragged away from the courtyard.[46]

Winterfell was sacked and put to the torch shortly afterwards by Ramsay Bolton, while the dying Luwin moved to the Godswood. The majority of the castle and outlying town still stands. In secret, Bran and Rickon Stark managed to escape the castle, along with two servants and their two direwolves.[47]

The Battle of the BlackwaterEdit

Stannis's army and fleet launched an assault on King's Landing. The initial attack was blunted when Tyrion Lannister sprung a trap, detonating a boat filled with wildfire in the midst of Stannis's fleet, destroying a significant part of it. The surviving ships were able to put ashore thousands of troops, led in person by Stannis. Sandor Clegane and Tyrion Lannister himself led several sorties that destroyed the Baratheon siege equipment, but were almost overwhelmed by superior enemy numbers. However, the armies of House Lannister (under Tywin, in contrast to his stated intention to attack the Starks) and House Tyrell (under Ser Loras) arrived and defeated Stannis's forces, sending them fleeing from the field. House Tyrell have now formally declared themselves for the King on the Iron Throne in return for a marriage pact, giving King Joffrey Baratheon a large numerical advantage over King Robb Stark.[48]

The Fall of KingsEdit

​The Red WeddingEdit

Robb Stark subsequently withdrew his forces back to the Riverlands. He liberated Harrenhal, but the Lannisters had simply withdrawn and gave no battle.[49] After the death of his maternal grandfather, Robb marched his army back to Riverrun, but faced a bleak situation.[50] The Lannisters meanwhile focused on consolidating the south with their new Tyrell allies, content that time and resources were now on their side.[51][52]

Robb Stark's army was ultimately lured into a trap at the Twins where he was betrayed by House Frey and House Bolton, who switched sides to the Lannisters. The Freys and Boltons not only betrayed their liege-lords, but the Freys broke the solemn Guest right by attacking the Starks after formally accepting them into their castle as guests, and on top of that, during a wedding. Robb Stark and his mother Catelyn were killed in the massacre, which subsequently became known as the Red Wedding.[53] The entire Northern army led to southern Westeros by Robb Stark to fight in the war was annihilated, with the few survivors captured as political hostages.[54]

Aftermath of the Red WeddingEdit

The destruction of the Northern army and the death of Robb Stark at the Red Wedding marked a major turning point in the war, with the allied houses of Lannister and Tyrell achieving a major victory over their largest and most numerically significant enemy.[55]

However, the victory didn't mark the end of the war, as Stannis Baratheon and Balon Greyjoy continued to claim their respective crowns in opposition to King Joffrey. While most of Stannis' forces were destroyed at the Blackwater, he himself remained at liberty with some loyal bannermen and adamant to fight till the bitter end. The ironborn, who had partially occupied the North, still commanded great sea power and refused to bend the knee to the Iron Throne.

At the same time, the Iron Throne emerged from the conflict weakened. Its debts to foreign banks such as the Iron Bank of Braavos were still far from being repaid and, if the debts should default, the Bank would turn its support to other people who could guarantee the repayement of the loans, such as rebellious claimants like Stannis Baratheon.[56][57]. Indeed, later the Iron Bank was convinced to fund Stannis after his his Hand of the King, Ser Davos Seaworth, argued that the Lannisters would soon be in trouble.[58] Also, tensions continued to exist in the alliance between the Lannisters and the Tyrells, a relationship which is beneficial to the latter but necessary for the former. The Tyrells' popularity has also been rising in parts of the Kingdoms such as King's Landing, where they have been guaranteeing the food supply.

Things have steadily been getting worse for the Lannisters, whose position is weakening every day. Tywin Lannister revealed to his daughter Cersei that the gold mines beneath Casterly Rock had run dry and the Westerlands did not produce as much riches as they used to, making the debt crisis look even worse.[59]

​The Purple WeddingEdit

During his wedding to Margaery Tyrell, King Joffrey Baratheon was killed by poison. His uncle, Tyrion Lannister, who had been regularly humiliated by Joffrey and was holding his wine glass before his death, was accused by Queen Regent Cersei Lannister of the murder.[60] Tyrion was arrested and was put on trial for the deed. His wife, Sansa Stark, was also seen as having planned the murder as Joffrey's abuse of her was common knowledge. However, Sansa managed to flee King's Landing with help from Petyr Baelish.[61]

Joffrey was succeede​d as King by his younger brother, Tommen Baratheon. After his coronation, Tommen reappointed Tywin Lannister as Hand of the King and also granted him the title of Protector of the Realm, making Tywin the true ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. Tommen was also betrothed to his brother's widow, Margaery, in order to keep the loyalty of House Tyrell.[62]

​Trial of Tyrion Lannister​Edit

​During his trial, Tyrion was faced with many accounts of his confrontations with King Joffrey such as slapping him after the King's Landing riot to prove his guilt. Tywin Lannister was willing to give his son a way out if he plead guilty and joined the Night's Watch so that his other son, Jaime, would accept to be his heir again. However, the perjury of Tyrion's lover, Shae, who claimed that both Tyrion and Sansa planned Joffrey's murder led him to refuse the deal and, after a brutal declaration to the court, he demanded a trial by combat.[63] Cersei chose ​Ser Gregor Clegane as her champion while Tyrion was approached by Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne to act as his. Oberyn's true objective was to have revenge on Clegane for the rape and murder of his sister, Elia Martell, during the Sack of King's Landing. Although Oberyn managed to fight the Mountain until he was badly wounded, he was himself killed, sealing Tyrion's fate.[64]

​However, the death of Oberyn Martell could have dire consequences for the Lannisters; indeed, Oberyn was the younger brother of Doran Martell, the ruling Prince of Dorne, and he had been popular in Dorne. The Lannisters having now killed not one but two of his siblings, the allegiance of the Dornish prince is no longer guaranted to the Lannisters despite a marriage alliance between Trystane Martell and King Tommen's sister, Myrcella.

​Reconquering the NorthEdit

After the Red Wedding, Roose Bolton was appointed Warden of the North until such time a son was born to Tyrion Lannister and Sansa Stark, the rightful heir of Winterfell. However, the Ironborn held the majority of the once Stark-held lands and it was up to Lord Bolton to reconquer them. Despite the fact that he was officially supported by the Iron Throne, Bolton knew that Tywin Lannister would not do anything to help him against the Greyjoys. With the Ironborn in possession of the fortress of Moat Cailin, his army remain trapped south of the Neck. Knowing that his bastard son Ramsay had captured Theon Greyjoy, he planned to use him as ransom and exchange him for Moat Cailin. First, however, he needed to return North: Bolton and a small company of his men, including Locke and his new wife Walda Bolton, smuggled themselves into the North and made for the Bolton seat at the Dreadfort. There, Bolton discovered that his bastard had badly mutilated and broken Theon Greyjoy, using him as a plaything more than a hostage. Angered, he was nevertheless interested to hear that Bran and Rickon Stark were still alive. Realizing that the continued existence of the Stark boys would harm his hold over the North, Bolton sent Locke to hunt them down and kill them. He also instructed Ramsay to head south and reclaim Moat Cailin.[65]

After a failed attempt by Yara Greyjoy to rescue her brother from the Boltons[66], Ramsay headed south to Moat Cailin with ​a Bolton army and Theon, who entered the ironborn-occupied keep with the Boltons' peace terms. When Ralf Kenning, the Ironborn commander refused to surrender, his men turned on him and offered themselves up. Ramsay ended up flaying the Ironborn garrison as a message to the remaining Greyjoys. His army later met up with his father's and Roose rewards Ramsay's actions by legitimizing him as a Bolton. With the fall of Moat Cailin, the Bolton army has returned north and the Ironborn have begun to leave their positions. Roose subsequently leads his reassembled forces further to the North, to claim the Stark ancestral seat of Winterfell.[67]

Asassination at the Tower of the HandEdit

After being broken out of confinement just before his execution, Tyrion Lannister killed the current Hand of the King, his father Tywin Lannister, leaving the rule of King's Landing in an uncertain position.[68]

In the booksEdit

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the War of the Five Kings is one of the major storylines which the narrative revolves around.

While it is popularly known as the War of the "Five" Kings, in a later book a character points out that this is somewhat inaccurate, as Balon Greyjoy openly declared himself King of the Iron Islands only slightly after Renly died, so there were never five kings actively fighting each other at one time. Nonetheless the name has stuck, and it does still refer to the fact that five kings were involved. For the TV series, however, it might be somewhat accurate, depending on when Balon Greyjoy's secession of the Iron Islands "officially" began. Renly was killed at the beginning of the fifth episode of Season 2. Balon explains to Theon that he intends to make himself a king by force in the second episode of Season 2, but this isn't followed by a polite declaration: the ironborn make a surprise attack against the North at the beginning of the sixth episode of Season 2, taking Torrhen's Square and Winterfell. Thus Balon briefly claimed the title of King while Renly was still alive, but the first the other factions knew about this was when ironborn raiders were at their doorsteps, after Renly died.

It is generally a four-sided war, between the Lannisters, Starks, Baratheons, and Greyjoys. Renly's brief time as a claimant, controlling most of the armies of the Stormlands and the Reach, did affect the strategic position of the Lannisters, but he didn't set out to engage them on the battlefield. Instead the Tyrells had cut off the Roseroad, effectively blockading resources and foodstuff from reaching the capital, and Renly was content to sit back and let the Lannisters exhaust themselves against the Starks while he built up his own strength to overwhelming levels, at which point he intended to march directly on King's Landing. Also while there are four "sides", this does not include political machinations and large territories changing sides, i.e. the Vale of Arryn or Dorne, and particularly House Tyrell of the Reach, which considerably tipped the balance of the war when they switched their allegiance to the Lannisters. Due to simple geography, of course, any one faction isn't actively fighting three others all the time. Simply due to the fact that they are located on opposite coasts of the continent the Greyjoys (off the west coast) and Stannis Baratheon (off the east coast) aren't actively fighting each other while he's on Dragonstone. Stannis does nominally consider the North to be in rebellion against him, but in practice doesn't actively fight the North, because he's more concerned with retaking the capital city from the Lannisters. As seen in the TV series, the Starks do send peace overtures to the Baratheons, but Stannis refuses to allow the North to secede and take away vast territories which he feels are rightfully his. While the Greyjoys aren't actively fighting Stannis, they are not on the side of the Starks or the Lannisters, and are truly looking out only for their own interests.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Fire and Blood
  2. HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Areas of Control
  3. "The Children"
  4. HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Areas of Control, Joffrey Baratheon entry
  5. "The Prince of Winterfell"
  6. "Blackwater"
  7. "Valar Morghulis"
  8. "The Lion and the Rose"
  9. "First of His Name"
  10. "The Children"
  11. 11.0 11.1 HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Areas of Control, Stannis Baratheon entry
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 "You Win or You Die"
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 "The North Remembers"
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Garden of Bones"
  15. "The Ghost of Harrenhal"
  16. "Blackwater"
  17. "Mhysa"
  18. "The Laws of Gods and Men"
  19. "Mockingbird"
  20. "The Children"
  21. "The Night Lands"
  22. "What is Dead May Never Die"
  23. "The Old Gods and the New"
  24. "Valar Morghulis
  25. "Mhysa"
  26. "The Laws of Gods and Men"
  27. "The Mountain and the Viper"
  28. HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Areas of Control, Renly Baratheon entry
  29. HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Areas of Control, Robb Stark entry
  30. "First of His Name"
  31. "The Wolf and the Lion"
  32. Several nobles look down on Lord Walder for the delay in the Battle of the Trident, showing up in the battlefield only when the battle was won by the rebels, as well as his custom to marry girls young enough to be his granddaughters.
  33. "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things"
  34. 34.0 34.1 "Fire and Blood"
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 35.4 35.5 "The Pointy End"
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 "Baelor"
  37. "A Man Without Honor"
  38. 38.0 38.1 "The Prince of Winterfell"
  39. "The Old Gods and the New"
  40. "The Old Gods and the New"
  41. "The Night Lands"
  42. "What is Dead May Never Die"
  43. "The Old Gods and the New"
  44. "A Man Without Honor"
  45. "The Prince of Winterfell"
  46. "Valar Morghulis"
  47. "Valar Morghulis"
  48. "Blackwater"
  49. "Valar Dohaeris"
  50. "Dark Wings, Dark Words"
  51. "Walk of Punishment"
  52. "Kissed by Fire"
  53. "The Rains of Castamere"
  54. "Mhysa"
  55. "Mhysa"
  56. "Walk of Punishment"
  57. "The Lion and the Rose"
  58. "The Laws of Gods and Men"
  59. "First of His Name"
  60. "The Lion and the Rose"
  61. "Breaker of Chains"
  62. "First of His Name"
  63. "The Laws of Gods and Men"
  64. "The Mountain and the Viper"
  65. "The Lion and the Rose"
  66. "The Laws of Gods and Men"
  67. "The Mountain and the Viper"
  68. "The Children"

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