War in the RiverlandsThe War of the Five Kings begins as a local conflict when Catelyn Stark seizes Tyrion Lannister for the attempted murder of her son Bran. Although he bears no special love for his son, Lord Tywin Lannister refuses to allow the slight to his family's honor to go unpunished. In response, he masses two hosts at Casterly Rock in preparation for an invasion of Catelyn’s homeland, the riverlands, of twenty thousand and fifteen thousand men, respectively.
In response to the kidnapping of his younger brother, Jaime Lannister attacks Lord Eddard Stark and his companions in the streets of King's Landing, resulting in the deaths of all of Eddard's servants, and a broken leg for Eddard himself. Jaime flees King's Landing, travelling to Casterly Rock.
When Ser Edmure Tully of Riverrun discovers that the Lannisters are raising a host, he demands that Lord Tywin proclaim his intent. When no response comes back from Casterly Rock, the Tully banners are called to Riverrun and Lords Vance and Piper are commanded to guard the main pass between the westerlands and the riverlands at the Golden Tooth.
Open hostilities begin when Lord Tywin dispatches his bannerman Ser Gregor Clegane to raid the riverlands disguised as a common brigand. The raids create chaos and force many river lords to return to their own keeps rather than attend the general muster at Riverrun. At the same time, Lord Tywin hopes the raids will lure Catelyn’s husband, Lord Eddard Stark, into the riverlands where he can be captured, bringing a swift conclusion to the conflict. However, Tywin's plan is unknowingly foiled by his son Jaime, whose ambush of Eddard in the streets of King's Landing had resulted in a broken leg for Eddard, preventing him from travelling. The wounded Hand of the King thus sends Lord Beric Dondarrion to stop Gregor Clegane in his stead.
Not long after, Eddard confronts Cersei Lannister, informing her that he has discovered the truth about the parentage of Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen. He offers her a chance to flee, but Cersei does not take it. In the midst of the crisis and chaos, King Robert I Baratheon dies after a drunken hunting accident, naming Eddard Stark as Lord Regent until his supposed son, Prince Joffrey, grows to manhood. Eddard secretly changes the king’s will to read “rightful heir,” intending to offer the throne to Robert’s rightful heir, Stannis Baratheon. However, when Eddard attempts to take Joffrey into custody as a false claimant he is betrayed by Petyr Baelish and arrested. By this time, King Robert’s youngest brother, Renly Baratheon, has fled the city to gather his own army.
When word of Lord Eddard’s arrest arrives in Winterfell, Robb Stark calls his father’s bannermen together and marches south with a hastily assembled host of twelve thousand men, gathering more as he moves south. At the same time, Lord Tywin launches his planned invasion of the riverlands.
The Lannisters meet their first real opposition when House Stark enters the war on behalf of House Tully, in response to the arrest of Lord Eddard Stark. After assembling his force on the march, Robb Stark arrives at Moat Cailin with eighteen thousand men, where he is joined by his mother Catelyn and a final fifteen hundred men from White Harbor, bringing his total close to twenty thousand men. Moat Cailin is a formidable defensive position that has defeated countless southron invaders in the past. Here Robb garrisons a small force, consisting mostly of archers, to hold the ruin. Additionally, Robb sends word to Howland Reed to have the crannogmen bleed any Lannister attempt to come north. However, Robb knows Lord Tywin is too smart to try and will stay close to the Trident, taking castles one by one.
Robb has no choice but to move south, but his options are limited. To relieve Riverrun, he must cross the Green Fork either at the Twins (where House Frey has remained decidedly neutral) or at the ruby ford (which Lord Tywin can easily seal off). Eventually, Robb decides to do both. Splitting his horse and foot, Robb sends the foot with Lord Roose Bolton down the kingsroad to engage Lord Tywin, while secretly crossing with his horse at the Twins to race to Riverrun and surprise the besiegers. In exchange for his crossing and the support of the Freys (who provide four thousand men), Catelyn takes two of Lord Walder Frey's grandsons to ward, and Robb agrees to marry one of Lord Walder's daughters.
With the deaths of King Robert I Baratheon and Lord Eddard Stark, the realm sees the rise of multiple kings trying to fill the void. Robert's supposed son Joffrey Baratheon assumes the Iron Throne in King's Landing. Unable or unwilling to accept Joffrey as king, four rival kings soon arise to contest for power in Westeros. In order of proclamation, the kings are:
- King Renly Baratheon, the youngest brother of the late King Robert. After failing to convince Eddard Stark to seize power while Robert lies dying, Renly flees to Highgarden. There, with the help of his lover, Ser Loras Tyrell, Renly is able to secure the support of House Tyrell by wedding Lord Mace Tyrell's daughter Margaery. With the strength of both the Reach and the stormlands behind him, Renly declares himself Lord of the Seven Kingdoms. He assembles a massive army of a eighty thousand men and begins marching slowly on King's Landing, letting the Lannisters and Starks bleed each other while his new father-in-law Mace continues assembling a reserve host of ten thousand at Highgarden.
- King Robb Stark, the eldest son of Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell. Following the execution of his father, Robb Stark is proclaimed the King in the North and King of the Trident by his bannermen. In hopes of gaining further support, Robb sends messages to neutral House Arryn and dispatches his foster-brother Theon Greyjoy and his mother Catelyn to negotiate with Balon Greyjoy and Renly Baratheon respectively. Meanwhile, Robb takes the initiative and strikes at the Lannister power base in the westerlands, hoping for Greyjoy support.
- King Stannis Baratheon, the eldest living brother of King Robert. Having fled to Dragonstone following Jon Arryn's death, Stannis has been gathering his strength. Knowing the illegitimacy of Robert's children, Stannis proclaims himself the rightful heir, believing it is his duty to overthrow all usurpers. Stannis's army is too small to be a threat, though it does contain a considerable portion of the royal fleet. Stannis is counseled by a priestess of R'hllor named Melisandre, who has prophesied that Renly will die and that his army will flock to join Stannis. Encouraged by this prediction, Stannis sails for his brother Renly's seat at Storm's End with his five thousand men.
- King Balon Greyjoy, Lord of the Iron Islands. As soon as word of unrest within the Seven Kingdoms reaches Lord Balon, he begins calling his banners and seizing every ship in the Iron Islands in preparation for a second rebellion. When his son Theon arrives bearing an offer of alliance from King Robb, Balon dismisses it, declaring that Casterly Rock is too strong. In addition, as Lord Reaper of Pyke and a proponent of the Old Way, Balon will not suffer to be given a crown; he must "pay the iron price" and take it by force. Balon has his own plan: with the northmen fighting in the south their homelands are poorly garrisoned and vulnerable. With his only surviving son no longer a captive of the Starks, there is now nothing to deter Balon from declaring himself King of the Iron Islands.
The Rise of the Kracken
Having set his sights on the north, King Balon Greyjoy plans three main strikes for his initial invasion. He sends his brother Victarion with the Iron Fleet to seize Moat Cailin, which has protected the north from southern invasion for thousands of years, in order to cut off the northmen from their lands. He sends his daughter and preferred heir Asha Greyjoy with a dozen ships to take Deepwood Motte. He sends his recently-returned son Theon to raid the Stony Shore as a distraction for his main strikes. With these moves, Balon believes the whole western coast of the north will fall into ironborn hands.
The Clash of Kings
In the riverlands, after the Battle of the Camps, Lord Tywin Lannister is content to wait at Harrenhal, providing for his forces by pillaging the riverlands while Ser Stafford Lannister raises a new army near Lannisport. Aware of the fact that he lacks the strength to march against Lord Tywin, Robb Stark sends Ser Cleos Frey to King's Landing to offer peace terms. Catelyn Tully, Robb’s mother, believes that Renly Baratheon could be the key, and is send out as an envoy to strike an alliance. Robb, knowing that remaining at Riverrun will make it seem as if he is afraid to take to the field once more, personally leads an army to invade the westerlands with his northmen hoping to lure Lord Tywin to the west.
Battle of Oxcross
Marching west with his northmen, Robb bypasses the Golden Tooth using a secret mountain path discovered by his direwolf, Grey Wind. He surprises Stafford Lannister's newly-raised host near Lannisport when they neglect to post enough sentries. The easy victory devastates Lannister power in the region and allows Robb to ride at will through the westerlands. Stafford is killed by vengeful Lord Rickard Karstark, who lost two sons in the Whispering Wood; Rupert Brax is also killed and several Lannister bannermen are captured. On the Stark side, Ser Stevron Frey is wounded and dies three days later. Rymund the Rhymer commemorates Robb’s victory with the song "Wolf in the Night".
Scouring of the Westerlands
After Oxcross, Robb's army takes the nearby castle of Ashemark. Lacking the strength to capture Casterly Rock or Lannisport without support from House Greyjoy, Robb and his host continue to scour the westerlands: Galbart Glover and Rickard Karstark raid along the coast, Maege Mormont captures thousands of livestock, and Greatjon Umber captures the gold mines at Castamere, Nunn's Deep, and Pendric Hills.
Siege of Storm's End
King Stannis arrives in the stormlands with his five thousand men and lays siege to Storm's End, the seat of his younger brother, King Renly. When the news reaches his camp at Bitterbridge, Renly splits his forces and rides with some twenty thousand cavalry to break the siege. After a failed parlay in which neither brother will yield, the battle is set at dawn. However, that night Renly is killed by a shadow assassin summoned by the red priestess Melisandre. With Renly dead, the majority of the host that had accompanied him swears allegiance to Stannis. House Florent and both branches of House Fossoway also defect to Stannis, but a fifth of Renly’s knights returns to Bitterbridge with Ser Loras Tyrell, Renly's lover. Additionally, Storm's End's castellan, Ser Cortnay Penrose, refuses to yield the castle to Stannis because the safety of King Robert’s bastard Edric Storm cannot be assured. To end the siege quickly, Ser Davos Seaworth smuggles Melisandre under the castle by boat, where she summons another shadow to assassinate Cortnay. After Cortnay's death, the castle yields, leaving Stannis free to advance on King's Landing.
When news of Renly's death reaches the remaining sixty thousand men still camped at Bitterbridge, fighting breaks out between Stannis supporters and Renly loyalists led by the vengeful Loras Tyrell. Parmen Crane and Erren Florent—the two knights sent to retrieve the army for Stannis—are taken prisoner, while Lord Randyll Tarly seizes the supplies and puts many men, mostly Florents, to death. Soon after, Petyr Baelish, representing King Joffrey I, wins the allegiance of House Tyrell. Riders are sent north to warn Lord Tywin of Stannis's threat to the capital.
Battle of the Fords
Intent on defending his lands from King Robb Stark, Lord Tywin marches west from Harrenhal with his twenty thousand men. This fits perfectly with Robb's plan to lure Lord Tywin away from King's Landing while King Stannis attacks the city from the south. Stannis's victory would mean the end of King Joffrey I, Queen Cersei, and acting Hand Tyrion Lannister, breaking Lannister power. Unaware of this plan, Ser Edmure Tully refuses to allow the Lannisters to cross the Trident without giving battle and places an army of eleven thousand men at the key fords along the Red Fork. After several probing attacks, Lord Tywin attempts to force a crossing in a dozen places. The most heated battle is at Stone Mill where Edmure turns back Gregor Clegane's men. Clegane is wounded by a dozen arrows and Leo Lefford drowns. The other Lannister attacks are also defeated, during which Robert Brax is killed and Lyle Crakehall is captured. Unable to cross the river, Tywin is forced to retreat.
The Lannister-Tyrell Alliance
The Battle of the Fords has great influence on the outcome of the war. Edmure Tully's tactical victory soon proves to be a huge strategic loss. Lord Tywin's advance is delayed just long enough for riders out of Bitterbridge to reach him with word of Stannis's threat to King’s Landing. Tywin immediately turns his host south to join up with Lords Mathis Rowan and Randyll Tarly near the headwaters of the Blackwater Rush. From there a forced march takes them to Tumbler's Falls, where Lord Mace Tyrell and his sons wait with their huge host and a fleet of barges. Together, the Lannisters and Tyrells float down the river to disembark half a day’s ride from the capital.
Fall of Harrenhal
Having advanced to the crossroads inn along with Helman Tallhart’s garrison from the Twins, Roose Bolton occupies the ruby ford. With Lord Tywin on the march, Harrenhal is held by one hundred Lannister men and the Brave Companions, under the command of Ser Amory Lorch, who remains behind as castellan. At the ruby ford, Vargo Hoat and his Brave Companions reportedly battle Bolton's vanguard and capture Robett Glover, Ser Aenys Frey, and a hundred other prisoners. In truth, however, Vargo had gone to Lord Roose Bolton to strike a deal, and the arrest of the northmen had been a ruse, part of a plan to take over Harrenhal. This occurs prematurely when the prisoners are freed by Arya Stark, with the help of the criminals Jaqen H'ghar, Rorge, and Biter, shortly after their arrival. The Brave Companions turn on Lorch's men, and together with the northmen take over the castle, which is surrendered to Roose Bolton, who arrives the next day. Lorch is killed when he is thrown in a bear pit after Bolton’s arrival.
Storming of the CragBack in the westerlands, Robb assaults the half-ruined castle of the Crag and conquers it with ease. During the battle, Robb takes a wound in the arm. During his recovery, news arrives of Theon Greyjoy's supposed murder of his brothers and Robb finds comfort in the arms of Jeyne Westerling, the daughter of Lord Gawen Westerling of the Crag. Choosing Jeyne's honor over his own, Robb marries the girl the next day, breaking his betrothal pact with House Frey.
Battle of the Blackwater
In preparation of the defense of King's Landing, Cersei Lannister arranges for the production of vast amounts of wildfire. To prepare themselves against Stannis Baratheon's advance, Tyrion Lannister commissions a great chain boom across the mouth of the Blackwater Rush. The battle opens when Stannis's admiral, Ser Imry Florent, leads his fleet up the river to engage Joffrey's. However, Tyrion has ordered several ships to be filled with wildfire. The resultant firestorm sets the river afire and destroys nearly every ship in both royal fleets, which cannot escape because the great chain has been raised behind them. Despite this, many of Stannis's troops are able to cross the river on the remaining ships or across a bridge of burning wreckage caught on the chain. A desperate sortie commanded by Tyrion fails and Stannis is on the verge of taking the city when his forces are taken from behind and smashed by the combined Lannister-Tyrell army led by Tywin Lannister and Mace Tyrell. To sow confusion and terror amongst Stannis's men, Ser Garlan Tyrell wears Renly Baratheon's distinctive green armor and antlered helm, which leads many to mistake him for Renly's ghost. Although Stannis himself is able to escape to Dragonstone, the majority of his army is destroyed.
In the aftermath of the Battle of the Blackwater, hundreds of new knights are made and several new lords are created to replace those killed in the battle. All those who fought for Stannis and do not repent are attainted and their lands are given to men loyal to the Iron Throne. In this way, the Lannisters and Tyrells take control of the stormlands with the exception of Storm's End, which holds out for Stannis.
The Lannister-Tyrell alliance is formalized by the betrothal of King Joffrey to Margaery Tyrell, the widow of King Renly Baratheon. As reward for his part in brokering the alliance, Petyr Baelish is promoted to the lordship of Harrenhal and declared Lord Paramount of the Trident.
Turning the Tides
The Battle of the Blackwater turns the tides for House Lannister. King Stannis Baratheon no longer has the strength to press his claim while King Joffrey I Baratheon's power is cemented by the new Lannister-Tyrell alliance. In addition, Tyrion Lannister, acting Hand of the King, has previously bound Dorne to Joffrey's cause by betrothing Princess Myrcella to Trystane Martell. This brings nearly all Westeros south of the riverlands under the control of the Lannisters and their allies. Tywin Lannister, now in King's Landing as Hand of the King, continues to resist Robb Stark's cause in ways other than battle.
Meanwhile, despite never losing a battle himself, King Robb Stark's cause is faltering. Upon his return from the westerlands, he is faced with the arrest of his own mother, who had freed Jaime Lannister from his imprisonment in the hopes of saving her daughters Sansa and Arya from the Lannisters. Catelyn's actions cause frictions amongst Robb's men. Further friction is caused by Robb himself, who returns from his campaign in the westerlands married to Jeyne Westerling, despite his previous promise to marry a girl from House Frey. Consequently, the Frey forces abandon Robb and return to the Twins in protest. Additionally, a large part of Robb's northern homeland and his own castle of Winterfell have fallen to the ironmen of King Balon Greyjoy. All of this causes Robb to change his focus in the war and look north again.
After the fall of several northern seats (including Winterfell) to the Ironborn, King Robb Stark sees no other choice than to return north in order to win his Kingdom back and avenge the deaths of this brothers, Bran and Rickon, who are believed to be dead. Following the loss of the Karstark forces, Robb seeks to renew his alliance with House Frey, in order to obtain more men.
The Fall and Rise of Kings
Lord Walder Frey agrees to reconcile with Robb on the condition that Robb apologizes in person and that Edmure Tully, now Lord of Riverrun following the death of Hoster Tully, marry his daughter Roslin, in place of the broken betrothal made with Robb. Robb moves north with the thirty-five hundred men who had followed him since the Whispering Wood, leaving Ser Brynden Tully and the river lords to defend the Trident, and plans to meet up with Roose Bolton at the Twins.
Fighting at the Fords of the Trident
As part of Robb's plan to retake the north, Roose Bolton abandons Harrenhal and marches his forces slowly north, allowing Gregor Clegane to catch up to him. As the northmen are crossing the ruby ford, Clegane overruns their rearguard, where Bolton has placed northmen under Ser Wylis Manderly. Clegane wins an easy victory and captures Manderly. Bolton leaves six hundred loyal northmen led by Kyle Condon and Ronnel Stout to defend the ford.
Wedding of Tyrion Lannister and Sansa Stark
Lady Olenna Tyrell and her granddaughter Margaery plot to have Sansa Stark marry Willas Tyrell, the heir to Highgarden. Sansa reveals the plan to Ser Dontos Hollard, who is secretly working for Lord Petyr Baelish. Baelish informs Lord Tywin Lannister of this fact, who arranges the marriage of Sansa to his younger son, Tyrion, as to prevent the Tyrells from eventually being able to claim the North through Sansa's son.
The Death of Balon Greyjoy
During a fierce storm at Pyke, King Balon Greyjoy falls from one of the rope bridges that connect the towers of his castle. His body washes up two days later, bloated and broken. Within hours, Balon’s exiled brother Euron Crow's Eye sails into Lordsport and seats himself on the Seastone Chair. When Lord Sawane Botley protests, Euron has him drowned in a cask of seawater.
The Proclamation of Robb Stark's Will
With his brothers and youngest sister presumed death, and with the belief that Sansa will be killed by the Lannisters once Tyrion has fathered a son on her, Robb feels it necessary to proclaim an heir in his will. Knowing the danger he is to face at Moat Cailin, Robb makes out a will that, according to a semi-canon source, declares his bastard brother Jon Snow his heir to prevent the Lannisters claiming the north. In addition, he dispatches Lady Maege Mormont and Galbart Glover to find Howland Reed to aid in the retaking of the north.
The Red WeddingAt the Twins, Robb is joined by Roose Bolton and his remaining men. Edmure Tully weds Roslin Frey and all seems to be well, but in the midst of the wedding feast Robb is betrayed by the Freys and Boltons. Robb, his mother Catelyn, his direwolf Grey Wind, and most of his loyal bannermen are murdered along with most of his army, who are trapped in burning feast tents. Edmure Tully, Patrek Mallister, and Greatjon Umber are among those taken captive. In mockery of Robb, the Freys sew Grey Wind's head to his decapitated body and nail a crown to it. Catelyn Stark's mutilated body is stripped naked and tossed into the river in mockery of Tully funeral rituals.
The Purple Wedding
On the first day of the new century, King Joffrey I Baratheon weds Lady Margaery Tyrell of Highgarden in a lavish affair. Following the ceremony there is a great feast in the throne room of the Red Keep that features a pious seventy-seven courses. Extravagant entertainment is provided throughout, but when Joffrey insists that his uncle Tyrion Lannister join a folly of jousting dwarfs, an argument breaks out. To punish his uncle, Joffrey makes him his cupbearer. Soon after, the young king drinks poisoned wine and collapses, causing chaos to descend on the feast.
After Joffrey's death is confirmed, Cersei Lannister orders the arrest of Tyrion and his wife Sansa Stark, though in truth the poison was supplied by Petyr Baelishvia Dontos Hollard and administered by Olenna Tyrell.
Tyrion Lannister is put on trial, with Lords Tywin Lannister and Mace Tyrell, and Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne presiding over him. Sansa Stark has fled King's Landing, preventing her arrest, and is now on her way to the Vale with Petyr Baelish. In truth, the poison used to kill Joffrey had been supplied by Lord Petyr, via Dontos Hollard, and was administred by Lady Olenna Tyrell. Meanwhile, the remnants of Robb Stark's kingdom are left without a king, and the Bolton’s prepare to take their place of power in the North.
The death of Robb Stark is a blow to his young Kingdom. The Red Wedding was orchestrated by Tywin Lannister and planned by Lothar Frey and Roose Bolton. For his part Roose is appointed Warden of the North by King Tommen, while his newly legitimized bastard son Ramsay is betrothed to an imposter forced to pose as Arya Stark. Walder Frey is rewarded with several satisfying marriage pacts and the castle of Riverrun for his second son Emmon (who is married to Tywin's sister Genna), but the title of Lord Paramount of the Trident remains with Lord Petyr Baelish of Harrenhal.
The betrayels of House Frey and House Bolton give the Lannisters a power in the riverlands and north. Meanwhile, King Tommen I Baratheon is crowned as successor to his brother Joffrey, with Lord Tywin Lannister ruling as Hand of the King and Regent. The Lannister victory seems secure, but the crucial relationship between the Lannisters and the Tyrells quickly begins to fray after several sudden deaths further upset the balance of power.
Following the deaths of Renly Baratheon and Robb Stark and the defeat of Stannis Baratheon at the Blackwater, nearly all of Westeros submits to the Iron Throne. Houses Tully, Mallister, and Blackwood hold out for a time in the riverlands, but no longer pose a serious threat. Likewise, Stannis remains in possession of Dragonstone and Storm's End, though he lacks the strength for open war.
Meanwhile, Balon Greyjoy’s death on the Iron Islands is followed by the return of his exiled younger brother, Euron, the very next day. Euron immediately claims Balon’s throne, but their youngest brother, Aeron, refuses to accept Euron as his king, and calls for a Kingsmoot.
The War for the North
Both Stannis Baratheon and Roose Bolton attempt to carve out new power bases in the vacuum left by the downfall of House Stark. For his part in helping orchestrating the Red Wedding, Roose is appointed Warden of the North by King Tommen before Tywin Lannister’s death. To cement his position, Roose's bastard son Ramsay Snow is legitimized and betrothed to an imposter forced to pose as Arya Stark. Four thousand men of House Frey march north with him, while three of Lord Walder Frey’s descendants travel to White Harbor to gain the support of House Manderly.
Meanwhile, Stannis Baratheon has set sail from Dragonstone after being informed by his new Hand of the King, Davos Seaworth, of a plea from the Night's Watch. Davos convinces his king to concentrate on his duties, rather than his rights, causing Stannis to take his meager forces north by ship and arrive at Castle Black just as the wildling army of Mance Rayder, the King-beyond-the-Wall, attacks Castle Black.Following Aeron Greyjoy's call for a kingsmoot, both Victarion and Asha Greyjoy have abandoned their northern conquests, leaving only a token force. After Euron is elected King, Asha flees back north, where she finds herself facing Stannis Baratheon.
Battle of Castle Black
Stannis Baratheon arrives at Castle Black just in time to defeat the army of Mance Rayder. Having scattered the wildlings, Stannis seeks the support of the northern lords by offering to legitimize Eddard Stark's bastard son Jon Snow as Lord of Winterfell. Jon, however, insists on holding to his vows and is quickly thereafter elected Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. As Lord Commander, Jon asserts that the Night's Watch will take no part in Stannis's war, though he does provide supplies and counsel. He suggests that Stannis attempt to win the support of the northern mountain clans by appealing to them in person, as well as battling the Ironborn forces who remain in the north.
Siege of Moat Cailin
While Victarion is absent to attend the kingsmoot, the ironborn-occupied fortress of Moat Cailin is approached from the north by the army of the now-legitimized Ramsay Bolton and from the south by Roose Bolton. Ramsay sends Theon Greyjoy (whom he has brainwashed to be his faithful servant Reek) to offer terms of safe passage if the ironborn surrender. When they do surrender, Ramsay has all sixty-three flayed alive and impales their skinless bodies on pikes along the road.
Fight by Deepwood Motte
Following the kingsmoot, Asha Greyjoy flees back to Deepwood Motte to escape her uncle, King Euron, on the advice of her maternal uncle Rodrik Harlaw. She has not been there long when Stannis Baratheon's forces, bolstered by the mountain clans, attack in the dead of night and return it to House Glover. The Ironborn ships are meanwhile burnt by the forces of House Mormont. Several ironborn including Asha and Tristifer Botley escape the castle but are apprehended in the forest soon after.
March on Winterfell
After retaking Deepwood Motte, the northmen who have joined Stannis Baratheon, now including the Glovers and Mormonts, insist that they retake Winterfell and rescue "the Ned's girl", who they do not know is actually Jeyne Poole. Unfortunately, Stannis's mismatched army of southron knights and northern clansmen suffers badly from snowstorms on the hundred league march through the wolfswood from Deepwood Motte to Winterfell, and they shelter at a crofters' village. Meanwhile, the forces of Roose Bolton, who have occupied the ruin, suffer from divided loyalties, infighting, and a series of mysterious murders.
Arrival of Mors Umber
Pledged to serve Stannis, even though his brother Hother is at Winterfell with most of their able men, Mors is set to meet Stannis and his army beneath the walls of Winterfell. He arrives before Stannis does, however. Because the heavy snows make it impossible for the Bolton men on the walls to see what is happening below, Mors has his green boys dig pits in front of the gates.
Battle in the Ice
When the body of Little Walder Frey is found, tensions at Winterfell erupt. Men loyal to House Frey attack men loyal to House Manderly, and Lord Wyman Manderly becomes injured. Roose orders the Freys and Manderlys out, to bring the battle to Stannis. With the entire castle is chaos due to preparations, Theon Greyjoy and Jeyne Poole attempt to escape. They jump from the walls of the castle when they are discovered, and are found by Mors Umber and his men. When the gates of Winterfell open, the Freys come out. Ser Aenys Frey breaks his neck when he falls into the pit.
The accidents the Freys have suffered due to the trap set by Mors Umber appears to have slowed down the attack. Stannis remains at the crofter's village with his army, and is confident in his chances. When he does march on Winterfell some days later, the infighting and damage done by the Umbers lead to the retaking of Winterfell and defeat of House Bolton. Sansa Stark is named Lady Paramount of the North by Stannis and the northern lords. Stannis and the new North allies march to the South in order to place Stannis on the throne.
The Landing of a Dragon (post-asoiaf, 300-304 AC.)While Westeros attempts to recover from the War of the Five Kings, hostilities are still ongoing in the court of King’s Landing. Due to Queen Regent Cersei Lannister’s meddling, both Queen Margaery Tyrell and Cersei herself have been arrested by the Faith, leading to Ser Kevan Lannister returning from the westerlands to take the position of regent, and to Lord Mace Tyrell abandoning the siege of Storm’s End in order to have his army present when his daughter faces her accusers in trial.
Meanwhile, the Ironborn threat expands when King Euron Greyjoy continues his campaign in the Reach, while his brother Victarion has sailed to Slaver's Bay on Euron’s behalf to seek out the exiled Queen Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons.
At the same time, the long-believed-dead Prince Aegon Targaryen is revealed to be alive. Having been rescued from death by Lord Varys during Robert's Rebellion, Aegon has been trained to be the perfect king ever since. With the Seven Kingdoms weakened by the War of the Five Kings, Aegon gains the support of the Golden Company and sets sail from Essos with his foster-father, the exiled Lord Jon Connington, in order to reclaim the Iron Throne his family had lost. He invades the Stormlands.
Landing of the Golden Company
The long-secret exiles Aegon Targaryen and Jon Connington cross the narrow sea with the Golden Company. The company lands in Estermont, Crow's Nest, the rainwood, and several other places in the stormlands and takes possession of several castles, including Connington's former seat of Griffin's Roost, which he leads the attack on. Their next plan is to take Storm's End to use as a base of operations, and to prove their strength.
Assassination of Grand Maester Pycelle and Regent Kevan Lannister
Varys infiltrates the chambers of Grand Maester Pycelle and murders him. Afterward he has one of his "little birds" send for Regent Kevan Lannister and shoots him with a crossbow. Varys admits he seeks to further destabilise the realm after Cersei's poor rule and drive a wedge in the Lannister-Tyrell alliance to prepare the way for Aegon to take the Iron Throne. Varys' "little birds" then kill Kevan
Taking the Stormlands
Aegon and Jon Connington succeed in taking the Storm's End and garnish most of the kingdom's vassal's support for the throne. The vassal's distaste for the Lannister throne assists in their support of Aegon for king.
A Dornish Bride
Arianne Martell, met with Jon Connington and the alleged Targaryen, Aegon. As requested by her father, Prince Doran, Arianne arranged the marriage betrothal between herself and Aegon. The union brought with it Dorne's support for his claim.
Lion and Dragon
With the Stormlands and Golden Company backing his claim, Aegon declares for the Iron Throne, leading to his forces and Lannister forces going to war. The Golden Company and the stormlords quickly bring the war to the crownlands. The Martells bring their forces mustered in the stoneway and Prince's Pass north to join Aegon.
Battle of Winterfell, 301 AC.
Stannis Baratheon succeeds in his Battle of Winterfell, defeating the Boltons and granting the North back to the Starks. However, with Bran, Rickon, and Arya Stark missing, the North is granted to the eldest daughter of Eddard Stark, Sansa. The North backs Stannis Baratheon to be king and marches south with his own forces.
A Cropped Flower
No longer willing to back the Lannisters and specifically Cersei, Lord Paramount Mace Tyrell and his daughter, Queen Margaery, attempt to flee King's Landing and return to Highgarden. The Tyrells are caught in their escape, however, and Mace Tyrell is execute for Treason.
The Enraged Rose
Willas Tyrell, eldest son to Mace, is in Highgarden at the time of his father's death and is angered by the news. He rallies the lords of the Reach to declare for Aegon as king in revenge.
Sack of Oldtown, 301 AC.
King Euron Greyjoy sacks the city of Oldtown, killing all the Hightowers present in the city except Malora the Maid. Her only surviving sibling is Garth Greysteel who is away with the Reach's forces. Upon hearing of the sacking, however, Garth Greysteel and Garlan the Gallant go to Oldtown's aid and expel the Ironborn. Garth becomes Lord Hightower following his father and siblings' deaths.
Siege of the Crossing, 303 AC.
Stannis Baratheon and his northern allies arrive at The Crossing, seat of House Frey, the new Lord Paramounts of the Riverlands and ally to the Lannisters. Stannis sieges the castle from the north, but the Freys are able to withstand the siege because of their southern access. Becoming frustrated with the delay of his advancement, Stannis leads an assault on The Crossing and dies in the fighting. His Hand, Davos Seaworth, and daughter, Shireen Baratheon, are taken captive by the Freys. The Northmen return home to endure the winter.
A King is CrownedAegon "Targaryen" is successful with the armies of the Stormlands, Reach, Dorne, and Golden Company at his side against House Lannister in 304 AC. Aegon is crowned by the Master of Whisperers, Varys, who reveals Aegon's true lineage at the crowning when he bestows the long lost valyrian-steel blade, Blackfyre, to the new king.
Aegon and his descendants rule as Blackfyre Kings of most of the Seven Kingdoms, the Iron Islands remaining independent under King Euron Greyjoy and the North unresponsive to any messages sent.
King Aegon attempted to restore order to the war-ravaged kingdoms quickly. He revoked the Riverlands from House Frey and resotred the title to Edmure Tully.
House Frey was allowed to keep their seat of The Crossing, but were ordered to release all other castles as well as prisoners.
Shireen Baratheon and Davos Seaworth were both released to Aegon directly, being the only survivors of the other claim for the throne. Instead of executing them, however, King Aegon married Shireen to her newly legitimized bastard-cousin, Edric Storm. The two were granted the ancestral seat of House Baratheon, Storm's End, but not the Stormlands.
Instead of House Baratheon, King Aegon names Jon Connington, his closest friend and advisor, Lord of Griffon's Roost and Lord Paramount of the Stormlands.
Tyrion Lannister is granted the Westerlands by Aegon and bends the knee to the Blackfyres immediately. Willas Tyrell, having fought on Aegon's side, bends the knee as well.
Arianne Martell, recently having inherited Sunspear and Dorne from the late Dorna Martell, took Aegon's declaration of not being Targaryen but a Blackfyre offensively. Following his coronation, she called off their betrothal and returned to Sunspear with her armies. The Princess of Dorne spent the next two years being a thorn for the Blackfyres as her house had been for the Baratheons before. In 306 AC. however, while traveling in the shadowcity of Sunspear, Princess Arianne was discovered murdered in her wheelhouse. Many suspected her cousins, the Sandsnakes, who were known to be Aegon supporters, however the true killer was never discovered. The lords of Dorne came together following the Pricness' early death, naming Arianne's younger brother, Trystane, Prince of Dorne. Tyrstane chose to declare Dorne's support for the king once more, a decision many in Dorne agreed with, smallfolk and noble alike.