The Fall of Moat Cailin was an event during the War of the Five Kings. It was part of the campaign orchestrated by Balon Greyjoy - who had crowned himself King of the Iron Islands - to conquer the North.

Balon dispatches the Iron Fleet through Blazewater Bay to seize Moat Cailin, effectively cutting off the Northern army south of the Neck.[1]

In the books

In the books, the attack on Moat Cailin also happens "off-screen". 


Balon Greyjoy recognizes the importance of Moat Cailin, as it commands the causeway, the safe route for armies to travel through the swamps of the Neck. He sends his brother Victarion (who has been omitted from the TV series) with most of the Iron Fleet to seize the ancient fortress, in order to block Robb Stark from returning to the north.


Victarion sails up the Saltspear and the Fever River to its headwaters, from which Moat Cailin is less than twenty miles away. The ironborn seize the ruined fortifications, which are held by a small northern garrison, mostly archers.

It is unknown how much casualties each party suffered, and whether the garrison has been killed or taken captive.


Some time later, Victarion receives news about Balon's death and the kingsmoot. Some of his subordinates urge him to return to the Iron Islands and claim the Seastone Chair. Victarion does so, leaving a skeleton garrison at Moat Cailin under the command of Ralf Kenning.

Once Robb finally decides to return to the north and save what is left of his kingdom, his first concern is to liberate Moat Cailin. However, his plan is never executed, for he and most of his troops are destroyed at the Red Wedding. Eventually the fortress is retaken by Ramsay Bolton.

See also


  1. Season 2 bluray: War of the Five Kings feature: Greyjoy Battle Plans
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.