"Greyjoy Rebellion" is part of the Histories & Lore, a special feature from Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season. It is narrated by Stephen Dillane as King Stannis Baratheon, Richard Madden as King Robb Stark, and Alfie Allen as Prince Theon Greyjoy.


Stannis Baratheon

Stannis Baratheon recounts serving under his brother Robert when Balon Greyjoy rebelled against the Iron Throne, as well as how he would have done things differently had he been king.

Robb Stark

Robb Stark reminisces about his father going to war to put an end to Balon Greyjoy's rebellion and the impact it had on his family.

Theon Greyjoy

Theon Greyjoy reflects on his father's failed rebellion and the penalties his family suffered as a result of it.

Stannis Baratheon's perspective

Stannis Baratheon: Though Robert had risked all our lives to win it, the Iron Throne bored him. He cared little for justice and less for rule. If it weren't women or wineskin, he had no use for it. Without the stalwart Jon Arryn as Hand of the King, the challenge to Robert's crown would have come much earlier than it did.

The Iron Islands have never lacked for treachery. They respect only strength, and honor is as foreign to them as the Seven. After six years, their ruler - Lord Balon Greyjoy - wagered that King Robert had not won the support of the great houses of Westeros, many of whom still named him "Usurper". Lord Balon declared the Iron Islands independent, and sent his Iron Fleet to Lannisport.

Lord Tywin Lannister was careless, and the ironborn burnt his ships at anchor. Lord Balon and his reavers controlled the Sunset Sea. Robert then ordered me to succeed where his father-in-law, Lord Tywin, had failed. Beneath Robert's fury I sensed relief: war he could understand. He would smash Lord Balon as he had Rhaegar. I raised Robert's fleet and sailed around Westeros to the Iron Islands.

I set a trap for the Iron Fleet off Fair Isle. As sailors and warriors the ironborn are unparalleled, but they are not soldiers: they have no discipline, no strategy, no unity. In a battle each man fights only for his own glory, and their longships are built for lightning strikes and shore raids. When the captains rushed in, I smashed their longships with our larger war galleys.

The strength of the ironborn is in their ships. With the Iron Fleet broken, I had assured Robert's victory. He could now transport troops and siege weapons to invade the Iron Islands, and contrary to Balon's hopes, Robert had plenty of both.

I've never seen such allegiances Robert could inspire in war. Enemies who were trying to kill him one day would be drinking with him the next under their own fallen banners. In rebelling against the Iron Throne, Lord Balon did more than Robert ever could to cement his rule.

When Robert came to the Iron Islands, he brought with him the full power of Westeros. Ser Barristan Selmy of the Kingsguard led the assault on Old Wyk, while I subdued Great Wyk, the largest of the Iron Islands. But Robert saved the seat of House Greyjoy, Pyke, for himself and Lord Eddard.

Robert would later boast of the battle's bloodiness and how he could have torn down the island into the waves if Lord Balon had not bent the knee. But if I had led the assault, Balon's neck would have bent... under a sword. Because I do not forget or pardon. His time will come, all their times will come.


  • In the main live-action TV series, characters have repeatedly stated that the Greyjoy Rebellion occurred nine years before Season 1 - just as it occurred nine years before the first novel. In this video, Stannis says that Balon launched his rebellion six years after Robert's Rebellion - that was true in the novels, but the TV continuity pushed back the beginning of Robert's Rebellion, to make it seventeen years before the start of the narrative, none fifteen years as in the books (9 + 6 = 15). This line is therefore in error, and Stannis should have said he waited eight years.



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Robb Stark's perspective

Robb Stark: "Dark wings, dark words". I was only a boy when the raven came to call my father, Lord Eddard Stark, to another war. Balon Greyjoy had raised the Iron Islands in revolt, and burned the Lannister fleet at anchor. King Robert Baratheon again needed his old friend.

My mother, Catelyn, was not happy to lose her lord husband to Robert again. Six years earlier he had left her to avenge his father and brother against the Mad King. But now he had sons and daughters of his own, and, unspoken, another son who was not hers from the last time he went to war: my brother, Jon Snow. But she knew that in marrying my father she had married the North, we hold our honor and duty as dear as our own gods. When the time came, my father marched south to restore peace and order to the realm.

My father always told me the Iron Islands were a strange and dangerous place. Its people, the ironborn, keep neither the Old Gods of the Forest nor The Seven, and despise all honest toil. Their ancestors ravaged the western shores, raping and slaving and putting it to the torch. Their songs still ring through the halls of the ironborn; while everywhere else they are whispered to wayward children at bedtime.

Perhaps Lord Balon thought Westeros had not healed from the war against the Mad King and was as fragmented and suspicious as the ancient kingdoms his forbears had terrorized. Robert's navy corrected him at Fair Isle, when they smashed the proud Iron Fleet. Robert and my father corrected him at Pyke when they pulled down his towers and breached his walls.

My father never liked to speak of his battles, but I had learned from other men what transpired: Thoros of Myr was first through the breach with his flaming sword. Not far behind him was Jorah Mormont of Bear Island, my father's bannerman who earned the knighthood he would later shame, and lords from every corner of the Seven Kingdoms. All day through every passage of the castle they fought side by side: my father with our ancestral sword Ice and King Robert with his warhammer, against a horde of axe-wielding ironborn. In the end, Lord Balon bent the knee.

King Robert generously allowed Lord Balon to retain his title and castle. The price of peace was custom: The only son of Balon's to survive his foolish rebellion would be taken as a hostage against future treasons. My father even volunteered to foster the boy himself. I suspect that it was to make Theon Greyjoy a different man than his father, who would bring honor and duty to the Iron Islands when he returned as heir. So my mother's silent fear came true, and my father returned with another child. Theon ate with us, played with us and fought with us.

Once the great bond between my father and Robert Baratheon united the realm against the Mad King, and brought him to justice for his crimes. Now, another monster sits on the Iron Throne, and another debt of blood is owed my family. Theon is my murdered father's ward; I am my murdered father's son. Like my father and Robert, bound in blood if not by blood, we are brothers.


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Theon Greyjoy's perspective

Iron Islands map Histories and Lore Season 2 Greyjoy Rebellion

Map of the Iron Islands which appears on-screen, with names.

Theon Greyjoy: When Aegon and his dragons burned Harren the Black and all of his sons at Harrenhal, the days when men feared the sight of our longships were over: Aegon would not permit marauders and raiders in his Seven Kingdoms. With Harren died our empire, and the old way that forged it. But what is dead may never die.

Six years after Robert Baratheon won his crown, my father - Balon Greyjoy- sought to restore our ancient rights. He declared the Iron Islands independent, and himself its king; and sent the Iron Fleet in a daring raid on Lannisport where they burned the Lannister ships at anchor, making us unchallenged in the Sunset Sea. This was the seed of the our undoing.

My eldest brother, Rodrik, led a frontal assault on Seagard, a town built to protect the mainland from us. After ferocious fighting beneath the city walls he was slain by Lord Jason Mallister, and his men defeated. By this time Stannis Baratheon had brought Robert's fleet around Westeros and somehow managed to trap the Iron Fleet at Fair Isle, smashing it. Robert's victory was now all but assured, yet we made him bleed for each island.

Stannis Baratheon captured Great Wyk, the largest of the Iron Islands, and Ser Barristan Selmy subdued Old Wyk. Robert and Lord Eddard Stark led the main assault against the island of Pyke. They razed the town of Lordsport to the ground before Robert turned his full fury on our family stronghold.

When they breached the walls the first through was Thoros of Myr with his ridiculous flaming sword, followed by every minor lord of Westeros hungering for glory. My older brother, Maron, was killed when siege engines brought down a tower on his head. I was now Balon's only living son, and heir to the Iron Islands. When my father saw that his cause was lost he wisely conceded defeat to Robert, who otherwise would have pulled down the castle stone by stone with us in it.

As my father said to me then: "No man has ever died from bending his knee. He who kneels may rise again, blade in hand. He who does not kneel stays dead, stiff legs and all". As it stands Robert allowed my father to keep his lands and titles as Lord of the Iron Islands, King of Salt and Rock, Son of the Sea Wind, Lord Reaper of Pyke... for a price. His last son and heir shipped off to Winterfell as an "honored guest". I would eat at the Stark's table and play with the Stark children. And if my father ever rebelled again, Lord Eddard would take his sword and cut off my head. It would be his duty.


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All three narrators (Robb, Theon, and Stannis) state that the Greyjoy Rebellion occurred six years after Robert's Rebellion. While this is true in the books, it is not true in the TV continuity. The TV series added an extra two years after Robert's Rebellion so that it occurred seventeen years before the narrative begins, instead of fifteen years before as in the books. This was done in order to age-up Daenerys Targaryen, due to censorship and production reasons (other younger characters such as the Stark and Baratheon children were also aged-up to correspond to Daenerys). In the books, the Greyjoy Rebellion occurred six years after Robert's Rebellion and thus nine years before the narrative begins. The TV series has consistently stated that the Greyjoy Rebellion was also nine years before, probably in order to keep Theon's time with the Starks the same. King Robert mentions that it was nine years ago in Season 1, as does Balon Greyjoy at the very start of Season 2 (just as it was about to become ten years).

The Greyjoy Rebellion was therefore established to have occurred eight years after Robert's Rebellion in the TV continuity. This History & Lore featurette's statements that it was six years later is therefore a mistake and non-canon, because it contradicts multiple on-screen statements in the live-action TV series' episodes.