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"House Durrandon, the Storm Kings" is the fourth chapter of Conquest & Rebellion: An Animated History of the Seven Kingdoms, a special feature from Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season. It is narrated by Conleth Hill as Varys.

Synopsis

Varys describes "The Last Storm," the epic battle waged between Aegon's ally Orys Baratheon, and Argilac "the Arrogant," King of the Stormlands.

Narration

Varys: While Aegon marched on Harrenhal after his coronation, Orys Baratheon had taken most of his forces, and his queen Rhaenys with her dragon, south to deal with the excuse for the invasion: Argilac the Arrogant, King of the Stormlands.

Argilac had his seat at Storm's End, a castle considered the most impregnable in Westeros after Harrenhal. Argilac may have been arrogant, but he wasn't stupid or a coward. His lords advised him to shut his gates and wait out the siege, but he'd heard what had happened at Harrenhal and refused to die a suckling pig cooked in his own castle. He would meet victory or defeat the same way, with sword in hand. He called his banners and marched to meet Orys Baratheon in the field.

Thanks to Rhaenys' dragon, Meraxes, Orys knew Argilac was coming, how many men he had and how fast he marched. So Orys simply seized the high ground and dug in on the hills to wait for Argilac. As the two armies approached, the wind rose to meet them and the rain poured from the sky, a gale which would give the battle its name: the Last Storm. King Argilac's lords urged him to wait for the weather to die down, but the Storm King saw that the rain was blowing into the faces of the Baratheon men on their hills and Argilac outnumbered the Baratheon host two to one, with four times as many knights and heavy horse. Argilac attacked.

Three times Argilac led his knights against the Baratheon line, but the hills were steep and the rain had beat the earth mud. The warhorses foundered and slipped and the chargers collapsed. The battle seemed lost until Argilac ordered the spearmen up the hill. Blinded by the rain, the Baratheons didn't see them until it was too late. One hill fell, then another and another until only one remained in the Baratheon center. If Argilac could break through there, he could split the invading army and flank both halves.

Argilac and his men charged and the Baratheon line broke, revealing Queen Rhaenys and Meraxes. Argilac's vanguard burst into flame and his men panicked. The victory charge fell into chaos, and Argilac himself was thrown from his horse. But he didn't yield. When Orys Baratheon arrived, he found the old king holding off half-a-dozen men, another half-dozen dead at his feet. Orys dismounted to meet the king on equal footing and offered Argilac one final chance to yield. Argilac cursed him instead. As the storm raged around them, the grizzled old warrior and the bearded upstart fought for life and kingdom. In the end, Argilac got his wish. He died, sword in hand.

As word of Argilac's death spread, his lords and knights threw down their swords and fled. Orys and his vanguard rode to Storm's End to claim Argilac's castle for Aegon, only to find the gates barred and the walls manned. Argilac's daughter had assumed his crown, and the new Storm Queen was as fond of yielding as her father.

She declared that Orys would win only bones, blood and ashes here. But her men were weaker than her, and that night Orys found Argilac's daughter delivered, gagged, chained and naked to his camp. Argilac had refused to give Orys her hand. Now, Orys could have any part of her he wished. But Orys unchained the girl, wrapped his cloak around her and poured her a glass of wine. He told her he would take the arms, banner, and words of House Durrandon to honor her father's courage in the Last Storm. Conveniently, Orys had none of his own to discard first.

The crowned stag became the sigil of House Baratheon, and Storm's End their seat. Argilac's daughter would even remain in her home, though as a lady instead of a princess. The Stormlands were now Aegon's, and as tribute, Aegon demanded the swords of the men Orys had defeated. For what purpose, Orys didn't know.

Notes

  • The battle that became known as the Last Storm took place in the hills south of Bronzegate, which is just north from Storm's End.
  • This video clearly states that the crowned stag was the heraldry of House Durrandon, and Orys copied it for his new House Baratheon, unaltered. Season 1 of the TV series had Bran Stark state that the Baratheons didn't use a crown on the stag until after Robert Baratheon became king: this was simply an error, as the Tales of Dunk and Egg prequel novellas had established since 1998 that the Baratheons always used a crowned stag, even before Robert became king.
  • Fighting a battle during a rainstorm gives a slight advantage when fighting against Dragons, though not by much. It does make it somewhat more difficult for them to fly, but even without that mobility, they are still extremely dangerous on the ground with their flames, teeth, and claws. Case in point, Meraxes was slowed by the Last Storm but not enough to make a difference.

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