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"House Lannister, Kings of the Rock & House Gardener, Kings of the Reach" is the fifth 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 Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister.

Synopsis

Jaime Lannister retells the events surrounding the "Field of Fire," where his ancestor King Loren, and King Mern Gardener faced three Targaryen dragons.

Narration

Jaime Lannister: Aegon now ruled two of the Seven Kingdoms, but he would no longer be able to take the rest piecemeal. For the first time in thousands of years, the kings put aside their squabbles and joined forces against a common enemy.

My ancestor, King Loren of House Lannister, was head of the wealthiest family in the Seven Kingdoms. When King Loren joined his forces to Mern of House Gardener, King of the Reach, they had the mightiest army in history, a so-called "iron fist" to break the would-be conqueror.

But while an iron fist can smash a man's face in battle, you'd look silly hunting birds or beasts with it, and Aegon had a creature that was both. The kings had never even seen a dragon, let alone fought one. They had fought each other for thousands of years, and victory always went to the larger army. Surely a force five times that of Aegon's could manage one dragon. But Aegon arrived with three.

Still, the Lannisters and Gardeners hoped for victory. The battlefield they chose was a wide plain with firm ground and clear skies. Perfect for archers and mounted cavalry. But neither of the kings spared a thought for why the ground was firm. There had been no rain for a fortnight, which meant all the wheat and grass on it were bone-dry. Perfect for dragons.

At first, the kings looked like they would emerge victorious. When the horn blew for battle, their armies swept around Aegon's flanks, and their iron fist of mounted knights smashed through his center before the dragons could even enter the fray. But then Aegon and his sisters took flight and unleashed their dragons, not on the soldiers, but on the dry fields all around them.

The iron fist unclenched and became a hand outstretched for mercy. As Aegon promised, he had none. More than four thousand men died in the fires, another thousand escaping them. Tens of thousands returned home as monsters, burned and scarred beyond recognition.

House Gardener never returned at all. The Field of Fire, as the singers call it, claimed the last of the Gardener line, and House Tyrell rose in their stead as Lords of the Reach and Wardens of the South.

As for my illustrious ancestor, when King Loren saw the battle was lost, he rode through a wall of flame and smoke to safety. Or at least to a heroic capture a day later, where he lay his sword before Aegon and knelt. Aegon, true to his word, spared him and confirmed House Lannister as Lords of Casterly Rock and Wardens of the West. Why wouldn't he? A Lannister always pays his debts, and now we owed our lives to the crown. That was worth centuries of subservience, at least. Besides, Aegon had a fetish for collecting swords, not heads. He added Loren's to the pile his men had retrieved from the Field of Fire and sent them back to the Aegonfort.

Notes

  • The location of the Field of Fire was somewhere in the northern Reach, roughly where the Goldroad would later be built. The Targaryen armies that had separated to pursue different objectives across Westeros gathered together into one united army again at Stoney Sept, in the southern Riverlands, before advancing south. Very roughly, this put the battle at the mid-point in Westeros between Lannisport in the west and King's Landing in the east.
  • The narration when Jaime gives the losses from the battle is somewhat slurred: as listed in the section of The World of Ice and Fire this was based on, it was 4,000 burned alive, another thousand dead due to "swords and spears" of the Targaryen army, and tens of thousands too badly burned to fight. While the battle wasn't a complete annihilation - out of the original 55,000 men in the Lannister/Gardener army - it was incredibly lopsided: the Targaryen army only lost under 100 men. Visenya Targaryen took an arrow to the shoulder but she later recovered.

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