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"What a lovely pile of timber..."
Ramsay Snow to Ethan Forrester regarding Ironrath.[src]

Ironrath is a castle situated in the Wolfswood in the North of Westeros. It is the seat of House Forrester, loyal vassals of House Glover of Deepwood Motte.



Ironrath seen on a map of the North.

Ironrath was constructed approximately 1,500 years ago by Cedric Forrester and his triplet sons. Cedric and his sons raised their fortress, an imposing stronghold surrounded by towering ironwood trees, on the edge of the largest ironwood forest in Westeros, placing the Forresters in a position of great strategic advantage. Ironrath is a testament to the strength and endurance of Ironwood. More than one visitor has called Ironrath the most striking keep in the North; even Ned Stark was said to be envious.[1][2]

"Iron From Ice"

Gared Tuttle arrives at Ironrath after escaping the Red Wedding and killing a Bolton and potentially a Whitehill soldier who murdered his family, although his time spent there is short. After being treated by Maester Ortengryn, he explores the great hall before returning the Forrester greatsword, he is sent to the Wall by his uncle, the castellan, Duncan Tuttle.

Ethan Forrester, the new Lord of Ironrath, plays in the ironwood grove. He is than summoned to face Lord Ludd Whitehill, who seeks Gared to give punishment. Later, after judging Erik, Ethan ventures throughout the courtyard of Ironrath and one of the towers, asking members of the household which man should be his Sentinel, the master-at-arms Ser Royland Degore or the castellan Duncan Tuttle.

Ramsay Snow visits Ironrath. During the meeting, he has Lord Whitehill installs a garrison of twenty men within Ironrath's walls. Despite protests from various members of House Forrester, Ramsay insists. He also splits the ironwood forests between the Forresters and Whitehills, and finally stabs Lord Ethan in the neck.[3]

"The Lost Lords"

A corpse cart arrives from the Twins carrying Forrester dead, including the heavily wounded Rodrik Forrester. He is treated by the Maester, after his surgery he is awakened by Talia. She explains that the garrison has been causing chaos, either because of their hunger or drunkenness.

Elaena Glenmore visits Ironrath on the matters of her betrothal to Rodrik. After their discussion, Lord Whitehill barges into the great hall. He reveals that Lady Forrester had asked about letting Ryon Forrester attend his brother and father's funeral. He gives Rodrik the option of letting Ryon if Rodrik kisses his ring, which the player can decide to do. Before he leaves, he states that he will take the rest of the ironwood forests.

The funeral for Ethan and Gregor Forrester is held at Ironrath. Ryon can attend if Rodrik kissed Ludd's ring, or if he refused Gwyn Whitehill will come instead.[4]

"The Sword in the Darkness"

The garrison bangs their shields and burns a cart to announce Gryff Whitehill's arrival to Ironrath. He claims he is in charge, and forces his men to take quarter in the great hall. Duncan also arrives from a visit to the Wall during the encounter. At the small council meeting in the grove, Rodrik can chose to either expel Gryff from Ironrath or save Ryon.

Rodrik walks into the great hall, finding in shambles. The family portrait is on the floor, and Whitehill banners hang from the walls. Later, Talia finds a Whitehill soldier stealing from the kitchens, and she bites him after he lays his hands on her. They later converse in one of the wooden towers of Ironrath.[5]

"Sons of Winter"

Elaena and her brother Arthur Glenmore visit Ironrath in the grove, along with the elite guard of House Glenmore to help Rodrik with Gryff after Lord Whitehill threatened the Glenmores with destruction along with the Forresters if Lord Glenmore didn't accept a marriage between Gryff and Elaena.

Rodrik and the elite guard capture Gryff and his men in the great hall beating Maester Ortengryn with the help of the guard. They march the garrison to the cellars. After this is done, Lady Forrester has the ravens killed so the traitor of the house can not inform the Whitehills of the imprisonment of the garrison. Lord Whitehill invites the Forresters to Highpoint, the seat of House Whitehill, unknown of what happened to the garrison. Rodrik, Lady Forrester, Royland or Duncan and optionally the Glenmore guards ride for Highpoint.

After the meeting, those who went return to Ironrath, securing a trade of Gryff for Ryon. If the Glenmore guards are brought, Ironrath is found abandoned. Arthur organizes a search for his sister. If they are not brought, Rodrik finds arrows and drops of blood, indicating a fight, before he hears laughing from the great hall, where Ramsay Snow has arrived and is talking with Talia.[6]

"A Nest of Vipers"

During Ramsay's visit, he, Rodrik, and Talia walk into the ironwood grove to find Arthur Glenmore being flayed. Later, Rodrik wakes up in his chambers, and depending on player choices, Elaena can be lying in his bed as well. Talia comes in and informs Rodrik that the traitor is in the great hall. As Rodrik walks in, the Whitehill banners are gone and Forrester ones now hang in their place. The family portrait remains, with only Asher, Gregor, and Rodrik visible. The traitor is seen stroking the fire, as Rodrik comes in to confront him. Rodrik and the Forresters ride to the coast, leaving Ironrath for the time being to meet Asher and his army.[7]

"The Ice Dragon"

Following the ambush at the harbor, Ironrath is besieged by the Whitehill army.

If Asher survived the ambush, he becomes the Lord of Ironrath. Ludd offers to negotiate a surrender if Asher agrees to become his bannerman and marry his daughter Gwyn. Asher accepts these terms, though plans to either ambush or poison Ludd during the negotiation and feast, setting the stage for the White Engagement. This plan leads to the death of either Ludd or Gryff, while the other escapes to warn the army of Asher's treachery.

If Rodrik survived the ambush, Ludd demands that the Forresters present themselves for execution and immediately begins trying to break down Ironrath's gate with a battering ram. Rodrik takes the pit fighters and sneaks into the Whitehill encampment outside Ironrath that night, killing either Ludd or Gryff and freeing his brother Ryon before quickly returning to his home.

The battle then plays out the same way for either lord. The Forresters rally and battle the Whitehills that have already made it into the castle. The Lord duels Harys, who kills Lady Elissa Forrester if she didn't die earlier of poisoning, and grievously injures the Lord before being defeated. The Whitehills finally break through the gate and surge in, killing smallfolk and soldiers alike. The Forrester lord is saved from death by his Sentinel and put on a horse to escape the battle. He is seen riding out of Ironrath as it burns, with the Whitehills victorious.

Notable residents

  • Lord {Thorren Forrester}, the Lord of Ironrath. Killed at the Battle of the Trident.
    • Lord {Gregor Forrester} his son, the Lord of Ironrath. Slain at the Red Wedding.
      • Lady {Elissa Forrester}, his wife. Poisoned herself in order to kill Ludd Whitehill or stabbed in the stomach by Harys during the Battle of Ironrath.
        • Lord Rodrik Forrester, their eldest son, the Lord of Ironrath. Thought dead at Red Wedding, but recovered despite his injuries. Either killed at or escapes the ambush at the harbor. If escaped, severely wounded at the Battle of Ironrath and now on the run with Talia and either his Sentinel or the traitor.
          • Elaena Glenmore, his betrothed. Decides to remain in Ironrath after the death of her brother, Arthur, fearing reprival from her father. Last seen mourning over Rodrik's body or being dragged away by Whitehill soldiers in the aftermath of the Battle of Ironrath.
        • Asher Forrester, their second son. Exiled to Essos for falling in love with Gwyn Whitehill. Returned to Westeros and is either killed at or escapes the ambush at the harbor. If escaped, severely wounded at the Battle of Ironrath and now on the run with Talia and either his Sentinel, the traitor, or Gwyn Whitehill.
        • Mira Forrester, their eldest daughter. Currently in King's Landing, handmaiden to Margaery Tyrell. Determinantly beheaded for the murder of Damien or married with Morgryn and by law she inherits Ironrath after the death or disappearance of her family.
        • Lord {Ethan Forrester}, their third son, the Lord of Ironrath. Murdered in cold blood by Ramsay Snow.
        • Talia Forrester, their youngest daughter, and Ethan's twin. Currently in on the run with the surviving Lord and either his Sentinel, the traitor, or Gwyn Whitehill.
        • Ryon Forrester, their youngest son. Currently on the run with Beskha.
      • His brother-in-law, Malcolm Branfield. Currently in Essos serving Daenerys Targaryen after retrieving Asher.
  • Duncan Tuttle, the Castellan of Ironrath. If made Sentinel, killed in the Battle of Ironrath or on the run with the Forrester Lord and Talia if the traitor was killed. If traitor, executed for treason or imprisoned and later freed by Talia and on the run with the Forrester Lord.
  • Ser Royland Degore, the master-at-arms of Ironrath. If made Sentinel, killed in the Battle of Ironrath or on the run with the Forrester Lord and Talia if the traitor was killed. If traitor, executed for treason or imprisoned and later freed by Talia and on the run with the Forrester Lord.
  • {Ortengryn}, the castle's Maester. Killed during the Battle of Ironrath.
  • Erik, a man-at-arms serving House Forrester. Either at the Wall or last seen in Ironrath. Determinantly killed by Harys during the Battle of Ironrath.

Whitehill occupation

A twenty-man garrison of soldiers from House Whitehill installed by Ramsay Snow in order to 'keep the king's peace'.

  • Gryff Whitehill, self-proclaimed Lord of Ironrath and commander of Whitehill garrison. Freed by the traitor after imprisonment by Rodrik and the Glenmore elite guard. Determinantly killed in the Battle of Ironrath.
    • {Harys}, a Whitehill man-at-arms apart of the garrison. Killed by Asher or Rodrik during the Battle of Ironrath.
    • Grag, a Whitehill man-at-arms apart of the garrison. Determinantly killed in the Battle of Ironrath.

Image gallery

In the books

Although House Forrester exists in the A Song of Ice and Fire universe, the name of their seat is never revealed.

"Ironrath" appears to be a pun: "Iron Rath" sounds like "Iron Wrath". Ráth is actually the Irish language term for "ringfort". Similarly, the castle seat of their overlords House Glover is Deepwood Motte, with "motte" being the term for a wooden castle keep located on raised artificial hill. There are actually numerous old ráth sites in the areas around Northern Ireland where Game of Thrones films.

See also