The Shield Islands are an archipelago of four islands located off the west coast of the Reach. They owe fealty to House Tyrell of Highgarden. The islands are located west of the mouth of the Mander River.
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the Shield Islands are named as follows:
- Greenshield, the easternmost of the islands, ruled by House Chester.
- Greyshield, the westernmost of the islands, ruled by House Grimm.
- Oakenshield, the northernmost of the islands, ruled by House Hewett.
- Southshield, the southernmost of the islands, ruled by House Serry.
The islands are so-named as they used to serve as a shield against ironborn attacks during the days of their independence. The islands were actually held by the ironborn for centuries until House Gardener, the Kings of the Reach, liberated them almost two thousand years before the events of the series. The Gardeners fortified the islands so they could defend themselves from further attack.
The islands are equipped with beacon fires. At the first sign of longships, the fires are lit, resulting in a relay of warnings being sent across all four islands.
After being crowned, Euron Greyjoy's first military campaign is to raid the Reach. Led by Victarion Greyjoy, the ironborn conquer the Shield Islands. Euron knows that eventually the Tyrells will retake those islands - indeed, Willas and Garlan Tyrell have begun to rally troops for that purpose - but does not care, nor is he worried that he will blamed for that: he is certain that the ironborn will only remember his victory taking the islands and his generosity of giving them to the new-appointed ironborn lords, but will blame their loss on the Houses that try to hold them.
Whether or not the Shield Islands will be retaken, Euron does not need them any longer, because they have already served his purpose: the Mander is open to the ironborn raiding ships, and they proceed to the next stage in Euron's campaign - capturing the Arbor and its neighboring islands.
When Margaery and Loras hear the news about the above raiding, they urge Cersei to allocate some of the forces that currently besiege Dragonstone and Storm's End, to retake Shield Islands. Cersei (who secretly gloats over the Tyrells' distress) refuses, claiming that Dragonstone and Storm's End are far more important than Shield Islands. This prompts Loras to volunteer to conquer Dragonstone; he succeeds, but the victory is too costly.
Old Oak · Red Lake · Goldengrove · Bitterbridge · Tumbleton · Grassy Vale · Cider Hall · Ashford · Horn Hill · Brightwater Keep · Bandallon · Honeyholt · Oldtown (The Citadel · The Hightower · Starry Sept) · Uplands · Blackcrown · Three Towers · Sunflower Hall · The Arbor
Shield Islands · The Arbor