House Greyjoy of Pyke is one of the Great Houses of Westeros. It rules over the Iron Islands, a harsh and bleak collection of forbidding islands off the west coast of Westeros, from the Seastone Chair in the castle of Pyke on the island of the same name. The head of the family is traditionally known as the Lord Reaper of Pyke.
Their sigil is a golden kraken on a black field, and their house motto is "We Do Not Sow." Members of the family tend to be attractive and well-built, with black hair.
History[edit | edit source]
Before the Second Era[edit | edit source]
The Greyjoys of Pyke claim descent from the Grey King of the Age of Heroes. Legend says the Grey King ruled not only the western isles but the sea itself, and took a mermaid to wife.
In the era when the ironborn chose their rulers through the kingsmoot, only Houses Greyiron and Goodbrother produced more kings than the Greyjoys. For instance, the Old Kraken, Loron Greyjoy, was chosen as a King of the Iron Islands in a kingsmoot. The iron lords, including the Greyjoys, intermarried with the victorious Andals when they invaded the Iron Isles.
Come the Wars of Conquest, King Harren the Black of House Hoare ruled all the lands between the mountains, from The Neck to the Blackwater Rush. When Harren and his sons perished in the burning of Harrenhal, Aegon Targaryen granted the riverlands to Edmyn Tully of House Tully. The surviving lords of the Iron Islands fell into chaotic squabbling, leading Aegon to invade the islands to subdue them. After they bent the knee Aegon allowed them to revive their ancient custom and chose who should have the primacy among them. They chose Lord Vickon Greyjoy of Pyke.
Thus relegated to their dismal homeland and constrained by the king's peace, the Greyjoys have kept themselves distant from the other Great Houses, rarely taking part in events on the mainland (which they call the "green lands"), even when asked.
At various times the Greyjoys have tried to return to their ancient practices of raiding the western coastlines. At the beginning of the Dance of the Dragons, the Lord Reaper of Pyke, Dalton Greyjoy, was offered the position of master of ships to replace Ser Tyland Lannister, who had been made master of coin of King Aegon II Targaryen. Dalton, the Red Kraken, instead sacked Lannisport and sent the ironborn to raid the coasts, capturing Kayce and Faircastle on Fair Isle. Dalton defied the Iron Throne for two years, but he was eventually murdered in Faircastle.
Lord Dagon and the ironmen later raided the coastal areas of Westeros, sacking the town of Little Dosk. Lord Beron Stark gathered swords and House Lannister built ships in an effort to drive Lord Dagon and his ironmen back to the Iron Islands, and Dagon was ultimately unable to resist the Targaryens.
Lord Quellon Greyjoy tried to reform the ironborn and integrate them with the mainland, but he was killed late in Robert's Rebellion. His son, Lord Balon Greyjoy, rejected Quellon's reforms and desired a return to the Old Way. He created the Iron Fleet and led his own rebellion against the Iron Throne, declaring himself King of the Iron Islands, like many of his ancestors. Despite initiating several strong early strikes, such as burning of the Lannister fleet at anchor, he was defeated. Balon's own fleet under the command of his brother Victarion burned and his two eldest sons Rodrik and Maron were slain during the war. His last son Theon was given as a hostage and ward to Lord Eddard Stark after he swore fealty to House Baratheon of King's Landing.
During the War of the Five Kings, Balon Greyjoy declared himself King of the Iron Islands and the North, and launched an invasion against the lands of the Starks. it went fairly well until Balon's untimely death in the year 300AC - and his brother Euron's return not long afterward.
The Lords of the Iron Islands called for a Kingsmoot to choose their next leader, an act Aeron Damphair initiated in hopes of denying Euron Greyjoy the crown. The ploy failed, most of the Ironmen naming the Crow's Eye as their King, who promptly ended their invasion of the North and launched the War in the Reach.
The Second War of Conquest[edit | edit source]
Though the Kingsmoot had crowned her uncle Euron, it was not the end of Asha Greyjoy’s ambitions. She knew her father’s younger brother was a wild and bloodthirsty man, intent on leading the Isles to battle and defeat, and so her plans lead her northward, returning Lady Glover to her seat in Deepwood Motte. There she is captured by Stannis Baratheon and his host, fighting a losing war against the Boltons of Winterfell and the Dreadfort. Now a captive, many of Stannis’ men call for her execution - but the arrival of her tortured and greatly changed brother soon shift attentions from one Greyjoy to the other.
Asha offers to pay her brother’s ransom, hoping to return with him to the isles - but the request was denied, and in 300AC Theon Greyjoy was executed by Stannis Baratheon. He is burnt alive before the army in hopes that his king’s blood might bring favour from the Red God - and the plan worked.
By dawn the snow had already begun to melt, clearing the way for the Baratheon advance on Winterfell. The army sets out, though in the dark of night the eve before battle, Asha and several of her ironborn manage to escape. They flee back toward the coast, eventually setting sail homeward - Asha now the sole surviving child of King Balon Greyjoy.
Asha arrives in the Isles not long before her uncle, Rodrik Harlaw, returns from the war in the Reach, fearing for his life. The two meet in Ten Towers, where Rodrik informs his niece of the fears he and several other lords share - stating that the gains in the Reach were little when compared to the ire they had won from Highgarden. Though the Shield Isles and much of the coast have fallen to Euron and his reavers, Rodrik reveals that Lords Goodbrother and Drumm both worry about Euron and his bloodlust. Together, he and Asha devise a plan.
The Kraken’s Daughter returns to Pyke, finding Erik Ironmaker, her husband, waiting for her there. Euron named him Lord Steward of the Iron Islands and castellan of Pyke - and had performed the marriage ceremony, using a seal to represent his niece. Upon finding the eighty-eight year old man sitting in her father’s chair, Asha had him drowned.
Having dealt with Euron’s eyes and ears upon the Isles and made herself a widow in the process, Asha Greyjoy names her uncle Rodrik her Lord Steward, and marries one of the Goodbrother triplets on his recommendation. Together they consolidate their hold upon the Isles, and cut off all further support for the Crow’s Eye.
For a while all is quiet in the Isles, the trials of the mainland passing them by. Word arrives of the arrival of Aegon VI Targaryen, and then the return of Daenerys, tales of the great and terrible conflicts raging across the face of the greenlands. For a time it seemed as if the Isles would sit quietly for the entire war - when word came from Euron, demanding support in the Reach. The letter had been in Pyke for scarcely an hour before its reply winged its way south again, signed by Rodrick the Reader, several Ironborn lords, and Asha Greyjoy, styling herself Queen of the Iron Islands. The Crow’s Eye had asked for men, ships, and supplies - but the Kraken’s Daughter was adamant that he’d receive none from her Islands. No more ravens flew north from the lands of the Mander - and within a fortnight, the Crow’s Eye was no more.
Those that survived the re-taking of the Reach slowly trickled back into the Isles, bearing tales of a crushing defeat at the hands of a conglomeration of men from the Crownlands, Reach, Stormlands, and Dorne. Hot on their heels comes another worn band of Ironborn, though this one far more surprising; the Iron Fleet of Victarion Greyjoy, having fled from the ruined armies of Queen Daenerys arrive in the Iron Islands. At first the brother of Balon Greyjoy thought to assert his claim - resisting Asha’s rule and attesting that he ought be King instead. His supporters were few; between Rodrik’s deft politics and Victarion’s flaming arm and pagan priest, most of the Isles sides with Asha, including the Damphair himself. Victarion finds himself without allies: and so he yields to the rule of his niece, commanding the Iron Fleet in her name as he did for her father before her.
With the last of House Greyjoy united beneath Asha’s banners, the Isles is once again whole. Some lords urge the young Queen to strike against the greenlands while they war among themselves, but the war is near finished, and the victor is clear. Not long after Victarion’s surrender, a letter arrived from the newly styled King Aegon VI, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, demanding the fealty of the Iron Islands. A wise and shrewd ruler, Asha Greyjoy consents.
The Second Era (303 - 380AC)[edit | edit source]
Much of the early Second Era was spent quietly for the Greyjoys, who lived in continued isolation after the events of the War of the Five Kings, and the subsequent wars of Conquest and of the Reach. Asha's rule was stable, though her children proved unruly - her eldest daughter often made noise about how she ought inherit after her warrior mother, rather than Rodrik Greyjoy who was, by all accounts, a soft and meek-mannered man.
With the rise of Brine, a powerful Drowned Priest that preached against the ways of the Greyjoys with one hand and accepted bribes with the other, the Isles faced great internal hardship that culminated in the murder of Rodrik the Green. What followed was years of careful struggle, as the last son of Asha, Torric Greyjoy, hunted down those responsible.
Afterward the Isles knew peace. Though Torric led many daring raids into Essos and the Summer Sea, his wife was a capable steward, ruling the Isles in his absence. Ships were constructed, granaries and stockpiles filled; and when war came in 349AC, the Greyjoys opted to remain neutral. It proved a wise move when Baelon and the War of the Shadow both met their end in the Battle of the Byrn, their war as short-lived as the second age of the dragonriders. Torric died in 354AC, leaving the Isles to his son, Roryn.
Roryn 'Ironshod' Greyjoy began a rule much more intimate than his father's - he enjoyed making friends, and was known for being a simple man of simple tastes. His raids in the south were much less extensive than his predecessor's, though he led the Isles to war during the War of the Seven Banners.
Though the end of the War saw peace return to Westeros, it did not bring peace to Pyke. Roryn's eldest son, Urron, was locked in deadly feud with the heir to Ten Towers. When the heir to Pyke was slain in 369AC, Roryn responded as any good lord would - with strength, and a degree of mercy. He had the Harlaw youth executed, but arranged a betrothal between his second eldest living son, Urrigon, and the Lord of Ten Tower's only daughter, Ravenna Harlaw. With that done, he hoped to put the feud to rest, burying it alongside his beloved firstborn son.
Recent Events[edit | edit source]
After several weeks confined abed with a debilitating illness, Torwyn Greyjoy, second son of Roryn and heir to the Iron Islands, dies in his sleep. With his passing the new heir to Pyke was Urrigon Greyjoy - a man of six and twenty who hadn't been seen in the Isles for nearly ten years. At his fathers request, Urrigon returns to the Iron islands in the year 380AC, to serve as heir and future lord.
Emissaries from the mainland arrive, come to treat with Lord Roryn Greyjoy about the possibility of an alliance with the Lord of Harrenhal. Roryn turns down their offer and imprisons them, intending to war King Viserys III of their treason - only to perish in a terrible storm during his journey south. With his death, the recently returned Urrigon is named Lord of the Iron Islands, and immediately sends word to his new vassals, informing them of his succession, inviting them to attend his wedding to Ravenna Harlaw, and instructing them all to begin preparing for war.
Once the fleet had formed, Urrigon set sail for The Arbor, per his brother's suggestion. However, Urrigon did not find The Arbor abandoned of ships as his brother had promised it was. Instead, with help from his loyal vassals Tristifer Blacktyde and Ronard Orkwood, a plan was devised to destroy the Arbor flee in a cunning pincer maneuver.
Members of House Greyjoy[edit | edit source]
The Lineage of the Krakens[edit | edit source]
- Balon Greyjoy
- Rodrik Greyjoy
- Maron Greyjoy
- Lady Paramount Asha Greyjoy (275-331AC)
- m. Gran Goodbrother (d. 329AC)
- Ravella Greyjoy (302-360AC)
- Rodrik “the Green” Greyjoy (303-330AC)
- Maryen Greyjoy (303-354AC)
- Victaria Greyjoy (304-363AC)
- Torric "the Blackhand" Greyjoy (306-354AC)
- m. Mara Sunderly (d. 372AC)
- Alva Greyjoy (Married, with children) - (b. 326AC)
- m. House Goodbrother of Hammerhorn
- Roryn “Ironshod” Greyjoy (327-380AC)
- m. Runa Volmark (b. 328AC)
- Nute Greyjoy (b. 328AC)
- Brander Pyke (b. 352AC)
- Tristifer Pyke (354-377AC)
- Harras, Harwyn, Hake - Triplets (b. 355AC)
- Theon Greyjoy (d. 300AC)
- Euron Greyjoy (d. 303AC)
- Victarion Greyjoy
- m. The Dusky Woman