House Greyjoy

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House Greyjoy of Pyke is one of the Great Houses of Westeros. It rules over the Iron Islands, a harsh and bleak collection of islands off the west coast of Westeros, from the castle at Pyke. The head of the house is the Lord Reaper of Pyke.

House Greyjoy’s sigil is traditionally a golden kraken on a black field. Their house words are “We Do Not Sow,” although the phrase “What Is Dead May Never Die” is also closely associated with House Greyjoy and their banner men, as they are associated with the faith of the Drowned God.

Following the extinction of House Hoare, the iron born elected House Greyjoy as Lord of the Iron Islands, an administrative region of the Seven Kingdoms, as vassals to House Targaryen. During Robert’s Rebellion, House Greyjoy declared for House Baratheon. During the Greyjoy Rebellion, Balon Greyjoy declared sovereignty as the Kingdom of the Iron Islands and seceded from the Seven Kingdoms, but the rebellion was put down. House Greyjoy bent the knee to Robert Baratheon, and the Kingdom of the Iron Islands became defunct.

During the War of the Five Kings, Balon Greyjoy declared himself King of the Iron Islands and the Iron Islands independent once more, restoring the Kingdom of the Iron Islands and seceding from the Seven Kingdoms. Following his assassination and the election of his brother and murderer, Euron, as the new King of the Iron Islands, House Greyjoy was divided between Euron and his followers, and Balon’s surviving children, Yara and Theon, and their followers. During Daenerys Targaryen’s war for Westeros, Euron allied with Cersei of House Lannister, while Yara and her followers allied with Daenerys Targaryen, who Euron originally intended to ally with. After being set free by Theon, Yara retook the Iron Islands in Daenerys’s name. Theon died at the Battle of Winterfell while Euron died at the Battle of King’s Landing, leaving Yara firmly as the head and last living member of House Greyjoy.

History

Background

House Greyjoy is one of the Great Houses of Westeros. Their lands are the Iron Islands off the west coast of the continent. They rule from their castle Pyke from the island of the same name. The Iron Islands are harsh and bleak and the Greyjoys have traditionally survived by raiding their neighbours. They have always had plans to conquer the mainland. The head of the house is the Lord Reaper of Pyke.

House Greyjoy boasts descent from the Grey King, a legendary King of the Iron Islands said to have ruled for a thousand years and taken a mermaid as his wife. Like the vast majority of iron born, they worship the Drowned God.

Lord Balon Greyjoy was the founder of the Kingdom of the Iron Islands. He led a rebellion against King Robert Baratheon eight years before the events of the series begin. Balon’s sons Rodrik and Maron were killed in the unsuccessful rebellion. Balon’s only surviving son Theon was made a ward of Lord Eddard Stark to ensure Balon’s submission to King Robert. Only his daughter, Yara Greyjoy, and two of his brothers remained on the Iron Islands after his defeat.

At some point, Balon exiled his younger brother, Euron Greyjoy, who became a feared pirate that terrorised the seas as far as from Old town in Westeros to Qarth in Essos.

Season 1

Theon Greyjoy is a ward of Lord Eddard Stark. He lives at the Stark castle of Winterfell, where he has a cordial relationship with his Stark hosts. Despite the respectful treatment accorded by the Starks, Theon is insecure about his status as a ward. He boasts of his status as a lord to Osha, a Wildling servant in the Stark household, but fails to intimidate her. He later accompanies Ned’s son Robb Stark, the King in the North, to fight in the War of the Five Kings and wins Robb’s trust and favour.

Season 2

Theon appeals to King Robb to send him on a mission to negotiate an alliance with his father, Balon Greyjoy, reasoning that the Starks would need ships to attack King’s Landing. Despite Catelyn Stark’s distrust of Balon, Robb relents and sends Theon back to the Iron Islands to secure help. However, Balon has other ideas and plans to use the power struggle on the mainland to carve up a kingdom in the North, once more declaring himself King of the Iron Islands. Theon is torn between his birth family and his loyalty to the Starks, but ultimately chooses to submit to his father. Theon decides to renege his allegiance to the Starks and is baptised in the name of the Drowned God while his father and sister watch on.

Balon’s daughter, Yara Greyjoy, leads a large force that attacks Deep wood Motte, the seat of House Glover. Meanwhile, Theon is made the commander of the Sea Bitch. Instead of attacking small fishing villages as ordered, Theon and his men raid Torrhen’s Square and succeed in drawing the remaining Stark forces away from Winterfell. Without consulting Balon or Yara, Theon and his men seize Winterfell and capture Ned’s younger sons Bran and Rickon Stark. Theon also executes Ser Rodrik Cassel for defying him. However, the two Stark boys and their Dire wolves escape with the help of Osha and Hodor.

In retaliation, Theon murders two orphans and claims them as Bran and Rickon. His actions have the effect of fuelling northern hostility towards the Iron born invaders. Balon and Yara are furious with Theon’s conduct, which has jeopardised the Iron born war effort. Yara leads a party to implore her brother to leave Winterfell. Theon refuses and insists on defending his prize against the northerners. Unable to reason with Theon, Yara is forced to leave him behind.

Theon and his paltry garrison are besieged by a large Bolton army led by Ramsay Snow, the bastard son of Roose Bolton, a vassal of the Starks. The Iron born turn on Theon and hand him over to Ramsay in return for safe conduct. However, Ramsay reneges on his offer and flays them alive. The capture of Theon is a major blow to House Greyjoy since it deprives Balon of his last remaining son and heir to the Sea stone Chair.

Season 3

Over a prolonged period, Theon Greyjoy is tortured and emasculated by Ramsay Snow. Due to his experiences, Theon adopts the persona Reek and becomes totally subjugated to Ramsay. Theon later issues an ultimatum to Lord Balon Greyjoy demanding that he withdraw his forces from the North. Ramsay also threatens to send more “bits” of his son Theon and to flay every Iron born in the North alive if his demands are not met. As a parting gift, Ramsay also presents Theon’s severed penis. Unwilling to abandon the strongholds he has taken, Balon rejects Ramsay’s demands. He also rejects his son Theon because he disobeyed his orders and cannot produce heirs to further the Greyjoy line. Defying her father’s wishes, Yara assembles a team of Iron born warriors to rescue her brother Theon.

Season 4

Theon Greyjoy has seemingly forgotten his former identity and embraced the persona “Reek”. He is totally subservient to his master Ramsay. Upon returning to the Dread fort, Roose Bolton reprimands his son Ramsay for torturing and emasculating Theon. As Balon’s son and heir, he would have been a valuable hostage for him to trade with Balon in return for securing the withdrawal of Iron born forces from the North.

Later, Yara and her warriors manage to infiltrate the Dread fort and reach Theon’s cell. However, fearing that it is another trap set up by his master, Theon spurns Yara’s offer. Yara and her warriors are forced to flee when Ramsay unleashes his dogs on them. After reaching their boats, Yara regards her brother Theon to be “dead”.

Having proven his loyalty, “Reek” is sent on a mission by Ramsay, to secure the surrender of the Iron born garrison at Moat Cailin. For this mission, “Reek” has to pretend to be Theon. Identifying himself as Theon and Balon’s last remaining heir, Reek addresses the Iron born garrison telling them to surrender in return for safe passage. Despite being met by resistance from the garrison commander Ralf Kenning, his men accept Theon’s offer and surrender to the Boltons. However, Ramsay reneges on his offer and has them flayed alive anyway.

Season 5

In an attempt to reach out to Theon, Sansa Stark reminds him of his real name and position as Balon’s only surviving son and heir. Ultimately, Theon sheds his Reek persona and helps Sansa to escape the new Bolton stronghold of Winterfell.

Season 6

After being rescued from Bolton hunters by Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne, Theon decides to part company with Sansa and her companions because he fears retribution from Jon Snow for his role in the disappearance of Bran and Rickon, and the murder of the two orphans. Theon takes one horse and travels towards the Iron Islands.

Meanwhile, the Greyjoys face another major setback with the loss of Deep wood Motte to the Glovers. With the War of the Five Kings over, the northern lords are returning to the North and pushing back the Iron born gains. Yara Greyjoy counsels her father Balon to end his campaign to conquer the North but he refuses to back down. Later that night, Balon is murdered by Euron, who has returned to claim the Salt Throne. Following a struggle on a rope bridge, Euron throws Balon to his death in the sea. The following day, Balon’s corpse is found by Yara and her uncle Aeron Greyjoy. While Yara intends to succed her father on the Salt Throne, Aeron announces that a kings moot will elect the new ruler of the Iron Islands.

Theon finally returns to Pyke and receives a cold reception from his sister Yara, who is still angry at him for spurning her rescue attempt at the Dread fort, though her mood picks up when Theon pledges to support her claim to the Salt Throne. At the Kings moot, Yara is able to win the support of many due to her reputation as a warrior and Theon’s support. Yara promises to build a mighty fleet to conquer the mainland. However, Euron then challenges her candidacy by proposing an alliance with Daenerys Targaryen against the mainland. Euron wins the Kings moot and is crowned King of the Iron Islands following his baptism by Aeron. Meanwhile, Yara, Theon, and their supporters flee on the best ships in the Iron Fleet. In response, Euron orders his followers to build a new fleet and vow to kill his niece and nephew.

Yara and Theon travel with the Iron Fleet to Essos where they plan to reach Daenerys before Euron arrives. On their way, they stop over at Volantis for rest and relaxation. The Iron born frequent a bar where they are entertained by prostitutes. Yara tells a despondent and guilt-ridden Theon that she needs his support to forge an alliance with Daenerys and urges him to regain his confidence. She then leaves with a prostitute.

Following the Second Siege of Meereen, Yara and Theon meet with Daenerys Targaryen and her advisor Tyrion Lannister. Yara offers to provide a hundred ships to Dany if she can help them defeat Euron and recognise the independence of the Iron Islands with Yara as the Queen of the Iron Islands, as her brother Theon notes that he is not fit to rule, something that Tyrion agrees with. Daenerys agrees to their offer after securing a promise that the Iron born will cease raiding and terrorising the mainland.

The ships of the Iron Fleet that Theon and Yara took after the kings moot are later seen sailing alongside the ships of House Tyrell, Dorne, and those of the former slave masters, which now bear the sails of House Targaryen.

Season 7

At the invitation of the newly-crowned Queen Cersei Lannister, Euron travels to King’s Landing with his portion of the Iron Fleet. In response to the threat of Queen Daenerys, Euron and Cersei form a pact to kill their estranged relatives Yara, Theon, and Tyrion Lannister, who have sided with Dany. Jaime Lannister distrusts Euron due to the historical enmity between the Greyjoys and Lannisters during the Greyjoy Rebellion. Cersei turns down Euron’s marriage offer since she distrusts the Lord Reaper of Pyke. Euron promises to return with a gift.

Later, Princess Yara attends Queen Dany’s war council at Dragon stone castle. She advocates attacking King’s Landing immediately but settles for Tyrion’s plan to use her faction of the Iron Fleet to transport Dornish men and House Tyrell forces across the Narrow Sea to lay siege to King’s Landing. While traveling through the high seas with Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes, Yara’s fleet is ambushed by Euron’s fleet. Euron’s forces wipe out Yara’s Iron born faction and capture Yara, Ellaria, and her daughter Tyene Sand. Theon manages to escape by jumping into the sea and clinging to driftwood.

Following the assault on the Targaryen fleet, Theon is rescued from the sea by the Iron born crew of one of the few Yara loyalist ships to have survived the battle. Theon claims that he tried to rescue his sister but the crew see through his lies. Meanwhile, Euron leads his niece Yara along with Ellaria and Tyene through the streets of King’s Landing. Euron is greeted as a hero while Yara is pelted with rotten fruit by the small folk. At the Red Keep, Yara is taken into custody while Euron is appointed as the commander of Queen Cersei’s naval forces. Jaime however opines that Euron’s head belongs on a spike and reacts negatively when Euron asks about having sex with Cersei. Euron later leads the Iron Fleet in attacking the Unsullied forces that have attacked Casterly Rock, the seat of House Lannister.

At the Parley in King’s Landing, Euron seemingly abandons Cersei after witnessing the captured wight. However, Cersei later reveals to Jaime that this was a ruse and that Euron is really headed for Essos to ferry the Golden Company across the Narrow Sea so they can help secure her hold on the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, Theon assembles Yara’s last few remaining men to help him rescue his sister.

Season 8

As Euron ferries the Golden Company to King’s Landing, he tells his niece Yara who is imprisoned on the Silence that they are the only Greyjoys alive aside from Theon, implying that Aeron died at some point.

While the Iron Fleet docks at the port of King’s Landing during the night, Theon and Yara’s loyalists infiltrate the Silence by killing all of the mute guards, freeing Yara in the process. After returning to what little remains of their own fleet (three ships), Yara sails back to the Iron Islands to take them back in Daenerys’s name while Theon journeys to Winterfell to help the Starks in fighting the army of the dead. Theon eventually reaches Winterfell with other iron born warriors, where he bends the knee to Daenerys and is welcomed by Sansa Stark into her service. At a war council, Theon states that he will protect Bran Stark with the other iron born while he is in the Winterfell gods wood in an effort to draw out the Night King and destroy him.

When the Battle of Winterfell begins, Theon and the iron born take Bran out to the Winterfell gods wood beneath the weirwood tree. Theon asks for forgiveness, and Bran responds that everything he did brought him back “home” before warging into a flock of ravens. While Bran is warged, Theon and the iron born protect him from an onslaught of wights. By the time the Night King arrives with the other White Walkers, all the iron born have fallen, save for Theon. Bran stops warging, and thanks Theon for protecting him and tells him he is a good man. In a final act to try and defend Bran, Theon charges at the Night King, but the Night King stops and impales Theon, killing him. Theon’s sacrifice, however, buys enough time for Arya Stark to arrive and destroy the Night King before he can kill Bran, subsequently shattering the remaining White Walkers and destroying the wights.

With the Iron Fleet stationed in Blackwater Bay and fitted with scorpions on deck, Euron’s forces are able to successfully kill Rhaegal and capture Missandei during the Battle at Dragon stone, delivering the latter into Cersei’s hands. However, the entirety of Euron’s Iron Fleet is burned by Drogon during the Battle of King’s Landing. Euron survives for a time and makes it to shore, where he confronts Ser Jaime Lannister, taunting him over bedding Cersei. After a brutal fight, both men are left mortally wounded, with Euron dying on the beach. Yara’s rule of the Iron Islands thus becomes uncontested.

Military

Although House Greyjoy did not maintain a standing army, they were the commanders of the Iron Fleet. During Daenerys Targaryen’s war for Westeros, Euron and Yara controlled different factions of the Iron Fleet. Yara had under her command 100 of the best ships from the original Iron Fleet, while Euron expanded the portion of the fleet that was under his control, eventually having 1,000 ships in his faction. During the war for Westeros, Yara’s fleet was destroyed during the assault on the Targaryen Fleet, eventually only having three ships under her command. Euron’s fleet, including the Silence, was annihilated during the Battle of King’s Landing, with little to no surviving ships.

Relationships

Members

  • Lord {Balon Greyjoy}, Lord of the Iron Islands, Lord Reaper of Pyke, Son of the Sea Wind and King of Salt and Rock. The former head of the family. Styled himself as King of the Iron Islands in defiance of the Iron Throne. Killed when he was pushed off a bridge by his brother, Euron Greyjoy.
    • Lady {Alannys}, his wife of House Harlaw.
      • {Rodrik Greyjoy}, their eldest son and heir. Killed by Lord Jason Mallister during the Battle of Seagard.
      • {Maron Greyjoy}, their second son. Killed during the Siege of Pyke.
      • Yara Greyjoy, their only daughter. Claimant Queen of the Iron Islands, Lady Reaper of Pyke, Daughter of the Sea Wind and Queen of Salt and Rock, ruling in Pyke since her Retaking of the Iron Islands.
      • {Theon Greyjoy}, their youngest son. Former ward of House Stark. Formerly styled himself as Prince of Winterfell. Former captive and servant of Ramsay Bolton dubbed “Reek.” Killed by the Night King during the Battle of Winterfell.
  • {Euron Greyjoy}, Balon’s younger brother. A pirate and a reaver. The former King of the Iron Islands, Lord Reaper of Pyke, Son of the Sea Wind and King of Salt and Rock. Arranged to marry Queen Cersei I Lannister of the Seven Kingdoms after the prospective defeat of Daenerys Targaryen. Killed by Ser Jaime Lannister during the Battle of King’s Landing.
  • Aeron “Damphair” Greyjoy, Balon’s youngest brother. A priest of the Drowned God. Status uncertain.

Historical members

  • The {Grey King}, ancestor of House Greyjoy and legendary King of the Iron Islands.
  • Lord {Vickon Greyjoy}, first Lord of the Iron Islands, King of Salt and Rock, and Son of the Sea Wind. Chosen by the iron born to rule the Iron Islands after the death of King Harren Hoare.
  • Lord {Dalton Greyjoy}, known as the Red Kraken. Fought for the Blacks during the Dance of the Dragons, and assassinated by his mistress.

Sworn to House Greyjoy

  • House Blacktyde of Blacktyde
  • House Botley of Lord sport
  • House Good brother of Hammer horn
  • House Harlaw of Harlaw
    • House Kenning, sworn to House Harlaw.
  • House Merlyn
  • House Sparr

Lesser Houses

  • House Humble

Household and allies

  • {Dagmer}, called “Dagmer Cleftjaw”, first mate of the Sea Bitch. Flayed by Ramsay Snow.
  • {Lorren}, called “Black Lorren”, an iron born raider and crewman of the Sea Bitch. Flayed by Ramsay Snow.
  • {Drennan}, an iron born raider and crewman of the Sea Bitch. Killed by Osha.
  • {Gelmarr}, an iron born raider and crewman of the Sea Bitch. Flayed by Ramsay Snow.
  • {Wex}, an iron born raider and crewman of the Sea Bitch. Flayed by Ramsay Snow.
  • {Stygg}, an iron born raider and crewman of the Sea Bitch. Flayed by Ramsay Snow.
  • {Aggar}, an iron born raider and crewman of the Sea Bitch. Flayed by Ramsay Snow.
  • Harrag, an iron born captain under Yara and Theon’s command.

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