Friday, 5 October 2012

Robert's Rebellion

Robert's Rebellion
Robert Baratheon's rebellion was a civil war among the Great Houses of Westeros that took place about 17 years before the series begins. The rebellion displaced House Targaryen as rulers of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. House Baratheon became the new royal house after the war's conclusion.
Aerys II Targaryen the Second of His Name, also known as the Mad King, was King of Westeros. His reign became increasingly erratic and murderous. He had a fascination with fire and began to burn his victims alive. A final round of bloodshed, when his son Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna Stark of Winterfell, saw the Seven Kingdoms rebel against him.

Lyanna Stark was a prominent noblewoman, the daughter of Rickard Stark, Lord Paramount of the North. She was also betrothed to Robert Baratheon. Robert served Aerys as Lord Paramount of the Stormlands prior to Lyanna's abduction. House Stark and House Baratheon were the first Houses to protest Rhaegar's actions. 

Brandon Stark, Lyanna's eldest brother, demanded justice from Aerys in person. Aerys had him arrested for treason and then offered to ransom him to his father Rickard. Aerys summoned Rickard to court and when he arrived, Aerys publicly executed both Rickard and Brandon. Lord Rickard was burned alive inside his armour with wildfire and Brandon was tied to a strangulation device, with a sword inches from his hands, he strangled himself by trying to reach the sword.

This brutal murder gave rise to much sympathy for the rebels and many houses joined their cause. Jon Arryn was a natural ally to the rebels. He was the Defender of the Vale and a respected nobleman. Both Rickard's second son Eddard Stark and Robert fostered with his as children and became close friends. When Aerys demanded that Eddard be turned over to the Kings Justice, Lord Jon rebelled and called his banners to war. The rebels forged an alliance with House Tully through marriage with Eddard married to Catelyn Tully and the then-elderly Jon to the young Lysa Tully. 

Stannis Baratheon fought for his elder brother Robert during the war. Aerys used his allies in House Tyrell to besiege Stannis at Storm's end for much of the war. Stannis's forces were rescued from starvation by the smuggler Davos Seaworth, who brought a ship full of onions into the castle.

Rhaegar was killed by Robert during the fighting at the battle of the Trident. The site of Rhaegar's death is now called the Ruby Ford because it is believed to be scattered with rubies from his armour. Rhaegar's wife Elia of House Martell was kept in King's Landing by Aerys to ensure the Martell's loyalty during the conflict. Aerys was betrayed by his allies in House Lannister. He was slain by his Kingsguard Ser Jaime Lannister after he ordered King's Landing burned. His final words being ''Burn them All''. The gates of Kings Landing were opened to the Lannister armies and they sacked the city. Elia was raped and murdered by Gregor Clegane during the sack. Both of her children were also killed.

Robert claimed the Iron Throne because he started the war and was the one who killed Prince Rhaegar. Robert also had the best claim to the Iron Throne as a result of being related to the Targaryen's of old on his mothers side. The other leaders of the rebels both refused the throne. Lyanna Stark also died during the war but her cause of death is still unknown to us. Robert was devastated by her death but married Cersei Lannister in tanks for her father joining his cause late in the conflict and delivering the capital of Kings Landing to him.

Tywin remained the Lord Paramount of the Westerlands. Robert named Jon Arryn his Hand while Eddard took his father's role as Warden of the North. House Tyrell, House Martell and Houe Greyjoy swore fealty to Robert to retain their pre-war positions and lands. This maintained the Seven Kingdoms under their new royal house.

Quenn Rhaella fled to the Targaryen ancestral seat on the island of Dragonstone. She was accompanied by her son Viserys Targaryen and was also pregnant. Rhaella died soon after giving birth to Daenerys Targaryen. The children were taken into exile in the Free Cities, by loyal retainers. Stannis went on to conquer Dragonstone and was made Lord of Dragonstone.

Robert's rebellion earned him the name Usurper from those loyal to the Targaryen's.

So ending the reign of the Targaryen's and the mad King Aerys. 

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