Dalton Greyjoy, as depicted in Game of Thrones: Histories & Lore.
|Alias||The Red Kraken|
|Born||In 113 AC|
|Died||In 133 AC, Faircastle|
Dalton Greyjoy, known as the Red Kraken, was the Lord of the Iron Islands, Lord Reaper of Pyke, and the head of House Greyjoy during the late reign of King Viserys I Targaryen and then the Dance of the Dragons.
Dalton was a daring and bloodthirsty man. He was loved by his men but not by his wives, as he tired of women quickly. Despite his youth, Dalton was shrewd and wild. Dalton is regarded as a great hero of the ironborn of the Iron Islands.
The wild young son of the heir to Pyke, Dalton rowed at age five and reaved at ten, sailing with his uncle to plunder the pirate towns of the Basilisk Isles. By fourteen, Dalton had sailed as far as Old Ghis, fought in a dozen actions, and claimed four salt wives.
Dalton claimed a Valyrian steel longsword, which he named Nightfall, off a dead corsair. While fighting in the Stepstones as a sellsail, the fifteen-year-old Dalton avenged his uncle after watching his death. Because Dalton emerged from the fight drenched in blood from a dozen wounds, men began calling him the Red Kraken. Later in the same year, Dalton returned to the Iron Islands to claim the Seastone Chair after hearing of his father's death. Immediately he began to build longships, forge swords, and train fighters, citing that "the storm is coming" as the reason.
The Dance of the Dragons
The greens of Aegon II Targaryen offered Dalton the position of master of ships and the admiralty to replace Ser Tyland Lannister, who had been made master of coin, if Dalton would bring his ships around Westeros to battle Lord Corlys Velaryon, the Sea Snake. Instead of leaping to the offer, Dalton waited to see what the blacks had to offer. On the black council, Prince Daemon Targaryen suggested appealing to Dalton's bloodlust to bring him on the side of Rhaenyra Targaryen. Instead of asking him to sail to Blackwater Bay, Rhaenyra only asked for Dalton to attack her enemies.
The Red Kraken chose black over green, deciding to attack the nearby westerlands, vulnerable with Lord Jason Lannister campaigning in the riverlands. Jason's wife, Lady Johanna, barred the gates of Casterly Rock but was unable to protect the rest of the west. Dalton burned the fleet of House Lannister and sacked Lannisport, carrying off gold, grain, and trade goods. Hundreds of women and girls were taken as salt wives, including the favorite mistress of Jason and their natural daughters. Dalton led the failed capture of Kayce, and after the fall of Faircastle and Fair Isle he claimed four of Lord Farman's daughters as salt wives, giving the fifth, the "homely one", to his brother Veron. Lord Jason was killed in the Battle of the Red Fork in 130 AC.
Control of Fair Isle
For the better part of two years, the Red Kraken ruled the Sunset Sea like the ironborn kings of old, although he did not claim the title King of the Iron Islands. Ser Tyland Lannister and the regency of Aegon III commanded Dalton to cease his raiding, but the Red Kraken ignored them. When Lady Johanna Lannister began building a new fleet on behalf of her son, Lord Loreon Lannister, Dalton's ironmen burned her shipyards and abducted another hundred women.
Dalton never took a rock wife, although he had twenty-two salt wives and boasted of having a hundred. When Dalton heard of the Maiden's Day Cattle Show, he considered sending one of his sisters as a candidate to become King Aegon III Targaryen's second bride. After her westermen defended Kayce and slew Dalton's favorite uncle, Johanna sent a ragtag fleet to discretely invade Fair Isle. The ironmen ambushed these westermen, however, and Dalton sent the heads of Lord Prester, Lord Tarbeck, and Ser Erwin Lannister to Johanna at Casterly Rock.
After Lord Alyn Velaryon defeated the Braavosi fleet in the Stepstones during the Daughters' War, Lord Unwin Peake attempted to rid himself of Alyn Oakenfist by sending him to end Dalton's insurrection. Dalton responded by gathering hundred of longships to Fair Isle and the coasts of the westerlands. The Red Kraken intended to conquer the Shield Islands and Driftmark and sack Oldtown and Sunspear.
While sleeping in Lord Farman's bedchamber at Faircastle in 133 AC, Dalton was killed when one of his salt wives, the girl Tess, cut his throat with his own dagger before throwing herself into the sea. As the Red Kraken had never taken a rock wife, his heirs were two young salt sons at Pyke, Toron and Rodrik. Dalton also had three sisters and several ambitious cousins. Toron was only five years old, and within hours of the Red Kraken's death a bloody struggle for succession broke out among the ironborn. Hundreds of ironmen were killed as Fair Isle rose in rebellion. Faircastle held out for a time, but the castle fell after Gunthor Goodbrother slew Alester Wynch while fighting for another of Dalton's salt wives, Lysa Farman. Having arrived to find Dalton already dead, Alyn Oakenfist left a third of his fleet with the westermen and returned home for the crownlands.
A bloody struggle for power broke out in the Iron Islands after Dalton's death. In 134 AC Lord Jason Lannister's widow, Johanna Lannister, avenged Dalton's raids by having her men-at-arms sail to the Iron Islands with the fleet of Ser Leo Costayne, the lord admiral of the Reach. Among the ironborn slain were two of Dalton's sisters and nine of his cousins. His younger son, Rodrik, was taken captive, gelded, and made into Casterly Rock's new fool.
Dalton's sword, Nightfall, eventually passed to House Harlaw. The Red Kraken's life is included in Archmaester Mancaster's Sea Demons: A History of the Children of the Drowned God of the Isles.
Quotes by Dalton
—Dalton to Tyland Lannister
—Dalton to Tyland Lannister
Quotes about Dalton
- See the Dalton Greyjoy calculation.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Voyage of Alyn Oakenfist.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Red Kraken.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: Driftwood Crowns.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - War and Peace and Cattle Shows.
- Fire & Blood, The Lysene Spring and the End of Regency.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 19, The Drowned Man.