Battle of the Camps

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Battle of the Camps
Battle of the Camps.png
Conflict War of the Five Kings
Date 299 AC[1]
Place Riverrun
Result Northmen and rivermen victory
Combatants
House Baratheon (King's Landing).svg Iron Throne/ House Baratheon of King's Landing:

House Lannister.svg Westerlands, led by House Lannister[N 1]

Robb Stark's host:
House Stark.svg North, led by House Stark[N 2][N 3]

Riverlands[N 4]

Commanders
House Brax.svg Lord Andros Brax
House Prester.svg Ser Forley Prester
Tyroshi sellsword
House Stark.svg Lord Robb Stark
House Blackwood.svg Lord Tytos Blackwood
House Tully (Blackfish).svg Ser Brynden Tully
Strength
~12,500 – 12,750 Northmen and rivermen Garrison of Riverrun
Casualties
Roughly 8,000[N 7]
Andros Brax
Freeriders defect to Robb Stark
not significant

The Battle of the Camps is an early battle in the War of the Five Kings. It is a great victory for House Stark and House Tully, who smash the House Lannister force that encircles Riverrun, thereby allowing the riverlords to join their forces with those of the north.

Prelude

After defeating Houses Piper and Vance below the Golden Tooth, Ser Jaime Lannister leads his host of westermen against Riverrun, where he routs another rivermen force and captures Ser Edmure Tully. The rivermen who do not retreat to their own castles hole up inside Riverrun, commanded by Lord Tytos Blackwood in place of the ailing Hoster Tully, Lord of Riverrun.[7][8]

Beginning a siege, Jaime is harassed by raiders led by Ser Marq Piper and Lord Karyl Vance. While dealing with what he thinks is another such attack, Jaime is ambushed and captured by Robb Stark's cavalry in the battle in the Whispering Wood.[4] Having had their outriders and scouts eliminated, the Lannister force is unaware of their commander's defeat or of Robb's army's approach, and is still divided in three camps in order to besiege Riverrun properly.[2]

Battle

Ser Brynden Tully, leading Robb's van, attacks the Lannister camp north of the Tumblestone at night. His force clears palisades and finishes off any remaining scouts, and the sleeping, leaderless camp is overrun. Men from the other camps, roused by the noise, soon attempt to come to the aid of the camp under attack. Lord Andros Brax leads his men from the middle camp to the rafts and attempts to make a crossing. Riverrun begins pelting the rafts with thrown rocks, however, and soon the rafts are flipping and sinking. Among those drowned is Lord Brax.[2]

Meanwhile, Robb leads two columns of armored horse, including Umbers and Mallisters, from the west in overrunning the camp between the rivers. Grey Wind, Robb's direwolf, allegedly kills four men and a dozen horses. The Lannisters in the middle camp form a shieldwall and repel one charge, but they are then taken in the rear by a sortie from Riverrun led by Tytos Blackwood. Lord Jon Umber burns the siege towers which were under construction, and Lord Blackwood releases the prisoners taken in the earlier battle under the walls of Riverrun, including Edmure.[2] Despite his condition, Lord Hoster watches the fighting from the battlements of Riverrun.[5]

In the southern camp of the Lannister force, the Tyroshi sellsword who leads the freeriders of Ser Forley Prester strikes his banners and switches sides. Forley leads the retreat of two thousand spears and two thousand bowmen when he sees the battle is lost.[2]

Aftermath

Robb Stark enters Riverrun during daylight. While Catelyn Stark greets her father, Lord Hoster Tully, in his solar, Robb prays in the castle's godswood with Jon Umber, Rickard Karstark, Maege Mormont, Galbart Glover, Tytos Blackwood, and others.[5] Word spreads through the riverlands of the victory, and the northmen and rivermen who assemble in Riverrun's Great Hall for Robb's war council proclaim him as King in the North.[5]

Ser Forley Prester retreats with his men from Riverrun to the Golden Tooth.[9][10] Meanwhile, Lord Tywin Lannister leads his own host south in a forced march after learning that Robb did not participate in the battle on the Green Fork. At the crossroads inn, however, his war council is informed of the Whispering Wood and the Battle of the Camps by a messenger from House Crakehall. Ser Harys Swyft describes the Lannister defeats as catastrophic.[2] Tywin tasks Ser Stafford Lannister with raising another host at Casterly Rock.[11]

Quotes

Harys: How could this happen? How? Even after the Whispering Wood, you had Riverrun ringed in iron, surrounded by a great host ... what madness made Ser Jaime decide to split his men into three separate camps? Surely he knew how vulnerable that would leave them?
Kevan: I would have done the same. You have never seen Riverrun, Ser Harys, or you would know that Jaime had little choice in the matter.[2]

Hoster: I saw. Last night, when it began, I told them... had to see. They carried me to the gatehouse... watched from the battlements. Ah, that was beautiful... the torches came in a wave, I could hear the cries floating across the river... sweet cries... when that siege tower went up, gods... would have died then, and glad, if only I could have seen you children first. Was it your boy who did it? Was it your Robb?
Catelyn: Yes, It was Robb... and Brynden. Your brother is here as well, my lord.[5]

Notes

  1. Houses Banefort, Estren, Greenfield, and Westerling participate in the nearby battle in the Whispering Wood, but it is not confirmed if they also have men in the Battle of the Camps.
  2. Barbrey Dustin states that Cerwyns, Slates, and Tallharts had men with Robb Stark during the War of the Five Kings,[3] but their participation in the Battle of the Camps has not been mentioned.
  3. Houses Hornwood, Manderly, Mollen, and Flint might participate in the Battle of the Camps, since Daryn Hornwood, Wendel Manderly, Hallis Mollen, and Robin Flint are at the battle in the Whispering Wood.[4]
  4. House Frey probably participates in the Battle of the Camps, since five Freys protect Robb during the earlier battle in the Whispering Wood.[4]
  5. Jaime has two or three thousand horse at the start of the siege of Riverrun, and he brings three quarters of them to the Whispering Wood.[4]
  6. Robb Stark has six thousand men at the earlier battle in the Whispering Wood,[4] and loses only a small number of men.
  7. Forley Prester retreats with four thousand men.

References