Battle of the Kingsroad
|Battle of the Kingsroad|
|Conflict||Dance of the Dragons|
|Place||Kingsroad north of King's Landing|
The Battle of the Kingsroad, called the Muddy Mess by those who fought in it, was the last battle of the Dance of the Dragons. It took place between the greens and the blacks on the kingsroad not far from King's Landing.
Despite the death of Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen, there were still those who fought against King Aegon the Elder. Lord Borros Baratheon, who had been reluctant to face the dragons in the war personally, had seized King's Landing during the Moon of the Three Kings, and restored the city to Aegon's rule. He had gathered an army of near six thousand men to Storm's End earlier in the war.
Lord Elmo Tully had gathered near six thousand men to Riverrun, including Lord Benjicot Blackwood and his aunt Black Aly, Lady Sabitha Frey, Lord Hugo Vance, Lord Jorah Mallister, Lord Roland Darry, and Lord Humfrey Bracken. Command passed to his son, Kermit Tully, after Elmo died during the march.
With a host of rivermen marching towards the city, Borros decided to march with his strength against all that remained of Rhaenyra's forces in the last days of the war. Borros was joined by levies from Duskendale, Hayford, Rosby, and Stokeworth - Houses that had originally sworn to Rhaenyra but bent the knee after Aegon II defeated them and took political hostages. Borros was also supplemented with two thousand poorly armed levies scraped up from the alleys of Flea Bottom.
The Baratheon army was larger and unbloodied, but conversely it was less experienced: Borros had cynically delayed his forces from taking any meaningful action against Rhaenyra's field armies in the entire war up to that point. The army of the rivermen may have been smaller, but it was more battle-hardened, some of them survivors of every major battle in the riverlands since the beginning of the war (particularly, the Blackwoods had fought in the Battle of the Burning Mill, the massive Battle by the Lakeshore, and Second Tumbleton).
The two forces met on the kingsroad two days away from King's Landing, where the road passed between a forest and a hill. The ground was muddy after several days of rain. Unafraid of the "boys and women" leading the rivermen, the confident Lord Borros Baratheon led the charge at dusk.
Positioned on the hill, Alysanne Blackwood's longbowmen broke Borros's cavalry charge, and the disorganized riders who managed to reach the rivermen's shield wall were slowed by the mud. The Baratheon infantry nearly broke through the shields, but they were then attacked in the flank from the forest by Benjicot Blackwood. The soldiers from Hayford, Rosby, and Stokeworth refused to join the fight, and the rabble from Flea Bottom fled the field. The knights from Duskendale switched sides outright, by attacking the stormlanders in the rear.
Although he was able to kill numerous men during the battle, including Lords Roland Darry and Jorah Mallister, Borros had been wounded several times before he faced Lord Kermit Tully. The Lord of Riverrun killed the Lord of Storm's End with his morningstar after Borros refused to surrender.
The Lads—Kermit Tully, his brother Oscar, and Bloody Ben Blackwood—advanced on King's Landing, as they were only a stone's throw removed from the city. New armies supporting Prince Aegon the Younger were also advancing, as Lord Cregan Stark was marching down the kingsroad with his own host, leaving the tidings severe for King Aegon II. Aegon the Elder had lost the war, which was plain for those advising him, but not to the king himself.
Lord Corlys Velaryon, now serving on King Aegon II's small council, advised him that the only remaining option was to surrender and take the black. King Aegon refused, and gave orders to have the ear of his nephew Aegon the Younger cut off as a warning. King Aegon was carried back to his chambers in his litter, but when the litter arrived and the curtains were lifted, the king was found dead, with blood on his lips, having been poisoned. The Hour of the Wolf followed once Cregan reached the capital.
Kermit: Yield, ser, the day is ours.
Borros: I'd sooner dance in hell than wear your chains.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Short, Sad Reign of Aegon II.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: House Baratheon.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands: House Tully.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III.