From A Wiki of Ice and Fire
The Famine Winter is the ironborn's name for a long and harsh winter which occurred centuries before Aegon's Conquest.
King Harmund III Hoare and his mother, Lelia Lannister, were mutilated when the King of the Iron Islands was deposed by the ironborn. This led to twelve years of warfare between the Iron Islands and the westerlands, which left the islands defeated and impoverished. Archmaester Hake states that during the Famine Winter which followed, three times as many islanders died from famine than from the previous warfare.
- ↑ The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Black Blood.