Aziz is joined by guests Steven Attewell (Race for the Iron Throne) and Jim McGeehin (Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire) to recap and explain one of the largest battles in the history of Westeros: the battle of Redgrass Field. The Red Dragon vs. The Black Dragon, winner takes the Iron Throne. Find the rest of our Blackfyre series here.
The primary topics in this episode:
- My Kingdom For An Arrest
- Red or Black: Recruitment, Propaganda & Ambition
- The Battles before Redgrass
- The Day the Grass Bled
“I will never forget the way the sun looked when it set upon the Redgrass Field…ten thousand men had died, and the air was thick with moans and lamentations, but above us the sky turned gold and red and orange, so beautifully it made me weep to know that my sons would never see it.” He sighed. “It was a closer thing than they would have you believe, these days. If not for Bloodraven…”
Red or black? was a dangerous question, even now. Since the days of Aegon the Conquerer, the arms of House Targaryen had borne a three-headed dragon, red on black. Daemon the Pretender had reversed those colors on his own banners, as many bastards did.
“It would suit Lord Bloodraven if their names were all forgotten, so he has forbidden us to sing of them, but I remember. Robb Reyne, Gareth the Grey, Ser Aubrey Ambrose, Lord Gormon Peake, Black Byren Flowers, Redtusk, Fireball . . . Bittersteel! I ask you, has there ever been such a noble company, such a roll of heroes?”
Old fools and young malcontents still make pilgrimages to the Redgrass Field to plant flowers on the spot where Daemon Blackfyre fell.
Daemon was the Warrior himself that day. No man could stand before him. He broke Lord Arryn’s van to pieces and slew the Knight of Ninestars and Wild Wyl Waynwood before coming up against Ser Gwayne Corbray of the Kingsguard. For near an hour they danced together on their horses, wheeling and circling and slashing as men died all around them. It’s said that whenever Blackfyre and Lady Forlorn clashed, you could hear the sound for a league around. It was half a song and half a scream, they say. But when at last the Lady faltered, Blackfyre clove through Ser Gwayne’s helm and left him blind and bleeding.
“There was much and more afterward, I know. I saw a bit of it myself . . . the rebels running, Bittersteel turning the rout and leading his mad charge . . . his battle with Bloodraven, second only to the one Daemon fought with Gwayne Corbray . . . Prince Baelor’s hammerblow against the rebel rear, the Dornishmen all screaming as they filled the air with spears . . . but at the end of the day, it made no matter. The war was done when Daemon died.”
“Some have written of the boldness of the men who fought with Daemon, and others of their treason. But for all their valor in the field and their enmity against Daeron, theirs was a lost cause. Daemon and his eldest sons, Aegon and Aemon, were brought down beneath the withering fall of arrows sent by Brynden Rivers and his private guards, the Raven’s Teeth. This was followed by Bittersteel’s mad charge, with Blackfyre in his hand, as he attempted to rally Daemon’s forces. Meeting with Bloodraven in the midst of the charge, a mighty duel ensued, which left Bloodraven blinded in one eye and sent Bittersteel fleeing.”