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Everything you need to know about The Sack of Duskendale



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The Civil War, known as the Dance of the Dragons, included many battles. Though Season 1 of House of the Dragon covered the period before the war, Season 2 will show us the first of these battles.

One of the battles that occurred early on was the Sack of Duskendale. It took place in the Crownlands to the North of King’s Landing and was critical in establishing Aegon II and Criston Cole’s battle strategy. This article will cover everything we know about the Sack of Duskendale.

Read More: George R. R. Martin reveals Fabien Frankel has been cast as Ser Criston Cole in House of The Dragon

Why did the Sack of Duskendale happen?


Credits: Michael Cormack

Early on in the Dance of the Dragons, the Blacks attacked aggressively and won many small victories. Prince Daemon took the castle of Harrenhal during the campaign known as the Assault on Harrenhal.

The Blacks had also won victories at the Battle of the Burning Mill and the Taking of Stone Hedge. This had begun to cause King Aegon II a great deal of worry, as he had not considered Rhaenyra’s claim to the throne as a serious threat to his reign.

Aegon began to blame his grandfather, Otto Hightower, for not taking enough action and being the cause of the losses in the war. He stripped Otto of his title as Hand of the King. He then bestowed the title upon Ser Criston Cole, who was Lord Commander of the Kingsguard at the time.

Cole’s advice to King Aegon II was to move against the houses of Westeros that had bent the knee to Rhaenyra, accusing them of being traitors. The Greens would be unable to move against House Velaryon or House Celtigar. These two houses were situated on isles at sea and, therefore, unreachable.

However, houses loyal to the Blacks on the mainland were vulnerable to attack from Aegon II’s armies. And so, the army of the greens began their first offensive strikes of the war.

The Green armies began with Houses Rosby and Stokeworth. The lords of these houses were loyal to Rhaenyra but had bent the knee to Aegon II during his coup of King’s Landing.

King Aegon’s armies marched towards their castles and secured them without any bloodshed. They then added strength to their armies from both the lordships.

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What happened during the Sack of Duskendale?

By this time, King Aegon II’s army consisted of dragons, 100 knights, 500 men at arms, and approximately 1800 sellswords. The army of 2,400 men increased to 3,000 after they passed through the castles of Lord Rosby and Lord Stokeworth and enlisted their men.

With this massive force under his command, King Aegon II marched towards Duskendale. Duskendale was a port town ruled by House Darklyn, who supported the blacks.

The lord of Duskendale, Lord Gunthor Darklyn, sat on Rhaenyra’s black council. The town was walled and had defenses in place, but it was caught unawares against Aegon II’s attack.

The green armies sacked the town, which fell very quickly to King Aegon’s forces. All the ships docked in the town Harbor were set ablaze and burned to ashes.

Ser Criston Cole beheaded Lord Gunthor Darklyn himself for treason. Most of Lord Darklyn’s household knights had no choice but to submit to King Aegon in order to spare their own lives. However, some of the knights refused to submit and instead chose to follow Lord Darklyn to their deaths.

Read More: Fabien Frankel (Criston Cole) was spotted practicing his sword-fighting skills at House of The Dragon set in Caceres

What happened after the Sack of Duskendale?


Credits: HBO

After taking Duskendale, Cole advanced his army even further along the coastline towards a castle known as Rook’s Rest. Rook’s Rest was the seat of House Staunton, ruled by Lord Simon Staunton.

Lord Simon was one of the lesser lords who sat on the Black Council. When King Aegon’s armies moved towards his castle, Lord Simon had already received word of their advance.

Unlike Duskendale, they were not caught by surprise. Lord Simon barred the castle gates, preventing the army from entering. King Aegon’s army responded by despoiling the surrounding lands before laying siege to the castle itself.

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Lord Simon had no choice but to call for aid by sending a raven to Rhaenyra at Dragonstone. In response, the Blacks sent Princess Rhaenys and her dragon Meleys, culminating in a battle that came to be known as the Battle at Rook’s Rest.

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Ved Prabhudesai is an avid enthusiast of all things pop culture. He has a special interest in the field of animation and art, with a background in Fine Arts and Digital Media Arts. He has begun his first into the field of Entertainment Journalism with Wiki of Thrones, and has been writing for them since 2023. He also has experience working as a screenplay writer, animator and comic book artist. His hobbies include holding discussions and organising events focused around pop culture, dissecting the importance of media in today's world. He began reading A Song Of Ice And Fire shortly before Game of Thrones debuted on HBO. He has followed the series religiously and has spent hours reading Wikis learning about Targaryen history and possible plot points we will see in the Winds of Winter.

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