The Princes That Were Promised Featured Image for December 2017
Tower of Joy Fight
by Joshua Charles
Tower of Joy Fight is a beautiful illustration of the heartbreaking confrontation at The Tower of Joy in The Red Mountains of Dorne.
Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell, yet to take his seat in The North, has travelled quickly and quietly as possible from Storm’s End to The Tower of Joy with 6 of his closest and most trusted friends- Howland Reed, the future Lord of Greywater Watch; Willam Dustin, the Lord of Barrowton; Ethan Glover, squire to Brandon Stark and part of the Masterly House Glover of Deepwood Motte; Martyn Cassel, brother to Winterfell’s Man-at-Arms, Ser Rodrik Cassel, and father to Jory Cassel; Theo Wull, known as Buckets, and a member of The Northern Wull Clan; and Ser Mark Ryswell, one of the handful of Northern knights and a member of House Ryswell of The Rills.
What is most important to know about the 6 comrades that Ned took with him was that they are all Northmen, and the ones we know more about are all close to either Ned Stark or one of his siblings. These are all young men that Ned Stark, the new Lord of Winterfell and Overlord of The North, trusts. They are loyal to Ned and we have to assume that they can be trusted with whatever they witness at The Tower of Joy.
The 7 Northerners meet the 3 most-skilled members of Aerys Targaryen’s Kingsguard– Ser Oswell Whent a member of House Whent, know for his dark humor, and wearing a helmet with the black bat of his House ornamented upon it; Ser Gerold Hightower, the Lord Commander of The Kingsguard, fierce despite his older age, and known to the Realm as The White Bull; and Ser Arthur Dayne, the famed and legendary knight of House Dayne, holding the office of The Sword of The Morning within his noble and ancient House, and the wielder of the mythical sword Dawn, which was forged from the heart of a fallen star.
Though much of what transpires at The Tower of Joy is still a mystery, we do know that the 7 Northerners were not a match for the knights of The Kingsguard. If not for the actions of Howland Reed, Ned notes that he would have been killed during the fighting. In fact, only Ned and Howland lived through the battle. The rest were all buried with the stones of the tower, which Ned had pulled down after the battle and after the death of his sister, Lyanna, who was within.
Lyanna Stark, Ned’s younger sister who had been reported kidnapped by The Crown Prince of Dragonstone Rhaegar Targaryen, was the reason for the Northmen travelling to The Tower of Joy. The mystery of the reason she was there and the reason the 3 most skilled members of the Kingsguard were there guarding her instead of with their King or his heirs is all but solved. There still lingers confusion and details that are out of place with the ordeal, but as far as canon within Robert’s Rebellion, this was the final conflict that could be called a part of the Civil War that changed the landscape of rule in Westeros. It can also be easily argued that the cause of the Rebellion led by the young Lord of Storm’s End, Robert Baratheon, was Lyanna being “kidnapped” and taken to The Tower of Joy.
The illustration created by Joshua Charles, whose work can be found HERE seems to recreate the battle with Ned dueling against Ser Arthur Dayne in the foreground, The White Bull battles two poorly-armored Northmen in the background, while Ser Oswell Whent goes up against the armored Ser Mark Ryswell and another Northmen in the very background. Dust is being kicked up by the combatants and the smoldering sun of Dorne beats down on all from above. Looming to the very right of the illustration is The Tower of Joy which will soon enough cast a shadow over the fighters and later serve as their tombs in death.