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I just finished watching season three of Game of Thrones. In this season, many characters are seen referring to the ongoing war as the war of five kings. I haven't read any of the books, only watched the TV series. As per the TV series these kings IMO are:

  1. King Joffrey who take over iron throne after his father King Robert Baratheon
  2. King Robb Stark - King of the North
  3. King Stannis Baratheon

I failed to determine who the other two kings are. Who are they and what are their claims?

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The War of 5 Kings is a reference to the power struggle for Iron Throne of Westeros (Seven Kingdoms), after the death of Robert Baratheon.

The five kings referred to are:

  • Joffrey Baratheon
  • Balon Greyjoy (He establishes independent kingdom - Iron Islands)
  • Robb Stark (He is proclaimed king of the North, after death of his father)
  • Stannis Baratheon
  • Renly Baratheon (Renly also stakes a claim for the throne after winning support from Baratheon Bannermen)

Here is a snippet from the Wiki page for the novel series

The main story chronicles a power struggle for the Iron Throne of Westeros after King Robert's death in the first book, A Game of Thrones. King Robert's son Joffrey immediately claims the throne with the support of his mother's powerful, immensely wealthy Lannister family. When Lord Eddard Stark, King Robert's "Hand" (chief advisor) finds out Joffrey and his siblings were not sired by Robert, Robert's brothers Stannis and Renly individually lay claim to the throne. Meanwhile, several regions of Westeros seek to return to self-rule: Eddard Stark's eldest son Robb is proclaimed King in the North, while Balon Greyjoy re-establishes an independent Kingdom in his region, the Iron Islands. This so-called War of the Five Kings is in full progress by the middle of the second book, A Clash of Kings, with more people gradually joining the struggle for power.

  • Sadly, this is one of the things the books touch on more frequently than the TV show. I think I've heard it said once or twice in the show. – PiousVenom Jun 12 '13 at 20:46
  • I Agree with @CL4PTR4P as Renly Baratheon is died in season 2 and both him and Greyjoy's have very little part in tv series – Random Thoughts Jun 18 '13 at 6:43
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    merely staking claim to the throne does not make a king. Please note that all FIVE of them had themselves crowned, thus bringing forth the 5 kings of Westeros. – kicker86 Jun 18 '13 at 14:37
  • Sad fact that by the end of the third book, SPOILER only one of them remains alive... and he was the indirect cause of the others' deaths. – ArturBalestro Dec 27 '13 at 0:10
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I would like to offer a counter-argument to the existing answers. In-universe the Maesters like to quibble that it was not "The War of Five Kings" because Renly was already dead when Balon made his claim.

HOWEVER, let us take an out-of-universe clue...

In the appendix for A Clash of Kings the first section in titled "The Kings and Their Courts" and are listed as follows:

  1. The King of the Iron Throne
  2. The King in the Narrow Sea
  3. The King in Highgarden
  4. The King in the North
  5. The Queen Across the Water

This would translate to:

  1. Joffrey Baratheon
  2. Stannis Baratheon
  3. Renly Baratheon
  4. Robb Stark
  5. Daenerys Targaryen

So my answer is that those are the original participants of the War of Five Kings. Later you can swap Balon for Renly and still have five active participants until the Red Wedding...

Feel free to quibble that one is a queen! GRRM felt it was worthy of calling out Daenerys specifically in the appendix...

  • The main flaw in this argument is that Dany was not "at war" with any of those other kings. – KutuluMike Jun 1 '17 at 21:08
  • LOL - rejected my suggested edit, but kept the changes anyway? – NVZ Sep 30 '17 at 12:35
  • @KutuluMike She is by default, because Robert declared her a threat and in truth we know she works to become one, as she sacks cities, begins to build an army, and becomes the Queen of Mereeene. One can argue that Robert knew that Viserys also was trying to gain an army via the marriage arrangement to Khal Drogo--and although Ned dismisses it, Robert was extremely concerned and I think it became a shared perspective across Westoros, especially after Robert dies. It's not like either Vis. or Dany had no intent. – Darth Locke Sep 30 '17 at 15:52

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