In Season 3 Episode 1 of Game of Thrones, after Tyrion recovers from the Battle of the Blackwater and meets Tywin Lannister, Tywin says:

Now, I have seven kingdoms to look after and three of them are in open rebellion.

Which three kingdoms is he referring to? After the Battle of Blackwater Bay, Stannis has lost the war and even most of the Stormlands' lords are with the Tyrells and Lannisters. Only Robb Stark's kingdom was in open rebellion against King Joffrey. At this point, Dorne and The Vale have not participated in the war but they are not in rebellion.

So which other two kingdoms is he referring to?


4 Answers 4


I think Tywin Lannister is correct here. After the Battle of Blackwater, three rival kings to Joffrey Baratheon survived

  1. "King in the North" Robb Stark
  2. "King of the Iron Islands" Balon Greyjoy
  3. "One True King" Stannis Baratheon (The Stormlands)

The riverlands (House Tully and their banner men) were in alliance with Rob Stark. So they should ideally count as banner men of Robb Stark.

Although Balon Greyjoy hasn't directly gone into conflict with Tywin Lannister, he has declared himself as the king.

Stannis Baratheon had lost the battle, but he has not surrendered yet. So which technically keeps him in conflict with Tywin Lannister.


TL;DR: There is no definitive answer to this question.


What should be clarified at the beginning is that even though the realm is often referred to as Seven Kingdoms it is in fact a historical term:

When Aegon I Targaryen embarked on the conquest of the continent from his seat on Dragonstone he had to contend with seven independent realms. These were:

  • Kingdom of the North
  • Kingdom of the Mountain and the Vale
  • Kingdom of the Isles and Rivers
  • Kingdom of the Rock [later known as the Westerlands]
  • Kingdom of the Stormlands
  • Kingdom of the Reach
  • Principality of Dorne

After the conquest the Kingdom of the Isles and Rivers split into the Iron Islands and the Riverlands and one more region (the Crownlands) was established. As a result, currently the Seven Kingdoms consists of nine regions.


The regions Tywin couldn't have on his mind are the Vale, Dorne, Reach, the Westerlands and the Crownlands because they were not in rebellion at the time. The only region he undoubtedly had on his mind is the North. This means that the other two can be any combination of the remaining three: the Iron Islands, the Stormlands or the Riverlands.

Each possibility can be analysed based on the following criteria:

  • is the region part of the historical Seven Kingdoms

  • what are the specifics of the region's rebellion

  • how important is the region from Tywin's point of view

The Iron Islands:


  • Balon Greyjoy crowned himself a king, i.e. openly rebelled against the Iron Throne.

  • The Iron Islands are generally considered to be one the historical Seven Kingdoms (due to the fact that it's the inheritor of the Kingdom of the Isles and Rivers as this kingdom had its origin there (see Kingdom of the Iron Islands)).

  • Balon would probably be considered important by Tywin due to the fact that The Iron Islands are neightbouring The Westerlands and were always a big threat for the westermen.


  • Tywin does not say this sentence in the book (at least not in his conversation with Tyrion after the recovery of the latter) and from the perspective of the first two seasons of the show Balon has almost no importance. The Iron Islands plot is reduced to just a few scenes and the fact that there is any rebellion going on there can be completely missed by the viewers that didn't read the books.

The Stormlands:


  • The Stormlands are undoubtedly one of the historical Seven Kingdoms.
  • Stanis Baratheon crowned himself a king, i.e. openly rebelled against the Iron Throne.


  • Stannis just lost an important battle and can be considered (at least partially) broken.
  • Stannis control over the Stormlands and the support of the regional lords is arguable, although regional capital The Storm's End was still in his hands at the time.

The Riverlands:


  • The Stormlands raised their banners for the King in the North and are rebelling against the Iron Throne.
  • It's the region that is the most affected by the war and would surely be important for Tywin.


  • The Riverlands didn't rebel on its own, but rather joined a rebellion.
  • The Riverlands is not considered a part of the historical Seven Kingdoms and the distinction is often emphasized, e.g. in this sentence said by King Robert:

Back in our day, you weren't a real man until you'd fucked one girl from each of the Seven Kingdoms and the Riverlands.


The above analysis doesn't provide a conclusive answer which regions Tywin had on his mind. We can be sure that one of them is the North. The remaining two can be any combination of the following three: the Iron Islands, the Stormlands or the Riverlands.


I believe he means:

  1. The North as you said is still is open rebellion
  2. The Riverlands are helping the North, parts of it are subdued but still fighting against the crown.
  3. The Stormlands, yes Stannis just suffered a massive defeat and the Reach has been brought back into the fold but Stannis still has some bit of an army left at Dragonstone and Storm's End, no real fighting has taken place in the Stormlands yet, no one knows how firm to Stannis' cause his lords will be.

He could also mean the Iron Islands that have seemingly rebelled against the Crown they are not directly fighting against the Lannisters but they are very much not loyal to them in their actions in the North. Balon Greyjoy has crowned himself king and believes himself no longer a subject of the Iron Throne.

So really Tywin is wrong or discounting one of the last two.


Simple answer:

  1. The North : Duh! We all know why
  2. The Iron Islands : Because Balon declared himself the king and raided the northern coast and took winterfell.
  3. Stormlands : Because Stannis was not dead after the Battle of Blackwater.

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