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The war following Robert's death is often referred to as the War of the Five Kings. However, I can only think of the following four kings:

  • Robb Stark - The King of the North
  • Stannis Baratheon - Robert's younger brother and legitimate heir
  • Renly Baratheon - The youngest Baratheon who decided to proclaim himself king
  • Joffrey Baratheon - Robert's oldest "son" and apparent heir

Who is the fifth king fighting in the War of the Five Kings?

  • 8
    Just on a slightly related not, as the Maesters point out the name "War of the Five Kings" is actually incorrect, since Renly Baratheon is slain before Balon Greyjoy crowns himself king. Therefore there were never more than 4 kings fighting at one time. – Moogle Sep 8 '14 at 10:18
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    @Moogle: Surely it was a war. There were five kings involved. Hence war of the five kings. I would say its in interesting point to note but doesn't mean the name is incorrect. I would say a better argument would be that it was actually multiple separate wars happening at the same time. – Chris Sep 8 '14 at 11:48
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    I was trying to figure this out just the other day. So it seems only fair to warn you, @Liath, that you may be merely a psychic manifestation of my idle thoughts on sci-fi and fantasy trivia. – Paul D. Waite Sep 8 '14 at 11:52
  • Related: Who are the Five kings in GOT-War of Five Kings? – TARS Oct 25 '16 at 10:56
35

The Fifth was Balon Greyjoy, Theon's father.

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To be more definite, three of the Kings were fighting for the Iron Throne (Joffrey, Stannis, Renly) whereas the other two (Robb and Balon) where fighting for independence.

Robb Stark and Balon Greyjoy attempt to secede their lands from the rule of the Iron Throne, claiming the titles of King in the North and King of the Iron Islands respectively.

From the related Wiki article.

  • I thought it was only called that (War of the Five Kings... which I obviously want to call the Battle of Five Armies) after Renly was killed, and his forces joined with Stannis, making the King Beyond The Wall the Fifth king (with Balon Greyjoy taking Renly's place). – TylerH Sep 8 '14 at 20:05
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    @TylerH No. Renly and Balon were both part of the 5 kings, despite Balon rebelling after Renly's death. There's actually an excerpt that mentions the maesters at the citadel arguing whether it should be called the War of the 5 Kings because of that fact. – Jon Claus Sep 8 '14 at 21:51
  • BTW, this is confirmed during the Purple Wedding. – Omegacron Apr 14 '15 at 19:18
  • But wait, there's more! – Möoz May 2 '16 at 0:35
9

The only king you left out was Balon Greyjoy - the Lord of the Iron Islands. He does start his own rebellion & instructs his daughter to take hold of Moat Cailin

4

I would like to offer a counter argument to the existing answers. As mentioned 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. Daenrys 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, you sexist pigs! GRRM felt it was worthy of calling out Daenrys specifically in the appendix...

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    I wouldn't quibble that a queen can't be part of the War of Five Kings, but I would quibble over the fact that Dany had no part in the wars in Westeros at all. – Telestia Aug 29 '16 at 19:05
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    @Telestia That's only if believe the War of Five Kings is over...scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/119639/… (Note that in my own question I did not share the same view I do now... – Skooba Aug 29 '16 at 19:15
  • Great question and a fantastic answer in that link. I still don't think that you can call her an "original participant of the War of Five Kings" as she has yet to participate. Once she does though, I will be more than happy to include her in the list. I for one, welcome our "new" dragon overlords. – Telestia Aug 29 '16 at 19:33
  • Oh gosh, I never saw myself as a sexist until now. Well done mate! – Möoz Aug 29 '16 at 22:45

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