King Balon IX Greyjoy was the head of House Greyjoy and lord paramount of the Iron Islands. He is the eldest son of Lord Quellon Greyjoy by his second wife. He is married to Alannys Harlaw, and his surviving children are Asha and Theon Greyjoy.
Appearance and Character
He is gaunt with a hard face. He has hard black eyes and long grey hair flecked with white that falls past the small of his back.
Considered great by some men and almost mad by others, Balon Greyjoy was ferocious, stubborn, fearless, and quarrelsome, capable of deep grudges that clung to him for years and left him cold and callous in an extreme measure. As a younger man, Balon was apparently a prodigious ironborn reaver, raider, warrior and commander, killing his first man at fifteen years old and mastering seamanship when he was even younger. During the Greyjoy Rebellion, despite their differences, Balon utilized the cunning and merciless methods of his younger brother Euron in order to conquer Westeros the first time.
In his old age, Balon has become cruel, cynical, unyielding and ambitious. He holds absolute command among his warriors and commanders, especially two of his younger brothers, who outright worshiped him. However, even his own daughter recognized that despite his bravery and fervor, he was not that great a lord, and some of his people thought he was crazed. After his death, Balon was surpassed by his brother Euron on the promise that the Crow's Eye will actually achieve greater glory than Balon the Kraken King ever could.
He is uncompromising, and his faith in both the Drowned God and the Old Way is absolute. He defied his own father's legacy and enforced the ironborn culture passionately and pitilessly. He was very proud of his heritage and the reputation that his people held, and reacted in fury when his only surviving son returned with what he saw as a taint of the green lands. He never welcomed Theon Greyjoy back home, distancing and ostracizing him throughout the ironborn invasion during the War of the Five Kings, blind to the fact that Theon was his last male heir and had longed to return ever since he was warded by the Starks.
Balon learned to sail when young, and scaled the Flint Cliffs to the Blind Lord's haunted tower when he was ten. By his thirteenth year, he had become an expert oarsman. At fifteen he sailed with Dagmer Cleftjaw to the Stepstones, where he killed his first man and took two salt wives. By seventeen he captained his first longship.
Balon and two of his brothers, Euron and Victarion, wanted their father, Quellon, to join in Robert's Rebellion. After the death of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen during the Battle of the Trident, Quellon was convinced, and he led the Ironborn to raid the Reach. Quellon, however, died during the Battle at the Mander, after which Balon returned to Pyke to claim his new titles.
Balon returned to find another younger brother, Urrigon, had died from gangrene, as a result of a wound sustained during a finger dance. The maester of Pyke had tried to save the boy's hand, but had failed. Balon commanded that the maester suffer the same fate.
Balon oversaw the construction of the Iron Fleet, to consolidate the power of the Iron Islands. Balon launched his own rebellion against King Robert I Baratheon, who he saw as being weak enough to take advantage of. He declared himself the King of the Iron Islands.
The Ironborn won an initial success, burning the Lannister fleet at anchor in Lannisport, but this was shortlived. Balon's eldest son, Rodrik, died during the Storming of Seagard, and his second son, Maron, died during the Siege of Pyke.
A Clash of Kings
Robb Stark, the new King in the North, sends Theon to Pyke to treat with Balon after the outbreak of the War of the Five Kings. Balon spurns the offer, and declares himself King of the Iron Islands for a second time. His first move is to send Victarion to capture Moat Cailin, he then sends his daughter, Asha, to take Deepwood Motte, and Theon to raid the Stony Shore, accompanied by Dagmer and another brother, Aeron.
A Storm of Swords
Balon sends an offer of alliance to King's Landing, which both Mace Tyrell and Paxter Redwyne want to accept, so that they can free up resources for fighting Stannis. Tywin Lannister, however, rejects the terms, as Balon is already at war with House Stark.
Balon dies in a fall whilst crossing a bridge during a storm.