The ascension of Aegon Targaryen was confirmed, and the fate of the Seven Kingdoms sealed on the Field of Fire. Kings Loren Lannister of the Rock and Mern Gardener of the Reach stood against Aegon’s invasion. They commanded a united force of 600 banners, 5,000 mounted knights and 50,000 men-at-arms.
Aegon’s host was vastly outnumbered, and when the army of the two kings charged, the invaders turned heel and ran. But Andal might was no match for dragon flame. When Aegon unleashed all three of his dragons, 4,000 souls were horrendously burned alive on the battlefield, King Mern among them. Realizing all hope was lost, King Loren surrendered.
The Starks of Winterfell had no intention of submitting to Targaryen rule. They had reigned as kings in the North since the days of the First Men, and were determined to resist the Targaryen invaders, just as they had resisted the Andals thousands of years before.
King Torrhen Stark led his army to the Red Fork just east of Riverrun, hoping to succeed where Loren and Mern had failed. But when Torrhen saw the size of Aegon’s now mighty host along with his monstrous dragons, he knew he couldn’t subject his followers to the horror of another field of fire.
He bent the knee, and swore fealty to Aegon, who allowed the Starks to maintain their lordship over the region as Lords Paramount and Wardens of the North. Without question, Torrhen Stark saved thousands of lives that day. He was ever after known as the King Who Knelt.