Eight years after King Robert Baratheon wrested the Iron Throne from the Targaryens, Balon Greyjoy of the Iron Islands initiated his own rebellion and declared his independence from the Seven Kingdoms. In a failed assault that claimed the life of Balon's heir Rodrik, the Ironmen attacked Seagard.
The Ironborn were dealt another blow when the Crown's forces, including Ned Stark, Barristan Selmy, Jorah Mormont and the King himself, launched a siege against Pyke. Balon's second son was killed during this attack, and after his family stronghold was devastated, the Lord of the Iron Islands bent the knee to Robert. As punishment and to ensure there would be no other uprisings, Lord Greyjoy was forced to surrender his only surviving son, Theon (then 8), for Ned Stark to raise as his ward at Winterfell.