Encyclopedia of Myth in ASOIAF: House Wynch of Iron Holt


Encyclopedia of Myth in A Song of Ice and Fire

Chapter I: House Wynch of Iron Holt

House Wynch – a noble house of The Iron Islands, from Iron Holt on the isle of Pyke, their current lord is Waldon Wynch, their sigil is A bloody moon on purple. When Euron Greyjoy returns to claim the crown, Lord Wynch is the first to bend his knee. For this he is rewarded with half of the Botley lands.


based on WesterosCraft map

Mythical Astronomy on House Wynch:


Castle Pyke on the Isle of Pyke, seat of House Greyjoy


WesterosCraft, map of Old Wyk (with Shatterstone, Castle Drumm, Stonehouse and Nagga’s Ribs). A the bottom, lands of House Goodbrother of Crow Spike Keep are visible (on Great Wyk)



Isle of Pyke, northern part



Isle of Pyke, southern part

4 thoughts on “Encyclopedia of Myth in ASOIAF: House Wynch of Iron Holt

  1. Pingback: Update – 27th February 2017 | The Amber Compendium of Myth

  2. From my response to Ours Is The Fury comment on LmL’s blog:

    And Euron keeps surrounding himself with members of House Wynch: (The Winds of Winter preview chapter spoilers)
    And so, Aeron Damphair returned to the salt sea. A dozen longships were drawn up at the wharf below the castle, and twice as many beached along the strand. Familiar banners streamed from their masts: the Greyjoy kraken, the bloody moon of Wynch, the warhorn of the Goodbrothers. But from their sterns flew a flag the priest had never seen before: a red eye with a black pupil beneath an iron crown supported by two crows.
    (mark this white text with your cursor to read it)

    Wynch and Goodbrother…

    As LmL wrote in Waves of Night and Moon Blood essay, sigil of House Wynch is a huge hint about The Long Night…

    Now, where were we… bloodstone, bloody stones in the water, bloody tides from sacrificed moons… got it. Here’s one more little fun tidbit regarding bloody moons and sacrifice. On the Iron Islands, we find House Wynch, whose sigil is a bloody crescent moon on a field of purple. A winch is a thing which pulls heavy objects out of place – we’re going to need a very big winch for the moon, of course, but that’s another essay. And that sigil – it’s a crescent moon which is literally in a bed of blood. Said another way, a moon crescent could be seen as a blade made of moon – flaming sword moon meteors, in other words, the moon stones which were covered in blood, like the crescent moon of House Wynch.

    House Wynch really does not do anything important in any of the novels, nor even in Ironborn history. Literally the only noteworthy thing that George has written about them is their sigil – and I suspect that’s because their sigil IS the important thing about them. A bloody crescent moon is easy to understand, given what we’ve just looked at concerning sickles and crescent moons and blood sacrifice, and attached to the word winch, it speaks of pulling down the moon. The purple background may be meant to remind us of the Amethyst Empress and Daenerys, the purple-eyed moon maidens.

    (The Bloodstone Compendium III: Waves of Night and Moon Blood)

    I wrote more on this topic here
    To summarise:
    – House Wynch is from Iron Holt, and in Norse Mythology mother of wolves Skoll and Hait comes from place called Iron Wood/Holt. At onset of Ragnarok, these wolves (moonsnatchers) will devour Sun and Moon. And in ASOIAF Wynches are connected to the same idea – killing of the moon – the ‘winch’ in their name (to pull down the moon) and bloody moon sigil. And GRRM studied Norse Mythology (especially Eddas), so he’s probably familiar with this story (+ he’s huge comicbook fan):

    My major was journalism, but I took a minor in history. My sophomore year I signed up for the History of Scandinavia, thinking it would be cool to study Vikings. Professor Franklin D. Scott was an enthusiastic teacher who invited the class to his home for Scandinavian food and glug (a mulled wine with raisins and nuts floating in it). We read Norse sagas, Icelandic eddas, and the poems of the Finnish patriotic poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg. I loved the sagas and the eddas, which reminded me of Tolkien and Howard, and was much taken with Runeberg’s poem “Sveaborg,” a rousing lament for the great Helsinki fortress “Gibraltar of the North,” which surrendered inexplicably during the Russo-Swedish War of 1808. When it came time to write term papers, I chose “Sveaborg” for my topic. Then I had an off-the-wall idea. I asked Professor Scott if he would allow me to submit a story about “Sveaborg” rather than a conventional paper. To my delight, he agreed. “The Fortress” got me an A … but more than that, Professor Scott was so pleased with the story that he sent it off to The American-Scandinavian Review for possible publication.

    The first rejection letter I ever received was not from Damon Knight, nor Frederik Pohl, nor John Wood Campbell, Jr., but from Erik J. Friis, editor of The American-Scandinavian Review, who regretted “very much” having to return “The Fortress” to me. “It is a very good article,” he wrote in a letter dated June 14, 1968, “but unfortunately too long for our purpose.

    Anyway, besides hanging out with Euron, Wynches often hang out with Goodbrothers (warhorn), Orkwoods of Orkmont (dark green pines on yellow, the color associated with traitors and betrayal (Judas, sigil of House Donniger of the Vale) and Blacktydes (black and bloody tides)… and all of these houses give us clues about the moon destruction… people of the wood (greenseers) used some kind of ‘warhorn’ to destroy the moon and cause the black tid

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Waves of Night and Moon Blood – Part III | The Amber Compendium of Myth

  4. Pingback: Waves of Night and Moon Blood | The Amber Compendium of Myth

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