The Siege of Winterfell was a conflict fought between the forces of Houses Baratheon and Bolton. The Siege of Winterfell marked Stannis Baratheon's downfall and Roose Bolton's emergence as a strong, able ruler over the North.
Following Robb Stark's assassination, King Joffrey Baratheon rewarded Roose Bolton for his part in the murder, naming him Warden of the North. The majority of Northern lords were convinced to swear their allegiance to him.
Stannis Baratheon, fresh from his victory at Castle Black, sought to immediately restore the Starks in the North. He required their cooperation if he hoped to take the Iron Throne.
In the end, Stannis ultimately failed to acquire a Stark claimant; conquest was his only remaining option. He dedicated his forces to Winterfell, where they would inevitably clash with Bolton's army.
Siege of Winterfell Edit
Baratheon cavalry carried out lightning attacks against various Bolton positions in the Wolfswood just outside of Winterfell. Each skirmish was a crushing victory, seemingly thinning Bolton's numbers to a significant degree. This was a ploy, however; the positions were lightly manned, intended to screen the larger movement of troops behind Winterfell's walls. Pressured by diminishing supplies and confident that Bolton's losses were significant, Stannis commanded the assault of Winterfell's walls. But Winterfell was a strong keep, and the defenders' numbers were on par with the besiegers', leading to their swift and bloody defeat. Bolton forces immediately pursued their broken and routed enemies, cutting them down on familiar terrain. Those who weren't killed or captured probably died of exposure or starvation.
Stannis Baratheon did not manage to escape and was cut down along with most of his men. His body was later found and sent to King's Landing as tribute.
Roose Bolton later marched on the Wall and demanded custody over Shireen Baratheon and Jon Snow. The Night's Watch obliged with the former request, but refused to hand over Jon Snow's corpse. Roose was delighted to learn of Jon Snow's death, and so he left the Wall unharmed. Baratheon forces that were captured during the siege were handed over to the Night's Watch.
Roose Bolton's victory guaranteed his uncontested rule over the North. The Northern lords who supported Stannis were pardoned in exchange for their oaths and a number of hostages. Wyman Manderly was executed for his plot to instil Rickon Stark in Winterfell.
Daenaerys I Targaryen recognized Roose Bolton's efforts in defeating her usurper enemies and rewarded him officially with the title of Lord Paramount of the North. In exchange, Shireen Baratheon was surrendered to the Crown. She was later pardoned, and allowed to continue her line in Storm's End.