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Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Game of Thrones Quiz

Decided to do something a little more fun and interactive! So here is a Game of Thrones Quiz that I made up of questions found here, here and here, I changed some of them around though! Don't look for the answers before you do the quiz because that will only ruin the fun! 

Put your answers in the comments below and in a couple of day's I will post the answers to the Questions and we shall see who really know's the most about Game of Thrones! 

These questions are only based on the two series that have aired on tv. and stuff from the blogs.

I think most of them are pretty easy, though in saying that I've gotten a few simple ones wrong myself! 

Game of Thrones Quiz 
1. What is Arya's sword called?
Needle
2. Why was Eddard Stark killed? (I want the full reason, not just for treason)
In short he said Joffrey was born of Incest and wasn't the rightful heir to the throne.
3. What is the family symbol of House Tully?
Silver fish on a red and blue background
4. At the end of Season 2 Joffrey is King, but who is the rightful King of Westeros?
Stannis
5. How did Talisa's brother nearly die?
He nearly drowned
6. Who was Daenerys father?
Aerys II Targaryen
7. Davos Seaworth is the son of a what? (What did his father do?)
Crabber
8. What colour does shade of the evening turn your lips?
Blue
9. Who was the first character in Game of Thrones to die? 
Waymar Royce one of the rangers for the nights watch
10. What are the Worlds of House Baratheon?
Ours is the Fury
11. Who did Daenerys lock in the vault in Qarth?
Xaro Xaon Daxos and Jhiqui
12. What is Rickon's Direwolf called?
Shaggydog
13. Who do the Red Priests pray to?
R'hollor
14. Where is Torren Square situated?
Winterfell
15. What did Daenerys name her son?
Rhaego
16. Which House holds the Trident?
Frey
17. How does Jaqen H'ghar kill Amory Lorch?
Poison Dart
18. Who is Renly in a relationship with in Season 1?
Loras Tyrell/The knight of Flowers
19. Name both of Joffrey's swords?
I forgot he has more than two but they were, Lions Tooth, Heart Eater and Widow Maker
20. What are the names of Rhaegar's murdered children?
Aegon and Rhaenys  


Friday, 5 October 2012

Robert's Rebellion

Robert's Rebellion
Robert Baratheon's rebellion was a civil war among the Great Houses of Westeros that took place about 17 years before the series begins. The rebellion displaced House Targaryen as rulers of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. House Baratheon became the new royal house after the war's conclusion.
History
Aerys II Targaryen the Second of His Name, also known as the Mad King, was King of Westeros. His reign became increasingly erratic and murderous. He had a fascination with fire and began to burn his victims alive. A final round of bloodshed, when his son Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna Stark of Winterfell, saw the Seven Kingdoms rebel against him.

Lyanna Stark was a prominent noblewoman, the daughter of Rickard Stark, Lord Paramount of the North. She was also betrothed to Robert Baratheon. Robert served Aerys as Lord Paramount of the Stormlands prior to Lyanna's abduction. House Stark and House Baratheon were the first Houses to protest Rhaegar's actions. 


Brandon Stark, Lyanna's eldest brother, demanded justice from Aerys in person. Aerys had him arrested for treason and then offered to ransom him to his father Rickard. Aerys summoned Rickard to court and when he arrived, Aerys publicly executed both Rickard and Brandon. Lord Rickard was burned alive inside his armour with wildfire and Brandon was tied to a strangulation device, with a sword inches from his hands, he strangled himself by trying to reach the sword.


This brutal murder gave rise to much sympathy for the rebels and many houses joined their cause. Jon Arryn was a natural ally to the rebels. He was the Defender of the Vale and a respected nobleman. Both Rickard's second son Eddard Stark and Robert fostered with his as children and became close friends. When Aerys demanded that Eddard be turned over to the Kings Justice, Lord Jon rebelled and called his banners to war. The rebels forged an alliance with House Tully through marriage with Eddard married to Catelyn Tully and the then-elderly Jon to the young Lysa Tully. 

Stannis Baratheon fought for his elder brother Robert during the war. Aerys used his allies in House Tyrell to besiege Stannis at Storm's end for much of the war. Stannis's forces were rescued from starvation by the smuggler Davos Seaworth, who brought a ship full of onions into the castle.

Rhaegar was killed by Robert during the fighting at the battle of the Trident. The site of Rhaegar's death is now called the Ruby Ford because it is believed to be scattered with rubies from his armour. Rhaegar's wife Elia of House Martell was kept in King's Landing by Aerys to ensure the Martell's loyalty during the conflict. Aerys was betrayed by his allies in House Lannister. He was slain by his Kingsguard Ser Jaime Lannister after he ordered King's Landing burned. His final words being ''Burn them All''. The gates of Kings Landing were opened to the Lannister armies and they sacked the city. Elia was raped and murdered by Gregor Clegane during the sack. Both of her children were also killed.


Robert claimed the Iron Throne because he started the war and was the one who killed Prince Rhaegar. Robert also had the best claim to the Iron Throne as a result of being related to the Targaryen's of old on his mothers side. The other leaders of the rebels both refused the throne. Lyanna Stark also died during the war but her cause of death is still unknown to us. Robert was devastated by her death but married Cersei Lannister in tanks for her father joining his cause late in the conflict and delivering the capital of Kings Landing to him.


Tywin remained the Lord Paramount of the Westerlands. Robert named Jon Arryn his Hand while Eddard took his father's role as Warden of the North. House Tyrell, House Martell and Houe Greyjoy swore fealty to Robert to retain their pre-war positions and lands. This maintained the Seven Kingdoms under their new royal house.

Quenn Rhaella fled to the Targaryen ancestral seat on the island of Dragonstone. She was accompanied by her son Viserys Targaryen and was also pregnant. Rhaella died soon after giving birth to Daenerys Targaryen. The children were taken into exile in the Free Cities, by loyal retainers. Stannis went on to conquer Dragonstone and was made Lord of Dragonstone.

Robert's rebellion earned him the name Usurper from those loyal to the Targaryen's.


So ending the reign of the Targaryen's and the mad King Aerys. 

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Season 3 Characters

Season 3 is months away! It's airing on HBO on March 31st and Sky Atlantic usually airs it the night after so assuming they still do that, it should air there on the 1st of April (what an amazing birthday present for me :P)!

I have read ahead on the books and I can't wait to start blogging stuff for season 3. I'm running out of idea's, that won't spoil things, fast!!


Here, I'll give you a quick introduction to the new characters you can expect to see in season 3. Be prepared we will be seeing lots of new faces along with the ones who survived season 2 :) Also as with Season 2 I expect that some characters will be changed and in some circumstances two characters put into one.


Note: For those who don't know already, because of the length of the third book it will be split between season 3 and season 4, and some events from the start of the 3rd book were included in the end of season 2.


Season 3 Characters


Brynden "Blackfish" Tully: Younger brother of Hoster Tully who is Lord of Riverrun. Uncle to Catelyn and Lysa Tully. He is seen as the black sheep of the family, and, because the sigil of House Tully is a fish, he is sometimes known as the Blackfish.

Shireen Baratheon: Daughter of Stannis Baratheon who is Lord of Drangstone and has declared himself King of the Seven Kingdoms. 
Myranda: I am unsure of who this character is. In the Song of Ice and Fire Novels,the only character of note to be called Myranda is Myranda Royce, a young noble lady who lives in the Gates of the Moon, the castle at the foot of the mountain that the Eyrie is located on. However she does not appear until the fourth novel. It is very possible that the character in the TV series is a different person altogether. 
Lady Olenna Redwyne: Also known as the ''Queen of Thorns'', Lady Olenna is grandmother to Margaery Tyrell and Ser Loras Tyrell. 
Orell: Orell is a wildling ranger from the same group as Ygritte. He has an affinity for animals including his pet eagle. Orell is a fairly minor character in the books and it is speculated that his role is being combined with that of a bigger character from the books called Varamyr Sixskins. 
Missandei: Missandei is a slave, born on the island of Naath in the Summer Sea, off the coast of Sothoryos. She was enslaved when she was very young and now serves Kraznys mo Nakloz of Astapor as a translator. 
Thoros of Myr: Thoros is a red priest of the Lord of Light and also a noted warrior. He has not been spoken of or mentioned much in the last 2 seasons.
Jojen Reed: Jojen is the eldest son and heir of Howland Reed of Greywater Watch. His older sister is Meera Reed. Technically speaking Jojen and Meera should have been cast in Season 2 but they will now appear in Season 3.
Meera Reed: Eldest child and only daughter of Howland Reed. Older sister of Jojen Reed. Technically should have been cast in Season 2 but is now being cast in Season 3.
Beric Dondarrion: Lord of Blackhaven and head of House Dondarrion. Beric was seen only in Season 1 when Eddard Stark sends him with a group of men to apprehend Ser Gregor Clegane. He has been recast for Season 3. Since Robert's death the group have now become outlaw's and are known as the Brotherhood Without Banners, of which Beric Dondarrion is the leader.
Tormund Giantsbane: Is a wildling chieftain serving under Mance Rayder, the King beyond the Wall. He is a good humoured man with a sense of humour and, by wildling standards, a rough sense of honour. 
Anguy: Anguy is a skilled archer of Dornish origin and is also a member of the Brotherhood without Banners. 
Selyse Baratheon: Wife of Stannis Baratheon and mother of Shireen Baratheon.
Edmure Tully: Only son and heir of Hoster Tully of Riverrun. Younger brother of Catelyn and Lysa Tully. Nephew of Brynden Tully.
Qyburn: Was once a maester of the Citadel but was stripped of his chain many years ago for conducting unethical medical experiments on living people.
Boy: This is another character I am of unsure of. It is speculated that he is meant to be Ramsay Snow. The bastard son of Roose Bolton.
Mirelle: Here is another character I am unsure of. Infact I have no clue at all who she is meant to be as there is no character in the books called Mirelle. I'll keep an eye out though and update if I find out.
Mance Raydar: I don't need to explain who this guy is. We've heard of him all last season and now we finally get to meet ''The King beyond the Wall''.
Kraznys mo Nakloz: Kraznys is a slave-trader in the city of Astapor, on the coast of Slavers Bay. He is extremely wealthy and has grown rich from trading and training Unsullied warrior-eunuchs (for anyone who doesn't know at this stage eunuchs are men who have been castrated).
Prendahl na Ghezn: Prendahl is a sellsword of Ghiscari decent. He serves as the commander of the Stormcrows, a noted mercenary company which fights for the highest bidder. 
Daario Naharis: Daario is a Tyroshi sellsword and is one of the three leaders of the company known as the Stormcrows. He is an accomplished warrior and commander.
Grey Worm: Is a member of the Unsullied warriors. Like all Unsullied he has never had a real name, instead choosing a name everyday by lottery from a barrel.

So far these are the only characters that have been announced. It is possible that more could be announced but filming has started since June so they might not announce any more either! We'll have to wait and see! 

Monday, 24 September 2012

Westeros and it's 7 Kingdoms

The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros
''King Tommen Baratheon, the first of his name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm"

Seven Kingdoms? . . . What exactly are the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros?


Whenever I tried to count up what I thought were the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros I always came up with nine rather than seven. I thought ''You have to be going wrong somewhere''. However what I was counting are 9 distinct regions of Westeros that were formed after the Targaryen Conquest

The title of Seven Kingdoms actually comes from the time before the Conquest when there were seven separate kingdoms. There are now 9 regions ruled under the one King.


The old Kingdoms were:

1. The Kingdom of the North
2. Kingdom of Vale and Sky
3. Kingdom of the Isles and Rivers
4. Kingdom of the Rock
5. Kingdom of the Reach
6. Kingdom of the Stormlands
7. Dorne

The "new" 9 regions 

1. The North
2. The Riverlands
3. The Vale of Arryn
4. The Westerlands
5. The Iron Islands
6. The Crownlands
7. The Stormlands
8. The Reach
9. Dorne

Seven of the above regions were former independent kingdoms before the Targaryen Conquest. Each region, except the Crownlands, is ruled by a Great House, who are commanded by the King on the Iron Throne, currently that is Joffrey Baratheon.


1. The North
Ruled byHouse Stark
Castle: Winterfell
Principal port: White Harbour
The North is the largest of the regions of Westeros, but also the least populated. This is because of the harsh long winters and long distances between holdfasts and towns. The North also includes the Wall and the lands administrated by the Nights Watch, which are technically speaking independent,but are almost always thought of in conjunction with the North. Bastards born in the North are given the surname "Snow"

2. The Riverlands

Ruled by: House Tully
Castle: Riverrun
Principle Ports: Seaguard, Saltpans, Maidenpool
The Riverlands are dominated by the mighty River Trident and it's many tributaries. The Riverlands, lying close to the centre of the continent have been the site for battles and conflicts throughout the history of Westeros. The Riverlands is one of the most fertile and most populated region in Westeros, which is one of the main reasons they are able to recover consistently from so many battles. Bastards born in the Riverlands are given the surname "Rivers"

3. The Vale of Arryn

Ruled by: House Arryn
Castle: The Eyrie
Principle Port: Gulltown
The Vale is dominated and mostly covered by the Mountains of the Moon and its its foothills. It's borders are prowled by hostile hill tribes.  Bastards born in  the Vale are given the surname "Stone".

4. The Westerlands

Ruled by: House Lannister
Castle: Casterly Rock
Principle Port: Lannisport
The Westerlands are famous for their hills and low mountains which are rich in silver and gold. They provide House Lannister and their vassals with immense wealth. Bastards born in the Westerlands are given the surname "Hill".

5. The Iron Islands

Ruled by: House Greyjoy
Castle: Pyke (located on the island of the same name)
Major Islands: Great Wyk, Little Wyk, Harlaw, Blacktyde, Orkmont, Saltcliffe, and Pyke itself.
The Iron Islands are rain lashed and cold. They are home to a hardy warrior race known as the Ironborn. The live for warfare and reaving and are the most troublesome and rebellious of the Iron Throne subjects. Bastards born on the islands are given the surname "Pyke". 
Pyke, located on the Island of Pyke
6. The Crownlands
Ruled by: Ruled directly by the King on the Iron Throne
Castle: The Red Keep
The capital city of the Seven Kingdoms, Kings Landing, is located in the Crownlands. The Crownlands stretch along the shores of Blackwater Bay and also across several islands in the Narrow Sea, most notably Dragonstone. The islands are separately administered from Dragonstone. Bastards born in the Crownlands are given the surname "Waters".

7. The Stormlands

Ruled by: House Baratheon
Castle: Storm's End
Important Islands: Estermont and Tarth
As the name suggests the Stormlands are subject to frequent storms off the Narrow Sea and experience significant rainfall. They are one of the most densely wooded regions of Westeros, particularly south of the Neck. As a result of this its climate is similar to that of a temperate rainforest. Bastards born in the Stormlands are given the surname "Storm".

8. The Reach

Ruled By: House Tyrell
Castle: Highgarden
Principle Port: Oldtown (Also a principle city)
Oldtown is the second largest city in Westeros. The Reach is the second largest region of Westeros. It is by far the most fertile and populated region. This allows the Tyrells to field vast armies and also results in them being wealthier than any other family, bar the Lannisters. The Reach also includes some offshore islands such as the Shield Islands and the Arbor. Bastards born in the Reach are given the surname"Flowers".

9. Dorne

Ruled by: House Martell
Castle: Sunspear
Principle Port: Planky Town
The people of Dorne are isolated from the rest of Westeros by the Sea of Dorne and the Red Mountains. This gives them a greater national identity than most of the other people of Westeros, save for the Ironborn and the Northmen. Bastards born in Dorne are given the surname "Sand".

Beyond the Wall

Beyond the Wall is a vast, snow-covered wilderness independent from the Iron Throne and separated from the Seven Kingdoms by the Wall. Inhabited by tribes of people known as wildlings who often attempt raids along the Bay of Seals or the Bay of Ice. Often for the same purposes the climb over the Wall.
The Eyrie, located in The Reach
Cities in Westeros
Cities are very rare in Westeros, because it is mostly rural-based populations. The 5 major cities of the continent are, 

Kings Landing: The capital of the Seven Kingdoms, population of half a million. Largest city of Westeros, founded by Aegon the Conqueror on the site he first set foot on, on the continent.


Oldtown: Oldest major city on the continent, located in the Reach. Almost as large and populated as the capital.


Lannisport: The largest city on the west coast of Westeros. It is about half the size of Kings Landing.


Gulltown: Main city and port of the Vale, has a population in the tens of thousands.


White Harbour: Main city and port of the North. Has a population in the tens of thousands.


Castles of Westeros

Castles are held by the noble houses of Westeros and range in size. Some are vast city-sized structures like Harrenhal or Winterfell and others are small towerhouses or fortified farmsteads run by landed knights. 

The size of a castle and in what state of repair it is kept reflects the wealth and power of its ruling family


Most notable castles of Westeros include;

1. Harrenhal
2. Storm's End
3.The Eyrie
4. Pyke
5.Riverrun
6. Winterfell
7. Sunspear
8. Casterly Rock
9. Highgarden
10. The Twins
11. The Red Keep

Westeros is pronounced as WES-te-ros as opposed to WES-ter-ohs.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

A Game of Thrones Battle: The War of Conquest

The War of Conquest
The War of Conquest, otherwise known as the Targaryen Conquest, was a major war that resulted in the unification of six of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, under the invading forces of House Targaryen. The War took place approximately 300 years before the start of the series.
Aegon I and his sister-wives Rhaenys and Visenya 
History
The Targaryen family moved to Dragonstone from Valyria a number of years before the Doom (The Doom was when Valyria was destroyed by a massive volcanic catastrophe which wiped out almost all the dragons and created the much feared smoking sea). The Targaryen's were the only family with dragons to survive the Doom because they were living on Dragonstone.

About 100 years after the Doom, Aegon Targaryen and his sister-wives, Rhaenys and Visenya led a small army and landed at the mouth of the Blackwater Rush (also called the River Blackwater). They established a system of forts that eventually became the city of Kings Landing.


Aegon's forces made war against Harren the Black, the ruler of the Islands and the Riverlands. He was aided by a popular uprising against the Ironborn led by House Tully. Aegon eventually cornered Harren in his castle of Harrenhal. Harren refused to surrender so Aegon's dragon, Balerion, burned the castle. It burned with such ferocity that the towers melted like candles and Harren was burned alive. Afterwards Aegon raised the Tully's to become Lords Paramount of the Trident and commanded the Ironborn to elect a new ruling house. They chose House Greyjoy of Pyke, who swore fealty to Aegon.


During this time, Aegon's bastard brother, Orys Baratheon, led an army against the Storm King, Argilac the Arrogant. Orys defeated him in the field of battle and took his castle of Storm's End, his sigil and words, and Argilac's daughter Argalia, as his wife. He was rewarded by Aegon by being named Lord of Storm's End and was allowed to found House Baratheon. 

House Targaryen, beginning with Aegon I, link to larger picture is here
House Lannister and House Gardener combined their forces to march against Aegon. They were met in the field of battle by Aegon and his 3 dragons. The enemy host was decimated by the dragons within minutes in a battle that was known as the Field of Fire. House Gardener were destroyed. Their stewards, the Tyrells, surrendered the Reach to Aegon. The remaining Lannisters also bent the knee.

The Starks and Arryn's prepared for war, but through diplomacy and the demonstration of Aegon's superior forces they both eventually chose the path of peace and surrendered peacefully. The High Septon also declared that the Faith of the Seven would also support Aegon. This ended much of the last resistance to the invaders.


The War of Conquest was ended when Aegon made an abortive attempt to conquer Dorne. The Dornish decided to pursue guerrilla tactics rather than give open battle, where they would be vulnerable to dragonfire. Aegon eventually decided to allow Dorne to retain its independence. 


Aegon then triumphantly entered Oldtown and was proclaimed King of Westeros, ending the War of Conquest after two years.


Present Day

The Targaryen's ruled in Westeros for 283 years. During this time they survived civil wars, plague, and an attempted foreign invasion. They were eventually brought down when King Aerys II's, The Mad King, insanity became too dangerous to be ignored. He was replaced by Robert Baratheon. The remaining Targaryen's fled to Dragonstone and then went into exile in the Free Cities of Essos. 

Currently in the Series there are only 2 remaining Targaryen's. Aemon Targaryen is Maester on the Wall and Daenerys is in Qarth trying to gather an army, and along with her dragons, sail to Westeros and take back the Iron Throne. 

Daenerys and her Dragons, Drogon, Rhaegal, Viserion
Dragons were thought to have been extinct for over a century until Daenerys hatches 3 Dragon eggs she received as a wedding gift. Any dragon eggs that remain in the world were thought to be turned to stone or petrified but Daenerys believed she could hatch her's, and did. 

Targaryen is pronounced Tar-gair-ee-in rather than Tar-gar-yen.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

A Game of Thrones History: White Walkers & Wights

Who or What are the "White Walkers"
The "White Walkers", known as Others in the books, are a mythological race mentioned in legends and stories from the time of the First Men and the Children of the Forest

White Walkers are humanoid creatures. They are taller than humans, have wispy white hair and pale white skin that is stretched and gaunt. Their skin appears dry and wrinkled which makes them look mummified. They are known for their icy blue eyes.


White Walkers possess the magical power to bring the dead back to life as their servants, known as Wights. Wights gain the icy blue eyes when reanimated by a White Walker. White Walkers have weapons that have thin blades made of extremely sharp crystal.

History
Eight thousand years before Robert Baratheon's rebellion a winter, known as the Long Night, lasted a generation. In the darkness and cold of the Long Night, the White Walkers came down upon Westeros from the farthest north, the polar regions known as the Lands of Always Winter. Why they came is unclear. They killed everything in their path and reanimated the dead as Wights to kill the living at their command.

After a time the people of Westeros joined with the Children of the Forest and began a war against the White Walkers, known as the War for the Dawn. The White Walkers were defeated and driven back to the uttermost North. The wall was then raised to prevent their return.


In the present day, most believe the White Walkers never existed, and those who do believe they did say they went extinct thousands of years ago. While the people south of the Wall see them as the stuff of myth and legend, there is a growing belief amongst the wildlings who live beyond the wall the the White Walkers have returned.


Present Day

The White Walkers are some of the first characters we meet in the very first episode in the series. In season one at the start of the season we see three men from the Nights Watch on a patrol. Will comes across a camp of wildlings that have been murdered. He then returns to his brothers and tells them what he saw. When the three return to the sight of the camp there are no bodies to be found. They are attacked by the corpses and White Walkers who killed them. This is the first time we see the White Walkers and their icy blue eyes.

Later in Season 1 when Jon and Sam and some of the other men are taking their vows in the Godswood, Ghost appears with a human arm. The bodies of two nights watchmen that have been missing for a number of weeks are found. Sam notes that though they have been dead for a number of weeks there is no sign of rot and appear in perfect condition. Later that night the bodies rise as Wights, one try's to kill the Lord Commander and another attacks some of the other men. Jon Snow discovers the creature's weakness is fire and kills it before it can kill the Lord Commander. The bodies of the two Wights are then burned.


In Season 2 while at Craster's keep Jon snow follows Craster into the woods and sees him placing a newborn baby, one of his sons, into the ground and leaves. Moments later a figure with glowing blue eyes appears and takes the baby away. Craster finds Jon spying on him and attacks him. He then orders the Nights Watch to leave. Later the Lord Commander confronts Jon but admits that he was aware that Craster worshipped the White Walkers and sacrificed his sons for the safety of him and his daughter-wives.

A White Walker from the first Episode of the Series
At the end of Season 2 we see Samwell Tarly, Eddison Tollett and Grenn gathering dung around the Fist of the First Men when they hear a horn being blown. At first they believe it is Jon Snow and Qhorin Halfhand returning, they then hear a second blow meaning Wildlings and draw their sword for battle. They then hear a third blow, signalling White Walkers. They run for the Nights Watch camp but Samwell gets left behind. Within seconds a blizzard envelopes the entire plateau. Sam hides behind a rock while a White Walker, riding a dead horse, leads a vast horde of Wights. The White Walker ignores Sam and rides past him leading the horde for an invasion.

White Walkers are always accompanied by cold temperatures, and coming from the Lands of Always Winter, it appears that the prefer cold climates. It is debated whether this is because White Walkers actually generate the cold and might even cause winters (such as the Long Night) or because they simply wait for the next winter cycle and move south when the temperature drops.


The difference between White Walkers and Wights

There is a difference, though sometimes hard to tell, between White Walkers and Wights. 

White Walkers are not dead humans, just an inhuman kind of form of life.


Wights are dead humans, reanimated by White Walkers. A Wight will roughly resemble the way the body was when it died. For example a body that was relatively unharmed when it died will still look somewhat like a live person. However a body that has been dead a while or died violently will look like a maimed rotting corpse. Reanimation stops the rotting process but it does not bring the body back to it's pre-death appearance. 


Wights are difficult to kill. Chopping off libs and heads is effective but the limbs and body will still move around afterwards. However they are extremely flammable and fire is one sure way of getting rid of them for good. 

A wildling child that was reanimated into a Wight
Wights are not particularly smart creatures and can't talk. They only grunt and hiss. It is unclear if they remember much or anything from their previous lives, although one the wights in Season 1 did remember it's way to the Lord Commanders quarters on the Wall.

A Wight cannot create another Wight in anyway whether by biting or killing it. Only the White Walkers can reanimate corpses into Wights.

Monday, 17 September 2012

A Game of Thrones History: The First Men

Who were The First Men
The First Men were the original human inhabitants of Westeros. They ruled in Westeros for millennia before the Andals invaded from Essos. The Andals overran most of southern Westeros, but did not take the North. While the blood of the Andals and the First Men has intermingled over thousands of years through marriages, the people in the North have the greatest amount of First Men blood in their veins.


Eddard Stark and Jon Snow are Northerners descended from The First Men 
The Invasion
The First Men invaded Westeros approximately 12000 years before the events of the series. They crossed via a land-bridge from Essos into the area of modern Dorne. The Children of the Forest resisted the invasion and using magic destroyed the land-bridge (which formed the modern peninsula of Dorne and the islands known as the Stepstones), however they were pushed back over the course of many years of war.

Eventually the First Men and the Children of the Forest stopped fighting and forged the Pact, signed on the Isle of Faces at the centre of the Gods Eye. The First Men were given the open lands and the Children of the Forest were given the woods and forests. The First Men then began to forge numerous kingdoms across Westeros.


The two races coexisted peacefully for four thousand years before they came under attack from the White Walkers. In the "War for the Dawn", the First Men and the Children came together to throw back the invasion. With the help of giants and the Children, Bran the Builder built the Wall to protect from anymore invasions. He then built Winterfell and ruled as the first King in the North.


The Andal Invasion of Westeros

About 2000 years after the "War for the Dawn" the Andals began to invade Westeros. The invasion spanned over a period of more than a thousand years. Their attempts to conquer the North were always defeated and eventually the Andals and the First Men made peace. 

The results of the Invasion varied from place to place. In some places the First Men were all but wiped out and in others some of the noble houses of the First Men intermarried with the Andals. In the Vale of Arryn the First Men were wiped out and today the nobility of the Vale are considered to have the purest Andal bloodlines in all of Westeros.


Descendants of the First Men

Many of the people living in Westeros have at least some blood of the First Men in their ethnic make-up, however the southern kingdoms of Westeros became so dominated by the Andals and their culture that Westeros is often referred to as "the Land of the Andals" by those living in Essos.

However there are two groups in Westeros that still claim majority descent from the First Men, and they still actively embrace the old ways and religion of their ancestors: the Northerners and the Wildlings.

Wildlings from North of the Wall of the purest First Men blood
Ties of dynastic marriage were made between the North and the southern kingdoms over the next 6000 years, so that the blood of both peoples mingled together. This process continued under the rule of the Targaryen kings. For example Ned Stark, of the ruling dynasty of the First Men of the North, married Catelyn Tully, of the predominantly Andal ruling dynasty of the Riverlands, resulting in all of their children having mixed blood. Still though the North is predominantly First Men and the South a heavily mixed ethnicity of Andal and First Men.

The wildlings that live north of the Wall are descended from those First men who were living north of the Wall when it was constructed, and have an even purer bloodline than the North. There is little if indeed any Andal blood north of the Wall.


To make it clear: the First Men were not the first humans who lived in the entire world. Humans were already living on the eastern continent of Essos and probably Sothoryos for untold millennia. "The First Men" were just the first humans to live in Westeros.


The Fist of the First Men

"The Fist" of the First men is a ring fort that was built by the First Men well over 6000 years ago, centuries before the Andals invaded Westeros. It is called "The Fist" because the hill looks like a fist thrust into the sky from the flat landscape surrounding it, and the jagged remaining stones around the top look like knuckles on a fist.
Rangers from the Wall camping on the Fist

Saturday, 15 September 2012

A Game of Thrones History: The Children of The Forest

Who were the Children of the Forest?
They were a mysterious non-human race that were thought to be the original inhabitants of the continent of Westeros. They were already living in Westeros when the First Men migrated to the continent. They were last seen during the Andal Invasion, many believe that they did not exist and those that do believe in them say they are long gone and extinct.

The Children of the Forest were said to be human like creature's, but when they were grown to manhood they were no taller than human children. They preferred living in the depths of the forest in hidden villages, in crannogs in the swamps or in caves, keeping themselves hidden. As a result they became known as ''The Children of the Forest''


Culture

The Children of the Forest worshipped nature gods, the spirits of every tree, rock and stream. According to stories and legend it was the Children of the Forest that carved the faces into the sacred Weirwood trees. These trees were the closest things to shrines in their religion.
A Weirwood Tree
The Children of the Forest were very skilled in the crafts with wood and had great knowledge of the plants and animals of the forest. They hunted using bows made of weirwood and used blades of Dragonglass (also known as obsidian).

There were also Children of the Forest who were said to have wielded powerful magic, these wise men were known as ''Greenseers''.


History

It is believed that before the First Men arrived in Westeros that the Children of the Forest Ruled Westeros for thousands of years. It is thought that Giants also inhabited Westeros at the same time and they often clashed with the Children of the Forest. However whatever events did take place were not recorded and have long since been forgotten.

Approximately 12,000 years ago the First Men from Essos migrated to Westeros by crossing a land bridge known as the Arm of Dorne. They began cutting down the Children's forests including the sacred weirwood trees. This led them into conflict and war with the Children. For the next 2000 years frequent wars and battles ensued between the two races. During this time the Children destroyed the Arm of Dorne and flooded the Neck with the sorcery of the Greenseers.

A Greenseer of the Children of the Forest
After two thousand years of near constant fighting and violence the war came to a standstill. The Children of the Forest and the First Men came to an agreement to coexist peacefully. The Pact was signed on the Isle of faces in Gods Eye lake (An Island on a large lake in the Riverlands),it granted the open lands to the First Men and the Forests to the Children.

The Pact lasted for about 2000 years until the Long Night and the invasion of the White Walkers. The Children of the Forest and the First Men rallied together to drive back the White Walkers in the ''War for the Dawn''. Both the First Men and the Children of the Forest suffered huge losses. After the battle, the Children were said to have helped Bran the Builder raise the Wall to protect from another invasion.


The Children of the Forest never had a huge population to begin with, and suffered huge losses in the war against the White Walkers, from which they never really recovered. Over the centuries the numbers gradually declined until they had all but disappeared. By the time the Andals invaded Westeros there was only a handful left. Those that remained were driven off or slaughtered by the Andals. Those that survived are said to have fled beyond the Wall to the far North. By the time Aegon Targaryen conquered the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros there had been no contact with the Children of the Forest for thousands of years.


The maesters in today's Westeros believe that either the Children are extinct or never existed at all. This is disputed by the people in the North who say that they inherited their worship of the Old Gods1 from the Children of the Forest.

Eddard Stark and Catelyn in the Godswood in Winterfell
Physical Appearance 
It is important to note that the Author of the books, A song of Ice and Fire, on which Game of Thrones is based, George R.R Martin, insists that the Children of the Forest are not simply his version of Elves. In the books the Children are described as dark and beautiful. They are smaller than humans with nut-brown skin, large ears, and glowing gold eyes, slitted like a cats. They also have 4 digit hands (3 fingers and a thumb) that in in small claws instead of primate fingernails. They interwove vines and flowers into their hair and clothing.

1. The Old Gods: The Gods that the Children of the Forest worshipped became known as the Old Gods when the Andals invaded and introduced their ''New'' Gods.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

A Game of Thrones History: Invasion of the Andals

Who were the Andals?
The Andals were tall, fair-haired people from Andalos, a city between Braavos and Pentos, in Essos across the Narrow Sea. It is said that the God of Seven revealed itself to the Andals in the Hills of Andalos and from this they developed a new religion known as the Faith of the Seven. The symbol of this faith was a Seven Pointed Star.




The Invasion

Not long after this the Andals set sail across the Narrow Sea to conquer Westeros. They came ashore in the Fingers (what is now known as the Vale of Arryn). According to stories, Ser Artys Arryn (an Andal), who was known as "the Winged Knight" flew to the topmost mountain of the vale, on a giant falcon, and defeated the Griffin King, the last member of the First Men dynasty of the Mountain Kings.
From their initial landing the Andal's spread out in waves across Westeros. This process lasted centuries. During the time of the Invasion, Westeros was a mixture of hundreds of kingdoms of the First Men. As a result the First Men did not come together to resist against the Andals, making their conquest a lot easier. 

The Andals did intermarry with some of the First Men families but the gene pool is still predominantly from the Andals. 


The Andals introduced Iron and steel weapons to Westeros for the first time. Together with knights, who wore full suits of iron armour while riding into battle on a heavy horse, spurred on by the Faith of the Seven they defeated the First Men easily. As the Andals conquered the southern kingdoms of Westeros they stamped out the worship of the Old Gods of the Forest and forced them to convert to their worship of the Seven-faced God.


The Andals didn't conquer the North

The Andals conquered all of Westeros, except for the North. The Kings in the North, from the line of House Stark, were able to resist their advance due to the fact that any approach to the North has to go through the Neck. 

The Neck is a narrow piece of land filled with swamps. The fortress of Moat Cailin commands the only major road coming up from the south, which made it an ideal choke point for the First Men of the North. For centuries the Andals tried to conquer the North but smashed against Moat Cailin like water on rock. The North remained unconquered! 


The children of the Forest

To the Andals the Children of the Forest were an abomination before the God of Seven. Wherever they encountered them they slaughtered them and burned the sacred weirwood trees throughout southern Westeros. In the beginning the Children of the Forest were very numerous, however after the long night fighting against White Walkers, the Andal invasion drove them to extinction. After this the Children dropped out of history to the point that thousands of years later many believed they never existed. According to rumour and legend the remaining few surviving Children of the Forest fled to the Lands beyond the wall where they knew the Andals would not follow.

The Nights Watch

Due to a number of reasons the Night's Watch and the Wall never became involved in the Andal invasion. Partly due to the fact the Andals never reached that far north and the Night's Watch never marched south to fight against them and partly because the Andals saw value in supporting the Night's Watch, and also because the Night's Watch do not involve themselves in the wars and battle's of others. The Andals saw the use in the Night's Watch to defend against occasional wildling attacks but also as an outlet for their younger sons,criminals or the defeated soldiers in their own wars. The Night's Watch welcomed and Andals who volunteered to join the order. Overall they were not affected by the invasion and were probably the only one's who benefited from the Invasion as they gained new recruits.

The word Andal is pronounced AN-dal with the emphasis on the first syllable.