How Was Westeros Before Targaryens?

Westeros was a peaceful, lush, and green island where creatures called humans did not reside. Only the Children of the Forest and giants lived there. The Children of the Forest were smaller beings compared to humans. They had the ability to perform magic and used dragon glass to make weapons. They believed in their own gods and carved their faces onto trees. Their tranquil existence was utterly transformed when humans set foot in Westeros.

People across the Narrow Sea came through the “Arm of Dorne” in the southwest of Essos, invading Westeros with bronze weapons and riding their horses. They started cutting down trees and settling in the desired regions. For the Children of the Forest, the breaking point of this repulsive invasion was cutting Weirwood trees, which bore the faces of their gods. Disturbed by the violation of their sacred trees, the Children of the Forest waged war against the humans. This war lasted for centuries. While the Children of the Forest may have been stronger, humans were far more numerous and physically larger. Realizing they couldn’t win the war, the Children of the Forest destroyed the connection between Essos and Westeros, the Arm of Dorne. But it was too late; a vast crowd had already crossed to Westeros.

The Children of the Forest continued their war against humans. Understanding that they couldn’t win the war, they abducted one human and orchestrated the event, transforming the person into a weapon. The Children of the Forest used this individual as a defensive mechanism. Or at least, that was their intention. We have no information on what ultimately happened. At some point, this character, whom we will later refer to as the Night King, chose to abandon fighting and flee.

Unable to find a solution to achieve victory, the Children of the Forest were forced to make a peace agreement with humans. The parties met on a small island called God’s Eye, located in the heart of Westeros, and signed a peace treaty. According to the agreement, each group would stay in their territory and live there. Humans would occupy open areas, mountains, and shores, while deep forests would forever belong to the Children of the Forest. And no Weirwood tree would ever be harmed again. However, over time, humans also accepted and revered the faces carved on the trees as their own gods.

Thus began the Age of Heroes, a period that lasted for 2,000 years. During this time, humans officially settled in Westeros and laid the foundations for the seven kingdoms that would emerge in the future. One of the most significant figures of this era was Bran the Builder. Bran was the architect behind the famous Wall and the northern gem Winterfell. He was also the founder of House Stark, marking the beginning of the northern kingdoms.

On the island of Pike, a king was also rising. This king, who defeated the sea dragon Naga, marked the beginning of House Greyjoy. The most beautiful and prosperous region in the west, Casterly Rock, came into the hands of the Lannisters through the trickster of Lan the Clever. In the heart of Westeros, Garth Green Hand laid the foundations of Highgarden. According to the ballads of the era, a warrior named Durran fell in love with a woman named Elenei in the Stormlands. Elenei’s father was the god of the seas, and her mother was the goddess of the winds. Elenei chose to give up her immortality for Durran and decided to live with him. Angered by her choice, her family destroyed the Bayside King, where Durran held his wedding. In response, Durran defied the gods and had another castle built. However, that castle also fell. No matter how many castles were built, they all faced the wrath of the gods. The last castle was constructed at Storm’s End, far from the wrath of the gods. Durran earned the nickname Godsgrief and became the first Storm King.

All the stories that took place during this era are legendary tales passed down from generation to generation, circulating through countless years and reaching us in the present day.

The Long Night (8.000 BC)

Westeros is faced with an endless winter and night. Kings freeze to death on their thrones, and women refuse to give birth due to this inexplicable natural phenomenon. It is a horrific period unlike any other. But something worse is looming on the horizon. The Night King, whose origin and purpose are unknown, marches from the north to the south, attacking humans and the Children of the Forest, who peacefully reside in their forests. As a result, humans and the Children of the Forest are forced to unite and act together.

In the War of the Dawn, the never-ending battle, the Night King is defeated. According to legends, a man named Azor Ahai plunges his sword into the heart of the woman he loves, and with the help of the God of Light, his sword ignites and emits radiant light. Leading the people with this sword, Azor Ahai plays a significant role in defeating the dead. Although humans and the Children of the Forest have won the war, it does not mark the end of the Night King. They return to the region known as the Lands of Always Winter, from where they came, and are never seen again.

To prevent such a catastrophe from happening again, humans built a colossal wall. This Wall, 200 meters high, stretched from the Forestfangs mountains in the west to the Bay of Seals in the far west. Such a magnificent structure had never been built before. The Wall was protected by the magic of the Children of the Forest. However, that was not enough. A military order called the Night’s Watch was established to defend the Wall throughout their lives. This order was responsible for protecting the Wall from a potential Night King attack. The oath taken to defend the Wall was so solemn that the penalty for breaking it was death.

As time went on, the Night King never returned. The Night’s Watch, whose purpose was to protect the life behind the Wall from the dead, transformed into a military order that only defended the Wall from the people beyond it. Over time, the barbaric people known as the Wildlings emerged beyond the Wall, and they waged war against the defenders of the night. But that is a story for another time. The Night’s Watch remained alone on the Wall for thousands of years. Kingdoms rose and fell behind the Wall, but they continued to fulfill their duty.

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.

Andal İstilası (6.000 – 4.000 BC)

A new religion was emerging on the other side of the Narrow Sea: the Faith of the Seven. Comprised of seven different gods, this religion was growing in power day by day. The Mother, representing fertility and peace; the Father, possessing judgment over souls; the Warrior, symbolizing protection and war; the Crone, embodying wisdom; the Smith, representing creation and craftsmanship; the Maiden, symbolizing purity and love; and the Stranger, the representative of death. According to legends, the Seven revealed themselves to the Andals. The Andals’ journey to Westeros coincided with the time of the Seven’s manifestation.

In the 6,000th year Before Conquest, a new invasion came from Essos. These people, called the Andals, invaded Westeros with their skin marked by the seven-pointed star. Stronger and hairier than the First Men, the Andals were also technologically advanced. While the First Men used bronze weapons, the Andals arrived with steel swords. They burned down the sacred trees that symbolized the agreement between the First Men and the Children of the Forest, spreading their beliefs. This period laid the foundation for the Game of Thrones kingdoms we know today.

The Andals committed genocide against the First Men. Only a few First Men survived, and those who did become slaves or lower-class citizens. However, it is said that the blood of many noble houses had already mixed with that of the First Men. The Andals managed to conquer the entire Westeros and reach the north, but they were forced to stop there. Unable to withstand the resistance of the northerners and the harsh weather, the Andals retreated. Thus, only House Stark remained from the First Men in the lands of Westeros.

The Children of the Forest also fought a significant battle against the Andals, but they, too, became part of the genocide. The Children of the Forest, who had lived in harmony with the First Men, were seen as despised abominations by the Andals. The dwindling number of the Children of the Forest went north and disappeared from history.

The Andals, who arrived in the 6,000th year Before Conquest, shaped Westeros according to their desires within 2,000 years. Thus began the rule of the Andals that would last for thousands of years. Divided into seven independent kingdoms, the Andals began to live freely and separately. However, their era of independence would be completely changed by a conqueror thousands of years later.

Sources and Further Information

  • R. Martin, George. “A Game of Thrones,” Bantam (2002)
  • R. Martin, George. “A Clash of Kings,” Bantam (2002)
  • R. Martin, George. “A Storm of Swords,” Bantam (2003)
  • R. Martin, George. “A Feast for Crows,” Bantam (2011)
  • R. Martin, George. “A Dance with Dragons,” Bantam (2011)
  • R. Martin, George. “Fire & Blood,” Bantam (2018)
  • A Wiki of Ice and Fire
  • Wiki of Westeros
  • Alt Shift X, YouTube
  • Whycreate, YouTube


Ukrainian Creative Director | Motion Picture Writer | Horror Freak

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