|Location||Westeros, south of the Wall|
|Type of Government||Feudal monarchy|
|Ruler||King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men|
Faith of the Seven|
Old gods (North)
Drowned God (Iron Islands)
Lordship of Dragonstone|
Kingdom of the North
Kingdom of the Isles and the Rivers
Kingdom of Mountain and Vale
Kingdom of the Rock
Kingdom of the Reach
Kingdom of the Storm
Principality of Dorne (187 AC)
Great Sept of Baelor
Faith of the Seven
The Seven Kingdoms is a realm located on the continent of Westeros, ruled by a monarch styled King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men and Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, the king who sits on the Iron Throne in the capital city, King's Landing. Its name derives from the situation three centuries ago when Aegon the Conqueror set to unite the lands of Westeros, which was ruled by seven independent realms, besides the lands beyond the Wall. The new kingdom created from Aegon's Conquest is divided in nine distinct regions or provinces.
- 1 Terminology
- 2 Great Houses
- 3 Royal bureaucracy
- 4 Regions and Territory
- 5 Population
- 6 Culture
- 7 Law and Justice
- 8 Commerce and Currency
- 9 History
- 9.1 Wars of Conquest
- 9.2 Iron Throne
- 9.3 Aenys and Maegor
- 9.4 Jaehaerys the Conciliator
- 9.5 The Dance of the Dragons
- 9.6 The Young Dragon and Baelor the Blessed
- 9.7 Aegon the Unworthy and Daeron II
- 9.8 Blackfyre Rebellions
- 9.9 Aegon the Unlikely
- 9.10 War of the Ninepenny Kings
- 9.11 Aerys and Tywin
- 9.12 Robert's Rebellion
- 9.13 House Baratheon
- 10 Recent Events
- 11 Quotes
- 12 Notes
- 13 References
Throughout thousands of years of history, the continent of Westeros was often divided amongst a multitude of monarchs and realms, including the so-called Age of the Hundred Kingdoms. The term "Seven Kingdoms" derives from the situation in Westeros just prior to Aegon's Conquest three centuries ago, when most of the continent had been consolidated under the rule of seven great monarchs:
Torrhen Stark, King in the North
Ronnel Arryn, King of Mountain and Vale
Harren Hoare, King of the Isles and the Rivers
Loren I Lannister, King of the Rock
Mern IX Gardener, King of the Reach
Argilac Durrandon, the Storm King
Meria Martell, Princess of Dorne
Although the term refers to seven kingdoms, Dorne was ruled by by a princess instead of a king. Additionally, the term omitted the island "kingdom" of Dragonstone, which was ruled by the sovereign Lords of Dragonstone from House Targaryen, and the lands beyond the Wall.
Aegon I Targaryen and his sisters, Visenya and Rhaenys Targaryen, conquered only six of the seven kingdoms, consolidating them under the rule of House Targaryen and the Iron Throne. Among the titles that Aegon received when crowned King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men in the Starry Sept in Oldtown, however, was "Lord of the Seven Kingdoms". Aegon and his successors laid claim to Dorne, the seventh realm, though in truth the Iron Throne would not add Dorne to its domains for another two centuries, when the southernmost land joined peacefully through marriage.
Due to the vast size of the new kingdom, in each region Aegon I Targaryen raised Great Houses who swore fealty to him, mostly the former ruling dynasties. The lords were granted a degree of autonomy and granted authority over their bannermen and smallfolk. Wardens are generals who defend their regions.
Aegon established his new realm's capital on the spot of his landing at the mouth of the Blackwater Rush, for which it was known as King's Landing. The area around King's Landing, which had also been a battleground between several kingdoms, constituted the royal demesne and became known as the crownlands. Within the crownlands, Dragonstone was successively granted to the heir apparent to the throne, the Prince of Dragonstone.
Great Houses that survived the Conquest
House Stark of Winterfell chose to submit and was confirmed as overlords over the north and Wardens of the North.
House Arryn of the Eyrie submitted and retained the Vale of Arryn as Wardens of the East.
House Lannister of Casterly Rock was allowed to keep their family holdings in the westerlands after they bent the knee, following defeat at the Field of Fire. The Lannisters became Wardens of the West.
House Nymeros Martell of Sunspear retained their independence in Dorne for a time. When the Martells eventually joined the Seven Kingdoms, they were allowed to retain their title of Prince of Dorne.
Great Houses established by the Conquest
House Targaryen of Dragonstone obtained dominion over most of Westeros, and settled in King's Landing in the newly-established crownlands.
House Tully of Riverrun was awarded rule of the riverlands as Lords Paramount of the Trident, for supporting Aegon against House Hoare.
House Greyjoy of Pyke was named Lords of the Iron Islands after Aegon's invasion of the Iron Islands.
House Tyrell was granted Highgarden and rule over the Reach as Lords Paramount of the Mander and Wardens of the South after the extinction of House Gardener.
House Baratheon married into the Durrandons of Storm's End and was awarded the stormlands as Lord Paramount of the Stormlands, after the defeat of the Storm King Argilac the Arrogant.
Hand of the King
- The King's Justice, the royal executioner.
- The Chief Gaoler, overseer of the royal dungeon.
- The Commander of the City Watch
- Captains of the seven gates of King's Landing
- Serjeants of the City Watch
- Captains of the royal fleet
Lord Commander of the Kingsguard
- Tax farmer
- Customs sergeant
- Wool factor
- Toll collector
- Wine factor
- Chief Steward
Regions and Territory
- the crownlands
- the Iron Islands
- the north
- the Reach
- the riverlands
- the stormlands
- the Vale of Arryn
- the westerlands
If seven "kingdoms" were to be counted from among the nine provinces, the regions included would appear to be Dorne, the north, the Reach, the riverlands, the stormlands, the Vale, and the westerlands.
The realm's territory includes all but the northernmost lands on the continent of Westeros, where the Wall defines its northern border. The Iron Throne also controls the many islands off the coast of Westeros, such as the Arbor, Bear Island, Claw Isle, Dragonstone, Driftmark, Estermont, the Shields, Skagos, Tarth, and the Three Sisters. The kingdom has occasionally been drawn into conflicts over the Stepstones off its southeastern coast, but it has rarely controlled a significant portion of them.
The Night's Watch guards the Wall in the north. The lands beyond the Wall, however, do not recognize the authority of the Iron Throne. The free folk who live in the far north consider the people of the Seven Kingdoms to be kneelers, while Westerosi think of the free folk as uncivilized savages.
The population of the Seven Kingdoms numbers in the millions. The monarch on the Iron Throne uses the title King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, referring to the major ethnic groups from which most Westerosi descend.
The kingdom is speckled with castles, holdfasts, towns, and villages, but only five settlements can be called cities. Listed in decreasing order of size, they are:
- King's Landing in the crownlands;
- Oldtown in the Reach;
- Lannisport in the westerlands;
- Gulltown in the Vale of Arryn;
- White Harbor in the north.
King's Landing is the youngest of the five cities. It started in 2 BC as a small town, but within two years grew into a village with a few thousand people in it. By 10 AC, it had grown almost as large as Gulltown and White Harbor, and could be called a city. By 25 AC, it had surpassed both cities. By 33 AC, King's Landing's population had grown to a hundred thousand. During the reign of Jaehaerys I Targaryen (48–103 AC), the population of King's Landing increased fourfold. Eventually, although similar in size, King's Landing became even more populous than Oldtown, and with its population of approximately half a million is now considered the most populous city of the Seven Kingdoms.
Oldtown is the eldest of the cities. Its origins are lost in the mists of time in the Dawn Age, extending back to when the First Men first settled in Westeros, if not earlier. By the time of the coming of the Andals, Oldtown was already considered a city. Today, it is still the largest and richest city in the Seven Kingdoms, although King's Landing has more people.
Lannisport is the second oldest of the cities, founded by the descendants of Lann the Clever. Within a few generations it quickly grew from village to town to city. By the coming of the Andals, Lannisport had become the second-largest city in Westeros. It currently is the third-largest city in the Seven Kingdoms.[N 1]
Gulltown and White Harbor are the smallest cities of the kingdom. Gulltown was a prosperous port-town which grew into one of the foremost cities of the realm under the rule of House Arryn. White Harbor is newer than Oldtown, Lannisport, and Gulltown, having been built after House Manderly came north following their exile from the Reach. White Harbor is the north's only city, and the smallest city in the Seven Kingdoms.
The people of the Seven Kingdoms are a mixture of several ethnic groups which have migrated to Westeros over the centuries and intermarried over hundreds and thousands of years. As such these original ethnicities are more of a blurred trend than firm political units. Today they are mostly identified through their place of residence, where each kingdom retains its unique flavor.
The influence of the Andals is strongest in the south, while the northmen still follow many customs of the First Men. The traditions of chivalric knighthood and courtly singers are said to have originated in the Reach. Dornishmen are heavily influenced by the mass immigration of the Rhoynar, who according to legend were led to Westeros by Nymeria on ten thousand ships. Small groups, such as the ironborn of the Iron Islands and the Vale mountain clans in the Mountains of the Moon, maintain different cultures from the rest of the realm.
The most common language in the kingdom is the Common Tongue. Unlike their counterparts in Essos, Westerosi nobles take pride in their heraldry. Exiled and adventurous Westerosi warriors have been known to serve in sellsword companies in Essos, such as the Golden Company, the Windblown, the Second Sons, the Company of the Rose, and the Wolf Pack.
The people of the Seven Kingdoms follow several different faiths.
- The Faith of the Seven, the primary religion of the Seven Kingdoms, was brought to Westeros by the Andals thousands of years ago. The Faith worships the Seven, a single deity with separate aspects: the Mother, the Father, the Warrior, the Smith, the Maiden, the Crone, and the Stranger. Knighthood is popular
- The old gods are worshiped in the north and the lands beyond the Wall. It was the faith of the children of the forest, who used to inhabit the land thousands of years ago. Followers worship numerous and nameless gods of the forests, who are always watching through the faces carved into the bark of heart trees, most which are ancient weirwood trees.
- The Drowned God, the indigenous deity of the Iron Islands, is a harsh deity who rewards those who plunder in his name.
- R'hllor, the red god, is a deity popular in Essos but little-known in Westeros, although gaining in popularity. The followers of R'hllor claim their deity is the Lord of Light and will stand against the Great Other, the god of darkness and cold, in a war that is to come.
Law and Justice
Feudal society is based on the model of the old kingdoms on which the Targaryen dynasty was built with each region retaining some sovereign rights and ruled by Great Houses whose high lords answer only to the king. Many traditional customs have endured in the regions, although some kings, such as Jaehaerys I Targaryen and Aegon V Targaryen, have attempted to reform the realm's laws.
Commerce and Currency
Most transactions in the Seven Kingdoms involve currency. The coinage is minted by the master of coin appointed by the king on the Iron Throne. There are golden dragons, silver stags, and copper stars. Golden dragons are worth the most and have a dragon stamped on one side and a king's face on the other. Most smallfolk would never own a gold dragon, using mostly copper stars for their needs.
Wars of Conquest
The continent of Westeros was once divided among a multitude of monarchs in the Age of the Hundred Kingdoms, but over time the land was consolidated into seven major realms. Aegon Targaryen, Lord of Dragonstone, and his sisters, Visenya and Rhaenys, invaded the continent, with Aegon demanding the submission of the mainland's monarchs.
Aegon's Conquest began with House Targaryen landing at the mouth of the Blackwater Rush, and Aegon was crowned King of All Westeros at the Aegonfort. Aegon then extinguished Harren the Black and House Hoare with the burning of Harrenhal, ending the Kings of the Isles and the Rivers. Aegon granted the riverlands to House Tully. Meanwhile, Argilac Durrandon, the Storm King, was killed in the Last Storm by Orys Baratheon in the stormlands, with House Baratheon replacing House Durrandon.
At the Field of Fire, the Targaryen siblings used their dragons—Balerion, Vhagar, and Meraxes—to defeat the armies of the Two Kings. Mern IX, King of the Reach, and his family from House Gardener were extinguished in the dragonflame, while Loren I, King of the Rock, surrendered the next day. Aegon granted Highgarden and the Reach to House Tyrell, and he allowed the defeated House Lannister to retain their rule in the westerlands. Aegon then met the host of Torrhen Stark, King in the North, at the Trident. Aware of Harrenhal's fate, Torrhen knelt to Aegon instead of engaging in a pitched battle.
Visenya flew to the Eyrie in the Vale of Arryn, where she achieved the submission of Ronnel, the last King of Mountain and Vale from House Arryn. Rhaenys was sent south to Dorne, but Meria Martell, Princess of Dorne, refused to join Aegon's realm.
The High Septon advised Lord Manfred Hightower to welcome Aegon to Oldtown, and the new king's reign is regarded by maesters as having begun with his coronation in that city as King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm.
The Sistermen's Rebellion in the Three Sisters was quickly defeated by Visenya and Ser Warrick Manderly, and Aegon led an invasion of the Iron Islands to put an end to the civil war among the ironborn. In 2 AC, Aegon allowed House Greyjoy to rule the Iron Islands.
Since Dorne had refused to submit during Aegon's Conquest, the Targaryens began the First Dornish War in 4 AC. Queen Rhaenys and Meraxes were killed at the Hellholt in the bloody war, and Orys was mutilated by House Wyl. Despite the burning of the Dornish castles with dragonflame, the Dornish refused to surrender. After the passing of Meria in 13 AC, Aegon finally agreed to a peace with Prince Nymor Martell, with Dorne remaining independent.
Instead of Oldtown or Dragonstone, King Aegon I Targaryen made the new city of King's Landing the capital of his kingdom, with the swords of his defeated foes made into the Iron Throne. The crownlands were created out of territory near the mouth of the Blackwater Rush and along Blackwater Bay.
Aegon encouraged included nobles and their children from throughout the land to serve at court, and the Targaryens encouraged marriages between disparate families in an effort to unite the formerly-independent realms. Aegon the Conqueror spent much of his reign learning about the peculiarities of each province during his many royal progresses, and he often left alone the laws and customs already in place.
Aenys and Maegor
Soon after ascending the throne, King Aenys I Targaryen was faced with the rebellions of Jonos Arryn in the Vale, Harren the Red in the riverlands, Lodos the Twice-Drowned in the Iron Islands. Lord Orys Baratheon helped suppress the Vulture King in the Second Dornish War.
The Faith Militant uprising began during the reign of Aenys I and continued through the reign of his brother, Maegor I Targaryen. Aenys's heir, Aegon the Uncrowned, was defeated by Maegor in the Battle Beneath the Gods Eye. Most of the realm eventually turned against Maegor the Cruel, however, and the king was found dead on the Iron Throne.
Jaehaerys the Conciliator
The uprising of the Faith Militant finally ended after the ascension of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen. In 55 AC, Jaehaerys and his advisers began work on the first unified code of law for the realm; Septon Barth contributed greatly to the Great Code. A terrible case of the Shivers spread through the realm in 59–60 AC. Construction of the kingsroad began in 62 AC during Jaehaerys's reign. The Old King dealt with another Vulture King in the Third Dornish War in 61 AC, and then defeated the Fourth Dornish War in 83 AC.
The Dance of the Dragons
The death of Viserys in 129 AC began the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. Throughout the realm, the blacks of Rhaenyra Targaryen battled the greens of Aegon II Targaryen. Both claimants died during the war, which ended with Aegon III Targaryen, Rhaenyra's son, sitting the Iron Throne. Dalton Greyjoy, Lord of the Iron Islands, continued to occupy parts of the westerlands after the war ended, and a succession struggle broke out in the Iron Islands after his death.
The Young Dragon and Baelor the Blessed
King Daeron I Targaryen began his conquest of Dorne in 157 AC, and he achieved the Submission of Sunspear the following year. The Dornishmen rose in rebellion, however, and the Young Dragon was killed while meeting under a peace banner.
King Baelor I Targaryen traveled to Dorne to make peace and secure the release of Prince Aemon the Dragonknight. Baelor the Blessed began construction of the Great Sept in King's Landing, which would became the new seat for the Faith of the Seven.
Aegon the Unworthy and Daeron II
King Aegon IV Targaryen is often regarded as one of the worst rulers of the Seven Kingdoms. The king granted Blackfyre, one of the Valyrian steel swords of House Targaryen to Ser Daemon Waters, one of his bastards, instead of awarding it to his heir. On his deathbed, Aegon the Unworthy legitimized all of his bastards, including the Great Bastards, those born to noble women.
Some lords hated the inclusion of Dornishmen at court, and they preferred the legitimized Daemon Blackfyre over the peaceable King Daeron II Targaryen. Supported by Ser Aegor Rivers, another of the Great Bastards, Daemon led the First Blackfyre Rebellion in 196 AC. The civil war ended with Daemon being struck down by Brynden Rivers, a Great Bastard called Bloodraven, in the Battle of the Redgrass Field. Aegor, called Bittersteel, survived the battle and went into exile in the Free Cities.
Bittersteel did not participate in the ill-fated Second Blackfyre Rebellion, which occurred at the wedding tourney at Whitewalls, but he did lead the Third Blackfyre Rebellion in support of Haegon I Blackfyre. The Targaryens triumphed over House Blackfyre again, however. After being freed while en route to the Wall, Aegor returned to Essos and founded the Golden Company.
Aegon the Unlikely
After the death of King Maekar I Targaryen in the Peake Uprising, a Great Council was called in 233 AC to choose his successor. Aenys Blackfyre arrived in King's Landing to peacefully put forward his claim, but Bloodraven had him seized and executed. Maekar's fourth son was chosen, becoming King Aegon V Targaryen, and the new king sent Bloodraven to join the Night's Watch.
The Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion was one of several rebellions which Aegon the Unlikely was forced to confront. His efforts to help smallfolk through reform and rights made him popular with commoners, but his plans often provoked resistance from the realm's lords.
War of the Ninepenny Kings
After conquering Tyrosh and the Stepstones, the Band of Nine set the Seven Kingdoms as their next target. Lord Ormund Baratheon led the defense of the realm on behalf of King Jaehaerys II Targaryen in the War of the Ninepenny Kings. Ormund was killed by Maelys I Blackfyre in the conflict, but Ser Barristan Selmy avenged him by slaying Maelys on the Stepstones.
Aerys and Tywin
King Aerys II Targaryen named his friend Ser Tywin Lannister, who had swiftly crushed the Reyne-Tarbeck revolt, to be his Hand of the King. The realm prospered from their partnership, with Tywin building new roads, holding tourneys, winning the support of merchants, and cultivating trade with the Free Cities. Tywin also rescinded many of Aegon V's efforts to help the smallfolk. Some came to say that it was Tywin who actually ruled the Seven Kingdoms.
Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning and a knight of the Kingsguard, helped to defeat the Kingswood Brotherhood. The tourney at Harrenhal in 281 AC, the year of the false spring, was a splendid gathering of the realm's nobility, which included even the reclusive Aerys.
The abduction of Lyanna Stark by Rhaegar Targaryen, Prince of Dragonstone, led to King Aerys II Targaryen executing Lyanna's father Rickard Stark, Lord of Winterfell, and Brandon Stark. Aerys then ordered Jon Arryn, Lord of the Eyrie, to kill his wards, Eddard Stark and Robert I Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End. Lord Arryn refused, however, beginning Robert's Rebellion, also known as the War of the Usurper. Hoster Tully, Lord of Riverrun, arranged for his daughters, Catelyn and Lysa, to wed Eddard and Jon. Stannis Baratheon defended against the siege of Storm's End by Mace Tyrell, Lord of Highgarden.
The slaying of Rhaegar by Robert in the Battle of the Trident led Tywin Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock, to march to King's Landing. Aerys opened the gates of the capital to his former Hand of the King, but Tywin's soldiers instead began the Sack of King's Landing. Tywin's son, Ser Jaime Lannister of the Kingsguard, killed his charge, King Aerys, in the throne room. Robert succeeded Aerys on the Iron Throne and wed Tywin's daughter, Cersei Lannister.
King Robert I Baratheon sent his Hand of the King, Lord Jon Arryn, to secure peace with Doran Martell, Prince of Dorne. Robert's brother, Stannis Baratheon, led the assault on Dragonstone, the last redoubt of House Targaryen. Prince Viserys Targaryen and his infant sister, Princess Daenerys, fled into exile in the Free Cities with the aid of Ser Willem Darry.
A Game of Thrones
Robert hosts the Hand's tourney in King's Landing, and Eddard investigates the manner of Jon's passing. After his son Tyrion is abducted by Catelyn Stark and put on trial by Lysa Arryn, Tywin Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock, sends Ser Gregor Clegane to raid the riverlands in retaliation.
Eddard uncovers that the children of Queen Cersei Lannister were fathered not by King Robert, but by her twin brother, Ser Jaime Lannister. Robert is mortally wounded by a boar in the kingswood, and he is succeeded by his supposed eldest son and heir, King Joffrey I Baratheon. Cersei becomes the regent for the young Joffrey, with Tywin as the new Hand.
Open war breaks out in the Seven Kingdoms as Robb Stark marches south to rescue his father from captivity, while House Lannister invades the riverlands. Tywin is victorious over Roose Bolton, Lord of the Dreadfort, in the battle on the Green Fork, but his son Jaime is captured by Robb in the battle in the Whispering Wood. Against the wishes of Queen Regent Cersei, Joffrey orders the execution of Lord Stark at the Great Sept of Baelor. Renly Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End, and Ser Loras Tyrell flee to Highgarden. With the support of Mace Tyrell, Lord of Highgarden and Loras's father, Renly is crowned king in opposition to Joffrey. Following the Battle of the Camps, the northmen and rivermen gathered in Riverrun reject the authority of the Iron Throne and proclaim Robb to be King in the North.
Outside Pentos, the exiled Daenerys Targaryen weds Drogo, a khal of the Dothraki. Her elder brother, Viserys Targaryen, plans to invade the Seven Kingdoms with Drogo's khalasar, but the would-be king is killed by Drogo in Vaes Dothrak. When Drogo becomes catatonic after being wounded in battle, Daenerys ends her husband's life and and then enters Drogo's funeral pyre herself. To the astonishment of her few supporters, Daenerys survives the fire and hatches her three dragon eggs.
A Clash of Kings
At Dragonstone, Stannis Baratheon declares himself King of Westeros with the support of Melisandre, a red priestess. Catelyn Stark is unable to convince the Baratheon brothers to join forces, and Renly Baratheon is assassinated by a shadow at Storm's End.
Having declared independence from the Iron Throne, Robb Stark sends Ser Cleos Frey to King's Landing with his territorial demands, claiming all of the north and the lands of the Trident between the Golden Tooth and the Mountains of the Moon. Tyrion Lannister, the acting Hand of the King, rejects Robb's peace offer, however.
Robb sends Theon Greyjoy back to the Iron Islands to negotiate an alliance with Balon Greyjoy, Lord of the Iron Islands, suggesting he could support Balon as King of the Iron Islands if he fights Robb's enemies. Balon rejects Robb's offer, however, and instead attacks the north while declaring himself King of the Isles and the North; Theon leads the capture of Winterfell.
Robb defeats the host of Ser Stafford Lannister in the Battle of Oxcross and has his soldiers raid the westerlands. Lord Tywin Lannister marches from Harrenhal to confront Robb, but the Lannister army is turned back by Ser Edmure Tully and the rivermen in the Battle of the Fords.
The High Septon is killed in the riots in King's Landing. Tyrion sends Lord Petyr Baelish to negotiate an alliance between House Baratheon of King's Landing, which is supported by House Lannister, and House Tyrell.
Stannis attacks King's Landing in the Battle of the Blackwater. Tywin and Lord Mace Tyrell arrive amid the battle and force Stannis to retreat. Following the battle, King Joffrey I Baratheon breaks his betrothal with Sansa Stark and agrees to marry Mace's daughter, Margaery Tyrell. Petyr is named Lord Paramount of the Trident as a reward for brokering the royal alliance.
A Storm of Swords
Robb Stark, King in the North, and King of the Trident, breaks his alliance with House Frey by marrying Jeyne Westerling instead of a daughter of Walder Frey, Lord of the Crossing. Hoster Tully, Lord of Riverrun, passes away, and his heir, Ser Edmure Tully, agrees to wed Roslin Frey to restore Robb's alliance with Walder. House Stark is betrayed by Houses Frey and Bolton in the Red Wedding, however, with Robb killed by Roose and Edmure taken captive at the Twins. Roose is named Warden of the North.
At Dragonstone, Stannis Baratheon considers sacrificing Edric Storm to save the realm, as Melisandre claims the boy's death would awaken a stone dragon for the king and allow Stannis to stand against the Great Other. Lord Davos Seaworth has Edric smuggled away, however.
House Lannister appears triumphant, but King Joffrey I Baratheon chokes to death at his wedding feast after marrying Margaery Tyrell. Tyrion Lannister is put on trial for the king's death, and his champion, Prince Oberyn Martell, is slain by Ser Gregor Clegane in trial by combat. Ser Jaime Lannister and Lord Varys help Tyrion escape the black cells, and Tyrion murders his father, Lord Tywin Lannister, before disappearing from the capital.
Jeor Mormont leads the Night's Watch in a great ranging to investigate the conflict beyond the Wall, but they are attacked by wights in the fight at the Fist. Jeor is killed in the mutiny at Craster's Keep. Mance Rayder, the King-Beyond-the-Wall, commands a host of wildlings marching south to the Wall, but Jon Snow and Donal Noye help defend against the wildlings' attack on Castle Black. Although the wildlings' superiority in numbers makes their victory at Castle Black appear to be a matter of time, Stannis's army sails from Dragonstone to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea and then defeats Mance's wildlings in the battle beneath the Wall. Stannis offers to name Jon as Lord of Winterfell, but Jon declines and is instead elected the new Lord Commander of the Night's Watch to replace Jeor.
A Feast for Crows
Cersei Lannister rules as Queen Regent for King Tommen I Baratheon, who weds the widowed Margaery Tyrell. Paxter Redwyne, Lord of the Arbor, leads the siege of Dragonstone, as the castle is held by Ser Rolland Storm for Stannis Baratheon. Margaery's father, Lord Mace Tyrell, commands the siege of Storm's End, which is held by Ser Gilbert Farring for Stannis. Cersei defers payments of the Iron Throne's loans to the Iron Bank of Braavos.
The Crown hunts down outlaws and broken men in the riverlands, with Lord Randyll Tarly and Ser Harwyn Plumm leading the efforts at Maidenpool and Darry. Cersei sends her brother Jaime to set Harrenhal to rights and help their cousin, Ser Daven Lannister, in resolving the siege of Riverrun. Jaime convinces Lord Edmure Tully to have the castle yield, but Riverrun's castellan, Ser Brynden Tully, is able to escape. The brotherhood without banners hang Freys and loyalists in retaliation for the Red Wedding.
To prevent Euron Greyjoy from claiming the Seastone Chair, Aeron Greyjoy calls for a kingsmoot to choose the successor of their late brother, Balon. When Euron promises to conquer all of Westeros with dragons, however, the ironborn elect the Crow's Eye in the kingsmoot on Old Wyk.
After the High Septon dies, sparrows orchestrate the selection of his replacement, a pious man called the High Sparrow. Queen Regent Cersei allows the Faith of the Seven to reconstitute the Faith Militant. Lancel Lannister, Lord of Darry, relinquishes his title and joins the Warrior's Sons.
The taking of the Shields begins the ironborn's attack on the Reach. In order to free the Redwyne fleet to respond to the Iron Fleet, Ser Loras Tyrell volunteers to take command of the siege of Dragonstone. Loras is able to take the castle, but he is grievously wounded in the assault.
Cersei arranges for Queen Margaery to be arrested by the Faith for alleged adultery and high treason. Much to the queen regent's surprise, however, Cersei herself is arrested as well, being accused of murder, treason, and fornication. Lord Aurane Waters absconds from the capital with the new dromonds of the royal fleet.
A Dance with Dragons
Stannis Baratheon allows wildlings who have surrendered to pass through the Wall; he and Jon Snow want them to settle the Gift and become part of the realm as long as they keep the king's peace. Melisandre publicly burns "Mance Rayder" (actually the Lord of Bones). Stannis allies with the northern mountain clans and frees Deepwood Motte from the ironborn of Asha Greyjoy.
Lord Roose Bolton, the new Warden of the North, returns to the north after his son, Ramsay Bolton, Lord of the Hornwood, ends the siege of Moat Cailin with the aid of Theon Greyjoy. Ramsay weds "Arya Stark" (actually Jeyne Poole) at Winterfell, and House Bolton prepares for Stannis's march on Winterfell.
Ser Balon Swann brings the Mountain's skull to Sunspear to appease House Martell. Doran Martell sends Obara Sand to search for Ser Gerold Dayne, who is accused of having attempted to kill Princess Myrcella Baratheon.
Instead of sailing for Westeros, Daenerys Targaryen has remained in Slaver's Bay to rule as Queen of Meereen. Euron Greyjoy sends his brother Victarion with the Iron Fleet to retrieve Daenerys and her dragons. Doran sends his heir, Prince Quentyn Martell, to Meereen to inform Daenerys of the secret marriage pact, but she rejects Quentyn as a suitor. Quentyn dies after trying to claim one of Daenerys's dragons.
Instead of waiting for Daenerys, Tyrion Lannister advises Aegon Targaryen to invade Westeros while the kingdom is in disarray. Jon Connington and Harry Strickland lead the landing of the Golden Company in the stormlands in support of Aegon.
After Theon helps Jeyne escape Winterfell, Ramsay sends a challenging letter to Jon Snow at Castle Black, claiming he has killed Stannis in battle and has captured Mance. Jon plans to march south to confront Ramsay, but the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch is attacked before he can do so in the mutiny at Castle Black.
Cersei Lannister conducts a walk of atonement in preparation for her trial. To aid Aegon's campaign, Varys and his little birds assassinate Grand Maester Pycelle and the Lord Regent, Ser Kevan Lannister.
The Seven Kingdoms have a very long history, and I haven't mentioned all of it... nor will I.
We will have it all back someday, sweet sister. The jewels and the silks, Dragonstone and King's Landing, the Iron Throne and the Seven Kingdoms, all they have taken from us, we will have it back.
His own remote ancestor, King Loren of the Rock, had tried to stand against the fire when he joined with King Mern of the Reach to oppose the Targaryen conquest. That was close on three hundred years ago, when the Seven Kingdoms were kingdoms, and not mere provinces of a greater realm.—thoughts of Tyrion Lannister
Eddard: Tell me, Lord Varys, who do you truly serve?
Varys: Why, the realm, my good lord, how ever could you doubt that? I swear it by my lost manhood. I serve the realm, and the realm needs peace.
—thoughts of Daenerys Targaryen
Stannis: The Iron Throne is mine by rights. All those who deny that are my foes.
Renly: The whole of the realm denies it, brother. Old men deny it with their death rattle, and unborn children deny it in their mothers' wombs. They deny it in Dorne and they deny it on the Wall. No one wants you for their king. Sorry.
This talk of Seven Kingdoms is a folly. Aegon saw that three hundred years ago when he stood where we are standing. They painted this table at his command. Rivers and bays they painted, hills and mountains, castles and cities and market towns, lakes and swamps and forests ... but no borders. It is all one. One realm, for one king to rule alone.
It was hard work to rule a kingdom, much less seven of them.—thoughts of Cersei Lannister
The Faith Militant reborn ... that would be the answer to three hundred years of prayer, Your Grace. The Warrior would lift his shining sword again and cleanse this sinful realm of all its evil. If His Grace were to allow me to restore the ancient blessed orders of the Sword and Star, every godly man in the Seven Kingdoms would know him to be our true and rightful lord.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 13, Tyrion II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The North.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
- So Spake Martin: Social Structure, Moat Cailin, and More, June 10, 2002
- Fire & Blood, Aegon's Conquest.
- Fire & Blood, Reign of the Dragon - The Wars of King Aegon I.
- Fire & Blood, Three Heads Had the Dragon - Governance Under King Aegon I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
- Fire & Blood, A Time of Testing - The Realm Remade.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
- A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 17, Tyrion IV.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 59, Sansa IV.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Wall and Beyond: The Night's Watch.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 15, Jon II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 40, Princess In The Tower.
- Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
- Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Their Triumphs and Tragedies.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach: Oldtown.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Westerlands.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Kings of Winter.
- So Spake Martin: Event Horizon Chat, March 18, 1999
- The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: Ten Thousand Ships.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 11, Daenerys II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 1, Tyrion I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 24, The Lost Lord.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 25, The Windblown.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 66, Tyrion XII.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Quarrelsome Daughters: Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 25, Brienne V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 66, Bran VII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 11, Theon I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 25, Davos III.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 45, The Blind Girl.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Beyond the Free Cities: The Summer Isles.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 18, Catelyn IV.
- Fire & Blood, Prince into King - The Ascension of Jaehaerys I.
- Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
- Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
- Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragons - A Question of Succession.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Voyage of Alyn Oakenfist.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Daeron I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Baelor I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon IV.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Daeron II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Stoneborn of Skagos.
- The Sworn Sword.
- The Mystery Knight.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Wall and Beyond: The Wildlings.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 11, Jaime II.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 9, Brienne II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: Robert's Rebellion.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 3, Daenerys I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Old way and the New.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 28, Catelyn V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 40, Catelyn VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 43, Eddard XI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 45, Eddard XII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 49, Eddard XIV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 62, Tyrion VIII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 63, Catelyn X.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 65, Arya V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn XI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 46, Daenerys V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 72, Daenerys X.
- A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10, Davos I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 20, Tyrion V.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 49, Tyrion XI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 46, Bran VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 39, Catelyn V.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 45, Catelyn VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 41, Tyrion IX.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 36, Tyrion VIII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 62, Sansa VII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 65, Sansa VIII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 66, Theon VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 27, Daenerys II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 48, Daenerys IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 13, Arya II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 34, Arya VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 14, Catelyn II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 35, Catelyn IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 51, Catelyn VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72, Jaime IX.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 45, Catelyn V.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 63, Davos VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Bad reference param2.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 66, Tyrion IX.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 70, Tyrion X.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 77, Tyrion XI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 80, Sansa VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Prologue.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 18, Samwell I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 33, Samwell II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 7, Jon I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 55, Jon VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 73, Jon X.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 79, Jon XII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 27, Daenerys III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 42, Daenerys IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 71, Daenerys VI.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 3, Cersei I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 12, Cersei III.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 32, Cersei VII.
- A Feast for Crows, Appendix.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 17, Cersei IV.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 27, Jaime III.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 33, Jaime V.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 44, Jaime VII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 42, Brienne VIII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 23, Alayne I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 21, The Queenmaker.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 1, The Prophet.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 19, The Drowned Man.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 28, Cersei VI.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 30, Jaime IV.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 29, The Reaver.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 36, Cersei VIII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 43, Cersei X.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 29, Davos IV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 10, Jon III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 53, Jon XI.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 26, The Wayward Bride.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 42, The King's Prize.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 20, Reek II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 32, Reek III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 37, The Prince of Winterfell.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 51, Theon I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 38, The Watcher.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 48, Jaime I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 54, Cersei I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 2, Daenerys I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 56, The Iron Suitor.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 43, Daenerys VII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 68, The Dragontamer.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 70, The Queen's Hand.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 22, Tyrion VI.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 61, The Griffin Reborn.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 69, Jon XIII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 65, Cersei II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.
- So Spake Martin: Social Structure, Moat Cailin, and More, June 10, 2002
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 43, Jon V.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 31, Catelyn III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36, Davos IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 76, Jon XI.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 24, Cersei V.