«illustration credit 1 illustration credit 2 The World of Ice & Fire is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the ...»
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The World of Ice & Fire is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination
or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2014 by George R. R. Martin
Images on 2.31, 3.67, 3.82, 5.92, 5.118, 5.122, 5.146, 5.157, and 6.182 are © Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Bantam Books, an imprint of Random House, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York.
BANTAM BOOKS and the HOUSE colophon are registered trademarks of Random House LLC.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATAMartin, George R. R.
The World of Ice & Fire : the Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones / George R.R. Martin, Elio Garcia, and Linda Antonsson.
pages cm — (A song of ice and fire) Includes index.
ISBN 978-0-553-80544-4 eBook ISBN 978-0-345-53555-9
1. Martin, George R. R. Song of ice and fire. 2. Game of thrones (Television program) I. Garcia, Elio. II. Antonsson, Linda. III. Title.
PS3563.A7239S5936 2014 813’.6—dc23 2014013093 www.bantamdell.com Book design by Rosebud Eustace v3.1 Storm’s End. (illustration credit 3) Cover Title Page Copyright A Note About this eBook Preface
ANCIENT HISTORYThe Dawn Age The Coming of the First Men The Age of Heroes The Long Night The Rise of Valyria Valyria’s Children The Arrival of the Andals Ten Thousand Ships The Doom of Valyria
THE REIGN OF THE DRAGONSThe Conquest
THE TARGARYEN KINGSAegon I Aenys I Maegor I Jaehaerys I Viserys I Aegon II Aegon III Daeron I Baelor I Viserys II Aegon IV Daeron II Aerys I Maekar I Aegon V Jaehaerys II Aerys II illustration credit 4
THE FALL OF THE DRAGONSThe Year of the False Spring Robert’s Rebellion The End THE GLORIOUS REI
BEYOND THE S UNS ET KINGDOMOther Lands The Free Cities Lorath Norvos Qohor The Quarrelsome Daughters: Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh Pentos Volantis Braavos Beyond the Free Cities The Summer Isles Naath The Basilisk Isles Sothoryos The Grasslands The Shivering Sea Ib East of Ib The Bones and Beyond Yi Ti The Plains of the Jogos Nhai Leng Asshai-by-the-Shadow Afterword Appendix: Targaryen Lineage Appendix: Stark Lineage Appendix: Lannister Lineage Appendix: Reign of the Kings Art Credits A Note About this eBook Double-tap or pinch to zoom in on images throughout the eBook.
illustration credit 6 IT IS SAID with truth that every building is constructed stone by stone, and the same may be said of knowledge, extracted and compiled by many learned men, each of whom builds upon the works of those who preceded him. What one of them does not know is known to another, and little remains truly unknown if one seeks far enough. Now I, Maester Yandel, take my turn as mason, carving what I know to place one more stone in the great bastion of knowledge that has been built over the centuries both within and without the confines of the Citadel—a bastion raised by countless hands that came before, and which will, no doubt, continue to rise with the aid of countless hands yet to come.
I was a foundling from my birth in the tenth year of the reign of the last Targaryen king, left on a morning in an empty stall in the Scribe’s Hearth, where acolytes practiced the art of letters for those who had need. The course of my life was set that day, when I was found by an acolyte who took me to the Seneschal of that year, Archmaester Edgerran. Edgerran, whose ring and rod and mask were silver, looked upon my squalling face and announced that I might prove of use. When first told this as a boy, I took it to mean he foresaw my destiny as a maester; only much later did I come to learn from Archmaester Ebrose that Edgerran was writing a treatise on the swaddling of infants and wished to test certain theories.
But inauspicious as that may seem, the result was that I was given to the care of servants and received the occasional attention of maesters. I was raised as a servant myself amongst the halls and chambers and libraries, but I was given the gift of letters by Archmaester Walgrave. Thus did I come to know and love the Citadel and the knights of the mind who guarded its precious wisdom. I desired nothing more than to become one of them—to read of far places and long-dead men, to gaze at the stars and measure the passing of the seasons.
And so I did. I forged the first link in my chain at three-and-ten, and other links followed. I completed my chain and took my oaths in the ninth year of the reign of King Robert, the First of His Name, and found myself blessed to continue at the Citadel, to serve the archmaesters and aid them in all that they did. It was a great honor, but my greatest desire was to create a work of mine own, a work that humble but lettered men might read—and read to their wives and children—so that they would learn of things both good and wicked, just and unjust, great and small, and grow wiser as I had grown wiser amidst the learning of the Citadel. And so I set myself to work once more at my forge, to make new and notable matter around the masterworks of the long-dead maesters who came before me.
What follows herein sprang from that desire: a history of deeds gallant and wicked, peoples familiar and strange, and lands near and far.
Aegon the Conqueror upon Balerion, the Black Dread. (illustration credit 7) Constructing the Wall. (illustration credit 8) illustration credit 9 D AWN A GE THE THERE ARE NONE who can say with certain knowledge when the world began, yet this has not stopped many maesters and learned men from seeking the answer. Is it forty thousand years old, as some hold, or perhaps a number as large as five hundred thousand—or even more? It is not written in any book that we know, for in the first age of the world, the Dawn Age, men were not lettered.
We can be certain that the world was far more primitive, however—a barbarous place of tribes living directly from the land with no knowledge of the working of metal or the taming of beasts. What little is known to us of those days is contained in the oldest of texts: the tales written down by the Andals, by the Valyrians, and by the Ghiscari, and even by those distant people of fabled Asshai. Yet however ancient those lettered races, they were not even children during the Dawn Age. So what truths their tales contain are difficult to find, like seeds among chaff.
What can most accurately be told about the Dawn Age? The eastern lands were awash with many peoples—uncivilized, as all the world was uncivilized, but numerous. But on Westeros, from the Lands of Always Winter to the shores of the Summer Sea, only two peoples existed: the children of the forest and the race of creatures known as the giants.
Of the giants in the Dawn Age, little and less can be said, for no one has gathered their tales, their legends, their histories. Men of the Watch say the wildlings have tales of the giants living uneasily alongside the children, ranging where they would and taking what they wanted. All the accounts claim that they were huge and powerful creatures, but simple. Reliable accounts from the rangers of the Night’s Watch, who were the last men to see the giants while they still lived, state that they were covered in a thick fur rather than simply being very large men as the nursery tales hold.
There is considerable evidence of burials among the giants, as recorded in Maester Kennet’s Passages of the Dead—a study of the barrow fields and graves and tombs of the North in his time of service at Winterfell, during the long reign of Cregan Stark. From bones that have been found in the North and sent to the Citadel, some maesters estimate that the largest of the giants could reach fourteen feet, though others say twelve feet is nearer the truth. The tales of long-dead rangers written down by maesters of the Watch all agree that the giants did not make homes or garments, and knew of no better tools or weapons than branches pulled from trees.
The archives of the Citadel contain a letter from Maester Aemon, sent in the early years of the reign of Aegon V which reports on an account from a ranger named Redwyn, written in, the days of King Dorren Stark. It recounts a journey to Lorn Point and the Frozen Shore, in which it is claimed that the ranger and his companions fought giants and traded with the children of the forest. Aemon’s letter claimed that he had found many such accounts in his examinations of the archives of the Watch at Castle Black, and considered them credible.
The giants had no kings and no lords, made no homes save in caverns or beneath tall trees, and they worked neither metal nor fields. They remained creatures of the Dawn Age even as the ages passed them by, men grew ever more numerous, and the forests were tamed and dwindled. Now the giants are gone even in the lands beyond the Wall, and the last reports of them are more than a hundred years old. And even those are dubious—tales that rangers of the Watch might tell over a warm fire.
The children of the forest were, in many ways, the opposites of the giants. As small as children but dark and beautiful, they lived in a manner we might call crude today, yet they were still less barbarous than the giants. They worked no metal, but they had great art in working obsidian (what the smallfolk call dragonglass, while the Valyrians knew it by a word meaning “frozen fire”) to make tools and weapons for hunting. They wove no cloths but were skilled in making garments of leaves and bark. They learned to make bows of weirwood and to construct flying snares of grass, and both of the sexes hunted with these.
Their song and music was said to be as beautiful as they were, but what they sang of is not remembered save in small fragments handed down from ancient days. Maester Childer’s Winter’s Kings, or the Legends and Lineages of the Starks of Winterfell contains a part of a ballad alleged to tell of the time Brandon the Builder sought the aid of the children while raising the Wall. He was taken to a secret place to meet with them, but could not at first understand their speech, which was described as sounding like the song of stones in a brook, or the wind through leaves, or the rain upon the water. The manner in which Brandon learned to comprehend the speech of the children is a tale in itself, and not worth repeating here. But it seems clear that their speech originated, or drew inspiration from, the sounds they heard every day.
The gods the children worshipped were the nameless ones that would one day become the gods of the First Men—the innumerable gods of the streams and forests and stones. It was the children who carved the weirwoods with faces, perhaps to give eyes to their gods so that they might watch their worshippers at their devotions. Others, with little evidence, claim that the greenseers—the wise men of the children—were able to see through the eyes of the carved weirwoods. The supposed proof is the fact that the First Men themselves believed this; it was their fear of the weirwoods spying upon them that drove them to cut down many of the carved trees and weirwood groves, to deny the children such an advantage. Yet the First Men were less learned than we are now, and credited things that their descendants today do not; consider Maester Yorrick’s Wed to the Sea, Being an Account of the History of White Harbor from Its Earliest Days, which recounts the practice of blood sacrifice to the old gods. Such sacrifices persisted as recently as five centuries ago, according to accounts from Maester Yorrick’s predecessors at White Harbor.
A giant. (illustration credit 10) This is not to say that the greenseers did not know lost arts that belong to the higher mysteries, such as seeing events at a great distance or communicating across half a realm (as the Valyrians, who came long after them, did). But mayhaps some of the feats of the greenseers have more to do with foolish tales than truth. They could not change their forms into those of beasts, as some would have it, but it seems true that they were capable of communicating with animals in a way that we cannot now achieve; it is from this that legends of skinchangers, or beastlings, arose.
In truth, the legends of the skinchangers are many, but the most common—brought from beyond the Wall by men of the Night’s Watch, and recorded at the Wall by septons and maesters of centuries past —hold that the skinchangers not only communicated with beasts, but could control them by having their spirits mingle. Even among the wildlings, these skinchangers were feared as unnatural men who could call on animals as allies. Some tales speak of skinchangers losing themselves in their beasts, and others say that the animals could speak with a human voice when a skinchanger controlled them.
But all the tales agree that the most common skinchangers were men who controlled wolves—even direwolves—and these had a special name among the wildlings: wargs.
Legend further holds that the greenseers could also delve into the past and see far into the future.
But as all our learning has shown us, the higher mysteries that claim this power also claim that their visions of the things to come are unclear and often misleading—a useful thing to say when seeking to fool the unwary with fortune-telling. Though the children had arts of their own, the truth must always be separated from superstition, and knowledge must be tested and made sure. The higher mysteries, the arts of magic, were and are beyond the boundaries of our mortal ability to examine.