Monday, September 9, 2013

Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire: History of Westeros-Part 3: The Andal Invasion

Time for another invasion. Around -6,000 AL, a new religion was formed on the continent of Essos. In the Hills of Andalos, the Faith of the Seven developed and became the major religion. The supreme deity supposedly appeared to the Andals and guided them on a very important mission. This mission was the invasion of Westeros.

The Hills of Andalos are located just south of what is now the free city of Pentos, so when they crossed the Narrow Sea, the Andals landed on what would become the Vale of Arryn. The came with weapons of steel and armor of steel, with the seven pointed star representing the Faith of the Seven carved into their chests. They came across the Narrow Sea in waves and spread over all of Westeros. The Andals fought the children of the forest and the First Men for centuries.

Eventually, the power of the Andals became too much for the Men and children and the six southern kingdoms fell to them. The weirwoods were burned, any children of the forest that were found were killed, and the Andals established the Faith of the Seven as the new religion. The only kingdom that was able to hold off the Andals was the North. Moat Cailin was able to hold off several attacks, so the North was left alone. Later on, the new Andal kings joined forces and marched into the North, destroying House Mudd on the way. The Mudds were the last group of First Men to rule in a southern kingdom and with their destruction, the line of Kings of River and Hill was extinguished. The attacks on the North were beat back by crannogmen in the Neck and armies at Moat Cailin, so the Andals eventually relented and allowed the North to remain an independent kingdom, although Andal blood eventually made its way to the North.

Meanwhile in Essos…
About a thousand years after the Andal invasion, a little group of sheepherders from the Valyrian Peninsula made an amazing discovery. These herders travelled to a huge chain of volcanoes called the Fourteen Fires and found dragons making their lairs inside. The dragons were tamed using magic, giving the Valyrians power of the area and the ability to establish the Valyrian Freehold. It’s capital was Valyria: a city where dragons flew across open skies, where huge beautiful towers could be seen at every turn, where the sharpest swords in the world were made, where large sphinxes looked down upon the city.

At the same time as the Valyrians established themselves, the Ghiscari empire unestablished itself. Five great wars happened between the Ghiscari and the freeholds during this time. The Valyrians won these wars with the help of dragons and completely destroyed the Ghiscari capita at the end of the final war. The buildings were burned, the citizens slaughtered, the fields salted and sulphured, the walls and streets burned with dragon fire. With the fall of the Ghiscari empire, the Valyrian Freehold expanded its influence over the area of Slaver’s Bay.

Back to Westeros…
Two thousand years after their initial invasion, the Andals finally were able to take down the Iron Islands. The first line of kings there was established by Urron “Redhand” Greyiron. He was the first one to make the throne hereditary, as it had been decided by a kingsmoot previously. Urron Redhand’s line ran uncontested until the Andal invasion, in which it finally fell. Unlike the other kingdoms, the Iron Islands assimilated with the Andals, who adopted the Old Way and the worship of the Drowned God.

The Andal invasion had many major consequences. House Mudd and House Greyiron were destroyed. The realm was split into the kingdom of the North and six southern kingdoms: the Kingdom of Vale and Sky, the Kingdom of the Rock, the Kingdom of the Reach, the Kingdom of the River, the Kingdom of the Stormlands, and the Kingdom of the Iron Islands. Dorne was left as a group of states with a lot of in-fighting. The most prominent consequence of the Andal invasion was the departure of the children of the forest. To avoid any more slaughter, the children retreated to the deep forests of the North and Beyond the Wall. This was effectively the end of any children’s inhabitance of Westeros, allowing them to become a legendary tale old to children.

Even with all these troubles, the Andals did bring some good. They introduced writing, whereas the First Men kept records on rune stones. They introduced the Faith of the Seven as the major religion, other than the old gods in the North and the Drowned God in the Iron Islands. The introduced weapons of iron and steel, the use of horses in combat, and the concept of chivalry.