Todos los derechos reservados. Esta publicación no puede ser reproducida, ni en todo ni en parte, ni registrada en o transmitida por, un sistema de recuperación de información, en ninguna forma ni por ningún medio, sea mecánico, fotoquímico, electrónico, magnético, electroóptico, por fotocopia, o cualquier otro, sin el permiso previo por escrito de la editorial. Título original: Guide - Game Of Thrones ©2015 por Juan C. Chacama Primera Edición: Mayo 2015 Impreso por NEGRO S.A. Las casas 3467, Boedo, Buenos Aires, Argentina Impreso en Buenos Aires
Todos los derechos reservados. Esta publicaci  n no puede ser reproducida, ni en todo ni en parte, ni registrada en o tran...
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INDEX MITHOLOGY Dragon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 White Walkers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Wargs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 RELIGION The Faith of the Seven. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 The Old Gods. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Drowned God. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 POLITICS Feudalism. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Small Council. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Hand. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 ORGANIZATIONS The Faceless Man . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 The Wall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 The Iron Bank of Braavos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
INDEX  MITHOLOGY Dragon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 White Walkers. . ...
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9 - Mithology COMPARATIVE MYTHOLOGY he association of the serpent with a monstrous opponent overcome by a heroic deity has its roots in the mythology of the Ancient Nea East, including Canaanite (Hebrew, Ugaritic), Hittite and Mesopotamian. Humbaba, the fire-breathing dragonfanged beast first described in the Epic of Gilgamesh is som etimes described as a dragon with Gilgamesh playing the part of dragon-slayer. The legless serpent (Chaoskampf ) motif entered Greek mythology and ultimately Christian mythology, although the serpent motif may already be part of prehistoric Indo-European mythology as well, based on comparative evidence of Indic and Germanic material. Although dragons occur in many legends around the world, different cultures have varying stories about monsters that have been grouped together under the dragon label. Some dragons are said to breathe fire or to be poisonous, such as in the Old English poem Beowulf. (Dr. Paweł Frelik, onetime Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of American Studies and President of the Science Fiction Research Association (2013-2014), writes, “Dragons emitting fire were traditional elements of folk tales and myths and, as such, later permeated into modern fantasy. They are present, for example, in Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight and its sequels.”) They are commonly portrayed as serpentine or reptilian, hatching from eggs and possessing typically scaly or feathered bodies. They are sometimes portrayed as hoarding treasure. Some myths portray them with a row of dorsal spines. European dragons are more often winged, while Chinese dragons resemble large snakes. Dragons can have a variable number of legs: none, two, four, or more when it comes to early European literature. Dragons are often held to have major spiritual significance in various religions and cultures around the world. In many Asian cultures dragons were, and in some cultures still are, revered as representative of the primal forces of nature, religion and the universe. They are associated with wisdom—often said to be wiser than humans—and longevity. They are commonly said to possess some form of magic or other supernatural power, and are often associated with wells, rain, and rivers. In some cultures, they are also said to be capable of human speech. In some traditions dragons are said to have taught humans to talk. The Order of the Dragon was created to defend Europe against the invading Ottoman Turks in the 15th century. Narratives about dragons often involve them being killed by a hero. This topos can be traced to the Chaoskampf of the mythology of the Ancient Near East (e.g. Hadad vs. Yam, Marduk vs. Tiamat, Teshub vs. Illuyanka, etc.; the Biblical Leviathan presumably reflects a corresponding opponent of an early version of Yahweh). The motif is continued in Greek Apollo, and the early Christian The Order of the Dragon was created to defend Europe against the invading Ottoman Turks in the 15th century.Narratives about dragons often involve them being killed by a hero. to the Chaoskampf of the mythology of the Ancient Near East (e.g. Hadad vs. Yam, Marduk vs. Tiamat, Teshub vs. Illuyanka, etc.; the Biblical Leviathan presumably reflects a corresponding opponent of an early version of Yahweh). motif is continued
9 - Mithology  COMPARATIVE MYTHOLOGY he association of the serpent with a monstrous opponent overcome by a heroic deity ha...
GUIDE - CHARACTERISTICS Great heat emanates from dragons’ bodies, to the point that they steam during cold nights. They breathe extremely hot flame which they use to cook their meat before eating it. A dragon’s scales are mostly, though not entirely, impervious to fire, protecting the more vulnerable flesh and muscles underneath. This “sort of ” makes dragons immune to fire, though, younger dragons are damaged by fire more easily than older dragons, as the scales of a dragon grow thicker and harden when the dragon ages. At the same time, as the dragon grows older, its flames become hotter and fiercer. Where a hatchling’s flame can set straw aflame, dragons, like Balerion and Vhagar in the fullness of their power, could (and did) melt steel and stone. It is said that dragons are fire made flesh. Dragons are capable of forming strong attachments to humans who raise them. They have a reasonably high level of animal intelligence, and can be trained to serve as battlemounts and receive vocal commands. Dragons are said to be capricious in nature. Dragons bend easier to their rider’s will after they have been fed and their stomach full. The Targaryens had to train their dragons, to keep them from laying waste to everything around them in their wildness. Dragons grow throughout their lives, but it is unknown how long they can live or how large they can grow. The largest and oldest Targaryen dragon, Balerion, lived about 200 years and could swallow a mammoth whole, but dragons raised in captivity are thought to be smaller than their wild brethren. As dragons grow so do their appetites. Dragons are believed to be intrinsically tied to magic and the seasons of the world. Since dragons became extinct from Westeros, the power of magic dwindled and winters grew colder. Tales of ice dragons with cold breath were told in Winterfell by Old Nan. It is undetermined if such dragons are entirely fictional. Dragons are obligate carnivores, with diets consisting entirely of meat. Dragons need to roast their prey with their fire-breath before consuming it. Dragons can eat almost any kind of meat, anything from sheep to fish. later lost, with many maesters doubting that was true. It is incredibly difficult to determine the sex of a dragon, because like common reptiles they have no external sex organs. There also appears to be no notable sexual dimorphism in dragons, such as that the females of some animal species tend to be bigger than males, and vice versa. Towards the end of her life, Vhagar (believed to be female) grew to be almost as large as Balerion (believed to be male). Maester Yandel’s commentary in The World of Ice and Fire indicates that he personally believed a dragon to be female if it had laid eggs. He took the fact that Vermax was never observed laying eggs as proof that it must have been male. Female dragons, such as Syrax, are referred to as a she-dragon. Meleys was also called “the Red Queen”, and Tessarion “the Blue Queen”, possibly indicating their sex. Syrax was noted to have laid multiple clutches of eggs. Vhagar, Meraxes, Syrax, Meleys, Tessarion, Dreamfyre, and Silverwing are referred to as females in historical works. Even the younger dragons, Moondancer and Shrykos, are referred to with feminine pronouns. The last Targaryen dragon that died during the reign of King Aegon III, has also been referred to as female, presumably because it left behind several eggs. Balerion, Vermithor, Sunfyre, Seasmoke, Sheepstealer, Grey Ghost, the Cannibal, and Stormcloud are all referred to as male. The assumed genders of Quicksilver, Morghul, and Shrykos are not apparent. Caraxes has been referred to as both male and female. According to Maester Aemon, dragons can change sex. Dragons, like a bird, tend to imprint on whoever is present when they hatch, regarding that person as their parent. Dragons are native to the continent of Essos. Daenerys recalls hearing that the first dragons had come from the east, from the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai and the islands of the Jade Sea. The Ancient Valyrians themselves believed that the dragons originated from the Fourteen Flames. Regardless of their origin, dragons populated most of the known world in ages past, as ancient dragon bones have been found far North. REPRODUCTION HISTORY Barth, Munkun and Thomax hold markedly divergent views on the mating habits of dragons. Dragons lay large, scaled eggs to reproduce. Over the eons un-hatched eggs can become fossilized. Dragons have no fixed gender differentiation - according to Maester Aemon dragons are “but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame” presumably meaning that they are able to change from one sex to the other for whatever reason. This knowledge was Dragons were discovered some five thousand years ago by the Valyrians in the Fourteen Flames, a ring of volcanoes on the Valyrian peninsula. The Valyrians mastered the art of raising dragons and used them as weapons of war to carve out a massive empire. After the Doom of Valyria, the only dragons known to have survived were five dragons on Dragonstone. The dragons belonged Targaryens who had brought them from Valyria when they went into exile.
GUIDE -  CHARACTERISTICS Great heat emanates from dragons    bodies, to the point that they steam during cold nights. They...
11 - Mithology APPEARENCE Four of the dragons brought from Valyria eventually died on Dragonstone, leaving only Balerion. However, the other dragons left eggs behind, and from these hatched and Vhagar and Meraxes. By the end of the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen, twenty dragons were alive. The majority of these died during the war called the Dance of the Dragons, which began in 129 AC and would last until mid 131 AC. Archmaester Marwyn, however, holds that the Order of Maesters, with their secret goal to suppress magic, was responsible for the extinction of dragons. By the end of the Dance in 131 AC, only four dragons remained alive: Sheepstealer, the Cannibal and Silverwing, who had been born years before the war, and the dragon Morning, which had hatched during the war itself. There were still many dragon eggs left, after the war, and at least one of those hatched. The last dragon was a stunted, sick and misshapen thing, and died young, in 153 AC, during the reign of King Aegon III Targaryen, the Dragonbane. had been a green female, small with withered wings. She laid a clutch of five eggs, which never hatched.The Targaryens also had a collection of nineteen dragons skulls of various sizes and ages that they displayed on the walls of the throne room in the Red Keep. Some of these were thousands of years old. After their extinction, the only remnants of dragons that remained were their skulls and the eggs, some of which were petrified. The eggs were highly valuable, for their beauty and exotic nature. According to Ser Arlan of Pennytree, the summers became shorter after the last dragon died, and the winters longer and crueler. Five thousand years ago, men of the Valyrian Freehold learned how to master and ride dragons as beasts of war, and used them to forge an empire that stretched across most of the continent of Essos, dominating almost half of the Known World. Four hundred years before the War of the Five Kings, the entire Valyrian empire and almost all of its dragons were destroyed in a single day, during a cataclysmic volcanic eruption known as the Doom of Valyria. One Valyrian noble family, the Targaryens, survived the Doom on the distant island outpost of Dragonstone in the Narrow Sea - along with the last surviving Valyrian dragons. One hundred years later, Aegon I Targaryen and his sisters used the last three surviving dragons in the world to conquer and unify the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. For generations, the dragon-kings ruled over much of Westeros - but the dragons eventually died out after nearly a century and a half, and the species was subsequently considered to be extinct. Dragons are scaled, reptilian creatures, with two legs and two wings . They use their wings as forelegs like bats, though some A Song of Ice and Fire artwork shows them with four legs and a detached pair of wings. They have sharp teeth and claws, leathery wings and long necks and tails, with spiny crests running down their backs. As hatchlings, they are around the size of a cat, but continue growing and can reach sizes large enough to swallow a mammoth whole. The polished skulls of the Targaryen dragons look like glittering onyx, and their teeth like curved daggers of black diamond. Their bones are black due to their high iron content. Dragonbone is a highly sought after crafting material. dragon skull
11 - Mithology  APPEARENCE Four of the dragons brought from Valyria eventually died on Dragonstone, leaving only Balerion....
GUIDE - The White Walkers are a mythological race mentioned in ancient legends and stories from the time of the First Men and the Children of the Forest. Eight thousand years before Robert’s Rebellion, a winter known as the Long Night lasted a generation. In the darkness and cold of the Long Night, the White Walkers descended upon Westeros from the farthest north, the polar regions of the Lands of Always Winter. None knew why they came, but they killed all in their path, reanimating the dead as wights to kill the living at their command. Eventually the peoples of Westeros rallied and in a conflict known as the War for the Dawn, they managed to defeat the White Walkers and drive them back into the uttermost north, with the Wall raised to bar their return. In the present day, most believe they never existed and are just myths, spoken of in the same breath as ghosts, goblins, grumpkins, or snarks. Even the few who believe they did once exist think they went extinct thousands of years ago. Certainly, none were seen for thousands of years after the Long Night. Just before the outbreak of the War of the Five Kings, however, disturbing reports began to reach the Night’s Watch from the wildlings who live beyond the Wall that the White Walkers had returned. Having enjoyed a decade-long summer, Westeros seemed due for an equally long winter, and the White Walkers seem to be spreading with it. With the Seven Kingdoms embroiled in a petty civil war, the dwindling and under-supported Night’s Watch realize that they are all that guards the realms of men against the return of these legendary demons of ice and death. While having an overall humanoid appearance, White Walkers differ greatly from humans. They are taller than humans and have long wispy white hair. They have pale grey-white skin which is wrinkly but stretched taut across their frames, giving them a somewhat gaunt, sinewy, and mummified appearance despite their overall bulky size. Their most notable trait, however, are their glowing blue eyes.
GUIDE -  The White Walkers are a mythological race mentioned in ancient legends and stories from the time of the First Men...
White walker leader 5
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15 - Mithology Dire wolf A skinchanger is a person with the ability to enter the mind of an animal and control its actions. It is much easier for a skinchanger to do so if a bond exists between the two parties. A skinchanger able to enter the mind of a wolf or dog is known as a warg. The interaction between the skinchanger’s and animal’s mind will influence both personalities, with detrimental effects to the human if the animal’s influence is not fought. As yet, there has only been one known incidence of a skinchanger successfully entering another human’s mind, and only a simple-minded one at that. This incidence was particularly traumatic to the person whose mind was entered, and difficult for the skinchanger. Such an event proves to be a moral and ethical dilemma. An untrained skinchanger may unconsciously enter the mind of an animal, especially while sleeping, particularly if a bond exists. It is extremely traumatic if an animal is killed while its mind is inhabited by a skinchanger. If a skinchanger is killed while inhabiting a creature, a part of his consciousness will remain in the creature. Much fear and superstition exists around skinchangers, with many mistakenly believing them to be shape shifters. It is said the greatest of the skinchangers were the greenseers, who amongst many other things were also wargs. The greatest amongst them could wear the skin of any beast. One man in a thousand is born a skinchanger, and one skinchanger in a thousand could be a greenseer. A skinchanger can experience many deaths while in another body. It is only when the person’s human body dies that the “true death” occurs. It is possible for the warg to live a type of second life, a much simpler life inside the mind of an animal he controls. In the second life, the skinchanger’s memory slowly fades until nothing of the man is left and only the beast remains. The skinchanging ability is primarily seen amongst the current generation of Stark children. All of the children and their direwolves are said to exhibit common personalities, although in most instances this is entirely unconscious and is not likely to involve entering the animal’s mind. The children are full wargs and can slip into just about anything, but Bran is the only one working on it.
15 - Mithology  Dire wolf  A skinchanger is a person with the ability to enter the mind of an animal and control its actio...
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GUIDE - The Faith holds that there is one god who has seven faces or aspects: the Father, the Mother, the Maiden, the Crone, the Warrior, the Smith, and the Stranger. Each aspect represents one part of life or existence. THE SMITH: represents creation and craftsmanship. THE STRANGER: The Stranger represents death and the unknown. It is rarely prayed to. THE MAIDEN: represents purity, innocence, love, and beauty. THE WARRIOR: represents strength and courage in battle. THE FATHER: represents divine justice, and judges the souls of the dead. THE MOTHER: represents mercy, peace, fertility, and childbirth. She is sometimes referred to as “the strength of women”. THE CRONE: represents wisdom and foresight. She is represented carrying a lantern. HISTORY The Faith originated six thousand years before the War of the Five Kings in the continent of Essos, specifically in Andalos where, according to legend, the “God of Seven” manifested before the Andal people. Afterward the Andals sailed west and their invasion of Westeros began. Some of the Andal warriors carved the seven-pointed star, the symbol of their religion, into their flesh to demonstrate their devotion. Bearing weapons made of steel, the Andals conquered the First Men and slaughtered the Children of the Forest, viewing their magic as an abomination before the Seven. The Andals burned down most of the weirwood trees in the south, which are considered sacred in the worship of the Old Gods of the Forest.
GUIDE -  The Faith holds that there is one god who has seven faces or aspects  the Father, the Mother, the Maiden, the Cro...
19 - Religion Soon all the kingdoms of the First Men, except the Kingdom of the North, fell to the invaders, who intermingled with some of the local dynasties, such as House Gardener, or replaced them altogether, as was the case of Mountain Kings of the Vale. As the Andals asserted their dominance over all regions south of the Neck, they asserted their religion over the First Men they conquered, replacing the worship of the Old Gods almost entirely throughout the southern kingdoms of Westeros. Thus the Andals’ Faith of the Seven became the dominant religion on the entire continent, except for in the North and the Iron Islands. PRACTICES the Seven gods Unlike the Old Gods of the Forest, whose worshipers in the North are looked down upon by members of the Faith of the Seven as savages who worship multiple gods, the Faith is based on a number of holy texts and complex social rules. The central holy text of the religion is The SevenPointed Star. Temples of the Faith are seven-sided buildings known as “Septs”, with each wall dedicated to one of the seven aspects. Followers of the Faith gather in septs for group prayer, which frequently involves singing hymns of praise to the Seven. One such hymn dedicated to the Mother is “Gentle Mother, Font of Mercy”. There are also monasteries, known as “septries”, where smaller numbers of worshipers gather who have taken a monastic oath. Septries often have vows of silence or other requirements, and are places of quiet contemplation. Mounted warriors known as knights dedicate themselves to a code of behavior known as chivalry, heavily influenced by the Faith of the Seven and its principles. The will of the Seven is said to favor the victor in a trial by combat. Along with the Old Gods, the Faith shares several basic social rules against incest, kinslaying, and bastardy. The Faith of the Seven, along with all major religions, also upholds the laws of hospitality, which hold sacred the good behavior of a guest and host towards each other.
19 - Religion  Soon all the kingdoms of the First Men, except the Kingdom of the North, fell to the invaders, who intermin...
GUIDE - BELIEFS The Stranger is depicted as neither male nor female, thus the number of male and female aspects within the godhead is equal: three males (Father, Warrior, Smith), three females (Maiden, Mother, Crone), and one who is neither. Unlike the other aspects which are represented as human figures in artwork, because the Stranger represents the unknown it is often portrayed in a wide variety of forms, often frightening. Sometimes it is represented as a skeletal figure, or a nonhuman creature possessing various animalistic features. Due to its seven “aspects”, the deity is often referred to as the “Seven-faced God” or the “God of Seven”, but most frequently as simply “the Seven”. The Seven are also referred to as “the New Gods” or “New God”, in contrast with the “Old Gods” of the Forest worshiped by the First Men before the invasion of the Andals. In practice, many devotees will refer to the aspects as “Gods” plural, though priests of the Faith will attempt to stress the theological nuance to their followers that there is indeed only one God, the “Seven-in-One” deity. This has not stopped the commonly heard exclamation “Gods be good!” from being used pervasively throughout the Seven Kingdoms. Due to the “Seven-in-One” nature of the deity, the number seven is sacred in the religion, with symbolism involving the number seven featuring heavily in its belief system. Newborn babies are anointed with seven oils and named in the light of the Seven the day they are born. In death, the Faith believes that there are Seven Heavens and Seven Hells. The exclaimed curse “Seven Hells!” is commonly heard in Westeros. The Seven Pointed Star is the most prominent symbol of the Faith, representing how each of the seven aspects is one facet of a unified whole. This is used as an allegory to explain the complex theological concept of a single God composed of Seven persons: just as the star has seven points, but all points are part of the same star, so too is there only one deity, which appears to men in seven different ways. Unlike the Old Gods of the Forest, whose worshipers in the North are looked down upon by members of the Faith of the Seven as savages who worship multiple gods, the Faith is based on a number of holy texts and complex social rules. The central holy text of the religion is The Seven-Pointed Star. SOCIAL RULES The Faith of the Seven considers homosexuality to be a sin. Therefore, homosexuals in the Seven Kingdoms such as Ser Loras Tyrell and Renly Baratheon must keep their true sexual and romantic behavior secret, or else face significant social consequences. There are no different denominations within the Faith of the Seven, as all adherents are part of one universal organization. However, different regions of the Seven Kingdoms may interpret and apply its rules more or less strictly than others, particularly Dorne. When the Rhoynar migrated to Dorne a thousand years ago, they brought with them their own social customs from their river-based city-states on the continent of Essos. The Rhoynar converted to the Faith of the Seven, but in many ways they picked and chose which parts of the religion they liked and simply ignored the parts they didn’t want to follow. Thus the present-day Dornishmen who descend from them follow the rules of the Faith somewhat loosely. In particular, the Rhoynar were quite tolerant of sexual behavior including homosexuality, and thus homosexuality or bisexuality carries little if any social taint in present-day. Dorne, even though they are still nominally followers of the Faith of the Seven. Thus while a knight from the Reach such as Ser Loras Tyrell must hide his homosexuality, several major lords and ladies in Dorne are openly bisexual or homosexual (such as Oberyn Martell and Ellaria Sand). The Rhoynar also had much less disdain for bastards than the peoples already established in Westeros when they arrived. While bastards in present-day Dorne do have to use the bastard surname “Sand” and are less likely to inherit, it is actually not unusual to see bastards living at the court of their noble parents there. WEDDING CEREMONIES Unlike the faith of the Old Gods of the Forest, which lacks elaborate ceremonies (including marriage ceremonies), weddings under the auspices of the Faith of the Seven are elaborate and ritualized. These ceremonies typically take place inside of a sept and are presided over by a septon. At the beginning of the ceremony, the bride is escorted to the altar by her father where the groom and the septon await. The groom is then told, “You may now cloak the bride and bring her under your protection” and drapes a cloak bearing his house’s colors around the bride’s shoulders. The bride and groom then join hands, which are tied together with a ribbon by the septon, who says, “In the sight of the Seven, I hereby seal these two souls, binding them as one, for eternity.” He then instructs them to, “Look upon one another and say the words.” At this point, the bride and groom turn to face each other are recite the following vow in unison: “Father, Smith, Warrior, Mother, Maiden, Crone, Stranger, I am his/hers and she/he is mine from this day until the end of my days.”
GUIDE -  BELIEFS The Stranger is depicted as neither male nor female, thus the number of male and female aspects within th...
21 - Religion Seven pointed star. bodies for funeral rites, and have taken vows of silence and chastity. Silent Sisters are separate from the regular clergy, and are not considered to be septas. IN THE BOOKS Deviations from this ritual do occur sometimes. Owing in large part to its spur-of-the-moment, secret nature and the characters’ remote location at the time, the wedding of Robb Stark and Talisa Maegyr takes place outside instead of inside a sept. It also appears that Robb did not cloak Talisa (possibly because he did not have a cloak available). Talisa is also not given away by her father, who was not present or anyone else for that matter. By contrast, Sansa Stark is given away at her wedding but not by her father, who had been executed beforehand. Instead, King Joffrey Baratheon, saying he is “the Father of the Realm,” takes it upon himself to give Sansa away. ORGANIZATION Unlike the worship of the Old Gods, the Faith of the Seven has an organized clergy with a complex internal hierarchy. Both men and women can be priests of the Seven. Male priests are known as septons and female priests as septas. The head of the Faith is known as the High Septon, who resides at the headquarters of the Faith of the Seven, the Great Sept of Baelor, which is located in the capital city King’s Landing. The ruling council of the Faith is known as the Most Devout, who also reside in the Great Sept. The Most Devout rank just below the High Septon, but are responsible for electing a new High Septon when the current one dies. The Silent Sisters are responsible for dressing and preparing dead In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the Faith is altogether quite similar to how it is portrayed on-screen. Author George R.R. Martin has stated that the Faith of the Seven is loosely analogous, at least in social function, to the medieval Catholic Church. Martin himself was raised Roman Catholic but by the time of the TV series, describes himself as a “lapsed Catholic”. He borrowed the idea of the three-inone Holy Trinity (Father-Son-Holy Ghost) and modified it into a “Holy Septinity” of sorts when he made the seven-inone god of the Faith of the Seven. When Aegon the Conqueror invaded and subdued Westeros three centuries ago, he gained the support of the Faith, who crowned him King and convinced the rulers of the city of Oldtown to open their gates to him. The Faith’s support was critical to Aegon taking control of the continent. However, when he died and his son Aenys (born of incest, which is proscribed by the Faith) took the throne, they led a religious uprising against him. This uprising was eventually crushed by the Targaryen dynasty with great loss of life, when the weakling Aenys died and was succeeded by his ruthless brother Maegor the Cruel. Peace was reached when Maegor died and was succeeded by Aenys’ son Jaehaerys, who brokered a peace agreement: the Faith didn’t have to actively support the incestuous marriage practices of the Targaryens, but it did have to at least acknowledge the marriages as valid, and the Faith’s leadership accepted the offer. The Faith’s military forces, the Faith Militant, disbanded and the Faith have remained loyal supporters of the crown ever since. Many septons and septas are based at a sept or septry, but “begging brothers”, septons without a sept, wander the Seven Kingdoms and minister to smaller towns and villages which lack septs of their own. Similar to the real-life College of Cardinals in Catholicism, the Faith is ruled over by a council known as the Most Devout, which elects the High Septon. New High Septons are usually selected from among the members of the Most Devout, but this is not a requirement. While septons and septas serve on the council of the Most Devout, the High Septon is usually male. It hasn’t been mentioned if there is an actual rule against electing a “High Septa” and there has never been one, or if there were High Septas in the past, and one simply hasn’t been elected
21 - Religion  Seven pointed star.  bodies for funeral rites, and have taken vows of silence and chastity. Silent Sisters ...
GUIDE - The Old Gods of the Forest are a collection of innumerable and unnamed spirits of nature, which are worshiped by many people of the North and small numbers elsewhere in Westeros. It is the old religion of Westeros, supplanted by the Faith of the Seven which was brought to the continent by the Andals and is now the dominant faith of the continent. Though the two religions have coexisted for more than six thousand years, there is still tension between the most devout adherents of the two faiths. HISTORY The Old Gods were originally worshiped by the Children of the Forest, the non-human original inhabitants of Westeros, for thousands of years before the arrival of the First Men from the east twelve thousand years ago. It was the Children of the Forest who carved the faces into weirwood trees. The Children and their priests, the greenseers, successfully fought the First Men to a standstill and they signed a Pact of mutual peace and cooperation. It gave the deep forests to the children, but all other land in Westeros to the First Men, who promised never to cut down the sacred weirwood trees again. After the war against the White Walkers in The Long Night eight thousand years ago, the Children gradually declined throughout Westeros. The worship of the Old Gods remained strong among the First Men in Westeros until the invasion of the Andals six thousand years ago, who brought the Faith of the Seven with them from the east. The Andals slaughtered the Children of the Forest, viewing their magic as an abomination before the Seven. The Andals cut down the weirwood trees in the south, which were sacred to the Old Gods.The Faith supplanted the worship of the Old Gods in most lands south of the Neck, but it remained strong in the North, where the First Men were able to halt the Andals’ advance. After centuries of religious wars and strife, the two religions settled into a coexistence. The wildlings also worship the Old Gods, like their distant cousins in the North. Even in the lands of House Stark, there are a few followers of the Faith of the Seven, often southern noblewomen who come to the north to secure marriage alliances. Beyond the Wall, however, the Old Gods are the only gods. The faith of the Old Gods of the Forest would appear to be a form of Animism, as it lacks specific identities for any particular deity in its belief system. BELIEFS AND PRACTICES Worshipers of the Old Gods do not have elaborate ceremonies, holy texts, hierarchies of priests, or large structures of worship like followers of the Faith of the Seven. Instead they practice quiet contemplation in godswoods, small areas of forest which have been enclosed within a castle’s walls. Worship in a godswood is centered on heart trees, which are great weirwood trees with a face carved into the bark. Weirwoods are considered sacred in the religion, and heart trees are the closest thing to a “shrine” that it possesses. Oaths and promises sworn in front of a heart tree are considered binding. The faith of the Old Gods is personal and less structured than other religions, though some basic social violations are proscribed by it, such as kinslaying, incest, and bastardy. It also upholds the laws of hospitality. “But there are some who still keep to the Old Way, worshiping the faceless gods of the Children of the Forest and the First Men.”
GUIDE -  The Old Gods of the Forest are a collection of innumerable and unnamed spirits of nature, which are worshiped by ...
23 - Religion IN THE BOOKS In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, while the Faith of the Seven generally supplanted the Old Gods south of the Neck, and the Old Gods are the dominant religion in the North, there are exceptions in both cases. There are still several major and minor Houses in southern Westeros that worship the Old Gods, mostly in the Riverlands but fading out further away from the North. The biggest example is House Blackwood, one of the major noble Houses of the Riverlands, which continues to worship the Old Gods. Throughout the rest of Westeros one might find a scattered assortment of lesser Houses or even individual families who still keep to the Old Gods, tucked away in isolated places like mountain ranges, etc. Conversely, while most inhabitants of the North worship the Old Gods there are a few exceptions who worship the Seven. Several centuries ago a major House from the Reach, House Manderly, fled to the North and was rewarded with land by the Starks for their services. House Manderly continued to worship the Seven, and they are the only one of the leading noble Houses of the North to do so, but they get along well with their neighbors who worship the Old Gods. Also, noble ladies who come from the south to live in the North as part of marriage alliances may also continue to worship the Seven. This was the case with Catelyn Stark, and for love of her Ned Stark had a small sept built at Winterfell to accommodate members of her household that she brought with her, such as Septa Mordane. The faith of the Old Gods of the Forest would appear to be a form of Animism, as it lacks specific identities for any particular deity in its belief system. Polytheism, by contrast, typically encompasses a variety of particular deities with specific identities and spheres of influence, often but not always ranked by power and/or importance. tree of life
23 - Religion  IN THE BOOKS In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, while the Faith of the Seven generally supplanted the Ol...
GUIDE - “Since the Dawn Age, the ironborn have followed the Drowned God, who plucked fire from the sea, made us to reave and sack, and carve our names in blood song.”
GUIDE -     Since the Dawn Age, the ironborn have followed the Drowned God, who plucked fire from the sea, made us to reav...
25 - Religion The Drowned God is the deity worshiped on the Iron Islands. Together with the North, where the worship of the Old Gods of the Forest remains strong, the Iron Islands is one of the few regions in Westeros not abiding by the main religion of the Seven Kingdoms, the Faith of the Seven. BELIEFS The belief system of the Drowned God justifies the ironborn way of life of piracy and raiding. Followers of the Drowned God believe he brought flame from the sea and that he created the ironborn to reave, raid, and pillage. Much of the religion centers around maritime skills and seafaring ability. It is not simply praiseworthy to kill enemies in battle, it is considered a pious act. A youth in the Iron Islands is not considered a man until he has killed his first enemy. The religion also encourages paying the “iron price” instead of the “gold price” -- that is, it is better not to pay or treat for possessions, but to take them by force from the hands of dead enemies. While to outsiders the Drowned God religion seems like a thinly veiled justification for pillaging and plundering, the ironborn themselves take their religion very seriously, and actually have a fairly well developed cosmology and belief system surrounding it. Within this belief system, the Drowned God is locked in an age-old struggle against the Storm God. The Drowned God’s halls are located beneath the ocean, while the Storm God lives in a castle in the sky with his thunderclouds. The Storm God is constantly trying to send storms to dash ironborn ships against rocks to their ruin.
25 - Religion  The Drowned God is the deity worshiped on the Iron Islands. Together with the North, where the worship of t...
GUIDE -
GUIDE -
GUIDE - HISTORY The king, in this case the King on the Iron Throne, is at the top of the pyramid; beneath him are the various lords and knights, with peasants, also known as smallfolk, at the bottom. The king sits on the Iron Throne, claims ownership of the land, has the final political authority and holds the ultimate power in all matters. Although in practice the king is constrained by political realities, and while no individual command is likely to be countermanded, he could still lose his position to intrigue if he were to offend the wrong people. Of course, as kings do not retire, this loss of position would involve his death. Kings in turn have vassals, the high lords of great houses. These high lords control the major regions of the Seven Kingdoms, and in turn employ vassals of their own; even these lords might have vassal lords sworn to them. This system terminates with the lowest level subordinate knights or minor land owners. In George R. R. Martin’s world there are only lords, some bigger and some smaller, some sworn to others, but still all with the same title - save for the Lords of Sunspear, who still hold the title “Prince of Dorne.” Nobility is a hereditary title, that it is expressed through the bonds of vassalage which connect between them the various owners of strongholds. Each lord has vassals; sometimes the vassals themselves have vassals, and this may continue onward down the line. The lords of the great house are at the top of the societal order, holding dominion over one of the nine regions of the seven kingdoms, second only to the king. There are petty lords at the bottom, entrusted with only a few villages. It is the Lord’s responsibility to see to the affairs of his lands, keep the King’s peace, judge on local matters, and ensure that taxes due to the king are collected in a timely manner. Some lords have extra titles which belong only to their houses: House Greyjoy, for example, has the title of “Lord Reaper of Pyke”, House Lannister has “Shield of Lannisport”, the newly created House Royce of the Gates of the Moon has the title of Keeper of the Gates of the Moon made hereditary for them, and House Manderly has several flowery titles, many of which relate to their past life.
GUIDE -  HISTORY The king, in this case the King on the Iron Throne, is at the top of the pyramid  beneath him are the var...
29 - Politics kings landin g
29 - Politics  kings  landin  g
GUIDE - FEUDALISM DESCRIBES THE SOCIETY STRUCTURE OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS, AS IT IS LARGELY RESEMBLES THE FEUDAL SYSTEM OF MEDIEVAL EUROPE.
GUIDE -  FEUDALISM DESCRIBES THE SOCIETY STRUCTURE OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS, AS IT IS LARGELY RESEMBLES THE FEUDAL SYSTEM OF ...
31 - Politics DEFINITION Feudalism was a combination of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour. Although derived from the Latin word feodum or feudum (fief ), then in use, the term feudalism and the system it describes were not conceived of as a formal political system by the people living in the Middle Ages. In its classic definition, by François-Louis Ganshof (1944), feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs. A broader definition of feudalism, as described by Marc Bloch (1939), includes not only the obligations of the warrior nobility but those of all three estates of the realm: the nobility, the clergy, and the peasantry bound by manorialism; this is sometimes referred to as a “feudal society”. Since the publication of Elizabeth A. R. Brown’s “The Tyranny of a Construct” (1974) and Susan Reynolds’s Fiefs and Vassals (1994), there has been ongoing inconclusive discussion among medieval historians as to whether feudalism is a useful construct for understanding medieval society. There is no commonly accepted modern definition of feudalism, at least among scholars. The adjective feudal was coined in the 17th century, and the noun feudalism, often used in a political and propaganda context, was not coined until the 19th century. By the mid20th century, François Louis Ganshof ’s Feudalism, 3rd ed. (1964; originally published in French, 1947), became a standard scholarly definition of feudalism. Since at least the 1960s, when Marc Bloch’s Feudal Society (1939) was first translated into English in 1961, many medieval historians have included a broader social aspect that includes not only the nobility but all three estates of the realm, adding the peasantry bonds of manorialism and the estates of the Church; this is sometimes referred to as “feudal society” since it encompasses all members of society into the feudal system. Since the 1970s, when Elizabeth A. R. Brown published The Tyranny of a Construct (1974), many have re-examined the evidence and concluded that feudalism is an unworkable term and should be removed entirely from scholarly and educational discussion or at least used only with severe qualification and warning. Outside a European context, the concept of feudalism is often used only by analogy (called semi-feudal), most often in discussions of feudal Japan under the shoguns and sometimes medieval and Gondarine Ethiopia. However, some have taken the feudalism analogy further, seeing feudalism (or traces of it) in places as diverse as ancient Egypt, the Parthian empire, the Indian subcontinent and the Antebellum and Jim Crow American South. The term feudalism has also been applied— often inappropriately or pejoratively—to non-Western societies where institutions and attitudes similar to those of medieval Europe are perceived to prevail. Some historians and political theorists believe that the term feudalism has been deprived of specific meaning by the many ways it has been used, leading them to reject it as a useful concept for understanding society. ETYMOLOGY The term “feodal” was used in 17th-century French legal treatises (1614) and translated into English legal treatises as an adjective, such as “feodal government”. In the 18th century, Adam Smith, seeking to describe economic systems, effectively coined the forms “feudal government” and “feudal system” in his book Wealth of Nations (1776). In the 19th century the adjective “feudal” evolved into a noun: “feudalism”. The term feudalism is recent, first appearing in French in 1823, Italian in 1827, English in 1839, and in German in the second half of the 19th century. The term “feudal” or “feodal” is derived from the medieval Latin word feodum. The etymology of feodum is complex with multiple theories, some suggesting a Germanic origin (the most widely held view) and others suggesting an Arabic origin. Initially in medieval Latin European documents, a land grant in exchange for service was called a beneficium (Latin).[14] Later, the term feudum, or feodum, began to
31 - Politics  DEFINITION Feudalism was a combination of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished bet...
GUIDE - The small council is a body which advises the King of the Seven Kingdoms and institutes policy at his command. It is the inner (thus “small”) council of the King, essentially forming the “government cabinet” of the Seven Kingdoms. Members are appointed to their position by the King; theoretically they can be dismissed at will by the King, however in practice this might lead to undesirable political fallout.The king serves as the head of the council and takes note of its recommendations, but only the king can make the council’s decisions into law. The Hand of the King is the leading advisor on the council and serves as the king’s proxy when he is not present, in which case the Hand chairs the meeting. If the king is a minor, then by default the appointed Regent will act in place of the king on the council. The small council meets at the capital city of King’s Landing in the Red Keep, in the same building as the Iron Throne courtroom. The Hand of the King chairs the small council, serves as the King’s proxy during his absences. COMPOSITION Members of the small council are appointed and dismissed by the King, in theory as the King wills. In practice, of course, appointments or dismissals may have undesired political consequences which the King must consider. The small council usually consists of seven non-hereditary positions (possibly to reflect the traditions of the Faith of the Seven). Long vacancies sometimes occur for one of these positions, i.e. during time of war, though this is considered undesirable.
GUIDE -  The small council is a body which advises the King of the Seven Kingdoms and institutes policy at his command. It...
33 - Politics Hand of the King: chairs the small council, serves as the King’s proxy during his absences. Master of War: the realm’s chief strategist and military commander. The title seems to be an invention of Cersei Lannister’s. Master of Coin: the realm’s chief treasurer and bookkeeper. Master of Whisperers: the realm’s chief intelligence advisor and spymaster, supervising covert activities and information gathering, both at home and abroad. Master of Laws: the realm’s chief legal advisor, who also manages the Red Keep’s dungeons, and supervises law enforcement. Master of Ships: the realm’s chief naval officer, supervising the Royal Fleet and coordinating the realm’s maritime defenses. Lord Commander of the Kingsguard: the realm’s chief military advisor, particularly in regards to land-based warfare. While the King personally appoints knights to the Kingsguard at his whim, once chosen they are lifetime appointments, which cannot legally be removed. In theory, however, a King may demote the Lord Commander back to being a regular member, and elevate one of the other six Kingsguard to Lord Commander (though it is unknown if this has ever happened). Grand Maester: the maester assigned to the Red Keep, and thus to the realm. Like all maester assignments, the Grand Maester is appointed by the Conclave of Archmaesters at the Citadel, not the King. While controversial, the King and the Hand of the King have the authority to exclude the Grand Maester from the Small Council, and even imprison him, but cannot replace him as Grand Maester. This makes the Grand Maester unique as the only member of the council not specifically chosen by the King. If the Regent of an underage King does not already possess one of these positions, then they are included in the small council as the King’s proxy. The Commander of the City Watch is not, strictly speaking, a position in the small council, however the Commander frequently attends small council meetings to report on conditions in the capital city. Janos Slynt is given an official seat on the council as one of his rewards for the role he played in the betrayal and arrest of Eddard Stark, though he was subsequently removed by acting Hand Tyrion Lannister. The council may on occasion extend invitations to other lords to occupy a seat on the council, despite there being no actual “office” for them to fill (serving as advisors who function as ministers without portfolio). Traditionally, as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Ser Barristan Selmy would have had a seat on the small council. However, because Barristan had been a Kingsguard for Aerys Targaryen, Robert didn’t like to include him in discussions of strategy, so he usually held small council meetings without him. Barristan didn’t mind being left out, because he didn’t enjoy politics. King Robert was notoriously uninterested in matters of governance, letting his small council run the realm while he ate, drank, hunted, and whored. Robert’s own two brothers served on his small council, but they were also annoyed at how little he paid attention to the council. His youngest brother Renly, as well as Pycelle, lamented that he ignored all of Jon Arryn’s sound financial advice, ultimately plunging the realm an astonishing 6 million Gold Dragons in debt. According to Tywin Lannister, Robert appeared at only three small council meetings in his entire seventeen year reign (though he might not have been aware of Robert’s appearance at some of the more recent council meetings with Eddard Stark) Joffrey himself barely came to meetings of his own small council, unless it was insisted upon. His mother Cersei, as Queen Regent, typically took his place. With the departure of Renly and Stannis Baratheon, who declared themselves rival claimants to the Iron Throne, the offices of Master of Laws and Master of Ships were left vacant. Cersei and Joffrey either could not find suitable candidates or simply didn’t bother to appoint replacements. Cersei and Joffrey’s first edicts were to name Tywin Lannister as Hand of the King, to unlawfully dismiss Ser Barristan Selmy from the Kingsguard, and to name Cersei’s brother Jaime his replacement as Lord Commander. Tywin, however, did not assume the office for a full year because he was busy personally directing the war in the Riverlands . Because he could not go to the capital in person, Tywin sent Tyrion in his stead as acting Hand to try to rein in the royal court.
33 - Politics  Hand of the King  chairs the small council, serves as the King   s proxy during his absences. Master of War...
GUIDE - The Hand of the King (or King’s Hand) is the most powerful appointed position in the Seven Kingdoms, second only to the King in authority and responsibility. The Hand is the King’s closest advisor, appointed and authorized to make decisions in the King’s name. The Hand of the King is the highest-ranking member of the Small Council, and leads meetings of the council as proxy for the king when the monarch is absent. A hand is often used as the symbol of the Hand of the King, such as on the wax seals of letters. Hands of the King often wear a badge of office shaped like a hand, such as a broach or a gold necklace with a repeated hand design. During the reign of strong and able kings, the Hand is the chief agent for coordinating and carrying out the king’s plans. During the reign of weak or ineffectual kings, the Hand is often the real power behind the throne, and the man chiefly responsible for holding the realm together. Such was the case when Lord Tywin Lannister ably served as Hand of the King for twenty years while King Aerys II Targaryen spiraled into insanity, or when Lord Jon Arryn served as Hand of the King for seventeen years under King Robert Baratheon, who while an able soldier was not an able politician or statesman. The Hand is supposed to fulfill plans made by the king, but during the reign of weak kings when the Hand is left to clean up the political mess caused by inept rulers, a common saying is that “The King shits, and the Hand wipes”. On several occasions in history, a Grand Maester has also been appointed as Hand of the King, serving in both offices at once. The Hand of the King is formally addressed as Lord Hand and resides in the Tower of the Hand at the Red Keep along with his family and household. “He spoke with the king’s voice, commanded the king’s armies, drafted the king’s laws.”
GUIDE -  The Hand of the King  or King   s Hand  is the most powerful appointed position in the Seven Kingdoms, second onl...
35 - Politics
35 - Politics
39 - Organizations INNER WORKINGS AND ASSASSINATIONS Followers of Him of Many Faces consider death to be part of the natural order of things and a merciful end to suffering. For a price, the guild will agree to kill anyone in the world, considering this contract to be a sacrament of their god. The price is always high or dear, but within the means of the person if they are willing to make the sacrifice. The cost of their services depends on the prominence and security of the target. When the small council discuss the possibility of hiring a Faceless Man to kill Daenerys Targaryen, Petyr Baelish states that the council could hire an army of sellswords for half the price that the Faceless Men would charge for a merchant, and that killing a princess would be far more expensive.In A Dance with Dragons, it is revealed the price could be someone’s income or a child. An elite group of followers within the House, called the Faceless Men, are trained to perform this task. Only rarely would they train a child. They are trained to use all their senses to root out deception and create their disguises, seemingly possessing magical abilities that allow them to change their appearance at will. Part of their training includes discarding their true identity in a nihilistic way, thinking of themselves as “no one”. The Faceless Men reconvene at the House of Black and White, the “temple” of the Many-Faced God, where they discuss the potential jobs for the month and dole these contract assassinations out through a round table. They use a variety of methods to kill their targets, including a poison called the strangler. They also cure the faces of the dead who come to die in their sanctuary, hanging these on the wall as macabre masks for use in their disguises during assassination contracts. These are more than masks, however, and the wearer assumes the true appearance when applied using a tribute of one’s own blood to moisten the application. In this way, the Faceless Men are using tools as part of their disguise, rather than a reliance on glamours or outright magic for disguises, like Melisandre or other followers of R’hllor. Arya Stark learns that the assassination technique by a Faceless Man must not be haphazard, killing only the intended target. Their fee is for a precise killing, in many cases looking like an accident, rather than an outright murder. FACELESS MEN IDENTITIES A kindly man seems to have some position of authority in the guild, as he is the one who takes charge of Arya Stark’s training. A waif works in the House of Black and White handling poisons. Though she is 36 years old, she has a shrunken and childlike appearance brought about by exposure to poisons. Several more Faceless Men are seen by Arya at the House of Black and White. She describes them as “the handsome man,” “the fat fellow,” “the stern face,” “the squinter,” “ the lordling”, “the starved man” and “plague face”. A Faceless Man passing himself off as a Lorathi criminal named Jaqen H’ghar became a recruit of the Night’s Watch, then joined the Brave Companions before changing his identity. A man calling himself the Alchemist poisoned Novice Pate and presumably took his place at the Citadel. It seems that these identities are used by the same Faceless Man, since the appearance that Jaqen H’ghar assumes when he leaves Arya Stark is the same as that of the Alchemist. HISTORY The society originated in the volcanic slave mines of Valyria, prior to the founding of Braavos and the Doom of Valyria. The tale of its beginnings centers around a figure of unknown origins who was the first Faceless Man. This man heard the prayers of the slaves to their various gods and came to conclude that they all prayed to the same god “with a hundred different faces”, the Many-Faced God, and that he was “that god’s instrument”. This led to him giving “the first gift” to the most desperate slave. The first Faceless Man later brought the gift to the masters as well. The Faceless Men are a fairly old organization, predating even the Doom of Valyria. Their founders were slaves who worked in the mines under the Fourteen Fires, the great volcanic mountain chain whose eruption destroyed the Valyrian Freehold four centuries ago. The organization actually predates Braavos itself, which was founded by slaves who escaped from Valyria about 100 years before it was destroyed in the Doom.
39 - Organizations  INNER WORKINGS AND ASSASSINATIONS Followers of Him of Many Faces consider death to be part of the natu...
GUIDE - My time is done.’ Jaqen passed a hand down his face from forehead to chin, and where it went he changed. His cheeks grew fuller, his eyes closer; his nose hooked, a scar appeared on his right cheek where no scar had been before. And when he shook his head, his long straight hair, half red and half white, dissolved away to reveal a cap of tight black curls.
GUIDE -  My time is done.    Jaqen passed a hand down his face from forehead to chin, and where it went he changed. His ch...
41 - Organizations The society originated in the volcanic slave mines of Valyria, prior to the founding of Braavos and the Doom of Valyria. The tale of its beginnings centers around a figure of unknown origins who was the first Faceless Man. This man heard the prayers of the slaves to their various gods and came to conclude that they all prayed to the same god “with a hundred different faces”, the Many-Faced God, and that he was “that god’s instrument”. This led to him giving “the first gift” to the most desperate slave. The first Faceless Man later brought the gift to the masters as well. In the guild’s House of Black and White in Braavos, followers wear black and white robes and perform religious duties for the community, such as tending to the dead. The House contains a fountain and alcoves with idols of many death gods, including the Stranger of the Seven, but there are no formal services. Some visiting worshippers light candles to their god, then drink from the fountain using a black cup. The religious order refill the fountain with a poison, so that drinking from the fountain leads to a painless death. This is sometimes referred to as “the gift” of the Many Faced God. A phrase associated with the cult of the Many-Faced God is valar morghulis, translated from High Valyrian as “All men must die”; the formal response to this is valar dohaeris, or “All men must serve.” According to the guild, the god is present in many religions, all under different names. It is called the Black Goat, the Lion of Night and in the Faith of the Seven, the Stranger
41 - Organizations  The society originated in the volcanic slave mines of Valyria, prior to the founding of Braavos and th...
GUIDE - north of the wall
GUIDE -  north of the wall
43 - Organizations 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.
43 - Organizations  Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no...
GUIDE - The Night’s Watch is a military order dedicated to holding the Wall, the immense fortification on the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms, defending the realms of men from what lies beyond the Wall. The order’s foundation dates back to the Age of Heroes, at the time when the Others were pushed back. The men of Night’s Watch wear only black. HISTORY The Night’s Watch is one of the oldest orders in the Seven Kingdoms, as it survived the fall of the kingdoms of the First Men, following the Andal invasion, and the War of Conquest. It was founded over 8,000 years ago, at the end of the Long Night. Under cover of an endless night that lasted for a generation, the Others invaded from the Lands of Always Winter, laying waste to much of Westeros, until the Others were finally defeated by the Night’s Watch at the Battle for the Dawn. After having pushed back the threat, the Wall was allegedly built by Bran the Builder in order to protect the Seven Kingdoms, should the Others ever return. During the Age of Heroes it was also recorded that the children of the forest gave the Night’s Watch a hundred obsidian daggers every year. Other than the corrupting of the thirteenth Lord Commander, the “Night’s King,” further attacks by the Others never came, however. Instead, the most frequent attacks came from the wildlings, sometimes led by their kings, and their constant attempts at raiding in the North. Little by little, the Night’s Watch began to forget that its main mission was not the fight against the wildlings, but against the Others. As the years came and went, the purpose of the Watch became less and less obvious, and its manpower decreased more and more, with most of Westeros neglecting the Wall. Only the North, particularly the Starks, have the memory of the old days, but even they believe the Others are no more than vague figures in stories told to frighten children. The Night’s Watch has built nineteen castles along the hundred leagues of the Wall. At the zenith of its power, the Watch had seventeen of the castles manned, with over ten thousand men-at-arms between them. Castle Black alone quartered five thousand fighting men with all their horses, servants, and equipment. The highborn of the North have traditionally considered it an honor to serve on the Wall. Many younger sons of northern houses, low in the line of succession, gladly took the black. Shields of nobles were proudly displayed in the Shieldhall at Castle Black. By 297 AC, however, only three castles remain in use and the Night’s Watch’s numbers have dwindled to fewer than a thousand men. The Night’s Watch is now largely made up of the misfits of the Seven Kingdoms: peasants, debtors, poachers, rapers, thieves, and bastards. Only a few of the noble and knightly houses south of the Neck have members in the Night’s Watch, and most serve because they fell afoul of political machinations or fought on the wrong side of a war. However, there have been fewer wars since Aegon’s War of Conquest and the subjugation of the Seven Kingdoms to the Iron Throne. RECRUITMENT black crow Once, serving on the Wall was honor and a sign of selfless devotion to duty, with many knights, honorable men, and nobles taking the black voluntarily. Today, the Night’s Watch is beginning to be seen as only a way to avoid punishment; suitable less for knights now than for the dregs of Westeros, salvaged from dungeons by traveling recruiters known as wandering crows. Disgraced nobles, bastards, and even the unwanted legitimate offspring of nobles are “encouraged” to take the black, making many of today’s Watch a surly and dissatisfied lot. Those who come voluntarily are free to leave during any time of their training, but no man may leave after he has said vows. Any deserters are sentenced to death. After taking the vows, the men of the Watch cannot own any land, marry, or father children. Men are also encouraged to sever
GUIDE -  The Night   s Watch is a military order dedicated to holding the Wall, the immense fortification on the northern ...
45 - Organizations any ties left with their families, if they’re lucky enough to have one.Men of the Night’s Watch are garbed all in black, a tradition that earned them the nickname “crows,” particularly among the wildlings, who often call them “black crows.” While some use this name derogatorily, many in the Night’s Watch have adopted the term for their own use. They are also called “the black brothers,” and in song they’ve been called the “black knights of the Wall.” RANGERS: Although all brothers of the Watch stand watch on the Wall, the rangers are the main fighting force, adept at surviving in the wilderness and tasked with scouting and patrolling the Haunted Forest beyond the Wall. They actively defend the Wall and ride out to face the Watch’s enemies, including the lawless wildlings as well as the mysterious, inhuman Others. One blast of a sentry’s horn represents returning brothers, while two blasts are used for wildlings and three blasts for Others. BUILDERS: The builders are responsible for maintaining the Wall, the castles, and the equipment. They provide masons, carpenters, miners, and woodsmen. STEWARDS: The stewards are the largest of the three orders. The stewards are responsible for an assortment of critical functions, providing vital day-to-day services. They hunt and farm, tend horses, gather firewood, cook meals, make clothing, maintain weapons, and conduct trade with the south, bringing back to the Wall all of the supplies needed by the Night’s Watch. POSSESSIONS There are nineteen castles spread out along the southern face of the Wall as bases for the Night’s Watch. Patrols from these castles would travel along the top of the Wall watching for threats from the north, or repairing damage to the Wall. Each castle also contained a tunnel cut under the Wall, through which scouting parties would travel to the north to track wildling movements. As the Night’s Watch dwindled over the centuries, however, most of these castles were abandoned, and their tunnels sealed with ice. By the end of the reign of King Robert Baratheon, only three major castles along the Wall are still manned: Castle Black, the Shadow Tower, and Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. The Gift is officially not subject to the authority of Winterfell, and is technically not part of “The North”, but is a special administrative zone directly ruled by the Night’s Watch. Illustration of Castle Black
45 - Organizations  any ties left with their families, if they   re lucky enough to have one.Men of the Night   s Watch ar...
GUIDE - ONE STONE CRUMBLES AND ANOTHER TAKES ITS PLACE AND THE TEMPLE HOLDS ITS FORM FOR A THOUSAND YEARS OR MORE. AND THAT’S WHAT THE IRON BANK IS, A TEMPLE. WE ALL LIVE IN ITS SHADOW AND ALMOST NONE OF US KNOW IT. YOU CAN’T RUN FROM THEM, YOU CAN’T CHEAT THEM, YOU CAN’T SWAY THEM WITH EXCUSES. YOU PAY BACK.
GUIDE -  ONE STONE CRUMBLES AND ANOTHER TAKES ITS PLACE AND THE TEMPLE HOLDS ITS FORM FOR A THOUSAND YEARS OR MORE. AND TH...
47 - Organizations The Iron Bank of Braavos is a bank in the Free City of Braavos. It is arguably the most powerful financial institution in the Known World, with clients across Essos and Westeros, including the government of the King of the Andals and the First Men who rules over the Seven Kingdoms. Just as a common saying about House Lannister is “A Lannister always pays his debts”, there is also a common saying that the bank often reminds its clients who fail to repay their loans: “the Iron Bank will have its due”. The symbol of the Iron Bank depicts two golden triangles crossed in the manner of an hourglass, with two hands extending from left and right of the point where the triangles meet, their palms held upwards. HISTORY The Iron Bank was founded long before the Doom of Valyria, when Braavos was still a “secret city”, hidden from the Valyrian Freehold. It was formed by successful traders and craftsmen. Its name comes from the abandoned iron mine in which the bank’s founders placed all their funds. The mine had a single entrance, which they sealed with heavy gates and iron bars and protected by guards hired jointly by all the members. The Iron Bank has moved to new, grander quarters since that day, but the mine is still employed as a depository, as well as being a historical site of the city. After taking over the role of Master of Coin from Petyr Baelish, Tyrion Lannister discovers that Baelish has been funding the Iron Throne’s budget by borrowing massive amounts of money from several sources, including the Iron Bank of Braavos, to which the crown owes millions of Gold Dragons. Tyrion is concerned because the Iron Bank has a tradition of funding the enemies of rulers who fail to repay their debts. At the royal wedding between King Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell, Tywin Lannister remarks to Olenna Tyrell about the expense of the festivities, even though House Tyrell is paying half the costs. Olenna wryly says that she is glad to help, but expects that the Lannisters will require their financial support again soon: wars are expensive, and even with the Starks defeated, the War of the Five Kings had added to the Iron Throne’s already massive debts to foreign banks. She notes that there is a common saying, “the Iron Bank will have its due”, which the bank reminds its clients almost as often as Tywin’s family reminds its enemies that “a Lannister always pays his debts”. Tywin tries to brush this aside by saying that he isn’t afraid of the Iron Bank, but Olenna chides him that he is lying, as they both know that he’s smart enough to realize he should fear running afoul of the Iron Bank of Braavos. Reacting to the news of Joffrey’s death at his own wedding, Stannis Baratheon is still discouraged because he does not have sufficient remaining soldiers to seize on this opportunity. His Hand Ser Davos Seaworth suggests that they could attempt to hire mercenary companies from the Free Cities, but Stannis scoffs that they don’t have any gold left either. Later, while reading a book about Braavos given to him by Stannis’s daughter Princess Shireen, Davos remarks to her that he has been to Braavos in his old days as a smuggler, but that he nearly lost his life at hands of First Sword of Braavos when he ran afoul of the well-guarded ships transporting a nation’s worth of gold for the Iron Bank. Realization suddenly dawns on Davos, and he begins to dictate a letter to Shireen in the name of King Stannis, asking for an audience with the Iron Bank. After Tommen’s coronation, Tywin reveals to his daughter, the Queen Regent Cersei, that wartime spending drastically increased their already significant debts to the Iron Bank, to astronomical levels. The Crown now owes the Iron Bank “a tremendous amount of money”, and that the gold mines of the Westerlands actually ran dry three years ago. Therefore, even though Tywin admits the Lannisters can trust nobody except themselves, they need the Tyrells’ wealth and resources on their side. Cersei suggests coming to some arrangement with one of their representatives, but Tywin dismisses the idea, since the Bank is a monolithic structure that cannot be avoided, lied to, or swayed. Some time later, Stannis and Ser Davos travel to Braavos and are received by Tycho Nestoris and two of his colleagues. When they ask the bank to fund their continuing campaign in Westeros, Nestoris points out
47 - Organizations  The Iron Bank of Braavos is a bank in the Free City of Braavos. It is arguably the most powerful finan...
GUIDE - the Titan of Braavos We Braavosi are descended from those who fled Valyria and the wroth of its dragonlords. We do not jape of dragons.
GUIDE -  the Titan of Braavos  We Braavosi are descended from those who fled Valyria and the wroth of its dragonlords. We ...
IN THE BOOKS In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the Iron Bank of Braavos is the most powerful banking institution in the known world, richer and more powerful than the banks of all the other eight Free Cities combined, and with a fearsome reputation when collecting debts. When princes or kings default on their debts or are foolish enough not to honor their agreements with the Iron Bank, new princes and kings appear with the Iron Bank’s support. These new princes and kings then honor the previous debt along with paying back the money the bank loaned them in claiming their new power, lest they suffer the same fate as their predecessors. “The Iron Bank will have its due” is a common saying among Braavosi. At the beginning of the novels, Littlefinger informs Eddard Stark that the Iron Throne is an astonishing six million Gold Dragons in debt to House Lannister and other creditors: the Iron Bank, House Tyrell, the Faith and several trading cartels from Tyrosh. In the TV series, Eddard Stark discovered this in Season 1 episode 3, “Lord Snow”, and was also informed that half of this debt was to House Lannister. The episode’s dialogue did not, however, break down who the remaining debt was owed to. In the books, it is explained that the Crown owes about two million Gold Dragons to the Iron Bank of Braavos, the Tyrells and several Tyroshi trading cartels (together), and nearly another million to the leadership of the Faith of the Seven. As Bronn points out in Season 3’s “Walk of Punishment”, King Robert can’t pay Tywin back now that he’s dead, and with Tywin’s own grandson Joffrey as a puppet-king, the Lannisters can’t pay themselves back the three million they lent to the crown. While the Lannisters were victorious after the Red Wedding, the massive costs of fighting such a large-scale war only added to their already substantial debts.
IN THE BOOKS In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the Iron Bank of Braavos is the most powerful banking institution in th...