Pentos

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Pentos
Free City
by Marc Simonetti ©
by Marc Simonetti ©
Location Free Cities, Essos
Government Prince and council of magisters
Religion Mixed religions
Nine Free Cities on the continent of Essos:
Pentos, Braavos, Lys, Qohor, Norvos, Myr, Tyrosh, Volantis, Lorath

Pentos is one of the Free Cities of western Essos. It is a port located on the eastern coast of the Bay of Pentos.

City

Trading with the Pentoshi. © Fantasy Flight Games

Location

Pentos is a large port city, more populous than Astapor on Slaver's Bay.[1] Located closest of all the Free Cities to King's Landing in Westeros, Pentos is one of the westernmost of the Free Cities.[2][3] The city lies on the Bay of Pentos off the narrow sea, with the Flatlands and Velvet Hills to the east.[2]

Layout

Even though Pentos has massive, high walls,[3][4][5] it is often regarded as the most vulnerable of the Free Cities.[3] The city has many square brick towers.[4][6] Most of the roofing is done in tiles. Pentos has walled estates, such as manses belonging to Magister Illyrio Mopatis and Khal Drogo.[4][6] The Sunrise Gate allows the traveller to exit the city to the east, in the direction of the Rhoyne.[5] The fastest way to Volantis from Pentos is by sea.[5]

A large red temple is located in the city,[6] and the red priests are known to sing and light their night fires.[4]

People

The Pentoshi descend from Andals, Valyrians, slaves, and ancient peoples.[7] Like the Braavosi and Lyseni, Pentoshi are great lovers of song, and generous with those who please them.[8] Some of their men dye, oil, and fork their beards.[9] Pentos has a much higher population than Astapor.[1] Bastard Valyrian is spoken in Pentos.[10] Numerous gods are worshipped in Pentos,[7] including R'hllor.[4]

Pentos is a city where wealth equals power, ruled over by a prince with a council of rich magisters. The prince has a mostly ceremonial function, however, while the magisters rule. The prince, who is chosen from forty families, presides chiefly over balls and feasts.[6] He is carried from place to place in a rich palanquin with a handsome guard. Each new year he deflowers two maidens, the maid of the sea and the maid of the fields, to ensure prosperity on land and sea. If there is famine or war is lost, the magisters sacrifice the prince and slit his throat to appease the gods, then choose a new prince.[3][6]

Slavery was heavily practiced for most of Pentoshi history, but Braavos imposed abolition after several wars. Pentoshi ships flout these laws, however, by running Lysene or Myrish banners when challenged. Pentos is full of "free bond servants", who are collared and branded like slaves in Lys, Myr, or Tyrosh. Although they are free men and women by law, the cost of their food, clothing, and shelter is higher than the value of their service and they become indebted to their masters.[3][4][6]

Pentos is not allowed by Braavos to have more than twenty warships, nor are they allowed to hire sellswords, make contracts with free companies, or maintain an army. As a consequence, Pentoshi are less belligerent than Lyseni, Myrmen, or Tyroshi. The Pentoshi are friendly with the other Free Cities[3] and generous with Dothraki horselords.[4][1][3] Pentos is known for its bravos.[11]

Economy

A coin of Pentos, as depicted by Nutchapol Thitinunthakorn in The World of Ice & Fire

The Pentoshi are involved in trade, with ships daily passing forth between Pentos and King's Landing across the narrow sea in Westeros.[3] One such galley is the Storm Dancer.[12] Teeming bazaars can be found in Pentos as well.[13]

Slavery has been forbidden in Pentos since its last war with Braavos. Nonetheless, there are many servants that are slaves in all but name.[3][4][6] One Pentoshi merchant is Magister Illyrio Mopatis, who deals in spices, gemstones, and dragonbone, as well as other, less savory things.[4]

According to semi-canon sources, the square brick towers are controlled by the spice traders of Pentos, who send off their ships to distant locations to trade for saffron and peppers. The poorer population of Pentos, however, struggles, and many become performers, training as singers or tumblers, for multiple generations, perfecting their art.[9][14]

History

Foundation

Pentos was founded by merchants, traders, seafarers, and farmers from the Valyrian Freehold as a trading outpost. Many were smallfolk who bred with local Andals, so the Pentoshi are less protective of Valyrian blood than other Free Cities.[3] There are some who claim Pentos existed before the colonization and that the original inhabitants decided to pay homage to the Freehold, citing Gessio Haratis's Before the Dragons as their source.[15]

Pentos grew to control almost all of Andalos, with domains stretching from the Velvet Hills and the Little Rhoyne to the narrow sea.[3]

Century of Blood

As the Century of Blood slowly came to an end, Pentos joined Tyrosh in their resistance to Volantis, which had conquered Lys and Myr in a Volantene attempt to seize control of all Old Valyria had left behind.[16] Aegon Targaryen, Lord of Dragonstone, was invited to Pentos, where he agreed to support Pentos and Tyrosh. Atop Balerion, Aegon used dragonfire to destroy a Volantene fleet at Lys.[17][16] He later became the first Lord of the Seven Kingdoms through Aegon's Conquest.[18]

Targaryen Politics

In Westeros, in 39 AC, Prince Maegor Targaryen was exiled by his brother, King Aenys I Targaryen.[19] to Pentos.[20] When Aenys died in 41 AC, Dowager Queen Visenya Targaryen flew to Pentos to retrieve her exiled son. Maegor's second wife, Queen Alys Harroway, remained in Pentos, arriving in Westeros after his trial of seven. With her came a Pentoshi beauty called Tyanna, who was rumored to have been the bastard daughter of a magister, and who would become Maegor's third wife.[20] Lords Buckwell and Rollingford sailed to Pentos after Maegor's death in King's Landing. Grand Maester Benifer also sought exile in Pentos for a time.[21]

Twenty-two Pentoshi magisters attended the Golden Wedding in 49 AC.[22] Although he was the richest man of Pentos, the lowborn Rego Draz was unable to join the council of magisters. Rego instead became the master of coin for King Jaehaerys I Targaryen the following year.[23] In 54 AC Elissa Farman discreetly sailed from Driftmark for Pentos and traveled on land to Braavos.[7]

Pentos and Tyrosh began a war in 55 AC which significantly disrupted trade in the narrow sea. Ser Willam the Wasp searched for Balerion in the Velvet Hills, but his party was ambushed by brigands in 56 AC. Jahaerys refused Lord Myles Smallwood's recommendation to punish Pentos.[24] In 58 AC the Tyroshi and Pentoshi requested that Jaehaerys mediate the negotiations to end their dispute. Both the Prince of Pentos and the Archon of Tyrosh traveled to King's Landing to conduct negotiations in person. They concluded "A Treaty of Eternal Peace", but the treaty was not well received and the magisters sacrificed the Prince of Pentos to their gods.[24] Roy Connington fled in exile to Pentos and then Myr after being scandalized with Princess Saera Targaryen.[25]

The Sea Snake, Corlys Velaryon, sailed to Pentos with his uncle when he was six years old, and he returned to the Free City on his own ship in later years.[26]

In 115 AC, Prince Daemon Targaryen married Lady Laena Velaryon. Since Daemon realized his brother, King Viserys I Targaryen, would not be pleased when he heard about the marriage, the newlyweds left Westeros and travelled to Pentos instead. The Prince of Pentos entertained them, as the Pentoshi feared the increasing strength of the Triarchy, and Pentos saw Daemon as a valuable ally. Though Daemon and Laena travelled elsewhere as well, they had returned to Pentos by the time Laena learned she was pregnant. They remained in Pentos as guests of a Pentoshi magister, where their twin daughters, Baela and Rhaena Targaryen, were born in 116 AC. Daemon and Laena remained for another half a year, after which they returned to Driftmark.[27]

Since Daemon had many Pentoshi friends, Prince Jacaerys Velaryon decided that his younger half-brothers, Aegon and Viserys Targaryen, would be fostered with the Prince of Pentos until their mother, Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen, had secured the Iron Throne during the Dance of the Dragons. The young princes departed on the Pentoshi cog Gay Abandon towards the end of 129 AC, but the ship was intercepted shortly before the Battle of the Gullet.[28]

Representatives from Pentos attended the coronation of King Aegon III Targaryen in 131 AC.[29] Pentos joined an alliance with Braavos and Lorath in order to bring down the Triarchy in the Daughters' War.[29] When Lord Unwin Peake sent Ser Gedmund Peake and Lord Alyn Velaryon to conquer the Stepstones, the islands were occupied by Racallio Ryndoon and Pentoshi sellswords. Racallio eventually allied with the Sealord of Braavos and the Archon of Tyrosh, however, disregarding any Pentoshi claims. The Archon later hired the Pentoshi sellswords for himself.[30] A daughter of the Prince of Pentos was the first woman presented during the Maiden's Day Cattle Show in King's Landing.[30]

During the reign of King Daeron I Targaryen, Pentos and Lys were at war with Braavos.[31] Grand Maester Kaeth discusses at length in his book, Lives of Four Kings, that because Daeron had entered talks regarding a marriage alliance with Braavos,[32] concerning the Sealord of Braavos and one of Daeron's sisters,[32] this emboldened the other Free Cities to lend aid to the Dornish rebels.[32]

Wars with Braavos

During the past two centuries, Pentos lost four of six wars with Braavos, over slavery and control of the lands and waters between the two cities. Four princes were elected and sacrificed within a year during the last war, which ended in 209 AC.[33] After achieving a victory rumored to have been purchased through bribery, Nevio Narratys, the fifth Prince of Pentos within a year, convinced the magisters to sue for peace. Braavos forced Pentos to abolish slavery and withdraw from the slave trade. Braavos has since limited the Pentoshi military forces and prevented the city from hiring sellswords.[3] The magisters have become friendly with Dothraki khals, showering them with gifts whenever they are near the city.[4][1][3]

Recent History

In 262 AC, a man now known as the Tattered Prince, twenty-three years old at the time, was chosen by the magisters of Pentos to be their new Prince of Pentos, shortly after the beheading of the previous one.[3][34] Instead of accepting their offer, the Tattered Prince fled to the Disputed Lands, later forming the free company called the Windblown.[3]

While a bravo in his youth, Illyrio Mopatis protected the despised eunuch Varys in Pentos. They began to work together,[5] Varys stealing from Pentoshi and Illyrio returning the goods for a fee. As the friends became more influential, Varys began training "mice" to acquire secrets and information. Illyrio became so respected that a cousin of the prince offered him the hand of his daughter in marriage.[5] King Aerys II Targaryen sent across the narrow sea to Pentos for Varys, whom he named spymaster, sometime after the death of Lord Steffon Baratheon in 278 AC.[5][35]

Varys, now the master of whisperers for King Robert I Baratheon, employs Ser Jorah Mormont as a spy in Pentos.[36] Illyrio has hosted the exiled Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen at his manse for almost six months, but the Pentoshi refer to Viserys as "the beggar king".[4] The eunuch slave Belwas was sold from Meereen to Qohor, and afterwards to Pentos.[37]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

A Dothraki khalasar led by Khal Drogo arrives at the city, leading the magisters of Pentos to double the city guard.[38] Magister Illyrio Mopatis brokers a marriage between his guest, Princess Daenerys Targaryen, and Khal Drogo. Daenerys is presented to Drogo at the nine-towered manse Drogo has been given in the city.[4] Their wedding ceremony is held in a field outside the city.[38] Drogo, his new bride, and his khalasar depart the city shortly after the ceremony, heading for Vaes Dothrak.[39]

A Clash of Kings

Arstan Whitebeard and Strong Belwas sail from Pentos to New Ghis and then on to Qarth,[40] where they meet Daenerys with the intent to give her transportation back to Pentos.[37] Less than a fortnight after her departure from Qarth Pyat Pree and three of his fellow warlocks set out for Pentos seeking Daenerys.[41]

A Storm of Swords

Led by Groleo, Illyrio's three ships sail from Qarth for Pentos with Daenerys, her people, and her three dragons aboard them. During their journey, however, Ser Jorah Mormont counsels Daenerys to sail for Astapor and buy Unsullied. Daenerys heeds his counsel, turning away from the original plan to sail to Pentos.[10]

While in Pentos, Oppo and Penny are approached by a man who wishes to hire them for the wedding of King Joffrey I Baratheon and Lady Margaery Tyrell, on the orders of Lord Petyr Baelish.[42]

A Feast for Crows

Seastrider sails from Oldtown to Tyrosh, Pentos, Duskendale, and Maidenpool.[43] Arya Stark spots two battered Pentoshi cogs in the harbor of Braavos.[44] Samwell Tarly describes Pentos to Maester Aemon when Cinnamon Wind stops at the city.[45]

A Dance with Dragons

Varys smuggles Tyrion Lannister across the narrow sea, and the dwarf stays in Illyrio's manse during his brief sojourn in Pentos.[6] Illyrio explains he can serve Daenerys best in Pentos, smoothing the way for her return, sending Tyrion to her instead.[5] Illyrio had planned for the Golden Company to meet Daenerys and her dragons in Pentos and then invade Westeros, but that plan went awry when the dragon queen instead sailed for Slaver's Bay.[46] Penny later tells Tyrion she and Oppo had been hired in Pentos by Oswell|a man to perform for Joffrey's wedding.[47]

A trading galley out of Pentos travelling in the Bay of Seals is commandeered by Cotter Pyke, the commander of Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, on the orders of Jon Snow, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.[48]

While at the Lazy Eel in White Harbor, Lord Davos Seaworth learns that the captain of the Sloe-Eyed Maid had spoken in Pentos about dragons in Qarth.[49] Prince Quentyn Martell spots Pentoshi ships at Volantis.[50] The Pentoshi nobleman known as the Tattered Prince leads the Windblown, a sellsword company.[34] One of his sellswords, Pretty Meris, is imprisoned in Meereen when Quentyn reveals that Meris had not deserted Yunkai as she had claimed.[47] Meris tells Ser Barristan Selmy the Windblown would be willing to come over to Daenerys during the second siege of Meereen if the Tattered Prince is granted Pentos, but Daenerys refuses.[51]

Quentyn meets with the Tattered Prince after Daenerys disappears from Meereen, since Quentyn requires assistance in stealing the remaining two dragons locked in the dragon pit. Quentyn agrees to help the Tattered Prince gain Pentos and they make marks on a paper.[52] After the death of Quentyn by dragonfire, Barristan, the Queen's Hand, guesses that Pentos is what the Tattered Prince wants, and hatches a plan to bring the sellsword over to Daenerys's side in her absence.[53]

Ser Kevan Lannister tasks Ser Harys Swyft with negotiating loans with the magisters of Pentos and the Iron Bank of Braavos.[54]

Quotes

There was no slavery in the free city of Pentos. Nonetheless, they were slaves.[4]

—thoughts of Daenerys Targaryen

Arstan: There are sellswords in Pentos and Myr and Tyrosh you can hire. A man who kills for coin has no honor, but at least they are no slaves. Find your army there, I beg you.
Daenerys: My brother visited Pentos, Myr, Braavos, near all the Free Cities. The magisters and archons fed him wine and promises, but his soul was starved to death. A man cannot sup from the beggar's bowl all his life and stay a man. I had my taste in Qarth, that was enough. I will not come to Pentos bowl in hand.[1]

Barristan: The Tattered Prince will want more than coin, Your Grace. Meris says that he wants Pentos.
Daenerys: Pentos? How can I give him Pentos? It is half a world away.
Barristan: He would be willing to wait, the woman Meris suggested. Until we march for Westeros.
Daenerys: Pentos belongs to the Pentoshi. And Magister Illyrio is in Pentos. He who arranged my marriage to Khal Drogo and gave me my dragon eggs. Who sent me you, and Belwas, and Groleo. I owe him much and more. I will not repay that debt by giving his city to some sellsword. No."[51]

In Pentos, we have a saying. Never ask the baker what went into the pie. Just eat.[55]

Chapters that take place at Pentos

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 23, Daenerys II.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Lands of Ice and Fire, The Free Cities.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: Pentos.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 3, Daenerys I.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 1, Tyrion I.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
  8. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 32, Sansa III.
  9. 9.0 9.1 A Game of Thrones: d20-based Open Gaming RPG.
  10. 10.0 10.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 8, Daenerys I.
  11. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 10, Jon II.
  12. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 18, Catelyn IV.
  13. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 36, Daenerys IV.
  14. A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying.
  15. The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: Valyria's Children.
  16. 16.0 16.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 14, Tyrion IV.
  17. The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: The Doom of Valyria.
  18. The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
  19. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I.
  20. 20.0 20.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I.
  21. Fire & Blood, Prince into King - The Ascension of Jaehaerys I.
  22. Fire & Blood, The Year of the Three Brides - 49 AC.
  23. Fire & Blood, A Time of Testing - The Realm Remade.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Their Triumphs and Tragedies.
  25. Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
  26. Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
  27. The Rogue Prince.
  28. The Princess and the Queen.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.
  30. 30.0 30.1 Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - War and Peace and Cattle Shows.
  31. Possibly one of the six wars between Pentos and Braavos
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: The Quarrelsome Daughters: Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh.
  33. 91 years prior to 300 AC as per The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: Pentos
  34. 34.0 34.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 25, The Windblown.
  35. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
  36. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 12, Eddard II.
  37. 37.0 37.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 63, Daenerys V.
  38. 38.0 38.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 11, Daenerys II.
  39. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 23, Daenerys III.
  40. The Lands of Ice and Fire, Journeys.
  41. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 16, Daenerys III.
  42. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 33, Tyrion VIII.
  43. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 25, Brienne V.
  44. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 34, Cat Of The Canals.
  45. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 35, Samwell IV.
  46. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 24, The Lost Lord.
  47. 47.0 47.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 50, Daenerys VIII.
  48. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 44, Jon IX.
  49. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 15, Davos II.
  50. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 6, The Merchant's Man.
  51. 51.0 51.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 52, Daenerys IX.
  52. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 60, The Spurned Suitor.
  53. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 70, The Queen's Hand.
  54. A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.
  55. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 68, The Dragontamer.