Westerlands

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The westerlands with the major strongholds

The westerlands[1] is a region in the west of the continent of Westeros. Before the Targaryen conquest, it was known as the Kingdom of the Rock. People from the westerlands are known as westermen.[2][3] The customary surname of bastards of noble origin born in the westerlands is Hill.

The westerlands is ruled from Casterly Rock by House Lannister. Notable bannermen have included Banefort, Brax, Broom, Clegane, Crakehall, Farman, Lefford, Lydden, Marbrand, Payne, Prester, Reyne, Serrett, Swyft, Tarbeck, and Westerling.[4][5]

Geography

The westerlands. © FFG

The westerlands lie along the coast of the Sunset Sea, with Ironman's Bay and the Iron Islands to the north.[6] A salient of the northeastern westerlands extends near the ruins of Oldstones and the Blue Fork.[7] Castles on the northwestern coast include Banefort and the Crag. Faircastle is located on Fair Isle, while Feastfires and the market town of Kayce are found on a peninsula jutting into the sea.[8]

Also along the coast is Casterly Rock, the seat of House Lannister, a fortress carved out of a massive hill of solid rock. Near the Rock is Lannisport, a port and one of the largest cities of Westeros.[8] Three days ride from the Rock is the village of Oxcross.[9] Hills and mountain ranges are spread throughout the westerlands, with inland castles near the Rock including Ashemark and Sarsfield,[8] as well as the ruins of Castamere and Tarbeck Hall.

The headwaters of the Tumblestone and the Red Fork begin in the westerlands and flow east into the riverlands. The main pass through the eastern mountains is guarded by the Golden Tooth, a castle which controls access to the river road leading to Riverrun. Further south is the Goldroad, which runs east to King's Landing. Deep Den watches this road, with Hornvale to the north and Silverhill to the south.[8]

The southern westerlands contain more flatland than the rest of the country and includes Cornfield and the forest by Crakehall Castle. The Ocean Road leads south from the Rock past Crakehall to Old Oak and Highgarden in the Reach.[8] Also located in the westerlands are Greenfield and Wyndhall.

People and Economy

Western Fiefdoms - Illustrated by Andrew Hall. © Fantasy Flight Games.

The westerlands are not the largest, most populous, or most fertile part of the realm, but they are the richest. Full of hills and crags, the land is dotted with mines from which pour gold and silver in astonishing quantities. There are gold mines at Casterly Rock, the Golden Tooth, Castamere, Nunn's Deep, and the Pendric Hills. According to semi-canon sources, there are settlements which become ghost towns once nearby mines stop producing ore.[10] Besides farming, there is also some fishery in Lannisport and on Fair Isle.

Military strength

A semi-canon source from 2005 estimates the military strength of the westerlands to be fifty thousand men strong, though this count includes even green boys, and depletes most castles of any protection.[11] During Aegon's Conquest, King Loren I Lannister marched a host of twenty-two thousand from the westerlands to battle.[12] The westerlands contributed ten thousand men-at-arms and one thousand knights during the War of the Ninepenny Kings.[5]

According to a semi-canon source, in 261 AC House Reyne was able to field eight thousand men, while Houses Westerling, Banefort, Plumm, and Stackspear together were able to field at least sixty-five hundred men together.[13]

In 283 AC, Lord Tywin Lannister commanded twelve thousand Lannister men during the Sack of King's Landing.[14]

The Lannister fleet at Lannisport consists of twenty or thirty cogs, carracks, galleys, and dromonds, while lesser lords have two or three ships for patrolling. [15] A semi-canon sources from 2005 estimates the total naval power of the westerlands to be “probably closer to fifty or sixty large ships”.[11] Casterly Rock's vessels were rebuilt[15] after the burning of the Lannister fleet in 289 AC.[16]

History

Before the Andals

Little is known of the time before the coming of the First Men. Like the rest of Westeros, the children of the forest and giants lived in the westerlands and fought with the First Men when they came. After the Pact at the Isle of Faces, the children only kept the forests.[7]

First Men lords, some of whom were petty kings, included the Baneforts, Brooms, Crakehalls, Farmans, Footes, Greenfields, Hawthornes, Morelands, Plumms, Reynes, Westerlings, and Yews.[7] The coastal First Men were often raided by the ironborn from the Iron Islands.[17]

During the Age of Heroes, the legendary hero and trickster Lann the Clever acquired Casterly Rock in some manner from House Casterly. According to legend he is the ancestor of the Lannisters, who became the Kings of the Rock with Casterly Rock as their seat.[7] Westermen believe that Lann made off with some of the inheritance of Garth Greenhand by posing as one of his sons.[18]

Kingdom of the Rock

The Lannister Kings of the Rock gradually conquered or acquired neighboring territory, including the lands of the Reynes and the Baneforts. They initially resisted the Andal invasion, but later Lannister kings allowed the Andals to marry into the westermen nobility. New houses formed by the intermarriages included Houses Brax, Drox, Jast, Kyndall, Lefford, Marbrand, Parren, Sarsfield, and Serrett. In contrast to most kings of First Men origin, the support of the Andals allowed the Kings of the Rock to expand their power. When King Gerold III Lannister died without male issue, a council crowned his daughter's husband, Ser Joffrey Lydden, who became the first Andal King of the Rock, Joffrey Lannister.[7]

With Andal support the Lannisters extended their rule to the Golden Tooth and Fair Isle and engaged in border wars with the Kings of the Trident and Kings of the Reach.[7] The growing strength of House Lannister allowed them to expel the ironborn from the western coasts, and King Gerold the Great raided the Iron Isles and brought hostages back to the Rock.[19]

Some of the eastern hills of what is now the westerlands were historically ruled by Kings of the Rivers and the Hills, such as the Mudds and the Teagues.[20] Lord Torrence Teague used his spoils after raiding the west in his successful campaign to become river king.[20]

Ser Eustace Osgrey mentioned that a famous relative of his defeated an attack by the Kingdom of the Rock by killing a Lannister king, Lancel V.[21]

Targaryen Era

See also: Aegon's Conquest

Loren I Lannister, King of the Rock, mustered his armies to fight Aegon Targaryen, Lord of Dragonstone, during Aegon's Conquest. Allied with Mern IX Gardener, King of the Reach, they assembled the enormous Host of the Two Kings. However, they were no match for Targaryen dragons. King Loren escaped the so-called Field of Fire and submitted to Aegon. His primacy in the westerlands as Warden of the West was confirmed by the Targaryens. Since this time the westerlands have been part of the Seven Kingdoms controlled by the Iron Throne.[12]

Dalton Greyjoy, the Red Kraken, attacked the westerlands during the Dance of the Dragons.[22]

During the First Blackfyre Rebellion, many battles were fought in the west.[23] House Tarbeck kept a foot in both camps, trying to support Daeron II Targaryen and his rival, Daemon I Blackfyre.[21] Ser Quentyn Ball killed Lord Lefford and forced Lord Damon Lannister into retreat.[5]

During the Great Spring Sickness the coast of the westerlands suffered under the attacks Dagon Greyjoy,[21][24] the Last Reaver.[25]

Reyne-Tarbeck revolt

Tywin Lannister - Brittmartin@

During the rule of Lord Tytos Lannister, the power of House Lannister was nominal. Tytos was held in low esteem and was largely ignored by his vassals. Lord Roger Reyne took command of the Lannister army after Ser Jason Lannister was killed in the War of the Ninepenny Kings.[5]

Houses Reyne and Tarbeck eventually rebelled against the rule of Tytos, but his son, Ser Tywin, led the campaign against the Reyne-Tarbeck revolt. The two families were extinguished and their respective seats of Castamere and Tarbeck Hall were destroyed. Since this time no House has dared oppose House Lannister in the westerlands. The prestigious Tywin served for a time as Hand of the King for King Aerys II Targaryen.[5]

Robert's Rebellion

Main article: Robert's Rebellion

Lyanna Stark, who was betrothed to Lord Robert Baratheon, was apparently abducted by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. After the executions of her father, Lord Rickard Stark, and brother, Brandon, by King Aerys II, Robert's Rebellion broke out against House Targaryen, with Houses Arryn, Baratheon, Stark, and Tully opposing House Targaryen.

For the better part of the war the westerlands remained neutral. After the Battle of the Trident and the death of Rhaeger, however, Tywin chose the side of the rebels instead of his one-time friend, Aerys. Tywin ordered the Sack of King's Landing and the killing of the Targaryen heirs to prove House Lannister's support. After being crowned king, Robert I married Cersei Lannister to bind the Lannisters to his cause.[26][27]

The burning of the Lannister fleet began Greyjoy's Rebellion, but Tywin invaded the Iron Islands along with King Robert and Lord Eddard Stark.[25]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

After the abduction of Tyrion Lannister by Catelyn Tully, Lord Tywin Lannister sends Ser Gregor Clegane to raid the riverlands and then retreat back to the westerlands.[28] After the death of King Robert I Baratheon, Lord Tywin Lannister and Ser Jaime Lannister lead armies of twenty thousand[29] and fourteen or fifteen thousand strong,[30] respectively, into the riverlands.[31]

Jaime crushes the rivermen in a battle in the hills below the Golden Tooth and a battle under the walls of Riverrun, but he is eventually captured at the battle in the Whispering Wood and his army is dispersed in the Battle of the Camps. Tywin sends hundreds of cavalry, including Gregor and Ser Amory Lorch, to set the riverlands ablaze.[32] In response to the actions of the westermen and King Joffrey I Baratheon, the rivermen proclaim Robb Stark to be king at Riverrun.[33]

A Clash of Kings

Lannister soldiers in King's Landing - FFG@

With Tywin secure at Harrenhal, Ser Stafford Lannister begins raising a new host of some thousands in the westerlands.[34] Having sent Theon Greyjoy to negotiate with Lord Balon Greyjoy and Catelyn Stark to negotiate with Renly Baratheon, Robb leads forces from the north and House Frey in an invasion of the west.[35] Robb hopes that Balon's Iron Fleet will join him in attacking the westerlands,[36] while Renly deals with Tywin.[34]

After bypassing the Golden Tooth, Robb wins a crushing victory over Stafford's inexperienced host in the Battle of Oxcross. They then pillage the eastern and northern areas of the westerlands, capturing Ashemark, the Crag, and the gold mines at Castamere, Nunn's Deep and the Pendric Hills.[37][38][39] Balon's ironborn refuse to attack the west, however, instead attacking the largely-defenseless north.[40]

Tywin is stopped at the Red Fork during the Battle of the Fords,[41] after which he and the Tyrells defeat Stannis Baratheon in the Battle of the Blackwater.[42]

A Storm of Swords

Since Robb marries Jeyne Westerling, the Freys at the Crag leave Robb's service.[43] After the Blackwater, Robb abandons the captured castles in the westerlands and returns to Riverrun.[44] Robb claims to Ser Edmure Tully that he and Ser Brynden Tully had planned to ambush Tywin on the Goldroad or trap him in the west, but were prevented from doing so by Edmure's defeat of Tywin in the Battle of the Fords.[43]

Ser Daven Lannister reforms the remnants of his father Stafford's host at Lannisport,[44] and they join Ser Forley Prester at the Golden Tooth.[45]

Lord Tywin is murdered by his son, Tyrion Lannister, in the Tower of the Hand.[46]

A Feast for Crows

Queen Cersei Lannister, the Lady of Casterly Rock, succeeds Tywin as the liege lord of the westerlands.[47] The lords of the west lead a procession of hundreds of soldiers which accompanies Tywin's corpse on its return to the Rock from King's Landing. Two thousand westermen participate in the siege of Dragonstone.[48]

When King Euron and Lord Captain Victarion Greyjoy set out to attack mainland Westeros after Balon's death, the westerlands escapes their wrath, as the Iron Fleet sails past and attacks the Shield Islands and the Reach instead.[49]

Jaime joins Daven, the new Warden of the West, and other westermen at the siege of Riverrun.[50] Forley commands the escort of Edmure and Jeyne as they travel from Riverrun to the west.[51]

Houses

Algood.png House Algood
Banefort.png House Banefort of Banefort
Bettley.png House Bettley
House Brax.PNG House Brax of Hornvale
House Broom.png House Broom
Arms unknown House Casterly of Casterly Rock
House Clegane.png House Clegane of Clegane's Keep
Arms unknown House Clifton
House Crakehall.PNG House Crakehall of Crakehall
House Doggett.PNG House Doggett
Drox.png House Drox
House Estren.PNG House Estren of Wyndhall
Falwell.png House Falwell
Farman.png House Farman of Faircastle
Ferren.png House Ferren
House Foote.PNG House Foote
House Garner.PNG House Garner
House Greenfield.svg House Greenfield of Greenfield
Hamell.PNG House Hamell
Hawthorne.jpg House Hawthorne
Hetherspoon.PNG House Hetherspoon
House Jast.PNG House Jast
House Kenning (Kayce).svg House Kenning of Kayce
House Lannister.svg House Lannister of Casterly Rock
Arms unknown House Lannister of Lannisport
Arms unknown House Lannett
Arms unknown House Lanny
Arms unknown House Lantell
House Lefford.svg House Lefford of the Golden Tooth
House Lorch.png House Lorch
House Lydden.PNG House Lydden of Deep Den
Marbrand.png House Marbrand of Ashemark
House Moreland.svg House Moreland
House Myatt.PNG House Myatt
House Parren.PNG House Parren
House Payne.svg House Payne
House Peckledon.PNG House Peckledon
House Plumm.svg House Plumm
House Prester.PNG House Prester of Feastfires
House Reyne.PNG House Reyne of Castamere
House Ruttiger.svg House Ruttiger
House Sarsfield.PNG House Sarsfield of Sarsfield
Arms unknown House Sarwyck of Riverspring
House Serrett.PNG House Serrett of Silverhill
House Spicer.PNG House Spicer of Castamere
House Stackspear.PNG House Stackspear
House Swyft.PNG House Swyft of Cornfield
House Tarbeck.svg House Tarbeck of Tarbeck Hall
House Turnberry.svg House Turnberry
House Vikary.PNG House Vikary
House Westerling.PNG House Westerling of the Crag
Arms unknown House Westford
Yarwyck.png House Yarwyck
Yew.PNG House Yew


Quotes

The westerlands are a place of rugged hills and rolling plains, of misty dales and craggy shorelines, a place of blue lakes and sparkling rivers and fertile fields, of broadleaf forests that teem with game of every sort, where half-hidden doors in the sides of wooded hills open onto labyrinthine caves that wend their way through darkness to reveal unimaginable wonders and vast treasures deep beneath the earth.[7]
- writings of Yandel


The great wealth of the westerlands, of course, stems primarily from their gold and silver mines. The veins of ore run wide and deep, and there are mines, even now, that have been delved for a thousand years and more and are yet to be emptied.[7]
- writings of Yandel

References and Sources

  1. A Feast for Crows, Prologue.
  2. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 26, Arya VI.
  3. The Princess and the Queen.
  4. A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 The World of Ice & Fire, The Westerlands: House Lannister Under the Dragons.
  6. A Dance with Dragons, Map of the South
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 The World of Ice & Fire, The Westerlands.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 The Lands of Ice and Fire.
  9. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 32, Sansa III.
  10. A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide
  11. 11.0 11.1 A Game of Thrones: d20-based Open Gaming RPG.
  12. 12.0 12.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
  13. "The World of Ice and Fire", The Westerlands, unabridged version
  14. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 12, Daenerys I.
  15. 15.0 15.1 So Spake Martin: The Lannister Fleet (September 26, 1999)
  16. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 24, Theon II.
  17. The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands.
  18. The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach: Garth Greenhand.
  19. The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: Driftwood Crowns.
  20. 20.0 20.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 The Sworn Sword.
  22. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
  23. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Daeron II.
  24. The Mystery Knight.
  25. 25.0 25.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Old Way and the New.
  26. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 12, Eddard II.
  27. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
  28. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 43, Eddard XI.
  29. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 56, Tyrion VII.
  30. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 63, Catelyn X.
  31. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 55, Catelyn VIII.
  32. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
  33. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn XI.
  34. 34.0 34.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
  35. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 14, Arya IV.
  36. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 11, Theon I.
  37. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 35, Bran V.
  38. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 39, Catelyn V.
  39. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 55, Catelyn VII.
  40. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 37, Theon III.
  41. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 45, Catelyn VI.
  42. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 62, Sansa VII.
  43. 43.0 43.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 14, Catelyn II.
  44. 44.0 44.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 19, Tyrion III.
  45. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 60, Tyrion VIII.
  46. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 77, Tyrion XI.
  47. A Feast for Crows, Appendix.
  48. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 16, Jaime II.
  49. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 29, The Reaver.
  50. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 33, Jaime V.
  51. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 44, Jaime VII.

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