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Some time later, Bronze Age human settlers, known as the First Men, migrated from Essos via a land bridge at the southeastern end of the continent and gradually spread to the entire continent. The First Men's attempts to chop down forests and cultivate the land led to a millennia-long war with the Children of the Forest, that eventually was settled by an agreement known as "The Pact".
This was the beginning of the Age of Heroes, during which the First Men adopted the religion of the Children of the Forest. Those gods later became known in Westeros as the Old Gods. Eight thousand years before the events of the novels,  an enigmatic arctic humanoid species called the Others emerged from the Land of Always Winter, the northernmost part of Westeros, during the decades-long winter known as "The Long Night". The region north of the Wall was since collectively known as the land "Beyond the Wall", and settled by tribal descendants of the First Men known as the Wildlings or Free Folk. One by one, kingdoms of the First Men south of the Neck fell to the Andals, and only the North remained unconquered.
The Children of the Forest were slaughtered and disappeared from Andal lands. Over time, seven relatively stable feudal kingdoms were forged across Westeros, although their territories fluctuated over the next few thousand years through constant warfare, and no kingdom remained dominant for long:. Three hundred years before the novels begin, the Targaryen dragonlord Aegon the Conqueror and his two sister-wives Visenya and Rhaenys, whose ancestors migrated from Valyria to Dragonstone  a century prior, invaded the Westerosi mainland and landed his army at the mouth of the Blackwater Rush. Only the defiant Dorne remained independent for another two hundred years through asymmetric guerrilla resistance , until it was finally absorbed under the Iron Throne through a marriage-alliance by King Daeron II.
They also annexed the land regions of the riverlands and stormlands around the Blackwater Bay as the Crownlands. House Targaryen ruled as the sole monarchy of the Seven Kingdoms for almost three centuries until overthrown by a rebellion led by Robert Baratheon in AC. The North consists of the northern half of the Seven Kingdoms  and is ruled by House Stark from their castle at Winterfell.
An isthmus of swampland named The Neck separates the North from the South. Illegitimate children born of a noble parent in the North are given the surname Snow. Winterfell is the ancestral castle of House Stark and the political capital of the North. The castle was built over a natural hot spring , whose scalding water runs inside the castle walls and warms its halls and rooms as well as the glass garden at its northwestern corner. There are several open pools where heated water collects within the godswood. The hot spring also prevents the ground from freezing. They ruled since before the arrival of the Andals. To depict Winterfell, both the pilot and season 1 of the television adaptation used the 16th century clock tower and ancient courtyard of Castle Ward in County Down , Northern Ireland.
Cairncastle , meanwhile, served as the location where Ned Stark beheads the deserter Will. The Wall is a huge structure of stone, ice, and magic  on the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms. Looking out over the hills, Martin wondered what a Roman centurion from the Mediterranean would feel, not knowing what threats might come from the north. Martin adjusted the size, length, and magical nature of the Wall for genre demands; [S 21] Jon Snow 's chapters describe it as approximately miles km long  and feet m high in general, rising up to a perceived feet m in spots due to huge foundation blocks.
The novels' legends claim that the First Men,  or more specifically Brandon the Builder with the possible help of children of the forest and giants,   constructed the Wall some 8, years before the events of the series. The Wall has since been maintained by the Night's Watch to guard the realms of men against threats from beyond, originally the Others, and later against wildling raids. A strip of land known as "the Gift", now stretching 50 leagues about miles km south of the wall, was given to them in perpetuity thousands of years earlier for cultivation. They also made a functional elevator to lift the rangers to the top of the Wall. Martin was surprised by the height and thought: "Oh I may have made the wall too big!
It is wet and rainy, and the mud is thick A Clash of Kings takes the story to the lands Beyond the Wall, although the first five books do not explore "what lies really north Martin, who has never been to Iceland, said Beyond the Wall was "considerably larger than Iceland and the area closest to my Wall is densely forested, so in that sense it's more like Canada — Hudson Bay or the Canadian forests just north of Michigan. And then as you get further and further north, it changes. You get into tundra and ice fields and it becomes more of an arctic environment. You have plains on one side and a very high range of mountains on the other.
Of course, once again this is fantasy, so my mountains are more like the Himalayas. During the first season, the HBO team used places that they could decorate with artificial snow for the north of the Wall, but a bigger landscape was chosen for Season 2. Benioff said, "We always knew we wanted something shatteringly beautiful and barren and brutal for this part of Jon's journey, because he's in the true North now.
It's all real. It's all in camera. We're not doing anything in postproduction to add mountains or snow or anything. For fierce raids, the Ironmen are titled the "terror of the seas". Pyke is the seat of House Greyjoy. Old Wyk is the smallest and holiest island in the Iron Islands. It is where Kingsmoots are held, and where the Grey King slew Nagga, a sea dragon, and made a court of his bones. The Riverlands are the populous and fertile [S 27] areas surrounding the forks of the river Trident on Westeros.
While they form one of the nine regions of Westeros, the Riverlands' central location and geographic features made the region an inter-kingdom battle zone that changed hands rather than becoming its own 'eighth' kingdom of the Seven Kingdoms. At the time of Aegon's conquest, the Riverlands were ruled by Harwyn's grandson, Harren the Black, king of the Iron Islands, and the Tullys were local nobles who rebelled against him by joining Aegon the Conqueror.
Harrenhal is an enormous ruined castle and is the site of many important events in the novels. Harrenhal was built by Harren the Black, [S 32] after his conquest of the Riverlands, intending to make it the largest fortification ever built in Westeros. The castle has been described as so large that an entire army was needed to garrison it.
The Great Hall had 35 hearths and seated thousands. Shortly after the castle was completed, Aegon the Conqueror's dragon slew Harren, his sons, and his entire army by setting the castle alight. Since then, the ruins of the castle have been occupied by a variety of houses, all of which eventually became extinct. As a result, the people of Westeros believe the castle is cursed. At the start of the War of the Five Kings, the castle is in ruin, with only a fraction of it habitable, and held by Lady Shella Whent, the last of her House, who is stripped of Harrenhal when the Lannisters seize her castle.
The castle changes hands repeatedly over the course of the novels, many of those holding it meeting unpleasant ends. Riverrun is the ancestral stronghold of House Tully. The castle is located along one of the "forks" of the Trident and controls access to the interior of Westeros. The castle is bordered on two sides by the Tumblestone River and the Red Fork. The third side fronts on a massive manmade ditch. The castle is the location of Robb Stark 's great victory over House Lannister and the site of his crowning. Riverrun then passed into the hands of Emmon Frey, an ally of House Lannister.
The Twins is a large double castle straddling the Green Fork river; the two halves of the castle are connected by a bridge that is the only crossing of the river for hundreds of miles. The Twins is the seat of House Frey , which has grown wealthy by charging a toll of all those who cross for the past six centuries. Because the Freys are both wealthy and numerous, theirs is one of the most powerful houses sworn to House Tully. The castle's strategic position gives House Frey enormous importance in times of war. When Robb Stark goes to The Twins to repair his alliance with House Frey, the Freys massacre him, his mother, and his army and in the TV adaptation, his wife : an event known as " The Red Wedding ", which violates native customs of guest right and incurs enmity throughout the Seven Kingdoms, especially in the Riverlands and North.
The Vale is the area surrounded almost completely by the Mountains of the Moon in the east of Westeros. Their seat, the Eyrie, is a castle high in the mountains, small but considered unassailable. The only way to reach the Vale is by a mountain road teeming with animals called 'shadowcats', rock slides, and dangerous mountain clans. The mountain road ends at the Vale's sole entrance, the Bloody Gate: a pair of twin watchtowers, connected by a covered bridge, on the rocky mountain slopes over a very narrow path. The protection of the surrounding mountains gives the Vale itself a temperate climate, fertile meadows, and woods.
The snowmelt from the mountains and a constant waterfall that never freezes, named Alyssa's Tears, provide plentiful water. The Vale has rich black soil, wide slow-moving rivers, and hundreds of small lakes. Illegitimate children born in the Vale are given the surname Stone. It is situated on the Giant's Lance and reachable only by a narrow mule trail, guarded by the Gates of the Moon and three small castles, titled Stone, Snow, and Sky.
Travelers must enter the Gates of the Moon and its upper bailey before reaching the narrow path up the mountain. The steps up the Giant's Lance starts directly behind the Gates of the Moon. The Eyrie clings to the mountain and is six hundred feet above Sky. The last part of the climb to the Eyrie is something of a cross between a chimney and a stone ladder, which leads to the Eyrie's cellar entrance. Due to the Mountains of the Moon's harsh winters, travel to and from the Eyrie is possible through the mountains only in summer. The Eyrie is the smallest of the great castles in the story, consisting of seven slim towers bunched tightly together.
It has no stables, kennels, or smithies, but the towers can house men, and the granary can sustain a small household for a year or more. The Eyrie does not keep livestock on hand; all dairy produce, meats, fruits, vegetables, etc. Its cellars hold six great winches with long iron chains to draw supplies and occasionally guests from below. Oxen are used to raise and lower them.
Winter snows can make supplying the fortress impossible. The Eyrie's dungeons, known as "sky cells", are left open to the sky on one side and have sloping floors that put prisoners in danger of slipping or rolling off the edge. Executions in the Eyrie are carried out via the Moon Door, which opens from the high hall onto a foot drop. The Eyrie is made of pale stone and primarily decorated with the blue and white colors of House Arryn. Elegant details provide warmth and comfort through plentiful fireplaces, carpets, and luxurious fabrics. Many of the chambers have been described to be warm and comfortable, with magnificent views of the Vale, the Mountains of the Moon, or the waterfall.
The Maiden's Tower is the easternmost of the seven slender towers, so all the Vale can be seen from its windows and balconies. The apartments of the Lady of the Eyrie open over a small garden planted with blue flowers and ringed by white towers, containing grass and scattered statuary, with the central statue of a weeping woman believed to be Alyssa Arryn, around low, flowering shrubs. The lord's chambers have doors of solid oak, and plush velvet curtains covering windows of small rhomboid panes of glass. The High Hall has a blue silk carpet leading to the carved weirwood thrones of the Lord and Lady Arryn. The floors and walls are of milk-white marble veined with blue.
Daylight enters down through high narrow arched windows along the eastern wall, and there are some fifty high iron sconces where torches may be lit. Lysa refused to align herself with any of the claimants during the War of the Five Kings, but eventually pretends to a possible alliance with House Lannister after Lord Petyr Baelish agrees to marry her. Later Baelish kills Lysa after she attempts to murder her niece, Sansa Stark. For the CGI compositions of the Vale of Arryn in the TV series, as seen in the establishing shot of the Eyrie and from the sky cells, the visual effects team used images and textures from the Greek rock formations of Meteora.
Initially they had been considering the Zhangjiajie Mountains in China, but because the landscape base plates were shot in Northern Ireland, using Meteora resulted a better option. Martin acknowledged that the set differed significantly from its presentation in the books: "In the books, the room is long and rectangular. But [The Paint Hall soundstage] had essentially a square space, which they chose to put a round hall in, with a staircase curving up to a throne that was high above. The Westerlands are the Westerosi lands to the west of the Riverlands and north of the Reach. People of this region are often called "Westermen. The Westerlands are rich in precious metals, mostly gold, which is the source of their wealth.
A stronghold carved from a mountain overlooking the harbor city of Lannisport and the sea beyond, Casterly Rock is the ancestral seat of House Lannister. According to popular legend, the hero known as Lann the Clever tricked the Casterlys into giving up the Rock, and took it for himself. The Rock is renowned as the wealthiest region due to its abundance of gold mining resources, and it is one of the strongest castles of the Seven Kingdoms.
As of A Dance with Dragons , the narrative has not actually taken place in Casterly Rock, yet descriptions of it have been offered by the Lannisters in the POV chapters. West of Casterly Rock is the coastal city of Lannisport. A busy port under the governance of the Lannisters of Casterly Rock, Lannisport thrives as a protected and wealthy city. The city is also home to many lesser Lannisters and other people with similar surnames, such as Lannys. Martin stated on his blog that he drew inspiration for Casterly Rock from the Rock of Gibraltar.
After the last Gardener King was killed on the Field of Fire, the Tyrells surrendered Highgarden to Aegon and were rewarded with both the castle and the position of overlords of the Reach. The wealth and power of the Reach comes from their bountiful harvests of the most sought-after wines and foods. During times of war, the lengthy distance of the Reach and its abundance of foods protects their inhabitants from initial famine and sickness. In a significant political maneuver during the civil war in Westeros and the War of the Five Kings, House Tyrell provides the starving populace of King's Landing with hundreds of carts of food, ensuring the positive image of House Tyrell foremost, and the alliance for the Iron Throne with House Baratheon as secondary.
However, the Tyrells were responsible for the starvation in the first place, as part of their plan to help Renly usurp the Iron Throne. The most prominent city in the Reach is Oldtown. It is the oldest city in Westeros, home to the Maester's Citadel, and the previous seat of the Faith of the Seven. Oldtown is one of the largest cities in Westeros and is by far the oldest, built by the First Men before the Andal Invasion. It survived the invasion by welcoming the Andals rather than resisting them. The city is located in the southwestern part of Westeros, at the mouth of the River Honeywine, where it opens onto Whispering Sound and the Sunset Sea beyond.
Oldtown is primarily known as the location of the Citadel, home of the order of Maesters who serve as councillors, doctors, scientists, and postmasters for the Seven Kingdoms. Aegon the Conqueror's reign is dated from his entrance into the city of Oldtown and his acknowledgment as king by the High Septon. Oldtown is the second most important port in the Seven Kingdoms after King's Landing: trading ships from the Summer Islands, the Free Cities, the eastern cities, and the rest of Westeros constantly crowd into its harbors.
The city itself is described as stunningly beautiful. Many rivers and canals crisscross its cobbled streets, and breathtaking stone mansions are common. The city lacks the squalor of King's Landing, which usurped its position as the preeminent city of Westeros. The largest structure in the city, and the tallest structure in Westeros, is the Hightower, a massive stepped lighthouse which extends some feet m into the sky and is topped by a huge beacon which can be seen for many miles out to sea.
Oldtown is ruled from the Hightower by House Hightower. Originally kings in their own right, they later swore fealty to the Gardeners of Highgarden, and became vassals of the Tyrells after the Conquest. The Hightowers are known for their loyalty and stalwartness. The current ruler of the city is Lord Leyton Hightower. Oldtown remained aloof from the War of the Five Kings , but late in the war the Ironborn under King Euron Greyjoy launched a massive raid along the coast, conquering the Shield Islands and parts of the Arbor before trying to blockade the mouth of the Honeywine.
An attempt to attack the city harbor was repulsed by the city's defenders. Oldtown remains under threat from the Ironborn. In the east they are bordered by Shipbreaker Bay and the Dornish Sea to the south. Before Aegon's conquest they were ruled by the Storm Kings, and afterwards by House Baratheon , bastard relatives to the Targaryens. The Dornish Marches are located within this region, and were common battlegrounds between the Stormlands and Dorne until Aegon joined the Seven Kingdoms. Storm's End is the seat of House Baratheon and, before them, the ancestral seat of the Storm Kings extending back many thousands of years.
According to legend, the first Storm King in the age of the First Men was Durran, who married Elenei, the daughter of the sea god and the goddess of the wind. In a rage her parents sent vast storms to shatter his keep and kill his wedding guests and family; whereupon Durran declared war against the gods and raised several castles over Shipbreaker Bay, each larger and more formidable than the last. Finally, the seventh castle stayed in place and resisted the storms. Some believe the Children of the Forest took a hand in its construction; others suggest that Brandon Stark, the builder of the Wall, advised Durran on its construction. The truth of the matter is unknown. Storm's End has never fallen to either siege or storm.
Its outer defenses consist of a huge curtain wall , feet 30 m tall and 40 feet 12 m thick on its thinnest side, nearly 80 feet 24 m thick on its seaward side. The wall consists of a double course of stones with an inner core of sand and rubble. The wall is smooth and curving, the stones so well placed that the wind cannot enter. On the seaward side, there is a foot 46 m drop below the wall into the sea. The castle itself consists of one huge drum tower crowned with formidable battlements, and so large that it can comfortably contain stables, barracks , armory and lord's chambers in the same structure. Although never taken in battle, Storm's End has endured several sieges and battles in recent history. During the War of the Usurper, Storm's End was besieged for a year by the host of Lord Mace Tyrell, who commanded the landward forces, while Paxter Redwyne's fleet of the Arbor kept the castle cut off by sea.
Stannis Baratheon , commanding the defense, refused to yield and his men were reduced to eating rats. A smuggler named Davos ran the blockade to resupply the castle and Stannis rewarded him by knighting him and giving him lands, thus founding House Seaworth, but he also cut off the fingertips of his left hand as punishment for all his previous smuggling. After the war, Stannis was furious when his brother Robert, now king, gave the castle to their younger brother Renly and placed Stannis in command of Dragonstone. This led to many years of bitterness on Stannis' part. When the castellan, Cortnay Penrose, refused to yield even after Renly's death, he was killed by Stannis' ally, the priestess Melisandre, and the castle surrendered.
Later, the castle was besieged by a strong army under Mace Tyrell, but he abandoned the siege after a few weeks to return to King's Landing after the arrest of his daughter Margaery by the High Septon. To attract support, Aegon plans to conquer Storm's End and raise the banner of House Targaryen above the battlements. The scene where Stannis' red priestess Melisandre gave birth to a shadow creature was filmed in the Cushendun Caves , also in Northern Ireland. The Targaryen kings consolidated this as one of the nine regions of Westeros, after their conquest of the Seven Kingdoms, from sparsely populated pieces of the Riverlands and Stormlands.
The Crownlands form the entire coastline of Blackwater Bay, and include the original Targaryen homeland on the island of Dragonstone, at the Narrow Sea entrance to Blackwater Bay. Besides King's Landing, which is the largest city in Westeros, the Crownlands include many towns and castles. The illegitimate children born in the Crownlands are given the surname Waters. Dragonstone was once the westernmost outpost of the ancient Freehold of Valyria.
A century before the Doom, the Targaryen family moved to Dragonstone. When the Doom came upon Valyria, House Targaryen survived along with the last of the Valyrian dragons. Another century later, Aegon Targaryen and his sisters Rhaenys and Visenya launched a massive campaign of conquest from the island and eventually conquered all of Westeros except for Dorne, and North of the Wall. Aegon's progeny reigned as kings of the Seven Kingdoms for centuries.
Dragonstone is a massive, forbidding fortress, taking up a large portion of the island of the same name. The castle is unique in that the builders and sorcerers of Valyria carved its towers and keeps into the shapes of dragons and made ferocious gargoyles to cover its walls using both magic and masonry. The castle's lower levels are warmed by residual volcanic activity deep below the keep. There is a small port and town outside of the castle. During the War of the Usurper, before the sack of King's Landing, the Targaryen Queen Rhaella, who was pregnant, and her son Viserys were sent to Dragonstone along with part of the Targaryen fleet and a garrison of loyal soldiers. But after King's Landing fell, Robert Baratheon dispatched his brother Stannis to take the island stronghold.
After a storm destroyed the royalist fleet, the Targaryen garrison tried to betray Viserys and his newborn sister, Daenerys, to Stannis the queen had died in childbirth. But Targaryen loyalists led by Ser Willem Darry took the children away. Stannis conquered Dragonstone easily, and King Robert granted him ownership of the castle. Stannis felt slighted because his younger brother Renly then inherited Storm's End, the ancient seat of House Baratheon. Upon Robert's death, Stannis declared himself king of the Seven Kingdoms and condemned the queen's children as bastards born of incest , as he had discovered with Jon Arryn.
Dragonstone became his main seat. He returned there after the disastrous Battle of the Blackwater. His councilor, the red priestess Melisandre of Asshai, tried to convince him to let her raise the "stone dragon" of the castle through blood magic, but Lord Davos Seaworth convinced Stannis to go north to the Wall to help the Night's Watch instead. However, Ser Loras Tyrell, impatient to free the fleet to protect his home castle of Highgarden, attacked Dragonstone directly. He took the castle but lost a thousand men and was himself reportedly gravely wounded. As of A Dance with Dragons , Dragonstone is now controlled by troops loyal to House Tyrell, and theoretically, once again under control of the Iron Throne. One scene set at Dragonstone, in which Stannis burns wooden sculptures of the Seven gods, was filmed at the beach of Downhill Strand.
King's Landing is the royal capital of Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms. King's Landing has an estimated population of 1 million people, making it the most populous city in Westeros. The main city is surrounded by a wall, which is manned by the City Watch of King's Landing, which is nicknamed the gold cloaks, after the cloaks they wear. Within the walls, the city's natural landscape is dominated by three hills, named after Aegon and his two sister-wives Rhaenys and Visenya. Poorer smallfolk commoners build shanty settlements outside the city.
King's Landing is described as extremely populous but unsightly and dirty. The stench of the city's waste can be smelled far beyond its walls. The royal castle, called the Red Keep, sits on Aegon's Hill. It is the seat of the royal court. The Keep holds the Iron Throne. Aegon commissioned the throne's construction from the swords of his defeated enemies. According to legend, he kept the blades sharp because he believed that no ruler should ever sit comfortably.
Centuries later, kings still cut themselves on the throne. It is a common belief that one who cuts himself on the throne has been "rejected" by the throne and is therefore not fit to rule. It is the holiest sept of the Seven. The slums of King's Landing are called Flea Bottom, where residents are so poor they regularly subsist on "bowls of brown" , a mystery stew that can include the meat of puppies and murder victims. Martin compared King's Landing to medieval Paris or London.
Various other locations around Malta represent the Red Keep, "including the real-life residence of the president of Malta, San Anton Palace. Angelo was used for the scenes of Arya Stark chasing cats; and St. Dominic monastery stood in for the scene where Ned Stark confronts Cersei Lannister in the godswood. According to David Benioff, executive producer of the show, "King's Landing might be the single most important location in the entire show, and it has to look right", [S 16] and "The minute we started walking around the city walls we knew that was it.
You read the descriptions in the book and you come to Dubrovnik and that's what the actual city is. It has the sparkling sea, sun and beautiful architecture. Weiss added "To find a full-on, immaculately preserved medieval walled city that actually looks uncannily like King's Landing where the bulk of our show is set, that was in and of itself such an amazing find". The floor [at King's Landing] was from the Pantheon in Rome. And again, it occupied a quarter of the Paint Hall, so it's very big, but in my mind [in the books], it's Westminster Abbey, it's St.
Paul's Cathedral. Dorne is the southernmost and least populated land of Westeros. They had two children, a daughter, Rhaenys, and a son, Aegon. Her children were also killed in front of her. During the War of the Five Kings, Tyrion Lannister , as Hand of the King, turns the historical enmity of House Martell and Dorne into an alliance by sending King Joffrey's middle sibling and sister, Myrcella Baratheon, as the betrothed future bride to Trystane, the youngest child of Prince Doran, who is about her own age. The wealth of Dorne comes from their famous Sand Steeds, purebred horses of endurance, speed, and grace, and from spices, wines, fishing, fabrics, and textiles.
Dorne is bordered by the Sea of Dorne to the north, the islands known as the Stepstones to the east, and stretches from the high mountains of the Dornish marches, the Red Mountains, separating Dorne from the remainder of the Seven Kingdoms by land. The southern coast of the continent is bordered by the Summer Sea. Martin, [S 15] Dorne has the highest temperatures of any kingdom in Westeros, and is arid, with a rocky, mountainous, terrain that includes the only desert on the continent. Its rivers provide some fertile lands and during a long summer there is enough rain and other supplies of water to keep Dorne habitable.
Inland water is almost as valuable as gold, and wells are jealously guarded. Notable locations of Dorne are Starfall, the seat of House Dayne, and Yronwood, the seat of House Yronwood, the most powerful of the Martell bannermen. Planky Town is a trade port town at the mouth of the River Greenblood. Dornishmen have a reputation for hot-bloodedness. They differ both culturally and ethnically from other Westerosi due to the historical mass immigration of Rhoynish people. They have adopted many Rhoynish customs as well, including equal primogeniture. Dorne was the only kingdom in Westeros to successfully resist Aegon's conquest, even killing one of his dragons during the war. It was conquered by Daeron I over a century after the Targaryen invasion, but rose against him leading to his death.
Finally under Daeron's cousin Daeron II they joined through marriage. This accomplishment has allowed Dorne to retain a measure of independence. Lords of the ruling House Martell still style themselves "Prince" and "Princess" in the Rhoynish fashion. Unlike most of the rest of Westeros, illegitimate children born in Dorne are treated nearly the same as legal offspring [ citation needed ] and given the surname Sand,  as with Westerosi customs to give bastards a surname showing their origins. There were the salty Dornishmen who lived along the coasts, the sandy Dornishmen of the deserts and long river valleys, and the stony Dornishmen who made their fastnesses in the passes and heights of the Red Mountains.
The salty Dornishmen had the most Rhoynish blood, the stony Dornishmen the least. The salty Dornishmen were lithe and dark, with smooth olive skin and long black hair streaming in the wind. The sandy Dornishmen were even darker, their faces burned brown by the hot Dornish sun. They wound long bright scarfs around their helms to ward off sunstroke. The stony Dornishmen were biggest and fairest, sons of the Andals and the First Men, brownhaired or blond, with faces that freckled or burned in the sun instead of browning. East of Naath, the Basilisk Isles have been a festering sore of the Summer Sea, and a safe haven for pirates , slavers , sellswords , and outlaws.
The Isle of Tears is the largest island, with steep valleys and black bogs. It was conquered by the Ghiscari and it was called Gorgai for two centuries, until the dragonlords of Valyria captured it and renamed it Gorgossos. It was used as a prison by the Freehold, a place where they sent their most despicable criminals. Naath, also known as the Isle of Butterflies, is an island off the north-west coast of Sothoryos that lies west of the Basilisk Isles.
The Naathi people have dark skin and golden eyes. They practice extreme pacifism, making music instead of war and refusing to eat meat, only fruit. This makes them especially vulnerable to slavers from Essos. Daenerys' interpreter Missandei is from Naath. As indicated on a map in A Storm of Swords , the Summer Islands are situated to the south of Westeros,  with a local fauna of talking birds,  apes,  and monkeys. Being roughly the size of Eurasia , [S 45] Essos has geography and climate that vary greatly.
The western coastline is characterized by green rolling hills, the massive Forest of Qohor , and extensive island chains such as Braavos and Lys. The middle of the continent is covered by the flat grasslands of the Dothraki Sea and the arid lands known as the Red Waste to the east. Beyond the Red Waste lies the city of Qarth. The south is dominated by dry rolling hills and has a Mediterranean climate , with a coastline along the Summer Sea and Slaver's Bay. The north coast of the mainland is separated from the polar cap by the Shivering Sea. To the south, across the Summer Sea, lies the uncharted jungle continent of Sothoryos.
Much of the fictional history of Essos relates to Valyria, a city located on a peninsula in southern Essos and the origin of House Targaryen before the destruction of the Valyrian Empire in an unspecified cataclysm. The area is known in the books as Slaver's Bay. Across the Narrow sea on the western side of Essos lie the nine Free Cities, independent city-states that are mostly on islands or along the coast. Although most Free Cities are named early in the first novel,  the books only provide a map of this region in A Dance with Dragons.
Mountains to the east separate the coast from the plains of the Dothraki Sea , though gaps in the mountain range provide the Dothraki people some access to the Free Cities. The Free Cities were colonies built by the ancient Valyrian Freehold, and later declared independence after the Doom of Valyria. The Free Cities span an area characterized by the river Rhoyne, which the local character Yandry describes as "the greatest river in the world". Unique among the Free Cities, Braavos was not a Valyrian colony, but a secret refuge from Valyrian expansion.
It is also famed for the Titan of Braavos, both a fortress and a statue. The ruler of Braavos is known as the Sealord and it is from the sea that the city's power and wealth flows. The hulls of Braavosi ships are painted purple  and their merchant ships sail to many distant lands and bring their trade and wealth back home. Braavosi dress in flashy colors while the very rich and powerful dress in black and in blues that are almost black. Officials of Braavos, called keyholders and justiciars, wear drab coats of brown or grey.
Every courtesan has her own barge and servants to work them. The beauty of famed courtesans has inspired many a song. They are showered with gifts from goldsmiths and craftsmen beg for their custom. Nobility and rich merchants pay the courtesans large amounts of money to appear alongside them at events, and bravos are known to kill each other in their names. Pugnacious bravos fill the city, frequently dueling to display their skill. Braavos was inspired by Venice , Italy. Wednesday, November 19, Chapter Forged by Fire. It's been six year since the conviction of Jordan, and Gerald and Angel have had time to heal. Yet, at first, times were still rough for the two. Monique wouldn't admit to Jordans abuse, and they have moved four times because she couldn't afford rent.
Gerald is seventeen, and Angel is twelve. Gerald attends Hazelwood High School, and is on the basketball team, and Angel has asked her mother if she could be in dance, and she said yes. Monique got a job at the YMCA, and decided to leave to celebrate. This reminded Gerald much too closely of the time long ago, when he was left home alone, and started a blazing fire. Gerald and Angel are still struggling from their past, but hopefully they can have better times.