Considering the events and characters of Game of Thrones, we encounter a lot of references to the rich history of the fictional world. And then involuntarily a question arises – when did all this happen? When did the Children of the Forest, the White Walkers, the First Men, the Starks, the Lannisters, the Targaryens appear in Westeros? Time periods play an important role in the overall understanding of what is happening.
The whole history of Westeros is divided into six major eras. The point of reference is considered to be the moment of the invasion of Aegon the conqueror.
1. People come to Westeros
The first epoch in the history of Westeros is called The Dawn Age and it began about 12,000 years before the invasion of Aegon. Initially, the continent was inhabited by bizarre creatures – giants, the Children of the Forest, and other small nations. They can rightly be considered the true aborigines of these places. At the beginning of The Dawn Age, The First Men appeared in Westeros. They moved here from nearby Essos. Between the locals and “foreigners” the conflict broke out, which lasted for 2000 years but still ended with the signing of a peace treaty. From the Children of the Forest, the settlers took faith in the Old Gods, founding the oldest human dynasties of Westeros.
2. Fight for survival
The second epoch was the famous Age of Heroes, which began 8000 years before the dragon conquest. The most significant event of this period was the Long Night – a real battle for survival, which unfolded between mortals and The Others. In order to defeat the formidable enemy, the people and the Children of the Forest had to unite and give the advancing hordes of the dead a decisive battle. It was then that Azor Ahai fought the leader of The Others, which decided the outcome of a fierce confrontation. After defeating the White Walkers, the founder of the Stark dynasty – Brandon the Builder began the construction of the Ice Wall, which separated the world of people from The Walkers. Then the Night’s Watch was created.
3. The invasion of the Andals
4000 before the invasion of the Aegon of the Conqueror, the Andals came to Westeros. The invasion of the Andals completely changed the political, cultural and religious map of these places – the new rulers brought to the continent Faith of the Seven, founded their own kingdoms and began to create Westeros. The Arryns and Lannisters began their ascent to the top of power just in this prosperous era. Having conquered almost the entire continent, subjugating even Dorne, the Andals were not able to conquer the North, which the Kings of Winter managed to defend. Thus, this part of Westeros has turned into a kind of reserve of ancient culture and religion of the Old Gods.
4. Rhoynars and Martell
The next conquerors decided to try their luck 700 years before the invasion of Aegon. This time the scale of expansion was much more modest – under the onslaught of Valyrians from Essos to Westeros moved a whole army of Rhoynars, led by their queen Nymeria. They had no Andal opportunities, so the militant refugees concentrated their forces on the desert Dorne, the immediate place of arrival. It is the Rhoynars who the Martells should owe their ascent, whose ruler married the conqueror Nymeria. After 10 years of bloody struggle, the Rhoynars and Martell subdued the entire Dorne, turning it into an impregnable bastion of their power for a millennium.
5. Explosion from the past
This epoch is not directly connected to Westeros, but it has had a direct impact on its fate. A hundred years before the Targaryen conquest, the historical homeland of dragon riders controlled an impressive territory. The western frontier of the huge Valyrian Empire was the island and the Dragonstone fortress was located on it. The fairy tale ended in 114 BC, when the very heart of Valyria was shaken by a terrible catastrophe – eruptions and explosions of volcanoes wiped out this ancient civilization. An event that went down in history as Doom of Valiria completely changed the balance of power in the world, but the kingdoms of Westeros rather lost. Because the surviving dragon lords were already looking for a new place for the family.
6. Flame and blood
The starting point of the story has come, 0 years in the history of Westeros – Aegon Targaryen, his sisters, and their three dragons invaded the Seven Kingdoms. Thanks to absolute superiority in heavy weapons, the conquerors multiplied their army several times. However, the ruling dynasty of Westeros was not going to give up their power without a fight, so the dragon lords had to fight hard. By force, treachery, and diplomacy, they managed to subjugate almost the entire continent, except Dorne, in the struggle for which even one of the sisters of Aegon died. Dorne had to negotiate, and as soon as it happened, in Westeros began a vague, glorious, bloody, and great era of the reign of the Targaryen, Baratheons, Tyrell, Tully, and Greyjoy who owe their position to the mercy of dragons.
7. The dragon’s head is chopped off
The Targaryen ruled Westeros alone for less than three centuries. In 282, after the conquest began an uprising organized by their distant relative – Robert Baratheon, who put everything on the line for his love. By that time the dragon lords were only a shadow of their glorious ancestors – and they had no more dragons. The outcome of the civil war was decided by valor and betrayal. The valor of Robert Baratheon, who defeated Prince Rhaegar in the fight at Ruby Ford. And the betrayal of Jaime Lannister, who killed a distraught Aerys II with a stab in the back. Now the Seven Kingdoms have become under the rule of Baratheons, and Westeros has received several more decades of relatively peaceful life.
8. The game continues!
In 298, Robert Baratheon was killed in a planned accident. And even though the events described in Game of Thrones begin a little earlier, it is this incident that can be considered the beginning of a new conventional era. In the battle for the Iron Throne, five candidates of different degrees of kinship and influence converge. And Westeros was immersed in a new civil war.