Westeros is one of the four known continents in the known world, the others being Essos, Sothoryos, and Ulthos. Most of the area of Westeros is covered by a political entity known as the Siedem Królestw, while the far north Za Murem includes the Wolni Ludzie. The closest foreign nations to Westeros are the Wolne Miasta, a collection of independent city-states across the narrow sea in western Essos. To the south of Westeros lie the Wyspy Letnie.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Seasons and climate
- 3 Biology and Anthropology
- 4 History
- 5 References and Notes
- See also: Siedem Królestw
The continent of Westeros is long and relatively narrow, extending from Dorne in the south to the Lands of Always Winter in the far north, where a large amount of land remains uncharted, due to the extremely cold temperatures and hostile inhabitants known as Dzicy. Although no scale appears on the maps in the books themselves, George R. R. Martin has stated that the Mur is a hundred leagues long, or three hundred miles. Thus the continent stretches for about 3,000 miles from north to south and for some 900 miles at its widest point east to west.
Its eastern coast borders on the Wąskie Morze; across those waters lies the eastern continent of Essos and the island chain known as the Stopnie. To the south is located the Morze Letnie, and within it the Wyspy Letnie.
The northern lands of Westeros are less densely populated than the south despite their roughly equivalent size. The five major cities of Westeros are, in order of size: Królewska Przystań, Stare Miasto, Lannisport, Gulltown, and Biały Port.
Westeros was originally divided into several independent kingdoms before the consolidation of the Podbój Aegona. After this war and the eventual incorporation of Dorne, all the regions south of Mur were united under the rule of Ród Targaryenów into a nation that is known as the Siedem Królestw.
- Główny artykuł: Za Murem
The northernmost region of Westeros, stretching from the Mur north to the lands beyond the edge of the known map, known as the Land of Always Winter. For the most part it is covered by the haunted forest and comprised of many lakes and rivers, and shelters strange beasts among the mountains of the Mroźne Kły. The far north presents an extremely harsh climate, allowing only small numbers of inhabitants in small villages, in those primarily wild and uncharted lands.
- Główny artykuł: Północ
Północ is the largest region, nearly as large as the rest of the regions combined. It is sparsely populated, with vast wilderness, forests, pine-covered hills and snowcapped mountains, although it also is home to one of the five Westerosi cities, Biały Port. Północern climate is cold and harsh in the winter, and occasionally it snows even in the summer. Its northern border is the Gift, the lands of the Nocna Straż. Its southern frontier lies along Przesmyk, a marshy isthmus separating it from the southron kingdoms. The narrowness of the region and the difficulty of the terrain make it a natural border for Północ, protecting it from invasion.
It has been ruled by Ród Starków from Winterfell, first as Kings in Północ and later as lords, for thousands of years. It is colder and much less populated than the south part of Westeros. Most of its residents still follow the Starzy Bogowie, but some, mainly around the area of Biały Port, have taken the Wiara w Siedmiu. Bastards in Północ are given the surname Snow.
The Żelazne Wyspy
- Główny artykuł: Żelazne Wyspy
The Żelazne Wyspy are a group of islands lying off the western coast of Westeros in Ironman's Bay. There are seven main islands, including Pyke, Wielka Wyk, Stara Wyk, and Harlaw. The soil is infertile, but mines of several types, including iron and lead, exist. The inhabitants of these harsh isles are known as ironmen in the rest of Westeros, and the Żelaźni Ludzie among themselves.
The Żelazne Wyspy are ruled by Ród Greyjoyów of Pyke, chosen to rule the ironmen after Black Harren's line was extinguished during the Conquest. Prior to the arrival of Aegon the Conqueror, the ironmen ruled over the Dorzecze and much of the western coast of Westeros. The ironmen are men of the sea, and their naval supremacy was once unmatched. The Wiara w Siedmiu of the Andals find small favor with the Żelaźni Ludzie, as their allegiance is given to their native Utopiony Bóg. Bastards in the Żelazne Wyspy are given the surname Pyke.
- Główny artykuł: Dorzecze
Dorzecze are the fertile areas between the forks of the Trident. They are the domain of the Tullys of Riverrun. At the time of the Conquest, the Dorzecze were ruled by Ród Hoareów of the Żelazne Wyspy, and thus the Tullys were never kings of the Dorzecze, but were rebel riverlords who left Harren the Black in favor of Aegon the Conqueror. Bastards in the Dorzecze are given the surname Rivers.
Dolina of Arryn
- Główny artykuł: Dolina
Dolina lies to the east of the Dorzecze, surrounded almost completely by the Góry Księżycowe. It consists of vast mountain ranges with the people living in valleys between them and along the coast.
Dolina is under the rulership of Ród Arrynów, one of the oldest lines of Andal nobility who once were called King of Mountain and Dolina. Their seat, the Orle Gniazdo, is a castle high in the mountains, small but unassailable. The only way to the top is a treacherous goat path. Due to Dolina Arrynów's harsh winters, travel is only possible through the mountains during certain seasons. Rebellious Górskie Klany make travel even more dangerous. Bastards born in Dolina Arrynów are given the surname Stone.
- Główny artykuł: Krainy Zachodu
Krainy Zachodu are the lands to the west of the Dorzecze and north of Reach. It is a small region, but is home to some of the richest gold and silver mines on the continent.
Krainy Zachodu are ruled by Ród Lannisterów of Casterly Rock, formerly the Kings of the Rock. People of this region are often called "Westermen". Lannisport, lying hard by Casterly Rock, is the chief town of the region and one of the great ports and cities of Westeros. Bastards in the Krainy Zachodu are given the surname Hill.
The Włości Korony
- Główny artykuł: Włości Korony
The Włości Korony are lands ruled directly by the king on the Żelazny Tron. These lands include Królewska Przystań and the surrounding areas, including the town of Rosby. Going north, one finds Szczypcowy Przylądek and several islands in the Narrow Sea, including Smocza Skała. The Włości Korony are south of Dolina Arrynów, southeast of the Dorzecze, east of the Westlands, and north of Reach and Krainy Burzy. Bastards in the Włości Korony are given the surname Waters.
- Główny artykuł: Reach
Reach is the largest region except for Północ; it encompasses a region of the most fertile part of Westeros and numerous well-populated villages and towns.
It is ruled by Ród Tyrellów from Wysogród. The Tyrells were stewards to Ród Gardenerów, the Kings of Reach before Aegon's conquest. After the last Gardener king was killed on the Pole Ognia, the Tyrells surrendered Wysogród to Aegon and were rewarded with both the castle and the position of overlords of Reach. Bannermen of the Tyrells frequently fight with the Dornishmen of the south. The borderlands between the two regions, called the Dornijskie Pogranicze, are populated on the north side by marcher lords loyal to the Tyrells. The most prominent city in Reach is Stare Miasto. It is the oldest city in Westeros, home to the maesterzy' Cytadela, and the previous seat of the Faith. Bastards in Reach are given the surname Flowers.
The Krainy Burzy
- Główny artykuł: Krainy Burzy
The Krainy Burzy, located south of Królewska Przystań, stretch down to the Sea of Dorne, bordered by Zatoka Rozbitków in the east and Reach in the west. It is one of the smaller regions of Westeros, a land of harsh mountains, stony shores, and verdant forests.
Before Aegon's conquest they were ruled by the Król Burzys, and afterwards by the Baratheons, bastard relatives to the Targaryens. The Dornijskie Pogranicze are located within this region, having been conquered by the Storm Kings, and are ruled by Ród Caronów and lesser marcher lords. The marches were common battlegrounds between the Krainy Burzy, Reach and Dorne until the last century, when Dorne joined the Siedem Królestw. Bastards in the Krainy Burzy are given the surname Storm.
- Główny artykuł: Dorne
Dorne, the southernmost region of Westeros. It stretches from the Czerwone Góry of the Dornish marches to the southern coast of the continent. It is the hottest kingdom in Westeros and features the only desert on the continent. Dornishmen have a reputation for hot-bloodedness as well. They differ both culturally and ethnically from other Westerosi due to the historical invasion of Rhoynish people. Their food, appearance, and architecture resemble those of Mediterranean cultures such as Greece and Turkey more than the Western European feel of the other kingdoms. They have adopted many Rhoynish customs as well, including equal primogeniture.
Dorne was the only kingdom in Westeros to successfully resist Aegon's conquest. It joined the Siedem Królestw through marriage over a century after the Targaryen invasion. This accomplishment has allowed Dorne to retain a small measure of independence. Lords of the ruling Ród Martellów still style themselves "Prince" and "Princess" in the Rhoynish fashion. Bastards in Dorne are given the surname Sand.
Seasons and climate
Westeros's climate shifts from arid and dry desert climate in the furthest south to cold and harsh winters in the north and icy wasteland in the Lands of Always Winter in the farthest north.
Westeros and Essos both experience extremely long seasons of varying length, usually lasting at least a couple of years each. The maesterzy try to predict the length of the seasons, monitoring the temperature and days length, to advise on when to plant and when to harvest and how much food to store. However, given the random nature of the seasons, this is not something that can be relied on.
At the beginning of Gra o Tron Westeros has enjoyed an unusually long decade-long summer of peace and plenty and many fear that an equally long and harsh winter will follow. The end of the long summer comes at the outset of Uczta dla Wron, with the arrival of the White Ravens from the citadel. The official announcement of winter comes at the very end of Taniec ze Smokami.
Known season dates
- 130AC - On Maiden's Day, the Cytadela of Stare Miasto sends out 300 white ravens to announce the beginning of winter.
- 209AC - Spring (The Great Spring Sickness). Following the plague came a two year drought.
- 211AC-212AC - Summer, of which the begin date and end date is unknown.
- In between 221AC-233AC - During Maekar's reign, a 7 year summer took place. It broke suddenly and led to a short autumn and a terrible long winter.
- 253AC - Winter.
- 273AC-275AC - Three year winter.
- 281AC - The Year of the False Spring.
- 288AC-299AC - The longest summer in living history, which lasted 10 years, 2 months and 16 days.
- 299AC-300AC - An autumn of a year and a half.
- 300AC - Winter starts.
Biology and Anthropology
- Humans - appear to be mostly equivalent to humans on Earth, although some noticeable differences exist. There is a propensity for families in noble houses to share a common trait; for example, the Lannisters appear to have all been blondes for hundreds of years. Some physical features are unusual in our world: Targaryens often have platinum hair and violet eyes, while descendants of the Ghiscari often have both red and black hair. Also, humans in Westeros are often larger than would be expected in a medieval civilization: many men are over six feet tall, with abnormally large men standing seven feet or taller. Natives of Westeros have predominantly European features, with regional variations. Natives of the Summer Islands and the continent of Sothoryos have predominantly African features. Natives of other areas have a variety of features from many real-world races.
- Olbrzymy - huge, shaggy humanoids of slightly below human intelligence, vaguely resembling bipedal apes. Giants are a dwindling species found only in the lands to the extreme north, beyond Mur. They ride mammoths into battle, wielding crude clubs that are little more than logs. They speak the Old Tongue of the Pierwsi Ludzie.
- Dzieci Lasu - the original inhabitants of Westeros are frequently mentioned, but have not been seen in thousands of years. They are thought to be diminutive humanoid creatures; dark and beautiful, with mysterious powers over dreams and nature. They are said to have used obsidian weapons and weirbows in battle. Little of their legacy exists at present beyond their worship of nameless nature gods still practiced by some in Północ, and the remaining Weirwoods.
- Inni - a mysterious and apparently malevolent race of creatures found beyond Mur. They have only been seen at night, and seem to bring unnatural cold with them. They appear as tall, gaunt humanoids with eyes of blue so deep it burns like fire. They wear armor that shifts in color with every step, and wield thin crystal swords that are so cold they can shatter iron. Inni move silently, but their voices sound like cracking ice. Stworzenia they kill reanimate as wights, undead zombies with glowing blue eyes. The Inni exhibit a weakness to weapons made of smokglass, which will pierce their armour easily. In death, they seem to melt into a pool of extremely cold liquid.
- Główny artykuł: Beastiary
Some species of animals inhabiting the planet are very similar to Pleistocene megafauna of Earth or even historical animals.
- Aurochs - large relatives of the bull. They are frequently used as a symbol of size, strength, and stupidity. An aurochs was used as a mount by the mythical Clarence Crabb as a display of his prowess.
|Direwolves]] - relatives of the wolf, but more like their extinct real-world equivalent they are much larger and stronger than regular wolves, reaching the size of a pony when fully grown. They are almost never seen south of Mur.
- Lizard-lions - massive, swamp-dwelling reptiles found in the Przesmyk, these creatures are most likely large crocodilians.
- Mammoths - inhabitants of the far north and apparently the only pachyderm in Westeros. They are used as mounts by Giants.
Other animals appear to be altered versions of contemporary animals or have no real-world equivalent.
- Krakens - huge squids said to be able to pull down whaling ships. They are largely considered a myth.
- Manticores - small creatures that look like scarabs when folded up. Their faces are malign and vaguely human. They have a poisonous sting that is fatal to humans. Manticores are probably from across the narrow sea.
- Ravens - physically similar to common ravens of Earth, ravens in Westeros are used to carry messages between castles. The maester of each castle usually tends to its stock of ravens. Maester raise a breed of large, white ravens at the Cytadela that are said to be more intelligent. Ravens sometimes imitate human speech like parrots.
- Shadowcats - large predatory cats with black fur and white stripes who seem to be native to mountainous regions. Their pelts are prized.
- Zorses - black and white-striped horses, most likely similar to zebras, brought over and used as mounts by some foreigners in Westeros.
- Smoks - ferocious, magical creatures, smoks are not native to Westeros, but were brought to the continent by the Targaryens. They died out over one hundred years ago, and are thought to be extinct by the people of Westeros.
- Unicorns - large goatlike animals, with a long single horn on its head.
- Główny artykuł: Timeline of major events
References and Notes
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