With the seventh episode of season 7 finally aired, the epic Game of Thrones finale has come to an equally epic end. Houses have been wiped out. New alliances formed. Important characters killed off. All in all, the journey was worth every penny. But the season ended with a lot more questions and too little answers. While we wait for the final season of Game of thrones to address us with those answers and astonish us as always, here are some lesser known facts about houses of Game of Thrones that will surprise you just the same.
8.House Arryn used to be the sworn enemies of House Stark
For better or for worse, the Vale and its Kingdom had been featured the least in the show. Enter Petyr Baelish. He single handedly outmaneuvered every obstacle to turn himself from a commoner into the King of the Vale. Not only did his exploits make the Vale much more famous among the fans but also created the illusion that the Vale of Arryn was an old ally of the North sans his love for Sansa(Paedophile Alert!!!) and Catelyn Stark. While the truth is much different and may shock the fans.
The Vale was never an ally of the North up until Aegon’s Conquest. The Stark and the Arryns had been fighting a bitter war for a freaking THOUSAND years!! Getting tired of all the pirating from the three sisters – a small ancient kingdom bordering the Vale, the northmen carried out an invasion which was later chronicled as “The Rape of the Three Sisters”. As the name suggests, records from that time imply the North to have committed heinous atrocities against the local populace. The Sistermen asked The Vale for help and help they did. The resulting War Across the Water aka The Worthless War led to the sack of numerous cities on both sides while the control of the three sisters changed for more than a dozen. The war only dwindled down when the Starks lost interest.
The fealty of the Three Sisters is still questioned till date. The war was an unnecessary one but its effects were so long lasting that even now the people in the Sisterlands resent the Northmen. The Vale may have just saved the Starks from annihilation when it’s Knights joined the Battle of the Batsards at the eleventh hour. But history has its own mouth and that mouth sings a different song from a distant millennia.
They say the North Remembers. Well how could they forget this!
7.House Martell is a family of badasses
Step aside Jon Snow, make way for the original Not-Knee-benders. While nations were toppling all over Westeros during Aegon’s Conquest, House Martell was the only house that stayed unconquered throughout. Not only that but the Martells also have the honor of besting the Targaryens in the battlefield. Even though the Targaryens had an army of Dragons at their command, they could never really conquer Dorne. Twice they tried and twice they failed.
The first time was when the Targs thought they could just use brute force and hammer their way in. With her dragon Meraxes on her side, Rhaenys Targaryen sought to seize the dornish lands. She failed and got herself killed along with Meraxes. As a warning the dragon’s head was sent back to King’s Landing while Rhaenys’ body was never recovered.
The second invasion was a partial success. Young Daeron I thought he had finally succeeded where his ancestors failed. That was until fate showed how it favored the Martells. No sooner had he consolidated his rule, an uprising led by the Martells tore through Dorne. Daeron and tens of thousands of his soldiers died in that rebellion.
In the immortal words of the Dornish Queen Meria Martell “This is Dorne. You are not welcome!”
6. House Targaryen faced a civil war that killed all their dragons
When one speaks of Targrayens, the first thing that comes to mind is dragons. Big, Scaly fire breathing creatures that strike terror and awe into the hearts of men. When Aegon stepped foot on Westeros, he brought with him these winged beasts of the sky that won him an entire continent. It was these creatures that made him a legend. But by the time of The Mad King, they became the stuff of legends.
As the show would have you believe dragons became extinct in westeros because of being caged in the Red Keep. That can’t be further from the truth. The Targaryen Dragon population reached zero not due to imprisonment but due to infighting.
It all started when King Viseys named her daughter the heir to the iron throne before his death. Her brother defying his father’s last wish usurped the throne. Then came the civil war most lovably known as the Dance of Dragons.
Targaryen versus Targaryen, dragons pitted against other dragons – this war for the throne not only sealed the fate of the Tagaryens in the coming years but also decimated the dragons from Westeros.
So the next time your sister asks for the remote, don’t start a war or you end up like the Targs.
5.House Stark have wildling blood
Wildlings are people who live beyond the wall in a land where snow never stops falling. Considered bestial and of primitive culture by the Westerosi, the wildlings are frowned upon and consider all southerners as enemies. Even still, the wildlings share a special kind of Enmity with House Stark and the animosity is reciprocated likewise.
But there was a time when the Starks didn’t go extinct only because a wildling called Bael, the then King Beyond The Wall and leader of all wildlings wished it so. When Brandon Stark (no not that three eyed bitch) of Winterfell called him a wimp, Bael snuck into his court and impressed him with his theatrics so much that the King rewarded him with the hand of his daughter. Both escaped back to beyond the wall soonafter.
When the Stark line was about to end due to a lack of heir, Brandon’s daughter returned with a newborn in her hands and secured the winter throne. So, the Starks, in a way, owe their very existence to their sworn enemies.
Love Thy Enemy just got a whole new meaning.
4. House Lannister and the horrifying origin of the Rains of Castamere
House Lannister is the oldest house in Westeros. So great and old that there are fantastical tales of how they stole gold from the sun to turn their hair blonde and stories of how the first Lannister deceived the original King of Casterly Rock into giving away his crown. Tales that make no sense but are amusing to hear. But one recent tale is absolutely true and a fair warning to all Lannister enemies – The Rock is not to be trifled with.
When Tywin Lannister was young(yes he was, as hard it is to believe) he was once asked to contain a rebellion of a vassal house – House Reyne. A rich house that made their fortune mining gold, the Reynes took full advantage of the incompetent ruler of the Rock, Tytos Lannister. That was until Tywin Lannister, his son, entered the scene.
The heir to the Rock, Tywin demanded House Rayne repay the massive debt they had incurred during his father’s rule. Lord Rayne laughed it off and joined hands with the Tarbecks to instigate full blown rebellion. But Tywin was having none of that shit. He exterminated House Tarbeck and went for the Raynes Next. The Raynes moved into the mines as a last line of defence and requested a truce. Tywin just blocked all the entrances and exits and flooded the entire mine. While the Raynes were gifted a watery grave, their castle was razed to the ground to send a message to everyone.
A Lannister always pays his debts… and also collects when time is due.
3. House Tyrell were originally mere servants
The Tyrells just met their doom in the show. All prominent figures – Olenna, Margaery and Loras have been touched by the Grim reaper. Their Castle has been conquered and all their riches plundered. Soon, the richest and strongest house of Westeros will fade into nothingness.
Ruling from Highgarden, the Tyrells weren’t the true rulers of the Reach. That distinction goes to House Gardener. The Tyrells served as stewards to the Crown. When Aegon came knocking, Lord Gardener pledged to resist him tooth and nail. While the rest of the houses under him followed suit, the Tyrells relied on their trademark opportunistic tendencies to switch sides. After Aegon knocked over the Gardeners, he rewarded the seat of Highgarden to the Tyrells instead of more powerful house like House Florent and House Oakheart because the Tyrells bent the knee first.
Even still, the Tyrells have had a lasting impact on the history of The Seven Kingdoms. The Reach was instrumental in quelling the Northern Rebellion and securing the Lannisters grip on the Iron Throne. They may amount to nothing now but the Reach has always been a player in the Game of Thrones because of Olenna Tyrell’s clever, calculated conspiracies.
The Golden Rose has lost its Thorns.
2.House Baratheon are actually descendents of Targaryens
House Baratheon is another house that has lost its power with due course of time. At their peak, Robert Baratheon sat on the Iron Throne and ruled over all of Westeros. They were strong enough to incite and win a war against the most powerful kingdom their world had ever seen in a war known as Robert’s Rebellion. Destined to be boring authority figures, the Baratheons may be the dullest characters on the show but their ancestry in the books is far more enthralling.
The original Baratheon – Orys Baratheon, isn’t just the first Lord of Dragonstone but also the Half-Targaryen brother of Aegon Targaryen, the man on the Iron Throne and the original George W bush of Westeros. When Aegon demanded the Durrandons to submit, the Storm King refused(obviously or else we wouldn’t have a story). So Aegon conquered the Strom Lands and gifted the Lordship of those lands to Orys who killed the last storm king Argillac Durrandon and married his daughter.
The Baratheons have had a bittersweet romance with the Targaryens ever since. The Baratheons, for most of their part that is, until Robert, had been loyal to King’s Landing. There was one slight mishap that could have had a huge impact though. Lyonel Baratheon rebelled against the Crown when Duncan Targaryen, the then heir to the throne, refused his betrothal to Lyonel’s daughter and to add insult to injury, married a commoner. The Bartheon rebellion was averted with a compromise. But Robert wasn’t the Original Storm King or the Original Rebel of Westeros.
Bet even Gendry can’t outrun that.
1. House Greyjoy is the closest thing to democracy in Westeros
Royal families sitting on the throne and ruling over their people have a longstanding rule we all know about. The eldest son takes over when the father falters. That has been the normal tradition in Westeros since the Dawn of time. But we all know the Ironborn aren’t much for tradition…. Or normal. They have their own system in place to ensure people have a say while choosing their king and it may not be perfect but its better than letting an incompetent idiot take over who knows nothing about being a king . *cough* Joffrey *Cough*.
The real power in the Iron Islands lies with the Kingsmoot. A religious ceremony that decides who gets to sit their ass on the Salt Throne. Any Ironborn who wishes to be King can make their case before them and if deemed worthy, will be crowned the King of The Iron Islands. The Kingsmoot once chose House Hoare to lead the Ironborn against the Targaryens. When they were defeated, the throne passed to the Greyjoys who have clung to it ever since.
The ironborn aren’t basically the most lovable people in westeros. George RR Martin didn’t do them justice. Portrayed as a band of annoying pirates with remote storylines, they never had a lasting impact on the seven kingdoms. All that changed with the arrival of Yara and the transition of Theon to Reek and Reek to Theon. The Greyjoys became important characters and affected the main course of the plot in pivotal fashions. Yet while people still focus on the Lannisters and the Targaryens, the Ironborn society has been for too long wrongfully neglected. Well not anymore!!!
What is dead may never die… and what is wet may never dry 😉
+ House Mormont’s sole heir could be the child of a wildling
We all know Lyanna Mormont – the current Lady of Bear Island( in the show atleast 😉 ). One badass toddler who carved a special place in our heart thanks to her heavily brazen, outspoken nature. Although the actual heir is Jorah Mormont, he lost that right after he got banished from his lands when he got into the wrong side of the law. Lady Lyanna though made quite a name for herself courtesy of her courage and kickass choice of words.
But what sets her apart is her possible lineage. According to a highly plausible fan theory, Lyanna may be the daughter of Tormund Giantsbane. That’s right fellas. The gingerhead axe-wielding wildling with the most perverted smile in the seven kingdoms might be Lyanna’s biological father.
The theory goes like this – Tormund has always kept boasting of how he tamed and slept with a she-bear for a night. Maege Mormont, the then Lady of Bear island was called “The She-Bear”. Maege never said who Lyanna’s father was in the books or in the show. Bear Island lies very close to the wall and the land beyond, where the wildlings thrive. When you put 2 and 2 together, this theory makes more and more sense. This one surprising twist pushes the Mormonts from Nobodys to damn interesting fellas. While Jorah wandered in Essos(and the friendzone), his aunt was cooking up a storm with a wildling.
How’s that for Daddy Cool!!!
**keep waiting like a sucker for the final season. cheerio 🙂 **