A Comprehensive Timeline Of Events That Took Place in ‘Game of Thrones’
With the subsequent release of the Season finale episodes of ‘Game of Thrones,’ a lot of events are happening all at once, and this has lots of viewers confused or unsure about the real history of Westeros. Well, we are excited to share with you this all-inclusive timeline of all that has happened in relation to the true history of Westeros. You are in for a long and exciting ride!
THE FIRST MEN SET FOOT ON WESTEROS -12,000 YEARS BC (BEFORE CONQUEST)
The Children of the Forest were the first inhabitants of Westeros. Long before the Baratheons, the Targaryens, the Andals, and all other houses of the seven kingdoms, the Children of the Forest dwelled in the Westeros continent. The Children of the Forest are a mysterious non-human race who are endowed with magical strength and abilities. Until Bran met Leaf in the company of the Three-Eyed Raven, the Children were thought to be an extinct mythical race.
It is known that twelve thousand years ago, the First Men migrated to Westeros from the eastern continent of Essos through a land bridge known as the Arm of Dorne. The First Men began destroying the Children's forests, by cutting down the trees; even the sacred weirwood trees. This led to a conflict between both races, and launched two thousand years of violence, as both sides fought for dominance of the continent. During the war, the Children ruined the Arm of Dorne and flooded the Neck with sorcery.
After years of unrest, both the First Men and the Children signed a pact on the Isle of Faces in Gods Eye Lake to peacefully dwell alongside each other in Westeros.
THE AGE OF HEROES -10,000 YEARS BC (BEFORE CONQUEST)After the Pact was signed, the First Men began the Age of Heroes. This era saw the rise of legendary figures such as Bran the Builder —the brilliant Northerner who built the Wall— and Lann the Clever. This was also when the majority of what would come to be the Great Houses of Westeros started their long and celebrated histories. It possible that the HBO series will not be able to delve this deep into this level of detail. However, George R.R. Martin's ‘The World of Ice and Fire’ companion volume of ‘A Song Of Ice and Fire’ series dedicates a significant number of pages on the myths and legends of this era.
This age is not merely the time the ‘old gods’ religion was passed from the Children to the First Men. It's when scared customs such as Guest Right, and the concept of "he who names the sentence should swing the sword" started. This is the first gleam of the era that would come to define Westeros in the eyes of viewers, with all the families’ names, rivalries, and friendships that make it the place it is.
THE ERA OF THE BEGINNING OF THE LONG NIGHT AND ITS END -8,000 YEARS BC (BEFORE CONQUEST)
The Age of Heroes was also mostly characterized by the Long Night— the last time the White Walkers were seen before the events of the show. It was not just about the alliance between the First Men and the Children.
Though many were of the opinion, especially in Season 1, that the events of the Long Nights were merely myths and exaggerated stories meant to scare children into obedience, they were authentic. The White Walkers somehow rebelled against their creators, the Children, and invaded Westeros in a bid to conquer both races. The war brought about nights and winter that lasted a generation.The alliance between the children and the First Men to fight together and drive the White Walkers far into the North launched legends as that of Azor Ahai and the ‘Prince Who Was Promised.’ However, victory was achieved at a huge cost, and the Children of the Forest never fully recovered from the fatality of the war. It was after this event that the Wall was built to prevent the Walkers from invading the lands of men again. Also, this led to those we now know as Wildlings who live ‘beyond the wall’ in the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms.
This era was portrayed and explained in Season 7 Episode 4, ‘The Spoils of War,’ when Jon Snow and Dany examined cave paintings of the Children, Walkers and the First Men underneath the Dragonstone.
THE INVASION OF THE ANDALS -6,000 TO 2,000 YEARS BC (BEFORE CONQUEST)
After the Walkers had retreated into the Land of Always Winter, the First Men and the Children witnessed another invasion. The Andals crossed into Westeros from their familial homelands in Essos, supposedly due to a vision of a seven-faced god. The intrusion of the Andals to Westeros caused the influx of new folks and traditions that later became dominant in the land.The Faith of the Seven birthed customs such as knighthood and chivalry, which led to cultural clashes and war between them and the Children and the First Men. In the end, the First Men and their culture receded to the North to be preserved by families like the Starks and Mormonts. Even though intermarriage resulted in few ‘pure’ Andal Westerosi, the rest of the world perceives Westeros as a nation of Andals. Clear evidence of this fact was witnessed when the Dothrakis' described Jorah Mormont as ‘Jorah the Andal.’
THE DOOM OF VALYRIA -100 YEARS BC (BEFORE CONQUEST)
Old Valyria was the capital city of the once-great civilization known as the Valyrian Freehold, located on the eastern continent of Essos. Valyria experienced the great civilization ever known to humankind due to its people's ability to tame and use dragons in warfare, which they discovered in the chain of volcanoes known as the Fourteen Fires. They not only used the dragons to win wars, but they also built dragon-fused stones (which still connects major cities in Essos) and Valyrian steel which scarcely exist in major Westeros’ houses.The city of Valyria came into ruins due to a mysterious cataclysmic volcanic disaster known as Doom. Luckily for one of the minor Valyrian family, the Targaryens, they survived the Doom because they had earlier moved from the city to Dragonstone after a prophetic dream one of its daughters had 12 years before the event. The Targaryens became the survivors of a lost culture, and among the few people in the world with dragons in their clutches.
AEGON TARGARYEN AND HIS SISTERS SUBDUE WESTEROS -0 YEARS BC (BEFORE CONQUEST)
The Targaryens began to aim westward after the destruction of Valyria. Eventually, when Aegon Targaryen, became the head of the house, he sought to conquer Westeros with his sister-wives (Sister-wife is a Valyrian term which refers to a woman who is both the sister and wife of her husband) -Rhaenys and Visenya at his side. Even though their forces were too small to be compared to that of the Great Houses in Westeros, their dragons (Balerion, Meraxes, and Vhagar) helped them in winning the battle. This began the modern age of Westeros and the time in which the show takes place. The Targaryen conquest saw the establishment of the capital city, King's Landing, the casting of the Iron Throne, and the settlement of the Seven Kingdoms and their Great Houses. It is important to know that the Dornish resisted the Targaryen rule and retained their culture for about 300 years before they succumbed.
THE REIGN OF TARGARYENS AND PRINCE RHAEGAR’S MARRIAGE TO ELIA OF DORNE -280 AC (AFTER CONQUEST)
Hundred of years later, the Mad King, Aerys Targaryen (the father of Rhaegar, Viserys, and Daenerys) sat on the Iron Throne. His reign was peaceful initially, and Rhaegar, his crown prince, made it seem like the future of the Targaryens on the Iron Throne will be for a very long time. Rhaegar was handsome, empathetic, brave, and intelligent. He was widely loved and respected by all; so much that he began to believe that he might be the Prince Who Was Promised.
In the beginning, it was almost inevitable that Rhaegar would end up with Cersei Lannister. However, the Mad King was intimidated by Tywin Lannister’s growing reputation and alternatively married his eldest son off to Elia Martell of Dorne, the sister of Oberyn. They both became parents of two children, a daughter named Rhaenys and a son named Aegon. As the years went by, King Aerys' sanity began to degenerate. He became overly apprehensive and cruel, roasting his enemies alive and disallowing blades in his presence. Slowly, the Mad King’s condition worsened, and his crown prince took up his duties. As regarded by many, Rhaegar’s marriage to Elia is the only one he had, and her kids are the only children he ever fathered.PRINCE RHAEGAR CROWNS LYANNA STARK AS QUEEN OF LOVE AND BEAUTY -281 YEARS AC (AFTER CONQUEST)
During a tournament at Harrenhal which was held in the Year of False Spring, the charming Prince Rhaegar won the competition, and when it was time to crown his Queen of Love and Beauty, he chose Lyanna Stark, in place of his wife.
LYANNA AND RHAEGAR ELOPE; THE START OF ROBERT'S REBELLION -282 YEARS AC (AFTER CONQUEST)
The event that followed is perceived in two distinct ways. As revealed in the series, the viewers now know that Rhaegar and Lyanna loved each other, possibly even at the time of the Tournament. In Season 7 Episode 5 ‘Eastwatch,’ Gilly discovered that Rhaegar annulled his marriage to Ella, and wedded Lynna in a secret ceremony. Then the duo went into obscurity in Dorne, and Lynna became pregnant.
However, many of the main characters had a different perspective on what happened. The Starks and Robert Baratheon (who was betrothed to Lyanna) believed that Rhaegar who was in love with Lyanna kidnapped her in hope to force her to marry him. They angrily rode south to confront King Aerys, who savagely murdered Brandon and Rickard Stark in a fit of rage. Infuriated and grieved, Robert, Ned Stark, and Jon Arryn summoned their forces and called for war; this was the start of Robert's Rebellion.
LYANNA GIVES BIRTH TO JON SNOW AND THE END OF ROBERT REBELLION -283 YEARS AC (AFTER CONQUEST).
With the news of the open rebellion, Rhaegar lodged a pregnant Lyanna in the Dornish Tower of Joy and went on to lead the royal army to war. The Prince fell to Robert Baratheon in the Battle of the Trident, despite his bravery and skills. On hearing of the new development, Tywin Lannister released his forces to sack King's Landing, where the battle turned against the Mad King and led to the brutal killing of Elia Martell and her children at the hands of Gregor Clegane. King Aerys sensing his imminent defeat, commanded his army to burn King's Landing to the ground using underground caches of wildfire, but Jaime Lannister killed him before the orders could be carried out. Thus Jaime became the Kingslayer.
Ned and Howland Reed, the father of Jojen and Meera, went and accompanied Bran beyond the Wall, and rode south in search of Lyanna. When they eventually found her, she was in labor and close to death as she was bleeding profusely.
Lynna, with her dying breaths, told Ned the story of the child she bore, that his name was to be Aegon Targaryen, and that Ned had to promise her that he would protect him. Ned did, and Lynna gave up the ghost.
DAENERYS IS BORN, AND NED STARKS TRAVELS BACK TO WINTERFELL -284 YEARS AC (AFTER CONQUEST)
With the defeat and death of King Aerys, Robert Baratheon sat on the Iron Throne. Even though he kept on mourning Lynna, he married Cersei Lannister and formed a tie with the House of Lannister. Fortunately, Rhaella Targaryen, wife and sister of Aerys, and their son, Viserys, were able to escape to Dragonstone in the aftermath of the Rebellion. There she stayed with her son, as she grew heavily pregnant with the Mad King's last child. On a severe summer storm, Rhaella gave birth to Daenerys — the daughter everyone would go on to believe to be the last Targaryen until they learn the truth about Jon Snow's parentage.
On the other hand, Ned Stark made his way back to Winterfell. When he got home Catelyn, his wife had given birth to their first child, Robb, the heir to Winterfell. Ned, however, had a child of his own to introduce. In a bid to honor the promise he made to his sister before her death, he presented the child who was Aegon Targaryen, as Jon Snow— his bastard son born to a woman he met at war.
Westeros sure has a complicated history, but with this detailed timeline, all the occurrences in the series begin to make more sense. Now that you are familiar with the whole history of Westeros, we bet you'll enjoy and watch the series with more understanding than before.
What do you think about the timeline of ‘Game of Thrones?’ Let us know in the comments. If you found this article informative and entertaining, share it with your friends who are incredible fans of ‘Game of Thrones.’