Westeros Through The Ages
THE DAWN AGE
The Children of the Forest were the first known inhabitants of Westeros. Little is known of them, but lore describes them as small, druidic and magical creatures. They worshiped the gods of nature and are believed to have carved faces in the weirwood trees found across the continent.
ARRIVAL OF THE FIRST MEN
About 12,500 years before Robert Baratheon took the Iron Throne, a group of settlers crossed a land bridge from the eastern continent of Essos into Westeros. Known as the First Men, these new arrivals' taming of the wilderness put them at odds with the Children of the Forest and began a war that lasted hundreds of years.
THE AGE OF HEROES
After years of fighting, the Children of the Forest and the First Men eventually reached an agreement known as The Pact. After forging the alliance on the Isle of Faces, the First Men adopted the gods of their former enemies and lived in harmony with the Children for many years.
THE LONG NIGHT
After one winter lasted an extremely long time and cold settled across Westeros, creatures known as the White Walkers descended from the northern reaches of the continent. They attacked with ferocity, forcing the Children and the First Men into the South, where the two peoples finally rallied and drove their enemies back north, into the Lands of Always Winter.
KINGS OF WESTEROS
As a future protection against the White Walkers, Brandon Stark – known as Bran the Builder – built a massive ice wall across the northern boundary of Westeros. The Night's Watch was founded to man the massive structure's many strongholds. Brandon also erected Winterfell, and began to rule as King in the North as men elsewhere on the continent proclaimed themselves kings. Soon, the people of the Stormlands, the Iron Islands, the Rock, the River and the Hills, the Mountain and the Vale, the Reach and the land of Dorne all lived under their own kings.
THE ANDAL INVASION
About 6,000 years after the arrival of the First Men, a new group of invaders crossed the Narrow Sea from Essos. Known as the Andals, these settlers carried steel weapons and brought a new religion: the Faith of the Seven. Once again, war came to Westeros as the Andals eliminated the Children of the Forest, who were derided as evil, and severely battered the First Men. The remaining First Men fled North, where their worship of the "Old Gods" is still followed.
THE RISE AND FALL OF VALYRIA
In the next millennium on Essos, people in a land named Valyria discovered dragons in a volcano and managed to train the beasts. Backed by the dragons' immense power, the Valyrians amassed a great empire, which quickly became the most sophisticated civilization in the world.
Over thousands of years, the Valyrians' expansion reached to Westeros and the Free Cities of Essos. One Valyrian family known as the Targaryens established their home on Dragonstone, an island in the Narrow Sea. Not long after, a catastrophic event known as the Doom struck Valyeria, destroying the empire along with most of the world's dragons. The Targaryens, the only surviving Valyrians and in control of the last three dragons in the world, launched a conquest of Westeros from their fortress at Dragonstone.