Andalos borders

A map showing the approximate borders of Andalos on the continent of Essos.

"Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea, a new religion was born in the hills of Andalos. According to legend, the God of Seven revealed itself to the Andals, and the invasion of Westeros followed soon after. The Andals sailed across the sea on ships, armed with weapons of steel. Some warriors carved a seven-pointed star into their skin as a symbol of their new faith."
Catelyn Stark[src]

The location of Andalos relative to Westeros: note that it is closest to the Vale.

Andalos is a region on the continent of Essos, located on the coast between the Free Cities of Pentos and Braavos, west of the Rhoyne River. It is the ancestral home of the Andals, an ancient people who, according to tradition, invaded Westeros six thousand years ago and are the ancestors of most of the people living in the southern half of the continent.

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Andalos was once a powerful kingdom extending across much of northwestern Essos west of the Rhoyne River, including the Velvet Hills and the Flatlands. It was a contemporary of the early Rhoynar kingdom, and according to Rhoynish histories the Rhoynar taught the Andals how to forge iron (disputing Andal legends, which insist they were directly taught by the Smith). The area was originally home to a race of Hairy Men who were related to the men of Ibben. The Andals, who had previously been living further east in the Axe peninsula, displaced them through warfare. The Faith of the Seven was born in Andalos when the Father gave Hugor of the Hill a crown made of seven stars, while the Maiden gave Hugor his wife, who bore him forty-four sons.

Some time later, the Andals abandoned the region to colonize Westeros across the Narrow Sea. They overran and conquered most of the western continent, leaving Andalos deserted, and various other migrations of different Easterners moved into the region over the course of the subsequent six thousand years. The Valyrians established the city of Pentos there millennia later, in the south of the region. The northern coast became part of the Braavosian coastlands. Even in the present day, the inhabitants of Pentos seem quite similar in appearance to the Andals of Westeros, and it is theorized that many of them descend from local Andals who were conquered by the Valyrians and incorporated into their new colony there.

The term "Hills of Andalos" has gained some traction in fan circles, as a term originating from George R.R. Martin reading a chapter from A Dance with Dragons some years ago. However, in the published novels the term "Velvet Hills" was used instead.

See also