- "12,000 years ago the First Men came from the eastern continent, crossing a land bridge called the Arm of Dorne."
- ―Bran Stark
The Arm of Dorne was a land bridge that the First Men used to pass from Essos into Westeros 12,000 years before the events of the series. It was destroyed when the Children of the Forest used dark magic to raise the sea.
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the Arm of Dorne was a land bridge which once linked southeastern Westeros and southwestern Essos. All that is left of the land bridge now is an archipelago called the Stepstones, which is located in the Narrow Sea between the Broken Arm of Dorne and the Disputed Lands.
Around 12,000 years before the War of Conquest, the First Men came to Westeros from Essos by crossing the Arm of Dorne. When the First Men and the children of the forest first went to war, the old songs say greenseers of the children used dark magics to make the seas rise and sweep away the land, shattering the Arm, in a futile attempt to end the invasion of the First Men. Although the shattering of the Arm was successful, it was too late, for the First Men in Westeros had already crossed and the wars went on until the Pact.