"House Tyrell traces our descent for Garth Greenhand, the legendary first King of the Reach, who made the land bloom... but so too does every house around us. It seems dear ancestor Garth "planted" as many flowers as he plucked. A king should have more consideration for his line, don't you think?"
―Margaery Tyrell[src]

King Garth the Gardener, also known as Garth Greenhand, was a legendary King of the First Men in the Age of Heroes. He was the founder of House Gardener and the first King of the Reach. According to legend, Garth Greenhand wore a crown of vines and flowers and was said to make the land bloom.

King Garth's line ruled the Reach until the Targaryen conquest, becoming extinct with the death of Mern IX, the last King of the Reach. Nevertheless, several of the noble houses of the Reach, such as House Tyrell and House Florent, claim their descent to Garth Greenhand.[1][2]

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, half of the great noble Houses from the Reach claim descent from Garth Greenhand and House Gardener, of which House Tyrell and House Florent are the most prominent. Other powerful noble Houses in the Reach descended from Garth are House Rowan and House Oakheart. Because House Tyrell never ruled as kings, and because they are only one of several Houses that claim descent from Garth (and not even as close a descent as the Florents possess), they have always felt somewhat uneasy in their claim to dominion over the Reach.

A large number of Garth's successors were named after him. There were ultimately at least twelve kings of the Reach named Garth, including the original, as there is mention of a coin minted during the reign of "Garth XII".

The World of Ice and Fire sourcebook expands on the legends of Garth Greenhand, and make it clear that, like most characters from the Age of Heroes, they are all very old, unverifiable, and contradictory, to the point where the maesters pay little historical credence to them. In many versions, he is the father or ancestor of not only the Reach's major Houses, but the Great Houses of the other Kingdoms as well – Brandon the Builder is said to be one of his many sons. Garth is also sometimes equated with the First King (the hypothetical first First Man to declare himself a king over a portion of Westeros).

See also


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