Wiki of Westeros


Wiki of Westeros
Wiki of Westeros

"Qarth"[3] is the sixteenth short of the second season of Histories & Lore. It is the fortieth short of the series overall. It was released on February 19, 2013 in Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season. It was narrated by Nonso Anozie as Xaro Xhoan Daxos and written by Dave Hill.


Xaro Xhoan Daxos explains Qarth's role in Essos' commerce, and how the merchant council known as the Thirteen rules the city to ensure it remains the greatest city that was or ever will be.[3]


Xaro Xhoan Daxos: Qarth has always and only belonged to the Qartheen.

We were never part of Valyria's empire, nor have we ever fallen to a Dothraki horde. Our walls and the Red Waste outside them guard us from such annoyance.

Many call the approach to our city the Garden of Bones. It needs little tending to grow.

Our city, however, would be quite a prize for any empire. Qarth straddles two worlds: a greedy and curious west and a rich and mysterious east. The marvels of Yi Ti and Asshai pass through our markets and share berths with the riches of the Free Cities and Westeros. Our ports have fulfilled many a trader's dreams, almost as many as they have broken.

We call Qarth "the greatest city that ever was or will be." An easy claim to make if one knows only the docks and customs houses of other cities.

An easy lie to swallow if the people see only the gold and jewels of their rulers, which we, the Thirteen who govern the city, are careful to ensure.

The proud Qartheen shook off the yolk of unjust kings long ago. So they are told at festivals by the Pureborn, the kings' direct descendants who have controlled the Thirteen ever since.

Only now, instead of scepters, they use ships. A merchant only remains on the Thirteen until the others are no longer afraid to deny him, or too afraid to deny his replacement.

Except for the Warlocks. They alone hold a hereditary seat, a relic from when they had powers or, at least, from when the world was younger and more easily duped.

Over the years, we have developed an understanding with them. They shall always be welcome on our councils and at affairs of state, provided they never come.

Rare is the civic problem that can be solved by cryptic nonsense and shade of the evening. Thankfully, they need little encouragement to confine themselves to their House of the Undying.

Yet perhaps we Qartheen are too confined ourselves.

We feel safe beyond our walls and our laws, which no visitor can hope to follow, and by which any citizen who vouches for a guest always pays with his life.

But like a ship in the Summer Seas, a city becomes becalmed without fresh wind.

"The greatest city that ever was or will be"? An epitaph. I would prefer, "The greatest city that is."









  1. Charlie Harwood (November 19, 2012). Release Date & Details for Game of Thrones Season 2 DVD/Blu-Ray. HBO Watch. Retrieved December 15, 2023.
  2. Histories & Lore: Season 2, Short 16: "Qarth" (2013).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season (2013).
  4. Vanessa Cole (July 22, 2017). Game of Thrones writer Dave Hill gives a behind the scenes look at the creative process. Watchers on the Wall. Retrieved December 15, 2023.