- This article is about the region. For the special feature, see: The Stormlands
- "Tarth has lulled many a novice sailor into complacency. Our lush island sits on calm blue water like an emerald set into a sapphire. You would never be guessed that such a vision is only a sheath hiding the blade of Shipbreaker Bay, with it's treacherous tides, unpredictable gales and sharp rocks lurking just below the water's surface. The storms that blow through the bay water the kingswood and rainwood, two of the great forests of Westeros, and they give the Stormlands their name."
- ―Brienne of Tarth
The Stormlands is one of the nine constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms. It is located on the south east coast of the continent of Westeros, on the shores of the Narrow Sea, south of the Crownlands and north of Dorne. The Stormlands are traditionally ruled from the castle of Storm's End, formerly by House Baratheon. They are so-named for the savage and frequent storms from the Narrow Sea that batter the coast. It was originally a sovereign nation known as the Storm Kingdom, until Aegon the Conqueror united Westeros under his rule.
When Aegon Targaryen and his army invaded Westeros during the War of Conquest, Aegon sent his bastard half-brother Orys Baratheon to secure the Stormlands. The Storm King, Argilac the Arrogant, could have withstood siege indefinitely within Storm's End's mighty walls, but chose instead to give battle. He was defeated and killed. Storm's End surrendered and Aegon ennobled Orys, giving him Argilac's lands, castle and daughter to rule. House Baratheon continued to rule the Stormlands for the next three centuries, up to the time of Robert's Rebellion, when it became the royal family and split in three branches; one controlling the capital and the Crownlands, one controlling Dragonstone and nearby islands and one remaining in the ancestral lands.
After briefly seceding from the sovereignty of the Iron Throne under Renly and then Stannis Baratheon early in the War of the Five Kings, it presumably yielded once again following the Battle of the Blackwater. Due to the legal extinction of the Baratheon line at the death of King Tommen Baratheon and the ascent of House Lannister to the throne, the region is left leaderless and thus in an ambiguous status and a power vacuum. This power vacuum, however, doesn’t last forever, for Daenerys Targaryen has legitimized Gendry as a true Baratheon, restoring the house’s former power over the Stormlands.
Bastards born in the Stormlands are given the surname Storm.
The Stormlands are located on the east coast of Westeros, relatively near the Free Cities in Essos across the Narrow Sea. They are largely separated from Dorne to the south by an inlet of the Narrow Sea known as the Sea of Dorne. In the north, Blackwater Bay separates the Stormlands from the bulk of the Crownlands, though the Crownlands actually extend south of the bay, in a small strip that includes the northern parts of the Kingswood, as well as the peninsula of Massey's Hook. To the west, the Stormlands share a long border with the Reach, which extends all the way from south of Highgarden to almost reach the capital city of King's Landing in the north. The vast watershed of the Mander River, which dominates the Reach as it flows west, does not extend into the Stormlands, indeed the watershed of the Mander is essentially what marks the border between the Reach and the Stormlands.
The main portion of the Stormlands is composed of two peninsulas, one in the north and one in the south, interrupted in the middle of the coast by the indentation of Shipbreaker's Bay. The castle seat of Storm's End is located in Shipbreaker's Bay, on the northern side. The northern peninsula terminates in Massey's Hook (which is part of the Crownlands), while the end of the southern peninsula is known as Cape Wrath, because it is the target of the worst storms coming off of the Narrow Sea.
To the southwest, the long chain of the Red Mountains form a barrier between Dorne and the rest of the continent, particularly the regions it immediately borders, the Reach to the west and north-west, and the Stormlands to the northeast. A large salient of the Stormlands extend southwest of the main coastal area, which includes the northern portions of the Red Mountains. Called the "Dornish Marches", this mountainous region is home to marcher-lords who rely on the rough terrain to defend the Stormlands against incursions from Dorne or the Reach.
The extreme northern end of the Red Mountains, past the Dornish Marches, extend from southwest to northeast across the base of Cape Wrath, terminating around the inlet of Shipbreaker's Bay. This makes the separation between the northern and southern peninsulas of the Stormlands even more distinct, and separates the Rainwood in Cape Wrath from the Kingswood in the north.
Several large off-shore islands are located off the coast, which are considered part of the Stormlands and sworn to Storm's End. The largest by far is the island of Tarth, located off the coast of the northern half of the Stormlands. A mountainous island famed for its rugged beauty, the Straits of Tarth between the island and the mainland are much more calm than the dangerous (and aptly named) Shipbreaker Bay to the south. Tarth provides enough of a breaker for storms that the northern peninsula of the Stormlands on the mainland has somewhat calmer weather than Cape Wrath to the south. Moreover, unlike the Rainwood which covers all of the Cape Wrath peninsula, the Kingswood does not extend over the eastern coastal plain of the northern peninsula. Thus the region around Storm's End itself is composed of fertile coastal plains.
The Stormlands have a warm, wet climate due to all of the storms that batter it from the Narrow Sea to the east. The high mountains of the Dornish Marches to the southwest, however, are said to have a very cold, alpine climate.
The Stormlands are one of the most heavily forested regions of the Seven Kingdoms. Two of the three large forests of the realm are located there, the Kingswood in the north (straddling the border with the Crownlands), and the Rainwood in the southern half of the Stormlands. The third large forest, the Wolfswood, is located in the North, but due to the large size of the North it does not dominate the entire region. In contrast, due to its moderate size, the Kingswood and Rainwood combined cover most of the Stormlands. Combined with the wet weather coming from the Narrow Sea, the climate of the Stormlands is predominantly temperate rainforest.
The Kingsroad begins at Storm's End in the south, linking travel to King's Landing just north of the Stormlands, and ultimately leading all the way north through the Riverlands to Winterfell and the Wall. Travel between the Stormlands and Dorne is only possible through two dangerous passes through the Red Mountains, the Prince's Pass and the Boneway. There are no major roads running directly between the Stormlands and the Reach, however, travelers from the Stormlands can use the nearby Roseroad between King's Landing and Highgarden in the Reach. A traveler from Storm's End would only have to travel along the Kingsroad to slightly north of the border into the Crownlands, where the Roseroad meets with the Kingsroad just south of the capital city.
- Storm's End, a massive castle that is the seat of House Baratheon and the regional capital, where the Kingsroad ends.
- Haystack Hall, the seat of House Errol, a holdfast east of the Kingsroad and north of Storm's End.
- Bronzegate, a holdfast just off the Kingsroad north of Storm's End, east of the Wendwater.
- Felwood, a holdfast northwest of Storm's End on the edge of the Kingswood.
- Greenstone, the seat of House Estermont, on the island of Estermont.
- Evenfall Hall, the seat of House Tarth, on the island of Tarth.
- Rain House, the seat of House Wylde, a holdfast on the southern shore of Shipbreaker Bay southeast of Storm's End.
- Mistwood, a holdfast in the wooded area south of Storm's End.
- Stonehelm, the seat of House Swann, south west of Storm's End on the northern shore of the Sea of Dorne.
- Griffin's Roost, the seat of House Connington, a holdfast south west of Storm's End on the eastern shore of Shipbreaker Bay.
- Nightsong, the seat of House Caron, south west of Storm's End near the Dornish Marches, the border with Dorne.
- Blackhaven, the seat of House Dondarrion, south west of Storm's End near the border with Dorne.
- Crow's Nest, the seat of House Morrigen, a castle east of Blackhaven.
- Summerhall, a ruined castle built by House Targaryen.
- The Dornish Marches
The Stormlanders seem to be bold warriors, as exemplified by the Baratheons. Most Stormlands' soldiers seem to don heavy padded armor and mail or/and plate headwear, even though some nobles, like Brienne, can possess plate armor. Warriors from the Dornish Marches are equipped with long suits of ringmail.
After Robert Baratheon's death and the beginning of the War of the Five Kings, Renly assembles most of the military strength of the Stormlands and the Reach under his command, but after his death, most Stormlanders and a few houses from the Reach join Stannis. Stannis's forces number at least 10,000 men, but a large part of them is wiped out during the war, mostly in the Battle of the Blackwater and in the Battle of Winterfell. It is unknown how many Stormlands' soldiers survive the war.
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the Storm Kingdom is said to have contested frequently with the Riverlands to the north, the Reach to the south-west and Dorne to the south over territory. The Stormlands are usually damp and wet, and also contain many forests, including the Kingswood in the north and Rainwood in the south. The Stormlands consist of a main area along the coast and a long salient to the south-west, stretching along the Red Mountains. This salient is known as the Dornish Marches and serves as an effective buffer zone between the old enemies of the Reach and Dorne.
Some 360 years prior to the Targaryen Conquest, the Stormlands conquered the area which would later be known as the Riverlands, which was not politically unified at the time. The Stormlands continued to rule the Riverlands for three centuries, until roughly three generations before the Targaryen Conquest, when the Riverlands were in turn conquered by the Iron Islands, driving the Storm Kings back to the Stormlands.
The Stormlands have been known to become involved in some of the wars of the Free Cities which also border the Narrow Sea, though it doesn't seem to have as much cultural contact with them as Dorne does. During the Bleeding Years following the downfall of Valyria, the old Storm Kings joined the alliance of Tyrosh, Pentos, Braavos, Lys, and Myr against Volantis, when Volantis attempted to conquer all of the other Free Cities.
George R.R. Martin has on occasion remarked that the Stormlands are somewhat comparable to medieval Germany, in that like Germany they are very heavily forested. Two of the three remaining large forests in the Seven Kingdoms are located in the Stormlands (the third is the Wolfswood, located in the North). However, this also means that the Stormlands are not as agriculturally developed as other parts of Westeros, particularly the fertile fields of the Reach. As a result, the Stormlands cannot raise armies as large as the Reach can. Another similarity is that the Reach is analogous to France, and France and Germany share a long and ill-defined border - just as the Reach and the Stormlands didn't have a well-defined border before the Targaryen Conquest, just a vague border-zone along the Dornish Marches and the upper valleys of the Mander River and its tributaries.
The known world
Houses from the Stormlands
|Dornish Marches Houses:|