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"The past is already written. The ink is dry."
―The Three-Eyed Raven[src]

The recorded history of Westeros extends back over 12,000 years, according to tradition, though the accuracy of the legends and myths that recount much of this history is openly questioned by the maesters of the Citadel, amongst others.

As with real-life medieval cultures, the people who inhabit the known world in which the continents of Westeros, Essos, and Sothoryos are located do not possess objective knowledge about how their world was created. This is in contrast with J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, in which characters actually did meet their gods or angelic beings and knew the full history of their world. In the fantasy world in which Westeros is set, civilization just gradually coalesced from the hunter-gatherer level, as in real-life. Many different cultures have their own theories about how the world began and how the human race came to be, usually tied to which religion they practice. Different religions offer drastically different theories on how the world was created. Even more simple "cultural traditions" and oral histories have much to say on the subject but no hard evidence. Some of these oral traditions are known to be simply inaccurate: the Dothraki believe that the first man came into being one thousand years ago, when even the written histories of other continuous civilizations stretch back five to six thousand years.

The earliest written histories date back to about 6,000 years ago, when the Andals first introduced writing to Westeros. The First Men had no writing system more advanced than runes for marking graves, thus all history before 6,000 years ago relies on oral tradition. Many of the events before 6,000 years ago in Westeros, during the Age of Heroes, are half-legendary, and some of the more fanciful tales of these times probably have little basis in reality. Still, all legends and oral histories may have some kernel of truth behind them. Written histories in Essos from the great civilizations of Valyria and Ghis also date back roughly five to six thousand years. Even so, this is about twice as long as the continuous written historical record than exist in our real-life world, our equivalent being if written history were extended unbroken back to the construction of the first ziggurat in ancient Sumeria. Oral tradition extends back twice that long.

A major issue, pointed out by author George R.R. Martin himself, is that as the saying goes, history tends to be written by the victors. Just as in real life, the inhabitants of Westeros during the time frame of the TV series do not possess an objective record of history. History tends to be more accurate the closer it is to the present, but largely in the sense that fables and half-myths tend no longer to be included. All history books display the biases of their authors to some degree. The oldest written histories in Westeros were made by the Andal invaders, and they depicted themselves in a positive light as they killed or conquered the First Men of the south. The Northerners, descended from the First Men who were never conquered by the Andals, have a decidedly negative view of the Andal invasions.

The dating system is based on the War of Conquest. Thus all dates are "BC" for "Before Conquest" or "AC" for "After Conquest".

The Dawn Age

Main article: Dawn Age

The Children of the Forest inhabited Westeros long before humans came to the continent.

The First Men battle with the Children of the Forest

The First Men and the Children join hands in peace, after the Pact ends their centuries-long wars.

  • Prehistory: Westeros is inhabited by non-human races: the Children of the Forest, a diminutive species of greenseers and wood-dancers, and the Giants. The giants are primitive, wielding only tree logs as clubs; the Children are somewhat more advanced, aboriginal hunter-gatherers who make villages in the woods. The Children work no metals, but have great skill making daggers and arrowheads from razor-sharp dragonglass (obsidian). The Children of the Forest worshiped the gods of nature, the Old Gods of the Forest, and carved the faces into sacred Weirwood trees. The Children also developed great mastery of magic powers. Here and there the giants quarreled with the Children, but when one group was losing they would simply move to another area: the total combined population of the Children and the giants across all of Westeros wasn't enough to fill even one of the later Seven Kingdoms, and so its vast primeval forests remained sparsely populated for many centuries.[1][2]
  • c. 12,000 Before Conquest: A human ethnic group, the First Men, invades Westeros across the Arm of Dorne from Essos. The Wars of the First Men and the Children of the Forest last for generations: the Children possess strong magic powers, but the First Men are stronger, better armed with bronze weapons, and simply more numerous. The Children of the Forest use their magic to call down the Hammer of the waters, destroying the Arm of Dorne and creating the island chain known as the Stepstones. Destroying the land bridge prevent more humans from crossing to the continent on foot, but there are already far too many in southern Westeros to stop.[1] Eventually the Children of the Forest call down the Hammer of the waters a second time, to try to split Westeros in two (and retreat to the northern half), but this time they only succeed in flooding the Neck, transforming its fields into swamps and bogs.[3]
  • c.10,000 BC - Signing of the Pact. After years of warfare, the two sides agree to a truce: the Children could not win, but the First Men feared the massive cost in lives if they continued to fight the Children to extinction. Wiser heads prevailed, and so the Children and First Men made the Pact on the Isle of Faces: the First Men took control of the open lands and the Children took control of the forested interiors. In time, the First Men adopt the worship of the Old Gods of the Forest. The forging of the Pact marked the end of the Dawn Age, and the beginning of the Age of Heroes.[1]
    • The First Men who settle in the Iron Islands, separated from the mainland, develop their own unique culture based on seafaring and raiding. They become known as the Ironborn, and unlike their First Men cousins on the mainland, develop their own local religion worshiping a deity known as the Drowned God.
    • The First Men who settle in the Neck branch off to form their own unique culture, known as the Crannogmen. They still worship the Old Gods like their neighbors, but their society has adapted to the swampy climate of their territory.
  • The Children of the Forest during the Dawn Age, as seen during a flashback vision in "The Door".

    The Children, in desperation, turn captured humans into the first White Walkers.

    At some undetermined point, when the Children of the Forest were clearly losing their wars against the First Men, in desperation the Children secretly created the first White Walkers. The Children realized they couldn't hope to overcome the sheer numbers of humans - but came upon an idea to turn those very numbers against them. The Children created the White Walkers from captured First Men in dangerous magical rituals, imbuing them with the power to raise dead humans (and other animals) into reanimated wights. However, the Children ultimately didn't deploy the first White Walkers against the First Men, for reasons not yet explained (possibly because the First Men ultimately sought the peace of the Pact - the White Walkers may have only been meant as a weapon of last resort, and it never came to that).
    • Through as-of-yet unexplained circumstances, the White Walkers later broke free of the control of the Children of the Forest and turned on them - now determined to destroy all life, not just the First Men, leading to the Long Night. Exactly when or how this happened is unknown, given that a full 2,000 years passed between the end of the wars with the First Men, and the White Walkers' full scale assault in the Long Night.

The Age of Heroes

Main article: Age of Heroes

The dead raised as wights.

The First Men drove back the White Walkers to the furthest north

The Wall was constructed to defend against any return of the White Walkers

  • c. 8,000 BC - The Long Night: A great winter that lasts a generation descends on the world, followed by a night that goes for years. Under the cover of darkness, the White Walkers invade Westeros from the uttermost north, causing immense suffering and destruction. In the Battle for the Dawn, the Children and the First Men unite to defeat the Walkers, eventually throwing them back into the north. In the eastern tradition, they are led by a great hero of the east, a warrior named Azor Ahai wielding a sword of fire named Lightbringer, but Westerosi accounts do not mention him. A great leader named Brandon Stark raises the Wall with artifice and magic to bar against the Walkers' return. He also founds the castle of Winterfell, founds House Stark and the Night's Watch and, according to some, is named as the first King in the North. Despite their victory, the Children of the Forest suffered heavy losses in the war and begin to disappear from Westeros.[1]
  • The Nightfort is the first castle built on the Wall, and remains the headquarters of the Night's Watch for almost six thousand years. Eighteen additional castles are later built along the Wall, sometimes centuries apart.
  • Those First Men tribes unlucky enough to be living north of the Wall when it is constructed are trapped in the lands beyond. They become isolated from the developing kingdoms to the south and eventually hostile to them, despite their shared ethnic background. These tribes call themselves the "Free Folk", though the kingdoms south of the Wall consider them to be barbarians, and derisively call them the "wildlings". Despite their differences, the Free Folk continue to follow the same religion of the Old Gods, just like their cousins to the south of the Wall.
  • The Night's King and the Night's Queen enslaved the black brothers and performed human sacrifices.

    One of the first Lord Commanders of the Night's Watch is, according to legend, seduced by a white-skinned woman from beyond the Wall. He sets himself up as king of the Wall and the Night's Watch, and conducts human sacrifices. The Stark King in the North as well as the wildling King-Beyond-the-Wall, Joramun, unite to defeat him and restore the Night's Watch. Afterwards, the evil Lord Commander's name is ordered to be purged from history, so the legends remember him only as the "Night's King" (not the same as the "Night King").
  • At some point in these centuries, according to legend, a king from the south visited the Wall but gave some great offense to the Nightfort's cook. In revenge, the cook killed the king's son and served his flesh to him in a pie. The legend says that the gods cursed the cook by turning him into a giant rat who eats his own offspring, and he is remembered as the Rat Cook. Later generations would remember this legend as an infamous example of a violation of Guest right, a crime which the gods cannot forgive.
  • c. 8,000 - 6,000 BC: The First Men form a shifting quilt of small kingdoms across Westeros south of the Wall, gradually coalescing into larger kingdoms. Legendary heroes of this time period are held to be the ancestors of the Great Houses that rule the Seven Kingdoms in later centuries.
    • Bran the Builder may have ruled the North from Winterfell as some sort of high-king, but this unity falls apart after the threat of the Long Night ends, and the North fragments into various petty kingdoms, like the rest of Westeros. Their great rivals are House Bolton, who according to some legends began fighting them as soon as the Long Night ended and the Wall was finished.[4]
    • Garth the Gardener builds Highgarden and settles the fertile fields of the Reach. His dynasty continues as House Gardener, though Garth's numerous descendants also found many other vassal Houses throughout the Reach.
    • Lann the Clever swindles House Casterly out of Casterly Rock and its rich gold mines using nothing but his wits, and becomes the founder of House Lannister.
    • Durran Godsgrief builds the impregnable fortress Storm's End, founding House Durrandon (ancestors of House Baratheon).
    • The Grey King unites the Iron Islands, and according to legend kills Nagga the sea-dragon. His sons begin the tradition of the Kingsmoot, raising up non-hereditary high kings of the isles by holding an election among their own lords.
  • Oldtown grows to become the first and largest city in Westeros, ruled by House Hightower. A guild of scholars and healers forms in the city, who over the generations eventually organize into the Order of Maesters. The Maesters spread to every castle and town in Westeros, sent out from their headquarters in Oldtown, the Citadel, which becomes one of the greatest seats of learning in the world.
  • The ironborn enter into their first great age of expansion under House Hoare, conquering much of the western coasts of Westeros (as signified in their heraldry). Their possessions range from Bear Island in the far north to the Arbor in the far south, and many lands along the coasts in between. They penetrate as far as Raventree Hall in the northern Riverlands, but their dominion is mostly concentrated near the coasts. Over time, however, as major kingdoms centralized and grew in power on the mainland, such as the Starks of Winterfell and Gardeners of Highgarden, they gradually expelled the ironborn, until they were pushed back to the Iron Islands themselves (in a long process stretching from c. 8,000 BC to c. 4,000 BC, when the Andals finally reached the isles).
  • House Lannister unites much of the Westerlands, through a combination of war, wealth, and marriage-alliance. The Lannisters then skillfully lead the Westerlands to fight off the constant raids from the nearby Iron Islands, and forms the Kingdom of the Rock.
  • House Gardener originally ruled the northern portions of the Reach around Highgarden, but over time absorbed surrounding petty kingdoms through peaceful marriage-alliance. Finally, it absorbed the last and greatest of its local rivals, the Hightower kingdom around Oldtown, to unite the entire region as the Kingdom of the Reach.
  • King Rogar Bolton bends the knee to the Starks of Winterfell, the culmination of the Starks cementing their rule as kings over the entire North.

    House Stark of Winterfell gradually establishes more and more control over the rest of the North, so that in time they claim the title King in the North. Some other Northern Houses unite with them voluntarily, such as the warriors of House Umber. Another Stark won Bear Island back from the ironborn in a wrestling match, and gave it to House Mormont to rule. Another Stark king warred with the Marsh King of the Crannogmen to the south, and after their defeat married the last Marsh King's daughter to cement the North's annexation of the Neck. The Starks' great rivals were the second most powerful House in the North, House Bolton. The Stark kings and Bolton kings vied with each other for centuries in bloody wars, and the Boltons were only finally forced into submission to the Starks 6,000 years ago - just as the Andals began to invade Westeros from across the Narrow Sea.

The Andal Invasion

Main article: Andal Invasion

The Andals crossed the Narrow Sea to invade Westeros.

The ancient fortress Moat Cailin dominates the only narrow road through the swamps of the Neck - the perfect choke point to block Andal invasions of the North.

The Andals are repulsed by the Kings in the North

  • c. 6,000 BC: A race of men from Essos, the Andals, crossed the Narrow Sea in numerous ships and made landfall in the Vale of Arryn. Under the banner of the Faith of the Seven, riding horses and wielding weapons made of iron, they overran and conquered all of Westeros south of the Neck. In a migration lasting several centuries, they spread out from the Vale to invade the rest of southern Westeros. The Andals killed the few remaining Children of the Forest as they encountered them, and the survivors disappeared.[1]
    • The Andals introduced the first full writing system to Westeros, whereas before the First Men had used only simple runes for tasks such as tomb markings. Thus the first full historical records in Westeros began to be produced after the Andal Invasion: legendary oral traditions about kings who lived for centuries and warred with gods fade away, though of course, these later historical accounts can be politically biased and still do not form a totally accurate record.
  • The Andals originated in the land of Andalos, near modern Pentos, east across the Narrow Sea. Thus the Andal Invasions were bloodiest along the eastern coasts of Westeros, in the Vale, the Riverlands, and the Stormlands. Their overland migration waves only reached the western side of the continent generations later, and by that point they were clearly inevitable. Therefore, the rulers of the Westerlands and the Reach peacefully intermarried with chosen Andal groups, inviting them in and uniting with them to fight off the other Andal kingdoms in eastern Westeros.[5][6]
    • The Andal family House Arryn came to rule in the Vale, to the point that the region came to be known as "The Vale of Arryn". The First Men living in the Vale were nearly exterminated, except for those pushed back into the Mountains of the Moon, where they lived a hardscrabble life as the Hill tribes.
    • In most of southern Westeros, even regions that once bitterly resisted Andal incursions, local elites of the First Men eventually intermarried with Andal invaders as a form of submission, rather than fight them to extinction.
    • Thus, most of the later Great Houses considered "Andal" are actually an Andal/First Men mix, including House Lannister, House Gardener (ancestors of House Tyrell), House Tully, and House Durrandon (ancestors of House Baratheon).
  • The Andals' attempts to invade the North were frustrated by the North's natural defenses, namely the swamps of the Neck and the formidable fortress of Moat Cailin guarding the strategic chokepoint there. The strong leadership of the Kings in the North from House Stark also enables the northmen to throw back any Andal invasions by sea along their eastern coasts. Wars would continue in later centuries against other kingdoms in Westeros such as the Kingdom of the Vale, but by that point, the Andals had intermingled with the local First Men so much that they stopped being seen as distinct groups, and such conflicts just faded into local politics, no longer considered "invasions".
  • c. 4,000 BC - The Andals finally conquer the Iron Islands, much later than the mainland of Westeros due to their isolated location. However, the few Andals who invaded the Iron Islands essentially "went native" and acculturated to the distinct ironborn culture, even abandoning the Faith of the Seven to convert to worship of the Drowned God. Ancient ironborn families such as House Hoare and House Greyjoy intermarry with the Andal invaders (just as the Lannisters, Gardeners, and Tullys did on the mainland). The cultural impact of the Andal invasions was therefore relatively minor in the Iron Islands. Thus the ironborn of later centuries are composed of the same First Men/Andal ethnic mix of most of the rest of Westeros, and they took up the language of the Andals, but otherwise, their unique culture was not drastically affected by the Andal Invasions.

The rise and fall of Valyria

The ancient Ghiscari Empire at its height, one of the oldest civilizations in the world, built on the backs of countless slaves.

Old Ghis was destroyed by dragonfire, as the Valyrians conquered eastern Essos.

The Dragonlords of Valyria defeated the Rhoynar city-states in the Rhoynish Wars, conquering western Essos.

Valyria at its height was a city of wonders - the capital of an empire that ruled half the known world, from Pentos to Meereen.

Main article: Valyrian Freehold
  • c. 8,000 BC: On the eastern continent of Essos, the ancient Ghiscari Empire flourishes on the eastern coast of Slaver's Bay, one of the oldest - if not the oldest - great civilizations in the world. The Ghiscari Empire is built on large-scale slavery of conquered peoples, who toil away to build the great pyramids of Old Ghis and its colonies.
  • c. 6,000 BC: On the western side of Slaver's Bay, a race of peaceful shepherds find dragons lairing in the Fourteen Fires, an immense chain of volcanoes extending across the neck of the Valyrian Peninsula. The Valyrians tame the dragons with magic and begin expanding their influence into the rest of Essos.
  • c. 6,000 - 5,000 BC: The Ghiscari Wars. Inevitably, the expanding Valyrian Freehold comes into conflict with the Ghiscari Empire over which superpower will dominate the continent. They fight a series of five great wars, ending with the Valyrians throwing down the Ghiscari in defeat. Old Ghis is burned to ashes with dragonfire and never rebuilt. The Valyrian Freehold absorbs all of the Ghiscari's former territories to their east, including all of the Ghiscari colony-cities in Slaver's Bay (such as Astapor, Yunkai, and Meereen).[1]
  • c. 700 BC: The Rhoynish Wars. The Valyrian Freehold begins settling the region of the modern Free Cities. Their expansion brings them into conflict with the native inhabitants of the region surrounding the River Rhoyne. Nymeria, the warrior-queen of the Rhoynar, realizes that they cannot stand against dragons and they flee to Dorne, in southern Westeros. There Nymeria marries Lord Mors Martell and helps House Martell conquer the rest of Dorne, finally unifying the region as one kingdom.[1]
  • c. 500 BC: Revolting slaves take over the Valyrian fleet they were being transported in, and use the ships to flee from the Valyrian-controlled areas of central Essos to the northwestern corner of the continent. There they find a secretive lagoon protected by mountains and narrow access channels, where they found the Secret City of Braavos.
  • c. 200 BC: The Valyrians annex Dragonstone, an island in the Narrow Sea just off the eastern coast of Westeros. The Targaryen family takes control of the island, which is used as a trading post with the Seven Kingdoms. According to legend, Aenar Targaryen had a vision of impending catastrophe and arranged to have his family removed from the Freehold.[1]
  • Massive volcanic eruptions destroyed Valyria in a single day.

    Four centuries after "the Doom", Old Valyria is still a smoking ruin.

    c. 100 BC - the Doom of Valyria: The Fourteen Fires erupt in a titanic explosion that obliterates the heartland of the Valyrian Freehold. Most of the Valyrian dragons, who lair in the volcanoes when not needed, are killed outright. The City of Valyria is partially buried under vast amounts of ash. The Valyrian Peninsula fractures and breaks apart. A large part of it is torn away from the mainland, low-lying areas are flooded and many offshore islands are formed. The waters around Valyria remain poisonous until the present day.[1]
  • With Valyria destroyed, its empire disintegrated in chaotic civil wars: the Century of Blood.

    The Dothraki mounted hordes rampaged across Essos until halted at the Battle of Qohor.

    c. 100 BC - c. 2 AC: The Century of Blood. In the aftermath of the Doom, Valyria's outlying colony-cities began breaking away and asserting their independence, becoming the nine Free Cities. The following one hundred years are chaotic free-for-all of almost constant warfare between them, also known as the Bleeding Years. Worse, without the Valyrian dragons to keep them in check anymore, the Dothraki mounted hordes spilled out of the central plains of Essos to sweep across most of the continent, in their first great wave of pillaging. For a time the Dothraki sacked cities at will, until their attacks were finally checked at the Battle of Qohor. Raids would continue afterwards but never on the same scale. Paralleling the Free Cities to the west, east of Valyria the Ghiscari cities of Slaver's Bay also reasserted their independence. Towards the end of this period, Volantis grew enough in strength to try to conquer and unite all of the other Free Cities, but Volantis was ultimately defeated. Afterwards, the Free Cities settled into somewhat more stable political patterns - just as Aegon Targaryen was uniting the Seven Kingdoms in Westeros.

Westeros: The Age of the Hundred Kingdoms

Main article: Westeros

Territories and their rulers:
House Stark, the North (white);
House Arryn, the Vale of Arryn (dark grey);
House Tully, the Riverlands (dark blue);
House Greyjoy, the Iron Islands (dark yellow);
House Lannister, the Westerlands (dark red);
House Tyrell, the Reach (green);
House Durrandon, the Stormlands (yellow);
House Martell, Dorne (orange)
House Targaryen, the Crownlands (brown);
Night King (formerly the Free Folk), Beyond the Wall (light blue);
Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, the Gift and the Wall (black)

Princess Nymeria leads the Rhoynar refugee fleet, fleeing the Valyrians, across the Narrow Sea to Dorne.

Nymeria and her Rhoynar unite with local ruler Mors Martell to conquer and unify Dorne for the first time.

Endemic border wars between the Dornishmen, the Reach, and the Stormlands in the Dornish Marches.

House Frey's founder oversees construction of the Twins.

The Storm Kings conquered the old River Kings, and held the Riverlands for three centuries.

  • c. 6,000 - 700 BC - Over the centuries following the Andal Invasion, hundreds of petty kingdoms form across Westeros, eventually aggregating into several larger powerful realms, and ultimately, seven large kingdoms. Some of the later Great Houses such as the Starks or Lannisters had previously managed to establish large hegemonies or high-kingships over large regions, but in this time period they turned into large, well-organized, and centrally run "kingdoms".
  • c. 2,000 - 700 BC - The final "Seven Kingdoms", as they were later known, coagulated from previous smaller kingdoms during this time period as they absorbed their neighboring rivals. This process is roughly said to have finished anywhere from a thousand years before the War of Conquest to a thousand years before the War of the Five Kings (varying by region). The fortunes of each kingdom rise and fall then rise again over the centuries as they compete with each other for lands and power, fueling constant and petty border wars throughout the continent.
    • The Stark Kings expel pirates from the mouth of the White Knife river on the east coast, and to defend against further incursions founded the settlement that will later grow into White Harbor, the North's only major port.
    • Around this time the Kingdom of the Reach hit a low point in its power, culminating in the Dornish Sack of Highgarden (apparently prior to the Rhoynar migration, as these were Dornish "kings" and not "princes"). In subsequent generations the Gardener kings of the Reach gradually rebuilt their strength again.
  • c. 700 BC - The Rhoynar migrate to Dorne, after being driven from the Rhoyne River network in Essos by the Valyrians. House Martell intermarries with the Rhoynar led by Princess Nymeria and with their extra numbers conquers the rest of Dorne, unifying the entire region for the first time. House Manderly is exiled from the Reach but given safe haven in the North, where House Stark rewards them with rule over White Harbor. House Bolton is finally subdued by House Stark in the North. The Dornish Marches in the Red Mountains remain as they have been for centuries - a contested borderland of endemic warfare between the Reach, the Stormlands, and Dorne.
  • c. 400 BC - House Bolton rises again in rebellion against House Stark, but is subdued once more. Due to his actions in suppressing the Bolton rebellion the younger son of the King in the North, Karlon Stark, is awarded lands confiscated from the north of the Boltons' former possessions, founding a cadet branch of House Stark. Over the generations, "Karl's Hold" becomes known as "Karhold", and the "Karl's Hold Starks" become known as House Karstark.
  • The Stormlands successfully invades and conquers the Riverlands, under the Storm Kings of House Durrandon. This reduces the number of kingdoms to seven: the Kingdom of the North, the Kingdom of the Vale, the Kingdom of the Isles and Rivers, the Kingdom of the Rock, the Kingdom of the Reach, the Storm Kingdom, and the Principality of Dorne.
  • c. 300 BC - The newly-ennobled House Frey begins construction of a massive bridge and castle complex across the Green Fork of the Trident, which when completed is known as the Twins. The Freys rapidly amass great wealth from bridge tolls and rise to became one of the major noble families of the Riverlands, though they are looked down upon by other more ancient families as upstarts.
  • c. 200 BC - House Targaryen, one of the aristocratic families of the Valyrian Freehold, settles on Dragonstone island in Blackwater Bay, to establish a Valyrian trading outpost.
  • The Targaryens relocated to Dragonstone right before the Doom of Valyria - along with the world's only surviving dragons.

    c. 100 BC - The Targaryens relocate their entire family and household to Dragonstone island (just off the east coast of Westeros in Blackwater Bay), convinced by a prophecy that the destruction of Valyria is imminent. This proves true, as the Doom of Valyria follows only a few years later - leaving the Targaryens on Dragonstone with the world's only surviving dragons. The Targaryens and their vassal Houses on other islands in Blackwater Bay remain uninvolved with outside affairs, slowly building up their strength.
  • Harrenhal upon it's completion, mightiest fortress in all of Westeros, meant to secure the Ironborn's control over the Riverlands.

    c. 60 BC - Some three generations before Aegon's Landing, the Iron Islands enter into their second great era of expansion, conquering the territory of the Riverlands from the Stormlands. Unlike their first era of expansion, which conquered coastal territories across Westeros, this push focuses on conquering specifically the Riverlands, penetrating deep inland. The ironborn hold everything between the Blackwater to the south and the Neck to the north, and from the west coast to the east coast. The ironborn invasion is led by King Harwyn of House Hoare, and the Iron Islands continue to rule the Riverlands until the time of Harwyn's grandson, Harren Hoare, also called Harren the Black. Wishing to demonstrate his wealth and power, King Harren spends years and vast resources constructing a castle far more massive and formidable than any other in all of Westeros on the north shore of Gods Eye lake: Harrenhal, a fortress impregnable to ground attack. The enslaved local Rivermen are forced to toil on the castle's construction, to build the tool of their own domination. Ironically, the construction of Harrenhal castle finishes the very same day that the Targaryens and their dragons land on the east coast of Westeros to begin their conquest.

The War of Conquest

Main article: War of Conquest

Aegon Targaryen and his sisters Rhaenys and Visenya, on Dragonstone

  • 2 BC - 1 AC: Despite pleas to intervene in the Free Cities, Aegon the Conqueror, the ruler of House Targaryen, decides to invade Westeros, along with his sister-wives Rhaenys and Visenya.
  • With only a small number of soldiers, his forces make landfall at the mouth of the Blackwater Rush. On a tall hill overlooking the bay, he builds a wooden redoubt on the site of what is now the Red Keep. He then begins his military campaign using the only three dragons known to have survived the Doom of Valyria: Balerion (ridden by Aegon), Meraxes (ridden by Rhaenys), and Vhagar (ridden by Visenya).

The Burning of Harrenhal by Aegon Targaryen riding his dragon Balerion.

  • As Aegon marches west, the rivermen led by Edmyn Tully of Riverrun rise up in rebellion against their ironborn oppressors and march to join his army against them. King Harren the Black is besieged in Harrenhal, but when he refuses to surrender, Aegon simply flies Balerion over the walls and proceeded to burn the entire castle. Harren and all his sons roasted alive in their own tower, making House Hoare extinct. The remaining ironborn flee back to the Iron Islands. Aegon rewards House Tully by making them overlords of the Riverlands.

Orys Baratheon duels Argilac Durrandon to the death in the Last Storm, conquering the Stormlands for the Targaryens.

  • Aegon's bastard half-brother, Orys Baratheon, marches south to invade the Stormlands, along with Rhaenys riding Meraxes. During the battle of the Last Storm Orys faces the last Storm King, Argilac the Arrogant, and kills him in single combat. After his victory, Orys seizes Argilac's castle of Storm's End, along with his daughter whom he takes to wife. Aegon rewards Orys by naming him overlord of the Stormlands and allowing him to found House Baratheon.
  • The Field of Fire was the climactic battle of the War of Conquest, the only battle at which all three dragons were unleashed at the same time.

    With the line of House Gardener extinguished, the Targaryens elevated the Gardeners' cousins House Tyrell as the new rulers of the Reach under them.

    The Targaryen army then recombines and marches south to face the allied forces of King Mern IX Gardener of the Reach and King Loren I Lannister of the Rock in the climactic battle of the Conquest, which becomes known as the Field of Fire. All three dragons are unleashed in the same battle for the first and only time, and more than 4,000 men are burned alive by the dragons. House Gardener is extinguished, so Aegon names the stewards of Highgarden as overlords of the Reach: House Tyrell, a cadet branch of House Gardener. King Loren surrenders to Aegon, who names him overlord of the Westerlands and allows House Lannister to continue its rule.
  • Aegon advances to Oldtown, location of the headquarters of the Faith of the Seven. Ultimately the High Septon decides to welcome Aegon into the city, and formally blesses his reign. Aegon chooses to date the years of his reign starting from this day that the High Septon acknowledged him, forming the basis of the new calendar system used throughout Westeros for the next three centuries.
  • King Torrhen Stark peacefully bends the knee to the Targaryens.

    Visenya flew her dragon Vhagar over the mountains to the Eyrie, making the Arryns surrender.

    Dorne, ruled by House Martell, was the only one of the Seven Kingdoms to successfully resist the Targaryens - by resorting to guerrilla warfare.

    The Iron Throne, made from the swords of Aegon the Conquerer's defeated enemies.

    After finally gathering up his widely scattered bannermen, King Torrhen Stark of the North arrives in the south - but seeing the power of the dragons after the Field of Fire, and the Targaryens' now massive army of conscripts, he realizes that all hope of victory is lost. Torrhen chooses to surrender without battle, and in return, Aegon allows the Starks to continue to rule the North under the Targaryens.
  • After the Field of Fire, House Arryn thought they could hide behind the Vale's mountains - but Visenya simply flew Vhagar over the mountains straight to the Eyrie, and accepted their bloodless surrender.
  • Aegon's attempt to conquer Dorne is thwarted by the Dornish refusal to give battle openly, preferring guerrilla warfare. Aegon decides to allow Dorne and House Martell to remain independent for now, to focus on reining in his other recent conquests.[1]
  • Aegon returns to the site of his army's first landing at the mouth of the Blackwater River and begins construction of a grand new capital city for his unified realm: King's Landing. He carves out territory from surrounding kingdoms to form the Crownlands, ruled directly by the Targaryens to support the city. Aegon has the swords of his defeated enemies gathered up and uses the fires of his dragon Balerion to forge them into the Iron Throne, seat of the rulers of the new unified realm.
    • The naming of the "After Aegon's Landing" dating system is inherently a misnomer, as Aegon I himself counted the years of his reign as starting from the end of his conquest, when he entered Oldtown and was blessed by the High Septon, which occurred two years after Aegon and his army first landed on the mainland at the mouth of the Blackwater Rush.
    • Apparently, the inherent discrepancy in the name of the "After Landing" dating system became something of an annoyance in-universe for the maesters of the Citadel. In later books, such as the prequel novella The Princess and the Queen, George R.R. Martin presents several maesters who have switched to the name "After Conquest", abbreviated "AC". This is not a new dating system, simply updating the name of the existing system to more accurately reflect historical events. The date "130 AC" is the exact same year as "130 AL". That being said, the few written documents seen on-screen during the first seasons of the TV series have used the "AL" notation.
    • In some ways, this reflects modern attempts to update the Anno Domini system of the Gregorian calendar. The AD/BC dating system was only developed by the medieval monk Dionysius Exiguus some five hundred years after Jesus was crucified, retroactively piecing together previous dates based on the individual reign of rulers or who was consul in Rome at the time, which ultimately produced several errors. Modern scholarship generally agrees that Jesus was probably born closer to the year 6 BC rather than at 1 BC (there was no year zero). Rather than go through the administrative chaos of revising all dated records, attempts have been made to introduce an alternative name for the system: "Common Era" (CE) replaces "Anno domini" (AD), and "Before the Common Era" (BCE) replaces "Before Christ" (BC). The alternative names (apart from being religiously neutral) are more accurate, as the "AD" system did not itself provide an accurate count from the date of Jesus's actual birth.
    • As with the Anno Domini system, the After Landing (or After Conquest) dating system does not have a year zero. It uses as its starting point the crowning of Aegon by the High Septon in Oldtown. The instant that the High Septon set the crown upon his head, the year "1 BC" changed into "1 AC" (the entire first year After Conquest was "1 AC", and the day after the coronation was thus one day into "1 AC" even though a full year had not elapsed).
  • Aegon I has two children: his elder son Aenys with his sister-wife Rhaenys, and his younger son Maegor with his sister-wife Visenya.
  • While Aegon I dates the years of his reign from when he was crowned by the High Septon in Oldtown, some of the conquest is still unfinished. House Hoare and its armies were destroyed at the Burning of Harrenhal, but the Iron Islands themselves remained de-powered by unconquered while Aegon focused on his remaining enemies on the mainland. Aegon eventually consolidated his position enough to invade them with his fleets and dragons. The priest-king Lodos called upon the Drowned God to send krakens to destroy the Targaryen fleet - but when they failed to appear, he and hundreds of his followers walked into the ocean rather than surrender. Their armies already destroyed, the Iron Islands quickly fall. Recognizing the long ironborn tradition of choosing their own leaders (in a Kingsmoot), he allows their lords to pick one of their own leading families to rule the isles under Targaryen domination: House Greyjoy of Pyke, led by Vickon Greyjoy.
  • The First Dornish War. The Targaryens had bypassed Dorne during the initial conquest due to its isolation and harsh desert climate, but were now determined to complete their unification of the entire continent south of the Wall. The Dornishmen, however, learned from the Field of Fire and Harrenhal that there was no resisting the Targaryen dragons in open battle or by hiding in their castles. Therefore, the Dornish resorted to guerrilla warfare, fleeing when the dragons approached and then launching ambushes as soon as they flew away. The parched deserts were conducive to an insurgency harassing the supply lines of large occupation armies. The Targaryen armies were badly bled, and even one of the dragons died: Meraxes was killed when a lucky shot from a scorpion-bolt struck her through the eye in mid-flight, killing her rider Queen Rhaenys in her fall. Enraged, Aegon and Visenya used their dragons to burn out every settlement in Dorne, but still, the Martells would not surrender. Eventually, both sides tired of the unending bloodshed, and the Targaryens agreed to withdraw from Dorne.
  • Aegon I lives out the rest of his reign in peace, knitting the Seven Kingdoms together into one realm. Construction continues on King's Landing. Work also begins on the great new royal castle known as the Red Keep, but Aegon I only lives to see its foundations set.

The Reign of the Targaryen Dynasty

Aegon I created the new capital city King's Landing; he also began construction on the Red Keep, but it was not completed until the reign of his second son, Maegor the Cruel.

The Sons of the Dragon & the Faith Militant uprising

  • Maegor Targaryen, who earned the name "Maegor the Cruel", warred against the Faith Militant.

    Upon Aegon I's death, his son Aenys, born of incest, takes the throne. Aenys is weak and indecisive and cannot adequately deal with many localized rebellions that pop up (such as the Vulture Hunt along the border with Dorne), leading to him naming his half-brother Maegor as Hand of the King and giving him authority to deal with the crises.
  • The Faith of the Seven, long disgusted with the Targaryen's incestuous practices, rejects Aenys's legitimacy to rule after he foolishly announces the marriage of his son and daughter to each other. The Faith Militant, armed order of the religion, leads a popular uprising against the Targaryens. Aenys's health fails from the stress and he dies on Dragonstone.
  • Maegor usurps the throne ahead of Aenys's children, and leads a bloody and ferocious counter-attack against the Faith Militant, resulting in the deaths of thousands in battle and by dragonfire. The slaughter of the Faith Militant uprising lasts throughout Maegor's reign.
  • Maegor proves to be the exact opposite of his weakling older brother - effectively smashing the Faith Militant and restoring Targaryen domination - but so much so that he becomes a brutal tyrant, instituting a reign of terror. He quickly earns the nickname, "Maegor the Cruel".
  • Maegor finishes construction of the Red Keep, and orders construction of the Dragonpit.
  • Eventually Maegor's brutal tactics alienate all of his allies, leading to a final popular revolt against him - which rallies around his brother's last surviving son, Jaehaerys. Maegor is found dead on the Iron Throne, of an apparent suicide so he wouldn't have to face the victorious rebels.

The Long Reign of Jaehaerys I

  • The Nightfort, the first castle at the Wall, was abandoned during the reign of Jaehaerys I due to the Watch's declining numbers.

    Aenys's son, Jaehaerys I, becomes king. Jaehaerys declares a truce and agrees to end the slaughter in return for the Faith Militant disbanding and accepting (but not approving) the Targaryen practices of incestuous marriage. They agree, and the Faith and the Throne are reconciled. Jaehaerys I becomes known as the Conciliator for his ability to solve crises without the need for violence.
  • During the reign of Jaehaerys I, the Night's Watch had declined to the point that it could no longer fully man a castle as large as the Nightfort, which had fallen into disrepair. The Watch officially abandons the Nightfort, and moves its headquarters to further east along the Wall at Deep lake, then later further east to Castle Black.
  • Upon Jaehaerys I's death, after a long reign of over 50 years, he is succeeded by his grandson, who becomes King Viserys I Targaryen. Viserys I himself rules for almost another three decades - combined with his grandfather's rule, the result was an 80 year golden age of peace and prosperity for the Targaryen dynasty and Westeros (barring occasional flareups with pirates in the Stepstones, the occasional unusually long winter, etc.) Relations with independent Dorne are also generally peaceful.

The Dance of the Dragons

This particular section contains MAJOR spoilers for House of the Dragon. Anyone wishing to avoid spoilers for the upcoming prequel series should not click [Expand].
  • Targaryen fought Targaryen and dragon fought dragon during the great civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons.

    Most Targaryen dragons were killed in the Dance: the few survivors died soon after, rendering the species extinct.

    The Dance of the Dragons, the first full-scale civil war in the history of the unified Seven Kingdoms. The Faith Militant uprising was an insurgency, but this was the first time that different Great Houses joined rival sides in a war, each faction openly holding rival territories - which wouldn't happen again until Robert's Rebellion around 150 years later. Unlike Robert's Rebellion, however, this was the first and only major civil war in which both sides had dragons:
  • In the last years of Jaehaerys's reign his second son and heir died unexpectedly, leading to a succession crisis focused on two rival bloodlines: his second son's own son Viserys, and his first son's daughter Rhaenys (and by extension, her son with Corlys Velaryon, Laenor). To avoid a civil war, Jaehaerys convened a Great Council at Harrenhal at which over a thousand nobles from across Westeros came choose the successor. Viserys ultimately beat Laenor by vote of around twenty to one, and ascended to the throne two years later after Jaehaerys's death.
  • King Viserys I Targaryen produced only one child with his first wife before she died, his daughter and designated heir Rhaenyra Targaryen. Viserys later remarried to Alicent Hightower, however, producing his son Aegon II Targaryen. While Viserys had intended Rhaenyra to succeed him, upon his death Aegon II claimed the throne ahead of his half-sister, citing that traditional inheritance law put daughters after sons (even though this directly contradicted his father's public orders). The resulting war pitted brother against sister and dragon against dragon.
    • Aegon II's branch of House Targaryen were known as the Greens, and their main supporters were House Hightower, his mother's family who ruled Oldtown. The Greens were concentrated in southern Westeros, including the Lannisters in the Westerlands, the Baratheons in the Stormlands, the Hightowers and the southern half of the Reach, and the mainland parts of the Crownlands including King's Landing itself. They controlled all the large cities, most of the wealth, and had larger land armies.
    • Rhaenyra's branch of House Targaryen were known as the Blacks, and their main supporters were House Velaryon, also through inter-marriage. The Blacks were concentrated in northern Westeros: the Starks of the North, the Arryns of the Vale, the Tullys and the Riverlands, the Greyjoys of the Iron Islands, the northern half of the Reach, and the island portions of the Crownlands centered around Dragonstone (Rhaenyra's stronghold). Rhaenyra did not hold the wealthy and populous regions like Aegon II did, so her land armies were smaller, but she controlled most of the fleets giving her dominance at sea, and she had more dragons.
  • The Dance of the Dragons was a grueling war with many surprise twists and betrayals. By the end, tens of thousands of soldiers and commoners were dead, both King's Landing and Lannisport had been sacked, and the Riverlands were totally burned out by dragon-fire.
  • Near the end of the war, Aegon II captured Rhaenyra and fed her to his dragon, but the war continued in the name of her son, Aegon III. After Aegon II died the war ended in exhaustion, and in the negotiated peace, Rhaenyra's son Aegon III married Aegon II's last surviving child, Jaehaera.

The Regency era

This particular section contains MAJOR spoilers for House of the Dragon. Anyone wishing to avoid spoilers for the upcoming prequel series should not click [Expand].
  • The Seven Kingdoms were left devastated by the civil war, and it took a full generation for Westeros to recover. Nonetheless, conflict did not end, it simply changed form: Aegon III came to the throne as a young boy, so a council of regents ruled in his stead which was composed of surviving lords from both sides of the Dance. These regents constantly jockeyed for position against each other in a series of intrigues, assassinations, and proxy wars, trying to advance their own individual power.
  • Even the regents were not able to reestablish control over all of the realm for several years, as the ravaged countryside was beset by a devastating six-year winter that began halfway through the war, leading to widespread famine, and eventually a plague. Broken men and bandits prowled the land in large numbers, men who had deserted from their armies or seen their homes destroyed. Some even rallied to rebel lords here and there and functionally carved out their own small fiefdoms (such as around Harrenhal, etc.). So many major lords died during the Dance that for many years, a record number of noble houses throughout Westeros were ruled by women as regents for their children, leading to various local succession conflicts.
  • In some regions the fighting from the Dance didn't even end: the ironborn under Dalton Greyjoy had sided with Rhaenyra and devastated the Westerlands, sacking Lannisport. After Aegon II died, however, Dalton refused to stop raiding (not bothering to declare independence, but ignoring all royal decrees). A localized war between the Greyjoys and surviving Lannisters continued for several years.
  • New conflicts also sprang up, as a three-way succession war broke out in the Vale between rival heirs, and the Dornish began aggressively menacing the marches again (no longer fearing reprisal from dragons). Meanwhile, the Free Cities were left reeling from the aftermath of the Dance as well, which indirectly caused the collapse of the Kingdom of the Three Daughters, which sparked off a major round of wars between them. This led to a confusing series of shifting alliances and betrayals, between the Free Cities and also with pirate-kingdoms in the Stepstones. The regent council in King's Landing sent several fleets into the Narrow Sea to try to re-establish control.
  • Most of the Targaryen dragons were killed in the civil war, with so few surviving that they could not maintain a stable breeding population. The last surviving Targaryen dragon, a sickly green runt, died during Aegon III's reign, earning him the nickname "Dragonbane". Aegon III ultimately ruled for two decades, and after his death he was succeeded by his son Daeron I.

Note: George R.R. Martin's in-universe history book Fire & Blood, Volume 1, ends when Aegon III comes of age and the regency council is disbanded. Martin has said he will not write Volume 2 until after he has finished the main A Song of Ice & Fire series. Thus our knowledge of subsequent eras - Aegon III's later reign, the reigns of his sons, and the Blackfyre Rebellions - is comparatively limited for the time being, though we have an outline of major events from The World of Ice & Fire.

The Conquest of Dorne

  • King Daeron I led the Conquest of Dorne, but would lose Dorne and his own life in a protracted Dornish insurgency.

    The Conquest of Dorne. King Daeron I, the Young Dragon, takes the throne and almost immediately launches an invasion of Dorne, which had remained defiantly independent since Aegon's landing. Daeron's military genius is notable and he eventually forces the submission of Sunspear. Unfortunately, while the conquest of Dorne is a success, holding Dorne proves more difficult, leading to a protracted Dornish insurgency. Daeron I leaves a Tyrell of Highgarden, who have warred with the Martells for a thousand years, as his steward to rule over occupied Dorne. Lyonel Tyrell's tyranny triggers an uprising against the Iron Throne. When Daeron I returns with a fresh army he is ambushed and killed, and his cousin Prince Aemon the Dragonknight is captured and his army defeated. Daeron I died childless so the throne passed to his brother Baelor, who forged a peace treaty with Dorne (including the marriage of Viserys II's grandson, Daeron II, to Princess Myriah Martell).
  • King Baelor Targaryen built the Great Sept of Baelor, moving the headquarters of the Faith from Oldtown to King's Landing.

    Daemon I Blackfyre, the Black Dragon. Legitimized bastard son of King Aegon IV Targaryen, he tried to usurp the throne from his trueborn brother Daeron II in the First Blackfyre Rebellion.

    The reign of King Baelor the Blessed, the Septon King. Baelor is pious and holy, keeping the realm at peace. Baelor negotiates an end to hostilities with Dorne after his brother's death. Baelor commissions the construction of a huge new sept in King's Landing, which (after his death is named the Great Sept of Baelor in his honor. Baelor is so religiously zealous that he remains celibate: instead of marrying one of his sisters in Targaryen custom, he has all three locked away in a tower of the Red Keep known as the Maidenvault, so that they would not tempt him with carnal thoughts.
  • Baelor also dies childless, and because Aegon III had no other male heirs, the succession passes over his surviving daughters so that his younger brother Viserys II Targaryen takes the throne - youngest son of Rhaenyra. Viserys II had been Hand of the King for years under both Daeron and Baelor. He is eventually succeeded in turn by his son Aegon IV.
  • 172-184 AC: The reign of King Aegon IV, Aegon the Unworthy, held to be the worst king in the history of Westeros. A glutton and a cruel, petty man, Aegon has a total of nine mistresses in succession that he keeps at court, to the dismay of his sister-wife Naerys. He holds his son and heir, Daeron II, in disfavor due to his Dornish wife (Princess Myriah Martell) and peaceful ways - so he decides to give the ancestral Valyrian steel sword of Aegon the Conqueror, Blackfyre, to his bastard son Daemon, whom he thinks is more martial and worthy of it. His bastard son takes the new name Daemon Blackfyre, after the sword, and founds the cadet branch of House Targaryen known as House Blackfyre. Upon Aegon IV's death, Daeron II succeeds to the Iron Throne.

The Blackfyre Rebellions

  • Daemon was killed at the climactic Battle of the Redgrass Field, by a volley of arrows from his half-brother Bloodraven and his archers.

    195-196 AC: Claiming that Daeron II is actually the product of an illegitimate relationship between Queen Naerys and her other brother, Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, Daemon Blackfyre claims the Iron Throne. Half the realm declares for him and the resulting civil war is known as the First Blackfyre Rebellion. This is a brutal and bitter conflict that kills many tens of thousands. Eventually, Daemon amasses enough strength to march on King's Landing, allied to the forces of his bastard half-brother Aegor "Bittersteel" Rivers. Daeron II's sons, Baelor and Maekar, lead an army to stop him, assisted by another of Aegon IV's bastards, Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers. The resulting engagement, the Battle of the Redgrass Field, is one of the largest battles fought in Westerosi history. Bloodraven slays Daemon Blackfyre with arrows and then fights Bittersteel in single combat. The arrival of a Dornish army in support of the King routs the Blackfyre forces. Bittersteel flees the field with Daemon's surviving sons, taking them to safety in the Free Cities.
  • The double marriage-alliance that finally united Dorne with the Iron Throne: King Daeron II Targaryen married Prince Maron Martell's sister Myriah Martell (left), and Prince Maron married Daeron II's sister Daenerys (right).

    In thanks for the Dornish assistance on the Redgrass Field, Daeron II marries his younger sister Daenerys to Prince Maron Martell, formally bringing Dorne into the Seven Kingdoms. Due to the peaceable union, Dorne is allowed to maintain a number of its own customs, including allowing women equal inheritance rights and that the ruler of Dorne is allowed to retain the title "Prince".
  • The trial by seven of Ser Duncan the Tall during the Tourney at Ashford.

    During a tournament at Ashford, the Trial by seven of Duncan the Tall takes place when Ser Duncan the Tall runs afoul of Prince Aerion "Brightflame" Targaryen, eldest son of Prince Maekar, himself the younger son of Daeron II. During the trial by combat Crown Prince Baelor "Breakspear" Targaryen is accidentally killed by his younger brother Prince Maekar. Ser Duncan begins his great friendship with Prince Aegon "Egg" Targaryen, fourth and youngest son of Maekar. Disgusted with his eldest son Aerion, Maekar agrees to let Aegon follow Ser Duncan as his squire as he seeks his fortune across Westeros, hoping it will give the boy some real-life experience. "Dunk and Egg", as they are known, embark on numerous adventures across Westeros in the following years.
    • The adventures of Ser Duncan and Prince Aegon are told in the Tales of Dunk and Egg, a prequel series to the main Game of Thrones storyline.
  • 209 AC: The Great Spring Sickness tears through Westeros, a few months after the confrontation between Ser Duncan and Prince Aerion at Ashford. Among those killed are King Daeron II himself, as well as the heirs of Prince Baelor. Aerys I Targaryen, next eldest son of Daeron II, succeeds him as king. He names Bloodraven as his Hand.
  • Blackfyre loyalists attempt to launch a Second Blackfyre Rebellion, but - in part due to the activities of Dunk & Egg - Bloodraven exposes the plan, captures one of Daemon Blackfyre's sons and executes many of the conspirators before a battle needs to be fought.
  • Daemon Blackfyre's half-brother Bittersteel forms the Golden Company in the Free Cities, a sellsword company which over time will grow into the best and largest in Essos. Its core membership are Blackfyre loyalists who fled into exile across the Narrow Sea. Bittersteel created the Golden Company so that Daemon's younger sons could still maintain some sort of cohesive fighting force between attempted invasions.
  • The Third Blackfyre Rebellion. Sensing the weakness of Aerys I's reign, Blackfyre loyalists rise up again, aided by Bittersteel and the Golden Company. Due to the actions of Bloodraven, Maekar - and Dunk & Egg - the rebellion is put down. Bittersteel escapes once again to the Free Cities.
  • After Aerys I dies childless his younger brother Maekar I, fourth son of Daeron II, becomes King of the Seven Kingdoms. Third son Rhaegel had previously died, was insane anyway, and his heirs also predeceased Aerys I.
  • ~228 AC: Olenna Tyrell is born.[7]

    King Maekar adopts his own sigil.

  • Maekar is a strong enough ruler that the Blackfyre pretenders in exile don't dare try to launch another rebellion during his reign, though he faces various localized uprisings and intrigues. A disciplined soldier but not a courtier, Maekar is a capable and effective king, although not a particularly loved one. His reign does much to restore the power and respect the throne lost during his older brother's weak reign.
  • Maekar I dies during the siege of a rebel lord's castle. With his eldest two sons dead (one from a pox, and Aerion from drinking wildfire in a fit of madness), the council offers the crown to Maekar's third son, a maester of the Citadel named Aemon, but citing his vows he refuses the throne. Therefore Maekar's fourth son (also known as "Egg") takes the throne, becoming King Aegon V Targaryen. He is called Aegon the Unlikely, because as the fourth son of a fourth son he was initially far behind in the line of succession. Ser Duncan joins Aegon V's Kingsguard, and eventually rises to become its Lord Commander. At the beginning of Aegon V's reign Bloodraven is exiled to the Wall for killing a Blackfyre under a flag of truce. Ser Duncan is part of the "honor guard" that escorts him there, along with Aegon V's older brother Maester Aemon - who voluntarily joined the Night's Watch, despite Aegon V's pleas, because he wanted to remove himself as far as possible from court intrigues against his brother.
  • ~234 AC: Tywin Lannister, eldest son of Tytos Lannister, is born.[8]
  • The rule of Aegon V. This is generally a period of prosperity for the Seven Kingdoms, but also of conflict: Aegon V tried to enact many populist reforms throughout his reign to improve the lives of the commoners, lowing taxes on the poor and raising taxes on the rich. Politically this was unwise, as it turned many of the great lords of the realm against him - encouraging the worst of these to outright join rebellions against the throne. Aegon V proves an intelligent and capable king, but the reforms he attempted to make were too idealistic and impractical.
  • The Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion occurs when the Golden Company launches an invasion at Massey's Hook in the Stormlands, led by Daemon Blackfyre's grandson Daemon III, along with the now-elderly Bittersteel. The fourth rebellion is even less successful than the third.
    • The heir to House Lannister dies in the fourth rebellion, leaving his younger brother as next in line: inexperienced third son Tytos Lannister, who succeeds their father upon his death. Tytos's weak rule greatly diminishes Lannister power and reduces them to a laughingstock. The Westerlands fall into chaos as a result, even meriting several military interventions from King Aegon V, but to no avail. House Reyne comes to rival House Lannister as the real power in the Westerlands.
  • The Young Ser Barristan Selmy kills Maelys Blackfyre at the conclusion of the Fifth Blackfyre Rebellion, also known as the War of the Ninepenny Kings.

    c. 258 AC: The War of the Ninepenny Kings (also known as the Fifth Blackfyre Rebellion) erupts, late in the reign of King Aegon V.[9] A group of mercenaries, fortune-seekers, and ne'er do-wells known as the Band of Nine combines their strength to carve out their own territories: among them is Maelys the Monstrous, the last of the Blackfyre Pretenders. After taking over the Disputed Lands and Tyrosh, they conquer the Stepstones as the opening move of an invasion meant to claim the Seven Kingdoms in the name of House Blackfyre. At the conclusion of the war, Maelys Blackfyre is killed by the promising young knight Ser Barristan Selmy. Both Ser Barristan and Ser Brynden "The Blackfish" Tully win great fame and glory during the war, and return home as celebrated heroes. In gratitude, King Aegon V appoints Ser Barristan to the Kingsguard, in which he will serve for the next forty years. The teenaged Tywin Lannister and his brothers also first blood themselves in combat during the war, serving with distinction. During the war Brynden's older brother Hoster Tully of Riverrun makes the acquaintance of a Lord Baelish of the Fingers, later accepting his son Petyr as a ward at Riverrun.[10][11]
    • Note: In the book continuity, the War of the Ninepenny Kings was actually fought during the reign of King Jaehaerys II, son of King Aegon V and father of King Aerys II who only ruled for three years. The TV continuity has officially eliminated Jaehaerys II, making Aerys II the son of Aegon V - see "Removing Jaehaerys II" in the Notes section below. The Season 5 Histories & Lore featurette "Robert's Rebellion" confirmed that in the TV continuity, the War of the Ninepenny Kings occurred in the last years of Aegon V's reign and Aerys II explicitly only became king after that war ended.
  • ?-258 AC - King Aegon V plans a series of arranged marriages between his children and several of the Great Houses to strengthen the royal family's political bonds within the realm. All of his children ultimately defy their father and marry for love instead, and because he married for love himself, he feels he cannot refuse them - causing all of his carefully planned political alliances to fall through. The young and beautiful Olenna Redwyne was arranged to marry one of Aegon V's sons but due to neither she nor her intended desiring the match, she got out of it and married Lord Luthor Tyrell.
    • Note: As with the War of the Ninepenny Kings, removing Jaehaerys II to make Aerys II the direct son of Aegon V eliminates an entire generation of House Targaryen, leading to several after-effects, and questions of who exactly his children married in the TV continuity. See "Removing Jaehaerys II" in the Notes section below.
  • 258 AC: King Aegon and his son Prince Duncan are killed in a great fire at Summerhall, the Targaryen summer palace, apparently during an attempt to hatch the last three dragon eggs left in the west. Aegon's son, Aerys II Targaryen, becomes king. The eggs are assumed destroyed in the fire.

The Reign of the Mad King

Main article: Aerys II Targaryen
  • 258 AC: King Aerys's reign begins with great promise. He sweeps aside the old men of his father and grandfather's courts and replaces them with young, vigorous replacements.
  • King Aerys's wife Queen Rhaella gives birth to their first son, Rhaegar Targaryen.
  • In the Reyne Rebellion, young Tywin eradicated House Reyne down to the last child, restoring Lannister dominance over the Westerlands after a generation of weak rule under his father Tytos.

    Emboldened by his recent military experience in the War of the Ninepenny Kings, young Tywin Lannister puts down the Reyne Rebellion to restore Lannister dominance over the Westerlands, and has any surviving Reynes - man, woman, and child - put to the sword, as an example to any vassal who would dare challenge Casterly Rock again. The eradication of House Reyne is the first major step in the return to glory of House Lannister, in which Tywin almost singlehandedly rebuilt the fortunes and strength of his House. Impressed with Tywin's ruthlessness, Aerys II Targaryen appoints him as his new Hand of the King. Tywin continues to ably serve in this position for nearly twenty years, during which the Seven Kingdoms and the Lannisters, in particular, enjoy peace and prosperity.
  • 261 AC: Tywin Lannister's wife Joanna Lannister gives birth to twins, Cersei and Jaime.[12]
  • 265 AC: Tywin Lannister's wife Joanna dies giving birth to their third and final child, a stunted dwarf named Tyrion.[13]
  • c. 265 - c.290 AC: According to Tyrion Lannister, Westeros has experienced nine winters during his lifetime, the last ending around 290 AC. Tyrion states that the winter during which he was born was the longest of these, lasting three years.[14]
  • c. 275 AC - Young Cersei Lannister and her companion Melara Hetherspoon visit a woods-witch called Maggy (seen during the opening flashback scene of the Season 5 premiere, "The Wars to Come").
  • 276 AC: King Aerys II Targaryen's wife Queen Rhaella give birth to their second son, Viserys Targaryen.
  • Aerys Targaryen gradually spiralled into insanity.

    ~270s AC: Cracks begin to appear in Aerys's demeanor. He refuses to marry his son Rhaegar to Tywin's daughter Cersei, instead having Rhaegar marry Princess Elia Martell of Dorne. Aerys becomes paranoid over talk in the castle that Tywin is the true ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. Aerys has Ser Ilyn Payne's tongue ripped out with hot pincers when he was overheard whispering (accurately) that Tywin was the real man holding the realm together at this point.
  • c. 275 AC: The Defiance of Duskendale. Lord Darklyn of Duskendale refuses to pay his taxes, and takes Aerys captive. Tywin and Barristan Selmy rescue Aerys. The Darklyns are burned alive for their treachery. Already suffering from bouts of mental instability, later historians claim that the stress of Aerys's imprisonment shattered what was left of his sanity. He retreated from public view for the next few years and refused to allow blades in his presence anymore (except those of his Kingsguard), developing a deranged appearance with uncut and filthy hair hanging to his waist, and uncut fingernails growing several inches long.
  • 278 AC: Lord Steffon Baratheon and his wife, Lady Cassana Baratheon die as their ship, the Windproud, sinks in Shipbreaker Bay. Their eldest son, Robert Baratheon, inherits Storm's End.
  • 278 AC: The Great Tourney at Harrenhal. In a year of false spring, a great tournament is held by Lord Whent at Harrenhal. Prince Rhaegar wins the tournament, but names Lyanna Stark of Winterfell as the Queen of Love and Beauty rather than his own wife Elia. Aerys names Jaime to the Kingsguard, disinheriting him as Tywin's heir in favor of his misshapen dwarf younger brother, Tyrion. Furious, Tywin resigns the Handship and returns to Casterly Rock.
  • Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen's abduction of Lyanna Stark.

    c. 279 AC: Rhaegar allegedly kidnaps Lyanna against her will and disappears with her. Lyanna's eldest brother Brandon impulsively rides to King's Landing and demands justice, but instead Aerys has both him and his father Rickard arrested and brutally executed.

Robert's Rebellion

Aerys laughs hysterically as he has Rickard and Brandon Stark executed in the throne room.

Main article: Robert's Rebellion

Robert and Rhaegar engage in an epic duel at the climatic Battle of the Trident, ending in Rhaegar's death and the defeat of the main Targaryen army.

During the Sack of King's Landing, the brutal Ser Gregor Clegane kills Rhaegar's two small children, then rapes and kills his wife Elia Martell.

At the height of the Sack, Jaime Lannister kills the Mad King, who as a Kingsguard he had sworn to protect, at the very foot of the Iron Throne.

  • 279 AC[15]: In response to the king's murder of Rickard and Brandon Stark, the new Lord of Winterfell, Eddard Stark, raises the banners of the North. Robert Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End and betrothed to Lyanna, joins the rebellion, raising the banners of the Stormlands. Lord Jon Arryn of the Vale, a mentor to both Robert and Eddard, does the same. The Stark, Tully, and Arryn armies begin gathering north of the Trident, but Robert's forces are cut off far to the south. Leaving his brother Stannis to hold Storm's End, Robert marches his army northwest through enemy territory. Lord Mace Tyrell continues to besiege Storm's End for a full year. Robert is defeated at the Battle of Ashford by Tyrell forces loyal to the king, but later joins up with the Northern and Vale armies at the Battle of the Bells. The combined rebel army crosses to the north side of the Trident. Both sides consolidate for a major showdown. Lord Hoster Tully of Riverrun, who had planned to marry his daughter Catelyn to Brandon Stark, instead agrees to marry her to Eddard in exchange for his support in war. In addition, Hoster marries his second daughter Lysa to Jon Arryn to shore up the alliance. All four are wed in a double marriage ceremony at Riverrun before the rebel armies depart once again.
  • 280 AC:[15] Prince Rhaegar leads a royalist army to directly engage the rebels, but is defeated at the climactic Battle of the Trident, in which he is killed in personal combat by Robert himself.
  • 280 AC:[15] Realizing that rebel victory is imminent, King Aerys sends his remaining young son Viserys and his pregnant wife Queen Rhaella to the safety of the ancestral Targaryen fortress, Dragonstone.
  • 280 AC:[15] With Rhaegar dead, lords who had been undecided about which side to join now abandon the Mad King. Lord Tywin's army arrives at King's Landing allegedly to defend the city, but once the gates are opened the Lannisters brutally sack the city. Aerys II is killed by Jaime Lannister, his own Kingsguard, for which Jaime becomes known as "the Kingslayer".
  • 280 AC:[15] Robert Baratheon, due to a blood relationship with House Targaryen, is proclaimed King of the Seven Kingdoms. With Lyanna dead, Robert instead marries Cersei Lannister to shore up the alliance that brought down the Targaryens.
  • 280 AC: Robb Stark is born, first son of Eddard Stark.
  • 280 AC: Jon Snow is born.

King Robert's Reign

Main article: Robert Baratheon
  • Jon Arryn ably served as Hand of the King for 17 years, ensuring stable rule and prosperity while Robert drank, ate, and whored.

    281 AC - On Dragonstone, Queen Rhaella dies giving birth to her daughter, Daenerys, several months after her father died in the fall of King's Landing. During her birth a great storm wrecks what is left of the Targaryen fleet anchored at Dragonstone, for which she is named "Daenerys Stormborn". The rebels lack their own fleet so it takes some time to assemble one to assault the island. Eventually, when they realize the rebels will arrive soon, Targaryen loyalists smuggle the Targaryen heirs Viserys and Daenerys to safety in the Free Cities, where they remain in exile.
  • 281 AC - When Eddard returns back north from the war, he reunites with Catelyn and sees his newborn son Robb for the first time. Along with him, however, Eddard brings from the south an infant boy, claiming the child is his bastard. Eddard names the boy Jon, and as an acknowledged noble bastard he uses the surname Snow. Unusually, Eddard announces that his bastard son Jon Snow will be raised in his home castle Winterfell, alongside his lawfully born children with Catelyn. Little did everybody know that Jon Snow was actually the trueborn son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. Ned raised Jon as his son to hide his true parentage and to keep him safe from Robert, who had developed a murderous hatred for all Targaryens.
  • 281 AC - Theon Greyjoy is born, third son of Balon Greyjoy.[16]
  • Late 282 AC: Queen Cersei Lannister gives birth to Prince Joffrey Baratheon. Secretly, the boy is not actually Robert's son, but a bastard of incest fathered by Cersei's own twin brother Jaime. Her next two children will also secretly be fathered by Jaime.
    • While Joffrey was 12 years old in the first novel, the TV series established that he was 16 years old in Season 1, thus he was born roughly a year or so after the war ended 17 years ago. See discussion at the end of this article.
  • 285 AC: Sansa Stark is born.[17]
  • 288 AC: Bran Stark[19] and Myrcella Baratheon are born.[20]
  • After the failure of the Greyjoy Rebellion, Balon Greyjoy surrenders to Robert Baratheon. His son Theon is sent to live with Eddard Stark as a political hostage.

    289 AC: The Greyjoy Rebellion - Lord Balon Greyjoy leads a rebellion against King Robert's reign, attempting to secede the Iron Islands from the rest of the realm. After several months of furious fighting in the Westerlands and Riverlands, King Robert's forces push the ironborn back to Pyke and storm the castle. Balon capitulates and surrenders his only surviving son, Theon, as hostage and ward for his good behavior. Robert instructs Eddard Stark to take Theon under his wing.
  • 289 AC: Tommen Baratheon is born.[21]
  • Following spring, a long summer officially begins, which will last for another ten years, only ending in 299 AL. It is the longest summer in living memory.
  • Robin Arryn, called Sweetrobin, is born, the only living child of Jon Arryn and Lysa Tully.[22]
  • 292 AC: Rickon Stark is born.[23]
  • 297 AC: Magister Illyrio Mopatis of Pentos invites Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen to stay in his manse and offers to help them reclaim their throne.

Game of Thrones

Season 1 - 298 AC

King Robert Baratheon makes a formal visit to Winterfell, to beseech his old friend Eddard to take the late Lord Arryn's place as Hand of the King.

On the verge of her secret being discovered, Cersei has her husband Robert mortally injured in a hunting "accident", and installs Joffrey as king.

On a whim, the psychopathic Joffrey foolishly has Ned Stark beheaded on the very steps of the Great Sept - plunging the Seven Kingdoms into the War of the Five Kings.

Daenerys Targaryen is married to Khal Drogo as a political alliance, giving the Targaryens their first chance since fleeing into exile of gaining an army to retake the Iron Throne with.

Using "fire and blood" magic, Daenerys uses Drogo's funeral pyre to hatch three live dragons, bringing the species back from extinction after a century and a half.

298 AC: The events of Game of Thrones begin with Season 1, seventeen years after the end of Robert's Rebellion.

Season 2 - 299 AC

Robb Stark, declared King in the North by his bannermen, invades the Westerlands.

Robert's youngest brother Renly Baratheon declares himself king ahead of middle brother Stannis, and marries Margaery Tyrell to gain the support of her powerful family.

Renly is assassinated by a magical Shadow-creature sent by Stannis and Melisandre.

House Greyjoy declares its independence once again, and opportunistically attacks the North while its army is away south.

Most of Stannis's fleet assaulting King's Landing is destroyed in a huge wildfire explosion at the massive Battle of the Blackwater.

299 AC: The events of Game of Thrones: Season 2.

  • The Conclave of the Order of Maesters, based on reports and observations, officially declares that the ten-year-long summer has finally ended, and autumn has begun. There are fears that a long summer will be followed by an equally long winter, but instead of stockpiling food, the Seven Kingdoms are gripped by civil war, devastating the countryside.[24]
  • The War of the Five Kings drags on. King Robb Stark invades the Westerlands to further bleed the Lannisters. The Baratheon brothers parley in the Stormlands but refuse to combine their strength. Heavily outnumbered, Stannis has his ally the Red Priestess Melisandre summon a magical shadow-creature to assassinate Renly. The lords of the Stormlands rally to Stannis as the sole remaining Baratheon heir, but the Tyrells and their vassals withdraw back to the Reach. Balon Greyjoy decides to opportunistically use the war as a chance to secede the Iron Islands from the Iron Throne, and invades the North while Robb's army is in the south. Winterfell is seized and later burned. Stannis mounts a massive direct assault on King's Landing, but is defeated. Baelish brokers an alliance between House Tyrell and House Lannister, sealed by the betrothal of Margaery Tyrell to King Joffrey. Further marriage alliances are made of Myrcella Baratheon with Trystane Martell, and Baelish with Lysa Arryn, which also bring Dorne and the Vale back into the Lannister fold (though they do not send troops to march in battle). Robb Stark breaks his promised marriage-alliance with House Frey by marrying Talisa Maegyr.
  • By the time of the death of King Renly Baratheon, it has been eighteen years since Robert's Rebellion, indicating a year or more has passed since the events of the series began.[25]
  • Daenerys Targaryen crosses the Red Waste and arrives in Qarth. She later flees the Warlocks of Qarth who desire control of her dragons, and takes a ship bound west.
  • Lord Commander Mormont's Great Ranging north of the Wall reaches the Fist of the First Men. Jon Snow joins Qhorin in scouting out the main wildling camp of King-Beyond-the-Wall Mance Rayder in the Frostfangs. Jon infiltrates Mance Rayder's army.

Season 3 - 300 AC

After Renly's death, House Tyrell shifts its massive support to the Lannisters, in exchange for a royal betrothal.

Robb Stark realizes that due to his various political blunders, he has functionally lost the war already.

The Stark army is massacred at the Red Wedding. Catelyn and Robb are killed in the main hall by the Freys, breaking sacred Guest right.

King Robb is stabbed through the heart by Roose Bolton, then the Freys horrifically mutilate his corpse.

Like his father Roose, Ramsay Snow betrayed the Starks by taking Winterfell under a flag of truce, then burning the castle.

Daenerys Targaryen steals and frees an army of 8,000 Unsullied with her dragons, then sacks Astapor.

With her new Unsullied army and her young dragons, Daenerys begins a campaign of liberation in Slaver's Bay.

300 AC: The events of Game of Thrones: Season 3.

  • Talisa states in Robb Stark's army camp as he leaves Riverrun for the Twins that the War of the Five Kings has lasted two years now (reinforcing the general principle that one TV season equals one year within the story continuity).[26]
  • King Robb Stark withdraws from the Westerlands and returns to the Riverlands, his strategic objectives having failed. Robb's grandfather Lord Hoster Tully dies after a long illness, and Robb returns with much of his army to Riverrun.
  • Lord Rickard Karstark kills two unarmed Lannister squires held at Riverrun, Tywin's own nephews Martyn and Willem Lannister, as petty vengeance for the loss of his own sons in the war, and is executed by Robb Stark, resulting in the forces of House Karstark abandoning his already dwindling and outnumbered army. Robb attempts winning back the support of House Frey after breaking their marriage-alliance pact. The Freys insist that Robb's uncle Edmure Tully marry Lord Walder's daughter Roslin Frey.
  • Robb Stark, Catelyn Stark, and almost the entire Northern army are massacred at the Twins at the wedding feast of Edmure and Roslin, which becomes known as the Red Wedding. The Starks are betrayed by House Frey and House Bolton. The Lannisters install House Bolton as the new rulers of the North to replace House Stark, while the Freys will displace the Tullys in the Riverlands.
  • Daenerys Targaryen arrives at Astapor in Slaver's Bay, and seizes control of an army of 8,000 Unsullied warrior-eunuchs. After sacking Astapor, the new Targaryen army advances on Yunkai.
  • The Night's Watch faces the White Walkers in combat for the first time in 8,000 years at the disastrous Battle of the Fist of the First Men, where their main base camp is ambushed by White Walkers leading their hordes of undead wights. Out of three hundred men, consisting of most of the Watch's high-ranking officers and best fighters, only a few dozen men led by Lord Commander Mormont are able to fight their way out, and retreat back to Craster's Keep. Deteriorating conditions there lead to the Mutiny at Craster's Keep in which Mormont himself is killed by his own men, while loyalists and betrayers turn on each other in the confusion. Samwell Tarly escapes the carnage with Craster's daughter-wife Gilly, and attempts to flee with her back to Castle Black. On the way, Sam is confronted by a White Walker, but becomes the first man in thousands of years to kill one of the demonic beings when he stabs it with a dragonglass dagger he found at the Fist of the First Men, in the process discovering their vital weakness to the substance. Jon Snow meets Mance Rayder and gains his trust. He is sent with a scouting party led by Tormund to scale the Wall. They successfully pass over to the south side and intend to attack Castle Black from its undefended rear to distract its small garrison while Mance's main army assaults the Wall directly.

Season 4 - 301 AC

King Joffrey marries Margaery Tyrell to secure the Lannister-Tyrell alliance, and celebrate the Lannister victory ending the war.

Joffrey ends up assassinated, poisoned at his own wedding feast - and the war enters into a new, more chaotic phase.

Littlefinger, the secret architect of the entire war, tricking the Starks and Lannisters into fighting each other to exhaust them both.

Despite their victory, the Lannisters are bankrupted by the war, leading to a crippling debt crisis with the Iron Bank of Braavos.

Oberyn Martell fights Gregor Clegane in a trial by combat, which leaves Oberyn dead and Gregor fatally poisoned.

Tywin Lannister is shot dead with a crossbow while on the privy by his own son, Tyrion, who then flees Westeros.

Daenerys Targaryen captures Meereen, but facing continued resistance from the local slave-masters, decides to stay and rule as the city's queen until she can stabilize it.

Stannis Baratheon's surviving army makes a surprise arrival at the Battle of Castle Black to save the Night's Watch and crush the wildling horde led by Mance Rayder.

301 AC: The events of Game of Thrones: Season 4.

  • King Joffrey Baratheon is assassinated with poisoned wine at his own wedding. Tyrion Lannister is arrested on the false accusation of involvement in the plot to poison Joffrey. Sansa Stark finally escapes King's Landing, carried away on a ship by Petyr Baelish.
  • Joffrey is succeeded as king by his younger brother Tommen I Baratheon, a very young boy. Much more mild-mannered and easily controlled than the crazed Joffrey, young Tommen becomes a pliable puppet king for his grandfather Tywin, who as Hand effectively becomes King in all but name.
  • House Bolton begins to consolidate Lannister rule over the North, while House Frey dominates the Riverlands, though much of this major breadbasket region has been reduced to burned-out devastation, roamed by brigands.
  • House Greyjoy and the Iron Islands continue to reject Lannister control, as does Stannis Baratheon on Dragonstone.
  • Lysa Arryn is killed by Petyr Baelish soon after marrying him, making Littlefinger the new Regent for her young son and ruler of the Vale. He is joined by a young black-haired girl named "Alayne" - secretly, a disguised Sansa Stark. It turns out that Littlefinger is the secret architect of the entire War of the Five Kings - tricking the Starks and Lannisters into fighting each other to exhaust them both (and helping Olenna poison Joffrey), while keeping the Vale's armies out of the war and at full strength, to finish off the survivors
  • After Sandor Clegane is badly injured in a fight with Brienne of Tarth, Arya Stark leaves him for dead by the highway. She then arrives at the eastern coast, and uses the special coin that Jaqen H'ghar gave her to obtain passage on a ship to the Free City of Braavos, across the Narrow Sea.
  • Despite the Lannisters' apparent victory, substantial spending on the war has only exacerbated the crown's already massive debts, leading to tensions with the Iron Bank of Braavos.
  • Oberyn Martell is killed in a trial by combat with Ser Gregor Clegane, but not before stabbing Gregor multiple times with a blade coated in deadly manticore venom.
  • Tywin Lannister is killed by his own son Tyrion Lannister, shot with a crossbow while he sat on the privy. Tyrion and Varys flee to the Free Cities. Cersei becomes the new head of House Lannister.
  • Daenerys Targaryen's growing army arrives at the last and greatest of the three major cities in Slaver's Bay, Meereen. Her forces capture the city and she sets herself up as its new ruling Queen. After hearing of Joffrey's assassination, Daenerys and her advisors briefly consider if the time is right to mount an invasion of the Seven Kingdoms. However, after Daenerys's army leaves, the slave-masters retake Yunkai, while a tyrant named Clean overthrows the council she left behind in Astapor to make himself its new emperor. With the population of Slaver's Bay thrown into chaos, and with an invasion of Westeros still a daunting task (given that her dragons are not yet big enough to ride), Daenerys decides to remain in Meereen and consolidate her position. Daenerys exiles Jorah Mormont when she discovers that he had previously been spying on her for Robert Baratheon (though his loyalty later became genuine).
  • Advanced wildling raiding parties scale over the Wall to pillage the Gift, to distract the Night's Watch as preparation for the attack by Mance Rayder's main wildling army on Castle Black itself.
  • Beyond the Wall, Bran Stark and his remaining companions finally reach the cave of the Three-Eyed Raven, who actually used to be a man and is the Last Greenseer, attended by the remaining Children of the Forest.
  • The wildling horde numbering in the tens of thousands assaults the Wall in the Battle of Castle Black. After a desperate defense, the tide is turned by the surprise appearance of Stannis Baratheon, along with most of his remaining forces, leading to a decisive victory. Many wildlings are killed or flee, and thousands are captured, including Mance Rayder. Stannis's relocation to the Wall begins a new phase in the War of the Five Kings.

Season 5 - 302 AC

With Tywin dead and Tyrion fleeing into exile, Cersei becomes the new head of House Lannister - and disastrously mishandles both the war and the debt crisis.

Cersei's younger son Tommen is crowned king, and marries Margaery Tyrell to secure their alliance.

A popular-disgust religious protest movement known as the Sparrows spreads throughout Westeros. Cersei tries to win their support by naming the High Sparrow as the new High Septon.

Cersei grants the High Sparrow permission to revive the Faith Militant, the armed order of the Faith of the Seven.

The Faith Militant turns against Cersei, arrests her, and forces her to perform a humiliating walk of atonement.

Jon Snow is elected the new Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, and cements his position by personally executing Janos Slynt for treason.

The White Walkers slaughter thousands of wildlings in the Massacre at Hardhome, and the Night King revives them as wights in their army of the undead.

An insurgency grips Meereen of former slave-masters calling themselves the Sons of the Harpy, who refuse to accept Daenerys's rule.

An attack by the Sons of the Harpy at the Great Pit of Daznak forces Daenerys to flee the city on Drogon - and the wounded dragon takes her back to the Dothraki Sea.

Stannis Baratheon marches south from the Wall to fight the Boltons, leading to the Battle of Winterfell.

Jon Snow is stabbed and left for dead in the Mutiny at Castle Black.

302 AC: The events of Game of Thrones: Season 5.

  • After her father's death and her brother's flight, Queen Mother Cersei Lannister rules through her young son King Tommen Baratheon, essentially becoming Ruling Queen in all but name. She stacks the small council with sycophants who will not stand against her. The debt crisis comes to a head, as the Iron Bank of Braavos starts calling in its massive loans to the crown - of which the Lannisters only physically possess about one-twentieth of what they owe.
  • King Tommen marries Margaery Tyrell (and consummates the marriage), securing the Lannisters' badly-needed alliance with House Tyrell - their only major remaining source of soldiers, food, and above all money to deal with the debt crisis, now that their own armies and resources are half-exhausted from years of fighting. Queen Margaery and Queen Mother Cersei quickly enter into a bitter rivalry for control over Tommen.
  • The Sparrows arrive in King's Landing, a popular disgust religious movement reacting against the corruption of Westeros's wealthy leaders during the war. They started up in the shattered countryside over the course of the devastating conflict, but were afraid to enter the capital city directly until after Tywin died. They start by directing their anger against the corrupt leadership of the Faith of the Seven, who have grown rich and comfortable while remaining pliant puppets for the Lannisters. Cersei decides to build up a new alliance between the Crown and the Faith as a counterweight to the growing influence of the Tyrells at court. The High Septon is deposed and due to Cersei's influence the leader of the Sparrows, known as "the High Sparrow", is elected the new High Septon. Cersei subsequently attempts to bribe the High Sparrow and form a new ally against the Tyrells by granting him permission to revive the Faith Militant, the armed order of the Faith which had been abolished by the Targaryens nearly two centuries before.
  • Cersei receives a threatening message from Dorne: her daughter Myrcella's Lannister lion pendant stuffed in a wooden model of a viper's mouth. Fearing House Martell wants to take revenge for Oberyn's death, Jaime volunteers to go to Sunspear and attempt to steal Myrcella back to the capital before she is harmed. Meanwhile, Ellaria Sand begs Prince Doran Martell to raise Dorne's armies in war against the Lannisters to avenge Oberyn's death, but he refuses, and forbids her to harm Myrcella. Nonetheless, Ellaria joins with three of Oberyn's daughters (the Sand Snakes) in a plot to kill Myrcella to provoke a war with the Lannisters. Both Jaime and the Sand Snakes are caught as they attempt to reach Myrcella. Doran allows Jaime to leave with Myrcella asking only that he take his son Trystane (Myrcella's betrothed) along as well, to fill the seat on the small council vacated by Oberyn's death.
  • The Faith Militant arrests Loras Tyrell and then Margaery Tyrell at Cersei's urging. However, this soon backfires when the Faith Militant turns against Cersei herself, accurately accusing her of extramarital affairs, incest, and causing the entire war which has led to incalculable suffering among the commoners. The High Sparrow eventually releases her back to the custody of her family pending trial, but first forces her to perform a humiliating walk of atonement, walking naked through the streets of King's Landing from the Great Sept to the Red Keep.
  • Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish plots a new intrigue by offering Sansa Stark in marriage to Ramsay Bolton, to help secure their hold over the North during Stannis's oncoming attack. Littlefinger hopes this will allow her to undermine the Boltons from within. Later, he tricks Cersei by informing her of the marriage as if it was the Boltons' idea and he never knew where Sansa was - thus gaining permission to lead the Vale's fresh armies to invade the North, and finish off either Stannis or the Boltons, whichever survives the upcoming assault. This will allow Littlefinger to functionally control both the Vale and the North, without provoking a reaction from the Lannisters.
  • Stannis's army becomes snowbound as a late autumn blizzard sets in. Bolton raids destroy his supply train, leaving his army without enough food to slowly march to Winterfell or retreat back to Castle Black. Their only hope is if the blizzard suddenly lets up, but there appears to be no end in sight. Feeling he is out of options, Stannis reluctantly allows Melisandre to sacrifice his daughter and only child Shireen to the Lord of Light by burning her alive.
  • In Meereen, Daenerys Targaryen's already precarious hold over the recently liberated city is beset by a protracted insurgency from the ex-slaver masters, called the Sons of the Harpy. When ex-slaves kill a captured Harpy she had promised a trial, Daenerys tries to uphold the rule of law by executing the ex-slave - but this only loses her the support of many of the former slaves who once hailed her as a liberator. The insurgency by the Sons of the Harpy escalates and in a large-scale ambush in the alleys of the city, Barristan Selmy is killed defending Grey Worm, who is severely wounded but survives. Daenerys decides that she must marry the head of one of the old slaver families, Hizdahr zo Loraq, to strengthen her political ties in the city, and agrees to lift her ban and reopen the fighting pits of Meereen.
  • Tyrion Lannister flees with Varys across the Narrow Sea to the Free City of Pentos. Varys explains to Tyrion that he is secretly a Targaryen loyalist and has been working to restore them to the throne, urging Tyrion to travel east with him to Meereen to become an advisor to Daenerys Targaryen. In Volantis, Tyrion is kidnapped by Jorah Mormont, who hopes to win back Daenerys's favor by presenting her with Tyrion as a gift - ironically, as Tyrion was already heading to Meereen to meet Daenerys. After passing through the Smoking Sea they are left shipwrecked after fighting off Stone Men, and then captured by slavers, but Tyrion talks them into selling the pair at Meereen's newly re-opened fighting pits. During an early local match, Jorah and Tyrion manage to get Daenerys's attention. Daenerys agrees to take Tyrion as an advisor, but remains angered at Jorah; Tyrion talks her down from killing him and urges her to simply exile him again.
  • Arya Stark arrives in the Free City of Braavos and begins training with the Faceless Men, a mysterious guild of shape-shifting assassins.
  • At the Wall, the victory in the Battle of Castle Black allows the Night's Watch enough breathing room to hold an election for a new Lord Commander. Alliser Thorne and Denys Mallister run, but last-minute candidate Jon Snow manages to edge out both of them, to become the 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Jon struggles with choices about how to handle the remnants of the wildlings, the growing threat of the White Walkers, and the depredations of House Bolton, the new rulers of the North under the Lannisters. Shortly before being elected Lord Commander, Stannis offered to legitimize Jon and make him the new Lord of Winterfell if he would rally the North against the Boltons, but Jon declined. Mance Rayder is sentenced to death for breaking his vows to the Night's Watch years ago - which Stannis carries out by having Melisandre burn Mance alive as an offering to the Lord of Light. This fails to frighten the surviving wildlings into submission, so eventually, Stannis departs the Wall to begin an advance on Winterfell with his remaining forces.
  • After Tormund reveals that most of the surviving wildlings have retreated back to Hardhome on the east coast, Jon ventures there with Tormund and a few black brothers by ship (Stannis's sellsail fleet, on loan to the Watch). Jon realizes that every wildling that remains beyond the Wall will become one more wight for the White Walker's growing army of the undead. Several of the wildling elders gathered at Hardhome accept Jon's offer to evacuate them, while the rest will take time to come around, but before that can happen the White Walkers launch a massive attack on the village. The resulting Massacre at Hardhome is a disaster, and Jon only manages to evacuate about 5,000 wildlings back to Castle Black.
  • In the Mutiny at Castle Black, as a sign of their lack of confidence in the Lord Commander to protect the Night's Watch, the faction of Night's Watchmen assassinate Jon Snow.

Season 6 - 303 AC

Jon Snow is miraculously resurrected by the red priestess Melisandre at the behest of Ser Davos Seaworth.

Ramsay Bolton murders his father, Roose Bolton, seizing power in the North.

After murdering his brother Balon, Euron Greyjoy becomes the new King of the Iron Islands.

Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes overthrow House Martell and seize power in Dorne, seeking to go to war against the Lannisters to avenge Elia and Oberyn Martell.

The Night King and the army of the dead assault the cave of the Three-Eyed Raven, though Bran Stark and Meera Reed escape and are saved by Bran's uncle, Benjen Stark.

Bran Stark discovers a shocking secret: Jon Snow is not the bastard son of Eddard Stark, but the son of Ned's sister, Lyanna Stark, and Rhaegar Targaryen.

After completing her training with the Faceless Men in Braavos, Arya returns to Westeros and kills Walder Frey, Lothar Frey, and Walder Rivers in retaliation for the Red Wedding.

The sept of Baelor is destroyed with wildfire, killing most of the Sparrows and the Tyrells.

With King Tommen Baratheon dead, Cersei Lannister becomes Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.

The Targaryen fleet sails to Westeros at last, having defeated the slave masters, conquering the Dothraki, and forming an alliance with the Reach, the Iron Islands, and Dorne.

The Stark-Free Folk army battles Ramsay Bolton's army for control of Winterfell and the North.

After Ramsay is killed, Jon Snow is declared the King in the North by the lords of the North and the Vale, the latter of which helped defeat the Bolton army and return Stark rule to the North.

303 AC: The events of Game of Thrones: Season 6.

Season 7 - 304 AC

Arya Stark, on her quest for vengeance, oversees the extinguishing of the male line of House Frey in retaliation for the Red Wedding before returning to Winterfell.

Jon and Daenerys first meet at Dragonstone, with Melisandre crediting herself as bringing ice and fire together to Varys.

Euron Greyjoy destroys a large portion of the Targaryen fleet and captures his niece Yara, solidifying his alliance with Cersei Lannister.

Her Unsullied trapped at Casterly Rock and Highgarden sacked with the Tyrells dead, Daenerys Targaryen leads the Dothraki atop Drogon against the combined Lannister and Tarly army and destroys their loot train at the Battle of the Goldroad.

Jon Snow embarks on a Wight Hunt with his allies to capture a wight as proof for the rest of Westeros. They are rescued by Daenerys, but the Night King kills Viserion and raises it as an ice dragon.

The Parley in King's Landing is held at the Dragonpit, where the captured wight is presented and Westeros agrees to come together for the Great War, setting aside their enmities and differences.

After learning that Cersei and Euron plan to betray their promise to help fight the undead, Jaime abandons his sister and rides north as snow falls on King's Landing.

With his crimes against the realm and its noble families uncovered, Petyr Baelish is executed by the combined efforts of Sansa, Arya, and Bran Stark.

Theon Greyjoy, forgiven by Jon Snow and overpowering Harrag, wins over Yara's remaining followers and persuades them to join him in his mission to rescue his sister from his uncle Euron.

Bran Stark, having returned to Winterfell, witnesses the marriage of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark and learns that Jon Snow, whose true name is Aegon Targaryen, is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.

En route to White Harbor, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, unaware of their familial ties, make love. This concerns Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys's Hand.

The Wall is breached where Eastwatch stands after attacks made by the Night King, nullifying its magic and allowing for the crossing of the White Walkers and wights into the North.

304 AC: The events of Game of Thrones: Season 7.

Season 8 - 305 AC

Beric Dondarrion burns the undead Ned Umber following the fall of the Last Hearth.

Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister fight in the Battle of Winterfell.

Daenerys Targaryen burns King's Landing in the final battle of her war.

Daenerys is assassinated by Jon Snow in the Great Hall.

Brandon Stark is elected Bran the Broken, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Six Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm, marking the beginning of the elective monarchy of Westeros.

Jon leads the wildlings back home.

305 AC: The events of Game of Thrones: Season 8.


Year at the start of Game of Thrones

The date given on Jorah's letter of pardon from Season 1 is "298 AL", the same as in the books - which has been taken as establishing that both the TV series and first novel begin in the year 298 AC, though time moves more slowly in the TV series.

The timeline of the TV series broadly follows the timeline of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, with several minor differences. Several younger characters - most notably Jon Snow, all of the Stark children and Daenerys Targaryen - are two to three years older than their book equivalents, which has required the date of Robert's Rebellion to be pushed back from fifteen to seventeen years before the events of the series begin. Other characters are even older (Robert Baratheon is ten years older than his book counterpart, Eddard Stark is likely similarly about ten years older) or younger (Ser Vardis Egen is decades younger than in the book, while Theon is two years younger), though for the most part this has no bearing on the timeline.

In Season 4, Barristan Selmy confronts Jorah Mormont about a letter of pardon he received from Robert Baratheon. Though this takes place in Season 4, the letter was written and sent in Season 1, and it specifies the year as 298 after Aegon's Landing, the same year as in the beginning of the book series.

Dating Robert's Rebellion

Several characters in Season 1 mention that Robert's Rebellion ended 17 years ago, which would put the year it ended as roughly 281 (298 - 17) AC. The prop for the book The Lineages and Histories of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms explicitly states that Robert Baratheon was crowned king in year 280 after Aegon's Landing, cementing that the end of the rebellion was in that year. That 280 is actually 18 years before 298 could be taken as a contradiction, but there are examples when the 17 year date is contradicted within the show itself as well, In Season 1 Episode 2 ("The Kingsroad"), Catelyn says that Eddard Stark rode off with Robert Baratheon "17 years ago", but Eddard rode off with Robert at the beginning of the rebellion, which is said in the same episode to have lasted about a year, which would suggest it ended in 282 AC.

One, albeit unlikely, explanation to account for the discrepancy between "17 years" and "280 after Aegon's Landing" is that 17 years could be referring to the actual end of the rebellion, the Assault on Dragonstone, which is specified to have taken place about a year after the Sack of King's Landing (after which Robert was crowned). More plausible explanations could be that Season 1 takes place early in 298 AC (not likely since Season 1 covers several months - there is significant travelling and Daenerys carries a child almost to term) or that Robert became king very late in 280 AC and the date of the anniversary simply did not pass yet in Season 1. Regardless, Game of Thrones Wiki follows the assumption that the current year is 298 AC and that Robert became king in 280 AC, as those are the only concrete dates directly given by official (prop) TV continuity material, anything else being fan-made calculations.

Dating the Greyjoy Rebellion

The major datable event from King Robert's reign in the TV continuity is that the Greyjoy Rebellion is, as in the book series, consistently stated to have occurred 9 years before the beginning of the story - it is mentioned several times in Season 1 that there hasn't been a "proper fight" in nine years. In the books, the Greyjoy Rebellion also occurred 9 years before the story begins - to necessitate just how long Theon was functionally raised in the Stark household as Ned's ward. In the book continuity, with a 15-year gap since Robert's Rebellion, the Greyjoy Rebellion occurred 6 years after Robert was crowned. In the TV series, based on the repeated comments regarding "9 years", the Greyjoy Rebellion took place in 289 (298 - 9) AC, the same year as it did in the books, but Robert becoming king in 280 AC means that it took place longer into his reign than in the books, 9 years into his reign rather than 6.

Passage of time in Game of Thrones

Beyond the props in Season 1, there is no concrete confirmation of the years events in the rest of the series take place. No later piece of dialogue or prop explicitly gives the current year. Game of Thrones Wiki follows the assumption that one season corresponds roughly to one year. Evidence for this, and evidence for the contrary, is presented below.

Evidence that one season roughly corresponds to a year

  • The most obvious evidence is that cast members of course age one year between seasons, which is most clearly visible for the child actors. The Stark children grow up over the course of the series, turning from children into young adults.
  • In Season 2 Episode 5 ("The Ghost of Harrenhal"), Renly Baratheon tells Catelyn Stark that in order for there to be peace between him and Robb, Robb needs to swear him the same oath of fealty that Eddard swore Robert "18 years ago", this piece of dialogue places one more year between Robert's Rebellion and the current year than Season 1 dialogue did, suggesting a year has passed in the series.
  • In Season 3 Episode 7 ("The Bear and the Maiden Fair"), Talisa Stark states that she has tended to the wounded of the War of the Five Kings for "2 years", meaning that the war has lasted for about two years at this point. The war began in late Season 1, suggesting that about 2 years have passed since then.
  • In Season 4 Episode 5 ("First of His Name"), Barristan Selmy says that Joffrey Baratheon's wars have lasted "for years", meaning years have passed since late Season 1 when the War of the Five Kings began.
  • In Season 4 Episode 8 ("The Mountain and the Viper"), Petyr Baelish says that the knights of the Vale rode with Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon in the rebellion "only 20 years ago", a consistent date for Robert’s Rebellion if a season equals a year (17 years + seasons 2 to 4).
  • In Season 5 Episode 7 ("The Gift"), Stannis Baratheon says he has trusted in Melisandre’s visions and prophecies "for years", meaning years have passed since Season 2. In the same episode, Myrcella Baratheon says that Dorne has been her home "for years", reinforcing the same point as Stannis's quote (Myrcella was shipped to Dorne in Season 2).
  • In Season 6 Episode 8 ("No One"), Edmure Tully says that he has been kept in a cell "for years", meaning that years have passed since his imprisonment in late Season 3.

Evidence that one season does not correspond to a year

  • Yara Greyjoy states in Season 2 Episode 8 ("The Prince of Winterfell") that Rickon Stark is six years old, the same age that Robb Stark gave for him in Season 1 Episode 2 ("The Kingsroad").
  • In Season 2 Episode 2 ("The Night Lands"), Balon and Theon Greyjoy comment on that Theon was taken from Pyke nine years ago. As established previously, the Greyjoy Rebellion is also mentioned as having ended nine years before Season 1.
  • Jaime Lannister mentions in Season 3 Episode 5 ("Kissed by Fire") that he has seen the distasteful look of people seeing him as "the Kingslayer" for 17 years, which contradicts Renly's Season 2 statement of "18 years" and suggests Season 3 as taking place in the same year as Season 1.
  • In Season 3 Episode 8 ("Second Sons"), Sansa Stark says that she is 14 years old. In Season 1 Episode 1 ("Winter Is Coming"), she says she is 13 years old, suggesting that only a year has passed between seasons 1 and 3. In the same episode, Daenerys says that she "did not have dragons a year ago", which suggests that the events of late Season 1, when they are born, took place less than a year prior.
  • In Season 4 Episode 5 ("First of His Name"), Cersei Lannister says that she has been Queen for "19 years". If one season corresponds to roughly a year, Season 4 takes place in 301 AC, 21 years after her marriage to Robert (in 280 AC). Even if one follows the "17 years ago" date from Season 1, Cersei would have had to have been Queen for at least 20 years if one season is one year. In the same episode, Cersei says that she has not seen her daughter in over a year. Myrcella was shipped to Dorne in Season 2, meaning that if one season equals a year, two years should have passed.
  • In Season 5 Episode 8 ("Hardhome"), Daenerys Targaryen mentions that Varys has overseen the campaign to assassinate her "for 20 years". As the Assault of Dragonstone took place roughly a year after Robert Baratheon became king, it must have taken place in 281 AC. If one season corresponds to one year, Season 5 takes place in 302 AC, meaning 21 years have actually passed. Daenerys could be rounding down to 20.
  • In Season 5 Episode 2 ("The House of Black and White"), Stannis Baratheon says that Lyanna Mormont is a "girl of ten". Sansa Stark also says that Lyanna is 10 years old in Season 6 Episode 7 ("The Broken Man").
  • Cersei Lannister tells her brother Jaime Lannister that she is pregnant in Season 7 Episode 5 ("Eastwatch"). She is still pregnant in Season 8 Episode 5 ("The Bells"), but it is not yet visually apparent, which indicates that Seasons 7 and 8 should not cover more than a year together.

Discrepancies and conclusions

It is possible to reconcile much of the discrepancies noted above if it assumed that Season 2 and 3 take place in the same year, and that Season 7 and 8 take place in the same year. This would give the timeline of the TV series as 298 AC (Season 1), 299 AC (Seasons 2 and 3), 300 AC (Season 4), 301 AC (Season 5), 302 AC (Season 6) and 303 AC (Seasons 7 and 8). With this timeline, the timeline of Cersei's pregnancy makes more sense, and much of the other evidence holds up as well. Sansa being 14 in Season 3 and 13 in Season 1 works out, as does Cersei being queen for "19 years" in Season 4, and Varys working to assassinate Daenerys for "20 years". It also works with the various comments about events having been "years" ago, Joffrey's wars had lasted for two years in Season 4, when Barristan commented on them lasting for "years" (two is plural), Stannis having trusted in Melisandre for years would also equal two years rather than three, still plausible. This would also go to explaining how Daenerys can claim she "did not have dragons a year ago" in Season 3 (when they were born in Season 1), and Cersei not having seen Myrcella for about a year in Season 4 (when they last saw each other in Season 2). Talisa's statement in Season 3 that indicates that the War of the Five Kings had lasted for about 2 years could be reconciled by imagining it starting early in 298 AC and her making the statement late in 299 AC (i.e. almost 2 years having passed, and imagining her to be rounding up).

The major problem with this version of the timeline is Arya Stark's age. Though Arya's age is never expicitly given within the series itself, HBO officially confirmed her to be 18 years old in Season 8. If Season 8 takes place in 303 AC, five years after Season 1, this would make Arya 13 years old in Season 1, the same age as her older sister Sansa Stark. Though the actress of Arya, Maisie Williams, was 13 when they filmed Season 1, Arya and Sansa cannot be the same age in-universe, and have to be separated by at least one year. Their ages relative to each other are never confirmed in the TV series. In the book series, Arya is three years younger than Sansa, but Sophie Turner (Sansa's actress) is just a year older than Maisie Williams. Given that they have to be at least a year apart, the timeline would have to look like one of the models below:

  • A) 298 AC (Season 1), 299 AC (Season 2 & 3), 300 AC (Season 4), 301 AC (Season 5), 302 AC (Season 6), 303 AC (Season 7), 304 AC (Season 8) – Sansa is one year older than Arya
  • B) 298 AC (Season 1), 299 AC (Season 2), 300 AC (Season 3), 301 AC (Season 4), 302 AC (Season 5), 303 AC (Season 6), 304 AC (Season 7 & 8) – Sansa is one year older than Arya
  • C) 298 AC (Season 1), 299 AC (Season 2), 300 AC (Season 3), 301 AC (Season 4), 302 AC (Season 5), 303 AC (Season 6), 304 AC (Season 7), 305 AC (Season 8) – Sansa is two years older than Arya

Given that there at most can be only a single case of two seasons taking place in a single year, and which year or seasons this would be cannot be determined with complete certainty (with there being two most likely candidates - Season 2 & 3 and Season 7 & 8), it is easier to assume that one season roughly corresponds to one year throughout the series, and as such Game of Thrones Wiki follows timeline model C above (though the others are plausible as well), placing the events of Season 8 in 305 AC.

Removal of King Jaehaerys II Targaryen

In the book series, the last few Targaryen kings were Maekar I (ruled 221–233 AC), followed by his son Aegon V (ruled 233–259 AC), followed by his son Jaehaerys II (ruled 259–262 AC), followed by his son Aerys II (ruled 262–283 AC). In Season 1 Episode 9 ("Baelor"), when Maester Aemon recounts his lineage to Jon Snow, he states that Aegon V (Aemon's brother) was the father and direct predecessor of Aerys II, meaning that Jaehaerys II was cut from the Targaryen lineage in the TV series continuity, a deliberate change presumably done to make Aemon's explanation of his genealogy to Jon Snow more concise and less convoluted.

Though it skips an entire generation (or merges it into the next, depending on the characters involved) in the Targaryen family tree, the timeline implications of skipping Jaehaerys II are not as large as they would be if another king had been skipped as he only ruled for three years in the book series. The TV series maintains that Tywin Lannister served as Aerys II's hand of the king for twenty years before resigning after the Great Tourney of Harrenhal, which took place 1 year before Robert's Rebellion (i.e. 278 AC since the rebellion began a year before Robert became king in 280 AC), placing the beginning of Aerys II's reign in 258 AC and meaning that Jaehaerys II's reign in the book series was largely "absorbed" into that of Aerys II for the TV continuity.

The only major event of Jaehaerys II's reign in the books, the War of the Ninepenny Kings, is established by Barristan Selmy's retelling of Robert's Rebellion in the Histories & Lore featurettes to have taken place late in the reign of Aerys II's father, meaning it happened in Aegon V's reign in the TV series continuity.

In the books

Measuring time

At the time of the novels, Westeros has been using a calendar system based on the year of Aegon's Landing, which occurred three centuries before. As explained above, calling it "Aegon's Landing" (AL) is somewhat anachronistic given that the "landing" happened at the beginning of the conquest but the calendar system only begins two years later, at the end of the conquest - more recent in-universe historical texts have been shifting to the alternate name "After Conquest" (AC). The difference is purely one of nomenclature: "the year 298 AL" and "the year 298 AC" are exactly the same.

The known world that Westeros and Essos are set in has variable seasons that can last for years, sometimes a decade each (though such long seasons only come once every century or two). On the average, it seems that one season can last for about two to three years or so (the full four season cycle therefore taking about a decade). There are hints that the seasons may not always have been this way: characters still define "a year" as a twelve month period, not a full cycle of summer to winter. Months are the same as in real-life, roughly a thirty day period. The term "moon-turn" is commonly used for "month".

Apparently Westeros doesn't actually have specific names for each month/moon-turn - given that even after five novels a month name has never been mentioned, and the actual month names stem from real-life history (i.e., July and August were named after Roman Emperors). When the in-universe history text from the novellas about the Dance of the Dragons give specific dates, they are usually just in the format "on the fifth day of the third moon of the year 131 AL" etc. While they seem to just refer to each month by number, keep in mind that this is essentially what the real-life Gregorian calendar does, inherited from the Romans, and their names often just stem from Latin numbers: "Sept-ember" is the seventh month, "Oct-ober" is the eighth month, etc.

Westeros also doesn't use an "o'clock" system of measuring hours in a day (they also don't have mechanical clocks). Not every culture throughout real life history has measured the first hour of a given day starting at midnight (the exact opposite of noon); some start at sunrise, others at sunset. It isn't clear at what hour one day officially becomes the next in Westeros (though given that they are an agrarian society, they probably measure by each sunrise). Each "day" apparently consists of a 24 hour period - simply so that Martin would not confuse readers when he referred to a certain amount of hours in the narrative. People in Westeros apparently just apply colloquial names to each hour of the day, i.e., the "hour of the wolf" is the darkest time in the middle of the night. A few other hour names have been mentioned in passing:

  • The hour of the bat - apparently fairly late after sunset, if not the deep night
  • The hour of the eel - immediately follows the hour of the bat
  • The hour of ghosts - immediately follows the hour of the eel
  • The hour of the owl - comes several hours after the hour of the bat, but still before dawn; its exact position is unclear
  • The hour of the wolf - the darkest part of night, coming after the hour of the owl (in real life, "the hour of the wolf" is typically considered to be loosely some point between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m.).
  • The hour of the nightingale - comes after the hour of the wolf

Book timeline

The events in the book series are faster paced than in Game of Thrones. The series was adapted from the books broadly based on the following structure:

  • Season 1 covers the events of the first book, A Game of Thrones
  • Season 2 covers the events of the second book, A Clash of Kings
  • Seasons 3 and 4 cover the events of the third book, A Storm of Swords
  • Season 5 covers the events from the fourth and fifth books A Feast for Crows and A Dance of Dragons
  • Season 6 covers events from the outline of the forthcoming sixth book The Winds of Winter
  • Seasons 7 and 8 cover events from the outline of the forthcoming seventh book, A Dream of Spring

In the book series, the date at the end of A Dance of Dragons is some time late in the year 300 AC, but the events (Stannis soon to battle the Boltons, Cersei recently having had her walk of atonement, Meereen being under siege from the slavers) correspond to Season 5 and 6 in the TV series, calculated to be years 302 and 303 AC (per above). This is partly because one book does not correspond to a year, and partly because of the decision to split the content of the third book, A Storm of Swords, into two TV seasons rather than one (as had been done for previous books).

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 HBO Viewer's Guide, Season 2 appendices Westeros Through the Ages
  2. The Children of the Forest, the First Men, and the Andals
  3. "House Reed"
  4. "House Bolton"
  5. "Casterly Rock"
  6. "Highgarden"
  7. Olenna states to Tywin she is 72 years old in the Season 3 episode “Kissed by Fire
  8. Tywin is stated in dialogue to be 67 years old in Season 4's "The Laws of Gods and Men"
  9. "Robert's Rebelion" (Barristan Selmy's perspective)
  10. "House Baelish"
  11. "Robert's Rebellion" (Barristan Selmy's perspective)
  12. Jaime is Cersei's twin, and thus the same age as her. Tyrion stated in "The Prince of Winterfell" that Cersei became Queen when she was 19, at the end of Robert's Rebellion, which ended in 280 AC per the prop for The Lineages and Histories of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms. This makes Cersei 37 in Season 1 and 40 in Season 4. In the Season 4 premiere, Jaime is also said to be 40.
  13. Cersei stated in "Blackwater" that she was four years old when her mother died giving birth to Tyrion, which is younger than she was in the books when this happened.
  14. "Lord Snow"
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 The Lineages and Histories of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms prop from Season 1 establishes that Robert Baratheon became king in 280 AC.
  16. "The Wolf and the Lion" - Theon: "I've been Lord Stark's ward since I was eight years old". The Greyjoy Rebellion was 9 years before Jon Arryn's death, as in the novels.
  17. Sansa states that she is 13 years old in Season 1 "Winter Is Coming"
  18. HBO prominently stated that Arya was 18 years old in Season 8, which is assumed (see below) to take place in 305 AC.
  19. Bran states that he is 10 years old in Season 1 "Winter Is Coming"
  20. The Season 1 prop for The Lineages and Histories of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms gives Myrcella's year of birth as 288 AC.
  21. The Season 1 prop for The Lineages and Histories of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms gives Tommen's year of birth as 289 AC.
  22. Sweetrobin is stated to be 13 years old in Season 5 "The Wars to Come".
  23. Rickon is stated to be six in Season 1.
  24. In the novels, by the reckoning of the maesters, the summer lasted exactly 10 years, 2 months, and 16 days.
  25. "The Ghost of Harrenhal"
  26. "The Bear and the Maiden Fair"
  27. Entertainment Weekly, April 22 2019
  28. Entertainment Weekly, April 14, 2019
  29. Game of Thrones: 18 Secrets, Easter Eggs, and Revelations Hiding in 7 Seasons of