Tyrosh is one of the Free Cities located to the east of Westeros. It is situated on an island at the eastern end of the Stepstones, an island chain that extends across the Narrow Sea. According to legend, there used to be a land-bridge linking Westeros and Essos, of which the Steptones are the only remnants. Therefore, Tyrosh is the closest of the Free Cities to Westeros, located not far from Dorne and the island of Tarth (off the coast of the Stormlands).
Due to its central location - between Westeros and the other Free Cities, and its proximity to constant wars between Lys and Myr in the Disputed Lands - Tyrosh is often seen as a major world hub for hiring the services of various professional mercenary companies, to serve in the various conflicts of these different regions.
- Daario Naharis, former lieutenant and now captain of the Second Sons, a sellsword company, now sworn to Daenerys Targaryen.
In Slaver's Bay, when Daenerys leads her new army of eight thousand Unsullied to lay siege to Yunkai, to counter her advance the Yunkish hire a mercenary company known as the Second Sons, who are originally from the Free Cities. One of their high-ranking lieutenants is a Tyroshi named Daario Naharis, who is so smitten by Daenerys that rather than assassinate her, he beheads the other captains and lays them at Daenerys's feet. As the new captain of the mercenary company, Daario pledges the allegiance of the Second Sons to Daenerys.
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Tyrosh is one of the most powerful of the Free Cities. Far larger than the Dornish capital of Sunspear in Westeros, it is a great port with a large harbor guarded by the Bleeding Tower. The city has a reputation for being boisterous and loud, and mercenaries and sellswords are commonly hired in Tyrosh.
Like most of the Free Cities, Tyrosh was founded as a colony of the Valyrian Freehold. Established as a military fort to monitor and control shipping activity in the Stepstones, the city's real fame arose from a completely unexpected source; the waters surrounding Tyrosh were home to an unusual type of sea snail that produced richly colored dyes when properly treated. Colorful garments soon became immensely popular with Valyrian nobility, and thousands of merchants flocked to Tyrosh to take advantage of the commercial opportunities. The fort grew into a proper city within a single generation, and over the centuries Tyroshi dyers were able to develop a huge variety of different colors through various processes. In the present day, the Tyroshi still have a love for loud and garish colors, often dyeing not only their clothes but their hair in bright, gaudy hues (in the novels, Daario Naharis' hair and beard are dyed bright blue, and his mustache is dyed gold, but the TV series decided not to include this since they felt it would distract from the performance).
Tyrosh is also known for its creation of ornate armor and elaborate torture devices. The armorsmiths of the city produce intricate helms shaped like animals and birds and often decorated with precious metals. Pear brandy is the signature drink of the city as well as a popular export, and a pastry known as "honeyfingers" is popular among the citizens (Daario Naharis even remarks that when he was growing up, he and his mother were so poor that getting enough food was a problem- occassionaly they had to manage with just a sausage and a honeyfinger, and he even asks Daenerys if there are honeyfingers in the Seven Kingdoms).
Tyrosh is actively involved in the slave trade, with slaves outnumbering freeborn citizens three to one. The Tyroshi are famously aggressive in their search for slaves, even sailing to lands beyond the Wall to capture Wildlings for the slave market.
The leader of Tyrosh is the Archon, chosen from among a council made up of the city's wealthiest and most prominent citizens. A number of different religions have a presence in Tyrosh; a monument known as the Fountain of the Drunken God is dedicated to the eponymous deity, and the Temple of Trios honors the three-headed god of the same name. The faith of R'hllor, the Lord of Light, also has followers in Tyrosh (as in many of the other Free Cities).
Tyrosh has had a volatile history. Following the Doom of Valyria, it became an independent city-state. However, a century later it was attacked by Volantis, which was trying to reforge the Valyrian Freehold. Having already taken Myr and Lys, Volantis overreached by attacking Tyrosh. Both Pentos and the Westerosi Storm King allied with Tyrosh to defeat Volantis, which also lost Myr and Lys due to rebellions and uprisings.
Two and a half centuries later, Tyrosh was attacked and captured by the Band of Nine, nine powerful warlords who were supporting one another and doing together what could not be achieved alone. Alequo Adarys was installed as Archon of Tyrosh. The Band's military strength was broken in the War of the Ninepenny Kings, when the King on the Iron Throne launched a pre-emptive strike before they could attack King's Landing. Adarys managed to retain control of Tyrosh for six years before being deposed. Hoster Tully, Barristan Selmy, Petyr Baelish's father, and the young Tywin Lannister all fought in the War of the Ninepenny Kings, Selmy winning fame for his slaying of Maelys the Monstrous, the last of the Blackfyre Pretenders, in combat.
According to the TV series official pronunciation guide developed for the cast and crew, "Tyroshi" is pronounced "Ti-ROH-shee". "Tyrosh" is pronounced "Ti-ROHsh", as opposed to "Tie-rosh".
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