Weirwood is a species of deciduous tree found all over Westeros; it has white bark with five-pointed, blood-red leaves and sap. The heart trees are weirwood trees with faces carved on their bark. The Children of the Forest are thought to have carved the faces that decorated the heart trees.
During the Andal Invasion six thousand years ago, the Andals cut down most of the weirwood trees in southern Westeros, to suppress worship of the Old Gods in favor of the Andal's new religion, the Faith of the Seven. The only weirwoods still in the south are the handful of heart trees that survived in castle godswoods that were converted to secular gardens, instead of being destroyed. Weirwoods also survive in southern Westeros on the Isle of Faces in Gods Eye lake, in the southern Riverlands. Weirwoods only still grow in significant numbers in the forests of the North. Beyond the Wall, they even are more prevalent.
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Weirwood trees live an extremely long time, and even when they die they do not rot. Objects made of weirwood are as lasting as stone. This is how the faces in the weirwood trees could actually be carved by the Children of the Forest, even though they disappeared six thousand years ago. Weirwood trees like the ones in the Winterfell godswood are thousands of years old. Even dead weirwood trees like the one at House Blackwood's seat of Raventree Hall can remain freestanding for thousands of years even after they die.
- ↑ HBO Viewer's Guide, Season 2 appendices, Westeros Through the Ages - Dawn Age entry
- ↑ Complete Guide to Westeros: "The Old Gods and the New"
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