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This timeline of major events is a summary of major events throughout the world. Years are given in relation to Aegon’s Landing, using negative numbers for events before Aegon’s Landing.
Dawn Age (before -12,000)
In the Dawn Age, Westeros is inhabited by the fairy-like children of the forest, and possibly by giants in the far North.
The First Men come to Westeros from the eastern continent, via a land bridge then connecting the two land masses. The First Men introduce bronze, leather shields, and horses. After initial conflict, which included the destruction of the land bridge, they reconcile with the children and sign the Pact on the Isle of Faces, which brings about a four thousand year peace in Westeros. The First Men adopt the gods of the children, the nameless gods of the forest. The fortress of Moat Cailin is built circa 10,000 years ago.
The Long Night (Age of Heroes, ca. -8000)
At the time of a terrible winter that seems to last for a generation, a demonic race called the Others invade from the north and nearly destroy all men in Westeros. The Others are finally defeated at the War for the Dawn by an alliance of men wielding fire and obsidian weapons led by a great hero, who in an eastern tradition is named “Azhor Ahai”, and wields a great sword of fire, Lightbringer. This is the time when the Wall is built, a giant fortification in the north of the continent protecting the races of men from the menaces of the north. The Sworn Brotherhood of the Night’s Watch is created to man and guard it. According to other legends, this is also the time when the castle of Storm’s End is built in the south, and the designer of the Wall, Bran the Builder, also constructs Winterfell and becomes the first King in the North.
After ca. -8,000
The thirteenth Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch is seduced by a wildling woman from beyond the Wall and becomes the Night’s King, with the Watch as his personal army. The Starks in Winterfell and the King-Beyond-the-Wall, Joramun, join forces to defeat the Night’s King and restore honour to the Watch. This is the same Joramun who also finds the Horn of Winter, which it is said he uses to awaken giants from the earth.
Seven holy beings appear in the Hills of Andalos on the eastern continent, apparently avatars of a supreme god. The people of the hills become their worshippers. The Andals, as they become known, invade Westeros with steel weapons and the new religion of the Faith of the Seven. They fight both the First Men and the children of the forest, finally extinguishing the latter everywhere south of the Wall. After centuries of fighting, the Andals establish six kingdoms in the south, while the north remains in the hands of the First Men, due in large part to the strategically located fortress of Moat Cailin resisting multiple attempts to take it and thereafter serving as the door between North and South.
The shepherds of the lands of Valyria on the eastern continent discover dragons lairing in the Fourteen Fires, a great ring of volcanoes across the neck of the Valyrian Peninsula. They tame the dragons and use them to forge a great empire, throwing down the eastern rival of Ghis in warfare five times before it finally capitulates. The Valyrian Freehold is forged.
A warrior of Dorne forges a great and powerful sword from a fallen meteorite. The sword, Dawn, becomes the greatest heirloom of House Dayne. The castle of Starfall is named for this occasion.
The Valyrian Freehold’s slow westward expansion brings it into conflict with the Rhoynish cities along the great River Rhoyne, a vast waterway. Prince Garin the Great raises an army a quarter-million strong to oppose the Valyrians, but fails utterly. Nymeria, princess of a Rhoynish city, evacuates survivors of Garin’s war, women, and children in ten thousand ships that cross the narrow sea and land in Dorne. Winning an alliance with Lord Mors Martell, the Rhoynar unify the fractious land under the rule of Sunspear and establish House Martell as the ruling house of Dorne. Mors adopts the Rhoynish title ‘Prince’ rather than ‘King’. The Rhoynar bring customs such as equal primogeniture, but these are not adopted outside of Dorne. The unification of Dorne under Nymeria and Mors leads to new conflicts with the kingdoms of the Reach and the stormlands, expressed through raids, skirmishes, and the occasional wars over the centuries.
The Valyrian Freehold conquers much of what is now the area of the southern Free Cities. A religious sect, the Moonsingers, lead many thousands of refugees north to a remote northern lagoon protected by encircling mountains and mists, and there found the Secret City of Braavos. They later build the Titan of Braavos, a great statue which also serves as defensive fortification.
The Valyrian Freehold annexes the island of Dragonstone in the narrow sea between the western cities and Westeros. A Valyrian noble family, the Targaryens, take control of the island.
The Doom of Valyria takes place. The nature of the Doom is unclear, save that heavy volcanic activity is involved. The Valyrian Peninsula is shattered and the city of Valyria is laid waste, although not completely destroyed. The dragons of Valyria are virtually wiped out. The Valyrian Freehold fractures apart. The western coastal cities become independent, naming themselves the Free Cities. Braavos reveals itself to the other cities, eventually becoming the most powerful of them through their vast fleet and economic power. The cities of Slaver’s Bay become independent again, although Ghiscari power begins building again in the south. The warrior-nomads of the vast eastern plains become more emboldened by the fall of Valyria and their dominant tribe, the Dothraki, begins raiding the surrounding lands. The Targaryens remain safe on Dragonstone, the guardians of possibly the last three dragons in the western world.
1 Aegon’s Landing – The War of Conquest
Two centuries after the Doom of Valyria, Aegon Targaryen invades, subdues, and unites six of the seven kingdoms of Westeros under his banner and constructs a new capital city at King’s Landing. He is unable to conquer Dorne and allows it to remain sovereign. With the destruction of the Storm King, Argilac the Arrogant, and the death of the last King of the Reach, control of the castle of Storm’s End passes to Aegon’s bastard half-brother Orys Baratheon, and of Highgarden to Lord Harlen Tyrell. Edmyn Tully of Riverrun is named Lord of the Riverlands and Vickon Greyjoy of Pyke becomes Lord of the Iron Islands.
On Aegon’s death, the Faith of the Seven revolts against the Targaryens. Aenys I assigns his brother and heir, Maegor, to deal with the crisis.
Death of King Maegor the Cruel. King Jaehaerys I ends the rebellion through diplomacy, promising amnesty if the Faith Militant disbands. They agree. Jaehaerys becomes known as ‘The Conciliator’.
The Dance of the Dragons, the first major Westerosi civil war, between Aegon II and his half-sister [Rhaenyra Targaryen]] for control of the Iron Throne. Many lesser branches of House Targaryen and most of their dragons are extinguished in the conflict. After Rhaenyra’s death, the war continues in the name of her son, Aegon. When Aegon II dies without issue, the war ends by default with Aegon III being crowned. The last Targaryen dragon dies during Aegon III’s reign, earning him the name ‘Dragonbane’. The dragon leaves behind three stone eggs, which the Targaryens fail to hatch.
The reign of King Daeron I, the Young Dragon, who conquers Dorne, but is unable to hold it. Forty thousand die during the war. Daeron’s brother, Baelor I, is said to make his peace with Dorne by walking the Boneway barefoot and rescuing his cousin Aemon the Dragonknight from a viper pit.
The reign of Baelor the Blessed, septon and king. Baelor builds the Great Sept in King’s Landing, which afterwards is called the Great Sept of Baelor. Baelor locks his sisters in the Maidenvault of the Red Keep so the sight of them will not tempt him to carnal thoughts. Despite this, his sister Daena the Defiant has an affair with her cousin Aegon (later Aegon IV) and gives birth to a bastard son, Daemon Blackfyre.
Prince Daeron, second cousin of Baelor I, and Princess Myriah Martell of Dorne are married and have their first son, Prince Baelor.
Reign of Aegon IV the Unworthy. On his deathbed Aegon IV legitimises his ‘Great Bastards’: Daemon Blackfyre, Aegor Rivers, Brynden Rivers and Shiera Seastar. He is succeeded by his son, Daeron II, but his legitimacy is called into question due to his mother’s close relationship with Aemon the Dragonknight.
The Blackfyre Rebellion is fought, which ends at the Battle of the Redgrass Field. Daemon Blackfyre is killed by Bloodraven, but several of his sons escape to the Free Cities with Bittersteel.
Dorne formally joins the Seven Kingdoms through the marriage of Daeron II’s sister to Prince Maron Martell.
The events of The Hedge Knight take place. Prince Baelor ‘Breakspear’ Targaryen, the heir to the throne, is killed in a tourney mishap. A few months later, King Daeron II and Baelor’s two sons die in the Great Spring Sickness. Daeron II’s second son, Aerys I, becomes king. Prince Baelor’s nephew Aegon becomes squire to a hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall, in the hope of improving his mettle.
The events of The Sworn Sword take place. House Webber and House Osgrey of the Reach become allies. Bloodraven has become the King’s Hand by this time, angering Prince Maekar, brother to Aerys and the late Baelor.
The reign of King Maekar I after Aerys dies with no issue. During Maekar’s reign his eldest son Daeron dies of the pox and his second son Aerion “Brightflame” dies after drinking wildfire. His third son, Aemon, journeys to Oldtown to become a maester. Maekar dies battling an outlaw king. Aemon refuses the crown and removes himself to the Wall. Prince Aegon becomes Aegon V, the Unlikely as he is the fourth son of a fourth son. Bloodraven is exiled to the Wall, later becoming Lord Commander.
The War of the Ninepenny Kings erupts when the Band of Nine, including Maelys Blackfyre, conquers the Free City of Tyrosh and the Stepstones before plotting an attack on the Seven Kingdoms. Barristan Selmy kills Maelys. Brynden Tully distinguishes himself in the war.
The Tragedy of Summerhall. The Targaryen summer palace burns down. King Aegon V and others are killed. Prince Rhaegar Targaryen is born to Aegon’s grandson Prince Aerys and his sister-wife Rhaella. Jaehaerys II succeeds Aegon but dies only a few years later. Aerys II becomes king, naming the young Tywin Lannister as his Hand.
King Aerys spurns Tywin Lannister’s offer of his daughter Cersei for Prince Rhaegar, instead marrying Rhaegar to Princess Elia Martell of Dorne. The Defiance of Duskendale takes place when House Darklyn refuses to pay taxes to the Iron Throne. Aerys, eager to sort out the situation himself, ends up being taken prisoner. Duskendale is besieged for six months before Barristan Selmy manages to free the king. House Darklyn is destroyed and House Rykker takes over the town. It is said that it was the Defiance that began Aerys’ descent into madness. Around this time Prince Rhaegar begins corresponding with Maester Aemon and ponders if he is the “Prince Who Was Promised”, who shall be reborn to fight the great darkness when it returns. Later they conclude the prince is actually Rhaegar’s baby son, Aegon.
The Year of False Spring. Defeat of the Kingswood Brotherhood by a number of knights commanded by a detachment of the Kingsguard. Arthur Dayne kills the leader of the Brotherhood. Jaime Lannister distinguishes himself in the battle and is knighted. Lord Whent holds a great Tourney at Harrenhal, where Prince Rhaegar distinguishes himself in battle, but names Lyanna Stark (betrothed to Robert Baratheon) Queen of Love and Beauty rather than his own wife. Eddard Stark meets and befriends Howland Reed of Greywater Watch. Jaime becomes a member of the Kingsguard and is disinherited by his father. Tywin Lannister resigns the Handship in angry protest and returns to Casterly Rock.
282-283 – Robert’s Rebellion
Rhaegar Targaryen abducts Lyanna Stark from King’s Landing. Lyanna’s brother and father demand that Aerys discipline his son, but instead the Mad King kills them both. Eddard Stark, Robert Baratheon and their mentor, Jon Arryn, raise the standard of rebellion. Robert claims the throne through his descent from his great-grandfather, Aegon V. Robert’s Rebellion, also called the War of the Usurper, begins. Hoster Tully agrees to join the rebellion as well. The Tyrells remain loyal to the king and besiege Robert’s castle of Storm’s End, held by his brother Stannis. The Hand of the King, Jon Connington, is defeated in the Battle of the Bells and is sent into exile in the Free Cities. The rebel army defeats the royalists at the Battle of the Trident. Prince Rhaegar is killed. The Lannisters apparently march to the aid of King Aerys, but instead turn against him and sack the city. King Aerys is killed by Jaime Lannister. Princess Elia Martell and her children, Aegon and Rhaenys Targaryen, are brutally murdered by Lannister bannermen, causing a rift between Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon. Ned Stark and Howland Reed defeat the Kingsguard holding Lyanna prisoner, only to find her dying. Ned and Robert are reconciled. Robert becomes King of the Seven Kingdoms, marrying Cersei Lannister. Ned returns home to Winterfell with his bastard son, Jon Snow. Loyal Targaryen retainers carry Aerys’ two youngest children, Prince Viserys and Princess Daenerys, to safety in the Free Cities.
The Greyjoy Rebellion. Balon Greyjoy names himself King of the Iron Islands. He is defeated and two of his sons are killed. King Robert accepts his surrender and Balon’s remaining son, Theon Greyjoy, becomes a ward and hostage of Eddard Stark.
The events of A Song of Ice and Fire begin.