History of the Targaryens
|World of Westeros - History|
|Saturday, 29 May 2010 11:04|
A long-dead city of wonderment, Valyria was once the capital of a great empire called the Valyrian Freehold, but has since fallen to ruin. At its prime, the Valyrian Freehold was an advanced civilization and the dominant military and cultural power of the known world. The city was located on a peninsula of Essos, and is the ancestral home of House Targaryen.
In the early days of Valyria, the mighty Ghiscari Empire tried to stop the city's expansion, fighting five major wars that were each won by the Valyrians. The last battle destroyed the Ghiscari Empire and its capital of Old Ghis. Over the years the Valyrians continued to conquer, building great cities and roadways that all led to Valyria. Many smaller nations, such as the Andals and the Rhoynar, fled west to avoid Valyrian expansion. Valyria took many slaves from its conquered lands and used them to mine deep into the earth. At the height of its power, the Freehold stretched over almost the entire east. Cities built by the Valyrian Freehold include Oros, Mantarys, Tyria, and all of the Free Cites except Braavos.
The Valyrian Freehold was destroyed when some as-yet undescribed "Doom" was visited upon it several hundred years prior to the events of A Song of Ice and Fire. The Doom, apparently of volcanic nature, fragmented the land surrounding the city itself into numerous smaller islands, creating the Smoking Sea between them. The area is now described as "demon-haunted", and most people are afraid to go there, as it is said, "The Doom still rules in Valyria." Though the eight Valyrian Free Cities survived the Doom, as well as the Targaryens who fled to Dragonstone, most of Valyria's culture, language, and craft was lost in the Doom.
Valyria is best remembered for its unique ability to raise dragons and use them as weapons of war. Much of its military strength came from the effectiveness of its dragons on the battlefield. Valyria is also remembered for forging "Valyrian steel", a magical metal used to make weapons of unparalleled quality. Valyrian steel blades are lighter, stronger, and sharper than those of regular steel, and feature distinctive rippled patterns similar to Damascus steel. The secret of forging such metal was apparently lost with Valyria, making those remaining weapons highly treasured and extremely rare. Most Valyrian steel blades in Westeros are treasured heirlooms of noble houses, each with its own name and storied history. Ice, the greatsword of House Stark, was one such blade.
Known Valyrian Blades
|Last Updated on Saturday, 29 May 2010 11:14|