Apes abound on three islands of the Summer Isles: Jhala, Omboru, and Walano. On Jhala, apes live in the mountains. Apes on Omburo are known as "old red men". On Walano, there is a form of ape that is called a night stalker. On the continent of Sothoryos, it is said there are apes in the forests south of Yeen that dwarf the largest giants. The great apes of Leng are also farfamed.
After actions taken by Malthar Xaq and other princes of the Summer Isles began a new era of exploration and trade for their people, a fashion developed amongst the dragonlords of Valyria for apes from the islands. At some point during the Targaryen dynasty in Westeros, there was a Targaryen princeling who kept an ape as a pet. This prince reportedly liked to dress the creature in his dead son's clothes and pretend he was a child and from time to time would even propose marriages for him. The story goes that the lords so honored always declined politely.
Anatomy and physiology
Apes are squat and hairy. Some may have huge hands and be covered with black hair. Those on Jhala possess silver pelts and on Omburo they are colored a shade of red. The giant apes of Sothoryos are supposedly so large and powerful that they can slay elephants with a single blow. Some of the apes on Leng are spotted humpback apes said to be almost as clever as men and others are hooded apes as large as giants and are supposedly so strong that they can pull the arms and legs off a man as easily as a boy might pull the wings off a fly.
A Clash of Kings
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons
Davos Seaworth recalls that during a feast at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, Ser Axell Florent had entertained the table with the tale of a Targaryen princeling who had kept an ape as a pet. His story was intended as a slight to Davos, who some at the table viewed as akin to an ape dressed in silk and velvet in his role as the king's Hand. One of the Brazen Beasts assigned to guard the iron doors outside the pit where Viserion and Rhaegal are chained within the Great Pyramid of Meereen wears a mask with the likeness of an ape. Gerris Drinkwater wears a similar mask when he and others attempt to steal one of the dragons.
Even dressed in silk and velvet, an ape remains an ape.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Summer Isles.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Sothoryos.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Bones and Beyond: Leng.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 15, Davos II.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 18, The Iron Captain.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 5, Arya II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 55, The Queensguard.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 68, The Dragontamer.