House Gardener

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House Gardener of Highgarden
House Gardner.PNG
Coat of arms Argent, a hand couped vert
Seat Highgarden
Current Lord Extinct
Region The Reach
Title King of the Reach
Cadet Branch House Tyrell
House Florent
House Rowan
House Oakheart
House Oldflowers
possibly more houses from The Reach
Founder Garth the Gardener[1]
Founded Age of Heroes
Died out 1AC in the War of Conquest
End of House Gardener on the Field of Fire

House Gardener of Highgarden is the extinct house of the old and famed Kings of the The Reach. Their seat was Highgarden, and the Gardener kings sat upon a living throne called the Oakenseat that grew from an oak that the mythical Garth Greenhand himself was reputedly said to have planted. The Kings of House Gardener wore crowns of vines and flowers when at peace, and crowns of bronze thorns (later iron) when they rode to war.[2] Their blazon was a green hand over a white field.[3][4]

Contents

History

The Gardeners claimed descent from Garth the Gardener, the mythic firstborn child of the equally legendary Garth Greenhand. According to legend, he wore a crown of vines and flowers and made the land bloom. The first reference to their rule dates two thousand years before the events described in A Song of Ice and Fire, when they armed the inhabitants of the Shield Islands to protect the Reach from the attacks of the ironborn.[5]

The Gardeners often warred with the Stormlands and Dorne. Gyles III was a king that went to war against the Storm King. While he was with his army in the east, the Reach was attacked by the King of the Rock.[3] Approximately a thousand years ago House Gardener drove House Manderly out of the Reach after the latter House overreached itself. The Manderlys fled from the Mander for the White Knife in the North.[3][6][7] King Garse VII Gardener was killed by the Storm King Argilac the Arrogant at Summerfield.

War of Conquest and Extinction

House Gardener died out in the Targaryen War of Conquest three hundred years before the time of the War of the Five Kings. When Aegon the Conquerer invaded Westeros, King Mern IX joined forces with King Loren of the Rock to put an end to the invaders.The two armies came togeather amongst the wide open plains south of the river Blackwater, near where the Goldroad would one day run.

King Mern demanded, since he had brought half as many more men to the battle, he should have the honor of commanding the center of the combined Reach-Westerlands army, and he led the charge against Aegon's army alongside his kin. A major battle was then fought in which the forces of the two kings met the Targaryen army. The Targaryen host broke, but by then Aegon and his sisters had taken to the air on their dragons.

The dragons killed 4,000 men of the combined Lannister-Gardener army, among them King Mern alongside all of his sons, grandsons, brothers, cousins, and other kin.[8] Another thousand men perished from sword and spears and arrows. The battle become known afterward as the Field of Fire. One nephew of King Mern survived, but he died of his burns three days later. When he died, House Gardener died with him.

Mern's steward, Harlen Tyrell, surrendered Highgarden to Aegon and was named Lord of the Reach in exchange for his submission to the Iron Throne.[9] Many of the houses from the Reach can trace their descent back to Garth Greenhand, a fact that is often used to boast of a better claim than the Tyrells as the rightful rulers of the Reach (the Tyrells are descendants of the Gardeners only through the female line). Among the houses with Garth as an ancestor are the Florents, the Rowans, the Oakhearts, and many others. Apparently Garth had many sons himself.[10]

Golden currency from the time of the Gardeners is still in use, albeit rare.[11][12] The coins are named Hands, each worth roughly half a Gold Dragon,[12] and feature the Hand sigil of House Gardener on one side and the likeness of the current king on the other side. They are known to have been made with Garth XII's effigy.[11]

Known members of House Gardener

No precise lineage of House Gardner is known. Beginning with the mythical Garth the Gardener, the Gardeners ruled as Kings of the Reach, through war and peace, down the generations until the last Gardener King Mern IX was killed at the Field of Fire.

References and Notes


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