Shivering Sea

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A map showing the location of the Shivering Sea in blue.

The Shivering Sea is a frigid sea north of Essos. It is bounded to the west by northeastern Westeros, to the south by the narrow sea and northern Essos, to the north by a vast frozen wilderness called the White Waste, and to the east by lands and seas unknown, perhaps the Sunset Sea.[1]


The Titan of Braavos, by Paolo Puggioni ©

Sources conflict regarding the boundaries of the narrow sea and the Shivering Sea. A semi-canon source states the western Shivering Sea begins north of the Wall,[2] and A Dance with Dragons has Eastwatch-by-the-Sea reporting of storms upon the narrow sea.[3] A semi-canon source also states that Widow's Watch is along the narrow sea.[4] Maester Yandel, however, writes that Skagos and the Grey Cliffs, regions of the north within the Seven Kingdoms, are found along the Shivering Sea.[1] The Lands of Ice and Fire depicts the eastern coast of the north, including as far south as Widow's Watch, as being along the Shivering Sea, with the narrow sea beginning further south between the Vale of Arryn and the Braavosian Coastland.[5] The Shivering Sea extends north along the lands beyond the Wall,[6] including Hardhome.[7]

Braavos is located in a lagoon in northwestern Essos where the Shivering Sea meets the narrow sea.[8] East of Braavos are the islands of Lorath and Lorath Bay. Further east is the Axe and the oft-disputed Bitterweed Bay.[5]

Next along the Shivering Sea are the delta of the Sarne, the Kingdom of Omber, and the Bay of Tusks. East of the latter bay is the forested Kingdom of the Ifequevron, north of which are the islands of Ibben.[5]

The Realm of Jhogwin lies between the Shivering Sea and the Krazaaj Zasqa. Even further east are Leviathan Sound, the Thousand Islands, N'Ghai, and forested Mossovy.[5] It is unknown how far east the sea extends beyond Mossovy.[9]


The waters of the Shivering Sea teem with life. Hundreds of varieties of fish swim through its depths, including salmon, wolf fish, sand lances, grey skates, lampreys and other eels, whitefish, char, shark, herring, mackerel, and cod. Crabs and lobsters are found everywhere along its shores. Seals, narwhals, walruses, and sea lions have their rookeries and breeding grounds on and around the countless rocky islands and sea stacks. The sea is also home to many whales, including grey whales, white whales, humpbacks, spotted whales, and leviathans.[1]

The westernmost reaches of the Shivering Sea, from Skagos and the Grey Cliffs to the delta of the Sarne, are the richest fishing grounds in the known world. This area is controlled by Braavosi ships, and sailors from as far as the Three Sisters to the west and Morosh to the east come here to fish the abundant cod and herring.[1]

Tales and myths

There are several tales about the Shivering Sea, including queer lights shimmering in the sky, where the demon mother of the ice giants dances eternally through the night, seeking to lure men northward to their dooms. Tales also mention Cannibal Bay, where ships enter only to find themselves trapped forever when the sea freezes behind them.[1]

Other stories mention pale blue mists moving across the waters, so cold they freeze any ship they pass over. Drowned spirits are said to rise at night to drag the living down into the depths. Mermaids of the Shivering Sea are described as having pale flesh and black-scaled tails, and they are considered far more malign than their sisters to the south.[1]

Another myth speaks of ice dragons, far larger than the dragons of Valyria, said to be made of living ice, with eyes of pale blue crystal, vast translucent wings, and breath of cold.[1]


Pirates from the Three Sisters once raided the Bite, the narrow sea, and as far as the Shivering Sea. This reaving by the Sistermen eventually led to an invasion of their islands by the Kings of Winter, which was then followed by the War Across the Water.[10]

The destruction of Hardhome led to ashes raining down on the haunted forest and the Shivering Sea alike for almost half a year.[7]

A young Corlys Velaryon sailed on his Ice Wolf to Braavos, Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, Hardhome, and then Lorath and the Port of Ibben in the Shivering Sea.[11] Corlys was the first Westerosi to explore the Shivering Sea as far as the Thousand Islands,[9] doing so on the third of his great voyages on Sea Snake.[11] Bryan of Oldtown later sailed Spearshaker in the Shivering Sea.[9]

Roro Uhoris sailed beyond the Wall on Cobblecat and traded with free folk in numerous coves along the Shivering Sea. When he returned south, he was executed at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea by the Night's Watch for having traded weapons to wildlings.[12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 The World of Ice & Fire, Beyond the Free Cities: The Shivering Sea.
  2. George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Shivering Sea.
  3. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 10, Jon III.
  4. George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Widow's Watch.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 The Lands of Ice and Fire, The Known World.
  6. The Lands of Ice and Fire, Beyond the Wall.
  7. 7.0 7.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 39, Jon VIII.
  8. The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: Braavos.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 The World of Ice & Fire, Beyond the Free Cities: Ib.
  10. The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
  12. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 54, Davos V.