Skagos

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The North and the location of Skagos
The North and the location of Skagos
Skagos
The North and the location of Skagos

Skagos is a large island in the mouth of the Bay of Seals. In theory, the island is part of the North and subject to Winterfell. However, the island has very little contact with the mainland, and in practice they rule themselves.[1] The name “Skagos” means “stone” in the Old Tongue.[2]

Maester Balder's The Edge of the World is the largest collection of tales regarding the island.[3] A popular myth states that unicorns live on Skagos.[2][4] The island has a dread reputation; even the hardened sailor the Blind Bastard feared to go there.[4]

Geography

The large island is located in the mouth of the Bay of Seals, on the northern coast of Westeros. Nearby is the isle Skane and beyond it is the Shivering Sea. Skagos is mountainous and forbidding with rough and treacherous currents around the isle.[2] Sailing is hazardous, especially during the autumn storms when the cold can freeze ropes and sails.

History

According to The Edge of the World by Maester Balder, in ancient days men of Skagos sailed to the nearby island Skane, seizing all the women, killing all the men, and feasting on their flesh for a fortnight. Skane has been uninhabited since.[2][5]

The people of Skagos tended to cross the Bay of Seals to trade and raid on the mainland until King Brandon IX Stark broke their power, destroying their ships and forbidding them the sea. It is not known at what time Skagos ultimately became subject to the supremacy of Winterfell, but they rose in rebellion against House Stark during the rule of King Daeron II Targaryen. The rebellion lasted for years and claimed the lives of thousands, among them Lord Barthogan Stark, before being put down.

According to legend, Bael the Bard entered Winterfell under the guise of a singer named Sygerrik of Skagos; "Sygerrik" means "deceiver" in the Old Tongue.[6]

Some Skagosi have served in the Night's Watch over the past millennia. A Crowl was Lord Commander over a thousand years ago, and, according to the Annals of the Black Centaur, a Stane served as First Ranger for a brief time.

People

The people of Skagos are known as Skagosi (or Skagossons), which means "stoneborn" in the Old Tongue. They are an isolated people descended from the First Men. Some maesters believe Skagosi have a strong admixture of Ibbenese blood, whereas others even suggest they may be partially descended from giants.

The people of Skagos are generally despised by Northmen, who derisively call them "Skaggs".[2] They regard Skagosi as little more than tribes of raiders and savages, not dissimilar to wildlings. They are considered a backward folk, rumored to still perform human sacrifices to weirwoods, lure passing ships to destruction with false lights and engage in cannibalism during winter.[2][4] When they do consent to trade with outsiders instead of murdering them, they offer pelts, obsidian blades and arrowheads and "unicorn" horns.[7] According to Roose Bolton, the inhabitants of Skagos still continue the tradition of the first night.[8]

Donal Noye recalls meeting "Skagossons" at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea.[9]

Houses

The only Skagosi house that has been mentioned in the books is House Magnar.[9] In semi-canon sources the following are mentioned:[10]

Recent Events

A Dance with Dragons

The galleys Oledo and Old Mother's Son are driven onto the rocks of Skagos after setting sail from the Wall.[4] Cotter Pyke sees the wreckage of a galley along the coast of the island.[11]

Davos Seaworth learns from Lord Wyman Manderly that Rickon Stark is alive and has been taken to Skagos by Osha. Davos is sent to retrieve the boy.[12][13]

Quotes

Only heart trees ever see half of what they do on Skagos.[8]
- Roose Bolton to Theon Greyjoy

References and Notes


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