Three Sisters

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The Vale of Arryn and the location of the Three Sisters
The Vale of Arryn and the location of the Three Sisters
Three Sisters
The Vale of Arryn and the location of the Three Sisters
The Three Sisters by Cris Urdiales ©
Full-length Three-sisters.
Three Sisters

The Three Sisters are a group of three islands—Sweetsister, Longsister, and Littlesister[1]—found in the Bite, located south of White Harbor and north of the Mountains of the Moon.[2] The islands owe loose allegiance to House Arryn of the Vale.[3]

The islands are considered dens of avarice and sin by septons.[4] People from the Three Sisters are known as Sistermen.[5] Some have webbing between their hands and feet, which they call the mark.[3]

Culture

The Three Sisters are within the dominion of the Vale of Arryn and are ruled by House Sunderland. Houses Borrell of Sweetsister, Longthorpe of Longsister, and Torrent of Littlesister are sworn to the Sunderlands. The Three Sisters are sworn to House Arryn of the Vale, but the Eyrie's grasp upon the islands is tenuous at best.[3]

Ships go between the Three Sisters and White Harbor all the time. The Sisters sell crab, fish and goat cheese to White Harbor and in return they sell them wood, wool and hides.[3] Sister's stew is a white seafood stew that is served all over the Three Sisters, in every inn and tavern.[3]

Beacons burn along the shores of the Three Sisters to warn passing ships of danger. The Night Lamp of Sisterton is a prominent beacon operated by House Borrell. Some disreputable Sistermen use false lights to lure ships into wrecks to take their cargo.[3]

History

Pirate Kings

The Sistermen of antiquity worshiped the Lady of the Waves and the Lord of the Skies instead of the old gods of the children of the forest, who had been adopted by the First Men of mainland Westeros. The Sistermen of that time cast dwarfs into the sea as an offering to the gods. Septons stopped the practice after the Andal invasion and the arrival of the Faith of the Seven, however.[3]

The Sistermen of old were a free people ruled by local kings. These pirates and raiders sent longships into the Bite, the narrow sea, and the Shivering Sea to reave and capture slaves.[6] Raiders from the Three Sisters once captured the Wolf's Den and made it their toehold in the north,[7][8] and Sistermen also raided the eastern coasts of the riverlands.[9] King Theon Stark conquered the three islands at some point.[10]

Arryn Era

In retaliation for the raids,[6] maesters say that two thousand years ago the islands were conquered by the north in an invasion known as the Rape of the Three Sisters. The Sistermen bent the knee to the Eyrie to expel the northmen, ending the era of native kings on the Sisters. The Arryn Kings of Mountain and Vale and Stark Kings in the North fought over the Three Sisters for a thousand years in the War Across the Water,[6] depleting much of the islands' resources. The largest port of the Three Sisters, Sisterton, remembers the northern invasion and some Sistermen still resent northmen.[3]

The Three Sisters have been a haven for smugglers for centuries. Instead of piracy, the Sistermen have turned to wrecking.[3]

Targaryen Era

During Aegon's Conquest, the Sistermen rebelled against Ronnel Arryn, King of Mountain and Vale, declaring Marla Sunderland as their queen.[11] She was deposed, however, when a Braavosi fleet hired by House Stark at the behest of Aegon the Conqueror approached the islands. Marla's brother bent the knee while she ended her days as a silent sister.[6]

Led by the Sunderlands, the Three Sisters supported Rhaenyra Targaryen against Aegon II Targaryen during the Dance of the Dragons, along with the Arryns.[12] The islands suffered after the Sunderlands dragged the Sisters into two of the unsuccessful Blackfyre Rebellions against the Targaryens.[3]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

While in White Harbor, Ser Rodrik Cassel suggests hiring a fishing sloop out of the Three Sisters to transport him and Catelyn Stark to King's Landing. Catelyn instead chooses Storm Dancer, a galley out of Tyrosh.[13]

A Clash of Kings

Ser Davos Seaworth is sent by Stannis Baratheon with a chest of letters to spread word of Joffrey Baratheon's illegitimacy. His route is to sail to the Three Sisters and other harbors along the narrow sea.[14]

A Dance with Dragons

When Salladhor Saan decides to leave the service of Stannis, he sets Davos loose in a boat, with Davos eventually washing up on Sweetsister. Rather than turn Davos over to Lord Triston Sunderland, Lord Godric Borrell allows Davos to continue on to White Harbor.[3]

Quotes

The Three Sisters were fickle bitches, loyal only to themselves.[3]
- thoughts of Davos Seaworth


Storms were sacred on the Sisters before the Andals came. Our gods of old were the Lady of the Waves and the Lord of the Skies. They made storms every time they mated. These kings never bother with the Sisters. Why should they? We are small and poor.[3]
- Godric Borrell to Davos Seaworth

References and Notes

  1. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 9, establishes Sisterton on the island Sweetsister, while the Map of the North in the same book shows Sisterton on the central island. However, The Lands of Ice and Fire labels the central island as Littlesister and the easternmost island as Sweetsister, while keeping Sisterton on the central island.
  2. A Dance with Dragons, Map of the North
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 9, Davos I.
  4. The Mystery Knight.
  5. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 23, Jon III.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale.
  7. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 29, Davos IV.
  8. The World of Ice & Fire, TWOIAF, The North: The Kings of Winter.
  9. The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands.
  10. The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Kings of Winter.
  11. The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
  12. The Princess and the Queen.
  13. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 18, Catelyn IV.
  14. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10, Davos I.

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