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See also turtle (siege engine).

Turtles in the Known World are reptiles similar to real life turtles.


Many varieties of turtles can be found along the Rhoyne, including:

large turtles and small ones, flatbacks and red-ears, softshells and bonesnappers, brown turtles, green turtles, black turtles, clawed turtles and horned turtles, turtles whose ridged and patterned shells were covered with whorls of gold and jade and cream.[1]


Turtles are worshipped by the Rhoynar.[2][3] The sigil of House Estermont includes a turtle,[4] and the sigil of House Tudbury includes a tortoise.[5]


According to legend, the First Turtle War, the first of the Rhoynish Wars, began when Valyrians butchered a gigantic turtle known to the Rhoynish as the Old Men of the River and held as consorts of Mother Rhoyne.[3]

Recent Events

A Dance with Dragons

While traveling along the Rhoyne, Tyrion Lannister sees a multitude of turtles, including a giant one which Yandry and Ysilla believe to be the Old Man of the River.[1]


The turtles have their charms, I will allow. Nothing delights me so much as the sight of a nice pair of shapely ... shells.[1]

- Tyrion Lannister to Lemore

Behind the Scenes

Turtles are a favorite animal of George R. R. Martin, who invented stories for his pet turtles as a child.[6] Martin created the character Great and Powerful Turtle for the Wild Cards series, and the author also often wears a hat with a turtle pin.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 14, Tyrion IV.
  2. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 21, The Queenmaker.
  3. 3.0 3.1 The World of Ice & Fire, Ten Thousand Ships.
  4. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 22, Catelyn II.
  5. The Citadel. Heraldry: Houses from the Stormlands
  6. NPR.org: Thrones' Author George R.R. Martin Plays Not My Job, September 14, 2012
  7. So Spake Martin: Outland Interview, September 01, 2000