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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]

Behind the Scenes

As a child George R. R. Martin had turtles, the only pets he was allowed to have. The turtles lived in a castle, and Martin pretended they were knights and kings, and made up stories in which they betrayed and killed each other and fought for the kingdoms. Martin has said that Game of Thrones began with his turtles.[6][7] Martin often wears a hat with a turtle pin and has claimed that "turtles have always been my sigil, I suppose.".[7]

Martin created the character Great and Powerful Turtle for the Wild Cards series.[8]