Weirwood

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Weirwood
Cat visits Ned by the Heart Tree - by Thomas Denmark. © Fantasy Flight Games
Weirwood heart tree, in Winterfell's godswood
Ice against a weirwood © Fantasy Flight Games

The weirwood is a species of deciduous trees found all over Westeros.

Contents

Description

See also: Images of Weirwood Trees

The five-pointed leaves and the sap of weirwoods are blood-red, while the smooth bark on their wide trunks[1] and wood are bone white.[2] Most weirwoods have faces carved into their trunks. This was done by the children of the forest in ancient days, and is now done by the free folk as well as other descendants of the First Men, such as followers of the old gods in the Seven Kingdoms praying to heart trees in godswoods. In some cases sap has collected in the crevices of the carved faces, giving the trees red eyes which have been known to drip sap as if the trees were weeping.[1]

History

Weirwood and the Old Gods

Weirwoods are considered sacred to the followers of the old gods. The children of the forest are said to have carved faces in the weirwoods during the Dawn Age, before the coming of the First Men across the narrow sea. It is said that through the faces the old gods watch over the followers and bear witness to important events. The greenseers of the children of the forest can see through the eyes of weirwoods. Since trees have no sense of time, the greenseer can see into the past or present when looking through the eyes of a tree.

Weirwoods grow wild in the forest. After the First Men took up the faith of the old gods they created godswoods within their castle walls and villages where a single weirwood, known as a heart tree, was planted so the gods could be worshiped.

Weirwoods are used to bear witness to important ceremonies such as marriages. It said that it is impossible to lie in the presence of a heart tree. An enormous weirwood with a gaping mouth grows in the village of Whitetree beyond the Wall with a trunk that is eight feet wide.[3]

The Knight of the Laughing Tree bore a device on his or her shield of a weirwood heart tree with a laughing face.[4]

Weirwood and the Andals

With the invasion of the Andals came the Faith of the Seven. Weirwoods came to represent the older faith and most were cut or burned down.[2] With the exception of a few remaining heart trees, the only place south of the Neck where weirwood groves remain is the Isle of Faces where the children and the First Men agreed to the peace. The Andals never conquered the North, however, and the Old Faith remains strong there. Weirwoods still grow in the forests of the North, and are prevalent beyond the Wall. The Night's Watch uses a grove of nine weirwoods in the haunted forest half a league from Castle Black as a godswood when necessary.[1] Weirwood roots grow throughout the hollow hill[5] in the Riverlands and the cave of the three-eyed crow[6] beyond the Wall.

As a Material

The wood of the weirwood is an excellent, though expensive,[7] building material because it does not rot. Weirwood can be used for making bows, spears, and arrows; Ygritte and Brynden Rivers both have horn and weirwood bows, and the children of the forest are said to have used weirwood bows.[8][9][10] Styr has a long bronze and weirwood spear.[11]

Weirwood can also be used to make furniture. The meeting table of the Kingsguard in the Red Keep is made of white weirwood fashioned into the shape of a shield and supported by three white stallions,[12] and the throne, as well as the Moon Door, of House Arryn in the Eyrie are carved out of weirwood.[13] Weirwood is also used in architecture for things such as the Black Gate of the Nightfort and the rafters of Harrenhal[14] and Whitewalls.[7] The main door of the House of Black and White in Braavos is made of weirwood and ebony, as are its chairs. Tobho Mott's shop in King's Landing has doors carved out of ebony and weirwood showing a hunting scene.[15]

Quotes

You will find a grove of weirwoods half a league from this spot, and mayhap your gods as well.[1]
Jeor Mormont, to Jon Snow


The old gods have no power in the south. The weirwoods there were all cut down, thousands of years ago.[1]
Osha, to Bran Stark

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