From A Wiki of Ice and Fire
The weirwood is a species of deciduous trees found all over Westeros. The five-pointed leaves and the sap of weirwoods are blood-red, while the smooth bark on their wide trunks and wood are bone white. 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 freefolk as well as other descendants of the First Men. In some cases sap has collected in the crevices of the carved faces, giving the trees red eyes which have even been known to drip sap as if the trees were weeping.
Weirwood and the Old Gods
Weirwoods are considered sacred to the followers of the Old Faith. 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 Old Faith 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 weirwood. An enormous weirwood with a gaping mouth grows in the village of Whitetree beyond the Wall with a trunk that is eight feet wide.
Weirwood and the Andals
With the invasion of the Andals came the Faith of the Seven. Weirwoods came to represent the Old Faith and most were cut or burned down. 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 very 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.
As a Material
The wood of the weirwood is an excellent, though expensive, 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. Styr has a long bronze and weirwood spear.
Weirwood can also be used to make furniture. The meeting table of the Kingsguard is made of white weirwood fashioned into the shape of a shield and supported by three white stallions, and the throne, as well as the Moon Door, of House Arryn in The Eyrie are carved out of weirwood. Weirwood is also used in architecture for things such as the Black Gate of Nightfort and the rafters of Harrenhal and Whitewalls. The House of Black and White's main door is made of weirwood and ebony, as are it's chairs. Tobho Mott's shop has doors carved out of ebony and weirwood showing a hunting scene.
Black Gate at Nightsfort
Coldhands leads Samwell Tarly and Gilly to the Black Gate to bring someone back that Coldhands was sent to find. Once through the gate, Sam and Gilly climb up a well with stairs cut into the side to the kitchen. In the kitchen Bran, and his group were sleeping. Sam’s arrival scares them, and Sam is caught up in Meera’s net before the fire can be stoked so that the situation can be assessed. After Sam tells them that he is to lead someone through the gate for Coldhands Bran decides to go, so Sam leaves Gilly behind, and guides them to the gate. Since only a sworn man of the Watch can open the gate, Sam had to be there to open it. When they get to the gate it can be seen that it is made of faintly glowing white Weirwood with an old, wrinkled, shrunken, and pale face. The face opens its eyes and asks, “Who are you?”. Sam replies:
|“||I am the sword in the darkness, I am the watcher on the walls, I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, I am the shield that guards the realms of men.||”|
The face responds, “Then pass” and the door opens wide. All that remains is a great gaping mouth in a ring of wrinkles. As they pass Hodor does not dip low enough and a drip of water falls on Bran that is as salty as a tear.
References and Notes
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 48, Jon.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 2, Catelyn.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 13, Jon.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 24, Bran.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 The Mystery Knight.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 66, Bran.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 15, Jon.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 55, Jon.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 69, Jon.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 38, Tyrion.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 56, Bran.