Age of Heroes
The Age of Heroes was an era during the history of Westeros which takes its name from the great men and women who lived in the years of peace that followed the forging of the Pact between the First Men and the children of the forest.
Many noble houses trace their family histories to the Age of Heroes and many stories, songs, and legends are told about it. It is an era that is shrouded in mystery, with more myth than fact known about it. There are numerous tales from the Age of Heroes, too many to count. These histories were not recorded in books but passed down from generation to generation through story and song. While some of them may be dismissed as fairytales everyone one of the Seven Kingdoms is defined by them.
The Age of Heroes began with the signing of the Pact on the Isle of Faces. The Pact ended the war of the First Men and the children of the forest and lasted for nearly four thousand years.
During that time, a hundred kingdoms rose and fell. This was a rugged time where many ancient traditions and legacies forged by the First Men were established, with influence from the children. Many of these customs live on among the lords of the North, who still bear the blood of the First Men in their veins. The laws of hospitality, the obligation of a judge to also be the executioner, and the renowned Wall are all accredited to these ancestors of the northmen; the barrows of the First Men can still be found throughout the North. This was the time when many legendary kings and heroes walked the earth, such as:
- Bran the Builder - who built the Wall and Winterfell. He is also accredited for other famous constructions, including Storm's End. He is said to have founded House Stark, the Kings of Winter.
- Lann the Clever - who supposedly swindled Casterly Rock from the Casterlys using nothing but his wits. House Lannister traces their descent from Lann.
- Garth Greenhand - the ancestor of House Gardener of the Reach, as well as many other houses.
- Durran - founder of House Durrandon and first of the Storm Kings, who raised Storm's End to check the wrath of the gods for wedding their daughter Elenei
- The Grey King  of the Iron Islands - legends hold that he wed a mermaid and became king of the western isles and all the sea beyond.
- Symeon Star-Eyes - a legendary knight who was blind.
Other royal houses from the era include the Blackwoods, Brackens, and Darklyns. During the Age of Heroes the Boltons are said to have flayed Starks and worn their skins as cloaks. A dozen armies smashed themselves to bits upon the Bloody Gate. The Ravenry of the Citadel is believed to have been the stronghold of a pirate lord.
While much was achieved during this ancient era, it was at a cost - in the midst of the Age of Heroes fell the longest and blackest of winters - the the Long Night which heralded the arrival of the Others. During this time it was also recorded by the Night's Watch that the children of the forest gave the defenders of the Wall a hundred obsidian daggers every year.
The oldest histories we have were written after the Andals came to Westeros. The First Men only left us runes on rocks, so everything we know about the Age of Heroes and the Dawn Age and the Long Night comes from accounts set down by septons thousands of years later. There are archmaesters at the Citadel who question all of it. Those old histories are full of kings who reigned for a hundred years, and knights riding around a thousand years before there were knights.
References and Notes
- A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, Campaign guide
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 66, Bran VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 6, Sansa I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 31, Catelyn III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 48, Jaime I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 9, Brienne II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 62, Jaime VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34, Catelyn VI.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 45, Samwell V.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 5, Samwell I.