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Free City
FM Norvos.png
Norvos © FFG
Location Essos, Free Cities, Hills of Norvos
Government High Magister and a council of religious protectors
Religion Mixed religions
Founded Approx 1,000 years ago
Organizations Bearded Priests
Nine Free Cities on the continent of Essos:
Pentos, Braavos, Lys, Qohor, Norvos, Myr, Tyrosh, Volantis, Lorath

Norvos, called Great Norvos by its people, is one of the nine Free Cities. It lies in the interior of Essos, between Pentos and Qohor.


Norvos sits among the Hills of Norvos, on the Noyne, a tributary of the massive River Rhoyne. Located between Pentos and Qohor, it serves as a gateway for caravans and travelers going east-west on the ancient Valyrian roads, with the ruins of Ghoyan Drohe to the southwest and Qohor to the southeast.

It is a land of rolling hills and terraced farms, surrounded by small walled villages[1] that support the larger city. [2]


The Norvoshi do not descend from the Rhoynar. Yet, before the Valyrians, another people dwelt along the Noyne were Norvos stands today, raising rude villages of their own. Some believe them to have been kin to the mazemakers of Lorath, though the Norvoshi predecessors built in wood, not stone, and left no mazes behind. Other suggests these people were cousins to the men of Ib, but most, however, believe them to have been Andals. Whoever they were, their towns did not survive. According to legend, hairy men out of the east, surely close kin to the Ibbenese, drove them away, but were in turn expelled by the legendary Prince of Ny Sar, Garris the Grey. However, these Rhoynar did not linger, preferring the more temperate weather of the lower river to the dark skies and cold winds of the hills.

The modern Norvos, like Qohor and Lorath, was founded by religious dissidents of Valyria who found the religious tolerance of the Freehold intolerable and set out to find or build city where only the "true faith" would be practiced.

During the Century of Blood, Norvos and Qohor allied against Volantis, and have been more often allies than enemies ever since. Nevertheless, the bearded priests regard the Black Goat of Qohor as a demon with a vile and treacherous nature.[3]

The city

Norvos is nominally ruled by a High Magister and a council of religious protectors.[2] These are, in fact, chosen by the bearded priests.[4]

The city is divided into two sections, with the High City on the tallest hill in the region, and the Low City located at the base of the hill by the river. [5][2] The lower city if full with riverman's haunts, brothels, and taverns. It is where the lowborn Norvoshi, out of sigh of priests, nobles, or soldiers, find entertainment, away from the wind and prayer of the higher city.[4] Bears are known to be made to dance down the Sinner's Steps.[5] There are also whispers of torchlit cellars were slave women mate with wolves.[4]

There are three bells throughout the city, each given its own name:

  • Noom having a deep sound
  • Narrah having a strong sound
  • Nyel having a higher pitched sound.


Among the Norvoshi only the bearded priests are allowed bears. The freeborn of the city, both noble or lowborn favor long, unswept mustachios, whilst slave and women are shaved bare. Norvoshi women shave off all of their hair, though noblewomen don wigs, specially when in company of men from other lands and cities.[4]

Norvoshi People

Norvoshi men wear their mustaches long, with many sweeping them up into points and dyeing them.[6] Norvoshi are known as masters at creating intricate textiles, including fine tapestries that are renowned the world over, and for an annual festival that features bears dancing down a path known as the Sinner’s Steps.[5][2]


During the Century of Blood, Qohor and Norvos broke Volantene power on the Rhoyne in a battle involving fire galleys on Dagger Lake.[7]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Daenerys Targaryen passes Norvos during the journey of Khal Drogo's khalasar from Pentos to Vaes Dothrak.[8]

A Feast for Crows

As punishment for his part in the conspiracy to crown Myrcella Baratheon, Ser Andrey Dalt is sent to serve Lady Mellario for three years in Norvos.[9]

References and Notes