Age of Heroes

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Brandon the Builder, by Feliche ©

The Age of Heroes was an era of Westerosi history prior to the coming of the Andals. It 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.[1] Many noble houses trace their family histories to the Age of Heroes, although it is difficult for historians to differentiate between truth and legend.[2]


Garth Greenhand, by by Douglas Wheatley ©

It is generally believed that the Age of Heroes began with the signing of the Pact on the Isle of Faces. This agreement ended the the war between the First Men and the children of the forest, leading to four thousand years of peace between the two peoples.[1] Numerous petty kings and lords rose to power as the First Men spread through Westeros, with some erroneously said to have ruled for hundreds of years, and their realms formed the basis of what would eventually become the Seven Kingdoms.[2]

Much of the Ages of Heroes is shrouded in mystery, as tales about it were compiled by septons and maesters thousands of years later.[2] Runes, stone monuments, ringforts, and ancient castles of the First Men provide some insight into this legendary time, however.[2]

Many legendary figures are said to have lived during the Age of Heroes, including:

Other royal houses from the era include the Blackwoods,[9] Brackens,[9] and Darklyns.[10] During the Age of Heroes the Boltons are said to have flayed Starks and worn their skins as cloaks.[11] A dozen armies smashed themselves to bits upon the Bloody Gate in the Mountains of the Moon.[12] The Ravenry of the Citadel is believed to have been the stronghold of a pirate lord.[13]

In the midst of the Age of Heroes fell the longest and blackest of winters, 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.[14]

The Age of Heroes possible overlaps with the Age of the Hundred Kingdoms. The coming of the Andals to Westeros led to most realms of the First Men being conquered by or submitting to Andals.[15]


The Grey King fights Nagga, from Game of Thrones Blu-ray

What is commonly accepted is that the Age of Heroes began with the Pact and extended through the thousands of years in which the First Men and the children lived in peace with one another.[2]

—writings of Yandel

Did such heroes once exist? It may be so. But when the singers number Serwyn of the Mirror Shield as one of the Kingsguard—an institution that was only formed during the reign of Aegon the Conqueror—we can see why it is that few of these tales can ever be trusted.[2]

—writings of Yandel

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.[14]

See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 66, Bran VII.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: The Age of Heroes.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
  4. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 6, Sansa I.
  5. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 31, Catelyn III.
  6. The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale: House Arryn.
  7. Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
  8. The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: The Men of the Stormlands.
  9. 9.0 9.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 48, Jaime I.
  10. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 9, Brienne II.
  11. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 62, Jaime VII.
  12. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34, Catelyn VI.
  13. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 45, Samwell V.
  14. 14.0 14.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 5, Samwell I.
  15. The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: The Arrival of the Andals.