Garth Greenhand

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Garth Greenhand
Garth Greenhand by Douglas Wheatley©.png
Image by Douglas_Wheatley©
Biographical Information
Reign In the Dawn Age
Full Name Garth Greenhand
Alias Garth Greenhair
Garth the Green
Other Titles High King of the First Men
Culture First Men
Issue Garth the Gardener
John the Oak
Gilbert of the Vines
Florys the Fox
Maris the Maid
Foss the Archer
Brandon of the Bloody Blade
Owen Oakenshield
Harlon the Hunter
Herndon of the Horn
Bors the Breaker
Rose of Red Lake
Ellyn Ever Sweet
Rowan Gold-Tree
Books The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)
The Sworn Sword (mentioned)
A Game of Thrones (appendix)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (appendix)
A Dance with Dragons (appendix)

Garth Greenhand, also called Garth Greenhair and Garth the Green, was a mythical High King of the First Men and said to have been the common ancestor of numerous houses from the Reach. His firstborn son, Garth the Gardener, founded House Gardener, the Kings of the Reach.[1]

Garth supposedly wore a crown of vines and flowers and made the land bloom.[2]


According to some legends, Garth Greenhand was the High King who led the First Men across the Arm of Dorne. Other tales claim he predated the arrival of the First Men, making not only the first human in Westeros but also the only human, and that he interacted with the children of the forest and giants. In some tales he is a god, and in a few of these, the oldest ones, he demands blood sacrifice from his worshippers to ensure a bountiful harvest; in some stories the green god dies every autumn, only to be reborn with the coming of spring. Some tales claim he had green hands, green hair or green skin overall, or antlers like a stag.

It is said Garth first taught men to farm, giving them the gift of seed and showing them how to plant and sow, how to raise crops and reap the harvest. Some tales indicate he tried to do the same with giants and children of the forest, but the giants pelted him with boulders and the children laughed, stating the woods provided them with all their needs. Where he walked, farms and villages and orchards sprouted. He carried a canvas bag, heavy with seed, which he scattered as he went along. Befitting a god, the bag was filled with seeds for all of the world's trees, grains, fruits and flowers, and its content was endless.

Garth Greenhand not only brought fertility to the land but also to women, making barren ones fruitful with a touch, even crones who no longer got their moon blood. Maidens ripened in his presence, mothers brought forth twins or even triplets when he blessed them and young girls flowered at his smile. Lords and common men alike offered up their virgin daughters to him wherever he went so their crops may ripen and trees grow heavy with fruit. Any maiden he deflowered delivered strong sons or fair daughters.

In some myths Garth is a contemporary of Bran the Builder or Durran Godsgrief, while in others he is the ancestor of them all. To the maesters, however, he was no more than a warchief or petty king who led the first wave of First Men across the Arm of Dorne.[1] Legends in the north state that the First King led the First Men to Westeros, not Garth.[3][4]

Garth also planted an oak from which sprung the Oakenseat, the throne of the Gardener kings.[5]


Garth had many descendents; supposedly half the noble houses in the Reach, including the Tyrells and the Florents, can trace their lineage back to him.[6]

His numerous children are said to have included:[1]


Garth like to plant his seed in fertile ground, they say. I shouldn't wonder that more than his hands were green.[6]

- Olenna Redwyne to Sansa Stark