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Valyria illustrated by Ted Nasmith
|Location||Valyrian peninsula, Essos|
|Government||Dragonlords , Valyrian Freehold (freeborn landholders).|
|Founded||At least five thousand years ago.|
|Destroyed||114 BC, in the Doom of Valyria|
Valyria, also called Old Valyria, is a ruined city in Essos. It is a long-dead city of wonderment, and was once the capital of a great empire called the Valyrian Freehold. It was destroyed by a cataclysmic event known as the Doom of Valyria a century before Aegon's Landing. It is the ancestral home of House Targaryen, House Celtigar, and House Velaryon.
Valyria was located on a peninsula of the same name extending into the Summer Sea. The Doom of Valyria shattered the peninsula, separating the city of Valyria from the Lands of the Long Summer by the Smoking Sea. The city of Valyria lies at the center of the largest surviving island, surrounded by cliffs where the island has broken away from the mainland. Valyria was connected by dragon roads to surrounding cities, such as Tyria.
A common racial characteristic among Valyrians appears to have been purple eyes and hair of silver-gold or platinum white. Valyria is said to still hold many treasures from before the Doom, such as Valyrian steel blades and items of magical power. It is said that the glass candles of Oldtown were brought there from Valyria a thousand years before the Doom.
Valyria was ruled by its dragonlords, led by two score rival houses that contested for power. House Targaryen, however, was not considered a powerful house. At times the lords freeholder elected archons for temporary leadership.
The Valyrians' empire, the Valyrian Freehold, first conquered the Old Empire of Ghis to the east across Slaver's Bay, as well as the Ghiscari colonies in the Basilisk Isles and Sothoryos. Seeking slaves for Valyrian mines, they then conquered and established colonies to the west and north after defeating the Andals and the Rhoynar in Essos.
Four hundred years ago, however, Valyria and its peninsula were shattered by the Doom. The dragonlord Aurion declared himself Emperor of Valyria, but he and his host disappeared while trying to reclaim the city.
Some years ago Gerion Lannister journeyed to Valyria to try to recover Brightroar, the lost Valyrian steel sword of House Lannister, and any other treasures that might have survived the Doom. He did not return and was presumed lost at sea. At some point the tigers, a political party in Volantis, sent a fleet to reclaim Valyria but the ships vanished in the Smoking Sea.
A Feast for Crows
Petyr: Is there a man in your service that you trust utterly and completely?
Eddard: Yes.Petyr: In that case, I have a delightful palace in Valyria that I would dearly love to sell you. The wiser answer was no, my lord, but be that as it may.
Euron: I am the storm, my lord. The first storm, and the last. I have taken the Silence on longer voyages than this, and ones far more hazardous. Have you forgotten? I have sailed the Smoking Sea and seen Valyria.
Rodrik: Have you?Euron: Reader, you would do well to keep your nose in your books.
– writings of Yandel
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 3, Daenerys I.
- A Storm of Swords, Map of Slaver's Bay
- A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- The Lands of Ice and Fire.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34, Catelyn VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard IV.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: The Rise of Valyria.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: The Doom of Valyria.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 32, Tyrion IV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 14, Tyrion IV.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 19, The Drowned Man.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 29, The Reaver.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 25, Eddard V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 33, Tyrion VIII.
- So Spake Martin: Asshai.com Interview in Barcelona, July 28, 2012.
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