Reach

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The Reach with the major strongholds

The Reach is one of the constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms on the continent of Westeros. It was formerly a sovereign nation known as the Kingdom of the Reach before the War of Conquest.

The Reach is ruled from the castle of Highgarden by House Tyrell. It is the second-largest of the kingdoms behind the North and is considered the most fertile and heavily-populated part of Westeros. Bastards born in the Reach are given the surname Flowers.

The Reach is considered the home of chivalry in Westeros. It is the place where knighthood is looked upon with the greatest reverence and esteemed the most. It is also the place where the rules to tournaments are the most stringent and managed.[1]

Geography

The Reach is the most fertile part of Westeros and has numerous and well-populated villages and towns. The Sunset Sea is found to the west, while the hills of the Westerlands are to the northwest and the Blackwater Rush of the Riverlands is to the north. The Reach borders the Crownlands to the northeast, while to the east and southeast are the Stormlands and their Dornish Marches. South of the Reach are the Red Mountains of Dorne and the Summer Sea. The Roseroad links Oldtown with King's Landing by way of Highgarden, while the Ocean Road links Highgarden with Lannisport.[2]

The Reach is watered by the immense river Mander and its tributaries, including the Blueburn and the Cockleswhent. Oldtown is located at the mouth of the Honeywine. The region also includes several islands, including the Shield Islands near the mouth of the Mander and the Arbor south of the Whispering Sound and the Redwyne Straits.

Notable locations

A large Tyrell ranging party rides across the Reach in a wide formation – by Tomasz Jedruszek. © Fantasy Flight Games

History

The beginnings of the Reach can be traced back to the Age of Heroes, when the legendary King of the Reach, Garth Greenhand live, from whom the ruling line of House Gardener and many current houses in the region claim to be descended, including House Tyrell, the current overlord of the Reach.[3][4]

The Reach is the heart of the chivalric tradition in the Seven Kingdoms, the place where knighthood is most universally esteemed. Tournaments here have the most elaborate and varied rules, and are the most likely to be held for knights only. It is said that the Dornishmen have warred against the Reach and Storm's End for a thousand years, dating from the Rhoynar Invasion. The borderlands between the two regions, called the Dornish Marches, are populated on the north side by marcher lords loyal to the Tyrells.

House Tyrell of Highgarden claimed dominion of the Reach following the death of King Mern Gardener at the Field of Fire during the War of Conquest. At the time the Tyrells were the stewards of the Gardeners, and surrendered Highgarden to Aegon. They were rewarded with both the castle and the position of overlords of the Reach.

During the Dance of the Dragons, the Reach was split between the greens and the blacks, with the Hightowers providing much of the support for the greens (along with the Redwynes), but with the Rowans, Tarlys, Costaynes, Mullendores, and Grimms supporting the blacks. The Battle on the Honeywine and the First and Second Battles of Tumbleton were fought in the Reach.

In the Blackfyre Rebellion, several of Daemon Blackfyre's greatest supporters were reachmen, including Ser Quentyn Ball and Lord Gormon Peake, while others supported Daeron II.

Robert's Rebellion saw the Reach provide much of the pro-Targaryen strength, and host the Battle of Ashford. After Robert Baratheon's death, most reachmen joined the Tyrells in declaring for Renly Baratheon. Some joined Stannis after Renly's murder, but most were idle for a time before marching with Tywin Lannister to defeat Stannis in the Battle of the Blackwater. Since then, reachmen have provided much of the Iron Throne's manpower, under the uneasy Lannister-Tyrell alliance. The Reach itself remained untouched by the war until the Battle of the Shield Islands, which marked the beginning of Euron Greyjoy's campaigns in the south. Since then Oldtown and the Arbor have been threatened by ironborn raiders.

Economy

The Reach is the second wealthiest region in the Seven Kingdoms behind the Westerlands, but it is the most fertile region. Among the products it produces are melons, fireplums, peaches, apples, and grapes. The Arbor is said to make the finest of wines, from dry fruity reds to a rich golden vintage. Woodharps made in Oldtown are highly sought after.

Before the Conquest, the golden coins of the Reach were known as hands. They still exist in some number, with each coin roughly half the value of a dragon. [5]

Quotes

In Highgarden there are fields of golden roses that stretch away as far as the eye can see. The fruits are so ripe they explode in your mouth-melons, peaches, fireplums, you’ve never tasted such sweetness. [6]

- Robert Baratheon to Eddard Stark

References and Notes