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.
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.
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.
- Highgarden, castle and seat of House Tyrell, the center of the regional power.
- Oldtown, The most prominent city in the Reach is Oldtown. It is the oldest city in Westeros, home to the maesters' Citadel, and the previous seat of the Faith.
- Ashford, a market town.
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.
The beginnings of the Reach can be traced back to Garth Greenhand, the legendary King of the Reach who lived in the Age of Heroes. The royal line of House Gardener of Highgarden claimed descent from Garth, as do many current houses in the region. What is now the Ravenry of the Citadel
The Reach is the heart of the chivalric tradition in the Seven Kingdoms, the place where knighthood is most universally esteemed. Tourneys here have the most elaborate and varied rules, and are the most likely to be held for knights only.
Dornishmen have warred against the Reach for thousands of years; rivalries include the feud between House Oakheart and House Dayne. The Kings of the Reach also warred with the Storm Kings of House Durrandon, gradually conquering land from the western Stormlands. However, King Garse VII Gardener was slain by King Argilac Durrandon in the Battle of Summerfield. The Dornish Marches, the lands just north of the Red Mountains of Dorne, have long been disputed. The lords of Highgarden count Defender of the Marches amongst their titles, although the marcher lords now owe allegiance to House Baratheon of the Stormlands.
During the War of Conquest, King Mern IX Gardener led the army of the Reach against the invading House Targaryen, but he was killed at the Field of Fire and his line was ended. House Tyrell, the stewards of the Gardeners, surrendered Highgarden to Aegon the Conqueror. They were rewarded with both the castle and the position of overlords of the Reach. The High Septon and Lord Banfred Hightower did not oppose Aegon when he approached Oldtown, increasing the new king's legitimacy. Rather than being independent, the Reach was part of the Seven Kingdoms ruled by the Iron Throne.
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.
Robert's Rebellion saw the Reach provide much of the pro-Targaryen strength. Lord Randyll Tarly led the van of Lord Mace Tyrell to victory against Lord Robert Baratheon in the Battle of Ashford. After Ashford, Mace led the unsuccessful Siege of Storm's End.
A Clash of Kings
After King Robert Baratheon's death, most lords of the Reach join the Tyrells in declaring for Renly Baratheon. Some join Stannis Baratheon after Renly's murder, but most are idle for a time before marching with Tywin Lannister to defeat Stannis in the Battle of the Blackwater.
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
The Reach itself remains untouched by the war until the Battle of the Shield Islands, which marks the beginning of King Euron Greyjoy's campaigns in the south. Since then Oldtown and the Arbor have been threatened by ironborn raiders.
32px House Ambrose.
32px House Appleton of Appleton.
32px House Ashford of Ashford.
32px House Ball.
32px House Beesbury of Honeyholt.
32px House Blackbar of Bandallon.
32px House Bridges.
32px House Bulwer of Blackcrown.
32px House Bushy.
32px House Caswell of Bitterbridge.
32px House Chester of Greenshield.
32px House Cockshaw.
House Cordwayner of Hammerhal.
32px House Costayne of the Three Towers.
32px House Crane of Red Lake.
32px House Cuy of Sunhouse.
32px House Dunn.
32px House Florent of Brightwater Keep.
32px House Footly of Tumbleton.
House Fossoway of Cider Hall.
House Fossoway of New Barrel.
House Gardener of Highgarden.
32px House Graceford of Holyhall.
32px House Grimm of Greyshield.
32px House Hastwyck.
House Hewett of Oakenshield.
32px House Hightower of the Hightower.
32px House Hunt.
32px House Hutcheson.
32px House Inchfield.
32px House Kidwell.
32px House Leygood.
32px House Meadows of Grassy Vale.
House Merryweather of Longtable.
32px House Middlebury.
32px House Mullendore of Uplands.
32px House Norcross.
32px House Norridge.
32px House Oakheart of Old Oak.
32px House Oldflowers.
32px House Orme.
House Osgrey of Leafy Lake.
32px House Osgrey of Standfast.
32px House Peake of Starpike.
32px House Redwyne of the Arbor.
32px House Rhysling.
32px House Rowan of Goldengrove.
House Roxton of the Ring.
House Serry of Southshield.
House Shermer of Smithyton.
32px House Sloane.
House Tarly of Horn Hill.
32px House Tyrell of Highgarden.
House Tyrell of Brightwater Keep.
32px House Uffering.
32px House Varner.
32px House Vyrwel of Darkdell.
32px House Webber of Coldmoat.
32px House Westbrook.
32px House Willum.
32px House Wythers.
32px House Yelshire.
References and Notes
- Tourney Rules. (April 29, 1999) So Spake Martin
- The Lands of Ice and Fire
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 15, Samwell II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 62, Tyrion VIII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 21, The Queenmaker.
- The World of Ice and Fire sample
- A Dance with Dragons, Appendix.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 28, Cersei VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.