The Westerlands is a region in the west of the continent of Westeros. It is ruled by House Lannister. Before the Targaryen conquest, it was known as the Kingdom of the Rock. The customary surname of bastards born in the Westerlands is Hill.
A large part of the Westerlands consists of hills and mountains. Its lands extend as far west as the the hills of the Westerlands, between the Golden Tooth and Pinkmaiden, south up to the Goldroad, bordering on the Reach, east up to the Sunset Sea, and north up to the Ironman's Bay.
Accessibility and natural defenses
Because of the hills and mountains, its eastward border with the Riverlands is very defensible, the main pass through the mountains is being guarded by the Golden Tooth, a castle which which controls access to the River Road. From the south, the main entrance is the Sea Road. It is more accessible than the Red Fork, but the forest at Crakehall gives the Westermen a good defense line. However, the Westerlands are vulnerable to attack from the sea as the coast is quite flat and can be easily invaded.
- Lannisport, this port city is one of the major ports of the Seven Kingdoms and the largest city in the Westerlands.
- Casterly Rock, the seat House Lannister, a fortress carved out of a massive hill of solid rock.
- The Golden Tooth, the seat of House Lefford, which guards the main pass from the Westerlands into the Riverlands.
The Westerlands are not the largest, most populous, or most fertile part of the realm, but they are certainly the richest. Full of hills and crags, the land is dotted with mines from which pour gold and silver in astonishing quantities. There are goldmines at the Casterly Rock, the Golden Tooth, Castamere, Nunn's Deep, and the Pendric Hills. Nothing is said of the number of people working in the mines or in other industries. There is some fishery in Lannisport and on Fair Isle.
Before the Andals
Nothing is known of the time before the coming of the First Men. Like the rest of Westeros, the Children of the Forest probably lived in the Westerlands and fought with the First Men when they came. After the Pact at the Isle of Faces, the Children only kept the forests. This means they might have lived near Crakehall.
Kingdom of the Rock
Some 6000 years ago, the Andals invaded Westeros. They fought with the First Men and the Children. All regions south of the Neck were conquered by them. As the Andals forged their kingdoms, the Westerlands became known as the Kingdom of the Rock, with the Kings of the Rock presumably taking Casterly Rock as their seat.
Not much is said in the books about the history of the Kingdom of the Rock. Without a doubt it warred against the other kingdoms in Westeros. Ser Eustace of House Osgrey mentions that a famous relative of his defeated an attack by the Kingdom of the Rock by killing the Lannister King Lancel V. Given their difficulty in defending the coastline, the Westermen most likely also fought with the Ironborn.
After the invasion of Aegon Targaryen, King Loren mustered his armies to fight the invaders. Allied with King Mern of the Reach, they assembled an enormous host, remembered as the Host of the Two Kings. However, they were no match for Targaryen dragons. King Loren escaped the battle and submitted to Aegon. His primacy in the Westerlands was confirmed by the Targaryens. Since this time the Westerlands have been part of the Seven Kingdoms.
During the Blackfyre Rebellion, some Westerland houses kept a foot in booth camps. It is mentioned that some nobles supported Daemon Blackfyre. There are no Westerland supporters of Daeron II mentioned. It is unknown if this means the Westerlands only supported Daemon Blackfyre.
During the reign of Tytos Lannister, Lannister rule was purely nominal. Tytos was held in very low esteem and was basically ignored by his vassals. House Tarbeck and House Reyne eventually revolted against his rule. Tytos's son Tywin led the campaign to put the rebellion down. Houses Tarbeck and Reyne were extinguished; their respective seats at Tarbeck Hall and Castamere were razed. Since this time no house dares oppose House Lannister in the Westerlands. Because of this unity, the Westerlands are a force to be reckoned with. Tywin's own prestige was so great and his capabilities so well demonstrated that he became Hand of the King for King Aerys II.
After the apparent abduction of Lyanna Stark, fiancé of Robert Baratheon, by Crown Prince Rhaegar and the execution of her father and brother by Aerys, a rebellion of House Stark, House Arryn, House Baratheon, and House Tully began.
Before this time, Tywin had resigned as Hand, and for the better part of the war the Westerlands remained neutral. After the Battle of the Trident, Tywin chose the side of the rebels. The Westerland army sacked King's Landing, and killed the Targaryen heirs to prove their support. After the crowning of the main rebel Robert Baratheon, he was married to Cersei Lannister to bind the Lannisters to his cause.
War of the Five Kings
During the War of the Five Kings, Westerland armies devastated the Riverlands. In revenge, a joint Riverlands-Northern army invaded the Westerlands. They pillaged the eastern area of the Westerlands, capturing Ashemark, the Crag, the gold mines at Castamere, Nunn's Deep and the Pendric Hills. Other areas of the Westerlands remained relatively unscathed.
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