Game of Thrones Kingdoms and Territories Explained

Game of Thrones

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Game of Thrones season 8 premieres tonight at 9/8c on HBO, and as you attempt to mentally prepare yourself for the end of the series, you might also want to brush up on your knowledge on the Seven Kingdoms, the Iron Throne, and everything that Daenerys Targaryen is trying so hard to conquer during this final season.

With only two days left until the premiere, and very little time to cram all of 67 episodes of the show before the final season airs, fans might be looking for a little refresher of some of the kings and kingdoms of Westeros.

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Despite its name, the Seven Kingdoms is a realm (now) divided into nine administrative regions or provinces: the Crownlands (Kings Landing), Dorne (Sunspear), the Iron Islands (Pyke), the North (Winterfell), the Reach (Highgarden), the Riverlands (Riverrun), the Stormlands (Storms End), the Vale of Arryn (The Eyrie), and the Westerlands (Casterly Rock). The terms “Westeros” and “The Seven Kingdoms” are more or less interchangeable, though there are also two regions—never independent—contained within its borders: the Riverlands and the Crownlands.

For a quick recap of each of the kingdoms of Westeros, check out the information below, courtesy of Game of Thrones Wiki and A Wiki of Ice and Fire. But be warned! There may be some light spoilers ahead.

Note: Keep in mind, this is a very generalized, shortened review of the Kingdoms of Westeros. George R.R. Martin is a very detailed storyteller, and the world he created is incredibly extensive. If you are interested in reading more about about his world, check out the book The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones.

Kingdom of the North

The Kingdom of the North is ruled by House Stark of Winterfell, the Kings in the North. It was an independent realm that controlled the northern territories of Westeros and ruled by the King in the North until the Targaryen conquest seized the North and made it subservient to the Iron Throne. It was reestablished upon proclamation of Robb Stark as King in the North, before he was defeated during the War of Five Kings, and then once more reestablished as an independent realm when Jon Snow, Robb Stark’s bastard brother, was crowned king. However, Jon eventually pledged himself to Daenerys Targaryen, thus returning the North back under the fold of the Seven Kingdoms under House Targaryen.

Kingdom of the Mountain & the Vale

The Kingdom of the Mountain and the Vale is ruled by House Arryn of the Eyrie, the Kings of the Mountain and the Vale. Before the Targaryen conquest over Westeros, the kingdom was ruled by the Mountain Kings, where they ruled the Vale from their stronghold in the Eyrie. However, the last King of the Mountain lost his rule to Ser Artys Arryn during the Andal Invasion. Ser Artys was declared King of the Mountain and Vale and founded House Arryn, which continue to rule the region as Lords Paramount of the Vale.

Kingdom of the Isles & Rivers

The Kingdom of the Isles and Rivers was a short-lived Kingdom of Westeros, ruled by House Hoare of Harrenhal, the Kings of the Isles and the Rivers. It was founded three generations before the Targaryen Conquest, when the Kingdom of the Iron Islands conquered all of the Riverlands from the rule of the Kingdom of the Stormlands. The kingdom ceased to exist during the Targaryen Conquest: House Hoare, who ruled the Riverlands at the time, was destroyed by dragon-fire at the Burning of Harrenhal, and the Riverlands rose up against the remaining ironborn in a revolt led by House Tully.

Kingdom of the Rock

The Kingdom of the Rock is ruled by House Lannister of Casterly Rock, the Kings of the Rock. It was founded during the time of the First Men by House Casterly, before the Lannisters seized control. The Lannisters ruled over Casterly Rock until Aegon the Conqueror invaded Westeros and King Loren Lannister submitted to Aegon. The Kingdom of the Rock then became the Westerlands, one of the constituent regions of the unified Seven Kingdoms.

Kingdom of the Stormlands

The Kingdom of the Stormlands was ruled by House Durrandon of Storm’s End, the Storm Kings, until the house was wiped out and House Baratheon came into power. The Kingdom of the Stormlands fell when Orys Baratheon, a commander in Aegon Targaryen’s army, defeated and killed the last Storm King, Argilac the Arrogant, in the battle known as the Last Storm. After he defeated Argilac, Orys took his castle, Storms End, and his sigil (a black stag on a gold background) for his own. He was made the first Paramount of the Stormlands.

Kingdom of the Reach

The Kingdom of the Reach was ruled by House Gardener of Highgarden, the Kings of the Reach, when it was first established. It was founded during the time of the First Men by Garth Greenhand, the first King of the Reach. The Kingdom of the Reach fell when Aegon the Conqueror defeated the last Gardner King, Mern IX, in the Field of Fire. Following Mern’s death, the Reach fell under the authority of the Iron Thone and House Tyrell replaced the extinct Gardeners as rulers of the Reach.

Principality of Dorne

The Principality of Dorne is ruled by House Martell of Sunspear, the Princes of Dorne. Dorne was founded during Nymeria’s War by Mors Martell and Nymeria. During Aegon’s Conquest, the Principality of Dorne remained unconquered and independent until the Conquest of Dorne, when Dorne was invaded and taken over by the Targaryens. The territory was occupied for four years, during which the Dornish insurgency fought against the invaders until they were driven back out. Dorne was eventually brought under rule of the Iron Throne through a voluntary marriage-alliance, which has allowed the Martells to fashion themselves as the Princes and Princesses of Dorne, instead of “Lord Paramount” to the territory.

The Crownlands

The Crownlands were never a sovereign nation, and didn’t come to be part of the nine constituent regions of Westeros until much later, making them territory the newest of the regions in Westeros. The Crownlands were contested between the Riverlands, the Stormlands, and other regions for thousands of years until Aegon the Conqueror seized control of the area during his invasion and made it his primary foothold on the continent, three centuries before the death of King Robert Baratheon. It is ruled directly by the monarch on the Iron Throne from the city of King’s Landing.

Tune in Sunday, April 14 at 9/8c to catch the eighth and final season premiere of Game of Thrones, only on HBO.

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