The new hit Hollywood action movie coming next summer – The Age of Heroes, starring Keanu Reeves. No, the Age of Heroes was a period of time after the Children and the First Men signed the pact that allowed them to live in peace with each other. This period of time lasted thousands of years and it was a sort of golden age. Mostly for the First Men who now had free reign to build and spread across Westeros. It’s said entire kingdoms rose and fell during these times, but the Age of Heroes wasn’t always sunny.
During this time, heroes rose and with them many other things. Walls and houses we still know today came about, but as with all ancient history the line between legend and reality begins to blur.
The Grey King
Surely almost pure legend, the Grey King is a great man in the legends of the Ironborn. All Ironborn houses are descended from the Grey King and he sat the Seastone Chair in a manner that kings can only grasp at. Mostly because the Grey King had the blessing of the Drowned God himself.
The Grey King defeated a sea dragon named Nagga in battle and he turned her bones into a hall and chair for himself, bones that the Drowned God turned to stone. After his death, the Drowned God took back the hall and chair leaving only bones as proof of it ever existing. That site is where Kingsmoots are held today.
The Grey King decided to marry a mermaid so his kids could be a neat hybrid and live in the sea or on land. He added a few more things to his already impressive list such as carving the first longboat and baiting the Storm God into giving them fire by hitting a tree with lightning. He ruled for awhile, awhile being about 1,000 years or so, and then he died. His hundred sons fought for power and only sixteen survived, splitting the Iron Islands among themselves. Oh yeah, and he didn’t just die, but he took off his crown and walked into the sea where he took his place at the Drowned God’s right hand. Needless to say, the Grey King is the Ironborn’s favorite legend.
Legend has it that there once was a woman named Elenei. She was the daughter of the Sea God and the Goddess of the Wind. She made the mistake of falling in love with Durran, a love that her parents forbade. The two decided to marry despite the forces opposing them. On their wedding night, Durran’s keep was destroyed by a furious storm sent by the gods and in return he declared war on them.
Durran set to work of building a fortification that could withstand the god’s wrath, but each structure he built was destroyed by storms of incredible strength. Six castles were destroyed before, finally, the seventh stood strong. Rumors say this was in large part due to advice provided by a young boy named Bran. Other rumors say the Children lent a hand in it’s construction. Either way at the end of the day, Storm’s End stood strong and withstood all the storms sent by the wrathful gods. Durran became the first Durrandon and the first Storm King. House Durrandon survived all the way to Aegon’s Conquest.
Perhaps the most stooped in mystery is Garth Greenhand, a legend tied closely to the Reach. Usually people argue facts and truth, but with Garth we even argue legend. Did he do this, did he do that?
For example some say Garth was in fact the very one to lead the First Men across the Arm of Dorne. Others say he came to Westeros long before that happened, becoming the first human in Westeros and becoming friends with the Children and the giants. Sometimes he’s a god, sometimes a man, sometimes he wants blood sacrifices, sometimes he doesn’t. Some say Garth wasn’t a man at all, rather he was green and had antlers.
The common baseline though, is that Garth was a giver. He was the one to teach men to farm and he carried a bag of seed wherever he go, sprouting trees, grass, and everything else. He provided life for farms and families and the land. In some of these stories he wasn’t liked by the Children and the giants and they threw boulders at him.
Garth was also a ladykiller, giving them a bountiful womb with but a single touch. Girls became woman in his very presence, their maturity flowering. In basis, Garth brought life in every way. Plants, animals, and people alike. His descendants are spread across the Reach, including the Gardeners, also deceased due to Aegon’s Conquest. What Garth giveth, Aegon taketh away.
Before the Lannisters ever inhabited Casterly Rock, the Casterlys owned it, go figure. Modern theory has Lann as a retainer to House Casterly who got the Lord’s daughter pregnant. He convinced the Lord to allow them to marry, not so far fetched if the Lord had no natural sons, and Lann inherited the Rock after the Lord’s death forming House Lannister. End of story, but the legends are much more fun to tell.
Lann the Clever was an adventurer with naught but quick wit of the tongue and mind to guide him. Legend has Lann deceiving poor and foolish Garth Greenhand into thinking Lann was one of his own sons. It does become hard to tell once you pass a certain number. Lann swindled Garth right out of the inheritance meant for Garth’s true children, thus becoming wealthy.
Story goes that Lann laid eyes on Casterly Rock and he wanted it. He found a way into the impregnable castle, a tight squeeze that even required him to cover his body in butter to squeeze through. Inside, Lann set to work. He set traps and snares randomly, he whispered into Casterly ears at night, he would steal from one man and frame another. He would roar into vents at night that would echo across the castle with deathly moans. Step by step he convinced them that the Rock was haunted. Once they abandoned the castle, Lann the Clever claimed it as his own and formed his own great house. Hear Me Roar.
Bran the Builder
Bran is the most famous of the heroes from this glorious age. Bran did one thing and he did it very well. Brandon the Builder built things and his name guaranteed that the Stark line would be filled with countless Brandons. We have our own lovable boy Brandon, we have Ned’s brother – boisterous Brandon, we have Bran the builder’s own son, Brandon, and of course we have the builder Brandon, there’s also Old Nan’s Brandon who passed, or maybe that was just Bran’s uncle Brandon. Sorry, they all start to run together in my head like they were all one person.
There’s surprisingly little on Builder Bran. We know he began the Stark line and we know he built Winterfell. According to others he built many more things including a castle mentioned earlier.According to almost all tales, Bran was also the genius behind the Wall. A behemoth of a thing that most likely was built with giant and mammoth help. The Children most likely pitched in as well with a few things here and there. That’s about all we know of the mysterios Bran the Builder.
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#4: From a GoT DVD extra
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