ConCarolinas Westerlands Reading

ConCarolinas Westerlands Reading

Here is History of Westeros’ account of GRRM’s reading at ConCarolinas 2014.  He read for one hour from the upcoming World of Ice and Fire, and we took notes furiously.

We avoided speculation though added some of our own thoughts in parentheses.

We’ll be releasing an episode on this information soon, with lots of analysis and more detail synthesized from ASOIAF itself.  In the meantime, subscribe to us and check out our other episodes! Feel free to copy this information elsewhere, though we certainly do appreciate crediting us, as we put a lot of work into taking thorough notes. Leave a comment with any questions you might have!

George described the way the book was made: with Elio and Linda writing from the perspective of a maester, and himself doing the same.  George gave praise to them and joked:  “but my maester is an archmaester, Elio and Linda’s is only a regular maester”.

History of the Westerlands (not complete, the hour got us from the Dawn Age to Ser Tywin, heir to Casterly Rock and fresh from exterminating the Reynes and Tarbecks).

The Westerlands are rugged hills and rolling plains, of misty dales and craggy shorelines. Lakes, rivers, fertile fields, broadleaf forests.  Most interestingly, doors carved into the hills, where many tunnels can be found. These have been used to excavate incredible amounts of wealth.

The region has well defined borders, with hills to the east and south, and coast to the west.  Children of the Forest once dwelt there, and Giants lived in the hills.  Even now the occasional giant’s bone is turned up by a plow. The First Men came with fire and bronze, cutting down the forests, plowing the fields and making roads through the hills.

Following this came forts and castles, and the Children disappeared into the deep woods.  In this era the following houses were established:

Hawthorne, Foote, Brooms, and Plumms. As well, on Fair Isle, the longships of the Farmans helped defend the western coast against ironborn raids. The Greenfields raised a huge castle called the Bower (now simply Greenfield), built of weirwood. The Reynes of Castamere dug tunnels and created what was mostly an underground lair complete with fabulous mines.

The opposite was done by the Westerlings, who built the Crag high on the coast, above the sea. Other houses are said to have come from legendary heroes who are still known today: the Crakehalls from Crake the Boarkiller, the Baneforts from the Hooded Man, the Yews from the Blind Bowman Alan (Alyn?) o’ the Oak, the Morelands from Pate the Plowman.

Though some in the west named themselves king, by far the greatest lords in the west were the Casterlys of the Rock.  Legend says the first Lord Casterly was a huntsman, Corlos son of Caster, who lived in a village near where Lannisport eventually sprang up. Corlos slew a lion (perhaps a Great Lion?) that had been troubling the village, but he spared its cubs.  The gods took favor on him (the Old Gods, the Seven would not come to Westeros for a long time) and showed him where to find a huge vein of gold.

Soon enough the Casterlys were rich, and had fortified this mine and tunneled ever deeper.  Casterly Rock became the largest castle in Westeros (we suppose only Harrenhal has surpassed it).

The Casterlys became the richest in Westeros, though they never called themselves Kings.

Then the golden-haired Lann the Clever appeared from the east. Some say he was an Andal adventurer from across the narrow sea, though this seems doubtful as the Andals didn’t come to Westeros in significant numbers for centuries.

Whatever the truth, Lann winkled Casterly Rock from the Casterlys.

There are many versions of how he did this, and several involve him finding a secret way inside the Rock.  Once inside, he worked great mischief, whispering threats in the ears of the sleeping, making terrifying noises, stealing treasures from one brother and planting them in the bedchamber of another and setting traps.  He set the Casterlys at odds with each other and convinced them that the Rock was haunted.

In another version, Lann uses the secret way in to fill the Rock with vermin, thereby driving out the Casterlys.

In another tale, Lann smuggles a pride of lions into Casterly Rock. The men were then eaten by the lions, and Lann took one of the females as his wife.

Yet another tale tells him as stealing in and having his way with maidens (yes, multiple, many maidens). A crop of golden-haired children appeared 9 months later, though the girls would claim they were still maiden.

Archmaester Perestan (not actually sure if Perestan was an archmaester at the time, he certainly is now) claims that Lann was a man-at-arms at Casterly Rock who impregnated the daughter of Lord Casterly.  That Lord Casterly died and the Lordship passed to Lann’s son with her.

There is no more evidence for this than any other tale, however. Certainly the other tales were more droll than by marriage.

It was also said that he lived to 312 (Aziz wrote down 212, but I am fairly confident he said 312…it is unimportant, in any case). He had hundreds of sons and daughters, in this tale. There are no mother names given, but if it was just one woman…that would be one exhausted mother.

The Lannisters were fertile and fair, and Casterly Rock was not large enough for them all. Some left and made their home in a village a mere mile away. This village had a natural harbor. Over the years it grew from a town to a city, and became the second largest in Westeros (to Oldtown). It was the golden city on the Sunset Sea, Lannisport. Traders came from far away, willing to sail to the far side of Westeros.  Merchants, smiths and other types came in large numbers, and there was great prosperity.  Of course, the center of all of this was the gold.

Along with, and due in part to this increase in power and wealth, the Lannisters became kings. Lann was never king himself.

The first true king was King Lorien the Lion. (we are unsure of the spelling of Lorien, this seemed the most likely) There were many named ‘lion’ and ‘golden’. Lorien married a Reyne of Castamere.

Lorien I defeated Morgon Banefort (there are only Morgans with an ‘a’ in the series, but it really sounded like Morgon, so, we’re unsure which is correct). Morgon was said to be a necromancer (sounds like Morgoth + Sauron!), who apparently had thralls. When Morgon was defeated and captured, he told Lorien he would return from the grave and have his vengeance. Lorien had him cut up and fed to his lions; later, however, the lions escaped, and ate Lorien’s sons.

Here we have a nice list of Lannister kings and some of their accomplishments, doesn’t seem that they are in strict chronological order, but perhaps they are:

Sedion (Setyon? NO clue here) won a battle at the Golden Tooth vs THREE kings.

Tommen I conquered Fair Isle, bringing it into the Westerlands and ending the reign of the last Farman king.

Lorien II held the first tourney in the west.

Lancel I the Lion conquered all the way south to Old Oak.

Lorien III (I have in my notes ‘the Limp’, but I am not sure about this, my phone might have autocorrected from something else, ‘the Limp’ is a little odd to me…I can’t recall exactly, and Aziz did not have it in his notes to cross reference)

Gerold the Great attacked the Iron Islands, taking a hundred captives. He told the king that he would hang one every time there was a raid…he hung 20 of them. He killed Harold the Half-Drowned. (who we are assuming was the King on the Seastone chair)

Lancel IV, died at Red Lake. (which is on the border between the Westerlands and the Reach)

(from TSS) Lancel V tried to invade the Reach while King Gyles was at war with the Storm King, but was killed by Ser Wilbert of House Osgrey, whom he had just mortally wounded.

(either he didn’t say or we both somehow missed who did the acquiring, but…)
Some Lannister acquired Brightroar, a greatsword, buying it for a large sum of money, enough to have bought an entire army. This was a century before the Doom (which is pretty much the only time we heard of Valyrian steel blades being acquired, maybe bought from the Valyrian traders who set themselves up on what became Dragonstone).

Tommen II and Brightroar were lost on the way to Valyria. He stopped in Volantis, “a golden fleet bearing a lion king.” The Volantenes gave him so many gifts that he promised them half of what he found. Then Tommen sailed away and was never seen again. Triarch Marquello (sp?) sent out an expedition to look for them, but found no sign at all.

The Lannister Kings were known for their generosity…except for Norwin the Niggardly.

Lorien IV was a lackwit, and kind of insane.

Lorien V liked to dress up as a woman and hang around the docks.  He was known as Queen Lorea (Loria?) by many.

The name Lorien was less common after those two.

Tyrion II was known as the Tormentor. He enjoyed making women bleed.

The first Andals to arrive saw a bloody end by King Tybolt Thunderbolt.

However, the Westerlands became worn down by the arriving Andals, and Tyrion III and Gerold II saw that they would be doomed, so they married some Andals and gave lands and wives to them. They also took young Andals as wards/hostages.

Thus, many young men were turned from foes to friends. It was said that their blood ran gold.

Houses with Andal roots mentioned: Jast, Lefford, Drox, Brax, Serrett, Sarsfield, Marbrand. Also named were House Kindle (Kindel? no prior mention of this house, so unsure of spelling) and Stackspear (unsure, went by memory with Stackspear).

There were wars between them and the ironborn every generation, but it was mostly peaceful internally, though. The people of Fair Isle, being frequently under attack by the ironborn, harbor a strong hatred of them.

There were a lot of border shifts between the Riverlands and the Reach at this time.

Loren the Last warred against the Trident.

(unlike what’s been said in the TV show) The mines haven’t emptied, and are considered the best in the world.  Even in Asshai, they ask about Casterly Rock,  which they believe to be a ‘palace of gold’.

At this time, the Lannisters had no close ties to Targaryens and very little influence at court despite their wealth. The most influential at the time were Velaryon, Baratheon, Tully, and some of the Crownlands houses. The Lannisters were too proud to get in close with the royals.

In the 40s AC Prince Aegon and his sister-wife Rhaena took refuge at Casterly Rock from King Maegor. Lord Lyman protected them and gave them guest right, but would not pledge his sword. Aegon perished at his uncle’s hand at the Battle Beneath the Gods’ Eye.

The Lannisters rallied to Aegon’s younger brother Jaehaerys I’s cause thus becoming closer to the Targaryens, though still low in influence.

In 101, Lord Tymond (not sure of spelling, probably this one though) attended the Great Council that named Viserys I king, bringing 200 in his retinue, only to be outdone by Matthos Tyrell, who brought 500.

When Viserys I ascended, he made Jason’s twin brother Tyland his master of ships. Under Aegon II, he became master of coin. Tyland brought Jason into the war on Aegon’s side, and hid the gold from the treasury.

The Red Kraken, Lord Dalton Greyjoy, fell upon the Westerlands when Jason had marched, causing great damage.

Lord Jason died to Pate of Longleaf, thereafter known as Lionslayer. (he is in TPatQ)

Adrian Tarbeck was caught between three armies and crushed.

After King’s Landing was taken by the Blacks, Tyland refused to talk and say where the crown’s gold was when tortured by Rhaenyra’s people. He was blinded, mutilated, and gelded. He was retained as master of coin despite this, and sent to the Free Cities, even, to buy mercenaries to fight against Aegon III.  However, the war ended with Aegon III’s ascension.

As Aegon III was so young, there was a regency. Regents were taken from both sides, as neither was truly victorious, and the small council was comprised of people from both sides as well.

Tyland became the hand to Aegon III. People thought that he would be weak, but he was not.  He died of winter fever in 133 AC, two years after the war. (this is what Rhaegar would later die of, hah…a joke)

Johanna (cross referenced with MUSH, seems she was a Westerling) was Lord Jason’s widow. She reclaimed Lannister glory, fought against the Greyjoys, and lent gold to King’s Landing to help rebuild from the damage caused during the Dance of the Dragons (which was extensive!)

During the First Blackfyre Rebellion, Ser Quentyn Ball (Fireball) killed Lord Lefford and sent the Grey Lion Damon Lannister in retreat. This was around 195 AC. (the Grey Lion died in 210).

The Grey Lion’s son Lord Tybolt Lannister did not live long, and had no male heir of his body, just a three year old daughter named Sarelle (unsure of spelling, but this one is likely) when he died.

Gerold the Golden, Tybolt’s brother, became regent, only for Sarelle to die in 212. It was whispered that he murdered Sarelle, and also rumored that he had murdered Tybolt.

Gerold was an able lord, genial and clever. He ruled for 31 years, but there was no love for him, as he was still hated as a rumored kinslayer. People said that the tragedies he faced were proof enough that he was indeed a kinslayer. In 230 AC, Gerold lost his beloved second wife, Rohanne, who simply vanished, and some of his sons within the year’s span. (some confusion in our notes on how many sons he had, but he definitely lost at least one here)

Tybald and Tion were sons of Gerold’s, twins. Tybald (pretty positive it was Tybald, as we have heard of another one, but not 100%) was the eldest twin. In 232 AC, he died in battle, while a squire to Roger Reyne, the Red Lion. He died of a spear wound, in the arms of his twin Tion, who himself was a squire to Aegon V. Tybald became a knight on his deathbed.  In this same battle, King Maekar I was crushed to death by a rock hurled from the battlements of Starpike (seat of House Peake, who fought in some Blackfyre Rebellions). Many Reynes died in the fighting as well.

There was no clear heir after Maekar’s death. Brynden Rivers himself led the Great Council that chose Aegon V the Unlikely. (though he soon departed for the wall with Aegon’s older brother Maester Aemon. Bloodraven may not have been forced to take the black). Gerold the Golden was said to be key in swaying things towards Aegon V.

Tybald had been betrothed to Ellyn Reyne, but he died before they married. Ellyn persuaded Tion to set aside his betrothal. In 235 AC, they had a double wedding, with Tion marrying Ellyn Reyne, and Tytos marrying Jeyne Marbrand. Gerold was twice widowed, and didn’t marry again, so Ellyn was the Lady of Casterly Rock.

Ellyn held court, threw balls, and filled the castle with Reynes.

The Reign of Reyne.

Lord Toad, Gerold’s ancient fool, said that Ellyn must have been a sorceress, because she made it rain all year.  Ellyn commanded Lord Toad be whipped, despite fools normally being allowed to say that kind of thing. Tion refused her nothing.

In 236 AC, the fourth Blackfyre Rebellion, helmed by Daemon III, landed at Massey’s Hook. The Blackfyres had very little support, however, as people thought the Blackfyres to be done, as tattered as their banners.  Tion died at the Battle of Wendwater Bridge.  At the same battle, Duncan the Tall slew Daemon III Blackfyre. Bittersteel retreated across the Narrow Sea again, and the war was quickly over.

With Tion’s death, Gerold took hold again, finding a bit of a second wind, as he knew that he needed to get Tytos ready to rule.

In an attempt to retain her power, Ellyn lied about being pregnant with Tion’s child, but as time went by, her stomach never got larger. The Red Lion and the other Reynes left Casterly Rock.

Ellyn remained, but she had no access to the Lannister gold, was not allowed at council, and could not speak while at court. Her power was nonexistent.

The singers sang of Jeyne, who had blossomed from a plain-faced girl into a great beauty.  The rivalry between Ellyn and Jeyne was ugly.

Maester Belden says that Ellyn was accused of trying to bed Tytos. Tytos was unable to perform, possibly intimidated by Ellyn, and he confessed to his wife, who forgave him. Jeyne told Lord Gerold what had happened. Gerold wanted a new husband for Ellyn, and married her to old, impoverished Walderran (probably spelled like this, but not positive) Tarbeck.

The rivalry between the two women intensified, in a ‘war of the wombs’.

Ellyn, who hadn’t been fertile with Tion, was fertile with Tarbeck. She named her daughters Rohanne and Sarelle, which were daggers to Gerold. Ellyn then named her son Tion.

Shortly after, Jeyne gave birth to Tywin. Rumor has it that Tywin bit Gerold on the finger when he tried to rub his head.

In 243 AC, Gerold the Golden died of a bad bladder.

Tytos became lord, and was known as the Laughing Lion. Tytos was a nice man, slow to anger, quick to forgive. He was too trusting, and too generous (we knew this, but apparently it was very understated). He was no warrior, and was never knighted. A plump boy, he grew to be a fat man.  People would insult him, but Tytos only said ‘words are wind’.

Tytos had few supporters, one of which was Denys Marbrand, Jeyne’s father.

People would borrow from Tytos, knowing that they didn’t have to pay it back. Tytos was constantly pardoning people. He sent ravens to Quellon Greyjoy demanding that the Greyjoys stop their raids.

People of court would make a game of seeing how far they could push him, calling it ‘twisting lion’s tail’. Tytos didn’t mind, he simply laughed, and would even give gifts to those laughing.

There was widespread corruption, ignored edicts, and lords exploited. It was said that his lordship wants only to be loved.  Tytos’ brother, Jason, nine years younger, was scornful, but still defended him. At 13, Jason had a bastard on a serving girl. At 15, he deflowered the Stackspear daughter, getting her pregnant. He was made to marry her, but the girl died in childbirth. Concerned he would father more bastards, within two weeks of her death, they married him to Marla Prester, twice his age, but who still gave Jason 5 children, both sons and daughters.

During this time, some petty lords switched their allegiance to the Reach.  Two lords had a melee instead of going to Lord Tytos for justice, and still the quarrel continued.

Lord Farman built a fleet against Tytos’ wishes, as he wanted to fight off the Greyjoy incursions. Tytos didn’t want to anger them and told them to stop.

By 254 AC. Lords knew that Tytos was not feared. Ironborn and pirates all the way from the Stepstones raided the coast.

Tytos agreed to wed 7 year old Genna to Emmon Frey, saying that he could not break word to Lord Walder…after all, he asked so courteously, he seems like a good guy, Tytos said about Walder. (we both wrote 9 years old, which is a discrepancy with both the books and the actual text per a Ran post on the forum, not sure how we both got 9!)

Tywin fought with Tytos, and it was rumored that Tywin hit him. Soon after, Tywin was sent to court, and became a cupbearer to Aegon V.

Ellyn’s brothers were Roger, who was the best fighter in the west, and Reynard (sp?), who was a cunning, smooth talker.

The Tarbecks rose due to Ellyn Reyne, who, through her brother, got money from the Lannisters, and renovated Tarbeck Hall. Tarbeck expanded it’s holdings via local conquest, but Tytos ignored the complaints. Tarbeck went from 20 household knights to 500 by 255 AC.

In 255, Jeyne had her fourth son, Gerion, but she died within a moon’s turn of Gerion’s birth.

By this point, Aegon V was angry about how weak Tytos’ reign was. Tytos sent Denys Marbrand to bring Tarbeck to court for punishment. Sweet words, Denys Marbrand said.

Ellyn sent for her brothers, and the Red Lion fell upon Denys’ camp, slaying hundreds, including Denys himself.  Tytos was furious. Reynard appeared then, claiming a misunderstanding, saying they had thought it was a camp of bandits. Tytos pardoned the Red Lion, his men, and the Tarbecks.  Perestan says that they were pardoned because Kevan was among them in service.

Genna was then married to Emmon.

Many private wars (like a dozen) were waged in the west. Quellon attacked Fair Isle, and destroyed the Farman fleet. Lord Toad said that Tytos was the lord of misrule. Septons preached openly against Tytos.

Thrice Aegon V sent forces, but once they left, things would always return to their previous state. Then Summerhall happened, and Jaehaerys II ascended. Jaehaerys II lacked his father’s strength, and was busy with the War of the Ninepenny Kings, so he did not involve himself.

In 260 AC, Jason died on Bloodstone, of a flux of the bowels, though it was also said that he was killed by Maelys.

Tywin was squire to Prince Aerys, and he was knighted by him. (this is apparently wrong, Ran just posted on the forum saying as much, possibly it was the opposite, Tywin knighting Aerys)

The Red Lion was a great hero of the war, and Kevan in turn was knighted by him. Tygett was too young to be knighted, but he did slay many men, including a knight of the Golden Company.

Even Pycelle was scornful of Tytos. While everyone was away at war, Tytos was with his new mistress at home.

Tywin came back, (even more) hardened from war, and he took over even though his father was alive, demanding repayment from people who had borrowed. People who couldn’t pay had to give them hostages.  Kevan and Tywin formed new company of collectors, who lords were required to shelter. The Red Lion laughed at these demands, and ignored the collectors.

“You are not the only lions in the west, and our claws are as long and sharp as yours”.  (- either Red Lion or Lady Ellyn, probably Red Lion, but not 100% sure)

The lion has awoken, said Harys Swift.

Walderran Tarbeck went to Casterly Rock, intending on getting Tytos to stop Tywin.

Tarbeck was denied an audience, and he saw Tywin instead. Tywin put him in the dungeon until he gave up the lands he had taken and paid back the gold borrowed.

Ellyn sent out knights, capturing three Lannisters; two were Lannisters of Lannisport, the third was Stafford (the same killed by Rickard Karstark), son of Jason. She demanded her husband be returned.

Tytos overruled Tywin, wanting to send Walderran back. Tywin suggested that he return Walderran in three pieces, in compliance with Ellyn’s request. Tytos instead apologized to them and forgave their debts, sending Kevan to Castamere to make nice. There was feasting and exchanging of kisses, and a peace that lasted a year.

In late 261, Tywin sent ravens demanding the Reynes and Tarbecks come to court. He knew they wouldn’t come, which was an excuse for war. They renounced their fealty to the Lannisters and war began.

Tywin rode with 500 horse and 3000 men at arms, without Tytos’ leave. He was joined by Brax and other vassals. The Lannisters were too quick for help to come to the Tarbecks.

Walderran was taken alive, his son with his first wife killed in battle, and his sons with his second wife captured. Walderran told Tywin that he was worth a lot as a ransom, what was the price? Tywin responded with, “with our own gold?”

So Tywin had Tarbeck and his sons beheaded along with all of the Tarbecks there, and went to Tarbeck Hall with their heads on poles.  Tywin sent Kevan to negotiate their surrender, but she laughed, thinking her defenses were strong. Some in the hall might have been bribed, because after the Lannisters stormed Tarbeck Hall, the fighting lasted less than an hour, and a gate was opened from the inside (another was broken down from the outside too IIRC).

Ellyn was hanged from the highest window of Tarbeck Hall. Her son Tion died at the age of 19, the same age as Tywin. Tywin sent the daughters to the Silent Sisters. It’s not known if he took their tongues out prior to sending them.

Rohanne was the mother to the last Lord Tarbeck, who was three years old at the time. It was rumored that he became a bard across the Narrow Sea, but more likely is that he was thrown down a well by Ser Amory Lorch.

Tarbeck Hall was put to the torch. The Red Lion arrived with his forces and saw the flames, knowing he was too late. He had less than a quarter of his strength, and his men were driven too hard. Tywin outnumbered the Red Lion’s men either three or five to one, according to different reports. The Red Lion ordered his army to charge. If he had more heavy horse, he might have gotten to Tywin, but he did not. Tywin led the counterattack, and the Red Lion fled. He was injured by a crossbow bolt in the back, and had to leave half of his men for dead.

The Lannisters arrived at Castamere, which was a tougher nut to crack. The Reynes were near as rich as them, and when the gold in their mines gave out, they became chambers, ballrooms, and other rooms. 9/10 of Castamere was underground.

Reynard took command, as the Red Lion was injured badly by a crossbow bolt to the back during his flight.

Castamere’s defenses were such that two knights could hold the entry tunnel against thousands of men, as it was so narrow. So Reynard sent terms to Tywin, telling him to pardon them and give them his brothers as hostages. Tywin did not respond.

Tywin commanded the mines be sealed. He then dammed the stream/lake (where Castamere gets its name), and had it diverted to the mine entrance, filling it with water. Not a person emerged, though screams were reported. No one has reopened the mines since, and the halls and keeps were put to torch.


  1. Jeyne says

    Thanks for notes, they’re brilliant! Helps a lot with understanding the history and current story

  2. says

    Great work!

    What if “the Limp” is a typo for “the Lion”? Maybe you hit the keys to the right for the last two letters so it came out as “the Lipm” and was then auto-corrected to “The Limp”. It would make sense considering how you said that many Lords of Casterly Rock were called “The Lion”.

  3. Arristan the Old says

    Wow, this is amazing stuff, thanks for posting your notes! Looking forward to the related podcast episode. And, of course, the WOIAF book itself!

    “Gerold the Great attacked the Iron Islands, taking a hundred captives. He told the king that he would hang one every time there was a raid…he hung 20 of them.”
    “Ellyn was hung from the highest window of Tarbeck Hall.”
    To paraphrase Gatehouse Ami’s mother:
    Hanged. They were not tapestries.

  4. Phoenix says

    Thanks for these notes, really awesome – it’s great to get more details on the story of the Castameres! Looking forward to your episode on this, and of course for the WOIAF itself!


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