We all have witnessed the various conflicts and wars that have unfolded in the recent history of Game of Thrones’ Westeros. What many of us don’t know, though, is how these clans and houses came to be; what was there before the Starks, the Targaryens and the Lannisters? To find the answer to this question, we’ll have to look back at Westeros before humans inhabited its lands.
Many, many generations ago, Westeros was a peaceful place filled with nothing but forests, rivers, prairies, fields and snowy lands. There only used to be animals living there, and they took advantage of the region’s natural resources to create rich ecosystems in a territory which was still uncharted by men.
There are actually three different cultures of humans who set foot on Westeros. The first of these races were the First Men. They were nothing more than a primitive conglomerate of humans, looking for new lands to settle in. When they came across Westeros, the other races shortly followed them – these were the Rhoynar and the Andals.
The First Men brought to Westeros their religious beliefs and their language. They praised a variety of different gods, which are now referred to as “The Old Gods”.
Their beliefs are the roots to most religious views currently present in the world of Game of Thrones. They started evolving into modern religions when the Andals arrived in Westeros, bringing the “Seven Gods” with them.
The dialect originally spoken by the First Men was inherited by many different races. Although the current organized houses -such as the Starks or Lannisters- adopted a different language, the “Old Tongue” spoken by the First Men is the most spoken language north of The Wall. Giants and local tribesmen still use the Old Tongue as a way to communicate with each other.
When the Andals and the Rhoynar came along, the First Men adopted most of their culture, economies and government systems, as they were far more sustainable and better suited for the progress of civilization. As civilization advanced, clans and houses formed, which led to wars and the Game of Thrones we all can’t help but love!