Before we can go to the actual story, first we have to understand the beginning… But the books contain so much detail and it’s easy to get lost or confused along the way. I’ve got the whole Game of Thrones timeline explained BC (Before Aegon’s Conquest) for you, and hopefully this post can help you with that! With all that being said, let’s get right into it… 🙂
Dawn age | 12.000 – 10.000 BC
Before the First Men moved in and build and named everything, Westeros was inhabited by Giants and Children of the Forest. If you look at the map, you can see how Westeros and Essos have no physical connection, but it wasn’t always this way. The First Men arrived in Westeros using the natural bridge called The Arm of Dorne, 12.000 years before the start of the Game of Thrones story.
There was peace at first, but the First Men found out that the Children of the Forest could use magic to spy on them using Weirwood trees with carved faces. They began cutting down and burning the trees, and a war erupted between the two species. The Children had powerful magic, but were vastly outnumbered by the First Men. To make things even worse, the First Men were larger and had bronze swords, leather shields, and horses.
The Children of the Forest were forced to destroy The Arm of Dorne with magic to end the invasion from Essos, thus separating the two continents. What was left was a chain of islands called The Stepstones. They also tried to break Westeros in two, but they failed and The Neck flooded becoming a swamp region.
The hostilities continued for about 2 millenniums with no victor, even if the First Men were doing better. Eventually, the Children turned to dark magic to protect themselves and created the undead Night King and his White Walkers, but they never used them against the First Men.
The Age of Heroes | 10.000 – 6.000 BC
The Pact | 10.000 BC
A peace treaty called “The pact” was signed around 10.000 BC, thus ending the war between the two species. The forests were the Children’s new home and open lands now belonged to the First Men. While the Giants, First Men, and Children of the Forest were coexisting, legendary figures like Bran the Builder, the founder of House Stark and Laan the Clever, the founder of House Lannister, believed to have lived roughly 2.000 years after the signing of the pact. They created much of what defines Westeros as we know it.
The Long Night | 8.000 BC
The Age of Heroes was defined most by the Long Night, which was the longest winter in this story. While people were freezing and starving to death, the White Walkers broke free from the control of the Children of the Forest, bringing a winter of perpetual night that lasted an entire generation. They came down from the far north part of Westeros, also known as The Land of Always Winter.
The First Men and the Children fought together against the White Walkers in a war called The Battle for the Dawn… the Children of the Forest were nearly driven to extinction. At some point during the war, the legendary hero Azor Ahai was a vital figure in winning the battle and saving the world.
The Wall | 8.000 BC
Brandon the Builder had The Wall built after the Long Night to ensure the White Walkers wouldn’t return, thus keeping them trapped in the frozen north. He had help from the Giants and Children of the Forest, which fortified the wall with their magic.
Countless First Men were separated from the rest of Westeros, living on the north side of the wall. They started calling themselves “The Free Folk” but anyone else referred to them as “Wildlings”… they quickly become hostile towards the people south of the wall.
Their living conditions were so harsh that they didn’t name their children until they had two years old because of how high the infant mortality rate was. They would remain very primitive… To make things even worse, they had only one settlement that could be even considered a town, but it was mysteriously destroyed.
Some kings beyond the wall have come and gone trying to unite all the Free Folk and invade their southern neighbors, but all have failed. The Night’s Watch has been there ever since; 19 castles were raised along the wall to further guard against the White Walkers and Wildlings.
The Andal Invasion | 6.000 BC
As the years past, kingdoms were establishing themselves. While castles were rising and falling, another invasion from the east hit Westeros. 6000 years before the Targaryen conquest, The Andals equipped with iron weapons sailed the Narrow Sea from Essos to Westeros, landing in the Vale.
This mountainous region didn’t have a very large population, and when the Andals came, they completely dominated the First Men. After taking the Vale, the Andals moved on to the Riverlands and managed to take control over the area, but they wouldn’t stop there.
The Andals will continue to the Stormlands, but Storm’s End was too great of a castle to be defeated. Instead, they solved the conflict with marriages, and soon Westerlands and The Reach also opted for marriages before any bloodshed.
The North was a completely different story; The Starks crushed the Andals during the first attack from the east. After a change of strategy, the Andals decided to attack from the south this time, through The Neck, but they failed once again.
The Targaryens | 326 – 1 BC
An island close to the coast of Westeros became a Valyrian outpost, the Targaryens claim it and name it Dragonstone. 200 years later they decided to leave everything behind and move the entire House to Dragonstone.
All this because of one Targaryen prophecy of the destruction of their home, which happened to be right… 12 years later the Doom of Valyria took place, leaving the Targaryens the only dragon lord family left alive.
Aegon’s Conquest | 1 BC
They were quiet for more than 100 years until the ambitious Aegon decided to leave Essos in the past, and head west to conquer Westeros with his two sister-wives, three great dragons, and a small army. All it took was 2 years for him to become the first to unite 6 of the 7 kingdoms of Westeros under one king.
In fact, Aegon never ruled all seven kingdoms, despite his unparalleled conquest and several attempts, he never did take Dorne. It was the only kingdom refusing to bend the knee, being able to hold off the three dragons.
Finally, for the first time in 12.000 years of invasions and countless wars, Aegon finally conquered, and more importantly, united Westeros under his rule, thus becoming the “King of the Andals and the Rhoynar, and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm”.