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creganstark

[TWoIaF Spoilers] Timeline Errors

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After reading The World of Ice and Fire, I started to put together a timeline of the history of Westeros before Aegon the Conqueror. While doing this, I came upon two major inconsistencies which made creating an accurate timeline impossible:



The first revolves around Qhored the Cruel and Theon the Hungry Wolf



In the section on the Iron Islands, it is stated that Qhored I "The Cruel" of House Hoare, Greyiron or Blacktyde ruled during the age of the Driftwood Kings. During his reign, the Ironmen were at the apex of their power. He sacked Oldtown and defeated the river king Bernarr II, forcing him to bend the knee. He also took his sons as hostages and killed them three years later.



In the riverlands section however, we learn that Bernarr II was the last king of the Justman dynasty, which has ruled the riverlands for 300 years. Before Benedict the Just, the first of the Justmans, came into power, there were "centuries" of warring and bloodshed, which were started by the Andal invasion of the riverlands after they had completed their conquest of the vale.



Now several centuries pass, and Urron Redhand slaughters the attendants of the last kingsmoot, thus ending the age of the Driftwood Kings and beginning the Age of the Iron Kings, the Greyiron dynasty. The text about the Iron Kings tells of the coming of the Andals, and later on of the Andal conquest of the Iron Islands. Now the wiki tells us that the Andals conquered the Iron Islands about 2000 years after first coming to Westeros, and that they ended the rule of House Greyiron, which ruled for over a 1000 years. This explains how Qhored the cruel could have killed the sons of Bernarr II, who ruled at least 500 years after the Andal invasion, but still, the section on Qhored tells of the First Men, who were no seafarers and fled the coast, while the part about the Iron Kings tells us, that only now the Andals came and built ships and defended the coasts. This is a bit contradictory.



Now after House Greyiron was extinguished, House Hoare ruled the Iron Islands. After a long period of decline, the nadir being the rule of the three Harmunds, there was a period of recovery, stated to be "centuries". In this time, Harrag Hoare and his son Ravos the Raper ruled Bear Island and Cape Kraken, until they were driven out by Theon Stark, the Hungry Wolf.



So in conclusion, the timeline of the events should go like this:



-The Andals come (according to the Wiki and the riverlands section)



-Qhored the Cruel conquers the Riverlands and ends the line of House Justman, which ruled centuries after the Andal conquest according to the riverlands section, but in the time of the First Men according to the Iron Islands section



-The age of Driftwood Kings ends, the age of the Iron Kings begins (and will endure for 1000 years)



-The Andals come (according to the Iron Islands section), marking the beginning of the decline of the Ironmen



-The Andals conquer the Iron Islands, ending House Greyiron. House Hoare becomes the new royal dynasty



-Harrag Hoare and Ravos the raper are defeated by Theon the Hungry Wolf. This probably happens around 2000 years after the coming of the Andals ("centuries" of war in the riverlands, 300 years of Justman rule in the riverlands until they are ended by Qhored the cruel, some other Driftwood Kings rule, 1000 years of House Greyiron rule, the decline of the Iron Islands up to the three Harmunds, and at least some other Hoare kings after them)



Now in the chapter about the North, we learn a lot about Theon Stark. Some of his major accomplishments were:


-defeating the invading Andals, even attacking their homeland in Essos


-conquers the Three Sisters (most likely the Rape of the Sisters, or just a later attack in the resulting 1000 year war against the Arryns of the Vale) and lands an army on the Fingers


-drives the Ironborn under Harrag Hoare from the North and kills his son Ravos the Raper



This messes up the whole timeline. In the Vale chapter, we learn that the War against the North only started at least two hundred years after the Andal Conquest, because we learn of all the Arryn kings and their deeds before the war (Roland II, Osric V, Hugh the Fat, Alester II and so on...). Now of course the Andals could have only started attacking the North hundreds of years after their conquest of the Vale, but it is a bit unlikely. Furthermore, we already know from the riverlands and vale section that Harrag Hoare and Ravos the Raper probably lived at least 2000 years after the Andal invasion. And this can't be, because Theon Stark fought both against the invading Andals and Harrag Hoare. So there we have the paradox of Qhored the Cruel and Theon the Hungry Wolf.






The second timeline error I've noticed is in the history of the Stormlands and of Dorne.



Much emphasis was put on the many many "King Durran"s there were in the early history of the Stormlands. In fact, Durran XXIV first made peace with the Andals by marrying an Andal maiden.



Now we know the Andals came long before the Rhoynar, in fact, House Martell is an Andal house. But in the chapter about the Coming of the Rhoynar to Dorne, we learn that after Nymeria and Mors Martell defeated the rival Dornish kings, Nymeria later on held off three invasions: one by King Greydon of the Reach and two by King Durran III of the Stormlands. But because we know that Durran XXIV lived during the Andal invasion, this can't be.


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Makes it a lot more interesting trying to re-imagine the Long Night knowing how warped and twisted the centuries have made the histories, don't it?


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Well, let's try and piece it together by cross referenced sources.



A key measure by which the Stark Kings can be dated, is the order in which they appear in the crypts below Winterfell. In Game of Thrones Theon Stark is first mentioned. His statue is very close to that of Brandon the Shipwright. In Game of Thrones, Theon is mentioned as being slightly older than Brandon the Shipwright. However, he is much more recent than Edric Snowbeard, who in turn is much more recent than Jon Stark who founded the Wolf's Den, and his son, Rickard, who conquered the Neck.



It is fairly likely that Rickard Stark who conquered the Neck more or less corresponds to the time of the Andal arrival in Westeros, as the Starks ruling the Neck was a key reason they repelled all those early Andal invasions.



We know that Edrick Snowbeard ruled much later than that, but still a number of centuries before White Harbor was established, as his great-grandson, Brandon Ice Eyes, drove Slavers from the Wolf's Den in a time before the Manderly arrival.



Now it becomes trickier. I don't know if the World Book tells us which Stark King gave the Wolf's Den to the Manderlys, but we know this happened about 1000 years ago. I would guess from the timeline - given that Theon Stark lived much more recently than Edrick Snowbeard - that the Manderly arrival could have been more or less contemporary to Theon Stark's time. If so, then Theon Stark is not the Stark responsible for the Rape of the Three Sisters, as this happened about 1000 years prior to the Manderly arrival in the North.



Another reason I place Theon around that point, and not later, is because Lord Manderly refers to Brandon the Burner's destruction of his father's fleet as "the last time we had any strength at sea". This would place Brandon the Burner (and his father Brandon the Shipwright) after the arrival of the Manderlys, as they appear to identify with this event as affecting them during their own historical presence in the North.



So in short, Theon Stark is likely not as ancient as one first would have thought - unless the World Book totally rips my methodology to threads with some new facts - and instead lived around 1000 years ago, rather than during the much earlier Rape of the Three Sisters. Brandon the Shipwright likely lived within 100 or so years after Theon, and proceeded to burn whatever fleets Theon had established during his campaign to cross the Narrow Sea and attack Andalos.



So since Theon can be dated as recently as 1000 years ago by my count, it means there is more room between his time and the time of the first Andal arrival in Westeros, around 3000 years ago.



OK, have at it. I love this kind of stuff. And look forward to getting more info to refine or correct what I hypothesized above.


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I told George that this would happen, but he said I'd be the only one to notice it. :P

Heh.

Yes, there's an inconsistency. I'm now going to point our editor to this very post and see if the next print can't get this fixed.

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I told George that this would happen, but he said I'd be the only one to notice it. :P

Heh.

He definitely doesn't come to this boards... people here notices EVERYTHING.

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I told George that this would happen, but he said I'd be the only one to notice it. :P

Heh.

Yes, there's an inconsistency. I'm now going to point our editor to this very post and see if the next print can't get this fixed.

Well, if there is still some fluidity in the timeline, I much prefer an earlier date for Theon Stark, as he just gives the vibe of an earlier, more barbarric time, and Argos Seven Stars also sounds like he should fit in as one of the early proto-Andal warlords. Also, it would kind of fit Theon Stark's reputation if he was the Stark responsible for the Rape of the Three Sisters.

All of the above would make it more fitting if he lived around 2000 years ago, rather than 1000 years ago. But the only thing that kind of limits this is his fairly close proximity in the crypts to Brandon the Shipwright, who seems highly likely to have lived less than 1000 years ago, given the Manderly reference.

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I have two possible solutions to the problem that I'll throw at Anne and George again.

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Anything on the thing that young Harwyn Hardhand is serving with the Second Sons in wars in the Disputed Land? It may be possible that he spent his youth at the beginning of the Century of Blood, but did he have a chance to actually fight in the Free Companies? Surely they did only rise to 'greatness' after Volantis' star was sinking... Before that, Volantis effectively controlled Myr and Lys, and thus also the lands between them which would not have been all that disputed.



If I remember correctly than Harwyn died at the age of 64, and we don't know how long Halleck ruled in between his father and Harren, but Harren surely was already a man when he began the building of Harrenhal in 42 BC. If Halleck reigned, say, three decades in between and later born in Harwyn's life, Harwyn's youth may actually predate the Doom.



Not to mention the fact that other Ironborn of that age also plagued the Disputed Lands, the Basilisk Isles, and the Stepstones - which prior to the Doom should have been, well, suicide.


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I feel like I've wasted my money on the hardcover version. Sure, the art is fantastic, but the number of mistakes and inconsistencies is huge. I noticed the inconsistency in the Vale section, but now I see that it fucks up a lot more than that. I just can't believe that a book which has been in development since 2008 could be so filled with errors.


I just can't read anything and take it for granted. What's the point?


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The Durran thing isn't an issue, as its intended. Note the fellow in the Martell section is not, in fact, Durran III.

The only real error is Theon Stark, and one solution makes it no error at all, but we'll see what we go with.

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The Durran thing isn't an issue, as its intended. Note the fellow in the Martell section is not, in fact, Durran III.

The only real error is Theon Stark, and one solution makes it no error at all, but we'll see what we go with.

Could the solution involve a Theon Stark II, by any chance? As long as the Hungry Wolf nickname is not applied to both.

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The Durran thing isn't an issue, as its intended. Note the fellow in the Martell section is not, in fact, Durran III.

The only real error is Theon Stark, and one solution makes it no error at all, but we'll see what we go with.

"She survived a dozen attempts upon her life, put down two rebellions, and threw back to invasions by the Storm King Durran the Third and one by king Greydon of the Reach" from the chapter The Ten Thousand Ships

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A possible minor inconsistency with numerals seem to be the Tristifer thing. Tristifer the Fourth (as in the books) vs. Tristifer IV/V in some (not all) sections of the book.


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One timeline inconsistency comes on the Targaryen/Baratheon reign page (319?) in the printed book. It has Baelor I coming before Daeron I. It should be the other way around. My copy is the first edition though, so I don't know if this has already been corrected.


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Hmm. Argilac Durrandon took part in the grand alliance against Volantis that saw that city defeated. Aegon Targaryen also took part in this conflict. However, Argilac is then said to have slain Garse VII Gardener "twenty years later". And by the time of the Conquest even that victory was deep in the past. Yet Aegon was only 27 when he invaded Westeros and Argilac was slain, and presumably he wouldn't have taken part in the war against Volantis when he was just 7 years old.



The only solution that comes to mind is that the grand alliance against Volantis and the resulting war took place over a much longer period than ADWD seemed to suggest, and Argilac's involvement was just a fairly brief spoiling operation into the Disputed Lands many years before the war's conclusion. The section does note that Aegon took part in the conflict only at the very end, when the last fleet to attack Lys was destroyed.


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