The Geography of Game of Thrones: Part 8 – The Reach

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Known as the breadbasket of Westeros and is certainly the wealthiest region on the continent, the Reach is blest with vast blooming crop fields and flowers along with plenty of well-populated villages and towns. Once ruled by the Gardener Kings, House Tyrell ruled the area from the Targaryen Conquest to the Sack of Highgarden. Aside from being a major agricultural behemoth, it’s also a region of culture and recreation. Oldtown is perhaps the oldest city in Westeros as well as home to the Citadel where the Maesters train. The people also hold festivals and are obsessed with chivalric romance. Nonetheless, as of Season 7 of Game of Thrones, due to the Destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor and the Sack of Highgarden, House Tyrell is rendered extinct. And thanks to the Battle of Goldroad, it’s most likely under the dispute between the Lannisters and Daenerys Targaryen.

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Location: South of the Stormlands, Riverlands, and Crownlands. North of Dorne.

Size: The second most spacious region in the 7 Kingdoms after the North.

Capital: Highgarden, which is considered one of the most beautiful places in Westeros and provides leisurely entertainment such as a Grand Masquerade Ball on the night of the harvest moon and pleasure barges on the river Mander.

Climate:Temperate to Mediterranean.

Environment: Filled with rivers, forests, and fertile plains.

Resources: It’s the primary food provider for the 7 Kingdoms as its breadbasket.

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Population: Has largest population in Westeros that it can sustain a large army.

Key Cities: Oldtown is the oldest city of Westeros as well as the second largest. It’s also home to The Citadel is the seat of the Order of Maesters, home of learned men who serve as advisers to the continent’s Great Houses. Notable towns consist of Ashford and Tumbleton. Includes islands such as the Shield Islands, Redwyne Straits, and the Arbor.

Culture: Since it’s such a bountiful region, the Tyrells can throw a lot of food and money around on extravagances for their people to keep them satisfied. Under their rule, they and their vessels put in a lot of effort to making the Reach at least seem like a stereotypical Chivalric Romance setting. For chivalry is serious business there that their soldiers are called the “knights of summer.” Noble bastards take the surname of Flowers.

Religion: Worship the Faith of the Seven. Oldtown is home to the Starry Sept which was once the faith’s central cathedral before the Targaryen Conquest.

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Great House: Formerly House Tyrell who became Lords Paramount and Wardens of the South after surrendering to Aegon the Conqueror. In their time, they were perhaps the richest family in Westeros who sided with the Targaryens during Lord Robert’s Rebellion, even laying siege on the Stormlands with the Tarlys. That is, until the death of Prince Rhaegar at the Battle of the Trident, which compelled them to switch sides. While they saw an influx of political power with the marriage of Margery to claimant Renly, King Joffrey, and King Tommen. But with the deaths of several members during the destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor (save Lady Oleanna who was poisoned after the Lannisters took over Highgarden), the house is now extinct. Now the Tarlys would’ve taken over by Lord Randyll and his son Dickon were burned to death by dragon fire that the post of Lord Paramount is vacant. Still, the Tyrells and their vassals have always backed the winning side and will drop anyone at the drop of a hat if they become a liability. And if both sides are evenly matched, they will stay out of it.

Vassal Houses: House Florent, House Tarly, House Hightower, House Redwyne, House Fossaway, House Oakheart, House Beesbury, House Cuy, and House Bulwer.

History: Historically ruled by House Gardner, but the last ruler died to Aegon the Conqueror on the Field of Flames (guess why that field got its name). Faithful stewards House Tyrell then surrendered the Highgarden castle and became Lords Paramount and Wardenship of the South in return.

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Current Status: Since the fall of House Tyrell at the destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor and the Sack of Highgarden, its political situation is ambiguous. This is especially since Daenerys’ forces smashed the Lannisters in the Battle of Goldroad.

Best Known for: It’s the most fertile and populous region of Westeros. Said to have vast fields blooming fields of crops and flowers along with numerous and well-populated cities and towns.

Home of: Samwell Tarly, Mace Tyrell, Loras Tyrell, Margery Tyrell, Randal Tarley, and Olenna Tyrell.

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Landmarks: The Citadel in Old Town that’s home of the Maesters.

What to Avoid: Due to its lack of geographical defenses, you might want to avoid the Reach altogether when there’s a war going on there. Since it borders plenty of hostile enemies.

For Those Who Want to Visit: Out of all the 7 Kingdoms of Westeros, the Reach is perhaps one of the best tourist destinations on the continent. Also, no women allowed at the Citadel.

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