Valyria : The Greatest City in the GOT

Valyria : The Greatest City in the GOT

Game of Thrones : Valyria

Valyria city : Game of Thrones is a one of fantasy universe that has the largest fan base in the world. Based on the novel series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by Mr. George R. R. Martin. This universe is a fantasy universe that has won the love and attention of everyone, big and small, around the world.

It has been almost two years since the Game of Thrones series ended, but the fans’ fascination with the series has not diminished. However, due to the strong demand from the audience, HBO has officially announced that it is creating another prequel series named “House of the Dragon”, based on the fantasy, A Song of Ice and Fire, and has already begun filming.

House of the Dragon, valyria city
House of the Dragon

The Greatest City in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” – Valyria

However, this article is going to talk about a city that has managed to make a turning point in the Game of Thrones Universe. That is the land of Valyria. Everyone knows that there are only two main continents in this universe. One is Westeros, where the struggle for our Iron Throne takes place, and the other is the continent of Essos. Our topic today is Valyria, which is the land where once upon a time the whole of Essos was able to spread its power and might.

valyria city
Old Valyria


History : The Greatest City in the GOT – Valyria

Five thousand years ago, the empire of “Ghiscari” dominated much of the Essos continent. It is said that a group of Shepherds lived around the Valyria during this time. Over time, these shepherds discover that Dragons are living in the vicinity of the volcanos around the Valyria. However, these shepherds were able to tame these dragons by using their special magical powers. After learning to tame and ride the dragons somehow, the Valyria began to develop little by little, especially in terms of military might. Then they were challenging the Ghiscari Empire, choose “Valyria Freehold” as their capital city, and begin to expand their new empire with the help of the dragons. But Ghiscari Empire, which had ruled Essos for so long, did not like this. So the Ghiscari Empire had repeatedly tried to destroy this new Valyrian Empire. But because of the dragons and the powerful magical abilities of the Valyrian Freeholders, the Ghiscari Empire had to retreat in each of these cases. Finally, these battles ended with the Valyrians marching with their dragons and completely destroyed the capital city of the Ghiscari Empire, “Old Ghis”. With this, many areas that had been under the control of the Ghiscari Empire for some time now became colonies of the Valyrian Empire.

Valyrian Freeholders (All credits go to the Artist.)

Valyria: the greatest city

The Vayria was considered the greatest city in the universe of “A Song of Ice and Fire” in terms of architecture and technology. In here, they designed and built the buildings in the shape of the lotus buds as we can see at the present. They used stones for this purpose, but instead of cutting the stones as required, they used their magic to melt the stones and then redesigned them into the shapes they wanted.

Valyria City
Valyria City

When it comes to the appearance of Valyrians, they are characterized by a number of features not found in any other ethnic group in the GOT universe. They basically had silver-golden hair and violet-purple eyes, which varied from white to silver-golden brown hair, and from lilac to deep purple and pale blue eyes. The language they used was “High-Valyrian” and is still used in many areas of Essos today or its derived dialects.

The Valyrian aristocracies thought a lot of about the purity of blood. Because of this, they tried to maintain blood relations mostly within their families. That is, they sought to protect their family bloodline by establishing marital relations between siblings within the family. In addition, in some cases, they maintained marital relations only between aristocratic families to prevent their blood ties from going out.

Valirians (All credits go to the Artist)


Regime of Valyria : The Greatest City in the GOT

When talking about the rule of Valyria, Valyria neither had a King nor Emperor. Instead, there was a council of 40 aristocratic families who had more dragons, wealth, and power. It carried out all the administration. (The Targaryen family is one family from those families)

Valyria had ruled by a Council
Valyria had ruled by a Council

The Valyria had conquered the cities of the Essos on one side extended through them to the west coast and on the other to the island of Dragonstone, in Westeros. In time, Valyria used dragons to conquer many cities in the Essos, as well as many other areas. (The city of Braavos was started by refugees who fled during the wars to conquer these cities.)

Here, they waged many wars and caused many casualties and properties damage. Slavery was something that the Valyrians followed from the ancient Ghiscari Empire. Thus, as they spread their empire, Valyrians brought those cities’ people as their slaves. The main reason for bringing captives in this way was to use them to dig up volcanoes around Valyria and obtain valuable resources from them. In this, the most valuable thing that Valyrians got was to find the element needed to make Valyrian Steel.

Valyrian Steel : The Greatest City in the GOT

One thing that should not be forgotten when talking about Valyria is that Valyrian Steel. Valyrian Steel is the strongest metal in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” Universe. According to folktales it used dragon fire and dark magic to produce Valyrian Steel. And also, Valyria was the only one place where Valyrian Steel was produced. As a result, the world lost this technology after the “Doom of Valyria”. There is no mention that Valyrian Steel was created after the destruction of Valyria.

Weapons made by Valyrian Steel

Valyrian Steel
Valyrian Steel: very light and strongest steel

The folktales state that the sharpness of weapons made by Valyrian Steel will not be lost no matter how much they are used. Therefore, those will never need to be maintained again. And also, Valyrian Steel is a very light and very strong metal comparing with ordinary steel. Also, metal blades made by Valyrian Steel have their own unique corrugated patterns. Although it is impossible to reproduce Valyrian Steel, there are a handful of skilled blacksmiths who can melt existing Valyrian Steel and make new weapons.

The other special thing is that Valyrian Steel is one of from few things that can destroy the “White Walkers”.

valyria city
Jon Snow had killed a White Walker by his Valyrian Steel Sword

After the doom of Valyria, Valyrian Steel became an extremely rare and expensive material. As a result, weapons made by Valyrian Steel became very rare. However, it is estimated that there are approximately 200 Valyrian weapons in the Westeros at the movement.

Known Valyrian Steel Weapons

  • Ice (the ancestral great sword of House Stark)
  • Oathkeeper (made from Ice)
  • Widow’s Wail (made from Ice)
  • Longclaw (the ancestral sword of House Mormont, given by Jeora Mormont to Jon Snow)
  • Heartsbane (the ancestral sword of House Tarly)
  • Unnamed Valyrian Steel Dagger (Arya Stark killed Night King by this)
  • Lady Forlorn (the ancestral sword of House Corbray)
  • Blackfyre (the ancestral sword of House Targaryen. Lost this one during the Blackfyre Rebellion)
  • Brightroar (the ancestral sword of House Lannister, lost by King Tommen 2 Lannister on his expedition to Valyria.)
  • Dark Sister (A long sword of House Targaryen, held by Visenya Targaryen. This is lost by during the Blackfyre Rebellion too)

Doom of Valyria

valyria city
Valyria was destroyed by the volcanic eruption

Anyway, at 102 BC, all 14 Volcanoes around the Valyria erupted simultaneously. Probably it may be happened, due to the reason of digging deeper inside of Volcanoes. With the devastation, the city of Valyria was divided into a number of smaller islands, and toxic gases arose from volcanoes that killed all Valyrian lives including dragons and it became to the point where there is no longer life. Almost all the powerful families that lived in Valyria were destroyed. (The Targaryen Family survived because of migrating to the Dragonstone Island about two centuries before the destruction of Valyria. When they migrating, they were taken away by five dragons including Balerion, and dragon eggs. But after few years four dragons were died and then Balerion became the last dragon which born on Valyria and survived from Doom of Valyria.)

In addition, some of the survivors are believed to have traveled to various cities in the Essos and mingled with them. With the Doom of Valyria, the states that had previously been under Valyria’s control were emerging as independent trading cities and free cities. They are,

  • Astapor
  • Yunkai
  • Meereen
  • Lorath
  • Lys
  • Myr
  • Norvos
  • Pentos
  • Qohor
  • Tyrosh
  • Volantis
  • Bravos

Also, the Dothraki People, who had long been subdued by the Valyrian domination, rose to prominence with the destruction of Valyria and began to plunder the Valyrian colonies. Thus, the Dothraki people later become a powerful people in the Essos.

As a result of such a volcanic eruption, the greatest city in the history of “A Song of Ice and Fire” universe is disappearing from the world with thousands of valuable technologies. Today, only a large number of ruins remain in this great city.

doom of valyria
Jorah Mormant is going through the Valyria in GOT season 5

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