Hello dear readers. A traditional, monthly review of the Universe of the Song of Ice and Fire (Flame) cycle by George Martin. Well, or, based on the film version, I’m talking about the world of Game of Thrones.
This article will focus on the Free Cities of the eastern continent of Essos. Their prehistory is associated with the expansion of the Valyrian republic, the one that mastered the art of making the famous Valyrian steel and pacified and subdued the fire-breathing rulers of the sky – dragons. Sometimes, the Free Cities of Essos were called the daughters of Valyria, they were inhabited by Valyrian colonists. These cities were located in the western part of the mainland along the coasts or closer to the coast.
Let’s start with the most northeastern one: Quohora. The city is built on the western edge of the vast forest area, which is commonly called the Kvohor forest. It stands on the tributary of the large river of the western Esossa Roina – Koine.
Quohor, one of the two free Valyrian cities, is not located on the seashore. It was founded by one of the Valyrian sects, followers of the cult of the Black Goat, the Dark God Quohor. This deity requires constant sacrifices (mostly animals). The general population speaks a local dialect derived from the Valyrian language.
With its forest resources, Quohor is the largest supplier of forest, especially in the southwestern Essos, lower reaches of the Rojna.
In addition, Kvohor is a large trade center where many routes of the east and west of the continent converge. In general, the city became a gateway to the east, where trade caravans converge, going to the Dothraki steppes and further – beyond the Bone Ridge.
Quokhorians are talented craftsmen, blacksmiths, artisans. The secrets of working with Valyrian steel were kept in Quohor.
Militarily, the city has absolutely no military formations of its own. Quokhorians prefer troops of military mercenaries. Purchased by the Quokhorians and detachments of military slaves, the Impeccable from Astapor.
A hundred years before Aegon Targaryen conquered Westeros, the Unsullied, sold by Astpor to Quohor, were able to inflict a heavy defeat on the vast Dothraki horde.
To the west of Norvos, in the river basin of the Roina, at another tributary of the great river – Neina, there is another land Free City – Norvos. It was founded by another Valyrian religious sect. Norvos, like all the other Free Cities of Essos, controls vast territories comparable to the kingdoms of Westeros.
The religious beliefs of the Norse people are covered with a veneer of secrecy and secrecy. As far as can be judged, the cults of the god Norvos are severe and ascetic. The priests of Norvos are not only concerned with the regulation and administration of the religious needs of the city, but also exercise power in the city. In general, Norvos is politically a theocratic city-state. In the ethnic, as in Quohor, the population is mixed, but united by the Valyrian dialect.
The city is divided into Upper and Lower. In the Upper City the priesthood lives, in the Lower – the rest of the population. The priests of Norvos wear lush beards, the common people have the right to wear mustaches, and the slaves shave their heads on their bald heads.
The citizens of Norvos and Kvohor, after the fall of the metropolis – Valyria, were able to repel the massive offensive of the southern city of Volantis, which claimed dominance over the western part of the continent.
North of Norvos, on the coast of the Cold Sea, is the town of Lorat. Or rather, not exactly on the coast, but on a small archipelago of islands located not far from the coast. This city is the least registered by Dorje Martin of all the Free Cities.
Lorath is known to be the poorest and most isolated of the Free Cities. Its population is mixed. These are the descendants of the Valyrians, and the local descendants of the Andals, Ibbens, etc. Like Norvos and Khohor, Lorat was founded by a Valyrian religious sect. But unlike the latter, the priests of the sect were overthrown and for a very long time the government in the city was carried out by three elected leaders for life (princes). At Lorat, on the coast of the Frozen Sea, half the distance from the Ibben Peninsula, there is a colony called Morosh.
One of the most significant cities – states, the descendants of Valyria. Located at the extreme northwestern tip of Essos. The history of Braavos is curious in that although the city owes its education to the Valyrian Freehold, its founders were hardly grateful for this fact. The first Braavosians are the runaway Valyrian slaves. After one of the successful slave uprisings, the survivors fled as far as possible from the ruthless Valyrian Republic.
For a long time, the descendants of the first settlers hid the location of the city from the whole world. At the same time, the Braavosians from the very foundation have shown efficiency, perseverance, and enterprise. The city literally grew rich before our eyes. A few generations later, when Braavos had already gained power, an operation was carried out to open the whole world. The Braavosians have already founded the most powerful Iron Bank, and with its help they paid the descendants of the Valyrian slave owners the cost of the hijacked ships, destruction and moral damage. The only thing, outright refusing to pay the cost of slaves – their escaped grandfathers and great-grandfathers.
Braavos is located at the mouth of a river that flows into the sea. Rather, not quite at the mouth, but in a wide shallow bay, into which the river flows. In the bay, very close to the coast, there is a small archipelago. It is on it that Braavos is built. According to George Martin, Braavos is such a collective image of Venice, Amsterdam and other coastal cities of Southern and Northern Europe.
The city is extremely rich. Fishing, trade, financial tycoons, shipping and much more define the city’s image. Braavos is quite cosmopolitan, people from all over the known world live and constantly arrive there. Although Braavos speak the local Valyrian dialect and are descendants of a wide variety of peoples, they are tolerant of all religions and lifestyles. On one of the islands – quarters of the city, there is a whole network of religious buildings and temples dedicated to a variety of deities and religions. The secret society of the Faceless also has a certain weight, with which the storyline of Arya Stark is connected.
In addition to the Island of the Gods, we can also mention the huge Braavos Titan. Lighthouse, signal structure and observation post all rolled into one. Most likely written off by Martin from the famous Colossus of Rhodes. I think there is no need to talk a lot about the ancient wonders of the world. In general, Braavos is one of the most prescribed geographical locations of the eastern continent of Essos in the Universe of the Song of Fire and Flame. In principle, it was possible to write a whole review only for this city. I did not set myself such a task. There are many materials and sites on the Internet dedicated to the world of Martin.
Braavos Titan (Colossus)
Those who are interested in the topic after my review can easily find the necessary materials in the search engines. Well, those who are fans and connoisseurs of the cycle will undoubtedly write something interesting in the comments. What I didn’t mention in the article. My reviews are still intended for a wider range of readers. Not so deeply digging. If readers express any request in the comments on the topic of the PLIO cycle (Songs of Ice and Fire), you can write a more detailed review, with deeper study and preparation. The next review on this topic will be in about a month, around August 10 (maybe a little later, like this time). I want to devote it to a further story about the Free Cities of Essos.
Thank you for reading science fiction.
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