Who were the first men, Andals and Rhoynar in the history of Westeros?

The call titles of the rulers of seven kingdoms are often replaced by the mention of “First Men”, “Andals” and/or “Rhoynar”. They have also been featured prominently on HBO shows like Game of Thrones (GOT) and House of the Dragon (HOTD). Who exactly are they and what is their importance in the history of Westeros and Essos according to George RR Martin A world of ice and fire? Let us dig.

first men

The first men

The First Men are one of three ethnic groups (the others being the Andals and the Rhoynar) from which the people of Westeros are thought to be descended. They were the first inhabitants of the continent and still strongly influence the Norse culture of Westeros. Some maesters believe that the First Men originated in the grasslands of Essos, now known as the Dothraki Sea, between 8000 and 12000 BC. They spoke the old tongue (a harsh, resounding language) and practiced a runic writing system.

The First Men worshiped unspecified gods before arriving in Westeros. The sisters of the Three Sisters believed that the sacred storms were the result of the coupling of the Lady of the Waves with the Lord of the Skies. Their worship ended with the coming of the Andals, who introduced the Faith of the Seven. A war ensued between the First Men and the Children of the Forest until the war began to favor the First Men due to their strength and relatively advanced bronze weaponry. Afterwards, a pact was signed and peace resumed, eventually leading the First Men to adopt the children’s gods as their own. It is believed that the First Men were those who built roads and practiced irrigation by cutting down forests.



The Andals invaded Westeros around 6000 BC. This led to the downfall of the First Men and Children of the Forest. They brought with them the belief and practices of the Father of Seven. The Andals were a tall, fair-haired people who are said to have originated from the Axis of northern Essos, while some say they came from the south of the Silver Sea. The andals were believed to have learned the use of iron from the Rhoynar of Rhoyne.

Maesters generally believe that the Andals fled due to the expansion of Valyrian Freehold. The Andals first landed in the Fingers and attacked the First Men of Vale. They thus proclaimed the triumph of the Seven (the new gods) over the old gods. The Andals used iron, while the First Men used bronze. The Andals also brought a superior writing system that supplanted the runes of the First Men. The Dothraki refer to Westeros as Rhaesh Andahlithe land of the Andals.



The Rhoynar is a culture of riparians who lived on the banks of the Rhoyne River in Essos. The Rhoynar were slender people with smooth olive skin, black hair and black eyes. Their culture differed greatly from that of the Andals, as they granted inheritance to the eldest child, regardless of gender. They even supported homosexuality. They never called their rulers kings and queens, but rather princes and princesses. This is still practiced in Dorne. They used iron weapons.

During the expansion of Vakyrian Freehold, the Rhoynars fought a two and a half century war with the Valyrians. Garin the Greatprince of Chroyane, led two hundred and fifty thousand Rhoynar to death in battle. Nymeria, Princess of Ny Sar, led the surviving Rhoynar, mostly women and children, to flee Essos in ten thousand ships. Later, the Valyrians destroyed the Rhoynish kingdom. Nymeria marries Dornish Lord – Mors Martell and the Rhoynars eventually mingled with the Dornish people.

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