While the majority of elements in the universe of Game of Thrones are merely fictional, there’s one that can be found in the real world: a bleeding tree. Game of Thrones introduced a rich and complex world that had a bit of everything: from family drama to politics and dragons, with a generous dose of magical creatures and other living things.
In the Godswoods and other parts of Westeros were a species of deciduous trees called weirwoods, or heart tree for those in the center of a Godswood with a face carved on the trunk. What’s special about these trees is that they have red sap, which give the carved faces the appearance of weeping tears of blood. Weirwoods can live forever and played an important role in the series, especially when they gave Bran the ability to see into the past, revealing Jon Snow’s parentage among other secrets. As it turns out, there is a bleeding tree that can be found in a rather isolated part of the world.
While there isn’t a tree with white bark, blood-red sap and leaves, and carved faces that make them look as if they were bleeding through their eyes that allows those with certain abilities to have visions in real life, these is one species that has similar features - minus the visions. The closest to a real-life weirwood is the Socotra Dragon tree (dracaena cinnabari), which can be found in the Socotra archipelago, part of Yemen, in the Arabian Sea. This "bleeding tree" has a white trunk, long branches that go all the way up in the shape of an umbrella, and produces a dark red resin that, when cut, makes it look like it’s bleeding.
The Dragon Tree could never be used by a greenseer to see future, past, or distant events, but it does have some “magic” of its own, and it’s all in the “blood”. Aside from being used as medicine, dye, and for ornamental purposes, the “dragon blood” was used in ritual magic and alchemy many centuries ago. The remote location of the island, the tree’s fight for survival by adapting its shape to the conditions of the area, along with the overall political and social situation in Yemen, add to the Dragon Tree’s mythology and mystery.
Another type that can fit into the “bleeding tree” category are Bloodwood trees, such as the corymbia opaca (desert bloodwood), which can be found in Australia, and different trees from the genus Pterocarpus, from Africa and Asia. Unlike the Dragon Tree, Bloodwood don’t have white trunks but they do produce a red kino, thus giving the appearance of blood.
More often than not, fiction takes a cue from reality, and while the real bleeding tree doesn’t possess the ability to make some people see pretty much everything, it does have some magic of its own with the different properties found in its roots and “blood”. Who knows, maybe some of the characters from Game of Thrones could have benefited from that at some point.