Of all the many fantastical aspects of the world of Game of Thrones, the weirwoods are still one of the most mysterious. These ancient trees with distinct carved faces are the key symbol in the religion of the Old Gods. Weirwoods are scarce in Westeros, but those that still exist in the North and Beyond the Wall seem to have extraordinary abilities.
The weirwoods have been a prominent part of Bran’s journey in the show, but we still don’t have much a sense of what exactly they are and their significance in this world. The books have gone into more details concerning the weirwoods and could help to reveal more about them. Here are some of the most interesting weirwood facts not seen in Game of Thrones.
10 Endless Lifespan
We have seen that Bran uses the weirwoods to witness events that have taken place throughout time, even going centuries into Westeros’ past. Bran’s abilities allow him to see through the carved faces of the trees. Part of the reason he can look so far back is because weirwoods can live forever.
Supposedly due to the magic used to grow them, the weirwoods never rot and can remain standing forever. They are not indestructible, however. They can be cut down like any other tree, which is sadly what happened to most of the weirwoods in Westeros.
9 Excellent Building Material
Due to the strength of the wood and the fact that it doesn’t rot, wierwoods have become a precious material for building. Needless to say, it is very expensive due to its extraordinary properties and its scarcity.
Several wildlings use weirwoods to build their weapons, including Ygirtte with her trusty bow. The weirwoods have also been used to build some items of great importance throughout Westeros and beyond. The council table of the Kingsguard is made of the special wood, as well as the distinct doors at the House of Black and White.
8 Nature’s Lie Detector
As they are an extremely important part of the religion of the Old Gods, many significant ceremonies are carried out in front of the wierwood trees. We have seen this several times in the show. Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly take their Night’s Watch vows in front of a weirwood just Beyond the Wall. We have also seen several weddings take place before the trees.
The show leaves out one of the most interesting aspect of these ceremonies. According to legend, it is impossible to tell a lie when standing in the presence of the weirwoods, which makes them the perfect setting for taking sacred oaths.
7 Blood Sacrifice
While the notion of getting married in the sight of these amazing trees is nice, there are some more bloody aspects of the weirwood beliefs. Since this is the world of Game of Thrones, there had to be some blood and gore introduced at some point.
Just as the Drowned God demands sacrifices be drowned and the Lord of Light demands sacrifices be burned, the weirwoods have their own specific sacrifices. Those condemned under the religion of the Old Gods are executed and their entrails hung from a weirwood. That must be a mess to clean up.
6 None On The Iron Islands
In the show, we have only seen weirwoods in the North and Beyond the Wall. But before the Andals invaded Westeros, weirwoods were everywhere. However, the one place the trees were never able to grow was on the Iron Islands.
The Iron Islands have always had trouble growing vegetation in their soil, which is why they are constantly pillaging the rest of Westeros. The absence of weirwoods in the Iron Islands might explain how they came to establish their own separate religion from the rest of Westeros.
Westeros has many legends and myths that are spread through the generations. This is one of the most entertaining aspects of the books that are left out of the show. And with the mystery and history surrounding the weirwoods, there are certainly a few legends related to them. The most fascinating is Ygg, the demon tree.
This is a legend popular among the Ironborn, which tells of a demon tree thought to be a weirwood that ate human flesh. The tree was eventually killed by the Grey King who then built a ship from the tree.
4 Isle Of Faces
The Isle of Faces has yet to be mentioned on the show, yet it holds great significance to the history of Westeros. Before the Andals arrived, the land was occupied by the Children of the Forest and the First Men. The two sides fought for centuries, before agreeing to meet in the Isle of Faces to form a treaty. The pact they agreed upon stated that the First Men could continue living in the land so long as the Children were given domain of the forests.
While the show has yet to feature the Isle of Faces, it will likely be seen in the upcoming prequel series.
3 Weirwood Alliance
The pact of the Isle of Faces managed to end the fighting between the Children of the Forest and the First Men, but that peace would end centuries later when Andals arrived. As the First Men were being slaughtered by the invaders, they broke the pact and cut down weirwood forests to make weapons.
However, some of the First Men remembered the alliance and joined forces with the Children to fight back against the Andals. This was known as the Weirwood Alliance and they managed to beat the Andals in several crucial battles.
We have seen the weirwoods give Bran the ability to see into the past. This has proven to be a very valuable skill as it has shed light on some of the biggest mysteries, such as Jon Snow’s parentage. However, it seems as though watching the past is not all Bran is capable of.
There have been hints in the books that Bran is able to communicate with people through the weirwoods. This has led some to theorize that Bran has influenced characters and events throughout Westeros’ history.
1 The Trees Are Gods
There are many complex aspects of the religion of the old gods and the role of the weirwoods which are explored in the book. But one interesting aspect to note is how the realms of men worship the weirwoods compared to how the Children of the Forest worship them.
Followers of the old gods see the trees as symbols of their gods, but the Children see the trees as actual gods. Given their extraordinary abilities, it’s not so far-fetched. Maybe the endgame of the series is Westeros recognizing the divine status of trees. This really cements the theory that Game of Thrones is one big global warming allegory.