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Characters / A Song of Ice and Fire - House Gardener

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This is a listing members of House Gardener that appear in A Song of Ice and Fire and it's supplemental materials.

For the main character index, see here

For the main Reach entry, see here

House Gardener of Highgarden

House Gardener of Highgarden is the extinct house of the old and famed Kings of the Reach. Beginning with the mythical first king Garth the Gardener, the Gardeners ruled, through war and peace and the assimilation with the Andal invaders, down the generations, until the last Gardener king Mern IX Gardener and his kin were killed at the Field of Fire in the War of Conquest.

Their seat was Highgarden, where many Gardener kings sat upon a living throne called the Oakenseat that grew from an oak that the mythical Garth Greenhand himself was reputedly said to have planted. Their blazon was a green hand over a white field, which inspired the chivalric Order of the Green Hand.

No precise lineage or chronology of House Gardner is known.

Tropes applying to House Gardener:

  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Garland VI was a child when he became king so a Tyrell member ruled in his name as Regent.
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  • Alliterative Name: Common as many of the Gardener kings had names such as Garth, Garse, or Greydon.
  • Altar Diplomacy: Garland II, called "the Bridegroom", married a Hightower to bring Oldtown into the realm.
  • Body Motifs: The hand sigil.
  • Les Collaborateurs: The Gardeners initially tried shoring up the Reach's defenses against the Andals but eventually took a policy of accord and assimilation instead of armed resistance.
  • Cool Chair: The throne of the Gardener kings, the Oakenseat. Lost forever after Highgarden was sacked.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Gyles II's corpse was cut into small pieces to bait the Ironborn's fishhooks with "a chunk of king".
  • Famous Ancestor: There are many legends and true stories about the various Gardener kings:
    • Meryn III brought the Arbor into the realm.
    • Gwayne IV, called "the Gods-fearing", sought out the children of the forest to repel the Andal invaders.
    • Mern II, called "the Mason", built a new curtain wall about Highgarden.
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    • Mern III showered gold and honors on a woods witch who boasted she could raise armies of the dead to fight off the Andals. He is remembered as "the Madling".
    • Gyles III, under whose rule Highgarden reached the apex of its power.
    • Greydon, who tried to invade Dorne, only to be repelled by Princess Nymeria.
    • Perceon III was responsible for ordering Lord Lorimar Peake to drive House Manderly from the Reach, having grown to fear their rising power and wealth.
  • Flowers In Her Hair: The Kings of House Gardener wore a Cool Crown of vines and flowers when at peace, and crowns of bronze thorns (later iron) when they rode to war.
  • King Bob the Nth: There were at least twelve Gardener kings named Garth and seven named Garse. There were also nine kings named Mern and at least five named Gwayne.
  • Meaningful Name: A house named Gardener ruling over a kingdom where floral imagery features heavily, from a capital named Highgarden.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Gyles I, called "the Woe", reportedly sold three quarters of Oldtown's population into slavery.
  • Red Baron: Garth V was called the "Hammer of the Dornish".
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Garth XI shed so much Dornish blood in retaliation for their sacking Highgarden that he became known as Garth the Painter because he repainted Green Mountains red with blood.
  • There Can Be Only One: Became the royal family of the Reach by subduing the other royal families.

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    King Garth I Gardener 

King Garth I Gardener

Garth the Gardener

The mythic firstborn of the equally mythic Garth Greenhand, said to have worn a crown of flowers.

    King Garth III Gardener 

King Garth III Gardener

Garth the Great

Garth III Gardener, called Garth the Great, was a King of the Reach and head of House Gardener.
  • The Good King: He extended the borders of the Reach northward, winning Old Oak, Red Lake, and Goldengrove with pacts of friendship and mutual defence instead of war and conquest.
  • The Magnificent: Rightly earned the nickname The Great.

    King Gwayne III Gardener 

King Gwayne III Gardener

Gwayne the Fat

Gwayne III Gardener, called the Fat, was a King of the Reach and head of House Gardener.

    King John II Gardener 

King John II Gardener

John the Tall

John II Gardener, called the Tall, was a King of the Reach and head of House Gardener.
  • The Ace: If the stories are to be believed, the guy received the homage of every petty king and lord all over the Reach without any effort at all.
  • Large and in Charge: Known for being tall.

    King Garth VII Gardener 

King Garth VII Gardener

Garth Goldenhand

The greatest of the Gardener kings, Goldenhand ruled for eighty-one years, of which less than ten were spent at war. His rule was known as The Golden Reign, a prosperous time for the Reach.

  • A Child Shall Lead Them: He was twelve when he ascended to the Oakenseat, and still only a boy when he thwarted an attempted Dornish invasion.
  • The Good King: Perhaps the best one to have lived in Westeros: his main priority was keeping the peace and allowing for whole generations of Reachmen to live and die without having to go to war.
  • Long-Lived: He died at the age of ninety-three, and was still of sound mind when he passed.
  • Rule of Seven: The seventh King Garth proved to be their greatest.

    King Garth X Gardener 

King Garth X Gardener

Garth Greybeard

King Garth X Gardener, called Garth Greybeard, was a King of the Reach and head of House Gardener. During his long reign House Gardener reached the nadir of its power.

  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Possibly a victim of this since the Dornish found him tied up in his bed.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Soiled himself during the sack of Highgarden.
  • Mercy Kill: So the Dornish claim.
  • Succession Crisis: Only had daughters. Two married into the Peakes and Manderlys and each family was determined to become the next royal family.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Garth X was neither wise nor clever, became vain and frivolous, surrounded himself with fools and flatterers, and lost his wits entirely in old age.

    King Mern IX Gardener 

King Mern IX Gardener

The last King of the Reach, he was killed along with his sons Edmund and Gawen, along with their other kin, at the Field of Fire.

  • The Alliance: With Loren I Lannister.
  • Frontline General: At the Field of Fire, he insisted upon commanding the center of the combined Reach-Westerlands army, and led the charge against Aegon's army alongside his kin. This merely put them in prime position to be killed by dragonfire when Aegon and his sisters sprang their trap.
  • Kill It with Fire: He was burned to death alongside all of his sons, grandsons, brothers, cousins, and other male relatives.
  • Last of His Kind: He was the last King of the Reach, but not the last Gardener. That "honor" goes to one of his nephews, who lived for three days after the Field of Fire suffering from severe burns before dying.

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