- "To seal the Pact before the gods, the Children carved a face on every weirwood tree on the island, which came to be known as the Isle of Faces."
- ―Bran Stark
The Isle of Faces is an island located at the center of Gods Eye, an immense lake on the south-eastern edge of the Riverlands and the north-western edge of the Crownlands. The castle of Harrenhal lies on the coast of the lake to the north of the island.
In the booksIn the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the Isle of Faces is regarded as sacred to the people of Westeros . According to myth, it was here that the Children of the Forest and the First Men signed The Pact, the treaty that ended centuries of warfare between the two peoples. The First Men agreed to settle in the open lands while the Children retained control of the deep woods. Even after the Andal invasion millennia later, the Isle of Faces remained in the keeping of the followers of the Old Gods of the Forest.
The island is today ill-omened and few travel there. Priests of the Old Gods known as the Green Men are said to dwell on the island. According to legend, the island is filled with weirwood trees. Every tree has a face, carved in witness to the signing of the Pact. The Green Men tend and maintain the trees in perpetuity. The island is also notoriously difficult to even find, hidden in the mists at the center of the lake - leading some to speculate that the mists are magically sent to confuse and lead away any who seek the isle, if the Green Men will not receive them. The Green Men seem to have no regular contact with the outside world.
The Isle of Faces seems to have some future importance in the narrative - given that it was actually first mentioned near the very beginning of the first novel (about 20 pages in, varying by edition). The first chapter was the Prologue (in which a Night's Watch patrol is attacked by White Walkers), and the second (from Bran's POV) focuses on Eddard executing the deserter from that patrol, then he and his sons finding direwolf pups in the snow. The third chapter, from Catelyn's POV, begins with her visiting Eddard after he has returned to Winterfell from the execution, and she finds him cleaning his sword in quiet contemplation in the castle's godswood - a scene which does appear very early in the first episode of the TV series. In the book chapter, as Catelyn is walking through the godswood to find Eddard at the heart tree, she thinks to herself about the differences between the Faith of the Seven that she was raised to follow in the south, and the religion of the Old Gods followed by the Starks - during her inner monologue passing mention is made of the Green Men on the Isle of Faces that are still devoted to the weirwoods of the Old Gods. Her inner monologue of course didn't translate well into spoken dialogue, so it was omitted from the TV version of the scene. So far, however, little more has been revealed about the isle or the Green Men.
|Rivers and Lakes:|