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Mercantile city-state
Places of note
Date of founding
"I'm sure Lorath adds something to the world, but I can't think of it."
―Ser Jorah Mormont[src]
Lorath Pin

A map showing the location of Lorath off the coast of Essos.

Second sons Shae

Shae, a Lorathi woman.

Lorath is one of the Free Cities located to the east of Westeros. It is located on an island just off the northern coast of Essos, east and slightly south of Braavos. The Shivering Sea lies to its north and an inlet of water known as Lorath Bay lies to the south. Lorath is the least-known of the Free Cities, due to its isolated location and the lack of any notable ports further east.

The people of Lorath are known as Lorathi.

Known LorathiEdit


Season 2Edit

Jaqen H'ghar, one of Yoren's new recruits for the Night's Watch, claims to be from Lorath.[1]

When Cersei Lannister meets Shae for the first time, she recognizes from her accent that she is a Lorathi. Cersei states that she is familiar with the accent because she once had a handmaiden who was from Lorath.[2]

In the booksEdit

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Lorath is the least-mentioned of the Free Cities. It is likely influenced by Braavos, as it lies quite close to that city. Lorath probably isn't very powerful because there are no major cities further east along the northern shore of Essos. The Inuit-like inhabitants of the island of Ibben probably trade with Lorath, given that it is the closest of the Free Cities to Ibben, yet Ibbenese traders can also be found in Braavos, Pentos, or even as far away as King's Landing in Westeros.

As of the fifth book, A Dance with Dragons, descriptions of Lorath's culture and society are scant to nonexistent, nor have any named characters from Lorath appeared. It isn't a mysterious, magical or hidden city, rather it seems to be rarely mentioned simply because it isn't very powerful or important. Jaqen H'ghar does claim to be from Lorath, but given his true nature as one of the mysterious Faceless Men of Braavos, it is possible that he never even set foot in Lorath.

A change from the books is that Shae is now stated to be from Lorath. Cersei says she had a Lorathi handmaiden once and recognizes Shae's accent. In the books, Shae is just a camp servant of the Lannister army and her backstory is never gone into in detail, but she is from Westeros. The TV producers stated that they changed it so that when she is introduced in Season 1, Shae is stated to be "from the Free Cities" (they hadn't settled on which one yet) because they enjoyed the audition of actress Sibel Kekilli, but wanted to have some explanation for why she speaks with a German accent. As it is, Kekilli is of Turkish descent but was born and raised in Germany, hence her German accent.

Given that Sibel Kekilli speaks with a German accent, and that fellow German national Tom Wlaschiha (Jaqen) also speaks with a German accent, the implication in the TV continuity may be that a "Lorathi accent" is specifically supposed to sound like a German accent (the Faceless Man who took on the "Jaqen" persona wasn't really a Lorathi, but it was a persona meant to convincingly imitate a Lorathi man). Just as Germany is one of the northernmost regions of continental Europe and borders the cold waters of the Baltic Sea, Lorath is one of the northernmost of the Free Cities and borders the cold waters of the Shivering Sea.

While the novels themselves have not revealed much about Lorath, The World of Ice and Fire sourcebook explained that this location actually has quite an extensive history. Long before it became a colony of the Valyrian Freehold, the area where Lorath now stands was home to a revolving door of cultures and peoples. Its earliest known inhabitants- dubbed the "mazemakers" by later generations- erected vast labyrinthine structures that still stand in the present day. Although the bones of these master masons have been discovered (they were larger than typical humans but smaller than Giants), the mazemakers themselves disappeared thousands of years ago and left no written records, so the truth about them and their mazes is unknown.

In the centuries that followed, Lorath was inhabited by a race of fisherfolk who bore many similarities to the present-day Ibbenese. They were later displaced by the Andals, who invaded from the mainland to the south. These new arrivals set up a slew of small kingdoms and spent much time warring and quarreling amongst themselves. When the Andals launched an attack on the Valyrian colony of Norvos, located to the southeast, the Freehold sent a force of one hundred dragons and beat the invaders back. The "Scouring of Lorath" that followed razed the Andal kingdoms to the ground left no survivors.

Afterwards, Lorath remained uninhabited for many years, until settlers from Valyria itself arrived in the area. These were religious dissidents who followed the faith of Boash, also known as the Blind God. The Boash'i practiced an austere lifestyle (they did not consume flesh or drink wine) and believed that all life was sacred. During the centuries of Boash'i occupation, settlers from Ib and Andalos arrived and carved out their own cultural hubs. Since the faith of Boash held all humans to be equal, slavery was not practiced in the city, which prompted runaway slaves from the Valyrian Freehold to pour into Lorath as well, forming a great polyglot environment.

The Boash'i continued to dominate Lorath for several centuries, but the number of the Blind God's devotees gradually dwindled and at some point before the Century of Blood (roughly four hundred years prior to the War of the Five Kings) the last of them were wiped out and Lorath became a Freehold, like Valyria before it. In the present day, Lorath is nominally ruled by a triad of elected Princes (though a council of magisters wields the true power) and is predominantly a fishing port, conducting small-scale trade in items such as salt cod, walrus tusks, sealskins and whale oil.

"Lorath" is pronounced "LORE-ath", with the stress on the first syllable, as opposed to "Luh-WRATH", "L'wrath", etc. It uses a short "A" as in "wrath", but is pronounced as two distinct syllables, not slurred together as "Lore-uhth".

See alsoEdit


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