For those who have been keeping their eyes open for easter eggs during the first five episodes of House of the Dragon, it is easy to spot a weirwood tree (the tree with the face on it) in many of the different scenes of the series. Of course, those who know things about the religions in Westeros would know that much of the Seven Kingdoms follow the Faith of the Seven. So, if that’s the case, why is there a weirwood tree in the Red Keep during the events of House of the Dragon?
There is probably a weirwood tree in the Red Keep in House of the Dragon due to how there were probably some people that worshipped the Old Gods instead of the Seven. And it is possible that the weirwood trees in the Red Keep were gone in Game of Thrones was that they were ordered to be cut down.
It is worth mentioning that House of the Dragon takes place nearly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, and that means that there are still a lot of things that happened between the two timelines. At one point in the history of the Seven Kingdoms, the weirwood tree in the Red Keep must have been cut down due to religious purposes. In that regard, let’s look at this discussion in greater detail.
What Is A Weirwood Tree In House Of The Dragon?
One of the things that we already know in the world that George RR Martin created in Game of Thrones is that there are a lot of different religions. Different people in Westeros worship different gods, and the same could be said about the people in Essos, considering that there were also different religions on that large continent. Nevertheless, there were only two major religions in Westeros, and one of them was the worship of the Old Gods.
Those who worship the Old Gods in Westeros do so by praying to a weirwood tree, which is a deciduous tree that tends to shed its leaves seasonally. The weirwood tree has a white bark and a face that’s carved into the bark right at the center of the tree. Again, only those who worship the Old Gods pray to the weirwood tree.
Weirwood trees are often located in a place called a Godswood, which is a forested area that can be found in places all over the Seven Kingdoms. For example, Winterfell has its own Godswood where the Starks and the different people there can go if they want to pray to the Old Gods. And most of the other castles and cities that primarily worship the Old Gods also have their own Godswood.
In the past, weirwood trees could be found all over the continent of Westeros as the Old Gods were the prevalent gods before the Andal invasion. Nevertheless, around 6,000 years before the events of Game of Thrones, the Andals were given a vision by their Seven-Faced God to move to the west and invade Westeros.
Due to their overwhelming numbers, the Andals, who used to live in an area near the Free City of Pentos, were able to overrun the continent of Westeros and even drive the First Men out of their southern settlements. But the only area that the Andals were never able to Overrun was the North, which was too large and too cold for them. That’s why many of the Northerners were able to hold on to their religion for thousands of years, as they still worship the Old Gods during the events of Game of Thrones.
What’s The Meaning Of The Weirwood Tree In House Of The Dragon?
One of the most confusing parts of House of the Dragon is the fact that there is a weirwood tree in the Godswood in King’s Landing. And the confusing part comes when you understand more about the history of the religions in Game of Thrones and the story behind King’s Landing.
As mentioned, the Andals invaded Westeros thousands of years before the events of House of the Dragon, and that’s why much of the southern portions of the continent worship the Seven-Faced God. Meanwhile, King’s Landing never existed until Aegon the Conqueror built it after he conquered the continent during the Conquest of Westeros, which happened more than a hundred years before the events of House of the Dragon.
If King’s Landing was a very old city, we would understand why there is a weirwood tree in the Godswood there because the Andals must’ve forgotten to cut it down. But the fact is that all of the weirwood trees in the south were cut down by the Andals thousands of years ago. And because King’s Landing is fairly new, there shouldn’t be a weirwood tree there because much of the southern cities already follow the Faith of the Seven. So, with that said, what is the meaning of the weirwood tree in King’s Landing in House of the Dragon?
It is worth noting that this weirwood tree was absent during the events of Game of Thrones because of the fact that the Faith of the Seven was already the widespread religion throughout the Seven Kingdoms. What that means is that the existence of a weirwood tree in the Red Keep in King’s Landing could mean that there was a weirwood tree that survived the rampage of the Andals thousands of years ago and that the Godswood was built over it so that those who still worshipped the Old Gods during the Targaryen dynasty could still pray to them using that tree.
Of course, we’ve seen Rhaenyra hanging out by the weirwood tree, albeit she never prayed there. But we’ve seen Alicent praying to the weirwood tree in episode 5. That could mean that there were still some powerful houses that still worshipped the Old Gods, and that could include House Hightower, considering that Queen Alicent was out there in the Godswood praying to the weirwood tree.
As such, because the series takes place nearly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, the weirwood tree in the Red Keep was yet to get cut down. And it is possible that it was cut down by one of the kings before the events of Game of Thrones.
We do believe that the king that may have been responsible for cutting it down was King Baelor the Blessed, who was the most religious out of all of the Targaryen kings and was the one who advanced the Faith of the Seven throughout the Seven Kingdoms.
Because Baelor was more of a septon than a king, he must have believed that the people of King’s Landing should only worship the Seven-Faced God. And he must have been the one who cut down the weirwood tree in the Red Keep, as he reigned from 161 – 171 AC, which is after the events of House of the Dragon and well before the events of Game of Thrones.
Is The Weirwood Tree In House Of The Dragon Same As Game Of Thrones?
Again, it is worth mentioning that, before the Andals invaded Westeros, the First Men living on the continent worshipped the Old Gods through the weirwood trees that grew almost everywhere on the continent. However, much of the south was conquered by the Andals, and the North was left untouched. As such, the Northerners were able to continue to practice their religion for thousands of years.
In that regard, the weirwood tree in House of the Dragon is not the same as the one in Game of Thrones. It is worth mentioning that the most prominent weirwood tree in Game of Thrones is the Godswood of Winterfell. And we are fairly certain that, considering Winterfell has stood for 8,000 years, this weirwood tree has been around for a very long time, especially when you consider the fact that it is quite large.
The weirwood tree in Game of Thrones, particularly in Winterfell, represents that the Starks still worship the Old Gods, as opposed to the people living in the south, who follow the Seven-Faced God. And the fact that there is also one in the Red Keep in House of the Dragon means that there were also people who still worshipped the Old Gods in King’s Landing during that era, as opposed to Game of Thrones, where almost everyone in the south already followed the Faith of the Seven.