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According to the Game of Thrones Wiki, there seem to be 7 kingdoms but 8 governors. It seems to me that this is the correspondence:

  1. Kingdom of the North -- The Lord Paramount of the North and Warden of the North

? -- The Lord of the Iron Islands

  1. Kingdom of the Mountain and the Vale -- The Lord Paramount of the Vale and Warden of the East

  2. Kingdom of the Isles and Rivers -- The Lord Paramount of the Riverlands

  3. Kingdom of the Rock -- The Lord Paramount of the Westerlands and Warden of the West

  4. Kingdom of the Stormlands -- The Lord Paramount of the Stormlands

  5. Kingdom of the Reach -- The Lord Paramount of the Reach and Warden of the South

  6. Principality of Dorne -- The Prince of Dorne


My understanding based on the rest of the webpage, Why do they still refer to the "Seven Kingdoms" in Game of Thrones? and What are the different provinces mentioned in a Game of Thrones? is that Kingdom #3 was split into 2 regions and hence there are 8 regions of Westeros that are subject to the rule of the Iron Throne.

Is that right?

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The Iron Islands were a part of the Kingdom of Isles and Rivers. Before the Targeryen invasion, House Hoare ruled over the Iron Islands and the Riverlands.

House Hoare was the Royal House of the Iron Islands. Harwyn Hoare conquered the Riverlands and House Hoare controlled the Riverlands until Harwyn's grandson Black Harren was killed during the Targeryen Invasion.

Yes, you are correct that there are 8 regions due to the fact that the Kingdom of Isles and Rivers was split into two regions - The Iron Islands and The Riverlands.

  • Kingdom #3 was split into 2 regions and hence there are 8 regions of Westeros that are subject to the rule of the Iron Throne. Is that right? – BCLC Jun 27 '16 at 16:13
  • 1
    @BCLC That's correct. – kuhl Jun 27 '16 at 16:16
  • 7
    There actually 9 when you include the Crownlands – Skooba Jun 27 '16 at 19:42
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The Seven Kingdoms confusion

Seven Kingdoms were the political entities which existed at time of Aegon's landing on shores of Blackwater Bay. Number of these political entities has always varied from time to time i.e. During the Age of Heroes and Andal invasions, there were hundreds of small Kingdoms in Westeros. Before Aegon's landing, there were only seven however.

The titles which Aegon created for himself and all other Kings inherited after him were:

King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, Protector of the Realm

This title remained the same even 300 years after Aegon's death despite the fact that in Post-invasion era, there were no longer 7 Kingdoms or administrative Units. This is the title which causes all the confusion because many people do not realize that When Aegon came, there actually were seven Kingdoms which is no longer the case today or necessarily before Aegon's times.


De-Jure Kingdoms

The De-jure Kingdoms of Westeros which are based on distinct cultures and religions (And in some cases ethnicities) are:

  1. Kingdom of Stormlands
  2. Kingdom of Riverlands
  3. Kingdom of Vale and Mountain
  4. Kingdom of Iron Islands
  5. Kingdom of the North
  6. Kingdom of the Reach
  7. Kingdom of Westerlands
  8. Principality of Dorne

That gives us a sum of 8 De-jure Kingdoms.


Historical Aspect and De-Facto Kingdoms

When Aegon came however, Westeros was not divided along de-jure lines. Kingdoms were continuously at wars against each other with all of them occupying de-jure regions of some other Kingdom.

Many centuries before the conquest, House Justman ruled Riverlands with splendor. Last of their line Bernarr II Justman was killed by King Qhored Hoare of Iron Islands. Riverlands fell into chaos with every House claiming the throne for themselves. The Chaos Ended when King Torrence Teague claimed the throne. Riverlords did not like House Teague and rose in rebellions many time.

Finally during one uprising, The traitorous Tullys, Vances and Blackwoods under leadership Roderick Blackwood invited King Arlan III Durrandon of Stormlands (Who happened to be son-in-law of Roderick Blackwood) to attack their own liege King Humfrey Teague. House Teague was wiped out in Battle of Six Kings and King Arlan merged Riverlands into Stormlands.

Years passed until Harwyn 'Hardhand' Hoare took throne of Iron Islands. The ambitious Iron King kicked Stormkings out of Riverlands and became King of Isles and Rivers. Rule of House Hoare over Riverlands continued until Aegon came to conquer Westeros.

So at time of Aegon's conquest, Riverlands was not a royal political entity but rather subjects to Kingdom of Iron Islands. De-Facto Kingdoms at that time were:

  1. Kingdom of the North
  2. Kingdom of the Reach
  3. Kingdom of Stormlands
  4. Kingdom of Isles and Rivers
  5. Kingdom of Westerlands
  6. Kingdom of Vale and Mountain
  7. Principality of Dorne

Administrative Units of Post-Conquest Era

Aegon the Conqueror usually retained the political hegemony of Kingdoms which submitted to his rule.

The Notable exception was however Kingdom of Isles and Rivers. Riverlords under Lord Tully, who was following the proud family tradition of stabbing their liege lords in the back, rallied to Aegon's cause against King Harren the Black. Harren the Black refused to submit to Aegon's rule and chose to fight. After House Hoare was extinguished in Burning of Harrenhal, Aegon raised Lord Edmyn Tully to office of Lord Paramount of Riverlands due to Edmyn Tully's service in cause of Targaryens especially in the initial days of the conquest when Targaryen position was uncertain.

The other Part of Harren's Kingdom, The Iron Islands fell into chaos. Many pretenders to House Hoare's inheritence rose and fought against each other. King Aegon invaded Iron Islands two years after completion of his invasion of mainland Westeros. Aegon defeated all the pretenders but allowed them to choose their own Liege Lord. Defeated Ironborn chose Lord Vickon Greyjoy. Aegon named Vickon as Lord of Iron Islands and left for King's Landing. Greyjoys were now Lord Paramounts of Iron Islands and answerable to no one except the King himself.

Other than that Aegon also took the disputed regions of Blackwater Rush and Bay as royal lands because there was no clear owner of those Lands and Aegon needed a foothold on main continent to stabilize his rule. This region was named Crownlands.

So in Aegon's time there were following administrative units with their own governing ruler:

  1. Paramount Lordship of Vale and Mountain
  2. Paramount Lordship of Iron Islands
  3. Paramount Lordship of Westerlands
  4. Paramount Lordship of North
  5. Paramount Lordship of the Reach
  6. Paramount Lordship of Stormlands
  7. Paramount Lordship of Riverlands
  8. Royal fief of Crownlands

Later Dorne also came under Iron Throne during reign of King Daeron II (And briefly in reigns of Kings Aegon I & Daeron I). According to the agreement, Dornish retained several special rights which included the right to address their rulers as Prince/Princess instead of Lords. So the new Administrative units were:

  1. Paramount Lordship of Vale and Mountain
  2. Paramount Lordship of Iron Islands
  3. Paramount Lordship of Westerlands
  4. Paramount Lordship of North
  5. Paramount Lordship of the Reach
  6. Paramount Lordship of Stormlands
  7. Paramount Lordship of Riverlands
  8. Royal fief of Crownlands
  9. Principality of Dorne

Erm Okay? But Which Kingdom are Iron Islands under?

None. Iron Islands have always been a distinct and independent Kingdom. Even after Aegon's conquest, they retained their internal autonomy and were the only people who received the right to choose their own Overlord. Greyjoys were thus direct Vassals to Targaryen Kings just like Other Lords Paramount of the other 7 regions.

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