It was during this period when many of the ancient Houses of Westeros were first founded, including the Lannisters and the Starks. After taming the mighty beasts, they established the city of Valyria and became skilled in both magic and metallurgy. A Stark will always rule in Winterfell. To keep their bloodlines "pure" - by which they retained these features - Valyrian noble families often practiced heavily incestuous marriages, wedding brother to sister, cousin to cousin, uncle to niece, and aunt to nephew. Inhabitants of the Free City of Lys are directly descended from Valyrian colonists who didn't heavily intermingle with other peoples, so they are said to retain classic Valyrian features:
People with such features are said to have "the blood of Old Valyria" in their veins. With the head chopped off, the Freehold fell into chaos. To keep their bloodlines "pure" - by which they retained these features - Valyrian noble families often practiced heavily incestuous marriages, wedding brother to sister, cousin to cousin, uncle to niece, and aunt to nephew. Over a series of five different wars, known as the Ghiscari Wars , the Valyrians conquered the Ghiscari and their lands, ultimately leaving behind only three cities in Slavers Bay: The Targaryen family still considered itself "the blood of Old Valyria", but not to be a full "ethnic group" anymore. The Rhoynish leaders intermarried with the Martell clan, leading them to power, and forming Dorne as we know it today. The Rhoynar fought equally hard against the Valyrians until their cities were razed, many of their people also enslaved, and the survivors scattered. In any event, the power of the Valyrians was broken and the ruling dragonlords dead. The center of the Valyrian peninsula was wiped out. Not only were most of the dragons wiped out, but the Valyrians' spells, knowledge, and recorded history were also lost. Contents History Background Originally a community of shepherds, the Valyrians rose to prominence after discovering dragons in a volcanic area of their home peninsula known as the Fourteen Fires. A few noble families were later founded by their servants, such as House Qoherys which went extinct within three generations. Pentos, where Dany started her journey; Lys, where Varys was born; Myr, home of Thoros of Myr; Tyrosh, where Daario was born; Volantis, which we visited last season; and more. A few aristocratic families here and there in the Free Cities are famous for maintaining pure Valyrian lineages - those with "the blood of Old Valyria" retain strong Valyrian features of pale hair and purple irises. What we do know is this: In addition to their initially very small numbers, the Targaryens and their vassals frowned upon intermarriage and continued to try to keep the bloodline as pure as possible by incestuously marrying brother to sister or at least cousin to cousin , significantly limiting their already small impact on the ethnic makeup of Westeros. Early on, they came into conflict with the Ghiscari Empire to the east and the Rhoynar people to the north and west. But where did dragons come from? Their language, known as High Valyrian , gave birth to a number of dialects spoken in many of the Freehold's former colonies, such as the modern-day Free Cities. The flames that shot so high and hot, that even dragons burned, Would never be the final sights that fell upon their eyes. Spoilers in comments are hidden by a gray overlay. Instead, Aegon the Conquerer turned his ambitions to Westeros. The Targaryens had such small numbers that their Valyrian bloodlines had a negligible impact on the continent's ethnic makeup. A fly upon a wall, the waves the sea wind whipped and churned, A city of a thousand years and all that men had learned, The doom consumed them all alike, and neither of them turned. Yunkai, Astapor and Meereen. The major exceptions to the above are Lys and Volantis , in which large segments of the population can still be said to exhibit classic Valyrian features. Why did they die out?
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