Children of the Forest

The Children of the Forest are a non-human race who were the original inhabitants of Westeros before the arrival of the First Men.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

Before the arrival of humans, the Children of the Forest lived alongside the Giants. They called themselves ‘those who sing the song of the Earth’ and spoke a language called the True Tongue. They were called Woh Dak Nag Gram, translated as little squirrel people, by the giants and lived in Westeros thousands of years before the arrival of men on the continent. When humans arrived on the continent, the Children of the Forest tried to live peacefully with them, but after the humans began cutting weirwood trees, which were sacred in the Children’s belief, they went to a war that lasted for thousands of years.

Complete Details about the Children of the Forest

  • Type of Race: Unknown.
  • Religion: The Old Gods of the Forest.
  • Skin Color: Nut-brown.
  • Blood Color: Indigo.
  • Number of Fingers on Hands: Four.
  • Average Life Span: Centuries.
  • Language: True Tongue.
  • Special Abilities: Greensight, Warging.

Physical Characteristics

The Children of the Forest, or Children, are a mysterious race that existed more than 12,000 years before Robert’s Rebellion. They are small, with their adults having the statue of human children. They possess nut-brown skin that looks like a deer’s skin and large ears capable of hearing sounds unknown to humans. Their cat-like eyes are large and golden-green; this gives them better vision at night. Though they look similar to humans, they are distinctively known for having four fingers, making them tetradactyl. Their small stature makes them move quicker and faster, and their long black claws make them appear like little squirrels.


The Children of the Forest have a deep history from the Dawn Age to the Age of the Andals. Their existence on Westeros supersedes that of almost any other sapient race that has lived on the continent. However, their rich and deep history got lost, as there is no written record of their lives and existence.

The Dawn Age

The Dawn Age is the first speculated era for the appearance of the Children of the Forest. With no record of if they existed before that time, it gets accepted that they spawned around that time. For Millenia, the Children lived in Westeros alongside the giants.

Though it is unknown if there were conflicts between the Children and the giants, some maesters speculate that there may have been fights between both species as a discovery of some giants’ bones signified the presence of conflict between both races. During the Dawn Age, they populated Westeros, from the Summer Sea to the Land of Always Winter. However, they never stayed in Dorne, as they called it; the empty land.

Thousands of years later, the Children of the Forest met the First Men, who claimed to have crossed the Arm of Dorne, a land bridge connecting Essos to Westeros. The arrival of the First Men brought rapid change to Westeros, as it was nothing but a land filled with forests and ancient creatures. With the arrival of humans, the technologies of bronze and leather shields arrived.

However, even with their advanced technology and new gods, the Children welcomed the First Men and treated them kindly. The relationship between the races got sour as the humans began cutting down the trees for their settlements. When the humans started cutting down weirwood trees, the Children decided to war against the alien invaders on their continent.

The Children of the Forest and the First Men fought for Westeros over millennia. The intense centuries of war led to the death of countless lives on both sides and endless bloodshed. With the hope of ending the war, the Children used the hammer of the waters to shatter the Arm of Dorne, dividing it into the Broken Arm and the Stepstones. With no end to the conflict, both races settled on peaceful terms and signed the Pact of the Isle of Faces, bringing it to a standstill. The pact granted the humans the open lands and the Children the forests. 

The Age of Heroes

After the Pact of the Isle of Faces got created, peace reigned in Westeros for more than four millennia. The Children and humans cohabited peacefully, and an inter-mix between both races led to the humans adopting the Childrens’ religion. However, during a long winter known as the Long Night, Others from the Northernmost North invaded Westeros and left a trail of death and destruction.

To defeat the common enemy, the Children teamed up with the First Men, led by the Last Hero, a man who took on a perilous journey during the Long Night to secure the assistance of the children and went to war against the Others in the Battle for the Dawn. The alliance between the races led to the Others’ defeat and retreat into the Land of Always Winter.

After the war, Bran the Builder, the founder of the House Stark, asked the Children for help and erected the Wall. The Night’s Watch got established, and the Children gave the Watch 100 obsidian daggers yearly. With the creation of the Wall, the children retreated and moved past the Wall. They soon vanished from existence after supporting the Warg King but losing to the Starks.

The Era of the Andal Invasion

Though peace existed between the Children of the forest and the First Men, a conflict started when the Andals migrated from Andalos to Westeros. With an overzealous religion called the Faith of the Seven and the technology of steel weapons, the Andals began cutting the sacred weirwood trees, sparking another conflict.

Though the Childre tried to resist the invasion of the Andals, they were no match for their advanced fighting skills, and soon, the influence of the Children on the first Men waned as the new religion of the Andals supplanted that of the Old Gods of the Forest. With the arrival of the Andals, the relationship between humans and the Children waned until it died out.


The Children of the Forest had a culture centered around worshiping the nature gods. They lived in groups called clans, with their primary habitat being a cave. They used primitive weapons made of stone and dragonglass, dressed in leaf clothing, and hunted with bows made from weirwood. Though they were primitive, the Children possessed supernatural powers. They used magic to walk in animals’ skin and talk to the dead. Some of the special ones were born with blood-red eyes and got the power of greensight, which made them greenseers.

Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Game of Thrones

In Winterfell, Maester Luwin narrates to a young Bran Stark the tales of the war between the First Men and the Children of the Forest. After concluding his story, he tells Bran that the Children are long dead and extinct, as they vanished for hundreds of years. Luwin further explains that the only remnants of their existence in Westeros are the weirwood trees.

A Dance with Dragons

After leaving Winterfell in search of the three-eyed raven, Bran, Hodor, Jojen, and Meera, head North, seeking clues on how to find the raven. They meet Coldhands, who reveals he got sent by the three-eyed crow. Before reaching their destination, the group gets attacked by wights and rescued by Children of the Forest, thought to be long dead.

After getting rescued, Bran and the group come across more Children of the Forest, including Leaf, Ash, Black Knife, Coals, Scales, and Snowylocks. They are taken to the three-eyed crow’s cave and meet a pale man called Bryden. He tells Bran that though he cannot fix his legs, he will teach him how to fly. Later, Bran eats a weirwood paste, and he unlocks his full powers.

Children of the Forest: A Forgotten Past

In the history of Westeros, the Children of the Forest are a forgotten past. Though it was with their help the Wall got erected, they somehow managed to vanish, leaving most traces of their existence in the wind. The Children of the Forest and their strife with humans symbolize the effect of man versus nature. As George hated the idea of pointless wars, he used the Children to show how constant warring leads to the irreparable loss of nature’s gift, life.


Is the last hero connected to the Azhor Azhai?

Though the last hero has a story that predicts the future events of A Song of Ice and Fire, it is hard to decipher whether he is related to the Azhor Azhai. For now, the details of the Azhor Azhai are speculations.

Why did the Children of the Forest allow the humans to take over Westeros?

Though they had magical powers, the Children were practically disadvantaged over the humans. They possessed little weaponry and had lesser numbers. Even though they wanted to stop the humans from taking over, there was no way they could have handled two invasions successfully.

Were the Children of the Forest wargs?

The Children possessed the magical ability to walk in animals’ skin; this made them wargs. They even once sent wolves after the Andals during their invasion.

Why did the Children of the Forest retreat from humanity?

To avoid further conflict, the Children of the Forest retreated beyond the Wall and faded from existence.

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