In the world of Game of Thrones, Westeros surrounds a lake, the God's Eye that's almost exactly in the middle of the kingdom. While the massive dark castle of Harrenhal still looms on the nearest northern shore, Whitewalls, a pale white marble palace, was pulled down by Brynden Rivers after the Blackfyre rebellion.
Covered in a deep weirwood forest and surrounded by mist to protect it from unwanted visitors, the Isle of Faces is one of the most mysterious, and potentially important, locations in the Game of Thrones saga. Even though the hit HBO series might be over, the Isle of Faces could still play a role in the future of the GOT universe. Now, CBR is breaking down everything you need to know about this mysterious isle.
WHO LIVES ON THE ISLE OF FACES?
The Order of the Green Men live in The Isle of Faces, and their only mission is to tend to the never-dying weirwood trees. In George R.R. Martin's novels, Old Nan describes the Green Men as green-skinned, horned creatures that ride elks, but the Citadel maesters think that they are probably normal men that wear clothes made of bark and leaves and horned headdresses.
In all likelihood, some Children of the Forest are probably still living in the Isle of Faces, as well as descendants from the First Men that fled the Andal invasion. If this is true, then probably the Order of the Green Men are descendants from these two races.
WHY IS THE ISLE OF FACES IMPORTANT?
During the Dawn Age, the Isle of Faces was the neurological center that connected every single Weirwood in Westeros. The Children of the Forest draw their magical powers largely from the weirwood network, so when the First Men migrated from Essos, and started to cut down the forests to make arable land, the Children went on the offensive.
From the Isle of Faces, they first brought down the Hammer of the Waters, severing the land bridge between Essos and Westeros. The second time, they flooded the Neck, also trying to separate the North from Westeros, but they only managed to turn that area into a swampland. The third time, they sacrificed a man and created the Night King, hoping that it would help them defeat the First Men.
After the Long Night descended on Westeros and the Night King took over the frozen land, the Children of the Forest agreed to collaborate with the First Men to drive the Night King back. They met in the Isle of Faces and sealed The Pact: the Children would relinquish the open land and hills to the First Men, while keeping the deep forests and weirwoods to themselves. To make sure that The Pact was remembered, the Children carved a face on every immortal weirwood tree in the Isle of Faces. Weirwood trees live forever, and time is a pool for them.
HOWLAND REED AND THE ISLE OF FACES
While the Isle of Faces actively discourages visitors from landing on it's shores, Howland Reed, Lord of Greywater Watch, vassal of the Starks of Winterfell and Ned Stark’s companion, is one of the only people who's stepped foot on the island.
Although his actions there have never been revealed, Howland Reed arrived to the Isle three months before the Tourney of the False Spring. However, after his visit, his actions at the tournament led to Jon Snow's birth, Rickard and Brandon’s Stark deaths, Robert’s Rebellion and the definitive fall of the Targaryens. He also saved Ned’s life at the feet of the Tower of Joy, which paved the way for the birth of the Stark children who would go on to rule most of Westeros.
At the beginning of A Clash of Kings, Howland sent his own children, Jojen and Meera Reed, to assist Bran Stark in reaching the Children of the Forest living north of The Wall. This directly helped Bran become the Three Eyed Raven, in communion with the weirwood trees. Howland Reed was also the only House Head from Ned’s generation present at the council that named Bran Stark King of the Six Kingdoms.
COULD THE ISLE OF FACES SHOW UP IN THE PREQUEL?
The showrunners behind the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series have said that the show will take place about 5,000 years prior to the events in Game of Thrones. It will reportedly show the events leading to the end of the Age of Heroes and the fall of the world into the Long Night, which was a global catastrophic event.
While Westeros and Essos were very different continents back then, the only sure thing is that the series will end with a global catastrophe. We could see how the Children of the Forest brought down the Hammer of the Waters or how they flooded the Neck and created the Night King, or even how they finally sealed The Pact with the First Men. At this point, only time will tell if the Isle of Faces will play a major role in the upcoming series.