THE final series of Game of Thrones saw the Stark family go their separate ways for the last time.
But probably the most emotional goodbye of them all was between Jon Snow and Arya Stark, as Westeros’ most fierce warrior told the former King of the North that she would never see him again.
Why? Because she planned to sail West of Westeros, across the body of water known as the Sunset Sea.
Arya (Maisie Williams) asks her cousin (Kit Harrington) in the final of the HBO adaptation: “What is west of Westeros? No one knows. It’s where the maps stop. That’s where I’m going.”
However, George RR Martin left a big hint in the books that suggests Arya might be wrong – and another ferocious female may have paved the way.
Around 250 years in the past in 54 AC (After the Targaryen Conquest), a noblewoman named Elissa Farman sailed west and discovered three islands, which she named after the three Targaryens who conquered Westeros.
Elissa was the daughter of Marq Farman of the Fair Isle, with two brothers: Franklyn and Androw.
Much like Arya before her, she refused to be ladylike – in fact, she scared of two suitors for marriage when she was 12 and 16 – and is said to have spent more time on the water than the land.
She was also very close with her brother Androw’s wife, Rhaena Targaryan, with many suggesting the pair had their own romantic relationship.
However, when her eldest brother ordered Rhaena leave their Fair Isle home and then told Elissa she needed to stay and marry, the lady planned her escape.
Cut off from the funds of Fair Isle, she asked Rhaena for money to build ships. At first, the Targaryan denied, causing a rift in their relationship, before reluctantly agreeing.
As Alissa left, she stole three eggs from her lover’s dragon, which she sold to the ruler of the city of Braavos.
It’s said those eggs are the same given to Daenerys Targaryen in season and book one.
With this newfound money, she built the boat the Sun Chaser and set sail for the Sunset Sea, west of Westeros.
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She was a fugitive from the continent but managed to evade capture with her ship, as well as two others from Ser Eustace and Ser Norman of Hightower.
In 59 AC, Ser Eustace returned back to his home and explained that Elissa discovered three exotic islands. She named them Aegon, Rhaenys and Visenya after the three dragonriders that conquered Westeros.
However, despite protests from Ser Eustace, Elissa sailed further west, never to be seen again.
Many years later, Lord Corlys Velaryon believed he saw the old, withered Sun Chaser in Asshai – a mysterious city in the far east of the eastern continent Essos.
So it is suggested Elissa discovered what is west of Westeros: she sailed all the way west until she ended up in the east.
This can all be found in George RR Martin’s complete history of House Targaryen, Fire & Blood.
Maybe if Arya paid a bit more attention in Maester Luwin’s history classes, then she wouldn’t have to embark on the treacherous journey.
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