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Previous House Heads
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The Gardeners claimed descent from the mythical Garth Greenhand who according to legend is said to have been the High King who lead the First Men across the Arm of Dorne and is the ancestor of numerous noble houses in the Reach. His firstborn child was Garth the Gardener; the legendary first King of the Reach, who reigned in the Age of Heroes, and the founder of House Gardener. According to legend, Garth the Gardener made his home on the hill atop the Mander river that in time would become known as Highgarden, and wore a crown of vines and flowers. From his loins sprang House Gardener, whose kings would rule the Reach for many thousands of years.

King Mern XI Gardener

King Mern the ninth

King Mern XI Gardener, King of the Reach.

King Mern XI Gardener's rule was considered rather stale and uninteresting until a few years before Aegon's reign over the most of Westeros. As Vale and the North fell the four kingdoms of The Reach, The Rock, The Stormlands and Dorne formed together into a coalition known as the Shield of Westeros. This coalition's aim was to defeat Aegon and restore the seven kingdoms in a more balanced form. As Riverlander houses rose up to rebel against king Aegon the shield struck, charging to the Riverlands and burning them. The grandest battle of this war was fought over in Byrch hall, where 50,000 men fought against the five thousand men of Aegon. The fighting was intense, but in the end Aegon escaped and quickly flew to Dragonstone, lifting an earlier siege set up by King Mern. King Mern died in this scuffle, leaving his son, Edmund, to fight the war.

During his free time Mern was a well read man with a passion for romantic poetry dating to the age of heroes. He was often also seen with his wife, the two sharing a loving relationship to the end of his days. He was cremated and his ashes were spread above Highgarden, just like the Gardeners before him.

Many maesters argue on why Mern chose to fight the invaders, but many state he held noble causes and the simple wish to see the status quo held. In the end, only king Mern himself knew his reasoning. He was still a very important man during his time, and held enough charm to form the largest coalition in Westerosi history.

He left behind four sons and one daughter.

High lord Edmund Gardener

Edmun

High Lord Edmund of Highgarden

Edmund came to power as a king and he left it as an abdicated forgotten lordling. While many say Edmund himself was not to be blamed for the failures of his father, he still held himself responsible for the eventual fall of the Gardener family's holdings and social status. Edmyn's lure was short of only about a year or two, utterly pathetic compared to both his predecessor and his successor. Edmun did not pass any notable laws, he did not win any wars, and the only major thing he did in his life was surrender to King Aegon, along with abdicating unto his son's rule.

Maesters consider Edmund the low point of the Gardener line. While without the coalition and war he might have ruled as a fine enough king in peace, he was forced into a situation which he could not control at all by himself. This ended up in causing the plunge into deep darkness with the gardeners, known as the age of the crownlands.

He left behind two sons.

Lord Paramount Garse Gardener

Garse

Lord Paramount Garse in the apple garden of Highgarden.

Garse was born into a mess. His grandfather had died, his father was losing the war, and poor Garse was facing education as a youth, and he was forced into the position as the high lord of Highgarden upon the abdication of his father. Garse also faced the potential ire of the King, Aegon having grown suspicious of the Gardener family after their abdication. Garse took life as a simple matter, deciding to go trough it as a loyal vassal.

He was soon called over to Oldtown to serve as the cultural adviser for the king. Garse served faithfully, proceeding over many cultural events. During his time in Oldtown he met the master of whispers of the time, Edmyn Tully. The two grew into a relationship that he described as "friends with a cold edge."

While still under king Aegon Garse was known as a relaxed and well known man in the brothels of Oldtown. While many septons also often reported he spent his time praying in septs, just as many whores claimed that he had been busy in their beds as well. He never gave much mind to some criticizing his ways and just laughed as usual.

In feasts while accompanying Edmyn he was often found to claim the fact that the nobility system as a whole was flawed. Everything to him was a wheel of sorts, spinning 'round and round with the house on top constantly changing. This only brought out the cynical comment or two from Edmyn.

Eventually as the tensions between the lord paramounts and the king became colder and colder, Garse kept close to the king, serving him faithfully. As the situation blew over into a full scale series of wars, Garse served faithfully under king Aegon trough the rebellions known as the Stark rebellion, the Darklyn rebellion and the Durrandon rebellion, eventually claiming enough trust to become the lord paramount of the Reach.

The King's madness spiraled further and further as Garse set out from Westeros and to the mystical lands of Asshai in a quest to claim a Valyrian steel sword. The journey took him around a year and he returned with a broken leg, but he had brought with him the Valyrian steel sword he later named Crisis, after the year of the revolts.

Soon after his return king Aegon began to place more and more trust upon the current General of the Iron Throne. While Garse complied with the wishes of the king, he clearly did not wish for this trust. His horror became even clearer when he was named the Hand of the King.

He complied with every wish of the king, usually being near him at every turn. This was mostly to try and secure that the king would not do anything stupid.

During the later years of his life Garse sunk into a state of depression, often wondering why he did not just die and why he could not join Edmyn and his wife Emberlei in the seven hells. After being fired from the office of the hand after a minor verbal scuffle with Orys II, Garse sunk into the great halls of Highgarden and did not leave. He died a few months later, body still on the throne.

"Life is like a ladder, Edmyn. The main question is... Will you be the one keeping it still while men go up, or will you saw off the steps?" - Garse to Edmyn right before the rebellions began

"Life's like a wheel. It just spins and spins and every great house goes in it, one being at the top from time to time. Now house Targaryen has placed their boot on the wheel, being on the top always. They stopped it. What a shame." - Garse during a feast.

"Why can't I just die." - Garse while sitting on the throne in Oldtown.