A glossary of people, places & objects in Earthsea

Now showing glossary items starting G

Gadge Brewer

Brewer of Glade in the west of Havnor

Sources: Darkrose and Diamond, TfE


Small island in the southwest of the East Reach, near Rolameny and Soders


See Ships


Titles: Gamble the Windkey

A sorcerer student of the School of Wizardry on Roke in The Farthest Shore; described as stocky. He comes from Ark where he is the seventh child and first son of his parents, hence his name. A monarchist. In The Other Wind, he is the young Master Windkey

Sources: The Masters of Roke, WoE; Rejoining, OW

'A short stocky man… He lifted his staff of silvery wood.'

[Rejoining, OW]


Also known as: Toys

Games mentioned include dice and sticks and sticks and counters, both played on Atuan, net-ball, played on Enlad, cat's cradles, played on Gont, and a magical version of bowls, played on Roke with 'balls of green flame and bowling-pins that leaped and hopped away as the ball came near'a. A game of houses is played on Gont using bone figures depicting people and animals. Children in Ismay make snowmen and snow castles; those of Havnor City play games of chase. Card games are not mentioned. Gambling is mentioned as a Kargish practice, but details are not given

Sources: The Loosing of the Shadow, WoE (a); Iffish, WoE; The Wall Around the Place, ToA; Dreams and Tales, ToA; The Masters of Roke, FS; Finding Words, T; Dolphin, OW

Related entries: Entertainment


Owner of an ox team in Re Albi; presumably a farmer

Sources: The Bones of the Earth, TfE


Carpenter of Sattins island in the East Reach; wall-eyed and incompetent

Sources: The Rule of Names, W12Q


Sorcerer on Taon who taught Alder; he died five years before the events of The Other Wind

Sources: Mending the Green Pitcher, OW; Dolphin, OW


City of the island of Atuan, to the north west of the Tombs of Atuan

Sources: The Wall Around the Place, ToA

Garden door

Second door of the Great House of Roke, called Medra's Gate after the first Master Doorkeeper. It is oak with an iron bolt, and leads to gardens and fields by Roke Knoll. Like the back door, it is kept by the Doorkeeper

Sources: The Finder, TfE

'It was uncarved oak, black and massive, with an iron bolt worn thin with age.'

[Dragonfly, TfE]


Also known as: Garhirion

Northern islet, lying off the east coast of Ea, west of Oranéa and south of the South Teeth

Gate of Selidor

Small island off the east coast of Selidor, in the West Reach

Sources: Frontispiece map, TfE


Islet in the east of the Ninety Isles, near Roke; centre of whaling. The town has oil sheds and stinks of whale products

Sources: Hunted, WoE; The Finder, TfE

'There they fished for whales, as they still do. That was a trade he wanted no part of. Their ships stank and their town stank.'

[The Finder, TfE]


Human being possessed by a dark force to become a puppet, whose body is only a shell. An example is Skiorh, who was possessed by the shadow-beast on Osskil

'The body of a gebbeth has been drained of true substance and is something like a shell or a vapour in the form of a man, an unreal flesh clothing the shadow which is real.'

[Hunted, WoE]


Also known as: Sparrowhawk, Duny, Kelub (the red one), Hawk, the Hawk Mage
Titles: Archmage of Roke, Dragonlord, Healer of the Rune of Peace

Very powerful mage, dragonlord and explorer. Born in Ten Alders, Gont, seventh son of the bronze-smith of Ten Alders. Initially a goatherd and smith's boy, he was taught magic by his maternal aunt, the Witch of Ten Alders, Ogion the Silent and then at the School of Wizardry on Roke. His use-name, Sparrowhawk, derives from his habit of calling hawks to him. He uses the rune of the Talon. Bears lifelong scars on left cheek and shoulder from encounter with shadow-beast he released as a young man. After many heroic exploits, including defeating Yevaud, the Dragon of Pendor, sailing the Dragons' Run, building the seawall of Nepp, capping the Black Well of Fundaur, destroying the Tombs of Atuan and rejoining the Ring of Erreth-Akbe, he became Archmage after the death of Gensher of Way. With the young Lebannen, he defeated the necromancer Cob, in the process spending his power. After revealing Lebannen to be King of All the Isles, he retired to the Old Mage's House on Gont using the name Hawk, there he later marries Tenar and adopts Tehanu. Songs celebrating his deeds include the Song of the Sparrowhawk & Deed of Ged

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE; The Dragon of Pendor, WoE; The Rowan Tree, FS; The Dry Land, FS; Winter, T

'…a short, straight, vigorous figure in a hooded cloak of white wool. …his face was reddish-dark, hawk-nosed, seamed on one cheek with old scars. The eyes were bright and fierce.'

[The Rowan Tree, FS]

Further information on Ged

Ged's staff

Ged bears a wizard's staff of black yew-wood, originally shod with bronze; in The Farthest Shore, the Bond Rune is set into it in silver. His first staff was given to him by Gensher of Way and lost on Osskil; his second was crafted by Ogion and left on the shore of Selidor

Sources: The Loosing of the Shadow, WoE; Hunted, WoE; The Hawk's Flight, WoE; The Rowan Tree, FS; The Stone of Pain, FS

'the staff of yew that bore near the grip, in silver set in the black wood, the Lost Rune of the Kings.'

[The Rowan Tree, FS]

Gehis of the Havens

Lord of the Havens, he rebelled against the rule of King Maharion; Maharion was mortally wounded in battle with him in 452. May have been one of several who unsuccessfully contested the throne after Maharion's death

Sources: A Description of Earthsea, TfE


Also known as: Tinaral, Whiteface, Old Whiteface

Powerful wizard from the north, chief mage in the service of Losen during the Dark Years; described as tall, pale, with bluish eyes and long hair, wearing rich scarlet robes and a peaked hat. Particularly skilled at controlling others. Obsessed with quicksilver (mercury), which (based on a lore-book from Way) he calls the King or the Allking, he seems to have been driven mad, perhaps by mercury poisoning. Killed by Medra and Anieb who trick him into speaking his true name, Tinaral

'Gelluk wore fantastic clothes, as many of his kind did in those days. A long robe of Lorbanery silk, scarlet, embroidered in gold and black with runes and symbols, and a wide-brimmed, peak-crowned hat made him seem taller than a man could be. … His face was large and long, whiter than any face Otter had seen, with bluish eyes. Grey and black hairs curled here and there on his chin and cheeks. His calm, open smile showed small teeth, several of them missing.'

[The Finder, TfE]

Gemal Sea-born

Also known as: Gemal Sea-born of Ilien
Titles: King of All the Isles, King of Earthsea

Ancient King of All the Isles, he ruled at Havnor City and was the first king from the House of Ilien. His hall forms the throne room of the New Palace. Father of Denggemal, grandfather of Heru and great-grandfather of Maharion

Sources: The Masters of Roke, FS; A Description of Earthsea, TfE

Gender roles

Many industries/professions are traditionally gender specific in the Archipelago: mining, building, midwifery, spinning and domestic weaving being performed by women, ship-building, wizardry, sailing and the military by men. On Gont & Semel it appears unusual for men to perform household tasks, such as washing dishes or clothes. Other occupations, including farming, appear to be engaged in equally by both sexes. Though women were instrumental in founding the Roke School of Wizardry, the high arts of magic were restricted to men in 730. In Tehanu, a woman's roles are described as wife, mother and housekeeper, with men being said to hold the power. However, women form part of the island government on several islands in the East Reach, and Lebannen's King's Council contains multiple female councillors; historical rulers of Earthsea include many queens, though Ged dismisses them: '"A queen's only a she-king."'a On Gont, property appears to pass exclusively in the male line.

Division of labour by gender is said to be stricter in the Kargad Lands than in the Archipelago, but few details are available. Though the highest religious functionaries are female, by the time of The Tombs of Atuan, their power appears to be entirely token

Sources: Kalessin, T; Bettering, T; Winter, T (a); The Finder, TfE; On the High Marsh, TfE; A Description of Earthsea, TfE; The Dragon Council, OW

'…what a woman should do: bed, breed, bake, cook, clean, spin, sew, serve.'

'"Both manhood and magery are built on one rock: power belongs to men. If women had power, what would men be but women who can't bear children? And what would women be but men who can?"

[Kalessin, T/Winter, T]

Gensher of Way

Titles: Archmage Gensher

Archmage after Nemmerle's death. From Way in the east of the Archipelago. Brings Stone of Shelieth to Roke. Dies of illness five years before the start of The Farthest Shore

'Like the old Archmage the new one was cloaked in white; but like most men of Way and the East Reach Gensher was black-skinned, and his look was black, under thick brows.'

[The Loosing of the Shadow, WoE]


Rune which gives endurance; one of the nine True Runes engraved on the Ring of Erreth-Akbe

Sources: The Ring of Erreth-Akbe, ToA

Related entries: Runes


Bowing the head or holding both palms open before the heart are traditional greetings across much of the Archipelago, while touching right hands palm against palm is a traditional greeting in Ea and the Enlades. In both the Archipelago and the Kargad Lands, bowing and curtseying are used in greeting royalty, and a stately embrace is used by royalty and nobility for bidding farewell in public. A Havnor courtier's gesture of respect involves kneeling on one knee and briefly touching the forehead to the recipient's right wrist, and a deep bow, with one knee touching the ground, is used in approaching the One Priestess on Atuan. Pointing the thumb, first and last finger of the left hand at someone means 'may you never come back!' in the Archipelago. During the Dark Years, women of the Hand identified each other by a hand gesture involving raising the first finger and then the other fingers, clenching the hand into a fist and finally opening it palm outwards.

Hand or arm gestures are common components of magic spells. A hand gesture meaning 'avert' is in common use across the Archipelago, and an unspecified gesture to avert defilement is also used on Atuan. Pointing the right arm out and down is used to turn curses on Atuan, while lifting the arm with the hand stiffly outstretched accompanies a curse there

Sources: The Prisoners, ToA; The Man Trap, ToA; Names, ToA; Finding Words, T; The Finder, TfE; Mending the Green Pitcher, OW; Palaces, OW; Rejoining, OW


See Emer


Town in the west of Havnor island, forty miles from Havnor South Port, near Reche and Easthill, set among oak- and chestnut-forested hills, in the Western domain. Has a village green and a smithy; the local river is the Amia

Sources: Darkrose and Diamond, TfE

Glosses of Danemer

One of two lore-books belonging to Heleth and later Ogion; the other is the Arcana of the Enlades. Heleth is said to have got his lore-books from Ennas of Perregal. One of these books contains the spell of summoning of the spirits of the dead which Ged later uses with disasterous consequences

Sources: The Shadow, WoE; The Loosing of the Shadow, WoE; The Bones of the Earth, TfE

'These books were very ancient, Ogion having them from his own master Heleth Farseer, and Heleth from his master the Mage of Perregal, and so back into the times of myth. Small and strange was the writing, overwritten and interlined by many hands, and all those hands were dust now.'

[The Shadow, WoE]


Small islet off the east coast of Paln, near Lossow, in the Pelnish Sea


Titles: Captain of the Guards

Captain of the guards of the Place of the Tombs of Atuan. The temple guards appear to be distinct from the Godking's soldiers

Sources: The Prisoners, ToA


Bright, topaz-yellow star only seen in the South Reach; the name means crown. Part of a nine-star constellation of a running man or the rune Agnen, called Ending

Sources: Sea Dreams, FS; The Madman, FS; Orm Embar, FS; Winter, T


Old male black dog that never barks, belonging to the Witch of Ten Alders on Gont

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE; Mending the Green Pitcher, OW


See Twin Gods

God-Brothers, Temple of the

See Temple of the God-Brothers


Titles: Divine Emperor of Kargad, Emperor of the Kargad Lands, Lord Who Has Arisen, the Man Immortal

Ruler of the Kargad Lands. His court is at Awabath on Karego-At. The first Godking reigned around 150 years before The Tombs of Atuan (in the year 840); before that the Kargad Lands were ruled by Priest-Kings. At the time of ToA, the Godking is around 50 and bald. The Godking is deposed by High King Thol from Hur-at-Hur in a civil war in around 1061 (ten years after the restoration of the Archipelagan monarchy), and flees to the Place of the Tombs on Atuan, to be murdered by a priest-eunuch

Sources: Dreams and Tales, ToA; Palaces, OW

'"…Am I supposed to feel so much awe and so on about the Godking? After all he's just a man, even if he does live in Awabath in a palace ten miles around with gold roofs. He's about fifty years old, and he's bald. You can see in all the statues. And I'll bet you he has to cut his toenails, just like any other man. I know perfectly well that he's a god, too. But what I think is, he'll be much godlier after he's dead."'

[Dreams and Tales, ToA]

Godking, Temple of the

See Temple of the Godking

Godking's soldiers

Also known as: Soldiers of the red helmet

Soldiers in the Godking's service in the Kargad Lands, distinguished by red-plumed helmets. Apparently distinct from the temple guards of the Place of the Tombs, their duties include taking prisoners to the Place of the Tombs, accompanying priestesses of the Tombs when they travel, acting as gate guards for Kargish towns and, presumably, guarding the Godking and his palace in Awabath

Sources: The Wall around the Place, ToA; The Prisoners, ToA; The Western Mountains, ToA


See Tenar


Rich merchant of the town of Glade on Havnor island; owns chestnut groves, sawmill and carting business. Lives in a fine, comfortable two-storey house in the high end of town. Husband of Tuly and father of Diamond. Described as a big, tall man, careful, practical and rather contemptuous of music and similar arts. He is around twenty-eight when Diamond is born

'He was a consciously close-mouthed man, distrustful of visions until they could be made acts'

[Darkrose and Diamond, TfE]


Whore in Oraby on the island of Semel

Sources: On the High Marsh, TfE


Medium-sized island in the north east of the Archipelago, near the Kargad Lands, around a thousand miles from Roke. North lies the Northeast Sea; to the south, the Gontish Sea. Fifty miles wide and composed of the single high, wooded Gont Mountain; the interior is rocky and forested; the coastal regions are farmed, including Northward Vale in the north-east and Middle Valley in the south. Major towns are the capital Gont Port and East Port. Smaller towns and villages include Re Albi, Tettego, Etreke, Gont South Port, Lissu, Kahedanan, Oak Springs, Oak Village & Valmouth in the south; Korry, Up Selt, Desi Port, Ketoleko, Var, Solwes, Essary, Allage & Kebas in the west; Kemay, Tutok Bay, Kedun, Oskres & Selt in the northwest; Norvale & Up Norvale in the north; Ten Alders, Medu, Chodur & Lotin in the northeast; and Beech Springs, Wiss, Down Wiss, Ovark, Tant & Toss in the east. Other named features include East Forest, the rivers Ar & Kaheda, Armouth sands, Valmouth Bay, Cutnorth Cliff, High Fall, Kapperding Scarp, Hot Springs Mountain, Round Hill, Long Fells and the Overfell. The climate is cool, with fog and snow in winter. Suffered an earthquake in around 968 and again in 1004. Ruled by the Lord of Gont, at Gont Port; parts of it were under Kargish rule for at least a generation in the time of Maharion. Known for wizards, pirates and goatherds

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE; Frontispiece map, T; The Bones of the Earth, TfE; A Description of Earthsea, TfE

'The island of Gont, a single mountain that lifts its peak a mile above the storm-racked Northeast Sea, is a land famous for wizards. From the towns in its high valleys and the ports on its dark narrow bays many a Gontishman has gone forth to serve the Lords of the Archipelago in their cities as wizard or mage, or, looking for adventure, to wander working magic from isle to isle of all Earthsea.'

[Warriors in the Mist, WoE]

Further information on Gont

Gont Mountain

Also known as: Gont Peak

Mountain forming the island of Gont. Its multiple ridges, between which the Gontish valleys nestle, radiate from several central summits rising around 5000 feet (1600m) above sea level; Hot Springs Mountain above Lissu and a south peak are mentioned. Its lower slopes are forested

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE; Frontispiece map, T; The Dolphin, T; The Master, T

'The island of Gont, a single mountain that lifts its peak a mile above the storm-racked Northeast Sea …'

[Warriors in the Mist, WoE]

Gont Port

Also known as: Great Port of Gont

Main city on Gont, situated in the south. Busy seaport on a long narrow bay, sheltered by the 100 foot wide channel formed by the Armed Cliffs. Built from stone and clay bricks; the streets are steep and cobbled. The gate on the landward side has two carved stone dragons; other features include a signal or watchtower, forts on the Armed Cliffs manned with archers, and a fish market. Inland of the city lie steep knotted hills. Lying on a fault line, it is threatened by earthquake damage. Seat of the Lord of Gont

Sources: The Shadow, WoE; Finding Words, T; The Dolphin, T; The Bones of the Earth, TfE; Mending the Green Pitcher, OW

'So to Ged who had never been down from the heights of the mountain, the Port of Gont was an awesome and marvellous place, the great houses and towers of cut stone and waterfront of piers and docks and basins and moorages, the seaport where half a hundred boats and galleys rocked at quayside or lay hauled up and overturned for repairs or stood out at anchor in the roadstead with furled sails and closed oarports, the sailors shouting in strange dialects and the longshoremen running heavy-laden amongst barrels and boxes and coils of rope and stacks of oars, the bearded merchants in furred robes conversing quietly as they picked their way along the slimy stones above the water, the fishermen unloading their catch, coopers pounding and shipmasters bellowing, and beyond all the silent, shining bay.'

[The Shadow, WoE]

Gont South Port

Also known as: South Port (Gont), South Port

Port town or village in the south of Gont, near Etreke

Sources: Frontispiece map, TfE

Gont, Lord of

See Lord of Gont

Gontish Sea

Sea to the south-west of Gont island, in which lie Oranéa, Barnisk, Torheven and the islet Kameber

Sources: The Shadow, WoE

Gontish sheep-guard

Large grey breed of dog found on Gont; presumably used to mind sheep

'…one of the big grey Gontish sheep-guards, with their wise, curly heads.'

[Home, T]


Old slave trader of Wathort

Sources: Dolphin, OW


Tiny island in the easternmost region of the East Reach, near Kornay

Sources: The Open Sea, WoE


Some parts of the Archipelago form principalities governed by Ruling Princes; these include Enlad, Ilien (including Ark) and Way. The extent of the powers of the princes is unclear, but they levy taxes and keep soldiers. Other lands are ruled by Lords of smaller areas, for example the Lord of O, Lord of Gont, and the Lords of the Domain of Eolg on Havnor, and of the Court of the Terrenon on Osskil. The Archmage has dominion on Roke, and, before the restoration of the Archipelagan monarchy, wields considerable political power in the Inner Lands. The islands of the Reaches and the Ninety Isles are ruled by Isle-Men/Women (Islandmen/women), or chiefs. Some towns and districts appear to exert a degree of self-government; for example, the town of Sosara on Lorbanery has a mayor; the district around Valmouth in southern Gont has a council & a mayor (the latter has funds, suggesting an ability to raise taxes); after the restoration of the monarchy, the villages of Middle Valley on Gont also form a council employing bailiffs and levying taxes. Villages on Gont are governed by village elders. Various trade guilds, such as the Seamasters, also govern those who follow that trade.

During the kingless years, there appears to be no universal set of laws even across the Archipelago and Reaches, for example slavery is practised in some areas and outlawed in others. After the restoration of the monarchy in 1051, Lebannen rules over the Archipelago from Havnor under the title King of All the Isles, nominally via a hundred-strong appointed King's Council.

The Kargad Lands are governed from Awabath on Karego-At by Priest-Kings, the Godking and (after around 1061) the High King. The Children of the Open Sea (raft people) are ruled by a chief

Sources: The Masters of Roke, FS; Home, T; The Dragon Council, OW

Related entries: Taxation; Legal and punitive systems


Range of tiny islets lying between Ebosskil and Norst & Sorresk and into the western part of the Gut of Osskil, in the northwest of the Archipelago

Great Bay of Havnor

See Bay of Havnor

Great Hall of Gemal Sea-born

See Throne room

Great House of Roke

Also known as: Roke, Great House of, House of the Wise, House of Roke

Location of the School of Wizardry on Roke, built shortly after the foundation of the school in 650. A great castle-like building of grey stone with slate roofs on a hill above Thwil town. The main doorway, called the back door, is of ivory; its door is of horn; the oak garden door leads to Roke Knoll. Within is the central, roofless Court of the Fountain, the Court of Seeming, the Room of Shelves where lore-books are kept, the Hearth Hall where feasts are held, a Council Room where the Masters of Roke meet, the Chanter's Tower, a magicians' workroom in the south tower, a dining hall or refectory, kitchen, gallery, healing-chambers, wardrobe room, Doorkeeper's chamber and numerous small sleeping cells. Outside are kitchen gardens with vegetables, herbs, soft fruit and fruit trees

Sources: The School for Wizards, WoE; The Rowan Tree, FS; The Masters of Roke, FS; Orm Embar, FS; The Finder, TfE; Dragonfly, TfE; A Description of Earthsea, TfE

'…the Great House of Roke, which would stand any assault of war, or earthquake, or the sea itself, being built not only of stone, but of incontestable magic.'

[The Rowan Tree, FS]

Great Island

See Havnor

Great Ones

Gods of the Children of the Open Sea (raft people); they are believed to take the form of whales. Their temple, the House of the Great Ones, contains carved idols of god figures, depicting a mixture of dolphin, fish, man and seabird

Sources: The Children of the Open Sea, FS

Great Port

See Havnor City

Great Port of Gont

See Gont Port

Great South Shoals

Long string of islets running southwest to northeast by the Isle of the Ear in the South Reach

Great Treasury of the Tombs

See Treasury of the Tombs


See Inalkil


Grey hen belonging to Heleth. The other chickens are named Red Bucca, Brown Bucca, Leggings, Candor, and the King

Sources: The Bones of the Earth, TfE

Grey Mage of Paln

Mage from Paln who made great spells (the Lore of Paln) to summon the spirits of the dead for counsel to the Lords of Paln a thousand years ago. He killed the great mage Nereger of Paln. Cob bears his staff, a long steel rod, engraved with runes

Sources: Sea Dreams, FS; Orm Embar, FS

'"…it is seldom done, and I doubt that it is ever wisely done. In this the Master Summoner agrees with me; he does not use or teach the Lore of Paln, in which such spells are contained. The greatest of them were made by one called the Grey Mage of Paln, a thousand years ago. He summoned up the spirits of the heroes and mages, even Erreth-Akbe, to give counsel to the Lords of Paln in their wars and government. But the counsel of the dead is not profitable to the living. Paln came on evil times, and the Grey Mage was driven forth; he died nameless."'

[Sea Dreams, FS]

Grey Mage, Staff of the

See Staff of the Grey Mage

Grey wizard

Another name for wizards trained at the School of Wizardry on Roke

Sources: Mending the Green Pitcher, OW

Grove, the

See Immanent Grove


Also known as: Barley gruel, Oatmeal gruel

Warm barley gruel is drunk by country people of Gont, and Tenar makes oatmeal gruel there as a breakfast drink

Sources: Going to the Falcon's Nest, T; Mending the Green Pitcher, OW

Related entries: Beverages, non-alcoholic


See Soldiers


See Trade guilds


Titles: Goody Guld

Old woman of Sattins island in the East Reach; talkative widow of a concertina maker. Her nephew is Birt

Sources: The Rule of Names, W12Q

Gull of Eskel

Merchant ship on which Spark serves, presumably based out of the islet of Eskel. Commandeered by Lebannen's officers in around 1052, for running contraband or stolen cargo

Sources: The Dolphin, T; The Master, T


See Irioth

Gut of Osskil

Sea channel running east--west between the two arms which form the western end of the island of Osskil; around 150 miles in length. Islets called the Gravels lie in its mouth



WoEA Wizard of Earthsea
ToAThe Tombs of Atuan
FSThe Farthest Shore
OWThe Other Wind
W12QThe Wind's Twelve Quarters
TfETales from Earthsea

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