The Westerlands are bounded by three natural defenses - sea, mountains, and forest. While these three barriers have aided in keeping this region safe, it is impossible to deny that the people of the Westerlands make up its mighty reputation.
Though not the largest, most populous, or most fertile of regions, the Westerlands are the richest, gaining wealth through the deep veins of ore that run beneath it's soil. Though smallfolk do fish and farm, many of the greatest strongholds in this region once began as gold mines, and such ancient houses as Lannister, Reyne, and Lefford can trace their rise to power back to that precious metal.
The region of the Westerlands holds more than just gold and silver, however. Lannisport is one of the largest cities in the realm, and it's City Watch is one of the finest trained in all of Westeros. Soldiers in all corners of the region are outfitted and trained better than they are anywhere else, and the Westerlands can raise an army larger than that of any realm but the Reach.
House Lannister has ruled this region since the Age of Heroes and the fall of House Casterly, and beneath them lies a host of great and ancient Houses that have done them fealty for centuries. Crakehall, Marbrand, Farman and Banefort - all have legends and tales of their own, but all yield before the lion of Casterly Rock. Though the reputation of the Westerlands has declined in recent years no man antagonizes them without thought, for few are the armies that can invade the Westerlands, and even the singers know of what happens to those that defy the Rock.
For more information on recent events in the Westerlands, please see our State of the Realm page.