Port of Qarth

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The port of Qarth.
A ship docked at the port of Qarth.

The port of Qarth is one of the world’s great ports. [1] Its great sheltered harbor is a riot of colour and clangor and strange smells. It is horseshoe-shaped and several miles long.


Winesinks, warehouses, and gaming dens line the streets, cheek by jowl with cheap brothels and the temples of peculiar gods.

Cutpurses, cutthroats, spellsellers, and moneychangers mingle with every crowd.

The waterfront is one great marketplace where buying and selling goes on all day and all night, and goods might be had for a fraction of what they cost at the bazaar - if a man does not ask where they came from.

Wizened old women bent like hunchbacks sell flavored waters and goat’s milk from glazed ceramic jugs strapped to their shoulders. Seamen from half a hundred nations wander amongst the stalls, drinking spiced liquors and trading jokes in queer-sounding tongues. The air smells of salt and frying fish, of hot tar and honey, of incense and oil and sperm.

Elsewhere beautiful bronze daggers are for sale, dried squids and carved onyx, a potent magical elixir made of virgin’s milk and shade of the evening and even dragon's eggs - which look suspiciously like painted rocks.

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

When Daenerys Targaryen decides to flee Qarth she goes down to the docks to attempt to book ship passage to Westeros.[1]

As she and her companions pass the long stone quays reserved for the ships of the Thirteen, she sees chests of saffron, frankincense, and pepper being off-loaded from Xaro's ornate Vermillion Kiss.[1]

Beside the Vermillion Kiss, casks of wine, bales of sourleaf, and pallets of striped hides are being trundled up the gangplank onto the Bride in Azure, to sail on the evening tide.[1]

Farther along, a crowd has gathered around the Spicer galley Sunblaze to bid on slaves. It is well known that the cheapest place to buy a slave was right off the ship, and the banners floating from her masts proclaime that the Sunblaze had just arrived from Astapor on Slaver's Bay.[1]

Knowing that she will get no help from the Thirteen, the Tourmaline Brotherhood, or the Ancient Guild of Spicers Daenerys rides her silver past several miles of their quays, docks, and storehouses, all the way out to the far end of the horseshoe-shaped harbor where the ships from the Summer Islands, Westeros, and the Nine Free Cities are permitted to dock.[1]

She dismounts beside a gaming pit where a basilisk is tearing a big red dog to pieces amidst a shouting ring of sailors.[1]

As she and Ser Jorah Mormont approach the first ship Daenerys thinks to herself that it is good to hear men speaking Valyrian once more, and even the Common Tongue.[1]

Sailors, dockworkers, and merchants alike give way before her, not knowing what to make of the slim young girl with silver-gold hair who is dressed in the Dothraki fashion and walks with a knight at her side.[1]

Daenerys visits various ships,[1]

In the end she is unsuccessful in her bid to gain passage out of Qarth, until Strong Belwas and Arstan Whitebeard find her.[1]

Daenerys and her followers soon depart the port aboard Balerion, Meraxes and Vhagar intending to sail to Pentos.[1]