Dragonstone © Marc Simonetti
|Location||Island of Dragonstone, crownlands, Westeros|
|Government||House Baratheon of Dragonstone, feudal lord|
|Ruler||King Stannis Baratheon|
|Religion||Faith of the Seven (former), R'hllor|
|Founded||~ 314 BC|
|Notable places||Stone Drum, Sea Dragon Tower, Great Hall, Aegon's Garden|
Dragonstone is a castle on the island of the same name at the entrance to Blackwater Bay, below the Dragonmont. It was the original seat of House Targaryen in Westeros, and had been colonized and fortified as the westernmost outpost of the Valyrian Freehold. Shaped from stone to look like dragons, the castle has a dark reputation.
After Aegon's Conquest of the Seven Kingdoms, Dragonstone in the newly-created crownlands served as the seat of their heir apparent, known as the Prince of Dragonstone. After Robert Baratheon overthrew the Targaryens in Robert's Rebellion, he gave the castle to his brother Stannis, creating House Baratheon of Dragonstone.
Dragonstone, though old and strong, commands the allegiance of only a few lesser lords whose islands are too thinly populated to provide any great numbers of troops, although they have some naval strength. A short distance west of Dragonstone is the island of Driftmark, which is the seat of House Velaryon, a Valyrian house and historically a naval power. Other houses sworn to Dragonstone include Celtigar of Claw Isle, who are also of Valyrian descent, Seaworth of Cape Wrath, Bar Emmon of Sharp Point, and Sunglass of Sweetport Sound.
- 1 Household
- 2 Layout
- 3 History
- 4 Recent Events
- 5 Chapters that take place at Dragonstone
- 6 Quotes
- 7 References
At the start of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen's reign, Dragonstone had a garrison of twenty archers and as many guardsmen. When the Dance of the Dragons began, the castle had a garrison of thirty knights, a hundred crossbowmen, and three hundred men-at-arms.
A grim place, Dragonstone was built by Valyrians with arcane arts, fire, and sorcery. Capable of liquefying and reshaping stone with dragonflame, the dragonlords used their magic to shape Dragonstone to look like multiple dragons.
Dragon architecture can be found throughout the castle, such as small dragons framing gates and dragon claws holding torches. A pair of great wings cover the armory and smithy, and dragon tails form archways and staircases. The citadel of Dragonstone is wrought all of black stone. Doors can be set in the mouths of stone dragons. Instead of merlons, gargoyles and grotesques serve as brooding crenellations along the three curtain walls. Designs include basilisks, cockatrices, demons, griffins, hellhounds, manticores, minotaurs, wyverns, and other creatures. Statues in the shape of dragons can be found all over the castle. Dragonstone has a castle yard and a library. There is a fishing village with a port beneath the curtain walls. King Aegon I Targaryen was fond of the salty air of Dragonstone, which smells of smoke and brimstone.
Notable locations at Dragonstone include:
- The Stone Drum is a massive tower which serves as the central keep of Dragonstone. It is named for the booming and rumbling sounds that can be heard during storms. To reach the Stone Drum from Sea Dragon Tower, one must cross the gallery and pass through the middle and inner walls. A high stone roofed bridge arching over emptiness leads from the Stone Drum to the entrance towards the dungeons. The Chamber of the Painted Table is a round room on the top floor of the Stone Drum. It holds a large table, the Painted Table, carved and painted in the form of a detailed map of Westeros.
- The Great Hall is carved in the shape of a huge dragon lying on its belly; the heavy red doors of the hall are set in the mouth, and those entering pass beneath the gateway teeth and through the dragon's maw.
- The kitchens resemble a curled up dragon where smoke and heat vent through its nostrils.
- Sea Dragon Tower, shaped like a dragon gazing serenely out across the sea, includes the maester's chambers and the rookery.
- The Windwyrm is a tower shaped like a dragon which seems to scream defiance.
- Aegon's Garden can be reached when going down after the arch of the Dragon's Tail. Within grow tall dark trees, wild roses, towering thorny hedges, and cranberries. The garden has a pleasant piney scent.
- The sept of Dragonstone, dedicated to the Faith of the Seven, contains statues representing the seven aspects of the Seven gods, carved from the masts of the ships that had carried the first Targaryens from Valyria, but have frequently been repainted since then. The statue of the Crone has pearl eyes, the Father a gilded beard, and the Stranger looks more animal than human.
- A turnpike stair and smooth stony passages lead to cells beneath Dragonstone. Walls in the dark dungeon are warm to the touch.
Two centuries before the Doom, Valyrians took possession of the island and built a castle upon it, which became the westernmost outpost of the Valyrian Freehold. The castle towers were shaped by Valyrian magic to look like dragons to make the castle look fearsome, and they placed a thousand gargoyles upon the walls.
Twelve years prior to the Doom of Valyria, Aenar Targaryen, the head of House Targaryen, relocated his family, their five dragons, and all their wealth to Dragonstone, after his maiden daughter Daenys predicted the destruction of the Valyrian Freehold. In Valyria their rivals saw this as an act of cowardly surrender. Four of the dragons brought from Valyria eventually died on Dragonstone, leaving only Balerion. However, two eggs hatched and Vhagar and Meraxes were born.
Aenar ruled as the first Lord of Dragonstone, and was succeeded by his son, Gaemon the Glorious. Gaemon's children, Aegon and Elaena, ruled together as kin and a couple, and were succeeded by their own son, Maegon, and later Maegon's younger brother, Aerys. Aerys's three sons, Aelyx, Baelon, and Daemion ruled Dragonstone in turn. Daemion kept a maester at Dragonstone, as did his descendants. Daemion's son Aerion inherited the seat. His only son by Lady Valaena Velaryon, Aegon Targaryen, was the last Lord of Dragonstone before Aegon's Conquest.
Aegon and His Sons
Lord Aegon Targaryen planned his invasion of Westeros from the Chamber of the Painted Table. At the start of the Conquest, Aegon called bannermen and allies to Dragonstone, including the Velaryons of Driftmark, the Celtigars of Claw Isle, the Bar Emmons of Sharp Point, and the Masseys of Stonedance. Aegon and his sisters, Visenya and Rhaenys, conquered six of the Seven Kingdoms, with only Dorne remaining independent. Ser Quenton Qoherys, the master-at-arms of Dragonstone, was named Lord of Harrenhal by Aegon.
Aegon established his new seat, the Aegonfort, where he first made landfall at the mouth of the Blackwater Rush. The city of King's Landing, the new capital, eventually formed around it. Aegon divided his reign between King's Landing, Dragonstone, and royal progresses throughout the realm. The king raised his eldest son and heir, Prince Aenys at King's Landing, while Queen Visenya raised Aegon's younger son, Maegor at Dragonstone. In time, Maegor became known as the "Prince of Dragonstone". In 35 AC, the Aegonfort was torn down in preparation for the construction of the Red Keep, so Aegon the Conqueror returned to his beloved Dragonstone. Two years later Aegon died from a stroke while in the Chamber of the Painted Table. Vhagar burned the king's body in the castle yard.
Maegor remained the Prince of Dragonstone during the early years of Aenys I's reign, but after Maegor was exiled in 41 AC for taking Alys Harroway as a second wife at Dragonstone, Aenys established "Prince of Dragonstone" as a formal title by appointing it to his own heir, Prince Aegon.
At the start of the Faith Militant uprising, King Aenys I fled to the safety of Dragonstone, where he collapsed and died after hearing that his children, Prince Aegon and Princess Rhaena, were besieged at Crakehall. Aenys's body was burned at Dragonstone by Quicksilver, Vermithor, and Silverwing.
Maegor returned from his exile in Pentos, took Aegon's crown at Dragonstone, and claimed the Iron Throne. Dowager Queen Alyssa Velaryon, Aenys's widow, and her two younger children, Prince Jaehaerys and Princess Alysanne, fled from Dragonstone to Driftmark, but they were later kept at Dragonstone by Dowager Queen Visenya. Prince Aegon was killed by Maegor in the Battle Beneath the Gods Eye.
Following Visenya's death in 44 AC, Alyssa stole Dark Sister and escaped with her youngest children on Vermithor and Silverwing. After being found dead on the Iron Throne in 48 AC, Maegor's body was burned in King's Landing and his ashes were interred on Dragonstone.
Jaehaerys the Conciliator
King Jaehaerys I Targaryen continued the use of the title Prince of Dragonstone for the heir apparent. When his advisors decided that Princess Alysanne Targaryen should wed Orryn Baratheon in 48 AC, Jaehaerys fled with his sister to Dragonstone, where the pair were wed by Septon Oswyck. Lord Rogar Baratheon traveled to Dragonstone and attempted to break up the marriage, but he acquiesced when faced with the Kingsguard and Ser Merrell Bullock's garrison. Jaehaerys and Alysanne remained at Dragonstone for the rest of his minority. The young king received visitors in the Chamber of the Painted Table and trained with the Kingsguard, Merrell and his sons Alyn and Howard, and Ser Elyas Scales. The Wise Women were sent by Dowager Queen Alyssa Velaryon to aid Alysanne.
Jaehaerys departed Dragonstone for King's Landing in the ninth month of 50 AC. The king allowed his sister, Rhaena Targaryen, to hold Dragonstone in his name. Called the Queen in the West while at Faircastle, Rhaena became known as the Queen in the East. Rhaena's daughter, Princess Aerea Targaryen, disliked living at Dragonstone, which she considered dull in comparison to the Red Keep. Elissa Farman, Rhaena's close friend, eventually departed Dragonstone with three stolen dragon eggs. Rhaena's husband, Androw Farman, jumped to his death after admitting to having poisoned Maester Culiper, Cassella Staunton, Septa Maryam, Alayne Royce, Samantha Stokeworth, and Lianna Velaryon. Rhaena abandoned Dragonstone after the disappearance of Aerea on Balerion. After Aerea's death, Rhaena spent her remaining years at Harrenhal.
In 62 AC Jaehaerys granted the title of Prince of Dragonstone to Aemon Targaryen, and the title passed to Baelon Targaryen after Aemon's death in 92 AC. Princess Daella Targaryen wed Lord Rodrik Arryn in Dragonstone's sept in 80 AC. The ashes of Daella and her sister, Princess Daenerys, were interred at Dragonstone after their deaths. During the First Quarrel, Queen Alysanne lived at Dragonstone in a self-imposed exile. She eventually died there in 100 AC.
After Baelon's death and the Great Council of 101 AC, Jaehaerys named his grandson Viserys as Prince of Dragonstone. The ashes of Jaehaerys were interred beside those of Alysanne when the Old King died in 103 AC.
Dance of the Dragons
Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen became the first Princess of Dragonstone in 105 AC, when she was officially declared to be the heir of her father, King Viserys I Targaryen. Angry at the decision, Prince Daemon Targaryen fled to Dragonstone with his paramour, Mysaria, and lived there for half a year. Rhaenyra took Dragonstone as her seat in 113 AC. Rhaenyra secretly wed Daemon at Dragonstone in 120 AC.
Rhaenyra was on Dragonstone when her half brother, Aegon II Targaryen, claimed the Iron Throne in 129 AC after the death of Viserys. Rhaenyra was crowned at Dragonstone, and from her own seat, she led the blacks against Aegon II's greens during the ensuing Dance of the Dragons. Ser Arryk Cargyll, a supporter of Aegon, infiltrated Dragonstone, but he and his twin, Rhaenrya's Erryk, died fighting each other. Dragonseeds attempted to tame dragons on Dragonstone. The Triarchy ignored Dragonstone during the Battle of the Gullet.
Joffrey Velaryon was formally installed as Prince of Dragonstone after the fall of King's Landing to Rhaenyra's forces. Ser Robert Quince, castellan of Dragonstone, protected Lady Baela Targaryen during the war. Joffrey died attempting to stop the Storming of the Dragonpit. After fleeing the capital, Rhaenyra insisted on returning to Dragonstone in late 130 AC. Ser Alfred Broome had orchestrated the fall of Dragonstone to Aegon the Elder, however, and the king fed his half sister to Sunfyre in the yard. Baela and Rhaenyra's son, Prince Aegon the Younger, were imprisoned in the dungeon. Sunfyre died of his wounds in the outer yard of the castle.
At the end of 130 AC, Aegon II returned to King's Landing from Dragonstone on Velaryon ships. After Aegon the Elder died of poison in 131 AC, Dragonstone's garrison refused to submit to Aegon the Younger, King Aegon III Targaryen. The servants of the castle rebelled, however, and yielded Dragonstone to Alyn Velaryon.
After the death of Lord Corlys Velaryon in 132 AC, his body was buried aboard Sea Snake in the waters east of Dragonstone. Alyn and Baela wed in Dragonstone's sept in 132 AC. Lady Rhaena Targaryen, Baela's twin, resided at Dragonstone after learning to ride Morning. After the death of Rhaena's husband, Ser Corwyn Corbray, Baela traveled from Driftmark to Dragonstone to comfort her sister.
King Maekar I Targaryen's eldest son, Prince Daeron, became Prince of Dragonstone upon his father ascension. However, he found Dragonstone such a gloomy abode that he preferred to be styled Prince of Summerhall instead.
King Aerys II Targaryen attempted to bring forth dragons from dragon eggs found in the depths of Dragonstone. The relationship between Aerys and his heir, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, soured, and when Rhaegar married Princess Elia Martell in 280 AC, the Prince of Dragonstone moved from King's Landing to Dragonstone, where his daughter Rhaenys was born later that same year.
When the news of Rhaegar's death at the Battle of the Trident during Robert's Rebellion reached King's Landing, King Aerys decided to sent his pregnant sister-wife, Queen Rhaella, and his only surviving child, Prince Viserys, now the Prince of Dragonstone, to Dragonstone, to keep them safe from the approaching rebel army.
Rhaella crowned Viserys after the death of Aerys in the Sack of King's Landing. Nine months after leaving King's Landing, Rhaella gave birth to Princess Daenerys, who was granted the title "Princess of Dragonstone". However, Rhaella died in labor, and the Targaryen royal fleet, which had been protecting the island, was mostly destroyed during a fierce storm. Huge stone blocks were ripped from Dragonstone's parapets and sent hurtling into the wild waters of the narrow sea, and the princess is thus known as Daenerys Stormborn.
King Robert I Baratheon, who had claimed the Iron Throne, ordered his younger brother, Stannis, to built a new royal fleet for House Baratheon of King's Landing. With the Targaryen fleet destroyed, the garrison at Dragonstone was prepared to sell the Targaryen children to Robert. However, before they could act on this plan, Ser Willem Darry and several other loyal retainers smuggled Viserys and Daenerys into exile, sailing to the Braavosian coast. Stannis led the successful assault on Dragonstone.
King Robert I Baratheon named his younger brother, Stannis, as Lord of Dragonstone instead of the wealthier position of Lord of Storm's End, which was given to their young brother, Renly. Stannis resented this and believed it to be an intentional slight, which Queen Cersei Lannister agrees with. According to George R. R. Martin, however, Robert had not necessarily meant it as such. The castle had traditionally been the seat of the heir to the Iron Throne, the Prince of Dragonstone, during most of the Targaryen dynasty, so the then-childless Robert was granting it to his heir at that time, Stannis.
Stannis became the head of House Baratheon of Dragonstone. When Stannis left for King's Landing to serve on the small council as master of ships, Ser Axell Florent was named castellan of Dragonstone.
A Game of Thrones
Stannis Baratheon, Lord of Dragonstone, returns to his seat from King's Landing shortly after King Robert I Baratheon travels north to offer the position of Hand of the King to Lord Eddard Stark. Stannis closes off the island of Dragonstone, making it difficult for Varys to know for certain what Stannis has been doing, though he hears rumors that he is gathering swords.
After learning that the children of Queen Cersei Lannister were not fathered by Robert, Eddard instructs Tomard to personally deliver a letter to Stannis at Dragonstone. Tom is killed in the throne room of the Red Keep before the Wind Witch sets sail, however, and Lord Stark is imprisoned in the black cells.
A Clash of Kings
During the War of the Five Kings, the poor lands of Dragonstone give King Stannis too few supporters to engage the Lannisters in battle. In the Great Hall, Maester Cressen dies after a failed attempt to poison Melisandre, a red priestess serving Stannis, with the strangler.
A Storm of Swords
After his defeat at the Battle of the Blackwater, Stannis retreats to Dragonstone with some fifteen hundred men and the ships of Salladhor Saan. Stannis broods in the Stone Drum, refusing to see anyone but Melisandre.
Ser Davos Seaworth is arrested for his plan to kill Melisandre and locked up in the cells of Dragonstone, where he is later joined by Stannis's Hand of the King, Lord Alester Florent. When Davos is brought before Stannis in the Chamber of the Painted Table, he is pardoned and named Hand in Alester's stead. Melisandre wishes to "wake a dragon from stone", insisting she needs to sacrifice Robert's bastard son, Edric Storm, to do so. Davos wonders whether the stone dragons which can be found all over the castle could be real dragons turned to stone. He later prays that they will never come to life.
After Davos urges Stannis to sail for the Wall, presenting him with Maester Aemon's letter asking for aid for the Night's Watch, Stannis sets sail for the north. Ser Rolland Storm, the Bastard of Nightsong, is made castellan for the duration of Stannis's absence.
A Feast for Crows
A giddy Queen Regent Cersei Lannister believes that Stannis has given up and gone into exile. She judges that two thousand Lannister soldiers should be enough to battle the small garrison which Stannis had left behind on Dragonstone, and so keeps them in King's Landing to await the arrival of Lord Paxter Redwyne's ships which will carry them from Blackwater Bay to Dragonstone. Only a few fishing boats remain to defy the Redwyne fleet, and Paxter encamps his men before the walls of the castle and begins the siege of Dragonstone, intending to starve the defenders out.
After the taking of the Shields by the Euron Greyjoy, Ser Loras Tyrell begs Cersei to send word to Dragonstone, as Paxter's fleet is the only one large enough to protect the Reach from the ironborn. Cersei refuses, insisting that Stannis's hold over Dragonstone is a knife at King Tommen I Baratheon's throat, and that the Redwyne fleet will only be released once Dragonstone has fallen. Loras asks Cersei permission to take Dragonstone by storming the walls of the castle, so the Redwyne fleet is no longer needed at the island and can return to the Reach.
Half a day after his arrival, after Rolland refuses to settle the matter by single combat, Loras orders the assault. The castle gates are broken by a ram, and the defenders fall back to an inner keep after the curtain wall falls. Loras leads the attack there as well. Although the Knight of Flowers is successful in taking Dragonstone, he is severely injured in the battle, and remains on Dragonstone, cared for by maesters. Cersei becomes convinced that Aurane Waters wants Dragonstone, but she considers that seat to be too much above Aurane's birth and station.
A Dance with Dragons
Loras remains at Dragonstone, still dying of his wounds. His men search every inch of the castle, but according to Lord Mace Tyrell cannot find any wealth that might have been left behind. Lord Regent Kevan Lannister questions the thoroughness of the search, but thinks Stannis would have taken any wealth before he left.
Chapters that take place at Dragonstone
- A Clash of Kings: Prologue
- A Clash of Kings: 10. Davos I
- A Storm of Swords: 10. Davos II
- A Storm of Swords: 25. Davos III
- A Storm of Swords: 36. Davos IV
- A Storm of Swords: 54. Davos V
- A Storm of Swords: 63. Davos VI
—thoughts of Cressen
I never asked for Dragonstone. I never wanted it.
Perhaps the old tales were true, and Dragonstone was built with the stones of hell.—thoughts of Davos Seaworth
—thoughts of Davos Seaworth
—thoughts of Kevan Lannister
If you look at how the citadel of Dragonstone was built and how in some of its structures the stone was shaped in some fashion with magic... yes, it's safe to say that there's something of Valyrian magic still present.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
- A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47, Eddard XIII.
- A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- A Clash of Kings, Appendix.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10, Davos I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 10, Davos II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 63, Davos VI.
- Fire & Blood, The Year of the Three Brides - 49 AC.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Blacks and the Greens.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: The Doom of Valyria.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 54, Davos V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach: Oldtown.
- So Spake Martin: Worldcon Report: Dragonstone's Appearance (August 19, 2011)
- Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
- Fire & Blood, Three Heads Had the Dragon - Governance Under King Aegon I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36, Davos IV.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Overthrown.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 25, Davos III.
- Fire & Blood, Aegon's Conquest.
- Fire & Blood, Reign of the Dragon - The Wars of King Aegon I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.
- Fire & Blood, A Surfeit of Rulers.
- Fire & Blood, A Time of Testing - The Realm Remade.
- Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
- Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Their Triumphs and Tragedies.
- Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
- Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Gold.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Short, Sad Reign of Aegon II.
- Fire & Blood, Aftermath - The Hour of the Wolf.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.
- Fire & Blood, The Lysene Spring and the End of Regency.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The End.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Rhaella Targaryen.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 3, Daenerys I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 25, Tyrion VI.
- So Spake Martin: The Baratheon Brothers (September 11, 1999)
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 22, Arya II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 49, Eddard XIV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 73, Jon X.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 78, Samwell V.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 12, Cersei III.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 16, Jaime II.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 17, Cersei IV.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 32, Cersei VII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 36, Cersei VIII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 39, Cersei IX.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 54, Cersei I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 71, Daenerys X.
- A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
- So Spake Martin: Asshai.com Interview in Barcelona (July 28, 2012)