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Ghiscari city
Tom Garden Yunkai II.png
Yunkai. © Fantasy Flight Games
Location Slaver's Bay, Essos
Government Wise Masters
Religion Gods of Ghis
Founded Thousands of years ago
Organizations Wise Masters, Graces
Yunkai is located in Slaver's Bay
Slaver's Bay and the location of Yunkai
Yunkai emblem

Yunkai, dubbed the Yellow City,[1] is one of the Slaver Cities on the eastern coast of Slaver's Bay in central Essos. To the west lies the island of Yaros.[2] Yunkai is one hundred leagues north of Astapor and fifty leagues south of Meereen.[3] The city's main export is slaves, specifically bed slaves.[4]

The City

Yunkai as seen in Game of Thrones
See also: Images of Yunkai

Yunkai is made of yellow bricks, with crumbling walls and tall, stepped pyramids, similar to Astapor. These include the golden pyramid of Qaggaz.[5] They are ruled by slavers, called the Wise Masters. Their emblem is a harpy: a woman's torso, wings of a bat instead of arms, legs of an eagle and a scorpion's tail. Its talons grasp a whip and an iron collar.

The highborn of Yunkai wear linen skirts and tunics dyed a deep yellow and cloaks sewn with copper disks. Because their oiled hair is twisted into towers and shapes, they wear taller helms to preserve the stylings. Grazdan mo Eraz, one of the Wise Masters, wears a tokar fringed with Myrish lace.[4] They ride horses and camels.[4] The walls are defended by crossbowmen and slingers.[4]


Yunkai is known for training bed slaves, not warriors. A slave in Yunkai learns the way of the seven sighs and the sixteen seats of pleasure.[4] Yunkai can field an army of roughly five thousand men, all slaves. In Yunkai, eunuchs are made by only cutting the testicles off, unlike the Unsullied of Astapor.[6]


Yunkai was a colony of the Old Empire of Ghis. Although Yunkai survived the destruction of Old Ghis at the hands of the Valyrian Freehold, it was conquered by the Valyrians, who learned slavery from the conquered Ghiscari and used slaves to expand their empire.[7] The Ghiscari tongue is largely forgotten now,[6] and the Yunkai'i now speak a dialect of High Valyrian similar to that of Astapor.[4] After the Doom of Valyria and the fall of the Freehold, the Ghiscari of Slaver's Bay took control of the slave trade.[8]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

Khal Pono's khalasar rides to the Slaver Cities to sell thousands of slaves.[9]

A Storm of Swords

When Daenerys Targaryen marches on Yunkai after the fall of Astapor, the Wise Masters supplement their defense with sellswords.[4] Daenerys rejects the offer from Grazdan mo Eraz for fifty thousand golden marks to leave Slaver's Bay and head to Westeros.[4]

Daenerys defeats the city in a battle near Yunkai, turning the Second Sons and the Stormcrows in their service to her side.[4] After Yunkai's surrender and the liberation of all slaves in the city, Daenerys marches on Meereen.[10] Ghael informs Daenerys that Cleon, the new king in Astapor, desires an alliance between Meereen and Astapor against Yunkai.[11]

A Dance with Dragons

After Daenerys's departure, Yunkai returns to slaving[1] and begins preparing for the next conflict by hiring other sellswords, such as the Long Lances, the Windblown, and the Company of the Cat.[12] Their envoys travel to Qarth and other free cities spreading false tales about Daenerys in order to gain support to cast her down. Grazdan mo Eraz travels to Volantis to persuade the triarchs to send their fleet against Daenerys, and other envoys ally Yunkai with New Ghis, Tolos, Elyria, and Dothraki.[13] The queen sends the Stormcrows to scout the Yunkish hinterlands.[14]

Yunkai besieges Astapor in an effort to topple the regime that had come into power after Daenerys had sacked that city.[12] Quentyn Martell, one of the Windblown, witnesses the siege of Astapor and its sacking.[3]

The Yunkish army is commanded by squabbling, wealthy lordlings[15] who have brought slave hosts of various sizes. Yurkhaz zo Yunzak has the supreme command of the Yunkishmen.[3] While some such as Yezzan zo Qaggaz favor peace with Meereen, most of Yunkai'i want to attack Daenerys's city, despite the Volantenes not having arrived yet.[16] The Second Sons defect from Daenerys to the Yunkai'i.[17]

Daenerys makes peace with Yunkai and exchanges hostages.[18] Yunkish envoys attend the reopening of Meereen's fighting pits, but Yurkhaz is killed[19] in the turmoil at the Great Pit of Daznak after Dany disappears atop Drogon.[20] The Yunkai'i, now led by a council of masters, kill three hostages and demand that King Hizdahr zo Loraq have the queen's dragons killed.[19] Yezzan has the most support for supreme command but he then dies of the pale mare. The Wise Masters rotate the supreme command amongst themselves with the generals taking a turn each day.[19] They provide the Windblown, and presumably their other sellsword companies, with a chart for the rotation.[21]

The Iron Fleet captures a few merchant and slaving vessels near Yaros and Yunkai.[22]

In the Great Pyramid of Meereen, Skahaz mo Kandaq informs Ser Barristan Selmy, Hand of the Queen to the missing Daenerys, that the Yunkai'i have resumed their siege.[23]


Ancient and glorious is Yunkai, the queen of cities. Our walls are strong, our nobles proud and fierce, our common folk without fear. Ours is the blood of ancient Ghis, whose empire was old when Valyria was yet a squalling child.[4]
Grazdan mo Eraz, to Daenerys Targaryen

Astapor was complacent and vulnerable. Yunkai is forewarned.[4]
– "Arstan Whitebeard", to Daenerys Targaryen

I spared Yunkai before, but I will not make that mistake again. If they should dare attack me, this time I shall raze their Yellow City to the ground.[24]
Daenerys Targaryen, to Xaro Xhoan Daxos

With their generals, it's a wonder they don't march into the sea.[3]
Beans to the Windblown

Of Yunkai, the yellow city, little needs be said, for it is a most disreputable place. The men who rule it, calling themselves the Wise Masters, are steeped in corruption, selling bed slaves and boy-whores and worse.[8]
- writings of Yandel

Chapters which take place at Yunkai

References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 2, Daenerys I.
  2. A Dance with Dragons, Map of Valyria
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 25, The Windblown.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 42, Daenerys IV.
  5. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 47, Tyrion X.
  6. 6.0 6.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 23, Daenerys II.
  7. The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: Valyria's Children.
  8. 8.0 8.1 The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: The Rise of Valyria.
  9. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 12, Daenerys I.
  10. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 57, Daenerys V.
  11. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 71, Daenerys VI.
  12. 12.0 12.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 6, The Merchant's Man.
  13. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 22, Tyrion VI.
  14. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 23, Daenerys IV.
  15. These include Yezzan zo Qaggaz, Malazza, Paezhar zo Myraq, Chezdhar zo Rhaezn, Maezon zo Rhaezn, Grazdhan zo Rhaezn, Ghazdor zo Ahlaq, Morghaz zo Zherzyn, Gorzhak zo Eraz, Faezhar zo Faez, the Charioteer, the Beastmaster, and the Perfumed Hero.
  16. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 57, Tyrion XI.
  17. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 36, Daenerys VI.
  18. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 50, Daenerys VIII.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 59, The Discarded Knight.
  20. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 52, Daenerys IX.
  21. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 60, The Spurned Suitor.
  22. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 63, Victarion I.
  23. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 70, The Queen's Hand.
  24. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 16, Daenerys III.

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