King's Landing

From A Wiki of Ice and Fire
Revision as of 20:54, 14 January 2014 by Nittanian (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search
King's Landing
Capital City of the Seven Kingdoms
Tomasz Jedruszek Kings Landing.jpg
Location Crownlands, Westeros.
Government The King of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men , Feudal society.
Population 400,000 (approximately)
Religion Faith of the Seven
Founded 300 years ago, where Aegon first landed in Westeros.
Named for Aegon I Targaryen, its founder.
Notable places Red Keep | Great Sept of Baelor
Organizations Kingsguard | Alchemists' Guild | City Watch
The Crownlands and the location of King's Landing
The Crownlands and the location of King's Landing
King's Landing
The Crownlands and the location of King's Landing
1 : Road to Rosby - 2 : Dragon Gate - 3 : Iron Gate - 4 : Dragonpit- 5 : mansion of Shae - 6 : brothel of Chataya - 7 : Old Gate - 8 : Flea Bottom - 9 : Red Keep - 10 : Street of Sisters - 11 : Gate of the Gods - 12 : Cobbler Square - 13 : Guildhall of the Alchemists - 14 : The Hook - 15 : Great Sept of Baelor - 16 : Muddy Way - 17 : Fishmonger's Square - 18 : River Gate - 19 : Tobho Mott's store - 20 : Street of Steel - 21 : Harbor- 22 : Lion Gate - 23 : River Row - 24 : Fish Market - 25 : Tourney ground - 26 : The King's Gate - 27 : Kingsroad.

King's Landing is the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, located in the Crownlands on the east coast of Westeros. It is situated along the kingsroad at the mouth of the Blackwater Rush and overlooks Blackwater Bay. It is the site of the Iron Throne and the Red Keep, the seat of the king.

The main city is surrounded by a wall, manned by the City Watch of King's Landing, also known as the gold cloaks. King's Landing is extremely populous, but rather unsightly and dirty compared to other cities. Poorer smallfolk build shanty settlements outside the city. The stench of the city's waste can be smelled far beyond its walls. It is the principal harbor of the Seven Kingdoms, rivaled only by Oldtown.[1]


War of Conquest

Prior to the War of Conquest, the area around the future King's Landing was just hills and forests, with only a handful of fisherfolk living north of the Blackwater Rush.[2] Historically, the mouth of the Blackwater had been claimed by a hundred kings from the Reach, the Riverlands, and the Stormlands.[3] Three hundred years ago, Aegon the Conqueror from House Targaryen led his army from Dragonstone and landed at the mouth of the Blackwater Rush, building his first fortress of wood and earth, the Aegonfort,[4] on top of the highest hill. Later, when Aegon finalized his conquest, he decided to build his capital around that fort, since it was more centrally located than any other and not part of the former kingdoms, setting the king apart from his new vassals.[2]

In time, the city was expanded by the Targaryen kings. The Red Keep was completed during the reign of Maegor the Cruel, the Great Sept was built to show the Targaryens' piety and adherence to the Faith of the Seven after giving up the old gods of Valyria,[5] and the Dragonpit was constructed to house the Targaryen dragons.

Dance of the Dragons

In the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, the city fell when it was invaded by Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen and her blacks. Later in 130 AC, riots broke out against the rule of Rhaenyra. These culminated in the mass storming of the Dragonpit and the deaths of five Targaryen dragons, thousands of smallfolk and the ruination of the Dragonpit.[6]

Blackfyre Rebellion

During the Blackfyre Rebellion, the army of Daemon Blackfyre, the bastard half-brother of King Daeron II Targaryen, threatened King's Landing, but they were stopped at the Battle of the Redgrass Field.

Great Spring Sickness

When the Great Spring Sickness engulfed Westeros, four in ten inhabitants were killed by the outbreak. Funeral pyres which took place in the ruins of the Dragonpit burned nonstop, painting the night sky in the unnatural green of wildfire.

Robert's Rebellion

During the civil war known as Robert's Rebellion and the War of the Usurper, King Aerys II Targaryen contemplated burning the city to the ground to "save" it from the rebels, and it was sacked shortly after by a Westerlands host commanded by Aerys's former Hand of the King, Lord Tywin Lannister. Robert Baratheon became the new king on the Iron Throne, forming House Baratheon of King's Landing.

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

During the War of the Five Kings, King's Landing is cut off from trade and food supplies by the blockade of Lord Mace Tyrell. This leads to mass famine and a massive riot in which the High Septon is killed.

The city is besieged by King Stannis Baratheon during the Battle of the Blackwater, but King Joffrey Baratheon's reign is secured by the arrival of Lord Tywin Lannister and his new ally, Mace.

The City

The city is roughly square-shaped, sprawling across several miles and defended by tall walls. There are seven gates leading into the city: the Dragon Gate, the Lion Gate, the Mud Gate, the Old Gate, the Gate of the Gods, the King's Gate, and the Iron Gate. Within the walls, the city is dotted with manses, arbors, granaries, brick storehouses, timbered inns, merchant stalls, taverns, graveyards and brothels. There is a fish market. Hundreds of quays can be found in the harbor. Between buildings the roads are broad, lined with trees and branching alleys and streets.[2] Just within the Mud Gate lie the three great trebuchets called the Three Whores, a new addition to the defense of the city.[7][1]

The city covers the north shore of the Blackwater and covers three tall hills, named after Aegon and his two sisters, Visenya and Rhaenys. Aegon's High Hill, surmounted by the Red Keep, the royal castle located in the south-eastern corner of the city, overlooks the bay directly, whilst Visenya's Hill to the west is crowned by the marble-walled Great Sept of Baelor and its seven crystal towers. Rhaenys's Hill in the north is capped by the collapsed ruins of the Dragonpit dome, its bronze doors shut for a century and a half since the last dragon died.[2]

The poor reside in the slums which are called Flea Bottom, a maze of narrow streets and alleys, where many beggars and the poorest part of the city's population resides; they regularly subsist on "bowls of brown", a mystery stew that can include the meat of rats and murder victims, among other things. The richest residents live on the other side of Rhaenys's Hill from Flea Bottom. According to semi-canon sources the richer areas of King's Landing lie near the Old Gate.[8]

Large tournaments are held outside the city, beside the Blackwater [9]

City Gates

Seven is a sacred number in Westeros, thus the reason Aegon the Conquerer had seven huge gates built as the entrances into the capital of King's Landing. Each of these gates is protected by portcullis, heavy doors and armed guard.

Notable Locations

A street in King's Landing - by Marc Fishman ©
  • The Red Keep, the royal castle located on top of Aegon's Hill.
  • The Great Sept of Baelor, where the Most Devout convene with the High Septon. It is the holiest sept of the Seven. It is located on Visenya's Hill.
  • The Dragonpit, a huge dome, now collapsed, that used to hold the Targaryen dragons. Its bronze doors have not been opened for more than a century.[2] It is found on Rhaenys's Hill. The Street of Sisters runs between it and the Great Sept of Baelor.
  • The Alchemist's Guildhall, beneath Rhaenys's Hill, stretching right to the foot of Visenya's Hill, along the Street of Sisters. Beneath it is where the Alchemists create and store the wildfire.[10]
  • Flea Bottom, slum area of King's Landing, a downtrodden area of town. It has pot-shops along the alleys where one can get a 'bowl o' brown.' It has a stench of pigsties and stables, tanner's sheds mixed in the smell of winesinks and whorehouses.[11]

Streets, Squares and other

See also Map of King's Landing from A Clash of Kings.
Tyrion in King's Landing - by MarcSimonetti ©
  • The Street of Sisters, near the foot of Visenya's Hill. One can find the Guildhall of the Alchemists upon it.[10] It runs straight as an arrow between the hills of Rhaenys and Visenya, from which it gets its name.[12]
  • The Street of Steel, where most smiths have their forges. It begins on the market square beside the River Gate and climbs up Visenya's hill. The higher up one goes, the more expensive the shops.[13]
  • The Street of Flour, along which numerous bakeries may be found. Below the street lies a maze of twisting alleys and cross streets.[11]
  • The Street of Silk, a street lined with brothels of varying expense.[14]
  • Eel Alley, located on Visenya's Hill. An inn may be found here.[2]
  • Pigrun Alley, enclosed by tall timber-and-stone buildings whose upper stories lean out so far over the streets that they nearly touch those of the buildings across from them.[15]
  • Shadowblack Lane, a twisty lane that begins at the northern gate of the Red Keep and winds its way down to the foot of Aegon's High Hill.[16][17]
  • Reeking Lane, a street full of apprentices.[18]
  • Muddy Way, a street that begins at Fishmonger's Square.[18]
  • Sowbelly Row, the street Lollys Stokeworth was found wandering along after she had been raped half a hundred times behind a tanner's shop. [18]
  • Pisswater Bend, a street which is probably located in the Flea Bottom area. The pisswater prince came from here. The bloody flux was spreading through the stews on this street.[18]
  • Street of Seeds - street
  • Coppersmith's Wynd - street
  • River Row - street
  • The Hook - street
  • Cobbler Square
  • Fishmonger's Square - located near the Mud Gate.


King's Landing is extremely populous, but rather unsightly and dirty compared to other cities. Its population is estimated at more than 500,000,[19] although this number varies during winters and in times of war, when people take shelter behind the city walls. George R. R. Martin has stated that the city is larger than Medieval London or Paris but smaller than Medieval Constantinople or Ancient Rome (each had a population of about 1,000,000).[20]


The City Watch of King's Landing, also called the gold cloaks, is King's Landing's main military formation, in charge of guarding and policing the town and its surroundings. Its men are 2,000 strong, the number being increased in times of need or war.

The royal fleet guards the entrance to Blackwater Bay and patrols the bay and the Blackwater Rush.


One peddler was hawking rats roasted on a skewer. "Fresh rats," he cried loudly, "fresh rats." Doubtless fresh rats were to be preferred to old stale rotten rats.[21]

Tyrion Lannister

Smoke, sweat, and shit. King’s Landing, in short. If you have a good nose you can smell the treachery too.[22]

Jaime Lannister

Chapters that take place at King's Landing

References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 32, Tyrion IV.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 18, Catelyn IV.
  3. So Spake Martin: Chicon 7 Reading
  4. "King's Landing" entry in A World of Ice and Fire
  5. It was not named the Great Sept of Baelor until after Baelor the Blessed's death.
  6. The Princess and the Queen
  7. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 49, Tyrion XI.
  8. A Game of Thrones RPG and Resource Book, Guardians of Order
  9. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
  10. 10.0 10.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 20, Tyrion V.
  11. 11.0 11.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 65, Arya V.
  12. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 67, Sansa VI.
  13. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
  14. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 8, Jaime I.
  15. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 28, Bran IV.
  16. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 15, Tyrion III.
  17. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 29, Tyrion VII.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 41, Tyrion IX.
  19. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
  20. So Spake Martin: Geography
  21. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 3, Tyrion I.
  22. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 62, Jaime VII.