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The Hightower at Oldtown by Ted Nasmith ©.
The Reach and the location of the Hightower
The Reach and the location of the Hightower
The Hightower
The Reach and the location of the Hightower

The Hightower or High Tower is the seat of House Hightower, one of the most powerful families of the Reach.[1] The castle and lighthouse is located in the port of Oldtown atop Battle Island, where the Honeywine widens into Whispering Sound.[2]

According to a semi-canon source, the Hightower stands in the center of Oldtown, the city having grown around it. It is a massive stepped tower with a beacon on top to guide ships into port. It is the tallest structure in the Seven Kingdoms,[3] even higher than the seven-hundred-foot Wall.[4] The people of Oldtown can tell the time of day by the tower's shadow, and some claim that the Wall can be seen from its top.[2]

It is speculated by fans that the Hightower is one of the nine Wonders Made by Man written about by Lomas Longstrider.[5]


Black Stone Fortress

The foundation of the Hightower is a labyrinthine fortress of unadorned black stone of uncertain origin on Battle Isle. While some believe it to be Valyrian in origin, Archmaester Quillion suggests it was made by the mazemakers and Maester Theron suggests it was created by Deep Ones, citing its similarities to the Seastone Chair. Valyrian origin is supported by the claim of Maester Jellicoe that Oldtown began as a trading post for ships of Valyria, Old Ghis, and the Summer Isles, predating the arrival of the First Men to Westeros. Septon Barth also claimed Valyrians came to Westeros because their priests prophesied that the Doom of Man would come out of the land beyond the narrow sea.[6]

Kings of the High Tower

House Hightower of the Hightower is an ancient and noble family of impeccable lineage,[7] as they were First Men kings during the Dawn of Days.[1] The first chronicles that mention a "high tower" describe it as made of wood and rising some fifty feet above the ancient fortress. Later records mention taller timber towers. All of these served as a beacon to light the path of trading ships passing through the fog-shrouded waters of Whispering Sound. The early members of House Hightower lived amidst the gloomy halls, vaults, and chambers of the black stone fortress. It was only with the construction of the fifth tower, the first made entirely of stone, that the Hightower became a seat worthy of a great house. The king who demanded it and paid for its construction is remembered as Uthor of the High Tower. Some say this first stone tower, which rose two hundred feet above the harbor, was designed by Bran the Builder, while others say it was by his son, another Brandon.[6]

The Hightower and Oldtown were incorporated into the Kingdom of the Reach during the rule of the Sea Lion, Lymond Hightower.[8]

Modern Era

During Aegon's Conquest Lord Manfred Hightower heeded the High Septon, who prophesied that the Hightower would burn with the rest of Oldtown if the city resisted the Targaryens. When Aegon the Conqueror arrived at Oldtown on dragonback, Lord Hightower opened his gates. Aegon spared the city, and the High Septon anointed him and acknowledged Aegon's right to rule the Seven Kingdoms.[9]

During the Dance of the Dragons, Lord Ormund Hightower's young sons remained at the Hightower while Ormund led an army for the greens.[10]

Lord Leyton Hightower, the Old Man of Oldtown, has not descended from the Hightower in more than a decade.[2]

Recent Events

A Feast for Crows

Alekyne Florent, the attainted Lord of Brightwater, flees to Oldtown to seek refuge at the Hightower.[1]

While sailing on the Cinnamon Wind to Oldtown, Gilly is impressed with the size of Three Towers, but Samwell Tarly tells her to wait until she sees the Hightower. When they reach Oldtown, the morning fog is so thick that the Hightower's beacon is the only part of the city visible.[11]

Lord Leyton Hightower and his daughter, the Mad Maid Malora, are said to have locked themselves atop the Hightower, consulting books of spells in response to the ironborn attacks on the Reach.[11]


The distant beacon of the Hightower floated in the damp of night like a hazy orange moon.[2]

—thoughts of Pate