King's Landing

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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, overlooking 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. Poorer smallfolk build shanty settlements outside the city. King's Landing is extremely populous, but rather unsightly and dirty compared to other cities. 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]


The area around King's Landing used to be disputed territory between the Kingdoms of the Reach, River and Stormlands, just hills and forests, with only a handful of fisherfolk living north of the Blackwater Rush – until three hundred years ago, when Aegon the Conqueror landed at the mouth of the Blackwater Rush, building his first fortress of wood and earth, 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 any of the former kingdoms, setting the king apart from his 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,[3] and the Dragonpit was constructed to house the Targaryen dragons.

King's Landing has suffered occasional attacks and catastrophes during its existence.

The Dance of the Dragons

In the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. The city fell when invaded by the forces of Queen Rhaenyra of the blacks. Later in the same year a riots broke out and eventually a mass Storming of the Dragonpit, which led to the deaths of five Targaryen dragons, thousands of smallfolk and the ruination of the Dragonpit.[4]

The Blackfyre Rebellion

During the Blackfyre Rebellion, the Army of the bastard half-brother of King Daeron II threatened the City, but was promptly 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 and funeral pyres which took place in the ruins of the Dragonpit had burnt nonstop, painting the night sky in the unnatural green of wildfire.

Robert's Rebellion

Most notably, during the civil war known as Robert's Rebellion, the Mad King Aerys contemplated burning the city to the ground to "save" it from the rebels, and it was shortly after sacked by a Lannister host.

War of the Five King's

Most recently in the War of the Five Kings. The city was cut off from trade and food supplies. This led to mass famine and once a massive riot. The city was later besieged by King Stannis during the Battle of the Blackwater.

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.[5][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.[6]

Large tournaments are held outside the city, beside the Blackwater [7]

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.[8]
  • 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.[9]

Streets, Squares and other

See Also Map of King's Landing from the book.
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.[8] It runs straight as an arrow between the hills of Rhaenys and Visenya, from which it gets its name.[10]
  • 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.[11]
  • The Street of Flour, along which numerous bakeries may be found. Below the street lies a maze of twisting alleys and cross streets.[9]
  • The Street of Silk, a street lined with brothels of varying expense.[12]
  • 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.[13]
  • 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.[14][15]
  • Reeking Lane, a street full of apprentices.[16]
  • Muddy Way, a street that begins at Fishmonger's Square.[16]
  • Sowbelly Row, the street Lollys Stokeworth was found wandering along after she had been raped half a hundred times behind a tanner's shop. [16]
  • 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.[16]
  • 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,[17] 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).


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.[18]

Tyrion Lannister

Smoke, sweat, and shit. King’s Landing, in short. If you have a good nose you can smell the treachery too.[19]

Jaime Lannister

Chapters that take place at King's Landing

References and Notes