Maegor's Holdfast is a massive square fortress inside the heart of the Red Keep in King's Landing. Named after King Maegor I Targaryen, it is a castle-within-a-castle and is the strongest place in the Red Keep.
The holdfast lies behind walls twelve feet thick. A dry moat lined with a bed of formidable iron spikes surrounds it, with a drawbridge spaning the moat. The only way in or out of Maegor's is across the drawbridge. A knight of the Kingsguard is always posted at its far end.
The royal apartments are located in Maegor's Holdfast. The king's bedchamber has twin hearths. The Queen's Ballroom within Maegor's Holdfast is much smaller than the Great Hall of the Red Keep or the Small Hall of the Tower of the Hand. However, the graceful ballroom can still seat one hundred.
The death of King Viserys I Targaryen in his apartments in Maegor's Holdfast led to the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. By the time Prince Aemond Targaryen took his leave on Vhagar for Storm's End the stink from the dead king's bedchamber had wafted all through the holdfast. Aegon II Targaryen moved into Maegor's Holdfast with his queen and sister-wife, Helaena Targaryen.
Cheese knew of no way in and out of Maegor's save over the drawbridge. When Rhaenyra Targaryen took King's Landing, Queen Alicent Hightower emerged from Maegor’s and attempted to treat with her stepdaughter but Rhaenyra rejected her proposal. Rhaenyra's men found her rival's wife, the mad Queen Helaena, locked in her bedchamber. When they broke down the doors of Aegon II's apartments they discovered only his empty bed and a full chamberpot.
As Rhaenyra was losing her grip on the Iron Throne, Helaena threw herself from her window in Maegor's Holdfast. She died impaled upon the iron spikes that lined the dry moat below. During the Storming of the Dragonpit Queen Rhaenyra watched the attack unfold from the roof of Maegor's Holdfast with her sons and members of her court.
During the Sack of King's Landing, Ser Gregor Clegane and Ser Amory Lorch scaled the walls of Maegor's Holdfast. They made their way to the royal nursery within, where they slew Princess Elia Martell and her children.
A Game of Thrones
King Robert Baratheon dies in Maegor's Holdfast after being gored by a boar while hunting in the kingswood. Trapped in King's Landing after the downfall of Eddard Stark, her father and the Hand of the King, Sansa Stark resides at the top of the highest tower of Maegor's Holdfast.
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
Tyrion Lannister recovers from the Battle of the Blackwater in a chamber above the Queen's Ballroom, as his father Tywin Lannister has taken Tyrion's former chamber in the Tower of the Hand. After marrying Sansa, Tyrion moves from Maegor's Holdfast and displaces Lord Gyles Rosby in spacious apartments atop the Kitchen Keep.
A Dance with Dragons
Ser Kevan Lannister notes that the dry moat surrounding Maegor's Holdfast is three feet deep in snow and that the iron spikes that line it are glistening with frost. Kevan sups with his niece, Queen Cersei Lannister, and her son, King Tommen Baratheon, in the royal chambers. Tommen tells Kevan that the bad cat was outside his window the previous night.
—thoughts of Sansa Stark
—thoughts of Tyrion Lannister
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 4, Tyrion I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47, Eddard XIII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
- The Princess and the Queen.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 11, Jaime II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 51, Sansa IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 58, Tyrion VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 60, Tyrion VIII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.