|King's Landing |
capital of the Seven Kingdoms
King's Landing by Tomasz Jedruszek. © Fantasy Flight Games
|Government||King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men , Feudal society.|
|Religion||Faith of the Seven|
|Founded||2 BC - 1 BC|
|Named for||Aegon I Targaryen, its founder.|
|Notable places||Red Keep | Great Sept of Baelor | Dragonpit | Guildhall of the Alchemists|
|Organizations||Kingsguard | Alchemists' Guild | City Watch|
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. King's Landing is the site of the Iron Throne and the Red Keep, which is the seat of the king, Robert I from House Baratheon of King's Landing.
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 the most populous city in Westeros, but 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.
King's Landing, the principal harbor of the Seven Kingdoms, is rivaled only by Oldtown, which is larger in area but less populous. Nearby towns include Rosby and Duskendale to the northeast and Tumbleton to the southwest, while the kingswood is found south of the capital across the Blackwater. Driftmark and Dragonstone in the Gullet protect the bay from the narrow sea.
- 1 Layout
- 2 Population
- 3 Military
- 4 History
- 5 Recent Events
- 6 Quotes
- 7 Chapters that take place at King's Landing
- 8 References
- See also: Images of King's Landing
King's Landing is roughly square-shaped, sprawling across several miles and defended by tall walls. It 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.
The city covers the north shore of the Blackwater Rush 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. The Hill of Rhaenys 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.
Behind the quays outside of the walls, there tend to be ramshackle buildings which extend to the walls. These include bait shacks, pot shops, warehouses, merchant's stalls, alehouses, and prostitution rooms.
Poor smallfolk reside in the slums of Flea Bottom, a maze of narrow streets and alleys. They 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 the Hill of Rhaenys from Flea Bottom. According to semi-canon sources the richer areas of King's Landing lie near the Old Gate.
Seven is a sacred number for the Faith, thus the reason Aegon I Targaryen had seven huge gates built as the entrances into the capital of King's Landing. Each is protected by portcullis, heavy doors, and armed guard.
- Dragon Gate, leads north to the kingsroad.
- Iron Gate, leads to the Rosby road.
- Old Gate.
- Gate of the Gods.
- River Gate, known as the Mud Gate by the population of the city, leads south to the kingsroad and the roseroad.
- Lion Gate, leads west to the Goldroad.
- King's Gate, outside of which are tourney grounds.
- The Red Keep, the royal castle located on top of Aegon's High Hill. Within the castle are Maegor's Holdfast and the Tower of the Hand.
- 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. It is found on the Hill of Rhaenys. The Street of Sisters runs between it and the Great Sept of Baelor.
- The Guildhall of the Alchemists beneath the Hill of Rhaenys, 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.
- 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 of brown. It has a stench of pigsties and stables, tanner's sheds mixed in the smell of winesinks and whorehouses.
Streets, Squares and other
- The Street of the Sisters connects the Great Sept of Baelor to the Dragonpit. One can find the Guildhall of the Alchemists upon it. It runs straight as an arrow between the hills of Rhaenys and Visenya, from which it gets its name.
- The Street of Steel is where most smiths have their forges. It begins on the west of Fishmonger's Square inside the River Gate and climbs up Visenya's Hill. The higher up one goes, the more expensive the shops. At its top is the shop of Tobho Mott.
- The Street of Flour contains numerous bakeries. Below the street lies a maze of twisting alleys and cross streets.
- The Street of Silk is a street to the northwest of the Dragonpit lined with brothels of varying expense.
- Eel Alley is located on Visenya's Hill. An inn may be found here.
- Pigrun Alley is 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.
- 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.
- Reeking Lane is a street full of apprentices.
- Muddy Way, a street that begins at Fishmonger's Square.
- Sowbelly Row
- Pisswater Bend is a street probably located in Flea Bottom.
- Street of Seeds
- Street of Looms
- Coppersmith's Wynd
- River Row is a street along the southern wall, east of Fishmonger's Square, home to sea captains, fishmongers and others with interest in the harbor.
- The Hook is a long, curved thoroughfare connecting the River Gate to Aegon's High Hill.
- Cobbler's Square
- Fishmonger's Square is a market square inside the Mud Gate.
King's Landing has the highest population in the Seven Kingdoms, but it is smaller than towns in Essos such as Selhorys, Valysar, and Volon Therys, let alone the Free Cities. George R. R. Martin has stated that King's Landing is larger than medieval London or Paris but smaller than medieval Constantinople or ancient Rome.
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 two thousand strong, the number being increased in times of need or war.
Prior to Aegon's Conquest, the area around the future King's Landing was just hills and forests, with only a handful of fisherfolk living in a small village on the north bank of the Blackwater Rush. The mouth of the river had historically been claimed by Blackwoods, Brackens, Darklyns, Fishers, Hooks, Masseys, and Mudds. 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, on top of the highest hill.
When Aegon finalized his conquest and was crowned Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, many expected that he would make Dragonstone or Oldtown his capital. He unexpectedly decided to build his capital in the new town growing around the Aegonfort, since it was more centrally located than any other and not part of the former kingdoms, setting the king apart from his new vassals. Aegon established the Kingsguard after he and Visenya were attacked in the streets in 10 AC.
Aegon foresaw that King's Landing, which became a city in 10 AC, would surpass Oldtown or Lannisport. Trade shifted from Duskendale and Maidenpool, and by 25 AC King's Landing had become the realm's third-largest city, ahead of White Harbor and Gulltown. The following year Grand Maester Gawen and Ser Osmund Strong completed the city walls and seven gates.
Maegor the Cruel
The city was expanded by Aegon's successors. The Red Keep, which replaced the Aegonfort, was completed during the reign of Maegor I Targaryen. During the Faith Militant uprising, Warrior's Sons and Poor Fellows seized the Sept of Remembrance and the Red Keep, which was then under construction. Maegor the Cruel used Balerion's dragonfire to destroy the sept, and began construction of the Dragonpit atop its ruins.
Dance of the Dragons
In 98 AC King's Landing held a great tourney to celebrate the fiftieth year of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen's reign. Aided by Septon Barth, Jaehaerys the Conciliator encouraged the building of drains, sewers, and wells in the city, which also became connected with other regions via the kingsroad, Goldroad, and roseroad.
At the beginning of the Dance of the Dragons, King's Landing was held by King Aegon II Targaryen, but in 130 AC the city fell to Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen and her blacks. Later in the same year, riots broke out against the rule of Rhaenyra. These culminated in the mass Storming of the Dragonpit, the deaths of five Targaryen dragons and thousands of smallfolk, and the ruination of the Dragonpit. Rhaenyra abandoned the city, which fell into chaos during the Moon of the Three Kings, and met her doom at Dragonstone. The civil war ended with Aegon III Targaryen succeeding Aegon II, and Lord Cregan Stark briefly held court during the Hour of the Wolf.
Baelor the Blessed
King Daeron I Targaryen, brought hostages to King's Landing after his conquest of Dorne and the Submission of Sunspear. Daeron, the Young Dragon, was killed trying to subdue Dornish rebellions, however. His successor, King Baelor I Targaryen, pardoned the hostages and walked barefoot to Sunspear. After recovering from his journey, Baelor the Blessed attempted to outlaw prostitution in the capital and began construction of the Great Sept, which was completed after his death.
First Blackfyre Rebellion
During the First Blackfyre Rebellion in 196 AC, the army of Daemon I 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 in 209 AC, 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.
A Great Council was held in King's Landing in 233 AC after the death of Maekar I Targaryen. Lord Brynden Rivers ordered the execution of Aenys Blackfyre after the pretender arrived, despite having been given safe conduct.
The Mad King
In 265 AC King Aerys II Targaryen, disgusted with King's Landing, considered building a new marble city on the southern shore of the Blackwater Rush. The Mad King largely remained within the Red Keep after the Defiance of Duskendale.
During Robert's Rebellion, also called the War of the Usurper, Aerys sent Queen Rhaella Targaryen—pregnant with Princess Daenerys—with Prince Viserys to Dragonstone after King's Landing was informed of Prince Rhaegar's death at the Trident. Grand Maester Pycelle advised Aerys to open the gates to the king's former Hand, Lord Tywin Lannister, but the westerlands host instead began the Sack of King's Landing. The Mad King ordered his pyromancers to destroy the city with caches of wildfire, but Tywin's son, Ser Jaime Lannister of the Kingsguard, stopped the wildfire plot and killed Aerys. Robert I Baratheon became the new king on the Iron Throne, forming House Baratheon of King's Landing.
A Game of Thrones
Following the sudden death of Lord Jon Arryn, Lord Eddard Stark travels to King's Landing to become the new Hand of the King to Robert I Baratheon. Robert's brother, Lord Stannis Baratheon, leaves the capital to return to his seat of Dragonstone. The Hand's tourney is held at the city to honor Ned Stark, who does not approve of the extravagance.
Ned investigates Jon Arryn's death and learns that Queen Cersei Lannister's children were fathered not by Robert, but by her twin brother, Ser Jaime Lannister of the Kingsguard. When Robert is mortally wounded while hunting in the kingswood, his youngest brother, Renly Baratheon, flees the city with Ser Loras Tyrell. Following Robert's death, Cersei has Ned imprisoned for plotting against Prince Joffrey Baratheon, now Robert's successor as king.
To the surprise of his small council, Joffrey orders Ned's execution at the Great Sept of Baelor rather than allow him to join the Night's Watch. Sansa Stark is held captive by the Lannisters, but Arya Stark escapes the city with the wandering crow Yoren. Because Lord Tywin Lannister is campaigning against Robb Stark, he sends Tyrion Lannister to act as Hand to Joffrey.
A Clash of Kings
King's Landing hosts a tourney on King Joffrey's name day. During the War of the Five Kings, the capital is cut off from trade and food supplies by the blockade of Lord Mace Tyrell, a supporter of Renly, as well as by fighting in the riverlands. This leads to famine and a massive riot in which the High Septon is killed. Lollys Stokeworth is found wandering Sowbelly Row after she had been raped half a hundred times behind a tanner's shop. The bloody flux spreads through the stews of Pisswater Bend.
A Storm of Swords
The armies of Lords Tywin and Mace encamp at King's Landing, and other nobles arrive for the upcoming nuptials of King Joffrey I. Hundreds of wayns bring food from Highgarden in the name of Mace's daughter, Lady Margaery Tyrell. The city's master armorer, Tobho Mott, smiths two Valyrian steel swords from Ned Stark's Ice for Lord Tywin. Tyrion welcomes a delegation from Dorne, and he tells Prince Oberyn Martell that there are half a million people in the stinking city, including tens of thousands of soldiers from various hosts.
Joffrey weds Margaery at the Great Sept of Baelor, but he dies during the reception at the Red Keep. He is succeeded by his younger brother, Tommen I Baratheon. Sansa flees the capital with the assistance of Lord Petyr Baelish. Tyrion is condemned to death after Ser Gregor Clegane defeats Oberyn in a trial by battle, but he escapes King's Landing with the assistance of Jaime and Lord Varys.
A Feast for Crows
Queen Cersei serves as the regent for young King Tommen. With Tyrion and Varys missing after the death of Tywin, Cersei uses wildfire to burn the Tower of the Hand. Pious sparrows travel to the capital in support of the Faith of the Seven.
Amidst growing unrest after the arrest of Queen Margaery by the Faith, Cersei allows Lord Aurane Waters, the master of ships, to launch new dromonds in a show of force. However, Aurane sails from King's Landing when Cersei is herself arrested.
A Dance with Dragons
Is everyone someone's informer in this cursed city?
Walton: What's that awful stink?
Jaime: Smoke, sweat, and shit. King's Landing, in short. If you have a good nose you can smell the treachery too. You've never smelled a city before?Jaime: White Harbor is to King's Landing as my brother Tyrion is to Ser Gregor Clegane.
Walton: I smelled White Harbor. It never stank like this.
Roro Uhoris, the Cobblecat's cranky old master, used to claim that he could tell one port from another just by the way they smelled. Cities were like women, he insisted; each one had its own unique scent. Oldtown was as flowery as a perfumed dowager. Lannisport was a milkmaid, fresh and earthy, with woodsmoke in her hair. King's Landing reeked like some unwashed whore. But White Harbor's scent was sharp and salty, and a little fishy too.
– thoughts of Davos Seaworth
King's Landing is a pit of snakes.
The morning air was thick with the old familiar stinks of King’s Landing. She breathed in the scents of sour wine, bread baking, rotting fish and nightsoil, smoke and sweat and horse piss. No flower had ever smelled so sweet.
– thoughts of Cersei Lannister
Chapters that take place at King's Landing
- A Game of Thrones: 18. Catelyn IV
- A Game of Thrones: 20. Eddard IV
- A Game of Thrones: 22. Arya II
- A Game of Thrones: 25. Eddard V
- A Game of Thrones: 27. Eddard VI
- A Game of Thrones: 29. Sansa II
- A Game of Thrones: 30. Eddard VII
- A Game of Thrones: 32. Arya III
- A Game of Thrones: 33. Eddard VIII
- A Game of Thrones: 35. Eddard IX
- A Game of Thrones: 39. Eddard X
- A Game of Thrones: 43. Eddard XI
- A Game of Thrones: 44. Sansa III
- A Game of Thrones: 45. Eddard XII
- A Game of Thrones: 47. Eddard XIII
- A Game of Thrones: 49. Eddard XIV
- A Game of Thrones: 50. Arya IV
- A Game of Thrones: 51. Sansa IV
- A Game of Thrones: 57. Sansa V
- A Game of Thrones: 58. Eddard XV
- A Game of Thrones: 65. Arya V
- A Game of Thrones: 67. Sansa VI
- A Clash of Kings: 1. Arya I
- A Clash of Kings: 2. Sansa I
- A Clash of Kings: 3. Tyrion I
- A Clash of Kings: 8. Tyrion II
- A Clash of Kings: 15. Tyrion III
- A Clash of Kings: 17. Tyrion IV
- A Clash of Kings: 18. Sansa II
- A Clash of Kings: 20. Tyrion V
- A Clash of Kings: 25. Tyrion VI
- A Clash of Kings: 29. Tyrion VII
- A Clash of Kings: 32. Sansa III
- A Clash of Kings: 36. Tyrion VIII
- A Clash of Kings: 41. Tyrion IX
- A Clash of Kings: 44. Tyrion X
- A Clash of Kings: 49. Tyrion XI
- A Clash of Kings: 52. Sansa IV
- A Clash of Kings: 54. Tyrion XII
- A Clash of Kings: 57. Sansa V
- A Clash of Kings: 58. Davos III
- A Clash of Kings: 59. Tyrion XIII
- A Clash of Kings: 60. Sansa VI
- A Clash of Kings: 61. Tyrion XIV
- A Clash of Kings: 62. Sansa VII
- A Clash of Kings: 65. Sansa VIII
- A Clash of Kings: 67. Tyrion XV
- A Storm of Swords: 4. Tyrion I
- A Storm of Swords: 6. Sansa I
- A Storm of Swords: 12. Tyrion II
- A Storm of Swords: 16. Sansa II
- A Storm of Swords: 19. Tyrion III
- A Storm of Swords: 28. Sansa III
- A Storm of Swords: 32. Tyrion IV
- A Storm of Swords: 38. Tyrion V
- A Storm of Swords: 53. Tyrion VI
- A Storm of Swords: 58. Tyrion VII
- A Storm of Swords: 59. Sansa IV
- A Storm of Swords: 60. Tyrion VIII
- A Storm of Swords: 61. Sansa V
- A Storm of Swords: 62. Jaime VII
- A Storm of Swords: 66. Tyrion IX
- A Storm of Swords: 67. Jaime VIII
- A Storm of Swords: 70. Tyrion X
- A Storm of Swords: 72. Jaime IX
- A Storm of Swords: 77. Tyrion XI
- A Feast for Crows: 3. Cersei I
- A Feast for Crows: 7. Cersei II
- A Feast for Crows: 8. Jaime I
- A Feast for Crows: 12. Cersei III
- A Feast for Crows: 16. Jaime II
- A Feast for Crows: 17. Cersei IV
- A Feast for Crows: 24. Cersei V
- A Feast for Crows: 27. Jaime III
- A Feast for Crows: 28. Cersei VI
- A Feast for Crows: 32. Cersei VII
- A Feast for Crows: 36. Cersei VIII
- A Feast for Crows: 39. Cersei IX
- A Feast for Crows: 43. Cersei X
- A Dance with Dragons: 54. Cersei I
- A Dance with Dragons: 65. Cersei II
- A Dance with Dragons: Epilogue
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach: Oldtown.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 32, Tyrion IV.
- The Lands of Ice and Fire, Westeros.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 18, Catelyn IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 49, Tyrion XI.
- A Game of Thrones RPG and Resource Book, Guardians of Order
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
- The Lands of Ice and Fire, King's Landing.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 20, Tyrion V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 65, Arya V.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 67, Sansa VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 8, Jaime I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 28, Bran IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 15, Tyrion III.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 29, Tyrion VII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 41, Tyrion IX.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 3, Tyrion I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: Volantis.
- So Spake Martin: Geography, February 07, 1999
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 45, Eddard XII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 8, Tyrion II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: The Quarrelsome Daughters: Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, King's Landing.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.
- The Princess and the Queen.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III.
- The World of Ice & Fire, the Targaryen Kings: Daeron I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Baelor I.
- The Sworn Sword.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 12, Eddard II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 25, Eddard V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 49, Eddard XIV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 51, Sansa IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 2, Sansa I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 17, Tyrion IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 60, Tyrion VIII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 59, Tyrion XIII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 62, Sansa VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 4, Tyrion I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 61, Sansa V.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 70, Tyrion X.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 77, Tyrion XI.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 12, Cersei III.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 4, Brienne I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 43, Cersei X.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 22, Tyrion VI.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 65, Cersei II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 62, Jaime VII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 15, Davos II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 38, The Watcher.