The rat pits are seedy places that can be found in the slum districts of major cities, such as in Flea Bottom in the shadow of the Red Keep in King's Landing or in the undercity of Oldtown.
Rat pits serve as an unsavory form of recreation for mostly the smallfolk inhabitants of the cities. Rats are made to fight each other, or sometimes dogs are set on the rats and compete to see who can kill the most rats first. Spectators pay to watch and also take bets on the participants. Bull baiting is also sometimes held in rat pits. Highborn men have been known to frequent the rat pits too.
Rat pits are relatively small and illicit games, held in alleys or basements - they do not compare to the large and official fighting pits in Slaver's Bay, which apart from combat between human gladiators, also regularly feature fights between large animals such as lions, tigers, bears, etc.
The rat pits of Flea Bottom date back to the founding of King's Landing.
Princess Viserra Targaryen visited the rat pits the night of her death.
Prince Daemon Targaryen spent time with his friends and his gold cloaks in the seedy places of King's Landing, which earned him such nicknames as the "Prince of the City" and "Lord Flea Bottom". Daemon knew the rat pits well.
If The Testimony of Mushroom can be believed, Ser Criston Cole of the Kingsguard once found a drunken and naked Prince Aegon Targaryen at the Flea Bottom rat pits.
The riot of King's Landing during the Dance of the Dragons started in the rat pits among other places.
Just like her father before her, Princess Baela Targaryen had a wild side to her and enjoyed spending time in the low places of King's Landing. She was known to wager coin and sometimes clothing in the rat pits of Flea Bottom.
A Dance with Dragons
Daenerys Targaryen compares the way Drogon tears an arm off Harghaz in Daznak's Pit to the violence shown by dogs against rodents in rat pits.
Characters known to have visited rat pits
- Prince Aegon Targaryen (according to Mushroom)
- Princess Baela Targaryen
- Prince Daemon Targaryen
- Archmaester Marwyn
- Princess Viserra Targaryen (only once)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Princess and the Queen.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 A Feast for Crows, Prologue.
- ↑ Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - A Son for a Son.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Blacks and the Greens.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Overthrown.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 52, Daenerys IX.