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The riverlands and the location of Saltpans
The riverlands and the location of Saltpans
The riverlands and the location of Saltpans

Saltpans is a town in the riverlands that sits on the Bay of Crabs. It is the seat of House Cox, although semi-canon sources indicate that House Hawick is also from the town.[1]

Description and History

The river kings of old refused charters which would have allowed towns like Fairmarket, Lord Harroway's Town, and Saltpans to expand and potentially become cities.[2]

Saltpans has never been an important trading port, but ships do call there from time to time.[3] The castle of House Cox dominates the town; it is a small castle, no more than a holdfast, a single tall square keep with a bailey and a curtain wall.[4] There are shops and inns and alehouses by the harbor, as well as a sept and a stable.[4] Industries in the town include fishing and trading salt across the narrow sea.[4][3] The Quiet Isle is an island in the bay, some distance to the southeast; the fires of Saltpans can be seen from the island on clear nights.[3]

Recent Events

A Storm of Swords

Arya Stark arrives at Saltpans six days after abandoning the dying Sandor Clegane by the banks of the Trident. Arya sees that most of the shops and inns and alehouses around the harbor have been plundered or burned from the War of the Five Kings, though some still look inhabited. After trading her horse for silver, she manages to procure passage on a Braavosi ship, using the iron coin given to her by Jaqen H'ghar.[4]

A Feast for Crows

A raven arrives in King's Landing from the septry at the Quiet Isle, saying that Saltpans has been savagely raided by a band of outlaws, and some of the survivors claim a roaring brute in a hound's head helm was amongst the raiders. Supposedly the Hound killed a dozen men and raped a twelve-year-old girl who had been promised to the Faith.[5][6] Later reports say that all that remains of the town is the castle of Ser Quincy Cox, and the rest is bones and ashes.[7][3][8] Those who were at sea during the raid only returned to bury their kin.[3]

On the Quiet Isle, the Elder Brother informs Brienne of Tarth more of what happened at Saltpans. He has treated some of the survivors, when the fisherfolk brought them across the bay to him, after the flames had gone out and they deemed it safe to land. The Elder Brother tells Brienne that the raiders wanted a galley or a cog to carry them across the narrow sea. When none was at hand, they took their rage and desperation out upon the townsfolk.[3]

The Elder Brother tells Brienne that it was not Sandor Clegane who had led the massacre, as the Hound had died by the Trident, but another man who found his hound's head helm that the Elder Brother had left on his grave.[3] Later, Brienne learns that it was in fact Rorge, wearing the helm, who committed the atrocities, along with his companion Biter. The rest of the raiders were members of the Brave Companions.[8][9]

The fishermen and others who escaped the assault eventually abandon the town, with most of them going to Maidenpool, leaving nothing behind in Saltpans other than the holdfast.[3]


Saltpans was the work of some fell beast in human skin.[7]

—Lady Mariya Darry

At Saltpans, they had found only death and desolation. By the time Brienne and her companions were ferried over from the Quiet Isle, the survivors had fled and the dead had been given to the ground, but the corpse of the town itself remained, ashen and unburied.[8]

—thoughts of Brienne of Tarth