After the Andal Invasion, Casterly Rock, also known as the Rock, became the capital of the westerlands, one of the seven kingdoms that make up Westeros. The Rock is a grand castle that overlooks Lannisport and the Sunset Sea. Its magnificence and sheer size tower many castles in Westeros. It was dominant over the westerlands before the arrival of Aegon I Targaryen, the Conqueror. However, Aegon’s Conquest led to the merging of the westerlands with other kingdoms; this started the new monarchy system in Westeros.
Casterly Rock Details
- Name: Casterly Rock.
- Government Type: Feudal Lords.
- House in Charge: House Lannister.
- Predominant Culture: Andal.
- Predominant Religion: Faith of the Seven.
- Year Founded: Before the Age of Heroes.
- Current Ruler: Cersei Lannister.
- Region of Power: Westerlands.
Casterly Rock is a mighty castle carved out of a stone hill. It is located on the western shore of Westeros and is due west and a little north of Dragonstone. It got built by Corlys, who killed lions in the cave of the Rock. The Casterlys of antiquity built a ringfort at the peak of the stone hill, and it got expanded and fortified with walls, gates, and watchtowers.
Casterly Rock is a gigantic castle with many tunnels, dungeons, halls, barracks, stables, stairways, courtyards, and gardens. Carved from a big rock, Casterly Rock is placed at the top of the hill and is almost impenetrable. It is three times taller than the Wall or the Hightower of Oldtown. Underneath the Castle is large sea-carved caverns that thunder when there is a storm.
The main entrance into Casterly Rock is the Lion’s Mouth, a natural cavern over two hundred feet high. There are many sites of attraction in the Rock. The Golden Gallery holds ornaments and treasures of the Lannisters, and the Hall of Heroes contains the armor of Lannisters of time past is displayed.
Casterly Rock is the wealthiest Castle in Westeros. The Lannister homestead is a gold mine responsible for almost all the gold in the seven kingdoms. Because they had the best-producing mines, House Lannister became one of the primary sources of money for King’s Landing. The Rock lent all kinds of money to the throne, and during Robert Baratheon’s rule, King’s Landing was so indebted to Casterly Rock that Tyrion stated the Rock was the seat of power in Westeros.
The Children of the Forest and the Giants inhabited the continent before the arrival of the First Men. However, when the First Men reached the continent, conflict arose; this led to centuries of bloodshed. With no hope of the conflict’s end, the First Men and the Children made a Pact and began living in peace.
Legend has it that Casterly Rock got founded during the Dawn Age, around the time of the conflict between the Children and First Men. It got named after House Casterly, the family that ruled it during the Dawn Age and the Age of Heroes.
When Corlos, the founder of House Casterly, discovered that Casterly Rock had gold, he fortified the entrance and created tunnels. For many centuries, House Casterly ruled Casterly Rock until the arrival of Lann The Clever, who tricked them out of their home. The Lannisters later sprang up as descendants of Lann.
The Start of the Lannister Era
After getting Casterly Rock from its original owners, the Lannisters, Kings of the Rock, became the dominant power on the western coast of Westeros. Lannisport got built by Members of the family, and when the Andals crossed the Narrow Sea into Westeros, the Lannisters invited them to gain their favor and prevent any conflict.
Recently, a lost scroll got found with the writings of Valyrian sorcerers stating the downfall of Casterly Rock will be its gold. With the nature of the Rock, Roland I Arryn greenlighted the construction of the Eyrie as a replacement for House Arryn’s seat of power, the Gates of the Moon.
Before the arrival of the Targaryens, King Gerold Lannister raided the Iron Islands and took a hundred hostages to protect Casterly Rock. Gerold then hanged one person each time he got threats from the ironborn. Before Harmund II Hoare became King of the Iron Islands, he lived at Casterly Rock as a ward.
In 2 BC, Aegon I Targaryen arrived in Westeros and began a conquest of all the kingdoms in the region. He burned Harrenhal, an almost impenetrable fortress, and subdued the continent. King Loren I Lannister allied with Mern IX Gardener against Aegon.
However, he lost to the dragonlord at the Field of Fire and submitted his crown. Loren got demoted to become Lord of Casterly Rock and Warden of the West. According to rumors, Queen Visenya Targaryen was happy Loren rode out instead of seeking refuge in his Castle as she believed it would have withstood the fires from dragons.
Rise of an Empire
After the conquering of the seven kingdoms by Aegon, House Targaryen became the ruler of the seven kingdoms, and King’s Landing got created. Lord Lyman Lannister hosted Prince Aegon, the Pretender, and his sister Princess Rhaena Targaryen and Rhaena gave birth to Aerea and Rhaella.
Rhaena got expelled from Faircastle during King Jaeherys I Targaryen’s reign. She flew to Casterly Rock, where she met Lord Lyman, who hosted her. After getting convinced that Lyman was out to steal her dragon eggs, she left the Rock.
The Dance of the Dragons
After the Great Council of 101 AC, Prince Viserys became King and made his daughter, the young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, his heir. During a feast at Casterly Rock, Rhaenyradanced with the Lannister twins Jason Lannister and Tyland Lannister.
During the Dance of the Dragons, House Lannister sided with the greens and held one-fourth of the royal treasury in the Rock. During the Battle of the Red Fork, Lord Jason got killed, and the Lannisters got defeated; this sent the Rock into disarray. After the death of Lord Jason, Prince Daemon Targaryen suggested that House Lannister gets stripped of its titles, but Rhaenyra refused.
During the Civil War, the ironborn supported the blacks. Lord Dalton Greyjoy sacked the nearby Lannisport but could not conquer Casterly Rock after Lady Johanna Lannister closed the gates. Though she sent a Lannister force to fight the ironborn for Fair Isle, Lord Dalton sent the heads of Ser Erwin Lannister, Lord Prester, and Tarbeck back to Johanna.
Later, she signed a treaty with Lord Corlys Velaryon preventing Lord Cregan Stark of Winterfell from invading. Dalton got killed, and after the Iron Islands got invaded by Ser Leo Costayne, the Sea Lion, Rodrik Greyjoy, a claimant to the title of Lord of the Iron Islands, got made a fool at Casterly Rock.
Post Civil War
After the death of Lord Gerold Lannister, his son, Tytos Lannister, took over as the Lord of Casterly Rock. However, he got mocked as he got deceived. When Tytos announced that his daughter, Genna, would marry Emmon Frey, the second son of Lord Walder Frey, a ten-year-old Tywin Lannister publicly denounced the betrothal.
With Tytos’s rule, Casterly Rock’s power in the seven kingdoms waned. After the War of the Ninepenny Kings, Ser Tywin decided to make House Lannister powerful again. He asked for the loans owed to Casterly Rock and took hostages of houses that did not repay.
When Tywin summoned his bannermen, Lord Roger Reyne, Ser Reynard Reyne, and the Tarbecks, to Casterly Rock, they refused. Tywin gathered a host that crushed the Reyne-Tarbeck Rebellion. A year after the rebellion, Lord Tywin Lannister got made Hand of the King by Aerys II Targaryen.
The Targaryen Dynasty
After becoming Hand of the King, Tywin repaid the debts owed to Braavos by Jaehaerys II Targaryen. When Tywin’s children, Cersei Lannister and Jaime Lannister, got caught having sexual affiliations, they got separated to sleep in different chambers.
Tyrion Lannister’s mother, Lady Joanna Lannister, died during his birth. Later, the Princess of Dorne took her children Oberyn Martell and Elia Martell to seek a wedding alliance with Casterly Rock. However, they got rejected by Tywin, who stated that his daughter would marry Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. As children, Tyrion and Jaime played in the Hall of Heroes, and for almost one year, King Aerys stayed at Casterly Rock with Tywin before leaving for King’s Landing.
When Aerys named Jaime a member of the kingsguard, Tywin got angry and resigned. When Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna Stark, Robert Baratheon incited a rebellion and killed Rhaegar at the Battle of the Trident. Tywin marched to King’s Landing and sacked the city when Aerys opened the gates. His son, Jaime, killed Aerys and got the name Kingslayer.
After Aery’s death, Robert Baratheon became King and married Cersei Lannister. The Greyjoys tried rebelling against Robert and burned the Lannisters’ fleet at the harbor of Lannisport. However, Stannis Baratheon led a fleet against the ironborn, and Aeron Greyjoy got captured and spent the rest of Greyjoy’s Rebellion imprisoned.
Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire
When King Robert I Baratheon visits Eddard, he learns that Jon Arryn’s son, Robert Arryn, was supposed to get sent to Casterly Rock. Robert tells Ned of his plans to make Jaime Lannister Warden of the East, but Eddard advises against it, stating it will lead to more problems. Jon Snow meets Tyrion. He tells the young boy the only reason he lived is that he is a Lannister of Casterly Rock.
After leaving for King’s Landing with his daughters Sansa Stark and Arya Stark, Catelyn Stark arrests Tyrion for the alleged attempted murder of Bran. Upon learning of his son’s imprisonment, Lord Tywin Lannister calls his banners and begins raiding the Riverlands. In Essos, Daenerys Targaryen marries Khal Drogo.
When Eddard learns of Cersei’s children’s illegitimacy, he confronts her, and she tells him politics is a game of living of death. She then arranges for her husband’s death and arrests Ned. After he gets killed by Joffrey Baratheon, Civil War begins.
After Tywin returns to King’s Landing, he takes his rightful position as Hand of the King from his son Tyrion. When Tyrion asks him for Casterly Rock, he gets rejected. Later, Tyrion gets forced to marry Sansa Stark. He tries to suggest they leave for Casterly Rock to avoid Joffrey’s abuse, but Sansa does not respond to him. She later learns of Robb’s death.
Later, Joffrey dies, and Tyrion gets accused of killing him. When Shae betrays him, Tyrion demands a trial by combat. After losing, he gets freed by his brother, Jaime. Tyrion then sneaks into the Tower of the Hand and kills his father and Shae.
After Tywin’s death, the War of the Five Kings stalls, and Tywin’s body gets sent to Casterly Rock with an honor guard. Ser Kevan Lannister advises Cersei to return to the westerlands and take her place as the Lady of Casterly Rock. She refuses and names herself Queen Regent of Tommen I Baratheon. She almost ruins King’s Landing with terrible choices and later gets arrested by the Faith Militant, a forbidden faction of the Faith of the Seven she reinstated.
Casterly Rock: The Lion of Westeros
Casterly Rock is one of the most popular locations in all of Westeros. Because of its abundance of wealth, it gave the Lannisters an advantage in the politics of King’s Landing. However, Casterly Rock would have remained an ordinary castle with gold deposits if it had not seen the genius of Lord Tywin Lannister. Though Tywin was a terrible human, he uplifted Casterly Rock and used its resources to gain control over the governance of King’s Landing.
Why is Casterly Rock so important?
Casterly is a crucial Castle of the seven kingdoms because it contains most of the gold reserves in Westeros. Casterly Rock has one of the highest gold reserves in both Westeros and Essos; this made the Lannisters immensely wealthy.
Who is the most powerful Lord of Casterly Rock?
Tywin Lannister is by far one of the greatest lords of Casterly Rock. He restored House Lannister to glory and got credited as one of the best Hands of the King. His military genius was commended by many.
Who is the current Lord of Casterly Rock?
After Tywin Lannister’s death, Ser Kevan Lannister told Cersei to return to the Rock and take up the title Lady of the Rock. However, she refused.
Is Jaime Lord of Casterly Rock?
No, Jaime is not the Lord of the Rock. When he became a member of the kingsguard, he forfeited all formal titles; this made him lose Casterly Rock as an inheritance.