King’s Landing

King’s Landing is the second largest city in Westeros. Having housed the government since Aegon I Targaryen, it is a massive trade hub.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

King’s Landing is at the mouth of Blackwater Rush along the Kingsroad overlooking Blackwater Bay. It is the second-largest city in Westeros after Old Town, guarded by seven massive gates. After Lord Eddard Stark discovers Cersei Lannister’s infidelity, he tells her to leave King’s Landing before her husband, King Robert Baratheon, returns from his hunting trip. However, the Queen plans her husband’s death and arrests Ned. Ned Stark confesses to treason, and Joffrey orders his execution; this leads to war between the Lannisters and Starks, marking the beginning of the War of the Five Kings. With hardship spiking in the capital, a riot breaks out against King Joffrey.

King’s Landing Details

  • Name: King’s Landing.
  • Year Founded: 2 BC.
  • Founder: Aegon I Targaryen.
  • Location: Crownlands, Westeros.
  • Government Type: Monarchy.
  • Government: King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men.
  • Approximate Population: 500,000.
  • Kings In A Song of Ice and Fire: Robert I Baratheon, Joffrey I Baratheon, Tommen I Baratheon.
  • Predominant Religion: Faith of the Seven.
  • Notable Organizations: Kingsguard, Alchemists’ Guild, City Watch.
  • Places: Red Keep, Great Sept of Baelor, Drgonpit, Guildhall of Alchemists, Flea Bottom.

City’s Structure

King’s Landing is a square-shaped city covering the north shore of the Blackwater Rush. It has massive walls and hundreds of quays along its harbor. It houses hills; Aegon’s High Hill, Visenya’s Hill, and Rhaenys’s Hill. Aegon’s High Hill houses the Red Keep, while Visenya’s Hill, to the west, houses the Great Sept of Baelor. Rhaenys’s Hill, in the north, houses the ruined Dragonpit where the Targaryen dragons lived.

The elevated parts of King’s Landing typically housed the wealthy, while the lower parts featured slums. The poorest of regions in the city is Flea Bottom, a maze of narrow streets at the stern bottom side of Rhaenys’s Hill. There, the smallfolk survive on bowls of brown, a mysterious stew made from rat and murder victims’ meat. Atop Rhaeny’s Hill is the Street of Silk, an expensive area with the best brothels catering to Lords.


Because Seven is a sacred number in Andal culture, the walls of King’s Landing feature seven massive gates. They include Dragon Gate, which leads to the Kingsroad; Iron Gate, which leads to the Rosby Road; Old Gate; Gate of the Gods; River Gate, also called Mud Gate, paths to Roseroad and the Kingsroad; Lion Gate, which leads to the Goldroad, and King’s Gate.

Notable Locations

Because it is one of the popular cities in the Seven Kingdoms, there are many places of note in King’s Landing; these include:

  • The Red Keep: This is the royal castle of the Seven Kingdoms. It houses the King, the Hand of the King, and the members of the Small Council. Within the Castle are Maegor’s Holdfast and the Tower of the Hand.
  • The Great Sept of Baelor: The Great Sept is the holiest septin Westeros. It houses the High Septon and governs the religious activities of those that practice the Faith of the Seven.
  • The Dragonpit: This was once a dome that housed the Targaryen dragons. However, it collapsed, and its bronze doors did not open for over a century.
  • Flea Bottom: This is the poorest region in King’s Landing. The smallfolk here live a brutal life with no hope in sight.
  • The Guildhall of the Alchemists: The guild stretches to the foot of Visenya’s Hill along the Street of Sisters. It is where the alchemists store wildfire.


As the second largest city in Westeros, there are many streets in King’s Landing. They include:

  • The Hook: This connects the River Gate to Aegon’s High Hill.
  • Pisswater Bend: This is on or near Flea bottom.
  • River Row: Here is where sea captains, fishmongers, and those who work near the harbor stay. It is east of Fishmonger’s Square.
  • Street of Flour: This street houses many bakeries. Below is a maze of alleys.
  • Street of Flies: This is where butchers reside.
  • Street of Steel: This is where blacksmiths locate their forges. It begins from west of Fishmonger’s Square and climbs Visenya’s Hill. On the street, the higher one goes, the more expensive the services become.
  • The Street of Silk: Houses the most expensive brothels reserved for only lords. The most prominent brothel here is Chataya’s Brothel.
  • The Street of the Sisters: Connects the Great Sept of Baelor to the Dragonpit.

Alleys, Lanes, and Squares


  • Eel Alley: This is located on Visenya’s Hill and houses Inns and Taverns.
  • Pigrun Alley.
  • Pig Alley.
  • Weasel Alley.


  • Shadowblack Lane: This begins at the northern gate and ends at the foot of Aegon’s High Hill.
  • Reeking Lane: This is a street of apprentices.


  • Cobbler’s Square.
  • Fishmonger’s Square: A market square situated inside the River Gate.

Military Size

The primary military is the City Watch. It comprises two thousand men, and their numbers fluctuated depending on wars. The watch got the name gold cloaks after the reformation by Prince Daemon Targaryen. He created a new uniform and issued a short sword and iron cudgel to the men, and because of their heavy woolen cloak dyed gold, the City Watch got the name Gold Cloaks.



Before Aegon’s Conquest, the area that makes up King’s Landing comprised of forests and hills claimed by the Storm King, Argilac Durrandon, and the King of the Isles and Rivers, Harren Hoare of Harrenhal. After Aegon the Conqueror destroyed Harrenhal and became the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, he built his capital around Aegonfort, with his first fortress on top of Aegon’s High Hill. He then tasked Grand Maester Gawen and Ser Osmund Strong to construct the city’s walls and gates, and in one year, it got completed.

Maegor the Cruel

After Aegon’s death, Maegor I Targaryen continued the construction of King’a Landing. During the uprising of the Faith Militant, the Warrior’s Sons and Poor Fellows seized the Red Keep and Sept of Remembrance. However, Maegor burned the Sept with his dragon. He then constructed Dragonpit on top of the ruins.


After the Golden Wedding during the early reign of Jaehaerys I Targaryen, King’s Landing saw its wealth grow massively. The dragonpit got finalized, and a drainage system got constructed in the city. During this time, Septon Barth, arguably the best Hand of the King in the history of Westeros, championed the construction of a clear water source for the small folk.

In 59 AC, a plague hit the Seven Kingdoms, and thousands of people died in King’s Landing, including half of the small council. The city dived into chaos but bounced back to normalcy, and the Kingsroad, Goldroad, and Roseroad got constructed.

Dance of the Dragons

Before the Dance of the Dragons, Viserys I Targaryen’s reign made King’s Landing immensely prosper. However, after his death, a civil war erupted between the Blacks, governed by Crown Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, and the Greens, led by Queen Alicent Hightower. The war led to the destruction of the dragon pit and the death of Aegon II Targaryen and Rhaenyra. In the end, Aegon III became King.


After King Daereon’s death, King Baelor pardoned the hostages taken during the conquest of Dorne and walked barefoot to Sunspear. After his journey, Baelor attempted to outlaw prostitution and began the construction of the Great Sept.

Great Spring Sickness

In 209 AC, the Great Spring Sickness ravaged King’s Landing. About 40% of the people died, and the funeral pyres lit in the ruins of the dragonpit painted the skies green for a long time.

Aerys II

In 265 AC, King Aerys II Targaryen considered building a new capital as King’s Landing disgusted him. However, his plans never came to fruition as he remained concealed in the Red Keep after the Defiance of Duskendale. During Robert’s Rebellion, Aerys sent his wife to Dragonstone, and on the way, she gave birth to Daenerys Targaryen. After Rhaeghar Targaryen’s death, King’s Landing got sacked by Lord Tywin Lannister, the former Hand of the King. The Sack of King’s Landing was one of the city’s deadliest events, as thousands got killed.

Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Game of Thrones

After the death of Lord Jon Arryn, Lord Eddard Stark becomes the new Hand of the King. He travels from Winterfell to King’s Landing with his daughters, Arya Stark and Sansa Stark, and in his honor, King Robert Baratheon hosts the Hand’s Tourney. Ned begins investigating Lord Arryn’s death and learns that Queen Cersei’s children got fathered by her twin brother Ser Jaime Lannister.

Meanwhile, Tyrion Lannister gets arrested by Catelyn Stark and taken to the Eyrei. When Jaime learns of his brother’s arrest, he attacks Eddard Stark on the streets of King’s Landing, injuring him. Later when Robert goes on a hunting trip, Cersei arranges for his death and arrests Ned. Tyrion (already free) travels to meet his father, and when Ned gets killed, Tywin sends him to King’s Landing to serve as the acting Hand of the King.

A Clash of Kings

On Joffrey’s name day, a tourney gets hosted in King’s Landing gets hosted, and Sansa saves a drunk knight from getting killed. As the War of the Five Kings intensifies, Mace Tyrell cuts food supplies to King’s Landing leading to hardship among the smallfolk; this leads to a massive riot that results in the High Septon’s death. Later the city gets besieged by Stannis Baratheon, and the Battle of the Blackwater ensues. Stannis eventually gets defeated.

A Storm of Swords

Lord Tywin Lannister and Mace Tyrell’s armies encamp in King’s Landing. In gratitude for saving the city, Joffrey Baratheon promises to marry Margaery Tyrell. Tyrion gets forced to marry Sansa Stark, and on Joffrey’s wedding day, he gets poisoned and dies. Cersei accuses Tyrion of killing her son, and he gets tried for murder. After getting betrayed by share, Tyrion asks for a trial by combat, and Prince Oberyn Martell fights as his champion. Oberyn gets killed, and Jaime frees his brother. Before leaving King’s Landing, Tyrion sneaks into the Tower of the Hand and kills his father and Shae.

A Feast for Crows

After Joffrey’s death, Tommen becomes King, and Cersei serves as Queen Regent. She uses wildfire to destroy the Tower of the Hand, and after failing to repay the debts owed to the Iron Bank, King’s Landing suffers economic hardships. To alleviate the loans owed to the Faith, Cersei allows the reformation of the Faith Militant, and she eventually gets arrested on numerous charges. After her arrest, she performs the Walk of Atonement and gets insulted by the masses.

Relevance in Adaptation

In HBO’s Game of Thrones, King’s Landing got destroyed after Daenerys Targaryen burned the city down with Drogon. After its destruction, Jon Snow killed Daenerys, and a new government gets created from the ruins, with Bran Stark becoming the King.

King’s Landing: A Dreadful City

Though it was the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, King’s Landing was one of the dirties and vilest places in Westeros. The city stank, and numerous crimes occurred daily. The mess annoyed King Aerys so much that he tried building another capital.


Why did Daeneyrs destroy King’s Landing?

Daenerys destroyed King’s Landing because she got pushed to madness. After watching Missandei get killed, she attacked King’s Landing hoping to get a reason to kill everyone that hurt her. However, when the soldiers gave up, she realized she could not just forgive them for what they did. Realizing they needed to pay dearly, she destroyed King’s Landing.

Is King’s Landing that great?

King’s Landing is one of the most overrated cities in Westeros. It is overpopulated, dirty, and disgusting. It stinks so badly that people can perceive it from outside the city.

Who created King’s Landing?

Aegon Targaryen created the capital city of the Seven Kingdoms. After conquering most of Westeros, he settled on Aegon’s Hill and built a city around it; this led to the formation of King’s Landing.

Is King’s Landing better than Old Town?

Not at all. Old Town is a better place than King’s Landing. It is cleaner and better organized than the filthy capital.

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