The Citadel: Concordance

The Citadel is an archive of information for George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.

New to the series? Read our spoiler-free review of A Game of Thrones.

Read our Privacy Policy.

Connect With Us
Recent Entries
Sites of Interest
2.1.3.1. The Red Keep
  • The Iron Throne is the seat of kings in the Seven Kingdoms (I: 26, 39)
  • The Red Keep was raised by the Targaryens (I: 64)
  • 19 dragons skulls were kept in the Red Keep after the death of the last dragon. Many, if not all, decorated the throne room of the Targaryen kings (I: 101-2)
  • The Red Keep sits on Aegon's high hill (I: 142)
  • The Red Keep consists of seven huge drum-towers with iron ramparts, an immense barbican, vaulted halls and covered bridges, barracks and dungeons and granaries, massive curtain walls with archers' nests, all in pale red stone (I: 142)
  • Aegon the Conqueror commanded the raising of the keep, his son Maegor the Cruel saw it completed and slew every living person who worked on it to keep its secrets to the Targaryens alone (I: 142)
  • Narrow postern doors are near the great bronze gates and portcullis (I: 144, 160)
  • The gate and portcullis into the Red Keep are kept closed during the night (I: 144)
  • The Tower of the Hand is reserved for the use of the Hand of the King (I: 160)
  • The chambers of the King's small council are richly furnished with Myrish carpets, carved screens painted with a hundred fantastic beasts from the Summer Isles, tapestries from the Free Cities, and a pair of Valyrian sphinxes (I: 161)
  • The small council chambers are near the great outer gate. One crosses the courtyard and enters into the inner bailey to make his way towards the Tower of the Hand (I: 164)
  • The Red Keep is a castle-within-a-castle (I: 164)
  • Relics of the Targaryens, dusty suits of black armor with dragon scales cresting their helms, sit in halls (I: 165)
  • There is a secret way to get out of the Red Keep onto the cliffs facing the sea. Narrow handholds, impossible to see from the ground, have been cut into the rock so one may climb down to a trail beside the Blackwater (I: 165)
  • The throne room is large enough to seat a thousand people for feasts (I: 181. III: 214)
  • The Small Hall of the Tower of the Hand is a long room with a high vaulted ceiling and bench space for two hundred (I: 181)
  • Doors are made of oak banded with black iron (I: 184)
  • The heart tree of the Red Keep's godswood is an ancient oak (I: 214)
  • The Red Keep is full of cats (I: 284)
  • The Red Keep is smaller than Winterfell (I: 286)
  • The Red Keep has a network of secret tunnels under it. One, a shaft twenty feet wide with steps leading down into the darkness, can be sealed away by a huge stone sliding down to stop it (I: 289)
  • Some tunnels are of stone, others are earth supported by timbers (I: 290)
  • The throne room of the Red Keep has high narrow windows and is cavernous (I: 386)
  • The Iron Throne is a monstrosity of spikes and jagged edges and twisted metal, made of the swords of conquered foes. It is uncomfortable, and the back is fanged with steel which makes leaning back impossible. Aegon the Conqueror had it made, saying that a king should never sit easy (I: 386)
  • When the king is presiding, only he, his family, and his council may sit. All others must stand or kneel (I: 386)
  • Smallfolk can be present at royal petitioning sessions. They stand in the gallery, among lesser nobles and merchants who are not part of the regular court (I: 387, 390)
  • The court stands in the throne room, to the sides (I: 387)
  • The throne on its dais sits high above the floor of the hall (I: 388)
  • The Iron Throne is supposed to have taken a thousand blades to make, heated in the breath of Balerion the Black Dread. The hammering had taken fifty-nine days. The chair still has sharp points and edges, and can kill a man; and story has it that it has (I: 388)
  • The king or his Hand might hear disputes between rival holdfasts, petitions, and the adjudicating of the placement of boundary stones (I: 390)
  • The steps of the throne dais are of iron, and are both steep and narrow (I:393, 440)
  • The royal apartments are in Maegor's Holdfast (I: 429)
  • Maegor's Holdfast is a massive square fortress inside the heart of the Red Keep behind walls twelve feet thick and a dry moat lined with iron spikes. It is a castle-within-a-castle (I: 420)
  • The king's bedchamber has twin hearths (I: 420)
  • The throne room is oriented north to south, with windows on the eastern and western walls (I: 516)
  • A hundred lords both great and small might be accustomed to wait upon a king when he holds audience (I: 517)
  • To the rear of the throne room, there is another exit with tall doors (I: 517)
  • The doors of the throne room are oak-and-bronze (I: 521)
  • The doors of the Red Keeps' dungeons are four-inch thick gray wood with iron studs. The walls are of the same red stone the entire Keep is made of, but untended so that nitre grows in patches and the rushes are unclean (I: 524)
  • Thick stone parapets, some four feet high, protect the outer edge of the wall ramparts. Crenelations are cut into it every five feet for archers (I: 626)
  • Between the crenels at the gatehouse, atop the wall, are iron spikes on which the heads of traitor's are traditionally placed (I: 626)
  • There is a well in the Red Keep's lower bailey (II: 194)
  • From the godswood, one can take a river walk past a small kitchen and through the pig yard to reach the serpentine steps that lead down to the drawbridge of Maegor's Holdfast (II: 207)
  • Supplicants to the crown cluster about the high oak-and-bronze doors of the throne room (II: 294)
  • Rushes are used on the floors as the weather cools, even in the Tower of the Hand (II: 326)
  • A postern gate in the north wall leads to Shadowblack Lane, which itself leads to the foot of Aegon's High Hill (II: 330)
  • A cobbled square fronts the Red Keep's barbican (II: 435)
  • The secret entrance into the Hand's chambers in the Tower of the Hand is reached by a strange passage. One goes down a ladder (from some unknown beginning point), walks a long distance that turns in many directions, meets an iron gate. Past the iron gate is a room in which a dragon is done in a mosaic of red and black tiles on the floor. Then another ladder is taken, this time going up, with a tunnel to left being reached after climbing 230 rungs in which a full-grown man must crawl. Sixty feet on is a secret door (II: 472, 570. III: 876. IV: 118)
  • There are chestnut trees in the godswood (II: 548)
  • The sept of the Red Keep has high windows set with crystals which break the light into rainbow hues. Candles burn at every side. There are altars to each of the Seven and benches where people may pray and sing and listen to sermons (II: 595)
  • The Red Keep's sept is in the outer castle (II: 596)
  • The Queen's Ballroom is not a tenth of the size of the Red Keep's Great Hall (which can seat more than 1,000 people) and only about half the size of the Small Hall of the Tower of the Hand (which can seat two hundred people.) Beaten silver mirrors back every wall scone so that light is reflected into the room, the walls are paneled in richly carved wood, and sweet-smelling rushes are scattered on the floor. Musicians use a gallery above it. Arched windows with heavy velvet drapes run along the south wall (II: 597)
  • Long trestle tables are used in the Queen's Ballroom (II: 597)
  • The tall doors at the end of the Queen's Ballroom can be closed and barred (II: 598)
  • The Red Keep sits on steep and rocky bluffs spotted with lichen and gnarled thorny trees (II: 604)
  • The Queen's Ballroom has a back door (II: 617)
  • It's said that the Iron Throne can be dangerous to those not meant to sit in it (II: 668)
  • There is a bedchamber on the floor above the Queen's Ballroom (II: 687)
  • There are many small inner yards within the castle (III: 63)
  • A long slate-roofed keep behind the royal sept has been named the Maidenvault since King Baelor the Blessed confined his sisters there, so that sight o them might not tempt him into sinful thoughts (III: 64, 65)
  • King Aerys was always cutting himself upon the Iron Throne (III: 130)
  • There are snug, windowless chambers beneath the north wall (III: 133)
  • King Maegor wanted the means to make a secret escape from the Red Keep should his enemies ever trap him (IIII: 136)
  • There are kennels in the Red Keep, where men might sometimes set dogs to fighting (III: 137)
  • One of the chambers beneath the north wall contains a large flat stone meant for a bed. By the use of counterweights, it can be made to float upwards to reveal secret steps after pushing at a secret place (III: 140)
  • Aerys cut himself so often on the Iron Throne that men took to calling him King Scab (III: 410)
  • The royal nursery in Maegor's holdfast is on the floor below the royal apartments (III: 594)
  • The Kitchen Keep is outside of Maegor's Holdfast. It has spacious apartments at the top, with a large bedchamber and adequate solar, a bath and dressing room, and small adjoining chambers for serving men and women. Some of those cells even have windows, though mostly they're little more than arrow slits (III: 655)
  • The Kitchen Keep is only across the courtyard from the castle's main kitchen (III: 655)
  • Much of the castle is connected underground, and the Kitchen Keep is no exception with passages leading from its vaulted cellar (III: 655)
  • The Kitchen Keep has a roof garden (III: 659)
  • Traitor's Walk (III: 659)
  • The throne room has a long carpet stretching from the great bronze doors to the Iron Throne (III: 740)
  • A round white room, its walls whitewashed stone hung with white woolen tapestries, forms the first floor of White Sword Tower, a slender structure of four stories built into an angle of the castle wall overlooking the bay. The undercroft holds arms and armor, the second and third floors the small spare sleeping cells of the six brothers of the Kingsguard, and the topmost floor is given over to the Lord Commander's apartments. His rooms are spare as well, but spacious, and they stand above the outer walls (III: 750)
  • The tunnels beneath the Red Keep are supposedly full of traps for the unwary (III: 875)
  • Maegor the Cruel decreed four levels of dungeons for his castle. On the upper level are cells with high narrow windows where common criminals are confined together. The second level has smaller cells without windows for highborn captives, torches in the halls casting light through the bars. The third level cells, the black cells, are smaller still and have doors of wood so that no light enters them. The lowest level is the fourth, and once a man is taken down there he never sees the sun again, nor hears a voice, nor breathes a breath free of agonizing pain, for the fourth level is set aside for torment (III: 875)
  • It is supposedly safer to go through the fourth level of the dungeons in darkness, because there are things one would not wish to see (III: 875)
  • In the chamber of the five doors beneath the castle, one of the doors will lead the way to the river. It has not been opened in a long time (III: 876)
  • In 211, the Red Keep was garrisoned by the Raven's Teeth, the private guard of Brynden Rivers, Lord Bloodraven (TSS: 122)
  • The Red Keep’s dungeons are managed by the King’s Justice and the gaoler. Under them is the chief undergaoler, the undergaolers, and the turnkeys. There are wages paid for a score of turnkeys and six undergaolers, but in Robert’s reign there were no more than twelve and three respectively (IV: 121-122)
  • There are said to be more than half a hundred secret passages. Among them are crawlways too small for an adult, a passage to the black cells, a stone well with no bottom. Also found is a room full of skulls and bones (IV: 174)
  • At the end of Traitor's Walk are the dungeons and prison cells of the Red Keep, in a squat, half-round tower. The upper levels are divided into cells for prisoners afforded some comfort. At ground level is the entrance to the dungeons, behind a splintery grey and iron door. Inbetween are chambers for the King's Justice, the Chief Gaoler, and the Lord Confessor in the days when the Targaryens kept such an office. The King's Justice serves not only as a headsman, but as the man in charge of the dungeons and the men who labored there (IV: 396)