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10 Things Only Book Readers Know About King’s Landing

Throughout the first season of House of the Dragon, King’s Landing has played a key role in the action. As the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, it is one of the most politically important cities, and what happens there affects the lives and destinies of almost every person living in the realm.


Therefore, it is especially important to understand just how important it is, both to those living at the time of House of the Dragon and afterward. Though some of this is revealed in the show, there are also many things about the capital that are only revealed to those who have read George RR Martin’s various books.

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10/10 It’s Smaller In Area Than Oldtown

There are many important locations in House of the Dragon, but arguably two of the most vital are King’s Landing and Oldtown. The latter is especially notable for being the base of power for House Hightower, one of the most important houses in Westeros.

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While King’s Landing has a greater population than Oldtown, it is actually smaller in area. Thus, it’s no wonder that the Hightowers, including Otto, continue to think that they should wield a significant amount of influence over the doings of the kingdom and of the monarch himself.

9/10 It Has Seven Gates

Seven is obviously a very important number in the lore of House of the Dragon. Aegon the Conqueror, when he brought Westeros under his dominion, decided that it would be best if the city should also have seven gates.

In this way, he was able to signal to his new subjects that he was willing and able to subscribe to the Faith that was so important. More to the point, he also ensured that the very geography of the most important city in his realm was also aligned with the spiritual and religious world.

8/10 The Site Was Largely Barren Before Aegon’s Conquest

Given how important King’s Landing would become to both the Targaryens and all of those who ruled Westeros, it’s striking to think just how young it is as a city. Unlike some of the most other notable locations in the story, it didn’t even exist before Aegon began his conquest.

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In fact, the only thing on the site were a few fishing villages. The fact that it was able to become such a sprawling metropolis in such a short period of time shows just how effective the Targaryens were at solidifying their base of operations in their new realm.

7/10 Much Work Was Done During The Reign Of King Jaehaerys

King Jaehaerys was arguably one of the best kings of Westeros. He was able to bring peace to a realm that had been almost torn apart by conflict of war and conflict of one form or another. Thus, it’s not surprising that he would also work so hard to make sure that his capital matched his own ambitions to be a good ruler for his kingdom.

Among other things, he ensured that the city was equipped with proper drainage, which greatly improved the lives of the citizens. He also saw to it that the Dragonpit was finally completed.

6/10 Viserys I Made It Into A Place Of Beauty

Though he may not be one of the best kings of Westeros, King Viserys was still a good man and arguably a great Targaryen. In the books, this is made clear in a number of ways, particularly in his genuine love of pleasure and spectacle.

To this end, he worked very hard to turn the capital into a place of exquisite beauty, and he was particularly well-known for hosting tournaments and other displays of his generosity. This is an element that is somewhat downplayed in the series. This is a bit unfortunate, as it denies the viewer the chance to see just how much of a difference he made over the city he ruled.

5/10 It So Disgusted King Aerys II He Considered Building A New Capital Altogether

Aerys was, of course, one of the worst and most evil kings of the Seven Kingdoms. It was his actions, after all, that led to Robert’s Rebellion and the demise of his dynasty. He was, by all accounts, very disgusted by the stink of King’s Landing (which was, to be sure, a very filthy city).

He was apparently so dismayed by it all that he wanted to build an entirely new capital. As it turns out, this might have been a good idea, since he was ultimately killed in King’s Landing, whereas another capital might have been more easily defended.

4/10 It’s The Principal Harbor Of Westeros

Trade is obviously very important to a place like Westeros. Indeed, part of what makes House of the Dragon such a great fantasy series is that it pays attention to issues like trade and geography.

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Since King’s Landing is the principal harbor of Westeros, this means that it has a key role to play in both the events of the Dance of the Dragons and afterward. After all, the party that controls trade has a unique advantage in any conflict. Its status also means that it is often in competition with some of the other cities for whom trade is a vital part of their economy.

3/10 It Has About Half A Million People

In Westeros, as in so many other places, the amount of population of a place can change the course of events. King’s Landing is, no doubt, the most populous city in Westeros. According to some estimates, it has about half a million people, which is a truly staggering number of people.

This is yet another reason that it is such a valuable asset to whichever party happens to have control of it at a given moment. And, for this reason, Rhaenyra and Aegon will each attempt to hold it as they compete for the Iron Throne.

2/10 It Was Hit Hardest By The Plague Known As The Shivers

There are many horrific events related in Fire and Blood, and one of the worst is the plague known as the Shivers. This was a plague that hit King’s Landing especially hard, and it was even known to have made inroads into the royal family itself (this, despite the Targaryens being almost always immune from most diseases).

This created a great deal of riots and chaos in the city, as much of the City Watch was also afflicted. As so often in the world of House of the Dragon, all it takes is a disease like this one to create death and disorder.

1/10 Baelor The Blessed Attempted To Outlaw Prostitution In The Capital

Baelor the Blessed might have been one of the most loved kings of Westeros, but he was also more than a little mad. Among other things, he decided to try to outlaw prostitution in King’s Landing.

This resulted not only in the expulsion of a significant number of people–mostly women and children–but also unrest and chaos. However, Baelor wasn’t the type of person who would care about such things. Instead, he committed even more of his attention to seeing to it that his Great Sept was built (though it wouldn’t be finished until after his death).

NEXT: The Targaryens, Ranked From Most Heroic To Most Villainous

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