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Exploring The Red Keep From House Of The Dragon

By Chandraboli Majumdar
September 4,2022
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House of the Dragon has given us another look into the Red Keep after Game of Thrones. The castle is located on Aegon’s hill in the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, King’s Landing. The castle houses the royal family of Viserys Targaryen as well as the King’s Hand Otto Hightower. The Red Keep gets its name from the pale red stone that it is made out of. It has a beautiful view of the Blackwater Rush as well. The castle is huge and sprawling. It has many interesting rooms and towers that we will be exploring.

A brief history of the Red Keep

The Red Keep in House of the Dragon

The Red Keep in House of the Dragon

The Red Keep was initially built of earth and wood and was called Aegonfort. It was built by Aegon and then later renovated and turned into the stone castle it is today. After Aegon’s death, his son Aenys Targaryen took over the castle which was named Red Keep by the people of the town. Later on, his brother Maegor finished the construction of the castle. He added moated redoubt which then became known as Maegor’s holdfast. He also added some very important elements such as secret passages, false walls, and trapdoors.

Once the castle was completed Maegor threw a feast for its builders, carvers, and stonemasons. However, this feast was a trap in disguise. Maegor slaughtered these men to ensure that no other mortal being would know the secrets of the castle except for him. Some even believed that one of the masons had escaped Maegor’s wrath using the secret passages of the castle and later came and assassinated the King dubbed Maegor the Cruel. Maegor also constructed the dragonpit which became another important building in the history of the Targaryens. The Red Keep also plays an important part in the Dance of the Dragons.

Interesting buildings and places in the castle

Maegor's Holdfast

Maegor’s Holdfast

The Red Keep has many interesting building and towers that are integral to the Targaryen dynasty and the Royalty. The castle has cobbled squares, large draping curtains and the infamous serpentine steps that are so difficult to climb that they have even claimed a few lives. Here are some of the buildings.

Black Cells

Black Cells in the Red Keep

Black Cells in the Red Keep

Out of the four levels of dungeons in the Red Keep, the third level houses the Black Cells. These cells are extremely small and have no windows or openings that allow sunlight to enter. The cells are submerged in complete darkness and have wooden doors locking prisoners within. These cells are only used for the most vile and corrupt prisoners due to its cruel nature. These cells lack even basic amenities such as beds and waste buckets. Maegor the Cruel even tortured his nephew Viserys to death in these cells.

Maidenvault 

Maidenvault

Maidenvault

The Maidenvault is an interesting room because of how it was used before. King Baelor the blessed used this room to imprison his sister-wife Daena Targaryen, Rhaena and Elaena Targaryen. It was called the Court of Beauty then as he confined the sisters within so as to avoid any temptations or carnal thoughts that he had. The princesses were confined for nearly a decade and were only let out once King Baelor had passed. Elaena even cut off her long and beautiful platinum tresses so that she would be considered ugly. While Daena tried to dress herself as a poor servant to try an escape the confinement.

Royal Sept

The Royal Sept in House of the Dragon

The Royal Sept in House of the Dragon

The Royal Sept is a place of worship and prayer. Its a large and beautiful room with crystal windows that light up the hall with rainbows. There are fragrant candles burning all day long and several rows of benches for worshippers to sit and pray on. The Royal Sept also has the marriage altar within.

Dragonpit

Dragonpit in House of the Dragon

Dragonpit in House of the Dragon

The Dragonpit isn’t exactly within the Castle but is still an important part of the Red Keep. It houses the royal dragons of the House of Targaryen and is situated on the Hill of Rhaenys. This also became the location for execution of enemies and traitors whose corpses were then fed to the dragons.

The Rookery

Rookery in the Red Keep

Rookery in the Red Keep

The rookery is also known as the ravenry. It houses the ravens of the maesters of house Targaryen. Thus it is located right above the Grand Maester’s chambers. Ravens from here are often chosen to send messages when required.