As with Game of Thrones, the fast-approaching House of the Dragon sequel promises a number of rooms such as great halls, council chambers, tower apartments, and bedchambers that will become important locations in the history of Westeros, whether that’s for expressing power, sharing secrets, hatching plots, making plans, forging alliances, or probably an assassination or twelve.
Game of Thrones fans are familiar with many Westerosi (and beyond) locations where monumental decisions and events occurred. But which rooms loom as the most important?
“Everyone wants to know their future, until they know their future,” Maggy the Frog tells the youthful and arrogant Cersei Lannister, who arrives at her forest abode demanding that the witch tell her fortune.
Employing blood magic, Maggy tells Cersei that she may ask three questions. Similar to the ancient Greek Oracle at Delphi, Maggy’s answers are cryptic, though they suggest bad outcomes for Cersei and her family, especially her children. Though Cersei is haunted by the prophecy and does her best to avoid it, the unstoppable current of events out of her control proves the foretelling correct and proves the undeniable power of magic in Game of Thrones.
The famous Chamber of the Painted Table is located in the Great Hall of Dragonstone castle. Exquisitely carved to represent Westeros, with all its major landmarks and cities present, the table was commissioned by Aegon Targaryen to plan his conquest of Westeros.
As the room where Stannis once plotted to take the Iron Throne, it serves the same purpose when Daenarys Targaryen returns to Dragonstone in season 7. Daenerys assembles her followers, including Jon, Tyrion, Varys, Davos, and Grey Worm and they strategize for the coming war with Cersei. Another important moment occurs in the chamber when Jon rejects Daenerys’ advances and she concludes that ruling through fear, not love, is the winning philosophy.
The largest single building in King’s Landing, the massive Sept (a single structure with seven walls) of Baelor serves as the grand church of the Faith of The Seven. It’s the location of one of the most heinous acts of political savagery witnessed in Game of Thrones: the evil villain Cersei, facing a trial run by the High Sparrow, detonates wildfire barrels under the Sept.
Cersei’s mass murder results in far-reaching consequences: the incineration of the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant crushes the church’s power, Oleanna Tyrell becomes an enemy, House Lannister loses Kevan and Lancel, and Cersei rids her small council of Mace Tyrell and Grand Maester Pycelle. The suicide of King Tommen Baratheon is a direct result of Cersei’s actions, paving the way for Cersei’s Queenship.
As an accomplished climber, Bran Stark scales the Broken Tower while King Robert Baratheon and his family are visiting Winterfell. He discovers Cersei and Jaime in an amorous embrace and Jaime pushes him out the window, assuming his “accidental” death will keep the Lannisters’ affair hidden. Bran survives the fall but loses the use of his legs.
Bran’s fall is the incident that sets him on his journey to become the Three-Eyed Raven, one of the most powerful and potentially consequential characters in the Game of Thrones universe. It is through Bran that the audience witnesses the truth about Jon Snow’s parentage and the creation of the White Walkers. Bran the Broken, warg, greenseer, and Three-Eyed Raven, becomes the first elected King of the Six Kingdoms, and a capable protector of the good.
Jon Snow’s parentage was a long-running mystery on Game of Thrones, especially due to hints that Ned Stark was not his biological father. The highly suspected answer is exposed in the last episode of season 6, when Bran has a vision of Ned’s battle with Arthur Dayne at the Tower of Joy.
In the Tower’s bedchamber, Aegon Targaryen is born to Lyanna Stark. Knowing that Aegon’s life is in peril, his very existence having the potential to upend dynasties and rewrite the history of Westeros, Ned keeps his identity secret, naming him as his bastard, Jon Snow. Not a bad start for a character with one of the best arcs in Game of Thrones.
Viewers were shocked but pleased in the final episode of season 4 when the Tyrion escaped the dungeons, grabbed a crossbow, and pin-cushioned Tywin as he was doing his business on the garderobe (the medieval version of a toilet).
Tyrion is wrongly imprisoned for the assassination of King Joffrey, but that isn’t the straw that breaks Tyrion’s long-suffering back regarding his cruel father; it is Tywin’s interlude with Shae. His killing of Shae and the patricide that followed proved the usually gentle and smart Tyrion was as dangerous as any Lannister on Game of Thrones. The royal decapitation (Joffrey and Tywin) set into motion the tragic fate of the Lannister family.
Located on a small island in the Braavos lagoon, the House of Black and White stands as the temple of the Many-Faced God, home to a guild of religious assassins. The mysterious and dark edifice, shunned by the locals, houses a huge underground chamber called the Hall of Faces.
As an apprentice to Jaqen H’ghar, Arya is introduced to the sacred Hall where she learns to use the magic of the Faceless Men, abilities that will prove vital in her quests to avenge the Stark family and ultimately battle with the Night King.
As the headquarters for the ancient order of the Night’s Watch, Castle Black is both a sanctuary from and a gate into the dangerous, cold, and unforgiving lands north of The Wall. Yet danger can also lurk within Castle Black, for many of its soldiers are exiles with dark histories.
After the Night’s Watch mutineers execute Jon, his body is carried back to his quarters where the Red Priestess Melisandre performs a magic ritual that resurrects his body. Freed from his Night’s Watch vows by death, the reborn Jon is free to leave and reluctantly embrace his heroic role, retaking Winterfell from Ramsay Bolton, allying with Daenerys, and facing off with the Night King.
Although House Frey wasn’t seen in every episode of Game of Thrones, events that unfolded in their Great Hall were stunning moments in the storyline. Characters were quite distrustful of weaselly Tully bannerman Walder Frey, and for good reason.
As the location of the Red Wedding, one of the best and most shocking twists in Game of Thrones, the Frey Great Hall is burned into every viewer’s memory. It was here where Walder Frey and Roose Bolton had Lady Catelyn Stark (nee Tully), Robb Stark, and his pregnant wife Talisa murdered, and fittingly served as the setting for Arya’s revenge upon Walder and his family.
As the location of the much-contested Iron Throne, the Great Hall of the Red Keep is symbolically and politically the most important room in Game of Thrones. Earthshaking events take place here, as well as many small ones, such as the whisperings of Varys and Littlefinger.
It is in the Great Hall that Ned Stark is betrayed, Tyrion is put on trial for the murder of King Joffrey, Jaime is exiled and Cersei is coronated after her destruction of the Sept of Baelor. In season 8, Daenerys uses Drogon to destroy much of the Red Keep, including the Great Hall, which later becomes the site of her own assassination at the hands of Jon Snow. Moments later, Drogon melts the Iron Throne.
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Author: Richard Preston