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Westeros Top 10: Castles

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 2

The Westeros top 10 is back in business, after presenting you with the 10 biggest baddasses in Westeros history I am now bringing to you the luxurious, stable, and surprisingly flammable castles of Westeros. From the lavish and fantastical Highgarden to the dark, cold, and giant infested Castle Black, there is a wide selection of castles in the land of Westeros to choose from. But what is the one fort to rule them all?

10) Winterfell


Why not start the countdown with the place that started it all, Winterfell. Once home to the Starks, Winterfell is now only a shell of what it once was. Built by Brandon the builder with the help of giants, Winterfell stood as the beacon of the cold and frigid north. But sadly taken down by a squid and bastard. But all hope isn’t gone, while it’s golden days are behind her there is one man who hasn’t had his last say in whether or not Winterfell has any life left, that man, Stannis the mannis.


9) Storm’s End

storms end

Speaking of Stannis the mannis, lets talk about his and the Baratheon clans old stomping ground, Storm’s End. Known as one of the strongest castles in Westeros its said that there is even magic built within its walls to protect magic from entering it’s walls. During the War of the Usurper, Stannis kept hold of the castle which was under siege by Mace Tyrell on land and Paxter Redwyne by sea by eating rats.


8) Hightower


Is having an impenetrable castle not up to your liking, then how about the tallest? Hightower located directly in the center of Old Town one of the biggest and oldest cities in all Westeros. Not much is known about Hightower as no major characters other than Sam(sadly) is anywhere near Old Town. But importance of this castle and area shouldn’t go unnoticed. It is widely considered as one of the nine wonders made by men, and living in Hightower would be a great ego boost to gloat to your friends that your castle is older and longer than their castle. An utter win in my book.


7) Harrenhal


While some may like living in status, safety, and comfort, I prefer living in castles that are big, haunted, and walls torched by dragons. If you are like me then you would love Harrenhal. Located in the Riverlands on the northern shore of the Gods eye, Harrenhal once a thriving lavish castle, Harrenhal is now considered a bit of a fixer upper. The castle was given to many houses but due to a slight problem with some sort of blood curse, any family living in the castle will eventually be met with much misfortune. But if you don’t mind dragons fire, blood curses, and the ghost of an angry lord, then the “beauty” of Harrenhal shall be yours.


6) Casterly Rock

casterly rock


Stomping ground of the Lannister clan, Casterly Rock while never seen certainly has been heard. The second largest castle behind the before mentioned, Casterly Rock is one of the last untouched aspects of the Song of Ice and Fire novels as not much is known about the castle as none of the series has taken place on the western portion of Westeros. Tywin pulled up stakes and left after finding his son abducted by a Stark in a Game of Thrones and never returned. Putting Casterly Rock at number 6 has more to do with status than substance as I am a Lannister fanboy. If you don’t like my decision than tough, write an article of your own, just don’t diss my rock.


5) Red Keep

red keep

The Red Keep on Aegon’s Hill in King’s Landing is the castle holding the King and his crew. The capital of the Seven Kingdoms, there is no other building excluding the Wall, as important as the Red Keep. Secrets and mystery aplenty as the builders of the castle itself were killed by Maegor I to keep the knowledge of the castles layout secret. Sections of the castle include: Maegor's Holdfast, Tower of the Hand, the Great Hall, and the Godswood, no other setting within the series has held as much time as this castle. From Midway through a Game of Thrones on there has always been at least one POV character within the walls that Maegor built. That alone shows importance of this castle, the Red Keep is the glue that holds the series together, too bad it’s always been inhabited by drunks, idiots, and psychopaths during it.


4) Dragonstone


Dragonstone, the long-time home and hold of Stannis the mannis, is the definitive castle signifying a “Do not mess with me” individual. The castle built to look like a giant dragon flock. Not surprising as the castle was once home to the Targaryens, but with the entire castle shaped and designed with a dragon state of mind not only shows an individuals tenacity as a lord but a master of interior design as well. Dragons, gargoyles, and crazy yet sexy blood magic women, oh my. What more can you ask for in a castle of doom?


3) Highgarden


For the Disney princesses living inside all of us, Highgarden is for you. In the land of chivalry and green, Highgarden is home to House Tyrell and is the capital of the reach. With the richest land in Westeros, Highgarden is the epitome of what you think a castle in a fantasy world should look like. The richest wines, fastest horses, and the whitest of white knights. If there is one shining beacon in the otherwise dirty and dark land of Westeros, it would be the capital of roses. The Tyrells have pushed their weight around but haven’t made a true push and ploy for the Iron Throne. But looking at the region and castle they come from, I can’t really blame them for resting on their laurels.


2) The Eyrie

the eyrie

The house of Arryn, what it lacks in size it make up for in location, it's on top of a damn mountain. Located in the mountains of the moon, the eyrie’s defense is the strongest in the seven kingdoms. Not only would an army have to get past the bloody gate and the gates of the moon. They would then have to march their way up a narrow path exposing themselves to knights of the vale living in the mountain as well as passing 3 more defended castles before reaching the Eyrie. In short it’s pretty tough to get there if you are not wanted. While tough to get there its quite easy to leave, just go through the moondoor. You’ll find the bottom of the mountain in a jiffy.

The one issue with the eyrie is that it is so isolated it doesn’t have the ability to grow crops or livestock. Instead they rely on the agricultural richness of the vale to supply them with the food to sustain the residents. I would suggest finding a vacation house in Dorne during the winter, as winter straight up sucks in the eyrie. Besides being stuck in a castle with a 10-year-old breastfed whiny momma's boy would make anyone wanna jump out the moon door.


1) Castle Black

castle black

How could I have a countdown without mentioning the boys in black. The stronghold of the wall, Castle Black is the headquarters of The watch, which protects Westeros from what lies north of the wall. The castle use to boast over 5000 men but due to lack of interest and threats from the rest of Westeros, Castle Black now only holds 400 men. Being part of the watch was once an honor among men and Castle Black used to represent that.

Lacking in men, supplies, and morale, all that is left is the will and hope that the Seven Kingdoms care about the coming threat. With Castle Black near extinction, two men have come to the rescue reassuring Castle Blacks and the walls survival. Jon “Lyanna and Rhaegar” Snow, and wait for it…..Stannis the mannis. The wall will be the set piece for the novels to come. Winter is coming and increased activity north, Castle Black will need to play a pivotal role in the future survival of Westeros. But with Azor Ahai reborn and Stannis at the helm, Castle Black, the wall and Westeros itself, might defeat the icy threat for good.



Dec 18, 2013 7:16am
Good article, but I think I would have excluded Hightower and highlighted Dorne or one of the other cities across the sea. Also I don't know if Castle Black would be my top pick, Dragonstone would get that honor from me (parts of it are literally made from dragons embedded into the mountain!)
Dec 18, 2013 5:30pm
Good stuff to tide us all over while we wait for the next season...and more importantly, the next book. Darn you, GRRM, get writing!!
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