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"We'll be in Astapor by nightfall."
―Ser Jorah Mormont[src]
Astapor map

A map showing the location of Astapor on the continent of Essos.

Astapor, also known as the Red City,[1] is the southernmost of the three great city-states of Slaver's Bay. A noted stopping point for ships bound from Qarth to the Free Cities and Westeros, Astapor is home of the infamous Unsullied, eunuch slave-soldiers[2] considered by many to be the finest infantry troops in the World. Astapor's sigil, like that of the other cities of Slaver's Bay, is that of the harpy, the ancient symbol of the Ghiscari Empire, of which Astapor was once part. Though culturally still identifying itself as Ghiscari, Astapor is an independent city-state and is not aligned with New Ghis, which seeks to restore the Ghiscari Empire, to the south.

The flag of Astapor bears the Ghiscari harpy holding between its talon a chain with open manacles on both ends.

People and things from Astapor are known as "Astapori".

HistoryEdit

Season 2Edit

While in Qarth, Ser Jorah Mormont informs Daenerys Targaryen that he has procured transport on a ship bound for Astapor. However, Daenerys refuses to leave without having first recovered her dragons from the House of the Undying.[3]

Season 3Edit

Daenerys is convinced to travel to Astapor to procure the services of the eunuch slave-army known as the Unsullied. In Astapor she is nearly assassinated by the use of a manticore, but is saved by Ser Barristan Selmy, who pledges his service to her.[4]

Daenerys later visits the Walk of Punishment, where slaves who have committed transgressions are tortured and put on display as a warning to others. Daenerys attempts to comfort a slave who has been condemned to death with water.  He instead begs her to be allowed to die.[5]

After purchasing the entirety of Unsullied of Astapor, as well as the slave-boys still in training to become Unsullied, Daenerys double crosses the Good Masters. Under her command, the Unsullied put all slaver masters in the city to the sword, sparing only the children, and liberate the slaves, while Drogon, Viserion, and Rhaegal are also unleashed.[6]

While meeting with Razdal mo Eraz outside of Yunkai, Daenerys demands the release of every slave in the city or she and her army of Unsullied will take it by force. Highly offended, Eraz spits back that Yunkai is not Astapor or Qarth, and that the Yunkai'i have "powerful friends" who would take great pleasure in bringing Daenerys down.[7]

Season 4Edit

Upon arriving at the gates of Meereen, Daenerys boldly recounts her conquests of Astapor and Yunkai to the assembled crowds, before catapulting chests filled with slave collars inside the city walls as an ultimatum to the inhabitants.

Once established in Meereen, Ser Jorah Mormont reports to Daenerys that the council she left behind to rule the Astapor in place of the Good Masters has been overthrown by a butcher named Cleon, who has installed himself as king.[8]

Notable residentsEdit

GalleryEdit

In the booksEdit

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Astapor is culturally and historically Ghiscari in origin. Like its sister-cities Yunkai and Meereen, Astapor was founded as a colony of the Ghiscari Empire, one of the earliest civilizations in the known world. Following the Empire's defeat by the Valyrian Freehold nearly five thousand years ago, the capital city of Ghis was razed to the ground, but Astapor, Yunkai and Meereen survived, becoming major centers of the Valyrian slave trade. After the Doom of Valyria, the three cities reasserted their autonomy and reestablished their Ghiscari traditions, but have not joined the resurgent Ghiscari nation based at New Ghis.

Astapor's moniker "the Red City" is well deserved: every structure in the city- the walls, the streets, and even the great stepped pyramids that dominate the bay shore- are all constructed of the same red brick. An old saying describes the city: "Bricks and blood built Astapor, and bricks and blood her people". This refers not only to the color of the bricks used in construction, but to the blood shed by countless slaves who lived and died building the city.

The city is ruled by the Good Masters, a group of slave-owners and traders who have become immensely wealthy. The stepped pyramids they live in are similar to those in Meereen, but not as large. Many types of plants and greenery can be found on the pyramids' terraces, and at dusk the Good Masters adorn the pyramids with silk lanterns which glow in many colors. Astapori women dress in gowns of sheer linen decorated with lapis lazuli and wear ivory combs in their hair. Elephants are a common method of transport through the city streets, carrying passengers in latticework litters on their backs.

Despite this outward beauty, Astapor is in many ways an unpleasant place. The streets can be very hot during the day - which leads many citizens to avoid them - and the red brick used for construction is old and worn. It crumbles easily and can scatter red dust every time the wind blows. This dust is so prevalent, and can sting so painfully, that women in the city typically wear veils to keep it out of their eyes. Also, despite the presence of the Unsullied, Astapor does not seem to be very well-protected- Daenerys Targaryen notes that even a small Dothraki khalasar could easily take the city due to its weak defenses.

Astapor is located at the mouth of the Worm River. The city also contains fighting pits and slave markets.

Slaves who displease their masters are tortured and displayed in the Plaza of Punishment, which is the first place a new slave brought into the city sees.

The trade of slaves is usually conducted in the Plaza of Pride, an open market where the slavers take their customers to view their purchases. In the center of the plaza stands a red brick fountain with a hammered bronze version of the Astapori harpy standing in its center.

In terms of size, Astapor is relatively small. Although bigger than its sister-city of Yunkai, its population is not on par with other major cities- such as Qarth, Pentos or Lys- and Meereen has a bigger population than Astapor and Yunkai put together.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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