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Castle Black

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"I found it surprisingly beautiful. In a brutal, horribly uncomfortable sort of way."
Tyrion Lannister to Janos Slynt[src]

Castle Black, near the center of the Wall

Castle Black Pin

The location of Castle Black on the continent of Westeros.

Castle Black is the primary headquarters and redoubt of the Night's Watch. It is located roughly halfway along the length of the Wall on its southern side, at the northern end of the Kingsroad. It is a dark and chilling home to its garrison.[1]

Castle Black is one of only three manned castles left on the Wall along with Eastwatch-by-the-Sea and The Shadow Tower. There are nineteen castles along the Wall, but as their numbers fell over the centuries the Night's Watch had to abandon sixteen of them. Castle Black is located between the unmanned castles of Queensgate and Oakensheild.

Castle Black has a sept, but no Godswood. Those who are followers of the Old Gods of the Forest must travel a mile north of the Wall and into the Haunted Forest to take their vows before a heart tree.

Notable residents


In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Castle Black is located at the northern end of the Kingsroad, which runs for some two thousand miles all the way to King's Landing. Castle Black is ancient, although not the oldest castle on the Wall, an honor that lies with the long-abandoned Nightfort. Castle Black doesn't have a godswood, which may indicate that it was built after the Andal Invasion, by which time fewer new recruits followed the Old Gods.

Castle Black consists of a number of large structures, and in past centuries has held as many as 5,000 warriors. At the start of the books less than 600 soldiers are based there. Castle Black is defended by the Wall to the north, but is undefended to the east, west and south, to symbolize the Night's Watch being only a threat to the wildlings of the uttermost north, not the other realms of the Seven Kingdoms. Castle Black is only one of three castles permanently manned, the others being the Shadow Tower at the far western end of the Wall and Eastwatch-by-the-Sea at the far eastern end. Aside from these three castles there are sixteen other castles along the length of the Wall, all currently unmanned due to lack of manpower. Some of these have fallen into disrepair due to lack of use.

There is both a winch-driven lift and a switchback stairway that permit members of the Watch to reach the top of the Wall.

Behind the scenes

A significantly-sized castle set was built at Magheramorne, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, in a former quarry.[2] The set includes several structures and a fully-working wooden lift system, although the Wall and much of the scenery will be added later with CGI.


See also

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