The Red Keep is the residence of the King of the Andals and the First Men, his family and his court, located within King's Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms. It dominates the skyline of the city, and serves as the city's primary fortress and redoubt.
Located in the southeastern corner of King's Landing, the Red Keep overlooks Blackwater Bay and the Narrow Sea. It is currently the seat of King Joffrey Baratheon, and was formerly the seat of King Robert Baratheon and before him, the seat of the Targaryen kings.
The Great Hall
The Great Hall is the massive throne room of the Red Keep and where the Iron Throne stands. The King (or his Hand, in the event of the King's absence), holds court and receives petitioners within the Great Hall. It is also employed for official ceremonies.
The Tower of the Hand
Maegor's Holdfast is a stout tower in the center of the Red Keep. It was named after King Maegor Targaryen, who built the Red Keep. It serves as a redoubt when the city is attacked. The royal apartments are also located in Maegor's Holdfast.
Maegor's Holdfast served as a refuge for Queen Cersei and the highborn ladies of the Red Keep during the Battle of the Blackwater.
The Traitor's Walk
The Traitor's Walk is an outer corridor on one of the sides of the Red Keep with view to one of its outer walls. The heads of criminals and traitors are placed on spikes over said wall, visible both to the exterior of the Red Keep and whoever passes through the corridor.
Following the arrest and execution of Ned Stark, his head and those of his entire household were placed on the wall beside the Traitor's Walk.
The Black Cells
The Black Cells are part of the dungeons of the Red Keep. Prisoners accused of treason and other high crimes are kept within the Black Cells, as was the case of Ned Stark. Varys has access to the Black Cells, though he dons the disguise of a gaoler when entering.
Notable residents of the Keep
- King Joffrey of House Baratheon, the First of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm.
- Lord Tywin Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock and Warden of the West, Hand of the King and Savior of the City.
- Tyrion Lannister, called "The Imp" and "Halfman", his youngest son, former acting Hand of the King and new Master of Coin.
- Ser Kevan Lannister, Lord Tywin's brother
- Ser Lancel Lannister, his son and cousin to the Queen Regent.
- Lady Olenna Tyrell, mother of Lord Mace Tyrell
- Lord Varys, called "The Spider", the King's Master of Whisperers and a member of the small council.
- Grand Maester Pycelle, the Red Keep's resident healer and king's adviser in matters of science and history, a member of the small council.
- Ser Meryn Trant, Ser Boros Blount, Ser Preston Greenfield, Ser Balon Swann, knights of the Kingsguard.
- Ser Ilyn Payne, the King's Justice, a mute headsman and executioner.
- Ser Aron Santagar, Master-at-Arms of the Red Keep.
- Lord Gyles Rosby, Lord of Rosby.
- Lady Sansa Lannister (neé Stark), Tyrion's wife.
- Shae, Sansa's handmaiden and Tyrion's concubine.
- Dontos Hollard, called "Dontos the Red", a former knight and King Joffrey's new fool.
Behind the scenes
In the books
In A Song of Ice and Fire, the Red Keep is a major castle complex located at the south-eastern corner of the city of King's Landing, directly overlooking the Blackwater Rush and Blackwater Bay. It is built atop Aegon's High Hill, the tallest hill of the city, and affords a panoramic view of the rest of the city. It consists of a number of interconnected buildings, such as the main keep, a secondary castle called Maegor's Holdfast and the Tower of the Hand, the seat of the Hand of the King. White Sword Tower is the base of operations for the Kingsguard. The Red Keep is so-named due to the redstone bricks used to build it.
The Red Keep was built approximately three centuries prior to the events of the series and replaced an earlier wooden fort, built by King Aegon I Targaryen where he first set foot on the continent and used as his base of operations in his conquest of Westeros. The construction of the Keep was an immense undertaking, spanning the reign of the first few Targaryen kings, although modifications and additions to the castle have been made ever since.