From Dragonstone to the Free Cities, These Are the Most Important "House of the Dragon" Locations
"House of the Dragon" takes place centuries before "Game of Thrones," focusing on a particularly chaotic era during the reign of House Targaryen. While it's every bit as epic as the original series, it does take place in a slightly smaller geographic area. Where "Game of Thrones" spread its sprawling cast all over Westeros (and Essos), "House of the Dragon" focuses a lot of the action on a few key locations.
From the Red Keep of King's Landing to Dragonstone and the Free Cities and beyond, location — and who controls those locations — plays a big part in the conflict on "House of the Dragon." Here's what you should know about the most significant places we've been introduced to so far.
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The Red Keep
Where is The Red Keep?
Located in the heart of the capital, King's Landing, the Red Keep is the castle and seat of the Westerosi monarchy. It was constructed after Aegon I Targaryen's conquest of Westeros, and it has been the official residence of the monarchy ever since.
The Red Keep's Significance
Throughout its existence, it has been the seat of the Targaryen dynasty, Robert Baratheon and his heirs, and, briefly, two queens: Cersei Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen. In the timeline of "Game of Thrones," the Red Keep is severely damaged following the Battle of King's Landing. Enough of it is intact, however, to remain as the seat of the newly elected monarchy, with Bran Stark as the first elected king to rule from it.
Where Are the Stepstones?
The Stepstones are a group of small islands located east of Westeros (further east than Dorne) and west of Essos, between the Narrow Sea and the Summer Sea. Their location has historically made them a key area to control for trade, but by the same token, has made them a prime location for pirates, criminals, and others. Like other locations in the region, their rule is largely disputed.
The Stepstones' Significance in "House of the Dragon"
At one point — right around the time of "House of the Dragon" — an alliance of Free Cities, known as the Triarchy, works together to rid the Stepstones of pirates and make it a safe passageway. However, the nobles of Westeros soon grow frustrated by the ambition of those holding the islands (not to mention the high tolls they exact on ships passing through), and figures such as Daemon Targaryen and Corlys Velaryon decide to launch a bid to control the Stepstones themselves.
Where is Driftmark?
An island off the eastern coast of Westeros in Blackwater Bay, Driftmark sits just west of the castle Dragonstone and is the historic home of House Velaryon, an old Valyrian house notable for its naval power.
Driftmark's Significance in "House of the Dragon"
During the Dance of the Dragons, Driftmark serves as a key rallying point for Corlys Velaryon's forces. By the time of "Game of Thrones," House Velaryon's power has severely diminished, as has the importance of Driftmark.
Where is Dragonstone?
Dragonstone is a castle sitting on an island at the entrance of Blackwater Bay, off the eastern coast of Westeros. Historically, it has been the seat of House Targaryen, and the heir to the throne is often called the "Prince of Dragonstone."
Who Lived in Dragonstone?
Quite a few notable characters have lived in Dragonstone over the centuries. As the seat of Targaryen heirs apparent, many Targaryen kings lived there before ascending to the Iron Throne. King Viserys himself was Prince of Dragonstone before becoming king, and his daughter, Rhaenyra, becomes the first Princess of Dragonstone. Viserys's brother, Daemon, also lives at the castle for a time, although he's never officially Prince of Dragonstone. It becomes Rhaenyra's seat of power during the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons.
Dragonstone's Significance in "Game of Thrones"
Centuries later, after Robert Baratheon's rebellion, Dragonstone is taken by House Baratheon. Robert gives the castle to his brother, Stannis, to create a new branch of their family, House Baratheon of Dragonstone, and Stannis Baratheon lives there with his wife and daughter. After Stannis's defeat, the castle is left empty until Daenerys arrives and claims it as her seat; she has a connection to the castle, as she was actually born there.
The Free Cities
Where Are the Free Cities?
The Free Cities, as their name suggests, are a collection of independent city-states, located across the narrow sea along the western coast of Essos. The nine cities are Braavos, Lorath, Lys, Myr, Norvos, Pentos, Qohor, Tyrosh, and Volantis.
The Free Cities' Significance in "House of the Dragon"
In "House of the Dragon," Lys, Myr, and Tyrosh are the Free Cities most relevant to the plot, as they form the Triarchy. This alliance seeks to rid the Stepstones and the surrounding region of pirates and outlaws, but their growing power is seen as a threat to some in Westeros.
The Free Cities' Significance in "Game of Thrones"
The Free Cities are also seen in "Game of Thrones." Most notably, Arya Stark flees to Braavos to train with the assassins known as the Faceless Men.