A Very Necessary Guide To The Best Castles On 'Game Of Thrones'

Q: Which ancestral seat would you most like to conquer?
PHOTO: Game Of Thrones/HBO

Jon and Dany's chemistry gets a lot of play among Game of Thrones fans, but can we talk about the castles for a sec? They're sexy too! Justice for that quasi-medieval architecture! If you're here, it’s probably because you either love construction or you need to brush up on who owns what and who lives where—so let's get on with it. By the way, this post, despite being mostly about Westerosi real estate, still contains spoilers for Game of Thrones.

Dragonstone

The seat of House Targaryen, Dragonstone is located on an island *also called Dragonstone* off the eastern coast of Westeros. There are dragons carved all over the facade because the Targaryens didn't think a castle named Dragonstone on an island called Dragonstone was a subtle enough representation of their nature.

Game Of Thrnoes/HBO
Continue reading below ↓

There's definitely a huge store of dragonglass down there that Daenerys allowed Jon to mine for weapons against the White Walkers. Stannis Baratheon used to have the castle, but Dany recently took up residence.

Game Of Thrones/HBO

Winterfell

Winterfell is the ancestral seat of House Stark and the capital of the North. Even though it's colder in the North than it is down south, you could do a lot worse than living in Winterfell—its walls are heated by an underground hot springs. Cozy!

Continue reading below ↓
Game Of Thrnoes/HBO

According to legend, Winterfell was built by Brandon the Builder thousands of years ago. Although it was briefly held by Theon Greyjoy and later Ramsay Bolton, Winterfell is now back in the hands of the Starks.

Game Of Thrones/HBO
Continue reading below ↓

Castle Black

Castle Black is the headquarters of the Night's Watch, located roughly near the center of the Wall. As castles go, it's kind of...crappy because it doesn't even have any defensive walls, but since it's next to the Wall, we'll try to reserve judgment.

Game Of Thrnoes/HBO
Continue reading below ↓

BTW, Castle Black is only one of 19 castles controlled by the Night's Watch. However, only three of these castles still have men in them.

Game Of Thrnoes/HBO

The Red Keep

The Red Keep is located in King's Landing and is the home of the Iron Throne. It's where the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms lives when he or she isn't roaming up and down the Kingsroad or blowing up the Great Sept of Baelor.

Continue reading below ↓
Game Of Thrnoes/HBO

Within the Red Keep is another castle called Maegor's Holdfast, which is protected by a 12-foot-thick wall. You might remember Maegor's Holdfast from season two, when Cersei hosted the women of the court during the Battle of the Blackwater.

Game Of Thrones/HBO
Continue reading below ↓

Pyke

Pyke is the stronghold of House Greyjoy and is located on an island of the same name in the Iron Islands, off the western coast of Westeros. It consists of several towers connected by rope bridges, which, as Balon Greyjoy learned in season six, are a convenient way to eliminate any opponents to the throne. The throne at Pyke is called the Salt Throne, because everything having to do with the Greyjoys somehow relates to the sea. At least they stay on brand.

Game Of Thrones/HBO
Continue reading below ↓

Horn Hill

Located in the Reach in southwest Westeros, Horn Hill is the seat of House Tarly. It's surrounded by a forest that is supposedly full of wildlife ready to be hunted, or at least that's what people think, given that the Tarly sigil is a guy shooting an arrow. Dickon Tarly lives here, so when you marry him, you'll get to live here too since mean ole Randyll disinherited Samwell.

Game Of Thrones/HBO
Continue reading below ↓

The Eyrie

The Eyrie is the seat of House Arryn, aka the house that Catelyn Stark's sister, Lysa, married into before the show started. It is located in the Mountains of the Moon and is notoriously hard to attack because it sits atop an honest-to-god mountain. The Eyrie's notable features are the sky cells, which are basically jail cells carved into the side of the mountain so that prisoners can just roll right the eff out, and the Moon Door, which is a hole in the floor designed for pushing enemies to their death. After Lysa exited through the Moon Door, her new husband Petyr Baelish took control of the castle.

Game Of Thrones/HBO
Continue reading below ↓

Riverrun

Riverrun is the ancestral home of House Tully, located at the junction of the Red Fork and Tumblestone rivers. It has a pretty cool moat system that can surround the castle by water on three sides, which means it's hard to attack unless you are fully stocked with battle mermaids. It is currently controlled by the Freys on behalf of the Lannisters.

Game Of Thrones/HBO
Continue reading below ↓

See what I mean about an intense moat system? That, right there, is not water I'd like to swim in, TYVM.

Game Of Thrnoes/HBO

The Twins

The Twins is the name for the home of House Frey, so called because it consists of two castles connected by a bridge over the Trident. People who want to cross the bridge have to go through the Freys, which is how the Starks got into that whole Red Wedding mess in the first place.

Continue reading below ↓
Game Of Thrones/HBO

The Twins were still controlled by the Freys up until very recently, when Arya Stark rolled on in and swiftly killed Walder, then put on his face and killed everybody else.

Game of Thrones/HBO
Continue reading below ↓

The Water Gardens

Located in Dorne, the Water Gardens is a private residence for House Martell, although it's not the capital of Dorne—that would be Sunspear, which hasn't been pictured yet on the show. Think of the Water Gardens like the Mar-a-Lago of House Martell, only not as tacky.

Game Of Thrones/HBO
Continue reading below ↓

Before his death, Prince Doran Martell lived at the Water Gardens. But now that the Sand Snakes are dead and Ellaria Sand is in the clutches of Cersei, the Water Gardens is the hottest piece of real estate on the Westerosi market. Maybe Daenerys is looking for a summer home?

Game Of Thrones/HBO
Continue reading below ↓

Moat Cailin

Moat Cailin is a ruined castle in the North that technically falls under the purview of House Stark but only as long as they're in control of the North. It is supposedly more than 10,000 years old, but nobody believes in architectural preservation in Westeros so they just use it for strategic defense against invaders from the South.

Game Of Thrones/HBO
Continue reading below ↓

Moat Cailin, which is sometimes simply called The Moat, is back in the hands of the Starks after being occupied briefly by the Boltons and the Greyjoys.

Game Of Thrones/HBO

Harrenhal

Harrenhal is the most goth castle in Westeros. If there were TV in the Seven Kingdoms, this is the first castle you'd see on Ghost Hunters: The Riverlands, and every single room would light up the EMF meter.

Continue reading below ↓
Game Of Thrones/HBO

According to legend, Harrenhal is cursed, which seems plausible since most of the houses who've held it have been wiped out. Also, Balerion the dragon burned Harrenhal down during Aegon's Conquest. It technically belongs to Petyr Baelish, but let's be real: You don't own Harrenhal. Harrenhal owns you.

Continue reading below ↓
Game Of Thrones/HBO

The Dreadfort

Located east of Winterfell, the Dreadfort is the seat of House Bolton. It is a scary place, where Boltons of yore used to hang the flayed skin of their enemies on the walls. The Boltons are all dead now, but as of season seven, no one has bothered to go check what the hell is going on at the Dreadfort. It might be time to just raze it to the ground and start over. Nobody wants these damaged goods.

Continue reading below ↓
Game OF Thrones/HBO

Casterly Rock

The capital of the Westerlands and the seat of House Lannister, Casterly Rock is located on the western coast of Westeros. It overlooks the harbor of Lannisport, one of the major ports of the Seven Kingdoms, and the Sunset Sea.

Game OF Thrones/HBO
Continue reading below ↓

Casterly Rock is notoriously difficult to capture, unless you're friends with Tyrion Lannister, who knows all the secrets of the Rock's vulnerable sewers. In season seven, Daenerys sent her Unsullied to capture the Rock, but they likely will not be able to hold the castle for long.

Game OF Thrones/HBO
Continue reading below ↓

Highgarden

Highgarden is the capital of the Reach and the seat of House Tyrell. It's surrounded by groves and flowers and trees, which you might expect given that it has the word garden in its name.

Game Of Thrones/HBO

Jaime Lannister and his army captured Highgarden in season seven, so for now it is under the control of Cersei.

Continue reading below ↓
Game Of Thrones/HBO

***

This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.

Sorry, no results were found for