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This article is about the castle. For the Histories & Lore special feature, see: Casterly Rock (Histories & Lore)
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"Casterly Rock is an impregnable fortress. But as a good friend of mine once said, "Give me ten good men... and I'll impregnate the bitch!""
Tyrion Lannister to Daenerys Targaryen[src]

Map showing the location of Casterly Rock on the continent of Westeros.

Casterly Rock is the ancestral stronghold of House Lannister. It is located on the Western coast of Westeros on a rocky promontory overlooking the Sunset Sea. It overlooks the major city of Lannisport. A major goldmine is located under Casterly Rock. It is one of the most productive in the realm and provides House Lannister with their wealth.[1]

Lann the Clever swindled Casterly Rock from House Casterly.

According to legend, Casterly Rock was found and held by House Casterly after its founder, Corlos, slew a pair of fearsome lions that lived in the gold-filled subterranean cave where the castle would be built upon. They were hoodwinked into giving the Rock to Lann the Clever, a legendary trickster and ancestor of House Lannister, thousands of years ago, during the Age of Heroes.[2]

The castle was briefly controlled by the Unsullied forces of House Targaryen, whose victory over the Lannister forces was pyrrhic.[3]

History

Season 1

Cersei reminds Jaime that when they were seven years old, he jumped off the cliffs at Casterly Rock.[4]

In Winterfell, Jaime learns Tyrion is visiting the Wall before returning to King's Landing, and jokingly asks him if he is taking the black. Tyrion claims that, were he to go celibate, the whores would go begging from Dorne to Casterly Rock, and explains he simply wants to visit the Wall. Later, on the way to the Wall, Tyrion talks to Jon Snow and explains that, as a dwarf, the only reason he wasn't left to die as a baby was because he wasn't born a peasant but a Lannister of Casterly Rock.[5]

Following a bloody brawl between Jaime and Eddard, Theon tries to convince Robb to retaliate by marching against Casterly Rock, where Jaime Lannister escaped to after the fight. However, Robb refuses.

Eddard receives a report that Gregor Clegane has been scouring the Riverlands. Figuring that the Mountain acts at Tywin Lannister's orders, he pronounces Clegane a criminal and instructs Pycelle to send a raven to Casterly Rock and inform Tywin that he must come to King's Landing and answer for Clegane's crimes within a fortnight, otherwise he will be branded a traitor and enemy of the Crown.[6]

Tyrion introduces Tywin to the Hill tribes he recruited as "My Lord Father, Tywin son of Tytos of house Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock and Warden of the West." Likewise, in King's Landing Tywin is named Hand of the King and described as Lord of Casterly Rock and Warden of the West.[7]

After Jaime is taken prisoner by Robb in the Battle of the Whispering Wood, the Lannister bannermen hold a strategy meeting and Leo Lefford suggests they can't march on the Starks at once — they must first return to Casterly Rock and raise levies.[8]

Season 2

Theon tries to convince his father Balon that, if they pledge fealty to Robb Stark and fight for the Starks in the war, the Greyjoys will be given Casterly Rock as a reward once the war is over. Balon refuses, as he claims the Greyjoys are not subject to anyone and take what is theirs.[9]

As a captive of Brienne, Jaime insists on knowing his captor's identity, and to encourage her he introduces himself first as "Jaime Lannister of Casterly Rock, son of Tywin." In Harrenhal, Tywin's bannermen discuss whether to march against Robb or Stannis, and Tywin notes that Robb is too close to Casterly Rock, but his brother Kevan argues that, since the Greyjoys' attack on Winterfell has divided Stark's forces, Robb won't risk marching on Casterly Rock until he is at full force. In King's Landing, Tyrion tells Varys that he never expected to have any real power — while his brother became the youngest Kingsguard in history and his sister became queen at nineteen, Tyrion was merely put in charge of the drains and cisterns of Casterly Rock.[10]

During the Battle of the Blackwater, Cersei tells Sansa that she never understood why Jaime and she were treated differently: while Jaime was heir to Casterly Rock, she was "sold to some stranger like a horse to be ridden whenever he desired."[11]

Season 3

After the Battle of the Blackwatter, Cersei interrogates Tyrion about what he intends to tell Tywin, claiming she is worried because he slandered her to their father before: as children in Casterly Rock, Cersei had the guards beat a servant girl and Tyrion told on her. Tyrion asks Tywin to give him Casterly Rock, which is his by right since the day Jaime became a Kingsguard, as the brotherhood cannot inherit. However, Tywin coldly refuses his request, telling him that he would let himself "be consumed by maggots before mocking the family name and making you heir to Casterly Rock", arguing Tyrion would turn it into his whorehouse.[12]

In Riverrun, Brynden Tully chastises his nephew Lord Edmure for talking to King Robb proudly about his blunder at the Stone Mill, yet Edmure argues his actions made Gregor Clegane flee to Casterly Rock.[13]

Robb realizes that, while he can't force the Lannisters to meet them in the field and they can't attack them at King's Landing where they are strongest, he can attack them at Casterly Rock.[14]

Margaery tries to convince Sansa that her arranged marriage to Tyrion may not be so bad, as he is far from the worst Lannister and their son together would eventually become Lord of Casterly Rock and the North both. Tyrion gifts his lover Shae golden chains of solid gold from the mines outside Lannisport, smithed in Casterly Rock. However, Shae is angry at his betrothal to Sansa, and tries to convince him to go with her across the Narrow Sea. Tyrion refuses, as he is "a Lannister of Casterly Rock."[15]

At Tyrion and Sansa's wedding, Cersei intimidates Lady Margaery by telling them the story behind the famous song of The Rains of Castamere: Lord Reyne built a castle as grand as Casterly Rock, gave his wife diamonds larger than any Joanna Lannister ever wore and finally he rebelled against Lord Tywin, for which he and his whole House were absolutely slaughtered. Cersei tells Margaery that she remembers seeing the bodies of the Reyne's hanging high above the gates of Casterly Rock.[16]

Robb consults with his mother about his plan to attack Casterly Rock. He explains that if they take Tywin's castle from him, the lords of Westeros will realize he is not invincible. Catelyn says "show them how it feels to lose what they love".[17]

Season 7

The Unsullied take Casterly Rock.

At Daenerys Targaryen's war council at Dragonstone, Tyrion proposes that the Unsullied seize Casterly Rock, rather than put pressure on King's Landing, where they will likely be viewed as a foreign force against whom the native Westerosi lords could unite.[18]

The Unsullied eventually arrive at Casterly Rock and take the fortress by using a tunnel in the sewers which Tyrion created when he was overseeing their creation in the past. However, the Unsullied find the fortress severely undermanned as most of the 10,000 men strong Lannister garrison has left the castle and are headed towards Highgarden. Jaime later confirms to Olenna Tyrell that they have deliberately left Casterly Rock to fall into Daenerys's hands. He claims the castle was not of much use for them at the moment and is positive that Daenerys will not hold the Rock for long.[3] Lannister is proven correct when the Unsullied present themselves along with the rest of Daenerys's forces at King's Landing for the summit with Cersei.[19]

Notable residents

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Casterly Rock is one of the most formidable and well-defended castles in all of Westeros. It is located on the west coast of the continent, just north of the city of Lannisport, and is built into an immense rock formation which bears a passing resemblance to a lion in repose. According to legends, it has never fallen in battle.

The castle consists of fortifications built into and on top of the Rock, but the most splendid parts are actually located within the Rock itself, beneath the visible castle. Additional catacombs, dungeons and redoubts are built deep into the bowels of the formation, since Casterly Rock is also the Lannisters' primary mine – this is in fact the reason for all the semi-subterranean construction, as mines were converted into parts of the castle as their wealth was extracted. Casterly Rock's main entrance is the heavily-defended Lion's Mouth. In the series, it is portrayed as a sumptuous castle sprawling across a promontory; ironically, this makes it a little closer to the books' depiction of Highgarden, which is noted to have its main keep on a hill with grounds and walls sprawling in around it.

References

See also