The city is located in the southwest of the Reach, at the mouth of the river Honeywine where it opens onto Whispering Sound and the Sunset Sea beyond. It is the western terminus of the Roseroad from Highgarden and King's Landing.
The city is primarily known as the location of the Citadel, home of the order of maesters who serve as councillors, doctors, scientists, and postmasters for the Seven Kingdoms.
The city's Starry Sept was the seat of the Faith of the Seven until the construction of the Great Sept of Baelor in King's Landing. Other septs include the Sailor's Sept, the Lord's Sept, and the Seven Shrines. Oldtown also has a motherhouse. The temples that cater to foreigners, such Summer Islanders and red priests of the Lord of Light, are all located down by the wharves.
Oldtown is one of the most important ports of the Seven Kingdoms. Trading ships from all over Westeros, as well as the Summer Islands, the Free Cities, and other places across the narrow sea, constantly crowd into its harbors.
The city itself is stunningly beautiful; many rivers and canals crisscross its cobbled streets, and breathtaking stone mansions are common. Oldtown lacks the squalor of daub-and-wattle King's Landing, which usurped its position as the pre-eminent city of Westeros. However, Oldtown is a labyrinth of wynds, alleys, markets and streets, such as the Thieves' Market and Ragpycker's Wynd. West of the Honeywine lie guildhalls, which sit along the shoreline.
The largest structure in the city, and also the tallest structure in Westeros, is the Hightower, a massive stepped lighthouse which extends some 800 feet into the sky and is topped by a huge beacon which can be seen for many miles out to sea.
The city is policed by the City Watch of Oldtown, commanded by Ser Moryn Tyrell, an uncle of Lord Mace. Oldtown is ruled from the Hightower by House Hightower, who were originally kings in their own right but later swore fealty to House Gardener. They became vassals of the Tyrells after the War of Conquest. The Hightowers are known for their loyalty and being stalwart. The current ruler of the city is Lord Leyton Hightower.
Ancient History Edit
The origins of Oldtown are lost to time. The oldest runic records of the First Men, and records from maesters that claim to have lived among the children of the forest, confirm men have lived at the mouth of the Honeywine since the Dawn Age. Maester Jellicoe suggested the settlement at Whispering Sound began as a trading post where ships from Valyria, Old Ghis, and the Summer Isles could resupply and trade with so-called "elder races".
In the Age of Heroes, what is now the Ravenry of the Citadel was supposedly the stronghold of a pirate lord who robbed ships as they came down the Honeywine. House Hightower lived within an ancient fortress of oily black stone on Battle Isle and subsequently built theHightower above it.
Rival kings, pirates, and reavers coveted Oldtown's wealth as the city grew more powerful, but it was protected by only wooden palisades and ditches. In one century, the city was sacked by Samwell the Starfire, Qhored the Cruel, and Gyles the Woe. Three quarters of the city's inhabitants were reportedly sold into slavery by Gyles, but he failed to conquer the Hightower. Otho II, King of the High Tower, built massive stone walls to protect Oldtown.
Oldtown joined the Kingdom of the Reach when King Lymond Hightower and King Garland II Gardener agreed to marry each other's daughters.
Oldtown survived the Andal invasion by welcoming the Andals, not resisting them. Lord Dorian Hightower married an Andal princess, while his grandson Damon converted to the Faith of the Seven.
Targaryen Era Edit
King Aegon I Targaryen's reign is dated from his entrance into the city of Oldtown and his acknowledgment as king by the High Septon, who had advised Lord Manfred Hightower to yield without conflict.
During the Dance of the Dragons, Lord Ormund Hightower and Prince Daeron Targaryen marched an army from Oldtown on behalf of the greens.
During the Great Spring Sickness, Oldtown suffered badly, second only to King's Landing. Ser Duncan the Tall met Maester Aemon when he and Prince Aegon Targaryen visited the city while returning from Dorne.
Prince Oberyn Martell and Princess Elia Martell visited Oldtown on their way to Casterly Rock where their mother was to broker their marriage to the Lannister twins, Cersei and Jaime.