The Crownlands are one of the nine major regions of Westeros, though not one of the original Seven Kingdoms. Historically, the Crownlands have been ruled over by different houses, until being conquered by Aegon Targaryen during his Conquest. The Crownlands are home to King’s Landing, the location of Westeros that Aegon landed with dragons, and modern-day capital of Westeros. The Crownlands share a border with the Riverlands, the Reach and the Stormlands; to the east of the Crownlands is the Narrow Sea.
The Crownlands are the most populous region of Westeros, as it boasts the largest city, King’s Landing. Not only capital of the realm, King’s Landing is home to the Red Keep, the great castle from which the kings of Westeros rule. King’s Landing is bustling with trade and commerce and into the capital flows taxes from all other regions of Westeros.
Unlike most other regions, the Crownlands were never an original kingdom of Westeros. Rather, it was a geographical region over which many different houses had ruled. As fate would have it, it would be this region that Aegon would land upon with his dragons – the spot that would forever be known as King’s Landing. He would take this area for his own, and after conquering the other kingdoms, he built up the great city of King’s Landing. Within King’s Landing, Aegon built the Red Keep, a great castle from which the Targaryens would rule over the rest of Westeros. Because the Red Keep itself was located in the Crownlands, there was no need to appoint an overlord house of this region, the way Aegon did for all other regions of the continent. As such, the smaller houses of the Crownlands have always been the strongest supporters of the Targaryen rulers.
For nearly 300 years, the Crownlands, King’s Landing and the Red Keep would be synonymous with the Targaryens that built up this region, city and castle. However, this would all change in 282AL, when Robert’s Rebellion was won and the Mad King was overthrown. Robert claimed the Iron Throne, marking the end of the 282 year rule of the Targaryens over the rest of Westeros. However, to this day, there are still many Targaryen loyalists, namely in the region of the Crownlands.
THE RED KEEP
Located in King’s Landing, the Red Keep is a great castle from which all the kings of Westeros rule. During his Conquest, Aegon built a fort upon the highest hill of the Crownlands; once the Conquest was won, Aegon ordered for a great royal castle to be built as a permanent home to the Targaryen kings that would rule over the continent in the years to come. Though Aegon was the first Targaryen king to sit the Iron Throne and preside over his kingdom, the Red Keep was not completed until two kings later. Upon it’s completion, King Maegor Targaryen ordered for the murder of all those who had helped to build the castle, in an effort to preserve all its secrets. Beneath the Red Keep are dozens of secret passages and tunnels, created by the Targaryens as a means of escape should they ever be trapped inside the castle by their enemies. It is said that there are other great secrets and mystical elements of the Red Keep, such as vaulted halls and hidden dungeons, lined with dragon skulls and remnants of old Targaryen kings.