White Harbor

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White Harbor
Port City
White Harbor by cabepfir.jpg
Location north, Westeros
Government House Manderly , Feudal Lord.
Religion Faith of the Seven, old gods
Notable places New Castle, Wolf's Den, Sept of the Snows, Old Mint
White Harbor is located in The North
White Harbor
The north and the location of White Harbor

White Harbor is a harbor city in the north which contains the New Castle, the seat of House Manderly. Located south of Winterfell, it is the largest settlement north of the Neck, but the smallest among the five major cities of Westeros. White Harbor is the north's primary trade port. Its location on the mouth of the White Knife provides opportunities for trade further north.[1]

Due to its location White Harbor has more contact with the south and there are more knights and followers of the Faith of the Seven in White Harbor than anywhere else in the north. There are some followers of the old gods, but most follow the Faith.[2] The city has access to good fishing grounds and is also the home of many silversmiths.


See also: Images of White Harbor

White Harbor is located on the eastern shore of the White Knife. It is clean and well-ordered, with wide straight cobbled streets that make it easy to walk around. The houses are built of whitewashed stone, with steeply-pitched roofs of dark grey slate. According to a semi-canon source, there may be a cadet branch of the Starks in the city.[3]


  • Seal Rock is a massive stone dominating the approaches to the Outer Harbor. It is crowned with a ringfort of weathered stones of the First Men that stood desolate and abandoned for centuries. However, the Manderlys fortify it with crossbowmen, scorpions, and spitfires. The stone looms fifty feet above the waters, grey-green in color. Seals often rest on it.[2]
  • The harbor is divided into the inner and outer harbors. The outer harbor is larger, but the inner harbor offers better anchorage and shelter by the city wall on one side and the looming mass of the Wolf's Den on another. A mile-long, thirty foot wall, with towers every hundred yards, is located on the jetty that separates the two harbors.[2]
  • The Wolf's Den is an ancient fortress that now serves as a prison. It is located by the water and adjoins the city walls. Houses cling like barnacles to the walls of the Wolf's Den; one is a brewhouse which makes well-regarded black beer. There is a godswood within the prison's walls.[2]
  • A fish market is located between the outer harbor and the Seal Gate. Seafood available at White Harbor include whitefish, winkles, crabs, mussels, clams, herring, cod, salmon, lobster, and lampreys.[4]

Inside the walls

Old Fishfoot © Marc Fishman.

The city is protected by thick walls. The Seal Gate opens into the harbor.

  • Fishfoot Yard, a cobbled square with a fountain at its center, located just outside the Seal Gate. There is an alley leading to a brothel.[2]
  • The Old Mint, located in Fishfoot Yard.[2]
  • The Lazy Eel, a winesink renowned for offering the oldest whores and vilest wine in White Harbor, along with meat pies full of lard and gristle that are inedible on their best days and poisonous on their worst.[2]
  • Castle Stair is a street with steps. It is a broad white stone way that leads up from the Wolf’s Den by the water to the New Castle on its hill. Marble mermaids light the way, bowls of burning whale oil cradled in their arms. From the top there is a view down to both harbors.
  • The Sept of the Snows is a large sept with a domed roof surmounted by tall statues of the Seven.[2]

New Castle

  • The New Castle is the seat of House Manderly. It is located on a hill inside the city wall, a broad white stone way of Castle Stair leads to its gates from the Wolf's Den below. There is a secret passage beneath the Castle Stair connecting it to the Wolf's Den.
  • Merman's Court is the great hall of the New Castle where Lord Manderly holds court and feasts. Its walls, floor and ceiling are made of wooden planks notched cunningly together and decorated with all the creatures of the sea.[2]


White Harbor dromon - illustrated by Dimitri Bielak. © Fantasy Flight Games.

The First Men constructed an ancient ringfort atop Seal Rock at the entrance to the harbor.[2]

King Jon Stark founded the Wolf's Den,[5] a castle at the mouth of the White Knife, after he drove out sea raiders who were using the harbor as a base for raids inland.[6] For centuries the castle was held by various Starks and offshoot branches, such as the Greystarks. Other families who were lords of the Wolf's Den in the past included the Flints, Lockes, Slates, Longs, Holts, and Ashwoods, all tasked by Winterfell to defend the White Knife.[5] A thousand years before the War of Conquest the land was given to the Manderlys, an exiled house from the Mander River in the Reach, for loyal service to the Kings in the North. The Manderlys developed the city of White Harbor with the wealth they had brought from the Reach atop their new land near the Wolf's Den.[7] The ancient castle is now used as a prison, as the Manderlys reside at the New Castle and receive visitors in the Merman's Court.[7]

During the Dance of the Dragons, Prince Jacaerys Velaryon traveled to White Harbor and Winterfell and convinced the north to join the blacks. Lord Manderly sent his sons, Medrick and Torrhen, to support Rhaenyra Targaryen.[8]

White Harbor has not seen wildlings in centuries and has never been attacked by the ironborn.[7]

The city's history is described in Maester Yorrick's Wed to the Sea, Being an Account of the History of White Harbor from Its Earliest Days.[9] Maester Heriston also served in the city.[10]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

White Harbor Captain © Fantasy Flight Games.

Catelyn Stark hires the Storm Dancer to take her and Ser Rodrik Cassel to King's Landing from White Harbor. Lord Eddard Stark instructs Catelyn to have Lord Wyman Manderly repair and strengthen the defenses of White Harbor and insure they are well-manned.[11] Lady Catelyn returns to the north from the Vale of Arryn with Rodrik and her uncle, Ser Brynden Tully, arriving at White Harbor. She and her uncle leave White Harbor with Ser Wylis Manderly and his levies of nearly 1,500 men to meet her son Robb at Moat Cailin. Lord Wyman stays behind to see to White Harbor's defenses and to raise a navy.

A Clash of Kings

Ser Davos Seaworth is sent by Stannis Baratheon with a chest of letters to spread word of Joffrey Baratheon's illegitimacy. His route is to sail to White Harbor and other harbors along the narrow sea.[12]

While at Winterfell for the harvest feast, Lord Wyman meets with Bran Stark, Ser Rodrik Cassel, and Maester Luwin. He has appointed new customs officers at White Harbor, as the previous officials had held back silver for the Iron Throne instead of Robb, the new King in the North. Wyman offers to mint coins for Robb, informs of White Harbor's defenses, and proposes to build the king a new warfleet of galleys, with Rodrik saying he will inform Robb of the proposal. Later during the feast, Rodrik commands Hother and Mors Umber to work with Wyman in building longships to combat wildlings.[13]

After hearing of the ironborn threat to Torrhen's Square, Maester Luwin sends ravens to White Harbor, the barrowlands, and the wolfswood with instructions to summon their levies. While Theon Greyjoy is capturing Winterfell, Luwin is able to send another raven to alert White Harbor.[14] Lord Wyman then sends a dozen barges up the White Knife packed with knights, warhorses, and siege engines.[15] The Manderly contingent is betrayed and defeated by House Bolton in the battle at Winterfell, however.[16]

A Storm of Swords

Maester Aemon of the Night's Watch sends a raven to White Harbor in a plea for help to defend Castle Black from wildlings.

A Feast for Crows

It is reported to Queen Cersei that Davos Seaworth has been executed in White Harbor and that his head and hand grace the walls of White Harbor.

A Dance with Dragons

White Harbor - illustrated by Folko Streese. © Fantasy Flight Games.

Davos Seaworth notes the large navy when he arrives in White Harbor, with the inner harbor filled with twenty-three war galleys.[2] Davos has returned to White Harbor to treat with Wyman on behalf of Stannis Baratheon. He is preceded, however, by envoys of House Frey. Rhaegar, Jared and Symond Frey have come with the remains of Ser Wendel Manderly, who died at the Red Wedding. Davos notices that the Old Mint is now being used to shelter refugees, and he visits the Lazy Eel to gather information.[2]

Davos appears before the Merman's Court in the New Castle to present the case for the Manderlys to support Stannis. To save his living son and heir, Ser Wylis Manderly, who is a captive at Harrenhal, Lord Manderly has Davos dragged to prison as a traitor, in the presence of the Freys.[7]

Manderly has Davos imprisoned in the Wolf's Den, but has a different prisoner in the cell executed. The prisoner is beheaded, his head dipped in tar. The fingers of one of his hands are also cut off to resemble Davos. The head and hands are then put up on spikes on the walls of White Harbor to give the Lannisters and Freys reason to believe in House Manderly's loyalty to the Iron Throne.

Once Wyman has sent a false report to the Iron Throne and has Wylis returned, the Lord of White Harbor has Robett Glover free Davos and bring him through a secret passage to the New Castle. He tells the Onion Knight that he will swear his allegiance to Stannis Baratheon if Davos retrieves Rickon Stark. Via Wex Pyke, Wyman has discovered the boy is alive, but needs a smuggler to retrieve him from Skagos.[5]


White Harbor is to King's Landing as my brother Tyrion is to Ser Gregor Clegane.[17]

Jaime Lannister to Brienne of Tarth

If Winterfell was the heart of the north, White Harbor was its mouth.[18]

– thoughts of Davos Seaworth's thoughts

Cities were like women, he insisted; each one had its own unique scent. Oldtown was as flowery as a perfumed dowager. Lannisport was a milkmaid, fresh and earthy, with woodsmoke in her hair. King's Landing reeked like some unwashed whore. But White Harbor's scent was sharp and salty, and a little fishy too. "She smells the way a mermaid ought to smell," Roro said. "She smells of the sea."[2]

– recollection of Davos Seaworth

We are good people in White Harbor, lawful, loyal people.[7]

- Leona Woolfield to Davos Seaworth

Chapters that take place at White Harbor

References and Notes