King's Landing is the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, located in the Crownlands on the east coast of Westeros. It is situated along thekingsroad at the mouth of the Blackwater Rush and overlooks Blackwater Bay. It is the site of the Iron Throne and the Red Keep, which is the seat of the king, Renly from House Baratheon of King's Landing.
Prior to the War of Conquest, the area around the future King's Landing was just hills and forests, with only a handful of fisherfolk living north of the Blackwater Rush. Historically, the mouth of the Blackwater had been claimed by a hundred kings from the Reach, the Riverlands, and the Stormlands. Three hundred years ago, Aegon the Conqueror from House Targaryen led his army from Dragonstone and landed at the mouth of the Blackwater Rush, building his first fortress of wood and earth, the Aegonfort, on top of the highest hill. Later, when Aegon finalized his conquest, he decided to build his capital around that fort, since it was more centrally located than any other and not part of the former kingdoms, setting the king apart from his new vassals.
In time, the city was expanded by the Targaryen kings. The Red Keep was completed during the reign of Maegor the Cruel, the Great Sept was built to show the Targaryens' piety and adherence to the Faith of the Seven after giving up the old gods of Valyria, and the Dragonpit was constructed to house the Targaryen dragons.
During the civil war known as Robert's Rebellion and the War of the Usurper, King Aerys II Targaryen contemplated burning the city to the ground to "save" it from the rebels, and it was sacked shortly after by a Westerlands host commanded by Aerys's former Hand of the King, Lord Tywin Lannister. Robert Baratheon became the new king on the Iron Throne, forming House Baratheon of King's Landing.
The main city is surrounded by a wall, manned by the City Watch of King's Landing, also known as the gold cloaks. King's Landing is extremely populous, but rather unsightly and dirty compared to other cities. Poorer smallfolk build shanty settlements outside the city. The stench of the city's waste can be smelled far beyond its walls. It is the principal harbor of the Seven Kingdoms, rivaled only by Oldtown.
Nearby towns include Rosby and Duskendale to the northeast and Tumbleton to the southwest, while the kingswood is found south of the capital across the Blackwater.
The city is roughly square-shaped, sprawling across several miles and defended by tall walls. There are seven gates leading into the city: the Dragon Gate, the Lion Gate, the Mud Gate, the Old Gate, the Gate of the Gods, the King's Gate, and the Iron Gate. Within the walls, the city is dotted with manses, arbors, granaries, brick storehouses, timbered inns, merchant stalls, taverns, graveyards and brothels. There is a fish market. Hundreds of quays can be found in the harbor. Between buildings the roads are broad, lined with trees and branching alleys and streets. Just within the Mud Gate lie the three great trebuchets called the Three Whores, a new addition to the defense of the city.
The city covers the north shore of the Blackwater and covers three tall hills, named after Aegon and his two sisters, Visenya and Rhaenys. Aegon's High Hill, surmounted by the Red Keep, the royal castle located in the south-eastern corner of the city, overlooks the bay directly, whilst Visenya's Hill to the west is crowned by the marble-walled Great Sept of Baelor and its seven crystal towers. Rhaenys's Hill in the north is capped by the collapsed ruins of the Dragonpit dome, its bronze doors shut for a century and a half since the last dragon died.
The poor reside in the slums which are called Flea Bottom, a maze of narrow streets and alleys, where many beggars and the poorest part of the city's population resides; they regularly subsist on "bowls of brown", a mystery stew that can include the meat of rats and murder victims, among other things. The richest residents live on the other side of Rhaenys's Hill from Flea Bottom. According to semi-canon sources the richer areas of King's Landing lie near the Old Gate.
Large tournaments are held outside the city, beside the Blackwater.