For the past couple of days, I’ve been researching, writing, and photoshopping infographics for an overly ambitious essay about Casterly Rock. I’ve been listening to a combination of The Lion King OST and TROC covers for the majority of the time. I’m pumped, I’m not nearly done yet but I have an obscene amount of propaganda explaining exactly why my castle is objectively better than your castle quotes, thoughts, and speculation.
Anyways, I was comparing the sizes of Casterly Rock and Harrenhal and I was trying to reconcile this
Casterly Rock has never been taken by storm or siege. No castle in the Seven Kingdoms is larger, richer, or better defended.
Jaehaerys called the first Great Council in the year 101 AC, to put the matter before the lords of the realm. And from all corners of the realm the lords came. No castle could hold so many save for Harrenhal, so it was there that they gathered. The lords, great and small, came with their trains of bannermen, knights, squires, grooms, and servants. And behind them came yet more— the camp followers and washerwomen, the hawkers and smiths and carters. Thousands of tents sprang up over the moons, until the castle town of Harrenton was accounted the fourth largest city of the Realm.
Casterly Rock is definitely larger (I will back that assertion up with numbers in my essay), but what I realized while puzzling over this is that Harrenhal has never really been full. Harrenhal is huge, but its size is excessive, sized for giants. A lot of the non-burned-out parts of the castle are empty, with a lot of vacant rooms for all the visiting lords. Harrenhal is basically the convention center of Westeros, and on a normal day it’s like that room with the DashCon ball pit.
Whereas Casterly Rock is HUGEbut it’s also FULL: “The Lannisters were a damnably large and fertile house.” You have the sailors, the shipwrights, the armorers, the smiths, the soldiers, Tywin’s pleat ironer, I mean, sitting down and thinking about Casterly Rock is blowing my mind. I even have realistic estimates for the size of the money pit.