According to the trailers for tonight’s Game of Thrones finale, we’re going to get to see a new feature of Westeros: the Dragonpit. It’s in King’s Landing, but somehow we’ve avoided seeing it until tonight.
This post has minor spoilers for the finale, including a photo of the Dragonpit, and background from the story’s history.
First, here is what the Dragonpit looks like in its current form:
It’s a mere shadow of what it used to be. The Dragonpit was once more like a giant colosseum. According to the Game of Thrones Wikia, 30 knights could ride abreast through the entrance (according to the books). There were 40 vaults beneath it, meant to hold one dragon nest each.
Housed in King’s Landing, the Dragonpit was built by the Targaryens and originally used as a stable to hold and raise their dragons. It was destroyed in the “Dance of Dragons,” which was the Targaryen civil war. It happened when a riot broke out in the city, and the mob decided to destroy the symbol of the Targaryen kings: their dragons. The rioters killed four dragons who were chained in the Pit. One of the dragons, Dreamfyre, escaped her chains but crashed into the ceiling while trying to escape, bringing down the entire structure onto itself and the rioters. Another dragon who flew to the scene was also killed.
The Dragonpit is located on the opposite side of King’s Landing from what was once the Great Sept of Baelor. It sits on the top of Rhaenys’s Hill. Originally, the Sept of Remembrance was in its place, before it was incinerated by dragon flame.
The very last dragon died 22 years after the Targaryen civil war. According to the books, that last dragon was stunted in size, a mere shadow of what dragons used to be.
The Wikia points out that the Dragonpit scenes were filmed in a Roman colosseum in Spain.