White Harbour is the smallest of Westeros’ major cities (slightly smaller than Gulltown), but it is nevertheless the largest settlement north of the Neck. It is located on the mouth of the White Knife, the principal river of The North, and is the seat of House Manderly. The castle, and later city of White Harbour, were founded by King Jon Stark after he drove out raiders who were using the harbour as a base for raids inland. Many centuries later the city was given to the Manderlys, an exiled house from The Reach, for loyal service to the Kings of the North.
Though small compared to Oldtown or King’s Landing, White Harbor is clean and well-ordered, with wide straight cobbled streets that make it easy to navigate and a scent that smells of the sea; sharp and salty. Like the city’s walls, the houses are built of whitewashed stone, with steeply pitched roofs of dark grey slate.
The approaches to the outer harbor are dominate by a rocky island called Seal Rock, a massive grey-green upthrust looming fifty feet above the waters. Seals are often found basking beneath the sun on the broken rocks below. Its top is crowned with a circle of weathered stones, a ringfort of the First Men that has stood desolate and abandoned for hundreds of years. Scorpions and spitfires are positioned behind the standing stones to defend the harbor.
While the outer harbor is larger, the inner harbor offers better anchorage, sheltered by the city wall on one side and the looming mass of the Wolf’s Den — an ancient fortress that serves only as a prison now — on another. Behind the city’s thick walls, the New Castle rises proud and pale upon its hill, and the domed roof of the Sept of the Snows can be seen above the tops of the city walls, surmounted by tall statues of the Seven. White Harbor has a godswood too, though little used and not much more than a brooding tangle of root and branch and stone locked away behind the crumbling black walls of the Wolf’s Den. The standard of House Manderly — a merman — can be seen flying from the towers of the New Castle, above the Seal Gate, and along the city walls.
The dockside wharves of the inner harbor are often swarming with sailors, dockworkers, and fishermen. A fish market resides there leading up to the Seal Gate. Beyond the Seal Gate is a cobbled square with a fountain at its center and a stone merman called Old Fishfoot rising twenty feet above its waters. The square was named after some dead lord, but no one ever calls it anything but Fishfoot Yard.
White Harbour has much more contact with the south due to its position as the North’s primary trade port, and there are more knights and followers of the Seven in White Harbour than anywhere else in the North. The city has access to very good fishing grounds and is also the home of many silversmiths.
The Lazy Eel is a dark, seedy tavern and inn of ill repute at the foot of the Wolf’s Den where one can find cheap food renown for its poor quality and whores. Guards keep a wide berth.
The Silver Stag is a banking establishment where one can trade currency and keep their money and items in safe keeping.
The Merman’s Trident is a silversmith known for creating fine jewelry and arms and armor inlaid with silver.
Fishfoot Yard — named after Old Fishoot — is the main square in White Harbor where all manner of people peddle their wares and services.