Was the name of the King's Landing slum Flea Bottom inspired by the medical procedure of phlebotomy?

Edit: My question has been misunderstood ... Of course it's not derived from phlebotomy within Westeros. I meant "Did GRRM hear the term phlebotomy and, consciously or unconsciously, derive a place-name."

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    Yes, clinical drawing of blood was the inspiration for a dirty flea-infested slum at the lowest level of King's Landing. It had nothing to do with the presence of fleas. Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 12:40
  • I'm going to go with "it's more disgusting than someone's ass, it's more like a flea's ass." Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 15:23
  • I was just about to comment on how surprised I am that there aren't an upvotes on this, but now I see that there are... Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 17:32
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    Even with your edit, I think the answer still remains the same. At best your connection is a stretch, its not like GRRM was in the medical field prior to writing. Unless someone specifically asks this question to him in an interview, we would have nothing else to go on.
    – Skooba
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 21:03

1 Answer 1


No, Flea Bottom was named because it was the poor section of the city and most of the inhabitants were infested with them.

We see that after just a few days of hiding there Arya is infested with fleas!

Talk of war was on every lip, and gold cloaks were as thick on the city walls as fleas on.. well, her for one. She had been sleeping in Flea Bottom, on rooftops and in stables, wherever she could find a place to lie down, and it hadn't taken long for her to learn that the district was well named. - A Game of Thornes, Chapter 65, Arya

Also, as seen in this map from A Clash of Kings, Flea Bottom was literally at the bottom Rhaenys' Hill.


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    Keep in mind also that a bottom (see definition 1.7) is a word for low-lying meadowland. Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 16:50
  • George R.R. Martin took a lot of inspiration from the award of the Roses in A Game of Thrones, 'Something' Bottom is quite a common place name in England. As Matt Gutting says it is derived from the term for a low-lying meadowland.
    – Sarriesfan
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 22:28
  • Yes, and those "bottoms" are usually at the bottom of a hill (We have bottoms here in the US too)... You can't have a bottom without a top point of reference ;-)
    – Skooba
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 21:08

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