Gates of the Moon

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Gates of the Moon
Gates large.jpg
Artwork by Paolo Puggioni ©
Location Vale, Westeros
Government House Royce of the Gates of the Moon , Feudal lord.
Religion Faith of the Seven
The Vale and the location of the Gates of the Moon
The Vale and the location of the Gates of the Moon
The Gates of the Moon
The Vale and the location of the Gates of the Moon

The Gates of the Moon is a castle at the base of the Giant's Lance. It is held by Nestor Royce, High Steward of the Vale and Keeper of the Gates of the Moon.[1]


The Gates of the Moon is a stout castle with a moat, a gatehouse, a yard, and square towers. It is larger than the Eyrie.[2] At night torches flicker at its ramparts and the moon is reflected in its moat. Beyond its postern gate is a dense forest of pine and spruce, as well as the steep, carved steps along the Giant's Lance.[1] Named towers include the East Tower and the Falcon Tower.[3] When viewed from the Eyrie above, the towers and keeps of the Gates of the Moon appear the size of children's toys.[4]


The Gates of the Moon was the first seat of House Arryn in the Vale. After the Battle of the Seven Stars, Artys I Arryn, the first King of Mountain and Vale, began construction of the large castle where his host had encamped below the Giant's Lance the night before his victory. The two eldest sons of Artys who followed him on the throne expanded the castle.[5]

While formidable, the Gates of the Moon was considered by some to not be suitable for kings, and the fourth Arryn monarch, Roland I, found it lacking in comparison to grand Casterly Rock and the Hightower. Roland considered dismantling his seat and starting anew, but he instead decided to build the Eyrie high on the Giant's Lance after wild clansmen descended from the Mountains of the Moon.[5]

The Gates of the Moon has since been used by House Arryn as their seat during winter, but when summer comes they return to the Eyrie.[6] The Keepers of the Gates of the Moon have since held the castle for the Arryn kings and, after Aegon's Conquest, for the Arryn Wardens of the East.

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

En route to the Eyrie, Catelyn Stark and her companions visit the Gates of the Moon and are welcomed by Nestor Royce, Keeper of the Gates of the Moon.[1]

A Storm of Swords

Lady Lysa Arryn rarely allows visitors to ascend past the Gates of the Moon. The castle is maintained by Myranda Royce, the daughter of Nestor.[2]

A Feast for Crows

Sansa Stark recalls that the wedding party of Lord Petyr Baelish and Lysa stopped at the Gates of the Moon before ascending to the Eyrie. Claiming it was the desire of the late Lady Lysa, Petyr grants the castle and the title of Keeper of the Gates of the Moon to Nestor in perpetuity, thus forming House Royce of the Gates of the Moon.[6]

The Lords Declarant gather six thousand men about the Gates of the Moon, while Lord Nestor has a garrison of three hundred to oppose them. Petyr is able able to negotiate a truce with the Lords Declarant, however.[4]

With the onset of winter, Lord Robert Arryn's court descends from the Eyrie to the Gates of the Moon. Within, Petyr introduces "Alayne Stone" to three knights, Byron, Morgarth, and Shadrich, and later tells her of his plan to marry her to Ser Harrold Hardyng, Robert's heir.[7]

The Winds of Winter

This information has thus far been released in a sample chapter for The Winds of Winter, and might therefore not be in finalized form. Keep in mind that the content as described below is still subject to change.

Nobles from throughout the Vale, including Harry the Heir, travel to the Gates of the Moon to attend the tourney for the Brotherhood of Winged Knights.[8]


The Arryns raised the Gates, in the days when they still wore the Falcon Crown and ruled the Vale as kings. The Eyrie was their summer seat, but when the snows began to fall the court would make its descent. Some would say the Gates were as royal as the Eyrie.[6]
Nestor Royce to Petyr Baelish

Nestor: Whilst Lord Jon ruled the realm as Hand, it fell to me to rule the Vale for him. I did all that he required of me and asked nothing for myself. But by the gods, I earned this!

Petyr: You did, and Lord Robert sleeps more easily knowing that you are always there, a staunch friend at the foot of his mountain. So ... a toast, my lord. To House Royce, Keepers of the Gates of the Moon ... now and forever.[6]

Nestor Royce and Petyr Baelish

References and Notes

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