House Arryn

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House Arryn of the Eyrie
House Arryn.PNG
Coat of arms Azure, upon a bezant argent a falcon volant of the field
Words As High as Honor
Seat The Eyrie
Current Lord Robert Arryn
Region The Vale
Title King of Mountain and Vale (formerly)
Warden of the East
Lord of the Eyrie
Defender of the Vale
Heir Harrold Hardyng
Overlord House Baratheon of King's Landing
Cadet Branch House Arryn of Gulltown
Founder Ser Artys Arryn
Founded Coming of the Andals

House Arryn of the Eyrie is one of great houses of Westeros, and is the principal noble house in the Vale. Their main seat is the Eyrie, which is considered impregnable, but they have many other holdings, including their winter castle at the Gates of the Moon, which was once their main seat. Both of these fortifications sit astride the Giant's Lance, the tallest mountain in the Vale, the Gates of the Moon at its foot, the Eyrie at its top. Their sigil is a white moon-and-falcon on a sky-blue field, and their words are "As High as Honor".[1] Usually marrying other Andal nobles, House Arryn, to this day, has the oldest and purest line of Andal nobility. The Arryn kings can proudly trace back their lineage to Andalos itself, with some of them claiming descent from Hugor of the Hill.



Ser Artys Arryn, a legendary leader, rode upon a huge falcon. Armies of eagles fought at his command and to win the Vale, he flew to the top of the Giant's Lance and slew the Griffin King.[2] And so the Arryns became the Kings of Mountain and Vale, or so history would like to have us know. A hundred different tales are told of this Artys Arryn. Most of them just as fanciful, some even more. This Winged Knight is most likely a legend, not a past figure of flesh and blood.[3] The true beginnings of House Arryn are a bit simpler, yet they do start with a man known as Ser Artys Arryn, who started a noble house, which rightly held a storied place in the history of the Seven Kingdoms.

During ancient times, when the Vale was ruled by the kings of the First Men, a new threat made itself known to the Vale. The Andals, who found the Vale the perfect place to start their new kingdoms, started to take the lands from the ancients kings who ruled the lands. By the time the Andals controlled three-quarters of the Vale and had begun the fight amongst themselves, as the First Men had before, a handful of First Men Houses made alliance with each other to take the fight to the Andal invaders. Finally united as one, the First Men went on the win a series of smashing victories against their divided, quarrelsome conquerors. They were almost defeated but the Andal lords and petty kings had finally come to realize their peril. And now they put aside their differences and made common cause under the banner of a single warlord. The man they chose to lead them was neither king, nor prince, not even a lord. He was a young knight named Artys Arryn, esteemed amongst his peers as the finest warrior of his day. Ser Artys, though of pure Andal stock, was born in the Vale, in the shadow of the Giant's Lance. On his shield he bore the moon-and-falcon, whilst a pair of falcon's wings adorned his helmet. The Falcon knight they called him, then as now. Ser Artys led an army against his enemies host, at the foot of the Giant's Lance, near where he was born. How this battle went, that is a tale for another time, but it is certain that Ser Artys met King Robar II Royce in battle, he who led the First Men, killed him and dealt the First Men a blow from which they never recovered. Those old noble houses who remained, bent the knee and swore fealty to Artys Arryn, the First of His Name, new-crowned King of Mountain and Vale. And from that day, the Vale became known as the Vale of Arryn. House Arryn would rule as kings untill the coming of Aegon I Targaryen and his conquest.[3]

Before that, the chronicles tell of many stories; the countless battles with the savage mountain clans; the thousand year battle with House Stark over the Three Sisters, which feature King Osgood Arryn and his son and successor Oswin, who burned the Wolf's Den; bloody battles wherein the Arryn fleet turned back slavers from Volantis, ironborn reavers, and pirates from the Stepstones and the Basilisk Isles; the story of Alyssa Arryn, whose name was given to Alyssa's Tears, a waterfall on the Giant's Lance, when she did not shed a tear for her murdered husband, brothers and children or the story of Lord Arryn who was defeated by Ser Humfrey Hardyng at the Tourney of Maidenpool the year before the Ashford Tourney. And then the chronicles tell of the War of Conquest by Aegon and his sisters.

During the War of Conquest the Arryn and Targaryen fleets fought it out in the Battle of Gulltown, which resulted in the destruction of the Targaryen fleet and the death of its commanding officer, Daemon Velaryon. Visenya Targaryen, on her dragon Vhagar, burned the Arryn fleet in response. Since both fleets were destroyed, the battle was considered a tactical draw, but a strategic defeat for the Targaryens as they were unable to take Gulltown. For House Arryn the trouble did not end there, since the Sistermen on the Three Sisters revolted against House Arryn after the destruction of its fleet.

In a later stage of the War of Conquest, Visenya was charged with subduing the Vale. Sharra Arryn, Queen Regent of Vale of Arryn, ruling in the name of her son, the boy-king Ronnel Arryn, amassed the Vale army at the Bloody Gate. Visenya however, simply flew on her dragon Vhagar straight up to the courtyard of the Eyrie to obtain the surrender of the Vale of Arryn. When Sharra Arryn returned to the Eyrie she found her son sitting on Visenya's lap asking if he could ride the dragon with her. Sharra yielded and bent the knee and Ronnel would get to fly with Visenya and Vhagar twice.[4] Since then, the Arryns remained Defenders of the Vale and were also named Wardens of the East, a title that they have held since.[5]

The Arryns were also involved in the Targaryen civil war, the Dance of the Dragons. It was a contest of claims between Viserys I Targaryen's issue, Rhaenyra Targaryen, from an Arryn wife and his issue, Aegon II Targaryen by Alicent of House Hightower. The head of House Arryn at that time, Jeyne Arryn, supported the blacks and her kinswoman Rhaenyra. At the start of the civil war, Prince Jacaerys Velaryon, Rhaenyra's eldest son, came to the Eyrie to secure aid for his mother's cause. Lady Jeyne kept true to her promise and sent men by sea by way of Gulltown to join Rhaenyra's hosts.

Decades later, during yet another Targaryen civil war, this one called the Blackfyre Rebellion, the house remained loyal to King Daeron II Targaryen. At the climactic Battle of the Redgrass Field Lord Donnel Arryn's van was smashed by Daemon Blackfyre, who had been unstoppable that day.

In more recent times the descendents of Lord Jasper Arryn have experienced a variety of calamities that have left the house with few trueborn members. Jasper's successor, Lord Jon Arryn, married several times to try to sire heirs. His first wife, Jeyne Royce, died in childbirth, their daughter stillborn. His second wife, Rowena Arryn, a cousin, died childless of a winter chill. His younger brother Ronnel died of a bad belly at roughly the same time as his son Elbert was born. Their sister, Alys, birthed nine children by her husband, Ser Elys Waynwood, dying soon after the last one. Eight died or took religious orders before they could reproduce; their youngest daughter died shortly after giving birth to a son, Harrold Hardyng.

The war that became Robert's Rebellion started when Jon Arryn refused to surrender his wards, Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark, to the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen. The battle against Marq Grafton at Gulltown saw Lord Arryn defeat his royalist bannermen. During the war, Jon was one of the principal leaders and his marriage to his third wife, Lysa Tully, helped secure Lord Hoster Tully as an ally. Unfortunately, casualties mounted among the few remaining Arryns. Jon's nephew and heir Elbert Arryn had been part of Brandon Stark's doomed party that went to King's Landing, and his distant cousin Ser Denys, the "darling of the Vale", was killed at the Battle of the Bells. After the war, Nestor Royce ruled as High Steward of the Vale as Jon became Robert's Hand of the King.

Lord Jon's marriage to Lysa remained a distant one. At first the union produced only miscarriages, but finally she gave him a son, Robert, the last Arryn. Robert has been spoiled by Lysa despite the efforts of Jon, and she makes no effort to teach him the ways of lordship. Jon has served King Robert Baratheon loyally for fourteen years at the beginning of A Song of Ice and Fire.

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

As Hand of the King to Robert Baratheon, Lord Jon Arryn is approached by Stannis Baratheon, who suspects that his brother, King Robert, has no trueborn heirs, and that Queen Cersei Lannister has cuckolded him with her own brother, Jaime Lannister. The two investigate in King's Landing, but Jon is poisoned and dies suddenly before they can reveal their revelation.

After Jon's death, Lord Tywin Lannister offers to foster Jon's young heir, Robert Arryn, at Casterly Rock, a plan which the clueless King Robert supports, but Jon's widow, Lysa Tully, flees with young Robert to the Eyrie. Meanwhile, lords sworn to the Eyrie are incensed when Robert Baratheon grants the traditional Arryn title of Warden of the East to Jaime Lannister rather than young Lord Arryn. Many of these lords court Lady Lysa; she strings them along to keep them vying for her favor.

Despite overtures from her sister, Catelyn Tully, Lysa keeps the knights of the Vale from joining the war against the Lannisters. Lysa gains the custody of Tyrion Lannister, but soon loses it when her captain of guards, Ser Vardis Egen, loses a trial by combat. When Catelyn leaves the Eyrie she offers to foster Robert at Winterfell, which provokes Lysa to threaten to throw her sister from the Moon Door. Lysa declines to provide escort for Tyrion as he leaves the Vale, hoping he will be killed by the mountain clans, but Tyrion turns the clansmen to his side.

Lady Lysa and Lord Robert are among the nobles Joffrey commands to swear fealty to him or be branded traitors to the realm.

A Storm of Swords

The Vale's neutrality is a cause of contention for all sides. Lysa's nephew, King Robb Stark, bemoans his inability to march through the region, and King Stannis Baratheon wishes for their support as well. Lysa defies expectation by falling on the outskirts of the Lannister camp. She marries her lover from her youth, Petyr Baelish, nicknamed Littlefinger. Later, Lysa sees Petyr kissing her niece, Sansa Stark, and flies into a jealous rage, revealing that she secretly plotted with Littlefinger to murder her husband, Lord Jon, when it seemed Jon might send young Robert away to be fostered by Stannis on Dragonstone. Lysa is killed when Petyr shoves her through the Moon Door.

A Feast for Crows

The frail Robert Arryn remains the ward of Lord Petyr Baelish, who rules as Lord Protector of the Vale. Should anything happen to Robert, the heir presumptive of the Eyrie is Harry the Heir, Harrold Hardyng, a recently knighted squire and the great-nephew of the late Lord Jon Arryn thanks to a daughter of his sister Alys's marriage into that house. Petyr plots to wed Sansa to Harry the Heir, with the eventual goal of liberating Winterfell in her name from Bolton control. Several powerful nobles array themselves against Baelish's rule, calling themselves the Lords Declarant. As the Vale has been untouched by the war, they command a sizable military force; thus far their opposition has been peaceful.

House Arryn at the end of the third century

The known Arryns during the timespan of the events described in A Song of Ice and Fire are:

With unspecified familiar relationship to the main branch there are also:

3rd: Lysa Tully
2nd: Rowena Arryn
1st: Jeyne Royce
Elys Waynwood
Lady Belmore
Denys Arryn
Ser Hardyng
6 other daughters
Jasper Waynwood
1 Child
Harrold Hardyng


Historical Members

Sworn Houses

House Unknown House Arryn of Gulltown.
House OldBaelish House Baelish of the Fingers.
House BelmoreHouse Belmore of Strongsong.
House CorbrayHouse Corbray of Heart's Home.
House Donniger House Donniger.
House Egen House Egen.
House Elesham House Elesham of The Paps.
House Grafton House Grafton of Gulltown.
House Hersy House Hersy of Newkeep.
House Hunter House Hunter of Longbow Hall.
House Lynderly House Lynderly of Snakewood.
House Melcolm House Melcolm of Old Anchor.
House Moore House Moore.
House Pryor House Pryor of Pebble.
House Redfort House Redfort of Redfort.
House Royce House Royce of Runestone.
House Royce gates moon House Royce of the Gates of the Moon.
House Ruthermont House Ruthermont.
House Sunderland House Sunderland of Sisterton.
House Templeton House Templeton of Ninestars.
House Upcliff House Upcliff.
House Waynwood House Waynwood of Ironoaks.
House Wydman House Wydman.
House Waxley House Waxley of Wickenden.

The following are not directly sworn to House Arryn: Borrell, Longthorpe, Torrent, Shett, Coldwater, Tollett, Hardyng.

References and Notes

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at House Arryn.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history of House Arryn.
As with the A Wiki of Ice and Fire, the content of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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