Lysa Arryn

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Lysa Arryn House Arryn.PNG
Lysa Arryn.jpg
Illustration by Amok©

Alias Lysa Tully
Title Lady of the Vale
Allegiance House Tully
House Arryn
House Baelish
Born In 266 AC, 267 AC, or 268 AC[1], at Riverrun
Died In 300 AC, at the Eyrie
Spouse 1st: Jon Arryn
2nd: Petyr Baelish
Book(s) A Game of Thrones (appears)
A Clash of Kings (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (appears)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)

Played by Kate Dickie
TV series Season 1 | Season 4

Lady Lysa Arryn,[2][3][4] also known as Lysa Tully,[5] is a member of House Tully. She is the daughter of Hoster Tully and Minisa Whent and wife of Jon Arryn. Since her husband's death, she is the Lady Regent of the Vale of Arryn. In the television adaptation Game of Thrones, she is played by Kate Dickie.

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Lysa Tully

Lysa is thick of body, pale and puffy of face. She has the blue eyes of the Tullys and a small, petulant mouth. She has long, thick, auburn hair.[6]

In her youth at Riverrun, Lysa was a slender, shy and delicately sweet girl who wanted nothing more than to marry the man of her dreams. She idolized her older sister Catelyn for her betrothal to the heir of Winterfell, Brandon Stark, and hoped to one day marry a man as noble and handsome as the young Stark heir.[7]


Lysa Tully - by Elia Fernandez©

Life up to Robert's Rebellion

Lysa was born as the second daughter of Lady Minisa Whent and Lord Hoster Tully, head of House Tully and Lord of Riverrun. She has an older sister, Catelyn, and a younger brother, Edmure. Her mother died giving birth to her fourth child, who also died.

Lysa was raised at Riverrun alongside her siblings and her father's ward, Petyr Baelish. When they were young, Catelyn and Lysa first learnt to kiss by taking turns kissing Petyr. Catelyn recalls it being very innocent, though Petyr was more forward with Lysa, who allowed him to kiss her with tongue. During this time, Lysa fell in love with Petyr, but her feelings were not reciprocated. One night Petyr tried to kiss Catelyn, and she rejected him, laughing. Petyr got drunk because of this, and Lysa climbed into his bed that night to "give him comfort". Petyr took her virginity that night, telling her he loved her, but called her "Cat" before falling asleep.[8] When Catelyn's wedding date to Brandon Stark was announced, Petyr challenged him for Catelyn's hand.[9] Brandon wounded Petyr severely and Lysa offered to nurse him. In the following fortnight, they slept together again. Lysa became pregnant with Petyr's child as a result of this.[8] After Hoster had send Petyr back to the Fingers, Lysa revealed her pregnancy to him, in the hopes that Hoster would relent and let her wed Petyr, but Hoster forced her to abort the child with moon tea provided by Maester Kym instead.[8][9]

Prior attempts to betroth Lysa had failed. A marriage to Ser Jaime Lannister was discussed, but the deal fell through when Cersei Lannister pushed Jaime to join the Kingsguard before the arrangements were complete. Lord Tywin Lannister offered his younger son Tyrion instead but was rebuffed by Lord Hoster.[10] During Robert's Rebellion, Lysa was married to Lord Jon Arryn, Lord of the Eyrie and Defender of the Vale.[11] Lord Arryn was already an old man and their marriage forged a useful wartime alliance with House Tully. In addition, Jon needed a wife known to be fertile, as his last heir had died during the Battle of the Bells.[12] She married Jon at Riverrun, in the same ceremony as her sister married Lord Eddard Stark.[11] Both men played key roles in the successful rebellion. After the war ended, King Robert I Baratheon chose Jon Arryn as his Hand, a position that took him away to King's Landing for a long period of time.

When her uncle Ser Brynden Tully wished to leave the riverlands to avoid perpetual feuding with Lord Hoster, Lysa's position as Lady of the Eyrie allowed him to serve House Arryn as Knight of the Gate.

Wife of Jon Arryn

Jon was already a fairly old man when Lysa married him, and he was ever proud. The pair lived in King's Landing. Because of Lysa's soiled state and the age difference between them, there was not much love in their marriage. Like her mother, Lysa had many miscarriages (two in the Eyrie, three in King's Landing) and two stillborn children.[12][6] She eventually gave birth to a son, Robert Arryn. She became paranoid after the last stillbirth, seeing enemies everywhere.[13]

Robert was a sickly child, suffering from the 'shaking sickness'. Lysa was overprotective, spoiling him to such an extent that she breastfed him until he was six and denied him nothing. Jon was concerned about how weak his son was and arranged to foster him with Lord Stannis Baratheon on Dragonstone.

After Jon's abrupt death, King Robert wanted Robert Arryn to become a ward of Lord Tywin Lannister at Casterly Rock, as he feared that being raised by his mother would make his namesake weak. Lysa refused the suggestion brusquely and, against the wishes of the king, fled from King's Landing with her son back to the Vale of Arryn without bidding farewell.[14]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

The murder of Jon Arryn sets into motion a number of events which lead to complete war in the Seven Kingdoms. One trigger is a secret letter Lysa sends to Catelyn, in which she accuses the Lannisters and Queen Cersei in particular of having murdered her husband.[15]

Catelyn takes Tyrion Lannister prisoner when she accidentally meets him during her journey back from King's Landing to Winterfell. To shake off possible pursuers, Catelyn goes to the Vale of Arryn. Catelyn has not seen her sister Lysa in years and is shocked by the changes in Lysa. She has grown fat, emotionally unstable and sees enemies everywhere.[6]

Lysa takes Tyrion as her own prisoner and tries to make him confess to the murder of her husband. Tyrion outsmarts her by demanding a trial by combat. His champion, Bronn, is able to win against Ser Vardis Egen, captain of the guard at the Eyrie, whom Lysa has urged into the duel.[2] Catelyn tries to persuade her sister to mobilize an army and join with their father Hoster Tully and the north against the Lannisters, but Lysa refuses. Their uncle, Ser Brynden the Blackfish, disgusted by Lysa's behavior, resigns as Knight of the Gate and leaves with Catelyn to fight for Riverrun. Before Catelyn leaves, she offers to foster Robert at Winterfell. Lysa responds by threatening to throw Cat out the Moon Door.

A Clash of Kings

Despite her kin fighting the Lannisters, Lysa keeps the Vale of Arryn neutral in the War of the Five Kings.

A Storm of Swords

By the time of the defeat of the Starks at the Red Wedding, Petyr Baelish has risen high in the counsel of the Lannisters and has been rewarded with the title Lord Paramount of the Trident and the seat of Harrenhal. With this rank, he is now able to marry Lysa and get the position of regent for his stepson Robert. Petyr brings Sansa Stark with him to the Vale, disguised as his natural daughter "Alayne Stone", but he informs Lysa who she really is. Lysa and Petyr marry at the Baelish ancestral seat.[3]

Sansa strongly resembles the deceased Catelyn. One morning at the Eyrie, Lysa catches Petyr kissing Sansa. She blames Sansa and during a emotional row almost throws her from the Eyrie's Moon Door. Sansa is saved by the timely intervention of Petyr, who stops Lysa from sending Sansa to her death.

Sansa learns that Lysa had maintained a relationship with Petyr and had convinced her husband Jon to appoint Petyr as manager of customs at Gulltown. This position eventually led to Petyr being appointed master of coin in King's Landing. Petyr had great influence with Lysa and knew about Jon's plot to foster her son with Stannis. Petyr had easily persuaded her to poison Jon and accuse the Lannisters of the murder.[8]

After he has calmed her down, Petyr in turn throws Lysa from the mountain through the Moon Door, framing her personal singer Marillion for the deed. Prior to killing her, Petyr confesses that the only woman he had ever loved was Catelyn.[8]


Lysa: I've always loved you. I've proved it, haven't I? I gave you my maiden's gift. I would have given you a son too, but they murdered him with moon tea, with tansy and mint and wormwood, a spoon of honey and a drop of pennyroyal. It wasn't me, I never knew, I only drank what Father gave me... It was me who got you your first post, who made Jon bring you to court so we could be close to one another. You promised me you would never forget that.... You told me to put the tears in Jon's wine, and I did. For Robert, and for us! And I wrote Catelyn and told her the Lannisters had killed my lord husband, just as you said. That was so clever.
Petyr: My sweet silly jealous wife, I've only loved one woman, I promise you.
Lysa: Only one? Oh, Petyr, do you swear it? Only one?
Petyr: Only Cat.

- Lysa and Petyr Baelish

Quotes about Lysa

I'd tell you to slap some sense into your sister, if I thought it would do any good, but you'd only bruise your hand.[6]

Brynden Tully, to Catelyn Stark

The shy girl she had known at Riverrun had grown into a woman who was by turns proud, fearful, cruel, dreamy, reckless, timid, stubborn, vain, and, above all, inconstant.[16]

Catelyn Stark's thoughts

Family Tree


References and Notes

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