Vale of Arryn

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The Vale of Arryn and the location of the Vale proper
The Vale of Arryn and the location of the Vale proper
Vale of Arryn
The Vale of Arryn and the location of the Vale proper[1]
For the smaller valley from which the region takes its name, see Vale of Arryn (valley).

The Vale of Arryn or the Vale is one of the constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. It was formerly a sovereign nation ruled by the Kings of Mountain and Vale before Aegon's Conquest. The Mountains of the Moon surround the smaller Vale proper,[2] although the valley's name is often applied to all of House Arryn's realm.[3][4]

The Vale is ruled by the Arryns from the castle known as the Eyrie. Notable houses of this region include Baelish, Belmore, Corbray, Egen, Grafton, Hersy, Hunter, Melcolm, Redfort, Royce, Templeton, and Waynwood.[5][6] Bastards of noble origin raised in the Vale are given the surname Stone.


Map (click to zoom)

The borders of the Vale are held to be the Bite to the north, the Bay of Crabs to the south, the Mountains of the Moon and then the riverlands to the west, and the narrow sea to the east. The Vale consists of various regions: the Vale of Arryn itself; the Mountains of the Moon; the snakewood; the Fingers; and the islands of the Three Sisters, the Paps, and Pebble.

The Vale is located on the eastern shore of Westeros, a land of fertile soil, rivers, and lakes, protected by its largely impassable Mountains of the Moon. The Vale tends to be slightly isolated from the rest of Westeros. Its harsh winters make travel only possible through the mountains during warmer years, and rebellious mountain clans make travel even more dangerous. The Vale can be reached through the high road, which connects the Vale and the riverlands, and is protected by the Bloody Gate.

The mountainous border of the Vale of Arryn proper appears to include the Bloody Gate in the west and the Eyrie and Longbow Hall to the north. The fertile lands within the valley include Ironoaks, Old Anchor, Redfort, and a peninsula containing the city of Gulltown and Runestone. The town of Wickenden is located along the Bay of Crabs, in the mountains south of the valley. Castles north of the Vale proper in the valleys of the Mountains of the Moon and the snakewood forest[3] include Coldwater, Heart's Home, Snakewood, and Strongsong.[1]

People and Economy

House Greyjoy men sailing up a river of the Vale - by Tomasz Jedruszek © Fantasy Flight Games

The Valemen,[4] the people of the Vale, are known as reliable warriors steeped in honor and the worship of the Faith of the Seven. The knights of the Vale consider themselves the finest in the Seven Kingdoms,[7] and the Valemen consider the Eyrie to be the most beautiful castle of the realm.[8] The island people of the Three Sisters are known as Sistermen.[9]

Some of the people living in the foothills of the Mountains of the Moon have rejected the authority of the Eyrie and live by their own rules. These mountain clans, such as the Black Ears and the Burned Men, are descendants of the First Men[2] who raid unwary travelers and skirmish with the knights of the Vale.

Wheat, corn, and barley is grown in the Vale. Not even in Highgarden do the pumpkins grow any larger nor is the fruit any sweeter. House Waxley is known for producing scented candles in Wickenden. The candles can be scented with nutmeg and other costly spices.

Military strength

According to a semi-canon sources from 2005, the Vale can raise perhaps as many as forty-five thousand men.[10] Their strength is comparable to the North and Dorne, according to George R. R. Martin.[11] The houses Royce of Runestone, Waynwood, Hunter, Redfort, Belmore and Templeton together are able to raise twenty thousand men,[12] while House Royce of the Gates of the Moon can field only three hundred.[13]

The Vale also has a fleet.[9] It is said that the Kings of Mountain and Vale did not neglect their fleets when they still reigned, which might have counted hundreds of ships at Gulltown.[14] The Arryn fleet has fought in several more recent battles; however, it's current size is unknown.


House Stark men traveling through the Vale - by Tomasz Jedruszek © Fantasy Flight Games

During the Age of Heroes, the Vale was thinly populated and was ruled by a score of petty First Men kings. The Winged Knight is among the legendary heroes of the Valemen from thousands of years ago.[6]

The Vale was where the Andals landed when they began their invasion of Westeros. Rather than unite against the newcomers, many of the First Men rulers sought alliances with the Andals, often with disastrous results.[14] House Arryn claimed the Vale after defeating the First Men in the Battle of the Seven Stars.[14] As such, the Arryns are one of the oldest lines of Andal nobility in the Seven Kingdoms. The Arryns ruled as Kings of Mountain and Vale for approximately six thousand years. Those First Men who did not accept Andal rule fled into the Mountains of the Moon, becoming the mountain clans.[14]

Following the Rape of the Three Sisters two thousand years ago, the Vale warred with the north for a thousand years.[15] The Wolf's Den was besieged by Osgood Arryn and burned by the Talon during the War Across the Water between the two kingdoms.[16] The Three Sisters swore fealty to the Arryns, although their loyalty remains tenuous.[15] The Bloody Gate withstood three attempts by Halleck Hoare, King of the Isles and the Rivers, to conquer the Vale.[17]

The Arryns bent the knee to Aegon the Conqueror during House Targaryen's Wars of Conquest, bringing the Vale under the control of the Iron Throne.[9] During the Dance of the Dragons, Jacaerys Velaryon gained the Vale for the cause of the blacks.[18] In 134 AC, a war of succession arose in the Vale after the death of Lady Jeyne Arryn between her chosen heir, Ser Joffrey Arryn, a closer cousin, Ser Arnold Arryn, and the head of House Arryn of Gulltown, Isembard Arryn, with the Crown ruling Lady Jeyne's testament should be upheld, and sending a force to maintain the King's Peace.[19] The Arryns remained loyal to the Targaryens during the First Blackfyre Rebellion,[20] although there were battles in the Vale during the civil war.[21] The Arryns blocked access to the Vale during the Great Spring Sickness.[20]

Robert's Rebellion began in the Vale, when Lord Jon Arryn, Defender of the Vale, refused to surrender his wards, Lords Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark, to King Aerys II Targaryen. Defeating his royalist bannermen at Gulltown, Lord Arryn went on to help Robert secure the Iron Throne, and was named his Hand after the war. In Lord Arryn's absence, Nestor Royce governed as High Steward of the Vale.

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Vale of Arryn by Ted Nasmith ©

After Lord Jon Arryn's sudden death, his widow Lysa flees with their son, Robert Arryn, from King's Landing to the Eyrie.[22] Her sister, Catelyn Stark, abducts Tyrion Lannister at the crossroads[23] and brings her captive to Lysa in the Vale instead of Winterfell,[24] which leads Lord Tywin Lannister to begin warfare in the sisters' homeland of the riverlands.[25][26]

A Clash of Kings

Lysa refuses to lend the Vale's strength to any side of the War of the Five Kings.[27][28]

A Storm of Swords

After the death of King Joffrey I Baratheon, Petyr Baelish helps Sansa Stark escape King's Landing[29] and brings her to the Vale. Lysa marries Petyr at the Fingers,[30] but he later pushes her through the Eyrie's Moon Door.[31]

A Feast for Crows

Petyr rules as Lord Protector of the Vale and the guardian of the orphaned Lord Robert, to the consternation of the Lords Declarant.[12][13] The court descends from the Eyrie to the Gates of the Moon.[32]

A Dance with Dragons

Lord Davos Seaworth washes up on Sweetsister, but Lord Godric Borrell allows Davos to continue to White Harbor instead of turning him over to Lord Triston Sunderland.[15]


House Arryn.svg House Arryn of the Eyrie.
Arms unknown House Arryn of Gulltown.
OldBaelish.png House Baelish of the Fingers.
Belmore.PNG House Belmore of Strongsong.
Borell.png House Borrell of Sweetsister.
Arms unknown House Crayne.
House Coldwater.svg House Coldwater of Coldwater Burn.
Corbray.png House Corbray of Heart's Home.
House Donniger.svg House Donniger.
Arms unknown House Dutton.
House Egen.svg House Egen.
House Elesham.svg House Elesham of the Paps.
Grafton.png House Grafton of Gulltown.
House Hardyng.svg House Hardyng.
Hersy.png House Hersy of Newkeep.
House Hunter.PNG House Hunter of Longbow Hall.
OssiferLipps.png House Lipps.
Arms unknown House Longthorpe of Longsister.
Lynderly.png House Lynderly of Snakewood.
House Melcolm.PNG House Melcolm of Old Anchor.
House Moore.PNG House Moore.
House Pryor.svg House Pryor of Pebble.
House Redfort.png House Redfort of Redfort.
House Royce.svg House Royce of Runestone.
House Royce (Moon).svg House Royce of the Gates of the Moon.
Ruthermont.png House Ruthermont.
Shett (Gulltown).png House Shett of Gulltown.
Shett (Gull Tower).png House Shett of Gull Tower.
Sunderland.png House Sunderland of the Three Sisters.
House Templeton.svg House Templeton of Ninestars.
House Tollett.svg House Tollett of the Grey Glen.
Arms unknown House Torrent of Littlesister.
Upcliff.png House Upcliff of the Witch Isle.
House Waxley.svg House Waxley of Wickenden.
House Waynwood.PNG House Waynwood of Ironoaks.
Arms unknown House Woodhull.
Wydman.png House Wydman.


It stretched before them to the misty east, a tranquil land of rich black soil, wide slow-moving rivers, and hundreds of small lakes that shone like mirrors in the sun, protected on all sides by its sheltering peaks.[24]

—thoughts of Catelyn Stark

My lords, with your leave, I propose to travel to the Vale and there woo and win Lady Lysa Arryn. Once I am her consort, I shall deliver you the Vale of Arryn without a drop of blood being spilled.[33]}

The lords of the Vale are numerous. As with any large group, their views vary.[34]


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Lands of Ice and Fire, Westeros.
  2. 2.0 2.1 George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Mountains of the Moon.
  3. 3.0 3.1 A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide
  4. 4.0 4.1 The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: The Arrival of the Andals.
  5. A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  6. 6.0 6.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale: House Arryn.
  7. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
  8. The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach: Highgarden.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
  10. A Game of Thrones: d20-based Open Gaming RPG.
  11. So Spake Martin: Strength of the Regions (February 18, 2002)
  12. 12.0 12.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 10, Sansa I.
  13. 13.0 13.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 23, Alayne I.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 9, Davos I.
  16. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 29, Davos IV.
  17. The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Black Blood.
  18. The Princess and the Queen.
  19. Fire & Blood, The Lysene Spring and the End of Regency.
  20. 20.0 20.1 The Sworn Sword.
  21. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Daeron II.
  22. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6, Catelyn II.
  23. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 28, Catelyn V.
  24. 24.0 24.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34, Catelyn VI.
  25. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 40, Catelyn VII.
  26. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 43, Eddard XI.
  27. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 17, Tyrion IV.
  28. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 22, Catelyn II.
  29. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 61, Sansa V.
  30. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 68, Sansa VI.
  31. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 80, Sansa VII.
  32. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 41, Alayne II.
  33. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 19, Tyrion III.
  34. So Spake Martin: Clans of the North and the Valelords, February 24, 2000