House Arryn

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House Arryn of the Eyrie
House Arryn.svg
As High as Honor
Coat of arms A sky-blue falcon soaring against a white moon, on sky-blue
(Bleu celeste, upon a plate a falcon rousant of the field)
Head Lord Robert Arryn
Region The Vale of Arryn
Heir Ser Harrold Hardyng
Cadet branches
Founder Ser Artys Arryn
Founded Coming of the Andals

House Arryn of the Eyrie is one of the Great Houses of Westeros, and is the principal noble house in the Vale of Arryn. Their main seat is the Eyrie, which is considered impregnable.[2][3] House Arryn has at least one other holding, their winter castle at the Gates of the Moon, which was once their main seat.[4] 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.[3][5]

The Arryn sigil is a sky-blue falcon soaring upwards, outlined against a white moon on a sky-blue field, and their words are "As High as Honor".[6][5]

The Arryns of the Eyrie have a collection of distant relatives located throughout the Vale. Although they are much poorer than the ruling Arryns, aside from the Arryns of Gulltown, these lesser branches are described by Petyr Baelish as proud due to their name and heritage.[1]


Kings of Mountain and Vale

The Arryns are considered to come from the oldest and purest line of Andal nobility, which they say reaches back to Andalos and possibly Hugor of the Hill.[7]

When King Robar II Royce began to unite the First Men and defeat some of the petty Andal kings during the Andal invasion, the Andals of the Vale united behind Ser Artys Arryn, the Falcon Knight, a native Valeman esteemed amongst his peers as the finest warrior of his day. Robar was slain in the Battle of the Seven Stars, possibly by Artys, and the First Men houses who remained bent the knee and swore fealty to Artys Arryn, the First of His Name, new-crowned King of Mountain and Vale. From that day, the Vale became known as the Vale of Arryn.[8] Songs of the Vale conflate Artys with the legendary Winged Knight, who is said to have slain the Griffin King atop the Giant's Lance.[1][7] The First Men who did not accept Artys as their king were forced into the Mountains of the Moon, becoming the Vale mountain clans.[9]

The Arryns initially lived at the Gates of the Moon, but over generations they constructed the Eyrie.[4] They often used the Eyrie as a summer pleasure palace,[10] descending to the Gates of the Moon before winter made the Eyrie inaccessible.[1]

The Arryn kings added Pebble, the Paps, and the Witch Isle to their realm. They battled with the Stark Kings of Winter over the Three Sisters in the War Across the Water, which featured King Osgood Arryn and his son and successor, Oswin the Talon, who burned the Wolf's Den. There were bloody battles wherein the Arryn fleet turned back slavers from Volantis, ironborn reavers, and pirates from the Stepstones and the Basilisk Isles.[8] The legendary Lady Alyssa Arryn gave her name 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.[4]

Aegon's Conquest

Battle in the waters off Gulltown by John McCambridge ©

During Aegon's Conquest the Arryn and Targaryen fleets fought in a battle in the waters off 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 after the destruction of the Arryn fleet.[11]

Later in Aegon's Conquest, Visenya was charged with subduing the Vale. Sharra Arryn, Queen Regent of the Vale, ruling in the name of her son, the boy-king Ronnel Arryn, amassed the Vale's army at the Bloody Gate. Visenya, however, flew on Vhagar to the courtyard of the Eyrie to obtain the surrender of the Vale of Arryn. When Sharra returned to the Eyrie she found her son sitting on Visenya's lap asking if he could ride the dragon with her. Once Sharra yielded and bent the knee, Ronnel twice flew with Visenya and Vhagar.[11] The Arryns have since remained Defenders of the Vale and Wardens of the East for the Iron Throne.[12]

Targaryen Dynasty

Queen Rhaenys Targaryen arranged the marriage Lord Ronnel Arryn to the daughter of Lord Torrhen Stark of Winterfell, in an attempt to knit the new realm together.[13][7] There are letters at the Citadel which suggest that Torrhen only agreed to this match after much protest, and that his sons had refused to attend the wedding.[13] In 37 AC Ronnel was deposed by his brother Jonos. When House Royce gathered forces against Jonos and besieged him in the Eyrie, Jonos threw Ronnel and his family through the Moon Door. Prince Maegor Targaryen flew to the Eyrie on Balerion, and hanged Jonos and his supporters. House Arryn continued through a cousin, Hubert Arryn.[14]

In 80 AC, during the reign of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, Lord Rodrik Arryn married Princess Daella Targaryen, the king's daughter. Daella died in childbirth, giving birth to their only child, Lady Aemma Arryn.[15] Aemma was married to Prince Viserys Targaryen in 93 AC.[16] By the time Jaehaerys called a Great Council in 101 AC, Rodrik was deceased as well, and Lady Jeyne Arryn ruled the Eyrie. However, as she was in her minority in 101 AC, House Arryn played a small role in this council.[17]

The Eyrie by Lino Drieghe © Fantasy Flight Games

Upon the death of Jaehaerys in 103 AC, Prince Viserys was crowned king and Aemma Arryn his queen.[16] During the early years of their marriage, Aemma gave birth to a stillborn son and suffered multiple miscarriages, though she also gave birth to a daughter, Rhaenyra Targaryen, in 97 AC. Aemma died giving birth to her second son, Baelon, who followed her to the grave a few days later.[16]

Following the death of Viserys I in 129 AC, House Arryn became involved in the Dance of the Dragons, where Aemma's daughter, Viserys's elder child and proclaimed heir, Princess Rhaenyra, and Rhaenyra's younger brother, Prince Aegon, Viserys's eldest surviving son, fought over their claims to the Iron Throne. Jeyne Arryn, supported the blacks and her kinswoman Rhaenyra. At the start of the Targaryen civil war, Prince Jacaerys Velaryon, Rhaenyra's eldest son, travelled to the Eyrie to secure aid for his mother's cause. Jeyne kept true to her promise and sent men by sea by way of Gulltown to join Rhaenyra's hosts.[18][17][19]

Following the conclusion of the civil war, and the coronation of King Aegon III Targaryen, Rhaenyra's eldest surviving son, at the age of eleven, Jeyne became one of seven regents of the young king. She died in Gulltown of illness in 134 AC.[7][20]

This led to a succession struggle. Jeyne's will named her fourth cousin Joffrey Arryn as heir. However Jeyne's first cousin Arnold Arryn had been imprisoned for trying to depose her but his son Eldric Arryn pushed their claim. A more distant cousin, Isembard Arryn, head of House Arryn of Gulltown, also pushed their claim. Even though Eldric was eventually killed Arnold continued to oppose Joffrey. Finally Arnold and Isembard were forced to submit to Joffrey.

In 196 AC, during the First Blackfyre Rebellion, the Arryns remained loyal to King Daeron II Targaryen. At the climactic Battle of the Redgrass Field, Lord Donnel Arryn led the van, which was smashed by Daemon I Blackfyre. Donnel's life was eventually saved by Ser Gwayne Corbray of the Kingsguard.[7] Donnel survived the war, and eventually fought in the tourney at Maidenpool in 208 AC, where he was defeated in the lists by Ser Humfrey Hardyng.[21] During the Great Spring Sickness, which began in 209 AC, Donnel closed off the Vale from traffic, both from the high road and the narrow sea. Because of this, the Vale was spared from the plague.[7]

Lady Alys Arryn was married to Prince Rhaegel Targaryen, the thirdborn son of King Daeron II Targaryen. Together, they had three children: the twins Aelor and Aelora, and a second daughter, Daenora.[22] Daenora was eventually married to her cousin, Prince Aerion Targaryen, with whom they had a son, Maegor, in 232 AC. Maegor's father died that same year. Following the death of Aerion's father, King Maekar I Targaryen, in 233 AC, Maegor's claim for the throne was considered during the Great Council of 233 AC. However, on account of Maegor's age, as well as Aerion's cruelty and madness, his claim was passed over.[23]

Jon Arryn

Following the rule of Lord Jasper Arryn, his eldest son Jon inherited the Eyrie. Having been the Keeper of the Gates of the Moon as a young man before his father's death,[24] Jon fought for King Jaehaerys II Targaryen in 260 AC during the War of the Ninepenny Kings. As a result of alliances made during this war, Jon eventually fostered Eddard Stark from Winterfell and Robert Baratheon from Storm's End.[25]

While Lord Jasper, upon his death, left three children, his descendants experienced a variety of calamities that left the house with fewer heirs. Jasper's successor and eldest son, Lord Jon, married several times. His first wife, Lady Jeyne Royce, died in childbirth, their daughter stillborn. His second wife, Lady Rowena Arryn, a cousin, died childless of a winter chill. Jon's younger brother Ronnel married a woman from House Belmore. She became pregnant, but around the same time as she gave birth to their son, Elbert, Ronnel died of a bad belly. As Jon did not have any sons, his nephew Elbert became his heir. Jon and Ronnel's sister, Alys, was married to Ser Elys Waynwood, with whom she had eight daughters and one son. Alys died soon after her last childbirth, however, and her son, Jasper, died at a young age. Their eldest daughter was married to Ser Denys Arryn, a distant cousin, and their children became the Arryn heirs following Elbert. Of the remaining seven daughters, two died, one became a septa, another a silent sister, one proved barren following her marriage, and the sixth was kidnapped by the Burned Men on her way to her marriage in the riverlands. The youngest of them married a man from House Hardyng, with whom she had a son, Harrold.[1] Despite not having sons of his own, Jon Arryn thus had several heirs through whom his house could continue.

Robert's Rebellion

Robert's Rebellion began when Lord Jon Arryn refused to surrender his wards, Lord Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark, to King Aerys II Targaryen, who had demanded their heads following the executions of Lord Rickard Stark and his eldest son, Brandon.[26] The taking of Gulltown saw Jon defeat his royalist bannermen and Robert slay Marq Grafton.[27]

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.[28] Unfortunately, casualties mounted among the few remaining Arryns. Jon's nephew and heir, Elbert Arryn, had been part of Brandon Stark's group of companions who accompanied him to King's Landing.[29] In addition to Brandon's execution, most of his companions were killed as well, Elbert among them.[29][1] Jon's distant cousin, Ser Denys Arryn, the "darling of the Vale", was killed by Lord Jon Connington, Aerys's Hand of the King, during the Battle of the Bells.[30] Denys's newborn son died shortly after.[1] This left Harrold Hardyng, Jon's cousin through his sister's youngest daughter, as his only heir for several years.[1]

Following the Battle of the Trident, the Targaryen dynasty fell with the Sack of King's Landing.[31]

Baratheon Era

Jon Arryn by Allen Douglas © Fantasy Flight Games

Following the conclusion of the war in 283 AC, Jon Arryn played a large role in the reign of newly-formed House Baratheon of King's Landing. He was named the Hand of the King for the new monarch, Robert I Baratheon,[32] while Nestor Royce ruled as High Steward of the Vale in Jon's absence.[3] In the year following Robert's coronation, Jon traveled to Dorne to return the bones of Prince Lewyn Martell, the uncle of Doran Martell, the ruling Prince of Dorne, and negotiated a peace.[33] Additionally, Jon convinced Robert to take Cersei Lannister to bride, following the death of Robert's previous betrothed, Lyanna Stark.[32]

Jon's own marriage, to Lysa Tully, remained an unhappy one. Jon had been aware of the fact that Lysa had been pregnant with a child which had been aborted by Lord Hoster Tully before their marriage.[28] Catelyn Stark, Lysa's elder sister, believes that it would have been hard for Jon to love Lysa, knowing she had come to him soiled and unwilling.[28] Additionally, Jon's marriage to Lysa resulted in two stillbirths and four miscarriages.[3][34][1] In 292 AC, Lysa gave Jon a son, Robert.[35] However, due to her history, Lysa has always been protective of Robert, and she has spoiled him despite Jon's efforts.

When Lord Stannis Baratheon, Robert's younger brother, began to suspect that Queen Cersei's children were not fathered by Robert, he approached Jon,[36] who aided Stannis in his investigation.[37] However, Jon died suddenly before they were able to reveal their discovery. On his deathbed, Jon repeated the words "the seed is strong",[38][3][39] referring to the secret he had uncovered.[40]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Lysa Arryn by Linda Tso © Fantasy Flight Games

King Robert I Baratheon names his old friend, Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell, as Hand of the King to replaced the recently-deceased Lord Jon Arryn. The king hopes to have Jon's young heir, Lord Robert Arryn, fostered by Lord Tywin Lannister at Casterly Rock, and Tywin accepts to foster the boy.[12] However, Jon's widow, Lysa Arryn, flees with young Robert from King's Landing to the Eyrie.[12] Lysa sends a message to her sister, Eddard's wife Catelyn, claiming that Jon had been murdered by House Lannister.[41]

Because of young Robert's age and health, Robert grants the traditional Arryn title of Warden of the East to Ser Jaime Lannister, rather than to young Robert Arryn,[12][42] which incenses many lords sworn to the Eyrie.[3] Many of these lords court Lysa, but she strings them along to keep them vying for her favor.[3]

Lysa gains the custody of Tyrion Lannister when he is brought to the Eyrie by Catelyn,[3] but she soon loses Tyrion when her captain of guards, Ser Vardis Egen, is killed by Bronn in trial by combat.[5] 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.[43] Lysa declines to provide escort for Tyrion as he and Bronn leave the Vale of Arryn, hoping they will be killed by Vale mountain clans,[5] but Tyrion turns the clansmen to his side.[44]

After the death of Robert Baratheon, Lady Lysa and Lord Robert are among the nobles King Joffrey I Baratheon commands to swear fealty to him or be branded traitors to the realm.[45]

A Clash of Kings

A man loyal to Lord Jon Arryn, by Anders Finer © Fantasy Flight Games

Maester Cressen counsels King Stannis Baratheon to send his heir, Princess Shireen, to the Eyrie. Stannis considers it, until his wife, Selyse Florent, informs him that it is equal to begging Lysa for her support, which Stannis strongly opposes.[46]

In an attempt to discover who is spying on him for Queen Regent Cersei Lannister, Tyrion Lannister lies to Lord Petyr Baelish, telling him that he wishes to offer Princess Myrcella Baratheon in marriage to Lord Robert, at the same time offering to restore Robert to the title of Warden of the East.[47] Petyr learns about Tyrion's deceit before he brings the offer to Lysa.

King Robb Stark sends four ravens to the Eyrie, asking the Arryn's for aid in the war. Lysa does not reply to them, however.[48] Despite the historical ties of Houses Arryn and Tully to House Stark, Lysa keeps the knights of the Vale from joining the War of the Five Kings against the Lannisters.

A Storm of Swords

The Vale's neutrality is a cause of contention for all sides. Lysa's sister Catelyn writes her a letter when their father, Lord Hoster Tully, lies dying,[28] but Lysa never answers.[49] Lysa's nephew, King Robb Stark, bemoans his inability to march through the region.[50]

Tywin Lannister, Hand for King Joffrey, sends Petyr Baelish, Lysa's lover from her youth, to the Eyrie to convince Lysa to swear loyalty to the Iron Throne. Tywin agrees to restore Lord Robert to the position of Warden of the East if Lysa will keep the king's peace and marry Petyr.[51] Lysa marries Petyr,[39] but later sees him kissing her niece, Sansa Stark, and flies into a jealous rage, revealing that she secretly plotted with Petyr to murder Jon with the tears of Lys after her husband had revealed he was going to send young Robert away to be fostered by Stannis Baratheon on Dragonstone. Lysa is killed when Petyr shoves her through the Moon Door.[52]

A Feast for Crows

Lord Robert Arryn by Amok ©

The frail Robert Arryn remains Lord of the Eyrie, and has become the ward of Lord Petyr Baelish, who rules as Lord Protector of the Vale. Following the death of his mother, Robert begins to see as a mother-figure his cousin Sansa, who is disguised as Petyr's bastard daughter Alayne Stone.[24]

Several powerful nobles array themselves against Lord Baelish's rule, calling themselves the Lords Declarant. As the Vale has been untouched by the war, they command a sizable military force of twenty thousand men. They agree to allow Petyr one year to prove his worth.[34]

As winter is approaching, Lord Robert Arryn and his household descend from the Eyrie to the Gates of the Moon.[1] Robert's heir presumptive is Ser Harrold Hardyng, also called Harry "the Heir", a recently-knighted young man and the great-nephew of the late Lord Jon Arryn. Petyr plots to wed Sansa to Harrold, promising her the marriage, the Eyrie, and Winterfell.[1]

A Dance with Dragons

Lord Davos Seaworth thinks that the Arryns have tenuous control over the Three Sisters.[27]

Because the Eyrie is fertile and has been untouched by war, Jon Snow, the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, thinks the Vale might be a source of food to buy for the winter. Unaware of Lysa Arryn's death, he wonders if she would be willing to feed the bastard son of her sister's husband.[53]

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.

Harry the Heir quarters the arms of House Arryn with those of Houses Hardyng and Waynwood. A tourney to determine membership in the Brotherhood of Winged Knights is to be held at the Gates of the Moon.[54]

House Arryn at the end of the third century

Ser Harrold Hardyng, called Harry the Heir, by Rae Lavergne ©

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:

  • Ser {Denys Arryn}, known as the Darling of the Vale, married a distant cousin who descended from the main Arryn branch. As such his future children were considered to be heirs to the Vale after Elbert Arryn.

2 stillborn
6 daughters


Historical Members

Before the Conquest

After the Conquest

Sworn Houses

The following are not directly sworn to House Arryn: House Borrell.svg House Borrell, House Coldwater.svg House Coldwater, House Hardyng.svg House Hardyng, None.svg House Longthorpe, House Shett of Gulltown.svg House Shett of Gulltown, House Shett of Gull Tower.svg House Shett of Gull Tower, House Tollett.svg House Tollett, None.svg House Torrent.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 41, Alayne II.
  2. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 28, Catelyn V.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34, Catelyn VI.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale: The Eyrie.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 40, Catelyn VII.
  6. So Spake Martin: The Arryns and the Hightower (May 09, 1999)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale: House Arryn.
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale.
  9. George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Mountains of the Moon.
  10. George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Eyrie.
  11. 11.0 11.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
  13. 13.0 13.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Lords of Winterfell.
  14. 14.0 14.1 The Sons of the Dragon.
  15. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 The Rogue Prince.
  17. 17.0 17.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale: House Arryn.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 The Princess and the Queen.
  19. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
  20. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III.
  21. The Hedge Knight.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 The World of Ice & Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineage.
  23. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I.
  24. 24.0 24.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 10, Sansa I.
  25. George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Jon Arryn.
  26. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
  27. 27.0 27.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 9, Davos I.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
  29. 29.0 29.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 55, Catelyn VII.
  30. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 29, Arya V.
  31. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 3, Daenerys I.
  32. 32.0 32.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
  33. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
  34. 34.0 34.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 23, Alayne I.
  35. See the Robert Arryn calculation.
  36. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 31, Catelyn III.
  37. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
  38. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 25, Eddard V.
  39. 39.0 39.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 68, Sansa VI.
  40. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 45, Eddard XII.
  41. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6, Catelyn II.
  42. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 12, Eddard II.
  43. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 55, Catelyn VIII.
  44. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 42, Tyrion VI.
  45. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
  46. A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
  47. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 17, Tyrion IV.
  48. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 22, Catelyn II.
  49. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 35, Catelyn IV.
  50. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 20, Catelyn III.
  51. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 19, Tyrion III.
  52. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 80, Sansa VII.
  53. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 17, Jon IV.
  54. The Winds of Winter, Alayne I
  55. 55.0 55.1 55.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale.
  56. 56.0 56.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 29, Davos IV.
  57. 57.0 57.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The North.
  58. 58.0 58.1 Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
  59. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.
  60. 60.0 60.1 60.2 Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
  61. Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Their Triumphs and Tragedies.
  62. 62.0 62.1 62.2 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - A Son for a Son.
  63. 63.0 63.1 63.2 Fire & Blood, The Lysene Spring and the End of Regency.