The Giant's Lance is located northeast of the Bloody Gate, north of the Vale proper. Alyssa's Tears flows over the mountain's massive western shoulder; according to legend, none of the falling water has reached the valley below. Falcons soar about the Giant's Lance.
Stone, Snow, and Sky are waycastles which guard the path up the Giant's Lance. Mules carry travelers up winding steps carved deep into the rock, with fresh mules available in stables at each waycastle. The trail becomes steeper and trees become sparser after Stone. Having endured centuries of freezing and thawing, the steps after Snow are cracked and broken. The path narrows as it ascends the Giant's Lance, forcing travelers to ride single file. At one point the path turns into a high stone saddle twenty foot long and near three feet wide, with howling winds distracting the traveler.
The Eyrie, located six hundred feet above Sky on a shoulder of the Giant's Lance, is accessible through baskets drawn by great chain winches turned by oxen. Instead of the baskets, travelers can also traverse a natural stone chimney which ascends to the seat of House Arryn like a ladder. The Moon Door in the Eyrie's High Hall opens onto emptiness, and prisoners in the Eyrie's sky cells can be tempted to leap from the mountain to their deaths. The castle's garden serves as a godswood, but the Arryns were unable to get a weirwood to grow in the soil.
Descending the mountain can be even more intimidating than the ascent, since the traveler looks down during the journey. The Arryn court descends to the Gates of the Moon to avoid becoming snowbound at the Eyrie during winter.
The Battle of the Seven Stars was fought at the foot of the Giant's Lance, and Artys I Arryn, the first King of Mountain and Vale, constructed the Gates of the Moon at the site where he had encamped before the battle. Construction of the Eyrie and the switchback road up the mountain began during the reign of King Roland I Arryn and continued for decades, with workers and mules dying during the project. Marble was imported from Tarth for the new castle.
Queen Visenya Targaryen flew her dragon, Vhagar, to the Eyrie to deal with the Arryns during Aegon's Conquest. In return for the submission of House Arryn, Visenya flew young Ronnel Arryn, King of Mountain and Vale, three times around the summit of the Giant's Lance. During the reign of King Aenys I Targaryen, Lord Ronnel was thrown to his death through the Moon Door by his brother, Jonos Arryn. Prince Maegor Targaryen retaliated by flying Balerion to the Eyrie and executing Jonos by defenestration through the Moon Door.
King Jaehaerys I Targaryen flew Vermithor up the Giant's Lance to visit the Eyrie during his royal progress in 52 AC. Thirty years later, Queen Alysanne Targaryen, flew on Silverwing to the Gates of the Moon and then the Eyrie to help her daughter, Daella Targaryen, frightened because of her pregnancy. Prince Jacaerys Velaryon visited the Eyrie on Vermax to meet with Lady Jeyne Arryn during the Dance of the Dragons.
A Game of Thrones
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
The Lords Declarant assemble their hosts around the walls of the Gates of the Moon at the foot of the mountain. The rebel lords ascend to the Eyrie to confront Petyr in a parley, and Lord Baelish convinces them to grant him a year to set the Vale to rights.
Snowfall buries the peak of the Giant's Lance, so the Arryn court descends from the icy Eyrie to the Gates of the Moon below. Mord butchers the oxen in the winch room and leaves their bodies for falcons. When crossing the narrow stone bridge, Sansa inspires the fearful Lord Robert Arryn by comparing him to the Winged Knight.
The Winds of Winter
|| Warning |
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.
—thoughts of Catelyn Stark
You don't want your mule to break a leg up here.
She could feel the emptiness, the vast black gulfs of air that yawned around her.—thoughts of Catelyn Stark
So lovely. The snow-clad summit of the Giant's Lance loomed above her, an immensity of stone and ice that dwarfed the castle perched upon its shoulder. Icicles twenty feet long draped the lip of the precipice where Alyssa's Tears fell in summer. A falcon soared above the frozen waterfall, blue wings spread wide against the morning sky. Would that I had wings as well.—thoughts of Sansa Stark
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Giant's Lance.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34, Catelyn VI.
- The Lands of Ice and Fire, Westeros.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 40, Catelyn VII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 41, Alayne II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: Norvos.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale: The Eyrie.
- Fire & Blood, Aegon's Conquest.
- Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
- Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
- Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - A Son for a Son.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 80, Sansa VII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 10, Sansa I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 23, Alayne I.
- The Winds of Winter, Alayne I