Keeper of the Gates of the Moon
Keeper of the Gates of the Moon is a title held by the noble holding the Gates of the Moon, the winter seat of House Arryn, on behalf of the Lord of the Eyrie.
King Artys I Arryn raised the Gates of the Moon at the foot of the Giant's Lance after the Battle of the Seven Stars. King Roland I Arryn, fearing the castle was vulnerable to mountain clans and desiring a grander seat, began construction of the Eyrie atop the mountain. The Kings of Mountain and Vale resided at the Eyrie in summer and descended to the Gates in winter.
The Lords of the Eyrie have usually named kinsmen from House Arryn as Keepers of the Gates of the Moon, and the Gates are considered an Arryn castle. Like the Knight of the Gate, the Keeper is not a hereditary position, and the current Keeper is the High Steward of the Vale, Lord Nestor from the junior branch of House Royce.
A Game of Thrones
Catelyn Stark meets the Keeper, Lord Nestor Royce, when she brings the captive Tyrion Lannister to the Vale of Arryn.
A Feast for Crows
Petyr Baelish, the Lord Protector of the Eyrie and the Vale of Arryn, grants the title and the castle in perpetuity to Nestor and his descendants—in order to secure Nestor's support against the Lords Declarant—thus forming House Royce of the Gates of the Moon.
Known Keepers of the Gates of the Moon
- Jon Arryn, during the rule of his father, Lord Jasper.
- Ser Ronnel Arryn, after the ascent of his brother, Lord Jon.
- Ser Denys Arryn, after the death of Ser Ronnel.
- Lord Nestor Royce, High Steward of the Vale.
The Keeper's post has never been hereditary. The Arryns raised the Gates, in the days when they still wore the Falcon Crown and ruled the Vale as kings. The Eyrie was their summer seat, but when the snows began to fall the court would make its descent. Some would say the Gates were as royal as the Eyrie.
Nestor: Whilst Lord Jon ruled the realm as Hand, it fell to me to rule the Vale for him. I did all that he required of me and asked nothing for myself. But by the gods, I earned this!
Petyr: You did, and Lord Robert sleeps more easily knowing that you are always there, a staunch friend at the foot of his mountain. So ... a toast, my lord. To House Royce, Keepers of the Gates of the Moon ... now and forever.
- ↑ The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale: The Eyrie.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 10, Sansa I.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34, Catelyn VI.