Lann the Clever

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House Lannister.svg
Lann
House Lannister.svg
Lann the Clever.jpg

Alias Lann the Clever
Title King of the Rock (posthumously)
Allegiance House Lannister
Race First Men/Andal (disputed)
Born In Age of Heroes
Book(s) The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)
A Game of Thrones (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (appendix)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)

Lann the Clever is the legendary hero from the Age of Heroes that founded House Lannister.[1] Lann is popular amongst singers and storytellers. One popular story tells how Lann supposedly swindled Casterly Rock from the Casterlys using nothing but his wits.[2] In another tale he is said to have stolen gold from the sun to brighten his hair.[2]

History

Most tales connect Lann with the First Men and the dawn of days[3] or the Age of Heroes.[1] In some tales of the Reach, Lann was a bastard born to Florys the Fox or Rowan Gold-Tree, legendary daughters of Garth Greenhand.[4] In the westerlands, however, it is more commonly claimed that Lann deceived Garth by posing as one of his plentiful sons and making off with part of the inheritance that belonged to Garth's children.[4] Some versions state he was an Andal adventurer from across the narrow sea, although this would have been thousands of years before the coming of the Andals.[5]

Stories differ in the method by which Lann took Casterly Rock from House Casterly. In the most common version, Lann, having stripped naked and coated himself in butter, squeezed through a secret cleft in the stone. Once inside he confused the sleeping Casterlys by whispering threats, howling like a demon, stealing treasures from one brother and placing them in the bedchamber of another, and rigging traps. Thus, he set the Casterlys at odds with one another and convinced them their seat was haunted.[5]

In another version of the tale, Lann used the cleft to fill the Rock with mice, rats, and other vermin to drive the Casterlys out. In yet another he smuggled inside a pride of lions, which devoured Lord Casterly and his sons. Lann then claimed the lord's wife and daughters for himself. In the most notorious tale, Lann had his way with Casterly maidens while they slept, and nine months later the women gave birth to golden-haired children while insisting they had never slept with a man.[5]

Lann supposedly lived to the age of three hundred and twelve, siring a hundred bold sons and a hundred lissome daughters, all fair of face, clean of limb and with hair "as golden as the sun". In a few generations, Lann's descendants were so numerous that Casterly Rock could not contain them all. The members of the lesser branches made their home in a nearby village that grew into the city of Lannisport.[5] Lann is not believed to have claimed the title of king, although some tales have called him such posthumously.[5] Some claim that Lann's ghost still haunts Casterly Rock.[6] Lann's Point is presumably named after Lann the Clever.[5]

Maesters are skeptical of Lann's existence.[5] Archmaester Perestan proposed that Lann was a retainer or guard in service to House Casterly who impregnated the lord's daughter—or daughters—and persuaded the father to give him the girl in marriage. Maester Yandel considers that if this lord had no trueborn sons, the Rock eventually passed to said daughter and Lann. Whatever the case, House Casterly vanished from chronicles and histories and in its place appears the hitherto-unknown House Lannister.[5]

References