Vale mountain clans
The mountain clans are a culture, divided into clans of varying size and strength, who live in the foothills of the Mountains of the Moon, in the Vale of Arryn. Descendents of the First Men, they are considered primitive by the Andals of the Vale. The Vale's clans are sometimes called wildlings, like the free folk who live beyond the Wall. They should not be confused with the northern mountain clans, who are more respected and sometimes considered petty lords.
The Mountains of the Moon are home to a population of people who have rejected the authority of the Eyrie and are independent from the rest of the Seven Kingdoms and its feudal society. They believe that every person's voice, regardless of gender, should be heard during councils. Some clans share close bonds. Conflicts between the clans are often resolved by payment of blood money and clansmen are quick to settle personal grievances through violence.
They are a poor people with poor quality of weapons and armor. They subsist by raiding local villages, small groups of travelers and will attack even the Lord of the Eyrie if he is not properly protected. They take all weapons, grain, and armor they can find, as well as all women, whether they are wedded or not. Some women participate in raids. However, it has been hundreds of years since the clansmen have threatened the Vale with anything more serious than raids.
- Black Ears
- Burned Men
- Milk Snakes
- Moon Brothers
- Painted Dogs
- Sons of the Mist
- Sons of the Tree
- Stone Crows
During the Andal invasion of Westeros, Andals from Essos conquered the Vale of Arryn from the First Men. Some First Men submitted to and intermarried with Andals in the aftermath of the Battle of Seven Stars, but others refused to kneel. The First Men who fled from the fertile Vale proper into the Mountains of the Moon are the ancestors of the modern clansmen.
A Game of Thrones
While returning from King's Landing, Catelyn Stark considers visiting her sister Lysa at the Eyrie, but decides the passes through the Mountains of the Moon are too dangerous. After seizing Tyrion Lannister in the inn at the crossroads, Catelyn decides to bring him east to the Eyrie rather than north to Winterfell. Their party is attacked by clansmen along the high road before they reach the Bloody Gate.
After Tyrion wins his trial by combat at the Eyrie through his proxy, Bronn, Lysa has them leave the Vale through the dangerous high road. Tyrion and Bronn encounter clansmen during their journey, however. In return for promising them the Vale, Tyrion enlists them to fight for House Lannister. The clansmen fight alongside Tyrion in the Lannister vanguard during the battle on the Green Fork.
A Clash of Kings
Serving as the acting Hand of the King, Tyrion brings the clansmen to King's Landing, where they reside in barracks below the Tower of the Hand. Without the benefit of Lannister men, Tyrion uses the clansmen as his guards and soldiers. Prior to the Battle of the Blackwater, he sends them into the kingswood to disrupt the army of Stannis Baratheon.
A Storm of Swords
After the Blackwater, red cloaks and Kingslanders prevents the clansmen from returning to the capital. Others are paid off by Tywin Lannister. Some return to the mountains, while others remain in the kingswood.
- thoughts of Catelyn Stark
Why should we trust your word?… Lowland lords have lied to the clans before.”
– Chella, Daughter of Cheyk
- thoughts of Tyrion Lannister
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Mountains of the Moon.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 62, Tyrion VIII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 29, Tyrion VII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 17, Jon IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 56, Tyrion VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34, Catelyn VI.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 42, Tyrion VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 28, Catelyn V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 31, Tyrion IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 3, Tyrion I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 49, Tyrion XI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 4, Tyrion I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 65, Arya XII.