Lysa Arryn

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Lysa Tully
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Lysa tully by daenerys mod.jpg
Illustration by Elia Fernandez©

Title Lady of the Vale
Allegiance House Arryn
Born In 266 AC, at Riverrun
Died In 300 AC, at the Eyrie
Spouse Jon Arryn 1st
Petyr Baelish 2nd
Book(s) A Game of Thrones (Appears)
A Clash of Kings (Mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (Appears)
A Feast for Crows (Mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (Mentioned)

Played by Kate Dickie
TV series Season 1
Kate Dickie as Lysa Tully (TV series)

Lysa Tully (266 AC - 300 AC) is a member of House Tully. She is the daughter of Hoster Tully and Minisa Whent and wife of Jon Arryn. Since her husband's death she is the Lady Regent of the Vale of Arryn, where she pursued a policy of isolationism during the War of the Five Kings. She later remarried to Petyr Baelish, who later killed her. In the TV series, she is played by Kate Dickie.

Character and Appearance

Lysa is thick of body, pale and puffy of face. She has the blue eyes of the Tullys and a small, petulant mouth. She has long, thick, auburn hair. [1]

In her youth at Riverrun, Lysa was a slender, shy, and delicately sweet girl who wanted nothing more than to marry the man of her dreams. She idolized her older sister Catelyn for her betrothal to the heir of Winterfell, Brandon Stark, and hoped to one day marry a man as noble and handsome as the young Stark heir.[2]


Life up until Robert's Rebellion

Lysa is the second daughter of Lady Minisa and Lord Hoster Tully, head of House Tully, Lord Paramount of the Riverlands. She has an older sister, Catelyn, and younger brother, Edmure. Her mother died giving birth to her fourth child, who also died.

Lysa was raised alongside her siblings and her father's ward, Petyr Baelish. When they were young, Catelyn and Lysa first learnt to kiss by taking turns kissing Petyr. Catelyn recalls it being very innocent, though Petyr was more forward with Lysa, going so far as to French kiss her. During this time, Lysa fell in love with Petyr, but her feelings were not reciprocated. When Catelyn was about to marry Brandon Stark, Petyr challenged him for Catelyn's hand. Brandon wounded Petyr and Lysa offered to nurse him. She took advantage of him while drunk, after having been rejected and humiliated by Catelyn, and climbed into his bed to "give him comfort", during which Petyr called Lysa "Catelyn". Lysa became pregnant with Petyr's child as a result of this, but her father forced her to abort it and sent Petyr back to the Vale.[3]

Because Lysa was no longer a virgin, Lord Hoster found it difficult to arrange a marriage for her to someone of equal rank. A marriage to Jaime Lannister was discussed, but the deal fell through when Cersei Lannister pushed Jaime to join the Kingsguard; Tywin Lannister offered his younger son instead, but was rebuffed by Lord Hoster. During Robert's Rebellion, Lysa was married to Lord Jon Arryn, overlord of the Vale. Lord Arryn was an old man without immediate heirs, and their marriage forged a useful wartime alliance with House Tully. She married Jon in the same ceremony as her sister married Eddard Stark. Both men played key roles in the successful rebellion. After the war ended, King Robert I chose Jon Arryn as his Hand, a position that took him away to King's Landing for long period of time.

When her uncle Ser Brynden Tully wished to leave the Riverlands to avoid perpetual feuding with Lord Hoster, Lysa's position as Lady of the Eyrie allowed him to serve House Arryn as Knight of the Gate.

Wife of Jon Arryn

Jon was already a fairly old man when he married her, and was ever proud. Because of Lysa's soiled state and the age difference between them, there was not much love in their marriage. Like her mother, Lysa had many miscarriages (two in the Eyrie, three in King's Landing) and two stillborn children.[4][1] She eventually she gave birth to a son, Robert Arryn. She became paranoid after the last stillbirth, seeing enemies everywhere.[5]

Robert was a sickly child, suffering from the 'shaking sickness'. Lysa was overprotective, spoiling him to such an extent that she breastfed him until he was six and denied him nothing. Jon was concerned about how weak his son was and arranged to foster him with Lord Stannis Baratheon on Dragonstone, fitting since Stannis's own daughter suffers from greyscale.

During those years, she lived with her husband in King's Landing. She maintained a relationship with Petyr and convinced her husband to appoint Petyr as manager of customs at Gulltown. This position led to Petyr being appointed Master of Coin in King's Landing. Petyr had great influence with Lysa and knew about Jon's plot to foster her son with Stannis. Petyr easily persuaded her to poison Jon and accuse the Lannisters of the murder.[3] After Jon's death, Lysa fled with her son back to the Vale of Arryn and sent Catelyn a secret letter in which she accused Cersei Lannister of murdering her husband. When Catelyn comes to the Eyrie, Lysa says that Jon intended to foster Robert with the Lannisters.

Jaime clears this up much later, when Catelyn interrogates him. She does not believe him, considering his dishonourable reputation. [6]

During the War of the Five Kings

The murder of Jon Arryn set into motion a number of event which led to complete war in the Seven Kingdoms.

Lysa's sister took Tyrion Lannister prisoner when she accidentally met him during a journey from King's Landing to Winterfell. To shake off possible pursuers, Catelyn went to the Vale. Catelyn had not seen her sister in years and was shocked by the changes in Lysa. She had grown fat, emotionally unstable and saw enemies everywhere.[1]

Lysa took Tyrion as her own prisoner and tried to make him confess to the murder of her husband. Tyrion outsmarted her by demanding a trial by combat. His champion was able to win against Ser Vardis Egen, captain of the guard at The Eyrie, whom Lysa had urged into the duel.[7] Catelyn tried to persuade her sister to mobilize an army and join with their father and the North against the Lannisters, but Lysa refused. Their uncle Ser Brynden the Blackfish, disgusted by Lysa's behavior, resigned as Knight of the Gate and left with Catelyn to fight for Riverrun. Before Catelyn left, she offered to foster Robert at Winterfell; Lysa responded by threatening to throw Cat out the Moon Door. The next two years saw many battles fought between her kin and the Lannisters but Lysa remained neutral and played no role whatsoever.


After the defeat of the Starks, Petyr had risen high in the counsel of the Lannisters and was rewarded with the over-lordship of the Riverlands and the seat of Harrenhal. With this rank, he was now able to marry Lysa and get the position of regent for his stepson Robert. Petyr brought Sansa Stark with him to the Vale disguised as his natural daughter "Alayne Stone", but informed Lysa who she really was.[8]

Sansa looked very much like the deceased Catelyn and one morning Lysa caught Petyr kissing Sansa. She blamed Sansa and during a emotional row almost threw her from the Eyrie's Moon Door. Sansa was saved by the timely intervention of Petyr, who came just in time to stop Lysa from sending her to her death. After he had calmed her down, Petyr in turn threw Lysa from the mountain, framing her personal singer Marillion for the deed. Prior to killing her, Petyr confessed that the one woman he had ever loved was Catelyn.[3]

During her standoff with Petyr at the Moon Door over the kiss he gave to Sansa she says:

Lysa: "I've always loved you. I've proved it, haven't I?" ... "I gave you my maiden's gift. I would have given you a son too, but they murdered him with moon tea, with tansy and mint and wormwood, a spoon of honey and a drop of permyroyal. It wasn't me, I never knew, I only drank what Father gave me"... "It was me who got you your first post, who made Jon bring you to court so we could be close to one another. You promised me you would never forget that."... "You told me to put the tears in Jon's wine, and I did. For Robert, and for us! And I wrote Catelyn and told her the Lannisters had killed my lord husband, just as you said. That was so clever."
Petyr: "My sweet silly jealous wife," he said, chuckling. "I've only loved one woman, I promise you."
Lysa smiled tremulously. "Only one? Oh, Petyr, do you swear it? Only one?"
Petyr: "Only Cat." He gave her a short, sharp shove.

Family Tree

Lord Tully
2 sons[9]
House Stark
House Arryn

References and Notes