"Learning from the First Men, the remaining Andals united behind a leader of their own. Not a king or a lord, but a knight who'd been born in the Vale and knew it as well as the First Men. Ser Artys Arryn, known as the Falcon Knight."
Petyr Baelish[src]

King Artys I Arryn, also known as the Falcon Knight, was a knight that participated in the Andal Invasion of Westeros and the founder of House Arryn. He is sometimes conflated with the Winged Knight.



Artys Arryn was an Andal knight born at the Giant's Lance in the Vale. This meant that he knew the region as well as the First Men who inhabited it, and the Andals in the Vale united behind him as their leader. In the Battle of the Seven Stars, the Andals under Ser Artys fought against the First Men under King Robar II Royce to determine the fate of the Vale.[1]

The First Men preferred to use infantry and had dug trenches lined with sharpened stakes on the high ground, while the Andals had mounted knights. The first six charges against Robar's line failed, until Torgold Tollett broke through. Seeing Artys's falcon-shaped helmet, Robar charged at him in the hope that the Andal army would dissolve if their leader was killed. Using the Valyrian steel sword Lady Forlorn, Robar beheaded the Falcon Knight after a duel, only to see five hundred fresh Andal knights charging from the Giant's Lance with Artys at their head. Esteeming cunning even more than brute force, Artys had clad one of his knights in his own distinctive armor to distract Robar while he led a force of his best cavalry up a goat track he knew from childhood.[1]

Afterwards, Artys became King of the Mountain and the Vale and founded House Arryn.[2]

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Ser Artys is the hero of a thousand tales. Robert Arryn, the child lord of the Eyrie, is fond of Ser Artys's stories. In the The World of Ice & Fire book it is revealed that the historical Ser Artys Arryn has been conflated by singers with a previous legendary First Men figure known as the Winged Knight.

The Winged Knight was a legendary figure of the Age of Heroes - made a knight by singers and storytellers as knighthood was an Andal tradition - said to have flown upon a huge falcon and had armies of eagles at this command. He won the Vale by slaying the Griffin King atop the Giant's Lance. He is said to have been friendly with giants and merlings. His wife, one of the children of the forest, died giving birth to his son. Maester Yandel speculates singers conflated the two figures to curry favor with the Arryn dynasty, giving rise to legends that Ser Artys was the Winged Knight who drove the First Men from the Vale and took the Eyrie, instead of its construction being carried out by descendants of Ser Artys ever since his grandson, Roland I Arryn, ordered it.

Although Artys and the Winged Knight are presented as the same in the Season 1 Complete Guide to Westeros by Catelyn Stark, the Season 6 Histories and Lore presents the story of the true Artys Arryn.

See also


v  d  e
Lord: Robin Arryn Heir: Unknown
Seat: The Eyrie Lands: The Vale of Arryn
Title(s): Lord of the Eyrie · Lord Paramount of the Vale · Warden of the East
Ancestors:Artys Arryn · Sharra Arryn · Ronnel Arryn · Aemma Arryn
Deceased members:Jon Arryn · Lysa Arryn · Jasper Arryn · Alys Arryn · Ronnel Arryn · Ser Elbert Arryn
Household:{Ser Vardis Egen} · {Ser Hugh of the Vale} · Mord · {Petyr Baelish}
Overlord:King of the Andals and the First Men
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