This article is about the Great House. For the Complete Guide to Westeros special feature, see "House Arryn".

"The Arryns are direct descendants of Andal invaders, who sailed across the Narrow Sea and came ashore at the Fingers."
Catelyn Stark[src]

House Arryn of the Eyrie is one of the Great Houses of Westeros. It has ruled over the Vale of Arryn for millennia, originally as the Kings of Mountain and Vale and more recently as Defenders of the Vale and Wardens of the East under the Targaryen, Baratheon, and Lannister dynasties. The nominal head of House Arryn is Robin Arryn, the Lord of the Eyrie, with Yohn Royce holding actual power over the house.

Their lands are in the central-eastern region of the continent. Their seat is the Eyrie, ancestral seat of the Mountain Kings. House Arryn's sigil is a white crescent moon and falcon on a blue field. Their house words are "As High as Honor."

History

Background

According to legend, the house was founded by Ser Artys Arryn, the Winged Knight. He is said to have flown atop a giant falcon, landing on the topmost mountain of the Vale, and defeated the Griffin King, the last of the First Men Mountain Kings. Afterward, he took the Eyrie and became the first King of Mountain and Vale. His descendants continued to rule the Vale ever since. The Eyrie has never fallen to invaders. During the War of Conquest, House Arryn repulsed a Targaryen invasion at Gulltown with Braavosi aid, but ultimately bent the knee peacefully as they realized they could not fend off the Targaryens forever. By submitting peacefully instead of being conquered, they were allowed to continue to rule as Lords Paramount of the Vale and Wardens of the East in the name of the Iron Throne.[1][2] The Eyrie is considered impregnable and defends House Arryn from the violent Hill tribes of the Mountains of the Moon.[2]

Jon Arryn is the most recent head of House Arryn, Lord of the Eyrie, Warden of the East and Defender of the Vale. He was a respected nobleman and both Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon fostered with him.[3] The Mad King condoned the kidnap of Eddard's sister and Robert's betrothed, Lyanna Stark.[4] The Mad King had Eddard's father and brother killed for protesting against the kidnapping.[5] When he then demanded that Eddard be turned over to the King's justice, Lord Arryn rebelled, calling his banners to war. House Stark and House Baratheon followed suit. The rebels forged an alliance with House Tully through marriage, with Eddard married to Catelyn Tully and the then-elderly Jon to the young Lysa.[3][4]

After the rebel victory in the war, Robert became King and appointed Jon as his Hand. Jon served the realm well for many years as Hand of the King. He died immediately prior to the events of the series, sparking King Robert's search for a replacement. Jon is survived by his wife Lysa and their six-year-old son, Robin.[4] Jon was investigating the legitimacy of the children of Cersei when he died. He found that they were not Robert's offspring by comparing their appearance to Robert's bastards based on the genetic preponderance for dark hair in House Baratheon.[6]

Season 1

Catelyn Stark brings Tyrion Lannister to the Eyrie for trial.

Lysa Arryn writes to her sister Catelyn, falsely claiming that House Lannister were behind Jon's death. Lysa flees King's Landing with her son seeking the refuge of the Eyrie. When Catelyn receives the letter, Robert Baratheon is visiting Winterfell, the seat of House Stark, and asks Eddard to replace Jon as Hand of the King.[4] Eddard accepts and begins an investigation into Jon's death.[5] He learns that Jon may have been poisoned.[7] Eddard uncovers Jon's findings about Cersei's infidelity and Robert's lack of a trueborn heir. Robert still mistakenly believes that Joffrey is his son.[6]

Bran survives two assassination attempts.[8] Catelyn blames Tyrion and has him arrested.[7] She brings him to the Eyrie to Lysa's chagrin. Lysa is attempting to isolate Robin from the rest of the Kingdom and use her role as regent to have the Vale lords protect him. She is still breastfeeding him despite his age, and her doting has spoiled him.[9] Tyrion tricks Lysa into granting him a public hearing by claiming that he plans to confess. He instead demands and wins a trial by combat and is set free.[6]

King Robert dies following a hunting injury. Eddard is arrested for treason when he challenges Joffrey's claim to the throne. Lysa withholds this news from Catelyn initially. Catelyn implores Lysa to lend her armies to march on King's Landing along with the forces of House Stark. Lysa refuses to participate and Catelyn leaves the Eyrie.[10]

Season 2

House Arryn remains neutral in the War of the Five Kings, with Lady Lysa continuing to withhold her armies from leaving the Vale to aid House Stark and House Tully.[2]

Season 3

Tywin sends Littlefinger to marry Lysa, so that the Iron Throne can acquire the support of the Vale.[11]

Season 4

Lysa Arryn attempts to murder her own niece Sansa Stark out of jealousy for Petyr Baelish.

Following the Purple Wedding, Littlefinger smuggles Sansa out of King's Landing and takes her to the Eyrie, where they meet with Lysa and Robin. After privately admitting her role in the death of her husband, Lysa hastily marries her childhood friend Petyr Baelish. Later, she witnesses him kissing her niece Sansa and becomes mad with jealousy. She summons Sansa to the High Hall of the Arryns, threatening to push her out the Moon Door before Petyr interrupts her. Petyr briefly manages to calm Lysa down, saying he only ever loved one woman. To Lysa's horror, he utters, "Your sister", and shoves Lysa out the Moon Door to her death.[12] When the lords of the Vale come to investigate Lysa's death, Petyr, with Sansa's help, convinces the lords that Lysa committed suicide by jumping through the Moon Door and becomes Lord Protector of the Vale until Robin comes of age.[13]

Season 5

Baelish leaves Robin to be fostered at Runestone under the tutelage of Lord Yohn Royce, who assures Baelish of the boy's safety but makes no promises that he will become a better swordsman.[14]

In King's Landing, Baelish gains House Lannister's blessings for a plan to use the knights of the Vale to invade the North and reclaim it for the Iron Throne.[15]

Season 6

Petyr Baelish convinces Robin Arryn to use the knights of the Vale to help save his cousin, Sansa Stark, who is being hunted by House Bolton after escaping the clutches of Ramsay Bolton. Baelish also blackmails Yohn Royce into absolute loyalty in a display of influence that Baelish holds over the young and easily manipulated Defender of the Vale.[16] The Arryn troops camp at Moat Cailin while Baelish travels north to offer his assistance to Sansa.[17] Though she initially denies his help, she later sends a raven to Baelish requesting for the support of the Arryn soldiers.[18]

The knights of the Vale ride in at the command of Petyr Baelish.

When the Stark loyalist army seems to be on the verge of absolute annihilation at the Battle of the Bastards, the knights of the Vale arrive at the command of Petyr Baelish and Sansa Stark. They proceed to wipe out the Bolton troops surrounding the Stark forces, helping the Starks take back Winterfell from House Bolton in defiance of the Iron Throne.[19] Baelish subsequently declares House Arryn's support for House Stark, and the Vale lords join the Northern lords in declaring Jon Snow the King in the North. This officially brings to an end the policy of neutrality that House Arryn has held during the War of the Five Kings.[20]

Season 7

Lord Royce and Petyr Baelish remain in Winterfell as representatives of House Arryn to House Stark. Jon receives an invitation from Tyrion about meeting Daenerys and a letter from Samwell Tarly about large amount of dragonglass located at Dragonstone. Lord Royce objects to Jon's decision to meet Daenerys, claiming that a Targaryen cannot be trusted. Despite this, Jon leaves for Dragonstone, leaving Sansa as the acting regent of the North in addition to Lady of Winterfell.[21]

Sansa finally learns about Littlefinger's crimes against House Stark and House Arryn, putting him on a surprise trial in which he is charged of murdering both Jon and Lysa Arryn and betraying Ned Stark. Yohn Royce refuses to escort Littlefinger back to the Eyrie, due of his crimes against House Arryn, and he is subsequently executed by Arya at Sansa's orders. With Littlefinger dead, and Jon pledging the North to Daenerys Targaryen, House Arryn has also become a vassal for House Targaryen.[22]

Season 8

The Arryn knights of the Vale fight in the Battle of Winterfell.

House Arryn continues to remain faithful to House Stark and House Targaryen. Lord Yohn Royce continues to represent the interests of House Arryn and the Vale in the North, serving as a prominent adviser to Sansa Stark. He also accepts Daenerys despite his initial misgivings over trusting a Targaryen after the Mad King. The knights of the Vale work with the Stark soldiers, Unsullied, and Dothraki in preparing the defenses of Winterfell against the marching White Walkers and their army of the dead.[23][24]

The knights of the Vale fight in the Battle of Winterfell and are positioned in the left flank under the command of Brienne.[24] Like all living belligerents in the battle, they suffer losses bordering complete annihilation.[25] However, the loss of most of the expeditionary force at Winterfell still leaves House Arryn with a formidable military in the Vale.[26]

The remaining knights of the Vale fight alongside the Northern armies at the Battle of King's Landing, participating in the sacking of the city after Daenerys begins to burn it down despite Jon ordering for them to hold back. As the city is collapsing, however, Jon orders for his forces to fall back completely, which they do, the knights of the Vale among them.[27]

Military

The knights of the Vale charging into the Battle of the Bastards.

House Arryn commanded a formidable military prior to the outbreak of the War of the Five Kings, capable of fielding thousands of men. As one of the wealthiest Great Houses, the Arryns' forces are numerous in the Seven Kingdoms, though still lack behind numerically compared to the Lannisters. Like the Tyrells and Martells, the strength of House Arryn has remained mostly unscathed during the War of the Five Kings. Nevertheless, it is clear that House Arryn has an advantageous leverage compared to the largely-depleted Lannisters in terms of manpower.

The wealth of House Arryn is due to the fertile areas of the Vale and trade from ports such as Gulltown. This is particularly evidenced by the high-quality swords and armor purchased thus granting superior equipment to the Arryn army compared to the Freys or the Starks.

The Arryn soldiers are outfitted with silver plated armor with possible chainmail beneath, adding further protection to the wearer. Furthermore, they are equipped circular or kite-shaped shields emblazoned with House Arryn's moon-and-falcon sigil. The armor is often accessorized with blue or white cloaks resembling a falcon's wings. This design, while not aesthetically impressive, is symbolic since the Arryn men are often referred to as the “knights of the Vale”. The design also provides practicality in warfare with the combination of wool and steel plates allowing considerable protection and mobility for the wearer. This makes them nimbler than other soldiers who might be wearing heavy plates of armor, while retaining the defensive properties of armor. Arryn infantry helmets are comparable to Stark helm’s in terms of appearance with the lack of cheek guards and intricacy in design.

Due to Lysa Arryn's decision to maintain the Vale’s neutrality, the Arryn forces were not affected by the War of the Five Kings and remained at full strength. Thus, House Arryn gained significant leverage both politically and militarily compared to the weakened regions caused by the war. The knights of the Vale appear to be well-trained, experienced, and well-organized especially in times of conflict, like during Robert's Rebellion, fighting and prevailing in several battles, like the Battle of the Bastards, where the Arryn cavalry was able to easily defeat the Bolton phalanx, apparently without significant losses to their own side.

Unlike the Lannister or Tyrell armies, the knights of the Vale have significant experience battling in ice and snow, due to their homeland's mountainous landscape and cold winter temperatures. This makes them natural allies for the Starks, who regularly face the harshest winters in Westeros.

Sansa mentions that there are 20,000 men in the North;[28] based on Jon's comment that there are fewer than 10,000 men in the North,[29] it can be concluded that about 10,000 men of Vale's forces were sent to Winterfell. The forces of the Vale presumably suffer heavy losses during the Battle of Winterfell.

The Arryn forces later partake in the Battle of King's Landing alongside the Stark and Targaryen troops, apparently not taking significant losses.

Relationships

Members

  • Lord {Jasper Arryn}, Lord of the Eyrie, former head of the family, Defender of the Vale, Warden of the East, Lord Paramount of the Vale. He is the grandfather of Robin Arryn.
    • Lord {Jon Arryn}, his first son and heir. Lord of the Eyrie, former head of the family, Defender of the Vale, Warden of the East, Lord Paramount of the Vale and Hand of the King to Robert I. Poisoned with the tears of Lys by his wife Lysa.
      • Lady {Lysa Arryn}, his widow of House Tully. Lady Regent of the Eyrie and the Vale until her son comes of age. Defenestrated from the Moon Door of the Eyrie by Petyr Baelish.
        • Robin Arryn, their son and heir. Lord of the Eyrie, current head of the family, Defender of the Vale, Warden of the East, Lord Paramount of the Vale. He is one of the many lords who agreed to select Brandon Stark the Broken as the first elected King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, Lord of the Six Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm.
    • {Alys Arryn}, his only daughter.
    • {Ronnel Arryn}, his youngest son.

Ancestors

  • King Artys I Arryn, the founder of House Arryn, the Falcon Knight. King of Mountain and Vale and Lord of the Eyrie.
  • Lord Ronnel Arryn, the last King of Mountain and Vale and first Defender of the Vale, known as the Boy King. Lord of the Eyrie, Defender of the Vale, and Warden of the East.
  • Lady Sharra Arryn, the last Queen of the Vale. Former Queen consort, Queen Regent and Queen Mother.
  • Queen Aemma Arryn, Queen Consort to Viserys I Targaryen, mother of Queen Rhaenyra I Targaryen.


 
 
 
 
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Jasper Arryn

Deceased
 
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Unknown
Lady Arryn
Deceased
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Jon Arryn

Deceased
 
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Lysa Arryn
née Tully House-Tully-Main-Shield.PNG
Deceased
 
Famtree-PetyrBaelish.png
Petyr Baelish
House-Baelish-Main-Shield.PNG
Deceased
 
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Alys Arryn

Deceased
 
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Ronnel Arryn

Deceased
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Robin Arryn
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sworn to House Arryn

Vassal Houses

Household

Symbolism

View on the Eyrie in �"The Wolf and the Lion".

The banner of House Arryn (see above) is blue, the color of the sky, and features a falcon and the moon. All of these things signify that the house is high up, in this case, in the mountains. To further this point, in "Mockingbird", after Sansa Stark builds a snow model of Winterfell, Robin Arryn finds it and inquires whether Winterfell has a moon door. When Sansa tells him it is not in the mountains so no, he worries that must be very dangerous.

The house motto is "As High as Honor", signifying that like House Stark, they believe in upholding honor. However, unlike House Stark, they believe in "talking the talk" as opposed to 'walking the walk", which is suggested by House Stark's motto "Winter Is Coming". When Tyrion Lannister calls for a trial by combat in "A Golden Crown and Bronn therefore fights for him, Bronn implements many clever moves, something that is ultimately the downfall of Ser Vardis Egen, the champion selected by Lysa Arryn. After Bronn pushed Egen out of the Moon Door, Lysa Arryn furiously claims he "fought without honor" to which Bronn replies "no, he did" and points out of the Moon Door. Unfortunately, it can be seen that House Arryn lost their honor and pride during the War of the Five Kings under the corrupt leadership of Lysa Arryn.

Image gallery

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, House Arryn is the oldest and purest line of Andal nobility. According to tradition, the Andals landed on the Fingers, an area of peninsulas, hills, and rivers on Westeros's eastern coast, six thousand years ago and helped conquer the Vale. Ser Artys Arryn's duel with the Griffin King is said to have taken place on the shoulder of the Giant's Lance where the Arryns later built the Eyrie.

During the Targaryen conquest, the Arryns planned to make a stand at the Bloody Gate, the only major pass into the Vale, and gathered their armies there while the king of the Vale (a young boy at this time) and his mother, the regent, took refuge in the Eyrie. Rather than risking a bloody battle, Visenya Targaryen simply flew her dragon Vhagar to the Vale and landed in the courtyard of the Eyrie while the young king was at play. He agreed to swear fealty to Aegon the Conqueror if Visenya allowed him to ride on Vhagar. Visenya agreed, the bargain was upheld, and the Arryns and their vassals became loyal subjects of the Targaryens.[30]

House Arryn also boasts the distinction of three times being deemed worthy of marriage into House Targaryen (who usually opted for the Valyrian tradition of incestuous marriage to keep their bloodlines pure). Perhaps the most famous example was Aemma Arryn, the first wife of King Viserys I and the mother of Rhaenyra. In a tribute to her mother, Rhaenyra even created her own unique heraldry that incorporated the Arryn sigil.

During the summer they rule over the Vale from the Eyrie, but during the winter they descend to the Gates of the Moon, a castle at the foot of the mountain. The Gates of the Moon have not appeared in the television adaptation and the House Arryn is depicted residing at the Eyrie in winter.

Jon Arryn and Lysa Tully's son is called "Robert", not "Robin", in the books. This change was made to prevent confusion with Robert Baratheon or Robb Stark. George R.R. Martin approved this change, noting that Robert Arryn's nickname in the books, "Sweetrobin", remains intact.

In the books, the heraldry of House Arryn is specifically sky blue, but in the TV series it is simply blue (azure), like House Tully's heraldry. The Coat of arms is also a little different: a sky-blue falcon soaring against a white moon, on a sky-blue field.

Known members

  • Lord {Jon Arryn}, the former head of the family. Murdered by his third wife Lysa.
    • His first wife, Lady {Jeyne Arryn}, who died in childbirth. Their daughter was stillborn.
    • His second wife, Lady {Rowena Arryn}, who died of a chill.
    • His third and current wife, Lady {Lysa}, of House Tully. Currently the ruling lady of the Vale until her son comes of age. Killed by Littlefinger.
      • Lord Jon's only surviving child and heir, Robert Arryn, the Lord of the Vale.
  • Lord Jon's younger sister, Lady Alys, married into House Waynwood.
    • Alys's eldest son, Ser {Denys Arryn}, killed by Jon Connington at the Battle of the Bells.
      • Alys's grandson by her daughter and Robert's heir (unless he has a son), Harrold Hardyng.
  • Lord Jon's youngest and deceased brother, Ser {Ronnel Arryn}.
    • Ser Ronnel's son, Ser {Elbert Arryn}, formerly Lord Jon's heir, slain at the order of the Mad King before the rebellion.

The following sworn houses have yet to appear in the series:

  • House Belmore of Strongsong
  • House Templeton of Ninestars
  • House Redfort of Redfort

See also

References

v  d  e
House Arryn
Lord: Robin Arryn Heir: Unknown
House-Arryn-Main-Shield.PNG
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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