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This article is about the castle. For the special feature, see: Riverrun (Histories & Lore)

Map showing the location of Riverrun on the continent of Westeros.

A map of the Riverlands showing Riverrun

"... when I first saw the stone walls of Riverrun rising from the Trident, towering over me, back then, I was a little more easily impressed. The boy in me thought the gods themselves must live in such a place. I soon learned otherwise."
Petyr Baelish[src]

Riverrun is the seat of House Tully, which was once occupied by House Frey. It is a large castle located in the central-western part of the Riverlands. It sits at the point where the Red Fork of the Trident River is joined by its major tributary, the Tumblestone River flowing out of the west. In times of danger, sluice gates can be opened to flood a channel cut to the west of the castle, turning Riverrun into an island. Its walls rise sheer from the waters and its towers command the opposite shores, making assaulting it almost impossible without huge casualties.[1]



Riverrun is the seat of House Tully, the Lord Paramounts of the Trident and the Riverlands. It was built as an island fortress by Axel Tully. Prior to the War of the Five Kings, Lord Hoster Tully is the Lord of Riverrun.[2] Petyr Baelish recalls being fostered at Riverrun during his childhood and being enamoured by its high walls.[3]

Season 1

During the War of the Five Kings, a Lannister army under Jaime Lannister lays siege to Riverrun.[4] Northern forces under Robb Stark lure Jaime's men into a trap at the Battle of the Whispering Wood, breaking the siege of Riverrun.[5]

Season 3

Following the death of Hoster Tully, his kith and kin including Catelyn, Robb, Edmure, and Brynden Tully attend his funeral. In compliance with Tully tradition, he is placed in a funeral boat. His son and heir Edmure makes several attempts to light the funeral boat but misses. His uncle Brynden is forced to complete the ceremony. Riverrun becomes the headquarters and main base of operations for King Robb, the King in the North. After the funeral, the Blackfish comforts Catelyn, who is grieving over the purported loss of her sons Bran and Rickon Stark.[6]

Edmure leads Tully forces into action against the Lannister bannerman Gregor Clegane at the Stone Mill. Edmure succeeds in expelling the Mountain's forces from the Riverlands and capturing two Lannister squires Martyn and Willem Lannister, the nephews of Tywin Lannister. Despite this victory, Robb and Brynden are furious because Edmure's action interfered with Robb's plan to lure the Mountain into a trap. Meanwhile, Talisa Stark tends to the wounds of Martyn and Willem in Riverrun's dungeons. [6]

Later, Rickard Karstark and several of his followers murder Martin and Willem in their cell to avenge the deaths of his sons. For murdering two unarmed prisoners, Robb orders that Rickard's men be hung and that Lord Karstark himself be beheaded. The execution takes place outside the grounds of Riverrun. This has the effect of turning House Karstark against the Stark-Tully alliance. In his private quarters, Robb discusses his predicament with his wife. Lacking enough men to attack Casterly Rock, Robb decides to repair his strained relationship with House Frey, whom he had earlier promised to marry one of Lord Walder Frey's daughters.[7]

Lord Walder's sons Lothar Frey and Black Walder travel to Riverrun and discuss their father's new demands with Robb, Edmure, and Brynden. Robb agrees to apologize to Lord Frey, cede Harrenhal and all its lands to the Freys, and that his Edmure marry Walder's daughter Roslin. After some discussion, the Starks and Tullys acquiesce to the Frey's terms for mending their alliance.[8] The Starks and Tullys depart Riverrun and travel to the Twins, the seat of House Frey. Following the wedding, Lord Frey takes Edmure prisoner and massacres the Stark and Tully hosts including Robb, Talisa, and Catelyn.[9]

Following the Red Wedding, Lord Frey reaffirms House Frey's alliance with the Iron Throne and the Lannisters. As a reward for his help in putting down the Northern rebellion, Lord Frey is made Lord of Riverrun and the Freys are given paramountcy over the Riverlands. However, this victory is soured by the revelation that Brynden had escaped the massacre.[10]

Season 4

During the Trial of Petyr Baelish, Sansa speaks of Baelish's childhood at Riverrun and his enduring love for Lysa Arryn (whom he killed). As a result, Petyr is cleared of any involvement in her death, which is regarded as a suicide.[11]

Season 6

The Freys lose control of Riverrun when Brynden retakes control of the castle using his knowledge of its walls and passages. In an attempt to reconcile with Sansa, Petyr offers this news to her. Acting on this information, Sansa sends her protector Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne to Riverrun to seek reinforcements from the Blackfish.[12]

Embarrassed by the loss of Riverrun and other uprisings in the Riverlands, Lord Walder orders Lothar and Black Walder to retake the castle. To force the Blackfish's surrender, he orders them to take the captive Edmure as a hostage. After being expelled from the Kingsguard, Jaime is sent to assist the Freys in retaking Riverrun from Brynden.[13] Meanwhile, Lothar and Black Walder manage an incompetent siege of Riverrun.[14]

Jaime and Bronn arrive with 8,000 Lannister men-at-arms and knights and take control of the siege. Bronn orders the Freys to dig trenches and to position trebuchets around the castle. He also gives orders for Edmure to be well treated and fed. Jaime attempts to parley with the Blackfish. However, Brynden is defiant and reveals that he had enough supplies to last for two years. He also boasts that thousands of Lannisters and Freys will die for the hundreds inside the castle.[14]

Brienne and Pod arrive outside Riverrun and are detained by Lannister horsemen. Brienne manages to convince Jaime to let her negotiate with Brynden. Jaime agrees to allow the Blackfish and his men to evacuate the castle and travel north to help Sansa and Jon Snow retake Winterfell from Ramsay Bolton. Brienne parleys with Brynden, but he is in no position to aid his niece. He refuses to end the siege and insists on fighting for his home. Running out of options, Jaime convinces the captive Edmure to end the siege in return for sparing the garrison and offering to give his son a proper education at Casterly Rock. He also threatens to catapult Edmure's son and destroy Riverrun if the garrison does not capitulate.[15]

Edmure returns to Riverrun that evening and convinces the Tully garrison to lay down their arms and surrender the castle to the Lannisters and Freys. Brynden tries to countermand his nephew's orders, but the garrison recognizes Edmure as the rightful Lord of Riverrun. As a result, the Lannisters and Freys are able to peacefully occupy the castle and hang their banners over its walls. Edmure orders that the Blackfish be put in chains and handed over to the Lannisters. However. Brynden manages to help Brienne and Podrick escape in a boat and makes a final stand against the Lannisters and Freys. Jaime takes command of the castle and learns of Brynden's death. He also sees Brienne and Podrick rowing down the Green Fork.[15]

Season 8

Following the end of the Frey male line, Cersei offers to install Bronn as Lord of Riverrun should he assassinate Jaime and Tyrion. However, Bronn reneges on her offer, instead offering to join Jaime and Tyrion in the forces of Daenerys Targaryen should he be named Lord of Highgarden.[16]

Notable residents of the castle

  • Lord {Hoster Tully}, the late Lord of Riverrun and Lord Paramount of the Trident.
    • Lady {Minisa Whent}, his wife, who died many years ago in childbirth.
    • Lady {Catelyn Tully}, his eldest daughter, widow of Lord Eddard Stark. Catelyn was, along with her son Robb Stark and many other North men, slain at the Twins during the wedding ceremony of her brother Edmure to Roslin Frey.
    • Lady {Lysa Tully}, his second daughter, widow of Lord Jon Arryn and Lady Regent of the Vale. Murdered by Lord Petyr Baelish.
    • Lord Edmure Tully, Lord of Riverrun and Lord Paramount of the Trident. Formerly a hostage of the Iron Throne. Restored to his titles after the defeat of Cersei Lannister.
  • Ser {Brynden Tully}, known as "the Blackfish", Lord Hoster's brother. Killed by Lannister and Frey soldiers after Riverrun is retaken by the Iron Throne.


Behind the scenes

The grounds of Gosford Castle in County Armagh, Northern Ireland were used for Riverrun exteriors during Season 3.[17]

The design was loosely based on Château de Chenonceau.[18]

The word "riverrun" is also the first word in James Joyce's final novel, Finnegans Wake.[19] This is the book that Dan Weiss wrote his thesis on while studying at Trinity College Dublin, where he and David Benioff met for the first time. [20]

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Riverrun is a triangular castle made of sandstone. It is located at the confluence of the Tumblestone River and the Red Fork of the the Trident River.

Riverrun has been in the possession of House Tully for a thousand years, and it became the seat of rule over the region when House Tully rebelled against the ironborn occupiers of the Riverlands and allied with Aegon the Conqueror three centuries ago.

Prior to the Red Wedding, Robb Stark leaves Brynden Tully holding Riverrun as "Warden of the Southern Marches", overseeing the defenses of the Stark-loyal territories of the Riverlands, and protecting his Queen, Jeyne Westerling (the book's counterpart of Talisa Maegyr), who also remains at Riverrun.

Following the Red Wedding, according to the agreement between Tywin Lannister and the Freys, Riverrun is granted to Emmon Frey, the second son of Lord Walder Frey and husband of Tywin's sister Genna. Ryman Frey leads two thousand spears to take Riverrun, reinforced by Lannister troops led by Ser Daven Lannister, the new Warden of the West, and several Riverlords that bent the knee following the Red Wedding. However, Brynden anticipates the siege. He gathers all the foodstuffs and goods he can within the castle, expels all the unnecessary mouths, and prepares for a long siege.

As in the show, Edmure Tully accepts Jaime Lannister's terms and yields the castle, but he helps his uncle Brynden escape. Emmon Frey takes his place as Lord of Riverrun.

See also