"During Aegon's conquest, one of his sisters did the same thing, flying her dragon over the Bloody Gate and up to the Eyrie, the Arryn stronghold, and the Arryn boy king yielded the Vale in return for a ride on the beast."
Petyr Baelish[src]

Lord Ronnel Arryn was the first Defender of the Vale and Warden of the East, and the last King of the Mountain and the Vale.



Visenya takes the Eyrie

Visenya Targaryen flew her dragon directly over the mountains to the Eyrie.

King Ronnel Arryn was only a child during the War of Conquest, with his mother, Queen Sharra Arryn ruling the Vale as Regent. When Visenya Targaryen flew to the Eyrie demanding submission, Ronnel bent the knee to Aegon the Conqueror and surrendered the Kingdom of the Mountain and the Vale in exchange for a ride atop Vhagar.[1]

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, it was Queen Sharra who surrendered the Kingdom when she found Ronnel sitting on Visenya's lap, both atop Vhagar, and he asked her if he could ride the dragon.

The Vale actually put up a fairly strong resistance during the War of Conquest. After the initial Targaryen landing at the mouth of the Blackwater River, the three siblings along with their dragons split up to pursue three separate objectives: Aegon would attack Harrenhal to the west, Rhaenys and Orys would attack Storm's End to the south. Meanwhile, Visenya would lead the Targaryen navy to make an amphibious landing in the east of the Vale - given that it would have been suicidal to try to lead a land army through the narrow pass through the Mountains of the Moon that seal its western border (a pass known as the "Bloody Gate"). However, their fleet was intercepted by the Arryn fleet, and the resulting Battle of Gulltown was the worst setback the Targaryens suffered during their invasion of Westeros (Aegon did later withdraw from Dorne, but only after guerrilla resistance convinced him it would be too difficult to hold, not a disastrous pitched battle). The entire Targaryen fleet was destroyed in the battle. Visenya did what she could to salvage the situation by using her dragon Vhagar to destroy all of the remaining Arryn ships, but even so, the Targaryens no longer had a fleet to quickly reposition troops along the coasts, so the rest of their conquests had to be fought by land.

The Vale also lost its ability to move troops across the water, but rather than try to unite with the anti-Targaryen alliance before formed between the Reach and the Westerlands, Sharra adopted a siege strategy, closing the Bloody Gate and positioning her land armies to massacre the Targaryen army if it tried to force the mountain pass. The result was that the strength of the Vale was not present at the Field of Fire, though it is uncertain if this would have affected its outcome. Similar to how Aegon faced the same mentality at Harrenhal but simply flew over the castle walls, after the Field of Fire Visenya decided to simply fly her dragon over the mountains and directly to the Eyrie. Instead of immediately attacking the castle, however, the implicit threat alone was enough to make Sharra surrender.

Visenya was true to her word: the Arryns retained their control over the Vale, and she took Ronnel up for a flight on Vhagar.

After Aegon I died in 37 AC he was succeeded by his son Aenys Targaryen, but many considered him a weakling and opportunistic rebellions broke out throughout the Seven Kingdoms. In the Vale, Ronnel's younger brother Jonos staged a coup, imprisoned Ronnel in the Eyrie's dungeons, and declared the Vale independent again, with himself as its king. Aenys was slow to respond, but the armies of House Royce rose up to besiege Jonos in the Eyrie - they felt that Jonos would not succeed and hoped to curry favor with the Targaryens. In response, Jonos had Ronnel executed by throwing him out the Moon Door, which added a dark twist to his nickname, the "King who flew". Aegon's younger son Maegor later arrived at the Eyrie on his father's dragon, Balerion, and put down the rebellion. Jonos's supporters, aware the Eyrie's position would not protect it from the same fate as Harrenhal, quickly turned on their leader and killed him (Jonos ironically died like his brother, thrown out the Moon Door) and then surrendered the Eyrie in the hopes of mercy; however, Maegor had them all executed.

Since both Ronnel and Jonos died without surviving heirs, rule of the Vale passed to their cousin Hubert Arryn, who was married to a lady of House Royce - after Jonos executed Ronnel, the Royce army besieging the Eyrie had already started supporting Hubert as an alternative to Jonos. As a result, later generations of House Arryn actually do not directly descend from Ronnel, but from his cousin Hubert.

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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