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"The beauty of the Vale is matched only by the nobility of its great families. Lady Arryn often told me that you were her rock, Lord Royce."
Petyr Baelish[src]

Lord Yohn Royce, also known as "Bronze Yohn," is the Lord of Runestone and a very loyal, powerful bannerman of House Arryn and formerly, of House Stark. He was one of the electors of Bran Stark as the new King of the Andals and the First Men.



Yohn Royce is the Lord of Runestone and the head of House Royce, a vassal of House Arryn. He is the father of Ser Robar Royce, who served in the Kingsguard of King Renly I Baratheon, and Ser Waymar Royce, a ranger in the Night's Watch who was one of the first brothers of the Night's Watch to be killed by a White Walker upon their return.

When Eddard Stark was a ward to Lord Jon Arryn and lived at the Eyrie in his youth, he and Yohn Royce became close friends and hunted together many times.[1]

While escorting his son Waymar to the Wall, Yohn Royce visited Winterfell.

Season 4

Yohn Royce is present in the tribunal, hearing the testimony of Lord Petyr Baelish about the death of Lysa Arryn. Along with Lady Anya Waynwood and Ser Vance Corbray, he assumes foul play on Littlefinger's part, whose plea for innocence is based on the assumption that Lysa committed suicide.

Lord Royce and Lady Waynwood talk with Littlefinger.

He openly expresses his dislike of Littlefinger, calling him a whoremonger, money-grubber, and liar, as well as pointing out his tendency to suck up to Tywin Lannister in the past. The tribunal then summons Littlefinger's niece, "Alayne", the only other witness. Lord Yohn is surprised to learn of Alayne's true identity - Sansa Stark. Satisfied with her testimony, Royce and Waynwood discuss the Vale's next move with Baelish. He suggests that it is long past time that Robin left the Eyrie and conducted an official tour of the Vale.[1]

Season 5

Royce analyses Robin's abilities.

Royce agreed with Petyr Baelish to foster Lord Robin Arryn at Runestone, although he is not impressed with the skills of the young lord, remarking that he "swings a sword like a girl with palsy". Though Littlefinger tells Lord Royce that he and Sansa would be traveling to the Fingers, they instead head west.[2]

Season 6

Royce confronts Baelish on his travel plans with Sansa.

Royce oversees Robin Arryn's archery training, watching in contempt as Robin repeatedly fails to hit the marks and forces a very painful looking smile when the young lord looks at him for approval. The training is interrupted when Baelish arrives by carriage. Royce is outraged as Baelish told him that he and Sansa Stark would return to the Fingers, yet Sansa was married to Ramsay Bolton at Winterfell. Baelish uses the opportunity, falsely claiming that on the way to the Fingers they were attacked by a vast Bolton host which seemed to have inside knowledge of Baelish's travel plans.

Lord Royce declares his loyalty to House Arryn.

Baelish reveals that Royce was the only one he told about his route and begins casting aspersions on his loyalty, to which Royce reacts with anger at being accused in his own home, before asking Robin how to fare with him. Although Robin at first plans to throw Royce out of the Moon Door, Baelish advises him to spare Royce because of his loyalty to House Arryn. With the dark realization that Robin is under Baelish's control, Royce pleads with Robin for another chance, and Robin agrees. Royce is named commander of the armies of the Vale and told to round up the Vale's soldiers in order to march North and save Sansa from Ramsay.[3]

The Vale reinforcements win a crushing victory against the Bolton infantry, slaughtering the phalanx surrounding the depleted Stark forces and allowing Jon Snow to liberate Winterfell with a wildling force.[4] Lord Royce later voices to Jon his disgust at the knights of the Vale allying themselves with "wildling invaders". Tormund Giantsbane explains that they were invited, but Lord Royce responds that he was not the one who invited them. He later watches on as Lady Lyanna Mormont, Lord Wyman Manderly, and Lord Robett Glover proclaim their allegiance to Jon Snow as the new King in the North, and joins them in declaring his allegiance to the new King in the North alongside the other lords of the Vale.[5]

Season 7

Royce is present at King Snow's meeting regarding plans against the White Walkers' impending invasion. He opines that Last Hearth and Karhold ought to be totally demolished in retribution for House Karstark and House Umber's treason against House Stark.

Lord Royce voices his distrust of Daenerys Targaryen.

However, Sansa and Jon disagree with this since the castles themselves nor the children committed the crimes and Jon ultimately allows Ned Umber and Alys Karstark to retain their ancestral homes after renewing their pledge of loyalty.[6] Royce speaks out against Jon's plan to treat with Daenerys Targaryen, on the basis that "a Targaryen cannot be trusted" unaware of Jon's own true parentage.[7]

Yohn and Sansa prepare for the inevitable Great War.

Yohn is ordered by Sansa to see that the armor made for their armies are outfitted with leather to keep warm.[8] Later, Lord Royce joins Lord Robett Glover in calling for Regent Sansa to take over from her half-brother Jon Snow as ruler of the North. Sansa rejects their petition and insists that Jon is their true ruler and that she is only a regent. Arya Stark suggests that Sansa assassinate the troublesome lords but Sansa rejects the idea as repugnant, leading to further anonymity between the sisters.[9]

Littlefinger speaks clandestinely to Yohn.

Arya later witnesses Littlefinger in a clandestine conversation with both Royce and Glover, again contributing to her theory of Sansa's allies consolidating themselves against Jon. However, this is proven to be a result of Baelish's manipulation in what is ostensibly a drumhead trial for Arya. Royce is clearly neither surprised nor displeased that the trial turns out to be Littlefinger's instead. Sansa confronts Littlefinger with his countless crimes against the Starks, Arryns, Tullys, and many others who have suffered from the massive war he discreetly started, starting with the murder of Lysa.

Lord Royce rejects Petyr's demand to be escorted back to the Eyrie.

When Littlefinger admits to it ostensibly to protect Sansa, Royce glares at him darkly, realizing that his suspicions were true. When Littlefinger invokes his status as Lord Protector of the Vale and demands that Lord Yohn escort him back to the Eyrie, Royce coldly replies, "I think not," signaling that he no longer recognizes his authority. He watches dispassionately as Littlefinger is executed by Arya.[10]

Season 8

Yohn gives Daenerys a cold look upon her arrival.

Lord Royce is present in Winterfell's courtyard when Jon Snow returns with Daenerys Targaryen and her army and later attends the gathering in the great hall. Both he and Lyanna Mormont give the Dragon Queen an icy and judgementful look.

When Alys Karstark arrives at Winterfell with the rest of her House, Lord Royce greets her and offers to escort her to her chambers.[11]

Yohn leaves Sansa and Daenerys to talk.

Lord Royce is present for the trial of Jaime Lannister, sitting alongside the other Northern lords. He later consults with Sansa Stark about the upcoming battle, advising that they shut Winterfell's gates as soon as all of their infantrymen make it out onto the field. When Daenerys arrives to meet with Sansa, Yohn leaves the two to speak alone; although he bows to Daenerys, he also gives her a hostile look. He later attends the war council.[12]

Yohn attends the mass funeral following the defeat of the dead.

Following the victory of the Battle of Winterfell and the subsequent defeat of the dead, Royce is present both at the massive funeral and the feast at Winterfell, mourning the dead and celebrating their victory with Daenerys and Jon Snow. He later participates in a war council planning Daenerys's resumed campaign against Cersei Lannister, representing House Arryn and the knights of the Vale, subtracting significant map-markers representing the Knights of the Vale.[13]

Weeks after the assassination of Daenerys Targaryen, Lord Royce along with Robin Arryn takes part in the trial of Tyrion Lannister in the Dragonpit. After Tyrion advises them to elect a new king and recommends Bran Stark, Lord Royce voices his affirmation.[14]


Game of Thrones: Season 4 appearances
Two Swords The Lion and the Rose Breaker of Chains Oathkeeper First of His Name
The Laws of Gods and Men Mockingbird The Mountain and the Viper The Watchers on the Wall The Children
Game of Thrones: Season 5 appearances
The Wars to Come The House of Black and White High Sparrow Sons of the Harpy Kill the Boy
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken The Gift Hardhome The Dance of Dragons Mother's Mercy
Game of Thrones: Season 6 appearances
The Red Woman Home Oathbreaker Book of the Stranger The Door
Blood of My Blood The Broken Man No One Battle of the Bastards The Winds of Winter
Game of Thrones: Season 7 appearances
Dragonstone Stormborn The Queen's Justice The Spoils of War
Eastwatch Beyond the Wall The Dragon and the Wolf
Game of Thrones: Season 8 appearances
Winterfell A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms The Long Night
The Last of the Starks The Bells The Iron Throne

Family tree


Lady Royce





Petyr Baelish: "The beauty of the Vale is matched only by the nobility of its great families. Lady Arryn often told me that you were her rock, Lord Royce."
Yohn Royce: "She told me nothing about you, Baelish. But I didn't need to hear from her. Moneylender. Whoremonger. You've been licking Tywin Lannister's boots so long, it's a wonder your tongue's not black."
Petyr Baelish: "My lord..."
Yohn Royce: "And when Jon Arryn named you Master of Coin, no one cared. Always been a grubby job. Why not let a grubby man do it?"
— Yohn Royce voices his suspicions of Petyr Baelish[src]
Sansa Stark: "My name is not Alayne. It's Sansa Stark, eldest daughter of Lord Eddard Stark. Lord Royce, we met when you came to Winterfell. You were escorting your son Ser Waymar to the Wall."
Yohn Royce: "Sansa Stark? You tell lies right to my face, you little worm?"
— Yohn meets Sansa Stark[src]
"Your father grew up right here in these halls. We hunted together many times. He was a fine man."
―Yohn voices his respect for the late Eddard Stark to Sansa.[src]
Yohn Royce: "You could see it in the way she raised that boy. Feeding him from her own teats when he was 10 years old."
Anya Waynwood: "Lord Royce! This is hardly the time."
Yohn Royce: " Apologies, my lady."
— Yohn and Lady Anya Waynwood discuss Lysa Arryn and her son[src]
Petyr Baelish: "Only 20 years ago, the knights of the Vale rode behind Jon Arryn, Ned Stark, Robert Baratheon. They fought together to overcome the Mad King. And since then, Arryn and Royce, Corbray, Waynwood, all the great Houses of the Vale watched from the corner. A timid boy at a tavern brawl."
Yohn Royce: "Are you questioning our courage?"
Petyr Baelish: "I want to know which side you're on. Do you support the Lannisters, the House that executed your friend Ned Stark?"
Yohn Royce: "Of course we don't support the damned Lannisters!"
— Yohn Royce to Petyr Baelish[src]
Yohn Royce: "My sons had swords in their hands from the time they could walk. This one..."
Petyr Baelish: "Lord Arryn will never be a great warrior."
Yohn Royce: "Great warrior? He swings a sword like a girl with palsy."
— Yohn expresses his doubts about Robin Arryn's fightin skills.[src]
Sansa Stark: "Goodbye, Lord Royce, and thank you for all you have done for me."
Yohn Royce: "I have done nothing more than my duty, my lady."
— Yohn Royce and Sansa Stark[src]
Yohn Royce: "Last time I saw you, Baelish, you told me you were taking Sansa Stark home with you to the Fingers."
Petyr Baelish: "Indeed I was."
Yohn Royce: "And yet not long ago, we received reports that she has been married to Ramsay Bolton in Winterfell."
Petyr Baelish: "On our way to the Fingers, we were set upon by a large force of Bolton men. Seemed to know exactly when we were traveling and exactly whom we were transporting."
Yohn Royce: "Do you take me for a fool?"
— Yohn spars with Baelish about Sansa marrying Ramsay.[src]
Petyr Baelish: "Tell me, Lord Royce, how many people knew of my travel plans with Sansa Stark? I shared my intentions with you and no one else."
Yohn Royce: "Slander a man in his own home, you might find yourself crossing swords with him."
— Yohn continues to spar with Baelish.[src]
Yohn Royce: "You can't expect the knights of the Vale to side with wildling invaders!"
Tormund: "We didn't invade. We were invited."
Yohn Royce: "Not by me."
— Yohn Royce and Tormund[src]
"The Umbers and the Karstarks betrayed the North. Their castles should be torn down with not a stone left standing."
―Yohn Royce to Jon Snow.[src]
"Your Grace, with respect, I must agree with Lady Sansa. I remember the Mad King all too well. A Targaryen cannot be trusted. Nor can a Lannister."
―Yohn Royce to Jon Snow.[src]
Petyr Baelish: "I am Lord Protector of the Vale and I command you to escort me safely back to the Eyrie!"
Yohn Royce: "I think not."
— Yohn leaves Littlefinger to his fate.[src]

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Lord Yohn Royce is described as having a lined face and grey hair, grey eyes and very bushy eyebrows. However, he still looks immensely strong as he is tall and has large, gnarled hands. He has a set of bronze armor, thousands of years old that is inscribed with runes that are said to ward him from harm, hence his nickname "Bronze Yohn". He has three sons: Andar, Robar and Waymar (the latter two are dead), and one daughter Ysilla.

There is no mentioning in the books that Lord Royce used to go hunting with Ned Stark, except during his short stay in Winterfell. Sansa saw him riding back from a hunt with a buck behind his saddle, and later watched him in the yard, a practice sword in hand, hammering her father to the ground and turning to defeat Ser Rodrik Cassel as well.

Lord Royce is one of the nobles that Tywin Lannister offers to marry Tyrion to his daughter. The answer Tywin receives is the same he got from other lords - that the suggestion is an insult.

Lord Royce takes part in the Hand's Tourney in King's Landing, attending with his sons Andar and Robar. He stays in King's Landing, participating in the fateful boar hunt that results in King Robert Baratheon's fatal injury. As Robert lies dying, Yohn is named by Littlefinger as a possible ally for Ned against Cersei Lannister in the matter of the succession, though ultimately Ned chooses to rely on the Gold Cloaks.

During the War of the Five Kings, Lord Royce urges Lysa Arryn to call her banners and go to war in support of Robb Stark, but she stubbornly refuses.

When Sansa resides at the Eyrie, she hears that Arryn's bannermen resent Lysa's marriage and begrudge Littlefinger for his authority as Lord Protector of the Vale, and that the senior branch of House Royce is close to open revolt over Lysa's refusal to aid the Starks, and the Waynwoods, Redforts, Belmores, and Templetons are giving them every support.

In the books, it is not Yohn but his cousin Nestor (of a cadet branch of House Royce) who comes to the Eyrie to inquire about Lysa's death, accompanied by his son Albar and Ser Marwyn Belmore. Littlefinger confidently puts the blame on Marillion. Robert (Robin Arryn's name in the novels) and Sansa (still disguised as Alayne Stone, Littlefinger's bastard daughter) support Littlefinger's version. Since the entire Vale hates Marillion, and the three guests were personally insulted by him, they are satisfied with Littlefinger's lies and do not inquire the matter any further, perhaps also because Nestor is on Littlefinger's payroll. Before leaving, Nestor warns Littlefinger that Yohn is not so placable, and intends to come in force alongside more of the most powerful lords of the Vale, in order to remove Littlefinger as the Lord Protector. Littlefinger regards the warning rather stoically.

To make certain of Nestor's support, Littlefinger grants him the Gates of the Moon castle and the title of its keeper (so far, the keeper's post has never been hereditary). He also tells Nestor that Lysa often said that he was "her rock", and that she valued him above all her other bannermen. Nestor is clearly flattered to hear that. After he leaves, Littlefinger tells Sansa that Lysa indeed used to call Lord Nestor "a rock", but he doubts she meant it as a compliment.

Lord Yohn Royce comes to the Eyrie some time later, accompanied by his cousin, Lady Anya Waynwood and more nobles from the Vale, who call themselves "Lords Declarant". They do not come to inquire about Lysa's death, but to remove Littlefinger from his office as Lord Protector and take Robert Arryn to foster at Runestone. Sansa knows that Lord Yohn saw her twice, during his visit at Winterfell and at King's Landing. She considers to reveal her true identity and ask for his protection, but unlike in the show she decides not to, reasoning that he never fought for her brother and has no reason to fight for her. Lord Yohn looks at her closely and asks "Do I know you, girl?". Sansa cannot bring herself to speak, and Nestor assures his cousin that she is Alayne Stone, Littlefinger's natural daughter. It is unclear whether Lord Yohn recognizes Sansa or not. At dinner, Lord Yohn and the other nobles make threats against Littlefinger, but he is not impressed and manipulates them to let Robert Arryn stay under his care. Lord Yohn admits that Littlefinger has won, but warns him: "Not all of us are fools", implying that he has seen through Littlefinger's scheming. He leaves immediately, while the other lords stay till the following morning.

Littlefinger considers Lord Yohn as the biggest threat to his plans to take over the Vale, for he has great influence over the other lords and cannot be easily bought, extorted or disposed of, in contrast to the other lords of the Vale. Littlefinger hopes to win the support of the other lords, since as long as Lord Yohn stands alone he is not so much a threat.

In the show, the two meetings are condensed to one, and Nestor's character is merged with Lord Yohn's.

See also