This is a listing of the members of Houses Arryn who appear in A Song of Ice and Fire.
For the main character index, see here
For the main Vale entry, see here
House Arryn of the Eyrie note
Lords of Mountain and Vale, their seat, the Eyrie, is built at the top of a mountaintop so steep that (primitive) elevators are used to ascend to it; the house used to be seated at the Gates of the Moon until the Eyrie was constructed. House Arryn used to hold the former Kingdom of the Mountain and Vale until the Conquest, where it was surrendered to Visenya Targaryen atop the dragon Vaghar without a fight. The head of House Arryn traditionally holds the title of Defender of the Vale and Warden of the East. The Arryns are the first and foremost Andal Great House in Westeros. Their most recent lord, Jon Arryn, was foster-father to two young boys of other families - Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon. Jon, a Straight Man of the highest caliber, later served as Robert's Hand Of The King until his death prior to the opening of the series. His young trophy wife, Lysa Arryn, has since returned to the Vale with her husband's palsied little son Robert. Their sigil is a moon and falcon.
- Absurdly Long Stairway: The Eyrie is a castle atop a very high, sheer mountain. It can only be reached by a stairway that takes all day to climb and is so narrow that it has to be ascended in single file, making it more or less impregnable to attacking armies.
- Adipose Rex: King Hugh Arryn, known as Hugh the Fat
- Alliterative Name: Alys Arryn, the deceased sister of Jon.
- Animal Motifs: Falcons. Members of House Arryn throughout history have been nicknamed "the Old Falcon", "the Talon", and so on. Their crown during their time as Kings of the Mountain and the Vale was the Falcon Crown.
- Blue Blood: Former Kings of the Vale descended from one of the oldest lines of Andal nobility.
- Climbing the Cliffs of Insanity: The climb to the Eyrie has this effect on people. It's grueling, hard and perilous.
- Death by Childbirth: Jon Arryn's first wife, sister, and two of his nieces died this way.
- Death Mountain: Why the Vale is impossible to conquer, unless you approach it airborne.
- Destination Defenestration: Condemned criminals are thrown out the Moon Door, a door into a void over six hundred feet tall◊. Or they fall out of the sky cells, three-walled prison cells that open to empty air.
- Everyone Went to School Together: Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark grew up as fast friends in the Eyrie, with Lord Jon as (essentially) the schoolteacher.
- Famous Ancestor:
- King Roland I Arryn, Artys Arryn grandson, who began construction of the Eyrie at the Giant's Lance.
- King Robin Arryn, Roland II's brother and successor, who renewed construction of the Eyrie.
- King Osric V Arryn, who constructed the Bloody gate fortress anew.
- King Hugh Arryn the Fat, who brought Pebble into the realm, while his grandson Hugo the Hopeful brought the Paps.
- King Alester II Arryn brought Witch Isle to the realm by marrying Arwen Upcliff.
- King Osgood Arryn the Old Falcon saw war with Winterfell, while his son Oswin the Talon burned the Wolf's Den.
- Lord Darnold Arryn, head of the house during the early reign of Jaehaerys I. He and his brother Ser Rymond Arryn were killed fighting against Mountain Men and was succeeded by his nephew Rodrik.
- Lord Donnel Arryn personally led his vanguard during the Battle of Redgrass Field, where he almost died until Ser Gwayne Corbray arrived with reinforcements.
- Lady Alys Arryn, who married Prince Rhaegel Targaryen and was mother of their four children.
- Hollywood History: In-universe as their founder, Ser Artys Arryn has been merged in tale and song with the legendary Winged Knight, who flew on a giant falcon and slew the Griffin King atop the Giant's Lance. In short, the masters claim with one breath that Arryns are of pure Andal stock dating from before the Invasion of Westeros, yet with their next one calmly discuss ever-so mythical Arryn feats taking place in the Vale going back to the Age of Heroes. Pick one, Oldtown. Or, you know, just effing admit they are First Men + Andal with a First Men name, dammit.
- Honor Before Reason: Note their house words. A portion of Ned's own Honor Before Reason attitude can be attributed to his fostering in the Vale.
- It's All Upstairs from Here: The road from the Mountains of the Moon to the Eyrie is practically vertical. All semblance of braveness or saving face are lost when climbing the perilous road. It doesn't take much for a person to die on the way.
- It's Quiet... Too Quiet: The Eyrie is known to be disconcertingly quiet even when occupied.
- Knight in Shining Armor: The House has many members with this reputation. Denys Arryn in particular is remembered as being "handsome and gallant and brimming with courtesy".
- Massive Numbered Siblings: Alys Arryn had nine children with her Waynwood husband. All of them met bad ends, either dying, getting kidnapped, being barren, or joining religious orders after a trauma.
- Meaningful Name: Some of the original Hebrew translations of the name Aaron include "high mountain" and "exalted", or "enlightened".
- The Eyrie is known to be quiet to the point of being unsettling, even when there are people living in it. One might say it was eerily quiet.
- Posthumous Character: Jon Arryn's nephew and heir Elbert, who was one of Brandon Stark's ill-fated companions. Denys Arryn, a distant cousin of Jon Arryn and Keeper of the Gates of the Moon before Robert's Rebellion is also one, killed by Hand of the King Jon Connington during the Battle of the Bells.
- Proud Elite: Lords from the Vale generally tend to be rather proud of their region, customs and knightly, militaristic culture — many of the most renowned knights of the Kingsguard have come from the Vale, more than one of them with direct ties to the Arryns. The Arryns also add having the blood of the old Kings of the Vale into the mix to be proud of. A fair few come across as this, as a result.
- Sky Cell: The Trope Namer. The Eyrie's sky cells are three-walled prison cells that open to empty air. Along with being extremely cold and windy, the floors are sloped slightly downward so a prisoner has to be careful not to roll over and fall, making it difficult to sleep or even relax. Many people who've been imprisoned in the Eyrie end up going mad and jumping over the edge.
- Succession Crisis: Where to start? One of the running themes regarding the Arryns seems to be this. The house has had problems for decades before and during the events of ASOIAF. First, Jon Arryn had considerable difficulties attaining an heir to his seat. His first wife Jeyne Royce died during childbirth, giving birth to a stillborn daughter; then, his second wife Rowena Arryn died during a winter chill without children; he resorted to name his nephew Elbert as heir until the Mad King executed him, leading Lord Jon to name Denys Arryn as heir until he died at the Battle of the Bells during Robert's Rebellion. His following heir became Harrold Hardyng, his great-nephew from his sister's side until Lysa Tully finally produced him an heir in the form of Robert "Sweetrobin". As per the events of ASOIAF, Sweetrobin seats at the Eyrie with his mother Lysa, and later Littlefinger, ruling in his name. But oh! There are still vested interests in having the young Sweetrobin killed to seat Harrold Hardyng at the Eyrie, so the crisis is still alive and kicking!
- Team Switzerland: In the War of the Five Kings, by Lysa's own paranoia. This works out well for the Vale, as they are one of the only regions in Westeros that hasn't been ravaged by war and has a fully intact army, just as Littlefinger planned. Of course, this is only during the War of the Five Kings. They averted the trope big time in the backstory. Robert's Rebellion began in the Vale when Jon Arryn decided that he would go to war rather than sell out his wards.
- This also works in a literal way, as they sit atop a formidable mountain range (just like Switzerland does with both the Jura and the Alps) and people would much rather not seek a quarrel there because of the aforementioned forested and/or high-elevation mountains and, most importantly, the heavily defended passes.
Lord Jon Arryn, Warden of the East
The Hand of the King preceding Eddard, who was a father figure to him and Robert during their fostering in the Vale and served as The Good Chancellor to Robert. His assassination at the beginning of the book sparks a chain of events that eventually lead to the start of the civil war.
- The Con Within A Con: While it's known that the death of Lord Arryn was intentionally carried out to destabilize and polarize the Seven Kingdoms, the mystery of who perpetrated it prevails for most of the story until it's revealed that Littlefinger made Lysa poison her husband and lead the Starks and Tullys to think that the Lannisters did it in order to stand above the ashes of the civil war that entailed; so far, Littlefinger has succeeded in droves.
- The Consigliere: To Robert.
- Dirty Old Man: Subverted, he didn't lust after Lysa or particularly want to marry her, but she was young and fertile, and he really needed an heir.
- Dying Clue: Jon Arryn's last words, "the seed is strong," meaning all Baratheons in history have had the trademark black hair and blue eyes except for Cersei's children.
- Heir Club for Men: Jon had two wives before Lysa, but neither was able to provide him with an heir. Finally he took Lysa to wife because of the promise of fertility (she and Littlefinger had surreptitiously conceived a child, which her father Hoster had aborted), and she gave us Robert.
- Before his marriage to Lysa, both of his heirs were killed: His nephew Elbert, son of his deceased brother Ronnel, was executed by the Mad King in King's Landing; then his cousin/nephew-in-law Ser Denys Arryn was killed during Robert's Rebellion and their wife died in childbirth, the baby not surviving.
- Upon the death of his heirs, the young Harrold "Harry the Heir" Hardyng became his heir presumptive; Harrold is Jon's great-nephew from his sister Alys' side (Alys being married to Elys Waynwood and having had one son Jasper, named for Jon's father, who died young, and eight daughters), and was groomed to be the heir until Sweetrobin was born. Because of Sweetrobin's feebleness, Harry is the most serious contender to inherit the seat of the Vale of Arryn should the child either die or is proven incapable of leading.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Jon must have been one to an extent; he did put Janos Slynt in his position of power (though that said, when he realised how corrupt Slynt was, Jon did try to have him dismissed) and probably never realized how obsessed with Littlefinger his wife was.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: He went through three wives before finally getting a son. Said son is also physically and mentally unstable.
- The Man Behind the Man. He started the revolt that would be later called Robert's Rebellion by refusing to hand over his former wards Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark to the crown. When the throne was taken, he ran King Robert's government to the best of his capacity and was basically the main reason everything stood up in one piece for such a long time; testimony to this is how everything came crumbling down after he died.
- Nice to the Waiter: Gives the stableboys a copper on their namedays.
- Number Two: Jon was this to Robert as his Hand of the King.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: No one sings of Jon Arryn's deeds during the Rebellion or hates him for his part in it. Perhaps he preferred it that way.
- Papa Wolf: Jon would rather start up a rebellion against an insane king than let said insane king kill his two young wards.
- Parental Substitute: Jon was a mentor and second father to both Ned and Robert when they were being fostered at the Eyrie. Both men speak of him with great love and respect after his death.
- Plot-Triggering Death: Jon's assassination at Lysa's hand is what led to King Robert naming Ned Hand of the King. It all goes downhill from there.Maester Yandel: "The death of the noble Hand, Jon Arryn, has unleashed a madness on the land, a madness of pride and violence."
- Posthumous Character: The first we hear of him is when Cat informs Ned of his death. Details about who Jon Arryn was and the great impact he had on Ned and Robert's lives are gradually revealed.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Although Robert didn't always take his advice, he'd usually listen because he knew it was good and well meant. Both of his wards still looked up to him, even as adults.
- Red Herring: Jon's death has nothing to do with Joffrey being incest born.
- Smart Guy: He built an an alliance which lasted for 13 years. Through his wards, he united the Vale with the North and the Stormlands and via marriage brought the Riverlands and Westerlands on board. With Five major houses and all of North Westeros on his side, he negotiated peace with The Reach and Dorne. When he dies, that alliance crumbles big time.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Littlefinger was able to convince Lysa to kill him by revealing that Jon was going to send Sweetrobin away to be fostered at Storms End or Casterly Rock. A disastrous continent-spanning civil war was sparked off because an aloof father wanted to do the equivalent of sending his son to boarding school to toughen him up.
- You Need a Breath Mint: According to Lysa, he had bad breath.
Lady Lysa Arryn (née Tully)
- "A man will tell you poison is dishonorable, but a womans honor is different. The Mother shaped us to protect our children, and our only dishonor is in failure."
Younger sister to Catelyn, older sister to Edmure, and mother to little Robert Arryn, Lysa was married to Jon Arryn during Robert's Rebellion to secure the Tullys' loyalty. She's more than a bit unhappy about that.
For the main House Tully entry, see here.
- Always Second Best: To her sister Catelyn, who is completely unaware of her resentment.
- Ambiguous Situation: Her inability to bear a healthy child during her marriage to Jon Arryn could have been the result of his old age, or possibly damage done to her reproductive organs when she was tricked into drinking moon tea, or even her descent from the Whent family, who carried the "Harrenhal curse". Do note that every woman who lives in Harrenhal for an extended period of time seems to eventually become barren.
- Bed Trick: Lysa pulled one on Littlefinger. He thought it was Cat in his bed, which is why he boasts of taking her maidenhead and is one of the reasons Lysa resents her sister.
- Babies Make Everything Better: Firmly believes this. However, her first pregnancy by Littlefinger, her over-protectiveness of her only surviving son by Jon Arryn, and her desire to marry and have a another baby with Petyr Littlefinger all contribute to making her life worse and culminate in her early demise.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Lysa tries to murder her niece because Littlefinger hit on her.
- Covert Pervert: As a child, teaching herself, Cat and Petyr to kiss.Cat: He tried to put his tongue in my mouth.Lysa: Me too. I liked it.
- Defiled Forever: After she got herself pregnant by Petyr, her father tricked her into aborting the child with moon tea and hastily married her off to Jon Arryn, who was decades older than her, to secure an alliance that would help them win Robert's Rebellion.
- Destination Defenestration: Her favored execution method is throwing people out the Moon Door, a door carved into the mountain that opens into a six-hundred foot drop. It emphasizes her cruelty and pettiness. Littlefinger murdered her by pushing her out the Moon Door.
- Dirty Coward: She sits out the War of the Five Kings in the Eyrie, not even bothering to send the Knights of the Vale to help her sister and nephew against the Lannisters.Catelyn: Lysa was never brave. When we were girls together, she would run and hide whenever she'd done something wrong. Perhaps she thought our lord father would forget to be wroth with her if he could not find her. It is no different now. She ran from King's Landing for fear, to the safest place she knows, and she sits on her mountain hoping everyone will forget her.
- Disaster Dominoes: Who'd have thought that a young girl getting sneaky in the bedroom thanks to falling head over heels for the boy from the wrong side of the tracks (in Daddy's opinion) could lead to... all this?
- Evil Smells Bad: She smells like sour milk, which she tries to cover with perfumes.
- Fat Idiot: Lysa really let herself go after becoming Lady of the Eyrie, both physically and mentally.
- However, it might be a clue to something quite tragic: given her fertility issues, her weird smell, her very oddly erratic behaviour and strange hours in combination with the weight gain... She might well have a dodgy metabolism and/or autoimmune system care of chronic, low-level, multiple organ failure of some description knocking her hormones (and, incidentally, brain functions and mood swings) out of whack, meaning she maybe can't stop it... even when she tries to. This could be because of what her dad did to her with his going a little too strong with whole poisoning her with tansy (and whatever else was in that "moon tea"), on top of her Whent genes.
- Formerly Fit: She was described as pretty and slender in flashbacks, but has grown fat.
- Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Inverted, when Hoster Tully found out that Lysa had become pregnant with Petyr Baelish's child he tricked her into aborting it.
- Green-Eyed Monster: She... doesn't take the fact that Littlefinger doesn't really love her back very well. This is part of the reason she resents Cat so much. When she sees Petyr forcefully kissing Sansa (who strongly resembles Catelyn), she attempts to murder Sansa right there, resulting in Lysa's death.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Loves and flirts with all the wrong people, trusts none of the right ones.
- Idiot Ball: Allow Tyrion a trial by combat. It won't backfire at all...
- I Was Quite a Looker: Lysa was pretty when she was younger, but several failed pregnancies have made her a stout woman.
- Karmic Death: Lysa leaves the Eyrie by the Moon Door, her own favorite execution method.
- Knight Templar Parent: Ruthlessly eliminates anything she perceives as a threat to her son, even when they are entirely imaginary.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Played with. Wants desperately to have lots of children especially with Petyr Baelish, but has several miscarriages and only one sickly surviving son instead. Her backstory reveals that her father tricked her into aborting her first child, which might have affected her ability to carry children to term.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Lysa is madly in love with Littlefinger, and entirely blind to the fact that she's just another pawn to him.
- Mad Love: Her terrible taste in suitors makes her an easy pawn for Petyr Baelish.
- Makeup Is Evil: She covers her face in paint and powder to hide her advancing age.
- Mal Mariée: Lady Lysa Tully is married off to elderly Lord Jon Arryn, a man decades older than her. Their marriage forges a useful alliance during the war and Lord Arryn needs a young woman to give him an heir. They have a loveless marriage because Lord Arryn is distant, Lysa has had many failed pregnancies and stillbirths, and she has never stopped loving her first love Petyr Baelish who was her father's ward. Later at court, Lysa and Petyr begin a secret affair (though he doesn't love her back) and Petyr even convinces her to poison her husband.
- Mama Bear: Lysa murdered Jon Arryn because Littlefinger told her Jon was planning on sending her son away. This is kind of understandable because of how many miscarriages she's had and her father forcing her to abort her first child, which caused the unlikeliness of her to have children.
- Meaningful Name: "Lysis" refers to the breakdown of a cell. "Lyssa", in Greek mythology, refers to a spirit of (among other things) madness, rage and frenzy.
- Middle Child Syndrome: Lysa is implied to have had this when she was younger - she did, after all, have to contend with her older sister Catelyn and her younger brother Edmure when she was younger.
- My Beloved Smother: Lysa is creepily over-protective of her kid. She breast-feeds him at the age of six, and refuses to take part on either side of the War of the Five Kings in order to keep every single one of the Vale's knights at home to protect Sweetrobin when no one could care less about him.
- Not So Different: Sansa notes at one point that Lysa doesn't treat her that much differently than Cersei did, coldly treating her more like a hostage than a guest or family, and arranging for her to marry her Spoiled Brat of a son against her will.
- Old Man Marrying a Child: She was in her late teens or early twenties when she was married off to Jon Arryn, who was already old and had been married previously.
- Psychopathic Woman Child: She throws tantrums like a spoiled child and ignores her responsibilities as Lady of the Eyrie in hopes that they will simply go away.
- Rapunzel Hair: Her auburn hair is long, thick, and waist-length, the only remnant of her former beauty.
- The Resenter: Heavily implied to be this to Catelyn when she had previously idolized her. Not only does Catelyn have Littlefinger's love, she also has a happy marriage when Lysa has to contend with an older, distant husband and her own unrequited love, as well as five healthy children (three of which are sons) while Lysa had several miscarriages and only ended up with sickly Robert.
- Sex Equals Love: invokes this in regards to giving Petyr her maidenhead, despite him having called her by sister's name and not exactly been consenting.
- Shrinking Violet: As a young girl, she was shy, delicate and timid.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Lysa initially felt this way about her and Jon.
- The Un-Favourite: Lysa compared to Catelyn. Even Jaime Lannister, during his brief visit to Riverrun when he was younger, was more interested in the fiery Catelyn than the timid Lysa, the girl who was meant to be his betrothed.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Zigzagged trope. Littlefinger loved Catelyn, who did not love him back. Lysa loved Littlefinger, who did not love her back, but eventually he came around and married her. Of course, as it turns out, this was just another move in the game to Littlefinger. In fact, he kills her himself... after telling her that he has only ever loved one woman. "Only Cat."
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Sleeping with Petyr when he was drunk made him believe Catelyn loved him, which led to his duel with Brandon Stark... which was the Cynicism Catalyst that pushed him to become what he is now. And all the chaos that is currently taking place.
- More directly, murdering Jon Arryn on Petyr's behest, and telling Cat the Lannisters were responsible triggered the current civil war.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Catelyn remembers Lysa and Petyr as Cheerful Children and Wide Eyed Idealists before they both got broken. Jaime Lannister (who stayed at Riverrun for a time as a youth while Tywin and Hoster were negotiating a possible Arranged Marriage between him and Lysa) also notes that she seemed like a sweet girl, though at the time he was more interested in her fiery older sister and her war hero uncle than the timid Lysa.
- Yandere: She is madly in love with Petyr Baelish, to the point that she willfully and gladly killed her husband at his suggestion. This, and her affection-turned-jealousy for her sister Catelyn and her extreme overprotective devotion to her son, seem to hint at some severe attachment issues generally.
- Younger Than They Look: She is two years younger than her sister Catelyn, but appears much older because of the many failed pregnancies that have taken their toll on her body.
Lord Robert Arryn, Warden of the East
- "I want to see him fly!"
Jon and Lysa's weak and ill son, now Lord of the Vale after his father's death.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: Lord of the Vale at the age of six, although he (thankfully) doesn't do much leading.
- Artistic License Pharmacology: Assuming that the Milk of the Poppy is an opioid narcotic, it's not actually a treatment for seizures; as a matter of fact, it can cause seizures. Then again, Littlefinger is ordering Maester Colemon to overdose Robert to kill him, not actually to treat his seizing fits.
- Authority in Name Only: In many respects. He happens to be one of the most important figureheads in Westeros and everyone is preying on what having him entails. First, when Jon Arryn dies, the Warden of the East title is taken from him because of his young age, and given to Jaime Lannister (who actually does remarkably little with it); due to the turmoil that led to the war, Lysa assumes the position of Lady of the Eyrie and takes control of the Vale as an unofficial Protector, eventually forbidding all Vale knights from entering the war (keep in mind, this is without the Crown's approval); Littlefinger then marries Lysa and later murders her to become Lord Protector of the Vale with the young Lord Robert as his "ward". The Lords of the Vale are not particularly thrilled with this and are currently seeking to remove Littlefinger from power and away from the young Lord. All this, of course, without little Robert's virtue other than having the Arryn name. He's just an accessory to the whole shebang.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Underneath this tantrum throwing bratling is a kind, caring boy. Which can be seen with his interactions with Sansa. The problem lies in just how incredibly spoiled and self-centred he's been brought up to think and act.
- Children Are Innocent: He's this, but subverted and deconstructed in one very frail, nutty package. He's genuinely a sweet lad by nature. Who is so spoiled, that he throws immature tantrums worthy of a three-year-old when he gets frustrated or upset because he has no clue how to handle the emotions without going into genuinely dangerous seizures or picking the "throwing things across the room" or "drugged out your skull" options (and maybe avoiding the seizure those ways). He doesn't comprehend the wrongness of the way he often acts, because he hasn't really been taught any better; worse, nobody really does try to teach him in any coordinated fashion that would work for him — so, this is really not his fault at all. It's bad when the guy trying to kill you has had a more positive impact on your manners around others than your own mother ever did... and he is Littlefinger. Sansa also helps, but her methods are no less worrying in their own way. In short, he's not exactly meeting his developmental milestones, either mentally or physically through the neglect of carers. As a result, he's capable of terribly cruel, ignorant, self-centered and selfish requests while being disarmingly caring and intelligent at the same time.
- To Joffrey Baratheon. Both of them inherited positions of power which they were utterly unprepared for on their fathers' respective deaths, and both are controlled by assertive and smothering regent mothers. However, where Joffrey is venomous to the core, Sweetrobin seems to be genuinely affectionate and compassionate by nature — though that nature is wrapped up in some massive entitlement issues and a childlike understanding of morality.
- To Tommen Baratheon. Ironically, Tommen has the sweetness that Sweetrobin lacks, though he is as much a political token as Sweetrobin is. Tommen is also significantly less clingy to his mother than Sweetrobin.
- To his cousin Bran Stark. They are both young kids when they are thrown into ruling their keeps; Bran has a little grasp on it while Sweetrobin does not. Bran is physically impaired because of his fall while Sweetrobin is impaired by his feebleness. Bran is significantly more mature and resourceful than Sweetrobin and is able to avoid becoming a political token at the price of losing Winterfell; Sweetrobin is holding on for dear life to the seat of the Eyrie with multiple people expecting him to die.
- Creepy Child: He breastfeeds even when he's six years old; he hears voices and singing on the Eyrie all over the night; he hasn't been raised in a social manner and is feeble and weak; he wanders all over the castle during the night trying to find a bed to rest; he seems to find solace in women's bosoms (her mother's and Alayne's); he is unusually perceptive coming from such an antisocial background and he seems to know stuff that he isn't supposed to know (like remembering Catelyn from when he was a one-year old); he's incredibly unpleasant even for a pampered kid. Oh, yeah; he's creepy alright.
- Gut Feeling: Seems to be a decent enough judge of character, despite his mother's example of the opposite. He's terrified of Littlefinger, hates Lyn Corbray (a pedophile), was both scared of what happened to Marillion as well as not trusting of the man himself (for all his music was appreciated... well, before it turned into his personal Nightmare Fuel, that is), and adores Sansa. That last may or may not cost him: it ultimately will depend on which lessons Sansa takes to heart. In The Winds of Winter he even says that he doesn't like his cousin Harry because he thinks Harry is just waiting for him to die so that he can take over the Vale...which is indeed Littlefinger's plan for Sansa and Harry once they marry.
- Hidden Depths: He is more intelligent and perceptive than what everyone around him thinks. Because of his exasperating behavior, most people tend to overlook these aspects of him.
- I Know You Know I Know: Invoked. He's very much aware that there's a number of people trying to kill him. What he doesn't know is that the people that he allowed to be closest to him, Littlefinger and Alayne, want him dead too.
- Ill Boy: Suffers from a palsy-, epilepsy- and/or anxiety-like condition that stretches to seizures quite regularly when faced with stress. And, is developmentally backward for his age in a lot of areas, for all he's quite bright. His mother's coddling has also not helped him develop muscular strength.
- Immune to Drugs: Invoked. He's developed a tremendous resistance to milk of the poppy, which has stifled the efforts for him to perish. He's being given enough morphine to knock down a horse... and yet he remains conscious.
- Inadequate Inheritor: Jon was worried about Robin inheriting his position due to his fits and weakness, and tried to arrange for the boy to be sent away to be fostered in a more healthy environment - since his mother's over-protectiveness was a factor in his inadequacy - but died before getting the chance. In response, King Robert takes away the title of the Warden of the East from House Arryn.
- Incest Is Relative: His crush on Alayne (a.k.a Sansa) manages to be different flavors of this at the same time: she's his cousin by blood, whom he thinks is his stepsister, and who's a surrogate mother to him.
- In-Universe Nickname: "Sweetrobin."
- Kissing Cousins: He tells Sansa/Alayne that he wants to marry her; take note that their mothers are sisters. See Precocious Crush.
- Made of Plasticine: Due to his illness, he is so frail that scrubbing him too hard with a rag or handling him roughly can cause him to have a seizure.
- Momma's Boy: A particularly unsettling example.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Named after King Robert Baratheon.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: He has various aspects in common with Charles II of Spain, the last king of the Habsburg dynasty. Both born feeble and sickly brought by consanguinity- the Arryns are said to be the purest of the Andals (though Sweetrobin is not intellectually disabled like the Spanish monarch), their seats, prospective alliances and capacity to rule were brought into question and lead to succession crises. They were both the only surviving sons of multiple attempts at having heirs; with time, they both became considerably unkempt and rowdy.
- Parental Neglect: His father was too busy running the Kingdom to either raise or train him. When you add that to his mother's over-mothering and his sicknesses at such a young age, it's hard not to feel bad for him.
- The Pawn: He was the subject of considerable political contention between King Robert, Stannis, Tywin Lannister and Lysa Arryn in the subject of his wardship even before the war. Among other things, this is one of the reasons Lysa sees herself forced to flee King's Landing to protect him.
- Precocious Crush: Views Alayne as his new mother and kisses her in A Feast for Crows. He loves lemoncakes because Alayne told him she likes them. He also despises Harry Hardyng for being semi-betrothed to Alayne, since Robert wishes to marry her.
- Puppet King: It couldn't exactly be helped: he's far too young to rule alone.
- Replacement Goldfish: Immediately latches on to Sansa after Lysa's death.
- Sheltered Aristocrat: He has spent his life cut off from the rest of the world at the Eyrie, so he has never known other children, had any significant relationship other than his mother, or become familiar with the land he supposedly rules. This is because his mother has purposefully raised him in isolation because of her own insanity and paranoia.
- Sketchy Successor: Let's just say the chances of him growing into someone even halfway suited for rulership of the Vale are incredibly slight.
- Smarter Than You Look: Unlike his cousins to the North, he seems to know what's going on. He rightfully fears LF, doesn't want Lyn around him, suspects Harry, is aware that there are people who want him out of the way and trusts Sansa.
- Spoiled Brat: Lysa doted on him obsessively and gave him everything he wanted. This did not exactly improve his mental or physical health.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Inverted. He breastfeeds at the age of six. He plays it straight in other respects, such as his desire to see people "fly".
- Unwitting Pawn: He's the key to the Vale for anybody wanting to use it, so maybe more of a King than a Pawn. He's still just a piece to be played with, though.
- Withholding the Cure: Inverted. Some of the drugs Robert's maester has already been giving him to try subduing his congenital seizures have potentially dangerous effects if abused. However, Littlefinger is encouraging more reckless use of the most powerful of them in his bid to, probably, "accidentally" kill the sick boy to control the Vale under the credible cover of helping him. There's a lot to gain with him dying at the right time and in the right way (overdose), even if he does improve a bit beforehand as part of it.
Maester of the Eyrie and loyal servant of House Arryn.
- Butt-Monkey: Due to having to care for Robert, he frequently winds up with food and piss all over him from Robert's tantrums and seizures. His recommendations are also frequently overruled by Lysa and Littlefinger.
- Extreme Doormat: The few times he tries to protest something he is quickly talked over and convinced to do otherwise with little difficulty.
- The Good Chancellor: He does nothing but offer good advice and is simply trying to do the best that he can for everyone at the Eyrie. Pity for him no one listens to him and easily manipulates him.
- Long Neck: He has a "ridiculously long and skinny neck".
- The Medic: Most of his job is trying to keep Robert healthy and combat his seizures. He was also close to saving Jon Arryn from the poison Lysa had given him, but Maester Pycelle sent him away after receiving orders from Cersei to ensure Jon did not recover.
- Nice Guy: Very much. It's a bit of a pity that people like Lysa and Petyr just read the trope as being synonymous for "chump".
- Unwitting Pawn: To Littlefinger, who is almost certainly manipulating Colemon into treating Robert's condition in ways that will eventually kill him.
Gaoler of the Eyrie. He is dim-witted and cruel.
- The Brute: He enjoys beating prisoners and hitting them with a leather strap. He also likes to taunt them by holding their food out over the edge of the Sky Cell out of their reach before tossing it away.
- Dumb Muscle: Putting two thoughts together to form a new third is very hard work for him, which is why he prefers pounding stuff. His degree of thickness actually causes Tyrion problems when trying to manipulate him.
- Ear Ache: Lost part of his left ear to an axe.
- Fat Bastard: He might be as strong as an ox, but he's also not the fittest guy in the books. And, there's no mistaking the size of his jerkass side.
- Gold Tooth: Presumably using the money Tyrion gave him, Mord gets a bunch of gold teeth by A Feast for Crows. It doesn't improve his appearance any.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a massive scar on the left side of his face from an axe cutting off part of his cheek.
- Hulk Speak: A result of both his very poor education and, probably, a congenital disorder of some description.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Mord.
- Never Learned to Read: Hardly surprising, considering how dumb he is. Tyrion manages to get him to agree to deliver a message to Lysa Arryn by promising to put down in writing an agreement to pay him, which he notes an illiterate idiot like Mord would see as some sort of magic.
- Scary Teeth: Prior to getting them all replaced with golden teeth, his teeth were brown and rotten.
- Torture Technician: Serves as this under Littlefinger.
A travelling singer who accompanied Catelyn Stark to the Eyrie when she captured Tyrion, he quickly became a favorite of Lysa Arryn's and gained much power and influence in her court.
- Asshole Victim: Being a Jerkass and Serial Rapist offers him little sympathy when he winds up in the hands of Mord.
- The Casanova: The negative portrayal of this trope. He uses Lysa's favor to force female servants at the Eyrie to have sex with him, or he will get them dismissed and exiled from the castle. The only woman mentioned who willingly had sex with him was Myranda Royce, a choice she later regretted when she realized what a scumbag he is.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Originally a minor supporting character in Catelyn's A Game of Thrones chapters, Marillion becomes much more important in A Storm of Swords as part of Sansa's POV.
- Dirty Coward: Can't get the nads to fight in battle and tries to hide, even when his and others' lives are at stake. He'd probably try to spin it as Lovable Coward, though.
- Disproportionate Retribution: On the receiving end of this. Yes, he really wasn't a very nice person, but the final weeks of his life sucked perhaps beyond what misery he'd actually caused. And, he probably never got to find out most of why Littlefinger was so annoyed with him.
- Driven to Suicide: After being tortured and held in a Sky Cell for weeks, he supposedly kills himself by throwing himself out of the cell, although it is likely that Littlefinger had him killed once his purpose had been served.
- Eye Scream: Mord takes his eyes out during the torture to convince him to confess to murdering Lysa.
- Fingore: Tyrion makes sure to step on and crush a few of his fingers during the fight against the mountain clans so Marillion would stop playing his music and mocking him. Mord also removes several of his fingers while torturing him.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: He earned the ire of every knight at the Eyrie by singing insulting songs about them while using his status as Lysa's favorite singer to protect himself from retaliation. Comes back to bite him when Littlefinger frames him for shoving Lysa out the Moon Door; because he is already so disliked, nobody bothers to speak up in his defense.
- Jerkass: He would force female servants at the Eyrie to have sex with him or else they would get dismissed from their positions. He also tries to rape Sansa and would mock all the knights at the Eyrie with insulting songs, knowing they could not retaliate without risking Lysa's wrath.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Gets tortured into confessing to murdering Lysa Arryn, and later commits suicide after being held in a Sky Cell for so long.
- The Scapegoat: Littlefinger easily pins the murder of Lysa onto him, and it doesn't take much to convince the Lords of the Vale that Marillion is responsible.
- Too Clever by Half: His plan to find advancement by attaching himself to those of greater station and inclined to adventure did, ultimately, work. Rather too well; it put him directly in the crosshairs of people you really shouldn't go out of your way to irritate without a get out of jail free card.
- Wandering Minstrel: Before finding employment at the Eyrie. Heck, it's why he jumped at the chance to wander with Cat: he hoped to find a court to get permanently attached to.
King Artys Arryn, King of the Mountain and the Vale
The Falcon Knight, the Winged Knight
- "My throne is made of saddle leather, and my castle is a tent."
A legendary knight and one of the leaders of the Andal invasion. He defeated High King Robar II Royce at the Battle of Seven Stars to become the first Andal King of the Mountain and the Vale. King Artys spent much of his reign travelling the Vale, rarely spending time at his seat at the Gates of the Moon. He's Lord Robert's favorite hero.
- 100% Adoration Rating: To the Andals of the Vale
- The Ace: Was said to be the finest warrior of his day, a master of swords, lances and morningstars, cunning, resourceful and loved by the Andals.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: Was of age with Robar Royce, who was 16 and was made the leader of the Vale's andals.
- Arch-Enemy: Of King Robar Royce.
- Alliterative Name: Artys Arryn
- The Beast Master:The legendary Winged Knight was said to have commanded eagles to fight for him.
- Body Double: During the Battle of Seven Stars, he had one of his knights wear his spare suit of armor to trick King Robar II Royce into thinking he was still at his main camp, while in reality he took five hundred of his best knights on horse through a goat track to fall on the First Men from behind during the battle. His plan worked brilliantly, although his body double was killed by King Robar.
- Composite Character: In-universe, the historical Ser Artys Arryn, who unified the Vale under Andal rule and defeated King Robar II Royce, has been merged in tales and songs with "the Winged Knight", a legendary warrior of the First Men (even though chivalry is an Andal tradition), who took the Eyrie from the Griffin King and said to have lived centuries before the first Andals came to Westeros.
- Cool Helmet: He wore a silver helm with falcon wings, making him an unmistakable sight on the battlefield, a fact he took advantage of using a body double.
- Founder of the Kingdom: He founded the Arryn dynasty.
- Giant Flyer: The legendary Winged Knight was said to have ridden atop a giant falcon
- In-Series Nickname: "The Falcon Knight", "The Winged Knight".
- Kneel Before Frodo: He wasn't a lord or a king, but ended up ruling the Vale after several major Andal lords rallied behind him.
- Long Dead Badass
- Memetic Badass: In-universe, with the likes of Florian the Fool, Symeon Star-Eyes, Durran Godsgrief.
- The Usurper: According to song and legend, the Winged Knight took the Eyrie from the Griffin King.
King Roland II Arryn
Great-grandson of King Roland I, known for his passion for fighting and wenching. He stopped construction of the Eyrie to fund his campaign of conquest in the Riverlands. He ultimately failed, and a resulted ended up was betrayed and delivered to the King of the Rivers and the Hills.
- Blood Knight: The only thing he loved as much as fighting was women.
- The Conqueror: Averted. He aimed to become one but failed, as the Riverlands was united under Tristifer IV Mudd, the Hammer of Justice.
- Off with His Head!: After being betrayed and sold out to Tristifer IV, Roland II ended up beheaded at Oldstones, the seat of House Mudd.
- Warrior Prince: Roland II personally took part in the campaign to conquer the Riverlands.
Queen Regent Sharra Arryn
The Flower of the Mountain
The mother of boy King Ronnel and his brother Jonos. She served as Queen Regent of the Kingdom of Vale and Sky during the War of Conquest, and surrendered to Queen Visenya.
- Adult Fear: Visenya Targaryen casually barged into her castle with Vhagar in her absence, and Sharra came home to find her son on the warrior-woman's lap. No wonder she immediately surrended the Arryn crowns and armies.
- I Was Quite a Looker: By the time of Aegon's Conquest, she had lost some of her youthful beauty due to age - being 37 at the time - and childbirth.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: Upon entering the throne room of the Eyrie to find Ronnel begging for a ride on Visenya's dragon, Sharra simply exchanged smiles with Visenya, sent for the three Arryn crowns, and offered them alongside the swords of her garrison.
- Lady of War: During the War of Conquest, she strengthened defenses in Gulltown to defend against an invasion. However, when the invaders have dragons...
- We Can Rule Together: She sent a portrait of herself and offered to marry Aegon if he made Ronnel his heir. Aegon refused.
- The Woman Behind the Man: To her son.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: She was reputed to be the most beautiful woman in Westeros during her youth.
King Ronnel Arryn, King of the Mountain and the Vale
The King Who Flew
The last King of House Arryn, a young boy. He surrendered the Vale to Aegons sister Visenya, in exchange for a ride on her dragon.
- Arranged Marriage: He married a woman of House Stark in a deal brokered by Queen Rhaenys in an effort to tie the two regions closer together.
- Cain and Abel: He ended up being killed by his brother Jonos Arryn, dubbed Jonos the Kinslayer.
- Children Are Innocent: He gave his mother an awful fright when he climbed on Visenya's lap and begged her for a ride on her dragon. She granted him three.
- Destination Defenestration: He was tossed out the Moon Door by his own brother.
- Distressed Dude: He was imprisoned by his brother for most of Jonos' revolt, only to be killed near the end of it when Jonos realized he was going to lose.
- Famous Ancestor: He became the first Arryn to bow to the Targaryens, but his later life also proved eventful, as his brother deposed and murdered him. The current Arryns aren't actually descended from him though, since he had no children to inherit his rule, so the rule of the Vale passed to another Arryn.
- Last of His Kind: He was the last Arryn to wear the Falcon Crown.
- Ironic Nickname: He was known as the King Who Flew after Visenya took him on three rides on her dragon following the surrender of the Vale to Aegon. Later Ronnel flew out of the Eyire as an adult through the Moondoor, murdered by his own brother.
- Puppet King: Due to his age, the true ruler of the Vale was his mother, Queen Sharra.
Jonos the Kinslayer
Younger brother of Lord Ronnel, Jonos attempted to usurp his brother and reclaim the independence of the Vale, but his revolt was crushed by Lord Allard Royce and Prince Maegor Targaryen.
- Cain and Abel: While initially only imprisoning his brother at the start of his revolt, Jonos later killed Ronnel by tossing him out the Moon Door.
- Destination Defenestration: After Maegor appeared flying on Balerion, his followers threw Jonos through the Moon Door.
- In-Series Nickname: Jonos the Kinslayer.
- Karmic Death: He dies the same way he killed his brother.
- Rebel Leader: He deposed his brother and began a revolt against the Iron Throne. House Royce led the loyal Vale houses against him, crushing Jonos's rebellion and forcing him back to the Eyrie. When Prince Maegor appeared on the back of Balerion, the rebel lords backing him threw him out the Moon Door in the hopes of gaining mercy. Unfortunately for them, the only mercy Maegor gave them was hanging them, rather than letting Balerion eat or burn them alive.
- The Usurper: Removed his own brother from his throne, revolted against the Targaryens and declared himself King of Mountain and Vale.
Lord Hubert Arryn
A kinsman of the late Ronnel and Jonos who became the new Lord Arryn.
- The Man Behind the Man: His wife was a Royce, which clearly played a part in why he and not another Arryn cousin was chosen to become the new Lord of the Eyrie.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: He and his wife had at least six sons.
- Replacement Goldfish/You Are in Command Now: If it wasn't for the deaths of Ronnel and Jonos, Hubert would've faded into obscurity as a kinsman of the main branch. Instead, House Arryn carried on through Hubert.
- Unexpected Successor: He never expected to become Lord of the Vale, nor that all subsequent Arryns would descend from him.
Lord Rodrik Arryn
Lord of the Vale during the reign of King Jaehaerys I, he married princess Daella Targaryen, having only one child together, Aemma Arryn.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: Became Lord of the Eyrie at the age of 10.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: One of the reasons Daella wanted to marry him was because of how nice and reassuring he was to her.
- Dark Horse Victory: No one from the Royal Court actually expected he would be chosen by the princess as her husband, since he had two decades on her and wasn't particularly handsome. Only for Daella to pick him on the grounds he looked nice and kind.
- Famous Ancestor: Considering the current Targaryens ultimately descend from his line, he did earn a few points.
- MayDecember Romance: He might have been 20 years older that Daella Targaryen and had four children from his previous marriage, but they were very happy together.
- Nice Guy: The reason why he got to marry a princess, since said royal was a fragile flower and wanted a husband who would protect and cherish her. He was also well liked by the court.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Their marriage might have been arranged, but he was genuinely fond of his young dragon bride, and Daella found him reassuring. Sadly she died two years later.
- You Are in Command Now: He became Lord when his uncle Darnold and father Rymond were killed by Mountain Men.
Queen Aemma Targaryen (née Arryn)
The first wife and cousin of King Viserys I. Daughter of Lord Rodrik Arryn and his wife, Princess Daella Targaryen. She and Viserys had several children, but only their daughter Rhaenyra survived past infancy.
- Adult Fear: Suffered several miscarriages, and the first son she carried to term died in the cradle.
- Alliterative Name: Aemma Arryn.
- Death by Childbirth: Died giving birth to her son Baelon.
- Generation Xerox: Died in the same way as her own mother.
- Kissing Cousins: With Viserys.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: Was pregnant at least five times, though only three of those pregnancies were carried to term. Of the resulting children, only two lived long enough to be named, and only Rhaenyra lived for more than a day.
Lady Jeyne Arryn
The Maiden of the Vale
Head of House Arryn and Lady of the Eyrie during the Dance of the Dragons. She supported Rhaenyra Targaryen's claim to the Iron Throne. Following the Dance of the Dragons, she served on the initial Council of Seven, who ruled as regents for the young King Aegon III. She died in Gulltown in 134 AC due to an illness.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: Her father and brothers were killed by the Stone Crows when she was three, which meant a regent ruled in her stead.
- Ambiguously Gay: Died in the arms of a "female companion".
- Enemy Mine: She, and most other nobles of the Vale, did not like Daemon Targaryen due to his treatment of his first wife, Rhea Royce. Despite this, she allied with Rhaenyra because if she did not, her own claim to the Eyrie might be questioned.
- Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: She was one of the regents on the Council of Seven who oversaw the early reign of King Aegon III. The council was often hamstrung by its members infighting or trying to quell the ambitions of one of its members.
- Old Maid: She never married.
- Plot-Triggering Death: Her demise kickstarted a succession crisis between Joffrey, Arnold, and Isembard Arryn over the Vale Lordship.
- The Smurfette Principle: One of only two women to sit on the Small Council across all of history, barring Queen Regents.
- Thicker Than Water: In addition to strengthening her own position, another reason she joined Rhaenyra was because Rhaenyra's mother was an Arryn.
Ser Arnold Arryn
The Mad Heir
First cousin of Jeyne Arryn, he tried to depose her for which he was imprisoned.
- Alliterative Name: Arnold Arryn
- Go Mad from the Isolation: After spending years imprisoned in the Eyrie went mad.
- Dead Guy Junior: Seems likely he was named after his ancestor Darnold.
- Karma Houdini: Apparently faced no punishment for his insurgency beyond merely forfeiting the Vale. Considering his heir was dead and he had gone half-mad because of the imprisonment, the regents might have seen no point in punishing him.
- Outliving One's Offspring: His son Elric was executed while he was imprisoned.
- Passed-Over Inheritance: Despite having closer blood ties than Joffrey, he was skipped as successor of the Lordship of the Vale.
- Puppet King: Implied to be one to his son, Elric, until the latter was executed.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Had this attitude towards his cousin Jeyne ruling the Vale- because, of course, that meant he would be Lord instead.
Lord Joffrey Arryn
Fourth cousin of Jeyne Arryn and named her heir in her will. However this was contested by other Arryn branches.
Lord Jasper Arryn
Former Lord of the Eyrie and father of Jon, Alys, and Ronnel Arryn.
- Adult Fear: You can say he was lucky to die before his children, because what happened to his family in subsequent years just goes downhill without slowing down.
- Dead Guy Junior: His short-lived grandson Jasper Waynwood was named after him.
- Minor Major Character: Despite being father of one of the most important men of his time and ruler of one of the Seven constituent regions of Westeros, almost nothing is known about him.
- Posthumous Character: We don't even know when he passed, only that he's been dead for decades.
Ser Denys Arryn
A knight of the Vale and Jon Arryn's distant cousin and heir until his untimely death at the Battle of the Bells during Robert's Rebellion.
- Duel to the Death: Denys was killed in one of these, fighting Jon Connington at the Battle of the Bells.
- Glory Hound: According to Littlefinger, he was killed by a combination of this and the axe Jon Connington buried in his skull.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Implied to have been this; he was described as "a renowned jouster, handsome and gallant and brimming with courtesy"
- Posthumous Character: Killed in battle long before the events of the main series.
- Unexpected Successor: Was promoted to Jon Arryn's heir after Jon's nephew Elbert died along with Brandon Stark.
Ser Elbert Arryn
A young knight of the Vale and Jon Arryn's nephew and heir. He was one of Brandon Stark's companions who accompanied him to King's Landing to demand Rhaegar return Lyanna.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: While the nature of his death is not known, given what happened to Brandon and Rickard Stark, it's fairly likely the Mad King didn't give Elbert a clean death.
- Disappeared Dad: His father died the day he was born. According to Littlefinger, while Elbert was being born noisily in one room, his father Donnel was dying noisily in the next.
- This Is Unforgivable!: A combination of Elbert's death, along with the demand his wards Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon be handed over to him for execution, is largely implied to be the final straw that tipped Jon Arryn into rebelling against Aerys Targaryen.
- Too Dumb to Live: Being part of Brandon's plan to go to King's Landing and threaten the Mad King's heir with death in earshot of Rhaegar's extremely volatile father wasn't a good idea for Elbert.
- True Companions: With Brandon Stark, given he willingly went with Brandon to King's Landing to demand Rhaegar return Brandon's sister.
A possibly legendary member of the house who supposedly lived six-thousand years before the series
- Alliterative Name: A's
- Cryptic Background Reference: Why was her family killed? Why didn't she cry? Why did the gods punish her?
- Famous Ancestor: She is believed to be one for the Arryns. There is a statue of her in the Eyrie.
- "Just So" Story: She did not shed a tear as her family was murdered in front of her. In punishment, the Seven condemned her to cry until her tears flooded the Vale, which led to the creation of Alyssa's Tears, a frozen waterfall at the top of the Eyrie that never reaches the ground.
- Shrouded in Myth: Whether she even existed or not is up for debate.