This is a listing of members of House Hightower in A Song of Ice and Fire.
For the main character index, see here
For the main Reach entry, see here
House Hightower of the Hightower
- "We Light the Way"—Hightower house words
An ancient noble house dating back to the time of the First Men (or even before according to Essos), House Hightower is one of the most powerful vassals of House Tyrell, having a large army, navy, and nearly as much wealth as House Lannister, which makes them the most powerful vassal house in the Seven Kingdoms. Despite this power, they have a reputation for staying out of conflicts unless absolutely necessary, having been devastated in previous wars like the Dance of the Dragons. Before becoming bannermen to House Gardener, the Hightowers ruled as kings, taking the title King of the High Tower.
They control the large port city of Oldtown, and played a key role in the establishment of the Citadel, the headquarters of the Maesters, which they continue to support. Their keep is the Hightower, a massive castle and lighthouse said to be taller than the Wall, located in the middle of the city on Battle Isle. The foundation of the tower is built on an ancient black stone structure, the origins of which are unknown. They have several minor houses sworn to them, including Houses Beesbury, Bulwer, Costayne, Cuy, and Mullendore. Their sigil is a stone white watchtower with a fire burning on the top.
According to ancestral records, the Hightowers are one of the oldest, if not the oldest noble house in Westeros, as there are records in Essos of trade with what would become the port of Oldtown before the arrival of the First Men. Archeological evidence suggest that the core of the Hightower, the Seastone Chair of the Iron Islands and the Mazes of Lorath had common builders, before the First Men.
- Always Second Best:
- Hundreds of years of being vassals to the lords and kings of the Reach, these being the Gardeners and later the Tyrells note , have led to the Hightowers to seek other ways to climb out of this rut. The last time they tried to do it led to the Dance of the Dragons. Being bound by prophecy to not take arms against Aegon the Conqueror and his descendants for fear of having Oldtown destroyed doesn't help their plight, making them reluctant to participate in anything war-related, even when Targaryens aren't overtly on the field. You can never be too sure, after all.
- Had Aegon the Conqueror not decided on laying the foundations for what later became city of King's Landing, Oldtown would have certainly been the capital of the Seven Kingdoms. They did crown him there after all, so the possibility wasn't that far off.
- Ambiguous Syntax: The prophecy of the High Septon on the Starry Sept led to the Hightowers to surrender Oldtown to Aegon the Conqueror lest he would destroy it. Because of the exact language of the prophecy, it extends by proxy to the rest of the Targaryen kings henceforth, making the Hightowers highly reluctant to field troops on most battlefields in the Seven Kingdoms. Except for fighting the Ironborn: not much chance of surprise, strings-pulling Targaryen blood, there; and, plenty of bad blood between the Reach and the Iron Isles.
- Ambition Is Highly Destructive: Many Hightowers seem to have a healthy dose of ambition. Or, at least, a strong opinion of what they are worth and a wish to prove it. The problem is, when they go overboard, it can hurt them and those around them thanks to their very background of being highly cultured individuals. Sometimes, in a "write it into the history books" way: the Dance of the Dragons springs to mind. When they don't manage to blow up that prominently, it's along the lines of Lynesse's inadvertent pushing of her husband down the route that can lead to bloody history being written in a more subtle case of Disaster Dominoes for when they are trying to start something. Or, a case of Unwitting Instigator of Doom when they might not be.
- Ancestral Weapon: The Valyrian steel sword Vigilance. The last recorded wielder was Lord Ormund Hightower during the Dance of the Dragons.
- Arch Enemies:
- To the Velaryons during the Dance of the Dragons.
- To the Ironborn throughout history.
- Awakening the Sleeping Giant: They are one of the wealthiest and most martially-prepared houses in the Reach, but have largely kept out of the War of the Five Kings beyond offering token support to the Tyrells first by declaring for Renly and then for Joffrey. However, the Ironborn attacks on Oldtown have set them to shipbuilding and mustering forces like nobody's business.
- Big Fancy Castle/Lighthouse Point/The Tower: The Hightower is all of these rolled up into one. It's large, it's an architect or modeller's dream, it's ominous (particularly the blackstone foundations), it acts as the primary beacon for shipping on the Sunset Sea — and, it's been rebuilt several times following disasters.
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin':
- The ambition of house Hightower has come to them at a great price; whereas they have tried numerous times to get away with more than they can chew, they have been very successful in covering their tracks.
- Even though the Hightowers have enormous influence over the Maesters and the Faith of Seven, the City Watch of Oldtown belongs to the Tyrells, the lordly house of the Reach.
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: The aforementioned Hightower which serves as seat to the noble house. It is the distinguishing landmark of the city of Oldtown, which also features the Citadel and the Starry Sept (former center of the Faith of Seven in Westeros), both which have close-knit ties with the Hightowers.
- Famous Ancestor: Being one of the oldest houses in the Seven Kingdoms has given them several.
- King Otho II Hightower spent all of his house's wealth on building great walls for Oldtown after it was sacked three times in less than a century. All it took the city three generations to recover its wealth, the walls of Oldtown stopped many an attack and prevented it from being sacked ever again.
- Lord Jeremy Hightower remarked that "Highgarden defends our backs, so we are free to gaze outward to the sea and the lands beyond." He managed to double the wealth of the city, while his son Jason did the same and built the Hightower a hundred feet taller.
- Lord Dorian Hightower married a Andal princess after setting aside his wife in order to prevent a war with the invading Andals.
- Dorian's grandson Lord Damon the Devout was the first Hightower to convert to the Faith of the Seven and built the first septs in Oldtown and its domains.
- Damon's son Triston was raised by the first High Septon after his father passed, and built the Starry Sept to honor the High Septon's passing.
- Norman Hightower, the younger brother of Eustace Hightower who accompanied Elissa Farman in her voyage westwards. According to Eustace his ship, the Autumn's Moon was sunk by a kraken.
- Garmund Hightower, the second husband of Princess Rhaena Targaryen and father of their six daughters.
- Lord Jon Hightower who served as Hand of the King for Aegon IV and the one who brought Serenei of Lys to Aegon's court.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
- Of the Medicis, who were historically enormous patrons and contributors to the arts, the pursuit of knowledge and the Catholic Church.
- Oldtown itself has very obvious similarities with the Egyptian city of Alexandria, with all the talk about lighthouses and the largest libraries of their respective times.
- To the Sistermen of the Three Sisters. The Three Sisters houses the Night Lamp of Sisterton, the beacon of the Narrow Sea... only that they've been known to use it to wreck ships intentionally. The Sistermen are also among the poorest people in Westeros, whereas the Hightowers are among the richest; the Hightowers spent centuries fending off the Ironborn, while the Sistermen are said to have been the Narrow Sea's Ironborn until they reformed and dedicated themselves to fishing.
- To the Ironborn. The Hightowers are known for their support of the pursuit of knowledge and are conscientious objectors to participating in war; the Ironborn relish on their shunning of knowledge and are reapers and warmongers. Apart from the Westermen, the Reachmen of Oldtown are among the most frequent victims of the Ironborn.
- Heroic Lineage: From Uthor of the High Tower and Maris the Maid.
- In-Series Nickname: Lord Leyton's fourth child, Garth, is called Greysteel.
- Lighthouse Point: The Hightower serves as this to ships coming from the Sunset Sea.
- The Man Behind the Man: House Hightower were the creators and continue to be the greatest benefactors and patrons of the Order of the Maesters and great contributors to the Faith of Seven. What degree of influence they have at the Citadel and the Starry Sept is a matter of speculation.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: Lord Leyton Hightower has had ten children with four wives: Baelor, Malora, Alerie, Garth "Greysteel", Denyse (married to Ser Desmond Redwyne with son Denys), Leyla (married to Ser Jon Cupps), Alysanne (married to Arthur Ambrose), Lynesse, Gunthor (married to Jeyne Fossoway), and Humfrey.
- Minor Major Characters and Small Role, Big Impact: The Hightowers sit in Oldtown, major hub of the Order of Maesters and the Faith of the Seven; though the mentions of the Hightowers in the books are sporadic at best, they have ties everywhere (including and primordially those two organizations). As such, the Hightowers are certainly the most important vassal house in the Seven Kingdoms in history, influence and military force. Had Aegon the Conqueror not chosen his seat at the newly minted city of King's Landing, Oldtown would have been the place where the Iron Throne would sit bar none other.
- Properly Paranoid: Played with. As per the prophecy preventing them from raising arms against the Targaryen kings (see Ambiguous Syntax), they still won't take arms even when such kings were almost annihilated and exiled years before. It takes an Ironborn invasion for them to wake up from their laurels. They happen to be very much aware of what a civil war can cost everyone involved.
- The Quisling: When the Andals invaded Westeros, the Hightowers, who ruled Oldtown as petty-kings, sided with the invaders to keep their domains.
- Redundancy Department of Redundancy: House Hightower of the Hightower.
- Shrouded in Myth/Mysterious Past: Hightowers are heavily implied not to descend from the First Men, but from some previous settlers as Oldtown seems to have been founded as a trading post in which Summer Islanders, Ghiscari, and Valyrians stopped to fix their ships and even trade with the 'elder races' (Giants and Children of the Forest). The fact that Uthor of the High Tower is not mentioned as a descendant of Garth Greenhand, just showing up and marrying one of his daughters, supports this theory.
- Town with a Dark Secret: The aforementioned city of Oldtown contains both the Maesters (the primary conveyors of education and communication in the Seven Kingdoms) and the Faith of Seven (the main religion in the Seven Kingdoms), both of which are linked tightly with the Hightowers; throughout history, there are hints that the two organizations have done the bidding of the Hightowers repeatedly.
- The Hightowers are older than the Seven Kingdoms, the Andals and the First Men. There is no discernible record of where they came from or when they set foot in Westeros, though records in Essos show that they had trade routes in place before the First Men. As far as their settlement is concerned, they were not considered invaders by the Children of the Forest and they coexisted for an unknown number of years.
- The ancient black structure at the core of the Hightower is implied to have some sort of connection with the makers of the Seastone Chair and the ancient mazes of Lorath.
- The Unfettered: The Hightowers have a reputation of stopping at nothing to achieve their goals, even to the point of sacrificing themselves, others (including their families) and the city of Oldtown if needs be. If they feel that something needs to be done, they don't beat around the bush; their degree of commitment is unparalleled, yet not particularly admirable.
Lord Leyton Hightower
The Old Man of Oldtown
Head of House Hightower, Voice of Oldtown, Lord of the Port, Lord of the Hightower, Defender of the Citadel, and Beacon of the South. Currently married to Rhea Florent, his fourth wife. He is nephew to Ser Gerold Hightower.
Ser Baelor Hightower
First child of Lord Leyton and heir to House Hightower. Married to Rhonda Rowan.
- Embarrassing Nickname: He was dubbed Baelor Breakwind by Prince Oberyn Martell after he farted in front of Princess Elia Martell. Since after that unfortunate incident, Elia couldn't look at the poor boy without laughing at him, this effectively ended any chances of Baelor and Elia having an Arranged Marriage. Oberyn and Tyrion after hearing the story both wonder that if he had not dubbed Baelor with that nickname, would Elia still be alive, married to Baelor and with many children in Oldtown.Tyrion wondered how many lives had been snuffed out by that fart.
- The Ghost: Not seen yet.
- In-Series Nickname: Baelor Brightsmile, due to his good looks and chivalry.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Most likely named after Baelor the Blessed. And probably after Baelor Breakspear as well.
The Mad Maid
Second child of Lord Leyton and his first daughter.
Lady Alerie Tyrell (nee Hightower)
- See the House Tyrell character page.
- "Garth is training new recruits and Humfrey's gone to Lys to hire sellsails. If he can wrinkle a proper fleet out of his whore of a sister, we can start paying back the ironmen with some of their own coin."— The captain of the ship Huntress, referring to Lynesse.
The eight child and youngest daughter of Lord Leyton, second wife of Jorah Mormont and now the chief concubine of merchant Tregar Ormollen of Lys.
- For the House Mormont entry, see here.
- 0% Approval Rating: Invoked. She is not a popular lady in-universe and almost everyone who mentions her has a rather low opinion of her and her perceived gold-digging. Still, the bulk of the Mormonts (her unintended victims) would prefer not to speak about her rather than speaking ill of her; this is about as high an opinion anyone expresses of Lynesse. The only consistently good thing that is said of Lynesse and her actions... is that she is, indeed, very pretty.
- Ambiguous Situation: Lynesse's relationship with her family is left murky at best. It's not revealed why Leyton Hightower agreed to give Jorah Mormont, the then head of one of the smallest and poorest houses in the North, his daughter's hand in marriage instead of saving her for better prospects. It's also not explained why House Hightower couldn't just send Jorah the money and resources needed to keep Lynesse happy (or even if they might have expected Jorah to come to them so they could exert influence on an island most deem pretty pointless, but which does have strategic value when either hoping to in turn hit or influence the Iron Isles, the North — or, even, over the Wall; but, stubborn git that he can be, Jorah never did see fit to come cap in hand). What's more, after Lynesse ruined Jorah and left him to become the concubine of a merchant prince, House Hightower should have cut off all ties with her out of embarrassment. And yet, they still have a good enough relationship that they hope Lynesse can give them support against the invading Ironborn.
- Ambition Is Evil: Wanting far more than Bear Island and Jorah could possibly give her has lead to a string of questionable outcomes. And, some very Not Ms. Nice Girl behaviour. She might think she's ahead of the game in her personal set-up of the moment, but the effects have been more far-reaching than she probably realises.
- Disaster Dominoes: Her deliberate decision to screw Jorah over for her own gain in Lys and leave him penniless and without prospects (which worked, thank you) is what has directly led him to be free to be an influential figure in one of Essos' greatest periods of upheaval of recent history. Which could, in turn, turn out to be a Westerosi nightmare. So, the overall outcome wasn't, likely, fully planned, but the initial set of moves that helped form it certainly was.
- Everyone Is Related: She is the aunt of Margaery, Loras, Willas and Garlan Tyrell, who are the offspring of her sister Alerie with Mace Tyrell. This means that Jorah Mormont is their uncle too, since their marriage hasn't been annulled.
- Everyone Loves Blondes: Daenerys reminds Jorah strongly of her and she does have a wider reputation for beauty than just his bias. If that's any indication.
- The Exile: From Oldtown to Lys in Essos via Bear Island and a big mistake. Yes, she counts.
- Fish out of Water: As Catelyn reminisces from a banquet held in Winterfell, Lynesse was desperately bored of the North to the point of ennui. In spite of this, she never lacked courtesy or demure.
- The Ghost: For all she has had quite the impact... she hasn't even been seen once.
- Gold Digger: In effect, she's one. Whatever her actual reasons, most people automatically assume this. Never mind that Hightower > Mormont in the heaping piles of dosh stakes; if anything, it could be argued that Jorah may have been trying to make the jackpot, even despite native rock-hard stubbornness. Most Westerosi never seem to see it that way, for whatever reason.
- Hidden Depths: There is a considerable chance that most of the stuff she did with and to Jorah, as well as her general behavior, has been planned in advance to some degree — simply because she is a Hightower and that's what Hightowers do, after all. Alternatively, she could just be the slut many outside the situation paint her to be.
- The Mormont ladies are not particularly fond of Lynesse, yet refrain from outright speaking ill of her; and, Jeor Mormont rarely if ever refers to her. Jorah speaks heartbrokenly of her as a lost opportunity he squandered with any residual anger aimed mainly at himself (and Ned Stark), not her. To put this in perspective, the character quote shown above could not have possibly come from a Mormont.
- She might be a concubine to Tregar Ormollen, but it's mentioned that she's influential enough to rival Ormollen's actual wife, leading credence that she's not just a dumb gold-digger.
- The Lady's Favor: Ser Jorah wore her favor in a tourney and defeated all his opponents, and even got Lynesse's hand in marriage.
- Lady Macbeth: Possibly. Either deliberately or inadvertently, she is rather good at causing her lovers/husbands to do things that give them headaches.
- Love at First Sight: Deconstructed; their marriage ostensibly began to fall apart because Lynesse couldn't get used to the harsh North, Jorah then bankrupted House Mormont to try keeping her happy and even engaged in slave trading when all else fails. After fleeing to Lys, she cheats on him and abandons him for Tregan Ormollen.
- The Mistress: To Tregan Ormollen, with even his wife living in fear of her.
- The One That Got Away: To Jorah Mormont. It's heavily implied that Jorah is still very much in love with her, and his attraction to Daenerys is based on the fact that she reminds him of Lynesse. Whether this affection is mutual is still a matter of debate (as she did follow him to the North and eloped with him to Essos before she left him).
- Overwhelming Exception: Played with. One has to wonder how a Hightower, of all people, got herself into money troubles (seeing that Hightowers are tremendously wealthy), or why she allowed Jorah to dig himself down such a pit. The simple answer would be that she milked him until she grew tired of him; the more complicated answer could involve prophecy and all that crazy, intellectual stuff that Hightowers are so fond of, as Jorah did end up closely tied to one of the most powerful people that have ever existed in the world of ASOIAF, and she ultimately wound up in a politically powerful position, herself.
- Proper Lady: Subverted. She has all the expensive tastes, demeanour and the cultural polish, for sure. But, proper ladies don't ditch their husbands to become mistresses/concubines of rich merchant princes, generally speaking.
- Taking the Heat: Jorah did this for her. Lynesse is certainly a sore thumb for the Mormonts, but everyone of them seems to agree that whatever troubles that arose were Jorah's fault (even Jorah himself argues this); still, Lynesse certainly made everything worse.
- Uptown Girl: A deconstruction of. Because they can be high maintenance and come with well-educated minds of their own, they're liable to dump your pauper's arse in favour of their own agendas.
- Winter Royal Lady: Subverted and invoked. Lynesse is as distantly removed from the trope as it's feasible to be, for someone who is actually associated with it. She was Lady Mormont and the Lady of (the very Northern) Bear Island for, like, five minutes. Her whole problem is presented as being that she was overwhelmingly unable to get used to the dreary, cold North because she is a lady from the bountiful, sunny South.
- Your Cheating Heart: She abandoned Jorah for Tregar Ormollen, a Lyseni merchant.
Ser Gunthor Hightower
Ninth child of Lord Leyton and his third son. Married to Jeyne Fossoway. Ser Gunthor is in command of the harbor of Oldtown.
- Badass Cape: Wears a cloth-of-silver cloak.
- Bling of War: His armor is a suit of grey enameled scales.
- Omniglot: He spent several years studying at the Citadel and learned to speak a few foreign languages, including the Summer Tongue of the Summer Islands. This comes in handy for him, since he is in charge of inspecting ships coming into Oldtown's harbor, and many of the crews don't speak the Common Tongue.
Lord Commander Gerold Hightower
- See Aerys II's Kingsguard page.
Prince Peremore Hightower
Peremore the Twisted
Second son of King Uthor of the High Tower, Peremore was a sickly and crippled child, but had a great love of learning and hosted dozens of scholars, wizards, teachers, singers, etc. during his life. After his death, his brother King Urrigon granted land to "Peremore's pets", which may have been the founding of the Citadel.
- Bookworm: Due to being bedridden his entire life, he had few other ways to spend his time aside from reading or meeting with great minds. His favorite pastime was watching two scholars argue over something.
- Genius Cripple: Definitely. His weaknesses caused him to have a great love of knowledge.
- In-Series Nickname: Known as Peremore the Twisted due to having a withered arm and twisted back.
- Our Founder: His love of learning and knowledge is credited with helping found the Citadel and making Oldtown a center of learning and knowledge.
Lord Lymond Hightower
The Sea Lion
The last Hightower King, Lymond married his daughter to King Garland II Gardener and married Garland's daughter as well, making House Hightower the last of the Reach kings to swear loyalty to House Gardener.
- All There in the Manual: So far his only mention is in The World of Ice & Fire.
- In-Series Nickname: Known as The Sea Lion for building a massive navy, making House Hightower the greatest sea power in Westeros at the time.
- Laser-Guided Karma: After the Ironborn attempted to attack Oldtown and Lymond defeated them, he reinstituted the practice of taking thralldom in Oldtown very briefly and forced the captured reavers to strengthen the city walls.
- Our Founder: A statue of Lymond overlooks Oldtown's harbor, staring down Whispering Sound, as a tribute to his creation of the Hightower's navy and military victories.
- See the Night's Watch Lord Commanders page.
War of Conquest to just Before the Dance of the Dragons; 2 BC-104 AC
Lord Manfred Hightower
Lord of Hightown during Aegon I's conquest of Westeros. He surrendered Oldtown to Aegon without a fight at the advice of the High Septon.
- Famous Ancestor: His wisdom spared Oldtown and House Hightower the wrath of the Targaryens, enabling them to continue to be a center of learning and power. Many followers of the Seven, including the High Sparrow, look upon Manfred as a wise and religious man centuries after his death.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: By the point Aegon arrived at Oldtown, he had spent the last two years kicking the ass of everybody in Westeros, even eliminating the ruling House of the Reach. Even without the High Septon's advice, Manfred knew there would be no stopping Aegon, so he wisely surrendered.
- Long-Lived: He must have been since he was alive when his great-granddaughter Ceryse was born.
- Outliving One's Offspring: His son Garmon was killed by Joffrey Dayne during his razing of Oldtown's countryside.
Queen Ceryse Hightower
Maegor's first wife, and the niece of the High Septon. Died of unknown causes in 45 AC.
- All There in the Manual: Most information on her comes from The World of Ice & Fire.
- Altar Diplomacy: She was married to Maegor as a way to keep the Faith of the Seven content with the crown, as she was the (maternal) niece of the High Septon.
- Always Murder: She died of unspecified causes after 20 years of marriage. It's implied Maegor had her killed.
- Old Maid: By Westerosi standards, as she was 23 when she married the 13 years old Maegor
- Unwanted Spouse: Probably due to her failure to produce an heir, though it's implied Maegor was never very fond of her anyway.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Ceryse abandoned King's Landing and returned to Oldtown when she grew tired of Septon Murmison laying her hands on her belly every night in the hope of making her fertile at Aenys request.
Lord Martyn Hightower
Lord of the Hightower during Maegor's reign. Older brother of Ser Morgan Hightower of the Warrior's Sons and Queen Ceryse Hightower.
- Everyone Has Standards: He may have betrayed the Faith over to Maegor, but the moment the Tyrant King orders him to murder a defenseless child, he comes out in full support of Jaeherys.
- FaceHeel Turn: Rather than face off against Maegor and his dragon, he had his brother murder the High Septon so he could freely surrender.
- HeelFace Turn: When Maegor demanded he kill Rhaella as punishment for her mother fleeing his captivity, he refused, imprisoned the messanger, and declared for Jaeherys.
- Turn Coat: He calls his banners after the High Septon calls upon rebellion. Later he may have sent his brother to assassinate the High Septon. After the High Septon was dead, he quickly dispatched his knights to arrest the Warrior's Sons and opened the gates to Maegor and Visenya.
Lord Donnel Hightower
The DelayerLord of Hightower during the reign of Jaehaerys I Targaryen. He helped promote Jaehaerys and Alysanne's marriage. Died during the Shivers epidemic in 59 AC.
- In-Series Nickname: The Delayer because he delayed the Poor Fellows outside Oldtown since he refused to fight them. And when he was ordered to arrest Elissa Farman who was going by a different name, either the letters didn't arrive on time or deliberately delayed the departure of his 'fastest' ships to go after them until it was too late.
- Nepotism: He ensured his brother was chosen as the next High Septon to help promote Jaehaerys Exceptionalism.
- Sleazy Politician: Manfryd Redwyne called him a sulker and a schemer who only cared about himself, his house and Oldtown.
Ser Eustace HightowerThe eldest grandson of Lord Donnel Hightower, who accompanied Elissa Farman in her unsanctioned voyage westward. He and his ship the Lady Meredith returned to Oldtown after ending up in Sothoryos after a Leviathan damaged his ship. While he survived the Shivers epidemic, his grandfather, wife and children did not
- Bold Explorer: Not many would try to sail west of whatever is beyond, although unlike Elissa, he at least returned to tell the tale.
- The Captain: Of the Lady Meredith
- Dwindling Party: His crew was decimated by disease while making repairs at Sothoryos, forcing him to hire Summer Islanders with high wages.
- Know When To Fold Them: After losing his brother to a storm (or a kraken), he chose not to sail further westwards, although a leviathan forced him to make repairs, where his ship ended in Sothoryos.
Historical Hightowers - The Dance of the Dragons; 105 AC-131 AC
Ser Otto Hightower
Hand of the King to Jaehaerys I, Viserys I and Aegon II. He was the father to Viserys' second wife Alicent Hightower, and to multiple sons as well (including Ser Gwayne Hightower), and the uncle to Lord Ormund Hightower. He conspired with his daughter to ensure that his grandson was crowned Aegon II over Viserys' wishes that his daughter from his first marriage, Rhaenyra, be crowned queen after his death. This led to the civil war that became known as the Dance of the Dragons.
- Ambition Is Evil: His wish to be rather more than just the father to a queen... turned out to be rather an overreach. Not to mention a nasty example of "how to screw a large number of people over, get almost your entire family killed, and end up with nothing".
- Arch-Enemy: Of Daemon Targaryen.
- Blood Oath: Swore one with the other members of the Small Council who supported Aegon II's claim to the Iron Throne.
- Didn't Think This Through: He is the one who encouraged Viserys to name Rhaenyra his heir in order to prevent Prince Daemon from inheriting. This, needless to say, caused a lot of trouble for him after his daughter married Viserys and had children of her own, and Rhaenyra eventually married Daemon.
- Famous Ancestor: Albeit, one who brought ruin and a fair amount of shame onto House Hightower. While he is still considered a man of great learning, Ser Otto's tenure as Hand of the King is remembered as one of the worst due to his actions leading to the Dance of the Dragons. He is regarded by subsequent Hands as one of the foremost examples of how not to act as Hand of the King.
- He made a special effort to undermine his son-in-law's brother Daemon Targaryen in all of the latter's endeavors, including his marriage to Rhaenyra. Daemon in turn reciprocated in equal manner.
- He is the on-off Hand of the King for three kings and his daughter is the queen; he is considered extremely ambitious and comes from one of the wealthiest families in Westeros, which he is trying to raise in the social strata. He might as well be Tywin Lannister two centuries before.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
- Ser Otto first convinced King Viserys to name Rhaenyra as his heir to prevent his archenemy Daemon from sitting on the Iron Throne. This came back to bite him later when Daemon ended up marrying Rhaenyra.
- In-universe, he is the textbook example on how not to be a Hand of the King
- Number Two: Served as Hand of the King to three kings: Jaehaerys I, Viserys I, and his grandson Aegon II. He was dismissed from the post twice. The first time happened during Viserys' reign, for demanding that Aegon be made the heir instead of Rhaenyra (he was eventually brought back after his successor to the office, Lord Lyonel Strong, died). He was dismissed from Handship again by Aegon due to concerns he was moving too slowly to gather support for the Greens, while Rhaenyra's diplomatic efforts were swelling the ranks of the Blacks.
- He essentially ruled the realm during the last two years of Jaehaerys' reign, since the king had become quite old and had been left grief-stricken by the loss of his wife, to the point he could no longer carry out his duties as king.
- Off with His Head!: He was beheaded as a traitor after being captured when Rhaenyra took King's Landing.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Had he not pushed so hard for Rhaenyra to be named heir in the first place, Viserys may have named one of his children with Alicent as his heir instead, which would have prevented the Dance of the Dragons.
Lord Ormund Hightower
Head of House Hightower during the Dance of the Dragons, nephew to Ser Otto Hightower and cousin to Dowager Queen Alicent. Slain by Lord Roderick Dustin during the Battle of Tumbleton.
- Four-Star Badass: Commanded the Greens' Reach forces, wining several major battles.
- Frontline General: He fought in the frontline.
- General Failure: Lord Hightower's host was nearly wiped out at the very onset of his campaign, and survived solely due to Prince Daeron the Daring's individual heroic sortie atop a dragon. Then again at Tumbleton, the northmen managed to break through his formation with barely a tenth of his number and killed him.Maester Gyldayn: Flying Tessarion ahead of the main column, Prince Daeron had proved invaluable as a scout, warning Lord Ormund of enemy movements and entrenchments. Oft as not, the queen's men would melt away at the first glimpse of the Blue Queen's wings rather than face dragonflame in battle.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Early in the Dance of the Dragons, he burned the town of Bitterbridge as revenge for the death of his uncle Otto's grandson Maelor (who had been on his way to safety in Oldtown under the care of Ser Rickard Thorne of the Kingsguard, but was caught and torn apart by a mob when passing through the town).
Queen Alicent Targaryen (nee Hightower)
- See the Aegon II's page
Ser Gwayne Hightower
One of the sons of Ser Otto Hightower, younger brother of Alicent Hightower and second in command of the City Watch of King's Landing during the Dance of the Dragons.
- In the Back: Killed by his commander Ser Luthor Largent when King's Landing was conquered by Rhaenyra Targaryen.
- The Mole: He was placed as second in-command largely to keep an eye on Luthor, not that it helped him when the betrayal did happen.
- Number Two: To Ser Luthor.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Calls out Ser Luthor and the rest of the goldcloaks for being turn cloaks, but Ser Luthor simply counters that Prince Daemon gave them their cloaks, and were gold no matter how they were turned before executing Ser Gwayne.
Ser Hobert Hightower
- "History has little good to say about Ser Hobert Hightower, but no man can question the manner of his death. Rather than betray his fellow Caltrops, he let the squire fill his cup, drank deep, and asked for more."—Archmaester Gyldayn
A knight of House Hightower and cousin of Lord Ormund Hightower. During the Dance of the Dragons, he joined the Caltrops, a conspiracy to kill the Two Betrayers, dragonseeds who had defected to the Greens but were plotting to take the Iron Throne themselves.
- Alliterative Name: Hobert Hightower.
- Everyone Has Standards: Unwin Peake casually stabbing Lord Bourney through the eye left both him and Prince Daeron disgusted.
- Face Death with Dignity: He may have fluffed his generalship, but he aced the "die like a boss" final exam.
- General Failure: He had little skill commanding armies, and was only in charge of Lord Ormund's baggage train. His one battle after having to take command after Ormund's death resulted in a crushing defeat.
- Self-Poisoning Gambit: He acted as part of a conspiracy to kill Ulf the White via poisoned wine. However, when Ulf became suspicious of Hobert's intentions, Hobert allayed Ulf's fears by drinking quite a bit of the poisoned wine to "prove" it was safe. Afterward Ulf happily drank the wine, and both men died.
- The Leader: Of the Caltrops, alongside Lord Unwin Peake.
- Taking You with Me: When invited to drink with Ulf the White from the wine he and his fellow Caltrops had poisoned, Hobert willingly drank from it to avoid giving away the plot and his fellow conspirators and to ensure the last of the Two Betrayers died.
Ser Bryndon Hightower
The foremost knight of House Hightower during the Dance of the Dragons, and a cousin of Lord Ormund Hightower.
Historical Hightowers - Contemporary Era
Lord Lyonel HightowerThe eldest son and heir of Ormund Hightower. He became infatuated with his step-mother Samantha Tarly since he first saw her and tried to marry her when his father was killed. Despite the High Septon forbidding the marriage, their relationship continued until a new High Septon allowed the union.
- I Have Your Wife: One of the reasons he accepted the peace letters from Corlys Velaryon was because his younger brothers Martyn and Garmund were under the custody of other houses.
- Love at First Sight: Became infatuated with his step-mother since the moment he laid eyes on her.
- Marry for Love: Despite the Faith forbidding the union, he was finally allowed to marry the woman he love.
- Not Blood Siblings: Married his step-mother who was only two years older than him.
- Odd Friendship: He became friends with Alyn Velaryon, which helped mend the rift between the former Blacks and Greens.
- You Are in Command Now: After his father was killed at Tumbleton, he became Lord of the Hightower.
Lord Quenton Hightower
Lord Quenton Hightower was Lord of Hightower around eighty years before the series, and is remembered for his brutal actions when the grey plague hit the city.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Grand Maester Pycelle, who was a boy at the Citadel when this occurred, thinks that Lord Quenton was justified in his actions and had not choice but to do what he did.
- Necessarily Evil: He ordered all the ships burned, closed the city gates, and had his guards kill anyone who attempted to leave the city in order to prevent the plague from spreading. These actions worked.
- Slashed Throat: He and his son were ambushed by an angry mob of plague survivors and killed this way.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Quenton saved Oldtown but more than half the city had died and the survivors murdered him and his son.
- 0% Approval Rating: The citizens of Oldtown still curse his name.
A Maester of the Citadel in service to House Stark at Winterfell before Robert's Rebellion. A bastard of House Hightower who instigated alliances between the North and the Riverlands, Stormlands and the Vale.