This is a listing of ancestral members of House Hightower who appear in the Fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. Visit here for the main character index.
For the main Reach entry, see here.
The family is ancient, existing since the dawn of days when they were petty-kings. While most scholars believe they descend from the First Men, Maester Yandel posits they descend from the seafarers and traders that settled at the top of the Whispering Sound in an earlier time, men who came to Westeros before the First Men and seem to have founded the original incarnation of Oldtown. Whatever the truth, the Hightowers resided in the ancient black stone fortress of Battle Isle at the mouth of the Honeywine before the "Hightower" of stone was built.
Historical Hightowers - Pre-Conquest
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 cities 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.
Historical Hightowers - 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.
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: All information on her comes from The World of Ice & Fire.
- Arranged Marriage: As a way to pacify the Faith of the Seven, as she was the niece of the High Septon.
- Character Death: She died of unspecified causes after 20 years of marriage. It's implied Maegor had her killed.
- Unwanted Spouse: Probably due to her failure to produce an heir, though it's implied Maegor was never very fond of her anyway.
Historical Hightowers - The Dance of the Dragons; 105 AC-131 AC
Lord Ormund Hightower
Head of House Hightower during the Dance of the Dragons, nephew to Ser Otto Hightower and cousin to Dowager Queen Alicent.
- Character Death: Slain by Lord Roderick Dustin during the Battle of Tumbleton.
- Cool Sword: Wielded the Valyrian steel blade Vigilance.
- Four-Star Badass: Commanded the Greens' Reach forces, wining several major battles.
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.
- 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.
- Frontline General
- 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).
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 and get nothing".
- Alternate Character Interpretation/Epileptic Trees: For such a smart, connected guy with oodles of experience, he seems to have really screwed-up by hugging the Villain Ball. But, isn't it interesting that moves he directly made led to the disappearance of not just the access to dragons, but a lot of the lore surrounding them? Considering the Hightower's connections to both the Citadel and the Faith, it's possible he wasn't after putting his own blood on the throne via "honest" means, after all. Or, maybe not primarily that.
- 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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- An Axe to Grind: Wielded a longaxe in battle.
- Character Death: Killed by Lord Roderick Dustin during the Battle of Tumbleton, while trying to stop him from reaching Lord Ormund.
- Mutual Kill: He took off Roderick's shield arm, but was slain in return before Roderick died of his wounds.
Historical Hightowers - Contemporary Era
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 cities gates, and had his guards kill anyone who attempted to leave the city in order to prevent the plague from spreading. These actions worked.
- 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.