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House Arryn
"As High as Honor."

"The last time the lords of the Eyrie formed an alliance with the lords of the North, they brought down the greatest dynasty this world has ever known."
Lord Petyr Baelish

Great House of the Vale, the highest, most mountainous region in Westeros. Its lord holds the title of Warden of the East.

As suggested by the name of the kingdom, it consists of a large valley surrounded by mountains. This makes it both relatively fertile and easily defensible, with natural choke points everywhere. The ancestral seat of House Arryn is the Eyrie, a castle built literally into the side of a mountain. The ascent is perilous, whether by foot or by mule, and there are primitive elevators used to bring up foodstuffs. Though we don't see much of it, this kingdom was very important to our characters: Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark grew up there together, and consider each other more brothers than friends.

For the House of the Dragon era characters originating from the Vale, see Aemma Arryn here and House Royce here.

    In General 
  • Animal Motifs: Their sigil is the falcon and their seat is The Eyrie (lit. "The Eagles Nest"). The throne of the Eyrie main hall is made out from a tree. Their motto that goes along with the falcon is also "As High as Honor". The symbolism is that like an honorable falcon, they think they're "above" the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, safely secluded behind their defensive mountains, and remain aloof from the War of the Five Kings, not committing their armies to any side.
  • The Cavalry: Quite literally. The Knights of the Vale arrive during the Battle of the Bastards at the last possible second to break the Bolton army and enable the Starks to reclaim Winterfell.
  • Disney Villain Death: The Eyrie has no executioner. Instead, convicted criminals are thrown off a trapdoor in the floor (The Moon Door) or left in the open Sky Cells to do the job themselves. In the History and Lore video, "Justice of the Seven Kingdoms", Bronn considers this the most sadistic form of execution in the Seven Kingdoms:
    Bronn: Open on one side to a long fall, with the floor sloping down towards you like a woman's thighs. After a few days, they say the sky starts calling to you. Men jump with smiles on their faces, expecting the wind to lift them into the sky. [Beat] It doesn't.
  • 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. They also befriended Lord Yohn Royce during their time there.
  • Honor Before Reason: As shown by the Arryn house words "As High as Honor", the men of the Vale adhere to a strict sense of honor which often end up hindering or outright endangering them. In fact, Eddard Stark's sense of honor is more Arryn than Stark, having been raised in the Eyrie and taught by Jon Arryn.
  • Team Switzerland: Due to Lysa's leadership, the Vale remains neutral in the war between Starks and Lannisters, despite her family connection and the fact that Lysa goaded her sister for action against the Lannisters in the first place. There turns out to be a very good reason for this, since Lysa, working with Littlefinger, was instigating a war with the intention to damage and scar the Vale's neighbors while ensuring that it loses nothing in life and property. Averted in the backstory, the Rebellion that deposed the three hundred year old Targaryen dynasty began in the Vale, when Lord Jon Arryn refused to send his two wards, Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon, into the clutches of the Mad King after he killed Rickard and Brandon Stark.
    • Petyr lampshades this to his advantage, as they pretty much sat out in the whole war and let the Lannisters kill Ned Stark, and implores them to start training Robin to be the next lord of the Vale with him and Sansa pulling his strings for his next plan for both the Vale and North.
    • In Season 6, after helping Jon and Sansa liberate Winterfell, Littlefinger announces that he and the other Knights of the Vale have broken ties with the 7 Kingdoms, and in the end they acclaim Jon Snow as King in the North.

    Lord Jon Arryn 

Lord Jon Arryn
"The seed is strong."

Played By: John Standing

The recently deceased Hand of the King and Lord of the Vale. Jon was Eddard Stark's mentor and was married to Catelyn's sister Lysa.

  • Big Good: To Ned Stark, Robert Baratheon, and several Vale Lords. In the books... 
  • Demoted to Extra: The reason he is "played" by an established actor rather than an extra is because the original pilot opened with a scene featuring Arryn's discovery and his subsequent murder because He Knows Too Much. This scene was cut when a new pilot was filmed, instead using the White Walker attack north of the Wall as the first scene in the episode, like in the book series.
  • A Father to His Men: Both Ned and Robert treat him as a second father and his men love him.
  • The Good Chancellor: Ultimately played with. While everyone agrees that his work gave the realm "17 good years" of peace and stability, his skills appear to have lain mainly in administration and diplomacy, not politics or intrigue; Varys points out that his disdain for the Game of Thrones allowed the likes of the Lannisters and Petyr Baelish to expand their influence and political power unchecked, which set up later catastrophes. Perhaps the best example of his skill was in reconciling the Tyrells, who supported the Targaryens, to King Robert. The loyalist Tyrells were given amnesty, and in exchange, they assumed a large part of the war debt, and (since the Reach was mostly untouched by the war) agreed to supply the realm with food and other basic resources for the war-exhausted continent.note 
  • He Knows Too Much: It is generally believed by most people that he was killed because he discovered that Joffrey and his siblings were inbred bastards that Cersei had with her twin brother. He was actually poisoned by his own wife, Lysa Arryn, at Littlefinger's behest. However, as the Lannisters suspected, he had discovered the secret about Cersei's children, which is why Grand Maester Pycelle, a loyal Lannister retainer, withdrew treatment and left him to die before he confronted Cersei and Jaime, neither of whom were sure at the time of his death if he had told anyone.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: As per Yohn Royce, Jon Arryn was the man who appointed Petyr Baelish as the Master of Coin. He became the first of many who Littlefinger betrayed and killed.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: As Robert's Hand, he basically ran the Seven Kingdoms due to the former being so lazy and hating the job.
  • Like a Son to Me: Eddard, as well as King Robert.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Catelyn receives word from her sister that her husband was not a victim of a fever but of murder. It turns out that it was murder, by Lysa Arryn and her lover, Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish.
  • The Mentor: To Robert and Ned.
  • Number Two: To King Robert as Hand of the King.
  • Older Sidekick: Serves as his former student's Hand after his coronation.
  • Old Man Marrying a Child: To cement the alliance of House Tully and the Lords of the Riverlands during Robert's Rebellion, Jon Arryn married Lysa Tully. Walder Frey uses this as a justification for his Dirty Old Man reputation, noting the Double Standard which allows Arryn to have an honorable reputation while the Freys remain hated as sleazebags.
  • Parental Substitute: To both Ned and Robert. Robert more so, since his father died young and he did not know him very well.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: His death is what causes Eddard Stark and his family to become tangled in the game of thrones and, essentially, launches the War of the Five Kings. It turns out this trope was invoked by the true killer, Petyr Baelish.
  • Posthumous Character: Jon dies prior to the beginning of the series. Only his body is seen.
  • Screw Your Ultimatum!: When the Mad King orders both Ned and Robert's heads, he refuses to comply and joins his students' respectable houses in rebellion.
  • Universally Beloved Leader: Is loved and respected by many people, even after his death. With the exception of his wife, Littlefinger, the Lannisters sans Tyrion, and the Targaryens, of course.

    Lady Lysa Arryn, née Tully 

Lady Lysa Arryn
"The Sky Cells always break them."

Played By: Kate Dickie

"My father, my husband, my sister, they all stood between us and now they're all dead. That's what happens to people who stand between Petyr and me!"

Jon Arryn's widow, and sister to Catelyn Stark. Driven completely insane by her husband's death, she spends her time fawning her son and sending hundreds of people to their deaths through the Moon Door.

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Played for drama. Lysa is obsessed with Littlefinger. Littlefinger, a man who has no qualms with forcing his prostitutes to perform depraved and life threatening jobs, is unsettled by this obsession.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: She's much leaner in the series than her counterpart from the books, who had gained a significant amount of weight from many failed pregnancies.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the books, Lysa rapes Baelish while he's drunk on the night of Catelyn's marriage announcement; in his state he thinks she's Catelyn, and it's this that convinces Baelish Cat secretly returns his affections, driving several of his actions to allow them to be together. This never happened in the show. Well, possibly. She mentions to Littlefinger they already "had their wedding night, many years ago." Baelish says he remembers it "like it was yesterday" without elaborating, though he looks slightly uncomfortable.
  • Adaptational Villainy: She still kills Jon in the books, but her motive is to prevent him from sending Robin away; her overprotectiveness comes from having had multiple miscarriages and stillbirths (and it's hinted that it was caused by her father giving her an early abortion), and she also keeps out of the war to protect her son. In the show, it's all for Littlefinger.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Subverted. She's kind and motherly to Sansa when they first meet, but Lysa's jealousy eventually makes her become hostile and cruel. In the books she was cold to Sansa from the beginning, but their relationship ultimately ends up in the same place.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: It's mentioned that Lysa has a thing for Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish. Littlefinger loves himself (and her sister Catelyn, and by extension her Generation Xerox daughter Sansa). Before he murders her, Littlefinger makes a point of telling her that he has only ever loved Catelyn.
  • Arranged Marriage: To Jon Arryn when she was a teenager. She was not impressed and it's one of the main reasons she resented her father so much. By all accounts, Jon treated her well despite their marriage being loveless, though Lysa still poisoned him for a chance to be with Littlefinger, the man she'd been obsessed with since childhood.
  • Asshole Victim: A wretched woman responsible for the death of her reasonable husband and plenty of thousands after triggering a civil war. Her death is well deserved.
  • Ax-Crazy: Lysa is notably unhinged, willing to straight-up murder a Lannister in a Kangaroo Court. She later attempts to murder Sansa out of jealousy.
  • Big Little Sister: She is an inch or two (5'6 1/2) taller than Cat (5'5).
  • The Bus Came Back: She finally makes a return on Season 4's fifth episode "The First of his Name".
  • Cavalry Refusal: Refuses to help the Starks when Catelyn calls for aid.
    Lysa: The Knights of the Vale will stay in the Vale to protect their Lord.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: To Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish. Just watch how quickly she gets furious, when she asks Sansa about why Littlefinger feels so "responsible" for her.
  • Combat Pragmatist: She doesn't get involved in combat herself, but she's perfectly happy to send a knight in full armor up against the unarmed and small-of-stature Tyrion, and refuses to allow Tyrion his legal right to a champion when he tries to name his brother Jaime. It would have worked, if Tyrion hadn't convinced Bronn to fight for him, with little more than a glance and a single phrase, a full episode before he was imprisoned.
  • Crazy Survivalist: After Jon's death, she fled to his isolated, impregnable fortress: the Eyrie. And despite the oncoming winter, she still hasn't come down, even though the Eyrie is nearly uninhabitable during the winter and even though the Arryns typically descend from the Eyrie to a lower-altitude fortress during the winter.
  • Daddy Issues: She resents her father so much that she didn't even go to his funeral.
  • Dirty Coward: Hides out in the war of the five kings and doesn't even send her soldiers to aid Catelyn.
  • Disney Villain Death: Littlefinger pushes her out the Moon Door.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Deconstructed. She clearly loves her son Robin, but her overprotectiveness and indulgence of him has stunted him emotionally and turned him into Spoiled Brat, while her obsessive love for Littlfinger drives most of her more despicable actions and screws over the entirety of the Seven Kingdoms. She also appears to have a fondness for her niece Sansa, but her jealousy and paranoia eventually drives her to almost murder the girl.
  • Evil All Along: It turns out she and Littlefinger, not the Lannisters, were behind Jon Arryn's murder, and together essentially caused the whole fucking plot, including, but certainly not limited to, the deaths of millions in the War of the Five Kings, the near-extinction and exile of House Stark, the fall of Lysa's own House Tully, the ascent of the despicable Houses Frey and Bolton, the burning of Winterfell, Littlefinger's own meteoric rise (which is definitely a bad thing), Joffrey's final victory and then horrific death.
  • Evil Aunt: Technically to all the Stark children, but especially to Sansa. The poor girl thinks she's finally found refuge with her mother's sister at the Eyrie, only for Lysa to become paranoid she's trying to steal Littlefinger from her. She starts out by interrogating her relentlessly and grabbing her hands hard enough to hurt her, then escalates to trying to shove Sansa out the Moon Door.
  • Evil Is Hammy: She really ramps it up in her last scene when she tries to kill Sansa.
    "Liar! Whore! HE IS MINE! My father, my husband, my sister, they all stood between us and now they're all dead! That's what happens to people who stand between Petyr and me! [holds Sansa over the Moon Door] Look down, look down, look down, look down!!"
  • Evil Redhead: Had her husband murdered and was planning to kill Sansa out of jealousy until Littlefinger intervenes.
  • Fiery Redhead: Mainly because she's so unhinged.
  • Foil: To her sister Catelyn. While the Tully girls are both mothers acting in defense of their children, her strategy is passive (hide in the Eyrie with Robin), and vicious (willing to allow Tyrion the chance to fall to his death in one of her sky cells). And then she's a My Beloved Smother.
  • Frame-Up: In "The First of His Name", in a Call-Back to one of the very first scenes in the show, Lysa reveals that she framed the Lannisters for her husband's death, along with Littlefinger. Littlefinger manipulated her into assassinating him and sending Catelyn a message blaming the Lannisters.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Lysa was always jealous of Littlefinger's love for Catelyn, who was oblivious to Lysa's feelings.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: She's Lady of the Vale, not a queen, but otherwise fits this trope perfectly. Besides, it's one of the Seven Kingdoms, so she would be a queen if it weren't for the Targaryen conquest.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: To an absurd degree. She was jealous of Littlefinger's affection for Cat. Then she comes close to killing Sansa because she believes Littlefinger wants her.
  • Hate Sink: Driven completely insane by her husband's death, she spends her time fawning over her son and sending hundreds of people to their deaths through the Moon Door. She doesn't get involved in combat herself, but she's perfectly happy to send a knight in full armor up against the unarmed and small-of-stature Tyrion, she had her husband murdered and was planning to kill her own niece. She also shows zero guilt for the murder of her sister and nephew. The only people not cheering when Littlefinger kills her are those who thought getting thrown thousands of feet to her death wasn't harsh enough.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Littlefinger personally throws her out of the Moon Door, her own preferred method of execution.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Her accusations of Tyrion, whom she slurs for being a dwarf. It turns out that, Bran's crippling and attempted execution aside (which Tyrion didn't do, being framed for it by Baelish) she was the one who murdered Jon Arryn, the very crime she means to execute an innocent man for. She has the gall to continue painting him as a monster to Sansa.
    • Her declaration to Bronn that he doesn't fight with honor. She's perfectly happy to send a knight in full armor up against the unarmed and small-of-stature Tyrion, and refuses to allow Tyrion his legal right to a champion when he tries to name his brother Jaime. Also in retrospect, the woman who cheated on her husband and then killed him is the right person to start talking about honor.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: Proudly tells Littlefinger she's going to scream in their wedding night. She isn't joking.
  • Incest Subtext: In her first scene she's breastfeeding Robin. Who's eight! Also implied later when he's sent off to take a bath that she'll be along presently to do the bathing. In-universe, her relationship to her son squicks out both Tyrion and her sister Catelyn.
  • Karmic Death: She gets thrown out the Moon Door after trying to throw Sansa out it.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Her obsessive love for Littlefinger and fear that someone will take him away makes her increasingly erratic and irrational, to the point that she tries to murder her own niece.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Her super creepy obsession with Littlefinger made it easy for him to manipulate her into murdering Jon Arryn and blaming the Lannisters, which was the seed of the War of the Five Kings, and also made it easy for him to manipulate her into marrying him, making him Lord Protector of the Vale.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: With the twist being that this attic is the Eyrie as a whole, whilst Lysa chooses to hole up in it herself, and that she is the ruler of the Vale after the death of her husband. Even though it's obvious to anyone that she is nuts.
  • Mama Bear: To her son, Robin.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: More neglect than mistreatment, but still. Because she was prevented from marrying Littlefinger, and forced to marry Jon Arryn, whom she never loved, it didn't take much encouragement from Littlefinger to poison Jon Arryn and blame the Lannisters.
  • Mole in Charge: For Littlefinger. He manipulated her into killing Jon Arryn and blaming the Lannisters, which helped him start the War of the Five Kings to get revenge on the Starks for being unable to marry Catelyn. And then he manipulated her into marrying him so he could be the de facto Lord of the Vale.
  • Mood-Swinger: Especially towards poor Sansa. It's clear Lysa cares about her, but her jealousy of Littlefinger's affections makes her even more dangerously unstable, when she thinks that he might having an affair with her. In all likelihood, this was probably why Baelish killed her eventually.
  • My Beloved Smother: Had she done a better job raising Robin (for example, not breast-feeding him several years past the cut-off point) maybe he wouldn't have turned out so damn creepy. From the books...  Once she dies, he's able to grow up to be a much more mature and socially adjusted young man.
  • Never Suicide: Littlefinger and Sansa both claim she deliberately threw herself out of the moon door due to believing Littlefinger preferred Sansa. Littlefinger in fact pushed her to protect Sansa and because she had outlived her usefulness to him.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Littlefinger says that he's only loved Catelyn. Five seconds later, he shoves her out the Moon Door.
  • The Paranoiac: A decidedly unpleasant and unhinged person, who coddles her son and sees enemies everywhere. she spends the entirety of her arc holed up in the Eyrie with Robin to avoid the people she believes to be a threat to herself and her loved ones.
  • Pet the Dog: She is genuinely happy to see Sansa and that her niece has finally escaped from the Lannisters' clutches. Unfortunately, Lysa's jealousy eventually corrupted her.
  • Properly Paranoid: A downplayed example. Lysa is certifiably nuts, but Littlefinger actually is infatuated with her niece.
  • Regent for Life: Though Robin is the official Lord of the Vale; Lysa is the one with actual power, and even as he grows she's unlikely to change that.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Once Littlefinger finally gets everything he wants from her, she's not long for this world.
  • Sanity Slippage: Jon Arryn's death has turned her into a paranoid recluse with a penchant for tossing people through the Moon Door. It's unclear how sane she was before this, but when Catelyn meets her after two years of no contact, she's shocked by how far gone Lysa is.
  • Shotgun Wedding: Invoked, even though she'd never do Littlefinger harm. She tells him it's high time they get married, in front of the open Moon Door, and when he agrees she reveals she had a septon ready with two armed guards behind the other door the entire time.
  • Stalker with a Crush: To Littlefinger. When he returns to the Vale, her blatant obsession with him is... unsettling to say the least.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Despite appearing in six episodes, Lysa Arryn's actions have majorly affected the plot of the entire series. She's revealed to be the one who murdered her husband, framed the Lannisters for the deed, and is responsible for the entire war that followed, all of which she did at Littlefinger's behest.
  • Smug Snake: Not nearly as smart as she thinks she is. Though she murdered her husband, Jon Arryn, and conducted an affair with Littlefinger and remains Beneath Suspicion.
  • Til Murder Do Us Part: It's revealed in Season 4 that she was actually the one who poisoned her husband and pinned it on the Lannisters at Littlefinger's behest, so that they could be together.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Petyr claims this while attempting to explain Lysa's "suicide". The audience knows better.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: The Vale under her command essentially. The knights and bannerhouses of the Vale are loyal to her, but more out of respect for Jon Arryn's legacy and for House Arryn (the most ancient Andal house, and which gave Westeros its very first Andal kings) itself than anything else.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To Littlefinger. She thinks that everything she has done for him is so they'll be free to marry, completely unaware until perhaps her last moments that Littlefinger doesn't love her at all, using her obsession for him to sow discord amongst the Great Houses and become Lord of the Vale.
  • Yandere: She's quite... obsessed with Littlefinger, showing willingness to harm anybody she suspects of getting in-between the two of them. This includes her own father, her sister, her husband, Jon Arryn, who she poisoned on Littlefinger's behest, and her niece, Sansa.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: It's a bit ambiguous just how long Littlefinger was going to keep her around after marrying her, but after seeing how dangerously unstable she really is and the fact that she threatened Sansa, she goes through the moon door seconds later.

    Lord Robin Arryn 

Lord Robin Arryn
"I'm Lord of the Vale. When I grow up, I'm gonna see fly anybody who bothers me."

Played By: Lino Facioli

"Mummy, I want to see the bad man fly."

Jon and Lysa's only son, and technically Lord of the Vale despite being eight, utterly dominated by his mother, and more than a little unhinged.

  • Abled in the Adaptation: He's weak and incompetent, but doesn't seem to have anything physically wrong with him, unlike his seizures in the books.
  • Adaptational Badass: Partly due to being Abled in the Adaptation. Robert (Robin's name in the books) is described as being small, "painfully thin" and extremely sickly, so much so that Jaime Lannister said that he "won't live long enough to breed". Show Robin, after being removed from Lysa's spoiling, seems to have grown up into a well-adjusted young man.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Originally, he was Robert Arryn, named after King Robert, with Robin and Sweetrobin as occasional nicknames. This changed to comply with the One-Steve Limit.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • In the show he sees Littlefinger as an Honorary Uncle, but in the books, he hated Littlefinger and was afraid of him.
    • He's not nearly as close to Sansa as he is in the book. He does still care about her in the show, but in the books he clung to her constantly, saw her as surrogate mother, and had a huge (though squicky) crush on her.
  • Back for the Finale: Makes an appearance in the finale. Took a Level in Badass enough to look like a well adjusted young man no less.
  • The Bus Came Back: After his appearance in Season 1, he is not seen again until Season 4. He has since been making an appearance at least Once a Season.
  • Children Are Innocent: Played with. Contrast his eagerness to have people executed with his innocent curiosity about what Tyrion did with a jackass and a honeycomb in a brothel. After being bethrothed to Sansa, he seems surprisingly sincere in wanting her to be happy, including offering to shove anyone she wants out the moon door.
    Robin: [learning Sansa is being hunted] She is my cousin... We should help her.
  • Creepy Child: He tells Sansa that he likes having people he doesn't like thrown out the Moon Door. However, unlike Joffrey, Robin doesn't seem to have any real sadistic streak. His mother has sheltered him so much that he seems to have trouble with the concept of death or what it means to other people.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: Of the Values Dissonance variety. He wears a dress (with skirt and corset) when under his mother's care, and while dresses are seen by the show's modern audience as a women's garment, in medieval times very young children of both genders wore dresses. It therefore emphasizes how his development has been stunted and he behaves like a toddler, the equivalent of wearing a baby bonnet and/or pyjamas with feet.
  • Dark Horse Victory: It's Robin who stands hale and eminent as a high lord of the Seven Kingdoms by the show's end, not Littlefinger or any of the other toxic influences who blighted his rule. Quite the turnaround for the sickly little puppet he was in the earlier seasons.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Puns aside, he is notably pale, has dark brown hair, and is a Creepy Child to boot.
  • He's All Grown Up: In Season 8, when he appears at the meeting of the lords of the Seven Kingdoms, he's grown up quite a bit in both looks and personality, being much more adjusted socially. This shows that many of his earlier issues likely weren't health related, but a direct result of Lysa's extremely overbearing presence.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: He trusts Littlefinger's assessments of who in his court is loyal. Justified as his mom was in love with Petyr and even made him an Honorary Uncle to Robin. Since the kid was coddled all his life by Lysa, it's not surprising that he'd believe her.
  • Momma's Boy: Up to and including being breastfed, despite being EIGHT YEARS OLD.
  • My Beloved Smother: See above.
  • Nice Guy: Played with. As a child, he has some violent tendencies and likes to see people "fly" (i.e., being thrown out the Moon Door). However, it quickly becomes clear that this was an influence from his mother, and he may not have fully understood that throwing people out the Moon Door would lead to their deaths. As he grows up, Robin shows that, like his uncle Edmure, Robin is not bright enough to be duplicitous and earnestly wishes to aid Sansa in her time of need. He also eagerly throws himself into weapons training despite being awful at both swordsmanship and archery.
  • Non-Action Guy: Royce describes his swordsmanship as being like "a girl with palsy."
  • No Social Skills: He's positively cheerful while asking Sansa if the events of the Red Wedding are true. He then, with equal cheer, notes that his own father was murdered by the same people as hers.
  • One-Steve Limit: The book version of Lord Arryn named his son after King Robert. The TV show changed this to "Robin" to avoid confusion.
  • Pet the Dog: When Robin hears that Sansa's in trouble, he sends his army to help her.
  • Puppet King: He's easily distracted by Petyr's gifts, making him the perfect pawn since, unlike Joffrey, Robin's kill-'em-all attitude is out of boredom instead of pleasure.
  • Royal Brat: He's used to getting what he wants. Unfortunately, what he wants is usually to "see people fly."
  • Thicker Than Water: He decides to help Sansa because she's his cousin, even though he has no obligation to.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Inverted; he's eight and is still breastfeeding (which is weird in itself). Played straight in his wanting to see people "fly" (i.e. falling through the Moon Door to their deaths).

Arryn Bannermen, Retainers and Household

    Lord Petyr Baelish a.k.a "Littlefinger" 

Lord Petyr Baelish a.k.a "Littlefinger"

Played By: Aidan Gillen

See Lord Petyr Baelish a.k.a "Littlefinger".

    Lord Yohn Royce 

Lord Yohn Royce

Played by: Rupert Vansittart

Lord of Runestone and head of House Royce, the second most powerful house in the Vale. Father of Ser Waymar Royce of the Night's Watch note .

  • 24-Hour Armor: Royce always wears a breastplate under his cloak, even during Littlefinger's interrogation, despite the fact that Baelish is unarmed and he's sitting in perhaps the least assailable castle in Westeros. In the novels, it is stated that it is a tradition among the Royces that the head of their house always wears their ancestral armor when in public.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the books, Royce is on to Baelish and knows how reality-warpingly dangerous he is. On the show, Royce is at least partially taken in by Baelish and Sansa's act. In his defense, he only gets taken in for the fairly convincing reason that the daughter of Ned Stark couldn't possibly enable a liar and conman. Also, Littlefinger's overall plan basically involves eventually turning on the Lannisters, which happens to also align with Royce's goals (in the novels, he was the Vale lord who most strongly argued that they needed to enter the war against the Lannisters). By the time Royce knows what he is up to, Baelish has already forced him to fall in line.
  • Bilingual Bonus: His cloak (and the sigil of House Royce) have ancient runes written across it, and they translate (from the Old Tongue of the First Men) into "Run before your blood runs".
  • Boisterous Bruiser: While he is yet to be seen in battle, he has the over-the-top, bombastic Hot-Blooded mannerisms down.
  • Brutal Honesty: Not one for mincing words, Royce makes his opinions of other people very clear, whether it be openly showing his disdain of Petyr Baelish or lamenting the rather miserable state that Lysa Arryn's coddling left her son Robin in.
    Littlefinger: Lord Robin may never be a great warrior...
    Royce: "Great warrior"? He swings a sword like a girl with palsy!
  • The Cassandra: Royce quickly catches on to the simple and obvious fact Littlefinger married Sansa to the Boltons, but no one believes him.
  • Composite Character: He is a composite of both Yohn Royce and his more corrupt cousin, Nestor Royce. In the books Nestor Royce conducted the inquiry on Lysa's death and was swayed by Littlefinger, while Yohn Royce remains hostile to him.
  • Cool Old Guy: While prideful and bigoted, he's also an honorable and decent man, regarded as a friend of Eddard Stark.
  • Culture Clash: He brings up Petyr's foreign descent as a black mark against him, even mocking his skill with money as "grubby" and suited to his low birth. Littlefinger merely points out that everyone has to come from somewhere, though Royce retorts that his hourse has lived in the Vale for thousands of years. From the books... 
  • Cynical Mentor: Despite training Robyn, Lord Royce has no faith that his little lord will ever improve. He's probably right.
  • Democracy Is Bad: He scoffs at Sam Tarly, for the latter has proto-democratic ideas a little too advanced for the Medieval Stasis of Westeros, when it comes to elect a new king at the very end of the show. Royce even jokes that he should ask for his horse's opinion.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In Season 6, Littlefinger threatens to have Yohn executed on false charges unless Yohn swears loyalty to Robin (but really to Littlefinger). In Season 7, Littlefinger orders Yohn to escort him back to the Vale to avoid execution after he's been utterly exposed by Sansa with solid evidence. Yohn refuses, and Arya executes Baelish.
  • Four-Star Badass: A proud military commander, and from Littlefinger's comments, he also seems to be a dangerous swordsman. He presumably led the Knights of the Vale at the Battle of the Bastards, as he is present in Winterfell after the battle.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Not done deliberately, but between him and Lady Anya Waynwood, he plays the part of the Bad Cop during the interrogation of Littlefinger and Sansa. He grills them relentlessly while Lady Waynwood remains reserved and polite.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: He knows Baelish is a treacherous snake. The only reason he trusts him at first is due to Sansa vouching for him.
  • Good Is Not Nice: A proud and honorable man, but extremely blunt and comes across as insensitive. However, he is willing to apologise when he realizes he's wronged somebody.
    Royce: [I apologize] to you as well, Baelish. We treated you most harshly.
  • Have We Met?: Sansa has to remind him that they've met before when he brought his son Waymar to the Night's Watch and stopped at Winterfell; that is, Ser Waymar from the very first episode and scene in the show.
  • Hot-Blooded: Pretty quick to anger.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his Jerk Jock tendencies and his discrimination against the Wildlings, he is a very loyal bannerman and friend. He even comforts Sansa during her stay at the Vale, and continues to show concern for her afterwards.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He's very insulting during his interrogation of Petyr Baelish and brings up his foreign descent as a point against him, but he's actually right to mistrust Petyr and is even dead-right on his role in Lysa's murder.
  • Large and in Charge: He's big and bearish in stature, and in charge of the second most powerful family in the Vale.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: In Season 7, he gleefully refuses any sort of aid to Baelish in his trial after he threatened his life in order to keep him in line, although his many crimes (like murdering Royce's liege lord and lady, betraying his friend's family and provoking a war that destroyed thousands) are sufficient reason to deny him aid.
    Littlefinger: (clearly panicking) I am Lord Protector of the Vale and I demand you escort me safely back to the Eyrie!
    Yohn Royce: (smugly) I think not!
  • Mythology Gag: In the books, Yohn Royce (and all members of House Royce) wear bronze armor infused with ancient magical runes. The show ditches the bronze armor concept, presumably because it'd look strange, but instead Yohn's cloak is full of runes.
  • Noble Bigot: Royce is extremely proud of the Vale's ancient heritage, and dislikes Baelish in part because his great-grandfather was from Braavos. He also has an intense dislike of the Free Folk, like most Westerosi.
  • Number Two: Usually seen by Sansa's side after the Battle of the Bastards, acting as the Vale representative and a confidant.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: The Vale's most distinguished military commander and a highly honorable gentleman.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: He has a few of these. He is in Winterfell after the Battle of the Bastards in command of the Knights of the Vale (having presumably led them in battle), meaning he fought in the aforementioned Battle, but we didn't see him in it. After the Battle for the Dawn in Winterfell, he's also seen among the survivors, meaning he must have butchered his way through the neverending legion of the undead alongside the likes of Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister.
  • Oh, Crap!: He is visibly terrified when Littlefinger suggests to Robin that they should execute him for being disloyal. Luckily, the two decide to spare him.
  • Old Friend: To Robert and Eddard, both of whom he befriended when they were growing up at the Eyrie. He often went hunting with Ned and fondly remembers his visit to Winterfell. The main reason he believes Sansa's story is because she's Ned Stark's daughter.
  • Old Soldier: He is noted to have a distinguished military career, having fought during Robert's Rebellion, and still goes around wearing a steel breastplate where other lords would just wear clothes.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: His son Waymar Royce joined the Night's Watch and dies in the very first scene of the series. From the books... 
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Markedly, unlike any other Vale character we've met, Yohn Royce seems to view the Vale's tradition of destroying invaders with immense pride.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Lays the verbal smackdown on Petyr during his trial, repeatedly telling him he's a grubby man only good for counting coins and licking boots.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He's a genuinely honorable man and treats Sansa with respect when she reveals who she is.
  • Secret-Keeper: Sansa discloses her true identity to him.
  • Sole Survivor: Yohn's likely the last main member of Robert Baratheon's inner circle during Robert's Rebellion who's still alive.
  • Undying Loyalty: To House Arryn. Despite the house's sorry shape (and the fact that, as a result of their comparative weakness, he is probably the most powerful lord in the Vale), Royce never once expresses any desire to usurp the Vale for himself, though he does agree with Baelish that some drastic changes need to be made in Robin's upbringing.
  • Unwitting Pawn: He plays right into Littlefinger's (and Sansa's, for that matter) hands.

    Lady Anya Waynwood 

Lady Anya Waynwood

Played by: Paola Dionisotti

Lady of Ironoaks and head of House Waynwood, one of the most powerful houses in the Vale.

  • Cool Old Lady: Is very nice and positively maternal to Sansa.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Not done deliberately, but between her and Yohn Royce; she plays the part of the Good Cop during the interrogation of Littlefinger and Sansa, remaining reserved and polite (with a hint of steel) while Royce relentlessly grills them.
  • Iron Lady: She's an old grandmother who is powerful and influential enough to discuss the Vale's future role in the war on equal footing with the Vale's rulers.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Takes offence when Yohn Royce begins speaking of how the deceased Lysa Arryn was clearly insane, due to how she breastfed her son at the age of 10. He quickly apologizes in return.
  • Secret-Keeper: Sansa discloses her true identity to her.
  • Unwitting Pawn: She plays right into Littlefinger's (and Sansa's, for that matter) hands.

    Ser Vardis Egen 

Ser Vardis Egen

Played By: Brendan McCormack

A knight in service to House Arryn. He serves as Captain of the Guards at the Eyrie.

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the books, Ser Vardis is older and stockier than his TV counterpart, more similar to the second knight who offers to be Lord Robin's champion.
  • Armor Is Useless: Despite being clad head to toe in heavy plate armor while his opponent Bronn wears none, he is still outmatched and killed, mostly by being tired out and cut through the exposed parts.
  • The Captain: The Eyrie's Captain of the Guards.
  • The Champion: Serves as Lysa Arryn's during Tyrion's Trial by Combat, fighting against his champion Bronn.
  • Composite Character: Takes some characteristics of Ser Donnel Waynwood (mostly his age) and Ser Brynden Tully, who welcomes Catelyn and her party to the Mountains of the Moon and escorts her to the Eyrie.
  • The Dragon: Serves as Lysa Arryn's lead enforcer, though he can hardly be called a villain himself.
  • Duel to the Death: Fights against Bronn in a duel when Bronn volunteers to be Tyrion's champion during a Trial by Combat. Bronn wins and throws Ser Vardis' corpse out the Moon Door.
  • Honor Before Reason: He is a valiant knight, using the traditional ways of combat with heavy armor and a shield, and attacks his opponent head-on. Unfortunately, Bronn doesn't shy away from fighting dirty and evades him for most of the fight, tiring him out until he's in a vulnerable position.
    Lysa: You do not fight with honor!
    Bronn: No. [nods at the Moon Door which Ser Vardis fell down] He did.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Vardis is a devoted champion and honorable knight, initially refusing to fight Tyrion in the Trial by Combat because it would quite rightly be shameful to slay such an outmatched opponent and call it justice.
  • Knightly Sword and Shield: Ser Vardis is a traditional and honorable knight in full plate who fights with a sword and kite shield. In contrast, his opponent Bronn wears no armor and explicitly refuses a shield for the trial, a rejection of the knightly values.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Wields a huge kite shield for his duel with Bronn. Unfortunately it does him more harm than good, as the huge size of the shield plays a big part in slowing him down and tiring him out.

    Ser Hugh 

Ser Hugh

Played By: Jefferson Hall

Also known as "Ser Hugh of the Vale". A young knight and the former squire of the late Jon Arryn.

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the books he's described as having rough-hewn features and explicitly not being handsome, which is not completely the case in the show.
  • Blood from the Mouth: He dies choking in his own blood thanks to the Mountain.
  • He Knows Too Much: It's initially implied that he had something to do with Jon Arryn's death and the other conspirator(s) silenced him by making sure he would be pitted against Ser Gregor. Except, as it turns out, he had no role in Jon Arryn's death or the truth about Robert's children. Lysa poisoned Jon Arryn on Littlefinger's instruction and Hugh really did just die because of bad luck in being matched against the Mountain.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: Gets a lance in the throat from Ser Gregor Clegane.
  • Jerkass: Refuses to talk to Jory because the latter isn't a knight.
  • Promoted to Scapegoat: He's knighted almost immediately after Jon Arryn's death, even though its clear he's neither ready or deserving of knighthood. This puts him one step closer to Gregor Clegane's lance, which gets rid of one potential lead to the mystery of Jon Arryn's death.
  • Red Herring: Set up as one by Littlefinger for Ned Stark's investigation of Jon Arryn's death. He actually had nothing to do with any major events in the show's plot, and legitimately seems to have died due to chance and Gregor's pointless cruelty.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Killed to show how much of a monster Ser Gregor Clegane actually is.
  • Smug Snake: Depiste lacking any kind of skill as a knight, Hugh is very assured of his own importance. He haughtily looks down on Jory for not being a knight while blindly walking toward his own demise.
  • The Squire: Served as Jon Arryn's squire and was knighted after his death.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Receives little to no characterisation beyond 'dick-weasel', before Gregor's lance finds his neck.



Played By: Ciaran Birmingham

The jailor in charge of the sky cells in the Eyrie.

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: His book counterpart had rotten brown teeth and an even bigger, uglier facial scar that left him missing one ear and part of his cheek.
  • Baddie Flattery: Tyrion cajoles him, not believing himself for a second. Mord is grudgingly called a smart man.
  • Bald of Evil: As bald as he is aggressive, which is very.
  • Brick Joke: Tyrion promises to pay him if he delivers a message to Lysa Arryn, requesting a trial by combat. After Tyrion wins his freedom with help from Bronn, we see him retrieve his coinpurse and then casually chuck it to Mord as he leaves.
  • Dumb Muscle: Stupid to the point of not understanding riches, but big enough to do his simple job.
  • Fat Bastard: Part of what contributes to his Dumb Muscle status is his size.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Mord has a huge, ugly scar on his head. If the wound that created it gave Mord brain damage, it would make a lot of sense.
  • Hulk Speak: Mord speaks mostly in exclamation marks.
  • Large Ham: He always speaks in a very Hot-Blooded manner.
  • Precision F-Strike: When Tyrion first tries to bribe him.
    Mord: No gold!
    Tyrion: Well, I don't have it here!
    Mord: NO GOLD! Fuck off!
  • Too Dumb to Fool: He's almost functionally incorruptible, since he's very nearly too stupid to be bribed, though Tyrion does eventually manage to bribe him enough to give a message to Lysa Arryn.

    Ser Donnel Waynwood 

Ser Donnel Waynwood

Played by: Alisdair Simpson

The second son of Lady Anya, serves as Knight of the Gate, the guardian of the Bloody Gate, which blocks the mountain road into the Vale.

  • Bearer of Bad News: When Arya Stark arrives at the Bloody Gate with Sandor Clegane, he gives them the news that her aunt Lysa is dead, botching Sandor's plans to ransom Arya at the Eyrie. Arya's response? Laughing her ass off.
  • The Captain: As the Knight of the Gate, he's in charge of all the soldiers protecting the Bloody Gate.
  • Catchphrase: "Who would pass the Bloody Gate?" is the customary phrase given by every Knight of the Gate to anybody that would want to pass through it.
  • Demoted to Extra: While still a minor character in the books, his role in the first book (Leading the sortie that saves Catelyn and the others from further mountain clan ambushes and escorting them to Eyrie) is given to Ser Vardis Egen instead. He finally shows up in Season 4 as the Knight of the Gate.
  • Gate Guardian: He is responsible for defending the Bloody Gate, and thus all of the Vale.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The Bloody Gate sounds like quite the inviting name, right?

    Ser Vance Corbray 

Ser Vance Corbray

Played by: Richard Doubleday

"Your secret is safe with us, my lady."

A knight of House Corbray, a noble family of the Vale seated at Heart's Home.

  • Adaptational Heroism: His closest counterpart in the books, Lyn Corbray, works as a Littlefinger agent, is an unrepentant Jerkass at best, and has some...unsavoury qualities that appear to be absent from Vance.
  • Canon Foreigner: In the books, we have the brothers Lyonel and Lyn Corbray. Vance is a show-only character.
  • The Quiet One: He's mostly silent during Littlefinger's hearing and only speaks when he promises to keep Sansa's identity a secret.
  • Secret-Keeper: He promises that Sansa's true identity will be a guarded secret.
  • Spear Carrier: He has only one line of dialogue during the hearing and is not present afterwards when Littlefinger discusses the Vale's future role in the war with the other nobles.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Like the other two Vale aristocrats, he is suckered by Littlefinger's (and Sansa's) ruse.

Hill Tribes of the Vale

Mountain tribes of the Vale that descend from the First Men and do not accept the rule of House Arryn. They live up in the Mountains of the Moon which ring the borders of the Vale of Arryn, and do not acknowledge the rule of the Arryns or other noble Houses.

They are distantly related to the "Free Folk" who live beyond the Wall, as both groups are separated holdouts of the ancient First Men, and occasionally also get called "wildlings" — because in Westeros, "wildling" is a generic term for "savage" or "barbarian".

    In General 
  • Barbarian Tribe: They live outside the feudal society of the Seven Kingdoms, subsist by raiding villages or robbing groups of travelers on the road, and are regarded as savages by most other Westerosi.
  • Gender Is No Object: Like the wildlings beyond the Wall, their women are warriors as much as their men, and they can have female clan chieftains.
  • Hidden Depths: While they're generally seen as utter savages by the people of the Seven Kingdoms due to their war-like and primitive culture, the hill tribes do value and use currency, and are known to solve conflicts with payment of blood money. They are also much more egalitarian than mainstream Westerosi society in regards to gender roles.
  • I Am X, Son of Y: How they introduce themselves. Tyrion picks up on this and likewise introduces himself as "Tyrion, son of Tywin."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After being armed with Lannister steel and pointed at their ancestral enemies in the Vale, they promptly disappeared. They even seem to have stopped their raiding on the roads from the first season, since several characters travel that area alone completely unmolested.

    Shagga, Son of Dolf 

Shagga, Son of Dolf
"When you meet your gods, you tell them that Shagga, Son of Dolf, of the Stone Crows sent you."

Played By: Mark Lewis Jones

Chieftain of the Stone Crows and ally to Tyrion.

  • Badass Boast: See the above.
  • Beard of Barbarism: Bonus points for being an actual barbarian.
  • Beard of Evil: He might be Tyrion's ally, but he's still a murderous savage.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Violent, aggressive and with the fists to back it up.
  • The Brute: For Tyrion.
  • Catchphrase: Apparently, threatening to cut off someone's manhood and feed it to the goats is his, if the way Tyrion finishes it for him is any indication.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: He's nowhere to be seen in Season 2. One memorable act of his from the second book is done by Bronn and Timett instead.
  • Composite Character: There are about five Tribesmen in the books who interact with Tyrion (and one of them is actually Shagga's boss), they're all collapsed into Shagga, Son of Dolf in the show.
  • Dual Wielding: Shagga really likes axes. Lines that didn't survive the book-to-television transition:
    Lord Lefford: He still had that woodaxe strapped to his back.
    Tyrion: Shagga is of the opinion that three axes are better than two.
  • Horny Vikings: His helmet and general appearance are reminiscent of theirs.
  • I Am X, Son of Y: It's how he introduces himself, every single time.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: According to Tywin, the Hill Tribes are renowned as great warriors. A bit of that was Tywin buttering him up, but from the novels, while they're not exactly the most refined or "skilled" warriors, they are vicious sons of bitches.
  • Put on a Bus: At the end of Season 2, the Hill Tribes are compensated by Tywin and dismissed. He hasn't been seen since.
  • Third-Person Person: Shagga, Son of Dolf does this a few times, just in case you'd forgotten his name.

    Timett, Son of Timett 

Timett, Son of Timett

Played By: Tobias Winter

Red Hand of the Burned Men and ally to Tyrion.

  • Adaptational Wimp: While Timmett can be assumed to be a good fighter in the show, he's visually almost indistinguishable from the others tribesmen and never fights onscreen. In the books Timmett is still a teenager, put out his own eye with a red-hot knife (presumably the show's Timmett lost his eye the same way, but it's not explained), leaps right off his horse and comes up ready to fight when it's shot from under him in Tyrion's first battle, and tears out a man's throat with the fingers of one hand.
  • Ascended Extra: In Season 1, he wasn't even credited. He has a slightly more prominent role in Season 2.
  • Beard of Barbarism: He has one, being a barbarian and all.
  • The Brute: Depending on how you look at it. He and his are helping out resident Jerk with a Heart of Gold Tyrion Lannister.
  • Comically Missing the Point: "There are no goats, Half-man!"
  • Composite Character: In the books, while Timett is also present, it is Shagga the one who Tyrion tells to "cut off [Pycelle's] manhood and feed it to the goats."
  • Dumb Muscle: Timett is an uneducated savage, but he's a capable fighter.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: One of his eyes is completely burned. From the books... 
  • Guttural Growler: This was probably to be expected.
  • Put on a Bus: At the end of Season 2, the Hill Tribes are compensated by Tywin and dismissed. He hasn't been seen since.

    Chella, Daughter of Cheyk 

Chella, Daughter of Cheyk

Played By: Natalia Lee

Chieftain of the Black Ears and ally to Tyrion.

  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Like Shagga in Season 2.
  • Creator Cameo: Played by Natalia Lee, who is actually one of the armorers & weaponsmiths on the show (she's remarked that she's "the only female armorer in the world").
  • Creepy Souvenir: Notice something weird over her clothes? Look closer... it's the ears of the men she's defeated in combat. We can see her taking another pair in "Baelor".
  • Dark Action Girl: Of the Mountain Tribe leaders that ally with Tyrion.