House Arryn of the Eyrie is one of great houses of Westeros, and is the principal noble house in the Vale. Their main seat is the Eyrie, but they have many other holdings, including their winter castle at the Gates of the Moon. Both of these fortifications sit astride the Giant's Lance, the tallest mountain in the Vale, and the Eyrie is considered impregnable. Their sigil is a white moon-and-falcon on a sky-blue field, and their words are "As High as Honor".
Seat: The Eyrie
The Eyrie is the ancient seat of House Arryn, one of the oldest lines of Andal nobility. It is situated in the Mountains of the Moon astride the peak known as the Giant's Lance, several thousand feet above the valley floor below. It's considered impregnable to attack. During winter years, the Arryns seek refuge against the cold at the base of the mountain in the Gates of the Moon.
It is said a dozen armies dashed themselves against the Bloody Gate in the Age of Heroes. Legends claim that the Winged Knight, Ser Artys Arryn, drove the First Men from the Vale and flew to the top of the Giant's Lance on a huge falcon to slay the Griffin King. There are hundreds of stories about his adventures. The Eyrie was built as a summer pleasure palace for the Kings of Mountain and Vale.
Eddard Stark and Lord Robert Baratheon were fostered at the Eyrie by Lord Jon Arryn. When King Aerys II called for the boys to be sent to King's Landing, Lord Arryn refused and raised his banners in revolt, thus beginning what would become Robert's Rebellion. After winning the war, Arryn was named King Robert's Hand. In his absence, the Eyrie was ruled by Nestor Royce, acting as High Steward of the Vale.
The Eyrie is the smallest of the great castles, consisting only of a cluster of seven slim, white towers bunched tightly together. They can hold up to five hundred men. The castle is made of fine white stone.The towers encircle a garden, which had been meant as a godswood, but no weirwood tree would take root in the stony soil. The barracks and stables are carved directly into the mountain. Though it is a small castle, the granary is as large as those found in much larger castles, like Winterfell.
Prior to the First Era
The Arryn line dates back to the old Andal peoples that invaded Westeros. Usually marrying other Andal nobles, House Arryn to this day has the purest line of Andal nobility. The Arryns reigned as Kings of Mountain and Vale until the invasion of Westeros by Aegon the Conquerer. Since then they have served as Lord Paramounts of The Vale and have held the title Warden of The East since then as well. House Arryn's ruler during this time was Rumar Arryn, who fathered four children (James, Nathaniel, Dake, and Elyssa) with his wife Alyane. His heir James was an amiable and strong young man who was popular with smallfolk and lords alike. The children were quite close growing up and all were wild and fun-loving, though sadness struck when Dake was temporarily crippled by illness at age 15. James ascended to Lordship of the Eyrie and was appointed Warden of the East at age 29 upon Rumar's death, and ruled the Vale well for many years. James had a happy marriage with Lyanna Stark. His eldest brother Nathaniel was appointed Master of Arms of the Vale and ruled alongside his brother, gaining a reputation as a brilliant military commander and for dispensing harsh justice to lawbreakers. The Vale would prosper during their years as rulers.
The First Era
Tragedy struck the House when its ruler, James, died while attending the Tourney at Harrenhal with his wife and infant son. James had been poisoned by Lord Emmon Baelish at the urging of Rymar Royce. Master of Whisperers to the King, though this was unknown to the Arryns at the time. Lyanna returned to the Vale grief stricken and gave birth to James' son Theon later that year. Nathaniel took up duties as Lord Regent to his infant nephew and ruled as Lord Paramount during the instigation of war later that year. House Arryn initially remained neutral during the outbreak of fighting and took steps to protect its borders from invasion after the shocking sack of King's Landing. Though Loren Lannister initially bestowed the title of Warden of The East onto Aemon Estermont, the move was reversed when House Arryn and the Vale lords officially declared for the Lannisters around the time of the Battle of Stonehelm, being the first of the other Great Houses to do so. Nathaniel would later hold a command of the royal forces during the battle of the Kingswood and earned a Small Council chair as Master of Laws once the war had winded down. His younger brother Dake was named Castellan of the Eyrie in his stead.
Nathaniel Arryn returned to the Eyrie from King's Landing to preside over the the trial of Emmon Baelish for his crimes against House Arryn at the Tourney at Harrenhal the year prior. Nathaniel had Emmon thrown through the Moon Door. Following the trial, the Arryns hosted the Tournament of the Vale on the valley floor below the Eyrie.
Nathaniel returned to King's Landing and soon his wife gave birth to their daughter, Shiera Arryn. Following the death of Lorren Lannister, Nathaniel Arryn was named the new Hand of the King. The Tournament of the Hand was held in his honor.
In an attempt to protect his family from the treat of the enraged Queen Danae and her dragon, Nathaniel sent his wife and daughter away from King's Landing and back to the Eyrie. During the War of the False King, King Damon Lannister informed Nathaniel that, should he die, he had the intention to name Nathaniel his heir.
Following the war and the beginning of the diarchy, Nathaniel became the Hand of the Crown. Battling with her depression at the Eyrie, Alyce Arryn threw herself from the Moon Door and led to Nathaniel preforming his duties to the realm poorly, saddened by his wife's suicide. Queen Danae ordered he be removed from the office as a result, and so he returned to the Eyrie to rule as regent for his nephew.
A dual wedding was held for the younger Arryn siblings. Dake Arryn was married to his long-time love interest Lysa Waynwood while Elyssa Arryn was forced to fufill her long betrothal to Lord Ronnel Royce. Nathaniel ordered the Bronze Gauntlet campaigns led by Ronnel to come to an end and at the wedding, Elyssa embarrassed her elder brother by revealing to all the guests she was not a maiden.
Nathaniel restarted the Brotherhood of Winged Knights.
The Arryns moved to the Gates of the Moon for the Winter.