House Lannister of Casterly Rock is one of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms, and the principal house of the Westerlands. Their seat is Casterly Rock, though another branch exists that is based in nearby Lannisport. Their sigil is a golden lion on a field of crimson. Their official motto is "Hear me roar!" However their unofficial motto, equally well known, is "A Lannister always pays his debts." The Lannisters reigned as Kings of the Rock until they fell to the Targaryen conquest, but were allowed to remain the liege lords of the Westerlands. The Lannisters are the richest family in the Seven Kingdoms, due in large part to the many gold mines under their control, despite by no means being the largest kingdom and being rather mountainous. Members of the family tend to have golden hair and emerald green eyes.
With their victory over the Baratheons at the end of the first era, House Lannister recently established a second cadet branch, House Lannister of King's Landing, with Damon Lannister as the first of the third dynasty on the Iron Throne.
Seat: Casterly Rock
Casterly Rock, nicknamed the Rock, is a fortress and the seat of House Lannister. The capital of the Westerlands, it overlooks the harbor of Lannisport and the Sunset Sea.The fortress is carved out of a great stone hill and its natural defenses are further enhanced with walls and other structures. It is tunneled through with halls and chambers, with a huge keep at its peak. Gold-producing mines are possibly still productive in the hill.
Three key rooms within the Rock are the Golden Gallery, the Lion's Mouth and the Hall of Heroes, where the Lannisters and their close kin who have died valiantly are interred. From below the Rock thunder can be heard, where the sea comes in. There is a place called the Stone Garden within the castle; it contains a weirwood a tenth the size of Raventree Hall's.
The Rock has never fallen. Legend says that Casterly Rock is named for the family that ruled it in the Age of Heroes, the Casterlys, who no longer exist. The Lannisters trace their rule over it back to Lann the Clever, who tricked the Casterlys out of their castle and claimed it for his own. After Harrenhal, the Rock is most likely the second-largest castle in the realm.
Prior to the First Era
After the War of Five Kings, the Lannister line continued under Daven Lannister.
Lord Gerion Lannister ruled the Westerlands during the final years of the Baratheon dynasty. Married to Lady Rhya Frey (perpetuating the close bonds between the two houses), Gerion fathered two sons, Tyrius and Loren as well as a daughter named Jeyne. Both brothers were especially close during their youth despite their mutually competitive natures and Loren's own feelings of inadequacy. They learned the intricacies of warfare and ruling beside each other until their father's death and Tyrius' ascension to Lord of Casterly Rock. Tyrius' tenure lasted only a few years before the realm was called to war by the Baratheons to quell the second Greyjoy Rebellion. Despite Loren's counsel not to become involved, Tyrius fought alongside King Renly Baratheon during the final battles of the war, including the final battle on Pyke. It was during this final fight that Tyrius received a severe axe wound to the arm, bleeding out in a matter of minutes. Now lord of Casterly Rock himself, Loren developed a deep grudge against the Baratheons who had called the Lannisters to war, blaming them for Tyrius' death.
Soon after the rebellion was crushed, Loren took Gwynesse Greyjoy, an iron born lady and sister of the Greyjoy lord who had led the rebellion, as his wife. Many saw this strange match as being an either act of spite against the Baratheons (who mutually loathed the Greyjoys) or as a clever political move to gain the power of the Greyjoys for an alliance between the houses to harass the royal line. Loren continuously stated that the marriage was one of love even years after the fact. The new king Harys disapproved of the match but could offer no reasonable objection, and subsequently named Loren Warden of the West. His sister Jeyne herself became married to Lord Aemon Estermont of Greenstone and the couple had six children together.
By all accounts, Loren's marriage to Gwynesse was happy, despite claims that Gwynesse did not enjoy living at the Rock. Loren fathered two sons with Gwynesse, Damon and Thaddius. Gwynesse would tragically die while giving birth to their third child Ashara. Loren was saddened by her death and would fondly remember her the rest of his days.
His relationship with his children was complicated, given Loren's expectations for each of them and his own hard parenting lessons. While he worked to make Damon ready to inherit the Rock, his eldest continually disappointed him with his numerous vices (being a noticeably promiscuous drunk) and would scold him at every opportunity, making the two distant. Damon instead became close with his uncle by marriage Randyll Frey, looking to him as a father figure. Loren took much greater pride in his second son Thaddius, giving a rare smile when his skilled son was appointed to the prestigious Kingsguard at a young age. It is unknown exactly what his relationship with Ashara is like, given that her birth caused his wife's death, though Ashara looks up to him as her greatest role model regardless.
Holding court in King's Landing with the king, Damon debated with the attendant lords over the accusations that his cousin Aeron Greyjoy had been raiding the Riverlands. Damon later took council with his uncle Randyll to discuss the iron born and his worries that the ambitious Lord Durran Harlaw would do something stupid.
Damon and Thaddius both participated in the Tourney at Harrenhal, where tensions were flamed between Damon and Lord Edmure Stark of Winterfell. Getting Edmure drunk the night before, Damon watched as Edmure accidentally shot and killed a Lannister squire after missing his target in the archery. Edmure angrily blamed Damon, and the two nearly came to blood before angrily stalking off. In the midst of this tension, Thaddius had an unexpected romantic encounter with Edmure's younger brother Jojen, leading both to develop romantic feelings for the other and part after agreeing to keep the secret absolute.
Seeds of Rebellion - While his sons were attending the Tourney at Harrenhal along with most of the realm, Loren travelled to the island of Bloodstone with Ashara in tow. Taking part in the secret council called by Varyo Velaryon of the Golden Company, the attendant lords (including Loren and Gylen Hightower) listened to Varyo's proposition to displace the Baratheons and place his claimant Aerion Blackfyre on the Iron Throne. Loren was the most notable lord in attendance to declare his support for Aerion. During the same council, Loren conspired with Varyo away from the other lords to assassinate Aerion after winning the rebellion and place his own son Damon on the throne.
Returning with Ashara to the Rock with Aerion in secret, Loren sent a raven recalling Damon to home while also inviting the head of the disgraced House Targaryen Aeslyn to attend a gathering of his banner men. Ashara was hastily wed to Aerion to secure Westerlands support for his claim and Loren was appointed his Hand of the King for when he took the throne. Returning home, Damon was surprised to learn he was to wed Aeslyn Targaryen within the hour, but could not protest as the ceremony took place and he consummated the marriage that night. The next morning, Loren informed Damon that he would lead the Lannister forces to take Kings Landing for Aerion while King Harys had most of his army occupied in Oldtown searching for his bride-to-be Maude Tyrell. Damon took command of the large army and began the march to the capital.
While the Lannisters began their trek, Thaddius accompanied his king and other Kingsguard when Harys marched on Oldtown after his love Maude's abduction, suspecting lord Gylen Hightower of the act. Arriving in the city with Lord Baelor Tyrell's heir and Maude's brother Troy, Thaddius witnessed the subsequent meeting between them and Lord Hightower. Finding no evidence of Maude being there and angered by Troy's breaking of guest right during the meeting and getting them thrown out, Harys ordered Thaddius to escort Troy and his siblings Benjen and Mellara back to Highgarden.
The New King - Marching on the lion's Gate of King's Landing, Damon's forces were let into the city thanks to the actions of Lord Aemon Estermont's men in opening the lightly guarded gate, while Robert Manderly led forces of the Golden Company through the Mud Gate. The subsequent sack led to an enormous slaughter of the city's residents with many others taken captive. Damon killed the king's brother Joseph Baratheon in single combat while the king's son and heir [[Rickon Baratheon was taken hostage. Declaring victory for his forces, Damon made for the Red Keep to anoint Aerion a king. He was stunned to find Aerion dead at the foot of the throne and his killer, Varyo, thrown in the black cells.
When his father arrived in the capital to take his place as Hand, Damon was informed of Varyo's and his father's true intentions: to crown Damon king, claimed by right of conquest and by virtue of his marriage into the Targaryen bloodline. Despite his intense reservations on the matter, Damon's coronation went ahead, and the lords of the small council, the Crownlands, and the Westerlands swore fealty to him as the new king of Westeros.
War of the Usurper - Damon did not initially take to his newfound role easily and ignored his wife constantly to focus on securing the Lannisters' power. Meanwhile, Thaddius returned to King's Landing with his Tyrells in tow, having taken them captive to offer them as hostages to King Aerion. Stunned at the developments in the city, Thaddius was appointed as the new Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.
Taking personal command of the forces assembled by lord Orys Connington in the Stormlands, Damon led the Lannisters and the allies to victory against the attempted rebellion led by Ser Ulrich Dayne and his brother Martyn. The victory at Stonehelm led to the Lannisters securing the support of the Starks, Arryns, river lords, and the rebellious storm lords.
Some months after the Sack of King's Landing and soon after the sack of Highgarden by Lord Hightower, Damon, Thaddius and Jojen Stark led the Lannister forces against the last loyalist force headed by King Harys and Baelor Tyrell outside the Kingswood in the war's final battle. Damon slew Harys in single combat, earning the nickname "Stagslayer", ending the war of the Ascent of the Lion with a Lannister victory and marking the end of the first era with the first day of spring.
The Lannisters worked to secure their newfound power and end pretensions of the ambitious lords who would use the new power order to ascend themselves. Ashara Lannister was wed to Lord Gylen Hightower's heir Gerold in order to secure the loyalty of the new overlords of the Reach. King Damon travelled to Dorne in person to secure the fealty of Dorne, so far undeclared for either side. Damon earned Princess Sarella Martell's support by offering to release her betrothed Martyn Dayne and Ser Ulrich Dayne, Sarella's secret paramour, from their imprisonment in the capital, while also offering Rickon Baratheon as a ward. Damon subsequently attended the wedding of Sarella to Martyn before returning to King's Landing.
Aemon Estermont was given the title Warden of the West to hold with his Lannister wife until the birth of Damon's second son.
“Lannisters have no friends. For all the talk of wit and charm, the Lions have always been far better at sowing seeds of enmity than they have been at nurturing alliances. - Danae Targaryen
"We Lannisters aren't famed for our honor." - Damon Lannister
"I made a choice back on Bloodstone to join Varyo in his plot to put the Two-Minute-King on the Throne. Do you know why? I joined because your Father joined. I put my trust in the Lannisters." - Gylen Hightower to Damon Lannister
Loren Lannister (deceased)
Belandra Lannister (deceased)
Gerion Lannister (deceased)
Gwynesse Lannister (deceased)
Rhya Lannister (deceased)
Tyrius Lannister (deceased)