House Tyrell of Highgarden is one of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms, overlords over the Reach. A large, wealthy house, its wealth is only surpassed among the Great Houses by House Lannister, and the Tyrells can field the greatest armies. Additionally, if they call the fleets of their bannermen the Redwynes, the lords of the Shield Islands, and the coastal lords, they can command a navy that equals if not surpasses the royal fleet.
Highgarden is a castle which serves as the seat of House Tyrell, the regional capital of the Reach, and the heart of chivalry in the Seven Kingdoms. It lies on the Mander and is where the Ocean Road meets the Roseroad, making it an important crossroads.Highgarden is surrounded by three rings of white stone whose walls increase in height. Between the outer and middle walls is a famous briar labyrinth which serves to entertain as well as slow invaders.
The oldest towers, squat and square, from the Age of Heroes. Newer towers are tall and slender, round fortifications dating from after the Andal Invasion.
Also within Highgarden's walls are groves, fountains, and courtyards. The sept is matched only by the Great Sept of Baelor and the Starry Sept. The castle's godswood contains three weir woods known as the Three Singers. The palatial keep is decorated with statues and colonnades. The castle's structures are covered in ivy, grapes, and climbing roses.
Highgarden is filled with flowers, singers, pipers, fiddlers and harpers. The stables have a fine selection of horseflesh, and there are pleasure boats to sail along the Mander. There are fields of golden roses that stretch as far as the eye can see. Fruits grown nearby include melons, peaches, and fireplums.
Prior to the First Era
House Tyrell has shared an exceptionally close relationship with the royal House Baratheon since the time of King Davos Baratheon, who restored the Faith of the Seven to Westeros after several years of domination by the religion of R'hllor. While several of the major and minor houses did not take sides in the bloody conflict, House Tyrell was the first to stand alongside the Baratheons and won the war almost by the strength of their two armies alone. House Tyrell has enjoyed royal favour ever since.
Prior to the first era, the house came under the rule of Luthor Tyrell, whose skill at ruling was middling at best. He fathered two sons, one of whom, Baelor, would grow up to be a worthy successor to the Reach. The two boys were close friends with King Renly's two sons Harys and Joseph. Baelor would be a lifelong friend of the future King Harys and one of his staunchest allies.
Aged 19, Baelor was wed to Alysanne Redwyne who bore him six children over the course of their marriage. She first gave birth to twins, Troy and Olyvar. Troy was trained to be his father's heir while Olyvar was encouraged to become a maester from an early age to avoid any succession squabbles. Lord Luthor lived just long enough to see the birth of Baelor's first daughter and third child, Maude, before passing away and Baelor taking up the mantle of Lord Paramount. He and Alysanne would later have three more children over the coming years, before Alysanne's sad passing; Meredyth, Benjen, and Mellara. Baelor also fathered a bastard, Aurane Flowers, who he acknowledged.
Baelor's successful rule due to his shrewd business dealings with various houses and the Free Cities brought an economic boom to the Reach, and he was a popular ruler among his banner men. A staunch supporter of the Baratheons and a skilled warrior himself, Baelor would command royal forces alongside his close friend King Harys to combat the rebellious House Bolton and later the iron born. He also rooted out treasonous lords who were plotting against the throne and saw that the King's Justice was done before a rebellion even started.
The Tyrells carried a significant court presence in King's Landing, with Baelor a close advisor to the king. His two daughters Maude and Mellara were raised as ladies in the capital and were the subject of many suitors (though gossip persisted that Maude and her brother Troy were involved in an incestuous relationship). Baelor's second daughter Meredyth was raised from the age of eleven by House Tarly of Horn Hill, where she grew to practically rule the House and was probably expected to wed the house's future lord. His son, Olyvar, grew up to earn his maester's chain and was assigned to his family's court in Highgarden, where he served loyally and excellently.
At the start of the first era, Lord Baelor attended a great feast in King's Landing with his daughters to celebrate the start of the new year along with his king. At this time, Harys had become enamoured with Baelor's daughter Maude and began to court her as his new bride, increasing tensions with House Martell and their Dornish bannermen who saw his choice as an insult (as his first wife was the now deceased Gianna of Dorne, sister of the ruling Prince Aryyn. Several weeks later, Maude mysteriously disappeared from her apartments in the Red Keep, and the castle was thrown into chaos with the search. An enraged Lord Baelor was certain that Lord Gylen Hightower was responsible, perpetuating the feud between their two houses, and most of the members of court agreed. A slighted Harys called for all of his forces to march on Oldtown and retrieve Maude at the insistence of his mater of whispers, despite no concrete evidence Maude was even in Oldtown. Baelor marched alongside his king, bringing Mellara with him, and being joined by Troy and Benjen on the road.
Troy Tyrell accompanied the King into the city to speak with Lord Gylen Hightower, adnt hey discovered that he had purchased the Golden Company, angering Harys, though they could find no evidence of wrongdoing or of Maude's presence. A frustrated Troy broke guest right during the meeting by laying hands on the lord and throwing him against a wall, forcing the party to leave the city at Hightower's demand. Harys, infuriated with Troy's interference that prevented them from finding Maude, ordered his Kingsguard knight Thaddius Lannister to escort Troy and his siblings back to Highgarden to prevent further screwups.
Soon after, both Harys and Baelor were stunned to learn that the capital had been sacked while their forces were in the south, and that a Lannister now sat the Iron Throne. Harys immediately turned his forces back from Oldtown to march on King's Landing and reclaim his seat while marshalling the Tyrell banners along the way. Baelor stood by the Baratheons despite the danger that Maude was in as a captive, and the danger that three of his other children were being escorted by a Lannister knight. Marching back to Highgarden to marshal his levies, they were swiftly followed by the forces of Gylen Hightower.
On the road back to Highgarden, Thaddius betrayed his king, taking his captives hostage to offer to King Aerion in King's Landing. For amusement, he forced Troy and Benjen to fight each other to the death, and Troy sorrowfully beheaded his brother as Mellara looked on in horror. Taking Troy and Mellara in chains with Benjen's head in a sack on Troy's lap to torment him, Thaddius marched them to King's Landing.
After Baelor had called his banners and began marching with the Baratheon forces back up the rose road, Gylen swiftly arrived after they left and promptly sacked Highgarden with the aid of Golden Company forces disguised as Tyrell forces. The castle was torn apart stone by stone and nearly burned to the ground in the sack, and most of the populace put to the sword. Maester Olyvar was spared, though, and following the vows of his order served the new lord of Highgarden Robert Manderly despite his horror at the destruction engulfing his home and House.
With Troy and Mellara now captives in King's Landing along with Maude, who had been returned to the city under guard, Baelor arrived with the Baratheon army some time after his keep had been sacked. Fighting alongside the last loyalist force in the battle of the Kingswood, King Harys was slain by the usurper Damon Lannister while Baelor was among those taken captive. The defeat in the Kingswood brought an end to the war and signalled the coming end of the Tyrell family.
After the war's end, the captive Baelor and his heir Troy were executed by the king's justice, effectively bringing the male line of House Tyrell to extinction. Maude was forcefully betrothed to Robert Manderly to secure his claim as the newly appointed Lord of Highgarden, though she committed suicide soon after while still a captive in the Red Keep. Meredyth, kept out of danger from the war while at Horn Hill, was escorted back to Highgarden and wed to Manderly in her sister's place, while Mellara was kept as Robert's ward in the same castle. Maester Olyvar continued to serve the man who helped devastate his family but assisted his sisters in surviving the next few years.
Meredyth Tyrell, with the assistance of her maester brother, Olyvar, poisoned Robert Manderly, regaining her family's seat for herself as his widow, and ridding the castle of a man partially responsible for her family's destruction. Under the suspicion fowl play was involved with Robert's death, Lord Paramount Gylen Hightower sent his son and heir, Gerold to retrieve the youngest Tyrell sibling as a ward and hostage. Mellara was taken by Gerold to the High Tower.
Mellara Tyrell was brutally murdered at the command of Gylen Hightower during the War of the False King. Olyvar Tyrell became the head of House Tyrell after King Damon Lannister removed his chain at his behest in return for saving Queen Danae Targaryen's life on their way back to King's Landing from Oldtown.
Olyvar Tyrell married Melessa Merryweather, a daughter of the Lord of Longtable, solidifying the alliance between his House and House Merryweather who had remained Tyrell loyalists since the Ascent of the Lion. Meredyth moved to King's Landing and took up a position as Queen Danae's handmaiden; she and another companion, Joanna Plumm, did not get along whilst together in the Red Keep.
Highgarden saw a completion of the years-long reconstruction effort following the two wars back to back. During this time, Melessa became pregnant and later gave birth to Olyvar's first child, Elyana Tyrell.
Lord and Lady Tyrell continued their attempts to produce a male heir for House Tyrell, Olyvar feeling more and more anxious about his House's future all the while. Unfortunately, despite the three pregnancies the couple saw during this time, they were not able to produce a second child, let alone a male.
The Most Devout, sent by the High Septon himself, came to the Reach in order to lend aid to the starving kingdom in the beginning of Winter. The men of the faith took up residence in Oldtown and Highgarden to see to the distribution of supplies. The Most Devout at Highgarden were led by Septon Aethelmure who got along quite well with his host, Olyvar Tyrell.
King Damon came to Oldtown, causing his sister, Ashara Lannister, to summon the lords and ladies of the Reach to the city for a council. Olyvar was amongst the many lords to answer his Lady Paramount's calls, knowing she would need his support and therefore that of his allies. He brought along his daughter, Elyana, who was all too eager to see Oldtown.