Tyrion Lannister: "The Eyrie. They say it's impregnable."
Bronn: "Give me ten good men and some climbing spikes, and I'll impregnate the bitch."
— Tyrion Lannister and Bronn
The Eyrie is the principal stronghold of House Arryn. It is located in the Vale of Arryn near the east coast of Westeros. The Eyrie straddles the top of a peak in the Mountains of the Moon several thousand feet above the valley floor below. It is approached by a narrow causeway and road. Those who would approach the Eyrie must pass through three way-castles guarding the ascent - and then, must proceed in single file, making them very vulnerable to archers. For these reasons, the Eyrie is considered impregnable to any attack that does not involve dragons, and its defenses have never been overcome.
The High Hall of the Eyrie is the main audience chamber, where the Lord of the Vale greets visitors from a throne made of weirwood. A notable feature of the chamber is the Moon Door, a hatch built into the floor through which people can fall to the floor of the Vale far below. Being thrown through the Moon Door is the preferred method of execution at the Eyrie.
Prisoners at the Eyrie are incarcerated in the "sky cells", cells which are open on one side to the air. There is a very slight slope in the cells, and prisoners must be careful not to roll out of the cell in their sleep and plummet to their deaths.
Kings of Mountain and Vale
Legends claim that the Winged Knight 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. Records indicate that the Andal king Artys I Arryn constructed the Gates of the Moon at the foot of the Giant's Lance, where he had defeated Robar II Royce's army of First Men in the Battle of Seven Stars.
Artys's grandson, Roland I Arryn, believed that the Gates of the Moon was both inferior to Casterly Rock and the Hightower and strategically vulnerable to raids from the Vale mountain clans. Allegedly inspired by Teora Hunter, Roland decided to build a new royal palace high in the mountain above the Gates of the Moon.
Construction of the Eyrie took place intermittently over generations, and marble was imported from Tarth in the narrow sea, as Roland disliked the appearance of stone available in the Vale. The first maester to serve at the Eyrie was Quince. The Eyrie was inhabited as a pleasure palace for the Kings of Mountain and Vale during spring, summer, and autumn. The Arryns descend to the larger Gates of the Moon for winter and host a feast when they return to the Eyrie in the spring.
During Aegon's Conquest, Queen Regent Sharra Arryn fortified the Bloody Gate and the boy king Ronnel Arryn used the Eyrie as a refuge. Visenya Targaryen, however, flew upon Vhagar to the Eyrie's inner courtyard. Realizing that the Eyrie's location could not protect them against dragons, the Arryns submitted to House Targaryen and the new Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, Aegon I Targaryen.
Jonos Arryn usurped his brother, Lord Ronnel, and took control of the Eyrie during the reign of King Aenys I Targaryen. Once Lord Royce began hunting the rebels, Jonos threw Ronnel through the Moon Door. Prince Maegor Targaryen rode the dragon Balerion to the Eyrie, where he hanged Jonos.
Eddard Stark and Lord Robert Baratheon were fostered at the Eyrie by Lord Jon Arryn. When King Aerys II Targaryen 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, Jon was named Hand of the King to the new monarch, Robert I. In Jon's absence, the Eyrie was ruled by Nestor Royce, acting as High Steward of the Vale.
The singer Tom of Sevenstreams was once sent from the Eyrie by Jon's wife, Lady Lysa Arryn, and forced to take the high road.
A Game of Thrones
After Lord Jon Arryn's death in King's Landing, his widow Lysa return to the Eyrie with their son, Robert Arryn. Lysa's sister, Catelyn, captures Tyrion Lannister and brings him to the Eyrie, where Lysa imprisons him in the sky cells, although he escapes after demanding trial. The captain of the guard, Ser Vardis Egen, is killed in trial by combat against the sellsword Bronn.
A Clash of Kings
Stannis Baratheon rejects Maester Cressen's suggestion to have Shireen Baratheon fostered at the Eyrie. Robb Stark, the King in the North, sends ravens to the Eyrie seeking assistance from his aunt, Lysa, but there is no response.
A Storm of Swords
The widowed Lady Lysa marries her childhood friend and lover, Petyr Baelish, at the Fingers. Petyr takes Sansa Stark in the guise of "Alayne Stone" with them to the Eyrie. Sansa finds the castle an empty and lonely place, and Lady Arryn keeps the High Hall closed most of the time. Petyr later throws Lysa from the Moon Door and places blame on Marillion.
A Feast for Crows
Lord Baelish is left as Lord Protector of the Vale, ruling in the name of the child Lord Robert Arryn. When Nestor Royce visits the Eyrie, Petyr informs him he is now the Lord of the Gates of the Moon.
The Lords Declarant encamp with six thousand men before the Gates of the Moon. Petyr meets with the six lords in his solar, rather than the High Hall, and they agree to grant Petyr a year to bring order to the Vale.
With the arrival of winter, the court leaves the Eyrie for the Gates of the Moon.
Notable residents of the Eyrie
Behind the scenes
Production Designer Gemma Jackson said of creating the set for the Eyrie that, "A lot of the mosaics in the Eyrie were based on a beautiful chapel I visited in Rome."
The exterior of the Eyrie has been visibly retconned from its Season 1 look to its reappearance in Season 4. In Season 1, it was shown as a tall, thin building upon a single spire of rock, while in Season 4, it is a somewhat squatter (though overall just as large) building perched atop a pair of rocky outcrops.
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the Eyrie is a mountain-top fortress located on a shoulder of the Giant's Lance, one of the tallest mountains on the continent. It is inhabited by the Arryns during the long springs and summers, before the family removes to the Gates of the Moon at the bottom of the mountain to sit out the winters. The Eyrie is only a small castle itself, but is almost impossible to reach. An invading army would have to overcome the Bloody Gate at the mouth of the Vale before taking the Gates of the Moon. Then, as it advanced up the mountain path to the Eyrie, it would come under sustained attack from the Eyrie and the three way-castles up the path, all of which can drop rocks, boulders and oil on an advancing foe at will.
Unlike the novels, where the Eyrie is a traditional castle sitting on a shoulder of a very tall mountain, the TV version of the castle appears to completely enclose the top of a much smaller butte.
The Eyrie consists of several towers, a great hall, a sept and a number of unique "sky cells". The "Moon Door" is not a hatch that opens to the hollow vault beneath the Eyrie, but a massive door that opens to a precipice.
According to myth, the first Andal invaders landed on the coast of the Vale. The Arryn King, Ser Artys Arryn flew on the back of a giant falcon to slay the Griffin King atop the Giant's Lance and then built a fortress atop the mountain.
The historical truth is that the Eyrie's construction was ordered by King Artys's grandson, Roland I Arryn, though he did not live to see it completed. The construction was stopped under subsequent kings until he was restarted under King Robin Arryn.
Due to its isolated location high in the mountains, the Eyrie is physically the smallest of the great castles of the Seven Kingdoms, and can hold a garrison of only five hundred men. This does not, however, mean it is one of the less defensible castles: the rough terrain of the surrounding mountains makes the fortress practically impregnable, and five hundred men are more than enough to defend it from attacking armies forcing their way through the narrow mountain passes. The Eyrie has never fallen to a conventional army, and it is said that a dozen major assaults were made against it during the Age of Heroes, but all in vain. Similar to Harrenhal, however, it did prove vulnerable to dragons during the War of Conquest, but unlike Harrenhal, the Eyrie was not burned with dragonfire. Visenya Targaryen simply flew her dragon Vhagar up over the walls and landed in the courtyard, as a display of supremacy - Visenya arrived at the Eyrie some time after Aegon had burned Harrenhal by simply flying his dragon Balerion over the walls, so the implication was obvious. The inhabitants offered no battle - instead Ronnel Arryn, the current King of the Vale and only a boy, was so excited to see the dragon that he rushed out into the courtyard to greet Visenya. Rather than pointlessly resist the power of the Targaryen dragons, his mother and Queen Regent, Sharra, surrendered after Ronnel stated he wanted a ride on the dragon, which Visenya granted him.
According to the TV series official pronunciation guide developed for the cast and crew, "Eyrie" is pronounced just as it is in normal English: "EAR-ee".
History and zones of Game of Thrones Lore
Read about all the known history of Game of Thrones Lore. Learn about the zones and places on Westeros!
On our website you can find all the stories about Game of Thrones, World of Warcraft and Halo. You can learn about the places and all the characters.
Name The House Game of Thrones