- "I thought the Night’s Watch might make a man of you - something resembling a man at least. You managed to stay soft and fat, your nose buried in books, spending your life reading about the achievements of better men. I'll wager you still can't sit a horse or wield a sword...."
- ―Randyll further expresses his disappointment in his son, Samwell Tarly.
Lord Randyll Tarly is the Lord of Horn Hill, the head of House Tarly and the father of Samwell Tarly, who he forced to join the Night's Watch under the threat of death. He is also the husband of Melessa Tarly and father of Dickon and Talla Tarly, and a bannerman to House Tyrell.
Randyll Tarly is the Lord of Horn Hill and the head of House Tarly, a vassal family of House Tyrell of Highgarden. He is a fierce, ruthless warrior and a highly effective general. He is the father of Samwell Tarly and a younger son, Dickon, and at least one daughter, Talla.
Along with his liege-lord Mace Tyrell, Randyll fought on the Targaryen side during Robert's Rebellion. He commanded the royalist victory at the Battle of Ashford, the only defeat that Robert Baratheon ever suffered in the entire war.
Samwell recounts to Jon Snow that even though he was his father's eldest son and heir, he was disgusted with Samwell's "womanly" interest in books and learning and disdain for martial valor and combat. Soon before Sam turned eighteen, his father took him aside and bluntly told him that he was unworthy to inherit the Tarly lands and titles. Randyll ordered Sam to take the black and join the Night's Watch. Randyll told his son that if he did not, he would take him out on a hunt in the woods and kill him in such a way that it looked like an accident, apparently unconcerned of the fact that such an act would be considered kinslaying. Terrified, Sam did as he was bid and left Horn Hill for the Wall.
Sam quips to Gilly that his father is not a very "literary man". Later, surprised that Samwell is Randyll's son, Stannis Baratheon recounts to Sam how Lord Randyll defeated Robert Baratheon in the Battle of Ashford — the only battle Robert ever lost, for which King Stannis considers Randyll a fine soldier.
Since the Citadel only allows men within its walls, Samwell decides to send Gilly and her baby Sam to live with his family at Horn Hill. While Sam admits that he does not get on well with his father Randyll, he reassures Gilly that his mother and sister are nice.
When Sam and Gilly arrive at Horn Hill, Randyll assumes she is a prostitute from Mole's Town, something that he manages to come to terms with. Gilly is dressed in southern clothes, and she, Sam, Randyll, Dickon, Melessa, and Talla all have dinner together. At the table, Randyll repeatedly berates Sam: he insults his weight, tells him the Night's Watch failed to make a man out of him, and says he will never be a great warrior, or inherit Heartsbane, the Tarly family's ancestral Valyrian steel sword. Gilly rushes to defend him, telling Randyll that Sam killed a Thenn and a White Walker on his way down to Castle Black. By saying this, she lets slip that she is in fact a wildling, a group of people who Randyll apparently considers to be subhuman. Randyll's bigotry, particularly when just used as another way to insult Sam, is the last straw for Melessa, who storms out of the hall with Gilly and Talla, declaring that it isn't Sam who is dishonoring House Tarly. Randyll then says he'll let Gilly stay and work in the kitchens, and even will acknowledge Little Sam as a bastard of the House. However, upon his departure the following morning, Sam will never be allowed at Horn Hill again.
|Season Six appearances|
|The Red Woman||Home||Oathbreaker||Book of the Stranger||The Door|
|Blood of My Blood||The Broken Man||No One||Battle of the Bastards||The Winds of Winter|
|Symun Fossoway||Talla Tarly||Dickon Tarly|
Spoken by Randyll
- "You're almost a man now, but you're not worthy of my land and title. Tomorrow you're going to take the black, forsake all claim to your inheritance and start north. If you do not, then we'll have a hunt... and somewhere in these woods your horse will stumble and you'll be thrown from your saddle to die. Or so I'll tell your mother. Nothing would please me more."
- ―Randyll Tarly to his son Samwell
Behind the scenes
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Lord Randyll Tarly is considered one of the best battlefield commanders in the Seven Kingdoms, a general able to read the ground, weather conditions, and how a battle is progressing with impressive accuracy. During Robert's Rebellion he inflicted Robert's only defeat while commanding the Tyrell vanguard at the Battle of Ashford. During the later stages of the rebellion he helped Lord Mace Tyrell besiege Storm's End, and bent the knee after the death of King Aerys II Targaryen. He wields the Valyrian steel sword Heartsbane in battle and is said to be utterly merciless to his foes. Although a ruthless and stern man, he is not outright sadistic, often dispensing strict justice that is nonetheless within the bounds of the law, similar to Stannis Baratheon.
Randyll has always treated Sam harshly. When Sam suggested he be sent to the Citadel in Oldtown, Randyll answered furiously "They make you wear a chain about your neck. If it is chains you want, come with me". He ruthlessly had Sam manacled hand and foot to a wall for three days and three nights. The chain around Sam's throat was so tight it broke the skin, and whenever he rolled the wrong way in his sleep it would cut off his breath. That experience has traumatized poor Sam so much that, initially, he objected (fruitlessly) to Jon's command to travel to the Citadel, although he's always wanted to forge his maester's chain.
During the War of the Five Kings, Lord Randyll commits himself to Renly Baratheon's cause, and Catelyn Stark encounters him when she visits Renly's camp to treat for Robb. When House Tyrell switches its allegiance to the Lannisters following Renly's death, most of their bannermen join them (except for essentially just House Florent): Lord Randyll follows his liege-lords, and House Tarly begins to fight on the Lannister side.
Lord Randyll treated Brienne of Tarth with open hostility while she was at Renly's camp. When he found out that several men laid wagers on the first to claim her maidenhead, he put a stop to it, but told Brienne offensively it was her fault because, in his opinion, women have no place on the battlefield.
In the books, while Roose Bolton was in charge of the eastern half of the Northern armies based at Harrenhal, he sent a large force of three thousand men (about a third of his command) east to attack the Crownlands. Roose had decided to betray the Starks by this point and was laying the groundwork for the Red Wedding and his subsequent takeover of the North, by intentionally killing off Stark loyalists by sending them on suicide missions. Coordinating with the Lannisters in secret, he sent his men into a trap set by a massive combined Lannister-Tyrell army, with Gregor Clegane commanding the Lannister forces and Randyll Tarly commanding the Tyrell forces. The entire Northern force was destroyed at the resulting Battle of Duskendale, all three thousand men, though a few Northern lords were taken prisoner.
Subsequently, Lord Randyll marches his army north from Duskendale to Maidenpool (east of Harrenhal, in the northeasternmost corner of the Riverlands) and easily takes the town. Unlike Gregor's Lannister men, who are more concerned with pillaging the already ravaged countryside, Randyll has his forces in Maidenpool set about fixing damage the town suffered in the war and reimposing law and order. He is very strict but not abusive, executing confirmed bandits and deserters who were raiding the smallfolk of the countryside, in order to discourage other outlaws from making further unrest.
There is no mentioning in the books that Randyll hates wildlings. Sam, while considering sending Gilly to Horn Hill, thinks that his father may be pleased to believe he got a bastard on a wildling girl.
In "A Feast for Crows", while Brienne searches for Sansa in the Riverlands, she encounters Randyll at Maidenpool. He acts toward her rudely and hostilely, as before: he tells her bluntly that even if she did not kill Renly, she let him die, and should have never left her father's hall because a war is not a harvest ball. Hearing whom she is looking for, he scoffs "Go where you want and do as you will. but when you’re raped don’t look to me for justice. You will have earned it with your folly”.
After Kevan rejects Cersei's offer to serve as the King's Hand, he recommends to give the office to Randyll, stating "Randyll Tarly is the finest soldier in the realm. A poor Hand for peacetime, but with Tywin dead there’s no better man to finish this war".
In "A Dance with Dragons", following Cersei's downfall and the removal of all her henchmen, Randyll becomes a member in the Small Council as the Master of laws and justiciar. He shares Mace Tyrell's and Kevan's suspicion about the mysterious Ser Robert Strong. Kevan feels uncomfortable in Randyll's company, sensing that he is more dangerous than Mace - a narrow man, but iron-willed and shrewd, and as good a soldier as the Reach could boast.
Randyll brings his army to King's Landing. Since the case against Margaery and her cousins is weak, the High Sparrow hands the girls over to Randyll’s custody. Randyll swears a holy oath to deliver them for trial when the time comes.
|Lord:||Lord Randyll Tarly||Heir:||Dickon Tarly|
|Seat:||Horn Hill||Lands:||The Reach|
|Title(s):||Lord of Horn Hill|
|Current members:||Melessa Tarly · Samwell Tarly · Talla Tarly|