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The Eyrie

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House-Arryn-heraldry
The Eyrie
House-Arryn-heraldry
The Eyrie
Location
Type
Castle, regional capital
Population
Rulers
Religion
Military
The Knights of the Vale
Institutions
Places of note
The High Hall
The sky cells
Date of founding
Age
6,000 years (very approx. and according to myth)
Founder
[[:Category:{{{Images}}}|Images]]
Eyrie Title Sequence
The Eyrie as seen in the opening title sequence.
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Eyrie Title Sequence Close
A close-up of the Eyrie in the title sequence.
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Tyrion and Mord
One of the Eyrie's sky cells, shown from the inside.
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Sky Cells
The sky cells from outside.
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Bronn defeats Vardis
The Moon Door.
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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.

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.[1]

Notable residents of the Eyrie

  • Lord {Jon Arryn}, former Lord of the Eyrie, Defender of the Vale, and Warden of the East. Served as Hand of the King to King Robert Baratheon before being poisoned.
  • Lady Lysa Arryn, the current ruler of the castle.
  • Lord Robin Arryn, Lysa's son and titular head of House Arryn, although he will not formally inherit the title for many more years.
  • Ser {Vardis Egen}, captain of the guards. Killed by the sellsword Bronn while championing for Lord Robin during a trial by combat.
  • Mord, the castle's jailor and keeper of the sky cells.
  • Lord {Eddard Stark}, Lord Paramount of the North, was fostered as a child by Jon Arryn at the same time as Robert Baratheon.
  • King {Robert Baratheon}, King of the Andals and the First Men was fostered as a child by Jon Arryn at the same time as Ned Stark.

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."[2]

In the books

The Eyrie Pin
Map showing the location of the Eyrie on the continent of Westeros.
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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 first Lord 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.

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, he amicably surrendered, though on the condition that Visenya give him a ride around the area on her dragon, which she did.

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".

See also

References

v  d  e
Lord: Robin Arryn Heir: None
House-Arryn-heraldry
Seat: The Eyrie Lands: The Vale of Arryn
Title(s): Lord of the Eyrie · Lord Paramount of the Vale · Warden of the East
Ancestors:Artys Arryn · Sharra Arryn · Ronnel Arryn
Current members:Lysa Arryn
Deceased members:Jasper Arryn · Jon Arryn · Alys Arryn · Ronnel Arryn
Household:Ser Vardis Egen · Ser Hugh of the Vale · Mord
Overlord:House Baratheon of King's Landing
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