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Yohn Royce

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"The beauty of the Vale is matched only by the nobility of its great families. Lady Arryn often told me that you were her rock, Lord Royce."
Petyr Baelish[src]

Lord Yohn Royce is a recurring character in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh seasons. He is played by Rupert Vansittart and debuted in "The Mountain and the Viper". Yohn Royce is the Lord of Runestone and a powerful bannerman of House Arryn.



Yohn Royce is the Lord of Runestone and the head of House Royce, a vassal of House Arryn. He is the father of Ser Robar Royce, who served in the Kingsguard of King Renly I Baratheon, and Ser Waymar Royce, a ranger in the Night's Watch who was one of the first brothers of the Night's Watch to be killed by a White Walker upon their return.

When Eddard Stark was a ward to Lord Jon Arryn and lived at the Eyrie in his youth, he and Yohn Royce hunted together many times.

While escorting his son Waymar to the Wall, Yohn Royce visited Winterfell.

Season 4

Royce and Waynwood talk with Littlefinger

Lord Royce and Lady Waynwood talk with Littlefinger.

Yohn Royce is present in the tribunal, hearing the testimony of Lord Petyr Baelish about the death of Lysa Arryn. Along with Lady Anya Waynwood and Ser Vance Corbray, he assumes foul play on Littlefinger's part. He openly expresses his dislike of Littlefinger, calling him a whoremonger, money-grubber, and liar, as well as pointing out his tendency to suck up to Tywin Lannister in the past. The tribunal then summons Littlefinger's niece, "Alayne", the only other witness. Lord Yohn is surprised to learn of Alayne's true identity - Sansa Stark. Satisfied with her testimony, Royce and Waynwood discuss the Vale's next move with Baelish. He suggests that it is long past time that Robin left the Eyrie and conducted an official tour of the Vale.[1]

Season 5

Royce agreed with Petyr Baelish to foster Lord Robin Arryn at Runestone, although he is not impressed with the skills of the young lord.[2]

Season 6

Royce oversees Robin Arryn's archery training, watching in contempt as Robin fails to hit the marks. The training is interrupted when Baelish arrives by carriage. Royce is outraged as Baelish told him that he and Sansa Stark would return to the Fingers, yet Sansa was married to Ramsay Bolton at Winterfell. Baelish uses the opportunity, falsely claiming that on the way to the Fingers they were attacked by a vast Bolton host which seemed to have inside knowledge of Baelish's travel plans. Baelish reveals that Royce was the only one he told about his route and begins casting aspersions on his loyalty, asking Robin how to fare with him. Although Robin at first plans to throw Royce out of the Moon Door, Baelish advises him to spare Royce because of his loyalty to House Arryn. Instead, Royce is named commander of the armies of the Vale and told to round up the Vale's soldiers in order to march North and save Sansa from Ramsay.[3]

The Vale reinforcements win a crushing victory against the Bolton infantry, slaughtering the phalanx surrounding the depleted Stark forces and allowing Jon Snow to liberate Winterfell with a wildling force.[4] Lord Royce later voices to Jon his disgust at the knights of the Vale allying themselves with "wildling invaders". Tormund Giantsbane explains that they were invited, but Lord Royce responds that he was not the one who invited them. He later watches on as Lady Lyanna Mormont, Lord Wyman Manderly, and Lord Robett Glover proclaim their allegiance to Jon Snow as the new King in the North, and declares allegiance to the new King in the North alongside the other lords of the Vale.[5]


Season Four appearances
Two Swords The Lion and the Rose Breaker of Chains Oathkeeper First of His Name
The Laws of Gods and Men Mockingbird The Mountain and the Viper The Watchers on the Wall The Children
Season Five appearances
The Wars to Come The House of Black and White High Sparrow Sons of the Harpy Kill the Boy
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken The Gift Hardhome The Dance of Dragons Mother’s Mercy
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

Family tree

Cropped Yohn Royce
Yohn Royce
Lady Royce
Robar Royce family tree

Robar Royce

Waymar Royce family tree
Waymar Royce
Night's Watch Night's-Watch-Main-Shield


Petyr Baelish: "The beauty of the Vale is matched only by the nobility of its great families. Lady Arryn often told me that you were her rock, Lord Royce."
Yohn Royce: "She told me nothing about you, Baelish. But I didn't need to hear from her. Moneylender. Whoremonger. You've been licking Tywin Lannister's boots so long, it's a wonder your tongue's not black."
Petyr Baelish: "My lord..."
Yohn Royce: "And when Jon Arryn named you Master of Coin, no one cared. Always been a grubby job. Why not let a grubby man do it?"
— Yohn Royce voices his suspicions of Petyr Baelish[src]
Sansa Stark: "My name is not Alayne. It's Sansa Stark, eldest daughter of Lord Eddard Stark. Lord Royce, we met when you came to Winterfell. You were escorting your son Ser Waymar to the Wall."
Yohn Royce: "Sansa Stark? You tell lies right to my face, you little worm?"
— Yohn meets Sansa Stark[src]
"Your father grew up right here in these halls. We hunted together many times. He was a fine man."
―Yohn voices his respect for the late Eddard Stark to Sansa.[src]
Yohn Royce: "You could see it in the way she raised that boy. Feeding him from her own teats when he was 10 years old."
Anya Waynwood: "Lord Royce! This is hardly the time."
Yohn Royce: " Apologies, my lady."
— Yohn and Lady Anya Waynwood discuss Lysa Arryn and her son[src]
Petyr Baelish: "Only 20 years ago, the knights of the Vale rode behind Jon Arryn, Ned Stark, Robert Baratheon. They fought together to overcome the Mad King. And since then, Arryn and Royce, Corbray, Waynwood, all the great houses of the Vale watched from the corner. A timid boy at a tavern brawl."
Yohn Royce: "Are you questioning our courage?"
Petyr Baelish: "I want to know which side you're on. Do you support the Lannisters, the house that executed your friend Ned Stark?"
Yohn Royce: "Of course we don't support the damned Lannisters!"
— Yohn Royce to Petyr Baelish[src]
Yohn Royce: "My sons had swords in their hands from the time they could walk. This one..."
Petyr Baelish: "Lord Arryn will never be a great warrior."
Yohn Royce: "Great warrior? He swings a sword like a girl with palsy."
— Yohn expresses his doubts about Robin Arryn's fightin skills.[src]
Sansa Stark: "Goodbye, Lord Royce, and thank you for all you have done for me."
Yohn Royce: "I have done nothing more than my duty, my lady."
— Yohn Royce and Sansa Stark[src]
Yohn Royce: "Last time I saw you, Baelish, you told me you were taking Sansa Stark home with you to the Fingers."
Petyr Baelish: "Indeed I was."
Yohn Royce: "And yet not long ago, we received reports that she has been married to Ramsay Bolton in Winterfell."
Petyr Baelish: "On our way to the Fingers, we were set upon by a large force of Bolton men. Seemed to know exactly when we were traveling and exactly whom we were transporting."
Yohn Royce: "Do you take me for a fool?"
— Yohn spars with Baelish about Sansa marrying Ramsay.[src]
Petyr Baelish: "Tell me, Lord Royce, how many people knew of my travel plans with Sansa Stark? I shared my intentions with you and no one else."
Yohn Royce: "Slander a man in his own home, you might find yourself crossing swords with him."
— Yohn continues to spar with Baelish.[src]
Yohn Royce: "You can't expect the knights of the Vale to side with wildling invaders!"
Tormund: "We didn't invade. We were invited."
Yohn Royce: "Not by me."
— Yohn Royce and Tormund[src]

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Lord Yohn Royce is described as having a lined face and grey hair, grey eyes and very bushy eyebrows. However, he still looks immensely strong as he is tall and has large, gnarled hands. He has a set of bronze armor, thousands of years old that is inscribed with runes that are said to ward him from harm, hence his nickname "Bronze Yohn". He has three sons: Andar, Robar and Waymar (the latter two are dead), and one daughter Ysilla.

There is no mentioning in the books that Lord Royce use to go hunting with Ned Stark, except during his short stay in Winterfell. Sansa saw him riding back from a hunt with a buck behind his saddle, and later watched him in the yard, a practice sword in hand, hammering her father to the ground and turning to defeat Ser Rodrik Cassel as well.

Lord Royce is one of the nobles that Tywin Lannister offers to marry Tyrion to his daughter. The answer Tywin receives is the same he got from other lords - that the suggestion is an insult.

Lord Royce takes part in the Hand's Tourney in King's Landing, attending with his sons Andar and Robar. He stays in King's Landing, participating in the boar hunt that kills King Robert Baratheon. As Robert lies dying, Yohn is named by Littlefinger as a possible ally for Ned against Cersei Lannister in the matter of the succession, though ultimately Ned chooses to rely on the Gold Cloaks.

During the War of the Five Kings, Lord Royce urges Lysa Arryn to call her banners and go to war in support of Robb Stark, but she stubbornly refuses.

When Sansa resides at the Eyrie, she hears that Arryn's bannermen resent Lysa's marriage and begrudge Littlefinger for his authority as Lord Protector of the Vale, and that the senior branch of House Royce is close to open revolt over Lysa's refusal to aid the Starks, and the Waynwoods, Redforts, Belmores, and Templetons are giving them every support.

In the books, it is not Yohn but his cousin Nestor (of a cadet branch of House Royce) who comes to the Eyrie to inquire about Lysa's death, accompanied by his son Albar and Ser Marwyn Belmore. Littlefinger confidently puts the blame on Marillion. Robin and Sansa (still disguised as Alayne Stone) support Littlefinger's version. Since the entire Vale hates Marillion, and the three guests were personally insulted by him, they are satisfied with Littlefinger's lies and do not inquire the matter any further, perhaps also because Nestor is on Littlefinger's payroll. Before leaving, Nestor warns Littlefinger that Yohn is not so placable, and intends to come in force alongside more of the most powerful lords of the Vale, in order to remove Littlefinger as the Lord Protector. Littlefinger regards the warning rather stoically.

Lord Yohn Royce comes to the Eyrie some time later, accompanied by his cousin, Lady Anya Waynwood and more nobles from the Vale, who call themselves "Lords Declarant". They do not come to inquire about Lysa's death, but to remove Littlefinger from his office as Lord Protector and take Robin to foster at Runestone. Sansa knows that Lord Yohn saw her twice, during his visit at Winterfell and at King's Landing. She considers to reveal her true identity and ask for his protection, but unlike in the show she decides not to, reasoning that he never fought for her brother and has no reason to fight for her. Lord Yohn looks at her closely and asks "Do I know you, girl?". Sansa cannot bring herself to speak, and Nestor assures his cousin that she is Alayne Stone, Littlefinger's natural daughter. It is unclear whether Lord Yohn recognizes Sansa or not. At dinner, Lord Yohn and the other nobles make threats against Littlefinger, but he is not impressed and manipulates them to let Robin stay under his care. Lord Yohn admits that Littlefinger has won, but warns him: "Not all of us are fools", implying that he has seen through Littlefinger's scheming. He leaves immediately, while the other lords stay till the following morning.

Littlefinger considers Lord Yohn as the biggest threat to his plans to take over the Vale, for he has great influence over the other lords and cannot be easily bought, extorted or disposed of, in contrast to the other lords of the Vale. Littlefinger hopes to win the support of the other lords, since as long as Lord Yohn stands alone he is not so much a threat.

In the show, the two meetings are condensed to one, and Nestor's character is merged with Lord Yohn's.

See also


v  d  e
Lord: Yohn Royce Heir: Unknown
Seat: Runestone Lands: The Vale of Arryn
Title(s): Lord of Runestone
Deceased members:{Robar Royce} · {Waymar Royce}
Household:Maester Helliweg · Samwell Stone
Overlord:House Arryn

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