House Arryn of the Eyrie is one of the Great Houses of Westeros, and is the principal noble house in the Vale of Arryn. Their main seat is the Eyrie, which is considered impregnable. House Arryn has at least one other holding, their winter castle at the Gates of the Moon, which was once their main seat. Both of these fortifications sit astride the Giant's Lance, the tallest mountain in the Vale, with the Gates of the Moon at its foot and the Eyrie at its top. The Arryn sigil is a sky-blue falcon soaring upwards, outlined against a white moon on a sky-blue field, and their words are "As High as Honor".
The Arryns of the Eyrie have a collection of distant relatives located throughout the Vale. Although much poorer than the ruling Arryns, aside from the Arryns of Gulltown, the lesser branches are described as proud due to their name and heritage.
The Arryns are considered to come from the oldest and purest line of Andal nobility, which they say reaches back to Andalos and possibly Hugor of the Hill.
When King Robar II Royce began to unite the First Men and defeat some of the petty Andal kings during the Andal invasion, the Andals of the Vale united behind Ser Artys Arryn, the Falcon Knight. Artys was a native Valeman esteemed amongst his peers as the finest warrior of his day. Robar was slain in the Battle of the Seven Stars, possibly by Artys, and the First Men houses who remained bent the knee and swore fealty to Artys Arryn, the First of His Name, new-crowned King of Mountain and Vale. From that day, the Vale became known as the Vale of Arryn. Songs of the Vale conflate Artys with the legendary Winged Knight, who is said to have slain the Griffin King atop the Giant's Lance. The First Men who did not accept Artys as their king were forced into the Mountains of the Moon, becoming the Vale mountain clans.
The Arryns initially lived at the Gates of the Moon, but over generations they constructed the Eyrie. They often used the Eyrie as a summer pleasure palace, descending to the Gates of the Moon before winter made the Eyrie inaccessible.
The Arryn kings added Pebble, the Paps, and the Witch Isle to their realm. They battled with the Stark Kings of Winter over the Three Sisters in the War Across the Water, which featured King Osgood Arryn and his son and successor, Oswin the Talon, who burned the Wolf's Den. There were bloody battles wherein the Arryn fleet turned back slavers from Volantis, ironborn reavers, and pirates from the Stepstones and the Basilisk Isles. The legendary Lady Alyssa Arryn gave her name to Alyssa's Tears, a waterfall on the Giant's Lance, when she did not shed a tear for her murdered husband, brothers and children.
During Aegon's Conquest the Arryn and Targaryen fleets fought in a battle in the waters off Gulltown, which resulted in the destruction of the Targaryen fleet and the death of its commanding officer, Daemon Velaryon. Visenya Targaryen burned the Arryn fleet with her dragon Vhagar in response. Since both fleets were destroyed, the battle was considered a tactical draw, but a strategic defeat for the Targaryens as they were unable to take Gulltown. For House Arryn the trouble did not end there, since the Sistermen on the Three Sisters revolted after the destruction of the Arryn fleet.
Later in Aegon's Conquest, Visenya was charged with subduing the Vale. Sharra Arryn, Queen Regent of the Vale, ruling in the name of her son, the boy-king Ronnel Arryn, amassed the Vale's army at the Bloody Gate. Visenya, however, flew on Vhagar to the courtyard of the Eyrie to obtain the surrender of the Vale of Arryn. When Sharra returned to the Eyrie she found her son sitting on Visenya's lap asking if he could ride the dragon with her. Once Sharra yielded and bent the knee, Ronnel twice flew with Visenya and Vhagar. The Arryns have since remained Defenders of the Vale and Wardens of the East for the Iron Throne.
4th Century AC
After the murder of Lord Jon Arryn, his widow Lysa fled to the Eyrie with their sickly son Robert, called Sweetrobin, and acted as his regent. Despite House Arryn's to House Tully and House Stark, the forces of the Vale remained behind the Bloody Gate and did not fight for either side during the War of the Five Kings. Tywin Lannister sent Petyr Baelish, the newly appointed Lord of Harrenhal, to the Eyrie to win Lysa Arryn to King Joffrey's cause due to their past together. Lord Baelish arrived with a disguised Sansa Stark in tow and wed Lysa Arryn. After an altercation sparked by Lady Lysa seeing Lord Baelish kiss Sansa, Littlefinger pushed Lysa Arryn through the moon door to her death and covered up the crime. He assumed the role of Lord Protector of the Vale by dint of the brief marriage, giving him dominion over both the Riverlands and the Vale.
Several powerful nobles arrayed themselves against Lord Baelish's rule, calling themselves the Lords Declarant. As the Vale had been untouched by the war, they commanded a sizable military force of twenty thousand men. They agreed to allow Petyr one year to prove his worth. Robert Arryn's health finally failed in the year 302 AC and Lordship of the Vale passed to Harrold Hardyng, who took the name Harrold Arryn. Petyr Baelish revealed Sansa Stark's identity to the Lords Declarant and arranged for the annulment of Sansa's marriage to Tyrion Lannister. It was granted the grounds that she was wed against her will and the union was never consummated, and Harrold Arryn wed Sansa Stark in 303.
Lord Baelish discovered that the new Lord Arryn wasn't as pliable to his influence as he had hoped, and the Lady Sansa had learned his methods a little too well. Lord Baelish found the mood at the Gates of the Moon turning against him and decided to retreat back to the safety of Harrenhal before the situation came to a head. He slipped away under cover of night, but his body was found several days later in the snow along the High Road near the Bloody Gate, slain by an unknown assailant. The skin of his face had been cut off, though the reason for the mutilation of his corpse remained a mystery.
After Lord Baelish's untimely end, Lady Sansa discovered a cache of corrspondence that he had concealed from the rest of the court, including appeals for aid from her bastard half-brother, Lord Commander Jon Snow of the Night's Watch. Lady Sansa beseeched her husband to send aid to the North, and Lord Harrold committed ten thousand men under the command of Lord Yohn Royce to the war in the North. After the Battle of White Harbor, the Vale bent the knee to Aegon VI Targaryen and Shireen Baratheon.