Giant's Lance

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The Vale of Arryn and the location of Giant's Lance
The Vale of Arryn and the location of Giant's Lance
Giant's Lance
The Vale of Arryn and the location of Giant's Lance

The Giant's Lance is the tallest peak of the Mountains of the Moon within the Vale of Arryn,[1] extending three and a half miles above the the valley below.[2]

Layout

The Gates of the Moon, the Eyrie, and the Giant's Lance above, by Paolo Puggioni ©

The Giant's Lance is located northeast of the Bloody Gate, north of the Vale proper.[3] Alyssa's Tears flows over the mountain's massive western shoulder;[2] according to legend, none of the falling water has reached the valley below.[4] Falcons soar about the Giant's Lance.[2]

The Gates of the Moon is a stout castle located at the foot of the mountain.[2] The lower slopes of the Giant's Lance are covered in pines and sentinel trees.[5]

Stone, Snow, and Sky are waycastles which guard the path up the Giant's Lance. Mules carry travelers up winding steps carved deep into the rock, with fresh mules available in stables at each waycastle.[2] The trail becomes steeper and trees become sparser after Stone.[2] Having endured centuries of freezing and thawing, the steps after Snow are cracked and broken.[2][5] The path narrows as it ascends the Giant's Lance, forcing travelers to ride single file.[5] At one point the path turns into a high stone saddle twenty foot long and near three feet wide, with howling winds distracting the traveler.[2][5]

The Eyrie, located six hundred feet above Sky on a shoulder of the Giant's Lance,[2] is accessible through baskets drawn by great chain winches turned by oxen.[5] Instead of the baskets, travelers can also traverse a natural stone chimney which ascends to the seat of House Arryn like a ladder.[2][5] The Moon Door in the Eyrie's High Hall opens onto emptiness,[6] and prisoners in the Eyrie's sky cells can be tempted to leap from the mountain to their deaths.[6] The castle's garden serves as a godswood,[5] but the Arryns were unable to get a weirwood to grow in the soil.[4]

Descending the mountain can be even more intimidating than the ascent, since the traveler looks down during the journey.[5] The Arryn court descends to the Gates of the Moon to avoid becoming snowbound at the Eyrie during winter.[5]

History

The Eyrie by Ted Nasmith ©

According to legend, the Winged Knight flew on a huge falcon to the peak of the Giant's Lance, where he then slew the Griffin King.[5]

During the coming of the Andals to Westeros, stars and axes were carved by the newcomers throughout the Vale, including at the base of the Giant's Lance.[7]

The Battle of the Seven Stars was fought at the foot of the Giant's Lance,[8] and Artys I Arryn, the first King of Mountain and Vale, constructed the Gates of the Moon at the site where he had encamped before the battle.[9] Construction of the Eyrie and the switchback road up the mountain began during the reign of King Roland I Arryn and continued for decades, with workers and mules dying during the project. Marble was imported from Tarth for the new castle.[9]

Queen Visenya Targaryen flew her dragon, Vhagar, to the Eyrie to deal with the Arryns during Aegon's Conquest. In return for the submission of House Arryn, Visenya flew young Ronnel Arryn, King of Mountain and Vale, three times around the summit of the Giant's Lance.[10] During the reign of King Aenys I Targaryen, Lord Ronnel was thrown to his death through the Moon Door by his brother, Jonos Arryn. Prince Maegor Targaryen retaliated by flying Balerion to the Eyrie and executing Jonos by defenestration through the Moon Door.[11]

King Jaehaerys I Targaryen flew Vermithor up the Giant's Lance to visit the Eyrie during his royal progress in 52 AC.[12] Thirty years later, Queen Alysanne Targaryen, flew on Silverwing to the Gates of the Moon and then the Eyrie to help her daughter, Daella Targaryen, frightened because of her pregnancy.[13] Prince Jacaerys Velaryon visited the Eyrie on Vermax to meet with Lady Jeyne Arryn during the Dance of the Dragons.[14]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Catelyn Stark brings Tyrion Lannister to the Gates of the Moon in the Vale. Mya Stone helps Catelyn ascend on mules to Sky during the night, and Lady Stark continues on to the Eyrie in a basket.[2]

A Storm of Swords

After Lady Lysa Arryn threatens Sansa Stark, Lord Petyr Baelish shoves Lysa through the Moon Door to fall to her death.[15]

A Feast for Crows

The sky cells, by Thomas Denmark © Fantasy Flight Games

Marillion, blamed by Petyr for Lysa's death, is confined to the sky cells. Sansa can hear his singing echo off the Giant's Lance.[16]

The Lords Declarant assemble their hosts around the walls of the Gates of the Moon at the foot of the mountain. The rebel lords ascend to the Eyrie to confront Petyr in a parley, and Lord Baelish convinces them to grant him a year to set the Vale to rights.[17]

Snowfall buries the peak of the Giant's Lance, so the Arryn court descends from the icy Eyrie to the Gates of the Moon below. Mord butchers the oxen in the winch room and leaves their bodies for falcons. When crossing the narrow stone bridge, Sansa inspires the fearful Lord Robert Arryn by comparing him to the Winged Knight.[5]

The Winds of Winter

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Warning
This information has thus far been released in a sample chapter for The Winds of Winter, and might therefore not be in finalized form. Keep in mind that the content as described below is still subject to change.

The cooks at the Gates of the Moon prepare a lemon cake shaped like the Giant's Lance, twelve feet tall and adorned with an Eyrie made of sugar.[18]

Quotes

Looming over them all was the jagged peak called the Giant's Lance, a mountain that even mountains looked up to, its head lost in icy mists three and a half miles above the valley floor.[2]

—thoughts of Catelyn Stark

You don't want your mule to break a leg up here.[2]

She could feel the emptiness, the vast black gulfs of air that yawned around her.[2]

—thoughts of Catelyn Stark

So lovely. The snow-clad summit of the Giant's Lance loomed above her, an immensity of stone and ice that dwarfed the castle perched upon its shoulder. Icicles twenty feet long draped the lip of the precipice where Alyssa's Tears fell in summer. A falcon soared above the frozen waterfall, blue wings spread wide against the morning sky. Would that I had wings as well.[17]

—thoughts of Sansa Stark

References

  1. George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Giant's Lance.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34, Catelyn VI.
  3. The Lands of Ice and Fire, Westeros.
  4. 4.0 4.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 40, Catelyn VII.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 41, Alayne II.
  6. 6.0 6.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
  7. The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: Norvos.
  8. The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale.
  9. 9.0 9.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale: The Eyrie.
  10. Fire & Blood, Aegon's Conquest.
  11. Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
  12. Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
  13. Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
  14. Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - A Son for a Son.
  15. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 80, Sansa VII.
  16. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 10, Sansa I.
  17. 17.0 17.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 23, Alayne I.
  18. The Winds of Winter, Alayne I