Illustration by Amok ©
Lady of the Eyrie|
Lady Regent of the Vale of Arryn
Lady of Harrenhal
|Successor||Petyr Baelish (Lord Protector of the Vale)|
|Born||In 266 AC, 267 AC, or 268 AC, at Riverrun|
|Died||In 300 AC, at the Eyrie|
1st: Lord Jon Arryn|
2nd: Lord Petyr Baelish
2 stillborn children|
The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)|
A Game of Thrones (appears)
A Clash of Kings (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (appears)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)
|Played by||Kate Dickie|
|TV series||Season 1 | Season 4|
Lady Lysa Arryn, née Tully, is a member of House Tully. She is the youngest daughter of Lord Hoster Tully of Riverrun and his wife, Lady Minisa Whent, and wife of Jon Arryn, the Lord of the Eyrie and Hand of the King to King Robert I Baratheon. Since her husband's death, she is the Lady Regent of the Vale of Arryn. In the television adaptation Game of Thrones, she is played by Kate Dickie.
Appearance and Character
Lysa was a pretty, slender, high-breasted girl in her youth, dimpled and delicate. She has grown thick of body by her early thirties, however, as a result of her many pregnancies, miscarriages and stillbirths. Despite being two years younger than her sister Catelyn, Lysa looks ten years older; her face has become pale and puffy, and she now paints and powders it. While Lysa uses scents to smell more sweet, she cannot completely hide the sour milky smell. She has the blue eyes of House Tully, but they are pale and watery. Lysa has a small, petulant mouth, and her beautiful auburn hair falls thickly down to her waist.
According to a semi-canon source, Lysa wanted nothing more than to marry the man of her dreams as a young girl at Riverrun. She idolized her older sister Catelyn for her betrothal to the heir of Winterfell, Brandon Stark, and hoped to one day marry a man as noble and handsome as him. Her marriage to Lord Jon Arryn, however, was purely political, and while he was dutiful and kind to her, the marriage lacked the warmth Lysa required.
Lysa had been a soft, shy, and timid girl in her youth, prone to tongue-tied silences and fits of giggles. Her years at King's Landing changed her significantly, however, turning her into a woman who is by turns proud, fearful, cruel, dreamy, reckless, impulsive, timid, stubborn, vain, and inconstant. Lysa had never been brave in her youth, which did not change during adulthood.
Lysa prefers rich silks, satins, velvets, furs, samites, and linens. She likes Myrish lace and is fond of wearing a cream-colored gown with a necklace of sapphires and moonstones. Lysa's mourning clothes include black silk, with the moon-and-falcon of House Arryn sewn in pearls. She also has a blue velvet robe trimmed with fox fur. The Lady of the Eyrie is fond of singers. Lysa's apartments at the Eyrie are located above the garden which passes for the castle's godswood.
Lysa was born as the second daughter of Lord Hoster Tully, head of House Tully and Lord of Riverrun, and his wife, Lady Minisa Whent. She has one older sister, Catelyn, and one younger brother, Edmure. Her mother, who had given birth to two boys previously (who had both died in infancy), died giving birth to her sixth child, who died with her.
Lysa was raised at Riverrun alongside her two siblings and her father's young ward, Petyr Baelish. As a young girl, Lysa would run and hide whenever she had done something wrong, so her father could not find her. Just as her siblings and her father's ward, Petyr, were wont to do, Lysa always went to her uncle, Ser Brynden Tully, with her tears and tales, whenever Lord Hoster was too busy, and Lady Minisa too ill. Lysa and Catelyn played together and even had a secret language. Once they made mud pies in the godswood of Riverrun and served them to Petyr, who was sick for a week after eating them. On one occasion, Lysa and Catelyn accompanied their father to Seagard, but on their way back to Riverrun, the sisters became lost due to the mist and Lysa started to cry. Petyr, who had accompanied Lord Hoster as well, eventually found the girls.
Being raised alongside Petyr, Lysa fell in love with him, but her feelings were not reciprocated. Instead, Petyr fell in love with Lysa's older sister Catelyn. When they were still young Lysa and Catelyn had first learnt to kiss by taking turns kissing Petyr, making Petyr the first man Lysa ever kissed. Catelyn recalls it as having been innocent, though Petyr attempted to kiss them with tongue, which Lysa allowed.
On the night Catelyn's betrothal to Brandon Stark was announced, Petyr, after having danced with Catelyn, tried to kiss her, and she rejected him, laughing. Petyr became drunk because of this, and after the boy had been brought to bed, Lysa followed and climbed into his bed to "give him comfort." Petyr took her virginity that night, telling her he loved her whilst he drunkenly believed that she was Catelyn, going as far as calling her "Cat" before he fell asleep. Despite this, Lysa stayed with him until sunrise, and would later come to remember the night fondly.
When Catelyn's wedding date to Brandon was eventually announced in 282 AC, Petyr challenged the northman for Catelyn's hand. Brandon wounded Petyr severely, after which Lysa helped nurse him. In the following fortnight, they slept together again. Lysa became pregnant with Petyr's child as a result of this. After Hoster had Petyr sent back to the Fingers, Lysa revealed her pregnancy to her father, hoping that Hoster would relent and let her wed Petyr. Hoster, who had always felt Petyr was too lowborn, instead forced Lysa to abort the child with moon tea provided by Maester Kym. Lysa nearly died from this.
Lords Hoster Tully and Tywin Lannister had been discussing a betrothal between Lysa and Jaime Lannister, the heir to Casterly Rock. This potential betrothal was off the table when King Aerys II Targaryen named Jaime to his Kingsguard in 281 AC. Lord Tywin offered his younger son, Tyrion, instead but was rebuffed by Lord Hoster, who stated that he wanted "a whole man" for Lysa instead of a dwarf.
Lysa was married to Jon Arryn, Lord of the Eyrie and Defender of the Vale, during Robert's Rebellion. Lord Arryn was already an old man and their marriage forged a useful wartime alliance with House Tully. In addition, Jon needed a wife known to be fertile, as his last heir, Ser Denys Arryn, had died during the Battle of the Bells. Lysa married Jon at Riverrun, in the same ceremony as her sister Catelyn married Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell. Unlike Catelyn's marriage, Lysa's had been hastily arranged. While she had wept much at the morning of their wedding, Lysa had been dry-eyed and radiant during the ceremony itself.
Lords Arryn and Stark soon left to continue fighting. Lysa and Catelyn both remained at Riverrun, and when their moon blood did not come at the accustomed time, Lysa was convinced they were both pregnant with sons. While for Catelyn this was indeed the case, Lysa's moon blood came not much later, and "all the joy" went out of her. After Catelyn gave birth to Robb Stark, she gave him to Lysa to hold, but, dissolving into tears, Lysa immediately gave the boy back to her sister.
After the war ended, King Robert I Baratheon named Jon Arryn as his Hand on his coronation, a position that took him away to King's Landing for long periods of time. Additionally, Lysa's uncle, Ser Brynden Tully, who had been quarreling with his older brother Hoster for years, took Lysa's marriage as an opportunity to enter the service of House Arryn. During Lysa's wedding feast, Brynden informed Hoster he would be serving Lysa and her new husband instead.
Jon Arryn was already a fairly old man when Lysa married him, and he was proud. Due to Jon's position as Hand of the King, the pair lived in King's Landing. Because of Lysa's soiled state and the age difference between them, theirs was a loveless marriage. In addition, Lysa had many troubles with childbirth. Including two boys and three girls, Lysa suffered two miscarriages in the Eyrie and three in King's Landing, and she gave birth to two stillborn children. After suffering her last stillbirth, Lysa became paranoid, seeing enemies everywhere. She eventually gave birth to a son, Robert, in 292 AC. However, Robert is a sickly child, suffering from the 'shaking sickness'. Being her only living child, Lysa became overprotective, and would still be breastfeeding him when he was six years old.
Despite her marriage, Lysa did not forget Petyr Baelish. She convinced her new husband to give Petyr the customs for Gulltown around 289 AC, where Petyr performed so well that Arryn eventually brought him to court, eventually rising to the position of master of coin. During this time, Lysa and Petyr begin a secret affair.
Lysa and her sister Catelyn last saw each other in 293 AC. Lysa also met Catelyn's eldest daughter, Sansa, though it is unknown whether these two events occurred at the same time. Lysa once sent Tom of Sevenstreams up the high road.
Lysa commissioned for her husband a double-edged longsword decorated to honor House Arryn. When Lord Jon grew concerned about the weakness of his son Robert, he arranged for the boy to be fostered with Lord Stannis Baratheon on Dragonstone. Lysa was furious upon learning about this arrangement.
Lord Arryn fell ill while investigating a book in King's Landing. Grand Maester Pycelle personally treated Jon after sending away Maester Colemon, but Lord Arryn still passed away quickly. Lysa prevented young Robert from visiting his father in the sickroom. After Jon's abrupt death, King Robert attempted to arrange for Lysa's son Robert to become a ward of Lord Tywin Lannister at Casterly Rock, as he feared that being raised by his mother would make his namesake weak. However, Lysa refused the suggestion brusquely and, against the wishes of the king, fled in the middle of the night with her son back to the Vale of Arryn, without bidding farewell.
A Game of Thrones
After her husband dies, Lysa flees King's Landing and returns to the Eyrie with her young son, Lord Robert Arryn, and her household. Lysa sends to her sister, Catelyn Stark, at Winterfell a secret letter in which she accuses the Lannisters and Queen Cersei in particular of having murdered her husband.
After King Robert I Baratheon names Ser Jaime Lannister as Warden of the East, Lysa commands that Lord Robert be addressed as the True Warden of the East. The widowed Lysa is courted by various Valemen, including Ser Lyn Corbray, Lord Eon Hunter, Lord Nestor Royce, and Ser Morton Waynwood. Lord Waxley sends Lysa scented candles from Wickenden. Ser Kevan Lannister states Lysa is being courted by powerful men such as Lord Yohn Royce, Lord Horton Redfort, and Lyn. Lysa rejects Nestor and a dozen other suitable men, as she wants to choose her next husband herself.
Catelyn takes Tyrion Lannister prisoner when she accidentally meets him at the crossroads inn during her journey from King's Landing back to Winterfell. To shake off possible pursuers, Catelyn publicly states her intent to take Tyrion to Winterfell, but in truth travels to the Vale of Arryn instead, where her younger sister Lysa rules as regent for her six-year-old son. Catelyn has not seen her sister Lysa in years and is shocked by the changes in Lysa. She has grown fat, emotionally unstable and sees enemies everywhere.
Lysa has Tyrion thrown in the sky cells and tries to make him confess to the murder of her husband. Tyrion outsmarts her by demanding a trial by combat. His champion, Bronn, is able to win against Ser Vardis Egen, captain of the guard at the Eyrie, whom Lysa has urged into the duel. Lysa orders Tyrion and Bronn to depart on the dangerous high road.
Catelyn tries to persuade her sister to mobilize an army and join with their father, Lord Hoster Tully, and the north against the Lannisters, but Lysa refuses. Their uncle, Ser Brynden the Blackfish, disgusted by Lysa's behavior, resigns as Knight of the Gate and leaves with Catelyn to fight for Riverrun. Before Catelyn leaves, she offers to foster Robert at Winterfell. Lysa responds by threatening to throw Catelyn out the Moon Door.
A Clash of Kings
Tyrion Lannister is willing to restore the title of Warden of the East to Lord Robert Arryn if his mother Lysa returns to the king's peace. During his attempt to discover who on the small council is informing on him to Cersei Lannister, Tyrion tells Lord Petyr Baelish that he wishes for Petyr to convince Lysa to agree to a betrothal between Princess Myrcella Baratheon and Robert. Littlefinger reveals he previously slept with Lysa. In truth, however, Tyrion's suggestion is a ruse, and Petyr never leaves King's Landing to propose the match to Lysa.
A Storm of Swords
Lord Hoster Tully passes away at Riverrun, feverishly asking forgiveness for having forced his daughter to take tansy tea in her youth. Catelyn Stark does not understand Hoster's meaning, however.
Lysa's sister, Catelyn, and nephew, Robb Stark, the King in the North, are killed in the Red Wedding. By the time of the defeat of the Starks, Lord Petyr Baelish has risen high in the counsel of the Lannisters and has been named Lord Paramount of the Trident and Lord of Harrenhal. With this rank, he is now able to marry Lysa and gain a position of influence over her son, Lord Robert Arryn.
Following Joffrey's death, Petyr brings Sansa Stark with him to the Vale, disguised as his natural daughter "Alayne Stone," but he informs Lysa the girl is actually her niece. Lysa brings Marillion and her own septon to the Baelish ancestral seat, where she weds Petyr. On their wedding night, Lysa hopes to become pregnant with Petyr's child. Lysa suggests that Sansa can one day wed Lord Robert, Sansa's cousin.
Many of the Valemen are upset with Lysa marrying Petyr and by her naming of him as Lord Protector of the Vale. Additionally, the Royces are angered at her refusal to aid House Stark during the War of the Five Kings. Lysa becomes lonely whenever Petyr departs the Eyrie to conduct business.
Sansa strongly resembles her late mother, Catelyn. One morning at the Eyrie, Lysa catches Petyr kissing Sansa. She blames Sansa and during an emotional row almost throws her from the Eyrie's Moon Door. Sansa is saved by the timely intervention of Petyr, who stops Lysa from sending Sansa to her death. Lysa is hysterical about the idea that Petyr might desire Sansa, and confesses how she and Petyr had maintained a relationship during their time in King's Landing, and she had convinced her husband, Jon, to appoint Petyr as manager of customs at Gulltown (which led to Petyr being brought to court and eventually to his appointment as master of coin). She also proclaims how she had poisoned her husband with the tears of Lys, as instructed by Petyr, and how she had sent her sister a letter accusing the Lannisters of the murder, again as per Petyr's instructions.
Petyr calms Lysa down, but confesses to her that he has only ever loved Lysa's sister, Catelyn. He then throws Lysa from the Giant's Lance through the Moon Door, framing her singer Marillion for the deed.
A Feast for Crows
Following Lysa's death, Petyr remains Lord Protector of the Vale. He replaces Ser Marwyn Belmore, Lysa's captain of guards, with Ser Lothor Brune. Sansa Stark has difficulty sleeping, and Lord Robert Arryn refuses to sleep in his own bed after his mother's death. Petyr gives Sansa her pick of Lysa's wardrobe and jewelry; most gowns are too large, but a few from Lysa's youth fit the girl.
Lord Nestor Royce, High Steward of the Vale, visits the Eyrie to ask about Lysa's death. Petyr has Marillion confess to murdering Lysa, and he convinces Sansa—disguised as Alayne Stone—to place the blame on the singer as well. Petyr grants the Gates of the Moon to Nestor's family, claiming it was Lysa's desire before Marillion murdered her.
—Lysa to Robert Arryn
Petyr: Perhaps I could bed you now, and wed you later?
Lysa: Oh, Petyr Baelish, you are so wicked. No, I say no, I am the Lady of the Eyrie, and I command you to wed me this very moment!Petyr: As my lady commands, then. I am helpless before you, as ever.
—Petyr Baelish and Lysa
—Lysa to Sansa Stark
You can't want her. You can't. She's a stupid empty-headed little girl. She doesn't love you the way I have. I've always loved you. I've proved it, haven't I? I gave you my maiden's gift. I would have given you a son too, but they murdered him with moon tea, with tansy and mint and wormwood, a spoon of honey and a drop of pennyroyal. It wasn't me, I never knew, I only drank what Father gave me...—Lysa to Petyr Baelish
Tears, tears, tears. No need for tears... but that's not what you said in King's Landing. You told me to put the tears in Jon's wine, and I did. For Robert, and for us! And I wrote Catelyn and told her the Lannisters had killed my lord husband, just as you said. That was so clever... you were always clever, I told Father that, I said Petyr's so clever, he'll rise high, he will, he will, and he's sweet and gentle and I have his little baby in my belly... Why did you kiss her? Why? We're together now, we're together after so long, so very long, why would you want to kiss herrrrrr?—Lysa to Petyr Baelish
Quotes about Lysa
If an old man may be forgiven his blunt speech, let me say that grief can derange even the strongest and most disciplined of minds, and the Lady Lysa was never that. Since her last stillbirth, she has seen enemies in every shadow, and the death of her lord husband left her shattered and lost.
I'd tell you to slap some sense into your sister, if I thought it would do any good, but you'd only bruise your hand.
Petyr: Lysa is more tractable than Catelyn, true ... but also more fearful, and I understand she hates you.
Tyrion: She believes she has good reason. When I was her guest in the Eyrie, she insisted that I'd murdered her husband, and was not inclined to listen to denials. If I gave her Jon Arryn's true killer, she might think more kindly of me.
—Sansa Stark's thoughts
—Sansa Stark's thoughts
|House Stark||House Arryn|
- See the Lysa Tully calculation.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Lysa Tully.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34, Catelyn VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 68, Sansa VI.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 9, Davos I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 23, Alayne I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 33, Jaime V.
- A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 40, Catelyn VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6, Catelyn II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 20, Catelyn III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 55, Catelyn VIII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 80, Sansa VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 31, Tyrion IV.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 41, Alayne II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 39, Catelyn V.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 45, Catelyn VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 17, Tyrion IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 28, Catelyn V.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 55, Catelyn VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn XI.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Petyr Baelish.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 11, Jaime II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 19, Tyrion III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 45, Catelyn V.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Jon Arryn.
- A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 24, Bran IV.
- See the Robert Arryn calculation
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 43, Arya VIII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 13, Tyrion II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 59, Catelyn IX.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 25, Eddard V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 22, Catelyn II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 25, Tyrion VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 35, Catelyn IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 51, Catelyn VII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 10, Sansa I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 14, Brienne III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 8, Bran II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 17, Bran III.