Tower of the Hand

Book 1, Chapter 35.
Catelyn succeeds in bringing Tyrion to the Vale. Lysa is furious that Catelyn has brought him there.
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Catelyn and her party are being escorted by Ser Donnel Waynwood and a party from the Vale. Two more of Catelyn's men, Lharys and Chiggen, died in a second clansmen attack, and Morrec died soon after when his wounds festered. When Ser Donnel approached, they drew up for a last stand before realizing who it was. The clans have been bold since Lord Jon died, and Lysa has pulled all her men into the Vale of Arryn, refusing to let them leave, even for the Hand's tournament. Catelyn asks for Maester Colemon to tend to Ser Rodrik's wounds, but he is commanded to stay at the Eyrie at all times and care for Lord Robert. They approach the Bloody Gate, and Ser Brynden Tully rides out to greet them. They pass through the gate and leave Ser Willis and Ser Rodrik, both wounded, before continuing on. Marillion and Bronn ask to continue on with her and Tyrion and she allows it.

On the way, Catelyn tells Brynden all that has occurred. She thinks how her uncle was always a good listener, except when it came to her father, whom he quarreled with often. When Catelyn was eight, Lord Hoster called Brynden the black goat of House Tully, and Brynden retorted he should be a black fish since the Tully symbol is a trout. He took a black fish for his personal emblem and has been known as the Blackfish ever since. They continued to fight until the day Lysa wed and Brynden left to take service with Lord Jon. Brynden is worried by Catelyn's story. The nobles of the Vale are angry that Jaime Lannister has been named Warden of the East and many suspect Jon was murdered. Lord Robert is sickly and weak and many feel that Lord Nestor Royce, who ruled the Vale for fourteen years as High Steward while Lord Jon was serving as Hand, should rule until he comes of age, while others believe Lysa must marry again. She has already rejected a dozen suitors. Brynden also says that Lysa may not be helpful. She is changed by hard years, including two stillbirths and four miscarriages. They ride to the Gates of the Moon, where Lord Nestor greets them. He says that Lady Lysa has asked that Catelyn be sent up right away despite the fact that it is after dark. A young woman, Mya Stone, will take her to the top. Tyrion is escorted to a cell at the Gates.

Catelyn starts her climb, which takes her past three waycastles as the journey continues, Stone, Snow, and Sky. Mya talks as they go, telling Catelyn how she is in love with Ser Lyn Corbray's squire, Mychel Redfort, and that they are to marry when he becomes a knight in a year or two. Catelyn thinks to herself that House Redfort is one of the oldest houses in the Vale, tracing their lineage back to the First Men, and that a son of this house would never marry a bastard.1 The path gets narrower and windier on up, and by the time Catelyn reaches the last waycastle, Sky, she is too nervous to continue and has herself hauled up from Sky to the Eyrie in a basket. She is greeted by Ser Vardis Egen and Maester Colemon, who take her to Lysa. Her sister is all smiles until everyone leaves, at which point she turns vicious. She is furious that Catelyn brought Tyrion to the Vale and dragged her into her quarrel with the Lannisters. She had never meant to fight them, only to hide in the Eyrie. Lord Robert comes in as she shouts, and he is very sickly. He gets scared, and Lysa breastfeeds him. She wonders what to do with Tyrion, and Robert asks if they can make him fly.2


Active Characters

  1. Brynden Tully - He has a lined and weathered face, grey hair, thick eyebrows, and blue eyes. He is five years younger than his brother, Lord Hoster.
  2. Colemon - He is thin and balding with a big neck.
  3. Donnel Waynwood - He is stocky and homely with a wide nose and thick brown hair. He is twenty years old.
  4. Lysa Tully - She is two years younger than Catelyn and short with long thick auburn hair. She has grown fat and her blue eyes are watery.
  5. Mya Stone - A wiry girl of seventeen or eighteen. She has short-cropped dark hair.
  6. Nestor Royce - He is a massive, barrel-chested man.
  7. Robert Arryn - He is small for his age and has the shaking sickness. He has brown hair.
  8. Vardis Egen - He is stocky and silver-haired.


Active Houses

  1. House Royce of the Gates of the Moon - Lord Nestor is a cousin of Yohn Royce and his is a lesser branch of the house.


  1. Alyssa's Tears - Alyssa's Tears flows down the west face of the Giant's Lance.
  2. Bloody Gate - The gate spans the high road at a spot where it narrows so that only four men can walk abreast. Twin watchtowers rise to either side, joined by a bridge across the gate. A dozen armies were broken at the gate during the Age of Heroes, according to legend.
  3. Giant's Lance - The mountain is over three and a half miles high. There are steps carved into it so that one can reach the Eyrie by mule. Three waycastles guard the way up, Stone, Snow, and Sky.
  4. Sky - Sky is just an unmortared wall. A winch in Sky is used to get supplies up to the Eyrie.
  5. Snow - Snow is just a tower and a timber keep and stable.
  6. The Eyrie - The Eyrie is made of gleaming white stone and has seven towers so high up that they are above the clouds.
  7. Vale of Arryn - The Vale of Arryn is a plain of rich black soil with slow moving rivers dotted with hundreds of lakes surrounded by mountains. It is one of the most fertile areas in the Seven Kingdoms.


Warning: Footnotes may contain spoilers from later chapters or books.


1.  Prologue 26.  Eddard V 51.  Arya IV
2.  Bran I 27.  Jon IV 52.  Sansa IV
3.  Catelyn I 28.  Eddard VI 53.  Jon VII
4.  Daenerys I 29.  Catelyn V 54.  Bran VI
5.  Eddard I 30.  Sansa II 55.  Daenerys VI
6.  Jon I 31.  Eddard VII 56.  Catelyn VIII
7.  Catelyn II 32.  Tyrion IV 57.  Tyrion VII
8.  Arya I 33.  Arya III 58.  Sansa V
9.  Bran II 34.  Eddard VIII 59.  Eddard XV
10.  Tyrion I 35.  Catelyn VI 60.  Catelyn IX
11.  Jon II 36.  Eddard IX 61.  Jon VIII
12.  Daenerys II 37.  Daenerys IV 62.  Daenerys VII
13.  Eddard II 38.  Bran V 63.  Tyrion VIII
14.  Tyrion II 39.  Tyrion V 64.  Catelyn X
15.  Catelyn III 40.  Eddard X 65.  Daenerys VIII
16.  Sansa I 41.  Catelyn VII 66.  Arya V
17.  Eddard III 42.  Jon V 67.  Bran VII
18.  Bran III 43.  Tyrion VI 68.  Sansa VI
19.  Catelyn IV 44.  Eddard XI 69.  Daenerys IX
20.  Jon III 45.  Sansa III 70.  Tyrion IX
21.  Eddard IV 46.  Eddard XII 71.  Jon IX
22.  Tyrion III 47.  Daenerys V 72.  Catelyn XI
23.  Arya II 48.  Eddard XIII 73.  Daenerys X
24.  Daenerys III 49.  Jon VI
25.  Bran IV 50.  Eddard XIV