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Lysa Arryn

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What wife would do the things I've done for you? What wife would trust you the way I trusted you? When you gave me those drops and told me to pour them into Jon's wine. My husband's wine. And you told me to write a letter to Cat telling her it was the Lannisters...
~ ―Lysa Arryn to Petyr Baelish.

Lady Lysa Arryn, née Tully, is a character from A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones. Lysa is the youngest daughter of Lord Hoster Tully and Lady Minisa Whent. She is the younger sister of Catelyn and the older sister of Edmure. She was married to Lord Jon Arryn during Robert's Rebellion. After her husband's death she was the Lady Regent of the Vale of Arryn, ruling on behalf of her young son Robert Arryn (Robin in the TV series). She pursued a policy of isolationism since the death of Jon Arryn.

She was portrayed by Kate Dickie.


As a teen girl, Lysa was pretty, slender, high-breasted girl, dimpled and delicate. Lysa lost her beauty by her early thirties, as a result of her many pregnancies, miscarriages and stillbirths. Despite being two years younger than her sister Catelyn, Lysa looks 10 years older; in the novels 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.

As a young girl, Lysa wanted nothing more than to marry the man of her dreams. 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 Jon Arryn, however, was purely political, and while he was dutiful and kind to her, the marriage lacked the warmth Lysa required, due to their age difference and Jon's absence and seriousness.

Lysa was a soft, scared, shy, delicate and timid girl in her youth, prone to tongue-tied silences and fits of giggles. After Robert's Rebellion, her years at King's Landing were difficult for her, and changed her significantly, turning her into a woman who is by turns proud, fearful, cruel, dreamy, reckless, impulsive, timid, stubborn, and vain. She became an inconstant temperamental and extremely bitter woman with with split personalities. During the years she became extremely unfriendly towards others. She also reacts aggressively when she sees Tyrion Lannister, due to her fear and paranaoia of her child being harmed. Throughout the first book and season, she is shown to be exceptionally prejudiced against Tyrion, giving him a repeatedly one-sided trial for murder and attempted murder. She had never been brave and remained cowardly and insecure. Grand Maester Pycelle considers Lysa to have never been "the strongest and most disciplined of minds", claiming that Lysa has seen enemies in every shadow since her last stillbirth.

Lysa suffers from unspecified delusions, and dotes constantly on her son Robert, also called "Sweetrobin", believing him to be beautiful and strong (whilst he may be the former he is certainly not the latter). On that note, Lysa is not really a good mother and spoiled her son his entire life into becoming a vicious, sadistic, weak, whiny, and gullible brat who, after leaving the capital, hysterically enjoyed watching people fall through the Moon Door of the Eyrie, believing that all cities and castles should have a Moon Door or they are useless. Lysa is fiercely protective of Sweetrobin and goes through great lengths to keep him by her side, fleeing from court when the King offered for Robert to be fostered by Lord Tywin Lannister, and threatening her own sister with execution upon the suggestion that Robert could be fostered at Winterfell amongst his cousins.

Lysa was obsessively in love with Petyr Baelish since her childhood, but he had eyes only for Catelyn. She loved him so much to such an extent that she would refer to anyone who was against her love for Baelish (or so she thought) in diabolical terms. She was also prone to fits of violence and rage when experiencing the bitterness for not being able to be with Petyr - she would abandon logic and reason completely to such an extent that she nearly pushes Sansa out of the Moon Door.


Early life

Lysa was born into House Tully and was the second child of Lord Hoster Tully. She had an older sister, Catelyn and a younger brother, Edmure. Her mother Minisa Whent died giving birth to a fourth son, who also died.

Lysa grew up in Riverrun with Catelyn, Edmure, and Petyr Baelish, who was Lord Hoster's ward. 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, as girls, and even had a secret language. Once they made mud pies and served them to Petyr, who ate them and as a result was sick for a week. On one occasion, Lysa accompanied her father to Seagard with her sister, but on their way back to Riverrun, she and Catelyn got lost due to the mist. Petyr Baelish, who had accompanied Lord Hoster as well, eventually found them.

The Tully sisters used to kiss Littlefinger for fun. Catelyn was subtle about it, while Lysa and Littlefinger also used the tongue, though Catelyn still recalls it as being innocent, as Lysa was always delicate at everything she did. Eventually Lysa was infatuated with Petyr but he was in love with her older sister who only saw him as a brother. At the age of 12 Catelyn was betrothed with the heir of Winterfell, Brandon Stark. Catelyn was exited and thankful to her father and that night danced with Littlefinger, who tried to kiss her. She rejected him, laughing. Then Lysa gave comfort to a drunk sad Littlefinger and that night he took her virginity, believing her to be Catelyn. Lysa ket Petyr believe she was Catelyn anyway, resulting with the older Lord Petyr claiming in front of the small council to have taken Catelyn's virginity.

Lysa was very happy for Catelyn's betrothal and hoped she would marry a strong dreamy man as well. A few years later Brandon came to Riverrun to meet the teenage Catelyn, and Littlefinger challenged him for Catelyn's hand. Brandon easily defeated the weak Petyr and wounded him, sparing his life only because Catelyn asked him to. Later Lysa nursed Littlefinger and in the following fortnight they had sex again, resulting with Lysa being pregnant with Petyr's child. Littlefinger was sent back to the Fingers by Hoster Tully, but Lysa wanted to wed him and revealed her pregnancy to her father, but Lord Tully didn't show any interest, as Petyr was too lowborn and House Baelish too insignificant, so he forced Lysa to abort the child with moon tea, provived by Maester Kym. Lysa nearly dies from this.

In the past, Lysa and Jaime Lannister had already met at Riverrun, as Hoster and the Hand of the King, Lord Tywin Lannister were discussing a marriage between them. At the time Jaime didn't show interest on the shy Lysa and was more eager to hear the stories of the legendary Ser Brynden Tully the Blackfish. During the years Hoster considered many betrothals for Lysa, as he wanted the best man for her, like Catelyn. He and Tywin met at King's Landing and were succeeding at marry Lysa to Jaime, but Tywin's daughter, Cersei, didn't want her twin brother to marry and manipulated the infatuated Jaime to renounce his heritage and future titles by pushing him to join the Kingsguard and King Aerys II Targaryen, who was jealous and paranoid of his old friend Tywin, accepted Cersei and Jaime's request. A shocked Tywin felt insulted by the King, but he still attempted to make a deal with Hoster and offered his younger son, Tyrion but Hoster refused, not wanting to have his daughter married to a dwarf, stating that he wanted "a whole man" for Lysa..

So during Robert's Rebellion, the young Lysa was finally married to Lord Jon Arryn, the Lord of the Eyrie, Defender of the Vale, and the leader of the rebel faction fighting to overthrow the Mad King. The rebels forged a useful alliance with House Tully through marriage, with Lord Eddard Stark married to Catelyn and the then-elderly Jon to the still young Lysa. Also, Jon needed a new wife as his former wives either failed to give him living sons or died before they could, and his last heir Ser Denys Arryn died during the Battle of the Bells at Stoney Sept. Lysa married Jon in the sept of Riverrun the same day and the same room with Ned and Catelyn.

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. Both Jon Arryn and Eddard Stark played key roles in the successful rebellion, and after the dubble wedding soon left to continue fighting. Lysa and Catelyn both remained at Riverrun, and when their moon blood did not come at the accustomed time, both girls believed they were pregnant, with Lysa convinced they were both pregnant with a son. 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.

The rebels won the war, House Targaryen was overthrowed, and King Robert I Baratheon became Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and appointed Jon as his Hand. So Jon had to move to King's Landing with Lysa, rarely visting the Eyrie. During their long staying in King's Landing, Nestor Royce, elderly cousin of Lord Yohn Royce and keeper of the Gates of the Moon, was named Lord Protector of the Vale, to rule the kingdom in Jon's stead and keep order against the Vale Mountain clans.

Lysa's uncle, Ser Brynden Tully, left the riverlands to avoid his feuding with his brother Hoster, since he had been fighting with Hoster for years. He took Lysa's marriage as an opportunity to swear allegiance to House Arryn and Jon Arryn allowed him to serve his family as Knight of the Gate, at the Bloody Gate on the Mountains of the Moon.

Lysa and Jon lived in King's Landing. Jon was a proud old man and due to their age difference and Lysa's soiled state, there was not much love between them, though she also didn't have anything against him. Lysa had two miscarriages in the Eyrie and three in King's Landing along with two dead stillborn children. She finally managed to have a living son, Robert Arryn, named after King Robert Baratheon, also known as "Sweetrobin". Sweetrobin however is a sickly weak child who suffers the "shaking sickness". Lysa became paranoid and overprotective thinking about enemies plotting everywhere. Jaime sees the same problem in Cersei and compares the two women as "crazy mothers". Lysa never denied anything to Robert and spoiled him without limits, even breastfed him until he was six.

Lysa and her sister Catelyn last saw each other in 293 AC, 5 years after Greyjoy's Rebellion. Lysa also met Catelyn's eldest daughter, Sansa, though it is unknown whether these two events occured at the same time.

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.

Jon Arryn had no time to spend some time with his son, as King Robert was a terrible king. Jon was seriously concerned for his son's weakness that he thought he needed to be fostered somewhere else with somebody strong. So Jon arranged to foster Sweetrobin with Lord Stannis Baratheon on Dragonstone. Stannis agreed with this, and Lysa became angered and despared, as she didn't want depart with her child. Also, out of all places, Dragonstone has a very negative reputation in Westeros and no one is eager to go there.

During the Tourney on Prince Joffrey's name day, at King's Landing, Lord Walder Frey proposed that Lord Jon Arryn and Lady Lysa Arryn foster two of his grandsons, Little Walder and Big Walder, at court and offered to take their own son, Robert Arryn, to ward at the Twins. Lysa frosted up as if he'd suggested selling her boy to a mummer’s show or making a eunuch out of him, and when Lord Arryn said the child was going to Dragonstone to foster with Stannis Baratheon, she stormed off without a word of regrets and all the Hand could give Walder was apologies.

Lord Stannis knew that King Robert's children weren't his, but didn't want to tell about it to his older brother. There was no love between Robert and Stannis, so the latter thought it would just appear as self-serving and possible lie. So Stannis confided his suspects to Lord Arryn, who starts to investigate about Robert's bastards (along with them are Gendry, Edric Storm, Mya Stone, and Bella). Then Jon Arryn finds the truth and sooner or later he would have talked with Robert about it. In the meantime Lysa maintained a relationship with Petyr Baelish, who was the Master of Coin thanks to Lysa who convinced her husband, at the time. Littlefinger manipulated Lysa's feelings and used the situation to start a possible conflict between the Lannisters, the Starks, and the Tullys, and also avoid Lord Stannis from revealing the truth to King Robert. Petyr manipulated Lysa's feelings and told her that killing Jon was to avoid Sweetrobin from going to Dragonstone. Lysa used the Tears of Lys to make Jon's death seem natural. Lysa remained with Jon in his room until his death, King Robert with her as well. Despite the poisoning, the young Arryn maester, Maester Colemon, was doing a good job at saving Lord Arryn's life, however Grand Maester Pycelle betrayed Jon and deliberately sent Colemon away so Jon could just die and Cersei's secret would stay safe.

Jon died, sparking King Robert's search for a replacement. King Robert wanted wanted Robert Arryn to become a ward to Tywin Lannister at Casterly Rock, fearing that the name of House Arryn would weaken with Lysa. An angry Lysa refused, ignoring the fact that Robert was the king, and right after he goes to the North for his friend Ned, she fled King's Landing for the safety of the Eyrie with Sweetobin, who's the titular Lord Paramount of the Vale. During the same time Stannis leaves the capital as well for Dragonstone to close the island's port and gather swords.

Season 1

Lysa's husband Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, dies of an apparent fever. Lysa flees the capital and returns to the Eyriewith her son Robin. She sends her sister Catelyn a letter claiming that the Lannisters murdered Jon Arryn for unknown reasons. This news convinces Catelyn's husband, Lord Eddard Stark, that he must accept King Robert's offer to become the new Hand so he may investigate further. During the king's visit to Winterfell, Catelyn's own son Bran Stark is badly injured in suspicious circumstances.

Catelyn apprehends Tyrion Lannister on suspicion of trying to kill Bran. She brings him to the Eyrie to be questioned. Lysa is furious with Catelyn for exposing her to the wrath of House Lannister. She and Robin hold Tyrion in contempt, ignoring his threats that his house will repay them for any harm they visit upon him. Lysa orders Tyrion sent to Mord, the castle jailer. Tyrion and Catelyn are both disturbed by Lysa's excessive coddling of Robin, including still breast-feeding him despite him being several years too old for it.

Tyrion convinces Lysa to give him a trial, only to protest his innocence. He demands the right of trial by combat, supported by the mercenary Bronn. Bronn wins the battle, killing Lysa's champion, Ser Vardis Egen. Lysa chides Bronn for not fighting with honor, but reluctantly releases Tyrion.

Lysa receives a letter from King's Landing announcing that Robert has died and Eddard has been arrested as a traitor. She delays showing the letter to Catelyn, to Catelyn's great annoyance. Catelyn asks that the knights of the Vale join House Tully and House Stark in fighting the Lannisters for his freedom, but Lysa refuses. Lysa insists that the Vale knights must remain at home to defend Robin. Catelyn leaves the Vale without support.

Season 4

Petyr Baelish, acting under his own promises to both Lysa and her niece Sansa Stark, arrives at the Vale, bringing Sansa to the Eyrie with him. Lysa greets Sansa enthusiastically, introducing her to her son Robin. She conveys her pity for Sansa's unfortunate marriage with the dwarf Tyrion Lannister, and asks if he ever forced himself on her, to which she replies "no". Lysa agrees not to refer to Sansa by her true name in the presence of anyone else, and has Robin show her around the castle. Sexually eager, Lysa has her and Littlefinger wed immediately, promising to "scream" as he makes love to her. She also references poisoning her own husband's wine and framing the Lannisters in his presence, using these actions as proof of her love for him.

The following day, Lysa dotes over Sansa in petty conversation, and she shares her childhood memories about Catelyn. However, she grows angry when Sansa almost mentions that Littlefinger loved Catelyn, something which has irked Lysa for years. She starts grilling Sansa, wondering why Littlefinger cares so much for her, and if he has ever forced himself onto her. Sansa is shocked and denies this, and complains that Lysa, clenching her fingers tightly, is hurting her. Seeing Sansa scared, Lysa returns to a nurturing state, drawing her close and comforting her.

Lysa witnesses Littlefinger kissing Sansa in the Eyrie's gardens, and goes mad with jealousy. She summons Sansa to the High Hall of the Arryns, threatening to push her out the Moon Door to her death, but is interrupted by Petyr. ​Emotionally distraught and torn over Littlefinger's infatuation with Sansa, Lysa falls into a fit of tears, shoving her to the floor. Littlefinger feigns an apology, embraces her and reassures her that he only ever loved one woman. To Lysa's horror, he utters "your sister", and then shoves Lysa through the Moon Door to her death, as a shell-shocked Sansa looks on. With Sansa's help, Littlefinger convinces the lords of the Vale that Lysa committed suicide so that the Lords of the Vale will never know the fact Lysa was murdered by Lord Bealish.

In the books

In A Song of Ice and Fire, Lysa is Catelyn's sister, who is distrustful of the Lannisters. She dotes on her son excessively. In the books her son's name is "Robert Arryn", but this was changed for the TV series to avoid confusion with Robert Baratheon and Robb Stark. Lysa married Lord Jon Arryn to tie three of the Houses involved in Robert's Rebellion - the Starks, Tullys, and Arryns - more closely together. Given the large age difference between her and Jon, their marriage was not a happy one.

She is noted as overweight in the books, as a result of suffering two stillbirths and four miscarriages. The stress from these many pregnancies which ended in tragedy, combined with her distant relationship with her elderly husband, wore heavily on Lysa's mental state. This is also why she dotes so excessively on Sweetrobin, her only surviving child.

In her youth, Lysa fell in love with Littlefinger, but her feelings were not reciprocated. One night Petyr tried to kiss Catelyn, and she rejected him, laughing. Petyr got drunk because of this, and Lysa climbed into his bed that night to "give him comfort". Petyr took her virginity that night, telling her he loved her, but called her "Cat" before falling asleep. Lysa became pregnant with Petyr's child as a result of this. Her father forced her to abort the child instead, that he could marry her to Jon Arryn. The whole episode had great negative effect on Lysa's spirit.

Lysa's marriage to Jon Arryn was very unhappy. She did not love the much older man she was forced to marry; she had five miscarriages, twice in the Eyrie and three at King's Landing; the only child who was born alive turned to be mentally and physically ill.

During the War of the Five Kings, Robb Stark sent letters to Lysa, asking her to let his army pass through the Vale and provide ships at Gulltown to take them north. Had Lysa agreed, Robb could have landed at White Harbor, flanked Moat Cailin and driven the Ironmen from the north in half a year. But Lysa did not respond, and kept the Bloody Gate closed.

When Lysa drags Sansa to the Moon Door, she blurts out the whole truth about her first pregnancy, the abortion and Jon Arryn's death. The singer Marillion is present when Lysa struggles with Sansa (and he sings loudly to drown out Sansa's screams). Littlefinger appears and consoles her before telling her he only ever loved Catelyn (in the books, he says "only Cat" instead of "your sister"), shocking Lysa so much that when Littlefinger pushes her out she does not even scream but continues to look at him in disbelief as she falls. Littlefinger blames the murder on Marillion, who confesses after being tortured by Mord. Since the singer is despised throughout the Vale for his mocking songs and obnoxious behavior, the Vale bannermen readily believe his guilt.


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