House Tully: Lords of the Riverlands
Two things come to mind in considering House Tully: “family” and the “Riverlands.” The profile of House Tully is best represented by their motto, “Family, Duty, Honor”, as seen in their quick and unquestionable support of their family members and allies.
House Tully rules over the Riverlands from their ancestral seat at Riverrun. Following the events of Robert’s Rebellion, they have joined with the Starks and Arryns through marriage, thus forming a powerful alliance among three of the major Houses in Westeros.
House Tully is an old line that has presided over their castle at Riverrun for several centuries. They came to power during the Targaryen invasion, when they chose to ally themselves with Aegon Targaryen’s forces in order to topple the tyrant Harren “The Black” Hoare, who ruled over the Iron Islands and the Riverlands. As reward for their support, their House was made overlord over the “lands watered by the Trident.”
When the Stark, Arryn, and Baratheon Houses raised their banners against the “Mad King” Aerys Targaryen II, House Tully joined the rebellion as they were already arranged in marriage to the Stark family. After King Robert Baratheon secured the Iron Throne, the Tully daughters, Catelyn and Lysa, were married to Eddard “Ned” Stark and Jon Arryn respectively. A powerful alliance of three great Houses was formed, elevating House Tully’s status and influence considerably.
Catelyn Stark has been on guard since receiving news from her sister, Lysa Arryn, that Jon Arryn has died and that the Lannisters are responsible. She is not at all pleased when Jon’s former title, the esteemed position of the King’s Hand, is offered to Ned. Despite his wife’s misgivings, Ned feels honor-bound to accept and journeys to King’s Landing with their two eldest daughters. Catelyn decides to stay behind with her sons, following a tragic accident involving their middle child, Bran. An assassination attempt on Bran convinces Catelyn to take matters into her own hands. She travels on her own to confer with Ned and Lysa, and manages to take a Lannister hostage on the way!
In the wake of Ned’s and her own suspicions, Catelyn is hoping for the support of House Arryn. Unfortunately, the Lysa she encounters is a far cry from the sister she once knew. Distraught and paranoid, neither Lysa, nor her sickly six-year-old son, Robert, is in any position to lend aid to their kin. Now, more than ever, Catelyn must rely on the unfailing support of House Tully to see her family and their kingdom through their crisis.
Catelyn is the epitome of the profile of House Tully as one who places family and duty above all else. She is depicted as a strong, beautiful, and capable woman who would do anything for her husband and children. The only mar on her otherwise perfect character is her refusal to accept Jon Snow, Ned’s bastard son, as part of their family. Lysa is Catelyn’s anti-thesis. Disappointed in her marriage with the elderly Jon Arryn, she has grown into a bitter woman who is given in to fits of paranoia and is overly protective of her only child, Robert. While these women are the most prominent characters from their House, Brynden and Edmure Tully are slowly coming into their own as minor players in the Game of Thrones.
Brynden is the younger brother of Hoster, Catelyn and Lysa’s father. During a family quarrel, Hoster, who is also the current head of the Tully family, had branded him as a “black goat”. Brynden took the name “Blackfish” instead, based on their sigil. He followed Lysa to House Arryn and served under Jon as a knight. He would eventually resign from this post to join Catelyn and her son during the War of the Five Kings.
Edmure is Catelyn and Lysa’s brother and heir to House Tully. While he has proven himself capable, he is also known to be hotheaded and rash in his actions, often leading to dire consequences.
Sigil & Motto
The sigil of House Tully is represented by a silver trout leaping over a blue and red striped field. Only Brynden follows his own coat of arms, which depicts a black fish. Their motto is “Family, Duty, Honor”.