The sigil of House Arryn from Game of Thrones.
Based on George R.R. Martin’s famous series of novels (collectively known as “A Song of Ice and Fire”), the television series “Game of Thrones” premiered in 2011 on the channel HBO. It is set in a fantasy world heavily based on the society and culture of the European Middle Ages. Two large continents, Westeros and Essos, make up most of the visible landmass in this world, with the former being featured in storylines much more frequently. While typical elements from fantasy stories, such as dragons and various forms of magic, are seen throughout the series, they generally take a backseat to much larger themes, such as military conflicts, political machinations, and family dynamics.
The continent of Westeros is made up of many different regions, each of which has its own culture and history. Most of these regions form constituent parts of a single political realm, which is presided over by a ruling monarch. While they hold ultimate power over the realm, local governance of each region is handled by a “Great House”, a noble family whose members answer directly to the monarch. House Arryn is one of these Great Houses, and they govern a region known as the Vale. Located on the eastern coast, the Vale is dominated steep, craggy mountains and governed from a mountaintop stronghold known as the Eyrie. The sigil of House Arryn is a white crescent moon and white falcon on a field of blue, and their motto is “As High as Honor”.
The history of House Arryn is explained in the backstory that Martin developed for his world. Six thousand years prior to the timeline of the series, a people known as the Andals crossed the sea from the continent of Essos and landed in the Vale. House Arryn traces their descent from one of these Andal invaders- Artys Arryn, also known as the Falcon Knight, was a great warrior who bore falcon wings on his helmet. He led the Andals in a great battle that established them as the supreme power in the region. For this reason, the Vale is alternatively known as 'The Vale of Arryn'.
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