Family, Duty, Honour.
House Tully is the principal house of the Riverlands in Westeros. Their seat is Riverrun, and their sigil is a silver trout leaping on a blue and red striped field. The keep of Riverrun stands where the Tumblestone River meets the Red Fork of the Trident, and from there House Tully watches over its lands. The riverlords joined the Targaryens against Harren the Black, and were given dominion over the Trident in return. They are an old line dating back to the Age of Heroes as Lords of Riverrun but were never kings.
Before the Tullys were the River Kings — the Mudds, Fishers, Blackwoods, Brackens, and many others of the First Men besides. The Andal invasion killed the last of the Mudds. In time, Harren the Black, last of the Iron Kings, would come to inherit the riverlands.
Tully was one of many bannerhouses sworn to Harren the Black, but they had held the castle of Riverrun for 1,000 years while their lords changed and changed again. Harren’s grandfather, Harwyn Hardhand, had taken the lands from Arrec the Storm King, whose ancestors had in turn won the lands 300 years prior by killing the last of the River Kings. King Harren had brought his subjects in both the Iron Isles and the Riverlands to economic ruin in order to finance the building of his castle, Harrenhal. This monumental edifice was completed as Aegon the Conqueror arrived in Westeros.
Harren’s tyrannical rule over the Riverlands earned him little love from his bannermen. When Aegon swept through the region, most of Harren’s followers abandoned him to join the Conqueror’s host. First of the riverlords to desert Harren was Lord Edmyn Tully. After the conflict, Prince Aegon raised Lord Edmyn to overlordship of the Riverlands, requiring all other local lords to swear fealty to House Tully.
More recently, during Robert’s Rebellion, House Tully reluctantly joined forces with Baratheon. The price for Lord Hoster’s assistance was a pair of weddings for his two daughters: Catelyn to Eddard Stark and Lysa to Jon Arryn. In doing so, Tully reinforces its position by the double marriage into greatness; Eddard Stark is Warden of the North and a staunch supporter of King Robert, and Jon Arryn is the King’s Hand, the second most powerful person in the realm. Although Lord Hoster’s son, Edmure, remains single, Tully has braced itself with strong allies.
The house has developed a reputation for not surrendering easily. Their words are “Family, Duty, Honour,” yet stubbornness could also be added to that list. The members of the house each present their own variation on that pride and tenacity. Each does what he or she thinks is best for the family, but not all agree on the best way to fulfill the obligations of honour; this threatens to tear the house apart. It can be seen in Lord Hoster and his brother Brynden’s long and bitter estrangement, caused after Brynden refused to marry on Hoster’s orders. This stubbornness is also evident in Hoster’s daughters, such as Lysa’s complete withdrawal to the Eyrie and Catelyn’s rugged determination for her family. Conversely, Edmure, Hoster’s son, seeks to demonstrate his ability as the future lord of Riverrun, no matter what good advice others lend him.
There is a fierceness to the Tullys, too, once strong in Hoster. For example, after Lord Hoster declared for Robert Baratheon, one of his bannermen refused to follow his lead and remained a loyalist to King Aerys. Lord Hoster came down on Lord Goodbrook with fire and sword. Catelyn and Lysa both show this anger in protection of their children, although it manifests in wildly different ways.
The castle at Riverrun is one of the most defensible keeps to be found in the Seven Kingdoms. Flanked by the waters of Tumblestone and the Red Fork, the defenders of the castle can open sluice gates to flood the moat, surrounding Riverrun with water on all three sides. The waterways of the Riverlands are the key resources of House Tully. Many fast-moving rivers cut across the Tully holdings, limiting access through the heartland of Westeros. The most ideal crossings are well watched, forcing armies to risk precarious fords, ferry small groups across, or travel far out of their way to reach the other side.
Tully is a house of middling rank — not as powerful as the other great houses, but still tremendously positioned across the fertile riverlands, and it commands many influential bannermen. The house’s main strength is its control of the heart of the Seven Kingdoms. The paths across the mighty forks and tributaries of the Trident all lay within the purview of the Lord of Riverrun. Though the Tullys have no direct ties to the crown, they have familial bonds with both the North and the Vale of Arryn.
Unfortunately, Lord Hoster’s debilitating illness leaves the house with no clear leader. Edmure is too brash and unseasoned to face the coming storm. Lord Hoster’s brother Brynden, though a seasoned veteran, is ordered to stay at the Eyrie at Lysa’s command, since she refuses his request to send a thousand swords or even one to assist Riverrun against the massing Lannister horde.
ALLIED HOUSES: Stark, Arryn
ENEMY HOUSES: Lannister
Owing heavily to Catelyn’s ties to House Stark and a distrust of Lannisters, House Tully throws its lot in with the King in the North. Lord Hoster is so delirious with illness that Edmure must manage the affairs of the house. The Tully armies combine with the armies of the North, and win some victories against the Lannisters, including the capture of Jaime Lannister. The Kingslayer now rests in a cell deep below Riverrun, but the Tully position remains delicate with enemies all around.
Lord Hoster Tully, elderly and ill, leads House Tully. His wife Lady Minisa died in childbed. Their children: Ser Edmure, heir to the house; Lady Catelyn, married to Lord Eddard Stark; and Lady Lysa, widow to Lord Jon Arryn. Hoster’s brother, Ser Brynden, known as the Blackfi sh, serves House Arryn as Knight of the Gate.
FEATS: Blood of the Andals; Family, Duty, Honour; Keen Mind; Stubborn; Tradesman
SOCIAL STATUS: Rank 4 (Member of a Great House)