House Lannister of Casterly Rock is one of the Great Houses of Seven Kingdoms, and the principal house of the westerlands. Their seat is Casterly Rock, though another branch exists that is based in nearby Lannisport. Their sigil is a golden lion on a field of crimson. Their official motto is "Hear Me Roar!" However, their unofficial motto, equally well known, is "A Lannister always pays his debts." The Warden of the West is a Lannister by tradition.
Fair-haired, tall, and handsome, the Lannisters are the blood of Andal adventurers who carved out a mighty kingdom in the western hills and valleys. Through the female line they boast of descent from Lann the Clever, the legendary trickster of the Age of Heroes who tricked the members of House Casterly into giving him Casterly Rock during the era of the First Men.
The Lannisters reigned as Kings of the Rock until they fell to the Targaryen conquest, but were allowed to remain the liege lords of the westerlands.
First Men Kings Edit
The Lannisters suddenly appear as First Men in historical records of the Age of Heroes, ruling large portions of the westerlands from Casterly Rock just as the Casterlys vanished from the chronicles. They claim descent from Lann the Clever, the legendary figure who tricked the Casterlys from their seat, Casterly Rock.
According to a semi-canon source, members of lesser branches of the family left Casterly Rock and developed a nearby village into the city of Lannisport, forming House Lannister of Lannisport. Meanwhile, the Lannisters of Casterly Rock grew to become Kings of the Rock. The first known King of the Rock was Loreon I Lannister, although Lann the Clever has posthumously been called by the same title.
Andal Kings Edit
During the Andal invasion of Westeros, House Lannister initially fought the invading Andal warlords and adventurers that ventured into the westerlands but then took a policy of arranging marriages between them and the daughters of the local First Men houses. They also took Andal sons and daughters as wards and fosterlings at Casterly Rock to prevent betrayals such as those that had happened in the Vale. In time, the Lannister kings also wed their children to Andals, and when King Gerold III died without male issue, a council crowned the Andal husband of Gerold's only daughter, Ser Joffrey Lydden, who took the Lannister name. Thus the Lannisters became an Andal house, though their First Men name lived on.
The gold of Casterly Rock, Castamere, the Pendric Hills and the Golden Tooth has made them the wealthiest of the Great Houses. The keep at Casterly Rock sits on top of a gold mine, built into the very rock. From that lofty yet uncomfortable position, House Lannister rules over the westerlands and influences all of Westeros, by virtue of the kingdom's purse strings.
House Lannister possessed an ancestral Valyrian steel greatsword called Brightroar, but it was lost when King Tommen II Lannister went on a quest to Valyria and never returned. The Lannisters have been looking for a replacement ever since, though they have not stopped looking for their own lost ancestral sword.
When Lelia Lannister, the Dowager Queen of the Iron Islands, was mutilated by drowned men, her nephew, the King of the Rock, began a war which left the Iron Islands impoverished.
Targaryen Era Edit
When the War of Conquest began and Aegon the Conqueror swept through the land, Loren I, King of the Rock, sided with Mern IX Gardener, King of the Reach against the Targaryens. The two armies met in the Reach, where the combined might of the Reach and the Rock broke Aegon's army. Their army, dubbed by historians 'The Host of the Two Kings', numbered 55,000; five thousand of them mounted knights, while the Targaryens had only 10,000 men, many of uncertain loyalty and reliability. With their smaller force severely weakened and in danger of routing, Aegon and his sisters deployed all three dragons at once; the only time this happened during the war. Their combined fires scoured the battlefield, immolating more than four thousand men (including King Mern and his heirs) and giving the battle its name: The Field of Fire. After he was captured, King Loren the Last bent the knee and was allowed to remain Lord of Casterly Rock and became the first Warden of the West.
The Lannisters were also involved in the Targaryen civil war, the Dance of the Dragons. It was a contest of claims between Viserys I Targaryen's issue, Rhaenyra Targaryen, by his first wife Aemma of House Arryn and his issue, Aegon II Targaryen by his second wife Alicent of House Hightower. The head of House Lannister at that time, Lord Jason Lannister, supported the greens, along with his brother Ser Tyland Lannister, the master of ships and a member of the small council during the reign of Viserys I Targaryen. Tyland was named master of coin at the start of the Dance, and he seized the royal treasury and divided crown's gold into four parts. One part was entrusted to the care of the Iron Bank of Braavos for safekeeping, another sent under strong guard to Casterly Rock and a third to Oldtown. The remaining wealth was used by the greens for bribes and gifts and hiring sellswords. Lord Jason was killed in the Battle at the Red Fork, leaving Casterly Rock in disarray. The Lannister host under Lord Lefford was then shattered in the Battle by the Lakeshore, the bloodiest battle of the war. After the fall of King's Landing, Tyland was given to torturers in the hopes of recovering some of the crown's treasure.
The war ended with the deaths of both claimants Rhaenyra and Aegon II. Aegon III Targaryen ascended the throne and named Roland Westerling, older brother of Johanna Lannister, Lord Jason Lannister's widow, one of his seven regents. Jason was succeeded by his only child and heir, Stafford Lannister.
Recent Events Edit
Blackwater Rebellion Edit
In 187AC, House Lannister sided with the Reds and supported Daeron Targaryen in the Blackwater Rebellion. They fought against their vassals House Crakehall and House Reyne. It was during the Battle of the Hills that Tommen Lannister was killed. Tygett Lannister, former heir of Casterly Rock, died later in 189AC, after which Martyn Lannister named his eldest son his heir. It was an act that angered his brother Damon and a few of his vassals. Gerion Lannister wed Jeanne of the House Lannister of Lannisport line in 194AC, but the following year, Martyn had a heart attack and appointed the leadership of Casterly Rock to his son.
Battle of Lions (The Lion Uprising) Edit
In 196AC, Damon Lannister started a revolt against his lord brother Martyn Lannister and nephew Gerion Lannister, and was defeated in the Battle of Lions. Houses Brax, Banefort, Tarbeck, Westford, Crakehall, and Parren supported Damon Lannister. He was captured and sent to Casterly Rock where he was executed alongside Lord Brax, Lord Banefort, Lord Crakehall, and Lord Tarbeck. Houses Westford and Parren were also reduced to minor vassals with their treasury seized, and all Houses who supported Damon were given raised taxes to pay for the reparations needed in the west, specifically in Lannisport after The Coup of Lannisport.
Jeanne Lannister died at the beginning of 200AC, following the birth of Tion Lannister.
Martyn Lannister died of natural causes in early late 200AC and his son Gerion Lannister succeeded him.