The Citadel

The Archive of 'A Song of Ice and Fire' Lore


House Tarly of Horn Hill

A striding red huntsman on green (© RMB)

General Information

Horn Hill is a strong castle, surrounded by rich lands. The house is old in honor and has a storied greatsword of Valyrian steel named Heartsbane, passed from father to son for nearly five hundred years. Their motto is, “First in Battle.” The lord of the house is a fierce and fearless soldier: Randyll Tarly’s skill has many times won him the lead of Lord Tyrell’s van.

Lord Randyll is wed to Lady Melessa of House Florent and has several children by her, including two sons, Samwell and Dickon. Samwell was the only son for many years until Dickon was born.


Lord Randyll, finding that his younger son Dickon was a fierce and active lad much more to his liking than the shy, bookish, obese Samwell, forced his elder son to join the Night’s Watch or die by some “accident” rather than allow him to remain his heir.

Lord Randyll was among those who rallied to King Renly’s banner and after his death he was among those who refused to follow Stannis. Lord Randyll was one of several lords who was singled out for recognition for his part in the Tyrell and Lannister victory over King Stannis. He was then sent to deal with a northman host marching on Duskendale, and did so very well. He went on to take Maidenpool and lock Lord Mooton in a tower cell.

Lord Randyll’s son, Samwell, suffered great danger beyond the Wall but managed to survive. In the end he helped bring Bran Stark, Hodor, and the Reeds to the mysterious stranger known as Coldhands and then went with Gilly (one of Craster’s daughter-wives) to Castle Black. He was instrumental in helping Jon Snow win the office of Lord Commander. Samwell planned to send Gilly’s son by Craster to Horn Hill, claiming he is his bastard.