The Vale is one of the seven kingdoms of Westeros in the east of the mainland. The Mountains of the Moon separate the rich and fertile Vale from the surrounding regions; High-altitude Eyrie, the castle of the rulers of the Arryn Vale, is considered the most impregnable castle of Westeros. It was here that the Andals once landed, conquering both the Vale and the rest of the south of Westeros. In the Mountains of the Moon live wild mountaineers, who do not obey anyone and rob travelers on the big road. The city is the main port of the Vale and one of the largest cities in Westeros. Three Sisters, an island in The Bay of Bite, also belong to the Valley.
The word Vale often refers to all the possessions of the great house of the Arryns and their vassals, including the Mountains of the Moon surrounding the Valley, and the nearby islands. The Vale as an area of the Seven Kingdoms lies in the east of Westeros, north of the Crownlands, and west of the Riverlands. The Bay of the Bite and the Bay of Crabs wash the shores of this region from the north and south respectively. The islands of Fingers, the Islands of the Three Sisters, The Paps, and Pebble also belong to the Vale.
The Vale itself is a vast, west-east valley surrounded by the Mountains of the Moon from the north, west, and south. It is a tranquil land of rich black earth, wide slow rivers, and small lakes. In the western part of the Vale is already more than in the eastern, but here the equestrian needs to drive half a day to cross it from the southern edge to the northern. On the fertile soils of the Vale grow grain, fruits, and vegetables no worse than in Highgarden.
The Mountains of the Moon around the Vale are the highest in Westeros: these are majestic peaks, the snow on which does not melt even in summer. To get to the Vale itself from the pass, which is the Bloody Gate, you need to go down the slope about two miles down. The highest point of the Mountains of the Moon is the Giant’s Lance, from which the Vale is visible in the palm of your hand; on the slope of this mountain is the impregnable castle of the Arryn – The Eyrie.
The Vale has always been largely isolated from other kingdoms: the High Road and the Bloody Gate connects the Vale with the Riverlands, but it is a dangerous path even in the summer due to landslides and attacks of mountain clans, and in winter, when the passes are covered with snow, this path is made completely impassable. In winter, all the connection of the Vale with the outside world is carried out through sea routes. The Gulltown, the eastern gateway to the Vale, is not only the largest settlement in this area, but also one of the main ports of Westeros as a whole and the fourth most populous city on the continent after King’s Landing, Oldtown, and Lannisport.
In times of the First Men, the Vale was sparsely populated and divided into a couple of dozen small kingdoms. Two or four thousand years ago it became the goal of the great migration of peoples from Essos – the Andals, who were squeezed from the former lands in Andalos by the Valyrians, in many ships swam on the ships of the Narrow Sea and under the banners of the Seven mined their new homeland with fire and sword. The Septons teach that Hugor of the Hill saw in the vision the reward given to the Andals by the gods themselves.
The old kingdoms of the Vale were so divided that not only did not resist the foreigners but even tried to turn them against neighbors. King Robar Royce eventually managed to unite the First Men, but the Andals themselves in response united under Artys Arryn, who defeated Robar in the Battle of the Seven Stars and was proclaimed King of the Mountain and Vale. After the victory, more Andals moved into the Vale from Essos, so that the first humans either dissolved in their mass or retreated to the mountains, becoming the ancestors of the wild clans of the Mountains of the Moon.
While Andalian adventurers arrived and left the Vale, conquering new lands in the rest of Westeros, the kings of Arryn gradually annexed to their possessions and the nearest islands – Witch Isle and Pebble, The Paps and, finally, the Three Sisters – the inhabitants of these islands long engaged in piracy and raids on neighboring lands, until the Starks from the North attacked them and broke them. For almost a thousand years, the kingdoms of the North and the Vale fought each other for these islands; the history of the kingdom of the Mountain and Vale is also associated with many naval battles in the Narrow Sea, against the fleets of Volantis, the Iron Islands and pirates from the Steps and Islands of Vasilisk.
The Kingdom of the Mountain and Vale lost its independence during the conquest of Westeros by Aegon I, and the Arryn dynasty of kings became the Arryn Lord dynasty.
Once the Vale, like other lands, was inhabited by the Children of the Forest, but, as elsewhere in Westeros, after the arrival of the First Men, they had to leave the Vale. The next conquerors who conquered the Vale were the Andals; there is a stone on which the Andal star is hollowed out as a sign of their landing on the land of the Vale. In addition to the Andals, wild mountain clans live in the forests and mountains – a real disaster for the inhabitants of the Vale. Wildlings do not recognize the laws of the Seven Kingdoms, the authorities of Lord Arryn and King’s Landing, and live by robbing travelers on mountain roads and attacking villages.
The bastards of noble blood bear the surname Stone in the Vale.