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House Ryswell of The Rills is a vassal house of the North, holding fealty to House Stark of Winterfell. They rule over the Rills, a region located west of the Barrowlands.

Their blazon is a black horse's head, eyes and mane red, on bronze within a black engrailed border. Lord Rodrik Ryswell and his quarrelsome sons personalise their arms with horseheads of different colours — grey, black, brown, and gold (for Rodrik). Their words are not mentioned in the books.

History Edit

Early history Edit

House Ryder were First Men kings who ruled the Rills and eventually submitted to House Stark, the Kings of Winter from Winterfell.[3] It is unknown how or when House Ryswell came to rule the Rills, although King Theon Stark once put down a rebellion in the Rills.

An old story tells that when seventy-nine deserters left the Wall, one of them was the youngest son of Lord Ryswell, who decided to look for shelter at his father's keep. However, Lord Ryswell returned his son and his companions to the Nightfort, where they were buried alive in the ice to forever stand the watch they had abandoned. Late in his life Lord Ryswell took the black to end his days watching behind his son.

Lady Robyn Ryswell was a wife of Jonnel Stark, Lord of Winterfell.

Lord Rodrik Ryswell's elder daughter, Bethany, was the second wife of Lord Roose Bolton.[6] Rodrik hoped to advance the status of his House by marrying his younger daughter, Barbrey, to a House Stark of Winterfell, but Brandon Stark, the heir of Lord Rickard Stark, was betrothed to Catelyn Tully. Barbrey instead wed Willam Dustin, Lord of Barrowton. After Brandon and Rickard were killed by King Aerys II Targaryen, Lord Eddard Stark wed Catelyn instead of Barbrey. Lord Dustin and Ser Mark Ryswell died fighting beside Eddard at the tower of joy in the aftermath of Robert's Rebellion.

In the books Edit

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, House Ryswell is a proud and large house sworn to House Stark. They have close ties to House Bolton thanks to the marriage between Roose Bolton and the late Bethany Ryswell. The current head of the family is Lord Rodrik Ryswell, father of both Lady Barbrey and Lady Bethany.

Their sigil is a black horse's head, eyes and mane red, on bronze within a black engrailed border. However, several Ryswells hold their own sigils, altering the color of the horse's head.

The Ryswells, alongside the Dustins, are the first to declare for House Bolton when Lord Roose is named Warden of the North, due to the kinship between them. They are among the very few truly loyal vassals House Bolton has, while many of the other Northern houses deeply hate the Boltons and would gladly welcome a chance to destroy them (indeed some of them join Stannis for that reason). Even Ramsay knows to be careful around members of these two houses: with them he is always courteous and smiling; what he is behind closed doors, however, is something else.

The Ryswells and Dustins assist the Boltons to retake Moat Cailin: they surprise the ironborn on the Fever River, burning their longships; as a result, the ironborn garrison at the fortress is left without reinforcements and without means of escape.

  • Lord Rodrik Ryswell, Lord of the Rills
    • Lady {Bethany Ryswell}, his eldest daughter, deceased. The second wife of Roose Bolton
    • Barbrey Ryswell, his younger daughter. Lady of Barrowton. Widow to the late Lord Willam Dustin
    • Roger Ryswell, his son
    • Rickard Ryswell, his son
    • Roose Ryswell, his son. Namesake of Roose Bolton
  • Unspecified Ryswell cousins of Rodrik's children

Without specified familiar relationship with the main branch, other Ryswells include:

  • Ser {Mark Ryswell}, died at the Tower of Joy during Robert's Rebellion
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