"We understand a simple truth: loyalty is won, respect is taken... and Glory is Earned."
―Tandis Rylen to his son Tomas

House Rylen of The Claw is one of the Great Houses of Westeros. It is the royal house of the independent Kingdom of the Islands. They rule over the collection of isles of the coast of the North and the Vale known as the Tiger Islands.

House Rylen's sigil is that of the White Tiger, a rare and near-extinct animal native to Blood Island, on a black and red field. The black represents the night sky, and the red represents the cliffs of the island that famously turn red during dawn and dusk, the tiger itself signifying the bond the Rylens share with their homeland. Their words, "Glory is Earned" reflect the family's belief that true honour, loyalty and respect can only be granted by example of great deeds.

Much like the Dornish, the Bloodborn do not determine succession by gender but exclusively by age due to the native faith of the Blood God, meaning females and males alike have the same opportunities to succeed and rule. As a result there have been many Kings and Queens, Lords and Ladies alike who have ruled as the head of the house. Though their titles refer to them as the rulers of Blood Island, the Rylens' vassals include all of the Bloodborn houses in the surrounding Tiger Islands, the title "King of Blood Island" is merely a traditional nod to the time when they only ruled their home isle.

The seat of Rylen power is a formidable fortress on the cliffs of the southernmost tip of Blood Island named The Claw, so called because of its five towers that some say make the castle resemble the paw of a tiger.

For thousands of years the Rylens have ruled their islands, being the only kingdom of the First Men besides the North to resist the Andal invasion. However they were forced to bend the knee and join the Seven Kingdoms when Aegon Targaryen began his War of Conquest, but regaining their independence as a sovereign kingdom after Robert's Rebellion.

House Rylen has always been a close ally to House Stark, the two houses bound by the blood of the First Men. Though the Bloodborn have long since distinguished themselves as a separate race and culture, even forming their own religion.


House Rylen was founded during the age of the First Men, by a young sea-faring warlord named Gareth Rylen. It is said that at this time Blood Island was abundant with its native white tigers, and Gareth was so impressed by the beasts he took the animal for the symbol of his family.

More than 2,000 years later, King Danard "StoneClaw" Rylen took it upon himself to build a mighty fortress near the famous red cliffs of his family's island home that would be more unique than the castle they resided in at the time. This fortress was built to pay homage to the claws on a tiger's paw, with five towers of varying height. This great castle was simply named The Claw. It was from this fortress that Danard began his conquests of the other Tiger Islands inhabited by warring lords, establishing the Kingdom of the Islands.

The Claw

The Claw, the seat of House Rylen

When the Andals crossed the Narrow Sea and invaded Westeros, the Tiger Islands were able to remain independent of the new Kingdoms being formed by the invaders, along with the North. Due to this fact, the two kingdoms set aside their differences and embraced in an alliance based on their bond as the last remaining Kingdoms of the First Men. Over time however, the Rylens and their vassals began to abandon the traditional customs of the First Men, and it was Queen Thoreen Rylen who first coined the term "Bloodborn", along with the Bloodborn mantra of "Born in blood, in blood we die".

Sometime between this and Aegon's Landing, the Bloodborn developed their own religion dedicated to a single entity simply known as the Blood God, who resided in a magnificent palace known as the Red Hall where he would invite the bravest Bloodborn to join him in death. Around 1000 BAL, the King Tagros Rylen, who wholly embraced this religion, declared war on all Seven Kingdoms (except the North) and invaded the mainland with what many say was the largest fleet ever assembled, and that the Houses Hoare, Durrandon, Lannister and Gardener all had to unite in order to defeat his host. The mainland houses forever knew this as the War of the Mad Tiger, and truly cemented the belief that the Bloodborn were the fiercest and strongest soldiers in Westeros.

Aegon Targaryen's Landing in Westeros heralded the creation of the Seven Kingdoms under Targaryen rule. During this time, King Haros Rylen left his wife, Queen Halma, in command of The Claw while he lead the Bloodborn to battle Aegon's vast army. However Aegon sent a second force to besiege the Claw while nearly 7,000 Bloodborn were killed at the Battle of the Broken Branch. In which Haros tried to land his forces in the North but was intercepted and defeated while trying to disembark his army. Sailing home, Haros sought to lift the siege of The Claw, but Halma, who could see the undermanned castle was close to falling, killed herself and Haros' three children to spare them a more painful death, however, the castle held and Haros relieved The Claw the next day. These events were immortalised in the tragic song unofficially recognised as the song of House Rylen: "The Mother Tigress". Within six months, Aegon had used his dragons to subdue the Bloodborn and King Haros bent the knee, for many centuries he would be the last King of Blood Island.

During Robert's Rebellion, Craig Rylen initially remained neutral until he sided with the rebels in exchange for the promise of independence when the war was over and the Targaryens were removed from power. With their massive naval power, the Bloodborn annihilated the Royal Fleet and landed their troops in the Crownlands around the time of the Battle of the Trident. At the Battle of Duskendale, Craig destroyed a Targaryen reinforcement force that, if it had reached the Trident, may have resulted in a rebel defeat. True to his word, Robert Baratheon declared the Tiger Islands released from the fold of the Seven Kingdoms, and Craig was named the first King of Blood Island in centuries.

Craig was murdered in a drunken rage by one of his own bannermen, Lord Reese Mostyn, during a feast around the time of the Greyjoy Rebellion. Craig's son, Tandis Rylen, though having little love for his abusive father, beheaded Lord Mostyn and within a week had led his army to Dawnbreaker Bay, the Mostyn seat, and slaughtered his family completely, giving Dawnbreaker Bay to House Selby of Skyholme as part of his wedding dowry for his marriage to Lorenna Selby. In doing this Tandis earned the respect of the Bloodborn, who admire strength above all, and solidified House Rylen's power even further.


Season 1

By the time of Jon Arryn's death, Tandis and Lorenna Rylen have two children, Tomas and Sienna. Tandis arrives in King's Landing with his children for the Tourney of the Hand, since his father Craig and Eddard Stark were good friends and he considers Ned a strong ally and friend himself. however he notices his cousin and general, the quiet and brooding Benjen "Ben" Rylen, is in love with Sansa Stark, which he warns him against since she is betrothed to Prince Joffrey. While in King's Landing, he receives a raven from Lorenna stating that Tandis' mother Lysa is near death, before he leaves however, Tandis is confronted by Ned about King Robert's children being bastards born of incest, Tandis, unable to act on this information, does leave behind 20 of his Royal Guards for Ned to use in his plans to supplant Joffrey, but these men are killed along with Ned's household guards in the Massacre of the Red Keep. Before the Bloodborn party leaves, Ben unintentionally comes across Sansa Stark while she is riding an uncontrollable horse, calming the beast down and saving Sansa from being thrown from her saddle, she thanks him, calling him very brave but he dismisses her and leaves. Arriving home, Tandis attends his mother's bedside with Lorenna, and Lysa confesses that she knew her husband Craig had fathered a child with another woman: Jeyne Mostyn, the wife of Reese Mostyn, revealing the reason why Lord Mostyn killed his father.

Tandis of the House Rylen

King Tandis I Rylen, King of Blood Island and Tiger Lord of the Bloodborn, wearing his distinctive black armour.

Tandis tracks down his bastard sister to Barren Point, the seat of House Quinlan, and finds the girl, Madalyn Cliff, working as a servant girl for Lady Quinlan. He invites Madalyn to join his House and legitimises her as Madalyn Rylen, Lady of The Claw. Not long after this, the Rylens receive word that Ned Stark has been imprisoned and executed, and that his son Robb is leading the Northern Army south to war. Tandis shows great reluctance at wading into a "mainlander" war and chooses to remain neutral, much to the annoyance of his bannermen.

Season 2

Robb Stark, now King in the North, sends emissaries to Blood Island asking for an alliance between the Northerners and the Bloodborn, however he only does this after he is betrayed by Theon Greyjoy and Renly Baratheon is murdered. Tandis agrees, to avenge Ned Stark, gain a potentially powerful ally, and sate the bloodlust of his bannermen. Gathering the banners of the Island, Tandis elects to land his forces in the Crownlands.

Meanwhile Madalyn is left behind to rule as well as care for Tomas and Sienna while Lorenna and Tandis go to war, at first, the prospect of managing not only an entire castle but a whole kingdom leaves the poor girl flustered, her lack of an education only worsening matters. However Sienna offers to teach her aunt to read and write, whilst Tomas assists Madalyn in making political decisions using skills learned from his father. Madalyn becomes a second mother figure to the children, and her experience as a commoner helps her find common ground with the smallfolk. Tandis' cousin and Ben's sister Jayde Rylen, who is an open lesbian, is also friendly and helps Madalyn where she can, though she prefers to spend her time training the troops left to guard the Islands when she is not with her handmaiden and lover Betha Dantell, much to the annoyance of her mother Cera.

Led by Ben and his father Brent (Cera's husband), the Bloodborn vanguard land at Dyre Den, the Lannisters, who have expected them, send a force of Westerlanders and Tyrell Reachmen to attack the Bloodborn as they disembark, the Islanders' reputation precedes them however, and they prove to be far superior fighters and warriors to the mainlander troops. Tandis lands the main army on the flanks of the Iron Throne force, encircling them and winning the Battle of Dyre Den.

Season 3

Unable to assault King's Landing directly due to the massive reinforcements the Iron Throne has received from the Reach, the Bloodborn Army moves west towards the Riverlands hoping to link up with King Robb's forces. They slaughter their way across the Crownlands, burning settlements and killing all in their path, in one such village, Ben is walking amongst the destruction, when he passes a small alley between two houses and witnesses a soldier from House Dymon attempting to rape a young girl no more than 12 years old. Enraged, the usually quiet Ben tears the man off her and beats him half to death, seeing that the poor girl is herself near death, he slits her throat out of kindness.

Bloodborn pillaging Crownlands

Bloodborn troops pillage the Crownlands

The soldier later confronts Tandis, asking him to punish Benjen, since according to Bloodborn law, no man can take from another the spoils he has acquired in war. Ben answers the accusation by stating that the girl wasn't a piece of treasure or a goat, she was a human being, also that he thought they came to the mainland to fight Lannisters, not butcher the smallfolk. Sympathetic to his cousin, Tandis compensates the soldier with a bag of gold coins, then orders Lord Marke Dymon to restrain his men. Lord Dymon challenges this, as he believes restraint will not allow his men entry into the Red Hall, to which Tandis replies "Neither will raping little girls".

Back at The Claw, Jayde and Madalyn start to bond more at Cera's insistence. Madalyn is taught how to fight by Jayde and Jon "Swordhand" Tarigg, The Claw's master-at-arms, and slowly but surely, she begins to feel more accepted as a true Rylen. While they watch Tomas and Sienna learning to ride, Madalyn opens her heart to Jayde, during the conversation she even admits to Jayde she is still a virgin, which Jayde is surprised at given her beauty. Distracted by one another, they fail to notice when Sienna is thrown from her horse into the nearby Green River, Madalyn is able to save the Princess from drowning, earning the family's true respect and gratitude, and Jayde, who sees Sienna like a daughter, is so overjoyed she kisses Madalyn, which causes her lover and handmaiden Betha to become jealous.

Madalyn and Jayde Rylen

Madalyn and Jayde

Later that night, when Madalyn comes to Jayde's room hoping to talk about the day's events, she finds her having sex with Betha to ease her jealousy, Madalyn goes quickly to leave but Jayde insists she stay and join in. Betha is visibly angered by this, but Jayde tells her she should kiss Madalyn to see if she likes it or not, annoyed, her handmaiden does so, and surprisingly the two of them continue kissing. Glad that her experiment has succeeded, Jayde then helps Betha "make (Madalyn) a woman".

In the Crownlands, a much larger Iron Throne army, largely comprised of Reachmen and led by Mern Tyrell (a distant cousin of Mace Tyrell) marches against the Bloodborn forces to prevent them reaching Harrenhal. Since they are outnumbered three to one, most of Tandis' lords and ladies agree that they cannot meet this force in a pitched battle, for even if they win their losses would be grievous. However some, including Lord Dymon, insist that they should meet the enemy head-on to achieve glory and honour, reason prevails however, when Lorenna suggests an alternative: a parley. Dymon openly calls Tandis a coward in front of the rest of his vassals, to which Tandis calmly stands from his seat, walks up to Dymon, and plants his Valyrian Swords Fang and Tooth at his feet, a Bloodborn challenge to single combat. After an intense staredown, Lord Dymon declines.

Lord Mern Tyrell, believing the Bloodborn wish to surrender, attends the parley with Tandis and Lorenna a couple of nights later, when he enters their tent, they appear civil and formal. They engage Mern in small talk for several minutes, frustrating him since he wishes to negotiate, but the royal couple insist he relax and drink with them, reluctantly, he agrees. The strictly courteous Reach lord is consistently made uncomfortable by Tandis and Lorenna as time goes on, they openly kiss and fondle one another, Lorenna tells a "funny" story about the first fight she took part in as a girl, where she gouged another girl's eye out, and spill ale all over Mern's robes. Finally the Tyrell Lord gives up trying to talk to the couple and goes to leave the tent as they begin to undress each other, however once he steps outside, he sees the corpses of his guards and advisors littering the ground, all killed by Daryn Marck and the White Tiger Guards (the Bloodborn equivalent to the Kingsguard), who bring him back into the tent, where Tandis and Lorenna now lie naked with each other. When Mern angrily roars that his army will destroy them for such an outrage, Tandis casually remarks that he already destroyed his army.... The parley was a trick, and the Bloodborn Army attacked and slaughtered the Tyrell force while they were encamped, catching many of them asleep. Mern is released and given safe passage back to King's Landing.

The next day, while surveying the battlefield, Lord Dymon and several of his men are seen torturing Tyrell prisoners, Tandis orders Dymon to simply kill the men, as this is not the Bloodborn way of war, but Dymon, ever the rebel and fool, dismisses Tandis, saying he wouldn't know what it was like to be a true Bloodborn. This brings their feud to a height as this time, Dymon plants his sword at Tandis' feet, challenging him.

In front of the entire Bloodborn Army, the two men fight that night, the fight is fought shirtless, with no weapons, to the death. Dymon is clearly outmatched physically by Tandis, but he sneakily cheats by throwing dirt in his eyes, gaining the upper hand, he lands several punishing blows on the Bloodborn King, but Tandis is able to recover by biting through Dymon's hand and kicking him in the crotch when Dymon tries to strangle him. He then breaks both of Dymon's arms before crushing his windpipe with a pwerful punch to the throat, finally Dymon suffocates and dies. Dymon's forces are divided amongst the other houses and the march west resumes.

Meanwhile, in Blood Island, Madalyn and Jayde are in an open relationship, and though Betha enjoys their shared lovemaking, her jealousy towards Madalyn grows stronger every day as she feels Jayde is replacing her. One night, when the family is feasting in the great hall of The Claw, she asks Madalyn to meet her in a more private part of the castle. When she arrives, Betha kisses her, tells her she regrets her actions because she does believe Madalyn is a good person, and then proceeds to stab her in the gut with a hidden dagger. Shocked by her own actions, Betha leaves Madalyn to die in the hallway.

Betha cliffs

Betha Dantell, mere moments before her death

Madalyn is found later by Sienna, and despite several days of insecurity about her health, she pulls through and survives. Jayde tearfully professes that she loves Madalyn in front of Betha, who is heartbroken. The next day, Jayde finds her lover on top of the cliffs near the castle, where she confesses to stabbing Madalyn before throwing herself off the cliffs into the sea. Shocked and shattered for a girl she still cared for, Jayde collapses to her knees in grief, but is given no time to mourn as she looks up and sees sails in the distance, bearing the Lannister lion and Tyrell rose.

Season 4

Having received word that Robb Stark and his entire Northern Army has been slaughtered at the Red Wedding, and that Blood Island is now under attack by a combined Iron Throne army, Tandis abandons his campaign in the South. Marching his troops back into the lands they seized to meet up with the Red Fleet, the forced march takes days, and they are closely pursued by the remainder of Tywin Lannister's armies, who are now free to focus on him with the Northerners and Rivermen defeated. At the Battle of Crackclaw Point, Lady Sharenna Rankin and Lord Jaxen Bothwell, two of Tandis' closest advisors throughout the campaign, offer to sacrifice themselves in a holding action to ensure the army is able to embark their ships safely. As Tandis watches from his ship, his army safely evacuated, the remainders of the Bothwell-Rankin forces are cut down, earning their places in the Red Hall.

Later on, the Red Fleet returns to the Tiger Islands, the Lannisters and Tyrells have laid siege to The Claw, as well as Seafarren, the seat of House Linton (the house responsible for building two-thirds of the Red Fleet) Darkwing, the seat of House Lunaren, and Greatwave, the seat of House Rankin. Dividing his forces, Tandis leads the attack to reclaim his home, recklessly charging headlong into the fray, he survives only due to timely interventions from Lorenna, Ben, and Brent. The Lannister force besieging The Claw is quickly wiped out by the battle-hardened Bloodborn.

Wasting no time, Tandis and Lorenna rush into the castle itself, they desperately search the aftermath of the battle looking for their children. Madalyn emerges in the courtyard, dazed, traumatised and covered in Lannister blood, Tandis comforts his half-sister, but desperately persists in asking where his children are while Lorenna scans the packed courtyard for any sign of them. A soldier then approaches Tandis and whispers into his ear, the news is clear when the King's face goes cold and emotionless...

Tomas Sienna Funeral

The funeral of Prince Tomas, Princess Sienna, and Lady Jayde Rylen

Tomas and Sienna are found beneath the rubble of the castle's western tower, Jayde is discovered on top of them, having died trying to shield her cousins children with her own body. Weeks later, when the invading Tyrells and Lannisters are defeated completely. House Rylen mourns the deaths of Jayde, Tomas and Sienna, holding a traditional Bloodborn funeral where the bodies are bled dry, the remains burned, and the blood from their corpses poured into the sea so that the deceased's soul may move on to the Red Hall, Madalyn pours Jayde's blood into the water, weeping over her first love as she's comforted by Ben, Brent and Cera. While pouring the blood of his children into the sea, Tandis' tears of grief soon turn to rage, as he and his wife proceed up the beach through the crowd of lords, ladies, warriors and smallfolk, they are greeted with thousands of weapons drawn in salute, and slowly a resounding chorus builds up as the Bloodborn clash their weapons together over and over in unison. As he watches his son's lifeless, bloodless and soulless body burn, Tandis draws Tooth while Lorenna draws Fang, the King and Queen turn to face their subjects, who are now in a mad state of shouting, cheering, chanting and crying, Tandis raises Tooth high and roars: "King's Landing will BURN!!!". He is met with resounding cheers as the Bloodborn swear revenge for the deaths of their Prince and Princess.

Season 5

For most of the fifth season, the Bloodborn are reforming and regrouping to assemble their deadliest force yet, Tandis still has 30,000 troops and 400 ships at his disposal with which he eventually means to attack King's Landing directly in an all-or-nothing gambit. In order to achieve his goal, he sends small raiding parties of 3 or 4 ships each to raid all over the Westerlands, Reach, Stormlands and Crownlands with the hope of dispersing the Tyrell and Lannister armies, leaving the capital relatively undefended.

Lorenna is unwilling to lie with Tandis, since she still mourns her childrens' deaths, though sympathetic, Tandis reminds her that they must produce a new heir for the sake of the family. She grows increasingly distant from her husband, even losing her legendary fighting spirit, she spends most days either lying in her bed or out walking alone on the cliffs, though trying to console his wife, Tandis eventually loses his patience and angrily lashes out at her, only deepening her depression.

Madalyn also continues to mourn for Jayde, as well as her brother's children. Ben is able to console her as he recounts several stories of his childhood with Jayde, he assures her that his sister was always brave and kind in equal measure, and that when Madalyn's time comes, they'll be together again in the Red Hall, a very out-of-character statement from Ben as he is well-known for being non-religious. When she calls him out on this, he replies that he'll believe anything as long as it means his sister's death wasn't meaningless.

Ben later receives word that Sansa Stark has been married off to Ramsay Bolton, knowing full well that Sansa would never willingly marry the son of the man who murdered her brother, he resolves to travel to Winterfell and rescue her. When he announces his plans to his family, they respond in the most predictable way and insist he can't leave with their impending offensive against the Lannisters, he responds by claiming that he'll be helping the offensive, since Sansa is (believed to be) the last trueborn Stark, and if he frees her from the Boltons, the North will rally behind her, reestablishing the Northern-Bloodborn Alliance. When Cera confronts Ben as he packs for the journey, he confesses that he's really going because thinking about her was what kept him sane through all the battles he fought and the horrors he witnessed. Tandis allows Ben to take Fang with him in place of his own sword, and as Ben approaches his ship, his closest friend Garick Corayne, who served with him throughout the war, insists on accompanying him because he'll "just fucking get lost" without him.

Distance continues to grow between Tandis and Lorenna, as Tandis becomes more and more obsessed about getting revenge on the Lannisters, while Lorenna's behaviour grows increasingly reclusive. Cera tries to reach out to her niece-by-law, but is unsuccessful as she is practically catatonic by this stage, not responding to anyone who tries to console her. Worried for her, Madalyn is the last to attempt to confide in her sister-by-law. She is able to get a response when she echoes Ben's own words to her, saying that Tomas and Sienna were kind, brave and gentle children, full of life, and that when Lorenna passes on, she'll join her beloved babes in the Red Hall where she will be able to love them forever. This finally makes Lorenna burst into tears and scream that she misses them and of all people they didn't deserve to die, Tandis, who was listening just outside the room, later exchanges apologies with his wife and they share the load of their grief for the first time since their childrens' deaths.

Ben and Garick approach Winterfell after weeks of travelling, and as they near the great castle by approaching through the Wolfswood, the pair come across Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne. Ben and Garick assume that the pair must be in the service of the Lannisters, due to Brienne wielding Oathkeeper and Podrick being dressed in Lannister red. The pair attempt to ambush them, but fail and a fight breaks out, Ben nearly kills Brienne, but instead grabs her by the throat and demands that she tell him where Sansa is located in Winterfell. Podrick is able to explain that they too are looking to rescue Sansa and the two pairs of warriors decide to form a pact, Brienne tells Ben and Garick that they are awaiting a signal from Sansa herself that shows she is in distress by lighting a candle in the Broken Tower.

However when Stannis Baratheon's army arrives to lay siege to Winterfell, Brienne, consumed with vengeful rage over Stannis killing his brother Renly, leaves the Winter town to find and kill him. As Ben is trying to convince her otherwise, Sansa finally lights the candle in the tower, only for them to miss it. Garick only just manages to see the candle before it goes out, by which time Sansa has already escaped the castle with Theon Greyjoy and Brienne has executed Stannis. That night, the group make plans to enter Winterfell and get Sansa out, but Pod notices a large group of Boltons leaving the castle with bloodhounds, leading the group to conclude that she's already escaped, so they follow the Boltons from a distance.

Season 6

Just as Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy are caught in the middle of the Wolfswood by the Bolton hunters, Benjen, Garick, Brienne and Podrick ride in and slaughter their attackers. Brienne swears her sword to Sansa while Ben looks on, barely recognising her as the young girl he knew in King's Landing, Sansa herself doesn't recognise Ben at first since his appearance has slightly changed, but when she does, she bursts into tears and melts into his arms, overwhelmed to see a friendly face from her past.

Tandis receives word that yet another invasion force is being amassed by the Lannister-Tyrell alliance, with the seemingly innumerable forces of the Crownlands, Westerlands, Reach and Stormlands behind them, it appears that the Iron Throne forces will not stop until the Tiger Islands are knocked out of the war for good. Brent suggests to his nephew that he let the Lannisters come to them once more, predicting ahead of time exactly where the Lannisters will land: the Golden Shore, seat of House Ward, since it is the widest and safest beach to land on which is closest to The Claw and not beset by cliffs.

Meanwhile in the North, Ben insists on bringing Sansa back to Blood Island where she'll be safe, but she is determined to travel to Castle Black instead, since her (supposed) half-brother Jon Snow is the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, which would put her beyond Ramsay's reach. After bidding an emotional farewell to Theon, Sansa recalls the time when Ben helped her in King's Landing, saying it is one of the few happy memories she has of that dreadful city. Ben then tells her that he regrets not saying anything to her. She asks him what he would have said, and he simply replies, he would have told her that she was beautiful, Sansa bursts into laughter, saying that would've flattered her at the time had she not been so obsessed with marrying Joffrey. Finally, Ben kisses her, but she is unable to keep kissing him back, still haunted by the sexual abuse she endured at Ramsay's hands.

The group travel to Castle Black, where Sansa has an emotional reunion with Jon Snow, Garick questions Ben on why they are still present when their "mission" was to ensure Sansa was safe then return home, to which Ben replies "You know why...", Garick, amused yet annoyed, quips "I preferred you when you weren't in love, you stupid bastard". Jon and Ben converse together one night, where Ben learns of all Jon's exploits, including how he was murdered and returned from the dead, all of which makes Ben realise the futility of Tandis' war against the Iron Throne. The former Lord Commander is visibly disillusioned by his experiences, saying that the doing the right thing only got him killed, to which Ben simply replies that his country has been at war for years because they were doing the right thing, and Tandis is yet to give up on his Stark allies, so Jon shouldn't give up either.

Sansa and Jon later receive a threatening letter from Ramsay Bolton, demanding Sansa's return and saying he's taken Rickon Stark hostage. The Starks make plans to rally the Northern houses and retake Winterfell, to which Ben adds that he may be able to convince Tandis to send aid as well, and for this purpose he sends Garick back to Blood Island. Before the Starks leave Castle Black, Ben questions Sansa over why she was so reluctant to kiss him, she is silent, clearly distraught because although she does reciprocate his feelings, she cannot forget the abuse she suffered. When Ben asks her what Ramsay did to her, she just says "He did what all madmen do". Saddened and shocked, he consoles her, saying he is not like Ramsay and will never hurt her, which she acknowledges, saying that she does care for Ben, but isn't ready to show it yet.

Ben remains with the Starks while they travel across the North gathering the support of any houses they can, meanwhile Garick returns to The Claw and begs Tandis to send some of his forces to help the Starks. The King explains that although he wants to help the Starks, he is facing another imminent invasion and needs all the troops he can spare. Garick and Lorenna then remind Tandis that the whole reason the Bloodborn went to war in the first place was to help the Starks attain justice, so Tandis agrees to send 1,000 warriors to help take back Winterfell.

The Bloodborn contingent of Jon Snow's new army consists of 300 Rylens, 300 Selbys, 200 Quinlans, 100 Anders, 50 Stevryns and 50 Tariggs. these are joined by 2,000 Free Folk, 200 Hornwoods, 143 Mazins, and 62 Mormonts. The night before the battle, Ben admits to Sansa that for the first time he is truly terrified of dying, when she realises that it's because of her, she willingly kisses him and commands him not to die. His response is simply: "As you wish, my lady".

The next day, Ben and Garick take part in the Battle of the Bastards. Garick leads the Bloodborn cavalry into battle alongside the Stark horse, but is killed after being surrounded by several Boltons, he manages to take several with him, his last words being "In Blood I Die...". Later when the Starks are surrounded by a Bolton shieldwall, Ben, who kept the Bloodborn infantry back, moves to break the Bolton encirclement, but his troops are intercepted by Harald Karstark and several Bolton, Karstark and Umber men who protect the outside of the shieldwall. During the melee, Karstark and Ben meet and duel, and although Ben has the upper hand, he is distracted by an attacking Umber, and Karstark impales him through the gut. However, in an almost superhuman show of strength, Ben grabs the traitor lord by the throat with both hands, and raise him high above his head where he strangles him to death. Just as Ben loses consciousness, he sees the Knights of the Vale riding in to win the battle for the Starks.

Bloodborn Battle of the Bastards

Bloodborn soldiers at the Battle of the Bastards

The next day, Sansa visits him as he is treated in the Winterfell beds, she asks him what the hell he thought he was doing, and he says "Just what you told me", the two share a laugh and a kiss before she allows him to rest.

Meanwhile Tandis receives a diplomat from King's Landing, who demands that the Tiger Islands cease all hostilities with the Iron Throne, offering several chests full of gold and other treasures in exchange for peace on behalf of King Tommen. At first, Tandis appears tempted by the offer, but it quickly becomes evident that he is insulted by Tommen's attempt to bribe him with riches, saying gold won't bring his family back. As a message to King's Landing, the Bloodborn King sends the messenger back to the city with a severed lion's head, the broken antlers of a stag, and a burnt rose, along with the words "This is our peace, either King's Landing will burn, or The Claw will burn, you decide".

Weeks later, Lannister and Tyrell ships land at the Golden Shore, just as Brent Rylen predicted, and sure enough, as the invaders disembark, they are met by thousands of Bloodborn warriors charging down the hills towards them. For the first time since lifting the Siege of The Claw, Tandis and Lorenna fight side by side, appearing to revel in the destruction they wreak together. Showered by Bloodborn archer fire and taken by surprise by the ferociousness of their attack, the result is as expected, and half the invading force is slaughtered with the rest fleeing in their ships.With the second mainlander invasion of Blood Island easily thwarted, the Rylens gain a massive morale victory and instill considerable fear and doubt in the Iron Throne alliance, which soon falls apart on it's own when Cersei Lannister blows up the Sept of Baelor in King's Landing, slaughtering most of the Tyrell family and proclaiming herself the new Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Not long after this battle, Tandis receives word from Ben that Jon Snow has been named King in the North.

Season 7

During a meeting of the Northern lords, at which a seemingly fully-recuperated Ben is in attendance, Sansa and Davos Seaworth announce that King Tandis is personally travelling to Winterfell to meet with Jon Snow. Tandis arrives mere days later, and quickly forms a close bond with the new King in the North. The pair walk around Winterfell, across the battlements, through the Godswood, and through all the halls, and discuss both their fathers, the struggles they've both faced, and then finally, the Army of the Dead. Tandis is understandably skeptical at first, believing the White Walkers to be mere fairytale creatures, but when Tormund and Ben enter the Great Hall, they both reaffirm that the threat is indeed real.

Convinced of the Army of the Dead's existence, Tandis is initially crushed, needing to sit down, as he laments that his children need not have died had he not gone off to fight the wrong enemy. Jon consoles him, saying he couldn't have known without seeing the White Walkers in the flesh. With that, Tandis still declares his intent to destroy House Lannister, though Jon insists that no more good men can be wasted in the petty wars between houses. Tandis is convinced in the end, but he pulls Jon close and states "I promise you now, once this fight with the dead men is done, Cersei Lannister's going to be a dead woman herself."

Meanwhile, Lorenna, Madalyn and the other remaining Rylens have fully amassed the Red Fleet, and on orders from Tandis given before he left for Winterfell, sail for the Crownlands once again. Brent tells Lorenna he's heard that Euron Greyjoy, the new King of the Iron Islands, has allied himself with Cersei and now commands the largest and strongest navy in Westeros, but Lorenna brushes him off, saying she knows how to outsmart a Greyjoy.

In the captain's cabin of the Tiger's Glory, the flagship of the Red Fleet, Lorenna takes a moment to thank Madalyn for the first time for taking such good care of Tomas and Sienna. Madalyn ashamedly admits that she feels more guilty than anyone for their deaths, she recounts how she searched for them during the battle of The Claw, but Jayde had told her to take command of the castle's defense before going to find them herself, she says she would gladly trade places with Jayde and the children. Lorenna assures her that she has nothing to be ashamed of, and as they exit the cabin and take in the grand scale of the fleet around them, she tells Madalyn that they will get their revenge.

At Winterfell, Jon receives a raven from Dragonstone, where Daenerys Targaryen has declared herself the true ruler of the Seven Kingdoms and demands that both Jon Snow and Tandis Rylen bend the knee to her. Tandis laughs raucously at the idea of him submitting to a stranger, but nevertheless agrees to accompany Jon to Dragonstone to negotiate an alliance with the Dragon Queen. Ben, whom Tandis is bringing with him, goes to Sansa's chambers to say goodbye, but she is cold and distant, troubled by her squabbles with Jon over ruling the North, as Ben is doing his best to comfort and reassure Sansa, Littlefinger enters, asking to speak with her. Ben walks out but grabs Baelish's arm, telling him he'll be back and that if anything happens to Sansa or her family, he'll personally cut the scheming lord in two. Littlefinger simply smirks, saying he wouldn't dare bring harm to the house he serves, to which Ben replies "From what I've heard, you already have..." He glances back at Sansa before departing, and is later seen with Tandis, Jon, Davos and their guards riding out of Winterfell.

Later on, the two kings arrive on Dragonstone and are greeted by Hand of the Queen Tyrion Lannister, and while Jon is happy to see Tyrion again and shakes his hand, Tandis does not and instead spits at Tyrion's feet. Tyrion nervously jokes about being used to that for being a dwarf, to which Tandis replies he doesn't hate Tyrion for being a dwarf, but instead for being a Lannister. Tyrion apologises and assures the Bloodborn King he had nothing to do with his childrens' deaths as he was locked up awaiting execution at the time, and this seems to make Tandis soften his anger a fraction. As the party walks up the steps to the castle, Drogon, the largest of Daenerys' three dragons, sweeps down overhead, barely missing them. Jon, Ben and the others all drop to their knees, cowering in fear and awe, but Tandis remains standing, seemingly unfazed. Davos asks how the hell he's so calm, and Tandis nonchalantly claims that he used to play with a fully-grown tiger when he was just a child.

When the group enters Daenerys Targaryen's throne room, she is introduced by her great long list of titles by Missandei. Daryn Marck then introduces Tandis as the King of Blood Island, Tiger Lord of the Bloodborn and Lord of the Claw, and finally Davos simply says "This is Jon Snow..... he's King in the North" to which Ben smiles, amused. When Daenerys refuses to acknowledge Jon and Tandis as Kings, instead calling them Lords and demanding they bend the knee, Tandis once again starts chuckling aloud, much to her annoyance. Daenerys asks what is so funny, and Tandis replies that he was made a King by his own people, and has ruled as a monarch longer than anyone in the room. But Daenerys insists that she does not recognise his status as King since his father was only allowed to secede by Robert Baratheon, whom she considers a false ruler, but Tandis just laughs again before Jon stops him, trying to defuse the situation. The negotiations end up going nowhere, and in the end Tandis walks out, more insulted than anything at Daenerys' attitude and lack of respect.

Euron Greyjoy meanwhile shares a drink with some of his crewmen after having destroyed the Targaryen Fleet at Casterly Rock. They are sailing back around Westeros, presumably near the Shield Islands of the Reach, when suddenly horns start sounding across the Iron Fleet when they spot the crimson sails of Lorenna's Red Fleet appearing from behind the islands nearby. Preparing their catapults, the Ironborn are surprised by the speed of the Bloodborn ships and are only able to fire off a few shots before the Red Fleet is among them, ramming headlong into their ships. Euron wisely holds back most of his fleet and uses their catapults to sink both Bloodborn and Ironborn ships alike, but he is then caught off guard by the majority of Lorenna's ships, lead by the Tiger's Glory, who attack from behind the preoccupied Ironborn. The Tiger's Glory locks herself onto the Silence, Euron's flagship, as fierce fighting rages across the two evenly-matched fleets, and Lorenna, Madalyn, and Brent begin battling Euron's men.

Red Fleet

The Red Fleet prior to attacking the Iron Fleet

Madalyn and Brent simultaneously fight against the mad Euron himself, but he proves too skilled for the mostly-inexperienced girl and aging man, and after hamstringing Madalyn, Euron buries his axe into Brent's skull (though not before Brent beats him nearly to a pulp). Seeing that the rest of the Iron Fleet is preparing to encircle the melee and destroy her fleet, Lorenna sounds the retreat and carries Madlayn to safety. The Red Fleet escape in an orderly manner with Euron's Ironborn in hot pursuit, and despite heavy losses on both sides the two fleets remain relatively strong with hundreds of ships remaining, effectively making the battle a draw.

The Bloodborn and Northerners continue to try and convince Daenerys and her followers that the Night King and his army are real. But things come to a head when Jon receives a raven from Winterfell saying his brother and sister are in fact alive, but Bran Stark saw the Army of the Dead marching south towards Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. Tandis and Ben, who both wield Valyrian Steel swords, are quick to volunteer for the expedition north of The Wall when Tyrion suggests capturing a single wight alive to persuade Cersei of the Army of the Deads existence, despite Tandis' hatred for the Lannister Queen, he admits that they need everyone they can get on their side.

Before Jon's expedition leaves Dragonstone, the Red Fleet arrives at the Island and the Rylens reunite.After taking time to process the news of his uncle Brent's demise, Tandis informs Lorenna and Madalyn of Jon's plan, of which Lorenna is apprehensive since she believes it would be near impossible to find a single wight without facing the entire army. She begs Tandis not to go, and when he insists, she begs him to let her come with him but he will not allow it, he says that if he doesn't return, at least one Rylen must live if they wish to continue ruling the Tiger Islands. Lorenna then adamantly insists that at the very least, Madalyn should go as well so Tandis has as much help as he can get, Madalyn agrees, eager to redeem herself after not defeating Euron, reluctantly, Tandis agrees. Daryn Marck, the Captain of the White Tiger Guards, does his best to reassure Queen Lorenna that her husband will return alive, by any means necessary.

Arriving at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, Ben is warmly welcomed by Tormund after they fought together in the Battle of the Bastards, upon seeing Madalyn, Tormund remarks on her beauty and strong face to Ben, who in return humorously asserts that she prefers women. Tormund, slightly disappointed, then laughs and says it's no matter, because he's saving himself for Brienne of Tarth, prompting a disturbed, confused glance from Daryn. The group are taken to see the Brotherhood Without Banners, namely Sandor "The Hound" Clegane, Lord Beric Dondarrion, and Thoros of Myr, who are locked up in Eastwatch's cells. After it is clearly established nobody present trusts each other, Jon makes the decision to set the Brotherhood free anyway since they're "all breathing".

The expedition is comprised of Tandis, Benjen, Madalyn, Daryn, Jon, Jorah, Tormund, Gendry, The Hound, Beric and Thoros, accompanied by a small group of Night's Watch, Free Folk, and the other eleven White Tiger Guards. They proceed North of The Wall, eventually coming across a wight polar bear in the middle of a blizzard, the undead bear kills several wildlings and Night's Watch, and one White Tiger, Verick Malor, before it viciously mauls and mortally wounds Thoros. Jorah is able to kill the beast with a piece of dragonglass to the head and Beric is forced to cauterise Thoros' wounds with his flaming sword.

Later on, as the group gets closer to the mountain shaped like a dagger that The Hound described seeing in a vision in the flames, they manage to locate and ambush a small patrol of wights led by a single White Walker, Tandis and Jon personally attack the Walker whilst Ben and Madalyn help the others battle the wights. Madalyn fights with a new-found fury after her encounter with Euron and easily cuts her way through at least three wights. As Jon strikes down the White Walker, all the wights cease to be animated, save for one which the group is able to restrain. But as they think their mission is accomplished rumbling is heard nearby, and soon the entire Army of the Dead closes in. Gendry, being the youngest and fastest, is sent to run back to the Wall to get aid. Running to a small rock island in the middle of a frozen lake, the group is luckily saved from a massacre when the ice collapses around them, preventing the wights from attacking, but also cutting off their escape.

During the night, Thoros either freezes to death or dies of his wounds, leading his good friend Beric to burn his body. It is here that he, Jon and Ben surmise that the wights all fell when the Walker was killed because he'd been the one to turn them, likewise, if they were to kill the Night King who turned them all, the entire army would be destroyed. Madalyn then tries to kill the Night King with her bow and arrow, but the cold monster simply stands and lets the arrow bounce off his forehead, smugly grinning at the beleaguered group.

With nowhere to go, the expedition can only wait, and after hours of boredom, Sandor begins throwing rocks at the wights, but when one lands short, it does so on solid ice, and one by one the wights venture onto the ice toward them, beginning a fresh fight for survival. The Rylens more than live up to their reputation and cut down scores of wights between them, with Tandis helping Jorah and the Hound save Tormund at one point from wights trying to drown him. Madalyn throws away her bow after finding it's useless against the wights and uses dragonglass daggers instead. Slowly but surely, each of the White Tiger Guards are killed, along with the Free Folk and Night's Watch who accompanied the group. Tandis is set upon by four wights at once, that drag him to the ground as a fifth starts to raise its axe and kill him. Daryn Marck, Tandis' most loyal and capable White Tiger Guard, blocks the wights attack but is stabbed repeatedly by the wights that were holding his king down. Thankfully his sacrifice allows Tandis to break free of their grasp as he and Madalyn and Ben stand together defending their brave friend's corpse. Just as it seems all hope is lost, Daenerys comes roaring in with Drogon, Viserion and Rhaegal, and the three Dragons burn a swathe through the undead horde.

Tandis Rylen Frozen Lake

Tandis battling wights on the Frozen Lake

Drogon lands on the island to recover the group, but Jon goes berserk and fights his way towards the Night King. This allows the King time enough to draw a spear of ice, and hurl it into Viserion, who crashes into the ice, dead. The Night King goes to throw another spear, prompting Jon to yell at Daenerys to leave, which she reluctantly does after he's tackled into the lake by wights. Jon survives thanks to his uncle Benjen Stark, and the group narrowly escapes on Drogon's back.

Jon later pledges himself to Daenerys, stepping down as King in the North, Tandis, suspicious of the Dragon Queen, refuses to do the same, but insists that his vendetta against the Lannisters remains unchanged, and she may count him as an ally once the dead are dealt with. Ben returns to Winterfell to check on Sansa, who has just had Petyr Baelish executed for trying to turn her against her sister Arya and for murdering her father and aunt. Madalyn returns to The Claw to rally the Bloodborn for the coming battle against the Army of the Dead. Tandis and Lorenna plan to attend a parley at the Dragonpit in King's Landing between Daenerys and Cersei, but Jon pleads with them not to as he knows their hatred for Cersei over their childrens' deaths would only worsen negotiations, and like it or not, they will need her armies in the Great War.

Tandis is at first insulted, but as Jon explains his reasoning, the Bloodborn King realises he is right and promises to return to Winterfell instead, the Bloodborn armies not far behind. Days later, the Night King, riding an undead Viserion, collapses an entire section of The Wall at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea marking the beginning of the White Walker invasion of Westeros.

Season 8

At the same time as Daenerys Targaryen and her armies of Unsullied and Dothraki arrive at Winterfell with Jon Snow, the Bloodborn Army, comprised of around 10,000-15,000 troops, marches in from the northeast with Lorenna, Madalyn and Tandis at its head. The Tiger King and the Dragon Queen eye each other warily, clearly not trusting one another. Both rulers are welcomed by Sansa Stark, and preparations are made for the impending defense of Winterfell.

In anticipation of the battle, and fully expecting to die, Ben makes a sudden marriage proposal to Sansa, kissing her passionately as he tells her he loves her. But all her experiences have changed her, she says she is not the same ditsy, lovesick girl she was when they met in King's Landing, she tells him that though she loves him too, she doesn't want to marry him, as she feels a greater duty to her family and her people than to anyone else. Though devastated and now resigned to his fate, Ben graciously tells her he respects her decision.

Madalyn later finds Lorenna being sick in her room, when she asks her cousin what's wrong, they both realise; Lorenna has fallen pregnant once again. She begs Madalyn not to tell Tandis about it, since he would insist she return home and she refuses to leave him behind again after worrying so much for him when the expedition went beyond the Wall. Reluctantly, Madalyn agrees.

As Tormund Giantsbane, Beric Dondarrion and Eddison Tollett arrive with news of the encroaching Army of the Dead, a war council is held detailing the defense strategy for Winterfell. The bulk of the Bloodborn forces are positioned at the rear of the flanks, behind the Northern and Vale forces, while the Unsullied form the centre and the Dothraki take the frontline. Later by the fireplace, Madalyn and Ben join Tyrion, Jaime, Brienne, Tormund, Davos and Podrick for a drink. Podrick is smitten when he first lays eyes on Madalyn, but Brienne slaps him to his senses, nevertheless he awkwardly tries to talk to her as she smiles, amused and flattered by his attempts. He ends up walking back over to the fireplace, embarrassed and ready to drink even more. As the night goes on he gets more drunk, and when Tyrion suggests somebody sing a song, Podrick serenades the group with "Jenny of Oldstones", a song which, coincidentally, Madalyn knows well, and she joins in. As the pair sing, the audience sees Sam and Gilly with Little Sam, Arya in bed with Gendry, Sansa and Theon eating together as brother and sister, Grey Worm kissing Missandei goodbye, Jorah riding outside the walls gazing into the dark, and Tandis and Lorenna marching the Bloodborn out the gate, sharing a tender hug and passionate kiss before taking up positions together. As Ben walks towards the gate later, he turns and looks up at Sansa on the ramparts, sharing a sad look before he draws Fang, ready to do his duty.

The Army of the Dead arrives at Winterfell, and the stage is set. Lorenna and Tandis lead their forces from the front, side by side, while Ben guards the gate with Lyanna Mormont and other Bloodborn Lords. Madalyn takes her bow to the walls, now armed with dragonglass arrows. Melisandre arrives out of the darkness and to the surprise of all present, ignites the swords of the Dothraki horde in magical flames, seemingly giving the living a new advantage against the dead. Emboldened by this show of strength, the Dothraki charge into the night as the catapults and trebuchets rain fire. The rest of the army then watches as the lights of the flaming Dothraki swords race into battle... only to be extinguished in a matter of seconds, swallowed by the darkness.

Arya hands Sansa a dragonglass dagger, ordering her down into the crypts, believing she'll be safe there. Ben sees her go, but remains at the gate. It is then that the innumerable army of wights crashes into the forces of the living with immense force, the human armies fight valiantly, taking thousands of wights with them, especially as Jon and Daenerys strafe the wights atop Rhaegal and Drogon respectively. But soon a gigantic snowstorm hits the battlefield, summoned by the Walkers. The dragons are lost in the blizzard, unable to find Winterfell in the powerful storm. Tandis and Lorenna, along with their fierce Bloodborn, fight ferociously even as Tormund and Brienne call a retreat. Reluctantly, the Bloodborn fall back into Winterfell as the Unsullied hold the line in front of the trench that is to be lit around the whole castle. Madalyn and Arya, along with the other archers, help cover the retreat, and also try to ignite the trench with flaming arrows, but the wind and cold extinguishes them far too quickly. Several men try to use torches but are intercepted by wights, until finally, Melisandre uses her magic to light a fire along the entire trench, surrounding Winterfell in flames and burning hundreds of wights.

This reprieve proves to be short-lived, as the Night King, flying above on Viserion, compels individual wights to pile up their bodies over the flames and smother them, allowing the rest to move over the carcasses and the assault on the walls begins. Ben steels himself at the gate as Tandis and Lorenna join Madalyn on the walls, they kill dozens upon dozens of wights between them, but the wights are so numerous that for every one they kill, a hundred more take its place.

A wight giant then breaches the gate, swatting aside Lyanna Mormont as Ben rolls out of the way, he duels the lumbering beast, getting some cuts on its legs, but these seem to do relatively little, and it manages to knock him away and into a wall, dazing him significantly. He comes to his senses just enough to see the brave young Lady Lyanna charge the giant with reckless abandon and stab it in the eye, giving her own life to kill the creature. Ben springs to his feet as wights pour into the castle, and realises that a large group are headed for the crypts, where Sansa is hiding...

As the battle rages on, Winterfell is slowly being overrun, Tandis and Lorenna continue to fight their way along the walls as Madalyn runs out of arrows and draws duel daggers. Ben battles towards the crypts, using Tooth to cut down wight after wight. By the time Jon confronts the Night King just outside the walls, a great number of the wights appear to have been slain, but then, the Night King raises his hands, and all the human dead rise to fight again.

Lorenna, Tandis and Madalyn are trapped atop the walls, and as one wight pins his wife against the battlements, Tandis spear tackles the dead man over the wall, being cushioned by its body as he lands in the snow next to Lorenna, but as they stand, they see hundreds of wights slowly marching towards them...

Lorenna tells Tandis she is with child, shocked, elated, and saddened, he kisses his beloved queen, and they prepare to meet their fate, swords in hand as Madalyn watches in horror.

Ben reaches the crypts just as the dead Starks inside are resurrected as wights. He fights his way through, desperately searching for Sansa, finding her just as a wight finds her and Tyrions hiding place, he impales it through the chest and offers her his hand. Terrified, she, Tyrion, Varys and several women and children follow close behind him as he cleaves his way through the undead with Tooth. But they reach a dead end with wights on all sides. Tyrion takes Sansa's dragonglass dagger and does his best to help Ben fight off the wights, but as one takes a swing at Sansa, Ben steps in front of her, the axe embedding deep in his chest. Near death, he still refuses to give up and kills his attacker, roaring at the dead men to do their worst...

Madalyn is pinned against a wall right next to Podrick, stabbing wildly at her assailants, fighting to stay alive as she roars in desperation...

Tandis and Lorenna, with Fang and a dragonglass sword, brace themselves for the inevitable, roaring like the tigers they are...

Jorah is on his last legs defending Daenerys, Jon is trapped by the rampaging Viserion, Jaime and Brienne are surrounded along with Pod and Madalyn, Theon is killed by the Night King, and Drogon has flown off after being swarmed by wights. All appears well and truly lost...

Until Arya Stark, utilising her years of training, is able to get close enough to the Night King and destroy him using her Valyrian Steel dagger, annihilating the entire Army of the Dead as their leader is no more, and just as Jorah collapses defending his Queen Daenerys, Ben falls to his knees in front of his beloved Sansa. Bleeding and broken, he smiles as she cries over his dying body, confessing her love for him.

Tandis and Lorenna collapse into each others arms, relieved, exhausted, in disbelief that they survived.

Military Strength

"It's rather clear; we cannot demoralise an enemy who is not afraid to die..."
―Tyrion Lannister to Cersei Lannister
At the outbreak of the War of the Five Kings, it is mentioned that House Rylen alone commands nearly 10,000 fighting men and women along with 100 ships, while their vassals across the Tiger Islands combine to form around 30,000 troops and 300 ships. Such large numbers are attributed to the fact that the large islands are densely populated and able to accommodate a heavy population, not to mention that the Bloodborn are apparently the only culture in Westeros who conscript both men AND women into their armies. Their naval power is unmatched, making them a massive threat to the Lannisters and their allies.

By the time of the Battle of the Golden Shore, the Bloodborn have suffered considerable losses during the War of the Five Kings, though not nearly to the extent of other houses. Tandis mentions having nearly 30,000 warriors and having lost only a minimal number of ships, meaning the Red Fleet is still the predominant naval power in Westeros, though with Daenerys Targaryen approaching with her own huge fleet of Ironborn, Targaryen, Tyrell and Martell ships, this could soon change.

Bloodborn Soldier

The average Rylen soldier wears brown padded leather armour, a long-sleeved red shirt, a Nordic-style helmet and often chainmail beneath their other clothing. They typically carry large round shields made with a combination of steel and wood which are decorated with red and black art and often are imprinted with the Rylen tiger sigil. They also wield axes, spears, and unlike many mainlander soldiers, do not typically wield longswords, but a traditional Bloodborn short sword which is lighter, stronger and generally better suited to close-quarters combat. It is not uncommon for Bloodborn heavy cavalry troops and lords to wear elements of steel plate armour, though this often does not extend beyond bits and pieces like pauldrons or a breastplate, since Bloodborn warriors tend to value movement over protection.

Bloodborn soldiers are renowned for their fanatical and often suicidal methods in battle, since they believe that according to the Bloodborn creed "Born in blood, in blood we die", they enter the world covered in the blood of their mothers, and so should leave the world covered in the blood of their enemies, thus dying gloriously in battle will allow them passage into the Red Hall.

A few of these suicidal tactics include allowing themselves to be impaled on enemy spearwalls to render them useless, setting themselves on fire and charging into enemy formations, or volunteering to be a berserker, who bathe their bodies in blood, enter battle shirtless, and always attack first. Some extreme believers will even strap pouches of wildfire to their bodies and use burning torches to blow themselves up while trying to take as many of their foes with them as possible.



  • Lord {Iyan Rylen}, the former head of the family, the last Lord Paramount of the Tiger Islands before his eldest son became King. Father of Craig and Brent Rylen. Dead before the events of the series.
  • Lady {Marleen Rylen} (formerly Barden), wife of Iyan and mother of Craig and Brent. Dead before the events of the series. Daughter of Lord Alfryd Barden, Lord of Hallen Rock.
    Regions of Westeros (fanon) 2

    The location of the Tiger Islands in relation to the rest of Westeros

  • King {Craig Rylen}, the former head of the family, credited with gaining independence from the Seven Kingdoms and becoming the first King of Blood Island for centuries, murdered at a feast by Lord Reese Mostyn.
  • Queen {Lysa Rylen} (formerly Bothwell), the Queen of Blood Island, wife to Craig and mother to Tandis, dies of natural causes early in the series. Daughter of Raymond Bothwell, Lord of Shark Bay.
  • King Tandis Rylen, the King of Blood Island, Tiger Lord of the Bloodborn and Lord of The Claw. Son of Craig and Lysa, husband to Lorenna, and father to Tomas and Sienna.
  • Queen Lorenna Rylen (formerly Selby), the Queen of Blood Island and current lawful heir to the throne of the Tiger Islands. Daughter of Luwin Selby, Lord of Skyholme.
  • Lady Madalyn Rylen (formerly Cliff), the bastard half-sister of Tandis Rylen, born of an affair between King Craig and Lady Jeyne Mostyn. Legitimised by her brother in Season 1.
  • Prince {Tomas Rylen}, Prince of Blood Island, son of Tandis and Lorenna and heir to the throne before his untimely death at the Siege of The Claw. Ten years old at the time of his death.
  • Princess {Sienna Rylen}, Princess of Blood Island, daughter of Tandis and Lorenna and younger sister of Tomas. Killed by rubble from a collapsing tower which was destroyed by catapult fire at the Siege of The Claw, seven years old at the time of her death.
  • Lord {Brent Rylen}, the brother of King Craig, uncle of King Tandis, husband to Cera and father of Benjen and Jayde. A leading general in the Bloodborn Army and veteran of several wars.
  • Lady Cera Rylen (formerly Crantyn), husband to Brent, aunt of Tandis, and mother to Benjen and Jayde. Daughter of Lord Haros Crantyn, Lord of the Bull's Horn.
  • Lord Benjen "Ben" Rylen, son of Brent and Cera and cousin to Tandis.
  • Lady {Jayde Rylen}, daughter of Brent and Cera, sister to Benjen. Killed at the Siege of The Claw trying to protect her niece and nephew with her own body.


  • King {Gareth Rylen}, the founder of House Rylen, Conqueror and first King of Blood Island.
  • King {Danard "StoneClaw" Rylen}, credited with building The Claw and conquering all the Tiger Islands, the first true King in the Islands.
  • Queen {Thoreen Rylen}, credited with coining the term "Bloodborn" and the Bloodborn motto, as well as laying the foundation for the Faith of the Blood God.
  • King {Tagros Rylen}, known as the Mad Tiger, led the greatest Bloodborn Invasion of Westeros in history, nearly conquering four of the Seven Kingdoms.
  • King {Haros Rylen}, the last King in the Islands before Robert's Rebellion, resisted Aegon Targaryen before bending the knee and becoming the first Lord Paramount of the Tiger Islands.
  • Queen {Halma Rylen), the doomed wife of King Haros, the subject of the tragic song "The Mother Tigress" who killed her own children and herself rather than see them suffer only a day before her husband came to help.

Household and retainers

  • {Garick Corayne}, sworn sword to Lord Benjen Rylen, killed by Bolton soldiers at the Battle of the Bastards.
  • {Betha Dantell}, handmaiden and former lover of Lady Jayde Rylen, killed herself out of guilt over stabbing Madalyn Rylen.
  • Lord Daryn Marck, the staunchly loyal Captain of the White Tiger Guards.
  • Elsa Selby, handmaiden to Lorenna, as well as her maternal cousin.
  • Varyan, the High Priest of the Blood God, who consults the Rylen family on religious matters.
  • {Borys Crantyn}, the brother of Cera Rylen and the Castellan of The Claw, killed by arrow fire during the Siege of The Claw.
  • Jon "Swordhand" Tarigg, the Master-at-Arms of The Claw.
  • Robert Coxhill, squire to King Tandis Rylen.
  • {Lynis Jameron}, former nurse and caretaker of Prince Tomas and Princess Sienna, killed by a piece of flying rubble during The Siege of The Claw.

Sworn to House Rylen

Houses of the Tiger Islands

A basic map displaying the geography of the houses of the Tiger Islands

Vassal Houses

  • House Ander of Fort Ander
  • House Barden of Hallen Rock
  • House Bespalon of Norwood
  • House Bothwell of Shark Bay
  • House Carr of Fort Karren
  • House Clare of Greyport
  • House Corayne of Chirnkarren
  • House Corrigan of Hawk Island
  • House Couper of Fort Holgen
  • House Coxhill of Maul Point
  • House Crantyn of the Bull's Horn
  • House Cuthbert of the Dagger's Tip
  • House Dantell of Redmane Isle
  • House Dymon of Fort Margen
  • House Englezos of Fort Englezos
  • House Finlay of Lightning Hall
  • House Hansen of Serpent Rock
  • House Hernand of Steeltower
  • House Hubbard of Sunstar
  • House Jameron of Kalethorne
  • House Koningen of the Red Star
  • House Lant of Burning Hill
  • House Linton of Seafarren
  • House Lunaren of Darkwing
  • House Lyster of the Owl's Eye
  • House Malor of Ironshield
  • House Marck of Blackhall
  • House Narlin of Phoenix Island
  • House Pritchard of Whitecliff
  • House Quinlan of Barren Point
  • House Mullins of Barren Mound, a cadet branch of House Quinlan
  • House Rankin of Greatwave
  • House Ridler of the Broken Chain
  • House Sambroke of Harshtide
  • House Selby of Skyholme
  • House Stevryn of Wagga's Wood
  • House Stott of Starbolt
  • House Tarigg of Hydra Hill
  • House Tonis of Otmurren
  • House Ward of the Golden Shore

Prominent Allies

Lords of the Tiger Islands
  • Luwin Selby, Lord of Skyholme and father-in-law to King Tandis.
  • Julyn Quinlan, Lady of Barren Point, has the largest army besides that of House Rylen's.
  • Nayon Linton, Lord of Seafarren, his house provides almost half the ships that make up the Red Fleet.
  • {Marke Dymon}, Lord of Fort Margen, killed by Tandis Rylen in single combat after continuously challenging his authority.
  • {Jaxen Bothwell}, former Lord of Shark Bay and one of Tandis' maternal cousins, sacrificed himself at the Battle of Crackclaw Point in order to allow the Bloodborn Army to evacuate.
  • {Sharenna Rankin}, former Lady of Greatwave, sacrificed herself at the Battle of Crackclaw Point alongside Lord Bothwell.
  • Dale Corayne, Lord of Chirnkarren and father of Garick Corayne. Commanded the Retaking of Seafarren.
  • Jeslyn Carr, Lady of Fort Karren, her house provides the best armour and weapons for the Bloodborn Army.
  • Lerwyn Marck, Lord of Blackhall, who commanded the Retaking of Darkwing.
  • King {Robb Stark}, Lord of Winterfell and King in the North, allied with House Rylen during the War of the Five Kings, murdered at the Red Wedding.
  • Lord Edmure Tully, Lord Paramount of the Riverlands and Lord of Riverrun, currently a prisoner of House Frey.
  • Jon Snow, King in the North, aka "The White Wolf", allied with Benjen Rylen at the Battle of the Bastards, now officially allied with the Kingdom in the Islands.
  • Princess Sansa Stark, Lady of Winterfell, architect of the new alliance between House Stark and House Rylen.

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