Lord Randyll Tarly is the head of House Tarly and the Lord of Horn Hill. He is Dickon, Tarla, and Samwell’s father and wields a Valyrian steel greatsword called Heartsbane. Married to Lady Melessa Florent, Randyll becomes one of the crucial fighters in the War of the Five Kings as his battle prowess sets him apart.
Explore Randyll Tarly
- Name: Randyll Tarly.
- Allegiance: House Tarly, House Tyrell.
- Culture: Marcher.
- Religion: Faith of the Seven.
- Wife: Lady Melessa Florent.
- Children: Samwell, Talla, Dickon, and two unnamed daughters.
- Titles: Lord of Horn Hill, Commander of Mace Tyrell’s Forces, General of the Iron Throne’s Forces, Justiciar, Master of Laws.
Appearance and Personality
Randyll is a narrow man with a grey beard and a balding head. He is one of the fiercest and finest battle commanders in the Seven Kingdoms. On the battlefield, he wears mail and boiled leather and armors himself with a breastplate of grey steel. He wears his family’s sword, Heartsbane, across his back in a jeweled scabbard.
Though a man of a small frame, Randyll is astute and iron-willed. His love for bravery and martial ability made him resent his oldest son, Samwell, and after realizing there was no way to change the timid Sam, he disowned him in favor of his younger son, Dickon.
Though there is little knowledge about Randyll’s childhood, he married Lady Melessa Florent of House Florent, a noble house from Brightwater Keep in the Reach. After their wedding, Melessa gave birth to a boy, Samwell, in 283 AC. Over the next three years, Randyll and Melessa conceived Talla Tarly, two more daughters, and finally, a second son.
When Aerys Targaryen killed Brandon and Rickard Stark, Robert rebelled against the throne. Randyll fought as one of Mace Tyrell’s Bannermen and sided with the Targaryens. He was successful in the Battle of Ashford and defeated Robert Baratheon, sending him running to the Stoney Septs. Though he successfully won against the Demon of the Trident, the Targaryens lost the war, and Robert became the seventeenth King of the Seven Kingdoms.
After Robert’s Rebellion, Randyll focused on his eldest son, Samwell. Because he believed in courage and strength, he got irritated by the cowardice of his firstborn son. He made many attempts to turn Sam into a fierce boy, all to no avail. Though he brought him to the Arbor to serve as Lord Paxter Redwyne’s squire, he changed his mind when Sam got ridiculed for his timidness. When Melessa gave birth to another son Dickon, Randyll ignored Sam, focusing on the braver and fiercer Dickon, and when Sam turned fifteen, he gave him an ultimatum to either get killed or join the Night’s Watch. Sam chose the latter and met Jon Snow, while Dickon became Randyll’s new heir.
Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire
A Clash of Kings
When the War of the Five Kings begins, Renly Baratheon calls his banners, and being one of the bannermen of the Tyrells, Randyll joins the war. He hosts Renly at Horn Hill, where they receive the letter from Stannis claiming that Robert Baratheon’s children are bastards.
While at the camp of Highgarden, Randyll learns from his son that the men are wagering on who can get Brienne of Tarth’s maidenhead. He summons her and tells her about the game. He also advises her to desist from the war effort, stating that women have no place on the battlefield. He follows Renly to Bitterbridge, where he meets Catelyn Stark, who had been sent by her son, Robb Stark, to negotiate a settlement against Stannis and the Lannisters.
When Renly entertains Catelyn, he learns his brother is besieging Storm’s End. Randyll advises him to attack his brother to prevent him from gaining more strength. While he and Lord Mathis Rowan plan the upcoming battle with Stannis, Renly gets killed by a shadow sent by the red priestess, Melisandre.
With Renly dead, Randyll follows new orders from his liege lord, Lord Mace Tyrell, and puts many men who once supported Renly to death, including men from House Florent, his wife’s family. Before the Battle of Blackwater begins, he gets sent out with Lord Rowan to get Lord Tywin Lannister and take him to Tumbler’s Falls, where Mace Tyrell camped. He completes the mission, and together, the Tyrells and Lannisters march on King’s Landing, landing Stannis a defeat at Blackwater.
A Storm of Swords
After defeating Stannis, Randyll marches against a northern force attacking Duskendale. He successfully defeats the Northern army and captures Harrion Karstark and Robert glover. After Duskendale, he marches to the town of Maidenpool with Lord Renfred Rykker and captures it, securing the Kingsroad and imprisoning Lord William Mooton.
A Feast for Crows
With Cersei Lannister as Queen Regent to Tommen Baratheon, Ser Kevan Lannister, her uncle, proposes that she makes one of Mace Tyrell’s Bannermen, either Randyll or Lord Mathis Rowan, Hand of the King after Tywin’s death. However, she refuses, not knowing that Kevan’s plan would weaken the Tyrells by making one of their Bannermen stronger than the Warden of the South, Mace. Randyll stays at Maidenpool and begins rebuilding. His son, Dickon, gets married to Lord William’s daughter.
When Brienne leaves King’s Landing in search of Arya Stark and Sansa Stark, she arrives at Maidenpool and meets Randyll. He lets her continue her mission, and while on the way, she gets attacked by men of the Brave Companions. After killing them, she returns to Maidenpool with their head, and he tells her he has tried to kill their leaders, but they remain hidden. When he learns that Margaery got arrested by the High Sparrow, he marches with his army to King’s Landing.
A Dance with Dragons
When Randyll reaches King’s Landing, the Faith releases Margaery into his custody after he swears a holy oath to return them for trial. With Cersei’s arrest, Ser Kevan Lannister, the new Lord Regent, begins fixing the damage done by his niece. He reinstates the title of master of laws and hands it to Randyll. When the small council learns of Jon Connington and Aegon’s arrival in Westeros, he doubts Jon’s identity.
Appearance in Adaptations
In HBO’s Game of Thrones, Randyll Tarly’s character got portrayed by James Faulkner. He appeared in seasons 6 and 7 and starred in 5 episodes. Randyll Tarly was the husband of Melessa Tarly and fathered Samwell, who he disowned. When Sam travels to the Citadel, he travels with Gilly and her baby to his father at Horn Hill. His father insults him, stating that the Night’s Watch failed to make a man out of him. When Gilly defends him, Randyll accepts his son.
Randyll travels to King’s Landing and meets with Cersei Lannister, who asks him to help defeat Daenerys Targaryen. Though he tries to ration his choices, Jaime Lannister speaks with him and reminds him of how he sided with Lady Olenna Tyrell. He then promises to make him Warden of the South. Later, the Tyrells get looted by the Lannister army with Randyll’s support. However, his troops get attacked by Daenerys, and when she tells him to bend his knee, he refuses; this makes her kill him and Dickon by burning them alive.
Randyll Tarly: A General to the Core
As one of the best military commanders in Westeros, Randyll Tarly is a man that puts honor and bravery above everything else. However, his rigidity makes him somewhat villainous. As his son, Samwell was a gentle-natured boy, he began breeding hatred toward him. His overwhelming sense of ego made him hate his son so much that he contemplated killing him. Though he was a great general, his rigid attitude makes his character unlikable from a humane standpoint.
Why did Randyll hate his first son so much?
Randyll was a man who believed in strength and battle prowess. As an army commander, he wanted a son who would reflect his. However, he had Samwell, the stark opposite of everything he wished in a son; this made him resentful.
Was Randyll a better commander than Robert Baratheon?
Yes. Randyll Tarly was by far a better-skilled military general. He understood war tactics and knew that strength and numbers were just one side of a battle. Robert Baratheon was all about brute force and little tactical reasoning; this made him lose to Randyll on the battlefield.
Who was Randyll loyal to in A Song of Ice and Fire?
Since he was Mace Tyrell’s bannerman, Randyll was loyal to only the Lord of Highgarden. He had little attachment to anyone but his liege lord, and when Renly died, he fought against some of his forces, killing men from House Florent, his wife’s home.
Did Randyll become the Hand of the King?
No, Randyll only got considered for the role of the Hand of the King. He never became the second in command. He got made the master of laws by Kevan Lannister.