Why House Arryn never came to be.

ShanShan admin
Posting this on behalf of Jessica :)

Hi! Jessica Sliwinski here, Lead Narrative Designer for Game of Thrones Ascent since launch. When we were first developing GoTA, we intended to allow you to swear fealty to any of the nine great houses of Westeros. For launch, we decided to scale down to five--Baratheon, Stark, Targaryen, Greyjoy, and Lannister. We then planned to release the other four as post-launch content. Our prioritization of the remaining four may seem helter skelter, but it was in fact due to changing criteria.

Initially, GoTA was to license only the Song of Ice and Fire books, not the HBO television show. Because the Martells were becoming more prominent in the books, we began working on House Martell as our first post-launch fealty.

When we were fortunate enough to expand our license to include the HBO television show, our criteria for prioritization changed from relevance to the latest book to relevance to the latest season of the show. We launched GoTA in the spring of 2013, just as season three of GoT was premiering. We thus selected House Tyrell as our second post-launch fealty, due to their heavy presence in seasons two and three. Similarly, we selected House Tully as our third post-launch fealty for release, due to their heavy presence in season three.

Creating a new fealty is an enormous undertaking. It takes a full month just to write the related quest content, to say nothing of the fealty building art, data, and recipes, creating the talent tree, conducting quality assurance on it all, et cetera. As the show went on, House Arryn became less and less relevant, and we struggled with how to provide an experience for Arryn players that would be equal to our other fealties. In the end, House Arryn became too big of a feature to tackle, and we decided it was better not to do it at all than to do it poorly.

We appreciate all the enthusiasm you have shown for House Arryn over the years. Though it is not to be, we'd love to hear what you would have liked to see in a House Arryn storyline. Please let us know on the forums or social media!


  • Thank you for answering my question; it's much appreciated. I can see why it would have been difficult to do given how limited House Arryn's role in the stories was (though it could have potentially been amusing to see how the writers would have handled Robin Arryn). I suppose another house could have specialized in steal alternatively - maybe House Frey? Though there might have been an issue with their story in the later seasons...
  • I maintain that the optimal solution would have been to write an Arryn tutorial and then have the player kicked out the Moon Door at the end, forcing a reincarnation (without permanent talent point, of course). :smiley:
  • I was never really interested in an Arryn fealty, but I really wanted to see a Night's Watch. Given the fact that the Night's Watch played such a huge role, there should've been a fealty.
  • There strike me as being a couple of problems with the Watch; in the first part is that they're explicitly excluded from doing most of the things the player does in GoTA, like raising a family (Sam's loophole notwithstanding), owning land (The Gift being a special case), and so on. Additionally, I suspect the licensed nature of the property would require that the player not become Lord Commander, further locking the player out of relevant decisions. It would require the writing staff create an entire parallel set of quests for the Night's Watch players, which is evidently a considerable amount of effort.
  • ShanShan admin
    edited November 2018
    Removed 2 comments from this thread.
    Any comment that is not in the spirit of this thread's intent will be deleted.
  • Shan wrote: »
    Removed 2 comments from this thread.
    Any comment that is not in the spirit of this thread's intent will be deleted.

    And, for the sake of clarity, the spirit of the thread is what exactly?
  • ShanShan admin
    edited November 2018
    Shan wrote: »
    Removed 2 comments from this thread.
    Any comment that is not in the spirit of this thread's intent will be deleted.

    And, for the sake of clarity, the spirit of the thread is what exactly?

    As Jessica said:
    we'd love to hear what you would have liked to see in a House Arryn storyline
    Relevant Game of Thrones context pertaining to the books and show is also OK.

  • So my character's name is Gabriel Arryn! Arryn is my favorite house, and I have to respectfully disagree that the Vale did not have a story line:

    A. Jon Arryn participating in Robert's Rebellion
    B. Jon Arryn raising Ned and Robert
    C. Jon Arryn's murder kick starts the events of GOT
    D. Lysa Tully marriage to Jon
    E. Little sick Robin
    F. Rob Stark asking for Vale help during the war of the kingdoms
    G. Littlefinger is from the Vale
    H. Sansa and Littlefinger run to the Vale and Sansa hides as Littlefinger's bastard
    I. Lysa Tully dies
    J. Littlefinger arranges a marriage between Sansa and Harry the heir

    And then the show has the Vale come out I believe to help John Snow.

    The items above is what I would have loved to see in an Arryn storyline. I see Robin being murdered, and then Sansa ruling the Vale with Harry. You guys could throw some tidbits in between each bullet point. :)
  • plus arya and the hound drift around the edges of the Vale.
  • Robin Arryn trains with the lords... That could involve some wandering around
  • And thus, children, Steal became the redheaded stepchild of Game of Thrones - Ascent.
  • While I really wasn't interested in playing house Arryn, I do see the helpfulness that Steal could have been, especially if it meant more help for raising the dragons. LOL I really appreciate the very in depth answer as to why it wasn't included.
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  • @Setekh - I don't think not being Lord Commander in the night watch is a problem - you can't be king in any of the other houses either - not to replace Cerecy, Danearis or any of the others, including disbanded houses like Baratheon or Tyrell - those two really gotten the rough side of the stick during the show. The Tullys are also barely around - and no chance of ascending to the throne at all.
    The plot never did get rid of the high lord of the region - each fealty still answers to someone at the head of the region, and no chance of overtaking that role.
    In this way - losing the franchise is a good thing - a generic game will allow players to ascend to king status and not stay stuck in middle management...

    Regarding Arryn - I just wanted it as part of the set - it does have a unique plot, even more so than the lannisters (I never did get more than 5 quests in the westland, and I'm not playing lannister usually).
  • I understand the reasons, but I was still disappointed. When I realized it was never going to happen, I left the game. I was a serial reincarnator and it felt like something I could never complete. Funny enough, I decided to come back a few weeks before it was announced that the game was shut down.

    I thought the work done with House Tully was excellent. So, I got excited by the possibility of House Arryn.

    I think it could have been done. Have the PC be an unwitting pawn of Littlefinger in the beginning and give them choices to undermine or support him until the end. Maybe Lysa gives you orders to help him and it goes from there. Kirth could have been the messenger that delivers her letter to Winterfell. Like Tully, they weren't doing much, and it could have given a lot of freedom.

    But that is a missed opportunity. I hope the new game has nine fealities (assuming the 9 action types remain). That you for the hard work even if never realization House Arryn was my greatest sadness in this game.
  • Perhaps it would have been better to base the game on ASOIAF content, the show has moved further and further from the books as the seasons have went on.
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