The Heroes of Ice and Fire 6: Lann the Clever

Lann the Clever

Lann the Clever is the legendary hero from the Age of Heroes that founded House Lannister. While House Lannister is of mostly Andal descent, Lann is believed to have been descended from the First Men. Some versions of his tale state he was an Andal adventurer from across the Narrow Sea.
Lann is popular amongst singers and storytellers. In some tales of the Reach, Lann was a bastard born either to Florys the Fox or to Rowan Gold-Tree, while in the Westerlands it is more often said that Lann deceived Garth Greenhand by posing as one of his sons – Garth having so many that he couldn’t recognize he wasn’t one – and making off with part of the inheritance that belonged to Garth’s children.
One popular story tells how he supposedly swindled Casterly Rock from the Casterlys using nothing but his wits. In another tale he is said to have stolen gold from the sun to brighten his hair. Some claim that Lann still haunts the castle.
Stories differ in the method by which he took Casterly Rock. In the most common version of the tale Lann discovered a secret way into the Rock, a cleft so narrow he had to strip naked and coat himself in butter in order to squeeze himself through. Once inside he began to whisper threats in the ears of sleeping Casterlys, howling from the darkness like a demon, stealing treasures from one brother and placing them in the bedchamber of another, rigging snares and deadfalls. Thus, he set the Casterlys at odds with one another and convinced them their seat was haunted.
In another version of the tale, Lann used that very same cleft to fill the Rock with mice, rats and other vermin to drive the Casterlys out.
In yet another he smuggles a pride of lions inside, and Lord Casterly and his sons are all devoured, after which Lann claimed Lord Casterly’s wife and daughters for himself.
In the bawdiest tales, Lann steals in at night to have his way with the Casterly maidens in their sleep, and nine months later, these maids give birth to golden-haired children whilst insisting they had never had carnal knowledge of any man.
Archmaester Perestan proposed that Lann must have been a retainer in service of House Casterly who impregnated the lord’s daughter – or daughters – and persuaded the father to give him the girl in marriage. Yandel considers that if this lord had no trueborn sons, then in the natural course of events the Rock then passed to said daughter, and hence Lann, upon the father’s death. Whatever the case, House Casterly suddenly vanishes from chronicles and histories and in its place appears the hitherto-unknown House Lannister.
Lann supposedly lived to the age of 312, and sired a hundred bold sons and a hundred lissome daughters, all fair of face, clean of limb and with hair “as golden as the sun”. In a few generations, Lann’s descendants were so numerous that even Casterly Rock can’t contain them all. The members of the lesser branches make their home in a nearby village that eventually grows into town and then a city: Lannisport.
Every year the Lannisters celebrate Lann’s takeover of Casterly Rock. They call that feast a Lan(n)-Party.