House Lannister is the principal house of the Westerlands. Their principal seat is Casterly Rock. Their sigil is a golden lion on a field of crimson, and their motto is "Hear Me Roar!" Their unofficial motto, just as well known, states, "A Lannister always pays his debts."
The Lannisters descend from Andal invaders who married the daughters of the King of the Rock. The King himself descended from Lann the Clever, a legendary trickster from the Age of Heroes who tricked the Casterlys into giving him Casterly Rock. The Lannisters reigned as Kings of the Rock until the Targaryen conquest. The Lannisters surrendered and were allowed to remain the paramount lords of the Westerlands. The House fell on hard times from weak leadership before the events of A Song of Ice and Fire, but by the beginning of A Game of Thrones it had been restored to its former glory by Tywin Lannister. The Lannisters are the richest family in the Seven Kingdoms, due in large part to the many gold mines under their control. House Lannister once possessed an ancestral Valyrian sword called Brightroar; however, it has been lost.
ALLIED HOUSES: Baratheon
ENEMY HOUSES: Stark, Tully