House Hightower of the High Tower is one of the most important and powerful vassals of House Tyrell (and before them of House Gardener). Their seat is the High Tower in the city of Oldtown within the Reach. The sigil of House Hightower is a stone white watchtower, with a fire on the top. Their words are "We Light the Way". They possess a Valyrian steel sword called Vigilance.
The Hightowers are among the oldest and proudest of the Great Houses. Members of the house are considered loyal and stalwart. They have often preferred trade instead of war, and have also avoided many wars because of their support for the Faith of the Seven. The Hightowers can be legitimately referred to as being either "of Hightower" or "of Oldtown."
The High Tower
The Hightower or High Tower is the seat of House Hightower, one of the most powerful families of the Reach. The castle and lighthouse is located in the port of Oldtown atop Battle Island, where the Honeywine widens into Whispering Sound.
The Hightower stands in the center of Oldtown, the city having grown around it. It is a massive stepped tower with a beacon on top to guide ships into port. It is the tallest structure in the Seven Kingdoms, even higher than the seven-hundred-foot Wall. The people of Oldtown can tell the time of day by the tower's shadow, and some claim that the Wall can be seen from its top.
The foundation of the Hightower is a labyrinthine fortress of unadorned black stone of uncertain origin on Battle Isle, known as the Black Stone Fortress. While some believe it to be Valyrian in origin, Archmaester Quillion suggests it was made by the mazemakers and Maester Theron suggests it was created by Deep Ones, citing its similarities to the Seastone Chair. Valyrian origin is supported by the claim of Maester Jellicoe that Oldtown began as a trading post for ships of Valyria, Old Ghis, and the Summer Isles, predating the arrival of the First Men to Westeros. Septon Barth also claimed Valyrians came to Westeros because their priests prophesied that the Doom of Man would come out of the land beyond the narrow sea.
The first chronicles that mention a "high tower" describe it as made of wood and rising some fifty feet above the ancient fortress. Later records mention taller timber towers. All of these served as a beacon to light the path of trading ships passing through the fog-shrouded waters of Whispering Sound. The early members of House Hightower lived amidst the gloomy halls, vaults, and chambers of the black stone fortress. It was only with the construction of the fifth tower, the first made entirely of stone, that the Hightower became a seat worthy of a great house. The king who demanded it and paid for its construction is remembered as Uthor of the High Tower. Some say this first stone tower, which rose two hundred feet above the harbor, was designed by Bran the Builder, while others say it was by his son, another Brandon.
The Hightower and Oldtown were incorporated into the Kingdom of the Reach during the rule of the Sea Lion, Lymond Hightower.
The family is very old, existing since the dawn of days when they were petty-kings. While most scholars believe they descend from the First Men, Maester Yandel posits the question if perhaps they actually descend from the seafarers and traders that settled at the top of the Whispering Sound in an earlier time, the men who came to Westeros before the First Men and seem to have founded the original incarnation of Oldtown. Whatever the truth, the Hightowers resided in the ancient black stone fortress of Battle Isle at the mouth of the Honeywine before the "Hightower" of stone was built.
The ancient Hightowers built four successive wooden beacon towers atop the fortress. The legendary King Uthor of the High Tower is said to have commissioned Bran the Builder or his son Brandon to design the fifth tower, one built entirely of stone. Uthor's sons, King Urrigon and Prince Peremore the Twisted, were integral in the foundation of the Citadel.
During these early days Oldtown was threatened and sacked for many times, by various opponents, such as ironborn raiders, Dornish invaders and the armies of the Kings of the Reach, House Gardener of Highgarden. The Kings of the High Tower raised strong walls and higher towers to keep any further invaders out. Oldtown was not brought into the realm of the Gardeners by conquest, but by marriage, during the reigns of King Lymond Hightower and Garland II Gardener. Lymond the Sea Lion wed the daughter of King Garland, while Garland put aside his own wives to marry Lymond's daughter.
During the Andal invasion, the Hightowers and the Gardeners allied with the newcomers. Thus they were able to keep their wealth, lands and privileges. Protected by the might of Highgarden, the lords of Oldtown turned their eyes to trade and commerce and grew with every generation to become one of the richest and most powerful noble families in Westeros. The Hightowers were also one of the first great lords to accept the Faith of the Seven and thus gave their patronage to the establishment of the office of High Septon and the building of the Starry Sept as the center of the Faith.
During the War of Conquest, Lord Banfred Hightower heeded the High Septon, who prophesied that the Hightower would burn with the rest of Oldtown if the city resisted the Targaryens. When Aegon the Conqueror arrived at Oldtown on dragonback, Lord Hightower opened his gates. Aegon spared the city, and the High Septon anointed him and acknowledged Aegon's right to rule the Seven Kingdoms.
During the Dance of the Dragons, Lord Ormund Hightower's young sons remained at the Hightower while Ormund led an army for the greens.
House Beesbury - Beesbury of Honeyholt.
House Bulwer - Bulwer of Blackcrown.
House Costayne - Costayne of the Three Towers.
House Cuy - Cuy of Sunhouse.
House Mullendor - eMullendore of Uplands.