James Arryn was the Lord Paramount of the Vale until his murder at the Tourney at Harrenhal in 500 AC. He was succeeded by his infant son, Theon Arryn, with his brother, Nathaniel Arryn, acting as the child's regent.
James was a charismatic and honorable man. He became Lord of the Eyrie and Warden of the East following the death of his father, and wed Lyanna Stark the same year. They had their first and only child a year later in 498 AC.
James was taught archery, history, and sword fighting. After completing his lordly studies, he was given a young eagle which he trained and raised. Along with his eagle he had a prized bow and a simple steel sword that he cherished. He was beloved by his people, who said that he had "a common man's heart in a nobleman's body."
James Arryn was poisoned at the Tournament of Harrenhal by Lord Paramount Emmon Baelish, who secretly acted on the enouragement of Rymar Royce, the Master of Whisperers for the Iron Throne. He left his infant son as the heir to the Eyrie.