Capture of Harrenhal

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Capture of Harrenhal
Conflict War of the Five Kings
Date 299 AC
Place Harrenhal
Result Lannister victory
House Lannister Brave Companions
Gregor Clegane Vargo Hoat
not significant Vargo Hoat
remnants of garrison

The capture of Harrenhal[1] occurs during the War of the Five Kings. Ser Gregor Clegane and his men retake Harrenhal after the fighting at the fords of the Trident.[1]


Lord Roose Bolton, having decided to switch his allegiance from House Stark to House Lannister, sends a third of the northern foot to defeat at Duskendale. Roose leaves Harrenhal to its new lord, Vargo Hoat of the Brave Companions, as he goes north to the Twins for the Red Wedding with the remaining northmen. There is fighting at the Trident while Roose is on his way to the wedding, as he allows Ser Gregor Clegane to overwhelm his rearguard at the ruby ford.[2] Vargo suffers from infection after his ear is bitten off by Brienne of Tarth.[3]


Under orders from Lord Tywin Lannister, Gregor and the Mountain's men retake Harrenhal. Almost all[4][5] of Vargo's Brave Companions flee before he arrives, allowing Gregor to retake the castle easily.[6] A cook, angered by having his foot cut off by Vargo, opens a postern gate to the Lannister men,[4] and Vargo is found delirious and alone in the Hall of a Hundred Hearths.[6]

Gregor's band butchers most inhabitants of the castle, although survivors include the cook,[4] the smith Ben Blackthumb,[5] and some women[4] such as Pia whom the Lannisters rape repeatedly.

Gregor butchers Vargo, known as the goat, removing his limbs one at a time and sealing the wounds with fire to stop Vargo from bleeding to death. Gregor then has the limbs cooked and forces Vargo to eat his own flesh. Gregor also has his northern captives from the Trident, such as Ser Wylis Manderly, have a taste of "roast goat".[7][5]


Harrenhal is again in the hands of House Lannister. Members of the Brave Companions are on the run throughout the riverlands. When Ser Jaime Lannister returns to Harrenhal after the death of Ser Gregor Clegane, the only survivors of those who had once served Lady Shella Whent are the maimed cook, Ben Blackthumb, and Pia.[5]


Tywin: I mean to offer generous terms. Any castle that yields to us will be spared, save one.

Tyrion: Harrenhal?
Tywin: The realm is best rid of these Brave Companions. I have commanded Ser Gregor to put the castle to the sword.[8]

- Tywin Lannister and Tyrion Lannister

References and Notes

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