Fall of Harrenhal

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Fall of Harrenhal
Conflict War of the Five Kings
Date 299 AC
Place Harrenhal
Result Bolton victory
Combatants
Joffrey sigil coat.png Iron Throne/ House Baratheon of King's Landing:

House Lannister.svg Westerlands, led by House Lannister

House Stark.svg Kingdom of the North and the Trident/ House Stark:

The North

House Tully.svg Riverlands, led by House Tully

Brave Companions.svg Brave Companions
Commanders
House Lorch.png Ser Amory Lorch Bolton.png Lord Roose Bolton

Brave Companions.svg Vargo Hoat (changes side)
House Glover.PNG Robett Glover

House Frey.svg Ser Aenys Frey
Strength
Garrison of 100 men[2] ~200 total
Casualties
Entire garrison
Amory Lorch
Unknown

The fall of Harrenhal[6] occurs during the War of the Five Kings when control of Harrenhal changes from House Lannister to House Stark.

Prelude

After being defeated in the battle on the Green Fork, Lord Roose Bolton withdraws his forces to the causeway.[7] When the victorious Lord Tywin Lannister camps at Harrenhal, Roose takes the ruby ford and crossroads.[8][9] Roose's liege, King Robb Stark, attacks the westerlands, drawing Tywin out of Harrenhal. Tywin names Ser Amory Lorch as castellan and marches out, leaving as a garrison only two hundred men: one hundred Lannister men-at-arms and a hundred Brave Companions, an unsavory sellsword outfit from Essos under the command of Vargo Hoat.[10][2]

Battle

Vargo returns to Harrenhal with at least one hundred captives—led by Robett Glover and Aenys Frey and including men from Houses Bolton, Cerwyn, Frey, Glover, and Karstark—claiming to have beaten Roose when he tried to cross the Trident. The incognito Arya Stark, seeing an opportunity, blackmails Jaqen H'ghar into helping her free the northern prisoners in the Widow's Tower, and Jaqen enlists the aid of Rorge and Biter. Under the pretense of bringing onion soup to a group of Amory's guards, the four kill the guards and free the northern prisoners.

Unknown to Ser Amory Lorch and independently of Arya and Jaqen, Vargo Hoat had previously approached Roose's encampment and struck a deal to turn over the castle to the Starks. While the freed northmen and rivermen are escaping, the Brave Companions simultaneously turn on their former Lannister allies, killing them in their beds or while they are celebrating in the Barracks Hall.[2]

Aftermath

The bodies of the slain Lannisters are burned in a pyre within Harrenhal's Flowstone Yard. Lord Roose Bolton marches on Harrenhal and Vargo Hoat turns the castle over to him. Roose upgrades Arya Stark, who now calls herself Nan, from a servant drudge to his own cupbearer. Ser Amory Lorch is killed by a large black bear in the bear pit as sport for Vargo's Brave Companions.[2]

The loss of Harrenhal traps Lord Tywin Lannister between the forces of Roose at Harrenhal and Ser Edmure Tully at Riverrun, culminating in the next major battle of the War of the Five Kings, the Battle of the Fords.

Quotes

This of the soup, that was clever. I did not expect that. Was it Lord Hoat's idea?[2]

- Robett Glover to Arya Stark

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Burley & Norrey men are not directly mentioned at the this battle but are later mentioned in A Storm of Swords as being part of Roose's host that is attacked by the Mountain's men whilst crossing the Trident.[3] Therefore it can be assumed that the Burleys and Norreys were present at earlier battles involving Roose's host, including at Harrenhal.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Condon, Ryswell & Stout men are not directly mentioned at this battle but are later mentioned in A Storm of Swords as being part of a force of men left behind by Roose at the Ruby Ford to defend against incursions by the Mountain's men, following the crossing the Trident by the Northmen.[3] Therefore it can be assumed that the men of these houses were present at earlier battles involving Roose's host, including at Harrenhal.
  3. Dustin men are not directly mentioned at this battle. However, during A Dance with Dragons Lady Dustin mentions that Dustin men died in the Red Wedding, which suggests that Dustin men were present during the Northmen campaigns in the Riverlands. As the Dustins are loyal to House Bolton, it is likely that they were a part of Roose's host, meaning that they took part in the battles between Roose's army and the Lannisters, including at Harrenhal.
  4. Ser Donnel Locke is captured following the Battle on the Green Fork.[4] Therefore, Locke men must have been present at the Green Fork and subsequent battles, including the Fall of Harrenhal.

References