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House Whent

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House Whent of Harrenhal
House Whent.png
Coat of arms Or, nine bats displayed sable
Seat Harrenhal
Current Lord Lady Shella Whent
Region The Riverlands
Title Lord of Harrenhal
Overlord House Tully

House Whent of Harrenhal is a noble house from the Riverlands. Their seat is the huge castle of Harrenhal, built three hundred years ago by Harren the Black.

They blazon their arms depict nine black bats displayed over a yellow field.[1][2] Their words do not appear in the books.

Contents

History

The exact time and reason House Whent came to rule over Harrenhal are unknown. The first reference is from 281AC, the Year of the False Spring, when Lord Whent hosted a tournament. The Whents are the seventh noble house to rule there, after Houses Hoare, Qoherys, Towers, Harroway, Strong and Lothston. House Whent is a fairly young house, Ben Blackthumb having smithed for the previous lords of Harrenhal, the now-extinct Lothstons.

Lord Whent hosted the Tourney at Harrenhal. It is said that the daughter of the castle was the queen of love and beauty, and that her four brothers and her uncle Oswell rode to defend her. Eventually they were defeated and at the end Lyanna Stark was crowned queen of love and beauty by Rhaegar Targaryen.

Ser Jorah Mormont defeated a Lord Whent at the Tourney at Lannisport. Ser Oswell Whent served in the Kingsguard of King Aerys II Targaryen and was slain during the War of the Usurper.

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

When thinking about her father's most important bannermen, Catelyn Tully reflects that Lady Shella Whent, the last of her line, is dwelling with her ghosts in the cavernous vaults of Harrenhal. It is said that Lady Whent only uses the lower thirds of two of the five towers of Harrenhal, and has let the rest go to ruin. Ser Willis Wode, one of those who aid Catelyn in detaining Tyrion Lannister, is sworn to Lady Whent.

When Lord Tywin Lannister approaches with his army, Lady Whent yields Harrenhal and flees, lacking enough men to defend the massive castle. Although Lady Shella is stripped of Harrenhal (which is granted to Janos Slynt) in Joffrey's first session of court, she is among the nobles listed in that same session who must do him homage or be declared traitors.

Ser Oswell Whent appears in Lord Eddard Stark's fevered dream about the Tower of Joy, wearing the black bat of his house over his white-enameled helm. In the famous exchange before the fight, he delivers the sentences, "Woe to the Usurper if we had been", and "Ser Willem is a good man and true".

A Clash of Kings

Yoren states that Lady Whent has always been a friend of the Night's Watch.

The acting Hand of the King, Tyrion Lannister, strips Lord Slynt of Harrenhal. Petyr Baelish is given the castle of Harrenhal and the title of Lord Paramount of the Trident for his services to King Joffrey Baratheon during the War of the Five Kings.

A Storm of Swords

The Tourney at Harrenhal organized by Lord Whent is remembered both in Meera Reed's story about the Knight of the Laughing Tree and in Ser Jaime Lannister's thoughts on his entrance to the Kingsguard.

A Feast for Crows

Petyr Baelish uses the news of the death of Shella Whent and the extinction of House Whent as a warning of the fate of all those who claim Harrenhal.

House Whent at the end of the third century

The known Whents during the timespan of the events described in A Song of Ice and Fire are:

The apparent poor fertility of the Whent women is remarkable. Wynafrei, Sarya and Lady Shella were all childless. Shella Whent even being the last of her line.[1] Only Minisa and her line proved fertile, although she died in childbirth.[4]


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unknown
Lord Whent
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unknown
Lord Whent
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shella Whent
 
Lord Whent
 
Oswell Whent
 
Minisa Whent
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Son
 
Son
 
Son
 
Son
 
Daughter
"the fair maid"
 


Confusion

There is some confusion as to Lady Shella Whent. While George R.R. Martin has confirmed that she is the mother of the "fair maid" during the Tourney at Harrenhal in 281AC. As Oswell Whent is described as the uncle of the "fair maid", this would thus suggest that Shella was not a Whent by birth, but only by marriage, as her husband, Lord Whent, would thus be Oswells brother.

Lady Shella Whent was the mother of the "fair maid" at the Harrenhal tournament. Ser Oswell Whent would have been her husband's brother, and therefore uncle to the "fair maid."[3]

However, in A Clash of Kings, it is stated that it was Shella's father who had been the Lord of Harrenhal.

You know old Ben Blackthumb? He came here as a boy. Smithed for Lady Whent and her father before her and his father before him, and even for Lord Lothston who held Harrenhal before the Whents.[5]

This suggests that Lady Shella is a Whent by birth.


One possible explanation is that Shella and her late husband (Lord Whent in 281AC) were cousins, and thus both Whents by birth. It would, in that case, have been Shella who would have inherited Harrenhal from her father, as a daughter comes before an uncle (and thus also before a male cousin). As a marriage might lead to House Whent losing Harrenhal (by name at least), it is possible that Shella married her cousin, who, upon Shella inheriting Harrenhal, would become Lord Whent. This way, Harrenhal would remain in the House.

Since it is not uncommon for cousins to get married in Westeros, this seems to be an option.

Household

Sworn Houses

House Wode House Wode

References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 28, Catelyn.
  2. The Citadel. Heraldry: Houses in the Riverlands
  3. 3.0 3.1 Shella Whent [1]
  4. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn.
  5. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 47, Arya.
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