House Whent

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House Whent of Harrenhal
House Whent.png
Coat of arms Nine black bats, on a yellow field
(Or, nine bats, 4, 3, 2, displayed sable)
Seat Harrenhal (stripped)
Current Lord Lady Shella Whent
Region 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.


The Whents are the seventh noble house to rule Harrenhal, after Houses Hoare, Qoherys, Harroway, Towers, Strong, and Lothston. The Whents were originally knights in the service of the Lothstons. When Lady Danelle Lothston went mad during the reign of King Maekar I Targaryen, the Whents received Harrenhal for their role in defeating the Lothstons.[3] House Whent is a fairly young house, Ben Blackthumb having smithed for Lothstons.

Lord Walter Whent hosted the tourney at Harrenhal in 281 AC. It is said that his maiden daughter was the queen of love and beauty, and that her four brothers and her uncle Oswell unsuccessfully rode to defend her. At the end Lyanna Stark was crowned queen of love and beauty by Rhaegar Targaryen.

Ser Oswell Whent served in the Kingsguard of King Aerys II Targaryen and was slain during the War of the Usurper. Ser Jorah Mormont defeated a Lord Whent at the tourney at Lannisport after Greyjoy's Rebellion.[4]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Knight of Harrenhal by Lucas Soriana. © Fantasy Flight Games.

When thinking about her father Hoster Tully's most important bannermen, Catelyn Stark reflects that Lady Shella Whent, the last of her line, is dwelling with her ghosts in the cavernous vaults of Harrenhal.[5] 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.[6] Ser Willis Wode, one of those who aid Catelyn in detaining Tyrion Lannister at the crossroads inn, is sworn to Lady Whent.[7]

When Lord Tywin Lannister approaches with his army, Lady Whent yields Harrenhal and flees, lacking enough men to defend the massive castle.[8] Although Lady Shella is stripped of Harrenhal (which is granted to Janos Slynt) in Joffrey I Baratheon's first session of court, she is among the nobles listed in that same session who must do him homage or be declared traitors.[9]

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 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".[10]

A Clash of Kings

Yoren states that Lady Whent has always been a friend of the Night's Watch.[11]

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 I Baratheon during the War of the Five Kings.[12]

A Storm of Swords

The tourney at Harrenhal organized by Lord Walter Whent is remembered both in Meera Reed's story about the Knight of the Laughing Tree[13] and in Ser Jaime Lannister's thoughts on his entrance to the Kingsguard.[14]

A Feast for Crows

Petyr Baelish uses the news of the death of Shella Whent as a warning of the fate of all those who claim Harrenhal.[15]

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:

With unknown relations to the main line are:

The fertility of the Whent women is questionable. Wynafrei and Sarya are both childless. Minisa and her line proved fertile, although Minisa died in childbirth.[17]

Lord Whent
Lord Whent
Shella Whent
Walter Whent
Oswell Whent
Minisa Whent
"the fair maid"


There is some confusion as to Lady Shella Whent. George R. R. Martin has confirmed that she is the mother of the "fair maid" during the tourney at Harrenhal in 281 AC. 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 Walter Whent, would thus be Oswell's 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."[16]

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.[18]

This suggests that Lady Shella is a Whent by birth.

One possible explanation is that Shella and her late husband Walter 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.


Sworn Houses

House Wode House Wode

References and Notes

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