Fall of Harrenhal

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Fall of Harrenhal
Conflict War of the Five Kings
Date 299 AC
Place Harrenhal
Result Stark victory
House Lannister House Stark
Amory Lorch Roose Bolton
Vargo Hoat (changes side)
Robett Glover (freed captive)
Aenys Frey (freed captive)
garrison of 100 men[1] 100 northmen inside the castle
~100 Brave Companions
Amory Lorch
entire garrison

The fall of Harrenhal[2] occurs during the War of the Five Kings when control of Harrenhal changes from House Lannister to House Stark.


After being defeated in the battle on the Green Fork, Lord Roose Bolton withdraws his forces to the causeway.[3] When the victorious Lord Tywin Lannister camps at Harrenhal, Roose takes the ruby ford and crossroads.[4][5] 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.[6][1]


Vargo returns to Harrenhal with at least one hundred captives—led by Galbart 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, demands that Jaqen H'ghar help her in freeing the northern prisoners in the Widow's Tower, and Jaqen enlists the aid of Rorge and Biter. Under the guise 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 had previously approached Roose's encampment and struck a deal that Vargo is 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.[1]


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 takes for his cupbearer Arya Stark, who now calls herself Nan. Ser Amory Lorch is killed by a large black bear in the bear pit as sport for Vargo's Brave Companions.[1]

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.


This of the soup, that was clever. I did not expect that. Was it Lord Hoat's idea?[1]
- Robett Glover to Arya Stark

References and Notes

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