|Full Name||Harren Hoare|
Harren the Black
King of the Isles and the Rivers|
Lord of Harrenhal
|Died in||2 BC Harrenhal|
|Royal House||House Hoare|
|Issue||At least four sons|
The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)|
Fire & Blood (mentioned)
A Game of Thrones (mentioned)
A Clash of Kings (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
Harren Hoare, known as Harren the Black or Black Harren, was last of the Kings of the Isles and the Rivers to rule over the Iron Islands and the riverlands, and the last member of House Hoare to rule. He completed the grand castle, Harrenhal, which would serve to be his doom.
Appearance and Character
Harren was born to House Hoare, the ruling house of the Iron Islands. He was the grandson of King Harwyn Hardhand, who extended the ironborn rule over the riverlands from the Neck to the Blackwater Rush, and the son of King Halleck Hoare. Harren's brother rose to become Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.
During his reign, Harren was a vain, bloody tyrant hated by those he ruled. While Halleck ruled from a modest tower house at Fairmarket, Harren desired a grander seat, and he commanded the construction of the grand castle Harrenhal, a project that took almost forty years to complete. The riverlands and Iron Islands were drained to finance the building, with thousands of captives dying in the quarries, chained to sledges, or laboring on the towering walls and five huge towers of Harrenhal. Weirwoods were cut to provide rafters and beams.
Harren had finally completed his grand castle of Harrenhal, when Aegon Targaryen, Lord of Dragonstone, landed in Westeros and began the Conquest. Aegon was victorious over Harren's men in the Battle of the Reeds, but two of Harren's sons were victorious at the Wailing Willows. While they were returning to Harrenhal across the Gods Eye, however, the sons were killed by Aegon's dragon, Balerion. Harren's tyrannical rule over the riverlands earned him little love from his lords. As Aegon advanced many of the river lords, led by Lord Edmyn Tully, revolted against Harren to support the Targaryen invader and joined the conqueror's host.
Harren took refuge in the well-stocked Harrenhal, the largest castle of Westeros, and the king rejected Aegon's offer of retaining Harrenhal in return for becoming Aegon's vassal. Balerion, who was not obstructed by the towering walls of Harrenhal, roasted Harren and his surviving sons in the tallest tower of the castle, ending his rule and kingdom. Harren's brother, Lord Commander Hoare, remained at the Wall when his kin died in the burning of Harrenhal.
The death of Harren and his sons left a power vacuum in the riverlands and the Iron Islands. Aegon I Targaryen granted rule of the riverlands to Edmyn Tully, the new Lord Paramount of the Trident, and the king granted Harrenhal to Lord Quenton Qoherys. Harren's fate led Crackclaw Point to quickly surrender to Visenya Targaryen. To avoid being burned at Storm's End, the Storm King Argilac Durrandon marched to confront Orys Baratheon and Rhaenys Targaryen in the Last Storm.
Qhorin Volmark claimed to be Harren's heir, but he was eventually killed by Aegon. The Conqueror allowed the ironborn to choose Vickon Greyjoy as Lord of the Iron Islands in the name of the Iron Throne.
Although Black Harren died in Kingspyre Tower, the spirits of the king and his sons are said to haunt the cellars of the Wailing Tower. Another story claims that Harren and his sons walk Harrenhal's halls at nighttime, and any who look upon them burst into flame.
A Clash of Kings
A Feast for Crows
During the kingsmoot at Old Wyk, Tarle the Thrice-Drowned states that Maron Volmark should become King of the Iron Islands because he shares Black Harren's blood. Young Lord Volmark supports Victarion Greyjoy instead, however.
Quotes by Harren
Harren: What is outside my walls is of no concern to me. Those walls are strong and thick.Aegon: When the sun sets, your line shall end.
Aegon: But not so high as to keep out dragons. Dragons fly.
Harren: I built in stone. Stone does not burn.
—Aegon the Conqueror and Harren
Quotes about Harren
—writings of Yandel
—thoughts of Catelyn Stark
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 60, Jon VIII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
- Fire & Blood, Aegon's Conquest.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 14, Arya IV.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Black Blood.
- A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 20, Brienne IV.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Greyjoys of Pyke.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 30, Arya VII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 27, Jaime III.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 38, Arya VIII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 18, The Iron Captain.
- A Feast for Crows, Appendix.