House Whent

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House Whent of Harrenhal
House Whent.svg
Coat of arms Nine black bats, 4-3-2, on yellow
(Or, nine bats 4-3-2 sable)
Seat Harrenhal (stripped)
Head Unknown
Region Riverlands
Title Lord of Harrenhal (stripped)
Vassal House Wode.svg House Wode[1]

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.[2][3] Their words do not appear in the books.


The Whents may have high cheekbones. Sansa Stark and her mother, Catelyn Stark, are known for their fine high cheekbones,[4] and Catelyn resembles her own mother, the late Minisa Whent, in her cheekbones and jaw.[5]


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.[6] Just like the other Houses who held Harrenhal before them, the Whents have been marked by tragedy.[6] House Whent is a fairly young house, Ben Blackthumb having smithed for Lothstons.[7]

Hoster Tully, Lord Paramount of the Trident, and Lady Minisa Whent had three children, Catelyn, Lysa, and Edmure. Minisa later died in childbirth.[8]

Lord Walter Whent hosted the tourney at Harrenhal in 281 AC.[9] 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.[10] At the end Lyanna Stark was crowned queen of love and beauty by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen.[11]

Ser Oswell Whent served in the Kingsguard of King Aerys II Targaryen and was slain during the War of the Usurper.[12] Ser Jorah Mormont defeated a Lord Whent at the tourney at Lannisport after Greyjoy's Rebellion.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15] Ser Willis Wode, one of those who aid Catelyn in detaining Tyrion Lannister at the crossroads inn, is sworn to Lady Whent.[16]

When Lord Tywin Lannister approaches with his army, Lady Whent yields Harrenhal and flees, lacking enough men to defend the massive castle.[17] Although Shella is stripped of Harrenhal (which is granted to Janos Slynt) in King 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.[18]

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.[12]

A Clash of Kings

Yoren states that Lady Whent has always been a friend of the Night's Watch.[19]

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 during the War of the Five Kings.[20]

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[10] and in Ser Jaime Lannister's thoughts on his entrance to the Kingsguard.[21]

Ser Danwell Frey, the husband of the childless Wynafrei Whent, participates in the Red Wedding.[22]

A Feast for Crows

Petyr Baelish uses the reported death of Shella Whent as a warning of the fate of all those who claim Harrenhal.[23]

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.[8]

Four sons
House Tully.svg


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."[24]

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.[7]

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.svg House Wode[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 27, Jaime III.
  2. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 28, Catelyn V.
  3. The Citadel. Heraldry: Houses in the Riverlands
  4. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 9, Tyrion I.
  5. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
  6. 6.0 6.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands: House Tully.
  7. 7.0 7.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 47, Arya IX.
  8. 8.0 8.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
  9. The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring.
  10. 10.0 10.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 24, Bran II.
  11. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
  12. 12.0 12.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 39, Eddard X.
  13. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 12, Daenerys I.
  14. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 25, Eddard V.
  15. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 30, Arya VII.
  16. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 31, Tyrion IV.
  17. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 56, Tyrion VII.
  18. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
  19. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 14, Arya IV.
  20. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 65, Sansa VIII.
  21. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 31, Jaime IV.
  22. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 51, Catelyn VII.
  23. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 23, Alayne I.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 So Spake Martin: Shella Whent, September 05, 2000