Harren Hoare

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Harren Hoare
Harren the Black TheMico.jpg
Biographical Information
Full Name Harren Hoare
Alias Harren the Black
Black Harren
Titles King of the Isles and the Rivers
Died In 2 BC, at Harrenhal
Culture Ironborn
Royal House House Hoare
Predecessor Halleck Hoare
Successor None
Issue multiple sons
Father Halleck Hoare
Books The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)
The Sons of the Dragon (mentioned)
The Rogue Prince (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

At the time of Aegon's Conquest, Harren was an old, grey man who wore black armor. His cruelty was famous throughout the Seven Kingdoms.[1]


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.[2]

During his reign, Harren was a vain, bloody tyrant hated by those he ruled. While Halleck ruled from a modest tower house at Fairmarket,[3] Harren desired a grander seat, and he commanded the 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.[1][4]

Harren had finally completed his grand castle of Harrenhal, when Aegon Targaryen, Lord of Dragonstone, landed in Westeros. 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.[1] 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,[4] ending his rule and kingdom.[5][1] Harren's brother, Lord Commander Hoare, remained at the Wall when his kin died in the burning of Harrenhal.[2]

The death of Harren and his sons left a power vacuum in the riverlands and the Iron Islands. Aegon the Conqueror granted rule of the riverlands to Edmyn Tully, the new Lord Paramount of the Trident.[1] In the chaotic aftermath of Aegon's Conquest, Aegon allowed the ironborn to choose Lord Vickon of House Greyjoy, who was given dominion over the islands in the name of the Iron Throne.[6]

Quotes by Harren

Aegon: Yield now and you may remain as Lord of the Iron Islands. Yield now, and your sons will live to rule after you. I have eight thousand men outside your walls.

Harren: What is outside my walls is of no concern to me. Those walls are strong and thick.
Aegon: But not so high as to keep out dragons. Dragons fly.
Harren: I built in stone. Stone does not burn.

Aegon: When the sun sets, your line shall end.[7]

- Aegon the Conqueror and Harren

Quotes about Harren

No king in Westeros was more feared than Black Harren, whose cruelty had become legendary all through the Seven Kingdoms.[7]

- writings of Maester Yandel


Salt wife
[Note 1]
[Note 2]
  1. King Harwyn Hoare is known to have had at least one salt wife.
  2. King Harren Hoare is known to have had at least four sons.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
  2. 2.0 2.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 60, Jon VIII.
  3. The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Black Blood.
  4. 4.0 4.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
  5. A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  6. The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Greyjoys of Pyke.
  7. 7.0 7.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Conquest.