Harrenhal is the largest castle in the Seven Kingdoms and is the seat of House Baelish in the riverlands, on the north shore of the Gods Eye lake. Since the War of Conquest, however, it has become a dark and ruinous place, though the lords of House Baelish have attempted to rid of the ominous feeling by spending lavishly to restore the great castle.
The castle has five towers of dizzying size, with equally monstrous curtain walls. The walls are incredibly thick and its rooms are built on a scale that would be more comfortable for giants than humans. The castle's holdings are some of the richest in Westeros, claiming vast tracts of green fertile land.
Harrenhal covers three times as much ground as Winterfell and its buildings are so much larger that they can scarcely be compared. Its stables can house a thousand horses, its godswood covers twenty acres, and its kitchens are as large as Winterfell's Great Hall. When it was built it could have potentially garrisoned a million men. However, much of Harrenhal has far gone into decay. Given that the castle is so large, only one of the towers is manned fully, the second housing only the lower third. However, the Gatehouse has been recently renovated and restored, being the first of many projects to restore Harrenhal to it's former glory. The Gatehouse is covered in rugs from all across the world, new torch scones, and new stone where Balerion the Black Dread had burnt them.
The gloom of Harrenhal has been relatively mitigated by the Lords of Baelish, focusing on restoring the outer edges instead of the inside itself.
Walls and Towers Edit
Harrenhal is built on a gigantic scale; its colossal curtain walls are sheer and high as mountain cliffs while atop the battlements the wood-and-iron scorpions and two massive javelins seem as small as their namesakes when seen from the ground. Harrenhal's gatehouse is as large as Winterfell's Great Keep, and its stone is discolored and fissured. From outside the gatehouse, only the tops of five immense towers can be seen because the height of the walls obscure the view of them.
Of the castle's five towers, the shortest is half again as high as the tallest one in Winterfell, yet none of the towers are proper, being bent, lumped, and cracked from the melting of the stone by the Targaryen dragons centuries earlier.
The Five Towers:
- Tower of Dread
- Tower of Flight connects to the Kingspyre Tower via a stone bridge. Underneath there is a great cell that is used to keep prisoners.
- Wailing Tower contains storerooms on the ground floor and cavernous vaults beneath.
- Tower of Ghosts is near the postern gate and the Sept of Harrenhal
- Kingspyre Tower contains the castellan's chambers. It connects to the Widow's Tower via a stone bridge.
- The main gate has walls so thick that no less than a dozen murder holes are passed before one reaches the yard on the other side.
- The east gate is smaller than the main gate and is located near the Tower of Ghosts.
Other Areas Edit
- The Hall of the Hundred Hearths is the castle's great hall. It has only thirty-four or thirty-five hearths, but is said to be able to entertain an army. Its floors are smooth slate and there are steps to two galleries above. The feast of the Great Council of 367 AC was hosted here.
- The kitchens are located in a round stone building with a domed roof containing nothing but kitchens. The kitchens are as large as Winterfell's Great Hall.
- The Barracks Hall above the armory is where the men-at-arms take their meals.
- The armory is located below the Barracks Hall and contains the forge.
- The godswood is walled over twenty acres. It has a small stream running through it. The weirwood heart tree appears to have a terrible visage full of hatred, with a twisted mouth and flaring eyes. It is located across the ward from where the Barracks Hall and the armory are. The heart tree has thirteen deep marks carved into it dating to 130AC when Daemon Targaryen battled Aemond Targaryen in the Dance of the Dragons. These marks still bleed every spring.
- Flowstone Yard is where men-at-arms exercise and drill and squires clean arms and armor. It has a lumpy surface and is located near the Wailing Tower. There is a covered gallery above the Flowstone Yard with arches looking towards it.
- The bear pit is ten yards across and five yards across, walled in stone, floored with sand, and encircled by six tiers of marble benches. It is used often by the household of House Baelish to host animal fights.
- The bathhouse is a low-ceilinged room filled with great stone tubs large enough to hold six or seven after the fashion of the Free Cities. The bathhouse is made of stone and timber, with only one entrance to the room.
- The Courtyard is the great area some three-hundred feet across. It leads to the stables and leads to the five towers. This area has been relatively well-renovated as well.
- The Sept of Harrenhal is a relatively large sept and hosts a hundred septas and septons.
- The Mockingbird's Roost is the chamber of the Head of House Baelish, raised by Petyr Baelish and being a new addition to the Tower of Flight and Kinspyre tower. It is said to be lavish and grand, with the scion's chambers being directly underneath and only slightly less grand.
The seat of King Halleck Hoare, Harren the Black's father, was a modest tower house at Fairmarket. Harren, King of the Isles and the Rivers, built Harrenhal as a monument to himself, intending it to be the greatest of all castles in Westeros and for it to dwarf any other.
The construction of his dream took forty years. Thousands of captives from the other realms died in the quarries chained to sledges or laboring on the five huge towers. Men froze by winter and sweltered in summer. Weirwoods that had stood three thousand years were cut down to provide rafters and beams. Harren beggared the Riverlands and the Iron Islands alike to ornament his dream. Upon its completion, Harren boasted that his new fortress was impregnable. However, he did not account for Aegon the Conqueror and his dragons invading Westeros. On the very day Harren took up residence, Aegon came ashore at what would become King's Landing. The dragons were not obstructed by high walls and forbidding towers and roasted Harren alive in the tallest of the towers, now known as the Kingspyre. Harren and all his line perished. Due to the extreme heat of dragonflame, the castle took on a charred, melted appearance.
Several houses have held Harrenhal since, each meeting extinction. However, as Petyr Baelish ascended to Lord of Harrenhal, the dusky appearence of the Castle has been somewhat replaced with a new refurbished one along the outsides.
In Harrenhal's history, the houses that have held it have mostly perished into nothingness. There is a rumor that King Harren still roams the halls at night blanketed by fire, and those who see him catch ablaze. No house has held it for longer than House Baelish, with House Whent being that which has survived almost as long.
Houses to have held Harrenhal Edit
- House Qoherys held Harrenhal from 1AC - 37AC, wiped out by Harren the Red.
- House Harroway held Harrenhal from 37AC - 44AC, killed by King Maegor I Targaryen.
- House Towers held Harrenhal from 44AC - unknown, died out two generations later.
- House Strong held Harrenhal from unknown - 131AC, last of the line executed by Lord Cregan Stark.
- House Lothston held Harrenhal from 151AC - unknown, line was brought down in the reign of King Maekar I Targaryen.
- House Whent held Harrenhal for three generations. Lady Shella Whent surrendered Harrenhal in 298AC to the forces of Lord Tywin Lannister.
- House Slynt held Harrenhal for a short period of time in 299AC.
- House Baelish has held Harrenhal since 299AC.