|Coat of Arms||Nine black bats, on a yellow field
(Or, nine bats, 4, 3, 2, displayed sable)
|Current Lord||Robert Whent|
Lords of Harrenhal
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've been the lords of Harrenhal for only a couple of decades, ever since the downfall of house Lothston in 211 AC. Danelle "the Mad", the last Lothston, terrorized the smallfolk and turned to the black arts, forcing king Maekar, first of His name, to intervene. The Whents were originally knights in service of the Lothstons but quickly turned against them. It ended with the extinction of house Lothson and with house Whent being granted Harrenhal as a reward for their part in overthrowing the Lothstons.
Donnel Whent ( 201 - 261 AC )
Donnel Whent is dearly remembered by the smallfolk. His rule is considered to have been a peaceful and just one, compared to the previous lords and ladies of Harrenhal. He answered the king's call when the crown decided to invade the Stepstones and distinguished himself on the battlefield as a tactician. He also reformed the old, almost ancient, taxation system from lord Harroway's days, streamlining it and cutting away unnecessary bureaucracy, bringing it onpar with the rest of Westeros.
He had but one daughter, Shella Whent, who he had with one of his servants. He later married this servant, Nella, who then took the title of lady Whent despite being lowborn. This was looked down upon at the time by his contemporaries and he was often mocked for it, but the singers claim that their love for one another made them blind to all this. Some of his bannermen jokingly quiped that "love was old lord Whent's shield".
He died peacefully in his sleep at Harrenhal, surrounded by his beloved family. He was succeeded by his only daughter and her cousin lady Shella and Walter Whent.
Shella Whent ( 240 - 267 AC )
Lady Shella was the only child of lord Donnel, being born in Harrenhal to one of his servants. Shella grew up in Harrenhal, her assigned tutor being a servant of house Whent known as Sylwa. Sylwa was a most cunning woman who taught her all there was to know of plotting and scheming. Shella took after her a great deal and considered her a close friend and ally, even naming her, her spymaster.
In her teenage years she fell in love with her cousin, Walter Whent, and they soon married as she came of age. They had three children together, their firstborn daughter Mordane and their sons Whently and Robert Whent.
She was considered a most diligent lady, and it was said that she never slept nor laid down to rest. Some even claimed she never went to the privy. She focused her efforts on exposing and bringing justice to smugglers and brigands who had for far too long plauged the shores of God's Eye. News of these efforts soon reached the ear of the lord paramount of the Riverlands, Hoster Tully, who named her his spymaster. She accepted gladly and worked both day and night to expose the plots and schemes of lesser lords seeking to undermine the stability of the realm.
She sought to form bonds to the other houses of the Riverlands, to bring some much needed legitimacy to the rather young house Whent and to firmly secure Harrenhal's place as the foremost sworn house of the Tullys rather than the isolated island in a sea it had been historically. She did so through marriage and dialogue and found her position as spymaster a most favorable positon to achieve this goal.
On one fateful evening she received lord Brynden Blackwood and held a great feast in his honor in the hall of a hundred hearths. As the evening progressed and the festivities died down the lord and lady retreated to her study to discuss matters of the crown. There they stayed until a great crash was heard. An old bookcase had fallen and crushed the lady underneath it, killing her instantly.
Some blame this on the curse of Harrenhal and claim that it was her fate to die in that castle, but many maesters are not so sure. They point to her important position as the spymaster of the Riverlands and claim that that's why people might have wanted her dead, since her competance had foiled so many plots in the past people who were moving against the Riverlands might have wanted her out of the way. Others suggest that her mentor and friend, Sylwa, might have orchestrated it. They had been fighting in the days leading up to the lady's fateful accident and many point out that Sylwa became the regent afterwards, the council overlooking her castellan and husband lord Walter Whent, which was highly unusual and also despite it being an ill kept secret that lady Shella was moving to have Sylwa removed from the council.
She was succeeded by her eldest son Whently.
Whently Whent ( 262 - 276 AC )
Whently was robbed of his mother at an early age, becoming the lord of Harrenhal at five. Not even a year after assuming the lordship of Harrenhal was he sent away to Riverrun to be the ward of Brynden and Hoster Tully. In the lord's absence the council ruled over Harrenhal, with regent Sylwa becoming the de facto lady of Harrenhal.
In Riverrun lord Whently was happy, far away from the politicking of his council and sworn houses. He was taught how to fight by the almost legendary Bryden "Blackfish" Tully and they were supposedly close. He was on good terms with lord Hoster Tully who taught him all there was to know of courtley life and how to rule.
His thoughts often drifted back to his family at Harrenhal and he came to believe that one's family is the only, real thing one has in life. He was quite eloquent and despite his young age was considered a bit of a ladies man, often making one or two ladies swoon at the feasts. He cared for the poor deeply and despite being a highborn was not one to shy away from those less fortunate than he was.
Sylwa ruled in lord Whently's stead, much to the the sworn houses of house Whent's dismay. They begrudgingly accepted this at first, but as the years passed and lord Whent coming closer to coming of age she showed no signs of willingly giving up her responsibilities. She excused her way out of them trying to confront her about it and made promises to placate them, telling them she was nothing but a faithful servant of the Seven and house Whent who only sought to serve.
The Butterwells and Vance of Atranta decided to band together and form a coalition against her to remove her from power, fearing she might try and keep lord Whently from assuming his rightful seat as lord of Harrenhal. Their messengers and ravens sent to Riverrun disappered mysteriously along the way and with them hearing that she was moving against them they decided to rise up in open revolt. They were not joined by the other sworn houses as they had hoped and were decisively crushed at the battle of Willow Wood. Lord Butterwell was forced to pay a ransom and send his son and heir Oscar to Harrenhal as a hostage while the Vances were stripped of Atranta by the regent. She had sought permission to do so from the lord paramount Hoster Tully but he had denied her request.
Hearing news of this at the tourney at Riverrun, how his command had been defied by a lowborn, lord Tully exploded with rage. He had lord Whently, his squire at the time, thrown into the dungeons without as much as a second thought, despite knowing full-well Whently had not even laid eyes on Harrenhal in almost a decade. The lords of the Riverlands were preparing to move against Harrenhal when suddenly they got word of the regent Sylwa having fallen into a sleep she was not expected to be waking up from. She was old at the time and infirm and with her condition worsening and the council being reluctant to rebel against the lord paramount the matter was quietly resolved between the maester of Harrenhal and lord Tully. Her last, and most surprising edict, was granting Atranta to a Jon Lothston, the last supposed Lothston alive.
Lord Whently was betrothed to the oldest daughter of lord Leyton Hightower and had close connections to the Tyrells and Brackens, who all protested against his imprisonment. They called for his immediate release since he was but a boy but before the situation could develop any further the young lord was found murdered in his cell. Some claim it was ordered by lord Tully himself or that it was carried out without his consent, rumors pointing to the "Blackfish" carrying out the deed either way.
He died in the dungeons of Riverrun, his second home, at the hands of people he thought of as his second family.
In the aftermath of everything that had happened people started to speculate about the regent's last, and maybe most lasting, edict. Most people scuffed at the idea of any Lothstons having survived Maekar's purge but most maesters agree on at least one branch of the Lothstons being unaccounted for.
Some believe that Sylwa was a servant of the Whents who fell in love with one of these Lothstons, even bearing his child. They plotted and conspired to usurp Harrenhal for the Lothstons and did all in their power to undermine the Whents at every turn. But in the end old age got to Sylwa before her plans came to fruition and in a last, panicked attempt to secure the future restoration of her son and his sons to their "rightful" seat she granted him Atranta, hoping for him use it as a base to one day take back Harrenhal itself from the Whents.
Or so rumor has it.
Robert Whent ( 266 - XXX AC )
Robert succeeded his brother days after the news of his death had reached Harrenhal. He was but a small boy as well and was hardly fit to rule. Everyone held their breath during those first, fateful days as the lord paramount and maester negotiated. In the middle of these tense negotiations a raven arrived from Riverrun, with the request that Robert was to go to Riverrun and become their "ward". The maester, who feared for the young boy's life, informed the lord paramount that the boy had been taken south by a group of officers and that he had no idea where he was or where he was going. That very night the maester himself rode out with the young boy down to the shores of the God's Eye, returning in the morning without him.
Months later the young lord turned up at Highgarden, being taken in by the Tyrells as their ward. He spent the better part of six years there, being taught the arts of war and how to carry himself in court. He was constantly reminded of the loss of his brother, whom he had admired and looked up to. He was taken on as a squire by Mace Tyrell.
It was also in Highgarden that Robert met his future wife, Fruella Tyrell. They were playmates at first and took a liking to each other. Robert eventually worked up the courage to ask lord Tyrell for her hand in marriage, which he accepted. They got married on Robert's fourteenth nameday in Highgarden. While they might only have been friends at first, never knowing what love actually was or meant, they soon enough started to realise just how deep their mutual affection went, becoming inseparable.
Robert made a great deal of friends in Highgarden, but also enemies. There were those who thought of him as crude and uncouth, but some found it charming in its own way. After all, was he still not a man of the Riverlands?
On his sixteenth nameday he bid farewell to his friends. The Tyrells had protected him during the most tumultuous years of the whole affair and he was now ready to assume his seat at Harrenhal.
He was greeted by his father, crying as he saw him approach the gates of Harrenhal. His father had assumed the regentship after the maester had passed away in the plague that had swept through the Riverlands some years prior, robbing Robert of the chance to ever thank him personally for what he did for his house.
To celebrate Robert's return a tourney was to be held at Harrenhal. It was planned and organized by his uncles, Walter and Oswell. It was to be the grandest tourney in recent memory and all of the realm's knights and nobles were invited. The tourney took place over ten days, of which the competition lasted seven days, with five days allotted to the joust. There was a seven-sided melee in the ancient style. Besides the melee and the joust, the tourney included an archery contest, an axe-throwing contest, a horse race, and a tourney of singers. There was also a mummer show.
In the final tilt ser Oswell Whent, Robert's uncle, went up against the heir of Riverrun Aerys Tully. Ser Oswell was growing old and nowhere near considered the equal of Aerys. Aerys was often hailed as one of the greatest warriors the seven kingdoms had ever seen. He was young and bold and had an aura of true chivalry surrounding him. Aerys was charismatic and considered the favourite despite it being his first tournament, many expecting him to unhorse Oswell without much trouble.
In the final tilt ser Oswell donned a distinctive helmet emblazoned with a black bat with its wings spread. He said a quick prayer before getting up on his horse.
The splinter flew and hit some of the spectators as Oswell's lance found its mark and struck the center of Aerys' breastplate, knocking him right off his horse. In a single pass was the final joust decided and while some of Aerys' supporters claimed that, that hit was naught but dumb luck they seemed unable to, when pressed, to tell you who had ever struck someone as true as Oswell had struck Aerys.
When asked to crown a new queen of love and beauty ser Oswell removed his helmet and took the crown of gold roses in his hands, looking down on it for a moment before slowly letting it fall to the ground. He spoke up and dedicated his victory to his late nephew Whently's memory, proclaiming that "house Whent does not forget its dead".