Daendrew

Does Littlefinger avoid the curse of Harrenhal? Is the crown now cursed?

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"Until such time as Lord Petyr arrives to claim his seat, Ser Bonifer Hasty shall hold Harrenhal in the name of the crown." - A Feast for Crows - Jaime III 

By Ser Bonifer holding Harrenhal in the name of the crown, does this absolve Petyr Baelish of the curse of Harrenhal? In doing so, is the "Baratheon" crown now cursed?

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No. It's that Littlefinger does not have the means to hold the castle and, mainly, the Riverlands which his nominal position would demand him to do had he assumed his duties as the overlord and what's more, he does not believe that it's worth the trouble.

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Harrenhal is a waste of money to manage.  Littlefinger didn't get rich by wasting money.  He only needed the title that came with the position.  As LP of the riverlands, can Lf expect tax revenues from the river lords even if he doesn't take up position at Harrenhal?

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Posted (edited)

AFFC Alayne I:

"Joffrey gave you Harrenhal. You are lord in your own right there."

"By title. I needed a great seat to marry Lysa, and the Lannisters were not about to grant me Casterly Rock."

"Yes, but the castle is yours."

"Ah, and what a castle it is. Cavernous halls and ruined towers, ghosts and draughts, ruinous to heat, impossible to garrison . . . and there's that small matter of a curse."

"Curses are only in songs and stories."

That seemed to amuse him. "Has someone made a song about Gregor Clegane dying of a poisoned spear thrust? Or about the sellsword before him, whose limbs Ser Gregor removed a joint at a time? That one took the castle from Ser Amory Lorch, who received it from Lord Tywin. A bear killed one, your dwarf the other. Lady Whent's died as well, I hear. Lothstons, Strongs, Harroways, Strongs . . . Harrenhal has withered every hand to touch it."

"Then give it to Lord Frey."

Petyr laughed. "Perhaps I shall. Or better still, to our sweet Cersei. Though I should not speak harshly of her, she is sending me some splendid tapestries. Isn't that kind of her?"

LF flips through several explanations for why he doesn’t take Harrenhal when Sansa questions him.

1. He needs a great seat to marry Lysa. Sansa isn’t satisfied as to why he’d want Lysa’s castle instead of his own.

2. He then says he doesn’t take Harrenhal because it’s a cursed ruin. Again, this doesn’t satisfy Sansa. If it’s a cursed ruin and he is now established (precariously) in the Vale, why doesn’t use the curse to his advantage?

3. He says maybe he will use the curse to his advantage to give it to the Freys or Cersei when Sansa advocates that use of Harrenhal if he in fact believes in curses.. And then abruptly changes the subject. He says “perhaps” he shall indicating that he’ll think about it which buys himself some time from actually acting on this.

 

Interesting that he lists Harrenhal's victims in AFFC Alayne I (Slynt's not mentioned and he's a LF crony) and Slynt dies in ADWD Jon II. Also interesting that LF says it's withered every hand which has touched it maybe implying LF thinks he can escape the curse by not literally laying a hand on it, but Slynt's death seems to imply that touch isn't necessary. I wonder if Slynt's death forces LF to rethink Harrenhal after this conversation?

My inclination here given that LF flips through different explanations about Harrenhal is that none of these are true and he flipped through explanations until he hit upon one which would stop Sansa’s questions (giving it to Freys or Cersei). At the very least, he definitely looks like he’s trying to hide something here. Below, Tyrion observes that LF uses curses to hide his obvious interest in Harrenhal.

I’m a bit conflicted as to how LF would feel about curses and the magical in general. On the surface, I really don’t connect him to the magical at all, but this might not be quite accurate given his description and history. He’s very short with grey-green eyes which puts me in mind of the Reeds and the CotF who have eyes like a cat. When Tyrion offers Harrenhal to LF (and also the Gods Eye), Tyrion sees hunger in LF’s cat’s eyes. His family is also from Braavos which is tied to the FM. LF himself has strong ties to the Iron Bank which in turn maybe strongly tied to the FM, so LF may have strong ties to the FM. He’s no doubt heard about Dany’s dragons and we know he’s heard about the wights via Thorne and Tyrion notes he pays close attention. We’ve only seen LF use politics in his games, but it’s been hinted that he may use magic as well. He was exposed to magic as a boy via his father who believed in seers, prophesy and possibly other magical things too.

ACoK Tyrion IV:

It was interesting to watch his face. Lord Petyr's father had been the smallest of small lords, his grandfather a landless hedge knight; by birth, he held no more than a few stony acres on the windswept shore of the Fingers. Harrenhal was one of the richest plums in the Seven Kingdoms, its lands broad and rich and fertile, its great castle as formidable as any in the realm . . . and so large as to dwarf Riverrun, where Petyr Baelish had been fostered by House Tully, only to be brusquely expelled when he dared raise his sights to Lord Hoster's daughter.

Littlefinger took a moment to adjust the drape of his cape, but Tyrion had seen the flash of hunger in those sly cat's eyes. I have him, he knew. "Harrenhal is cursed," Lord Petyr said after a moment, trying to sound bored.

ACok Tyion VI

At the council table Varys smiled knowingly, Littlefinger sat feigning boredom, and Pycelle gaped like a fish, pale and confused. A herald stepped forward. "If any man has other matters to set before the King's Hand, let him speak now or go forth and hold his silence."

...

"You're certain that they are dead this time?" Tyrion asked mildly. When Bronn choked on a snort of laughter, he knew how he must proceed. "Truly truly dead?"

"They were dead the first time," Ser Alliser snapped. "Pale and cold, with black hands and feet. I brought Jared's hand, torn from his corpse by the bastard's wolf."

Littlefinger stirred. "And where is this charming token?"

...

"And to hold it you need men, which I've given you . . . as you might have noted, if your ears heard anything but insults. Take them, thank me, and begone before I'm forced to take a crab fork to you again. Give my warm regards to Lord Mormont . . . and to Jon Snow as well." Bronn seized Ser Alliser by the elbow and marched him forcefully from the hall.

Grand Maester Pycelle had already scuttled off, but Varys and Littlefinger had watched it all, start to finish.

ASOS Sansa VI

There was a hermit's cave on his land as well, but no hermit. "He's dead now, but when I was a boy my father took me to see him. The man had not washed in forty years, so you can imagine how he smelled, but supposedly he had the gift of prophecy. He groped me a bit and said I would be a great man, and for that my father gave him a skin of wine." Petyr snorted. "I would have told him the same thing for half a cup."

So kind of crackpot, I know, but I can’t shake the feeling that LF’s plans for Harrenhal are tied to the CotF somehow. As a reader, I'd find it more satisfying for LF to go down by his own faults rather than a mysterious curse.

Edited by Lollygag

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Not to slay any hype, but there's a good possibility that Bonifer could be the Faith's champion against Gregor, and if he is, then it's unlikely he'll make it out alive. I definitely think Littlefinger's doomed, although I'm not quite sure he'll die in TWOW.

Something I'm very interested in is whether the curse of Harrenhal can be broken. We're led to believe that the Hoare line was extinguished by Aegon I, but all that's mentioned are the deaths of Harren and his sons. It's possible that he could have had daughters who had married into other families or that he had salt children scattered throughout Westeros. It makes me wonder if one of the characters we know descends from the Hoare line, and if the curse can be broken should Harrenhal come into their possession. This is just speculation though; I have no textual evidence that anything like this will happen.

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Given the remoteness of the wall it's entirely possible that he doesn't know that Slynt is dead

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LF isn't absolved of the curse given Slynt never set foot in Harrenhal, yet he still got sent to the Wall and lost his head.

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On 6/13/2017 at 4:37 PM, Daendrew said:

Ser Bonifer Hasty

He was the great love of Queen Rhaella's life and now an object of dirision for his exaggerated piety.

Hmmm.

Here's an odd sort of mirroring

Quote

 According to Ser Barristan Selmy, Bonifer once wore the princess's favor in a tourney in which he defeated all challengers to name Rhaella his queen of love and beauty.[5] Their love was ultimately a brief thing and could never have been otherwise, as Bonifer was of far too low birth to be considered as a suitor for a princess of the royal line, House Targaryen.

When Rhaella married Aerys, the knight found solace in religion, finding only the Maiden could replace Rhaella in his heart.[5

http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Bonifer_Hasty

Lord Baelish once told Sansa Cat was his Queen of Love and Beauty

Both men were of "far too low birth to be considered as a suitor" for their loves.

Maiden=Sansa?

It's probably nothing much, but I'd be interested in knowing how Ser Bonifer fares at Harrowhal.

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