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Falcon2909

Why was Harrenhal built?

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Why was Harrenhal built so big and massive with huge halls and so many hearths with thick curtain walls and tall towers?
What was the reason?

Could it be because Harren Hoare had a vision (or was told by the CotF from the isle of faces) of the incoming 2nd long night? So to protect himself and his family he had such a strong castle built?

Also, why didn't Aegon make an alliance with Harren? Could Aegon have had a vision of Harren bringing in the 2nd long night so Aegon decided to roast him instead to stop him?

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22 minutes ago, Falcon2909 said:

Why was Harrenhal built so big and massive with huge halls and so many hearths with thick curtain walls and tall towers?
What was the reason?

To be unconquerable.  No human army could break it. 

24 minutes ago, Falcon2909 said:

So to protect himself and his family he had such a strong castle built?

Yes, exactly

23 minutes ago, Falcon2909 said:

Could it be because Harren Hoare had a vision (or was told by the CotF from the isle of faces) of the incoming 2nd long night? 

Not a chance. In fact, there is only a negative chance of this being a thing. He killed thousands and cut down every last weirwood in the riverlands to build it. The CTOF would have hated him. 

25 minutes ago, Falcon2909 said:

Also, why didn't Aegon make an alliance with Harren? 

Why make an alliance when he could conquer? He had dragons.

26 minutes ago, Falcon2909 said:

Could Aegon have had a vision of Harren bringing in the 2nd long night so Aegon decided to roast him instead to stop him?

 What did harren have to do with something 300 years after he died?

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12 minutes ago, Dorian Martell's son said:

 He killed thousands and cut down every last weirwood in the riverlands to build it. The CTOF would have hated him. 

Wonder if all that weir made it a dragon magnet, but before that could the same wood have made the castle a magic antenna to collect and focus regional fae powerz, to let the family climb a witch's ladder of ascendency in the human realm.   Just not proof against magical foes.

Edited by The Mother of The Others

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11 minutes ago, M.Alhazred said:

Harren The Baked was in Aegon's way.He built Harrenhal to keep the Riverlands under his control.

But you don't need a huge ass castle to do that

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The same reason that the Empire built the Death Star; to be a huge, scary symbol of power that would intimidate their subjects, as well as being an impregnible fortress that could be used to project power over the unruly Riverlands.

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27 minutes ago, Dukhasinov said:

The same reason that the Empire built the Death Star; to be a huge, scary symbol of power that would intimidate their subjects, as well as being an impregnible fortress that could be used to project power over the unruly Riverlands.

ok but why build it near the isle of faces?

Edited by Falcon2909

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19 minutes ago, Falcon2909 said:

ok but why build it near the isle of faces?

It's the heart of the Riverlands.Also,another way to project power.

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9 minutes ago, Falcon2909 said:

ok but why build it near the isle of faces?

"Sigh......" It was built on the God`s Eye, for several reasons. First, it allows for an inexhaustible supply of fresh water; important in the event of a siege. Also, it means that to effectively besiege Harrenhal, you will have to blockade it as well as invest it, because it can get resupplied across the lake. Also, the God`s Eye flows into the Blackwater Rush, which allowed the Kingdom of the Isles and the Rivers to project naval power into Blackwater Bay, giving them more leverage in conflicts with Storm Kings. Also, having a port in the God`s Eye would allow the kingdom access to the Narrow Sea and its trade routes without actually having any real-estate on the east coast of Westeros....though I admit that I`m reaching with that one, as I don`t know of any evidence of Harrentown being a commercial port. Proximity to the Isle of Faces is just incidental.

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6 hours ago, Dukhasinov said:

"Sigh......" It was built on the God`s Eye, for several reasons. First, it allows for an inexhaustible supply of fresh water; important in the event of a siege. Also, it means that to effectively besiege Harrenhal, you will have to blockade it as well as invest it, because it can get resupplied across the lake. Also, the God`s Eye flows into the Blackwater Rush, which allowed the Kingdom of the Isles and the Rivers to project naval power into Blackwater Bay, giving them more leverage in conflicts with Storm Kings. Also, having a port in the God`s Eye would allow the kingdom access to the Narrow Sea and its trade routes without actually having any real-estate on the east coast of Westeros....though I admit that I`m reaching with that one, as I don`t know of any evidence of Harrentown being a commercial port. Proximity to the Isle of Faces is just incidental.

Harrenhal isnt built on the gods eye, they are actually like 25 miles or more away from it. 

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55 minutes ago, Stormking902 said:

Harrenhal isnt built on the gods eye, they are actually like 25 miles or more away from it. 

Is there a source for that? I don't think there's anything absolute to point to Harrenhal, or Harrentown, being on the banks of the Gods Eye themselves, but they're repeatedly described as being very, very near to them... certainly not 25 miles away, I don't think. Harrenhal is described as having been "raised beside the waters of Gods Eye", or "Harrenhal beside the Gods Eye". Yoren's plan is to ditch the carts his group are using, find boats and, "Gods be good, we'll find a wind and sail across the Gods Eye to Harrentown", implying to me that Harrentown, at least, is on the banks of the Gods Eye. 

Also, perhaps not the most accurate of sources, we have this from Meera and the Tale of the Knight of the Laughing Tree...

Quote

"All that winter the crannogman stayed on the isle, but when the spring broke he heard the wide world calling and knew the time had come to leave. His skin boat was just where he'd left it, so he said his farewells and paddled off toward shore. He rowed and rowed, and finally saw the distant towers of a castle rising beside the lake. The towers reached ever higher as he neared shore, until he realized that this must be the greatest castle in all the world."

And then we have this...

Quote

Beneath its walls he saw tents of many colors, bright banners cracking in the wind, and knights in mail and plate on barded horses. He smelled roasting meats, and heard the sound of laughter and the blare of heralds' trumpets. A great tourney was about to commence

So, the tourney is happening under the walls of Harrenhal. Combine that with this from TWoIaF...

Quote

As warm winds blew from the south, lords and knights from throughout the Seven Kingdoms made their way toward Harrenhal to compete in Lord Whent's great tournament on the shore of the Gods Eye, which promised to be the largest and most magnificent competition since the time of Aegon the Unlikely.

We know a great deal about that tourney, for the things that transpired beneath the walls of Harrenhal were set down by a score of chroniclers and recorded in many a letter and testament.

So, the tourney is described as taking place "on the shore of the Gods Eye" and "beneath the walls of Harrenhal". To me, that implies that they're the same thing.

As for why Harrenhal was built, and why it was so big... ACoK Catelyn I says...

Quote

"Harrenhal." Every child of the Trident knew the tales told of Harrenhal, the vast fortress that King Harren the Black had raised beside the waters of Gods Eye three hundred years past, when the Seven Kingdoms had been seven kingdoms, and the riverlands were ruled by the ironmen from the islands. In his pride, Harren had desired the highest hall and tallest towers in all Westeros. Forty years it had taken, rising like a great shadow on the shore of the lake while Harren's armies plundered his neighbors for stone, lumber, gold, and workers. Thousands of captives died in his quarries, chained to his sledges, or laboring on his five colossal towers. Men froze by winter and sweltered in summer. Weirwoods that had stood three thousand years were cut down for beams and rafters. Harren had beggared the riverlands and the Iron Islands alike to ornament his dream. And when at last Harrenhal stood complete, on the very day King Harren took up residence, Aegon the Conqueror had come ashore at King's Landing.

Harren wanted a large, imposing castle (the largest in Westeros) to cement his authority on the Riverlands. As for its location... Proximity to the Gods Eye, and what that affords the Ironmen is one thing. It's a reasonably central location in the Riverlands, perhaps closer to the Stormlands than being right in the middle of the Riverlands, but that makes sense because the Storm Kings contested those lands. The lands surrounding it are also of high value...

Quote

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.

Also, it allows GRRM to tell a story of Harren's hubris and folly, and how the arrival of the Targaryens and their dragons upended the order of things in Westeros... Harrenhal, a castle that would otherwise be impregnable, unconquerable and all that, is completed the day Aegon lands on the mainland, and is destroyed in a night by dragonfire. 

Edited by Unacosamedarisa

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7 hours ago, Falcon2909 said:

ok but why build it near the isle of faces?

Close source of fresh water, fish, and weirwood.

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21 minutes ago, Unacosamedarisa said:

Is there a source for that? I don't think there's anything absolute to point to Harrenhal, or Harrentown, being on the banks of the Gods Eye themselves, but they're repeatedly described as being very, very near to them... certainly not 25 miles away, I don't think. Harrenhal is described as having been "raised beside the waters of Gods Eye", or "Harrenhal beside the Gods Eye". Yoren's plan is to ditch the carts his group are using, find boats and, "Gods be good, we'll find a wind and sail across the Gods Eye to Harrentown", implying to me that Harrentown, at least, is on the banks of the Gods Eye. 

Also, perhaps not the most accurate of sources, we have this from Meera and the Tale of the Knight of the Laughing Tree...

And then we have this...

So, the tourney is happening under the walls of Harrenhal. Combine that with this from TWoIaF...

So, the tourney is described as taking place "on the shore of the Gods Eye" and "beneath the walls of Harrenhal". To me, that implies that they're the same thing.

As for why Harrenhal was built, and why it was so big... ACoK Catelyn I says...

Harren wanted a large, imposing castle (the largest in Westeros) to cement his authority on the Riverlands. As for its location... Proximity to the Gods Eye, and what that affords the Ironmen is one thing. It's a reasonably central location in the Riverlands, perhaps closer to the Stormlands than being right in the middle of the Riverlands, but that makes sense because the Storm Kings contested those lands. The lands surrounding it are also of high value...

Also, it allows GRRM to tell a story of Harren's hubris and folly, and how the arrival of the Targaryens and their dragons upended the order of things in Westeros... Harrenhal, a castle that would otherwise be impregnable, unconquerable and all that, is completed the day Aegon lands on the mainland, and is destroyed in a night by dragonfire. 

I know that Harrenhal is close to the gods eyes the person I quoted said it was built ON the gods eye and I said it was NOT which is true, if you look at the map of where Harrenhal is compared to the Gods eye it appears to be around 25 miles away give or take a few miles. Just because the Tourney lord whent held was close to the Lake doesnt mean Harrenhal IS, 20 Miles is what a days ride so what? It saves Whent money by having a fresh source of water to give his guests rather then use his own. 

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1 minute ago, Stormking902 said:

I know that Harrenhal is close to the gods eyes the person I quoted said it was built ON the gods eye and I said it was NOT which is true, if you look at the map of where Harrenhal is compared to the Gods eye it appears to be around 25 miles away give or take a few miles. Just because the Tourney lord whent held was close to the Lake doesnt mean Harrenhal IS, 20 Miles is what a days ride so what? It saves Whent money by having a fresh source of water to give his guests rather then use his own. 

I'll take the text over the map. 

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Ted Nasmith worked with George when he did his depictions of castles for the World of Ice and Fire, which were used in the first of Random House's ASoIaF calendars. Here is his depiction of Harrenhal.

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Also, which map? The map in my copy of AGoT has Harrenhal directly on the banks of the Gods Eye... Hell, the dot for Harrenhal is 90% in the lake. Also, it's called the "God's Eye" on the map... it's only ever called that once, in an Arya chapter, and called "Gods Eye" (no apostrophe) every other time. 

https://atlasoficeandfireblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/agot-original-north-map.png

Later maps show a small distance between the Harrenhal dot and the Gods Eye, but for me that's just a stylistic choice to keep the dots for locations away from the lines for roads and rivers etc.. My AFfC map shows the same distance, if not more, between the two dots used to represent the two castles of the Twins... but, the Twins aren't 25 miles apart from each other. It's done so we can see the two castles, one on either side of the river. You can see it in the map above... there's a small distance between the two dots for the Twins. Similarly, in later maps, Harrenhal's dot isn't overlapping the Gods Eye, but that doesn't mean that it's not directly on the banks of the lake... it's just given a little space to make it clearly separated from the lake. 

Edited by Unacosamedarisa

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1 hour ago, The Mother of The Others said:

Wonder if all that weir made it a dragon magnet, but before that could the same wood have made the castle a magic magnate, like an antenna to collect and focus regional fae powerz, to let the family climb a witch's ladder of ascendency in the human realm.   Just not proof against magical foes.

I doubt it. The weirwoods power is in the roots it would seem. 

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