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Curse of Harrenhal Theory


Eternally_His
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I just watched a video that made me think thoughts. The Targaryen dynasty's end began at Harrenhal, the very castle that they destroyed in the beginning. What if this isn't a coincidence? What if Harren's spirit still lingers in the very castle he built, trying to destroy the dynasty that destroyed him in the beginning? And during the tourney of Harrenhal, he got his chance and took it. He influenced Rhaegar to elope with Lyanna, and thus set events that would finally destroy the Targaryens for good into motion. And the reason the supposed curse of Harrenhal is still active is because Dany still lives. Once she dies, Harren would move on and the curse of Harrenhal would end.

Edited by Eternally_His
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  • Eternally_His changed the title to Curse of Harrenhal Theory

The thing is that Harren fell victim of the curse himself, spending forty years in it and sacrificing countless others in the process, only to burn to death along with his sons at the process. 

I would point out the weiwood in the castle, which obviously predates it and is rather furious, as well as its proximity to God's Eye, a notoriously mysterious and inaccessible site despite being in the middle of Westeros. 

That is a very clear "Do Not Tresspass" sign, as far as I am concerned. 

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I agree that the place is cursed but I don't know whether Harren was the originator of the curse or just another part of it, some pretty awful things happened there even before he died. Not to mention the Lothsons and other unsavoury people who lived in the castle after his death.

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It seems to me that major reason why most houses that lived in HH died out was politics not curse. For instance many Hands of King came from those houses and it was that job that caused their extinction and in case of Lothstons real cause might have been fact that Mad Danelle was agent of Bloodraven. After all it was she who helped putting down 2nd Blackfyre Rebellion. In fact during that Tullys are not even mentioned though they were overlords of Riverlands. So I assume that those extinct houses just were collateral damage of game of thrones.

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3 hours ago, Eternally_His said:
5 hours ago, Evolett said:

Could you post a link to the video that inspired your thoughts?

Here.

Thanks. Great song and good question regarding the curse. It's hard to say. The castle has rich and extensive lands attached to it but is huge and ruinous to maintain. It's definitely a white elephant. A blessing because it's an honour to be awarded it but a curse in respect of its maintenance and reputation. On a practical note, the author may be using Harrenhal as a dumping ground for characters no longer useful to the narrative. In terms of the current era of story itself, it appears to be a place associated with the demise of characters who have committed atrocious deeds, well most of them - Vargo Hoat, Amory Lorch, Polliver, even Lord Tywin. That the pious Ser Bonifer Hasty whom Jamie thinks of as "Baelor's Butthole" is now castellan might be a hint that the castle is about to be sanitized and become "blessed."

I like this idea:

On 9/22/2022 at 9:46 PM, The Sleeper said:

That is a very clear "Do Not Tresspass" sign, as far as I am concerned.

Perhaps it's simply to close to the God's Eye for comfort. Additionally or alternatively, the curse may be the result of two incompatible types of magic coming together - dragonfire and the magic of the weirwoods. Weirwoods that had stood three thousand years were cut down to provide rafters and beams. How many weirwoods were cut down for a castle that size? What supernatural changes take place when these are burned with dragonfire? 

The fate of Chroyane and the Sorrows may be an example of the malevolent effects of differing magics mixing. Garin's Curse. Greyscale, spirits of fallen conquerors beneath the waters, their cold breath rising as fog to infest the ruined city. Not a pleasant place as we see from Tyrion's chapters in Essos. Asshai appears to be similarly cursed. 

Another idea would be the violation of guest right by Harren himself. After the castle was completed he invited the builders to a feast and had every one of them killed. Guest right, one of the taboos that when broken the Gods cannot forgive. There may be a small hint to this as well: Rhaena Targaryen (one of the Black Brides and sister to Jaeharys I) lived at Harrenhal as a guest of House Towers and remained there until her death. It is said she agreed to grant hospitality to all the travelers who turned up at Harrenhal but she never sought their company. Could be a hint at making amends for guest right once having been broken. 

 

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2 hours ago, Evolett said:

After the castle was completed he invited the builders to a feast and had every one of them killed.

I believe that was Maegor at the Red Keep, not Harren.

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50 minutes ago, Aebram said:

I believe that was Maegor at the Red Keep, not Harren.

Indeed, you're right, got that wrong. Have to scrap the guest right idea then. The detail about Rhaenys granting hospitality but basically ignoring her guests is odd though.

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On 9/22/2022 at 6:40 AM, Eternally_His said:

I just watched a video that made me think thoughts. The Targaryen dynasty's end began at Harrenhal, the very castle that they destroyed in the beginning. What if this isn't a coincidence? What if Harren's spirit still lingers in the very castle he built, trying to destroy the dynasty that destroyed him in the beginning? And during the tourney of Harrenhal, he got his chance and took it. He influenced Rhaegar to elope with Lyanna, and thus set events that would finally destroy the Targaryens for good into motion. And the reason the supposed curse of Harrenhal is still active is because Dany still lives. Once she dies, Harren would move on and the curse of Harrenhal would end.

The conspirators already had their children engaged to marry by the time of the tournament.  So the connection to Harrenhal to the decline of the Targaryen dynasty has a low correlation.  If anything, the tournament delayed the rebellion.

Harrenhal is the example of pride overcoming practicality.  The castle is too big to secure.  It is a monument to the foolishness of man.  It should also serve as a tale of caution to the landholders that their castles are only meant to defend against a conventional army.  

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