Assault on Harrenhal

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Assault on Harrenhal
Conflict Dance of the Dragons
Date 129 AC
Place Harrenhal
Result Occupation of Harrenhal by the blacks
Rhaenyra Targaryen.svg House Targaryen/Blacks Aegon II Targaryen.svg House Targaryen/Greens
House Targaryen.svg Prince Daemon Targaryen House Strong.svg Ser Simon Strong
Daemon on Caraxes Strong garrison
None None

The assault on Harrenhal was led by Daemon Targaryen, who conquered Harrenhal for his wife, Rhaenyra Targaryen. It marked the opening of hostilities in the Dance of the Dragons.


The rival claims of Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen and King Aegon II Targaryen led to civil war in the Seven Kingdoms. Rhaenyra's blacks had more dragons than Aegon's greens, but most of their strength was focused around Dragonstone instead of mainland Westeros. With House Tully effectively neutral because of disagreement between Lord Grover Tully and his grandson, Ser Elmo, Rhaenyra's husband, Prince Daemon Targaryen, suggested Harrenhal as a rallying point for potential supporters in the riverlands. Larys Strong, Lord of Harrenhal, was a green supporter of Aegon, however.[1]

While Jacaerys and Lucerys Velaryon left Dragonstone to seek allies and Corlys Velaryon closed Blackwater Bay, Rhaenyra allowed her husband to command the assault on Harrenhal.[1]


Because Lord Larys Clubfoot served as Aegon II's master of whisperers in King's Landing, his great-uncle[2] the elderly Ser Simon Strong served as Larys's castellan at Harrenhal. Prince Daemon flew on his dragon, Caraxes, to the top of Harrenhal's Kingspyre Tower, where Harren the Black had died. Recalling the burning of Harrenhal by Aegon I Targaryen and Balerion the Black Dread, which had extinguished House Hoare, Simon decided to strike his banners and surrender the great ruined castle to Daemon. Simon and his grandsons were among a dozen hostages taken by Daemon, and the blacks requisitioned the wealth of House Strong.[3]


The loss of Harrenhal shocked Aegon II and encouraged the blacks, who soon after won at the Burning Mill and Stone Hedge.[4][5] House Blackwood and other river lords gathered at Harrenhal, which was where Daemon approved of Blood and Cheese to avenge the death of Rhaenyra's son, Lucerys.

When Daemon learned that Ser Criston Cole and Prince Aemond Targaryen had left King's Landing to retake Harrenhal, the blacks abandoned the castle and the rivermen marched to meet the westermen of Lord Jason Lannister at the Red Fork. While Criston and Aemond retook Harrenhal without bloodshed, their absence contributed to the fall of King's Landing to Daemon and Rhaenyra. Aemond ordered the executions of Simon Strong and his kin, although he spared Alys Rivers.[2]


We have friends in the riverlands, though not all of them dare show their colors yet. We need a place where they can gather, a toehold on the mainland large enough to house a sizeable host, and strong enough to hold against whatever forces the usurper can send against us. Here. Harrenhal.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Blacks and the Greens.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant.
  3. Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - A Son for a Son.
  4. Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Gold.
  5. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.