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Harrenhal is seen as something of a white elephant: while it is technically the biggest castle in Westeros, it is so ridiculously large that the surrounding area cannot possibly produce the necessary food to support the massive army needed to fully man it. Rulers of Harrenhal usually lose money and resources simply by possessing it. As a result, Harrenhal is rarely if ever fully manned. Moreover, it was never fully repaired after being blasted with dragonfire by the Targaryens three hundred years ago, which combined with the fact that the garrison is never as large as the fortifications require, means that Harrenhal really isn't one of the most defensibly formidable castles in Westeros.<ref>[[Complete Guide to Westeros]]</ref>
 
Harrenhal is seen as something of a white elephant: while it is technically the biggest castle in Westeros, it is so ridiculously large that the surrounding area cannot possibly produce the necessary food to support the massive army needed to fully man it. Rulers of Harrenhal usually lose money and resources simply by possessing it. As a result, Harrenhal is rarely if ever fully manned. Moreover, it was never fully repaired after being blasted with dragonfire by the Targaryens three hundred years ago, which combined with the fact that the garrison is never as large as the fortifications require, means that Harrenhal really isn't one of the most defensibly formidable castles in Westeros.<ref>[[Complete Guide to Westeros]]</ref>
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The surrounding lands subject to Harrenhal are actually some of the richest and most fertile in all of Westeros, being located in the watersheds of both the Trident River and God's Eye lake. In peacetime, a noble House can actually become quite wealthy from holding Harrenhal - provided that they hire only a skeleton force to defend it instead of a full garrison. It is a testament to the sheer size of the castle that even the most productive farmlands in Westeros cannot support enough troops to fully garrison it. Nonetheless, the unwary often see Harrenhal as a great reward or prize in war, without pausing to consider that there is actually little net profit in holding it.<ref>"[[What is Dead May Never Die]]"</ref>
   
 
By the time of the [[War of the Five Kings]], Harrenhal was held by [[House Whent]], until they were stripped of it and the castle was given to [[House Slynt]] as a reward for [[Janos Slynt]]'s betrayal of [[Eddard Stark]].<ref>[http://viewers-guide.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/season2/#!/locations/harrenhall/ HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, Harrenhal entry]</ref> However, due to the area being a warzone, Slynt never actually occupied the castle and was stripped of it when [[Janos Slynt]] was sent to the Wall. In Season 2, it is used as the main forward base for [[Tywin Lannister]]'s army in the Riverlands during his campaign against [[Robb Stark]]. However, the Lannisters later withdraw their forces to defend King's Landing in the decisive [[Battle of the Blackwater]]. At the beginning of Season 3 the abandoned castle is re-captured by the Northern army (Robb Stark's maternal grandmother was a Whent, so he has some direct claim to the castle), and Robb left a detachment of the Northern army under [[Roose Bolton]] to hold the castle.
 
By the time of the [[War of the Five Kings]], Harrenhal was held by [[House Whent]], until they were stripped of it and the castle was given to [[House Slynt]] as a reward for [[Janos Slynt]]'s betrayal of [[Eddard Stark]].<ref>[http://viewers-guide.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/season2/#!/locations/harrenhall/ HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, Harrenhal entry]</ref> However, due to the area being a warzone, Slynt never actually occupied the castle and was stripped of it when [[Janos Slynt]] was sent to the Wall. In Season 2, it is used as the main forward base for [[Tywin Lannister]]'s army in the Riverlands during his campaign against [[Robb Stark]]. However, the Lannisters later withdraw their forces to defend King's Landing in the decisive [[Battle of the Blackwater]]. At the beginning of Season 3 the abandoned castle is re-captured by the Northern army (Robb Stark's maternal grandmother was a Whent, so he has some direct claim to the castle), and Robb left a detachment of the Northern army under [[Roose Bolton]] to hold the castle.

Revision as of 01:03, October 14, 2013

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