- "Harwyn Hoare, born to a king who had a fleet he didn't sail and swords he didn't blood. "
- ―Euron Greyjoy
King Harwyn Hoare was a King of the Isles and the Rivers.
Harwyn was born to King Qhorwyn Hoare, although he had never sailed his father's fleet, nor had he ever fought with his swords. He was unruly and useless to his father, and was sent east to vanish. He raided with pirates and fought with mercenaries in Essos.
When Qhorwyn died, Harwyn returned to the Iron Islands for the Kingsmoot as a candidate. His elder brother Harlan, although under suspicious circumstances, soon fell off his horse and died, and Harwyn was elected without objection. He sailed his father's fleet to Westeros and conquered an area ten times the size of the Iron Islands in the Riverlands. The weak riverlords had not expected a commander skilled at both sea and land warfare, but Harwyn had learned more of war than most of his fellow Ironborn from his time in Essos.
In the books
In his youth Harwyn raided the Stepstones and visited Free Cities such as Volantis, Tyrosh, Braavos, and Lys. He was a captive in the Basilisk Isles for two years, served as a sellsword in the Disputed Lands, and joined the Second Sons, with whom he fought in several battles.
Harwyn succeeded his ailing father, King Qhorwyn the Cunning, although Harwyn had only been third in line to the Seastone Chair. His eldest brother had already died of greyscale two years prior, but the middle brother, Prince Harlan, died after falling from a horse. Though it was said to be an accident, the death was considered suspicious especially when King Qhorwyn passed six days later, allowing Harwyn to claim the throne as King of the Iron Islands.
Harwyn planned the invasion of the Riverlands, which were weakly held by the Storm King Arrec Durrandon. The ironborn landed one hundred longships south of Seagard and then carried the ships to the Blue Fork. Samwell Rivers' small host was shattered by Harwyn's charge at the Tumblestone. Harwyn then defeated the army of Lady Agnes Blackwood, who was betrayed by Lord Lothar Bracken. Harwyn was impressed with Agnes and offered her to become his salt wife, but the king killed her when she refused.
The Storm King Arrec then met Harwyn in a battle at Fairmarket. Aided by many river lords, including Lothar Bracken, Theo Charlton, and Lords Goodbrook, Paege, and Vypren, the Hoares crushed the stormlanders and Arrec's rule over the Riverlands collapsed. The rivermen had hoped to regain their independence and celebrated at first, but Harwyn retained control for himself. Lord Bracken had desired to be river king; he rose in rebellion six months later, which resulted in him starving to death in a crow cage.
Harwyn spent most of his reign ruling and suppressing rebellions in the riverlands rather than the Iron Islands. Harwyn died in bed with a salt wife at the age of 64, and he was succeeded as King of the Isles and the Rivers by his son, Halleck Hoare. Harwyn was the grandfather of Harren Hoare.