House Hoare is an extinct Great House of Westeros. It ruled over the Iron Islands and the Riverlands when Aegon I Targaryen invaded the Seven Kingdoms. Their sigil depicts depicts per saltire and with two heavy silver chains crossing between a gold longship on black, a dark green pine on white, a cluster of red grapes on gold, and a black raven flying in a blue sky.
In past centuries, it was said that following the Old Way of reaving and raiding, the ironborn held dominion along the coasts as far inland as the sound of the waves was heard. While this may be somewhat exaggerated, House Hoare of the Iron Islands conquered and held lands as far afield as Bear Island in The North and The Arbor in the Reach. However, as the Kings of House Stark consolidated the North and the Kings of House Gardener consolidated the Reach, the ironborn were eventually driven from Bear Island and the Arbor.
Three generations before the Targaryen Conquest, House Hoare launched a second era of expansion, this time pushing inland to conquer all of the Riverlands from the rule of the Storm King, which had conquered the Riverlands some three centuries before Aegon's landing. The leaders of House Hoare ruled as Kings of the Iron Islands and the Riverlands.
The sigil of House Hoare was diagonally quartered, displaying (clockwise from the top) a longship, a pine tree, red grapes, and a black raven, representing all the distant lands that had been under the rule of the House: the longship for the Iron Islands, the green pine for the Bear Island (the northern border of their dominion), the cluster for the Arbor (the southernmost) and the black raven for Raventree Hall in the Riverlands; all bound by the iron chains of the ironborn.
King Harren Hoare (whose grandfather had conquered the Riverlands) intended to build the greatest castle on the entire continent, Harrenhal, on the north shore of Gods Eye lake in the Riverlands. It was completed on the same day that Aegon Targaryen set foot in Westeros. Harren was very cruel and arrogant, thus many of his vassals in the Riverlands - led by Edmyn Tully - rebelled against him and sided with Aegon Targaryen's invading force. The high walls of Harrenhal could have repelled any attack from the ground, but Aegon's dragons flew right over them. Dragonfire roasted King Harren alive within his own tower, along with all of his sons, rendering House Hoare extinct.
According to tales and stories, the flaming ghosts of Harren and his sons still haunt Harrenhal.
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, House Hoare of Orkmont ruled the Iron Islands for almost four thousand years. A kingsmoot gave House Hoare the Seastone Chair after the Greyiron dynasty had been extinguished. However, instead of returning to the Old Way when all the kings were chosen in assembly, the Hoares kept the title hereditary as the Greyirons had done. Under King Qhored Hoare the realm of the ironborn reached the peak of its expansion, and it was said that all the western coast of Westeros where the salt of the sea could be smelled or heard the crashing of waves were under their control. Although it is unlikely that this assertion is literal, since with all probability places like Oldtown or Lannisport have never been ruled from the Iron Islands, it is still remarkable that the ironborn could hold places as distant as the Arbor. During the next years, the power of House Hoare would diminish and many of the conquests would be lost. Bear Island was lost to Rodrik Stark in a wrestling match. He gave it to the Mormonts. The possessions of the ironborn were reduced to the Isles and the coast of the Riverlands. In a new age of expansion, the ironborn took all of the Riverlands from the Storm Kings (who had killed the last River King 300 years before). Harren the Black ordered the construction of Harrenhal, the greatest castle of the Seven Kingdoms, on the shores of the Gods Eye, a long away from the sea. The construction took forty years, and was finished the day Aegon I and his sisters landed in Westeros. Having seen how Kings Loren and Mern had been defeated at the Field of Fire, he decided to remain within his castle. Aegon burned it with his dragon, incinerating Harren and his sons alive and thus ending the Hoare line. While Harren burned, his brother was Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, but kept to his vows even as his entire house died.
House Hoare officially went extinct when Harren died, but it only went extinct in the male-line. House Volmark, an ironborn noble family from Harlaw, descends from House Hoare through the female line (much as House Tyrell descends from the officially extinct House Gardener through the female line). House Volmark never had particularly strong claim against House Greyjoy, however, due to a combination of that the ironborn are very misogynistic and don't place much value on female-line descent, and because of the unusual elected-kingship customs of the Iron Islands.
- Harrag Hoare, a Hoare king raised by a kingsmoot
- Qhored Hoare, the greatest of the Hoare kings. During his reign the ironborn ruled most of the west coast of Westeros, from the Arbor to Bear Island.
- Harwyn "Hardhand", the Hoare king who took the Riverlands from the Storm King Arrec.
- Harren Hoare, better known as "Harren the Black". Grandson of King Harwyn
|The Iron Islands:|
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Houses from the Iron Islands