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Characters / A Song of Ice and Fire - House Hoare

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This is a listing of members of House Hoare who appear in A Song of Ice and Fire.

For the main character index, see here

For the main Iron Islands entry, see here

House Hoare of Orkmont

The Black Line, The Black Blood

"They were black of hair, black of eye, and black of heart."
Archmaester Hake

The extinct Great House from the island of Orkmont that ruled as Kings of the Iron Islands and King of the Isles and the Riverlands. At the height of their power, they held most of the western coast of Westeros, from the Arbor to Bear Island. House Hoare's banner represented the distant lands that had been under the rule of the house: the longship for the Iron Islands, the green pine for Bear Island, the grape cluster for the Arbor, and the black raven for the maesters of Oldtown; all bound by the iron chains of the ironmen.

House Hoare was extinguished during Aegon The Conqueror's wars of conquest, as King Harren The Black was cooked inside his keep of Harrenhal alongside his heirs via dragon fire. All Ironborn dominions outside the Iron Islands (The Riverlands, The Arbor, Oldtown and Bear Island) were stripped from them, and the Ironborn elected House Greyjoy of Pyke to succeed them.


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    Tropes related to House Hoare 

  • 0% Approval Rating: In the Riverlands, the contrary among the Ironborn following their reign. Ironically, they were hated by many of the Ironborn while they did rule, due to the fact they married Andals often, causing them to be denounced as impure by the Drowned Priests, who often inspired rebellions against them. However, they mostly wanted to rebel because the Hoares also allowed the Faith of the Seven onto the Iron Islands at the request of their Andal queens, as well as the early Hoares discouraging reaving in favor of trade.
  • Alliterative Name: Several, like Harrag Hoare, for example. It doubles as Theme Naming
  • Blue Blood: They're royalty. Or they were.
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: Instilled this in the Ironborn. Before they came on the scene, taking over other places and ruling them over the long term was pretty much anathema to the Ironborn ethos. Since their fall, ruling families like the Greyjoys now constantly live with the expectation of at least trying to take "the glory days" back hanging around their necks. Hence all the rebellions.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Black hair, black eyes, and hearts black as crows.
  • Dark Is Evil: Known as the "Black Blood" and the "Black Line"; other than the obvious evil overtones, they are actually referred to as such due to their straying so far from the Blue-and-Orange Morality of Ironborn ways and their religion.
  • Elective Monarchy: Harrag Hoare was elected in a kingsmoot.
  • The Empire: In effect, what their expansion into the Riverlands created. Furthermore, basing over there rather than staying back at home created a dynamic rather different from standard annexations or colonial expansions: mainly because the bulk of the Ironborn never really saw the point of ruling anywhere but at home until long after they no longer did. Although subjugation was still very big on the agenda and a popular mollifier, of course.
  • Exact Words: Some Hoare kings tried to get around the restrictions that true Ironborn only pay the "iron price" by bartering iron ore for merchants' goods. This fooled exactly no one.
  • Famous Ancestor:
    • King Harrag Hoare, who invaded the North when it was ruled by King Theon Stark. He briefly conquered the Stony Shore and burned the Wolfswood.
      • Harrag's son Ravos the Raper ruled Bear Island, but was killed by King Theon Stark.
      • Harrag's grandson Erich the Red later invaded the North as well.
    • King Horgan Priestkiller, who slaughtered priests of the Drowned God after they burned a Sept he had built on Old Wyk, killed the Septon, and drowned the followers who gathered there.
    • King Qhorwyn the Cunning, who spent years building up the Ironborn's fleet, weapons, and armor all while insisting it was merely for defense of their trading vessels. When his son Harwyn inherited the crown, he promptly put all those "defenses" to work conquering the Riverlands.
  • The Ghost: Black Harren's unnamed brother who was Lord Commander of the Night's Watch when Aegon the Conqueror burned down Harrenhal.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Some of their most famous kings: Wulfgar the Widowmaker, Horgan Priestkiller, Fergon the Fierce, Othgar the Soulless, Othgar Demonlover, and Craghorn of the Red Smile. What a cuddly bunch. Then again, some of these nicknames may have been given to them by the Drowned Men, so maybe they weren't so bad after all.
  • The Quisling: Allied with the Andals and steadily began taking on Andal practices.
  • Realpolitik: This house was chock full of the hardest of Ironborn political noses available for an impressively long time, despite the odd duffer. From their elective days to empire, they warred and deally-wheeled like no other Ironborn ruling house. They also tried to get the Isles more integrated with the wider world in a less 2D way... and, sort of succeeded with their cultural legacy lasting through to the start of the series. Even though dragging the Isles into actual global politics wound up ending them.
  • The Remnant: Some descendants of House Hoare remain to this day, among them Harren "Half-Hoare". House Volmark also has Hoare blood through the female line.
  • Unfortunate Names: "Hoare" is... just plain awkward. Sure, we can all tell ourselves that it's meant to be based on the "hoar" in "hoarfrost" or from the old way of saying "aged" or "bleached", but... We also should all be aware that GRRM is not above a deliberate snigger or two, as well.

Age of Heroes

    King Qhored I Hoare 

King Qhored I Hoare

Qhored the Cruel

A High King of the Iron Islands who took the ironborn to one of their expansionist peaks.

  • The Ace: To ironborn standards: Sacked Oldtown in his youth, taking thousands of women as captives. At 30 he defeated Bernarr II Justman, King of the Trident, and took his three sons hostage, killing them at the Bloody Keep of Pyke three years later when Bernarr was slow to pay tribute, crushed Bernarr's vengeful army, and drowned the river king as a sacrifice to the Drowned God, putting an end to House Justman.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Became king at 15 years old.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Became king when he was 15, didn't give it up until he was 90. 75 years in power.
  • Badass Boast: Boasting that his writ ran "wherever men can smell salt water or hear the crash of waves."
  • Depending on the Writer/Multiple-Choice Past: Some sources state he was either a Blacktyde or a Greyiron.
  • The Dreaded: In the Riverlands and the Reach.
  • Elective Monarchy: Qhored was chosen as High King in a Kingsmoot
  • The Empire: Under his rule the ironborn reached the peak of their expansion, ruling the shores of the Sunset Sea from Bear Island to the Arbor and exacting tribute from those places the locals had not abandoned.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: His successors and descendants lost much of Qhored's conquests.


Andal Hoares

    King Harras Hoare 

King Harras Hoare

Harras Stump-hand

The first King of the Iron Islands from House Hoare after the fall of House Greyiron.

  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: After the fall of House Greyiron, the houses that brought them down could not decide who would become king, and decided to declare the winner of a finger dance the new king. Harras won and ruled for thirty years, passing control of the Iron Islands onto his descendants.
  • Arranged Marriage: Many Maesters believe that the tale of Harras becoming king due to winning a finger dance is simply legend, and that it actually was because he had arranged to marry the daughter of a powerful Andal lord and had the support of him and his allies.
  • Fingore: Lost two of his fingers to win the finger-dance and become king of the Iron Islands, at least according to legend.
  • In-Series Nickname: He was known as Harras Stump-hand after winning the finger dance.
  • The Quisling: He was one of the supporters of the Andal invaders and became king as a result.

    King Harmund Hoare I 

King Harmund I Hoare

Harmund the Host

Harmund I Hoare, known as Harmund the Host, was a King of the Iron Islands from House Hoare.
  • Book Worm: Harmund I was the first literate iron king and a man fond of books.
  • Nice Guy: He welcomed travellers and merchants to the Iron Islands. He also protected septons and septas of the Faith.

    King Harmund Hoare II 

King Harmund II Hoare

Harmund the Haggler

Harmund II Hoare, known as Harmund the Haggler, was a King of the Iron Islands from House Hoare.Harmund spent his youth as a ward of House Lannister of Casterly Rock. A great traveller, Harmund II is said to have been the first iron king to visit mainland Westeros in peace. Once king, he married Lady Lelia Lannister, the daughter of the King of the Rock. He also visited Highgarden and Oldtown to discuss trade.

  • The Heretic: Thought the Drowned God was just an aspect of The Stranger.
  • The Quisling: Opposed by the drowned men because he supported the Faith of the Seven, discouraging of reaving, and promotion of trade.

    King Harmund Hoare III 

King Harmund III Hoare

Harmund the Handsome

The last of the three Harmunds, the successive kings who brought the Ironborn to the height of their peaceful power. He attempted to make several reforms to the Iron Islands, but failed at it.

  • Cain and Abel: The Abel to his brother Hagon the Heartless' Cain.
  • Category Traitor: Like his predecessors, he was hated by his Ironborn subjects for betraying the old ways and attempting to import the Faith of the Seven.
  • Eye Scream: He was blinded after being overthrown.
  • Facial Horror: He was blinded, had his nose cut off, and his tongue ripped out by the Shrike so that "all men might see him for the monster he is".
  • Foil: To Aegon V "The Unlikely". Both attempted reformers of the lands they ruled, both came into conflict with the ruling classes for attempting to curb their privileges, and both ultimately came to a bad end with no lasting legacy in the present. Aegon, however, attempted to compromise with the lords he was in conflict with, and is fondly remembered, at least by the smallfolk; Harmund was utterly uncompromising in attempting to enforce his reforms, and was subsequently despised by the Ironborn for being a Category Traitor.
  • The Good King: Tried to establish several progressive policies that would have profitted the islands and all of Westeros. Too bad he didn't understand his people.
  • Ironic Nickname: Could not be exactly called "handsome" after what the Ironborn did to him.
  • Mercy Kill: When Ser Aubrey Crakehall and his men found him in the dungeon of Hoare Castle, he was in such bad shape they granted him the gift of death using an overdose of milk of the poppy in wine.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: It's not hard to see shades of rulers like King John (reformer — for a given definition thereof; centralizer; enormously annoying prat) or Joseph II of Austria (progressive reformer; totalitarian; politically tone-deaf) in this guy. The lesson is the same one: pushing reforms too far, too fast and primed to ram against the culture of the rest of the ruling class gets you a massive mess in a very short space of time. The result? Relatives having to try mitigating the disaster with hurried repeals and attempts at other back-peddling and concessions that even undermine their own agendas.
  • The Noseless: His nose was cut off after being overthrown.
  • Sanity Slippage: Unsurprisingly, he went insane after being mutilated and thrown into the dungeons of Hoare Castle.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Outlawed thralldom.
  • Tongue Trauma: The Drowned Priest known as the Shrike tore out his tongue so that he could no longer spread his "lies and blasphemies".
  • Too Dumb to Live: Outlawed reaving, declaring that Ironborn raiders would be hanged as pirates, and also banned taking saltwives while declaring the products of such unions bastards. After that, he began to considering ending thralldom. Naturally, the Iron Islands rose up almost instantly and unanimously against him.

    King Hagon Hoare 

King Hagon Hoare

The Heartless

Brother of Harmund the Handsome, he succeeded his brother as king and undid his reforms while allowing the mutilation of both his brother and mother. He was defeated and killed by an army from the Westerlands in revenge.

  • Cain and Abel: The supposed Cain to his brother's Able.
  • Idiot Ball: What exactly did he think the Lannisters would do after he sent one of their own back to them mutilated and brutalised?
  • Inheritance Murder: In a sense. He sold out his older brother Harmund, along with their mother, to his detractors in order to become King of the Iron Islands.
  • In-Series Nickname: Hagon the Heartless, earned for his terrible treatment of his family.
  • Karmic Death: The Westermen mutilated him in the same fashion he had allowed his mother to be before hanging him. Couldn't get a clean win for trying.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Domestically, it was a highly pragmatic move to overthrow his brother with the support of the brutal hardliners using the means he did. Mainly because they would most likely have otherwise gone for every single living Hoare in an outright civil war of a cross-island bloodbath before calming down if he hadn't given them gored goats to appease them. At least his way, the smallest number of Ironmen died at each other's hands. But, as far as foreign policy went... it was simply utter idiocy the way he went about it.

King of the Isles and the Rivers

    King Harwyn Hoare 

King Harwyn Hoare


Thirdborn son of King Qhorwyn Hoare, Harwyn spent the first part of his life travelling and reaving around the world. After returning to the Iron Islands, he rose up to become the King of the Iron Islands who conquered the Riverlands.

  • Badass in Distress: During his wanderings around the world, he spent two years as a captive to a pirate king in the Basilisk Isles.
  • Colonel Badass: Unlike previous Ironborn kings, Harwyn was well-versed in land warfare and led troops as easily on ground as in water, which was one of the reasons he succeeded in taking the Riverlands.
  • Curbstomp Battle: His battle against Lord Lothar Bracken, who rose up in rebellion against him. He sacked Stone Hedge and then kept Lothar hanging in a crow cage for a year, slowly starving him to death.
  • Divide and Conquer: He maintained his hold on the Riverlands largely by exploiting the various lords' rivalries, such as the Blackwood-Bracken feud, so that they'd keep one another in check rather than uniting to depose him.
  • Evil Overlord: The first Ironborn ruler of the Riverlands, and a preview of the terror that his successors would inflict upon the region.
  • Founder of the Kingdom: He was the first Ironborn ruler to hold dominion over the Iron Islands and the Riverlands.
  • Kick the Dog: Strangling Lady Agnes Blackwood's sons to death in front of her.
  • Manipulative Bastard: His main tactic to maintain control of the Riverlands was to pit the Riverlords against each other in order to keep them weak and unable to rise against the Ironborn's rule.
  • Out with a Bang: He died at the age of sixty-four while having sex with one of his saltwives.
  • Private Military Contractors: While in Essos, he spent several years fighting in an unnamed free company as well as the Second Sons.
  • Unexpected Successor: As the third son of a king, he was highly unlikely to inherit his fathers position. However, when he returned to the Iron Islands from Essos, he learned that his eldest brother had died from greyscale and that his father was dying as well. A few days later, Harwyn second brother Harlan had an absolutely mysterious —and completely accidentalfall from a horse, leading to Harwyn inheriting the Seastone Chair.
  • Villain Respect: He respected Lady Agnes Blackwood enough to offer her to become his saltwife after he murdered her sons. Didn't stop him from plunging his sword into her for her refusal though.
  • Walking the Earth: What he spent most of the first part of his life doing. He reaved in the Stepstones, travelled to Volantis, Tyrosh, and Braavos, spent years fighting as a sellsword, and for a brief time he even served in the pleasure gardens of Lys.

    King Halleck Hoare 

King Halleck Hoare

The son and successor of Harwyn Hoare and second King of the Isles and Rivers. He spent much of his reign trying to expand his domain, but never achieved the same prominence as his father. He was succeeded by his son Harren.

  • General Ripper: Sent waves of riverlanders to their deaths trying to expand his kingdom, failing to defeat the Kings of the Rock and the Reach, and three times he tried to break through the Bloody Gate! He at least expanded Ironborn dominion all the way to the Blackwater rush.
  • Modest Royalty: He ruled from a modest keep at Fairmarket, which was technically an improvement over his father ruling from his tent.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: He isn't as remembered as his father or son, who achieved infamous deeds in their lifetimes.

    King Harren Hoare 
See the Lords Of Harrenhal page.


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