The Tourney of Harrenhal was a grand tourney hosted by Lord Walter Whent at his grand castle of Harrenhal. It was held in 281 AC to celebrate the nameday of his daughter.


Walter offered rewards that were three times larger than those offered by Lord Tywin Lannister during his tourney celebrating the birth of Prince Viserys. These rewards caused hundreds of knights and lords to attend, and many saw it as just an opportunity for Lord Walter to show off his immense wealth to the realm, though others thought there was a shadow backer providing the funds.

Before the tourney began in earnest Ser Jaime Lannister was inducted into the Kingsguard. Jaime wanted to participate in the tourney, but King Aerys II Targaryen sent him to King's Landing to guard Queen Rhaella Targaryen and Prince Viserys III Targaryen, possibly as an insult towards his father, Tywin Lannister. After this there was a large feast for all the lords and knights of the realm.

During the feast Benjen Stark laughs at Lyanna Stark when she cries at a song sung by Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. Benjen first decides that he wants to join the Night's Watch when he hears a travelling crow plea for new blood. Both Eddard Stark and Ser Barristan Selmy fall for Ashara Dayne, with Eddard dancing with her after the feast.

Rhaegar eventually won the competition, unhorsing Lord Yohn Royce, Brandon Stark, Ser Arthur Dayne and Ser Barristan Selmy before being crowned winner. He then named Lyanna Stark the Queen of Love and Beauty, a fact that upset her brother Brandon, as well as the family of his wife, Elia Martell. Ser Barristan thinks that he was responsible for Robert's Rebellion because he didn't unhorse Rhaegar.

Another notable event during the Tourney was the incident of the Knight of the Laughing Tree. The mystery knight entered thee tourney to avenge the honour of a lowly crannogman who had been attacked by the squires of knights from House Haigh, House Frey and House Blount. The knight went missing after eliminating the knights, and Aerys sent men out to recover him, but no-one succeeded. This story is told to Bran Stark by Meera Reed on their journey north.

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