The Siege started badly for House Strong when Stephon Strong was killed in the opening moments by his own gaurd. Following this murder the supposed mercenary army of House Seaworth - which was in fact simply soilders from the Iron Islands - landed in a fleet inside the port, and attempted to take control of the city. The siege ultimately failed after Kyle Strong along with a brigade of his men held the road to the Keep for long enough for reinforcements under Robert Strong to arrive.
The Siege has split the once completely dominated House Strong Harrenhall into a desperate battle for control between House Strong and House Seaworth.
When looking at the background of the siege of Harrenhall it is important to look at the elements within the city of Harrenhall that caused the siege, and on top of this why the Iron Islands decided to become invovled.
Main Article : Harrenhall
See Also : House Strong
The city of Harrenhall from its earliest days as a true city had been controlled by House Strong, who had an iron grip on power in the city. To control the city the leadership of House Strong placed their banner houses in positions of power that led them to control something of their own, but at the same time still be devided from eachother and thus no threat to House Strong. For House Strong they were so comfortable in their position that there main focus was on preperations for their planned invasion of the western lands. This was their primary focus and thus they had little knowledge, or awareness of the anger felt by House Seaworth, or the incoming forces from the Iron Islands.
See Also : House Seaworth
House Seaworth had been for much of their history the second or at the worst third strongest house in Harrenhall behind only House Strong, and at times House Gronn. This position was cherished by the leadership of House Seaworth for much of their history, and they were rewarded with control over the port of Harrenhall which was hugely important to the cities power. This power they had been given though for them always felt as if it was a slight as they secretly wanted total control, and this became an even more blatent belief under Davos Seaworth who was an honorable man but also a man that wanted more of everything he could get. At first Davos had despite his silent wishes remained loyal to House Strong and simply bided his time hoping that good things found their way to his house but as time went on his patience disapeared.
Main Article : Iron Islands
The Iron Islands was a very expansionist Kingdom and they were always interested in controlling Harrenhall, as from Harrenhall they could attempt to control the entire Dolish Penensila. At first they attempted diplomacy as the city itself was very strong and they didn't want to attack the city for fear of heavy losses. Their diplomacy was rebuffed by House Strong who wanted to control Harrenhall alone.
With diplomacy over they had attempted to gain control of the banner houses of House Strong but were rebuffed in their attempts at every turn by a people who were very ideologically opposed to the Iron Islands.
The growing discontent of House Seaworth reached its pinacle and the basic end of the line, when they attempted to gain influence in the small House Jare, and when this was discovered Robert Strong had Halten Seaworth put in jail as punishment. With this imprisonment the leadership of House Seaworth came to the conclusion that House Strong were tyrants that they should take the mantle of power in Harrenhall from. They decided to do this by reopening the channels that had existed with the Iron Islands before they had cut ties with such rebellious thoughts.
The Iron Islanders Come
As the plans came through and the Iron Islands agreed to finance and support the invasion in returrn for House Seaworth becoming the vassal of House Greyjoy. This vassal position would meant that they would become a member of the Iron Islands but at the same time be in complete control over Harrenhall. Obviously both sides did not intend to actually go through with this but either way the deal was struck and the Iron Islands prepared to send thousands of troops to Harrenhall in order to take control of the city. The Iron Fleet would arrive in the night and when Davos Seaworth saw the giant horizon covered with their ships he ordered his forces to execute the ambush on all those enemies that were in the Docks.
Fall of the Docks
Battle of Market Gate
As the Docks fell the forces of House Seaworth begin attempting to take control over the rest of the city. With forces heading north towards the North Yards and east towards the Factory District the forces of House Seaworth send the largest group of their forces towards the Opera House, and the Market Gate. If they took Market Gate they would thus also control The Market District and thus cut the city in two.
Stannis prepares the defences
Stannis was in the Harrenhall markets with his personal gaurd when the news of the docks being under attack filtered to the markets. With this knowledge Stannis led his small force towards the docks, while on the way gathering together every soilder or able man he came across. By the time he arrived at the area of the docks he had some 200 men with him, but he looked out over the docks and realized they were lost.
With the realizing that the docks were gone Stannis set up a perimiter around the area west of the docks that he would defend and thus force a bottleneck that the attacking forces could not bybass. Stannis had less then ten minutes but in that time he was able to fortify two large towers with archers and barricade two streets so that the only way through was through the one street he lined his troops in. His main defence was around the iconic Opera house which had a size that meant his archers could be defended with near impunity, and the attacks would have to slug through a brutal open area with no protection. Stannis when he recieved reinforcements in the from of Frenley Strong sent his cousin to defend the western markets, while he sent his nephew Jackson Strong, and great nephew Brayden Strong to defend the eastern market.
Battle of the Opera House
The defences of Stannis were attacked by the forces of the favored son of Davos Seaworth in Maric Seaworh along with his cousin John Seaworth. Maric was a competent leader but he was about to enter a battle against one of the greatest military minds in the area in Stannis Strong.
The forces of Stannis made no attempt to shoot from far away and waited until the forces of Maric Seaworth were right on top of them before they begin unleashing a deadly wave of archer fire to the troops that were completely in the open. During this ambush nearly the entire force including John Seaworth were killed but the rest under Maric Seaworth moved forward and attempted to get by the western side of the Opera House. When they arrived there they continued to lose men to the constant fire of the archers, and eventually they became bogged down in the middle of the street when they found cover with a wagon. As they stayed hidden to the eastern side they were then wiped out when the archers on the western side fired as well killing Maric as well as the rest of his forces.
Battle of Market West
As the forces of the Iron Islands moved alongside the forces of House Seaworth Victarion Greyjoy led the assault of these forces against the western section of Markets gate. His attack happened at the same time that the forces of Maric, and John Seaworth were massacred in their attack against the Opera House. As Victarion moved his forces forward he felt unease as he moved through the streets and closed in on the western market. This unease led him to stop the force, and have the forces that he led from his home on the islands to wait for the Harrenhall recruits to go first. As these raw recruits moved ahead of his personal force he was able to watch as the troops of Renley Strong caught them in a crossfire that in only a few minutes was able to effectivly trap the entire force. With his own force at risk now with the destruction of the raw recruits he took the strategy of slowly going through the streets as opposed to going through the street. In these house to house battles the numbers and close combat skill of the Iron Islands troops meant that they were in the advantage and were able to make their way to the market with less problems. As they reached the market both sides realized that the Blacksmith square was the primary goal as it would allow the side who held it to force the attack of the other. In this way Renly through much of his force into the battle of the Blacksmith square and with the constant fire of his archers on the Iron Islands troops as they attempted to cross the road to the square he was able to take control.
With his chances of success getting slimmer and slimmer Victarion led his personal gaurd and much of the remaining troops he had in one last assault against the blacksmith while the rest of his force charge up the street at the archers first. The force attacking the archers was massacred but this delay allowed him to reach the blacksmith unharmed and a brutal close combat battle ensued where Victarion saw victory in his sights. As the forces of Renley were about to break ranks a force of reinforcements led by Gendry Strong arrived and the two combined forces were able to force the retreat of Victarion.