- "Every time he would leave for the capital or fight in a campaign I'd see him off. 'Wait for me, little Cat,' he'd say. 'Wait for me and I'll come back to you.' And I would sit at this window every day when the sun came up, waiting."
- ―Catelyn Stark
Lord Hoster Tully was the Lord of Riverrun, the Lord Paramount of the Trident and the head of House Tully, one of the Great Houses of Westeros. He was the father of Edmure, Catelyn and Lysa and the older brother of Brynden. He ruled over the Riverlands from the castle of Riverrun. During the War of the Five Kings, he declared for House Stark and his grandson Robb Stark, the King in the North.
Hoster was the head of House Tully and the Lord Paramount of the Riverlands. The Riverlands are one of the constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms and House Tully is one of the Great Houses of the realm. House Tully rules the region from their seat at Riverrun and Hoster also holds the title Lord of Riverrun.
Hoster married Lady Minisa of House Whent. They have three children, two daughters Catelyn and Lysa and a son, Edmure. Only three of their six children survived. Minisa died shortly after bearing their last child, which died with her. Hoster brokered a marriage alliance with House Stark, the ruling house of the North betrothing his eldest daughter Catelyn to their heir Brandon Stark.
Hoster fought in the War of the Ninepenny Kings where Lord Baelish befriended him and later agreed to foster his son Petyr at Riverrun. When he returned from the war, he arranged a marriage for his brother Brynden to Bethany Redwyne, but Brynden refused causing Hoster to nickname him "The Blackfish" and a falling out between the brothers that lasted the rest of Hoster's life.
The Mad King Aerys II Targaryen had Brandon Stark and his father brutally executed, triggering a rebellion against him. Hoster joined House Stark, House Baratheon and House Arryn in opposing the Mad King. Catelyn married Brandon's brother Eddard Stark and Hoster arranged for Lysa to marry Lord Jon Arryn to solidify the alliance. They won the war and installed Robert Baratheon as the King on the Iron Throne. The army of Lord Walder Frey, Hoster's bannerman, arrived after the Battle of the Trident had already been won by the rebels, causing Hoster to nickname him "the Late Lord Frey" to Lord Walder's great irritation.
In recent years Hoster had become old and frail, losing a great deal of weight. By the beginning of the War of the Five Kings, Hoster had been bedridden for a considerable amount of time from a prolonged illness, and only semi-coherent. His son and heir Edmure took over the day-to-day rule of Riverrun, and Hoster's other duties as overlord of the Riverlands.
Lord Hoster finally passed away shortly after the Battle of the Blackwater. Hoster's brother Brynden, son Edmure, daughter Catelyn, and grandson Robb Stark are present for his funeral at Riverrun. As per Tully funeral tradition, his body is set adrift on the Red Fork of the Trident River in a funeral boat, and then set on fire by a flaming arrow - so that his ashes will return to the river which sustains their lands. Brynden tells Catelyn that he and Hoster managed to make peace before his death. Hoster told Brynden to stop calling himself "The Blackfish" as it is an old joke and it wasn't very funny to begin with. Following Hoster's death, his son Edmure inherits his titles and lands, and officially becomes the new head of House Tully.
While traveling through the Riverlands, Arya Stark tells a farmer that Sandor Clegane is her father and knight in service of Hoster Tully. The farmer curses Lord Walder Frey for the Red Wedding and comments that the Freys are terrible lords compared to Hoster Tully.
Fearing for the life of his son, Edmure, who has been a prisoner of the Freys since the Red Wedding, reluctantly agrees to help his captors retake Riverrun from his uncle Brynden. He approaches the gate and identifies himself, invokes his father's name.
- Walder Frey: "Your father didn't come to the wedding."
- Catelyn Stark: "He is quite ill, my lord."
- Walder Frey: "He didn't come to the last one either. Or the one before that. Your family's always pissed on me."
- Catelyn Stark: "My lord, I..."
- Walder Frey: "Don't deny it. You know it's true. The fine Lord Tully would never marry any of his to mine."
- — Walder Frey to Catelyn Stark on his rocky relationship with her father.[src]
- Catelyn Stark: "Did you make peace in the end?"
- The Blackfish: "After 30 years of fighting, I don't think he remembered what started it. He asked me to stop calling myself Blackfish. He said it was an old joke and it was never funny to begin with."
- — Catelyn grieves with her uncle, the Blackfish.[src]
- "Your father was a stubborn old ox. I was surprised when he died. Didn't think death had the patience."
- ―The Blackfish to Catelyn Stark
- "The 'Late Walder Frey', old Tully called me because I didn't get my men to the Trident in time for battle. He thought he was witty. Look at us now Tully! You're dead, your daughter's dead, your grandson's dead, your son spent his wedding night in a dungeon, and I'm Lord of Riverrun."
- ―Walder Frey
- "The gods will have their vengeance. Frey will burn in the seventh hell for what he did. Things were different when Hoster Tully ruled the Riverlands. We had good years and bad years, same as anyone. But we were safe. Now with the Freys, raiders come plundering, steal our food, steal our silver."
- ―unnamed Riverlands farmer
Behind the scenes
|Season Three appearances|
|Valar Dohaeris||Dark Wings, Dark Words||Walk of Punishment||And Now His Watch Is Ended||Kissed by Fire|
|The Climb||The Bear and the Maiden Fair||Second Sons||The Rains of Castamere||Mhysa|
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Hoster is an old, spent man close to the end of his life. In his prime he was a canny politician and effective military commander, and was a vital supporter of Robert Baratheon's uprising against the Targaryen dynasty. He was married to Lady Minisa Whent, of the great castle of Harrenhal, who passed away some years before the events of the series begin.
In A Game of Thrones, Catelyn visits her father after Robb Stark breaks the siege in the Battle of the Camps. At that point, Hoster is still lucid. In the next books, his health deteriorates rapidly. Most of the time he loses contact with reality, does not recognize his children, and mumbles incoherently.
At one of those occasions, Catelyn hears her father mumbles: "Tansy... forgive me... the blood... oh, please... Tansy... dead. You'll have others... Sweet babes, and trueborn. Be a good wife and the gods will bless you... sons... trueborn sons". At first Catelyn thinks that her father might have wronged some village maiden named Tansy, but after thinking it over, recalling Lysa's tearful reaction when Catelyn let her hold baby Robb, she realizes the terrible secret that haunts her father on his deathbed: Lysa got pregnant some time before her marriage to Jon Arryn, and their father forced her to undergo an abortion by drinking Moon tea (one of its ingredients is the herb called Tansy). Near his death, Hoster feels deep regret for what he did to his daughter. Catelyn writes to her sister about it, telling her that their father's thoughts are all of the wrong he did Lysa, and that he needs her forgiveness, begging her at least to write him a few words of love so he may die in peace. Catelyn feels the letter is too little and too late for her father is likely to die before Lysa answers, but sends it anyway. Lysa does not respond.
|Lord:||Edmure Tully||Heir:||Unidentified son|
|Title(s):||Lord Paramount of the Riverlands · Lord of Riverrun|
|Current members:||Roslin Tully|
|Deceased members:||Catelyn Stark · Hoster Tully · Minisa Tully · Lysa Arryn · Brynden Tully|