Catelyn Stark: Some houses rise to power through strength, others through wealth. House Frey gained its title through cunning. Centuries ago, its founder looked at a map and noticed how the Trident spears the Neck, cutting off the North from the South. He realized that a river of gold would flow to the man who owned the right bridge across the water.
It took the Freys three generations to complete their forefather's vision: A massive arch of smooth grey rock, wide enough for two wagons to pass abreast. When they were done, they built high curtain walls, deep moats and heavy gates to protect the approaches and put up squat, ugly, formidable keeps on either bank: The Twins. Commanding both road and river with arrow slits, murder holes and portcullises, the Twins ensure that no one crosses without begging the Freys' leave - and paying the Freys' toll.
The plan worked. The family grew rich and powerful, exacting gold from lords, merchants and poor farmers. A good thing too, given the number of Freys the bridge has to support. The current lord, Walder Frey, has seen over ninety namedays and sired near as many children, trueborn or otherwise. A shameful thing on any other lord, but Walder Frey possesses no shame. A dangerous thing for any other lord, but Walder Frey has no concern for heirs or fear of their impatience. Perhaps Lord Frey thinks to outlast them all. Given the infighting he encourages among them, perhaps he will.
Whatever the case, House Frey does nothing so well as survive. When the ironborn conquered and razed the Riverlands, the Freys hid in their castle. When Aegon and House Tully swept the ironborn back to their islands, the Freys hid in their castle. When my ancestor demanded their allegiance as Aegon's new Lord Paramount of the Trident, the Freys bent the knee - from their castle.
Perhaps then we should not have been surprised when my father, Lord Hoster Tully, called his banners against the Mad King - and Lord Walder didn't answer. The Baratheons, Starks, Arryns and Tullys, some of the oldest and greatest houses of Westeros, fought and bled for the cause of justice - while House Frey hid in their castle and waited. No doubt if Rhaegar had won at the Trident, Lord Walder would have given him safe passage into the North to destroy the rest of Eddard Stark's Northern army for a fair price.
But Rhaegar fell and, lo and behold, the Frey army appeared to render aid to our already victorious forces. Many sniggered that Lord Walder had been waiting for his army to come of age, having fielded it out of his own breeches. My own father named him "the Late Lord Frey" to the other lords' amusement - a slight that pricks Lord Walder to this day.
In many ways, however, Lord Walder was wise. We had no guarantee of victory and had he fought with them from the outset and we failed, he would have lost the bridge his family was so proud of. "More Pride Than Honor", those should be the words of House Frey. Yet part of me wonders if Lord Walder waited not out of fear but hope. That we would be destroyed; leaving him to assume the my family's place as Lord Paramount of the Trident. To buy the respect they have always wanted, but refused to earn. No... not even Lord Walder could be so disloyal.
- Catelyn says that during the War of Conquest, the Freys did not join with the rest of the Riverlords in revolting against the ironborn to join the Targaryens, but instead hid within their own castle, thinking only of their own safety - similar to how Walder Frey later hid at the Twins during Robert's Rebellion and did not march to aid either side. Exactly what the Freys did (or did not do) during the War of Conquest has not yet been commented on in the books.
- A point is brought up near the end of the video, when Catelyn remarks that the House Frey motto should be "More Pride Than Honor". Despite their prominence within the storyline, the official motto of House Frey has yet to be revealed in the books. In "The Winds of Winter", however, their motto was revealed: "We Stand Together".
- Frey (founder)
- Lord Walder Frey
- King Aegon I Targaryen, the "Conquerer" (mentioned)
- Lord Edmyn Tully (indirectly mentioned)
- Lord Hoster Tully
- Prince Rhaegar Targaryen (mentioned)
- Lord Eddard Stark (mentioned)
- House Frey
- House Tully (mentioned)
- House Baratheon (mentioned)
- House Stark (mentioned)
- House Arryn (mentioned)
- The Riverlands
- The North (mentioned)
- The Neck (mentioned)
- Iron Islands (mentioned)
- Ironborn (mentioned)