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Walder Frey

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Walder Frey
WalderFrey3x10HD
Season(s) 1, 3, 6
First seen "Baelor"
Appeared in 3 episodes (see below)
Mentioned in "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things"
"Valar Morghulis"
"Kissed by Fire"
"The Climb"
"First of His Name"
"The House of Black and White"
Titles Lord of the Crossing
Lord of Riverrun
Lord Paramount of the Trident
Also known as The Late Lord Frey
The Late Walder Frey
Status Alive
Age 94 in Season 5[1]
Origin The Twins
Allegiance House Frey
Culture Andal
Religion Faith of the Seven
Family {Joyeuse Erenford} - wife
Stevron Frey - eldest trueborn son
Walder Rivers - bastard son
Ryger Rivers - bastard son
Lothar Frey - son
Olyvar Frey - son
Waldron Frey - son
Arwaya Frey - eldest daughter
Walda Frey - daughter
Derwa Frey - daughter
Waldra Frey - daughter
Roslin Frey - daughter
Shirei Frey - daughter
"Fat Walda" Frey - granddaughter
Janeya Frey - granddaughter
Neyela Frey - granddaughter
Serra Frey - granddaughter
Sarra Frey - granddaughter
Marianne Frey - granddaughter
Freya Frey - granddaughter
Merry Frey - granddaughter
Walda Frey - great-niece
Other trueborn children far too numerous to mention
Possibly dozens of acknowledged bastards
Portrayed by David Bradley
"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."
―Lord Walder Frey[src]

Walder Frey is a recurring character in the first, third and sixth seasons. He is played by guest star David Bradley.

Lord Walder is the Lord of the Crossing and the head of House Frey. He initially allied himself with King Robb Stark in the War of the Five Kings in exchange for a marriage contract to one of his daughters, but betrayed him at the Red Wedding after Robb broke his vow by marrying Talisa Maegyr, killing Robb, Talisa, his mother, and most of the Stark army. As a reward, House Frey becomes the ruling House of the Riverlands and Walder is granted the titles of Lord of Riverrun and Lord Paramount of the Trident, although the betrayal has irredeemably tarnished Walder's reputation, with none of House Tully's vassals accepting his rule and a guerrilla war erupting throughout the burned-out Riverlands that Walder remains unable to control.

Biography

Background

Late Freys

Walder's army reaches the Trident after the battle, earning him the nickname "the Late Lord Frey" from Hoster Tully.

Walder Frey is the Lord of the Crossing and the head of House Frey, a vassal family of House Tully of the Riverlands. His house is noted for its overwhelming fertility and he has over one hundred descendents. He rules The Twins and its surrounding lands, controlling the strategically important crossing of the Green Fork.  Over the years this great stone bridge and the castles that control it have made House Frey a fortune in crossing fees. He has been married seven times and is almost ninety years old when the series begins.[2][3]

He is known to his liege lord, Hoster Tully, as the "Late Lord Frey" after delaying his arrival to assist Robert's Rebellion until the outcome had already been determined.[4]

Season 1

Catelyn Stark meets a knight with a group of men at arms of House Frey at the Crossroads Inn and asks after Lord Walder's health. The knight replies that Lord Walder is well and is planning to celebrate his 90th birthday by taking a new wife. Tyrion Lannister laughs derisively at the news, making enemies of this group.[5]

When Robb Stark's army arrives at the Twins on its march south, Robb needs to cross the river to gain a tactical advantage over the Lannister forces. As a Tully bannerman, Walder Frey had been called up, but he had delayed going until he saw which side had the advantage. Now that Riverrun is besieged by the Lannisters, Frey wonders why he should risk their fury. Catelyn tells Robb that Walder Frey is slippery and not to be trusted, despite his allegiance to her father. Fearing that Walder would attempt to imprison Robb and sell him to the Lannisters, Catelyn volunteers to negotiate with him.[4]

Walder and Joyeuse 1x09

Walder Frey and his new fifteen year old wife Joyeuse Erenford in "Baelor".

On entering the Twins Catelyn finds Walder and his vast brood of sons, grandsons and bastards incessantly bickering. Fed up with their whining, Walder agrees to Catelyn's request to dismiss them - including his new fifteen year old wife, Joyeuse Erenford - while they negotiate. An alliance is formed; in return for permission to cross and the service of Walder's troops, Robb will marry one of Walder's daughters or granddaughters, whichever he likes. Additionally Arya, when recovered, will marry Walder's son Waldron. Robb must also take another son, Olyvar Frey, as a squire. Robb consents to the match, even after his mother indicates that Walder's daughters are not particularly attractive.[4]

Season 3

Lord Walder sends his son Lothar and his great-grandson "Black Walder" to Riverrun to discuss the terms of a new alliance with Robb Stark. Lord Walder demands Harrenhal, as well as the marriage between Edmure Tully and his daughter Roslin.[6]

When the King in the North and his entourage arrive, Lord Walder offers them his hospitality, but cannot keep himself from mocking Robb over his broken oath, insulting Queen Talisa and leering over her. Later, he oversees the wedding of Edmure and Roslin, and the following feast. Once the newlyweds retire for the bedding, he has the halls sealed and gives the cue for his men to slaughter the Starks. He watches in rapture and takes sips from his cup as Talisa and Robb's bannermen are killed. When Lady Catelyn takes his wife hostage in an attempt to save Robb, Walder coldly retorts he will find another wife. Robb is killed by Roose Bolton, who had sealed an alliance with him by marrying his granddaughter Walda, Lady Joyeuse is killed by Catelyn, while Catelyn is killed by Black Walder.[7]

For his part in the Red Wedding, Lord Walder is granted Riverrun and protection from vengeful Northerners by Tywin Lannister. When Lord Walder is informed by Roose Bolton that Blackfish Tully escaped the massacre, he remains unconcerned and takes a time to mock his fallen enemies and rivals.[8]

Season 4

Lord Walder and the rest of House Frey are now the focus of distaste and hatred for the North and the Riverlands for their part in the Red Wedding, especially since the Riverlands have fallen into disarray and lawlessness since they were granted to the Freys by the Lannisters. None of House Tully's vassals accept Lord Walder as their new liege lord. A farmer claims that Lord Walder himself committed sacrilege by sharing bread and salt with the Starks and Tullys and then slaughtering them, and that he will "burn in the seventh Hell" for it.[9]

Appearances

Season One appearances
Winter is Coming The Kingsroad Lord Snow Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things The Wolf and the Lion
A Golden Crown You Win or You Die The Pointy End Baelor Fire and Blood
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

Quotes

Spoken by Walder Frey
"You see that? Fifteen, she is. A little flower, and the honey's all mine."
Lord Walder Frey to Catelyn Stark about his current wife[src]
"Oh, yes. I said some words."
Lord Walder expresses his indifference about swearing oaths to Catelyn Stark[src]
"Stark, Tully, Lannister, Baratheon... Give me one good reason why I should waste a single thought on any of you."
Lord Walder Frey[src]
Walder Frey: "Don't beg my forgiveness, your grace. It wasn't me you spurned, it was my girls. One of them was supposed to be queen. Now none of them are. This is Arwaya, my daughter, my daughter Walda, my daughter Derwa, my daughter Waldra. My eldest granddaughters Janeya and Neyela. Serra and Sarra, granddaughters, twins. You could have had either. You could have both for all I care. My granddaughter Marianne, my granddaughter Freya, my granddaughter...Wertha? Walra? Waldina?"
Merry Frey: "I'm Merry."
Walder Frey: "Fine. And here's my youngest daughter, Shirei. Though she hasn't bled yet, clearly you don't have the patience for all that."
Walder Frey introducing his daughters and granddaughters to Robb Stark[src]
"Your Grace, I fear I've been, remiss in my duties. I've given you meat and wine and music, but, I haven't shown you the hospitality you deserve. My king has married and I owe my new queen a wedding gift."
―Walder Frey gives the cue for his men to slaughter the Starks[src]
Walder Frey: "You already swore me one oath, right here in my castle. You swore by all the gods that your son would marry my daughter!"
Catelyn Stark: "Take me for your hostage! But let Robb go! Robb get up, get up and walk out! Please! PLEASE!"
Walder Frey: "And why would I let him do that?"
Catelyn Stark: "On my honor as a Tully, On my honor as a Stark! Let him go, or I will cut your wife's throat!"
Walder Frey: "I'll find another."
— Walder coldly refuses to spare Robb Stark's life[src]
"They all laughed at me, all those high lords. They all thought they were better than me. Ned Stark, Hoster Tully... People snigger when I marry a young girl, but who said a word when Jon Arryn married the little Tully bitch?!"
―Lord Walder Frey[src]
Spoken about Walder Frey
"'The Late Lord Frey' my father calls him. At the Trident, he didn't appear until the battle was done. Some men take their oaths more seriously than others."
―Catelyn Stark[src]
"Expect nothing of Walder Frey and you'll never be surprised."
―Greatjon Umber[src]
"Walder Frey is a dangerous man to cross."
―Catelyn Stark[src]
"Why should I let that old ferret choose my bride for me?"
―Edmure Tully[src]
"Walder Frey is many things, but a brave man? No. He never would have risked such an action, unless he had certain assurances."
―Tyrion Lannister[src]
"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."
―Catelyn Stark[src]
"Yet part of me wonders if Lord Walder waited not out of fear, but hope that we would be destroyed leaving him to assume my family's place as Lord Paramount of the Trident. To buy the respect House Frey have always wanted, but refused to earn. No. Not even Lord Walder could be so disloyal."
―Catelyn Stark[src]
Farmer: "Did you fight at the Twins?"
Sandor Clegane: "Call that a fight? Slaughtering livestock more like."
Farmer: "The Red Wedding they're calling it. Walder Frey committed sacrilege that day. He shared bread and salt with the Starks. He offered them guest right."
Sandor Clegane: "Guest right don't mean much anymore."
Farmer: "It means something to me. The gods will have their vengeance. Frey will burn in the seventh hell for what he did."
— Farmer curses Walder Frey[src]

Family tree

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
House-Frey-heraldry
Seven wives,
and numerous mistresses
Deceased
 
Walder-Frey-family-tree-icon
Walder Frey
 
Joyeuse tree
Joyeuse Frey
née Erenford
Deceased
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Stevron tree
Stevron Frey
 
Lothar tree
"Lame Lothar" Frey
 
Roslin tree
Roslin Frey
 
Family tree Edmure
Edmure Tully Tully mini shield
 
House-Frey-heraldry
Various sons and daughters
 
Black Walder Frey tree
"Black Walder" Rivers
 
Walder-Rivers-family-tree-icon
Ryger Rivers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Roose-Bolton-family-tree
Roose Bolton Bolton mini shield
 
Fat-Walda-Frey-family-tree
"Fat Walda" Frey
 
House-Frey-heraldry
Numerous grandsons and granddaughters
 

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Walder Frey, the Lord of the Crossing, is an ancient (over 90), irascible and cranky old lord who rules over a vast brood of children, grandchildren, bastards, nieces and nephews. Walder Frey is said to be the only lord who could "field an army from his breeches". Descendents of his include numerous Walders (surnamed Frey or Rivers depending on their legitimacy), Waldas (notably Fat Walda, who is betrothed to Roose Bolton), and at least one Waltyr. He spends much of his time managing his huge family, making advantageous marriages with many of the great houses, this helps maintain the semi-neutrality of House Frey throughout the series. His house has grown rich by building and maintaining the Twins, two castles that control the only crossing over the Green Fork of the River Trident for hundreds of miles. He is proud and haughty, but also crafty. He is also bald and too gouty to move by himself. The fact that he controls such a strategic castle, and that most of the Great Houses have connections to the Freys through marriage, gives him free reign to switch allegiances numerous times, as all sides need him and his castle, and all sides have family connections to his family through his multitude of descendants.

Hoster Tully disparagingly nicknamed him "the Late Walder Frey" when he arrived with his Frey soldiers at the site of the Battle of the Trident after the battle was already over. Walder almost certainly did this on purpose, because he saw no reason to endanger Frey soldiers for the sake of anyone but himself, despite the fact that he had sworn oaths of fealty to the Tullys and it was his duty to aid them in the battle. Nonetheless, Walder maintained a hypocritical grudge against Hoster for years afterwards - because Hoster made the entirely valid and accurate criticism that Walder was disloyal and had failed to uphold his own vows. This is part of the overall pattern of Walder's selfish character: throughout the narrative, Walder seems to be unable to conceptually understand that others will fault him for breaking oaths he has made. In turn, when those he has broken promises to become angered at him, he seems to honestly believe that they are harassing him for no justifiable reason. Similarly, when the War of the Five Kings broke out, Walder Frey should have allowed Robb Stark's army to pass through the Twins, and added his own Frey soldiers to his army, because he was a vassal of House Tully. Other Tully bannermen such as the Blackwoods or Mallisters sent their armies to join Robb at Riverrun simply for the asking, because it was their sworn duty. In contrast, Walder extorted his overlords into promising a marriage-alliance, ignoring all previous oaths he had made to them. Walder later became enraged when Robb Stark broke this promise of a marriage-alliance - but his anger was entirely hypocritical, given that Walder himself is the one who broke his promise of unconditional support for the Tullys, by demanding a marriage-alliance which he had no right to ask for in the first place.

Walder Frey is notable for appearing - as a toddler - in The Mystery Knight, the third of George R.R. Martin's Tales of Dunk and Egg short stories set almost ninety years before the events of the main series, making him the only character to appear in both the prequels and the main saga, though Aemon is also mentioned.

In the books, Lord Walder isn't named the new Lord of Riverrun after the Red Wedding. Instead, Riverrun is granted to Emmon Frey, Walder's second son. Then again, the Lannisters' grant of Riverrun to the Freys is nominal for the moment, as in the immediate aftermath of the Red Wedding the House Tully garrison still holds the castle. Though his allegiance with House Bolton has been solidified, one of Walder's grandsons is killed in Winterfell by Mance Rayder.

Image Gallery

See also

References

v  d  e
Lord: Lord Walder Frey Heir: Ser Stevron Frey
House-Frey-heraldry
Seat: The Twins · Riverrun Lands: Riverlands
Title(s): Lord of the Crossing · Lord of Riverrun · Lord Paramount of the Trident
Ancestors:Frey
Current members:Arwaya Frey · Derwa Frey · Freya Frey · Janeya Frey · Lothar Frey · Marianne Frey · Merry Frey · Neyela Frey · Olyvar Frey · Roslin Frey · Sarra Frey · Serra Frey · Shirei Frey · Walda Frey · "Fat Walda" Frey · Waldra Frey · Waldron Frey · Ryger Rivers · Black Walder Rivers
Deceased members:Joyeuse Erenford
Household:Malcolm · Talbot
Overlord:House Baratheon of King's Landing

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