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The enigma of Hoster Tully, what's your take?


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#1 The Bittersteel

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 09:49 AM

I think I used to take it for granted and just assume this guy was an ok fellow because he declared for Robert, is the father of Catelyn, all that jazz but having learnt more about him its clouded my image somewhat. There are a number of decisions he's made that I think can be viewed in several ways and I was wondering what you fellow posters thought.

 

First off securing marriage to Ned Stark. I think its pretty easy to view this as a good decision, Robert had a fair chance of winning the rebellion and Ned comes from a prestigious ancient family, far more so than the Tullys. Great stuff well done Hoster.

 

Treatment of rebellious vassals in Bob's rebellion. This one surprised me, apparently he was very harsh putting entire villages of rebellious vassals to the sword. This seems like more of a Tywin like action that obviously sends a message to other vassals but could he have earned their enmity in the process? Meaning fewer come to Riverun's aid during the War of Five Kings than expected. This is pure conjecture but it would help explain the proportionally small army Edmure is able to gather in the Riverlands for the regions size.

 

Treatment of Lysa. This one I'm sure will be controversial. Obviously discovering LF child in her and her desire to marry him could have come as a shock if he were unaware and I understand why he'd abort it and deny the marriage so she wasn't tainted or married to a lower ranked lord. However, treating her this way clearly earned her enmity for the rest of his life, effectively nullifying her as an ally even though he secured a marriage to one of the most powerful/prestigious lords in the realm, Jon Arryn. Interesting one to ponder that, you can get the best alliance in the world for your daughter but if she hates you whats the point? the kids won't be of your dynasty so its no good to you. Was there an alternative? Sending her to the free cities perhaps to birth the child and then raising him as an orphan/bastard of Edmure (would have been far more acceptable).

 

Treatment of Blackfish. This one is also difficult, I see this more as Hoster's father's fault than anything because he should have set up a betrothal for Brynden but while it is clearly the Blackfish was a useful alliance tool when it was clear he never would marry (definitely homosexual imo) why not just accept it? Instead he lost his best general/brother to Lysa.

 

Treatment of Walder Frey. Clearly Walder is a bit of a weasel and a coward but was it diplomatic for Hoster to treat him poorly? The Frey's are his most powerful vassals so why not attend the name days, marriages and so on. He could have earned Walder's respect (or possibly even friendship) and helped his grandson in the long term. I know he couldn't have predicted the red wedding but that's part of being a good liege lord, gaining allegiance for when times are rough. I also find it sweetly ironic he continually denied his progeny Edmure's hand only for Walder to get it eventually anyway.

 

Finally, swearing allegiance to Robb as King in the North. This is a really interesting one in my opinion. I'm not entirely certain Hoster is responsible due to not being Lucid but why did he choose Robb as his liege rather than an equal alliance? His lands are not the King in the North's historically nor is Robb of the same religion. I believe Catelyn's marriage to Ned opened up the opportunity for an equal alliance so I was wondering what people thought.

 

 

So as the title states what's your take on this interesting and divisive character?

 

Edit: Anything I've missed please add, definitely no expert on him, hence the thread.


Edited by The Bittersteel, 03 May 2014 - 10:21 AM.


#2 WMarshal

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 09:53 AM

He was the Tywin but more smarter and less of a grudge holder, he was placing his children in every center of power, if he had lived and stayed competent  till Viserys died and Cersei wasn't so Cersei, he may have had connections in almost every part in Westeros.


Edited by WMarshal, 03 May 2014 - 09:54 AM.


#3 Roose Trollton.

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:02 AM

I've been curious about Hoster lately. Yes, he definitely seems like a capable player at the game, and quite Tywin-ish.

 

 

But

 

This is pure conjecture but it would help explain the proportionally small army Edmure is able to gather in the Riverlands for the regions size.

 

 

 

We never hear about the size of the Tully army at the very start of the war - aka the moment Lannisters invaded - but only after Robb joins forces with them. I'd say a huge portion of the army was killed in the catastrophic defeat on Jaime's hands.



#4 Mr Bell

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:08 AM

He was the Tywin but more smarter and less of a grudge holder, he was placing his children in every center of power, if he had lived and stayed competent  till Viserys died and Cersei wasn't so Cersei, he may have had connections in almost every part in Westeros.

 

This. He was cruel in his treatment of Lysa and his annihilation of the villages during RR, but he was a social climber, and a successful one at that, had shit not hit the fan.

 

He could have had 4 LP grandchildren if the marriage proposal between Edmure and Arianne had been successful.



#5 The Wolves

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:22 AM

I hate him he burned homes and killed people whose only "crime" which can't be called that cause it wasn't a crime was refusing to change loyalties to himself.

I'm glad he died in pain

#6 Roddy the Ruin

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:23 AM

He was an asshole

#7 TheCrannogDweller

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:25 AM

We never hear about the size of the Tully army at the very start of the war - aka the moment Lannisters invaded - but only after Robb joins forces with them. I'd say a huge portion of the army was killed in the catastrophic defeat on Jaime's hands.

 

   Well, it certainly says something that even after his region was raped and pillaged by Tywin's forces, Edmure still managed to gather 11 000 men to fight the Battle of the Fords - and that is without his biggest bannerman's troops. According to some estimates I've seen around the boards, the total army number for the Riverlands is around 40 000, which seems reasonable, given the region's location and natural advantages.

 

   For the people who are interested in a deeper analysis of Hoster Tully, I'll put the links to a very nice essay in three parts below. It came up in another Hoster thread a while ago and it makes for a very nice read.

"Noble as a King: An Examination of Hoster Tully":

Part 1: Family, Duty, Honor

Part 2: Thank the Gods for Old Lord Hoster

Part 3: As we light his Funeral Pyre


Edited by TheCrannogDweller, 03 May 2014 - 10:30 AM.


#8 Lee-Sensei

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:25 AM

He was Tywin-lite. A capable player, but not the nicest man.



#9 TheCoffeeThatWasPromised

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:29 AM

 

He could have had 4 LP grandchildren if the marriage proposal between Edmure and Arianne had been successful.

Whoa! GOAT matchmaker!



#10 Mr Bell

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:34 AM

I hate him he burned homes and killed people whose only "crime" which can't be called that cause it wasn't a crime was refusing to change loyalties to himself.

I'm glad he died in pain

 

An act to be more or less mirrored in his grandson Robb, who pillaged the Westerlands, stole their food and their resources that they would have needed to stay alive.



#11 TheCrannogDweller

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:37 AM

He was Tywin-lite. A capable player, but not the nicest man.

 

   The only thing he and Tywin have in common is their political savvy.

 

An act to be more or less mirrored in his grandson Robb, who pillaged the Westerlands, stole their food and their resources that they would have needed to stay alive.

 

   Sure, but you might want to shift the blame for that to Tywin. He was the one who raped, pillaged and burned his way through the Riverlands, after attacking it in breach of every law. Robb was simply paying him back in kind - not that he reached Tywin's levels of destruction.


Edited by TheCrannogDweller, 03 May 2014 - 10:40 AM.


#12 SkaggCannibal

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:37 AM

He could have had 4 LP grandchildren if the marriage proposal between Edmure and Arianne had been successful.

And another one as Queen of Westeros, with a great-grandchild as King.

--> If Joffrey+Sansa had worked out


Edited by SkaggCannibal, 03 May 2014 - 10:37 AM.


#13 Mr Bell

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:43 AM

   Sure, but you might want to shift the blame for that to Tywin. He was the one who raped, pillaged and burned his way through the Riverlands, after attacking it without in breach of every law. Robb was simply paying him back in kind - not that he reached Tywin's levels of destruction.

 

Sure, but the smallfolk didn't deserve it no matter who caused what.

 

And another one as Queen of Westeros, with a great-grandchild as King.

--> If Joffrey+Sansa had worked out

 

Yup. And if Brynden agreed to marry the Redwyne, they could have had one of the most powerful Reach houses (and therefore, a powerful navy) on their side.



#14 WMarshal

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:50 AM

Not to mention the West, Tyrion was known for not being tywin's choice heir, Joffrey may have had a chance to claim it and make it a princely sit.



#15 TheCrannogDweller

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:53 AM

Sure, but the smallfolk didn't deserve it no matter who caused what.

 

   The smallfolk's biggest crime often is just living in the wrong place at the wrong time. I agree they didn't deserve it.

   But to accuse Robb of war crimes (which is how I understand your initial comment) is, quite frankly, ludicrous. Robb lost the war exactly because he tried to fight it in the most ethical way possible.

   Anyway, let's not derail this thread.



#16 R.O.Edwards

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:59 AM

Killing people in war (excessively) doesn't seem to make him any different to most lords in Westeros.

The treatment of Lysa actually bothers me more even though she is one of my least favourite characters.  



#17 The Bittersteel

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 11:05 AM

Killing people in war (excessively) doesn't seem to make him any different to most lords in Westeros.

The treatment of Lysa actually bothers me more even though she is one of my least favourite characters.  

I agree, losing a child through abortion or any means can scar someone for life. I believe that is the case with Lysa, hence her over-protective attitude and paranoia regarding Robert



#18 Blackfish Tully

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 11:08 AM

You could blame Hoster for the terrible job he did in his later years of preparing the Riverlands for War . The Lannisters had a pretty easy time defeating the Riverlords and as Lord Paramount it's his duty to prepare his lands for warfare. The fact that Lady Whent  just gave over control of Harrenhall to Tywin put the Riverlords and Robb Stark into a very bad situation. If Harrenhall had a strong commander who had decent garrison then Tywin would not have even tried to take it and if he did it would have cost him dearly. Without Harrenhall a base to operate from and as protection from the Riverlords and Robb Stark Tywin would have not been able to stay in the Riverlands and protect Kings Landing at the same time. 

 



#19 The Wolves

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 11:15 AM

 
An act to be more or less mirrored in his grandson Robb, who pillaged the Westerlands, stole their food and their resources that they would have needed to stay alive.


That's fine it doesn't take away the fact that the people he pledged to protect as being their Liege Lord was the same man who destroyed their homes and put multiple people to the sword because they more than likely didn't want to get involved in a war.

Robb was wrong but Hoster was worse IMO, Robb didn't terrorize or kill the same people who was suppose to he under his protection.

#20 The Fresh PtwP

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 11:17 AM

He's really kinda a dick. He seemed to have Tyrell ambition with Lannisters cruelty and good ol' Tully intellect. Not a good combo.

Let's review,

1. Cats marriage to Ned. He lucked out on this one but passing his daughter to the younger brother? Cat and Lysa got pimped out just as bad as Marg.

2. Lysa, actually makes me sick. He ruined her life and than the Tully's expect her to be all about the fam, and are shocked when she essentially tells them to F off. No DUH! Nobody helped her. Nobody.

3. Blackfish, let's alienate the only competent member of the family.

4. Walder, just because your LP rebels you don't have to. Your obligation is too the crown. Either way he was late but Hoster has been on about it for 15 years....like it seems to be on every Tully's mind like it happened yesterday but they're just holding on to grudges now.