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.