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Chris Mormont

Is Walder Frey the smartest man in Westeros?

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14 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Yes, it is a virtue. It just doesn't make you that awesome a person as Walder is making himself out to be exclusively on account of having lots of kids. 

I don't know how Walder is viewed due to him being as fertile as he is. But the way he mocks Tywin for being able to produce only two sons, one of them a dwarf, one should assume that having many children is actually as much a virtue in and of itself in this world - just as it was in the middle ages. It was seen as a blessing of god.

14 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

So should your sons advance themselves by killing their older brothers? What kind of father can accept this idea? (Roose Bolton can.) 

No, just rely on their kin to actually rise high in the world. Have their lordly father or brother give them positions, titles, offices, land, incomes, etc. That's what people are for in this world. And Walder shows his quality here - he tries his best to advance those of his children who show promise (the various knights, the beautiful daughters who can make fine matches, etc.). He arranged a marriage for his second son Emmon with Genna Lannister! At same time he protects, feeds, and clothes the misfits and failures as much as he does the successful ones.

The example of Yohn Royce - who effectively threw his second son out of his home and dumped his third son at the Wall - shows that Walder is rather exceptional in this regard.

In AFfC we learn that Lord Sunderland, the Lord of the Three Sisters, is financially struggling to fulfill the desire of his seven sons to become knights - whereas Walder Frey has many knights among both his sons and grandsons.

14 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Not spending time with their children does not absolve parents of responsibility, quite on the contrary. Robert knew what kind of person Joffrey was growing up to be - if he tried to change those tendencies, he failed - and it happens. If he never tried, it's much worse, especially since Joffrey was going to be a king. 

One can chide Robert for not trying to change Joffrey, but the relevant question is whether this would have actually been possible. And the way George portrays Joffrey doesn't make that likely.

In fact, if you look as historical rulers and such it is rather striking how good and competent kings were not necessarily always or even often followed by capable or even adequate successors - despite the fact that they were usually groomed to rule one day by their fathers.

It is also rather obvious that, child murder aside, a king or lord is usually stuck with the eldest son he has produced.

14 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Sure, there are problems that are innate and cannot be changed - call it genes or black magic. If Joff was born a psychopath, I agree that his character is not the result of upbringing. I said before that parents are not responsible for everything. I disagree that GRRM doesn't care about nurture though. There is nature and there is nurture. Both count.   

What cases do you remember where nurture plays a (dominant) role in how a character turned out? One could say Tyrion, who certainly is supposed to have turned out the way he is in part due to the abuse he suffered at Tywin's hands. But aside of that there is pretty much nobody I recall.

And with our new historical perspective it is quite clear, for instance, that both Targaryens and Baratheons are very much ruled by their genetic makeup.

14 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Not really. Joffrey is the firstborn son, de heir. Cersei pays a lot more attention to him then to his siblings, so, for all we know, Tommen and Myrcella may have been just lucky in this respect. But if you want to say that Cersei and Robert were more successful parents than Walder, so be it. 

And how would being around Cersei some more would have made Joffrey develop sadistic tendencies? She doesn't has such tendencies. She never hurts people herself, nor does she like to watch how others do it nor does this play into her erotic fantasies (her rape of Taena basically seems to a way to deal with being raped by Robert in the past).

Cersei herself makes it clear that Joffrey and Tommen are vastly different in temperament and implies that this has always been the case.

There is also no indication that the royal children got a different pre-teen education. Robert never gave Joffrey his own seat, he didn't groom him to rule, didn't take him to council meetings or on progresses and such - because he never did such things himself.

14 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Having one bad apple in the family is one thing. It can really be just bad luck. However, Walder's case is different. He has a large family where hatred and mistrust are the dominant emotions, and that's not just an accident. This atmosphere does not only affect the "bad apples", but the good ones as well.

It is not all that bad. Merrett tells us one can trust one's own full siblings at the Twins, although not the half-siblings. Which isn't that odd considering that they have not that much in common. I mean, Stevron is basically old enough to be the grandfather or great-grandfather of his youngest half-siblings. Even if you wanted to hang out with these people, it would be rather difficult to connect.

14 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Intent matters. Motivation is important. Ned may have lost in the Game, but he is a successful parent in terms of creating a family whose members care for each other and he taught his children the right values.

Well, I doubt he succeeded with Rickon who was really hating everybody last time we saw him, and how likely didn't become more trusting and relaxed in the meantime. Arya is a murderess obsessed with revenge, Sansa became a plotter and is complicit in the poisoning of her own cousin. Bran is pretty decent aside from using his magical abilities to mind-rape people and animals, of course.

14 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Off-topic, but in the aftermath of the Mycah incident, he couldn't just walk out putting an end to his daughter's engagement with the crown prince. The wedding wasn't imminent, he should have had plenty of time to tactfully convince Robert that the marriage of these two kids wasn't a good idea. 

Not only should he have dissolved the betrothal he should also have resigned as Hand. Because Robert Baratheon had actually made a sham out of justice in this entire affair - and he admitted as much. How Ned could believe he could work with or trust this man thereafter is actually very difficult to understand. And it is quite clear that this incident is the reason why Ned later doesn't exactly trust Robert with anything he found out until it was too late - because he quite correctly thought he could not trust that the man would even try to do the right thing.

By not cancelling the betrothal Ned ensured that Sansa might end up as Joffrey's wife one day - which would obviously be the antithesis of being a good and caring father from the very moment Ned had sufficient knowledge about Joff's true character.

14 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Ned is the head of the family but not a tyrant. Unlike Walder, he respects his wife and knows that she feels hurt by Jon's presence with good reason. There are things that can be done on someone's order, and there are things that cannot. The fact is that Cat didn't do anything against Jon. It was the way she looked at him that made Jon feel unwelcome. It does not matter how hard Cat "tries" to treat Jon the same way as her own children, Jon will always feel that she does not love him, and that makes all the difference. In fact, that was exactly what happened. Cat didn't like Jon and Jon could feel it. It is impossible to pretend in a family. 

This has nothing to do with tyranny. Just with family rules. If Ned wanted to be a good father to Jon he should have ensured he was treated as a full family member - the same way the son of Lyanna Stark would have been treated had Ned brought him openly as his nephew and ward.

I very much doubt Cat didn't do anything to make Jon feel unwelcome. She wasn't his mother, so he wasn't necessarily ever looking for warmth from her. What vexed him were things like him not being allowed to eat at the high table during the king's visit - which was likely decided by Catelyn.

Ned also did nothing to prevent Sansa from letting Jon feel that he was a bastard. One imagines that a caring parent could have easily rectified that by establishing that the outside world might call Jon a bastard but we Starks were treating him as one of our own. Not even Robb could do that.

14 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Hm... What exactly do we know his bastards got that Jon didn't? How do we know that his bastards never felt unwelcome by anyone in the family? It seems to me that most family members (bastards or trueborn) realized they were not wanted or liked and were even hated by a bunch of other members of the family.

Walder Rivers has a very influential position at his father's own court. Ned was too ashamed of Jon to take him with him to court. He also made no attempts to get Jon fostered with any of his bannermen or other great lords.

14 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Well, Ned is not a modern father, but I see him as very caring. 

He has one deep talk with Arya. He cared about Robb, but there is no indication he had any sort of meaningful connection with either Sansa, Bran, Rickon, or Jon. That Ned is idolized by many of his children doesn't mean they were close or that he cared much about them as people.

His standard question to Cat: 'Where are the children' shows that he cared, but it is also the question of an absent parent, of a man who outsourced the children to his wife and the servants overseen by his wife. Ned doesn't seem to care about or even realize the troubles Arya has with being raised as a normal girl - Mordane reports to Cat, not Ned.

14 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

That looks like bad political strategy rather than parenting. Doran may well be another imperfect parent, but I still prefer his ways of parenting to Walder's. 

You can also take a look at Quentyn - which Doran sent away at an early age so that he and his parents and siblings are estranged. Or Trystane - with whom Doran spends no time whatsoever in either AFfC or ADwD.

In fact, everything we learn about the relationship between noble/royal children and their parents is that they spend little to no time in each other's company aside from formal meals and the like. Shireen does not interact with her father, and none of her parents take part in her education, it is the same with Trystane, Myrcella, and Tommen. Joffrey doesn't spend much time with his mother, either, especially after he became king. He doesn't attend the council sessions, and he is rarely seen with either Tyrion or Cersei aside from official events.

14 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

"Just one child" - please. This is not how a loving parent thinks. (It's a very Walder-like argument though.)

Well, it depends - do you think you could love all the children Walder has to the same degree if you were their mother? I would be very surprised.

But nobody ever said anything about Walder not having any flaws. And the Red Wedding is itself a betrayal of Walder the family man - as I already pointed out. That certainly extends to Roslin's role in all that, just as it does to the roles the other Freys had to play - some of them willing, others not so willing.

14 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Do you really think that Roslin is happy? She cried throughout the Red Wedding, so willing she was. She went to bed with a man who was just being betrayed and deprived of everything he had by her family. Then her husband was publicly humiliated and threatened with execution day by day by her family members. She found out she was expecting a baby, who, as heir to Riverrun, might indeed cause the eventual death of her husband. What did Walder do, as Head of House Frey, to make this marriage happy or just real? Did he order his descendants to treat Edmure as a family member? 

The impression I get is that both Edmure and Roslin got some happiness out of this slaughter, just as Roose Bolton and Fat Walda are also strangely happy in their marriage. This is an irony George plays with.

Edmure and Roslin had quite some time together until the Freys took their army to lay siege to Riverrun. Then things got unpleasant, that's clear.

Edmure would care neither about his unborn child nor about Roslin if he, you know, didn't care about Roslin. And he would likely not care about her the way he does if she didn't care about him. In fact, I actually think Roslin was chosen as Edmure's bride because she actually wanted to marry him - and she cried during the wedding because to the circumstances around it not because she was not wanting to become Edmure's wife.

14 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Something must be missing here, but never mind. Walder apparently liked to be surrounded by his family members. He enjoyed bossing them around and having them compete for his favours.  

If life was so miserable there it is quite odd that even the successful sons of House Frey continue to live at the Twins.

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19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

His power is mainly due to the geographical position of his castle, for which he must thank one of his ancestors. But he has looked after his inheritance all right - he was certainly clever enough to do that. 

He may have even improved on it. They were powerful in Dance of the Dragons and the Dunk & Egg books, but there is no indication that they were the most powerful vassal House in the Riverlands at that point.

Walder has ruled for at least half a century, he was Lord when Tywin was 10, he may have done more than maintained the status quo, which itself is not easy, many Houses fall in power regardless of their positon, but actually made them the power they are in the current series.

 

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Walder may not have been the mastermind behind the Red Wedding. But, as the lord of the castle,  he had to orchestrate it and preside over it.

He sanctioned it, but we are told that the organization was down to Roose and Lothar.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

Sure he could have died before he committed his worst action, but he didn't, and now his character (I don't know about his past decades, but his character definitely) is defined to a large extent by that fact - precisely because of the enormity of the atrocity even by Westerosi standards.

But he himself has done far, far more than the Red Wedding.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

ASOIAF is fiction, not real life, and the author shows us whatever he considers relevant for the story.

Sure, and the author made a decision to give Merret Frey a POV chapter and have him explain to the readers some of the positives about Walder Frey's character.

He's multi dimensional, he's not just the perpetrator of the Red Wedding. As Patriarch's go he is one of the best in Westeros going by that chapter.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

We can imagine all sorts of other things in Walder's past that he could be defined by, the fact remains that in the actual book, he is the one who orchestrated the Red Wedding - and that is what the reader learns about him first and foremost.

But the reader learns other things about him and your post not only ignores them but contradicts them. I'm just pointing that out.

Nowhere in the books does it claim or suggest that he's a hedonist, that seems to be your own head cannon not supported in the books. This is what tends to happen in fiction, protagonists are imagined to have no redeeming features.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

 If, in the coming books, Walder shows great remorse about the mass killings, about the breaking of guest right or at least about what he did to his own daughter, I will reconsider my judgement of him.  

What did he do to his own daughter?

And how does showing remorse change your earlier claim that he is a hedonist? That he does not care about his family? You said a lot of things that are not backed up by the books or actually contradicted them. Few are claiming that Walder was right (anger justified, yes, but he took it too far) in what he did at the Red Wedding,  most of us are on the same page about that, but that is one incident in his life, your post was about his entire life.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

It means he has been cunning enough to avoid answering the call of his overlord or to choose sides before the winner was known and get away with it.

How is that a bad thing for him or his people?

I didn't realize how much in favour some are for war in this fandom.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

That does not make him especially intelligent, only cunning.

It makes him many things, cunning being one of them, but also intelligent.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

Besides, we don't know how often he actually did that - or do we? - but the more often you play these tricks in that society, the more luck you need to really get away with it.

How is it a trick? Hoster did the same in Robert's Rebellion. He ignored his lord and stayed neutral till his price was met, Cregan did the same during the Dance, demanding a payment to pick a side and still only sending a token force while he arrived when the war was over. House Tully during that conflict stayed neutral despite their promise to the late King.

Plenty of powerful Lords get away with it. It is not about luck it is about understanding your own positon.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

Once or twice you can be "late" for battle, but after the fifth time, the trick is bound to become suspicious. Anyway, he didn't stay out of the War of the Five Kings.

He did not. So your claim that he only joins the winning side is kind of contradicted by this. He joined the rebels at a time when no one knew that the Reach and Stormlands would rebel.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

In fact, he was quite eager to sell himself for material advantage.

He was not eager, Cat had to convince him and she did so by using his pride, not his need for material gain.

 

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

It makes one think that his earlier caution may have been due to the circumstance that simply no one offered him the right price... 

Sure. Why is that bad? He's only following in the footsteps of Hoster, Cregan Stark and many others.

 

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

He is certainly not the only hedonist in the series.

Where is your evidence that he is a hedonist? Please provide it.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

And, of course, a nonagenarian hedonist is in many ways different from a hedonist of thirty something. 

Again, any evidence of him actually being a hedonist.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Walder may have groomed an heir, but he had lots of other offspring, and he didn't succeed in creating a real, united family, where the family members could depend upon each other.

To an extent they do. We get to see the Frey's reaction at Riverrun, Harrnenhal and with Robb to Robb's betrayal, they all feel betrayed.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

The continuation of the quote above is this:

But Stevron had died whilst campaigning with the Young Wolf in the west—"of waiting, no doubt," Lame Lothar had quipped when the raven brought them the news—and his sons and grandsons were a different sort of Frey. Stevron's son Ser Ryman stood to inherit now; a thick-witted, stubborn, greedy man. And after Ryman came his own sons, Edwyn and Black Walder, who were even worse. "Fortunately," Lame Lothar once said, "they hate each other even more than they hate us."

 

Yup. This is not that uncommon. The Baratheon brothers can barely stand each other, the Tully brothers were not speaking, the Corbray brothers dislike each other, one of the Hunter sons murdered his father and his planning on doing the same to his brother.

Merret should be scared of his positon, he is useless and a great-nephew should not be responsible for caring for him. The Starks are not that different. There are other Starks, second cousins to Ned, they do not reside at Wintefell. Robb's has cousins in the Vale, he does not even know their names.

Many Houses are going to be like this, Edwyn or Black Walder are not going to feel the need to look after other branches of their family who are useless.

 

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

That is also part of old Walder's legacy - hatred in the family - a rather poor achievement.

Not really. There is ambition and distrust in most families, but the Freys are also pretty loyal to each other, we see the Frey's reaction to the missing Frey's at White Harbor and the death of young Walder at Wintefell.

Like many families there is a mix but there is enough evidence that many of the Frey's do have a bond and loyalty to their House.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

Even Merrett can see this although he is not at all smart and was brought up in an environment where Walder's word was law and it wasn't customary to question what the head of the family did or said. If Walder was such a dedicated family man, he would have seen to it that his children and grandchildren grew up in an environment of mutual respect and love.

Jesus. This is the middle ages, not a commune in San Francisco.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

In these matters, upbringing is key. I'm afraid that grooming Stevron may have meant (in the distant past, of course) quite literally pounding things into his head (as Merrett put it, with a rather telling choice of word). No surprise that Stevron could not pass on a legacy of love and respect and unity even to his own sons. 

Again these are all assumptions based on nothing but your dislike of the character. Walder was mean to the Starks ipso facto he has been mean his entire life.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

He allows them to live in the castle. He takes pride in having lots of offspring, and bastards are further proof of his virility. I think he also enjoys having power over his family, and the more of them there are whose existence entirely depends on him the better for his ego.

More head cannon nonsense.

Is it really that hard to grasp that Walder, who did an evil thing at the Red Wedding, is still a human being who can care for his family despite a horrific act of revenge he committed at the age of 91?

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

We see how he treats his family members,

We do. And it is well.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

and he quite visibly finds pleasure in humiliating them.

lol come on, not he does not. He is blunt, he is not humiliating them. Again, this is the middle ages.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

It is also quite probable that Walder manipulates his various family members by using the rivalry and enmity between them.

How is that 'quite probable'? What evidence from the books make that quite probable? How does that benefit Walder?

There are plenty of hacky writers who do books like this, characters are either black or white, GRRM has more nuance than that.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

I don't watch the TV show, so whatever. As for book Freys being Puritans... The Tyrells, Lannisters and Baratheons are high lords / royal family, it is not surprising that they have much more luxury than the Freys.

You claimed Walder was a hedonist, I was just pointing out that nothing in the books suggests this, no description from othe characters, no examples from the Twins or how Walder and the Freys present themselves.

 

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

Besides, I don't think Walder's hedonism extends to cover similar tendencies in his whole family. I think Lord Walder has all his creature comforts and the rest of the family should be thankful to have food and whatever he deigns to give them.

But that is not the case. We know his Symond's wife had multiple handmaidens. We know how expensive it is to make a son a knight, Lord Sunderland has seven sons and it is bankrupting him with them becoming knights.

There is zero evidence that his family are thankful to have food. That is just pure bullshit.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

Dowries and ransoms and bribes... that's probably the standard expenditure of Heads of Houses in Westeros. Hardly unique (provided that there is money to spend, of course). 

A hedonist would ignore these standards and just spend on what pleases him. The fact that Walder does not, he's the only one of Robb's Lords willing to pay the ransoms for his sons and is willing to pay a huge dowry to see his daughter married speaks that his primary concern is not about self gratification.

There is much evidence to contradict your claim that he is a hedonist, and none to support it.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

If you say so...

I don't say so, the books say so. No need to be petulant.

What part of that post do you disagree with? I'm happy to discuss it cordially with you, but please don't act like a child and just ignore it because it offers an alternative and logical reason why someone who grew up when hundreds of thousands of people had died in a short period of time may value family.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

His wives died at a fast rate though, while Walder was thriving, and when we see how he treats the current one, we can easily tell that her status is not that of a respected lady of a noble House.

How does he treat the current one?

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

She is being used and she is terrified,

She is? Please back this up.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

and we can guess what she can expect after Walder's death. (I know, Ramsay is worse, but that doesn't make Walder a caring husband.)  

Please share? What can she expect after Walder's death?

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

But that's it, they didn't manage to pass on any "ideals" to their family members. Merrett knows that after Walder is gone, Freys will be killing Freys,

No, he is saying there will likely be a power struggle and that the more distant and useless members will not be supported in the same way that Walder did.

Merret is a drunk, that is all he has done in the last 20 years. So your earlier claim that the Frey's only received food under Walder is again disproved.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

and he probably will not have a place in the family home any longer.

He probably would not, not unless he started to prove useful. Which is the same of most Houses, few Houses give their members, let alone ancillary members such a free ride that Merret has received these last 20 years.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

(And maybe he also suspects that being a Frey outside the Twins will not be the best position in this world either.)

Again, same for any noble in his positon. This is not just limited to Freys. Nobles are expected to contribute to society, Merret does not.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

Of course, Walder's regime is preferable to that, but it does not mean it is good. Merrett simply does not know better. 

Merret's reputation is as the biggest drunk in the Twins. That is through his own doing, since he failed to become a Knight he was happy to give into gluttony and excess and it is only now, with the death of Stevron, the soon to be death of his father, that he is worrying about the consequences of a life wasted and is trying o show Ryman and his sons that he is not a complete waste.

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Unfortunately, that is how he is depicted. The very first time we meet him, he boasts: 

"I'll match you son for son, and I'll still have eighteen when yours are all dead."

And:

"I'll match him son for son, and I'll still have nineteen and a half left when all of his are dead!"

How does a figure of speech show that he does not care whether they live or die?

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Why does the writer give these words (two very similar statements in the same scene) into this character's mouth the very first time we meet him?

lol he's not being literal? He is showing how many sons he has, he is not literally asking to have such a competition.

Cat has came into his home and threatened him with the army outside, he is commenting on the lack of respect he gets from the likes of the Starks, Tullys and Lannisters and shows pride in the size of his family, but he is not trying to sacrifice them.

Is that really what your take away from that chapter was?

 

19 hours ago, Julia H. said:

 

But he does use them as pawns - just ask Roslin. She is definitely used as a pawn and sacrificed to carry out the Red Wedding.

How is she sacrificed? She marries Edmure. She does not get to be Lady of Riverrun, but she is not being sacrificed.

 

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1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

He may have even improved on it. They were powerful in Dance of the Dragons and the Dunk & Egg books, but there is no indication that they were the most powerful vassal House in the Riverlands at that point.

Walder has ruled for at least half a century, he was Lord when Tywin was 10, he may have done more than maintained the status quo, which itself is not easy, many Houses fall in power regardless of their positon, but actually made them the power they are in the current series.

It seems the Freys did indeed continue their climb up, and Walder may actually have been a core ally of Aegon V at one point considering the Targaryen name of his third son, and the habit in that branch to give the children Targaryen names. Considering the fact that the Freys are upstarts it is not unlikely that he was actually supporting Egg's reforms unlike, you know, the Tullys after Celia Tully did not marry the future Jaehaerys II.

1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

Nowhere in the books does it claim or suggest that he's a hedonist, that seems to be your own head cannon not supported in the books. This is what tends to happen in fiction, protagonists are imagined to have no redeeming features.

All we can say is that Walder is a lusty fellow, not that he only cares about his own pleasures. We don't even know that he is particularly obsessed with sex to the degree that he would fail to do his duties as lord.

1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

How is it a trick? Hoster did the same in Robert's Rebellion. He ignored his lord and stayed neutral till his price was met, Cregan did the same during the Dance, demanding a payment to pick a side and still only sending a token force while he arrived when the war was over. House Tully during that conflict stayed neutral despite their promise to the late King.

Yeah, that's just the Hoster Tully's hypocrisy speaking - he betrayed his king because the rebels met his price (or whatever else was agreed between them) yet he cannot suffer that his bannerman Walder didn't jump over himself in order to support his liege lord in his treason and rebellion. Hoster had no right to demand that his vassals join in his treason.

It is all fine when the great lords deliberate and make their decisions, but when the lesser lords also demand prices or also presume to show up late or be not exactly eager to involve themselves in a struggle they don't give a damn about then they are looked down upon and are vilified.

1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

Yup. This is not that uncommon. The Baratheon brothers can barely stand each other, the Tully brothers were not speaking, the Corbray brothers dislike each other, one of the Hunter sons murdered his father and his planning on doing the same to his brother.

The Freys work actually pretty well as a family clan, and their bonds may actually have been strengthened by the universal hatred they have to face since the Red Wedding.

By comparison the Freys work better as a family than the Baratheons (which are the worst in the series), the Lannisters, the Tullys, the Greyjoys, the Martells, the Arryns, and even the Starks (if one takes into account that Sansa betrayed her father to Cersei). Only the Tyrells and the Hightowers seem to be working together as efficiently as the Freys.

And it is a great accomplishment on Walder's part to actually knit is very large family together to the degree he did. Hoster and Steffon and Tywin failed to keep much smaller families together.

1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

Not really. There is ambition and distrust in most families, but the Freys are also pretty loyal to each other, we see the Frey's reaction to the missing Frey's at White Harbor and the death of young Walder at Wintefell.

Yeah, that's significant. Also Walder's wishes to free captured offspring, pay ransom, etc. They are also collectively pissed about the Freys who died during the Red Wedding.

1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

lol come on, not he does not. He is blunt, he is not humiliating them. Again, this is the middle ages.

Yeah, a more correct description of Walder would be of the grumpy old grandpa. A man who speaks his mind to his children and grandchildren and even insults them occasionally, but who nevertheless loves and favors them all. If you are insulted by the old man it is likely a sign that he actually remembers who you are and you are not overlooked the next time when he hands out some favors.

1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

How is that 'quite probable'? What evidence from the books make that quite probable? How does that benefit Walder?

There are plenty of hacky writers who do books like this, characters are either black or white, GRRM has more nuance than that.

Yeah, even scum like Chett is written so that the reader can sympathize with him - not when he murders the girl, of course, but in principle. The author writes characters in such a way that people can identify with the characters no matter how shitty they are - that's why there is so much Jaime love (who objectively is a criminal deserving death quite a few times by the rules of this world), that's why it is fun to read Victarion chapters, that's why the overall perception of who is good and who is bad changes as the story progresses.

George would even write Euron or Ramsay in a manner that would allow people to relate to them on some level, just as we can relate to Cersei.

1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

But that is not the case. We know his Symond's wife had multiple handmaidens. We know how expensive it is to make a son a knight, Lord Sunderland has seven sons and it is bankrupting him with them becoming knights.

There is zero evidence that his family are thankful to have food. That is just pure bullshit.

Yeah, I pointed that out above. The number of knights among Walder's sons and grandsons is staggering and shows not only his wealth but also how he uses that wealth to advance his own children. He does not only have a large family, he also does his best to provide for them in a way that allows them to fulfill their potential.

1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

No, he is saying there will likely be a power struggle and that the more distant and useless members will not be supported in the same way that Walder did.

Which is actually hardly surprising. Walder is the father, grandfather, great-grandfather, etc. of them all - he doesn't feed the hypothetical children of his sister from TMK or the descendants of his uncle Ser Franklyn Frey or the descendants of his cousin Addam Frey who also showed up in TMK.

And it the same way Ryman or Edwyn are not really expected to care for their half-uncles or half-granduncles - they are not exactly close family.

But it seems clear that Walder instilled the same kind of family loyalty he himself felt in his heir Stevron. He would have taken care of them all, most likely.

1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

Merret is a drunk, that is all he has done in the last 20 years. So your earlier claim that the Frey's only received food under Walder is again disproved.

He probably would not, not unless he started to prove useful. Which is the same of most Houses, few Houses give their members, let alone ancillary members such a free ride that Merret has received these last 20 years.

Yeah, if you compare Walder-Merrett to Hoster-Brynden, Hoster-Lysa, Yohn-Robar, or Yohn-Waymar you see the difference there. To men like Merrett and Jinglebell Walder is effectively a saint.

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Posted (edited)

I stand by the previous comments, walder frey is smarter and sucessfull than most, doesn't bind himself in stupid fashion to oaths that can jeopardize his house and Family... Doesn't blindly throw himself in wars just because reasons... Maybe gone a little too far on teaching kings and traitors lessons, but overall he do the right thing according his interests and his reasons behind it.

Edited by Chancho

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7 minutes ago, Chancho said:

I stand by the previous comments, walder frey is smarter and sucessfull than most, doesn't bind himself in stupid fashion to oaths that can jeopardize his house and Family... Doesn't blindly throw himself in wars just because reasons... Maybe gone a little too far on teaching kings and traitors lessons, but overall he do the right thing according his interests and his reasons behind it.

The Red Wedding was definitely over the top. Even if Tywin had lived the mere scale of it greatly tarnished the reputation of House Frey. Even if half of Westeros or more didn't despise them after that, their fortunes would, in the long run, still decline. They would be shunned by their peers and the memory of an atrocity of that scale would fade only slowly and would never be completely forgotten.

Chances are pretty high that they would be finished within a generation or two even if nobody were to actively move against them.

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2 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

The Red Wedding was definitely over the top. Even if Tywin had lived the mere scale of it greatly tarnished the reputation of House Frey. Even if half of Westeros or more didn't despise them after that, their fortunes would, in the long run, still decline. They would be shunned by their peers and the memory of an atrocity of that scale would fade only slowly and would never be completely forgotten.

Chances are pretty high that they would be finished within a generation or two even if nobody were to actively move against them.

That could well be, but everything has to end one day... Walder wanted to being taked seriously, he wanted to prove he and his house matter and did just that... Now the future is something else, but no one can deny now that house Frey matter. When you are that old sometimes the best you can hope for is to be noticed and taked seriously.

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On 7/31/2019 at 3:33 AM, Lord Varys said:

What cases do you remember where nurture plays a (dominant) role in how a character turned out?

Arya. I don't think she was a cold little assassin in aGoT, but that it is something she turns into in order to survive in her new circumstances post-aGoT.

On 7/31/2019 at 3:33 AM, Lord Varys said:

It is not all that bad. Merrett tells us one can trust one's own full siblings at the Twins, although not the half-siblings.

You misremember, it goes: "In the Twins, you learned early that only full blood siblings could be trusted, and them not very far."

epilogue aSoS

 

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Ask yourself this in regards to the future of House Frey: Who, in their right minds, would agree to ANY marriage to the Frey's after the RW? I sure wouldn't. 

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7 hours ago, Sigella said:

Arya. I don't think she was a cold little assassin in aGoT, but that it is something she turns into in order to survive in her new circumstances post-aGoT.

Yeah, I think I mentioned her in the post where I asked the question.

7 hours ago, Sigella said:

You misremember, it goes: "In the Twins, you learned early that only full blood siblings could be trusted, and them not very far."

epilogue aSoS

Yeah, you are right there. However, do keep in mind that Merrett Frey is both a failure as well as not exactly the best or nicest Frey living at the Twins, to put it mildly. Jaime remains the pre-trauma Merrett as a bully, indicating that the boy Merrett as well as the man Merrett grew into was not exactly very popular with either his full or his half-siblings and other kin. This certainly would have influenced both his relationships with his siblings as well as his opinion of the kind of family life one can have at the Twins.

Other, nicer Freys might get along much better with their both their half-siblings and their full siblings (e.g. the Rosby-Freys two of which are Roslin and Olyvar Frey).

By the way, the fact that Lothar Frey, arguably one of the worst sons of Walder Frey, is a son of Alyssa Blackwood makes it clear that not all Blackwoods have to be 'good guys'.

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9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, I think I mentioned her in the post where I asked the question.

Yeah, you are right there. However, do keep in mind that Merrett Frey is both a failure as well as not exactly the best or nicest Frey living at the Twins, to put it mildly. Jaime remains the pre-trauma Merrett as a bully, indicating that the boy Merrett as well as the man Merrett grew into was not exactly very popular with either his full or his half-siblings and other kin. This certainly would have influenced both his relationships with his siblings as well as his opinion of the kind of family life one can have at the Twins.

Other, nicer Freys might get along much better with their both their half-siblings and their full siblings (e.g. the Rosby-Freys two of which are Roslin and Olyvar Frey).

By the way, the fact that Lothar Frey, arguably one of the worst sons of Walder Frey, is a son of Alyssa Blackwood makes it clear that not all Blackwoods have to be 'good guys'.

I agree that Merret is a type of person nobody would trust, Frey or not.

But it's kind of beside the point: "In the Twins, you learn early" is a statement about growing up there and, while I'm sure it differs from person to person, says something about the mentality there that is in line with how cold Big and Little Walder is concerning the deaths in the family, Old Walder breeding eight wives into the grave or the fact that a majority of them felt the Red Wedding being an ok thing to do.

The only nice thing we know about house Frey is that old Walder takes care of his own and that that will end when he dies and his grandson succeeds.

I admire your sunny view. I only get anxiety, greed and paranoia when trying to get the vibe of hose Frey.

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On 7/31/2019 at 7:44 AM, Bernie Mac said:

Jesus. This is the middle ages, not a commune in San Francisco.

I loved this.

And I tend to agree. Prior to the Red Wedding, Walder looked after his own better than any lord I can think of. 

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On 8/5/2019 at 11:07 PM, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

Ask yourself this in regards to the future of House Frey: Who, in their right minds, would agree to ANY marriage to the Frey's after the RW? I sure wouldn't. 

I would think that the only nobles now who would marry a Frey would be the Freys’ own vassals (Erenford, Charlton, Haigh). Of course Edwyn Frey as heir to the Twins would still be able to get a decent match with an important house, but no such luck for the other Freys.

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