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Why Lord Walder is great for the story

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Highlander was released in 1986.  I believe this the best role ever played by Clancy Brown, the Kurgan.  Kurgan's scenes contributed to Highlander's entertainment value and made it a much-loved classic film.  The actor gave the Kurgan a lot of character.  Kurgan was both menacing, funny, nutty, and smart.  


The George Martin villain is a serious, tormented soul.  There's very little humor and his villain is not having any fun.  Except Ramsay but that one doesn't have a sense of humor.  Ramsay likes to have his sick fun but he's not in any way funny.  

The Martin villain is either over the top disturbing and disgusting (Ramsay and Arya) or mentally sick and weak (Theon), or amoral( Jaime).  His best villain is Lord Walder.  Walder does bad things in reaction to bad things done to him but he has a sense of humor.  His lines are hilarious.  Martin also scatters along characters who never intended to become villains but whose actions led to tragedy (Jon Snow and Catelyn Stark) because of a fatal character defect.

A Song of Ice and Fire is all the better for it because of Lord Walder.  He is the kind of charming villain that this tale demands.  

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While I do find Walder Frey comical at times I disagree with pretty much the whole rest of your post. 

You name Arya, not only a villain, but also on the same level as Ramsay? Arya wasn't written as a villain & by no stretch of the imagination holds a candle to Ramsay. 

Theon is one of the best written characters in the series IMO but also isn't written as a villain. 

Jaime is another very well written character. He isn't amoral, he just doesn't have your morals. It's not the same. 

Out of curiosity what tragedy has been caused by Catelyn or Jon's "fatal character defect"? 

I feel like we read different books honestly. Walder only does bad things when they are done to him but it's cool because he's funny. But Arya, Jaime, & Theon are villains & Jon & Catelyn have character defects?? 

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George RR Martin is not the most creative of the fantasy authors.  His characters are not going to be creative nor witty as a result.  Tyrion is more of a sarcastic smart ass than a man of verbal wit.  GRRM is not going to be able to create a villain like Kurgan.  It's not in his bag of tricks to have the talent to do that.  

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I dunno I find Ramsay hilarious, and Roose actually, but with regards to the quote above I tend to agree, book Tyrion barely raises a smile from me whereas the supposedly humourless Stannis is the kind of comedy genius with one sentence that Tyrion wishes he was with a paragraph

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44 minutes ago, FitzChivalry Fartseer said:

I dunno I find Ramsay hilarious, and Roose actually, but with regards to the quote above I tend to agree, book Tyrion barely raises a smile from me whereas the supposedly humourless Stannis is the kind of comedy genius with one sentence that Tyrion wishes he was with a paragraph

Yes! Stannis cracks me up! 

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Posted (edited)

The recent thread about an appropriate punishment for Catelyn (for freeing Jaime in contradiction of Robb's orders) led me to think of Walder in a new light. My approach to the Catelyn question had been to return to examining the fate of Lady Darklyn, who shouldered much of the blame for the Defiance of Duskendale. Part of my thinking was that Catelyn's fate at the Red Wedding was roughly comparable to the fate of Lady Darklyn.

But I started extending the comparison and looking for more parallels between the characters and details associated with the Defiance of Duskendale and the Red Wedding. It occurred to me that there were rumors that Tywin had whispered in Darklyn's ear, persuading him to take the king as a hostage. Was his motive similar to Lord Walder's motive at the Red Wedding?

  • Tywin had been enormously let down when Aerys refused to make a match between Prince Rhaegar and Cersei Lannister - a match that Tywin and Cersei had thought was preordained. Walder was insulted and angered when Robb Stark broke his promise to marry a woman from Walder's family.
  • Walder presides over a large family that he uses as pawns in the game of thrones: arranging alliances through marriage, sending off squires and wards to serve in other noble houses, seemingly using some descendants as canon fodder or for risky solo missions in war. Tywin does similar things with nephews and cousins and bannermen.
  • Tywin waited to see who seemed to be winning before sending in Lannister bannermen to sack King's Landing and support Robert's Rebellion. Walder seems to wait to see which side offers a better deal before committing to one side or another in the War of the Five Kings.
  • Tywin is a man of few words and no humor. He seems to have engaged in minimal sexual activity to produce three offspring. (If he is sexually active, he seems to take pains to conceal his activity.) Walder, as you point out, is talkative and funny. He is also very prolific and he openly discusses his love life.
  • Tywin has a twin son and daughter who exert a lot of control over Westeros. Walder has a castle called the Twins that controls passage over the Green Fork.
  • Edited to add: The use of the song The Rains of Castamere is another significant parallel. It is the signal for the slaughter at the Red Wedding and the song tells the story of Tywin wreaking vengeance upon the noble Houses of his stepmother (or was this his former sister-in-law?) after she "overstepped" her social standing and her claim to power by taking advantage of his father's generosity. In that case, Tywin was punishing someone for marrying into his family (and for failure to repay loans). So Walder and Tywin are both seeking revenge for marriages, some that are NOT made and some that ARE made but are (in their eyes) abused.
  • Tywin's son, Jaime, eventually kills Aerys. Walder's Targaryen-named grandson, Aegon (known as Jinglebell) is killed by Catelyn at the Red Wedding. His son, Raymund Frey, then kills Catelyn. A secret Frey ally, Roose Bolton, kills the king (Robb Stark). This is not quite a parallel, of course as Tywin's descendant does the killing of the king and Walder's descendants are a "king" (Aegon) and/or do some killing but don't kill the other king (Robb). I don't know if this means the parallel comes to an end at this point, or if we would need to look at a wider comparison, such as the roles of Tywin loyalists Gregor Clegane and Amory Lorch in the killing of the royal family.

Is Walder some kind of mummer version of Tywin? Dolorous Tywin?

Edited by Seams

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I don't want Walder to die.  He's funny.  I'm on board with the novels being all the better with Walder alive.  

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On 8/19/2019 at 3:40 PM, Seams said:

The recent thread about an appropriate punishment for Catelyn (for freeing Jaime in contradiction of Robb's orders) led me to think of Walder in a new light. My approach to the Catelyn question had been to return to examining the fate of Lady Darklyn, who shouldered much of the blame for the Defiance of Duskendale. Part of my thinking was that Catelyn's fate at the Red Wedding was roughly comparable to the fate of Lady Darklyn.

But I started extending the comparison and looking for more parallels between the characters and details associated with the Defiance of Duskendale and the Red Wedding. It occurred to me that there were rumors that Tywin had whispered in Darklyn's ear, persuading him to take the king as a hostage. Was his motive similar to Lord Walder's motive at the Red Wedding?

  • Tywin had been enormously let down when Aerys refused to make a match between Prince Rhaegar and Cersei Lannister - a match that Tywin and Cersei had thought was preordained. Walder was insulted and angered when Robb Stark broke his promise to marry a woman from Walder's family.
  • Walder presides over a large family that he uses as pawns in the game of thrones: arranging alliances through marriage, sending off squires and wards to serve in other noble houses, seemingly using some descendants as canon fodder or for risky solo missions in war. Tywin does similar things with nephews and cousins and bannermen.
  • Tywin waited to see who seemed to be winning before sending in Lannister bannermen to sack King's Landing and support Robert's Rebellion. Walder seems to wait to see which side offers a better deal before committing to one side or another in the War of the Five Kings.
  • Tywin is a man of few words and no humor. He seems to have engaged in minimal sexual activity to produce three offspring. (If he is sexually active, he seems to take pains to conceal his activity.) Walder, as you point out, is talkative and funny. He is also very prolific and he openly discusses his love life.
  • Tywin has a twin son and daughter who exert a lot of control over Westeros. Walder has a castle called the Twins that controls passage over the Green Fork.
  • Edited to add: The use of the song The Rains of Castamere is another significant parallel. It is the signal for the slaughter at the Red Wedding and the song tells the story of Tywin wreaking vengeance upon the noble Houses of his stepmother (or was this his former sister-in-law?) after she "overstepped" her social standing and her claim to power by taking advantage of his father's generosity. In that case, Tywin was punishing someone for marrying into his family (and for failure to repay loans). So Walder and Tywin are both seeking revenge for marriages, some that are NOT made and some that ARE made but are (in their eyes) abused.
  • Tywin's son, Jaime, eventually kills Aerys. Walder's Targaryen-named grandson, Aegon (known as Jinglebell) is killed by Catelyn at the Red Wedding. His son, Raymund Frey, then kills Catelyn. A secret Frey ally, Roose Bolton, kills the king (Robb Stark). This is not quite a parallel, of course as Tywin's descendant does the killing of the king and Walder's descendants are a "king" (Aegon) and/or do some killing but don't kill the other king (Robb). I don't know if this means the parallel comes to an end at this point, or if we would need to look at a wider comparison, such as the roles of Tywin loyalists Gregor Clegane and Amory Lorch in the killing of the royal family.

Is Walder some kind of mummer version of Tywin? Dolorous Tywin?

The Darklyns were on a downwards trend because their port was losing to KL and Oldtown.  Financial desperation drove him to rebel.  The Freys are not financially desperate.  But the fear of losing wealth and lands motivated them to change sides.

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On 8/18/2019 at 10:33 PM, Aline de Gavrillac said:

A Song of Ice and Fire is all the better for it because of Lord Walder.  He is the kind of charming villain that this tale demands.

I don't find anything about Walder Frey charming. I am grateful for his part in this series, though. The Red Wedding was epic (not that I wanted Robb or Greywind murdered) and totally en par with the Nedheading.

I really liked the Merrett epilogue but...

Show spoilers:

Spoiler

Can't wait for the big close up picture we'll get if/when Arya infiltrates the Twins.

 

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On 8/18/2019 at 1:33 PM, Aline de Gavrillac said:

Highlander was released in 1986.  I believe this the best role ever played by Clancy Brown, the Kurgan.  Kurgan's scenes contributed to Highlander's entertainment value and made it a much-loved classic film.  The actor gave the Kurgan a lot of character.  Kurgan was both menacing, funny, nutty, and smart.  


The George Martin villain is a serious, tormented soul.  There's very little humor and his villain is not having any fun.  Except Ramsay but that one doesn't have a sense of humor.  Ramsay likes to have his sick fun but he's not in any way funny.  

The Martin villain is either over the top disturbing and disgusting (Ramsay and Arya) or mentally sick and weak (Theon), or amoral( Jaime).  His best villain is Lord Walder.  Walder does bad things in reaction to bad things done to him but he has a sense of humor.  His lines are hilarious.  Martin also scatters along characters who never intended to become villains but whose actions led to tragedy (Jon Snow and Catelyn Stark) because of a fatal character defect.

A Song of Ice and Fire is all the better for it because of Lord Walder.  He is the kind of charming villain that this tale demands.  

So glad that Highlander won the Academy Award for best movie ever made

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Walder's great for the story.I expect his demise and that of his House will be very entertaining.

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Walder Frey is a card.  His age mean he could go any minute but I do wish he will stick around and continue to fight the Starks for a long time.  He would make a good choice to replace LF as the lord of the riverlands.

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On 8/21/2019 at 12:38 PM, The Young Maester said:

Walder is gonna die of old age looking down at the Riverlands from his bed, and seeing how high his family has risen. 

And how many  dire wolves it took to carpet his large bedroom floor.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/19/2019 at 6:41 AM, FitzChivalry Fartseer said:

 the supposedly humourless Stannis is the kind of comedy genius with one sentence that Tyrion wishes he was with a paragraph


"I didn't come here to eat fruit!" Stannis fumed. (acok Catelyn iii)

Edited by trazayn

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On 8/19/2019 at 3:40 PM, Seams said:

 

  • Tywin is a man of few words and no humor. He seems to have engaged in minimal sexual activity to produce three offspring. (If he is sexually active, he seems to take pains to conceal his activity.) Walder, as you point out, is talkative and funny. He is also very prolific and he openly discusses his love life.

We know he's sexually active since Shae was in his bed in ASOS. Though I agree he keeps that stuff underwraps. 

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