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James Steller

On the subject of Walder Frey's loyalty (and lack thereof)

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1 minute ago, James Steller said:

Again, I know Tyrion does monstrous things during the events of the books, but I believe they are a result of a truly deplorable childhood. And don't tell me that he should have been fine just because he was part of a wealthy house. He had no friends, only a few people who were ever nice to him, and again, Tywin forced him to have sex with his wife after making him watch the household guards use her, and I dread to imagine the emotional state Tysha must have been in at the time. Tyrion's clearly got severe PTSD from that experience alone, and then when Jaime admitted the full truth, it broke him so that yes, he was sexually assaulting slaves, abusing other dwarfs like Penny. This isn't a case of Tyrion being born a monster. I don't condone his actions, but I do pity him; he could have been such a better person. He could have been happy with Tysha if his father hadn't been such a horrible human being. And yes, the society is messed up, but Tywin goes beyond the norm. 

Does he not have friends because no people were ever nice to him? Or does he not have actual friends because he can't make any. Troughout the books there is absolutely no one - save family that Tyrion can think of as a friend, and as someone who likes him. If a man, however bad, can't make friends it's a huge red flag about his personality. 

Such experience would shake others out of prostitutes and sex. Instead he jumps full on into it, seeing every woman as a whore who'd spread her legs for coin. He decides to spite his father with ill behavior from then on, then complain when his father is not impressed with him and begging him on knees to take over Casterly rock.

He could have been happy with Tysha? Would he tho? Would she look at him if he weren't a Lannister Lord and heir, followed by his handsome dashing brother at every corner. If he was a beggar dwarf garbed in rags? Tysha was a child impressed by chivalry and gold into doing something insane. If Tyrion had half a mind of his own he'd never look at her and spared her the suffering. 

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6 minutes ago, Hrulj said:

Does he not have friends because no people were ever nice to him? Or does he not have actual friends because he can't make any. Troughout the books there is absolutely no one - save family that Tyrion can think of as a friend, and as someone who likes him. If a man, however bad, can't make friends it's a huge red flag about his personality. 

Such experience would shake others out of prostitutes and sex. Instead he jumps full on into it, seeing every woman as a whore who'd spread her legs for coin. He decides to spite his father with ill behavior from then on, then complain when his father is not impressed with him and begging him on knees to take over Casterly rock.

He could have been happy with Tysha? Would he tho? Would she look at him if he weren't a Lannister Lord and heir, followed by his handsome dashing brother at every corner. If he was a beggar dwarf garbed in rags? Tysha was a child impressed by chivalry and gold into doing something insane. If Tyrion had half a mind of his own he'd never look at her and spared her the suffering. 

This is pointless. Neither of you know what Tysha was really like, and you never will. Jaime and Tyrion both think she was the genuine article, Tywin thought she was a social climbing whore, but it’s unprovable either way. 
 

Anyway, wasn’t this supposed to be about Walder Frey?

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Perhaps Walder’s wealth combined with whatever upbringing he had led him to believe he was entitled to some superior treatment from his lord. 
 

While it would make sense for a Lord to retain blood ties to vassals and peers, particularly ones who strengthen it, there are issues with this:

-Walder has a ton of progeny, who in turn by and large have multiple children each. This dilutes the value of any marriage pacts. Not to mention, not having a marriage pact with the first son or his son will remove realistic potential of being part of the ruling line. Also makes any potential fighting over inheritance more chaotic.

-There are other wealthy bannermen with longer lineages and potentially comparable wealth. Bracken, Mooten, Blackwood, Darry, Mallister, etc. Freys are strong but they aren’t anything particularly special, unless you plan to routinely ferry Northern armies in and out.

-Sets a bad precedent in a feudal and honor based society to essentially prostitute your house to a wealthy buyer. Only in desperate times do houses seem to do this.

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14 minutes ago, nyser1 said:

Perhaps Walder’s wealth combined with whatever upbringing he had led him to believe he was entitled to some superior treatment from his lord. 
 

While it would make sense for a Lord to retain blood ties to vassals and peers, particularly ones who strengthen it, there are issues with this:

-Walder has a ton of progeny, who in turn by and large have multiple children each. This dilutes the value of any marriage pacts. Not to mention, not having a marriage pact with the first son or his son will remove realistic potential of being part of the ruling line. Also makes any potential fighting over inheritance more chaotic.

-There are other wealthy bannermen with longer lineages and potentially comparable wealth. Bracken, Mooten, Blackwood, Darry, Mallister, etc. Freys are strong but they aren’t anything particularly special, unless you plan to routinely ferry Northern armies in and out.

-Sets a bad precedent in a feudal and honor based society to essentially prostitute your house to a wealthy buyer. Only in desperate times do houses seem to do this.

Does Hoster treat Mallisters, Whents, Pipers, Vances and others the same way he treats Freys? 

If he does not how does demanding equal treatment somehow translate into superior treatment?

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14 minutes ago, Hrulj said:

Does Hoster treat Mallisters, Whents, Pipers, Vances and others the same way he treats Freys? 

If he does not how does demanding equal treatment somehow translate into superior treatment?

We only know of this existing since the Trident and well as far as loyalties, honor, and marriages are concerned - by this time Walder is the one who needs to make up for it. What exactly does Hoster owe him? The Freys not showing up quite literally could have cost him his head.

 

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1 hour ago, nyser1 said:

We only know of this existing since the Trident and well as far as loyalties, honor, and marriages are concerned - by this time Walder is the one who needs to make up for it.

We are told that Hoster always resented Walder, due to his close ties to the Westerlands. This was not a development due to Robert's Rebellion. A war that Hoster himself joined late.

1 hour ago, nyser1 said:

 

What exactly does Hoster owe him?

Respect. Hoster and his children continually mocking him is just dumb, it was always going to bite the Tullys in the ass.

The Tullys are not the most powerful Lords in their own realm, they can't afford to treat their vassals poorly. This is like the Targareyns once they lost the Dragons treating some of their most powerful Lords like shit. Aerys defeat was inevitable due to him not treating the Lannisters with the respect they deserved.

1 hour ago, nyser1 said:

 

 

The Freys not showing up quite literally could have cost him his head.

 

You have just answered your own question why Hoster should have shown more respect to his most powerful vassal.

The Feudal contract is a two way pact.

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1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

We are told that Hoster always resented Walder, due to his close ties to the Westerlands. This was not a development due to Robert's Rebellion. A war that Hoster himself joined late.

Respect. Hoster and his children continually mocking him is just dumb, it was always going to bite the Tullys in the ass.

The Tullys are not the most powerful Lords in their own realm, they can't afford to treat their vassals poorly. This is like the Targareyns once they lost the Dragons treating some of their most powerful Lords like shit. Aerys defeat was inevitable due to him not treating the Lannisters with the respect they deserved.

You have just answered your own question why Hoster should have shown more respect to his most powerful vassal.

The Feudal contract is a two way pact.

I do not recall reading about his resentment for him being tied to the Westerlands, but marrying into another Lord Paramount's house (someone of equal ranking and a rival to your own Lord) should and would not earn him any favors. 

 

Hoster joined it late? He was at the Battle of the Bells, this is factually wrong. If he is late, so are Ned Stark and Jon Arryn.

 

You are correct that it is a two way street. However, it sounds like it was absent from the Frey side, even political manuevering  (first three wives from outside of the Riverlands and marrying into the Lannister mainline). This plus not showing up when it matters when you feudal obligations are called for - cannot expect to be put on a pedestal or offered a marriage. 

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14 minutes ago, nyser1 said:

I do not recall reading about his resentment for him being tied to the Westerlands, but marrying into another Lord Paramount's house (someone of equal ranking and a rival to your own Lord) should and would not earn him any favors. 

Cat points it out

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"Some men take their oaths more seriously than others, Robb. And Lord Walder was always friendlier with Casterly Rock than my father would have liked."

No one claimed it should earn him any favors. Why create a strawman argument, no one made. No one is suggesting that Hoster should treat Walder more special than his other bannermen, but he should treat him the same,

14 minutes ago, nyser1 said:

 

Hoster joined it late? He was at the Battle of the Bells, this is factually wrong. If he is late, so are Ned Stark and Jon Arryn.

Before the Battle of the Bells there was the Gulltown, multiple battles in the Stormlands, a battle in the Reach and then Robert attacked in the Riverlands. Only after the marriages did Hoster get involved.

Jon Arryn fought in the very first battle, at Gulltown. Ned went home to raise his banners. Both started at the start of the war. Hoster only when he got his price

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"Father, I know what you did." She was no longer an innocent bride with a head full of dreams. She was a widow, a traitor, a grieving mother, and wise, wise in the ways of the world. "You made him take her," she whispered. "Lysa was the price Jon Arryn had to pay for the swords and spears of House Tully."

Tell me how I'm factually incorrect?

14 minutes ago, nyser1 said:

 

You are correct that it is a two way street. However, it sounds like it was absent from the Frey side,

Evidence for this? Did Walder smack talk how Hoster sold out his Lord for the price offered by Arryn?

We are told of Hoster and Cat belittling the Freys to other people. Now maybe the Freys did that as well, but we so no evidence of it.

14 minutes ago, nyser1 said:

 

even political manuevering  (first three wives from outside of the Riverlands and marrying into the Lannister mainline).

lol what are you talking about? Hoster married his two daughters to outside of the Riverlands.

14 minutes ago, nyser1 said:

 

This plus not showing up when it matters when you feudal obligations are called for

Much like Hoster with the Targs, no?

There are duel feudal obligations at play here. It is a bit more for complicated that you seem to be suggesting. Walder is breaking his feudal contract no matter which side he supports.

14 minutes ago, nyser1 said:

 

- cannot expect to be put on a pedestal or offered a marriage. 

Again, complete and utter strawman. Why are you not even attempting to respond in good faith?

Where do you think I claimed he needed to be put on a pedestal or even have a marriage offer?

 

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8 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Cat points it out

No one claimed it should earn him any favors. Why create a strawman argument, no one made. No one is suggesting that Hoster should treat Walder more special than his other bannermen, but he should treat him the same,

Before the Battle of the Bells there was the Gulltown, multiple battles in the Stormlands, a battle in the Reach and then Robert attacked in the Riverlands. Only after the marriages did Hoster get involved.

Jon Arryn fought in the very first battle, at Gulltown. Ned went home to raise his banners. Both started at the start of the war. Hoster only when he got his price

Tell me how I'm factually incorrect?

Evidence for this? Did Walder smack talk how Hoster sold out his Lord for the price offered by Arryn?

We are told of Hoster and Cat belittling the Freys to other people. Now maybe the Freys did that as well, but we so no evidence of it.

lol what are you talking about? Hoster married his two daughters to outside of the Riverlands.

Much like Hoster with the Targs, no?

There are duel feudal obligations at play here. It is a bit more for complicated that you seem to be suggesting. Walder is breaking his feudal contract no matter which side he supports.

Again, complete and utter strawman. Why are you not even attempting to respond in good faith?

Where do you think I claimed he needed to be put on a pedestal or even have a marriage offer?

 

1. Congratulations on pointing out that Cat believed her father resented Walder for close connections with the Westerlands. I gave my reasoning as to why it might tick off the Tullys. 

2. These aren’t straw arguments. You can rattle on about what Hoster owes Walder in theoretical feudalism and Hoster’s own potential hypocrisy marrying outside the regions. Feudalism is a two way street but not an equal street. For example, the Lord retains the higher rank, theoretically has more power overall because said lord has plural vassals. As for the marriages, yes this could make Hoster a hypocrite. However, I would counter that the alliances were created before the rebellion, Ned took Brandon’s spot. 
 

3. We still have no concrete evidence (none you have presented) that Hoster looked down upon Walder prior to the Trident. Yes, Walder had to choose an obligation. Well by choosing not to help the winning side there are consequences. Given personalities such as Tywin and Stannis, perhaps he should consider himself fortunate that not having Hoster attend weddings and being called the Late Walder Frey are what he gets.

It’s a book universe written by neither of us with the both of us considering & applying real world history and systems to our opinions. You may not like my answers but insisting they are in bad faith is ridiculous. I’m not George so I don’t pretend to know the answers, these are my opinions. I’m not responding to that sort of rhetoric beyond the time spent here. Good day.

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4 hours ago, nyser1 said:

1. Congratulations on pointing out that Cat believed her father resented Walder for close connections with the Westerlands. I gave my reasoning as to why it might tick off the Tullys. 

So? That is not on Walder.

If Hoster is worried that his most powerful vassal has closer ties to Casterly Rock than Riverrun then the solution to that is not to start publicly mocking that Lord. That is just dumb.

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2. These aren’t straw arguments.

They certainly are. Want to quote when I said Walder should be put on a pedestal?

You made a strawman argument. I said the Freys should be treated with respect, you instead answered that they don't deserve to be put on a pedestal. That is a complete misrepresentation of my position and it seems incredibly dishonest that you can't even admit to that.

 

Edited by Stubby
Abusive comment removed.

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2 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

Respect. Hoster and his children continually mocking him is just dumb, it was always going to bite the Tullys in the ass.

Agree, never understood why Hoster didn't patch things up with him and marry Edmund with one of his  granddaughters. 

When did his kids mock him tho??

 

47 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Before the Battle of the Bells there was the Gulltown, multiple battles in the Stormlands, a battle in the Reach and then Robert attacked in the Riverlands. Only after the marriages did Hoster get involved.

Jon Arryn fought in the very first battle, at Gulltown. Ned went home to raise his banners. Both started at the start of the war. Hoster only when he got his price

I don't think that this is comparable to what Walder pulled in the Robellion. Highlords only joining when their price is met is certainly common, no one really faults Walder for fleecing the Starks, no one really questions the Reach lords and there was a bidding war to gain the support of the undecided great lords during the Dance of Dragons. 

The problem with Walder is not that he joined late, but the he jump in when the war was decided claiming to  having a rebel heart all along, it's the same reason why Ned despises the Lannisters, among other things. It matters little how early or why  Hoster joined,  Hoster joined when everything was in the balance and he risked everything regardless, he commited to a side.  

For putting an historical example, in the last days of the German occupation in France, as towns and cities started to be liberated, there was a huge influx of people who suddenly felt like joining the Resistance to be hail like heroes, this led to the veterans of the Resistance to mock them calling the "Forces of septembre". As they were only joining once the outcome is clear. It's certainly understandable why Hoster, or anyone really, would distrust or despise the man.

 

@James Steller

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Do you think it would have changed anything in the main story if Hoster, and by his example, the other riverlords, had shown less snobbery towards Walder?

Nor particularly imo, regardless of niceties, Walder is a snake. He would have tried to get that Robb's betrothal, at the very least, and the latter would have got Jeyned'd anyway so...

My two cents anyway.

 

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On the one hand, Walder deliberately didn't fight for the rebels during Robert's Rebellion,

He sat on their thumbs during the war and joined the victor's side.  Bad look.

 

@Hugorfonics

 

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Hoster Tully should have shown a lot of people more respect (Lysa, Peter, Jon A, Tywin/Tyrion)

His brother only and maybe Lysa, although i don't really know what she expected for that.

I don't really see how he disrespected those other dudes.

 

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Idk if the origin story is the revolting part, Walder fronts like it is, that his house is upjumped and not ancient so Stark and look down their cold noses at em, but they don't do that with Tully or even Bailish. I think its just classical jealousy of thou shall envy your rich neighbor. 

Petyr is very much derided by his birth. both a curse and a blessing, for example  IIRC, Jaime thinks that he should be Hand because his so lowborn to be a threat to anyone.

The Tullys are an ancient house.

 

 

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On 9/3/2021 at 7:55 PM, Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe said:

I would love to read more on a young lord Frey. I see him as a shy young man who blushes and stutters around women. Treasuring ever woman no matter their birth as a Queen. Until he has a run in with a Crakehall. :) 

My third wife was a Crakehall, all of the Crakehall women are sluts. Well, never mind about that, she died before you were born, what do you care?

Walder was a little boy when the Butterwells lost 9/10 of their wealth for supporting and aiding the Blackfyres. Lord Bloodraven passed the sentence. The Frey family were almost punished for getting involved with the rebels. We can sympathize with the adult Walder for exercising caution before supporting rebels.  

Walder's late arrival in battle is not proof of having a shortage of honor. It's also unfair to expect him to easily rebel against Aerys. 

Refusal to provide further support after Robb:s betrayal was not enough. Edmure is not going to forgive Walder despite Robb being wrong. 

 

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I've wondered if Hoster's dislike is rooted in Walder's philandering (Catelyn says that Hoster isn't the type who would sire bastards) and rearing of his bastards, which he passed along to Catelyn. Walder raises his bastards in his castle like Ned Stark, is it possible that this practice is something that Hoster said to Catelyn that would be unbecoming of a lord, which factors into her treatment of Jon?

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2 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

I've wondered if Hoster's dislike is rooted in Walder's philandering (Catelyn says that Hoster isn't the type who would sire bastards) and rearing of his bastards, which he passed along to Catelyn. Walder raises his bastards in his castle like Ned Stark, is it possible that this practice is something that Hoster said to Catelyn that would be unbecoming of a lord, which factors into her treatment of Jon?

Excellent observation. It looks like the Tullys were the arrogant, snobbish types.

 Hoster looked down on Walder for marrying often and later, girls who were much younger.  Hoster isn’t any better. He forced an abortion on his daughter and married her to the aged Jon Arryn.  

Upstart can be looked at in different ways. The Tullys were not always the head house of the river lands.  The Freys actually accomplished a great, multigenerational project by building a bridge.  The Tullys just lived off their peasants.  
 

 

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On 9/6/2021 at 10:08 AM, Canon Claude said:

This is pointless. Neither of you know what Tysha was really like, and you never will. Jaime and Tyrion both think she was the genuine article, Tywin thought she was a social climbing whore, but it’s unprovable either way. 
Anyway, wasn’t this supposed to be about Walder Frey?

Tyrion paid her a gold dragon for sex and then divorced her.

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Obviously, open mockery and general disrespect towards your vassals or anyone you may have dealings with is not a good kind of policy anywhere, and Hoster could have used the advice of a psychologist / P.R. manager in many respects. Yet, if Dunk wanted to throw little Walder down a well, it is strong indication to me that many of Walder's faults were due to personality rather than created by the hardships he endured in his long life.

While Hoster could have been less openly disdainful towards Freys in general, I can't fault him for not marrying one of his children into House Frey. When a daughter of House Tully and the heir to the Lord of Winterfell get married, it is as good a long-term alliance as you can get in Westeros, because the families are small and it is likely that they will stick together. Both Hoster and Stark had children by one wife only, so no competing "subfamilies" in House Tully or House Stark to start with.

Now, when you marry a Frey... The fact is that there are Freys in many families. Look at Walder boasting that he can match your sons one by one and still have a lot of remaining sons. This, he presents as his strength, but it also means that many of his children and grandchildren are disposable, if necessary, due to their large number. Not to mention the constant competition and rivalry among the cousins coming from female lines of varying degrees of respectability. 

When the W5K started, Walder was persuaded into an alliance with House Stark despite the fact that he already had a son married into House Lannister. If Edmure had already had a Frey wife by then, it would have been clear from the start that some Freys would be abandoned by Walder in the enemy camp. Now, having a daughter married to the Tully heir could have been more advantageous for House Frey than the marriage to a Lannister woman, but if Tywin had really wanted a Frey alliance, do you think he could not have promised something that was at least as good? Either way, both in the case of a (hypothetical) Tully marriage and the actual marriage contract with the Starks, in  a war between Starks and Lannisters, Walder was to sacrifice at least one of the marriage alliances he had made (and probably many more). 

Walder Frey does not behave like a vassal during the war but like an independent player, one who has married as many children / grandchildren into various noble houses as he could. And that practically means he has been making political alliances left, right and centre. Who would take such an ally seriously, who would trust him? And that is one reason why a Frey marriage has little value. Tywin himself was outraged when his sister was promised to a Frey, and in the end, he was right - it wasn't his sister's marriage to a Frey that ensured House Frey's alliance for House Lannister, but the fact that the Lannisters appeared to be the stronger side. 

The marriage pact with Robb basically meant that the real long-term commitment was exclusively on Robb's side. The marriage was to take place after the war - i.e., after Robb had won the war. A defeated Robb was to be either dead or a prisoner, or on the run, and in no position to get married. By that time, House Frey would have long gone over to the Lannister side even if Robb had not broken his promise, I'm quite sure about that. After Theon took Winterfell and Stannis lost his battle, Walder could tell that no Frey girl would become the Queen-in-the-North in his lifetime, and, based on his previous actions, he would have wanted to get out of that alliance as soon as he could. That Robb broke his promise actually came in quite handy to him, as a way of saving face; but I wonder how long he had been negotiating with the Lannisters as well - just in case.

So, I don't think the riverlords (including Hoster) being kinder to House Frey would have considerably changed Walder's choices. He wanted to marry off his offspring into noble houses, but his commitment to any alliance only lasted while it was truly advantageous for him. 

Edited by Julia H.

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Walder Frey is a prickly man who sees insults where no insult was meant. It doesn't matter how well you treat a man like that. He'll always take offence at something and hold a grudge against you for it. He's also grasping and has an inflated opinion of himself. These are not qualities you want in a vassal.

As Julia H. explained very nicely, a marriage alliance with the Freys has limited value. Moreover, if the only way to keep one of your vassals loyal is to marry into them then your vassal is too powerful. By agreeing to a marriage you are essentially admitting that (look what happened when the Tullys did finally marry into the Freys).

Walder's late arrival during Robert's Rebellion gave Hoster the perfect excuse to limit his power by taking some land off him. Hoster also had the backing of powerful allies at this point. It really doesn't matter that Walder also owed fealty to the Targs as well. This isn't about fairness. By arriving late, he proved that he was not loyal to the Tullys, which is all the Tullys should care about. If they hadn't been as powerful, the Freys mightn't have been in a position to make demands of the Starks and Tullys in the War of the Five Kings.

Try to appease a man like Walder Frey and you just make yourself look weak. No matter how much you give him, he'll always want more.

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