Upon learning of the King in the North’s intention to cross the river in the Twins, Lord Walder Frey of House Frey makes a marriage alliance with Robb to marry one of his daughters. However, it gets destroyed when Robb marries Jeyne Westerling. Because of its strategic location at the Twins, House Frey became one of the wealthiest in the Riverlands. Its seat of power spanned from the northern Green Fork to the Trident. Because of its control over a crucial bridge, the Lord of the Freys got named Lord of the Crossing. However, they were subservient to House Tully.
House Frey Details
- Name: House Frey.
- Year Founded: Around 300 BC.
- The Seat of Power: The Twins.
- Lord’s Title: Lord of the Crossing.
- Sigil: A pair of blue towers united by a bridge across a silver field.
- Region of Power: Riverlands.
- Culture: Rivermen.
- Religion: Faith of the Seven.
- Current Ruler: Lord Walder Frey.
House Frey was founded about 600 years before A Song of Ice and Fire. It got created after a Frey man was awarded Lord status and given lands in the Riverlands. Upon becoming a noble, the Frey Lord began constructing a bridge connecting the Green Fork to the Trident. The work was so massive that it got completed during the Lord’s grandson’s time. After its completion, the grandson added wooden keeps on each side of the river. It later got called the Twins.
After the creation of the great bridge, House Frey taxed people for crossing their bridge; this led to their wealth exploding. However, even with their wealth, they remained the bannermen of House Tully, an older house ruled by the Lord of Riverrun. Even after trying to capture places like Greywater Watch, the Freys failed and remained at the Twins.
Aegon’s Conquest and the Era of the Targaryens
When Aegon Targaryen landed in Westeros, he led an army and three dragons to conquer the continent. During his conquest, House Frey rebelled against Harren the Black of Harrenhal, and swore loyalty to House Tully, the new Lords Paramour of the Trident. Later, Aegon burned Harren and his sons in his castle after he boasted that not even dragons could bring the mighty Harrenhal down. During Aegon the Uncrowned’s struggle for the Iron Throne in 43 AC, Lord Frey supported Aegon against Maegor I Targaryen, also known as Maegor the Cruel.
The Dance of the Dragons
During the Targaryen Civil War, the Dance of the Dragons, the Freys supported the blacks of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen against the Greens of King Aegon II Targaryen. Lord Forrest Frey, who had earlier asked for Rhaenyra’s hand when he was much younger, died fighting westermen in the battle of the Lakeshore.
The Tourney at Harrenhal
In 281 AC, a tourney got held by Lord Walter Whent of Harrenhal. At the event, a squire of a Frey knight attacked Howland Reed, a crannogman. During the tourney, the Knight of the Laughing Tree defeated the Frey knight and told him to teach his squire better manners.
Lord Walder Frey
After Lord Walder Frey became Lord of the Crossing, House Frey’s magnitude exploded as he conceived many children. When Lord Frey tried to get Brynden Tully to marry one of his daughters, Lord Hoster Tully rejected his offer. The Lord of Riverrun also rejected Walder’s offer to marry Edmure Tully to one of his granddaughters. When Walder got Lord Tytos Lannister to agree to his second eldest son, Emmon Frey, marrying Genna Lannister, Tywin Lannister objected.
After Robert rebelled against the throne, Lord Hoster Tully called his banners to aid the war effort. However, Lord Walder Frey arrived at the Battle of the Trident after Robert had already killed Prince Rhaegar Targaryen; this earned him the nickname ‘The Late Walder Frey.’ After Robert became King, Walder’s further plans of a wedding alliance with the Tullys get rejected. When Chett, a young boy, gets mocked by Bessa, he kills her. Walder Rivers gets sent to judge Chett, and he gets sent to the Wall.
Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire Novels
When an assassin tries to kill Bran Stark after getting thrown off a tower by Jaime Lannister, Catelyn Stark travels to King’s Landing to learn about the assassin’s knife. On discovering that Tyrion Lannister owns the knife, she travels back to Winterfell. She meets Tyrion and a band of Frey soldiers and arrests him. Upon arresting Tyrion, the Frey men travel to the Twins and deliver the news to Lord Walder Frey. When Lord Tywin Lannister begins raiding in the Riverlands, Walder delays sending troops after his liege lord calls him to war. However, he defends the Twins from the Lannisters.
When Robb Stark calls his banners, Lord Roose Bolton and the northern lords follow him to the Twins. Robb gets received by Ser Stevron Frey, Walder’s heir. Catelyn and Walder negotiate a marriage pact to bond the Starks to the Freys. He states Robb will marry one of his daughters, and Arya Stark will marry Elmar. As a symbol of their pact, Catelyn takes in Big Walder and Little Walder, two of Lord Frey’s grandchildren. With the agreement made, Lord Frey joins Robb’seffort.
When King Robert Baratheon dies, Robb splits his forces into two, giving Roose Bolton command over one-half. The Freys fight on both troops. Robb lifts the siege of Riverrun and captures Jaime Lannister. After Eddard Stark gets killed, the Freys support Robb as he becomes King in the North.
After Big and Little Walder arrive at Winterfell, they become friends with Rickon Stark. Theon Greyjoy betrays Robb and captures Winterfell. He spares the Walder boys and later stages the fake murder of Bran and his brother. Meanwhile, Ser Stevron dies after getting injured in the Battle of Oxcross.
With Robb as King, the Freys heavily support his cause, and many Frey lights, including Ryman and Black Walder, join him. Catelyn rides to negotiate with Renly Baratheon and his older brother Stannis Baratheon. However, the negotiation falls through as Renly gets killed by a shadow.
When Stannis Baratheon gets defeated by Lord Tywin Lannister and Mace Tyrell, the Freys begin losing confidence in Robb. Even with Roose marrying ‘Fat Walda,’ many state Robb should bend to the Lannisters.
After learning of her children’s death, Catelyn frees Jaime Lannister and tasks Brienne of Tarth with taking him back to King’s Landing. On the journey to the capital, the group gets ambushed, and Ser Cleos Frey gets killed. When Robb marries Jeyne Westerling, the Freys get outraged, and the alliance breaks. The Freys leave Robb but remain with Roose Bolton. When Lord Hoster Tully dies, Lothar Frey, also known as Lame Lothar, and Bastard Walder travel to Riverrun and state the term for an alliance is for Edmure to marry Roslin Frey, one of Walder’s daughters.
Robb travels to the Twins with his mother to attend Edmure’s wedding. Lord Frey and Roose betray Robb and kill him, leading to the Red Wedding. After learning of their heinous crime, the Brotherhood without Banners makes it their duty to kill the descendants of Lord Frey as revenge.
When Jaime gets sent to the Riverlands by Cersei, he meets Emmon Frey and tells him that Lord Petyr Baelish is the liege lord of the Riverlords, not him. In King’s Landing, Queen Cersei Lannister talks about Lord Wyman Manderly allying with the Lannisters.
When Frey envoys get sent to White Harbor, they suddenly go missing, and Lord Manderly denies knowing what happened to them. He later meets Ser Davos Seaworth and tells him that Rickon is alive and well. Meanwhile, Little and Big Walder become Ramsay Bolton’s squires after he destroys Winterfell. After the disappearance of the Frey envoy, Roose gets blamed, leading to tensions between both sides.
Relevance in Adaptations
In HBO’s Game of Thrones, House Frey was a crucial player in the politics of Westeros. After the Late Lord Frey betrayed Robb Stark, the North lost its power against the Lannisters. However, Arya later got revenge by killing Walder and his heirs.
House Freys: The House of Betrayers
House Frey is one of the most dishonorable houses in A Song of Ice and Fire. It did not only kill its King but also tarnished its image by violating the guest’s rights, a series of laws that ensure guests got protected by their host. Besides bringing shame to itself, Lord Walder Frey was a terrible lord who cared for no one except himself. His crazy desire for power led to him destroying the delicate political balance of the North.
What happened after House Frey betrayed the Starks?
After the Freys betrayed Robb Stark, they became the scorn of everyone in the North. The Brotherhood without Banners began killing the heirs of House Frey. With the disappearance of their emissaries, the Freys and Boltons start blaming each other for their misfortunes.
What happened to Lord Walder Frey?
Walder Frey remains alive throughout the first five books of A Song of Ice and Fire. Though his house gets dishonored, its influence grows with the creation of House Lannister of Darry. In the tv series, he gets killed by Arya Stark.
Why did House Frey betray the Starks?
The Frey betrayed Robb for many reasons, but the primary reason was that they believed he had lost already. When Robb killed Lord Rickard Karstark, the Karstarks abandoned his cause, and with Tywin Lannister’s victory over Stannis Baratheon, everyone realized the Starks had lost.
Did the Freys have no honor for killing Robb?
Because Lord Walder Frey was an evil cold man who kept spite, he had no remorse for killing Robb, his guest, and King. Upon killing him, he violated the guests’ rights.