Lord Walder Frey is the head of House Frey and the Lord of the Crossing. Famous for having many children, the old lord remained active in the governance of his house even at 90. With more than seven wives and an unknown number of children, both true borns and bastards, Walder became the center of attention as his children struggled for his attention and favor.
Personal Details about Walder Frey
- Name: Walder Frey
- Year of Birth: 208 AC at the Twins.
- Titles: Lord of the Crossing.
- Culture: Rivermen.
- Aliases: The Late Lord Frey, Old Frey, Lord Grandfather.
- Religion: Faith of the Seven.
- Wives: Perra Royce, Cyrenna Swann, Amarei Crakehall, Alyssa Blackwood, Sarya Whent, Bethany Rosby, Annara Farring, Joyeuse Erenford.
- Children: Stevron Frey, Emmon Frey, Aenys Frey, Perriane Frey, Jared Frey, Luceon Frey, Hosteeen Frey, Lythene Frey, Symond Frey, Danwell Frey, Merrett Frey, Geremy Frey, Raymund Frey, Lothar Frey, Jammos Frey, Whalen Frey, Morya Frey, Tyta Frey, Perwyn Frey, Willamen Frey, Olyvar Frey, Roslin Frey, Arwyn Frey, Wendel Frey, Colmar Frey, Waltyr Frey, Elmar Frey, Shirei Frey.
- Other Children: Walder, Melwys Rivers, Jeyne Rivers, Martyn Rivers, Ryger Rivers, Ronel Rivers, Mellara Rivers.
- Allegiance: House Frey.
Appearance and Personality
Walder Frey has a bald spotted head and a frail statue. As a man of ninety years, he is feeble with age and has no teeth. Many consider him to look like a vulture. However, he comes off as having more resemblance to a weasel. He has a receding chin with loose skin, cloudy eyes, and skinny shoulders, and because of old age, he can no longer stand without support.
Walder is a cautious man with blunt manners and a sharp tongue. He is ambitious, ill-tempered, and irritable and only supports causes he believes will succeed. He is easy to offend and usually keeps grudges for a long time. Many Freys name their sons Walder, and their daughters Walda in hope that he favours them.
Serving as a bannerman and former vassal house to the Tullys, Walder got the nickname, Late Lord Frey, from his liege lord, Lord Hoster Tully, for coming to the Battle of the Trident late, and though he hated the nickname, it stuck. Walder placed value on family loyalty, but his descendants squabbled for power. When the War of the Five Kings began, he eventually switched sides to support Tywin Lannister, and his betrayal destroyed the north.
Walder is depicted as a very cold and uncaring man. When Catelyn Stark has a knife to Walder’s wife’s throat, Walder shrugs and coldly retorts that he will find another wife, without a second thought.
Walder Frey lived during the era of great people like Ser Duncan the Tall. As a toddler, he found his sister having sexual relations with a servant and caused her to get married to Lord Ambrose Butterwell at Whitehalls. Even as a child, he was considered to be an annoying person by Duncan, who once contemplated throwing him into a well. As a man, Walder maintained his annoyance streak and only grew irritable and sharp-tongued. He tried wedding his second song, Emmon, to Lord Tytos Lannister’s daughter, Genna. However, the young Tywin Lannister prevented the marriage from happening.
When Robert Baratheon started Robert’s Rebellion, the Tullys sided with him and called their banners to war. However, Walder and his levies arrived at the Battle of the Trident after the rebels had won; this earned him the nickname; the Late Lord Frey. For arriving late to the battle, Lord Jon Arryn refused to foster Walder’s grandsons, and Hoster Tully denied a Frey bride for his son, Edmure Tully. Hoster also did not attend Walder’s wedding to his seventh wife.
Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire
A Game of Thrones
After Catelyn Stark travels to King’s Landing to meet her husband, Eddard stark, and tell him about Bran’s attempted assassination, she returns home and, on the journey, arrives at the crossroads inn. She learns that Walder Frey plans on marrying his eighth wife on his ninetieth name day. Later, Catelyn meets Tyrion Lannister at the inn and orders that he gets arrested for the attempted murder of Bran Stark. The Frey Captain reports back to Walder about Catelyn’s action.
When Catelyn takes Tyrion into custody, his father, Tywin Lannister, calls his bannermen and begins raiding the Riverlands. Lord Hoster Tully falls sick and becomes bedridden, and his son, Edmure, becomes the acting head of the house. As the Lord Paramount of the Trident, Edmure calls his banners to war against the Lannisters, and the Freys gather their army. While Edmure fights Ser Jaime Lannister at Riverrun, Walder calls his men to arms, but Edmure gets defeated and later captured.
When Robb Stark becomes King in the North, he realizes that the Twins is a crucial strategic route for the war and negotiates marriage contracts with Walder using Lady Catelyn. Robb agrees to marry one of Walder’s daughters and wed Arya Stark to Walder’s youngest son when the war ends. Walder’s grandsons, Little Walder and Big Walder get sent to Winterfell as wards, and Olyvar becomes Robb’s squire.
A Clash of Kings
At the Battle of Oxcross, Walder’s heir, Stevron, gets killed. The Freys continue fighting for Robb Stark. Lord Roose Bolton marries one of Walder’s granddaughters, Walda Frey, as the lord had promised to pay Roose silver in the weight of his granddaughter. The War of the Five Kings continues, and Renly Baratheon rises to claim the Iron Throne. Tragedy strikes as Renly lose his life to Stannis Baratheon’s fire priestess, Melisandre.
A Storm of Swords
Word gets to Walder that Robb stark has married Jeyne Westerling, breaking an oath, and in anger, Ser Ryman Frey withdraws House Frey’s army from the king. Walder sends his sons Lame Lothar and Black Walder to seek a renegotiation, and because Edmure got prevented from marrying one of Walder’s daughters, Robb makes new marriage pacts to wed him to Roslin Frey.
Walder agrees to the new terms, but unknown to Robb, he secretly connives with Lord Tywin Lannister and Bolton. When Robb attends the wedding of Edmure as a guest, Walder breaches the code of hospitality, and on the wedding night, a massacre, which will be known as the Red Wedding, ensues. Walder swears loyalty to Joffrey, and his second son, Emmon, becomes the lord of Riverrun. Later, Merrett and Petyr Frey get hanged by the Brotherhood without Banners at Oldstones.
A Feast for Crows
After Robb and Catelyn’s death, Walder Frey sends ravens to King’s Landing, claiming several lands. Ser Daven Lannister, the warden of the west, gets promised to a Frey girl as an agreement for helping Tywin defeat Robb. Walder gets criticized by the sparrows for killing his guests. Later, his son and new heir, Ryman, gets hanged while returning from the siege of Riverrun, and Jaime tells Walder Rivers to hand over the captives taken by the Freys during the Red Wedding. Meanwhile, Edmure gets tasked by Jaime to make his uncle give up Riverrun for the sake of his unborn child, and the castle eventually falls to Jaime.
A Dance with Dragons
After his heir’s death, Walder Frey agrees to a marriage alliance between his grandsons and Lord Wyman Manderly’s granddaughters. Walder sends 1400 soldiers under the command of his sons, Ser Aenys and Ser Hosteen, with Roose Bolton, Warden of the North. Later, Little Walder is found dead in Winterfell.
Appearance in Adaptations
In HBO’s Game of Thrones, Walder Frey’s character got portrayed by David Bradley. He appeared in seasons 1, 3, 6, and 7 and starred in 6 episodes. After Walder’s proposal gets nullified by Robb’s wedding to Talisa, he conspires and kills the king and his mother. However, Arya avenges her brother by slitting his throat after feeding him his progeny.
Walder Frey: The Cold Lord
Walder Frey’s character is one of the most hated in A Song of Ice and Fire because he violated the trust and laws of accommodation. He soiled his name by killing his guests; this eventually led to more trouble for him as many of his sons died. Though Walder Frey is a minor character, he plays the most impactful role that changes the tides of the War of the Five Kings.
Does Walder Frey die in the books?
No. Walder Frey is still alive in A Song of Ice and Fire. Though he got killed by Arya in the show, in the book, he arrests Edmure, who gets taken to Casterly Rock with Roslin Frey.
Who’s worse, Balon Greyjoy or Walder Frey?
Though it will be tough to choose who is worse based on their character, Walder Frey is slightly a worse human than Balon. His complete disregard for people makes him a cruel human. Though Balon is a terrible person, he still cares for his people.
Why did Walder Frey betray Robb?
The reasons for Walder’s betrayal were hatred, malice, and ambition. As he held onto grudges, he fostered hatred towards the Tullys and Starks for looking down on him, and when Robb broke his marriage oath, Walder saw it as a breach of trust and decided to get revenge.
Why did Walder Frey have so many children?
Walder had many children because he married many wives and always believed that the person with the most son won. He kept having children even in his 80s.