Characters: Game Of Thrones House Frey
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: "Expect nothing of Walder Frey and you'll never be surprised."
Catelyn Stark: "'More Pride than Honor'; those should be the words of House Frey."
Catelyn Stark: "The Late Lord Frey" my father calls him. At the Trident, he didn't appear until the battle was done. Some men take their oaths more seriously than others."
A noble house of the Riverlands, and probably the Tullys most important vassal, though they are less than scrupulous in discharging their feudal obligations to their nominal overlord, and often ignore their duties in service of their own interests. Their castle(s) is known as the Twins, a very strategic bridge-fortress across the Green Fork river. In the aftermath of the Red Wedding and House Tully's downfall, House Frey has taken all of House Tully's former titles, including the Lordship of Riverrun. However, the Lordship Paramount of the Riverlands is in dispute between House Frey and Petyr Baelish, who was given Harrenhal and (formally) the Lordship Paramount, but is too disinterested to actually rule either, making Walder Frey de facto
- Adapted Out/Pragmatic Adaptation: While it's known that Lord Walder has a number of great-grandchildren (to his elder children, at least), the characters who were identified (in the books) as such have been either unmentioned, or changed in terms of their relation to him (eg: Black Walder changed from a great-grandson to a bastard son; great-granddaughter Marianne Vance becoming granddaughter Marianne Frey).
- This is likely done to conserve detail and to not confuse viewers - since the generations have been condensed in the show (for similar reasons of detail preservation), the expectation is that even elderly Lord Walder (90+) will not have any great-grandchildren who have reached adulthood. It's also so that the categorisation is simplified among named character, so Black Walder becomes just another bastard son (instead of a great-grandchild), and Marianne a grandchild with the Frey surname (to avoid naming countless minor houses).
- Bad Job, Worse Uniform: As if being a descendant of Walder Frey isn't bad enough, the signature clothing item of House Frey is apparently that really stupid leather aviator's cap-like hat, sported by Black Walder and several other Frey bannermen.
- The Clan
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: They are an infamously untrustworthy bunch, though only in a passive, greedy, self-interested way. Until it goes batshit active in "The Rains of Castamere", when they side with the Lannisters to massacre the Tullys and the Starks.
- According to the History of Lore videos for House Frey, Catelyn Tully noted that Lord Hoster Tully called Walder Frey "the late Lord Frey" partly because he suspected him to be hedging his bets and preserving his forces so that if the Targaryens defeated Robert on the Trident, Frey would then open their gates in exchange for being Lord of Riverrun.
- Due to the Dead: The bad guy facet of the trope: they decapitate Robb, attach Grey Wind's head on the stump and parade it around chanting "The King In the North" as mockery. And people say the Wildlings are the savages...
- Early in Season 4, Sansa mentions to Tyrion that they also stripped Lady Catelyn of all her clothes and threw her into the Trident - again a mockery of funerary rites, in this case House Tully's Viking Funeral tradition (where a boat is sent downstream with an burning arrow fired upon it). Yup, what charming people the Freys seem to be.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Fully shown in the Red Wedding. Up until then, the Freys only acted selfishly and spitefully but were technically a vassal of the Tullys, and a nominal ally. When the massacre begins, the Freys in the hall start stabbing everyone around them like savages. The final episode also shows them maiming the Stark soldiers viciously, for apparently no other reason than they can.
- Evil Is Petty: Good grief... While not all the Freys appear to be reprehensible human beings (made a lot clearer in the books), the ones who are tend to both overshadow them: in numbers, in presence, and in sheer spite.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Of the medieval German noble houses who made a killing by garrisoning the Rhine River with castles and taxing every soul who came near note . Not giving a shit about their theoretical feudal overlords, marrying into other great houses and even taking arms against them, is reminiscent of noble houses in the Holy Roman Empire in general, as well.
- Gang of Hats: Literally — many of the Freys wear medieval-type loose hats and green clothes embroidered with their sigil. Expect many mentions of "Freys in weird hats" in reviews of The Climb.
- Planet of Steves: Many younger Freys are also named after ol' Walder. From the Books...
- Massive Numbered Siblings: The GOT Wiki has listed roughly twenty named descendants who have been name-dropped or identified within the show at this point. This is barely even scratching the surface of the family from the books - and on top of that, there seem to be a few Canon Foreigner descendants added to the show, as listed below
- Promoted to Scapegoat: Tyrion recognises that the blame for the Red Wedding, despite being Tywin's plan, will fall squarely on the Freys. Thus earning them the animosity and outright hatred of Westeros. Violating the guest right is a crime so unthinkable, that it's on equal footing with (if not worse, than) Kinslaying. This is perfectly shown in "Breaker of Chains", where a Riverlands family are pissed off squarely at the Freys, not the Boltons or Lannisters.
- Troll Bridge: The Twins, at least under the rule of the current lord, Walder Frey. But, unlike most trolls, the Freys live above and at either end of the bridge, not under it. The Twins, and the bridge they guard, are the only means of crossing the Green Fork for hundreds of miles. Unless your army's made up of really awesome swimmers, expect to grovel at Walder Frey's feet and accept whatever terms he puts on the table (especially when the water level's really high).
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: The Freys are terrible lords. A farmer who meets Arya and the Hound mentions that since they took over, the Riverlands has been prey to brigands, widespread Rape, Pillage, and Burn, and an overall decline in standards of living.
- Won the War, Lost the Peace: The Freys walked out of the Red Wedding as the de facto rulers of the Riverlands, but now have to deal with the scores of brigands and other criminals roaming the countryside in addition to trying to rebuild from the devastation that the war had brought to the region, and as explained in Tyrant Takes the Helm above, they are doing a terrible job at that. And that is not counting the fallout that will likely ensue from the other Riverland houses over the Freys' role in the Red Wedding.
Lord Walder Frey
"They all laughed at me, all those high Lords, they all thought they were better than me."
"Stark, Tully, Lannister, Baratheon... Give me one good reason why I should waste a single thought on any of you."
Lord of the Twins and head of House Frey. A powerful bannerman to House Tully, though not a particularly loyal one.
Lady Joyeuse Frey, née Erenford
Lord Walder Frey: "You see that? Fifteen, she is. A little flower... and the honey's all mine."
Lord Walder Frey's eighth and current wife.
- Composite Character: Takes the place of Aegon Frey, a.k.a. "Jinglebell", Lord Walder's retarded grandson and fool.
- Character Death: When Walder makes it clear he doesn't give a damn about whether she lives or dies, Robb is killed and Catelyn dispassionately cuts Joyeuse's throat.
- Death by Adaptation: In "The Rains of Castamere", Catelyn uses her as a hostage in place of the Adapted Out jester Aegon Frey, aka Jinglebell, Walder Frey's lackwit grandson, whom Catelyn mistakes for a son. When Robb gets killed, Joyeuse gets a slit throat, just like Jinglebell.
- Ironic Name: "Joyeuse", for a character who's obviously apathetic and miserable.
- Old Man Marrying A Child: She's fifteen and Walder's ninety.
- The Quiet One: Stays silent even when Walder gropes her in front of everybody. Likewise she remains silent during the Red Wedding. This becomes results in quite Fridge Horror in the scene where Joyeuse quietly accepts her death, with no attempts to resist. One wonders how Walder Frey must have treated her during their marriage.
- Slashed Throat: At Catelyn's hand.
- We Have Reserves: The reason for her death, when Walder admits he won't care if Catelyn kills her, since he'll simply find wife nine. Which is exactly what he starts planning to do in "Mhysa", while the maids are still scrubbing her blood from the floor.
Played By: Colin Carnegie
The first trueborn son and heir of Walder Frey. A man of sixty odd years.
- All There In The Book: His name.
- Calling the Old Man Out: He reminds Lord Walder that he shouldn't be rude to Lady Catelyn.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: He doesn't appear in the second and third seasons. From the books...
- Cool Old Guy: The only male Frey that genuinely doesn't seem to be an arsehole (Ryger Rivers, as a bastard, technically does not count).
- Demoted to Extra: After his first appearance. He's even more demoted from his role in the books. While not a substantial character there, Book!Catelyn still thinks that Stevron could have salvaged the Stark-Frey alliance if he had lived. Which is doubly ironic since Show!Stevron is still alive, and the Red Wedding went down without a hitch.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Unlike his father, Stevron's a decent person.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Possibly. In the books, Stevron commanded the Frey levies that went south with Robb Stark, but he dies of wounds suffered at the Battle of Oxcross. On the show, there is no indication that he left the Twins.
- Token Good Teammate: Of all the Freys, he doesn't seem to be as bad as his kin - at least, from those in the Red Wedding, and we haven't seen enough of the females besides Roslin to tell what they are like.From the books...
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Did he die offscreen without mention? Was he at the Twins during the Red Wedding but simply not seen or present (thus possibly negating his Token Good Teammate status)? Was he just sent away before the event? The show never tells us, so it might be best to assume he suffered the same (or similar) fate as in the books until further notice.
- Wizard Beard: He has a rather long beard to indicate his age.
Played By: Bryan McCaugherty
The bastard son of Walder Frey, probably his oldest baseborn child due to his apparent age.
"Lame" Lothar Frey
Played By: Tom Brooke
A son of Walder Frey, and the steward of the Twins.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the books, Lothar is described as plump, which Tom Brooke certainly isn't.
- Beard of Evil: He has one.
- Co-Dragons: To old Lord Walder, along with Black Walder.
- Evil Cripple: The whole reason he's called 'Lame Lothar' is due to his limp. Lothar also earns his evil credentials by murdering Talisa.
- Faux Affably Evil: One second he's joking with Talisa, the next he's stabbing a steak knife into her pregnant belly until she bleeds to death.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: To Old Man Walder. From the books...
- Icy Blue Eyes: They become much more icy retroactively due to his actions during the Red Wedding.
- In Universe Nickname: Called "Lame Lothar" due to his limp.
- Would Stab a Pregnant Girl: To kick off the Red Wedding, Lothar lurches over to Talisa and stabs her multiple times in the stomach.
- Would Hurt An Unborn Child: It's unclear if he was aware that Talisa was pregnant, but he nonetheless murders her through her child.
Walder "Black Walder" Rivers
Played By: Tim Plester
One of Lord Walder's many bastard sons.
- All There in the Manual: Although he seemed to be the books' Black Walder Frey (a great-grandson of Lord Walder, whose father is the eldest son or Ser Stevron in the books), the HBO Viewer's Guide for Season 4 describes him instead as a bastard son of Lord Frey.
- Bastard Bastard: Though in this family, being a good or bad person apparently isn't determined by the legitimacy of your birth.
- Beard of Evil: He has one, and his general Jerkass demeanour establishes him as a very unsympathetic character.
- Co-Dragons: To old Lord Walder, along with Lame Lothar.
- Composite Character: There is no Black Walder Rivers in the books - he's a combination of two characters, with elements of a third:
- Black Walder Frey, a great-grandson of Lord Walder Frey's: he is the 2nd of three sons to Ryman Frey, himself the firstborn son of Ser Stevron (Lord Walder's own firstborn legitimate son). Called "Black Walder" for his vicious temper coupled with an impressive fighting ability, making him one of the more prominent members of the family in terms of involvement.
- Walder Rivers, the eldest bastard son of Lord Walder, who accompanies Lothar to meet Robb at Riverrun in the books. Also a skilled warrior, in the books he was involved in the slaughtering of the Northern troops outside the castle, commanding the Frey forces there (instead of being inside, as the books' Black Walder was).
- As of "The Rains of Castamere", he replaces minor character Raymund Frey as the one who kills Catelyn Stark (Raymund has no further significance besides this and being a trueborn son or Lord Walder, in any case).
- In Universe Nickname: Called "Black Walder" for his dark beard and nasty temper in the books.
- Jerkass: Unlike Lothar, who is polite and soft-spoken enough, Black Walder is very abrasive and rude to Robb during their negotiations. Also he, y'know, kills Catelyn by slashing her throat.
Lady Roslin Tully, née Frey
Lady Walda Bolton, née Frey
Minor Members of House Frey
Various members of House Frey confirmed to exist within the show's universe. Portrayed by unidentified extras unless otherwise stated.
One of Lord Walder's sons. As part of the agreement made with Robb's forces by Catelyn, he became Robb's squire.
- All There in the Manual: The books detail his circumstances: he's the eighteenth son of Lord Walder; the fourth born from his sixth marriage to Bethany Rosby, older than Roslin, and one of five children in this union who survived past infancy. It's also noted that while many members of House Rosby have a weak constitution and poor health (to the point it's what their best known for), his mother did manage to give Walder one child for every year of their marriage (which lasted roughly ten years), and those who survived have proven to be able-bodied
- Demoted To The Ghost: Only mentioned in "Baelor". Despite being Robb's squire, he's never onscreen in Season 2 in any of Robb's scenes (despite the series giving Robb more to do onscreen than the books did).
- One Steve Limit: Subverted in Season 3 with the introduction of Littlefinger's employee, also named Olyvar. Though casual viewers will likely forget that this Olyvar even existed anyway.
- The Squire: To Robb.
The youngest of Lord Walder's known sons.
- All There in the Manual: In the books, he's explicitly stated to be the twenty-second and youngest of Lord Walder's legitimate sons, born from his seventh marriage to Anna Farring, and is nine the year Arya turns ten.From the books...
- Adaptation Name Change: His counterpart in the books is named Elmar Frey.
- Arranged Marriage: He was bethrothed to Arya Stark as part of the agreement to let Robb Stark's army cross through the Twins. As of the Red Wedding, this engagement is null and void.
- Demoted To The Ghost: He appears several times in the second book, meeting Arya Stark at Harrenhal while it's occupied by Roose Bolton; not knowing she is his betrothed, he boasts about the princess he is to marry to the point that Arya, annoyed by him, hopes said princess dies before marrying him (not knowing it is her). Since Roose only occupies Harrenhal after Arya escapes in the series, we never see him onscreen.
The youngest of Lord Walder's legitimate daughters, and his youngest child yet identified. Presented to Robb as one of the Frey girls he could have married, she is nine years old in Season 3 and as such, yet unflowered.
- Age Lift: She's six in the books when we first see her.
- All There in the Manual: In the books, she is Lord Walder's seventh legitimate daughter and his youngest trueborn child (though Joyeuse is currently pregnant so that may yet change), born of his seventh marriage to Anna Farring.From the books...
- One-Shot Character: So far only seen in "The Rains of Castamere".
A trueborn daughter of Lord Walder's, first seen when Catelyn negotiated with her father in Season 1, and later seen again at Edmure's wedding where her father presents her to Robb.
- Adaptation Name Change/Canon Foreigner: Uncertainty regarding which - her name is similar to "Arwyn Frey", the sixth of Lord Walder's trueborn daughters in the books (between Roslin and Shirei); it's possible her name was changed in the show, possibly to add to the Theme Naming the show has given them (Frey women's names ending on "-a" or "-ya" sounds). On the other hand, the three daughters below (who added to the number he has in the books) suggest she might be an original character rather than the same one - unlike her brother Elmar (the books' equivalent of Waldron, Arya's once-betrothed), Arwyn has no distinguishing traits that highlight her presence, so it's hard to tell if she's meant to be the same character.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Blink and miss, but she appears in "Baelor" before returning in "The Rains of Castamere" (yes, it's the same extra), creating a nice bit of (possibly unintended) continuity.
Derwa, Waldra and Walda Frey
Three of Lord Walder's trueborn daughters, presented to Robb at Edmure's wedding to Roslin.
- Adaptation Name Change/Canon Foreigner: A combination of both these tropes is at play here. In the books, Lord Walder has no trueborn daughters with these names - there are Waldas among his bastard daughters, as well as his granddaughters and great-granddaughters, and Waldra is a similarly derivative name, but nobody named Derwa appears in the books or even indices. Of seven trueborn daughters in the books, the eldest three are married and the fourth is a maid of nearly thirty. Based on their relative age, these three appear to have replaced the books' Arwyn Frey - the sixth legitimate daughter of Walder and first child with Anna Farring, Anwyn is a year younger than Roslin and nearly ten years older than her trueborn sister Shirei. Derwa, Waldra and Walda are in the right age range to be between Roslin and Shirei, regardless of whether their mother is intended to be Walder's 6th wife (Bethany Rosby) or his 7th (Anna Farring).
- One-Shot Character: So far, they've only been seen in "The Rains of Castamere".
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: See above.
Janeya & Neyela Frey
Two girls who Lord Walder identifies as his eldest granddaughters. Presented to Robb at the Twins.
Sarra and Serra Frey
Twin granddaughters of Lord Walder, presented to Robb at the Twins.In the books...
Played By: Katie Creaven
Another granddaughter presented to Robb at his uncle's wedding at the Twins.
- Adaptation Distillation/Pragmatic Adaptation: She's based on Marianne Vance from the books, who was Lord Walder's great-granddaughter - her mother, Maegelle Frey, was married to Ser Dafyn Vance and was the daughter of Stevron Frey and his second wife. Her backstory seems to have been simplified, either by the writers for the audience, or otherwise by Lord Walder to avoid him explaining it in great detail. Her book counterpart was also presented to Robb despite being born a Vance, not a Frey.
- One-Shot Character: Rinse and repeat...
A granddaughter of Lord Walder, seen at the Twins by Robb and his retinue.
Played By: Grace Hendy
One of the Frey girls presented to Robb at his uncle's wedding.In the books...
A grandniece of Lord Walder.
- Canon Foreigner: As revealed in the The Tales Of Dunk And Egg prequel novellas, Lord Walder has only one sibling with any detailed backstory - a sister, roughly a dozen years older than him and the second wife of Lord Ambrose of House Butterwell (a house which is disgraced during the events of the novella series, and thsus may or may not exist in the present). Besides her, their father had at least two other daughters; any other relations outside of Walder's own line of ancestry have yet to be mentioned.
- The Ghost: We only know she exists because Theon, while shooting ravens leaving the Twins (as a precaution, to ensure the untrustworthy Lord Frey doesn't warn the Lannisters of the Northern army's progress) found that one of the messages being sent was a birthday missive.
- Only One Name: Subverted, but we don't know if her surname is Frey or something else - besides the aforementioned sisters of Lord Walder the prequel novels mentioned, the TV show is already an Alternate Continuity in its own right.
A male of unspecified relations to the main Frey line, mentioned several times throughout Seasons 2 and 3. He is confirmed to have gotten married at some point before the main story began.
- Age Lift/Canon Foreigner: One or the other applies depending on what his ancestry is, because the only known Willem Frey in the books is a boy of ten years old. In the books, Willem is the second son of Cleos Frey, himself the eldest son of Emmon Frey - Lord Walder's second-born child and son, who is married to Genna Lannister, Tywin's younger sister. This might be him, aged up to correspond with the setting: in the books, Genna Lannister starts off at 52, her brother Tywin at about 55 or 56. With Tywin's age in Season 4 being stated as 67 (presumably 64 in the first season), it stands to reason that Genna herself would be in her early 60s at least when the story begins and thus old enough to have adult grandchildren.
- The Ghost: Yet to make an onscreen debut.
- Mythology Gag: Given the above tropes about him, there's the fact that he's mentioned by Alton Lannister, who was created as a Canon Foreigner substitute for the role that Cleos Frey - father of the books' Willem Frey - had in the books.