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|“||Stark, Tully, Lannister, Baratheon... Give me one good reason why I should waste a single thought on any of you.||„|
|~ Lord Frey expressing his disinterest and neutrality in the War of the Five Kings.|
Lord Walder Frey is a recurring character and a main antagonist in the Game of Thrones series and A Song of Ice and Fire novels. He also appears as a toddler and minor character in the book prequel The Mystery Knight. He is the Lord of the Crossing, head of House Frey, and lives in the Twins, two castles in a strategic position. In the third novel and third season of TV series, he is the hidden main antagonist of Catelyn's POV storyline, and overall serves as the quaternary antagonist of seasons 3 and 6 of the TV series.
It is said that when he was still a toddler, Walder found his elder sister having intimated relations with a servant. This caused her to be married with Lord Ambrose Butterwell, to protect her honor, in the hope this would bring the Freys to supporting the Second Blackfyre Rebellion. It is unknown what happened to the servant. Ser Duncan the Tall, Lord Commander of Aegon V's Kingsguard thought that he was an extremely annoying child, and was sorely tempted to throw him down a well.
During Robert's Rebellion, Walder and his levies deliberately arrived at the Battle of the Trident after the rebels had already won and when it was sure that Lord Robert Baratheon was going to overthrow the Targaryens. Hoster Tully, the Lord Paramount of the Trident, has since called his bannerman "the Late Lord Frey".
Walder Frey is 90 years old and rather infirm, but maintains direct power and influence on his lands and family. He has had eight wives and outlived them all. He brags he that he still can produce progeny and is considered an opportunistic and cravenly lord. His house, Frey, was one of the most powerful bannermen of the Tullys, the Freys can field a thousand knights and three thousand foot. Under Lord Walder Frey, the Freys have grown greatly in both size and power.
Walder Frey fathered 22 trueborn sons, 21 of them alive at the begin of the main story, numerous daughters, 5 natural-born sons, and 2 natural-born daughters. He has 36 grandsons, 19 great-grandsons, numerous granddaughters, bastards, and grandbastards. Walder's heir is Ser Stevron, an old tired-looking knight past sixty and unlike his father, he's amiable, polite, and reasonable, but also a bit of a craven. Walder's descendants are always trying to win his favor and approval by naming their own children after him since he always has a strong belief in family loyalty.
A Game of Thrones
Prior to the events of the main story, Lord Frey attended at the Tourney on Prince Joffrey's Name Day. Along with him attended King Robert I, Lord Jon Arryn, Lord Stannis Baratheon, Lord Tywin Lannister, and his son, Ser Perwyn Frey. He felt insulted and ashamed when his sons were unhorsed, especially by Ser Hosteen Frey, who was unhorsed by young Ser Loras Tyrell. A couple of Walder's bastards rode in the melee as well, where Lord Yohn Royce defeated Thoros of Myr at combat.
At King's Landing Walder proposed that Lord Jon Arryn and Lady Lysa Arryn foster two of his grandsons, Little Walder and Big Walder, at court and offered to take their own son, Robert Arryn, to ward at the Twins. Lysa frosted up as if he'd suggested selling her boy to a mummer’s show or making a eunuch out of him, and when Lord Arryn said the child was going to Dragonstone to foster with Stannis Baratheon, she stormed off without a word of regrets and all the Hand could give Walder was apologies.
At the crossroads inn, a Frey captain tells Catelyn Stark that Lord Walder is to remarry on his ninetieth name day. Catelyn's father, Lord Hoster Tully, politely declines to attend Walder's wedding to Joyeuse Erenford, however.
When the War of the Five Kings starts, Walder is slow in answering House Tully's summons when Ser Edmure Tully calls the banners to defend the riverlands from Ser Gregor Clegane's raids, and later from Tywin Lannister's invasion. Aside from skirmishing with Ser Addam Marbrand's Lannister outriders, the Freys mass their strength within the Twins. Edmure is defeated by Ser Jaime Lannister at Riverrun while Walder gathers his forces. Walder's second son, Ser Emmon Frey is siding with the Lannisters, due to him being married with Genna Lannister. Walder initially remains neutral, not wanting to get involved, until the use of the Twins becomes a strategic necessity for the host of Catelyn Stark's son, Robb Stark. When Robb Stark and his bannermen come across the Twins, needing to cross, Catelyn Stark strikes a deal with Lord Frey: her daughter Arya will marry his youngest son, Elmar, when they come of age, and Robb will marry one Walder's daughters after the war, thus uniting the Houses of Stark and Frey. In addition, two of Lord Frey's grandsons, Little Walder and Big Walder, are sent to Winterfell as wards and one of his sons, Olyvar, is made squire to Robb. Walder gives Robb his men as well, less 400 men who stay to hold the Twins. Robb leaves 400 men at the Twins as well, commanded by his bannerman, Ser Helman Tallhart. Due to his calculating caution, Lord Roose Bolton is given command of a host consisting of all the northern foot and some of the horse when Robb splits his army at the Twins.
After the Battle on the Green Fork many northmen are captured by the Lannisters, and with them also Ser Jared, Ser Hosteen, and Ser Danwell Frey, and a Frey bastard, Ronel Rivers. Roose Bolton manages to flee with the remainder of the army, including Aenys Frey and Elmar Frey. Many captives from the westerlands from the Battle in the Whispering Wood include Ser Jaime Lannister, Lord Gawen Westerling, and two of Emmon Frey's sons, Ser Cleos and Tion.
After the execution of Eddard Stark, Walder's heir, Ser Stevron is present during the reunion at Riverrun where the river lords and northern lords argue if they should support King Stannis or King Renly Baratheon. The Freys swore allegiance to Robb Stark the King in the North, along with the rest of the North and the riverlands.
A Clash of Kings
At Riverrun Robb Stark sends Ser Cleos Frey to King's Landing to bring his terms of peace to the small council, later when the Iron Throne refuses Robb's terms, as expected, Ser Cleos returns to Riverrun where he remains as captive. Walder remains at the Twins during the war, while Robb Stark invades the westerlands. Robb has good relationships with Perwyn, Olyvar, and Alesander Frey, all three of them being genuinely sympathetic to Robb and better persons than many other male Freys. Perwyn Frey is with Catelyn's escort party when she travels to Bitterbridge, in the Reach, to meet Renly Baratheon. Stevron Frey fights bravely for Robb Stark at the Battle of Oxcross, where Lord Rickard Karstark personally kills Ser Stafford Lannister. Stevron dies of his wounds shortly after. With Stevron dead, his eldest son Ser Ryman Frey becomes the new heir of Lord Walder. After Renly's death, Perwyn stays at Riverrun with Catelyn.
After King Balon Greyjoy invades the North and Prince Theon Greyjoy apparently kills Bran and Rickon Stark, the news spread everywhere in the realm. At the same time, in the westerlands, Robb Stark's army storms the Crag, the ancestral keep House Westerling. Robb is wounded by an arrow and is nursed by Jeyne Westerling. While still at the Crag, Robb receives a message that his younger brothers, Bran and Rickon, have been killed by his former friend, Theon Greyjoy. Jeyne comforts Robb in his grief and they sleep together. To protect her honour he marries her the next day. The marriage leads directly to the break-up of her husband’s alliance with House Frey, as Robb had sworn to wed a daughter of Lord Walder Frey. The outraged Freys, led by Ser Ryman and Black Walder Frey, take their forces back to the Twins, although a part of their strength remains with Lord Roose Bolton. Olyvar Frey wants to stay with his friend Robb and continue to serve him as a squire, but he's forced by the other Freys to return.
Prior to the Battle of the Blackwater, Roose Bolton manages to take Harrenhal with the help of Vargo Hoat and a little help from Arya Stark and her allies. Many northern and the Frey captives are free. Roose becomes castellan of Harrenhal and marries one of Walder's granddaughters, Walda Frey. Walder had promised Roose to pay his daughter's weight in silver for her dowry, so Roose chose the fattest one. At Harrenhal Princess Arya sees her betrothed Elmar Frey crying and surrounded by the other angered older Freys, having received the message about Robb's disloyalty to his vows. Ser Helman Tallhart leaves the Twins and after taking Darry, he's sent by Roose Bolton to attack Duskendale with Robett Glover and Harrion Karstark.
A Storm of Swords
King Stannis Baratheon is defeated at the Battle of the Blackwater and is forced to return to Dragonstone, and shortly after Lord Randyll Tarly and Ser Gregor Clegane defeat and kill Helman Tallhart, while Robett Glover and Harrion Karstark are captured. Robb Stark is shocked to learn that he lost at least 1,000 for such an unimportant castle, Duskendale, former seat of House Darklyn and current seat of House Rykker. After Rickard Karstark kills Willem Lannister and Tion Frey, Robb exchange Martyn Lannister for Robett Glover, while Harrion remains at Maidenpool. The northern foot is destroyed, which hurts Robb Stark's ability to retake the North. It is later revealed that Roose Bolton had secretly defected to the Lannister side and in his attempt to diminish the northern lords' ability to attack him, he had deliberately sent much of the northern army to its destruction.
Later Tywin Lannister makes a secret alliance with Walder Frey and Roose Bolton: Walder Frey will eliminate Stark and his men, Tywin will pardon him for his defiance and give him protection from the river lords and the northern rebels, while Bolton will be named Warden of the North and his son, Ramsay will be legitimized as Roose's heir. This betrayal towards Stark would be known as the "Red Wedding". To lure the rebels to the Twins, Walder Frey sends his steward son, Lame Lothar Frey, with Ser Walder Rivers and other men, to negotiate a rapprochement. It is actually Lothar who leads the preparations of the Red Wedding and gives to his relatives their role in the massacre. Lord Bolton sends Jaime Lannister back to King's Landing and, with the Freys and the Karstarks, abandons the Brave Companions to face Tywin's revenge alone. Countless days of heavy rains in the west, make very difficult and slow for Robb, Roose, and the outlaw Sandor Clegane to travel to the Twins. At the ruby ford of the Trident Roose abandons most of his northmen to be captured or killed by Ser Gregor and his men, heading for the Twins with only his own Bolton army, the Freys, and some Karstarks. Robb abandons his fight with the Lannisters and means to start his war in the North immediately right after the wedding. He marches to the Crossing with 35,000 men, with some rivermen under Edmure. He leaves Ser Brynden Tully to hold Riverrun. Robb's wife, Jeyne, remains at Riverrun as well, with her mother Sybell, her sister Eleyna, and her brother Rollam. Jeyne's older brother, Ser Raynald Westerling, and her mother's brother, Ser Rolph Spicer, follow Robb, Catelyn, and Edmure at the Twins. However Rolph and Sybell Spicer are involved at the Red Wedding conspiration, in exchange of a pardon for House Westerling from the Lannisters for rebel against the Iron Throne. Robb is ready to fight Victarion Greyjoy and the Iron Fleet at Moat Cailin. During the travel in the riverlands, Lord Jason Mallister brings news of Balon Greyjoy's death during one of raging storms in the west, and Robb sends Jason Mallister, Galbart Glover, and Maege Mormont with a force to the Neck, to find Howland Reed, Lord of Greywater Watch, so that the army of crannogmen will attack the ironmen from north as they are distracted by Robb and Roose's forces. Aware of the fact he can die fighting the ironborn in the North and thinking that Bran, Rickon, and Arya are all dead, Robb names Jon Snow his legal heir as King in the North to avoid Tyrion and his future children claiming Winterfell through Sansa. Catelyn is to remain at Seagard with Lord Jason after the wedding.
The Boltons arrive at the Twins first and Robb's host is met by Ser Ryman Frey with his sons Edwyn, Black Walder, and Petyr. They are angered by Queen Jeyne's absence and declare that Lord Frey will be displeased by this. Grey Wind refuses to enter the castle and is being extremely aggressive towards the Freys and Ser Rolph Spicer, so Lord Walder forbids Robb from keeping Grey Wind within his castles, since the Lord of the Crossing considers the direwolf dangerous. Robb has Ser Raynald Westerling to stay with the direwolf. In the great hall, Lord Walder is relentless in his veiled insults against Robb, making it clear that the King betrayed him by breaking his solemn oath. Robb wants to make amends and apologizes with Walder and his whole family. Soon Catelyn asks for salt and bread to secure guest right from Walder. That evening, in the wedding ceremony, Lord Edmure Tully marries Walder's 16 years old daughter, Roslin Frey.
The Red Wedding
Walder hosts the highborn feast in one of his castles, while the lesser ranks can feast in the second castle. During the wedding feast, Catelyn remarks to herself how joyless the wedding is, and watches as Robb dances with several of the Frey maids and Dacey Mormont, while Edmure dotes on his soon to be wife, Roslin. Roslin has red eyes and has been crying during all the wedding. Several poor dishes are served, the most appetizing being pink lamb. Roose toasts Walder's grandsons, Big Walder and Little Walder, who are in the care of Roose's son, Ramsay Snow, after the sack of Winterfell. As part of the bedding custom, Edmure and Roslin depart the hall in the company of many guests of the opposite gender. Catelyn becomes more wary when she learns that Olyvar, Perwyn, and Alesander Frey, Robb's friends, are all not in attendance at the wedding. Cat sees Merrett Frey trying to drink the Greatjon Umber under the table, and finally Lord Walder Frey calls for the bedding. Robb does not participate as the Greatjon carries a weeping Roslin to the bed chamber Frey Catelyn is taken by horror when the musicians start to play "The Rains of Castamere", the song of the Lannister's victory of the Reyne-Tarbeck Rebellion. The musicians are actually sellswords and knights and the song it's a signal for the two twin castles and the camps outside. Most of Robb's men are too drunk to fight. Things grow more ominous in the hall, Dacey Mormont asks Edwyn Frey for a dance, but he violently pushes her away. Angry, Catelyn grabs Edwyn and feels the rings of chain mail beneath his arm. Suddenly, she realizes everything, from the friendly Freys missing from the wedding to Roslin Frey crying.
The musicians are actually crossbowmen. The wedding turns into a bloody slaughter. Robb is wounded by crossbow bolts and the Frey and Bolton men turn on Robb's men. Outside the tents are collapse and are set aflame. In the main hall Catelyn sees the Smalljon Umber protecting himself from the bolts. Robin Flint is surrounded and killed by Freys with dagger, Ser Wendel Manderly is felled by a quarrel through the mouth. Smalljon bludgeons Ser Raymund Frey across the face with a leg of mutton, but when he reaches for his swordbelt, a crossbow bolt drives him to his knees. Lucas Blackwood is cut down by Ser Hosteen Frey. One of the Vances is hamstrung by Black Walder as he wrestles with Ser Harys Haigh. Crossbows take Donnel Locke, Owen Norrey, and half a dozen more. Young Ser Benfrey Frey seizes Dacey Mormont by the arm, who smashes him in the face with a wine flagon. She runs for the door, but Ser Ryman comes through with Frey men-at-arms and sinks his axe into Dacey's stomach. Northmen begin pouring through the other door, and Catelyn takes them for rescue for half a heartbeat, until one of them decapitates Smalljon. In fact it turns out that they are Bolton men, along with angry and vengeful Karstark men.
Desperate, Catelyn sees a dagger and takes it to kill Lord Walder, until she sees that Robb is still alive, with 3 arrows in his body. Walder Frey watches amused and greedily as he orders the music to stop. He laughs at Robb, when Catelyn grabs the halfwit Aegon "Jinglebell" Frey as a hostage. She cries and begs Walder to trade Robb for Jinglebell. But Walder simply replies that Jinglebell is just a grandson and was never much use. Roose Bolton appears and thrusts his longsword through Robb's heart, after saying: "Jaime Lannister sends his regards", humiliating Catelyn, who had trusted the knight. Catelyn doesn't recognize the man who killed Robb, but keeps her promise and cuts Jinglebell's throat. Then she just laughs and shouts, having lost her wits and thinking that Ned, Robb, Arya, Bran, and Rickon are all dead, and that Sansa will be killed once she has given birth to Tyrion Lannister's son. Walder meant to keep Catelyn as an hostage along with her brother Edmure, to force the river lords to bend the knee to King Joffrey, but with her dangerous madness, Raymund Frey appears, grabs Catelyn, and cuts her throat. Merrett, Whalen, and Petyr Pimple Frey fail to make the Greatjon to drunk to fight. When the massacre begins he snatches a sword from the first men to assault him, breaking the man's arm. It takes eight men to put the Greatjon in chains, and even then he still manages to kill one man, wound two others and bite off half the ear of Ser Leslyn Haigh. He is now a captive of the Freys.
No definitive count of the massacre is known, most of the northmen are killed while House Frey loses only approximately fifty men in the camps. The Freys kill Robb's direwolf, Grey Wind, who was locked due to the fact he acted aggressive to the Freys since Robb and his army arrived at the Twins. He is released by Ser Raynald Westerling, and rips of the Kennel-master's arm and kills four wolfhounds before being killed by crossbowmen. Outside Ser Garse Goodbrook and Ser Tytos Frey are killed by Sandor Clegane, who saves Arya Stark from captivity or possible death. Ser Benfrey Frey dies of a wound.
After the battle, the Freys hack and mutilate Robb's body and cut off his head along with that of Grey Wind, Robb's direwolf. In a mockery of Robb's relationship with his direwolf, the Freys sew Grey Wind's head onto Robb's decapitated body and place his bronze crown atop the direwolf's head. Lady Catelyn Tully has her throat slit and is later thrown naked into the river in a mockery of House Tully funeral custom. After Lord Edmure was done having sex with Roslin, he's thrown into the dungeons while Roslin falls in love with him at the same time. Ser Ryman Frey takes Robb's crown and later gives him to his whore, who's named the Queen of Whores.
Known victims of the Red Wedding are Robb Stark, Catelyn Tully, Wendel Manderly, Smalljon Umber, Dacey Mormont, Donnel Locke, Owen Norrey, Robin Flint, Lucas Blackwood, an unkown Vance, and Grey Wind. Also Ser Raynald Westerling was mistakenly killed during the feast, despite he was the nephew of Rolph Spicer and son of Sybell Westerling, both secret allies to Tywin and Walder. Known capitves are Edmure Tully, Greatjon Umber, Patrek Mallister, and Marq Piper.
Walder Freys swears fealty to King Joffrey I Baratheon, the latter being pleased and grateful to Lord Walder. Riverrun and its lands are given to Walder's second son, Emmon, husband of Genna Lannister, Tywin's sister. However the castle is still held by the Blackfish and Ser Daven Lannister is besieging it with the Lannister army. The Freys are not pleased to learn that Lord Petyr Baelish is named Lord Paramount of the Trident instead of Walder. Emmon Frey is now head of House Frey of Riverrun. Amerei Frey marries Ser Lancel Lannister who becomes Lord of Darry and head of House Lannister of Darry (however Lancel has gone devout to the Seven). Daven Lannister will marry a Frey girl as well, while Roose Bolton is named Warden of the North and Ramsay is to marry Arya Stark and rule Winterfell, and Ser Rolph Spicer is made Lord of Castamere.
Melisandre, Queen Selyse Florent, and Ser Axell Florent think the Red Wedding was R'hllor's doing, but King Stannis Baratheon sees that the main responsible is only Walder Frey. Walder gains Stannis' enmity with the Red Wedding.
Black Walder Frey commands a siege at Seagard. Lord Jason Mallister is still royal to House Stark. The siege ends when Black Walder brings Jason's son, Patrek, from the Twins, and almost hangs him. Jason is unable to watch his son dying, so he yields to have him spared. The Mallisters are kept prisoners in their own keep by the Freys.
Merrett Frey thinks Lord Walder will die soon and when he dies it will be every other Frey for himself. Stevron was the one who was raised to believe in family loyalty, but the rest of the family don't share those thoughts.
After Joffrey Baratheon and Tywin Lannister's deaths, Petyr Pimple Frey is captured by the Brotherhood Without Banners and a ransom of a hundred dragons is demanded. Merrett Frey volunteers to deliver the ransom, hoping this will put him in the good graces of Petyr's father, the new heir to the Twins Ryman Frey, meaning when Walder dies Merrett won't be thrown out of the Twins. However when he arrives he finds Petyr has already been hanged and the book ends with Merrett being hanged. No one knows that Beric Dondarrion is dead and another person commands the outlaws now.
A Feast for Crows
There's still chaos in the riverlands: the Lannister-Frey army and the former men of Gregor Clegane are still dealing with the Blackfish and the river lords, while the other Frey army is helping the Boltons against Stannis Baratheon and the northmen.
Ser Jared Frey tells Lord Wyman Manderly that, contrary to the true story, the Red Wedding was actually Robb Stark’s work. According to the Frey fictionalization of the event, Robb changed into a wolf-man beast before the eyes of the Freys and tore out the throat of Jinglebell, a harmless simpleton. Furthermore, he allegedly would have slain Lord Walder Frey if Ser Wendel Manderly had not put himself in the way. According to this version of the event, the other northmen also turned into wolves to join Robb's attack.
Walder sends a raven to King's Landing putting forth several claims to land. Because the Red Wedding is reviled by sparrows, the small council of Queen Regent Cersei Lannister suggests that Walder's eventual successor could name the culprits and thereby rid himself of rivals.
Walder Frey is hunting down the outlaws of the Brotherhood Without Banners. Lord Randyll Tarly helps him from Maidenpool. News spread in the Seven Kingdoms that Sandor Clegane has joined with Beric Dondarrion and Sansa Stark is following him (was actually Arya). The Brotherhood is blamed of the Raid on Saltpans and Sandor is blamed as the leader. In truth the authors of the brutal raid are a group of former Bloody Mummers, led by Rorge.
Ater being sent away by his sister, Jaime Lannister helps his cousin Daven with the Siege of Riverrun. Daven notes how much he dislikes most of the Freys under his command. After using Edmure Tully as a hostage, the Blackfish yields but manages to flee instead of being forced to go to the Wall. House Westerling is officially pardoned and Lord Gawen Westerling is allowed to return home with his wife Sybell, and the rest of his family. Edmure is sent to Casterly Rock and told his wife Roslin will join him. Annoyed at Walder's heir, Ryman Frey's, mismanagement of the siege, Jaime sends him back to the Twins. However with three knights and twelve men at arms Ryman is hanged, presumably by the Brotherhood Without Banners. With Ser Ryman dead, Lord Walder's new hair is now Edwyn Frey, a cold man, full of hate, as cruel as Black Walder. He suspects his brother of being responsible for their father's death, as this moves Black Walder a step closer to inheriting the Twins. Jaime tasks Walder Rivers with informing Lord Walder that King Tommen I Baratheon requires all captives taken by the Freys during the Red Wedding.
Lord Walder's wife is currently pregnant.
A Dance With Dragons
Walder makes a marriage pact with Wyman Manderly, betrothing two of Walder's grandsons, Rhaegar and Little Walder, to Wyman's granddaughters, Wynafryd and Wylla.
After the Fall of Moat Cailin, Roose Bolton finally rides for his home with Fat Walda Frey, his Bolton army, and Jeyne "Arya Stark" Poole. Walder gave him at least 1,400 Frey soldiers under the command of two sons, Ser Aenys and Ser Hosteen.
With Tywin dead, Cersei creating only more chaos in the realm, the Lannister army in the riverlands and the westerlands, and the Reach and the Tyrells having trouble with King Euron Greyjoy, the new High Septon, Stannis Baratheon's garrisons, and the Florents, Roose Bolton finds himself alone in a North invaded by King Stannis Baratheon and the ironborn. Roose is in Winterfell with small food supplies and the Freys. Bolton is now surrounded by a host commanded by unloyal vengeful northern nobles at Winterfell, with a tension growing and mysterious murders of Freys and Boltons in the castles. Winterfell is waiting in fear for the arrival of Stannis Baratheon.
Rhaegar Frey and two of Walder's sons, Jared and Symond, vanish after leaving White Harbor. It's implied that after giving them guest gifts, which officially meant they were no longer his guests, Lord Wyman Manderly killed them and made pies out of them to be served at Winterfell to the Freys and Boltons. Also, before joining with Roose, Wyman and Robett Glover sent Lord Davos Seaworth to the island of Skagos, in order to find Rickon Stark who's confirmed alive thanks to the reveal of Theon Greyjoy's former squire, Wex Pyke. It's implied that Wyman Manderly, as well as most of the northmen at Winterfell, are planning to betray Roose Bolton when Stannis comes to besiege the castle.
Later Little Walder Frey is found murdered in Winterfell. This murder draws the tension between the Freys and the northmen to the edge. A fight occurs in the great hall and Wyman is wounded, the man still laughing, while Frey soldiers are killed. A scared Roose Bolton is helped by Ramsay to calm down the Freys, and in order to have them out of Winterfell and to spare the food supplies, Roose sends Aenys, Hosteen, and their vanguard to ride outside against Stannis Baratheon. The same day Theon Greyjoy and Jeyne Poole jump off the walls of Winterfell with the help of Mance Rayder and a group of wildling spear wives.
The Winds of Winter
While Lady Stoneheart continues her hunt for Freys and Lannisters, Stannis Baratheon plans to drown the entire Frey army in the North, using a strategical military plan. Ser Hosteen Frey leads the van, after Ser Aenys dies outside Winterfell by riding into a trap set by Mors Umber.
The Red Wedding in the TV series
Frey orchestrated the massacre of Robb Stark, but in the process broken the sacred rule of Guest Right.
During the entire onslaught, Lord Frey simply observed while he drank wine and sat in his throne.
The fiasco began when Lame Lothar Frey repeatedly stabbed Robb's pregnant wife in the stomach. From there, several other House Frey men in the chamber took to slaughtering Robb Stark's men, including Ser Wendel Manderly. Robb, in the confusion, got shot in the chest by a crossbow, but this wound didn't kill him.Robb's mother, Catelyn Stark dragged Lord Frey's fifteen-year-old wife, Joyeuse Erenford, from beneath a table and held a knife to her throat, threatening to slit it. She said she wouldn't kill Frey's wife if he allowed Robb to walk away and live. Frey said he would simply find another wife and Roose Bolton stabbed Robb through the heart, killing him. This leaves Catelyn distraught and she kills Frey's wife, only to be killed in the exact same manner by Black Walder. In the show Walder Frey is named Lord of Riverrun instead of Emmon, and is named Lord Paramount of the Trident instead of Littlefinger.
After his family take Riverrun in the HBO show Jaime Lannister goes to the Twins and meets Walder. They argue over Walder's suitability to rule the Riverlands. Later a serving-woman serves Walder Frey a pie. He wonders where his sons Lothar and Black Walder are. The woman tells him they are here, in the pie Walder was eating. She unmasks and introduces herself as Arya Stark, telling him the last thing he sees will be a Stark looking down at him. She then slits Walder's throat in the same way her mother was killed, forcing Walder to look at her as he dies.
Walder Frey can be seen as a pervert. He gropes his teenage wife in front of others without a second thought, and even tells Catelyn Stark that his wife's "honey is all mine". He outwardly possesses no shame for his actions, such as making several suggestive and derogatory comments towards Robb Stark's wife, Talisa in front of Robb and his entire house.
He seems to possess a strict code of honor and loyalty or at least an extremely interchangeable one. He made a pact with the Lannisters to murder Robb Stark just for breaking a promise of marriage. This aspect of him is also seen where his sons and daughters constantly try to win his favor. Lord Walder was only conditionally loyal to anyone who could give him and his house a great benefit. Without a second hesitation his allegiances changed instantly from House Stark and House Tully to House Lannister when he discovered that Robb had no intention of fulfilling the promise he made to the Freys. During the War of the Five Kings he first betrayed the Iron Throne and declared for King Robb, then he betrayed him along with his own overlord house, the Tullys.
However Lord Walder Frey is also a hypocrite. Despite the Freys claiming they were justified in the Red Wedding as Robb dishonored them, their reaction is seen as even more dishonorable, including that the end result was a massacre of defenseless soldiers and the fact that he broke the sacred vow of guest right. Walder Frey claims his loyalties are divided as he has sworn oaths to the crown, which is dubious, as when the Tullys called their banners to defend against the Lannister attacks Robert wasn't dead so the Freys wouldn't be breaking their oaths. Lord Walder's hypocrisy is reinforced by the way he chastises the Stark's for betraying the oath he made to him whereas he had outwardly stated to having no respect for the oath he makes to other houses, as the Frey's strategic position at the Twins is far too valuable for their loyalties to be limited by one house alone.
It is said by others that he is a coward. He would not have done something as massive as The Red Wedding on his own accord; it is implied that he only took part in it because Tywin Lannister offered him vast protection.
Lord Walder Frey does have traits of sadism which proves to be even deeper while observing the Red Wedding and is quite irredeemable. This is further reinforced when Catelyn demands Walder to let Robb walk free or she would cut his wife's throat. In response to this Walder replies "I'll find another wife" while nonchalantly sipping his wine. He even shows no remorse over the Red Wedding, displayed when discussing with Roose Bolton he sarcastically toasted him and even did a mocking wolf's howl. This is a scene which had not appeared in the book, where Catelyn kills Walder's grandson, "Jinglebell" Aegon, instead of his wife, and Walder has a bit more reasonable reason to stand by that Jinglebell does not have anything to offer the family and that Catelyn has no leverage in the situation.
Lord Walder is also vengeful and close-minded. Despite his advanced age he has little long-term planning and doesn't seem all that concerned with what will happen to his House when he's dead. He is incapable of allowing himself or House Frey to be dishonored or disrespected in any way such and is embittered over being mocked all of his life over not being able to rally his troops in time. This led to a vengeful deposition for House Tully who mockingly called him "The Late Walder Frey" because of this.
- Walder Frey is one of the most hated characters in Game of Thrones for his orchestration of the Red Wedding and killing Robb Stark, one of the most loved characters in Game of Thrones. Even David Bradley called Frey irredeemable despite enjoying the role.
- Walder Frey is notable for appearing - as a toddler - in The Mystery Knight, the third of George R.R. Martin's Tales of Dunk and Egg short stories set almost ninety years before the events of the main series, making him the only character to appear in both the prequels and the main saga, though Aemon is also mentioned and alive during the prequel saga.
- It is theorized that Robb breaking the marriage pact was more the pretext then the reason for the Freys' betrayal. The last Arya chapter in A Clash of Kings, set after the Battle of the Blackwater, have the Freys at Harrenhal meeting Roose Bolton and claiming Robb will lose the war, meaning they are trying to find a way out of their allegiance to him. This happens before word reaches Harrenhal of Robb's wedding, showing the Freys and Boltons were already plotting against Robb.
- In the books three different Freys were put in pies by the Northern Lord Wyman Manderly in vengeance for his sons' murder and served to two of Walder's sons Aenys Frey and Hosteen Frey, and the Boltons.
- The TV series had Lame Lothar and Black Walder Rivers put in pies and served to Walder Frey himself by Arya, seconds before she kills him.