Histories and Lore – House Frey

Histories and Lore – House Frey


CATELYN:
Some houses rise to power through strength. Others, through wealth. House Frey gained its title through cunning. Centuries ago, its founder looked at a map
and noticed how the Trident spears the Neck, cutting off the North from the South. He realized that a river of gold
would flow to the man who owned the right bridge across the water. It took the Freys three generations
to complete their forefather’s vision, a massive arch of smooth, gray rock
wide enough for two wagons to pass abreast. When they were done,
they built high curtain walls, deep moats and heavy gates
to protect the approaches, and put up squat, ugly,
formidable keeps on either bank, the Twins. Commanding both road
and river with arrow slits, murder holes and portcullises, the Twins ensure that no one crosses
without begging the Freys‘ leave and paying the Freys‘ toll. The plan worked. The family grew rich and powerful, exacting gold from lords,
merchants and poor farmers. A good thing, too, given the number
of Freys the bridge has to support. The current lord, Walder Frey, has seen over 90 namedays
and sired near as many children, trueborn or otherwise. A shameful thing in any other lord,
but Walder Frey possesses no shame. A dangerous thing for any other lord, but Walder Frey has no concern
for heirs or fear of their impatience. Perhaps Lord Frey thinks to outlast them all. Given the infighting
he encourages among them, perhaps he will. Whatever the case, House Frey
does nothing so well as survive. When the ironborn conquered
and razed the Riverlands, the Freys hid in their castle. When Aegon and House Tully
swept the ironborn back to the Islands, the Freys hid in their castle. When my ancestor demanded their allegiance as Aegon’s new
Lord Paramount of the Trident, the Freys bent the knee from their castle. Perhaps then,
we should not have been surprised when my father, Lord Hoster Tully,
called his banners against the Mad King, and Lord Walder didn’t answer. The Baratheons, Starks, Arryns and Tullys, some of the oldest
and greatest houses of Westeros, fought and bled for the cause ofjustice,
while House Frey hid in its castle and waited. No doubt if Rhaegar had won at the Trident, Lord Walderwou|d’ve given him
safe passage into the North to destroy the rest of my husband’s
Northern Army for a fair price. But Rhaegar fell, and lo and behold,
the Frey army appeared to render aid to our already victorious forces. Many snickered that Lord Walder
had been waiting for his army to come of age,
having fielded it out of his own britches. My own father named him
“The Late Lord Frey,” to the other lords’ amusement. A slight that pricks Lord Walder to this day. In many ways, however,
Lord Walder was wise. We had no guarantee of victory. And had he fought with us
from the outset and we failed, he would’ve lost the bridge
his family was so proud of. “More pride than honor,”
those should be the words of House Frey. Yet, part of me wonders
if Lord Walder waited not out of fear, but hope that we would be destroyed, leaving him to assume my family’s place
as Lord Paramount of the Trident, to buy the respect they’ve always wanted,
but refuse to earn. No, not even Lord Walder
could be so disloyal.

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