A Song of Ice and Fire: Frey Civil War


After the War of the Five Kings House
Frey has emerged as the dominant house of the Riverlands. They control the Twins,
Riverrun and Darry and they may even have a shot of picking up some other
seat. But they also have some serious weaknesses. Weaknesses that may lead to
an all-out civil war. You see, although the house patriarch Walder Frey may seem
like an ass, he’s actually pretty good to his family, allowing all Freys to live
at the Twins. However, not all Freys are so open-handed and there’s a lot of
mistrust out there. Merritt Frey specifically says that a big reason why
the Freys were so willing to follow along with the Red Wedding was they were
fearful the future Lord Ryman Frey would kick them out of the Twins. That is,
unless they prove themselves useful. Merritt also says that only full-blooded
siblings can really be trusted and them not even very much. And although the
Freys have achieved more holdings after the Red Wedding, they also have quite a
few more problems. Let’s start out by talking about the Twins. Walder Frey’s
first wife was Perra Royce giving him his first son, Steveron, who, by all accounts
was a pretty good guy. But he dies fighting for Robb at Oxcross leaving his son Ryman by Corenna Swann as the heir to the Twins. We will
call Ryman and his brood the “Alpha Freys” Now Ryman has three sons: Edwyn,
Black Walder and Petyr Pimple. Now Ryman and Petyr are killed by Lady
Stoneheart leaving Edwyn and Black Walder and it just so happens that Edwyn and
Black Walder hate each other. Edwyn even specifically says that he
fears Black Walder will kill him. However this conflict pales in comparison to
what would happen if Edwyn and black Walder end up killing each other. If
these two men both die, we can essentially look forward to a Vale
invasion. Now, right now you may be saying “what?” Let me explain. Now, this is the
current state of the Alpha Freys. Let’s assume for a moment that Walder Frey
dies of old age and Edwyn and Black Walder kill each other. This would leave
Edwyn’s daughter Walda as Lady of the Twins and after her
Petyr Pimple’ss daughter, Perra. Except, Big Walder, who is obsessed with
succession, doesn’t think these girls are in the line. Perhaps it’s because they’re
female or perhaps it’s because Black Walder was banging Edwyn and Peter’ss
wives and it’s common knowledge that Walda and Perra are actually bastards This
would mean the line of the Alpha Freys, that is the line of Stevron Frey and
Corenna Swann would be exhausted. Succession would then pass to the
children of Steveron’s second wife Jeyne Lydden. Well, maybe. Things get complicated.
According to Big Walder, the line of succession goes Ryman, Edwyn, Black Walder,
Petyr and then Aegon. Good old Jinglebell. Except Cat killed him. Now after
Jinglebell, Big Walder says that his sons come next in the line of succession.
Now, I don’t know how to reconcile this line. Jinglebell was mentally challenged
and hidden away by the Freys. I couldn’t imagine anyone agreeing to marry him and
have children with him and we don’t see or hear of any children of Twins. I guess
we have to chalk this one up to author error.
Now, after Aegon, there’s his sister Maegelle, but she’s dead as well. Now, Maegella
has children, but this is where succession gets messy. Who comes next in
line? The son of the daughter by the second wife? That is, Walder Vance. Or the
son by the third wife? That is, Walton Frey. There is of course no answer.
Succession is messy, but it will say Walton Frey has better support as his
mother is a Waynwood and he’s married to a Hardyng. The Waynewoods and the
Hardyng’s are, of course, close with Harry the Heir being half Waynewood and
fostered with the Waynewoods. Walton Frey and his Vale allies have every
reason to swoop in and claim the Twins. And why not? His only resistance would be
to bastard girls and House Vance, who is largely destroyed by war. But this isn’t
the only place that the Vale forces would enter the fray. Let’s talk about
Walder Frey’s second son, Emmon Frey over at Riverrun. Emmon Frey was, of
course, awarded Riverrun after the War of the Five Kings largely because he was
married to Genna Lannister. That’s Tywin Lannister’s sister. Now, Emmon and Genna
produced a number of descendants: the “Lannister Freys” and a couple have died.
Now, the Lannister Freys have some issues that put them at odds
with the Vale Lords and a couple other stray branches to boot.
First of all, Emmon clearly has it in his head that he’ll be ruling the Riverlands from
Riverrun and not Littlefinger from Harrenhal. Second, Genna says that she is
fearful that the Tully’s are seen as the legitimate rulers of Riverrun. She’s
worried that the Blackfish will declare Riverrun the property of himself or that
of Sweetrobin, a half-Tully. The Blackfish, of course, spent many years
serving Lady Lysa and Sweetrobin likely has some affection for his mother’s
uncle. With Vale forces already swooping in for the Twins, we have an incentive
for the Vale forces to secure Riverrun as well in the name of the Vale. After
all, Riverrun could be seen as Sweetrobin’s family castle with a Frey in it
that’s trying to usurp Littlefinger’s power. In addition to Riverrun creating
issues with the Vale, it also creates a rift between the Lannister Freys and
the Rosby Freys. The Rosby Freys are descendants of Walder Frey’s 6th wife
Bethany Rosby and include Roslin Frey, who is pregnant with Edmure Tully’s
child as well as Perwyn Frey, Robb’s chosen protector and Olyver Frey, Robb’s
squire. Neither Perwyn or Olyvar were at the Red
Wedding because the other Freys didn’t trust them. In a dispute between the
Lannister Freys and resurgent Tullys, it seems likely that they would fall on
the Tully side, especially if it meant Roslin’s child would be the heir to
Riverrun. It’s worth noting that Willamen Frey is a maester in the Vale
with House Hunter. That’s the same house that the possible heir to the Twins, Walda Frey’s mother is from, and he may be upset if Walda is passed over. But the
disputes don’t end there. It’s important to note that Genna Lannister fully saw
the problems with Riverrun and wanted Castle Darry instead, but it was given to
Lancel. In truth, her grandson Tywin Frey could have been seen as the heir to
Darry as he is the eldest known living true born male in the line of Darry. Her
son Cleos, who died travelling with Jaime and Brienne in the Riverlands,
married Jeyne dairy and they had two children Tywin and Willem. Genna
specifically goes on and on about these Darry roots in a Feast for Crows. Even
if Tywin Frey is the heir to Riverrun, that still leaves Willem Frey as a
possible heir to Darry. With Lancel giving up those lands, there’s a very strong argument for making Willem the Lord of
Darry. After all, the Lannisters were supposed to have Darry for winning the
war and Willem is half-Darry. However, we have a big problem in that Darry lands seem to
have been claimed by the “Crakehall Freys” The Crakehall Freys are descendants
of Walder Frey and his third wife, Amarei Crakehall. She’s, of course, dead as are her sons, Symond, Merritt and Geremy. Now, it’s the
late Merritt Frey who’s important here. He married into the Darry household and
produced Gatehouse Ami but Ami really became the Datehouse to the Darry lands
when Lancel married her It’s now a bit of a precedent that she
is the heir to Darry over, say, Tywin and Willem Frey. And, certainly, the Crakehall
Freys are trying to stake a claim to Darry. Let’s look at who Gatehouse Ami
surrounds herself with when Jaime visits her in a Feast for Crows. Jaime tells us
that Ami has with her 20 Freys, including a sister, an uncle, a half-uncle,
various cousins and her mother. Now, we know the sister is Marissa Frey and we
know the uncle is Danwell Frey and we know at least one of the cousins is Arwood Frey. So gatehouse Ami has surrounded herself with Crakehall Freys.
Counting the wives and kids plus Ami’s mom, that accounts for 10 of the 20
Freys that Jaime saw. The half-uncle that Jamie sees makes 11. We’re not told
who this happens to be, but we can kind of figure it out.
Stevronn is dead, Emmon is at Riverrun, Aenys is dead, Jared is dead, Luceon is in
King’s Landing, Perwyn is at Riverrun, Benfrey is dead. Willamen is in the Vale.
Wendel is at Seaguard and the rest of the half-uncle’s are pretty darn young. That
leaves four possible candidates. It could be Lame Lothar, but he’s
gainfully employed as steward of the Twins and Ami’s dad, Merritt, never
trusted him plus the entire point of participating in the Red Wedding was to
prove oneself useful to maintain one’s place at the Twins. Lother orchestrated the
whole Red Wedding and definitely won himself a spot. He wouldn’t need to be
camping out at Darry. It’s also possible that it could be either one of Lame
Luther’s brothers Jammos and Whalen, but being Lame Luther’s full-blooded
brothers, they would feel more welcome as the Twins because of Lothor’s
stewardship and his deep participation in the Red Wedding. That really leaves us
with one last half uncle: Olyver, Robb’s ex squire and a Rosby Frey. And
his presence really makes the most sense. He was excluded from the Red Wedding
because of this loyalty to Robb and would be an outcast at the Twins. He actually
legitimately needs a place to crash. Incidentally, an Alesander Frey was
also excluded from the red wedding for some reason and he happens to be a Crakehall Frey as well. I imagine that he’s one of the cousins with Gatehouse Ami. So,
a bunch of Crakehall and maybe a Rosby Freys are holding up at Darry. So what?
Well, this is where it gets more interesting. Ami’s cousin Arwood Frey
is married to Ryella Royce of the Vale and Ami’s late uncle Geremy was married
to Carolei Waynwood of the Vale and, as I mentioned before, Olyvar’s brother is a
maester with House Hunter of the Vale. But perhaps most significantly, both of
Ami’s cousins Sandor and Cynthea by her uncle Geremy are currently warded with
House Waynwood in the Vale. Sandor is the squire of Donnel Waynewood and growing
up at Ironoaks means that Sandor and Cynthea grew up with Harry the Heir and
are likely friends with him. The point being, if the Vale Lords come into the
Riverlands for any reason, say to defend the rights of little Walda Frey who is
half-Hunter, or to install Walton Frey who is half-Waynewood and married to a
Hardyng, or to claim Riverrun for Sweetrobin, or to install Sweetrobin’s
great-uncle Blackfish as the Lord of Riverrun, or to install Sweetrobin’s
uncle Edmure as Lord or his cousin Roslin Frey’s child as Lord, or to simply
deal with the power usurping Emmon Frey, or to simply put Littlefinger or his
daughter Alayne at their seat at Harrenhal. If they come in for any reason,
they will have with them Sandor Frey, a Crakehall Frey and likely friend of Harry
the Heir. It’s pretty clear who the Crakehall Freys would side with, especially
against anyone that’s trying to take darry from them. But the larger point is
this: there’s a potential coalition of Freys with Vale connections and
intermarriages that stand in fundamental opposition with the other Frey branches,
namely the Lydden phrase and Lannisters Freys. The Waynewood Freys likely
want the Twins, and the Rosby Freys likely want Riverrun, and the Crakehall Freys clearly want Darry. And all of them have Vale connections. All of this
also points to the idea that the end of the Sansa’s story in a Feast for Crows
is a fake out. Littlefinger claims that the Vale Lords will be going to war in
the North to win Winterfell for Sansa. Of course, if there’s one thing I know about
George R.R. Martin’s writing style, it’s that an announced or contemplated plan
almost never comes to fruition. There are exceptions, but generally he establishes
an expectation and then subverts it. Now I think everyone agrees that the story
demands that the Vale Lords enter the fight, but Littlefinger announcing a plan
for them in the North means they probably won’t go North.
The Frey problems show where they’re really going: into the Riverlands. And
that’s the Frey Civil War. Once again, I’m probably wrong about half of
this. But while we’re on the topic of Freys, I wanted to talk about Frey pies
for a second. As many of you know, while in the North
Jared, Rhaegar and Symond Frey ole manned Manderley later Manderley shows up to
Fick arias wedding with three really big pies and everyone eats them this implies
that the phrase were cannibalized in some sort of sick revenge for one and
Manderley son dying the scene was even somewhat brought into the show now I
don’t doubt that for a Pie’s probably happened but I just think it was really
really stupid on manderlys part Jared Rhaegar and Symon weren’t the major
planners of the red wedding and we aren’t even sure if Rhaegar was even
there plus Jared was already punished when he lost his son at the wedding the
pies get fed to people but we aren’t even sure if hosteen or amy Sivan ate
the pies and even if they did Amy’s died before finding out what he ate and
hosteen will likely die before finding out at the end of the day three pies
with a really really dumb form of revenge especially when three Frey
hostages would have been much much more useful to Manderley so who knows maybe
Jared Rhaegar and Simons will turn up alive it would be the smarter move
though I’m not holding my breath anyway that’s all for now thanks for watching
next time we’ll be talking about some murder
history’s see you then you

Michael Martin

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