The Old Weasel Dies
"Too late again, Frey!" Lord Hoster Tully, 298AC.
"Perhaps this is a blessing. Had he lived, there would have been another Frey." Edmure Tully, 298AC.
In time of peace, the passing of the lord of a noble house in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros was a tragic and solemn event. The death of Lord Walder Frey, lord and master of the Twins was without doubt the exception which confirmed the rule. Lord Walder Frey, born 208 years after Aegon's Conquest, died at the venerable age of 90 years old. In itself, it was a worthy accomplishment. What was not an achievement, however, was the dreadful reputation this Noble House had carried with Walder Frey at its head. As bannersmen of the Tullys , Lord Paramount of the Riverlands , the Freys made themselves famous by too often arriving late to battles , the most striking example being of course the Battle of the Trident in 282AC , where the forces of the Twins , numbering more than 3 000 men , arrived when the fate of the battle had already been decided . Lord Walder Frey became "the Late Lord Frey" this day. But what made Lord Walter Frey enter in the annals of Westeros history was the astounding number of descendants he sired. The man had by 298AC twenty-two trueborn sons, seven trueborn daughters and over a hundred descendants, base and trueborn counted. With a huge number of bastards sons and daughters, Lord Walder Frey placed a great emphasis on family loyalty, making all his descendants try to attract his favours, but was distrusted (to say the least) by his neighbours.
In the greatest indifference from the rest of Westeros (not even a representative of Riverrun was present); Lord Walder Frey decided in 298AC to remarry an eighth time. The name of the bride was Joyeuse Erenford, a sixteen year old girl. The night just after the wedding proved deadly for the participants. In the moment of action, Walder suffered a heart attack and died almost instantly while he was still carnally united with his new wife. The poor girl reacted badly to this very unwelcome event, and died soon after; suffocating from the weight of her dead husband (the girl had been tiny and frail, according to most witnesses). No one in the rest of the Twins hearing anything, the situation was not uncovered until the following morning, where a bastard daughter entered the room and realized something was wrong. At ninety years old, the lord of the Crossing was dead, caught a last time in the activity he liked above all the others.
The death of a lord could perhaps have brought attention to the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, except for another death happening in the same period. Three days earlier, Jon Arryn, Lord of the Eyrie, Hand of the King and Lord Paramount of the Vale had also passed away from this world. As a result, the accession of Ser Stevron Frey to the lordship was only an event that people recalled afterwards by rereading raven's messages. The only House which really acknowledged was the Tullys, their position as Lord Paramount of the Riverlands making sure of that. Hoster Tully, although quite ill, laughed and had a temporary reestablishment at the news. "Too late again! " figured prominently in the reaction of the lord of Riverrun.
The hostility between Lord Walder Frey and Lord Hoster Tully had been quite a bitter one, and the coming of the new Lord Frey at Riverrun did little to lighten the tensions. By then, Lord Hoster Tully was literally unable to do much except lie in his bed. The ceremony where Lord Stevron swore allegiance was one of the last times where Lord Tully was seen in public. Hoster's son, Edmure Tully, was seen behaving in a rather insulting manner towards his Frey guards. The Freys forming Lord Stevron's guard, in return, were not very impressed by Edmure beforehand, and the brief stay did nothing to reassure them. Stevron had initially planned to negotiate betrothals for his younger brothers and sisters, but the not-so well disguised poor opinion of the heir of the Riverlands forced him to change his plans. The only move in the game of thrones realized was the squiring of Walder's Frey, Jammos Frey's elder son (Jammos was the thirteen trueborn son of Lord Walder Frey) at Riverrun.
Once returned to the Twins, Lord Stevron Frey began then the titanic task of finding a wife or husband to each of his siblings. Efforts at first remained fruitless, not many knights or heirs being eager in marrying a noble they knew had absolutely no chance to accede to the lordship. The new master of the Twins was also trying to mend relations between the Mallisters, Lords of Seagard, and the Reeds, Lords of Greywater Watch. Progress on this path was made, more due to the recent discovery of the secret rearming of the Iron Fleet than any fondness of Lord Jason Mallister for the Frey family. What could have happened next is a mystery to this day. Ser Gregor "the Mountain" Clegane started a series of murderous raids in the Riverlands, raping, burning everyone and everything on his path. Edmure Tully, being in command due to the incapacity of his father, called his banners. The War of the Eight Kings had begun...