In the last episode of Game of Thrones, we returned to the Riverlands for the first time since The Red Wedding at the end of season three. It’s hard to forget what happened there: Walder Frey slaughtered Robb Stark and all his bannermen in an act that turned control of the Riverlands over from the Tullys to the Freys.
But who exactly are all the Tullys and Freys, again? What were they up to in the earlier seasons, and where are they all now? It’s easy to get a little confused when there are so many noble houses and lords to keep track of, so we’ve prepared a little refresher to get you ready for all the carnage we’re sure is about to go down in the heart of Westeros.
House Tully are the traditional lords of the Riverlands, and their seat is the castle of Riverrun. At the start of Game of Thrones, they were led by Lord Hoster Tully, who had three children: Catelyn, Edmure, and Lysa. Catelyn was set to be married off to Ned’s older brother Brandon Stark, but he was burned alive by the mad king Aerys leading up to Robert’s Rebellion. After that, she married Ned instead.
Lysa Tully ended up in a powerful, but less desirable marriage to the elderly Jon Arryn, Lord of the Vale. Jon was 70 at the time, but the union was considered acceptable because Lysa had been deflowered and ‘spoiled’ by Littlefinger, who was the son of a minor house in the region being fostered at Riverrun. Lysa’s marriage to Jon Arryn solidified House Tully’s alliance with the Vale during Robert’s Rebellion.
Upon the death of Hoster Tully in season two, Catelyn’s little brother Edmure became the Lord of the Riverlands. By all accounts, he’s a bit of a well-meaning f*ck up. He screwed up a trap set by Robb to capture the Mountain and initially refused to marry a Frey to salvage Robb’s alliance with their house. It was that marriage to Roslyn Frey that turned into the massacre known as The Red Wedding. Since then, he has been a prisoner of Lord Walder Frey.