Key players: Robb Stark, Catelyn Stark (nee Tully), Walder Frey, Lord Rickard Karstark, Roose Bolton, Jaime Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, Hoat/Locke and Brave Companion, Arya Stark, Brotherhood without Banners, The Hound
Robb Stark is the first-born son of Eddard Stark and Catelyn Tully, the rightful heir of Winterfell and the North. Upon his father’s imprisonment for treason, he raises his banners and marches south to free his father. After Eddard Stark’s execution, Robb Stark was named the King in the North by their followers. The King in the North is an ancient title held for thousands of years by House Star of Winterfell. They were the last kingdom of the First Men. The last King in the North was Torren Stark, who bent the knee to Aegon the conqueror, during the War of Conquest (when Targaryens conquered Westeros), thus making the North part of the Seven Kingdoms. With the act of taking this title, Robb Stark broke away from the Iron Throne. His primary objective is therefore, not to rule the Seven Kingdoms but to avenge his father’s death and seek out the independence for the North.
In order to secure safe passing across the river and gain tactical advantage over the Lannister forces, which would enable his further progression towards south, Robb promised Walder Frey, the Lord of the Crossing (Riverlands), he would marry one of his many daughters (among other things). However, after the battle of The Crag, Robb suffers a wound and is tended by Jayne Westerling/Talisa. The two fall in love, which results in Robb taking her maidenhood. In an effort to preserve her honor, he marries her immediately thereafter, much to the horror of his mother, Catelyn Stark (nee Tully). Upon hearing the news, Walder Frey withdraws his support weakening Robb’s army in the process.
Season three opens with Robb and his army entering Harrenhal, soon after Tywin Lannister’s forces have left. Arya Stark included. Harrenhal is the biggest castle in all Westeros, built by King Harren the Black before the War of Conquest. It is located in the Riverlands, on the north shore of the Gods Eye lake. It is currently in the possession of Lord Bealish, who received it as a present from King Joffrey for his service to the Throne. Anyways, upon receiving the news of his grandfather’s death, Robb decides to take his mother to attend the funeral at Riverrun, leaving Lord Bolton in charge. Back at the Riverrun Lord Karstark, one of Robb’s men and a grieving father in search of revenge disobeys Robb’s direct orders when he kills two Lannister boys, which results in his own death. Loosing the support of Karstarks only further weakens Robb’s already weakened position. Not able to march further south he decides to go west instead and attack Castleyrock, the Lannister home. In order to do so, he needs the help of Lord Walder Frey, man he dishonored when he married Talisa. However, Frey agrees to help if Edmure Tully, Robb’s uncle, marries one of Frey daughters. Reluctantly, Edmure agrees.
Current Location: Riverrun, on his way to the Twins (for Edmure Tully’s wedding)
Rob Stark was severely injured by Frey men who ambushed the Starks during Edmure Tully’s wedding at the Twins. Like a wounded beast, he crawled to his dead wife and their unborn child, in disbelief as to what befell them. Despite his mother’s cries, Lord Bolton put a sword through his belly, killing him instantly, as if the stab in the back was not enough.
Catelyn is the wife of Lord Eddard Stark and Lady of Winterfell. Together they have five children: Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon. Catelyn was born into House Tully of Riverrun, Lord Paramount of the Riverlands. She is the daughter of Lord Hoster Tully and Minisa Whent. Her siblings are Edmure Tully (man with the poor aim) and Lysa Arryn (woman who breastfeeds her seven year old son).
Catelyn spent her childhood in Riverrun where she befriended her father’s ward, Petyr Baelish. He fell in love with her and even sought her hand, but Catelyn never shared his feelings, seeing him only as a little brother, and nothing more. When she was twelve, it was announced that she was betrothed to Brandon Stark, heir of Winterfell, in what would strengthen the ties of friendship between the houses. When Brandon came to Riverrun to meet Catelyn, young Petyr challenged him to a duel for her hand. Brandon won handily, but spared Baelish’s life in compliance with Catelyn’s plea. However, Catelyn betrothal to Brandon Stark ended abruptly when he, along with his father Rickard Stark, was killed by the Mad King, setting off Robert’s Rebellion, lead by his younger brother Eddard Stark and his childhood friend Robert Baratheon. Upon Brandon’s death, witnessed by 500 men who just stood and watched, Jaime Lannister included, she ended up marrying his brother Eddard, instead.
After the arrival of the royal party at Winterfell, Catelyn received a letter from her sister Lysa, stating that the Lannisters killed her husband Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King. Jon Arryn was also the man who raised Eddard and Robert Baratheen. This news put Starks on guard because Eddard Stark was offered the position of the Hand for king Robert. When Bran fell from the tower of one of Winterfell’s keeps Catelyn stayed by him day and night. On the eight night, she was attacked by an assassin who had come to finish the job. During the fight the assassin injured her hand before he was killed by Bran’s direwolf Summer. At this time Eddard was already on his way to King’s Landing. After recovering, Catelyn traveled to King’s Landing to share this news with her husband, determined to discover who tried to kill their son. There she met up with her childhood friend, Lord Baelish, who hid her in one of his brothels and told her that the dagger belonged to Tyrion Lannister, the Imp. On her way back to Winterfell, she encountered and arrested Tyrion at the Inn at the Crossroads (north of Harrenhal). Instead of taking him to Winterfell, she took him to her sister at the Eyrie where we would be trialed. Meanwhile, the news of Lannister imprisonment spread across King’s Landing forcing Tywin Lannister to act. He ordered Ser Gregor Clegane (the Mountain) to attack and raid Riverlands in retribution. Eddard Stark, acting king in king’s absence (hunt), ordered Ser Beric Dondarion to go after Ser Gregor Clegane and bring him to justice. This is how the Brotherhood without Banners was formed.
After the death of her husband, Eddard Stark, Catelyn was devastated with grief, which lead to anger. Instead of going back to Winterfell to Bran and Rickon, she decided to stay with her son Robb and their army. During the war council at Riverrun, however, she argued for peace with the south so she could get to her daughters, Sansa and Arya, who were still kept at King’s Landing by the Lannisters. At the Battle of the Whispering Woods, Robb’s army captured Ser Jaime Lannister, Tywin Lannister’s eldest son and the member of the Kingsguard. Jaime confessed that he was the one who pushed Bran through the window because he saw him making love to his sister, queen Cersei, Robert Baratheon’s wife. However, he had nothing to do with the assassin attack on Bran. Soon after, Catelyn Stark traveled to the Stromsend to ally with Renly Baratheon, the youngest brother of king Robert who claimed the Iron Throne. While there, she met Brienne of Tarth, one of Renly’s guards. The two of them were the only witnesses to Renly’s death by an animated shadow, which was conjured by his brother Stannis and his sorceress adviser, Melisandre. Catelyn and Brienne fled the scene and went north. Fearing for her daughters’ lives Catelyn Stark released Jaime Lannister entrusting him to Brienne of Tarth to escort him back to King’s Landing and trade him for Sansa and Arya. This caused an outrage among Stark’s men, Lord Karstark in particular. They demanded justice. However, King in the North was not able to punish his mother, the traitor. This further caused the rapture in his already weakened army that ultimately led to decapitation of Lord Karstark and loss of his army support.
Current Location: Riverrun, on her way to the Twins (for Edmure Tully’s wedding)
Driven into madness of a woman who has lost her sons (she believes all of them), lost her grandchild, may have lost her daughters, and for all she knows, is witnessing the extinction of the house she belongs to–all through the petty act of a crude old man she cuts the throat of Frey’s wife, an innocent woman mere seconds before her own throat is cut by Raymund Frey, the eleventh son of Lord Walder Frey. The blood gushes out and the Catelyn dies, right next to her firstborn son.
LORD WALDER FREY
Lord Frey is the head of House Frey and Lord of the Crossing (the Twins). He is currently married to his eighth wife and has over hundred descendants, base and trueborn. During Robert’s Rebbelion, Walder delayed arriving at the Battle of Trident well until the rebels had already won. For this he earned a nickname The Late Lord Frey. He repeated the same maneuver during the War of Five Kings, which gave him the upper hand with Robb Stark. The Twins became a strategic necessity for Robb’s host, which enable him to negotiate marriage contracts for his children with Robb Stark and his younger sister Arya Stark. In addition, two of his grandsons are sent to Winterfell as wards and one of his sons Olyvar Frey is made a squire to Robb Stark. Also, one of his daughters, Walda Frey, is married to Lord Roose Bolton.
After Robb’s marriage to Jayne/Talisa, Lord Frey withdraws Frey’s support from the King of the North in outrage. However, soon after he has a change of heart and is willing to re-establish his support to the Starks if Edmure Tully marries one of his daughters in stead. Edmure Tully agrees.
Current Location: the Twins (preparing for Edmure Tully’s wedding)
Walder secretly colludes with Tywin Lannister and Roose Bolton to betray the Starks and Tullys. Through his sons, Walder lures Robb and many of his key bannermen back to the Twins under the guise of making amends and marrying Edmure Tully to his daughter Roslin. During the wedding feast, Walder’s men ambush Robb and his entire host (despite the fact they were under the protection of the guest right), slaughtering Robb, Catelyn, Talisa and her unbron child, many of their bannermen, and a significant portion of the northern army. This betrayal becomes known as the Red Wedding. Walder then openly swears loyalty to House Lannister whilst his second son (Emmon Frey) receives Riverrun and its lands as reward.
LORD RICKARD KARSTARK
Rickard Karstark is the Lord of Karhold (northeast of Winterfell) and head of the House Karstark. He was named after Rickard Stark, Eddard Stark’s father. He fought for Eddard Satrk against the Mad King during Robert’s Rebellion.
During the War of Five Kings, he fought for Robb Stark and was accompanied by his three sons, Torrhen, Eddard and Harrion. In the Battle of the Whispering Wood Ser Jaime Lannister killed both Eddard and Harrion. After Catelyn Stark released Ser Jaime Lannister from captivity, overcome with grief and anger he murdered two Lannister boys (in the book one is Lannister and one is Frey) in their cells at Riverrun and sent his men to track down the Kingslayer. Robb Stark declares him a traitor and sentences him to die. Following his father’s teaching, Robb carries out the sentence himself. With his last breath Rickard denounces Robb as his king, curses him and calls him a kinslayer, due to the blood ties between Stark and Karstark.
Current Location: Dead
LORD ROOSE BOLTON
Roose Bolton is the head of the House Bolton and Lord of the Dreadfort (northeast of Winterfell). He fought at the Battle of Trident, during the Robert’s Rebellion. When Ser Barristan Selmy, seriously wounded in the battle, was brought before Robert, Roose argued they should kill him. Robert ignored him and spared Barristan’s life, making him a member of his Kingsguard. Just before the War of Five Kings, his only trueborn son Domeric Bolton, died of a “bad belly”. Not having other heirs, Roose then brought his bastard son Ramsay Snow to the Dreadfort and made him an unofficial heir. Ramsey Bolton was later on sent to retake Winterfell from Theon Grayjoy. (It is believed that Ramsay Snow is the boy who tortures Theon throughout season 3 ).
During the war, in attempt to limit Lord Tywin’s options, who marched from Harrenhal in attempt to meet Robb Stark in the Westerlands (he went into the Battle of the Blackwater instead), Ser Edmure Tully commanded Roose to join up with Ser Helman Tallhart to retake the Harrenhal. In an effort to take Harrenhal without weakening his army, Roose makes a deal with Vargo Hoat/Locke, leader of Brave Companions, sellswords in the employ of Tywin Lannister. However, Tywin had already left Harrenhal whilst Jaqen H’qar, as a repayment debt to Arya Stark, killed what was left of Tywin’s men. Upon receiving the news of his grandfather’s death, Robb Stark marched to Riverrun to attend the funeral, leaving Lord Roose Botlon in charge. In the meantime the Brave Companions captured Ser Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth, who were sent by Catelyn Stark to the King’s Landing. Vargo Hoat/Locke cut of Jaime’s hand before bringing him back to Harrenhal. Instead of giving him to Robb, Lord Bolton decided to let Jamie go free in exchange for the promise that he would vouch for him in front of his father, Tywin Lannister.
Current Location: just left Harrenhal, on his way to the Twins (for Edmure Tully’s wedding)
Before letting Jaime Lannister leave Harrenhal, Roose asks him to give his regards to Lord Tywin; Jaime responds that Roose should give his regards to Robb Stark. Robb summons Roose to aid in retaking the North from the ironborn. However, Roose has decided that the Stark cause is lost and is already plotting with Tywin, Walder Frey, and his acknowledged son Ramsay to bring them down. During the Red Wedding, Roose mumbles an excuse to get out of the hall. The bedding and playing of “The Rains of Castamere” is the signal for the Freys to attack their guests. After Robb has already been wounded by arrows Roose approaches him and kills him while saying:
“The Lannisters send their regards” or more accuratley, as in the books: “Jaime Lannister sends his regards.”
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