Hoster Tully

From A Wiki of Ice and Fire
Jump to: navigation, search
House Tully.svg Lord
Hoster Tully
House Tully.svg
Jonathan Standing HosterT.jpg
Art by Jonathan Standing ©

Allegiance House Tully
Culture Rivermen
Born In 238240 AC[1]Riverrun[2]
Died In 299 ACRiverrun
Father Lord Tully
Spouse Lady Minisa Whent

Played by Christopher Newman
TV series Game of Thrones: Season 3

Hoster Tully is the Lord Paramount of the Trident, the Lord of Riverrun, and the head of House Tully. He was married to Lady Minisa Whent, with whom he had three children who survived infancy: Catelyn, Lysa, and Edmure. His younger brother is Ser Brynden Tully, the Knight of the Gate.

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Hoster Tully

In his youth Hoster was tall and broad, strong, with blue eyes and brown hair.[3][4] As he grew older, he became portly, and his hair and beard became streaked with grey.[3] Stricken by illness since 296 AC, Hoster has lost weight and now appears to have shrunk. His hair and beard have gone white.[3][5]

Hoster has always been a proud man,[4] and a follower of the Faith of the Seven.[6] When he was younger, he could never stay still, and was often traveling somewhere.[7] Now aged, he enjoys watching the Red Fork and the Tumblestone from his solar in Riverrun's keep.[3] Hoster's daughter, Catelyn Stark, does not believe he would be willing to father bastards.[8]

Hoster's armor is silver plate-and-mail, while his cloak and surcoat are blue and red. The crest atop his greathelm is a silver and bronze trout. His shield is massive oak-and-iron,[9] and he also owns a hunting horn.[9] When he was younger, Hoster often rode a brown gelding.[10]


Early Life

According to George R. R. Martin, Hoster served in the War of the Ninepenny Kings, during which time he met and befriended Lord Baelish. Because of this friendship, Hoster later agreed to foster Lord Baelish’s son, Petyr, at Riverrun.[11]

Lord of Riverrun

Following the death of his father, Hoster inherited the rule to Riverrun,[9] at some point in or after 264 AC.[12] Following the Tully funeral customs, Hoster's father was sent down the Red Fork in a boat, which Hoster was to set aflame by firing a fire arrow. While Hoster missed his first shot, his second arrow found sail.[9]

At some point, Hoster attempted to betroth his younger brother Brynden to Bethany Redwyne. Brynden, however, refused, which began a decades-long feud between the two brothers.[13] Hoster received other offers for Brynden over the years, including one from Lord Bracken and one from Lord Walder Frey, but Brynden refused them all.[3]

Hoster married Lady Minisa Whent, who gave birth to four sons and two daughters. However, only three children (two daughters and a son) survived infancy. Following the death of his two eldest sons, Hoster came to regard his eldest daughter, Catelyn, as his heir, until another son was born to him. Hoster and Minisa had another daughter, Lysa, who was followed by a son, Edmure. Minisa became pregnant a sixth time, but died in childbirth, giving birth to another son who died with her.[14] Hoster loved his wife and was deeply saddened by her death,[14] still missing her decades later.[5]

According to Catelyn, she was Hoster's favourite child.[15] Lord Tully taught Catelyn how to ride in the godswood of Riverrun,[3] and she read to him in his solar when his eyes tired.[16] A restless man in his prime, Hoster was often away from home, frequently staying at the crossroads inn.[7] His daughters and ward sometimes accompanied him.[17] When they did not, Hoster always told Catelyn to wait for him at Riverrun when he left on one of his journeys, which she did.[10]

When Catelyn was eight years old, Hoster and Brynden had one of their larger quarrels, during which Hoster called his brother "the black goat of the Tully flock". Brynden, however, pointed out that the sigil of House Tully was a trout, making him a black fish instead of a black goat. Brynden the Blackfish took a black trout for his sigil since that day.[13]

Daughters' Betrothals

Hoster gives his daughter Lysa moon tea.
Art by Juliana Pinho

Lord Hoster wished to make advantageous marriages for his children. He betrothed his eldest daughter, Catelyn to Brandon Stark, the heir to Lord Rickard Stark of Winterfell, when she was only twelve years old.[18] He began negotiations with Lord Tywin Lannister, aiming to betroth his younger daughter Lysa to Jaime Lannister, the heir to Casterly Rock.[19] When Jaime spent a fortnight at Riverrun in his early teens, Hoster took care to seat him next to Lysa with every meal.[20] By 281 AC, Tywin had invited Hoster to travel to King's Landing, where Tywin resided as Hand of the King, to discuss the dower.[19] However, King Aerys II Targaryen named Jaime to his Kingsguard before the agreements were finalized, thereby preventing the betrothal from being made.[19][21] When Tywin suggested his younger son, the deformed dwarf Tyrion, in Jaime's stead, Hoster declined, informing Tywin that he wanted a "whole man" for his daughter.[22]

Meanwhile, Lysa had fallen in love with Hoster's ward, Petyr Baelish, over the years,[23] while Petyr had fallen in love with Lysa's older sister, Catelyn,[24] who did not return his feelings.[25][17] Lysa had already lost her virginity to Petyr, though Petyr had been so drunken he was convinced he had slept with Catelyn.[23] When, Catelyn's betrothed, Brandon, visited Riverrun in 282 AC,[26] Petyr challenged him for Catelyn's hand[25] following the announcement of the wedding date.[27] Brandon won the duel, and Petyr was grievously wounded.[28] In the fortnight that Petyr was allowed to remain at Riverrun to recover some of his strength, he and Lysa slept together again, this time conceiving a child.[23]

Once Petyr was strong enough, Hoster sent him back to the Fingers in a litter.[28] When Lysa discovered her pregnancy, she informed her father, hoping that Hoster would allow her to marry the father of her child. Hoster, however, considered his former ward to be too low of birth,[29] and with the help of Maester Kym gave his daughter moon tea without informing her what the drink was, and so aborted her child.[23][27] Lysa nearly died from the experience.[30]

Robert's Rebellion

In 282 AC, Robert's Rebellion began after Catelyn Tully's betrothed, Brandon Stark, and his father, Lord Rickard, were executed by King Aerys II Targaryen, and the king demanded the heads of Lords Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark, who had been staying at the Eyrie with Lord Jon Arryn. While unwilling to chose a side in the rebellion at first,[30] Hoster eventually joined the rebellion on the side of the rebels. Hoster arranged Catelyn's betrothal to Eddard, Brandon's younger brother.[25]

In 283 AC, Hoster fought in the Battle of the Bells at Stoney Sept, where he was wounded by Lord Jon Connington, Aerys's Hand of the King.[24] The death of Ser Denys Arryn, the heir of Lord Arryn, in the battle gave Hoster a new opportunity. In exchange for Hoster's support, the ageing and heirless Jon Arryn agreed to marry Hoster's younger daughter, Lysa, who had proven to be fertile following her aborted pregnancy with Petyr Baelish.[8] Lysa's betrothal was hastily arranged, and Hoster saw both his daughters marry in the same ceremony at Riverrun.[6][8]

During the wedding feast, Hoster's younger brother, Ser Brynden Tully, informed Hoster that he had taken service with Lord Arryn and would leave Riverrun for the Vale of Arryn.[13] Hoster saw Brynden's decision as a personal rejection.[31] He disowned his brother,[5] and, angered by Brynden's departure, would not speak his brother's name anymore.[13]

While Lords Arryn and Stark returned to the campaign, Hoster remained mostly at Riverrun during the remainder of the war.[8] Several of his bannermen, such as the Darrys, Goodbrooks, Mootons, and Rygers,[7][32] remained loyal to House Targaryen, and Hoster put at least one village of House Goodbrook to the sword.[32]

Because the levies of Lord Walder Frey, another of Hoster's bannermen, arrived after the decisive battle of the Trident, Hoster has since referred to Walder as the "Late Lord Frey".[7] When Walder married his seventh wife, Annara Farring, within a few years after the war had ended, the Lord of the Crossing resented that his liege lord Hoster did not attend the wedding.[33]

Recent History

Just as he once sought to make advantageous marriages for his daughters, Hoster also began seeking an advantageous marriage for his son and heir, Edmure. Lord Walder Frey offered a daughter who was only a few years older than Edmure, but Hoster declined.[33] Hoster once invited Princess Arianne Martell, the heiress to Dorne, to come to Riverrun to meet Edmure. However, Doran Martell, Arianne's father and the Prince of Dorne, declined the offer.[34]

In 296 AC, Hoster fell ill[7] and eventually became bedridden.[3]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Hoster keeps the severity of his illness a secret,[3] with his son Ser Edmure taking many of his duties, including the defense of Riverrun.[28] Hoster declines to attend the wedding of Lord Walder Frey to Joyeuse Erenford.[7][33]

When marauders under Ser Gregor Clegane attack the riverlands in retribution for Catelyn's capture of Tyrion Lannister, Edmure wants to retaliate. Hoster, however, insists that the matter be brought before the Iron Throne by Ser Marq Piper and Ser Raymun Darry so that Lord Tywin Lannister cannot pretend that a counterattack was unprovoked.[35]

Following the death of King Robert I Baratheon, Hoster is included in the list of lords required to swear allegiance to the new king, Joffrey I Baratheon.[36]

Hoster is bedridden when Riverrun is besieged by the army of Ser Jaime Lannister and Edmure is captured beneath its walls.[37] Hoster's brother, Ser Brynden, and grandson, Robb Stark, break the siege during the battle of the Camps.[38] Hoster’s daughter Catelyn is with them, and visits her father, who is still lucid.[3] Hoster does not attend the war council in which Robb is declared King in the North by northmen and rivermen.[3]

A Clash of Kings

Hoster's smith creates a new crown for Robb in emulation of the older Kings in the North.[5] After so many years, Hoster reconciles with his brother, Brynden.[5] Hoster's mind continues to slip more and more; he constantly loses track of events and time happening all around him. He confuses Catelyn for his other daughter, Lysa, and Maester Vyman provides him with milk of the poppy[4] and dreamwine.[17] With Hoster incapacitated, Edmure defends the Red Fork against Tywin and Gregor in the battle of the Fords.[15]

A Storm of Swords

Hoster Tully's funeral
By Jauma

After freeing Jaime Lannister, Catelyn is confined to Hoster's chambers.[8] During his last weeks, Hoster is only able to mutter a few feverish words and no longer recognises his children. His son Edmure has assumed control of Riverrun in his stead. He often speaks in his delirium of Lysa and her aborted pregnancy, initially bewildering Catelyn with his references to "Tansy" and "the blood". Though Catelyn and Edmure write to Lysa asking her to visit her father before his death, she never responds to the ravens.[39] Hoster dies in 299 AC and is succeeded by Edmure.[9]

At his funeral Hoster's body is put in a boat and set down the Red Fork by Robb Stark, King of the Trident, and six of his bannermen: Lord Jonos Bracken, Lord Tytos Blackwood, Lord Karyl Vance, Lord Jason Mallister, Ser Marq Piper, and Lord Walder Frey's son Lothar, who replaces Hoster's friend, Ser Desmond Grell, at the last minute upon Robb's request. Hoster's armor, shield, hunting horn, and a wooden sword are added to the boat. As part of the funeral custom a flaming arrow is fired to light the sails as the boat travels downriver. Edmure fires the arrows, but misses three times in his grief. Brynden, seeing this, takes the bow from his nephew's hands and succeeds in lighting the sail before the boat disappears downriver.[9]

Edmure, the new Lord of Riverrun, is affected by his father's death and becomes surly, but Lothar warmly recalls stories about Hoster.[9] House Frey later betrays their liege in the Red Wedding, however, taking Edmure captive and killing Robb and Catelyn.[40]

A Feast for Crows

Following the resolution of the siege of Riverrun, Jaime stays in Hoster's solar and drinks his red wine before continuing on to Raventree Hall, angering Edmure.[16]

Quotes by Hoster

Hoster Tully's last voyage, by SvetoslavPetrov

Little cat. My little cat. I watched for you ...[3]

—Hoster to Catelyn Stark

Catelyn: Riverrun is free again, Father.
Hoster: I saw. Last night, when it began, I told them ... had to see. They carried me to the gatehouse ... watched from the battlements. Ah, that was beautiful ... the torches came in a wave, I could hear the cries floating across the river ... sweet cries ... when that siege tower went up, gods ... would have died then, and glad, if only I could have seen you children first.[3]

Catelyn Stark and Hoster

That stripling ... wretched boy ... not speak that name to me, your duty ... your mother, she would ... Oh, gods forgive me, forgive me, forgive me.[4]

—Hoster to Catelyn Stark, thinking she is Lysa Arryn

Forgive me. Tansy ... blood ... the blood ... gods be kind ...[8]

—Hoster to Catelyn Stark, thinking she is Lysa Arryn

Quotes about Hoster

Your lord father did not come to the wedding. An insult, as I see it. Even if he is dying. He never came to my last wedding either. He calls me the Late Lord Frey, you know. Does he think I'm dead? I'm not dead, and I promise you, I'll outlive him as I outlived his father. Your family has always pissed on me, don't deny it, don't lie, you know it's true.[33]

Catelyn: He says he is too sick to fight.
Brynden: I am too old a soldier to believe that. Hoster will be chiding me about the Redwyne girl even as we light his funeral pyre, damn his bones.[3]

I have always done my duty, she thought. Perhaps that was why her lord father had always cherished her best of all his children. Her two older brothers had both died in infancy, so she had been son as well as daughter to Lord Hoster until Edmure was born. Then her mother had died and her father had told her that she must be the lady of Riverrun now, and she had done that too. And when Lord Hoster promised her to Brandon Stark, she had thanked him for making her such a splendid match.[15]

—thoughts of Catelyn Stark

Vyman: His last strength is going, though still he tries to fight.

Catelyn: He was ever a fighter. A sweet stubborn man.

Vyman: Yes, but this battle he cannot win. It is time he lay down his sword and shield. Time to yield.[41]

You're a young fool, Archer. If we go to Riverrun it will only be to collect her ransom, won't be no time for you to sit about making bows. Be thankful if you get out with your hide. Lord Hoster was hanging outlaws before you were shaving.[42]

Catelyn reached out blindly, groping for her brother's hand, but Edmure had moved away, to stand alone on the highest point of the battlements. Her uncle Brynden took her hand instead, twining his strong fingers through hers. Together they watched the little fire grow smaller as the burning boat receded in the distance.

And then it was gone ... drifting downriver still, perhaps, or broken up and sinking. The weight of his armor would carry Lord Hoster down to rest in the soft mud of the riverbed, in the watery halls where the Tullys held eternal court, with schools of fish their last attendants.[9]

—thoughts of Catelyn Stark

Lord Hoster looked as noble as a king, my lady. Would that I had been given the chance to know him.[9]

When Riverrun declared for Robert, Goodbrook stayed loyal to the king, so Lord Tully came down on him with fire and sword. After the Trident, Goodbrook's son made his peace with Robert and Lord Hoster, but that didn't help the dead none.[32]


Lord Tully
Two sons[15]
House Stark.svg
House Arryn.svg


  1. See the Hoster Tully calculation.
  2. George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Hoster Tully.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn XI.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 39, Catelyn V.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
  6. 6.0 6.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 28, Catelyn V.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 35, Catelyn IV.
  10. 10.0 10.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 63, Catelyn X.
  11. So Spake Martin: US Signing Tour (Half Moon Bay, CA) (November 18, 2005)
  12. See the Lord Tully (father of Hoster) calculation.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34, Catelyn VI.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 45, Catelyn VI.
  16. 16.0 16.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 44, Jaime VII.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 55, Catelyn VII.
  18. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6, Catelyn II.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 11, Jaime II.
  20. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 33, Jaime V.
  21. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
  22. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 19, Tyrion III.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 80, Sansa VII.
  24. 24.0 24.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 29, Arya V.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 18, Catelyn IV.
  26. See the Petyr Baelish's duel against Brandon Stark
  27. 27.0 27.1 George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Petyr Baelish.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 40, Catelyn VII.
  29. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 68, Sansa VI.
  30. 30.0 30.1 George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Lysa Tully.
  31. George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Brynden Tully.
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 43, Arya VIII.
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 59, Catelyn IX.
  34. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 40, Princess In The Tower.
  35. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 43, Eddard XI.
  36. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
  37. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 56, Tyrion VII.
  38. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
  39. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 14, Catelyn II.
  40. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 51, Catelyn VII.
  41. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 20, Catelyn III.
  42. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 22, Arya IV.
Preceded by Lord of Riverrun
Lord Paramount of the Trident

?–299 AC
Succeeded by