''hoster

8

Pre-GOT families :  House Tully of Riverrun is one of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms, and the principal house of the Riverlands. Their seat is Riverrun and their sigil is a silver trout leaping on a blue and red striped field. Their official motto is “Family, Duty, Honor”.

From the union of Hoster Tully and Minisa Whent were born six children : two deceased sons, a two daughters, Catelyn and Lysa, and another son named Edmure. Unfortunately Minisa died giving birth to her fourth son, who died too shortly after.

It took her back to her childhood, to long grey days at Riverrun. She remembered the godswood, drooping branches heavy with moisture, and the sound of her brother’s laughter as he chased her through piles of damp leaves. She remembered making mud pies with Lysa, the weight of them, the mud slick and brown between her fingers. They had served them to Littlefinger, giggling, and he’d eaten so much mud he was sick for a week. How young they all had been.

2

She was no stranger to waiting, after all. Her men had always made her wait. “Watch for me, little cat,” her father would always tell her, when he rode off to court or fair or battle. And she would, standing patiently on the battlements of Riverrun as the waters of the Red Fork and the Tumblestone flowed by. He did not always come when he said he would, and days would ofttimes pass as Catelyn stood her vigil, peering out between crenels and through arrow loops until she caught a glimpse of Lord Hoster on his old brown gelding, trotting along the river-shore toward the landing. “Did you watch for me?” he’d ask when he bent to hug her. “Did you, little cat?”

8

“No great hosts encircled Raventree, as Riverrun had been encircled. This siege was a more intimate affair, the latest step in a dance that went back many centuries. At best Jonos Bracken had five hundred men about the castle. Jaime saw no siege towers, no battering rams, no catapults. Bracken did not mean to break the gates of Raventree nor storm its high, thick walls. With no prospect of relief in sight, he was content to starve his rival out. No doubt there had been sorties and skirmishes at the start of the siege, and arrows flying back and forth; half a year into it, everyone was too tired for such nonsense. Boredom and routine had taken over, the enemies of discipline.” ♦ adwd, jaime i

2

Parallel Lives: Elizabeth I & Thomas Seymour and Sansa Stark & Littlefinger

Elizabeth was the crown princess, third in line to the throne of England. Thomas Seymour had been brother to Jane Seymour and therefore uncle to the future king of England. His connections provided him with a position in court.

Sansa was born to House Stark, previously betrothed to King Joffery, and upon the death and disappearances of her brothers, is heir to Winterfell, seat to the Warden of the North. Littlefinger was a ward to Hoster Tully, and grew up close to his daughters Catelyn and Lysa. He became an influential member of court, and master of coin on the recommendation of Lysa to her husband Jon Aryn, who was hand of the king.

When Henry VIII died, his widow Katherine Parr, took Elizabeth into her protective custody, and placed her within her household.

Sansa escaped King’s Landing, with the help of Littlefinger. She was taken to the Vale, governed by her aunt Lysa Arryn, who offered her refuge.

Katherine married Thomas Seymour, whom she supposedly had loved during her marriage to Henry.

Lysa married Littlefinger, a man she had loved since she had been a young girl, and whom she had conspired to kill her husband Jon .

Thomas had apparently planned to marry eligible Princess Elizabeth before his marriage to Katherine. He made various advances on the 14 year old girl, including visiting her bed at night, and ‘tickling’ her.

Littlefinger had loved Catelyn and often remarked how much Sansa looks like her. He has made various advances on young Sansa, including kissing her.

A pregnant Katherine caught the two in an embrace, and sent young Elizabeth away. Katherine died days after giving birth to a daughter. Some suggested that Thomas had her poisoned so that he could marry Elizabeth, though it is believed she died from the same fever as her predecessor and sister-in-law Jane Seymour.

Lysa caught Littlefinger kissing Sansa, and flew into a terrible rage, in which she tried to kill Sansa. Littlefinger intervened, and threw his blushing bride out of the moon door and to her death.

Thomas was found guilty of treason on a number of accounts, including trying to marry Elizabeth. He was executed by her brother Edward VI. Elizabeth would take the throne, upon the death of her sister Mary. She never married.

8

No great hosts encircled Raventree, as Riverrun had been encircled. This siege was a more intimate affair, the latest step in a dance that went back many centuries. ― Jaime I, A Dance with Dragons.

Gerry O'Brien as Jonos Bracken // Raffey Cassidy as Bethany Blackwood // Skandar Keynes as Hoster Blackwood // Jeremy Irons as Tytos Blackwood

For ladyflorence1215 ♥

6

…but at that age, no girl interested Jaime half so much as Hoster’s famous brother, who had won renown fighting the Ninepenny Kings upon the Stepstones. At table he had ignored poor Lysa, whilst pressing Brynden Tully for tales of Maelys the Monstrous and the Ebon Prince. Ser Brynden was younger then than I am now, Jaime reflected, and I was younger than Peck.

Rupert Grint (“Instruments of Darkness” from Enemy of Man) as Young!Brynden

2

Sansa knew most of the hymns, and followed along on those she did not know as best she could. She sang along with grizzled old serving men and anxious young wives, with serving girls and soldiers, cooks and falconers, knights and knaves, squires and spit boys and nursing mothers. She sang with those inside the castle walls and those without, sang with all the city. She sang for mercy, for the living and the dead alike, for Bran and Rickon and Robb, for her sister Arya and her bastard brother Jon Snow, away off on the Wall. She sang for her mother and her father, for her grandfather Lord Hoster and her uncle Edmure Tully, for her friend Jeyne Poole, for old drunken King Robert, for Septa Mordane and Ser Dontos and Jory Cassel and Maester Luwin, for all the brave knights and soldiers who would die today, and for the children and the wives who would mourn them, and finally, toward the end, she even sang for Tyrion the Imp and for the Hound. [insp]

“how fares minisa?”

“she sleeps.  the girls are with her.”

brynden nods.  hoster looks tired, with dark circles under his eyes.  brynden is quite sure he doesn’t fare better.  minisa’s yells had kept them all awake through the night.  lysa had wept, and catelyn had held her close.  cat never liked it when lysa cried, and always tried to put a smile on her face.

“come see him,” hoster says.  he sounds excited.  “come see my boy.”

will this one live? brynden doesn’t ask.  both girls did, after all, even if robb and jonos had not.  but he doesn’t say that.  it is ill luck, he knows, to even think such thoughts on the day the boy is born. 

the windows of the nursery are open, and a cool wind comes in from over the river.  in the middle of the cradle, swaddled in a blue blanket was a baby with a red face and a tuft of red hair.  he is sleeping, and crinkled, and brynden can hardly breathe.

he’s so small, is all he can think.  smaller than cat had been, surely, and smaller than lysa.  he must be smaller than robb and jonos as well, for they’d been bigger than cat had been, hale and loud and fussing.

“edmure, we’ve called him,” hoster says.  “the midwife said there was nothing wrong with him, apart from coming early.  she said he’d be strong and bigger before too long.”

brynden reached down and ran a finger over the boy’s cheek.  it was so soft, like a flower petal.  just a babe, he said, just a little babe.

“you should wed and have one of your own,” hoster said, but brynden shook his head.  i’d take no joy in the making.  but he can’t say that to hoster.  hoster would never understand that. 

“why, when you’ve a boy of your own that i can love,” he says.  love and protect.  he thinks of the girls, cat’s bright smile, lysa’s tuneless humming.  what will you be, little edmure? 

the babe yawns, and snuffles, and continues to sleep, and brynden–he can’t stop staring at him.

“He is a handsome man, Lord Hoster, is he not?”

The words echoed through the yard, and Minisa could hear them near as clearly as she could hear the ringing of her brothers training with steel for the first time.  Lord Hoster was indeed a handsome man, with hair like the burnt leaves of autumn and eyes as clear a blue as ever the lake waters on a sunlit day.  And he was to be her lord husband, and she would be gone from home before too long.

If the Tullys were lords of the Rivers, then the Whents were lords of the Lake—the greatest lake in all of the Seven Kingdoms, so wide you could not see across it.  There was an island in the middle, but you could only truly see it if you climbed to the top of Kingspyre Tower, and Minisa did not like heights, so she never looked. Her brothers said it was red, though, red like Lord Hoster’s hair, red with the leaves of the weirwood trees that were so rare south of the Neck.

Surely it couldn’t be so different to be surrounded by the rivers.  Her lord father told her that Riverrun had the river on both sides, and would seem a tiny place compared to Harrenhal.  He made it sound a boast.  Everyone knew that Harrenhal was the largest castle in the lands, but somehow it was the Tullys of Riverrun who held the title of Lord Paramount.  Perhaps it made her father feel better to think of Harrenhal’s size when his young lord came to take his daughter away.

She wondered what it would be like to be far from the lake.  It was true, she was a daughter of the Riverlands, and the rivers should thus not seem alien to her, but they moved so quickly.  The lake was steady, its tiny wavelets lapping against her bared feet when she went with her brothers to wade.  The lake was smooth and soft and gentle and shiny—shiny like a great silver coin.  She’d heard that the Tumblestone was wild when it met with the Red Fork, that there was always noise and frothy water beyond the gates of Riverrun.  Would it keep her awake at night, in that small castle so far from here?  Or would it come to lull her to sleep, like a lullaby, as her husband held her in his arms?

He was a handsome man, Lord Hoster.  And he thought her beautiful.  Gretchel told her so when she’d braided her hair that night.  Gretchel had heard it in the stables, some of Lord Hoster’s men talking of how the young lord was quite taken with his bride to be.  What a fine pair they would make, the Lord of the Rivers and the Lady of the Lake.

“So many years, so many wars, so many kings…you’d think someone would have made a peace.”

“Someone did, my lord. Many someones. We’ve had a hundred peaces with the Brackens, many sealed with marriages. There’s Blackwood blood in every Bracken, and Bracken blood in every Blackwood. The Old King’s Peace lasted half a century. But then some fresh quarrel broke out, and the old wounds opened and began to bleed again. That’s how it always happens, my father says. So long as men remember the wrongs done to their forebears, no peace will ever last. So we go on century after century, with us hating the Brackens and them hating us. My father says there will never be an end to it.”

“There could be.”

“How, my lord? The old wounds never heal, my father says.”

“My father had a saying too. Never wound a foe when you can kill him. Dead men don’t claim vengeance.”

“Their sons do,” said Hoster, apologetically.

“Not if you kill the sons as well. Ask the Casterlys about that if you doubt me. Ask Lord and Lady Tarbeck, or the Reynes of Castamere. Ask the Prince of Dragonstone.” For an instant, the deep red clouds that crowned the western hills reminded him of Rhaegar’s children, all wrapped up in crimson cloaks.

One of my favorite “let’s sum up the series” conversations in ASOIAF.