Tower of the Hand

Book 3, Chapter 82.
Merrett Frey is hanged by the Brotherhood Without Banners at the behest of Catelyn Stark.
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Merrett Frey trudges up the path to Oldstones. He is bringing gold to ransom Petyr from a group of outlaws. An alcoholic prone to debilitating headaches, he is not well regarded by his family and had to practically beg to win the duty of ransoming Petyr. He hopes bringing Petyr back unharmed will increase his standing. Petyr had wandered off with a camp follower and was captured. Merrett cannot blame Petyr for wanting a woman, as his wife1 is not only twice his age, but she is rumored to be sharing Black Walder's bed as well. Black Walder is known as a man who takes what he wants and has also shared the bed of Edwyn's wife2, his cousin Fair Walda, and, according to rumor, the seventh Lady Frey3 He worries what will happen when Lord Walder dies. For all his faults, Walder has always believed in taking care of his own, and he instilled the same sense of family in his heir, Ser Stevron, but with Stevron dead, his son Ser Ryman, who is thick-witted and greedy, stands to inherit, followed by his sons, Edwyn and Black Walder, who are even worse. Merrett is even more afraid of Lame Lothar, who may be more dangerous than any of them and was the man responsible for planning out the events of the Red Wedding with Roose Bolton. Merrett believes that when Walder dies, there will be civil war amongst his siblings and that most of the Freys will be cast out by the winner.

Merrett fears he does not have the skills or connections to survive on his own when the inevitable strife begins. When he was younger, he had been nearly as big as Ser Hosteen, the strongest of Lord Walder's brood, and had been made a squire by Lord Sumner Crakehall, but during the campaign against the Kingswood Brotherhood, he caught a pox from a whore, was captured by Wenda the White Fawn, and finally, after he was ransomed, was nearly killed by a blow to the head that caused his frequent headaches and ended his dream of knighthood. His luck had only worsened since. He managed a good marriage to a Darry4, but then they lost half their lands and nearly all their wealth and power for supporting House Targaryen during Robert's Rebellion. Worse, his wife gave him only daughters for many years, and his first born, Ami was a slut. After she had been caught with three grooms, he had been forced to marry her to a hedgeknight named Ser Pate, who decided he could win renown by defeating Ser Gregor Clegane and left her a widow. Roose Bolton chose his second daughter, Fat Walda as his bride, but even that did not help because her immense girth meant Lord Walder had to pay out a larger dowry. He even failed in his limited role at the Red Wedding; he was supposed to get the Greatjon to drunk to fight, but he ended up passing out while the Greatjon managed to grab a sword and needed eight men to subdue him, leaving two men wounded, one dead, and Ser Leslyn Haigh short an ear.

Merrett arrives at the appointed spot, and Tom is waiting for him. Suddenly, many additional members of the Brotherhood Without Banners surround him as Lemoncloak asks if he brought the money. Jack-Be-Lucky takes the gold. Notch takes his horse while Lem and Tom take him to the godswood where Petyr is waiting. When they get there, Merrett discovers that Petyr has already been hanged. The outlaws prepare Merrett for hanging. Tom asks him if he knows where Sandor Clegane might be found, the Brotherhood is still looking for him and Arya, but Merrett has no idea where he is. They string Merrett up, and he begins to beg. He says the Red Wedding was not murder; that they had to remove the stain on their honor. He calls it vengeance and states they lost good men too, fifty in the camps as well as Ser Garse Goodbrook and Ser Tytos. Finally, he points out that Lord Beric always gives a trial and that he did nothing. Walder, Ser Ryman, and Roose Bolton came up with the idea, Lame Lothar rigged the tents to collapse, and Walder Rivers led the attack on the camps, but all he did was drink some wine, and the outlaws have no witnesses to say otherwise. Tom says they do have a witness, and to Merrett's horror, Catelyn Stark, who was killed by Raymund, comes forward.5 She cannot speak due to her slit throat, but she nods when Tom asks if Merrett was part of it, and Merrett is hanged.


Active Characters

  1. Catelyn Tully - Her flesh is now pudding soft and the color of curdled milk due to her time in the water. Half her hair is gone, and the rest is white and brittle. Her face is shredded and covered with blood from when she raked her face.


Active Houses

  1. House Darry of Darry - House Darry had been high in the favor of Aerys II Targaryen. For supporting House Targaryen during Robert's Rebellion, they lost half their lands, most of their wealth, and nearly all of their power.


Warning: Footnotes may contain spoilers from later chapters or books.


1.  Prologue 29.  Sansa III 57.  Bran IV
2.  Jaime I 30.  Arya V 58.  Daenerys V
3.  Catelyn I 31.  Jon IV 59.  Tyrion VII
4.  Arya I 32.  Jaime IV 60.  Sansa IV
5.  Tyrion I 33.  Tyrion IV 61.  Tyrion VIII
6.  Davos I 34.  Samwell II 62.  Sansa V
7.  Sansa I 35.  Arya VI 63.  Jaime VII
8.  Jon I 36.  Catelyn IV 64.  Davos VI
9.  Daenerys I 37.  Davos IV 65.  Jon VIII
10.  Bran I 38.  Jaime V 66.  Arya XII
11.  Davos II 39.  Tyrion V 67.  Tyrion IX
12.  Jaime II 40.  Arya VII 68.  Jaime VIII
13.  Tyrion II 41.  Bran III 69.  Sansa VI
14.  Arya II 42.  Jon V 70.  Jon IX
15.  Catelyn II 43.  Daenerys IV 71.  Tyrion X
16.  Jon II 44.  Arya VIII 72.  Daenerys VI
17.  Sansa II 45.  Jaime VI 73.  Jaime IX
18.  Arya III 46.  Catelyn V 74.  Jon X
19.  Samwell I 47.  Samwell III 75.  Arya XIII
20.  Tyrion III 48.  Arya IX 76.  Samwell IV
21.  Catelyn III 49.  Jon VI 77.  Jon XI
22.  Jaime III 50.  Catelyn VI 78.  Tyrion XI
23.  Arya IV 51.  Arya X 79.  Samwell V
24.  Daenerys II 52.  Catelyn VII 80.  Jon XII
25.  Bran II 53.  Arya XI 81.  Sansa VII
26.  Davos III 54.  Tyrion VI 82.  Epilogue
27.  Jon III 55.  Davos V
28.  Daenerys III 56.  Jon VII