When asked which noble House of Westeros is the most hated, the most reviled, Game of Thrones fans will almost always give the same answer: Frey. Houses Lannister, Greyjoy, or Tyrell may have their detractors, but you’d be hard pressed to find a book reader or show watcher who’s an avid fan of House Frey.
The head of House Frey and Lord of the Crossing is Walder Frey, known to most as the grand perpetrator of The Red Wedding and as an all around grotesque, lecherous old man. He hasn’t appeared on Game of Thrones since the now-infamous ‘The Rains of Castamere,’ but even more surprising, The Red Wedding is Lord Walder Frey’s last on-page appearance in the novels, too. Fans are still waiting for Frey to earn his comeuppance, and now David Bradley (Harry Potter, The Strain), the actor who plays the duplicitous man on the HBO series, is teasing Walder Frey’s return.
Filming is currently underway on Game of Thrones season 6, and in between Kit Harington sightings, we’ve learned of a couple new actors joining the show next season. Ian McShane has been cast in a small though pivotal mystery role, and Max von Sydow has been confirmed as playing the Three Eyed-Raven.
Bradley doesn’t explicitly state if he’s returning for season 6, but he does confirm Frey’s eventual return (via Zap2It):
“He will be coming back, but I can’t say when. I can’t really say because things are in a delicate situation.
I do look forward to it, because I do love playing someone so irredeemable. I’m afraid he makes me laugh because he’s so appalling that there’s a kind of dark humor in there somewhere.”
Though he only appeared in three episodes, Bradley’s Walder Frey certainly left an impression. That’s in part thanks to Bradley’s work as an extremely talented character actor, but also to how revolting and unforgettable Walder Frey is as a character. Fans may be the most outspoken about their hatred for Joffrey or Ramsey, but Frey is easily a character most – if not all – wish to see dead.
And after breaking one of the oldest and most sacred traditions, that of guest rights, with the murders of Catelyn, Robb, and Talisa, it’s hard to imagine that George R.R. Martin hasn’t cooked up some fitting punishment. After all, Martin isn’t one to shy away from terrible people getting their just desserts (Viserys, Joffrey, Lysa Arryn, etc.). The question remains, however, where will fans see Frey return first? As played by Bradley on Game of Thrones? Or in the pages of The Winds of Winter?
Game of Thrones season 6 is expected to premiere on HBO in spring 2016.