In his death bed, Lord Hoster Tully speaks in delirium of Tansy. Who is she?

There was a smell of death about that room; a heavy smell, sweet and foul, clinging. It reminded her of the sons that she had lost, her sweet Bran and her little Rickon, slain at the hand of Theon Greyjoy, who had been Ned’s ward. She still grieved for Ned, she would always grieve for Ned, but to have her babies taken as well... “It is a monstrous cruel thing to lose a child,” she whispered softly, more to herself than to her father.

Lord Hoster’s eyes opened. “Tansy,” he husked in a voice thick with pain.

He does not know me. Catelyn had grown accustomed to him taking her for her mother or her sister Lysa, but Tansy was a name strange to her. “It’s Catelyn,” she said. “It’s Cat, Father.”

“Forgive me... the blood... oh, please... Tansy...

Lord Hoster groaned. “Dead.” His hand groped for hers. “You’ll have others... sweet babes, and trueborn.”


2 Answers 2


I believe what he's talking about is the long rumored notion that he forced Lysa to drink tansy tea, which causes abortions, after he found out she was pregnant with Petyr's child. There's a discussion about it here and here.

As well as a quote from the book:

[Lysa]: “I gave you my maiden’s gift. I would have given you a son too, but they murdered him with moon tea, with tansy and mint and wormwood, a spoon of honey and a drop of permyroyal. It wasn’t me, I never knew, I only drank what Father gave me...”

[Petyr]: “That’s past and done, Lysa. Lord Hoster’s dead, and his old maester as well.”

-A Song of Ice and Fire: A Storm of Swords, Pt. 2 - Blood and Gold (Sansa).

  • I believe your answer is correct however I never understood why Hoster Tully would be so tortured. An unmarried daughter bearing a child would have brought shame on his house, and would have destroyed any plans he had for Lysa making a good marriage. Although not a cruel man by the standards of Westeros, he would've ordered its destruction and never given it another thought. Jun 21, 2013 at 10:40
  • 8
    @TheMathemagician: Many a man come to regret choices they've made in life when they are on their death beds. This one in particular is understandable, as it shows his love for his daughter. He "felt her pain" so to speak.
    – PiousVenom
    Jun 21, 2013 at 12:40
  • 11
    He's a Tully. Family, duty, honour. He put honour first. Stands to reason he'd regret it.
    – dsas
    Jun 21, 2013 at 20:14
  • 3
    I assumed that the tansy tea, which caused the abortion of Petyr's child, also left Lysa sickly and mostly unable to have children. This is why her son with Jon Arryn was unhealthy. Lysa's suffering took its toll on Hoster and he regretted it. Apr 8, 2014 at 17:29
  • @TheMathemagician If Hoster Tully wasn't cruel, then many a lords wouldn't be cruel either. He killed his own unborn grandchild, he forced his daughter to marry a man older than himself, he burnt and killed hundreds/thousands of civilians in lands of his vassals who refused to side with Rebels and stood on the side of Targaryens during Robert's rebellion. He was a typical Lord of Westeros.
    – Aegon
    Aug 1, 2016 at 6:41

Tansy is Hoster Tully's bastard daughter at The Peach. The INN/Brothel that Arya was taken to by the Brotherhood Without Banners. There was also a bastard daughter of Robert Baratheon there who was trying to get into bed with Gendry (Unbeknownst to her being her half brother.)

I am very sure that this is the Tansy he must be talking about because the book mentions very often that she has red hair and that is a strong trait in the Tully family, as well as the Stark family on account of Cateylyn who got her hair from her father... Hoster Tully.

  • 1
    Wasn't Tansy also the name of a girl hunted down by vicious Ramsay ?
    – Axel
    May 23, 2014 at 13:39
  • @Axel Tansy is essentially a flower and westerosi people do name their kids after flowers e.g. Gilly, Rose, Tansy etc
    – Aegon
    Aug 1, 2016 at 5:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.