AC 302 – Winterfell

Dawn was just a hint in the eastern sky while the King in the North scribbled despatches in his solar. He raised his bloodshot eyes, now deeply set in his haggard face – a face which had been an example of young, rugged handsomeness only two days before...

.

Three years ago he had been murdered by his Brothers from the Nights Watch and then resurrected by the Red Witch. This meant that "his watch had ended" – and was free to take over the campaign – interrupted by King Stannis' death - to scour the North of Bolton and Frey followers. And Jon had prevailed where the Last Baratheon had failed.

The lords and ladies of the North had proclaimed him King in the North as all his siblings –the Young Wolf, Bran the Broken, the Wee Savage, the Red Beauty and Horseface were all dead or long lost.

Sansa did resurface, however. A knight of the Vale who had been friends with their father, Eddard Stark, during his fostering at the Eyrie, had recognised his sister hiding in plain site as Lord Petyr's bastard daughter. The honourable nobleman spirited the Red Beauty across the Bite to White Harbour and then to safety at Winterfell.

Jon had tried to abdicate on Sansa's behalf but she refused to take the Crown of Winter, telling him that this was a time of war and the North needed a warrior-king and she was NOT qualified to ride about on a smelly horse all day long while waving a three pound piece of metal and screaming Kill! Kill! Kill!

She could choose the moment for him to unleash his fury - and point him in the right direction - though. Hence Sansa finally acquiesced to serve as his co-regent and act as Hand. There had been precedent of Stark brothers ruling together, after all.

The press of the Others and their Wights made them expect their reign to be short and bloody, thus making the legal details of their co-ruling arrangement irrelevant..

And then salvation came. The Mother of Dragons's fleet had been devastated by a storm and washed the Queen herself – and her three dragons - ashore at Widow's Watch. With almost all her army lost - and looking like a drowned rat - Daenerys was quite amiable to parley. And she had the dragonfyre which the North so desperately needed! Two weeks and one marriage later the army of the North and the Targaryen Queen's Dragons set upon the Others.

Jon barely remembered the next few months – it was fight and sleep, fight and sleep, while the dragons roared overhead and burned and burned. Everybody was numb with fatigue, with strength and hope sapped by the unnatural Cold and ever-present death. And then one day no more Others were to be seen and the Wights dropped – well, not dead, as they were already dead – but collapsed where they had stood. Either the last of the Others had been killed or their magic was exhausted and they had retired North to regroup and recover. Hopefully the former, but the latter – if for several thousand years – was also acceptable.

For a short while afterwards Jon dared think that he had found happiness in life. The three of them resided in Winterfell and made plans and gathered forces for a push south, to revenge all wrongs to House Stark and to claim his wife's legacy. He daydreamed of watching his future children grow, of teaching his sons to ride and to wield the sword, of seeing his daughters dance and laugh merrily in the arms of dashing – not to mention personally verified by him to be kind hearted and upright - suitors.

But it was not to be.

Two days ago Howland Reed ruined his life by revealing his true parentage. As much as he wished it not be true the evidence was irrefutable – he was Jaehaerys Targaryen, son of Rheagar and Lyanna and nephew of Daenerys.

Damn Lord Reed!

Damn Rheagar!

Damn Lyanna!

Damn the Gods!

Damn his life!

Damn EVERYBODY and EVERYTHING!

He had not slept nor held down any food since the revelation. He could not suppress the memory of how he had enjoyed the marriage bed with his ... his aunt. Every thought of the pleasure he had experienced in his aunt-wife's arms made him retch and robbed him of any chance at sleep. He refused to see his wife as she had been delighted by the news, by discovering a family member and having wed said family member BOTH.

He retched again, dribbling a few drops of bile into a small puddle alongside his chair, his stomach long empty.

Jon singed the last missive and straightened his back. The eastern sky now showed a tinge of pink. He got up and headed for the rookery, with a detour to Melisandre's quarters as to ensure the irrevocability of what he was to do.

After watching dark wings take their dark words to their destinations Jon ... he struggled with his names now. He knew and felt that he was still Jon, not some - Jaehaerys ... how did one even pronounce that?

But what surname should he use? Was he still just a Snow, seeing as he behaved EXACTLY as basely as was expected of a bastard? Lusting after his closest relatives? A Stark – as stated by his brother's will? A Targaryen – a name he felt absolutely no connection with? He had always looked upon the Targaryen's as those messed up sister-fuckers from the South, while he was of the North. But seeing that he had bedded his aunt - maybe he was no longer worthy to consider himself as being of the North? Had he fallen to Targaryen levels of madness and depravity and was a Targ now?

No matter, he thought as he reached his destination – the Godswood.

He kissed the top of Ghost's head: "Take care of Sansa, Ghost" – the Bastard of Winterfell whispered into the furry ear, now droopy with the sadness he felt emanating from his Two-Leg soulmate.

Jon climbed the Heart Tree, attached the rope, tugged to see if it was secure, checked the length and jumped.

The direwolf howled.

The castle awoke.

And then the castle screamed.

.

To the Lords and Ladies of the North. Heed my order. I command you to come to Winterfell to bend the knee to Sansa Stark, Queen in the North. I have been shown undeniable proof that by birth I actually am Jaehaerys Targaryen, the son of Rheagar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. By wedding my aunt, Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen, the Queen in the South, I have become Abomination in the eyes of Men and before the Gods that Hath No Name. I take my life by my own hand and the blood is upon my head. I forbid any blood feud with my Aunt and Widow.

Jon, King in the North