"I looked for you on the Trident" – get them talking Ned, get them talking, the Quiet Wolf repeated to himself.

"We were not there"- the big one began.

Oh, how fucking observant! - Good! – let them spew their bullshit!

Egg them on ... so that the arrogant pricks will bluster and poster and strut and keep their focus on you.

"You must had been lonely, with no Rheagar's cock to suck? How did you fare? Did you ..."

Angry shouts and anger-flashing eyes were just the reaction he was looking for. Good!

They readied themselves and began to move towards him.

"And now it begins," the blond prick said as unsheathed his sword.

"No," Ned said icily. "Now it ends."

As the three Kingsguard rushed him Ned – shouting "Cocksuckers! Bum boys! Cravens!" – backpedalled towards his companions. He had given them time enough to prepare, he hoped.

The Mad King's and Raper Prince's thugs were almost upon him when he heard the swoosh of nets flying around him and over his head. The knights were successfully entangled and clubbed into submission like baby seals. No need to waste the lives of Good Men by giving rapers' accomplices a fair fight.

Ned spat at their indignant cries:

"Scum like you do not deserve the sword. The noose is too good for the likes of you. Had there been a weirwood here I'd have your guts strung all over the boughs!"

Leaving the scum to his companions - unharmed - Ned ran towards the silent tower, followed by a Maester specialised in female studies. Ned had come prepared for any eventuality, as Aerys' Lord of Whispers from Essos - that Varys fellow - had told him everything about the setup at the Tower of Joy. It was incredible how much the eunuch knew and how little he passed along to his master - Ned was certain that the man must have had some hidden agenda. No matter, now dead as a nail, the torture had done him in surprisingly quickly.

SCENEBREAK

Albeit his sister lay in pristine white sheets (who did the laundry?) the room stank of blood. Maester Spok shook his head.

"The fever has taken her. And the bleeding is too heavy for this length of time after a birthing ..."

His sister, white as the sheets, grasped his hand.

"Promise me, Ned, take my bones North. Promise me Ned ..."

He promised.

SCENEBREAK

They hanged the Kingsguard after stripping them of armour – good equipment should not be wasted. Some men-at-arms will be happy to be issued such high quality kit. The bodies were left to the birds – eventually to rot and drop for small animals to enjoy. The malformed infant his sister had delivered – a monstrosity – had died on its own a few hours before its mother.

The next day Ned commanded:

"To Starfall!"

SCENEBEAK

On a ship bound for Kings Landing Ned brooded. Once they had reached Starfall he had firmly demanded that the Dayne's surrender his brother's child. The negotiations had been going well but that hysterical whore Ashara had killed herself. That gave Lord Dayne the argument that Brandon's child was the only thing left of her, hence the child's value increased. That expert play of the sentimental card forced Ned to throw in Dawn-the-sword as a sweetener. A pity, he had planned to gift it to Benjen. But the little bastard - a boy, it turned out - was pack and he had to get him out of the clutches of the Dayne's and out of Gods Forsaken Dorne. His place was in Winterfell.

He sighed, looking at the trademark Stark features of the infant, currently suckling at Wylla's attractive breast. Before she killed herself the wench had babbled something about vows before a Gods Tree. Liar – Brandon, the reckless fool he had been, would not have done something that stupid. But Ned felt that he would have to claim the child as his own – thus souring the relations with his wife – as otherwise somebody could use the boy to usurp Robb. Bastard or not Jon – as he decided to name the boy - was the son of the elder brother, after all.