Important AN at the end.
He was herded into the lowest level of Winterfell's dungeons at spearpoint, but none dared touch or even speak to him, so consumed by fear they were. The fear in their eyes and hearts was all too familiar to Jon. It was a fear of the unknown, of magic, of the living dead, of the Others. He had seen the same fear on many a lord and smallfolk's face when the Army of the Dead arrived on their doorstep, snow covered their lands, and blue eyes came for everything that breathed.
Jon just felt sorry for them.
The guardsmen surrounded him with swords and spears as the heavy door to his cell was swung open. It was small, cramped, and dark with barely enough room to stretch his legs. As Jon stared into the darkness of his cell, someone gathered the courage to bark, "In there, freak!"
Jon turned to stare the man in the eyes as the air stilled and the tension grew. After a moment of watching their faces turn white, Jon just turned and walked into his cell on his own accord. He turned around just as the door was slammed shut and locked in his face. When the sounds of the men's hurried bootsteps faded into the distance, he allowed himself the luxury of slumping against the stone and sliding down onto the grimy floor.
"Welcome home, Snow." He thought with a bitter smile, "Welcome home."
After Jon was escorted away, the chaos had to be organized.
With Vayon down, he had called for Jory and Rodrick, but a few minutes later, he received word that they had been slain while escorting his wife and children. So, Eddard took charge and ordered his garrison to assemble and place Winterfell and her surrounding town on lockdown. Robert, the attackers, the men in red, Jon, the dead rising, the destruction of the godswood, the dragon…it was one thing after another! His people were terrified, himself included, but he needed to be strong, and his people needed order and stability before a riot began.
First, he made sure the castle was secure; the fires put out, the wounded tended to, and the dead collected. Secondly, the smallfolk of Wintertown were told to remain indoors while his guardsmen patrolled the area and searched for any more men in red or walking, blue-eyed dead. In doing so, Ned learnt of the spontaneous ring of trees that now encircled the town and the castle; yet another impossibility that had quite literally sprung up within the past hour. Thirdly, he made sure his wife and children were still secure and under guard. His men reported that the pack of direwolves had not left his family's side and were quite insistent in staying. Fourth, and quite possibly the most difficult, was figuring out what to do with the Lannister brothers.
He found them, surprisingly, in the godswood; the two having ventured inside while Ned belted out orders, not that there was much of a godswood left. Any foliage untouched by the upheaval of so much earth had been scorched by fire. Ash and snow sluiced together and turned the ground into a grey, muddy slush. The worst of all was that the Heart Tree and the pool were just…gone. It was like the hand of a god had grabbed a fistful of the earth and ripped everything away. The desolation of his family's sacred grove was near enough to make him weep.
The dwarf and his brother were staring down into the massive hole in the earth where the dragon had erupted with wide eyes and talking in hushed voices. Ned approached with a quartet of guards, and when they heard the sound of their boots slapping through the slush, the brothers turned around with expressions that were shaken, frightened, and exhausted, and mirrored what he himself felt inside.
Tyrion Lannister stepped forward when Ned and his guards drew level with them and spoke after a moment in a voice that carried in the heavy silence.
"Lord Tyrion." Ned returned the acknowledgement.
The dwarf wet his lips and took a look around as if to find the words to speak, "What…what in the gods name was that?"
"…I don't know." Ned answered quietly.
"That was a dragon!" Tyrion continued, his voice quiet but insistent, like he was trying to convince the Lord of Winterfell, "A dragon from beneath your godswood!"
Ned stared into the dwarf's mismatched eyes and answered his unspoken question, "I don't know." He said quietly. The echo of that monster's roar sounded in his mind for a moment before he shuddered and said, "I don't know why it was there."
Tyrion opened his mouth to speak, but his brother spoke up, "Someone does." He said in a low voice. Ned's gaze switched to Jamie Lannister, and he was surprised by the intense look in those green eyes staring back at him. Jamie idly shifted his weight onto his back foot while he sized up the four guardsmen. Ned noticed how he moved to place himself before his younger brother as well, and how his hand did not leave his most recently acquired sword. Tension was brewing in the air as Jamie spoke next in a voice that was deadly serious, "You have him in your dungeon."
Ned and his men tensed.
"And he claims to have killed the king." Jamie tacked on along with a fresh air of bravado, arrogance, and nonchalance like he just remembered that he was supposed to be the honorless Kingslayer who cared for none but himself, but his eyes were sharp and hard when he said, "So, take me to him, Stark…now."
Across the Narrow Sea, a girl waited.
"Where is he?" Viserys snapped.
"The Dothraki are not known for their punctuality." Illyrio responded flatly.
Viserys made a face and the two men went back to waiting for the horselord Khal Drogo. Birdsong filled the air, waves crashed against the rocks, and a gentle breeze flapped the curtains of the manse while Daenerys stood behind them and tried to fight down the heady mixture of anxiety and fear boiling in her stomach as she waited…and waited…and waited.
Her brother grew more and more incensed with each passing hour, and the cheesemonger resorted to heaping more and more titles and platitudes upon him in an effort to placate him, reminding him that he need be only patient, that his time would come soon, that Westeros awaits the return of their rightful king, of men drinking toasts to his health and women sewing dragon banners in secret. However, Illyrio had been growing confused and nervous as time went on, she noticed. He had sent multiple servants to search for the presence of Khal Drogo, but each messenger returned with no sign of the Khal or any Dothraki in the city. As for herself, she was growing tired from standing still and her eyes were growing heavy. Her lack of sleep lately did not help in the slightest, and Viserys had not been pleased by the bags under her eyes this morning. Only the thought of disappointing her brother and waking the Dragon kept her from showing how tired she was.
Her dreams had descended into little more than nightmares and had been keeping her up at all manner of the night; nonsensical things, but they awoke such fear in her that she could not help but leap awake. Blue eyes in the dark, a sword made of ice clashing against one of fire, green hands grasping for a round figure garbed in black, a sea of churning blood and gnashing teeth, and something large and winged flying into a blizzard.
Suddenly, the thunder of hooves broke her from her thoughts and her heart leapt into her throat. Everyone leapt to attention as the first horse turned the corner, but to her surprise and confusion, it was not a Dothraki horselord that rode into the manse, but a woman. A woman accompanied by a large retinue of armored men. Her long hair the color of deep, burnished copper billowed behind her as she cantered to a stop at the stairs. Slender and tall, she was dressed in a red cloak embroidered with dancing orange flames over a robe of blood red silks. Around her neck was a gold choker with a large ruby in the center that caught the sunlight when she dismounted, and from here, Daenerys saw that her eyes were an unsettling red that were fixed directly upon her. Her companions were strange. Some were dressed in red silks like her while most were clad in ornate armor over orange robes, wielded spears with points shaped like writhing flames, and had flame tattoos on their faces.
A moment passed where nobody moved. Viserys looked a mix of angry, confused, and lustful judging on his gaze directed at the lady in red. The cheesemonger looked alarmed, followed by concerned, and then his piggy eyes narrowed in calculation. All around his manse, his chubby Unsullied gripped their spears and had become as still as statues. It was then, Daenerys guessed, that this was not how things were supposed to have gone.
Illyrio opened his mouth to speak but the Red Woman spoke over him in a deep, melodic voice.
"Valar dohaeris." Illyrio responded automatically, albeit taken aback.
Daenerys repeated the High Valaryian in her head.
"All men must die."
"All men must serve."
Still, the woman's red eyes did not leave hers nor did she give a reason as to being here, and completely ignored everyone else in favor of calling up to her.
"Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, I am Melisandre." The Red Woman proclaimed with a mysterious smile and a dip of her head in greeting, and for a moment, Daenerys thought she saw the ruby flash in a way that had nothing to do with sunlight. At her words, the rest of Melisandre's retinue dismounted, and as one, knelt.
"I have seen you in the flames, Mother of Dragons, and I have come to proclaim you Azor Ahai."
I have a major announcement in regards to Winter Wolf, being that I am going to be reupdating/revising every chapter. I know wrote a good story here, you all have shown me that! This story is halfway to having 1k follows and favorites, and over 200 reviews! That is something I NEVER thought would happen! However, I also know that the overall quality and storyline can be greatly improved, and I really, REALLY want to improve it. I love this story and I really want to make it as good as it can be; hence the updates.
With said updates, it's mostly going to be improved story structure, additional scenes and dialogue, however, some parts of the story will be heavily changed while some chapters might be deleted in favor of combining or making room for new ones. I already have chapters 1-3 revised on my computer. Once I complete ALL of them, I will be doing a mass update and post a notification so you can go back and have a re-read. I'm sorry this is a filler chapter, but I'd rather put out an actual chapter rather than an AN in chapter form.
Aside from that, thanks for all your reviews, follows, and favorites! I read every review and will respond to any questions you may have! Also, feel free to point out any mistakes, grammatical or otherwise. I will fix it ASAP, and I mean it!
Also, any ideas or theories you'd like to share? Any particular characters, situations, or creatures from GRRM's world you'd like to see in the story? Any Lore you think I should be aware of? I am very much open to suggestions!
Thanks for reading!