They say Jon Snow is a good King. A just King. A worthy King who does everything in his power to protect the North and its people.

They say he is slow to anger and when he listens, he listens well.

But they also say only few things cause him to lose his head, and when he does it can be quite a spectacle.

One of those things, they whisper, is when they concern the Lady of Winterfell.

"I called all of you today," he says now, standing in the middle of the Lords and Ladies of the Houses in the North and addressing each and every one of them equally, "because I wish to confirm something that has recently caught my attention."

The crowd murmurs their questions to one another; Lady Stark, who sits at the head table, grimaces at the seriousness in King Jon's voice.

"I have heard," he says, frowning ferociously, "that members from all your Houses, some of which are called to come here-"

He pauses quite meaningfully, as if any second now he will declare them traitors who should be punished for their crimes, and no one dares speak or move or even breathe loudly:

"-have asked for Lady Sansa's hand in marriage."

The crowd, who seems to be anticipating something far more grievous than this, rears back in shock.

Even Lady Stark, who always manages to look as immaculate and undaunted as a statue, regards the King in some bewilderment. "That's it?" she asks, seemingly echoing what is all on their minds that very moment, "You called all of them here for that?"

"And why shouldn't I?" the King responds, turning to look at her, as if questioning why she is questioning his concern. "This is your future we are talking about. Your happiness. What could be more important to me than that?"

Ser Davos clears his throat but does not speak.

One of the lesser lords from House Karstark rises to his feet and says, "Pardon, Your Grace, but shouldn't we be discussing far more pressing matters than who shall be wedding the Lady of Winterfell?"

Some of the men hum their assent.

King Jon regards him for a moment and thunders, "Perhaps you want us to talk about how your House betrayed ours for the Boltons, then."

The Lord in question goes white as a sheet.

In response, Lady Stark says, quite sharply, "May I remind you that you've already forgiven them for that slight!"

"Then maybe I shouldn't have," King Jon remarks, not taking his eyes off the man in question, "had I known that you, my lord, will be among those asking for Sansa's hand!"

The Karstark Lord sinks to his seat.

Lady Stark shakes her head in exasperation. "Jon-"

"No man-" the King asserts heavily, "-should come to this castle asking for Lady Stark's hand without my consent-"


"Her," he corrects himself smoothly, with nary a look in her direction. "Her consent. And mine as well. Do I make myself clear?"

The Lords whisper loudly among themselves, because of course asking for the hand of the beautiful Lady of Winterfell is possible, especially if they are from Houses equally proud and great as the Stark's and-

At this, Lady Stark rises to her feet and says, "I thank you for looking out for my welfare-" she prefaces, without actually sounding like she is, and everyone shuts up like they do when she speaks, "but had you asked me about this matter before convening the great Lords and Ladies of the North I would have told you, Jon, that such a thing will hardly be necessary since I have rejected any and all proposals for the time being!"

The crowd looks at her, then at their King, who can be seen looking utterly... gobsmacked.

"Any... and all?" he repeats.

Ser Davos clears his throat again, surges up to his feet, and walks to blend with the Lords standing at the back.

"Yes," Lady Stark hisses.

"But- for the time being?" the King echoes.

Lady Stark draws a breath and expels it through her teeth. "Yes."

"But- what do you mean by that?" he asks, coming closer to the head table. To her. "'For the time being'. You would-?"

"I hardly think now is the time to be thinking of marriage when so much needs to be done in the North!" she declares, straightening her spine as she looks at the King. Then she shakes her head again. "More so do I think that now is not the appropriate time to be talking about these things!"

"But we are talking about rebuilding the North, yes?" One of the other Lords says. "Which means babes."

"Meaning: marriages."


"I understand perfectly well what it means, thank you," Lady Stark says, rather coldly in fact. "And while marriage is something to be celebrated publicly, I'll prefer prospects of mine to be discussed in a private setting." She gives the King a pointed look while saying it.

The King sighs, all traces of earlier wrath and haughtiness gone. He rubs his face. "I only wish the best for you, Sansa," he says, and in the enclosed room the vulnerability and emotions in his tone are carried and heard very well by everyone in attendance.

Lady Stark looks at him, her eyes softening. "Jon," she whispers.

He moves to take her hand in his. "And I-"

"Then Your Grace should marry the Lady instead!"

As if jolted from their own reverie, the two of them look at the crowd with identical expressions of shock on their faces, and King Jon snarls, "Who said that?"

Ser Davos moves away from the group and says, "I believe it's a worthy suggestion to note, Your Grace. You want the best for her and who else is better suited to the Lady of Winterfell than the King of the North himself?"

The crowd begins whispering madly among themselves.

King Jon actually blanches, whereas twin spots of color bloom on Lady Stark's cheeks before she spins on her heel and practically flies from the room. The King catches sight of her movements and follows her shortly, leaving the Lords and Ladies to loudly discuss upon themselves what has just transpired.

"They are cousins now, it's perfectly all right-"

"Her rejection letter still stings me to this day, but I suppose there's a reason she-"

"I really do not at all wish to see a Targaryen as King, but if he's with Lady Sansa-"

"Have you seen the way he looks at her! And how he speaks that none of us is good enough-"

Ser Davos surveys everything with a quiet smile.

Well, it was the King's command that this matter be discussed out loud.

They say Jon Snow is a good King. A just King. A worthy King who does everything in his power to protect the North and its people.

They say he is slow to anger and when he listens, he listens well.

And when the people of the North had cried for him to wed the Lady of Winterfell-


Of course he'd listened, and he'd listened very, very well.