So...the final happened. Due to the final season i decided to revisit this story, origonally i was not changing a lot of it, but the deeper i threw myself into it, the more i found myself wanting to delve further into the story.
If you read this story the first time around, please start again with me and let me know what you think. Game Of Thrones has been such a big part of my life for the past 10 years. It has been an escape, I wish i could start it all again not knowing each twist. But at least now i can mould each twist into Jennisei's timeline.
Please follow, favourite, review. PM me and so on. I'd love to talk to more fans. But please enjoy reading what follows, i certain enjoyed writing it.
All men have a purpose.
Deepwood Motte, 267 AC. It is Winter. The mossy outer walls of the Castle are crisp with ice and the hills running down from the longhall are covered in a thick blanket of untouched snow. Inside the Deepwood, a woman lies in a mess of sheets damp with sweat. Strands of dark hair are stuck to her forehead as a nearby handmaid dabs a damp cloth against her sticky skin.
It has been hours, but to her it feels like days. Then, with a final push, it is done.
A scream, broken and sharp like metal deign dragged along stone, fills the air. She is tired and prays for the gods to let her rest but before she can even catch her breath the Maester is handing her a squirming bundle of blankets. Inside, a wrinkled pink babe is now quiet and staring up at her mother. She has a daughter.
The eyes take after her father, large and dark, but she has adopted her mothers dark hair and small pointed nose. In a rush of pure honest happiness which almost has the Lady putting a hand to her mouth in order to hide the overwhelming wave of emotion, the woman laughs and all of her pain is forgotten. This life, with new eyes so full of wonder, is hers.
"Her name will be Jennisei. Jennisei Rosemyre."
Deepwood Motte, 281 AC.
The woman of Deepwood watched on as a girl rode horse back and managed to keep the black beauty she straddled deadly still. She took aim with another arrow and struck the target with more accuracy than some men twice her age, though she did not smirk or bathe in her success afterwards. There were no sneaking glances behind her to see who exactly was watching, but instead, she nodded to herself and withdrew another arrow from the quiver strapped to the front of the saddle.
"Should be left to Dothraki boys..."
"Her father should beat this out of her..."
All of their whispers had been heard all before, they were not new to the girl. She caught all of the looks the commonly women threw at her; heard each of the tuts the men spat as they walked by and demeaned her skill. She had experienced the men and women alike for so long, that now their opinions simply rolled right off her back. She told herself the women were either disgusted or jealous, and that it did not matter for she was a Lady of these grounds and they could not shame her. Where as for the men, they were scared that their own fighting skills were being shamed by a a mere young girl. That is what she believed.
It was as though she held power over everyone and everything she touched, be it living or inanimate. Her father granted her every wish and doted upon every dream that came to her mind during the dark winter nights, even if they were not traditional. Requests such as teaching her how to handle a sword and how to shoot and arrow from a bow. Her mother scowled at the ideas. "She was a Lady, not a soldiers boy", she had said, one evening when Jennisei was no older than seven. "Fighting should be left to the men, you have no need to learn these things." But it did not deter her daughter from practicing in the yard from dawn until dusk.
Amira Rosemyre still loved her daughter of course, whole heartedly. She spent hours in the library, sitting and telling her stories of the old Gods and new, taming her hair into braids and wiping the dried mud from her cheek as the girl rushed to tell all about her days of adventure. Since she was very young, still just a babe, Amira had known her daughter was different. But it did not occur to her just how different until she started to learn to ride.
The animals were the ones who doted upon her above all else. Her talent and charm showed itself as truly remarkable. Any life form introduced to her, would practically bow it's head and offer their service to her. Her horse, a white stallion named Winter, didn't need to be told to halt or walk on, it knew through a way people could not understand. Maybe it was the eerie calmness of her ways or her gentle touch which promised no harm. But one thing was for sure, and that was that people became uncomfortable around the child. For if she could control an animal with such ease and lack of effort, what could she make the people do if she really put her warrior like determination to use.
"Jennisei." Stephan Rosemyre's calling pulled her from the thick orb of concentration she had built around herself, like a bubble blocking out all of the whispers and minute distractions. Taking a glimpse behind her, Jennisei quickly turned Winter and asked him, with the most gentle of nudges, to walk toward her father.
Stephan was a large man. As broad as he was round, he filled a room. During feasts, his voice was the one folks could hear above the rest and it was his footsteps which boomed throughout the halls of Deepwood Motte on a daily basis. His shoulder length hair, bristly like that of a horses main, was turning from dirty blonde to grey and it aged him greatly while softening his harsh and fierce demeanour. Stephan Rosemyre was in no way an unfair man, he was a kind and supportive father, proven by the fact he allowed Jennisei to carry on as she did. But he was a man of a certain generation, tainted by looming war.
"Yes father?" Jennisei smiled, which melted the anger looming in her fathers eyes from a morning her would much rather forget, and looked behind his bloated frame as the gates were opened and a large swarm of banner men began to march through. "What is the special occasion you have not informed me of?" Her father failed to reply and the joking tone slid back down Jennisei's throat as she gulped.
Lannister's. She recognised the coat of arms scratched into the armour instantly. One of the great Southern Houses, the wealthiest and quite possibly the most powerful next to House Targaryen, rulers of the Seven Kingdoms. So why were they here, in her home?
'I very much doubt they have a dept to repay', Jennisei thought to herself while dropping down from her horse with a hefty thump and rolled her eyes. She had never been a one to respect that stupid line of simple words which they thought kept them out of harms reach. Though of course that was her own opinion.
Joining her fathers side, as Winter was led off by a loyal stable boy, Jennisei soon felt her mothers hands brushing the dried mud from her breeches.
"Honestly Jennisei." She tutted. "This is why you should always dress as a Lady." Jennisei took that to mean this visit was not planned and watched her mother closely as she turned her attention onto her older brother, Henry. Of course, he was already immaculate and needed A,Ira to do nothing more that straighten the collar of the shirt mostly hidden by his tunic.
Before long two men, though one would be more accurately described as a boy, rode side by side and separated from the rest of the pack. The elder, she guessed to be Lord Tywin, Hand of the King, from his thinning grey hair but powerful posture. He looked at the world the same way a vulture scouted out easy prey, cold and dark and too soon did those eyes turn of herself.
Jennisei looked away. The boy who accompanied him was too tall to be the imp, therefore she assumed with confidence that she was in the company of the great young lion, Jaime Lannister himself.
"My Lord." Stephen greeted, bowing his head after Tywin Lannister unmounted his horse.
"Lord Rosemyre, a pleasure to see you again in what is undoubtedly a more pleasant scenario." The low tone of his voice was like the build up of a roar, he was most definitely a lion.
As the men shared a strong handshake, palms clapping together with meaning, Jennisei could not help but feel a small part f admiration for the Warden of the West. She had heard that he could be fair towards those who earned his trust and respect, though he could also be cruel and manipulative. People feared him, and that what Jennisei found appealing.
Since she was a young girl, Jennisei had grown giddy with the idea of people fearing her every step however she was unable to explain why. Her family were nothing of that sort and had not been for thousands of years, back when House Rosemyre were petty kings hiding in their week Castle. So maybe she had been born power hungry? Maybe she had grown to adopt that mindset after refusing to be the timid little rich girl for boys to play with and undress with their eyes. Either way, Tywin Lannister was a man she could learn from.
"Aye, that it is." Her father stepped back then and gestured towards his dutiful family, lined up at his side. "My wife, Amira." As if performing a well rehearsed routine, Jennisei's mother dropped into a low, sweeping curtsy. "My son, and heir, Henry." Tywin eyes surveyed her brother from head to toe, and if the smirk gracing his lips was anything to go by, he approved. But of course he approved, it was Henry, everyone adored Henry. "And may I introduce to you, my youngest, Jennisei."
She attempted to follow her mothers example and bowed her head, dipping down as far as her legs could take her before they threatened to collapse. "My Lord." The voice which left her barely sounded like her own, soft like the petals of a summer blossom. Letting her eyes rise back up, taking her time and memorising each intricate detail of his tunic, Jennisei finally met his kind smile and returned it honestly.
"Lady Rosemyre." Tywin greeted her and lifted the hand she offered to his cold, thin lips. "Your beauty has blossomed since the first time we met." She couldn't recall the time he spoke of and put it down to it taking place when she was child and prayed he was telling the truth for she used to be an awfully plump and pale thing. And he was, for she was surely was a beautiful woman who would rival all the other young maidens in Westeros, and surpass many. "Let me introduce my eldest son and heir, Jaime."
Tywin's eyes moved to focus on his son in a much more judging way than Jennisei expected. It was as if he was a sorcerer, the kind seen partaking in side shows down in the village market on summer afternoons, and controlling Lord Jaime's every mood with his mind. Little did Jennisei know that father had already scolded son for looking at their hosts with such distaste as they rode through the gates and that convincing the young lion to come along on this visit was almost impossible to do. Tywin subtly cleared his throat after a moment of tense awkwardness.
"My Lady." Jaime bowed, planting a kiss on the back of her hand which was held out still from greeting his father. As his head, crowed by beautiful golden stands, drooped, Jennisei regarded Jaime with slightly narrowed eyes. "The honour of meeting you is all mine."
He had been gazing at her, during the initial greetings, as if she had just taken away his last toy and it was not the first impression she had imagined. When she heard whispers of Jaime Lannister they came mainly from the handmaidens as they gossiped through the narrow halls. 'Golden haired and broad, like a true lion'. 'The most handsome boy in the Westeros'. But at the minute, all she saw was a spoilt rich boy who hated the fact he had been forced to leave his luscious castle in the Westerlands and travel North.
She also saw the mask of hate he already had for her home, but for what reason?
Her father was the one to break what pathetic excuse for a moment they were meant to be sharing, distracting all from the embarrassing fact that she had failed to reply to Jaime. "Should we head inside, out of this cold and begin discussing business?"
'Business'. Jennisei's head turned towards her father, brows furrowed and inquisitive. Stephan Rosemyre wasn't a man who involved himself in business, unless that of which involved getting to the bottom of a large case of rich red wine and hunting that evenings supper. So for what business could there be to speak of between her father and the Lannister's? They were not allies. They did of course respect each other as all Noble Houses did, but they did not full heartedly support one other.
Unless... As her trail of thought hit a steep, rocky ditch, she stopped. There she was, an unbetrothed daughter who had ideally come of age on her last name day, and opposite her, the son of a Lannister, who was but a few years her senior and yet to take a wife.
"Yes, I think that would be best." Tywin fell into step behind her father; him taking long and purposeful strides compared to her fathers wobbly, stubby steps. She was about to follow in her place behind Henry when Tywin gave one last instruction to his son. "Jaime. Why don't you take a walk with Lady Jennisei? If your kind, maybe she will offer to show you the grounds do Deepwood."
Jennisei stuttered. The thought she had been successful in silencing before it gained any sense of realism was suddenly thirst to the forefront of her mind. Thankfully she was able to recover this time. "Of course my Lord." She gracefully accepted, to which he smiled and then returned to walking into the main hall of the castle, towards her fathers work chamber.
Before the silence settled over them like a heavy winter blanket, Jennisei looked at the boy and forced a small grimacing smile. "Shall we walk this way, My Lord?" She took one slow step, and then another, hoping he would follow and not leave her walking away like a fool.
Thankfully the well educated gentleman in him agreed and together, they began to walk side by side through the main courtyard and towards the castle walls. "You certainly have an eye for horses my Lady." Jaime avoided her eyes but she hardly minded as long as he was being civil and the attention had been diverted onto Winter, who now stood tall and obedient outside the stable.
"Thank you my Lord. I put a lot of my time into him." She smiled and patted Winter's neck affectionally as she walked by; her fingers combing through the soft, well groomed silver hair as the stallion tried to follow her.
"I was told some of the stories about you and your animals, before setting off from Casterly Rock." Jaime adopted a look of disgust but he had been brought up with more manners than to simply voice his thoughts it seemed. "Tell me, are the rumours of your skill behind a sword true too?" His tone was judgemental to say the very least, Jaime may as well have spat the words out. It was fortunate that she had heard this all before.
"I cannot say I know what rumours you have heard." Jennisei started to reply with a short chuckle. "But I would like to say that I am as good as any man my age." An infamous showed across her lips, it was as familiar to her face as her eyes.
Jaime scoffed, looking over the petite woman by his side. "In your eyes, that may ring true."
"I would gladly show you, should you accept." The egotistical stance Jaime adopted made it very easy for her to enjoy taunting him, and he recognised her satirical jesting; it was the same way his sister spoke to their younger brother on a daily basis.
"I would much rather take your word. But maybe another time Lady Jennisei." The yellow tufts of his hair at the front of his head fell into his eyes as he turned towards her and they both came to a stop near the kennels. "I would hate to embarrass your honour in your own home, and so soon after we have met."
Jennisei bit her tongue and wondered if the young Lion had ever been put in his place. How many people bowed to him and kissed his feet as he walked his muddy boots through the halls they had freshly scrubbed? What allowed him to think he could waltz into her home and talk down to her like some common street rat?
She took a step closer to him, raising her chin to be able to meet his eyes in the best way she could given the few inches she lacked on him, and took a deep, heavy breath. Jaime smiles, amusement reflected in his eyes and took in a breath to speak.
"Jaime." Lord Tywin interrupted them, his eyes watching the pair closely from the opposite end of the courtyard. Their closeness, to a stranger, looked like they were growing closer as they were stood almost toe to toe, gazing into each other's eyes. But Tywin knew his son better than that. He saw the irritation on the girls face and the pace of her breathing, hands balled into fists by her side. The High Lord sighed to himself and raised his chin as the young couple both snapped their heads to him. "Both of you, come here."
They dare not question his need for them or deny him. Together, although Jennisei trailing slightly behind after handing Winter to one of her fathers men, they walked to the main hall.
"You cannot be serious!" Amira winced at her daughters shrillness. "Why did you not…" Her screams were reduced to a broken, raspy whisper. Across the high table, Jennisei's father met her hard stare with harsher one, a silent warning for her to watch her tone. "You...you can not...simply...Marriage?"
Surprisingly, the young Lannister sat by her side seemed to be less taken aback by the sudden announcement. Which only led her to believe one thing; he had known. Everyone had known apparently, apart from her.
Her mother stood behind her father, resting with false grace in his 'throne', watching with sad eyes. How could she do this to her only daughter? How could she had kept it a secret? Or had she too not know, had she been a subject to be ignored because she was a woman lacking an appropriate opinion.
Meanwhile, her brother sat to Stephan's side with a smirk. They had never got along. With him being the first born, the heir and the more respectable child of the Rosemyre's, he did not have time for her and had not since the day she was born. Even the most minuscule remanence of respect normally present between siblings was not there. They were nothing more than beings living within the same stone walls. Phillip was probably over the moon to here of her leaving.
"The arrangements have been made. The two of you are to marry within the month." Tywin's bold voice boomed through the great hall.
"But…" Jennisei fought will her thoughts to try and find any words which would help her. But there were none. Everyone who could help her was already against her. "You have barely given me time to get used to the idea." Jennisei stuttered and started to play with her fingers. She always knew that marriage would not be something she chose to enter, that it would be arranged for her just like every other element of her life. She had been told that at the same time she been taught by her mother that it was the duty of a noble girl. She had still dreamed of marrying for love when she was younger and beating her parents to it, but as the years passed that dream turned to ash and she learned to accept her fate. However, she had hoped that her impending marriage would not lead to her marrying a man that could not even be decent to her upon their first meeting.
"Very few women are given that chance, My Lady," Lord Tywin's voice was softer now as he stood from his chair and walked to stand in front Jennisei, off to the side so she could still just catch sight of her father behind him. Was that sadness in his eyes now the higher lord could not see him? Was it regret? Or was he just embarrassed by her rejection of the idea? Resting a firm hand on her shoulder, Tywin did not attempt to smile."I have come to an agreement with your father, you will marry at Casterly Rock before the new moon."
This time, with this stranger touching her, she could only nod along to his words, glancing for the shortest moment, at Jaime. He too looked unhappy, or perhaps that was an understatement. For that she pitied him and learned to understand him.
Would she of acted any more decent than he had should she have been in his place? Would she have smiled and exchanged pleasantries with a man she had been forced to travel to meet, knowing they were who you were to marry? Most likely not. He had been acting out of spite; what an odd first similarity to establish with your betrothed.
"When do I leave?" Jennisei whispered like a small timid girl and removed her eyes from Jaime, dropping them to the floor.