Riverlands 298 AC.
She didn't want to let him go, her arms unwilling to unwrap themselves from around his back and her head refusing to move from his chest. Had she not seen Nymeria then she'd not have been able to but seeing her gave her the strength to move away from her brother. When she felt the wolf's tongue on her face she giggled, the tears that had fallen from her eyes being licked away were all the evidence she needed that she'd been forgiven.
"I missed you too girl." she said happily as she wrapped her arms around the wolf's head.
"I told you she'd be happier to see the wolf." she heard Jon say from behind her, Arya turning to smirk at him and feeling that lump in her throat at seeing him again.
He had come for her, when she had needed someone, anyone, to take her from this place he had come for her. Letting go of Nymeria she ran to him and embraced him again, Jon laughing as he spoke softly to her. His words comforting her even more than the feel of him in her arms, as he told her that he'd not leave her and that she was safe. Arya knew that those words were true because he would never lie to her, not Jon, never him.
Eventually, she let him go and yet she took his hand when he offered it, Arya smiled when she saw Ghost and Nymeria walk by their sides, the pack reuniting.
"Robb?" she asked when the thoughts of pack reminded her that she had another brother who was out here somewhere.
"Was safe and well when last I saw him, as was your mother." Jon said as they walked to the others, Arya looking to see Hot Pie and Gendry were looking both nervous and relieved at the same time.
"You saw my mother?" she asked, hoping that she'd not said something to upset him as her mother was wont to do.
"I did, she's well also. I even stopped in Winterfell and saw Bran and Rickon." Jon said as he looked to Gendry and Hot Pie.
"I heard he was awake." she said sadly thinking of her brother before smiling a moment later when Jon mussed her hair.
"He is and is doing as well as can be expected. These your friends?" Jon asked.
"This is Gendry and Hot Pie, we were heading to the Wall, wait why aren't you at the Wall. Jon if they…" she said quickly turning to him worried he'd face the same fate as the deserter that her father had…her tears falling and the sobs coming as she thought of her father.
"Arya, I'm not being looked for, I never swore my oath." he said grabbing her, Arya shaking her head as she looked at him.
"Father." she said and had she not been crying she'd have noticed Jon look to the man who had killed the Mountain, instead she felt herself being wrapped in yet another hug, her sobs soon stopping as she was once again comforted by the one person who'd always known just how to do so.
Jon waited until she was calmed and then she introduced him properly to Hot Pie, Arya laughing as Hot Pie continually called Jon, My Lord, and Jon shook his head. Gendry seemed warier and it took some time for him to relax. Arya needing to explain who Jon was and that they were safe now he was here, receiving yet another mussing of her hair when she did so. This one getting him a slap on his hand for doing it in front of people.
"We should leave here, Jon." the man who killed the Mountain said, Jon, nodding to him before they then made their way to the horses.
"Where will we go?" she asked him as they walked.
"You're not the only sister I have who needs to come home." Jon said and she looked at him to see him nod, Arya quickly nodding back determinedly.
He placed her on his horse in front of him and they were soon riding away. Arya found herself wondering who these men were and then she noticed Harwin and Alyn among them. She quickly gave both men a nod which was returned and then she turned ready to ask Jon if these were Robb's men.
"We'll speak later little sister, rest." Jon said as she leaned back against him.
She actually slept and when she woke he was helping her down from the horse, her eyes soon opening wide as she looked to make sure she wasn't dreaming and that it was truly Jon who'd come for her. Once she saw that it was she relaxed, Jon didn't saying anything and she felt that he knew what her fear had been. They walked to the camp that was set up and she asked where Ghost and Nymeria were, glad to hear that they'd gone hunting and would be back later.
That he then left her alone for a few moments gave her time to speak to Gendry and Hot Pie once more and she did her best to reassure them that they had nothing to fear and were now safe, Gendry she found had wanted to hear it from her without Jon being around. Her brother soon returned carrying some bowls of a stew of some sort, Hot Pie following hungrily after Gendry when Jon told them there was more ready. Were she not as hungry as she was or with someone other than her brother then she may have been embarrassed by how she devoured the stew. Jon though simply handed her his bowl when she was done.
"No, that's yours." she said shaking her head and cursing the rumble that came from her belly.
"Eat it, I'll grab something later." he said looking to her and making it clear that he wouldn't take no for an answer.
After she finished, she moved in close to him, her side touching against his and she smiled when he placed his arm around her shoulder. She felt her eyes begin to close and even though she'd slept on the horse some, she was soon drifting off. Jon's whispered words that he'd be there when she woke allowing her to sleep with some comfort. The dreams came then just like they had before she'd sent her away, dreams of woods and grass under her feet, dreams of the night sky and of looking up at the moon as she moved.
"Jon?" she called out a little too loudly when she woke.
"I'm here little sister." he said as her eyes became accustomed to the night sky.
They lay on the ground, the fire burning a little way off to their front. Arya snuggled up against her brother and Jon looking at her, his dark grey eyes that were so much like her own almost boring into her soul. She had so many questions, so many concerns, and yet her mind was filled with just one thought, he had come for her.
"Thank you." she said softly, her voice cracking as she did so "Thank you for coming for me."
"Arya, you're my sister, you don't ever have to thank me." he said looking at her, his smile soon making her own appear.
"Who are these men, Jon? Are they Robb's?" she asked as they now lay face to face.
"No, they're the Brotherhood without Banners, men who had been sent to catch the Mountain along with men who've joined up since. They fight for the people, Arya, help keep them safe from men like Lorch and the rest of the Mountain's men."
"So it was the Mountain they came for, not me." she said softly.
"They came with me, Arya, I came for you." he said and she nodded.
"Why do they follow you?" she asked and saw the frown that appeared on his face, Jon quickly sitting up and looking at her.
"Follow me." he said rising to his feet and then reaching out his hand, Arya taking it eagerly and holding it while he led her from their camp.
She smiled broadly when she saw Ghost and Nymeria walk ahead of them, the two wolves had come back just as Jon said they would. So focussed was she on them and Jon that she didn't see the man who killed the Mountain following behind them. Jon soon leading her to the small steam and Arya shaking her head when he filled his pouch with water.
"There is something I need to tell you, little sister. Something I found out but I need you to listen to the end, can you do that for me?"
"Aye." she said nodding, her brother didn't have to ask her, there was nothing she'd not do for him.
"When I was at the Wall I had an accident." Jon said and she made a move to him only for him to smile and shake his head "All is well, I'm unhurt. But like Bran I was asleep for some time, I had dreams Arya, dreams of who I was, of who my mother was." Jon said his voice different than she'd ever heard it.
"You know your mother?" she asked happily, knowing how much it had meant to him to find out who she was.
"I do, Arya, but there's more to the story before I get to that. At the Wall I was looked after by the Maester and when I woke it was to find out what had happened in King's Landing and that Robb had marched south. Since I'd not yet sworn my oath there was no reason for me to stay there, not when my family needed me."
She looked at him and smiled as she moved towards him, her arms going around him of their own accord and she soon found herself marveling at how warm she felt when he placed his own around her. After he mussed her hair and kissed her forehead, which she made a big show of wiping with her sleeve and looking annoyed at him over, something she really wasn't, Jon began to speak once more.
"I rode from the Wall to Winterfell, spoke to Bran and Rickon, and though they wished and in a way so did I, for me to stay, I could not. Not with you and Sansa as prisoners and my brother marching to war. I tried to comfort them as best I could and then I rode south, soon reaching the Moat and while there I was met by one of the Crannogmen who brought me to meet Lord Reed." Jon said looking to her.
"Howland Reed, you met him? What was he like? Did he speak about father? Did he know your mother? Wait, you were in the Neck? Did you see Greywater Watch? Or a lizard lion? Did you.."
The sound of Jon laughing seemed loud against the quiet of the night, Arya looking at him before she laughed too. With anyone else she'd have glowered at them or lost her temper with them for ignoring her questions. With Jon she felt as if they were back in Winterfell and not in the middle of the Riverlands and it was the first she'd felt that way in moons.
"Now there's the little sister I remember." Jon said chuckling still as he walked nearer the water and took a seat on a stone, Arya following to do the same.
"I can't help it, I never knew how much I missed talking and not having to be quiet in case…" she said her voice trailing off as she tried not to cry.
"You never have to be quiet again little sister." Jon said and she nodded.
"What happened in the Neck, Jon?" she asked after a few moments of silence.
"I learned the truth, Arya. Lord Stark was not my father." Jon began as Arya shook her head angrily and interrupted him before he could continue.
"Enough with that, I don't care what my mother says, you're my brother, Jon, always." she said determinedly.
"Aye, I am. But on this I'm speaking true, Arya, Ned Stark was my uncle, not my father, my father was Rhaegar Targaryen and my mother his wife Lyanna Targaryen." Jon said and had it been anyone else saying it then she'd have been kicking, punching, and biting them by now.
"But…Aunt Lyanna was…Jon…you're not my brother?" her thoughts as jumbled as the words that came from her mouth.
She felt him grab her and hold her tight, even the small amount of resistance she gave him was a token effort and not something he allowed her. Jon instead holding her and speaking the same words over and over, Arya finally relaxing in his arms as the truth of those words hit home.
"You're my sister, always." Jon said and Arya knew that to be true as he never lied to her, not him, not Jon.
Storm's End 298 AC.
Bitterbridge had been a waste of her time, Cat frustrated that while her son and his men fought against the Lannisters, Renly Baratheon was holding tourneys. Boys playing at war rather than an army marching to crown a king that's what she thought of them and what they truly were. Still, an alliance had been what she'd come for and one that she'd offered to them. While they'd not outright rejected it, their terms would be hard to sell, and yet if it brought her back her girls, ones that she'd have sold gleefully.
While Renly would make a terrible king, his new queen and her family would see the realm right, true they'd take their own piece of it but far less than the Lannisters would, and in truth what cared she for any of the Realm other than her son's and brother's lands. The price though would be Robb's crown and there would be those amongst the Northmen who'd not wish to pay it. Cat herself was only thinking of her girls and the safety of her sons, she would pay any price to have them all back at Winterfell and far from the South. Her eyes closed as she remembered Ned's words and hoped they didn't prove to be even more prophetic than they already had been.
"Starks don't do well in the south, Cat."
It was to thoughts like this and to what little she knew of Stannis Baratheon that her head was filled as they rode the long and pointless journey to Storm's End. Cat agreeing with what some of the more experienced Lords said about this being a fool's errand. Storm's End would not fall and had not to a larger force than the one Stannis besieged it with, to march to it when the war was to the east was a folly. That it clearly showed the depth of the feelings that Renly had for his brother didn't bode well either she thought.
"You're most quiet my lady." Margaery said to her as she rode beside her, the young girl who sought to be queen spending as much time on horseback as she did in the wheelhouse.
"I was thinking of the parley, your grace." Cat said, courtesy still important if there was to be an alliance.
"Grandmother thinks this a waste of time, do you feel the same?" the girl asked inquisitively.
"I think the war is elsewhere, your grace, and it's to that his grace's army should march. Each day he delays on other matters gives the Lannister's more time to prepare and make ready."
"You worry about your son." Margaery said softly.
"I worry about all my children, your grace." she replied.
It took far too long to reach Storm's End, the days turning into never-ending worries for her as she traveled further and further from where she wished to be. That the news they received was either old or something used to shore their spirits up was soon clear to her. Cat ignoring the talk that the Lannisters were on the run and of her son's victories in battles fought before she'd even left. It wasn't even until the night before their parley with Stannis that she actually received any news that she didn't already know.
"Lady Catelyn, their graces have requested your presence." the large blond newly named member of Renly's Rainbow Guard said after entering her tent.
"Very well, Lady Brienne." she said and saw the momentary flinch on the blonde's face.
She followed the lady knight, who was not truly a knight but may as well have been, to the overly extravagant tent that Renly Baratheon and his young queen called their own. Cat noticing Ser Loras and Ser Robar Royce both on duty, the two men wearing the same ridiculous rainbow cloaks that Brienne wore.
"Your grace." she said with a curtsy first to Renly and then to Margaery, the young girl smiling in a way that was both friendly and not fully true at the same time.
"Lady Catelyn, we've received some news that we thought may be of interest to you." Margaery said before nodding to Ser Loras who stepped forward and handed her a scroll.
Cat read it eagerly, smiling when she saw her brother's name and the words that it carried, her mind not concerning itself with how they received it while on the road or when.
"A great victory, my lady, you son should be most proud of his accomplishment." Renly said with a nod.
"A victory true your grace, but to bring Tywin Lannister down it will require more than battles such as this." she said, her pride in Robb's achievement and her relief at him being unhurt clear, and yet she knew her words were true.
"Which is why after I've dealt with my brother, I intend to bring the fight to the Lannisters my lady, with mine own and your son's forces we can finally put this war to rest." Renly said and she smiled and nodded and tried not to let her annoyance show.
She'd told him those very words in Bitterbridge, beseeched him to march east and attack Tywin Lannister with his entire army. There they'd laughed at her and had said without saying that she knew nothing of military tactics, before they'd diminished her son's victories as mere skirmishes and had tried to convince her that King's Landing was the prize. That to win it and have it secured gave them the crown and that once it fell then Tywin Lannister would be done for.
Cat knew little of tactics that was true, but she had sat her father's table and supped with him and her uncle. She'd listened when Ned spoke about the war, as rarely as he did so she'd listened even if it was in a vain hope of learning who Jon Snow's mother had been. Still, she'd listened and her father, her uncle, and her husband had all said the same truth. You beat the army before you win the war and losing King's Landing wouldn't be the end of Tywin Lannister, far from it. She was about to leave when Renly said something that shocked her, Cat having to ask him to repeat himself and not even using his title as she did so.
"I'm sorry, Lord Baelish is here, you say?" she asked not caring about the frown on Ser Loras's face.
"He is my lady, says he came to see you, Brienne will see you to him." Renly said.
She made her way to the tent and saw Petyr there, his smug grin annoying her for the first time, and yet it was what was behind him that she found herself focussed on.
"Cat." he said moving to kiss her, the brush away she gave him not removing his smile.
"How dare you come to me after what you did. I trusted you, my husband trusted you and you betrayed our trust with treachery." she said angrily.
"Cat, you may have heard things that were not true, I tried to help your husband, truly I did."
"Even now to my face you cannot help but lie, I curse the day you were ever brought to our door, I curse that I ever beseeched Brandon to not hurt you." she said almost biting her lip.
"I've loved you since I was a boy, it seems to me that faith has given us this chance.."
"Get out, get out now." she shouted as Brienne and her guards came rushing in yet he did not move and after a moment he began to speak again
"Do you want to see your girls again? Sansa more beautiful than ever and Arya, just as wild as ever."
"You have Arya too?" she asked her voice firm though she knew not how.
"Both girls are safe, for now, but I fear for their safety Cat. Joffrey, Cersei you know what they're like and even I cannot protect them for long." he said as she tried not to look at him, tried not to show how she was truly feeling.
"What do you want?" she asked.
"The Lannisters will trade them for the Kingslayer." Petyr said softly.
"Of course they will, Jaime Lannister for two girls, Robb has already refused these terms." she said.
"I'm not bringing them to him, your son has won victories, Cat, but he's not a mother. Consider it, you may not get another chance." he said looking to her before smiling once more "I've brought you a gift."
"What care I for gifts from you." she said bitterly.
The two women walking in and carrying a small box soon took her attention as Petyr spoke about this being a sign of the Imp's good faith.
"What's this?" she asked though she knew what it was.
She knelt down and opened it, the tears on the verge of falling, and yet she'd not shed them while he was in her tent, she'd not desecrate Ned's memory so.
"Your husband was an honorable man." Petyr said moving towards her.
"Get out." she said glaring at him until he did so her tears coming as she looked in the box and closed it.
She leaned against it as she sobbed, the shaking of her body making the wood of the chest seem to vibrate. Her head was soon filled with images of Sansa and Arya, of Robb and Bran and Rickon. When she saw the image of Jon Snow her eyes opened wide, Cat shocked that his face would be one she cared to see at such a time. Yet he was Ned's son as much as her own were and perhaps that was the reason for it. She closed her eyes once more and swore for the briefest moment she saw Jon Snow standing with both her daughters, Cat falling to sleep with that image in her head and praying it was true.
Qarth 298 AC.
They wished her gone, the Thirteen, the Pureborn, and even Xaro once she'd firmly told him that she had not nor would ever have any intent to marry him. She too wished to leave also though, even if her time here had been enlightening and as she looked to the sky to see the dragons fly, rewarding. She had a sense of needing to be elsewhere and so she had asked Irri and Jhiqui to join her and together with Ser Jorah had set about to find a ship to take them elsewhere.
Where that was she wasn't certain though she had an idea, for now though she walked with Kovarro behind her and Jorah ahead. Jhiqhi and Irri looked to her for permission to go to the stalls, Dany nodding it to them and smiling when they ran off. The two girls were at times far more mature than her and yet could be almost childlike when they wished to be, something Dany envied them for. Her own childhood was far behind her and it was one that had forced her to grow far more quickly than she should have.
When the man approached her, Kovarro moved to stop him but the man stopped himself before reaching into his pocket to take out a ball. She found herself laughing as he began to juggle with it before he dropped it to the ground and it rolled towards her, Dany bending down to pick it up. She heard the man say he was sorry and then before her hands had grasped the ball it was knocked from them, Dany turning to see a hooded man move towards it as the ball split in two. The thing that came out of it moved in her direction but didn't make it even a foot before the knife impaled it. Dany looked to the man who'd done so and watched as he removed his hood, his long grey hair, and white beard clearly evident as Dany's breath stilled.
"My name is Arstan Whitebeard, your grace." The man said as he knelt and Dany looked to see another man walk her way, this one a huge fat man who was bald and scarred.
"Who sent you?" she asked her words coming out rushed as his look and name resonated deep within her.
"Strong Belwas and I come from Pentos, your grace, on behalf of Magister Illyrio we've come with ships to take you back there." Arstan said as she bid him rise and the other man arrived.
"Ships?" she asked concentrating on that first.
"We have three ships your grace." the other man, Belwas, said looking to her.
"And you say Magister Illyrio sent you?" she asked, more to Arstan than Belwas though it was the latter who answered.
"He did, the magister wishes you to return and prepare to take back your throne." Belwas said happily.
"Why?" she asked and held up her hand when Belwas went to speak making it clear it was Arstan that she wished the answer from.
"Because there are four kings in Westeros and yet no justice." Arstan said.
She looked to Jorah who looked doubtful and yet he'd had no luck in procuring them a ship, even were these men not telling the truth they did have that in their favor. Though she knew that wasn't the reason why she found herself trusting at least one of them. The words her shadow lover had told her all the clearer now and she almost chuckled aloud thinking that it was more than the beard on the man's face that showed him true.
"We will inspect your ships." she said after a few moments, Jorah looking at her imploringly and Dany shaking her head before she spoke further "But if you are playing us wrong." she said with a smile as she motioned them to look upward.
Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion all were flying a little lower now, whether she had bid them too or whether the danger she'd been in had been sensed by them she couldn't be certain. Belwas looked like a big child, his eyes alight as he looked to the dragons while Arstan had a much different expression on his face. His was one of wonderment and awe and she felt there was something else there too, something she couldn't quite work out. Until she saw the tears well up in his eyes she had thought it to be worry but as she looked at him now it was as if he was seeing something he'd believed but doubted had just been proved true.
As the dragons flew back out to sea to feed, Dany bid the two men take her to the ships. She listened to Belwas speak glowingly about the Magister and about their trip back to Pentos while Arstan remained silent and almost watchful. When they reached the ships she found herself pleasantly surprised, the largest was a decent cog named Saduleon and the other two smaller but in just as good condition. Dany found herself smiling at the fact there were three of them and knew that not only would she rename them but what names she'd use, three ships, three dragons, and the conquest though different would be somewhat similar.
"This is Captain Groleo, your grace." Arstan said as a dark-haired older man walked her way.
"And who does he serve?" she asked
"You, your grace. Magister Illyrio sent him to do your will." Belwas said looking to her and smiling, Dany found herself wondering if he ever was without a smile on his face.
"We set sail whenever you wish, your grace." Groleo said as she nodded, Jorah then asking him about supplies and being told they'd be ready and fully stocked by the next tide.
After they explored the ship, she, Jorah, Arstan, and Belwas all made their way back to Xaro's palace, the man himself was out somewhere and Dany more than happy that this would be the last time she spent the night here. She sent for food that when it arrived it was eaten almost greedily by Belwas and sparingly so by Arstan. They spoke some and when she went to bed that night she was tired and yet excited at the thoughts of leaving the next day. Her excitement soon rose when she heard the voice in her dreams, the shadow moving towards her as she stood on the balcony of a room that looked out at the night sky.
"I hoped you would come." she said softly when she felt his arms wrap around her.
"I missed you." he said as she leaned back against him.
"He came, just as you said he would." she said, her fingers lacing with his of their own accord.
"The Whitebeard?" he asked and she nodded.
"I can trust him, truly?" she asked slightly worried.
"Ask him his name, his true name, tell him you already know and see how he responds."
"Who is he?" she asked as she turned only for his answer to be smothered by her lips as she kissed him deeply, the shadow answering only when she let him.
"A friend, Dany, a friend of both of us and a man who will protect you even at the cost of his life." the man said.
"How do you know these things?" she asked looking deep into dark grey eyes.
"I don't know, only that I do." he said before he laughed, Dany finding that she quite enjoyed the sound.
"I'll ask him." she said nodding.
"Jorah, Dany, I need you to do something that you'll not wish to with Jorah."
"What?" she asked nervously.
"What do I need to forgive him for?" she asked.
"For not being who he is now. For not knowing who you truly were and for taking the time to find out before truly coming to your side."
"I don't understand?" she said only to be kissed and to feel herself almost melting in his arms.
"Do you trust me?" he asked his voice soft as he almost whispered in her ear.
"Do this for me." he asked and she nodded, her eyes drawn to his mouth where she saw his smile and felt her heart still at looking at something so beautiful.
"Will I see you soon, for true?" she asked as she felt him move away from her.
"We both have but a few more things to do, you know where you must go as do I but aye, we'll be together soon, for true."
"Who are you?" she called as he began to fade away.
"A dragon just like you." she heard his voice say before she was alone once more.
She woke early the next morning, broke her fast, and thanked Xaro for his hospitality, the man not seeming best pleased that she was leaving and yet she knew he wished her to go. Leaving the room she made her way to his large garden and looked at the three dragons as they rested. They were larger than horses now and she wondered how she could move them on the ships as all three wouldn't fit on one and she feared what would happen if they were on a different one than her. Leaning into Drogon, she stroked his head and almost felt a presence in her own, images of flying over land and sea coming to her.
"Kostā." (You Can) she asked and Drogon snorted, Dany leaving him to speak to Rhaegal and Viserion and finding them to be in agreement, or at least she believed so.
They soon took to the air and Dany was saying goodbye to the palace, Jorah, Kovarro, Belwas, and Arstan all walking with her back to the ships. Her things were put in her cabin on the newly renamed Balerion and after telling the captain their new destination, preparations were made to sail from Qarth to Astapor. She waited until they were leaving the bay before she explained herself, Jorah agreeing with her while both Arstan and Belwas did not. Listening to their complaints she noticed the differences in them, Belwas wished for her to head to Pentos while Arstan seemed to be disagreeing with her purchasing of slaves.
"Arstan, Jorah, I wish to speak to you both alone." she said after she'd made it clear that this was their plan and she'd not be dissuaded, Belwas and Kovarro leaving them alone when she bid them to.
It was time to find out the truth as her shadow loved had bid her to, Dany looking nervously at the white-bearded man, and yet she was eager to know who he truly was. When she looked at Jorah it was with a different look, the words spoken in her dream could only mean one thing and the sting of it was something she wasn't sure she could bear. Still, she had to know the truth about them both, and best it be done now.
"What is your real name, Arstan?" she asked.
"I know who you are but I'll give you but this one choice to speak it yourself and explain why you kept it from me." she said looking at the man, her eyes more ice than fire as she did so.
"My name is Barristan Selmy, your grace. I was Kingsguard to your father and served your family for many years, I failed them." Arstan, no Barristan said, the pain in his voice enough evidence of his truth.
"He was Kingsguard to Robert Baratheon too, your grace." Jorah said looking to Barristan.
"I was to my shame. I'll not deny it nor apologize for it, though I am sorry I ever accepted his offer. I've come to offer you my sword and counsel your grace, I hid myself from you because I feared you to be like your brother and father."
"My father was a great man." she said angrily.
"He was but even great men can fall and in the end, he fell far. Your father earned his epithet your grace, he was called the Mad King but not just by his enemies, by those of us who served him too. I speak of this knowing that you may wish me gone or even wish my head, but I speak the truth as I will each day I serve you." Barristan said.
She nodded before looking to Jorah, noticing now the look of panic in his eyes and knowing then the truth of his betrayal.
"I'll ask you only once Ser Jorah, just as I knew who Ser Barristan truly was I know the truth about you also. Here in this cabin you may speak on it and explain yourself and I will listen and weigh it against all you've done for me, here and now only will you find a chance for forgiveness." she said her voice firm as Jorah looked from her to Barristan and saw something in both their eyes.
"I sold your secrets your grace. I was offered a pardon to report your movements and I took the deal and sold your secrets." Jorah said shakily and Dany felt the fire begin to rise, the urge to see him pay for his betrayal threatening to overwhelm her.
Closing her eyes she was soon back on the balcony and feeling the night breeze, the warmth of his arms around her, and his words in her ears. She'd promised him that she'd do it for him and so she would, Dany felt the fire recede and let it go out before she opened her eyes to look at the two knights once more.
"You stopped?" she asked.
"I did, when I realized the truth of you, when we rode together to Vaes Dothrak and I understood who you truly were, I stopped." Jorah said.
"And if you could go back?" she asked.
"Then I'd have sent falsehoods your grace. Had I not accepted the deal I'd never have met you and so I'm not sorry for that, I am for everything else, and should you find it in your heart to forgive me then my sword, my life is yours." Jorah said.
"And you Ser Barristan, what say you to Ser Jorah's words?" she asked.
"I come with mine own betrayal your grace, I am not so much a hypocrite that I'd judge another man his. You are the Last Dragon and both I and Ser Jorah are here to serve or to be punished at your discretion." Barristan said.
"Then you both have my forgiveness and are welcomed into my service true, but I warn you. A dragon never forgets and so, should you betray me again." she said leaving the threat open.
"Your grace." Barristan said with a nod when he rose to his feet.
"Your grace." Jorah said doing likewise.
As the two men turned to walk away, Dany felt the need to correct one of them and before she knew it she was saying the words aloud.
"You were wrong Ser Barristan."
"Your grace?" he said stopping to look at her.
"You called me the Last Dragon."
"You are your grace." Barristan said confusedly.
"No there is another." she said with a smile.
The North 298 AC.
The Stony Shore.
The village had not provided any true defense and those who had dared were soon put to the sword. Theon put his britches back on and looked at the girl on the bed, her throat slit and her teats that had only moments earlier been covered by his lips, now covered in her blood. He felt no guilt over it, no remorse, and even as he'd emptied his seed in her, he'd known it would never take. There would be no bastard for her to worry about he'd thought as she screamed and if anything he was granting her a mercy. She was the only decent wench in this village and had he not killed her then she'd have been raped to death anyway.
Setting fire to the hut as he walked from it he laughed, at least in her last few moments she'd gotten to lay with a prince after all. He looked to his men and to his uncle Aeron and to Dagmer who to his annoyance garnered much more respect than he. Between them both and this pitiful excuse for a command he'd gain no glory and his name wouldn't be spoken of when their great tales were sung about. Asha was taking Deepwood Motte and Victarion would take the Moat while he was sent to raid villages and earn no glory. Not even killing Benfred Tallhart and easily defeating him and his group would earn him his father's respect.
No, to do that he needed something big, something grand and glorious, something that made him stand out even amongst his sister and uncles. It was something he'd thought long and hard about and something he knew could be done, he only had to play things right for Winterfell to be his. He walked to the small hut that Aeron and Dagmer had taken for their own, his plan ready to be set in motion.
"Ah, the young prince graces us with his presence." Dagmer said drinking down some ale as he looked up at him when he walked into the hut.
"And has my nephew found a salt wife?" Aeron asked, his uncle's face in its usual scowl.
"She found my blade to cut even deeper than my cock." he said with a chuckle.
"Sit, we're going over plans, the scouts say there is another village nearby." Dagmer said.
"Aye, a poor one with even less to offer than this or the last five we attacked." he said bitterly.
"Yet attack it we shall, as our king commands." Aeron said.
"You attack it, it's a fool's job anyway and you're just the fool for the job, uncle mine." he said and even Dagmer laughed with him as Aeron's scowl grew larger.
"You have a better idea?" Dagmer asked intrigued.
"We just killed those, what the fuck did they call themselves?"
"The Wild Hares." Dagmer said with a chuckle.
"Aye, we just ended them and so Torrhen's Square is blind, I say you head there and take it, you'll find the plunder more to your liking and the women at least ones you'd wish in your bed." he said looking to Dagmer who seemed interested in what he was suggesting at least.
"What will you do when I'm fighting these Tallharts?" Dagmer asked.
"I'll go and harry Winterfell and force them to call for help, they'll call the men from Torrhen's Square thinking we mean to take the keep. Once they come then you'll find your own task even easier."
"The king." Aeron said.
"Is sitting on his arse in Pyke and my men need plunder." Dagmer said.
"We have an accord?" he asked.
"For fuck's sake stop talking like a Greenlander, boy." Dagmer said spitting in his hand, Theon shaking it happily.
True to his word his uncle took no part and if anything Theon was glad of it, having him continue with reaving along the Stony Shore would mask his own movements, as would Dagmer's attack on Torrhen's Square. That he'd lied to the man bothered him not, he'd treated him with no respect since he'd returned, and should he fall to Ser Rodrik's blade then so be it. Theon knew the Northmen far too well and they'd never believe Winterfell could fall, so they'd never send reinforcements to it. Torrhen's Square on the other hand could certainly fall and it would be to Winterfell they'd call for help.
He smiled as they moved out of the village, the ride to Winterfell one he longed to make and his plan to take the keep now well in hand. Soon enough he'd prove his father wrong and do what no Iron Born had ever done.
Deepwood Motte 298 AC.
Almost a thousand men rode with her, the ravens sent from Greywater Watch having rallied the Mountain Clans and some more. Bear Island was on alert as would Deepwood Motte and though she'd have preferred to be at the Moat with the Smalljon, she knew that she was needed here instead. They'd rode hard and been lucky to arrive before any battle began, the Glover scouts telling them that the ships were seen off Sea Dragon Point and Dacey finding that she had to argue with the men who wished to let them know of their presence.
These fools wished them to just sail away, not caring where they sailed too or that they could then bide their time and return. Dacey however would not allow it and she bore her King's seal in this, his word overriding all. That she feared for Bear Island if she let them sail on was true but so was the knowledge that they would come again. Nothing would stop them but a defeat so true that it would take them years to recover from and that's what she promised herself she'd see true.
They took up position in the trees, the horses and men both feeling the cold and yet the fires remained unlit and the food they ate was uncooked. Dried bread, cold water, clear heads needed for what was to come. He held her mace in her hand even though she had no need to, Dacey enjoying the comforting feeling of it just as she always did. Around her, she looked to the Wull's, Norrey's Flint's, and Glovers, good men and true and more than a match for the squids that came their way. Time stretched on, dusk giving when to the dark of the night, and then the scout returned with the news.
"They've landed." the man said as she stood with the other leaders of this group, though it was her they looked to for command.
"How many?" she asked.
"I counted more than twenty, I'd say thirty maybe more."
"Less than a thousand men, they think they can take the Motte with less than a thousand men." one of the Glovers said.
"They can and will, lest we stop 'em." Morgan Liddle said, Dacey, nodding her agreement.
"Then stop them we will. What say you, anyone in the mood for squid?" she said to laughs.
"Aye, my belly is empty and even a squid will fill it." one of the Norrey men said.
"Fuck that, I say we kill these fuckers and then eat some proper food, it'll be nice to wash it down with an ale or two and nothing makes it feel better than when you've wet your ax in Kraken blood." another voice called out.
They quickly mounted and rode to the edge of the Wolfswood, the signs of the fires and camps being set up before the Iron Born made their way to the Motte. She raised the horn to her mouth and blew it loudly, the sounds of others soon joining her and as one they rode from out of the cover of the trees. Mace in hand she rode hard and soon enough she was in the midst of the fighting itself, their attack had caught the Iron Born so by surprise that even their archers hadn't had time to react.
The crunch of a skull and the feel of a body being crumpled under her horse was soon joined by the sounds of screams as men died. The smell of the shit that came from their bowels as they breathed their last almost overpowering the smell of the copper of their blood in the air. She saw men race for their ships and some manage to make it, yet she cared not for the stragglers or those craven enough to run. Instead, she rode and turned only to feel her horse go out from under her. Around her, she saw some others who'd taken to their feet, either by their own choice or like her by necessity. Not that it mattered as the fight was still the same, she brought her mace down on yet another skull as she dodged an ax blow and responded with a kick to the chest.
Their cavalry wasn't a true one, they weren't armored and didn't carry any lances as the King's had when he'd torn into those underneath Riverruns's walls. Dacey had asked for horses and been given them and they'd ridden because it would get them there quickly and give them an early advantage. But in truth, the men with her were infantrymen and so was she and the squids were now learning that to their cost.
A large man came way brandishing an ax and she saw the Middle Liddle fight what looked to be a woman with two. Dacey blocking that from her mind as she dodged the blow aimed at her head and replied with one of her own. She felt the bones of the man's knee give out and then she swung as he fell to the ground, the sound of his jaw as the mace connected telling her that he was done for before he landed. The fight didn't last too long after that, Dacey looking to see a half dozen ships had sailed away and the rest was now theirs to own.
"For the North." she heard a cheer go up that let her know it was done.
"The Young Wolf."
Dacey smiled as he made her way to the Middle Liddle, finding him standing over a woman on the ground, her looks seeming familiar to her, and yet she couldn't place her.
"Morgan?" she asked.
"Dacey." Morgan said before smiling "I caught myself a squid who thinks she's a princess, Asha, daughter of Balon."
"A cunt just like her brother." she said to laughs as she told the men to tie her up.
Moat Cailin 298 AC.
They watched the ships sail up the Fever River, the Smalljon laying in the grass next to Howland and his men. Back at the Moat he had left nearly six hundred men and had the attack being coming from the south then it would be more than enough. An attack from the north though was not as easily defended and looking at the ships that sailed by even six hundred men wouldn't be enough. It was why he'd listened and agreed with Howland's plan, and why he lay in the wet grass and felt his cock grow wetter by the second. Though not in the way he'd like it, he thought with a wry smile.
"How many?" he whispered.
"Too many." Howland replied.
"You think we need more men?" he asked worriedly for the first time.
"I think we fight with what we got and we win or die." Howland said and he nodded.
They moved from the banks and made their way back to their men, almost a hundred of Howland's best archers plus men he'd gather from anywhere he could find them. All in all, they had nearly two thousand men and boys ready to fight and he knew as Howland did that surprise was key. They needed the Iron Born to land and to march and as they attacked the Moat in force, they could attack them from the rear. He only hoped the men in the Moat held firm and they'd not misjudged it, his father would never forgive him if he let the Moat fall on his watch.
"You're an Umber son, a giant among men, show those squids what happens when they dare face a giant, show them who owns the North."
It took hours for the Iron Born to land and even longer for them to launch their attack, the Smalljon watching as the squids were surprised to find a Moat that was ready for them. He laughed seeing the shock in their faces and their surprise when so many fell as they launched their attack. Then he waited for what felt like an age as Howland organized his men and the arrows began to fly. It was like nothing he'd ever seen before, archery of a level he didn't even know existed. Each arrow hit home and when it did a man fell.
Howland had told him that the crannogmen used poisons on their arrows and whatever it was he didn't wish to know as the men who fell did not get back up even if the aim hadn't been fully true. After some volley's he knew they'd come at them and so he stood at his tallest and his voice boomed out.
"Who owns the North." he shouted loudly.
"Who owns the North."
"Show them." he said pointing with his sword as he and his men began to run forward.
The greatsword swung and decapitated the first men it met, Smalljon slashing the next man so cleaning that he knew he was dead before looking. Far ahead of him he saw the Kraken helmed man and knew he was in charge, yet he doubted he could reach him. So he took his frustration out on any he could, his greatsword a match for any ax, hammer, poleaxe, or pike that came his way. When the arrow landed in his toughened leather it annoyed him so much that instead of swing his sword at the man nearest him, he hit him with his head, growling as he did so. That the arrow was Iron Born and not Crannogman was something he was thankful for, as was the toughness of the leather he wore.
He heard the horn and looked behind him, smiling when the horses rode their way. The Merman flag waving high and the Iron Born soon retreating as those who were unlucky enough to face the cavalry charge fell to the ground. Leading his men after the retreating men he saw the man in the Kraken helm and cursed that he'd still not reach him. The Smalljon cutting down men left and right as he chased them back to their ships. By the time he reached them more than half were sailing away and on the deck of one the man in the helm stood looking at him, the Smalljon watching as an arrow glanced harmlessly off the helm and fell to the ground.
They had won and yet to him, it felt like a defeat as he watched the ships sail away, flaming arrows caught some of the sails and hit decks and yet he knew they'd not stop any of those who were lucky to escape. It was only Howland's word that made him realize the extent of their victory, they'd sent them packing and had taken half their ships for their own. They'd killed far more of their men than they'd lost, three maybe even four squids for every Northman lost. More importantly, the Moat was there's still and that gave them the North, he'd done as he'd been bid by his father and his king.
"He'd be proud of you, he'd also tell you to get fucking drunk as you deserve an ale." Howland said as the Smalljon nodded.
"Aye, getting drunk does sound right." he said as they walked back towards the Moat, his eyes turning to look behind him once more and he prayed he'd get the chance to face the Kraken helmed man one day.
Skagos 298 AC.
Even as a hatchling he had felt he was different, his mother had felt it too and though she'd taught him what he needed to do to survive, he'd know she'd feared him and so as soon as he could he left her to live alone. In the skies above him, dragons flew and some had riders on their backs. It had made him jealous, envious as even though he was different from them, he was the same also. He wished what they had and so when the horns blew he thought of answering, yet he knew he could and would not.
He watched those weaker than he fell prey to the Dragonbinders, could sense the eagerness of the men who blew those horns to bind him, and even though he wished for a rider more than anything, he enjoyed their disappointment when he wouldn't come. In time men came to him and dared tried to bind him by their will alone, some using whips as if they could harm him, those who did soon finding out to their cost why that was a bad idea. Whether it was his annoyance or something else that had caused him to take to the sky and fly far away he couldn't tell. Even now all these years later all he knew as he had felt the call and so had flown north.
The island though different to the one he now called home had been that to him for many years. The feelings of being close but not close to his rider strongest there or it had been until he had come here. For many years he'd lived on the island and felt a small hum at the back of his mind, felt rather than heard and yet know it was a hum no more. It was a song, a song that made him feel things he'd never felt before, a connection that he'd long for all his life and had made him do things he'd hated in order to see it through.
Each morning he woke it was to the song, the sounds of it calming him, fuelling him, his flames getting stronger, his flight like that of a much younger dragon, and his green eyes finally returning their glow. Over time they'd faded and lost their color, their magic dimming as he rested and waited but now they glowed like that unnatural fire and with them he could see as he had once done. He could see his rider as he headed to the walled city, see his plans as if he spoke them to him and at night when he closed his eyes he could see him stand in front of him.
His dark hair and grey eyes, the way he looked into his own, love, respect, honor, and gratitude all being expressed as he felt his touch. Their connection was growing stronger and soon enough they'd be together, he'd hear his name spoken aloud, and together they'd rule the skies. The past was the past, he knew that now and all that mattered was the future, their future. Rider and dragon as one, as it was meant to be and how it had come to pass didn't matter when compared to that.
"If I look back I am lost, so no more shall I look back, not when the future comes my way."
Riverlands 298 AC.
He woke up from the dream and found Arya snuggled beside him, his little sister almost refusing to let him out of his sight, even after he'd told her the truth of who he was. Jon had been worried about her reaction but once he made it clear that she was still his family, still his little sister, and nothing could ever change that, it was as if he'd not told her at all. True she knew it and believed it but to her, he was Jon and that in truth was all he ever wished to be when it came to Arya. Leaning down he placed a soft kiss on her forehead and made his way to Arthur for their morning spar.
That the knight was already up and waiting was no great surprise and as they moved toward the open space, Jon felt he should tell him about his dream.
"I dreamed of her again." he said as they walked.
"Where was she this time?" Arthur asked.
"Still in the same place, Qarth."
"The greatest city there ever was or will be." Arthur said.
"He reached her." Jon said as they took up their stance.
"Barristan?" Arthur asked, his voice showing he wasn't quite on board with this yet.
"Aye. I know how you feel about him Arthur, but she needs him and he is true." Jon said, Arthur, nodding as they began to spar.
He lasted longer but the result was the same, Arthur still far out of his reach when it came to swordplay. Jon though felt he was improving and so he waited for Arthur to give him his pointers and tell him what he was doing wrong, only for another voice to ring out and let him know he was getting much better.
"When did you learn to fight like that?" Arya said, Jon, turning around to see her sitting on the grass and looking at him.
"When did you wake up?" he asked seeing her smirk as she rose to her feet.
"I was awake the moment you left, brother. Now my question?" she said smiling.
"I've been training each day with Ser Arthur and with the others, I need to improve if I wish to wield this." he said holding Blackfyre up.
"You have, you're much better since last I saw you, just as I am." she said braggingly.
"You are?" he asked.
"Aye, spar with me and you'll find out." she said the cheekiness something he'd missed since he left Winterfell all those moons ago.
"Very well." he said seeing her smile grow bigger.
She had gotten better and he heard Arthur say something about water dancing which made her sad for a moment, Arya shaking it off so they could continue. Once they did, he stood behind her and showed her some moves, Arthur looking on and telling them both to move their stances a little. His little sister eating it all up as if it was the greatest meal she'd ever been given. When he heard the rest of the camp stir though he knew their playtime was over, it was time to get to work and they had a lot of it to do.
"I need to speak to the others, Arya. I have to make plans for what's to come." he said softly.
"And the war." he said and she nodded.
"Do I have to go and wait until you're done?" she asked looking to the ground.
"No." he said as her head snapped towards him "She's your sister too and it's our family that's fighting is it not?"
"It is." Arya said jumping away from his when he went to muss her hair.
"Quick as a shadow." she said with a giggle.
They walked back to the camp and broke their fast, Jon finding the others all looking to him as if they were waiting to be told what to do. He looked to Arthur and saw him nod and after reaching out to softly touch his sister's arm, he began to speak.
"I want to thank you all for what you've done for me, without you I wouldn't have been able to rescue my sister and I owe you a debt that one day I hope to repay." he said his voice firm and seeing Arthur's smile, regal.
"There is no need to thank us your grace." Ser Richard said looking at him.
"There is much more that is needed to be done and I know the Brotherhood serves no lord or king, but I'd ask for your help all the same." he said as Beric and Thoros nodded, the former speaking.
"What is it you would ask of us your grace?"
"Harwin, Alyn, I'd ask you to ride to Riverrun, my sister's rescue needs to be spoken of and her mother and my brother need to know she's safe."
"We will Jon, we'll take Lady Arya back to her mother safely, you have my word on it." Harwin said.
"Jon?" Arya said, her voice panicked as she grabbed his arm.
"My sister stays with me, Harwin. I can protect her better than any, in time I'll bring both her and my other sister back to their mother but until then, Arya doesn't leave my side." he said feeling the grip loosen as Arya relaxed.
"Then you just wish us to deliver the message?" Harwin asked.
"Aye, Arya will give you a letter as will I, can you do this?" he asked seeing both Harwin and Alyn nod.
"Ser Richard I know you wish to stay by my side and I wish it could be so but I have need of you elsewhere." he said and Ser Richard looked to him.
"Whatever you command, your grace." Ser Richard said.
"The Lords of the Narrow Sea, Ser Richard, at present they support their liege lord but both Ser Arthur and yourself and my own knowledge of my family's history tell me that in their heart they'd wish to support my claim, you believe this true?"
"I do your grace."
"Then I'd ask you to ride to them, Ser Richard, ride and tell them the truth of me, I'll give you a letter that speaks of it signed by myself and Ser Arthur, ask them to stand down and await my call." he said looking to the man.
"Consider it done, your grace." Ser Richard said and he nodded.
"Lord Beric." he said softly looking to the man.
"I know you feel the Riverlands is where you should be, however, I'd ask of you an important task. The Mountain and Lorch have paid for their crimes but I was not the only one they wronged, I'd ask you to bring their heads and a letter to House Martell."
"Why me your grace, would Ser Richard not be better served or Ser Arthur?"
"Ser Richard has his own task Lord Beric and Ser Arthur won't leave my side, I ask it of you because of your own ties to Dorne. Your betrothed, your squire, you can gain an audience where others may not, can I count on you, my lord?"
"You can." Beric said as Arthur looked to Ned Dayne who seemed a little put out that he was being sent away.
"As for the rest of us, your grace?" Thoros asked.
"I need to rescue my sister, Thoros, and to do that I must go to King's Landing. Arya has a way into the Red Keep and Ser Arthur knows it better than most, I'll not lie, it's a dangerous undertaking and one I'd not command any man to take, so I'll ask for volunteers and hold it against no man who doesn't wish to join me in it."
"You have my sword, your grace." Thoros said.
"My bow." Anguy said.
"Aye, I'm with you, your grace."
Later as he wrote the letters he could feel Arya's eagerness to get underway, his sister almost pacing up and down while he struggled to put down in words his offer to House Martell. He'd already written letters to the Lords of the Narrow Sea, to his brother and Lady Catelyn and Arya had finished her own. Now as he put the finishing touches to perhaps the most important of them all he hoped it would be enough. Blowing against the ink he waited until it was dry before he folded it and brought it to Lord Beric. Arthur and Ned Dayne had said their goodbyes and only the promise that he'd accept him as his squire had been enough to get the boy to agree to leave.
"Lord Beric." he said handing him the letter.
"Your grace." Beric said with a small bow.
"I hope to see you soon, my lord."
"As do I." Beric said.
He watched the lord as he moved away, the young lad looking back at his uncle who gave him a smile which the boy returned. Ser Richard, Harwin, and Alyn had all already set off for their own missions and it was time for them to set off for theirs. Arthur, Thoros, Anguy, Gendry who'd said he knew Flea Bottom better than any and who Arya had vouched for were already mounted up. Jon walked towards them and saw Arya playing with Ghost and Nymeria. The two wolves wouldn't be able to enter the city and yet would come with them some of the way, still, it felt like they were saying goodbye as he joined his sister and stroked Ghost's fur.
After he helped Arya onto their horse, his sister refusing one of her own and instead wanting to ride in front of him, Jon climbed up behind her and made ready to ride hard.
"For Sansa." he said softly as Arya leaned against his chest and the horses and wolves began to ride further south than he had ever been before.
A/N: Thanks to all who've read and reviewed. Up Next an injury causes Robb to make a hard choice that could change the war, Dany arrives in Astapor and gets an army. In the North, disaster looms and Jon and Arya arrive to enact a rescue that's fraught with difficulties and requires quick thinking.
Daryl Dixon: Well the rescue attempt is next.
Vdwade: Cat is changing slowly, which we'll see more of as we go. I think that's the thing with Pycelle he is who he is and yes Joff deserves a huge slap. Cannibal and Jon are pretty much one chapter away from being together at this point. We'll see some ramifications from the death of the Mountain play out, some ripples to spread out.
Xand007: Thank you my friend, I am yes lol. I'm glad to hear that about the pairing I feel the same and for me it's more the pairing making sense and not being used to bash other pairs which sometimes becomes the thing, so in a Jonsa they bash Dany kinda thing. You too, stay safe and well.
Xan merrick: Thank you my friend, glad you liked it.
Ymere: That's an interesting thought regarding the Cannibal, I think one more chapter before they meet as for Sansa well that's next.
Atp: Not sure what you mean about saving Sansa, is it you wish they don't or that nothing they've done so far has helped to do it, which if it's the latter well that's true.
Huntsman: I've been having seriously highlander vibes lately, someone said to me it was because of Connery's death but I would have expected it to be bond because of that but it's one of my faves and that was a damn awesome movie.
Jaimery: I intend to use the COTR in another story, here they won't need them tbh, people forget that at the start Aegon had 3,000 men and that was it, ok along with 3 really large dragons, here Jon will soon have the largest of them all, not including the other moves he'll make.
Celexys: That was one of my reasons for doing this, Live as a wolf kinda inspired me because of it being later I wanted to see how things changed by doing things earlier and to let those changes flow out. We'll see some big ones over the next few chapter and Jon/Dany knowing of each other is a huge one.
Guest: I hope this update was worth the wait.
Lady Octarina: I love the song and it just feels the kind of thing someone like Rhaegar may write. Glad you liked that big with the WF guards, it's a small detail but I think it adds something as you say you think about it and wonder and ok if it's not done you go, fine, but it bugs you because you kinda want to know those things. I think just knowing Arthur was with him would make Brynden completely reconsider lol.
That's it exactly with the visions, some were true, some not and some were the undying messing with Dany or here at least. So without spoiling yes the treason for love is so not happening here, but Faegon does exist. On the dragons I do think they feed of magic in some way, like some people say it was Drogon being free that made him grow and that may be part of it, but I also think that seeing him in Valyria showed that to be part too. Here they literally devoured magic and so they'll grow exponentially because of it.
I thought that was in a way a funny little workaround of the prophecy, waking a sleeping dragon from an island of stone. I hope you liked the Jon/Arya time here, I think dealing with more of the canon in a funny way allows for things to change a bit more, these changes will have ripples though.
Dunk: So glad you liked that, he's so eager to be with his rider and just like his rider is training himself, I thought it would work well to have him train too. I wanted to show that side of Tyrion, in the books there is the bit where he shares her bed and we see him getting aroused by her, so I think this is the true Tyrion, as for his endgame we'll see. Hope you liked the North part one as I wanted to call it.
Mercy Rose: I'm sorry about the wait, but I'm glad you liked the thing with Dany's dragons, we'll see them grow a lot quicker here.
Jessicanightmarewolf: We'll see with Tyrion, he won't try anything unless they were in a position to it and well he may not get that position. On the Dragons, I think the above answered but yes, horse sized.
SuhulSnow: As you see yes, as Arya says in her pov, Jon never lies to her.
TheSphynx: Indeed, my friend. The Wild and Quite wolf are about to howl.
Keb: Won't be too much longer to wait, chapter 6/7 at most.
Svenion: One of the biggest complaints I have for my own stories is I've not had the chance to have Jon/Arya goodness, so this one allows me to indulge a bit lol. I think bookjon is quite pragmatic and clever and he'd realize that this is your one chance to move the Martell's to your side, so we'll see how that plays out.
Victoria: No worries and I'm so glad to hear from you, hope everything is well in your life. The magic to me is something the show stole us of, the Direwolves especially so I try to include them as much as I can. Glad you like the romance, one of the key things with Dany/Jon for me is to get that right even more so than with others, it's why I waited so long to even have a go at it. I agree about Arthur, I describe him as my fave What If characters as if he lived things would be so much different. So glad you think that about Jon, I think his naivety is show related and not bookJon, which bugs me a bit. Hope you continue to enjoy the story and that all remains well in your life, truly great to hear from you my friend.
Hartley Skarsgard: Thanks so much, the bonds are big things, the dragon one and the one between Jon/Dany, the why of the latter will be explained in a couple of chapters. The justice was one of those unexpected things for me, I mean I always had it in my head that they'd get it but I'd forgotten where certain characters were and it was only when researching the timeline that I realized they could get it here.
Robbier: Thanks so much, really glad you're enjoying it.
AkumarReap3r: Don't worry, I've been writing constantly for over a year and a half so far, no way this gets left unfinished.
Cookycrumbler: Another couple of chapters I think but it's coming and we'll keep checking in on him until then.
Redstrobelight: Really glad you enjoyed it.
Afterbliss: So very glad you liked it.
Creativo: exactamente, está aún más concentrado para asegurarse de que lo haga.