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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Aidun

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The Little Cub (A Game of Thrones AAR)

More recent work from me and my friends:
- Of Kings and Crows: The Age of a Hundred Kings
- Blood & Fire - A Game of Thrones MultiplayAAR
- Seven Kingdoms - A Game of Thrones MultiplayAAR

Introduction
So, I decided to give a try to writing an AAR. It's my first time, but I'm a huge fan of ASoIaF fan with several hundred hours of CK2 gameplay behind. I'm not a native English speaker, so there will most likely be some typing mistakes. I hope you will enjoy reading it nevertheless. In case you have not read all the books, you best stop here for the night is dark and full of spoilers.

This AAR will be told from the perspective of Tommen Baratheon - and perhaps his offsprings, should things go smoothly and I have the motivation to keep on writing. As is excepted, the story won't be canon-wise. The first change will be switching Tommen's guardian and giving him more space. In the books Cersei dominates what happens in Kings Landing, whereas in this AAR it'll be Tommen(who in the beginning is influenced by Margaery).

From the books we know very little of Tommen's personality except that he's kind, somewhat chubby kid who's grown up in Cersei's overprotective care. The lack of knowledge allows me to reshape his whole personality in a way I see the most realistic, considering the situation and the surroundings he's grown up in.

The game files are slightly edited to support the lore and make things more realistic and enjoyable to read. For example at the start Tommen would normally belong to the House Lannister, but I switched him and his siblings to the House Baratheon which they are in the books as well. Above all this is a story and therefore I have done reloading at certain points to avoid unnecessarily silly twists and turns. All gameplay is done in A Game of Thrones mod version 0.51.

The pictures are mostly from the gameplay, but there are also some that I've found from the internet. I do not claim to have made them and will not get any profit from using them in telling this story. They're but a means to make the AAR visually more effective. I've recorded the creators of those pictures in the spoiler below.
Granted The Best Character Writer of the Week Award 09-02-2014, 05-25-2014 & 12-21-2014

2nd place in CKII Q1 2014 AARland Choice Awards
2nd place
in CKII Q2 2014 AARland Choice Awards
The Little Cub - AAR from A Game of Thrones Mod



 
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Ccllnply

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Very good first post. I think you captured the character well. The writing was very childlike and innocent (not that I'm saying your writing is childish) and suites the idea of Tommen's diary very well.

If I had to give any advice (not that my writing is great either), I would say just re-read the update before posting them. I understand English isn't your first language, it's just that your opening paragraphs were perfect without a single error that I would see but then when you got into the Prologue there were a few. Really though that's just a minor thing, it was still a good read regardless.

Looking forward to the next update!
 

Ethan194

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It always annoys me that Joffrey and his siblings are lannisters and not baratheon, Never understood why they did that?
 

Aidun

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Prologue

The journal of Tommen Baratheon.

Margaery gave me this book and urged me to write down my thoughts in it. She said it'd be good practice and would help me understand myself later in the future. I don't know about that, but she's been kind to me. Mother seldom made me do anything, but things have changed a lot now that grandfather and Joff aren't with us any longer. I miss Joff. He was my brother, but now I am the king, and as a king I should act like a one. ''Kings don't cry'', mother often told me. I sometimes think of Tyrion as well, the way he made me smile and laugh. The things that I saw in Joff's wedding.. I don't understand why he would do such a thing!

But that's just how it is. The people around me are all leaving one by one; Joff, father and grandfather are dead, Myrcella's in Dorne, Uncle Jaime's fighting the war in Riverlands and Tyrion's disappeared. And now mother's leaving too. With grandfather gone, Uncle Jaime being in the Kingsguard and Tyrion disinherited, she's the heir to Casterly Rock. The war is still going on, and someone needs to take the control in the Westerlands. She said she didn't want to leave and asked great-Uncle Kevan to do so instead, but apparently they had an argument which ended with him leaving for Darry where his son, Lancel rules.

I have been practicing swordplay and jousting with Margaery's brother, Loras. Mother wasn't happy when she found out about it, and tried to put an end to it. I don't think she likes about Loras and Margaery.. But with her leaving to Casterly Rock, Margaery will now look after me. Mother made me promise I wouldn't practice again with Loras, but there are other knights in Kings Landing who surely could teach me - and I don't think Margaery would mind. Although mother says a king shouldn't fight but rule, I know better. Father was a warrior and people followed him because of his example. But it's no use saying things to mother that she doesn't want to hear.

The sun is going down as the hour grows late. I best stop writing and head to bed. A night's rest is needed if I want to be as strong and fierce like my father.

--
The Little Cub
Part 1 - Child's Play



I had breakfast with mother for the last time. In a while at least. She spoke softly, trying to explain things I would have to remember now that she wouldn't be there to aid me. She told me Ser Balon would be now looking over me; he'd been granted a white cloak of the Kingsguard by mother herself after Ser Preston Greenfield's death in the riot of Flea Bottom. She also spoke of loyalty, assuring me I could trust Ser Balon but not Margaery or Ser Loras. I am not sure why she doesn't like them because they're nice people! She told me some other things too, but I don't remember much of it. I hope it wasn't important..



Mother left the Red Keep in noon, accompanied by a hundred Lannister guards. I was there along with the rest of the court, bidding her farewell. Unlike when Myrcella left to Dorne, I didn't shed tears over my mother's departure from the capital. I was a king now, and things were expected from me. Still, it was as if mother would've wanted me to tell her not to leave when she stared back at me. Yet there I stood, trying desperately to put a smile on my face. Lord Gyles Rosby's sudden cough distracted me for a moment, and when I looked again at the direction of mother, she was no longer there. The cough got even more violent, and Ser Balon put his hand on my back and escorted me back inside.

Later when being escorted from dining room back to my quarters, I overheard a conversation between the Kettleback brothers Ser Osfryd and the kingsguard Ser Osmund. Ser Osmund said something about Rosby finally having coughed his lungs out, and I realized he'd died. Ser Osfryd jokingly replied that ''The Queen's plans began to crumble the moment she set her feet outside the keep.'' Ser Boros, my food taster and a kingsguard silenced the two of them by coughing, and I saw them both redden as we walked past them.



I wasn't sure what Ser Osfryd had meant until Grand Maester Pycelle later showed up in my quarters. ''The realm is in need of a new Master of Coin, your grace'', he told me. I had forgotten Lord Gyles had been given that position by my mother. Pycelle assured me that the council seat should remain in Rosby and that Lord Gyles's successor, Lord Guncer Rosby would be an ideal choice for the position. I got to use my stamp once again, and yet another important decision was made!

Margaery later showed up in my room, telling me that his great-uncle Garth would've been a better candidate for the position. I told her I'd trusted Pycelle's opinion in the matter, and she said she understood, but nevertheless made me promise to talk with her in the future before making decisions like that.
 
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Aidun

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I think you captured the character well. The writing was very childlike and innocent (not that I'm saying your writing is childish) and suites the idea of Tommen's diary very well.
GRRM said that Bran's chapters are the hardest ones to write. It's understandable, considering you've got to write somewhat childishly but still keep it interesting when writing from the perspective of a child. Acknowledging that, your comment is more than welcome. The text'll of course get more mature once Tommen grows up, as this is just one stage.

It always annoys me that Joffrey and his siblings are lannisters and not baratheon, Never understood why they did that?
If I remember right, they were Baratheons at first in some earlier version and became officially Lannisters only if Stannis won the Iron Throne. I am not sure why they changed that setup to the current one. I share your thoughts, which is exactly why I put them three kids(although only two of them are alive at this point) to Baratheon dynasty by editing the game files.
 

Aidun

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The Little Cub
Part 2 - Thorn In My Side


Margaery asked me to take part in a meeting of the small council, so that I'd see in action what their work was all about. The Hand's Tower - where my grandfather, the previous hand had held the council meetings - had been destroyed by pyromancers following my wedding ceremony to Margaery. Ever since the meetings had once again been held in the old small council chambers. Lady Margaery escorted me from my living quarters in Maegor's Holdfast to there, and reminded me of who I would be there. Her father, Lord Mace Tyrell was the Hand of the King, but in his absence Margaery herself hosted the council meetings. My uncle Ser Jaime was the master-at-arms, but he was off fighting in war as well. Out of the seven persons that traditionally would partake the meetings, five were present - myself included. As I stepped in to the meeting room, I met the eyes of everyone else.

Closest to the doors sat Grand Maester Pycelle, who glanced at me and mumbled a quiet greeting. The kind-looking master of whisperers, Qyburn, sat next to him and gave me a smile. I couldn't help but to answer in the same way. And then there was Lord Guncer Rosby, the newly-appointed master of coin. His predecessor, Lord Gyles had been a usual sight in the court of the Red Keep, but this was the first time I had a chance to lay eyes upon Lord Guncer. He was well-tailored man in his thirties with fine brown hair and a thick moustache. He but looked at me and then wiped his nose in his sleeve. As I made my way to the head of the table which Lady Margaery had reserved for me, I decided I didn't like about the ill-mannered Lord Guncer at all.

Lady Margaery began the meeting by asking Lord Guncer how he liked his new position so far. Lord Rosby took a long and meaningful look at Margaery, skipped the formalities and explained to the council the current situation of the treasury. I only remember that they spoke about some loans to Braavos that might be prove difficult to pay back, and something about the maintaining cost of the capital's garrison and Ser Jaime's host in the Riverlands.

What more interested me was what Qyburn had to say. The man was kind-looking, yet I sensed there was something more mystic and shady than what was seen in broad daylight. ''There are news from the Riverlands'', Qyburn began ''Ser Jaime's hopes to reach peace without further bloodshed were in vain. The Blackwoods and Tullies joined forces and met Ser Jaime's host in battle. Some four thousand riverlanders are dead, and three thousand of our own. Lord Blackwood was captured in battle, yet Blackfish is on the run again. Ser Jaime's now moving for Riverrun, the last holdout of the rebelling riverlords.'' ''There are also news from the North'', Qyburn continued. ''Theon Greyjoy, the Prince of the Iron Islands has been sent to the Wall to take the black'', said Qyburn and glanced at me, as if unsure whether to go on while I was present. ''And according to the information I've received, he's.. undergone certain unpleasant.. alterations when in the Bolton's dungeon. And with Robb Stark's half-brother as the Lord Commander, things could turn even worse for the Greyjoy.''

The rest of the council meeting mostly consisted of debating other state matters, presumptions on Lord Baelish's success in his mission in Vale and whatelse. I did my best not to fall asleep since there was little I had to do, yet Lady Margaery afterwards praised me for my patience. When Ser Osmund later was escorting me to my quarters, Lord Guncer caught up with us. The Master of Coin crouched in front of me as if to be on the same height as I was, and then began explaining his business in a silent yet confident tone.

''There are things you should know, your grace. My job is to take care of the treasury, and while examining the accounts, I discovered that a notable amount of money has gone missing, and the traces lead right back to Lady Margaery.'' The Master of Coin paused for a moment and took a look into my eyes. I didn't know what to say, which he clearly realized and then went on; ''Fear not, for I won't do harm to your backstabbing lady-wife.'', Lord Rosby said grinning and continued;
''That serial-widow won't be a problem from now on. Count on me, your grace. There are people in the Red Keep, who owe quite a bit to your family.. people who've always served the Lannisters.''

Lord Guncer stood up and took a meaningful look at Ser Osmund, the kingsguard standing by my side, before taking his leave.
 
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Aidun

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The Little Cub
Part 3 - Growing Stronger


It was no longer Margaery who sat on the Iron Throne in my name, but Lord Guncer Rosby. Not even a month ago he'd been the offspring of a cadet branch of House Rosby, yet Lord Gyles' untimely death had started a chain reaction which had led to him becoming a lord, then the master of coin and now my regent. I wasn't worried since mother had put great trust in House Rosby before; the memory of my journey to Rosby under a disguise was still fresh in memory, although along the way it had gotten a turn which was originally unintended.

While Lord Regent Rosby was taking care of the realm, Ser Balon helped me in honing my fighting skills. I often joined the rest of the pages and squires in their daily training on the yard. With Ser Jaime the Master at Arms in Riverlands, the duty of overseering the trainings had temporarily fallen to Ser Loras. Back when my father was still the king, I'd been forced to practice swordplay even from an early age. It had never been something that I wanted, liked or was good at, yet now something felt different. I was no longer that stuffed little piggy being beaten with a wooden sword by the wolf boy. I had grown up a lot, and Ser Balon often gave me private lessons which helped me in getting ahead of the others. The improvement was quickly noticed out on the yard, and the praises given to me by others were more than welcome. Ser Balon even offered to take me as his squire, saying that I had the makings of a fine knight in me. And though I had a long way to go on that road, I accepted the offer and took the first steps.



Lord Rosby had assured me that my presence wasn't needed in the small council for a few years at least, so I spent most of my days out on the yard. Lady Margaery sometimes came to spectate when I was practicing, cheered for me and often shared a few words with his brother. She was my wife now, and I should be able to protect her - not the other way around. I didn't fully understand what she'd undergone with Lord Rosby, and she acted as if nothing had happened. I thought best to forget it all, since I heard no more talk of the missing coins. Yet from the talk I heard, the coffers would need to be refilled soon; a representative of the Iron Bank of Braavos had showed up in Kings Landing, demanding Lord Rosby to repay loans taken before my time. He promised to pay back the debt in two years, and so the envoy had been sent back home over the Narrow Sea. Later I heard Qyburn ask Lord Rosby where he aimed to get that money, to where he answered ''Ransoms.''

Out on the yard I could hear about things happening around Westeros. Sansa Stark had been revealed in The Vale, and she'd gotten married with someone called Harry the Heir. There were whispers that it was Littlefinger who had helped Lady Sansa escape after Joff's wedding, and questions arose whether Lord Petyr was loyal to the crown any longer. But what seemed to fascinate the boys of my age more was the fate of one Ser Onion Knight. Apparently this loyalist of my uncle had been imprisoned by Lord Bolton. Before being knighted, the Onion Knight had been a smuggler - Uncle Stannis had shortened his fingers for that crime before rewarding his valor during my father's rebellion. I wasn't sure what crime he'd done this time, as Lord Bolton had ordered his eyes to be plucked out. The man had then been freed and sent as a warning example to the Wall where my uncle and the rest of his followers currently resided. The thought made me shiver and feel sick.



Suddenly I heard shouting, and saw guards with Lannister lion and twin towers in their banners escorting a chained prisoner to the yard. From the whispers of the people around me, I realized it was Lord Tytos Blackwood, imprisoned after a battle with Uncle Jaime and now brought to the capital. Lord Blackwood shouted something about not being willing to go to the black cells and demanding a trial by combat. The guards didn't seem to pay attention until Ser Loras told them to halt. The Knight of Flowers turned to me and asked if a trial was to be arranged, to where I only nodded.

The Blackwoods were followers of the Old Gods, and Lord Tytos requested that the trial to be arranged in the Godswood of Kings Landing. I agreed to that as well, not knowing what else I could say. Half an hour later most of the court had gathered in the Godswood, having formed into a circle around Lord Tytos who was still being held in shackles and guarded by two Lannister soldiers. Lord Tytos was a proud man who threw insults at us and demanded to know who he would face in combat. Faces turned and I noticed countless eyes looking at me, which made me feel uncomfortable. An akward silence commenced until my guardian Ser Balon stepped forth, asking for my blessing to fight against Lord Blackwood. I'd seen Ser Balon spar countless times, and knew that he had the strength and skill that only few men possess.



''Yes'', I found myself saying. Ser Balon gave me a sad smile, and the two guardsmen removed Lord Tytos's shackles and handed him a sword and shield. Lord Blackwood took a look at the Lannister sigil of the shield, chuckled and handed it back to the guardsman he'd received it from. Ser Balon followed Lord Tytos's example and handed his shield to Ser Boros. I was Ser Balon's squire and responsible of his arms, yet later I realized he'd handed his shield to a fellow Kingsguard on purpose; although I was his squire, I was also the king. And now it was a king they needed. Ser Balon unclasped the buckles of his white cloak, taking it off so it wouldn't get on the way during the fight. He handed it to Ser Boros as well, gave me one last final look and then turned around, joining Lord Blackwood inside the circle that the spectators had formed around them.

The combatants circled each other, looking for holes in each other's defences. Lord Blackwood tossed his sword from one hand to another teasingly, yet it reached his right hand just in time to block Ser Balon's first strike. Fierce exchange of blows and parrys commenced, and the crowd's voice grew louder and louder. Lord Tytos was trained in martial arts, yet he was no match against the formidable guardian of mine. Although he received several minor cuts in the fight, Lord Tytos refused to give up and surrender. In his honor I admit that he fought all the way to the end, and gave Ser Balon no chance to leave him alive.

As Ser Balon thrusted his sword into the chest of Lord Tytos, penetrating the burnished scarlet armor he was wearing, the crowd became silent for a heartbeat. Cheering commenced as the Riverlander lord fell to the ground, releasing grip from his sword on the way. Ser Balon wiped his bloodstained face with his free hand, but only managed to make it look even bloodier. I was glad it was Ser Balon who prevailed, yet the sight of a dead man stirred up something inside of me, making me feel shaky. Margaery - who had been standing next to me during the trial - grabbed me by the hand and escorted me back to Maegor's Holdfast. On the way I saw Lord Rosby talk to a courtier I didn't know, saying it was a pity Lord Blackwood had died since his family would've paid well for his return.

Most of the way to my room Margaery spent talking how Lord Blackwood had caused his death by himself, and that I and Ser Balon had no other choice. I'd never before seen a man being cut down, and the easiness of it surprised me. People were but sacks of meat and blood with bones to keep it all together, like uncle Jaime once told me. And now here I am, writing and wondering if I should continue practicing with swords when the only thing it leads to is someone's death. I don't want to hurt people, nor do I want people to hurt each other because of me. I'll think of this all over the night, and see what tomorrow brings.
 
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Aidun

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The Little Cub
Part 4 - Family Matters


Tommen winced as he heard knocking on the door of his room. ''Lady Margaery, your Grace'', he heard Ser Meryn's voice from the other side of the door.

The King of nearly ten years of age cuddled Ser Pounce one last time before getting up to his feet and prancing to the door. The cat tailed him all the way and slid out of the door as Tommen pushed it open. ''No! Come back here, Ser Pounce!'', Tommen yelled to no avail. Only then did he notice the friendly, smiling face of Lady Margaery, looking back at him. She was one of those people Tommen couldn't look at without smiling back.

''I'll have someone fetch him back, don't worry'', said Lady Margaery and received ominous look from Ser Meryn, the Kingsguard by the door. She but smiled back at him and then went on. ''The Small Council requests your presence, your Grace. Would you be so kind as to lend us your hand in the state matters?'' She was pretty as ever, and offered her hand to Tommen. He grabbed a hold of it with his own, and let her lead the way. The way was more than familiar to Tommen, but he didn't mind the warmth of Margaery's hand against his.

''There are great news both from Reach and Riverlands. My father's managed to drive away the Ironborn raiders from the Shield Islands, and will soon be able to turn his host back and return to the capital'', Margaery spoke happily ''It also seems that your Uncle Jaime's won the siege of Riverrun and captured both Ser Blackfish and Lord Edmure. They both are being escorted to Casterly Rock, until your Grace will decide what to do with them. And with the Riverlands finally put in order, Lord Baelish has been given the command. It would seem like he's turned a new page in his life, having taken a new wife and..''

''Will Uncle Jaime come back home now?'', Tommen interrupted.

''Yes he will'', Margaery replied with the same happy tone she'd used all along. ''The Frey troops with him will head to North to help Lord Bolton in his struggle, but Ser Jaime will head back south. There's a new menace rising in Stormlands, which is why both your uncle and my Father are heading here to join forces with us.''

''I don't like when people have to fight'', Tommen replied with a sad tone in his voice. Lord Tytos Blackwood's trial had taken place weeks ago, yet Tommen still found thinking of it troubling. Mother had always made him eat a lot, saying that it'd help him grow bigger, yet Tommen's apetite had not been the same after what had happened. He'd occasionally visited the yard to practice with other boys, but with Ser Loras having left to besiege the holding of Farring Crossing, it was not the same.

''Nor do I, your Grace. But fighting for good cause is better than not fighting at all. Don't you think?'', Margaery replied as they reached the doors of the small council chambers. They both stopped, and Tommen could hear arguing coming from the inside.

''Don't you understand?! The envoy the Iron Bank sent here was to rob us! At the same time they sent another man to the Wall to parley with Stannis about funding his war against us!

Margaery pushed the doors open, and Tommen glanced at the people in the room. Like once before, there were three council members already present. Grand Maester Pycelle and Qyburn were seated, yet Lord Regent Rosby stood, leaning against the table with both of his hands. The Master of Coin took a deep breath as he noticed Tommen, and went back to his chair. Margaery pulled the chair at the end of the table and gestured Tommen to take a seat in it. He climbed on the chair and looked around, unsure how to proceed.





''There was a raven from Dorne'', Grand Maester Pycelle mumbled and reached for his pocket, pulling out a small paper scroll out of there. ''The envoy the Queen Mother sent to bring Gregor Clegane's to Lord Doran Martell has reached Sunspear. The letter is --''

''Get to the point, Pycelle'', interrupted Lord Regent Rosby, who clearly had heard the contents of the letter already.

''Yes, yes..'' mumbled Pycelle and went on. ''It would seem that Ser Arys Oakheart is.. dead.'' Pycelle made a move towards his chin as if to scratch his beard, only to remember it was no longer there. ''A rogue Dornish knight called Darkstar assaulted Princess Myrcella, and Ser Arys died protecting her. The Princess is alive, but the attack left her.. hrm.. it left its mark in her.''

Tommen shifted in his seat, and Lady Margaery put a hand on his shoulder. ''Your mother's been informed of the incident, and she'll no doubt do what is in her power to keep your sister safe. As will we. Lord Doran informs us that a large hunt for this false knight is ongoing, and that the captain of his personal guard is in charge of the searches.''

''Ser Arys is dead, and the seven have become six'', stated Lord Rosby who took a more comfortable position in his chair and folded his arms. ''Meaning the King will require a new kingsguard.''

''I've been in contact with your mother, your Grace.'' Tommen turned his eyes to Qyburn, who now opened his mouth for the first time. ''She misses you and is concerned of your safety. Which is why she's sent me a champion of hers, one called Robert Strong, here to Kings Landing.''

''I've never heard of this Robert Strong before'', stated Lady Margaery, not even bothering to hide her suspicion. ''How can we know where his loyalties lie or what he's capable of? What victories has he won in tourneys?''

''The Kingsguard depend on their blade, and the King will depend on them. Their family names matter not, as traditionally one bearing the white cloak must not father any children. I assure you, your Grace.. he's the best candidate for the Kingsguard. And as mentioned, both myself and your mother stand behind him.''

Lord Rosby let out a frustrated sigh. ''You said the man's here in Kings Landing. I'd like to see him, as would the King no doubt.''

''I thought you might'', Qyburn replied, got up and went to open the doors. Tommen held his breath and stared at the sight. A mountain of a man, about eight feel tall entered the council chambers. His face was hidden behind a greathelm, and he was wearing enameled white steel armor. ''Ser Robert has sworn a vow of silence until all enemies of King Tommen are dead and evil is driven from the realm.'', continued Qyburn. ''Will your Grace wish to see what Ser Robert's capable of with a sword, or shall we be done with this matter?

 

Victor227

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Good old Tommen! I just finished up a game with him a while ago. The Iron Throne has a pretty rough start, but seems you've got it handled with that 'divide and conquer' approach. Hope to see more as you continue, writing for a child like him is a rough one indeed, so try not to get discouraged in your approach!
 

WingedLion14

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A good read!

I'm a AGOT fan myself; read all the books, but not up-to-date on the TV show. I gotta say, though, that I like your take on Tonmen. He really is a dark horse kind of character - at the moment, he's almost literally a non-entity, but depending on how many years the series takes (as in, in the story, we all know it'll take 92 years in real life), he might become a "late-game" factor for the Lannisters/Iron Throne.
 

Aidun

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The Little Cub
Part 5 - Like Father, Like Son


Ser Loras had taken his host to Woodmere after Farring Crossing's fall, yet my uncle had returned from the Riverlands and held daily trainings for the young. I had not seen him partake combat personally after losing his swordhand, and heard some boys doubt if he could even fight any longer. I gave one of them a bloody nose for that, knowing the rest of them wouldn't dare to lay a hand on the king. Ser Balon learned about it afterwards and persuaded me to keep my head calm in the future. I did not care about Uncle Jaime's condition, and somehow liked the new him; it was as if going through such a horror had reminded him of what was important in life. Besides, even if he wasn't the most forbidable swordsman in Westeros any longer, his vast knowledge about combat had not gone anywhere. Seeing him after such a long time made me realize how much I'd missed my family. He seemed proud of the way I had grown up during his absence, saying he was glad that I was continuing in the footsteps of my father.



Before Uncle Jaime's return we'd only heard rumours about the fighting in Riverlands. Of the thousand and five hundred men that left Kings Landing with him, only about two hundred returned. Most had died in the battle when Lord Blackwood set upon them. Ser Jaime had trusted the Frey troops to join the fighting in time, knowing they were nearby. But by the time they finally arrived, most of Ser Jaime's men were dead already. ''Late Lord Frey once again proved his name right'', I heard Ser Jaime say. The Blackfish had escaped, and somewhere along the way he had gotten a woman pregnant. Ser Jaime was unsure whether it was because of love or to keep the Tully name living, but it didn't matter all the same; once the Blackfish was captured after Riverrun's siege, the Freys had castrated him and his woman gave birth to a stillborn. Lord Edmure had gotten a son as well, Ryan, who was taken to Casterly Rock as a hostage along with his father. That having had marked Ser Jaime's work being done, he'd gathered his troops and marched back south, only to be ambushed by a rebel crownlander lord near the Trident. With a hundred more of his men dead, only two times that amount returned to Kings Landing with him.

After Ser Jaime left the Riverlands, Lord Baelish had moved from the Vale to his rightful seat of Harrenhal. Littlefinger had hidden Sansa Stark from the realm, already making everyone question his loyalties, but once he'd become the Lord Paramount of the Riverlands, he'd also marched to war against the Lord of Darry, Lancel Lannister - my mother's cousin. From what I heard, he'd already captured Martyn Lannister, Lord Lancel's brother, yet the fighting still went on. I slowly began to realize that I'd have to deal with Lord Baelish sooner or later.

The Freys with who Ser Jaime had been besieging Riverrun together were better informed than us of what was happening in the North. Stannis was taking losses after losses, but in one of their hopeless battles, they'd managed to corner Lord Ramsay Bolton and kill him. After a victory against Lord Maric of Massey's Hook, Lord Ramsay had rode forth to chase down the routing Stormlanders with his infamous Bastard Boys. None really knows what happened, but Ramsay was found dead in the snow along with the rest of his notorious retinue. It was said Ramsay's fingers had been cut off and stuffed in his mouth while he still lived..

The Tyrells were now marching towards the Crownlands to rally with our men. Apparently Lord Mace Tyrell and the Iron King Crow's Eye had reached some sort of an agreement and brokered a truce. Lady Margaery was the one telling me about this, and pointed out that Iron King Euron's position would now be weakened. The Ironborn followed strength, and their newly chosen leader had gotten nearly twenty-thousand men killed during his first maneuver as the King of Salt and Rock. But what Lady Margaery didn't tell me was that upon his return to the Iron Islands, King Euron had legalised slavery and opened slave markets all around the Iron Islands.

Tips I received from Uncle Jaime helped me get better and inspired me to train harder. As I spent countless days out on the yard training and as many nights lying awake at night covered in bruises, I finally began to understand what the word ''dedication'' truly means. I had become as good swordsman as most adults - even better than some - despite the fact that I'd only seen eleven namedays. But although I was happier than ever, everything changed when the morning brought the news.

 
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Aidun

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The Little Cub
Part 6 - Revelations


Jaime woke up at the hour of the wolf to knocking on his door.

The news brought by a messenger had been of the sort he last expected to hear. ''Where is he?'', Jaime's first and only question to the man was. ''In the black cells, m'lord Commander. By Lord Regent Rosby's orders'', the messenger replied. Jaime didn't bother putting his kingsguard armor on, and only donned his tan-colored coat, stepped into his boots and began to work on the buttons of the coat single-handedly when already on his way out of the White Sword tower. Ser Balon had woken to the knocking as well and came out of his room to the stairwell. Jaime tried his best not to appear concerned. ''Two more kingsguard to King Tommen's door, immediately. Not Ser Robert.'' Jaime was too much in a hurry to pay attention to what Ser Balon replied. ''The King's not to leave his room without my consent'', Jaime shouted to Ser Balon, having already walked past him.

The Red Keep was quiet, Jaime noticed. It was a cold night, and the courtyard was empty except for two sleepy goldcloaks who stood guard by the main entrance. It was almost soothing to know the rest of the castle wasn't aware of what had happened. It's just an illusion, Jaime reminded himself. Tomorrow the whole city will know that the Master of Whisperers has been imprisoned. He couldn't help but to wonder why Qyburn hadn't tried to escape. I'll hear that from him soon enough, Jaime thought to himself and saw Traitor's Walk, the half-round tower that served as the entrance to Red Keep's dungeons.



An old ghost stood by at the entrance to the tower, and Jaime met the cold stare of Ser Ilyn Payne. The mute knight was holding two torches, and although he didn't say a thing, Jaime sensed Payne had been waiting for him. After returning to Kings Landing from Riverlands, he'd reclaimed his old position as the King's Justice. Without a single gesture as a greeting, Ser Ilyn handed him one of the torches and led Jaime inside and to stairs leading underground. These dungeons are the closest thing he has to a home, Jaime found himself thinking and stared at the back of the mute headsman who walked in front of him down the stairs. He'd stood by Jaime's side at the battle against Lord Blackwood and protected him, being well aware Jaime wasn't his old self. Although Jaime didn't count Ser Ilyn as his friend, he held unusual respect for the man. He'd also kept his mouth shut, unlike Qyburn. The old man's fate will serve as a good reminder that some things are best forgotten, Jaime thought to himself although he didn't believe Ser Ilyn would tell anyone what Jaime had revealed to him during their nightly sparring sessions.

As they reached the third underground floor, more commonly known as the black cells, Jaime noticed they weren't alone. Lord Regent Rosby and Commander Osfryd Kettleback of the Goldcloaks stood quietly in the hallway, both stirring up noticeably at the sight of Jaime. Ser Ilyn stayed by the stairs, and Jaime walked to Lord Guncer who without saying a word handed him a piece of paper. Jaime put his torch on a wall stand, took the letter and read it through.

--
--

Jaime looked up and broke the silence. ''Where did he send these?'' He handed the letter back to Rosby, who gloomily replied ''Everywhere.'' Jaime took a good look at both men in front of him, yet the stern looks on their faces didn't give out whether they believed the writing or not. Jaime looked at them both in silence for a moment, then nodded and said: ''You may go and return to your sleep.'' Rosby stared Jaime sullenly for a moment as if to give out he wanted to be present to witness what happened next. ''I only wish to have words with him. I'll inform the council tomorrow about what I'll find out'', Jaime continued, finally convincing the Lord Regent to take his leave. Commander Osfryd followed him, and Jaime turned to Ser Ilyn. ''Get this door open.''

Jaime stepped into the cell with the torch again in his hand and saw Qyburn sitting against the back wall, blinking his eyes. ''Good morning, Ser Jaime. Or is it still night? One tends to lose the track of time down here'', Qyburn said as his eyes grew used to the light source. Jaime stared at the old man in silence and took a few steps forth, stopping some five feet in front of him. ''I assume you've come for some answers. So go ahead and ask'', Qyburn continued and tilted his head innocently.

It'd been over two years since Jaime had met Qyburn for the first time. He'd been broken and mutilated, just having had lost his swordhand. The former maester of the Citadel had taken care of his wound, and later joined Jaime's escort to the capital, making sure his condition didn't get any worse. He liked the old man, and his sudden betrayal was as unexpected as how he'd known what had happened in the sept after Jaime's return. ''What have I done for you to hate me so much?'' Jaime asked him. The old man sighed tiredly, replying: ''This isn't a personal matter, son.''

Jaime formed a fist with his left hand. ''Then what did you hope to achieve?! Tommen's a good kid, and does not deserve this!'', Jaime said, raising his voice. Qyburn raised his hand as if to sooth Jaime and said; ''King Aerys II began his reign well too. But his madness grew over time from the seed of the incest. As a healer I know that sometimes for the rest of the body to survive, a limb must be cut off.'' The sorry look on Qyburn's face told Jaime, that he'd realized how poor the choice of his words was only after saying them. Before Jaime could reply, the old man went on; ''With an ill king, you have a sick kingdom. I am not a murderer and do not wish to see your son's blood flow. But I can't pretend everything's alright and let him be the king, knowing the price my ignorance may cost the realm in the long run.''

Jaime had no more words for the old man. He turned around and walked slowly towards the door. Before taking his leave, Jaime turned to the cell for one last time. The radius of his torch no longer reached Qyburn. ''Why did you stay?'', Jaime asked the darkness. ''Words of a martyr weigh more. I don't have much time, Ser Jaime. Dying for a good cause is all I ask for'', a sad voice replied. ''There's a difference between dying for a good cause.. and dying a good death'', Jaime said nodding to Ser Ilyn who then closed the door.

It was dawn by the time Ser Jaime came outside. The yard was as empty as earlier, yet he knew it wouldn't take long before every over-enthusiastic, pimple-faced boy in the Red Keep was there to smack each other with wooden swords until sun went down. There were only few things he loved as much as swordsplay. Or perhaps just one. Although Cersei was part of him, Jaime knew he would never get her to be completely his. He'd never get to be whole again, mentally or physically and of the two things that once had given him a reason to wake up in the morning, he could have neither. She's been fucking Lancel and Osmund Kettleback and Moon Boy for all I know. Jaime felt more tired than in a long time.

Three kingsguards stood outside Tommen's room. Jaime gave a nod to Ser Balon and then turned his eyes to the other two. Ser Meryn had been on guard over the night, and he nodded tiredly to Jaime. Ser Loras beside him was lively as ever. ''Lord Commander'', Ser Balon said as a greeting, and Jaime could hear uncertainty in his voice. ''At ease'', Jaime replied to his nervous comrades, who Ser Balon no doubt had informed of Jaime's sudden leave into the night. ''Qyburn's in black cells, accused of treason. Ser Robert shall not be guarding the King until we get more a better sense of the situation'', Jaime continued. It was no secret that Qyburn had a hand in Ser Robert's appointment as a kingsguard. Jaime had little trust for the man anyway; although he was an exemplary kingsguard, Jaime knew almost nothing of him. And Ser Robert's vow of silence wasn't helping that matter one bit.

''Ser Balon will continue the watch. The two of you are dismissed'', Jaime told Ser Meryn and Ser Loras. Jaime himself would've taken their place, but he hadn't equipped his armor when hastily leaving the White Sword Tower. Jaime watched them walk away, and then turned to Ser Balon, telling him: ''Good work.'' Jaime was well aware of what his sudden run into the night must've seemed like. Ser Balon had followed the orders properly, joining the guard outside Tommen's room himself and taking Ser Loras with him - one of the better swordsmen wearing a white cloak, if not the best. A wise move from Ser Balon, no question, considering Jaime hadn't explained the situation. He might well be the only kingsguard worthy of his white cloak, Jaime thought to himself and knocked on King Tommen's door. He ignored the look Ser Balon gave him, stepped inside and closed the door after him.

Tommen was already awake. The boy king was standing in front of an open window, and Jaime could see that he was holding Widow's Wail, the Valyrian twin blade, in his hand. Tommen turned without saying anything, and looked at Jaime innocently as if waiting for him to say why he'd come. The rising sun, shining from the open window made Tommen's golden hair shine, and Jaime lost his words. The first thought he had was how the boy looked like his mother. No, Jaime realized. He looks like me. As a child he'd sometimes switched clothes with Cersei, and no one had ever noticed a thing. The memory filled his heart with warmth. Jaime's gaze moved to Widows Wail and then again to Tommen's eyes. Just like me.

Cersei had always kept him away from the her children, saying it would be for the best if none saw Jaime with them and accidentally put things together. Jaime had never really gotten to know Joffrey, whose death hadn't affected him as much as it had Cersei. She was the one who wanted to raise them, yet she was not here. As much as Jaime had loved his sister, he was well aware of how horrible work she'd done, raising Joffrey. Joff was a sweet child as well, Jaime remembered and found himself wondering if Qyburn had actually been right. Not if I can help it, Jaime assured himself, yet the thought of worst scenario frightened him. I already killed one mad king. Will the Gods truly test me again in such a way?, Jaime wondered while watching his son, hoping from all his heart he wouldn't have to find out.

Joffrey had been old enough not to hide under his mother's skirts, yet Cersei had managed to protect Tommen from the foul rumours of his suspected background. The talk of it had mostly faded when Stannis's loss had become more and more certain. But Qyburn's letter - if truly it had been sent everywhere - would no doubt raise the matter on table once more. Jaime wasn't afraid for himself; that night at the sept he'd asked Cersei to finally become his wife and let the world know the truth. Jaime could handle the rumours and the talk behind his back - as he had most of his life so far. What more concerned him was whether Tommen was as strong or not. Maybe he needs to know the truth, Jaime thought, realizing it'd be easier that way instead of waiting Tommen to one day give him a meaningful look, followed by one of the most important questions in his life.

''Tommen'', Jaime said, having finally realized what needed to be done. ''There's something I need to tell you.''
 
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Duke of Anjou

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Good work so far! Jaime Lannister is my favorite character in A Song of Fire and Ice/Game of Thrones. I really, really hope that little Tommen survives both the book and this AAR;)
 

Aidun

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The Little Cub
Part 7 - Truth Hurts


Sunlight dassled his eyes and Tommen realized the morning had come. He climbed out from the bed in which he'd slept alone, rubbing the corners of his eyes clean. Although it'd been two years from his wedding with Margaery, their marriage was but a formal one until Tommen would turn fourteen. Two and half more years, he found himself thinking. It can wait, unlike the yard. Tommen removed the nightgown he'd been wearing and quickly looked at his bruised upper body in the mirror. Had his mother seen him now, she would've been terrified, Tommen knew. He'd learned to endure the pain, though, and it somehow felt almost welcome. ''If your muscles hurt, it means that yesterday's practice was a success. And although the body screams of pain, don't listen'', Tommen found himself remembering what Ser Balon had once said.

The Boy King grabbed the black light leather outfit which had grown to to be his custom out on the yard and began dressing. Mother had helped him put his clothes on or at least ordered servants to do so, but Tommen had grown more independent now that she was no longer in Kings Landing. It felt good to do things on his own without anyone's help. Once done putting on the outfit, Tommen grabbed an apple from a fruit basket that was on the table. This'll have to do as a breakfast, he thought to himself even though he wasn't even hungry. Ser Balon had noticed his lack of interest for food, and encouraged him to eat more. Still, he was getting thinner than ever before, and barely resembled the plump boy that he'd been two years back.



As he was eating the apple, the scabbard of Widow's Wail caught his eye from under the pillows of his bed. The sword had been granted to Joff as a wedding gift, yet it had not been in his posession for long.. Tommen had remembered the existence of the sword not long ago and asked Ser Balon about it. The kingsguard had told Tommen that the Valyrian sword was in the King's armory, awaiting for him once he'd grown up. Tommen couldn't wait that long, though, and later ordered Ser Boros to fetch it for him. He'd learned the personality of each of his kingsguards, and knew Ser Boros didn't take his duty as seriously as others. Tommen used this to his advantage, knowing he most likely considered the task such a petty one it wasn't even worth mentioning at the hearing of Ser Balon.

Tommen tossed the remains of the apple on table and walked to his bed, taking the sword from under the pillows. The three black cats he'd received from Margaery, Ser Pounce, Boots and Lady Whiskers had conquered Tommen's bed. Tommen smiled at the sight, yet like the kittens they once were, he'd grown up and wasn't as interested in playing as before. Tommen removed the blade slowly from its scabbard, walked to the table and placed the scabbard on it. He then turned to the walked to the window, examining the strange ripples of the blade in a better light. Most Valyrian swords were dark grey, yet Widow's Wail had red waves in it as well. While wondering why that was so, Tommen heard someone knock on the door. He didn't pay attention at first, but upon hearing the door being opened, Tommen turned around to face the intruder, only to realize it was Ser Jaime, his uncle.

Uncle Jaime seemed tired, yet there was something else in his gaze as well that Tommen didn't quite comprehend. Tommen then remembered he had Widow's Wail in his hand, which explained Jaime's silence. As his uncle glanced at the blade and then looked Tommen in the eyes, a shiver climbed up the boy's back. He saw it. ''Tommen'', Jaime said, and for an instance Tommen thought he'd ask about the blade. ''There's something I need to tell you'', the boy heard his uncle say almost as quietly as a whisper. There was unusual seriousness in the Lord Commander's voice that frightened Tommen.

''Mother.. is she alright?'' Tommen asked, tightening his grip of the sword. ''Yes, as far as I know'', Jaime replied hastily. Tommen saw his uncle's attention turn to the sword's scabbard that was on the table. ''Your grandfather gave me a similar sword.. the twin of that one, actually'', Tommen heard his uncle say. Jaime grabbed the sheath from the table, inspecting the golden lionheads that adorned it. He then turned it's entry hole towards Tommen, who unwillingly slid the blade back into it's sheath. His uncle placed the sword on the table as if to remind Tommen he'd come for another reason.

''Even this moment Stannis Baratheon struggles to win the Iron Throne for himself'', his uncle began. ''Do you know why?'' Tommen shook his head as an answer. ''He claims that your aren't his brother's children, which in turn would make him the heir to the throne'', Jaime continued with a calm voice. ''It's not true, is it? Mother couldn't had do such a thing to father..'' Tommen blurted, catching the meaning of his uncle's words. Jaime had a long pause and Tommen thought he saw a glimpse of sadness in his eyes. ''No.. your mother loved your father and he loved her back.. And although their relationship wasn't without troubles, you are his son. Never doubt that'', his uncle assured him with a serious voice. ''He wasn't a good father.. he was never meant to be a father. But wherever he may be, I am sure he looks over you'', the Lord Commander said quietly. Tommen turned around and looked out of the window, feeling the rising summer sun warm his face. The boy closed his eyes, trying to imagine how his father was there, smiling sadly at him from the clouds above.

''I'm telling you this because I think you're old enough to handle it. Your mother tried to protect you from the lies as long as she could.. but I wanted you to hear this all from me. You'll hear a lot of false talk during your life, spread by those who hope to gain something from it'', Tommen could hear his uncle say. ''I want you to be prepared for it. Words can cut like swords, but you can't block them in the usual way.'' Tommen could hear his uncle chuckle, but there was certain sadness in his voice. ''Having been called the kingslayer for most of my life, I know how hard insults can be to endure. Strike back, and you make an enemy for life. Ignore, and people will keep on --''

Whatever his uncle meant to say next never came out as the door was knocked on. Tommen opened his eyes and turned around, taking first look at his uncle and then the door, unsure what to do. People usually did everything for him if he only waited, Tommen had noticed, as was the case this time too. Ser Jaime walked to the door and opened it. ''What is it?'', Tommen could hear his uncle ask from a man he couldn't recognise. Ser Balon was standing next to the man, and Tommen gave him a quick smile as a greeting. ''The Tyrells, m'lord Commander. Dragonstone is under siege. Your immediate presence is requested to a war council.''

The Lord Commander turned to Tommen, gesturing him to follow. ''Your grace, the yard will have to wait.''



The small council chamber was more crowded than Tommen had seen ever before. As he stepped into the room accompanied by his uncle and Ser Balon, the voices faded into silence. At the table sat Lady Margaery, Lord Regent Rosby and Grand Maester Pycelle, but there were five times their number standing. From the crowd Tommen recognised the faces of Ser Loras Tyrell, Lord Denly Thorne of Rayonet, Lord Ardrian Celtigar of Claw Island, Ser Osmund Kettleback and Commander Osfryd of the Goldcloaks.

''Your grace!'', Lady Margaery almost shouted and got up on her feet. ''Great news! My father's fleet has arrived at Dragonstone, and the fortress is under siege. He personally leads the main army and is currently taking back the Stormlands.'' Tommen sat down at the end of the table, and Ser Balon moved into position behind him. Ser Jaime pulled a chair with his left hand, saying: ''The plan was to join our forces in Kings Landing first. Not to invade the Stormlands head-on.'' Lord Rosby chuckled: ''People make stupid decisions when there's glory and riches in sight.'' Lady Margaery ignored the Lord Regent's rudeness, replying: ''My father wants this war to end as soon as possible. As do you all, no doubt. The Golden Company sustained heavy casualties when taking the Storm's End, and the my father's men outnumber them two-to-one.''

''The Queen Mother's troops have entered the Stormlands as well. While my father's marching towards the Storm's End, the Lannister forces are taking the keeps on the south bank of the Shipbreaker Bay'', Ser Loras added with a joyous tone in his voice. ''The war's not done'', Ser Jaime replied. ''This Aegon has got the Golden Company on his side, which is a feat itself. He also has huge war animals that he brought from Essos, and they may well turn the tide in battle against us. And that is just our southern front; to north we have Littlefinger, who's invaded the Darry lands. My cousin Martyn was captured, and according to the latest report, Littlefinger had his eyes taken out for asking better accomodation than a cell in Harrenhal's dungeon. Baelish has both the Riverlands and the Vale in his pocket, and may well soon turn on the North, considering his past affairs in hiding Sansa Stark from us and marrying him to Harrold Arryn.''




''Littlefinger's time will come, but he doesn't have the men to try forging a realm of his own. So let the little man think he's a big player for now. You'll get to pay your debts to him later, Lannister, once we have the heads of Stannis Baratheon and this false dragon on a spike'', Rosby said. Before anyone could say anything else, he continued; ''Now, as some of you may have heard, our master of whisperers sits in a black cell, accused of treason. He was put there on my orders for spreading false rumours regarding the King's parentage.'' Tommen's gaze turned to his uncle, but their eyes didn't meet. ''You do realize what imprisoning Qyburn may look like to some people? The worst's already happened. Now it seems that we're but silencing someone who had the courage to speak up'', Lord Denly said. Hearing someone question his decision didn't please Lord Rosby, who angrily replied; ''What was I supposed to do? I couldn't just let the man walk away. Are you perhaps suggesting we should investigate the truthfulness of Qyburn's accuses, hrm?'' He paused for a moment and exchanged looks with Ser Jaime before continuing. ''What's done is done. Let Qyburn rot in the dungeons, and people will forget him soon enough. But now we have a war to plan.''

''There are ten thousand soldiers in King's Landing. It's about the time they march to war, m'lords. The soldiers are getting impatient, and that means more work for my men in'', Commander Osfryd spoke up. Grand Maester Pycelle shaked his head in disagreement: ''If we send the men to aid Lord Tyrell, the capital will be defenceless.'' Ser Loras looked at Pycelle and raised his voice: ''As mentioned, the Riverlands won't be a problem. Littlefinger doesn't have the men, and the Ironborn are fighting each other. House Goodbrother of Great Wyk is rebelling against the rule of Crow's Eye, and it'll keep them busy for a while. As for the Dragon of Meereen.. she's also fighting a war, trying to keep the slavers from stealing her crown.''

''Then we march'', Tommen could hear his uncle say. Ser Jaime got up to his feet and turned to look at Lord Rosby. ''I'll take half of our men. The rest five thousand may garrison the city for now.'' The Lord Regent fell awfully quiet, but nodded as an answer. ''My lords, get your men ready. We'll leave at midday.'' Tommen looked after his uncle, who already headed out of the door, followed by most people. There's someone people look up to ever more than Lord Guncer, Tommen realized. He may be the Lord Regent, but after I turn sixteen, he'll be but the lord of Rosby. Whereas Jaime's my closest kin present and a proven commander.

Tommen got up to his feet and walked back to his room, followed by Ser Balon. The window was still open, and Tommen walked to it, taking a look down at the courtyard. It's not my time just yet, the boy king thought, looking at the troops running around and forming up, almost hoping he could leave with his uncle. One day, Tommen promised himself and looked over his shoulder at the blade on table. One day I'll ride out with him, and prove my sword's name true.

But not today.
 
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Aidun

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The previous message was updated. I accidentally posted only half of it earlier.. Sorry for the trouble.
 

Aidun

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Glad to hear you like! I'm a Stark boy myself. Comes with being from Northern Europe, I suppose.

And regarding that Joff/Tommen/Myrcella thing.. I am not sure why they implemented it to A Feast for Crows bookmark as well. Tywin's no longer in picture, you know.
 
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JKrugger

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I, too, associate with the Starks, but I feel like that's who GRRM is trying to make us identify with. That being said, I'm working on the prologue of what might turn out to be an AAR from the perspective of House Dayne in Dorne, and I've also thought the Ironborn were pretty interesting as well. So I'm a bit all over the place.
 

yezhanquan

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I actually tried to see if Tommen could get betrothed to Dany (On 8296 and before; Dany's at Braavos). Game said that Tommen was too young. I did manage to get Joffrey and Dany married (starting from 8291, cos I wanted to sort the boy out).
 
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