cosmeIII

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So, I decided that my old AAR was too ambitious for me. I had to make up my own characters and give them personalities. A bit too much work to keep it steady, honestly. So I decided to go on and use already known and existing characters of the ASOIAF lore to make it easier for me and keep me more pinned to the AAR.

The English language is not my primary one. So if you have any recommendations to make on my writing or AAR, send me a PM or put it here in the thread!

I've been reading other AARs, mainly Aidun's amazing The Little Cub and I wish to at least try to emulate his prowess! Please pay him a visit and read his fine work!

After reading all of the books, I was disappointed when I thought of the things Jon could've done as lord of Winterfell, and thought to myself: What if maester Aemon had never told him to kill the boy and be a man?

Then I booted the AGoT mod and let my mind and keyboard do the rest.

Without further addo, I present you my AAR about Jon Snow's rise the power, and the comeback of the Starks to the game of thrones:

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Amazing art by AznNerd, follow him here and here!

The Lone Wolf

Prologue: The Lone Wolf

Chapter 1: The Legitimate Wolf
Chapter 2: The Fighting Wolf
Chapter 3: The Legitimized Wolf
Chapter 4: A Promise Unbroken
Chapter 5: The Fury's Doubts
Chapter 6: The Fire Stag's Destiny
Chapter 7: The Wolf's Pup
Chapter 8: The Sworn Wolf

Epilogue: A sad and lonely howl for my realm.

Prologue:
It was a cold morning, followed by a cold day and a cold night. Jon had a hard time waking up and breaking his fast, the food tasted duller than ever. His old companions were not there anymore, Sam had gone south with Aemon and Gilly and Mance's son. He suddenly couldn't trust anyone. Bowen Marsh was a good man and a good steward, but he was more loyal to the watch than he'd be to any man; the same could be said about the rest of the stewards, old men who fought the wildlings all their lives and kept the Wall safe. They knew no other business, no higher causes. Dolorous Edd was simply dolorous Edd and Iron Emmett was a warrior first and foremost.

Jon Snow remembered fighting the Wildlings with only some seventy men, slaying the Magnar of Thenn, firing arrows down towards the wildling army. Not enough, he thought. The idea of the wildlings joining them was too risky, there was too much friction between the two factions. Even if they were allowed south of the Wall, the idea of a crow and a wildling fighting side to side was still a crazy one.
The north of the Wall won't give me what the Watch needs, but the south...

The thought made Jon smile slightly, he walked along the outside of Castle Black, with Ghost trailing him closely from behind. His mind was deep in thought, Stannis' words rang in his head constantly. He looked around to make sure nobody was listening and looked to Ghost. "I could be a Stark, Ghost." he said as crouched to pet the white beast. "I could rule Winterfell and the North. My father's bannermen would rally to me as soon as I raise the Stark banner and claim my fatherly blood's birthright. I could do so many things after that." he continued saying with a hopeful voice while he stroked Ghost's fur. The wolf looked at him intently, silent as ever.

Jon got up and was hit by reality. A brother of the Night's Watch swears a vow to keep the watch until his death. I am the sword in the darkness. Jon thought as he strutted silently towards the building where the one room he hoped to reach was brightly lit. I am the watcher on the Wall. He ignored the men who patrolled the outside of the building, they thought nothing of it and kept shaking their hands together to make warmth. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory, now my watch begins. He saluted the guards and they quickly opened the door for him, giving him a curious look. It shall not end until my death, I pledge my Life and Honor. He went up the stairs of the building and arrived at the room of the Red Witch where he could hear his own heart thumping against his chest. But what is the worth of my life and honor, if the watch is defeated? He went to knock on the door but the witch opened it before he could reach it. Jon looked at her sullenly. She was clad in red, as always, and warm. So very warm. It was a nice change to the outside's freezing cold.
"Jon Snow." She called in a pleased voice. "I saw you coming to me in my fire, your figure was heavy with grief but staunch, and there were no knives to be seen anymore. Instead, you shone as only a flame of R'hllor could shine." She invited Jon in with a movement of her hand and they both sat. "Tell me, Jon Snow, what made you shine so in the flames?"

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"Betrayal, desertion, Oathbreaking." said Jon grievously, every one of the words he pronounced made him wince. His heart was so strongly opposed to this. Oh father, oh brothers, oh sisters, oh my little Arya. What am I doing? I'm just a bastard of Eddard Stark He wanted to run, to go back with Pyp and Grenn and Edd and give up his position as lord commander to whoever wanted it then die in some fool's fight against wildlings or Others. But he had a duty to fulfill. For Qhorin, for maester Aemon, for all of Westeros. And he also had a brother, a father and little brothers to avenge. You know nothing, Jon Snow. Jon buried his face in his left hand.

Melisandre took Jon's hand and looked at him as if she were looking at a sad child. "Jon Snow, your face is full of sadness and your eyes water at your thoughts. There is grief in your heart, and grief only serves to wane your flame. You say betrayal, desertion and oathbreaking makes your light shine but I refuse to believe it. Only devotion to the realm of man could make any person shine so in the flames. Only Stannis had ever shone so bright in my flames."

Jon nervously licked his lips, removed his hand from his face and stared at the candle shining in the center of the room. Our honor means no more than our lives, so long as the realm of man is safe. Qhorin Halfhand had told him once. Are you a man of the Night's Watch? Jon sat there thinking, looking at the flame in the room in silence. "I am." said Jon out loud, Melisandre stared at him, as if understanding of his words. "Lady Melisandre, tell King Stannis that I wish to become lord of the North and rally my bannermen to defend my birthright and stand against the unrightful lord Roose Bolton." Jon was as convinced as he could be of his own words. If I stop now, I am lost. He got up and left the room without waiting for the reply of the red witch. Yet he could feel that she had no desire to reply to him, all had gone as she wanted it to go.

He called Iron Emmett and Dolorous Edd to his chambers in Castle Black and confessed of his oathbreaking. Edd made another one of his pessimist remarks, complaining of how Jon could turn his cloak twice without punishment. Emmett stared at him and said "Men are men. Vows are words and words are wind.", stinging Jon. But they could not truly understand what he wanted to do, no matter how he explained it. He ordered them to contact Dick Follard in the next day and make him deal with the elections for the next Lord Commander.

They will hate me, despise me, Jon thought as he walked back to his chambers. I would too if I were faced with such a man. A turncloak, then oathbreaker who seeked crowns and wife and glory. There will be no coming back from this one, his old friends would look at him bitterly if he were to see them again. Ghost reunited with Jon and laid down on his bed of straw.
If keeping the realm of man safe meant that he had to turn his cloak once again and forget his vows. He had to do it. This goes beyond honor, beyond brotherhood and family. What better to stop the incoming hordes of frost and cold than all the levies of the North? thought Jon, but that gave him no peace during the night's sleep. His dreams were troubled and filled with nightmares. Daggers stabbed from every direction, a man cried in front of him. Jon tried to beg for forgiveness, but he found that his throat had already been slit and only blood gurgled from his mouth and wounds.

The next day came quickly, the nightmare had been short, and the night as well. The morning was calm, but the tempest started soon after the first meal of the day. The rumor of Jon's resignation and departure spread like wildfire and men were gathering around Jon's chambers to protest and demand explanations. Ignoring his guards' warnings. Jon walked out of his office chambers and looked at those who were once his brothers, he walked towards the pedestal where old Jeor Mormont once made his speeches. He heard cries from the black brothers: 'turncloak', 'deserter' and 'bastard' were the most common among the insults. Jon shielded his mind from the barrage of insults and raised his voice:

"My old brothers!" he bellowed, "I have broken my vows and betrayed you. Such an action can never be truly pardoned, but know, my dear old brothers, do know: I shall come back to the Wall with all the armies and foodstuffs of the North and help you defend the realm of man against the looming horror beyond the Wall. I do beg you to do one thing though: prepare. Prepare to man an army with obsidian, to host it along each of the castles of the Wall. Fret not, as builders and experienced scouts will be sent from the North's finest soon enough. Heed this last advice of mine, and our victory shall be assured. Now I bid you goodbye, and beg for your forgiveness that I one day hope to reach and recieve." He cut his speech short and descended the pedestal to walk towards the tower now manned by Stannis and his closer entourage of knights. Ghost thought Jon. But the wolf was nowhere to be seen, probably off hunting in the south.

Jon found his steps to be true and strong. He knew the black brothers were following him and still insulting him, but all he could do now is pray that they'd listen to his last advice. They must. After arriving at the main hold of Stannis, the southron knights stopped the black brothers on their tracks. Now Jon could only hear their muffled voices thanks to the door between him and them, he couldn't help but feel a little more secure. A guard escorted him to Stannis' small hall.

Stannis sat on the old bear's chair and looked at Jon as he entered the room. "Jon Snow." He said. Jon was surprised, the king was probably offended, he had made Melisandre tell him of his wish instead of telling him directly. But if that were the case, Stannis did not show it in his tone or posture. "Jon Snow." he said again in a monotone, neutral voice. "Come to the center of the room. And kneel."

Jon was nervous, he knew what this meant. He walked slowly towards the center of the room, with his hand on longclaw's hilt. Jon knelt, and suddenly realized that the knights of Stannis were in the room as well. He felt sick daggers coming from every direction he remembered, I'm too paranoid, he kept telling himself. Stannis got up from his chair and unsheathed his Lightbringer as he approached Jon. The waiting was killing him, he felt like retching, but did his best to refuse the reaction. Stannis stood over him and took his sword to Jon's shoulder. "Jon Snow, do you swear to be my loyal bannerman and fight along with me against the enemies of the seven kingdoms?" he pronounced.

Jon couldn't help but notice that he was sweating, and he realized his eyes were open as if he feared for his life. Thankfully he was looking down and Stannis saw nothing of it. He got the best hold of himself he could grab. "Yes, Your Grace, I pledge my life to serve the Seven Kingdoms and Westeros as Your Grace's vassal." responded Jon, his voice squeaked at the last word, with some slight laughs coming from the bands of knights in the room. Stannis made no remark on the mishap.

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The ceremony was short, Stannis touched both his shoulders with his sword and finished:
"Rise then, Jon of House Stark, lord of Winterfell and the North."

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TheAnguishedOne

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Awesome start. I love Jon Snow, so I'll be looking for more of this. What is your long-term goal?
 

MattSR30

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I just started my very first AAR yesterday, and thought I'd have a look at a few others. As a fan of detailed writing, and of the (now legitimized :D), bastard of Winterfell... Color me impressed! I'll definitely be paying attention to this. Keep up the good work, looking forward to a Bolton death or two!

Your English has been nearly perfect so far, minus a grammatical error or two, but a non-capitalized letter or two don't really matter in the scheme of things, so I won't sit here correcting you. If you're ever stuck with words or phrasing of things, don't hesitate to ask. :)

Looking forward to the next part!
 

cosmeIII

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Awesome start. I love Jon Snow, so I'll be looking for more of this. What is your long-term goal?

Revenge and victory in the game of thrones, of course!
I want to represent a Jon that is doubtful and cautious of most of his actions, as most Night's Watchmen are, yet still compelled by the strength of his youth to be brave, seek revenge and pull the Starks out of their extinct status.

I just started my very first AAR yesterday, and thought I'd have a look at a few others. As a fan of detailed writing, and of the (now legitimized :D), bastard of Winterfell... Color me impressed! I'll definitely be paying attention to this. Keep up the good work, looking forward to a Bolton death or two!

Your English has been nearly perfect so far, minus a grammatical error or two, but a non-capitalized letter or two don't really matter in the scheme of things, so I won't sit here correcting you. If you're ever stuck with words or phrasing of things, don't hesitate to ask. :)

Looking forward to the next part!

I'm glad you're liking it Matt!

I'll be sure to check out your Dayne AAR. Though I've never been a true fan of the Dornish chapters in the books, I'm sure that a story about Darkstar's family can keep me going.

You'll see a Bolton death or two, yes. But oh my if those pesky Freys aren't gonna get the bigger part of Jon's revenge cake.
 

mike the knight

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I always wnated to see Jon does it but he failed me :( Now it is up to you to accomplish the task and restore Starks back to their ancestral seat .The Winter has come !
 

cosmeIII

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Chapter 1: The Legitimate Wolf

Jon was preparing his clothes, few as they were. He slowly packed them in a chest that the supply wagons of Stannis would carry as they went south. He noticed that he was preparing his black cloak and quickly shoved it onto his chair instead. Seeing the cloak made his heart waver yet again, but he had no choice now. He had forced himself into this path and now he had to trek through it with all his strength. He was wearing a white linen tunic depicting the grey wolf of Stark on his chest. Forgive me, father. He thought every time he looked down at his garments. But lord Eddard was dead, his head lost for treason. What treason could a man of honor like my father have done? Jon did not lose himself in thought for long. Ghost made it clear he wanted to leave the room with a few scratches on the door, Jon obliged.

As Jon finished packing his belongings, he buckled Longclaw to his belt and made for the outside while carrying the chest. As soon as his guards saw him carrying the luggage, they went to help him and quickly took it off his hands so they could bring it to the wagons. Jon saw one of the knights Stannis standing by the door of the smithy that Jon had used as his household up until now. "Ser Gilbert Farring, if my memory serves right." called Jon. "If your memory didn't serve you right at your age, we'd have a problem, lord Stark." replied the man clad in mail. Jon did not take much insult on his sarcastic words, a lordly mantle wouldn't make his past go away easily. Yet the 'lord Stark' at the end made Jon feel as if he were another man. What if this is just one big dream, and I'm simply waiting to wake up back at Winterfell with my brothers and sisters? Jon smirked, would that it were. "Forgive me, ser. If I have made offense to you with my words. Do you wish to discuss something with me?" asked Jon, trying to imitate the lordly tones his father would use in court. Farring chuckled and replied "No, forgive me, ser, for doing offense to thee with mine words." He replied in a mocking voice and proceeded to laugh loudly. "Lord Jon, if you act so very uptight in every situation you may find yourself with more enemies than friends." Farring smiled warmly at Jon's confused face. "Come with me, Jon Stark. His Grace wishes to see you. And please relax your posture, you look like you're gonna break."

Jon was confused, so very confused. He was entering a whole new world with a title too big for his head. He had never been taught lordly matters by his father and the Wall taught him little more than how to train and lead men to battle. "It'll do for a while." said Gilbert Farring as Jon explained his thoughts to this new companion he seemed to have made. "This war isn't about to end any time soon, you'll learn things as you go. Unless you are slain, that is. Please don't die Lord Stark. Else our coming North will have been useless!" Farring laughed loudly again. Jon found himself liking this Ser Gilbert, he laughed much and made japes of everything he could. A good man with little care in the world, a bit like Pyp, but twice as old and of noble birth. The thought of Pyp made Jon's mind wander again, what would his old friends think of him after this? Grenn was slow and would believe in Jon no matter what, but Pyp was more of an innocently envious person, Sam would understand, Jon knew.

When he got out of his daydream he found himself close to the tower where the old bear once resided. Stannis was outside, giving out orders to various men. "And make sure that raven reaches Eastwatch." he heard him say as he closed in. Stannis deviated his look from his men and stared at Jon Snow. His stare was cold, but with a strange touch of justice to it. He should change his house sigil to Duty Paramount, this man is duty personified. Jon thought. He knew Farring would've laughed if he had said it and Stannis weren't around to hear it. Jon noticed that Farring was gone from his side, possibly to take care of more orders he had recieved.

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"Jon Stark." said Stannis Baratheon. "I brought you here for a simple matter. You must marry the wildling princess." he said in a calm and mandatory tone. She is not a princess, thought Jon. But the king was blind to his pleas. "Your Grace, would a wildling be truly befitting of a lord of my caliber?" asked Jon. This was probably the only way to sway the unswayable but Stannis gritted his teeth. "I have no time for your excuses, Stark. Go see the princess and make sure she does not slit your throat in your first bedding." Stannis then turned away from him and went back to his giving orders left and right. Oh, gods save me. Jon didn't even know if Val could truly be convinced to marry him. She was a wildling after all, and had little care of Southron ways. There was one thing though, one small thing that he could do that could make the princess think twice on the offer.

Jon went to see Dick Follard, the 'temporary' lord commander while the new elections went underway. The way there was filled with hateful stares and spitting and insults. You must not balk. He remembered Qhorin Halfhand saying. With renewed strength he got a higher pace towards the residence of Follard.
Dick was in his office, tending paperwork and arguing with the old stewards about the process of the elections. I had hoped to not see the stewards. Little could be done about it now. "Dick Follard, it is I, Jon." he said in a half friendly tone.
"Jon Snow." replied Dick Follard, the raw hate in his tone made Jon feel dizzy. They were my friends once, my brothers. Now I've proven myself a turncloak and deserter. But Jon had to keep talking to him. "I have a request to make of you, about the wildlings." said Jon. I shouldn't have mentioned the wildlings so soon. "You must take care of them while they're in Brandon's gift, arm them and make them work for you in exchange of food."
Dick Follard's face was full of hate, he scowled and spat on the ground as he approached Jon. "You brought them in, Bastard. And then you leave to go become lord of the North, you swear you'll come back with an army at your back but what good are your vows, eh?" argued Dick. "I'll take care of your wildlings and make 'em work, fighting them will do us no good anyway. Just kill more fine men. They won't be staying here for long though, Snow. You can be sure of that. As long as this whole Others situation passes, they'll be back outside with their wolves and cold and snow. Hope they all freeze to death then."
The rest of the stewards said nothing and only stared at Jon during the short meeting. "I am glad you thought of this before hand, Dick. Forgive me for interrupting you. I shall leave at once." And with that, Jon left the room.

After leaving the tower, he found Ghost prattling towards him. "Ghost." called out Jon, the direwolf nuzzled on Jon's hand and off they were. Jon went to the tower where Val made home. The guards seemed to be expecting him and opened the door, giving him no other attention. Jon made Ghost stay at the door, but the direwolf had other plans and quickly ran off.
The building was empty except for Val, who was honing her spear. My lady wife hones a spear instead of knitting, lady Catelyn would go mad with rage if she had to see us as lords of the North. Jon approached Val and she welcomed him in, letting him take a seat. "So, your old stoic king sends you to court me after naming you lord of the North, huh? Jon Snow?" Val said.
"Jon Stark, if it pleases my lady." said Jon sarcastically. "If I had a choice, I'd have taken Ygritte if she were still alive, but she sadly isn't. And our union would mean a lot to both of our people. Some wildlings may be welcome south of the Wall even after this crisis passes." Jon explained. "My people, Jon Snow?" replied Val "Do you also believe I'm a princess that will forge an alliance? I could leave right now and find Tormund Giantsbane to become the spearwife of one of his strong sons. Why would I marry you?"

She's right, thought Jon. She'd have no problem escaping right now, kill a few guards then convince another few to let her out the Wall under orders of King Stannis and off she'd go. She doesn't leave because if she did, they'd have a reason to kill the free folk. "Val, I'm simply going to appeal to your feelings. These are not your folk, I know, they are the free folk. But this crisis goes way beyond human prowess. We need to stick together, free folk and southrons alike. The Others are strong, and what we saw up until now was probably no more than a taste of their power. But our folks hate each other, if I married you, if you were lady of the North, then the free folk would think twice before turning their arms against the Watch again. And the Watch is too weak to do anything in this entire winter. We'd be closer to a victory against the Others than we are now. There may be no love between us, and in the end it may mean nothing, but we have to try. We must. As a duty to the realm of man." Jon explained slowly and slightly reddened when he noticed how Val stared at him with great intent. "You know nothing, Jon Snow." she said, "But I can't deny how convincing you are with those sweet and hopeful words of yours. I always wanted a man that was younger than me anyway. I'll marry you then, but if our first child is not strong enough, I'll slit your throat and go to Tormund. Now off with you, I have my things to prepare."

Jon felt slightly awkward as he left, that was not the reply he expected, but it was a yes and that was what he needed. He had nothing to do now, surprisingly, so he decided to go to the column that was preparing to leave the Wall. Stannis heeded his advice on visiting the hillmen first, a raven was not enough to convince those people to fight for them.
The column spent the whole of the morning preparing and part of the afternoon. They left off right after finishing. Jon Stark was on a destrier, though he was intent on asking the clansmen of the hills for one of their stronger, smaller horses. Besides him was Val, who had refused to dress with any womanly clothes in front of the column. And in front of them stood Stannis and some of his closer knights. "We'll stop at a Godswood with some wildlings, so they can speak of the truth of your union." said Stannis, still looking forward and advancing. "We'll spend no more than a few hours there. We have to march south, send ravens and unite with your bannermen, Jon Stark." he explained dully. "Snow." whispered Val to Jon, "You're Jon Snow, and you know nothing." Jon was slightly distressed, but he knew Val was displeased with the agreement and how forced it all seemed to be.

The stay at the Godswood was as Stannis said, short and to the point. They kneeled in front of it and prayed for a bit for their good fortune. Jon felt at peace for the first time in quite a while, so much so he could even hear his name being spoken by the leaves in a tone so soft and full of happiness. The Gods are glad of my decision he thought. They will watch over me, I know. "Jon." he heard again, and he felt as if he was being watched, not in a bad way, it reminded him of seeing a child amazed by his combat skills. He felt strong again and got up before Val. "Thank you my gods." he said silently, so they could hear. "I shall make the name of Stark rise again. And avenge my family in the name of the North." He touched the face in the tree and it seemed to cry tears of happiness. What am I thinking?, that is just some sap, nothing more. He invited Val to get up and kissed her lightly in the lips, that surprised her, but she didn't seem too unhappy about it, Jon gladly noticed.
And so Jon mounted his steed again along with the rest of the company. I will return to Winterfell, and like Father did I will visit the Godswood often to tell it of my deeds and victories. The gods would be pleased by that, he knew.

ubnnZr0.jpg


An outrider from the back of the column came at full gallop. "Your Grace!" he bellowed. "Men! from the back! Men of the Night's Watch and wildlings have come, at least six hundred were counted!" he finished. Stannis was displeased, he gritted his teeth and did full turn around. "My knights, with me. Jon Stark, you as well." he ordered. Jon obliged and followed the king and his small retinue.
It took them no more than a few minutes to reach the back of the column which advanced very slowly due to the loss of its head. There they were.

Six hundred, he was right. The wildlings were separated from the black brothers, but they had come together, that much was obvious. They weren't a ragged bunch, most had weapons and ways to defend themselves. Where around a hundred and fifty black brothers stood. Four hundred and fifty wildlings were trailing them to the column. "What is the meaning of this?" screamed Stannis in a voice that Jon never thought he had in him. A man of the black brothers rode out, with a scrawny palfrey under him. "We wish to pledge our loyalty to lord Jon's cause, Your Grace." he bellowed back as an answer.

That voice, thought Jon, It can't be, he should hate me, despise me. Jon's mouth gaped and tears ran down his face as he recognized the approaching rider. Jon dismounted and went towards him. "Oh gods!" he said. The black brother descended from his palfrey and approached Jon, hugging him. Jon removed his hood and brought touched his face to make sure this was not an illusion. "Pyp! It's you, you fool. I thought you and the others would wish me dead." Jon hugged him tightly and let his crying go on as if he were but a child.

"You son of a whore, Jon." Pyp said. "How could you ever leave and not bring us with you? Grenn's with me, and I'm sure Sam will come too after he becomes a maester." he claimed. "We're brothers Jon, and we'll always be so. We'll drop dead at your command."

kmHX4o9.jpg
t0HZJ8P.jpg


Jon did not feel alone anymore, he felt hope. A childish hope that had vanished so long ago. It was time now.
"Winter is coming." He screamed at the top of his lungs. His voice broke, but he didn't care, he let go of Pyp and looked back at the surprised men in the column. Stannis stood still, he seemed somewhat glad to have a few more swords to him. "When you're done organizing them, come back to the head of the column." He ordered. Jon looked back to Pyp and decided to organize his small host as best he could.

koj1Usk.jpg
 

mike the knight

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in the journey of his destiny .surrounded by men who consider him brother ,who could fail?! in gameplay matters I would attach my army to Stannis and hope for Northern lords rally to my banners too
 

cosmeIII

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in the journey of his destiny .surrounded by men who consider him brother ,who could fail?! in gameplay matters I would attach my army to Stannis and hope for Northern lords rally to my banners too

I'll follow Stannis pretty much everywhere until the North is Jon's, if that happens!

With these two updates, barely two weeks have passed ingame. It's a little slow, but the updates after this will go at a higher pace since it'll be the war for the north or at least a big part of it. Jon will grow and see the horrors of having to fight man against man, southrons versus southrons (south considered from the wall). Will he be able to deal with it? Will his friends? Will his bannermen rally to him or will they forget his weak cause? Not even I know for sure since I haven't played it out!
 

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Do not lose your spirit ! We are the sons o direwolfs! We shall prevail because justice wants it :p
 

cosmeIII

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The song sung by the clansmen is Miracleofsound's amazing Sovngarde Song. Give it a go when you reach the singing to see if you can feel what I felt as I wrote!

Chapter 2: The Fighting Wolf

The march south was a tiresome one, Jon had not marched this much since the ranging to the fist of the first men. That seemed to be so long ago. Old Jeor Mormont still breathing; Craster's Keep still being Craster's; Sam, Grenn, Pyp and him still hanging around as friends. That was all in the past, now he was Jon of House Stark, lord of Winterfell and the North. A claim I must prove myself worthy of.

His horse whinnied and Jon was thrown back into reality. Daydreaming was an usual occurrence for him during long marches on horseback, he noticed, as long as the cramps on his legs didn't give him a wince. He didn't have many responsibilities in the camp, as he was a nobleman and lord of the North, and the commanding of the army was left to Stannis and his knights. Jon stood around with them during their meetings, in which they mostly argued of which terrain was best for the army to traverse. Thankfully Jon had the answers to most of these questions, and some of the old watchmen were Northmen with experience in the travelling of lands. "It's like herding sheep, but the sheep are people and they have their belongings on horsecarts." said a man once. "Wherever a herd o' sheep goes, a man should be able to go, and a horse. And they can cooperate to make the carts go through." they told him often.

Jon's horse was having a hard time dealing with the cold and heavy snows, it saddened him to see the fine destrier getting thinner due to its efforts. If we don't force the march, Roose will have time to hole up with his remaining forces in the Dreadfort while waiting for support from the south. Jon had heard many tales from the south, apparently the war against the Riverlanders was going definitely bad for Edmure Tully. But a new challenger had showed up for the Iron Throne, some son of the last Targaryen prince. Jon only knew of the Targaryens by depictions in books. He had never seen one himself. The Lannisters killed them all, like they did with the Reynes and... Jon did not believe that the Lannisters had nothing to do with the Red Wedding. It was obvious that this Tywin Lannister had struck a deal with Bolton and the Freys. They say a Lannister always pays his debts, it's about time the Lannisters paid theirs, he brooded.

After a few days of marching, the army of Stannis met the hillmen, they were utterly drunk and festive. They sang and sang, merry as they could ever be. A song that reverberated through Jon:

From the mists of the mountains a deafening call!
Bellows down over the plains!
On a host of battle-worn ears it does fall,
Pushing out through the thunder and rain!


They all joined the back of the column, yet the singing spread throughout the entire army, even the hired mercenaries were doing their best to follow along. Both due to their slow inebriation and their towering feeling of the voices coming from the back.

These men of the north they have suffered too long!
The anger it swells in their veins.
Of the spirited roars of lost warriors' songs,
Distant echoes are all that remain.


Jon joined in every once in a while, in some of the verses that he remembered, not too loudly as to avoid angering his new King.

And my voice is my violence!
Clear the sky's frozen tears!
And no more we'll be silent.
With this Northmen's song in our ears.


They made camp atop one of the hills recommended by the clansmen. That day, the clansmen shared their mead and meat with all willing soldiers of the army. Stannis had little care about it and left off for his own tent to take care of the ravens. Jon followed him and told Val to warily enjoy her time with the northmen, some of them could be dreadfully lustful.

Jon walked towards the tent, the singing got ever louder around the camp. The strong ale and mead of the clansmen was doing its effect on most of the army's men. Were we attacked right now, we would all die, Jon realized. But he knew that was impossible. The wildlings thought so too until Stannis was on their backs. Jon stopped wondering, the situation could not be salvaged now. The men guarding the tent of Stannis were knights, apparently most sentries were allowed to go drinking with the hillmen. Jon entered the tent and saw Stannis sitting behind his table reading various parchments, he recognized some of the seals as he got close to the seat in the front of the table. "Your Grace, I have come to inquire about the proclamations of my would-be bannermen. What do they say of my claim?"

"I believe the hillmen have already stated their allegiance." said Stannis, his face was emotionless, Jon did not know if it was a jape or not. "I have ears to hear, Your Grace. And I can only assume that your allowing of the sentries to participate was because the Glovers of Wolfswood to the south have agreed to join us?" inquired Jon. "It is so, Stark." replied Stannis, he then shoved a few parchments towards Jon.

Jon took them and they all said more or less the same, the important part were the signatures and the seals. He saw the glove of the Glovers, the Umber's unchained giant. "The Umbers? Even with the Greatjon in the dungeons of lord Walder?" commented Jon, Stannis paid him no heed and kept reading his own parchment. "They were always proud northmen, I'd guess the Greatjon would will it, even more so after the death of his son at Walder's trap." Another Frey will pay with his blood for that, that much is for sure. Jon kept on rummaging through the scrolls: the Flints' sworn hand, the Mormont's black bear, the crocodile of the Reeds, the white sun of the Karstarks. Jon felt a flinch of sadness rush at him when he saw the Karstark's white sun. Their lord imprisoned and with no male heir to speak of. The Karstarks had all died except for their current lord Harrion Karstark. All during Robb's war, or so the northmen from Karhold we found on the way told me. The Tallharts of Torrhen's Square were also there along with the Cassels of King's Course. Both direct vassals of Winterfell.

Stannis closed his parchment and threw it towards Jon, looking at him intently. Jon unrolled it and saw the Manderly's merman. "Neither of your Ryswells have answered the call to arms, this proves slightly bothersome, but in the end, the war for the North is won." stated Stannis. "We didn't have need of half the men we are going to join with."
Jon couldn't help but smirk, "Your Grace, pardon my insolence. I have a hard time believing the Boltons will die off so easily." he claimed.
"And the Boltons have a hard time believing that the bastard of Stark had the insolence to bear the grey wolf." responded Stannis staunchly. "But do not think that our plight ends here, must I remind you that Ramsay holds your sister as his lady wife? You haven't even fought a battle man to man yet, have you?"

I have, I killed Qhorin Halfhand to prove myself to some wildlings. Jon did not say it though, he didn't wish for a death against Stannis' Lightbringer. "I have not fought man to man yet, Your Grace, but I've fought and killed the remnants of one through fire. I am not without experience on the matter of handling a sword." Jon paused, Stannis seemed unwilling to continue that part of the conversation. "About my sister Arya." Jon paused again, attempting to find the right words. "She is not the kind of girl to surrender easily, and if she is as rebellious as she once was, we will most probably find Ramsay with his throat slit after entering Winterfell." Jon finished talking and realized he was looking at the table instead of Stannis. He looked back to meet the cold eyes of his king. He seemed quite frustrated at the words of Jon.

"What is it that your lady wife whispers to you when we ride at front? That you know nothing? She is right. Your little sister was a small rebellious mouse, Robert had me knowing once. But the bastard of Bolton is a cruel monstrous lunatic. You are not a boy anymore Jon Stark. Be ready for anything. This game goes way beyond prowess at swords and words. Eddard refused to accept it and Robb realized it too late. Do not make the same mistake, Stark. I will not have you go insane at the possible sight of your dead sister." Stannis' relatively calm rant ended, and he looked at Jon in the eyes. Jon was flustered, he got quite nervous as the words spilled out of Stannis. "Yes, Your Grace. You are right." was all he could muster as a reply. Oh Arya, I pray to the gods that you are well. Jon got up from his seat and started straddling towards the door. "Jon Stark." called Stannis, "Even after the defeat of your Bolton nemesis, you will have to keep marching south. To help me gain my birthright."

Jon looked back, "Of course, Your Grace, never doubt it." he responded before finally leaving the tent. He saluted the knights of Stannis yet again and left off for his tent. I am in no mood for partying now. The chanting outside was waning as if along with his childish hopes. He saw men sleeping on the cold snow, using their capes and furs as improvised beds. They'll have a rough time on the dawn. When he crawled back in his tent, he saw that Ghost was gone, the direwolf enjoyed exploring the new forests of the south, Jon knew. Val was nowhere to be seen either, sleeping with her was a strange thing for Jon, who was used to either male company or only Ghost's. The first nights were awkward, and the next ones as well. Jon many times remembered his broken vows when along with her. And Ygritte, oh Ygritte, what would you think if you saw me with another woman? You'd have challenged her to a deathmatch, I'm sure.

Jon found no peace in his bed, he regretted not going off with Val to drink with the clansmen. Jon shook his head. Thinking about women was not the best of decisions now that he was trying to drift off to sleep. His thoughts were interrupted by someone clumsily entering the tent. Jon knew it was Val, but he got up from his furs to make sure she wouldn't fall and injure herself while stumbling drunkenly towards bed. After getting up, he saw Val's figure clearly, she had blood on her. "Val!" screamed Jon, "There's blood on your tunic, are you alright?", he asked full of worry for his lady wife. "I am." she answered drunkenly, "But I can't say the same of the northman who tried to lay a hand on me." she advanced towards Jon and pushed him onto the bed. "Now you little wolf pup, let me teach you what being a real big wolf means." She said as she fell on top of him.

Jon had forgotten about all else for the remainder of the night.

The morning came bluntly. Various sergeants were screaming their lungs out to wake their men. Many of which were gone from their tents and had found the snow more comfortable a bed during their drunken stupor. It took half the day to form up the column. The hardest part was finding good lady garments to replace Val's bloodstained one, one of the clansmen boasted of the cut in the cheek that a wild lady gave him during the night while a maester tended it. Stannis chastised the soldiers by making them run at full trot for ten minutes at a time. Something which the exhausted men found quite displeasing. They won't drink as much next time. Jon thought with a smile on his face.

The next days came and went quickly, reports from fights in the south were very positive, straggling forces of the Bolton that were trying to reunite with the main army were slain left and right after the sudden rebellion. Bolton's standing army numbered five thousand to Stannis' eight thousand and the rest of the North's tens of thousands. In less than a month, all that remained of Roose's forces was in Winterfell, where Stannis and Jon had finally arrived to reunite with the rest of the Northmen.

The camps of the Northmen surrounded all of the castle. Jon dismounted his small clansmen's horse and accompanied Stannis to the main tent. Various men looked at the pair and its guards with much curiosity. Some even bellowed 'Winter is coming' as they saw Jon's sigil on his chest. Jon entered the tent. The lords were all there, his bannermen, his responsibility and duty. Various lords' mouths gaped, while others remained in silent approval, their Stark lord was come along with his fiery king. "My lords." bellowed Jon, "I am Jon of house Stark, legitimized son of Eddard Stark of Winterfell thanks to His Grace Stannis Baratheon. He will not ask of you to bend the knee now, but he will ask you for your swords in exchange of Bolton's head and a Stark claimant."

The lords looked at him, uttering no words. "Tell me, my lords. Who is offering his allegiance to Jon of house Stark as lord of the North today?"

"I, my lord, in the name of lord Greatjon Umber, swear to house Stark." the voice came from a man that Jon remembered from his days in Winterfell. Harmond Umber.
"I, my lord, Galbert Glover, swear to house Stark."
"I, my lord, in the name of Harrion Karstark, pledge to house Stark."
The calls went by one by one, Ryswells, clansmen and smaller lords bellowed their approval. The last one was the fat merman, who rose from his seat with slight difficulty and cried out: "I, my lord, Wyman Manderly, pledge to house Stark."

AxI4Mfz.jpg


It is done so quickly, Jon thought. I am the lord of Winterfell and the North, now only remains the battle for my father's seat. "My lords, walk out with me, this afternoon we charge. And we end the Bolton's ambition."

As Jon came out of the tent, orders flew left and right and men prepared themselves for the fight which was only a few hours off. Only a few more hours, and it'll be mine. "You talked well, Jon Stark." Stannis said to him as they walked towards their own army's camp. Jon felt a sudden surge of pride, the shining King had never complimented him. "Thank you, Your Grace." replied Jon. "I owe you much, and shall pay in kind, the North's swords will be yours." he finished.
Jon saw Stannis smile for the first time since he met him. "Thirty thousand swords will do more than my eight thousand, I am grateful that you will do your duty, Jon of house Stark." he said in his monotone voice. "Go now, and prepare for the fight to come, it will not do for you to die today." this was the last order he gave him before heading off with his knights.

Jon arrived in his own tent, Val sat on the ground and honed her spear with a stronger will than ever. "My lady." called out Jon, he had gotten used to her presence after so long. Sleeping was no longer a boon since her drunken night, and she insisted on trying for child. "Jon Snow." she greeted back. Jon approached her and sat beside her. "In a few hours we will assault the castle. The Bolton men are on the verge of surrendering, they will not oppose us long." Jon told her.
That set Val's attention out of her spear, she looked at him with her strong eyes. "Jon Snow. I bear your child within me, probably since the first night back at the hills." she said. Jon was set back by the sudden comment. "Huh?" was all he could utter before Val turned her attention back to the spear and continued talking: "I haven't had moon's blood since that day, you've got a child in me in the first night, Snow. That's good luck where I hail from."

xHfFw9L.jpg


Jon was distraught, only now had he noticed that Val only woke up once to curse at her moon's blood, and that was before the night at the hills. Jon shook his head. "Val, I will get some maids to give you company while I assault the castle. Do not join the battle under any circumstance." Jon said to her. Val was a wildling first and foremost still. She itched for a fight they had never gotten on their way here. "Do you think me a fool, Snow? Not even spearwives enter battle with a babe in their womb. If that surprises you so." answered Val. "Let fools fight fools, while I tend to my own."
Jon sighed in relief, he got up and shook off any dust that might be on his breeches. "I will have to go see Pyp to prepare my men, Stannis will probably give some of his own to command on the assault. There is no time to spare. I will see you after the fight." Jon started walking towards the exit but Val's voice stopped him.
"Jon." she said, "Do not die." Jon turned around and Val's staring eyes were welled up in tears she forcefully repressed. "I will not, Val." Jon answered.

After that, Jon went to Pyp, they both prepared the men for the fight. Drilling them and instructing them on what to do in specific situations. The men, both watchmen and wildling were obedient and dutiful. This fight is their ticket to freedom and prosperity.


They marched out, taking various positions. The men from all sides bellowed 'Death to the traitors!', 'Flay the Boltons', 'For the North'.
The clansmen singing and bellowing soon overtook the rest. The entire army was shouting in ear-shattering unison now:

Feeling the fury so pure and so bright!
Breaking the bonds of surrender!
Under the moon for our home we will fight.
And we will die to defend her!

And my voice is my violence...
Clear the sky's frozen tears!
And no more we'll be silent.
With this Starkmen's song in our ears!


Jon felt so strengthened up to the noise that he bellowed with a voice he never knew he had in him. "CHARGE!". Pyp followed him, the watchmen followed him, wildlings, the King's men, the rest of the Northmen.

A bloodbath ensued, death in all sides. Jon slashed at one foe, then another, then cowed back to his men before throwing himself in again. One slash. Another. He's dead. Another slash. Dodge. Block. Block. Thrust. Dodge. Slash. Jon was lost in the battle, he felled one man after another, the most experienced of his men surrounded him from all his flanks. A friend had died, he knew, he slashed again and met a man's sword, the man was pierced from a flank and screamed in agony. Ten minutes had passed, no, an hour? Jon didn't know, all he knew was that the enemy was being pushed back. They've lost. He heard them begging for mercy, but the men of the North had none for Bolton men. Jon and his men fell as a tidal wave upon the battlements, the king's men were there, and many northmen as well.

A scream went out, towering over the rest of the castle. "Enough. I, Roose Bolton, surrender the castle to Jon of House Stark."

Jon heard Stannis' voice calling his men to a cautious halt. Jon did the same and the rest of the Northmen followed soon after.
The remaining Bolton men dropped their weapons and went on their knees. The northmen rounded them up and kept them in custody. Roose Bolton came out of the main castle hall with his son. An ugly inbred bastard and his father. "Roose Bolton and Ramsay Bolton, on your knees, pledge your allegiance to me or face death at my men's hands." bellowed Jon.

Roose obeyed, but Ramsay refused to kneel. "You bastard fuck!" he screamed, "I raped your lady sister then let my dogs have a go at her before slitting her dirty whore throat."
Jon was still blind from the rage of battle. He took Longclaw and walked towards the bastard of Bolton. "On your knees, bastard of Bolton, before I gut you." he told him. Ramsay unsheathed his dagger instead and threw himself at him. "No one calls me a bastard, you son of a dornish slut!"
The bellowing of Ramsay was halted by an arrow to his leg. His other leg got the same treatment. The bastard of Bolton squealed in pain and fell to his knees. "Good." said Jon, "I'm glad you did what you were asked so obediently."
Jon turned his attention to Roose, who watched without much consideration for his now weeping son. That man is truly a leech lord. Jon lifted his attention from the pair of Boltons as he heard cries coming from his men. 'Stark! Stark! Stark!' the northmen and his host bellowed, 'Stannis! Stannis! Stannis!' bellowed the king's men. Jon bathed in the cries of his men. And screamed "Winter is coming!", his voice did not break. Stannis walked towards him in front of the entirety of the forces of the North and his own. "Jon of house Stark." said Stannis, "The North is yours, I name you warden and protector of its territories. Do you accept this honor?"

Jon kneeled and took his fist to his heart. He screamed at the top of his lungs: "I pledge my everlasting allegiance to King Stannis Baratheon, first of name." . Many of his men imitated his move but not his scream, most except for the clansmen. Who sang their song:

And we stand tall.
Sons of the snow.
We will not fall.
Under these blows.
For our hearts they are hardy,
Our spirits are strong.
And our voices are lifted into:
This Starkman's song


ewSjTms.jpg


The day was Jon's, and the North marched in the name of Stannis Baratheon.
 
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mike the knight

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guillec87

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a very well written AAR! subbed
 

MattSR30

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Just a friendly suggestion, and obviously you don't have to follow it, but perhaps you should consider making an index in your first post at some point?

It would make it to jump around the thread when it starts to get larger and have multiple pages.

Just a thought. :)
 

cosmeIII

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Just a friendly suggestion, and obviously you don't have to follow it, but perhaps you should consider making an index in your first post at some point?

It would make it to jump around the thread when it starts to get larger and have multiple pages.

Just a thought. :)

You're absolutely right, I had forgotten about it. Thank you!

a very well written AAR! subbed

Thank you for the compliment! Hope to keep you on board with my next updates!

It may take a little for me to bring the next update out. I am planning on finishing things in Winterfell and start the march (it's taking longer than expected, sadly, Jon has many family problems to deal with!), then give an explanation of the ongoings of the world (some wacky things have happened, that's all I'll say for now.)
 

cosmeIII

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Chapter 3: The Legitimized Wolf

Jon snapped out of his state of ecstasy and remembered something vital. Arya, my little Arya. He remembered what the bastard of Bolton, now being taken away with his father to be thrown in the dungeons, had said. Jon rushed to the main tower where the Boltons once resided, tripping on the way there out of despair. Some of his old black brothers followed him out of worry, Stannis gave away a few orders and some of his knights followed along. Jon opened the doors of the tower and moved upstairs, with his companions close behind him. "Arya!", he screamed, "Arya! Where are you?!". He found the door of the bedroom where his father once was. Here, he thought. The door was locked, Ramsay must have the key. But Jon could not wait for that, he shoved his shoulder onto the door to open it. His men decided to help him with the task. Some kicks and some shoves later, the door broke open.

A girl was hiding in a corner, she was covered by blankets, shivering and crying, grasping for air inbetween sobs. "Arya!" said Jon, he approached the girl, "My poor sweet sister. It's me, Jon, your brother. Don't worry, Ramsay is gone, he will die soon. Don't fret, I'm here." he kept saying. As he approached, the girl stopped sobbing but refused to uncover herself. He reached her and crouched besides her, taking ahold of her arms to stop her shaking. "Don't worry, I won't hurt you, no one will hurt you anymore so long as I'm here." he sweetly whispered to her.
"I'm so sorry." the girl said as she uncovered her face, a face that was battered and bloody, swollen from the beatings she had received. Jon was set back when he saw her eyes. Oh gods. He hugged the girl and put his head atop hers. "You are not her." He said, his voice half-despaired. "I'm so very sorry, my lord." she replied, sobbing. "It's alright, Jeyne." said Jon as tears found their way to his eyes. "It's not your fault." he finished. And got up, bringing the girl up with him. "This is not Arya Stark, the Lannisters lied." claimed Jon, then he looked at a familiar King's knight, "Ser Gilbert Farring, please take the girl and make sure she's cleaned, and her wounds are taken care of." he ordered, the knight nodded and took hold of the girl with much. Jon quickly left off, "My black brothers, with me." he said.

Jon descended the tower and sat on one of the chairs laying on the ground level, he buried his face in his hands. "I'm sorry, Jon." he heard Pyp say. I'm alone, they're all gone, thought Jon, Robb and Bran and Rickon, Sansa and Arya. All gone. The thoughts made him despair, and yet again he cried and sobbed for a few minutes while Pyp attempted to comfort him. Jon then dried his cheeks, and looked up to his brothers. "Forgive me brothers, but these realizations have hurt me much. I shall never cry again in front of you. I am lord of Winterfell now." he claimed in a lordly tone. "I have duties to attend to." And Jon stepped outside again.

The battle was done. Levied peasants, trained knights and rough northmen were slowly cleaning the castle of Winterfell. Bodies were being taken outside and burned. Women were doing their best to remove the blood that could be found here and there. The sergeants were patrolling and making sure that the soldiers weren't slacking off in any of their duties. The Bolton men's bodies were looted by peasants, in search of gear for their next battles in the south. Jon found Galbart Glover and Harmond Umber together, and went to them. "My lords." he called out. Galbart and Harmond looked towards him. "Lord Jon Stark." said Galbart. "We were waiting for you, Stannis has commanded the landed lords of the North to go to the main hall of Winterfell. He wishes to discuss the matters of the south and the Bolton's punishment." they explained. Jon nodded and followed them towards the main hall. "Lord Jon." said Galbart, "I am very much glad that you've taken the mantle of your father. I know for a fact that he looks down on you with pride, wherever his spirit may dwell now." he claimed.
"I very much hope so as well." continued Harmond Umber.

Jon nodded, "Thank you my lords. I very much wish to continue the Stark blood legacy, even if my motherly blood is dirty." he said. The words did not sting anymore. He was the Starks' last hope, it didn't matter if his blood was tainted.
"We're not Targaryens here in the North. At least, your motherly blood matters little to me. You have a Stark face and Stark blood, that is all that matters, my lord.", the words of Galbart were approved by Harmond by a nod. At least there's lords like this, I hope the rest are as accepting as them. And they arrived at the hall, the soldiers there stationed opened the doors. Ghost, thought Jon for a second. He hadn't seen the white wolf since yesterday. But it mattered little right now, he had things to attend to.

Stannis was sitting on Eddard Stark's seat, and Jon went to his right. He recieved a variety of curious looks from the lords of the North as he walked towards his seat. Most of them were probably not expecting this turn of events. Jon sat where Robb once did. And soon I'll sit where father once sat. The thought felt so out of reality to Jon that he had to shake his head. Not even two years ago, this situation would've been mummer's talk. But now, here he was, and the Northmen lords didn't seem to complain about it.
Stannis got up to his seat, with his hands brushing the table under him. "My lords and ladies of the North. The man to my right is Jon Stark, legitimized by command of I, King Stannis Baratheon. Him being direct blood of Eddard Stark and a competent Lord Commander of the Wall, I felt that he had a duty to the North. Roose Bolton's claim was as weak as the loyalty he deserved from his vassals." He said. "Now, before we move on to the matters at hand in this reunion, have the vassals of the North anything to request to lord Jon Stark?"

Wyman Manderly rose from his seat, it seemed he had drunk a little, which made his rise somewhat easier even with his grotesquely huge body. "Lord Jon Stark of the North, I have someone to present to you, as a gift of my good will." he claimed, he gave an order to a knight at his left, and the knight ran off. The various lords looked at him curiously. They know as little of this gift as I do. Stannis seemed bothered by it, he was gritting his teeth.
It took two minutes for the gift to arrive. A loud knock sounded on the hall entrance. "That is my gift, my lord." said Wyman. Stannis rose and bellowed "Open the doors."
The door creaked open, each half pushed by two heavily geared northmen. A boy?, thought Jon. What in the... And Jon saw it, the boy was confusedly walking towards the center of the hall, he was somewhat plump but he had the same features as his father and the reddish hair of the Tullys. The boy looked at Jon and yelled "Jon!", he ran towards Jon. "Jon! Jon!" he kept saying.
By the gods, am I truly not dreaming? Jon got up from his seat and trotted towards the boy, the boy reached him first and gave him a hug, Jon had an incredulous look as he went down to kiss the boy's cheeks before rising again and assuming a more calm face. "My lords and ladies of the North, I present you Rickon Stark, son of Eddard Stark." Wyman Manderly bellowed for all the hall to hear. But Theon had slain him, why is Rickon alive? I don't understand. Jon had a hard time believing what had happened. He looked to Wyman Manderly, "Lord Manderly, I shall reward you handsomely for this. I shall take him in my care from now on. Thank you for saving him from the hands of Theon Turncloak and keeping him safe until now. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and in the name of my entire family." claimed Jon, he took Rickon by the hand and accompanied him to a seat in Jon's right. "Sit there, Rickon, we'll talk later, okay?" he whispered to him, Rickon nodded and couldn't help but smile a big smile.

Y1AKINI.jpg


Wyman Manderly took parole again. "My lord, you must excuse me, but my first raising of the banners was in the name of Rickon Stark. During this first rebellion, I found Theon Turncloak in my raids of the areas in the south of the Dreadfort. The man was a shell of his former self, and when I brought Rickon to him, he broke down and confessed that both Bran and Rickon still lived and the heads put on the spikes were those of the sons of some miller couple. I took the liberty to order Theon to take the black cloak." Wyman paused to catch his breath and then continued: "Rickon was accompanied by a wildling woman by the name of Osha, who told us that Bran had gone north, to the Wall." he finished, and sat down again.
Jon's mouth gaped. I haven't seen Bran in the North, and if someone had seen, they'd have told me, I know it, and Theon becoming a black brother... He took back his composure. So much is happening in so little time. "My lords and ladies of the North, these are great news, my two little brothers still live. I shall send forth words to the Wall to look for a boy with the semblance of Brandon Stark. I pray to the gods that they find him." Jon sat on his chair and looked to the lords of the hall. They all seemed quite confused at the sight of a legitimized brother having the lordship instead of the rightful one.

This is good, yet bad. I am a legitimized bastard, Bran and Rickon are true sons of Eddard, Rickon is young, but Bran... Jon shook his head and remembered what was north of the Wall. Bran and Rickon wouldn't know how to deal with the Others. I must lead the North at least until that time is gone, I may even take Bran and Rickon with me so they experience the horrors first hand, they'd learn then and make fine lords if I gave away the title to them. Jon's heart was wavering, the glory of being the only Stark was gone now. The northmen will not look to me as their true lord. "My lord Wyman, you took the liberty of sending Theon Turncloak to take the black?" asked Jon. "Yes, my lord." replied Wyman, "Forgive me for taking such liberties."
"It is well, the fates Theon gave to my little brothers were more kind than the one Ramsay would've given them." said Jon. Theon wasn't as cruel as I thought, thought Jon, let his last fight be against the Others, in the service of the realm of man. That would redeem him to the eyes of whatever god or gods he believed in now, Jon hoped.

"Dear lords of the North." called Stannis. "The discussion of such matters I shall leave to you after the war is over." he said. "Let us move on to the matters at hand. First, the punishment of Ramsay Snow, the bastard son of Roose Bolton."
"Death!" came a scream from one end of the hall. It quickly spread through it, the lords that didn't scream nodded. "An agreement is reached then. Death to the traitor." said Stannis.
Jon interceded. "My lord Stannis, as per custom of the lord of Winterfell, I wish to decapitate him myself." he told Stannis. Stannis nodded in agreement, "So be it."

tTr2K9r.jpg


"Next comes the matter of Roose Bolton's punishment." Stannis told them. The room remained silent. Jon rose to take the call, "Roose Bolton is still rightful lord of the Dreadfort, not a bastard like Ramsay. Call him to us so he may defend his case." he ordered.
Roose entered the hall in chains, he tripped and prattled towards the center of it. "Lord Roose Bolton, sentence has been passed on your bastard son, who will be executed after this meeting." Jon told him. Roose did not flinch, he instead looked around the hall, and fixed his stare on Jon then on Rickon, Rickon leaned towards Jon and took hold of his arm, terrified.

Jon got up, taking care not to shove Rickon off too bluntly. Rickon must not be seen as weak. "Since you are lord of Dreadfort, we give you a chance to defend your case, tell me, lord Roose, do you claim not to have betrayed my brother Robb Stark in order to get his title of lord of the North?" Jon sat after saying those words, and looked to Rickon, "Be brave, brother." he whispered to him. Rickon reacted by sitting more comfortably and taking a childish lordly pose. If that gives him courage, then it's for the better.

Roose opened his mouth, then closed it again, as if thinking his words. "I confess to these crimes, I plotted with Late Lord Frey and Tywin Lannister to have Robb Stark slain and I appointed as warden of the North." he said.
Stannis stood up. "Let sentence be passed by lord Jon Stark, for this matter compels the death of his elder brother." and he sat down again, brooding over other matters.
Jon stared directly at Roose's eyes, he saw nothing in them, but still he wanted to hear him talk. "Then, lord Roose, what do you think should be done with you?" Jon asked, he saw the lords in the hall looking at Roose with mistrust and hate.
"My lord Jon Stark, I ask of you one thing, send me to the Wall and take care of my rightful son, borne by my new wife Walda Frey, Benjicot Bolton." answered Roose.
Many lords seemed unhappy with the deal, others were more surprised about the fact that Roose had a rightful heir. Death, they want death. That much is certain. Jon rose. But Roose is right, if I killed him now, his son would hate me, despise me. The cycle would go on. "I grant you this wish, lord Roose Bolton, but only for the sake of your young babe, who may still be allowed to see the way of a honorable and good man." claimed Jon. And he sent off Roose with a wave of his hand, before leaving the room, Roose said: "Thank you, Jon Snow." which caused an uproar in the hall. "Enough!" yelled Jon, "Let traitors spew traitor talk."

Stannis seemed content with the fact that the time to discuss the war in the south had come. "My lords, I expect to have your support in my wars of the south, as you had my support in the war against Roose Bolton." he said loudly, so his voice reached the final confines of the hall. The lords are realizing that they could've simply waited a little longer, and they could've put Rickon as claimant, Jon thought, I must prove myself by leading them to the south, I must avenge my brother and father by defeating the Lannisters and the Freys of the Crossing.

The lords of the North nodded and agreed loudly. 'In the name of North and the Starks' one said, and the rest repeated it.
"Then, this meeting is at an end, my lords. Prepare yourselves for the voyage south, many hardships you shall meet there. But if we are victorious, you shall reap many rewards." said Stannis as he got up. He proceeded to exit the hall, other northern lords made the same move, pressed to get ready as soon as possible. Jon got up from his own seat, "Come with me, Rickon." he told his little brother.

Rickon followed him like a puppy, he seemed somewhat shamed by the looks and stares of the northern lords. He has only seen six namedays, he is right to be scared for now. Jon went to the fat lord Wyman Manderly. "Lord Wyman, I believe you have care of Ramsay and Roose. Bring Ramsay out, and order your men to make notice of the fact that he will be executed in an hour." Jon told him. Wyman seemed surprised at the orders of his new lord, "Yes, my lord, that I shall do." he replied. "Thank you, both for this and bringing my brother back, you have my eternal gratitude and blessing." Jon complimented. It had a good effect, Wyman Manderly seemed to be slightly flustered at the usage of words of the legitimized bastard. He shouldn't worry about, I surprise myself as well. Jon felt a slight pride well up in him.

As they walked outside the hall and into the snow, Rickon went in front of Jon and asked "Jon, where is Ghost? Shaggydog's been out hunting a lot these days." The question brought Jon's attention to this. That's right, Rickon has Shaggydog, and I have Ghost. "They're probably off hunting." said Jon, "Maybe they met each other and have decided to hunt for a while longer?" Rickon seemed pleased by that choice of words, Shaggydog was another brother for him. An angry, mistrustful brother.

The hour passed quickly, Jon took Rickon to his chambers in the castle, someone had taken it as their own and kept it clean and tidy. Jon was glad, and he told Rickon stay in room for the remainder of the afternoon. Jon went to the central ward of the castle, where many soldiers had gathered along with all lords of the North, Stannis was in front of his knights, looking at Jon.
Ramsay was brought in chains by some of Jon's black brothers. "So, son of a whore, gonna send me to the Wall yet?" he said. Is he this much of a fool or has he gone insane? "Bring the stone stool." Jon yelled. And Pyp was the one to bring it, another black brother was wielding an axe. "No need for that." Jon told him, "Put him in the position."
Ramsay seemed to realize his punishment as he was kicked in the back of the knees and his head brought down on the stool. "No, I am the heir of the Dreadfort, you can't!" he screamed anguished. "Do you have any final words, Ramsay Snow?" asked Jon as he unsheathed Longclaw. "Father, why? All I've done was for you. Oh father, how could you let me die?" said Ramsay in a lost voice, all his will to live was gone. Jon took it as his final words, he lifted the sword up in the sky and brought it down to Ramsay's neck. It took two slashes before the head rolled through the path of the ward. Jon cleaned his sword with a rag Pyp offered him. "It is done." he said. As he left, he noticed that Roose Bolton was besides Wyman Manderly, his face was neutral, as if uncaring. He's a monster, Jon thought to himself, a genius, unfeeling monster. Jon walked off.

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