Inspired by the full version of the song ‘Jolly Sailor Bold’ from Pirates of the Caribbean. I would have never thought of this pairing, or even this interaction, otherwise.
He came to Braavos with his pirates when she was six-and-ten.
The whores adores him; he was every bit the vicious pirate from the songs, with his eyepatch and his handsome face. And he had all of them. Every girl who put herself in his path, he took. Everyone but her.
He fascinated her and she fascinated him. His cruelty, his sharp wit; it was everything she aspired to become in Essos. Though she had left the Faceless Men a year before she met him because of her inability to relinquish her past and her thirst for vengeance, she was still the deadliest woman he’d ever known. And he told her as much.
“You’d make a fair pirate,” he said to her over wine at the Happy Port one night. Merry looked on with disapproval, but she ignored the old woman.
“And what makes you think that?”
He smiled, his one blue eye dancing. “Beautiful, fierce, cruel. I would have you as a salt wife on your face alone, but that would only put you to waste. You could kill any man in this room.”
Arya glanced about at the tavern, at all the drunken louts and cads. “Yes. I could.”
His smirk only grew wider. “Confident, too. I enjoy that.”
He left for many months at a time, but he always returned. She was eight-and-ten when he first kissed her.
It was a hurried thing, a kiss he stole from her when she was well and drunk. She had shoved him away, though her traitorous lips still tingled. She’d glanced at his own mouth, pale and faintly blue from all the Shade of the Evening he drank. He ignored her rejection and had kept speaking.
“You would make a brilliant queen,” he said, his grin persisting. “In the Iron Islands. So brutal and vicious you are...I like that about you, Arya. Men would cower in your presence.”
“They already do, queen or no.”
“But you would have ships. Fifty longboats to command. I would give them to you. You would be my rock wife. I would help you kill the ones who wronged you and your family. I would help you kill them all.” Here he’d stroked her cheek, and she did not flinch away. She mistrusted the handsome pirate, but she certainly did not mislike his touch. “And I know how you enjoy killing,” he added in a whisper beside her ear.
Arya had thought it over. “Your nephew betrayed my family. I would carve his heart from his chest.”
Euron laughed cruelly. “And I would help you do as much. I care nothing for my whimpering little family. Theon and Asha have made us weak. You can make us strong again, pretty one. You would be the fiercest Greyjoy rock wife ever seen.”
Arya knew he was right. If she gave in to him—if she followed him to Westeros, married him and became a Greyjoy—she would have the power to slaughter the Freys and the Boltons alike. Distantly she remembered a face—younger than her pirate’s, with both eyes intact, and tanner. He’d had blue eyes and black hair as well, only his eyes were infinitely kinder. She shoved the thought away; that boy had abandoned her when she was still a child. Euron was offering her the world.
“Go to Westeros,” she said suddenly, flashing him a confident smile. “Claim the Seastone Chair and be King of the Iron Islands. I will not have you otherwise.”
Euron’s face was drawn with displeasure, but she knew it was only a ruse. Everything he did was a ruse. She could now recognise the amusement in his eye.
“I would have done it regardless. And when you hear the news of my triumph,” he said with surety as he leaned forward, letting his fingers run in her hair and his breath and beard tickle her jaw, “you will come to Pyke and be my bride.”
Arya was still and unflinching as he licked her earlobe. She desired him—and he already knew that—but she would not crumble before he had given her what was promised. Revenge.
“If you can bring me the heads of Ramsay and Roose Bolton and Walder Frey on platters, you can have me as often as you like,” she answered calmly. “Until then, my lord.”
Euron leaned away and grinned at her. “Cruel and firm as usual, Arya Stark. But that is what I adore about you.” He kept his eyes trained on her as he backed away. “You will be wearing a driftwood crown of your own within the year, Lady Stark. And I will serve those heads to you on platters of engraved silver and have you every night until I am dead.”
The thought made Arya smile. “My bold pirate,” she said mockingly. “Such confidence.”
“And my bold runaway princess. Such a mouth.”
Arya giggled. “Go now, sailor bold. Take your throne and prove yourself.”
He grinned one last time, his blue eye mirthful, before vanishing from the room.
Arya spent the next year in Braavos waiting patiently but obsessively for news of Euron. It was nearly ten months before the news she had feared and anticipated finally came—that he had won the North and the Iron Islands alike. They had crowned him as king of their own will, and Greyjoy banners painted Northern Westeros.
Arya vanished from Essos on a ship that night.
She did not know what to expect when she would finally reach Pyke. She only knew that the cruellest, most intriguing man she had ever known was waiting for her, and that he would give her everything she yearned for; death. She wanted to bathe in the blood of her cruel enemies, and she could only do that by becoming crueller than them.
So she would marry the cruellest man she knew.
And she would kill them all.