"I know....about you and Mother...and I'm glad...I'm glad you're my father!"
Myrcella smiled and hugged Jaime, who hugged back, relieved and in tears.
"Myr...you know what that means, right? You don't have any claim to the throne, nor does your brother."
"We'll figure that out later. I need to see my brother again."
Myrcella was conflicted. On the one hand, it was terrifying to know she was an incestuous bastard with no claim to anything. On the other, Jaime Lannister was a powerful brave knight and chivalrous, who saved her from the Sand Snakes. Robert Baratheon was just an old drunk who paid her no mind. For this reason, she was proud to have come from the lineage of Jaime.
The shores of Blackwater Bay sparkled, as would surely, Mother's eyes when she saw her only daughter and second remaining child sail in. Sure enough, Cersei whispered, "Myrcella..!" and ran out to meet her brother and daughter. Myrcella smiled brightly, and ran into her mother's arms, delighting in her warm embrace and arms. Perhaps things would turn out better now.
They received a raven from Doran, offering his continued support and should anything happen to his son, it would be war.
Far away, in the Iron Islands, Euron Greyjoy was trying to make his case for King.
"-and together we'll take the Seven Kingdoms."
Yara scoffed, "With what army? Hers. The victory will be hers. The crown will be hers...and when she's done with you...she'll kill you and take your fleet anyway. In fact, the moment you go offerning her ships with only a marriage deal in return, she will kill you and take it anyway. I've heard many stories from Essos. Ironborn do not conquer land. We can defeat anyone at sea! We should keep it that way! Stay away from the greenlanders. The last time we pushed them too far, they battered down our gates and killed everyone inside. I will not let that happen again!"
"YARA! YARA! YARA!" the cheers broke out. Euron could only stare in horror as his sole master plan had collapsed. He tried to calmly walk out, but the new queen laughed and snarled "No. You will die today, Euron Greyjoy. Arrest him."
"No! Let me go, you snivelling wretches!" He desperately screamed as Yara's men dragged him away.
Myrcella was sitting in her room when the news broke. It was Qyburn, her mother's supporter.
"Your Grace...your brother...he..."
Myrcella saw the sorrowful look on his face and knew what it meant. Mother...you went too far!
She turned and saw the smoke from the Red Keep. She had really gone and done it. There would surely be war! The Reach will rebel! How could Mother be so foolish?
"You are the new Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, Your Grace."
Myrcella could only stay frozen in shock. I'm queen now...Trystane's the king. At least we will have Doran's men in the coming conflict.
"Very well. I wish to speak to my small council. Arrest my mother and keep her in her quarters until I say otherwise. Do not take no for an answer. Call the banners. The Reachmen will be very angry with us unless I give them my mother's head and I will not be doing that. War...is coming. I want a coronation within the week."
"Very well, my queen." Qyburn bowed and left the room.
Varys bowed, "My queen....the Reach is with us. The Mad Queen Mother destroyed the majority of House Tyrell and murdered Queen Margaery. King Tommen took his own life. A little girl sits the Iron Throne, many believe to be a bastard with no right to it. They've never been weaker."
"Thank you, Lord Varys. We will sail in two days. The Redwyne Fleet shall join us on the way there. We'll sail to Dragonstone, then prepare for a siege of the capital. That little girl is no general."
Tyrion shook his head, "It will be difficult for many to side with you over Myrcella. I know my niece. She is brighter than she lets on, and a sweet, kind girl. I wonder if it's not best to-"
"That throne is mine, Lord Hand. Not hers." boomed Daenerys.
"Of course, Your Grace."
"Her family slaughtered mine. Your family. Try not to forget I chose not to slaughter you. Myrcella is a child, which means she has no real power in the capital. It's all Cersei and the Kingslayer."
"A new strategy, perhaps. Land in the Reach, consolidate our forces. Maybe turn some of the southern lords to our cause. The Dornish will never back us. Cersei just made a Martell King of Westeros. The Vale is under a weak sickly boy and Littlefinger. The North is ruled by Boltons, last we heard. We rarely hear anything of them. Hit Myrcella hard and burn the Red Keep down, you will never be able to control the people. But if she surrenders..."
"She will. No one can stop three dragons and a hundred thousand Dothraki and Reach knights. All the chivalry of the south rides with me. All the strength of the Dothraki Sea rides with me. Myrcella will bend the knee....or she will be punished accordingly."
"You mean burned alive-"
"No, punished accordingly!" Daenerys insisted idignantly.
"My father would have liked you, Your Grace." Tyrion smirked amusedly.
Weeks ago, Sansa had managed to at last overthrow the butchers who murdered her family and retake their birthright, Winterfell. She had even executed their leader, the brutal Ramsay Bolton, mere hours ago. A deserved fate.
However according to her brother Jon Snow, there was far worse threats still to come. The Night King. An Army of the Dead. It gave her a chill down her spine. Not to mention the snake himself, Littlefinger. She was shaken from her thoughts when the men from the Vale and North began debating their next move. Lord Royce, a veteran warrior began speaking.
“You can’t expect Knights of the Vale to side with wildling invaders.” He vehemently said. It was true that their forces required 2000 wildlings to help them but they weren’t invading. Sansa however kept quiet about this.
“We didn’t invade”, Tormund replied. “We were invited.”
“Not by me.” Royce huffed.
Jon stood up. He was getting used to this whole leader thing, Sansa noticed.
“The free folk, the northerners, and the Knights of the Vale fought bravely, fought together, and we won. My father uses to say we find our true friends on the battlefield.” Sansa stiffened, but was heartwarmed at the mention of her departed father. Father, I swear to you, I will protect our home.
Lord Corbray was next to speak.
“The Boltons are defeated. The war is over. Winter has come. If the maesters are right, it’ll be the coldest one in a thousand years. We should ride home and wait out the coming storms.”
Jon disagreed, sternly. “The war is not over. And I promise you, friend, the true enemy won’t wait out the storm. He brings the storm.”
Suddenly the crowd murmured and whispered. Could it be true? What was Jon talking about? Dead men? Sansa initially didn’t even believe it herself if not for the stories the Watch and Wildlings told her at the Wall.
Corbray sneered “Nonsense. Snarks and grumpkins, huh?”
Lyanna however was furious. She looked at the other lords with utter disdain.
“Your son was butchered at the Red Wedding, Lord Manderly. But you refused the call. You swore allegiance to House Stark, Lord Glover, but in their hour of greatest need, you refused the call. And you, Lord Cerwyn, your father was skinned alive by Ramsay Bolton. Still you refuse the call. But House Mormont remembers. The North remembers. We know no king but the King in the North whose name is Stark. I don’t care if he’s a bastard. Ned Stark’s blood runs through his veins. He’s my king from this day until his last day.”
Sansa smiled. Yes, Jon should be the King. He deserves it. Jon is Jon. Wait, didn’t’ that Mormont attempt to refuse to help? What is she talking about?
Sansa interrupted her. “You did refuse us. You nearly didn’t even pledge your men to our cause until Ser Davos warned you about the army of the Dead.”
Lyanna stiffened. “I was trying to protect my people-“
“But you just said you remembered, that House Mormont remembered. Care to remind us all here what it was you remembered? I am the last trueborn Stark unless my sister re emerges, and House Mormont has been sworn to my family without question for centuries. Even then, Jon would not have won the battle without me. You all owe me your lives!”
Sansa’s harsh words seemed to be enough to make the lords feel great shame and guilt. Sansa would have been harsher and screamed at all of them but she stayed quiet for the time being. I have half a mind to hang them all for abandoning us. Wow, Who am I, Daenerys Targaryen? In an unexpected move, Jon stood up again.
“You’re wrong, Lady Lyanna. My sister speaks harshly but there is nothing to forgive from any of you. And I cannot be king. My lords, you went south for my half-brother Robb and named him King in the North, like Torrhen before him and declared the independence of our home from the Crown. The laws are clear and if Tommen cannot be king of Westeros after Robert Baratheon, then I cannot be King after Robb, instead of Sansa!”
Sansa gasped, realizing what her brother was saying.
“Sansa’s blood is trueborn, the daughter of Eddard Stark and Catelyn Tully. The North should rally to their own.” He smiled sadly down at her, then began to kneel. He drew Longclaw and laid it at her feet.
“Am I your sworn sword and brother, Sansa, from this day to my last?”
Sansa still numb, gave the barest of nods.
Jon continued “Then I pledge my allegiance, my queen.”
Lyanna frowned and stared at Jon angrily. Manderly stepped forward and smiled proudly.
“You speak truly, Jon Snow. I beg your forgiveness, Lady Sansa. We loved your father. We died for him by the thousands in Robert’s Rebellion and the Greyjoy Rebellion. When your brother was murdered at the Red Wedding, I didn’t want more Manderlys dying for nothing. Sansa Stark won the Battle of Winterfell. She brought the Knights of the Vale to our aid, and is the rightful heir to Robb by birth and blood. She is the Red Wolf. The Queen in the North!”
Lord Glover’s face was marked with shame. “There will be more fights to come. Not fighting in this one was my greatest shame. Never again. House Glover will stand behind House Stark as we have for a thousand years. Queen in the North!”
Yohn Royce and Lord Corbray stood forward and drew their blades. Royce boomed “We rode north for you, Lady Sansa. We fought the Boltons for you. We declare you Queen of the Mountain and Vale!”
“Queen of the Mountain and Vale!” Corbray shouted.
“Queen of the Trident! Queen of the Trident!” Came another voice.
Lord Mallister was next. “Your uncle died fighting for us. He refused to come to help you. I will not. You are of Tully blood and you will lead us through this. The Red Wolf! Queen of the Trident!”
The shouting grew louder. Jon goofily smiled at his sister, who was still gaping in shock. Finally, she found her voice.
“I-I accept. I accept this tremendous responsibility. I understand your misgivings about the Iron Throne and I agree that we should break free, just as Robb wanted. Jon, you had faith in me even when no one else did. My debt to you shall never truly be repaid. I don’t know if I will do a very good job of being queen but with you all here to advise me and protect me, I pledge that we will get through this.
“All of humanity is faced with its greatest challenge,” she commandingly boomed. “Our own extinction. My brother and I have begun making preparations to repel this attack coming from the North. And in the south, Lannisters still press their boot on the common folk’s necks. I look at each of you, here today, Wildling and Northman, smuggler and Lord. Brave warriors, all. Even if no one among you were to support me, I would still wage this terrible war against the threats we now face alone. Will you ride with me? Will you be my brothers in arms? WILL YOU BE HEROES?”
A deafening roar erupted from the Hall, as all the Lords of the North, Vale and Trident thundered in support for the queen. She had successfully rallied them and now almost all doubt in their hearts had been washed away, replaced with fire and passion.
Four queens were on a collision course and nothing was stopping it now. Westeros was about to be hit by fire and blood.
Chapter 2: Storm Clouds
Myrcella sat down with her remaining council. At this point it was her husband King Trystane, her father Lord Commander Jaime Lannister, Qyburn and Daven Lannister.
"Will you let your mother go?" whispered Jaime. He had been back for days but they had not yet spoke about the fact her own mother was a mass murdering traitor who committed regicide on her queen, and as a result, imprisoned by the new one. It still felt strange, being called Her Grace. She was only in this position because two of her brothers died and because of her mother's lies. Yet she knew Westeros would do better under Queen Myrcella than Queen Daenerys. So war it was.
"First of all, as my first act as queen, Qyburn is no longer Hand of the Queen. That title goes to my uncle Jaime. Traditionally the Lord Commander is on the Small Council."
"Myr...that is a great honor...but-" Jaime stammered.
"I can think of no one better, uncle." She slightly emphasized "uncle" so Jaime knew what she truly meant. Father. He was her father. He had to help her through this. "I would have you reaffirm you are committed to your oaths, to your family and to my kingdom."
Jaime laid his sword at her feet. "As you command, Your Grace."
Qyburn didn't say a word. He only looked on, fascinated.
"You all probably know by now that Daenerys Targaryen is headed here with one hundred thousand men....and Uncle Tyrion. The Reachmen joined her. She also has the backing of Dothraki, Unsullied, and if my Master of Whisperers is to be believed, three dragons. The North and Vale declared for Sansa Stark and call her Queen of the North, Trident and Vale. Enemies everywhere. I'm surrounded, Uncle. You are the commander of the Lannister army. How do we proceed?"
"Areo Hotah is promising 20 000 spears to defend the capital. The Westerlands and Crownlands, plus the City Watch give us an additional 20 000."
"The war with the Stark girl's brother drained us. You're Lady of Storm's End now, which gives us all the men Stannis had. Not impossible...not enough. The Freys are destroyed and whoever killed them is not our friend. As long as Daenerys looks like the winning side, they will support her, foreign horde or not, Myr. Right now, we look like the losing side."
"Surprises me at every turn, as do you. The Knights of House Arryn support her and like your father in law, their men have not seen conflict yet. She is dangerous if provoked. You called your banners but the Stark girl no longer recognizes your authority, she's made that quite clear."
"She won't come down south to speak to me, will she?"
"No. I wouldn't do it if I were her and she seems astute enough."
"Seven hells...What is the plan?"
"Hold the capital."
Daven spoke up, "The Dragon Queen has...well, dragons. You don't have a way to stop them. Perhaps surrender-"
Myrcella held up her hand, "I will not surrender just yet. Daenerys is strong but she will find I won't just buckle under her foot so easily. She's starting to know me..."
Qyburn said "We are currently working on a solution. Dragons are powerful....but not invincible."
"As long as those things rule the sky, how can we field any armies against her? Aegon the Conqueror once destroyed the combined forces of the Reach and Westerlands."
"Quite so, Myr. We'll hold the capital and the Rock."
"Will Uncle Tyrion speak to me? Perhaps we can work out an armistace that does not destroy both sides."
"I will not talk to that murdering fool, Myr. Don't ask me to!" Jaime hotly demanded.
Myrcella wistfully eyed him, then let it pass. Her uncle did murder her grandfather and brother. But her mother murdered her sister in law, father in law and brother in law. Why did murder have to be the way of things in their family? There had to be a better way! Just how badly did that Targaryen girl want her throne that she'd start a civil war to get it? She herself never wanted it! She never asked for it! Yet she had to fight. Her family was in danger on all fronts. The only ray of light is that she wasn't fighting the North as well.
"I know...you're right, Uncle."
At Highgarden, Daenerys began landing her troops. She watched with wonder and glee as her monster armada reached landfall just south of Oldtown, to be joined by the full might of the Reach. From there they would hit the Crownlands and destroy Myrcella's supporters.
Tyrion spoke up, "Our army is for the most part, foreigners and freed slaves. To Myrcella, we look like invading savages looking to burn cities and rape their wives. If we defeat her in the field with Lady Olenna's men, our queen will be more accepted.
They'll hit Myrcella from the south. From the north, we will send the Unsullied, and a support company of 2000 Dothraki. My brother will not let the Rock be undefended. The fight up the walls will be hard. The Lannister men fight for my brother and niece. They love them. But Myrcella is a child. That is how we shall strike at her. We need her men to believe this is not something they can win and that Daenerys is not here to murder their child queen and kill the rest."
"So my men will die and your Dothraki are all but untouched? If you want to take the Iron Throne, take it. You have three very large dragons. Be a dragon." urged Olenna.
"We have already discussed this. I do not wish to murder thousands of innocent people. That is exactly what Myrcella's supporters think I wish to do. But I am here to save Westeros from decadence and tyranny."
"Your Grace, Myrcella imprisoned her own mother-"
"And made the man who killed my father Hand! I will not hear it!"
"You told me you knew what your father was."
"He stabbed him in the back. Broke his oath-"
"If Jaime burned him alive, would you feel better about it?"
Daenerys growled and ignored him.
"The Riverlands is in chaos. Half of them declared for Myrcella. Half of them back this Stark girl they're calling queen. How many queens is that? Five? I've lost count!" She laughed harshly.
Varys said, "House Frey was annhilated. They're saying some kind of assassin used a hefty dose of poison in a trap. I do not put faith in assassins, my queen. We should not count this person as an ally."
"I know what the Freys did. It's logical that whoever did that was a supporter of the Starks, and the Starks have declared themselves in open rebellion."
Tyrion stammered, "W-wait, my queen. I knew Sansa and Jon Snow. Sansa is no killer. In fact she is as gentle as Myrcella! I trust and like Jon Snow, in the short time I knew him. We should be seeking to make common cause-"
"Very well. Send a letter to this...Jon Snow. His sister must come to me in Highgarden...and bend her knee. Then our alliance begins and Myrcella's army will be trapped, outnumbered 3 to 1. When the jaws begin to shut, she will sue for peace and lay down her crown."
"All hail Her Grace Queen Myrcella of the House Baratheon, the Gentle Stag, First of her Name, Queen of the Andals, and the First Men!"
"Long live the queen!" a massive shout echoed through the chamber. Myrcella could not help but grin proudly. Jaime also smiled at his daughter. It was an odd feeling. Jaime felt that this was the first monarch in 50 years that might actually deserve it, yet the dragon queen might just kill them all before he could see the world his daughter was about to build.
Sansa called a council.
Events in the south greatly concerned her. A mere day ago, she heard that the entire Frey Male line had been exterminated. Oddly she felt dread and fear, no matter how much those damned Freys deserved such a fate. Who could have done that, and why? The Northerners were busy and we had more cause than anyone to destroy the Twins. She only hoped that the female line would accept her as queen and not cause any more trouble. However that was too good to be true. They, along with most of the Riverlands, were splitting in half, some backing her, and some backing Queen Myrcella.
She had only heard days ago as well, that Cersei was in prison for murdering among others, Margaery Tyrell. Sansa almost sobbed and choked up. For the briefest of times, Margaery had been a true friend and a kindness. She remembered wanting to kiss the southern girl. Not on the cheek, you see...but right on the lips. Now she will never get that chance. Still, Cersei in prison. Sansa chuckled darkly. At the hands of her own daughter, no less. Myrcella was a bright child, last time Sansa spoke to her. Now she was Queen in the South. Sansa prayed it would not come to war. But no Stark ever did well marching south. Her place was home now.
"My lords, thank you for coming. We have much to discuss. As my first act as queen, I legitimize my brother as Prince Jon Stark. I also name him Supreme Commander of our armies and my rightful heir.” Jon’s eyes began to tear up. Sansa knew this was something he had wished to have for his whole life. I treated him so badly. I’m so sorry, Jon. You are a Stark and always was, I promise you.
She turned to the others.
“Lord Royce, no one can doubt your honor. I name you Hand of the Queen."
“Your Grace, thank you for this honor. You are truly wise”.
Sansa smiled weakly. Your Grace. I will never get used to that.
“We can't defend the North if only half the population is fighting.” Jon said.
Sansa replied “Madness. We cannot expect children to fight”.
“I don’t mean children, Your Grace.”
“I’m not trained, Jon. I haven’t even killed anyone.”
“You are needed to lead. You named me Supreme Commander of the army, however and our army is not enough! We need all women to take up arms.”
Alys Karstark spoke up. “We will, Your Grace. We love our Queen and we shall fight for you.”
Lyanna Mormont hissed. “Mormonts don’t need their men to do all the fighting. I will fight just as hard as any,”
Lord Glover replied “You damn Karstarks betrayed the north to fight for that fucking Bolton.”
Sansa agreed but she needed to get this under control and fast.
“Hold on, my Lord. Alys did not do anything. Karhold didn’t do anything. However, we should give Alys a new home and place our forward strongholds in Last Hearth and Karhold, which will pass to families who supported us against Ramsay. They are our strongest keeps that are close to the Wall. If the Wall falls…. we must be ready. I will dispossess the traitorous houses of their homes and give them something smaller, in the south.”
Jon looked at her angrily but did not try to debate her about her decision. Instead he reminded her of something else.
“The Wall is weak. We need it fully manned and resupplied. That will be our first line of defence.”
Sansa nodded. “I agree, Prince Jon. We should send anyone we can spare.”
“Last time we saw the Night King was at Hardhome. The closest castle to Hardhome is Eastwatch-by-the-Sea.”
Tormund agreed to go. He took both his remaining wildlings and any thieves and killers still rotting in prison. Some murmured in disagreement.
Sansa boomed regally, “Any hate crimes against the wildlings will not be tolerated. I am ready to lead the North, Trident and Vale to victory. Repair the fortifications, create siege engines for fire, and gather together every Valyrian Sword we have. Eastwatch will be the site of our final stand.”
Maester Wolkan approached.
“A raven from King's Landing, Your Grace” He timidly said.
Sansa read aloud the message “I, Queen Myrcella Baratheon, hereby call my banners against the Mad King's daughter's invading savage hordes, who have come to burn our cities and enslave our people. Let all true lords and ladies answer my call for aid. We must defend our home. We shall stand together this day, or burn apart."
She folded it back up, pensively. Sansa wished badly she could help Myrcella against the Mad King's daughter but the company she kept, like the Kingslayer? Less charming. Still, Lannisters had never ranged this far north. They wouldn't now, when they have bigger problems on their doorstep. Even if she wanted to, she couldn't. The Mad King's daughter had assembled at least 100 000 men and three dragons. The largest army in the world. The second largest was coming down on top of all three of them, from the North. Jon urged her to consider the Northern threat the largest one.
Chapter 3: Cersei
Myrcella had not seen her mother in days. She felt slightly bad and chanced a visit. Outside her door, Myrcella had posted two Kingsguard at all times.
"My queen." One of them gruffly said.
"Let me pass."
"As you wish, my queen."
The door creaked open, and there was Mother, curled up on the bed, looking down.
"Your uncle has not come to see me."
"Well of course not. He's Hand to Daenerys." Myrcella wryly smiled.
"Yes. I know about you and Father. I think a part of me always knew, but just didn't want to believe."
Cersei almost sobbed, "Oh what must you think of me, my sweet girl. My last child."
"I didn't have to be the last. Uncle Tyrion killed Joff, but your actions killed Tommen."
"Do not start! You know exactly why he would do something like that." Myrcella growled, quite unlike her usual self. "You committed treason and regicide. If I let you out....you will just kill me too..."
Cersei could not believe her daughter thought her capable. "I...I killed them for yo-"
"Don't even try. You were on trial for my existence, among other things. Know this, Mother. The only reason I have not executed you is because I am not you. I am nothing. Like. You.' She fiercely declared.
"I'm glad to hear that, Myrcella. You're kind. You're good. Maybe...If I can make someone like you...I'm not a complete monster."
Myrcella finally had some sympathy for her murderess of a mother. If only a little.
"I'm not letting you out of here, except to use the latrine. Your monster was stripped of his Kingsguard cloak and sent to war against the dragon queen. We need him there, not here. Your war. A war I now have to lead our armies against."
Cersei nodded sadly and turned away. Her own child hated her. She believed once that her one good quality was she loved her children and they loved her. To see hate in Myrcella's eyes, it finally started to crack away at Cersei's psychopathic psyche, revealing a sad, bitter, broken woman.
"I hope you're proud of yourself, Mother. Thank you for showing me what kind of queen I should be. I will never forget it."
She breathed, and then turned one last time.
"Father will visit you in the morning. I will send him."
In the Iron Islands, Yara and Theon discussed their next move. Construction of the Iron Fleet was underway, and things were looking good. She was worried about dragons but had no illusions actually going to war with the Targaryens any time soon. With any luck, she hoped to ride it out and hope Daenerys did not notice the tiny Iron Queen off her shores. She had been crowned Iron Queen weeks ago and donned the Driftwood Crown. Since then, she had to deal out her fair share of death against challengers who still did not believe they should have a female ruler.
"There are still those who doubt your rule, Yara.'
"I will kill them too." She declared darkly.
"I owe the Northern queen a debt. Should it come to war, an alliance with her seems logical."
"The greenlanders will never trust us again, little brother! Our only hope is that they do not notice us, and if they do, that we have enough ships to make an invasion not worth the trouble."
"I know, but I wonder if it is not wiser to folllow through with our uncle's plan. Side with the dragon queen outright."
'The Iron Fleet will seal the deal, you think? A little Lannister girl sits the Iron Throne. She will win the throne against the Lannisters soon enough."
"Sansa is alone. She needs allies more than the dragon queen does. You think the dragon queen doesn't want to rule the Seven Kingdoms? All of them? We should stand as one for the fires of independence."
"Inspiring, brother but I have no wish to die for the losing side. That is what Uncle did not understand before I killed him. That is what Father did not understand. We Ironborn must stay at sea and on our islands. All we have to offer Sansa is a fleet, and her eyes are turned firmly northward to fight god knows what."
"On my way here, the North was abuzz. Whispers... of dead things in the night."
Yara scoffed, "You believe that shit? Grow up!"
Dead things in the night stalked them. In the woods, they were coming. The Wall could not hold forever, according to Jon. So Sansa grimly set about preparing their defences. Valyrian Steel killed Walkers but there was nowhere near enough of it. If only they had a mountain of dragonglass.
"-letter, Your Grace.” Sansa shook herself out of her thoughts.
“Who is it from?”
“Samwell Tarly in the Citadel.”
Jon looked up with surprise.
“I know him. I trust him with my life. We shall read what he needs from us……he says there’s dragonglass in Dragonstone, where Daenerys Targaryen landed days ago. We need that dragonglass.” Dragonglass?
“Can we get it without drawing her attention?’
“I am not risking incurring the wrath of that mad bitch, Jon.”
Sure enough, there was a second letter, from Tyrion to Jon, explaining their arrival in the south and that Sansa should come there and bend the knee.
"I will not go." Sansa hotly said. "My place is here now."
“Do you think it’s Tyrion? She asked.
“You know him better than any of us. What do you think?” Jon replied.
“Tyrion is not like the other Lannisters. He was always kind to me, but it's too great a risk.”
Ser Davos Seaworth grabbed the letter and chuckled. “Sounds like a charmer. Of course, the casual mention of a Dothraki horde, a legion of Unsullied and three dragons, a bit less charming.”
Jon turned to him. “We’re facing undead magical beings who want to kill us.”
Sansa said “Dragons can kill us too. They’ve burned whole cities down before. Daenerys is Aegon the Conqueror reborn.”
Davos however was deep in thought. “But you told me once that fire will kill wights, didn’t you, my prince? Dragonfire would too.”
Sansa stared at him. “Are you trying to send me to my death, Ser Davos?”
“No, no. I wouldn’t meet with her. But if the Army of the Dead makes it past the Wall, do we have enough men to fight them? Our armies are depleted heavily from the wars with King Joffrey and the Boltons.”
Sansa sighed. She had to think about what to do.
Chapter 4: To Winterfell
There was so many strong personalities clashing. Sansa feared this War of Three Queens could become as destructive as the War of Five Kings was. Sansa knew she had no ill will against Myrcella, and Myrcella would not likely harm her should they parley. She feared Daenerys would if she was angered. Yet Sansa knew she had to stop this war and get all these queens to focus on the true threat. She pursed her lips, before sending letters to Daenerys, Myrcella and this Iron Queen Yara as well.
I shall meet with you to discuss Northern independence, if you sail to Winterfell personally. I know Lord Tyrion, as he was kind to me. He shall mediate these proceedings. Perhaps we can come to a royal agreement that does not result in war. You have not burned down the Red Keep yet, which means at the very least, you're better than Joffrey, or your father. Furthermore, I would have your word you not bring your armies with you. Death marches on the Wall and we cannot squabble amongst ourselves any longer. For this reason, I formally invite Queen Yara, your ally, to attend as well.
Humanity faces its greatest challenge. This will be difficult to believe at first but we shall all know soon enough. When the Wall falls, all of us will die if we do not stand together.
I should inform you that Queen Myrcella will be invited. Your war for the throne must come to a peaceful conclusion, or the entire continent will suffer. You must surely see this and be reasonable. I have taken it upon myself to oversee the negotiation of a peace deal. I ask for your word that you will not betray us should you agree to terms.
Sansa of the House Stark, rightful Queen in the North, Trident and Vale.
Queen Myrcella of the Iron Throne,
I know you have designs on reclaiming my kingdom and absorbing it back into yours. Perhaps we can come to a royal agreement that does not result in war. You imprisoned your mother and have been ruling well from what I have been able to gather. That means at least, you are not your mother. Death marches on the Wall and we cannot squabble amongst ourselves any longer. For this reason I am formally inviting the other two queens in our land, Daenerys Targarryen and Yara Greyjoy as well.
Humanity faces its greatest challenge. This will be difficult to believe at first but we shall all know soon enough. When the Wall falls, all of us will die if we do not stand together.
This war of three queens must come to a peaceful conclusion or the entire continent will suffer. You must surelt see this and be reasonable. I have taken it upon myself to oversee the negotiation of a peace deal. I ask for your word that you will not betray us should we reach suitable terms.
Sansa of the House Stark, rightful Queen in the North, Trident and Vale.
"Could be a trap." said Daenerys down in Dragonstone a day later.
Tyrion shook his head, "She seems confident. If you wish to show her what kind of queen you are, you should meet with her and convince her to bend the knee. It would be foolish to lay a trap since you shall bring your dragons and Dothraki to this parley. Myrcella already knows you will win this war."
"What does she mean about death?"
"Let them have their superstitions. It's dreary in the North."
"Should we advise our ally, Yara, to attend as well?"
"Who can say? She will have her own problems and it's bloody cold up there in the Islands."
In King's Landing, Jaime threw the letter away.
"Sansa is more of a fool than I thought."
"Do not speak that way, Father. We do not know the truth. What does Sansa mean about death marching on the Wall?"
"We recieved multiple ravens from the Night's Watch warning us about dead men. We never took it seriously. White Walkers are myths."
"Could the events in the North lay any credibility?"
"A hundred thousand wildlings marched on the Wall. You can't get 10 widllings together without them killing each other. Something chased them south."
But Jaime shook his head, "We cannot simply march all the way North based on rumor and the word of Sansa Stark. She's still wanted for the murder of your brother."
"You and I both know Sansa's not capable of that. Mother blamed it on her because it was the easy thing to do."
"She fled the scene, Myrcella-"
"Wouldn't you, if your husband had been accused?"
Jaime sighed, "Your mother needs to see you. She is still your mother."
"I shall think on it. Still, if Daenerys is marching away to the North, she's not marching on me. Perhaps it is in our best interest to listen to what Sansa has to say."
"I can't let you-"
"I have a Kingsguard, Father. They shall protect me. That's their job. We will fly a white flag, and if negotiations are not to our liking, we leave immediately. Yes?"
"It is your royal will, Myrcella. I shall obey and prepare the expedition north."
Myrcella smiled, "I know you think this is a bad idea. But if I am to be queen, I must be able to be diplomatic when it is needed. We cannot defeat Daenerys in open battle, and should Sansa ride down with the full might of the North, Trident and Vale, we would be surrounded on three sides. This is the only way House Lannister can survive. We'll do this the way that my father in law would. In my stead, my father in law, Prince Doran shall rule my kingdoms as regent."
"Do you think they'll even try to show up?" Jon asked Sansa.
"This is the only way, Jon. We're all dead anyway if they don't come and reach peace."
Jon smiled. "It suits you, you know. Ruling. Diplomacy."
Sansa smirked, 'Well I should hope so. You crowned me."
"Aye, so I did."
Jon gave her a chaste kiss on the forehead.
"At the least, she should agree to let us mine dragonglass. What need has she of that?"
"Even if we have dragonglass, how many men do we have to fight the Night King? 20 000? Less?"
"At least. If Daenerys is with us, we have over 100 000, and three dragons."
"Then she is the priority."
"Aye, I just don't know if it's enough."
"Your Grace..." the Maester said, meekly. "They sent replies. The southern queens."
Sansa's eyes widened.
Daenerys brooded outside at Dragonstone. It seemed impossible to believe. Sansa was clearly talking about White Walkers. Stories they had all heard as children, even herself in Pentos. Death marched on the Wall? Dead men? Pale spiders? Yet why would the little Stark queen risk this summit elsewise?
"I thought to brood alone, but you are already doing a fine job, my queen." Tyrion sardonically quipped.
"Do you believe her mad or a liar?"
"....No. I don't think she's either of those things."
"Aye...She has a certain strength to her. Queenly."
"Much like you, my queen."
"So many queens." Daenerys laughed softly. "What is that now, five?"
"Four, I believe."
"There is a risk. If Myrcella doesn't come, it just leaves her more time to prepare for our attack on her. If she does come, she could be setting a trap. But Sansa hates Lannisters and Targaryens as much as anybody. She would not do this if she had any other choice."
"Did King's Landing ever get any warnings about...death marching on the Wall?"
"We recieved a dead man's hand that had apparently come to life and attacked their Lord Commander. Then we recieved word from Castle Black that one lad made it back from the Great Ranging...and saw White Walkers."
Daenerys eyes darkened.
"We shall go North then and see the truth of it. Perhaps the little queen has some proof."
Chapter 5: The Summit Begins
Iron Queen Yara,
Our two peoples have had their differences, Northerner and Ironborn but the time has come to put such things aside. Your brother betrayed Robb, and your family sacked my home. However, there are greater things at stake. Dead things stalk us in the woods. I hope we can form at least a pact to work together when the time comes.
As a result, I formally invite you to a parley I am hosting at Winterfell. Among the attendents is Queen Myrcella, who no doubt wishes to reconquer you at some point. Something I'm sure you're eager to avoid. We would make natural allies when it comes to keeping our two crowns.
Signed, Sansa of the House Stark, Queen in the North and Vale.
Yara pursed her lips, thinking deeply. Theon had been encouraging her for weeks to make common cause with Sansa. it made sense. There would be a reckoning and although Daenerys Targaryen had already promised her independence, she did not know how long it would last. The woman had dragons. She could defeat all of them, even if herself, Myrcella and Sansa allied.
Myrcella commanded the entire might of the Dornish, Crownlands and Westermen. In a war, Yara could not hope to defeat her. At sea, they could defeat anyone but she could not take the capital and Myrcella's head. She decided then, there was but one recourse. She would go to this parley.
"Theon...I'm going to Winterfell."
Theon nodded, with a slight smile on his face. She knew he owed Sansa much and that they had become allies against the now-defeated Ramsay Bolton.
"As you wish, my queen."
"We shall see if this wolf pup keeps her word."
Sansa gazed out from her spot on the walls of Winterfell, a vast forest, and further still, mountains. The North was the largest of the kingdoms of Westeros and she was queen. It still overwhelmed her. She was still not used to being called "Your Grace."
Pressure would mount on her to marry but such things would be put aside for now. With a queen in every corner, political marriages seemed obsolete, and she was running low on options as it was. Perhaps she could betroth her brother to Daenerys to secure her support? No. The Dragon Queen would not go for a legitimized bastard, legitimized or not. She held as esteemed a postion as Sansa herself, perhaps greater.
She could not defeat the Dragon Queen in combat, and bending the knee would cost her all respect and stability within her own lands. It was a difficult decision, yet she would do whatever was necessary to stop the Night King.
Only a day ago, she recieved a reply from Iron Queen Yara. She would come. The alliance was beginning to take shape. She smiled inwardly.
She saw an approaching caravan on the horizon, flying a banner of red and black. A distant roar clued her in that this was her. The Dragon Queen.
"We will hold my children back until Queen Sansa has accepted us in. We feel that will send a better message."
Tyrion nodded, "The Northerners still remember what your father did. A single shot with an arrow, on dragonback and all of this is for nothing. I hope you know what you're doing."
"Lord Hand, I do. I came to Westeros not to be a conquerer or to burn down cities. You know that. Seeing me fly in on a dragon doesn't send that message."
"Still, I know Sansa. She's much cleverer than she would care to let on. Her family suffered at the hands of yours."
Daenerys knew what he was driving at. Could it still be a trap even knowing she had superior armies and dragons? Tyrion was right that a single arrow could end it. And then there's Myrcella. Myrcella was born in Westeros. She knew Sansa. With their combined might, Daenerys could be driven back into the sea.
She shook her head of such thoughts. According to Tyrion, Sansa was not foolish and not intent on war.
Still, if the girl refused to bend the knee, war could come. Something Daenerys did not want.
Myrcella came within sight of Winterfell at last. The journey was ardouous but she viewed it as worth it. To keep a close eye on her mother, she brought her with her, in chains. She considered giving Mother to Sansa as a token of peace, but she didn't know what Sansa would do. it would be little different to sending her off to be tortured and killed by that Redwyne woman.
If it did come to war with Olenna Redwyne, she would need an alliance with Sansa. Her own troops were exhausted from Joffrey's wars. I am not my brother, Sansa. I do hope you can see that.
Finally, Daenerys and her entourage arrived at the gates.
"Who is that?" A guard shouted.
"Queen Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, rightful queen of the Seven Kingdoms."
"Five Kingdoms." the guard snarked. "I follow Queen Sansa."
The silverhead smirked, "That you do. I am here for her summit."
The gates swung open. As Daenerys looked around, she could see that if it came to war, it would be difficult to take Winterfell. Whether it be legendary dead men, Myrcella or herself who tried. And then there was. A mane of red Tully hair. Regal, queenly posture. Dark eyes. This was a formidable woman.
Oh gods, she's hot. There she was. The beautiful silver haired conquerer of the East. Sansa blushed despite herself. All the rumors had been true. Sansa had never considered herself lesbian or even bisexual yet....it was if a goddess had stepped through her gates. Smooth skin, flowing silver hair, ample chest, ok stop right there Sansa. She shook her head of such thoughts.
"Welcome to Winterfell, Queen Daenerys."