Cold. That was the first sensation that came back to Jon, and it happened long before his eyes opened. He felt the cold, he felt himself sliding out of Ghost’s body and back into his own. He sat up abruptly, seeing Ser Davos and Melisandre, Tormund, Alys Karstark, Signor of Thenn, and Val all looking at him shocked. A part of him knew that he had died, remembered the knives in his chest as his black brothers betraying him, but there was only one thing on his mind now. “Arya. I have to save Arya.”
“Seven hells! The boy just wakes from the dead and can only think of the girl.” Ser Davos exclaimed.
“Such is love.” Val says in answer, and no one else makes a reply.
“Arya. I will ride to Winterfell to save Arya.” Jon resolves and stands, walking out of the door to see that there was a bloody battle being fought within Castle Black. It came to an unceremonious halt when they saw Jon emerge, naked as his nameday.
“Impossible,” Ser Allister Thorne whispers, “I killed you myself.”
The next few minutes are a flurry of activity. The wildings and Brothers of the Watch who had been fighting those responsible for Jon’s death quickly overpowered the others and soon had them locked and chained.
“Edd,” Jon said menacingly, “fetch me a block.” It was bloody business killing all the traitors, and when it was time to kill Olly, Jon paused. Could I really kill a child? He’s no older than Bran would be. But then he remembered the fact that Olly would have let Arya stay prisoner to the Bolton bastard and Longclaw came down in one quick motion. That put an end to the mutiny. “I intend to ride to Winterfell, and free my sister. A man can only be released from his vows by death. You all saw them kill me, my watch has ended.” He took off the Lord Commander’s cloak and handed it to Edd. “The Wall is yours.”
A moon’s turn had come and gone, but Jon had not marched on Winterfell yet, much to his growing agitation. He had been staying in the Lord’s Chamber still, planning battle strategies with Ser Davos and Tormund, preparing the Wildings to march on Winterfell. He knew the fight was hopeless with their weakened forces, but he knew not who to trust in the North to help their cause.
“Your king commanded you to wait. He would have given you Winterfell but you refused. Now you want to march there!” Queen Selyse said indignantly.
“There has been no word from Stannis or his men. They either died on the way there or have been taken prisoner by Roose Bolton. I will free my sister, anyone who gets in my way will be dealt with.” Jon replied back just as angry.
“The Lord of Light has revived you for a reason, Jon Snow. The real threat is up North.” Melisandre broke in. “But I know your sister is important to you, and as I told you before, she is not lost to you. Go. Save her, reclaim Winterfell and lead the North in the Long Night to come.”
“As acting head of House Baratheon, I wish you good fortune in the wars to come. Please, allow Ser Davos to accompany you. When you have reclaimed Winterfell, I will follow.” Shireen Baratheon spoke with a quiet calm. She was no doubt smarter than her mother, for the girl knew that Jon would not abandon his mission. And she resolved to have him as an ally, especially given that they had had no word from her father. She knew in her heart that her father was most likely dead, so she would bear the torch for him. And protecting House Baratheon meant staying in Jon Snow’s good graces.
“Thank you, Lady Baratheon. I will send word once Arya is safe.” Jon said. Just then, Satin entered the chamber, a scroll in hand.
“My Lord Snow—Jon, there was a raven from the Vale.” Satin said to the interest of everyone in the room.
Jon looked at the seal of House Arryn and quickly broke it. He remembered that his father had been fostered there as a child and hoped this letter would be a sign that he could call upon them as allies when the time came to free Arya. He began to read aloud,
“Jon, I was troubled to hear of your untimely death and then confused to hear of your resurrection. If this really is you, I know that nothing will stop you from your plans to save your dear little sister. Let me help you. Lord Baelish is regent for my cousin, Robyn Arryn, Lord of the Vale and the Erie. He and the Knights of the Vale have assured me that they will march on Winterfell with you. Please Jon, let me help you save what is left of our family. We will march on Moat Cailin as soon as you command.
“How can that be? Little has been heard of her since Joffrey’s death.” Queen Selyse asked astonished. “What if it is not her?”
“It is,” Jon said, “It is her hand writing. I will write back to her. Tormund, prepare your wildings to march.” In his heart, he was relieved to know that Sansa was at least safe and away from harm. He would take back Winterfell and protect his sisters. He prepared himself to win.