King’s Landing saw its first snow a few months ago and ever since then Daenerys, Aegon, Jon, and Arya had been preparing for the fight of their lives. They had suffered a bitter defeat from the Army of the Dead at Winterfell and were determined to not let it happen again. The capital held the most citizens and if the Night King’s army managed to breach its walls, he’d be impossible to stop. And so, the fateful day came when the small snowflakes became a blizzard and the winds howled as if the Old Gods were talking to them again, and everyone picked up their weapons and gave everything they had left. Houses did not matter nor did what you held between your legs nor your age or experience, everyone fought, everyone fought bravely, nobly, and valiantly. Alas, despite their best efforts the Night King’s army was too powerful to defeat.
“Jon,” Arya screamed as her favorite brother fought one on one with the Night King. He had told her it was his duty, he needed to protect the realm.
“But you need to protect your family,” she had cried to him that fateful day he told her the truth about his destiny.
“I am,” he explained, “You, Dany, Aegon, Ned, Visenya, you’re all my family.”
“Too many of us have died,” she uttered.
“You’re going to die, aren’t you Jon?” He didn’t answer her, but the solemn gaze he held in his eyes told her more than she dared ask.
Jon fought valiantly with Longclaw, while Daenerys’ two remaining dragons were raining fire down on the wights, Aegon commanding Rhaegal and her Drogon. Arya fought on the ground with the other soldiers, acting as the commander of the Golden Company, a title she had earned from her time in Mereen with Aegon and Daenerys after leaving the House of Black and White. The battle roared in her ears, she could hear screams from men whose arms had just been hacked off, cries from women who shot bows with Valyrian Steel tipped arrows, but loudest of all was her mind repeating the mantra that Syrio Forel had taught her when she was just a little girl of nine who had no real knowledge of pain or suffering.
That little girl didn’t have the battle of a lifetime at her doorstep. No, she was much too consumed with avoiding Septa Mordane’s lessons and arguing about if she should be a lady or not. But here she is, the Queen of Winterfell, fighting for the dawn. And in her head, she still repeated, not today, not today, not today.
“This battle is lost,” Melisandre shouted to the wolf queen.
“Jon is still,” her words caught in her throat as she watched the Night King thrust his sword into Jon’s chest, “Jon,” she cried.
“The Lord of Light will offer you another chance, but for a price,” Melisandre explained. Arya didn’t have time to listen to the pitiful witch who had stolen her friend, burned Shireen, caused insurmountable riffs between Jon and Daavos.
“Take the chance your grace.”
“I will fight this battle,” she argued.
“You will not lose your family,” Melisandre explained, “All I need is a drop of your blood and you’ll be in Winterfell again.”
And so, Arya cut her wrist and a small amount of her blood dropped onto Melisandre’s pendant. And suddenly everything turned black.
It had taken her years to get back to Winterfell. She had traveled with the night’s watch, ventured the Riverlands for a time with two boys named Gendry and Hot Pie, even tried her hand at becoming a faceless man. But she had found her home in Mereen where she met the two young dragons, Daenerys and her nephew Aegon. Together the three of them invaded Westeros, taking back Winterfell. It’d been a year since that fateful day, when Arya saw the Bolton banners fall and instead rose her Stark ones.
That day she had been crowned Queen in the North, per Robb’s will, a title Daenerys was more than happy to give her. They had sent letters all over the realm telling of the lone wolf’s return and soon her siblings came home. Sansa from the Eyrie, Bran from beyond the wall, Rickon from Skaagos. But there was not a happier day than when her brother Jon came to Winterfell from the Wall.
He had looked aged, battle-broken, and scarred. They had embraced each other with pure force and love that it took her a few minutes to let him go. He was real. But their reunion was not a happy one, with his arrival he brought thousands of wildings and tales of a war with the dead. So, they had started preparing and eventually Winterfell fell and they retreated to King’s Landing. Cersei had been killed by her brother Jamie quite soon after she had refused to aid Winterfell in the battle, leaving the Iron Throne open for Dany to take.
Arya woke up in her and Aegon’s bedroom, the room was dark, but the stone walls radiated heat. Even in the deepest depths of winter, the hot springs still ran through to warm the castle.
“Melisandre must’ve sent me back before the battle,” she thought as she cuddled up closer to her husband. He slept shirtless, as a dragon he claimed he always radiated heat.
His eyes fluttered open, “Morning.”
“Shh, don’t wake the children, she responded as he began to twist her hair between his fingers. Their two children, Eddard their eldest and Visenya who was barely walking were sleeping in a small bed next to them.
“I had this horrific dream,” he explained, “We were battling an army of dead people. You were commanding the Golden Company, Jon was fighting their leader, Dany and I were on our dragons.”
“Aegon,” she jolted out of bed, “That wasn’t a dream, that was real.”
“I think,” she stuttered, “I think we went back in time.”
“How far back?”
“I don’t know.”
It was then that her door opened to the voice of Septa Mordane, “Lady Arya, it’s time to get—” but the woman screamed and ran like mad out of the room.
“Seven hells,” Arya muttered.
“Arya,” Aegon pressed, “How far back did we go?”
“If we’re at Winterfell and Septa Mordane is here then that means.”
“It means what?”
“My family is here. We’ve gone back to before my father was executed.”
“Get dressed,” Arya urged.
“You think me getting dressed is going to get us out of this mess?” He asked, “Aren’t you supposed to be nine right now?”
Arya’s face paled as she looked down at herself. She was eighteen years old, married for three years to the Dragon Prince, crowned Queen in the North, mother of two. She was not a nine-year old little girl, she didn’t look the part nor could she dare act the part. She had managed to tame her hair, constantly wearing it in a braid over her shoulder, now it was loose and its free-flowing curls cascaded down her back. She grew into her features as well. No one would dare call her Arya horseface, as she grew in height her neck also grew, causing her to look closer to an elegant swan than a horse. Her eyes were still as sharp and fierce as ever, as well as her tongue which could speak Dothraki, Old and High Valyrian, Braavosi, and the common tongue.
Her husband on the other hand, was taller than her father and had shoulder length platinum blonde hair. His skin was an olive tone, from the Dornish on his mother’s side and his eyes were a deep indigo blue. The two of them met while she was traveling from Braavos to Mereen after she had left the Faceless Men.
He introduced himself as Griff while she called herself Cat. Eventually they fell in love and got married two months into their journey together. It was something Arya never thought she’d do, but there was this electric pull that Griff had with her. When they had made it to Mereen, however, Aegon had confessed who he truly was. Arya was so devastated she was considering going to Westeros to kill Cersei, her list had never strayed too far from her mind, but she found out she was pregnant. She could barely stand the sight of the Dragon for her entire pregnancy, but when she held little Ned in her arms for the first time, she had managed to forgive him.
Eventually they met up with Aegon’s aunt Daenerys, who was Queen of Mereen. Aegon had offered Daenerys the throne if he could stay with Cat and he would do what he could to rally the Dornish and the Storm Lords as well as the Golden Company. Arya offered a much simpler offer, the North.
“I am surely seeing a ghost,” Tyrion said aghast.
“Lord Lannister,” Arya smirked.
“How did you? How did you get out of King’s Landing?” Aegon watched on, perplexed by the interaction with his wife and Tyrion. He knew almost every single one of his wife’s secrets. He knew she was a faceless man, he knew her name wasn’t exactly Cat, and he knew that she had left Westeros around the time the Hand of the King was killed. The fact that her eyes were grey and her accent still had a Northern twinge, as Jon Connington called it, did little to suppress his suspicions as to who she actually was.
“Who is this Tyrion.”
“Lady Arya Stark of Winterfell, my Queen, your two greatest allies have walked into your hall, you could not be luckier.”
“How are you two acquainted?”
Arya didn’t know how to answer, she had just truly revealed herself to Aegon, although she knew he knew, calling herself Arya Stark made it all too real. The pain, the loss, the heartbreak. Being Cat kept her safe.
“She’s my wife. We have a son, he was born a few moon turns ago.”
“Congratulations,” Daenerys smiled, “And what is it you want from me, little-wolf?”
“I ask that you allow the Starks to have Winterfell.”
The blonde woman came down from her throne, unable to hide the pleasant smirk on her face, she had finally found the perfect ally, “You will be Queen in the North, Arya Stark, when we take back the Seven Kingdoms we will seek vengeance on all those who wronged our families. Good sister.”
Meanwhile in Ned’s study he received a peculiar letter with the sigil of the three-headed dragon, but oddly one of the heads was mixed with a wolf’s head. The sigil was black as well and the letter was addressed to Arya. As a girl of nine, she should not be getting letters from anyone that isn’t family, and this, nothing good would ever come from this letter.
My dearest good-sister, Arya, Queen in the North, Wearer of Faces, Avenger of the Red Wedding, and Mother to the heirs of the Iron Throne, Eddard Rhaegar Stark-Targaryen and Visenya Catelyn Stark-Targaryen:
I write to you to tell you that my armies will be arriving in Winterfell in one-moon’s turn. We have a chance to defeat the dead. I look forward to fighting on the battlefield with you, one last time. Remember, what Jon had told you, always stick with the pointy end. Will you command the Northern forces once again and lead our people to their much-deserved victory? I hope you and Aegon are faring well and to please send the children all my love. If you see Jon, please let him know that Viseryon misses him. I’ll expect your response as soon as possible- write to me if you hear anything about the Army of the Dead or Jon remembering, he isn’t here.
Daenerys of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons”.
The end of the letter was wet from the Dragon Queen’s tears. Ned immediately ran from his study to find his wife on her way to Arya’s room.
“Ned, I swear if she ignores Septa Mordane one more time,” Catelyn began, then she caught sight of her panting husband who looked as if he had seen a ghost, “Ned, what is it?”
“Where is Arya,” he brushed passed his wife.
“Her room,” Catelyn ran after her husband.
As the two made their way to Arya’s room, they saw Septa Mordane who looked as if she had just seen a ghost.
“Septa,” Ned asked, “Are you alright?”
“I don’t know,” she answered, “I went to wake Lady Arya up and I think my mind is playing tricks on me.”
“What did you see?” Ned urged.
“I saw Lady Arya, but she was older, and there was.”
“What- there was what?” Catelyn was panicking.
Ned didn’t even bother to knock on the door, he barged in to see his daughter standing in front of him with a babe in her arms and a little boy clutching her tunic, while a dragon stood to her left protecting her. Instead of his baby girl standing in front of him, there was a young woman who looked as mighty and regal. He felt an overwhelming sense of pride.
Catelyn on the other hand clutched her husband’s arm, bracing herself for otherwise she surely would’ve fainted. Who was she looking it? Who was this young woman? A woman who, by every since of the imagination, was as beautiful as a winter rose. And the babe she clutched to her chest with dark brown hair and purple eyes, while the young boy had bright blonde hair and grey eyes.
“Mommy, who are they?” The little boy asked.
“They’re my parents,” Arya croaked.