The Lord of Winterfell
How have I gotten myself into this situation?
When I set out with Robert all those months ago, I had two things on my mind. One was so that I could have the ability to avenge my father and brother who were mercilessly killed by the Mad king. I’m not a person that goes out seeking revenge, but there was no way I was keeping my head with him on the throne. The other was so that I could get my sister back from the Crown Prince who up until this moment I thought had kidnapped and raped her. I no longer know believe I know what the truth is anymore.
When the Mad King had called for mine and Robert’s head it seemed like the right choice to call the banners and head out to war. Even with a new wife who recently had become pregnant, there was no way that we would be able to live with the Mad King still on the throne.
After my brother and father had been murdered it seemed like the right choice, but now I don’t know anymore, because in the end the war didn’t bring back my father and brother, and even though I hadn’t known it at the time, it had lead to the death of my sister’s beloved.
I had let my brother and Robert get it into my head that the only possible reason for Lyanna’s disappearance had to be that the Dragon Prince had kidnapped her, but didn’t I know who she truly was? I had truly believed that Robert would change his whoring ways for my lovely sister, but in the end she had been able to see right through the man that was now King. She despised the idea of him so much so that she decided to run off and marry the Dragon Prince because he was the one that truly loved her.
In the end the war was a lie, Robert was now king, and the Dragon Prince laid dead at the Trident.
But worst of is that my sister is now dying in this tower. What a cruel joke for the gods to have named it such. The Tower of Joy, more so the Tower of Despair.
When we got to the tower I expected a fight, because why else would three of the kingsguard be guarding the tower instead of their prince on the Trident? Oh how foolish I had been.
Instead of drawing steal,I decided that there had been enough bloodshed in the rebellion, and that this was not something that somebody needed to die for. I pleaded with the kingsguard, and after Ser Arthur Dayne described the situation to us, of how my sister had been the Knight of the Laughing Tree, how she was not kidnapped but more so rescued by the Dragon Prince, and it led them to being married in front of a heartree, Ser Arthur saw fit to allow us into the tower to see my sister. So Howland, Ser Arthur, and I ascended the steps to a heartbreaking scene.
When we first walked in, the smell of blood overwhelms us all. I had gotten used to the metallic smell during the war, but now it is even worse because it is my sister’s that I smell. When we walk in all I find is my sister laying in a bed cover in blood with winter rose’s thrown across it. A woman is running around the room trying to stop the bleeding, but we can all tell it is too late.
As soon as I enter the room, i rush to Lyanna’s side and grip her hand that is covered in her own blood. In my heart I start to freak out, but I keep a calm face so that I can have the ability to care for my sister when she has need of me most.
“Ned… Ned is that you?” she ask, voice just barely above a whisper.
“Yes Lya.. it’s me…. I’m here.” I respond, my voice trying it’s best to hold back my emotions, but that is not what happens.
When she finally realizes that it is me she tries to explain her actions and all I do is hold up a hand to stop her. “Lya, it’s okay, Ser Arthur has already been gracious enough to explain anything and I hold none of it against you or Rhaegar for that matter,” I respond, making sure that my sister can calm down and try to get better. I am not completely truthful about this all, but I can see her taking a turn for the worse, and I want to make sure she has the closest thing to a peaceful mind before she goes. It is at this moment that I realize there is no maester here, and with as much blood that covers my hand it spell certain doom. When I try to get up mumbling about a maester, Lyanna just grabs my wrist and yanks me back down, she knows there is nothing left that can save her.
“Ned, you have to promise me that you’ll protect them, promise me…” she pleads.
At first I am downright confused, but it is at this moment that I hear a baby’s squeal and I whip my head around to see a wet nurse standing there with to bundles. I instantly realize what has happened here, all of the pieces falling into place, and it is at this moment that I am handed one of the bundles. It is a boy with raven black short hair just like his mother. When the lad opens his eyes I notice that they are a dark grey, but if you are able to look close enough you may be able to see streaks of violet in them. I hand him back and reach for the other, a small girl. Her hair and eyes are the same as her brother, but instead of the purple streaks in her eyes that her brother has, all that look back at me is pure darkness. Eyes as black as night.
Lyanna leans in closer with extreme difficulty, and I try to push her back against the bed but she will have none of that. She leans into me so her mouth is just beside my ear when she says, “Ned, their names are Jaehaerys and Visenya Targaryen, you have to promise me that you’ll protect them. If Robert find out about them you know what he’ll do, he’ll kill them like poor Aegon and Rhaenys. Promise me Ned, promise me.”
All I can do is nod as the tears start to fall. I feel Lyanna’s grip is weakening, and I can tell that her time is nearly upon her. I lean down to kiss her cheek, and when I look back at her eyes they are unmoving and unblinking. With my thumb and my pointer on the hand that is not holding Visenya, I close her eyes for her to give her that small amount of peace. I look up to find tears in Howland’s eyes, and even more surprising are the ones that have found their way into Arthur’s.
“Arthur, I have to protect them, and I can’t do it alone. Will you three help me?”
“Lord Stark…. Of course, the vows of the kingsguard are for life, and since the three of us are still standing it is our job to protect the little ones.”
“Thank you Arthur. Howland, you and the men help the kingsguard ready Lyanna and the nursemaids pack up anything that is needed, it’s time for us to go home.”
Howland responds with a nod, and I give Visenya back to one of the two nursemaid that are in the room. I walk out and go to let the men that are still outside know of Lyanna’s passing, why it happened, and have all of them swear a vow of silence of what happened here until the day that I see fit for people to find out the truth, and only if I see fit for it to get out there.
This is when Ser Arthur and the rest of the people that were in the tower come out.
“Lord Stark, what do you plan to tell people?”
“Arthur, it is time for me, my sister, and my bastard twins Arya and Jon to go home.”
All i see are the looks of shock on everyone’s face as I turn around and head to prepare my horse.