At long last the big day had come, when Jon Snow and the Mother of Dragons would arrive at Winterfell. Seven long years had passed since Arya's favorite brother Took The Black. Before he left he rustled her wild brown hair, picked her up to give her a kiss on the forehead, then gave here a parting gift, Needle. Needle was a rapier custom ordered by Jon, crafted with her size and ability in mind, and every time she honed Needle she reminisced about him and speculated on could have been had he never left for that dreadful ice Wall.
I can't believe after all these years he is coming! Sometimes I feared we would never reunite! Arya thought to herself.
She was also eager to meet Daenerys Targaryen, the self made and self proclaimed Queen who united the Dothraki khalasars and liberated the Slave Coast. During her time in Braavos Arya had heard many tales of her exploits, often from tavern gossip and mummer's farces. Growing up Arya loved taking history lessons from Maester Luwin, and she always had a great admiration for Targaryen women. The Conqueror's sisters Visenya and Rhaenys in particular, because they were fierce warriors equal to their brother; in short everything Arya craved.
The sky was blue with few visible clouds. It was only a fortnight into the winter and there was already a half foot of snow, which greatly enhanced the brightness of the sun and made everything in sight much clearer.
Arya was surrounded by Northerners outside the walls of Winterfell, around her arm were two small evergreen wreathes she made from branches cut from the Godswood. The drums and trumpets of heralds and the blaring of bagpipes sounded and soon the procession appeared. First were the Unsullied, dark skinned pike men in blackened steel armor and lobster tailed helmets. Next came the Dothraki on horseback, they wore leather armor and blue warpaint, wielded longbows and sickle swords, and wore their black hair in long braids with silver bells that jangled with their horses' every canter.
The Dothraki! Maester Luwin told us all about them. Apparently Daenerys killed all of the Khals and all of their men follow her now. Any woman who managed to seize control of such a culture gives me hope.
Next she espied a tall and broad shouldered man with a full beard on horseback, clearly not Dothraki. He wore a helm crafted to look like a snarl dog's head and a yellow surcoat charged with three talbot dogs, he lifted his visor and looked to the crowd and she saw that a third of his face was covered in severe burn scars. Just as she recognized him gave what was possibly and attempt at a smile and rode past her.
Seven hells, how is that hateful bastard still alive?
A covered wagon appeared, and in it appeared to be the Imp and the Spider. The Imp had visited Winterfell with King Robert and his Court, right before everything in Arya's world shattered. She was eager to see him then, the notion of a grown man shorter then her was fascinating.
Following the wagon was a stunning woman who appeared to be from Sothryos, perhaps the Summer Isles. Her skin was the color of caramel and she had lush, kinky hair no Westerosi had. She wore a black leather dress like most of the procession and had a ring through her septum. Many in the crowd sneered as she passed by.
Jealous cunts! Arya had never been known for beauty as a child, that was what her big sister Sansa was known for. Growing up Sansa tormented her with cruel monikers like horse face and lumpy, those words stung like a hornet though Arya never believed herself ugly. She had once asked her father if she was and he told her she was a spitting image of her aunt Lyanna, a woman whose beauty tore the continent apart with war. Despite all that Arya never experienced jealousy, and looked down on women who let envy cloud their judgment of other women.
Finally Jon and Daenerys appeared. Jon wore a wolf pelt mantle and armor much like their late father wore, Arya noticed his breastplate had the Stark dire wolf and she smiled ear to ear knowing he was at long last seen as one of them. Daenerys wore a fuzzy white fur dress with a scarlet cravat, over her heart was a chained silver brooch with a three headed dragon, over her dress she wore a cape made of a white lion pelt with its maned head serving as a hood. The Dragon Queen was every bit as gorgeous as the songs sung about her in Braavos suggested. Daenerys rode on a beautiful white mare and Jon rode his dire wolf Ghost, Ghost had grown the size of a horse since the last time Arya saw him. In front of them was a tall knight in a Mormont surcoat, green with a black bear rampant. Flanking and tailing them were a diverse lot of knights, possibly the Queensguard.
“Jon! Jon! Over here!” Arya called out, but just as she did she heard an otherworldly roar and soon the royal procession was overcast with two large shadows. She looked up in the sky and saw Daenerys's two namesake dragons. Both soared through the air, never in her eighteen years had Arya beheld such a magnificent spectacle. Others were not so receptive, they looked at the dragons with the same distrust as they did with the Unsullied and Dothraki or the kinky haired woman.
When the dragons disappeared she shuffled through the crowds to the main courtyard, where Sansa and their brother Bran waited, along with many vassals. Sansa wore a wolf fur mantle much like Jon's and her bodice was emblazoned with her personal sigil: a dire wolf with the lower body of a trout, with a red heart in the top corner of the lozenge. Arya's sigil was identical, save for an ermine spot in place of a heart. Sansa wore her vibrant red hair loose and adorned herself with Southron jewelry once worn by their late mother. Bran wore almost solid black, with the sole exception being a silver medallion that resembled a raven's skull. On Bran's face was a blank, glossy eyed look, expressionless yet still unnerving.
Jon and Daenerys rode into the courtyard and dismounted.
“Joooooon!” Arya hollared as she dashed to her brother.
“Aryaaaaaa!” He opened his arms and lifted her off the ground the moment she was in reach.
“I've missed you so much!” Arya said, tears of joy rolling down her plump cheeks.
“So did I! Not a night goes by that I don't think about you! I've matters to attend to, meet me in the Godswood later and we can talk.” Jon said as he put her down and kissed her forehead. She handed him one of the wreathes and he proudly put it on.
“I've heard so much about you! Jon tells me you're quite the outlaw!” Daenerys said, she had a dimply, jovial smile that bared her teeth to the gums, made her purple eyes squint, and her thick eyebrows furrow. To Arya's welcome surprise they were of almost equal height.
“I never thought I'd get to meet a –” Arya started to say.
“They are not here for your entertainment, Arya!” Sansa interrupted harshly. Though the sisters had reconciled Sansa could still be icy. Daenerys seemed uncomfortable and Jon seemed upset with Sansa but not shocked. Arya handed Daenerys her wreath and quietly sidelined.
Jon hugged Sansa. “Arya did nothing wrong,” Arya could hear him whisper.
Daenerys walked up to Sansa.
“Queen Daenerys of House Targaryen,” Jon said in introduction, “my sister, Sansa Stark, the Lady of Winterfell!” Everyone glared at the foreign queen with unease.
“Thank you for inviting us into your home, Lady Stark. The North is as beautiful as your brother claimed, as are you!” Daenerys said smiling.
“Winterfell is yours, your grace!” Sansa said, though Arya doubted her sincerity.
“We don't have time for all this,” Bran said. “The Night King has your dragon, Viserion is one of them now. The Wall has fallen, the Dead march south.”