and valyrian steel swords

What Queen Visenya Targaryen would have worn, Alex London

Visenya was the eldest of her two siblings King Aegon I and Queen Rhaenys. Visenya was a passionate, temperamental woman both stern and sensual, but with a dark and unforgiving side. Even those who loved her best found her stern, serious and unforgiving. Visenya was described as having a “harsh beauty” and was reputed to have dabbled in sorcery. While Rhaenys was the flirt, Visenya was the seductress. Visenya often dressed herself as a warrior, and when so garbed, she would wield the Valyrian steel sword Dark Sister, whose slender blade is designed for a woman’s hand. She often braided her hair or bound it up in rings.

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“Hero’s Blade” Oathkeeper –S4ep4

“There was a time that I would have given my right hand to wield a sword like that. Now it appears I have, so the blade is wasted on me. Take it.” –Jamie Lannister

“Valyrian steel spell-forged. It was a sword fit for a hero.” – thoughts of Brienne of Tarth

Check out prints, and iphone cases here!  Cheers

http://society6.com/LinleyB/A-Heros-Blade_Print#1=45 

It is not clear what color were Vhagar’s scales or flames, but judging from Visenya’s temper, it had to be bloody. 

anonymous asked:

Wasn't expecting to get any promo pics this early so that was a nice surprise! The pics themselves not really groundbreaking considering they're basically a "Previously on Game of Thrones" sort of thing. Though it looks like Jaime gets WW early, so maybe he found Tommen's crown too?

Hi, anon.

Yes, nice surprise indeed!

Yup, basically it’s really a “Previously on Game of Thrones in case you forgot where people were heading to by the end of season 6″, mingled with costume updates (or the lack thereof).

Yeah, Jaime getting Widow’s Wail that early came as a surprise to me as well. Earlier on, before we got any spoilers whatsoever, I thought he may take it for himself towards the end of the season once we get the equivalent of break-up with Cersei and letter-burning, as a sort of last resistance, if you will.

So that raises a lot of questions.

Does he take it himself or is it given to him?

If he takes it, I guess it would be more for sentimental reasons at first. After he tried to be there for Tommen and act more fatherly towards him, I bet it will be shattering for him to see that the last kid he’s had with Cersei is now dead as well, and that, yet again, any effort to protect the children was rendered futile.

It may also be that Cersei gives it to him. This in turn would perhaps be her sort of strategical *reassurance* to further back up her claim that she had nothing to do with the Sept - in then sense of: Cersei gives him that sword and says in a teary voice “that was all that remained of him, our poor baby boy *insert fake sobbing*” - cue for Jaime to find the crown, if Cersei on the show finally shows more of book!Cersei’s inability to follow through with any plan whatsoever, and thus leave that piece of evidence somewhere within Jaime’s reach to find once plot demands it.

I don’t think he will find both (crown and sword) at once in episode 1 onward, since I assume that those promo shots are part of episode ½. My best guess at this point is that they will have an unravel-narrative for Jaime to conclude his breaking away from Cersei towards the end of the season (so basically covering those parts of his AFfC arc that we didn’t yet see) wiht him having learned about Cersei’s true colors and her actual involvement in the HS affair more generally (see Margaery’s, Loras’, and her own imprisonment), and of course the Sept Kaboom she will most likely blame on the Sand Snatches + Ellaria. But yeah, we will have to see if the thing with the crown will be played up or if they aren’t just going to have someone break it to him (someone like Olenna perhaps).

Similarly, it would be epically ironic if Cersei gave the *twin blade* to Oathkeeper to Jaime, whereas Brienne strolls through the North with that other sword of Valyrian steel *belonging to* Widow’s Wail. This would perhaps be a nice first allusion to book!Cersei’s straight-up denial that Jaime may have ridden off with Brienne towards the end of ADwD and that he would *never* abandon her for someone the likes of Brienne.

It’d be ever the more hilarious once we bear in mind how she’s been calling out Brienne on her feelings for Jaime back during the Purple Wedding.

Originally posted by kaorym

I mean, just imagine her being so cocksure of Jaime’s alliance and giving him that sword, thinking nothing of it (because she has no clue that Brienne has Oathkeeper after he gave it to her back during that teary scene - the good old times).

Originally posted by ladybrienne

Because NEVER would Jaime return those feelings because he has *her*, hmmmm.

*plot-twist incoming*

Only to then eventually conclude that part of the arc with Jaime taking his leave. And she gave him the fuckin’ sword on tops to now carry to the North.

I would find that all kinds of epic irony that I ain’t even mad.

PROMO!!!

Thanks for the question!

Disobeying Orders

Anonymous asked: Can I request a sandor x reader. Shes from a northern house and is in KL and joffery sends sandor to beat her but when he comes to her bed chambers they just end up talking. They become very close over time and then the next time he comes to her room and finds shes running away so promises to take her safely… And as they’re on the road and travelling, she ends up giving him her family Valyrian sword as she’s the only one left of her line. Any ending you like :)

Here is your one-shot, anon! I do not own Sandor or Joffrey. They belong to George R.R.Martin. 

Warnings: angst, mentions of possible beating, running away, a teeny bit of fluff

Pairings: Sandor Clegane x fem!reader, Joffrey Baratheon

Originally posted by sansanfan97

You weren’t sure what you did to incur Joffrey’s wrath, but whatever it was, you knew it was bad. Instead of punishing you outright, Joffrey had told two of the Gold Cloaks to escort you to your chambers and to keep you there. That was worse. The wait was pure torture and made you wish that you’d never come to King’s Landing. You wished you’d stay in the North. Still, it was too late to change it now. You sat on your bed, wringing your hands as you waited for Joffrey’s punishment.

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Imagine: Being a famous Assassin

Originally posted by elputoduke

Imagine: Being a famous Assassin and having the houses fight for your loyalty and your strength. 


Word Count: Long, kinda 

Warning: None  

Part 2

Castle Talsworth. A stronghold that my lord father and his father built before my time, you thought to yourself. 

You are in the courtyard walking around and greeting everyone a good morning and making sure everyone is in good health. You are a famous Assassin with your Valyrian Steel sword named Ruthless Fire that your father gave you before he passed away.

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anonymous asked:

It's clear that a Valyrian steel sword is a very big deal. Very few families have one. Yet Jeor Mormont gives Longclaw to Jon Snow. This seems over the top- Ned did not give Ice to Howland Reed for saving his life. Why, in-universe, would Jeor do this? Even if Maege and her axe-wielding daughters are unlikely to use Longclaw, a future descendent could have done. Changing the pommel to a wolf suggests he did not expect Jon to return the sword to house Mormont.

Well, in-universe, I wonder if Jeor Mormont didn’t think of Longclaw as the new “Night’s Watch” sword rather than a House Mormont sword, it being stained with Jorah’s slaving. But I agree with you, I think that’s part of the early installment weirdness of GRRM with regards to Valyrian steel, and my explanation is a Band-Aid.

I understand it from a literary perspective: the Hero needs to have his requisite Cool Sword, but given the importance and rarity of Valyrian steel, House Mormont should have fought to keep that sword. Had I been writing the story, I think I would have made Jon acquire Dark Sister and have that be the Night’s Watch Valyrian steel, via Bloodraven. But heck, with the loss of Blackfyre across the Narrow Sea, I would have imagine House Targaryen would have fought tooth and nail to keep Dark Sister.

Again, I think it’s all growing pains for GRRM’s setting. If he could go back, he’d probably change it (he’s remarked as such in regards to Tyrion’s acrobatics), but he’s stuck with it, so he does the best he can.

Thanks for the question, Anon.

SomethingLikeALawyer, Hand of the King

Imagine: Being a famous Assassin (pt 2)

Originally posted by sardoniyx

Imagine: Being a famous Assassin and having the houses fight for your loyalty and your strength.


Part one 

Warning: None

Word Count: A bit longer than the last part 

“Will they come?” you ask your Maester softly waiting in an open field near the Starks base camp. 

“Sansa Stark sent a raven many moons ago confirming there will be a meeting, she is very excited to meet you,” he says as he smiles at you. 

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4

“His relationship with her is obviously very complicated and fraught and has undercurrents that he’s uncomfortable with feeling. Giving her this valyrian steel sword was no small thing. There are probably like ten of these things in the world. He’s given it to her not to carry out one task or for one stretch of time but for the rest of her life. I think that’s a symbolic and meaningful gesture. It’s these two who are not quite sure how they feel about the other and he lets her go.”

schuylersatisfied  asked:

It's really hard to keep track (for me at least haha) - who has a Valyrian steel sword at the moment, and how (if at all) do you think those people will come into play in the battle against the white walkers?

According to TWOIAF, an archmaester’s book says there were once 227 Valyrian steel swords in Westeros. (And perhaps thousands in the world.) Some have been lost since the accounting was made, so we really don’t have an exact number. And of all those, only a few have been mentioned in ASOIAF.

Swords with known status:

  • Heartsbane - owned by Randyll Tarly (of the Reach, currently in King’s Landing)
  • Lady Forlorn - owned by Lyn Corbray (the Vale)
  • Longclaw - owned by Jon Snow (the Wall)
  • Nightfall - owned by Harras Harlaw (of the Iron Islands, currently in the Reach)
  • Oathkeeper - owned by Brienne of Tarth (currently in the Riverlands)
  • Red Rain - owned by Dunstan Drumm (of the Iron Islands, currently in the Reach)
  • Widow’s Wail - owned by Tommen Baratheon (King’s Landing)
  • a Valyrian steel dagger with a dragonbone hilt (famous for its use in the Bran’s assassin plot) - owned by Petyr Baelish (the Vale)
  • a Valyrian steel arakh - owned by Caggo of the Windblown (Meereen)

Unclear status:

  • Blackfyre - one of House Targaryen’s two ancestral swords, given to Aegon IV’s bastard son Daemon; last we heard it was with Bittersteel in Essos but it hasn’t been mentioned since. It may be with the Golden Company or Illyrio Mopatis, but either way I expect Aegon Targaryen will get it at some point.
  • Dark Sister - the other sword of House Targaryen, its last owner was Bloodraven. It might be with him in his caves in the far north, or it could be somewhere else entirely. I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.
  • Orphan-Maker - sword of House Roxton, last mentioned in the Dance of the Dragons
  • Truth - sword of House Rogare of Lys
  • Vigilance - sword of House Hightower, last mentioned in the Dance of the Dragons
  • a Valyrian steel axe reportedly owned by House Celtigar

Lost/destroyed:

  • Brightroar - sword of House Lannister, lost in Valyria
  • Ice - sword of House Stark, melted down and turned into Widow’s Wail and Oathkeeper
  • Lamentation - sword of House Royce, lost in the riot of King’s Landing during the Dance of the Dragons

That still leaves over 200 Valyrian steel swords that we simply have no idea who in Westeros they belong to, not to mention how many may be in Essos. But Sam’s at the Citadel now, which is certainly where “Archmaester Thurgood’s Inventories” is located, so I’m hoping he’ll read it in TWOW and we’ll get more info. And Sam has a vested interest:

“The question is, how do we fight them?”
“The armor of the Others is proof against most ordinary blades, if the tales can be believed,” said Sam, “and their own swords are so cold they shatter steel. Fire will dismay them, though, and they are vulnerable to obsidian.” He remembered the one he had faced in the haunted forest, and how it had seemed to melt away when he stabbed it with the dragonglass dagger Jon had made for him. “I found one account of the Long Night that spoke of the last hero slaying Others with a blade of dragonsteel. Supposedly they could not stand against it.”
“Dragonsteel?” Jon frowned. “Valyrian steel?”
“That was my first thought as well.”
“So if I can just convince the lords of the Seven Kingdoms to give us their Valyrian blades, all is saved? That won’t be hard.” His laugh had no mirth in it.

–AFFC, Samwell I

I can actually imagine Sam going through the whole list and sending a raven to each lord saying that the Night’s Watch needs their swords. It almost certainly won’t be effective in the slightest… but once the Wall falls and the dead begin to rise, said lords may remember and reconsider. At the very least each of those lords’ castles should be a defense spot during the spread of the ice zombies.

As for the more known and famous swords and their wielders, I’m certain they’ll be extremely relevant during the War for the Dawn. I’m very sure that Jon Snow will learn how to light his sword on fire with his blood (like Beric Dondarrion did), which not only will be a true Lightbringer, but Valyrian steel + fire = double threat against the Others. Brienne will also be a battle leader with Oathkeeper (lol no she’s not going to die), and I have a very strong feeling that Arya will somehow acquire Dark Sister (and ride into battle atop Nymeria). I even think it’s possible that Sansa may get Littlefinger’s dagger (probably after he dies, maybe before), and though I don’t expect her to use it other than in defense, it still might be necessary for her to do so. Blackfyre and Widow’s Wail, I think might end up plundered by the ironborn if the KL storyline works out the way I think it will, but they too will probably end up going north eventually – wielded by whom, I dunno yet, though Jon might switch out Longclaw for Blackfyre at some point maybe.

At any rate, the War for the Dawn will indeed be a war (before and while the three heads of the dragon leave for the curtain of light at the end of the world to end it all at last), and those who have Valyrian steel will be absolutely essential to that war. Maybe it’ll be with all 200-something swords in Westeros, maybe it’ll only be a dozen or so, but however many and whoever they are, they’ll be one of the few weapons that can defeat the Others. Fire arrows and dragonglass will have their place, certainly, and Dany’s dragons will be beyond important… but when it comes down to it, steel wins battles… and dragonsteel wins battles against the Others.

Jealousy Pt. 3

Jon

Jon watched as his little sister ran into the arms of the blacksmith first and tried not to feel sad or remember the way the smaller version of her, years ago, used to run into his arms first when he got back from a hunt with his father and brothers. True, Jon and Gendry had just returned on the back of Rhaegal from the free cities after having been gone for two turns of the moon.

Still, Jon couldn’t place the moment when Arya would rather have run into the arms of this boy before his own, likely because it had happened during the years Arya and Gendry been trapped in the riverlands by war. The smith and Arya embraced fiercely for several long moments. Only then did Arya spot Jon.

Jon watched as Arya rushed his way next. He mussed her hair with one hand and wrapped his other arm around her tightly.

“Happy name day, little sister.”

“What took you two so long?!” Arya punched her brother in the shoulder after releasing him from her embrace.

“If that blacksmith doesn’t keep his hands off you,” Jon told her half-jokingly, referring to their long hug and nodding toward Gendry who looked like he was still waiting for Arya to come back to him, “I’m going to have to push him off Rhaegal next time.”

Arya laughed and punched him again. “Careful now, your Grace, that’s my blacksmith. If anyone’s going to drop him into the Narrow Sea, it’ll be me.”

Jon groaned in annoyance. “Arya, do not call me that.”

“If you’re both done discussing how you’re going to kill me…” Gendry spoke jokingly, though there was longing in his voice as he stared at Arya.

And just like that, Arya was back at the smith’s side, inspecting his travel sack. “What did you bring me back?” She asked eagerly.

“You’ll have to wait and see at your name day feast, m’lady.” Gendry teased, letting Arya go through the sack anyway to find the arakh he’d brought her from Vaes Dothrak and the sweet crab cakes Gendry had insisted they get from Braavos since they were the one dish from across the sea that Arya always talked about.

“I love it.” Arya said through a mouthful of crab cake, running her fingers delicately along the curved blade.

“The grassmen taught me how to forge them.” Gendry said proudly. His eyes twinkled, as he reached a hand forward to brush a lock of Arya’s hair away from where it’d fallen over her eyes and smoothed her hair back on her head tenderly.

Jon watched as the boy did so. Jon remembered how he’d used to muss Arya’s hair all the time when they were little. This was completely different, yet somehow Jon still felt replaced. He knew he’d always be Arya’s favorite brother, but Gendry was something more, like an extension of Arya, and she of him. He was glad she’d found someone she could be so happy with, so herself, but Jon still felt the loss. As he met his father’s eyes from across the yard, he knew they all felt it in one way or another.

“There’s more,” Jon heard Gendry reassuring Arya about her presents, as she led him away. Jon let them go.

“The only bloody present I wanted today was you back,” Jon heard his baby sister tell boy in a low voice.

Jon sighed and turned to tend to Rhaegal and to prepare for his little sister’s name day feast.

Later, at the feast, he watched as Arya accepted her other gifts. Some were from her family. Ned had given his daughter a pile of large tomes all written on Visenya, Rhaenys and Nymeria. Catelyn, a dress. Jon, himself, had given her a mace and throwing stars. Robb and Jeyne, a new bow beautifully carved out of weirwood with arrows to match. Arya had shouted in delight at all but the dress.

Some of the gifts were from lords who were in attendance, most of them seeking Arya’s hand. Little did they know…

Ned Dayne, the lord who seemed most smitten with the girl as well as the most oblivious to her affections for another, had given her a Dornish sand steed. Jon’s own brother, Aegon, who refused to believe Arya preferred a bastard blacksmith over a prince, had given her an abundance of jewels, the color of winter roses, to adorn her head, neck, ears, wrists and ankles. Arya had accepted the gifts graciously, had promised to race Dayne on her new steed, had promised to wear her new jewels at the next feast. Still, both suitors couldn’t hide their disappointment when Arya went immediately back to enthusiastically speaking with the man at her right side, the gifts all but forgotten.

Jon sat to Arya’s left at the high table and could hear their conversation. Gendry was telling Arya all about their travels. Jon was laughing along or adding in the bits Gendry forgot to tell. Arya made them both promise they wouldn’t go again without her.

From the corner of his eye, Jon saw Rickon slip in behind the seats, a long cloth package in his arms. The little boy whispered something in Gendry’s ear, sliding the package onto the latter’s lap, all while Arya joked with Jon once again about abandoning Gendry in the free cities. She looked to her left when Gendry didn’t respond with the expected laugh.

Gendry’s eyes were dark and expectant, as he looked to the girl beside him. Arya didn’t seem to notice.

“Another gift?!” She smiled wolfishly. Jon knew Gendry must have already given her the other artifacts Gendry had brought for her from their journey: a large leather-bound book written in high Valyrian, a soft and glimmering silver cloak one could wear to blend into their surroundings for low visibility, Valyrian steel throwing knives in different shapes and sizes as well as a bottle of Shade of the Evening from Qarth which Arya had coveted after for a time since her travels.

Jon knew all about those presents, but not of this one, and wondered, or could guess really, what it was. His throat tightened. Arya hadn’t had a newly forged sword since Jon had brought one to her and all her excited nine-year-old-ness.

Arya unwrapped the cloth from around the sword slowly. It was of a forest green material, and there were acorn shapes sewed onto the fabric in gold thread. Arya fingered the golden acorns and smiled softly and secretly up at Gendry who hummed a tune so softly Jon could barely hear them. Arya’s eyes surprisingly filled with tears, and she hummed along for a moment, a watery smile forming on her face.

“It’s a cloak” Gendry whispered to her, “to keep you warm. My forest lass.”

Before Gendry could stop her, Arya had leaned over and kissed him chastely on the cheek, right there in front of all the lords of the North as well as Arya’s suitors. Gendry reddened, then nudged the bundle in her knees with his own knee. “Keep on.” He told her. “There’s more.”

“There’s always more with you,” Arya teased happily, squeezing his hand with hers. Jon knew the cloak must have been a reference to something on their journeys but was not sure what, as there were some things about it Arya kept from even him.

When Arya finished unveiling the sword, she gasped. Gendry was studying her face apprehensively.

The sword was clearly made of Valyrian steel but the color was not the regular dark gray but rather a lighter icy gray-blue, eerily reminiscent of winter roses. Arya had gripped the sword by the handle and as it moved, the steel danced. It was the length of a bastard sword, like Longclaw. Jon could see the end of the onyx black hilt was carved into the shape of a gray and white direwolf. Nymeria. Inlaid at the top of the hilt just below the blade, on both sides, were large gems of dark gray that reminded Jon of the exact color of Arya’s eyes.

The hall had fallen silent and most everyone’s eyes were on the high table and the magnificent blade. Eddard watched approvingly, Catelyn with her lips pursed. Arya was now holding the blade out in front of her. She was staring at it in wonder.

“Gendry.” The name on her lips spoke volumes. Jon was quite sure Arya hadn’t sounded or look this amazed when he’d gifted her Needle. Then again, this was something else altogether.

Arya managed to tear her eyes away from the sword to gaze blearily at Gendry. “When?” Her voice was hoarse.

His cheeks pink, Gendry looked down at the table. “It’s taken me a good almost yeah and a half to complete it, but only because Tobho never did finish teachin’ me how…it took me a few different tries and a lot of steel but…”

Arya’s voice was wet when she spoke. “It’s perfect,” she said, but it sounded like I love you.

Gendry’s darkened, now hooded eyes bored into hers unapologetically.

Suddenly, without looking at him, Arya was carefully handing Jon the sword. He took it in confusion then watched, amused, as Arya hopped swiftly into the smith’s lap and kissed him full on the mouth, not giving a damn that the eyes of everyone in the hall was on them.

Between kisses, Jon heard her tell the smith, “You’re mine.” Jon’s smile faded, the words he’d told his first love, echoing harshly in his ears, and he remembered the girl who had been kissed by fire.

“I’m yours.” The bull agreed softly before kissing Jon’s sister again.

Jon knew the smith meant it. Nothing less could have made the boy respond to Arya’s affections here in front of everyone consequences be damned.

Before the smith allowed Arya to slide back into her seat, he clasped the green, acorn cloak around her shoulders, and she reveled in it as she took her sword back from Jon.

“Every sword needs a name.” Jon told his sister, a small, sad smile playing on his lips.

Arya smiled back happily.

She turned back toward Gendry who had a knowing look in his eye. “Mercy.” The two said at the same time.

Jon smiled wryly. He’d heard enough of their adventures to think he knew what they meant by it, but they seemed to understand the sword’s new name’s meaning much better than Jon did.

“What’s the first thing I should know about swords?” Arya had turned back to Jon and was smiling conspiratorially at him now too.

“Stick ‘em with the pointy end.” Jon chuckled as Arya laughed.

Behind Arya, Jon could see Rickon handing Gendry something else. There’s more, Jon thought in Gendry’s voice. There’s always more with you, Jon thought in Arya’s voice. How was it, Jon thought, that Arya, the most adamant of his siblings against marriage, had ended up finding someone who complemented her perfectly in every way, who made her happier than Jon had ever thought anyone had a right to be.

The guests of Winterfell, there for Arya’s name day, mostly went back to dancing and speaking, though there was now an awkward lull. Jon noticed both Ned Dayne and Aegon watching his sister through narrowed eyes, their pinks cheek, the first looking angrier than the other. Aegon, at least, had been warned. Both watched jealously as Arya received her next presents from Gendry.

Jon saw Gendry had procured a pretty leather scabbard into which Mercy fit perfectly. Next was a light gray shield, the silhouette of a blue-gray direwolf engraved onto it. Small but sturdy. Gendry had made that one himself too. Then the next present that made Jon’s little sister gasp with delight again. Jon gazed at it appreciatively. It was a helm made in the likeness of a direwolf. Jon remembered having seen a helm similar to it, but it belonged to the smith and was in the likeness of a bull.

Arya immediately put the helm on. It fit her head perfectly. She leaned over and gave her smith another kiss. This time, he didn’t try to stop her.

“I want to go test all of these out now.” She insisted then.

“As m’lady commands.” Gendry whispered back.

Arya insisted Jon accompany them. She wanted to try her hand at beating Longclaw.

He obeyed gladly. He might be king now, but Arya would always come first.

Gendry watched as they dueled. Both Gendry and Jon had insisted Arya wear her armor, use her shield and wear light steel gauntlets. Valyrian steel was sharp; one small mishap and she could be wounded gravely. Though they both knew very well, Arya was more like to wound one of them before wounding herself. Still, she was used to fighting with lighter swords. The extra protection could only help, not hurt.

Jon managed to disarm his little sister first. He knew better than to go easy on her. She’d clout him upside the head if he did. Besides, it was better for her to actually practice, not just play. Arya disarmed him the next two times, then he disarmed her again.

When it was Gendry’s turn to try his hand against hers, she disarmed him each time. When he was using Longclaw. When he picked up his war hammer instead, he disarmed her all three times.

Hours later, Gendry left Arya and Jon outside the forge to go wash up.

“I’ve never really see you fight before, little sister. Not truly.” Jon told her in admiration, as they sat outside the forge drinking wine.

“And? Am I better or worse than you thought?” Arya dared.

“Worse.” Jon earned himself a punch in the side. “No,” he said seriously. “You’re a fierce warrior.”

“A wolf,” Arya grinned wolfishly. She hefted her new Valyrian steel sword, in its scabbard, onto her lap. “And this is my claw.”

“Aye.” Jon agreed with a rueful smile. “It’s a beautiful sword, little sister.”

“Don’t tell, Gendry.” Arya joked. “His head’s big enough already as it is.”

Jon laughed. “I’m sure he doesn’t think it’s near as beautiful as you.”

He succeeded in getting Arya to blush. “Shut up. I’m not beautiful. I’m fierce.”

“What’s the difference?” Jon asked her, and she blushed some more.

“That boy loves you more than anything.” Jon told her truthfully.

Arya looked curiously at him. They’d never spoken before of her relationship with the smith.

“While we were gone…he missed you incredibly.” Jon admitted, remembering how Gendry either spoke of only Arya, or had this faraway look in his eyes indicating he was thinking of her. “I think he still suffers from when you were separated by the Hound. It haunts him to this day.”

Arya looked at her feet. “I know. I–.” She paused. “It won’t happen again.” She said firmly. “With any of us.”

Jon chuckled. “What about when you get married?”

Arya turned red now. “Who said-.”

“Oh, little one.” He lamented, taking her hand in his. “It doesn’t need saying.”

“I’m not little,” she argued, but looked pleased all the same.

Late that night, when the last stragglers at the feast were finally disbursing, Jon found Gendry outside the forge again. The smith was polishing Arya’s new sword, which had taken a bit of a beating earlier, or rather, had given a bit of a beating to Longclaw and the war hammer. Mercy still looked as if it had never been touched.

“Your Grace,” Gendry mumbled. He looked uncertain now, almost guilty.

“Come now, Gendry.” Jon said insistently. “After all we’ve been through together, there’s no need for formalities. You’re a brother to me now.”

They both looked at the blade, which was reflecting the fire that came from within the forge in a way that made it look almost as if the blade was on fire itself.

“This blade is beautifully wrought, Gendry.” Jon reached a hand out for the sword. Gendry handed it to him carefully by the hilt.

“Thank you.” The smith looked uncertain again though. “I know you gave Arry her first blade. I didn’t- I wasn’t-.” He paused. “She’s been needing a new sword is all.”

Jon blinked at Gendry, then smiled. “Of course. I’m very glad you made it for her with your own two hands. You’re very talented Gendry.”

The smith reddened, perceptibly so even under the glow of the firelight coming from the forge. Jon was weighing the sword in his hand and swinging the bastard blade around with grace.

“You must love her very much.” Jon said simply.

Gendry didn’t blanch at that nor even blush. “I do. She’s my family. She’s my-.” A pause. “She’s the best part of me.”

Jon nodded and finally met the smith’s eyes. “She always did love bastards best.” Jon joked.

Gendry couldn’t help but return the grin. “Thank the gods for that.” Gendry chuckled.

“When?” Jon asked.

Gendry looked confused now as he took the sword gently back from Jon and plunged it into its sheathe.

“When did you grow to love her as you do?” Jon clarified.

“I’d like to say the moment I meant her, but-.” Gendry smiled fondly as if remembering. “The very first time I saw her she was challenging two boys, both twice as big as her, with a wooden stick. She had them bleedin’ and cryin’. They wouldn’t even go near her for days after that.”

Jon laughed appreciatively, remembering when a girl, not unlike Arya, had challenged a different handful of armed men of the Night’s Watch, north of the Wall. Ygritte had been just as strong and ferocious. A pang of her absence stabbed him in the chest.

“I know you’ve heard all the stories,” Gendry continued, looking lost in thought at the memories. “I think it was when Amory Lorch’s men captured us, just after they killed Yoren.” Jon remembered Yoren, remembered the day he’d left the Wall to bring more recruits from King’s Landing. He’d never returned. “They got me first. It was my fault. I was a loud, lumbering bull, she told me. And she was right. I was so glad though. They hadn’t gotten her. I knew she’d be smart, go back to the others and get away with them.”

“But she didn’t.” Jon remembered this part of the story best because he’d been so mad too that Arya hadn’t fled.

“No,” Gendry looked pained. “She came back for me.” His voice was hoarse. “I was so angry with her.”

Jon nodded in agreement. She’d had a chance at that point. To get away. Maybe to be safe. Maybe to be free.

“But then…” Gendry took another long pause. It seemed as if some of the words were hard for him to speak. “No one had ever come back for me before.”

Jon knew the feeling. While he’d grown up with a family, unlike Gendry, he’d never felt equal to them. Except for Arya. She was the only one who made him feel like he truly had someone.

“When I yelled at her, she got mad at me. ‘I couldn’t leave you,’ she told me. ‘You’re my pack.’”

Jon’s throat grew dry. Arya had lost her pack. Robb. Sansa. Bran. Rickon. Even him, Jon. So she’d made a new one. With Gendry.

“I’d never felt like that before,” Gendry said in a choked voice. “After my mum died…they’d all gotten rid of me. Everyone I thought might’ve cared. But Arry…when they took me…she didn’t think twice about coming back for me. Even if it meant she’d be taken too, or killed.”

Jon remembered Ygritte then. And how she’d shot him, shot him only, even though she could have killed him. How she’d come back too. The smile they’d shared right before she died.

“It was that moment then,” Gendry said, unsure. “Or maybe all of them. I think I fall in love with her more every time I see her, if that’s possible.”

Gendry was the slightest bit pink in the cheeks now. “Sorry, it may sound stupid…”

“No.” Jon said fiercely. “I understand completely.”

“What about you?” Gendry asked suddenly, as if he was saying it before he lost his nerve. “When did you know you loved your wife?”

Jon started. Daenerys, he knew Gendry meant. But it was Ygritte he couldn’t get off his mind. Even now, years later.

“Maybe from the first moment,” Jon admitted. “Or every single time after, like you said. But most likely when she could have killed me but she didn’t, even though a part of her wanted to.”

Gendry blinked. “You’re not talking about the queen.” He said knowingly.

“No.” Jon said forlornly.

“You lost her?” Gendry asked.

“Yes,” Jon said simply.

“I’m sorry.” Gendry said sadly.

“Me too.” Jon replied. Then, “She wasn’t a noble either.”

Gendry looked at Jon cautiously.

“But she’s one of the best persons I’ve known. Nobility doesn’t make the person, Gendry.”

“Yes.” Gendry agreed guardedly.

“Arya’s mother wrote to me a few moons past.” Jon admitted. “She’s never done that before. Not even since she found out the truth of my parentage.”

Gendry waited.

“She asked that I legitimize you.”

Gendry looked startled. “Your Grace, I didn’t-.”

“I know you didn’t,” Jon interrupted. “But it’s your right all the same.”

“I didn’t grow up a lord.”

“No,” Jon agreed. “But I know a lot of lords. Not even half of them have your strength or your honor.”

Gendry didn’t have anything to say to that.

“Would you have me do it? You could marry her. Storms End would be yours.”

“I-.” Gendry looked pained again. “It’s not up to me, your Grace.”

Jon blinked understandingly. “Arya?” he called out loudly. “What would you have me do?”

A bang and a curse came from inside the forge. She’d been caught. But Jon wasn’t upset at all.

“Do it, you stupid bull.” She groaned, probably from whatever had fallen on her head when Jon had startled her.

Jon smiled at Gendry and reached out an arm to embrace him.

“Welcome to the family, brother.” Jon clapped Gendry on the back.

“Thank you, br-.” Gendry faltered on the word, but when he spoke again, Jon heard a smile in his voice. “Thank you, brother.”