arya underfoots

4

“Who are you?” he would ask her every day. “No one,” she would answer, she who had been Arya of House Stark, Arya Underfoot, Arya Horseface. She had been Arry and Weasel too, and Squab and Salty, Nan the cupbearer, a grey mouse, a sheep, the ghost of Harrenhal…but not for true, not in her heart of hearts. In there she was Arya of Winterfell, the daughter of Lord Eddard Stark and Lady Catelyn, who had once had brothers named Robb and Bran and Rickon, a sister named Sansa, a direwolf called Nymeria, a half brother named Jon Snow. In there she was someone…but that was not the answer he wanted. 

8

Canon Arya Stark Appreciation Week - Day One: Favourite quote of/about Arya Stark

„Who are you?“ he would ask her everyday. „No one“, she would answer, she who had been Arya of House Stark, Arya Underfoot, Arya Horseface. She had been Arry and Weasel too, and Squab and Salty, Nan the cupbearer, a grey mouse, a sheep, the ghost of Harrenhal … but not for true, not in her heart of hearts. In there she was Arya of Winterfell the daughter of Lord Eddard Stark and Lady Catelyn, who had once had brothers named Robb and Bran and Rickon, a sister named Sansa, a direwolf called Nymeria, a half brother named Jon Snow. In there she was someone … but that was not the answer that he wanted.

Of all of Arya’s names, the Arya Horseface and Arya Underfoot contrast will never not be meaningful to me.

It’s so telling that the people of Arya’s own station, her “appropriate” companions – Sansa, Jeyne etc. – gave her a name meant to insult, isolate and hurt her and it continues to damage her self-esteem and warp her perception of herself years down the line.

Meanwhile, those “below” her, the people who by the rules of Westeros society Arya shouldn’t be associating closely with – their name for her came out of affection and familiarity, was a genuine reflection of her character and is one Arya thinks back on fondly after leaving Winterfell.

And I just think that’s so representative of Arya’s whole character, struggles meeting expectations as a highborn lady and her relationship with the smallfolk.

8

Canon Arya Stark Week
↳ Day one (Favourite quote)

“…she who had been Arya of House Stark, Arya Underfoot, Arya Horseface. She had been Arry and Weasel too, and Squab and Salty, Nan the Cupbearer, a grey mouse, a sheep, the Ghost of Harrenhal… but not truee, not in her heart of hearts. In there she was Arya of Winterfell, the daughter of Lord Eddard Stark and Lady Catelyn, who had once had brothers named Robb and Bran and Rickon, a sister named Sansa, a direwolf called Nymeria, a half-brother named Jon Snow. In there she was someone… but that was not the answer he wanted.”

2

Canon Arya Appreciation Week - Day 1 “Favorite quote”

Only the kindly man knew the Common Tongue. “Who are you?” he would ask her every day.

“No one,” she would answer, she who had been Arya of House Stark, Arya Underfoot, Arya Horseface. She had been Arry and Weasel too, and Squab and Salty, Nan the cupbearer, a grey mouse, a sheep, the ghost of Harrenhal … but not for true, not in her heart of hearts. In there she was Arya of Winterfell, the daughter of Lord Eddard Stark and Lady Catelyn, who had once had brothers named Robb and Bran and Rickon, a sister named Sansa, a direwolf called Nymeria, a half brother named Jon Snow. In there she was someone … but that was not the answer that he wanted.

Back at Winterfell, they had eaten in the Great Hall almost half the time. Her father used to say that a lord needed to eat with his men, if he hoped to keep them. “Know the men who follow you,” she heard him tell Robb once, “and let them know you. Don’t ask your men to die for a stranger.” At Winterfell, he always had an extra seat set at his own table, and every day a different man would be asked to join him. One night it would be Vayon Poole, and the talk would be coppers and bread stores and servants. The next time it would be Mikken, and her father would listen to him go on about armor and swords and how hot a forge should be and the best way to temper steel. Another day it might be Hullen with his endless horse talk, or Septon Chayle from the library, or Jory, or Ser Rodrik, or even Old Nan with her stories.

Arya had loved nothing better than to sit at her father’s table and listen to them talk. She had loved listening to the men on the benches too; to freeriders tough as leather, courtly knights and bold young squires, grizzled old men-at-arms. She used to throw snowballs at them and help them steal pies from the kitchen. Their wives gave her scones and she invented names for their babies and played monsters-and-maidens and hide-the-treasure and come-into-my-castle with their children. Fat Tom used to call her “Arya Underfoot,” because he said that was where she always was. She’d liked that a lot better than “Arya Horseface.”

Reminder that Canon Arya never looked down upon the smallfolk, was instead a friend to them, loved talking to them, and they loved her back and she would think of names for their kids and they would give her food and they also had a nickname for her.

(So no, it’s not surprising that she didn’t randomly kill those Lannister soldiers.)

Sansa and Arya
  • “What could you want to see?” Sansa said, annoyed. She had been thrilled by the invitation, and her stupid sister was going to ruin everything, just as she’d feared. 
  • Sansa knew all about the sorts of people Arya liked to talk to: squires and grooms and serving girls, old men and naked children, rough-spoken freeriders of uncertain birth. Arya would make friends with anybody. This Mycah was the worst; a butcher’s boy, thirteen and wild, he slept in the meat wagon and smelled of the slaughtering block. Just the sight of him was enough to make Sansa feel sick.
  • “Gods be true, Arya, sometimes you act like such a child,” Sansa said. “I’ll go by myself then. It will be ever so much nicer that way. Lady and I will eat all the lemon cakes and just have the best time without you.”
  • Sansa lifted her head. “It will be a splendid event. You shan’t be wanted.”
  • “Go ahead, call me all the names you want,” Sansa said airily. “You won’t dare when I’m married to Joffrey. You’ll have to bow to me and call me Your Grace.”
  • “You’re horrible,” she screamed at her sister. “They should have killed you instead of Lady!”
  • The blood orange had left a blotchy red stain on the silk. “I hate her!” she screamed. She balled up the dress and flung it into the cold hearth, on top of the ashes of last night’s fire. When she saw that the stain had bled through onto her underskirt, she began to sob despite herself. She ripped off the rest of her clothes wildly, threw herself into bed, and cried herself back to sleep.
  • Arya started it,“ Sansa said quickly, anxious to have the first word. "She called me a liar and threw an orange at me and spoiled my dress, the ivory silk, the one Queen Cersei gave me when I was betrothed to Prince Joffrey. She hates that I’m going to marry the prince. She tries to spoil everything, Father, she can’t stand for anything to be beautiful or nice or splendid.”
  • "Then I’ll … make you a new one,” Arya said.Sansa threw back her head in disdain. “You? You couldn’t sew a dress fit to clean the pigsties.”
  • “I’m not like Arya,” Sansa blurted. “She has the traitor’s blood, not me. I’m good, ask Septa Mordane, she’ll tell you, I only want to be Joffrey’s loyal and loving wifeIt was not until later that night, as she was drifting off to sleep, that
  • Sansa realized she had forgotten to ask about her sister.
  • Sansa found herself thinking of Lady again. She could smell out falsehood, she could, but she was dead, Father had killed her, on account of Arya.
  • Sansa had once dreamt of having a sister like Margaery; beautiful and gentle, with all the world’s graces at her command. Arya had been entirely unsatisfactory as sisters went. 
  • She wanted to tease Bran and play with baby Rickon and have Robb smile at her. She wanted Jon to muss up her hair and call her "little sister” and finish her sentences with her. But all of them were gone. She had no one left but Sansa, and Sansa wouldn’t even talk to her unless Father made her.
  • She went to the window seat and sat there, sniffling, hating them all, and herself most of all. It was all her fault, everything bad that had happened. Sansa said so, and Jeyne too.
  • “I’m sore all over,” Arya reported happily, proudly displaying a huge purple bruise on her leg.“You must be a terrible dancer,” Sansa said
  • “It won’t be so bad, Sansa,” Arya said. “We’re going to sail on a galley. It will be an adventure, and then we’ll be with Bran and Robb again, and Old Nan and Hodor and the rest.” She touched her on the arm.“Hodor!” Sansa yelled. “You ought to marry Hodor, you’re just like him, stupid and hairy and ugly!” She wrenched away from her sister’s hand, stormed into her bedchamber, and barred the door behind her.
  • Arya looked down at her ragged clothes and bare feet, all cracked and callused. She saw the dirt under her nails, the scabs on her elbows, the scratches on her hands. Septa Mordane wouldn’t even know me, I bet. Sansa might, but she’d pretend not to. 
  • When she thought of seeing Robb’s face again Arya had to bite her lip. And I want to see Jon too, and Bran and Rickon, and Mother. Even Sansa … I’ll kiss her and beg her pardons like a proper lady, she’ll like that.
  • So the singer played for her, so soft and sad that Arya only heard snatches of the words, though the tune was half-familiar. Sansa would know it, I bet. Her sister had known all the songs, and she could even play a little, and sing so sweetly. All I could ever do was shout the words.
  • “Well," Arya said, "my hair’s messy and my nails are dirty and my feet are all hard.” Robb wouldn’t care about that, probably, but her mother would. Lady Catelyn always wanted her to be like Sansa, to sing and dance and sew and mind her courtesies. Just thinking of it made Arya try to comb her hair with her fingers, but it was all tangles and mats, and all she did was tear some out.
  • Lommy had called her Lumpyhead, Sansa used Horseface, and her father’s men once dubbed her Arya Underfoot, but she did not think any of those were the sort of name he wanted.
  • Her sister came back to see if she was hurt. When she said she wasn’t, Arya hit her in the face with another snowball, but Sansa grabbed her leg and pulled her down and was rubbing snow in her hair when Jory came along and pulled them apart, laughing.
  • Sansa did not know what had happened to Jeyne, who had disappeared from her rooms afterward, never to be mentioned again. She tried not to think of them too often, yet sometimes the memories came unbidden, and then it was hard to hold back the tears. Once in a while, Sansa even missed her sister.


- Just because the ~discourse~ has resurfaced and people are forgetting there are legitimate issues for the girls to work out between themselves. 

3

It had been so long since he had last seen Arya. What would she look like now? Would he even know her? Arya Underfoot. Her face was always dirty. Would she still have that little sword he’d had Mikken forge for her? Stick them with the pointy end, he’d told her. Wisdom for her wedding night if half of what he heard of Ramsay Snow was true.

2

“Who are you?” he would ask her every day. “No one,” she would answer, she who had been Arya of House Stark, Arya Underfoot, Arya Horseface. She had been Arry and Weasel too, and Squab and Salty, Nan the cupbearer, a grey mouse, a sheep, the ghost of Harrenhal…but not for true, not in her heart of hearts. In there she was Arya of Winterfell, the daughter of Lord Eddard Stark and Lady Catelyn, who had once had brothers named Robb and Bran and Rickon, a sister named Sansa, a direwolf called Nymeria, a half brother named Jon Snow. In there she was someone…but that was not the answer he wanted.” ~ A Feast for Crows, George R.R Martin.

♡ for @patrickmarston02

She isn’t meant to be Arya of Winterfell any more. The Kindly Man has made it clear that this is no place for Arya, and she doesn’t have anywhere else to go, not yet. She knows she must be No One, or whoever else they want her to be.

The gods have other ideas.

She thinks they send her the dreams. Wolves fill her nights, a direwolf, the sigil of her house. No one has no sigil. No one has no house. That night the pack found a weirwood, and weirwoods barely grew in south, the girl knew. It had to be the gods, calling to her, as the wolves once called to her too.

The tree spoke to her. She cannot remember what it said, but it makes her think of Harrenhal, and the godswood, and the old gods who spoke to her there.

“You are Arya of Winterfell, daughter of the North.”

She thinks on it while she does her chores in the temple. She hears a creak and looks up, but the weirwood doors are still closed. They watch me. She wonders if the gods live on when the tree is cut down. Was it possible to kill a god?

She’s tired, and she leans on her broom for just a moment, and hears it again.

“Arya.”

It’s a whisper, and she might have thought it a dream but she’s not sleeping, not truly. The voice is familiar, and she can smell her pack, even though they’re not there and she’s not close enough for it to be the candles in the temple making her feel it.

I want to go home, she thinks. She wants Winterfell’s grey walls, back before it was burnt. She wants the people smiling at her and calling her Arya Underfoot, because that’s better than most of the names she has worn since. She wants her brothers, and Sansa, and Hodor, and Mikken who forged Needle. She wants Jon Snow most of all. I want the North.

She closes her eyes, praying to the gods that nobody can see because the priests will know, they always know. The smells are stronger, and the door creaks again, and she knows it can’t be the door but she hears the whisper again.

“Come home.”

It’s insistent, almost pleading, wanting an answer. It sounds like Bran, and tears gather in Arya’s eyes.

Soon, she promises silently because nobody must hear. As soon as I can.

anonymous asked:

TELL US YOUR TOP 10 JON MOMENTS PLEASE omg

okay!!!

  1. Jon beheading Janos Slynt and him uttering the most subtly badass line in the series: “Edd, fetch me a block”. WRECK EMMMM
  2. Jon yelling “I’M NOT YOUR SON” to Benjen when he called him “son” and running out crying from the feasting hall but also running into a serving girl on the way out lmao my poor child
  3. Literally every time Jon talks to Ghost or other animals, may fav has to be when he called Ghost a “traitor” for alerting the men of the night’s watch to his position when he tried to run away lmao
  4. When Ghost leapt on Tyrion after Tyrion made Jon angry (and you guessed it, close to tears) and when Tyrion told Jon to get him off, Jon says “Ask me nicely” HONESTLY WHAT KIND OF CHEEK…..
  5. Jon capturing Ygritte then asking her to tell him a story omg
  6. “I wanted to kiss you there” had me blushing like a mom reading her sons sexts that was VILE (and genius)
  7. When Tormund asks Jon why he won’t sleep with Ygritte and if he doesn’t like her and Jon responds: “No, but I… I am still too young to wed.” Granted that was just a cover to avoid being questioned about it but O M G THAT’S HONESTLY THE MOST PRECIOUS RESPONSE
  8. Jon purposefully omitting himself when they found the direwolf pups and saying that there’s five pups for Ned’s five children. It’s just such a sad and noble moment (but the gods loved him enough to find him the runt of the litter THANK GOODNESS)
  9. Jon dwelling on Mance’s promise to save Arya from Winterfell ;___; this passage in particular destroys me every time: It had been so long since he had last seen Arya. What would she look like now? Would he even know her? Arya Underfoot. Her face was always dirty. Would she still have that little sword he’d had Mikken forge for her? Stick them with the pointy end, he’d told her. Wisdom for her wedding night if half of what he heard of Ramsay Snow was true. Bring her home, Mance. I saved your son from Melisandre,and now I am about to save four thousand of your free folk. You owe me this one little girl. It’s especially heartbreaking bc when he says “Bring her home” he means home to him, not Winterfell and that’s just…….. too much
  10. Jon’s exchange with Cregan Karstark in the ice cell he threw him in lmao he was so sassy throughout the whole thing (my fav part was in my description for a while: “If you mean to kill me, do it and be damned for a kinslayer. Stark and Karstark are one blood.”
    “My name is Snow.”
    “Bastard.”
    “Guilty. Of that, at least.”)

    NO CHILL
arya + northerners

Back at Winterfell, they had eaten in the Great Hall almost half the time. Her father used to say that a lord needed to eat with his men, if he hoped to keep them. “Know the men who follow you,” she heard him tell Robb once, “and let them know you. Don’t ask your men to die for a stranger.” At Winterfell, he always had an extra seat set at his own table, and every day a different man would be asked to join him. One night it would be Vayon Poole, and the talk would be coppers and bread stores and servants. The next time it would be Mikken, and her father would listen to him go on about armor and swords and how hot a forge should be and the best way to temper steel. Another day it might be Hullen with his endless horse talk, or Septon Chayle from the library, or Jory, or Ser Rodrik, or even Old Nan with her stories.

Arya had loved nothing better than to sit at her father’s table and listen to them talk. She had loved listening to the men on the benches too; to freeriders tough as leather, courtly knights and bold young squires, grizzled old men-at-arms. She used to throw snowballs at them and help them steal pies from the kitchen. Their wives gave her scones and she invented names for their babies and played monsters-and-maidens and hide-the-treasure and come-into-my-castle with their children. Fat Tom used to call her “Arya Underfoot,” because he said that was where she always was. She’d liked that a lot better than “Arya Horseface.” (AGOT)

arya underfoot is one of the most important names for arya. she goes through numerous personas and identities but this is one of the first. and unlike most of the others it doesn’t chip away at arya’s sense of self. arya underfoot embraces arya’s true identity. it was given to arya by the smallfolk of winterfell, specifically her father’s men, but even jon and theon think of her as such. they gave her this nickname because she was always so close to them, literally underfoot. she would play, befriend, and socialize with all of her people. regardless of birth or rank or job. arya valued their existence which is more than most highborns who see them as disposable things.  

and while arya hasn’t been in the north for years her connection to it’s people has never diminished. arya often remembers the ones she loved from winterfell and even crosses paths with some northern characters both new and old

Keep reading

Pieces

Requested by @mumbling-brain-babble and a couple of anons ! Sorry it’s taken so long! 

In which Arya travels to Dragonstone with Jon and meets Gendry again. Finally some Gendrya. Love my Jonerys of course, but it’s always nice to try something new. 

Jon spends most of the trip to Dragonstone brooding. Arya gets sick of it after the first day. 

Granted, she uses the term lightly-she’s with Jon again and she’s just happy about that. There were times, lying awake in Braavos or in the Riverlands or in the ship on the way back to Westeros, when she would have given anything to see his brooding face again. And the way he smiles whenever he sees her, like he still can’t believe they’re really together…it cracks her wide open, tears down all of her carefully erected walls. She feels like Arya Stark again, Arya Horseface, Arya Underfoot, chasing her older brother through Winterfell again begging him to teach her to fight. 

But now everything has changed. Even though the fundamentals remain the same, Jon is King in the North. Their parents and two of their brothers are dead. Nothing will ever be the same. Not now, not ever. Especially if what Jon says is true, about the enemy to the North. 

At first Arya would have said without hesitation that she didn’t believe in an army of the dead but after everything she’s seen…after the Brotherhood Without Banners, after the Faceless Men, even after Nymeria, she’s beginning to reconsider what exactly was impossible.

Maybe they should all be a little more open to change than they are. 

She wonders what the Dragon Queen will be like. Everyone in the North seems to have a different opinion-they agree that Daenerys Targaryen can’t be trusted but besides that the particulars are fuzzy. They say she’s a goddess or a siren, enticing men with her body and her pretty words until they fall into her trap. Either way, she’s trouble. 

She and Jon stand on the top deck when they come sailing into port, Stark flags rippling in the wind. In spite of her misgivings, when she sees the castle she has to catch her breath. It’s old-not as old as Winterfell, but the castle seems to show its age more. It crouches on top of the old hillside, sparkling in the morning sunlight. From this distance she can’t see the dragon carvings that give it its name, or see the place where Aegon, Rhaenys, and Visenya landed on the beach-but all of that pales in comparison to the three creatures flying around the towers. Dragons. “Seven hells,” she mutters.

Jon grins, amused in spite of how nervous he must feel. “They were right about one thing, weren’t they?” 

“The queen knows how to make an entrance.” She knows how to inspire awe-and loyalty. “What do you think she’ll be like?”

“I don’t know. Lord Tyrion trusts her-”

“How do you know you can trust Lord Tyrion?”

“He’s one of the better Lannisters. You’ll like him. And he’s about as welcome in King’s Landing as we are.” 

She can barely see the slope of Flea Bottom on the other side of the water. Just the sight of it makes her shudder, remembering the atrocity at the Sept of Baelor-remembering when Maegor’s Holdfast had been her home and she’s crept through the streets of the city like a shadow, chasing cats and counting down the minutes to her dancing lessons with Syrio. “I didn’t know there were good Lannisters.”

“I suppose you’ll have to decide yourself and then tell me.” He sighs and drums his fingers on the railing, as the castle pulls them forward like a magnet to whatever fate awaits them there. “I appreciate you coming, Arya.”

“As if I’d let you go alone.” 

Standing side by side, feeling him next to her, she can almost pretend that everything’s normal again. Nothing’s changed. It’s her and Jon against the world. And they always win. 


The Dragon Queen isn’t what she expected. And judging from the look on Jon’s face, she’s not what he expected either. 

She’s beautiful of course, but it’s her eyes that draw Arya the most-they’re crackling with intelligence, burning with a fire that seems to burn from inside her very soul. She’s not just a girl wearing a crown-she’s a queen. 

But she doesn’t say she’ll kill them outright, so Arya thinks that’s probably a good sign. 

When Jon refuses to bend the knee she expects her to get upset. Arya isn’t afraid of her, or of her Dothraki bodyguards-if she had to protect Jon she’d slit that pretty queen’s throat, ease her down onto the stone floor of the throne room while her warm blood filled her hands. But Daenerys doesn’t-or she does, but her anger is steely, like a fire bubbling under ice. It’s a relief when the guards escort them to their rooms, two adjoining suites on the other side of the castle. Arya feels like she can finally breathe easily again. 

“What do you think of her?” Jon asks once they’ve settled in and he’s written to Sansa to let her know that they’ve arrived safely. 

“I see why they call her the Mother of Dragons. She’s half dragon herself.” 

“But she didn’t believe me.”

“Of course she didn’t. Think about it-you’re a king she doesn’t know and you’re telling her to abandon her conquest to defeat a threat that she’s not even sure exists. I assume you had a better plan than just telling her the truth, didn’t you?” 

One look at him is enough to know he didn’t. She wants to laugh, even though the timing is not appropriate, because it’s such a Jon thing to do. Some things don’t change. 

“I’m going to take a walk,” she says, while he sits back down at his desk. The first faint roots of grey are showing in his hair-signs of a life of stress and hard work. He works himself too hard-always has, always will. 

“Don’t be long,” he replies. 

“I won’t. If they’re planning on poisoning us while we eat, I’ll find out.” She slips out the door and down the stairs, passing the Unsullied in their strange outfits. Even though it’s so warm compared to Winterfell that she’s sweating in her winter outfit, there’s still a bite to the air that necessitates long sleeves. 

People are grouped loosely here and there, talking in low voices, but for the most part the castle is deserted. She tries some doors and finds few locked; there are empty bedrooms for visiting dignitaries (Dornish coins are spilled all over the floor in one room and she puts them all in a pocket in her coat for safekeeping), a few outlooks over the Narrow Sea, and a dim and dusty library that makes her sneeze. When she gets tired of looking at the castle and the old dragon carvings that Stannis Baratheon couldn’t quite get rid of she goes outside, where mountains and meadows roll away to the edge of steep cliffs or down to soft and sandy beaches. She stands on one outlook for a while, looking out at the coming night, watching waves break on the shore far below. She wonders if it’s Jon’s first time seeing such a big body of water. He can’t have sailed to Eastwatch; he probably took the kingsroad north to the Wall all those years ago. 

Suddenly she hears a faint pounding noise, like the beating of drums but more erratic. It sounds like hammers, which means blacksmiths, which means weapons. 

The forges are down a short walk from the castle, clustered among a series of rocky outcroppings. A wave of heat hits her as soon as she walks inside, smelling of heat and damp. Burly men with more hair on their bodies than on their heads mutter in languages she doesn’t know, carving wickedly sharp arakhs that look like they could take a man’s head off in one swing. 

She touches the handle of her own dragonglass dagger, the one that almost killed her brother. It’s far older than these weapons, and far more dangerous. 

“Arry?”

That voice…even after all this time, she would know it anywhere. But she’s afraid to look up, afraid to be disappointed. 

At first she doesn’t recognize him-he’s grown taller and filled out, and muscles ripple under his skin as he wipes a sheen of sweat from his forehead. He wears a simple apron and breeches and she’s suddenly aware of just how much of him she can see, every inch of him sculpted and toned from hard work. There’s a hammer in his hand that looks like it could decapitate a man in one swing. Her breath catches-this time for a much different reason. It hits her. “Gendry.” She can barely hear the words herself and under the loud music of the forges she has no idea how he can understand her. 

“It’s…it’s been a long time.” He seems as shocked to see her as she is to see him. 

“How did you get here? I thought-”

“The Brotherhood took me to Dragonstone. The Red Witch tried to kill me. But…they didn’t. Davos saved me. I worked in Flea Bottom for a while-they didn’t even notice I’d been gone, the bastards. Then a few of them said they were leaving for Dragonstone in the dead of night to make weapons for the Dragon Queen and…I couldn’t help the Lannisters. They tried to kill me. They tried to kill you.”

The words make a little thud in her chest and her heart breaks, just a little bit. “It’s dangerous. If she knows you’re a Baratheon-”

“She won’t notice a blacksmith. I’ll tell her, when the time is right.”

“She’ll kill you.” 

“I don’t think so. But even so, I’m no threat. I don’t want the Iron Throne. Anyone who does is mad. But how did you get here? What happened?” 

“It’s a long story.” 

He takes off his apron, firelight dancing over the hard planes of his face. “Trade you? They won’t notice I’m missing for a while.” 

They slip outside and Arya has to shield her eyes against the glare. It’s a different world compared to Winterfell, where sunlight glitters off snow. The water is a clear, glassy plane-and the dragons swoop and scream overhead. It’s enough to wake some primal part in her, her entire body telling her to run, to get out now before it’s too late. But Gendry doesn’t seem bothered, so neither will she. 

“The dragons take some getting used to,” he says, as they sit down on a grassy knoll overlooking the sea. “But they leave us alone, for the most part.”

“For the most part?”

“They like to swoop down sometimes, keep us on our toes. But the Queen says that as long as we don’t bother them they won’t bother us.”

“Huh.” She’s still getting used to the idea that they exist at all. “How can you get used to fire breathing dragons?”

“You really don’t.” There’s a moment of silence, a moment where they look at each other because they don’t know what they’re going to say next. What do you say to the person who’s been risen from the dead? 

He’s filled out. But she just wants things to be the way they were, when things were so much less complicated than they are now. And why is she even thinking about his biceps at a time like this? 

They go through the pleasantries first. As a rule Arya likes to cut to the point-but she doesn’t now, mostly because she’s not sure what the point is. It takes a while for them to get to the meat of things-she leaves most of the details blank; she was in Braavos for a while, it’s safer than Westeros but she’s sick and tired of fish now. But after a while conversation is less stilted and they talk normally, almost-dare she says it-like friends. 

And it feels like when she talks to him, she’s recovering a bit of herself that she thought was lost forever. 

Gendry nudges her and she has to physically hold herself still so she doesn’t startle-his touch is so unexpected but not altogether unpleasant. “What are they doing?”

She follows his line of sight. There’s a terrace below them she didn’t notice before-but now she does, because Daenerys is looking out at the ocean. And Jon is beside her. And they’re talking, civilly. No arguments. Huh. 

I don’t know.” But at least it’s a step in the right direction. 

The world around her is turning upside down, and all she can do is be along for the ride. 

I’m trash, send prompts. 

3

presenting a song of ice and fire characters » arya stark

“who are you?” he would ask her every day. “no one,” she would answer, she who had been arya of house stark, arya underfoot, arya horseface. she had been arry and weasel too, and squab and salty, nan the cupbearer, a grey mouse, a sheep, the ghost of harrenhal…but not for true, not in her heart of hearts. in there she was arya of winterfell.

For @canonaryastark: Favourite quote

I thought about this and quickly realised I didn’t want to pick just one favourite quote. There are so many that touch me, that really make me feel something, and I think I can do better justice to canon Arya by discussing favourites plural, rather than just the one quote. Instead I have chosen several quotes, or more correctly, several passages, because these passages are linked with themes in Arya’s story, and because they are really good.

The first is from when Arya is in Harrenhal, reeling from the news that Bran and Rickon might be dead, feeling powerless, and adrift. We have her thinking about Winterfell being burned, and essentially gone, and Arya’s doubts increasing now that her home is lost because home is what she has wanted so dearly.

If Winterfell is truly gone, is this my home now? Am I still Arya, or only Nan the serving girl, for forever and forever and forever?

She asks the question, and it is in the godswood at Harrenhal, when she prays to the old gods, that she receives the answer. Firstly:

…far far off, beyond the godswood and the haunted towers and the immense stone walls of Harrenhal, from somewhere out in the world, came the long lonely howl of a wolf. Gooseprickles rose on Arya’s skin, and for an instant she felt dizzy.

This alone is an answer. Arya has been feeling like a mouse, small and powerless, but she isn’t. She’s a Stark, a wolf, and in this moment she connects with Nymeria, the beginning of her warging into the direwolf, and the beginning of the bond that will ensure that no matter what she calls herself, no matter what is thrown at her, no matter what trial she endures, that identity cannot be taken from her.

Then to really hammer it home, the old gods speak to her.

“You are Arya of Winterfell, daughter of the north. You told me you could be strong. You have the wolf blood in you.”
“The wolf blood.” Arya remembered now. “I’ll be as strong as Robb. I said I would.” She took a deep breath, then lifted the broomstick in both hands and brought it down across her knee. It broke with a loud crack, and she threw the pieces aside. I am a direwolf, and done with wooden teeth.

It is a reminder, but it’s also more than that. This moment is so powerful. It isn’t just about Arya’s identity, it’s about her connections. Her father is gone, but it is his voice she hears, and even with him being gone she is still a daughter of the north, still a Stark, still of Winterfell, wolf blooded, a direwolf and not just because it’s the sigil of her house. This moment empowers Arya, and it is a moment she will continue to draw strength from, that affirmation that she is a wolf, and that she can and will be strong in the face of adversity, even though she’s still only a little girl.

The passage continues, showing that the effects of her experience in the godswood stay with her.

That night she lay in her narrow bed upon the scratchy straw, listening to the voices of the living and the dead whisper and argue as she waited for the moon to rise. They were the only voices she trusted anymore. She could hear the sound of her own breath, and the wolves as well, a great pack of them now. They are closer than the one I heard in the godswood, she thought. They are calling to me.

Her connection to the wolves, to Nymeria will only get stronger from this point. She can hear them, a pack, calling to her, and it’s not in her head. Arya struggles with loneliness, and yearns for family, for a pack, and she has one with the wolves. This passage is the start of her realising this. Her bond with the direwolf, and reclaiming of her identity as a wolf, sets her on a course that will not only affect Arya herself, but impact Westeros even while Arya isn’t even on that continent.

Her warging of Nymeria doesn’t only provide her with a pack. It also serves to highlight Arya’s issues with loneliness, and feelings of abandonment.

That was the best part, the dreaming. She dreamed of wolves most every night. A great pack of wolves, with her at the head. She was bigger than any of them, stronger, swifter, faster. She could outrun horses and outfight lions. When she bared her teeth even men would run from her, her belly was never empty long, and her fur kept her warm even when the wind was blowing cold. And her brothers and sisters were with her, many and more of them, fierce and terrible and hers. They would never leave her.

That last part is telling. When Arya wargs into Nymeria she feels strong, no matter what position she herself is in. She also feels like she has family, a wolf family, brothers and sisters. Arya has lost family, lost her father, and then her mother, and she’s grieving for those losses and for the loss of Robb, and Bran and Rickon who she also believes to be dead. That loss affects her so much that she feels she has “a hole where her heart used to be” and the Kindly Man observes that she has “sad grey eyes that have seen too much.”

When she is told she must rid herself of all that makes her Arya, starting with her possessions, we see how much she still longs for her family, and misses them. We see that Needle, beyond being just a present given to her and a tool she might use to protect herself, represents a connection to her home, and her family, and all those she loves.

“It’s just a stupid sword,“ she said, aloud this time…
… but it wasn’t.
Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell’s grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan’s stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow’s smile.”

Needle is home, Needle is family, Needle is the North and its people, and it’s Jon Snow, the person Arya loves best. Arya can’t give that up, won’t give that up, and so she cannot give up Needle. Like Nymeria and the wolf pack, it is a tie to her identity, one she cannot give up, no matter how much the House of Black and White tries to make her.

“Who are you?” he would ask her every day. “No one,” she would answer, she who had been Arya of House Stark, Arya Underfoot, Arya Horseface. She had been Arry and Weasel too, and Squab and Salty, Nan the cupbearer, a grey mouse, a sheep, the ghost of Harrenhal…but not for true, not in her heart of hearts. In there she was Arya of Winterfell, the daughter of Lord Eddard Stark and Lady Catelyn, who had once had brothers named Robb and Bran and Rickon, a sister named Sansa, a direwolf called Nymeria, a half brother named Jon Snow. In there she was someone…but that was not the answer he wanted.”

In her heart of hearts she wants her family, she wants the North and she wants Jon. She’s only at the House of Black and White because the ship wouldn’t go to the Wall, it would only take her to Braavos. Arya is only there because somebody gave her an iron coin and she had nowhere else to go. But she’s still Arya, with the same morality, the same need for justice, and the same desire to go back to Winterfell that she had all the way back in book one.

The candles in the House of Black and White tell the truth, the candles that are designed to soothe people by reminding them of the things that would bring them comfort.

When you smell our candles burning, what does it make you think of, my child?”
Winterfell, she might have said. I smell snow and smoke and pine needles. I smell the stables. I smell Hodor laughing, and Jon and Robb battling in the yard, and Sansa singing about some stupid lady fair. I smell the crypts where the stone kings sit, I smell hot bread baking, I smell the godswood. I smell my wolf, I smell her fur, almost as if she were still beside me. “I don’t smell anything,” she said, to see what he would say.
“You lie,” he said, “but you may keep your secrets if you wish, Arya of House Stark.”

They might be secrets to the Kindly Man, but they are not secrets to me. These themes in Arya’s story leap off the page when I read her chapters, and they are so well-written, and filled with emotion, that I’m with Jon Snow in thinking please GRRM, You owe me this one little girl, safe, home, with those she longs for, and knowing she’s loved, and wanted, and worthy no matter how many doubts she has endured along the way.

Something Found

requested by @forcenturiestogether - Jon and Arya, platonic 

Season 8: Jon and Dany arrive at Winterfell and we get that long awaited Stark reunion. I love writing the Stark siblings so much, especially how they might interact with Dany because it makes for such an interesting dynamic. 

Also, very important notes at the end of the story. Please read.

Jon smelled Winterfell before he saw it-the smell of open fields and forest interrupted by woodsmoke and faint horse excrement. Then he hears the sounds of the castle-men laughing and working, the clang of swords, the whinnies of horses. It’s like coming home and something inside of him shifts back into place, missing ever since he made landfall at Dragonstone. 

Dany is half out the window of the carriage, taking it all in. He tries not to laugh; he laughed yesterday when she saw snow for the first time because the look on her face was almost comical. “So this is Winterfell.” The wind snatches away her voice and carries it away. 

He nods. “Home of the Starks for time out of mind. You’ll meet my sister, Sansa. I think the two of you will get along well.”

The carriage rolls to a stop in the front walk and they climb out, sick of traveling. Jon barely has both feet on the ground when he’s practically knocked down by the force of Sansa’s hug. “My king,” she says playfully, smiling up at him. “You know, I wasn’t sure you were going to come back. I thought maybe you’d grown weary of your crown and had decided to give it to me instead.”

He laughed. “I won’t say the thought didn’t cross my mind a time or two. So? Have you managed to keep the North intact in my absence?”

“Better than that.” He can’t remember seeing her smile like this; it’s as bright as a flash of lightning in the night sky. “Jon, there are some people I want you to meet-”

Someone steps out of the shadows and Jon has to rub his eyes because he thinks he might be dreaming. “Hello Jon.”

“Bran?”

Bran’s smiling now and he looks…different. His hair is shorter and his eyes…there’s something else to them, something Jon’s never seen there before. Perhaps it comes from maturity. Or maybe they’ve all just seen things that they shouldn’t have, things that changed them in ways that can never be undone. Even so, Jon rushes to hug him. “The lord of Winterfell, back at last.”

Bran laughs. “Perhaps a lord, but not a king.” 

Sansa rolls her eyes, the long suffering older sister, but there’s joy in that too. “I’ll explain it to you later, Jon. Bran…he’s…”

“The three eyed raven.”

Jon’s just about to ask what in the seven hells a three eyed raven is when he suddenly hears someone else call his name. But he knows this has to be a delusion-one of Winterfell’s many ghosts calling out to him, a reminder of the life he used to have-because Arya can’t be here. She’s dead, just like Robb, Rickon, and their parents. The gods would never be so kind. 

The girl who’s run up to meet him looks like Arya and sounds like Arya. Her eyes sparkle the way Arya’s used to when she told a particularly funny joke, and there’s the same energy to her that Arya used to have. But he has to tell himself that it’s not Arya, because he can’t let himself down. Not with this. 

“Don’t you remember me?” The girl swings a sword and looks at him playfully-but he can see in her eyes that she’s terrified that he doesn’t. 

The sword is the selling point more than anything else-of course he’d remember it. And of course she would still have it. “How could I ever forget you, Arya?” 

She jumps into his arms, practically dropping the sword at his feet. She hugs him fiercely, tightly, burrowing her head into the crook of his neck when he lifts her up so that her feet dangle off the ground (she’s still Arya Underfoot, if nothing else). Her breathing comes fast and hard and he gets the impression that she’s trying not to cry. “You have no idea how much I missed you,” she whispers fiercely. 

“I think I can try and guess. I’m sure I felt the same way,” he replies. They stay there for what feels like a long time, unable to let each other go, unable to accept that this is reality and not some strange and terrifying dream that neither one wants to wake up from. 

Finally Arya jumps down lightly, landing on her feet easily. She moves with a fluid grace he doesn’t remember her having, no longer a small girl but a young woman. “We have to catch up later.” She glances once at Dany, who stands next to the carriage in one of Jon’s furs (because she doesn’t have her own yet) curiously. 

“Queen Daenerys,” Sansa says, inclining her head slightly. It’s obvious none of the Starks know what to make of her, no more than she knows what to make of them. It’s surreal seeing the two sides of his life collide, ice and fire coming together. He’s written and told Sansa what she has to know about of course-how he bent the knee in exchange for her armies and the dragonglass, and how Daenerys saved his life beyond the Wall. Sansa doesn’t yet trust her, and he doesn’t blame her, but the reception is warm rather than frosty and it’s better than he could have hoped for. 

“Lady Sansa.” Daenerys smiles, Sansa smiles back, and Jon suddenly realizes that he’s going to have to share his family with her. He feels like he should have been expecting that, but then again this day isn’t going at all how he imagined it would. 

“And my other siblings, Arya and Bran.”

Arya nods to her, still sizing her up carefully. “I don’t care how many times you’ve lain with him,” she says humorlessly, “because he’s my brother first and foremost.”

Jon conceivably wants to die of embarrassment, but Dany doesn’t even bat an eyelash. “Fair enough. I wouldn’t want to take him from you.”

Jon tries to say “We’re not-” and then gives up because he can tell that absolutely no one believes it. 

“Would you like to come inside?” Sansa says, leading them up the steps and into the castle. “It made not be as warm as what you’re used to, your Grace. Is this your first time seeing snow?”

Dany glances back at him and nods, gesturing animatedly as she and Sansa start talking about something else-but Jon drops back to talk to Arya, while Bran makes no move to join them. 

“Do you like her?” Arya asks, matter of factly. Jon can’t help smiling; some things would never change. 

“I do.” A month ago he wouldn’t have said that, but now he knows that they don’t have time to mince words. “I really do.”

“That’s good. If anyone deserves happiness, it’s you.” 

He grins. “And what about you?”

She shrugs and slips his hand into his, as they walk into the warmth of Winterfell. “I already have everything I need.” 

So I’ve decided that my fics are sometimes getting buried under the sheer amount of…stuff I have on my blog, so I’m going to make another sideblog that’s just for my stories. I’ll reblog all of my fics onto this account, but I’d like to have them all in one place-it’s easier for me to reference and keep things in line. Information will be forthcoming within the next couple of days, but please stay tuned if you want to subscribe to the source. 

The first chapter in my multi chapter is finished and going up for sure tomorrow morning.

Prompts are open here ! Or whatever you want me to write about because I’m Jonerys/Snowstorm trash.  

Enjoy, lovelies <3

“Harwin!” Squirming, she threw herself forward, trying to wrench free of Lem’s iron grip. “It’s me,” she shouted, “Harwin, it’s me, don’t you know me, don’t you?” The tears came, and she found herself weeping like a baby, just like some stupid little girl. “Harwin, it’s me!”

Not exactly a favourite quote, but definitely a great moment. Arya nearly cries when she sees someone she knew from Winterfell, and the possibility that he might not recognize her, or might not help her.

And then look at Harwin’s reaction. He really doesn’t recognize her at first. And then -

His eyes went wide. “Gods be good,” he said in a choked voice. “Arya Underfoot? Lem, let go of her.”

“A choked voice”, that’s how much, not just the North and Winterfell and the Starks, but also Arya - Arya Underfoot - means to Harwin.

“The Hand’s daughter.” Harwin went to one knee before her. “Arya Stark, of Winterfell.”

Goosebumps.