Arya was named for her father’s grandmother, Arya Flint of the Mountain Clan, she was, a woman of hardy and rugged stock. That was what Old Nan would tell Arya when she asked for stories of her namesake.

“She had a fierceness to her, that one,” Old Nan would say. “Proud and Northern to the bone. I saw shades of her in your father and his siblings. And in you and Bran, as well. He takes after her in all that foolish climbing and exploring.”

From her father, Arya heard the stories his own mother had passed on to him. Lord Eddard spoke of this grandmother more often than he did his own father and dead siblings and with far less sadness. It was in her honor that he had visited the mountain clans so often and took great pains to gain their respect.

In turn, the mountain clans readily rose up to save “The Ned’s” daughter, the little girl named for one of their own. 


His father’s mother’s mother had been a Flint of the mountains. Old Nan once said that it was her blood in him that made Bran such a fool for climbing before his fall. She had died years and years and years before he was born, though, even before his father had been born.

(winter is coming): Arya Flint

Arya Flint was a member of House Flint of the mountains. She married Rodrik Stark, fifth son of Lord Beron Stark, with whom she had two daughters, Branda and Lyarra Stark.

House Flint, Lords of Widows Watch, Flint’s Finger, Breakstone Hill and Mountain Clans, Ever Vigilant

The Flint’s of Widows Watch are the most powerful of the Flints, they blazon their banner as a blue field strewn with whitecaps, on a yellow chief with crested line a pair of blue eyes.

House Flint of the mountains is the formal name given to the mountain clan of the Flints of the north who inhabit the high mountains north of the wolfswood. They like to be called the First Flints since House Flint of Widow’s Watch and House Flint of Flint’s Finger are cadet branches of the family. Its chief is known as “The Flint”. It is possible that the Flints of the mountains are the same as House Flint of Breakstone Hill, who ruled as First Men kings after the Long Night until being reduced to vassalage by the Kings of Winter, House Stark of Winterfell. Lord Eddard Stark’s maternal grandmother, Arya Flint, was a Flint from the mountains. Old Nan used to say to Bran Stark that it was her blood that made him climb so foolishly.

Lady Lyessa Flint is the current Lady of Widow’s Watch

“They call him the Wandering Wolf,” she’d heard her father say.  

“He must be a wanderer to come this far into the hills,” she’d heard her uncle respond thickly through a mouthful of stew.

“These Starks, calling themselves the this wolf, and the that wolf.  It’s as silly as if I called myself the Wandering Mountain, isn’t it?” she’d heard her brother say.

“What could he want?” she’d heard her mother snap.  "He’ll fall off the mountain if he’s not careful, and Starks are never careful with their climbing.“

Arya watches him come, watches him pick his way up the mountain path leading his horse and one hand against the rock face.  He is taller than she’d expected.  To hear her father speak of it, Starks are not so tall for there was no mountain in their blood.  She cannot see his face, at all, he is so swaddled in scarves, his cloak wrapped tight about his body and belted shut.  At least Starks seem to know how to gird themselves for winter.

She watches him come closer and closer until she hears him make a sound of surprise and he calls, "Hey!  Girl!”

She cocks her head, smiling.  He would think her a girl, she supposes.  She’s far enough away, and wrapped in her own cloak, but she’s too old to be a girl now.  The Norrey had been been clear to say so when he’d supped at their table a moon past, commenting on how The Flint’s girl had grown a fine set of teats.  "Like the mountains, they are!“ he’d bellowed in his cups, and her father had laughed while Arya had blushed and slumped down in her seat because they were hardly as big as her mother’s–hardly mountains at all–and besides, she did not want everyone to stare at them.  But the Wandering Wolf would have had no way of seeing them beneath her furs.

"How far until I reach Lord Flint’s holdings?” he calls to her.  "Lord Flint" he names her father.  Perhaps he has simply never wandered in this part of the North, and doesn’t know any better.

Arya smiles down at him.  "Well, if you take the road, you’ve got another half a day.“  She doesn’t hear him grown above the wind, though from the way his body twists she can tell the news is not quite welcome.

"There is no faster way?” he calls back.

“If you scale the mountain,” she responds, cocking her head and looking up the rock face.  She’s climbed it for years–in snow, in rain, in sunshine.  She knows the footholds and the resting places and, more importantly, knows that home is only an hour away.  

“I could not leave my horse,” he curses.  

“No, you could not,” she agrees, and she gets to her feet and climbs quickly down to the road.  "But at least, I shall keep you company along the way.  It will be faster–I know where the road is.“

She sees his eyes, grey like the sky overhead widen slightly.  

"Forgive me, I thought you a girl but I see now that you are not.”  

She tilts her head and suppresses a smile.  "I’ve heard that you are a Wandering Wolf, but I see that you are not.“  She begins to walk the path, picking her way through the snow and stone.  "Only a man.”

“I am a wolf,” he says quickly, and she hears snow crunching behind her.  "I am Rodrik Stark, of Winterfell.“

"I am Arya Flint,” she laughs.  "And I am a mountain.“

She hears her name on the wind and looks down. It’s hardly high at all–not near so high as the cliff faces she’d climbed as a girl. It’s easier to climb as well, with nooks and crannies between the stones.

She sees Marna standing in the godswood, her hands pressed against the small of her back, holding it while her belly stretches outward with her unborn son. Arya waves then shifts and finds a handhold and a foothold and makes her way down the wall of the burned tower with the ease of one who has climbed the wall many times.

When she reaches the wall, she unties her skirts, which she had tucked into her boots to keep them out of her way, and dusts off her bottom which is covered with stone dust from the tower and smiles at Marna.

“One day, you’ll fall and break your neck,” Marna says, not unkindly.

“There are worse ways to die,” Arya teases, and she wraps her arm around Marna’s waist and squeezes. “Should you be up?” When she’d carried Lyarra, the maester had confined her to her bed, and she’d had bigger hips than Marna’s. Lyarra had also been smaller in her womb. Edwyle was already telling anyone who’d listen that Marna would give him the strongest son Winterfell would ever know. Rodrik always resisted rolling his eyes when he did that.

“Maester Hammon says that I should be abed, but I don’t see what harm will come from walking about. It’s not as though the babe will fall out of me, will it?” Marna asks. “Besides, I’m so…I can’t be in that room any longer, waiting for him to come.” She rests a hand on her stomach.

Arya squeezes her again. “I imagine it would be unbearable,” she says. “The maester gave me no such command.”

“He was probably picking his battles. I imagine telling you not to climb was his larger concern.”

Arya glares–not so much at Marna as the memory. Maester Hammon had forbidden her from climbing while she’d been with child, and Rodrik had begged her. “If you fall,” he’d said, “I’ll lose you both.”

“I never fall,” Arya had insisted. “You know that.”

“I do. But please. For me. I am being silly I know.”

“Which was worse,” Marna asks, “Not climbing while you were with child or birthing your daughter?”

Arya looks at Marna. The girl–she’s a woman, yes, but younger and still a girl in so many ways–meets her gaze firmly, but she sees a flicker of fear in her eyes.  She’s heard too many stories of the birthing bed, Arya thinks, And I’d not heard enough. She chews her lip, considering

“They were different,” she says at last. “Going without climbing was like going without my leg for nearly a year. Birthing hurt, but it was over fast enough.”

“Yes, but how much did it hurt?” Marna asks quickly, her words tumbling over themselves as she did. “Lady Melantha and Lady Lysara–” She cuts herself off, flushing. Arya sighs. Lady Melantha thinks that Marna is not good enough for Edwyle, though Edwyle loves her dearly and she loves him. And Lady Lysara feels thwarted still that her sons were denied their inheritance given that they are both older than Edwyle. Both ladies were cordial to Arya, but both thought her some clanswoman and looked down their lowland noses at her.

“I don’t know how to describe it,” Arya says gently. “And I’m not sure describing it would help,” she adds. “Anything I say will make it worse, not better.”

Marna does not look comforted, but she nods. “I’m growing tired. Will you help me back to bed.”

“Yes. Of course,” Arya says. She glances back over her shoulder at the burned tower.

“I’d be so frightened trying to climb that,” Marna whispers. “I don’t know how you do it. You’re so brave.”

Arya starts. It’s odd to be called brave for climbing. She’s climbed since she was a girl. It’s hardly terrifying. But she can’t say that to Marna. Marna’s already frightened. “You’re brave for stealing away Lady Melantha’s precious boy. I’d never have dared,” she teases and Marna turns bright pink and mumbles something Arya can’t hear. Arya laughs, and together, the two go into the castle.

various characters at three stages in their life - Arya Flint Stark

aged 15, fighting against the wildings who raided her village under the command of Raymund Redbeard

aged 20, while pregnant with her second daughter Lyarra Stark

aged 74, awaiting the return of her grandson Eddard Stark and the bodies of Rickard, Brandon and Lyanna Stark after the Rebellion 

The Mountain Goat

I’ve heard that you are a Wandering Wolf, but I see that you are not.” She begins to walk the path, picking her way through the snow and the stone. “Only a man.”

“I am a wolf,” he says quickly, and she hears snow crunching behind her. “I am Rodrik Stark, of Winterfell.”

“I am Arya Flint,” she laughs, and remembers her uncle’s words. “And I am a mountain.”

This is a continuation of the drabble I wrote last week.
The Mountain Goat - crossingwinter - A Song of Ice and Fire - George R. R. Martin [Archive of Our Own]
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: A Song of Ice and Fire - George R. R. Martin
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Arya Flint/Rodrik “The Wandering Wolf” Stark
Additional Tags: Pre-Series

I’ve heard that you are a Wandering Wolf, but I see that you are not.” She begins to walk the path, picking her way through the snow and the stone. “Only a man.”

“I am a wolf,” he says quickly, and she hears snow crunching behind her. “I am Rodrik Stark, of Winterfell.”

“I am Arya Flint,” she laughs, and remembers her uncle’s words. “And I am a mountain.”

Oh, my god, I had  no idea this existed when I wrote These Bones, but it is a must read!!!