garland place

And when the triumphant Prince of Dragonstone named Lyanna Stark, daughter of the Lord of Winterfell, the Queen of love and beauty, placing a garland of blue roses in her lap with the tip of his lance, the lickspittle lords gathered around the king declared that further proof of his perfidy. Why would the prince have thus given insult to his own wife, the Princess Elia Martell of Dorne (who was present), unless it was to help him gain the Iron Throne? The crowning of the Stark girl, who was by all reports a wild and boyish young thing with none of the Princess Elia’s delicate beauty, could only have been meant to win the allegiance of Winterfell to Prince Rhaegar’s cause? Symond Staunton suggested to the king.

Yet if this were true, why did Lady Lyanna’s brothers seem so distraught at the honor the prince had bestowed upon her? Brandon Stark, the heir to Winterfell, had to be restrained from confronting Rhaegar at what he took as a slight upon his sister’s honor, for Lyanna Stark had long been betrothed to Robert Baratheon, Lord of Storm’s End. Eddard Stark, Brandon’s younger brother and a close friend to Lord Robert, was calmer but no more pleased. As for Robert Baratheon himself, some say he laughed at the prince’s gesture, claiming that Rhaegar had done no more than pay Lyanna her due… but those who knew him better say the young lord brooded on the insult, and that his heart hardened toward the Prince of Dragonstone from that day forth.

And well it might, for with that simple garland of pale blue roses, Rhaegar Targaryen had begun the dance that would rip the Seven Kingdoms apart, bring about his own death and thousands more, and put a welcome new king upon the Iron Throne.

The False Spring of 281 AC lasted less than two turns. As the year drew to a close, winter returned to Westeros with a vengeance. On the last day of the year, snow began to fall upon King’s Landing, and a crust of ice formed atop the Blackwater Rush. The snowfall continued off and on for the best part of a fortnight, by which time the Blackwater was hard frozen, and icicles draped the roofs and gutters of every tower in the city.

As cold winds hammered the city, King Aerys II turned to his pyromancers, charging them to drive winter off with their magics. Huge green fires burned along the walls of the Red Keep for a moon’s turn. Prince Rhaegar was not in the city to observe them, however. Nor could he be found in Dragonstone with Princess Elia and their young son, Aegon. With the coming of the new year, the crown prince had taken to the road with half a dozen of his closest friends and confidants, on a journey that would ultimately lead him back to the riverlands. Not ten leagues from Harrenhal, Rhaegar fell upon Lyanna Stark of Winterfell, and carried her off, lighting a fire that would consume his house and kin and all those he loved - and half the realm besides.

But that tale is too well-known to warrant repeating here.


George R.R. Martin, Elio M. García and Linda Antonsson - The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and The Game of Thrones

Definitely looks like R+L=J from this passage.


 “I remember last year we couldn’t find Bridget’s stocking,” Mark started, opening the large and now near-crumbling at the edges box that held the stockings for the family, “she went crazy and ordered that no one else’s went up until we found it.” The lid was opened to reveal several red stockings, trimmed with white fur and each name of a family member stitched on in gold at the front.

He began pulling them all out of the box and onto the floor and coincidentally, Bridget’s was the first one he found. Standing he turned to his beautiful girlfriend who was placing the garland on the fireplace, with a cocky expression. “We found it eventually… in her room… under her bed.”

Mark snorted and hung the stocking on the fireplace while Kiara did the same and soon they all hung proudly on the very large majestic fireplace in the palace. But something was…

“There’s a hook left.” Kiara soon commented, noticing it too as a frown marred her heavenly features and the Earl couldn’t help but reach and kiss her lightly to make it disappear.

“There is.” He turned and reached behind the couch to pull a matching stocking labelled with Kiara which he hung at the end of the wood. An arm snaked around the blonde’s waist and pulled her flush against his chest – his facial features turning tender and soft as he gazed down at her.

“I thought the fireplace was only for family.” She commented as her arms locked tightly around his waist while the Princes head dipped to rub their noses together.

“You are my family – I love you.” And with that first ever full declaration of love (of course, she knew he did but Mark was not one for outright statements), he kissed her for a long moment, unconsciously smiling in it.

It was tradition to look inside the stocking on Christmas Eve and inside she would find something that would bind them together for the rest of their lives.

Her heart thudded unevenly at his words, and she didn’t even attempt to stop herself from glowing brightly. A wide smile tugged her lips upwards, before they were otherwise preoccupied - her arms reaching up to lock around his shoulders and keep their lips touching for as long as they got both go without breath.

“I love you too,” she beamed, resting her head against his chest and listening to his heartbeat. Her eyes closed happily for a long moment; she had all but forgotten the stocking which he now handed over to her but at his whisper to look inside she puled back slightly and raised an eyebrow at him.

“Christmas Day isn’t until tomorrow,” she reminded him, her being still glowing brightly - her happiness couldn’t be stifled, and by now it did not matter if Mark saw the evidence of her magic. He had known the truth for months now, and although some members of the parliament were less than pleased about her talent, there was only the two of them in the room. She could glow as much as she wished!

Nevertheless, she did as she was told and peered into the stocking - spotting a blue velvet jewellery box inside. Raising an eyebrow in bemusement, she pulled it out and held it in one of her hands, placing the discarded stocking on the floor by her feet as her eyes focused on the box. It was with a start that she realised it was the perfect size for a ring.

“Mark,” she mumbled, rather breathless with excitement. “Is this - is this what I think it is?” she questioned, her lips curving upwards in a bright, surprised and slightly nervous smile. Her heart thudded uneasily in her chest as she waited for Mark’s reply, gazing up at him intently.