“She has more courage than she knows,” said Sam. “So do you, Sam. Have a swift, safe voyage, and take care of her and Aemon and the child.” The cold trickles on his face reminded Jon of the day he’d bid farewell to Robb at Winterfell, never knowing that it was for the last time. “AND PULL YOUR HOOD UP. THE SNOWFLAKES ARE MELTING IN YOUR HAIR.”
⚜ Skulls. A thousand skulls, and the bastard boy again. Jon Snow. Whenever
she was asked what she saw within her fires, Melisandre would answer,
“Much and more,” but seeing was never as simple as those words
suggested. It was an art, and like all arts it demanded mastery,
discipline, study. Pain. That too. R'hllor spoke to his chosen ones
through blessed fire, in a language of ash and cinder and twisting flame
that only a god could truly grasp. Melisandre had practiced her art for
years beyond count, and she had paid the price. There was no one, even
in her order, who had her skill at seeing the secrets half-revealed and
half-concealed within the sacred flames. Yet now she could not even seem
to find her king. I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai, and R'hllor shows
me only Snow.
Lord of Winterfell. I could be the Lord of Winterfell. My father’s heir. It was not Lord Eddard’s face he saw floating before him, though; it was Lady Catelyn’s. With her deep blue eyes and hard cold mouth, she looked a bit like Stannis. Iron, he thought, but brittle. She was looking at him the way she used to look at him at Winterfell, whenever he had bested Robb at swords or sums or most anything. Who are you? that look had always seemed to say. This is not your place. Why are you here?
Jon clasped the offered hand. The words of his oath rang through his head. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men.And for him a new refrain: I am the guard who opened the gates and let the foe march through. He would have given much and more to know that he was doing the right thing. But he had gone too far to turn back.
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.
The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would
take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his
final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man
does not deserve to die.
It was queer, but he felt no grief. Where are my tears? Where is my rage? Jaime Lannister had never lacked for rage. “Father,” he told the corpse, “it was you who told me that tears were a mark of weakness in a man, so you cannot expect that I should cry for you.”
Her swordbelt went into the canal. Her cloak, tunic, breeches, smallclothes, all of it. All but Needle. She stood on the end of the dock, pale and goosefleshed and shivering in the fog. In her hand, Needle seemed to whisper to her. Stick them with the pointy end, it said, and, don’t tell Sansa! Mikken’s
mark was on the blade. […] She’d been a stupid little girl
when Jon had it made for her. “It’s just a 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. He used to mess my hair and call me “little
sister,” she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes.
↳ ASOIAF meme | Jon’s childhood memories ❝You were just a boy, and I was all in black, one of a dozen riding escort to old Lord Commander Qorgyle when he came down to see your father at Winterfell. I was walking the wall around the yard when I came on you and your brother Robb. It had snowed the night before, and the two of you had built a great mountain above the gate and were waiting for someone likely to pass underneath.” “I remember,” said Jon with a startled laugh. A young black brother on the wallwalk, yes… “You swore not to tell.” “And kept my vow. That one, at least.” “We dumped the snow on Fat Tom. He was Father’s slowest guardsman.” Tom had chased them around the yard afterward, until all three were red as autumn apples.❞
The cell was dark, the bed hard beneath him. His own bed, he remembered, his own bed in his steward’s cell beneath the Old Bear’s chambers. By rights it should have brought him sweeter dreams. Even beneath the furs, he was cold. Ghost had shared his cell before the ranging, warming it against the chill of night. And in the wild, Ygritte had slept beside him. Both gone now. He had burned Ygritte himself, as he knew she would have wanted…
⚜ Jon fell to his knees. He found the dagger’s hilt and wrenched it free. In the cold night air the
wound was smoking. “Ghost,” he whispered. Pain washed over him. Stick them with the pointy end. When the third dagger took him between the shoulder blades, he gave a grunt and fell face-first into the
snow. He never felt the fourth knife. Only the cold…
Jon slid the oilcloth down his bastard sword, watching the play of morning light across the ripples, thinking how easily the blade would slide through skin and fat and sinew to part Slynt’s ugly head from his body. All of a man’s crimes were wiped away when he took the black, and all of his allegiances as well, yet he found it hard to think of Janos Slynt as a brother. There is blood between us. This man helped slay my father and did his best to have me killed as well. […] I am giving you a chance, my lord. It is more than you ever gave my father.
“What are you reading about?” he asked. “Dragons,” Tyrion told him. “What good is that? There are no more dragons,” the boy said with the easy certainty of youth. “So they say,” Tyrion replied. “Sad, isn’t it? When I was your age, I used to dream of having a dragon of my own.” “You did?” the boy said suspiciously. Perhaps he thought Tyrion was making fun of him. “Oh, yes. Even a stunted, twisted, ugly little boy can look down over the world when he’s seated on a dragon’s back.” Tyrion pushed the bearskin aside and climbed to his feet. “I used to start fires in the bowels of Casterly Rock and stare at the flames for hours, pretending they were dragonfire. Sometimes I’d imagine my father burning. At other times, my sister.” Jon Snow was staring at him, a look equal parts horror and fascination.