↳ ned never goes south; he, robb, bran and arya go visit jon at the wall a while later
Robb had more or less planned to go visit Jon at some point the moment his brother informed him of his decision and told him he was sure of it. Robb hadn’t begrudged him that even if he still thinks it was wholly unnecessary, but far from him to stop Jon from taking his own decisions. Still, he had thought he’d go and see how he was doing after a while. Then the royal court had come to Winterfell and his father had refused to become Hand on account of not wanting to be in King’s Landing when Bran had suffered such a fall, and Robb’s plan had to wait. He couldn’t exactly leave when his brother had woken up without use of his legs, Sansa hadn’t taken too well the prospect of not marrying Joffrey Baratheon (even if about everyone else in Winterfell had been all too happy for it), and someone had to make sure Arya didn’t run off to the Wall to visit Jon on her own and help Father out and of course it had been him.
But when Tyrion Lannister arrives in Winterfell from the Wall with designs for a saddle that might allow Bran to ride again and says Jon asked it of him - Robb thinks about his original plans again.
He asks his father if he and Bran might leave for a few days to go to the Wall when the saddle is ready. His father looks at him pensively and tells him that he might come as well, there is something he needs to talk to Jon about. So they make plans to leave - convincing his mother takes a while, but eventually she relents and agrees to look after Winterfell in their stead, Theon rolls his eyes and agrees to pay attention to Rickon and Arya while they’re off, and that seems to settle it.
Then Arya somehow managed to steal a horse and ride after them - Robb doesn’t blame Theon for not having stopped her, given that she probably left right after them and he wouldn’t even had noticed - and Father doesn’t send her back.
When they arrive, Robb has to stop for a long moment staring up at the mass of rock and snow in front of them - he had heard and read about it, of course, but there’s something quite astonishing about how tall it is and how long it stretches and how the snow covering it isn’t blindingly white but seems to glow in shades of pale yellow, pink and violet. He wonders how does the world look like from the top. He figures he’ll find out soon enough.
By the time he’s done staring at it - his eyes are hurting somehow - the door has already been opened and he can see that his father, Bran and Arya are inside already. He smiles and follows them - someone in the yard is telling a few recruits to call Jon, he has visitors.
“Can’t say I was wrong,” he tells Jon after waiting his turn - Arya had thrown herself at him first and Bran went later, and their father has told Jon something and is now talking to the Lord Commander, and now Jon finally is in front of him.
“About what?” Jon asks, sounding somewhat choked.
“Black is really your color,” Robb says, not stopping himself from smirking before pulling Jon in - he can feel that he’s put on some more muscle under that black uniform, and when Jon’s hands close in fists against his cloak he doesn’t let go.
Their father comes down from the Lord Commander’s tower and asks if he can have a moment with Jon, they need to talk. Robb shrugs and says he’ll wait in the yard - he starts talking to a few of the recruits and then notices that Arya and Bran are observing the sword lessons without looking none too happy about it. Robb pays some attention - huh. There are a few recruits who have to be younger than he is who are getting screamed at by the master-at-arms, who is currently making Ser Rodrik look like a mellow instructor in comparison. Grey Wind grumbles next to Robb’s leg - Summer and Nymeria are crouching next to his siblings and don’t look too happy about it either.
“And who’s your charming master at arms?” He asks to the recruit he was talking to before - he introduced himself as Sam, and he was the one who brought Jon downstairs. Robb is glad to know that Jon’s making friends, at least.
“Oh. Ser Thorne,” Sam sighs. “He’s not - well, not exactly the encouraging kind if you’re not good at sword fighting. At the beginning - er. It was bad.”
Sam shrugs. “I’m not much good at that. He might have, uh, encouraged people to go harder on me. Then they stopped because Jon made them, but he wasn’t too happy about it.”
“Sounds like Jon, all right,” Robb smiles. He can see Arya and Bran whispering in between each other and Grey Wind leaves his side a moment later. Then, he sees Ghost coming in quietly from the other side of the yard.
“Right,” he says, “we might want to look the other way.”
“Just so no one can tell us we’re involved with whatever happens now.”
By the time Jon and their lord father show arrive back in the yard, Arya and Bran are laughing among themselves, Ser Thorne looks like someone who would like to protest with Lord Stark because his children’s direwolves are ruining his training but on the other side won’t because you don’t complain with Eddard Stark about how his children behave, Robb is trying not to laugh openly and Sam is doing the same.
“What’s going on even?” Jon asks. Robb notices that his eyes are a bit red, but he’s smiling, so - whatever it is their father told him, it can’t be anything bad.
“Our siblings might have decided they don’t like your Ser Thorne.”
“I’d have been surprised of the contrary,” Jon sighs. “Maybe I should tell them to stop.”
“The man said something not exactly flattering about you while screaming at one of those poor souls,” Robb tells him. “He definitely called you Lord Snow, but he didn’t mean it. I don’t think they’re going to hear you out.”
Jon seems to consider it for a moment. Then he leans back against the wall. “Fair point.” He also looks moved at having heard it, but he says nothing of it and Robb doesn’t ask.
“So, how long are you staying?”
“A few days at least,” Robb replies truthfully. He was hoping a week - maybe they can manage that.
“Good,” Jon replies, smiling back at him.
Robb already knows that he’s going to visit again as many times as he can spare in the future.
A late entry for the Game of Thrones prompt on sketch_dailies.
I really hate doing likenesses and much prefer to come up with my own designs for literary characters; but this prompt was to coincide with the season four finale so I thought it best to try my hand at drawing the visages of the ever-lovely Natalie Dormer and Sophie Turner.
Here are Margaery and Sansa hawking, a scene from the books that did not make it to the show.