the first thing that strikes her is that roses make for poor crowns.
lyanna has always loved winter roses, ever since she was a little girl. she and her mother had picked them together, before ben was born. they’d gone through the godswood and the glass gardens and her mother had told her that most roses grow better in the cold, that southron roses grow only in spring and summer, but winter roses are of the north. “just like you,” lyarra stark had said, pressing lyanna’s nose and making her giggle.
lyanna remembers trying to weave a crown of winter roses while lisbeth cassell had woven one of daisies. rose stems were thick, and solid, and promised a sturdiness that would do well for a crown of flowers. yet lisbeth’s chain of flowers had grown long enough for her to start a second, and a third to braid together, while lyanna’s hands kept getting pricked on the thorns, and when she did finish what seemed like hours later, the thorns had caught in her hair and scraped at her scalp.
“you could cut the thorns off,” lisbeth had said, offering her a knife, but lyanna had shaken her head. the thorns were what made roses roses and not lilies or daffodils or daisies. you couldn’t just cut them off.
lyanna’s hands tremble as prince rhaegar extends the crown to her on the tip of her lance. her throat is dry and she is frightened. “i’ll not reveal your secret,” he’d told her. but was this not a revelation, a violation of that promise? surely everyone would know, or would at least suspect. he should have given the crown to his wife. the blue roses would look so lovely with her orange silks.
“my lady,” the prince says, and lyanna lifts the roses from the lance. their petals are so soft, and as she turns the wreath between her fingers, she finds that whoever made the crown stripped the thorns away.