Okay so I have gotten a steady flow of asks both positive and worried after the finale so I thought I would just post one, big analysis of Jonerys in the finale for anyone interested in my take on things!
First of all I just want to establish that I loved this episode and it is my favorite of the season. There was much more to love than Jonerys here, but they are what I will focus on for this particular post, and I think this episode solidified their love in a major and lasting way. This is giant so I used a cut.
Light is born of darkness. Darkness sails north to become water. Light sails south to give birth to fire. Wind flows in between light and darkness. Light sinks into darkness and returns to earth. The chosen one who holds great power, reveal your true powers.
This is for the sweet anon who requested this yesterday, compiled courtesy of my bff and biggest tumblr crush for life, @sweetorganza. I am putting the content below the cut because, obviously, SPOILERS!
Alright! You guys asked for it. Boatsex oneshot. I wrote this from Daenery’s POV. This has major spoilers for Season 7.
Daenerys sat looking out of the window in her cabin in the
queen’s chambers on the ship. The ship Rhaego
was sailing north towards White Harbor. The journey would be a long one going
up North from Dragonstone, long and cold. They were going to sail to White
Harbor, and then ride for Winterfell from there. Dany wasn’t looking forward to
the biting cold that would await her and the rest of her army when she arrived.
She wasn’t looking forward to another war, one she didn’t know could be won. Not just another war, The Great War. She
Arriving in Westeros all those months ago, she never
expected things would turn out like this. White Walkers, Night King, and dead
ice men come to lay icy death to the place she was trying to liberate with her
flames? She had merely come with the notion that she would be facing a Mad Queen,
Cersei Lannister. Cersei Lannister proved to be a formidable foe, and the
battle had only just begun when Jon Snow came to Dragonstone declaring the
world was going to end because ice zombies were marching on some magical wall.
She thought he was a crazy northern fool when she met him. This
man proclaiming himself King in the North. A kingdom that belonged to her. This
man who refused to call her Queen, bend the knee, and even had the audacity to
call her a child. This man who came in asking for her children, her armies, and
her loyalty for help fighting these ice zombies, and he would give nothing in
return. She’d be a fool to trust him. Oh, how she was wrong. She brought dragons back to life, walked
through flames, and liberated hundreds of thousands of slaves, but she didn’t
believe him about the army of the dead?
She didn’t know when she had begun to trust him. Was it when
she let him mine the dragon glass, and he asked her if she believed him about
the army of the dead? Tyrion saw fit to keeping him here as an ally. Was it
when he showed her the paintings in the cave drawn by the Children and first
men? She had pledged to fight for the north, or did she pledge to fight for
him? Of that, she didn’t know. At the
time. Was it when she came back on Drogon’s back to Dragonstone after
burning the Lannister army to the ground? Jon has been standing right in front
of her child and showed no fear. Did he
have the blood of a dragon? Drogon had let him touch his snout. Was it when
she saw the ice zombies herself when she came to rescue them from their icy
deaths? Daenerys had seen many things, but these creatures symbolized death
itself. Was it when he fell into the lake off Drogon’s back, or when Viseron
fell from the sky? That she didn’t know either.
She realized then when he returned on his dead uncle’s
horse, that she had trusted him all along. She believed him before she even saw
it for herself. To say she was relieved when she saw Tormund and Gendry
carrying him back in the castle at Eastwatch-by-the-sea would be an understatement.
It took him a week to recover, and she was there by his side every second of
the way. He told her he would bend the knee after she pledged herself to fight
the White Walkers, and end her war with Cersei. For now.
“I’d bend the knee but…”
He said. He physically couldn’t bend the knee, as he was injured almost to the
point of death. He was lying naked in a cot. Daenerys didn’t mind the sight.
“What about those who
pledged to you?”, she asked.
“I will tell my people
what happened here, and how you risked your life and your children to protect
me and my men. The Great War is here, and there is no need a squabble over
lands that may lie in ice and ash when the war is done.”
“I don’t want you to
bend the knee. When the war is over and we defeat this Night King and burn
Cersei Lannister to the ground, The North is yours.”
She didn’t know what compelled her to let the North have
their independence after all was done, if there was a North left to rule. She hadn’t
realized it until she left his room that night.
Daenerys was a
stubborn, hard headed woman. She had lost the ability to feel when her sun and
stars was taken from her by that evil witch. She had respect, pride, and
admiration for those closest to her. She had love for her children, of course. She
even felt lust when she had Daario in her bed back in Essos, although she felt
nothing when she let him go.
“He wasn’t the first
to love you, and he won’t be the last.” Tyrion’s words echoed in her mind. At
the time, just mindless hope from her hand. Daenerys never thought the fire in
her could ever be truly lit again. That is until she met Jon Snow.
He was stubborn and
hard headed just like herself. He was demanding and self-righteous. He fought
with her every step of the way, but he had an intensity and passion for his
cause that made her admire him. She had grown to respect and trust him in a
very short amount of time. She even heeded his advice when she rode Drogon into
the battle at Highgarden.
She knew that she
lusted for him from the start. He was handsome, after all. It had been so long
since she felt a man’s touch. As she got to know him, that admiration and lust
turned into something more. The fire that hadn’t been lit since Drogo had come
back with not just a lingering spark, but an explosion. This fire was different
from the one she shared with Drogo. Drogo had lit a flame in her that was dim
and soft, and she had sometimes felt her love for him was forced. The fire Jon
lit within her was burning, piercing, a fire that was as hot as the one that
Drogon spewed from his mouth. She had seen that same fire, in his eyes, when
she walked towards him in the cave full of dragon glass. He felt that fire too.
That much was clear.
It wasn’t until that
fire burned in her so hot when he fell from Drogon’s back. That fire could have
melted the Night King’s heart.
As she thought of the
memory, that was when she realized she didn’t just have a flame for him.
She loved him.
Daenerys was pulled from her thought when there was a knock
at her cabin door. She wasn’t expecting anyone this late at night. She only
wore a thin black dress, like the ones she wore back in the hotter days in
Essos. Her hair was loose and framed her face, she didn’t feel the need to look
She crossed the cabin, and opened the door.
She let out a surprised shock to see Jon standing at her
door in the middle of night with nothing but pants and a thin shirt on. His
hair was loose, falling out of the bun he usually wore on his head. He looked
like he had just walked through the flaming desert in the Red Waste. He had a
wild look in his eyes, and she found it hard to look into them. His eyes had
shined with a fire she had never seen in any man before, not even her sun and
stars. Her breath stopped short.
“Jon?” was all she could say. You couldn’t cut the tension
between them, even with Ser Beric’s flaming sword. Daenerys could only stare at
him. The fire exploding through her stomach and down to her thighs. She felt
like a young, inexperienced girl who had never been touch by a man before, not the
powerful queen she had become. No man had ever made her feel like Jon Snow did.
She opened the door to the cabin and he stepped in still not
saying a word. He just strode toward her like a wolf coming for its prey.
She didn’t know who kissed the other first. All she knew was
that his lips were on hers, and she had never felt more alive. He bit her
bottom lip, and entered his hot tongue into her mouth. She almost exploded just
from that. He cradled her face in his hands, and her hands glided through his
hair and untied the bun. She didn’t realize he had such beautiful curls. His
hands roamed her body, and she a burned every time he would touch her exposed
skin. Was this some kind of dream? Would she wake up in her bed alone, sticky
and dripping with sweat, from the sweetest dream she’d ever known?
He backed her against the cabin wall with hard thud. She
knew this was no dream.
He kissed her deeply and harder than any man had ever
before. She kissed him back with just as much passion. His lips moved from her
lips down to her neck and collarbone. She moaned in pure pleasure.
It all happened in a blur after that. He ripped her dress off
her body, and threw her on the small bed. She ripped his shirt of him when he
came on top of her. She saw the jagged scars that covered his chest. So, this was what Ser Davos meant when he
took a knife in the heart for his people.
She slowed their movements. Tears swelling her eyes. She
looked at him.
“How could they do this you?’
He said nothing, but his demeanor had softened and he wasn’t
the wolf anymore.
He wasn’t a king then, nor was she a queen. Just Dany, just
She flipped them over, and kissed her way down his chest,
not missing any scar.
She looked into his eyes, and saw that they swirled with
nothing but desire, and dare she say it? Love.
Daenerys had always been a woman who loved to be in control
when it came to making love. She loved the feeling of a man losing control
underneath her as she rode them as fiercely as she rode her dragons.
Jon flipped them over, and Daenerys was the one to lost
He entwined her hands behind her head and looked deep into
Gone was the stoic, brooding king. He was just Jon now.
He kissed her again all over her body, and then kissed her
there. Something Missandei told her about when Greyworm had made love to her. “The
Lord’s Kiss” she had called it.
It was a feeling she never wanted to go away. She screamed
in pleasure and clenched her first into the furs.
When they finally came together, she saw stars. White, hot,
burning pleasure filled her body. The
flames had burned their way into her soul.
When he finally collapsed next her, and she calmed her
breath. She looked at him.
He was staring up at the ceiling with a dazed look on his
She has never seen anything more beautiful in her life.
He winded his arm around her, and she settled into his
She could feel his wild heartbeat, and the sound was more
beautiful than any song she’d ever heard.
She loved him with her entire being. She knew that now. She
wondered why it took so long for her to see that.
She didn’t say anything to him as she drifted to sleep.
She felt the ghost a kiss on her forehead.
Even though death was surely coming upon the world, she had
never felt more safe.
Angst. No character death but…angst. Because I just had this weird idea and I ran with it.
They were supposed to take the city peacefully, because it was surrounded on all sides by the Unsullied and the forces of the other Great Houses, and the newly taken over Golden company. Cersei was alone, friendless, without allies. And yet, just when they’d been planning the invasion, Jaime had burst into the throne room with his hair plastered to his forehead with sweat and a wild look in his eyes. “We can’t attack the Red Keep. She has caches of wildfire all over the city-if we don’t surrender she’ll blow up the city and everyone in it.”
The loss of life would be staggering, Jon knew. They couldn’t let that happen, no matter the cost.
But he hadn’t been expecting Dany to volunteer instantly for a suicide plan: allow herself to get captured and brought before Cersei, hope that they could play to her overconfidence and keep her distracted just long enough for a few of Varys’s little birds to disable the caches.
So of course, he’d gone with her.
Now he heard Tyrion’s voice in his head again. Remember, no matter how bad things get…if you move too early you’ll ruin it. You’ll get us all killed. Forget your honorable and noble side for the time being, even if it hurts-even if she screams. Remember what stands at stake. We’ll all need to have our wits about us when we’re in the city.
The alley was dark and quiet in the morning light. A rat the size of a small dog skittered over his foot and the smell of human filth assaulted his nostrils. Next to him Dany was faring only slightly better; she was wearing a hood to block out the worst of the sunlight (and hopefully, the stench). He didn’t look at her, just like they’d promised.
He pulled at the ropes binding his hands. They were strong, no give, just as Jaime said. If this was all a lie, and the Kingslayer was double playing them…they wouldn’t break easily.
Yes, this was a very bad plan. But there was nothing he could do about it now.
A couple of men in the gold cloaks of the City Watch saw them coming and barked their surprise, hurrying over to Jaime. Their eyes glistened cruelly and they held glasses of beer in their hands that sloshed over the side and puddled on the ground below. “You’re back!” The man who spoke was missing a handful of teeth and smelled like he hadn’t bathed in a year or two.
“And you brought a gift!” the other said. Jon liked him even less; he was hairy all over and a patch covered one of his eyes. He took a step towards him and Jaime pulled him back; there was something sharply reprimanding in the grip. Jon hadn’t known grips could convey emotion before, but he got the feeling it was trying very hard not to sigh.
He saw Dany tense as the man stepped towards her and roughly grabbed the back of her hood, yanking it back so her light hair glowed in the sunlight. “I have to say, when we got the call I didn’t believe you. Who would let the foreign bitch and her little pet out alone when they know the bounty that the Queen has put on their heads?”
“Stupid ones, that’s who. Stupid ones who still trust Lannisters.” Jaime’s voice was hard and cruel and it took everything that Jon had not to shudder. This was just an act. It had to be just an act. Tyrion wouldn’t take a gamble like this unless he was absolutely sure which side his brother was on.
The gold cloak pulled a dagger out of his pocket and held it to Dany’s throat-this time Jon did struggle and Jaime had to hold him back. A bead of blood formed on her neck, sparkling like one of Rhaegar’s rubies in the sunlight. No, don’t think about the rubies. Rhaegar died. We won’t. “She said she wants her alive-she didn’t say she wanted her unspoiled-”
“Enough of this.” Jaime’s voice was a bored drawl but there was something in it that made the men step back. “She’s the Queen’s property.” Property. Jon hated that word. “If you harm her, my sister will be very angry, I’m sure. Now let her know that we’ve arrived and will be coming shortly.” He pushed Jon forward a little harder than necessary and the guard that was holding Dany shoved her so hard she nearly fell. The two gold cloaks laughed and spat at her; Dany didn’t say a word as the spittle landed on the back of her dress. Again, Jon forced himself to remain still. “She can do to these traitors whatever she sees fit.”
Jon heard the other Gold Cloak say “Reckon she’ll leave any of her left over for us to share?” as they disappeared into an empty marketplace.
Not for the first time he wanted to run all the way back to the ship and leave with her in tow. He’d never been as frightened as he was now-and not for himself, but for her. He was only public enemy number two-he had no idea what Cersei would want to do to the woman who wanted her throne.
The trek through King’s Landing was brutally hot, even without his fur coat. He stumbled on loose pebbles and the rope around his hands made the skin chafe and burn. Jaime moved uncomfortably fast, almost too fast for Jon to keep up with. And there wasn’t a trace in his eyes of the Jaime of the night before, who had been drinking so casually with Tyrion and had gotten so drunk he’d proposed to Brienne of Tarth. He was a different character altogether.
Luckily it was early and everyone was too drunk to be out on the streets. There was no one to throw rotten food or shit at them; they would have that dignity, at least.
Not for the first time Jon wondered if it would have been better to just let them all get blown up. The slums were full of people who would do whatever it took to survive, and ate Cersei’s lies hook, line, and sinker. But they were his people too now, he kept thinking.
Finally the Red Keep rose up in front of them, glittering in the light of the rising sun. Jon wanted to stop and look at it but Jaime kept moving, shoving him whenever he got too slow. He nodded once to the guards as they passed through the gates of the Keep, which was echoing and already flooded with people. Most of them stopped to gawk but Jamie kept them moving, all the way down the hall and into the throne room. The doors closed behind them with an echoing bang of finality and he saw Dany flinch backwards imperceptibly.
If worst came to worst they would have to get out alive-together. He scanned the room for exits, silently counted guards, counted crossbows, weighed his options. There were a lot of guards-he didn’t like their chances. But he had faced worse odds and come out alive. They didn’t have to defeat the enemy-they just had to survive.
At another time maybe he would have thought the crown room was grandiose, decked out as it was in Lannister regalia. But it all seemed very tacky-the Iron Throne was imposing, sure, but the room felt slightly claustrophobic. It wasn’t like Dragonstone, with its open spaces and amazing vistas. Cersei sat on the Iron Throne, surveying her enemies-and it was easy for Jon to pretend to act frightened. He would have to act now, harder than he’d ever acted in his life. He had to find a way to convince her that they’d been captured, that they posed no real threat.
This was a trap. And they were the bait.
Jaime tugged them to a stop and looked up at his sister with a soft nod. “I come bearing gifts.”
He saw Cersei raise one eyebrow, surprised-and maybe impressed. “I must admit, I wasn’t sure that you would come back this time.”
“I learned the truth and saw the light. Family is what’s important.” He stepped away from Jon and Jon instantly felt rather than saw bows rise and tauten. The Kingslayer climbed the steps and kissed the Queen passionately and he felt that he should look away, as revulsion roiled in his stomach.
Cersei broke off the kiss quickly and stood, her black skirts sweeping around her as she stepped down the stairs. She’s insane. She’ll kill us, she’ll kill all of us. We’re just making it easier for her.
Can’t you trust me, Tyrion had asked him the night before. Back then he’d thought he could. But now…
The Mad Queen ignored him altogether, only looking at Dany. She took a step closer, then another, until the height difference between them was apparent-and then she carefully grasped hold of the hood and yanked it down. “Now how did you manage to find them?”
“It was rather simple. Our brother isn’t as good at keeping an eye on his lovebirds as he should be.”
“You said they were sailing North.”
“They were. But they were lying about the wights. We got to Winterfell and there was nothing there. No army of the dead, no hundreds of thousands of leagues. They were planning something very different instead.”
“A wedding.” To anyone else her voice would have been flat, almost disinterested, but Jon heard the way it seized on that one word. “They’re not just fucking.”
“They would make a powerful couple.”
“They would. Ice and fire-they’d be nearly unstoppable. And did they go through with it?”
“No. I…interceded before they could.” But even Jaime didn’t know about that night in the godswood, with their closest witnesses gathered in a circle around them, breath freezing in the cold air…
“And you’re sure she’s not carrying his spawn?”
“Her moon blood came yesterday.”
Instantly all the tension seemed to leech from Cersei’s frame and she almost smiled. “So there’s no reason to keep either of them alive?”
“Of course not. They’re traitors. They should die deaths worthy of their crime.” Good. Jaime had done his part. Cersei would take them out to the square outside the Keep and amass the crowds to see the traitors beheaded and the confusion and disorder would give them enough time to slip away unnoticed…
Cersei nodded. “Wonderful. Take him to the black cells.”
Two things hit him in rapid succession: this was not what they had planned…and she’d only said him. Not her. Or even them.
Now he really was frightened. “But-”
The slap was a blur of movement and he was really only aware that he’d been hit when he found himself on the floor, his cheek vibrating with pain. Dany let out a strangled gasp next to him and he saw her try to pull away from her escort. Stop, please. She couldn’t get hurt, especially because of him. “Enough!” Jaime practically roared. “You will listen to your queen. Or I’ll hurt her.”
I serve one queen, now and always. I have pledged myself to Queen Daenerys, in every way that matters. But he had to act, so he got to his feet, one hand still massaging his face.
“Leave him be,” Dany said, her voice clear and unwavering.
“Why?” Cersei asked. “You’re both in open rebellion to the crown. You both deserve to be punished.” She advanced another step but Daenerys refused to back down, solemnly standing her ground. “And need I remind you that you are alone here, with no friends, no allies, no dragons-” The word was practically a spit. “Anything you say to me I will take out on your lover. Anything he says to me I will take out on you. I have no qualms with hurting a girl, do you understand?” She didn’t wait for Dany to reply before she continued “We have to determine whether or not this is a trap-and until such time I believe it’s best to keep you both separated.”
Jon’s heart was throwing itself against his rib cage so hard that it hurt. Tyrion had planned for this contingency, hadn’t he? There were eyes in the Keep, eyes keeping watch over both of them…but would they be able to intercede, if something went wrong? “What do you plan to do to us?”
“That remains to be seen. And the next time you talk to me, bastard boy, I’ll stab her.” Her eyes were shining so brightly; there was no doubt in Jon’s mind that she would do it too.
Dany didn’t look at him as he was pulled away and he didn’t look at her. She could handle herself, he thought. There was no other choice. They would have to trust each other, once again.
But they only walked down a level or so before he was shoved into a cell-and not a black cell either. A regular cell, for a regular criminal-not a traitor to the crown. The lock was easy to pick, the cell was barely being held upright-but the guards didn’t hesitate to shut him inside.
And then he heard the first scream from upstairs.
Dany’s arm was on fire. Her bindings prevented her from reaching the spot on her shoulder where the knife had gone in and it pulsed hotly, painfully. She half fell, half dropped to the ground-but her guard dragged her to her feet, pulling on her wound so hard she screamed again. With a grim sense of satisfaction she saw that Jaime looked shocked-he hadn’t known this was going to happen either. Distract her. They need time.
“Do you really expect me to keep my word?” Cersei wiped the bloody knife on her dress and Dany hoped that the wound wasn’t as bad as it felt. “After what you did to yours?”
She took Jaime’s lie and let it run wild. “We had to convince you-”
“So where did you get that…thing in the Dragonpit?”
“A petty enchantment. I’m surprised you didn’t think of it first.” She raised her chin defiantly; this queen, clinging to her last vestiges of power, didn’t frighten her. But the things that she could do to Jon did. She was used to pain. He didn’t need any more scars. “What do you want?”
“I can’t just kill you-there are too many crimes against you for that. Collusion, conspiracy, betrayal, rebellion, treason…the very fact that you are still alive instead of murdered as an infant is a crime against my family. That would be easy-but things have never been easy for you have they? They wouldn’t be, to get as far as you did in a world like this. Your death shouldn’t be easy either. And we’ll see if anyone comes to rescue you. We’ll see if this is a ruse. Jaime, I want you to stab her.”
Jaime raised an eyebrow. “Did you already forget that you just did? If she bleeds out too soon, that defeats the point of your revenge, doesn’t it?”
Cersei sighed and rolled her eyes. “Don’t make her bleed out. I need her alive.” She raised an eyebrow. “Or are you not able to? Did you already pledge your sword to her cause-”
Another slice, this time in her upper thigh. It hurt, but the pain wasn’t debilitating; she bit her lip so hard tears sprang to her eyes but she didn’t cry out. She was determined not to give Cersei the satisfaction.
Cersei turned away, crossing to the window, looking bored. “Jaime, make her scream. I want our other guest to hear her.”
Jon forced himself to remain still, even as each scream from above tore through him like physical pain. He did whatever he had to do-counted to ten and then back down again, focused on a single piece of straw that had landed on his boots, compressed the blind rage in his chest to a single point of fire-to not act out. He had to pretend that she was nothing to him; he knew that whatever he did he could not give the guards the satisfaction of knowing that each scream rattled him more than the one before it.
Gods, he wished they had taken him instead. And then again, that was precisely why they hadn’t. It would have been too easy.
Thrumming panic vibrated through his chest. Why were they still here? Did anyone know where they were? Was this a trap? And all the while they were hurting her, when they should have been hurting him…
He heard Tyrion’s voice in his head again. Heroics and dramatics. That’s what she wants. That’s what you cannot give her, under any circumstances. She knows that you’re both heroes. Don’t be heroes. It’ll only make things worse.
The blood pounded through his ears and he felt sick. He would kill them, he would kill them all, it didn’t matter that he was weaponless-he would rip them apart with his bare hands if he had to.
One of the guards rattled the bars of his cell. “Dragons are soft under their scales, aren’t they? That’s what all the tales used to say. But I suppose you’d know all about that, wouldn’t you?”
“Maybe we’ll let you out if you tell us,” another added, and they both laughed. They drifted back to where they were keeping watch, still talking rather loudly about what they would do to the Dragon Queen if they had the chance. He suspected they were doing it to rile him, as every suggestion they made was even more crude than the one before it.
Jon’s fingernails dug into his hand so hard he felt them draw blood.
And then he heard them all go quiet.
The ground was painted with their blood, their organs ripped out through their throats and stomachs, stabbed through the heart or the chest, appendages torn off. And in the middle of the melee stood Arya, her hand on her sword and blood that wasn’t hers soaking the tips of her hair. She didn’t say anything as she opened the door and helped him over the dead bodies.
She snorted mirthlessly. “Did you really think I’d ever leave? There was some complication in the tunnels…” She kept talking but he ignored her. He was taking swords from the dead soldiers, strapping knives into his boots.
When he walked into the throne room, he would walk into a bloodbath.
How long had it been now? A couple of hours, at least?
The dragons were crying out for her, their calls getting increasingly more frantic. She tried to call them, though her head felt thick and sluggish. No. You can’t come now. Mother is all right. She’ll be all right.
She’d thought torture had been about getting information, demanding answers, but Cersei hadn’t asked her a thing. She and Jaime talked over her head, their voices a low droning murmur; she couldn’t make out what they were saying over the rushing in her ears.
Every part of her body felt stiff and heavy, her thoughts disconnected and drifting. There was Jon, something about Jon, what was it…? It didn’t matter now because she screamed. She’d shown her weakness. And yet, she’d been strong too. They hadn’t harmed Jon. She knew it, somehow. He was safe. She’d saved him.
Cersei and Jaime were arguing about something now. She wondered if she would drift away before they realized it. What had Jon said, that dying was easy?
She wondered if she would die. She’d always thought that she might, as soon as she signed up. She had no idea how one got rid of wildfire, or brought it North-Tyrion had the idea to throw it at the White Walkers-but it couldn’t possibly be easy. She could only hope she’d bought them enough time.
Cersei was saying something again, and then something huge lumbered into her field of vision. It was more of a hill than a man, with thick stony features and eyes that looked barely alive. She briefly recognized him from the Dragonpit-Cersei’s closest Queensguard.
He grabbed her by her neck, lifting her off the ground as easily as if she was a doll. She registered the pain, briefly, and knew that he was squeezing. She knew she was fading away, but she found that she didn’t mind so much. She felt like she was floating on a cloud, floating far away where they couldn’t hurt her and Jon would be safe…
There was a blur of movement in her peripheral vision, someone knocked her to the ground and she fell on her injured arm (though what part of her wasn’t injured, by now?) so hard that she cried out. Then she was being held in strong arms and she thought that she smelled Jon’s familiar scent of pine trees and open campfires and long nights talking about her dreams and wishes for the future safe in his arms…
And then even that fell away.
When he got back to the boat he threw up. He stood crouched over the side, again and again, heaving until there was nothing left in his stomach, even after the maester said she would be all right. She was badly beaten, but all right. And Cersei was dead. Jaime had strangled her.
If it was victory, why didn’t it feel like it?
He kept seeing her, when he’d burst through the door, covered in blood, her dress in tatters, hair and and skin matted, slowly being strangled. He wasn’t sure she even recognized him when he picked her up gently.
There was blood on his shirt and he pulled it off and tossed it into the water even though it was freezing cold. She’d been tortured and he’d done nothing. Nothing. He’d been helpless. He never wanted to feel that way again.
“I’m sorry.” Tyrion stopped beside him, not seeming to see that he was only wearing a thin cloak. “There were complications-”
“I don’t care.”
A long silence. “I know.”
“I thought you left us there to die.”
“I would have too, if I were in your position.”
“And I didn’t do anything. I heard her screaming, I knew she was in pain, men were joking about defiling her…and I did nothing. Because you told me to. And I’ll never forgive myself for that.”
“Neither will I. Neither will Jaime, if it’s any consolation. Sometimes in war, we all have to play our parts. We all make tough decisions that we never forget.”
“You should have sent me instead.”
“You can’t blindly protect her, Jon. She won’t let you. She wants to protect you just as much as you want to protect her.” He looked out towards the frozen sea. “I almost lost both of you. I won’t forget that.”
“What was I supposed to do?”
“You did what you had to do, even though it was the hardest thing you could have done. That doesn’t make it right, or wrong. You’ll never get over it, that feeling of helplessness. You’ll have nightmares about it. This is why I wish the two of you had fallen in love at any other time. In war, everything is uncertain. Things could change in an instant. One rogue arrow-”
“I let her down.”
“Sometimes you let down the people you love. Sometimes you have to. That doesn’t mean you love them any less. Because you know that it’s what she would have wanted you to do.” He cleared his throat, almost tentatively. “Now go in there. She wants to see you.”
She looked so small, so young, nestled among a cloud of pillows. It took a moment for her eyes to focus on him, a moment for her mouth to break into the smile he so loved. She wore a loose white dress and he could see everything-the stab wounds, the cuts. “You’re here.”
“You shouldn’t have done that.” He hugged her and she winced; he moved quickly, as if he’d been shocked, carving out a place for her to curl into his side. He wanted to hold her, to reassure himself that she was still here. “She tortured you.”
She glared at him and there was still the fire in her eyes. “She would have taken you instead.”
“I can hold out-”
“And you think I can’t?”
“No, of course I know you can, but you almost died!”
“You already died. If you can come back, why can’t I?”
“Don’t say that. Please.” He didn’t want to even have to consider losing her. “If I lost you, it would destroy me.”
“It would destroy me too, if I lost you. But you went beyond the Wall to fight the army of the dead-”
“And for days I had to sit in Dragonstone and wonder what you were doing and where you were and whether or not you were still alive. Sometimes we have to be helpless when the ones we love are in pain. Besides, the wildfire is ours and Cersei is dead.”
And there were still wars to come…
He wished that they could stay here forever, safe and together. “I love you.”
“I love you too,” she whispered. Her voice was heavy with sleep; he stood to let her get some rest and she pulled him back almost frantically. “No, don’t go.”
So he stayed, knowing that he couldn’t protect her and at any moment he could lose her, but loving her anyway.
Yeah them being (over)protective of each other is my aesthetic.
He comes back just as solemn, with fire on the horizon licking his back.
She stands behind Bran’s wheelchair. Arya and Jon run to each other and he lifts her up from the ground like she is weightless, hugging her tight, his eyes shut. Arya laughs. The sound is sweet, like bells. Jon is beaming. Sansa smiles just when he looks at her, but he is hugging Bran before he can see how her face crumples.
It is late in the night when he knocks on her door. She thought he would go to sleep after the long festivities made in honor of his return and the union of the four remaining Starks. She is glad of it and yet she does not want to let him in. it would mean having to tell him everything. If she speaks it, then it will be true, but she is better off pretending it was all a bad dream.
It is not her turn to admit things, she soon discovers. He tells her of what will become of the North.
“I swore fealty to her. I know this isn’t what we wanted, but we need her to defeat the Night King. Her dragons are real. And they’re our only hope.”
It is like slipping again on ice just when you thought you found your footing. She thought, with his homecoming, that she’ll have someone to share her burdens with. Now he is speaking of losing. Now he is speaking of a home once taken and won back being taken again.
“The Northern lords will not accept this,” she says. She stands from her chair at the table, where she had been dozing over a pile of scrolls moments before. “Do the people who pledged their swords to you and named you king mean nothing to you?”
“Of course they do, Sansa,” Jon retorts. “I did it to save them. We have no hope against the winter on our own.”
“Is that the kind of ruler she is, then, this dragon queen? She’ll offer no protection for the kingdom or its people unless you bend the knee?”
Jon looks the floor and breathes through his nose. “She is a fair ruler, and she will fight for the North. That’s all that matters,” he says.
Sansa scoffs. “I’m sure the Northern lords will be happy to hear that lovely explanation tomorrow, when you’ve told them you’ve all but offered the North on the platter to a foreign invader without their consent.”
Jon whirls. “Do you think this was easy for me? Do you think I don’t know what I’ve given up?” He’s raising his voice like he once had in a tent during a barely-won battle that seemed so long ago, even though they were still finding bodies on the battlefield.
“You were gone for months and I barely hear a word. You didn’t think to at least consult anyone else?” Is it foolish to think he would’ve asked for my advice? Sansa thinks. Maybe it was more foolish to let herself get comfortable with this in the first place. The Lady of Winterfell. It was a pretty title for a pretty girl, whose mouth could be sewn shut and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference - she could still be a lady with the place between her legs. It would pair nicely with the silence. Ramsay had liked to have her silent.
Jon doesn’t answer, only hangs his head and focuses on a point somewhere on the floor. Finally, he mutters, “I did what had to be done.”
She swallows and asks quietly, “What did you do, Jon?”
He doesn’t answer. Maybe it is his shame that keeps him silent, Sansa thinks.
After a moment he gives a small shake of the head. “It was a small price to pay for defeating what’s out there.”
Then he leaves, the air blowing from outside nearly snuffing Sansa’s candle out.