i’ll always keep you warm and safe and guard you with my sword
This is obviously incredibly late, but I still wanted to participate in axgweek this year, so I’m going to get a story out for each of these prompts eventually.
For the Wedding prompt, AryaxGendry wedding styled after Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann’s wedding in Pirates of the Caribbean.
This is set some time in Season 7, of if you’re a book reader, whenever it is that the White Walkers manage to get past the Wall. For purposes of the story, let’s assume Jon is already King of the Seven Kingdoms.
The battle between the men (and women) of Westeros and the White Walkers and their army was waging on the Gift, the fields just south of the Wall. Or what was left of it.
As usual, Arya and Gendry could be found in the thick of it, surrounded by wolves, both human and animal. Gendry’s large war hammer and Arya’s Dark Sister, half of Ice re-forged by Gendry, rang metal-on-metal as they tore swiftly through swarms of the Others.
They were never far from each other during a battle, not since they had reunited. They fought well together, intuitively predicting each other’s moves, planning strategies together without a word in the very midst of the fight.
“Sideface!” Arya shouted suddenly.
Gendry, the only one in the vicinity who knew what she was talking about swiftly twirled so he was standing sideways, narrowly missing the icy blade of a wight whose head was suddenly dismembered by Arya’s sword.
Gendry smiled wolfishly at Arya who returned the grin. And then he was tearing through another line of wights. He could see Nymeria and her pack at the side of his eye, ripping through yet more wights.
Gendry’s heart nearly stopped when he heard Arya’s cry. Ignoring the wights coming at him, he turned and rushed toward Arya. She had been knocked onto her back by an actual White Walker, but even as he ran to help, she was meeting the Walker’s sword with her own while simultaneously jumping onto her feet with a snarl.
Gendry’s heart stuttered nevertheless. The wights were easy, but the two of them had only ever met a White Walker in battle together. So ignoring that Arya likely wanted to beat this one on her own, Gendry swung his heavy war hammer at the Walker’s head. The Walker barely twitched, and suddenly his sword came flying at Gendry who only managed in the nick of time to raise his hammer. Although the hammer took the brunt of the blow without shattering, Gendry was knocked ten feet backwards and landed hard on his back in the snow, losing all the breath out of his lungs.
His vision became blurry, but even as he tried to catch his breath, he managed to deflect a blow, then saw Thoros and Tormund both step in to cover him. He didn’t care about any of that though; he attributed his inability to catch his breath instead to the panic rising within him and drowning him at the thought of Arya fighting the Walker, that Walker, alone. More than anything, it was this thought that brought him, shaking, to his knees, then to his feet.
It was then that he finally caught sight of Arya, a blur as she parried and swung at the Walker who met every blow. If she could just drive that Valyrian steel through the beast, it would be done, but the Walker’s strength seemed to be more than that of any they had ever fought before.
Gendry struggled through the icy wind, which had picked up in strength, toward the fighting pair, his heart in his throat as he watched, knowing any second could be her last. Just one misstep. One wrong move. He’d never been more grateful to the House of Black and White than he was at that moment for teaching his Arry how not to make missteps.
He roared as he tore through the wights that stood in his path to Arya and the Walker, but they kept on coming. Somehow, Gendry managed to keep at least one eye on them. When he was less than three feet away, his panic dissolved suddenly when a shadow leaped between Arya and the Walker. And at that moment, Gendry had never been more grateful to Jon Snow, who joined the fray with his own Valyrian steel blade.
Arya and Jon, together, beat the Walker back and in two swift, sudden movements, both their blades pierced the Walker, who dissolved into icy dust.
“Arya!” Gendry shouted, knocking down three wights at once.
“Gendry!” She shouted at the same time, running towards him.
They met in midair, their arms clutched tightly around each other, despite the thick layers of cloaks they both wore to keep warm.
Gendry felt Arya’s hands twist in his hair as she clutched him to her. “I thought you were gone.” Arya’s breath was hitched and Gendry realized she was crying.
He tightened his hold on her, not wanting to let go, but knowing he’d soon have to or they’d both die in the midst of this icy war.
“Never, Arya. Never.” He promised, not knowing how he’d keep that promise, considering it felt like they were losing.
More clanging of metal on metal brought them both back to their senses, as Jon took on another White Walker who had seemingly appeared out of nowhere. With one last squeeze, Gendry let go of Arya and they both joined Jon, knowing their greater strength was needed against the Walkers, rather than the wights.
During the fight, Arya kept meeting Gendry’s eyes, her desperation and panic so palpable Gendry felt himself drowning in both feelings once more.
“Jon,” Arya gasped, clutching her brother’s arm, once the Walker had diminished into nothing. Both Gendry and Jon heard the steel in her voice and gazed at her intently.
“Marry us.” Arya glanced at Gendry, almost shyly. They’d never told anyone of their intention. Yet Jon would have been the first to know, but then the true war had begun and there hadn’t been time.
But Gendry knew the time might never come again, so he echoed her words in a deep, sure voice. “Yes. Marry us.” Arya’s eyes filled with love for him then.
Jon looked dumbstruck, but none of them had the chance to speak again, as they were overcome in a wave of wights.
“Are you both mad?!” Jon shouted at them, as Longclaw tore through three wights and then another four.
Back to back, Gendry and Arya both laughed loudly, as they destroyed wight after wight beyond count.
“We are mad, aren’t we?” Gendry shot at Arya as they turned round and round to ward off more of their enemies.
“It’s now or maybe never, Jon!” Arya shouted her brother’s way almost apologetically.
Jon managed to fight through a group of wights to gain closer ground to the couple. “You never even asked my approval.” He managed to say in a joking tone despite the circumstances.
Arya’s sword was a blur, but she never faltered as she fought. “That’s because we knew we already had it, your Grace,” she parried back at him with a grin.
Jon’s chuckle died on his lips as he had to tumble to avoid being stabbed by a wight. He came back to his feet, spitting snow from his mouth, as he fought off another one. By the furrow in his brow, he was either worried about this fight or thinking hard.
“You have to let me legitimize you first.” Jon shouted toward them suddenly, and it was Gendry’s turn to be caught off balance.
Arya stepped into take on both wights he’d been fighting as he glanced toward her brother. “Your Grace.” He said loudly. But it was a question.
Then it was Jon and Gendry fighting the wights back to back.
“You know you have my blessing to marry my sister,” Jon managed to shout over the clanging of their weapons. “But marry her as a lord. You need never take on the responsibilities, but the option will always be available to you both.”
It was Gendry’s turn to think, until he realized this wasn’t something to even think about. Not if it meant he got to marry her. When he looked towards Arya, he saw she’d already known his thoughts, and returned her sly grin.
“Say the words.” Gendry shouted at Jon who grinned brightly, then drove a sword through two more wights.
“Tormund! Thoros!” Jon shouted. “I need you.”
A sudden roar from behind and the two were tearing through wights toward their king. They stood with their swords extended at his side.
“Bear witness.” Jon commanded shortly. “Kneel.” This was directed at Gendry who fell to his knees in front of Jon. Arya ran to stand behind him to protect him from the oncoming enemy.
“You Southerners and your vows,” Tormund spat on the ground, then sliced the head off a wight, but still stood his ground next to them.
Jon brought Longclaw to Gendry’s shoulder carefully as Gendry lay his war hammer at Jon’s feet.
“Gendry Waters, do you pledge to me your fealty and your service and your life should need be?”
“My fealty, my service and my life are yours, your Grace.”
Jon moved his sword swiftly to tap Gendry’s other shoulder then lifted it. “Rise now as Lord Gendry of House Baratheon, Lord of Storm’s End and Warden of the South.” Jon turned toward the fight once more. “I’ll sign papers to make this official if we make it out of here alive,” he promised.
Gendry leapt to his feet, war hammer already in hand, to join Thoros and Tormund as another wave of wights came at them. Gendry almost lost Arya in the crowd, but clutched her right hand and kept her close as they fought. When most of the wights had subsided, the two found Jon, Thoros and Tormund once more.
“Stay close.” Jon told the latter two. “These two want to be married. We’ll need witnesses”
Thoros produced a laugh like thunder as he swept two wights aside almost effortlessly. “Are they to consummate it right here as well?” He boomed, still laughing, bringing pink to both Gendry and Arya’s cheeks.
Jon ignored the joke as he continued fighting.
When it seemed like they might soon be overrun, Gendry managed to find Arya and Jon’s eyes, willing them to get on with it now. Arya fought through a group of wights and reached out to grasp his hand.
“Jon.” She gasped, as she fought off more wights.
Jon’s eyes searched their surroundings until they found a weirwood tree, not twenty feet away. “There!” He shouted.
And their group of five fought swords, hammers and shields toward the tree. Gendry lost Arya’s hand in the fray and made it to the tree with Jon before her. She struggled towards them with Tormund at her side and Thoros nearby. Even near the tree, the wights came at them, and Jon fought three off until he could speak.
“Who comes before the gods?” Jon shouted so all five of them at least could hear, though others fighting for their side stared curiously toward the tree.
“Arya of House Stark!” Arya shouted his way as her and Tormund fought off wights.
“And who comes to claim her?” Jon managed to sputter as he fought off another handful of wights with Gendry’s help.
“Gendry of House Baratheon.” Gendry shouted loud enough for his bride-to-be and their witnesses to hear. The wights heard too but moments later, their heads had been severed, so they didn’t make for reliable witnesses.
“Who gives her?” Jon glanced meaningfully at Tormund who had clutched Arya’s arm to drag her toward the tree and away from the fight.
“I do,” Tormund bellowed, shoving Arya towards Gendry who caught her in his arms.
The fight continued, but Arya and Gendry managed to keep tight grips on each other’s hands through the ceremony as they fought.
“Arya,” Jon shouted, though in a softer tone than before, “do you take this man?”
Gendry felt Arya squeeze his hand roughly. “I take this man.” She said with a snarl as she ran Dark Sister straight through two wights who collapsed.
“Gendry, do you take this woman?” Gendry, who had been distracted by the attack on Arya, was nearly run through by another wight, who Jon immediately beheaded.
“I take this woman.” Gendry said hoarsely pulling her to him.
Both knowing the customs of the North, they knelt together in front of the Weirwood tree, as Jon, Tormund and Thoros gathered behind them to protect them as they silently prayed, clutching each other’s hands. Still, they kept their weapons at the ready.
“I’ll always keep you safe and warm.” Gendry whispered suddenly, bringing to mind the song that had been sung to them both so long ago in the warms halls of Acorn Hall.
Arya looked at him startled but pleased. It wasn’t part of the custom to say anything else, but it only made sense considering it was them. She squeezed his hand tightly again, then remembered there was more to the song. “And guard you with my sword.” She promised, clutching Dark Sister tighter as the battle raged behind them.
They allowed themselves one more moment as Gendry swept his bride into a deep kiss. Her hands clutched at his hair, and his held her to him tightly, both careful not to harm the other with their weapons. Snow falling thickly from above brought them swiftly back to the battle, as wights ascended from the scant branches of the weirwood.
Gendry and Arya both leapt to their feet and took on the wights from above. They never seemed to end. Soon even Jon, Tormund and Thoros had joined their fight.
“The changing of the cloaks!” Thoros shouted suddenly.
Gendry and Arya looked at him as if he were mad, but he simply shrugged. “Weren’t me that insisted on a winter wight wedding.” He chuckled at his own joke, pleased with himself, then fled to help the Hound and Brienne fight off another wave of wights.
As they fought, Gendry, Jon and Arya looked at each other.
Then Jon was covering them as Gendry swiftly removed the gray cloak Arya had been wearing and replaced it with the one he’d been wearing, which just happened to be black, which was at least one of the colors of his new house.
“Happy?” Jon shouted towards them as they kissed once more before immediately fighting the wights once more.
“Overwhelmingly.” Arya bit back, but the pink in her cheeks and her smile belied her sarcasm, and Gendry knew that despite the battle, despite the odds being against them…he knew that she was happy because he was happy because they were finally husband and wife. However long that should last…
Ok, I know that seems depressing, but even though I’m stopping here, let’s assume Daenerys comes and saves them all with the dragons and they get away back to Winterfell where they’re all finally able to celebrate/consummate! Also, forgive me if I got any customs wrong. I completely made up the legitimization ceremony because other than signed letters (like Tommen’s legitimizing Ramsay, we don’t have a lot to go off of otherwise). I did a little research to figure out the Northern wedding ceremony, but it could be wrong, but I did the best I could, hope it was enjoyed anyway! Also sorry that my description of the battle kind of sucks, but that was pretty secondary to what I was trying to do here and isn’t as easy to depict in words as on screen:
Including this note down here to avoid spoilers: This is loosely based on the scene in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies where Will and Elizabeth get married; I’d like to attribute the original idea of this to someone on tumblr who put a gifset of the POTC scene together and put it in the gendrya tags, but I don’t remember who they were or what their blog name was, but I’ll still attribute it to that person. Also, apologies if this has been done before; I searched diligently for something similar to make sure I wasn’t copying anyone, but went ahead with this when I couldn’t find anything, figuring/hoping it’d be a first.
I’m so looking forward to this episode and Jon and Dany are both wearing fur in their clothes which I love, there are gonna be lot’s of high strung emotions, dangerous plans and both a reunion and a goodbye. A pretty Epic episode and it’s only gonna get better from there with lot’s of jonerys feelings along the way.