Re-write of season 8-ish
Here’s my add-on for season 8. I know you asked that it be 500 words or less, but…fuck it. I was never fond of “rules” anyway. I know it’s long, but I hope you read it.
****Fan fiction of Season 8, beginning moments after Jon stabs Daenerys****
Jon, devoid of emotion after killing his lover and queen, walked sullenly out of the ruins of the Red Keep. A gait that only days ago was teeming with a machine-like resolve had now been replaced by a lifeless amble. His face, mouth agape, wore an expression of equal parts shock and regret.
As Jon approached the same spot where Daenerys had only recently delivered her impassioned speech to her bloodthirsty army, he scanned the scene through disheartened and battle-worn eyes. The ranks and formations had all dispersed, and Daenerys’s legion was now scattered throughout the courtyard as far as the eye could see. Some seemed to be celebrating their victory amid piles of charred Lannister soldiers and civilians. The Unsullied, no longer donning helmets, practiced battle techniques in small groups, certain that the next war would be fast approaching. Dothraki could be seen lifting their arakh’s towards the heavens, confident that they were fated to conquer anyone who opposed them. Northmen, most of whom Jon knew intimately, were arranged in groups of their own. Some were celebrating with ale and far-flung tales of battle glory, but most sat idly by and observed with sheer disconcertment the manner in which their newfound allies welcomed the slaughter of countless souls, innocent and otherwise.
A group of several Dothraki warriors were the first to recognize that something was amiss. As they strode on horseback toward him, Jon slowly began to realize the gravity of his newfound situation. He had killed their queen; their protector; the one who had just finished promising them a lifetime of glory and triumph.
As the Dothraki began to close the gap to reach Jon, they conversed amongst themselves. Even though he could not understand their native tongue, he fully grasped the aggressive intent of their discussion. Several other riders, also mounted, caught up quickly, and it dreq the attention of the nearby crowd. One rider, who spoke a very broken version of the Common Tongue, translated for the group:
“Our Queen, where is she? She has not returned to with instruction…”
He paused for a moment, examining Jon’s obviously shell-shocked condition. With half the patience and twice the malice, he continued:
“The Dragon who still lives could be heard screaming as if it were in battle…it wailed as it rode the air until we could no longer see it’s shape in the heavens. You will tell me now- what has happened to our Queen?”
Jon stood perfectly still, carefully pondering his response. Each time he considered a course of action, a boundless abyss of anguish swallowed up any thread of mindful responses or actions, replacing them with hopelessness and sorrow. The Dothraki, now within 20 meters of distance, continued:
“You will tell me–”
“I killed her” Jon bluntly interjected. “I killed your Queen…OUR Queen….I didn’t want to…but…”
He stopped and looked towards the earth, remembering what his father taught him regarding the word “but” and gathered the courage to continue. He closed his eyes briefly, swallowed, and shook his head slightly, realizing that this debate was completely unwinnable. Devoid of emotion, he looked into the eyes of his Inquisitor, and with a steel resolve, stated “I had to.”
Jon’s eyes scanned the crowd, who had by this time all stopped what they were previously doing and focussed exclusively on what he was saying. He exclaimed loudly for all around to hear:
“You hear me? I HAD to. We all joined together, fought together, BLED together, to QUELL the storm, not to become one ourselves”
He turned his attention from one individual to another, processing their reactions. The Unsullied stood like statues, emotionless. Those that understood the Common Tongue realized their only reason for living had just been ripped away in an instant, but none would give a hint as to whether or not they were privy to that knowledge. The northermen could be seen covertly readying themselves for a fight, willing to die for “THEIR” King. The Dothraki, for the most part, did not comprehend the words that Jon spoke, but they all instinctively knew that their Khaleesi had been betrayed, and the intense heat from their inner fervor could be felt as if standing in front of a fire.
Jon reached for Longclaw, and without pause pulled it from it’s sheathe in one fluent motion. Firmly in hand, he held it out away from his body and abruptly dropped it to the ground, sending an echoing “clank” throughout the crowd. As his confidence reached it’s threshold, he proceeded:
“We have all seen enough suffering for ten lifetimes. Some of you can not understand what I am saying, but your families may understand, and your children will, when you are still alive to raise them…and your children’s children…”
He again surveyed the onlookers. The Unsullied had begun to gather into small formations, unfazed by Jon’s speech. The Dothraki could be seen speaking to each other, translating, all the while their enmity visibly rising by the second. Jon saw his Northern brothers take positions, determining who were enemies and allies, and planning to get the jump on anyone who acted hostile towards their Northern King.
Jon focussed his attention on one man specifically, covertly maneuvering through the crowd to be closer to the action. He was small of stature, looked to be about 40, but with a quiet strength about him. Jon recognized him from The Battle of the Bastards, having fought with him as Ramsey’s men surrounded and slaughtered their army. He was not a hero for any specific action in battle that day, nor any other. Jon then remembered passing him during the battle against the Night King as the dead breached the walls. He vividly recalled the man’s face, completely composed, even as Death drew closer by the second. During the feast that followed, Jon recalled watching the party dance and flow around this man, as he sat quietly alone in his thoughts. Even though they had spent so much of their lives intertwined, Jon could not remember this Northerner’s name, nor even if he had ever known it to begin with. He felt a wave of shame wash over his body. Here was a man who had fought beside him and risked his life again and again, battle after battle, for Jon’s ambitions, yet he may never have even bothered to speak to him to learn his name, nor those of his parents, much less his own goals and reaches in life.
Only a few seconds had passed while Jon’s thinking had wandered, but it seemed like an eternity. He quickly snapped out of his thoughts as the Dothraki screamed:
“I will kill you myself, to avenge the Khaleesi!! Death is too good for you, coward, but it will be so!!”
As he finished his last word, he raised his Arakh high, as if he were attempting to slice through the heavens, and let out a shrieking war cry. Wasting no time, he charged full speed at Jon with an unquenchable blood-lust.
Jon closed his eyes and passively accepted his fate, hoping that death may fill the boundless void that had engulfed him since plunging a dagger into his Queen’s heart. Any fear of the Unknown had been released, and he prepared himself to greet Death as a welcome friend.
To Jon’s surprise, instead of being cut down, the shrill sound of a horse neighing sliced through his ears instead, followed directly by a hollow “thud”. As his eyes slid open, he witnessed the Dothraki who had only seconds earlier sentenced him to death, now laying on the ground several paces away, still alive but shaken considerably. He looked up at Jon, and his eyes told a story full of both confusion and fear. His horse, now calm, stood at a distance, shaking it’s head rigorously as if to expunge from it’s mind whatever it had just experienced.
Jon, equally confused, stood silently as a second rider screamed in his native tongue and charged just as the first had. This time, however, Jon refused to close his eyes, and instead challenged death by staring straight through his attacker, all the while not permitting his eyes blink. As the Dothraki neared, his steed began to buck wildly mid-gallop, propelling itself off course and flailing erradically until it’s rider was flung down to the ground, his leg being crushed and twisted as the horse’s fit of rage commenced.
Just as quickly as it had begun, the animal’s temper withdrew and a passive temperament seemed to take hold once again.
A third horselord, acting with more caution than his cohorts, steadied himself and took a moment to strategize a plan of attack before rushing in to attack. This gave Jon’s mind enough time to assess the Divine nature of his current situation. Someone… someTHING…rather than himself…controlled his Fate. Would the Lord of Light simply not allow him to perish? Was he still needed for some role unknown to him? If he had no control over when he was allowed to die, does that mean that he will be used as a pawn, even against his own will, as long as some higher power deems it so? Or…is Fate more powerful than any human or God, and completely inevitable?
This existential conundrum flitted briefly throughout his thoughts, but ended abruptly as the third Dothraki began to charge at him. Once again, Jon’s gaze focussed intently as the horse drew closer, and just as the attempts prior, the Rider was thrown off violently. Fear and awe filled the eyes of every Dothraki who bore witness to the event.
A Dothraki learns to ride as early as he does to walk, and is more comfortable in the saddle than on the earth itself. This was no fluke. The Unsullied seemed unphazed and stoic. Patches of the Northmen began to cheer at the sight of their King standing taller than ever without ever having swung a sword as he was thrice the target of onslaught.
The Dothraki, meanwhile, were all communicating with one another in their native tongue. They grew louder word by word, until what began as hushed whispers amongst themselves swiftly transformed into a chaotic eruption that rumbled throughout the entire congregation of witnesses, almost to the point of causing the ground beneath their feet to quake. A translator was not necessary to realize that none of them seemed to agree on how to proceed. Debates between fellow horsemen were on the verge of causing fights in their own ranks, based upon the way they gestured with their Arakh’s as they spoke.
The Dothraki who understood the common tongue rose to his feet, shaken to the core with both pain and fear. His people were far too busy quarreling amongst themselves to take notice that he had regained his alertness. He screamed in Dothraki, louder and more emphatically than anyone else present. Jon, nor any Northmen, could translate a single word of his speech, although they could easily discern that every single Dothraki present took heed and remained silent as he conveyed to them his evaluation of what had transpired. When his parlance was finished, every horseman collectively stayed silent and nodded in begrudged agreement.
When he was satisfied that all of his countrymen were in agreement, the rider fixed his attention on those that only understood the Common Tongue.
“It is a sign” he stated. “The assassin, he is not to be harmed today. We have all bore witness to these omens, delivered to us by the Great Stallion.” He paused briefly, as a multitude of voices could be heard questioning his adjudication. He proceeded, “He will die, but not today. It is not my decision, but the will of the Great Stallion”.
Before his statement had concluded , an Unsullied soldier could be seen aggressively pushing through the crowd in an attempt to gain the attention of the audience himself. Jon could not see his face from this distance, but the fervor of the man’s walk divulged his identity immediately: Grey Worm.
Mid-stride, he proceeded to enter into an incensed parlay, frothing and teeming with outrage as if he was breathing fire with each word he spoke. The Dothraki, convinced that what transpired was a portent of the highest order, could not be swayed. Grey Worm disputed this interpretation, saying “He must be killed. This man has slain the Mother of Dragons, the Breaker of Chains. You would sit by and allow him to walk away without punishment?”
Jon was unsure how to feel, as his emotions had since exploded inside of him and still remained a jumbled cacophony at the moment. He wished for Death, for a final rest, so that his wars and his watch could both conclusively cease. All the while, he could not leave the Northmen that had followed him to King’s Landing to fend for themselves. They would surely attempt to fight for his life, even if he wouldn’t fight for his own. Jon did not wish to have another person’s blood staining his hands, both literally and figuratively. He listened more as Grey Worm spoke:
“I will kill him myself if that is what it takes, even if he will not pick up a sword to defend himself….”
As his statement finalized, he stared straight through Jon’s soul with a hatred he had never before showed, even during their last battle. In his own mind, he was assuredly both judge and jury, and Jon’s fate had been sealed the moment he slew their Queen.
Before he could act on his verdict, Ser Davos walked calmly into the line of fire. He cast Jon a glance followed by a quick nod, and even though it lasted less than a heartbeat, the expression on his face told a million stories in one. Jon knew him better than his own family at this point in life, and the same could be said of Davos as well. The look on his face was telling: stern, yet understanding. Without a word spoken, he could hear Davos’s voice ring through his head, saying “what have you gotten yer’self into now? Dammit, I’ll figure out a way ta’ get ya’ out, just follow ma’ lead”.
As Grey Worm turned his attention toward Davos, his ire redirected itself to him as well.
“He can’t just be executed, it would’t be right, not by the laws here in Westeros” Davos explained.
“There are no laws here at this time” Grey Worm interjected. “We make the laws. We decide who is right and who is wrong. We decide punishment”
Without hesitation, Davos retorted “Who do you mean by ‘WE’? Do you mean US, together, in agreement? B’cause I don’t think everyone here agrees with your decision. Do you mean WE, as in just the Unsullied? They would make great executioner’s, but if the’r the only ones makin’ the rules, this new nation we are standing on is no better than the one we just dethroned, nor the Slavers you toppled before you crossed the sea. He can be executed, if that’s what’s agreed upon, but to do so before having a trial would set a bad precedent for the world we were fighting to build. Take him into custody, give him a trial, a FAIR trial, and show the world that WE are not some damn’d savages! In custody, his head isn’t goin’ anywhere, and startin’ this country the right way wou’d make ya’ a true hero in the eyes of all these people. You’r their leader now, Grey Worm. They won’t want to follow a butcher, and those that do, well, they’ll start makin’ their own laws when nobody else is around”.
Even though his hatred had not subsided one bit, Davos’s impassioned speech did seem to affect his rashness of action.
“I must be the one…” Grey worm argued, cutting off his own words.
Davos calmly responded “WE, Grey Worm. It has to be ‘WE’. Otherwise, why did we fight n’ bleed, just to become what we destroyed”?
Reluctantly, Grey Worm directed his attention to the nearest batch of Unsullied soldiers, instructing them to lock him up in the darkest cell available. As the soldiers marched toward him, Davos gave Jon one last affirmative nod, and with half a smile, he stated in a low voice “Now I hav’ ta’ go hav’ a talk with those sisters of y
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