aegon VI targaryen
Aegon Targaryen rides north from Storm’s End with a Martell to his left and a Dayne to his right, banners of griffins, suns-and-spears, and dragons at his back. He reaches the Vale of Arryn to find no Arryns, but a wife of a Lannister, widow of a Hardyng, with the look of a Tully, but no doubt a Stark.
There is snow in her hair and ice in her eyes when she greets him, clearly lady over all in a house and land so far away from her own. “And what proof do you have that you are who you say you are?” She asks, after he had proclaimed himself and his intent, and endured the derisive snorts and disbelieving laughter of her lords and ladies.
He nods to one of the women behind him. The dyes are washed from her hair, the white septa’s robes traded for skirts in the lavender of her house; Ashara Dayne is Lemore no longer. “The word of my foster parents. The Lady Ashara Dayne of Starfall and former- Hand of the King Jon Connington.”
Sansa Stark is unimpressed, though her eyes drift to Lady Dayne with curiousity. “Words are wind. You would have the knights of the Vale go to war for you, have them fight and die to seat you on a throne to rule over them on this? The promise of a woman long thought dead and an exile?”
Aegon smiles. “Ah, but you see, my lady, I do not mean to fight for the Iron Throne. Not yet. There is another war we must see to first.”
The lords around her begin to grumble, some even begin shouting, but Lady Stark holds up one delicate hand and they bow to her will, silent but sullen. “Another war? And who exactly would we be fighting against in this war?”
“The Long Night.” The lords break out in laughter, but Lady Stark silences them again. “I would have your armies march north with mine, to the Wall. The words of your house have told true, my lady, winter has come, and it crueler than anyone could have imagined. As we speak, my aunt, Daenerys Targaryen, her army, and her three dragons fight with what is left of Stannis Baratheon’s forces and the Night’s Watch against the Others. I mean to gather what true soldiers these kingdoms have left and meet her there. Her, and my brother.”
The men around her begin to mummer again, but she ignores them, her eyes still hard and impassive, but her knuckles clenched white against the arms of her chair. “Your brother? I was not aware Rhaegar Targaryen had two sons.”
To her clear surprise, he begins to laugh. “Neither was I until a few weeks ago. My father had a daughter and a son with Elia Martell. And then he had a son with Lyanna Stark. The boy was hidden away and kept safe from the Usurper, like I was. I’m sure you know him well, my lady. Your lord father hid him at Winterfell and raised him as his bastard son.”
The great hall of the Gates of the Moon is silent, motionless, every lord of the Vale watching their lady, waiting for her response. From the corner of his eye, he sees Duck tensing, and Ashara standing breathless. Finally, white-faced and trembling, Sansa Stark stands. “Your Grace. You have my attention now.”