Davos had to admit that he was really living in a fucked up world. He was not a stranger to this truth nor was he new in getting this enlightenment. He knew this from the moment he lived his life in the Flea Bottom.
From a young age, he lived in a street full of shit of the high lords occupying the Red Keep. He decided that he would make his own way in the world on his own terms. For a time, that belief made him strong and made him one of the best smugglers. He made his living by avoiding the law set by the high lords.
He thought it fair seeing as most high lords avoided his kind like the plague and treated them as some filth that was beneath their boots. For a time, his life was adventurous and he lived by his creed happily enough. Then he met his wife to be and started a family. He had children and every time he would go out into the sea to feed his family he had to watch their fearful eyes stained with worry. Every time he saw that look he felt a heaviness in his heart but he knew no other craft other than being a smuggler.
Smuggling things had become his way of life and he couldn't find a way out of his line of work. When Westeros plunged into a war that raged for over a year he made a fortune of smuggling things. After all, every highborn, as well as every able-bodied smallfolk, was off fighting someone's war.
It was at this point that he saw an opportunity and that's how he sailed into Storm's End with his boat full of salted beef and some onions. He had to evade being detected by the Redwyne fleet but after a lifetime of evading the Royal Fleet, this new self adopted mission was too easy. It was there he met Stannis Baratheon and all that he desired and more was given by Stannis. He may have lost his fingers but Stannis gave his son a better life. Davos was awarded a lordship and a keep of his own. The man even went as far as to declare him as the Hand of the king to Stannis Baratheon was just and honourable.
But, Davos had the misfortune of watching that great man become twisted by his desire for the Iron Throne. The once just man became a twisted fanatic by a group of fanatics that surrounded the rightful king of Westeros.
After the defeat King Stannis suffered in Blackwater Bay, it was Davos that suggested Stannis lead the remainder of his army to the Wall. It was a sound plan and they even managed to defeat the Wildlings thereby saving the Night's Watch as well as the other Northern Houses. It was at the Wall that he met Jon Snow and even King Stannis was very taken with the boy. That was why despite knowing the conflicting oath the boy took King Stannis offered to legitimize the boy as Jon Stark.
When the boy refused that offer for staying true to his vows he knew Kings Stannis was disappointed but he knew the man was very impressed. When the time came for the King to march his armies and retake the North from the Boltons, Davos was ordered to return to the Wall halfway through the march. No matter how much Davos begged the King he still took Shireen and his queen with his army and he had the distinct impression it was because of the red woman.
While Stannis marched his army through the North, Jon Snow who was elected as the new Lord Commander of the Night's Watch managed to save some Wildlings from Hardhome. The majority of the wildlings were children and women. The brothers of Night's Watch were not happy with Jon Snow's decision and tensions were running high. This was over the fact that those who went with Jon Snow saw the army of the Dead and White Walkers. While an uneasy peace prevailed as the Night's Watch opened the tunnels to let the wildlings settle in the Gift the Red Priestess returned all alone. Davos repeatedly questioned her about Shireen but the red woman would not speak of the girl or the battle. All she said was that the battle was lost and everyone died including Stannis, Queen Selyse and little Shireen.
Davos was wroth with rage at the red woman and he would have truly killed that woman if it wasn't for what happened to Jon Snow. The young lad was betrayed by his own brothers of the Night's Watch and stabbed to death under the cover of darkness. Right now that same lad was sitting not three feet from him glaring into the flames with a cup of ale in his hands. Davos hated to admit it but resurrecting Jon Snow was the one good deed done by the red woman since she came to Westeros.
"Are you alright lad?" Davos asked gently knowing full well just how fucked up everything was.
"I shouldn't be here. This is wrong! I died and yet I am alive. I should be with God and be at peace." said Jon and Davos let out a silent sigh of relief as that was the first words Jon Snow uttered after he was resurrected a few moments ago.
"Nothing makes sense anymore. We were told magic doesn't exist but we know that to be true. We were told the White Walkers didn't exist but we know them to be real. You were dead a few moments ago but now you are alive. It shouldn't be possible but it is what it is." said Davos but he could see that Jon was still brooding with a strange look on his face
"Look, I somewhat understand what you are going through. You tried your best to do your duty as Lord Commander and you had to make a decision that was not seen favourably by the rest of your sworn brothers. You died because of their treachery and yet here you are, a second chance at life. Do you know how many would yearn for a second chance? Yet here you are, the luckiest of them all and you can do a lot of good with this chance. You already did a lot of good when you saved thousands of people and brought them safely beyond the Wall. Our world is a shit world but it is the few people like you that give our world a small ray of hope for the future. Now, it is you who has to decide whether you continue to do good or wallow in self-pity."
Davos noted that Jon was staring at him with an unreadable look.
"You are a good man Ser Davos and you are right. I shouldn't be wallowing in self-pity when a lot of people are at risk." Jon said as he nodded to himself as if coming to some decision
"What happened after I was -- you know…?" Jon asked awkwardly
"Ser Allister and his cohorts took over the Night's Watch. Your friend Edd and some like-minded sworn brothers kept your body from being burnt. The Red Woman resurrected you and while that happened Edd managed to enlist the help of the Free Folk. They were understandably not happy to learn that the person that saved them was stabbed to death. Ser Allister and his co-conspirators have been caught and await your judgement." Davos explained and for a moment he watched on as Jon once again descended into deep thought.
"I don't know if I can do it or even I should. What right do I have to take their lives? They were doing what they thought was right. The Night's Watch has fought Wildlings ever since it was first established and that age-old rivalry and hate was not going to vanish just because I force the issue. Then again I didn't have much of a choice in the matter. Time was not on my side." Jon let out a disappointed sigh as he started to brood once again.
"As you said time was not on your side at the moment and you did what you thought best. Not everyone will understand or even agree with your actions but you did what had to be done and there are thousands of people who owe you for that decision. I'd say that makes you the greatest Lord Commander the Night's Watch has ever seen. If you ask why then I would say it is because you saved more lives than you ever took." said Davos and he watched on as Jon nodded to himself and stood up from his seat.
"I should have listened more closely to Maester Aemon's advice. Kill the boy and let the man be born, he said. I took action and saved the Free Folk but I didn't take any action even when I knew that the Watch was divided. I should have acted first and stamped out any rebellious thoughts. I made that mistake and I won't repeat that again." said Jon and Davos watched as the young lad secured Longclaw on his waist. With quick measured steps, he watched Jon step out of the room into the cold frigid frigid air of the North.
Not wanting to be left out Davos also stepped out right beside Jon and he followed the lad down the steps. The silence in Castle Black was palpable and Davos noticed their footsteps echoed within the walls. The Free Folk and the brothers of Night's Watch were staring at Jon as if he was the Stranger given life or the Old Gods. He was not sure of the gods they believed in but from their looks, he could see awe and fear, a healthy combination that is reserved for a God in his opinion.
Davos watched on as Jon exchanged words with Tormund who had led the wildlings into Castle Black and Edd who is a trusted friend of Jon. When Jon climbed up the steps to where all the traitors were set up to be hanged he moved closer as did others to hear what Jon had to say. Instead of hearing out the last wishes of the traitors like he thought Jon instead addressed the Free Folk and the Night's Watch.
"When I made the decision to let the Free Folk settle south of the Wall I did it with the intention of saving them and us. We all know that the White Walkers and an army of dead people march on the Wall. Everything living north of the Wall will be made to fight for the Night King and I had the choice of letting the Free Folk die at his hand or save them. I chose to save them because they are living breathing beings just like us. I can't say the same for the White Walkers and their army of dead men. When they come and they will come—I had hoped that all the living must be gathered here to fight the darkness together. We may have our differences but the Night's Watch is an order that is sworn to protect what's south of the Wall. We can't protect the realms of men if we are going to fight a hundred thousand or double that number of dead people with fifty men. But some of you refuse to even understand what is at stake and still hold on to your hate for the Free Folk even when we face annihilation." Jon threw a dirty look at Allister Thorne and continued...
"These fine men behind me had similar beliefs and their blind hatred made them stab me under the cover of the night. They didn't have the decency to even fight me face to face as real men should have. They are cowards and when they took the sword against me they took the sword against all of mankind. For that action, there can be only one punishment—death!" Jon shouted as he swung his sword and cut the rope to the trap door.
All the traitors hung on the rope and Davos saw that Jon was breathing quite haggardly by now. Jon walked down the podium and turned to Edd who was standing next to him.
"Make sure they are dead and then tie them to a rope and throw them over the Wall. If they are raised from the dead cut off their legs and arms and secure them in a box with chains. If we are to make the lords of Westeros take us seriously we need to show them proof." said Jon and he was about to move forward but paused halfway and unfastened his cloak.
"My watch has ended." said Jon and handed over his black cloak to Edd and walked out of the courtyard.
The brothers of the Night's Watch, as well as the Free Folk, never spoke a word, all too stricken by what happened in a few spans of moments.
Later when Davos was growing concerned with the continued absence of Jon in Castle Black he found out from one of the guards at the tunnel that Jon had gone north of the Wall and was praying before a Heart Tree. While Davos had some real concerns about the northside of the Wall he decided not to disturb the young lad. Already he could see too many changes in Jon Snow. While the usual brooding was still there the lad walked differently than before.
When Davos had seen him first the lad walked as if there was a great weight on his shoulders and now he walked straight head held high. While there was nothing wrong with that there was also the way Jon Snow was speaking. The Jon he knew was a man of few words and the speech that he delivered before the Night's Watch really troubled Davos. Still, it was understandable as the lad was dead a few minutes before so there ought to be some changes. He just prayed that there were not too many changes. He could already see the red woman watching the tunnel like a hawk and he swore to himself that he won't allow her claws to dig into Jon Snow. Not while he was still drawing breathe!
Jon Snow was very confused and afraid when he breathed again like the rest of the living. It was not just because he was dead a few minutes ago but rather he was not exactly himself and at the same time he was. When he returned from wherever it was that his soul went after death he returned with another soul. He was Jon Snow but at the same time, he was Christopher Pole. He felt like he had lived another entire life in a world that frankly looked magical compared to the one that he was currently occupying.
Christopher was someone that worked as a freelance mercenary. Most of the time he dealt with acquiring sensitive information for business tycoons and even occasionally for the government. Christopher died when one such mission turned out to be a trap and the next thing he knows he was bombarded by Jon Snow's memories, feelings and instincts. The shock from his death as well as waking up in another body with a whole set of new memories really did a number on his mental facilities. It took him almost an hour to accept that he was in the body of Jon Snow the bastard of Winterfell and Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. While an internal battle was raging inside his mind between the personalities of Jon Snow and Christopher Pole the outside world was going nuts.
There was the Red Priestess who was obsessed with her god and then there was Ser Davos who was intent on keeping said priestess at bay. In that situation, the only thing he could do was shut up and block out all their whining. It should have taken almost an hour to get some grip on his waning sanity and he followed through with his actions as best as he could. While his head was pounding with a megaton headache he managed to greet Davos, Tormund and Edd. He did all he could to sound sane enough and hanged the traitors. Immediately after that, he went straight for a Weirwood tree because that was the only place where Jon could find some semblance of peace and quiet.
That was how he found himself staring at the white Weirwood tree. This was the same tree that witnessed Jon's vow to the Night's Watch.
For quite a long time, he sat before the tree and stared unblinkingly at the face that was carved on it. After some time passed he felt himself move almost as if in a trance. He felt a weight in his hand and he realized that it was Longclaw. Without a shred of doubt, he began hacking at the carved face of the tree.
After three blows Longclaw had a green stain on its edge and Jon stopped hacking. Stabbing his sword to the ground he removed the gloves from his hand. He pressed his palm tightly on his blade and the sharp edge of the Valyrian Steel blade easily bit into his palm drawing blood. At this point, he didn't have the foggiest idea what he was doing and he was working on pure instinct. He smeared his blood on the tree and with his bleeding palm, he gathered the green paste as much as his hand could collect. Not wasting a moment he began to lap it up and strangely it tasted like amla juice. It had a bitter taste but at this point, Jon was beyond caring. As the last bit of the green paste trickled through his throat he felt a blackness consuming him and he knew no more.
"So strange. You have broken out of the chains of fate. I wonder what you will do Jon Snow. I should not be this much surprised as you carry the unpredictability of the Wolfsblood and the sheer power of dragon blood. I wish you good fortunes in the wars to come." Jon heard a voice whispering from the darkness that was around him and then there was a flash of light that lit up his eyes in white. One by one every shred of memory since the moment he was born in the Tower of Joy to the moment he died was getting hammered into his head one after the other. Unlike the last time, he was not getting a splitting headache but rather he was feeling as if he was reliving the last seventeen years in one go. He felt the disappointment when he learned that he was a bastard and what it meant. He felt like an outsider in Winterfell and the desire to get the Stark name took root in his mind. He felt shame he felt for being the stain of honour of Lord Eddard Stark, his father who turned out to be his uncle. He felt the cold looks that he received from Lady Catelyn and the pain he felt when he realized that he would never be accepted in Winterfell. He felt the moment that he realized that he must take the Black rather than suffer being an outsider in Winterfell. He felt the disappointment when he realized that his father(uncle) never even warned him about the sorry state of the Night's Watch after seeing the truth by his own eyes. He felt the ocean of rage and anguish as one by one his family was slaughtered in the South. He felt the heartache that almost swallowed him whole when he watched helplessly as Ygritte died right before his eyes. He felt the profound sense of loss when he burned her body in the woods. Then finally he felt the shock and pain as he was betrayed by his own sworn brothers.
With a chocked gasp his awareness returned to his body and he felt as if he was actually sane for the first time since he woke up in this world. There was no more voices or flashes of memories that were distracting him from the reality around him. He now realised just who he was. He is Jon Snow but his given name was Daeron Targaryen the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, rightful heir to the Iron Throne of Westeros. By that point, he was on his knees before the Weirwood tree. He picked himself up from the snow and accidentally placed his hand on the Weirwood tree.
A warmth passed through his body and felt his consciousness partially separate from his body. The next thing he knew he was seeing the inside of Castle Balck's kennel. Jon realized he had warged into Ghost and he was seeing through the eyes of his loyal companion. The wolf promptly howled and Jon didn't know whether it was in joy or in pain. He would like to think that it was in joy as their minds synced far better than ever before. He was starting to feel even a trickle of emotion from Ghost and he was relieved to note that it was content mixed with some happiness.
For a brief moment, he found himself in his own body but quickly once again he warged on instinct. This time he was in a dark room but as time passed his vision began to get cleared up slowly. While visibility was low he could make out a serpentine figure right beside him. Just as the question of what it was he was seeing crossed in his mind the answer was delivered in a screech.
It was then that Jon realized that he had warged into Rhaegal the green dragon that Daenerys had named after her elder brother Rhaegar. Jon was really stunned for a moment that he could warg into a dragon and that too even when they are miles apart. His mind flashed through plans in a second and a distant memory of his studies with Maester Luwin came to his mind.
"Sōvegon(fly)" Jon commanded in High Valyrian through the mental link.
Jon was taking a shot in the dark but luckily it struck true. Rhaegal began to breathe flames into the walls beneath the pyramid and the intense heat was melting down the stones in quick order. The green dragon swung its tail and smashed the rest of the stone wall away and quickly took to the skies. Jon could hear the screeches from Viserion via the mental link but Rhaegal still continued to fly. The strange thing was he was getting the feeling that Rhaegal was searching through his memories in a pace that was frankly alarming. Even with his warging powers, he couldn't exactly completely shield himself from Rhaegal accessing his memories. The only option was to cut off the connection and that was exactly what he did.
Jon took several haggard breaths feeling like he had run across the entire countryside. His throat was dry and he had the urge to drink something to alleviate that itch. He pushed himself up using Longclaw as a crutch but he felt his body go rigid all of a sudden and once again his consciousness split off from his body. The veil of darkness was blotted out and instead, he found himself standing on top of a building with the morning sun glaring down at him. His eyes widened as he took in the sight of a wide sprawled out city with a gigantic pyramid almost touching the clouds. He saw Rhaegal flying right over his head and was heading westwards.
Jon felt someone move behind his back and he quickly turned to face an old man in black robes.
"I guess congratulations are in order. You are the first person in history to successfully warg into a dragon. Forgive me for not introducing myself. I am Brynden Rivers but I also go by the name of three-eyed-raven." said Brynden as he walked closer to the edge of the building and observed Rhaegal flying away despite the screeches from Viserion.
"How did you…?"
"I am a greenseer and I do have the power to tap into your mind as well as all minds of all living creatures in the world. You are also a greenseer, a recently awakened gift I am afraid but you are handling it better than your cousin." said Brandon as he faced Jon and sat down slowly at the edge of the building.
"Bran is with you?" Jon asked to confirm what he knew about the timeline because even with everything that was happening he can't expect everything to go just as in the shows.
Already, a huge divergence was made by his own actions and the ramifications of his actions are unknown at this point. Besides he felt that the shows bungled up the entire timeline by making people appear through wormholes or something. The prevailing theory was Westeros and Essos was riddled with wormholes that somehow transported people hundreds of miles in a second.
"Fear not Daeron. Your cousin is safe with me and in time he will reach you unharmed."
"Don't call me by that name. Who are you? How do you know that name? Why am I here?" Jon asked warily not to let his true knowledge show to Brynden just in case the guy was hostile.
"If you prefer Jon Snow then that is what I shall call you. I once had a brother by the name of Daeron, Jon Snow. I am Brynden Rivers, bastard son of Aegon IV and brother to King Daeron the Second. I know your name because I watched you while you were born and I watched you as you grew up to where you stand. As for why I am here, it is to meet you in person and help you in any way I can. You and your cousin Brandon are the only two people who have awakened the gift of Greensight other than me in centuries. Your power will be sorely needed in the coming Long Night." said Brynden with a sigh
"So you know about the Others. Where are you and where is Bran?" Jon asked
"I know about the Others and I am training young Bran to fully control his gifts. I am sorry to say that I won't be able to help you as much as I wish. Besides, you will have a role to play in uniting Westeros when the time comes. But I came here to offer my limited time to train you as well as to hand over something to you. In your hands, it will find a better use." with that said Brynden began to show him a memory…
When Jon came out of the memory he was kneeling before the Weirwood tree. He rubbed his forehead as a small headache was taking root. Before it got worse he decided to do what he had to do and find the little gift Brynden had left not far from the Weirwood tree. He was going to find Dark Sister and that would make his claim more strong. Then again he was still queasy about declaring his legitimacy because that was going to be an uphill battle with a lot of downsides as well. Whatever the case maybe he was not going to say no to an extra Valyrian Steel blade.
Petyr Baelish watched on sardonically as Robin Arryn's shoddy attempts at archery. He glanced sideways at Lord Royce and he was amused to note that the lord of Runestone was trying in vain to conceal the disappointment at the martial powers of the future lord of the Vale.
Personally, he considered it something to celebrate seeing as his ward has managed to at least move his arrow from one point to another. He was very fortunate that Robin Arryn inherited more from his air-headed mother than his father. It just made his plans much simpler and consequently, it also kept the boy alive. So long as the boy was easy to manipulate he was quite happy to leave 'sweet Robin' to his distorted and sickly existence.
Peter was interrupted in his musings as one of his men came to him handing over a roll of parchment. As he read the contents of the parchment his eyes twinkled in excitement as yet again one of his plans came to fruition. His gamble had paid off and Sansa has successfully escaped Winterfell as Stannis Baratheon attacked Winterfell.
The good news was that Stannis is dead, removing another one of his potential enemies from the board leaving the Boltons an easy pick. There is dissent among the Northern Houses and it was time to make his move and take the North along with his lovely Sansa.
True she might have suffered but it was from suffering people find strength. Petyr himself was born out of the suffering of a lovesick boy who was spurned in favour of a political match with a Great House by his true love.
Decades after that incident Petyr stood at the top while House Tully and House Stark were wiped away. Now, it was his time and he was going to celebrate his total hold over Vale, North and Riverlands soon enough with Catelyn's daughter. While Sansa was not pure in the body he wouldn't mind it that much. After all, he had ensured her mind would always be his as he had trained her to think in a certain way. For him, that was the ultimate ownership and he was eager to meet his investment.
It was time for the knights of the Vale to take the North for him and his new bride. He was really looking forward to seeing Sansa once again. With that happy thought, he addressed Robin Arryn and subtly led the boy and those around him to what Petyr wanted.