Chapter Eleven – The Great Coup of King's Landing: Part Two

Lord Eddard Stark:

Ever since Jon left on that night three, almost four, years ago, Lyanna had been a constant fixture in his dreams, or rather, nightmares. Sometimes yelling, sometimes crying, sometimes cursing, yet as he woke up in the absolute darkness of the Black Cells, he wished nothing more for these to return, as his last visage of Lyanna, quiet and judgmental, hurt more than any insult she could throw at him.

The pain Eddard felt the day he had to call off the search for Jon could only compare to the day he lost his father and brother in a cruel, fiery stroke, from the Mad King; and the day he slew Ashara's brother to find his sister dying in a bed of winter roses.

The fact he felt Jon was as much of a son as Robb, Bran, and Rickon only added to that feeling. Robb would always be his firstborn and heir, a fine young man who made him proud, even more so after he took it upon himself to hold his siblings together after the departure of Jon, despite his own, noticeable, pain. Yet, he always felt he could relate more to Jon.

Maybe it was the fact that, despite Jon being raised a Snow, he was also a second son just like him. Seeing the way Robb easily captured people's attention whilst Jon trailed as a shadow was akin to his relationship with Brandon. Yet, he knew it wouldn't be fair to compare generations. He felt that, setting Jon aside, Ned himself, and his siblings were more mature than Robb and the others in their respective ages. However, he saw in Robb and the others potential to surpass his generation.

Whether that potential would be realized was a whole different story.

As he saw firsthand in Robert, Jorah Mormont, Lyn Corbray, and many others, war had a way of bringing out the worst in people, even more so in the younger ones. Laying the urine-stained straw on the floor, feeling his leg throbbing in pain, Eddard knew war was coming. His wife had taken a son of Tywin Lannister captive, bringing his wrath into the Riverlands. Both Stannis and Renly, the latter with the backing of the Reach, wouldn't stand down and let their claims be usurped. To top that, at this very moment, Robb must have received word of his imprisonment and called the banners, bringing the North into the fray once again.

He only wished for the safety of his children.

When he saw a sliver of light pass through the reinforced oak door, he thought he might've been hallucinating. Lyanna had not been the only fixture in his slumber, as he saw his own father, Brandon, Jon Arryn, and Robert too. Being in the darkness, devoid of any other sense than the smell, he felt he was becoming mad too.

In that moment he wondered if this feeling of deprivation was what caused the Mad King to finally snap in Duskendale.

The sound of the steps, however, broke him of those thoughts.

"Who's there?" he asked, voice rasp and rough, the Lannisters hadn't given him anything to drink ever since he was thrown there.

A choked-out sob and a voice made his blood freeze. "Father. I'm so sorry."


"Sansa? What are you doing there?"

The Lannisters already had proven time and time again that they were an unsavory bunch, and now he asked the Old Gods and the new that Sansa would be left alone.

It was his mistake, not hers!

"She's here as proof of our goodwill." A voice, devoid of any accent, responded.

Who he belongs to?

"Who are you? Who do you work for?"

"You can call me Duncan; I believe you're acquainted with Gendry from the Street of Steel."

"M'lord." Much to his surprise, he recognized the owner of the second voice as him, this Duncan was indeed speaking the truth.

"I don't understand."

"Would you rather be confused in the dark, covered in your own piss, or at a ship en route to Storm's End, Dragonstone, Gulltown, or any other place in which they don't want to kill you?"

"Arya!" he yelled suddenly. "Where's Arya?"

"The bad news is that we couldn't find her. The good news is that the Lannisters couldn't either." Duncan responded.

"I'm not going anywhere without her."

"You are. I'm not. Gendry will help take you to a ship, the captain will give you and your daughter free passage to any port in the Seven Kingdoms. I will stay here and look for her."

"Why would you do that?"

"I would never leave my sister alone."

His heart rate accelerated.

Judging by the voice pitch, Duncan was the same age as Robb and Gendry. Robb spoke with a thick Northern accent, something the mysterious figure lacked. Yet he spoke as a noble, or at least someone raised at a castle.

Only one person would fit that description.

A son of Winterfell lost by his lies.

"Jon?" he wanted to croak, but his throat was sore, so he heard Sansa's voice instead, his eldest daughter most likely figuring out his identity too.

"Sansa." he heard the voice say, a hint of fondness in his voice. "It's been a long time."

"Got it." Gendry voice cut through the reunion and he heard the sound of the rustling of keys and a large padlock falling to the ground.

Eddard Stark felt light invade his eyes and suddenly he could see no more.

"Father!" the feminine voice and soft touch of Sansa proved this was not a dream, yet he couldn't see. "Jon, why he doesn't open his eyes?"

"He was locked here in the darkness for three days now, give him a minute or two."

Ned did not know whether he was blind for a minute or two as Jon had said, all he felt was his ragged breathing, the throbbing pain in his right leg, and the soft, tender touch of Sansa in his embrace.

When his eyes finally opened, and he could finally make sense of the shapes around him, he quickly darted his eyes around, paying no mind to the dark walls of the dungeons, instead searching for the faces.

He could see the blue eyes and thick black hair of Gendry, an image of Robert back in the Vale of Arryn. The seed was indeed strong.

Darting around he saw the concerned face of his eldest daughter, her hair covered in a net rather than the elaborate style she seemed to have taken a liking to.

Finally, he turned to his son in all but name, who left Winterfell as a boy and now was almost a man-grown. His hair was slightly shorter, but it was the few scars that adorned his face that added to that sense of maturity. Thankfully, other than those, he seemed to be unscathed, his gray eyes staring back at him.


"Father." He greeted; his tone neutral. "We have lots to talk about, but this is not the time" the son of Lyanna then glanced around "Neither the place."

"You were hiding there the whole time?"

Jon shook his head. "I was in Essos for the last two years, only returned when I heard talk of the Kingslayer attacking you."

"You said you had a ship waiting for us." He would have to talk with Jon later, but now he had to guarantee the safety of his daughters.

"Aye, the captain is a friend and was offered a good deal, I trust him. He can take you to any port in the Seven Kingdoms."

"Father, why leave?" Sansa asked. "Jon spoke with the prince, if he escorts you to him, I am sure he will see reason."

As much as he loved his daughter, Sansa's naivety was somewhat vexing for Ned. Thankfully, it was Jon who spoke next.

"I lied about that; I never spoke with Joffrey."

Hurt flashed across her face. "Why would you do that?"

"To put it simply, I needed your cooperation, the sooner we got to father the better."

"But now Joffrey will think I am a traitor."

Lyanna's son merely raised his eyebrow. "So? Father is also called a traitor; you shouldn't concern yourself with that."

Feeling Sansa would explode, and considering Jon was missing some context he decided to speak. "Jon is right, there's little I can do."

Sansa attempted to protest, but he cut her off quickly enough. "Remember what I always taught you." He then turned to his blood. "That also applies to you, Jon. When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives."

They both nodded in understanding, but it was Jon who spoke next. "You aren't alone father, neither are you, Sansa. However, I still need to locate Arya."

The mention of his youngest daughter was enough to darken his mood. "We cannot leave Arya alone."

"I won't." His blood said resolutely. "A friend of mine secured a hideout in the city from where I can focus my search."

"I will stay there with you."

"Father…" Sansa's protest was cut off by Jon's voice.

"No, you won't."

Ned felt anger rise in his chest, how dare his son order him around? "I did not ask."

His daughter and even Gendry backed down at the tone of his voice, but Jon stood his ground.

"I won't soften up my words, father. Right now, you are a hindrance, doing more harm than good."

"I do not know where you have been these last three, almost four years, but I warn you, Jon, do not test me. I am Arya's father and I am trusting her to you, who already turned your back to her, and all of us, at once."

Jon stepped up, and for a moment he thought Lyanna's son would punch him, his grey, angry eyes, reminding him of the wolf blood that led both his mother and uncle to an early grave; instead, he clenched his fists blinked, and the angry intone was replaced by coldness he saw on himself during the Rebellion.

"We will talk about this, later. Right now, we are at the Lannister's stronghold, and I need you to trust me. I already infiltrated the Red Keep twice, saved Jeyne, and smuggled Sansa out; this is the proof I offer you of my abilities. As lord father said himself, you have no idea of what I've done, and what I've been through these last years."

At the last statement, Jon looked older than his five and ten years.

"Aye, definitively a man grown."

"Look at yourself father, you can't even stand up without help." Jon continued, gesturing to his broken leg. "Not to mention your face is well-known in this city as you once were Hand of the King. On the other hand," Jon then gestured to Sansa "the queen forced Sansa to write letters to Robb, Lysa Arryn, and Hoster Tully, while Tywin Lannister sieges the Riverlands. You know very well this means war is coming, and Robb and the North will need your guidance."

Eddard sighed at Lyanna's son's speech, he made sound points, but the idea of leaving Arya alone, and Jon to find her was still difficult to stomach.

His blood then knelt by him, touching his shoulder. "Father, for the first time in my life I feel I can do something more, be more than just Ned Stark's bastard. Please, trust me."

"Promise me, Ned."

"Jon, you aren't just a bastard." He attempted to protest.

"You believe that some others may too." His nephew shook his head. "But to the whole world, I am still just that. I know I was supposed to rise above this, and not care about their opinions, but I still can't. Please, let me do it, I know I can."

"Why he had to remember his mother so much." Ned mused.

He still couldn't say no to his sister.

"Promise me you will be safe, and that you will bring Arya back."

"I promise father."


For a long time, Gendry felt angry. Losing his mother was difficult, and the fact he only knew she worked at an alehouse and was blonde didn't help either. As a youngster, he often got into fights due to his temper, although, in his opinion, always justified ones, as he was defending the weak…almost like a knight.

Smithing was a blessing, as he turned his attention away from fights to hammering metal. The strong temper he had displayed earlier on caused him to have no friends his age, and the other apprentices in Tobho Mott's shop didn't pay much attention to him; thus, Gendry was always unsure of what to expect for his own future.

According to Master Mott's own words, Gendry was skilled, and on his way to becoming a master armorer himself. If given time, he would, most likely, assume the shop or set up a forge at some lord's castle; the Reach certainly seemed to be a good place to do so.

In a morbid sense, it was the same bull helm that he refused to sell to the Hand of the King that brought a definite change to his life. As a native of King's Landing, Gendry was keenly aware of the nature of the Gold Cloaks; meaning he knew how to somewhat deal with them. The Red Cloaks, in service of the Queen, however, were a different story. They rarely ventured outside the Red Keep, but, when they did; the city's populace was often wary, and for a good reason; unlike their golden-cloaked counterparts, they were unpredictable.

Still, Gendry never thought a refusal to sell his prized helm would lead to him being ambushed by them at an alley a few hours later. Nor that Lord Eddard Stark's son would intervene, and dispatch the trio of Red Cloaks with ease.

Jon Snow, as he introduced himself, needed their cloaks in order to infiltrate the Red Keep; and as much as the Red Cloaks ambushed him, Jon ambushed them. Snow warned him that these men could've announced their intentions to others, and their disappearance would most likely put him as a potential culprit, advising him to flee King's Landing towards the Reach or the Stormlands.

Somewhat surprised by his own nonchalance at his life falling apart in a single day, Gendry instead offered his services to the Bastard of Stark, who accepted after some consideration.

As an apprentice Master Tobho Mott, Gendry was used to seeing melees, tourneys, and duels, having the chance to observe skilled fighters, but the apprentice knew that these were done with blunted swords and as a competition. A fight, however, was a different story; after all the swords were sharpened, the odds were uneven and no one thought of honor or glory, rather it was about life and death. The Knight of Flowers and the Kingsguard could've been better fighters, but, in his eyes, it was Jon Snow who was the deadliest.

When the Northman first laid out his plans, Gendry almost called it madness and left. He was deadly with a sword in hand, but to achieve what he promised with so little help and time was impossible. Not to mention his other absurd claims…

Yet, for some reason, Gendry decided to trust him, and saw, in awe, how in a space of two days, the bastard achieve everything he said he would do.

Now, nearing the completion of their plan, Gendry trailed Jon and his redheaded sister, Lord Stark supporting his own weight on his shoulder. The strongwine Lynesse had prepared was indeed strong as the Black Cells guards were still out cold when they passed by them. At a rather slow pace due to Lord Stark's damaged right leg, they finally made out of Maegor's Holdfast and then the Red Keep.

After Lord Stark's imprisonment, the city had been put under a curfew, so the group couldn't travel through the main streets without drawing even more attention. This left out alleyways and some smaller streets, which slowed them considerably, even more so when they were already held back by the Hand's limping.

As a native of the city, Gendry recognized the patterns and general location of their party easily enough, placing them somewhere along the Hook. Jon, who led the group, also managed to do so, despite being in the city for less than three days, it did help that he could literally see the city from above.

Yet, when the Northman halted, and Gendry was ready to offer his help navigating, only to be stopped by a hand signal from Jon, he knew trouble was afoot.

"A lone Gold Cloak." He whispered. "Don't move and don't make any noise."

The Bastard of Winterfell then entered alone in the alley, only to emerge back a few minutes later. "It's done, follow me."

The rest of the group followed him, and Gendry tried to pay no mind to the corpse laid down near some crates. The Stark sister apparently had not the same strength of will, as Jon turned to her. "He's just asleep."

Gendry did not point out the bloodied dagger that merged well enough with the red of Jon's cloak, after all, Sansa seemed to believe him. A quick glance to the side, however, and the apprentice saw the former Hand's eyes on the dagger.

After some time, they could finally see the Mud Gate, formally known as River Gate looming above them.

"This is where we part ways." Jon announced, kneeling by a concealed crate, exchanging his Red Cloak and helmet for a Golden one he had prepared beforehand.

"Jon, son…" the Lord of Winterfell attempted to speak.

"I will be back soon, bringing Arya along. Take care."

With that Jon climbed the stair leading to above, opening the gate.

Almost by the ship, Gendry heard yelling and knew everything had gone to shit.

They stopped to see a swarm of cloaks, golden and red alike, and Jon quickly making his way back to the ground level, sword already in hand.

"Archers!" a female voice said from behind. "Protect your commander."

Lord Stark was the first to react to the voice, eyes immediately narrowing at the figure.


"Not now, Lord Stark, your son is in danger." Lynesse said.

"Get them to the ship!" Jon yelled as he fended off a group of attackers, just as the gate closed behind them, closing the way to King's Landing.

"Get them out of here quickly." Lynesse said. "And then get back."

"Jon!" he heard his sister yell.

"You are sitting targets." Lynesse warned. "Get into the ship quickly, their arrows can't reach you there."

The apprentice smith managed to drag the former Hand of the King to the ship with Lynesse doing the same to Jon's sister.

"He's holding on, Lord Stark." The noblewoman said, gesturing to Jon, who managed to take cover behind a broken wooden cart, cloaks of red and gold already fallen around him, courtesy of either his sword or the bowmen's arrows.

The Winterfell native then proceeded to get up, hoisting the cart at his back as a makeshift shield and making his way out of the road and onto the harbor.

"Aim at the archers above." Lord Stark quickly said.

After some reluctance, it was Lynesse's voice that had them sprung into action. "You heard the man, fire away."

Thankfully, the men Jon had brought from Essos were much more skilled than their Westerosi counterparts, and despite the disadvantage in numbers, soon enough Jon had a clear way to the ship.

"Get the jade dragon." He said to Lynesse, who gestured for two men to retrieve it from the storage.

The men held the small clay jar, as carefully as if it were a newborn.

"Be careful with it." The noblewoman warned, as Jon quickly put it at the shore and gently kicked the jar, making it roll down towards the city.

"Bow and arrow." The Snow demanded, quickly receiving both items from the crew.

"Prepare to set sail." Lynesse said to the captain of the ship, an elderly man hailing from Braavos.

As the anchor was hoisted and the crew took their places at the rows, Jon kept his eye trained on the casket, which now was resting near the walls, stopped by the dead body of a Red Cloak.

The gate was raised and a huge number of Gold Cloaks appeared, torch and swords in hand, heading towards the ship.

"Avert your eyes and protect your ears." Snow warned, dipping the arrow in the brazier, and setting it aflame.

A loud whistle of the arrow traveling through the air was heard and for a second or two nothing more. For a small moment, he thought the Northman had missed his shot.

Then it happened.

Gendry was not religious by any means, he rarely listened to sermons and paid little mind to the Faith of Seven, still if he were to describe the green flash that almost blindsided him, and the sound of explosions and yelling that soon followed after, it would be unholy, wicked. It was simply not right.

If he remembered correctly, the people from the North did not keep the Faith of Seven, rather opting to pray for the Old Gods; maybe this was why Jon was so unbothered by the display of fire and carnage in front of him. The explosion did not blow up the walls but left them charred, as well as creating a small curtain of wicked fire that may have been greener than the pastures of the Reach. The soldiers subjected to it fared poorly, however. Some fortunate ones were blown apart by the explosion, likely not even feeling much pain; the rest of them however were caught by the flames but not knocked out, instead running and screaming in anguish as their cloaks were transformed into nothing and their bodies charred beyond belief.

It was Lynesse who broke the silence. "This won't hold them forever."

The bastard nodded, not saying anything, keeping his eyes on the agonizing forms for a bit longer. Then, he turned to his father. "This didn't go as planned."

Lord Stark merely nodded. "You saved us, Jon. Thanks."

"Arya is still out there."

"I know." The older Stark said bitterly. "We will have to trust her."

"I will deliver you to a friendly port, either at the Vale or the Stormlands, from there I will head back, the dust must have settled by then."

The former Hand nodded, before wincing in pain, causing Jon's eyes to narrow.

"Lynesse, please take a look at Lord Stark's leg."

The Warden of the North wanted to speak up but was cut off by his son. "I know what you are going to say. Just as you trust me, I trust her."

If the noblewoman was offended by the apparent distrust Lord Stark had in her, she didn't show.

"I'll show you the rooms below." She said dutifully, before turning to him. "Help me carry him, please."

As he supported Lord Stark's weight, he heard Jon's sister Sansa talk to him. "Jon, will you join us?"

He offered her a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. "I have to take care of something first, don't worry I will be there soon."

The bastard of Winterfell then dipped an arrow at the brazier, before aiming it at some other ships, which Gendry recognized as being part of the Royal Fleet.

"We don't want them chasing us." With that, Snow made fire rain in the Blackwater Rush.

This was somewhat of a quick update, with a shorter chapter complimentary to the one posted a month ago. The next update will take longer as I'm still deciding which POVs will feature and the best way to write them.

On a minor note, I changed the fandom in which this story was tagged from the TV show to the books, as I feel my work has more similarities with the bookverse rather than the TVverse. This will probably mean a bit fewer views, so I'd kindly ask for you to follow/favorite and leave a review if possible, let me know what you think of my story so far.

As always, thank you for your continued support.

Now, answering some of the reviews:

Camsonius – It always irked me that Jeyne was forgotten by pretty much everyone, girl only wanted to visit the South with her friend and suffered such a horrible fate. Ice was forgotten because Jon was more concerned with rescuing his family, but I will probably have it mentioned soon.

Robert's Kingsguard is comically bad, but Meryn is a much better fighter than Boros. As skilled as Jon is, he would have problems sneaking by Trant as he did with Blount.

Dark Dragon Tamer – This is Sansa before she witnessed her father being executed, so her being entitled and infuriating was planned. She will get better…I hope.

EllieCast4 – Poor Ned would probably just ask to be sent back to the Black Cells if it was her. Now that he survived it's likely that he will eventually meet his other daughter.

Scillacci – No, Ghost and the other direwolves simply hadn't crossed the wall, or at least weren't found by Robb and the others as it happened on canon. They are pretty much alive, including Lady, who wasn't present at Castle Darry.