Fifty Ways to Kill a Frey
Osha woke up late one morning to find both of her young charges vanished. She didn't have to look far, though. And followed the scent of blood.
Rickon Stark sat on a little stump, swinging his legs and frowning, holding his enormous direwolf's ruff. The beast, Shaggydog, bared his bloody teeth at her. She looked at the remains of a man on the ground, and caught a glimpse of tattered twin towers on his clothing. "What happened?" She asked, trying not to retch.
"Shaggydog didn't like him," Rickon said mildly.
If Walder Frey didn't know better, he could have sworn that the cursed wolves were drawing closer every night. They didn't seem to die, and every corpse left half eaten on the ground seemed a grisly warning.
He was an old man; he'd thought himself immune to fear. The howling, though, cut through everything. Especially his calm. And everyone else's, as well – though at least the deserters never got far.
The grisly tableau of six bodies swung back and forth from their nooses. The Brotherhood Without Banners stared at it dispassionately. It was Lem who spoke up, eventually. "We need a sign. Here lie bastards and traitors."
"Think the Late Lord can still field an army out of his breeches?"
"Bit less than before," someone quipped, and they rode away laughing.
The Blackfish didn't really condone useless violence, or wanton killing.
However, he was willing, he reflected as he wiped the blood off of his sword with one of the blue-and-grey cloaks, to make an exception for the murderers of his niece and grandnephew.
Arya Stark made sure to let the patriarch of the Walder family see her face before he died – her true face, not one of the many disguises she could don. She bared her teeth in a feral smile and locked her eyes into his, making sure he understood who had killed him.
"I'm not sorry," she said, in a mockery of the words of the Sorrowful Men, and turned and melted into the darkness.
They claimed the old man died of fright, by the look of surprise on his face. But no one could say what the stubborn man could have been so frightened by.
Maege Mormont hadn't reacted when the news that her daughter had been killed came through the marshes. How Howland Reed had known, no one would ever know. But all had thought it odd that Maege, known for her fearsome prowess in battle, did not seem to react.
Watching her when they reached the Twins to avenge their former King, however, there were none who did not understand. Standing surrounded by the carcasses of the family that had taken her daughter, tears streaming down her face, Maege turned to them, her expression cold.
"The North does not forget," she said, and stepped over the bodies to forge a way forward.
The Greatjon was alive, and unhappy. Held in a tiny room, he knew that the outcome of what he'd heard called the Red Wedding wasn't good. They hadn't killed him yet, though.
He wished he'd gotten more of them before going down. Like damned little weasels. They would freeze, though, he thought, angrily. Winter was coming, and they would freeze along with the southlands, and this time the north wouldn't come to their rescue.
And wouldn't it be nice to break Walder Frey's neck? Not that it would happen, but certainly, it was a pleasant diversion to the monotony of his days.
When Greyjoy pirates swept over the Twins, burning and killing every living thing inside, it was the first time anyone had seen Jon Snow smile since taking the black. When Stannis asked for men to help him stop the marauders, and it was a cold smile. An ice smile.
"We guard the wall," Lord Snow said coldly. "And only the wall." And then that smile, that wry and wintry smile. "Let them burn."
It was then some remembered where it was Jon had come from originally.
She didn't care for the taste of the meat, but something in her flared hot and angry for the smell of these strange humans, and she did not run from them. Her pack grew skilled at pulling down horse and rider without injury, and their throats crushed easily between her teeth.
There was something satisfying in the hunting of them, these weaselly-smelling people. That they had begun to travel in fear of her and her wolves just made it better.
Her sister might be far away, but while she was distant, the hunting here was good.
It was never actually clear how she'd gotten there, when she was supposed to be secure under guard traveling east. But all suppositions aside, the woman who stood over old Walder Frey, holding the knife she'd planted in his heart, her head held high, was unquestionably Robb Stark's young queen, Jeyne Westerling.
Her face shone with reflected tears and stubborn anguish, and just for a moment, no one could touch her.