Written for Baffoonery's prompt: "I thought he meant something different". A bit grim, but we are dealing with a murderous Greyjoy!

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The joker, they call me. Always laughing, always smiling. A witty comment ready for any situation. The Bastard is the only one who sees through it, perhaps a few of the older men as well.

I'm not smiling. I'm baring my teeth.

When Stark ripped me away from home and hearth, my father told me one last thing. Never let them tame you. You are a Prince of the Ironborn, and seawater and defiance run in your veins. Never forget that. I was a child then, so I thought he meant something different. I thought my blood to be greater and more powerful than the red muck bled by the frigid men of the North, so I held my "secret" close, and smiled.

I now know my blood to be the same as theirs; equally as crimson, easily spilt. A sword here, an arrow there, a well-placed dagger in the dark.

"What do you grin about, Greyjoy?" they ask me, shaking their heads in confusion. I shrug, and remember my father's words. Seawater and defiance, Prince of the Ironborn.

"You," I reply. They laugh; gods, I'm just so funny. My eyes are cold as my lips curve, and I imagine their hot blood spattered pink and red on the snow. What's the saying? That's right: "Blood runs thicker than water".

Take heed, Stark. Years pass, but I know where my allegiance lies.

I'll never let them tame me.