A/N: I have been MIA for multiple reasons, some of which are in regards to negative/haters reviews. Fanfiction used to be fun, now it just seems everyone is so hard on the canon that any idea to try and be original is too original. If all writers stuck to the canon every story would turn out the same with no different outcome, no originality, and no new ideas to keep readers on the edge of their seats. I know I am not the only one to go through this; many others have abandoned stories due to similar backlash. It's sad. Fanfiction is supposed to be for people to express and explore their ideas for a fandom they love. There is a big difference between critiquing and criticizing. I love people's input to help me learn and be canon in terms of characterization (to a degree, changes in scenarios/choices/etc. will mean changes in characterization to reflect as such.), items (Valyrian Steel, Greatswords, etc.), etc. But, to be criticized for telling my story is a hard pill to swallow and makes me afraid to write something very different then the canon. It is why I struggled to put this chapter out. To the people who read my story for my story, thank you.
Onto the story.
In the dead of night in the warden's personal chambers he stood silently at the window overlooking the blackened moorlands. Maester Luwin stood quietly as Catelyn raged and objected vehemently. With greatly heaved sigh she sat down on her bed, pressed a hand to her cheek.
"You must go, Ned." Catelyn spoke wearily. "He is our king and it is a great honour he bestows upon you."
"My duty is to the north, to my family." Ned murmured as his brows knitted together in deep concentration. He loved Robert, he truly did, but he had no desire to travel south, not after it cost him his entire family. "I'll refuse him. He will understand."
"My lord," Maester Luwin spoke softly garnering both their attention. "You and King Robert are no longer brothers in war, he is a king now, and you have both changed immensely over the years. He is not the same man you once knew."
"He is right," Catelyn stood and rung her hands together in concern. "You may love each other as family, but he is a stranger to you now. You must tread with caution. You cannot say no after he traveled such great lengths to honour you with this request." Her voice softened. "You cannot leave him alone surrounded by lions."
Ned sighed, Maester Luwin looked worried, Catelyn anxious, he, he just looked tired. "I want nothing of these great honours."
"I understand my love," Catelyn came to stand at his side. "But you have already accepted his request you cannot throw it back in his face. King Robert is full of pride, if you tell him no he will take it as a great insult."
Ned looked once more at the moors, his thoughts drifted to his family, to his father and brother; they'd know what to do. Brandon always knew what to do. He had no choice, he would Robert's hand. "I will go south, alone."
"Ned," Catelyn went to argue.
"Too many Starks have died in the south," Ned hissed below his breath, the room went silent. "My father, Lya, Brandon, they all went south and they never returned."
"That was a different time my lord," Maester Luwin tried to quell his lord's concerns.
"That may be true, but it not a risk I am willing to take." Ned looked at them. "There must always be a Stark in Winterfell. The boys are older, soon they will be men grown, and I will not be here to teach them when their time comes, Maester Luwin I trust with my life, and now I trust you with the life of my boys to teach them everything they will need to know about ruling. Winter is coming and they will need to be prepared."
"Of course my lord," Maester Luwin nodded sombrely. "I will do all I can for them."
Catelyn looked at her husband, it took her a moment to go from surprise to discomfort, and then furious. "Surely you do not speak of him." Her tone was riddled with revulsion. "Jon Snow." She hissed heatedly. Ned struck her with a look, but she would not be silenced as she blazed with anger. "You speak of him as if he were contending with our son to be your heir."
"Cat," Ned began in an attempt to pacify her, but she would not hear reason.
"No!" Catelyn was furious as the color of her hair. She never cared for Jon Snow, but she knew Robb did, Ned did, all her children did, even Sansa to a degree despite her reluctance to admit it to herself. Catelyn could all too easily imagine what it was like for them to be torn between affection and honour. "He is not our son; he cannot stay here while you travel south. I will not have him. I have suffered enough, Ned. He is your mistake not mine, he is not a Stark. Send him to the wall, make him take the black."
"The Night's Watch," Ned's eyes narrowed sharply, Maester Luwin looked between husband and wife in a silent battle of wills. "He is a boy."
"You said it yourself, he and Robb are nearly men grown." Catelyn snapped at him. "It is a great honour to serve at the wall, and he will be with your brother, Benjen will look after him."
Ned rounded on her, never had his eyes been so cold towards her in all their years of marriage. "It is not Benjen's job to look after him, it is mine. I made a promise."
"I know," Her voice was hurt. "I have not forgotten it a single day since you brought that baby home from the war, a stranger in my home."
Ned looked at his wife; there was a silent apology in his eyes for her. He spoke after what felt like a lifetime. His voice was filled with righteous anger, "The others take you for speaking ill of my blood." He turned to Maester Luwin and her. "I will say this once and we will never speak of it again. Jon is going nowhere; Winterfell is his home, just as it is Robb, Sansa, Bran, Arya, and Rickon's. He stays."
"Of course my lord," Maester Luwin bowed deeply, Catelyn glared furiously at the wall behind him to sullen and fuming to speak another word. Her husband's word was law.
Ned turned to his maester, "Maester come with me, there is something of importance I need you to find."
"Right away my lord," Both men left the room. Catelyn fought her tears valiantly, she stormed out of the room and to Bran's, she could not share her husband's bed tonight her grief was far too overwhelming.
How long had they?
Jon was slow to stir from his sleep as he felt a soft weight nestled into his side. The blood pumping in his veins, the sound crystal in his ears as he felt the steady rise and fall of her next to him, it told him everything he needed to know to keep his fears at bay. She was alive.
"Jon?" Her voice was a hum, weak, but steady. It soothed in ways he'd never quite fully understand.
Jon turned slightly to look at her, a small smile on his lips. "How are you?" He asked carefully watching the dragon.
Dany smiled warmly, "Better."
It was still dark, but dawn was close, so was their parting. It had been two nights, three days, since Dany's attack, and less since Bran's fall. It had taken less time for Dany to coax Jon into her bed, he flushed at the thought. They only ever slept, spoke quietly into the dawn before sleep took them, and they'd share soft kisses in between. It was something they both needed.
There was no hiding the loneliness in his eyes no matter how hard he tried to put on a brave face for his siblings, especially Robb and Arya. Dany laced her fingers around his and leaned into his shoulder. Jon stiffened, intimacy still startled him. There was a wary air about him that no other Stark had ever had. Maybe it was because he thought so little of himself. For a moment Dany was afraid he'd turn away as he occasionally did when he tried to shut himself out and place her among the people who will never see him vulnerable and lonely. But, he stayed, Jon let out a deep breath, and Dany looked up at him, hopeful. He had his eyes closed, long dark lashes soft against his pale skin, but he gently opened them and met hers, a soft smile forming on his lips.
Dany returned it. She wanted him to breakdown and embrace her tightly, wanted him to open up to her and tell her he wasn't strong enough after everything that had happened. He didn't, but he kissed her forehead before gently taking her into his arms.
"What you do to me, Dany." He sighed into her hair fading inky locks. Dany buried her face into his chest, ashamed she'd forgotten that he really was strong enough, brave enough. She leaned out his arms, hovered over him, finding his lips in the darkness and taking him till her soul poured and her heart flowed through.
Dany gazed down at him, amethyst eyes glowed like purple moons in the dimly lit room. "You're beautiful." She whispered to him, her breath against his lips and cheeks.
It was tragic they had to hide like this.
"Dany," He felt an ache in his chest at the sight of her eyes brimming with unshed tears, lips forcing a smile. Her eyes clouded with sorrow, shoulders slumped, and tiny hands fisted against his tunic.
"Is this how our lives will remain?" Dany whispered with worried uncertainty. "Us, two people with nothing to their names at the mercy of others? Is life so easily bought and sold."
"Father would never allow anyone to hurt you, neither will Robb when he's lord." Jon reassured her.
"What about you?" Dany gingerly sat up. "We cannot live our lives relying on other's protection."
Jon sat up as well, "We have little choice in that matter."
Dany nodded slowly, "I know, my life has always been decided for me by others, even here. Can I stay here forever? Will I have to? Will a stag or lion never travel north again one day and find me? There is no real guarantee of safety unless we create it ourselves."
"And how do you guarantee your own safety, Dany?" Jon looked at her expectantly.
Her eyes though warm and soft burned with a purple fire, "With power."
"Dany," Jon sighed. "We are the last two people in Westeros who have any power. I'm a bastard, your one of last Targaryens in the world."
"I'm not speaking of just us," Dany's eyes were dark and blazing. "I speak of everyone who suffers under unjust rule. How many are constantly being crushed under the wheel of those who abuse their power, thousands, millions, more? I have suffered, but I know there are many with a fate worse than mine. No one should know what it feels like to be sold or bought." Dany looked at him. "You must think I'm silly for speaking like this."
His grey eyes held a softened gaze, so calm, so peaceful. "You're wrong." Jon reached out a hand to touch her cheek; he was mesmerized by the softness against his rougher skin. "Sometimes I cannot believe how real you are." He ran his thumb over her bottom lip, her lips parted with soft breaths, her eyes half-lidded with desire for him. It still took him by surprise. He caught her lips, slowly teasing her with his tongue, and after a moment drew away much to Dany's reluctance.
Dany settled against him, "One day you will not be able to refuse me." She huffed against his neck.
Jon laughed; she felt the vibrations deep in his chest against her ear. "I can hardly refuse you now."
Dany leaned back to glare softly at him, "And yet you can."
Jon sighed, "Dany, I…"
"You're a bastard," Dany whispered gently. "You say that, but I still cannot see it."
"I have nothing to offer you," Jon told her his voice mild and perfectly even. He'd accepted his fate a long time ago.
"What do you need to offer me?" Dany spoke seriously. "I'm an exiled daughter of a mad king who nearly destroyed his entire kingdom. I have no claim, nothing to my name to offer anyone. We're the same."
"We're not," Jon argued as his grey eyes grew tense. "You're still a Targaryen, one of the last of your name, there may still be houses that support your claim, who would readily marry you and give you the life you deserve."
Dany glared at him, tears heated her vision. She moved away from him, turned to side and refused to look at him. "I want you to leave." She's never spoken to him like that before, he cannot remember the last time anyone has since Lady Stark, the indignation in her voice was strong and fierce.
Jon was out of her bed a moment later, no word, no protest, nothing to soothe her. She listened to the soft rustle of him adjusting his cloak and then the door shutting. Her heart bled inside her chest, shards of broken glass stabbing repeatedly. She wept, her loneliness was seeping, leaking from within her like hot air searing the surface of her skin.
Jon had contented himself to the Godswood, seated beneath the weirwood tree by the black pool. Ghost lay at his feet as he set a whetstone against his sword. The silence was glorious as he mulled over his thoughts. He wished he could be bold and brave as the stories of his Uncle Brandon, the wild wolf who took whatever he wanted. They shared blood, but his did not run hot as the boiling springs below Winterfell, but cold as ice of the north, just like his father. Or maybe he took after his mother? He wished to go sit with Bran, but Lady Stark had all but banned him from the room.
He heard a soft giggle in the distance, it was unfamiliar to him. He caught sight of golden hair as bright as the sun that rarely graced the north. It was the crown princess dressed in a heavy wool gown being led by the hand by Robb.
"We must be discreet someone may see us," Myrcella's voice was sweet as summer strawberries.
Robb grinned at her, appearing as the heir of Winterfell, gallant and brave. "What's it matter what others think?"
Myrcella smirked and swatted his chest playfully, "I am the crown princess, and can you imagine what my mother would think of me acting so wanton? She'd surely have my head."
Robb laughed, "Well as long as I can keep the rest of you."
Myrcella's lips fell agape as she swatted him again, "Is that all your care about?" Her eyes were smoldering green pits, but her expression was playful. "And here I thought you were everything your people speak of you to be. I suppose my assumptions were wrong."
"And what do my people say of me?" Robb asked lazily.
Myrcella looked demure, "That you are gallant, brave, chivalrous, and kind, and more, much more."
Robb smiled, he took her hand and drew her towards him until she was flush against him. "Those are quite the expectations for me to live up to, princess."
"Could you?" Myrcella challenged. "I have yet to see otherwise."
Robb smirked, "You wound me, princess."
"A wound well deserved for speaking so immodestly in front of me," Myrcella whispered sweetly.
"Well played, princess." Robb kissed her hand. "May I ask has any man been immune to your charm and feminine wiles?"
Myrcella laughed, "Very few besides my brother and father when he gets drunk, which is often." Her tone took a bitter note.
"I'm sorry," Robb was thoughtful.
"It is nothing to apologize for," Myrcella squeezed his hand affectionately. "We do not choose our family. You are lucky your family is very kind and loving."
"I am lucky," Robb spoke sombrely. "My family means the world to me."
"Even your half-brother?" Myrcella was curious; there was no malice in her eyes or words towards Jon.
"Jon is more than that," Robb told her, she was surprised by solemnness. "He's my other half."
Myrcella smiled, "I wish I had someone like to speak so fondly of. Tommen is gentle and sweet, we've always been close, but he is very young still."
Robb nodded, "It is hard to find the kind of bond Jon and I share." He looked shy for a moment.
Myrcella giggled, "You love your brother dearly there is no shame in that."
"I rarely speak so openly with strangers," Robb mused more to himself. "It's easy for me to open up to you."
"Do you hate it?" Myrcella inquired.
Robb looked at her a moment, she was all her mother's beauty, but none of her coldness. "No, I don't."
"Good," Myrcella smiled sweetly, she leaned forward, and eyes closing as she felt his breath warm her lips. Their lips met in a sweet kiss, chaste and teasing, innocent and warm. Shyly she withdrew, her cheeks flushed pink.
Robb's gaze was warm, "Was that your first kiss?"
"Would it be terrible if I said yes?" Myrcella whispered it was difficult to meet his vibrant blue eyes.
"May I kiss you again?" Robb asked as she looked at him and nodded slowly. He cupped her chin, leaned down and captured her lips in a sweet, heated kiss. A few moments later they drew apart, she was breathless, and he smiled. "Thank you for gifting me with one of your firsts, princess."
Myrcella was coy, "The pleasure was mine."
"Cella!" A voice called, it was her mother. "Darling, where are you?"
"That's mother," Myrcella sighed sadly. "I should go, may I see you tonight?"
"I promise," Robb kissed her hand as she smiled and took her leave. He watched her go a smile refused to leave his lips.
"You should be more discreet," Jon called as Robb turned quickly to look at his brother.
"Jon, how long have you been there?" He had the manners to look abashed.
Jon sighed, "Long enough." There was accusation in his tone. "What are you doing, Robb?"
"What do you mean?" Robb frowned.
"She's a Lannister." Jon argued.
"She's a Baratheon." Robb defended.
"Did you forget what her brother did to Dany?" Jon was furious.
"Of course not!" Robb was equally irate. "She's nothing like him."
"You don't know that," Jon's gaze softened. "She's a stranger. You don't know her."
"Do you think I can't tell someone's character from good or bad?" Robb looked insulted.
"Not when you are blinded with lust," Jon was solemn.
"I love her."
"You barely know her."
"How do you know?"
Jon rounded on his brother, "Because I know you."
Robb narrowed his eyes, "Maybe not as well as you think you do."
Jon stood, sheathed his sword, Grey Wind and Ghost whined softly at the discord. "Maybe you're not the man I thought you to be." He turned and stormed away, Ghost kept pace at his side. Robb glared at his back his anger getting the best of him when he lashed out at bush with his sheathed sword in an impulsive movement and cursed furiously. He was not one to lose his temper so easily, he was usually more rational then this, but a fight with Jon or any of his siblings often got the better of him.
Evening had come, everyone had gathered in the Great Hall for supper. Robert was eager to announce his daughter's betrothing, Ned was silent, a look of unease settled over him. Jon sat with his siblings at the table with the crown princes and princess, he felt awkward and out of place, his father had forced him to attend to sit at the table below the king and queen. Robb had not spoken a word to him, his siblings were all quiet, dull and gloom filled the hall's walls without his smiling Bran to sit next to him. Lady Stark had made a rare appearance sitting at her husband's side, but tension crackled thick between them.
"I have an announcement to make!" King Robert raised his flagon fervently. Cersei looked at him as if he'd gone mad. "My son, he is young and has a lot to learn yet, has refused marriage." Catelyn and Ned nearly looked relieved, as did Jon and Robb, Joffrey looked smug, Cersei's expression did not falter, but her green eyes glowed with approval. Sansa glanced at Joffrey, he sneered in return. She looked away, hiding a small smile of her own. "Ned, our great houses will still be united." He grinned, Cersei frowned. "Instead of a son, I give you a daughter to wed your son. Your princess with be the next Lady of Winterfell." Cheers rose throughout the hall of southern and northerners alike. Cersei was furious; Myrcella shyly looked down at her plate, while Robb tried to hide his smile from growing too large.
"My king," Ned spoke up. "Before we solidify this pact there is something I must share with you, with everyone here. I believe now is the right time." Jon stiffened when Ned's eyes settled onto him. "Jon, my boy, come here."
Robert looked curiously at his best friend, "What's this about, Ned?"
Hesitantly, Jon stood; he shared a glance with Robb who looked equally as confused. Sansa and Arya exchanged glances; Catelyn sat forward with burning curiosity. Jon went to his father; Ned's smile was soft, apologetic, and sympathetic to him.
"Father," Jon began quietly.
"What I am going to say does not change how I feel about you. Do you understand?" Ned whispered to him. Jon could only nod as a swell rose in his throat. Everyone's eyes latched onto him like a second skin. "My king, everyone, Jon is not my son." Gasps and whispers rose in the hall. Robert froze, his blue eyes burned into Ned's grey ones. "He is my brother's son." Catelyn's eyes widened. "Brandon is Jon's father."
"Ned," Robert looked at him with furrowed brows. "Who is the boy's mother?"
Ned turned to look at Catelyn apologetically. He squeezed Jon's shoulder when he felt his nephew tremble beside him. "His mother is Ashara Dayne."
"Explain to me, how did this happen?" Robert demanded. Catelyn was speechless, Jon seemed to lose focus as he tried to listen and understand.
Ned sighed heavily, "Brandon and Ashara met at the Tourney of Harrenhal, they fell in love. When Brandon was set to marry Catelyn a year later he went to Riverrun. He was to return to Winterfell after, but he didn't. He remained in the south, Brandon and Ashara got married in secret, he was going to return to Winterfell, but Lyanna was taken by Prince Rhaegar shortly after his marriage to Ashara. Brandon went south and Ashara went to Dorne until Brandon could return for her. Instead Brandon never returned from the south. When I went to Dorne I found my sister on deathbed with a stillborn son, I returned dawn to Starfall after and there I found Ashara Dayne with a child. That child was Brandon's son, it was Jon. I promised Ashara I'd raise him as my own and keep him safe from the mad king. So I told everyone he was my bastard." Ned pulled out a worn scroll. "Before Brandon died he sent a raven to our father." He held it out to Robert. "It is Brandon's writing. I've kept it safe all these years until I felt Jon was old enough to understand, but given the circumstances…"
Robert read the scroll; it was signed by Brandon Stark. "So what you are saying…"
"Brandon was the heir to Winterfell, Jon was his trueborn son, and he is a Stark." Ned spoke with pride in his voice. "He is the true heir to Winterfell, my king; I want him acknowledged as Brandon's rightful heir."
"Ned, you understand what you are asking, he will be seen in favour over your own children." Robert looked at Jon, he was every bit a Stark as Ned's son was a Tully.
"It was all meant for Brandon, Winterfell, lordship, the north, and it will rightfully belong to his son when he is ready." Ned said solemnly.
Robert stepped forward, looked at Jon and nodded soberly, "You have your father's appearance, child. Bring me my sword." He barked at Lancel. He unsheathed his blade, set it to Jon's shoulder. "From this day until your last day, you are Jon Stark, son of Brandon Stark, heir to Winterfell and warden of the north." Robert nodded to Ned. "It is done. I write a royal decree before we leave. But this changes thing, Ned. My daughter will be lady of the north." He turned to look at Jon. "Do you understand the duties as heir of Winterfell you must uphold?" Jon looked at his uncle and the king and remained unmoving. It was too much, they were too much. "You will be forced to do things you don't want to, but you must as it is your duty. You will learn in time. When the time comes as the future lord of Winterfell you will marry my daughter, the Princess Myrcella, to join two great houses." Ned bowed his head as Robert looked at the many faces in the great hall, "It is time we celebrate my daughter's betrothing and Brandon's son's legitimacy." Whispers and gasps grew into roaring cheers.
Jon's hands fisted at his side as he looked around the room, he was overwhelmed. Catelyn Stark was staring at him with open contempt, searing hurt in her blue eyes as she stared at him, through him as if she were seeking out Brandon's ghost in him. Robb, Sansa, Arya looked lost, Myrcella looked heartbroken, Joffrey found the whole thing amusing.
Jon rushed out of the great hall into the cold night air he found his way in the library; he trembled and shook with rage and emotions he did not want to face. He fists swept across the small table and shoved all the items off of it losing his temper. Angry tears rolled down his cheeks. He cursed his uncle for bringing out this side in him.
"Jon," It was Eddard.
Jon was quiet, his jaw clenched at the sound of his uncle's voice. The newly legitimized Stark was struggling to cope. "Why now?"
"It had to be now," Ned explained slowly. "King Robert asked me to be his hand, I leave south in a few days. If everyone had continued to see you as my bastard they would not have allowed you to stay in Winterfell in my absence."
"You mean your wife would not allow me to stay," Jon amended more harshly then he'd intended to.
"Yes," Ned agreed quietly. "Catelyn is still struggling to cope with Bran's injury…"
"She's never been shy of making her feelings known to me," Jon murmured, but Ned had heard him, he knew. "My mother, what happened to her?" The thought of his dead mother made him cry more as he wiped angrily at his tears.
"Ashara jumped from the top of the Palestone Sword, one of the towers of Starfall, into the sea. Her body was never found." Ned told him with a heavy heart.
Jon rounded on him, "Why did she take her own life?"
Ned came and rested his hands on his nephew's shoulders, "Your mother was filled with grief."
"Did my father know of my existence?" Jon asked.
"No Brandon died in King's Landing before Ashara found out, but he would have loved you very much," Ned reassured him. He held out the scroll for him. "This was his last message before he died. I have kept it with me for years, it's yours now."
Jon slowly took it. "I have to marry her?"
"The princess?" Ned sighed. "Yes, you can refuse, but then he will force the marriage between Prince Joffrey and Sansa. The king is adamant our houses be joined by marriage one way or another. Sansa is a Stark, if need be, she must do her duty." Jon could sense the reluctance in his uncle. He was struggling to find the right words.
"Is this why you told me about my father and aunt Lyanna in the crypts, they chose love over duty and it sent them to an early grave." Jon murmured.
"Yes," Ned looked sympathetic. "I wanted you to understand because I did not want to lose you like I did my brother."
"I don't think Sansa would be happily married to the prince," Jon said quietly.
"No, I don't either," Ned spoke in agreement. "Once she might have been, but she doesn't show the same enthusiasm anymore."
Jon had no wish to see his sister, his cousin, married to Prince Joffrey. And he would not stand for it if he could. He sighed shakily, "I'll marry Princess Myrcella."
Ned looked surprised, "Jon…"
"It's my duty," Jon's expression was guarded and impassive. "Brandon was my father, but you raised me."
Ned swallowed and nodded, "You are my son as much as Robb or any of your siblings." Jon only nodded; Ned embraced Jon deeply for a few moments. "I'm very proud of you, Jon, I always have been, and Brandon would be to." He released him and squeezed his shoulder affectionately. "I must return to the king, but we will speak later. I promise." Jon nodded as he watched Ned leave. Jon looked at the scroll in his hand, his hands tightened around the worn parchment. He went outside to the Godswood; Ghost was sitting beneath the weirwood, both pure white with blood red eyes watching him.
Jon smiled at his companion as he settled himself among the roots of the heart tree. Ghost nuzzled his cheek. Jon breathed deeply a few times. He opened the scroll and read.
I will not be returning home yet, Lya has been abducted by Prince Rhaegar, I am traveling to King's Landing with my men. I am writing this to you for I cannot marry Lord Hoster Tully's daughter. I do not love her. I have already wed my true love, Ashara of House Dayne. We were married in secret by the High Septon Maynard. Ashara may or may not be already carrying my child, my heir to Winterfell. She had returned to Dorne where she will be safe for now. I will explain everything when I bring Lya back home.
Take care, father,
Brandon Stark of Winterfell.
End of Chapter.
I hope you all enjoyed and please review if you'd like an update!
A/N: EDIT: The handling of Jon's parentage was a big oversight on my part as I forgot to further explain in this chapter *nervous laugh*, but it was partly Ned's struggle how Catelyn would react given she had feelings for Brandon as they still were very new to each other, her feelings on how Jon would contend for Winterfell against her own children, Brandon never wanted to be a lord and Ned did not want to force it upon his son if he turned out like Brandon, how Hoster Tully would react given Brandon's choices to not wed his daughter, etc. I know myself reading back on it probably wouldn't make any sense for him to keep the secret, so its not a real reason I'm afraid. While I was fleshing out the story I was so stuck on Jon being a bastard I forgot he wouldn't be in any real immediate danger growing up after the war since he was Brandon and Ashara's child. I wrote myself into a wall and before I decided to address it the story I was already ten chapters in, I will try to offer a better explanation in story next chapter. I know it turned out to be needless drama, but it's how I ended up choosing to handle the situation, which I admit is not my best. Sorry it came out so confusing and muddled.
I wrote myself into a wall and before I decided to address it the story I was already ten chapters in, I will try to offer a better explanation in story next chapter. I know it turned out to be needless drama, but it's how I ended up choosing to handle the situation, which I admit is not my best. Sorry it came out so confusing and muddled.
So, AU timeline, I did a lot of research in terms of events, etc. I read a lot of different forums, as GRRM (love that man)'s timeline does have some gray areas still. So, from the sources I found, this is how I created my timeline, please be kind, everything can use improvement, and some spots I may be horribly wrong I admit this, but this is what I had in mind going into the story.
281. March-April – Tourney of Harrenhal (Brandon and Ashara met).
282. March-April – Brandon is to marry Catelyn, duels Petyr for her hand, wins. (Gray area starts) Brandon is set to return to Winterfell after, but doesn't.
282. April – May – Brandon marries Ashara in secret via Maynard (couldn't think of someone else.) Ashara gets pregnant (they don't know yet), around this time Lyanna left Winterfell to travel to Riverrun.
282. May-June – Lyanna is "abducted" by Prince Rhaegar & Co. en route to Riverrun. Brandon finds out, sends his father a letter. Goes to King's Landing (2 weeks travel approx. Riverlands to King's Landing?)
282. June – Rickard Stark is summoned to King's Landing after Brandon is arrested. (1 month of travel approx. from Winterfell to King's Landing?)
282. July – Stark Trial, Rickard and Brandon die. War begins. (Aerys wants Jon Arryn to send him Ned and Robert's head, Battle of Gulltown, Battle of Summerhall, Battle of Ashford, Tyrell army invades Stormlands, let's say this takes us to approx. Dec 282 AC?)
Early January – Jon is born in Dorne in Starfall (282 May to 283 January = 9 months). Also, Battle of the Bells. (March – April – Jon Arryn's heirs die, Arryn and Ned wed Catelyn and Lyssa in dual wedding, Rhaegar is summoned back to King's Landing, Elia + kids summoned back King's Landing as hostages, Gerold Hightower sent to bring Rhaegar back, Catelyn gets pregnant with Robb in March or April?)
May – June – Lord Chelsted burned alive. Dany is conceived (May). Rhaegar leaves Dorne to return to King's Landing in June. (1 month travel approx.?).
July – August – Battle of the Trident, Rhaegar dies, Robert is wounded in battle, Rhaella + Viserys go to Dragonstone, Elia + kids remain in King's Landing.
Late August – September - Tywin's sacking of King's Landing. (Approx. 2 weeks after battle.) Jaime kills pyromancer Rossart, kills Aerys, Lannister forces arrive moments later. Elia + kids are killed by the Mountain. Ned arrives too late to stop the looting. Robert arrives and is crowned king. Tywin presents Elia + kids bodies, etc. Jon Arryn sends Ned to Storm's End with royal troops to lift the siege while Robert remained in the capitol.
October- November – Siege of Storm's End (Approx.)
November- December – Ned goes to Dorne (with 6 people?) to bring Lyanna back. Ned expected Lyanna to be pregnant so only took trusted people? Tower of Joy, Lyanna dies, stillborn son (Aegon), Ned goes to Starfall to return Dawn, finds Jon. Robb is born early December. (Jon is approx. 11 months older then Robb.) Ned returns north with Jon and his wet nurse Wylla (did she go north?).
February-April – Dany is born on Dragonstone (Feb, Jon is 1yr 1month approx. older). Rhaella dies. Ser Darry flees with Viserys and Daenerys to Essos. Stannis seizes Dragonstone. War is over. Robert marries Cersei, etc.
That is my timeline give or take for Robert's Rebellion, I don't think its terribly different, but to verify ages, etc. That took forever to write.