4. Brynden "The Blackfish" Tully and Arya Stark
He figured that whatever divine forces existed loved irony. To find a lost relative he had to lose one. The infamous Hound, Sandor Clegane claimed to deliver a girl who was the young Arya Stark. Whatever stroke of luck that the man, had it was that he arrived only a few days after missing Edmure's wedding party leaving for the twins.
But of course Brynden Tully would never an easily fooled man. The girl came dressed as a common peasant and to the untrained eye easily mistaken for a boy. If it were not for his acute memory he would have easily dismissed the girl, she bore none of the Tully look. But what was unmistakable was the long face, the grey eyes, the dark hair, yes this wild child appeared most like her Lord father the late Eddard Stark.
This description was later confirmed by Lady Stark's letter, who at the time was still with her brother's party towards the twins. At least now she may rest in peace knowing her daughter still lives.
Of course he had doubts of her identity, he'd never seen the girl before, even if she had the Stark look. But the way she spoke, the tales of her escape from King's Landing, the small details of her siblings, and her accurate descriptions of Winterfell eased most doubts. He had her write it to Lady Stark, her mother would know what to make of the girls claims.
He'd sent the Clegane man off with his ransom before the girl would kill the man in his sleep. She was far more willful than the late young wolf seemed. It must be that rumored 'wolf blood' the Stark's claim to have. Besides the Clegane man might be able to bring Sansa back as well.
Shortly after the Hound departed, he received his last letter from Cat explaining that it seemed like her little girl, her descriptions were precise and she knew information only those closest to her would know. She asked him to protect her until she returned from the wedding. In hindsight he should have told her to turn her party back to Riverrun but at that moment they were bound to duty.
He didn't know what to do with her at first, the girl proved herself more interested in the martial matters than in courtly ones joining the young squires in training. He'd lost so much at that point and decided he would teach the girl the Tully family traditions.
He vowed to show her how to stay safe. If not for her then for Cat. Family, Duty, Honor those are the Tully words and he will make sure they would be ingrained into the willful girl's head as well. Even if it meant taking a girl as a squire. She'd proven rowdy enough and fairly capable with a weapon. For family, he'd make an exception.
"Your stance is off! Watch your footing." he scolded the girl.
The girl quickly recovered her position as she continued to train with the other boys.
"Good now make sure if you have an opening to kick him in the groin."
"What? I thought that was dishonorable?" she wide-eyed at that a Tully of all people would insist on that sort of action.
"In an honorable battle yes, but to a lady, men would do far more dishonorable things." he answered her in a matter of fact way.
"Oh, I see." she answers not missing the ominous warning in his words. In a way it motivates her as she returns to practicing her strikes with the other squire eventually knocking the other boy to the ground.
"Good, you're improving quick enough. Go change you have your archery drills to prepare for as well."
Yes his young niece was making a most excellent squire. It was good to see how adapt she was becoming. At least she seemed to have more talent at her age than Edmure did.
We always hear about Arya being the most Stark character among her siblings. I don't think that's true she may have the look but family and duty seem to be some of her greatest incentives. That and she's very vindictive, a trait she seems to have gotten from Cat seeing as how Ned is much more forgiving and merciful. Actually come to think of it Sansa must have gotten her sense of mercy and strong moral core from her father.
Next up: a short from Catelyn Tully in this setting
Afterwards I have 2 options: either one with Tyrion or one with Sansa. I'm keeping who they meet secret for the moment and the Tyrion chapter has a Tywin chapter follow-up.
So Sansa or Tyrion?