She’s so tiny, thought Sansa as she curtsied before the diminutive queen; she looks like a little girl. Sansa felt awkward and ungainly as she towered over the Targaryen woman.
“I am pleased to finally meet my nephew’s lovely wife, the last living child of Ned and Catelyn Stark”, Daenerys said coolly as she extended a hand to Sansa.
Sansa flushed at the inference as she took Daenerys’ hand. She still held out hope that not all her siblings were dead but it obviously brought Daenerys some satisfaction believing it to be true. There was no doubt in Daenerys’ mind that Ned Stark was a traitor to the Crown and that all his progeny should be cursed.
A young man who could have been Daenerys’ twin sidled up beside her. This must be Aegon, concluded Sansa, or the man claiming to be him. At least he looks like a Targaryen, unlike Jon.
They both possessed the pale skin and violet eyes of the Targaryens. They also had silvery hair which Daenerys wore in a complicated weave of braids while Aegon’s hair was silver at the crown and blue at the tips.
He has had to disguise his appearance, deduced Sansa, before finally declaring himself.
It brought back memories of when she finally left the Eyrie to return to the north, with her hair red at the roots and brown at the tips.
I, too, was two sides of the same coin, she recalled. As Sansa Stark I was the trueborn daughter of the noble, moral and upright Ned Stark. As Alayne Stone, I was the bastard daughter of the immoral, corrupt and murderous Petyr Baelish. And I learned that I had to be both to survive.
The young man extended his hand and introduced himself to Sansa.
“I am so happy to meet such a lovely member of my ever growing family”, he said smoothly as he kissed Sansa’s hand.
At least he is charming, thought Sansa with pleasure. He will be a nice change from the blunt northerners.
Daenerys linked arms with Sansa as they walked towards the castle with Jon and Aegon bringing up the rear.
“You and I have much to discuss later after some food, drink and rest”, said Daenerys.
Me, thought Sansa anxiously, what does the woman want with me? She glanced back at Jon but he was deep in conversation with Aegon.
“But first…where is the little dragon that Jon has told me of?” demanded Daenerys. “I want to meet your son”.
Sansa led Daenerys up to the nursery to visit with Torrhen.
“He is blessed with your clear blue eyes and your fiery hair”, remarked Daenerys as she cradled him in her arms. “He is a bonny babe, to be sure”.
Sansa was gratified to watch Daenerys coo and sway with Torrhen in her arms. Let her bond with him, thought Sansa, so that she can see the value of family and not feel threatened by their existence. Sansa knew well the paranoia that can threaten to overtake those in power when they mistrust the motivations of others.
During the evening repast, the inhabitants of Winterfell laughed and joked as they raised their flagons of wine in tribute to the dragons. Daenerys smiled serenely at their japes but dismissed their accolades with a wave of her hand. Then she rose to her feet to address them.
“People of Winterfell, the war is not over yet”, she warned them. “This was merely the first of many encounters”.
“As we speak”, she continued, “my army of 8,000 Unsullied, led by their leader, Greyworm and accompanied by my small council, sails across the Narrow Sea to White Harbour. Once they reach these shores, they will march northwest to engage the enemy and, mark my words, we will defeat them”.
“You have my pledge, people of Winterfell, that we will not rest until we have burned all the wights and the Others have retreated to their icy wasteland, never to return and plague the people of the north again. This, I am confident, is our destiny”, she concluded to the stomping of feet and hollers of approval.
Daenerys gestured to Jon and Aegon to join her. They pushed back their chairs and rose up to stand on either side of her. She turned to each of them with a brilliant smile and then raised their arms in a gesture of triumph amidst the chants and cheers.
Daenerys is selling them as some kind of holy trinity, noted Sansa. Or maybe she really does believe that the three of them are destined to be the saviours of the north and possibly all of Westeros. She had better be right.
As the great hall emptied, Daenerys grabbed Sansa’s hand as she and Jon prepared to leave.
“We need to speak in confidence. Perhaps we can meet in your solar?” she asked.
Sansa looked at Jon. He nodded and offered to take Aegon on a tour to review their defenses.
As they entered Sansa’s solar, Daenerys helped herself to a flagon of wine and offered to pour Sansa one, too. Sansa politely refused.
I need to keep my wits about me with this one, she thought nervously.
They sat down by the hearth.
“What do we need to discuss, your Grace?” began Sansa, her fingers twisting in her lap.
“As I said earlier, my army of Unsullied will soon arrive, ready to engage in this ongoing battle. And when we have defeated the Others and their army, I will redirect my forces south. I intend to take back my father’s throne. But an army of 8,000 men, albeit well-trained and fearless, will not be enough to take back all of Westeros, even with the support of dragons. And especially if you factor in any losses during the upcoming campaign and the one to come”, replied Daenerys.
Daenerys leaned forward.
“Jon has promised to deliver to me the might of the north in return for driving back the Others. And I know the north has always supported the Starks and will rally to their cause if the banners are called”, she continued.
“But”, she replied, “Jon is not a Stark. And although they respect him, the northern lords know that he is not the son of Ned Stark. You might not receive the support you need”.
“Not Jon”, Daenerys replied in a tone normally used for a young child, “you. You will call the banners as Ned Stark’s daughter and the lady of Winterfell. And you will convince them to join my cause”.
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