W I N T E R F E L L | ( t h e b u r i e d o u t p o s t )
The land is empty and cold and frozen and grey and anything that pierces the crusted carpet of windswept snow is broken: shattered and bare and entombed in ice. Hundreds of years ago, a castle stood here. But anymore, all that remains are crumbling stone walls and jagged spires collapsed and buried in the earth. Anymore, all that’s left of the ancient fastness is ring after ring of debris, silently circling a grove of wierwoods like the ghosts of defeated sentinels bound to eternal duty.
Underground a labyrinth sprawls. Smoothly rounded tunnels and passageways wind around each other and circle deep into the earth, darker than the darkest night one moment and brighter than dawn the next.
It is here, interred under the snow and the ruins of their ancient home, that the Starks have re-built their seat. Wrapped in the frigid deep of endless winter and the steamy heat of hidden hot springs, they hold the north as they ever have.
And they wait.
“… I saw black waves crashing against the gates and towers, and then the salt water came flowing over the walls and filled the castle. Drowned men were floating in the yard.”
I saw your father in the hall / His ghost is living in the walls / I heard him crying while you slept / I heard him breaking things after you left / I watched you crawl into my bed / With curses spilling from your head / You said “We’re just the walking dead” / I’ve seen the end, I’ve lost the war / My ghost just tries to keep you warm
Snow was falling on the godswood too, melting when it touched the ground. Beneath the white-cloaked trees the earth had turned to mud. Tendrils of mist hung in the air like ghostly ribbons. Why did I come here? These are not my gods. This is not my place. The heart tree stood before him, a pale giant with a carved face and leaves like bloody hands.
A thin film of ice covered the surface of the pool beneath the weirwood. Theon sank to his knees beside it. “Please,” he murmured through his broken teeth, “I never meant…” The words caught in his throat. “Save me,” he finally managed. “Give me…” What? Strength? Courage? Mercy? Snow fell around him, pale and silent, keeping its own counsel. The only sound was a faint soft sobbing. Jeyne, he thought. It is her, sobbing in her bridal bed. Who else could it be? Gods do not weep. Or do they?
The sound was too pitiful to endure. Theon grabbed hold of a branch and pulled himself back to his feet, knocked the snow off his legs, and limped back toward the lights.
↳ A Dance with Dragons / A Song of Ice and Fire
I close my eyes and I see them up there. All of them. Standing there. Joffrey, the Queen, and… And my sister.