Valar Morghulis

BY : AryaStarkNaked
Category: A through F > A Song of Ice and Fire
Dragon prints: 45090
Disclaimer: I do not own anything in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" book series, nor the characters living in it. They wholly belong to George R.R. Martin, and I most certainly don't make any money from the writing of this story.

Arya knelt there, on the steps of the Great Sept of Baelor, head down and staring at the cobblestone pavement. There was nothing that the youngest Stark girl wanted more to do than sob and beg, to cry and plead for her life. But she didn’t. Her father didn’t cry when he knelt in this very same spot, and she wouldn’t either. She was a Stark, and she was made of ice. Instead of crying she lifted her voice and shouted to the crowd, desperate to play the part she had to to save her sister, the only family she had left, “I am Arya of House Stark. I come before you to confess my sins. I made an attempt on the life of the One True King of Westeros, Joffrey Baratheon, trying to avenge the death of my treasonous brother who pretended to be king, Robb Stark, the Pretender in the North.”

The square erupted with jeers and boos, insults and shouts from the throng of people filling the courtyard. Arya’s grey eyes slowly lifted from the ground and met Sansa’s gaze just as Joffrey, who laughed an awkward chuckle began to speak, hard steel behind his giddy attitude. Sansa’s face was dead of emotion, and a colorful bruise decorated her right eye. As Arya stared at her, a single tear welled and cascaded down her own apple-shaped left cheek.

“Last year, the traitor Eddard Stark knelt here and I swore to you people that as long as I am king, treason will never go unpunished. My determination has not wavered.” the boy king waved to something behind the kneeling Arya, “Ser Ilyn, bring me her head.”

Arya’s eyes tore away from Sansa, whose shield of emotionless detachment had broken and was moving forward, screaming for Joffrey to stop. The tall figure of the hound beside her wrapped his protective and unyielding arms around her, halting her lunge. 

The youngest Stark girl drew a sobbing breath, nearly breaking. This was it. She saw the shadow of Ilyn Payne on the ground draw a massive axe, even bigger than her, over his head and swing at the back of her neck. At the last moment before the axe hit, Arya lost control of everything and a primal scream of terror broke from her torn and dry lips.

She remembered how quick and seemingly painless her father’s beheading was, but then Ilyn Payne was using Ned’s own valyrian steel greatsword Ice and it cleanly took his head. The headman's axe swinging at her throat was a far cry from the eternal sharpness of Ice. Her frantic cry was forcibly turned into a wet gurgle as the axe tore into the back of her neck. A spray of blood fountained from the deep wound and splashed across the white marble of the Great Sept of Baelor's steps. 

Arya Stark's small mouth was still large from the scream, and an explosion of of blood gurgled up and out her lips. Her grey eyes were wide with disbelief; up until the very moment Ilyn Payne’s axe buried and stuck itself into her neck bone to dissolve the illusion, some part - a secret part in her heart - thought that something would save her. With a jerk the executioner pulled his axe free and her body shook with convulsions.

She was still conscious when the second blow came, tearing and ripping through the rest of her neck. Her slim young body flopped to the left and shook with more death convulsions, while her head tumbled forward and nearly rolled into the crowd before Ilyn Payne's hand wrapped itself in her mousy brown hair and lifted her severed head from the ground. Her mouth worked open and closed, open and closed. She had the strangest sensation of flying, and the last thing her young grey eyes saw were Joffrey clapping and howling with laughter, and her sister burrowing her face into the Hound's chest. Then the edges of her vision grew black and vision left her all together. The last thing she heard was Joffrey's maniacal laughing as she left the world to whatever lay beyond. 

Her face twitched for long minutes after, until Arya Stark's features grew slack forever. Before the hour was over, the young Stark girl’s severed head was dipped in tar to preserve it as long as it could, then stuck onto a pike overlooking the courtyard of the Red Keep. It became a weekly habit of Joffrey's to bring Sansa Stark there, taunting her and forcing her to see her dead sister.

Time passed and even the tarring process could not hold the head together forever, so when the time came King Joffrey ordered the head brought down and the remnants of skin and tar cleaned off. That was how Arya Stark’s skull, gleaming bone white and eternally smiling, ended up decorating King Joffrey’s own bedchambers.

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