Chapter 1: home is behind the world ahead
When he wakes up, he expects to see Etchelion and Turukáno waiting for him in the Halls of Mandos.
Instead, he finds himself in the Taniquetil, in front of Manwë and Varda's throne, and he was blinded by the light that surrounded the Highest of all the Valar and Valier.
"You will serve as our emissary in Middle Earth. Do you accept this, Glorfindel of the House of the Golden Flower?" Manwë asks, his voice booming in the halls of his white abode.
Glorfindel, once captain of the guards to Turgon High King of Noldor and the King of Gondolin, falls on one knee and bows his head, overwhelmed yet humbled by this order.
"Aye, I accept this responsibility wholeheartedly and endeavor to serve at your pleasure," he responds.
"Then go forth and be our voice." Varda commands and white light engulfs Glorfindel’s body once more.
When he wakes up again, he was welcomed by the warm feeling of a bed against his back, and the softness of fur covering his body. He arises with alarm and finds himself in a very unfamiliar castle. The windows were closed so he had no sense of the time, but the fireplace was alight and burning, and he could hear the harsh winds outside. It was winter he deduced.
He then takes consideration of his surroundings. He knows it was a castle but he cannot decide where, or to whom it belongs for no information was shared to him by the Valar that sent him back here.
The place was a stark contrast to Gondolin. Whereas his former home was built with white walls, this place was made of grey stones and not of Elven architecture. Where was he?
It was then that he felt another presence in the room, he turns and sees one of the Afterborn, sitting on what looks like a wheeled chair, near the door. The afterborn was young and not even of age, but his eyes reflected years of ancient knowledge. Glorfindel does not know if the boy was one of the Edain but he does not seem hostile.
"You're not supposed to be here," the boy speaks in a monotonous voice. "You've fallen into the wrong world."
He learns that he was in the place called Winterfell, the Northern Kingdom of Westeros and Lord Bran, the boy who introduced himself as the Three-Eyed Raven, tells him that he was pulled into something akin to a gap, and fell into their world.
It was one of Lord Bran's sister who found him, half-frozen in the snow in the middle of their godswood and has been unconscious for several days. The young lord says that he still does not know why Glorfindel was thrown into Westeros but he promises to help him find a way to return to Arda. However, the elf would need to wait because Westeros is still faced with the threat of ice and death.
In gratitude, Glorfindel offers his service to House Stark and help fight in the coming battle, Bran tells him to talk his sister.
He finds Lady Sansa in the godswood, the same place where she found him. She was sitting in one of the protruding roots of the heart tree, eyes closed as though in a prayer, on her lap was the head of a large wolf, a direwolf the sigil of their house, which he failed to notice due to the fact that its fur blended with the whiteness of the snow. Glorfindel decides to leave her to her solitude and find another time to approach but she sees him first, possibly alerted by the now awake wolf that carefully eyed him with blood red eyes. It would have unnerved him had he not faced werewolves in greater size and not to mention, Huan, Orome's great hound.
"My lord," she greets with a smile. "I am glad that you are finally awake."
Glorfindel returns the gesture and bows before her, "And I offer you my thanks, my lady for if it weren't for you, I wouldn't be here now."
The lady's smile widens. Glorfindel notes how well she blends with the snow and the trees; it was as if she was made to be here. Lossëwen, he names her, the snow maiden, and this name he keeps to himself.
"My brother tells me you are not from around here; he says that you are from another world. Is that true?" She asks, her voice, laced with wonder and disbelief, is soft like a gentle caress.
"Indeed, my lady. Where I am from is in a faraway place and Lord Bran has offered to assist me when the threat here is abated," he responds.
"If we win." Sansa's face falls into forlorn.
"I am certain that we will."
"How can you be certain, my lord?" Her brow raises an elegant arc as she asked.
"Because I am here?" he points out cheekily. He does not want to downplay those White Walkers but he was veteran of great battles and he had single-handedly defeated a balrog. Glorfindel was confident that he won't fall again here, his mission was in Middle Earth and he feels that the Valar won’t let him die that easily not unless he fulfills his task.
Sansa's laugh echoes in the godswood. Glorfindel smiles and basks in the pleasing sound of the Lady of Winterfell's laughter.
He mingles easily with the people of Winterfell. No one asks who he is, or where he hails from, only that he is a trusted friend of the Starks and was given a seat of honor in their midst. To protect his true nature, he hides his ears with the braids that Lady Sansa taught him. Then he makes himself useful to lessen the burden of the people who had kindly taken him in.
And he was most useful with a sword, so he goes to the training grounds.
Lady Brienne was strong and fair, Glorfindel likes her. He does not know what to make out of her squire but Pod tries hard. So, helps with his training. In the end, he decides to help the overall training of the Northerners and Valemen, small folk and noble born alike, with Lady Brienne and the Northern lords.
Although the strong lady that was sworn to House Stark bears no resemblance to Ecthelion, her own patience and compassion with the trainees remind him of his long-time friend. And his heart aches as the memories of Gondolin resurfaces.
Sometimes, he's tending to the horses much to the Master of Horses' horror and astonishment. He had been thrown out of the stalls several times because the man was frightened that he might earn the Lady of Winterfell's ire if she learns that one of her esteemed guests is cleaning horse shit. But Glorfindel, stubborn as he was, still finds his way back.
In some occasions, especially in the evenings, he sits with Lady Sansa in her solar and he regales her with stories from his former life in Arda. Sansa, in turn, tells him of her journey back to Winterfell. All the pain and horror that she survived. When they bade each other goodnight, Glorfindel would sometimes find the dents his nails left on his palm due to how tight he had clenched his hands whenever Sansa brings up a painful memory. He wishes he had been there to protect her from the monsters that hurt her. His chest tightens with a need to protect Lossëwen while he was here.
Lord Bran he rarely saw. Judging by the weight and power placed upon his young shoulders, Glorfindel understands why his appearances were rare. Lady Arya, on the other hand, was intentionally ignoring him if she wasn’t busy glaring daggers behind his back.
“She’s only wary of strangers,” Lady Sansa said when he brought it up to her in one of their shared meals together.
It had been another busy day for him in training grounds while the Lady of Winterfell had done inventories of their supplies. However, that afternoon he saw her standing in the battlements watching him and Lady Brienne. In most cases, Lord Royce would accompany her there as he also oversees the exercises but that time, she was alone, and when they finished, she invited him to sup with her.
She shares Arya’s story and some of their childhood here in Winterfell. The younger Stark reminds him of another person back home. The Lady Aredhel.
“Give her time, she’ll come to know that you are to be trusted.”
A raven from White Harbor arrives. Glorfindel could feel the excitement radiating from all the Stark siblings at the news that their brother, Jon, was finally traveling back home. He shares the excitement, wanting to learn more about the man, who not unlike him, was brought back to life from the dead.
Everyone prepares. Food supplies from the different Northern keeps are added to the inventory. The training intensifies and more and more people hope to find shelter in the largest stronghold in the North. Glorfindel assists in final arrangements before the return of the King in the North.
“You must miss him a lot.”
The dawn was yet to break but the Lady of Winterfell was already standing on the battlements overlooking Winter Town. The snow was falling from the skies and Lady Sansa’s cheeks are flushed from the cold. The morning was grey, but the sight of Sansa Stark standing over the gates of Winterfell was like a beacon in the dark.
“I do,” she smiles fondly. It was one of her rare smiles, small yet it reflects in her eyes, it makes her softer and youthful than the imposing façade she wears as the Lady of Winterfell. Beautiful, he thinks, taking in her appearance.
“Do you miss them?”
This question surprises him and he sighs wistfully, “Every day.”
His hosts never fail to make him feel at home but Glorfindel’s heart still longs for his real world, his home. He yearns for the people whom he had shared his life with; Ecthelion, Turukáno, Princess Idril, and Tuor, and even young Prince Eärendil.
“You will see them again,” She assures him and takes his hand on to her smaller one, an act of sympathy. He was shocked to find it bare. He had never seen her without her gloves.
He squeezed it in silent gratitude and excused himself. Breathless, he descends from the battlements, deafened by the thunderous beating of his heart and the hand that his Lossëwen held remains warm.
Arya Stark surprises him when he steps down the wooden stairs. Her eyes were narrowed dangerously, her one hand grasping her little sword. Glorfindel ignores this and, bows to greet her then turns to walk away, but he stops when he hears her speak.
“I don’t trust you.”
“It is only logical not to trust me, my lady, I am but a stranger to your house and to these lands.”
“No, I don’t trust you with my sister,” the younger Stark lady sneers at him.
This was the most she had spoken to him ever since his untimely arrival in their realm. It was often curt nods and grunts. The revelation stuns him.
“I assure you, my lady. Your sister is in safe hands.” He promises sincerely. He cares for Sansa Stark, that he knows, but he does not want to acknowledge the true depth of the feelings he began to harbor after all the time they have spent together. He can’t. But he’ll never do anything to harm her.
“Good. Because I’d hate to see her cry if you are to perish so sudden and without reason.”
Glorfindel sees past the thinly veiled threat. Arya Stark may never succeed in kill him but it will not be worse than the guilt he’d carry for the rest of his life if he ever causes his lady pain.
Jon Snow arrives not only with wagons of dragonglass but with a new Queen, dragons and another army behind his back. Glorfindel bristles at the sight of the black and green creatures flying above Winterfell, remembering the destruction Glaurung left in Nargothrond and the death and enslavement of his kin. He does not like them here and feels that Lady Sansa shares his sentiment.
The Northern King eyes him with suspicion when he takes notice of Glorfindel’s form standing behind his sister. The elf hears Jon Snow ask Lady Sansa who he was when the two embraced. Lady Sansa does not answer but stares pointedly at the woman who stands in the entrance of the courtyard, the foreign-born Queen.
Daenerys Targaryen reminds him of his Telerin kin. If he was a normal man like the people that surrounded him, he would find her beautiful and ethereal, yet Glorfindel was no man and born an Eldar, and the Eru designed his race to be the fairest of his all creations. This Dragon Queen’s beauty was mundane in the elven standards. However, her eyes speak differently. There was a mix of darkness and something else in those amethyst eyes that he could not name. Glorfindel is cautious of her true intentions here in the North.
Lady Sansa easily towers over her and exudes more power and authority. Pride surges inside him and he laughs inwardly when his Lossëwen ignores the Dragon Queen’s empty compliments. Daenerys Targaryen’s smile falters and a shadow passes over her face. Above them the black dragon shrieks.
Glorfindel’s unease exacerbates.
“Not important?” Lyanna Mormont’s disappointment echoes in the Great Halls of Winterfell. “We named you King in the North.”
The silence of the halls was ended by the Northerners' sound of agreement to this little girl’s words. All of them were angry and disgruntled, they made no move to hide it, even before their new queen. Jon Snow stares at Sansa, for help? And she stares back with the same level of disappointment as her people.
The once King in the North tries to explain himself but the people were not moved. Glorfindel apprehends their continued disapproval. Turukano didn’t give away his kingdom in exchange for aid from others even when there was little hope of victory, he died fighting for it. Thousands died including Glorfindel and Ecthelion defending Gondolin and its citizens.
Jon Snow exchanged his crown and the North’s freedom in desperation. Yet, will the sacrifice be worth it?
“We must fight together now or die.”
The Naugrim-like man spoke in defense of the former King but even his words felt empty and were not enough to convince the upset nobles. Noise breaks once more but was silenced when the Lady of Winterfell spoke.
“May I ask, how we are meant to feed the greatest army the world has ever seen? While I ensured our stores would last through winter, I didn’t account for the Dothraki, Unsullied and two full-grown dragons. What do dragons eat anyway?”
“Whatever they want,” Daenerys Targaryen comments indifferently and Glorfindel bristles at the silent threat. He makes a move to speak, to tell this outsider of what he knew of dragons, but he felt a hand stop him.
Lord Bran shakes his head, “Don’t.”
Glorfindel stands down.
Jon Snow does not come to the private dinner that Lady Sansa arranges that night. She hides the disappointment with fake smiles and enthusiasm in Lady Gilly and Lord Sam’s recount of the achievements Little Sam made today. Glorfindel never dined with them before. Elves didn’t need as much sustenance as humans did and he only eats when he finds the need or when Lady Sansa invites him. Lady Arya was absent once again and the Lady Brienne informs her sister that the younger girl was seen in the forge, Sansa rolls her eyes and shakes her head at the information. Lord Bran finishes early and asks Lord Samwell to accompany him outside. Lady Gilly excuses herself when Little Sam’s eyes start to drop. Lady Sansa lets them go and dismisses a reluctant Lady Brienne, leaving the both of them alone with Ghost, who laid down by the fire, for company.
They all settled in front of the roaring fireplace, cups of wine in hand, reveling in the silence of the night and the warmth that fire offered. He could sense the fear and worry reverberating burdening her, it was all thanks to one Jon Snow.
“Bran was wise to cease you from speaking earlier,” She remarks, watching him with concern. “She’s dangerous. I don’t like her and I don’t want to see you hurt.”
“You have nothing to fear, my lady. I have faced worse things than a human woman with dragons. Morgoth has more than whatever Daenerys Targaryen can offer to inflict. You have nothing to worry.”
Sansa shakes her head and lets out a deep breath.
“It’s just, everyone I care for is either gone or dead. Arya and Bran are here but they are different people now. And Jon? I fear that I have lost him to this Dragon Queen and to this war.”
“You have me.” He unintentionally says and the both of them look at each other with wide eyes until Sansa’s lips curled into a fond smile. She reaches out for his hand and gives it a small squeeze. Glorfindel marvels at how her little fingers perfectly fit his larger ones.
“You’ve already become so dear to me in your short time here, my lord. You are a good friend, but this isn’t where you belong. You have a life that awaits you in your real world.”
Her words cut like a knife but it was the truth. In the end, he might not die but he will be one of the people who has left her. And he realizes that he doesn’t want to leave her behind. She has become the dearest person to him and it would break his heart to go. Sansa’s life was only a mere blink compared to his own. If he does find a way to return to Westeros after he completes the burden given to him, he might not be able to see her again. He has centuries and millennia to do his job, perhaps the Valar would be so kind as to grant him this chance.
“Then, I’ll stay Lossëwen.” He declares, finally revealing the name that he had long dubbed her. “I’ll stay here for as long as you’ll have me.”
He brings Sansa’s hand, still clasped into his, to his chest, directly above his beating heart, as he expresses his vow. Sansa gasps in surprise in both of his actions and words, but she speaks nothing, for her eyes were brimming with tears of joy.
Chapter 2: and there are many paths to tread
Glorfindel's adventures in Westeros continue. Some feelings are revealed and acted upon. Unexpected visitors arrive bearing bad tidings.
Thank you all for your kind comments in Chapter 1. I didn't really expect that people will like this idea that much. Here is Chapter 2, I hope that it lives up to the expectations. The next chapter might be the last one for this series plus an epilogue. Thank you so much for all your support.
Inspired by Feanorian!Sansa
Jaime Lannister’s arrival sends Winterfell in turmoil. Glorfindel stands behind Lord Bran as the Kingslayer’s trial unfurls in front of them. Daenerys Stormborn precedes the trial and sits on the center of the table, on the seat where the ancestors of the Starks sat. The very same seat that once was occupied by Rickard Stark, who died under the orders of the current occupant’s Father.
Now she speaks of his crime, the murder of her mad father (one of the stories that Lady Sansa told him), but her anger is thoroughly misplaced and the mention of the Mad King is a disrespect to the memory Rickard, Brandon and Lyanna and all those who died in the war brought by Daenerys Targaryen’s family in the past.
He bites back a comment; it was not his place to speak of these things and he remembers Lady Sansa’s plea for him to keep a low profile. Daenerys and her company do not need to know who or what he truly was. It was not her business.
Lady Brienne speaks for the man. It was subtle but he hears it. The female warrior whom he had come to admire, does not only respect Ser Jaime Lannister. She was in love with him. He wonders if Lossëwen recognizes it too.
“You would fight beside him?”
“I would,” Lady Brienne responds firmly, head held high in resolve. Behind her, Jaime Lannister seemed like a tiny puppy. He seemed to have been surprised by Lady Brienne’s words but it changed into relief and admiration. Perhaps, the feelings were not unrequited at all.
“I trust you with my life. If you would trust him with yours then we should let him stay.” Lady Sansa states after a brief moment of pause. Daenerys harshly stares at her in disbelief but does not voice her obvious displeasure. She turns to Jon instead.
“And what does the Warden of the North say?”
“We need every man we can get.” Came the Warden of the North’s curt reply and Daenerys’ frown deepens.
Daenerys seems to consider this for a moment. Glorfindel knows that she does not have other options but to accept him.
“Very well.” She says in defeat. Tyrion takes a sharp inhale of relief.
The trial adjourns. Glorfindel decides to visit the training grounds to check the progress of his trainees but he was stopped on his tracks by Jon Snow. Their introductions were long overdue.
He follows the former King in the North to the godswood. Jon Snow does not say why but Winterfell was packed with people, and Glorfindel knows about the spymaster that now resides in the midst.
The dark-haired man stops and if it weren’t only for the height, Glorfindel might have mistaken him for Turukano. Jon Snow draws a sharp breath when his eyes trail the absence of Glorfindel’s footsteps from the snow.
“The only kind I’ve seen that does not leave their tracks in the snow are White Walkers.” The bastard of Winterfell starts calmly, but the accusation was there.
“How can I be sure that you are not one of them?”
Glorfindel crosses his arms and raises his brow, “Here I thought White Walkers are supposed to be made of ice. What makes you say that I am one of them?” He challenges.
“You randomly show up in Winterfell, frozen in the godswood, and Bran claims that you are from another world. There must be a mistake in Bran’s vision because I find it hard to believe that someone from a different world will just show up in Winterfell just in time as the Night King comes South.”
Glorfindel raises his arm and Jon quickly reaches for his sword in alarm. But the once Balrog slayer disregards him and takes off the tie that bounds his braid. His golden hair bounces lose from its entrapment and reveal his pointed ear.
“This, Jon son of Eddard,” he speaks motioning to his ear, “is one of the indications that I am not like you nor I am like the ice monsters that you have vowed to destroy. I am one of the Eldar, the firstborn children of Eru Illuvatar in Arda. Like you, I died and later reborn with the purpose to act as an emissary to the Valar.” Glorfindel takes a deep breath, willing the anger that arose in his chest to abate. “I know not of the reason why I woke up here but know this, I am not one of those who comes to end your race. I am here to protect, especially the people I care for.”
Jon Snow visibly relaxes and removes his hand from Longclaw. Glorfindel does not know if he has convinced the Northman about his true nature, but he is indifferent of what Jon Snow thinks of him. Lady Sansa, Lord Bran, and Lady Brienne trust him. That was enough.
“You have no purpose to fight for us, you could have just simply walked away and find another way to return to your world.” Jon Snow enunciates.
“And yet, what was that you said? We need every man we can get?” Glorfindel asserts, his anger raising once more, his hands clenching into tight balls.
He closed his eyes and lets out an exasperated breath, a feeble attempt to abate his raging emotions. He needs to keep his composure lest he punches the Warden of the North to make him the sense he sorely needs. However, out of the affection he bore for Lossëwen and the gratitude he owes Lord Bran, he will not do it no matter how hard he was tempted to.
Jon was about to open his mouth to respond but was cut off by Lord Sam, who was red-faced and panting from running. He smiles as he sees them but then it fades seemingly feeling the tension between them.
“Lord Glorfindel.” The man greets him and Glorfindel nods. Then Samwell turns to Jon, a smile returning to his lips.
“Edd and the Wildlings. They’re here.”
Jon Snow doubles back at the information and makes his way back to the keep, but not before giving him a final glare. Glorfindel returns the gesture.
“What was that all about that?” He hears Sam ask with his heightened hearing. Jon Snow does not answer.
“Judging by the frown, I would say that Lord Snow talked to you.” Brienne states, breathless as she returns the practice sword into the barrels that serve as their container.
Glorfindel scoffs at the statement and proceeds to choose one for himself. He does not want to talk about Jon Snow right now, all he wants was to pour all the energy buzzing in his veins. He was never a violent type as all the Eldar are but he needed a good release for his anger and swordfight would be the best way to do it.
The training grounds were now filled with people seeking refuge so the training was now held outside the gates, where the camps of the soldiers were set up as well as the trenches and traps. The recruits, both old and new, greeted Glorfindel when he passed them by, and he tilted his head to acknowledge them.
“I need a good fight.” He says coolly, bouncing the sword he picked. The balance felt right in his hand and he looked at the recruits questioningly. Lady Brienne calls for a volunteer and the old ones hesitated and immediately stepped back, knowing full well Glorfindel’s capacity but the new ones were eager either to show off or learn. One man took a brave step on to the circle nodding at Glorfindel. He smirks and then charges forward.
Sansa introduces him to Theon Greyjoy. The once heir to the Iron Islands flushes furiously when Glorfindel gives him a half-hug and thanks him for saving Lossëwen from the Boltons. Sansa asks him to accompany them later. She wants to make some rounds and see if the soldiers and the common folk are fed and comfortable.
Lady Arya shows a rare sign of emotion when she sees Theon. The two traded hugs and a few words. Theon apologizes for all the wrongs he has done in the past and Lady Arya does not hesitate to forgive him. Glorfindel uses this time to hand Lady Sansa a blue rose he found in the glass gardens today, she blushes prettily as she takes it. He forgets his row with Jon Snow and smiles blithely the entire afternoon.
“If I ask you to marry me, will you do it?”
Glorfindel chokes on the wine he was drinking when he hears Lossëwen raise the question. He thought it a jape at first and immediately looks at her to confirm, but he was met with a very solemn expression, one that could rival the grimness of Eddard Stark’s figure in the crypts. So no, it was not a joke.
“I’m sorry?” He says in between coughs, but the reply sounds more like a squeak that he cringes.
Lady Sansa refuses to meet his gaze and stares down. She sighs and wrings her hands nervously. Something made her upset, Glorfindel does not like his Lossëwen upset. He was prepared to give whoever the cause of her agitation a piece of his mind if she would allow him. Of course, he won’t really resolve to violence if not needed. Sensing that she might not tell him what was bothering her if not prodded, he kneels before her and takes her hands.
“Tell me what’s wrong, my lady?” He cups her cheek and urges her to look at him in the eye. “Did someone hurt you?”
The glow of the candles that illuminated the room reflected on her eyes, making it a darker shade of blue that it was almost black, but Glorfindel, blessed with a better vision, could see every emotion that was in those orbs that he loved looking at. Sansa’s eyes had always reminded him of the cloudless skies and the peaceful sea, it was so hard not to get drowned in her gaze. Tonight, however, those eyes remind him of a storm, dark and full of the unspoken feelings she withholds from him.
“It’s Daenerys,” she states with anger that he had never witnessed before, “I think she wants me to marry Tyrion again.”
“My spies,” she pauses, looking at him with hesitation and he nods as an encouragement, “one of them heard her asking Ser Jorah if it was possible to remarry a person you have been wed to before. She didn’t specifically drop our names but it is enough to tell a message.”
“Why?” He asks, ignoring the shivers he feels down his spine at the sensations her fingers sent to his skin. She was twiddling with his fingers now that she can’t do it with her own.
“She wants to keep the North in line and under her control. She thought she could do it with Jon but she just basically removed his authority here. If we survive this war, the title Warden of the North means is nothing but a military commander. The rule of the land still belongs to the Lord Paramount of the land.” Sansa explains.
“You.” He points out.
Sansa nods, “Yes. We talked and I asked her what will happen to the North if she does get the Iron Throne, she didn’t answer and Jon, I don’t really know what is going on with him. I thought,” she stops, looks away and exhales, “I trusted him to be better, to be wiser than Father and Robb. Now I don’t really know.”
“Daenerys is afraid that after this war, the North will ask for secession from the Seven Kingdoms, which I would very much prefer. She wants to find a way to keep the North in line, to keep me in line so she’s asking about the possibility of remarriage between me and Tyrion, I don’t want to do it.” She continues, then a lone tear falls from her eyes, he instinctively wipes it away with his thumb.
Sansa’s eyes widen and her lips part with a gasp. Glorfindel’s eyes fall down on her lips, they were so pink and full, so tempting. He gulps and decides to remove his hand that was still cupping the Lady of Winterfell’s face but Sansa stops him, he bites back a groan when she closes her eyes and nuzzles it.
“Lossëwen—,” he starts but she cuts him off.
“When I was young, my Father promised to find someone worthy of me,” she whispers as she opens her eyes and stares at him intently, and his chest hurts at how fast his heart is beating, “someone brave, strong, and gentle. After everything I have experienced, I stopped believing that I will meet a man like that.”
Glorfindel clears his throat and tries his best not to let her words affect him. Her asking you to marry her does not mean anything. It was a question it means nothing else; he chants in his mind.
“I’m sure there is someone out there worthy of you, my lady. Maybe you just need to be patient.” His voice does not betray the plethora of emotions that he feels now.
But Sansa laughs and shakes her head.
“Oh dummy,” she says fondly. It was her hand that cradles his face now. “I asked you because you are that man, Glorfindel. Daenerys can’t make me marry Tyrion or any man she wants because you are the only person I want. The only person who is worthy of me.”
And he kisses her then, not in a forceful way, but not so timidly either. He kisses her with the right amount of intensity and passion as to not scare her away. When he promises not to leave her, he was already content with the idea of being with her, but he never hopes that she’ll come to see him as something else. He was still every inch a stranger to her, and with her recent marriage and all her experiences with men, he thought that she’ll never open herself to any man again and might take some time to do so. He had accepted the idea that he may never be that man.
Sansa responds to his kisses with equal fervor, and she melts so perfectly in his arms and he knows that he has found the one to share his fëa.
They marry in secret a week later.
Theon Greyjoy officiates the wedding and Lady Arya gives her away while Lady Brienne, Podrick and Lord Bran serve as their witness. Glorfindel does not bring up Jon Snow’s absence.
It was snowing lightly that night and the sky was painted with the brightest stars. It was a sign, a sign of hope and salvation, the people in Winterfell murmured, for they have never seen stars like these before especially during winter.
Glorfindel takes this as a blessing from Elbereth and the Valar. They have heard his prayer, his plea to have this chance of happiness before he is thrust back into Arda once more. Sansa was so beautiful that night, so dazzling as the evening stars, that he had almost forgotten to breathe.
She wore a grey-blue dress, made with the finest laces and fabric they could find during these hard times. Like their marriage, it was a union of both the Northern and the Elven culture, as Sansa also wanted to honor his heritage in her dress. It was high collared, just like the standard Northern dresses, a protection against the relatively colder climate, but with drape-like sleeves down her elbows. On the edges of her skirts were embroideries of gold and blue roses, that twisted together, and their stems were white and the leaves red, reminiscent of a weirdwood tree.
He recognizes the dress like the one they talked about almost a moon ago when Sansa expressed her interest in the Elven fashion and he gave her sketches of the dresses that were so popular in the Gondolindrim court. She gives him a knowing smile when she notices his stare on the dress. Glorfindel wonders if she had ever foreseen this to happen or asked Lord Bran about her, no, their future and it pushed her to make this dress. He forgets about it in the end as he was so taken by his beautiful bride.
The ceremony is over as quickly as it began. Theon is still awkward with him, but his felicitations were sincere. Lady Brienne and Podrick’s eyes were both brimming with tears as they congratulate and hug them. Lord Bran congratulates them too. Sansa cries as she hugs her little brother and thanks him.
“If you ever make my sister cry, I’ll kill you myself and add your pretty face to my collection.” Lady Arya threatens him when it was finally her turn.
“Arya!” Sansa exclaims in shock. Lady Arya laughs and everyone joins except Lord Bran.
“It’s a jape,” she says as she recovers, then her face sobers, “but I will do it if that happens.”
It was Glorfindel’s turn to chuckle, “I promise you, little sister, I would harm myself first before I ever hurt Lossëwen.”
Sansa glows under the golden cloak that he wrapped around her shoulder, the symbol of their marriage and her new status. They kiss one more time before they head back to the keep.
The castle was already asleep when they returned.
Sansa does not laugh when Glorfindel admits that he has never done this before, instead, she guides him and tells him how she wants it. He tries to be gentle and touches her so softly as though she was made of glass. He kisses all her scars and reassures her when she claims they make her ugly. They didn't, they were a testimony of her strength and endurance to all the things she had suffered and faced. Their first time was sloppy and awkward, both having some inhibitions, but Glorfindel soon learns and Sansa lets go.
In the morning they go back to their duties without giving away any indication of their evening engagement. Everyone involved in the previous night’s ventures acts as though nothing happened and continue on their normal lives. No one notices the subtle glances, nor the blushes exchanged by the Lady of Winterfell and her strange golden-haired guest.
The scouts return two weeks later, as they were strolling hand and hand around the courtyard checking the supplies and food, bringing the news that the Night King and his army are almost at their gates, with them came a peculiar woman in red. She demands to see Bran Stark. The courtyard bustles with activity, orders are screamed here and there. Glorfindel orders Sansa to find Jon and his Dragon Queen. She nods and leaves with Theon on tow.
The red woman's eyes widen in surprise when she spots him in the crowd. Recognition flashes on her eerie red eyes then it changes into melancholy and pain.
Glorfindel's body stills with fear.
Chapter 3: through shadows to the edge of the night
The council gathers and plans, Glorfindel and Sansa argue, an overdue meeting and a confrontation happen, and Glorfindel finally learns about the Red Woman and his true purpose in Westeros.
OMG! I'm so overwhelmed by all the love you have sent me. Thank you so much! I'm really happy that you like my work and enjoy reading it.
Okay, I know that I have promised that this will be the end of the series and then I'll follow with an epilogue but this chapter took a different turn and I believe that there is one interaction that needs to happen before the NK arrives. I think I will make it into 5 or 6 chapters depending on how things will go. I hope this will not disappoint you.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The council gathers in Winterfell’s vast library.
Sansa gives him a small smile when she sees him enter and motions her head discreetly as a signal for him to take his place beside her. But he stops midway as Jon Snow glowers at him, taking in the empty spot in between his sisters. His wife’s half-brother stares at the both of them with suspicion before his attention returns to the map that was laid in the table. Lossëwen’s face scrunches in confusion at her brother’s actions and mouths an apology. He dismisses it and hides his disappointment. He already has missed her touch, being so abruptly separated earlier and he was hoping to hold her hand under the table to survive this whole affair.
In the end, he finds himself sandwiched between Lady Brienne, who gives him a teasing look detecting his dejection, he responds by tilting his head towards Jaime Lannister’s direction and he gets the last laugh as the Lady’s face turns red from blushing; and Lady Karstark, who was unaware of the silent banter. Across him stands Daenerys Targaryen and the important members of her council. He catches her studying him with keen interest. He ignores it. The room fills with people and he notices that the Red Woman who suddenly arrived at the gates is absent.
“If we can’t meet them in the open field, then what do we do?” Jaime Lannister asks, crossing his arms against his chest. In the dark, his golden hand glimmers, reflecting the light of the candles that illuminated the whole chamber.
It was only mid-morning but the skies were already gloomy and grey, with no sign of the sun showing up. The days had been shorter now, and the darkness longer, he thinks that it was one of the heralds that the Long Night is near.
“It’s the Night King’s magic that made them and holds them together. I’ve seen it work before if he falls…” Jon Snow answers, “getting to him may be our best chance.”
“If that is true, then he will be far away from the battle and will never expose himself.” Jaime remarks and everyone mutters their agreement.
“Yes, he will,” Bran speaks and everyone’s attention turns to him. “He will come for me. He has tried before. For several times. For many three-eyed ravens.”
“Why? Why does he want?” Lord Samwell raises the biggest question.
If anyone deserves an acknowledgment for working hard to prepare for the Night King’s attack and know his secrets, Glorfindel thinks that it would be Sam. The man has been pouring all his days and nights looking for the answers in the books he had brought from the Citadel and all the history scrolls he can gather from Winterfell’s library.
Glorfindel assisted him once when he was not preoccupied sneaking out with Sansa, but all they found were vague writings about the Long Night and there were no clear indications about the real reason why he would attack the realm. Although the Night King was a lesser power, he reminds him of Morgoth, of the former Valar’s plan to curb Middle Earth under his rule and power and scourge it with fire. And the Long Night is but a faint recollection of the destruction of the Telperion and Laurelin in Valinor, and the terror it brought all the Eldar that had been created to love the light.
“He wants to end this world, to plunge it in eternal darkness.” He voices his realization aloud and all pairs of eyes set on him, but his own never left the map. He could still hear it in his mind, the wailing of the Teleri that echoed in the silence of Valinor and Yavanna’s endless weeps. Of Sansa’s clear blue eyes turning into the pale blue of death. He shivers at the memory of his dream and erases it off his mind.
Understanding what his realizations meant, Lord Samwell speaks his own conclusion.
“He desires to rob the world of its history, of its stories. Without them, we are nothing. We’ll have no memories, no sense of self. We’d be akin to animals, like the wights.” He says, watching everyone in the room with grave eyes, then turns to Bran, “And you possess those stories and those memories. If I wanted to erase the world of men, then I’d start with you.”
“Then we need to protect Bran,” His wife, it’ still so strange to call her that, speaks for the first time, her eyes finding his as if she was regarding him and not the people in the room. Glorfindel thinks he hates Jon Snow now more than ever for keeping them apart. His Lossëwen is afraid even if she does not show it and he aches to comfort her.
“We’ll put him in the crypts, where he will be the safest.” Jon Snow reassures his sister, failing to notice the wordless exchange. This does not put her at ease.
“No,” Bran cuts him off. “I have his mark and he will always know where I am. We need to lure him into the open before his army destroys us all. I will wait for him in the godswood.”
“You want us to use you as bait?” Sansa raises in disbelief, her tone increasing a pitch higher, the room is quickly put into silence.
“No, we won’t leave you out there alone.” Lady Arya tells her little brother.
It was a big risk, Glorfindel thinks, but Bran has his abilities. The elf does not know what the extent of his powers is, if Bran’s strange talents include foresight then he must have already seen the outcome of the battle before it even began. Maybe this is why he wants to expose himself. Even so, Glorfindel cannot allow anything bad to happen to his good-brother for his own sake and for his wife. It pains him to imagine that the path he had chosen here, the life that he will have for Sansa, will not end in his favor.
At the end of the day, no matter how strong their love was for each other, they will still be separated by the truth of their races.
She was the Beren to his Luthien
The Tuor to his Idril.
Sansa was human, Glorfindel refuses to think about it a lot, but time will come when she will wither and die, and Glorfindel was an elf, immortal and unchanging.
His time in this realm was borrowed, the oddity of his coming here and the decisions he made are enough to cause him to fade, the moment Sansa dies through old age or through something else, will shatter both his heart and mind. But he needs to stay strong, to at least keep his sanity intact in order for him to return to his own world and to take up his duty of being the voice of the Valar. And he can’t do that without Bran.
“I will protect him,” he states with a loud voice.
Sansa’s eyes widen in surprise and she moves her lips to speak but Theon cuts her off, sending a grim look.
“He won’t be alone. I will go with him, with the Ironborn.” Theon Greyjoy speaks more to Sansa than to anyone else in the room, then he faces Bran and his expression softens with sorrow and regret, “I took this castle from you. Let me help defend you now.”
Bran gives his wordless approval by nodding, face emotionless as ever. Lady Arya and Jon Snow exhale with relief, but the tension from Sansa’s form never leaves as does her eyes fixed on him, heavy with emotions.
Daenerys Targaryen, who was left out of the entire conversation, finally finds her cue.
“It is settled then. Lord Laurefindel and Lord Greyjoy will protect Lord Stark.”
“I will go with you,” Sansa tells him when they reach an empty part of the hallway, away from prying ears when the council has ended.
“I must come with you,” she emphasizes.
Glorfindel shakes his head, his golden hair tumbling softly, “No, no, no, my love.” He says taking in her hands and kissing them, “You will stay in the crypts with the woman and children where you will be safe.”
“No, I won’t.”
She looks him with eyes burning determination and courage that screams that she would not accept any rejection. The intensity alone was enough to send the Night King and his army ablaze. But Glorfindel turns his head to the side, not wanting to meet them because all he sees now is the nightmare that has been bothering him days after their wedding.
Sansa’s blood seeping into the white snow, her body cold and hard as ice and her eyes. Her eyes, which were once brighter than any of Elbereth’s stars, were staring at him, lifeless and pale blue in death.
“I cannot imagine a future without you in it,” she tells him, placing her head on his chest, just above his heart, and automatically his hands wrapped around her waist, “If you fall, then let me fall with you.”
Then she tiptoes and presses a quick peck on his lips. He closes his eyes and he tastes the saltiness of her tears. He hates that he is the one causing it. He does not want her to worry. He will not leave her, not yet, unless the Valar deems it so. But how can he ever tell her about his dream? How can he ever tell him that he fears her death more than anything? How can he ever explain that death will not reunite them but will only sunder their connection?
If he dies while protecting Bran, Námo will welcome him again and his spirit will forever be in the Halls of Mandos until it is reborn again but humans, like her, their spirit will visit the Halls for some time until they permanently vanish from Arda. But she was not from his world as was he to hers, there is no certainty that their souls will meet again even for a short time. He would rather face the Night King alone knowing that she would be safe, than die and she forever lost to him through death.
And he knows better than anyone else that she was stubborn to a fault, she will go with him if she wants to, not even the Night King can stop her, so he takes a different step of action.
“No,” he declares firmly, hating how harsh it sounds when she flinches, “as your lord husband, I command you to stay in the crypts until the battle is over.”
Sansa sucks in a sharp breath at his words and her eyes narrow dangerously.
“Lord husband?” She scoffs incredulously, withdrawing herself from him. Anger flares in her blue eyes and a part of Glorfindel promptly regret the choice of words, but he won’t take it back.
Let her be angry, let her hate him, he will take the brunt of it all. Even if he does not doubt his will and strength to protect her, it does not give him any assurance that she will be alright by his side. Bringing her with them is almost like freely offering her to the Night King for slaughter.
“If that’s your command, my lord, then so be it.” She spats then she briskly walks away, not even sparing him a second look. His body urges him to follow her but he stays frozen.
“Lossëwen!” He yells after her, but she is gone.
He stands there for what feels like hours, trying to reflect on his actions, asking himself if he had done the right thing. He pushed her away, he will regret that, but he won’t be able to forgive himself if something was to happen to her. Now shouldn’t have been the right time to argue and he makes a vow to talk to her later, he needs her to understand and he can’t do that if she was angry with him. He should let her calm down first.
But right now, he has to address the other presence in the halls. She thinks she had been so subtle but he has heard her, there was no mistaking her soft breaths and footfalls for Glorfindel has learned to differentiate each one of them in the entirety of his stay here.
“You can come out now,” He barks at the seemingly empty lobby.
And Daenerys Targaryen’s pale form comes out of the corner, head held high in confidence, her face does not betray any signs of guilt, even when he has caught her. The council has been her other big appearance in these halls. His wife and Jon Snow’s acceptance of Jaime Lannister and the blatant disregard of her animosity with the man had been a huge blow on her ego, Glorfindel thinks that she was positively certain they would side with her, that they will understand where she was coming from.
Yet Daenerys Targaryen has forgotten that her Father holds greater sins to the Northmen above anyone else and even they don’t make a mention of it. She had made herself scarce after the botched trial, preferring to stay outside with her soldiers or her children.
“Lossëwen,” she starts coolly, his body tenses not at the wrongness of the accent but because of the person using the name he had lovingly bestowed upon Sansa. “Missandei told me that it is not from any known tongue.”
“What of it?” He snaps, forgoing the titles even when everyone in Winterfell half-heartedly used the specific honorifics to address her. Yet in his defense, Daenerys Targaryen was not his Queen. Elenwë, wife of Turukáno was. He owes this woman no respect, no allegiance.
She is stunned by his brusque reply but her resolve does not falter.
“What does it mean? I notice you use it so often to address Lady Sansa.”
“Whatever the meaning of it is, does not concern you. So, if you would excuse me.” He brushes past her but she is quick to grab hold of his arm, forcing him to look at her. The darkness he had seen in her eyes when he first saw her, was there, more evident than it was before.
“Does Jon know that you are sleeping with his sister?” She whispers darkly. “He is rather protective of her, you see. From the accounts I’ve heard, he has almost punched Ramsay Bolton to death and threatened to kill Petyr Baelish. Perhaps he’d be not so forgiving with a stranger besmirching his beloved sister’s honor.”
Glorfindel knows that she was only able to catch a little of his and Sansa’s exchange. He has no idea how she had learned about the extent of his and his wife’s relations. Then, of course, she had the advantage of having Varys at her side. And according to Sansa, any movement and exchanges made in Winterfell can be used as a piece of valued information, no matter how small it was and it was obvious that it won’t exempt them, especially Lossëwen. They had been very careful, but perhaps not that careful enough. He had always lowered his defenses around her, and he sometimes he is unaware of his environment when they are alone as he wants to savor their moments together. That might have been the reason why some of Varys’ spies got wind of their nightly activities without his awareness. As much as they hated sneaking and keeping everything in secret, they were not yet free to act upon their marriage until the threat was gone because the politics is still shaky as it is.
Jon Snow was the least of his worries now. His brother’s wife he can deal with later, but Daenerys Stormborn was a different issue. She was no Morgoth Bauglir. No Night King. Her dragons do not make her equally as threatening as the forces he had seen before. With or without them, she does not frighten him. Her refusal to adapt to the Westerosi ways and toxic sense of entitlement, on the other hand, was another matter. She is unwilling to see anyone who does not welcome her open arms and accept her claim for the throne as nothing but enemies. She desires for the whole realm to bend to her will. Like Morgoth. That was what makes her dangerous.
“What do you want?” He hisses. In Gondolin, politics can be tiring and the high nobles’ scheme most of the time to nab the King’s favor, but it was never a game of death, just like in this realm.
If the only way to escape her now is to play her game and let her think she had won, then he would gladly humor her. He has no time to spare for the likes of her.
“I want the Seven Kingdoms intact. The North should heed. If your Lossëwen can’t respect that…” She trails off and purposely accentuates the Epessë he had given his wife. He knows, he knows what she has left out.
How dare she!?! His mind all but screams, his anger raises at her overt warning. Breaker of chains, Mhysa, her titles seems to go on, but from what she had displayed in her little time here in Westeros, Glorfindel thinks that her true colors are about to show.
She was not a liberator, not a savior.
“Dragons plant no trees,” he growls, scowling down at her, “If you think that instilling fear makes you a good ruler, then you are no better than the Night King or Cersei.” Or Morgoth.
His feet brought him to the library once more. His little disagreement with his wife and unfortunate meeting with Daenerys has drained all the remains of his energy. He wants to have a moment’s peace before he throws himself back out of the open, besides there was another person in Winterfell that was bothering his mind.
The red woman.
He chuckles sardonically at the absurdity of it all. Once upon a time, women had been the least of the things that burdened Glorfindel of the House of the Golden Flower, Captain to Turukáno of Gondolin, and twice-born balrog slayer. In his previous life, he and his good friend Ecthelion had been so popular with the elven ladies of Gondolin, but they had never caused him any trouble. Now, not only does he need to deal with an angry wife, but he also suffered a would-be Queen, and has been bothered by a strange newcomer. Somehow, he wants to curse whatever forces that pulled him towards this realm.
Fighting had been easier.
Killing orcs had been easier.
Slaying a balrog had been so fun.
Of course, no matter how hard had it been for him, he wouldn’t trade it off for the love he bore his wife. Lossëwen was the only person who made things better for him in this realm. He needs to remind her that later. If Sansa will talk to him.
Tiredly, he kneads his forehead with his fingers to soothe the headache that is starting manifest and enters the library. Training would have been the first option he has to calm his nerves, but right now he wants to be alone, fearing that he might accidentally kill someone if he touches a sword. He’ll settle for a book and a cup of tea for now. However, he stops from his tracks when he realized that the library was not empty as he had hoped.
Lord Samwell looks up from the tome he is reading and beams at him widely. Glorfindel lips twitch involuntarily and he returns the gesture. There was no use spreading his negative thoughts, especially to one Samwell Tarly, whom he had come to know as the most optimistic person in Westeros.
“Hello, Lord Glorfindel,” Sam greets cheerfully, waving a little bit.
“Hello, Lord Sam. What do you have there?” He asks pointing to the large volume that his companion was reading.
The map that covered the great table earlier was absent, replaced by all the books that Lord Sam brought from the Citadel and ones that he had found in Winterfell. Some were familiar to Glorfindel, and others weren’t.
Lord Sam briefly checks the cover again, “Oh, it’s just a compilation of prophecies that the Lady Melisandre brought from Dragonstone. It’s nothing really, a bunch of nonsense, but she seems very interested to find the one about the “prince that was promised”.”
He quirks a brow at the unfamiliar name, although he already has a feeling who this person was.
Samwell Tarly nods, “Yes. She was the one who arrived with the scouts today. The Red Priestess from Asshai.”
So, she was a priestess. Interesting. However, that does not explain how she appears to recognize Glorfindel and the emotions that her eyes shown when she had seen him. His body trembles a bit, remembering the overwhelming fear that hit him at the time. He shakes it off his mind. He needs to know more about this woman, he decides to prod some more.
“And what does she want from Lord Bran?”
Sam contemplates for a moment before he answered the elf’s question.
“Well, she’s one of the few people who knew about the coming of the Long Night. At first, she believed that Stannis was the one, chosen to save us from it. Then she thought that it was Jon and Daenerys. But now, she tells Lord Bran that she’s no longer certain….” Sam dazes off, then he claps a hand over his mouth as he catches himself, “Oh! Oh! I’m sorry! Oh. I shouldn’t have told you that. That was supposed to be a secret! I’m—"
Glorfindel holds his hand up to stop Sam from stuttering.
“It seems that this woman’s credibility is to be doubted, her beliefs are not firm enough as it is.” He states, finding this knowledge a little troubling, “Tell me, where does she get these conclusions about the “chosen warrior”?”
“Visions,” Lord Sam supplies, “She sees visions from fire, given to her by the Lord of Light, R’hllor, the god that she follows.”
Glorfindel nods. Somehow, R’hllor reminds him of Ulmo, the Valar of the Seas. While Ulmo did not necessarily give them visions, he was able to send them forewarning about the events that may come to be. The golden-haired elf now wonders if there is a chance that the gods of these lands are similar to the Valar in his own or if they are anything equal.
“And what do her visions tell her now?” Glorfindel asks again, his curiosity further increasing.
Lord Sam twisted his hands nervously, “She says that something happened and it changed the course of this world and its future. Something that should not be.” He pauses, his eyes peering on a specific page on the book. “Jon and Daenerys…. They fit all the descriptions in the prophecy… the coming of dragons… salt and smoke… ice and fire… But there was a change…”
“What changed, Sam?” He pushes again.
Sam hesitates. Glorfindel could make out the beads of sweat forming in the lord’s forehead. He does not understand the obvious agitation from the young man. They had been in the company of one another for some time now, Sam knows that Glorfindel can be trusted with anything.
“Sam?” The elf urges firmly when his friend fails to answer. There was a strange weight that settled on his heart while he waits for the man of the Night’s Watch to gather his courage and speak. For some unknown reason, Glorfindel thinks that the outcome of this conversation and the things he will learn will not be agreeable to him.
Sam stays silent for a whole minute before taking a long, defeated exhale. Then he looks up from the tome, dark eyes locking on the clear ones of Glorfindel. In them were the same melancholy and pain that the red woman carried when she first laid her sight on the Elf Lord.
“You, Lord Glorfindel. Lady Melisandre believes that you are the prince that was promised.”
Okkaayy. I didn't really mean to compare Dany to Morgoth but I believe that Glorfindel will notice some similarities between them. The same goes for the NK. And I hope you guys won't be angry about him being the Prince that Was Promised. I love Arya so much but Glorfindel coming to Westeros has to have a concrete reason/purpose.
FromTheBoundlessSea and I discussed this because I'm afraid of the possible backlash from the Arya fans who are reading this. I believe that Glorfindel fits some of the definition of the prince that was promised/song of ice and fire.
ice & fire - his death was caused by a balrog, a creature of fire, and he was found/reborn in the godswood, laying on the snow
smoke and salt - the destruction of Gondolin and the tears shed by the survivors due to his death
I hope you guys will forgive me for the changes and I'm sorry about the angst.
Chapter 4: until the stars are all alight
“Because this world needs a hero, Glorfindel of Gondolin. Westeros has always had a King and a Queen, but now it needs someone more than a ruler to fight in this war, and none is as worthy as you to take on that mantle. You, who descended from one of the noblest houses of the Eldar, are the Prince that was promised, the song of Ice and Fire.”
Outside, the foreboding sound of the horn resonates, the first of the many.
The beginning of the end.
Sorry for the late update. For some reasons, I lost a bit of the plot while I tried to write more for this AU. Idk, but I feel that it's the beginning of another writer's block which happens to me a lot. So if ever the next chapter comes so late, I apologize in advance. For now, please enjoy this new addition.
(It's the Independence Day here in the PH, so consider this as a "gift" for the celebration of our autonomy from Spain)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Something is bothering you,” the words were spoken more like a conclusion rather than a question. Glorfindel pretends not to hear them and shifts his undivided attention on the on-goings down below.
Outside and inside the gates of Winterfell, both the Northerners and the Dragon Queen’s army work hand in hand to make the final preparations for the Night King’s incoming attack. Screams and shouts are exchanged from here and there, in different languages; Valyrian, Dothraki and the common tongue for the Northmen and the remains of the population of the Wildlings.
The elf-lord watches them, his heart saddened by the fact that most of these people may not even survive the Long Night. He feels for them, especially for the men and women he had trained for several weeks now. Some had been clueless about the ways of the sword, being raised to work in the fields and farms. Some too young, still ignorant and inexperienced to the wonders and horrors of the world. Others were too old, their long life marked by the deep lines etched on their faces and hands. But all of them volunteered to fight, not only for the sake of survival, but their hearts are also filled with the desire to protect. And this desire does not limit to the lands they have tilled and sown or born in, but they also want to protect those that they love and those further away from the South with no sense of the doom that may yet to come.
There is no certainty of a victory. Brandon Stark, whose abilities he has yet to grasp, deliberately refused to share any forms of information that may enlighten them of a possibility of survival. The things his good-brother told them in the meeting that happened earlier were the only weapon they held against the Night King, that, and the Red Woman’s vague assumptions that Glorfindel was the personification of a prophesized warrior sent to defeat the creatures of ice and the dark.
A part of him refuses to accept this fact, or whatever it was, his coming here is a mistake, he was only a puppet to the games that fate had enjoyed. Yet, another part of him embraces it entirely, for it makes sense, somehow, there should at least be a reason for his arrival in this world.
“Is it because you and Lady Sansa fought?”
The new question shakes him from his stupor and he glances to Lady Brienne who waits for his answer expectedly. A misty cloud forms when he releases a long exhale.
“Yes,” came his short, exasperated response.
Partially, it was true. The fact that he and Sansa have yet to talk and reconcile is another issue that dwells in his mind apart from Sam’s unexpected revelation. After his “momentous” chat with Sam, he has gone out to search for his wife. But Sansa was adamant to hide from him. He thinks he has almost caught her several times this day, his eyes always finding a flash of auburn in every nook and corner of Winterfell where he is sure to see her. Yet, whenever he was positive that he could finally catch her, Sansa disappears, like a phantom in these walls.
“She’ll come around soon,” Lady Brienne reassures him, her gaze moving towards the darkness that looms over the empty lands ahead of the gate, “She’s a very passionate and brave woman, just like her Lady Mother. She won’t hesitate to protect those that she loves, you most of all.”
There was a deep touch of sadness and longing laced with pride in his friend’s tone as she compares the mother and daughter she had served. It appears to Glorfindel that there must be something truly special about the Starks that made every person who served them form a bond more intense than what it normally should. He was no exception.
If the Valar or any forms of gods of this realm is truly playing with his fate, he is more than thankful that they have chosen to send him to the Starks. And to Lossewen.
A strong gust of wind blows past them, almost extinguishing the torches that littered in the battlements, and he tries to adjust the heavy fur cloak he wore to seek more heat. Deciding that he can no longer endure another hour of standing outside, he beckons to Lady Brienne and Podrick to follow him.
“Come, let us find a warmer spot.”
The three of them rush inside the keep, with one location in mind.
The Great Hall.
It was the only place in Winterfell with a fireplace big enough to chase off the coldness that has seeped deep in their bones. The place would be empty by now, with all the inhabitants occupied with their own tasks. He thinks that Sansa will be in her solar, sitting behind the large desk, face buried on the reports and inventories with Ghost laying by her feet. He wishes to go to her but decides against it in the end.
Their sudden entrance in the Great Hall startles the Lannister brothers, already lounging comfortably in front of the fireplace, cups at hand and deep in a serious conversation.
“Lady Brienne, Lord Glorfindel, Pod,” the older of the two, Jaime, stands, raising his cup to welcome them.
“Oh,” Brienne stutters, evidently surprised to see Jaime Lannister, “We didn’t mean to interrupt. We were only looking for somewhere warm to…”
“To contemplate our imminent death, yes.” Glorfindel finishes for her, earning a chuckle from the younger Lannister male, his Lossewen’s first husband. “I have reason to believe that you two are also in the same book.”
The two of them never had a chance of a conversation, perhaps it was high time that he comes to know the second born son of the infamous Tywin Lannister, the man responsible for Sansa’s underage marriage and the murder of her mother and brother.
Glorfindel does not carry bitter feelings for him nor does he feel any trace of jealousy. It was easy to conclude that Tyrion Lannister was the better man from the first two unions his wife was forced to undertake. Sansa admired this man once, for his intelligence and wit, but there was no love there. However, due to his recent actions and choices, Sansa confessed that she was beginning to doubt his judgment and intellect.
“Yes, we have all come to the right place,” Tyrion comments dryly. Then as if remembering his manners, he offers them a drink, “Might I offer you this some of this piss? It’s not the best out there, but not bad either.”
“Thank you, milord,” Pod accepts enthusiastically and walks towards the table where the pitchers of alcohol are placed. Some of the containers were upturned and empty, which means either the two Lannisters had been here for quite a while or the other Northern lords had beaten them to it.
“That may not be wise. The battle may start at any moment.”
Podrick’s enthusiasm falls at his lady’s reproach, stopping mere inches from the table, looking like a scolded child. Glorfindel and Jaime share a smile, watching the two interact. Brienne has always been so stern when it comes to Podrick although there was no denying that this is because she cares for her squire’s wellbeing more than she will ever let out.
“It’s the end of the world, Brienne. Let him enjoy some luxuries,” Glorfindel chose to speak on Pod’s behalf. He has no idea of how alcohol may affect humans before going to battle but in his experience, a cup of wine or so is soothing to the nerves and helps relieve the tension caused by the increasing amount of adrenaline produced by the body from fear and anticipation.
“Aye, a cup won’t hurt,” Tyrion encourages further, winking at his former squire and Podrick turns to Brienne expectantly.
“Half-cup,” Brienne admonishes her squire after a moment’s deliberation, blue eyes narrowing in warning, but Tyrion ignores her and fills Podrick’s cup up to the brim, causing some of the wine to spill on the floor.
A movement from one of the open doors grabs Glorfindel’s attention and he squints his elven eyes to get a clearer glimpse. From the dark, he could make out a feminine silhouette moving behind the shadows. He nearly expects it to be Sansa, when the light shines on red tresses, but the shade was wrong, it was darker, deeper akin to blood than fire, and his wife never wears her hair lose except inside the privacy of her chambers. Or his. His heart beats a little quicker when blue eyes clashes with those familiar eerie ruby eyes.
It was Melisandre of Asshai.
Upon seeing the recognition that flashed on his face, the Red woman gives him a small incline of her head and she turns around, vanishing into the hallways.
A hand clamps on his shoulder and his body jolts in shock.
“Are you alright? You seemed to have lost it for a bit.” Jaime tells him, brows creasing in concern.
Twelve sets of eyes were focused on him now, and he stares back at them absently. There were two additions inside the chambers, ones he failed to notice in his daze, the wildling Tormund Gianstbane, and the Onion Knight, Davos Seaworth.
“What’s wrong, lass? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” Tormund remarks, using the accursed title he has given the Elf-lord.
The man of the free folk, as he would like to correct the Southerners, thought that Glorfindel was a she at their first meeting, he even came into a conclusion that the elf and Brienne were siblings due to their shared golden locks and tall imposing figures. Sansa, who found it amusing, was quick to correct her free folk friend, earning Giantsbane’s disappointment. However, much to the Eldar’s annoyance, Tormund decided to permanently address him as such.
In a normal day, the golden-haired elf would answer to the jab, but at present, his mind is wrapped around something else.
Another inevitable meeting. One he must have ahead of the fight.
“Pardon me for a moment, I need to be somewhere right now.” He states to the occupants of the room, then he half-run half-walks to the part where he saw the Red-Woman disappear.
It wasn’t difficult to find Melisandre of Asshai, not when she waits for him in one of the alcoves of the castle.
“Come, we must not tarry,” she tells him in her deeply accented tone and he follows her, traipsing through the vast hallways of the castle and ascending some of the winding stairs. They passed by the wing allocated for the Starks, then by the guests’ chambers that presently houses Daenerys Targaryen and her retinue.
They continue walking until Melisandre stops in front of a small room reserved for noble visitors of lower birth. She opens the door for him and beckons him to enter. He hesitates at first, his hand grabbing the hilt of his sword, unsure whether to trust her or not. She may be on their side of the war but it doesn’t mean that Glorfindel will lower his defenses around her.
The overwhelming heat welcomes him the moment he sets foot inside the cozy chambers she had chosen as her accommodations. The room houses nothing more than the usual necessities found in other rooms in Winterfell; a bed, a fireplace, a desk and table, and a small door that hides the chamber pot. The only difference, however, was the flaming brazier that stands in the center of the room possibly causing the additional warmth. And other than the red cloak that was primly folded on the edge of her bed, he notes the lack of personal belongings.
He freezes when the sound of the metal bolt echoes inside the room, breaking the tense silence.
“You are an anomaly in this world, Glorfindel of Gondolin,” she states, slowly stepping closer towards him.
The temperature begins to shift when she stops mere inches away from him, and he feels the little beads of sweat beginning to form at the back of his neck as his heart trashes wildly against his chest.
“You are not supposed to exist here,” she says, mirroring the words that Bran said when Glorfindel woke up in this realm, “but you are not without purpose.”
“Who are you?” He asks, feigning ignorance to her identity.
“I am called Melisandre and I serve the Lord of Light,” she pauses then gives him a knowing glance and her lips curl into a small smirk, “but in your world, he comes by another name. Perhaps you know her better as Varda Elentari.”
Glorfindel’s sucks a harsh breath, eyes widening at the reveal.
“How is that possible?” He voices his disbelief, his mind trying to knit the pieces together.
“There are many gods, Glorfindel of Gondolin. There are many gods in different worlds and they come in disparate forms. In this world, we know the Lord of Light as the Red God, R’hllor, but in yours, however, she is Elbereth the Star-Kindler, the lover of light. They are unlike one another but similar nonetheless.” She explains and the red gem of her necklace seems to glow brighter as she speaks.
“And it was her intention to send me here?”
“Yes, with the blessing of the One.” Melisandre adds, untangling the web of perplexity the elf has suffered in the midst of the revelation, “She has heard of the unspeakable darkness threatening to overtake these lands and swallow the lives that nurtured the earth. She and her husband love your kind above all creations, yes, but her heart also holds a special place for the Afterborn, and this world is so akin to yours that she bore a terrible desire to aid us. Thus, she begged the Father of All to grant her wish, and you were sent here.”
The room darkens as the hour grows late. Outside he could hear the voices of the people and the strong winds mixing together, forming an obscure melody, too much for his sensitive hearing. However, from the noises that mingled in the air, he distinguishes Sansa’s soft tones eclipsing all the other sounds that his ears could gather.
“I…But why me?”
There was a strange relief in his heart when he finally spoke the question that weighed his being ever since he found himself in the Taniquetil. He never had the chance to voice it aloud, for he was compelled with the great need to please the Valar and the Iluvatar.
“Because this world needs a hero, Glorfindel of Gondolin. Westeros has always had a King and a Queen, but now it needs someone more than a ruler to fight in this war, and none is as worthy as you to take on that mantle. You, who descended from one of the noblest houses of the Eldar, are the Prince that was promised, the song of Ice and Fire.”
Outside, the foreboding sound of the horn resonates, the first of the many.
The beginning of the end.
Lol, it was fun writing the part where Tormund mistakes Glorfindel as a female and Brienne's sibling. Also, the last part where Mel tells him that Westeros needs a hero not a King/Queen is a reference to Aquaman. I just thought that it fits a lot in there.
The Varda reveal was a bit messy, I wanted to add more to that but my mind refuses to work. Ugh. However, I promise that once the muse is back and working straight again, I'll try to rewrite this scene to make everything clearer than they appear to be. And lol, how many times did I promise that this fic is almost at its end? I think everyone (including me) will need to wait long for that.