Sandor & Arya
“The bloody hells you think you are doing?!”
“I was…just looking.”
“Just looking you say. For what? Get off before I smack your arse.”
“I didn’t touch anything, I swear! I only wanted to have a closer look…”
“Of what, my sword? Why in the seven hells a scrawny lad as yourself would want to fiddle with my sword? It is not for the likes of you. Bleeding hells, a man leaves his weapons unattended to take a piss and some no-good stable boy is already sniffing around them. A fine order the old wolf has in his household.”
“I am not a boy! Or no-good! Besides, you are a guest here but this keep is ours; I can go where-ever I want!”
“Well, at closer look, I can see that. Still, too bloody many freedoms up here in the North, even for wet-nosed little girls.”
“I am not wet-nosed either! This is my father’s keep and you better remember it.”
“So you are the younger Stark girl? The one they say is a wild one? I should have guessed. Even so, scoot away. You have no business with me or my things.”
“You are mean. I will tell my father.”
“Go on, run to him then. I am guarding the future king and I have no time to care about what little wolflings think of me. Hurry!”
Sansa could never forget the first time she saw him.
First she had eyes only for Prince Joffrey, recognising him immediately among the column of riders both from his magnificent outfit and his position immediately following King Robert and the Kingsguard with their pillowing white cloaks. He was so beautiful, so noble!
Next her attention was drawn to the man riding only a few steps behind the prince. He was one of the largest men Sansa had ever seen, and that he was prince’s shield was obvious from his stance, the huge broadsword strapped onto his back and the menacing helmet in the shape of a snarling dog covering his head. A warrior worthy of guarding such a fine prince for sure! Only the most gallant and brave were assigned to an exceptional task like that; all the songs said so, Sansa knew.
Her heart raced and her palms felt clammy when she impatiently waited for the greetings and introductions to reach her. She wanted her father and King Robert to hurry, but they only laughed and japed like only old friends can. Glancing around Sansa noticed that the tall warrior had also dismounted. He was as impressive on foot as on horseback, and standing behind the royals he slowly removed his helmet to reveal the ruin that was his face.
Only years under the stern tutelage of Septa Mordane prevented Sansa gasping at the sight – how could such ugliness exist so close to the beautiful prince? The man’s features were hard, his jaw square and nose prominent, but it was the hideously scarred side that caught her eyes. Uneven, deeply crevassed skin, pulled tightly across his cheek and jaw bones and looking so horribly red and raw… His other ear was missing, leaving behind only a black hole, and his mouth looked as if it was eternally drawn into a tight scowl.
Sansa knew it was impolite to stare but she couldn’t help herself. She had never seen anything so ugly and not even the man’s dark hair, pulled on that side in a futile attempt to cover the affronting sight, could improve the ugliness that manifested itself in the middle of the main yard of Winterfell. Sansa shivered.
The man’s gaze travelled around the yard taking in the sight of Winterfell men guarding the palisades and controlling the curious smallfolk gawking at the royal entourage, the welcoming group consisting of all members of House Stark and other officials of the keep and the many buildings surrounding the enclosure. He seemed to take it all in with intensity and concentration, his gaze not wavering from its set course. In turn it swept past Sansa and despite quickly lowering her eyes Sansa was not fast enough and she got caught. A flash from his piercing grey eyes held her for a second before it moved on.
Sansa sighed in relief and turned to look at her Lord Father, when from the corner of her eye she saw that ugly man turning his head fully back in her direction and staring right at her. For how long, she couldn’t say, because for her immense relief her father finally beckoned her to approach the royals.
“And here is my oldest daughter Sansa, Your Grace…”