You Know Nothing: A Game of Thrones Fan-Fiction Story.

By Avellina Balestri

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They offer me the throne, built from the swords taken from slaughtered warriors. They offer it to me, glinting with splintered shards of northern ice and glimmering with dying embers of dragon flame. They offer it to me over the shields of the dead, over the groans of the dying, over all that I have suffered with death-seared eyes. They offer it me, their prize of passage, for all that I have known, and not known.

     You know nothing, so they have told me. Perhaps it is true. Perhaps there is nothing here worth knowing. I have fought the cold gray battles of Men and met the cold blue eyes of the Walkers. I have trod in the folly of their honor and the putridity of their pride. I am brought forth and born from the twistedness of their bowels. I have been kept in darkness only to stumble into light. And now I know what they do not know.

     I have stood my watch, and I have had done with it. I have taken the vow, severed from me in the death which could not bind me. I have lain out in the northern snow and felt the blades of brothers steal the boy from me and replace me with a man. I have felt love melt into betrayal and the lust of man pour out with the spilling of blood. I have watched all that is sacred perverted, all that is noble sullied, and I have tasted the scarlet drops on my own tongue.

     I have borne the brunt of battles which were never my own, I have taken leadership when no true heroes were to be found, I have stood up through the longest night of winter and survived. I am the last lord of the direwolf, the last kin of ghosts. I have seen more humanity in the face of the snow than in the eyes of my own race. Oh, what have we become? Game-players, forevermore. And they say that I know nothing…nothing at all…

     And yet I have watched ice crumble and fire consume itself. I have watched death lavish itself with death, and pride undo itself with pride, and stone hearts bleed out into other stone hearts. I have seen the raven dyed white and the moon dyed red. I have seen all that is feared be brought upon those who did the fearing. And I have passed through the greatest fear of man, and returned from it. And there is no fear of it left in me.

     They offer me a throne built upon their follies, and my own. For we are all a part of this, all of us have our hands on the same sword hilt. We have done this thing, we have sung this song of ice and fire when we might have let it end. Is it so very glorious in our eyes? Have we sailed so very well that we think our ship is unsinkable? Look at the reef we have struck, and hear the wood of the hull tearing open.

     They offer me what no bastard should have, the precious birthright of corruption, the crown laced with lies. They look at the one whom they treated as a stranger, the scarred face and fur mantle marking me out as apart from them. I have warred and I have won, and know they expect I should know all that I did not know before. I should know the taste of the fruit they have bitten, and know the pleasure of it, juice and slime sliding down my throat.

     They offer me the Iron Throne of my fathers, for I am their savior now. They would acclaim me in the streets, hold high the crown above the hawthorn bush, and wave high the palms of the desert isles to hail my entry. I am body and soul bought to them, if I would sell myself, as at a brothel. They offer me the wheel to their ship, if I would but take it, and turn it…

Around and around, again and again…

     I draw out the sword from the back of the wicked chair, for it has beckoned to me. It once belonged to the man I had called father, he who had defended my life, and whose blood I bore. He who I know would desire that I should draw it now…

     And I break it over my knee.

     The shattered shards sing their song as they strike the scarred floor.

      Is it some wisp of a dream or can I feel his heart beating high and singing within mine, and is it some childhood longing, or can I even feel the woman who would be no mother to me, who believed all other evils had come forth from her inability to love a motherless boy, put her hand on my aching shoulder, as a mother would?

      But this I know: I have laid myself down and broken myself with my sword. No power will I take, no wager will I make, no vengeance I will wake.

And the throngs shake their head, whispering as I leave the throne room…

     You still know nothing…You know nothing, Jon Snow…


AvellinaAvellina Balestri (aka Rosaria Marie) is one of the founding members and the Editor-in-Chief of The Fellowship of the King, a literary magazine with a strong Tolkienite influence (which, by the way, is open to submissions). She reads and writes extensively, and eagerly seeks out the deeper spiritual significance of popular fandoms such as The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Star Trek, Star Wars, and The Hunger Games. And yes, she does have a soft spot in her heart for classic Disney movies, The Princess Bride, and Merlin 😉 She is also a recording artist, singing traditional folk songs and her own compositions as well as playing the penny whistle and bodhran drum. She draws her inspiration from the Ultimate Love and Source of Creativity, and hopes to share that love and creativity with others.