The Man Who Would Be Prince


Am I your brother, now and always?

The words ran through my head like a tide crashing against a rock face, or perhaps that was the 8th skin of ale I had downed since Robb Stark’s inauguration. The King in The North. Heh, who would have thought the boy I grew up playing “enter the castle” with would be known as the first Northern King since Torrhen Stark himself. I should be pleased, what am I saying, I am pleased – aren’t I? After all, it was I who first pledged my support after the Greatjon called for it. Robb, no, “his grace” doesn’t trust anyone, not the way he trusts me, at the rate we’re capturing Lannisters victory ought to come before long, and with it Lordship. Lord Theon, there wouldn’t be a maid from here to Dorne who wouldn’t want to ride a handsome young Lord like me. Yet, why do I feel unfulfilled?

Northern men around the dying campfire get up and begin to stumble drunkenly to their tents, the last embers blowing over a couple of men who had drank too much and would lay beneath the stars tonight. What am I thinking? I am the son of Balon Greyjoy, heir to the Iron Islands, a kraken of Pyke! By all rights, I will rule over the iron born some day. I’ll play war with Robb until that time, I guess I owe him that much. Once we’ve won the war, he won’t need me anyway, there will be scores of northern knights ready to kiss his ass. Might be, he’ll even want me to marry his sister Sansa after we retake her from the Lannisters, she was always a pretty little thing. The nights spent as part of Robb’s host had left me unfulfilled in another way. There was a growing contingent of “camp followers”, “washer women”, whatever people liked to call them, I call them whores. Yet my foster brother denied me even that pleasure, “You’ll get distracted” he said “You always do, and I need you focused”.

Since my first time with a woman, never I had I gone this long without a woman before, I ached in my britches. I had only a hand and my thoughts to aid me, I loathed to do it, it was below me, I never had to do it before, not this much. When it came about that I had to “relieve” my ache, the thoughts of the times spent inside the tavern wenches, the many maids, the miller’s wife, even Ros could not get me hard in the northern cold. Only she could, the girl with the auburn hair, the girl I could never have. Ned had made it clear and in no uncertain terms was I ever to communicate with Sansa save for the expected courtesy, nor should I be found alone in any of Winterfell’s rooms with her else I would expect half a hundred strikes of a cane. Yet now, Ned had died and one day, so too would Balon Greyjoy.




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