Letter to Ned, concerning my nameday

Father has finally consented to my writing you. You’ve been gone much to long, you should visit. Ben and I are handling Winterfell much better without Brandon. Notice how I call him Brandon? One day I called him Bran, and It must have been in front of another Lord or someone important. How horribly offensive it is to have your younger sister call you by a pet name, he has no problems with me calling you Ned, or Benjen, Ben, but calling him Bran once, is like spitting in his soup. Which by the way I am very tempted to do now. But you mustn’t tell father.
Lyanna Stark
He told me the entire purpose of my letter should be to thank you. You of course know why, as you put in a good word on the best gift possible for my name day. So thank you for my horse, since father would have given me something boring without the suggestion. A thousand times thank you, from the bottom of my heart. He is beautiful, he’s a chestnut color. I think I’ve properly named him, Torrhen. For now I must attempt to be at best an acceptable lady and had to give father all of my Wildling traps as he called them. I’ve also taken to caring for him myself, I thought you might be please to hear it. I feed him in the morning, groom him, tend to his saddle, then we ride as far as father allows us. Naturally I’m never to leave his lands. He wants me to worry about sewing, and my lessons and not the horse. He says there are plenty or people in Winterfell to care for him so I don’t have to worry, but he’s mine. He makes Brandon take care of his horse and I tend to mine before him every morning. I’m also practicing jousting, because Brandon has started. So, while I’m sewing outside because of the warmer weather I can watch him. Then just around sunset, father is busy again so he doesn’t notice that I go for a ride and practice. My lance isn’t very good, it’s a branch from the Godswood. But unfortunately I doubt it will be a secret much longer, Brandon will find it and ruin things again.

I know what your thinking, the entire point of the horse was to make me stop training to be a knight, which is why he is Torrhen. But I do like jousting much better than sword play, it is likely safer for a lady too. Although, to be honest I’ll likely keep practicing with my wooden sword too. But I AM doing as you told me in your last letter. Father now only needs to scold me once or twice a week. I am now quite happy we all agree I can communicate with you on my own. I’ve asked to see you. Father said he might let me, in a few years…You left at eight, why can’t I? Must I be here forever? My only solace is to be when future Lord Brandon Stark leaves? Father says it is because he’s being diplomatic where as I would be as he affectionately called it, problematic. But Brandon gets to go to feasts, he can dance at them, he can talk to anyone. I’m left here with Father and Ben, is this what all lords do to their daughters? I don’t want to live my whole life in Winterfell, with only the Godswood and the possibility of going to a town if Brandon agrees to take me. All of his sons will visit other houses, why not his daughter!

I hadn’t meant for my letter to drag on about how I am treated. I did want to thank you and tell you how happy the gift for my name day has made me. But I do wish you were here. He doesn’t treat me poorly. He is not an over bearing tyrant. It is just very boring. No one visits Winterfell and when they do I rarely have anything to do with them while they visit. Do you think it is because our Lord father is still in mourning for mother? I do worry about him sometimes. I try to talk with him, but however must I try if it is even a little cold outside he tells me winter is coming. I don’t think he’ll ever want to try and remarry. So he’s taking it out on me, he has to protect someone after all, and sons are supposed to do it themselves naturally.

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