Ned Stark (Season 1 Book 1)
read part one here
It’s Sunday morning, and I’m at Godswood — a place of peace; a place of solitude; a place of prayerful reflection. Oh how I will miss thee. I am all packed, as are the girls, ready for our journey to King’s Landing — away from this place, away from my sons, and away from her. Catelyn was meant for my brother Brandon, a match made to join the houses of Stark and Tully. She loved him; I loved him; and we mourned his death to the crazy old Targaryen king together. To join the houses, she married me instead. Although not a love match, we fell in love just the same, building our love, lives and family together here in Winterfell. Even bringing home a child with Stark blood, but not hers, did not break the bond, albeit she has not forgiven me all and has accepted Jon none.
I sit here in my favorite spot, against a tree by the rolling stream. I pray, but do the Old Gods listen? If I close my eyes and stay very still, perhaps they will give a message… a sign… an omen… anything that will give me hope: hope that my son Bran will awaken; hope that my son Rob will lead true; hope that my son Richon will grow in his faith of the Old Gods; hope that my daughters Arya and Sansa will marry well and prosper; hope that my son Jon will be accepted for who he is; and hope that the road that I must travel will someday bring me home to my wife, as without her, I am nothing. Nothing. I pray, wait, and listen, and I pray, wait and listen again… waiting for the Old Gods to speak. Today they tell me nothing. Nothing. And that speaks volumes. It tells me all.
When I leave Winterfell, I leave forever… never to see my wife again, my sons again; my Old Gods again. The Kings’ Hand — although it’s a job I wish not, I have no choice in it. I will carry forward honorably. It’s my duty. It’s my destiny. It’s my death wish, so say the Old Gods.