I was born in the castle at Winterfell, in the North, one of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. I serve Lord Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell, one of the most honorable men in all the Seven Kingdoms. My father fought with him during King Robert’s Rebellion against The Mad King Aerys Targaryan. I have heard many tales of my father’s bravery in battle. Some say he saved Lord Stark’s life more than once. He’s my hero. My father’s father served Lord Eddard’s father, the former Lord of Winterfell, Rickard Stark. Lord Rickard was burned alive by The Mad King, during one of his royal fits, before I was born.
I was assigned to one of Lord Eddard’s sons, Brandon. He was named for his uncle, who was also killed by Aerys Targaryan. My family has served The Stark family loyally for generations, and I intend to serve them loyally as well.
My name is Windston, most call me Snowey. I guess it’s because of my hair. It’s long and white, and I usually wear it in a braid from the top of my head, down my neck and over my shoulders. None of my brothers have white hair, only me, and I’m quite larger than any of my brothers as well. Some say I look just like my grandfather, a great warrior in his own time. Some say I was suited for war, what with my size and my unbridled disposition. I hope to prove my loyalty and valour in battle some day. I will show the Starks my metal.
I enjoyed serving young Brandon in the mean time, however. He was a kind and generous boy. We would go for rides together, and he would talk to me endlessly about his dreams and passions. He loved to climb things and play at games like “Come Into My Castle” and “Giant on The Drawbridge”. He was particularly fond of his half-brother Jon, and his sister, Arya, and he was a good big brother to the youngest Stark, Lord Rickon. Brandon dreamed of being a knight some day. He would have made a good knight, defending the weak and helping the poor as it were.
Once, we rode out to the mountain side to accompany Lord Stark while he dispensed the King’s justice. A deserter from The Wall was executed. His name was Will and Lord Stark cut off his head with Ice, his Valyrian Steel broadsword. I had never seen anything like it before, all the people standing and watching as if this type of event was commonplace or natural. It may have been commonplace, but it certainly was not natural. The condemned man’s head was layed out on a tree stump, his neck stretched out and exposed. His head was separated from his body with one strike of the sword. It rolled down the hill a bit to rest at the feet of the one they called Greyjoy. Theon Greyjoy kicked the man’s bodyless head, laughing. There’s something not quite right about that one. No one spoke a word, except for Lord Stark. “In the name of King Robert of House Baratheon, Ruler of The Seven Kingdoms and Protector of The Realm,” He recited, “I do hereby sentence you to die.” And, without another word, the deed was done.
Lord Stark rode up to us afterwards and asked Bran if he understood why he had to kill the man. The young Stark nodded his head in understanding and replied, “Because he was a deserter. He said the words.”He made a vow and he broke the law. He wasn’t loyal to the Realm. ”Yes. But do you understand why ‘I’ had to do it?” Lord Stark specified.” “Because you’re the Lord of Winterfell. You are charged with upholding the King’s laws,” Bran answered. “Yes,” the gaunting Lord continued, “and the man who passes the sentence should be the one who carries it out. The condemned deserve as no less.” Lord Stark would kill me too if his duty called for it, I realized.
One day, while the King was on a visit to Winterfell, Bran had an accident. They said he fell from the castle wall. Strange though, he had climbed those walls hundreds of times, in the rain, in the snow, even at night. He knew every inch of those walls. I heard whispers that it was the Lannisters that did it. His climbing frightened his mother, Lady Catelyn, to no end. She made him promise to stop climbing for fear that he would hurt himself. Bran promised his mother that he would stop, but they both knew he only said it to put her mind at ease, and that he really didn’t mean to keep the promise at all. The result of the fall left him crippled from the waist down. He would never walk again. Because he no longer had the use of his legs, he no longer had need of my services, so I was reassigned, and taken into Lord Stark’s service.
I was sad to leave young Brandon, especially in the condition he was in, but I had no choice in the matter. I serve the Starks and I serve the Starks in whatever capacity they see fit.
I liked it in the North. It was always cool, and the land went on forever. The grass was sweeter and the air had a crisp, clean smell to it. Here, the grass is salty and there are buildings everywhere. The air smells of sewage and death and dispair. I miss the North.
King Robert honoured Lord Eddard with the title Hand of the King. When Lord Stark and his daughters left Winterfell for King’s Landing, to take his position next to the King, we went with them. Lord Stark served King Robert honuorably and loyally, until the day a wild boar took the King’s life.
There was a great deal of turmoil and chaos in the days that followed the King’s death. The great and honourable Lord Eddard Stark was branded a traitor and summarily executed by The Boy King, Joffrey Baratheon. Though he had King Robert’s name, Joffrey was a Lannister, like his mother, through and through. Some say, it was the Lannisters that killed Good King Robert, though, they did not dare say it out loud.
I was taken prisoner and kept here, in the capital. They presented me to Lord Tywin Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock and Warden of The West, and grandfather to the new King. Today, he has me in court. It seems the whole kingdom is in court today. Joffrey sits his Iron Throne, The Queen Regent Cercei Lannister sits on her seat to the King’s right. The Tyrells are here, as well as representatives from all The Seven Kingdoms. As is poor Sansa Stark, who has been held here as prisoner of the Lannisters since the war began. Lord Tywin will be presented the title Saviour of the City and reinstated as Hand of the King today. He is credited with the triumph of the battle for King’s Landing, the battle now known as the Battle On The Blackwater. It is a big day for all here.
They have me dressed in crimson and gold, Lannister colors, and have presented me to the court, standing in front of the King. Presumably, as a trophy and a symbol of the Lannister might.
I am not just a horse, I am a war horse, a northern war horse. I was made for battle, not pageantry. You ride me in here like I’m your prize ! I serve the Starks. I served Lord Eddard Stark until you murdered him ! Here is what I think about this court, here is what I think about your King, and here is what I think about all you Lannisters…
I concentrated a bit, I didn’t have to try very hard. I’d been saving this one for a looooong time… Winterfell ! Long live the Starks !
I lifted my tail and …