You Know Nothing: A Game of Thrones Fanfic

     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 wounded, over all that I have suffered with shock-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 it with a man. I have felt love melt into betrayal and lust pour itself out like the spilling of blood. I have watched all that is sacred perverted, all that is noble sullied, and I have tasted the scarlet drops warm 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 left to be found, I have stood up through the longest night of winter and survived. I am the last lord of the direwolves, the last kin of ghosts. I have found more peace 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 thought our ship to be 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 had treated as a stranger, the scarred face and the fur mantle setting me apart from them. I have warred and I have won, and so 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, for I am their savior now. They would proclaim my name in the streets, hold high the crown above the hawthorn bush amidst the bracken, 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 crippling chair, for it has beckoned to me. This blade once belonged to the man I had called father, he who had defended my life, and whose blood I bear. He who I know would desire that I should draw it now…

     And I break it over my knee.

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

      Is it some wisp of a dream or can I feel his heart beating high within mine, and is it some childhood longing, or can I feel the woman who would be no mother to me, who believed all other evils had come forth from shunning a bastard child, 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 throng shake their heads, whispering as I leave the throne room…

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

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