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23 September 2016 @ 04:53 pm
Melisandre is Tested [Game of Thrones]  
Title: Melisandre is Tested
Fandom: Game of Thrones (TV universe)
Character: Melisandre
Summary: Melisandre, just exiled, realizes who Jon Snow is, and knows now how she must serve him.
Rating: PG
Word count: 1410
AN: I can't promise that there won't be more of this. I'm curious about Melisandre's adventures in the south now that her loyalty is unshakable. Also a little bit of my head-canon leaked into here. I don't think it's likely that Melisandre, who has been a Red Priestess for a long time, never found a candidate for Azor Ahai before Stannis.

Melisandre is Tested

She rode on, unaware of the cold. She didn’t understand how she could be so wrong. When she had been only a small girl, R’hllor had called on her, told her that she would be needed to help the Prince that was Promised defeat the night and bring the dawn. She had always known it to be her destiny, and she had done terrible things knowing the lives she would eventually save by the side of Azor Ahai reborn.

R’hllor had led her to Stannis, and she had been as sure as sharp knives that he was Azor Ahai come again to fight for the dawn. She had met others with their own lords or theories, met others who had intrigued her and made her think they might be the one. She had been only in her middle years when she had sought the dragon prince, Rhaegar, and showed him that the magic he had read of in books was real. R’hllor had told her to go to Rhaegar, and the flames had shown her a snow princess trampled under a stag who choked on smoke. She had been so sure that the long night was upon them. She had implored the dragon prince to seek a northern bride with whom to make his Visenya, a snow princess. And in the end he and his wolf-wife and their unborn princess had died, as had Elia’s children.

Then, when Stannis was Prince of Dragonstone instead of Rhaegar, R’hllor had once again lead her to him, lead her to believe this man was Azor Ahai. She dreamt of the same things, of a dead princess made of snow, a stag, smoke. But so much of what she had seen had not really been about Stannis Baratheon. She could see that now. She had dreamt of Jon Snow, of his death and daggers in the dark. She had thought it final, just as when she had foreseen rubies like rain falling into the river. She had warned Rhaegar too, and just like Jon Snow, he had shrugged her off. Rhaegar had believed much, and he probably believed he would die on the Trident, but it made no difference to his duty and his doom. Just like Jon Snow and those bleeding wildlings and the Wall. For while Rhaegar and Stannis were both princes of Dragonstone, Jon Snow was prince of nothing, lest it be the Wall itself. No, Jon Snow was no Azor Ahai.

She had brought him back to life, though. She knew of others who did-- of Thoros of Myr who swore up and down that his own lord of less and nothing was the Prince who was Promised. He fashioned for Dondarrion a falsely flaming sword (a little phosphorus) and brought him back to life again and again to kill him.

Melisandre had wondered if R’hllor would make her do the same with Jon Snow. Was she destined to bring him back yet again on the battlefield of Winterfell? She had watched from the hill as the stupid bastard had charged an army single-handedly and survived. And won. And was declared king in full knowledge of his bastard status. No matter his base-born heritage, the northerners loved him anyway. Would they have loved him had he looked like his mother instead of so much like his lord father? He had the Stark look entirely, grey eyes and dark hair. She had never met Eddard Stark but she had known Lyanna Stark a short while and the bastard looked so exactly---

Melisandre stopped her horse. She had been riding south along the Kingsroad and saw now that it been several hours. Thought was a deep place, a well of murky water that hid much, and contained much, and a single clear pre-formed thought rose to the surface like a bubble. She did not credit herself with it. She knew the ways of R’hllor by now.

She dismounted, and though it was not yet midday, nor so cold for a winter day in the North, she set about making a fire.

-----

By the time evening came, Melisandre had seen and learned much in her flames. She felt thirsty for the touch of R’hllor, as if she were a young girl again. She could see so clearly what a pawn, what a piece she was in his game, and she felt nothing but joy to be used by her God. He had left her with no doubt whatever. Stannis Baratheon had never been the Prince of Dragonstone, not truly, not while the son of Rhaegar Targaryen lived. And not just lived-- he had died and R’hllor had brought him back. Not only lived and died, but had she not just come from his coronation?

For a single blessed moment she thought she would mount again and ride north on the Kingsroad. If she rode through the night, she could be back at Winterfell well before dawn.

And then she remembered Rhaegar’s face as he rode off to fight on the Trident-- the same face she had seen on Jon Snow when she had warned him of daggers in the dark. And she knew at once that he would not let her live if she came back, no matter what news or revelations she brought, no matter that she had wed his mother and father herself, not in the tradition of the Seven or the Old Gods, but with fire-- the only true wedding that mattered to R’hllor. None of it would save her life. And she didn’t, in that moment, want Jon Snow to be any different. She had wanted to stay, to serve him and love him and fight at his side, but she knew as well that he would never touch her the way Stannis had, and he would never believe her as Rhaegar did. Jon had been set on this path since his birth. He was too honorable. She loved him for it.

So she made camp, and when morning came, she headed south still. She knew now she might never see Jon Snow again in this life, but it didn’t not mean she could not still serve him. She would until her dying breath. And she would tell anyone she met about him, anyone that would listen, and some that wouldn’t besides.

-----

The further south she went, the thicker was the traffic of smallfolk walking north along the Kingsroad. They told her of the cruelties of Queen Cersei and of the ghost of Robb Stark, who they said had returned a wolf as big as a horse, scouring the Riverlands and ripping out the throats of anyone who fought with the Lannisters. She thought of Ghost and did not laugh at them. They told her about Walder Frey and his sons. In her flames she saw it too. She saw Lyanna Stark hunting Walder Frey, and she thought of the Targaryen words in Stark hands, and what it would look like if a she-wolf of Winterfell decided to rip out Walder Frey’s throat with a knife.

And there was other talk, too. Dragons, the smallfolk said in quiet tones, as though one might show up to eat them if they spoke it too loudly. They fled north to escape from dragons, never knowing that there was a dragon on the northern throne.

And in trade for their stories, she told one of her own, about a Wolf who was a Crow who had the heart of a Dragon, who had died at the Wall, and who lived at Winterfell, and who was the White Wolf, the King in the North. She did not tell them that he was no bastard, that he was no Stark. She did tell them that he was the Prince who was Promised and that he would lead them through the long night. And in the morning, despite the harsh wind that blew down the Kingsroad, the smallfolk would set their feet north again with pride in their step and excitement in their hushed voices. They wanted to bow to this king, to Azor Ahai reborn, not to Cersei Lannister. They wanted a king they could love and trust, and she, Melisandre, had given them one.

Yes, she thought, she would love Jon Snow, and she would serve him, and maybe he would let her live if she brought him dragons.

Though truly, she would do so, even if it meant that she would die.
 
 
 
Julie: Original ★ fanfictionragnarok_08 on September 24th, 2016 05:19 am (UTC)
I loved reading this - so compelling and very in-character :DD