This is an illustration for my upcoming Sansan illustrated fanwork, a reboot of Running with the Hare and Hunting with the Hound. The story ends with the sentence, “Inside her brain, a sleeping wolf sprang awake, its yellow eyes opening in the dark.” This plate illustrates Sansa’s narrative destiny at the close of my story. On the right is Sandor, on the left is Littlefinger. Winterfell is in the distance waiting for the wolves to come home. The gods of the trees stand sentinel.
He had been the thirteenth man to lead the Night’s Watch, she said; a warrior who knew no fear.
“And that was the fault in him,” she would add, “for all men must know fear.”
A woman was his downfall; a woman glimpsed from atop the Wall, with skin as white as the moon and eyes like blue stars. Fearing nothing, he chased her and caught her and loved her, though her skin was cold as ice, and when he gave his seed to her he gave his soul as well.
He brought her back to the Nightfort and proclaimed her a queen and himself her king, and with strange sorceries he bound his Sworn Brothers to his will. For thirteen years they had ruled, Night’s King and his corpse queen, till finally the Stark of Winterfell and Joramund of the wildlings had joined to free the Watch from bondage. After his fall, when it was found he’d been sacrificing to the Others, all records of Night’s King had been destroyed, his very name forbidden.
“Some say he was a Bolton,” Old Nan would always end. “Some say a Magnar out of Skagos, some say Umber, Flint, or Norrey. Some would have you think he was a Woodfoot, from them who ruled Bear Island before the ironmen came. He never was. He was a Stark, the brother of the man who brought him down.”
Swift as a deer. Quiet as a shadow. Fear cuts deeper than swords. Quick as a snake. Calm as still water. Fear cuts deeper than swords. Strong as a bear. Fierce as a wolverine. Fear cuts deeper than swords. The man who fears losing has already lost. Fear cuts deeper than swords. Fear cuts deeper than swords.
02. SAD EYES, bat for lashes (x) when you smile those sad eyes look sadder and sadder still / i can tell that you’re lonely but it seems now / there’s nothing you want me to do / so I won’t try to take the sadness from those eyes that I love
03. ROSLYN, bon iver & st. vincent (x) sea and the rock below / caught in the undertow / bones blood and teeth erode / they will be crashing low / wings wouldn’t help you / you barely are blinking / wagging your face around / when’d this just become a mortal home?
04. YOU’VE ESCAPED, aloha (x) say hello to the monster in your home / who roams around when he thinks that he’s alone / it’s a dream / but no one can hear you scream / no one can hear you / you’re not blind/ there’s a star in the sky
05. SALTWATER QUEEN, the battle of land and sea (x) oh heavy with a look of satin put round her face / with the devil peering close by on the street / with a little boy charm and anchors of wide heavy iron at her feet / she whispers and cries in harmonies / for her saltwater king