“I’m not running
No not running
(Yeah, this is the longest chapter for anything ever. I don’t know what’s going on with this fic, so let’s roll with it. This one is less Baratheon-centered since the Starks have arrived and I just kind of threw it together, so it’s messy and probably not proper customs BUT WHATEVER. The next chapter will be Baratheon-centered again. It’s the third chapter to this fic - an AU where Robert is still king and Gendry has been legitimized.)
A L E G I T I M A T E M A T T E R O F B L O O D
chapter three: to be royalty
Gendry couldn’t help but fidget as he stood next to his father. Though he’d tried to secure a spot next to his Uncle Renly, his father had put a hand on his shoulder and pulled Gendry back next to him. The Queen stood on his father’s other side, occasionally shooting Gendry a cold glare, while Joffrey stood next to him, not even bothering to hide his hateful glares. Gendry wasn’t stupid. He knew that Joffrey should be the one standing next to the king, considering that he was the crowned prince, but that just hadn’t been the way things worked out.
“I can’t wait to show you off to Ned,” his father had said, a broad grin on his face. “It will shock him to see how much we look alike.”
The queen hadn’t liked that one bit. She’d started fuming even more than before, which Gendry hadn’t thought possible.
“Your dress looks very beautiful, Your Grace,” Gendry said, thinking about all the courtesies that Lord Renly had taught him. People liked getting compliments, especially women. Right? All everyone seemed to do around here was compliment each other on this or that and tell one another that their new clothes looked nice. And the queen did look very beautiful, even if she looked a bit terrifying as well.
Cersei Lannister’s lip curled for a moment, like she might smile or sneer, but then it went flat again and her eyes flickered away from him. Gendry couldn’t tell if that had been a success or a failure on his part, most likely the latter. No matter what he did, no matter how well he improved in the things everyone was teaching him, no matter how much Princess Myrcella and Prince Tommen seemed to adore him, the queen loathed him.
“You cannot win everyone over,” was what his Uncle Renly would say, but that didn’t make Gendry feel any better.
He could tell how excited his father was. From what he’d heard from his uncles and his father, Lord Eddard Stark was his father’s oldest friend. They had been fostered together in the Vale under the watchful eye of Lord Arryn. They’d grown up together in their formative years, learned how to fight together, gone out and whored together. Or, well, his father had done the whoring while young Lord Stark had teetered about nervously. (“He blushed about as much as you whenever a girl came up to him,” his father laughed the other night.) When Lord Stark’s father and brother had been killed by the Mad King and their heads had been called for, they’d gone to war together. They had fought for one another. Lord Stark was his most loyal man and would be the Hand of the King.
Part of Gendry had wanted to ask his father why he had not asked either of his brothers to be his Hand. His Uncle Stannis was one of the toughest and bravest men that Gendry had ever met. The lord would’ve been a more than capable Hand of the King. Why had his father felt the need to call on someone that lived so far away in the comfort of the North when he had good men, good brothers, here? Maybe it would’ve looked bad to have both a Baratheon king and Baratheon Hand. Maybe they needed new blood in their council. Gendry didn’t really know how any of that worked. It wasn’t yet in his lessons. He knew the basics of the small council and how the kingdom was ruled, but he hadn’t asked many questions on the matter.
The van was close now. A few horses were starting to trickle in, the front of the guard that protected the important people in the middle. Gendry could feel his father brimming with excitement; he could also tell that Cersei Lannister was not one bit pleased at this incursion of Starks. No one talked about just why she was so angry with the king, but Gendry knew. He’d stumbled across them arguing more viciously than usual about two weeks ago. She was apparently furious with him for not asking her father, Lord Tywin Lannister, to be the Hand of the King, especially since he’d served so well during the Aerys’ reign.
“He also betrayed Aerys, sacking this city, and had his son stab Aerys in the back, if you remember,” his father had snarled behind the closed door of their bedchamber. “I trust your father as much as I can, but I know for a fact that Ned will never betray my trust.”
The Queen had screamed at him for that, maybe even slapped him, and then there had been a cold silence between them for the week after. It hadn’t seemed to faze any of the children much, as if they were used to such childish and terrible behavior between their parents. Gendry had felt more than despaired about this fact, seeing as how he’d always longed for parents. Now that he had them, or at least a father, he’d come to find that it wasn’t really much of a family. He preferred spending his time with his uncles, even Lord Stannis, and his younger half-siblings, despite the large age difference.
A man rode up to them on a powerful steed. Though there was nothing about his appearance to suggest anything, except for a somber look, and Gendry had never seen or met the man before, Gendry could immediately tell that he was a high lord. He knew almost instantaneously that he was finally looking at Lord Eddard Stark, lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, soon-to-be Hand of the King. Gendry felt panic grip his heart in his chest, making it pound furiously. So far, he’d seemed to live up to most of his new family’s expectations, but it would be another to live up to others’. He found it more difficult to please other people. He knew what his uncles and father wanted from him, for the most part, but he could never tell what other people wanted. It always seemed to change on him.
And then there were Lord Stark’s daughters. What the hell was he supposed to do with them?
The man, Lord Stark, swooped down from his horse with ease, as if riding came to him as easily as walking (would that Gendry had that ease), and almost immediately went to his knee before the king. “Your Grace.” His voice was deep, like timbre, like the weirwood trees that Gendry was told filled up the North. They had one godswood in the Red Keep, but he’d never really known what to do with it. The man looked to the Queen, still on one knee and nodded his head to her as well. “My Queen.”
“Oh, get up, you bloody fool,” his father said, sounding nothing like the king he was dressed up as. His father had a love for taking a piss on all kingly duties and acted as such. Gendry was almost certain that he could hear his Uncle Stannis grinding his teeth in response. Lord Stark rose on command. Here was a lord, a true ruler. Despite the fact that he looked fairly average, Gendry saw power behind his grey eyes.
It’s the North, Gendry thought to himself. It hardens anyone.
Though he had seen one winter, he knew that he was a summer child. He wondered if any Northerners were summer children or if they were all children of winter deep down. He bet Starks were always the latter.
Ned touched the boy’s head, fingering the thick black hair. “Look at me, Gendry.” The apprentice lifted his face. Ned studied the shape of his jaw, the eyes like blue ice. Yes, he thought, I see it. -Game of Thrones
Brienne turned, and saw a ghost. Renly. No hammerblow to the heart could have felled her half so hard. “My lord?” she gasped. “Lord?” The boy pushed back a lock of black hair that had fallen across his eyes. “I’m just a smith.” -A Feast for Crows
After Lyanna Stark’s death, Eddard brings Jon to Winterfell.
hi catelyn my sister died btw i found a baby
wait why are you mad
#”i don’t think my plan is working” - the story of ned stark
Ned’s cloack is actually fastened with a pin in the shape of a star with “You tried” engraved on it.
Brandon, Eddard, Lyanna, and Benjen of House Stark.
Ned had pulled the tower down afterward.
You served him well when serving was safe.
THIS is the problem Ned had with Jaime.
He’s not angry at Jaime for killing the king he swore allegiance to. He’s angry at the timing, the easy timing. Yes, it was a coincidence but that doesn’t register with Ned. He has a bad taste in his mouth about how the Lannisters acted in the war to begin with. Stop making it out like Ned is being stupid by being angry with Jaime, cause he’s not.
You served him well when serving was safe.
True this statement can be better served to Tywin, but it’s still the fucking truth. Stab him in the back, in the belly, whichever, he still waited. That’s the thing about Jaime, he’s never quite on time and he’s never quite sure.
And Ned is punctual as fuck.