Reborn as Jon Snow's Twin - (Game of Thrones)

A 27 year old owner of a food truck dies and reincarnates as Jon Snow's twin. How will our burger flip extraordinaire fare in his new world? Let's find out! ——-

ssyffix · TV
Not enough ratings
36 Chs

Coin Toss


A pair of lazy eyes watched as a burger patty flipped in the air.

"Every patty, no matter how well you cook it, always has one side that's better than the other."

A man flipped the burger with ease, landing it on a prepared bed of bread.

Within seconds, the meal was crafted.

One sweet juicy, tender burger, packed with lush lettuce, alongside a secretly prepared sauce, wrapped and ready to go.

"Order up!" A man shouted, sliding the burger down the counter.

"Ooo, you're on your game until the last, aren't you, boss?"

Along the counter, a pair of fake eyelashes picked up the burger.

"Here you go, sir. Have a nice evening." She said alluringly, leaning down through the food truck's window to the hungry patron below, "And be sure to come again!"

With a wink, the hungry last customer took his food and left.

"Phew!" the pair of eyelashes said, wiping the sweat from her brow, "That was quite the evening rush!"

A man was briskly cleaning down the kitchen of his food truck, "Mmm, good job tonight."

The girl looked at her boss with a boyish jest, "Your heads been in the clouds lately. Is something going on?"

She fiddled her fingers as she twisted and turned ever so slightly in her place, gazing at him like a good girl gone bad.

"Hmm? What? No!" A man snapped out of his daze, "I've just been thinking a lot about something lately…"

"Like what?" she crept closer. Even after a 10-hour shift, her flowery fragrance blew true.

A man glanced up at her, 'was she always this pretty?'. He absorbed all the details at once.

Her almond brown hair, eyes as green as twinkling stars of jade, and her tulip white skin somehow looked even better with the end-of-shift layer of sweat.

"Nothing major. It's kinda embarrassing." He scratched his head awkwardly.

"Oh my gosh, it's that show again, isn't it?" she asked in a way that did not seem surprised and much less happy.

"…Yes. What can I say? This Game of Thrones shit has got me hooked."

"I would never have made you watch it if I knew you would suddenly turn into Mr Air Head!"

"Wow, calm down…"

A man's mind was too occupied with getting home and continuing his binge-watch of HBO's Game of Thrones to pay the girl any attention.

It did not matter that she got herself extra spruced up just for him.

This kind of thing would have been a welcomed piece of serendipity for once in his sad 27 years of existence.

"Anyway," she tried to hide her irritation, "What are you doing tonight?"

"Chilling." He replied, washing his hands in the extra clinical way that chefs do.

He may have only been an owner of a food truck, but hygiene was a priority he felt every chef should adhere by- a holy task, even.

Whatever makes you feel good about yourself, whatever floats your boat, that sort of shit.

"Well, how about I come and *chill* with you?" she smirked. Tonight was the night where no would not be an answer.

"Oh, alright.." He replied, sensing as much, "But we're watching what I wanna watch."



In a studio apartment, a view of Auckland harbor dazzled in the distance, the city's lights buffeted by the curtains.

A man and a woman sat on a couch, watching Game of Thrones.

"That's Stannis, technically, he's the rightful king, but that's because there was a rebellion that usurped a 300-year dynasty. And even before that, fuck knows what was happening before then, but I know there were seven kingdoms!"

A man could not stop himself from talking about the show's details. Who would have thought watching with someone else could be this fun?

"There's Jon! He's a bastard, so his name is Jon Snow. Depending on where you're raised, you're named after it."

"You do know I've seen it all, right?" she replied, fluttering her lashes.

"Sansa! She went through sooo much shit! Poor girl…"

Talk of Brienne, Podrick, Ramsay Bolton, Theon and Meryn Trant.

And Arya, oh how badass Arya was.

It was a jam-packed episode, the season 5 finale.

All the characters made an appearance. The Dornish storyline also ended, causing a man to rejoice at his TV screen. His female companion may have spurred in her seat when Tyene Sand whispered to Bron about her *bad pussy*.

Jaime got acknowledged by his daughter, only for him to watch her die in his arms. A man would not admit it, but tears were close to releasing from his eyes.

By the time the scene came where Cersei had done her walk of shame, a girl's hand was finding itself sliding up a man's crotch. She had been warming him up all night for this moment.

Just when she thought she could get somewhere, the bulge of his parts in the tips of her fingers- the most shocking cliffhanger happened…

"NOOOOO! NOT JON SNOW! WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!" A man burst up from the couch.


"Sigh…" A girl crosses her arms in disapproval, "Typical."

"Fuck, fuck, fuck! I can't believe it! How could they do it to my boi Jon!"

A man was huffed with a plot twisted breath as the credits played on the TV screen.

"Shit, how many seasons are there again?" a man took the remote and checked, "8! So we have two more. That's good!" he faced the girl, "We should start the next season right away!"

"Ugh! Can't we do something else?" her voice was low, a deep longing of soft and hungry.

"What else would we be doing?! You stay here. I'm going to the corner store real quick to get some cigarettes. You want anything?"

"Just some condoms."

Her pouted lips challenged him, "Don't forget."

"Smart. They would make much more durable balloons. You planning a birthday party?"

A man chuckled as he left the apartment.

'Wow, she's coming on strong tonight. I must admit she's attractive. And she's being so cute, watching Game of Thrones with me. But is this right? I'm her boss. Wouldn't that be an abuse of power or some shit?'

A man contemplated the fact. Before long, he was at the corner store.

Its bright artificial lighting stung his eyes as he wandered the isles, picking up bags of chips on the way.

"Just these, thank you." A man said, "And some durries please, my good man."

The store clerk was hesitant, "You do realize you came in here the other night when you were super drunk and ordered me NEVER to sell you cigarettes again, even if there was, and I quote, 'a fire!'.."

"I'll fucking burn my house down with me in it if you don't sell me these fucking durries."

"Alright. Jeez."

As the store clerk buzzed the items through the scanner, a man whistled as casually as he could.



A man pretended to cough, using the distraction to throw the pack of condoms together with the other items.

"Fun night planned?" The store clerk chuckled, caring not for proper decorum between customer and server.

"They're for a friend, I swear!"

A man awkwardly paid for his items and hurried on out of there.

'Holy shit! That was so cringe!'

He strut down the road back home, shoving his hand into an open packet of potato chips.

Even if he makes his living through the food industry, he was not so elitist as not to eat junk food.

The morning sun peeked its way over the horizon, blanketing the east in a blend of orange and purple space dust.

The towering buildings of the city were black silhouettes. The morning sun beamed into his eyes.


A man stopped in his tracks and admired the light when suddenly-

"Eh? What's that black dot?" he muttered, squinting his eyes.

The black dot got larger, trucking at him with great speed.



Then it all went dark.


["Ahhhhhhh! I'm dead!"]

Darkness as far as the eye can see.

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing but the void.

A voice sang loud yet came not from a body. All of this somehow felt natural.

["Where am I? Don't tell me death is eternal darkness. How morbid!"]

["Fuck! How can this happen?! My burger business was doing well. My dick was going to get wet tonight.., ugh! Such bullshit!"]

No matter how much the voice talked to itself, the darkness was all that answered.

["Wait, maybe I'm jumping to conclusions? Yeah! That's it! I'm not dead. I'm just in some kind of fucked up coma or something. Some doctor is probably whoring out my comatose ass to some sickos as we speak! Come on, wakey wakey!"]

Time passed so much that the voice lost all idea. It wallowed in the sadness of its isolation.

Until that dark became friend.

Alas, this friendship was short-lived.

For before the voice could get comfortable with the dark, a blinding light blipped in the distance.

["Wha? Holy shit, I'm back!"]

The celebration turned into dread as a man remembered the last time he saw such a light.

["Ah shit, here we go againnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!"]



A baby shrieked its first words in the world.

['The fuck!?!?!?']

A baby could not believe it. From the maddening dark to.. this?

A handmaid wrapped the baby quickly before it could glimpse its mother.

['Seriously bitch? Wait, I gotta chill a moment. Consciousness check: I am me, yes. Despite my baby form, I could recite my secret burger recipe in my sleep, yes. Dude, I've seen enough TV to understand this shit. I've died and reincarnated!']

A baby remembered it was a man, and a man cursed his luck. If he had the choice, he would have preferred reincarnating without knowing his past life.

Better to have a fresh canvas, each painting manifests something anew. Much like how each burger tasted differently, no matter how closely one followed a recipe.

Life then, alongside eating a good burger, is much better experienced if one does not know its flavor.

But whatever, a man thought. If these were the cards he was dealt…

A man was lost in pondering, almost to the point where he forgot he was now a baby, and definitely to the point where he had no clue of his surroundings.

He did not notice the worried air of the room.

Only when a *SLAM!* open of a door shacked loudly did a man-baby take notice.


It was the voice of an angel. A man-baby felt its magnetic pull the moment he heard it. Whoever she was, he had to see her.

"Lyanna," Ned replied to her call.

He placed a sword at the end of the bed, its blade sharp enough to cut through the songs of sayonara, and pale as smokey glass. The illustration of a falling star was on its pummel.

"Is that you?" The angelic Lyanna called to her brother, raising a blood-soaked hand, "Is that really you?"

Ned clasped the hand tightly, gazing deep into her eyes, more attentive than he'd ever been in his life.

"You're not a dream?" she asked, smiling at him, vision weakening by the minute.

"No, I'm not a dream. I'm here." Ned told her, returning with a grin that almost made her feel okay. Almost-

"I've missed you, big brother."

['Holy shit!']

A man-baby could only hear what was happening, bundled up in cloth in the arms of a servant, with no choice but to enjoy the view of the dusk-stone ceiling.

['This sounds intense!']

"I've missed you too."

The words continued. A man-baby yearned to see the owner of the angelic voice. When she said, "I don't want to die.", he could feel her heartache.

His heart ached with her. So did Neds.

She pulled Ned close and whispered to him.

['Aw, what? Don't do that! I want to hear!']

A man-baby cried out. "Waaaaah!"

"If Robert finds out, he'll kill them. You know he will. You have to protect them." When the owner of the angelic voice said this, a man-baby's ear started twitching.

['Ned and Robert, huh? Who would have thought..?']

"Promise me, Ned."

*Promise me.*

*Promise me.*

The servants lowered a man-baby alongside another bundle wrapped in cloth.

As Ned gazed down at the two baby boys in his arms, he was already thinking of what they should be called.

He would have to keep their identities a secret. Otherwise, Robert Baratheon would kill them without mercy.

"You're going to be Jon," he shushed, inspecting the face of the firstborn boy, "and you-."

['A dude called Ned naming a baby Jon, huh? Is this what I think it is..?']

A man-baby and Ned stared into each other, the brief moment feeling like a lifetime in a field of daydreams.

A man-baby's eyes were not brown like his twin brother Jon's.

They were lighter than that, so golden brown that his eyes looked like gems of amber.

Ned finally remembered to breathe, "Joe. You will be Joe. Jon and Joe Snow of Winterfell."

['Not bad! Wait a minute.. Snow? Winterfell?!']

Joe accepted his new name wholeheartedly.

He realized that this was a fan fiction written for fun. He didn't have a stick up his ass over what sounds realistic in this world. Maybe his consciousness being added to this world injected anomalies into the universe. Maybe this is just a dream he's experiencing after death. Rationalize it however you want, bitch ~

Gone was his old life grinding in the food truck.

Now he was a 'bastard' of Winterfell.

Joe could infer his lineage, though it was still in the air, whether he was indeed a bastard born from ra**, or if perhaps his mother and Rhaegat married.

He would find out in due time, he figured. Ned was not going to die any time soon. Of this, Joe was sure.

If only Joe knew the old saying. Ned knew, but he shook his head, not wanting to believe it.

--+[They say when a new Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin in the air, and the world holds its breath.]+--

Somewhere far away, a storm ripped with murderous thunder.

The flap of a butterfly's wing.


Joe slept a lot. Not much could be remembered about those early days.

After a long journey north, Joe started to feel the brisk air on his face.

The ride north was primarily easy-going, minus the cries of discomfort from his brother Jon.

Joe spent most of his time sleeping and shitting his pants. When they started getting further north, he could sense the change.

It was something in the air, like millions of invisible eyes were always watching him.

['I can feel it,'] Joe thought, ['The presence of the old gods!']

In truth, Joe could feel a difference when he entered his new body.

Perhaps because he was in a new body, fresh from his past life's 27 years of smoking, drinking, and slaving away in the kitchen.

But Joe had a different idea, and with the feeling only increasing as he traveled further north, it was further proved.

Joe could sense it in his blood- a magical essence that made him feel like he could accomplish anything he set his mind on.

It appeared that he underestimated the power of lineage. It was never this potent in his past life.

['Shit.., welcome to the world of Westeros, I guess?'] Joe shuddered in his baby bones as he recalled the horrible things that could happen to people here.

['No! I won't let that happen to me! I've been given an opportunity here. I'm going to Winterfell and make the most of my upbringing!']

Joe now had a rudimentary plan which gave him purpose. He would use the resources of being raised in Winterfell to his advantage.

By the time the events of the TV show had started, Joe would have made his body become a honed blade, sharp enough to cut through any challenges that come his way.

As he decided this, a nagging voice in the back of his head refused to go away- a product of Joe's days of watching TV in his past life.

["One often meets their destiny on the road they take to avoid it."]

['Bah! Shut up, Master Oogway! You're wisdom isn't helping!']


Joe would never forget the day he and his brother Jon arrived in Riverrun.

He watched Ned's face contort in pain as he fronted up to his wife, Catelyn, holding two baby boys in his arms. Ned and Catelyn had got married in Riverrun. In just two short weeks, Ned had to march his army once again for Roberta rebellion. And this is how Ned returns to her?


Joe had worked in the hospitality industry all his life, so he was no stranger to baseless disrespect from people.

But the look of hate, contempt, anger, disgust, and maliciousness that Catelyn shot at Joe the first moment she laid eyes on him was enough to make Joe cry out of instinct.

"Waaaaaaaaah!" he shrieked.

['Fuck you, dumb bitch! I'm only a baby. Ned, father, hurry up and go fuck her or something. She's sexually frustrated!']

It would take a while before Ned and Catelyn could talk without passive aggression coming the way of the Lord of Winterfell.


It only took a few months for the servants in the castle to realize that something was different about Joe.

He insisted on sitting up by himself, glaring at anyone who tried to help him.

One evening, when checking in on Joe, Old Nan had caught him trying to teach himself how to walk in his crib.

When Joe turned to face the shocked servant, he pouted his plump baby lips and gave her a smile warm enough to melt away the winter, "Naan!" he cutely waved.

Joe would make it known which servants he liked or not.

At first, they thought his crying was simple baby stuff, but eventually, they came to realize that the young lord had a vehement dislike for certain servants who gave him the creeps.

Many children were growing up at Winterfell. Joe was never short on friends to play with.

Joe trusted his instincts a lot more in his new body.

While his brothers Jon and Robb would crawl around playing with toys, Joe would insist on being brought to the godswood.

"Go-duh. Woo-duh!" Joe would try to say, his speech still lame due to the lack of teeth.

"The young lord is saying godswood! Go and tell Lord Stark about this immediately. I'll take him to the godswood." Old Nan would say, making as much spare time as possible so that she could indulge young Lord Snow in his antics.

And so it came to pass that every day, Joe would be taken to the godswood, where he would spend his days under the gaze of the gods.

By the age of 8 months, Joe was able to walk.

By the 9th month of life, the dreams started to kick in.

It started with a dream of him soaring in the sky in the form of a white raven.

The snowy landscape turned to marsh, to lands of rivers, fields of grass, and stormy shores, eventually ending in an ocean of sand.

The dreams happened every night from that moment on. Joe would take the form of a new animal and roam the world.

A bear, an eagle, a cat, a direwolf, lions, deers.., and creatures unknown to him, forgetting their likeness like one forgets their dreams.

One night he could be a cheetah, sprinting in an endless ocean of grass- only for the next night to experience the slowness of a tortoise spending an entire day crossing a patch of dirt.

Joe became an avid dreamer. Before realizing it, he began meditating during his days spent in the godswood.

It got to the point where Joe was able to have daydreams.

Half his consciousness could be in Winterfell and the other half in whatever animal he found himself possessing.

One evening, on a cold night near his and Jon's name day, Joe dreamt about a black kitten.

It was a small yet sprite young thing that skulked around Winter Town. Joe could see Winterfell in the distance.

Joe decided to make his way home to Winterfell in his cat form, thinking it was just a dream.

When the servants came in the next morning to wake him, they were shocked to see a black kitten curled into his neck, the pair sleeping like peas in a pod.

Upon further inspection, it was clear this kitten was larger than an ordinary kitten. It was not a kitten at all, but rather..

It was a Shadowcat with fur as black as night. The white stripes typically seen on Shadowcat's were notedly absent.

Since that day, Joe and the black Shadowcat were best friends.

Joe named the cat Void, as staring into its fur made you feel like you were looking into the pits of darkness Joe experienced when he died in his old body.

Void's dark fur was strangely comforting.


Joe and his brothers were three years old when their sister Sansa came into the world.

Joe was thankful for it. Having a new baby around meant that everyone would pay less attention to his genius.

Though it was also a double-edged sword.

With each addition of a new Stark child, Lady Catelyn's resentment toward the bastard twins grew.

At the age of 3, Joe could walk like a distinguished noble, speak with the coherence of a scholar, and quip with intelligent arguments with great ease.

Void was always at his side. The castle folk were wary of the black Shadowcat at first, but they eventually became accustomed. His body had matured, big as any cougar, though it would still take a while for Void to have the aura of a seasoned predator. The godswood became Void's favorite place to be if Lord Stark did not permit him entry into the castle to sleep on Joe's bed.

Joe did not show off. A candle that burns the brightest also burns the fastest. Joe tried his best to train secretly and reveal as little about his potential as possible.

As such, Old Nan became who he would confide in, having mature conversations.

He insisted that she swore secrecy, explaining his reasons and telling her a half-version of the truth; that he remembers things from days since his birth.

Old Nan was all too happy to accept. She enjoyed how intently Joe would listen to all her stories. She could not tell if the young lord kept forgetting or if he simply loved to hear the same stories repeatedly. Whatever the case, a friendship blossomed between the two. The young lord's amber eyes felt like warm pyres ablaze in the snow.

When Joe was just three and a half, Maester Luwin caught him reading in the library tower at an hour far too late for a young lord.

"Master Luwin, you startled me." Joe sat on the floor. The candle beside him offered barely enough light to notice the sleeping Shadowcat, "I normally hear your chains when you approach. I guess this is that good a read."

Joe shut the weighty cover of the book to show him "a-hundred-year-old discourse on the changing of the seasons by a long-dead maester. Have you read it?"

Void raised his head to acknowledge Master Luwin before going back to sleep.

"So you're the ghost whose been moving things out of their place. How many candles have you wasted during these late-night excursions?"

"Enough to have read my fair share, but not enough for anyone to notice." The cheeky response from the young Joe Snow gave way for a chuckle from Maester Luwin.

"Haha, yes, well, be that as it may, I trust Lord Stark is aware and approves of these … late-night extracurriculars?"

"… Put it this way. He hasn't *disapproved*."

Maester Luwin smiled at the boy, "Come now, young Joe. We can discuss it with your lord flord'sr tomorrow."

"Nooooo!" Joe released the most manipulative innocent child voice he could muster, "Please, Master Luwin. Don't tell! I beg you this one secret."

"Oh, alright!" The old master relented, sensing how fiercely the young lorddeclareds his request.

No, it wasn't a request. It was an ultimatum.

"Yaaaay! Thank you!" Joe triumphantly breathed a sigh of relief.

"On one condition. If you're old enough to waste candlelight in the library tower, you're old enough to start your studies. I'll talk to Lord Stark on the morrow. You shall study with me for two hours a day and learn about the realm's history, the many Westeros houses, strategy and war."

"Ew, no! What use is that? I'm not going to be king or a general. Why should I bother learning about how sigil whatnot is the banner of house such-and-such, whose house words are 'blahblahblah'.."

"You are in no position to negotiate, young lord. Ah!" Maester Luwin was practically rubbing his hands with excitement, "We shall also learn about negotiations! And trade and commerce."

"Oh noooooooooooo!"


Joe and his brothers were barely five years of age when their sister Arya came into the world.

The bastard twins immediately took a liking to her. Sansa had picked up on her mother's contempt towards them and copied her mother like a little bird. But Arya was much different; they could feel it.

On the day of her birth, Joe and Jon swore to protect her.

The other boys were well into their studies by now, but they may as well have started when Joe did.

Joe quickly discovered that he was rather selective in the reading material he enjoyed. All the tutelage Maester Luwin attempted to drill into him had fallen on deaf ears.

The irony was not lost on Joe. In his past life, the world of Westeros was oh so fascinating. He could recite the back stories of any character and their house. With that world in front of him clear as day, the interest was lost in this life.

Joe was now focusing his time on the art of warfare.

Ser Rodrik had been Winterfell's master-at-arms and had trained many a young lad to wield the sword, but none of the lads he encountered was ever like Joe.

Joe would ask for Ser Rodrik's advice on how to strike, how to move his feet, to parry.., all the while constantly asking *but why?*

Ser Rodrik had never seen someone ask so many questions only to do their own thing anyway.

Joe would wake before dawn each day. By the time his siblings woke, he already had at least an hour of training under his belt.

It became common for the family to walk the walls, look down, and see Joe running back and forth in the courtyard.

"What are you doing?" his brother Robb would ask him, scratching his auburn hair.

"They call these 'suicides'. Run a few of these, and you'll see why—trains cardio and agility. Join me, brother. You will be lord of Winterfell some someday should be training even harder than me!"

Ned would watch Joe each day with a hint of mild concern hidden behind his face. A chilling answer would always emerge whenever he and Joe would discuss the young lord's obsession with training.

"Winter is coming, father."

Joe always said it with his usual grin. His dark hair was cut before his shoulders and swept back, with white skin that looked like it slightly glowed due to the radiance of his amber eyes.

Ned had heard the saying all his life. He knew whether someone meant it when they said it. Joe repeated the words of House Stark like he had seen the future. Ned wondered if he was starting to imagine the winds getting colder.

Joe was quick to improve his swordplay. He never thought he would live the cliche, but it happened. After watching so many TV shows and movies set in medieval times, he noticed there would be scenes where a character is learning how to fight, with their instructor yelling, 'Keep your shield up!'

"Keep your shield up, or I'll bloody well knock your teeth out!" Ser Rodrik barked.

"… Cunt." Joe would whisper back.

Since being the victim of that cliche, Joe took to running his suicides while holding a shield in each hand.

He wanted to have the ability to fight using either hand, so it made sense to also train the strength of both arms. You never know when you'll have to swap shield hands, or have to shoot a bow using your other side, etc.

Jaime Lannister lost his right hand and went from arguably the greatest living warrior to a sad shell of himself who could barely swing a sword.

Training the use of both hands yielded almost instant benefits.

When Joe sparred against his two brothers, it was like he was only fighting half an opponent.

After the beat down Joe inflicted on them after committing to ambidextrous training, Jon and Robb began doing the same, though never to the same success.

Joe might have been the youngest of the three, but his older brothers looked up to him. It seemed like they were always chasing Joe- always looking at his back. They wanted to stand with Joe as his equal.

Age 5: Jon and Robb take their training more seriously.

Lady Catelyn did not enjoy Joe's influence over her son Robb. Much to the surprise of Ned, however, she did admit that having their son be this passionate about his martial training could only benefit him in the future.

The best times in Winterfell were always when Uncle Benjen would visit from the wall.

Joe and Jon would join their Lord Father and Benjen in the Great Hall, the fire roaring, enjoying their first taste of ale as their father and uncle regaled stories of past wars and adventures beyond.

Jon's eyes would light up as Uncle Benjen shared his stories. This was a fact not lost on Joe. He hummed with interest as he watched his brother instantly take a liking to the concept of the Night's Watch.

['Hmm, it really makes you wonder. Was Jon fated to join the Watch, or was it the product of his own free will?']

This question would nag at Joe for the rest of his life.


Age 6.

Joe had developed his eye.

The sword swings of adults were starting to look slower and slower. His brother's movements felt like they happened in slow motion.

His arms had gained the strength to hold up his two shields as he ran his suicides each morning. Those who roamed the castle no longer bat an eye at the young lord running around training as his life depended on it.

The shields and swords he trained with had become too light to handle. Not wanting to waste time, Joe went to the blacksmith, Mikken, and asked him for heavier equipment.

Mikken was happy to oblige. He forged dull training blades whose hilts were weighted and the blade extra thick to add more weight and make it harder to handle.

Mikken also plated the shields with iron, increasing the strain they put on Joe's arms significantly.

Joe took a liking to Mikken and his work and offered his help from time to time. He enjoyed the physical labor involved in blacksmithing. Mikken earned Joe' respect. For an old man with a beard as white as the outside snow, Mikken sure was strong.

No matter how hard or heavy they were, Joe would continue to run laps carrying his shields. Keeping them raised became second nature.

"Keep your shield up, just like your brother!" Ser Rodrik would shout to Jon and Robb, causing Joe to parrot *Yeah, keep your shield up!* and laugh cheekily.

Lately, Joe had been experimenting with the spear. It was a massive shock to him when he realized how superior a could be given the right circumstances.

He lamented at the shame it was that media did not depict the use of the spear as glamorously as the sword. It made him feel like he had discovered a secret. At least they made Oberyn Martel look badass..

Bran was but a baby suckling at Lady Catelyn's tit during these days of sweet, sweet summer.


Age 7.

Winterfell was in a stir.

Roose Bolton had visited. Everyone in the castle gathered in the courtyard, and a large circle formed around Lord Bolton and Lord Stark.

Next to them was a wooden box, growling and shaking.

"Yes, my lord. My kennel master has been having trouble with this particular bitch. I thought perhaps your Farlen could attempt." Said Lord Bolton.

Farlen was in the crowd, his face as stern as ever. He unfolded his arms and stepped forward at the behest of Lord Stark, "Aye, m'lord. Aven't been a bitch I could not tame."

Joe thought Farlen was right to have such confidence. Joe was often amazed by Farlen's ability with the hounds and enjoyed watching him at his work, whenever Farlen did not shoo him away…

Lord Bolton nodded to his men, who timidly gulped and clasped at the metal chains in their hands. They opened the box-


Without warning, a hound with fur as black as Void's sprung out of the box. Her teeth looked like white daggers. Her growling sent shivers through the onlookers, causing them to take some steps back.

Before Lord Bolton's men could yank at the chain, the hound had latched onto Farlen's arm, attempting to gnaw at it through the thick fabric of his training mits.

"Got a wicked bite, she 'as!" Farlen exclaimed, feeling the jaw strength of the hound. Were it not for the protective gear he'd be bleeding to death right now.

Needless to say, Farlen's attempt at quelling the vicious hound was a fail. Lord Bolton's men had to pull the dog away by the chain.

"A pity," Lord Bolton voiced, defeated, "I had hoped she would make a fine addition to the kennel, but it seems she must be put to the sword."

With a nod, Lord Bolton signaled his man to execute the hound.

"WAIT!!!!" a voice cried.

Everyone turned in the direction. When Lady Catelyn realized who it was, she bit her tongue in disgust.

"It's Lord Snow!"

The castle folk murmured as he came forward, "My apologies, Lord Stark, for speaking out of term." Joe said, bowing respectfully, "Lord Bolton, if I may be so bold, I ask you not to kill the hound. Allow me to-"

Lady Catelyn cringed. Once again, the bastard boy had embarrassed her, embarrassed *Ned*.

Lord Stark was gentle. He knelt to Joe's level, "Now now, son. We all admire your courage, but you saw what the hound did to Farlen. I can't risk your safety like that."

"But *father*..!" Joe gazed deeply into Ned's eyes. It was a firm gaze, stoic yet passionate. "I can do it!"

"Hahaha!" Lord Bolton released a dignified laugh, 'So this must be the bastard…' he thought before saying

"My lord, far be it from me to deny the child after displaying such determination. If he can tame the beast, I will allow it to remain in his possession. However, be warned, Lord Snow. I trust you will understand if we have to kill it before it attacks you. The honor of my house would be blemished if I allowed my Lord's son to be harmed, bastard or no."

"Thank you, my lord," Joe replied with the most courteous voice he could manage.

He knew what kind of man Roose Bolton was. The mere sight of him made his skin crawl. But without pretence, Joe had to be careful. A bastard boy of Winterfell could not be hostile to a lord for no good reason.

Lord Stark wanted to insist on stopping this madness, but the Amber gaze of Joe was too pure to deny. "Sigh.. You don't get your wild side from me, that's for sure."

Lord Stark grimaced, sighing deeply as he resigned to the will of his stubborn bastard son.

"Yay! You won't regret this, father!" Joe replied eagerly, taking his father's words as permission to continue.

"No!" Old Nan cried, "He's just a boy! Don't let him do this, m'lord!"

She was about to go on a hysterical tirade- wanting nothing more than to keep Joe safe. Yet one look in the eyes of Joe stopped her from doing so.

That look, that singular glance, was all it took. Old Nan knew that she could not deny Joe this moment. Nothing could stop the will of the bastard boy.

Robb and Jon clenched tightly the wooden swords at their waists as they watched Joe step forward to the box.

"This isn't right," Jon snapped, "Father should stop this."

"Wait." Robb said, slapping his hand on Jon's chest, "We have to respect our brother's decision."

Robb's words were painful to hear, but Jon had to agree after thinking about it. Joe had a stubbornness that could rival any king. He would not forgive anyone trying to impede his right to choose. Robb and Jon knew this better than anyone.

"Damn!" Jon relented frustratingly, "Damn it all!"

Joe had a calm expression as he approached the wooden box. If one looked closely, they could spy a slight curvature on his lips beginning to form a smile.

He breathed deeply through his nose and out through his mouth. Each filled his lungs with icy arrowheads, which then felt like they were fermented in his stomach before releasing into the air like the flaming spew of a dragon.

As Joe watched the thick veil of mist escape his mouth, the skin of his lips stinging with the sudden warmth against the cool, his body felt more relaxed with each exhale.

His mind wandering into a daydream.

Joe raised his brow to the two guards holding the chains by the wooden box, signaling his readiness. The two Bolton guards shrugged their shoulders as they unlocked the door.


The hound had already become accustomed to the nuanced sound of her cage being unlocked. She immediately sprang from the box, the door snapping open like a reverse mouse trap.

"Shit!" A Bolton guard gasped as he pulled hard at the chain.

Alas, the two guards lost their grip due to the hound's sudden explosion of tugging force. They dropped the chain, allowing the hound free reign to move.

It all felt like it happened in slow motion.

Joe could see every muscle fibre of the hound as it sprinted towards him with lethal intentions. It left a smog of snow in its wake as it quickly pierced through the white ground of the courtyard.

The eyes gave everything away when training in the sword against his brothers. It appeared that animals were the same because Joe could easily see the hound's fixation on her target; his neck.

"Oh no!" the onlookers watched in horror as the bloodthirsty hound beamed its way towards the young lord. It was too fast for anyone to intercept with their blade. Everyone's eyes widened as they braced themselves for a gruesome scene to unfold before them.

What happened next was nothing short of a miracle.

Joe stood casual, unnerved by the predatory advance. He held out his left hand with the elegance of a noble lady, a calm smile on his face that was befitting of a mother looking at their child.

"Idiot! What is he doing?!" Jon fearfully spoke. The thought of losing his twin brother scared him beyond words.

*WOOF!* the black hound marched on, saliva flinging out its mouth as it closed the distance. Her eyes dilated as the reflection of Joe's neck occupied her view.

Just as it seemed the beast was going to pounce-


The black hound changed intentions at the last moment, her feet dragging in the snow as her kinetic energy halted.

A long skid mark trailed behind her as she did the unthinkable.

*WOOF!!!*… *SNIFF… SNIFF…* … *WOOF!*

No one could believe it.

Instead of tearing into the flesh of Joe's seven-year-old neck, the black hound was pointing its nose, sniffing Joe's outstretched hand and wagging her tail.

*WOOF!* the black hound barked, stepping in circles like a playful puppy and looking at Joe with idolization.

Old Nan fell to her knees at the sight, alongside many of the more squeamish audience members.

"Impossible…" Farlen, the kennel master managed to utter.

Lord Stark and Lord Bolton were rendered speechless. Jon and Robb ran to their brother with tears in their eyes. Lady Catelyn coddled Bran in her arms, failing to realize how tightly Sansa held on to her legs.

Robb and Jon hugged their brother, "You idiot! Never do something like that again! How did you even do that anyway?"

It was not words that answered them.

Joe and the black hound looked to his brothers.

The left eye of Joe was milk white. So too was the left eye of the hound.

"How did I do it?" Joe repeated as he smiled and stroked his chin, "With the power of daydreams. Bahahahaha!"

"…" Roose Bolton listened intently, shooting Joe an all-knowing stare.

"Greenseer.." Voices in the crowd would mumble. "A warg.."

Joe enjoyed being cryptic in his explanation, true to Game of Thrones fashion. He named the black bloodhound Vera.

Stories of this event spread quickly. Everyone soon knew about 7-year-old old Joe Snow, the bastard dog whisperer of Winterfell.


"You really shouldn't be in here, my lord!" Gage, the cook, insisted.

"Nonsense! I love cooking. Instruct me as you please!"

Age 8.

Joe had been spending more time in the kitchen as of late.

He had managed to stay away for this long until one day when Joe was walking past the kitchen when he spied Gage stirring a large cauldron of venison stew.

His nose gave way to his feet; before he knew it, Joe was helping Gage with his duties. The two enjoyed long conversations about meals, meats, and the many herbs and spices they could use to enhance them.

Joe was a long-time cooker of budget meals. As he worked, saving enough money to buy his own food truck, Joe became adept at cost-efficient eating.

This meant he was very adept at cooking soups, broths, stews, and all things simple. Using simple ingredients, Joe could create meals that tasted good and could easily feed families of six.

His experience translated perfectly into the preparation of medieval meals where ingredients were sparse, lacked variety, and were required to taste good while also feeding many people.

"…" Gage remained silent while watching Joe expertly cut the vegetables. The way Joe moved around the kitchen was much too familiar for an eight year old boy.

"That was fun, young lord." Gage said as he and Joe happily tasted the venison stew, "I can only pray that my son, Turnip, will enjoy cooking as much as you do when he is older."

"I'm sure he will! You, Turnip and I will have lots of fun as we cook together. I can't wait!"

When Joe left the kitchen, he left it smelling much better than before he arrived.


By age 9, Joe felt like a big fish in a small pond.

His daily suicides had paid off with impeccable cardio fitness that was complemented by his strongly hardened legs.

Running with each arm holding an iron-plated shield every morning made his arms tough and resistant to fatigue. He could hold up his two shields longer than an adult could hold up one.

Sparring against his brothers had become elementary. Their movements slow and predictable.

He had to fight his brothers 2v1 just to make things interesting. Theon would join in and make it a 3v1. Joe did not mind, as he figured that in real combat on the battlefield, you would normally be facing multiple opponents anyway.

He didn't want to be a lord of the wooden sword who was only used to fighting against a singular opponent. All of his training was done so in a manner that simulated the real thing.

Speaking of Theon Greyjoy, it had been a few years since he became a ward of Lord Stark following the Greyjoy rebellion. It was a bit weird initially, but Theon had assimilated well into his new life in the North.

When the other kids got tired of getting their asses handed to them by Joe, he would turn to the adults. Their speed was nothing Joe could not handle. However, their increased size and strength made Joe not have it easy.

He managed to best some of the more inexperienced adults. But Ser Rodrik could always defeat Joe whenever he decided to take it seriously. Joe made the extra effort to observe all the little tricks Ser Rodrik would employ against him.

Ser Rodrik was a strong fighter whose experience allowed him to pull off some shrewd tactics that Joe instantly recognized as nothing other than the prowess of a veteran.

Every move of Ser Rodrik was made so out of muscle memory. He did not have to think about what to do. He even had shrewd dirty tactics that Joe would never have considered doing. Ser Rodrik knew how to use his weight when they engaged in a clash. He knew how to close the distance, when to put on the pressure, and when to back away.

Joe admired Ser Rodrik's sharp relentlessness. But Ser Rodrik would also make him curse aloud.

"FUCK!" Joe would shout. Even though he was only nine years old, all the diligent training in the world was still not enough to best Winterfell's master-at-arms.

Each defeat would only strengthen the fire of his resolve. And Ser Rodrik would have to hold back his amazement each time they fought.

'Every time we spar, he drastically improves!' the master-at-arms wished he could admit aloud. Every time he wanted to praise Joe, he would hold himself back.

Ser Rodrik was quick to understand that the power of Joe's self-motivation lay behind an outrageous need to 'catch up to everyone else. There seemed to be some kind of bogeyman that Joe desperately needed to match. It was like Joe would not rest until he was the best at everything.

Best with a shield. Best with the blade. Best with the spear. Best with the bow. Best at riding.

When Ser Rodrik finally succumbed to curiosity and asked why Joe trained so hard, he was surprised by the straightforward response:

"When winter comes, all it takes is one weak link for the chain to break." Joe would declare, similar to how he believed a kitchen was only as good as its weakest chef.

However, it had become evident to Joe that other than a warm bed and training against someone like Ser Rodrik, Winterfell no longer offered anything that helped his growth.

['I've become too soft- too accustomed to the warmth of walls.']

Joe thought back to the early days of GOT when Arya had to traverse a war-torn Westeros. She had no skills that made survival any easier, having to learn them on the fly.

Joe wanted no part in that sort of confusion. He searched his heart for an answer, and that answer came.

He dreamed he was a white raven soaring over the Wolfswood. No matter how many times he had this dream, the forest was still as vast as ever.

Something different caught the attention of his white raven eyes, so he flew down to investigate.

It was a small clearing in the wood. A gruff man clad in furs was carving a shape out of Weirwood at some kind of workstation. His movements were slow and elegant, each shave of wood producing a thin strip as if the man was grating a carrot.

Slung over his shoulder was a dead rabbit. Joe could not spy the wound where the rabbit had been shot.

Until he realized the rabbit was missing an eye, and the gruff man of the woods had a bow with no quiver. Only a single arrow sticking out of the snow beside him.

Joe just watched for a while before perching himself on a tree above.

When he did this, the gruff man of the woods snapped his neck towards Joe's location. His dark eyes pierced deeply, causing Joe to wake.

['Wow! That dude saw me. Not the bird, but *me*!']

That was all the convincing he needed.

Joe packed himself a large bag full of clothes and arrowheads. He strapped a heavy practice blade to his waist, slung two plated shields on his back, and opted to carry his bow in hand.

"Void, Vera! Come!"

The black Shadowcat and bloodhound beckoned his call.

Then Joe snuck to the stables and released a horse. From there, he warged into it, his left eye turning white just like the horse's left eye.

Using the horse as a distraction, he made it walk to the gate and kick up a fuss. Before long, the guards of the gate and the surrounding walls were too busy watching the horse go mad in the courtyard to notice Joe slip out.

Under cover of darkness, Joe trudged through the snow-layered road

Void and Vera followed without question. In the night, they looked like two looming bodyguards of black.

It took all of Void's willpower not to run off into the wilderness, but he knew now was not the time. He would follow until Joe confirmed their new location.

Vera, on the other hand, was much more inclined to stay with Joe. Bloodhounds may be animals, but they seemed to control their wild instincts better.

When dawn came, the castle was surprised not to see Joe running his usual suicides, shooting arrows at his targets, riding the courtyard, or flailing his weapons like a madman possessed.

Lord Stark was breaking his fast when Robb and Jon came running into the great hall with tears in their eyes and a piece of paper in hand.


"What is it?" Lord Stark asked with concern.

"It's Joe!"

Lady Catelyn squinted with interest as Lord Stark took the paper, "What's he done now?"


Gone to live in the Wolfswood for a bit. Tell Lady Catelyn not to miss me too much while I'm gone.

Love you,


"This is madness. Get me Ser Rodrik immediately. Joe couldn't have gotten far. And send a raven to Lord Glover."

Despite Lord Stark's theory, their search was in vain. They never did find Joe.


Amidst the countless trees and eyes that watched him from a distance, Joe marveled at how easy it would be to get lost here. The scenery looked identical in all directions— a maze of leaves and trunks and branches.

Were it not for his warg powers giving him the ability to scout from above, no doubt he would have been food for the wolves.

Joe walked all day and all night, stopping only to sleep and eat salted beef by a fire. The whole time, he knew wolves were watching, waiting, following.

His travels took him past the Tumbledown Tower into the heart of the forest.

Now and then, he'd pass a lone weirwood. On rare occasions, he might find a pair next to each other. Many even had faces carved into them. Their anguished expressions made Joe feel oddly at peace because they looked kind of funny.

When his salted beef supplies ran out, Void would go hunting and return to Joe with a rabbit in his jaws.

"I should have brought some arrows," Joe complained.

He brought his bow, but the other stuff he wanted to bring took priority. He did not want to be weighed by a quilt of arrows- a bag and two heavy shields were cumbersome enough as it was.

As such, the gang relied on Void for nutrition. Vera may have been a bloodhound, but without Joe taking the role of the hunter, she was pretty much useless as he was.

The trek was strenuous, cold, and miserable. But it had its moments.

He tried traveling by night, but deeper into the forest, the woods thickened. With so many roots from trees of old scragging on the ground like coiled toenails, it was tough to keep your balance while walking.

Joe did not seem to mind when he was huddled by his fire, his two animal companions curled to either side of him for warmth, watching as the shadows of the trees danced with the fluttering of flames.

"It shouldn't be too far off now, right?" Joe said as he sat against a tree, cocking his head back and marveling at the stars.

"Tomorrow…" The word drifted him off to sleep.


The next day, it was late morning when they spotted a beaten path. Joe noted how the forest was becoming less dense as they followed it.

And then they found it.

It was a reasonably sized clearing, easily as big as an acre.

In the middle was a neighborhood of trees surrounded by a perimeter of crude wooden fences. It made Joe chuckle, giving him flashbacks of Shrek's swamp.

As he got closer, Joe could make out a house built high up in the trees.

It was a two-story cottage in the trees, with multiple fireplaces, a balcony, and a porch wrapped around the bottom floor.

It was perfect, he thought. A tree house high above the ground, a site ringed by a fence. Plenty of distance between here and the trees. From the house, youcouldo spot any animal or man who approached.

Joe trudged wearily to the entrance of the compound- an archway erected with wood carved with intricate illustrations of numerous animals.

Joe dropped his gear and felt the relief on his shoulders, "Helloooo? Anyone home?"

No answer came. Void and Vera looked up at Joe expectantly, waiting for their master to take the first step inside.

"Huh? I guess nobody's home?" Joe shrugged his shoulders and took a step. But when he did, an arrow materialized just in front of him. An inch closer, and it would have shot through his foot.

"Oh shit!" Joe yelled as he stopped in fear, "Peace! I come in peace!"

"You come as a stranger." A coarse voice declared from above.

Standing on the platformed porch surrounding his treehouse, the man was holding a bow as white as bone, "Leave at once."

"Forgive me," Joe put hand on heart, "I'm Joe, Joe Snow! This here is my friend Void, and this is my friend Vera. We come as strangers no longer!"

Joe took another step, and once again, an arrow was expertly shot mere inches away from his big toe.

"I said leave." The man ordered.

"No can do, I'm afraid. We've traveled a long way just to find you. I've brought you a bag of freshly forged arrowheads as a token of good faith. Please! I burned bridges to come here. I can't just turn back and head to *Winterfell*."

Joe raised a sly brow, ['Let's see if that will pique his interest..']

"I don't care fookin' if you must walk back to the red keep, boy. You shan't take another step on my property."

"Fine, have it your way!" Joe defiantly declared, "You can at least allow Void and Vera to refuge here, surely! Despite their appearance, these two are very much lovers of comfort."


From this distance, Joe could make out the veins of the man's neck bulge in irritation.

"I know of beasts, boy. Not little shits like you. Stay, go. I care not. Animals come and go as they please. But if I see them start digging up around my property, I'll skin them while you watch."

['A-hah! I got you now! A man of the wood, living out in isolation.. Suddenly a boy turns up with two ferocious animals as docile as doves. I knew he wouldn't be able to resist!']

"Pfft. I'd like to see you try!-"

Joe stuck his tongue out at the man, but his provocation was cut short.

For an arrow was shot and grazed against the lower part of his earlobe.

['Holy shit!'] Joe thought as he felt the small trickle of blood, ['This guy is the real deal!']

"Hmph!" the man grunted, turning back and into his tree house.

"Sheesh… I suppose that could have gone worse, as far as first impressions go." Joe joked as he made about setting up his little campsite.

"Now we play the waiting game."


The man of the woods woke before dawn to the sound of feet running through the snow.

He knew every damn sound possible in this forest, so this was unusual.

One look out his window, and he instantly remembered.

There in the twilight, he spied Joe running around the parameter of trees that surrounded his compound, a shield in either hand. He noticed the tracks Joe had created, deep enough to portray that the boy had already completed dozens of laps.

['This is much better than running in Winterfell!'] Joe thought, ['I prefer running in circles, rather than going back and forwards in a cramped courtyard!']

Joe was catching his breath by the fire of his makeshift campsite when the man of the woods came out.

The man was clad in black leather with a white cape of wolf fur draped over his shoulders like a cloak of hairy cocaine. He had a white bow alongside a few arrows, both of which he held in the same hand.

"Morning, sensei! A beautiful day, isn't it?" Joe hollered as he approached. He had failed to get the man's name. So after much deliberation during the night between whether he should call him 'master' or 'sensei', he settled on the latter.

Emerging from the treeline came Void, a dead rabbit in his mouth.

"Hmph." Sensei gave a solemn grunt.

From up close, Joe could tell Sensei was likely in his late forties. Streaks of silver ran through his long black mane like the wisps of jellyfish tentacles. His hair was surprisingly clean and silky, and he kept his stern face clean and shaved.

Needless to say, Joe was impressed with how Sensei could groom himself all the way out here in the middle of nowhere.

Vera wagged her tail as she sniffed at Sensei's ankles. "Haha, I think she likes you," Joe said.

"Good. The hound can make herself useful." Sensei replied with a smokey voice as he started to make his way into the woods.

"W-wait up, sensei! I'll make myself useful too!"

"You can make yourself useful by leaving at once."

Before Joe could scramble his gear together, Sensei and Vera had already disappeared into the woods.

"What the fuck! Vera, that traitor!" His rant was cut short by the rumble of his stomach, "Errr.." Joe said, looking at the freshly caught offering that Void placed at his feet.

After breaking his fast, Joe spent the day training. He sometimes dared to walk through the decorated archway into Sensei's compound, but his better wits prevailed.

['He might be watching me. For all I know, this is a test. I got to be on my best behavior.']

His training was the usual- running through the motions he had been taught since the start.

Then he transitioned to striking his sword using basic angles. He did this over and over.

['I fear not the man who practiced 10,000 kicks, but I fear the man who has practised one kick 10,000 times. In that case, I'll practice 10,000 kicks, 10,000 times each!']

Draw. Thrust. Parry. Slash. Sheath. Draw. Thrust. Parry. Slash. Sheath.

On and on it went. The quicker he did his drills, the faster he was able to experiment.

Joe vowed there would be no awkward position his body wouldn't be accustomed to.

If he had to attack while taking a shit, climbing a tree, balancing on a roped bridge, whatever. So be it.

One minute he could be laughing it up in the Inn at the Crossroads, enjoying a game of dice with strangers. Next, he might have to act quickly and kill his opponents without even standing from his chair. These are the scenarios he envisioned that warranted his training.

It was early afternoon when Sensei and Vera returned. Slung from Sensei's shoulders was a dead fox with fur of war-struck scarlet.

Joe dropped his jaw with awe. He had never seen such a magnificent color. It looked like the sort of pelt that the greek god of war Ares would proudly adorn.

"Good hound, she is. Bolted off before I could ask any questions. All my years, I've only caught a Blood Fox one time. Clever creatures they are. They have to be when they prance about such a color in the snow. But she sniffed the fooker out easy as that, and one look was all I needed to get the job done."

Sensei scratched Vera between the ears. Her tail wagged vigorously, "Vera, was it?"

Joe couldn't believe this cold man had said so many words at once.

['Nicely done, Vera! You broke the ice!']

Joe brushed the layer of sweat from his brow. He stood shirtless, small boy that he was, but Sensei could tell his body was firm.

He wore only his breeches. His intense training would make him expel buckets of sweat. This isn't a problem before dawn, as he could do his drills before anyone woke to see the visage of his half-nakedness.

He preferred training this way because

1) It felt disgusting to train with clothes on, only for them to become gross with sweat and stick to his skin. And-

2) He figured that training without many clothes would improve his mental strength. Your feet get used to the numbness after a while; your skin hardens to the wind.

Yet even still, Joe thought he needed to be careful. If he got too used to training while half naked, how would he fare once fabrics hindered his movements?

Surprisingly though, Joe fared quite well in the cold once he started moving. Sometimes his body would be so hot that steam would emanate from his body.

The steam was emanating now. Sensei looked at him queerly. Joe knew this look all too well. It was a look that said, 'this kid ain't normal.

"Vera is indeed her name." Joe spoke, "I don't suppose you remember ours?"

Void gave a lazy "Meow!" as he stood alongside Joe. Next to the boy, the Shadowcat looked like a monster of a thing, his strong limbs ready to pounce at a moment's notice. Sensei wagered the beast had to weigh one and half the regular man.

However, unlike those back at Winterfell, Joe did not see that same look people would shoot at Void. Sensei had no fear.

"Void and Joe Snow," Sensei replied, "A hunter never forgets, boy."

Sensei walked past in a disinterested manner through the archway that was the entrance of the compound.

Vera followed along. Happily, her tail going crazy, the quick panting giving her brain oxygen it must have needed. The hound looked to be living her best life. Sensory overload, if you will.

Void stretched before following along, interested in what was happening.

Joe shrugged his shoulders before trying to follow also. But when he was at the archway, the law came smiting down.

"No," Sensei's eyes darted an imaginary shot right between Joe's eyes. A simple show of his bow said yo, don't go.

"What? Come on! You said it yourself. Vera was the one that helped you spot the rare fox. Surely that buys me a ticket of entry? And why the heck is Void allowed in now?!"

"Animals come and go as they please." Sensei said with no empathy whatsoever, "*You*, on the other hand, have already been told once."

The logic was so borderline childish that it broke his brain, "Awwww, come on!" Joe cried, but to no avail.

He had to watch from a distance as Sensei skinned the Blood Fox. It was too far away to take note of the man's expert knife handling.

Vera ran around as she overflowed with excitement. She took to the whole undertaking like a pig in shit.

['I suppose I can't blame her.'] Joe spun webs of narratives to lower the blow at his ego, ['She *is* a bloodhound, after all.']

Void watched, almost bored, but would occasionally glance back at Joe with a funny look on his face, as if to taunt and make Joe jealous for having no entry.

"UGH! Fuck them!" Joe pouted, kicking at imaginary rocks.

If those fuckers were going to dangle the carrot at the end of his stick, then Joe would not give them the satisfaction.

Thus, he dressed and went about exploring the area.

To make sure he didn't waste valuable training time, Joe brought a shield that was cast over his back, making him look like a child walking to school with an over sized oversizedackpack.

Joe would walk with a shield on his back so that he had the extra weight. After years of doing this, there was some strange comfort in wearing it.

He would skulk his way back before sundown, the embers of his campfire still active.

Vera sat with her tongue out. Her goofy grin was a striking contrast from the assault of primal anger that was their first interaction. Void emerged with the evening catch of rabbit.

The trio got settled in for the night. No tent, just the fire, Joe and his family, with the stars above like a spray of crystal glamor.

Sensei scoffed, watching the scene from the warmth of his tree house.

His room was on the second floor, a master bedroom with its own fireplace and a north-facing balcony to boot. It was well insulated, the walls, floors, and roof lined with furs from the bountiful Wolfswood.

Besides the geothermal walls of Winterfell, this treehouse is probably the warmest place in the north.

But Sensei knew.

This wasn't the *real* north.

And winter was coming.


It continued for weeks.

Joe would wake, Void arrives with rabbit, cook and eat, then train. Dawn, Sensei leaves with Vera. By the late afternoon, they would return with boons of the forest.

Some mornings, before dawn broke, Joe would spot Sensei leave during his drills. He would always come back with fish, so big and fresh and clean, and the smell they made when Sensei smoked them was enough to drive Joe mad.

Or one night, when Joe was asleep, he dreamed he was a snake. Fierce and proud, who swept along the glades at speeds ungodly. Large enough to curl around a tree and snap it in two.

He heard a sound and turned to hiss at it. His left eye was white, his right gleaming with oily amber, bearing his fangs at the clean shaved figure with a salt and pepper mane.

Until both eyes went black.

That morning when Joe woke on his rest day, he awoke to what smelled like chicken.

Hanging along the rails of Sensei's treehouse was a snake skin of white that looked like it was glistening with jewels.

The sunlight hit the skin, bouncing a kaleidoscope of colors into the aether. It wove around the tree house in such a way that it looks like a Christmas tree covered in festive sparkles.

Joe could see Sensei out on his downstairs porch, a large outdoor fire roaring, meat spiralling over the stick of a spit.

['This bastard! Has he some kind of advanced knowledge of engineering? This house looks like the envy of any outdoor enthusiast!]

He saw Void hone into his shadowcat expertise, climbing the tree within seconds and hoisting himself over the railing of Sensei's tree house.

Joe dared not warg into Void. Sensei would always know, and there was something about the man's dark gaze that always spurred him out of the vision.

All he could do was curse at the opportunistic nature of his feline companion.

"You." Sensei acknowledged Void with nonchalance, "Don't think I didn't hear you trotting about out here, rubbing your cheeks against my outdoor furniture, scratching at my door. That meat I left outside? I wonder where that went?"

Void rolled on the porch, exposing his stomach to Sensei like a playful kitten, purring loudly.

"Heh heh, you're as shameless as your master, aren't you?" Sensei allowed Void to sniff at his fingers. "Alright, have your fill and fook off."

Sensei threw pieces of the cooked snake into the air. Void snapped at each of them individually with precession. This continued until Sensei sensed the Shadowcat slowing down.

"Full, are you? Good. This is too much meat for just me." Sensei glanced at the coil of raw snake meat he had still yet to cook, "I suppose you'll be taking some for your scavenger king?"


Void arched his back, his hairs standing on end, his face menacing, terrifying, vicious. Not amused by Sensei's neg toward Joe.

"Wow now," the reaction amused Sensei, "He *is* a scavenger after all."

Void glared at Sensei with disgust, turning with a regal disdain and making his way down the tree.

"Oh, hey pal!" Joe said as he scratched Void's chin.

"…" Sensei watched from above, scoffing audibly, "Tch!"

He emerged minutes later with his hunting gear. Vera sprung into action and followed along.

"I wonder what you guys will catch today?" Joe said. He was basically talking to himself. Sensei rarely answered him.

"Get up," Sensei ordered.

"Huh?" Joe hummed in confusion.

"Are you fookin deaf? I said GET UP!"

"Alright, alright…" Joe defused the situation and stood awkwardly, "You finally get your period or something?"

Sensei ignored, "It's almost the new moon, and all I've seen you do is run in circles, flail your sword about, and go for walks. If it weren't for Void, you'd be starved by now. You're nothing but a scavenger. Have you no shame?"

"Shame is a concept forged by the ego. As a hunter living out here, I thought you would be one of those 'reject society' types. I guess I was wrong. Do you think *animals* feel shame? That vultures sit in a circle like nobles with sticks up their asses, prattling on about their pride?"

Sensei was taken aback by the young boy's articulate manner of speaking. It may have been pseudo philosophy, but the words did have an impact.

Joe continued, "But to answer your question: No, I don't. Winter is comin,g and it has no time for shame."

"!!!" But then Sensei was convinced. What use is pride in the face of winter?

"Heh heh. That's the first clever thing you've said. Okay, follow along."

"Eh?!?!" Joe replied, "I get to finally join you?!"

"Only because I'm sick of watching you waiting for Void to catch your food. It's a fookin' eye sore."

That was all Sensei said before diving into the forest, Vera nipping at his heels.

"Hey!" Joe called as he quickly prepared his gear, "Wait for me!"


It had been nearly a month since Sensei allowed Joe to tag along during the hunt.

Keeping up with Sensei in the woods proved to be an impossible task.

The man could move through the forest quicker than many could do on the plains.

Joe had gotten lost many times because of this.

Sensei and Vera bothered not to find him whenever they got separated. This caused Joe to rely on his warg powers or for Void to sniff him out and lead him back to camp.

It didn't help that he was lugging a heavy shield around on his back.

"Leave it," Sensei would say, "It will catch the light."

But with each day, Joe improved. Each day, he could follow Sensei further and further.

Until finally, not the uneven footing, not the ghastly maze-like structure of the forest, nor the thick trudge of snow, did anything to slow him down.

He could keep up.

['Yes!'] Joe thought in celebration as he stalked through the woods side-by-side with Sensei, ['Finally, I can walk!']


A calloused palm slapped Joe on the back of the head.

"Shut the fook up! You are easily the loudest thing in this blasted forest. You'll scare away the game!"

*WOOF!* Vera agreed with a bark.

"Are you kidding?! It's taking me all I got just to keep up. Now you want me to be silent while I do it?!?!?!"


Everything felt like it was one step forward, two steps back. Regardless, Joe was just happy to be among the action.

Moving silently in the woods is like an impossible task when one doesn't know how to do it.

The ability to plant your foot down in a way that doesn't disturb the foliage below is an art not easily mastered.

You had to know your body, as well as the forest itself. You had to *feel* when a twig might be buried in the moss, just waiting to be *SNAPPED* and expose your position.

Joe got around the learning curve by following behind Sensei and copying his route exactly.

This allowed Joe to keep up without making any noise. As Sensei had already 'scouted' out the path himself. All Joe needed to do was not let his feet stray from the already made food prints.

And so, Joe was finally able to see Sensei in action.

And boy, did it not disappoint.

Sensei was not only deadly accurate with the bow but wicked quick. The man could shoot three arrows in less than a second. Rarely did he miss his target.

His eyes were like trained beacons, able to pick out subtlest of movement.

It mattered not if it was a squirrel high in the tree line or a rabbit darting out ever so briefly from underground. Even Hawks weren't safe as they flew in the sky.

Sensei always moved upwind and had a talent for spotting even the faintest animal tracks.

He could come across a scene; animal poo, a dead carcass, scratches on a tree, etc, and would tell Joe what had happened.

"Bear shit. You see the berry seeds? Clever foragers, they are. Finding such delights this wood."

"The body's been ravaged. No ordinary wolf could have done this.."

"These scratch marks look to be from a tree cat. See how high they go?"

The man was like Sherlock Holmes at a crime scene or Geralt of Rivia when he goes all inspector Clouseau on your ass.

Joe saw Sensei kill and skin every damn animal in the Wolfswood. His way with the blade was beyond masterful. It was like he came out of the womb holding a hunting knife.

There were two days that Joe would consider 'good days' living out here with Sensei.

1) Now and then, Sensei would wake extra early and set out with his fishing gear to a nearby lake or stream. He would even head north to the Bay of Ice sometimes.

Joe loved it when Sensei went fishing. It meant Sensei would sit in one spot and not leave Joe behind.

2) Once Sensei had collected enough pelts and skins, he would set out for the crofter's village, Deepwood Motte, or any keeps of vassals under Lord Glover, such as house Forrester or house Bole.

Joe enjoyed this the most because he could interact with people other than Sensei.

Let's just say that Sensei wasn't the best conversationalist…

But boy could the man haggle. Sensei had an aura of prestige to the people of the Wolfswood. They paid for his goods in full.

Joe could tell that Sensei was a lone wolf. The looks of surprise people gave when they saw Joe and Vera traveling with him told as much.

It didn't take long before the charming boy with amber eyes and his bloodhound became welcomed additions to the citizen's routines.


Months passed, and one day Sensei woke to find that Joe was not doing his usual morning training.

But considering Vera and Void were still lounging around his property, he didn't pay much mind to it.

Just as Sensei and Vera were about to leave, a cheerful smile could be spied in the thick of trees.

"Sensei! Look what I got!"

Joe triumphantly came to the clearing, holding a dead rabbit.

"Check it out! I couldn't shoot them as you can, but I made some cordage from some of my fabrics and created a snare!"

Sensei was genuinely impressed, but he made no attempts to show it, "I haven't shown you snares. Where did you learn that?"

"Heh.." Joe could tell Sensei was trying to play it cool, "On our way back from the crofter village one time, I saw some traps when I explored the area. So I just kinda copied what I saw."

"Hmph." Sensei said, holding out his hunting knife for Joe to take, "Come. I'll show you how it's done."

*Gulp!*… "You mean I can step on your property?" Joe replied with a childlike gleam in his eyes.

"Don't make it queer, or I'll change my mind."

Sensei instructed Joe the best he could.

"No! Blast it! Like this! See? Like this!"

"A fookin blind man could do better than that!"

"You would make a poor butcher!"

It was done crudely, but Joe was happy. One rabbit pelt and some delicious meat!

He had finally made his way.

"Void!" Joe called, chucking a hunk of meat into the air. The black Shadowcat leapt in the air and snapped it up in his mouth.

"Congratulations," Sensei declared, "You are no longer a scavenger. Now, you are a hunter."

Joe couldn't believe his eyes. Sensei was extending his hand for a handshake.

After inspecting the hand like it was some alien matter, Joe finally shook it.

"Well met," his grip was firm and vigorous, "I abandoned my name long ago. You can continue to call me Sensei."

Joe was flabbergast. ['Is he finally acknowledging me? I think I might cry!']

But the moment was short-lived. Sensei strode off, leaving Joe behind to watch his back.

Sensei stopped and glanced over his shoulders, "You coming or what?"

As if water was splashed on his face, Joe woke from his daze, "You bet your ass I am!"


Sensei was a lot nicer since the day Joe caught his first kill.

In fact, Sensei was almost *human-like*.

Their teacher-student relationship was simple.

Joe would follow along, amateurishly trying to copy what Sensei does, only for him to fail miserably.

This would make Sensei cringe to the point where he'd bark, "Bah! Fookin' fool!" and demonstrate the proper way of doing things.

Until Sensei finally had enough.

"What's this, Sensei? Target practice?"

Joe had finished his morning training session when Sensei was propping up a target made of straw at the other end of the clearing.

"Just watch," Sensei ordered him.

Then Sensei took his bone-white bow, and, holding five arrows between his fingers, shot all of them accurately at the target within a couple of seconds.

"You got to be joking!"

It had to have been at least 150 meters away, but all five arrows hit the bullseye area.

['At that distance and at that speed?!']

Joe's mouth was wide open. He couldn't believe it.

"Heh.." Sensei chuckled at the sight, "Start practising. You're just a cunty liability out there in the wood with aim like yours."

"Hey, I was one of the best archers in Winterfell!"

"And it don't mean dick out here. Now, get a move on.."

With that, Sensei and Vera left him to it.

"… Bruh. Fucking asshole." Joe said softly. He never risked saying stuff too loudly when in Sensei's vicinity. The guy had supersonic hearing or some shit.


A week passed, and Joe had made no progress.

"Sensei, this is bullshit! My arrows can't even make the distance! How the fuck am I supposed to train accuracy like this?!"

Sensei sat on a chair he set in the clearing, observing Joe.

"Your bow isn't strong enough for your arrows to make the distance." He stated poignantly.


"It's a lesson," Sensei groaned as he stood from his seat, "Any hunter can get by with basic equipment. But *real* hunters go beyond."


He then started walking, "Follow me."

The pair walked through the wood for a while before reaching another clearing.

"Hey, I remember this place!"

"Mmm. This is the place we first saw each other. Oh white raven~"

Joe had gotten tired of being surprised all the time. It felt like a waste of energy at this point, "You knew that was me?"

"No shit. I've never seen someone with warg abilities as extraordinary as yours."

"Wow," Joe teased, "Never knew you had such a word in your vocabulary!"

They reached the middle of the clearing where a workbench was.

Sensei pointed to the weirwood tree in the vicinity, "It's time you made your own bow." He said before motioning towards the axe.

"Make my own bow? Who do you think I am, craftsman McGee?"

"Shut up and listen."

Joe would then spend months learning woodcraft. He didn't think he would ever get to the level where he could make a badass tree house like Sensei, but he was damn well going to master weapon making.

Then the fated day came.

Joe had crafted himself a bow, shield, and spear of weirwood. They were light yet strong. The bastard lord of Winterfell could not help but admire the magnificence of these trees.

He engraved his hunting bow with illustrations of the animals and trees of the Wolfswood. Joe wanted it to be a reminder of his days spent here.

"Right. Now you should be able to make the distance. Try it now." Sensei ordered, eager to see Joe's bow in action.

"Alright.. Here goes nothing."

As Joe pulled back on the string, he could feel the immediate tension created in the bow. Without even pulling back too much, he could feel the power.

He pulled the arrow back as much as he could, but he had not the strength to get too far.

"Don't worry about that," Sensei told him, "Only dumb fooks focus on the power. Just trust in your weapon."

['If you say so?']

Knowing better than to reject Sensei's advice, Joe eased up and took his shot.


The arrow pierced through the air like an aerodynamic swordfish.

Indeed, the arrow made the distance. But his accuracy was nowhere near the target..

"Bahahahahaha!" Sensei cackled.

"Hey, what the fucks so funny?!" Joe awkwardly shouted.

"Hahahaha!" Sensei wiped a tear from his eye, "I guess we all have to start somewhere!"

Joe would have been angrier were it not for him realizing something.

['This is the first time I've heard Sensei laugh like this!']


Years passed.

Age 13.

"You got everything you need?" Sensei leaned against a pole of his wooden archway to the property.

Joe, now a modest 160cm in height (5'2"), tightened his belt and hoisted his gear pack onto his back.

"You bet. You sure you don't wanna come?"

Joe's features had gotten more gruffly handsome. He had a scar that ran down the left side of his face through his eye. It made him look like a bad mother fucker.

He wore black trousers and tunic. Draped on his shoulders was a white cloak made from a bear pelt. His dark hunting gloves and boots oozed with quality. Even a Lannister would have difficulty rejecting the outfit once they put it on and felt the fabric.

Joe looked surprisingly dapper. He fancied himself to look like a more modern, less dorky robin hood, kind of like Russel Crowe in the 2010 movie.

Sensei scoffed at the idiotic grin of Joe, "Nah. Bad form to appear after years with a fooker that looks like me. I'll visit later. Go on, fook off."

"Wow, that's so cold, sensei. After all these years, you're gonna play it like that?"

Joe opened his arms wide, "Bring it in, ya bastard!"

"Ugh.." Sensei rolled his eyes and complied.

"Oh, before I forget," said Joe, taking something out of his cloak's inner pocket.

It was a small circular piece of weirwood, no larger than a coin. A small hole was drilled at the top, with a string through it.

"What's this?" Sensei asked, inspecting the item.

It was a necklace. On one half of the weirwood coin was a carving of a black shadow cat; Void. Joe had taken the time to paint Void black by precisely burning that spot. All but where his left eye was. It made it look like Void was winking.

On the other side was a carving of a tree.

"This is proof we are part of the same house!"

Joe reached for his neck and showed his necklace.

One side had Void, just like Sensei. And on the other was a carving of Vera. Both animals were burnt black, except for their left eye.

"The same house?" Sensei asked.

"Mmm! Why do I have to be a cunt with no name? I decided to make my own house! One side of the coin is our house sigil; Void the Shadowcat. TAd the other side for something personal!"

"…" Sensei had a queer look.

"It matters not if you're blood. If you are part of the house, then that's that. Fuck it!"

Sensei was amused by this, "Haha, okay, I'll take it. What's the name of the house?"

"House Nix. Joe Nix, at your service!"


"Cats have nine lives (N), and nine in roman numerals is (Ix). Since Void was going to be the house sigil, I figured it was fitting." (N + Ix = Nix)

Joe didn't give a fuck if people didn't understand references from his first life. Sensei wasn't one to ask questions anyway. He just assumed the Romans were some kind of civilization or culture.

"Nix, huh? I like it. Okay, now get the fook out of here!"

Sensei shoo'd Joe away. Void and Vera followed along. But just before he was about to reach the forest…


Sensei was walking back to his house, not bothering to watch Joe leave. "Huh?" he mumbled, turning around.

"Thank you for everything! Visit me in Winterfell sometime! I'll cook you the best damn meal of your life!!"

All Sensei could do was chuckle, 'Heh, little shit's gotten more arrogant.'

"Okay!" he shouted back, "Will do! Now get out of here before I hunt you and your beasts down!"

"Bahahahaha! Catch me if you can, you old cunt!"

And then Joe was gone, and Sensei's compound was now shrouded in a silence that had become foreign after these few years.

Sensei looked down at his weirwood necklace coin and smiled at the little Void winking at him.

Releasing a relaxed sigh.

He could finally enjoy some peace and quiet.


In the courtyard of Winterfell, the clangs and clashes of blunt blades drowned out the heavy panting.

Arya, now eight years old, was sitting on a barrel dangling her legs.

She watched her older brothers spar. Ser Rodrik spat out instructions as always.

Bran had grown too. He was practising his archery with Theon Greyjoy.

Lord Stark watched from the covered bridge above, smiling warmly at his children.

That was when he could hear shouting from the east gate.

"Open the gates, ya cunts! I have returned!"

A bannerman came with the news, "M'lord,"

"What's all that racket?" Lord Stark asked.

"It's Joe, m'lord. He's back!"


In Joe came.

He looked strong, firm, and determined. His white cloak flapped regally as he walked. He had a long spear in his hands, his shield and bow on his back.

The two beasts on either side had grown since Lord Stark last saw them. The Shadowcat now had the stride of confidence to give any hardened man the chills.

The Bloodhound, on the other hand, looked much less menacing. It's not like the hound looked any less formidable. But rather, its face was much happier. Vera was living her best life.

"Joe!" Robb and Jon dropped their weapons and sprinted toward their brother.

"Robb! Jon! Look at you two! Come here, bring it in!"

Joe dropped all his shit, and the three embraced, bombarding one another with tearful pleasantries.

"Welcome home, son."

Joe glanced over to see his father. Lord Stark welcome him with a chuffed expression. By his side were Bran and Arya.

"Father!" Joe hugged before leaning down to his young sibling's eye level

"My my! Look at how much you two have grown! You both probably don't remember me. You were quite young!"

"We've heard the stories," Arya replied with a smirk. Her rebellious attitude could now be heard in her voice.

"Yeah! Jon told us about you taming the hound a bajillion times!"

"Haha.." Joe laughed and scruffed Bran's hair, "And what of Rickon? I want to meet my new brother."

How did Joe know about Rickon? Many wondered.

"He should be inside-" There was no need for Lord Stark to complete his sentence.

Lady Catelyn and Sansa had arrived in the courtyard. Rickon waddled along with his three year old legs, gripping Sansa's hand tightly.

"There he is!" Joe enthusiastically approached, "Hey, little guy. I'm Joe, your brother!"

He picked Rickon up and sat him on his shoulder.

He then gave Sansa a wink before straightening his posture sarcastically, "Lady Catelyn. It's good to see you again. I bet you missed me!"


A red hand print stung at Joe's forearm. He saw the slap from Lady Catelyn coming from a mile away and blocked it.

"How dare you leave after everything we have done for you. You should have never come back." Lady Catelyn's words were like venom.

"Haha, don't be like that. You're just angry I'm alive!"

['Jeez.. I'm lucky I didn't bring Sensei with me.']

Then came Master Luwin, Farlen and his daughter Palla, Mikken, Gage and his son Turnip, Ser Rodrik, Barth, Vayon Poole and his daughter Jeyne, Theon with his arms crossed, Septa's Mordane and Chayle.

And, of course, Old Nan, with tears in her eyes.

"Would you look at that? The whole gangs here!"

Everybody surrounded and asked many questions, to the point where Joe was getting dizzy.

Seeing this, Lord Stark took the initiative, "Alright, everyone. I'm sure Joe is tired from his journey. How about we all catch up once he's settled in?"

And that's what happened.

That evening, everyone ate in the Great Hall, and Joe told them about his time in the Wolfswood.

Giant snakes with skin thick enough to keep warm. Bears twice the size of normal that could climb a tree with the ease of a tree cat. Foxes with coats of a bloody crimson. Savage boars. Wolf Packs. Weirwood trees.

And a mysterious lone hunter living in a tree house.

Joe's pure gaze told no lie. The Joe they knew was never one to listen during Maester Luwin's teachings. Was he even creative enough to make this all up?

"Word got back eventually from Lord Glover about an amber-eyed youth and his bloodhound. The folk described you to be quite cheerful, so I figured you were safe and happy." Explained Lord Stark.

"You were correct about the happy part."

The hall was a hub of festivity.

Void curled asleep by the fire, lulled by the relaxing feeling of Bran and Rickon patting his fur.

Ale was drunk, songs were sung, and the chatter continued until the sun rose.


Robb and Jon woke up later than usual. They took advantage of Joe's return, drinking more ale than their father allowed. They felt pretty groggy.

Were they expecting anything different? Sure enough, Joe was in the courtyard, finishing morning training.

Joe was a little nervous about sparring his brothers again after all these years. He had been training all alone, so he thought they would have gained much more fighting experience than him.

And he wasn't wrong. His brothers had improved drastically. However, one difference was impossible to ignore, and that was Joe's balance.

His brothers' advantage was easily countered by Joe's impeccable balance and crisp sword strikes.

Joe had practised each strike much more than 10,000 times. He wagered it was more in the millions.

It showed. Robb and Jon were overwhelmed once Joe took the fight seriously.

"Sigh… It looks like you two will never defeat me."

"And what about me?" Theon called from the archery range, "Let's see how forest boy can shoot."

Joe obliged. He watched as Theon took time to aim and fire, hitting the bullseye.

"Top that." Theon smugly said.


Joe took hold of three arrows between the fingers of his shooting hand and stretched his neck.

Arya and Bran sat closely and were watching curiously.

If you blinked, you might have missed it-


Joe didn't even take a second to shoot his three arrows and hit the bullseye.

"Wow!" Bran hollered.

"Amazing!" Arya stood in awe. She had never seen such a display of archery/

"What's next, Theon? I'm a bit rusty on my riding, but I'm sure I could give you some trouble!"

Theon was having a tough time processing what just happened. He was dejected as he gazed down at the bow in his hands.

"Maybe later.." He managed to reply.

"Joe! Joe!" the kids ran up to him, "Can you teach me how to shoot like you?"

Joe smiled at Bran and Arya, "Of course, I can! But be warned, the training is brutal. I don't want any complaints!"

"We promise!"


Joe became a bit of a local celebrity following his return.

This is because each day, he would go hunting in the Wolfswood and give away his catchings to the folk living in Winter Town.

Everyone, whether they were children or old as fuck, got a slice of the action. Food was never an issue with Joe around, and many enjoyed the fine quality pelts he would also gift them.

Children would keep a lookout that would holler when Joe was spotted coming back with his daily loot so that they could all run out to meet him.

He looked like the pied piper as they eagerly followed him through town, always keen to hear about his adventures in the forest.

The girls at the brothel had a particular fancy for Joe, and he always made sure they were taken care of, reserving the finest furs for them.

Many times they would try to alluringly invite him inside, making it known he would never have to pay for their services. But Joe always rejected them.

['Sick bitches.. I'm only thirteen!'] he would jokingly think.

That's not to say he didn't enjoy hanging out at the brothel, though. The girls were always kind and ensured he had a hot bath and pampering after his daily activities.

Life continued like this peacefully.


Age 14.

Joe had commandeered the kitchen for the day. He was whipping up something special.

"You're more energetic than usual, m'lord," Gage said while chopping vegetables, helping with the preparation.

Gage's son Turnip was barely even knee-high to a grasshopper. But bless the young lad's heart- he tried his best to assist. But due to his small size and Joe running around the kitchen at incredible speeds, Turnip had to develop the habit of vocally calling out his location, or else it could have been a disaster.

"Of course, I'm energetic! Sensei is coming to visit. It's about time I cook you guys my speciality!"

The meal Joe had planned required teamwork. The bread had to be baked, the meat had to be minced (a task that's very annoying without modern machinery), vegetables to be prepped, cheeses sliced, and sauces had to synthesized..

As soon as Sensei arrived and Joe introduced him to everybody, the Great Hall began to fill with people.

In the seat of honor to Lord Stark's side was Sensei, much to Sensei's grim. However, Joe would take no for an answer.

"So this is where Joe was raised? No wonder he's a little shit."

It was hard to tell if Sensei was joking, but the family knew how much Joe revered his sensei, so they did their best to go with the flow. Arya was the only one that seemed to understand his humor.

Inside the kitchen, Joe had multiple fires roaring at once. This meal could be cooked rather quickly. He needed the extra space to cook everyone's meals simultaneously.

If he didn't do this and brought out plates at different times, it would have been torture for people to watch those eating their food.

"Turnip! Gage! Watch and fucking learn, my friends. You're about to witness Westeros history!"

Everyone's meals were finished in 15 minutes.

"Holy fook.." Gage could not stop drooling.

"Mmm!" Turnip sniffed the air so much that it made him look taller.

Out the meals came…

The servants helped carry the plates. Everyone in the Great Hall could smell them before they could see them.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I present my magnum opus, the cheeseburger!"

The children gulped. What they saw on their plates was nothing short of perfection.

One beef patty, lettuce, a slice of cheese, and some of Joe's secret sauce packed between freshly baked buns. A simple delight in Joe's past life. But in Game of Thrones?

Joe took his seat, "Boneappletea, bitches!" and started eating away.

This gave the others a reference on how to eat the burger. They all took their bites~

"Mmmm!" everyone said in unison. The patty was perfectly seasoned. The sauce had a smokiness to it. The slice of cheese was slightly melted on the patty. The fresh lettuce gave that nice bit of hydration.

"It's good, right!" Joe was in his element. He had missed watching people's faces as they took that first bite into his burger. The feeling was amplified because he was cooking for loved ones, not customers.

"This is better than good." Said Jon, who had a more prominent position on the table than usual. Joe was cooking tonight, so even if she wanted to, Lady Catelyn couldn't have a bitch about the seating arrangements.

"Good? This is GENIUS!" Robb was utterly ensconced.

"Nomnomnom… so good!" Sansa forgot her noble lady training and went full caveman on her burger, sauce dripping from her chin.

"You never told me you could cook like this." Sensei managed to say between bites.

"You never asked!"

"Can you make this for us every day?" Arya asked. She had a different tone whenever she requested something from Joe. She knew he had a soft spot for her and had no qualms taking advantage of it.

"Yeah! Every morning and every night!" Bran added with his childish charm.

"No way, Hosea. Too many burgers are bad for your health!"

In truth, Joe had no problem cooking this each night. But that was his past life. If he could avoid it, he would.

"… Thank you, son. This is delicious." Lord Stark managed to say while he was still lost in the flavor.

"…" Lady Catelyn's silence said all that needed to be said.

"Yeah, thank you!"

All the kids began thanking Joe like it was an automatic response, followed by the adults.

All the familiar faces got to enjoy themselves. It was one of the best meals Joe ever had. From Theon to Old Nan, the folk of Winterfell all enjoyed and praised Joe's meal.

However, as is the case when one eats a good burger, you are opening Pandora's box.

The taste never leaves your consciousness, and you eventually crave more. Indeed, it was like Squidward when he had his first bite of a Krabby patty.

After the meal, while Joe was helping Gage and the servants clean up, he had a funny thought.

['Lord Manderly will probably bust a nut after tasting this!']

Volume One will be finished in coming chapters. Was hoping to upload the entire thing in a single chapter, but the limit is 20k words. Stay tuned ~

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