Please note: All characters, locations and events are copyright George RR Martin and the events that take place during this tale can and will deviate from series canon.
The Story So Far: Victor Luxon
has completed his task of returning heirloom blades to the great Houses of Westeros. He and his household make for their restored castle at Moat Cailin, but not before visiting his father-in-law, Walder Frey, at the Twins…
“So…” The word was drawn out for a moment longer than most would consider polite. Victor Luxon tore another mouthful of meat from the haunch in his hand. He waited for the speaker to lean closer before he made eye contact.
Walder Frey’s mouth never stopped moving. The largest orifice in the old man’s weasel-like face was even more animated as he entreated his son-in-law. “So! You still have some of those old swords, do you?”
Victor shrugged. “My father has them. They’re locked up, under the Mage’s Tower.”
“The Mage’s Tower.” Walder turned his head to spit. The gelatinous projectile sailed down from their high table and landed in the soup of one of Walder’s sons. The young Frey gave his father a withering look. Walder merely chuckled. “Serve ya right for being so pretty, boy!” The old man turned to Victor. “Too much of his mother in that one. Too pretty.”
“So you said.” Victor took a drink of wine. “Why do you ask about the swords?”
“Freys don’t have ancestral blades. It’d be nice to have one.” He got that leer in his look again. “Just be a matter of putting a different hilt on it, I imagine. Who’d know the difference? A sword’s a sword, right?”
“To the peasants and the dim lower nobles,” Victor replied. “Show it to any of the Great Houses, and —”
“Oh, yes, have them call me a liar! I’m not used to that old sausage, not at all.” Walder Frey sniffed wetly. Victor tried to keep his frown to himself. He’d traded that bastard and his irritable smile for a completely different definition of the word ‘disgusting’. “Or, better yet, would I be ‘dishonoring’ the sword if I put some Frey colors on its hilt? That’s something you Luxons know all about, eh? Honor?”
“It’s in our words.” Victor set down his goblet. “Do you really want a Valyrian sword that badly?”
Walder blinked as if stunned. “Who wouldn’t? Pretty things, those. Look quite fashionable over my hearth.”
“A sword’s meant to be used. It’s a weapon, not a sculpture.”
“And how often does your lord father use his?”
Victor frowned. This conversation was quickly going in uncomfortable directions. “Often enough to make men without sense think twice before opening their fetid mouths.”
Walder’s expression darkened. “Boy, you’d best not take that tone with me.”
Victor met Walder’s gaze. “If we were squatting over the same shithole, father-in-law, you can be damned sure I’d tell you if your shit stank. I’d expect you’d do the same for me.”
For a moment, the mouth of Walder Frey made no sound. Then, like a hole in a sack bursting wide under the pressure of its contents, the Lord of the Crossing’s jaw hinged downward wide, and he laughed loudly.
“You just might be the most worthwhile in-law I ever had the good fortune to put in bed with one of my daughters!” He slapped Victor on the shoulder. Victor barely felt it. “I’ve seen lesser men, even my own blood, piss themselves when I round on ’em.”
“You do remember every insult hurled at you, or so they say. Most of that, I imagine, comes from so-called highborn manners.”
“Too right, you are.” Frey took a large drink of wine. “What is it that you want?”
Victor narrowed his eyes. “That’s a broad question.”
“Well, then, make your answer broad. Come on, speak up.”
“I want what you want.” Victor paused. “I want to make my house great.”
Frey leaned back, a long “ah” sound coming from his mouth. “And how, exactly, are you going to do that?”
“By engaging in actions my sons and daughters, and their sons and daughters after, will speak of in awe and reverence. By taking what is mine. By denying my house’s lands, titles, and holdings to those who’d take them from us.”
“You’re starting to sound like you see yourself as some kind of conqueror.”
“And why not?” Victor gestured broadly. “The North is vast. The Starks will not be able to control all of it forever. There will be opportunities that House Luxon will seize. I would dishonor myself, and all the Luxons past and future, if I settled for less than I’m owed.”
“So the Starks owe you the North, eh?” Frey grinned his skull-like grin. “Come now, boy. Such things should not be shouted from the parapets. They need be whispered, between those of similar ambitions.”
Victor furrowed his brows. He was not used to whispering about such things. He found the very notion uncomfortable. Honorable men did not whisper. Still, he nodded.
“Good. You have some sense, at least.” Walder Frey beckoned him closer. “Come, let us whisper now about our liege-lords, and how we might best serve ourselves, rather than their fat arses…”
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