The aftermath of the tournament at Harrenhal brings chaos for much of Westeros. The Vale is perhaps the hardest hit— with Lord Arryn dead and his line no more, someone new must be appointed Lord of the Vale. The Mad King doesn’t know who in the Vale to trust, and so refuses to appoint anyone local. Instead, he appoints a warden from King’s Landing to rule. No one in the Vale is happy with this choice, both on principle and because of the man himself, Lord Wilhelm, whose only goal is to enrich himself.
The Vale goes through a period of “occupation” by this southern transplant. Wilhelm beats or kills those who don’t pay him enough tribute and picks off the weakest families, wiping out some entirely so he can seize their lands and assets. One of these victims is House Redfort, which disappears as one of the Great Houses of the Vale. Lord Wilhelm is eventually murdered— by Rebekka, no less, who spends months infiltrating the Eyrie and planning her move so it goes off without a hitch.
Prince Rhaegar is in a tricky position, as he can’t reveal too much of what he knows about what happened behind the scenes at Harrenhal without risking his own safety, and so he can’t operate directly. Instead, he works covertly to try and form a new Conclave to hold the vote which will make him king, hopefully with Lannister and Vale support this time around. The Starks and Tullys are on edge due to the very public deaths of the Arryns; they know they’re in trouble and the hammer could fall on them at any moment. The Mad King doesn’t want to risk gathering everyone in one place like that again. He may not know about the Conclave that was planned, but he’s highly suspicious. He held the tournament at Harrenhal to show his authority, but it all backfired on him and he ended up burning a major lord alive in the sight of many of the highest nobles in the land.
A year or so after Harrenhal, the prince holds a tournament in Dorne as a pretext for his conclave vote, using it to bring all seven great lords together again. This time, the lords follow his lead and finally vote for Rhaegar to take his father’s place as king (only the Greyjoys abstain, not even sending anyone to the tournament). When he learns of this, the Mad King holes up in King’s Landing and, as in canon, Jamie ends up killing him. Rhaegar is conflicted by this; he understands the situation, but he’s loyal to his family and didn’t want his father murdered. In the end, he chooses to send Jamie to the Wall. However, Jamie’s caravan mysteriously disappears on the way to the Wall. The Lannisters are unhappy that Jamie was to be sent to the Wall in the first place, and the prince is unhappy knowing the Lannisters are probably the ones who acted to free their son from his obligation, as Jamie is never seen again.
King Rhaegar fills the power vacuum left in the Vale by appointing the Slagathors to replace House Redfort as one of the Seven Great Houses of the Vale. The current seven great houses are: Royce, Grafton, Corbray, Waynwood, Lynderly, Waxley, and Slagathor. The Bloodhands don’t make a fuss over this, as they realized at Harrenhal that they aren’t ready to become a great house, and they respect the house they elected to lead the Raven Five those scant few months ago. With those seven positions filled, a vote is held to decide which house will become the new Lord of the Vale. House Slagathor still has a good relationship with the Graftons, who are unaware that the Slagathors spoke with the prince or that the Harrenhal vote was going to be called off anyway. In light of our warm relationship, blood ties, and clear Grafton ambitions, House Slagathor supports House Grafton’s winning bid to become Lord of the Vale. The Royces grumble about this development (they had perhaps the greatest claim on the title, after all), but they don’t seem inclined to do anything about it.
The Graftons had been paying off Gabool’s pirates for the year or two leading up to Harrenhal in order to use them as a secondary navy if they were needed. They continue to pay for another year or two after the tournament before putting an end to it, deciding they no longer need the pirates. Around the same time, there’s trouble brewing with the Greyjoys. Rhaegar sends Richard Lonmouth to the Wall as punishment for using his name in vain (i.e. forging the royal signature on the deal with the Greyjoys). This is necessary to show why King Rhaegar can’t honor the deal “he” signed with the Greyjoys and doesn’t give away Tully land to them, but unfortunately, it isn’t enough. Lord Quellon Greyjoy dies mysteriously shortly afterwards, and the Ironborn break into open rebellion.
The Greyjoys recruit the Essosi pirates to swell their navy and use the two forces in a pincer attack against Westeros. While the pirates of Essos attack cities along the east coast, the Ironborn ravage the west. Many cities on both sides are damaged or destroyed, especially Seagard, the one the Greyjoys were supposed to be granted. The Greyjoy rebellion ends more or less as it did in canon, only earlier, so Theon isn’t born yet and it’s his sister Yara who is sent as a ward to the Starks instead. The attacks by the Essosi pirates are ended only with Pirate King Gabool’s death (see below).
King Rhaegar implements his changes gradually in the years to come. It takes the better part of a decade for Westeros to recover from the twofold pirate assault, but eventually the new king’s policies lead to increased trade and better infrastructure. He grants more rights to peasants and works hard to reduce hostilities between lords. Notably for the Slagathors, he grants the people more freedom of religion, including the right to worship the Lord of Light, whose followers build a temple in King’s Landing itself. There are rumors that Rhaegar is aware of the Lightbringer prophecy and might be influenced by it, though the full extend of his belief is unknown.
In the immediate aftermath after Harrenhal, we ask the Graftons where they found the bodies they recovered. Leo and Avlon take some men out to that spot to investigate and look for any trace of their sister. Avlon, the skilled hunter, notices the traces of a boat being built and pushed into the water, and it’s only a day or two after *Ysabel*’s disappearance before her brothers are rowing out to the Isle of Faces to find her.
Unbeknownst to anyone but Ysabel and her three companions, time seems to pass more quickly on the Isle of Faces than in the rest of the world. The old gods of the island grant visions to their guests. Robert Baratheon receives a vision telling him to marry Ysabel, which suits him fine, as he is fully infatuated with the strong-willed woman who brought him here. They are married in the presence of the weyrwood. Ysabel experiences a much more intricate series of visions. The old gods feel that men have become arrogant and have forsaken the ways of the woods, cutting and burning trees as they please. The trees want their territory spread anew, the weyrwoods replanted. They predict that Ysabel and Robert will have a child called Percival the Planter who will plant trees that grow so tall that no malicious forces can penetrate them. These trees are to become the Guardians of the South and will not burn. Ysabel also learns that Nina is a part of all this; in fact, her visions have been coming from the old gods all along, not the Seven. Ysabel emerges from the experience a changed woman, not nearly as focused on worldly things like money as she once was.
Jayne claims to have had no visions, but this is a lie. In actuality, she is given a vision saying she will one day have a child here in Westeros who will go on to do great things. Sam does not, in fact, have any visions of his own, which he probably doesn’t mind.
When Leo and Avlon reach the Isle of Faces a day or two after Harrenhal, they find Ysabel and the other three fully recovered from their wounds as though much more time had passed. Ysabel explains to her family that there was a prophecy and that her future child is a part of it. The Slagathors accompany Ysabel and Robert to the Stormlands to have their official (i.e. standard in a sept) wedding. Robert writes to the Mad King to explain what happened— that is, that he is alive, but that the Arryns did attempt to murder him.
Ysabel and Robert have an overall good relationship and a happy life. Robert has a few affairs here and there, but Ysabel doesn’t care. They have four trueborn children, Percival among them. Upon his birth, the first tree is planted in the Stormlands, and the second in the Teeth. Ysabel takes over many of the operations of the Baratheon household, such as their public relations and treasury. Stannis has great respect for Ysabel for her competence, but Renly never likes her. Stannis’ daughter Shireen, unfortunately, still catches greyscale, but Ysabel calls for Maester Meera, who is able to contain the disfigurement to Shireen’s arm within a few weeks rather than letting it spread to her face or the rest of her body.
Marcus Felix, heir of House Slagathor, marries Lady Ladybright, thus giving up his right to House Slagathor to become one of the Seven Great Lords of Dorne. He becomes close friends to many Dornish leaders and has a hand in helping to orchestrate Prince Rhaegar’s Conclave. Though he doesn’t get to see his father or siblings very often, he enjoys the warm weather and good life in Dorne. He has several children and enjoys a happy life.
Lord Arthur goes on to have another handful of bastards in his time, but he never remarries. Two of his bastards are *Jayne*’s, who had harbored a secret affection for Arthur for some time. He’s satisfied with letting his numerous highly competent children take over so he can enjoy his life. As such, Leo becomes heir of House Slagathor and one day its lord. His most pressing order of business after Harrenhal is dealing with the Redwood curse, which could kill not only Sonya and any future children they might have, but also Lord Aaron Redwood’s wife Jessica Bloodhand and her unborn children. Ysabel mentions that Nina is part of the prophecy she heard and they should consult with her. Nina eventually has an epiphany and declares that the only way to cancel the curse while maintaining their current faith is to make someone of the Lord of Light’s faith cancel it for them.
Leo and Sonya promptly sail to Essos to find someone who can help them. They begin in Braavos, since it’s the closest city, but they find no help there. Sailing down to the Free Cities, they cross Gabool’s territory and have lots of heroic pirate-themed adventures involving Leo defending himself and his wife. Finally they find a group of red priests unaffiliated with the central church. The priests agree to remove the curse, but in return they ask that Leo send them five people, any people, to be converted to their faith and trained as priests. It doesn’t have to be right away, but they advise against waiting too long. Leo and Sonya decide it’s best not to wait, so they buy five slaves at a local market and give them to the priests, which they hope will give the slaves a better life than they would have had otherwise.
The Lord of Light followers perform a ritual involving taking blood from both Leo and Sonya. Upon its completion, they declare that the curse is broken not only for this couple, but for the whole family. There is no way to verify this but to test it. Thankfully, when Leo and Aaron eventually conceive children, both their wives and their children survive. The months of effort and hardship are worth it; the curse is broken. When Leo becomes Lord Slagathor one day, he and his descendants will have nothing to fear. Leo and Sonya have two trueborn children, and Leo never has any bastards, for he is loyal to his wife (and doesn’t wish to antagonize her either). Sam, traumatized by his experiences on the Isle of Faces, vows never to leave Leo’s side again.
The Redfort lands are taken over by the Slagathors, who use their new influence and prestige to form their first bannerhouse, the Karslags. Their House words are “These trees don’t burn” (Ysabel’s suggestion). Clifford, as next in line, becomes the first head of House Karslag, which is named the new fifth member of the Raven Five. He moves to a smaller keep inland— along with his wife and child. For Clifford is already a father, and the mother of his child is a mountain woman he calls Lady Sifh, the leader of the Moon Sisters clan. Shortly before the campaign began, Clifford had been away on a hunt for a month or two. During that time, he and Lady Sifh were caught hiding in the same place during a storm, one thing led to another, and the baby was conceived.
As the new Lord Karslag, Clifford seizes his opportunity to marry Lady Sifh. The public story is that Sifh was a civilized commoner who was kidnapped by mountain men, which saves some face for the family (marrying a commoner, while unusual, is far better socially than marrying someone of mountain man blood). Leo repeats this public lie to Sonya, fearing his wife’s wrath, but she eventually finds out and it becomes an ongoing sore point with her. She does not hold it against Leo that he took in the refugee mountain men during the campaign, since Leo killed those who wouldn’t bend the knee to him. Most if not all of these mountain man refugees move to Clifford’s castle after his marriage to Lady Sifh.
Avlon follows his dream to try and forge better relations with the mountain men, often using Clifford’s castle as a base of operations. He and Reynar work closely together and eventually become a couple. Reynar’s shadowcat grows up and becomes an essential part of their team.
A month or two after the events at Harrenhal, Alundra sends a raven to the Slagathors saying that Rhaegar is suspicious of her and the deal has to be on hold for a while. After a couple of years, though, with things calming down and the prince busy consolidating his power, Alundra finally honors the agreement and names Rebekka and Idwell Lord and Lady Reed (of a branch family of Reeds, but definitely still nobility). It’s likely that Rhaegar suspects the real reason why Rebekka was granted this honor, but he leaves her be in case he needs her services again someday.
Rebekka and Idwell Reed’s House soon becomes known as the one you don’t fuck with. Alundra keeps Rebekka’s family supplied and paid off to train more assassins and spies so she can use them and lend them out as needed. Rebekka builds her own spy network and even trades information with Varys at times (as well as engaging in the occasional assassination job). Rebekka and Idwell eventually have six children (two sets of twins) delivered by Maester Meera.
Corinne goes with Rebekka to live in her new castle. Rebekka names her sister as a legitimate Reed and personally trains her in stealth and spy work (in addition to Corinne’s personal training as a bard). Though Rebekka does not train Corinne for assassinations, Idwell quietly trains her himself, along with his own cadre of assassins.
When the Greyjoys and Essosi pirates mount their attack, Rebekka and Leo are among those involved in the coastal skirmishes to protect the Vale. In a naval battle where the Bloodhands are also present, the Slagathors manage to sink the enemy ships, including one with a skill pirate captain at the helm. Rebekka notices that the enemy captain is strangely familiar to her and captures him for questioning. The pirate captain is stubborn and extremely loyal to Gabool, so Rebekka takes him back to the Teeth.
Over the next few weeks, Rebekka doesn’t make much progress with her prisoner until Meera finally tells her what Arthur told her about there being another bastard one or two years older than Rebekka. The two bastards had the same mother, but Arthur believed the older child to be dead. Rebekka confronts Arthur directly. He explains that he knew there would be trouble if he tried to keep the baby boy, so he made arrangements to send him to Henry Reed to be raised as HIS bastard instead. But then he had gotten a letter a few months later from Henry saying the baby was dead, and Arthur had believed him. Only now does the shocked Arthur learn that his baby was actually kidnapped by Gabool to be raised as HIS son, both to replace the son of his that Arthur had killed and as a “fuck you” to Arthur. The Graftons were actually aware of the boy because they were dealing with the pirates for several years, and Gabool straight-up told them because he knew Randall hated our family as much as he did.
Rebekka puzzles over how to convince her long-lost brother, Glenn, to turn on Gabool and join her side. While wandering the castle, she finds her mother’s old room for the first time and discovers a treasure trove of diaries and drawings of her babies. The journals also explain the whole, true story about Lady Slagathor murdering people and Maddy feeling like she had to do something about it. Rebekka is furious with Arthur and Meera for months afterwards for not telling her the truth in the first place, but this information is enough to convince Glenn to turn coat and side with the Slagathors, his real family.
Glenn now pitches in and helps the Slagathors plan a counterattack against Gabool, using his intimate knowledge of his “adopted father” against him. The fight is rough at first, but they eventually see that Glenn was telling the truth and showing them an opening right into the heart of Gabool’s forces. Arthur has an epic one-on-one duel against Gabool and just barely wins, killing the pirate king at last. With Gabool dead, the pirate forces split and run, leaving the Slagathors and other Westerosi forces with plenty of loot to show for their trouble.
Glenn sticks around the Teeth for a year or so to get to know the family, but he eventually grows tired of the sedentary life. He goes with Rebekka for a while when she gets her new castle and title, then leaves to explore the rest of Westeros on his own. He becomes a hedge knight and comes back to visit his sister now and then. Later, Rebekka finally confides in Marcus Felix and tells him the truth about their mothers.
The maesters spend the months after Harrenhal dealing with the chaos of brewing war and working through the bureaucracy necessary to establish the maesters in Essos as decided during the tournament. They require more maesters to train new people and oversee the budding program, and Meera seems a natural choice based on her performance at Harrenhal and overseeing the SWORD program. She is summoned to the Citadel to run the program, but once there she immediately argues in favor of building at outpost at the Teeth to train the maesters destined for work in Essos. It’s much closer geographically to Essos (and Braavos in particular, which is the most favorable place for the program to start). The Slagathors are now a great house of the Vale and in a good position to support such an endeavor, and it would make a good base of operations. The maesters agree to this, and after a few months Meera returns to the Vale to head the new training center. There’s plenty of room at the Teeth to host the maesters during their transitions, and the rest of the old towers are restored to house them.
Meera is as attached as always to the Teeth and all its inhabitants. She treats all the children as her own, from the oldest to the youngest. And speaking of children, she gradually develops a close relationship with an Essosi associate she’s been dealing with to help her find places for maesters to work in Essos. As maesters are not allowed to have romantic relationships or children, she keeps her pregnancies hidden and conceals her children (eventually three in all) among Lord Arthur’s many bastards.
Shortly after Harrenhal, events come to a head with Maester Gerrick, Meera’s missing mentor. He is the last surviving Reyne (of Castamere), left alive only because Tywin didn’t know at first that one of the family had gone to the Citadel. The seneschal, who we know to be in the pocket of the Lannisters, ends up expelling Gerrick from Oldtown because he knows Tywin wants the last Reyne dead. Gerrick attempts to flee to Essos, but he’s captured shortly after Harrenhal by the Waynwoods, where Maester Tywinna (herself of Lannister stock, if you couldn’t guess) presides.
Corinne tips Meera off about Gerrick being held captive by the Waynwoods, so Meera pays the family a visit under some pretext. Tywinna tells Meera a fabricated story she clearly doesn’t believe about Gerrick being arrested for helping the Lord of Light fanatics. Though Tywinna is conflicted, she feels she has to capture Gerrick for Tywin because she’s still a Lannister at heart. Meera convinces her friend that she can let Gerrick flee to Essos where he’ll be well out of the way. As extra insurance, she has one of Rebekka’s people break Gerrick out of the cells and sneak him to safety while they’re talking. Tywinna is annoyed because she suspects Meera helped Gerrick escape somehow, but since she and Meera are good friends and Meera had already convinced her it was for the best anyway, Tywinna lets it go.
Meera’s sister Alarys eventually becomes head of the newly built, long-promised sept at the Teeth. Their brother accepts the invitation to work for the Coldwaters for a time, but he eventually returns to the Teeth as well, deciding to stay with his family after all.
Marla Stone follows in Meera’s footsteps and becomes a maester.* Little Lilly* becomes a great scholar studying all the animals she can. She travels far and wide, writing books about animals and her travels, and even discovers a new species of lizard-lions called “crocodiles”. She visits Rebekka years later and gives her a handbook she wrote on how to train gators, which Rebekka puts to good use.
Rupert eventually winds up in Essos a few years after Harrenhal. He’s very confident in his abilities, but, as the youngest (legitimate) Slagathor son, he knows he doesn’t have many opportunities coming his way. He wants to build a name for himself somewhere else and maybe return someday. We hear rumors that he’d leading a mercenary group in Essos, and he starts sending the family periodic updates. That’s not all he sends, either— we sometimes receive ships full of free goodies from Essos to show his enduring love and loyalty to the family.
Gareth Stone heads to Essos with Rupert. Tiberius the Tall goes to Dorne with Marcus Felix for a few years but doesn’t like it there, so he eventually joins Rupert’s company as well.
Geena and Jayne handle matters of coin for the Teeth for years. Geena often travels back and forth between the Teeth and Gulltown, enjoying her independence too much to settle down. It’s always rumored that she’s seeing someone or other, but nothing ever lasts long. In fact, the family starts hearing rumors of men mysteriously dying or disappearing around her in a series of tragic “accidents”. Meera, who knows the truth about Geena’s mother, eventually confronts the girl. Rather than explain or defend herself, Geena flees to Essos and her family never sees or hears from her again.
The Graftons generally have a very favorable view of the Slagathors from Harrenhal on. Lord Marq Grafton becomes Lord of the Vale and eventually becomes Master of Coin to the king, like he always wanted. Marq’s son Gerald rules the Vale from Gulltown, which eventually becomes the de facto capitol of the Vale. He disliked us at first but grows to a more neutral view of us over the years. Viktor never marries; he simply rules the Eyrie for the family in order to maintain it. Randall never likes us and never forgives Arthur for his sister’s death. For the rest of his life, he only sees the Slagathor kids as reminders of his lost sister. Jeremy dies a few years after Harrenhal, and his wife Kinara returns home to Braavos, never to return. -Kale trains with Viktor and becomes a knight. Little Allison hasn’t married yet, but rumors say her love is in Essos and will one day return to her (i.e. Rupert).
The Teeth and Gulltown continue to grow in a sort of symbiotic relationship. While Gulltown is a cultural capitol, the Teeth is an industrial port, its enormous castle towering over everything. The Teeth is all fixed up for use by maesters and others coming through, and the town around the Teeth gradually grows larger and larger. The East-West highway is continually improved and expanded, and eventually a North-south highway is built too, as the Graftons want the roads and increased trade just as much as the Slagathors do. Clifford, Avlon, and Reynar keep the roads safe from mountain men and bandits (the Graftons are used to just bribing people to leave them alone). Some mountain men open legitimate businesses along the roads to cater to travelers and make some extra coin.
Crabbe and Goyle learn to read, as they promised, but they use their newfound knowledge to experiment with fire and explosives and wind up killing themselves.
The Backteeth Boys go on a very successful tour of Westeros with 98 Decrees.
Nina marries into House Upcliff as we arranged before Harrenhal. Unlike most families probably would, the Upcliffs encourage her visions. Nina sometimes warns Meera or her siblings about things they should be wary of or investigating based on these visions. She continues to think her visions come from the Seven and Ysabel never sees fit to correct her; her sister thinks Nina’s faith in the Seven is too strong to shake it now and risk interrupting the visions altogether. The quiet girl has several children and a happy life. She becomes known as a famous yet reclusive painter, and her work crops up here and there and sells for a lot of money each time.
One day, Nina sends out a series of paintings, five in all. Each shows Percival walking with a group of people but highlights a different person. One is sent to Ysabel and focuses on Percival as the leader. One is focused on a child Nina knows to be Leo’s, so it goes to him. One painting is mailed to Meera, which confuses Nina, who senses the painting is for the maester but isn’t aware of Meera’s secret children hidden among the many Slagathor bastards. One painting depicts Rebekka’s child, but Nina refuses to send it because she will never trust Rebekka. And the fifth painting, with lighting focused on a different child, is sent off to parts unknown…