Game of Thrones: Path of the Hungry Bear

When you're reborn as Jorah Mormont you ain't got much. A Dad looking to bale and go spend his days hanging out with the guys on the Wall, a wild Aunt raising your wild cousins you can't stand, an arranged marriage to a girl you never met with a dowry almost low enough to be an insult, and a populace of smallfolk so inebriated and incompetent its no wonder nothing's changed around here in 8,000 years. Hopefully the gold finger granted by Levid's Magically Wheel of Reincarnation can help. A really nice pair of testicles. With that, the right attitude, and a shovel I have everything I need to dig a nice grave to lay in. Or Bag End. Let's see which happens first. You can support me and my family at ko - fi . com / jmanm

JManM · Book&Literature
Not enough ratings
74 Chs

The King Comes To Winterfell

Mid 298 Summer Eddard Stark

"Damn it, Ned. When I asked how your home compared to Weathertop, I didn't mean to offend." Robert frowned under his heavy black mustache. 

Years of ruling the Seven Kingdoms and their colony thickened the man up, and if anything Robert was even more muscular than in their youth, he simply hid it under some padding. Ned felt like he couldn't get his arms around his best friends back, so wide were his chest and shoulders. 

Behind the broad and heavy King came his sons, the crown prince and princes of the realm. His oldest boy, Orys came forth to clasp his hand, and at newly four and ten he looked bigger and stronger than his father had at six and ten, making him bigger than most men will ever be. To Ned, if felt like he'd stuck his hand in a bear's paw. 

"I wish we'd gotten to meet under better circumstances, Lord Stark." The crown prince failed to keep the excitement from leaking onto his face, "It's an honor to meet you, but I'll cut it short so that you and father can commemorate Jon Arryn together."

Behind him came a procession of four more brothers, and Robert's oldest daughter, but not Ned's own sister, who recently birthed Robert's eighth son. Though Ned's heart ached for the missed chance for Lyanna to come home to Winterfell, he also felt like he dodged an arrow, with the woman staying south to take care of her young children. Benjen stood nearby with his 'bastard son' and smallfolk wife, and their three real children. Ned didn't want any chance of Lyanna's motherly instincts ruining their decade and a half long ruse. 

Robert had already moved on to greeting Benjen, and Ned's heart leapt into his throat when he turned to Jon and the King's hand moved towards his sword, a Valyrian blade gained during one of his overseas adventures with Jorah Mormont. They'd sailed together several times after their invasion of Slaver's Bay, adding the cities Tolos, Elyria, and even old Volantis as territories of the Seven Kingdoms, and always returning to Westeros with hulls full of treasure, making Robert the wealthiest king in the history of the Seven Kingdoms. The man's five and ten year long rule is considered a golden age, not of peace like King Jaehaerys I, but The Golden Age of Warriors, a time of unprecedented military might and conquest. Not a polity in the world dared deny King Robert Baratheon, lest he summon up an unstoppable host to strike them down. Looking at the naturally fearsome Orys Baratheon, the dynasty could easily continue holding onto that incredible prestige. 

After a moment that seemed like a hundred, Robert withdrew a small scroll from his belt bag. 

"Here boy." he said as he handed it to young Jon, "Proof that you are a bastard no longer, but your father's son and heir. From now on, you are Jon Stark of Moat Cailin." 

Ned's heart returned to its regular beating and a smile split his face. The family began reconstruction of the great fortress of Moat Cailin years ago, and made Benjen its lord. Now upon his death, it would pass to Jon without trouble, and both brothers will have done their part in repaying their sister for their mistakes. Nearby, Ned missed the twist in the smallfolk woman's face.

I didn't. 

After that, Robert and he retreated to his solar with horns of spiced mead, the pair finally had the time to talk about the passing of their foster father. 

"How was he in his final days?" Ned asked with his arms crossed over his chest. 

"Paranoid like no other." Robert admitted after wetting his whistle with a little taste of that good spiced mead enjoying that tingle that cut through the sweetness, "Any time I'd join the Small Council he'd always start things off with Varis updating him on the comings and goings of Jorah Mormont and Leyton Hightower. He was so certain that the two of them are working some kind of conspiracy that I'd assumed his final words were, 'Mormont finally killed me.'"

"What did he say?" Ned inquired with a frown. 

"Just a final message of faith in his son." Robert remembered with a far off look, "'The seed is strong.' Never saw a boy that didn't apply to more in my life. Robert Arryn is a sickly mousy looking halfwit. We'll have to look after the boy and his interests closely for Jon to get any peace in the next life. The Seven know Jon looked after me and mine." 

Ned lamented the description of Jon's only remaining child, hoping it an exaggeration made in poor humor, "May the gods, Old and New, be with him." 

"Onto business, Ned." Robert smirked, instantly overcoming the melancholy mood, "I mostly left ruling to Jon, and now I need someone else I can trust to run things should I ever feel the need to get on a ship and conquer more of Essos. Hahaha! The Essosi barely have the stomach to fight for it to begin with, let alone fight me! It's basically free land out there!" 

Ned felt less than enthusiastic about Robert letting all the success get to his head. How much of Westeros's military hegemony came directly from Jorah Mormont's sorcery, a magic now proven more potent than the dragons of the Targaryens, and one they would soon lose. Last Ned saw of the Lord of Bear Island, he looked thin, stretched out like… butter scraped over too much bread. The walking nightmare breaking under the burden of his power. Almost pitiable if Ned didn't know the monster still very capable of lashing out under that sallow skin. 

As if sensing the subject of Ned's thoughts Robert cleared his throat, "Far Mossovy. What's going on with that?" 

"You'd know better than me, Robert. Jorah is far closer to you." Ned admitted, "I'm far more familiar with his wife and oldest son. All I know is what he sent back in his missive with the rest of his fleet." 

"Found Valyrian monsters infesting the land." Robert mused then briefly chuckled, "Stayed behind the hunt them down for two bloody years and counting, the bastard. Damn duty, damn family, damn the realm, I'm going hunting! Sounds like a dream." 

Ned knew Robert wasn't a perfect king from their frequent correspondence, and the lesser correspondence he kept with his sister and the late Jon Arryn, but by and large King Robert rose to the challenge of maintaining his reputation as a great warrior king, and some would argue his larger than life personality and appetites enhanced his kingship. By embodying such extremes, he stokes the flames of aspiration within his people, who envy and adore him, and strive to be like him. 

It seemed quite foolish to Ned's ear, but it's the ruling ideology of Jorah Mormont and of Robert Baratheon, and though the song of history might turn on them someday, in the present they stand like invincible heroes. 

"I need you to become the Hand of the King, Ned." Robert broke Ned out of his pondering, "You've no looming doom hanging over the North to keep you here. Come south, you can serve the North just as well by helping me keep all the Kingdoms running smoothly, maybe even more so." 

"I accept." Ned smiled at his friend's offer. 

He trusted his son to manage things in Winterfell, the boy holding tight to the values Ned taught him, passed down from his time with Jon Arryn. Rob Stark cleaved tightly to honor and duty, and though he spent more freely than Ned liked, he'd have to gain a taste for far more finery than he has access to to make a dent in the family treasury. 

"What'd you think of my daughter for your son?" Robert asked while giving his beard a good scratch. 

"How old is she?" Ned queried, "I couldn't tell myself." 

"Aye, she's two and ten, though she looks a bit older, by the time your lad is of a respectable marrying age she'll be long since ready." Robert answered and both frowned at the memory of Jorah explaining the age gap between him and his firstborn. 

There was something wrong with old Jeor, and Ned suspected it was induced by extended proximity to Maege Mormont. 

"I'm quite excited to hear about the dowry a princess brings." Ned nodded and the two of them clanked their drinking horns. 


We'll be staying with Ned for a while as he shows us the changes Jorah brought to Westeros. I'm open to alternative PoV's, so feel free to recommend them, just don't get your feefees hurt if I ignore it.

While I've been working through these final chapters, my mind has turned to my next project. I've got quite a bit of backlog to work through, and so I'll open the future to a vote. 

RWBY SI: The Krogan that Jacked Jaune's Life

Persona 5 Royal SI: A Pirate's Life For Me

Zabuza's Waifu Adventure

or a new project 

Worm: The Lizard Daddy that Replaced Armsmaster