Jaime Lannister woke up from a nightmare in a cold sweat. For sixteen years he had the same dream. However, it was only a transformation of the real nightmare that he truly outlived long time ago. But endlessly repetition, combined with his unhampered imagination, made this memory much more ominous than the Old Nanny’s Tales. This one was a tale about bloody red, radiant green and glorious gold. In his thirty third spring Jaime Lannister thought that he saw everything. That he could not be surprised by any kind of glory or doom. That he experienced all the joy and all the suffer that life can offer to him. But he was so wrong.
He laid on a thin bunk and tried to calm his irregular heartbeat. He stopped himself from vomiting. Jaime thought that the last thing he needs is to vomit in his own tent. He tried to throw away of his mind: the memory of the bodies covered with shrouds of golden hair and blood. When he came back from King’s Landing to Casterly Rock, sixteen years ago, he dreamt about it every single night. He knew, that he will not asleep tonight. Once, he became calm only in the wolf’s hour, when he was too overwhelmed to keep his eyes open. Then, and only then, his sister came back to him. But not anymore.
Only few moments of a peace before the same day. Am I begging for too much? Jaime took of his nightshirt and washed his face with cold water. He slipped into leather pants, jacket and boots, caught a torches and got out of a tent. He was surrendered by a fogg, as delicated as spider’s web, which has been swallowed everything over the horizon: neighbouring tents, belonged to the other commanders, and countless tents of the recruits. Within months, there will be wooden houses and paved streets. They would guide to the stables, made for ten thousands horses, and kitchens, bathrooms and brothels prepared for seventy thousands knights and their squires and commanders. Aerys had never planned anything with so much precision. Jaime thought about it, when he walked through the dusty road in a direction of the rising sun.
But he turned back, because every time when he go to the east he thought about what he had lost. Every time he thought about the past, the moment when he had everything what he ever wanted: the white cloak of the King’s Guard, the body of his beloved sister and the warm sun of King’s Landing. Although, it had been just for a Year of a False Spring, but the memories were grievous they are poisoning every bitter moments of his banishment. But is this truly a banishment? I could have lost my head, like the other men of my family, like the half of the greatest lords in Westeros. As Tyrion says: death is finality, but life is full of possibilities. One of them is “to redeem the trespasses”. That is what king Aerys The Second wrote in his letter, when he called Jaime for one of the commanders in the King’s Army. So Jaime came to fields on the Red Lake a couple of weeks ago and has been started trainings with new recruits from every part of the Seven Kingdoms.
When he walked through the fields of tents, he thought about all these knights, still sweet summer children. They know nothing other than spring, because they were born during the longest spring on this era. Everyone was born after Robert Baratheon’s rebellion or they were children and do not remember anything about it. That was Aerys first and main condition. All of them belong to great families of Westeros, there are no peasants among them. Everyone had his own sigill or is related to the noble houses of the Seven Kingdoms. Even if their stories were written so quickly and roughly. But there was no banner with once great and undefeated beasts. There was no direwolf from Winterfell, no stag from Storm’s End, no falcon from Eyerie… The great houses died. All great lords died, except my father. And I saw the fall of every one of them - thought Jaime but somehow he focused on something else. Afar from him there was a lone rider.