Seven gods be damned, the ennui of travel. Oh, how it pains me. It’s so bloody monotonous. And what dares break the monotony after many weary leagues and long, cold nights? Deadly peril, of course. Never a soothing mug of ale, nor snifter of port. Never a comfortable down pillow warmed by a friendly hearth and the merriment of friends. Oh no. Arrows tearing scrotums free from your loved ones and cannibals sizing up the meat of your ass, that’s the sort of respite you get on forced travel. Well no thank you, I say. Or I would say if I could get passed this infernal speech impediment of mine.
Blast the eyes of every fool who stares at me when I mutter that with a deplorable mixture of pity and scorn on their faces as if they’re never quite sure just what brand of idiot I might be. If only my addled speech centers had thought to get focused on “Take a picture it’ll last longer” or perhaps “Eat shit, codswallop.” Alas, Hodor. It’s not even a word. It’s not even my name. My name is Walder.
What unenviable night terror that prolongs itself through so many sunrises this is. Hodor. The chords of my throat, the curse of my lips and turn of my tongue so oft refusing to do what I demand and when I wish to contribute a thought or musing to a conversation, naught but my silly name slips free. Oh, we’re having an issue with Wildings slipping down from beyond the wall and razing crops on nearby farmsteads? Why, I have a brilliant plan to deal with it. Hodor. Oh goodness, it seems there’s political strife in King’s Landing and my lord Stark is required to go to the King? Well then, I have some sage advice. Hodor. Our former ward Theon Greyjoy has taken Castle Winterfell, executed most of my friends and family and now the castle is buring to the ground and I’m running for my life with the two little lords, a captured Wildling and a pair of crazed Direwolves? Good thing I can say Hodor, we’ll be right as rain in no time.
So it seems I’m a homeless, jobless orphan of all things and I’m serving as pack mule to a boy who’s been hurled from a window and can no longer walk. I’m a mule. No, I’m an ass. Much more eloquent, that. The grandest ass in the north.
One day does tend to run into the next up here but I’m feeling certain it’s been several days since Winterfell was taken and we escaped to the wild. Have you any idea what we’ve seen in that time? Trees and rocks and once I witnessed a pair of otters humping by the river. I’m no strategist but I can’t help feeling our plan of attack just now is poor at best. Go to the Wall? How far is the Wall from here? Some 200 miles? A leisurely stroll, hmm? With me carrying 60lbs of boy on my back over uneven ground in unfamiliar land and having to remain hidden lest we get captured or murdered by thugs and brigands. At best we’re covering two miles per hour. We walk 14 hours per day, let’s say, and we’ll be there in a week or two. Bollocks, fate will never allow for such ease. I’ll be genuinely surprised if we manage to get halfway there before one of us gets scurvy and someone else gets eaten by one of these wolves.
Alas, it seems as though we’re approaching some swamp land. Yes, a heretofore unexplored joy, potential drownings and quicksand. And perchance a swamp monster because why shouldn’t swamp monsters exist in this terrible world?
Ahh. Hodor me.