Illustration for the chapter The Lost Lord from A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin;
The exiled Lord reflects on his past and his destiny looking at the skulls on poles belonging to the previous Captain Generals of the Golden Company, the largest and most prestigious sellswords company in the world created by George RR Martin.
Reference excerpt from the book: The Lost Lord; A Dance with Dragons
Soldier to the bone, Toyne was fierce but always fair, a father to his men and always generous to the exile lord Jon Connington.
Death had robbed him of his ears, his nose, and all his warmth.
The smile remained, transformed into a glittering golden grin.
All the skulls were grinning, even Bittersteel’s on the tall pike in the center.
What does he have to grin about?
He died defeated and alone, a broken man in an alien land.
On his deathbed, Ser Aegor Rivers had famously commanded his men to boil the flesh from his skull, dip it in gold, and carry it before them when they crossed the sea to retake Westeros.
His successors had followed his example.
Jon Connington might have been one of those successors if his exile had gone otherwise.
He had spent five years with the company, rising from the ranks to a place of honor at Toyne’s right hand.
Had he stayed, it might well have been him the men turned to after Myles died, instead of Harry Strickland.
But Griff did not regret the path he’d chosen.
When I return to Westeros, it will not be as a skull atop a pole.
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