Ned Stark wasn’t the only man to make his dying sister a promise that would end up costing him everything.
Far from it, actually.
In another time and another place, Milorad Mekonnen Trichenberg had been fighting in what was commonly known as Kaira’s Rebellion. The Rebellion started when Kaira Smirnoff (who was once referred to as Alexander Romanov) believed that he should be the ruler of Russia instead of his older foster brother Nicholas. Of course, no one took him seriously, as many believe that Kaira was a bastard born from an adulterous affair and had no right to exist, let alone rule over Russia.
Yet, the attention that should have been focused on the renegade Grand Duke was instead focused on a woman named Hadassah Trichenberg, who was Milorad’s younger sister and the ward to the Czar. Hadassah was supposed to marry a man named Abram Vadimovich Yashin; he was rumored to be a lover of her brother Branislav Lukin Trichenberg. (Of course when Hadassah found that out, she was less than pleased, as her brother Bran’s homosexual liaisons was ruining the family’s reputation.) In her anger, Hadassah forces Nicholas to break the engagement.
If you’ve read Game of Thrones you know where this story is going. If not please continue.
Okay, to make a long story short, Hadassah runs off with a lower class man named William Pennington without anyone’s knowledge or consent. Abram was angry that Hadassah broke off the engagement and eloped with someone else (even though the person he was cheating on her with was her own brother) so he decided that the Romanov family would have to be punished for allowing Hadassah to break the engagement. He dispatched his brothers to break into the Alexander Palace and kill the entire royal family as they slept. That act was seen as unforgivable by not just the Russian people, but the entire world as well. (In fact, Kaira (who took over Russia as Czar) punished him by stripping him and his family of their immense fortune and forcing them to live in the nearby Strasburg Mansion as prisoners.)
So where was Hadassah in all of this?
Here’s the answer.
Hadassah and William were staying at the nearby Strathenberg Fortress while the rebellion was going on. William was forced to fight in Siege of the Neva and was killed. Of course, learning about William’s death upsets Hadassah completely. Plus learning about the deaths of the royal family aggravated her sickness, which now leads to the story that you will be told.
Milorad reached the top of the castle where Hadassah was lying in her bed. Blood was all over the blankets. “Hadassah,” Milorad cried out, “I’m coming to take you home.”
“No, Rory,” said Hadassah. Milorad stared at her. “I’m dying,” she cried out. “I won’t be able to survive the trip back to Trichenberg Manor. Plus you’ve heard about what happened to the royal family, didn’t you?”
“I did,” said Milorad. “But not to worry; they will pay for what they did to the Romanovs.”
“Rory, you have to promise me something,” said Hadassah.
“What am I promising you?” said Milorad.
“I’m serious, Rory,” said Hadassah. “If Abram finds out, he will kill him. You know he will. You must promise me that you will protect him.”
Milorad nodded as Hadassah’s nurse handed him a bundle. Inside the bundle with a crying baby boy. “It’s his son, isn’t it?” said Milorad.
“Yes,” said Hadassah. “This is why you must protect him. Promise me, Rory.”
“I promise,” said Milorad as he stared at the baby. The baby stared at him with stormy gray eyes.
As you can see, the story of Ned Stark’s promise to his sister Lyanna takes on many forms. Thankfully, Milorad had the sense not to be like Ned and lie about his nephew Nichollo being his bastard son.
But that’s for another story.