I really hope that you’ve come here from the beginning of 10.2. Let’s jump right in to the ﬁnale!
Chris found Mal pacing downstairs, shaking his head and muEering to himself.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
He stopped. “Am I doing the right thing?” Mal crossed his arms and looked down.
“About what?” she asked, realizing the answer to her quesNon not long aOer it popped out of her mouth. “Talk to me, Mal.”
“If I do this—if I push Will into this marriage—then he’s not going to be happy,” Mal said. “He deserves to have someone by his
side who he loves the way I love you. Even though I barely knew you before Mom arranged our marriage…I barely knew you, but I
had a chance to get to know you. Will’s not going to have that chance—he’s already goEen to know Jan as someone else.
Someone who someone else has loved. Who loves someone else.
“I don’t know if she’s going to want it. I don’t know if he’ll want it. Or if I would. I guess now that Julian’s geWng married, he’s
going to deal with it beEer, but I sNll wouldn’t want to be him right now…”
“But then I think about the way the world is. I know Julian would have wanted to move out, but he said he could never ﬁnd a
place to live. Brandon’s always said he wants to stay here, but I feel like he would have wanted his own life, too. What else is
there that we don’t even know can change for the beEer? Maybe there are more things like those thinking caps out there. I don’t
know, but Jan does. And I think I’d regret it if I leO this house in Will’s hands without doing every last thing I can.”
“We can’t have it both ways,” Chris said. “It’s the science, or it’s Will being happy.” She tapped her ﬁngers on her chin. “And I
would prefer to see Will inherit Winterfell. He wants to, and I think he wants it for the right reasons.”
Mal nodded. “But what if he doesn’t want it?” he asked. “I know Will wants to be the heir, but like I said, he might not want it like
this. Is it beEer to oﬀer it to Sabriel or to let Will marry someone else?”
“We can decide that when the Nme comes,” Chris said.
Mal nodded. “That sounds like what I’ve been thinking,” he said, sounding relieved. “Let him choose.”
“I feel like I could have stopped this from happening if I hadn’t jumped on that food service job and just went for what I really
wanted,” Chris said.
Mal reached for her hand at the same Nme that Chris reached for his. “Don’t worry about it,” he said. “Maybe there would be all
kinds of invenNons ﬁlling up the house now, but I wouldn’t trade leWng the kids eat for anything. I never wanted them to go
hungry because food was so scarce.” He frowned. “I wanted to give them everything.”
Should she tell him? It couldn’t hurt, and it would probably help.
“Mal,” she said. “there’s a woman named Alayne Stone living in Winterfell. I’m not sure if I believe this, but…apparently she’s
your grandmother, and she’s trying to hurt us.”
Mal stared at her, not understanding. “What—my grandmother—you mean Sansa? How? Why? How can that be possible?”
“Because the ghosts of people we know come back to haunt us,” Chris said. “Is it really that much of a stretch to go from ghosts
to people who have completely risen from the dead?”
“I guess when you put it that way…” Mal trailed oﬀ. “But she did so much for this place. How could she want to hurt us?”
“It sounded like she wanted to be in charge again herself,” Chris said.
Mal frowned. “What are we supposed to do about this? Besides telling the kids and everyone else. Because if it is true, I don’t
want to be the one who went around yelling that it was a lie…”
“Don’t worry,” Chris said. “We’ll make it through. We always have.”
Mal hugged her. “I love you. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
Will didn’t know what to expect when the taxi dropped him oﬀ and he walked up to Winterfell. Here he was. Sabriel was the only
member of his family who he’d seen in three years; phone conversaNons didn’t count. How was everyone doing? Had they
changed as much as he felt like he had? Did they sNll love him? Of course they did. They were his family. But what if they didn’t?
Julian came out to greet Will and waved. “Welcome home,” he said.
“Thanks. It’s great to see you,” Will said. He leaned closer. “Is that…an engagement ring?”
“It is, believe it or not. BriEany asked me to marry her.”
Julian looked down. “No. Why don’t we go inside and talk about it? Your dad wants to ask you something.”
Will walked up the steps and looked into the house. The ﬁrst ﬂoor living and dining area hadn’t changed one bit. He had
remembered the wallpaper as a brighter yellow, but now that it was in front of him, he didn’t see what had made him think that.
But even this incredibly familiar room seemed so diﬀerent aOer years of bare walls and itchy blue carpeNng. Looking back at this
house reminded Will just how lucky he was to be able to live there. No ﬁghNng to survive. They might have to ﬁght, but it was so
they could make life beEer for everyone else.
Why wasn’t Julian marrying Jan? he asked himself.
“Hi, Will.” His dad’s smile didn’t look as big as he remembered it. “Welcome home. Why don’t you grab a sandwich and have a
“It’s good to see you, too,” Will said as he went to get his sandwich. Of course things were going to be diﬀerent aOer three years,
but it seemed like everyone was acNng strangely. Everyone looked a lot older, especially his dad, but they were also so much
more serious than he remembered. “What’s new?”
“Things are going on almost the same as usual.” Mal didn’t know exactly what to say to Will. Neither one of them had chosen to
be out of contact for this long, but three years was sNll a long Nme to go without seeing your son. He hoped the others would be
able to stay in touch more oOen. “Arthur’s going to join you at college soon, and Sabriel is going to go early.”
“That’s…great,” Will said. “I’m looking forward to seeing them.”
“We’ve been talking a lot about the heirship.”
“Has something changed?” Will asked.
“No,” Mal said. “We sNll want you to be heir—if you sNll want it, of course.”
“Why wouldn’t I want it?” Will felt relieved for a moment, but he had a feeling that this quesNon would have an answer that he
didn’t want to hear.
“You asked me earlier why I wasn’t marrying Jan,” Julian said, taking a seat next to Will.
“And why aren’t you? Aside from the fact that you’re a Romance Sim—but why marry someone else, then?”
“Jan is a theorist,” Mal explained. “I thought it would be a good idea to ask if she could help the family, because she could be
invenNng some really interesNng things. But then Julian reminded me that there’s only one way that she can help the family: if
she marries you.”
“What?” Will asked. “Jan—marries me? How is that supposed to work?”
“Well, you don’t have to,” Mal said, wishing he’d thought more about the backup plan now.
“And you’re okay with this?” Will asked Julian. “You think it’s just ﬁne if it happens?”
“Honestly, I’m trying to be happy with it,” Julian said. “But I love BriEany, too, and I think I’m going to be happier spending the
rest of my Nme with her than I would be on my own. It’s not what I wanted. But no maEer what you choose, Will, I’ve found
someone I love, and I’m going to be okay.”
Will turned back to his dad and watched his mom grab a sandwich and take the empty seat at the table. “I sNll don’t get this,” he
said. “You think it’s a good idea for me to marry Uncle Julian’s girlfriend because…of her job?” Could that be a good reason to
marry her? Could anything be a good enough reason, even if he seemed to have his uncle’s permission?
“She does have an important job,” Chris pointed out. “And her work could do more for this community than we could ever
imagine. We’re not going to do anything unNl both of you say yes, but your dad and I think it’s something that’s at least worth
“So what happens if I consider it and I say no?” Will asked. “Does that mean I can’t be the heir anymore? Is ﬁnding a theorist
really that important?”
“Honestly, we don’t know,” Mal said. “We sNll think you’d be the best heir for this family, and we want to choose you. We know
how much this means to you. But we also want to ﬁnd a scienNst.”
“We thought that we would talk about that when the Nme came and give both of you the opNon,” Chris said.
“It’s your choice. Whatever you want.”
But it sure looked like there was a right choice and a wrong one.
Will stared at his sandwich. Even though no one had said these exact words to him, he had always known somewhere deep down
that he would have to make sacriﬁces for his family, whether he was the heir or not. He just hadn’t known what would be asked
He had to marry someone, didn’t he? Will had one year leO in college, and he hadn’t found anyone who he loved, let alone
anyone he loved enough to marry. But when he graduated, he would have to move home, ﬁnd work, and get married quickly in
order to ensure that the family would conNnue into the next generaNon. If he couldn’t ﬁnd someone himself, why not accept the
person who they told him to marry?
But part of him cried out. This was Jan. It was the woman who had sat around the table in her underwear who knew how many
Nmes and danced the smustle as he became a teenager. Julian might be ﬂashing an engagement ring and saying he was ﬁne with
this marriage, but how could his uncle just let go of someone he had loved for so long? If his uncle sNll loved her, how could Will
ever do that? How could Jan ever love him?
You’re asking too much, Will thought as he chewed. I can give up a lot. But can I do this?
He looked across the table at his dad. Mal tried not to show any expression, but he couldn’t keep the smile oﬀ his face enNrely.
Will looked away. He had always wanted his dad to take him seriously. Look at him now. Could he be taken any more seriously?
When Will thought about saying no, he didn’t think he could do that, either. Will had wanted to be the heir ever since he ﬁrst
started to think about choosing his aspiraNon. How could he give that up? How could he give that up to Sabriel? She’d probably
yell at him all the Nme when she actually got control—
“Ow.” Will realized he’d accidentally biEen his lip.
He couldn’t let Sabriel be the heir, and he didn’t love anyone else. What else was he supposed to do?
“Yes. I’ll do it.”
“Are you sure?” Mal asked. “We don’t want to force you into this.”
“Yeah. I am,” Will said. “I sNll want to be the heir, and if it’s the best thing for the family…” He looked around the table. “Then I’ll
“While you’re here,” Chris said, “there’s one more thing we have to explain to you.”
She proceeded to explain to him about how Alayne was Sansa and trying to supplant them. Will had heard it once before, and he
sNll didn’t really believe it, but he wondered if there was something to it now that his mom had bought into the story.
And just aOer that, Julian made the call to talk to Jan.
As soon as Arthur got home from school, he headed for the phone and called up Ricky. He wasn’t ready for college yet, so Arthur
wanted to say goodbye outside of the school where there wasn’t a policy about public displays of aﬀecNon. Then he sat down to
read while he waited and went outside to greet Ricky aOer seeing him arrive from the window.
“Hey there!” Arthur said, mimicking Sabriel’s ﬁnger‐gun gesture because he felt like it.
“What’s up?” Arthur smiled. “And how come you’re not going to college? I’ll miss you there.”
Ricky shrugged. “I just don’t feel like I’m ready to grow up yet.” He didn’t even realize unNl a moment aOer he stopped speaking
that he was smiling. It was just so easy to smile back at Arthur.
“Well, I wish you’d come with me,” Arthur said. “But I guess if you don’t have to grow up, then there’s no reason why you
“Except maybe if it’ll keep the girls away,” Ricky joked.
Arthur nodded. “Speaking of which…”
“Yes?” Ricky looked like he was about to crack up.
So Arthur decided it was a good Nme to shut up and kiss Ricky.
“How long have you been wanNng to do that?” Ricky asked.
“Since…not that long aOer I met you.”
Unfortunately, Arthur couldn’t set his studies aside, but he could chat with Ricky while he did so.
“Is this as boring as it looks?” Ricky asked.
“Yes,” Arthur answered. “I’m not even sure what I’m studying right now. The words all look the same. Oh—I think it’s creaNvity.”
“You can’t blame me for not wanNng to go to college.” He leaned back.
Will found himself siWng next to BriEany at the mahjong table and looking at her without being able to think of anything to say.
His uncle loved BriEany. They were going to be happy. So why was she one of the last people who he would have wanted to sit
with at the mahjong table right now? She’d always seemed pleasant enough.
“I know this probably isn’t something you expected—me marrying your uncle,” BriEany observed, aware that she was technically
going to be Will’s aunt.
“Probably?” Will asked. “I don’t know what I expected, but it’s been a long Nme since I’ve been here. Of course something’s
changed.” More than something.
Will turned his face away from BriEany so she couldn’t see the tears welling up.
When Jan came over, the two of them sat down at the threshold of the house to talk, and Julian explained what everyone had
been talking about: the discussion of marrying her to Will, the decision to let the two of them decide, Julian’s engagement to
BriEany, and Will’s decision.
“You’re breaking up with me?” Jan asked Julian.
“Yes,” Julian said, not trying to sidestep the quesNon. He’d been hoping that he magically wouldn’t have to explain this. “I love—I
sNll love you. But I never wanted to make more of a commitment to you, and I didn’t think you did, either. And then this came
along, and I realized I did want to be with one person—”
“At least you told me.” Jan didn’t want to hear anymore. She tried to keep her emoNons oﬀ her face. “But if you didn’t think I
was the marrying kind, then why exactly do you think I should marry your nephew?”
“I’m not going to try to persuade you,” Julian said. “But I will say it’s the chance you’ve always wanted to stop coming up with
theories and start puWng your ideas into pracNce.”
Jan got to her feet to think about that. Julian might have been a prick, but he had a good point. If she joined the family, she
would have an opportunity that no one at her lab had ever given her: the chance to translate some of her ideas for new
technologies into reality. Her superiors had always said that they were just fantasy contrapNons, but Jan knew that she could
make the machine that put everyone into a beEer mood a reality. She’d just been too afraid to do it on her own and risk losing
her job over it. And if she took this chance, the most powerful family in Winterfell would back her up.
She realized that she was smiling and tried to make herself stop.
“I’ll do it,” she told Julian.
AOer all, she had nothing right now besides a job where people didn’t take her theories seriously. Something was beEer than
“Great.” Julian hugged Jan. “You won’t regret it. I hope this will make you happy.”
Jan realized she was holding Julian too closely and let go. She had already started trying to forget him. She shouldn’t even let him
touch her or want to let him touch her.
“You’ll like Will,” Julian assured Jan. “He’s a great kid.”
She decided to hit the books. AOer all, she was here because she had a job to do. Might as well get on with it.
Sabriel had been demoted.
Blah blah blah her boss wanted someone who would do what she was told, not someone with a brain.
There went another one of her plans—this one was for impressing the scholarship commiEee with her work experience and her
interest in poliNcs. It was a less important plan than becoming the heir, but Sabriel hadn’t needed anything else to go wrong.
Luckily, the downstairs sink was broken, which meant Sabriel could take it out on something.
“Take that!” she screamed. “ You ARE a lying, cheaNng crook, and don’t you try to convince me or ANYONE ELSE otherwise! I
don’t know why anyone works for you!”
Unfortunately, Arthur seemed to be right: this wasn’t actually working to ﬁx the sink. And even though hiWng stuﬀ could be really
fun, she wasn’t accomplishing anything besides geWng wet.
So Sabriel sat down at the chess table, wishing she could take another nap instead. How many hours had she spent in front of it?
She sNll didn’t have her logic scholarship to show for it. Fat lot of good this was doing. She set out the pieces, slamming each one
against the board.
“Can I play, or would you rather be here by yourself?” Will asked. He didn’t know if Sabriel was going to bite his head oﬀ like she
had at Spencer’s house, but he needed to talk to someone who wasn’t involved in what had happened around the dinner table,
and Arthur was hiWng the books with Ricky.
“You really want to play this god‐awful game? Go ahead. I’m not going to stop you.”
Will looked at the board, then advanced his ﬁrst piece. “Your move.” If he imagined it, he thought, they could both be teenagers
again, when none of this had happened.
“Did you do it?” Sabriel asked.
“Are you going to marry Jan?” It was probably a stupid quesNon. Otherwise, her parents would have come to her before now, but
no one had seen ﬁt to ﬁll her in. They were probably scared. They should have been.
“Yes,” he said. “Believe it or not, I do care about this family.”
“You didn’t have to do that,” Sabriel said. She had to admit that she was kind of impressed that Will had done it, though.
This wasn’t what Will had expected when he had thought about being the heir as a kid, though. What if it could have been
diﬀerent? It didn’t maEer. He had made his choice, and now he had to live with it.
“Fine,” Sabriel said. “God, I’m so ready to start college. You have no idea.”
“You’re going early, then?” Will asked as the light started to fall. He wasn’t sure what he thought of that.
“Of course I am,” Sabriel said. “I’m bored out of my mind. There’s nothing leO to do here.”
She looked diﬀerent in the dark. In fact, Sabriel almost looked—vulnerable? No, that couldn’t be it.
“I get that,” Will said. “And—just hold on.” That was what he was doing.
“I don’t need your pity,” Sabriel muEered from across the table.
Upstairs, Brandon approached Lily to talk about his plans. He knew he wasn’t going to live forever, and because Lily was immortal
and was working her way up in his organizaNon, he wanted her to take over as the Law of Winterfell. “I wanted to know how work
was going for you,” he said. “Because I’ve got a lot of plans. Even though that ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed’
provision seems to be falling by the wayside…”
Lily turned away and closed her eyes. She didn’t want to think about this now.
“—and then…” Brandon stopped in the middle of his gesture. “Why aren’t you listening to me?”
“What?” Brandon answered. “No. No way. I’ll talk to whoever did that and ﬁre his ass if I have to. You’re geWng back in the
“But you can’t do that and be an example of abiding by the law for everyone else,” Lily said. “And it is the law now: you get ﬁred,
you can’t go back to work in the same ﬁeld. It’s an uncommonly silly law, and it hurts a lot of people, and I know you tried to stop
it from being codiﬁed. But it’s the law.” She turned away again. “It’s over.”
“Not yet,” Brandon said. “Even if you can’t be the new Law, I’ll ﬁnd someone else who can be trusted to do it aOer I die.”
“Who?” she asked. “The kids are going to have to go into their own ﬁelds. And I don’t know who else we can trust.”
“Maybe Maya or BriEany could do it,” Brandon suggested. “I’m sure there’s someone.”
She didn’t look convinced, and he didn’t feel convinced, either. So Brandon put a smile on his face. “Cheer up. Everything’s going
to be ﬁne.”
“If I’m going to go to college, I’d beEer go now before the phones die again.” Sabriel got up from the chess table, then gave it a
slap. “I am not going to miss you,” she told the Nmers.
“All right,” Will said. “See you back at Oldtown.”
For once, he reﬂected, he actually wanted to go back to his house.
But instead of siWng at the chess table, he decided to get up the nerve to introduce himself to Jan.
She had cooked pork chops, so Will took a plate and sat down at the table next to her, then took a bite. “These are delicious,” he
said. “Where did you get the recipe?”
“From one of your mom’s cookbooks,” Jan said. She stared at her food, then put down her fork. “Excuse me.”
What was he doing wrong?
ExisNng, probably. She hadn’t asked for this. If Will was Jan, he wouldn’t have wanted to talk to himself. But he hoped that
someday, she would want to speak to him.
Arthur and Sabriel each made the phone calls to ask for the results of their scholarship applicaNons and discovered that, between
them, they had earned $6500 in scholarship money (plus an extra one thousand for living expenses).
They each said their goodbyes to their parents, though Arthur expressed a liEle more anxiety about leaving home than Sabriel did.
“You’ll do a great job,” both Mal and Chris said, telling both Arthur and Sabriel how proud of them they were.
And one by one, their taxis came to take them to Oldtown and the next stage of their lives, where Will would wait for them once
Next Nme on An Apocalypse of Ice: I’m actually going to be taking a break from Winterfell for a liEle while. Here’s what my
Nmeline for future storytelling looks like:
+ Will is geWng a Bachelor Challenge! This is intended to make up for his arranged marriage to Jan. I’ve already played the
challenge itself, so now that this is done, I’m going to start on the BC.
+ AOer that, I’m going to come back to Winterfell and bring on generaNon 5 (plus the ﬁnal member of generaNon 4).
+ Then, whenever I reach somewhere that resembles a natural stopping‐point, I’ll leave Winterfell again to tell the story of the
lovely Eloise Doran at the Boolpropian Round Robin Legacy!
So keep an eye out on the Bachelor Challenge board, and Happy Simming!
No, this transiNon ouoit is not going to stop being funny.
Keep an eye out on the Bachelor Challenge board, and Happy Simming!