One morning, years later, Lord Nobbrick the Holy climbs out of bed. At the age of 80, this takes a good deal of time. His back bent, his legs stiff, he shuffles through his chamber, being careful not to wake his beloved Arya. He hobbles from his little bedroom, down the cold stone steps, and into the courtyard. Reaching the pond, he feeds the royal swans, as he does every morning. As his great-great-grandfather Ninedrick did.
Arya eventually joins him by the pond. "Let's take a walk," he suggests. They stroll slowly along a path in the morning sun, Nobbrick leaning on his wife for support.
"Let's climb that hill," he says. She looks at him doubtfully, but slips her arm around his waist. An hour later, his face streaming with sweat, his joints aching, they reach the top of the rise.
Though his body is worn with age, his eyes are still as sharp and bright as they ever were. As he peers out over the Fingers, past Wycliffe City, past Midlor Point and Sunset Keep, his gaze settles on a tiny, distant rock in the sea. The Paps.
Nobbrick the Holy turns to his wife and makes another suggestion.
"Let's take our goddamn island back."
In the end, the final re-taking of The Paps is almost anti-climactic. I raise my levies, and after years of avoiding wars and improving my holdings, they easily number in the thousands. There's no need to call in allies or hire mercenaries.
Lord Loras doesn't stand a chance. He's captured immediately, and the island keep folds like a tent. I offer peace and immediately release Loras—the old me certainly would have banished him—and award him an honorary title. He's my vassal, after all. Best to keep him happy.
Loras actually apologizes to me. How nice and fair of him!
Nobbrick the Holy eventually dies of natural causes at age 83. It seems like a good spot to end this game: my heir is already an old man himself, and can't have more than a few years left in his own life. His children are grown, and are as unfamiliar to me as any other stranger in the game. I can't imagine getting much out of inhabiting them. Nobby lived a long life, and died peacefully as benign ruler of all five holdings of The Fingers.
Here's my score for the Game of Checkers:
That is not an impressive score, by any means. Over all those years, in all of Westeros, there are only two other houses that did worse than I did.
But there is one happy little bonus. The lowest score belongs to an old friend.
That's right. House Baelish is dead last.
Suck it, Littlefinger.