Tyrion of House Lannister; Heir to Casterly Rock & The Westerlands
Not surprisingly, I haven’t touched a woman in days. Mostly because King Robert has died and there’s a war coming. I should have known Ned Stark asking me about that knife was trouble. Ned now rots in a dungeon and my repulsive nephew has been coronated. Renly has fled the city, gone to Highgarden, and been coronated, and likely very soon Stannis will of course be coronated on Dragonstone according to Varys. I remember once Renly jested that Stannis wanted to ban brothels, which tells you all you need to know about the man, but my sister hopes the Baratheon brothers will destroy each other and that we can wipe out the winner. Renly has the might of the Stormlands and Reach behind him 100,000 in all so the likelihood of Stannis, who has a mere 5,000 according to rumors, being able to do any sufficient damage is folly. I am no military strategist but keeping Ned Stark alive is easily our best option to keep peace with the North so we can deal with Renly. I told Cersei this and she agrees as well. My sister has some sense.
Joffrey has named my father Tywin the new Hand of the King. I knew this would come sooner or later and I’m dreading his arrival. Upon hearing this news Jaime comes to see me. Jaime says “Tyrion, with father coming I hope you are not gonna do what I think you are.” “And would I be thinking about doing?” I say back but I already know what he suspects. I am not keen on the prospect of staying here while father rules. When I became a man, my father put me in charge of all the drains at Casterly Rock. The water never flowed better but he never gave me more power than that, I want to prove that I can help this family.
Tyrion has a decision to make.
A. Ask to be given rule over your birthright Casterly Rock.
B. Ask to be given a position on the Small Council.
Daenerys of House Targaryen; Exiled Princess of the Seven Kingdoms
When he had taken his pleasure, Khal Drogo rose from our sleeping mats to tower above me. His skin shone dark as bronze in the ruddy light from the brazier, the faint lines of old scars visible on his broad chest. Ink-black hair, loose and unbound, cascaded over his shoulders and down his back, well past his waist. The khal's mouth twisted in a frown "The stallion who mounts the world has no need of iron chairs." I propped myself on an elbow to look up at him, so tall and magnificent. I loved his hair especially. It had never been cut; he had never known defeat. "It was prophesied that the stallion will ride to the ends of the earth," I say. "The earth ends at the black salt sea," Drogo answered at once. He wet a cloth in a basin of warm water to wipe the sweat and oil from his skin. "No horse can cross the poison water." "In the Free Cities, there are ships by the thousand," I told him, as I had told him before. "Wooden horses with a hundred legs, that fly across the sea on wings full of wind." Khal Drogo did not want to hear it. "We will speak no more of wooden horses and iron chairs." He dropped the cloth and began to dress. "This day I will go to the grass and hunt, woman wife," he announced as he shrugged into a painted vest and buckled on a wide belt with heavy medallions of silver, gold, and bronze. “Yes, my sun and stars.” I said.
After the khal and his bloodriders had ridden off with their bows, I summoned my handmaids. My body felt so fat and ungainly now that I welcomed the help of their strong arms and deft hands, whereas before I had often been uncomfortable with the way they fussed and fluttered about me. They scrubbed me clean and dressed me in sandsilk, loose and flowing. As Doreah combed out my hair, she sent Jhiqui to find Ser Jorah Mormont. The knight came at once. He wore horsehair leggings and painted vest, like a rider. Coarse black hair covered his thick chest and muscular arms. "My princess. How may I serve you?" "You must talk to my lord husband," I said. "Drogo says the stallion who mounts the world will have all the lands of the earth to rule, and no need to cross the poison water. He talks of leading his khalasar east after Rhaego is born, to plunder the lands around the Jade Sea." The knight looked thoughtful. "The khal has never seen the Seven Kingdoms," he said. "They are nothing to him. If he thinks of them at all, no doubt he thinks of islands, a few small cities clinging to rocks in the manner of Lorath or Lys, surrounded by stormy seas. The riches of the east must seem a more tempting prospect."
"But he must ride west," I said, despairing. "Please, help me make him understand." I had never seen the Seven Kingdoms either, no more than Drogo, yet I felt as though I knew them from all the tales Viserys told me. Viserys had promised me a thousand times that he would take me back one day, but he was back in Pentos waiting for my husband’s army which he would never get if I don’t do something. “The Dothraki do things in their own time, for their own reasons," the knight answered. "Have patience, Princess. We will go home I promise you.” Home? The word made me feel sad. Ser Jorah had his Bear Island, but what was home to me? A few tales, names recited as solemnly as the words of a prayer, the fading memory of a red door . . . was Vaes Dothrak to be my home forever? When I looked at the crones of the dosh khaleen, was I looking at my future?
Ser Jorah must have seen the sadness on my face. "A great caravan arrived during the night, Khaleesi. Four hundred horses, from Pentos by way of Norvos and Qohor, under the command of Merchant Captain Byan Votyris. Illyrio may have sent a letter. Would you care to visit the Western Market?" "Yes," I said. "I would like that." The markets came alive when a caravan had come in. You could never tell what treasures the traders might bring this time, and it would be good to hear men speaking Valyrian again, as they did in the Free Cities. "Irri, have them prepare a litter." "I shall tell your khas," Ser Jorah said, withdrawing. If Khal Drogo had been with me, I would have ridden her silver. Among the Dothraki, mothers stayed on horseback almost up to the moment of birth, and I did not want to seem weak in my husband's eyes. But with the khal off hunting, it was pleasant to lie back on soft cushions and be carried across Vaes Dothrak, with red silk curtains to shield me from the sun. Ser Jorah saddled up and rode beside me, with the four young men of my khas and my handmaids.
The Western Market was a great square of beaten earth surrounded by warrens of mud-baked brick, animal pens, whitewashed drinking halls. Hummocks rose from the ground like the backs of great subterranean beasts breaking the surface, yawning black mouths leading down to cool and cavernous storerooms below. The interior of the square was a maze of stalls and crookback aisles, shaded by awnings of woven grass. A hundred merchants and traders were unloading their goods and setting up in stalls when they arrived, yet even so the great market seemed hushed and deserted compared to the teeming bazaars that I remembered from Pentos and the other Free Cities. The caravans made their way to Vaes Dothrak from east and west not so much to sell to the Dothraki as to trade with each other, Ser Jorah had explained. The riders let them come and go unmolested, so long as they observed the peace of the sacred city, did not profane the Mother of Mountains or the Womb of the World, and honored the crones of the dosh khaleen with the traditional gifts of salt, silver, and seed. The Dothraki did not truly comprehend this business of buying and selling.
I liked the strangeness of the Eastern Market too, with all its queer sights and sounds and smells. I often spent my mornings there, nibbling tree eggs, locust pie, and green noodles, listening to the high ululating voices of the spellsingers, gaping at manticores in silver cages and immense grey elephants and the striped black-and-white horses of the Jogos Nhai. I enjoyed watching all the people too: dark solemn Asshai'i and tall pale Qartheen, the bright-eyed men of Yi Ti in monkey-tail hats, warrior maids from Bayasabhad, Shamyriana, and Kayakayanaya with iron rings in their nipples and rubies in their cheeks, even the dour and frightening Shadow Men, who covered their arms and legs and chests with tattoos and hid their faces behind masks. The Eastern Market was a place of wonder and magic for me, but the western market smelled of home.
"When I was a little girl, I loved to play in the bazaar," I told Ser Jorah as we wandered down the shady aisle between the stalls. "It was so alive there, all the people shouting and laughing, so many wonderful things to look at . . . though we seldom had enough coin to buy anything . . . well, except for a sausage now and again, or honeyfingers . . . do they have honeyfingers in the Seven Kingdoms, the kind they bake in Tyrosh?" "Cakes, are they? I could not say, Princess." The knight bowed. "If you would pardon me for a time, I will seek out the captain and see if he has letters for us." I offer to help him look "There is no need for you to trouble yourself." Ser Jorah glanced away impatiently. "Enjoy the market. I will rejoin you when my business is concluded." Curious, I thought as I watched him stride off through the throngs. I didn't see why I should not go with him. Perhaps Ser Jorah meant to find a woman after he met with the merchant captain. Whores frequently traveled with the caravans, she knew, and some men were queerly shy about their couplings. I gave a shrug. "Come," I told the others. We continue through the market. When Doreah looked longingly at a fertility charm at a magician's booth, I took that too and gave it to the handmaid, thinking that now I should find something for Irri and Jhiqui as well.
Turning a corner, we came upon a wine merchant offering thimble-sized cups of his wares to the passersby. "Sweet reds," he cried in fluent Dothraki, "I have sweet reds, from Lys and Volantis and the Arbor. Whites from Lys, Tyroshi pear brandy, firewine, pepperwine, the pale green nectars of Myr. Smokeberry browns and Andalish sours, I have them, I have them." He was a small man, slender and handsome, his flaxen hair curled and perfumed after the fashion of Lys. When I paused before his stall, he bowed low. "A taste for the khaleesi? I have a sweet red from Dorne, my lady, it sings of plums and cherries and rich dark oak. A cask, a cup, a swallow? One taste, and you will name your child after me." I smiled. "My son has his name, but I will try your summerwine," I said in Valyrian, Valyrian as they spoke it in the Free Cities. The words felt strange on my tongue, after so long. "Just a taste, if you would be so kind." The merchant must have taken me for Dothraki, with my clothes and my oiled hair and sun-browned skin. When I spoke, he gaped at me in astonishment. "My lady, you are . . . Tyroshi? Can it be so?" "My speech may be Tyroshi, and my garb Dothraki, but I am of Westeros, of the Sunset Kingdoms," I told him. Doreah stepped up beside me saying "You have the honor to address Daenerys of the House Targaryen, Daenerys Stormborn, khaleesi of the riding men and princess of the Seven Kingdoms."
The wine merchant dropped to his knees. "Princess," he said, bowing his head. "Rise," I commanded him. "I would still like to taste that summerwine you spoke of." The man bounded to his feet. "That? Dornish swill. It is not worthy of a princess. I have a dry red from the Arbor, crisp and delectable. Please, let me give you a cask." Khal Drogo's visits to the Free Cities had given him a taste for good wine, and I knew that such a noble vintage would please him. "You honor me, ser," I murmured. "The honor is mine." The merchant rummaged about in the back of his stall and produced a small oaken cask. Burned into the wood was a cluster of grapes. "The Redwyne sigil," he said, pointing, "for the Arbor. There is no finer drink." "Khal Drogo and I will share it together. Aggo, take this back to my litter, if you'd be so kind." The wineseller beamed as the Dothraki hefted the cask. I did not realize that Ser Jorah had returned until I heard the knight say, "No." His voice was strange, brusque. "Aggo, put down that cask."
Aggo looked at me. I gave a hesitant nod. "Ser Jorah, is something wrong?" "I have a thirst. Open it, wineseller." The merchant frowned. "The wine is for the khaleesi, not for the likes of you, ser." Ser Jorah moved closer to the stall. "If you don't open it, I'll crack it open with your head." He carried no weapons here in the sacred city, save his hands yet his hands were enough, big, hard, dangerous, his knuckles covered with coarse dark hairs. The wineseller hesitated a moment, then took up his hammer and knocked the plug from the cask.
"Pour," Ser Jorah commanded. The four young warriors of Dany's khas arrayed themselves behind him, frowning, watching with their dark, almond-shaped eyes. "It would be a crime to drink this rich a wine without letting it breathe." The wineseller had not put his hammer down. Jhogo reached for the whip coiled at his belt, but I stopped him with a light touch on the arm. "Do as Ser Jorah says," I said. People were stopping to watch. The man gave me a quick, sullen glance. "As the princess commands." He had to set aside his hammer to lift the cask. He filled two thimble-sized tasting cups, pouring so deftly he did not spill a drop. Ser Jorah lifted a cup and sniffed at the wine, frowning. "Sweet, isn't it?" the wineseller said, smiling. "Can you smell the fruit, ser? The perfume of the Arbor. Taste it, my lord, and tell me it isn't the finest, richest wine that's ever touched your tongue." Ser Jorah offered him the cup. "You taste it first." "Me?" The man laughed. "I am not worthy of this vintage, my lord. And it's a poor wine merchant who drinks up his own wares." His smile was amiable, yet I could see the sheen of sweat on his brow. "You will drink," I said, cold as ice. The wineseller shrugged, reached for the cup . . . and grabbed the cask instead, flinging it at me with both hands. Ser Jorah bulled into me, knocking me out of the way. The cask bounced off his shoulder and smashed open on the ground. I stumbled and lost my feet. "No," I screamed, thrusting my hands out to break my fall and Doreah caught me by the arm and wrenched me backward, so I landed on my legs and not my belly.
The trader vaulted over the stall, darting between Aggo and Rakharo. Quaro reached for an arakh that was not there as the blond man slammed him aside. He raced down the aisle. I heard the snap of Jhogo's whip, saw the leather lick out and coil around the wineseller's leg. The man sprawled face first in the dirt. A dozen caravan guards had come running. With them was the master himself, Merchant Captain Byan Votyris, a diminutive Norvoshi with skin like old leather and a bristling blue mustachio that swept up to his ears. He seemed to know what had happened without a word being spoken. "Take this one away to await the pleasure of the khal," he commanded, gesturing at the man on the ground. Two guards hauled the wineseller to his feet. "His goods I gift to you as well, Princess," the merchant captain went on. "Small token of regret, that one of mine would do this thing." Doreah and Jhiqui helped me back to my feet. The poisoned wine was leaking from the broken cask into the dirt. "How did you know?" I asked Ser Jorah, trembling. "How?" "I did not know, Khaleesi, not until the man refused to drink, but once I read Magister Illyrio's letter, I feared." His dark eyes swept over the faces of the strangers in the market. "Come. Best not to talk of it here."
I was near tears as they carried me back. The taste in my mouth was one I had known before: fear. For years I had lived in terror of Viserys, afraid of waking the dragon. This was even worse. It was not just for myself that I feared now, but for my baby. He must have sensed my fright, for he moved restlessly inside her. I stroked the swell of my belly gently, wishing I could reach him, touch him, soothe him. "You are the blood of the dragon, little one," I whispered as my litter swayed along, curtains drawn tight. "You are the blood of the dragon, and the dragon does not fear." Under the hollow hummock of earth that was my home in Vaes Dothrak, I ordered them to leave me all but Ser Jorah. "Tell me," I commanded as I lowered myself onto my cushions. "Was it the Usurper?" “No.” Jorah says, “King Robert Baratheon is dead, his son Joffrey Baratheon has been coronated and offers lands and lordship for your death, or your brother’s.” I asked “Only me? Just me?” Jorah stands for a second in silent before saying “No, you and your child. I don’t know how they found out about your pregnancy I never even informed your brother.”
"No. He cannot have my son." I would not weep. I would not shiver with fear. The Usurper’s son has woken the dragon now, I told myself . . . and my eyes went to the dragon's eggs resting in their nest of dark velvet. The shifting lamplight limned their stony scales, and shimmering motes of jade and scarlet and gold swam in the air around them, like courtiers around a king. Was it madness that seized me then, born of fear? Or some strange wisdom buried in my blood? I could not say. I heard my own voice saying, "Ser Jorah, light the brazier." "Khaleesi?" The knight looked at her strangely. "It is so hot. Are you certain?" I had never been so certain. "Yes. I . . . I have a chill. Light the brazier." He bowed. "As you command." When the coals were afire, I sent Ser Jorah away. I had to be alone to do what I must do. This is madness, I told myself as I lifted the black-and-scarlet egg from the velvet. It will only crack and burn, and it's so beautiful, Ser Jorah will call me a fool if I ruin it, and yet, and yet. Cradling the egg with both hands, I carried it to the fire and pushed it down amongst the burning coals. The black scales seemed to glow as they drank the heat. Flames licked against the stone with small red tongues. I placed the other two eggs beside the black one in the fire. As I stepped back from the brazier, the breath trembled in my throat. I watched until the coals had turned to ashes. Drifting sparks floated up and out of the smokehole. Heat shimmered in waves around the dragon's eggs. And that was all. Your brother Rhaegar was the last dragon, Ser Jorah had said to me. I gazed at my eggs sadly. What had I expected? A thousand thousand years ago they had been alive, but now they were only pretty rocks. They could not make a dragon. A dragon was air and fire. Living flesh, not dead stone. The brazier was cold again by the time Khal Drogo returned. Cohollo was leading a packhorse behind him, with the carcass of a great white lion slung across its back. Above, the stars were coming out. The khal laughed as he swung down off his stallion and showed me the scars on his leg where the hrakkar had raked him through his leggings. "I shall make you a cloak of its skin, moon of my life," he swore.
I inform Drogo what happened at the market. "This poisoner was the first," Ser Jorah Mormont warned him, "but he will not be the last. Men will risk much for a lordship." Drogo was silent for a time. Finally he said, "This seller of poisons ran from the moon of my life. Better he should run after her. So he will. Jhogo, Jorah the Andal, to each of you I say, choose any horse you wish from my herds, and it is yours. Any horse save my red and the silver that was my bride gift to the moon of my life. I make this gift to you for what you did. As members of the Khalasar surrounded us Drogo began saying "And to Rhaego son of Drogo, the stallion who will mount the world, to him I also pledge a gift. To him I will give this iron chair his mother's father sat in. I will give him Seven Kingdoms. I, Drogo, khal, will do this thing." His voice rose, and he lifted his fist to the sky. "I will take my khalasar west to where the world ends, and ride the wooden horses across the black salt water as no khal has done before. I will kill the men in the iron suits and tear down their stone houses. I will rape their women, take their children as slaves, and bring their broken gods back to Vaes Dothrak to bow down beneath the Mother of Mountains. This I vow, I, Drogo son of Bharbo. This I swear before the Mother of Mountains, as the stars look down in witness." His khalasar left Vaes Dothrak two days later, striking south and west across the plains. Khal Drogo led them on his great red stallion, with me beside him on my silver. The wineseller hurried behind us, naked, on foot, chained at throat and wrists. His chains were fastened to the halter of my silver. As I rode, he ran after me, barefoot and stumbling. No harm would come to him, so long as he kept up.