Cersei had been so happy that day. Elsewise she would never had dared visit the tent of Maggy the Frog. She had only done it to show Jeyne and Melara that the lioness fears nothing. I was going to be queen. Why should a queen be afraid of some hideous old woman? The memory of that foretelling still made her flesh crawl a lifetime later.

Malice gleamed in Maggy’s yellow eyes.“Queen you shall be… until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear.”

The old woman was not done with her, however. “Gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds,” she said. “And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.”


The red priestess shuddered. Blood trickled down her thigh, black and smoking. The fire was inside her, an agony, an ecstasy, filling her, searing her, transforming her. Shimmers of heat traced patterns on her skin, insistent as a lover’s hand. Strange voices called to her from days long past. “Melony,” she heard a woman cry. A man’s voice called “Lot Seven.” She was weeping, and her tears were flame. And she still drank it in.