game of thrones [3]

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

“Let us look upon this head,“ prince Doran commanded. Areo Hotah watched the white knight, Ser Balon Swann. 

He watched the Sand Snakes. 

He watched the Princess Arianne and her dead uncles paramour Ellaria.

 Serve. Protect. Obey. That was his task. All the rest had eyes only for the chest.

Bowing, Maester Caleotte took the chest from the hands of the white knight and carried it to the dais. Within was a scull.

"The Mountain rides no more,” the prince said, gravely. He had tears glistening in his eyes.

“Was his dying long and hard, Ser Balon?” asked Tyene Sand, in the tone a maiden might use to ask if her gown was pretty.

“He screamed for days, my lady. We could hear him all over the Red Keep.”

“Does that trouble you, ser?” asked the Lady Nym. “Ser Gregor was a bloody brute, all men agree. If ever a man deserved to suffer, it was him.“

"That is as it may be, my lady. But Poison is a foul and filthy way to kill.”

The prince left it to Ricasso, his blind seneschal, to rise and propose the toast. “Lords and ladies, let us all now drink to Tommen, the First of His Name, King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, and Lord of the Seven Kingdoms.”

The white knight did drink, as was only courteous. His companions likewise. So did the Princess Arianne and many nobles with her. But many did not.

Chief amongst those were the Sand Snakes, the bastard daughters of the prince’s late brother Oberyn. Obara let them fill her cup to the brim, then upended it to spill the red wine on the floor. Obara left the hall. After a moment Princess Arianne excused herself and went after her.

Later, Arianne turned to Balon Swann.“I have always been fond of swans. No other bird is half so beautiful, this side of the Summer Isles.”

“Your peacocks might dispute that,” said Ser Balon. This one is not so easily seduced as was his Sworn Brother.

Ser Balon spoke to Prince Doran “Her Grace informed me that I shall escort her daughter back to King’s Landing. Prince Trystane would be welcome in King’s Landing as well,”

“Of course. But now you must excuse me, ser. Obara, would you be so kind as to help me to my bed? Nymeria, Tyene, come as well, and bid your old uncle a fond good night.”

So it fell to Obara Sand to roll the prince’s chair from Sunspear’s feast hall and down a long gallery to his solar.

 "You cannot seriously intend to send Trystane and Myrcella to King’s Landing,“ Obara said as she was pushing. “Do that, and we will never see the girl again, and your son will spend his life a hostage to the Iron Throne.”

“Do you take me for a fool, Obara. There is much you do not know.”

In the Princes’ chamber Obara gave the skull a mocking kiss. "This is a start, I’ll grant.”

“A start?” said Ellaria Sand, incredulous. “Gods forbid. All those who had a hand in murdering Elia and her children are dead.

"It ends in blood, as it began,” said Lady Nym.

“Oberyn wanted vengeance for Elia. Now the three of you want vengeance for him. You have four sisters, I remind you. If you should die, must they seek vengeance for you? “

"This war has already begun”, the prince announced. “I am not blind, nor deaf. I know that you all believe me weak. Your father and I worked more closely than you know … but now he is gone. The question is, can I trust his daughters?”

Tyene answered for the three of them. “Set a task for us, any task, and you shall find us as leal and obedient as any prince could hope for.”

“I want your oath. Will you swear to serve me, to do as I command?”

“We swear.”

“Obara, you will go to High Hermit-age to beard Darkstar in his den. The time is not yet come for Dorne to openly defy the Iron Throne, so we must needs return Myrcella to her mother, but I will not be accompanying her. That task will be yours, Nymeria.”

“And what of me?” asked Tyene.

“I want you in King’s Landing too. This new High Septon is not the puppet that the others were. Try and get close to him.“

"I know you will not fail us, cousins.” Arianne went to each of them in turn, took their hands, kissed them lightly on the lips.

“Unbowed, unbent, unbroken, ” the Sand Snakes said, together.

 A Feast for Crows Chapter 38 (The Watcher) - shortened

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8

Daenerys Targaryen’s Fashion 

“I always put trousers underneath because in her psyche anything might go wrong and [she’s always thinking], ‘I might need to run away,’ Even with the longest, most beautiful gowns, she always wears a pair of boots and trousers. I like that sense of, 'I can play this [queen] but underneath, I can run.’“ - Michele Clapton on Dany’s Costumes (insp.)