my silver prince

Oh, my dear child
you were much too young
for everything
they put you through


Pushed out of Narnia
without bow
without arrows
without crown
so you held your head
high
and found
new weapons


Exchanged queenship for
adolescence
traded
bow for
nylons
arrows for
lipstick
traded
your red sweet smile
for boys
and parties
and laughter


You keep fighting
for all that you
are
for all that they
have been


Because you are
a queen
you are
the gentle queen
the one
who smiles
while everyone else
stains the ground with
deep red
brown
red


You are a woman
in a girl’s
body
and they
were your
lifeline
and they’re gone


And you stay behind
small
insignificant
silly
little
thing


Build yourself a life
from graves
from ashes and
corpses and
a kingdom that will
never
be yours again


Build it from
ruins
and smile
a rosary
slipping through your fingers
a prayer on
lipstick red lips


You are a queen
and you will
survive

— 

an ode to the last surviving Queen of Old, unknown author, ca 1950, found in a trunk, property of one Susan Wilder, born Pevensie {the one who lived on, with lipsticks and nylons and boys, the one who buried them all}

(attached is an image of the ode in its original state)

6

A successful opening night for Stage Imuri with Ken-chan and Kouhei!

(x) (x) (x) (x) (x

"Your father's lands are beautiful"

This, to me, is one of the saddest, and at the same time most pathetic, lines in the two delves we’ve had into Jon Connington’s head. It summarizes so much of what makes him such a fascinating character, because it gets to the heart of Connington’s painfully unrealistic expectations of Rhaegar. For all that Jon nurses his adoration of the dead crown prince, he sets as one of the foundations of this love this isolated line, so clearly not about him or Rhaegar’s relationship to him. Connington has firmly locked this line in his memory as one of the precious relics in his internal shrine to Rhaegar, seizing on it as evidence of the love he so wishes Rhaegar felt for him.

To be sure, Jon’s memory of Rhaegar was shown to be colored by his desire before this line (only two sentences separate JonCon’s first mention of Rhaegar’s name in “The Lost Lord” and his designation of Rhaegar as “my silver prince”). However, “The Griffin Reborn”, the chapter in which this line is seen, delves even deeper into Connington’s emotional memory, presenting a scene as vivid to the restored griffin lord as it was to the young Jon some twenty years ago. That Jon Connington treasures his remembrance of Prince Rhaegar's stay at Griffin’s Roost is obvious from the way he describes it: even so many years later, Jon Connington remembers key details of the welcoming feast, from his father Lord Armond’s argument with Lord Morrigen to the “song of love and doom” sung by the crown prince to the reaction of the crowd to Rhaegar’s performance. Even more cherished, though, is Connington’s memory of the journey he and Rhaegar took to the top of the highest tower of the castle; so dear is it to Jon’s heart that he emphasizes how he took “one (only one!)” such ascent with the Prince of Dragonstone, compared to the many with his lord father.

This opportunity must have seemed the culmination of Jon Connington’s hopes and desires. For once, the crown prince would not be surrounded by fellow squires, courtiers, the “gaggle of lordlings” who attended him constantly, competing for his favor. For once, it would be just the two of them, Rhaegar and Jon, in the comfort of the latter’s own family home. Jon might well have expected that, in such a private moment, the two of them could have a truly personal conversation, befitting not simply their courtly companionship but Jon’s own deep love for the Prince of Dragonstone. Again, his internal descriptions emphasize how important this moment was to him, so deeply carved into his mind: not even the small detail of how difficult the door to the roof of the tower was to open has been forgotten, nor the way the countryside and sea around Griffin’s Roost appeared.

So what does Rhaegar say when the two of them are alone at last?

“Your father’s lands are beautiful.”

His statement isn’t about Jon as his friend, or even as a person - indeed, it’s not even about any individual at all. It’s about land, and a lord’s relationship to the land, that fundamental consideration in a feudal political world. Rhaegar has looked from atop the eastern tower of Griffin’s Roost, and as far as he can see the land belongs to House Connington. His words to Jon Connington are the basic compliment of a liege to his vassal (or, in this case, a liege’s heir to a somewhat lower vassal’s heir), an acknowledgment of the power of House Connington, to rule such lovely country extending to the horizon. There is nothing in Rhaegar’s words that speaks to Jon, or indeed the Conningtons, on any level other than a simply feudal one: the prince might have offered a similar compliment gazing out from one of Highgarden’s tall, slender towers, or exploring the Sapphire Isle with his cousins of Tarth. Indeed, Rhaegar’s words seem more geared toward Lord Armond, “whose only love was land”, than they do to the young man who had been Rhaegar’s companion for probably at least the past decade. It is fitting for the prince often lost in his own dreams, unconcerned with the realities of the present hour, that his words in this close moment to a man “dear to him”, whom he had known since his squire days, are a bland, impersonal comment on the natural setting around him.

What makes this line even more heartbreaking, however, is how unique it is in Jon's POV; this is the only direct quote Connington thinks Rhaegar said to him. That Jon has seized upon this line in his mind may well mean that Rhaegar never said anything more personal to him in their time together. How sad is it for Jon Connington, so deep in his love for Rhaegar, that the best compliment he can remember Rhaegar telling him is not even about him, but about Lord Armond’s lands. Connington clings to this small scrap of acknowledgement - acknowledgement of him as the son of the man whose lands are beautiful - because it came from his “silver prince” and was directed at him in the privacy of their sole moment together. So much of Jon Connington’s relationship to Rhaegar is an invention on the part of the former, a desperate attempt to mold a handsome but emotionally distant man into the lover Connington wanted out of him, and his memory around this line reflects that effort well. Any words from Rhaegar are worthy of an altar in Connington’s mind, because they mean that Rhaegar noticed his existence and considered him worthy to address - and Connington craves worthiness in the eyes of his dead prince. He cannot see - or will not allow himself to see - how little Rhaegar truly cared for him, or how utterly dispassionate this line was; caught in painful cycle of grieving self-blame and delusional hope, Connington clutches this single sentence not for what it is but for what it represents to him - the most intimate moment he ever shared with Rhaegar.