The fifth room, finally, shows a man very much alike her brother Viserys, except that he is taller and has eyes of dark indigo rather than lilac. He is speaking to a woman who is nursing a newborn babe, telling her that the child’s name should be Aegon and saying that “What better name for a king?”. The woman asks him if he will make a song for the child, and he replies that he has a song and that “He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire.”. He appears to look at Dany then, as if seeing her, and then he adds that “There must be one more,” and “The dragon has three heads.” -A Dance of Dragons
The land of Eilons was created by the four goddesses Dragons who took the form of maidens. Years ago they appeared to Quuen Ruta of the Desert Kingdom of Ilana-Von Pae because she couldn’t bare a child due to the death of your husband. So the goddesses blessed her with a child, but in return every female that is born through that line will carry on the blood of a dragon goddess should ever the need arise for salvation. The deal was made and they family line has continued on. But this has caused many wars and now the land is beginning to weep tears…..
The Desert Kingdom of Ilana-Von Pae was very popular for trades in goods and livestock. The kingdom, though next to the desert, is also surrounded by the ocean from the East and the mountains of the North, making it not such a bad place to live. The most people had to worry about were bandits, thieves and assassins. Thankfully they rarely came near the crowned city of Lavis-lupar, your home. You’d lived in this city your whole life, but what other life could you–expect you were the princess. Leaving and traveling sadly wasn’t something you could do. Especially ever since you got engaged….
It was early noon, as the sun began to make its great climb into the sky. You were still bed, nestled under your purple and sky blue comforter. You had your face buried into your pillow after hearing the news from your father. Princess Nil Pluvia Clemens was to be wed to Prince Lont Vent from the kingdom of Hafelmai. Once you were out of the sight of your father you had ran to your room crying, throwing pillows and stuffed animals all over your floor. You felt helpless, your fate and duty to marry a man you did not love or know.
Sadly your peaceful slumber came to a halt as someone began bagging on your door.
“Lady Nil! Will you please awaken? Your father wishes to speak with you.“
You emerged from your pillow tomb.
“The hell…can I have something to myself…”
You mumbled as you got out of your bed, going in front of your dresser to do your hair. It was a mess from your rough sleep. Your bangs hung in your face making it look like you’d just emerged from horror film.
“Maybe I should trim it? But will father want it that long…no."
You quickly brushed your hair, braided it, then put it into a bun. Then you ran into your walk-in closet, quickly throwing on your baby blue sand dress and ran out of your room.
The warm afternoon sun gave the white palace walls a yellow tint, making the flowers stencils on the wall more noticeable. You ran through the hallway until you reached the double doors that led to the throne room. You wondered if maybe your father had changed his mind about the wedding, after all, you skipped dinner last night because you were upset. At the time it seemed like a good idea, but now as your stomach roared louder than a behemoth maybe that wasn’t the way to go.
You slowly pushed open the double doors and tried to peek to see who was in the room.
"Its nice to finally see that your awake Nil, I thought you were going to sleep your life away."
Your father smiled as he leaned forward out of his throne to walk over to you. You couldn’t help but smile back, your father had always had your best interest at heart. Whenever you did something and got in trouble, he would give you a stern talking-to, but then a warm smile would come because he too made his mistakes. He knew being royalty was hard in its own ways, people had their own opinions on how you should be. And your father never agreed with that since birth, as a result, he was very rebellious, no need to wonder where you got it from.
You stepped forward and hugged your father once he came within reach.
For a moment when he looked at you, he saw your mother, then he broke eye contact.
"All formalities aside I apologize for the news yesterday. I know how you feel about marrying Prince Lont, Especially since you didn’t eat dinner. I truly am sorry for this burden I have placed on you.”
“All I wanted to do was bring peace between our lands, not hand over the only thing I have left in this world. I hoped you’d meet someone of your choosing to marry, but fate as usual changes what we would want…"
You walked away slowly to one of the windows that looked over the castle garden. Your father walked over to stand beside you, hoping to give you some comfort.
"If only there was another way…if only your mother was here she always knew what to say. She always was the calm of the storm."
You pulled your gaze away from the window and looked at your father "Father, you’re only doing whats best. I know this is not the path I wish that was left for me…But I–”
Tears began to stream down your face, you quickly tried to hide their presence but your father already saw them. Your father reached out for you and just hugged you, rubbing your back as the tears fell. He felt so helpless and distraught.
“Gods of Elions, if there be another way make yourself known… I am an old King second, and a father first..”
Just then a guard came bursting through the door and then fell one knee.
“Your majesty! I apologize for the intrusion but Prince Lont and King Wlefer have arrived and request an audience."
Your father let you go and stood tall and firm
"Give me one moment and I shall attend to them."
Your father turned around and looked at you, and gave a smile as if almost saying good bye. You wiped away the tears and gave a confused look.
"Nil..my daughter please go to your room until matters are handled. I then will join you.."
You nodded your head and left the throne room and returned to your room.
In your room you went to your balcony which overlooked the training yard. You watched as the new recuits practiced swords play, metal against metal, sweat sliding off the scarred bodies even in armor.
"I wonder what life outside of the castle is like? A life to be free, maybe as a pirate or assassin or even just a knight. Something exciting…"
A familiar voice replied
"Well maybe one day you shall find out. After all nothing is truly ever set in stone..”
You turned around quickly and saw that it was your father. He tried to hide what had happened in his meeting with a smile but you knew him too well.
“Father you are horrible when it comes to lying and having a poker face. You should know that by now."
You gave him a cocky smile, he then crossed his arms against his chest.
"Your mother said that as well. Prince Lont wants to have the wedding in 2 weeks, I will try to see if there is another way we can handle this. Considering you are only 19 and he is 24. I will try to stall as much as possible…I fear they may be after something else. And its not peace."
You turned to your father and raised an eyebrow.
"Then what?..” Your father turned away his back sunk forward and his words seemed to linger.
“We shall soon find out I’m afraid.”
Two weeks had passed since the arrangements, your father was able to successfully push of the wedding for another week. Today was the day of the Dragon Ball, to thank the gods for blessing the city and bringing light to this world.
On this day the palace was opened up to select public as the ball was held, women wore fancy dresses and men wore tuxes. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the festivities as happiness and alcohol hovered in the air. The music gave life as people began to dance on the floor, dresses swished and swayed as women danced the night away.
Your father sat on his throne as King Wlefer sat to the left of him, his son prince Lont beside him. King Wlefer spoke, “This is such a splendid night your majesty, such a grand ball this is. To see the people happy and relieved is truly a sight to see…But where is your daughter? Shouldn’t such a gem be enjoying herself as well?"
Your father smiled and replied, "She is still getting ready. You know how women are they take their time to look their best…”
Meanwhile in your room you leaned against the wall, each heart beat felt like a count down in your mind. You didn’t want to miss the ball but you didn’t want to engage Prince Lont.. You began running your fingers through your hair as you gazed into a painting of your mother, father and you.
“Mother? Why did you leave us? Your wisdom was sought after by many, everyone wanted to hear what you said… But me.. All men ever see is a pretty face..”
You pulled yourself away from the wall and gathered all your strength then opened your bed room door. Walking down towards where the ball room you heard a noise coming from another part of the castle.
“What was that, sounds like its coming from outside..”
You then walked over to the window that overlooked the back of castle courtyard. You looked down and then looked, just as saw a blue spark disappeared. Wanting to investigate you ran back towards your room, still wearing your crystal blue slippers. You felt so magical running down the hall in your dark rose blue dress. Looking down the hallway, you found something peculiar.
“None of the guards are posted…i have a bad feeling about this.
Elsewhere in the castle, men dressed in black snuck on the 4th floor. Thanks to the abscese of guards they had no confrontations. On his head set a man spoke.
"Luche, its clear on the 4th floor west wing of the castle. No guards are posted. I find this disturbing.”
He got a reply from another one of his comrades who were elsewhere in the castle.
“Pelna, maybe there just all busy in the ballroom. Or maybe they are too drunk too patrol. Either way keep your guard up, Crowe is keeping and eye out but she won’t be able to see everything that goes on. ”
“I’ll keep that in mind luche.. Pelna out!”
Pelna got off his headset and began walking carefully through the 4th floor of the castle. On the 3rd floor you still hadn’t ran into any guards as you climbed the stairs leading to the 4th floor. Then you heard a thud, your heart began to accelerate in speed as you walked up the 2nd to last step. Before going up you tried to peek around the corner, just as two men began talking.
“The King wants to make sure all the guards are intoxicated or dead. So that once the 6th song plays in the ballroom we will begin the assault on the castle.”
After one man stopped talking the other starting.
“Yeah then we kidnap the princess and kill the king and set the castle ablaze. If any oppose us we’ll threaten to kill the princess. Simple as that..”
After the two men began walking forward you saw what the thud sound was.
“Omgosh my maid Lenda..”
You whimpered quietly not wanting to be heard. You felt your heart stop as you saw that no life was in her eyes as they left her body to bleed on the cold floor. Backing away slowly you forgot about the vase that was sitting on a stand. It all happened so quickly as You bumped into it and knocked it off its stand.
“What was that!?”
One of the guys said as he quickly turned around he noticed you before you could move down the stairs.
“Hell its the princess!”
With that the chase was on as the men came running towards you. You ran down the stairs of the castle not wanting to share the same fate as your maid. Your dainty body began to work like a machine to run to someone who could help. While running down the hallway you knocked down flower vasses, chairs that were placed along the walls and anything else you could knock over. One of the guys slid in the puddle made by the flower vase that broke.You would have felt clever if it wasn’t for the fact that two more men stood at the wnd of the hallway in front of you. You stopped in front of them and for once you couldn’t move your lips to form a word. The two guys smiled revealing that they were also in on the death of your maid. Backing away slowly you ran into on of the men from before.
“Sorry sweety its the end of the road.”
The guy behind you said as he grabbed you and out his had over your mouth as he tried to drug you. Your body tried desperately to resist, every muscle in you tried to rebel. You fought, kicking biting and trying tp scream through the cloth over your mouth. But eventually your body gave in, your body went limp as the floor began to get closer. Just as the man behind you grabbed you and began taking you away.
Suddenly a man dressed in black came running down the hallway, his dark blues gave life to his dark figure. Moving like an animal in the dark he snapped the neck of one of the men. Then grabbed his blade from his pocket and impaled the neck of another man.
“Sorry buddy, I don’t need anyone messing up my teams mission.”
The tall man spoke as he walked closer to the guy who was trying to carrying you off. The man began to shake and his voice began to tremble as he spoke.
“Who the hell are you? Your not one of the guards!”
The steel eye man continued to walk closer, a smile creeped across his mouth as he licked his teeth upper with his tongue.
“My name is Nyx Ulric, i shouldn’t have to say anymore…”
Nyx then ran forward, as the man dropped you and began to run doqn the stairs. Nyx threw his blade at the man and caught you.
“Rest easy love, I’ve got you. Too bad your sleep though, then maybe you’d feel this..”
Nyx then planted a kiss on your lips and carefully layed you on the floor. Leaving a purple and white feather next you. He then walked around the corner to see that his blade had hit its mark, the man that tried to run off with you was now dead on the ground. With nyx’s blade embedded in his neck, nyx grabbed his blade and ran down the stairs.
“I’m supposed to be the good guy, but I’m still saving someone. Guess i can’t help it if cute girls in trouble. ”
Nyx chuckled just as his com began to go off.
“Nyx, where are you what happened the castle is gone to hell. Guards are dead and we have an unknown group attacking people in the castle. ”
Luche finished talking on the com as he waited for Nyx to respond.
“Sorry i got caught up in royal duty, i ran into a few of our competitors. They were trying to kidnap the princess after they drugged her, we need to pull back. If we play our cards right the royal family won’t know we were here.”
Nyx then ran down the stairs and was on the 3rd floor, he ducked against the wall just as two castle guards passed by. After they passed nyx went in the opposite direction as them and began running down the hall. Careful to not get caught by any guards.
The castle was thrown into a state of chaos as word reached the King, he and the counsel began to sweep through the castle to find the intruders. But the intruders had offed them selves not wanting to get caught and knew that if they were brought into custody. The king would find out who they were working for. Eventually one of the maids discovered you on the floor of the 4th floor with a white a purple feather next to you. The king furious to think you could have been hurt. Though you were unconscious you were alittle aware of what had happened to you. The man who had saved your life and stolen a kiss from you then left feather at your side. You felt like he had given you a love letter of where to find him, and you took it to heart….
A month had passed since the event at the ball. Security had grown tighter as the king assembled a group of warriors to protect the princess, should anything ever happen to the king. The king chooses 4 brave warriors: Gladio, Noctis, Ignis, Prompto. They each kissed your hand as a sign of their allegiance to your protection .
“Your highness I will live for you from this point on, may my blade swing for your protection and my body be your shield. Together we stand!”
Together we stand!“
All of the men said the oath altogether on one knee in front of you, heads bowed to you. You wore a slik black dress that flowed down to the floor. You felt like a princess have 4 knights bond to you until there last breath. But didn’t they have families? You felt bad having them pretty much as your body guard, soon your pretty face became awashed with sadmess. Where you worthy of there protection?
While you were caught in yiur thoughts the 4 men were looking up at you awaiting your word to rise. One of the gentlemen did a slight cough to catch your attention.
"Oh I’m sorry, Rise and take arms….And thank you.”
The men looked puzzled when you said thank you, like they didn’t that from a princess. This was the beginning steps to a deep and dangerous journey for the five of you. As it was clear 1 of the four had his sites on you…
It had been exactly 2 weeks since the 4 men were assigned to you by your father the king. And you’d bonded with each of them in your own special way. They became more of your friends than anything, even Ignis who was more of a mom at times. You felt safe around them and they meant alot to you. But no matter what you did the man that saved your life that one day hadn’t left your heart. Maybe because he had stolen your first kiss, such warmth you’d never known. Even though someone else was very much eager to enter your heart, Gladio your shield. Your nickname for him was teddy bear because thats what he was on the inside. When you needed someone to talk to and Prompto wasn’t around it was Gladio. He had a way of saying things without using words. Using his actions, either scooping you up in his muscle arms and cuddling you until you felt comfortable. Or he’d walk around the garden with you, until he had to piggy back carry you because your feet hurt from walking. But he wanted so much more, you could see it in his eyes. He longed for you andyou alone, their are times he wanted to take off the uniform and form hos own vows to you. His heart shattered when you were hurt, when you were hapoy this man was ecstatic, when you pouted because you wanted something he’d give in just like Prompto. And your father was aware, he never said anything…Another thing was that Prince Lont hadn’t been asking about marriage anymore. Not even his father, you felt relived thanking the gods for answering your prayers. Maybe now you could marry under your own choice… Atleast you hoped..Because while you fekt peace and contempt with what was going on your father began to worry..
In the thrown room late one night as the moons light shined through the glass ceiling of the room. Your father paced the floors..
“My kingdom very well may crumble in this war…but atleast if my daughter lives it can be rebuilt…But if the land needs to be restored because of the war my daughter will be lost forever.. The paths for this kingdom are few.. and I as king must fight for my daughter and my kingdom..”
The king paused and turned his attention to the door, just as two men burst through the door.. Your father stood firm and look at the two men with stern eyes… One man who looked like he was a fallen angel stepped towards the king, he wore white heavy armor that almost shook the ground as he walked. The other man wore a hood to hide who he was..
“Your Majesty, your time has come.. death has heard their prayers. It is your time…”
Your father smiled and summoned a sword from the palm of his hand.
“This old man is not ready to return home just yet, i still have much to see of this world. and my daughter is not ready to take the thrown just yet. She still has much to learn and witness before then.. Therefore on this night one of us will fall and the other shell rise.”
The warrior clad in white armor lunged at your father, weilding a pole axe. The king brought his sword forward and pushed back the warrior sending him into the wall on the other side of the thrown room wall. He fell into the darkness. The king could not see him but he could hear his armor claking as he walked, your father charged forward into the darkness just the warrior emerged out. They clashed, as sparks flew as will and strength fought for supremacy. Eventually one emerged victorious as one blade was thrown into the moonlight and onto the floor inthe middle of the thrown room.
“it seems i have under estimated you, but this is not the end..”
The warrior emerged out of the shadows drenched in blood, soon his white armor was coated. He seemed to fade away into the darkness leaving only the other man with the hood…
“Your majesty, it is your time and your daughter will be mine….”
You jumped up from your sleep, to see Gladio in a chair partially asleep. Your body was sweaty and your body was shaking from what you had witnessed. Gladio began to stur as he saw you laying awake in bed.
“Whats wrong Nil? You normally sleep the whole night through…”
Gladio chuckled and gave you a slight smile until he looked into your frightened eyes. You looked at Gladio.
“Its about my father….”
Next thing you know your both running down to the thrown roomYou glanced at Gladio and was caught in awe, it was just something about seeing all that muscle run in his uniform made him look more attractive. If only he was the one you were to marry to.
You shook your head, because now wasn’t the time for that. Gladio got on his com calling the rest of the gang.
“Noctis, Ignis, Prompto report to the thrown room asap!..”
Just as Gladio finished his call he and you arrived at the double doors that lead into the thrown room. By now your whole body was shaking as your grabbed onto gladio’s hand. Was the vision you saw true, if so your father was in grave danger..or worse, you reached for Gladio’s hand and he tightened his grip around your hand and glanced at you.
“No matter what happens i will protect you, I promise…”
Gladio then burst opened the thrown room doors just as your father fell to the ground. He fell to the ground on his side as blood began to spread along the white floors. He looked up at you and smiled.
“I’m sorry…. Nil please forgive an old man..called your father….”
There was your father on the ground dying in front of you, his killer stood in front if him with a dagger drawn. Gladio in anger ran towards the killer drawing forth his giant sword from his back. The two began to fight as metal clashed against metal as the two warriors fought. You fell to your knees as your whole life flashed before you. You coudln’t move your body not even bat an eye. Fear, guilt clutched your body in its grasp leaving you only to scream.
Gladio had turned around to you and found himself off guard as the killer then began to swing his blade for his neck. You turned to look at gladio and saw the whole event unfolding. And not wanting to see more blood you jumped in between gladio and the blade.
Gladio yelled, but right before the blade could make contact. Another blade intercepted the killers sword, blocking it from hurting you. A voice then emerged from one of the darkest parts of the room. His steel blue eyes shined in the darkness until he stepped into the moonlight. You recognized this man and your heart beat just seemed to accelerate the longer you looked at him.
“That was a dangerous move your highness!… Being brave is one thing and being reckless is another. Guess you did both..”
It was Nyx the man who had rescued you from before, he and his squad had fled from the castle that one night not wanting to get caught. But tonight Nyx was alone…?
The man in hood tried to take this an opportunity to leave. he threw down a smoke bomb and jumped out the palace window. Nyx tried to follow after him but was stopped by Gladio…
“The hell you doing!? That man tried to kill the king he needs to be stopped!”
Yelled Nyx, gladio pointed his blade at Nyx.
“And who the hell are you? We don’t know who you are and what your intentions are…”
The two men drew closer to each other, blades drawn, bodies ready. You couldn’t believe what was getting ready to happen…your father was on the groud dead or dying andhere these two are getting ready to fight. You got yourself up and tightened and you sweet presence turned into a world wind of furry.
Nyx noticed how your composure had changed and put his blades away. He then leaned over and motioned Gladio to come get him. Gladio became was happy to obliage, he lunged forward to finish Nyx off in one slice.
You yelled and that brought him to a halt, his blade barely graced his neck. Gladio turned around and looked at you confused. You looked at both men and spoke.
“I can not allow you to harm my hero..”
Gladio raised an eyebrow and dropped his sword into the ground.
“He saved my life Gladio the night those people attacked. They would have had me if not for him…And hes saved my life again tonight..”
Gladio looked at Nyx with a glare, Nyx simply gave a cocky smile in return. He then brought his gaze back to you.
“I’m just glad to have made it in time…”
You looked at Nyx with a sigh of relief, but felt an unhappy gaze from your shield. You’d have alot to figure out…
The rest of your knights had arrived finally, but it seems they were off fighting as well. Cuts and bruises were prescent on them. But there concern fell to your father, he was still alive but barely. You tried to bandage him up as much as you could with some help from the guys.
Thankfully your father survived..Nyx was put on your team of knights per your request. Everyone seemed okay with it minus Gladio, he felt the romantic tension and he was not okay with it…. And you felt guilt for choosing Nyx over Gladio, but in actuallity you couldn’t let either of them go.
Your concern fell else where though, you wanted to know who was after your family. So began preparations to find out, though you know your father would never agree to it. You wanted answers.. So you sent Nyx off for recon, find any informaytion about the recent attacks or any suspecious activity. Nyx reported back some time later with new information and reccommanded that you to leave some guards with your father. You got the preperations ready and left early the next morning. Your father saw you leave and it broke his heart…but he couldn’t stop you…
“Be safe… My daughter..”
Your father muttered these words as he sunk into his bed, knowing his baby girl was growing into a fine women. And his times of holding you in his arms are gone and now it was time for you to stand on your own..
finally some more characters for my overwatch avatar au! i really wanted to draw genji and hanzo doing the dragon dance from the atla episode ‘the firebending masters’ (of which i used screenshots). hanzo and genji both experienced issues with firebending after their agni kai (which left genji mortally wounded) and they visit the sun warriors together to learn the true meaning of firebending, which i think would really help their relationship.
i struggled with a design for genji. in the end, i combined elements from his young skins and his normal skin (his body is mostly composed of robot parts but covered up with a more ‘avatar’ style of clothing. i also added a combustion bending symbol on his helmet thing because i thought it was cool.
(also don’t fucking touch this post if you like shi///mada//cest, i will know and i will block you)
There’s a reason complete strangers keep mistaking Sherlock and John for a couple.
Sherlock, being Sherlock, always notices it when people are checking John out. He dislikes it. It makes him feel…panicked. However, John disapproves of him making rude deductions at unsuspecting strangers, so Sherlock has to find a subtler way to deal with such outrageous affronts.
Sherlock leans in close to talk to John, touches his arm to get his attention, smiles at him in a smitten way, steals food off his plate: all those behaviours he has observed in romantic couples. It is excellent; The dull cretins oogling his John invariably sighs in defeat (”Why are all the good ones taken and/or gay?”) and refrains from making any further moves.
John never notices. After all, Sherlock acts like this all the time, and John is remarkably unobservant.
Then Sherlock and John actually get together, and Sherlock comes to the pleasant realisation that it is no longer necessary for him to be subtle. So the next time a young barista twirls her hair and draws an anatomically-incorrect heart on John’s coffee cup, Sherlock wraps a possessive arm around John, presses a kiss to his hair, and glares at the offending barista over John’s head.
John turned around, smiling.
“What was that for?”
“You’re very attractive,” Sherlock said primly, all innocence.
John chuckled and slipped his hand into Sherlock’s, and they walked out of the cafe sipping their drinks.
“You know,” sip, “you react to competition like a twelve year old girl.”
Sherlock’s coffee burnt his tongue. He spit it out, spluttering.
“What are you talking about?”
“I mean this,” John demonstrated by stroking a hand down Sherlock’s arm exaggeratedly, “and this,” he leans up to breathe heavily into Sherlock’s ear.
“I thought you didn’t notice.”
“Yeah, not at first. But then that time at the Dancing Dragon you stole all the broccoli off my plate while glaring aggressively at the woman at the counter. And you don’t even like broccoli.”
Sherlock frowned heavily, reading to commence the world’s greatest sulk. But John was still talking.
“That’s when I realised,” John stopped and turned to face Sherlock fully, “that you wouldn’t really mind if I just-”
John put his free hand on Sherlock’s shoulder and snogged him full on the mouth, right there on the busy pavement. Morning commuters swerved to avoid the two of them, stoically ignoring them in that fine London tradition. He could hold up the traffic for once, Sherlock thought dizzily. Mycroft did it all the time.
“Anyway,” said John, clearing his throat and rolling back on his heels. “Just wanted you to know. Don’t get your knickers in a twist. You don’t have any competition. But if you still feel like snogging me in odd places, that’s fine with me.”
“At crime scenes?”
“Not at crime scenes.”
“But you just said-”
“Got to draw the line somewhere, Sherlock.”
If you fancy you could check out my blog or my AO3. Ta.
Azula and Zuko doing The Dancing Dragon, because if I were Ran and Shaw, I definitely would kill to see these two dance together let alone see Azula dance lol >u< I think they probably would…if they had a better brother-sister relationship ; u; zuko find azula pleaseeeeeee
requested by @domericbolton : A Dance with Dragons - The Prince of Winterfell
Above their heads the trees were full of ravens, their feathers fluffed as they hunched on bare brown branches, staring down at the pageantry below. Maester Luwin’s birds. Luwin was dead, and his maester’s tower had been put to the torch, yet the ravens lingered. This is their home. Theon wondered what that would be like, to have a home.
day 4: one event / period → the dance of the dragons
The Dance of the Dragons was a civil war during Targaryen rule of the Seven Kingdoms. A war of succession between Aegon II and his half-sister Rhaenyra over their father Viserys I’s throne, the war was fought from 129 AC to 131 AC. It saw the deaths of both rival monarchs, and the crowning of Rhaenyra’s son, Aegon III. // vildan atasever as rhaenyra targaryen, metin akdülger as aegon ii
If I had to pick a character who was the most difficult to talk about in this series, it would probably be Daenerys Targaryen. The intersection of every single conflict and perspective–in world and modern–about her is one that is almost impossible to address without sidelining one element of it.
That her arc relies intensely white saviorism; depictions of the Dothraki are laden with racist tropes; her experience in Slaver’s Bay harkens to (but does not perfectly mirror) white conquest in the 19th century. This pairs uncomfortably with the fact that she is 13-16 years old (I’m focusing predominantly on book!Daenerys in this–if you are here for show!Daenerys proceed with that in mind), a child sold into sex slavery, a rape victim, and someone who believes firmly and acts upon the belief that any society that relies upon slavery is not society. As a woman in Martin’s historically inaccurate misogynistic world, she confronts challenges that are designed by the creator of the series to confront her womanhood; as a Targaryen/Valyrian/Westerosi far from her home and without the resources of that home, she is left with little choice but to look forward.
Before even touching on the content of A Song of Ice and Fire, a point that causes trouble, right out of the gate, is where do “problems” with Daenerys arise? When, for example, does responsibility lie with a character, and when with the architect of her story? Add into that–when does the responsibility lie with neither character, nor creator, but with instead the fans who are discussing the media in question?
All this is not to absolve Daenerys of whatever sins exist within her storyline. There are choices that the character makes that are reprehensible and for which the ultimate responsibility does lie with her; however it is also to say that many of the things that Daenerys is loathed for are decisions that lie instead at Martin’s feet.
Foes and false friends are all around me, Lord Davos. They infest my city like roaches, and at night I feel them crawling over me.” The fat man’s fingers coiled into a fist, and all his chins trembled. “My son Wendel came to the Twins a guest. He ate Lord Walder’s bread and salt, and hung his sword upon the wall to feast with friends. And they murdered him. Murdered, I say, and may the Freys choke upon their fables. I drink with Jared, jape with Symond, promise Rhaegar the hand of my own beloved granddaughter… but never think that means I have forgotten. The north remembers, Lord Davos. The north remembers, and the mummer’s farce is almost done. My son is home.”
Something about the way Lord Wyman said that chilled Davos to the bone. ― Davos IV, A Dance with Dragons.
“Men’s lives have meaning, not their deaths” is the closest we’ve gotten to an overarching thesis statement for ASOIAF. It reaches all the way back to the first book, to Ned (who, like Quent, turns out to not be the protagonist after all) and his shocking demise. So many readers have interpreted that moment, as well as the Red Wedding two books later, as being indicative of nihilism on GRRM’s part. Everything is chaos, honor gets you killed and is therefore worthless, “power is power.” But this is not so.
Ned’s legacy is not his death, it is his life. The children determined to find each other again because Dad taught them to stick together and be brave, the vassals who have set out to rescue and restore those children in his name, the memory both in-universe and IRL of a decent man who treated his servants like human beings worth listening to and who was determined to protect the young and innocent…all of this is the meaning of Ned Stark, not that he ended up as a head on a spike.
By the same token, the meaning of Tywin Lannister isn’t that he died on the can. It’s why he died on the can, and that is because he lived a terrible life. His legacy is his family tearing itself apart, his hoped-for Lannister regime falling to pieces across Westeros, and his oh-so-symbolic reeking corpse. One of these men, for all his mistakes, found and spread a worthy meaning in his brief time on Terros, and the other, for all his triumphs, did not. We are all mortal; all of us, “from the highest lord to the lowest gutter rat,” are ultimately helpless before the abyss that Quent leaps into in his final chapter. No one (not even Euron, try as he might) can change that. What matters, what makes us who are, what means something, is how we live our lives knowing that in the end, the house always wins.