elia + bright
there are things you are born with, and things you come to know as you grow older.
elia knows this.
she is born with her father’s widow’s peak and her aunt’s name.
she crawls about on the floor, gurgling and playing with her big sisters. “you have given me a clever daughter,” her father says, though she will not remember it. she is too young. her mother smiles, and leans against him.
“bright,” her mother tells her father. “bright as the rising sun.”
her father does not say anything, but he squeezes her mother’s hand.
elia does not know until after her father dies that the grandmother she never knew used to call the aunt she never knew her rising sun.
she is lady elia, not princess.
she is elia, and not elia.
she will be elia, and refuses to be elia.
it is the day she learns her aunt’s fate–her aunt’s true fate, not the gentle “she died before you were even a twinkle in my eye, sweetling,” that she’d gotten for so long–that elia picks up a lance for the first time. she has always liked riding, the wind in her hair, the feel of the horse moving beneath her, and the lance is a fitting weapon for horseback.
she rides until her legs are sore, tilts until her hands blister, bleed, and harden, striking at quintain after quintain until she could unhorse any squire in sunspear–and a few of the knights as well.
lady elia, not princess.
she’ll be a knight, perhaps. she will never be a princess, though her father was a prince. the savor of being a princess, the beauty of princesses in songs faded the moment she learned the truth of her name. she’d be a finer knight than ser gregor, she’d defend and protect and not smash babies heads into walls and not rape princesses and carve them open with a great sword, she’d defend her father’s memory, she would be her aunt’s champion for a name can be a champion as well as any knight.
this she must be, for this is all in her name.
lady elia, not princess. elia sand. elia of dorne. lady lance. bright as the rising sun.