vigil of the princes

Illustration by Gary Gianni

He had been the finest knight of his age, and some argued that he should have gone to face the dark clad in mail and plate, a sword in his hand. In the end though, his royal father’s wishes prevailed, and Daeron II had a peaceable nature. When Dunk shuffled past Baelor’s bier, the prince wore a black velvet tunic with the three-headed dragon picked out in scarlet thread upon his breast. Around his throat was a heavy gold chain. His sword was sheathed by his side, but he did wear a helm, a thin golden helm with an open visor so men could see his face.

Valarr, the Young Prince, stood vigil at the foot of the bier while his father lay in state. He was a shorter, slimmer, handsomer version of his sire, without the twice-broken nose that had made Baelor seem more human than royal. Valarr’s hair was brown, but a bright streak of silver-gold ran through it. The sight of it reminded Dunk of Aerion, but he knew that was not fair. Egg’s hair was growing back as bright as his brother’s, and Egg was a decent enough lad, for a prince.

When he stopped to offer awkward sympathies, well larded with thanks, Prince Valarr blinked cool blue eyes at him and said, “My father was only nine-and-thirty. He had it in him to be a great king, the greatest since Aegon the Dragon. Why would the gods take him, and leave you?” He shook his head. “Begone with you, Ser Duncan. Begone.”

~A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

Vigil of The Princes, 8 April 2002

For The Queen Mother’s lying-in-state The Earl of Wessex (left), The Prince of Wales (center), The Duke of York (right) and Viscount Linley (not pictured, on the other corner) came to pay respects to their grandmother by relieving the guard of the Royal Company of Archers.