A Read of A Dance with Dragons – Part 12

Chapter 11 – Daenerys

Daenerys is woken in the early hours of the morning as nine of her people have been killed by the Sons of the Harpy. One of them is Missandei’s brother. She allow Skahaz to torture the owner of a tavern where three were killed. Otherwise they have no leads.

She comforts Missandei who says Daenerys is the mother of them all. But Daenerys can’t go back to sleep because she is worrying that she can’t protect anyone. In the morning she takes a bath and Quaithe of Asshai appears with more riddles. Quaithe says beware the perfumed seneschal. She says that suitors will come, first the pale mare, then the Kraken, the dark flame, the lion and the griffin, the sun’s son and the mummer’s dragon.
When Daenerys is dressed and has eaten she goes to the purple hall for her audiences. Ser Barristan Selmy has piled her ebony bench with pillows. She spends the time making judgements and trying to be fair. The owner of the slave pits, Hizdahr zo Loraq, comes back, this time with seven former slaves, champions who want to fight. It is the only skill they have and they want to earn money. Daenerys says she will consider it.
Daenerys leaves the hall and asks Barristan to tell her of his escape from King’s Landing. He says he disguised himself as a peasant and no one recognised him. He says he watched Eddard Stark’s execution and Dany say’s he was a traitor. Barristan tells her that Eddard was an honourable man who wouldn’t condone Robert’s desire to assassinate her when she was pregnant. Dany says the Starks had a hand in the slaughter of her family and Barristan returns that it was Lannister work. Dany says they are all guilty, then breaks off, saying she needs to see the pit.
The Dragon Pit is under the pyramid and currently holds Viserion and Rhaegal. The dragons are locked up so they don’t kill any more children. Daenerys thinks of all the stories about dragons and the battles they were used in that she heard as a child, and realises that none of them talk about how dragons were fed or controlled. Drogon could not be captured. They tried several times and then he stopped coming back to Meereen.
So, who are the suitors? The kraken is Victarion on behalf of Euron; the lion must be Tyrion and the sun’s son is Quentyn Martell. I don’t know who the rest are. I guess we’ll find out soon enough. I think the pale mare has been mentioned before though?
The slave pit is a real conundrum, isn’t it? But rulers can’t ban stuff just because they don’t like it. It seems like this is the circuses part of the ‘bread and circuses’ guide to ruling. People need some fun – even if that fun is watching people hacking each other to pieces. It also raises the question of consent. The former slaves want to fight because they had better lives as slaves than they do as free men, but they have an opportunity to make their own money, doing the only thing they know how.
And the dragons are in a pit. That’s sad. It’s a really interesting point about how she manages her weapons. Can dragons be trained? Will Drogon come back? I think he will and he’ll be huge. But what will Dany do with him?
And poor old Dany doesn’t get to have Daario. That sucks. If she were a man she could have whoever she wanted.

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