Author's Notes: It's a new chapter and one I'm sure a lot of you are looking forward to! Thank you all ever so much for your continued support of this project. It's so motivating and empowering to have so many wonderful readers who love this story as much as I do. Enjoy!
Catzrko0l continues to be a most amazing beta. Thank you so much for all of your hard work!
Daenerys felt her heart flutter as she stared at herself in the mirror while Missandei braided the top part of her hair. It had taken a moment for Daenerys to place the feeling that had stolen over her since last night: excitement. It had been so long since she had felt the restless vigor of that emotion that she almost hadn't recognized it, but she found herself repeatedly twisting her fingers, relaxing them, and then repeating.
I am to be wed again, she thought and she shivered with excitement.
She thought back to the poor frightened girl she had been not that long ago, who had thought she might choke on the heart in her throat. The day she had wed Drogo was one of torture. She had known what to expect at the end of it all, which had kept her frozen in her seat, but then she'd been forced to watch men in the khalasar die bloody deaths in the midst of the excitement of the celebrations. Though she had spent much of her life on the run, she had not yet been accustomed to death being a daily occurrence. She had thought surely she would die from the match, one way or another. But it was Drogo who had not survived and she had walked out of the ashes with her dragons, stronger and more alive than ever.
His death had seemed to pave the way for her success and eventual return to Westeros where she belonged with one of the last remaining members of her family. They would now join to rebuild House Targaryen. She felt a pang in her heart for Rhaego; whatever she had felt for Drogo, Rhaego hadn't deserved his fate. When she'd had a spare moment on the voyage to Westeros, she would occasionally daydream about what Rhaego might look like; screaming, giggling, and clapping at the dragons as they dipped into the ocean for their food. Would he have been able to bond with one of the dragons?
She shook it from her mind. That was a future that was not meant to be, but there was a new future to look forward to. Once more, a vision from the House of the Undying rose to the forefront of her memory. She remembered Aemon had walked into the room and picked up the babe from the wet nurse. When he'd seen her, he had spoken to her familiarly, as a loved one. It had been too much to think about at the time, but the excitement blossomed in her chest once more that her vision was about to become her life.
It reminded her again of the other visions she'd seen in the House of the Undying and she frowned.
"Apologies, Daenerys," Missandei muttered.
"Hmm?" Daenerys raised her eyebrows at her.
"I may have pulled too hard on your hair. I hope it did not pain you."
"I felt nothing," Daenerys said, her smile evident again.
One vision contained her now certain future with Aemon, but there was another vision in which the dead rose and attacked her. Aemon's reveal of the wight made it clear that it was yet another possible future. That left her vision of the dragons swooping and scorching King's Landing. The dragons had been considerably bigger, as large as a small building. With each passing day they grew larger, but she could tell that they were still years from reaching the sizes she'd seen.
Would there be a moment for her to divert her dragons from the death and destruction the vision foretold? She had not seen herself, only the dragons. What could have driven them to do such harm? She crinkled her brow before smoothing it.
There was one detail about that vision that she was having difficulty reconciling: Where was Rhaegal? Although much of it was a blur of confusion and panic, she recognized the buildings of King's Landing, though she was uncertain as to where she had been in the city. But there was no mistaking the two attacking dragons were Drogon and Rhaellon. Was Rhaegal not mad? Did Aemon have control of him, but not the others? Was she dead or had she lost control?
Ever since her visions had started falling into place starting with having met the healers in the halls, she had been making inquiries. It had frustrated her that her conversation with Lady Delphine had not been more fruitful, but when she had attempted to approach Lady Leona, the woman had raised an eyebrow at her and kept her secrets behind a smile.
It seemed unlikely she would be able to learn what she wanted from them. Perhaps it was time to visit the source of her curiosity: Healer David.
Will he be more forthcoming with me? Daenerys wondered, but she had her doubts. She would not be able to threaten him with death by dragonfire. Aemon almost certainly would not approve of that. She would have to think of a different approach.
She had sewing twice a week and Lady Margaery made a point to sit at her side every time. She was a welcome companion who often helped her fix her mistakes before the Septa could frown disapprovingly. Margaery would frequently keep a running conversation about the happenings within the Red Keep and speak of her own history. Daenerys distinctly recalled a time when she made mention of using sweet words to entice people to do things for her.
"After all, honey is sure to attract more flies than vinegar," Margaery had said with a delighted smile.
Daenerys' eyes lit up a moment at the memory. That's it then. I can always entice Healer David. I will be queen; I have influence. Perhaps that will be enough. While she wasn't sure of what exactly she expected to learn, she hoped that she would recognize it when she heard it.
"There," Missandei said with a bright smile, "Is that what you want, Dany?"
Daenerys stared into her reflection at the intricate swirl of braids weaved close to her scalp. The braids then met at the crown of her head and wound together into an elaborate plait down her back. The hair at the back of her neck was left free to be a cushion for the braids to rest on.
"It's magnificent, Missandei," Daenerys said, breaking out into her first true smile of the day. "You never cease to amaze me with the way you work your fingers."
Daenerys thought Missandei might be blushing as she bashfully turned to look at the ground, but there was no mistaking her pleased smile. "Thank you, Dany. You should look your most beautiful on your wedding day."
"And I will, thanks to you," Daenerys replied, grabbing her hand and squeezing it gently.
A knock sounded at the door.
"If I'm not mistaken, that will be Margaery and Sansa," Daenerys said.
Jhiqui got the door and revealed the two women who quite possibly appeared more excited than Daenerys herself by some miracle. They had spent their morning preparing for the wedding. Margaery was in a trouser-dress of grey with gold trimmings to honor both the Stark and Tyrell house colors. Her hair was pinned up with ringlets falling out to frame her face. Sansa was in a beautiful blue and white that was the color of her eyes; her hair was drawn back into a full braid. Margaery stopped short and gasped in delight.
"You don't even have your dress on and you're already outshining the rest of us," she said with a curtsey.
Sansa hurriedly followed her lead and dipped into a curtsey as well. "How have you managed to get your hair to behave like that?"
"Ask Missandei," Daenerys said.
"Oh Missandei, that is marvelous," Margaery replied and briefly her smile fell into one of pain. "I would very much enjoy listening to the secrets of your weaves, but we set out on the morn for the North. Just know that I will forever admire your work and I can only imagine how beautiful your own daughters' hair will be."
After having just thought of Rhaego, Daenerys felt a pang once more and pulled away from Margaery to hide her sadness. Why must Rhaego haunt me now? She wondered. She had been doing everything she could to keep her mind from him for fear she would drown in her despair. Focusing on the dragons had been crucial to keeping her mind off of the tremendous loss of her son. But the dragons were no longer the center of her attention. With the wedding mere hours away, the kingdom's attention would be on her and the expectation of her bearing children. She had to do her part.
Her boy was dead; he could never be, yet it felt so wrong to move on from him after carrying him in her belly for so long. All of the hope, the possibilities, would be for others. For my future children, she thought. She decided that once she was married, she would no longer allow thoughts of Rhaego to trouble her heart. He is at rest now; I must go on.
"Have you tried on your dress?" Sansa asked, bouncing excitedly and having missed Daenerys' melancholy.
It was a welcome distraction, as Daenerys composed herself once more and smiled. "Yes, it was beautiful!"
"Shall we see it then?" Margaery said, her eyebrows lifting.
"How long until we're needed outside?" Daenerys asked Missandei.
"Two hours more, Khaleesi."
"It is time then," Daenerys asked. After she had broken her fast, she had dressed down into a sheer robe. She untied the knot that held it together and shrugged it off, allowing it to pool at her feet, as she walked bare to where her dress had been laid out on the bed.
"It's perfect," Margaery breathed and Sansa gave a squeak of agreement.
During the planning stage, she had been displeased with the seamstress' initial designs. The seamstress insisted that despite it being a color of her house that it was bad luck to be wearing black at her wedding, so a full black dress was ruled out. That left red with bits of black worked in around the arms and the waist, but Daenerys had frowned over the suggestion. She had never worn red to such an extent and she found it less than pleasing to be decked out in it.
After having scraped by in the Dothraki Sea with the bits of fabric that were available to them, Daenerys was bewildered at how involved the planning stage was. She was beginning to understand why Lady Brienne had been so disgruntled by the time she walked in. Her own temper had been starting to run hot. Everyone was surprised then when Lady Sansa had made the suggestion of making the dress white.
They started with the white and Daenerys was much more pleased as she pointed out places where black and red could be added. The dress was a silky white with pearls sewn into lines along the sleeves and in the inseam to give it a sheen in the sunlight. Red and black swirls started from the bottom, interwoven together looking like flames at her feet. It then turned to white until it reached the bodice, which was outlined with black layered over red again to give her that touch of fire.
Daenerys gave it to Missandei to hold open for her. The back was open and she stepped through, slipping her arms into the sleeves. Once it was smoothed out and properly placed, Missandei then moved behind to button up the back. Once the dress was on, Daenerys walked over to the women, who gasped and began circling her like sharks.
"Magnificent," Margaery breathed.
"You're so beautiful, Your Grace! Like a princess out of one of the stories," Sansa squealed, her eyes shining brightly. "And you're marrying the king! Surely, the Gods are good!"
Daenerys blinked at her. "Yes, the Gods smile upon us," she said in a voice that did not sound entirely convincing to her ears, but Sansa didn't seem to notice. She had not grown up with a religion, yet once she joined the Dothraki, the rituals, the incantations, were just another facet of culture. Learning about the Seven would be much in the same vein.
I would've preferred the old gods myself, since they are what I grew up knowing. But the old gods are mostly kept in the North and everyone South keeps the Seven. It would not do to have us wed before any other. It's what the people expect, he'd said.
Daenerys found it interesting that Aemon was so beholden to a great many things. Viserys had only ever screamed about people obeying him because he was king. She had difficulty seeing him kowtowing to be married before Gods that he had no interest in. There would never be a suggestion of him doing anything but precisely what he wanted.
A bit like our father once he went mad, Daenerys thought morosely. She had heard from Ser Barristan and others of the same time who said that her father had once been a good man. But his reason had been corrupted; he became increasingly paranoid and eventually mad. Even though Maester Aemon had not been present during her father's time as king, she'd sent a letter hoping he might shed some light on that time. Is it possible for Aemon to go mad? Is it possible for me? She shuddered at the very thought and suddenly felt cold despite the heat of the day.
Enough of that, she chastised herself. This is a day of celebration. She turned her attention to Missandei. Her friend always appeared so lovely with her bushy hair and simple outfits. "Do you not have something to wear for my wedding?"
Missandei adopted a face of confusion. "My place is here, Khaleesi. I did not think you would need me."
"I am about to be joined in marriage to the king, one of the most important days of my life. I would have you there with me," Daenerys said, rushing over to take her hand. "I insist you attend. You should all attend."
Jhiqui, Doreah, and Irri bounced excitedly and rushed off to get ready. Daenerys remembered that they had picked up dresses of high value from Xaro Xhoan Daxos since they were people of great import to her. But Missandei had not been with them at the time.
"What shall I wear, Khaleesi?" Missandei asked.
Daenerys' smile grew bigger. "I have a surprise for you," she said and pulled her over to the wardrobe.
"Is this—?" Margaery began to ask, rushing to follow.
"It is," Daenerys rifled through her dresses and pulled out one that had been stashed in the corner, still wrapped in dark fabric. "I spoke with the seamstress about making a dress for you. Lady Delphine offered suggestions for the cut since your skin is of similar color." Daenerys held the bundle out. "For you."
Missandei was speechless as she pulled out a dress of green silk that was of a style Lady Delphine often wore. She drew herself up, struggling to keep composed, and bowed. "I am truly honored, Khaleesi."
"Enough of that now. We must get you ready," Daenerys said with an excited giggle.
It was too late to do a full wash of her hair, but Daenerys and the other ladies agreed her hair was already beautiful. Sansa and Margaery giggled as they rushed around, going through Daenerys' make-up to find complementary colors. Missandei's lips were given a mahogany red and her eyelids were coated with blue and a dash of silver. Finally, her cheeks were dusted with a small bit of pink.
"I think you're ready," Daenerys said. "What do you think?"
Missandei stared at herself for a moment in the mirror, tilting her head every which way. "I feel like one of you. Of noble birth," she said with a smile.
"You are one of us," Daenerys insisted.
"Forgive me, Princess, but we are required to leave ahead of you for the Sept of Baelor. I can arrange a carriage to take you all to the Sept as well," Margaery said to all of the maidens.
Missandei frowned. "I thought we would be with Khaleesi."
"You must go ahead of me so that you may find a place in the audience," Daenerys said. "Go on. I have my bloodriders."
The silence that followed their departure was deafening, but Daenerys was determined to find contentment in it. It would not be long, after all, before she was in a carriage herself, listening to the excited screams of the crowd.
These next steps are my own to take, she thought. She remembered blinking in confusion when Aemon asked if there was anyone in particular she wanted to walk her down the aisle. That had not been a part of the Dothraki wedding ceremony, so Aemon had to explain to her how the tradition worked. I have no father and now no more brothers. My bloodriders shall be behind me, but I will walk alone.
Aemon, of course, had accepted her reasoning, but she was not unaware of how important tradition was for people. She hoped she did not insult their Gods by refusing to walk in on the arm of a man, but she was to be marrying the king who would otherwise be walking her down the aisle. It felt appropriate to her, since it was her decision to marry him, that she bridge that gap herself.
Daenerys turned at a knock on her door. "Khaleesi, it's time," Ser Jorah called out.
She took a deep breath, straightening up to her full height and opened the door only to be met with Ser Jorah's morose face.
"Must you be so unhappy? I am going to be married, not face my death on the block," she teased, trying to hide the pang of irritation she felt at seeing such a dour expression. Ser Jorah had been quieter lately, but based on their previous discussions, he did not approve of this marriage or of King Aemon, though she couldn't pinpoint why.
In just the month that they had known each other, Aemon had demonstrated his kindness, consideration, and love for her. Once she'd had a taste of Westerosi dishes, he went out of his way to have her favorites made. He occasionally brought her flowers to brighten up her rooms. They also spent a large portion of their evening hours in the godswood, bonding with the dragons. He made her spirit feel light as a feather, something she had not felt for any extended period of time in her life. There were still concerns, but he shared them with her and treated her like an equal. When he was in the small council meetings or hearing his citizens at court, he carried an air of authority and dispensed his rulings as just and fair as he could manage. He was a good king and a good man. After putting up with her brother and discovering the truth about how Khal Drogo really felt about her, she was fortunate to be marrying someone of such high moral character.
The halls of the Red Keep were empty save for the servants, who bowed as she passed. She nodded at who she could. The roar of the crowd could be heard the moment she stepped outside. Her heart soared in elation at the jubilation. Ser Torrhen Karstark smiled at her approach and held a hand out to help her into the carriage. Ser Torrhen, Ser Jorah, and her bloodriders remained outside the carriage to walk alongside it as it was pulled through the crowds.
Once the carriage crossed the threshold of the gate, a tumultuous wave of sound nearly washed over her. She pulled up the carriage window to peer outside. Men, women, and children were jumping up and down, reaching out to her behind a wall of her Unsullied and gold cloaks. They were all smiles with roars that could drown out the dragons.
Daenerys grinned back at them and waved. She went from one side of the carriage to the other to greet them. My people. These are my people. I hope I don't let them down, she thought. Even though she went back and forth to greet both sides of the road, she was disappointed when she did not see any of the children from the orphanage. She hoped they were able to take part in the festivities. She would see them again soon.
The carriage ambled to a stop, Ser Jorah opened her door for her, and Ser Torrhen helped her out once more.
"Will I be walking you down, Princess?" Ser Torrhen asked.
"That is quite all right, but I insist on going without. Ser Jorah and my bloodriders will be walking in my steps if that is where you want to be," Daenerys said gently.
Ser Torrhen blinked in confusion, but nodded and found his place in her guard. She stepped up to the double doors. A servant hidden in a nook on the side stepped forward and handed her a bouquet of roses. Daenerys smiled to herself at the arrangement of red and dark maroon roses, clearly picked to be indicative of the Targaryen house colors. The double doors opened to the Sept. She tipped her head back and smiled as she began her walk down the aisle.
She flicked her eyes to the sides, looking for familiar faces. At Lord Lannister and Lady Brienne's wedding, she hadn't had a good view of her surroundings, only seeing those closest to her standing in the front row. But from this viewpoint, she could see everyone lined up almost wall-to-wall. She almost wished she could have seen the procession to the Sept of Baelor and briefly wondered how it would've compared to the Khalasar snaking its way across the Dothraki sea. Few things were more impressive than that, but she would credit Westeros to having more people of significant standing compared to what Dothraki culture had. If the wedding before was typical, she was at least glad she wouldn't have to pretend to enjoy the violence and lust that a Dothraki wedding inspires.
Aemon was standing on the dais and even from her distance, she could see his eyes grow wide and his mouth fall open in shock. He was dressed in gray trousers and a doublet of red with the Targaryen sigil on his chest. His cloak was black with red lining. His Valyrian Steel sword rested on his belt at his side. She grinned up at him, but kept her pace. The kingsguard were lined up on one side and her guard siphoned off to line up along the other. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw movement and noticed Missandei and the others give a small wave to show their support.
Daenerys slowly walked up the steps to the dais. Aemon held his hand out for her and she took it. An attendant nearby offered to take the flowers and she handed them off. She thought she felt a tremble in Aemon's hands and looked at him to see his eyes were bright with happiness and he grinned at her. She thought his dark curls were still damp from the bath he'd clearly had and she admired the trim of his beard.
The septon started speaking and she reluctantly tore her eyes away to pay attention. The septa who taught her sewing had also spent some time with her teaching her the rituals of marriage. She felt her mouth go dry as nerves crept up on her. It had taken some work to memorize all of the words that needed to be said, and she had botched it a fair few times in her practice. Her worry must've shown on her face because Aemon squeezed her fingers gently.
"You may now cloak the bride and bring her under your protection."
Daenerys turned around. As she understood it, most women had a different house from the one they were marrying and that inspired the exchange of cloaks. Since she was already a Targaryen, there was no sense to her wearing a maiden's cloak, but it was part of the ritual for him to bring her under his protection. She had further learned that the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, despite all appearances, did not take the king's house name and instead kept her own. It felt like bearing the same name would make them a stronger front together and the thought filled her with pride.
"In the sight of the Seven, I hereby seal these two souls, binding them as one, for eternity. Now, look upon one another and say the words …."
"Father, Smith, Warrior, Mother, Maiden, Crone, Stranger, I am his and he is mine from this day until the end of my days." Daenerys was surprised at how confident her voice sounded as the recitation poured out of her in unison with Aemon. She liked how Aemon's eyes softened as he spoke and she took pleasure in the low timbre of his voice.
"You may now seal this vow with a kiss."
Daenerys beamed and closed the distance much quicker than him. She could feel him chuckling against her lips as he wrapped his arms around her and hugged her tight. Once the crowd erupted into cheers, they stepped back from each other. Aemon's lips were red from the color of the make-up she was wearing and she giggled at the sight. They turned together and began walking down the dais, hand-in-hand. The kingsguard on their right moved first to walk in front of them while Daenerys' kingsguard and bloodriders fell in behind them as they left.
Everyone was still clapping and cheering as they stepped through the doors and were promptly drowned out by the people of King's Landing roaring their approval. The kingsguard fanned out in front of them even though the Unsullied and gold cloak blockade still held. Aemon raised his eyebrows at her in question, then turned and raised a fist up in solidarity with the people. Their roars became deafening. Daenerys hoped only for a moment that it might attract the dragons to complete the vision she found herself, but they were busy hunting in Blackwater Bay. She began waving to the crowd and roused them once more into an uproarious cheer.
After a time, Aemon pulled her hand and she allowed herself to be led to the carriage she arrived in.
"No horses this time?"
"I'd rather have you all to myself for a moment," Aemon murmured and planted a kiss on the back of her hand. The look he gave her made her melt into him as she leaned over to kiss him once more. He groaned and happily met her with equal fervor.
When they stopped, he rested his forehead against hers. "I can't believe we're finally married," he whispered.
"Was it really so torturous? It's not even been two months since we met," she said, but she felt her belly warm at the sentiment.
"You have no idea," he replied.
She curled up with him in the carriage, nestling her cheek into his chest. He kissed her hair and pulled her closer if at all possible.
After a moment's quiet, he asked, "Do you remember what I told you about the bedding tradition we have?"
"I do," Daenerys said, but she did not pull away quite yet.
"I know you said you were comfortable with it, but I would prefer you not go through it."
"It's tradition. I know how important tradition is," Daenerys said, thinking back on her memories of integrating into Dothraki culture. She had bucked tradition where she could. She had been the one to spare Mirri Maz Duur, and that had seen to the death of Drogo and the ruination of the Khalasar. She did not much regret Drogo's death, but the breaking of the Khalasar led to so much other suffering. It was doubtful that her forgoing this tradition would result in any deaths, but it seemed harmless.
"Jaime refused to allow Lady Brienne to suffer it," Aemon replied.
Daenerys sat up. "Yes, but we know why. Lady Brienne has no confidence in her body and would have suffered for it. I'm certain I won't suffer that. It will be fine, my love."
She noticed Aemon clench his fist. "If anyone touches you in a way you disapprove—"
"Then my bloodriders will remove the offending hand," Daenerys replied, amusement coloring her voice.
Aemon sighed. "Very well. I'm sure it will be safe. I know Lady Margaery didn't have any trouble."
"And neither will I," Daenerys said, planting another kiss on his lips. They indulged in one another until the carriage bumped to a stop in the Red Keep.
The next several hours were then spent at the feast. Daenerys smiled to herself as she noticed a couple of Essosi dishes that she remembered mentioning to Aemon about having enjoyed and smiled at him. I have difficulty believing I could have married a more sincere man, she thought, often turning to gaze lovingly at him. He would catch her eye and smile.
As king and queen, they were at the center table, sharing with the Stark family. Lady Margaery was placed on her right side and Aemon on her left. The rest of the Starks followed on Margaery's other side. Daenerys noticed that the Lannisters were sharing a table with the Tyrells. It seemed an effort had been made to separate clashing personalities, so Lord Lannister had been seated next to Ser Garlan Tyrell. She hadn't met all of the Lannisters but there was an older man sitting next to Olenna Tyrell who frequently laughed uproariously and even caused the lady herself to laugh. Lord and Lady Alexandratos were seated next to Willas Tyrell and Mace Tyrell. Ser Addam Marbrand and Healer David shared a table with the Boltons, The healer appeared bored of the frivolities and restless.
A myriad of entertainment had been arranged, from a play called Jonquil and Florian the Fool to a lutist who composed a ballad in honor of her and Aemon's love. It was silly enough to cause her to blush and giggle with Aemon over the flowery lyrics. Lord Alexandratos and his twin boys played a warm and jaunty piece on their cellos, which earned them hearty applause.
Once the final course was removed, the floor was open for dancing. Daenerys looked to Aemon with an expectant smile and he got up, looking bashful, and held out his hand to her. "May I have the honor of this dance?"
"Of course," she said, allowing him to pull her up. They walked to the dance floor and soon a multitude of other couples joined them as they began the steps. At their first dance, Daenerys had been new to the steps and unsure; she danced with confidence now and it took everything in her not to laugh at Aemon's decidedly clumsier steps.
"I'm unpracticed," he said.
"I was too! I practiced though," Daenerys replied.
"I don't care much about this type of dance though," Aemon said with a sigh of exasperation.
"Oh? What dance do you care about?"
"The sword dance."
"Of course," Daenerys said with a slight roll of her eyes.
The dance involved switching partners, and Daenerys danced with Ser Garlan Tyrell, Robb Stark, Ser Robar Royce, and Domeric Bolton in succession. Ser Garlan was the lightest on his feet and made her laugh the most. Robb Stark reminded her of her dragons, overeager and energetic, but overall of a good nature. Ser Robar was a pleasant young man, but his eyes were haunted and he did not engage much in conversation. Domeric Bolton made her feel uneasy and his hands were surprisingly cold, but he was a good dancer and she found the conversation thoughtful. He spoke to her of the longstanding feud between the Starks and the Boltons and how it culminated in his father's taking Winterfell and holding the young Brandon Stark hostage. Daenerys hadn't thought there would be much history to it, which made her want to curse herself for her incuriousness. As queen, she would need to know more about these intricacies of history and conflict between the houses. There was always yet more to learn about Westeros.
When she found herself dancing with Aemon again, he noticed her excitement had dimmed. "Is something the matter?"
She was quiet for a moment, debating whether to spoil the mood, but finally said, "Domeric Bolton told me about the conflict between the Starks and the Boltons."
Aemon blinked at her. "That's a rather odd topic of conversation."
"I asked him about the taking of Winterfell and he explained his father's motivations," Daenerys replied, frowning thoughtfully. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"I'm sorry if you felt left out, but I honestly hadn't thought to explain it. It's muddied ground. The Starks wrong the Boltons, the Boltons wrong the Starks, and that has been the case throughout our history. I was hoping that by sending Lord Bolton home early, he wouldn't be able to cause trouble in King's Landing. I should've known he might cause trouble up North when the army is so concerned with the south," Aemon said, a flicker of anger entering his eyes. "It's my error for being so blind to the moves he was making."
Daenerys tilted her head in wonder. "I've never seen you so hard on yourself."
"My cousin and the other children suffer at the hands of that wretch. I've tried to put it to the back of my mind, but it has been eating at me. Every day that passes without my uncle and the other northern lords setting out for Winterfell, my concern grows," Aemon said. "If the Gods are good, they will spare Bran and the other children."
Daenerys placed her hand on his cheek. "The Gods have been good so far. There is always hope."
"Thank you. At any rate, you should not be spared details any longer. Now that you are my queen, you will be allowed to join the small council sessions as well. I will need your wisdom."
Her eyes brightened and the smile returned to her face. "I will be looking forward to that."
Aemon did a chuckle mixed with a groan. "Not sure why. It's dreadfully dull."
"You say that, but I was at the one where you treated with the pirate, and it was quite exciting if I do say so."
"Perhaps they will excite you then. There's no small amount of bickering."