A Game of Thrones-Chapter 54

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Daenerys VI
A Game of Thrones chapter
POV Daenerys Targaryen
Place Vaes Dothrak
Page 487 US HC (Other versions)
Chapter chronology (All)
Daenerys V
Bran VI  ← Daenerys VI →  Catelyn VIII

Daenerys VII

Daenerys is unable to convince Khal Drogo to assault the Seven Kingdoms to regain her throne. While Drogo is hunting, Daenerys goes to the market where a wineseller offers her a cask of wine. When Ser Jorah insists that the merchant drink first, the merchant refuses and attempts to flee. When Drogo learns of the attempt to poison Daenerys, he makes the decision to attack the Seven Kingdoms.


After taking his pleasure, Khal Drogo arises from the sleeping mats and declares that the Stallion Who Mounts the World has no need of an iron chair. Daenerys reminds him that it is prophesized that the Stallion will ride to the ends of the earth, but Drogo responds that the earth ends at the black salt sea, which no horse can drink. Daenerys tries to explain ships to him, but Drogo is not interested and leaves to go hunting. She can only hope that if his hunting goes well he might return in a more receptive mood; maybe he will even kill a hrakkar, the white lion of the plains. Although he is brave even by Dothraki standards, like all his people Drogo still fears the sea.

Daenerys sends for Ser Jorah. When he arrives, she pleads for help convincing her husband to ride west. Ser Jorah explains that Drogo has never seen the Seven Kingdoms and probably thinks of them as small islands like Lys or Lorath; the riches of the east seem a lot more tempting. He continues that she should have patience and not make her brother's mistake. Ser Jorah promises that eventually they will go home. The word “home” saddens her when she remembers that the Seven Kingdoms are a place she has never seen either, and she wonders if the dosh khaleen is her future.

In an attempt to cheer her up, Ser Jorah asks if she would like visit the Western Market, where a great caravan has just arrived and may carry a letter from Magister Illyrio. Daenerys likes this idea since it will be nice to see the treasures, to hear the sound of the Valyrian language, and (since Drogo is gone) to travel in a litter; she does not want to appear weak in front of her husband by not riding a horse.

Daenerys finds the market quiet compared to the bazaars of the Free Cities. The caravans come from east and west not so much to sell to the Dothraki as to trade with each other. The Dothraki do not fully understand the concept of buying and selling, but the merchants are welcome as long as they do not disturb the peace or profane the Mother of Mountains and give the traditional gifts to the dosh khaleen. Daenerys enjoys the wonder and magic of the Eastern Market, with its strange foods and people, but the Western Market reminds her of home. She tells Ser Jorah about how she loved to play in the bazaars of the Free Cities when she was a little girl even though they seldom had money to buy anything. She especially remembers the honeyfinger cakes of Tyrosh. When she asks if they have such cakes in the Seven Kingdoms, Ser Jorah is unable to say.

Ser Jorah asks her pardon to seek out the merchant captain to ask about letters from Illyrio, but when Daenerys offers to join him he is insistent that he go alone. Daenerys finds this curious and wonders if the knight plans to visit a brothel afterwards. Daenerys wanders joyfully around for half of the morning, even laughing for the first time since her brother’s death. As per Dothraki custom she receives several items as gifts and reciprocates with medallions from her belt.

Turning a corner, they come upon a wineseller offering thimbles of wines. Daenerys accepts a taste of a Dornish red, speaking in Valyrian, which surprises the merchant, until Doreah steps up to declare all of Daenerys's titles. The merchant immediately insists that the wine he was going to offer her is not worthy of a princess and offers her a cask of his finest wine, an Arbor red. Daenerys graciously accepts the cask, knowing that Drogo has acquired a taste for fine wine from his time in the Free Cities.

As Daenerys is ordering the cask taken back to the litter, Ser Jorah appears and states he wants a taste of the wine. The wine merchant resists, insisting that Ser Jorah is not fit for such wine, but relents and pours two cups when Ser Jorah threatens him. Then Ser Jorah orders the merchant to drink. Instead, the merchant throws the cask at Daenerys and flees. Ser Jorah pushes Daenerys out of the way and Doreah just barely catches her before she falls on her pregnant belly. Jhogo uses his whip to trip the merchant. The ruckus brings a dozen caravan guards and the merchant captain running. The merchant captain seems to guess what has happened. He orders the merchant taken away to await Khal Drogo and gives the merchant’s goods to Daenerys as a gift. Daenerys asks Ser Jorah how he knew but the knight insists that he only suspected because the letter from Magister Illyrio had made him fearful. As they return, Daenerys notes that her baby is moving restlessly and she comforts him with words about being the blood of the dragon.

When they get back to the hollow hummock that serves as her home, Daenerys orders the rest to leave her with Ser Jorah. The knight explains that the letter from Magister Illyrio brings news that the Usurper has offered lands and a lordship to anyone that kills Daenerys and her child or her brother. Daenerys observes, with a laughing sob, that the Usurper owes Drogo a lordship for killing Viserys.

Daenerys then thinks that the Usurper has woken her dragon and looks over to her dragon eggs. She commands Ser Jorah to light the brazier despite the heat and then asks him to leave. She then pushes the eggs under the coals, wondering if she is destroying the eggs. Nothing happens and Daenerys is very disappointed, but wonders even to herself what she was expecting.

Drogo returns with the carcass of a hrakkar as the stars come out. After he has told her that he will make her a cloak of its skin, Daenerys tells him what has happened. Drogo becomes very quiet as Ser Jorah tells him that this will not be the last attempt. For their roles in saving his khaleesi, Drogo gives Ser Jorah and Jhogo their choice of his horses. Drogo also proclaims a gift for his unborn son, Rhaego: the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Drogo then swears to the Mother of Mountains that he will take his khalasar west and ride the wooden horses to Westeros to kill the men in the iron suits and tear down their stone houses. He vows to rape their women, take their children as slaves, and to bring their broken gods back to Vaes Dothrak to bow beneath the Mother of Mountains.

Two days later, the khalasar leaves Vaes Dothrak, headed southwest. The wine seller is forced to run naked, chained behind Daenerys's silver mare. No harm will come to the man, so long as he keeps up.

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References and Notes