Cupbearers of Daenerys Targaryen

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The cupbearers of Daenerys Targaryen are her Meereenese child hostages and servants.

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A Dance with Dragons

To stymie the nightly killings of the Sons of the Harpy in Meereen, Queen Daenerys Targaryen has every noble family of Meereen who is of dubious loyalty send her a child as a hostage. These children are made her cupbearers.[1] They serve in the queen's chambers in the Great Pyramid, performing such duties as serving wine and food, setting the table and bringing her clothing, and standing guard at her door.[2]

Daenerys hopes having noble children as hostages will halt the killings, but it does not. However, Daenerys refuses to allow any harm to come to the children. She grows fond of them all, and ignores Skahaz mo Kandaq's counsel to kill one for every death done by the Sons of the Harpy. Ser Barristan Selmy instructs the boys in the ways of Westerosi chivalry.[2]

When Daenerys disappears on Drogon's back, the cupbearers continue to serve her husband, King Hizdahr zo Loraq.[3]

Ser Barristan Selmy plots with Skahaz mo Kandaq to seize control of Meereen in the queen's name. Although Skahaz wants to kill the cupbearers in return for the deaths of the hostages Daenerys had granted to the besiegers of Meereen, Barristan also refuses to allow any harm to come to the children. Their innocence reminds him of the children of Rhaegar Targaryen, Rhaenys and Aegon, who were murdered in the Sack of King's Landing.[4]

The cupbearers are in Hizdahr zo Loraq's chambers when Barristan comes to arrest him. A few bear witness when Barristan kills Hizdahr's bodyguard, the pit fighter Khrazz, and are very frightened by the sight.[4]

After Prince Quentyn Martell is deathly burned by Rhaegal's dragonfire, Barristan asks the cupbearers if they will tend to his needs while he lays dying in Queen Daenerys's chambers, but the sight of the burned man is too much for the children, even for the boldest of them. After Quentyn dies and his corpse is taken away, Barristan enters the chambers and finds six of the cupbearers playing a child's game, sitting in a circle on the floor as they take turns spinning a dagger. They obey Barristan's commands, as he is Hand of the Queen.[5]


References and Notes

  1. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 11, Daenerys II.
  2. 2.0 2.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 23, Daenerys IV.
  3. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 55, The Queensguard.
  4. 4.0 4.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.
  5. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 70, The Queen's Hand.

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