A Clash of Kings-Chapter 12
|A Clash of Kings chapter|
|Place||Somewhere in the Red Waste - Vaes Tolorro|
|Page||138 UK HC (Other versions)|
|Chapter chronology (All)|
Daenerys Targaryen decides to follow the Red Comet deep into the Red Waste of the Dothraki Sea. Many are lost before they find an abandoned city. While her khalasar rests, her three bloodriders scout ahead. Jhogo, the last to return, brings three strangers from Qarth.
Daenerys Targaryen is having her small khalasar follow the Red Comet the Dothraki have named shierak qiya, Bleeding Star. The old men mutter that it is an ill omen, but it appeared the night they cremated Khal Drogo and Daenerys' dragons hatched; she considers it the herald of her coming. She is told by Doreah that the land is grim in that direction, but she really has no choice with the khalasars of Khal Pono, Khal Jhaqo and others holding sway to the north; their hundred people with only four warriors would be no match. When Daenerys told Ser Jorah Mormont that Pono always used to speak to her kindly, Jorah reminds her that he was first to leave, and would kill her. When the khaleesi mentions that she has dragons, he replies that a swipe of an arakh would kill the hatchlings. He also tells her that if her dragon eggs were, highly valuable, a living dragon is priceless, and every man would want one, but Daenerys makes it clear that they are hers and will never be taken away from her. However, her khalasar could not withstand even the peaceful Lamb Men to the south, who have no love for her. The only way seems to be into the red lands, and when she tells her people, while garbed in the pelt of a White Lion with its head covering her bald head, that they will follow the comet, no words are raised against it.
They ride by night. Several horses die as they travel—Pono, Jhago and the others have taken the best horses—and soon many are forced to walk; they find little game or water in this desolate land. Then, the weakest of her people start to die. It is worse than Ser Jorah expected.
With little to eat and drink, Daenerys suffers with her people, as she sheds much weight and her milk dries up, so that Daenerys can no longer breastfeed the young dragons. They do not eat the meat she tries to feed them until she remembers Viserys saying that only men and dragons eat cooked meat. From then on, she cooks meat, which they devour, and finally stops fearing for their lives. Every night, Daenerys lets one of the dragons ride on her shoulder, while Irri and Jhiqui carry the other two in in a cage slung between their mounts.
One day Aggo states that the black dragon is Balerion come again. Daenerys recalls that Aegon’s dragons were named for the gods of Old Valyria, but she decides to name the dragons after those the gods have taken from her: She names the green one Rhaegal after her brother Rhaegar Targaryen, the cream and gold one Viserion after Viserys, and the black one Drogon after her late husband. The dragons prosper.
Doreah, who has been ill for a while, gets worse with a fever, and finally grows unable to mount her horse. Daenerys stops the khalasar and personally cares for the woman that taught her the art of love, and finally, as Daenerys is holding her hand while she is shivering, she dies.
Daenerys is despairing that the Red Comet has shown her wrong, but outriders return with news of a city, a city that even Ser Jorah can tell her nothing of. She sends her bloodriders to scout the city: Aggo, Jhiqui and Rakharo. They return to report that the city is dead, with Jhiqui stating that cities where the gods are gone and the ghosts feast at night are best avoided. This does not dissuade Daenerys, and she leads her khalasar into the deserted city. Inside, Daenerys finds an empty plinth and thinks that its statue probably now stands in Vaes Dothrak. They find fruit trees and fresh water. When Irri mutters about ghosts, Daenerys tells her that they have dragons which are more powerful; more importantly there is food, water, and grass for the horses. When Ser Jorah arrives after she has settled in her tent and been bathed in sand, he brings a peach for her, which she savours. Daenerys declares that the gods were good to lead them here, and Ser Jorah replies that they should rest and gather strength.
Daenerys tells Ser Jorah her handmaidens say there are ghosts here, but he is unimpressed, pointing out there are ghosts everywhere. Daenerys asks about his ghosts and he tells her of his second wife, the very beautiful Lynesse Hightower and youngest daughter of Leyton Hightower—Leyton was the commander of Daenerys' father’s Kingsguard. He then tells her of his home on the remote Bear Island, where it is cold in the winter and his family's hall was built of logs surrounded by an earthen palisade. Then he explains his first wife, a Glover of Deepwood Motte, who was chosen by his father before he took the black, whom he loved after a fashion. She died with her third miscarriage, ten years after they were married. Then he fought in the Greyjoy Rebellion, earning his knighthood when he followed Thoros of Myr through the breach at Pyke. After the victory, Robert Baratheon held a tourney outside Lannisport where Jorah met Lynesse. He won jousts against Lord Jason Mallister, Yohn Royce, Ser Ryman Frey, Ser Hosteen Frey, Lord Whent, Strongboar, and Ser Boros Blount, then fought to a draw with Jaime Lannister, and was given the champion's laurel by King Robert. That night, drunk, he asked Lord Leyton for Lynesse’s hand, and they were married there in Lannisport. But his home was a disappointment to Lynesse. He went to great expense to bring what she wanted, and when that failed to work, started entering tourneys but he never distinguished himself again; the magic was gone. Each loss in a tourney cost a suit of armor and a charger, and soon he was broke. Lynesse was unwilling to give up her jewels, so for gold he lost his honor. When he heard Eddard Stark was coming, he fled with his wife to Lys. In half a year his gold was gone, and he had to become a sellsword. While he was fighting, she moved in with a merchant prince named Tregar Ormollen.Ser Jorha tells Daenerys that Lynesse looked much like her. He now hates and loves her.
After he leaves, Daenerys feels she understands him better; she now knows that Ser Jorah loves and wants he, however, she realizes that she does not want him. She also noticed his longing to return to Bear Island, a wish she hopes to grant him one day. That night she dreams of Drogo.
The next morning she calls her bloodriders and tells them each to take three healthy horses and plenty of supplies to go on scouting missions: Aggo southwest, Rakharo south, Jhogo southeast. She does not want to go forward blindly again.
In the city they name Vaes Tolorro, Daenerys waits many days for their return. Rakharo returns first with a report that to the south, the wasteland stretches till it reaches poisoned water. Along the way he passed the bones of a dragon whose jaws he could have ridden a horse through. Daenerys puts him in charge of pulling up the plaza so that more grass might grow for the horses. Aggo returns next, having found two deserted cities smaller than Vaes Tolorro that only yielded an iron bracelet and crumbling scrolls. Dany has him repair the city gates. Jhogo is the last to return, much later, bringing three queerly garbed strangers from the city of Qarth, riding massive beasts: Pyat Pree, the great warlock, Xaro Xhoan Daxos of the Thirteen, a merchant prince of Qarth, and Quaithe of the Shadow. They have come seeking dragons.