Eustace (Dance of the Dragons)

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Eustace
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Title Septon
Allegiance Faith of the Seven
House Targaryen
Greens
Culture Rivermen
Born At Stoney Sept[1]
Book(s) The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)
Fire & Blood (mentioned)
The Rogue Prince (mentioned)
The Princess and the Queen (mentioned)

Eustace was a septon attached to the Red Keep during the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen. The writings of Eustace, among them The Reign of King Viserys, first of His Name, and the Dance of the Dragons That Came After, were used as a source for The Princess and The Queen, or, The Blacks and The Greens as well as The Rogue Prince, or, A King's Brother by Archmaester Gyldayn.[2] Eventually, he rose to the ranks of the Most Devout.[3]

History

Eustace and court fool Mushroom gave conflicting accounts of events during the period before and during the Dance of the Dragons, both on the relationships between Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Prince Daemon Targaryen and of the relationship between Rhaenyra and Ser Criston Cole.[4]

Following the death of King Viserys I Targaryen, Grand Maester Orwyle told the small council that Eustace should be summoned to perform the last rites and to pray for Viserys's soul. However, Ser Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, said that they must first settle the matter of succession. Eustace wrote that Viserys's eldest son, Prince Aegon, was initially opposed to the greens' attempt to crown him instead of Aegon's elder step-sister, Princess Rhaenyra, and that Aegon only agreed to accept the crown after Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Ser Criston Cole, convinced him he would be killed if Rhaenyra became queen.[5] Because the High Septon was too old and frail to travel from Oldtown to King's Landing, Eustace anointed and blessed King Aegon II during his coronation in the Dragonpit.[2]

Following the blacks' capture of King's Landing, Eustace wrote that the Iron Throne cut Rhaenyra when she sat upon it, although she was clad in armor.[2][5] He remained in the Red Keep during Rhaenyra's brief rule and even after she fled the capital. Unlike the knights loyal to Rhaenyra and the mistress of whisperers, Lady Mysaria, Eustace was spared when Ser Perkin the Flea took the Red Keep to install his squire, Trystane Truefyre, on the throne.[6]

Following the death of King Aegon II, Eustace was arrested during the Hour of the Wolf, after Lord Cregan Stark took control of the Red Keep to investigate the poisoning of the king. During the Judgement of the Wolf, Eustace was the first accused brought before Lord Cregan and the first released, as there was no proof he had been a conspirator.[7]

Eustace remained in the court afterward. He was present at the coronation of the young Aegon III, and his records indicated it was a cold but sunny day and that Maris Baratheon was not present, unlike her sisters, for she had joined the silent sisters. He also recorded that Unwin Peake was the only lord angered at not being included in the council of regents following Aegon's coronation. The septon, for his part, approved of the council.[8]

Eustace argued to the Hand, Ser Tyland Lannister, to find a husband for Lady Baela Targaryen lest she bring dishonor to House Targaryen.[8]

Controversy

Eustace's account of the Dance of the Dragons was biased in favor of Aegon II Targaryen, putting him in a positive light and Rhaenyra Targaryen in a negative light. It is believed he invented several details, such as that Aegon did not want to declare himself king after his father Viserys I Targaryen had died, until his mother Alicent Hightower convinced him that Rhaenyra would kill him and his family if he did not. Eustace also claims that Rhaenyra cut her thighs when she sat on the Iron Throne as a sign that she was unworthy of it - through this was physically impossible, given that Rhaenyra was wearing full armor at the time.[5]

Quotes

And as her lord husband Prince Daemon escorted her from the hall, cuts were seen upon Her Grace's legs and the palm of her left hand. Drops of blood fell to the floor as she went past, and wise men looked at one another, though none dared speak the truth aloud: the Iron Throne had spurned her, and her days upon it would be few.[2]

—Eustace writing of Rhaenyra Targaryen

References

  1. Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - War and Peace and Cattle Shows.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The Princess and the Queen.
  3. Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
  4. The Rogue Prince.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Ran discussing Eustace
  6. Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Overthrown.
  7. Fire & Blood, Aftermath - The Hour of the Wolf.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.