Fight above Shipbreaker Bay

From A Wiki of Ice and Fire
Revision as of 17:19, 20 October 2023 by Somnium Draconis (talk | contribs) (Confrontation at Storm's End)
Jump to: navigation, search
Fight above Shipbreaker Bay
Deaths of Lucerys and Arrax.jpg
Prince Lucerys Velaryon and Arrax are killed by Prince Aemond Targaryen and Vhagar in one of the first confrontations of the Dance
Art by Chase Stone, from The World of Ice & Fire
Conflict Dance of the Dragons
Date 129 AC
Place Shipbreaker Bay
Result Death of Lucerys Velaryon and Arrax
House Baratheon declares for the greens
Combatants
Rhaenyra Targaryen.svg House Targaryen/Blacks Aegon II Targaryen.svg House Targaryen/Greens
Strength
Lucerys on Arrax Aemond on Vhagar
Casualties
Lucerys Velaryon†
Arrax†
None

The fight above Shipbreaker Bay was a struggle between Princes Lucerys Velaryon and Aemond Targaryen during the Dance of the Dragons. The two princes met in the sky above Shipbreaker Bay on their dragons, and the fight that followed resulted in the deaths of Lucerys and his dragon Arrax.

Prelude

History

In 120 AC, Prince Lucerys Velaryon confronted his half-uncle, Prince Aemond Targaryen, together with his brothers Jacaerys and Joffrey when Aemond claimed the dragon Vhagar on Driftmark. The three Velaryon siblings attacked Aemond with wooden swords from the training yard. In the fighting, Aemond broke Lucerys's nose and smacked one of the swords against the back of Jacerys's head. As the three younger boys scrambled away, Aemond began to mock them, calling them "the Strongs". Jacaerys, the eldest of the three Velaryon brothers, understood what the insult meant, and attacked Amond once more. Aemond began pummeling Jacaerys savagely. In an attempt to help his brother, Lucerys drew his dagger and slashed Aemond across the face, taking out his right eye.[1][2]

In 129 AC, King Viserys I Targaryen died abed on the third day of the third month of the year.[3] Although Viserys had appointed his daughter Rhaenyra, his only surviving child from his first marriage, as his heir, the supporters of his second wife, Alicent Hightower, crowned instead Viserys's eldest son by Alicent, Aegon II Targaryen. Rhaenyra and Aegon fought over the Iron Throne over the course of the following two and a half years in the Dance of the Dragons.[3][4]

During the first few months of the year, both factions began to seek support for their cause. Both Aegon II's greens and Rhaenyra's blacks sought to secure an alliance with Storm's End, ruled by Lord Borros Baratheon. Within days of Viserys I's death, Dowager Queen Alicent sent her second son, Aemond Targaryen, to Storm's End to propose a betrothal between himself and one of Borros's four daughters, to secure the allegiance. Aemond was uncertain how he would be received, but found a warm welcome at Storm's End, where Borros hosted him feasts, hunts, and jousts. Aemond remained at Storm’s End for a while, during which time Lord Borros, feeling Rhaenyra had taken House Baratheon for granted for too long, agreed on a betrothal and gave Aemond a choice from his four daughters.[5][6]

The blacks remained unaware of Aemond's presence at the Baratheon stronghold. Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, a supporter of Rhaenyra, believed that Borros would support Rhaenyra, as Rhaenys's uncle and Borros's father, Boremund, had always been a staunch supporter of Rhaenys and her son Laenor. Because they believed their envoy would receive a warm welcome, Rhaenyra agreed to send her second son, Lucerys Velaryon, to Storm's End as an envoy, to personally deliver a message from her to Lord Borros.[5]

Confrontation at Storm's End

Lucerys Velaryon arrived at Storm's End before a gathering storm. By the time Lucerys arrived, however, Aemond and Borros were already haggling over dates and dowries. Lucerys found Aemond in the Round Hall, together with Lord Borros, his four daughters Cassandra, Maris, Floris, and Ellyn, Borros's septon and maester, and twoscore knights, guards, and servants, including Ser Byron Swann.

Aemond greeted Lucerys with an insult but was ignored. When Lucerys tried to give Rhaenyra's message to Lord Borros, Aemond tried to grasp it and Baratheon's men intervened. Upon learning the contents of the letter, Lord Borros scowled, asking which of his daughters Lucerys would marry, if Borros were to do as Rhaenyra wished of him. When Lucerys admitted that he was not free to marry, Borros send him away.[6] Upon that, Aemond drew his sword, insisting Lucerys put out his own eye to repay him for the eye Aemond had lost years before. Lucerys refused to fight, however, at which Aemond grew more angry. Baratheon's men kept Aemond inside as Lucerys was escorted outside, mounted his dragon, and departed Storm's End.[6]

Fight above Shipbreaker Bay

Following the departure of Lucerys Velaryon from the Round Hall of Storm's End, Lady Maris Baratheon, one of Lord Borros Baratheon's daughters who had witnessed the encounter between Aemond and Lucerys, mocked Aemond. In return, Aemond asked Borros for his leave. Lord Borros insisted that "it is not for me to tell you what to do when you are not beneath my roof." At that, Aemond rushed outside, mounted his dragon Vhagar, and followed Lucerys.[6]

Outside, a storm was raging, and Arrax, Lucerys's dragon, had problems with staying aloft. Arrax was younger and swifter than Vhagar, and on a calm day might have been able to outfly his pursuer, but the weather impeded him, and Vhagar was five times the size of her foe and the hardened survivor of a hundred battles. Vhagar caught up with Arrax above Shipbreaker Bay, where the two dragons battled each other. According to Archmaester Gyldayn, whatever battle that followed, could not have lasted long. Watchers on the walls of Storm's End saw distant blasts of flame, and heard a shriek louder than the thunder. Then the two dragons were locked together, as lightning crackled around them. The fight ended when Arrax fell, broken, to be swallowed by the storm-lashed waters of the bay.[6]

Aftermath

Three days after the encounter, the head and neck of Arrax washed up beneath the cliffs below Storm's End. According to the dwarf Mushroom's scurrilous Testimony, the body of Lucerys Velaryon washed ashore as well. Mushroom claims that Prince Aemond Targaryen cut out the eyes of the boy and presented them on a bed of seaweed to Maris Baratheon. Other accounts state that Lucerys had been snatched up by Vhagar, who subsequently swallowed him. Yet other accounts claim that Lucerys survived the fall, swam ashore, but suffered from amnesia and lived the rest of his life as a simpleminded fisherman. In his True Telling, Munkun claims that Lucerys died with his dragon, a fact which Archmaester Gyldayn agrees with, claiming that Lucerys's body was never found.[6]

For his role in Lucerys's death, Aemond was henceforth known as Aemond the Kinslayer. Aemond did not receive a hero's welcome in King's Landing when he returned with the news. His mother, Dowager Queen Alicent Hightower, paled and cried out for the Mother's mercy. His grandfather and the Hand of the King, Ser Otto Hightower, was also displeased, telling Aemond, "You only lost one eye, how could you be so blind?" However, Aemond's brother King Aegon II Targaryen welcomed him home with a great feast, and announced that he had made "a good beginning."[6]

Lucerys's mother, Rhaenyra Targaryen, collapsed when told of her son's death, and his younger brother Joffrey swore an oath of vengeance against Aemond and Borros. Rhaenyra's husband and uncle, Prince Daemon Targaryen, learned of Lucerys's death and sent a raven to Rhaenyra, informing her "An eye for an eye, a son for a son." As revenge, Daemon sent "Blood and Cheese" to murder Prince Jaehaerys Targaryen, the eldest son and heir of King Aegon II, in the presence of his siblings, his mother, Queen Helaena Targaryen, and grandmother, Dowager Queen Alicent Hightower.[6]

References

  1. Fire & Blood, The Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
  2. The Rogue Prince.
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Princess and the Queen.
  4. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Blacks and the Greens.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - A Son for a Son.