[S1E10] The Black Queen
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Rhaenyra: Princess Rhaenys, might we hope for news of Lord Corlys's recovery? Rhaenys: Viserys is dead. I grieve this loss with you, Rhaenyra. My cousin. Your father. Possessed a kind heart. There is more. Aegon has been crowned as his successor. Daemon: They crowned him. How did Viserys die?Rhaenys: I could not say.Daemon: How long ago? A day past, perhaps two. I was made a prisoner in my quarters while the Queen made her preparations. Daemon: Viserys has been slain. Alicent demanded you declare for Aegon. Rhaenys: She did. I refused her. Daemon: And yet you are alive. Rhaenys: The High Septon crowned Aegon in the Dragonpit. I witnessed it myself just before I fled on Maelys. They crowned him before the masses. So that the masses would see him as their rightful king.Daemon: That whοre of a queen murdered my brother and stole his throne, and you could have burned more for it. Rhaenys: A war is like to be fought over this treachery, to be sure. But that war is not mine to begin. I only rushed this warning to you out of loyalty to my husband and to my house. The greens are coming for you, Rhaenyra.
Daemon is informed by Lord Bartimos Celtigar that Lord Corlys's fever has broken and he has departed Evenfall, though his destination is unclear. Daemon commands ravens be sent to rally their closest allies and declares his intention to fly to Riverrun to secure House Tully's allegiance and rally the riverlords when Jace enters and relays his mother's command. Daemon disregards Jace, commands Lord Celtigar to send the ravens, and instructs Jace and the Kingsguard to follow him to the Dragonmont. On the slopes, Daemon questions Lorent and Steffon as to where their allegiances lie, compelling them to swear oaths of loyalty to Rhaenyra as queen and Jace as her heir, having Caraxes loom over the two knights to warn them of the price of treason. In her chambers, a screaming Rhaenyra, ignoring the offers of the midwives to help her, gives birth to a stillborn daughter that she had planned to name Visenya; she later prepares the child for burial under the watchful eye of the Silent Sisters while Daemon goes out to the beach to grieve. A small funeral is held the next day, interrupted by the arrival of Ser Erryk Cargyll, who kneels before Rhaenyra, declares his loyalty to her, and offers her her father's crown, stolen from the Red Keep in the confusion of the Greens' coup. Daemon places the crown on Rhaenyra's head and declares her his queen. Her sons, stepdaughters, Kingsguard, and the congregation (save Rhaenys) kneel before Rhaenyra as the rightful queen of the Seven Kingdoms.
Rhaenyra and her attendant lords gather around the Painted Table; Rhaenyra accepts a cup of wine from her stepdaughter and cousin Rhaena Targaryen, serving as cupbearer in the same capacity Rhaenyra once did, before asking for a report. Daemon informs her that Dragonstone's garrison stands at 30 knights, 100 crossbowmen, and 300 men-at-arms; sufficient to defend the island, but not to conquer Westeros. Daemon adds that he has sent word to men in the City Watch whose loyalty he can count on, but he cannot say how many will answer, while Gerardys confirms that Houses Celtigar, Massey, Darklyn, Staunton, and Bar Emmon have affirmed their loyalty. Rhaenyra asserts that House Arryn and the Vale will support her on account of their kinship through her late mother Aemma Arryn. Gerardys adds that he has also sent a raven to Lord Grover Tully, an old friend of her father's, to sway his support, though Rhaenyra insists that the fickle Grover will need to be convinced of the blacks' strength and assurance of support should war break out; Daemon insists that he will treat with Grover personally. Ser Steffon mentions Storm's End and Winterfell; Lord Celtigar reminds them of House Stark's reputation as honorable oathkeepers and asserts that the other Northern houses will follow where the Starks lead, while Rhaenyra remarks that Lord Borros Baratheon will need to be reminded of his late father Boremund's oath. Rhaenyra then turns her attention to Rhaenys, asking for news from Driftmark; Rhaenys remarks that Corlys is sailing to Dragonstone, though she demurs when Daemon assumes that he intends to declare for Rhaenyra. Daemon asserts that House Lannister will back the Greens, as Tyland has been a loyal supporter of Otto's on the Small Council for years, and the Greens will need the Lannister fleet if the Velaryons choose to back Rhaenyra. Given that House Lannister's allegiance will ensure that the Westerlands support the Greens, Daemon asserts that the support of the Riverlands to the black cause will be essential.
Lord Celtigar interrupts, arguing that talk of fighting men is irrelevant when Rhaenyra's forces command dragons in numbers not wielded in war since the Valyrian Freehold. Rhaenyra points out that the Greens command dragons too, but Daemon adds that they only have three adult dragons (Vhagar, Sunfyre, and Dreamfyre), while in addition to Caraxes, Syrax, and Meleys, the blacks possess Vermax, Arrax, and Tyraxes with Rhaenyra's sons and Moondancer with Baela. He also notes there are several unclaimed dragons in need of riders; Seasmoke, Vermithor and Silverwing, as well as three feral dragons (Grey Ghost, Sheepstealer, and the Cannibal) living wild on Dragonstone. Daemon proposes seizing Harrenhal as a base of operations and using the dragons to lay waste to King's Landing, but before further discussion can be had, Ser Erryk interrupts to inform them a galleon is approaching the island, flying the banner of a three-headed green dragon. Daemon grabs Dark Sister and order the garrison to battle positions.
Daemon hatefully declares that he would rather feed his sons to dragons than have them carry cups and shields for Aegon, venomously calling his nephew a "drunken, usurper cunt of a king." Otto retorts that Aegon was crowned by a septon of the Faith before the eyes of thousands, and his possession of Aegon the Conqueror's crown, sword, and name give him greater legitimacy, while adding that the Greens have also sent terms to Houses Stark, Tully and Baratheon to win their loyalty. Rhaenyra asserts those three houses all swore allegiance to her when Viserys named her his heir; Otto smugly replies that old oaths will not make Rhaenyra queen, asserting that the succession changed the day Aegon was born, even if Viserys and Rhaenyra refused to see it. Outraged, a furious Rhaenyra rips Otto's badge of office from his cloak, denouncing him as a "fucking traitor" and no more Hand than Aegon is King.
Daemon insists that Rhaenyra cannot submit to the Hightowers, who have stolen her birthright, and urges that as queen, she is obligated to crush rebellion. Rhaenyra protests that they are bound by more than personal ambition, reminding Daemon of what her father told them about "The Song of Ice and Fire," Aegon the Conqueror's prophetic dream that a Targaryen must keep the realm united against the return of a great evil in the North, only for Daemon to seize her by the throat. Choking Rhaenyra, Daemon angrily hisses that Viserys was obsessed with omens and portents to give his feckless reign meaning, and asserts that dragons, not dreams, made House Targaryen kings. Daemon releases Rhaenyra, but though taken aback by his violence against her, Rhaenyra is stunned to realize that Viserys never told Daemon about the Conqueror's vision, indicating that he never in his life considered Daemon as his heir. Shaken at having raised a hand to his wife and the realization that Viserys never truly trusted him, Daemon withdraws.
Prince Lucerys flies over Shipbreaker Bay and lands at Storm's End in the midst of a severe thunderstorm. A detachment of Baratheon guardsmen are waiting for him, as is Vhagar to his horror. Despite knowing her presence means Prince Aemond is present, Lucerys tells the Baratheon guards his purpose as Rhaenyra's emissary and is escorted to Lord Borros. In the great hall of Storm's End, Lucerys finds himself confronted with Lord Borros, his four daughters, and Aemond, who glares at his nephew silently. When Lucerys tells Borros he has brought a message from the Queen, Borros scoffs that King Aegon did the same, and asks if it is a king or queen who rules the House of the Dragon. Lucerys hands his message to one of the Baratheon guards who presents it to the illiterate Lord Borros, who is forced to call his maester to read it. Borros takes offense when the maester tells him that Rhaenyra means to remind him of his father's oath to support her, pointing out that the Greens at least offered him a marriage pact, betrothing Aemond to his daughter Floris in return for House Baratheon's support. Borros asks which of his daughters Lucerys will wed if he supports Rhaenyra, to which Lucerys admits that he is already betrothed to Rhaena.
Daemon learns that Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) is sailing to an unknown location, while Daemon plans to travel to Riverrun to secure the support of Lord Tully. Jacaerys arrives and commands Daemon to cease plans without Rhaenyra but Daemon continues with plans to send ravens to allies. Daemon orders Jacaerys to follow him and, outside, presents Ser Steffon Darklyn (Anthony Flanagan) and Ser Lorent with the choice to swear allegiance to Rhaenyra as their queen or die. Daemon promises they will die screaming if they swear fealty now by turning their cloaks later.
Corlys Velaryon finally gets out of bed to greet the rest of the lords and Queen Rhaenyra while he tests her ability as ruler and leader. When he is satisfied, he explains to his new queen that the Velaryon fleet is at her command.
Rhaenyra considers the terms, saying King's Landing will have her answer the following day. War is not something she desires. When Daemon tells her that the 13 dragons they possess give them a leg up over the Greens' superior army, Rhaenyra reminds him of the lessons of Old Valyria: "When dragons flew to war, everything burned." She doesn't wish to "rule over a kingdom of ash and bone." Daemon is furious. "It's your duty as queen to crush rebellion," he asserts. 781b155fdc