Daenerys is initially unaware of the change. It is subtle, almost unnoticeable in its gradual seeping into the very core of her like an infection. No, not an infection. Far too harsh a word. Seeing Jon Snow lying there prostrate on the bed, half-dead, the scars indicative of wounds no man could have survived… well, it awoke something in her. A feeling so fleeting and so rarely experienced by the Last Targaryen that it could easily be misinterpreted as something wholly different. It is a foreign sensation.
Or is it?
She remembered thinking she had this feeling before. Khal Drogo, Daario Naharis. But did she truly feel this way about those men? She knew she cared for Daario, for he believed in her birthright and her ability to make all her designs come to fruition, but not in the way she believed. As she’d told Tyrion Lannister some weeks ago, she felt nothing upon ordering him to stay behind in Mereen. She knew she cared for Khal Drogo, for out of their unconventional union came a son she cherished as he grew inside her, as she grew with him.
Rhaego, named for her brother Rhaegar.
She remembered both of their names, they echoed in the corners of her mind and her dreams were filled with the imaginings of what they looked like. Her lost brother and son were not alone, however. Rhaeyna, Visenya, Aegon the Conqueror, her father Aerys II, Jaehaerys, Duncan, all of them. Even her mother Rhaella, of whom she had only heard stories from Viserys. Targaryens past. Viserys himself even appeared once or twice, but the reasons escaped her. Nostalgia? Fear? She must be getting close to achieving her lifelong goal, if these dreams were now occurring with such frequency and complexity.
But what did the dreams have to do with Jon’s arrival? Did they, at all? It appears to her that the two events coincide. Were they mere coincidence? Fate? She knew not. She’s not sure she ever will.
The Red Woman believes her to be important, Jon as well. But why? Will the Targaryen dynasty rise once more, or fall in an ultimately futile fight against the Night’s King and his horde? Viserion is gone and his brothers mourn him.
Dany has been so lost in thought that she momentarily forgot where she is: the Chamber of the Painted Table, overlooking Blackwater Bay. She is alone. Dawn has not yet broken.
Dawn, she muses. Perhaps one of the final dawns this world shall see. It chills her, the possibility of that thing that murdered her son roaming free on this side of the Wall. The Night King was no mere man. These White Walkers, this beings who were fundamentally Other, they would be brought to heel one way or another. Perhaps the death of the Night King would catalyze the extinction of their entire putrid species.
Wishful thinking indeed.
Jon has already expressed his condolences for Viserion. She retains her prior position that going North had behooved them all.
She hears it then. Boots. Turning, there he is. Do her eyes deceive her or is he simply mad?
“You should still rest,” she advises.
He gives her a wry smile and a half-nod. “I have rested for eight days. Walking will do just as well.”
She returns the smile, and in a rare moment this smile does reach her eyes. She cannot recall smiling in such a way in a very long time, or if she ever has. Jon is undeniably handsome, strong, full of valor and honesty and literal undying loyalty.
And a King. She is a Queen.
She’d left Daario behind because a lover would impede any marriage alliance she could make. They both knew this. A Queen and a member of the Second Sons were strange bedfellows to begin with.
Is this her fate then? To fall hard and fast for a man she had only recently met, in this case that she had only truly begun to know when he almost died? A curious lot, to be sure.
What’s more, Drogon likes him. That has to count for something, does it not?
Something else stirs in her heart. One might call it a song. She traverses the space between them with a tunnel-vision determination and hugs him, burying her face into the fur cloak that adorns him. It is soft, and she needs softness now more than in any other moment.
To her surprise, he hugs her back and wraps the cloak around her. They are skin-to-skin now save for the thin nightgown she had worn to bed.
It is nice, as though Ice and Fire have come together. Daughter of the Mad King, Son of the Ward of the North. In an interesting reversal, it is like she is the ice with the stone around her heart and the walls around her soul and he is the fire melting her heart, breaking down her walls with effortless ease. It is almost intoxicating to be so open with someone without saying a word, to know comfort is offered willingly and without an expectation of anything in return.
She has known grief. She killed her husband to end his suffering, her son died inside of her shortly before she could bring him into this world and she never got to see him. When she’d awoken, her swollen belly was flat again as if nothing had ever been there at all. This grief, though, this rage… it cannot be so easily sated. Revenge cannot be taken without forethought in this instance. There is a coldness in the air, and children of Ice and Fire huddle together in this little embrace.
She is unsure of much in this moment, but of one thing she is certain: she is in love with this Jon Snow, and if Tyrion is to be believed… he is in love with her as well.
The union of Ice and Fire, finally.