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The Last Targaryen

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Chapter 1 - Dark Sister

Dany waited by her silver, stroking the horse’s soft neck. She leaned against the silver’s warmth and closed her eyes. Her muscles ached, and she thought wistfully of her sleeping mats and soft, silk pillows. Dany smoothed a hand over her swollen belly as she felt Rhaego move inside her. She focused on his kicks and drew strength from them. The Stallion Who Mounts the World.

 “Khaleesi, it is safe now,” Jhogo said in Dothraki. Dany opened her eyes. She had not even heard Jhogo ride up. “The Andal awaits you at the shattered gates.” Dany nodded to him and gestured for her handmaidens to help her onto her horse. Her large belly had made Dany clumsy of late. Riding and sleeping on the ground had already become difficult and Rhaego still had a lot of growing to do. As Dany rode over the fields towards the Lhazareen town, she prayed that when her time came she would give birth in the comfort and safety of her tent during the night, rather than in a cart during the day when the khalasar was on the march. An icy trickle of fear made its way down her spine. My mother died giving birth to me. This was not the first time the thought had come to her unbidden. She forced it away. This does not mean that I will die in childbirth. “I am the blood of the dragon,” Dany whispered to herself.

The stench of death brought Dany out of her reverie, and her eyes widened at the sight of the battleground outside the town. After a moment’s hesitation, she straightened in the saddle and continued to move her silver forward; her khas and handmaidens following close behind. Bodies were strewn around them in red ruin. Blood soaked the ground and arrows littered it. Dany did not want to look, but she knew that she must. This was the price of the Iron Throne. This was the price of her war. It was not just men, but women and children who were dead. She saw the mercy men, taking heads from both the dying and the dead, collecting them up in baskets. Behind her were young Dothraki girls, collecting arrows to take back to Drogo’s khalasar.

 “That will be Khal Ogo’s doing,” spat Rhakharo, gesturing to the dead sheep scattered amongst the bodies. “No one in Khal Drogo’s khalasar would be so foolish as to spend arrows on flock. Flock the khalasar could have taken for its own.” They passed through the field, approaching the town, which Dany could see was on fire in various places.

There was no more fighting, but Dothraki men still rode around fiercely, whips flying, herding the women and children from both Lhazar and Khal Ogo’s khalasar that would be their new slaves. Dany found that she could tell the two races apart. The Dothraki women and children did not show any fear, and while the Lamb Men had the copper skin and almond-shaped eyes of the Dothraki, they were a much squatter and flat-faced people. Most of the slaves would be sold in Slaver’s Bay for the much needed coin to bring the Dothraki over the poison water.

Dany could see Ser Jorah ahead at the gates. She urged her silver forward to meet him, her heart pounding in her chest. “Where is Drogo?” Dany asked in the common tongue, trying not to let fear sound in her voice.

 “He is in the town, waiting for you.”

“Is the Khal well?”

“He has taken a few cuts, but no great harm has befallen him. He killed two khals today, khaleesi. It was a great victory.” Dany did not care about that right now; all she wanted was to see her husband, to see with her own eyes that he had come from battle safely.

“Take me to him.”

Ser Jorah turned his horse and led them through the gates.

Inside the town were more bodies. Dany had seen enough and the grief of it had tired her, but still she made herself look at them. She owed them that much. They had not travelled far into the town when Dany turned to the sound of a high pitch scream. Dany watched as a rider threw a girl about her age down face first amongst a pile of corpses. The rider spread the girl’s legs with a knee and plunged himself inside her. Three other riders dismounted around them. Dany tried to force away the horror that this girl would be raped in turn by each rider. This is what it costs. This is how I take back my birthright. Ser Jorah was talking to her as they passed the rape, but all Dany could hear were the screams.

 “Stop them,” she interrupted. She clenched her hands tightly around her reins to stop them from shaking.

Khaleesi?” he sounded confused.

“I said stop them,” she gestured towards the girl. “I command it. I will have no rape,” she spoke in Dothraki, looking to her khas as well. They looked to each other, perplexed.

Jhogo spoke, “The Dothraki do the Lamb woman honor by laying with her. This is the way it is done, the way it has been done since the Womb of the World birthed the first horse and rider.”

Khaleesi, this is what war looks like. You must harden yourself to it if you’re to bring the Dothraki to Westeros and take the Iron Throne,” said Ser Jorah. Dany raised a hand to stop him from speaking further.

“I claim her as my slave. Stop them. That woman is mine.”

Her khas left her side, but Ser Jorah stayed. Jhogo spoke to the riders; they were too far away for Dany to hear what he was saying. The riders began to shout at him, and Rakharo drew his blade and took the head off the nearest rider. There was a quick clash of arakhs between the two parties before Jhogo and Rakharo had killed one rider each and Quaro had put an arrow through the neck of the raper. Quaro went to the blood-spattered woman who was still screaming and wrenched her up by the arm. He dragged her over to Dany, despite her resistance. “What do you want me to do with her?” he asked Dany, looking at the Lamb girl with distaste.

“Have Doreah see to her hurts,” she commanded. Doreah slid off her horse and wrapped the woman in a blanket, speaking to her in soothing tones.

They moved on. Headless corpses littered the streets and everywhere Dany turned were piles upon piles of heads. Dany came across more rapes and claimed those women as slaves too. One woman she claimed looked neither Dothraki nor Lhazareen. Her skin was as pale as Dany’s, and she had eyes as blue as the sky. Her hair was a muddy, matted mess and her red robes soiled with mud. The woman’s eyes were haunted, and tears streaked her dirty face. She can’t be any older than I am. Dany tried talking to the woman in the common tongue, but the woman only stared through her. Dany decided she would see to the woman herself after she had found her husband.

When they reached Khal Drogo, he was sitting in front of one of the Lhazareen temples, next to a towering pile of heads. Dany’s heart jolted as she saw he had an arrow through his right upper arm and there was blood on the left side of his chest. The cut there was not too deep but it was wide, and the skin dangled down from his chest sickeningly where his nipple should have been. She gasped and began to dismount. Irri quickly came to her side to help her down. Dany went to Drogo, wanting to touch him, but knew he would not allow such weakness in front of his bloodriders, two of whom were standing beside him, watching her as always with cold eyes.

“My sun and stars, you are hurt,” Dany managed to keep her voice from quavering.

“This? This is nothing. Just a small graze from Khal Ogo. He paid with his life and the life of his son”. Drogo gestured to two heads near the top of the pile next to him. Dany recognized Khal Ogo and his khalakka Fogo, who would have been khal at the time Drogo killed him. Dany burned with a fierce pride to hear of Drogo’s victories.

“You are the greatest khal this land has - ,”

“- Blood of my blood,” Dany was interrupted by Qotho, one of Drogo’s bloodriders. He was walking towards them with another rider. “There have been complaints amongst the riders that the khaleesi has been taking their spoils of war. Women. Lamb women. Some riders have even been slain at her command while they were laying with these women.”

 “If the men wish to lay with the women, have them take them as wives and do so gently,” she interrupted and looked to her khal. He seemed to look slightly amused. He stood, and as he came to her, she could hear his steps ring louder than ever before. More bells were woven into his braid from the two khals he had slain. He took her small face in his large hands.

“Moon of my life. You have a gentle heart. You have not seen war before. This is the Dothraki way. These are our slaves now, and my men can do with them as they wish. It is the men’s rewards for having fought and won for me. Gold, horses and women.”

“And what of me? What of my spoils? Do I have no right as khaleesi to choose which slaves will be mine? Have I no right to claim them as my own, so that I can do with them as I wish?”

“The khaleesi does not understand. She is more sheep than horse,” Qotho spat. Dany turned on him, a fierce rage building inside her. “The khaleesi is a dragon who feeds on both horse and sheep.”

Drogo’s face broke out into a rare smile. “Qotho, see the fire my son - the stallion who mounts the world - gives to the moon of my life. Tell the men to find other slaves to mount. The slaves the khaleesi has claimed are her own.” Qotho did not look happy at the command, but Drogo did not notice, he was too busy looking into Dany’s eyes. After Qotho left, Drogo staggered back a few steps and sat down again. He had a greyish look to his face.

“My sun and stars, we must get these wounds treated. They are worse than you would have me believe.”

“I have sent all the healers away. There are many of my men more in need of healing than I am.” Drogo gripped the arrowhead and broke it off with a grunt of pain. Dany cried out. Drogo tossed the arrowhead to the ground and put up a hand to stop her from coming closer. He gripped the shaft of the arrow and pulled it out with one swift motion. The wound began to bleed. “Irri, some cloth!” Dany commanded. Irri took some cloth from the saddlebags. Dany began wrapping the cloth around his arm firmly to stop the bleeding. “This needs cleaning. Or to be sealed with fire,” Dany said as she bound the wound.

“Haggo. Bring me a burning stick from the fires,” Drogo said. Haggo left at once. “Bind my chest,” Drogo commanded Dany as she was tying up the ends of the first bandage. Dany's stomach clenched. “Will you promise me that you will command one of the eunuchs to come to your tent tonight to have this seen to properly? This is not the sort of wound you can just bind up. It will need cleaning too, and stitching.”

“Stop fussing woman. I have had worse. Bind it.” Dany carefully grasped the dangling piece of skin and smoothed it back over the wound. Drogo shuddered with the pain but did not make a sound. “Irri, come and help me bind this.” Dany held the skin while Irri worked around her, binding the wound tightly.

As they finished, Haggo came back with a stick burning on one end and passed it to Drogo. Drogo blew the fire out, leaving the end of the stick smoldering. “Lift the bindings,” Drogo commanded Dany, gesturing to his arm. Dany lifted the bindings on the topside of his arm. She wanted to look away but held Drogo’s gaze as he pushed the glowing end of the stick into the wound. There was a hissing sound, and Drogo winced. Dany placed the bindings back and then lifted them where the exit wound was, on the underside of his arm. Drogo repeated the process and then tossed the stick to the ground.

He hung his head for a moment and then stood. He didn’t look so grey as before. His lips were pink and his eyes clear. He’s going to be fine. Dany exhaled a sigh of relief. Drogo squeezed her shoulder and then began to walk away from her. “Promise me you’ll have the eunuchs see to you tonight,” she called after him. He waved her away in response without turning back. She would go and see him tonight, just to make sure.

Weariness washed over her, and she staggered a little. Irri and Jhiqui were by her side in an instant. “Khaleesi?” Seeing her sun and stars wounded had drained her. “I’m fine. Just tired. I will retire to my tent now,” Dany said, and they helped her to her horse.

                                                           ~

The khalasar had set up camp in the fields on the outskirts of the Lhazareen town. Dany was in her tent being attended to by her handmaidens. After a bowl of hot broth and some horsemeat, she was feeling much more herself. “Heat some water and fill my copper tub,” she commanded her handmaidens. “And then bring me the slave I claimed with the sky-blue eyes.”

When they brought the slave girl to her, Dany commanded her handmaidens to leave. She stood in front of the girl and realized they were of a height. She still had those same dead eyes, and fresh tears had streaked more dirt away on her cheeks. “Come,” Dany said and took her hands, leading her towards the tub. “I’m going to take this robe off, and we’ll get you cleaned up.” She began to take the robe off when the girl caught Dany’s hands. “It’s okay,” Dany soothed, “Do you speak the Common Tongue?”

The girl nodded.

“Can I take your robe off?”

She nodded again. This time the girl held her arms up as Dany lifted the robe over her head. She was completely naked underneath apart from a leather strap between her breasts. “What’s this?” Dany asked, touching the smooth leather. The girl turned around and Dany saw that she had a slender longsword in its sheath strapped to her back. The girl does not look like a fighter. “May I?” Dany asked, gesturing towards the leather strap. The girl nodded. Dany unbuckled the strap and removed the sheathed sword. She held it in her hands and felt an almost queer humming sensation. She ran her fingers over the black grip to the gold pommel, which was shaped like flames. The guard was also gold flames and set with a ruby. Dany unsheathed the blade a little. Valyrian steel. It looked familiar somehow. Troubled, Dany sheathed it quickly and put it to one side with the robe and then helped the girl into the steaming tub. She saw gooseflesh appear on the girl’s smooth white skin. Dany slipped off her loose sandsilk trousers and tunic. She got into the bath too and sat down in front of the girl with a cloth and began with cleaning the girl’s hands. The sadness in her face broke Dany’s heart. “What is your name?”

 “Bethany,” the girl replied.

“Where are you from, Bethany?”

“Braavos.”

“You do not have the accent of a Braavosi?”

“I was born in White Harbour; my family moved to Braavos when I was seven.”

“White Harbour is a good city; why did your family move to Braavos?”

“My father wished to give my brother and me to the Temple of R’hllor.” Dany had finished cleaning Bethany’s hands and moved to her arms.

“You are a red priestess?”

“Yes,” Bethany looked at her then, truly for the first time. Her eyes still looked hazy, like she was feverish.

“You are a long way from Braavos. There are no red temples in Lhazar.”

“I saw a prophecy in the flames. Azor Ahai come again in the Dothraki Sea. I told the High Priestess in Braavos about my visions. She believed my interpretations were true, that R’hllor was bidding me to seek the silver lady.”

“Silver lady?” Dany asked, but Bethany’s eyes were dead again. Dany smoothed the wet cloth over Bethany’s face, washing away layers of dirt. Dany realized the girl was quite pretty, with her small round face and clear, pale skin. Dany finished washing her body and poured jugs of water over Bethany’s hair, which was cropped to her shoulders. The mud washed away and Dany saw that the priestess had blonde hair, but where Dany’s was molten silver, Bethany’s was spun gold. She led Bethany out of the bath and dried and dressed them both in a simple shift. She led Bethany over to her own sleeping mats and laid her amongst the pillows. “You will share my sleeping mats tonight. Sleep, Bethany,” Dany bid her. She smoothed a hand gently over Bethany’s face and she closed her eyes. Dany could tell by the change in the girl’s breathing that she had fallen asleep instantly. Dany sat with her for a while. Asleep, Bethany looked like a young child, her dark lashes long against her cheeks, breath whistling in and out of her small nose.

                                                            

Dany wrapped herself in her white lion skin and ducked out through the flap of her tent. It was almost dark now. Quaro was guarding her tent, and her other khas were close by sharing a skin of fermented mare’s milk around a fire pit. Her handmaidens were not too far off, washing Dany’s clothes on the shore of a rocky stream. “Rhakaro, tell my handmaidens to light the tent candles and dispose of the bath water when they are done washing. Tell them Bethany will be sleeping with me on my sleeping mats tonight. Jhogo, Aggo come with me.” As she walked to Khal Drogo’s tent, she breathed in the cool night air. She had been exhausted before, but Bethany’s strange talk and the sword had left her agitated.

 

“Khal Drogo does not wish to see anyone,” Qotho barred Dany’s way.

“Even his wife?”

“He commanded that no one be admitted to the tent.”

“Have the eunuchs seen to this wounds?”

“Khal Drogo commanded that no one was to enter the tent,” Qotho said slowly as if Dany was having trouble understanding his Dothraki.

“You will let me through, or Khal Drogo will know that you disobeyed the command of his khaleesi,” she said fiercely and barged her way past, despite her pregnant belly. “Jhogo, go and fetch the eunuchs,” Dany commanded over her shoulder as she ducked through the flap of the Khal’s tent. Drogo was stretched out on his sleeping mats with the heavy breath of deep sleep. She carefully lowered herself beside him amongst the pillows. “Drogo,” she said softly, running a hand down the side of his face. He did not wake, did not even twitch. His breath came deep and slow. “Drogo, my sun and stars. I’ve sent for the eunuchs to see to your wounds.” She shook him gently. “Drogo.”

She pushed back through the flap of the tent. “Why won’t he wake?” He did not smell of fermented mare’s milk and did not feel or look feverish.

“I do not have to answer to a khaleesi; I am not yours to command.” She stood in front of Qotho, feeling tiny compared to this hulk of a man. She pushed a finger into his bare chest. “You will tell me why the Khal will not wake,” she said fiercely, the dragon raging in her blood. 

“He requested poppywine.” Poppywine. Damn the Seven. She ducked back into the tent. How much had he taken to put him in this catatonic state? Were his wounds that painful that this was what he had resorted to? Why had he not called the eunuchs as she had requested?

Khaleesi?” It was Jhogo with two eunuchs. They were large men, but soft and round.

 “The Khal was injured in battle. An arrow through his right arm and a wound on his left chest. He will not wake. Qotho told me that he had requested poppywine,” Dany managed to keep her voice steady. The Dothraki only valued strength. She knew she must never let weakness show through her mask. 

“I dare not touch the Khal without his permission,” the taller of the two eunuchs said.

 “You will do as your khaleesi commands, or you will know my wrath!” The eunuchs both lowered their eyes and set about their work. Dany knelt beside her Khal. “Drogo removed the arrow himself and sealed the entry and exit with fire. I told him that his chest wound needed stitching and cleaning, but he commanded me to bind it,” Dany said. The eunuchs looked at the arrow wound first.

“This needs nothing more done to it. He has removed it cleanly and there is no arrow fragments left in the arm. The muscles feel soft and pliable. There is no rigidness or warmth, which would indicate an infection. He has sealed it well.” They moved to his chest wound. The taller eunuch tutted over it. “This should have been seen to by a healer with haste.” Guilt flooded through Dany. She had done what she could to convince Drogo to see the eunuchs but it had not been enough. The shorter eunuch mixed up a paste, while the other peeled back the skin and treated the area underneath with boiled wine.The Khal grunted and twitched but he stayed relatively still. The paste was applied to the wound and the skin stitched with skilful hands. On his way out, the taller eunuch spoke to Dany quietly. “I have some concerns about the chest wound. The flesh around the wound has become warm and red. I fear the flesh will corrupt. We have done all we can for now. Do not let him have any more poppywine.” And with that they left. Dany swayed where she stood. The fatigue had crept back up on her. She stared at Drogo. He looked so peaceful, but worry for him tore through her. He’s strong. He has taken wounds worse than this before, he said so himself. Khaleesi.” Dany turned around to see Aggo’s head poking through the tent flap. “You must come quick. It is Bethany.”

 

Dany stumbled along behind Aggo and Jhogo as quickly as she could, the cool night air kissing her moist skin. They were approaching a large fire. Larger than any fire the Dothraki would normally light to cook food, provide light or stay warm.

At the fire was Bethany. She was still in the simple shift Dany had dressed her in, but she was far from where Dany had left her. She was throwing more sticks onto the fire and raising her hands to the sky. “Ruler of Fire, Light, and Life. Hear my prayer,” Bethany called out. Another figure at the fire caught Dany’s eye. It was Ser Jorah, he seemed to be saying something to Bethany, but Dany could not hear his words over the roar of the fire and Bethany’s prayers. “Let this fire fend away the darkness, for the night is dark and full of terrors,” Bethany prayed. Dany began to approach, and when Ser Jorah saw her, he came to her side.

“She’s been like this since the sun’s warmth left the sky. Building this great fire and babbling on to some god.”

“Fill our hearts with your fire and our eyes with light!”

“She’s a red priestess,” Dany said.

“She’s frightening the Dothraki. It must stop.” Dany looked around and realized they had an audience.  Many wide-eyed Dothraki women and children were watching Bethany. Dany was glad she could see no riders watching yet. “Have you tried talking to her?” Dany asked.

“You are the sun, the stars and the warmth in our flesh!” cried Bethany.

“She will not hear me.”

“She was raped today. She’s not in her right mind.”

“Go to her.”

 Dany approached her slowly and carefully.

“Let not the darkness approach us-“

“Bethany.”

“- let not the night taint our souls.” Dany put a warm hand gently on Bethany’s shoulder, and Bethany turned on Dany, her eyes feverish. Bethany swung a thin arm at her. Dany ducked out of the way, and Ser Jorah shouted out. “Stay back!” Dany commanded him. “Bethany it’s me. I claimed you to keep you safe. I washed you and dressed you in my clothes. I gave you a place to rest on my sleeping mats in the safety of my tent.” Bethany looked into her eyes, her face full of sadness and confusion. Bethany searched Dany’s face and reached out and touched her hair. “You’re the silver lady.”

“I’m the silver lady.” Tears welled up in Bethany’s eyes. “I found you. After all this time, I have found you.” She knelt in front of Dany, her head bowed. “My queen.”

Dany reached down to take Bethany’s hand. “Rise. Come with me.” Bethany stood up, holding Dany’s hand. Bethany took one step with Dany but then resisted. “The night fire. I must make sure it burns through the night to keep away the Darkness. I must be there to welcome the sun at dawn.”

“Not this night. I promise there will be no darkness in my tent. I will have Irri ensure the brazier burns through the night.”

Dany led Bethany away from the fire. As she passed Jhogo, she whispered in Dothraki, “have a healing woman come to my tent.”

 

Dany sat Bethany down on her sleeping mats amongst the silk pillows. “I’ve sent for a healing woman to take a look at you. You have been through a terrible hardship today.” Bethany just huddled in the pillows, drawing her legs up to her chin. She looked like a child. “How old are you, Bethany?”

“Fourteen”

“We are of an age.”

“I know. I saw it in the flames.”

The healing woman ducked through the flap to Dany’s tent. Dany asked her to check Bethany for injuries from her rape and then to give her something to help her rest.

While the healing woman attended Bethany, Dany wrapped the white lion skin more tightly around her. It always made her feel safe as if Drogo were right by her side. Drogo. Her heart thumped at the thought of him and his wounds.

 “Khaleesi?” It was the healing woman. “She sleeps now. I have given her dreamwine.”

“Is her body sound?”

“She is hale, though her body shows evidence of her rape. There is bruising and swelling but no cuts to the flesh that won’t heal on their own. She will recover, khaleesi.” Having no Dothraki words to thank the woman, Dany bowed her head, and the woman left.

Dany padded barefoot across the soft carpets to her sleeping mats. She lay beside Bethany and traced the outline of her peaceful face with the tip of her finger. Dany rolled over and curled up around her belly. I hope I can help Bethany find her peace. She closed her eyes and sunk into a deep sleep, untroubled by dreams or the burdens sitting heavily on her shoulders.

                                                            ~

When Dany entered Drogo’s tent at dawn, the taller eunuch from the night before was already there. Dany greeted him. Drogo was sitting crossed legged on a mat, enduring the eunuch looking at his chest wound. He looked tired, but his coloring was one of health.

“The wound has improved over night. There is less redness and warmth to the skin. This paste must be applied every day for ten days around the seam of the wound. After that, the stitches should be ready to come out. I am no longer concerned about this wound. I estimate that the Khal will make a full recovery.”

“I should take your head for thinking anything less of me,” Drogo boomed. The eunuch cowered before him and said no more. He did not see the laughter in Drogo’s eyes.

 

When the eunuch left, and they were finally blessedly alone, Dany came to Drogo on his sleeping mats. She straddled him, and he lent back on his hands to compensate for her swollen belly. She watched the hunger in Drogo’s face as his eyes roamed over her body, drinking her in. Drogo smoothed a hand over her belly. “My son grows every day. It will not be long, khaleesi, and I will hold him in my arms.”

“He needs more time yet my sun and stars. More time to grow strong and fat.” He captured her warm mouth in his and kissed her deeply before taking her fiercely amongst the silk pillows.

 

Afterward, Dany took Drogo’s face in her small hands. “You seem well, my sun and stars.”

“Moon of my life, I have never felt better.” Drogo stood up and dressed. “We ride. Today.”

“Today, my love? Would not you rather rest a little while longer?” Dany said.

“Rest? A khal does not rest from a few scratches. A khal rides. A khal who cannot-“

“-ride, is no khal at all,” she smiled at him. “Well, then we will ride.”

 

Dany ducked out of the flap of Drogo’s tent. Back at her tent, her handmaidens were packing up her things, and Bethany was sitting cross-legged in front of the brazier, staring unblinkingly into the flames. Dany crouched beside her.

“Do you see anything?”

“Nothing. Well, nothing certain. There are images that twist and turn but nothing that I can make sense of.” Bethany looked away from the flames and into Dany’s face. She startled and bent her head. “My Queen, I’m sorry; I didn't realize it was you.” Dany gently cupped Bethany’s chin and raised her face. “You do not need to be so formal with me. I would like us to be friends.”

“Friends? Why would you want to be friends with me?”

Dany shrugged. “Maybe because you’re the only woman here I know from Westeros. And one of the three other people in the khalasar who speak the Common Tongue.”

“But I’m a slave.”

“You are not a slave. At least no slave of mine. I claimed you as one to save you, but I release you now. I have heard the red priests refer to themselves as slaves of the red god, but you are not a slave of any mortal and never will be while you are under my care.”

“Goddess. It’s the Red Goddess, not the red god.”

“Goddess? I’ve never heard that before.”

“I’ve seen it in the flames. R’hllor is female. She is the Great and Universal Goddess.”

 “You said last night that you saw a vision of me.”

“Back in Braavos, I was given a vision through the flames. R’hllor showed me that you are Azor Ahai come again. The Red Goddess has tasked me with helping you fulfill your destiny.”

“And what is my destiny?”

“Your destiny is two-fold. First, to fulfill the prophecy of the Stallion Who Mounts the World.”

“You refer to my son, Rhaego. The dosh khaleen prophesied that the son in my womb would be the Stallion Who Mounts the World.”

“They are mistaken. It is you who will be the Stallion.”

Dany did not believe this, but a shiver ran over her nonetheless. “And the second part?”

“You will be reborn in the fire as Azor Ahai come again. You will wield the sword Lightbringer and end the Darkness and the Great Other.”

Dany felt breathless but uncertain. “Are you sure this prophecy applies to me? Wield a sword? I do not know how.”

“You will know how. I have seen it.”

“And where is this sword, this Lightbringer?”

“It’s not Lightbringer yet, but I believe it will be when you begin your rebirth into Azor Ahai.”

 Bethany stood and paced over to where Dany had put Bethany’s things the night before. Dany followed her. The robe was gone; her handmaidens had hung it outside the tent to dry after washing it. The sword was still there; Bethany picked it up and knelt in front of Dany, proffering the sword to her. Dany reached down hesitantly and took it, holding the sheathed sword in two hands.

“This is Dark Sister,” said Bethany.

“Dark Sister is a Targaryen ancestral blade.”

“Yes it is, and it is finally back with its rightful owner. It was once wielded by Visenya Targaryen.”

“Almost three hundred years ago. How did you come by this blade? The last person known to have this sword was Brynden Rivers, and it has been almost fifty years since he went missing during a ranging beyond the Wall when he was Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.”

“It has been in the temple at Braavos for a long time, that is all I know. The High Priestess gave it to me when I told her of my visions of you and this sword.”

“And so how does this sword become Lightbringer?”

“In the legends, six thousand years ago during the Age of Heroes and at the time of the Long Night, Azor Ahai was chosen to fight the Darkness, and he made a sword to do so. He spent thirty days and thirty nights making the sword, but when he tempered it in the water, the sword shattered. He began again, fifty days and fifty nights this time. He trapped a lion and tempered the sword by driving it into its heart, but again the sword broke. He knew then what he must do. So with great sadness, he began again. This time, one hundred days and nights. When the sword was finished, he thrust it into the living heart of his wife, Nissa Nissa, and her soul became one with the steel to create Lightbringer.”

“I fear I mistake your words. Are you telling me that to become Azor Ahai and make this sword into Lightbringer that I must thrust Dark Sister into Khal Drogo’s heart?”

“Yes, that is exactly what I am telling you.”

“I love Drogo with all my being.”

“As Azor Ahai loved Nissa Nissa.”

“If I killed the khal, his bloodriders would cut my throat before I had time to pull the blade from his chest. I would lose my own life and the life of my child. And even with the practicality aside, I love my husband. He is my world. I’m hardly about to murder him. Are you sure this is what the Goddess has shown you in the flames?”

“That was how the first Azor Ahai got Lightbringer, but the Red Goddess has not shown me any visions of how you will obtain the sword. Even using Dark Sister is just an educated guess on behalf of the High Priestess based on the visions I saw. Regardless, the sword should be yours. You are after all the Last Targaryen.”