Fantasy, George R. R. Martin
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A Game of Thrones: Chapter 3 – Daenerys I

A Game of Thrones Chapter 3

Somewhere beyond the sunset, across the narrow sea, lay a land of green hills and flowered plains and great rushing rivers, where towers of dark stone rose amidst magnificent blue-grey mountains, and armored knights rode to battle beneath the banners of their lords. The Dothraki called that land Rhaesh Andahli, the land of the Andals. In the Free Cities, they talked of Westeros and the Sunset Kingdoms. Her brother had a simpler name. “Our land,” he called it. The words were like a prayer with him. If he said them enough, the gods were sure to hear. “Ours by blood right, taken from us by treachery, but ours still, ours for ever. You do not steal from the dragon, oh, no. The dragon remembers.”

In chapter three, we travel across the Narrow Seas to the Free City of Pentos; where we are introduced to the Targaryens, in particular, two siblings, Daenerys and Viserys, the last remaining descendants of the royal family. Their father, Aerys II Targaryen, once the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros was dethroned by Robert Baratheon aka the ‘Usurper’. With their family killed and their mother, Queen Rhaella Targaryen died from giving birth to Daenerys; both young siblings, with the help of Ser Willem Darry and his loyal men, secretly escaped Westeros and travelled to the free city of Braavos, northeast of the continent Essos. Daenerys and Viserys Targaryen, both exiled from the Seven Kingdoms, have been wandering Essos ever since, travelling from one Free City to another, never staying in one place for long, fearing that they would be assassinated.

Viserys & Daenerys

She had always assumed that she would wed Viserys when she came of age. For centuries the Targaryens had married brother to sister, since Aegon the Conqueror had taken his sisters to bride. The line must be kept pure, Viserys had told her a thousand times; theirs was the kingsblood, the golden blood of old Valyria, the blood of the dragon. Dragons did not mate with the beasts of the field, and Targaryens did not mingle their blood with that of lesser men.

The Targaryens are a proud and determined House that bears the emblem of the dragon. Sadly, with so much pride comes obsessive tendencies as well as a high percentage of inheriting madness. Consequently, inbreeding was the major downfall of the Targaryens. In order to keep the bloodline pure, brothers and sisters would marry. As such, former King Aerys II and Queen Rhaella were siblings. Unsurprisingly, Daenerys expected that she would marry Viserys.

All that Daenerys wanted back was the big house with the red door, the lemon tree outside her window, the childhood she had never known.

Daenerys

Daenerys Targaryen, the main narrator for this chapter, is a young teenager who is being forced into marriage to a Dothraki warrior, Khal Drogo. Arranged by her brother, Viserys believes that the marriage to Khal Drogo will help them retake the throne by using the Dothraki army.

As Daenerys narrates, you can clearly tell of her young innocence and lost childhood. With no home to return to, her knowledge is based upon her upbringing. Considering that both her parents are dead, she was brought up by her brother. Therefore, her knowledge of the world is based upon the stories that her brother shared, one-sided and biased. For instance, Daenerys only knows Robert Baratheon as the ‘Usurper’. Subsequently, it questions the readers, what kind of person will Daenerys grow up to become? Will she ultimately be like her brother?

“You still slouch. Straighten yourself.” He pushed back her shoulders with his hands. “Let them see that you have a woman’s shape now…You will not fail me tonight. If you do, it will go hard for you. You don’t want to wake the dragon, do you?”

Since becoming exiled and losing the majority of his family at such a young age, Viserys Targaryen gradually became angrier; so much anger that he would name his outbursts, “waking the dragon”. With his bad temperament, he blames Daenerys for the death of their mother and continuously threatens her. Additionally, Viserys has become obsessed with taking back the throne. Even if he has to force his sister into marriage, he wants his crown by any means necessary.

“We go home with an army, sweet sister. With Khal Drogo’s army, that is how we go home. And if you must wed him and bed him for that, you will.” He smiled at her. “I’d let his whole khalasar fuck you if need be, sweet sister, all forty thousand men, and their horses too if that was what it took to get my army. Be grateful it is only Drogo. In time you may even learn to like him. Now dry your eyes. Illyrio is bringing him over, and he will not see you crying.”

What makes Viserys constantly bitter towards her sister? You need to remember, Viserys also lost his childhood at a young age. However, unlike Daenerys, he remembers his life before becoming exiled. A life of luxury as a prince living under his father who was king of the Seven Kingdoms. In an instant, Viserys loses everything he has ever loved and ends up becoming “the beggar king”, relying on wealthy patrons for survival. The ultimate blow that destroyed his personality was selling his mother’s crown for money.

Khal Drogo

Khal Drogo was a head taller than the tallest man in the room, yet somehow light on his feet, as graceful as the panther in Illyrio’s menagerie. He was younger than she’d thought, no more than thirty. His skin was the color of polished copper, his thick mustachios bound with gold and bronze rings…Drogo’s braid was black as midnight and heavy with scented oil, hung with tiny bells that rang softly as he moved…His face was hard and cruel, his eyes as cold and dark as onyx. Her brother hurt her sometimes, when she woke the dragon, but he did not frighten her the way this man frightened her.

Within this chapter, we are also briefly introduced to the Dothraki, a fierce nomadic, warrior race that travels and fights on horseback. The Dothraki race lives in large groups called the khalasars with their appointed khal leader. Thus, we are introduced to Khal Drogo, the leader of the pack whom Viserys forces his sister to marry. Undoubtedly, Daenerys is terrified. Who wouldn’t be, when her brother forces his young teenage sister into marrying a 30-year-old warrior?

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