It seemed to Ser Hugor Waters as he lay there, pinned beneath his horse, that the waters of the Trident beside him were running red.
I am tired. That is all. The waters I look on are no redder than any other waters. I am tired. That is all. His eyes went to the two figures lying near him. He had watched them come together, and watched them battle there, on the Trident, and he had watched them wound each other, and he had watched them fall. They had not moved since then. Prince Rhaegar had said a woman's name, shortly after he fell. Lord Robert had said nothing, but only given a wordless groan.
It seemed a great privilege, to a poor hedge knight, to have seen all this. Ser Hugor was not a knight of great standing. He was a simple man, the bastard son of a petty lord who lived in a petty holdfast, whose father had cared just enough to grant him training in arms and not a bit more. Still, it had brought him to this moment, and so Ser Hugor felt it was enough.
Ser Hugor realized he couldn't feel his legs. They have gone to sleep. They have been under the horse so long, that they have fallen to sleep, and I cannot feel them. That is all. He cursed his horse again. It was a skittish thing, unused to war, and had managed to slip as he rode it across the Trident. What a tale this will be. How I was beaten on the Trident by my very own horse. And how they will laugh to hear it.
"Robert?" came a voice. Ser Hugor watched as a man on horseback rode by. He tried to attract his notice, but the only noise he could make was a gasp so faint, even he could barely hear it. I am dazed. I am dazed, and my voice is not yet working as it should...
"Ned," groaned Lord Robert, stirring faintly. Ned rode to his side and dismounted. Robert attempted to raise himself, then fell back. He took a few unsteady breaths, then looked at his friend. "Ned... Did... did I kill him? Is Rhaegar... dead?"
Ned nodded, his expression pained. "Yes. Yes, you have killed Prince Rhaegar."
Ser Hugor felt a chill throughout his body. He had known that the Prince had been lying there, very still for quite some time, but even so, he had hoped that perhaps... perhaps the Prince lived. After all, I have been lying here for just as long, and I am not dead. But he was dead, and Hugor felt empty. Robert has killed Rhaegar, the hedge knight thought. I came here for him, and the Lord of Storm's End killed him, just the same, as if I wasn't here at all. And yet as he stared at the man, he realized that the Prince had killed Lord Robert, just as Lord Robert had killed the Prince.
Robert let out a strange and ghastly chuckle to Ned's news. "Good. Good." And then another long silence. "Got... what I wanted. Tell... tell... Lyanna... did it... for her. All... for... her..." And then his body simply... slackened, and he was silent.
So died Robert Baratheon, Lord Paramount of the Stormlands. I have seen a great and terrible thing, thought Ser Hugor, who realized that darkness was growing around the edges of his vision. Men will sing of this day. But they would not sing of him, he realized. I am dying. I am dying and no one will sing of me. What was there to sing of? He was a petty hedge knight, who came to fight by the Prince because...
Because at Harrenhal, when he bested me, he gave me back my armor and my horse, without asking me to pay a thing. And then he had a drink with me, and told me that I had run a good course, though I had not, I had not, and that was why he had beaten me...
That had been enough for Hugor, who had been staying out of the war, to come when he heard the Prince would be leading the army. It seemed almost foolish now... But that is enough. That is enough. I am dead. I am Ser Hugor Waters, who is dead, and this is my song, the song that no one will sing...
The darkness blotted out the rest of his vision, as he wondered what the tune would be.