Dany had gotten used to the sea a long time ago; to the chaotic swings between fury and calmness. She moved around so much while she was young, from port city to port city, that looking out over the vast waters was something that actually brought her a great deal of serenity. Looking over the railing of the ship, she could see the waves of the Narrow Sea crashing gently against the ship. The cool sea air filled her as she took in the sight of near a thousand ships following behind her own. Hearing the familiar screech of Drogon she looked up. Her children flew far above the ships. She wondered if they had seen Dragonstone yet on their hunts for food. She was so close to the place of her birth and soclose to taking back what was taken from her so long ago. It filled her with anticipation, excitement and fear. Were they ready? Was she ready?
"Your Grace." A familiar voice called behind her. Turning she saw her close confidant and friend. "It is time for the tiny council meeting." She said. Daenerys smiled.
"Small council, Missandei." Daenerys corrected gently. Missandei returned the smile and nodded.
"Small council, Your Grace. Tyrion is already two drinks in as we speak." She replied. Daenerys shook her head. Thankfully her Hand was as good at giving counsel as he was drinking.
"Let's not give him any more time to drink than necessary." Daenerys said while walking towards her. Missandei grabbed hold of the railing with all the strength she could muster when the ship rocked against a larger wave. Daenerys laughed a little and grabbed ahold of her shoulder to steady her some more.
"Are you adapting to the sea yet?" Daenerys asked gently.
"Not quite, Your Grace." She replied as she let go of the railing and looking more than just a little nauseous. Daenerys smiled gently.
"I'm even ready to be on dry land myself." She said. Missandei smiled knowingly.
"To be off this ship or to be finally be home, Your Grace." Missandei replied. Daenerys turned and looked out over the horizon one more time before heading towards the council room.
"Home." She said quietly.
Daenerys opened the door to find the room filled with her closest advisors. Tyrion, the Hand of the Queen, was reclined in his seat; a half empty goblet of wine in his small hands. Grey Worm was standing at attention, though he himself had a similar woozy appearance as Missandei currently. Varys was lounged on a soft pillowed bench looking out over the sea. The siblings, Yara and Theon Greyjoy stood close to one another. Yara standing up fully and proud, while Theon held his eyes slightly downcast.
"Your Grace, I must apologize. I've only had two…" Tyrion held a hand up as he tilted his goblet up and quickly swallowed the last of his wine. "Sorry. Three glasses of wine. Far too few for the kind of council Your Grace deserves." Tyrion said in jest. Daenerys smiled and walked to her seat at the table.
"I do believe three is enough Lord Hand, at least until tonight." Daenerys said watching the other members of her council gathering to sit. Tyrion made a disapproving sound as he sat his empty goblet on the table in front of him. Daenerys sat down at her seat amongst the table and motioned for everyone else to do the same.
"How far are we from Dragonstone?" Daenerys asked looking towards Yara with Theon standing behind her. Yara cocked an eyes towards Theon then back at her as she finished getting comfortable in her seat
"Three days if the wind is good. A day or two longer if it's not." Yara responded quickly. She was a no nonsense woman. She got things done and Daenerys appreciated that trait. She nodded in response to the news of their impending arrival in Dragonstone.
"What can we expect when we arrive at Dragonstone? What of the people there?" Daenerys asked. Tyrion shrugged slightly.
"Dragonstone belonged to House Baratheon after it was taken from your family. It's where Stannis was stationed for many years. With Stannis and House Baratheon essentially destroyed I assume the common people have been left to deal with things on their own. They may welcome you as a savior. They may raise their pitch forks in contempt." Tyrion replied honestly adding in a bit of humor as he tended to do.
"I do have it on authority that the care taker of Dragonstone is a very old man with a very long memory. It wouldn't be outrageous to suggest that he may, in fact, fondly remember Targaryen rule of the island." Varys spoke next. Daenerys couldn't believe that someone may have been there when her brother lived there. She thought that opportunity was taken from her when Ser Barristan died. Dany simply nodded her response at both answers.
"What do we think the response will be from the rest of Westeros? From the Great Houses and the common people?" Daenerys asked. Varys cocked an eye towards her before answering.
"The last Targareyn to sit upon the Iron Throne was a Mad King. Then came Robert Baratheon, who was a horrible king himself, if it didn't involve wine or women Robert took little interest. Robert's son Joffery was crowned and, as Lord Tyrion once said, he was a vicious idiot. Cruel and twisted to his core. Poor Tommen never had a chance to lead. He was too easily manipulated by the forces in his life. The Seven Kingdoms have been a slave to chaos for many years now. What the realm needs, Your Grace, is stability. Someone who can put the good of the people and land above their own desires." Varys paused a second. It was at times like this that she couldn't help but to feel as though this was the closest Varys came to showing his true thoughts. When he spoke passionately like this Daenerys was pulled into trusting him fully. She listened carefully as he continued. "The answer is simple, Your Grace. Will you be a force of chaos or will you be a force of stability? The answer to that is how you will be perceived." Varys finished. The room was quiet. Daenerys had caught the meaning of his words. She was determined not to end up like her father. She was not a Mad Queen. Nor would she ever submit to such a disease. She nodded towards Varys in understanding.
She didn't trust herself to give a strong response to that. It was a fear she struggled with herself. Would she end up like her father? She turned towards Grey Worm instead of following up with Varys.
"How are our troops holding up Grey Worm?" Daenerys asked. Grey Worm stiffened slightly in his chair and grabbed ahold of the arms of it squeezing tightly as the ship rocked.
"The Unsullied are ready. Many are sick with sea but we fight for our Queen. The Dothraki are ready to be off the wooden horses, but they too are ready." Grey Worm responded honestly.
"I can imagine that they would." Daenerys said with a smile. The Dothraki had never crossed the Poison seas as they called it and she had been amazed at how well they were taking the journey. "Do we expect any resistance on Dragonstone from the Lannister's?" Daenerys continued asking.
"I do not expect battle. Wiser to make us siege at capitol." Grey Worm responded immediately. He was turning into a very capable commander.
"The Lannister fleet hasn't been fully restored since the Battle of the Blackwater. They will wait and bide their time and see what our first move is." Tyrion added quickly. Daenerys could hear the pure disdain in Tyrion's voice when he mentioned his family name. She hadn't heard everything that had happened to him but knew enough to know how truly evil his family appeared to have been towards him. Turning towards Yara.
"Any sign of your Uncle?" Daenerys asked. Yara merely shook her head in response. Dany nodded.
"I have heard whispers that his fleet is almost ready. A bird told me he sent a ship to Kings Landing recently." Varys spoke. Dany turned to him with a frown.
"An alliance?" she asked. Varys smiled. Varys also knew more than he told or let on to know. A true Master of Whispers. Where Daenerys did not trust Yara or Theon Greyjoy; whereas Daenerys was genuinely torn on whether or not she could trust Varys completely, his duality at full display in this meeting. His earlier honesty and openness now replaced by the man of vague words.
"I don't presume to know the exact mission of a single ship to Kings Landing, but it does come at a very peculiar time. Word would have surely gotten back to Euron Greyjoy and the Lannisters that Your Grace has set sail with a massive fleet baring not only the Targareyn banners but that of House Greyjoy as well, whispers tend to carry quickly when events of great importance happen you see. So do I think it is mere coincidence that a ship was sent to Kings Landing in this event? No, I do not." Varys said as eloquently and long winded as always.
"Her madness destroyed their strongest ally in the Tyrells, the Freys can't even hold the Riverlands that the Lannisters gifted them. The Boltons are the only competent ally they have. My dear sister needs allies and she knows it. Dorne would sooner stop fucking and fighting than help a Lannister. The Stormlands have been broken. The Reach's houses are so busy trying to replace the Tyrell's that they can't stop squabbling. So, with that said, Euron would be a strong choice for an ally. And I imagine they'd get along fabulously. They have the common traits of killing family and madness to chat about over wine. With the Bolton's holding the North, Lannister armies on the ground and Euron's navy; it would be a strong front to face." Tyrion spoke. Daenerys could hear the contempt in his voice when discussing his sister, the so called Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, and the horrific act she committed by blowing up her own people with wildfire. Daenerys couldn't believe that piece of news when she learned of it. She killed thousands of innocents. She would be made to pay for every life taken Daenerys thought.
Daenerys heard Varys laugh. Turning her head she could tell he had some information.
"I heard from my little birds today in fact. Word travels so very slowly from the North. The birds don't care for the cold. The Boltons no longer hold the North." Varys said with a smile.
"Isn't this good news? The Boltons were given the North by the Lannisters." She asked. Varys nodded.
"Oh it is wonderful news, Your Grace." He began looking at her before continuing. "I just find the news of who defeated the Boltons to be rather surprising." Varys said teasingly.
"For all I know the great wilding horde came down from the North and butchered the butchers. Or my sister, ever so upset that she might not be the single most horrible person in Westeros, routed them out of the castle to a man." Tyrion spoke sarcastically. Varys's smile only widened.
"Surprisingly you're not far off on one account. A familiar sigil hangs in the halls of Winterfell once again." Daenerys could see immediately that both Yara and Theon snapped their eyes towards Varys. Tyrion cocked an eye towards him. He was silent waiting the news. Daenerys felt the mood change. "The direwolf has reclaimed Winterfell." Varys said. The affect that had on the room was interesting to watch. Yara had a mild look of anger. Theon looked happy, or as happy as he could look. Tyrion looked skeptical.
"I am never one to question the Master of Whispers but Robb Stark is dead. Arya Stark is presumed dead. Bran and Rickon haven't been seen since Theon ran them out of Winterfell to begin with." Tyrion started and paused for a minute holding a hand up when Yara went to defend her brother. "And Sansa Stark was married to the Roose's son, Ramsay. Gods bless her soul she got away from that monster. So do tell me how the Starks control Winterfell." Tyrion finished any note of playfulness gone in his tone. Varys only smiled again.
"Are you not forgetting a sibling?" Varys said and with that sentence Tyrion smiled.
"Jon Snow." Tyrion said. Varys nodded in response. Daenerys didn't understand the meaning.
"Snow? Is that not the name given to bastard children of the North?" Daenerys replied. She slightly disgusted herself using the word. Varys nodded in approval of her knowledge. Tyrion was not dissuaded.
"Tell us what you know Varys." Tyrion said seriously. Varys lost the smile.
"Sansa Stark did indeed arrive at Castle Black where her bastard brother Jon Snow was at." Varys started but was cut off immediately by Tyrion.
"And Jon Snow is Lord Commander of the Nights Watch. Duty bound to piss off the top of the wall and watch for ghosts and grumples until he breathes his last cold breath. Jon Snow would not break that vow. He's too much like his father." Tyrion added hotly causing Daenerys to turn to him. Did he know this Jon Snow? He seemed to speak high of him, which was rare for her hand. Varys found the smile he lost for a moment.
"And you just stated the key words; until his death. Jon Snow was set upon by a group of his brothers and murdered in a mutiny in the middle of the night but the next day Jon Snow was back from the dead. Resurrected." Varys said. Daenerys could see that everyone was amazed at this development.
"How?" she asked feeling a little dumbfounded. Varys turned to her.
"Stannis' Red Priestess or so I'm told." Varys said quietly. Tyrion spoke next.
"Let's just assume your whispers are correct. What would cause the Nights Watch to turn on their Commander?" Tyrion said looking straight at Varys.
"I would assume that had to do with his decision to let wildlings through the gates of Castle Black. I don't think it sat well with some of the men who spent years fighting them." Varys responded. Tyrion scoffed.
"Jon Snow is not an idiot. The entire purpose of the Nights Watch is to defend the realm from wildlings. Why would he do that?" Tyrion said.
"That I do not know. What I do know, however, is that he along with Sansa Stark raised an army with these wildlings and smaller houses of the North and defeated Ramsay Bolton." Varys answered.
"So what is the situation in the North now?" Daenerys asked.
"Ramsay Bolton was beaten by Jon Snow in one on one combat. The great houses of the North are rallying to him as we speak. Jon Snow is regarded as a hero by the Northerners, the wildlings follow him, and the knights of the Vale have declared for him. The new King in the North, the White Wolf, Your Grace." Varys said looking at her.
Daenerys couldn't believe the story of this Jon Snow. She knew that Tyrion had met the man. She wondered what he knew that he hadn't shared at the table. Thinking for a second she looked back up at Varys.
"So this Jon Snow is now King of the North and of the Vale and has a wildling army at his command." Daenerys replied stating the facts presented in front of her. Tyrion was smirking.
"The bastard has done well for himself. He now controls over half the land mass and a quarter of the population of the Seven Kingdoms." She couldn't help but to feel that in some way Tyrion was proud of this Jon Snow. Although she flinched internally at the use of the word bastard. Daenerys continued.
"Tyrion. You've met him. What do you think of him?" Daenerys asked. He could tell the subtext of her question. He sat there rolling the empty wine goblet in his hand for a few seconds before speaking.
"I met him when he was a mere boy of 17. He was on his way to take the black, to become a Night Watchmen. I've always had a soft spot for cripples, bastards and broken things, so I struck up conversation with young Jon Snow. He was an intelligent, honorable, somber and quiet boy. Though I suppose being raised as an outsider even amongst family could make you a little…reserved." Tyrion said raising his glass and smiling for a second before he finished. "I respect him and if these whispers are true it appears many others do as well, Your Grace." Daenerys heard the implication in his words.
"He will either be a powerful ally or a dangerous enemy." Daenerys said quietly to which the room went silent. Tyrion spoke quietly.
"We're going to need some powerful allies, because we already have plenty of dangerous enemies." Tyrion quipped which brought a small smile against her lips. She thought for a few moments before speaking.
"Tyrion. I want you, Missandei and Varys to send Ravens to every noble house in the Seven Kingdoms. The terms are simple. Those with me will appear before me at Dragonstone and bend the knee; declaring me their Queen swearing the oath of fealty. If they do not I will consider them an enemy." Daenerys commanded. "Tyrion I want you to personally write to Jon Snow, the King in the North." She finished saying as she stood up from the table. Tyrion nodded his understanding.
"Of course Your Grace." She turned to leave the room. She had much to think about now. The next few days were to be very interesting. She couldn't help but to keep thinking about the White Wolf. What kind of man was he really?