Chapter 1: The Knight from Bear Island
(Dragon Heart: A Trilogy)
Disclaimer:The world and characters of Game of Thrones are owned by George R.R. Martin alone. While this fanfiction is loosely based and inspired from the TV show and only a little from the books, I have disregarded the plot involving the Night Walkers. Cersei and the rest of the Lannisters have been defeated, Daenerys currently sits on the Iron Throne and is yet to meet the King in the North, Jon Snow. Also, SPOILERS.
"You have a good claim: a title, a birthright. But you have something more than that: you may cover it up and deny it, but you have a gentle heart. You would not only be respected and feared, you would be loved. Someone who can rule and should rule. Centuries come and go without a person like that coming into the world. There are times when I look at you, and I still can't believe you're real." —Jorah Mormont (The Ghost of Harrenhal; Season 2, Episode 5)
"You don't approve" The side of her lip rose a fragment. It wasn't an inquiry, but a mere observation of the look Jorah has given her when she told him about her plan to marry a Westerosi Lord.
Daenerys Stormborn sat on the iron throne with the absence of her Unsullied and Dothraki men milling about in every corridor. She has heard every proposition of every Lord coming from every part of the Seven Kingdoms, asking for her hand in marriage and promising her their allegiance in turn. She has heard every counsel from Tyrion who had asked her to proceed with caution, Varys who asked her to exercise an alliance with a well-respected Lord to prove to the people how she is a foreigner no longer and Missandei, who has reminded her time and time again to never forget what was easily overlooked, which was to follow her heart.
The only counsel she hasn't heard was from the one she truly wanted to listen to: from her oldest and truest friend. She was hoping to acquire more wisdom and perhaps hear a different answer. He had just arrived from one of her biddings a couple of hours ago and she has summoned him here alone, to hear what he had to say about the matter.
"Your Grace, I—"
She watched the knight fortify his footing by shifting a little. A sign of discomfort, but also a great pause for him to choose his reply wisely. She knew that he knew—after a long time of service to her—that she had a fiery dragon heart. And no matter and wherever, there will always be a silent rumble within her, waiting to be let out when the moment calls for it. Ser Jorah Mormont has learned to tread carefully, even more so now.
"This isn't about my approval" he finally says, his hand resting on the hilt of his sword. "I merely have my concerns. For your safety, of course as well as the legitimacy of the Lord you are going to marry. Who can you trust? And Will he guarantee his loyalty and swear never to betray you?"
The rumbling in her chest began to rise slowly. She stood up from her throne and paced back and forth in front of him, her brows knotted. "So I should not marry? Is that what you're trying to say?"
His long silence made her look at him. "Is this what you would have me do, Jorah?"
Just as he learned to read her temperament after so long, she too had acquired knowledge on how to read his sullen silences and jaw clenchings. She had learned a long time ago how he is in love with her, like a distressed knight falling at the heels of a maiden from one of her books, except that this wasn't it, really. The bear was many years older, seasoned with experience. The prominent lines on his forehead always told her how tough it has been to have survived such rigorous years of fighting. But it also spoke of wisdom, valuable counsel and far better knowledge of all things worldly that she could only hope to know.
She stopped in front of him, a foot shorter. His gaze faltered when their eyes met. She can read loyalty, respect, honor and pride. But she has also gotten good at reading the intentions he tried so hard to bury beneath. The desire, love and tenderness of a man who has long known he could never acquire the woman he wants. Sometimes she was distracted by it. He had no idea of course, that every time he served her these looks , a small part of her squirmed. Not with discomfort, but of something she cannot dare name. It was a forbidden secret at the back of her mind, somewhere no one can know.
"What I want" he finally spoke, his eyes full of resolve as it found hers once again "is nothing but your happiness, My queen"
"No" she said, ignoring his declaration of selflessness. She has grown to feign impassiveness when he wanted to please her. "What I want and what I need are entirely different. I want to know what I should do instead. You don't think I should trust any of these Lords?"
He bowed his head to acknowledge this "Aye. These Lords have known a different leader for a long time. Their loyalties change to who is favorable. And at the moment, you seem not to give them a choice but to bend the knee. And they do so with skepticism but also fear. And with fear, comes distrust. These Lords might only lust for the power, as is usually the case. Not to mention the ownership of your dragons"
"But isn't it better to have one ally who has been a son of this land since his name day?" she argued
"It is better" he said, "But one thing you could do is to assess. You have once told me that marriage is the easiest form of alliance and I agree, but it is of importance to wait and see who could guarantee you the most solid alliance in all of the seven kingdoms"
"Lord Tyrion has told me about The King in the North, Jon Snow. A bastard son who has earned his title by being one and true with his people" she said, pacing again, feeling his eyes on her back. "Do you think he's good enough, then?"
"An honorable man" he conceded, "The northerners always live as simply as they could and a man like Jon Snow might not want the title of King in the South. But of course, Your grace, it would be foolish to reject a marriage alliance of this magnitude."
She did not like the tone of his voice. He didn't sound like him. He sounded as if his response was being read from a scroll written by a stranger. She expected better of him.
"So you will have no objections if I invite him to the Red Keep to discuss a marriage alliance?"
He sighed before looking back at her eyes, which were stormy with contemplation. It was clear to her that it pained him to answer such a question. His forehead is pinched and his jaw was tight, almost in despair. Her knight clearly did not want anymore part of this conversation and her constant push for his counsel was the only thing keeping him from turning his back on her and walking out.
"Answer me. Will he be a good king to the people and a good enough king for me?"
Her knight was troubled. Truly and utterly. He looked at the floor "I'm afraid no one will ever be good enough for you, my queen"
She walked back to him, noting how his shoulders drooped and his fingers lay limp at his sides, no longer resting at the hilt of his sword. This was the stance of resignation. And she could read his face, how his heart broke in a million pieces once again. She will never tell him how sometimes he was the reason why she is up all night, staring at the canopy on her bed. What was it that she felt? Guilt? He knew she could never return his affection the way he wanted her to.
She believes her relationship with Jorah was far more complicated. It transcends the childish love she had envisioned with a handsome stranger prince. She loves him, that she does. But she worries about all the things that the word entailed. She herself doesn't know where it starts and ends, and what was allowable for her to love about him. He has been the most loyal and valuable ally from the start when she had nothing but her name. No dragons, no army, a dead husband and no people who believed in her. It was always just him starting from the very beginning. This was why he held a very special place in her heart. But of course she was the queen, and she would rather fall from mounting her dragon than admit this simple fact out loud in the open.
Danaerys placed her palm against the rough stubble on his cheek. He flinched at her touch but didn't move away.
"You know how much I value your counsel, ser Jorah" she said "Will you allow me this moment of tenderness for you?"
She kissed him on the cheek. When she withdrew her face to look at him with a fresh pair of eyes, his were closed, as if savoring the moment. "You just told me how no one is good enough. You are too kind ser. But I believe that it is time for me to be with someone again. It has been far too long and a queen would do well with a good king"
He acknowledged this with the briefest of smiles.
"So I repeat my question to you, Will Lord Jon Snow be good enough?"
She waited. It was simply a yes. One syllable of shy lip movement. But instead of putting her mind at ease that she was doing the right thing, he then said, "You ask too much of me, My queen. I am, but just one of your advisors. Perhaps you could ask Tyrion Lannister for his counsel as he is more familiar with the Lord you speak of"
She stepped back, taken aback.
"So it is true then, you do not approve for me to give my hand to a Westerosi Lord? Even if many have claimed him to be honorable and trustworthy?"
"No" he said, his voice clear and final "not in the immediate future, I do not. I believe that you need to prove to the people how capable you are at ruling on your own. You have to succeed in improving the lives of those under your rule without the immediate influence of a Lord or succumbing to a marriage alliance. This is the way for you to earn their trust and genuine support"
This of course made perfect sense to her. And he has done it again, making her see a different angle that she would have missed had she not asked for his advice. "You have given me a lot to think about" she returned to her throne and regarded him with leveled eyes.
"I hope that I have given you all the advice you needed, my queen. You do have a lot to think about regarding the welfare of the people but you also need to be careful"
It was her jaw's turn to clench out of frustration because he was giving her one of his looks. Sometimes it made her feel like a child being chastised by an adult. She was no longer a child, she wanted to yell out even if it made her sound like a petulant cub. She had to grow up very quickly to learn the ways of a queen. But what did it matter what he thought? It was still her say, that was final. He was just one of her many advisors.
And yet, he was the most loyal and succinct.
"And are you speaking entirely out of concern for me as queen?" she challenged, her fingers clenched tightly on her lap "Or as a woman that you see?"
"Your grace?" He blinked, surprised
"Do you advise me as your queen or as a woman?"
He was taken aback. He took a step forward and kneeled before her. "Wherever it is I speak from... is a place of loyalty, service and devotion from a knight"
A knight to a queen or a woman? She wanted to ask. But she didn't want to torment him any longer.
"Very well. Thank you for your counsel" she said through clenched teeth, unsatisfied with his answer"Leave me be"
She could almost hear his sigh of relief just by the slight movement of his shoulders. He gave her one last look, one last bow of his head and one last "My queen" before leaving with the rustle of his sword in her wake.
She has not spoken to him for days.
There was a crime outbreak from Flea Bottom. Night by night, factions of food were stolen by unsuspected men. People from the area were beginning to live in scarcity and no one dared speak to her about this because of their fear of being burned. Men from the City Watch were slain and their bodies rotting and exposed out on the streets, yet not one Westerosi has dared walked up these steps to tell her of their concern.
This has gotten her visibly upset. She had wanted to storm off to flea bottom with an army and tell off her subjects that she would never burn people whose prime goal is to put food on the table for their families. Rather, she wanted to ride on Drogon and tell them how she has perfect control of her children and would never burn those who are not at fault.
She was not a Mad Queen.
Tyrion had advised her against it immediately. "I don't think striking back with anger for their fearful assumptions is the correct step in making them trust you. You want peace and prosperity, don't you My Queen?"
"With all my heart" she nodded solemnly "yes"
"Then I suggest that you invite them in the castle ground and hear about their problem. Show no dragons, and show no hostility from your unsullied and Dothraki"
That was what she did. She cleared her entire day, tried to forget about the despair of her knight at the idea of her marriage alliance, and listened to the people from Flea Bottom. From the smiths to the wine-sellers, merchants and traders. One by one, farmers and fishermen and humble families who had been living in poverty under the old queen's rule began to speak before her.
"I will ask my guards to distribute food and water factions to every single household. I will double what all the market has lost and guarantee not to leave your streets unguarded. I will distribute my men and ask them to guard every street and corner, as well as the food stocks. Any threat and violence, stolen food and drink done by an individual or group will be arrested and subject to a hearing" Tyrion was at her side, giving her a nod of approval. She continued, "And once proven guilty: death"
When the people from Flea Bottom were appeased and her castle doors were closed, she sat back in the Great Hall, exhausted. What she had done today drained her mentally.
"Shall I ask them to draw a bath for you, My Queen?" asked Missandei, who had given her a sympathetic look.
"Yes. Make sure the water is warm"
She retired to her quarters and asked Missandei to accompany her. There was a lot in her mind and a conversation with her might help ebb it away.
She undid the ropes that knitted her robes together just as Missandei removed the bands of her braids knotted at the top of her head. When she was fully naked and her hair was set free, wavy and untamed, she looked at herself in the full length mirror beside her bath.
She was pink at the cheeks, breast, stomach and thighs, still standing at five foot two on her bare feet. Her eyes were wide and full of indecision. She looked at the woman looking back at her doubtfully. Who has she become? And is she ready to run a kingdom?
"Something on your mind, your Grace?" said Missandei, who was observing her from the side.
"It is nothing"
She deposited her body into the warmth and comfort of her bath and asked her loyal follower to brush her hair. For a fragment of a second, she closed her eyes and envisioned that it was her faceless mother brushing her hair, whispering sweet Valyrian words in her ears.
"My Queen" Missandei spoke in between brushing "If you don't mind me asking, and I mean no disrespect for your judgments, but how do you still manage to trust Ser Jorah? I recall that he has betrayed you from the beginning and you exiled him, but you accepted him back when he returned"
Her eyes opened, surprised. "This is a peculiar question coming from you, Missandei. Are you always this curious about ser Jorah or has this thought come to you recently?"
"Recently,my queen" Missandei admitted "I have noticed how...devoted he is to you. Now, more than ever."
Her heart betrayed her. It started to quicken its pace under the water. "Have you?" she said, feigning indifference. "Perhaps because ser Jorah doesn't do things halfheartedly. I have known him a long time and he is the sort of man who dedicates his life to the things he genuinely cares for"
"So...you, my queen"
"Perhaps" she said, sinking a little deeper into the tub. "He has considered me his home, and I him. We have...a complicated relationship." She stole a glance at Missandei because the brushing has stopped. Her loyal subject was awaiting for more clarification and so she did. "Ser Jorah has proven himself to be the most loyal and trustworthy man who is at my service. If all who has promised to serve me shall perish, and I should choose new men, I'd rather Jorah be risen from the dead to be by my side or none at all. There is no one I trust more than him. I entrust my life to him completely."
"I understand" the brushing resumed, but then paused again. "And how is the context of your relationship complicated, my queen? Isn't he a mere knight, serving his queen wholeheartedly as is his rightful duty?"
Daenerys smiled. She knew Missandei was trying to ask the questions that she herself was trying hard to forget in her mind. Guilt? Or perhaps something more unspoken?
"He has told me how he felt. It is the kind of love that—I admit—I have yet to learn. I have experienced aspects of it from my dead husband, Drogo. But those were only fragments'" she admitted in a quiet voice "Ser Jorah's heart is deep and placed too snuggly in a place where he is willing it to be overlooked and yet, he asks nothing in return but to serve and protect me."
Daenerys hugged both of her knees to her chest, already hating the question that has come out of her mouth "Do you think me selfish, Missandei of Naath?"
"No, I don't" her faithful friend replied "I think—and this is completely from another woman's perspective who has seen the torment of a woman because of a man so devoted to her—you are the opposite of selfish, my queen if you try to disregard your own feelings. If you reciprocate it or not, it is entirely up to you but you should never feel guilt for what another man is feeling for you. His feelings are entirely his own and not yours."
She considered that. Truly, she did.
"And what if...I have restricted myself too much from wanting something? Is this still considered selfless or just plain idiocy?"
Missandei let out a small laugh, amused by the question "I believe that you can want whatever you want, your grace. You are the queen after all. And why should a queen settle for something below what her heart truly desires?"
She has sent a raven to the north, inviting Jon Snow to the Red Keep in order to discuss their possible marriage alliance. She has told her advisors about this and noted Varys and Tyrion's approval. Her knight was absent from the meeting, as he was given the task to oversee the distribution of food factions once more, not only in Flea Bottom but in all of King's Landing, bringing Dothraki and unsullied with him.
She was mulling over this decision throughout the week. When she was tending to her children, when she was in bed about to sleep, when she was sitting in the iron throne or in her bath, even when she was walking along the halls. What was it about this marriage alliance that didn't sit well with her? What was it that made her stomach turn into knots?
It has been a couple more days before she heard the news that the people received what she has promised. That they were nothing but grateful to the new queen who was unlike her predecessor. This gave her immense pleasure and relief. It made her believe that she might actually be capable of ruling the masses.
A few days later, news of her knight's return has reached her. She immediately left her throne room and walked past the large castle's corridors, unfurling brick walls and lush gardens behind her. There were many unsullied and Dothraki on the grounds, busy tending to the carts and loot that have been emptied for the people. They all bowed when they saw her.
She saw him first, talking to an unsullied with a gentle smile on his face. The soldier spotted her and immediately bowed to leave. That was when ser Jorah turned and saw her. She acknowledged him with a smile, taking her time to walk towards him with the ease of a woman bidding her time.
"You have returned" she said, her voice betraying her concealed relief
"Yes, I have. It has been successful. There was less objection and violence unlike what I'd anticipated"
"You have done immensely well at the task I have given you" she pleased "I am grateful for your service, ser Jorah"
"I live to serve you, as you know" he bowed gently, ever the knight. "If you don't mind my queen, may I speak to you with a little more privacy?"
He regarded the soldiers around them and she wondered what it was he wanted to say that cannot be said out in the open. So she nodded and took his hand, guiding him to a secluded part of the castle grounds.
"You invited Jon Snow to the south, your grace?" he inquired as they started walking around, past the greenery and the flowers that were to imitate the majesty of High Garden.
"Tyrion and Varys have supported me" she told him, ignoring his disapproving tone "And I assume that you have changed your mind?"
His reply was silence, and the rustle of the sword at his side.
"I assume not, then" she frowned, stopping near the marble fountain spewing crystal clear water.
He too stopped and faced her. "I have my reservations. But maybe this is the right thing for you to do. As I was away, I have come to the conclusion that it is your duty to rule, and the best way for you to go about it is to find a suitable king to rule with you."
She took his hand in hers. His was too big and calloused from war and hers was small and enveloped by the warmth. She squeezed his hands and looked straight at him. "I have listened to all the counsel I have been given from the best advisors a queen could ever ask for. And my decision is this: invite Jon Snow and assess if we would fit for a marriage alliance. Should he and I reach a mutual agreement, and should he prove his loyalty and honor to his queen, then I will accept"
He squeezed her hands, his thumbs soothing the back of it. "Then I shall support you whole heartedly. Just as I have supported the many decisions you have made before"
"Do you mean it, Ser Jorah?"
He surprised her by bringing her hands to his lips. A move from her books, a maiden adored by the knight, providing her with the show of affection that was rightful of their status. Her mind began to whirl, and her poor traitorous heart soared like the ravens. How complex could it be with him? That a mere show of respect and honor through her hands against his lips made everything in her swell with tenderness?
He looked back at her with those clear blue eyes of his, his hair slightly jostled by the wind around them "I mean it, my queen"
She received a letter sealed with the Stark sigil on the day she convened her advisors at the Chamber of the Painted Table. It says,
"The North recognizes Queen Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons as the true Queen of the South. King Jon Snow will journey a fortnight to King's Landing to pay his respects, as well as to let the Queen know of the support from the House Karstark, Umber, Flint, Mormont, Hornwood, Cerwyn, Reed, Manderly, Glover and Tallhart. The King is open to the talk of any and all forms of alliance that might fortify the union of the Seven Kingdoms. Lastly, he wishes the Queen to be well and in good health.
With deep and sincere regards,
Ser Davos Seaworth, right hand of The King in the North
When she rolled back the letter, they were looking at her expectantly.
"Well, your Grace?" said Varys "Good news, I hope?"
She tried not to look at the knight standing beside her, silent and brooding. "The king will travel a fortnight to come and meet me in the Red Keep. He is willing to discuss an alliance of sorts."
"Excellent" exclaimed Tyrion, who sat on her right side "As of the moment, I can think of no one more suited for the position. I've known Jon Snow to be a ruler for the people. His honor is exemplary, next only to his skills and experience on the battlefield."
"This is quite astonishing." noted Varys "He is known to love his lands and to never leave it. This proves how important this alliance is, my queen. I suggest you not waste the opportunity to fortify what is coming."
"Jorah?" she said, finally turning to him after noting his silence
He hesitated before saying, "This is quite a news, your grace"
This half-hearted comment was met with silence
"Quite a news?" she repeated, amused
"My, my. He seems to be against this" Tyrion pointed out quickly to everyone in the room "Something the matter, Mormont? Feeling possessive of the queen, yet again?"
"Tyrion" she warned
"The matter I am concerned with Lannister, is how to stop your mouth from running like a reckless gazelle" said Jorah coldly
Tyrion scoffed "This insult is old. I was hoping to hear something more original—but oh wait, you cannot come up with anything can you, Mormont? All you blubber about is how to serve and protect our queen. But what else is new?"
His only response was a glower in Tyrion's way.
"Enough" said Daenerys, ending the petty feud "Jorah has told me of his reservations. He thinks I should prove to the people of my power as ruler. Alone. For the time being"
"Preposterous!" countered Tyrion "We need to act now and secure our hold of the Seven Kingdoms. We can do this only with an alliance from the most familiar and trusted ally"
"I agree" said Varys
Dany informed them of her wish: To assess, discuss a compromise that could benefit both parties, and if she thinks Jon Snow favorable and far from objection, discuss the marriage alliance.
It was to her delight that her advisors agreed of her plan and all were dismissed with a hopeful spring in their step.
She went to the Dragon's Pit before sunrise, on the day of Jon Snow's arrival. She had missed her children miserably and wanted to see how much they've grown accustomed to their new home. She brought with her a dozen live sheep, tied to a rope and wheeled in by Zirqo, one of her loyal Dothraki men.
But when she arrived, she was surprised to see that her children already had a companion. One that stood half her size but thrice as wise. Tyrion, standing next to Rhaegal.
"Yer ishish elat" she said to Zirqo, dismissing him.
When he left, she stepped forward and revealed herself to her children. It was Drogon who first spotted her. His wail of welcome made her heart swell. Rhaegal and Viserion followed suit, dipping their heads to her for a motherly pat on the head.
"I have brought food, my children." she said, releasing the sheeps from their cage. Drogon immediately set them on fire, silencing their terrified bleats.
"They have grown to control their fire" Tyrion said, walking to stand beside her. He had been surprised to see her, but got over it very quickly. They were silent as they observed the three dragons devour their sheep. Drogon wailed at his brothers as they started fighting over the meat. At once, the three divided them and ate their own share.
"And intelligent, too" he noted warmly
"What are you doing here, Tyrion?" she said, her eyes still on her children "So early and alone?"
"I have grown fond of their company, my queen. As terrifying as that sounds." he replied, equally transfixed at the dragons "They are wildly intelligent and knows that I come as an old friend."
"They have grown fond of you too" she said, smiling gently as Rhaegal's head dipped down to Tyrion's eye level, hoping for a pat. When he did, the dragon wailed. "Rhaegal, most of all. I don't doubt he would let you ride him in the future. He seems to regard you with the utmost respect"
Tyrion shuddered "I don't think I would, my queen, despite the high honor. The thought of my feet leaving the ground gives me nightmares. I am very content of where I am, thank you"
She smiled "You need to learn to trust them better"
"I do trust them" he said, "It's me I don't trust. I might find myself covered in vomit when I'm high on the air"
Drogon was done with his portion and wailed, giving his mother a look of gratitude. It was funny, but his face is absent of expression except that of ferocious but she knew exactly how he felt. The motherly part of her softened considerably.
"And why are you here so early, my queen?" Tyrion interrupted her thoughts and brought her back to the reality.
She finally looked at him "I never told anyone this before, but I sometimes leave King's Landing and go somewhere deserted. Sometimes I go to the Red Mountains of Dorne, other times The Westerlands. Being alone out in the open with no one but Drogon gives me an opportunity to clear my head and think"
"The Westerlands?" he blinked, surprised
"I know you don't approve but I have driven the Lannisters away. Casterly Rock is empty and dead just as much"
"Still. You know this is risky, don't you? You are giving your enemies the chance to spot you unguarded"
"Drogon doesn't leave me"
Tyrion merely sighed "You are stubborn my queen"
"A dragon trait, I'm sure you're aware"
He shook his head, unable to argue. He then resorted to asking, "And what thought is it that compels you to ride your dragon and leave today?"
Her conviction started to battle inside her. But she knew Tyrion already had his suspicions.
"You know" she said
"Is this alliance not to your liking?" he inquired "Jon Snow, The King in the North himself, has given you the chance to persuade him. And yet here you are, still unsure."
"How can I trust him?"
"You will, soon enough. I have met him in Castle Black and know him to be an honorable man who has become their Lord Commander. His heart is intended for the benefit of his family and his people. What more could you ask for? I cannot speak highly enough of him"
She was silent. Her dragons decided to rest, expelling gentle fire as they snored. Tyrion noted her look of doubt.
"I can't just take your word for it. I have to meet him myself"
"And you will, my queen. He has personally traveled south even if the northerners think of it as an omen of misfortune for their ruler to do so."
"Even so" she said, already hating how much weakness she has shown him "There remains to be a feeling of apprehension in my stomach"
"Perhaps..." he said quietly "Perhaps you have apprehensions about this marriage alliance because your heart isn't in it"
She gave him a sharp look, insulted "I don't think I'm the type of queen who doesn't put my heart into the things I do, Tyrion"
He met her gaze calmly, just as he does her dragons. "Oh, I don't mean your diligence, your grace. You are exemplary at that. Forgive me, what I meant was your heart belonging elsewhere, loyal to the love of another."
She dropped her gaze as she had no response. But she didn't need to speak as Tyrion wasn't done talking as is always the case until he made his point clear. Her chest suddenly felt restricted, as if various emotions vowing to expel out of her could not hope of knowing how to be let out.
That was when she knew. She knew that Tyrion knew what she had in mind. Rather, who.
That despite her knight's assurance of support, something inside her still felt the guilt. But of what guilt? The guilt of robbing her knight the chance to love her as a woman? Or something else? Her guilt of denying herself what she truly wants? But what is it that she wants, in the first place?
Suddenly, Tyrion summarized her million questions into one,
"Is it worth the cost, my queen? You, disregarding your heart for power?"
That afternoon, everyone prepared for the arrival of the King in the North. Windows and brick stones were polished, candelabras were lit up and rooms were tidied. Some of his men started arriving and rallying their horses one by one, out on the castle grounds.
Her Unsullied and Dothraki lined the halls. Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion were flying above her castle, wailing and screeching at the party beginning to arrive, wary of the strangers that were on the Red Keep.
She sat on the iron throne, waiting with anticipation at the man who gets to claim her heart while her advisors stood beside her. Amidst the growing crowd inside the throne room, full of her loyal subjects, high Lords, Ladies and Knights, she could not stop herself from looking at her own knight standing directly beside her. If she reached out her left hand, she could hold his.
She wanted to do so and squeeze them for assurance.
Jorah gave her a look instead. It was the look which told her he understood what she is feeling. They had experienced numerous changes together. Of all these changes, he remains to be the most constant. Always by her side, protecting her if needed. It scares and embarrasses her how much she needed his presence to make it through this. Her heart began to quicken.
Jorah gave a rare smile. She exhaled.
Tyrion noticed the exchange but did not speak. His inquiry earlier that day remained at the back of her mind, unforgotten.
"Are you ready, my queen?" Jorah whispered, voice full of unwavering support.
"Open the throne doors"