It might be easy to forget that her king's daughter is even in the room; Princess Shireen burrows herself into corners with a book or her little wooden-jointed dolls, quiet and wary as a soldier on guard. But Melisandre remembers her own years as a quiet child, a watcher and a listener, and so she never forgets for a moment. In her case, her silence sprang not from silence but from the current of fear that constantly writhed under all her other thoughts. Though dulled by long years and the fire inside of her, she can still feel it sometimes, eating into her mind. The princess does not know that fear, but surely it is confusing, this sudden strange upheaval of everything she has known. Surrounded by the constant whisper of plots and plans, the war maps that spread over this castle's tables and etch themselves behind her parents' eyes, it cannot be a happy place for a child. Melisandre stands up and crosses the room, looking out the window at the sunset. A huge ball of flame, like God's eye, sinking into the blackness of the far-off waves. The night is almost on them, she thinks, shivering. "Are you afraid of the dark, child?" The girl looks up, her doll flopping to the side, blue eyes wide at being spoken to. "Yes," she says quietly, as if ashamed. "I'm afraid of lots of things, stupid things. I know they can't hurt me, but I'm scared anyway. It's silly." "Do you remember our prayer, princess?" "The night is dark, and full of terrors," Shireen whispers. "Exactly. Fear is rarely stupid or silly. Fear is what keeps us alive. You're right to fear what is in the darkness, and to watch it. I do the same." The child scrunches up her face, shocked. "You're afraid of the dark too?" Melisandre smiles, just barely. Shireen is so innocent still. "Yes. But I fight it all the same."