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Westeros

A King’s Funeral

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After seven days, of preparation of the body by the maesters and then lying in state in the royal sept, King Viserys’s body was moved to the outer yard of the Red Keep and placed upon a great bier. In days now long past, it was the custom that a dragon would set a king’s bier and body alight, but the dragons are gone and only a torch—carried by the new king, Aegon—was used as the solemn court watched. The only notable absence was Princess Naerys, said to be too affected by the death of her father to show herself publicly. But a different rumor has run through the court, and has been all but confirmed: that the princess is once again with child, a fact that would have been formally announced had Viserys not passed away. There are concerns that the blow of her father’s death combined with her already-delicate health may put her in peril, explaining all the more why she has kept to her bed.

Her son and good-daughter were there to see Viserys’s body committed to the flames, with their companions and household, and so too were the members of the small council, officers great and small, and even Lord Baratheon had managed to make the journey from Storm’s End to pay his respects. About the king were his councillors and companions, chiefly, among whom was Lord Bracken, who has become a fixture with the king… and s too has his daughter Barba, once a companion to the princesses in the Maidenvault. There are rumors there, as well, regarding the young noblewoman and the king… And speaking of the princesses, all three of Viserys’s nieces were present, even Daena the Defiant and Elaena despite their quarrel with the king over Lord Alyn Velaryon’s banishment to Volantis as an alleged envoy. Some had wondered whether King Aegon would send a message to Driftmark, to attempt to reach Velaryon and recall him, but it seems Aegon’s respect for his father’s decision led to his refusing any arguments to that end.

When the flames finally grew cold, servants were sent to collect the ashes and bones, with septons repeating prayers and blessings. The remains were transferred into a costly reliquary, hastily commissioned, and was escorted by two of the Kingsguard—the Lord Commander Prince Aemon and Ser Jaesin Lannister—and the septons to the incomplete great sept that Baelor commanded to be made. Shortly after, the king arrived in a litter with most of the rest of the Kingsguard and a great part of the court, the crowds having lined the streets to see him descend from the Red Keep to witness the burial of Viserys’s remains. The High Septon himself was there to oversee the ceremonial burial within the great sept’s floor, near to where Baelor’s ashes lie.

And with that, the deed was done. At Aegon’s behest, the next days would be devoted not to mourning but to celebration, leading up to his grand coronation. Feasts and frolics are planned, and there are rumors a tournament will be announced to attract the best knights of the realm. But the great lords and courtiers are less concerned with that, and more about what comes next as the new, young king, a man of very different appetites and interests and experience, decides just what his court, and his realm, will look like.

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