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Westeros Blog: A Time for Mourning

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In the wake of King Daeron’s murder and the near-riot in King’s Landing, King Baelor prayed and fasted for three days and nights. Only after he recovered from this did the young king begin to rule. And the tasks he set before his council? To proclaim the forty-nine days of mourning for Daeron I, to prepare his coronation after that time, to see to the safety of the Dornish hostages—including a formal pardon for Ser Tarion Sand, who killed one of the guards in an attempt to escape to safety—and…

... to make peace with Dorne. This, Prince Viserys—still his Hand—urged the king against before they learned more of what had happened in the south. Yet this was resolved shortly afterward, with a raven from Stonehelm: Ser Alyn Velaryon, the king’s master of ships, had arrived there with a small fleet of vessels. And on that fleet? Ser Sarmion Baratheon, Lord Swann, the heirs to Nightsong and Crakehall, Ser Burton’s cousin the Lannister retainer, and many others besides, the survivors of the march from Godsgrace to the Tor. The full details would have to wait, but due to the efforts of the army, they survived Prince Rhodry Martell’s endless harrying to storm the Tor, sack it, and make good a narrow escape on Oakenfist’s ships.

Though the fate of those who followed Ser Ardon Tyrell to Salt Shore remains unknown, one thing the black wings of ravens have brought is known: Ser Aloran Celtigar was forced to give up the Planky Town to the Dornish when Prince Marence at last stirred himself from Sunspear to join the sellsword companies in winning back the docks. The last that is known was his intention to sail to Salt Shore, and see if Tyrell and those who followed him would survive their journey through hostile Dorne.

Yet at the same time, quite different news arrived: Salt Shore was under siege a fortnight ago, the Qorgyle banner flying above the thousands of Dornishmen gathered to surround the town’s walls and begin to raise siege engines. Would Celtigar make it in time ... and even so, would anyone have survived the march only to arrive outside of Salt Shore with a Dornish army behind them and a most unexpected one before? Matters seem dire, and it’s said Prince Viserys has spent long hours in consultation with the other members of the small council regarding what would follow if, worst came to worst, Ser Ardon was killed or captured, leaving the Reach bereft of its Lord Protector.

When the king shows himself, it is often to go to one sept or another. He has visited half the septs in the city, its said, accompanied by the only Kingsguard in King’s Landing, Ser Aleyn Florent and Ser Jaesin Lannister, praying before the shrines and altars for holy wisdom. Will the gods grant him a vision of peace or of doom? Will they indicate whom should don the pure white cloak and joined the Sworn Brotherhood of the Kingsguard? Guidance is what King Baelor prays for. And all the while, he and his sister-wife Daena keep to their separate chambers, and are never alone. The crown-to-come has not changed Baelor’s now well-known refusal to consumate their marriage.

The Most Devout at Visenya’s Sept have begun to turn their mind towards the young, pious king, and it’s said that at their urging the High Septon has begun to broach greater patronage for the Faith from the Iron Throne, beyond what Jaehaerys the Coniciliator agreed to a hundred years earlier. And in return? Perhaps certain matters that worry Baelor might be dealt with, given time and the light of the Seven to guide them…

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