This is how I became a king.
It had been late at night and I had been sleeping in the chambers which Orys Baratheon, the Lord of Storm’s End, gave to me while I visited his estate. He didn’t hold back on the room, or might I say the tower, of which he gave me — of which I took from him. It was huge, well, huge enough for a Prince of the Realm, and his would-be king. Though, honestly, it would have been more proper if he gave me his own chamber. I was his better, his superior, and I have the right to sleep in the lord’s chamber. But, for now, I shall forgive him.
A fire burned in the hearth, crackling. I watched it from my bed, half-awake, while a naked whore slept in my chest, her thick blond hair blocking half my view of the fire. Suddenly, there came a tapping from my door, hesitant but desperate. It was the maester of the castle, he had been sent by Orys to wake me — the fool, waking me up in the middle of the night. He didn’t voice reason why he sent the maester to wake me. I pushed away the whore from my chest and took out some breeches and a brown leather vest, before heading out.
The maester led me to the Hall, to the Throne Room of the Storm Kings of old. There I found Lord Orys in almost similar clothing as mine, with his eldest son, a dozen guards, and a Kingsguard, Ser Arryk.
“You better have a good reason for waking me, Orys.”
“My lord,” he muttered and they all bent the knee. A sight to behold. This man had the typical look of a true Baratheon — muscular and hugely built, black-haired and black-bearded, the look of a hammer-wielding warrior. And now he bends his knee, and also his son who is pretty much a miniature version of Orys. It was a good choice for them to bend. “Forgive me for having woken you –”
“What is going on, Orys?”
“My lord, we just received news –”
“Who receives ravens in the middle of the night?”
“There was a rider my lord,” he said as he stood up. Everybody else followed suit.
“Oh was there? And what news did he bring that is so urgent as to –”
Right then and there, the doors of the hall opened, rather harshly as if someone had kicked it, forced it open. From there emerged my younger brother, Aemond, and behind him came a number of armed men, two of which brandished the white cloak of a Kingsguard. One of them, a young knight by the name of Ser Osfryd Whent. The other, was the Lord Commander himself, Ser Criston Cole.
“Brother, what’s the meaning of this?”
They all poured in, Aemond’s company. There must have been a couple hundred men who went inside the room.
“It’s father,” Aemond said rather loudly and clearly. By those words, I knew what had happened. My father, King Viserys, the First of His Name, King of the Seven Kingdoms, was dead.
“Three days past. We rode as –”
“Why did I not know that? Why did nobody send a raven to Storm’s End?”
“Our sister forbade it. She forbade any raven flying from the Red Keep until she is crowned.”
“Crowned? As the sole monarch –”
“She’s to be crowned tomorrow, brother,” Aemond so boldly interrupted me.
“That’s why we rode here, tonight,” it was Ser Criston who spoke now, his voice clearly tired but also filled with anticipation. He walked and kneeled before me, holding up something which he took out from his satchel. It was a crown. A true king’s crown. The crown of the first Aegon. Aegon the Conqueror. “My king.”
At that, every single soul in the room bent their knees, including my princely brother, and, again, the Baratheons. I took the crown and held it between my fingers, marveled at the rubies engraved upon it, and the black metal that made it — Valyrian steel.
I stared at the crown for a while. Speechless. With this, the crown of Aegon the Conqueror, I shall rule Seven Kingdoms. With this crown, I shall be superior to every single soul from Oldtown to the Last Hearth. With this crown, I would never bow down to anyone. I shall be king.
“Lord Orys,” I finally said, turning back to the muscular lord who knelt. “Swear to me your allegiance, here and now. Swear to me the same oath that your namesake swore to mine. Swear to me your fealty and your blood.”
“I do so swear, Your Grace,” the Storm Lord answered.
I unsheathed the dagger that hung from Ser Criston’s waist. “Swear it with your blood, and that of your oldest son,” I said and handed Orys the dagger.
He stood up and accepted it, gripped the blade and said, “With this, I swear my fealty and my blood to you, my King and my sovereign. I swear to follow you, King Aegon, Second of His Name, in victory and in defeat. I swear I shall do all that I could to place you in the Iron throne. I swear to be faithful and true. In the light of the Seven, all this I swear with my blood. May the Father bring justice on our side. May the Warrior grant you strength to carry victory in the coming strife.” He pulled the dagger, and blood spilled to the floor. Orys’ eldest son, who had also stood up (and so did everyone else), opened his left palm obediently and the Storm Lord cut him.
“Good. Maester, send a raven to Oldtown — no, send a knight. No, Orys, send your son to Oldtown, accompanied by a hundred men, to inform my uncle of my recent ascension. Tell him to gather his forces. And so should Highgarden,” I said and turned back to my brother, Prince Aemond, and to Ser Criston. “There will be a war. Dragon against dragon. We will need all the strength we have to beat my sister into submission. Fire will burn from all corners of the world, and blood will rain on the ground. When I finally sit on the Iron Throne, you, men, shall all be remembered in history as the men who heralded Fire and Blood!”
“Long live the King,” said Ser Criston, and all the men in the room took up the chant. “King Aegon! King Aegon! Long live the King! Long live the King!”