An Eye For An Eye (Aemond Targaryan)

(Scenario: Following on from Part II of the Origins of A Dance With Dragons mini-series, Aemond Targaryan and his mother demand an eye for an eye after Lucerys cut Aemond’s eye.)

Aemond marched into the dining hall along with his older brother, Aegon. Driftmark’s dining hall had been converted into a makeshift courtroom, with King Viserys sitting at the rectangular table; with Queen Alicent sitting at one end of the table, and Princess Rhaenyra and her three sons sitting at the other end of it, to hear the proceedings.

Aemond wore a patch over where his eye had been, before the little brat Lucaerys had knifed it. The pain coming from the eye-socket was maddening, like tiny shards stabbing him; and the sight of Lucaerys, as well as his brothers, made the pain more acute.

Prince Lucerys Accused

Jace, Joffrey and Lucerys Velaryon. The three sons of Pricess Rhaenyra Targaryan and Laenor Velaryon (or Ser Harwin Strong), who were one of the key causes of The Dance With Dragons.

“Here,” Queen Alicent said, sternly, pointing at the seat next to her.

Aemond took the seat next to his mother, and glowered at his nephews with his one good eye. He hated them. He had always hated them. Now, he wanted their blood.

The King cleared his throat and took a deep breath, loading his barrel-chest with air. Aemond would rather he had loaded it with arrows, so the King could shoot Lucerys. “Yesterday,” the King began. “A most grievous wound was given to my son, Prince Aemond Targaeryan. Prince Lucaerys, you have been accused of causing this wound. Do you deny it?”

Prince Lucaerys could not bring himself to look at Aemond. The coward’s eyes glistened and he looked down at the ground. “I-I didn’t mean to,” he said. “It was an accident. Aemond was hurting Jace. I wanted him to stop, so I put my knife to his neck. Only… Aemond moved his head and the dagger’s point pricked his eye.”

“How Could You Mistake My Eye For My Neck?”

Aemond narrowed his eyes. Or, rather, he narrowed his one good eye. “How could you mistake my eye for my neck?” Aemond retorted. “Were you not born with two eyes for a reason? Or should I give you a reason for being unable to see the difference by cutting them both out-”

“Enough!” Princess Rhaenyra interrupted. “Lucaerys is a boy. He made a mistake. Can you not see he is upset about what happened?”

Lucerys sniveled, like a feeble pup.

“I don’t care if he is upset or crying,” Aemond said. “Neither brings give me back my eye! And what kind of a mother lets their four year old son hold a knife anyway-”

“What sort of a son disobeys his father, a king no less?” Princess Rhaenyra interrupted. “If you hadn’t gone out to seek out Vhagar and hit Daeron, you would still have your eye-”

“Vhagar chose me!” Aemond fired back. “Don’t be jealous, Sister, just because the old dragon did not choose to you. I will not apologise for-”

“ENOUGH!” King Viserys bellowed. “You all sound worse than crows cawing. This is a serious matter and I must decide a just punishment for what has happened. I can’t even think with you all shouting at one another.”

You don’t need to think, Grandfather. Just give me Lucerys and I’ll make sure he receives justice.

“An Eye For An Eye”

King Viserys drained his goblet of wine. Then, he exhaled and lowered his brows, to make himself look like he was deep in thought. Only, King Viserys was a not a deep thinker. Aemond could virtually see the wheels turning in His Grace’s mind, like axles on a wagon.

Aemond’s blood heated and he clenched his fist. Judging by the snarl coming from his mother, he was not the only one losing his patience with the King. “There is nothing to think about, Your Grace,” Queen Alicent hissed. “An eye for an eye is the only just punishment! Lucaerys cut out Aemond’s eye. He should lose one in return.”

“No!” Princess Rhaenyra and Lucerys said in unison.

“Only one?” Aemond responded. “Lucerys should lose both and be made to walk blind for the rest of his life.”

“No,” the King said. “I aim to deliver justice, Aemond. What you speak of is vengeance and a need to sate your anger.”

What’s the difference? Justice and vengeance had always sounded one and the same in the stories. Aemond could make a story out of this episode, to make himself feared. That would be just.

Lucerys The Bastard

an eye for an eye - the two women who hate each other, Queen Alicent and Princess Rhaenyra
Princess Rhaenyra (left) and Queen Alicent (right). They may not have been feasting together tonight, but their enmity was on full show. Fan art by Maggie Henstorf.

“Thank you, Father, for speaking sense.” Princess Rhaenyra then turned to Queen Alicent. “I would like to refute your claim that Lucaerys cut out Aemond’s eye,” she continued. “He did not. Your physician did that. And-”

“Don’t you dare bring Maester Gonlan into this!” the Queen interrupted. “He only took out the eye because he had to. The eye would have got infected and killed Aemond if he hadn’t.”

“Lucaerys still did not take out the eye as you claim. But that is not the point. You and your son are speaking about my son as if he were a street urchin. He’s not; he’s a prince, a grandson of the King no less. Yet, I have heard that your son called him a bastard. How dare you!”

“He is a bastard,” Aemond said, flatly.

Princess Rhaenyra glowered at him. It was like his words had ignited a roaring fire with her. “You despicable boy,” she said. “Lucaerys, like his brothers, are in mourning for their lord father, my late husband, who I loved with all my heart. Yet, you slander us all. How dare you! If you were anyone else-”

“SILENCE!” the King bellowed, before turning to Aemond. “Where did you hear the falsehood that my grandsons are bastards?”

“It’s Obvious”

Aemond turned to his older brother and sighed. “Aegon told me,” he said.

“Prince Aegon,” King Viserys said. “How do you know that my grandsons are bastards?”

Aegon frowned at his brother, annoyed at having been dragged into the dispute. “I didn’t hear it from anyone,” he said. “Just look at them, it’s obvious that they’re Ser Harwin Strong’s bast-”

“That proves nothing!” Princess Rhaenyra interrupted. “I am a faithful wife. I would never have betrayed my lord husband.”

Aemond laughed.

“What’s so funny?” Princess Rhaenyra demanded.

Aemond slowed his laughter. He had heard word on more than occasions than he could count that Princess Rhaenyra had spent nights with Ser Harwin Strong; that she had had no love for Lord Laenor Velaryon; and that her late husband had been more interested in bedding men than women. Princess Rhaenyra could not admit the truth because then she would be guilty of high treason and would shame the King. “Every word you say is a lie, Sister,” Aemond said. “You are a disgrace to our family-”

Aemond!” King Viserys interjected. “Apologise to your sister at once. You will not slander her like that.”

Aemond Will Apologise

“He will apologise,” Queen Alicent said, sternly. “But only after a just and fitting punishment has been given to Lucaerys.”

Princess Rhaenyra’s facial muscles hardened. “Again,” she said. “You speak of my son as if he is a street urchin. You will show him the respect of a prince. Might I remind you that he is in line to the throne after me.”

“No, he’s not!” Aegon said. “I will sit on the throne after Father. Not you or your-”

“QUIET!” the King boomed. “The laws on succession are clear. We will not be discussing it now. While you all have been arguing, I have decided on my judgement on the matter today. Prince Lucaerys will apologise for causing Aemond to lose an eye, and I forbid anyone to harm him on account of what happened yesterday.” He then turned to Aemond. “And you will apologise to Princess Rhaenyra for accusing her of mothering bastards. I will hear no more of this again. Furthermore, anyone who speaks of it again will have their tongues cut out with hot pincers, princes or otherwise. Do you understand?”

Aemond Seethes

Aemond glared at his father; his empty eye-socket paining him, acutely. How could his father be so lax with justice?

Do you understand?” the King said again, this time with emphasis.

Aemond seethed. He pursed his lips and refused neither to open them, or even to nod. There was no way he was going to agree to the King’s justice.

“Aemond, I am sorry,” Lucaerys said. “I wish I had not hurt you. I swear it.”

That’s easy for you to say.

“Apologise To Me, Brother”

“Now apologise to me, Brother,” Princess Rhaenyra demanded. “My son has said sorry to you. Now you do the same to me-”

“He will,” Aegon interjected.

Aemond snapped his brother a stare. Who was Aegon to tell him what to say?

“But give him time, Rhaenyra,” Aegon continued, seemingly unaware of the look Aemod was giving him. “Aemond is in pain and not ready to say anything yet. Trust me, I know my brother. He is as stubborn as a goat. Forcing him to apologise will only keep his mouth shut for longer. I will speak with him and then you will get your apology.”

Princess Rhaenyra exhaled and sat back in her chair. “Very well,” she said.

“Then the matter is settled,” the King said. “We shall all pretend as if this sorry episode never happened, and shall spend the rest of our time at Driftmark mourning Lord Laenor.”

“Does It Ever Occur To You To Lie?”

an eye for an eye - King Viserys
King Viserys I Targaryan, who was very satisfied with the paltry justice he dished out.

King Viserys got up with a heave, and left the hall. Queen Alicent followed him, while Princess Rhaenyra led Jacaerys and Lucaerys out of the hall via a different door.

When they had gone, Aemond rounded on his brother. “What do you mean I will apologise?” he said. “I will do no such thing. I lost my eye in case you didn’t realise.”

Aegon lowered his brows and shook his head. “It’s hard not to notice with that patch over your eye,” he said. “And does it ever occur to you to lie in certain situations rather than blurt out your every thought?”

“I don’t blurt out my every thought,” Aemond retorted. “or else-”

“You clearly do or else you might think and observe the situation before you spoke.”

Aemond lowered his brows. “I don’t understand,” he said. “What do you mean?”

“When The Time Is Right, I Will Have My Justice”

“You need to be patient, Brother. Father wheezes when he breathes; his health may be on the wane. But even if it is not, he will die one day and then there will be a dispute over who will sit on the Iron Throne. I intend to stake my claim, as Father’s first-born son. If Princess Rhaenyra rejects my claim, which she certainly will as Father has made her his heiress in all but decree, there will be war. And when there’s war, you will be able to settle your scores with the Strong bastards. That, I promise you.”

Aemond’s good eye widened as his missing eye ached him. “But what if she does accept your claim?” he asked.

“Then, I will accuse her and find her guilty of treason for mothering Strong’s bastards, and will put her to death. As for her sons… I am sure that we could arrange for them to come to a grim end.”

Aemond’s heart skipped a beat and he grinned, almost able to taste the satisfaction of his future actions. “I like your thinking, Aegon,” he said. “Aye, I will apologise to our sister and make her believe that all is forgotten and forgiven. When the time is right, I will have my justice; the one Father would not give me.”

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