Bhabna Das

| @ | May 2,2019

[dropcap]B[/dropcap]orn in the north amidst salt and smoke,

As a red star streaked across the sky,

An ancient legend he did evoke

In their minds. Could he be Azor Ahai?


But when the fable he was given to believe

Failed to unfold, he set out to retrieve

The truth of his future from Maggy’s lair.

Eager to get over with the sordid affair,

He cut his thumb without a wince,

And asked, “Am I the promised prince?”


As she tasted his blood, his heart beat faster.

“You are no prince, though you shall be a Master.

And ere the sun is set on the dawn of your life”,

Quoth Maggy, “You will become the first amongst equals.”

Such gibberish must not escape these dungeon walls,

He thought, and slit the Frog’s throat with her own knife.


From a lowly squire he was designated a Knight.

With a sword and a mind, both unflinchingly swift,

He decimated many a cantankerous wight.

This pleased the King, and as a reward,

It was decided to elevate him as Kingsguard,

A dream he had nurtured since he was a babe!

But the sands of his fortune were starting to shift,

With every ominous turn of the astrolabe.





For the Mad King would, in a frenzy of paranoia,

Attempt to burn them all down with wildfire,

Along with his dragon, Aerion the faithful,

A pairing that was devastatingly powerful.

Seething with anger at the King’s villainy,

He could no longer bear to bend the knee.

Determined to protect the dwindling empire,

He consulted the Hand, who had long been resentful,

And together, they planned a mutiny.



The populace were fervent in their prayer,

When one afternoon, without any inkling,

He plunged his sword into the heart of the King,

Extinguishing that of which he was warden,

In the pale shade of the Hand’s lush garden.

But nobody escapes the cruel twist of history,

For what he pictured as his selfless chivalry,

Earned him the moniker of “Kingslayer”.


He thought the worst over, but when he was older,

Winter fell with a vengeance, though it felt much colder,

When the finger of accusation lay on his shoulder,

Levelled, extraordinarily, by an ordinary maid.

As the sword of Damocles whetted its blade,

He summoned his courtiers and launched a tirade

On the Night King presumably attacking his palisade.

In the end, disgruntled and unable to persuade

Them all, the stark realization dawned,

That the dragon he had thus far scorned,

Was the sharpest weapon in his fusillade.


Thus ensued the saga of ice and fire,

That he unleashed in his delusion.

A tragedy with consequences so dire,

It threatened the foundations of the very institution

That he had fought so hard to preserve.

“The white walkers are strong in their resolve”,

He cried, “Against me, they continue to conspire!”

While Aerion smacked his lips in grim satisfaction,

Having prepared the maid’s funeral pyre.


The coterie of wise men who can never err,

Provided him sanctuary with a simple device,

Which transforms the offended into the offender,

By alchemy! Based on their sagacious advise,

Maids have been banished from the castle since.

Others may forget, but the north will remember,

That the war was won with artifice.

‘Tis true, he was no promised prince.





This piece is steeped in Game of Thrones references. For the uninitiated, here is a crash course:

  1. The Long Night is a long period of darkness that befell on the people, characterized by extreme winter, famine and conflict. Simply put, it was a really really really really bad time.
  2. Azor Ahai, or the prince/ princess that was promised (I’m using them interchangeably), is a legendary hero. It was prophesied that he/ she would be reborn amidst salt and smoke, when the red star bleeds. He/ she was destined for great things, like defeating the Night King and saving mankind.
  3. Maggy the Frog is a fortune teller. Her portending powers get activated only after tasting the blood of the subject. She famously prophesied that a major character in the series would not marry the prince, but the King.
  4. A squire is a knight-in-training.
  5. A wight is essentially a zombie raised from the dead and controlled by the Night King/ a White Walker.
  6. The Kingsguard is a group of Knights sworn to protect the King.
  7. A revolving astrolabe (an astronomical instrument) appears in the opening credits of the TV series, offering the viewers a glimpse into where the events of the episode will take place.
  8. The Mad King is Aerys II Targaryen. He was known to suffer from bouts of madness. The Targaryen family, to which he belongs, is associated with dragons.
  9. After losing a rebellion, Aerys planned to burn King’s Landing, the seat of the throne, to the ground. He would accomplish this by using an inflammable substance called wildfire.
  10. Jaimie Lannister, a Knight in his Kingsguard, killed Aerys before he could execute this plan. He was thereafter derisively called the Kingslayer.
  11. The Hand of the King is the King’s trusted advisor, second in the chain of command and authority.
  12. The Night King is a major villain in the series. A supernaturally powerful being, he is the personification of death and darkness, icy cold and menacing. Simply put, he is really really really really fearsome.
  13. Think of the White Walkers as the lieutenants in the Night King’s army. They take their orders from him and, due to some supernatural mumbo jumbo, the entire platoon will die the instant the Night King is killed.
  14. The Song of Ice and Fire is basically another name for the Game of Thrones series.
  15. The North, in the Game of Thrones map, falls under the rule of the Stark family, whose motto is “Winter is Coming”. The seat of their power is Winterfell.
  16. “The North Remembers” is one of those catchphrases that the Northerners like to repeat, while pretending to be annoyingly cryptic.

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