- Our introduction to Dany - she’s very much the meek, oppressed little girl in this chapter (and Viserys is quite horrible) but she’s still sensible enough to realize that Magister Illyrio of Pentos isn’t doing all this stuff for them for free. She asks Viserys “what does he want from us?” and doesn’t believe that it’s all because he thinks Viserys will reward him when he’s someday King of Westeros.
- For Dany Westeros is a fairy tale about stone towers and blue-grey mountains and knights; she’s rather similar to another girl who’s just a bit younger than she is: Sansa Stark. Viserys has also told her the dramatic tale of their flight to Dragonstone and the sack of King’s Landing. (I would also like to point out that even Viserys has apparently told Dany that “the Kingslayer opened Father’s throat with a golden sword” - so the TV show’s insistence that Jaime stabbed Aerys in the back irks me as a Jaime fan. Plus, come on, slitting his throat like a sacrificial lamb isn’t good enought?
- Like many other mothers in the series, Dany’s mother (who was also her aunt!) died birthing her, and “Viserys had never forgiven her” (echoes of Cersei and Tyrion, with no Jaime to balance that out).
- Dany doesn’t remember her father (since she was born after his death) and Viserys has clearly not told her about his viciousness and cruelty. (We’ll learn later from one of Jaime’s POVs that Dany is the product of Aerys’s brutal rape of Rhaella, which lends an extra poignancy to her intervention with Drogo to try and stop the rape of the Lhazareen women later in this book.)
- For Dany home is the house with the red door in Braavos to which the loyal Ser Willem Darry took her. And she longs to be able to go back to that more innocent place.
- As the years went on, the Targaryen Prince and Princess lost all their money (and Viserys is known as “the Beggar King” in Pentos.)
- Pentos is a “free” city (officially no slavery) but there are slaves; Illyrio’s help Dany prepare for her meeting with Khal Drogo and give her the skinny on the Dothraki, although as we find out later, a lot of what they tell her is completely untrue (there’s no palace with 200 rooms in Vaes Dothrak!)
- Dany assumed she’d marry Viserys because that’s what the Targaryens did. “The line must be kept pure…” (But Dany’s brother Rhaegar married Elia Martell so that wasn’t strictly true.) Doomed Valyria was a high-status place (full of people with fantasy-novel coloring of silver hair and purple eyes, apparently!) because everyone keeps placing an emphasis on how Dany reflects “the blood of Old Valyria”.
- The golden torc Dany wears reminds her of one of the slave girls telling her that Khal Drogo is so rich even his slaves wear golden collars.
- Viserys keeps droning on about how he’s going to go back to Westeros with the army Khal Drogo promised him and find all these Targaryen supporters. He promises to personally kill both Robert and Jaime because they killed Rhaegar and Aerys. The idea is hilarious, to be honest. Poor deluded Viserys!
- Significantly for later, the Pentoshi apparently worship the Lord of Light (whom the Red Priests promise will defend Pentos from a million Dothraki) but they prefer to just co-opt the Dothraki with luxury. Khal Drogo has his own palace in Pentos; apparently the Pentoshi buy off the horselords rather than fighting them. It seems like a win-win for everyone except the slaves the Dothraki bring to sell in Pentos.
- At Drogo’s palace, Dany is uncomfortable when she realizes she’s the only woman there. There are numerous Dothraki and others from all over Essos, but this is also where she first meets Jorah Mormont, who is wanted for selling poachers to a slaver. Illyrio doesn’t understand these absurd laws, but this is the root of my issues with Jorah.
- More importantly for the immediate future, Dany meets Khal Drogo whose long braid indicates he’s never lost a fight. She finds him terrifying, but Viserys has absolutely no compassion or understanding for her fears, and she does what he tells her to - stand up straight and “let him see that you have breasts…”
"When they write the history of my reign, sweet sister, they will say that it began tonight." Aah, poor deluded Viserys!
"We go home with an army, sweet sister. With Khal Drogo’s army … I’d let his whole khalasar fuck you if need be, sweet sister, all forty thousand men, and their horses too if that was what it took to get my army." Oh, man, I don’t even know what to say about this. It makes a golden crown seem quite fitting for Viserys. Ugh!