(even half a dragon is worth more than one hundred stags)
The Mad King gets impatient and reckless and within the year Baela is born: finally a girl child to keep the bloodline pure. Except for how it won’t. And not just because Rhaegar is slated to marry Elia Martell.
Baela is born to a woman with pale hair and violet eyes, a whore chosen specifically for her Valyrian looks–she is killed not too long after she gives birth, and Baela is whisked away to the Red Keep by order of the King Aerys.
However, while Queen Rhaella had been submissive in most matter–there is one which she will not falter.
Baela is a Blackfyre, not a Targaryen, the revival of a name better off dead.
Baela is bastard, not a princess, but she is noble born and dragon blood at that, so she is treated relatively well. She is only two years younger than Viserys, and expected to be his playmate–whether or not she will be his sister-wife depends on their father’s moods.
Regardless, even as children, he makes sure she knows her heritage, tainted and low as it is. She will never be a dragon, but Blackfyre was the name of House Targaryen’s legendary weapon.
She’ll never be family, but at least she’ll be useful.
Baela is brought along with Rhaella, Viserys, and newly born Daenerys mostly because no one thinks to tell her no. She’s as good as dead if she stays behind and even Rhaella is not so cruel as to leave a child to her death.
Life is hard across the sea–Rhaella and Viserys adapt poorly. Baela? Not so much. She has always been an in between child, not quite royalty, not quite lowborn–and being a noble refugee is not so different.
Daenerys does not have to adapt because it is all she ever knows.
Magister Illyrio is more like her father than Viserys will ever be. Probably because he has so much power where Viserys does not.
But Baela mislikes him just as much, and for good reason–he keeps trying to get her to marry him. Frankly, he could demand it–the Beggar King is certainly in no place to refuse, especially after all that he’s done–but if Illyrio’s gamble is to pay off, he has to at least continue treating Viserys like he’s king.
As it is, Viserys knows he only has a few political coins to spend, and Baela as a bride is one of them. He can’t use it on an ally already won.
He can use it on an ally not yet bought.
Khal Drogo does not want Baela–or perhaps he doesn’t care. Ilyrio is the one negotiating–he wants Daenerys.
And what the man with an army forty thousand strong wants? He gets.
“I’m scared, Baela,” Daeny says, gripping tightly to her half-sister’s hand. Baela does not pull away or flinch, but she does not hold on in return, either.
Baela can’t lie. Can’t say there’s nothing to be scared of, can’t say that she’d take Daeny’s place if she could. She just can’t.
Baela has always known her role in the world, and not just as a Blackfyre.
Daeny is given three dragon eggs as a wedding present. They’d never hatch if they were Baela’s.
Some things she tries to change. Some things she doesn’t.
Daeny is pregnant, Viserys is foolish, and Baela looks away when molten gold is poured over his head.
Sometimes, even when she tries to change things, they stay the same.
“Don’t trust her,” Baela warns, seeing a future of betrayal and loss behind her eyelids. But Daeny has Mirri Maz Duur brought to her, has the Lhazareen brought under her protection, asks for a cure that will poison instead.
“Don’t ask her,” Baela says, when Khal Drogo falls from his horse, infected and unwell. Already his screamers begin to disperse, Daeny’s army blowing in the breeze, but not all hope is lost.
“Don’t do this!” Baela pleads, because maybe she can save Rhaego’s life. If she can change this one thing, she’ll know she’s here for a reason. But Daeny disregards her:
What are the words of a Blackfyre bastard to a Targaryen khaleesi and queen?
There is a pyre–an execution, a funeral, a baptism.
There is grief in Daeny’s eyes, sorrow and regret but still determination. She does not apologize to Baela because that is not their way, but she does reach a hand out when the fire grows large and scorches the air.
“Join me,” she says, because Daeny is khaleesi and queen and widow but some part of her will also be the little girl that walked without fear because her sister was with her, “We are blood of the dragon. Fire cannot hurt us.”
Baela blinks–torn between fear and longing, sees possibilities flitting through her mind–but she’s already been shown that there is only one true path.
“So was Viserys,” Baela says instead, “And he was more dragon than I.”
Daeny is disappointed in her, but that is no longer something new; she does not falter.
Baela is the first to pledge fealty to Queen Daenerys of House Targaryen, Mother of Dragons.
There will be no Blackfyre Rebellion.