In the wake of the Dornish Bread Riot, much speculation at court has been concerned with the fate of Ser Richard Harte, Commander of the City Watch. Word spread after the final crushing blow against the rioters that King Daeron was less than pleased with how Ser Richard and the Watch had performed during the matter, and many wondered if Ser Richard was not now too aged to continue to serve well and honorably. After all, was it not the City Watch that failed to deal with the first inklings of riot with swift, sure force? Ser Richard was too gentle, many said, and too slow to adapt to the facts; that initially he followed the Young Dragon’s wishes in the matter is, of course, rarely mentioned. And besides, even a simple task like protecting the Dornish hostages seem beyond him, since Valeria Blackmont has disappeared without a trace.
Even as a search began for the lady following Prince Viserys’s intervention in the matter, Ser Richard met with the king, his Hand, and the small council. When he departed an hour later, he announced wearily to the first courtier who accosted him for news that he would no longer serve as Commander of the City Watch, effective immediately. So ends an era, as Ser Richard’s forty years in the City Watch is finished in disgrace. What will become of the post is an open question, and already there are those at the court who begin to call in favors to lay out an argument for why they, or some favored candidate, would be best suited to serving the king in this capacity.