The unexpected sight of sails from the east, sails belonging to royal galleys flying royal banners, caused a stir in King’s Landing. More than a moon before, Aegon, Prince of Dragonstone, had sailed with his household and hanger-ons to take possession of the ancient seat of House Targaryen with its walls and towers shaped by Valyrian magic. He had done so, all said, at the behest of his lord father, Viserys the Second of His Name, and all agreed that the prince was not greatly enamored of the notion. Though he did as he was bid, it was clear he had no love for Dragonstone. The prince spent little time with his lady wife, Naerys, and even less with his good-daughter, the Dornish princess Mariah, who carried her first child with Prince Daeron. Instead, his companions and courtiers took up what little entertainment they could find, whether it was debauching themselves in the inns and brothels of the port, or feasting in the sorcerous citadel. And even those pleasures, eventually, grew tiresome. One day Prince Aegon announced that he found Dragonstone too gloomy, and commanded preparations be made to set sail that next day. Before he departed, he made a sudden change, removing old Ser Ganen Bar Emmon as castellan on Dragonstone unceremoniously and replacing him with Ser Wellard Sunglass, nephew of nephew of the master of coin Beron Buckwell who many believe was being considered by the king as his Hand.
The welcome at the docks of King’s Landing was without any pomp—a few gold cloaks, grooms with horses dispatched from the Red Keep, and little else—and Prince Aegon rode to Maegor’s Holdfast. The king, it must be said, was not best pleased by his son’s early return, accepting it grudgingly only after speaking privately with Princess Naerys. Little more came of it, Prince Aegon continuing with his rakish ways, much the happier in the royal city. Eventually Princess Mariah and the rest of the courtiers returned to the city as well.