Warning: this has absolutely nothing to do with twins!
And apologies to Game of Thrones fans. Actually, to non-fans also, as this won’t mean the square root of a dragon to you…
The ravens had done their job. Westeros and his wife were gathered outside the great bronze doors of the Lindo Sept in Lundynne. Watching, waiting, all wanting to be able to say they had caught the first glimpse of the young Prince. The Prince of the Prophesies, who would restore Westeros to its glorious position of being able to sell a billion gold pendragons’ worth of royal tat to the Armoricans across the Big Pond, and rescue the land from the Double Dip Doom.
There was a rumble of carriage wheels and the crowd parted to reveal Ser Mykel and Lady Karrol of House Myddletone, bearing their proud sigil of a nude court shoe against a Farrow and Ball background, with their motto, “Doors to Manual”, picked out in gold. Merchants’ gold, sniffed Jeyne Mooyre of the Daily Flail sect (motto, “Hear me whinge”), grabbed through their trade in banqueting provisions. Well, at least they were proving useful for the rumoured seventy seven course celebratory feast, though it was being organised by Lady Pyppa.
Ah, Lady Pyppa. She allegedly was waiting for the Prince in Censyntone Tower. Best place for her to be, with all these rumours of betrothals and alliances. It was said that the King’s Hand, Zymon Fullur, was trying to marry her off to the Great Sauron, Zymon Cowl, with a view to sealing the deal on ‘Prince X Factor’, a grand quest across the realm to name the prophesised one, which would lead to the Westeros coffers being full of pendragons for decades to come.
The feast would double as a wedding celebration for the union of the tiny Prince and King Osama’s dusky daughter from Armorica. The bedding would wait until he was twelve, but for now all knew the importance of cementing the special relationship and the access it would bring to sellswords to help with the battle every summer with the Jermyns for sunlounger space.
The Myddletones gone, the crowd waited another two weeks. Tents could be seen as far as the eye could see, with their banners ruffling the air. There was the Guardian flag, a pot of houmous quartered with a bleeding heart; the Tellyegraffes, with their proud emblem of elasticated slacks and motto “Angry of Esher”; the Sunnes, with the notorious bare breasted maid of Essecks; and finally the Thymes, their banner blank, because you had to pay a silver stag to view it.
Was the Prince even a Prince? The rules of succession had been hastily changed to the queer Dornish way of honouring women equally. But the Pendragon, he had to be a he, surely?
“Ah, Pendragons are both female and male, you know,” explained the Archmaester Steefen Frye.
Suddenly, the ground shook, as the Prince of Whales from House Wyndzor (motto “We’re not Jermyn, honest!”) arrived with his consort, Kamila of House Hoarse. They were riding two mighty ellyfants, escorted by their Sers and Ladys on zorses (the Prince had never quite recovered from his visit to the distant Affrycanne lands, and the impression made on him by the naked buttocks of the maids he saw there).
“Your Grace! Your Grace!” shouted the serfs, “When will we see the Prince of Prophesies?”
The kindly Prince alighted from his ellyfant, and said, “A month, I think.”
“Why are you clutching daffydills, your Grace?”
“So they can teach him to talk.”
There had always been rumours circulating Westeros that the old Prince may have partaken of the dreamwine a tad too often.
The promised month came and went, and then another. But finally the great bronze doors creaked open, and there stood Lady Cate of House Myddletone, her chestnut tresses glorying in the breeze, and Prince Willem Wyndzor, flanked by the royal guard and ladies in waiting, including Victorya of the Spice Islands and Lady Tara, her nose still scarred after her terrible fight with the Great Snow.
And in Cate’s arms, the promised one, in ermine sleepsuit, gifted by House Bowden. The crowd peered for proof positive that he was, indeed, the son of Willem. The whispers had never quite died down about his brother Henry. Henry Tesco, he was cruelly known (the custom was to name illegitimate children after the predominant feature of their country, so Snow, Rivers, Stone…Westeros’ bastards had collectively been the Tescos for some time now).
Jubilations! He was bald! He must be Willem’s!
But what was this? Cate’s lilac velvet robe was tight around her much praised bosom but also showed a belly.
“Do you reckon she’s got another little pendragon in there?”
“She’ll want to get on the leeches soon. That’ll sort her.”
“Your Graces! What you going to call the little mite?”
Willem smiled. The great halls of Westeros had talked of precious else for so many moons. Jaime had been mooted, but he was Cate’s brother (more than a brother, some cruel wits posited). Yorge was an old name of the House too, but then it had taints of Mad King Yorge with his purple piss. Tyler or Charmaine had been mentioned too, but the Red Witch Cayte Hopkinns had sworn she would keep her own children from the Royal Playroom if that happened.
Lady Kaye of Burleigh from the great castle of Skye shouted at the royal family “Uther, he must be called Uther! He is the return of the Pendragon, as the prophesies foretold. Did you see the red comet streak across the heavens the night he was born?”
Lord Aymon of Holme adjusted the doublet stretched across his mead-filled belly, and interjected, “My dear Lady Kaye, that was no comet, they just changed the flight path for the ravens at Heath Row.”
Willem gently positioned the Britax unicorn saddle – the yet-to-flower maids in the crowd sighed at his competence – and the little Prince set off for Censytone Tower, where his Aunt Pyppa waited for her sister with a flagon of gynn and a packet of red chewleaf from Benson and Hedgeknights.
The crowds dispersed, but months later the ravens were to fly again. The Prince of Prophesies would indeed be named Uther. The House of Pendragon, with its handsome sigil of the Twitter symbol and a pound sign, was reborn. And its mighty motto, “We make far more for the Westeros brand than we cost in taxes” roared again.
The realm rejoiced. All save one. Henry Tesco, they call me, as he moved one of his pieces in the intricate parlour game Call of Duty IV. Well Wyndzor or Tesco, I was third in line. Willem is going to wish he never banished me to far Affganland to hone my jousting skills. I hated that time running through the minutiae of helms and lances and the merits of Valyrian steel. But with the benefit of hindsight, when it comes to getting rid of a troublesome heir apparent, Henry cackled to himself, every little helps…