Chapter 6 - The Merchant's Man
Quentyn Martell is in Volantis looking for a ship to take him to Meereen so he can marry Danaerys. He and his companions are pretending to be wine merchants looking to establish a trade. It seems most ships won't go to Slaver's Bay at the moment because of the wars, but he and Gerris Drinkwater have found a ship called Adventure which might. The Captain offers to take them at three times the usual price and they agree to come back in the morning. On the way back to their lodgings, Quentyn surmises that they will never make it if they go on the Adventure and that the Captain will kill them as soon as they're on the open seas. They have no intention of going back.
Quentyn started off with six companions, three of whom died in a pirate raid on their way to Volantis. One of his remaining companions, the 'big man' favours going to Meereen via the Valerian road, but it is equally dangerous and will take much longer. He and Gerris ride through Volantis on a wagon pulled by a dwarf elephant and return to the Merchant's House where they have lodgings. Quentyn wonders why Danaerys would want to marry him and what he has to offer, and settles on the idea that she would want Dorne. Outside the Merchant's House there are three sellswords recruiting for their company/ship, the Windblown. The big man is in their rooms and the three of them discuss their options. Gerris has an idea.
So, they're going to join up with the Windblown are they? And pirate their way to Meereen? Quentyn Martell is a very serious young man. I like the twist of his insecurity in terms of what he can offer Danaerys so that she would want to marry him. In this setting, it's a nice piece of gender role reversal.
Volantis is cool. It has dwarf elephants. It's nice to get the other side of the Martell plans and this chapter reveals that Quentyn had met with his father in the Water Gardens. Doran Martell had planned for this to be Arianne going to wed Viserys. Lucky escape for her, then.
It looks like there are two levels of the game of thrones being played. Doran Martell, Varys and Illyrio, and Littlefinger are all playing a much longer game than the Five Kings.