Funny how the game changes in the blink of an eye, the slight of an angry brother, and the flight of a raven. It seemed just moments ago that I was standing before the death bed of my young, handsome, dead husband Renly, listening to the whispered counsel of Lord Petyr Baelish who always had the look that he knew more than he was actually telling.
I don’t know if I trust that one. . . Lord Baelish. Littlefinger, some called him, though he liked it not. He would not be a good enemy to make. As Lord Baelish himself pointed out, he did come to me and my brother Loras – not Stannis – after Renley fell victim to the red priestess’ dark shadow. Some say Renly’s killer was Brienne of Tarth, the newest member of his own Rainbow Guard, but my brother Loras believes with all conviction it was not her despite the fact she was in Renley’s tent when he died. I trust my brother, and they both have the right of it, Stannis has the most to gain by Renley’s death, of that I am certain.
Lord Baelish counsels us that joining with the Lannisters is the best and quickest path toward revenge. Would that the union were as simple as he portends it to be. They will not likely forget that we first joined the self-proclaimed King Renley Baratheon against them. The past is rarely an easy thing to forget.
But Renley is dead, and Lord Baelish seemed to think a raven may change some things. Apparently, he was correct, and quite an adept player of the game.
“I want to be the Queen.” I advised Lord Baelish in the tent near the crashing waters of Storm’s End. I would like to be a good queen who does good things, and holds the love of my people, I thought. But, if rumors of this boy king who sat the Iron Throne were true, the task would not be an easy one, no matter how kind and gentle the Queen’s heart that beat inside.
Now, at King’s Landing, in the court of a boy king who could be mad, I stood listening to that same boy as he declared his Lord Grandfather, Tywin Lannister, Saviour of the City in the battle against the pretender king Stannis Baratheon, and formally naming Lord Tywin Hand of the King. I stood and contemplated the possible future that still hung precariously in the balance.
Loras, my dear brother, still grieved for his king Renly, I knew, but secret was his grief. Secret from all but me. Loras and I held no secrets between us. To the Lannisters, the enemy, and King’s Landing, Loras showed the jubilation of a battle well fought. I knew in my heart, however, that he was being strong for the family. . .and for me. My brother lost a great deal upon Renley’s death; a long, close friendship was suddenly gone, and would never be forgotten, despite a victory on the field of battle.
I stood as King Joffrey bestowed the great, ghostly Harrenhal upon Lord Baelish for his “ingenuity” in bringing the houses of Lannister and Tyrell together. Cerci, the Queen Regent, sat at the right hand of her son, and fair Lady Sansa in the balcony was watching and hanging on every word. How would Sansa feel in the next few minutes? How would I feel if my bonds to the man who beheaded my father as a traitor were severed?
I stood as King Joffrey called forth my brother Loras, as Loras knelt before the boy king in his fine armor with his long sword at his side, and as the King declared his debt to our family for coming to the aide of the Lannisters and city. Name anything, the King told my brother.
I stood as my brother declared me still innocent after the death of my “husband”, and as he asked the King for the honor of joining our houses with our marriage.
“Is this what you want, Lady Margaery?” The boy king asked of me, his eyes taking in the full scope of what he saw. I smiled a sweet smile and stepped forward holding my head high.
“With all my heart, your Grace.” I declared before all the Gods and the Court gathered to witness the grand affair of victory. “I have come to love you from afar. Tales of your courage and wisdom have never been far from my ears, and those tales have taken root, deep inside of me.” I lied demurely.
I stood as the King declared that he too had heard tales of my beauty and grace. I looked quickly at the Lady Sansa. Was her heart racing now, as mine was, in this mummer’s farce? I stood as the farce continued and both the King’s Small Counsel and the High Septon, through Grand Maester Pycelle, proclaimed it would be in the best interest of all involved if Joffrey set aside the betrothed Lady, set aside the daughter of a traitor who was beheaded for treason and whose brother was in open rebellion against the throne.
“You will be my queen, and I will love you from this day until my last day.” King Joffrey proclaimed, chin out and smug look firmly in place on his countenance.
I stood, as the room cheered, and contemplated the price that would eventually be paid for our union.
*quotes: HBO GOT:2 and paraphrased.