A Storm Of Swords
Chapter 6 - Sansa
The invitation seemed innocent enough, but every time Sansa read it her tummy tightened
into a knot. She’s to be queen now, she’s beautiful and rich and everyone loves her, why would
she want to sup with a traitor’s daughter~ It could be curiosity, she supposed; perhaps Margaery
Tyrell wanted to get the measure of the rival she’d displaced. Does she resent me, I wonder?
Does she think I bear her ill Will...
Sansa had watched from the castle walls as Margaery Tyrell and her escort made their way up
Aegon’s High Hill. Joffrey had met his new bride-to-be at the King’s Gate to welcome her to the
city, and they rode side by side through cheering crowds, Joff glittering in gilded armor and the
Tyrell girl splendid in green with a cloak of autumn flowers blowing from her shoulders. She
was sixteen, brown-haired and brown-eyed, slender and beautiful. The people called out her
name asshe passed, held up their children for her blessing, and scattered flowers under the
hooves of her horse. Her mother and grandmother followed close behind, riding in a tall
wheelhouse whose sides were carved into the shape of a hundred twining roses, every one gilded
and shining. The smallfolk cheered them as well.
The same smallfolk who pulled me from my horse and would have killed me, if not for the
Hound. Sansa had done nothing to make the commons hate her, no more than Margaery Tyrell
had done to win their love. Does she want me to love her too? She studied the invitation, which
looked to be written in Margaery’s own hand. Does she want my blessing? Sansa wondered if
Joffrey knew of this supper. For all she knew, it might be his doing. That thought made her
fearful. If Joff was behind the invitation, he would have some cruel jape planned to shame her in
the older girl’s eyes. Would he command his Kingsguard to strip her naked once again? The last
time he had done that his uncle Tyrion had stopped him, but the Imp could not save her now.
No one can save me but my Florian. Ser Dontos had promised he would help her escape, but
not until the night of Joffrey’s wedding. The plans had been well laid, her dear devoted knightturned-fool assured her; there was nothing to do until then but endure, and count the days.
And sup with my replacement...
Perhaps she was doing Margaery Tyrell an injustice. Perhaps the invitation was no more than a
simple kindness, an act of courtesy. It might be just a supper. But this was the Red Keep, this
was King’s Landing, this was the court of King Joffrey Baratheon, the First of His Name, and if
there was one thing that Sansa Stark had learned here, it was mistrust.
Even so, she must accept. She was nothing now, the discarded daughter of a traitor and
disgraced sister of a rebel lord. She could scarcely refuse Joffrey’s queen-to-be.
I wish the Hound were here. The night of the battle, Sandor Clegane had come to her chambers
to take her from the city, but Sansa had refused. Sometimes she lay awake at night, wondering if
she’d been wise. She had his stained white cloak hidden in a cedar chest beneath her summer
silks. She could not say why she’d kept it. The Hound had turned craven, she heard it said; at the
height of the battle, he got so drunk the Imp had to take his men. But Sansa understood. She
knew the secret of his burned face. It was only the fire he feared. That night, the wildfire had set