The Red Keep was much bigger than her home in Winterfell, thus it was easier for her to get lost in its hallways. It also didn't help that they had only arrived in Kingslanding that day, and no one had shown up yet to guide them through the Red Keep yet. Not that Torrhen wanted any help learning to hallways of the Red Keep, as she found it was much easier to learn something by doing it yourself. That is why she ended up wondering the halls with only her Northern guard as company, neither of them knowing where they were going, hoping to end up in the Godswood.
Torrhen noted that the Red Keep had a lot of stairwells, as she found herself walking down many of them. She supposed that is because there seemed to be many towers, as she was staying in the Tower of the Hand. She wasn't entirely opposed to them however, since she had given up most physical activities because of her betrothal, having to walk up and down a lot of stairs would keep her physical discipline up.
Her guard had diligently followed her as she guided them through numerous hallways, taking turns and going down staircases that she hoped would lead in the direction outside. He said nothing as he walked a step behind her, keeping an eye on every Lannister guard they passed. For that she was thankful. She was betrothed to Jaime Lannister, as she as sure all the guards knew, so she doubted that they would try to hurt her. However, there was always that tiny niggling of fear in the back of her mind that one or more of them would try to maim her on the orders of her future-husband, in an attempt to get himself out of this marriage.
She wished she could carry her bow and a quiver of arrows around with her at all times, needing to feel safe against a number of unknown enemies. There were no enemies she could see, only an old rivalry that festered as years passed by into something ugly and cruel. Something that she was supposed to fix with a marriage. Something that could get her hurt or worse because of a marriage.
"We've finally found the courtyard," the guard said from behind Torrhen. "It's like a maze in there."
"I think that's because we're too used to Winterfell," Torrhen replies, smiling at the warmth of the sun shining on your face.
"I'd rather be there than here," the guard murmurs.
Torrhen snickers. "You and me, both."
Torrhen pauses in the courtyard, unsure on which way to go. She didn't know where the Godswood was, she didn't know where anything was as she had just arrived. She was trying to escape to the Godswood in order to quell her frazzled emotions. It was rather overwhelming travelling so far and knowing that it would be a long time till she would be able to see her home again. The Godswood was probably the only place she would feel safe, because it was the only place that would remind her of home, even if it didn't have the Weirwood tree that the Godswood in Winterfell had.
"I think the Godswood is this way, m'lady," Torrhen's escort pointed in a direction, one that was lined with bushes and shrubs and in the distance she could see trees.
"Perhaps we should've asked someone for directions before we left," Torrhen sighed, heading toward the trees she saw.
"Perhaps," the guard repeated. "But that's less fun, and this way you'll learn your way around the castle quicker."
"Not that it will matter much," Torrhen mutters bitterly.
"Jaime Lannister has to be relieved of his vows before he marries you, m'lady, and if he's as unhappy with it as you are, I have no doubt that he'll want to put it off as long as possible."
Pausing, Torrhen turned to look at her escort. He knew more than he let on, she observed as he started down at her, the faintest smile on his face. "What is your name exactly? If you work for my father shouldn't I at least know your name?"
The man smiled, "Edwin."
"Edwin?" Torrhen asks, not sure on whether he was lying.
Edwin chuckled. "It's why I'm not a knight. Ser Edwin doesn't have a nice ring to it."
"No, but it's easier to say," Torrhen shrugs, continuing her walk in the direction of where she hoped the Godswood was.
"I am right, though, you don't have to worry about time to enjoy yourself here in the Capital. Your betrothed will put it off as long as possible."
"But it will happen eventually."
"Something to worry about later, then," Edwin tells Torrhen, making her smile.
He had a fair point. Torrhen realised that no one would be rushing to have them married. Queen Cersei despised her; Torrhen was sure that she was looking for a way to annul their engagement - not that she'd be complaining. King Robert probably wouldn't care about it now that he was back in his home with wine and women to distract him from his duties. Her Lord Father definitely wouldn't remind the King of her marriage, and Lord Tywin was at Casterly Rock, and the only way he'd convince anyway to hurry along this engagement was if he came here himself.
Torrhen decided that Edwin was right. There was no real reason to fret over her engagement and marriage. The Kingslayer was most likely going to kill her before being forced to marry her - something Torrhen was strangely okay with. She didn't want to die, obviously, but fighting the Kingslayer was preferable to the inevitable bedding ceremony that would take place. She imagined nothing worse than southern lords grabbing at her and dragging her to her marriage bed where she would be forced to consummate the marriage. Torrhen was afraid she'd up killing someone.
Remembering that she would actually have to consummate her marriage, she quickly changed her mind to that being the worse thing she could imagine. It seemed as if her entire marriage was her own nightmare come true. Perhaps when she arrived at the Godswood she could ask the gods - old and new - why they had allowed this to happen to her.
The Godswood was much brighter than she was used to. She assumed that she had found the Godswood because it was quieter than the rest of the gardens around the Red Keep, and less vibrant. There was less colour where she found herself, only rows of small trees and shrubbery. This Godswood confused her a little, as she was only used the one in Winterfell. The most noticeable different was that there was no Weirwood tree, they were all cut down when the Andals invaded hundreds of years ago.
There wasn't the bleeding eyes of the old gods watching over the people of Kingslanding, there was no old gods watching over her. It was rather unsettling to Torrhen, not having the heart tree there. Without it, the Godswood was much more welcoming. It felt like more of a garden to enjoy than a place to worship the old gods.
"This is much different than back North," Edwin observed.
Torrhen made a noise of agreement. "It's much warmer here."
"That's because there are no old gods here."
"Just because there's no Weirwood tree doesn't mean the old gods aren't here," Torrhen frowned, feeling uneasy.
"I'm afraid you're wrong, m'lady. The old gods see through the heart trees, if there are no trees to see through, they can't watch over us here. It's why Northerners don't come South." Edwin explained. "It's why the Starks should never come South."
He said the last part quietly, Torrhen didn't know if it was so she wasn't supposed to hear it but she did anyway. She couldn't help but reluctantly agree. The last time Stark's had come South, it had started a war and tore their family apart only leaving her lord father alive. She prayed that it wouldn't happen again. There were still half her family in Winterfell, as it should be. The same fate wouldn't befall them while they were here.
Even though it felt more like a garden than a Godswood, it was peaceful to wander around amongst the trees. She had a feeling that she would be coming here often.
Torrhen glanced up at her betrothed, the feelings of peace and warmth retreating. She had watched him approach, hoping that perhaps he was doing his rounds as a member of the Kingsguard, and not coming to greet her. She had been wrong.
Jaime Lannister stood in front of her, his armour gleaming in the afternoon sun. He looked handsome, she thought, as he stood tall and proud with his golden hair shining. She supposed his eyes would be pretty too, the emerald green colour reminded her of gems, but the look in his eyes ruined it for him. He was sharp, his eyes cutting through her like a sword would. Other than that, there was nothing behind his eyes, no prevalent emotion. His eyes shined with malicious amusement, but there was nothing else behind it, as if there was nothing inside of him.
Torrhen supposed that she shouldn't be surprised about that. Serving under the Mad King and Robert Baratheon consecutively would bleed the life from you, she thought. And killing the king he was sworn to protect is not a task easily done for someone who feels things like hope and happiness. She wondered if Ser Jaime was born like that, or serving under the Mad King had made him like that.
She wondered what Ser Jaime would've been like in his youth.
"My Lord," she greeted politely, inclining her head in acknowledgement.
She didn't smile at him. Torrhen realised a second later. She was a lady, she was supposed to smile and look pretty, but she couldn't find it within herself to smile at the Kingslayer out of force politeness. Perhaps it was because she promised to never lie to him. Perhaps it was because she found the company of him to be so vile that she simply couldn't.
Jaime's gaze travelled over to her guard. "May I speak to my betrothed alone?"
"I am a sworn guard of Lady Torrhen, I cannot leave her side unless she asked it of me," Edwin spoke, not bothering to be friendly toward Ser Jaime either.
Irritation flickered briefly in his features. It was only for a second, but she caught it nonetheless and added it to the list of emotions she was sure that the Kingslayer felt.
"You are in the Red Keep, there is no one here to do her harm, your presence is not needed."
He was patronising her guard, she knew. Most likely trying to get a rise out of him, for what reason she didn't know. From the few conversations she had with the Kingslayer, she knew he enjoyed teasing her, maybe he liked doing that to everyone. It certainly seemed so.
Torrhen glanced back at her guard, giving him a nod. "It's alright."
Edwin locked eyes with Torrhen, before moving his gaze back toward Ser Jaime, pinning him with a hard stare. "I'll be in shouting distance, m'lady."
Edwin brushed past her, glaring heatedly at Ser Jaime as he passed him as well, disappearing further into the Godswood. Torrhen was grateful for the guard her father had chosen for her. The Northern men who father had brought with him to the capital were the most loyal out of all the men that served them. Men from the North were different than men from the South, her father had always told her. They are forever loyal to House Stark because the North remembers. She was too young to understand what that meant when he first told her, but meeting the Lannisters had changed that. Torrhen hoped her father would gift her with a guard or two to follow her when she married the Kingslayer.
"You have such loyal guards," Ser Jaime commented, taking a step closer to her. Torrhen forced herself to stay rooted in the spot and not to take a step back away from him. "Of course, there is no need, we are all friends here in the Capital."
Somehow, Torrhen knew that wasn't true. "Is there something you wanted, Ser Jaime?"
The corners of his mouth twitched up into a smile. Or what would classify as a smile, there was no joy in his eyes for it to really be a smile. "Must I want something? Can I not enjoy the company of my future wife?"
Torrhen was taken aback, confused by his remark. In her mind, she knew that he wasn't being serious. There was no way he meant that seriously, she knew he wasn't exactly fond of her. That much had been obvious when he let her get attacked on the King's Road.
"Forgive me, Ser, I just thought you would have duties to attend to and would be much too busy to court me."
She hid her surprise behind her manners and courtesies. Torrhen did think that he would be otherwise preoccupied while he still served as a Kingsguard, and thought that would give her some freedom to do as she pleased until the wedding.
"As it appears, you are correct. I am not here of my own volition, the queen has asked you to dine with her today, and I offered to fetch you. Your sister has also been asked and is already there."
Fear curled around her throat at the prospect of dining with the queen. She had barely looked at Queen Cersei since the night she had ordered for the death of Sansa's direwolf. The queen hated her, there was no denying it. Torrhen had done nothing to warrant the queen's affection, especially since she offended her the first time she met. And now she was marrying her twin brother.
Queen Cersei was only treating her because it was expected of her. As the twin sister of the man she was betrothed to, Queen Cersei was expected to get to know Torrhen as they were to be sisters by marriage. For some reason, that frightened Torrhen. She was about to throw to the lions for the rest of her life.
Torrhen had the urge to run away.
"Of course, my lord." She couldn't run away, however, she had duties to attend to. "I am honoured to be treated with the queen."
If she learned how to navigate court and House Lannister early, perhaps she'll more comfortable in her new home when the time came. Maybe herself and Queen Cersei could even be friends in time. They'll laugh about the circumstances in which they met and she could tell Torrhen about the Kingslayer to remove some of the mystery that surrounds him.
"Let's not keep her waiting any longer," Ser Jaime advised.
The Kingslayer stepped aside, letting Torrhen pass him as they made their way out of the Godswood. Her guard had soundlessly joined them, walking a step behind her. Ser Jaime led them out of the Godswood with much more ease than they had trying to find it. He wordlessly guided them through the courtyards and corridors.
Torrhen didn't say anything else, not knowing what exactly to say. She was taught to make pleasant conversation with people, as befitting her role of a lady, but Torrhen didn't think the Kingslayer would participate in mindless chatter. And if he did, she had the feeling he would do it to make fun of her. Torrhen was at a lost on what to do.
"Who taught you to fight?" Ser Jaime spoke up, pulling her out of her thoughts.
He turned to look at her, his green eyes calculating as he studied her. "Those bandits, you killed all four of them but they couldn't even draw blood. Who taught you that?"
Torrhen hesitated for a moment. They hadn't talked about what happened that day, she had never been in his company long to do so. She had barely spoken to anyone about it after that day.
"My brothers taught me, Ser, and the Master of Arms," she informed him.
The Kingslayer broke his gaze, processing the information that was given. "Lord Stark let you pick up a sword?"
She nodded. "Not at first, but he relented."
"There was rumour some years ago that there had been a wildling attack and that someone had been taken hostage, was that you?"
Torrhen trained her stare at the floor, fiddling with the skirts of her dress. Anxiety bloomed in her chest, weighing on her lungs. She hadn't spoken of that in years, her father forbid anyone mentioning it in Winterfell since it always upset her. Yet, here she stood with the Kingslayer who was picking at her most painful memory. She tried to focus on looking normal, not wanting him to know how much it bothered her to speak about it.
"Why did you watch as four bandits attack me?"
With false bravodo, Torrhen met his eyes once more. They had stopped walking at this point. She was challenging him. She knows she shouldn't be, there was nothing good that came from asking that question yet she did it anyway.
Torrhen had felt cornered when he asked about the wildling attack years ago, as she always did whenever someone asked about that. Lord Stark had forbidden anyone from speaking about it because of the nervous frenzy Torrhen would fall into once confronted about it. She was using every ounce of her willpower to keep from letting the fear from overwhelming her and dissolving into a mess. She wouldn't break down here in front of the Kingslayer, she wouldn't show him that she was weak.
Diverting his attention away was reckless, but necessary for her. She couldn't talk about it. Even after all these years, where she hoped that the trauma from that day would fade entirely, it still wouldn't let her go. She had known that when she weakened in front of Greyjoy, or when she cried herself to sleep after the attack in the safety of her bed. It still invaded her mind, and no one knew how to make it go away.
The Kingslayer almost glared down at her, a hint of a smirk pulling at the corner of his mouth. It wasn't because he was amused, however. His eyes flashed with something close to anger, and his whole body seemed tense. His hand was curled around the hilt of his sword and she wondered if he was going to use it on her.
The Kingslayer felt dangerous, and every instinct in her body was telling her to run.
"Let's not keep the queen waiting." His words dripped with barely concealed vehemence and Torrhen could only guess why.
The only thing she did know was that the man she was supposed to marry, one of the most dangerous men in the Seven Kingdoms, wanted her dead.