Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and Game of Thrones.
I am sorry this chapter is so late, I had so computer issues that took some time to fix and that slowed me down so again sorry!
This chapter will reveal just why Loki is interested in Meera and hint towards another arch of the story.
No review responses this chapter I'm afraid. If you have any questions best message me and I will answer them as best I can.
On with the story…
Chapter 34 - Dawn of a New Age
Winterfell, The North…
News of Meera being crowned as queen had been sent to Winterfell the moment the decision was made and Sansa had almost dropped the letter when she had first read it. She was stunned having never expected it but smiled as she knew that while this brought incredible danger and responsibility to their family it also gave them a place in history…not that they already didn't she admitted with a pride at all they had accomplished before this but now they would be the ones to decide the future of Westeros she thought with awe. Her sister would take such power wisely and with great respect she knew but would also use it to make change.
Sansa was both proud and scared at the same time, knowing this be a turning point for Westeros. Not just in the fact they would have a ruling queen for the first time in their entire history but more so because they were now on the edge of uncharted waters. Change was coming, Meera wouldn't just let things stay as they always had been…no Sansa thought with both concern and pride, she would make changes. Ones that people might not be happy with but in the long run would no doubt be better for everyone.
Sansa went with a smile to tell the rest of the family and Winterfell; they were a royal house now she thought with pride.
- x -
Moat Cailin, the North…
Bran had received the information a bit earlier than Sansa had due to being closer to the Riverlands than she was, he too had been shocked but more so scared as it put not only his sister but their entire family in danger.
He had tried to use the Weirwood to look into the future in hopes of seeing what was to come but it was being blocked by something, a cold and menacing presence unlike anything he had ever sensed before and it terrified him. Someone or something was blocking his ability to see the future.
He could feel its great hatred of everything and it was horrific. He had no idea just what it was and didn't know how to describe it in words he could speak.
What was that? He thought to himself, not able to share this vision with anyone till he was sure just what he was dealing with. But one thing he was sure of was that its power was growing he thought as a chill ran down his spine.
- x -
The Red Keep, Kings Landing
Tommen was holding court or trying too, the poor boy was so in over his head the Hound and the rest of the Kingsguard had to keep people from interacting with him unless strictly necessary and even then, only when either Myrcella or Tyrion was with him.
Myrcella was unnerved, she hid her feelings well normally but now must be much greater than normal as she visibly looked upset and uncomfortable. Everyone at court had noticed but largely because they felt the same themselves.
Tyrion and Jaime stood in the Tower of the Hand, Tyrion now having claimed the space with their father's disappearance and likely death. Neither brother cared much for Tywin which would have been highly unusual if had been any other kind of man than Tywin Lannister. He was feared, respected but never loved and would never be missed by anyone, if anything his death would be celebrated.
Which is what Tyrion would be doing right now if he were in private.
Tyrion was absolutely euphoric; this was what had been working towards for years…the death of Tywin Lannister and everything he had built. He had already gotten his own puppets or allies in key positions in the Westerlands and nothing now stood in his way from taking it over apart from some rebels but he would deal with them in time.
Jaime on the other hand was worried, with their father dead there was no-one left that could rally people for Tommen's defence. There was nothing standing in the way of the Northern Queen and her army marching down the road and surrounding Kings Landing. Given her reputation he didn't doubt for a second that she would likely break through any defence they could put up in short order and with the naval blockade from Dragonstone they couldn't make a run for Braavos from any port on Blackwater Bay. No Riverlands port was useable for obvious reasons and with the Stormlands in chaos there was no chance of a ship from there. The Reach was at war once again and with the enormous army the North Queen commanded the Westerlands were no safer as rumour had it that ships of the Northern and Iron Islands Fleets were on alert to prevent any ships from leaving their ports.
They were completely trapped.
Given Meera Stark's history with the opponents she had defeated in the past Jaime had little hope that she would be merciful to Tommen and Myrcella, or them he thought with a mounting sense of dread as his own death was likely coming soon. But the threat to his children was what terrified him the most, he couldn't protect them he realised with a mounting sense of despair and was completely stuck with no idea just what to do.
He just hoped that Tyrion did.
Tyrion when he saw his face instantly knew his worries and smiled, which given their situation shocked Jaime a bit but Tyrion chuckled as if amused by his worry.
"Don't worry Jaime. I have a solution, Tommen and Myrcella will be fine. I will make sure of that." Tyrion told him with a big smirk on his face. Jaime was frustrated by Tyrion not explaining just what he was doing to get the two most precious people in his life to safety and told him so.
"So why won't you tell me?" Jaime demanded, not able to take empty assurances anymore and Tyrion kept smirking before whispering just what he intended in Jaime's ear. Jaime's eyes widened in shock as it was insane but it might just work, keeping both children safe.
"You always were the smartest." Jaime admitted with a shake of his head. "I take it you and I are for the chop though." He said without real fear if Tommen and Myrcella were safe but Tyrion surprised him by shaking his head.
"I have a plan for that too. I am surprised though that they made Meera Stark Queen. Shireen Baratheon would have been my guess." Tyrion said with a genuinely confused tone. In all his readings of Meera Stark and from their interactions with each other he would never have thought her the type to want the throne but she was probably was one of the few with the strength to hold it he admitted. It would be difficult, being the first queen to try and rule alone but to be honest he had no doubt in his mind she could do it.
Jaime likewise was surprised but also deeply worried, Meera Stark had a very bloody reputation when it came to dealing with beaten opponents and her position was very strong right now. He had no doubt in his own mind that he and Tyrion were likely to be dead soon and he just hoped Tyrion's plan worked or Tommen and Myrcella would likely be joining them. So, he just had to hope that his brother's plan worked he thought with misgivings but it was their only real chance.
Tyrion meanwhile was relaxed enough; he knew Meera Stark would do what was best for the country and since he and the others had nothing to do what had happened, she likely wouldn't kill them. He knew she might not listen and kill them anyway but he was banking on her not being a monster. Her family was far more balanced than his own and she had shown herself to be calm and measured.
He was just glad that he had Bronn in charge of the Red Keep's guards, a part of his plan was crucial to having control of the castle. Bronn had been given a castle and wife to go with it so he was quite content not that Tyrion didn't keep an eye on him just in case. Lynthorne and Marei were both secure in their own holdings and ready to swear to the new regime when it came.
Granted this wasn't quite how he had expected it would happen, but it was acceptable he thought but he still had some preparations to make. One thing about the game that every true player understood, he thought with a tired sigh, was that it kept you busy.
- x -
Elsewhere in Kings Landing…
Three men with hook noses and dark hair all stood together in front of the Goldcloaks and sneered, these men were some of the most corrupt men in the city but had managed to con their way into officer roles often through bribery.
This was the perfect time for them to assume power in the city, they all thought to themselves with a smirk. They were under the false assumption that the northern half of Westeros was merely declaring their independence and since the Lannisters had no allies left in Westeros that they would be easily toppled. It was one of many different rumours that were flying around and becoming more outlandish with each retelling.
They intended to take over the city and Red Keep before taking Tommen and Myrcella as their hostages, they would control Tommen and therefore rule through him and Myrcella was becoming a real beauty, even greater than her bitch of a mother and Osmund, the eldest of the three brothers was eager to be her first and to take her virginity.
His younger brothers Osfryd and Osney were hoping to take a few maidens themselves, some houses had only daughters and they would enjoy taking some maidenheads themselves not to mention each wanted a castle or two in the deal.
With many of the goldcloaks serving them it would be easy who had been too easy to convince to come over to their side as they would rather believe the rumour that the Starks, Tullys, Arryns and Baratheons weren't all coming for them and that if they got rid of the Lannisters they would be safe.
True they hadn't managed to convince those men in the Red Keep yet but surely, they too would come over to their side when they saw it was the right choice.
Storm's End, the Stormlands…
Ever since they had aided in the betrayal of Stannis Baratheon, House Florent had commanded Storm's End. They had brought all their men here and now held the largest and most secure position in the entire kingdom. According to Lord Alester Florent who had proudly proclaimed to all that would listen and most of those who wouldn't, House Florent now ruled the Stormlands.
He considered it a just repayment for the humiliation that they had suffered when Stannis had cast Selyse aside to marry the little Connington whore! He still fumed at that but with the Reach and Westerlands backing him, he thought smugly their position was all but unassailable.
But then it had all fallen apart so fast, he thought with his anger rising at how quickly their fortunes had changed. How had the Lannisters been so stupid as to pick a fight with the entire Northen half of Westeros? They had withdrawn all their men to fight against his pleas in hopes of protecting themselves.
Then to make matters worse Dorne had finally grown some fucking balls and joined the war, the Reach like the little bitches they were had pulled away their own men, and they had still been so bloody bad at warfare that they had lost Brightwater Keep he fumed. That was their holding and now from what he understood his own daughter Melessa was a prisoner in Dorne, her daughter Talla was being wed to the Dornish Prince. Something normally would have been worth celebrating but it was the fact that their land had been stolen by them and now placed in the prince's holding.
He fumed with quiet rage over that and that was only made worse when Ser Axell Florent, Alester's younger brother entered with more bad news.
"I sent the ravens, called the banners so we could march on Brightwater and take it back, maybe even retake our rightful seat at Highgarden." Axell said with his famous quick temper rising before telling him with a snarl. "They won't do it! They won't march for us…in fact they all turned on each other."
"How many stayed with us?" Alester asked, his own anger strong but also fear as he considered just what chance they had of surviving depended on what answer he gave.
"None." Axell spat out with anger. "None of our supposed allies and vassals have followed the oath they swore to support us and now fight only for themselves. All the houses we held scared have risen up in revolt, it is complete madness. Civil war." Axell said with bitterness at their complete failure to maintain control of the Stormlands.
Alester wanted to yell and shout in frustration as this was exactly what he had feared, he didn't have the men to force the peace and no chance of support from anywhere. Then to make matters even worse he had just learned that not only had the Northern Barbarians declared one of their women queens which honestly made him scoff. How long would a woman last ruling? He thought with disgust, thinking they must be incredibly stupid to even try it.
But the real part that worried him though was Shireen Baratheon had sworn her allegiance to the Northern Queen, as pathetic as that sounded to him the Stark bitch had an enormous army at her back. It would be easy for her to overpower most of the Stormlands and force them into order before establishing Stannis' last whelp as ruler here. Shireen might be his granddaughter but she was a worthless child, not beautiful and missing the cock that would make her a successful heir.
Still, he thought with worry it would be good to make sure their cellars were fully stocked, just in case.
- x -
Talla and Trystane were still new to their marriage and her status as a princess but lay in each other's arms contended enough. Talla honestly felt her cheeks burn at their wedding night and every night since that they had shared, Trystane was she thought with a blush an exceptional lover. He had told her that his uncle had been his mentor in the art of lovemaking and if he had taught Trystane then she could well see why so many people fell into his bed.
She however would be quite content with Trystane she thought, her body intertwined with his and he wrapped his arm around her.
They both were quite content to stay exactly where they were, better to leave Prince Doran to his negotiations, they thought to themselves.
- x -
Prince Doran smiled as a servant poured some wine for himself and his guest, who he had been communicating with for quite some time. He had been long looking for an ally in the Reach and after all the errors made by the Tyrells and attacks from other kingdoms, he had finally managed to convince one of the most important houses in the Reach to ally with him.
"Thank you, Prince Martell." Lord Mathis Rowan said as he sat across from his host. Doran approved of Lord Mathis. He was unlike many nobles sensible, prudent, able and serious. Not prone to flights of fancy or boasting he was straight to the point. The kind of stern but understanding leader that he could speak too and more to the point the Reach needed right now.
"I take it my offer my offer has caught you attention?" Doran asked him and Mathis nodded with a sign.
"For centuries my family was content to allow the Tyrells to rule the Reach as long as it was ruled well. Now though they have let their ambition overrule their sense of duty and care for the Reach. They brought untold damage to our land in the last war and have not managed the rebuilding the country afterwards, to busy trying to advance their position by getting their daughter married to a sadistic king or a young one." Lord Mathis said with disgust at their arrogance and selfishness.
He could no longer stand by while they continued to ruin his home Lord Rowan thought with disgust at their foolishness. He was not blind to the fact that what he was doing was treason but he honestly felt he had no choice for the sake of the Reach he thought with depression at the fact that it had come to this.
The Tyrells no longer deserved the title of Lord Paramount or Warden of the South.
"My brother having already taken Highgarden is merely lying in wait to trap the Tyrells. We will remove the older generation and deliver the daughter into your hands. I trust you know to keep her silver tongue in check." Prince Doran said and Lord Mathis nodded.
"If she wants to live then she will do as she is told. If she causes any trouble then we will just cut it out. I will of course recognise your son's claim to the lands of Brightwater, Horn Hill and the other couple you have taken. My second son will marry your daughter to solidify our bond." Mathis said and Doran nodded in satisfied agreement.
Both of them were still unsure just what to think about the new Queen in the North. Doran in some ways was quite pleased as he had been reassured by his daughter that she was amenable to good relations with Dorne and would be willing to forgive any past transgressions in exchange for their help. The fact she had given them Tywin Lannister and the Mountain alone would have been enough to get him to support her, but by all accounts, she was a reasonable, cunning, intelligent and resourceful woman that would make a very good queen. He just felt it was a shame that he hadn't been able to tie her to Quentyn but he would be satisfied with what he had managed to get.
Lord Mathis thoughts were more concerned, he was much more of a traditional Andal and worshipper of the Seven and the idea of a woman being given such power and position was just not right. She should be married with children he thought stubbornly not taking over the reins of power that should never have belonged to her. He knew her record, her achievements and he would not deny she was highly intelligent or capable…maybe more than any man Mathis could name he admitted reluctantly but it was still not natural he thought his old prejudices refusing to let go.
Between Dorne and The Stepstones…Same Moment…
The Redwyne Fleet or at least a good amount of it was making its way up the coast towards Dragonstone to break the siege. Orders not to carry on with the mission now that the alliance between the Lannisters and Tyrells had ended had not reached them so they had carried on unawares. But unknown to them news of their journey had reached the ears of some factions who were not keen to see the balance of power disrupted.
Lord Redwyne was commanding the force and quietly confident as he stood on the helm of his ship, he personally wasn't looking forward to a battle when they would have been at the end of their usable supplies but unknown to him that would not be a problem as they would never reach their destination.
Just as the watch was changing, two fleets emerged. One from the Dornish coast and the other from the Stepstones., the Reach sailors were shocked by the sudden appearance of both fleets in unison and worse when both had started firing catapults at them.
Lord Redwyne was on deck within moments and saw that he was not only out of battle formation but worse his crews weren't ready as training was still ongoing, and the pirates and Dornish navy seemed to have no interest in attacking each other he noticed, making him realise this was a co-ordinated joint attack.
As they came under fire, he tried to rally his ships but the suddenness of the attack had broken their unity and half of them had scattered in all directions and some had retreated back the way they came. Some tried to shoot back with their own catapults but it was far from a united effort. Lord Redwyne gritted his teeth before telling his signalman.
"Send the message to retreat back to the Arbor. Until we can get more ships this is not a fight we can win." He said with fury in his voice at their interference, know he had no choice but to withdraw until he could deal with them properly.
- x -
The Pirates cheered as they attacked some of the fleeing Reach ships while the others ran away back home, taking prizes and some nice loot in the process. Their old friend Prince Oberyn had been most helpful by arranging this they thought with a bloodthirsty smirk, they hated the fucking nobles as much as anyone so a chance to stick it to them was worth the effort.
Highgarden, the Reach…
The sight of Highgarden in the distance was a great blessing to the Tyrells as they finally approached, it meant safety and security after the complete disaster that was Kings Landing.
Olenna felt she had lost perhaps the only chance that she would ever have to see her grandchild or even greatgrandchild on the throne, it depressed her but there was little to be done now except make sure they survived to try again later when the dust had settled and they had managed to gain the acceptance of whoever won the war.
The gates opened for them and their retinue entered the castle, it was surprisingly quiet they thought as they rode in seeing guards on the walls and all over the place. Mace didn't notice at all but Olenna and Margaery did but they had never bothered to learn the faces and names of the guards and did not give them a second glance.
Walking to the great hall they just wanted to sit down and have a good meal and to rest their tired bodies from their journey when they saw someone sitting in the lord's chair. Mace immediately became enraged and stormed up the hall.
"Who thinks they have the right to sit in the lord's chair?!" He demanded, yelling at the top of his voice but the voice that answered was calm, speaking loud enough to be heard but not yelling and it sent a chill down all their spines.
"I think I am the ruler of Highgarden, for now at least." Prince Oberyn Martell said with a smug satisfaction. He then called out to his men, disguised as Tyrell guards. "Seize them."
Their retinue was ambushed with only a handful being taken prisoner as men grabbed or killed them. Olenna, Mace and Margaery being among the few to be taken alive and both Olenna and Margaery were silent as they realised that the dire situation that they were in would need to be handled with extreme care in they wanted to get out alive.
Mace on the other hand was not as smart as his mother and his own daughter, snarling and still making demands.
"Release me at once! I am the Lord of Highgarden! When the king hears of this you will suffer for this insult." He said but Oberyn was unmoved as he told him.
"If you mean Tommen Waters, I think he has bigger problems to concern himself with then you. The Northern half of Westeros has made Meera Stark their queen and she is marching on Kings Landing. She no doubt will take the throne but don't worry, we will see this for ourselves as you Fat Flower and you Queen of Thorns will be going there to face her." Oberyn said taunting them with the situation.
"What about Margaery?" Olenna asked desperately now as she hadn't been mentioned but the whore who was apparently the Prince's paramour appeared from behind the throne of Highgarden and taunted them.
"Oh, don't worry, she will be fine…providing she learns to be silent. Lord Rowan wants her for his son to secure his grip on Highgarden. If she learns to be quiet, then she might even keep her tongue." The whore taunted them and the Tyrells all began to feel intense dread as Olenna and Mace were dragged off to the yard to be put on a wagon and taken back north while Margaery was pulled towards the secure room that they had kept for her.
"GRANDMOTHER!" Margaery called out in terror as she was pulled away from her and Olenna looked over to her and managed to say before they lost sight of each other.
"BE STRONG! WHATEVER HAPPENS REMEMBER I LOVE YOU AND I ALWAYS WILL." Olenna called out to her as they pulled apart. Olenna was in some ways relieved that Margaery would from the sounds of it live through this, albeit as a hostage of House Rowan whose betrayal made her fume with rage but also worried as she would be a prisoner for likely the rest of her life. It would be very difficult for her to gain any power in the situation so she would have to be extremely careful…at least at first.
She and Mace Olenna realised where the ones in real danger, she just hoped when Meera Stark and her met that she could talk her way out of this.
Being forced onto a wagon and locked in a cage on the back was a new and awful experience for them both which Mace took more offense too than she did, spitting and cursing while issuing threats but the Dornish just ignored them and the procession left under Oberyn's own guard while he left Highgarden in the hands of Ser Daemon Sand until Lord Rowan could arrive. Margaery was able to catch a glimpse of them from her window and tears ran down her face, knowing in her heart that this would be the last time she would ever see them.
She fell to her knees sobbing as she saw everything coming apart around them, their ambition had brought this down on them she thought with depression. They had played the game and lost; it would only be through her womb that the family might survive even though the name Tyrell would die with her. Crying alone without anyone to comfort her she just prayed to the Gods that they would spare her family and show mercy in the face of all their sins but had no hope of a resolution.
Nor of salvation.
Winterfell, the North…
Samwell was reading the letter from Sunspear written by his mother and sister and sighed in relief, he honestly had been terrified for their wellbeing when word of the Dornish Invasion had reached Winterfell. However much he hated his father he would have ensured their safety and he had been scared witless that they had been forced to face it alone.
But thankfully although technically prisoners in Sunspear they had been spared any trouble and now had the protection of House Martell, his sweet sister was a Princess even he thought with pride knowing no one deserved it more than Talla. He had not seen the Sandship or the city that surrounded it but it could imagine his sister enjoying the famous Water Gardens with her new husband. He didn't really like the idea of his sister being forced to marry but his mother had assured him that Trystane was treating Talla with the respect and admiration she deserved.
They would even have large tracts of land to their name when the war was over Samwell thought as big sections of the Reach had been placed in Trystane and Talla's keeping, land that was verdant and valuable.
His sister and mother were secure he thought as the stress was released.
Samwell wished he had been there for the wedding or at least to be there for them but it was sadly not possible he thought, knowing he would likely have been killed by the Dornish just to make sure that the land went to who they wanted it.
Samwell while glad to be alive was still worried for his family so just hoped for their wellbeing and would ask for Lady…no Queen Meera, he corrected himself, she was a queen now to look kindly on them. It astonished him that she had risen so high but not through ambition like so many others, but by being the best at what she did.
She was much better than most of the kings he had read about Samwell thought with certainty and would make a fantastic queen. One who cared for her people and would use her power wisely.
He was completely certain of that.
- x -
Elsewhere Jon and Ygritte were sitting with Lanna, in only their underclothes as it was time for bed and Jon couldn't help but feel his face start to burn slightly at the sight of Lanna and Ygritte with so much of their beauty on display. He was a lucky man he thought with a smile that two such beautiful women had chosen him.
"Are you willing to consider it?" Jon asked Lanna who was gently brushing her long golden hair. Her hand stilled as she knew what he was talking about and honestly nearly shook with the mere thought of it.
"Taking over Casterly Rock? I don't know Jon." Lanna said with a voice that betrayed her fear by the way it trembled slightly. "I know we could and rule over the Westerlands but it's just…that's Lannister lands." She said deeply unsettled as she just didn't like the idea of taking over there. To be honest she hated virtually every part of her Lannister heritage and would renounce in in a heartbeat but something stopped her.
She wasn't sure just what it was but for some reason she was considering it.
"I don't like the idea of leaving the North." Ygritte said with a frown as she really was comfortable here and didn't want to go to some place that was different and would not give her the freedoms she deserved. She liked the idea of exploring more of Westeros but not of being stuck there for years.
"We could spend time there and time here." Jon suggested, trying to find a way to make it work. Both Lanna and Ygritte were doubtful as it would mean spending long periods of time travelling between the North and Westerlands.
"We will think more on it." Lanna said as she decided to let the issue rest for now before discarding her shift and then walked up to Jon, sliding her body up against him, feeling his solid form against her. Who would have thought Jon would be so…gifted in the area of sex she thought with astonishment, her toes curling as she remembered their wedding night. She had never imagined the thing what he called the 'southern kiss' but she had come undone when he had used it on her.
Despite himself, Jon couldn't help his arousal at her being so close and so blatant in what she wanted, picking her up so she could wrap her legs around his waist and carry her back towards the bed while Ygritte smirked and discarded her own clothes to join them.
Riverrun, the Riverlands…
The castle was in a state of upheaval as they prepared to march south towards Kings Landing, despite the distance was relatively short and they didn't predict any real opposition on the route there.
That being said there was a great deal of anticipation as they were soon to depart for the capital and to remove the Lannisters from power once and for all.
Catelyn had just sung Minisa to sleep, gently stroking her hair and placing a kiss on her forehead. She honestly was growing so fast that it was broke Catelyn's heart as she just wanted her to stay a little girl forever, so happy and joyful every single day and eager to see just what it would bring.
Please don't let the world break her spirit, Catelyn begged to any gods that would listen.
Minisa wanted to go with her sisters to see Kings Landing but Catelyn had denied her, Minisa had no experience with war and Catelyn wanted to keep it that way. She should never have her view of the world destroyed by the things that were going to happen there.
Like she had failed to protect her other children, Catelyn thought sadly. They had all known the pain of loss and death, some of them now had even killed themselves and been thrown into the harsh nightmare of war. They had forever been changed by that she thought with sadness, Meera and Arya most of all.
Arya now was completely at ease with killing and it disturbed her, she was not lacking for empathy but now it seemed that she only felt it towards certain people.
Meera though was worse, she thought with a deep concern for her eldest daughter and eldest surviving child. She had such hope, such a daring and friendly manner when she was younger Catelyn remembered with a small sad smile. She would always be exploring or helping someone, if a servant dropped something she would help them pick it up, if Robb was struggling with his lessons, then she would help him catch up, playing games with her siblings even Ned's bastard she thought with some guilt for how she had treated him.
Now though, Catelyn thought sadly she was so guarded. She never let anything show and was so suspicious of everyone. She had blades coming off of her and such a stern and cold manner that honestly, she looked like a statue, cold and unmoving when faced with someone she didn't like.
The world and all the events since her childhood had shaped her into a living weapon, an instrument of war…Catelyn was horrified by that. To see a child of hers turned into such a cold and damaged person, Meera was so at home in war now that she honestly could never be a lady ever again and would now become a warrior queen. The idea made Catelyn shiver as she dreaded just what history would think of her daughter after her time was done, of how many people would now be out to destroy her!
She went back to watch Minisa and hoping dearly that things would become better but she was just not sure of anything anymore she thought sadly.
Kings Landing, the Crownlands…One Week Later…
The large army that the 'rebel' forces had gathered marched down the Kings Road, taking up miles of it as they made their way south. Their sights solely on Kings Landing, the Crownlands all hid within their own castles, towns and holdfasts rather than come out to face them, seeing clearly that they would be overpowered and not wanting to risk their own safety for a bastard boy king.
Inside the walls meanwhile, a coup was happening.
"Seal the gates!" Jaime demanded as he saw the Goldcloaks turn on them, his own worries and terror for his children already high enough as it was without this new headache. Tyrion at his side frowned and much to his own dismay realised he had been so focused on his father and other problems that he had failed to remember to always keep an eye on those who were ambitious and without morals around you. He would have to speak with Lynthorne though as he was Mayor of Kings Landing and should have prevented this.
"The men we have inside the Red Keep are loyal to us at least. We can keep them out until the Starks get inside." Tyrion reassured Jaime with mentally crossed fingers. Jaime himself didn't look convinced but had no choice but to hope Tyrion was right. Ironically their best hope of survival was the Northern Army breaking through the walls of the city before the Gold Cloaks broke into the Red Keep! What a world, Jaime thought with exasperation.
- x -
Outside the city walls the army of Meera Stark was massing, she and the rest of the Northerners had reapplied their war paint and stood with her soldiers, spear in hand and dressed in her Valyrian steel armour. Romulus and Rema at her side along with Arya and the newly established Queensguard. Strong Shield and Sharp Arrow the two freed Unsullied, Gendry who had sworn his life to her, Thoros of Myr, Osha the spear wife, Ser Loras Tyrell and Brienne of Tarth. All now wore war paint of their own but she had left the designs they used up to them.
But rather than set up camp for a siege or begin the construction of war machines, instead they sat and ate, resting as if they were going onto the attack soon. The Gold Cloaks who were inside the city walls were petrified by the sheer size of the army against them. It was enormous with tens of thousands of men surrounding the city as they massed for an attack. The Kettleblack brothers stood on the walls with fear in their eyes as they considered the scale of the enemy.
"You said they'd stay north." Osney said with his hands nearly trembling while Osfryd was hardly any better, looking out over edge and wondering just what they were going to do.
"They are here talk." Osmund said lying through his teeth, trying to come up with another reason that the fucking Northern savages would come here and drag the River whelps and the Vale pricks with them. He struggled as he knew there was only one reason to come here in such numbers and it was not to talk.
Not with words anyway, he thought sweating inside his armour. He had no idea what to do but surrender but the fucking Starks would take the city away from him, they disliked people like him and his brothers but before he could think of any alternative, the Starks changed the world forever.
- x -
The cannon was large, a big single barrel and with plenty of gunpowder and lead ammunition. To handle the recoil, they had fixed iron stakes into the ground with strong rope to stop it going too far back. Meera was really nervous as the moment she used this weapon it was a game changer; warfare would never be the same and everyone would be trying to get hold of it. She intended to shrink it down and hide it for now until she could be reasonably certain of keeping it safe from unfriendly hands at least for as long as possible.
The Queensguard helped her move it into position, none of them even those that had been with her in the Iron Islands understood just what the 'thing' she had created was for. They helped her load it and then Brienne handed her the lighting stick.
"Best cover your ears and makes sure the horses are secure, this will scare them." Meera advised them all and those close enough to the cannon. To be trueful she wasn't really sure just how loud this was going to be so she was just making sure. They looked dismissive but did as she commanded.
Meera took the lighting stick herself, the weight of it was slight but inside it felt so heavy knowing full well what it was about to do to warfare what steel and horses had done centuries before.
She pressed the stick which was smouldering to the fuse, it didn't take long to light and she braced herself as it burned. It seemed to take an eternity to burn through, each second stretching out to impossible lengths but finally the moment of truth came.
The Cannon, with an almighty blast…fired.
The bang was loud, very loud. Those that moments before who had thought her mad or exaggerating were forced to reconsider their feelings and thoughts as the cannon nearly deafened them all. The horses as she predicted did not like it at all and some bolted and had to held firmly in place and some managed to slip their rider's hold and run away in fright.
The muzzle flash from the cannon was bright and the ball of lead it fired moved so quickly it was virtually impossible to follow it with the naked eye, smashing hard into the gate. It was heavy but Meera had aimed it perfectly and it had enough power to smash through the heavy bar that kept the gates locked and secure and force the large and heavy gates open in the same shot before smashing the building behind it.
The Rebel Army and the defenders both were absolutely stunned at her new weapon, none of them having believed such a thing was even possible especially those from the Riverlands, the Vale or the Stormlands.
Meera smiled uneasily knowing she had just opened pandora's box with that one before taking the horn off her waist and blowing it, the sound to charge echoing around and still in shock from what had happened, the army charged.
Meera left the cannon to be watched over by Josera and Elsera and some of their men who were looking at it with fear for a moment before joining the charge into the city. The City Watch otherwise known as the Goldcloaks were still confused and terrified by the new weapon and had no way to sure up the gate that was damaged.
The Kettleblack brothers immediately however knew they were in danger and so with honed survival instincts they turned and ran for the stairs in an attempt to escape only to find themselves faced with three members of the Queensguard; Brienne of Tarth, Ser Loras and Thoros of Myr all of whom looked distinctly unimpressed by them.
Osmund was the first to fight, Thoros drew his sword which was instantly surrounded by flames. His reputation as a swordsman was well known and Osmund was scared to death of facing him. He drew his own normal sword and when he crossed swords with him the flames spread to Osmund's wrists, he cried out but instinctively dropped his sword. Something that was fatal as Thoros beheaded him without a second thought.
Osfryd didn't fare any better against Loras, the young man might not have fought in many real battles but he was without a doubt highly skilled with a sword. He was also now unlike all the previous tourneys that he had competed fighting with a brutal fury that he had never had before, slashing furiously at the middle brother who was a decent fighter but nowhere near as skilled or determined as Loras was who cut him down in moments.
Osney was the unfortunate one that had to face Brienne of Tarth, despite being a woman she was a highly skilled fighter and very strong. She was able to force her way through his defence with ease and end him in a moment. A red wisp escaped Osmund's mouth but it was stabbed by Meera Stark and her spear, it vanished into nothing and while the three all looked at her with surprise before she told them.
"The Red Wisps is something I will explain to you later but right now we have a battle fight. Come on." She told them sternly and while looking at her with confusion, Thoros smiled slightly as he realised what he had suspected was true, when he had seen her dispatch the Other's essence, he knew she was the one.
She was the Azor Ahai, the one who would save the world.
- x -
Fighting against the Gold Cloaks spread across the city, vicious street fighting broke out as the enormous rebel army spread out in the city streets. The people were terrified not just of the invaders but the Gold Cloaks too as neither side seemed to care just who was being hurt in the chaos of battle. The fog of war descending on them all as they fought for control.
But the Gold Cloaks were vastly outnumbered as more and more of the Rebel Army poured in through the now open gate, numbers started to tell especially as most of those that fought had experience from the wars against the Iron Born, meaning they were skilled and experienced whereas the Gold Cloaks had nowhere near that expertise.
Meera Stark and her army pressed in on the Red Keep, pushing the surviving Gold Cloaks back and back towards it which was the defender's death knell as the gates remained firmly closed, leaving them with nowhere else to go.
Relentlessly they were cut down till none were left alive, the streets were covered with the bodies of the dead. The people of the city cowered in their homes while the rebel army surrounded the Red Keep. The defenders on the walls all looking at them with terrified looks on their faces as they saw just what had come against them with their own eyes.
Meera Stark stood ready to bring up the cannon again to break through their defences, looking at the castle in front of her she couldn't help but shudder slightly given what had happened the last time she was here. Her father had taken his last breath in that castle and if she was to rule over Westeros it would be her new home. She didn't like the castle, it held so much unpleasantness but she couldn't allow that to stop her Meera thought. Hogwarts had been older than the Red Keep and it had plenty of nasty history to it along with the good, the Red Keep was no different.
She was about to give the order to bring up the cannon before she saw to her own astonishment that the gates where opening, she blinked as she saw Tyrion Lannister and his brother Ser Jaime walking out towards her. The Queensguard rallied to challenge them and Meera had her spear in hand to fight but Tyrion and his brother who was visibly sweating with fear at the sight of them still approached.
"Tyrion Lannister, I must say this is…unexpected." Meera said with a guarded look in her eyes, she knew better than to think less of him. He might not be as tall as most men but his intelligence and cunning were frightening in their own strength and effectiveness.
"Almost as unexpected as you becoming a queen that rules alone no doubt." Tyrion said with a pleasant smile before telling her. "I would rather not bring down the Red Keep with your new weapon which I admit has me extremely curious or having everyone inside the Red Keep slaughtered. So, I am surrendering the castle to you." Tyrion said with a bow as he knelt before her. Jaime looked extremely worried but did the same.
"Quite unexpected indeed." Meera said with a raised eyebrow. He might acknowledge that she could bring down the Red Keep but to surrender so quickly made her realise that he must have a plan. She turned to her Queensguard and gave her orders.
"Take them both and bind them, then search the castle. Everyone is to be confined till we find out just who we are dealing with. If you find Tommen and Myrcella, bring them to me but…something tells me you won't." Meera said as she looked down at Tyrion with a suspicious look in her eyes. He had hidden them…somewhere in the city she thought as she pondered just where he could have put them. Inside the secret passages perhaps Meera thought as she would have to look into this later. Tyrion might be planning to erode her alliances in an attempt to put either his nephew back on the throne or perhaps even his niece Meera thought and would need to make sure just what Tyrion was up too.
- x -
The Red Keep hadn't changed much since she was last here, Meera noticed as she walked inside, even if every corridor and room was guarded by her people now. Meera walked through it flanked by her direwolves and Strong Shield and Sharp Arrow. The sight of it so absent of courtiers was strange but she put that aside as she looked through the Tower of the Hand, the gardens, the cells were many of the prisoners were secured, the Small Council Chamber where she had once attended a meeting on her first visit here and many other places before finally arriving in the Throne Room.
The sight of the elaborate hall was a strange experience as apart from the guards it was deserted but when she caught a glimpse of the gruesome looking Iron Throne, nothing was more daunting than that and she sighed as she honestly didn't want to walk over to it but Arya who had been joining their efforts in securing the castle and Lorra came up behind her, Lorra herself not liking the sight of the chair but Arya pushed Meera forward with a smile wanting to see her sister sitting on it.
Meera didn't appreciate the push and gave her sister a glare for it before walking up to the throne, each step was hard to make given the weight of expectation until finally she arrived at the top and with a slight pivot turned and sat on the throne.
It was uncomfortable, she thought awkwardly sitting on the throne. Aegon the Conqueror she remembered had said that no king should sit easily and he certainly had made sure of that when he had created the Iron Throne she thought. Not only was the seat uncomfortable but she had to be careful not to cut herself on the many blades around her.
Sitting there though, Meera could feel the echoes of magic in the chair, probably from the dragon fire that had made it and it was a giddy feeling. She had the best view of the room and had to take a few steadying breaths to calm down, there was a rush of power in her belly and she liked it, that worried her as she did not want to let herself get to used it. This kind of power came with strings attached and a great deal of danger she reminded herself firmly. Romulus and Rema sat at her side and she was comforted by their presence, Aurora too who was currently under guard with the cannon would be here with her when she eventually held court.
Master Varys, Lord Brynden, Lord Royce came in with Shireen Baratheon and Ser Davos Seaworth. Lord Umber and Lady Mormont alongside them and then followed by Rhaenys Targaryen and Ser Barristan Selmy. Along with Arya and Lorra and her Queensguard they looked up at her and Shireen who now having seen the throne for herself was glad to not have claimed it herself asked.
"Enjoying it?" She asked with a cheeky smile but Meera frowned and told her honestly.
"Not really. But that is to be expected I guess." Meera said with sigh before getting up to ease her discomfort. "I take it you haven't found Tommen and Myrcella?" She asked as she walked down the steps to their level, her direwolves following her every step.
The crowd looked sheepish as they had not found the missing Lannister bastards, Meera however was not worried as she had a good idea where they were.
- x -
Dragon Theatre, Kings Landing…A Short Time Later…
Meera walked in with her direwolves, she saw plenty of stage scenery around and saw many of the stage hands and others looking nervous. She held a scrap taken from one of Myrcella's dresses that had been left behind when the girl had disappeared, she put it to Romulus's nose who took a deep sniff while Tyrion who was under guard nearby looked on in fear.
Romulus picked up the scent immediately and sniffed his way forward, all of them following him towards a display that was used on the stage. It was fairly big and made of wooden planks and painted canvas, meaning it was probably hollow inside.
Perfect place for two young people to hide.
Meera despite Tyrion's protests cut into the fabric with her dagger and peered inside, shaking her head as she saw a terrified looking Myrcella and Tommen both holding each other. She turned back to Tyrion and folded her arms while the two cowered inside.
"Well…what are we going to do now?" Meera asked Tyrion, she knew that the smart move was to take both of them prisoner and either hold them as hostages or outright kill them but neither Myrcella or Tommen had ever done anything against House Stark. They had no involvement in the plots against them and were by all accounts two of the sweetest people you could ever hope to meet.
Even Lanna had asked her to please not hurt them and given how much she hated her biological father's family that was not only a strange but heartfelt request.
"I think we all know what comes next." Tyrion said with a grim voice as he knew what happened in these situations. "Heads, swords and spikes. For all of us." He honestly was looking like a man who had been sentenced to death and if it wasn't genuine then he had missed his calling on the stage Meera thought impressed, it was completely convincing.
"Or they disappear, Tommen and Myrcella may never appear again…ever." Meera said with a small smile. She knew that if she were a real game player and as ruthless as everyone thought she was then she should kill both the children, Tyrion and Jaime just to end the threat of House Lannister forever.
But that was not…her, Meera thought with resignation. She could kill, had done many times but she was not going to kill the innocent. Tommen and Myrcella didn't deserve to die and as long and they were never seen or heard from as themselves again…she could live with that.
Tyrion proved his intelligence by understanding just what she was implying and he nodded, a relieved smile on his face.
"They never will be. My two bastards will come to live with me at the theatre and work here behind the scenes till they are older. After all, I have a certain reputation." Tyrion said with hope and Meera nodded.
"I can accept that. But I have conditions of my own." Meera said with stern look in her eyes that made Tyrion worry just what she was going to demand. "You designate that Lanna is your sole heir and will from you inherit Casterly Rock and the Westerlands. She and her husband." Meera told him and he nodded calmly in acceptance.
"That is something I had intended anyway. When I die which, I hope will not be too soon…she will inherit a great deal." Tyrion said feeling very grateful that his insight into her character was correct. She was not a monster, nothing like Cersei and Westeros might actually have a monarch that cared for all its people for the first time. Not just a capable one but one who would improve things for everyone…noble and commoner alike. Whether she would succeed or not he was not sure but he honestly owed her a great deal for looking the other way where Tommen and Myrcella were concerned.
So, if he could help guide her, perhaps that would absolve him of the debt he now owed her for sparing his niece and nephew. Tyrion in his own suspicious mind wondered if that was what she had wanted all along but shook his head. That didn't matter even if it was the case, he would still help her for the sake of peace in Westeros once again and to make sure that his daughter along with the rest of the family he actually cared about would be safe.
"And me? Will I face the executioner's sword?" Jaime asked from nearby, deeply relieved that his son and daughter would be spared the same fate and allowed to live, albeit as Tyrion's supposed bastards but alive and probably freer than he or any of his siblings had ever been given their father's plans.
"No, but you will be held as a hostage to ensure good behaviour." Meera said sternly which surprising them both as they had assumed he would be killed. But then again, he had nothing to do with the plots against House Stark either and she would need a hostage in any case.
Meera did however have an ulterior motive in sparing Tyrion and Jaime, controlling the Westerlands was going to be difficult without House Lannister. There were no clear houses that could take their place and too many potential options all of whom would feel slighted if she chose one of the others. Civil War was already being fought in the Stormlands, the last thing she needed was for the Westerlands to fall into chaos as well.
Jaime nodded, not necessarily happy with it but would accept it given the boon she was giving to the rest of his family. He would still be close enough to see his children and that was all he really wanted.
"We have those that worked on the plans for the ambush locked up in the Red Keep Cells." Tyrion said to her, referring to those like Pycelle who would be they hoped enough to quell any further bloodlust. Meera nodded in acceptance before they all returned to the Red Keep, leaving a happy and relieved Tommen and Myrcella behind who hugged each other and smiled that their brilliant uncle had managed a miracle once again.
Vaes Dothrak, Dotharki Sea, Essos….
Daenerys Targaryen proudly sat looking at her children, both human and dragon as they played together.
Her dragons were now the size of horses although not large enough to ride they now could fly through the air with ease. She loved to watch the three of them playing in the sky, their natural place to be.
Their flames too were growing stronger too, hotter and more intense the older they got. Soon enough they would be large enough to ride.
She would love that, Daenerys thought with a certain yearning. To ride on her dragon's back and soar through the skies as her ancestors had so many years ago. Something she dearly wanted to share with her children!
She looked down at Rhaego who was growing like a weed, she honestly couldn't tell where all the time had gone. It seemed like only yesterday that she had pushed him out of her and fed him at her own breast. Now he was a strong boy that was already growing quickly, showing he was going to be as tall as his father.
But in her arms, she held something so precious she treasured it more than her own life, his recently born daughter Rhaella.
Rhaella was a lovely child, so beautiful in Daenerys' completely bias opinion. She had the simmering silver hair of her mother and her violet eyes too. She had her father's powerful stare and stern nature though Daenerys thought as her daughter looked up at her with serious eyes, as if knowing what she was thinking and being annoyed by it but Daenerys only smirked and kissed her forehead which made the girl laugh at least.
Drogo was sitting nearby and put Rhaego on his knee so he could share some more tales of their people, the boy listened intently as his father shared the stories with him although she wished he would refrain from some of the 'dirtier' elements of the stories given their son's young age.
She herself would have to teach him to be more respectful of women when he got older, she thought with a shake of her head at her son learning bad habits at that age.
She would be leaving a good-sized empire for him and his sister to rule and they would need to know how to run it she thought with a smile. Apart from the vast tracts of land they held not to mention a large trading network that had now expanded into Braavos she thought proudly, they were trading far and wide and she had even managed to open a vault at the Iron Bank for gold to be put in just in case of some emergency.
She was considering looking another southern port as Qarth while an excellent seaport was too far east to help trading to the west. She as considering her options and wondering just where she might try her luck was distracted by Rhaella tugging on her hair, eager for more of her mother's attention. Daenerys winced a little as she seemed to have inherited some of her father's strength too but gently releasing daughter's grip on her hair and then resumed playing with her, smiling soon as she just enjoyed the moment with her family.
The Red Keep, Kings Landing…
Prince Oberyn Martell as he rode at the head of the Martell column was feeling extremely pleased with himself as he led his people and their prisoners through the streets of Kings Landing, despite the recent conquest the people were out in force, cheering as he led the column through the streets. In a cage on the back of a cart Mace and Olenna Tyrell sat as they were jeered at. Mace was looking terrified Oberyn noticed with a satisfied smirk while Olenna was doing her best to remain dignified as people screamed insults at them and some even threw things at them. The cage prevented most of it getting through which was good as he wanted them as intact as possible when he presented them to the new queen.
Queen, Oberyn thought with amusement, remembering the fierce young woman from his brief visit to Winterfell years ago now and wondering just how she must have changed in all this time. Clearly not just another 'dutiful' Stark he thought, she must be something more.
He knew of her ruthless reputation and her quite impressive achievements of course, she certainly was a different creature to her mother and father he thought with curiosity, wishing that he had spent more time trying to get to know her when he had been at Winterfell. His own arrogance and shortsightedness had cost Dorne dearly that day he thought with derision aimed solely at himself.
Oberyn just hoped she wasn't someone to hold on to a grudge, he had destroyed her parent's marriage or at least helped that along and tried to steal her spear not to mention humiliate her in the yard at Winterfell. She might have some good relations with Quentyn and Rhaenys, and now also Arianne but he was just glad he had left Ellara and the rest of his girls elsewhere so he could meet with Meera Stark alone.
Seeing the Stark banners flying from the Red Keep was an incredible sight in itself, Oberyn thought. Of all the families to end up winning the game of thrones and take the throne for themselves it would be them! He thought with amusement at all the plotting and scheming from others to get exactly what they had achieved almost by circumstance. Not that they hadn't worked for it, he acknowledged and perhaps their stern and focused leadership might be just what Westeros needed. The Starks were practical and dedicated to their people both noble and smallfolk, if that sense of responsibility carried over to the rest of Westeros, then it would be their priority to see the realm healed after all these years of conflict.
Oberyn rode through the gates with his men and their precious cargo, Mace and Olenna both looked up as they were pulled out of the cage. Seeing the sight of the Red Keep again would under normal circumstances for them been a relief but now it was created a great sense of dread.
Unable to resist a taunt, Oberyn spoke.
"Well then, we had best pay our respects to the new queen." He said with a big smirk as he knew the trouble that awaited them inside.
"New queen?! She is not a queen! She's not even a lady! She's savage!" Mace said with fearful scorn but Olenna was looking downcast as she knew that tongue of his was going to get them killed if they weren't already set for the block.
"Mace! What we do in the next few moments will determine whether we live or die." She told him fiercely, not wanting her life to end in some public spectacle due to his idiocy. "For the love of everything…DO…NOT…SAY THINGS LIKE THAT!" She scolded him and Mace wilted visibly at her words into the weak shell of a man he really was before their eyes.
Oberyn smirked, enjoying it immensely as he led the small party to the throne room. The number of guards was much higher than he would have though necessary but it was better given the new dynasty was still in its early days so keeping things secure would be a very important consideration.
Arriving in the throne room he saw it was full of nobles from the North, the Riverlands, the Vale and Shireen Baratheon's followers not to forget of course his own dear niece although her being here worried him a little. The Northerners looked at him with disgust which was natural given his past with them after all Oberyn thought mockingly, the Riverlands and Vale people weren't much better, his reputation offending their sensitive views on sex and relationships. The Stormlanders were the same, giving him a look of distrust given all the tension between his homeland and theirs.
Only his niece looked vaguely pleased to see him and even that was tainted with worry, she gave him a warning glare like her mother used to do when she was sure he was about to cause trouble. He smiled gently at that as Rhaenys was so like her mother it was almost like her spirit was sitting at her shoulder and whispering in her ear.
Oberyn then turned his attention to the ugly and gruesome looking Iron Throne, it looked as awful as it had when he had last seen it but was improved by the vision that was sitting on it, he thought with his interest immediately stoked by the person sitting on it. Certainly, far more than the Mad King had ever done he thought with a smirk.
She was not like anyone he had ever seen as a queen, he thought with some rather more colourful visions of her running through his mind. She wore not a dress but her battle armour that he was told might be Valyrian steel and it suited her more than a dress ever would even though she would no doubt look good in either steel or silk.
He had vague memories of Lyanna Stark from the Tourney of Harrenhal but Meera Stark was now older than her late aunt had grown to be and had filled out he noticed with an appreciative eye. It was hard to tell exactly due to her being in her armour and sitting on the throne but she was taller and had inherited her mother's slightly fuller figure. He remembered the shape of Catelyn's body well and her daughter had become much like her in the shape of her body.
But apart from her long and inviting dark brown hair her face was what caught his attention next, she had a strong and sculpted face but her eyes stood his attention the most. They were the typical grey eyes that most Northerners had, look into the eyes of other Northerners in the room and you would see a number of similar eyes but hers burned with a fierce grey fire that was quite intense and in the same way…enticing he thought wondering just what that fire could translate too in other areas.
"Prince Oberyn, what an unwelcome surprise." Meera Stark said with a cold and emotionless voice as she sat on the throne. The Northerners in the room including the younger Stark girl, Arya who was standing with the direwolves alongside the Iron Throne.
Ah, Oberyn thought with some worry. Still bearing a grudge I see.
"Your Grace, I can only hope that it does not prove too unwelcome. Especially as I am here to present you with two rather important gifts." Prince Oberyn said, rallying his good spirits and having his men drag Mace and Olenna into the room. Both looked rather worse for wear given the lack of bathing and fresh clothes but the sneers of disgust that came from the Northerners especially had nothing to do with their appearance.
It was to do with them having finally been brought to heel after all the chaos and destruction their actions had caused. Loras who was standing with the rest of the Queensguard caught their eye and despite their pleading, hopeful looks he just sneered at them with disgust.
He had not forgiven them for what they did to him and especially to Renly.
"The Tyrells. An interesting gift Prince Oberyn." Meera said from her throne and looking completely in control of her situation. "And what exactly is it that would ask of me for this…boon?" Meera asked looking at him intently.
"I can think of a few things." He said looking at her with a flirtatious look and that only made her roll her eyes in irritation. There was a growing noise of anger in the crowd but it was so much fun to rile them up that he couldn't help himself.
"You ruined our parents' marriage by fucking our mother in their bed! Now you want my sister too?" Arya cursed out in disgust; it was not exactly lady like behaviour but Meera calmed her down.
"Arya, I can assure you that even if he and I were the last two living people in the world and would need to repopulate it…I would have nothing to do with that man." Meera told her with a small smile which Arya returned. Oberyn was somewhat disappointed by that but he was hardly surprised, then Meera Stark made a surprising announcement.
"Your brother Prince Doran has already written to us." Meera told them all which surprised all the nobles and even Oberyn who had thought he would be the one to make the request but clearly his brother had realised he might rile them up and wanted it done before he could Oberyn thought with annoyance. Meera then continued to speak. "He has promised the Tyrells to us and the Reach sworn to the Iron Throne once more not to mention Dorne's fealty, in exchange for not only forgiving any past slights made against me and House Stark not to mention the naming House Rowan as Lord Paramount of the Reach and Wardens of the South." She summarised to the crowd of people in the hall.
There were some looks of discomfort at the requests but in exchange for both the Reach and Dorne swearing the Iron Throne and not having to contend with more war to the south when they were facing one in the west and one to the south east was a fairly small price to pay. Not to mention since it brought the house that had ultimately brought about the ambushes at Riverrun and Winterfell into their clutches, they could at last see justice done they all thought, those that lost family members finding this particularly appealing.
Mace however was infuriated by the idea that House Rowan would take the Reach and Highgarden from him and yelled loudly.
"I AM LORD OF HIGHGARDEN!" He yelled, but his voice did nothing to intimidate them as he continued spitting. "I AM LORD OF THE REACH! IT IS MINE! NOT THE ROWANS! AND THAT THRONE CERTAINLY DOESN'T BELONG TO A SAVAGE WILDLING WHORE!"
The room was dead silent at the insult and Olenna sighed in defeat…knowing that he had effectively signed their death warrants with that outburst, Meera who was its target didn't react at all beyond a raised eyebrow while her sister looked ready to explode at the man before Meera got to her feet and whispered something in her sister's ear which made Arya smirk with a great deal of viciousness that scared a lot of people especially since it was on face of a young woman like Arya.
Meera walked down the steps of her new throne and had all eyes on her as she walked over to them. Oberyn definitely appreciated her shape and looks but she ignored him and turned to Olenna who now was resigned to her fate and determined to face it with dignity.
"I don't know why you decided to convince Cersei we were plotting against her, not that she would need much convincing, I am sure." Meera said with a dry certainty, the woman had been a manipulative and vicious harpy that would have turned on everyone given time. "So, I will ask you once and only once for the reason why? I know it's your nature to lie or just refuse to answer so I won't hold my breath but I will ask just this once." Meera asked, knowing she would probably not get the real reason but any idea of why would be appreciated.
Olenna who had heard much about this girl over the years was surprised at her self-control, she obviously hated them but she kept it at bay and was being surprisingly eloquent for a Northerner. Olenna honestly wished for a moment she could have met her before all this as it would have been nice to have seen what sort of relationship they might otherwise have had. Olenna decided since her death was absolutely certain at this point and they had no need of them alive to actually tell her the truth.
"Because you were preventing us from taking the throne as we so dearly wanted." Olenna said simply which confused a lot of the crowd who didn't understand. "Joffrey was obsessed with you and wanted to cast Margaery aside to take you as his queen instead. Not only that but the lack of resources we had due to the war was making Tywin Lannister reconsider his alliance with us. I was convinced that a war with a new enemy would make sure it stuck. Of course, I didn't expect Cersei to go down the road that she did but I wouldn't be averse to the outcome. If only it had gone right things would have been good for us but it didn't happen." Olenna told her calmly and without fear.
The room was silent as they all took the words in, Meera herself was surprised but then started turned cold again and said simply.
"I suppose I should have known the truth would hurt, that you basically killed my brother and my uncle among many others solely to keep an alliance that ultimately led to your own destruction alive. They died solely because you used an unstable and mad woman to achieve your ends rather than dirty your own hands as the Tyrells have done so many times in the past. You cannot win the game of thrones with half measures or without commitment. Something you and your family have never understood." Meera told her coldly before with a single effortless move, she drew her spear and stabbed it straight into Olenna's chest.
The move shocked everyone as they had not expected it, Olenna was shocked too but nodded in acceptance and collapsed as her body fell to the floor. For her honestly however much she had hated the answer Meera had insured that the move would kill her instantly, a mercy and the only one that she would be able to give.
As she turned on her heel and Mace looked down at the body of his mother, Meera nodded to Arya as she walked back to the Iron Throne who smirked viciously and told them all.
"The one that casts the sentence swings the sword, or in this case the spear." Arya said reminding them of the old Northern tradition regarding justice. That was exactly what Meera was doing which made the Northerners smile in relief that she had respected their culture and not given in to the southern ways. "And now, I do the same. I suggest you let go of Mace Tyrell and take a step back." Arya said and the guards who were holding the clearly distressed Mace as she now walked down the steps herself were confused. They looked to the Prince who was still in shock from the sudden execution of Olenna but nodded wanting to see just what the young Stark had in mind.
Arya came over to Mace and he was shaking with fear before she drew her short sword and with an agility and accuracy that few sliced Mace's throat open, letting his blood fall freely while he looked at her with shock, unable to speak as he fell to the floor alongside his mother.
As her sister sat back on the throne she nodded in approval to her sister before sitting back on the throne and telling the entire gathered crowd.
"The kingdoms of Westeros have been bleeding for a long time now and will continue to do so until we bring the Westerlands and the Stormlands to heel and end this war for good. It is my hope that when this is accomplished that we will find a period of peace to tend to the deep wounds inflicted by the war, whether this happens or not is as much up to us as it is to the gods themselves. But regardless the clear and harsh truth is that as a realm, all of us have suffered and are changed by what we have experienced. Things are not the same, everywhere. It is understandable to be afraid of such a time but if we can find it in ourselves to be brave and to have the wisdom to make the right decisions…then we can do the things we need to do to see this through. Westeros needs to heal, to grow and learn from the things that caused all this misery and pain. I intend to see this done, that Westeros not only heals from all this and can survive the coming winter but that it will discover that things don't have to get worse, but that they can get better. Not just for nobles but for everyone. The work begins and there will be hard challenges…but if we can stay the course then we will succeed." She told them with a smile and a cheer went up through the room, including Prince Oberyn and Shireen Baratheon.
She had a gift of gathering support.
Varys who had been watching quietly to see just what sort of queen she would be was glad to see she had good intentions. It was an encouraging beginning although he thought with worry as she wouldn't be the first to start with the best of motives only to be corrupted by power and even her own ideals if they became rotten. He frowned and hoped that she would be able to do what she was saying and not be corrupted by the power that she wielded.
But she had taken the deal that ended war in the Reach and Dorne, he thought with a curious look in his eyes. Showed she would look past grudges to achieve the best outcome and peace, it was a good start but this was only the first hurdle.
There would be many more to come Varys thought with fear.
- x -
Later that Night…
The King's Chamber was spacious, Meera thought with amusement as she prepared for bed. While she put on her shift her direwolves were already sleeping by the fireplace near Aurora who likewise was asleep. She smiled as she looked at them, glad they appeared to be settling in.
She got into the large bed and it was she admitted very comfy, she sank slightly into it and hadn't had a bed this warm and comfortable since Hogwarts she thought with a smile.
Meera was just dozing off when a small hatch opened in the privy nearby, slowing five men climbed in. They stealthily made their way into the room but the door to the privy creaked as they opened it.
The creak was loud enough to wake the dozing Meera and the direwolves, snapping them awake and Meera rolled out of the bed to avoid a dagger that was trying to stab her. She landed next to one of the men and lashed out with a kick to his shin, smashing it in half with the force she put behind it. He screamed in pain and Meera then leapt to her feet to parry another attack and redirect it away from herself before replying with a punch to the face.
Two of the assassins were backed against the wall by her direwolves and dragon which snarled loudly at them and then Strong Shield and Sharp Arrow who had been guarding the room burst in and cornered the last one.
Meera now with some space summoned Gungnir to her hand, the spear flying across the room to her and the assassins looking on in terror at the sight of magic but Meera didn't hesitate to stab them in a quick dance of jabs.
But what scared her was that as she stabbed them, each one produced a red wisp from their mouth before dying.
That answered the question of just who or rather what had sent them, Meera thought with fear.
Unknown to her Loki watched with magic from nearby, smirking as it was unfolding exactly as he hoped. He could have ruled this world himself but this world as far too primitive and limited for his tastes, but with Surtr draining magic even with all the losses he had taken it was still impossible to open the path to leave.
So, to escape this world he thought with slyness, he needed to make sure Surtr was gone for good with Meera Stark as the tool to do it.
There we are, hope you all enjoyed it! Please review and let me know what you thought.
Next Chapter – Meera is formally made Queen and begins to face her first challenges as one, inside Kings Landing and outside it while Lanna and Tyrion meet again.