A/N: This was written for a Throneland challenge where we chose two characters and swapped their personality traits.
I chose to write a fic swapping the personalities of Sansa and Joffrey - Visions.
If you're interested in more backround on the versions of Sansa and Joffrey found in this fic, you can find their character essays at my Live Journal: .
Iron-clad hooves clattered over the stone of the Winterfell courtyard as the Baratheon-Lannister retinue arrived. It was bitterly cold, the chill in the air as keen as a shard of ice. The lathered horses were panting with fatigue, their harness lined with the frost of condensed sweat.
But at that moment, Joffrey had forgotten the exhaustion of the long day of traveling. He had even forgotten how to breathe.
There she stood, alongside the other members of her family. A tall slender vision clad in a soft woolen cloak the color of the sunlit sky, her auburn hair tumbling about her shoulders.
Sansa Stark - his future wife and queen.
Joffrey was only dimly aware of his father sliding clumsily down from his stallion to greet Lord Eddard Stark. But they were all as insubstantial as ghosts to him. He must have dismounted himself at some point, because he found himself approaching this vision of beauty with awe.
Everything and everyone around him seemed to disappear.
There was only Sansa. More lovely, more graceful, more noble, than he had dared to imagine. All of his dreams had come true.
Joffrey had just caught her gaze for a brief moment before she demurely lowered her lids and sank into a deep curtsey before her prince and future husband.
At that moment he was the happiest young man in Westeros.
Usually timid by nature, Prince Joffrey was so enthralled by Lady Sansa that he hardly took note of the half-grown direwolf at her side, until the creature lunged for his leg.
"Come here, Empress," Sansa ordered sharply, before looking over at Joffrey with a reassuring smile, adding in a soft, low voice. "Your highness, please excuse Empress. She's the fiercest of the litter, but she would never hurt you."
Sansa had almost groaned in disappointment at the first sight of her intended husband. Then, after her apologies in bringing her wolf to heel, remembered her usual impeccable manners and tilted her head in repectful deference. Her parents had assured her that Prince Joffrey was handsome, and she supposed that he was somewhat attractive, in a baby-faced, weak chinned sort of way. But he was so spindly. He looked like he would be easily blown away by a slight gust of wintery air.
And why couldn't he wipe that stupid love-struck expression off his face? You would think that a prince would have more dignity.
If only Joffrey were half as attractive as his Uncle Jaime, whose mount now galloped into the yard, pulling up short alongside the carriage which must house Queen Cersei. If only anythingabout Joffrey, except the color of his hair, looked like Jaime.
But - no matter. Joffrey's value to Sansa was his future kingship, not his person. He would one day sit upon the throne, and Jaime never would. That was the important thing.
The young prince approached Sansa with diffidence, honoring her with his deepest bow. "My Lady," he managed through lips stiff with cold and fear. "I have...you are the most...I am so..." He seemed incapable of expressing a coherent sentence.
Was he an imbecile as well as a weakling?Sansa thought with faint distaste, hoping he couldn't read the growing contempt in her eyes, realizing that the burden of any conversation would have to fall to her. "Welcome to Winterfell, your Highness. We have prepared a great feast in your honor, and have invited the finest musicians for your entertainment."
"Being in your gracious presence is all the entertainment I will ever require," Joffrey had finally managed to utter a complete phrase, his face reddening with either the cold or the effort of speaking to her. Sansa couldn't really tell.
"Come with me then." She reached out a gloved hand in invitation. " Let me show you my home."
Joffrey responded tentatively, just grasping the very tips of her fingers lightly, as if fearful of crushing them. Sansa was finding it more difficult by the minute to hide her scorn at his timidity. As much as she wanted, needed, a prince and a king she could control, it would have been a nice bonus if he actually had the makings of a man, and not a scared little boy.
A man like his brother.
Sansa felt her gaze drawn once again to Jaimie, who was even now helping a regally clad woman out of the carriage. Over Jaime's shoulder, Sansa caught a glimpse of a fur-lined cloak, of long golden hair. Then the queen's brother stepped aside, revealing Cersei to scrutiny.
The queen wasvery beautiful, true. But with the right clothes and jewels, Sansa could more than match her. And the younger woman has two invaluable advantages. The queen, having already borne three children, would never again have the fresh glow of youth, But even more importantly, she did not have the loving regard of her husband. The one thing that Sansa, under the worshipful protection of Prince Joffrey, already knew she would possess forever.
In Joffrey, Sansa had soft clay to work with. She could bend the prince to her will with ease, while Cersei would always, in the time she had left, be forced to deal with a husband who hated her.
As the eyes of the two women met in mutual suspicion and dislike, well-disguised by courtly etiquette, Sansa suddely had a clear vision of her future. In the battle of wills between queen and queen-to-be, Sansa would emerge victorious, even more ruthless and manipulative than the rival who stood before her.
In exchange for that power, Sansa could easily endure her future husband's fawning adoration.
It was a very small price to pay for the Iron Throne.