(Scenario: King Robert wonders ‘is this why I won the throne,’ when he learns that rebellion has broken out in his realm.)
King Robert laughed at the jugglers. Some of the arse-lickers and schemers that made up his court laughed with him, half-heartedly, in between stuffing their faces. Robert noted that his wife, Queen Cersei, chuckled for a change. “Haha, he’s good isn’t he?” he said, and tapped her on the back.
Cersei’s angular face turned sever in an instant. “Get your hand off me!” she hissed. “Don’t touch me.”
Robert removed his hand by instinct, as if he had touched a forge. “All right,” he said. “I won’t.”
In a moment of merriment, he had forgotten what Cersei was like. She could change faster than he could blink. Robert had always wondered how she did it. He was tempted to ask. But his instinct warned him against it.
A Miserable Court
The juggler finished juggling and bowed for his king. Lord Petyr Baelish, smirking as ever, stood up with a goblet in his hand. “That was a fine performance,” he said. “Let us toast to him and to our good King Robert.”
“Aye,” Lord Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, said.
Robert raised his goblet. “To the King!” He laughed, prior to slurping his goblet empty. He then slumped back in his chair.
The servants then came out, bringing out platters of… his vision blurred. Robert could not make out what they were bringing. Gods, I have drunk too much.
A servant dumped a haunch of ham on his plate. Robert laughed again, until he noted Queen Cersei gazing at the size of the portion on his plate with disgust. It was the same look she gave him at night when they should have been enjoying one another, as husband and wife; as King and Queen.
On the other side, Lord Jon Arryn had already tucked into his food and did not notice what was on his king’s plate. The same was true for Lord Jon’s wife, Lysa; only, she had her usual glum expression, as did Lady Selyse Baratheon next to her. And then there was Stannis, her husband. He had the same stern, joyless expression on his face; the one Robert had seen ever since he had been born. For all his prowess as a commander, Robert wondered if the courage to a smile was too much for him.
Stannis’ eyes squinted as if he had seen something that repulsed him. Then again, Stannis made that sour face at seemingly everything. Robert had no desire to find out what bothered his brother. He had drunk too much for that.
Is This Why I Won The Throne?
“More wine, Your Grace?”
The voice was unclear, like his vision. With effort, Robert focused and worked out from the lad’s sand-coloured hair that it was Lancel Lannister, the Queen’s stupid cousin and his squire.
Robert nodded to the question. Wine was the only way he would get through the evening meal with this miserable lot for company. The sooner supper was over, the better. Then, he could get back to whoring. At least the whores smiled, laughed and knew how to enjoy themselves with him.
Is this why I won the Iron Throne? To spend my time whoring while drunk? How had it come to the point where the only time he enjoyed himself these days was when he was drunk and with whores? What had happened to that victorious stag who had been a war hero?
“Your… Grace?” Lancel said, again. “More wine-”
“Didn’t you see me nod!” Robert retorted. “Fill the cup!”
Ever Since I Plonked My Arse On That Damned Throne, Life Has Been For The Worse
The squire refilled the goblet and Robert drank half of it in two gulps. The wine did not lack in strength, but it had a sour tinge that it hadn’t before. Robert did not like it; not that he liked much these days. It seemed that most of what he had once enjoyed no longer appealed to him as much.
Ever since I plonked my arse on that damned throne, life has been for the worse. Every lickspittle and backstabber called winning the Iron Throne his greatest triumph. They were wrong. In so many ways, every moment he was King emphasised that it was his greatest failure.
Robert’s world swirled and his throat tightened. He looked at Cersei and wished, from the bottom of his heart that it was Lyanna Stark sitting next to him. His longing to see her again intensified. A terrible yearning coursed through the marrow of his bones. He wished she were still alive, married to him. If only Robert could have turned back time. He would have done everything in his power to avoid the fate that she had befallen. He wished he could have traded the throne to have her.
But he couldn’t. What he wanted he could not have.
Robert’s blood heated and he pressed his teeth against each other. Every night, he dreamt that he was on the Trident once more, smashing his war-hammer into Rhaegar’s chest. More than anything, Robert wanted to be there again; wanted to smash Rhaegar again and again until that piece of scum was an unrecognisable mush from the-
“Your Grace,” Varys said. Robert looked up. That cockless Master of Whispers had appeared out of nowhere to be next to him. “I have received some disturbing news. Lord Balon Greyjoy has declared himself King of the Iron Islands and has burned the fleet at Lannisport in a surprise attack.”
“WHAT!?” Robert boomed. His word echoed around the chamber, silencing the small talk as if the ceiling had fallen down. “The cracken thinks he can defy the stag? I’ll show him. I’ll show him.”
“What do you command, Your Grace?” Lord Arryn asked.
Robert stood up. He was a tall, strong man and everyone looked up to him as if he had suddenly grown in stature. “Grand Maester Pycelle,” he said, turning to the old coot. “Write to every warden in the kingdoms. Tell them that their king demands that they strike their banners and ride for the nearest port to the Iron Islands immediately.”
“At once, Your Grace,” he said.
Robert turned to his brother. “Stannis, get the fleet ready and sail for Old Wyk.”
Stannis bowed stiffly, as if he had been insulted. “Yes, Your Grace,” he said, with the same stiffness in his voice as with his bow. “As you command.”
“And what will you do, Your Grace?” Lord Arryn asked.
“I will ride for Seaguard and from there I will sail for Pyke. If Lord Balon Greyjoy wants a war, I’ll give it to him. I’ll crush him as I crushed Rhaegar.”
Robert nodded twice, to himself. The realm hadn’t had a war in seven years. Robert had enjoyed the last one. There was nothing quite like killing things and winning the glory. King Robert looked forward to winning this one. Gods, he had missed war and victory.
PS: For more Game of Thrones fanfiction short stories, including from a young Tywin Lannister‘s POV, please fill in the form below.