Myrcella tries not to speak. She tries to be quiet and courteous; the way Joffrey likes Sansa to be. She didn’t mean to yell at one of the Stark bannermen, but when he reached his hand to her breast the words just come out. She instantly regrets it when the lively hall goes quiet. Fear clear on her face, she turns to face her new husband, surrounded by a circle of his bannermen, congratulating him on his marriage. Robb looks angry and it terrifies the golden haired new Queen of the North.
Robb steps out into the clearing that springs up between them. He walks towards her slowly and Myrcella unconsciously steps back. She sees her Uncle Jaime tighten his hand around the hilt of his sword but she puts her hand out just enough so he notices it and nods his surrender, but not enough that the Stark Bannermen notice. She knows she has shamed her husband and she can’t risk her uncle starting a war by killing the Northern King. She has to take her punishment. She knows he won’t kill her yet, not until she’s birthed him enough sons to be sure he will have heirs.
She’s surprised when he walks passed her, instead going to his bannerman behind her. She fears the worst. She remembers the time Sansa yelled for a guard to leave her daughter alone and Joffrey allowed the guard to beat his helpless wife. Myrcella thinks maybe she can handle Robb, but the bannerman is much larger, a size closer to the Hound that protects Sansa. She fears she’ll die should he strike her.
“What happened?” Robb asks the bannermen, his voice even but dripping with anger.
“I was just…” the bannerman stutters even though he is over a head taller then his King.
“How dare you touch your Queen,” Robb says in a powerfully low voice.
Myrcella is stunned that Robb is not angry with her but at his bannerman. He is angry at the man that accompanied him to come get her from King’s Landing. He’s angry at the man he’s known his whole life, for touching the wife he’s known for two fortnights. Robb steps away from his bannerman and looks about the large room.
“The North was under the rule of others for far too long. When Joffrey took my father’s head, I wanted to raise my bannermen and go to war but I did not. Instead I traveled to King’s Landing and bartered an agreement. Cersei Lannister gave me the North and to ensure our families would stay in peace I made an alliance the gods will punish me for. I traded a sister for a sister. Your princess is now Queen of the South and their princess is Queen in the North. Myrcella Stark is my wife and my Queen and she is your mother and protector. I care not what despicable things her brother has done, she is still your Queen and you will treat her as you would Princess Sansa. Any that dare harm Myrcella will lose their head, starting with you,” Robb declared, glaring at the bannerman that had touched her.
Myrcella stood frozen, still dressed in the Lannister gown her mother had fashioned after the one she herself had worn when Sansa had her first blood. It was red and gold and gleamed beautifully in the candle light. It was a target, made to show the North that even though they had received a royal princess to be their Queen, she was still a Lannister. She had to show them, show them that she would be a good queen and love them the way her mother had never loved the people of the South.
“My love,” Myrcella speaks, trying not to bite the inside of her cheek from the nervousness.
Robb’s eyes soften when they land on her and Myrcella fights the feeling of safety that washes over her. Joffrey lured Sansa in as well, tricked her into believing he would protect and defend her. “My Queen?”
“Your people still do not trust me. I understand their reservation; my brother is less then kind. Grant your bannerman clemency, I assume nothing of this sort will ever happen again?” She turns her eyes to the bannerman and he nods quickly.
“No Your Grace, never.”
“He must be punished I know, but send him away. Do not kill him,” she says with more strength in her voice then she feels.
She watches her new husband carefully as he step backs and seems to think it over. Finally he nods and without looking at her he looks to his bannerman and says:
“Lord Desmind Karstark, as King in the North, I strip you of your title and property and relieve you of your service to me. You may return to your home should your family take you and you are forbidden to inherit any Lordship or marry into another family of Lordship. Should you marry you will send your sons to me to serve as soldiers of Winterfell and you will send your daughters to serve as servants, though should you be seen at Winterfell you will be imprisoned and promptly hanged. Fall to your knees and thank your Queen for her mercy then leave my home,” Robb commanded.
Robin Karstark nodded as he fell to his knees and bent his head forward to her. “My deepest apologizes, Your Grace. Thank you for your kindness and mercy in speaking for me when I do not deserve it. Before I leave, I hope to convey that I shall not forget this and should you ever need my service for anything I will be at your call ready to defend and die for you. I ask you now, Your Grace, permission to leave and return to my home.”
Myrcella swallowed, “Your words have been noted, you may go.”
“Thank you, Your Grace, and long live the Queen.”
Myrcella fights the smile that threatens to cross her face. The minute the bannerman is gone, she hears Princess Arya echo the disgraced Lord’s statement. Another and another continue the chant, repeating it over and over.
“Long live the Queen!”
“Long live the Queen!”
“Long live the Queen!”
She smiles as she looks out at her subjects. They do not trust her, but she made the right first step. They will love her, she’s determined to make it so, and even though she will try to steel her heart against her husband, she has a feeling by the loving glint in his eye when he gazes at her, that it won’t last for long.