The Red Wedding - Drabble
The Red wedding. robb stark.www.roleplayer.me/1522448
It had come to be called the Red Wedding. Aptly so as it was a complete and utter massacre and the blood ran like rivers from those who had once ruled in the North. Oathbreaking begets oathbreaking, betrayal begets more betrayal and all involved pay the highest of prices. One broken promise can send your entire world crashing at your feet and cause ripples throughout history that may never completely calm.
And what a mistake it had been, thinking that love could overcome anything and that nothing could possibly be as bad as it seemed. Young idealism shrouded in the tough exterior of a Lordly Wolf from the frozen North playing at soldier and winning.
While a wedding was taking place, it was not the one that had originally been agreed upon. It was not the one that had promised them the original crossing that they needed and the men needed to continue their war and their progress to the South. His uncle, Edmure Tully was to marry Roslin Frey, but it was Robb who was to have married a Frey daughter of his choosing when the fighting was over and he had gone back on that vow. Love had trumped honor and that allowance had cost the Young Wolf and everyone who followed him dearly.
“My honored guests, be welcome within my walls and at my table. I extend to you my hospitality and protection in the light of the Seven.”
Wary upon entrance, Robb had been lulled into a false sense of security by the extension of guest right to him and his entourage with the sharing of salt and bread from the same bowl as their host. Despicable and perhaps lower than low, none had thought Walder Frey would ever break such a pact held sacred in every religion, no matter what gods were followed. They had been wrong. So very wrong.
Upon making his apologies to both the Lord of the House and the girls he had slighted, Robb stood as his wife was beckoned forward for a better look. Had his mother not been there to stop him, their attempts would have been shattered then and there as Walder Frey scoffed away Robb’s claims that he had betrayed his oath for love. “Your king says he betrayed me for love. I say he betrayed me for firm tits and a tight fit. And I can respect that.”
Further welcome was extended with the offers of wine and music for those inside the gates and ale and meat for those men outside as Lord Walder suggested everything would be put behind them, prompting a “Thank you, My Lord.” Through gritted teeth with narrowed eyes from the King in the North who needed to make these amends in order to have the men to continue this war and take it to Casterly Rock.
As Lord Walder walked his daughter down the aisle to her future husband, a glance was spared for the one who should have been waiting for this daughter’s hand, but it was short and displeased and then gone as the ceremony played out. Both parties seemed almost surprised and hopeful that just maybe this wouldn’t have to be the great sacrifice it had been. Edmure was surely surprised that his new bride was more comely than her relatives and apparently shy and sweet to boot. Maybe this could work out for both of them.
With the wedding completed, the celebrations began. As promised the wine flowed red and the music was indeed loud. It went largely unnoticed or unconcerned that not everyone partook in said wine and merriment, claiming that it muddled the brain, which others claimed was exactly the point. There was laughter and enjoyment, a true celebration. And when his permission was asked to send the happy couple away for the bedding ceremony, Robb stood to laughingly give just that. It was tradition, it was required and it was happening now.
Returning to Talisa’s side, a smile still on his face, he was amused by her thinking on the whole thing. “That is a very strange custom.” She told him softly, leaning in close, seeming to expect agreement. What she got was an amused smirk and an explanation that it was tradition and without such a thing, there was no proof that the couple had consummated the marriage.
Talisa’s smile drew him in as her hand covered his, bringing it to her stomach. “There are other ways of providing proof.” He couldn’t help an answering smile. That was his child in there. Their child. How could he not be pleased about such a thing? How could his heart not be bursting with love for the woman who had brought him such happiness?
“Girl or boy?” His eyes lifted to meet hers, nearly losing himself in their depths. “I don’t know.” Her eyes dropped only for a moment before she continued, meeting his once more. “But, if it’s a boy, I know what we should name it.”
“Oh, do you? It seems to me that a father should have some say in his son’s naming.”
His smile faded slightly, but not out of upset. He hadn’t thought it possible to love her more, but he was learning that the impossible was not always that. She kept surprising him in all the best ways. Knowing him better than most and showing just how much she cared in subtle but meaningful ways.
“Don’t you want to teach little Ned Stark how to ride horses?”
“I do.” Her gentle smile of understanding was his undoing. Everything faded but the two of them as he leaned in and their lips met. There were no Freys, no wedding, no broken vows, no war…there was only Robb and Talisa and for that moment, the world stood still for them.
It went unnoticed by the pair that the hall’s main doors were closed and the men who had been strategically placed around the room were signaled as the Rains of Castamere began to play. Unbeknownst to those guests both inside and out, the song was also a signal outside the keep’s walls where the Stark army held their own celebrations.
The music stopped as Lord Walder Frey held up a hand and addressed his King as Robb stepped forward once more. “Your Grace, I feel I’ve been remiss in my duties. I’ve given you meat and wine and music, but I haven’t shown you the hospitality you deserve. My King has married and I owe my new Queen a wedding gift.”
As Robb listened to the Lord before him, the sound of a flesh meeting flesh rang out and his mother suddenly called his name. Turning at the panic laced word, his world stopped once more as Lothar Frey approached Talisa from behind, knife in hand. Robb’s vision narrowed to that blade as it was repeatedly thrust into his wife’s abdomen, her pained and shocked cries ringing in his ears as his own shock held him immobile for only a moment.
The musicians, now revealed to be assassins rained arrows down upon the Northerners in the hall. Robb barely felt the arrows pierce his skin as he watched his wife and child die before his eyes. Dropping to his hands and knees, he crawled over to her, shifting to cradle her in his arms, beyond coherent thought or comprehension. He couldn’t hear his mother pleading for his life, offering herself in his place, begging him to get up and walk out.
Outside the Young Wolf’s direwolf paced his prison, whining and growling. Something was wrong. He could taste it, he could FEEL it. Yet, he was trapped. This prison had kept him outside and away from Robb and now something bad was coming and there was nothing he could do to stop it. When the killing began he became frantic as the scents of blood and pain wafted on the wind and when the arrows turned to him, there was no way to escape.
When he finally found the strength to rise, all that Robb could manage was a weak and dazed call. “Mother!” Her devastated and terrified eyes were blocked from his view, only to be replaced by the face of Roose Bolton. “The Lannisters send their regards.”
The knife entering his body was followed by a searing pain and then darkness. If this was death…Robb Stark welcomed it with open arms.
It was not to be, however. Wolves fought valiantly and this wolf would not give in. Pain filled eyes struggled to open and what they saw was enough to send the conscious mind screaming for cover. So many dead and dying, so much red…it was inconceivable and so his mind shut down. Survival instinct took over and he found the strength to get to his feet once more, stumbling toward the doors in the chaos that surrounded him, escape the only half-formed thought.
There was madness in the halls as the slaughter continued past the hall and into the night. Stumbling into a man that his mind would recognize as an eerily similar doppleganger of some sort - if it had been capable of actual thought - his knife was in his hand and thrust out in front of him without a word. The man looked enough like him to BE him. Perhaps could even be thought to be under these circumstances. As he watched the light fade from his double’s eyes, he struggled out of his ripped and bloodied cloak and draped it around the dead man’s shoulders before continuing on his way.
Eyes downcast, concentration on the first step and then the next and the next…he stumbled out into the darkness, praying for some kind of reprieve from the screams of pain and suffering that rode the wind, from the gaping hole that the night’s losses would leave, until he could pray no more.
Collapsing for what he thought – perhaps even hoped in that moment – might be the last time, he was spared the visual of the desecration of his Greywind as the wolf’s head replaced the human’s on the body thought to be his and was paraded around on horseback to the amusement of the backstabbing victors. As everything started to fade to black, he heard the last mocking, laughing, cheering words from those who had so betrayed him and destroyed his entire world.
“The King in the North! Here comes the King in the North!”"Perhaps I made a terrible mistake..."