Cersei enters King Robert’s chambers.
Cersei Baratheon: I’m sorry your marriage to Ned Stark didn’t work out. You seemed so good together.
Robert Baratheon: I’m glad I could do something to make you happy.
Cersei Baratheon: Without a Hand, everything will fall to pieces.
Robert Baratheon: I suppose this is where you tell me to give the job to your brother Jaime.
Cersei Baratheon: No. He’s not serious enough. I’ll say this for Ned Stark – he’s serious enough. Was it really worth it? Losing him this way?
Robert Baratheon: I don’t know. But I do know this, if the Targaryen girl convinces her horse-lord husband to invade and the Dothraki horde crosses The Narrow Sea… We won’t be able to stop them.
Cersei Baratheon: The Dothraki don’t sail. Every child knows that. They don’t have discipline. They don’t have armor. They don’t have siege weapons.
Robert Baratheon: It’s a neat little trick you do, you move your lips and your father’s voice comes out.
Cersei Baratheon: Is my father wrong?
Robert Baratheon: Let’s say Viserys Targaryen lands with forty thousand Dothraki screamers at his back. We hole up in our castles, a wise move. Only a fool would meet the Dothraki in an open field. They leave us in our castles. They go from town to town, looting and burning, killing every man who can’t hide behind a stone wall, stealing all our crops and livestock, enslaving all our women and children. How long do the people of the Seven Kingdoms stand behind their absentee King, their cowardly King hiding behind high walls? When do the people decide that Viserys Targaryen is the rightful monarch after all.
Cersei Baratheon: We still outnumber them.
Robert Baratheon: Which is the bigger number — five or one?
Cersei Baratheon: Five.
Robert Baratheon: Five… one. One army, a real army, united behind one leader with one purpose. Our purpose died with the Mad King. Now we’ve got as many armies as there are men with gold in their purse. And everybody wants something different. Your father wants to own the world. Ned Stark wants to run away and bury his head in the snow.
Cersei Baratheon: What do you want?
Robert Baratheon: We haven’t had a real fight in nine years. Back-stabbing doesn’t prepare you for a fight. And that’s all the realm is now, back-stabbing and scheming and arse-licking and money-grubbing. Sometimes I don’t know what holds it together.
Cersei Baratheon: Our marriage.
The two begin laughing.
Robert Baratheon: Ah, so here we sit, seventeen years later, holding it all together. Don’t you get tired?
Cersei Baratheon: Every day.
Robert Baratheon: How long can hate hold a thing together?
Cersei Baratheon: Well, seventeen years is quite a long time.
Robert Baratheon: Yes, it is.
Cersei Baratheon: Yes, it tis. What was she like?
Robert Baratheon: You’ve never asked about her, not once. Why not?
Cersei Baratheon: At first, just saying her name, even in private felt like I was breathing life back into her. I thought if I didn’t talk about her, she’d just fade away for you. When I realized that wasn’t going to happen, I refused to ask out of spite. I didn’t want to give you the satisfaction of thinking I cared enough to ask. And eventually it became clear that my spite didn’t mean anything to you, as far as I could tell, you actually enjoyed it.
Robert Baratheon: So why now?
Cersei Baratheon: What harm could Lyanna Stark’s ghost do to either of us that we haven’t done to each other a hundred times over?
Robert Baratheon: You want to know the horrible truth? I can’t even remember what she looked like. I only know she was the one thing I ever wanted… Someone took her away from me, and Seven Kingdoms couldn’t fill the hole she left behind.
Cersei Baratheon: I felt something for you once, you know?
Robert Baratheon: I know.
Cersei Baratheon: Even after we lost our first boy — for quite a while, actually. Was it ever possible for us? Was there ever a time, ever a… moment?
Robert Baratheon: No. Does that make you feel better or worse?
Cersei Baratheon: It doesn’t make me feel anything.
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