King Joffrey? Your Grace? Hello?
There is still a horde of Northmen at the gates of Kings Landing.
With what? What could possibly be more pressing than the imminent fall of the Iron Throne to Northmen!?
Um… Okay, look, if this is how your depression is manifesting itself, have at it. Healthy expression and all that. Glad to see you have a new hobby beyond blinding, beheading and castrating. But, and this is a really big but, our armies have lost, our soldiers driven away, dispersing into the countryside. We are exposed here, Your Grace.
Also, playing with dresses? What will Margery think?
How cosmopolitan of her… The Northmen, by the way, have moved away from Kings Landing to give chase to our weakened armies. They press their advantage to the full, paradoxically giving us time to regroup and prepare for their return, just as soon as you take time out of your busy fabric-sampling schedule to rule the throne.
Okay, now I’m really worried! You don’t even want the throne any more, do you?
Fine. Fuck this shit. Your people are suffering while you diddle about. I’ll do it! With the last of the money in our coffers, I hire a band of mercenaries, who assemble at Kings Landing. With proper leadership, the remaining men of the standing army join them, ready to mount a proper defence of the city and the Red Keep.
With the army ready to march once again, little time can be wasted. The coffers, already nearly devoid of funds, are now totally empty; not a single gold coin remains. The mercs will soon demand payment, then revolt, if this war is not drawn to a close immediately. I order the march, and –
Even attempted assassination cannot rile King Joffrey from his apathetic stupor. Life continues on as normal, I suppose. Security must be raised inside the Keep. Meanwhile, word reaches my ears of a rebellion-within-a-rebellion; the Iron Isles have broken free of the North and have launched a raid on Winterfell.
They have very nearly reached the walls of that ancient home of the Starks. Undefended walls! This has split the beleaguered remnants of the Northern army already reeling from Tywin Lannister’s victories and my newly mustered mercenaries. A swift strike at the remaining troops in the south should shatter the northern rebellion and bring Robb Stark grovelling at my – er, King Joffrey’s – feet. Then only Stannis remains.
The mercenary Captain Ulther descends upon the army of Lord Morcar of the North, and battle is met at Hayford.
Victory is assured! Sadly, moving our troops north of Kings Landing leaves the way open for Stannis. Then, in the dawn of the new year, Joffrey celebrates his 16th birthday. Normally this would be cause for a huge celebration, with feasts and parties. Instead, Joffrey takes up sewing lessons and gives a terse announcement.
Yes, Your Grace.
It is indeed, Your Grace. Whom shall become Grand Maester in his stead?
You… may want to keep that quiet, Your Grace. Also, he remains a captive of Robb Stark. I’m not sure what you want him to do. So I sense a bit of the old Joffrey returning? Yes? No? Anything at all to say?
Well, it was worth a hope.
In other news, with our northern borders slightly more secure, the army of Captain Ulter moves southward, into the lands held by Stannis Baratheon, marching on Storms End, where he holds his court.
Next Time: Winning the War! (?)
This will not in any way cause conflict.