Sweet Sansa, Queen Cersei said, laying a soft hand on her wrist. "Such a beautiful child. I do hope you know how much Joffrey and I love you."
You do? Sansa said, breathless. Littlefinger was forgotten. Her prince loved her. Nothing else mattered.
The queen smiled. "I think of you almost as my own daughter. And I know the love you bear for Joffrey." She gave a weary shake of her head. "I am afraid we have some grave news about your lord father. You must be brave, child."
Her quiet words gave Sansa a chill. "What is it?"
Your father is a traitor, dear, Lord Varys said.
Grand Maester Pycelle lifted his ancient head. "With my own ears, I heard Lord Eddard swear to our beloved King Robert that he would protect the young princes as if they were his own sons. And yet the moment the king was dead, he called the small council together to steal Prince Joffrey's rightful throne."
No, Sansa blurted. "He wouldn't do that. He wouldn't!"
The queen picked up a letter. The paper was torn and stiff with dried blood, but the broken seal was her father's, the direwolf stamped in pale wax. "We found this on the captain of your household guard, Sansa. It is a letter to my late husband's brother Stannis, inviting him to take the crown."
Please, Your Grace, there's been a mistake. Sudden panic made her dizzy and faint. "Please, send for my father, he'll tell you, he would never write such a letter, the king was his friend."