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Fan Fic / Joffrey from Game of Thrones Is Replaced with Octavian from Rome

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Man, that's a mouthful! note 

Exactly what is says on the tin.

The whole premise of this story is, what would happen if you took the psychopathic hellspawn that is Joffrey Baratheon and replace him with the high-functioning sociopath and wickedly clever Octavian from Rome? Well, author Hotpoint decided to find out, and so created Joffrey from Game of Thrones Replaced with Octavian from Rome And the answer is: you get the fan dubbed "Joctavian" with all the sheer manipulative brilliance one can imagine. Can also be read here


Joffrey from Game of Thrones Is Replaced with Octavian from Rome provides examples of:

  • Believing Their Own Lies:
    • Subverted. Octavian fully believes that Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen are products of incest as Stannis claims, but he manages to put up an excellent façade that causes Stannis to believe that "Joffrey" really thinks of himself as Robert's son.
    • Played straight with Ned who convinces himself that Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen are Robert's children, as a result of a more peaceful trip to King's Landings, genuinely liking the royal children, and reminding himself that the majority of his own children favor Cat in appearance.
  • Break Them by Talking:
    • How Octavian gets Ned to agree that getting rid of Daenerys would be the best course of action. Knowing that Ned's Honor Before Reason mentality would cause him to disapprove despite copious amounts of evidence, he appeals to Ned's equally strong Papa Wolf mentality by pointing out that his children would be put in harm's way if the Dothraki invaded Westeros. It works.
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    • And then there was his verbal flaying of Stannis's claim that he and his siblings were born of incest. It was honestly amazing Stannis still had all his teeth after grinding them so much.
  • Beneath the Mask: Varys is convinced that, underneath all the charm and charisma, Octavian is essentially the Mad King with the intellect of Tywin Lannister. While he's wrong on that part, he's closer to the truth than anyone else.
  • The Chessmaster: Octavian right off the bat shows that he is more than capable of duking it out with the big boys. Even Tywin is impressed by his "grandson's" capabilities.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: After Robert's death, Octavian decides to have Cersei sent to the Westerlands both to keep her safe from potential assassins and especially to keep her out of his hair. After screaming, crying, guilt-trips, and insults don't work, Cersei declares he's too young to understand anything. He has this to say about that:
    “No mother, the truth is that you’re not as smart as you think you are and you also lack the self-awareness to realise how badly your emotions cloud your judgement. The two flaws in one person would be a recipe for utter disaster even if you hadn’t somehow come to erroneously believe you were a master of manipulation.”
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  • Cassandra Truth: Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen being products of incest comes off this way.
  • Cold Opening: Each chapter begins with a quote that has nothing to do with the chapter itself and takes place years after the events of the story. A good number of Octavian's quotes (in which he uses the title Joffrey Augustus) revolve around the year 356 AC, leading some readers to think that this is the year that he died.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: A Cold Opening, taken straight from Life of Brian, reveals that an Essosi was caught vandalizing a wall, with improper grammar to boot. He was given a rather colorful punishment in the form of a standard flogging and then a maester was summoned to educate him on the proper usage of the Westerosi language.
  • Cool Uncle: Tyrion, to Octavian.
  • Crazy-Prepared: After a brush with death, Robert immediately writes down his will so there will be no confusion and power struggle after he dies. Not only does he makes Ned, whose incorruptible, reasonable and honorable, the Lord Regent and de facto ruler of Westeros before Octavian is old enough to rule, but he also has Ser Barristan Selmy of the Kingsguard made the witness of the writing of the will so no one can accuse the will as fake since Selmy is very honorable, trusted and well respected in Westeros, and to call him a liar will cause serious repercussions to the accuser. Furthermore, multiple copies of the will are made making any attempts to discredit or destroy it impossible.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Tyrion and Octavian. Probably one of the reasons why they get along so well.
    • A few Cold Opening phrases are borrowed from a book entitled The Wit and Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister. Think about that for a moment.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: A Cold Opening states that Octavian/Joffrey Augustus was remarkably merciful to any cities that surrendered without a fight during his conquest of Essos. This goes against the typical Roman military policy of near-constant Rape, Pillage, and Burn, but though it's not uncommon in Westeros, it's still relatively frowned upon (except by the Ironborn, but nobody likes them), so Octavian, ever the pragmatist, apparently decided to limit the bloodshed.
  • Didn't Think This Through: So, Stannis, you've just declared that the queen has cuckolded Robert and Octavian and his siblings are spawns of incest by her brother; those are some very big claims, so you must have some serious evidence to back them up, right? Oh, you only have a single argument that's little more than hearsay and your proof is basically nonexistent? Yeah, this won't end well, but that's what you get for listening to the word of a religious zealot over your own good judgement.
  • Doomed by Canon: While Robert manages to avoid being fatally gored by a wild boar thanks to Octavian, he still gets axed off by being poisoned.
  • The Empire: At some point in the future, Westeros becomes this as the cold openings show Octavian declaring himself The Emperor and starting a campaign of conquest across Essos.
  • Enemy Mine: Despite not liking Tywin for his role in the Sack of King's Landing and the death of Ellia Martell and her children, Ned is willing to put aside his animosity to work with Tywin in helping Octavian rule the Seven Kingdoms since he's still Octavian's grandfather and a competent administrator.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Varys and Oberyn Martell have concluded that "Joffrey" is still a sadistic little monster, but has mastered the art of hiding it, which, to them, makes him even worse. Word of God confirms that, if Varys knew the truth, he would not oppose Octavian.
  • Equal-Opportunity Morally Ambiguous: Octavian decides to hire the Ironborn as mercenaries when he realizes how fast their ships are, and a Cold Opening reveals that Yara Greyjoy eventually became Master of Ships.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Octavian is a high-functioning (and slightly sadistic) sociopath with no real empathy towards anyone, but he is not impressed by the real Joffrey's behavior.
    • Octavian is also annoyed when Stannis asks if he'll hold his daughter hostage for leverage against him. Octavian states quite bluntly that he has no such intention.
  • Evil Uncle:
    • Zig-zagged with Stannis. He doesn't particularly want the throne, but feels it belongs to him since his brother's supposed heir is not actually his son. When Octavian manages to beat him with words, he begrudgingly accepts defeat, takes the black, and is sent to the Wall. His family is given protection, though, with Eddard Stark taking custody of Shireen because Stannis trusts him to keep her safe.
    • Possibly played straight with Renly, who is still collaborating with the Tyrells. At this point, however, he seems content just to watch how things play out.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The Cold Openings shamelessly reveal that Octavian is going to reorganize the kingdom's government, bring a number of architectural projects, create a state army, defeat the White Walkers, conquer/annex Essos (or at least most of it), suppress any and all attempts at Targaryen restoration, and be remembered as one of the greatest rulers in the history of Westeros.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Through some unknown method, Octavian has been body-swapped with Joffrey. Octavian suspects it's the work of gods, thinking that since he'd previously been skeptical about the existence of higher powers, they decided to show him they do exist.
  • The Good King: The one time we see Robert being a good leader where he orders a nobleman to pay back the debts he owns to a merchant and threatens to seize his lands or property to settle the debt if refuses to do so. Tragically, Robert later dies after drinking poisoned wine.
    • Surprisingly, Octavian as well. He legitimately believes a rulers duty is to improve the lives of those they rule. So he’s not a good king from kindness, but rather because it’s his literal ‘’job’’ to be so.
  • Happily Arranged Marriage: Octavian and Sansa's betrothal seems to be off to a good start. Of course, considering what Joffrey was like in canon, that bar is set really low.
  • Honest Advisor: Octavian likes people who tell it like it is—he has no time for sycophants. He gets three in the forms of Ned Stark, Tyrion, and Tywin.
  • Humiliation Conga: Poor Stannis. First, he attempts to claim the Iron Throne for himself at the urging of Melisandre, even though he knew that he wasn't ready yet, which leads to Octavian thoroughly trouncing him at the Great Council. Then to add insult to injury, when Melisandre looks into Octavian's eyes, she comes to the conclusion that he is the chosen one, not Stannis, and quickly abandons him for Octavian. This has the added blow of Stannis's wife also urging him to accept Octavian as king. The guy just can't catch a break.
  • The Ingenue: Sansa. Octavian actually likes her as one of these, since "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion". Being gentle and virtuous, Sansa is the perfect spouse for a ruler.
  • Medieval Morons: Zig-zagged. While Octavian thinks that the Westerosi are inferior to the Romans in several areas (such as roads, plumbing, aqueducts, a standing army, and government), he admits that they do have a few things that are superior—such as the stirrup, better wine, stronger armor, the crossbow, and the telescope.
  • Metaphorically True: Octavian admits to Tyrion he's no longer a virgin as he previously had sex with a girl. What he doesn't mention is that he actually lost his virginity when he was still in his original body and not Joffrey's.
  • My Beloved Smother: Subverted, though not for lack of trying on Cersei's part. Unfortunately for her (but fortunately for everyone else), Octavian is having none of that shit, and he sends her away the first chance he gets.
  • Non-Action Guy: Octavian freely admits that, like in canon, he's not much of a fighter. His true strength is getting other people to do it for him.
  • Odd Friendship: Yara Greyjoy, a female Pirate, forms an unlikely friendship with Shireen Baratheon, a smart girl with Greyscale. Ironically, Shireen's father Stannis was responsible for destroying Yara's father Balon's Ironfleet when the Greyjoys rebelled.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Zig-zagged. On one hand, Octavian does treat Sansa rather well, is very affable towards Tyrion, and refers to Sandor by name rather than calling him "Hound" or "dog". However, it's all based on pragmatism rather than any genuine kindness on his part.In his defense, he does get genuinely angry when Cersei calls Sansa a "Northern whore", and he does appreciate Tyrion's intellect.
    • He treats Arya quite decently and holds no grudge against her after she kicked him in the shin for hitting her hand to disarm her during a friendly sword duel.
  • Pragmatic Anti-Hero: Every decision Octavian makes is motivated by pragmatism, namely doing what will both (a) benefit him and (b) maintain a good public image. He's still infinitely better than Joffrey ever was.
    • For example, Octavian would have been well within his rights to have Stannis executed for treason (something Tywin would likely have done), but instead offered him a compromise that suited both parties well enough, making him appear as a merciful peacemaker.
  • Puppet King: Nope!
  • Reality Ensues:
    • "The seed is strong" argument is thoroughly deconstructed. As "Joffrey" points out (and as Ned, who likes "Joffrey" this time, notes while leafing through the royal records), that phrase can just as easily apply to the Lannisters as it does to the Baratheons, himself more so because "his" maternal grandparents were cousins. He even uses the fact that four of Ned's children inherited their mother's hair and eye color to strengthen his case, since no one can doubt Catelyn's marital fidelity. His unplayed trump card? Rhaenys Targaryen, the Queen Who Never Was, who had a Baratheon mother but did not have black hair, demonstrating that the seed could be overpowered (apparently someone else noticed this problem, as Rhaenys's hair color has since been canonically retconned).
    • Likewise, Stannis quickly learns that if people don't like you, then they won't support you; it's not enough to simply say "I'm the rightful king" if everyone considers you to be a dour and hidebound lord whose too obsessed with the law. And if you actively refuse to cultivate any relationships, then you can expect those people to bid you a fond "See you later, don't let the door hit you on the way out."
  • Regent for Life: Very much averted with Ned Stark; he hates being the Lord Regent and is practically counting the days before he can shove the responsibility of ruling the kingdoms into Octavian's hands.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Varys believes Joffrey is acting charming and nice to hide his sadism when in truth Joffrey change of behavior was the result of Octavian taking over his body and is acting charming and nice to win over the nobility into accepting him as their King.
  • So Proud of You:
    • Robert expresses this sentiment to Ned after Octavian saves him from being gored by the boar he was hunting by shooting it in the head with his crossbow. In his eyes, "Joffrey" has gone from a spoiled, indolent little brat to a fine young man able to keep his cool when things go bad.
    • Tywin also feels this way towards Octavian after he explains to Tywin the reasoning behind his handling of Stannis.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Octavian to canon to the point that when Eddard Stark discovers possible evidence of incest between Cersei and Jaime, he convinces himself that Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen are Robert's children. Old Littlefinger is particularly incensed that Octavian is the exact opposite of the moronic little snot Joffrey was.
    • How the other houses view House Martell during the Great Council.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Played with. From the perspective of other people, "Joffrey" isn't the little beast that he was rumored to be and is actually a rather decent boy. None of them suspect that his consciousness has actually been replaced by Octavian's.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Once Octavian has secured the Great Council's approval to rule as king, he presents an offer to Stannis: if he swears fealty to him at the coronation, Octavian would allow Stannis to return home with all his titles intact and possibly even be allowed to keep his position as Master of Ships. Basically, Octavian is telling him that everything can go back to normal and nobody has to suffer. Even Ned Stark says that it's an incredibly good deal, especially considering Stannis had just tried to wrest the Iron Throne away from Octavian by declaring him a bastard born of incest. How does Stannis react to this offer? He says he'd rather be executed than acknowledge Octavian as king. Ungrateful indeed.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Cersei throws a temper tantrum when, in the wake of Robert's death, Octavian has her packed off to Casterly Rock, partly to keep her safe because she's the prime suspect (she is guilty of a prior attempt, though likely not this one, just FYI), but mostly just to get her out of his hair and prevent her from making things worse.

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