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Fan Fic / The Lion Of The North

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The Lion of the North is an A Song of Ice and Fire fanfic that diverges from the books in one tiny event: Jaime Lannister manages to save Princess Rhaenys and Prince Aegon from being killed, but when he falls asleep his father Tywin Lannister has them murdered. This causes a rift between Jaime and Tywin after Jaime decides he will not follow his father's footsteps, and there is also a fight between Robert and Ned after the former heartily approves of the murders.

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Disheartened by the changes in his friend, Ned begins his travel back to the North, and he invites Jaime to join them, an offer he eventually accepts. Then, one of the Northmen gifts Jaime with a mountain lion's pelt, giving him the nickname The Lion of the North.

The first story deals with the time between the end of Robert's Rebellion and the Greyjoy Rebellion, and there is also a second part, The Crimson Wings of Summer, that tells of the events after that, and a third part, The Blue Weirwood.


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This fanfic has examples of:

  • Accidental Public Confession: Eddard accidentally reveals to Catelyn that Jon is not his son, but Lyanna's with Rhaegar. Inverted in that this confession actually helps to heal the main quibble between the two of them.
  • Affectionate Nickname: The Northern Mountain Clans take to calling Jaime "the Jim".
  • Badass Army: The Bluecloaks, the guards of the North, especially the Wintersworn, their knights. Though they're not technically an army, everyone notes that, if the North went to war, they'd definitely act as soldiers.
  • Badass Creed: The Oath the Wintersworn swear when being knighted.
  • Battle Couple: Jaime and Maege, Benjen and Obara
  • Big Fancy Castle: Lionsfort, Jaime's seat in the North. Much is made of its copper roofs.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Joffrey is ever personable and amiable when Benjen visits King's Landing, and seems a perfectly reasonable fellow. At this point, he's an absolute R'hllor fundamentalist who's fooled everyone who doesn't know better into thinking he's with the Faith, has butchered a cat as a religious offering, and attempted to assassinate Lyan in a religiously motivated arson attempt. He also may have had Jon Arryn and Robert Baratheon murdered, in turn framing Benjen for nefarious purposes.
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  • Born During a Storm: Tommen is specifically born during a bad storm, which makes his birth doubly notable — as he has the Baratheon coloring.
  • But Liquor Is Quicker/In Vino Veritas: Jaime has sex with Maege for the first time while he is on a bender.
  • Butt-Monkey: Benjen Stark. Feels guilty about not stopping his beloved sister, is denied his choice to join the Night's watch, has his son taken hostage to placate the king, finally manages to see his son when he's an adult, only to be framed and arrested for the murder of the king and his Hand.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Jaime to Tywin after learning the latter had the royal family murdered.
  • Cool Old Lady: Aunt Genna Frey, who gladly sends experienced miners to Lionsfort so that Jaime can open the mines there.
  • Dead Guy Junior: One of Jaime and Maege's twin daughters is named Joanna, after Jaime's mother. Fittingly, she has Jaime's blond hair and green eyes, and is far more interested in Southern culture than her sister Rowyn
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Jaime decided to renounce to his father's beliefs and go to the North to find a new life for himself. Tywin decides to cause a rift between King Robert and the North.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: three of Robert's bastard children (the only one we know of is Gendry) have been killed by Melisandre to get Cersei pregnant.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Jaime tries this a couple of times, the worst after he learns that Cersei is pregnant.
  • Enfant Terrible: Joffrey, who, if possible, is even worse than the canon one thanks to Melisandre's influence: the cat affair turns from gutting it to check on the babies to a sacrifice to the Lord of Light, and he seems to enjoy fires a bit too much.
  • Fatal Flaw: On top of his lack of interest in anything other than fighting, Robert's absolute refusal to forgive Rhaegar, and the Targaryens by association, for taking Lyanna from him alienates him from Ned, and puts him under the sway of Tywin Lannister, who uses his influence to encourage his worst traits, as well as pit the North against the Throne.
  • For Want of a Nail: Everything happens because Jaime, instead of staying on the Iron Throne after killing Aerys, rushes to get Aegon and Rhaenys to safety.
    • While still considered a Kingslayer, much of Jaime's bad publicity, especially in Ned's eyes, is mitigated by his effort to keep the Targaryen children safe, and his subsequent leaving of his family after Tywin nullified that attempt. Consequently, Ned and Jaime become good friends, Jaime joins him in the North to start fresh, and sticks to his efforts to be an honourable man, instead of descending into the amoral jerkass he started out as in canon. It's also implied that Jaime's true reason for killing Aerys is publicly known, seeing as Ned used it in a lesson about oaths that he was teaching to Robb and Jon.
    • The rift between Ned and Robert leads Ned to stop Benjen from joining the Night's Watch so as to ensure there are more Starks.
    • Jaime's presence in the North, and his opening of mines, lead to many more Northern lords opening their own mines, which provide greater riches to the land, which becomes well used thanks to Eddard's new mindset. Ned's growing worry about further wars in the South drive him to form both a private army, known as the Bluecloaks, and a new navy loyal to the North.
    • Robert's growing ruthlessness drives him to wipe out the Greyjoys and make an example of them. Balon's dead, Victarion's on the Wall now, and Aeron was served as a severed head at the victory feast, with Theon and Asha missing. In Book 2, Asha and Theon have conquered the Stepstones, Theon's completely embraced the Ironborn culture, and the two are looking to take on Westeros to bring the Ironborn back to glory, and avenge Balon's failed rebellion.
    • Jaime's acceptance in the North leads to him and Catelyn making efforts to get Tyrion away from the Lannisters into a healthier environment, by having him squire for Brynden Tully. Tyrion becomes better adjusted as a result, and is much better accepted in the Riverlands, the Vale and the North due to his association with Jaime, and the nobility getting used to him well enough to get past his dwarfism and ugliness, and learning to appreciate his intelligence and wit.
    • Tywin's sexism towards Cersei, hatred of Tyrion, and permanent disownment of Jaime drives him to marry again and mould a new heir in the form of Tyson Lannister. Tyrion's effective removal from the line of succession for Casterly Rock in turn drives him to leave and start up a lucrative business, both to be his own man, and to spite his father.
    • For reasons unknown, Melisandre considers Joffrey Baratheon to be The Chosen One instead of Stannis. Cersei and Joffrey become fanatics of the Lord of Light, and act as their key political support in King's Landing.
    • Ned's open objection to the execution of the Targaryen infants not only result in the fracturing of his relationship with Robert, but finding an unlikely friend in the Martells, who arrange to marry the legitimized Obara Sand to Benjen Stark. As such, despite being on opposite sides of the continent, Dorne and the North become strong allies, to the point that Mya Sand, Ellaria Sand's sister, is able to easily set up a counterpoint to the Maesters in the North with Ned's help.
    • Domeric Bolton is alive and well, and Roose has him sent to Stannis Baratheon as a ward so as to take advantage of the fallout between the Starks and the Baratheons and get into the King's good graces. After saving Tommen Baratheon from a fire during a tourney, and later helping to deal with an uprising of the Mountain Clans in the Vale, Domeric is knighted.
    • Catelyn learning of Jon's actual parentage allows her to finally accept Jon as part of the Stark household. This causes a rift between Robb and Jon however, as Robb feels increasingly inadequate due to Jon being better in many respects, and resembling Ned more than Robb does. This causes Jon to join the Bluecloaks in the hopes of rising above his bastardy and proving himself, with Ned offering to give him some lands in the North when he's ready.
  • From Bad to Worse: The situation in King's Landing progressively worsens due to the growing influence of fanatics of the Old Gods, the Faith of the Seven, and the Lord of Light. Ned and Robert's relationship similarly disintegrates following the Targaryen's execution until the end of Book 1.
  • The Fundamentalist: Melisandre is a worshiper of the Lord of the Light, and seeks to turn Westeros away from the Old Gods and the Faith of the Seven. Thanks to her machinations, Cersei and Joffrey have become her hardcore followers amongst the nobility.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Theon's status as a villain, or at least as a solid Ironborn follower, is solidified by his internal thoughts musing how he has made a salt wife out of a teen Westerman, imagined her to be Cersei, and how awesome preparing to rape her feels as the new Driftwood King.
  • History Repeats Itself: Ned decides he will do his best to fortify the North so that the events that led to Robert's Rebellion will not repeat themselves.
    • Jaime fears this might happen when he learns Maege is giving birth to his twins, thinking that they might end up like him and Cersei, but it is averted when both of them are girls.
    • Once more, a king with a penchant and love for fire takes a Lord Stark and his heir prisoner for a crime they have not committed.
  • I Have No Son!: Tywin disowns Jaime after he decides to go to the North.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Ned and Catelyn still have all of their children (at least, up to Arya). Cersei still has three children, which are named Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen but the latter is actually different.
    • By the end of The Crimson Wings of Summer, Robert's assassinated, two Starks have been arrested under false charges, and the North is looking to be set against the Iron Throne.
    • On account of the stronger presence of R'hllor on the Westeros continent, the Faith Militant ends up being reformed as a counter response, though with the added mix in that the Old Gods are gaining traction in the South on account of Lyan Stark and a weirwood tree miraculously surviving an arson attempt.
  • Incest Is Relative: After Tywin's death, Cersei seduces her half-brother Tyson, who is a teenageer.
  • Irony: When Catelyn speaks with her uncle Brynden, she mentions that Jon Snow is very much like Ned and internally wonders why Jon could not have taken after his mother, at least in looks. Of course, as she discovers a couple of years later, that is the actual situation.
    • The event detailed below in the Wham Line might lead to people not suspecting that Cersei is cheating on Robert.
  • It's All My Fault: Benjen says Lyanna's "kidnapping" and death are his fault, because he knew of Lyanna's plans to run and did not try to stop her. Eddard points out that nothing he could do would have changed anything.
  • Knight Templar: the Queen's Men and the Faith Militant, formed much earlier than in the books. The king actually leads the Faith Militant in a Crusade against the Wild Men of the Vale.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Domeric and Roose are dedicated to advancing the interests of House Bolton even at the expense of House Stark, but Domeric's warmth, love of music, and honourable behaviour completely contrast Roose's distant, silent and decidedly deceitful nature. His warding under Stannis also has him developing a strong sense of duty and justice, combined with a growing awareness of the intrigue and danger around him.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Tywin takes advantage of his growing influence over Robert to turn Robert against the North.
  • Meaningful Rename: To go along with his Knighting, Jon Snow is renamed Jon Highwind, "May he be always as swift as the wind he’s named for and reach the highest of heights!”
  • Mystical Pregnancy: all of Cersei's pregnancies come from a ritual that includes some kind of potion made out of one of Robert's bastard children, one of Jaime's hairs and having sex with a relative while Melisandre chants in the background.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Joanna and Rowyn, Jaime and Maege's twin daughters. Joanna is far closer to the South in terms of culture, acting like a Southern Lady, preferring tales of Southern Knights and such to the tales of the North, while Rowyn is an Action Girl, easily able to beat Bran, and is obessed with the tales of the North and loves listening to an old Mountain Clan man tell them. Fittingly, Joanna has blond hair and green eyes like her Southern father (and is named for his mother), while Rowyn has her mother's hair and eyes.
  • Secret Keeper: Ned keeps Jon's true parentage secret, even more than in the books after Robert's bloodlust also extends to children.
  • Shout-Out: The title is seemingly a reference to Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus who was known as "The Lion of the North"
  • Spanner in the Works: Jaime's marriage to Maege screws up with Cersei's plans.
  • Targeted Human Sacrifice: Melisandre uses Robert's bastards in rituals to get Cersei pregnant with a baby that is Cersei's and Jaime's.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Assuming Lyan speaks true, and there's little reason he wouldn't, Joffrey and Melisandre have been going at for a long while now. Given that Melisandre has been his educator on R'hllor, and is at least several decades older than him, the relationship may count as a May–December Romance.
  • The Chosen One: Melisandre believes (or, rather, she says) that Joffrey is the Harbinger.
  • Third Time's the Charm: Cersei's third son is the one that looks most like Robert.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Catelyn towards Jon, upon learning who his actual parents were. Jon understandably finds it off putting at first.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Robert Baratheon becomes more villainous after his fallout with Ned. Robb Stark temporarily takes one towards Jon out of jealousy, but calms down by the time Jon's leaving for the Bluecloaks.
  • We Used to Be Friends: when Ned arrives to Seagard, he realizes how much Robert has changed when he has Aeron Greyjoy's severed head served on the table they are eating on. Their friendship shatters completely when Robert offers to take his nephew as a ward.
  • Wham Line:
    Tommen Baratheon, second in line for the throne of Westeros, was born, blue-eyed, black-haired and screaming, during the fiercest storm that had swept over King’s Landing in many years.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: the Northmen have no inclination for the ice sapphires found in Lionsfort - Jaime thinks it is a result of the Northern people being more practical, to adapt to the harsher environment - and are surprised that people from the South will pay very well for just one sapphire.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Cersei not only cheats on Robert with another man (Ser Eamon, an unknown Lannister) but also thinks of Jaime while she has sex with Eamon. She later sleeps with her much younger half-brother Tyson after murdering his mother.
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