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Fanfic / and love is not a victory march

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and love is not a victory march is a A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones fanfic where Hoster Tully sided with the Targaryens instead of with the rebels in Robert's Rebellion, particularly concerning the relationship between Ned Stark and Catelyn Tully as their paths cross over battle lines.

Tropes that appear in this fanfic:

  • A Child Shall Lead Them: At the end of the story, 10-year-old Edmure is the head of House Tully due to his father’s death.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Getting holed up in your castle with your siblings, with the chance of getting shot by an arrow if you can be seen from a window.
    • Getting killed in battle on the losing side of a war and your children left to the mercy of the new king.
  • Ambiguous Ending: At the end of the fanfic, Ned and Catelyn are heading to Winterfell, Catelyn pregnant with their child, and Jon Snow sent on ahead to Winterfell. The ambiguous part is how Catelyn will react to Jon; the writer believes that Ned will tell her the truth about Jon; that Jon is Rhaegar and Lyanna's son and Ned swore to protect him. Lysa's marriage prospects are also up for grabs.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Judging by the looks they give Catelyn, the servants at Riverrun believe that Ned has forced her to marry him to secure the Tullys' loyalty, rather than her choosing to marry him after they slept together.
    Catelyn: They think I am being forced, she realizes suddenly. They think that this is part of the punishment for our house.
  • Arranged Marriage: Attempted.
    • Hoster Tully had turned down Ned’s offer of marriage to Catelyn and thrown his lot in with the Targaryens.
    • Robert tries to persuade Ned to marry Cersei Lannister because he doesn't want to.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Catelyn is called into the solar by her uncle, she thinks it's because he found the correspondence between her and Ned. It turns out that he's telling her that her father was killed in battle.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: When Robert and Ned were fostered under Jon Arryn, Ned was the steady, dutiful one. At the end, Ned has kept a secret and done something impulsive; in this case by marrying Catelyn.
  • Berserk Button: Ned almost flies into a rage when Robert calls Catelyn a whore.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Invoked; the author had a bit of fun writing 10-year-old Edmure Tully as an annoying young kid.
    Catelyn: [Edmure] defies their uncle’s orders, lifting up on tiptoes to peer from the windows and get a glimpse of the army at their gates, and then racing down the corridor when a passing steward or maid anxiously shoos him away. A week ago, Catelyn had discovered him with damp hair and mud on his boots, and she had barely resisted the urge to strike him in terror at the realization that he had snuck outside. To Edmure, it is little more than a game – one that he has tired of and wants ended.
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  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Lysa is a sister variant which overlaps with Emo Teen. She spends most of the story shut up in her room, sulking while Riverrun is under siege.
  • Call-Forward: The Blackfish makes a remark about preferring parley to the monotony of a siege.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Lyanna and Ned had briefly discussed what to name her child. She had suggested Brandon, and to teach the boy to be more cautious than their dear foolish brother. Ned had decided on Jon, partly because Jon Arryn was a man of honor and alive.
  • Death by Adaptation: Hoster Tully is killed in the Battle of the Trident.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: According to Robert, Ned has always had a weakness for women in need.
    Robert: [Catelyn] is a whore, a high-paid whore. She traded her cunt for her castle, for some mercy from the justice she and her family richly deserve. And you, like a fool, fell for it. But then, you always were a fool with women, ever since we were boys – fumbling in brothels, stammering when asking ladies to dance. That’s likely why that’s all your Lady Ashara ever gave you – a dance. She fucked your brother, instead. Brandon probably had this one, as well; they were betrothed long enough. We were the victors in this war, you could have just had her if you really wanted her. But no – you promise the world and wed a traitor at the slightest hint that she might lift her skirts for you.
  • Empathic Environment: In the opening line, Ned thinks that the Gods are punishing his army for laying siege to Riverrun because it starts raining right as the siege begins.
  • Honorable Marriage Proposal: Ned offers to marry Catelyn after they sleep together. He had offered a match to Catelyn's father.
    Ned: I would wed you. Our fathers thought it a good match, once.
    Catelyn: That was before. You could certainly make a more advantageous match now than the daughter of a dead traitor.
    Ned: I don't care about advantage. I care about what is right.
    Ned: It is neither pity nor charity. It is what my father wished. It is a way to keep your family safe. Robert would do nothing to hurt me or mine.
  • Honor Before Reason: Ned refusing Robert's command to marry Cersei Lannister, because he's already married to Catelyn.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Edmure asks Catelyn if the Blackfish killed Ned, mostly because he doesn't understand the finality of death and the futility of war.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Ned winds up marrying Catelyn anyways, despite Hoster Tully fighting against him.
    • In general, the events of Robert's Rebellion take place as they did in the books/tv series, with the exception of Hoster Tully's death at the Battle of the Trident off-page.
  • I Want Them Alive: Ned thought it was more prudent to capture Rhaegar alive so he could tell Ned and Robert where Lyanna is.
  • I Will Find You:
    Ned: I will comb the Seven Kingdoms. If it takes the rest of my life, I shall find my sister.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: The Blackfish describes Brandon as a man too impatient for a siege and prefers Storming the Castle.
  • Mythology Gag: How Ned meets Catelyn is oddly similar to how Robb met and married Jeyne Westerling in A Storm of Swords. Ned is wounded by one of the Blackfish's men and is tended by Catelyn. However, their first time together doesn't take place until after Ned lifts the Siege of Storm's End, and Ned marries her out of honor.
  • Number Two: Howland Reed and Martyn Cassel serve this role to Ned.
  • Peace Conference: Ned and the Blackfish meet in a parlay to discuss terms of surrendering Riverrun. Negotiations wind up going awry when one of the Blackfish's men tries to kill Ned. He wasn't a very good shot anyways, hitting Ned in the leg rather than in the heart.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Ned believes that Robert fought for revenge alone, not for Lyanna’s sake. Robert’s satisfaction at the deaths of Rhaenys and Aegon Targaryen cemented this thought.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Ned is fully intent on leaving King’s Landing and not going anywhere below the Neck after his and Robert’s argument.
  • Sex for Solace: Ned's first time with Catelyn takes place after she hears of her father's death and Ned returns to Riverrun with her father's sword and as he worries about his sister Lyanna.
  • Shotgun Wedding: Ned's marriage with Catelyn, hastily prepared after the two of them slept together when Ned came to Riverrun after lifting the Siege of Storm's End.
  • The Siege: The story begins with Ned besieging Riverrun and musing about the relatively comfortable time Mace Tyrell is having, while Ned’s army is cold, wet and miserable.
  • Slut-Shaming: Robert does this to the Tully sisters, particularly Catelyn, because now Robert can't pawn Cersei Lannister off to Ned.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: Ned while at Riverrun, suffering from the infection in his leg.
    "Lya... Lya... I am so sorry..."
  • The Unfavorite: Of the three Tully siblings, Edmure gets the rough edge of the Blackfish's tongue the most.
  • War Is Hell: Pretty clear on all sides, from Ned's miserable state during the Siege of Riverrun to the Tully children's troubles on the other side.
    The Blackfish: I have seen more wars than you have, boy. Maidens and children are never safe.
  • You Have Failed Me: The Blackfish dismisses the Tully bowman who tried to kill Ned.
  • You Remind Me of X: Stannis' starved look reminds Ned of Edmure Tully.


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