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Bequeathed from Pale Estates is a A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Fanfic by Author376, written for Madrigal_in_training. It is the first story in a series called Acquaint the Flesh, and is followed by an interquel, called Wandering Suns. A sequel, called Heir to the Telling Senses, is currently being written.

Official Summary: In a Westeros where Soulmates are bound and Marked by the Gods to bind Houses together and pay blood debts, Lyarra Snow and Oberyn Martell are about to get a shock...

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     #-F 
  • 0% Approval Rating:
    • The Royal Family:
      • Robert's poor ruling practices both before, during, and after the Plague have made him immensely unpopular with both the smallfolk and the nobility. To be fair to Robert, he's been trying to be a better king since the Plague, but all those years of neglecting his crown means that he's ineffectual at best.
      • Cersei is even more hated than Robert. Already unpopular before the Plague started (at least Robert threw tourneys), she's gotten even more unpopular thanks to her luxurious and visibly decadent lifestyle and spiteful personality.
      • Joffrey. Joffrey is not just hated, but outright feared, due to increasingly obvious signs of his madness. Everyone knows that if he inherits the Iron Throne, he'll be Aerys 2.0, and in the aftermath of the incident that gives him his Embarrassing Nickname, everyone, enemies and allies alike, will do what they can to keep him off the throne.
    • Gregor Clegane. The Lannister servants in the Red Keep were reluctant to give Gwyn information about Cersei, but they were perfectly willing to give her information on him, if it meant finally getting rid of him.
  • 100% Adoration Rating:
    • Dorne, who realized the value of using the goats for inoculation. Once they confirmed it worked for their own people, they spread the goats to all of Westeros. That saved almost the entire remaining population, and made House Martell the most beloved house in Westeros.
    • The North, while not as beloved as Dorne, is in second place, as the Starks had their smallfolk inoculated at the same time as their bannermen while every other noble ignored the smallfolk until all the nobles had been treated, saving most of the North's population.
    • Shireen Baratheon. While opinions on the other members of the Baratheon family vary, everyone has a soft spot for Shireen, who is a kind young girl that had to endure undue amounts of tragedy over the course of her short life thus far. Even Olenna Tyrell visibly softens when interacting with her.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: King Robert to Lyarra. Everyone at court instantly sees it, starting from the instant that the two meet in the Red Keep's courtyard. Later, Jon Arryn even laments that Ned should have warned him about Lyarra's looks. If he'd known about the Strong Family Resemblance, he would never have asked them to come south in the first place.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Partially brought on by the reputation-fall suffered by their actions during the Plague while the Old Gods see a resurgence of faith, the Faith of the Seven has a handful of bad actions not seen in the original books or show. Most notably that Septa Mordane is revealed to be a spy for the High Septon in the North and the Faith disapointed that Catelyn has not tried converting her husband or his banners away from the Old Gods.
  • Age Lift: Obara is mid-20s instead of her canon 30. Also, Oberyn is 40 instead of ~44.
  • All There in the Manual: Reviews contain lot of additional information about background, characters and future plots.
  • Almighty Janitor: The Miners' Guild of Westerlands. Despite the miners' low status on the social order, they make up the military and financial might of the Westerlands and the Lannisters. Even Tywin has to beware crossing them. In fact, the fact that Tywin is taking money from the Guild's Winter Fund is a careful secret as the Guild is legally allowed to execute him for that.
  • Amazon Chaser:
    • Oberyn starts to warm up to Lyarra when he walks on her sparring with Robb.
    • Ned Stark tried to scare Hoster Tully off asking him tips on matchmaking by sending Lyra Mormont to Riverrun as a potential bride for Edmure. It actually backfired, and Edmure is now very Happily Married.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Of a sort. Ned partially blames his father's southron ambitions for the near collapse of their family, which is why he is reluctant to play along with Hoster's matchmaking and scheming. Considering that Ned was the only member of his generation to live and find any real happiness (seeing as Benjen went to the Wall), he's probably right.
    • Considering there are strong hints that Rickard Stark knew about Lyanna's plan to run and let it happen...
  • Analogy Backfire: Robert tries to justify his treatment of Lyarra to Ned by comparing himself to Aemon the Dragonknight. This is ignoring the fact that, unlike Naerys, Lyarra loves her husband and does not welcome Robert's attentions.
  • Arranged Marriage:
    • Unless the marks are for a same-sex pair, they automatically create one between those marked.
    • There are plenty of other arranged marriages outside the marks as well. Before she was marked to Oberyn, Lyarra was actually due to marry Smalljon Umber.
    • There was a talk about betrothing Shireen to Joffrey. Of course, it stopped after the incident.
    • The Tyrells plan to wed Willas to a Sand Snake to capitalize on Dorne's popularity. Word of God it will be Sarella.
  • Ascended Extra: "Fat" Walda Frey was a relatively minor character in both the books and the show, but here she becomes one of Lyarra's ladies-in-waiting and a close friend to both Lyarra and Gwyn.
  • Authority in Name Only: Unbeknownst to the rest of Westeros, Balon Greyjoy and Asha Greyjoy have been dead since The Plague, meaning Theon has been the Lord of the Iron Islands for at least a year, even if no one realized or recognized it. The position, however, is meaningless, as the thralls and the smallfolk have rebelled and taken over the region, turning it into an amalgamation of small, warring states.
  • Backstab Backfire: While the joint Northern-Dornish party is heading south to King's Landing, the Frey family weirwood fraud plot is uncovered. Though Oberyn and Ned initially plan to avoid breaking guest right by coming back to arrest and execute the offending Freys later, Aenys Frey and his co-conspirators are tipped off and attack their party during a feast to try and catch them by surprise. This results in multiple dead Freys in the great hall brawl, six Frey executions, six Freys bound for the Wall under guard, and Fat Walda Frey joining the party when they continue the journey.
  • Ballroom Blitz: Can't have a dinner party at the Twins without one, apparently. Only instead of it being the result of a plot by the entire family to off the guests, it's due to a small faction of Freys feeling the long arm of the (Northern) law closing in.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • Lyarra used to wish that she had a soulmark so she could become a Stark. While she's happy to be married, she's sad that she has to leave Winterfell.
    • Ned used to wish Lyarra would get a soulmark and find happiness. He's mad that she has to marry Oberyn after she gets one.
    • Jon Arryn used to wish for the Tyrells to stop trying to gain the Iron Throne and focus on Highgarden. He's less than amused that they finally do that when the Crown needs a Tyrell bride.
  • Beneath Notice: Constantly. Nobles overlook the smallfolk at their own peril.
    • Stevron Frey forgot the smallfolk would feel slighted after learning their newly bought weirwoods are fake and would eagerly rat Freys out to Starks and Martells.
    • Exploited by Gwyn, who often dresses up as an inconspicuous servant while spying for Lyarra's sake.
    • Both Cersei and Joffrey mock the smallfolk and nearly get attacked by angry mobs.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Mountain Clans were naturally inoculated against The Plague since they treated their sick goats, and proximity did the rest. Of course, some people made insinuations about the kind of proximity. The Clans are a bit disgruntled, but generally roll with it.
  • Big Brother Worship: A downplayed, post-mortem example. Renly Baratheon, through his own trials during the Plague, came to have this for his older brother Stannis. While he may have not had the charisma of his brothers, Stannis had been a better ruler than both his brothers, being dutiful, competent, and caring of his people. Renly, who is making active efforts to be a better lord, realized that he didn't appreciate his older brother in life as much as he should have and desperately wishes that Stannis was alive so he could correct this. Seeing as that's impossible, he instead decides to live up to Stannis' memory by being the best possible Lord Paramount he can be and raising his niece Shireen (Stannis' daughter) to the best of his abilities.
  • Big Fun: "Fat" Walda Frey is very heavyset and very cheerful - she actually used her jolly personality to survive the Twins.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: One of Stevron's grandchildren and a Frey cousin were hit by lightning when they were trying to cover up the fake weirwood trees. Stevron believes it was because the Old Gods took offense at being mocked.
  • Character Development:
    • The Plague forced this on Renly Baratheon, who got first taste on what it meant to really be a lord, let alone Lord Paramount of the Stormlands. It really says a lot that even though they were devastated by the Plague, the people still have a high opinion of Renly — especially in comparison to Robert.
    • Something similar occurs for Theon, after he sees the results of the Ironborn's Rape, Pillage, and Burn policy first-hand. He swears off anything to do with Ironborn culture even before Robb and the other Northern heirs come up with their Faking the Dead scheme.
      • Before that, some discussions with Lyarra and Gwyn helped him realize that raiding and thralldom are the reason for the poor state of Iron Islands.
  • Chocolate Baby: Just like in canon, Robert's "trueborn" children. With Stannis dead, people were still unaware due to the lack of resemblance not being too obvious — until Gwyn Parren came along. House Parren is descended from the youngest son of Orys Baratheon, and have intermarried with the Lannisters for generations. Despite all those blond brides, however, all their descendants were of black hair and blue eyes until Gwyn herself was born, and even then she still has Baratheon traits. They even have a house song promoting this fact, which Gwyn uses to antagonize Cersei by hinting she knows the truth. Cersei tries to have her killed, fearful of it getting out.
  • Chosen Conception Partner: The Rhoynar and Dornish people believe the Gods give you a Mark for you to find someone with whom you will sire heroes. As for Lyarra and Oberyn, their son is fated to become King on the Iron Throne.
  • Commonality Connection: At one point, Oberyn is told that he and Gwyn have something in common in order to try and convince Oberyn to stop asking questions. It turns out to be "having an older sister who was murdered by the Mountain That Rides."
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Deconstructed with the Lannisters. Their obviously costly style of living means that Cersei is blamed for the Crown's debts.
    • Becomes a Chekhov's Gun. There is no way that they can finance their lifestyle, help the Crown with debts and start preparing for winter at the same time. Which begs a question: where did the money come from?
    • Robert's tourneys. As Domeric notes, forty thousand dragons equals to half the dowry of Lord Paramount's first daughter and King regularly gives similar sums as prizes.
  • Consummation Counterfeit: Oberyn brought a phial of blood for the possibility of Lyarra not feeling ready to be bedded. She's extremely moved but insists for him to make him his wife, and the wedding night proceeds as intended.
  • Convenient Miscarriage: Averted. When Cersei miscarries, she loses much blood and needs to be seen to by a maester. She is later put on a bedrest and it is advised that she shouldn't have sex for 3 months to let her heal.
  • Cool Big Sis: Both Lyarra and Sansa are this to their younger siblings. Lyarra is adored because she's a fellow Action Girl to Arya and a fulfillment to Sansa's romantic fantasies and makes time to play and sooth Bran and Rickon. Sansa steps as one when Lyarra leaves once she's married.
  • Culture Clash: Happens quite often between Northern and Dornish culture at various points, including on treatment of bastards, opinions on Robert's rule and the Targaryens, clothing, and so on.
    • Strong emphasis is put onhow Catelyn being a Southern lady affected her reputation as Lady Stark. In the South, the lady of a Lord Paramount would primarily interact with only head servants and the day to day running of her lord's lands such as crop rotation and the kitchens would not be under her direct control. In the North this is not so, and Catelyn's delegating those things anyway is seen as her being distant and haughty. Worse, Sansa's initial preparation for marrying South means she has a lot of catching up to do when she decides to start seeking a Northern match instead.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates:
    • Lyarra's marriage to Oberyn leaves Ned in a rage, but since it was willed by the gods themselves he doesn't have much of a say in the matter. After some hesitation, Oberyn and Lyarra hit it off really well, and it isn't long before they're Happily Married, which is why Ned eventually (if grudgingly) gives his approval.
    • Subverting this becomes the main aim for Ned and Lyarra after they meet Joffrey, who Sansa has sighed over more than once and was all but guaranteed to marry prior to their arrival in King's Landing. Not only does Ned refuse the betrothal when it's offered, he and Lyarra make a coordinated effort to turn Sansa's affections to Domeric Bolton, who they both approve of heartily. It works.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: For the mainstream Southern nobility, Catelyn Stark was positively saintly towards her husband's bastard. For Oberyn, who dotes on his own illegitimate offspring, she's very much a Wicked Stepmother.
  • Disability Immunity: Shireen's preexisting Greyscale infection renders her immune to the Greyplague, allowing her to take care of those who have become infected. Catching Greyplague while treating patients even ended up removing her Greyscale scars.
  • Divide and Conquer: Cersei's assassins plant a false lead to lure Oberyn and half the Dornish guard into a trap. Then they trap the Northern guard and nobles in their rooms to leave Princess Lyarra, her household and her guards unprotected for slaughter. They would have succeeded in killing them had Princess Lyarra, Gwyn and Walda not fought back.
  • Dramatic Irony: Oh yes. There are many times when people make some kind of assumption or claim, that others points-of-view show to be blatantly untrue. Goes Up to Eleven for readers who know how the canon plot went or heard Word of God.
  • Due to the Dead: Defied. Robert refuses to have Viserys' body intered and instead has it displayed in the city. Suffice to say, everyone (besides the Lannisters) is disgusted and/or outraged.
    • Later, Joffrey sneaks out and tries to deface the body, before he has to run from another mob.
    • Domeric Bolton immediately wins a 100% Adoration Rating when he puts the crown meant for his Queen of Love and Beauty on late Princess Myrcella's seat.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "The Prince of Tongues" for Joffrey, after he has his men rip the tongues of several merchants that he thinks were badmouthing his father and then presents them at a banquet.
  • Emergency Multifaith Prayer: Monford Velaryon prays to the Old Gods and the New Gods for Queen Visenya's health and for her to birth a healthy baby boy to stabilize Westeros and restore the Targaryean dynasty.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Plenty of people make assumptions and come to the wrong conclusions, but the most hilarious is easily Tywin Lannister. Due to overhearing a conversation between Oberyn and Ned that sounds like two men genuinely arguing to his ears, Tywin concludes that the alliance between Dorne and the North would be stronger and more likely to upset the Balance of Power if Robb Stark became Warden of the North. Because of this conversation and assuming that Hoster Tully's grandchild would be far more politically dangerous than a Northman of Ned's type, Tywin basically appoints himself Ned's fairy godmother by deciding he needs to survive King's Landing to keep Robb away from the Lord Paramount seat.
  • Eureka Moment: Monford Velaryon has one when he recognizes Lyarra's singing and non-Stark facial features.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • The majority of the characters during the King's Landing arc are disgusted by King Robert's clear attraction to Lyarra, even though she's A) half his age, B) married, and C) marked. What makes it worse is that Robert's attraction to her is obviously based on her Strong Family Resemblance to her aunt/mother Lyanna, of whom Lyarra is said to be a even more beautiful version of.
    • No one wants to live through another Mad King. No one. Joffrey's antics have pissed off even Tywin, who plans on shipping him to the Wall the moment Robert and Cersei have another heir to supplant him. Note that Joffrey is his grandson. Even Cersei, who still loves Joffrey and dotes on him despite his obvious faults, has accepted, if only tangentially, that her firstborn cannot be king.
    • Sandor Clegane, who freely admits that he's an asshole, helps Gwyn escape to the North because he doesn't want her to die at his brother's hands.
  • Exact Words: Catelyn told a young Lyarra that as a bastard no lord nor firstborn son would marry her. As her fated husband Oberyn is a secondborn Prince, Catelyn was technically right.
  • Expy:
    • White Harbor's Faith of the Seven offshoot is clearly intended as the Protestantism to the Faith's Catholicism.
    • Cersei is a Stupid Evil version of Marie Antoinette, up to and including being The Scapegoat for the poor state of the kingdom's finances.
  • Excessive Mourning: Both Robert (over Lyanna) and Cersei (over Tommen and Myrcella) are afflicted by this.
  • Faking the Dead: Because the Ironborn are raiding the North, a more honor-bound lord would take Theon's head off his shoulders to fulfill the purpose of a hostage. Instead, Robb and his friends fake Theon's death and send him south in disguise, hoping he can make it to Dorne and seek refuge with Lyarra and the Martells.
  • Fat Bastard: This is the prevailing opinion of Robert among most of the nobility and the smallfolk alike, and it's not exactly an inaccurate picture. Lyarra is outright aghast to realize how different Robert is from her father's stories, and Ned and Jon, who see the best in their chosen king, are forced to admit to themselves that their friend has only changed for the worse. Even Renly, Robert's youngest (and now only) brother, barely tolerates him; to the point that Renly has more love for Stannis, who's dead.
  • First Love:
    • Ellaria, for Oberyn. Oberyn is still mourning her death at the start of the story, and even as he gradually falls in love with Lyarra, he still occasionally thinks of her.
    • Ashara Dayne for Ned and Brandon Stark for Catelyn. It's the main reason why their marriage was so strained in the beginning.
  • Fish out of Water: Catelyn Stark nee Tully is this, due to being from the Riverlands and trying her best to manage in the North. Many Northern smallfolk don't trust her, seeing her influence as foreign at best. Nobles are a little better (since they actually know her), but it's implied that if not for the Rebellion, they would not tolerate a Stark Lady from an Andal house.
    • As a direct result, Robb has to consider his marriage carefully, and concludes that he needs to marry a woman from a fellow Northern house.
  • For Want of a Nail: The Plague, of course, being the nail.
    • See 100% Adoration Rating above. Thanks to this, the North and Dorne are now the two most powerful regions in Westeros. Oberyn and Lyarra's marriage strongly ties them together, and gives Dorne unprecedented power — so much so that the Crown wants to offset and restore the Balance of Power by having Joffrey engaged to one of the remaining Stark daughters.
    • Robin Arryn was struck down by the Plague, while Petyr Baelish was killed thanks to the inoculation (but not before making some very damning deathbed confessions), which causes Lysa Tully Arryn to be Driven to Suicide. While this spares Jon Arryn, it also causes the Vale to descend into a Succession Crisis because Jon has literally no remaining immediate family left to be his heir.
    • Both Tommen and Myrcella were struck down by the plague, as were Stannis and Selyse (supposedly). Thus, when it becomes clear that Joffrey is mad and the information is widespread, the crown descends into another Succession Crisis.
      • Stannis' death means that his suspicions about his nephews and niece's true parentage were never told to Jon Arryn. It seems that secret is one Cersei might be able to keep to the grave — at least, until Gwyn Parren came along.
      • One of the very, very few benefits of the plague is that it fully heals Shireen of her Greyscale scars and leaves her a healthy girl. With Stannis dead, she is then adopted by Renly and made his heir since he can't have kids with a male soulmate.
      • The instability of the crown due to poor ruling practices and the mad heir means none of the Lord Paramounts have any interest in marrying their daughters into the current royal family. This includes the Tyrells, who are trying to stabilize their control of the Reach. With Dickon Tarly's death thanks to the Plague, Randall cannot force Samwell to take the Black no matter how much he wants to, and instead ends up betrothing him to Margaery Tyrell.
    • Ramsay Snow was killed by the plague. This spares Domeric, but also puts House Bolton in hot water thanks to Ramsay's crimes being exposed early on.
    • The Plague kills Viserys Targaryen (and, presumably, Illyrio Mopatis). Daenarys survived thanks to Khal Drogo, but the lack of Viserys means she gradually loses interest in the Iron Throne as she assimilates the Dothraki way of life. By the time Quentyn finds her, he realizes she's too far gone to make effective monarch for Westeros, and instead decides to simply leave her be. Word of God is that she has/will have only one dragon egg.
      • When a plague and/or other infectious disease hits a khalasar, common practice is for the khalasar to spread so few will contract it. This practice also sees all foreigners expelled from the khalasar. Thus, Jorah Mormont never meets Daenerys and eventually returns to Westeros with Viserys' body, pardoned by the crown and now the new Lord of Stokeworth. It also helps contribute to Daenarys' own assimilation in the Dothraki, as she now has no source of information for Westerosi culture.
    • The Faith of the Seven discouraged the inoculation practices during the plague, calling it heresy, while those that followed the Old Gods had no issue and went through with it. Since the inoculations worked, the Faith lost massive amounts of support in the aftermath, with many converting and now worshiping the Old Gods. This creates significant tensions between both religions.
    • Doran deliberately screwing over the Ironborn with the inoculation goats results in Balon and Asha Greyjoy's death and complete anarchy on the Iron Islands. When the Ironborn start raiding again due to the depleted resources, Theon is forced to flee the North.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Downplayed, Word of God revealed most of major plot points concerning Lyarra in reviews, but other characters' stories are still unknown.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Dorne. Once the most economically weak of the Seven Kingdoms and the most mocked for their sexually-liberated ways despite their history. Post-plague they are locally and internationally the strongest and richest region due to Prince Doran's distribution of the inoculation goats. And that's before Prince Oberyn's marriage to a secret Targaryean Princess.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: However improvised, "Fat" Walda Frey acts decisively with this as her weapon in a brawl. She later gets an official upgrade in the form of an engraved mace, thanks to Ser Barristan Selmy.

     G-L 
  • Get Rich Quick Scheme: Since the Plague hit, the Faith of the Seven's reputation took a thorough thrashing among the smallfolk of the Riverlands—enough so that they converted en masse to worshipping the Old Gods. Unscrupulous people try to take advantage of that shift any way they can. Because weirwood groves are the symbol of the Old Gods, smallfolk have accruing them in such conspicuous numbers that rumors spread about Lady Catelyn Stark conspiring with the Tullys to sell weirwoods from the North. It turns out that the entire plot has been orchestrated by several members of House Frey and that the "weirwoods" are actually Westerlands' dyer's trees, which are similar enough to weirwoods when they are saplings that people who do not know the differences between both trees buy them.
  • Generation Xerox: Lyarra's singing ability is a dead ringer for Rhaegar Targaryen's own musical talents — so much so that Monford Velaryon immediately realizes who she really is just by listening to her.
    • Robb is more his father's son than he knows. When confronted to the reality of Theon having to lose his head for the Ironborn raids, he opts for spurning his honor by lying about Theon's death to keep him alive, exactly like Ned ruined his reputation by lying about Lyarra's parentage to save her life.
  • Get Out!: After she throws wine at Gwyn's face to get her to stop singing, Cersei screams at everyone to get out.
  • Godzilla Threshold: After seeing Joffrey's madness first hand, Lyarra writes and sends a letter to Catelyn Stark as soon as possible, telling her of this to help convince her not to let Ned betroth Sansa to Joffrey (not that Ned was exactly planning to, but support from Catelyn certainly helped). After collaborating the story with Ned's own letter to Robb, Catelyn writes back, vehemently agreeing with her assessment.
  • Gone Horribly Right: It wouldn't be Westeros without this happening.
    • When Hoster tried to get Ned to help him find Edmure a wife, Ned decided to introduce his goodbrother to Mormont and Umber women, hoping that he would be kept out of any other matchmaking plans. Then Edmure decided he liked Lyra Mormont and Ned is hailed as a genius.
    • Catelyn made sure that Lyarra would learn only bare necessities of running a keep and nothing required of a Lady of Great House. So when Lyarra is Marked to be married to a Prince of Dorne, she is completely unprepared for her role.
      • To Catelyn's credit, as soon as the Mark showed up she arranged for remedial lessons for Lyarra. They just: 1)didn't have a lot time and 2)were expecting a distant Martell cousin and not Oberyn.
    • Catelyn and Septa Mordane told Sansa that Marks are a way for Gods to show their approval for their Chosen. Sansa uses it to point out that Lyarra birth wasn't sin, since the Gods have some kind of plan for her.
    • Jon Arryn muses that while Robert needed constant reminders about honor and duty during his fostering, Ned really, really didn't.
  • Gossip Evolution: How Joffrey gets his Embarrassing Nickname from his antics at the welcoming banquet. Robb coined it when he learned about the incident, wrote to Lyarra about it, who then told Oberyn, who passed it on to Monford Velaryon. After that, it spread over all King's Landing.
  • Greater-Scope Paragon: The Plague has two major ones that go uncredited or unknown:
    • Ser Brynden "Blackfish" Tully, who came across the Mountain Clan goatherd who discovered inoculation against the Greyplague through the lesser Goatscale. Ser Blackfish listened to the goatherd and made the goatherd test the cure to show it works.
    • Another Ser Brynden, the Three-Eyed Raven gave the Mountain goatherd a vision of the goats being the key to surviving the Greyplague which the goatherd took as a vision from the Old Gods. The Children of the Forest helped him and they gave Oberyn and Lyarra their Marks.
  • Guy-on-Guy Is Hot: Played for Laughs the Dornish contingent believe that Robb is sleeping with Theon. Theon plays along with it, when he sees how the Dornish women saw it as super-attractive.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: Lyarra and Gwyn invert the character dynamics. Lyarra is dark-haired, naive, idealistic and honorable while Gwyn is blonde, cynical, snarky and underhanded.
  • Heir Club for Men: Played with. While most nobles are actually fine with the idea of having a queen, the same cannot be said for the smallfolk, nor would it stop others from using it as an excuse to take the Iron Throne for themselves.
    • This is partly why Shireen Baratheon isn't an ideal heir, other than the fact that she was never expected to be anywhere near the line of succession before The Plague happened and thus lacks the sufficient education. Considering that she's eight, and that Robert is likely to die before she reaches adulthood thanks to his own unhealthy lifestyle, it's a terrible situation all around.
    • This is also the reason why the Targaryen loyalists are praying to every god there is that Lyarra gives birth to a son.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: This is the Faith's official stance on same-sex soulmate pairs. Anyone who has actually met same-sex soulmate pairs (particularly Renly Baratheon and Loras Tyrell) can tell that this is bullshit.
  • Hidden Depths: In a conversation with Ned, Robert fully admits that he's been a terrible king and that he hates having the throne. However, he has to keep it until he has an heir besides Joffrey, because as bad a king he's been, Joffrey would be infinitely worse.
  • His Heart Will Go On: Oberyn will never stop missing Ellaria, but knows he will have to move on with his life. She actually asked it of him on her deathbed, and her family took his mark as the gods granting her wishes.
  • History Repeats: A Martell princess is again assaulted by Lannister cronies in the Red Keep. Except that this princess not only was able to defend herself, she slaughtered her opponents.
    • Seeing a mob gleefully celebrating the Martell party's arrival invokes a strong feeling of déjà-vu for Barristan Selmy who remembers how the smallfolk loved their Silver Prince.
    • The whole court was dancing on a tightrope with the Dornish party in the Red Keep. The reason why? Their new Princess is basically Lyanna Stark perfected... who had been swept off her feet by a Southron Prince. Robert didn't go on a rampage over it, but it was really precarious.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • The Faith teaches that bastards are sinful and lustful creatures. It also teaches Marks are a godly way to show the weared is fated to greatness. Cue Catelyn Stark and Septa Mordane having to swallow their prejudice when Sansa gleefully points that Lyarra's Mark means her birth wasn't a sin, but part of the Gods' design.
    • Cersei attempts to humiliate Lyarra making her sing during her soiree only for Lyarra to impress everyone with her beautiful singing. Cersei tries to attack the weak link by making Gwyn perform, only for Gwyn to sing about her house which reveals a key detail about Gwyn's genetic heritage that Cersei doesn't want anyone to find out.
  • I Gave My Word: When you're known around the world for your honor, breaking promises ain't a thing you do. Ned Stark has his oath to protect the secret of Lyarra's parentage, but he also had to swear to never tell anyone who killed Elia Martell and her children in order for Robert to let him leave King's Landing to find Lyanna. This obviously becomes a problem when his daughter Lyarra is set to marry Oberyn Martell, because Oberyn is very aware Ned is keeping that secret and is pissed to hear (what he interprets as) Ned holding his honor above justice.
  • Irony: Despite Catelyn's wishes and attempts, only her hated stepdaughter and her wild unladylike second daughter are predicted to marry South. Neither her firstborn Robb nor her favorite daughter Sansa marry South despite Catelyn's attempts.
  • It's All About Me: Cersei is in fine form. Domeric giving the crown to Myrcella is obviously a gift for her since Myrcella was her perfect copy. And she aborts any child of Robert because she will only have children with Jaime, her "reflection".
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Domeric Bolton, the perfect blend of Northern pragmatism and Southron courtesy.
  • Lady-in-Waiting: Lyarra Stark has three ladies-in-waiting:
    • Her sister Arya Stark, because it's traditional for a Dornish bride to surround herself with her sisters while she's acclimating to her new home. She acts her caretaker so her pregnant sister won't overtax herself and as a bodyguard.
    • Gwyn Parren, one of Winterfell's fosterlings and Lyarra's best friend. She cooks and finds food Lyarra and her party, she helps makes clothes for her and helps her dress and acts as Lyarra's spy and accountant.
    • Walda Frey who was rewarded for defending Lyarra against her own family when the Freys tried attacking the Stark-Martell party. Walda's kindness and cheerfulness bring some much needed levity to the group. She acts as Lyarra's Chatty Hairdresser, and maid and seamstress.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Amory Lorch's greatest achievement was brutally murdering a little girl that happened to be the daughter of a Martell princess. When he tries to murder thirteen-year-old Gwyn, she shows him that some little girls grow up. With credit to Lyarra, Ghost, and Walda for the assist, Gwyn kills him and disfigures his corpse by hacking his face into unrecognizable hash with her cleaver. To top it off, the princess Gwyn serves is the younger sister of the little girl he murdered.
    • Gerold Dayne tricked and kidnapped Arianne Martell, forcibly marrying and raping her in an attempt to seize Dorne for himself. This eventually led to Arianne's death when she was infected by The Plague. When Oberyn caught up to him in the aftermath, he had great pleasure in giving his niece's murderer a Cruel and Unusual Death.
    • How the North interprets soulmarks in general and Lyarra's Mark in particular: the Martells have suffered and lost much because of the Starks, so the Mark is a way to make up for that. When examinated more in depths, it becomes even more blatant — the Martells lost a Princess and a chance to the Iron Throne when Elia died, so the Starks give them another Princess and a second chance through Lyarra/Visenya.
    • Roose Bolton's practice of First Night and his acceptance of Ramsay's rape and serial killing of smallfolk directly bit him in the ass during The Plague. The Mountain Clans refused to give him any inoculation goats after hearing of their crimes. They refused to help people that hurt or allow hurt to come to their smallfolk. Which directly led to Ramsay's death and Dreadfort being the only Northern region affected by greyplague. Many of Dreadfort's smallfolk up and left with many of them refusing to come back. Roose learns the follies of ruling through fear and a lot of pressure is on Domeric to be the Redeeming Replacement.
  • Last of His Kind: Except for Theon, House Greyjoy has been essentially wiped out. Balon and Asha both died of the Plague years before the start of the story, Victarion was captured and tortured by smallfolk and thralls before committing suicide with Theon's help, and the rest are implied to have had similar fates. There's no word about what happened to Euron, but seeing as he was in exile when the Plague happened, he's dead either way. Only his mother, Alannys, survived, and she's a Harlaw by blood.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: As people are turned into statues made of a fragile, flammable stone by The Plague, this can happen to anyone that has died to it. Myrcella's and Tommen's corpses are destroyed by a mob trying to take their jewelry, and Viserys' is smashed and burned by Joffrey in an attempt to catch Robert's attention.
  • The Lost Lenore: Lyanna Stark is still this to King Robert Baratheon, more than a decade and a half since her death. Due to Lyarra's strong resemblance to her aunt or rather, her mother, Robert is instantly fixated on her.
  • Love Before First Sight: After her potential match to Joffrey falls through, Sansa starts crushing on Domeric Bolton after reading about his kindness and gallantry in the letters her family sends to her. Lyarra even sends her sketches of Domeric, highlighting his good looks.
  • Loving a Shadow: Though canon already confirmed it, it's cemented that Robert never really loved the real Lyanna when he starts lusting after her niece/daughter for essentially being a perfected version of her appearance-wise.

     M-R 

  • Machiavelli Was Wrong: Many try to rule through fear only to discover what happens when people hate them more than they fear their rulers:
    • Cersei takes the servants' terror of her as a sign of their loyalty. She's shocked that Gwyn and the other servants would air Cersei's secrets once they're free from her.
    • Tywin ruled by making everyone fear House Lannister for years. But now that his vitality has been sapped by Greyplague, he's already sunk so much money keeping the royal family afloat with winter coming, and been unable to stop the royals from spending even more money, nobody has any respect for him anymore. Anytime he tries to bribe or terrify into doing his bidding, it doesn't work anymore.
    • Roose ruled Dreadfort by fear. That directly backfired on him during The Plague, because the Mountain Clans refused to trade their goats to his people and many of his smallfolk left.
  • Mandatory Fatherhood: The reason why Renly was disqualified from the line of succession is because he has a male soulmate, meaning he's incapable of having biological children unless Loras dies. The Faith's official stance is that he can't Can't Have Sex, Ever, but anyone who has met Renly and Loras knows that isn't true.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Everyone's reaction when Oberyn decides to enter the Melee when he finds out that Amory Loch is taking part. Especially since any injury Oberyn take also hurt his soulmate. His pregnant soulmate.
  • May–December Romance: Downplayed, but Oberyn and Lyarra feel extremely awkward over the fact he's got twenty-five years over her (and older than her father), in spite of barely flowered girls marrying older men being a westerosi norm. Also a reconstruction, as Oberyn has enough maturity and social clout to work on the relationship and make his young bride feel safe and happy.
  • Mercy Kill: Theon helps his uncle Victarion (who has been brutally tortured by the smallfolk and the thralls that have taken over Pyke) drown himself.
  • Misplaced Retribution: After it is learned that the Ironborn are raiding again, Robert calls for Theon's head to punish Balon. As Theon later learns, not only is Robert's reaction this, it's also pointless — Balon and Asha both have been dead since the Plague, and the Ironborn that are raiding are the thralls and smallfolk that have taken over Pyke. The Seastone Chair has technically been Theon's since then, but he, obviously, has nothing to do with the Ironborn's current actions.
  • Mission from God: A Mountain Clan goatherd gets a vision from the Old Gods to inoculate people from Greyplague through his infected goats ' Goatscale. The goatherd listened and went to the nearest city to spread the cure which the Blackfish verified and Prince Doran spread. Millions of lives all around Westeros and Essos were saved due to the goatherd's actions. The vision aspect is what made the Faith of the Seven initially denounce inoculation as heresy and led many Westorosi converted en-masse to the Old Gods.
    • It turns out the Faith are also annoyed that Catelyn did not treat becoming Lady Stark as this, converting none of the North to the worship of the Seven. Catelyn herself as shocked at the implication that she ever should have.
  • Mistaken Identity: Lyarra has been mistaken as Lyanna by several people — she claims that Roose Bolton did it once and Wyman Manderly admits that Lyarra gave him a fright when she ran into him late at night in Winterfell in a white dress. However, she is deeply disturbed when Robert does it, as he looks at her in a way that the other two never did. Considering that Roose Bolton actually asked for Lyarra's hand in marriage prior to the story (even if it was only a power play that he didn't expect to be accepted), that does not say anything good about Robert.
  • Money Is Not Power: Tywin thinks that he can buy out his problems but there's things that his money can't buy:
    • He tries to set up trade agreements for food with Dorne and the Reach, only for both to refuse: Dorne hates him for ordering the murders of Princess Elia and her children, while the Reach has too much internal instability to survive trading food away when so many people died already.
    • He constantly sinks money into the Crown, but has increasingly little to show for it besides more debt. Tywin can't even get Cersei, Robert, or Joffrey under control to at least prevent the bad PR.
    • Tywin offers any lady that marries Joffrey and bears a son the highest luxury for the rest of her life. Unfortunately, with how Stupid Evil Joffrey is, no one wants their daughters anywhere near him.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: The whole Stark brood, minus Sansa, decided Oberyn Martell was a fiend and a good-for-nothing scoundrel when he introduced himself as Lyarra's future husband.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: It's strongly implied Doran deliberately fudged the delivery of inoculation goats to the Iron Islands in hopes that The Plague would finally wipe the Ironborn out. Unfortunately, it did and it didn't. While it struck down the entire Greyjoy family bar Theon, his mother, and Victarion, and a good number of the nobles across the other houses, it also caused the smallfolk and the thralls to rise up in a brutally successful rebellion against their weakened masters. In the aftermath, the constant isolation and the lack of trade have forced the Ironborn to start raiding again, and with Balon and Asha dead, there's no one with the authority to stop them.
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: Robb is put off on how most of the noblewomen try to aggressively court him to become future Lady of Winterfell. He even swears that Alys Karstark will never win his favor when he catches that she had him spied. Robb ends up falling for the dutiful, traditional but assertive minor noblewoman Aislinn Forrester.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted. Lyarra's first period results in her and Oberyn getting their soulmarks making them fated for each other, kickstarting the story.
  • Noodle Incident: It's not clear how Stannis and Selyse died. The Plague was involved, as was Melisandre, but what actually happened is unknown to Renly, Shireen, and the rest of Westeros. It's implied Davos Seaworth knows, but Renly has too much respect and empathy for the man to force him to recount what was clearly a painful and horrible experience for him.
  • Oh My Gods!: A Riverland peasant swears by "the Gods that Abandon and the Ones that Forgive," which is very telling regarding the Faith of Seven's fallen status and the Old Gods' newfound popularity.
  • Old Man Marrying a Child:
    • Jon Arryn and Lysa Tully - which ends up a disaster. Lyarra expresses her disgust about the Lord Hand taking as his wife a girl young enough to be his granddaughter.
    • As he's a decent person under his hot temper, Oberyn Martell has reservations regarding his bride's youth, and Lyarra herself feels a mite scared about the match. They manage to come around, though.
  • Original Character: Gwyn Parren, a member of House Parren, which is sworn to House Lannister. Her family has intermarried with the Lannisters for generations (albeit, usually the Lannisport branch), meaning she arguably has more Lannister blood in her than the Lannisters of Casterly Rock. She turns out to be the younger sister of Gregor Clegane's first wife Tannis, whom he murdered. When Gwyn realized that her sister's dowry had transferred to her, that no one cared what the Mountain had done, and that she was next in his sights, she vanished with the help of Sandor Clegane to foster in the North with the Starks.
  • One True Love: An enforced trope. The marks make it so the soulmates are literally unable to bed anyone else, or think about bedding anyone else. For a Dornishman like Oberyn, who has gotten into all sorts of sexcapades with his First Love Ellaria and others, that's almost akin to torture. One of the reasons why he consented to the Arranged Marriage is because he had no desire to be celibate for the rest of his life.
    • Word of God is that there are pairs who are merely cordial with each other but it is rarer.
  • Only Sane Man: Jon Arryn laments the fact that the most reasonable member of House Lannister's main branch is also the most hated and at the bottom of the pecking order.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: The Plague wasn't kind to Westeros. Losing her two youngest kids help Cersei to quickly degrade into insanity, both Princes of Dorne lost a daughter (Arianne and Tyene), Jon Arryn lost his son and heir... and that's just the high lords.
  • Overprotective Dad: No man is worthy of Ned Stark's baby girls, ever. And especially not this good-for-nothing Martell prince!
  • Parental Substitute: Shireen Baratheon is effectively adopted by her uncle Renly and his soulmate Loras Tyrell after the death of her parents. While she still clearly misses Stannis, she and Renly grow closer as they survive the plague together with Loras. By the time they enter the story proper, it's obvious Renly and Loras love her as if she were their own daughter.
  • Parent with New Paramour: One of the reasons for the awkwardness between Oberyn and Lyarra. He's already a father of many bastard daughters, one half is not okay with daddy replacing mommy so soon and the other half is actually older than Lyarra herself (with Obara being nearly 26), so yeah. Awkward.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage:
    • What Ned aims for all his children, after what happened to Lyanna. While he can't exactly let them marry whoever they want, he can provide plenty of choices for them to decide from. The only exceptions to this are Lyarra (who the gods decided for) and Rickon (who's too young to even be thinking about betrothals yet).
      • Robb is the only one really gets to decide for himself, and even then, his experiences running the North while Ned is away have told him that he has to have a Northern wife, something that Catelyn eventually (if reluctantly) agrees with. He ultimately decides on Aislinn Forrester, the one maiden of marriageable age that wasn't throwing herself at him.
      • Sansa was originally supposed to be betrothed to Joffrey like canon, but after Joffrey's madness became common knowledge, Ned quickly shot the idea down, with his entire family's full support. Her father decided she'd be better off with a Northern marriage as well, and after getting to know the kind and gallant Domeric Bolton, decides to offer her hand to him if they show the slightest hint of compatibility. Wandering Suns reveals the two hit off immediately and quickly became smitten, with Domeric perfectly willing to wait until Sansa is older for marriage despite the issues it causes with trying to placate the smallfolk of Dreadfort.
      • Arya, like Robb, gets to choose (if only because of her personality), though Ned makes it clear that he will be the one who decides if it goes through. It's speculated that she'll probably take a Dornish husband, as the Dornish won't try to stifle her martial pursuits. Hoster even offers a possible match in Edric Dayne, who is an even more appealing prospect due to now being the heir of both Starfall and High Hermitage with Gerold Dayne's death.
      • Bran is tentativelly slated to marry Meera Reed, in part due to being the future Lord of Moat Cailin. However, Hoster Tully says Bran could get better (read: richer) wife, such as Shireen Baratheon. Robert does propose the marriage, but since he tried to go above Renly's head (her guardian), the plan got scrapped.
    • Played with and arguably subverted in regards to his marriage to Catelyn. While the two are Happily Married now, when they first started out their relationship was incredibly strained. On top of Lyarra, they were both still in love with other people: Catelyn with Ned's older brother Brandon, Ned with Ashara Dayne. It took them years to get where they are.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Walda really likes this colour. Gwyn even teases her about crushing on Domeric because his family blason uses it.
  • The Plague: A massive one, that spanned from Westeros to Essos and possibly beyond, striking everyone on every social level. It was a strain of Greyscale that turned people to stone in a few weeks, and it was only through inoculation using infected goats that it was cured.
  • Plausible Deniability: Absolutely everyone knows that Cersei ordered the attack on the Martell party. They just can't or don't want to prove it.
  • Pragmatic Hero: When the fake weirwood plot is exposed, the Martells and the Starks only arrested the ones directly involved instead of punishing the whole family. They only do that to improve their own respective reputations with their generosity and avert the risk of the Frey women and children being turned out to the streets in a population that hates them.
  • Produce Pelting: The smallfolk pelt Cersei's wheelhouse with old produce and feces when Cersei is forcefully sent out to a Mother House.
  • The Promise: Jon Arryn, knowing his own death is nearing, forces one on Tywin and Ned, for the latter's own sake: should Robert try to make him Hand to the King, Ned is to refuse, and Tywin is to accept the offer in his stead.
  • Properly Paranoid: Ned ended Lyarra's harp lessons out of fear that someone would notice the similarities between her talents and her father Rhaegar's. This turned out to be the right decision in the long run, as it only takes listening to Lyarra sing once for Monford Velaryon to realize whose daughter she really is.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Trying to be a better king doesn't automatically make you a better king or helps the state of your reign. Robert may be taking more of a role in the day-to-day ruling of Westeros, but his lack of interest until now means he is woefully inexperienced for it and can oftentimes do more harm than good.
    • Dressing in expensive clothes, wearing lot of jewelry and throwing lavish feasts during famine is a good way to alienate smallfolk and to get blamed for current debts of the Crown.
    • As the Faith of the Seven finds out, proclaiming that the only thing that has proven able to fight off The Plague is heresy only ensures people turn your back on you and your teachings.
      • Resurgence of a major religion is not a simple process. The Old Faith is facing resistance from the Faith of the Seven, and there are always people who try to get rich on their reputation.
    • There is no way that the Lannisters can mine the Rock for 8000 years without it running dry or collapsing. In reality, they have legal rights to all metals, gems and minerals in Westerlands, and their bannermen can mine them if they pay appropriate (and big) share.
    • The deaths of Petyr Baelish and Lysa Tully Arryn may have prevented his murder, but that doesn't change the fact that Jon Arryn is an eighty-year old man with a highly stressful job. Thus, his Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome should come as no surprise.
  • Realpolitik: In general, we see this a lot when there is a marriage or an alliance discussed.
    • Ned married Catelyn Tully (an Andal), Benjen joined the Night's Watch, their father married his cousin and his father a minor Northern noblewoman. That means Robb and most of his siblings must have Northern spouses, lest their bannermen start protesting.
    • Tyrells have to postpone their plans for a royal marriage, because the Plague left a lot of their bannermen and smallfolk angry, so they need to secure the Reach.
      • This means that no House in the Reach will be exporting any substantial amount of food, because the smallfolk would very likely rebel.
      • It's hinted that the Tyrells deliberately delayed delivery of inoculation to their political enemies.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Lyarra is this for Robert, as a substitute for Lyanna. That just makes his attraction to her even more disturbing.
  • Rule 63: Jon Snow was born Lyarra Snow in this story. Or, to be technical, Aegon Targaryen was born Visenya Targaryen.
  • Run for the Border: With Robb's support, Theon flees to Dorne after he fakes his death. Theon heads to Dorne partly due to Lyarra vouching for him and partly because Dorne hates King Robert. Thus they would ignore any royal edicts declaring for his execution.
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     S-Z 
  • The Scapegoat:
    • Cersei, ironically. While Cersei is guilty of a lot things that people, both noble and smallfolk alike, hate her for, she is not responsible for the poor state of the Crown's finances: her decadent lifestyle is entirely financed by the Lannisters' coffers. The Crown's issues stem from Robert's poor ruling practices, including a failure to collect sufficient taxes due to excessive generosity and an incessant need to throw tourneys with increasingly higher purses. And probably Baelish embezzling money.
    • Downplayed with Lyarra not being allowed to sing or play the harp by Eddard, as Lyarra thinks it is because Catelyn Stark doesn't want anyone to overshadow Sansa. It turns out that, while Eddard did use that as an excuse, the real reason is that her talent is essentially identical to her father Rhaegar's, and wants to make sure no one will be able to identify her true identity.
  • Schmuck Bait: Oberyn learns that a brothel's prostitutes are keeping Amory Lorch busy so he can come kill him, and runs there while leaving a reduced guard behind for a pregnant Lyarra's protection. It turns out to be a trap set up by Amory Lorch, who has been paid by Cersei to kill Gwyn Parren before she reveals that she knows none of Cersei's children are Robert's.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: With Lyarra barely avoiding being poisoned and Amory Lorch attacking Lyarra, Gwyn and Walda when Oberyn went out to looking for him, Oberyn has enough of Kings Landing. He has everyone pack their bags and board the next ship to Dorne the following night.
  • Second Love: Lyarra, for Oberyn, and Lyarra doesn't resent him for it. Oberyn believes that in a better world, his First Love Ellaria would've been marked alongside them and made their relationship a One True Threesome.
  • Secret Keeper: Shortly before meeting, Oberyn realizes that both Gwyn and Ned Stark know who killed Elia and her children, but the former is damned scared of potential repercussions should she speak, and Ned was forced by Robert to swear never to reveal the truth. Gwyn eventually tells Oberyn both of the names he's looking for, and he begins to plot his revenge.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Both Monford Velaryon and Varys realized Lyarra Snow isn't Eddard's child but rather Rhaegar's last living offspring and currently plot to ensure her ascension to the throne.
  • Selective Obliviousness:
    • Lady Stark used Lyarra's bastardy as an excuse to not teach her how to run a large household, saying no firstborn son nor lord would marry her. Not only was this an excuse for Lady Stark's irrational fear of Lyarra usurping her sisters but Roose Bolton, a lord and Smalljon Umber, a lord and firstborn son, had already asked for Lyarra's hand. Which results in everyone blaming Catelyn for Lyarra's ignorance when she fated to be a Dornish Princess.
    • As much as he blames Rhaegar and his father for the tragedies that befell him and his siblings, Ned also blames himself for what happened as well. With Lyanna's betrothal, Robert promising him a keep in Stormlands and his plan to marry Ashara, he could have both his family, his love and his friend together. He was so blinded by this fantasy that he failed to see how unhappy Lyanna was with the betrothal, and it wasn't until he found her on her deathbed did he realize his folly.
    • In addition to Robert's canon stance on Lyanna and Rhaegar, he seems to think that Lyarra would gladly leave Oberyn for him if she could instead of being very obviously Happily Married.
  • Serenade Your Lover: Domeric Bolton and Sansa Stark actually team up to do this in one of the Wandering Suns chapters, where he stands outside her window and plays his harp, while she supplies the singing. Each is best at one part of the music, so why not?
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Ned, Lyarra, and the rest of the Starks become one for Domeric/Sansa, especially after seeing Joffrey's true colors on their first night in King's Landing. Ned and Lyarra take proactive attempts in pushing them together once her match to Joffrey falls through, by writing about his many impressive deeds to her in letters and sending her sketches of him. It works. By the time Ned returns to Winterfell, Sansa was about to ask for the match herself.
    • Catelyn initially wanted Robb to marry south like Sansa was supposed to, and during his thinly-veiled courtship with Aislinn Forrester, makes various references to the beauty of Margaery Tyrell. This fails, for two reasons: 1) Robb knows he needs a Northern wife, and 2) the Tyrells have betrothed her to Samwell Tarly to further stabilize the Reach.
  • Shipper with an Agenda: Ned and Lyarra push for Sansa to fall for Domeric to protect Sansa from Joffrey and to win House Bolton's allegiance.
  • Shotgun Wedding: Invoked. Robb and Aislinn deliberately allow themselves to get caught having sex, because 1) it will allow Robb to request marrying Aislinn quickly and 2) makes him resemble his uncle Brandon. Both facts combined means that the Northern lords will have a better opinion of him, as he proves himself to have the "blood of the wolf" yet he is honorable enough to marry the girl. The fact that they genuinely like each other is the cherry on top.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man:
    • For all his faults, Oberyn is a kind and considerate husband, which is why it doesn't take Lyarra long to fall for him.
    • Sansa instantly loses interest in Joffrey once she learns of his cruelty, much to the relief of her family. She subsequently falls for Domeric before she even meets him after reading of his gallantry from the letters Ned and Lyarra send to her.
    • Roslin Frey is sent to Winterfell to be fostered. Having been extremely unhappy at the Twins, she comes to like the North well enough to stay, and decided to find a Northern husband to facilitate that, one that was kind, loved children, and could protect her well enough. Smalljon ticked all the boxes, so she paid all her attentions towards him.
  • Slave to PR: Enforced by Ned, who can't understand why nobility would ever willingly mistreat their smallfolk. After all, noble houses come and go, while the smallfolk are always there.
  • So Proud of You:
    • Renly thinks Stannis would be this for Shireen. At the very least, both he and Loras are this for Shireen as well.
    • In turn, Jon Arryn is this for Renly. He's glad that Renly has matured so much and become a great lord in the wake of such tragedy.
  • Soulmate AU Fic: Though not everyone gets a mark. Usually, those who do are ones whose children are fated to serve some major role in the future is to come. In the case of Lyarra and Oberyn, it's most likely because their child is meant to sit upon the Iron Throne.
  • Stealing from the Till: House Lannister's agreement with the Miners' Guild is that while the Lannisters have mining rights for all metals mined in the Westerlands, the Miners' Guild will have fair salaries and have the Lannisters hold their Winter Fund to distribute for the purchasing of food when winter comes. The Lannisters' Conspicuous Consumption and support of the Crown's debt has led Tywin to steal from the Winter Fund to pay it off. If the truth goes public, as per their ancient covenant the Guild will execute Tywin and his cronies.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Both Tywin and Varys remark that Cersei would have made a good mummer.
  • Strong Family Resemblance:
    • Lyarra is basically Lyanna Stark reborn, except even more beautiful. This gets her a lot of undue attention from Robert, which angers Cersei and Ned.
    • Once you accept the possibility, it isn't hard for anyone who knew Rhaegar to realize that Lyarra is his daughter. Her coloring may be Stark, but the shape of her face, the color of her eyes, and her own talents are clearly Targaryen.
  • Stupid Evil:
    • Joffrey. By the Old Gods and the New, Joffrey. It's almost as if he willingly aimed to be hated by everyone, but no, he's just that dumb.
    • He comes by it honestly, just look at his mom. Cersei has been informed by nearly everyone with a stake in the succession that she needs to bear another child, but she immediately aborts her current pregnancy because she cannot see beyond Robert being the father. It never occurs to her that she could just have the kid to cement her family's hold on the throne and then ignore it.
  • Succession Crisis: Two major ones:
    • The Vale has descended into near-Civil War after the death of Robin Arryn and Lysa Tully Arryn. With the latter's death, Jon has no hope of another son (especially since he's almost eighty as of the story), and has no other immediate family to take Robin's place. Thus, every noble family in the Vale is searching for the closest Arryn relative in their family tree to try and stake a claim. The situation has become so bad that Jon Arryn plans to leave his position as Hand to the King to settle the matter personally. Wandering Suns reveals the Vale eventually devolved into complete martial unrest, to the extent that Jon requested help from the North to keep things under some form of control.
    • Joffrey's madness becomes widespread fact after he rips out the tongues of several gossiping merchants (for extra idiocy, a good lot of them weren't even guilty of what Joffrey was accusing them) and presents them to his father as a gift during a feast, in front of several high-ranking nobles, including no less than three Lords Paramount and a Prince of Dorne. Not only does this disgust/terrify/outrage everyone there, it also effectively disqualifies him from the line of succession: Robert gained his throne by deposing the Mad King Aerys' and Aerys' son, Rhaegar. The realm would rather descend into war than knowingly accept another mad king on the throne: even Tywin Lannister, who desperately wants Lannister blood on the Iron Throne, refuses to live through another Aerys, even if it's his own grandson. Since Joffrey is now out of the running, Tommen, Myrcella and Stannis are dead, and Renly also disqualified due to having a male soulmate (meaning no issue, ever), that leaves Shireen as Robert's heir, which itself is hardly ideal thanks to Heir Club for Men above. That leaves four possibilities:
      • The most immediate fix is for Cersei to quicken again. Unfortunately, by the time the story enters King's Landing, Robert and Cersei have been desperately coupling for new heirs for a year and a half, and it seems she's now barren. She actually isn't, but keeps getting rid of Robert's babies via a schedule of moon tea because she wants to only have Jaime's.
      • If Cersei is barren, then Tywin will simply marry Joffrey as quickly as possible, have him produce a son, and have that son transplant him as heir while Joffrey is... convinced to take the Black. Unfortunately, no responsible father of noble birth will ever marry their daughter to Joffrey after that display, even if Tywin promises to keep said daughter in the lap of luxury for the rest of her natural life. That's not even accounting for the fact that Joffrey isn't Robert's son, and therefore any child rendered from Joffrey's loins would have as much claim to the throne as he does — that is, to say, nil.
      • Robert will annul his marriage and take a new wife. Unfortunately, there aren't many available candidates. Also, Tywin wants him to marry another Lanister or promise a betrothal from a Lannister to the future Crown Prince.
      • Worst comes to worst, Robert will have to legitimize one of his bastards. That will provoke Tywin, who has invested too much in the Crown to accept that happening.
  • The Swear Jar: Hilariously, Renly Baratheon has to give a silver stag to Shireen when he swears aloud in front of his niece.
  • Take a Third Option: At the tourney in honor of Ned and Oberyn's visit to King's Landing, the victor Domeric Bolton chooses to honor none of the married women or bachelorettes after as Queen of Love and Beauty. Instead, he places the flower crown at the empty seat that would have been reserved for the now-dead Princess Myrcella.
  • Taken for Granite: The ultimate fate of the Plague victims, were they not inoculated in time. Many of them, including Ellaria, had their own bodies serve as stone effigies in their family tombs instead of being buried exactly for this reason.
  • Tempting Fate: All the people who say there is no way Ned Stark will turn against Robert. What could possibly divide them?
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Robb Stark is faced with a choice to execute Theon in retaliation for the Ironborn raiding again, or to Fake The Dead and let him go. He chooses the latter.
  • Thicker Than Water: Ned and Robb may not like Oberyn, but they do respect him, and in the end, he's family to them now (due to his marriage to Lyarra), and family always comes first. This is a sentiment they both make clear to him in private, and a sentiment that Oberyn returns, however reluctantly.
  • Through His Stomach: Platonic example with Gwyn, who won Sandor Clegane as a friend and protector because he really likes her roast chicken.
  • Tongue Trauma: Inflicted by Joffrey on twenty-some merchants for "gossiping", and he had the chutzpah to bring the ripped tongues to Robert, while the King was dining the Stark-Martell party. Needless to say, he immediately lost any hope to become King.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The general opinion of anyone who learns that Tywin might have stolen funds from Miners Guild, who are the majority of his army.
  • Town Girls: The Stark sisters has the tomboy Arya (butch), the traditional Sansa (femme) and Lady of War Lyarra (neither).
  • Vicariously Ambitious: Varys and Monford Velaryon seek to restore the Targaryen dynasty by putting Princess Lyarra Martell nee Stark aka Princess Visenya Targaryen on the Iron Throne despite her neither knowing her true identity nor asking for the throne. This is because 1) she's the only living child of the beloved Silver Prince Rhaegar, 2) unlike Daenerys, Lyarra's Westerosi-raised, 3) she's been educated by The Paragon Ned Stark, who has ensured she is high in honor and low in crazy, and 4) she would be backed by the North, the Riverlands and, through her marriage, Dorne.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Joffrey, but's even worse than in canon thanks to both his parents being preoccupied: Cersei with mourning Myrcella and Tommen, Robert with trying to keep the realm together and stabilizing his reign.
  • When I Was Your Age...: A rare serious example. Tywin notes that back when he was Robert's age, the size of a tourney's purses were a mere fraction of what Robert offers for his own tourneys in the present. This complaint, however, is legitimate, as the Crown is currently in serious debt, and part of that is because Robert keeps on insisting on spending so much on tourneys, especially when he's throwing them constantly.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman:
    • Cersei, as in canon, though her excessive mourning and poor lifestyle have aged her considerably.
    • Even years after her death, Ashara Dayne's beauty is still famed across Westeros.
    • At only fifteen years of age, many have predicted Lyarra will be this when she is fully grown. It's enough to give credit to the rumors of her mother being Ashara Dayne.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Turns out Robb Stark is terrified of spiders. Gwyn likes to use spiders to scare him out.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Tywin has Cersei sent to a Mother House to cool the bad PR in Kings Landing. Either Cersei shapes up by being a fierce, strict and abusive environment and is more grateful and humble from the experience along with finally being able to carry a child, or she goes crazy and they can finally put her aside so Robert can marry someone else as soon as possible.
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