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Fanfic / Gaemon The Dragonsteel

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Oh who am I kidding? This is going to suck.
Gaemon

''Gaemon The Dragon-Steel's Guide to Not Dying Horribly'' is a self-insert into the A Song of Ice and Fire universe during the pre-canon civil war, the Dance of Dragons. It is written by user StrangerOrders on the Alternative History Forums, and is being re-written as Gaemon REDUX.

Gaemon is the non-canon twin brother of Aegon (who became Aegon II), and half brother of Rhaenyra. Apart from his Dragon Dreams regarding the forging of Valyrian Steel, and slowly growing rumours of him being some sort of devil-child at court, his main preoccupation is not being viciously murdered in the incoming (and presumably unpreventable) Dance of Dragons.

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    Tropes That Apply Gaemon The Dragon-Steel 
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Daemon Targaryen. He manages to seduce two of the most attractive women in Westeros. Who are also his close relations. At the same time. Shame he got caught and exiled.
  • Arc Words: Dance, Dancing and "Dance of Dragons" all seem to come up a lot at appropriate times.
  • Arranged Marriage: As can be expected for an ASOIAF story, there are several so far. Rhaenyra still marries her canon husband, Laenor Velaryon.
    • Gaemon is betrothed to Laenor's sister Laena, who is much, much older than Gaemon. She gets pregnant from above-mentioned threesome, tries to run off to Daemon, but he rejects her.
  • Attention Whore: Clearsky has a massive ego.
  • Big Little Brother: Aegon and Gaemon. Aegon is the elder brother, but both acts much younger (as he's not a SI, of course), and is described as being shorter as well.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Targaryens in a nutshell. Just like in canon, how much more screwed up can you be when your disagreements can lead to fiery death? Gaemon refuses to call Viserys his father for one thing, and is certain his uncle Daemon is going to murder him. The same uncle also had sex with his niece Rhaenyra. Rhaenyra and Gaemon's mother also do not get along. At all. And the fiery deaths haven't even started yet.
  • Bling of War: Despite his fondness for elaborate designs, Arral seems to hate excessive ornamentation.
  • Blood Magic: What Valyria ran off. Gaemon learns that abusing it caused the Doom.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Aegon of all people, who grows up to be a gregarious and burly warrior more in line with Robert than his canon self.
  • Break the Cutie: Laena after being seduced, impregnated and rejected by Daemon. Her self-esteem takes one hell of a toll and her POV can be cringeworthy at times. On top of everything she cant even show too much affection to her daughters.
  • Cast from Lifespan: How Valyrian magic is supposed to work.
  • Creepy Child: Turns out, Gaemon is *not* good at pretending to be a normal kid, and people start taking notice, leading to a few people suspetcing he's some kind of demon child.
  • Did Not See That Coming: Gaemon's constant reaction whenever one of his relatives does something stupid. Like Rhaenyra and Laema both sleeping with Daemon at the same time. Rhaenyra offering herself to Criston Cole while drunk, or Viserys and his choices of marriage, page and squireship for Gaemon.
    • Of course, a lot of Gaemon's plans and knowledge fall apart because he failed to predict one thing or another. Such as Laena being rejected by Daemon, which everyone but him seems to know happened until he finds out.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Gaemon really has no idea who Rhaenyra is talking about when she says she's found a perfect father for her children and will wait.
  • Eldritch Abomination: What the Fourteen seem to be.
    • Meraxes seems to be more in line with a creation goddess whose shattered form is the source of all metals.
  • Eldritch Location: We get to see what remains of Valyria after the Doom. It's not pretty.
    • There is also Yeen, a city that has known a thousand people but only ever obeyed one. Quelos pulverizes the city by landing on it.
  • Enfant Terrible: What half the realm seems to think Gaemon is.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Corlys Velaryon, to the point where it's a constant distraction to Gaemon, who keeps saying they should exterminate Hose Florent so Corlys can claim his rightful title as the Silver Fox.
  • Giving Radio to the Romans: Gaemon spends some time explaining exactly why this probably won't work. In truth, he does try introducing some concepts, like the printing press, and as expected these endure years of teething and supply problems.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Thanks to Gaemon's intervention, Aegon becomes a fit and charming young man as opposed to the slimy bore he was in canon.
  • Hidden Depths: Archmaester Arral is able to very smoothly flatter the king and behave very appropriately while at court, as a stratagem to obtain funding for his expeditions in the future.
  • Idiot Ball: Every Targarean but Gaemon practically juggles these. None more than King Viserys, who later reveals himself to be more willfully blind to the brewing crisis.
    • Gaemon's actually no saint on this front; he's planned grand strategies around Dance of Dragons canon, but fails to predict the butterflies his existence causes.
  • In-Series Nickname: Lots are borrowed from the canon backstory. Daemon is the Rogue Prince, Corlys Velaryon is the Sea Snake and so on. Presumably from the title Gaemon will eventually have "the Dragon-Steel" appended to his name.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Birth dates, names and personalities of Helaena, Aemond and Daeron stay the same, despite the existence of their meddling older brother.
  • Iron Lady: Rhea Royce is the sort of woman who shrugs off an assassination attempt and gets right back to ruling.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Gaemon has a very negative view of the world around him. Then again, seeing which universe he's in, he probably has the right sort of idea.
  • Kaiju: Dragons never stop growing as long as they live, and they lived a lot longer than canon's "mere 2 centuries".
    • Quelos is nearly 1000 years old by now, and somewhere between Godzilla and Ancalagon in size. Some of the demons in the Smoking Sea are comparable in size.
    • The Rhoynar had some impressive turtles in Gaema's time.
  • Mad Scientist: Archmaester Arral is basically this, plus magic. Lampshaded frequently by Gaemon.
  • Marry Them All: Technically, he's only officially marrying Laena,but as all three of them (Gaemon,Laena,and Rhaenyra) are in love with each other and ahem, getting busy together, it's in reality this.
  • Monstrous Humanoid: The eventual fate of Valyrian Sorcerers
  • Must Have Caffeine: Coffee is one of the things the SI misses the most from his previous life. It turns out that Daemon has some, imported from the Summer Isles, and is addicted himself.
    • “We must lay claim to the Stepstones for the glory of house Targaryen,” I nodded sagely. “And the Summer Isles.”
    • Gaemon lost most of his fear of Daemon when his uncle gave him coffee. Prior to that Gaemon refused to eat or drink anything that Daemon had touched in fear of being poisoned.
  • Only Sane Man: Gaemon again, who seems certain that almost everyone else in Westeros is a semi-suicidal idiot at best. Then again, Gaemon has done some pretty insane stuff himself, such as becoming a dragon-rider age 4, and threatening to have someones hands cut off when he was 2!
  • Psycho Serum: Manflesh is this for dragons, it accelerates their growth and makes them more aggressive, but it significantly reduces their lifespan and causes brain damage.
  • Praetorian Guard: Gaemon's guards eventually gain the moniker of 'White Jaws' after their enamelled helmets.
  • Properly Paranoid: It's probably pretty hard to be excessively paranoid as a Prince in Westeros, but Gaemon gives it his best try, constantly suspecting the motives of even his closest companions.
  • Puppy Love: Aemond toward Aela, Laena's secret illegitimate daughter. Gaemon is rather unnerved by it.
  • Running Gag: Gaemon's constant wishes for Ser Cole's death are always amazing. It's almost sad when Cole is not in a chapter because of their absence.
  • Self-Insert: The author into Westeros, right before the Dance of Dragons.
  • Silver Fox: Corlys Velarion is in his early sixties, yet the first time Gaemon sees him he cant help but lick his lips and oogle while internally commenting that a man that old has no business being that hot.
  • Straight Man: Ser Eberman to Gaemon.
  • Succession Crisis:
    • Ooh boy, the entire build up so far has yet to reach the massive, dragon-riding, succession crisis that is the Dance of Dragons. Gaemon seems set on trying to prevent it from happening, but tension is building.
  • The Stoic: Ser Eberman.
    "As you say."
  • Transparent Closet: Laenor, though Gaemon is able to get him to not be so obvious in public.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Gaemon's "future" knowledge is often inaccurate because the books the SI has read were heavily biased or outright lying propaganda pieces written by one side or the other. Or by people who just don't think cities are worth mentioning when describing the castles they are around.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 26 Gaemon has just tamed his dragon, and returns to find Daemon has been caught with Laena and Rhaenyra.
    • Chapter 39 Gaemon follows through with the ritual to make Valyrian Steel, stabbing himself in the heart with an Obsidian Dagger. And if that wasn't enough, it also turns out that after ritual, creating Valyrian steel gradually changes you into a sort of Dragon-Human hybrid.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: To no one's surprise, magic tends in the setting still requires a unique attitude. Archmaester Arral in particular has what could generally be described as the sanity of a squid on fire.

    Tropes That Apply to Gaemon REDUX 
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Nope. Both Laena and Rhaenyra completely lost interest in Daemon after he seduced, impregnated and then dumped Laena.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Or maybe Draconic Personifications. The Fourteen were said to embody certain concepts and virtues, and their bodies were supposedly used to create different parts of natural world. Interestingly, they embodied both ends of the spectrum at once — for example, Virturion was a god of both Winter and Summer, as well as Order and Chaos.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Despite somehow finding himself reincarnated into a fantasy world with things like dragons, magical shapeshifting assassins and absurdly large buildings (among others), Gaemon firmly refuses to believe that the Fourteen could possibly be real and not a bullshit story made up by a cult of sorcerers. This is despite the mounting evidence to the contrary including outright visions from one of the Gods. Really, his denial is bordering on Agent Scully.
  • Arranged Marriage: One of the most effective political tools in Westeros, so it sees a lot of use.
    • Gaemon is betrothed to Laena after her original betrothal is broken.
    • As per canon, Alicent tried to have one of her sons betrothed to Rhaenyra, only to be shot down by the king.
    • Gaemon's faction works on arranging those between the Blacks and the Greens as a way of potentially preventing or limiting the damage of the Dance. The most important match is the one between Ser Ormund Hightower, the Heir of Hightower, and Lady Corla Velaryon, Lord Velaryon's niece.
  • The Atoner: Daemon is shown to be this in his POV chapter.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. The assassination attempt on Gaemon leaves him scarred up and a few fingers short.
  • Bling of War: Gaemon's White Jaws are all clad in high-quality plate armor, articulated for maximum mobility, etched with flowing patterns and enameled with what gave them their name. Certainly more suited to a lord paramount than a mere guard, they're funded by Nessa's business ventures.
  • Bond Creatures: While dragons were already this is canon, it's taken Up to Eleven by the Orders, whose dragons seem to be especially sensitive to their riders emotions and unspoken wishes, and the riders can easily read their mounts in turn. And that's not counting how their literally bind their lives together in a voluntary sacrifice blood ritual that grants them Resurrective Immortality.
  • Broken Bird: Laena, nuff said.
  • Comically Missing the Point/Dramatically Missing the Point: For somebody who could be called excessively paranoid in Westeros, Gaemon sure misses a lot of fairly obvious stuff:
    • That Laena got pregnant by Daemon and he rejected her. And that her absence from Rhaenyra's was caused by an actual illness, not just a poor excuse.
    • Who exactly Rhaenyra has in mind to father her children.
    • Laena is actually likes him and wants to marry him, just like how his family loves him.
    • Viserys is more observant and politically savvy, and much more dangerous that his jovial demeanor implies.
    • He thinks that Rhea Royce's cousins visiting suddenly while she was just recently deathly ill (actually poisoned) is done purely out of family feelings and genuine concern.
  • Corrupt Church: What the priesthood of the Fourteen was in Old Valyria, being nothing more than a mouthpiece of the Chamber and filled with Small Name, Big Ego priests. Gaema absolutely despised them and it's pretty clear that the rest of the Orders had similar views — especially since they actually fulfill the will of Gods.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Might as well be Gaemon's middle name. You need to be a special kind of thoughtless to just follow the blood rites that you saw in dreams without wondering why you are seeing this or what will be the price.
    • Similarly, Daemon notes that he himself can be very reckless and not think things through properly.
  • Do Wrong, Right: When Arral is drugged and tossed into the kennels during their stay at the Arbor, he loudly complains that an Archmaester merits the stables during such an occasion.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Gaemon thinks that he's pretty good at appearing normal or at least approachable. Other povs show that he's actually rather creepy in his looks and behaviour, especially when he smiles.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick:
    • Nessa manages Gaemon's household and money like well-oiled machines. She's taken his princely allowance and put them towards money-making investments that allow them to employ and maintain an expansive staff and guard that exceeds those of some minor noble houses.
    • Joffrey Lonmouth's financial management of the Stepstones' ports turned Daemon's expedition into a rather profitable affair.
  • Improperly Paranoid:
    • Gaemon is under the impression that all of those around him, friends and loved ones, will eventually turn on him because of the game of thrones. He doesn't get that his Pendants all have Undying Loyalty towards him.
    • He also suspects Daemon of pretty much everything that goes wrong as he's convinced his uncle is just looking for an opportunity to screw him over, return to Westeros and take the Throne — and not necessarily in this order.
  • Kill and Replace: One of the White Jaws gets killed alongside his entire family by a Faceless Man, who then uses his face to try and assassinate Gaemon.
  • Legend Fades to Myth: Discussed. Arral thinks that's what has happened in the legend of Uthor of the Tower and Argoth Stone-Skin — the story is a metaphor for an influx of humans from Essos displacing the native inhabitants of the region. He even examined graves and burial sites around the city to prove it! Considering the tomb complex beneath the Hightower, he is probably right on all counts.
  • Mad Scientist: Arral. While we don't see anything on-screen, the references to numerous Noodle Incidents are enough to firmly put him in this category.
  • Mystery Cult: Played with when it comes to the Orders. While people did know the Patron God of each Order and might have had a general idea of what they did, very few outside the Orders knew how they did it or why.
  • Noodle Incident: Arral is just a neverending font of those.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Arral, even moreso than usual for maesters. In addition to being the Archmaester of Occult, he's also an accomplished healer, smith, linguist, historian, archeologist and writer, and is capable politician and diplomat. He also seems to have an interest in spelunking and geology, among others.
  • Only Sane Man: Gaemon thinks he's one. In reality, he is too much of a Cloudcuckoolander and the title actually belongs to Joffrey Lonmouth.
  • Properly Paranoid: The precautions taken by Gaemon's household include no weapons training where other people can see them, no participating in tourneys and not letting unauthorized people into his rooms, even if they are somebody he knows. It pays off when a Faceless Man disguises themselves as one of the White Jaws and tries to enter his rooms in the middle of night.
  • Running Gag: Several:
    • Gaemon wishing brutal deaths on Criston Cole and Otto Hightower.
    • Gaemon's siblings glomping him so much he can't breath.
    • Mentions of Arral's off-screen experiments with poultry.
  • Secret Identity: Nessa is simply a daughter of a knight from House Doggett, on paper anyway. In other POV chapters, however, we learn that her actual name is Naelsana, that she, King Viserys and Prince Daemon refer to each other in rather familiar terms and that her mother is a Lysene of some status. Why she is being passed off as a daughter of a minor knight is yet unknown.
  • Spared By Adaptation: So far we have Joffrey Lonmouth, Rhea Royce.
  • The Spartan Way: How the apprentices were trained in the Order of Meraxes and, presumably, other Orders of the Fourteen. Flashbacks show that Gaema was punished with whipping for making mistakes, disobedience or if she couldn't control Qelos properly.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The assassin that tried to kill Gaemon at Runestone. As Arral puts it, she accepted a job to kill a prince from the half-assed schemer that is Ser Arton Royce and expected to get away with it.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Arral's various assistants and students. Nothing, absolutely nothing, fazes them anymore, no matter how outlandish.
  • Unreliable Narrator: All of them. Either because they operate on incomplete knowledge and faulty assumptions or because they have their own biases. And Gaemon is probably the worst offender.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter Twelve: Expletive. Nothing Else Need Be Said. Daemon is found in bed with Laena and Rhaenyra, and is exiled as a result of his actions.
    • Chapter Twenty: The Dark, the Damp and the Cthulu. Arral shows Gaemon and Eberman an enormous tomb complex beneath the Hightower, which is full of non-human bodies. And Sky's flames reveal dragon skulls and inscriptions with a dedication to Meraxes.
  • Wham Line:
    • "[Arral] smiled even more brightly. “Why of course, prince! As they say in my homeland, what is dead may never die!” "
  • Wrong Assumption: Gaemon's most frequent mistake bordering on Fatal Flaw. He thinks that just because he read the books, he knows the people better than they know themselves. Nevermind that 1) he never read "Fire and Blood" since he died before it was published, 2) the books he has read were based on post-facto accounts from less-than-credible sources and compiled by a biased maester and 3) his own actions are already causing butterflies all around.

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