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Fanfic / Our Blades Are Sharp

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Our Blades Are Sharp is a fanfic written by spectre4hire and set in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. It is a fanfic that examines what would have happened if Domeric Bolton, true-born son of Roose Bolton, was still around come A Game of Thrones, starting two years before.

Complete as of January 21, 2020.

The sequel, Our Blades Are Sharp 2: The Red Reign, started on February 5, 2020.


This fanfic provides examples of:

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  • Aborted Arc:
    • An earlier version of Chapter 17 has Domeric meeting with a man who is a spy for Roose Bolton in King’s Landing.
    • Likewise, an earlier version of Chapter 30 has Robard carrying the corpse of a girl raped and murdered by Ramsay who is wearing the sigil of House Hornwood. This was later written out.
  • Abusive Parents: Jaime is very callous towards the broken betrothal between Myrcella and Robb, which unnerves Kevan.
  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • Sansa wonders if The Hound was chuckling when she asks Joffrey why he doesn't compete in tournaments.
    • Ned laughed when he saw Robb and Theon wrestling to reenact the wrestling match that Rodrik Stark participated in for Bear Island.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Damon Dance-for-Me is just Damon and is spying on Ramsay alongside Bitter Robard. Unlike Robard, Damon is being paid.
  • Adaptational Intelligence:
    • Without the Wide-Eyed Idealism she had toward the South, Sansa is better able to navigate the Decadent Court of King's Landing. She is also not deceived by Cersei or Joffrey and even believes that the Queen had something to do with Bran's fall.
    • Domeric was best classified as Stupid Good in the books. Here, he manages to run a False Flag Operation that deceives Varys.
  • Adaptational Job Change: In the second book Tyrion was acting Hand of the King, Littlefinger was Master of Coin, and Tyrion’s uncle Kevan was still in the field. Then in the third book Littlefinger leaves the Small Council to woo Lysa Arryn, Tyrion takes his job as Master of Coin, and Kevan becomes the Master of Laws. In the sequel to Our Blades are Sharp, all three are on the Small Council at the same time and the positions are shuffled; Kevan is acting Hand of the King, Littlefinger is still Master of Coin, and Tyrion becomes the Master of Laws.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Sansa is much less of an Alpha Bitch to Arya and Jon than she was in the books and even apologizes for it.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Ramsay's mother. Robard mentions that she's been telling Ramsay that he should be the true heir to the Dreadfort and he ran with it. Reek has also been encouraging him.
    • The Bastard Boys, minus Damon and Bitter Robard, are all completely loyal to Ramsay.
    • Keeping with the show moving some of Cersei's actions to Joffrey, Joffrey is the one forcing someone to write to Robb.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Downplayed with The Hound, who isn't as good at jousting as he was in the original books, where he was able to make it to the final round against Loras Tyrell. His sword skills on the other hand are still on par with the books/show Hound.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Chapter 36 for Maester Uthor, the maester of the Dreadfort.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Ned hopes to return home soon so Rickon won't forget who he is.
    • Arya is livid when she learns her father was imprisoned, her sister disappeared with her betrothed and her bastard brother was last seen with a Lannister. She knows they could be hurt or worse and she's not able to do something about it.
    • Kevan Lannister's thoughts in chapter 8 of the sequel are dominated by his hopes that he was able to send his sons to safety, only to learn that his eldest son Lancel is still in the city, right when Renly arrives.
  • Age Lift: Beth Cassel was aged up to Sansa's age, while Sansa, Arya, Bran, Myrcella and Tommen were aged up to their show equivalents.
  • Agent Scully: Lord Mallery is skeptical of the abilities of wargs, dismissing them as "Northern nonsense" and childish dreams.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Septon Utt begs to take the Black. Instead, Domeric decides to make an example of him.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: A drunk Cerwyn man-at-arms tries to kill Osha. At a feast. On a drunken idea from Theon.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Averted, as Sansa likes the kind, down-to-earth Domeric. Inverted with Joffrey, a "bad boy" who wants Sansa.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Hoster Tully tells Sansa stories about Catelyn's youth, stories that would definitely make her mother blush.
  • Amazon Brigade: Arya is sent to be fostered at Bear Island.
  • Ambition Is Evil:
    • Roose Bolton explains to Domeric that to be a Bolton is to be ambitious and that is why they are looked on with suspicion by the other houses.
    Roose: We are loyal, but that does not mean we must be satisfied with our position.
    • Ramsay seeks to become Lord of the Dreadfort and believes that everything Domeric has should be his.
  • An Axe to Grind:
    • Bitter Robard uses an axe as his main weapon.
    • The wildling who fights Domeric in Chapter 8 wields an axe. She gives him a pretty good whack on the head with it.
    • Domeric selects an axe as his main weapon.
  • Anti-Hero: Domeric is a Pragmatic Hero. He genuinely loves Sansa and will do anything for her, but he is also ruthless in combat and if you piss him off, he will find a way to get back at you.
  • The Archer: Jorelle Mormont is the long-range specialist of the Mormont girls.
  • Arc Words: "Return to me" is passed a lot between Domeric and Sansa.
  • Arranged Marriage:
    • Domeric and Sansa. Right now, it's aiming for a Perfectly Arranged Marriage.
    • Robb and Myrcella were betrothed to cement an alliance between Houses Baratheon and Stark. It falls through when the truth of her parentage comes out.
    • A betrothal is set between Cley Cerwyn and Jorelle Mormont.
    • The Mormonts' Maester Mathis is always trying to set a betrothal for Dacey. He first suggests Theon, then Jon. Maege nearly bashed him with her mace over the former.
    • Roose Bolton asks Maester Uthor to draw up a list of possible candidates in Chapter 36. He decides on Jonelle Cerwyn.
    • Speaking of Jon, after killing the Mountain and being knighted, his marriage prospects have risen considerably. Robb mentions that Maege Mormont has suggested Dacey (which ends up becoming official), Lord Bracken suggested one of his daughters (the one who was raped by the Mountain), and Sansa is thinking about betrothing Jon to one of the Frey ladies that accompany her. In fact, Sansa's made it a point to find husbands for all the Freys who accompanied her so they won't have to go back to the Twins where they're not happy.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Domeric was a Posthumous Character in the books and was barely mentioned in A Dance with Dragons. Here, he is a central character.
    • Robb, who was a non-POV in the books, gets five chapters.
    • Myrcella gets five POV chapters.
    • Instead of being a Red Shirt, we actually get to meet Lord Mallery. It's not a favorable impression.
    • Like in the TV series, we actually get to meet Lyanna Mormont. It goes even further with meeting her elder sisters Lyra and Jorelle.
    • Arwyn, Shirei and Fair Walda Frey have a short scene with Sansa in Chapter 50, with is more than what they have in the books.
    • Garlan Tyrell takes part of a POV in Chapter 65 and later becomes the main protagonist of the Tyrell portions.
    • Colmar Frey narrates half of Chapter 2 in the sequel.
  • Asleep for Days: Chapter 47 opens with Jon awakening at Pinkmaiden days after a battle with the Mountain's forces.
  • Asshole Victim:
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Arya finds herself defending Theon to the Mormont girls while thinking he must never learn about it. That's mainly because she has a bout of homesickness and associates Theon with Winterfell.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Ramsay went on a week-long killing spree when he learned of Domeric and Sansa's betrothal.
    • The Mountain killed his own horse and attacked Loras Tyrell at the Tourney of the Hand.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Roose and Domeric interpret the Bolton sigil as a visual one for what they can do to someone.
    • Domeric makes this remark in Chapter 23 while preparing for the Hand's Tourney:
    Domeric: I will show the South the might of the North.
  • Bad Liar: Robb, as shown when he talked about the wildling ambush.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Domeric mentions to Sansa that her brother told him she had a good singing voice. She thinks it's Robb. It's actually Jon.
  • Bastard Bastard: Ramsay, as usual. Seeking to usurp your brother and terrorizing your homeland will qualify you as such.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Ramsay always wanted to have a place in the Dreadfort. Roose gives it to him - as part of the Bolton's hidden museum of corpse parts.
    • Also, he killed his mother and burned down his home because he knew this would call Roose's attention. This action prompted Roose to finally put an end to Ramsay.
  • Becoming the Mask: Domeric knows he has failed in not letting his feelings for Sansa cloud his judgement. Not like he minds.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Joffrey eventually becomes one towards Domeric. Another one is calling him craven. And when Joffrey calls him craven... well, Domeric is angry, but doesn't show it. Sansa, however, feels him tense when he does.
    • Domeric himself is one for Ramsay. Bitter Robard mentions that his name is not to be mentioned in Ramsay's presence and that Ramsay had murdered someone for doing even less than mention his hated true-born half brother.
    • Badmouthing Domeric is one for Roose Bolton. Grunt lost his tongue over that.
    • Do not insult the Old Gods in front of the Stark guardsmen.
  • Best Served Cold: Domeric doesn't believe in getting angry publicly, so he gets revenge quietly, like breaking Theon's bow (and his nose). It's also implied he poisoned Joffrey, leaving him incapacitated for Chapter 27.
    ”It would not serve him to make a scene in the Great Hall. To bluster angrily at perceived family insults in front of everyone. No, take them with a nod, and a look of indifference. But do not forget them. An outburst would be quick and pointless. His time for retribution would come, and it would be on his terms not Theon's. Then the ironborn would know not to cross the Boltons.”
  • Beta Couple: Robb and Myrcella. It didn't work out.
  • Big Brother Bully: Joffrey has always been this, but really ramps it up in Chapter 33 when he forces Myrcella to write to Robb and threatens to break off the betrothal if she refuses. He also threatens Myrcella by threatening Tommen. Tommen is particularly frightened of Joffrey, having a nightmare involving getting thrown in the Black Cells.
  • Big Brother Mentor:
    • Tyrion gives Domeric some tips about how to navigate the Decadent Court of King's Landing.
    • Gender-inverted with Sansa, who resolves to become one to Myrcella to lessen the Culture Clash with the transition from the South to the North.
  • Big Little Brother: Quentyn Martell mentions that his brother Trystane is already taller than he is.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: House Frey.
    Marissa Frey: We may all share the Frey name, but we are just as different and divided as any half a dozen houses you may come across.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Myrcella towards Tommen.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: The three wildlings that Robb, Jon and Domeric wind up fighting: a large one that fights Jon (big), a thin woman who fights Domeric (thin) and a short one that fights Robb (short).
  • Black Cloak: The wildling woman who fights Domeric wears one of these. It looks like it was taken from a member of the Night's Watch.
  • Black Knight: Domeric competes in the Tourney of the Hand, where his armor is all-black, adorned with rubies that make a flayed man on a cross.
  • The Blacksmith: Edgar, who is forging Domeric's tourney armor in an earlier version of Chapter 17.
  • Blood from the Mouth: The wildling woman Domeric kills coughs up blood after he stabs her.
  • Brains Evil, Brawn Good: Inverted in the Cain and Abel relationship between Domeric and Ramsay. Domeric (Abel) is a Badass Bookworm and Nice Guy who cobbles together a fairly effective escape plan for himself, Sansa, Lady and his men. Ramsay (Cain) is better known for his reckless brutality and sadism, whose efforts at planning fail miserably.
  • Breach of Promise of Marriage: In Chapter 61, it's mentioned that the Karstarks are trying to back out of Rickard's daughter Alys' betrothal to Daryn Hornwood and seek a match with Robb Stark now that his own betrothal to Myrcella Baratheon is broken.
  • Broad Strokes: The fanfic takes parts from book!canon (Domeric's presence, Roose's habit of leeching himself, Ramsay's appearance) and TV!canon (the Adaptation Dye-Job of the Bolton colours, red flayed man on dark blue rather than the book's version of red flayed man on pink, the presence of the Bolton master-at-arms Locke, and Ned’s promise to tell Jon his parentage).
  • Broken Pedestal: A lot of Sansa's ideas about the south are broken down in Chapter 10 after observing the drunken womanizing of Robert, the bitterness of Cersei, the rudeness of the knights and the madness of Joffrey.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Joffrey antagonizing Domeric, who is the heir to a house infamous for flaying people.
  • Cain and Abel:
    • Domeric (Abel) and Ramsay (Cain). Even though neither has met, Ramsay greatly resents Domeric for his status as Roose Bolton’s heir and seeks to usurp him.
    • Joffrey (Cain) and Myrcella (Abel).
  • Call-Back: In the sequel, Tyrion gives Myrcella the same advice he gave to Jon Snow about being a bastard.
  • Canon Foreigner: Maester Wolkan, the Bolton's (and later Stark's) maester in Game of Thrones, is introduced here as the replacement for the ailing Maester Uthor.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Tommen gets one about getting thrown in the black cells by Joffrey.
  • Chastity Dagger: Arya mentioned to Robb that Jorelle Mormont keeps a dagger under her dress.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In Chapter 30, it's mentioned that Ramsay has a ring with the Bolton flayed man etched on it. Roose later presents this to some of his household as proof of Ramsay's demise. The ring itself makes another appearance in Chapter 39 where it's explained that Bitter Robard took it off Ramsay when he was captured and gave it to Roose.
  • Chekhov's Skill: In Bitter Robard's first chapter, it's mentioned he carries an axe as a sidearm. He winds up having to teach Domeric how to use an axe.
  • The Chessmaster: Roose Bolton. He seeks an in-route so Domeric and Sansa's children will be the ruling family in the North just in case Robb dies and Bran and Rickon can't continue the bloodline.
  • Children Forced to Kill: Before Domeric left for the Vale, his father had him conduct an execution. Later, Domeric learned that the man had not been offered the Night's Watch because Roose wanted Domeric to know what it was like to kill a man. During his time in the Vale, Domeric also killed a Vale tribeswoman to save Creighton Redfort.
  • Child Soldier: Both of Kevan Lannister's sons are part of the Lannister army; Willem was captured while Martyn is at Oxcross with Stafford Lannister's developing army. This army is later deployed to the Reach to distract Renly or force his army to split.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • Domeric doesn't just aim at the shield or chest while jousting, he also aims for the helmet, as Ser Meryn Trant and Ser Loras Tyrell find out the hard way on separate occasions during the Tourney of the Hand.
    • Vale Mountain Clansmen tend to go for the horses when facing a mounted opponent, so Domeric dismounts his horse to duel one.
  • Commander Contrarian: Lord Mallery to the men sent to capture/kill the Mountain.
  • Composite Character:
    • Myrcella takes Sansa's role as the one forced to write to Robb, under threat from Joffrey that he will annul her betrothal to Robb if she does not write.
    • Jonelle Cerwyn takes Fat Walda Frey's role as Roose Bolton's next wife.
  • Conflict Ball: Domeric and Sansa's escape from King’s Landing has driven a wedge between them since Sansa thinks they should have stayed to help her father. They eventually get over it after Sansa has a talk with Lady Dustin.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Domeric is torn between wanting to please his father and his love for Sansa.
  • Cool Aunt: Lady Barbrey Dustin for Domeric. His harp was a gift from her and they've only disagreed on one thing: his attachment to Sansa.
  • Cool Big Bro: Robb, as shown when he interacts with Bran and Rickon in Chapter 21.
  • Cool Big Sis: Myrcella to Tommen. He offers to pray for Myrcella in the godswood.
  • Cool Uncle: Kevan is this to Myrcella and Tommen.
  • The Coup: Ramsay is planning one, at least against Domeric. How remains yet to be seen, except it involves Rape, Pillage, and Burn.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • Flaying, of course. This is House Bolton, where flaying is their hat.
    • Probably happened to the murderer that Domeric executed. Put it like this: A young boy using an axe that's probably too big for him, and probably doesn't know how to use it well. Remember when Theon executed Ser Rodrik Cassel in the Season 2 episode "The Old Gods and the New"?
    • Since Domeric doesn't know how to flay yet, he crucifies Septon Utt instead.
  • Crush Blush: Robb notes that Jonelle Cerwyn blushes whenever she looks at Theon.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Being untrained at arms, Ramsay doesn't last long against Robard and is taken down with ease. The same goes from his Bastard Boys, who rely on speed, savagery and the fact that most of the people they attack don't have the means to defend themselves. When they go up against trained soldiers, they're taken down pretty quickly.
    • Robard and Damon lead a dozen Bolton men against the Bastard Boys. The Bolton men win... with no casualties.
  • Custom Uniform: Each branch of House Frey has its own quartered or personal coat of arms so they stand out from one another.
  • Cutting the Knot: Bitter Robard notes he should just kill Ramsay.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Domeric got a harsh lesson while in the Vale when a tribeswoman pulled an I Surrender, Suckers and Domeric wound up killing her to save Creighton Redfort. Honor doesn't matter in a fight, living and dying does.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Bitter Robard POV chapters are more grim than the rest of the story, with Ramsay's plans to usurp Domeric's position as Heir to the Dreadfort. There's also a rape scene.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Domeric. He's Heir to the Dreadfort and generally wears dark clothes, but is overall a decent young man.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Domeric.
    • This exchange:
    Robb: Did you see the prince? Jon says he looks like a girl.
    Domeric: That's an insult to girls.
    • Domeric also delivers a zinger when Septa Mordane interrupts a kiss between him and Sansa.
    Domeric: Fear not, for my virtue is still intact.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Maester Uthor has a variation. The books do not mention his fate after 297 AC, but it is established here that he does not have long to live.
    • Ramsay's mother.
    • Medgar Cerwyn is killed at the Battle of the Green Fork instead of getting captured and dying while imprisoned at Harrenhal.
    • Jaqen H'Ghar, Biter, and Rorge burn to death when Amory Lorch's men attack Yoren's party of Night's Watch recruits.
    • Tywin, Kevan and Lancel Lannister are killed by Renly's soldiers in the battle for King's Landing in Chapter 10.
    • Cersei and Jamie kill each other in the same chapter.
  • Demoted to Extra: Joffrey hasn't appeared in the sequel at all, while The Hound hasn't been mentioned.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Domeric didn't expect the Lannisters to hire the Vale Mountain Clans.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Defied when Domeric chooses not to say "On my honor as a Bolton" when asked about Sansa being in his room unchaperoned.
  • Dirty Cop: The City Watch, as in canon. When the sequel begins the massacre of King Robert's bastards on Cersei's orders was in full swing, while Littlefinger is able to pique Renly's interest because he pays the City Watch (as part of his official duties) and offers to bribe them to let Renly's men into the city.
  • Dirty Old Man: Walder Frey, who creepily hits on Sansa during negotiations.
    "Your betrothal won't help you here, girl. Mayhaps, you'll allow me a taste and then I'd consider letting your soldiers pass."
  • Dissonant Serenity:
    • Damon looks almost bored waiting for Ramsay as the latter rapes and murders a girl, then gives the girl to Reek to rape again.
    • Roose Bolton is unnervingly calm while describing the various rooms where people are tortured to Robard, one of which has a freshly flayed and still moving body on it.
  • Divide and Conquer: Tywin's defense of King's Landing in the sequel involves placing traps designed to funnel Renly's army into narrow spaces where only a few men could cluster together.
  • Doomed by Canon: Jon Arryn, Ser Hugh of the Vale, Jory Cassel, King Robert Baratheon.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Domeric's hope for a warm brotherly relationship with Ramsay is painful to read when Robard's point-of-view chapters show how much Ramsay hates Domeric for being trueborn and the heir to Dreadfort.
    • Prince Oberyn Martell fumes about Jon Snow getting the credit for killing The Mountain when it was his revenge to claim. Little does he know that being Rhaenys and Aegon's half-brother (and Elia's stepson), Jon has plenty of right to claim vengeance on The Mountain.
  • Dual Wielding: The wildling that fights Robb wields two serrated short swords.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Joffrey is noted to look more like a woman than a man. He even uses perfume. And he wears a dress to disguise himself as a lady and flee King's Landing when Renly's army attacks.
  • Eaten Alive: Armory Lorch's fate.
  • End of an Age: Chapters 10 and 11 of the sequel are treated as the end of the Lannisters' dominance in Westerosi politics as Tywin, Kevan, Cersei, and Jaime are killed during the battle for King's Landing while the most prominent remaining Lannister, Tyrion, intends to sue for peace.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Grunt hates Domeric just as much as Ramsay.
    • In an earlier version of Chapter 17, Roose Bolton has a spy network with several Dornishmen, who share a dislike of the Lannisters.
  • Envy: Where to start?
    • Domeric tells Robb he envies his close relationship with his siblings and wants the same thing between him and Ramsay.
    • Going the other way, Robb wants to be as happy with Myrcella as Domeric and Sansa are.
    • Ramsay hates Domeric because he is the heir to House Bolton and Ramsay isn't.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Roose Bolton. He cares about Domeric enough to keep him away from Ramsay, gave him the services of a spy network in King's Landing in an early version of Chapter 17, tells him he made the right choice in battle, and allowed Domeric to learn to play the harp.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • The Hound is the only Lannister guard not laughing when Joffrey smashed Domeric's harp.
    • The Bolton soldiers are disgusted by Septon Utt.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Lady gets uppity once Sansa reaches King's Landing.
  • Evil Is Petty: Queen Cersei is quite mean toward Sansa because Joffrey was turned down for a betrothal.
    • In the sequel, she broke the truce between Starks and Lannisters for the sake of having Gendry killed by Amory Lorch.
  • Exact Words: When Joffrey steals one of Domeric's glasses of wine, the latter says that he (Domeric) "lives to serve." Lives to serve a non-lethal poison, that is.
    • When Jon gave his word that he would not harm Amory Lorch after he surrendered, he meant it. Unfortunately, that did not extend to Ghost or the wolves nearby.
  • Faking the Dead: Ramsay tried to do this as part of his plan to become Roose's heir. Unfortunately for him, Damon and Robard warn Roose immediately, who has them kill the Bastard's Boys and imprison Ramsay.
  • Fantastic Racism: The guardsmen of House Mallery have some for the northerners, which almost leads to a fight.
    Mallery Guardsman: This isn't the North. No ugly trees here! Who'd worship something where animals take their piss on?
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • Bitter Robard is in this right now as a Bastard Boy. A couple of times, he thinks that he should have let Lord Bolton take his head.
    • Ramsay Snow's fate is to be tortured in the Dreadfort for the rest of his days.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Queen Cersei towards Sansa.
  • Fighting Fingerprint: Ser Jaime Lannister shifts slightly in his saddle just before reaching his opponent while jousting.
  • Flaying Alive: As usual for Roose Bolton and Ramsay Snow.
    • There's one scene in Chapter 30 where Robard talks with Roose Bolton, with a freshly flayed body nearby. And the body isn't dead yet.
    • Ramsay likes to hang the skins at the mill the Bastard Boys call base.
    • Domeric even entertains the thought of flaying Littlefinger after a conversation in Chapter 23.
    Littlefinger: It's fortunate that not all families have pets taken out of their sigils. Unless you packed some flayed skins for your journey south, Lord Domeric?
    Domeric: [muttering] I may pack some for the journey back.
  • Foil:
    • Domeric and Robb. Both are heirs to Northern houses, with bastard brothers, but while Robb has known Jon all his life and is best friends with him, Domeric has never known his bastard brother Ramsay. Robb is Like Father, Like Son with his Honor Before Reason in a fight, but Domeric is more pragmatic, killing a wildling woman who had surrendered.
    • Jon and Ramsay Snow (in a carryover from the original novels and TV series). Jon has grown up with his trueborn half-siblings and loves them, while Ramsay has grown up alone and wants to murder his trueborn brother and usurp his status as heir to Lord Bolton. Jon is kind and honorable while Ramsay is cruel and sadistic.
    • Domeric shares traits with both Lannister brothers Jaime and Tyrion. He is the preferred heir like Jaime is and skilled at arms, but has Tyrion’s liking for books and a budding talent for manipulation.
    • The Mormont sisters to the Sand Snakes (particularly the ones from Game of Thrones). One's from the North, the other's from Dorne. Both sets of sisters are born to an unmarried parent. The Mormont girls have built their reputation up on fighting wildlings and Ironborn, the Sand Snakes are more suited for assassination and espionage rather than a pitched battle. The Mormonts, despite being ashamed of Jorah, still consider him family, while the show's version of the Sand Snakes helped murder their uncle (and liege lord) Prince Doran and cousin Trystane.
    • Roose Bolton to Ser Clegane (Gregor and Sandor's father). Roose is the lord of an ancient First Men house, Clegane is a Ser whose house is only a couple generations old. Both have a son who is anti-heroic (Domeric for Roose, Sandor for Clegane) and a son who is a violent sociopath (Ramsay for Roose, Gregor for Clegane) who seeks to kill the anti-heroic brother. However, they are very different in how they treat their sons. Roose saw Ramsay as a problem for his psychopathic personality, kept him as far from Domeric as possible and eventually puts him down, while Clegane brushed off Sandor's burn injures at Gregor's hands, which proved to be a fatal mistake when Gregor murdered Clegane for the keep and lands.
    • Myrcella Baratheon to Sandor Clegane. Despite Sandor being a large, Two-Faced warrior and Myrcella a pretty young girl and hopeful politician, they have similar situations. Both come from houses in the Westerlands, with a psychopathic and abusive elder brother (Joffrey for Myrcella, Gregor for Sandor), a parent who favors the psychopatic elder brother (Cersei spoils Joffrey, Ser Clegane covered up Gregor's mutilation of Sandor to not hurt his chances of becoming a knight) and a younger sibling of the opposite gender who they try to protect (and failed in Sandor's case).
  • For Want of a Nail: In-universe, Domeric muses on what would have happened if the Kingsguard had stepped in and stopped the Mad King before things went out of control.
  • Freudian Trio: The Tyrells in Renly's camp.
    • Superego: Garlan, the oldest, joined up for his siblings' protection and keeps them reminded of their duties.
    • Id: Loras; Hot-Blooded Glory Seeker who brought the Tyrells into Renly's cause.
    • Ego: Margaery balances them out and has her own plans for after the war.
  • From Bad to Worse: In the sequel, Kevan thought that Cersei was out of opportunities to make foolish choices, only for her to make an even worse mistake.
  • Frontline General: Discussed. Myrcella suggests that Joffrey go out into the field of battle to inspire the soldiers as Robb Stark does, but Cersei shoots that down, stating that "Joffrey isn't a lord. He is a king. It is not his place to inspire these wretches. They should already be loyal to their king."
  • The Ghost:
    • Locke. Bitter Robard hears that he provides girls for Ramsay to rape and murder and for Reek to rape again.
    • Jorah Mormont, the disgraced son of Jeor Mormont.
    • Tywin Lannister has only been mentioned once or twice, though his presence is felt through the Mountain's raids on the Riverlands.
    • Greatjon Umber is Roose Bolton's biggest rival, but has yet to appear.
  • Graceful Loser: Domeric admits he feels no shame if he loses to a better opponent. Joffrey calls him craven for this.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Roose implies that he will castrate Ramsay after he loses his tongue.
    • Septon Utt is castrated when he is found and captured by Domeric.
  • Guile Hero: Domeric is just as good as using his wits as a sword and uses them to defeat Ser Jaime Lannister in the Tourney of the Hand.

  • Hate Sink: Ramsay Snow proves to be just as vile and depraved as both his canon counterparts. A Serial Killer and Serial Rapist, he roams the lands under the Dreadfort's jurisdiction for two years, raping and murdering anyone he and his gang the Bastard's Boys come across, then either flaying them or giving their corpses to be raped by his necrophiliac henchman Reek. Ramsay's goal is to murder his legitimate half-brother Domeric and succeed their father Lord Roose Bolton as Lord of the Dreadfort. To that end, he murders his mother and burns down his home to fake his death, a crime so deplorable that Lord Bolton had him neutralized as a threat and tortured for the rest of his days. Inspiring fear and hatred in all that knew of him, Ramsay ensured none would mourn his demise.
  • Hidden Backup Prince: Ramsay Snow.
  • History Repeats:
    • One reviewer compared Joffrey's behavior toward Sansa with Aerys II's behavior towards Joanna Lannister, in keeping with Joffrey being "Aerys III".
    • A Black Knight with armor adorned with rubies crowns a girl of House Stark Queen of Love and Beauty. Ned had even worried that Domeric would scorn Sansa before he crowned her as Rhaegar had scorned Elia.
  • Hope Spot:
    • When Jon and Tyrion encounter Catelyn at the Crossroads Inn, Jon attempts to intervene to stop Catelyn from taking Tyrion. There's a moment where Jon thinks that he's managed to stop the situation escalating, before Catelyn resolves to take Tyrion.
    • Chapter 55: Myrcella is headed to Riverrun to marry Robb and Tommen to Casterly Rock to finish his education. Sounds good since they'll be away from Joffrey and Cersei, right? Except that Davos Seaworth has reached Riverrun and reveals their parentage to Robb, Jon, Domeric and Sansa.
  • Howl of Sorrow: Sansa has one in an earlier version of Chapter 12 when she finds Bran after his fall.
  • Human Resources: Roose Bolton uses arm bones to hold torches. Bitter Robard wonders if his bones will be used to hold torches someday in the future.
  • Hunting "Accident": Referenced by Domeric as a good reason why he didn't go on the hunt in Chapter 12.
  • Hypocrite: Joffrey. He calls Domeric craven for his lack of skill or courage, but shows none himself. Sansa even calls him on it.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Roose Bolton, as does Ramsay. Domeric, on the other hand, has brown eyes and Sansa is grateful he hasn't inherited his father's eyes.
  • Identical Stranger: Domeric's black tourney armor adorned with rubies gives him a striking resemblance to Rhaegar Targaryen, to the point that a drunken King Robert nearly charges the tourney field in a rage until Ned calms him down by pointing out that it's really Domeric. The main differences are the design of the rubies forming a flayed man on a cross and a green ribbon on Domeric's arm: Sansa's favor.
  • Ill Boy: Joffrey spends Chapters 27 and 28 confined to his chambers with a horrible stomach complaint.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Rather, I Lust For You Because I Can't Have You. Joffrey takes as an insult that Sansa disdains his favour because she's already very much in love with Domeric. For further irony, he complained he refused to marry some northern barbarian until he learnt the girl has no interest in him, then he promptly turned Yandere.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The Mountain. First he falls into a spike trap, then Jon spears him through the chest, throat and head.
  • In Medias Res: It turns out that Chapter 39 takes place before Chapter 36.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Tommen parrots one of his mother's statements about the North, that it is "full of savages and fools."
  • In-Series Nickname: Robard's name among the Bastard Boys is Bitter, because he's from the Bite.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Sansa still winds up going to King's Landing, ostensibly to accompany Myrcella, but it's implied that Joffrey is responsible, to make passes at Sansa.
    • Bran still winds up falling out of the tower. In an earlier version of Chapter 12, Domeric investigates the tower and finds some of Cersei's hair, along with the smell of perfume. Subsequently, he loses the hair.
    • Tyrion still gets captured by Catelyn at the Riverlands.
    • King Robert is killed by the boar and Ned is arrested.
    • Cersei attempts to massacre Robert's bastards.
    • It's implied that Daenerys' storyline is proceeding as it did in canon, since Viserys Targaryen is mentioned as Killed Offscreen.
    • Littlefinger is negotiating with the Tyrells, but this time he's betraying the Lannisters instead of helping them.
    • Robb invades the Westerlands via a goat path.
  • Insult Backfire: Septa Mordane is critical of Sansa's support of Domeric, comparing her to Arya, only for Sansa to respond that "[she] (Sansa) could think of no finer compliment."
  • Internal Reveal: In Chapter 65, Doran Martell reveals his machinations to restore the Targaryens.
  • Irony:
    • Maege and Jeor Mormont considered Longclaw the representation of the shame Jorah caused to their house, one of the reasons why Jeor chose to give the sword to Jon Snow. Since Jon is going to end up marrying Dacey, it would mean that the sword might end up returning to Bear Island.
    • Kevan notes that the Lannister army came to King's Landing to take it from a Mad King. Now the Lannisters are defending the city for a Mad King.
    • Garlan confronted Renly to spend less time with Loras and see Margaery so that a child is born. In Chapter 11 of the sequel, he has to ask Renly to visit Loras after the latter is badly injured, while Renly and Margaery are together no less.
  • It Gets Easier:
    • Domeric's experiences with killing. First an execution before he left for the Vale, a Vale tribeswoman while saving Creighton Redfort, and a wildling woman in an ambush after she surrendered.
    • Bitter Robard wonders if he's just gotten used to seeing the flayed skins of Ramsay's victims hung up at the mill.
  • It's All About Me:
    • In keeping with Cersei viewing her children as extensions of herself, she sees it as a slight against her that Ned turned down a betrothal between Sansa and Joffrey. This also crosses over into the colors of clothing her children wear, as shown when she yells at Myrcella for choosing to wear Baratheon colors.
    • Renly. In the sequel, Ned notes that he didn’t need to declare himself King because Stannis only has a daughter and daughters cannot inherit because of the Great Council of 101 AC.
  • It's All My Fault: Ser Barristan blames himself for King Robert's death.
  • Jerkass: It seems that anyone associated with House Mallery is one of these, since their lord is disparaging of the Old Gods and one of his knights insults Jon for being a bastard.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Loras Tyrell. He may be arrogant and snobbish, but he genuinely cares about his brothers Willas and Garlan.
  • Jump Scare:
    • In an earlier version of Chapter 12, Domeric gets spooked by a burned grotesque when he investigates the tower where Bran fell.
    • Lady spooks Tommen in Chapter 27.
  • Junior Counterpart:
    • A reviewer for Chapter 9 presents Domeric as a younger version of Bronn, the ultimate pragmatist that doesn't let customs of being "honorable" get in his way in a fight.
    • Each of the Baratheon siblings (really Jaime and Cersei's) are compared to one of the Lannister siblings in a review for Chapter 22.
    • Inverted with Captain Rylen, who is an older version of Jory Cassel, the Captain of Ned's guard.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Cersei harshly berates Myrcella for favoring Baratheon and not being proud of being a Lannister.
    • Catelyn taking Tyrion prisoner at the Crossroads Inn, despite what Jon said in Tyrion's favor.
    • Joffrey in Chapter 31, when he insults Ned and Jon, calls Domeric craven and smashes Domeric's harp.
    • Joffrey again in Chapter 33 when he forces Myrcella to write to Robb.
    • Kevan rubs the fact that Eddard cannot do anything about his situation in his face.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Jon lets Ghost rips Amory Lorch's guts and then leaves him to be Eaten Alive by a pack of wolves.
  • Kicked Upstairs: It's implied that Kevan told Tywin of the Twincest between Cersei and Jaime, only for Tywin to brush it off and resulting in Tywin kicking Kevan upstairs to the acting Hand of the King job.
  • Kill 'Em All: Domeric hunts down and kills all of the Brave Companions.
  • Killed Offscreen: Roose reports Ramsay's death in Chapter 36. Subverted, he was still alive...only to be easily captured by Roose's men and taken to the Dreadfort to be tortured.
    • Jamie tells Cersei that Tywin was killed by Renly's forces.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Domeric has his forces retreat when they're attacked by the Vale Mountain Clans from the rear.
  • The Lady's Favor:
    • Domeric has a green scarf from Sansa tied around his armor. Roose scoffs at it, saying silk is not a shield and such superstitions should be beneath him. Domeric says how he feels for Sansa will never be beneath him. Besides, the other lady's favor is the direwolf Lady.
    "As you can see, Father, there should be no shame in keeping my lady's favor."
    • Before leaving King's Landing, Myrcella gives Kevan a red scarf with gold trim and lion's head.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Ramsay finally is met with justice when Roose has him nailed to a cross and tortured, presumably to death, for a long time.
    • Joffrey puts on a dress to look (more) like a woman, and attempts to flee King's Landing when Renly's army attacks. He's captured by soldiers who were looking for a woman to rape, and brought before Renly in disgrace.
  • Left Stuck After Attack: Jaime Lannister mentions that he was defeated when he stabbed a Northern soldier and his sword got stuck, allowing the next soldier to capture him.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Coupled with Like Father, Unlike Son. Domeric and Ramsay had inherited different parts of Roose Bolton's psyche. Domeric matches Roose's stoic personality and pragmatism, while Ramsay is his Lack of Empathy and sadism laid bare. Robard feels that Domeric is more Roose's son than Ramsay is.
    Robard's Thoughts: Calm, and impassive, he listed, patient and quiet. In seeing Domeric, he believed he was more Lord Bolton's son than Ramsay ever aspired to be. The Bastard was loud and brash, blunt and arrogant. Traits he'd never saw in Lord Bolton and in his limited time with Domeric had not observed either.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Gender-flipped case. The impulsive and heavy-handed Cersei is contrasted with her daughter Myrcella, who is gentle and cautious.
  • Loophole Abuse: Kinslaying is one of the worst crimes you can commit. Roose Bolton points out that things are a mite fuzzier when it comes down to torture Ramsay until he is rendered inoffensive.
  • Love Epiphany: Domeric realizes how much he loves Sansa when he hears that Cersei orders that Sansa accompany Myrcella to King's Landing.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Joffrey has the Hound let some knights know that they will be paid if they unhorse, injure or kill Domeric during the Tourney of the Hand.
  • Meaningful Echo: Jon unknowingly does this when he reminds Lord Stark he wants to learn his mother's name. "You promised me" are his words. "Promise me" were Jon's mother Lyanna's last words.
  • Metaphorically True: Roose reports Ramsay's death in Chapter 36 and many readers were reluctant to believe him at face value. It turns out that Ramsay is not dead... though he's not in a particularly good place at the moment.
    The Author: To those who guessed that Ramsay hadn’t died and was hiding, well you’re correct, but this probably wasn’t the way you meant.
  • Mood-Swinger: King Robert, on at least two occasions.
    • When his attempt to betroth Sansa and Joffrey got halted, he was cursing, drinking and grumbling about Ned's stubbornness. Then after Robb and Myrcella were betrothed, he was telling her that there are no better people than Starks.
    • When he mistook Domeric for Rhaegar, he went from nearly charging the tourney field in a rage to being despondent about Lyanna.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Chapter 17. Dinner with King Robert includes a funny story where Ned caused a food fight while being fostered in the Vale, then diverging into memories of the Battle of the Trident when Lord Redfort is mentioned, making Ned really uncomfortable, then swinging back into silly when Ned tells the story of him and Robert attempting to leave the Eyrie via the baskets.
    • The first half of Chapter 57 consists of Domeric beginning his campaign against the Brave Companions while the second half has bonding time between Jon Snow and Dacey Mormont.
  • Mr. Exposition: In a scene that echoes "The Wolf and the Lion", Tommen quizzes Myrcella on the Northern houses.
  • Mutual Kill: Cersei and Jaime kill each other in the Great Hall. Cersei, unwilling to surrender to Renly, stabs Jaime when he suggests fleeing. Jaime responds by throwing Cersei off the Iron Throne.
  • My Beloved Smother: Myrcella tells Sansa and Domeric that Cersei doesn't let Joffrey participate in tournaments because she doesn't want to see Joffrey get injured. In general, Cersei is quick to comfort Joffrey whenever anything goes wrong. The same cannot be said for Myrcella or Tommen.
  • Mythology Gag:
    Domeric: There was another prince who thought he could take what was not his. Mayhaps you should ask your father what happened to him.
    Littlefinger: Will you allow me to win my coin back, Lord Renly? My gold dragons on the northern lord.
    Renly: The same northerner you bet against all tournament?
    Littlefinger: Yes, but I have a feeling that you'll not bet against your friend, Ser Loras.
    Renly: [voice strained] Very well, you have your wager.
    • Joffrey getting poisoned. This time however, it's not meant to be fatal and bears similarities to Cersei getting slipped a laxative by Tyrion in A Clash of Kings.
    • Ramsay Snow being given hope that he will be freed, only for said hope to be crushed right before he is tortured.
    • Ramsay Snow loses his tongue and it is implied he will soon lose another offending part of him.
    • Ramsay challenges someone to a fight shirtless. This time, it doesn't go as planned.
    • The Mountain is killed by being stabbed several times with a spear, but not because of poison; it's because he got speared through the head.
    • The conversation between Jon and Jaime in the cells is a reference to the one in the show between Robb and Jaime, right down to the direwolf stepping out of the shadows.
    • Domeric plays "Jenny's Song" on his harp.
    • Ramsay kills one of his parents. This time around, it's his mother.
    • Jaime's death has odd overtones with Daenerys' death in "The Iron Throne": stabbed while embracing their incestuous lover in the throne room as they tell their lover that they can be together. Cersei winds up being a lot less lucky than Jon however.
    • As in the show, Cersei dies from blunt trauma to the head.
  • Nature vs. Nurture: Bitter Robard sometimes wonders how Ramsay turned out the way he has. It's best to say it's a combination of being a Bolton (even Domeric has a streak of ruthlessness) and his mother and Reek encouraging him to seek his status as "the true son of Lord Bolton."
  • New Era Speech: Ramsay delivers one in Chapter 16 to his Bastard Boys about his plans.
    Ramsay: The people of this area need a Lord who knows the Weeping Water, who's traveled through the Lonely Hills. I am the true heir to the Bolton legacy. I will be the next Lord of the Dreadfort! A pretender stands to inherit the Dreadfort. He is no true Bolton!
    Reek: Imposter.
    Ramsay: That's right, Reek. We will cleanse the bad blood. The time is nearing when the people will rally behind their true Lord.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: Roose Bolton and his two sons. Domeric is the Nice whose polite exterior is more than just an act and loves his betrothed Sansa Stark. Ramsay is the Mean as an openly sadistic psychopath who wants to kill Domeric and steal his inheritance. Roose is the In-between; he is cruel and sadistic, but is better at hiding it and genuinely cares about Domeric.
  • Noble Top Enforcer: Domeric is advancing Roose Bolton's plans to get a power base in the North, but he is much more decent than his father.
  • No Indoor Voice: Ser Justin's most notable trait is that he's loud and opinionated.
    Thoros of Myr: Great Other take him. His mouth's bigger than any hole we could dig.
  • No Name Given: The young knight who gets killed by The Mountain in the Tourney of the Hand. We know his name is Ser Hugh, but Sansa (whose POV we see) never learns his name.
  • Noodle Incident: It's never explained how Domeric sabotaged Theon's bow.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Robert has one, as noted by Ned when they talk about their days in the Vale and during Robert's Rebellion. Myrcella also remembers that because he lost his Stark bride (Lyanna), he tried to push the betrothal between Sansa and Joffrey.
  • Not Good with Rejection: Joffrey, due to being a spoiled Royal Brat who isn't denied anything.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Cersei and Joffrey's repeated emphasis about how much they are Lannisters, which includes Cersei harshly berating Myrcella over wearing Baratheon colours, is in hindsight rather stupid, considering that Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen are bastards born of incest.
  • Not So Above It All: Domeric is not above being cold and ruthless like his father, as shown when he kills a wildling woman who surrendered.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • Kevan reflects on his days in the War of the Ninepenny Kings, and admits that his attitude towards war isn't much different from his sons'.
    • While talking to Loras, Domeric notes that the way Loras talks about his brothers is no different than how any of the Stark siblings would talk about each other.
  • Obviously Evil: Reek, according to Bitter Robard. Robard describes him as having a sense of cruelty that is just as repellent as the smell he carries with him.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • The Hound saving Ser Loras from The Mountain.
    • Domeric beating Jaime Lannister at the Tourney of the Hand.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Robb has a pretty good one when he sees Domeric kill the wildling woman who surrendered.
    "For the first time, Robb saw the resemblance to his father, Lord Roose Bolton. And that frightened him."
    • Jon when he finds Lady Stark at the Crossroads Inn.
    • Tommen when he comes face-to-face with Lady in the Red Keep godswood.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Oberyn Martell is furious that he never got the chance to kill The Mountain.
  • Only Sane Man: Beric Dondarrion has to keep the peace between the Stark guardsmen and Lord Mallery's men and keep them focused on the Mountain.
  • Original Character: Bitter Robard, a man who is serving as one of the Bastard Boys as a punishment for killing a man.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Robb realizes that Myrcella's letter to come to King's Landing is not her idea because she doesn't ask about Bran.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Kevan and Tyrion are shocked to hear that the Starks, with Stannis, are marching towards King's Landing, because neither the Starks nor Stannis are men who easily break a truce. It's revealed a few paragraphs later that they weren't the ones who broke the truce. Cersei did when she sent Amory Lorch into the Riverlands in an attempt to kill Gendry.
  • Out of Focus: Catelyn and Bran. Daenerys isn't even mentioned until the last two chapters, since she has no bearing on the story.
  • Overprotective Dad: Jaime Lannister is mentioned as scowling when Robb talks with Princess Myrcella.
  • Passing the Torch: At the end of the first story, Ned passes his title of Warden of the North to Robb as he cannot fulfill his duties.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Domeric enacts a brutal retribution on the Brave Companions for their Rape, Pillage, and Burn practices, crucifying and gelding them.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Ned wants his children to be happy with whoever they marry. Roose Bolton might be invoking this to cement his in-route to the lordship over the North.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Damon is described as having an ever-present scowl.
  • Pet the Dog: Kevan assures Eddard that Jeyne Poole will be kept safe and healthy, no matter how the negotiations between the Lannisters and the North end.
  • Pillow Pistol: Arwyn Frey explains that "every Frey girl learns from an early age that it is wise to sleep with a knife."
  • Politeness Judo: As Roose Bolton says, "Power tastes best when sweetened by courtesy." It's one of the things Domeric admires about Sansa.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Kevan Lannister gets Eddard out of the Black Cells and has Pycelle heal him, because they need Stark to be alive and as healthy as possible if they are to have a chance to settle a truce with the North.
  • Prince Charmless: Joffrey shows his true colours as one of these more quickly, due to Sansa not being blind to his bad qualities.
  • Promotion to Parent: Arwyn Frey has had to be a mother to her sister Shirei after their mother died.
  • Prophecy Twist: Discussed. Cersei had believed that Tyrion would be the valonqar who would kill her. After Tyrion is sent away and she's sitting in the city as it falls, she believes it to be her uncle Kevan, her father's younger brother. The valonqar turns out to be Jaime, mainly because Cersei stabs him.
  • Psycho for Hire: The Bastard Boys, minus Bitter Robard and Damon.
    Robard:[thinking] They were all monsters. They just served the worst of them in the form of Ramsay Snow.

  • The Quiet One: The Hound doesn't have much to say.
  • Rage Helm: Domeric's tourney helm is a snarling horse head, to pay homage to his Ryswell ancestry.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn:
    • Ramsay has been conducting raids to terrorize the smallfolk in the area around the Weeping Water and the Lonely Hills.
    • The Mountain is pillaging and terrorizing the Riverlands and Jon winds up accompanying Beric to arrest the Mountain. Jon, through Ghost, actually sees the Mountain watching the razing of one village, with a look of disinterest.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: Robb remarks on this after he kills a wildling in an ambush.
    "Robb knew that what had happened here has changed him and the others. They were different now. One could not kill a man and not remain unchanged. Was this the action that spurred them from boys to men? Robb could only wonder."
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Roose gives one to Ramsay after his men capture him, telling him he was delusional if he believed he would ever become the heir to the Dreadfort.
  • Red Baron: Domeric's name among the smallfolk is the "Dread Knight" due to his status as Heir to the Dreadfort and his snarling horse-head helmet. Joffrey wanted it to be the "Flayed Knight", according to Myrcella.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Robb and Domeric in regards to not wanting Jon to go to the Wall. Robb is emotional and appeals to family (red) while Domeric makes an offer for Jon as part of his guard (blue).
    • Domeric is the blue (stoic, pragmatic, but kind-hearted) to Ramsay's red (impulsive, arrogant, sadistic).
    • The Ryswell siblings. The brothers tend to be quarrelsome (red) while among the daughters, Bethany was demure and kind while Barbrey is grim and sharp-tongued (blue).
  • Red Shirt: The sequel's Chapter 8 has Red Alyn of the Rosewood and Guy of Duskendale, Sam's two companions.
  • Retcon: Chapter 30 has Ramsay raping a girl with a Hornwood sigil (as a nod to Lady Hornwood's fate in A Clash of Kings). This is changed to a random peasant girl.
  • The Rival:
    • Joffrey and Loras (in different capacities) for Domeric. Joffrey is Domeric's rival for Sansa and Loras for jousting.
  • Royal Brat: Joffrey. He makes passes at Sansa, tries to get Domeric killed in the tournament and smashes his harp because he considered him pathetic.
  • Rule of Symbolism: In an earlier version of Chapter 17, Domeric finds the Bolton sigil of a flayed man more intimidating because it shows what his house can do to people if they cross his house.
  • Sanity Slippage: Cersei was never all the way there to begin with, but she really loses it when it becomes apparent that Renly's army will take King's Landing.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Remember that part in Cersei's prophecy about being killed by the valonqar? Here, she takes advantage of Jaime's insistence that they can be together by stabbing him. Jaime reflexively responds by throwing her down the Iron Throne, resulting in their deaths.
  • Serenade Your Lover: Sansa's first scene with Domeric has him playing his harp while she sings.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Domeric is still having trouble with what he saw the Brave Companions do. He can barely look at Rickon without thinking of two boys he found that were raped by Septon Utt.
  • Shipper on Deck: Robb muses that he wanted a match between Sansa and Theon. He thought better of it.
  • Shipper with an Agenda: Roose Bolton is pushing for a betrothal between Sansa and Domeric to gain a foothold in the Stark line of succession.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Edmure Tully acts very “distracted” around Roslin Frey. Also counts as a Mythology Gag considering they married in the books. By the sequel they’ve married.
    • According to Arwyn Frey, Fat Walda is attracted to Smalljon Umber. And judging by Chapter 64, Smalljon reciprocates.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sibling Yin-Yang:
    • Domeric and Ramsay, of the Cain and Abel variety. Both are on either side of the Fat and Skinny; Domeric is tall and slender while Ramsay is fat. Temperament: Domeric is stoic and quiet while Ramsay is hot-tempered and violent. This is reflected in their clothing; Domeric prefers to wear blue and black with hints of red, while Ramsay wears mainly red. There's also how they treat women: Domeric is respectful of women while Ramsay is a vicious rapist.
    • Garlan and Loras Tyrell. Weapon-wise they're long-range and short-range; Garlan is a Master Swordsman while Loras is a better jouster. Loras is a Glory Seeker who brought the Tyrell family on the side of his lover Renly; Garlan prefers a lower profile and is Happily Married.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Domeric and Sansa can seem like this for some. In-universe, Jon and Arya like to rib them for their rather public displays of affection.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Sansa is over the moon when her father arranges for her to wed Domeric, who's in love with her and is guaranteed to be a good husband. A shame Joffrey is not taking "no" for an answer...
    • Dacey falls for the kind, honorable and humble Jon Snow.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Jon does not expect to be treated well by Riverrun’s servants because they all knew Lady Catelyn while she grew up and his existence as Ned Stark’s bastard is a mark against her. It ends up Subverted though, because his actions in helping free Riverrun from the Lannister siege and killing the Mountain outweigh the taint of his birth.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Ramsay, even more than other incarnations like the show. On top of getting uncontrollable when he is reminded of his status as a bastard, he has delusions of grandeur regarding his belief that he is Roose Bolton's true heir. This applies to the Bastard Boys, who give some token gestures befitting his personally perceived status.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: One reviewer for Chapter 10 that no matter what happens, Sansa always attracts the worst kind of men possible (i.e. Joffrey).
  • Spanner in the Works: The brewing tensions between Houses Stark and Lannister keep throwing wrenches into Roose Bolton's plans. First, Queen Cersei insists that Sansa travel south to King's Landing and Domeric goes along. Then Robb calls his banners.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Domeric, obviously since that's the premise.
    • Lady doesn't meet her end on the way to King's Landing due to there being no incident at the Trident.
    • Likewise, Mycah isn't killed by the Hound.
    • For an object example, Joffrey still has his sword Lion's Tooth at a point in the story that coincides with the episode "A Golden Crown." He uses it to break Domeric's harp.
    • At Sansa's wedding in Chapter 63, Lord Karstark's three sons are mentioned; two died in the first book in the Whispering Wood.
    • Jeyne Poole, for a given definition of spared. Instead of being given to Littlefinger and forced to become a Sex Slave, Kevan takes charge of her and as part of his deal with the North, he gives Jeyne back to the Starks unharmed.
    • Stark men drive off Lorch's group before they can attack the Night's Watch party, saving Yoren (and anyone else killed in that fight).
    • A tag on Archive of our Own indicates that Renly will not be shadow-babied by Stannis and Melisandre.
  • Spare to the Throne: Why Ramsay is still alive, just in case Domeric is stupid enough to seek him out.
  • The Speechless: Grunt, due to lacking a tongue thanks to Roose Bolton. Yellow Dick makes a jape about it.
    "What are you waiting for, your tongue to grow back?"
  • The Spymaster: Roose Bolton in an earlier version of Chapter 17. He has established his own spy network for Domeric to use, independent of Littlefinger and Varys. At least one spy is Dornish.
  • The Squire: Domeric takes Colmar Frey as a squire as part of the deal with Walder Frey.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Maester Mathis, the Maester at Bear Island, seems to have this philosophy, due to the fact that he constantly tries to set a match for Dacey. This earns him no favors from the Mormont ladies.
    Maege: [Maester Mathis] thinks women are only for babes and betrothals. He forgets that we too have hands and can use them for blades.
  • Stealth Insult: Kevan does a pretty good one to Cersei. She takes it as a compliment until he clarifies his point.
    Kevan: You impress me, Cersei.
    Cersei: Thank you, uncle.
    Kevan. That wasn't intended as a compliment. Just when I believe you have exhausted yourself of foolish choices you go and make newer and bigger ones.
  • Stupid Evil: In the sequel, Cersei violates her family's truce between the Starks and Stannis Baratheon by sending henchmen to kill Gendry. The attempt fails, meaning that the Lannisters will have to contend with two opposing armies instead of two.
  • Sycophantic Servant: Reek and Yellow Dick to Ramsay.
  • Take Care of the Kids: In a variation, Kevan tells Tyrion in Chapter 5 of the sequel that he's putting Myrcella's and Tommen's lives in his hands, as well as the lives of Kevan's own wife and daughter. The variation is that Kevan isn't dying, but he's well aware of his fate if he and Tywin lose the upcoming battle with Renly's forces.
  • Taking You with Me: Cersei goes into a dazed Villainous Breakdown and stabs Jaime when he says they can be together. Jaime responds by grabbing Cersei and they both fall off the Iron Throne.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: It's heavily implied Domeric spiked a drink that Joffrey subsequently stole, leading to Joffrey becoming bedridden with a sickness of the bowels for about a week.
  • Tantrum Throwing:
    • Ramsay's week-long killing spree.
    • Joffrey throws a filled privy at Grand Maester Pycelle when he gets sick.
  • Tap on the Head: Chapter 24 ends with Jon knocked out on the floor of the Crossroads Inn after failing to keep Catelyn from capturing Tyrion.
  • Tell Me About My Father!: An unintentional example, but Jon asks Jaime what Rhaegar was like, with Jaime unaware that Rhaegar is Jon's father.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Robb when he hears that he and Sansa are going to have to entertain the royal family at Winterfell.
  • Those Two Guys: Lord Renly Baratheon and Ser Loras Tyrell always appear together.
  • Time Skip:
    • There's one of a year from the day after Domeric and Sansa's betrothal and it goes to the day King Robert came to Winterfell.
    • The sequel begins two weeks after Chapter 65 in the first story.
  • Token Good Teammate: Bitter Robard, the Original Character Bastard Boy, was written with this trope in mind.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: The Mormont sisters. For one, they show Arya the need to use sewing for stitches.
  • Too Much Information: Cersei when describing the deaths of Lord Rickard and Brandon Stark. It's pretty clear she's trying to make Sansa uncomfortable.
  • Tragic Keepsake: In the sequel, it's mentioned that Robb kept all the love letters between him and Myrcella while they were betrothed.
  • Uriah Gambit: Discussed; Roose implies to Domeric that Greatjon Umber might try and get Domeric killed so he can have one of his sons marry Sansa.
  • Villainous Crush: Joffrey has one on Sansa. The fact that she rejects him makes him even more determined to pursue her.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: One way Domeric and Ramsay aren't so different is that they each seek to make their father proud, though they approach this from different directions. Domeric seeks Roose’s approval by doing as he’s told and cultivating good relationships, while Ramsay goes about it by raping and flaying everyone who he finds in his grip and believes this makes him Lord Bolton’s “true” heir.
  • We Need a Distraction: It's mentioned that Stafford Lannister's army is in the northern part of the Reach, trying to get delay Renly's army or make it split.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 28: Ned reveals Jon's parentage to him.
    • Chapter 39: Ramsay is captured by Bolton men and brutally tortured.
  • Who Dares?: Joffrey when Domeric reminds him of the fate of Prince Rhaegar. Followed by Ser Meryn Trant going "You dare to threaten the Prince in front of his Kingsguard?", which leads to Domeric's guards almost drawing their weapons before Domeric defuses the situation.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Robard wonders a few times why Roose Bolton doesn't want Ramsay dead yet. To him, the best way to keep Domeric safe is to put Ramsay six feet under, an idea not without merit. He learns the answer to the question in Chapter 30.
  • Won the War, Lost the Peace: Renly's army took King's Landing, but keeping it is another matter as Stannis has blockaded the city and they have nothing to counter the fleet because the Lannisters took the Redwyne brothers hostage and there's nobody that can be put to use in a Prisoner Exchange.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Domeric kills a wildling woman in a skirmish. He did the same thing while in the Vale.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Domeric plays a trick on Theon that involves Theon's bow snapping and breaking his nose.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Domeric is optimistic about a possible relationship with Ramsay, thinking it will be warm like Robb and Jon. He is sorely mistaken.
  • Yandere: Myrcella notes that Joffrey only took interest in Sansa after being denied a betrothal.
  • You Are in Command Now:
    • Sansa and Domeric wind up running Ned's household for a week after Ned gets injured. He later gives them control of Winterfell while he goes to the Vale to seek allies.
    • At the end of the first story, Ned promotes Robb to Warden of the North.
  • You Are Not My Father: A furious Myrcella tells Cersei and Jaime that she hates them both and that she will not mourn for them should they die.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Some of the Frey women accompanied Sansa because they don't like being at home, particularly around Black Walder.
    Fat Walda: We are fortunate to be here, Lady Sansa. We all hope not to return.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Maester Uthor is dying of a stomach ailment, similar to the disease that afflicted Hoster Tully. He passes away shortly before the sequel begins.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: An unorthodox example where someone is trying to get between two advancing armies. When Tyrion and Myrcella learn that the Northern army has invaded the Westerlands, Tyrion, who is the only adult Lannister with any clout left standing after the Battle of King's Landing, sends Myrcella, her sworn shield Arys Oakheart, and their prisoners ahead to Casterly Rock while he rides alone to intercept Robb so they can negotiate terms of surrender before his uncle Stafford's army reaches them and tries to fight Robb.

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