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I must do this! I have to know! I need to know why I was sent back!
Robb Stark, talking to the Old Gods, Chapter 2.

When Robb Stark died during the Red Wedding, he died not knowing of the catastrophe about to happen to all of Westeros: the White Walkers. The War of the Five Kings only proved to be something that distracted the North from the real problem. So, the Old Gods make a choice: Robb Stark must be sent back in time.

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That's how the A Song of Ice and Fire fanfiction Robb Returns begins. Robb "arrives" to several months before Jon Arryn's death, but the great change begins when Ned Stark learns not only of the events that might have taken place if the future was not changed, but of the incoming threat of the White Walkers. This leads to an avalanche of changes that sends every character in completely different (and some even unexpected) paths as the hidden history of the world becomes revealed and the worst winter in centuries approaches.

In spite of this, though, the Game of Thrones continues. The pieces have changed, the board has been shaken and the rules are completely different, but it continues... and one wonders if what the Old Gods did was enough to stop the apocalypse...

The birth of the dire wolf pups in Chapter 63 marks about where the prequel months end and the novels' timeline starts coming in to play.

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Can also be found on Alternate History forums (the second thread begins here) and AO3. Keep in mind that the chapters get posted to AlternateHistory.com before they get posted to Fanfiction Dot Net or Archive of Our Own. Spoilers for chapters that haven't been put on Fanfiction yet are commented out, so if you don't have an Alternate History account and don't want anything to be spoiled, be careful while editing these pages or reading the page histories.About the chapter numbers 

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The first thread is currently the most viewed thread in AlternateHistory.com's Fandom AH forum, with the second thread at fourth-most.

This Fan Fic contains examples of:

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    A-C 
  • 100% Adoration Rating: Every Northern lord, and Tywin Lannister as well, liked the late Lord Torgen Surestone, even Roose Bolton.
  • A Storm Is Coming: It is becoming clearer to the characters in the South that the incoming winter will be a Long Winter.
  • Action Girl: The Company of the Rose has quite a few warrior women. Also Brienne of Tarth. At least one Stark ancestor, as well.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Happens to a number of characters: note 
    • Canon Bronn only worked for Tyrion for gold and left him as soon as he got better offer. Here, he is loyal to Jon Arryn and gets Ursula Stone legitmized. Downplayed in both cases as pragmatism, since Jon is his new overlord, while Ursula saw the letter about Cersei and Jaime, and they need her to be quiet. He also refused to help Littlefinger escape, on the grounds that he figured Baelish to be the type who would double-cross him eventually, so better not to trust him at all.
    • Tyrion seems to have lost some of his misogyny. It is further revealed that instead of knowing about the Lannister incest he merely suspected and was genuinely ignorant about the fact that Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen were Cersei's children with Jamie.
    • Canon Renly was perfectly aware of the Lannincest but decided to keep quiet until he could get Margaery married to Robert. Here, he has no idea until Jon tells him. He also isn't as arrogant as his book counterpart.
    • Robert hitting Cersei is portrayed as something she provokes, while in canon it also happened when he got annoyed at her. Also, there is no mention of Robert "taking his rights" when drunk.
    • Canon Jorah is an unrepentant slaver, pedophile, and repeatedly tries to emotionally isolate and manipulate a (pre-)teen girl. This Jorah sees selling slaves as something he did only once for love and has regretted ever since, and the other two aren't mentioned, albeit due to him not being signed on with said girl's entourage.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Lord Orton Merryweather, the new Master of Coin, is thought of by Jon Arryn as astute, with a good head for numbers and laws, qualities that he never displayed in the books.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the books, it is currently ambiguous if Rhaegar and Lyanna were in love or if the former kidnapped the latter. Here, it's confirmed that Rhaegar raped Lyanna to produce Jon.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Rickon Stark's direwolf pup was named Shaggydog in canon. With Ned's advice on taking some time to think about his pup's name, Rickon eventually decides on Fleetfoot. (Other names considered included Smellypoop, Big Paw, and Ouchyfinger.)
    • The Rat Cook is renamed the Rat King.
  • Adapted Out: Khal Drogo and the Dothraki. Apparently, they've their own Call East in the Grey Wastes to answer.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Mance Rayder, the leader of the Free Folk, is willing to kneel to Ned if it means getting his people south of the Wall and safe from the Others.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: After Robert disinherits him, Joffrey gets drunk and thinks that killing Robb and presenting his head to Tywin will somehow force his father to restore him to the Princedom.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Maester Aemon thinks so, and is glad that Jon has a (relatively) humble life goal.
    Aemon: I have seen the consequences of great ambition - death and ruin. All you wish is to live and not be a threat. That is laudable. What you teach your yet unborn children - well, that's up to you. But you must think on it most carefully. No false pride. You have the example of both Greystark and Blackfyre to show you the consequences of such pride.
  • An Axe to Grind: Rocktooth, ancestral weapon of the Westerlands that was once wielded by Lann the Clever himself, found in the Nightfort by the grave of Tyrek Lannister.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Seems that several First Man Houses had weapons made of Thunderbolt Iron.
    • Dawn, as per canon, and the only one widely known before the Call went out.
    • The Fist of Winter, found in a hidden room in Winterfell.
    • Stormbreaker, once the sword of the Storm Kings, hidden in the Durrandon catacombs.
    • Otherbane, the weapon of the Gardener Kings, taken to Horn Hill in the aftermath of the Field of Fire.
    • Rocktooth, weapon of the Casterlys and the Westerlands, found in the Nightfort.
    • The Warnings, twin daggers used by Lann the Clever, also found in the Nightfort.
    • Bronze Yohn mentions that, according to the legends, the Riverlands have a shield.
    • Of course, there's also the Valyrian steel weapons, such as Ice and Brightroar and Dark Sister. Once Eddard has the Fist of Winter, he takes it as his personal weapon and passes Ice unto Robb.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: At least halfway: Rickon Stark of the Night's Watch was captured by the Others and turned into a wight, but the Children of the Forest managed to halt the change, making him into the half-wight Coldhands.
  • And Then What?: Upon seeing Arya's growing obssessed with awakening her latent Warg powers, Tyrion asks her what she plans to with them. See That Came Out Wrong below for the answer.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: When the innkeeper who was cheating Dacey Surestone, along with pretty well everyone else he dealt with, drowned in a slops bucket after being slugged by the wife of a merchant, everyone "had a moment of silence that might have been as much as a heartbeat long before proceeding to celebrate a great deal."
  • Animal Motifs: His personal coat of arms may be a mockingbird, but Littlefinger keeps getting compared to a weasel.
    • The one thing that finally signifies that Theon is more a Stark than a Greyjoy is him getting the seventh direwolf pup.
  • Anti-Magic: Something about the Wall and its construction severed the magical links between the North and South, meaning that the Children of the Forests' magic couldn't cross the Wall. Which is why the half-wight Coldhands slowly starts to die as he crosses the Wall.
  • Arranged Marriage: Given that this is Westeros, this trope is bound to happen.
    • After Domeric and Sansa fall in love, Ned and Roose sit down to discuss a marriage contract.
    • As in canon, Robert plans to marry Sansa to his eldest son Joffrey. However, he finds out that Sansa is already betrothed to Domeric Bolton. Ned argues that such marriage is key in ensuring House Bolton's loyalty, and cancelling it would cause a huge rift between the Starks and Boltons, and the current situation with the Others demands an unified North. Fortunately, Robert decides to let the issue go without much fuss.
      • He then suggests two other marriages between their respective children: Bran and Myrcella, and Arya and Tommen. Ned doesn't oppose these, but warns Robert that for a Kindhearted Cat Lover like Tommen, a Tomboy Action Girl like Arya might be too much to handle. Of course, these are thrown out once Myrcella and Tommen's true parentage is revealed
  • Arc Words: The Others come. The Stark calls for aid. You are needed.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Lysa Arryn has to have her arm amputated by Maester Haster, due to the infection caused by whatever Jon Arryn coated his dagger in. It's made clear that she may not survive having it amputated, and she's not exactly in the best shape afterwards.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: As Oberyn, in Chapter 35, muses on the recent changes Westeros has undergone, has a big one for his brother Doran.
    Oberyn Martell: And... Stark is asking for information about the Others. Stark the pragmatist, Stark the practical, asks for information about a legend. And that, my brother, is what terrifies me. What if... in these times of magic... legends are real?
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Gerion Lannister says he paid a terrible price for obtaining Brightroar, and Joffrey says that Grandfather Tywin will match that price. Gerion lifts his eyepatch to show his ruined eye and tells him of all his crew members that lost their lives during his odyssey, and Joffrey is sent fleeing.
  • Ascended Extra: Many characters who were barely a footnote in the books become major playes in this fic, complete with their own POV chapters.
    • Jon Arryn was a Posthumous Character, whose death kickstarts the plot. He's a main character here.
    • Brynden Tully plays a major role in stomping down the rising Faith Militant, and it's stated he'll have a key role to play in the war against the Others.
    • Willas Tyrell was barely featured in the books, but here, he pretty much ousts his father as the Lord of Highgarden.
    • Benjen Stark disappeared shortly after his introduction. Not here, when he's one of the most prominent Night Watch characters.
    • Domeric Bolton was killed by Ramsay sometime before the start of the books. Here, not only he survives, but he becomes Sansa's Love Interest.
    • While nobody in their right mind would call Stannis Baratheon an extra, he gets his own POV chapters.
  • Asshole Victim: So far, Ramsay Snow, Petyr Baelish, Janos Slynt, Viserys Targaryen, Craster, and Walder Frey have kicked the bucket, to the tears of virtually no one.
  • The Atoner: After learning his alternate self betrayed Robb, Theon shows shades of this.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Robar Glovett finds that you certainly cannot have a better person knight you than a legend like Ser Duncan the Tall.
  • Awful Truth:
    • Daenerys, learning about the events of Robert's Rebellion from Jorah Mormont, does not take the truth well.
    • Asha Greyjoy, Rodrik Harlaw and his new wife Alyse suffer this when they find out the Drowned God was an Old God that had gone mad fighting the Others.
    • Tyrion gives his brother Jaime an impromptu science lesson: wildfire gets STRONGER and MORE UNSTABLE when stored for long amounts of time in dark places, like say, various locations in King's Landing where a psychopathic king might put things, and said things stay there even after said king is murdered. Cue Jaime vomiting.
    • The Martells' desire for revenge for Elia and her children gradually wanes over the course of the story due to the mounting threat of the Others. The final stab to the heart of their plans, however, is when Oberyn learns about Aerys' wildfire plot, and realizes that the moment Robert killed Rhaegar at the Trident, she and her children were dead either way.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Viserys Targaryen, especially after he is given a huge (fake) dragon egg.
      • In Chapter 70, he completely snaps and attempts to awaken his dragon by murdering one of Illyrio Mopatis' servants and then trying to do the same to his own sister.
    • Readers get to see into Lysa Arryn's mind after she (nearly) murders Jon. Mind-scattered is the least of the problems she has. As one reader commented, "Lysa's mind gives me cancer".
    • The ancient Valyrian who calls himself 'the last Dragonlord', who commands a host of beast-headed men and is trying to capture a feral dragon. According to Gerion, he made even "Mad King" Aerys look sane.
    • The original Throne of Winter beneath the Nightfort, which appears to drive any non-Stark that sits in it insane. Given the tales of the Rat King and Mad Axe, and the bones around it, no-one wants to test the veracity.
  • Badass Bookworm:
    • Rodrik Harlaw, nuncle to Theon and Asha Greyjoy. His epithet may be "the Reader", but he is perfectly capable of leading the forces of his more militaristic goodbrother Victarion Greyjoy into a trap, as well as beating the man himself in single combat.
    • He may not be all that skilled yet, but Tyrion is completely willing to fight, and kill, an Other using Rocktooth.
    • Gerion is quite intelligent, being the only man to successfully navigate to Old Valyria and escape, and he is quite skilled with Brightroar.
    • Torgen Surestone was also apparently one, with people reminiscing on his intelligence about the First Men and how he was an absolute terror with a battleaxe.
  • Bad Dreams: Apart from the ones detailed in Bad Future, there's the ones shared by several Baratheons (Robert, Shireen, Gendry) where Lyanna Stark appears in the middle of a snowstorm, trying to tell a young Robert something, before disappearing and being replaced by one of the Others.
  • Bad Future:
    • The consensus opinion for everyone who knows about Robb's old timeline.
    • A few characters (Tyrion, Brynden Tully and Brienne of Tarth) have dreams about another potential future where the Others are winning the war against the living, because neither Tywin Lannister nor Balon Greyjoy sent help to the North:
      • The Others have not only crossed or bypassed the Wall, but have also taken all of the North, the Iron Islands and the northern halves of the Westerlands and the Riverlands, with the Vale in the process of being invaded. The only place that may still be offering resistance to them north of the Trident is Winterfell, and no one knows whether the keep has already fallen.
      • King Robert attempted to lead an army to break through the Others and relieve the North, but his offensive failed and he was forced to retreat to Harrenhal, where he is being besieged by the Others.
      • The Knights of the Vale have been broken because they made the mistake of treating the wights and White Walkers as a regular enemy army.
      • Casterly Rock has fallen to the Others, leaving Tyrion as the last living Lannister, and his only living relative is a catatonic Joffrey.
      • The Iron Islands were partially evacuated thanks to Theon Greyjoy and Rodrik Harlaw, the last Lords of the Iron Islands.
      • Dorne has closed its borders with the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, probably in an attempt to stave off the large numbers of refugees running away from the invasion.
  • Bad Liar: Arya notes that Willem Bootle lies like Rickon - very badly.
  • Balancing Death's Books: To compensate for Robb's return, the Old Gods arrange Ramsay's particularly brutal death to a raven and a wolf.
    • Patchface commits suicide so the Old Gods will heal Shireen Baratheon of her greyscale.
    • The High Sparrow loses his sight in exchange for Maester Aemon regaining his.
    • Willas Tyrell's leg is healed and Victarion Greyjoy suffers a leg injury during his duel with Harlaw that the maester thinks will have him limping for the rest of his life.
  • Because I'm Jonesy: Variant. When a mob led by a hedge septon tries to assault Raventree Hall (House Blackwood's keep) to burn the weirwood kept within, the septon attempts to claim Lord Bracken sent him. Unfortunately for him, Lord Bracken (along with a good lot of his men) is there to help defend the weirwood, and he is most certainly not happy to see someone falsely acting on his name.
  • Beneath Notice: Jaime probably should've been more wary of the direwolf pups wandering around Winterfell - they may have the minds of the Stark children warged into them, keeping an eye on him for their father.
  • Bewildering Punishment: Theon is genuinely confused by Robb's newfound hostility towards him since they're still friends at this time in the timeline. It takes Ned pointing how Robb's behaviour is unfair for the youth to act more civily.
  • BFS: Stormbreaker, the Durrandons' ancient greatsword that Robert found. When it is used, the sound of thunder can actually be heard. It also brings out the enemy's true nature, as it proves by making Jaime's sword rust from the inside, will not be stained by the blood of a coward, and when sounded, will only ring true to those with Durrandon blood.
    • Ice and Brightroar, from canon.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Gendry puts his strength to good use to cut off the cables of the mast in the ship taking him to Storm's End, preventing the ship from sinking.
    • The Green Men come to the aid of the God's Eye villagers to drive the Faith Militant away. And later at High Heart to rescue Edmure Tully.
    • Gerion Lannister, Allarion Lannister and Sarella Sand arrive at the Nightfort in time to ambush a group of rogue Wildlings that had got the drop on Robb and his group.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Tyrion has a short, yet extremely revealing, look at the Freys.
  • Blade on a Stick: Otherbane, the ancient spear of the Gardener Kings, found in Horn Hill's (House Tarly's keep) armory. Like its fellow Ancestral Weapons, it contains great power, such as when it shielded Willas Tyrell from the fear-inducing aura of the Door of Doom beneath the Hightower.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Invoked when Robert executes Janos Slynt and other treacherous Goldcloaks; despite their beheading, his new sword Stormbreaker, the Ancestral Weapon of the Storm Kings, gets not a drop of blood on it. Except for the last Goldcloak, who at least took the bribe at first to help his ailing family and is willing to Face Death with Dignity; lopping his head off does leave blood on the blade.
  • Bond One-Liner: Delivered by Ned after Bootle declared he wasn't afraid of legends and swore on the Fist of Winter that he was innocent of killing Lord Surestone - only to die in instant agony.
    Ned Stark: Perhaps you should've been afraid, then.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • Mace Tyrell was so sure that the Call was just another gambit in the Game of Thrones and that Otherbane, the spear of the Gardener Kings, would go to him. Otherbane burning his hand pretty much punctured all his ambitions.
    • The High Sparrow, so confident and sanctimonious with his piety to the Seven, suffers a Villainous Breakdown after the Old Gods blind him.
    • Walder Frey may have started out his usual discourteous self when Brynden and his party entered his halls, but it ended with the Green Man giving him a severe dressing-down, and then him suffering a stroke when he laid eyes on a wight's head.
    • Jaime Lannister is forced to get off his high horse when Tyrion tells him that the wildfire Aerys had made and hidden under King's Landing, and which Jaime never said anything about, not only wouldn't have degraded, it actually became more powerful and unstable.
      • And later, he gets another blow to his pride when Robert Baratheon, the man he used to call the Fat King, completely wrecks him in a Trial by Combat.
  • Brick Joke:
    • When Roose Bolton makes a mental list of superstitions he was told to always follow, one of them was to never curse a raven. Ramsay's first (and last) scene has him curse a raven he has seen. The raven proceeds to peck his eye out.
    • When he first sees Stormbreaker, Joffrey asked Robert if he could hold it, but Robert told him he had to put on more muscle before trying. When Joffrey tries to take the sword while Robert is busy training, Sandor Clegane points out that he still has little muscle.
    • While the Royal Family is travelling to Winterfell at speed, a lot of japes are made about Cersei not having a wheelhouse available to her since the speed and terrain won't allow for it, including Robert laughing that the wheels won't last a mile. Chapter 103 shows that she tried having one made anyway, only for Robert to be proven exactly right, and had to settle for a carriage in the end.
  • Bring Help Back: In a way in Chapter 113: with Harlaw and Asha faced with a parley from Balon Greyjoy that they know is a trap, Asha sails for Winterfell to appeal to Robert for a royal representative to attend the meeting, as a deterrent against any treachery her father is planning.
  • Bring My Brown Pants:
    • Ned remembers that his father had a Death Glare so powerful that it once made a minor lord on the receiving end of it soil himself.
    • A lot of people mention wanting to soil themselves after witnessing fantastical stuff out of legend, like possession by the Old Gods, a living direwolf, evidence of the Others or a Child of the Forest.
    • While being taken to his execution by beheading, Janos Slynt is noted as leaving behind a trail of "slime".
      • He also soils himself after Stannis smiles at him during his interrogation by Jon Arryn, after Stannis reminds him that he's fought far more and far tougher opponents than one Corrupt Cop, so drawing his sword would be a bad idea.
    • Sandor Clegane notices Joffrey will need new smallclothes after the prince's encounter with Stormbreaker.
    • Going blind because of the Old Gods' punishment breaks Blackfoot's mind so thoroughly that he voids himself all over the place. Multiple times.
    • When he sees a wight's head for the first time, Walder Frey pisses himself. And then suffers a stroke.
  • Brown Note: A Door of Doom in the depths of the Hightower - apart from being implied to be a gate to another plane and which some creature wants to get through - induces sentiments of unease and fear as one approaches it. If one does persist, they can end up dying of pure fright.
  • Bullying a Dragon: This is how everybody reacted upon finding that Littlefinger has been stealing money from both the Iron Bank and Tywin Lannister.
  • Call-Back: During his speech to the Lords and Ladies of the North in Castle Black, Ned mentions they need the men and the resources of the South, much like he did when he first talked with Catelyn about the incoming invasion of the Others. He also mentions that Robert's Durrandon blood sang true, like he did when he learned that Robert had found Stormbreaker.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Inverted; Jeor Mormont gets to call out his son Jorah for his idiocy in selling captured poachers into slavery, which got him exiled.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Indirectly, with a dash of humiliation. Despite all of the Lannisters' discovered crimes, from Jaime and Cersei's incest and treason to Joffrey's murder attempt on Robb, Eddard and Robb are adamant that they cannot punish them or shame them as much as might be warranted, as doing so would alienate and humiliate Tywin and possibly retaliate with a civil war for the sake of his pride, and Westeros needs the Westerlands and its resources for the war against the Others.
  • Carry a Big Stick: The Fist of Winter, a mace made of sky metal and obsidian spikes and the Starks' weapon before they got Ice. Domeric Bolton thinks that it is not a weapon of chivalry, but a weapon of death. It holds oaths very seriously; people like Domericnote  and Mance Rayder have sworn oaths on it, and the one time someone swore a false oath of innocence on it, he died in instant agony.
  • Cassandra Truth: Tyrion's reasoning for why he didn't tell anyone about his suspicious about his siblings' indiscretions. As the Imp, the joke of House Lannister, no-one, least of all his father, would have believed him without concrete proof. Said father Tywin admits that he has a point.
  • Character Development:
    • Catelyn Stark has gone through quite a lot of it. Eddard telling her about the Old Gods' intervention in Robb's death and Jon's true parentage has made her a lot nicer, forgiving, and wanting to make amends with Jon, and the friendship between Bran, Robert Arryn and Edric Storm has helped her relax a lot of her stances on bastards. So when it's revealed that Ned actually did unknowingly have a bastard son, she doesn't lose her temper or hold Eddard or said bastard Edric responsible.
    • Robert Baratheon. The Call and him finding Stormbreaker reawakened the man of action he once was, and he began losing weight and getting fit to answer it. In addition, he's also become a lot more responsible for the King's duties, apologized to his brothers for not being a good brother to them, and is even thinking about burying the hatchet with the Targaryens.
      • Also prominent is that the Call has focused him towards the future and unstuck him from the past. When Robert arrived at Winterfell and met Ned, his first move was to discuss the upcoming threat of the Others with him instead of immediately going to the crypts to see Lyanna's tomb, only doing so after the business is concluded.
      • While he gets furious when he finds out that Cersei has been cuckolding him with Jaime, he is able to control his wrath before doing anything rash, and only feels disappointed that neither Joffrey, Myrcella nor Tommen are his children.
      • Everyone is amazed that, despite an arrested Cersei pushing all his buttons and trying to goad him to strike her in rage, Robert keeps his temper and sees through her ruse to paint herself as the victim.
    • Discussed by Gerion Lannister, who says that his single-minded odyssey to find Brightroar changed him, blinded him to the home he made in the Summer Islands, and it was only when he returned with Brightroar but sans one eye and many of his crew, that he realized what he could've left behind.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The Old Gods' ability to take from one and give to another appears again in chapters 92 - where the Old Gods blind Blackfoot/the High Sparrow - and 93 - where the Old Gods restore Maester Aemon's eyesight.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In chapter 63, Jon Arryn manages to make a deep cut into Lysa's arm as she attacks him. Eleven chapters later, the cut has festered and corrupted, forcing Lysa's men to pull into the closest keep - which turns out to be Bronn's.
    • Before Littlefinger gets arrested in chapter 35, he thinks of a letter he managed to send just in time for this case. Chapter 77 shows that the letter was sent to Lysa Arryn, telling her about Cersei and Jaime's incest and their children, and also that Lord Arryn was lying about his crimes and plotting to kill him, which led to Lysa's attack.
    • When he jumped to his death in chapter 72, Patchface claimed it was "A life for a life". Chapter 77 reveals his death paid off for Shireen being healed of greyscale, burning off the scars left behind.
    • While they prepare Winterfell for the future arrival of the Royal Court and the war with the Others, Ned makes a mention in chapter 62 about having the Broken Tower repaired in a special way. In chapter 116, the nature of these repairs is revealed, allowing Ned and several others to catch Jaime and Cersei Lannister mid-coitus.
    • In chapter 56, when Robert brings Stormbreaker to Tobho Mott's shop to find out what makes it so special, the blacksmith sounds it, and while he and Ser Barristan hear a clank, Robert and Gendry hear a chime. In chapter 117, Robert uses this to make sure whether Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen are his children, as only someone of Durrandon blood can hear the chime. None of them do.
    • In chapter 58, Jaime's sword somehow rusted from the inside really fast as he fought against Robert, who was wielding Stormbreaker. In chapter 120, during Jaime's Trial by Combat, Robert wrecks every weapon and protection Jaime carries because they rust really fast.
  • Civil War:
    • The Iron Islands are on the edge, due to the growing differences between those who intend to heed the Call (such as Rodrik Harlaw) and those that deny it happened (like Balon and Aeron Greyjoy).
      • Damphair sends a group of men to (unsuccessfully) attack Harlaw, marking the beginning of the Ironborn Civil War.
    • Another begins to brew up in the Riverlands, between those who follow the Old Gods and the resurgent Faith Militant.
  • Concealing Canvas:
    • Behind a tapestry in Ned's own solar, right under his nose, there is a hidden door that leads to a whole room of secrets, including the Fist of Winter and the relic that triggers the Call.
    • Roose Bolton also has a secret chamber full of relics hidden behind a tapestry in his solar.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Many. For example, when the Call happened, Brienne of Tarth was on the Vale, and she was pulled towards the Isle of Faces, which leads to her meeting Brynden Tully.
    • Big one in chapter 74, where Bronn's keep is exactly in the right place to catch Lysa Arryn as the injury she got from attacking Jon Arryn is festering.
    • Chapter 77 has a random red leaf land in front of Gendry and head him to a Godswood on Dragonstone, as well as the storm that forced the ship he was on to land there in the first place.
    • In Chapter 126, Theon wishes that he could have a Valyrian steel blade. In that same chapter, Joffrey tries to kill Robb using a Valyrian steel knife.
  • Cool Sword: From canon, House Dayne's Dawn and House Stark's Ice.
    • Brightroar, the Lannisters' famous lost sword, which Gerion Lannister found after all.
    • Dark Sister, a Valryian steel sword and Targaryen heirloom, which Aemon gifts to Jon.
  • Cool Uncle: Robert becomes this for Shireen.
  • Coup de Grâce: After Baelish drowns in his trial by combat, Bronn takes a heavy chain and drops it on Baelish' head, to make sure he is dead.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: After Stevron Frey takes control of his family, Aegon "Jinglebell" Frey, the Fool of the Crossing, is shown standing by him, focused, grim-faced and sword drawn. An observing Brynden isn't sure if the Call changed him or simply made him stop pretending.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: One old Ironborn was claiming that he was going to take his ship to help the North. Damphair kills him by nailing two Weirwood stakes through his eyes.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The first battle of the Ironborn Civil War, between Harlaw men and men sent by Damphair to Harlaw. The latter don't even make a dent on the defenders before being done with.
    • Jaime's Trial by Combat. Jaime barely makes small dents in Robert's shield, and only catches him off-guard a couple of times. Robert completely destroys him, along with his sword, his replacement sword, another three swords, his helmet, his shield and finally his armor.

    D-F 
  • Dare to Be Badass: As Jaime is about to head off to the Night's Watch, having been exposed as an incestuous, treasonous oathbreaker and the man who saved King's Landing from death by wildfire, Ser Barristan gives him a pouch containing the ashes of his white cloak as a reminder of when he broke his oath to his first king for the noblest of reasons, when he became a great man, and tells him that now that he is at his Darkest Hour, to find that great man again.
  • Dawn of an Era: When the Mountain Clans are informing the Vale that they are leaving to go fight the Others, Rhys states that, when they return, so will the Age of Heroes. Considering the return of magic, the rediscovery of various sky metal Ancestral Weapons from the Long Night, the return of the Company of the Rose and Gerion Lannister, the direwolves, the increased intervention of the Old Gods and the Seven in the world, and the general shift to being High Fantasy rather than Dark Fantasy, they appear to be right.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Tywin Lannister's "extreme displeasure" at the return of the Faith Militant, which would result in everyone who took up arms on his land without his permission finding their heads on spikes. All of them. Starting with whichever Septon who gave them permission. And their executioner would have a blunt sword.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • After Arya's long-winded tale to her family about how Jon was possessed by the Old Gods, a listening Tyrion comments that it was impressive how she said all that without breathing.
    • Tywin tells a Septon that, should the Faith Militant even hint at surfacing in the Westerlands, he will have any man in it beheaded with a dull sword. Kevan's reaction?
      Subtle.
    • Archmaester Marwyn. When Archmaester Perestan asks why Lord Hightower is requesting a meeting with him, Marwyn replies he is not a mind reader.
  • Dead Person Conversation:
    • Theon has nightmares about his dead brothers Rodrik and Maron Greyjoy, trying to get him to reaffirm his allegiance to the Drowned God.
    • Robert has had a recurring dream about his love Lyanna Stark trying to tell him something while being pulled away and being pursued by an Other, but in Chapter 131, he finally catches her and has a talk with her in his dreams.
  • Death by Adaptation: Several. The list, so far, includes Ramsay Snow, Littlefinger, Viserys, Illyrio Mopatis, Craster, Walder Frey and Mace Tyrell.
  • Death Glare: Dacey Surestone gives one to Willem Bootle when he is finally brought to Winterfell, one so hard that it was a wonder the man did not burst in flames.
    • Earlier, when Ned gives a less powerful one towards Domeric Bolton, noting to himself that he's trying to copy a similar look his father used at times, which was powerful enough that it once caused a minor lord on the receiving end of it to soil himself.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: No matter what Jorah Mormont feels about Leera, the fact that Lynesse Hightower still lives is a shadow looming over them. This is soon solved when Lynesse dies trying to follow the Call.
  • Death Seeker:
    • This was the case for Rhaegar Targaryen during his last battle at the Ruby Ford. After being confronted by all his sins by the Green Man on the Isle of Faces, he understood that the only way to bring peace to the realm after his father's madness was to seek out Robert Baratheon and die at his hand.
    • Tyrion worries this about his brother after his affair with Cersei is found out and he is arrested, beaten in combat, and ordered to be sent to the Wall, and has to constantly remind him to stay at his best because Westeros needs him.
  • Debt Detester: Tywin is not happy to find out that his family's ancestor Lann the Clever was once saved by the Stark in Winterfell, forming a life debt between the two families. As well as a promise for the Casterlys to aid the Starks against the Others.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Lots of people like chopping off heads and putting them on spikes:
    • Happens to Littlefinger after his execution by Jon Arryn, with his head being placed on a spike over . Seeing it is what drives Lysa Arryn (further) off the deep end, and it's also how Robert initially learns that Baelish has been executed.
    • This is also done to the corrupt Goldcloak officers that Robert executes.
    • Tywin makes it clear to his septon that this will be the fate of anyone who tries to raise the Faith Militant in the Westerlands. He also makes it clear that he won't just execute the leaders, but everyone who takes part, starting with whatever Septon started it. And the executioner would use a blunt sword to behead them.
    • Following the death of Walder Frey, a brief power struggle ensues where Ser Aenys Frey tries to kill the rightful heir, Stevron Frey, and his children. The end result is this, with Aenys and his son Rhaegar having their heads chopped off and placed on spikes on the southern end of the Twins.
  • Defiant Captive: Lyanna's spirit reveals to Robert that she was this to Rhaegar and his Kingsguard, to the point that Rhaegar had to have all three hold her down while he was raping her, partly so she wouldn't damage herself when he got her with child, and partly so she wouldn't damage him either. When she heard Robert had killed Rhaegar, she relished in it and threw it into the faces of her remaining captors. Even the only good thing that came out of the situation, Jon, was her own revenge — Rhaegar had wanted a daughter for his precious prophecy, and Lyanna gave him a son instead.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen:
    • Ursula Stone, Steward of Foxhold (Bronn's keep and town) and the late Lord Cawlish's bastard daughter (and only descendant), at least towards Bronn. She tends to look at him as if he were something scraped from the bottom of the barrel. She begins to thaw when they learn why Lysa attacked Jon Arryn and Bronn decides to rush to King's Landing with news of Lysa Arryn's capture and state.
    • Selyse Baratheon towards Gendry Storm. Him playing a major part in her daughter Shireen getting healed from the greyscale has a lot to do with it.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Ramsay Snow is a major villain in the second and third books. Here, he's killed off in his first and only appearance.
    • Similarly, Littlefinger is behind pretty much half the stuff that happens in the book. Here, he's also killed off relatively early.
    • Melisandre only appears in one chapter, and in said chapter she's Put on a Bus by the Old Gods.
    • Cersei was a major character in the books. However, she hardly appears here.
    • Daenerys has a much reduced role compared to the books. While she still gets her canonical dragons, she lacks the resources she had in canon (most importantly, her Dothraki army, since she never marries Khal Drogo), and she's mostly focused on survival and not letting the Essosi lords use her dragons for war, rather than retaking Westeros.
  • Determinator: The push that drives the descendants of the First Men to move North.
    • Lord Alster Dayne will let nothing stop him from handing Dawn to his son Edric. Not even a deadly illness.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Robb became very surprised with the fact that Old Nan's grandson Walder never became Hodor.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Illyrio Mopatis realizes too late that giving Viserys a false dragon egg may not have been the best idea.
    • Trying to "sanctify" the Gate didn't work so well for the Septons.
    • As Tywin points out in his rant, Cersei never considered the possibility her relationship with her brother would ever be found out and never thought there was the tiny chance it would lead to their children disowned by Robert, the Lannister name disgraced and Cersei herself left in prison.
  • Dirty Coward: Janos Slynt. Jon and Robert choose not to send him to the Wall, knowing the message this might send.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Robb, Theon and Jon can't help but stare when they see Val, Mance Rayder's sister-in-law.
  • Divine Intervention: Unlike in the books, the Old Gods and the Seven are making an obvious mark upon Westeros. The Seven transformed their statues in Baelor's Sept to warn the people about the incoming danger (not that they paid much attention, as many of them thought it was a demand to start a religious war against the followers of the Old Gods). The Old Gods have been more forthcoming and proactive, up to and including blinding Blackfoot/the High Sparrow so he will stop trying to attempt to burn everything of the Old Gods.
  • Door of Doom: The Hightowers have a giant gate hidden beneath the Hightower, that afflicts anyone who gets near with immense fear, and has started pounding ever since magic returned. It is theorized that there is some Eldritch Abomination behind it that must be locked away - and later interactions theorize it to be the Drowned God.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: When it was revealed that Edric Dayne was conceived when Ashara Dayne had sex with Ned Stark while he was delirious from being liberally dosed with milk of the poppy, drunk and mentally broken down after Lyanna's death, some of the readers cringingly compared it with how Lysa Tully raped Petyr Baelish after Catelyn's betrothal was announced.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Just before his trial by combat, Baelish smirks when remembering Brandon Stark's death in the latter's father's "trial by combat" against Aerys the Mad's champion - fire. Probably what was in Jon Arryn's mind when he got Littlefinger to wear heavy armor before handing him a heavy axe and sending him against his champion - the sea.
    • Upon meeting Gendry, Robert wonders why Joffrey had to look so much like a Lannister. The readers obviously know why.
    • As Jaime considers all the weirdness that has been going on as of late, he thinks of Tyrion and smirks at considering that his reaction would probably be quite dismissive of it all. By the time this happens, not only is Tyrion completely convinced of magic's return, but he's already left Winterfell for the Wall, where he will find his family's ancient skymetal weapons and kill one of the Others.
    • After an encounter with their exiled brother Euron Greyjoy, Aeron tells Balon that he shouldn't make any deals with him because Euron would only lead them to "death and destruction". Considering the truth of the Drowned God that they follow...
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: The message from the Seven, delivered via their statues turning Northwards, was intended to warn their followers against the Others, but many of their followers either misinterpret or choose to believe that it's warning them against the North and the Old Gods instead.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Jojen Reed, like in canon, has the greensight, and, as such, has predicted several things, such as Mance Rayder asking Eddard for help, Robert finding Stormbreaker, the return of Gerion Lannister or Theon's change of heart. He has, however, stopped seeing the moment of his death, which worries him.
    • The Bad Future Tyrion sees in his nightmare (later shared by Brynden Tully and Brienne of Tarth).
    • Tyrek Lannister, former Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, also had the greensight and foresaw his descendant Tyrion's existence and the part he would play in the incoming Second War for the Dawn.
  • Driven to Suicide: Patchface the fool, after he becomes a Mad Oracle. Interestingly, he claims it is "A life for a life" before jumping to his death, surprisingly calm and normal.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: After the Tower of Joy, while Eddard was resting in Starfall, grieving, drugged, drunk and exhausted from his injuries, Ashara Dayne slept with him in a moment of grief. Edric Dayne was the result of that.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness:
    • Willas sees the light in his father Mace's eyes fade when Otherbane rejects him.
    • Tywin briefly has this reaction when reading Jaime's confession of his and Cersei's incest.
  • Dull Surprise: Throughout Chapter 134, despite the cavalcade of truths dumped on him from proof of wights, his brother Gerion's survival, the truth of Aerys's wildfire plan, and his children being involved in incest, the most surprise Tywin shows is a widening of the eyes and a few moments of Stunned Silence.
  • Empathic Weapon: Dawn, the famous sword of the Daynes, is one. Anyone not worthy of touching it will notice it is quivering.
    • Other sky metal weapons appear to have similar powers, manifested in different ways.
  • Equivalent Exchange: The more tangible forms of magic seem to work like this. Patchface killed himself so the Old Gods would heal Shireen of her greyscale and remove her scars, and they take Blackfoot's eyesight and restore it to Maester Aemon.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Damphair is a religious zealot, willing to tear the Iron Isles apart for his faith and belief in the Old Ways, but even he thinks that working with Euron is a terrible idea.
    • Also, Balon Geryjoy finds the idea of breaking Sacred Hospitality unthinkable.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Everyone is horrified to learn of Aerys' wildfire plot, and any and all grudges in King's Landing are put aside to deal with the situation.
    • No matter how conniving and power-hungry Tywin Lannister may be he's completely disgusted by Jamie and Cersei's affair and passing off their children as Robert's. He disowns Cersei while tearing her apart verbally for how she's ruined the family.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Whatever that ancient Valyrian sorcerer was thinking when he tried to sacrifice a captured Gerion to bind a wild dragon to his control, all he accomplished was consuming himself, his men and the dragon in a volcanic eruption while Gerion and his surviving men escaped.
  • Exact Words: Jon Arryn told Petyr Baelish he would get a fair trial. Not that he would get a public trial.
  • Excessive Mourning: Lady Barbrey Dustin, who still holds a grudge against Ned for leading her husband Willem to his death at the Tower of Joy and failing to bring his bones back. Her grudge kept her from telling Ned about the fog gathering on the barrows near her home ever since the Call, and when Ned only hears about it when he calls a council of war, he is inwardly displeased at more information being lost because of old grudges.
  • Eye Scream:
    • The first move in Ramsay Snow's death is when a raven rips his eye out with its beak.
    • Gerion Lannister lost his eye during a fight with a bull-headed man on his odyssey to retrieve Brightroar.
  • Face Death with Dignity:
    • Lord Alster Dayne, who travels to King's Landing while suffering a deadly disease to deliver Dawn and much needed information to his only son.
    • The last Gold Cloak to be beheaded by Robert for taking bribes. Which is probably why he is not subjected to the same abuse.
    • You can say much bad about him, but when Rhaegar Targaryen was told by the Green Man that he would die during the Battle of the Ruby Ford, he accepted it as the price for his actions. In fact, it's implied that he specifically sought out Robert during the battle, simply to get it over with
    • With the last of his strength, Mace Tyrell admits he was wrong in acting like he did, warns Willas that the Eldritch Abomination behind the Gate will try to return and destroy the harvest, and tells him the only one that can kill it is Eddard Stark with the Fist of Winter before he finally passes away.
  • Face–Monster Turn: The menbeasts controlled by the "last Dragonlord" in Valyria. They are created by a Valyrian madman forcibly mutating anyone daring or unlucky enough to step on the coast.
  • Face Palm: Tyrion resists the urge to do so when Joffrey declares that Grandfather Tywin will be able to match the price that his brother Gerion paid to get Brightroar. Then again, it's hard to match the price of a missing eye.
  • Fighting Fingerprint: Or in this case Riding Fingerprint - all the way back in Harrenhall, Robert noticed the minute details of the horse tack of the Knight of the Laughing Tree, and deduced their identity as Lyanna Stark.
  • Fisher King: A downplayed, non-magical variant, but Brynden notes how the Twins has transformed literally overnight from a dark, dirty, hostile place full of worn old tapestries and dirty people to a light, cleaner place with a diligent lord after Walder Frey kicks it and Stevron Frey takes over.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: When Baelish shows up for his trial by combat, Jon Arryn seems oddly gleeful to see him wearing the heaviest armor the former could find. A minute later, the reason becomes obvious: as he is going to be dropped into the Blackwater, such heavy armor will only make it likelier that he will drown.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist:
    • In spite of all increasing proof that magic is back, Tywin refuses to entertain the idea. He begins to consider he was wrong when he follows a pull to a room his father was obsessed with - an idea he had earlier rejected - and finds undeniable proof. He does agree with the necessity of sending aid to the North, but wants more solid proof to bring his bannermen into the bandwagon.
    • The majority of maesters are even worse, with one maester trying to put out the glass candles that signal the return of magic, just so he and the rest of the world can pretend it hasn't. Even when they begrudgingly acknowledge the fact and send ravens to spread the news, many like Pycelle flatly dismiss the warning as nothing but legends.
    • Even after seeing a moving wight head, Jaime still reminds skeptical of the return of magic and the Call - which he takes from Cersei. Downplayed in that it's made clear that he is uncertain as to whether he actually agrees with Cersei claiming it was fake.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: Tyrek Lannister, former Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Being a greenseer, he had a vision about his descendant Tyrion and his role to play against the Long Night, so he wrote a letter directly addressed to him by name, detailing what he wants him to do.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten:
    • Pretty much the reaction to Jorah Mormont's return to Westeros, despite his exile for being a slave-seller. In the face of the threat of the Others, Robert is willing to write him a pardon and Eddard and his family are willing to set his crimes aside, but it's very clear those scars will not be fading anytime soon. It's also made clear that he is still disinherited for his crimes.
    • The Martells start heading this route in regards to Elia and her children as the threat the Others pose becomes more clear to them, especially after learning about Aerys' wildfire plot and realizing that they were probably going to die no matter what happened.
  • Formerly Fat: Downplayed with Robert after the Call shakes him out of his stupor, he finds Stormbreaker and he gets a purpose again, resolving to train heavily to meet it. By Chapter 89, he's still a large man, but has markedly more muscle than fat, and many people are astonished at the change.
  • For Want of a Nail: The story is pretty much made of this. Robb actually lampshades it - showing his father what happened in the original timeline led Eddard to ask his bannermen about the Others, so Greatjon checked on the Hearthstone and brought it to Winterfell, where the stone is used to call for help from the South.
    • Domeric Bolton never meets his half-brother Ramsay, because he is sent to Winterfell by his father and then becomes betrothed to Sansa while Ramsay meets a grisly death of his own.
    • Jon Arryn is not poisoned - and sends his son to foster with Ned.
    • Littlefinger's embezzling is discovered, and he is captured and pretty much executed before he can escape.
    • Theon casts away his allegiance to the Drowned God and the Old Way.
    • Jorah Mormont returns to the North.
    • Mance Rayder makes a deal with Ned to allow the wildlings to cross the Wall.
    • The Faith Militant reappears much sooner than in the books. They also get destroyed very fast.
    • The direwolf mother not only survives, but gives birth to seven pups instead of six, the seventh becoming Theon's.
    • Much to Robb's surprise, Walder, Old Nan's great-grandson, never suffered whatever turned him into Hodor.
    • Walder Frey dies after seeing a moving wight head, suffering a stroke.
    • Ned, Stannis and Barristan catch the Lannicest in the act, and Robert discovers the treason and divorces Cersei as a result.
  • Foreshadowing: Abound in just about anyone's dreams or visions, be they Melisandre's, Jojen's or anyone else's.
    • Tywin Lannister and Oberyn Martell know that, with the return of magic, someone is bound to attempt to wake up a dragon and cause Summerhall all over again. Viserys Targaryen ends up killing himself and Illyrio Mopatis when he tries to wake up the dragon in the (fake) egg the latter gave him, burning down a third of Mopatis' manse and incidentally causing dragons to reappear after more than a century... under Daenerys' control.
    • The Fist of Winter's ability to kill people who either swear false oaths on it or break oaths sworn on it, and its use to determine guilt during trials. While researching it, Ned comes across tales of an ancestor who wielded it and was nicknamed "the Lawgiver". When Mance Rayder swears an oath on it, a crack of thunder was heard right afterwards, and when Domeric swears an oath on it, he swears the earth shakes a little, and thinks Ned's eyes flash red for a moment (generally a sign of someone being influenced by the Old Gods, their ancestors, or First Men magic). When Ned tells Roose about Domeric swearing an oath on the Fist, Roose relates a tale about how a Bolton once swore an oath on the Fist, only to later break it and die within a month of doing so. And then Willem Bootle swears a false oath and dies almost instantaneously.
    • In chapter 75, Jojen Reed mentions a shooting star from the South, whose heart was of the North. This sets up the revelation that Edric Dayne - whose house's symbol is a shooting star - is Ned Stark's biological son.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Eddard getting Bran to promise to never climb the walls of Winterfell again starts with this.
  • The Fundamentalist:
    • Balon and Aeron Greyjoy are so obsessed with the Drowned God and the Old Ways (not to mention their pride) that they are unwilling to accept that they, too, heard The Call from the Starks. So obsessed, in fact, that they are willing to slaughter their own people to stamp it all out.
    • The Riverlands (and, presumably, other parts of the Seven Kingdoms) are starting to see a resurgence of the Faith Militant after the Call was made, who are trying to burn every remains of the Old Gods' culture in the South.

    G-I 
  • Generation Xerox: The Terrible Trio (Brandon Stark, Robert Arryn and Edric Storm) are well on their way to becoming as close to each other as their fathers (Eddard Stark, Jon Arryn, and Robert Baratheon) are.
  • Genre Blind:
    • When he hears that the Company of the Rose (descended from the Northerners that chose exile over bending the knee to Aegon the Conqueror) is in Pentos, Viserys seriously considers ordering them to fight for him, his argument being that, since they are from Westeros, they should obey the rightful king, i.e. him. Magister Mopatis has to tactfully point out that they are more likely to kill himnote .
    • Catelyn has a brief moment of this when she insists that Arya keep learning how to be a lady even after all the evidence of the Others' return and Arya's fair argument that Winterfell needs Stark warriors more than ladies, and disbelieves Arya being a warg. After Arya runs off in tears, Luwin makes Catelyn reconsider, saying that with all the old secrets being reawakened, Arya being able to warg may also be one of them.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • As soon as he has Baelish captured, Jon Arryn does everything to make sure he will not spread around news about "The Great Matter" (aka the fact that Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen are all Jaime's children): keeping him isolated from anyone not in Jon's service during his imprisonment, make his trial a private affair and then making sure he will have no chance to survive in a private trial by combat.
    • When he learns that there's an Iron Bank representative "just passing by" King's Landing, Baelish (who has been arrested for stealing money from the Crown, some of which belonged to the Iron Bank) knows that the representative is either a Faceless Man or knows there's one close.
    • Illyrio Mopatis knew that Viserys was not a mentally balanced person, so he gave him a completely fake "dragon egg" made of stone to distract him. Unfortunately, this has the consequence of Viserys becoming even more deranged, culminating in him trying to kill Daenerys and both him and Mopatis dying in a fire as they fight each other.
    • As soon as they get Balon Greyjoy's invitation to a meeting to discuss how to restore peace, Rodrik Harlaw and Asha Greyjoy immediately realize it's a trap.
  • Genre Shift: With the introduction of more mystical elements to Westeros, the fic changes Ice and Fire's Dark Fantasy into a more traditional High Fantasy.
  • Given Name Reveal: Bronn's surname is revealed to be Cassley. The Reveal gives Grand Maester Pycelle a brief Oh, Crap! moment.
  • Glad I Thought of It: After Garth Greenhand's statue is discovered, Mace Tyrell starts claiming that he had always thought the statue was there - even though he almost had it bricked up several times.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly:
    • The Old Gods becoming more active causes more people to start worshipping them again and with more fervor, which in turn, makes them grow stronger (if their message to Melisandre is of any indication), which was further amplified by the Call. It manifests in the form of the Green Men becoming more active as well, many people having Prophetic Dreams, and weirwood tree saplings appearing across the South, where it was believed there were no more. It's also implied that the reason they had so little power in the books was due to only a handful of people in the North still worshipping them.
    • Rather than prayer or belief, the Drowned God is empowered by the Ironborn's Rape, Pillage, and Burn.
  • Going Commando: Ygritte admits to Jon that she is not wearing any smallclothes under her dress, after Mance Rayder and Catelyn Stark had coerced her into wearing it.
  • Going Native: Theon finally decides to leave his Ironborn nature behind him when he renounces the Drowned God, firmly casting his allegiance with the North and the Old Gods. It's later cemented by Ned's decision to give him the seventh direwolf pup.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Finding out that the Old Gods not only exist but are powerful enough to curse him with blindness is enough to make Blackfoot crack.
    • To make things worse for him, his lines in Chapter 133 right before his execution imply he received at least one prophetic vision relating to the coming of the Others after his blindness.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Hearing about the Mad King's plans to burn King's Landing to ash with wildfire, Jaime killed him and kept the presence of the wildfire secret in the knowledge that it would degrade over time... except that well-mixed wildfire in the dark doesn't degrade, it destabilizes.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: The Call. Eddard accidentally starts it with one of his family's ancient relics, warning everyone with First Man's blood that the Others are coming. Every house with First Men ancestors soon sends messages to Winterfell, proclaiming their support - and the Call is heard all the way to Essos.
  • Grand Theft Me:
    • One of the Stark's ancestors possesses Eddard in order to reestablish a pact with the Old Gods that secures the return of direwolves, and the Old Gods themselves do it to help restore Maester Aemon's sight. Jon becomes similarly possessed so that Tyrion knows he must ride to the Nightfort.
    • Willas Tyrell, too, is possessed by the spirit of Mern IX, the last Gardener King who was killed by Aegon and his sisters at the Field of Fire.
    • Shireen gets possessed by the Old Gods when she touches the hidden heart tree of Dragonstone, telling Gendry he has to go north to help his father, and stating Patchface willingly committed suicide so Shireen would get healed from her greyscale.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Joffrey is jealous of Gendry due to Robert's favorability towards him in spite of his being illegitimate. He makes a point of bringing up the latter in every chapter they're in together, even when it's not relevant.
  • Groin Attack: Val drops Joffrey by kicking him in the crotch from behind. Nine chapters later, he's still walking funny.
  • Gutted Like a Fish:
    • This is Craster's fate at the hands of Ser Jaremy of the Night's Watch, after he tries to take back his baby son that was supposed to be sacrificed to the Others, but whom the Black Brothers rescued instead.
    • The rogue Wildling Torgett makes this threat to Mance Rayder, but he instead suffers this fate when Rayder proves to be the better combatant.
  • HA HA HA— No: On the way to Winterfell, this is Robert's reaction to the wheelhouse Cersei demands be made. He laughs so hard he starts to tear up, then walks away shaking his head.
  • Hair-Trigger Explosive: According to Tyrion's research, unless wildfire is badly mixed and is stored in the wrong conditions, it will not degrade over time, but instead mature and grow more and more unstable, especially if kept somewhere dark. Now, what do you think happened to all the wildfire Aerys buried under King's Landing, that Jaime had never told anyone about, and had been sitting there since the Rebellion?
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Coldhands was half-turned into a wight by the Others, but prevented from fully turning by the Children of the Forest.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Asha Greyjoy realizes that she cannot keep holding to the Old Ways, and decides to side with her uncle Rodrik Harlaw in the incoming civil war between Drowned God followers and those who side with the Starks.
  • Heel Realization: Robert has a few of this as he gets back on his feet (metaphorically speaking), realizing how badly he has been messing up since the Rebellion. He admits to his brothers that he has been a horrible brother, particularly to Stannis, who has done so much for him without receiving a just reward. He seems to have similarly recognized his shortcomings as a father and has made an effort to be a better parent to Edric, Gendry, Myrcella and Tommen.
    • He has another one when he learns about Jon from Lyanna's spirit who is begging him not to kill her son — first, horror over the thought that both Lyanna and Ned thought he would kill Jon just because Rhaegar is his father, and then horror at himself when he realizes why they thought that.
  • Heir Club for Men: After Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen are disqualified from the line of succession, Robert's new heir is Stannis, followed by Shireen and then Renly. This means that Shireen is his heir, as Stannis isn't much younger than Robert is and is just as likely to die in the upcoming war against the Others. This is why Robert is thinking of legitimizing one of his bastards or having more kids with a new wife; while he's perfectly fine with Shireen being queen, the same can't be said for the rest of the realm. The last thing they need is a repeat of the Dance of Dragons.
  • Hero of Another Story:
    • There is a hint that something similar to what is going on beyond the Wall is happening in the Grey Wastes with the Dothraki being "called" East, just as the descendants of the First Men are being called North.
    • Many people are also being pulled to the Isle of Faces, so as to help protect it from the threat of the resurgent Faith Militant.
    • Gerion Lannister had gone on a literal Odyssey on his voyage to find Brightroar, involving mutinies, freed slaves, men with animal heads, an insane Valryian sorcerer, a dragon, a volcano and a man long thought dead.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Theon when Robb tells him what he did in the original future (or, at least, what Robb knew of the future).
    • Daenerys when she learns the truth about Robert's Rebellion.
    • Tyrion faints when he finally meets his long-thought-dead uncle Gerion.
  • He's Back: The Call awakens Robert Baratheon after almost a decade and a half of depression, bringing back the man of action he was before the Rebellion. As a result, he shaves off the Beard of Sorrow, starts training off all his fat, and focuses his efforts on his royal duties.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • He may act like a senile old man, and he may be loyal to the Lannisters rather than the King, but Grand Maester Pycelle reminds everyone that he is still a maester when he is able to find almost exactly where in Westeros the statues of the Seven in the Sept of Baelor are pointing by calculating the exact directions each statue is pointing and drawing a line for each of them on a map, then figuring out where all of them intersect, finding that they are all pointing at a specific point beyond the Wall, meaning he may have actually found the location of Hopemourne, the lair of the Others. He also, without having to be asked by anyone, makes sure to inform the various septons gathered there that the statues aren't pointing at the North. He does so quite forcefully.
      • And later, he is fully willing to lead the search for the wildfire hidden underneath King's Landing.
    • Leera, Jorah Mormont's lover, says this about King Robert after they meet him and find that he's not the oaf everyone thought he was.
      Leera: There's more to him than meets the eye. He's like... lightning in the clouds. Hidden until you see it, feel it, hear it.
      • When Robert first meeds Robb Stark, he instantly sees the boy has much older eyes than his youth says.
      • Robert often surprises people with how intelligent he can be. While part of it is due to Character Development, the other half is that he is a skilled warrior and commander, rather than just some Dumb Muscle with a warhammer. As Jaime notes while sparring with him, he never makes the same mistake twice.
      • As skilled a horseman as he is, all the way back in Harrenhall, Robert recognized the horse tack of the Knight of the Laughing Tree, as he did it in exactly the same way as Lyanna Stark.
    • The main reason Balon Greyjoy staunchly resists the message from Winterfell is that he feels acknowledging it means accepting the rule of the Old Gods, and without the Drowned God, the Ironborn are nothing but ridiculous savages with no place in the world.
    • Tywin Lannister privately admits that when he enacted the annihilation of the Reynes and Tarbecks that inspired the Rains of Castamere, he went too far due to youth and inexperience and garnered a bloodthirsty, ruthless, mad dog reputation for his House, which took years of fair governance, even judgement and a stint as Hand of the King to alter into a reputation of just rule. The lesson he took from that was that real power is more than just military might or threats of force, it is also strong reputations and trustworthiness. That said, he never wishes that he hadn't enacted the massacre, merely that he ought to have left some members alive as an example.
  • History Repeats:
    • Tywin Lannister learns that he isn't the first man in his family to overthrow an unworthy father and take the reins of the family: Lann "the Clever" Casterly went to march against the Others with the Starks when his father was too cowardly to do so, and Lann usurped his control when he returned.
    • A Selmy named Emrys Selmy was once swordbearer to the Durrandons, the Storm Kings of old. Now, Ser Barristan Selmy finds himself serving a similar role to a Durrandon descendent, King Robert Baratheon and his new Ancestral Weapon Stormbreaker.
  • Home Sweet Home:
    • After becoming Bronn Cassley, Lord of Foxhold, Bronn finds himself greatly appreciating having a holdfast to call his own, even if it's a lot bigger than he ever dreamed of.
    • This is the lesson that Gerion Lannister learns after his odyssey where he almost perished trying to find Brightroar. After he returns to the Summer Islands and to his lover Allara, he decides to settle down, marry her, and start a family.
    • Many of the Westerosi living for a long time in Essos, like Jorah Mormont and the Company of the Rose, get teary-eyed when they finally return.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: There is a brief moment with Jon focusing on a redheaded wildling he swears was a girl, very interested in a windmill. Robb slyly tells him he will have all the time he wants to find the girl again in the near future.
    • When Val is introduced to Ned, the Lord Stark muses that Robb, Jon and Theon's staring are reminiscient of direwolf puppies looking at raw meat.
  • Humiliation Conga: Chapter 110 lays out one for Walder Frey. If having the tables turned on him when he is rebuked and called a snot-nosed dotard in his own home by Ser Duncan the Tall isn't enough, him pissing himself and suffering a stroke when he lays eyes on a living wight's head does the trick.
  • Hypocrisy Nod: When set to fight Robert at his trial by combat, Jaime protests that fighting the King is treason. Robert naturally points out that the entire reason Jaime is in this mess is because of treason.
    Robert: Treason never bothered you before, did it Kingslayer? Why should it now?
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Tywin forbids Kevan to go to a room their father was obsessed with, even though both of them are feeling a pull towards the place. When Kevan sneaks to the room that night, not only has Tywin arrived earlier, but he also reveals that he, too, had his particular obsession with the room.
    • When Willas recovers from his coma after finding Garth Greenhand's statue, Olenna Tyrell says she was not worried. Margaery promptly points to Olenna's embroidery, which shows a Maester being chased by a thorn bush (the Highgarden Maester claimed Willas may not wake up again, and Olenna a.k.a the Queen of Thorns didn't like that prognosis).
  • I Choose to Stay: After his odyssey to retrieve Brightroar, Gerion Lannister decides to stay with his love Allara and their family on the Summer Islands, instead of returning to Westeros. At least until the Call is sent out.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Greatjon, while telling Tyrion to consider courting Dacey Surestone, warns him that, if he breaks her heart, Ned (Dacey's cousin) will kill him, Greatjon will break whatever Ned leaves intact and then Roose Bolton will take his turn.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Renly Baratheon discusses as much with Jon Arryn, in that despite him being at Storm's End, witnessing a statue with glowing eyes come to life, hand Robert a legendary sword and declare him Storm King, within days of returning to King's Landing, he had pushed the event aside and subsumed himself into the regular plots and politics of the city. It takes him seeing a living wight's head for the reality of the upcoming war of the Others to stick.
  • I Have No Son!:
    • Hoster Tully frankly disowns Lysa when he finds out about her relationship with Littlefinger, her support in his schemes in destabilising the realm, her wilful poisoning of her and Jon Arryn's son, and Hoster's grandson, and finally, her attempted murder of Jon and her effort to flee justice. Lysa, for her part, is unable to appreciate it, given that she's stuck as a prisoner in the Vale and too out of her mind to know or care.
    • After finding out his true parentage, Robert declares Joffrey no longer a Baratheon, but Joffrey Hill the bastard.
  • Implausible Deniability: How Ned plans to make it impossible for Cersei to deny her incestuous affair with Jaime: catch them in the act, with Stannis and Ser Barristan as witnesses. And even then, when Robert finally confronts her, she still tries to claim it's all a lie.
    • Pycelle does try to deny it, but the rest of the Small Council quickly rebuke him.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink:
    • Robb and Theon head for the ale after the Internal Reveal of Theon's actions from Robb's old timeline.
    • Then again with Jon, Robb and Ned, after another Internal Reveal of Jon's parentage and Robb's time travel.
    • Rodrik Harlaw, his new wife Alys and Asha Greyjoy after they find out what the High Harlaw runes state.
    • Tyrion, whenever he has an encounter with something supernatural, or is repeatedly told about his fate and role to play in the future war against the Others.
    • Varys, of all people, when he finds out something has gone wrong in Pentos, namely Braavos deciding to preemptively take care of their potential dragon problem by means of an invasion fleet.
    • Edmure goes with Patrek Mallister to get some wine after executing the mad Septon Blackfoot, especially after his ominous Last Words.
  • Inopportune Voice Cracking:
    • After seeing a Child of the Forest with his own eyes, Tormund has to remind himself after greeting it that he is Tormund bloody Giantsbane and that he does not bloody squeak.
    • This happens to Tyrion after he talks to the Old Gods via Jon Snow.
  • Insane Troll Logic: This is Joffrey's train of thought when he believes he will own both Brightroar and Stormbreaker after hearing about the former being found: Brightroar should go to the head of House Lannister, namely Tywin, and since Tywin is too old, Jaime is in the Kingsguard and Tyrion is hated by Tywin, it will go to him along with Stormbreaker as the son of Robert Baratheon. Of course, he knows that Stormbreaker has already soundly rejected him and so he's fishing for any legendary sword to call his own. Tyrion is thoroughly exasperated by his nephew's logic, and Brightroar's current owner, Gerion Lannister, makes very clear that it will not belong to him.
  • Insult to Rocks: Bronn thinks that calling Petyr Baelish a weasel is cruel to weasels.
  • Internal Reveal: Several of them. Eddard tells Catelyn and Jon about the latter's true ancestry (Jon's parents are Rhaegar and Lyanna), which Robb finds out later.
    • Daenerys learns about the events of Robert's Rebellion through Jorah Mormont.
    • The Green Man reveals to the Blackfish and Brienne that Rhaegar Targaryen asked him whether he (Rhaegar) was right in regards to the prophecy of the Prince Who Was Promised, but the Green Man did not tell him anything, since Rhaegar was sure he was right. Months later, Rhaegar returned, got heavily told off for what he did (kidnap Lyanna, which in turn caused the death of Rickard and Brandon Stark and their companions' and set off Robert's Rebellion, then later raping her after she wished to leave) and also learned that he would die fighting Robert.
    • Through a vision, Brynden Tully and Brienne of Tarth find out about what happened to Robb, including the Red Wedding, that his ancestor Edmyn Tully (the one who led the Targaryen supporters against Harren the Black) was foretold of the Targaryens' eventual madness and the death and resurgence of the Dragons and about what will happen if further action is not taken to stop the Others.
    • Chapter 131 has Robert find out about Jon from Lyanna's spirit in a dream, and the following chapter has him tell Ned that he knows.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Thanks to Ned's trap, Jaime and Cersei Lannister are caught in the act.
  • I Reject Your Reality:
    • The first maester who discovered that magic had returned had been trying for 10 days to undo what he had done and pretend it hadn't happened, but his colleagues found out anyway.
    • After Cersei's affair and her children's parentage is found out, Robert divorces her and her children are stripped of their royal status, but she and Joffrey are still delusional that they still hold on to any sort of power. Much of Cersei's internal dialogue in her focus segment in Chapter 135 is her reassuring herself that she can make her father believe her and that the Westerlands still hold the Crown in debt until Tywin strips her of all her delusions that he would ever help her out of her giant mess.
  • Irony:
    • Eddard's and Robert's families' Ancestral Weapons are each other's favored weapon, something Robert lampshades when he gets Stormbreaker looked over by Tobho Mott and learns about the Fist. Similarly, Eddard notes that Robert would love the Fist of Winter. Both joke about this when they finally meet in chapter 113.
    • Viserys tries to kill Daenerys to awaken the dragons so they would be under his control. He ends up dying and putting the dragons under Daenerys' control.
    • Bronn was the one that captured Littlefinger, and got a keep as payment. While he is in that keep, he ends up capturing Lysa Arryn by pure chance - after she attacked her husband because of Littlefinger's death.
      • For added irony, he captures Lysa while fishing for trout. The emblem of Lysa's maiden house? A trout.
    • One of the main problems between Ned and Catelyn at the beginning of the story is Jon, who Catelyn thought was Ned's bastard son and suspected Ashara Dayne may have been Jon's mother, until Ned cleared it up by revealing Jon was actually his nephew. It then turns out that Ned actually did have a bastard son with Ashara Dayne - Edric Dayne, who was adopted by Alster Dayne the whole time - and never knew it.
    • Joffrey hates the fact that Robert seems to favor Gendry, who looks almost exactly like him, and he likes to bring up the fact that he is a bastard every time they meet - and then it turns out that Joffrey, too, is a bastard.
    • Tywin makes note of a couple of ironic points after all the truths are laid out to him:
      • The Lannister twins, his precious Golden Pair whom he adores, have utterly ruined the standing of House Lannister with their Twincest and treason, while his dwarf son Tyrion, whom he has always loathed, is now the heir of Casterly Rock and a true Lannister for all his actions and support in the north.
      • Tywin has always looked for a way to get Jaime out of the Kingsguard and make him the heir to Casterly Rock. Not only was a way right under his nose ( Jaime revealing Aerys's mad wildfire plan), but Cersei has finally managed the first part by committing enough treason with him that Jaime is now exchanging the Kingsguard's white cloak for the black one of the Night's Watch.
  • It's Quiet... Too Quiet:
    • Brynden Tully does not like the silence settling over the Bloody Gate, rightly fearing that the Vale clans may be planning something. Fortunately, they are actually planning to follow Ned's call to arms.
    • Robb Stark and his party think this when they enter the Nightfort, which should at least have some Black Brothers working to restore it - except, there's no one there.
  • I Will Show You X: King Robert has choice words for a septon who describes Northerners (like his friend Ned and old love Lyanna) as "uncouth".
    Uncouth!?! I’ll uncouth you right in the face, you bastard!

    J-L 
  • Jabba Table Manners: Subverted. During the feast at Winterfell, Jaime is astonished to see that King Robert isn't downing wine like water and wolfing down the food, but drinking in small sips and eating the food slowly.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • During his trial for his corrupt practices, embezzling, outright robbery and his attempt to have Robert Arryn kidnapped, Littlefinger points out the nobles' hypocrisy in relation to the smallfolk, Stannis' inability to get past any slight (imagined or otherwise) even though he controls Dragonstone and is the Master of Ships, and Jon Arryn's inability to control the King's excesses and to discover that Cersei's children are not the King's.
      • Jon later acknowledges that Littlefinger had a point about the nobility in a conversation with Bronn, and says that Bronn becoming a lord would actually help address the issue, by infusing some new blood into the nobility.
      • Littlefinger's insinuation that Stannis only has one sickly heir for a reason seems to have been taken to heart, as he then starts spending more time with his wife Selyse.
    • Tywin, although unable to accept that magic is returning in spite of all proof, has a good point in being wary about the possibility: given its ties to dragons, he knows someone will attempt to wake dragons from their eggs. Indeed, Viserys Targaryen is planning to do this.
    • When discussing what to do as the reactions to the Call grow, Tywin points out that he cannot just call for his banners and help the Starks: those who refuse the Call will think him mad, those who have heard it may have actually changed their minds. If he gets more tangible proof, then he can consider acting in such direction.
  • Kangaroo Court: In an unusual use of this trope, it's the "good guys" (insomuch as that can be a thing in Westeros) who are on the giving end this time: Stannis and Jon Arryn give Petyr Baelish a mock-trial-by-combat that is an execution in all but name. However, there are several reasons that make this a more understandable decision; Jon and Stannis have a mountain of evidence directly implicating Baelish, including a large number of witnesses, Baelish himself had earlier confessed to the charges, and, most importantly, Baelish has knowledge of a matter that could start a war if it ever publicly became known (that the King's children are all bastards born of incest), so it's too dangerous to give him a proper trial where he might reveal this.
  • Karmic Death:
    • Ramsay Snow. After raping a girl and being pursued by men in retaliation, he curses a raven and it rips his eye out. And then a wolf takes its turn.
    • Petyr Baelish. All his double-dealings finally caught up with him.
      • It's also mentioned a few times that he made sure to gather as much information about how Brandon and Rickard Stark died, and smiles every time he passes the spots where they died. He meets a similar, but opposite, fate as Rickard, being allowed trial by combat only for the other side to choose one of the elements as their champion, but instead of fire, Jon Arryn chose water.
    • The owner of the inn where Tyrion meets Dacey Surestone. He was crooked enough to shortchange both his customers and the vendors that sold to him, and the large wife of one of the vendors didn't take kindly to it.
    • Viserys Targaryen dies in a fire he himself caused, after trying to kill his own sister in an attempt to awaken the dragon eggs they have been gifted (which, for extra Irony, ends up putting those dragons under Daenerys' control) and actually killing the man who had hosted him.
    • Craster dies of a terminal case of bowel indigestion, induced by a dagger, at the hands of the Night's Watch that has just learned that he's been sacrificing his sons to the Others.
    • Walder Frey's jerkass nature and unwillingness to believe the Call has happened end up leading him to suffering a stroke after he is called out by Ser Duncan the Tall on the former and seeing incredibly obvious proof of the latter a few moments later.
    • Willem Bootle swore that he was the real Lord Surestone and that he was innocent of killing the previous one. When he tried to swear that on the Fist of Winter, the lies finally killed him.
    • Septon Alyston of the Starry Sept was a puffed-up peacock trying to regain some prestige for his sept and himself. When he barges his way into the Hightower with Mace Tyrell's support to "cleanse" a Door of Doom beneath it, he ends up dying when the aura of fear around it becomes too much to take.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Several times.
  • Kinslaying Is a Special Kind of Evil: Tywin Lannister explains this is the only reason he doesn't KILL Cersei when he is telling her just how much she fucked up. He makes it clear that House Lannister's reputation and position are no so precarious that their House will be dealing with the consequences for generations. Him killing her would just degrade their name even further. Though he does honestly contemplate it.
  • Knife Nut:
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Mace Tyrell. He sees himself as a great leader and player of the Game of Thrones, while most of his family, contemporaries and fellow Lord Paramounts see him as a buffoon, especially when the advent of the Call changed everything from under his feet without him noticing. Even after Otherbane, the spear of the Gardener Kings rejects him in favour of his son Willas and his mother Olenna convinces him to retire to his hunting lodge, he still wants to be relevant and lead the Reach again, even willing to answer to the Septon of the Starry Sept to 'cleanse' an Artifact of Doom beneath the Hightower to do so, despite not having a clue in what he's doing.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Applicable to the Others; in addition to the canonical dragonglass and Valyrian steel, they are also vulnerable to sky-metal, as Tyrion finds out when he slays an Other with Rocktooth. A bit of Fridge Brilliance is present in that all three are substances borne from fire (fire from the earth, fire from dragons and fire from the heavens).
  • Lap Pillow: Tyrion ends up falling asleep on Dacey Surestone's lap in Winterfell's godswood, exhausted from the long ride back from the Wall.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Lysa Arryn attacked Jon Arryn because he had Littlefinger killed, and Jon managed to make a cut on her. This cut proceeds to fester and corrupt (aided by a poison that coated Jon's dagger), costing her her arm.
    • Viserys Targaryen kills one of Illyrio Mopatis' servants, and then tries to kill Daenerys, in an attempt to awaken his dragon egg and Daenerys' three. Not only does he die himself from a fire he accidentally provoked, after learning his egg was false: in an extremely ironic turn, his death is one of the three that restore Daenerys' dragons to life.
    • The High Sparrow does not want to see the truth, and attempts to have all signs of worship of the Old Gods destroyed... so he is cursed with blindness by the Green Man and the Old Gods.
      • Maester Aemon, in spite of being blind for long time, has been seeking the truth and working to aid those who heed the Call as much as he can... so the Old Gods restore his sight.
    • Robert Lampshades as much after he hears Robb's story of the old timeline, in that all the people that had ruined House Stark in the previous timeline have gotten their comeuppance in this one, such as Roose Bolton and Balon Greyjoy's sons renouncing their family legacies and Jaime Lannister taking the black. All that is needed now is for Walder Frey to keel over dead (something that unbeknownst to them has already happened).
  • Late to the Punchline:
    • In chapter 117, Robert brings his children together, as well as Shireen, so they will listen to the sound of Stormbreaker. "Trueborn" Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen hear a clank, while bastards Mya, Gendry and Edric hear a chime. After the former leave, Gendry asks what's going on, and Shireen tells him that only those people of Durrandon blood can hear the chime. It takes Gendry a while until he realizes the King's "trueborn" children are not actually Robert's.
    • When Robert finally informs Joffrey of what the implications mean, it takes a while before it sinks into the blond Royal Brat's head. On the other hand, his guard Sandor had realized the implications immediately.
  • Laugh Themselves Sick:
    • Once he hears that the Lannister twins were caught fornicating in Winterfell and arrested, Oberyn Martell excuses himself to the privy to laugh himself to tears.
    • Robb and Theon are left in hysterics watching Jon fall over himself trying to keep Ygritte in line.
  • Lightning Bruiser: What Robert is slowly evolving into as he gets more used to Stormbreaker.
    • Numerous people note that, on a strategic level, Eddard is this, moving his forces (primarily cavalry for maximum speed) far faster than almost anyone else. Tyrion notes that it is most likely why Tywin admitted that Ned could be dangerous, and at least one commentatr on the AlternateHistory.com thread pointed out that he managed to cover 300 miles in three daysnote . And Greatjon tells Tyrion that, during the ride to the Trident, they rode even faster.note 
  • Literally Shattered Lives: The effect of a dragonglass knife on one of the Others.
  • Living Legend: The Green Man, a.k.a. Ser Duncan the Tall, ex-Lord Commander of the Kingsguard in the days of Summerhall. A lot of people are astonished that he's still alive.
  • Losing Your Head: The still-alive head of a female wight inside a special cage that prevents it from decaying is used as proof that the Others are returning.
  • Lost Common Knowledge:
    • It's mentioned at one point that Valyria had the means of countering the potential damage present in inbreeding, allowing for multiple forms of incest and blood purity practices. However, the knowledge was lost with the Doom of Valyria, resulting in the trademark Targaryen instability. Other lost pieces of knowledge include the production method of Valyrian steel and much of the original Valyrian dragonlore.
    • On a personal scale, Rickard Stark was apparently fully aware of the secret room in his Solar, knowledge of the Call, and the true purpose of the Company of the Rose. He was going to tell his sons when they came of age, but Eddard came of age in the Vale, and by the time he returned to Winterfell, his father and older brother had been killed by the Mad King.
    • The trope has been discussed a couple of times by Aemon Targaryen and Ned Stark, as they lament on how their ancestors had created all the defenses, warnings and countermeasures to prepare for the return of the Others, only for nearly all of it to be lost to time, rebellions and the folly of men.
    • The Royces are quite ashamed that, despite their house motto of "We Remember", their family's knowledge of scribing or carving workable magic runes has not been.
  • The Lost Lenore: Lyanna Stark was this to Robert Baratheon, as in canon. When he finally meets her spirit in a dream, she tells him that her memory is holding him back, and that he needs to let go of her memory to be the Storm King that Westeros needs to fight against the Others.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Edric Dayne informs Eddard that, on the night he brought Dawn and Arthur Dayne's bones back to Starfall after the Tower of Joy, Ashara Dayne slept with him while he was asleep and conceived Edric.

    M-O 
  • Mad Oracle: Patchface, who somehow knows that dragons are coming back and that the Others are starting to make their move.
  • Made of Iron: Jon Arryn manages to survive a brutal stabbing by Lysa.
  • Magically Binding Contract: Any oath sworn on the Fist of Winter apparently becomes this. According to Roose Bolton a Bolton once broke an oath sworn on the Fist and died shortly after, and when Willem Bootle falsely swears his innocence in the death of Torgen Surestone on it, he is immediately killed by its magic.
  • The Magic Comes Back: The Maesters discover that, indeed, this is happening.
  • The Magnificent: After his part in saving a ship caught in a storm from sinking, Gendry is given the agnomen "Strongarm".
  • Make an Example of Them: Tywin Lannister's complete annihilation of Houses Reyne and Tarbeck was this in canon, but Tywin admits privately that in his youth and inexperience, he went too far; the act and the resulting "Rains of Castamere" gave him and his house a reputation of a ruthless mad dog throughout the Westerlands thereafter, and it took years of fair and wise governing to rebuild his reputation as a just ruler. The lesson he learned then was that real power is more than just threats of force; it is also reputation, trust, and a firm belief that when he says something, he means it.
  • Manly Tears:
    • Jorah Mormont cannot avoid crying when he meets the Company of the Rose and hears the Northern accent for the first time in years. The Krats, too, as all the houses in the Company state they will, too, return home, and he retakes his true name.
    • Edric Dayne as his father dies, after naming him the new Sword of the Morning.
    • Aemon Targaryen after the Old Gods restore his eyesight.
    • Mance Rayder sheds a few watching the Free Folk cross the Wall to safety.
  • Master of Disguise: Sarella Sand, keeping with the (here confirmed) WMG theory of her being one of the Citadel novices.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The Contrived Coincidence of the Weirwood red leaf falling to the ground right in front of Gendry, allowing him to backtrack it to the hidden Godswood on Dragonstone.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Stark, because, as one of their ancestors tells Ned, the family is meant to strip away all the superfluous stuff and deal with the plain (stark) truth.
    • The two skymetal daggers that belong to the Lannisters are most commonly known as the Warnings. They glow when the Others are near, warning their wielder.
    • Coldhands is a very apt name for a half-wight.
  • Meaningful Rename:
    • Theon is planning to change his name to completely cut ties with the Iron Isles and the Drowned God and solidify his allegiance to the North. With the permission of Robert, he officially changes his name to Greymist in chapter 133, founding a new house and swearing himself to the Starks in the process.
    • The Lannisters, combined with Shed the Family Name. Lann the Clever was actually a Casterly, and when his father refused to send aid to the North to fight the White Walkers, he went himself, and seized power when he came back. After that, he stopped using the Casterly name, and people eventually started calling him and his family Lannister, from "Lann is there".
  • Medication Tampering: Jory Cassel and Annah find out that Robert Arryn's medicine is actually poison. Later investigations reveal that Lysa Arryn deliberately poisoned her son to keep him dependent on her.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Refreshingly subverted. Unlike other stories, the Martells here have no grudge against the Starks for taking part in the rebellion — in fact, they respect Ned for going so far to save his sister, seeing as the only reason they sided with Aerys and Rhaegar is because the former was keeping Elia Martell and her children hostage. It helps that, unlike said stories, Lyanna really was kidnapped and raped, making her just as much a victim as Elia was.
  • Moment Killer: Jory and Annah's first Ship Tease conversation is cut short when Eddard is possessed by one of his ancestors.
  • Morton's Fork:
    • Against his will, Tywin finds himself facing one when he cannot deny the existence of magic or the Call any longer, and debates over sending help to the Starks up North. If he does call his bannermen to send help to the Starks, he'd face resistance from those who had not heard the Call or chose to deny it, and he could be seen as weak for believing in myths and fairytales. If he doesn't, he'd face resistance instead from those who did hear the Call and want to send help, as well as become an oath breaker for breaking his family's promise to the Starks. And that's not counting the potential consequences if the threat proves to be real and the North falls because they didn't have the Westerlands' help.
    • Daenerys' predicament by Chapter 94 once she becomes the Mother of Dragons. The Magisters of Pentos are keeping her imprisoned, and she realises they want to use her to conquer Braavos and force the rest of the Free Cities to submit to their rule. She could try to leave for the other cities, but she quickly realises all of them, even Braavos, will use her for similar purposes. She could return to Westeros and try and take back the throne, but her allies there are now alienated and unreliable due to the public revelations of Viserys' shenanigans, and invading a relatively united Westeros that is preparing for the Long Night will just make her look like an opportunistic usurper looking to divide a realm. The alternatives are heading south to the Summer Isles, or East to Meereen or further, but she has no knowledge or experience of the regions.
    • Varys finds himself in a similar predicament - to stay in the game that has changed beneath him, or abandon it for a land far away.
    • Robb and Ned know they can't let Joffrey become king. Fortunately, they can prevent it by revealing his true parentage. However, they can't do that either since they know Robert would become so enraged, he'd kill Cersei and Jaime himself, which in turn would cause their father Tywin to retaliate, and plunge Westeros into a civil war, which is the last thing they need in the coming war against the Others.
      • Fortunately Robert's Character Development dissolves this example, as when the truth is revealed for him, he manages to keep his temper, divorces Cersei, disinherits his illegitimate children and tries Jamie for treason and sends him to the wall, all justified and reasonable actions that make it unlikely for Tywin to declare war. And when Tywin finds out later, there's too much proof for him to refute anything, and all he asks is to hear from Cersei directly.
  • Motive Rant:
    • Balon Greyjoy gives one in Chapter 92 to explain why he refuses the Call: doing so would mean denying the Drowned God, which the Ironborn look to for strength.
      "Without him we are just a band of men on barren islands who have nothing but iron."
    • In chapter 118, enraged at Robb judging him, Jaime finally snaps and spells out for him exactly why he became an Oathbreaker and killed the Mad King - because doing otherwise would mean sentencing the entirety of King's Landing to death by wildfire.
  • Motor Mouth:
    • After Robert Arryn is finally weaned off of the poison that kept him weak, there are times when Jory wonders if the boy will be able to shut up for five straight minutes.
    • Arya is this while telling her family about how Jon was possessed by the Old Gods to give a warning to Tyrion Lannister.
  • Must Make Amends:
    • Catelyn vows to be the mother she wasn't to Jon after learning he isn't Ned's bastard, but his nephew.
    • Edmure Tully strives to become better at war after an ill-sided encounter with the Faith Militant that almost went horribly wrong.
    • When Styr, Magnar of the Thenn, meets Ned, he expects Ned to kill him since his ancestors failed to keep the promise to the Starks and the Free Folk and the Night's Watch began their feud as a result. Ned isn't having it though, since his ancestors forgot their promise as well, and offers to build a new alliance instead.
    • Between watching as the Mad King fell further into insanity, finding out that one of his fellow Kingsguard cuckolded the King, and being tasked to bring the Kingsguard back to its former glory, Ser Barristan Selmy finds a lot of weight on his shoulders.
  • My Beloved Smother: Lysa Arryn. So much that she deliberately poisoned her son to keep him weak and dependent on her.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Victarion Greyjoy's attitude. He will follow his brother Balon's orders to destroy Harlaw, but also tells him he is making a huge mistake and warns Aeron that he will describe to him the face of every person he has to kill because Balon and Aeron are too pigheaded to admit the truth.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Theon's reaction when Robb tells him what he did in the original timeline, namely his attack on Winterfell and his murder of Bran and Rickon (Robb didn't know that the two had managed to escape).
    • Less intense from Eddard, who realizes he did Robb a great disservice by not teaching him the politics involved in being the Lord Paramount of the North.
      • He and Cat also have this later on when they realise they've screwed up just as badly with Sansa's education when she reveals that she's been taught that the rivalry between House Stark and House Bolton was a thing of the past.
    • Jaime suffers a gigantic one when he realizes that he killed Aerys, prevented him from igniting the wildfire buried beneath the city, and left the wildfire buried to not degrade, but grow more and more volatile.
  • My God, You Are Serious: Mance Rayder's reaction when Ned offers, if they survive the war against the Others, to make him a Lord.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Benjen meets Coldhands in his ranging when he seeks a wight hand to show what's going on. Benjen is a candidate for being Coldhands in the books - and some characters imply he will become his successor.
    • Bronn is promised a keep. Unlike Tyrion, Jon Arryn manages to deliver very soon.
    • Daenerys gets her three dragons after a fire burns three people (one that wanted to protect her, the other to kill her and the latter having nothing to do with the attack) while she is in the fire.
    • The Septon that leads the attacks on the Isle of Faces is called Blackfoot, because his feet are black from walking everywhere without shoes. Chapter 86 confirms that it is the High Sparrow.
    • During their travel to Castle Black, Jon sees a red-haired girl that seems fascinated with a windmill.
    • Tyrion still gets Podrick Payne as his squire.
    • Maester Aemon once again urges Jon to "kill the boy", but this time it's just as much about forgetting about his past as a bastard and embracing his status as a legitimate child, and encouraging him to embrace his dream of running a small hold and starting a cadet branch to support Robb and the main line of Starks, rather than any grand dreams of claiming the throne or becoming Lord of Winterfell.
    • The first Other to be killed dies because he gets distracted with one of Craster's sons, allowing someone to kill him with a dragonglass knife.
    • The second Other to be killed is shocked and alarmed when a Valyrian steel sword blocks its ice sword.
    • When Robert finally arrives to Winterfell, his first words are a good-natured joke aimed at Ned, who answers with the same coin before they embrace while laughing.
      • Also, Arya appears in the courtyard wearing a helmet, which Ned gives to Jory Cassel.
    • Jaime and Cersei Lannister get caught having sex in the Broken Tower. Only this time, the witnesses aren't someone Jaime can just shove out the window.
      • When Jory takes Jaime's dagger afterwards, he mentions it could be used to put an eye out.
    • Show!Jaime's dyslexia gets referenced when Jaime writes his confession of how he slept with Cersei and claiming Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen as his children.
    • When Asha arrives to Winterfell, she doesn't recognize Theon and dismisses him as unimportant.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The direwolf mother, now alive and partnered with Ned, is named Frostfyre.
  • Nasty Party: Proposed to Balon Greyjoy by his exiled brother Euron to win the Ironborn Civil War - invite his enemy Rodrik Harlaw to a parley under guests rights, only for Euron to come in, "mistakenly" get the wrong idea, and slaughter the rebels wholesale.
  • Never Trust a Title: While Robb's return does provide the impetus of the story, the major storylines have focused on the North, and eventually all of Westeros, preparing for the imminent invasion of the Others.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Bran the Builder, when he built the Wall to protect the South against the Others, caused one unintentional side-effect: not understanding the magic in the earth, building the Wall also broke the links between the North and South, meaning that the Greenseers and Children of the Forest on either side could not communicate with each other. The entirety of Coldhands' mission was to bear some magic south of the wall and bridge the gaps.
    • Jaime in Chapter 118, when he realizes that while he may have saved King's Landing from Aerys, he HASN'T actually saved the city from the wildfire it's still sitting on top of.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: As Tywin mentions, Littlefinger kept investing his stolen cash over and over, greatly increasing the worth of his owned properties. When he's executed and his wealth and his invested properties seized, Jon Arryn proceeds to re-appropriate the properties back to the owning Lords Paramount, erasing the debts the Crown owes to the Lannisters and the Iron Bank and allowing the Seven Kingdoms to gain money that they are going to desperately need in the times to come.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: After Barristan Selmy, Ned, and Stannis catch the Lannicest in the act, Selmy grabs Jaime by the throat and starts strangling him. If Ned hadn't called him off, he would've throttled his captive to death on the spot.
  • No Sympathy:
    • What's Tywin's reaction to learning that Mace Tyrell has effectively been usurped by his son Willas?
      Tywin: Oh, woe, poor Mace.
    • After Walder Frey suffers a stroke right in front of him after seeing a living wight's head, all Brynden Tully can do is repress a smile and think, "What a tragedy.".
  • Non-Indicative Name: Lord Stoutheart was told he was being given the position of Master of Coin, and he promptly suffered a deadly heart attack. Jon Arryn lampshades this, thinking he should have been named Weakheart.
  • Not Hyperbole:
    • When Robert warned the Septon of Storm's End to not to attempt to damage the Weirwood sapling under pain of having his nose smeared all over his face, he was not joking.
    • Tywin Lannister tells a Septon that, if he gets an inkling of any trace of the Faith Militant appearing in the Westerlands, he will destroy it with extreme prejudice. From someone else, it might be bluster. From Tywin "Rains of Castamere" Lannister, it is pretty much par for the course.
      • And when a letter from Tyrion warns him against the Greyjoys expanding their fleet and potentially targeting the Westerlands, Tywin claims he will personally cut Balon's manhood if a single Ironborn ship is seen near the Westerlands coasts.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • Bronn, after a few minutes of watching the man, warns Jon Arryn against Grand Maester Pycelle.
    • Aegon Frey, also called Jinglebell or the Fool of the Crossing, completely drops his fool personality after Walder Frey's death. An observing Brynden Tully wonders if his change is due to this trope (him stopping pretending to be a fool) or if he was actually a fool that was changed by the Call.
  • Oh, Crap!: Present in about one out of every two or three chapters.
    • Ned when he finds out what happened to Robb.
      • And when he discovers that the Night's King has awakened.
    • Roose Bolton becomes terrified when an old ritual passed through his family works, and that it says that the Others are coming.
    • The Maesters when they discover The Magic Comes Back.
      • As does Varys - who was turned into an eunuch by means of Blood Magic.
    • Doran Martell when Oberyn points something out: since The Magic Comes Back, could legends (such as, for example, the ones Eddard Stark is asking about) be real, too?
    • Nearly every scene with Littlefinger has one from him:
      • When Bronn captures him - and then when Bronn tells him that Jon Arryn has found his secret books and knows about the money Littlefinger has in Braavos.
      • When Jon Arryn tells him the Iron Bank knows what he has been doing.
      • Just for a second after Jon reveals who is the champion that Littlefinger has to fight: the sea.
    • Daenerys when Viserys reveals to her his intention to hatch a dragon egg.
    • Roose Bolton upon finding out that Ned Stark now wields the Fist of Winter and that Domeric made an oath on it to never betray nor harm Sansa.
    • Jonos Bracken and Tytos Blackwood when they realize the resurgent Faith Militant is going to attack all places that still have symbols of the Old Gods, such as the Isle of Faces... and their own keeps.
    • Varys when Robert tells him that he suspects the incoming fight will be against a what instead of a who.
    • Daenerys when she wakes up and finds herself tied up, a scared servant tied to one side and a dead servant to the other. And increased when she realizes her brother has made the last step towards full-blooded madness and tries to kill her to awaken the dragon eggs.
    • Increasingly as it becomes obvious that the next winter will be a long one, which is never a good sign.
    • Hugo Wull and his fellow Hill Clan leaders get this when they hear one of their legends coming true: a Stark holds the Fist of Winter and the Thenns march to join him, signifying that a Long Night is coming.
    • Grand Maester Pycelle has a very brief moment of this the instant he hears Bronn's surname.
    • A fact that often causes this in several people is being told that although Rickard and Brandon Stark knew of the Call and the threat of the Others, that knowledge died with them when Aerys had them killed. It was only by the grace of the Old Gods that Eddard even knew of the threat and even greater providence that he found and sent out the Call, and the realization of how close everyone came to no warning at all is what causes the reaction.
    • Jaime and Cersei Lannister when they are caught in the middle of sex by Ned Stark, Stannis Baratheon and Ser Barristan Selmy.
    • Tyrion when he realizes the full implications of the Lannister Twincest. And later, Gendry, Mya and Edric all get this reaction when they witness proof that although they are of the King's blood, his blond "trueborn" children are not.
    • Willas gets chills when he hears that there's a really worrisome and dangerous relic underneath Hightower, and that his idiotic father Mace has been tasked by a Septon to "cleanse it", sticking his nose into something he has no idea about and could have terrible consequences.
    • Everyone who hears Jaime's Motive Rant about Aerys's mad wildfire plan, and realizes that all the wildfire that he buried under King's Landing, which matures and destabilizes over time, is still there.
      • As does everyone on the Small Council when they hear about it too.
    • Jaime has a big one when he enters his Trial by Combat, to find that his opponent is King Robert Baratheon. And not Robert "Fat King" Baratheon, but Robert "Demon of the Trident" Baratheon.
    • Cersei finds herself terrified when her father storms in with all his black, terrifying fury directed at her, for all her treasonous actions that have been revealed.
  • One-Handed Zweihänder: Stormbreaker is described as being around the same size as Ice, which is described in canon as being almost as long as Robb is tall, and is always wielded two-handed. While Robert initially starts out using it two-handed, by the time of Jaime's Trial by Combat, he's wielding it like a regular sword - one-handed with a shield.
  • One Of These Is Not Like The Others: After talking with Lords Royce and Redfort, Ned makes note that of the seven mainland Westerosi kingdoms, six of them have First Men Ancestral Weapons note  while the seventh, the Vale, has runes that they can inscribe onto castles and armor which are said to deter the Others.
    • The Riverlands and the Westerlands also stand out, since the Riverlands have a starmetal shield instead of a weapon, and the Westerlands have three starmetal weapons (an axe and two daggers).
  • Only Sane Man:
    • In the Tyrell faction, the position is shared by Willas, Olenna and Margaery. When he speaks with his father before pretty much taking over the Reach's government, Willas takes the time to spell out why Mace's scheme to replace Cersei with Margaery is a stupid idea.
    • Asha Greyjoy and Rodrik Harlaw take the lead to hold it in the Iron Islands. And despite still being a Drowned God worshipper, Victarion is the only one of his brothers to realise just how insane trying to raze Harlaw Hill to the ground really is.
    • Kevan plays this to his brother, particularly regarding those topics where Tywin is a tad too stubborn for his own good - the Call and Tyrion, for starters.
      • It is downplayed with the Call, however, as Tywin makes it clear that he does have a good reason for not doing anything about it yet: At least half of his bannermen either didn't hear the Call, or heard it and thought it was a trick, meaning he can't call them until he actually has proof that the Others are real, otherwise they won't listen to him.
      • Further downplayed when , while travelling in the North, the two receive news of Jaime and Cersei's arrests, Robert divorcing Cersei, and all of Cersei's children being fathered by Jaime. Kevan is immediately outraged, and asks Tywin if he wants him to travel back to Casterly Rock and raise the banners. While initially just as angry, Tywin quickly calms himself, and tells Kevan that they will continue on to Winterfell, in order to discover whether or not it's true, pointing out to him the listed witnesses (Ned, Stannis, and Ser Barristan, all men that are widely known for their honesty), and revealing that, when the twins were young, Joanna ordered them moved into rooms on opposite sides of the castle, telling him that they were too close.
    • Ser Stevron Frey is the only member of his family with any standing that actually wants to do something about the Call, something his father Walder blatantly denies. When the Late Lord Frey finally dies from reality giving him a stroke, Stevron takes the helm of his family and starts sending help where it's needed.
    • From Varys's recounting, Illyrio Mopatis was this for all the Magisters of Pentos. After his death and the birth of Daenerys's dragons, their collective intelligence "took a sharp dive downwards", as Varys puts it, and they began making more overt cues to use the dragons to invade and subjugate Braavos, enough that Braavos caught wind of it and decided to strike first.
    • Tywin explicitly notes that of Cersei's three children, Myrcella is this what with Joffrey being... Joffrey and Tommen's obsession with "kitties". He isn't amused.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield:
    • Given Dawn's penchant for quivering when touched by someone not meant to wield it, it is implied this is part of the skymetal weapons' schtick. In a letter, Lord Alster Dayne mentions that Ser Arthur Dayne wasn't worthy of the blade in the end, which it why it "failed him" in the Battle of the Tower of Joy. So apparently one has to remain worthy to properly wield a skymetal blade. Later on in the story, it's revealed that Arthur helped Rhaegar rape Lyanna by not just capturing her and guarding her, but also by holding her down while he did the deed, explaining why Dawn rejected him.
      • When Mace Tyrell attempts to take Otherbane from Willas with the intention to wield it, his hand gets severely burned.
      • When Joffrey tries to hold Stormbreaker while the King is exercising, he gets his hand burned and is Blown Across the Room - while someone or something shouts "FALSE!".
      • It's later revealed that Stormbreaker is an interesting variation of this: It cannot be held by anyone who makes a false claim to it, such as Joffrey, or someone who stole it. This is why Ser Barristan and his ancestors could act as Sword Bearers to the Storm Kings, as they made no claim to owning it, nor viewed themselves as worthy of owning it, and carried it with the permission of the true owners. Whether or not he could actually use it in a fight remains to be seen.
      • Whenever Stormbreaker is sounded, those of Durrandon descent hear it chime like a bell, while everyone else hears the clank of metal on metal. This is used to test the paternity of Cersei's children after she's caught in bed with Jaime.
    • Beneath the Nightfort, there lies an ancient rune-laden throne named the Throne of Winter, that bears the message: "Stark had me made. Onlie a Stark will I bade. If not a Stark ye shall fade".
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • If someone as practical as Eddard Stark is asking about legends, how legendary could they actually be?
    • A long lull in the fighting against the Vale clans is enough to make the Blackfish worry. When all the clan leaders arrive to the Bloody Gate, he realizes it might be worse than he thought.
    • The reveal that the Brackens and the Blackwoods have actually put an end to their centuries-long feud shocks not a few people.
    • The Company of the Rose, formed by the descendants of those Northmen that chose exile over bending the knee to Aegon the Conqueror, seeking passage to the North? That's a red light for sure.
    • Played for Laughs: When Baelish demands to be tried in front of his peers, Stannis replies that weasels cannot speak and are not allowed in trials. Jon Arryn is quite shocked at the fact that Stannis actually made a joke.
    • Even Varys is surprised at just how many people were on Baelish's payroll, and at just how despicable the man was, being unable to hid his shock when they find out he had dealings with Slaver's Bay.
    • Many in the Seven Kingdoms are surprised when they learn that Robert has suddenly started to become more active and is actually losing weight.
      • At the feast in Winterfell, Jaime is also surprised that the king has ceased guzzling food and drink and eyeing up the serving wenches, and instead is doing everything slowly and with purpose.
    • Willas notes this in Randyll and Samwell Tarly when they visit to bring him Otherbane: the former is visibly more subdued, and the latter visibly more self-assured.
    • After news of the wildfire stashed beneath King's Landing reaches them, Jon Arryn notes that Pycelle now stands straight and strides, having completely dropped his Obfuscating Stupidity due to the seriousness of the situation.
    • The Lannisters are all amazed when Tywin actually laughs (if ruefully) for Tyrion doing such a good job.
    • In Chapter 135, Cersei knows she's in serious trouble when her father openly yells at her on how she has disgraced the family name.
  • Original Flavour: The author is able to emulate George Martin's writing style so flawlessly, you could easily mistake this fanfic for one of the books. Though thankfully the author wisely chose not to include any gratuitous sex scene that the books are infamous for.

    P-R 
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Jon Arryn is quite upset when he learns his son was sickly because his medicine was actually poison.
    • When Baelish insults Shireen, Stannis almost unsheathes his dagger.
      • Stannis's protectiveness over Shireen only grows after the Old Gods cure her greyscale. Not even his princely nephew Joffrey is exempt from that.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: Allarion is most certainly not having fun about how open his father is about having sex with his mother.
  • Passing the Torch:
    • Alster Dayne passes the sword Dawn and the title of Sword of the Morning to his son Edric Dayne.
    • Ned, now holding the Fist of Winter as the weapon of House Stark's head, passes his sword Ice to Robb as the weapon of House Stark's heir.
  • Peggy Sue: Robb, sent back in time from the Red Wedding to a few months before Jon Arryn's death.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Robert acknowledges to both of his brothers that he has been a horrible brother and names Stannis his Hand of the King after he is told Jon Arryn might be in a coma for a long time.
    • Bronn requests Jon Arryn to legitimize Ursula Stone, as Bronn thinks she deserves such a reward.
    • Catelyn apologizes to Arya for not believing she is a warg, and says she'll remain her daughter no matter what.
    • Robert is not indiscriminate when he hears that Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen are not his children, recognizing at least that the two younger children are good kids and don't deserve this sort of blowback.
    • After the reveal that she is a bastard, all Myrcella asks of her grandfather Tywin is for whoever husband he arranges to marry her to, to be kind to her. Tywin readily agrees, and makes it clear to Cersei that he will keep his promise.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Jon Arryn of all people uses a poisoned dagger. Whatever was on it caused his wife to lose her arm. All he says about it is:
    "My father taught me well."
  • Poke in the Third Eye:
    • Non-harmful example: When the Green Man shows his companions visions of the past, oftentimes the Green Men of the past seem fully aware of their viewers in the present.
    • Melisandre also gets one from the Old Gods themselves, when they interrupt her attempt at viewing Westeros, and tell her, essentially, to mind her own business and stay out of things in Westeros.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Maybe if Jaime had swallowed his pride and mentioned the caches of wildfire buried underneath King's Landing to someone else after the Rebellion was over, the city wouldn't still now be sitting on an increasingly unstable powder keg.
  • Powerful and Helpless: For all of Sarella Sand's skill with her steel daggers, she finds them to be patently useless against wights and Others. The feeling of helplessness during and after that fight is humiliating to her.
  • Precrime Arrest: When Robb relates how Theon betrayed him by taking Winterfell and killing Bran and Rickon (actually not but Robb has no way to know his younger brothers still lived in the original timeline), Ned is shaken yet decides punishing Theon for something he will do - or maybe not, since the current timeline is fluctuating - would be unfair.
    • This also applies to Roose Bolton, since although he was the one who betrayed Robb and killed him in the first timeline, they've also taken measures to keep his motivations in check, including allowing his son Domeric to court Sansa.
  • Punny Name:
    • Turns out to be the case for the origin of the Lannisters. When their ancestor, Lann Casterly, overthrew the rest of his family, he refused to take his family name and became known as just "the Lann", and people would point to him and say, "Lann is there".
    • The mother direwolf is named "Frostfyre". Another word for Frost is ice, meaning the two words in her name are Ice and Fire.
  • Rage Breaking Point: After being imprisoned after his trysts with his sister are revealed, Jaime is interrogated by Robb. He tries to keep his temper, but the insinuation that he would permanently maim a boy like Bran just for finding out their secret (like he did in the old timeline), and the insults to his pride and honor are what finally make him snap and go on his Motive Rant.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • As Petyr Baelish discovers, Screw the Rules, I Have Money! and Every Man Has His Price don't work when the target (Bronn) has been made quite aware by his employer (Jon Arryn) that your assets are in the process of being seized, as the target knows that, no matter how much you offer to double or triple the amount his employer is paying him, there is no guarantee that you'll be able to pay him, whereas his employer is. He later finds out that the people he has working for him have little loyalty to him once they find out that he can't pay them anymore, and that when you mess with the man who is both the Hand Of The King and the lord you are sworn to, he can easily strip you of your title.
    • As Maester Pycelle notes, head injuries can be quite unpredictable, with him reminding Robert of two cases from the Battle of the Trident: One nobleman was hit on the head and left comatose, with everyone thinking he'd never wake up again, only for him to make a full recovery. Another took a blow to the head and appeared to be fine, only to collapse after the battle while celebrating, with blood coming out his ears. Whatever the case, Robert hopes that Jon Arryn will recover.
    • No matter how feared and respected he is, Tywin knows that he needs evidence of the Others before he can call his banners, as many of his nobles either didn't hear the Call or heard it but now claim it was a trick. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, after all.
    • Losing a lot of weight in a short time means that parts of your skin will be left loose and saggy as your volume decreases, which Robert notes.
    • Eddard Stark can push his people at a brutal speed. Not only does this require multiple horses, by the end everyone is exhausted, thinner, smelly, and very sore.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • When Rhaegar Targaryen comes to the Green Man (Ser Duncan the Tall) before the Battle of the Ruby Ford, the latter not only calls him a cruel fool, but also points out that all he has done means things will not end well for him.
    • Chapter 92 has Victarion Greyjoy tell his brothers Balon and Aeron that their efforts of ignoring and suppressing the Call have only succeeded in turning Great Wyk and Harlaw against Pyke, reducing the Iron Fleet to a third of its strength and bringing the Iron Islands close to civil war.
    • Chapter 110 has Ser Duncan the Tall chewing out the Late Lord Frey after the latter tried to deny the Call and all it entails. He says that he's still the same snot-nosed, rude, dirty brat that he was when he last saw him more than 80 years ago.
    • In Chapter 135, Tywin, in the midst of a state of Tranquil Fury, drops one on Cersei after he finds out how utterly stupid she was, in succinct, blistering detail, without letting her get a word in to try and spin the narrative.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Eddard Stark, upon learning about the incoming threat of the Others, is willing to make a deal with the Wildlings/Free Folk so that they can settle south of the Wall, even though he knows all of his northern bannermen have a great dislike (if not hatred) of them.
    • Similarly, Mance Rayder, who intended to bring his people south of the Wall in order to better defend it, is willing to kneel to Eddard just so that he will help them.
    • Kevan Lannister points out to his brother that Tyrion would readily prove himself if, instead of leaving him with nothing to do and then complain about his drinking and whoring, Tywin gave him duties and then assess him on his worth.
    • Willas Tyrell, particularly after taking over government of the Reach. Among his actions is sending Randyll Tarly to the North, so as to find out what is needed to fight the Others, and sending Sam to the Highgarden, Oldtown, and even Citadel libraries for hints on what is to be done.
    • King Robert is shaping up to be this. He is willing to pardon Jorah Mormont when he returns from exile so he can fight the Others (both for his service to the Crown as a spy, and on the basis that he'll either die fighting the Others, or survive and have earned the pardon), promises the one penitent Goldcloak he executes that his family will be taken care of, patches things up with his brothers after the Call, and makes Stannis his permanent Hand after Jon Arryn is put in a coma, on the basis that he needs someone he can trust and even if Jon wakes up today, he'll need time to recover and he needs a Hand right now.
      • When he finally meets with Ned and brings up Joffrey being betrothed to Sansa, Ned says that Sansa is already betrothed to Domeric Bolton, who swore on the Fist of Winter to protect her, and Robert agrees to not press the issue.
    • The Old Gods. They do their best to tell their followers things they need to know that have been completely forgotten, and while they believe in "A life for a life", they always make sure that what they take will benefit their followers as much as, or almost as much as, what they give, and if someone gives their life as part of a bargain, they will honour it:
      • In exchange for either sending Robb back or Domeric Bolton being saved by them sending Robb back, they kill Ramsey Snow.
      • In exchange for Patchface sacrificing himself, they grant his wish and cure Shireen of the greyscale.
      • In exchange for taking Blackfoot's sight, they restore Maester Aemon's.
  • Redeeming Replacement:
    • Lord Orton Merryweather is this to Baelish as Master of Coin. Specifically invoked, as Jon Arryn looked for a replacement that had a good head for numbers, but was morally upright and not too clever.
    • After Janos Slynt is removed as the head of the Goldcloaks, Davos Seaworth is instated as his replacement, and proves to be just the medicine needed to cleanse the organisation's corruption.
    • Lord Stevron Frey is this to Lord Walder Frey after his death, and is making it a point to redeem his entire family.
  • Redemption Equals Death:
    • Rhaegar Targaryen, whose obsession with the prophecy of the song of ice and fire led to his kidnapping Lyanna - though it is suggested that she went willingly, until she heard about what Aerys did to her father and oldest brother. Rhaegar then raped her, ultimately producing Jon, though when he goes to his second consultation with the Green Man a.k.a. Ser Duncan the Tall, he is fully aware that what he did was horribly wrong and that his arrogant belief that he'd perfectly interpreted the prophecy was equally wrong, and asks the Green Man for his counsel. The Green Man tells him to seek out Robert Baratheon on the battlefield, which Rhaegar quickly realises will result in his death, and ultimately accepts it as the price, resolving to Face Death with Dignity.
    • Lynesse Hightower may have been the woman whose taste for the high life drove Jorah Mormont into slave-trading and then into exile, and her into being a mistress in Lys, but when the Call reached her, she immediately tried to leave Lys to heed it regardless of her lover's objections. Neither survived that argument.
    • Mace Tyrell finally accepts that he had been too prideful and apologizes to his son Willas, before dying from proximity to the Drowned God.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: A rare benevolent example. When Eddard and Jon are possessed by their ancestors or the Old Gods, their eyes become red. Fortunately, their intentions are benign.
    • After his possession, several characters note Eddard's eyes turn fire red at certain moments of importance.
    • Brynden Tully and Brienne of Tarth note this in each other after their vision.
    • Shireen Baratheon, who gets possessed by the Old Gods when she touches the hidden Heart Tree in Dragonstone.
  • Reforged into a Minion:
    • The Valyrian lunatic that Gerion Lannister encounters takes the prisoners he captures and mutates them into animal-headed Man Beast minions.
    • Attempted with Coldhands, a.k.a. Rickon Stark, son of Edwyle. On a mission to bridge magic across the Wall, he was attacked by the Others and half-turned into a wight, but the Children of the Forest got to him in time and helped him keep his mind.
  • Religion of Evil:
    • Theon finds out that the Drowned God's religion is (or may be) this in a series of dreams he has - which leads to him renouncing the Drowned God.
      • Several scratched-out runes Rodrik Harlaw finds in High Harlaw imply it is a death cult (considering their motto is "What is dead may never die" and that the Drowned God is an Expy of Cthulhu, it makes sense).
      • When the runes get fixed thanks to a stone kept safe by another family, Rodrik Harlaw and Asha Greyjoy find out the truth. The Drowned God was one of the Old Gods, but the fight against the Others turned him mad and obsessed with death. The Old Gods tried to bring him back, but it was too late, so they cast him out into the sea. His followers then left the mainland for the Iron Islands and slowly converted all of its people to the worship of the Drowned God, who is fed by the Ironborn following the Old Way. And it is prophesized that the Drowned God will die when the Stark in Winterfell wields his fist against him.
    • Averted with R'hllor. While the Old Gods tell Melisandre to stay out of Westeros, part of it is that she is needed to help the Dothraki defend Essos from whatever equivalent of the Others is coming from the Grey Wastes, and she'd just get in the way of the Old Gods' plans in Westeros now that they are taking an active role in things.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Quite a few times when people long thought dead or from ages long past turn out to still be alive:
    • Gerion Lannister, who didn't perish in the Smoking Sea, but instead made a home and family in the Summer Islands.
    • Ser Duncan the Tall, emeritus Lord Commander of the Kingsguard from the days of Summerhall, who became a Green Man on the Isle of Faces.
    • Tommen II Lannister, the last holder of Brightroar, who was captured and held hostage by an ancient Valyrian lunatic. Although from Gerion's recounting, the reports soon become accurate.
  • Rescue Romance: Dacey Surestone had ended up in debt to a crooked inn-owner who wanted to turn her into a whore, but Tyrion Lannister met her and helped get her out of that situation. She ends up bonding with him as a fellow intellectual, and eventually falls in love with him.
  • The Resenter: Petyr Baelish, of course. After capturing him, Bronn tells Jon Arryn that he has heard Baelish always smirks every time he passes next to the point where Brandon Stark died. And that he really hopes Baelish will die in the upcoming duel, because he knows Littlefinger will do his utmost to have him killed.
  • The Reveal:
    • Chapter 11 has one for Catelyn, being told that Jon Snow is Lyanna's son to Rhaegar.
    • Chapter 131 has Robert informed by Lyanna's spirit about her son Jon.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • Petyr Baelish dies when Jon Arryn states that the champion he will face in a trial by combat is the sea, dropping him in the water and drowning him. Baelish was noted to smile whenever he walked past the spot where Brandon Stark died, who was strangled while trying to save his father, who died when the Mad King declared that the champion he would face in trial by combat would be fire.
    • Robb notes that they really should have paid attention to the symbolism in the original timeline of the mother direwolf (the symbol of House Stark) being found after being killed by a stag (the symbol of House Baratheon). In turn, the fact that this doesn't happen symbolises Ned's survival, and the fact that there is an extra direwolf pup born, with eyes the colour of the sea, symbolises how Theon is more of the North than the Iron Isles in this timeline
    • Stormbreaker, the Ancestral Weapon of the Durrandons, seems to like this trope:
      • Of the Goldcloaks Robert executes with Stormbreaker, none of them leave blood on the blade except for the one who expressed regret for his actions and accepted his fate.
      • When Robert uses Stormbreaker in a practice fight against Jaime Lannister, the latter's sword rapidly rusts from the inside, even while the surface remains untouched and perfectly polished.
      • Stormbreaker repeats this when Robert fights Jaime in the latter's trial by combat, destroying five swords and all of the Kingslayer's armor in the course of the duel.
      • As detailed in this analysis of the scene, there's more to the fight: Jaime losing his swords symbolizes that he is not worthy on his own right, the destruction of Lancel's sword symbolizes how he cannot use his family to shield himself from the consequences of his actions, the loss of the redcloaks' swords marks how the prestige of his family is powerless, and the breaking of his armor and his scarring show how his arrogance gets stripped away from him.
  • Running Gag:
    • People reminding themselves to oil doors that are slightly rusty.
      • Which comes to its greatest punchline when Ned notes someone oiled a door very well right as they are about to catch the Lannincest in flagrante delicto.
    • Whenever something dramatic or important happens during a meal in the Great Hall of Winterfell, Rickon will ignore it and use the distraction to do something he's not supposed to (try to steal someone else's food, play with his food, etc.).
    • Ned's asking why everyone is staring at him, or how he got somewhere, after being possessed by either the Old Gods or a Stark ancestor.
    • Joffrey suffering something that leads to him pissing/shitting himself.

    S-U 
  • Sadistic Choice: Robert is given one when he learns that none of his "trueborn" children are actually his children, disqualifying them from the line of succession, and leaving his younger siblings and their progeny as his heirs. He has three options: A) leave things as they are, B) take a new wife and have more children or C) legitimize one of his bastards. All three are disadvantageous in their own rights: A) means Stannis is heir, which would lead to Shireen becoming heir, something that would cause problems because of her gender; B) means there's no actual heir coming for quite some time and risks a Dance of Dragons-like event, and C) risks the main Lords not accepting a bastard in the Throne, particularly because the only ones old enough to be proper heirs in times of war are Mya and Gendry (both being born from smallfolk women).
  • Samus Is a Girl: Short lived version. The man Brynden Tully meets on his way south ends up revealing himself as Brienne of Tarth a few moments later.
  • Saying Too Much: The first Green Man Brynden and Brienne meet accidentally reveals the two will marry in the future.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • Jon Arryn suckers Littlefinger into wearing as much heavy armor as possible and then hands him a heavy axe for his trial by combat, before dropping him into the sea.
    • Ned lays a trap for the Lannister twins by making them think the Broken Tower is still in disrepair and is going to be empty of people and thus perfect for a secret rendezvous - so that he can then bring a small group of men (including Ser Barristan Selmy) to catch them in the act. They bite.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When it becomes obvious that the assault on Raventree Hall by the septon-led mob is going to fail miserably at the hands of Lords Blackwood and Bracken, most of it starts to put their torches out and scramble.
  • Sdrawkcab Name:
    • The Krats, the leader of the Company of the Rose, takes his name of Stark back when he declares that the Company of the Rose will be coming back to Westeros.
    • While on her father's mission to the North, Sarella Sand disguises herself as a Maester's apprentice named Alleras.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: It's revealed that the Drowned God, an Old God gone mad and patron of the Ironborn, was sealed behind a door beneath the Hightower, and with the return of magic, is trying to break free.
  • Secret Keeper: There are several notable secrets to be kept in this fic, although the two most notable are Robb's return from the past and Jon's true parentage. Ned, Cat, Jon Snow/Stark, Aemon Targaryen and King Robert are aware of both, while Luwin, Benjen, Theon, Jeor, Gerion, Stannis and Tyrion are only aware of the former and Robb, Alliser Thorne and Barristan are aware of the latter.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Ever since the tourney in Harrenhall, Robert knew that Lyanna Stark was the Knight of the Laughing Tree from the identical way they held their horse tack. He had planned to tell her that he knew when they were married, but that never happened.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Mace Tyrell gets too close to the Door of Doom in an attempt to rescue a septon. Both of them die due to the power of the creature on the other side. On the other hand, Mace holds on long enough to pass on vital information to Willas, so it wasn't completely in vain.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The Old Gods' purpose in sending Robb back in time.
  • Shaming the Mob: Lords Bracken and Blackwood do this to a crowd at Raventree Hall who are following a septon to burn down a weirwood tree inside, challenging them to listen to the Call and stand together like they have.
  • Shared Family Quirks: Shireen Baratheon seems to be inheriting her father's stern, commanding nature, being able to keep the aforementioned Terrible Trio in line.
  • Shed the Family Name:
    • In the past, when Lann Casterly overthrew his father and brother to take control of Casterly Rock, he renounced his family name and simply became known as "the Lann". Eventually, it evolved into the name of his descendants: Lannister.
    • Theon is planning to do this, to leave the Iron Isles behind and embrace the North. He currently is considering the name "Greymist".
      • As of Chapter 121, he has changed his name to Greymist with permission from Robert, and is now sworn to the North.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Quite a lot between Jory Cassel and Annah (Robert Arryn's nurse/caretaker), which is resolved during one of his chapters in Winterfell. By Chapter 94, they are wed.
    • Increasingly between Tyrion and Dacey Surestone, after he rescues her from a crooked inn-owner. In Chapter 134, he finally gets up the nerve to propose to her, and she accepts.
    • Brynden Tully and Brienne of Tarth are getting some hints of this.
    • As do Bronn and Ursula Stone, especially after she is legitimised.
    • After their first meeting, Sarella Sand privately thinks that Allarion, son of Gerion Lannister, is cute, while he seems to be trying to avoid looking at her, a fact that she tries to deny she cares about.
    • Ygritte is quite pleased to learn that Ned isn't planning to marry Jon to a Southern lady anytime soon.
  • Shoot the Messenger: Varys recalls that when Aerys's paranoia got really bad after the Trident, he started killing messengers that brought him bad news. Then he tried to burn the ravens deeming them traitors as well, but Pycelle convinced him the birds were still loyal. It was a very surreal conversation to overhear.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Subverted. After all the efforts made to prevent it, it seemed like Jon Arryn would still get killed by Lysa, but the Maesters manage to pull him through.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Side Bet: Gerion Lannister bets Kevan a silver stag that his brother Tywin's first words upon seeing him will be to say that he is alive, followed by a query about if he found Brightroar. He wins.
  • Sinister Minister: Blackfeet, the septon that incites the Faith Militant's reappearance in the Riverlands. Heavily implied (later confirmed) to be the High Sparrow.
  • Skeptic No Longer:
    • Tyrion slowly starts to become convinced about the Others after hearing about the Call, and becomes fully convinced after speaking to the Old Gods via Jon Snow.
    • Invoking this in everyone is the purpose of all the wight heads being sent south, a la We Need to Get Proof.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Even Varys can't hide his shock and disgust when Renly reveals that Baelish had dealings with Slaver's Bay. On a similar note, when Renly comments that he can liquidate Baelish's holdings to make the crown more money, he stresses they won't profit from the slave trade in doing so.
  • Sour Supporter: Alliser Thorne. He was a Targaryen loyalist who took the black after Robert's Rebellion, thus harbouring a grudge for Robert and Ned alike, but after Ned began sending support for the much-beleaguered Wall, the Call being sent out, and seeing the threat with his own two eyes, his allegiance to the Starks has more or less solidified, but his opinion of them has grown... complicated.
    • Especially after Ned decides to tell him Jon's true parentage.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Littlefinger might have been able to escape to Essos... if it were not for Bronn, who not only found out where Baelish was set to meet the men that would escort him out of the city, but also found his secret books with all of his dirty deeds and all of his money caches written in them.
      • By that same reason, Ned's letter to Jon Arryn, which not only leads to him avoiding his canon death, but also to Jon sending his son Robert to foster in Winterfell. This leads Littlefinger to attempt to have Robert kidnapped, an attempt that fails and leads to his downfall.
    • The Septon mob trying to attack Raventree Hall might have been able to redirect Lord Blackwood's ire towards his old rival Lord Bracken... if not for the fact that the two lords had recently buried the hatchet and Lord Bracken is present as well.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Jon Arryn, Domeric Bolton, Ser Waymar Royce, the direwolf mother, Will, Gared, one of Craster's boys, many Wildlings.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: When the Eldritch Abomination on the other side of the Door of Doom beneath the Hightower looks through for a moment, Willas Tyrell, bearing Otherbane, looks it right in the face and orders it back. It does.
  • Stout Strength:
    • Illyrio Mopatis may be one of the series' resident Adipose Rex... but remember that underneath all that blubber is still the man that survived for years as a member of a sellsword company, and was able to retire as a rich man. Which he aptly demonstrates by almost killing Viserys and tanking through the Targaryen's mad stabbing, as a fire rages around them.
    • Similarly, Robert, the man that uses a warhammer with one hand that most men would be hard pressed to just lift with both. Although the Call starts him on the path to lose his weight; by Chapter 89, he's still heavyset, but not even Jaime can call him fat any longer.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Both Oberyn Martell and Tywin Lannister think the exact same thing about magic returning: that some fool will attempt to bring dragons back, and thus risk another Summerhallnote . Then, in the same chapter as Tywin, Viserys tells Daenerys he intends to find a way to awaken a dragon. Which ends up killing him, destroying part of the home he is living in... and giving birth to three dragons that follow Daenerys.
  • Stress Vomit: Theon is so shocked to learn he betrayed the North in the first timeline he pukes his guts out in the Godswood. Then Robb confesses he was captured by Ramsay Snow and sends him back to dry-heaving.
    • Daenerys does not take Jorah Mormont's revelations about her father and Robert's Rebellion very well.
    • Jaime after realizing that by not speaking up about the wildfire barrels hidden under King's Landing, he put the entire city at risk of blowing up.
  • Strong Family Resemblance:
    • Both Gendry and Edric Storm are noted as looking almost identical to Robert when he was their age. Meanwhile, Arya's resemblance to Lyanna (both in looks and personality) is noted more than once. Robert comments that Sansa looks almost exactly like her mother did at her age, and that Jon looks almost exactly like Ned did.
  • Stunned Silence: Tywin goes through a lot of things that would be worthy of this reaction, but the one thing that actually leaves him flabbergasted is his dwarf son Tyrion showing him all three of Lann the Clever's Ancestral Weapons.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Through his research, Tyrion finds that some First Men families had had the greensight passed through their family lines - one of which is the Casterlys, and therefore potentially the Lannisters. Indeed, his ancestor Tyrek Lannister turned out to have it, as does Gerion Lannister and his son Allarion, and Tyrion is starting to find his dreams a little more vivid than he's used to.
  • Survival Mantra: In the Overlook, Benjen finds a book filled with the same quote written over and over again: "Name Rickon Stark. Hands cold. Coldhands." Over time, that quote eventually evolved as its writer's mind adapted, until it became: "My name is Rickon Stark. My hands are cold, but my heart is still mine."
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Sarella stresses in her thoughts that she does not care at all whether Allarion is looking at her or not.
  • Tap on the Head:
    • Played straight with Daenerys when she is knocked out by her brother; she wakes up with a headache but is fully capable of escaping if she wasn't Bound and Gagged after.
    • Subverted with Jon Arryn. Despite living through his wife's stabbing, he is put into a coma from a kick to the head, and stays there for quite some time after.
      • Grand Maester Pycelle, while treating him, specifically points out to Robert just how dangerous and unpredictable blows to the head can be. He mentions two nobles that took blows to the head during the Battle of the Trident, one seemed shrug it off only to drop dead during the victory party, while the other was put into a coma but woke up two weeks later.
    • Also subverted with Sandor Clegane. He is knocked out with a bottle by a drunken Joffrey who then goes after Robb, and when he appears shortly after, he is staggering, bloody-headed and still spitting mad.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Virtually the only reason the people south of the Wall are allying with the Wildlings is because the alternative is outright extermination for the latter and a horde of und+ead Wildling wights bearing down on them for the former.
  • Terrible Trio: A mild example and a popular nickname for the three boys now growing up at Winterfell - Brandon Stark, Robert Arryn and Edric Storm.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Arya gives us this gem upon asked what does she plan to do once she awakens and controls her latent Warg abilities:
    Arya: I could warg into [Nymeria]! And then I could bite Sansa in the arse!
    (Beat, as Arya realizes what she just said)
    Arya: That sounded wrong, didn't it?
    Tyrion: Very likely.
  • That Liar Lies:
    • Jon Arryn rebutting Janos Slynt's frantic denials of corruption.
    • Jonos Bracken announcing his identity to the men who were sent to burn down Raventree Hall, and that they are most certainly not sent by him.
  • That Was Not a Dream: Ned realizes that the dream of Ashara Dayne sleeping with him while he was drunk, drugged, exhausted and grieving from the events of the Tower of Joy wasn't just a dream - not when he has a letter from Alster Dayne confirming everything and his apparent bastard son Edric Dayne standing in front of him.
  • There Is Another: Between mercenary companies like the Company of the Rose and the Golden Company, there are members of houses that were long thought endangered or extinct in Westeros, such as the Dustins, Ryders and Mudds.
    • Turns out that this is the exact reason the Company of the Rose was founded in the first place: when Torrhen Stark was told of the Targaryens' eventual downfall, he sent members of all the Northern houses abroad to form the Company, so that in the event of a Northern house dying out in Westeros, there would still be other members to keep that house alive.
  • This Cannot Be!:
    • The High Sparrow's reaction when one of the people confronting his crusade reveals himself as the Green Man.
    • Craster's reaction when the Night's Watch brothers tell him they have just killed an Other - the one he had just tried to sacrifice his latest son to.
    • Walder Frey's reaction when the Green Man presents the token to cross the Twins, and then again when he reveals himself as Ser Duncan the Tall.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Tyrion's increased reaction when supernatural signs, including a message from the Old Gods themselves through Jon Snow and a letter left by a Lannister ancestor specifically addressed to him, constantly urge him to go to the Night Fort, which he finds terrifying.
    Tyrion: This all makes it sound dreadfully obvious that very thick underwear and lots of furs lie in my immediate future.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Even though Robb is back in his younger body, he still has the countless experiences of a hardened veteran from the old timeline. Many comment that his eyes make him look much older, and has had the experiences of a soldier that has killed, including Luwin, Ned Stark, Robert Baratheon and Tyrion.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: By means of the Old Gods' Divine Intervention:
    • When Willas Tyrell found the Gardener's Rest inside Highgarden, his lamed, crooked leg is miraculously straightened out.
    • When the blind Maester Aemon talks to the Old Gods via a proxy, they restore his sight for his devotion to the truth.
  • Thunderbolt Iron: There are several weapons of the First Men around Westeros, made of metal extracted from different meteorites, with a number of... interesting qualities.
  • Time-Travel Tense Trouble: Robb runs into this when he reveals every Stark child will have a direwolf of their own.
    Robb: Mine is Grey Wind. Will be Grey Wind. This is confusing.
  • Token Good Teammate: Relatively speaking, this is Rodrik Harlaw's opinion on Victarion Greyjoy, compared to his brothers, considering Balon an idiot, Aeron a religious lunatic, and Euron a "twisted creature".
  • Too Clever by Half: Littlefinger, used to conspiring against nobles who are blind to his stratagems, gets tripped at the worst moment by veteran Street Smart Bronn.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • The Septon at Storm's End saw fit to insult the North to the face of King Robert, whose best friend and lost love both came from the North. Then, after being told not to destroy the weirwood sapling, he proceeds to try and do just that and is stopped, quite violently, by his sovereign.
    • One of Asha Greyjoy's men thought he was better with a knife than the others, that he was more religious than the others, and that he could lecture them on taking orders from a woman. As explained by Asha's second, he died of stupidity.
    • Damphair's men sent to attack Harlaw attempt to use Ironborn tactics. On Ironborn. Naturally, Damphair's men didn't realize how foolish it was.
    • Gerion Lannister recounts an encounter with a Volantene with a captain who laughed at his trying to map a safe way through the Smoking Sea and said he'd find Valryia first. The Volantene's wreckage was sighted some time after.
    • Jaime and Cersei still decide to have sex in the Broken Tower, even though it is obvious that there's more traffic going around it. Granted, they couldn't have expected that Ned Stark had prepared that as a trap, but, still.
    • Septon Alyston of the Starry Sept. When he decided to go and "cleanse" the otherworldly gate beneath the Hightower, he ended up dying of fright and his body used as a proxy that could've opened the gate, had Willas not stopped him. Leyton Hightower, who allowed him to do so after a lot of badgering on Alyston's part, even said he fully expected that Alyston would try and get close to it and then flee in fright like all the rest, not that his piety would walk him straight to his doom.
      • Perhaps more tragically, Mace Tyrell, in a foolish attempt to regain his prestige, supported Septon Alyston in his foray, got too close to the entity behind the gate, and finally passed away hours later, though not before accepting the folly of his pride.
    • In the aftermath of being disinherited and named a bastard, Joffrey gets drunk and decides to attack Robb, thinking that killing him will somehow return him to his position as Prince, but not before knocking out Sandor Clegane with a bottle.
    • Varys says as much about the Pentoshi Magisters after their intentions to use Daenerys's dragons against Braavos got to the point that the Braavosi decided to make a preemptive strike against the city, causing Varys to help Daenerys and her dragons escape. He says that once the Magisters find their so-called weapons gone, they would surrender if they were sensible and fight if they were stupid.
      Varys: (seeing Pentos burning in the distance) Ah. They were stupid then.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: The late Lord Torgen Surestone. Not a single person who ever met him has anything to say about him except for praise. Too bad idiot lordling Ser Willem Bootle managed to kill him and steal his legacy.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Chapters 116 to 120 might as well be called "The humbling of Jaime Lannister": He and his sister are caught in flagrante delicto and arrested, he is told that killing Aerys and not telling anyone about the buried wildfire has left the city at risk, and then he is beaten by Robert Baratheon in a Trial by Combat, with only the Wall and the war with the Others to look forward to in his future.
  • The Unapologetic: Tywin Lannister is perfectly capable of admitting his mistakes, but not as capable as accepting responsibility for them.
    • Even as he congratulates Tyrion for all the work he has done in the North, finally recognizing him as the heir to Casterly Rock, and accuses Cersei for slandering Tyrion, he never apologizes to Tyrion for badly treating him or for what he did to Tysha, nor does he acknowledge his own bias against Tyrion (for the death of his wife Joanna in childbirth).
    • Even as he chews out Cersei for committing treason by fornicating with her own brother and staining the entire Lannister legacy, he never acknowledges his own harsh parenting towards her or his decision to marry her off to a philandering, boorish drunkard of a king, which may have played a factor to do what she did.
    • Even as he acknowledges his error in exterminating the Reynes and Tarbecks and painting his own house as a ruthless terror in the process, he chalks his error up to youth, only learns that power is more than just force, and never considers that committing house genocide is wrong.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Jaime goes into his first practice sword-fight with Robert thinking it will be easy. He is very, very wrong.
  • Undignified Death:
    • Janos Slynt being dragged to his execution, on account of him soiling himself in both manners. Also one of his lieutenants who is a blubbering, embarrassing mess when executed.
    • Walder Frey may have died in his bed, but it started when he first laid eyes on the head of a wight, which caused him to piss himself and suffer a deadly stroke.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • Quill, one of Jon Arryn's men, towards the Lord of the Eyrie himself.
    • The North in general to Eddard Stark, particularly now that it is obvious that it will fall upon him the task of leading Westeros in the fight against the Others.
  • Unfortunate Names: Bronn thinks this about Haster, the maester of Foxhold.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: It rankles Stannis that Renly chose to attempt to have himself crowned in the original timeline, ignoring him as his elder brother and their shared experience in the siege of Storm's End.
  • The Unsmile: Jon Arryn describes Stannis' smile as looking like a death-rictus. It's so frightening that it causes Janos Slynt to soil himself.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: The only mention of Ned's scheme to catch the Lannister twins and fix the King's Great Matter are oblique mentions of the Broken Tower being repaired. Come Chapter 116, and we see that those repairs include setting up the seemingly perfect location for a secret rendezvous, and secretly fixing up the surroundings such that a group of men can approach without the occupants hearing.
  • Unstoppable Rage:
    • Ser Barristan Selmy nearly throttles Jaime Lannister to death after catching him and Cersei in the act.
    • Everyone fearing that this will be Robert's reaction is the main reason they have to be extremely careful when dealing with his Great Matter (i.e. the fact that he'd been cuckolded and that he has no trueborn children), as it could lead to him killing both Lannister twins (and possibly their children) and a very-much-unwanted civil war from their father Tywin. Ultimately, it's subverted; by the time Robert is informed, he's undergone enough Character Development that he manages to keep his temper long enough for Ned to talk him down.

    V-Z 
  • Verbal Backspace: Pycelle doesn't like the fact Jon Arryn has elevated Bronn, a sellsword, to nobility, and begins expounding on the topic. However, Jon then mentions it was Bronn who found Baelish, his books, his secret books, and was key in his execution, and Pycelle immediately changes his mind, welcoming a bit of fresh blood.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Seeing the head of Petyr Baelish on a spike is the last straw for Lysa Arryn, and her next action is the attack on her husband Jon.
      • And then she has another one when Bronn tells her, in captivity, that she failed and that Jon Arryn is still alive, meaning she's effectively powerless and alone.
    • Let's just say that Viserys does not take being told his dragon egg is a fake well.
    • The High Sparrow after the Old Gods blind him. See Go Mad from the Revelation above.
    • Craster completely loses it when he hears that his son that was to be sacrificed to the Others was rescued and an Other killed.
    • For a value of "villain": sick of Robb and everyone else judging him for being both The Kingslayer and The Oathbreaker, Jaime snaps and goes into a Motive Rant about why he broke his oath - for doing otherwise would leave a madman to send an entire city up in flames.
  • Villainous BSoD:
    • After her infidelity is exposed, Cersei refuses to accept her divorce from Robert nor the proof that her children are all bastards to the crown, taunting that Joffrey will be king and goading Robert to strike her. But when Robert actually keeps his temper and recognizes her Wounded Gazelle Gambit for what it is, it leaves her speechless.
    • For a value of "villain": Jaime is left in shock when he realizes that, in his attempts to save King's Landing from Aerys and his wildfire, he left the city still sitting on a very big, very active, very unstable powderkeg.
  • Villain Team-Up: It's been implied several times that the Drowned God has allied with the Others.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Rhaegar Targaryen. In taking and then raping Lyanna Stark, he thought he would be fulfilling the prophecy of the Prince Who Was Promised, unite the Realm and save Westeros. As one flashback reveals, he becomes acutely aware of the horrific nature of his actions and accepts their price.
  • We Need to Get Proof: The whole purpose of Benjen Stark's foray beyond the wall: proof that the Others and the wights are real.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Jorah Mormont was knighted by King Baratheon, and close to the Manderlys before his attempted slaving and his escape to Essos. When he finally returns with his pardon, the Manderlys keep a polite but firm distance from him, and Robert flatly asks him if Lynesse was worth everything that he had done.
  • What Could Have Been: Tywin points this out In-Universe in regards to Myrcella's former prospects as a princess.
  • Wham Episode: Seriously, this fanfic is so full of them that it has its own page.
  • Wham Line: Chapter 23. The Others come. The Stark calls for aid. You are needed. They also act as this In-Universe.
    • Chapter 45. "My champion," Arryn said with a savage smile. "The sea."
  • What an Idiot!: The general In-Universe opinion about Jaime deciding to demand a trial by combat for his killing of Aerys as a condition to confessing to being Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen's father.
    • Likewise the viewpoint on Jaime never telling anyone about the wildfire under King's Landing which is why he killed the Mad King.
    • Tywin openly calls his own son a fool and an idiot not just for the danger of the wildfire but because he could have gotten Jaime out of the Kingsguard long ago as the hero who saved the kingdom.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: As word spreads of Jamie and Cersei's incest, the other Lannisters know that overnight, they will be the laughingstock of Westros with their various enemies mocking them.
    • Tywin openly imagines that, somewhere in the various Hells, Aerys Targaryen is looking up and laughing at him.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Shireen, as per canon. For example, upon meeting her bastard cousin Gendry, she tells Maester Cressen that she does not care about what her mother may say, and takes charge of showing Gendry around Dragonstone.
  • Women Are Wiser: Robert finds it amusing that, between his bastard children and the three kids he supposedly had with Cersei, it's the girls that are (or appear to be) smarter than the boys.
  • Worf Had the Flu: While it isn't established whether he would have been able to win otherwise, it's revealed that Dawn had rejected Ser Arthur Dayne by the time of the fight at the Tower of Joy, so he was fighting with a sword that was constantly vibrating and throwing him off, to the point that Ned remembers him making strange faces throughout the fight, now realizing that it was because he was straining to keep a grip on the sword.
  • Worthy Opponent: The Vale Clan leader that speaks with the Blackfish considers him such.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Cersei attempts to have Robert slap her so she can paint herself as the victim after her incestuous relationship with Jaime is discovered. Robert sees through it, though.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • Mace Tyrell believes that the Call is just mummery and is completely unconvinced that the Game of Thrones has changed. It takes Otherbane burning his hand to shut him up.
    • Walder Frey sees everything as some sort of plot. The Green Men and a living wight's head arrive to give him a harsh smack in the face with reality, and it effectively and literally kills him.
    • Abound with the Lannisters:
      • Tywin thinks that Eddard asking about the Others is just another move in the Game of Thrones. At least until he translates the runes inside a hidden room in Casterly Rock.
      • Jaime is very much unaware about the changes going on in the North and elsewhere. Apparently, he is not even aware of the Call happening, and he is very much puzzled by Robert and his new desire to regain his strength.
      • Cersei is completely perplexed with Robert's newfound zeal to head north.
      • Joffrey thought he would be able to grab Stormbreaker, claiming it as his birthright. Stormbreaker (and perhaps the Old Gods) happily demonstrate otherwise.
  • You All Share My Story: As of Chapter 109, many different groups have arrived/are converging on Winterfell, from the King's party (including Jaime, Cersei, their children, Stannis, Shireen, Gendry and Jorah Mormont) and the Company of the Rose (which includes members of long-thought-lost Northern houses), to the Hill Tribes of the Vale and the party returning from the Wall (including Ned, his sons and wards, Mance Rayder and some wildlings, the Magnar of the Thenns, Jeor Mormont, Tyrion and Gerion Lannister and a disguised Sarella Sand), with Robert Arryn, Edric Storm, Edric Dayne and Domeric Bolton already in attendance. And Randyll Tarly, Tywin Lannister, and an envoy from the Harlaw Ironborn rebels (including Asha Greyjoy) are all heading there as well for their own reasons. Suffice to say, things are going to get very crowded and very complicated.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: After the truth of his siblings' relationship is revealed, Tyrion feels down in the dumps and thinks that with his family's reputation in ruins, he'd no longer be able to court Dacey Surestone. When he tries to be noble and tell her goodbye, she has none of it and tells him that he's not his siblings, he fought the Others beyond the Wall, he helped save her from being whored out, and that she is expecting a proposal from him soon. Later, Ned and Robb give him similar talks.
  • You Are Not Alone:
    • Maester Aemon, who thought his only living relatives were on the other side of the Narrow Sea (Viserys and Daenerys), suddenly discovers that Jon Snow is his great-great-grand nephew (via Rhaegar Targaryen).
    • King Robert delivers a Rousing Speech to this effect during the welcoming feast when he arrives to Winterfell.
      Robert: The North must know this - you are not alone. We will stand and fight with you. There is only one war ahead of us - the great war and it is here, now. We will fight on the Wall and beat back the Others. From now until the end of time, I pledge this here and now. We will fight and some will die, but we will win. Ours is the fury! Because Winter is coming!.
  • You Remind Me of X: After learning Jon Snow is related to him, Maester Aemon compares him to his beloved younger brother Egg (Aegon the Unlikely) because both of them are gentle-natured, compassionate youths.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Quoted by Robert, when he, in his recurring dream, keeps an Other and a wraith from taking Lyanna's spirit with a sword of light.
  • You Were Trying Too Hard: Arya and warging. She had been trying to force it so much while awake - not that she knew how to do it - that she did not realize she was doing it while asleep.
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