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Fanfic / The Conquest

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Three hundred years after Aegon the Conqueror built a new empire on the ashes of the Valyrian Freehold the known world is a place of war. The Targaryen Empire is pressed by enemies, the Seven Kingdoms war amongst themselves and forces contrive to pull them all apart. Amidst all this are a prince and princess who fear themselves ruined by the horrors they've endured. Together they might be the hope their people are looking for. More importantly, they might be the dream both abandoned long ago.
Fanfic summary

The Conquest is an A Song of Ice and Fire AU where the Targaryens never conquered Westeros. As a result, the Seven Kingdoms remain separate, and the Targaryen Empire now rules over Essos instead. When Eddard Stark, the King in the North, is murdered, his sister Lyanna brings her son and his armies to fight the enemies of the North, and secure the Empire a foothold in Westeros.

This fanfic contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Jon Snow becomes Jonarys Targaryen, thanks to being raised by Rhaegar.
    • The Baratheons and Tyrells become the Durrandons and the Gardeners, respectively.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Jon and Sansa's son Aenry calls Ser Barristan "Ser Barry", and Rhaegina calls him "Ser Grandfather" behind his back.
  • Altar Diplomacy: The alliance between the Starks and the Targaryens is cemented by Jon and Sansa getting married.
  • The Atoner: Barristan deeply regrets not helping Sansa during her imprisonment, and becomes her bodyguard to make amends for it.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Robb is naturally very protective of Sansa, and takes any insults to her honor badly.
    • Inverted with Arya, being Sansa's younger sister, yet just as protective of her as Robb.
  • Broken Bird: Sansa, even more than in canon, thanks to even more horrific treatment during her time as a prisoner of war. With Jon's help, she gradually starts to get better.
  • Civil War: The Vale has been torn by one since Jon Arryn's death, with his nephews Elbert and Denys vying for the throne.
  • Cult: The Blackfyres formed one in this universe, after Daemon claimed to have been given a vision by a seer that a second Doom would come for the Empire unless they conquered Westeros.
  • Dance of Romance: Jon and Sansa dance at a feast in Winterfell. It's the first time they start to grow close.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: When we meet Sansa, she's safe with her family, but her time as a prisoner was nothing less than horrifying. Routinely beaten and stripped before Joffrey's court, tormented with lies about her family being murdered, and branded like livestock with the Durrandon sigil. When she was finally rescued by Sandor Clegane, she fell in love with him, only for him to be mortally wounded defending her, with Sansa being forced to put him out of his misery.
  • Dead Fic: Hasn't been updated since May 2016.
  • Decadent Court: The Targaryen Empire's Council of Heralds is a viper's nest of political maneuvering and infighting.
  • Dirty Old Man: Littlefinger becomes even creepier here, leering over Aemma, Jon and Sansa's twin daughter who looks like her mother. Keep in mind two things: Aemma hasn't even gone through puberty at this point, and she's Catelyn's grandaughter.
  • Elective Monarchy: The heir to the Targaryen Empire is not automatically the ruling High King's eldest son. Instead, the Council of Heralds (the main administrative body, composed of senior military commanders and regional representatives) appoints the heir, who can be any blood member of House Targaryen.
  • Elite Army: The Dark Order is smaller than most of the Targaryen Empire's other legions, but is composed of highly skilled warriors trained in hit and run tactics designed to wear down and divide numerically superior foes so that they can be overwhelmed.
  • Expy: The Targaryen Empire resembles both the Western Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire.
  • Experienced Protagonist: Jon is a seasoned veteran of many campaigns by the time the story begins.
  • Four-Star Badass: Jon is Lord Commander of the Dark Order, and never hesitates to get in the action himself.
  • The Ghost: Surprisingly, Elbert Arryn never actually appears, instead he throws himself out of the Moon Door, rather than give Jon and Sansa the justice they want for Benjen and Lord Darklyn.
  • The High King: The title used by the monarchs of the Targaryen Empire.
  • Honor Before Reason: Ser Barristan volunteers to go with Brown Ben up to the Eyrie as a hostage so that Elbert would accept Ben's return, and wouldn't expect him and his men to slaughter the castle garrison and take Elbert hostage.
  • Hypocrisy Nod: Lyanna acknowledges that it's hypocritical of her to hold Sansa's sordid past against her, given her own history. Nevertheless, she uses it as a reason to object to matching her with Jon.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • The Hoares are all killed off at Harrenhal, despite the fact that the Targaryens never invaded Westeros until Jon and Sansa forge a kingdom from the ashes of the Stormlands and make vague, long-term plans about invading the rest of Westeros.
    • House Durrandon still goes extinct and is replaced by a member of House Baratheon, Gendry, who takes the Durrandon words and sigil.
  • Insistent Terminology: Jon is a lord, not a prince.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: King Mace Gardner is defeated by Jon and gives away all the lands between the Mander and Blueburn rivers to end the war, including Tumbleton and the towns and villages.
  • Lady and Knight: Sansa and Barristan Selmy form a platonic version.
  • Language of Love: One of the ways Jon and Sansa grow closer in their marriage is through him teaching her how to speak High Valyrian.
  • Made a Slave: Lyanna's backstory in this continuity is that she was enslaved before being liberated by Rhaegar.
  • The Man Behind the Man: More like the Man behind the Man behind the Man. Littlefinger was responsible for sending the assassins to Aevelon, but was told to do it with gold from Viserys, who was jealous of Jon's growing power in Westeros, whilst he was the Prince consort to the heir of Dorne. However Viserys was manipulated into sending the assassins by both Aegon and Littlefinger. So that's Aegon and Littlefinger manipulating Viserys who paid Littlefinger to provoke war against the Arryns.
  • My Greatest Failure: Barrisan Selmy was guard in the Durrandons' court while Sansa was prisoner, and considers not stopping the abuse his greatest sin.
  • Plot-Triggering Death:
    • Eddard's murder is what ends up bringing the Targaryens and their armies to Westeros.
    • Benjen's murder at the theatre in Aevalon triggers riots in the city between the Westerosi and Essosi inhabitants. It also leads to a brutal and bloody war against the Vale and the rule of King Elbert Arryn, who sent the assassins to kill Harrold Hardyng at the theatre.
  • Praetorian Guard: The Highguard are this story's version of the Kingsguard. Though without having to pander to the Faith, there's more than seven of them, leaving enough to protect and serve every member of the royal family.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran:
    • Jon is heavily traumatized by all the warfare he's seen.
    • After the Arryn campaign, Sansa sinks into a deep melancholy because of ther guilt over what she decided to do at Martyr's Mill. Even the sight of her children doesn't help her.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Various houses who would otherwise have been made extinct still exist, for example the Darklyns and the Gardners.
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: Lyanna isn't "wacky", per se, but she's much more high spirited than her quiet and somber son Jon.
  • Walking Spoiler: Daenerys's son. She keeps it a secret as to who the father is: Aegon or Jon. When Sansa finds out, she is furious at Dany for taking advantage of Jon's goodness to protect her son. Later on, Daenerys reveals that the father was Aegon, just as Baelyon, her son, is being taken away by Aegon and given to Khal Drogo to foster in exchange for Rhaegar's release.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Jon's reaction when he sees that Sansa left Winterfell to join him and his army on their march.
  • Young Conqueror: Jon. As a result of his conquering the Stormlands, Rhaegar makes him king of his own independent country.