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Trials and Tricks is an A Song of Ice and Fire Continuation Fic written by WendyNerd, intended as a sequel to the events of the first five novels in the series (and taking place after predicted events for the upcoming sixth and seventh novels, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring).

After the War of the Dawn, in which Queen Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow (revealed as Jon Targaryen, son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark) defeated the Night's King, the two settle in King's Landing to try and establish their new regime as Queen and Prince of the empire Daenerys has established, consisting of the Seven Realms of Westeros, her khalasar, and the three cities of Slaver's Bay: Astapor, Yunkai, and Meereen. While Daenerys sits upon the Iron Throne, the country, fresh from years of civil war, winter, famine, and political upheaval, is far from secure. Sansa Stark, formerly Queen in the North and now Lady of Winterfell and Warden of the North, is dragged to court on trumped-up charges of treason, murder, and fraud by a group of lords from the Vale, jealous and furious over the actions taken by Lord Petyr Baelish.

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The fic ends up extending beyond this plot point to a door-stopper length, focusing on the lives and political careers of Daenerys, Jon, Sansa, and other characters in the series as they try to establish and maintain the peace and security of Westeros following the years of war, winter, and mass political upheaval the country has been engulfed in, as well as a romance between Jon and Sansa, the development of the relationships between several major characters, and the main characters healing from their various traumas and mental issues. The open warfare may appear to be over, but the level of behind the scenes scheming, unstable political tensions, and fallout from the events of the series provide the heroes with a host of severe and deadly challenges including poison plots, religious upheaval, attempted coup d'etats, heavy abuse, and potential warfare. The fiction also has a large amount of sexual content and romance, with a fair amount of heart-warming moments.

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The characters of Sansa Stark, Jon Snow, and Daenerys Targaryen take the leads, but the story also includes plenty of focus on the characters of Margaery Tyrell, Samwell Tarly, Gilly, Asha Greyjoy, Victarion Greyjoy, Barristan Selmy, Arianne Martell, The Sand Snakes, Val, and Arya Stark.

The fic also has a sequel, The Lost Lion.


Trials and Tricks includes examples of:

  • 0% Approval Rating: What eventually helps bring down the High Sparrow.
  • Action Girl: Many, many of the badass women from the series show up in this fic.
    • Downplayed with Arianne Martell. We don't see her wielding weapons, necessarily, preferring to let the Sand Snakes do a lot of the direct fighting, but she takes decisive action during a key arc in the story. Jon Snow notes her "extremely toned muscles rippling beneath her skin" and a sense of danger and power from her. She contributed in a military capacity during the civil wars.
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    • Arya Stark is officially a trained assassin, having left the House of Black and White, and is an extremely deadly combatant. She secretly serves as an undercover bodyguard for her sister during the first chunk of the story and ends up covertly and very effectively investigating a conspiracy against her sister. Then she goes on to brutally murder one of the people who tried to kill Sansa, and doesn't hesitate to torture those who threaten her family. Not only is she an expert fencer who can spar with the likes of Brienne of Tarth, but she's fairly knowledgeable of poisons and can throw knives with perfect accuracy. Arya has a tendency towards berserk rages, especially towards anyone who threatens her family.
    • Asha Greyjoy, just as with her book counterpart. In Tricks, she had taken back the Iron Islands partly with forces provided by Stannis Baratheon, and took down her mad Uncle Euron Greyjoy by giving him an axe to the head. Now she wears his old mantle as a war trophy. She later takes on her Uncle Victarion in single combat, giving him a deadly wound with her axe after literally busting up a field of stone columns with it.
    • Brienne of Tarth is now a Queensguard and known as one of the best fighters at court. Jon considers beating her at sparring matches a great challenge and a triumph. Numerous members of even the Queensguard struggle against her in the field, with Barristan and the Unsullied Dead Dirt being the only matches for her among the order. Jon is one of the rare examples of people who can match her with a blade. Jon feels incredibly proud of Arya for managing to last more than a few minutes against Brienne in the yard.
    • Daenerys Targaryen eventually conquered and stabilized the three cities in Slaver's Bay, which are officially part of her empire. She took down the Night's King and the army of the White Walkers for good on the back of Drogon and won the War of the Dawn with Jon's help. By the beginning of the series, she has managed to gain full control over all three of her dragons, taming them and commanding them with absolute authority, and is able to teach Jon how to ride. An active and enthusiastic dragon-rider, she's proficient in wielding a Dothraki arakh, not afraid to just casually threaten powerful people with death by dragonfire and eagerly stares down a small fleet of Ironborn without blinking. Pretty much everyone, including badasses like Jon Snow, Sansa, Barristan Selmy, Asha Greyjoy, Victarion Greyjoy, Tormund Giantsbane, and Arya Stark are fiercely intimidated by her. Even Stannis Baratheon ended up accepting her as the rightful ruler of Westeros and Azor Ahai reborn and fought by her side during the War of the Dawn. Everyone, from the rulers of Qarth, to the Dothraki have learned not to interfere with her rule. A word from her can often silence a room. She has dragons, and is not afraid to use them. Just in general, she is not a person you want to fuck with.
    • Lyra Mormont is a bit character, but like the rest of the Mormont women, is cast as a strong, fierce combatant and competent leader. According to Jon, she provided rather invaluable service at the Wall during the War of the Dawn. She ends up serving as an important mentor to Arya Stark.
    • As in the books, Mya Stone is a fearless and excellent navigator and animal trainer. She eventually helps Arya Stark train Nymeria note 
    • Nymeria Sand wields knives with deadly accuracy, and we get to see her in action.
    • Played with in regards to Sansa Stark, a very, very reluctant example who only fights when forced, and then does whatever she can to forget and ignore it as much as possible. She fought openly in the wars, leading an army to take back the Riverlands and the North from the Freys and the Boltons, a war she won. She did fight on the front lines, wearing white clothes that would end up being soaked in the blood of the combatants, which earned her the moniker of "The Red Wolf". She learned to throw knives accurately and apparently saved Patrek Lannister's life with a well-placed throw. And she brutally killed both Petyr Baelish (bashing his skull in) as he raped her, and Wallace Coldwater (hot poker through the eye socket) after he murdered her son, Eddie. However, in Sansa's own words, she was "an awful fighter" who would cry the entire time when she fought, often has trouble holding it together when confronted with violence, and is very eager and happy to abandon any and all martial pursuits once they are no longer required of her. It's noted that the only weapon she became proficient in was throwing knives due to their low weight, and her skill with that deteriorates thanks to a lack of practice once she is no longer required to go to battle. Her tendency to cry during battle is noted by a number of characters, as is her eagerness to assume a more traditionally feminine, ladylike lifestyle once the war is over. And she hates discussing the war, admitting that her triumphs in war had far more to do with the experienced and qualified war commanders she had fighting for her, such as Bronze Yohn Royce, Harrold Hardyng, and Brynden Tully, and the soldiers who protected her and fought well on the battlefield. Wholly admits that her role in the war hard far more to do with image and being a leader and figurehead than any actual martial skill on her part, showing the people fighting for her that she was willing to fight along with them. The second the opportunity presents itself, Sansa happily goes back to spending her days having meetings, sewing, playing music, and pursuing other feminine activities, and is uncomfortable whenever any of her military activities even come up, preferring to leave such matters to Jon, Daenerys, Barristan, Brienne, Arya, and other, more qualified fighters.
    • Val, a badass wildling who fought during the War of the Dawn in addition to her moments of badass in the book series. She serves as the "Magna" or Lady, of the Dreadfort, travels from there to King's Landing on her own through the winter weather, and Tormund Giantsbane is afraid of her. Val eagerly "steals" Arianne and spends lots of time honing her combat skills.
  • The Alcoholic: Edmure
  • All Men Are Rapists: Played with. As in the books, Westeros is a rigidly patriarchal society, and rape is almost accepted as a part of life that all women must fear. A number of the main characters, including Sansa and Daenerys, have been raped or suffered sexual abuse. Sansa in particular was continually subjected to rape and sexual abuse, often pimped out by Petyr Baelish as part of his twisted mind games designed to convince her that her only worth was as a sexual object. Learning to trust again is a major theme in Sansa’s arc, particularly in regards to her relationship with Jon. However, she is still highly distrustful of most men even in the sequel. The trope is at one pointed subverted when Jon suffers sexual assault in the form of an unwanted kiss (while unconscious) and being partly stripped by Leona Tyrell.
  • Altar Diplomacy: A common theme in the story. While Jon and Sansa’s match is based on love, there is a harsh political aspect to it, which is a major theme in the story. Jon also suggests this to Asha Greyjoy as a way of cementing her power in the Iron Islands.
  • Amazon Chaser: When Sansa demonstrates her knife throwing skills, Jon gets so aroused he kicks the equally awestruck Arya out of the room so he and Sansa can have sex.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Satin Flowers
  • Animal Motifs: Like in the series, the sigils of the various Houses are often cited, and come into play in a literal manner, such as with Daenerys’s dragons and the direwolves of House Stark.
  • Animal Eye Spy: Arya employs this to a devastatingly effective level.
    • In one of the sweeter moments of the story, while away at Pyke, Jon wargs into Ghost (whom he'd left behind on Dragonstone with a pregnant Sansa) to look in on his wife and see her.
  • Anti-Hero: Arya Stark
  • Ascended Extra: Many characters who didn't have POV characters in canon are given central roles and POV chapters, such as Margaery Tyrell and Carallen Smallwood.
    • The character of Anais, at first simply appearing to be a maid, is revealed to actually be Arya Stark in disguise.
    • Nani, at first a Dothraki maid that Daenerys assigns to Sansa, turns out to in fact be a celebrated healer and midwife who provides much-needed medical care and counsel to Sansa.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Sansa delivers a couple to Jon.
  • Ass Kicking Equals Authority: Daenerys’s control of the Seven Kingdoms is asserted through winning the War of the Dawn. Sansa’s control of the North comes from beating the Boltons. Asha Greyjoy finally cements the her hold on the Iron Islands when her people witness her beating Victarion in a one on one fight.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Sansa’s wedding dress.
  • Ax-Crazy: Victarion literally becomes this.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Played with.
    • Jon's excitement over Sansa's possible pregnancy turns to horror when it is revealed that she is actually being poisoned..
    • The birth scene, for an admittedly long-awaited birth, is far from pretty or magical. The more gruesome and uncomfortable aspects of pregnancy are not shied away from either.
    • Pregnancy is not portrayed as a magical time, despite the child being eagerly awaited.
    • While the ending has shades of this, the characters still clearly suffer from a lot of the demons of their past.
  • Back from the Dead: A few examples, both literal and figurative.
    • Jon Snow, reborn by Melisandre's magic as Jon Targaryen
    • Lady Stoneheart is mentioned, but she was executed by Sansa prior to the events of the story.
    • Arya Stark, sort of. She was assumed dead for the first several chapters, though it is never confirmed. As it turns out she's been disguising herself and hiding her identity for years, most recently masquerading as the maid Anais in order to watch over Sansa.
    • Numerous characters who are dead don't exactly come back. However, during one portion of the story, Sansa has hallucinations of several dead characters including Ned Stark, Lady Stoneheart, Robb Stark, Petyr Baelish, and her son, Eddie.
    • Tyrion Lannister in the sequel.
  • Badass Boast: Jon, Daenerys, and Arya have some incredible ones.
    • Jon, to the High Sparrow:
    “High Sparrow, you are aware that I’ve faced the Others, yes?”
    “Yes.”
    Jon snorted. “Well, they were far more intimidating than you, your seven gods, and your seven hells. I can also be more intimidating than all of those things. Would you like me to prove it?”
  • Badass Family: The Starks, Targaryens, Martells, Tyrells, Greyjoys, Mormonts… Essentially every major family.
  • Badass Grandpa: Barristan and Brynden Tully
  • Battle Trophy:
    • Asha wears the golden kraken cloak of her vanquished Uncle Euron, who claimed that as a woman, she wasn’t strong enough to carry the weight of The Iron Islands
    • In a figurative sense, Sansa takes one from Roslin Frey, reclaiming her mother’s pearl clips from her after Roslin was found guilty. Sansa was also given a bunch of Roslin’s possessions.
  • Bi the Way:
    • In canon Arianne Martell is mostly drawn to men, having relationships with Daemon Sand and Arys Oakheart, among others, and notes a weakness for handsome men. In the fic, she ends up in a relationship with Val, but also shows an attractions to Jon and Sansa. During one scene, when she and Val are having sex and covertly observing Jon and Sansa in the act, they argue over which is hotter.
    • Daenerys Targaryen has had relationships with both men and women in canon. Here she has a relationship with Podrick Payne, but it's implied that she might have some attraction to Sansa.
    • Satin Flowers, much to Jon's surprise, as Jon had assumed Satin was simply gay.
    • In canon Val had an affair with Jarl. She went on to have an affair with Jon Snow, and is still attracted to him, but falls for Arianne, with whom she has a passionate affair.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Jon, toward Arya, Sam, and Daenerys. Willas towards Margaery.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Marq Piper and The High Sparrow.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: To less than stellar results. Jon has guards, who rarely do their jobs well and lead to him simply handling the situation himself.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Tormund Giantsbane
  • Break the Cutie: Sansa, Arya, Lynette Rivers, Carallen Smallwood
  • Break the Haughty: Roslin Frey
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Not exactly, but Jon does manage to make one character piss himself from fear
  • Broken Bird: Sansa, Arya, and Carallen are perfect examples.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Sansa has moments of this towards both Jon and Robb. She comes to resent how Robb didn’t trade for her. She later finds out about a moment of weakness in Jon’s past that causes her to have an outburst.
    • Jon feels this way towards both Eddard and Robb, seeing how they failed their families.
    • The Most Devout and the Sparrows end up feeling this towards The High Sparrow.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Played with. The main pairing in the story is Jon and Sansa.
    • Jon and Sansa were raised as half-siblings, but embrace their status as cousins with ease, having never been particularly close as children. It is established that Jon and Sansa don't exactly relate to one another as siblings even before they begin their romance. Jon reacts with disgust at the idea of having a romantic relationship with Arya, whom he was far closer to, and clearly sees the relationships he has with Sansa and Arya as entirely different. Arya feels some initial squick over it, but eventually learns to reconcile her feelings.
    • One of Sansa's more horrific hallucinations involves her older brother, Robb, taunting and sexually assaulting her as a manifestation of her fears that she was secretly unloved by her family and seen as nothing more than a sexual object and a pretty face.
  • Bully Hunter: Jon, Arya, Loreza and Dorea Sand, Daenerys, and Margaery.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Edmure Tully
    • Sansa Stark
    • Victarion Greyjoy
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Jon does this, in a fashion, to a vision of Eddard that he sees.
  • Celibate Hero: Barristan Selmy
  • Chekhov M.I.A.: Arya and Nymeria
  • Child Soldiers: Jon, Arya, Sansa, The Mormonts, Daenerys…
  • The Chosen One: Daenerys
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: This is Westeros, after all. Some of it is even rather friendly.
  • Cliffhanger: A lot of the chapters end with this.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Numerous examples onscreen and off, physical, mental, emotional, and sexual.
    • Arya Stark: does not hesitate to torture the shit out of people who have harmed Sansa.
    • Petyr Baelish sadistically and continuously abused Sansa, raping her, exploiting her, beating her, exposing her to dangerous situations (including forcing her to brave cold weather in skimpy outfits when pregnant, nearly causing her to miscarry), and playing sick, twisted headgames with her.
    • The Faith does this to Carallen Smallwood and Sansa
    • It's implied that Sansa suffered this at the hands of some of the Vale Lords.
  • Continuation Fic
  • Consummate Liar: Sansa Stark, Roslin Frey, Margaery Tyrell, and others.
  • Cool Uncle: Ser Brynden Tully.
  • Corrupt Church: The High Sparrow is an abusive monster who ended up betraying the populist aims of the movement that put him in power, and tried to enact several conspiracies in order to regain some political power.
  • Costume Porn: Lots and lots of it. The discussion of the importance of dressing well as a political tool becomes a plot point.
  • Courtly Love: The characters often joke about it, though it is both subverted and played straight. Edmure tries to play the courtly lover to Margaery. Jon and Sansa have shades of this, with Sansa making Jon favors and handkerchiefs, and Jon’s manners towards her. Gendry makes some rebuffed attempts at this to Arya. Val tries at this with Arianne. At the same time, there are major subversions of this, with the gallant-seeming Marq Piper turning out to be a villain, some parts of Sansa and Jon’s relationship, Arya rejecting these overtures from Gendry in favor of a less traditional relationship, Leona’s obsession with Jon, and the overall commentary by several characters about the whole system more or less being a lie.
  • Critical Staffing Shortage: The Palace Guards and Daenerys’s Small Council
  • Culture Clash: It’s implied that this is one of Daenerys’s main difficulties as Queen of Westeros, as well as one of the problems that has plagued Westeros for generations. Jon in particular worries about this when it comes to exposing Tormund Giantsbane to the court. Finding a way to help move past this issue is a major theme.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Jon’s initial reaction to Roslin, though he goes back on this somewhat. Also, Arya’s approach to people who threaten her family
  • Cycle of Revenge: Played with. Sansa perpetuates this with the Freys, which ends up biting her in the ass with Roslin. However, aside from that, she, Daenerys, and Jon all seem pretty determined to break the cycle.
  • Deadly Decadent Court: King’s Landing used to be this, and there are some who seem interested in restoring that. The main characters try to resist those efforts. Roslin Frey also lives a particularly decadent lifestyle.
  • Dead Guy Junior
    • Sansa names her first child after Eddard Stark, nicknaming him "Eddie"
    • When pregnant with their first child, Jon and Sansa discuss the names Robb, for Robb Stark, and Aemon, for Maester Aemon, if they have a boy. In the sequel, it is revealed that they have two sons with those names..
  • Demoted to Dragon: Subverted. Sansa goes from being a queen in her own right to being a lady, and a princess, though she does this willingly and happily. And ironically in terms of her power: as a queen, she was a chronically abused, miserable prisoner of her sadistic and exploitive puppet-master, Petyr Baelish, and was essentially miserable the entire time. Her decision to give up her crown partially serves as her motivation to get rid of Baelish. Later, it is as a courtier to Daenerys that Sansa becomes one of the most powerful political figures in Westeros, serving as a top advisor to the Targaryen Empire, being able to manipulate other Great Houses, direct the court of the Iron Throne, and form alliances and connections that help consolidate the power in Westeros.
  • Divided We Fall: A pretty common theme. One of the main goals of the characters is consolidating the power in Westeros and unifying the various Great Houses in order to create a more stable government and a more lasting peace.
  • Door Stopper: It’s longer than several of the books in the series.
  • Domestic Abuse:
    • A source of guilt and angst for Barristan, over the abuse Queen Rhaella suffered at the hands of King Aerys. When Jon comes to him seeking advice on how to settle a fight with Sansa, Barristan uncomfortably reflects that the common advice to Jon would be to beat his wife. He does not voice this observation.
    • Jon fears this may end up being Margaery's fate when she marries Edmure.
  • Dragon Rider: Daenerys. Jon becomes one full time over the course of the story as well.
  • Dying Clue: Marq Piper’s doll.
  • Easily Forgiven: Sansa decides to bury the hatchet with the Tyrells despite Margaery dropping her like a hot potato after her marriage to Tyrion, and the family framing her for regicide. She essentially does this to take advantage of what they have to offer her politically, though she goes on to form a genuine friendship with Margaery.
  • Evil Chancellor: Littlefinger.
  • Evil Counterpart: Roslin, to Sansa. Victarion, to Jon.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Ghost tends to be a good judge of character.
  • Evil Is Dumb: Marq Piper and Victarion Greyjoy
  • Evil Matriarch: Roslin Frey Tully and Cersei Lannister
  • Explicit Content: The story is about 30% smut, and gleefully so. After several chapters without a sex scene, there is compensation in the form of chapters with thousands of words devoted to a marathon sex session. The violence is similarly explicit.
  • Fallen Princess: Sansa and Arya Stark, Margaery Tyrell, Daenerys Targaryen, Myrcella Baratheon, and Shireen Baratheon. Oddly enough, in many cases, this ends happily, with Myrcella finding a quiet, happy life in Dorne, Shireen ruling the Stormlands in peace, Margaery finding happiness with her court life, Arya finding peace and a calling ruling in the North, Daenerys taking the Iron Throne, and Sansa finding happiness as Jon's wife and an advisor to Daenerys.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Arya Stark: violence and anger control issues.
    • Daenerys: Chronic Hero Syndrome and poor impulse control
    • The High Sparrow: religious mania and bigotry
    • Jon Snow: Some Genre Blindness and poor PR skills
    • Roslin Frey: selfishness
    • Sansa Stark: pessimism and temper, her difficulty accepting love.
    • Victarion Greyjoy: maniacal devotion to tradition
  • Field Promotion: Sansa goes from a prisoner and suspected criminal to being one of the top royal advisors and insiders.
  • Fingore: Sansa, during a stress-induced breakdown, ends up breaking her fingers by pounding her hands against stone. Only the intervention of Ghost keeps her from doing permanent damage.
  • Flower Motif: Winter roses are a pretty significant romantic symbol for Jon and Sansa. Also, the gold roses of House Tyrell.
  • Foreshadowing: The poison, the troubles with the Faith and the Ironborn, Jon's breakdown, among other things.
  • Four-Star Badass: Jon and Daenerys.
  • Freudian Trio: Daenerys (id), Sansa (ego), and Jon (superego)
  • Frontline General: Jon and Daenerys. To a lesser extent, Sansa, who served as more of a figurehead.
  • The Fundamentalist:
    • The High Sparrow, for the Faith of the Seven
    • Victarion Greyjoy, for the Old Way
  • Get Ahold Of Yourself Man: Daenerys to Jon, Daenerys to Arya, Jon to Arya, Sansa to Jon, Jon to Sansa. There are a lot of these moments.
  • Glorified Sperm Donor: Marq Piper to Lynette
  • Good Shepherd: Various members of the Most Devout
  • Gossip Evolution: Sansa's trial is based on this. Later exploited by Loreza and Dorea Sand to help Sansa and Jon identify her rivals.
  • Guile Hero: Sansa, Arianne, and Margaery
  • Had To Be Sharp: Basically everyone, in order to survive the war, famine, winter, and upheaval of the last several years.
  • Happily Married: Jon and Sansa. Their marriage involves a ton of struggle, but from outside sources. They are extremely devoted to one another and rely on each other for support.
  • Harmful to Minors: One of the major themes of the story as well. Nearly all the main characters were saddled with awful traumas and immense responsibility at a young age. Daenerys was married off, became a khaleesi, and had to lead a revolution and win a war during her teenage years. Jon joined the Watch, led an army, and literally died. Sansa was subjected to abuse, imprisonment, rape, open warfare, and saw her only child murdered in front her by the age of nineteen.
  • Heir Club for Men: Westeros, aside from Dorne, is rigidly patriarchal.
    • It's mentioned that the idea of Jon taking the throne instead of Daenerys for this reason was proposed, something Jon rejected.
    • Asha Greyjoy's hold on power is threatened by this, despite her triumphs in warfare and responsible ruling.
    • Jon purposely seeks out to change this regarding the Iron Throne, pushing for egalitarian gender laws so that if his first child is a daughter, she will be his heir.
  • Heir-In-Law: Subverted. The Northern Lords are not too fond of yet another lord trying to take over for House Stark. Upon marrying Sansa, Jon is specified as "Lord Consort" of Winterfell. He doesn't exactly mind.
  • Hell Hole Prison: Pretty much every prison in Westeros.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Jon.
  • Heroic Albino: Ghost, and to, a lesser extent, Daenerys.
  • Heroic Bastard:
    • Jon Snow
    • Gendry
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Daenerys, in order to gain full control of her dragons and win the War of the Dawn, performed blood magic that renders her infertile once and for all.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Poor Sansa.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: A couple of examples.
    • Daenerys and Missandei
    • Jon and Samwell Tarly
    • Arya Stark and Lyra Mormont
    • Sansa Stark and Myranda, to a certain extent.
    • Daenerys and Sansa are developing into this.
    • Sansa and Margaery as well.
  • The High Queen: Daenerys
  • History Repeats: A few examples.
    • The Northern Lords are not too happy when Sansa takes ill from poison while in Jon's custody, noting the problems that occurred last time a Targaryen Prince held a daughter of House Stark
    • There is a certain parallel between the original Targaryen Trio of Aegon I, Visenya, and Rhaenys and the main trio of the story, with Daenerys taking the 'Aegon' role as the figurehead and conqueror, Jon taking the "Visenya" role as the military ace and law-enforcer, and Sansa taking the "Rhaenys" role as the political and diplomatic mastermind.
    • Cersei in the books cuckolded her husband and through a combination of power-lust, narcissism, paranoia, ruthless scheming, rage, and adultery caused a succession crisis and engulfed the Seven Kingdoms in war. Roslin Frey cuckolded her husband and through a combination of power-lust, narcissism, paranoia, ruthless scheming, rage, and adultery nearly caused a succession crisis and engulfed the Seven Kingdoms in war.
  • Honor Before Reason: Something Jon recognizes Eddard Stark being guilty of. He resolves to find his own path and moral code.
  • Hope Spot: Sansa is especially wary of this.
  • A House Divided: The Greyjoys.
  • Humiliation Conga:
    • Sansa, who is systematically abused and slut-shamed for years on end. Even after finding her Prince Charming, a happy marriage, and a semblance of peace for herself, she is still pretty routinely humiliated.
    • Edmure Tully. Publicly cuckolded, scorned by his family, and exposed for his extravagance.
    • Roslin, upon being found out.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!:
    • Edmure
    • Victarion
    • Roslin
  • Identity Amnesia: Arya
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Daenerys, in allowing Sansa's trial despite the obviousness of how trumped up the charges are. It doesn't come up until the sequel, and in Tricks is framed as a wise decision. The next story goes out of its way to explain how it could have been a catastrophically stupid one.
    • Marq Piper, carrying the doll around with him.
    • Jeyne Westerling, for approaching Sansa
    • Arianne rushing into Jon's chambers.
    • Jon, chasing after a figure in Sansa's window.
    • The High Sparrow, in continuing to try and target Sansa for cruelty and humiliation, and thinking he could convert Jon, despite the continuous warnings he'd gotten from both Daenerys and Jon not to do it.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die:
    • Jon feels this way about Ygritte, Rickon, and Arya. And while Sansa didn't die, he feels guilt over the hardships she's faced, feeling he should have protected her.
    • Sansa feels this way about her son, Eddie.
    • Daenerys regarding Drogo.
    • Arya about Robb, her mother, and Eddie.
    • Gendry regarding Arya
    • Asha regarding Theon
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: Subverted. Sansa's wedding dress has a ridiculously long train and absurdly voluminous sleeves. Her jewelry is immensely elaborate. However, a few tricks including a detachable train and sleeves, and carefully secure clasps allow her a way around this.
  • In the Blood: Jon in particular fears this regarding himself, being the product of the inbred House Targaryen.
  • Infant Immortality: So very, very averted. Both Rickon Stark and Robert Arryn were killed prior to the events of the story. A major driving event in the story is also the brutal murder of Sansa's three-year-old son, Eddie Stark Arryn, which Sansa witnessed. She is required to present his skeleton as evidence at her trial, and has frequent, tear-jerking memories of her son.
  • Inferred Survival: Sandor Clegane and Varys
  • In Love with Love:
    • It's implied that this is the case with both of Edmure's marriages
    • Sansa seems to view her old infatuation with Joffrey this way. Her wariness of this makes it difficult for her to come to terms with her feelings for Jon.
    • Carallen Smallwood and Leona Tyrell may have both felt this way regarding Jon.
  • Ironic Nickname:
    • Sansa has a few. There is "The Red Wolf", given to her for her triumphs as a fierce warrior. She's the first to admit that she's not much of a fighter, hated every minute of battle, cried the entire time, and shudders at violence. "Baelish's Bitch" was another. She ended up killing him.
    • Jon likes it when Sansa calls him "Jon Snow", even if his name is now officially "Jon Targaryen." He finds it gratifying to think that a bastard could end up in bed with a lady like her. It later takes on a bitter ring to it temporarily after Sansa calls him a bastard during a fight.
  • It Is Not Your Time: Sansa has a number of hallucinations that imply this.
  • Kangaroo Court: Daenerys manages to improve this. But the beginning of the story is a prime example.
  • Kick the Dog: The High Sparrow is especially vicious about this regarding Sansa.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Jon towards Roslin, though he has misgivings and lessens her punishment somewhat. Though it is implied that this is based more on principle than sympathy for her.
  • Kissing Cousins: Jon and Sansa. Normally not such a big deal, given that cousin marriage are the norm in Westeros. Made a little more complicated by the fact that they were raised as half-siblings.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Ser Barristan, Ser Loras Tyrell, Ser Garlan Tyrell, Ser Podrick Payne, Ser Daemon Sand, Brienne of Tarth. Sansa sees Jon as this, even though he isn't technically a knight. Subverted with Marq Piper.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: It's implied that Shireen, Sansa, and Asha Greyjoy were all pretty happy to bend the knee.
  • The Lady's Favor: Sansa makes one for Jon when he duels Stafford Pryor.
  • The Lancer: Jon to Daenerys
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Roose and Ramsay Bolton, the Frey clan, Roslin Frey, Wallace and Damon Coldwater, Rhys Moore, and Marq Piper
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Arianne and Arya both have moments like this. To a lesser extent, so do Jon and Daenerys.
  • Little Miss Badass: Arya, Daenerys, to a lesser extent, Sansa, Loreza, and Dorea Sand.
  • Lost Technology: The plumbing in Dragonstone
  • Mad Love: Leona to Jon. Marq Piper to Roslin.
  • The Magnificent: So many examples. Daenerys and Jon's lists of styles and titles become a running gag. Then there is Tormund Giantsbane...
  • Mama Bear:
    • Sansa kills two people who threaten her son.
    • Daenerys is intensely protective of her own as well.
    • Anya Waynwood is similarly protective of Sansa.
    • Ellaria Sand has shades of this as well.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Roslin.
  • Master Poisoner
    • Tyene Sand, the heir to her father Prince Oberyn the Red Viper. Though she uses her skills to heal someone
    • Roslin manages to track down and use a poison so subtle and rare it is discovered entirely by accident.
    • Littlefinger, who used his skills to help Sansa build up a resistance to any and all poisons.
  • Marital Rape License:
    • The Northern Lords fear Jon may be using this. He isn't.
    • Jon is fairly conscious of this, being very careful not to exploit this.
    • Sansa has a number of hangups about this, with it sometimes affecting how she relates to Jon. She doesn't view her relations with Harry as rape despite clearly not having fond memories of it, likely due to this trope. She also views Tyrion with Rose-tinted glasses thanks to this. Though that changes in the sequel
    • It's implied that this may have characterized Edmure and Roslin's marriage, as Roslin mentions being petrified and crying during the wedding, and Edmure not noticing.
  • Mentor Archetype: Jon sees Barristan as potentially playing this role. Podrick sees Brienne this way.
  • Mind Rape:
    • Petyr to Sansa, along with literal rape.
    • It's implied that the House of Black and White inflicts this on Arya
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Marq Piper
  • Minored In Ass Kicking: Sansa, very reluctantly. She prefers her role as a Guile Hero.
  • Mood Whiplash
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: Something Jon in particular takes issue with.
  • Motive Rant: Roslin Frey gives a pretty epic one.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Daenerys, Jon, Edmure, and Sansa all have moments of this.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "The Red Wolf" "The Iron Kracken" "The Titan of Tarth" "The Mother of Dragons" "The Silver Prince."
  • Necromancy: Jon was brought back this way.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Or, in this case, never bring an axe to a dragon fight.
  • Never Found the Body: In Arya's case.
  • Never Say That Again: Jon, regarding insults towards Sansa. The High Sparrow doesn't listen. it doesn't end well.
  • Nice Guy: Quite a few.
    • As in the books, Jon Snow is extremely protective of the downtrodden, dutiful, a strong believer in justice, brave, and kind. He is the extremely supportive right-hand man to Daenerys, a devoted friend to Sam, a passionate and gentle lover to Sansa, a strong leader and mentor to his men, a progressive thinker, and a doting brother to Arya.. His kindness, decency, patience and overwhelming love towards Sansa helps her heal from her years of abuse. He goes out of his way to provide for former members of the Watch and for disadvantaged people such as Lynette Rivers, Asha Greyjoy's sons, and Nathen Cerwyn. He constantly questions oppressive social attitudes and pushes for progress, and is empathetic and supportive of those around him, almost always putting the needs of others before himself.
    • Believing Arya to be dead, Gendry concentrates on protecting Sansa in order to honor Arya's memory.
    • Barristan Selmy is a stern but understanding and patient mentor figure to Jon and Daenerys.
    • Brynden Tully is similar to Barristan, but for Sansa and Edmure.
    • Samwell Tarly, the ever the devoted friend to Jon.
    • Patrek Mallister, the Tyrell brothers, Davos Seaworth, Tormund Giantsbane, Satin Flowers, Edric Dayne, among others.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Marq Piper by Arya's hand. Victarion Greyjoy is given a mortal wound by Asha, before being burnt to cinders by Jon and Rhaegal.
  • Noble Fugitive: Arya
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Ghost, the dragons, Nymeria
  • Not Quite Dead: Arya Stark and Tyrion Lannister in the sequel.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Daenerys's approach to Sansa's trial. Sansa's approach to handling Arya. Some of Jon's actions on Pyke.
  • Not So Different:
    • Sansa and Roslin, given the two of them were both forced into unhappy marriages and overlooked by their families.
    • Sansa and Daenerys, given their histories of abuse
    • Sansa and Carallen Smallwood. Sansa sees a LOT of herself in Carallen, prompting her to have an outburst towards Jon.
    • Sansa and Arya.
    • Jon and Catelyn, as he reflects on how he might have felt about Eddie, Sansa's child from another marriage.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Sansa is a master of this. Jon uses it from time to time. It's implied that Tormund Giantsbane does this as well. Nani the Maid is in fact Nani the Medical Mastermind.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Merys and Nani
  • Only Child Syndrome: Kind of a majorly pressing matter for Houses Stark and Targaryen.
  • Order vs. Chaos: The main plot tends to revolve around the characters fighting this exact war and maintaining order.
  • Parental Abandonment: Jon, Sansa, and Arya all feel this way regarding Eddard and Catelyn. Jon fears becoming guilty of the same thing with his own children.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Margaery and Edmure's marriage looks like it may turn out to be this.
  • Politeness Judo: As in canon, Sansa is a master of this. But by the time of Tricks, she's perfected it to a magnificent level. She's able to make even Tormund Giantsbane act like a gentleman.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Sansa seems to have an odd Achilles Heel when it comes to Arya. Jon struggles with this in general. Sansa is the odd exception.
  • Post-Rape Taunt: Littlefinger was a master of these, often leaving Sansa a complete wreck. It's no wonder she had a complete breakdown.
  • Power Trio: Daenerys, Jon, and Sansa
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Ironborn and the Dothraki.
  • Puppy Love: Jon and Sansa's relationship is seen this way at first by Arya
  • Rape and Revenge: Sansa to Petyr.
  • Rape by Proxy: A common tactic of Petyr Baelish's, often forcing or tricking Sansa into situations where she felt compelled to sleep with various men to gain political support and keep her son safe.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: A concept that Sansa tries to get Jon to warm to, with varying success.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Jon delivers an absolute devastating one to the High Sparrow.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Quite a few, actually. Dany, Jon, and Sansa all take turns assuming this role, along with Barristan, Arianne, Val, Tormund Giantsbane, Asha Greyjoy, Anya Waynwood, and Edmure Tully.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Played with and addressed with meta-commentary regarding Sansa and Daenerys. Both of them have shades of both sides, but are cast exclusively in one role (Daenerys as Red, Sansa as Blue). They acknowledge and exploit this fact.
  • Rescue The Princess: Completely subverted with Sansa's trial.
  • Royal Inbreeding: The Targaryens, something Sansa worries about. Though the Starks have some history with that as well. Of course, the latest union responsible for providing the future of the royal family is Jon and Sansa, Jon being a Stark-Targaryen, and Sansa being a Stark herself.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Daenerys, Jon, and Sansa.
  • Running Gag: Jokes about the volume of titles that the royals have.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: It's implied that Stannis served as this.
  • Second Love: Sansa for Jon. Podrick for Daenerys. Margaery for Edmure.
  • Secret Relationship: Jon and Sansa try at this.
  • Shameful Strip: Jon orders one for Roslin, but stops it just in time. The aspects of this are examined and rejected by the characters.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Jon, Sansa, Daenerys, Arya, and others.
  • Shipper on Deck: Daenerys for Jon and Sansa.
  • Show, Don't Tell: Partly responsible for the fic's length.
  • Sigil Spam
  • Slut-Shaming: Sansa's often a target for this. Carallen as well.
    • Stafford Pryor to Sansa, upon learning that she is Jon's mistress: “Lady Stark, I’ve read many accounts by Targaryens detailing their experiences riding dragons. But tell me, what it is like to have a dragon ride you? Do you plan on giving your favors to Drogon and Viserion as well? You’re a lady known for your generosity, after all, and I’m sure their mother could spare the coin.”
    • The High Sparrow attempts to break Sansa down by blaming her for her own rape.
    • Sansa's trial is basically a parade of this.
    • Carallen Smallwood, in how she is treated by her family and the court.
  • Smug Snake: Roslin Frey, Stafford Pryor, Damon Coldwater, Rhys Moore
  • Standard Royal Court: The setting for almost the entirety of the story.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: An overwhelmingly common attitude in Westeros. It causes trouble for both Daenerys and Asha. An attitude Sansa goes out of her way to exploit and play with, often playing the more traditional feminine role of hosting guests, sewing, wearing pretty clothes, planning parties, and "obeying", while secretly being one of the most powerful people in Westeros.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: According to Sansa herself, she had a brief period of this with Petyr.
  • Straw Misogynist: The High Sparrow and Victarion Greyjoy.
  • Succession Crisis: There is one in The Vale. There is nearly one in The North when Sansa is nearly killed, and the Iron Throne is similarly in peril. There are struggles over the control of the Iron Islands as well.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Like the books.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Satin Flowers
  • Tangled Family Tree: The Starks and Targaryens.
  • A Taste of Defeat: Sansa especially. Jon, Asha, Victarion, Edmure, and Daenerys as well.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Sansa had her first child at fifteen.
  • Textile Work Is Feminine: Sansa excels at it and helps Daenerys learn. One of Sansa's major ways of networking is holding sewing circles, and she makes a great deal of clothing for Jon, Daenerys, Arianne, and Arya
  • Thicker Than Water
  • Took a Level in Badass: Several characters.
    • A major part of Jon's arc is him accepting and growing into the role of a dragon rider.
    • Arya has become a full-fledged assassin and killer
    • Sansa learned to become decent with a blade and rode into battle
    • Daenerys's control of her dragons becomes absolute
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Roslin and The High Sparrow.
  • Torture Always Works: Played with.
  • Torture Technician: Arya
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Sansa — lemon cakes
  • The Trickster: Sansa, Roslin, and Jon.
  • Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: A common joke among the characters.
  • Tsundere: Daenerys and Arya.
  • Turbulent Priest: The High Sparrow
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • Daenerys's Unsullied
    • Patrek Mallister to Sansa.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: Sansa's outlook
  • Vicariously Ambitious: The Tyrells.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Littlefinger apparently really lost it near the end
    • Victarion Greyjoy, who is killed during a manic attack on Asha, after years of him psychologically fracturing.
    • The High Sparrow, who has basically become a fire-and-brimstone lunatic and ends up alienating his own followers
  • War Is Hell: Acknowledgment of this is one of the guiding motivations for the protagonists
  • Warrior Prince: Jon
  • Weapon of Choice:
    • Asha and her axe
    • Daenerys prefers the Dothraki arakh
    • Sansa and her throwing knives
  • Your Cheating Heart
    • Roslin is unfaithful to Edmure
    • Subverted with regards to Sansa. She wasn't cheating on Harry, she was raped.

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