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Fanfic / Were We Different Men

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"Were we different men... I think the whole of this - the kingdom, the houses, the people - would have fallen apart. Perhaps not so quickly. Perhaps it would have taken time, time in which old resentments were built up, bad blood simmered to a boil, slights, insults or even great wrongs going unresolved among us, until one day..."
Oberyn Martell

In the aftermath of Rickard Stark's execution, Barristan Selmy and Jaime Lannister, having grown tired of serving a Mad King, break their oaths as Kingsguard and help Brandon Stark (who has survived the death trap Aerys put him in) to escape from Kings Landing. This changes things. A lot. You can find it here or (if you have an account in


  • Arc Words: Count how many times characters use some variation of choosing to be better people, either than those who came before or than their own past selves.
  • Character Death: Hoster Tully, Tywin Lannister, Catelyn Stark... Many canon characters die well before they do in the books.
  • Character Development: And how! A lot of characters end being VERY differents of their canon selves (though is easy to see that they're still the same person).
  • Death by Childbirth: Catelyn dies due to circumstances caused by giving birth to her son (who also dies).
  • For Want of a Nail: Since Jaime Lannister broke his oath and Aerys called for his head, Tywin joins the war from the beginning.
    • Varys obliquely reveals that he frayed the leather straps holding Brandon Stark, which led to his survival and later escape.
  • Friend to All Children: Robert. When Varys meets him in the aftermath of King's Landing's destruction, the first thing he sees is him playing with a lot of children, some of whom are even riding him. This is what cements Varys' decision to support Robert's reign.
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  • The Good King: After seeing the consequences of Aerys burning King's Landing, Robert swears to himself that he will become this.
  • Good Shepherd: The new Septons and Septas surged after the war, as opposed to the old ones that had supported the Targaryens.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: How Brandon Stark kills Rhaegar.
  • Heroic Lineage: The Stark family. Oh gods, the Stark family! Remember the tale of The Last Hero? That was Brandon Stark (also known as Brandon "The Constructor") whose story is fairly expanded in the fic. They have been ruling the North since humans have lived there. Aeron Stark (a brother of Theon Stark "the Hungry Wolf") founded what would become Pentos (named Pendanaran before the Valyrian invasion). The last Stark ruler of Pendanaran, Andar Stark died slaying a Valyrian dragonlord, before being slayed by that dragonlord's dragon. Then one of his sons, Agnar Stark, retrieved his father's sword "Winterfyre" and slew the dragon that had killed his father, and three more, along with their masters, before the battle for Pendanar was unquestionably lost, and he accepted the Valyrians' terms. The Valyrian dragonlord who led the invasion (Aerion Targaryen) was so impressed with his pure badassery that allowed Agnar to marry his eldest daughter and granted him a seat among the city's first magisters. Nowadays we have Brandon Stark who, knowing that the Others will return soon, is attempting to become as much as his ancestors as possible and is turning the North into a military power.
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  • Hub City: Dawnsbreak, the new capital after King's Landing is destroyed. As a sign of the new Westeros, it has several sectors for each of the Kingdoms.
  • Hypocrite: The High Septon and the Most Devout, convened in Oldtown after the destruction of King's Landing. They demand the Crown to spend a lot of money to rebuild the Great Sept, but they do not use their own wealth for that (nor for feeding those people who have lost all means of support, something else the Crown is doing). They proclaim peace, but support the Black Knights rebellion against the Crown. They preach against sin, but each and every of them are corrupt to the eyebrows and have illicit sexual relationships.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite all the major historical changes, Lyanna Stark still dies in the Tower of Joy.
    • The Greyjoys rebel again in an attempt to become independent. However, the instigator is Euron Greyjoy (Balon died in the Great Rebellion) after he kills his own father, and it is more of a civil war between Rodrik Greyjoy's supporters (who remain loyal to the Crown) and Euron Greyjoy's, that takes place at the same time as the invasion of Westeros by the Three Daughters (who are allied to the latter).
    • Cersei marries Robert. Their marriage is, however, happier than in canon.
  • Like a Son to Me: Jon Arryn all but says this in regards to Ned and Robert, bellowing the following at Yohn Royce when he called the banners:
  • Obfuscating Insanity/Obfuscating Stupidity: Lord Wyman Manderly fakes being senile to help draw out spies and ensure everyone underestimates him. He does this with great effect with a Pentoshi merchant that becomes scared of Wyman's mummery.
  • Odd Friendship: After a rocky start, Lysa and Tyrion, to the point Lysa thinks of Tyrion as her kid (since she married Jaime when Tyrion was barely 8).
  • Title Drop: It happens in a conversation between Denys Arryn and Oberyn Martell, about if the Seven Kingdoms would have survived the invasion of the Myr-Tyrosh-Lys alliance if they're were different men.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Cersei. Having a more supportive husband did a lot to get the worst out of her, and her personal septa finally allows her to put aside the fears caused by the prophecy and apologize to Tyrion for all the bad things she did to him.

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