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Fanfic / Winter Thorns Of Highgarden

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Winter Thorns of Highgarden is a Gender Flip Alternate Universe by Madrigal-in-training.

So, everyone knows the deal: the princess is kept locked away by the dragon, the knight falls for the princess, the knight slays the dragon, the princess marries the knight. But how is the story supposed to go when the princess herself is a dragon, her knight a bookish lordling and the greatest threat to their budding romance either the old nosy lady or the too honorable father with his big sword? Welll...


In which another Stark girl decides to elope with her Southern true love, who happens to be the quite sensible Willas Tyrell.


  • Abduction Is Love: Downplayed, the kidnapping is conducted with the bride's full consent.
  • Amazon Chaser: Margaery implies this about her eldest brother, claiming "the trousers did it".
  • Arranged Marriage: You can't deny giving a Stark bride to the future Lord Tyrell in exchange for food and other necessities against winter has shades of this.
  • Beneath Notice: Winterfell didn't really care about the kids doing their thing... which let said kids able to arrange a wedding and kidnapping right under everyone's nose.
  • Bridezilla: Downplayed and by proxy with Sansa, who wants her sister to be the perfect bride. She's rather well-intentioned and her efforts mainly appreciated.
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  • Didn't See That Coming: Westeros as a whole is stunned when bookish, chaste, sensible Willas Tyrell suddenly pulls an Oberyn and abducts a she-wolf for him to marry.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Poor Torrhen Karstark would have been a good husband for Lyarra. Unfortunately, he wasn't Willas Tyrell.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: When Loras Tyrell comes at Winterfell, Theon admits he would totally make an exception to his gender preference for such a Pretty Boy.
  • Gender Flip: Here, Jon Snow was born Lyarra Snow. Ghost also is female.
  • Generation Xerox: Lyarra is basically Lyanna reborn in her life choices.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: One of Willas Tyrell's major charm points - for Lyarra - is the fact he breeds dogs. Also, he has no problems whatsoever with Lyarra bringing her direwolf in Highgarden.
  • History Repeats: A daughter of House Stark falls in love with a Southern heir and ultimately elopes with him. Still, precautions were taken to ensure there wouldn't be another war over it.
    • This same Stark daughter disguised herself as a mystery knight for a tourney, which aroused the Southern heir's interest.
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    • House Tyrell ending up in a nuptial arrangement with House Targaryen, but this time, the Tyrell doesn't run the Targaryen away from the marital bed.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Robb Stark is very much unhappy about Lyarra falling in love and deciding to wed. Oh, he doesn't get violent over it, but he certainly broods and decides to loathe Willas by principle.
  • Marry for Love: Willas really wants to make Lyarra his wife, anything else - her bringing an alliance with the North or being a Targaryen - is tangential.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Lyarra the willful Outdoorsy Gal and Willas the Genius Cripple.
  • Overprotective Dad: Ned Stark's knee-jerk reaction after learning how Lyarra eloped is running South to introduce Willas Tyrell to his Valyrian sword. He doesn't do it because it would be kinslaying, but there is so much you can do without falling into this...
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Lyarra Snow is still Samwell Tarly's best friend.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Robb is shaping up to become one. He agrees to let his precious sister marry the man she loves - in spite of moping very much over it - but tries to gain the most he can from the upcoming alliance to ensure the North will prosper.
  • Shipper on Deck: Sansa is overjoyed about her bastard sister's romance and gleefully dives into the abduction and wedding's preparations.
  • Skewed Priorities: A rather sweet example with Mace, who cares less about the consequences for House Tyrell's reputation when Willas marries a bastard than the fact he wasn't here for his eldest son's most important day.
  • Sneeze Cut: Arya firmly and openly doubts the existence of a boy she would like to marry someday. Back in Dorne, Beric Dondarrion briefly worries about his squire Edric Dayne catching a cold because he sneezes so much.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Lyarra as the Squire of Quills.
  • Textile Work Is Feminine: Sansa cut Lyarra's trousseau entirely by herself.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Cat and her father are quite incensed when they learn the bastard was picked by a perfectly good bachelor instead of Sansa or Arya.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Lyarra is very much a skilled rider and wears trousers because it's pratical. When she comes back at Winterfell, she happily obliges to a sleepover with her sisters - with make-up and gossip, no less.
  • Uptown Girl: As heir to the Lordship of the Reach, Willas is this for a bastard girl, even one from noble stock. Except her Secret Legacy means a reversal of their roles, since a princess is certainly above a lord.
  • Villain Respect: Or rather, Morally Iffy Politician Respect. When Tywin Lannister learns Robb Stark managed to both rid himself from a bastard sister to support and secure a wealthy House as ally, he's genuinely impressed.

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