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YMMV / Robb Returns

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  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: This was many fans' reaction to Mace Tyrell's death, up until that point he was a Pride-driven Know-Nothing Know-It-All, but thanks to the awesome act that led to his death, and his admitting to Willas on his deathbed that he was wrong, and passing on some important information as well, many fans were saddened by his death.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Many people disliked Jaime losing his Trial by Combat because it implied that he was wrong about killing Aerys (even if Robert said he wasn't fighting on Aerys' behalf, it didn't change the fact that Jaime had invoked it precisely because of that). In chapter 134, Barristan Selmy acknowledged that Jaime did the right thing that day, even if that means breaking his oath.
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  • Better Than Canon: Several readers have commented that they prefer Robb Returns to canon, with some admitting that, when reading other ASOIAF works, they sometimes think that certain characters wouldn't act like that... only to remember that they are thinking of what the Robb Returns versions would or wouldn't do, rather than the canon versions.
  • Broken Base: Despite the fic's popularity, there are some issues that don't sit well with all the fans.
    • Robert and Jaime's fight in chapter 120. Some fans thought it was a Moment of Awesome for the former, while other fans thought it was undeserved, and the reason behind his overwhelming victory was a magic weapon doing most of the work rather than his own skill, with some reviewer even compared it to Aerys choosing "Fire" as his champion. And if you take the fight seriously as a Trial By Combat over the death of the Mad King (which Robert outright said he did not), it brought with it the Unfortunate Implications that the Kingsguard was in the right when they watched Aerys murder the Starks without trying to stop him, and the Jaime was in the wrong when he killed the Mad King rather than letting him burn King's Landing and its half a million inhabitants.
      • Of course, the former could be said to be part of the point, in that Stormbreaker was judging Jaime and finding him wanting, breaking him (along with his swords) in order to extract a confession - and perhaps Break the Haughty so, as in canon, Jaime can undergo Character Development.
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    • Same with Gerion Lannister confession that he only had his bastard daughter so Tywin doesn't realise that he has a long-term lover/paramour. The fans were not impressed since he left the mother with shame of having a bastard and the kid with shame of being bastard and poor life prospects. Plus both of them were at the mercy of his family.
      • Not to mention said lover, Allara who came up with the idea, despite knowing what it would mean for the kid and the mother.
    • The Adaptational Heroism of various characters was met with mixed reactions from the fanbase.
    • Some fans haven't taken well to the confirmation that Lyanna Stark was actually raped by Rhaegar Targaryen to produce Jon, told from Lyanna's spirit's own mouth to Robert in his dreams, as it goes against a popular opinion that Lyanna and Rhaegar were actually in love.
  • Fan Wank: Has this feeling. Mostly, the fanfic tends to elevate the Old Gods and the First Men.
    • Actually remember that the Old Gods were worshipped by the First Men, who fought against the Others in the Long Night, while all the other prominent religions (the Faith of the Seven and the Lord of Light) in the Books are native to Essos. And in this chapter it is shown that the Seven are taking an interest in the events, along with repeated suggestions (such as the movements of the Dothraki and a statement from the Old Gods) that there may be another front in Essos (the Grey Wastes, separated from the rest of Essos by the Five Forts, like the Wall separates the Seven Kingdoms from the lands Beyond the Wall).
      • That they come from Essos is not really an argument in the fic's favour, seeing as the tale of the Long Night and Azor Ahai is universal (Azor Ahai is even known under different names in different cultures), and the red priests are one of the only ones to stress the second coming of the Great Other, the night that never ends, and Azor Ahai. There is no reason why religions from Essos should be less prepared or less effective than the Old Gods.
      • However, chapter 138 does mention the red priests, and the Green Man himself believes that whatever resides beneath Hopemourne is the Great Other they speak of. There's also evidence that the god worshipped by the Faith of the Seven exists, meaning that the religions from Essos are also prepared. And whatever is coming from the Grey Wastes may also be related to the Great Other, as it is where Melisandre is directed to go, implying that it's less "Only the Old Gods are prepared" and more "The Old Gods and the Seven have Westeros covered, so Essos needs more help from the other gods".
    • Furthermore, the fanfic assumes everyone pre-Long Night worshipped the Old Gods, Ironborn and Reachmen included, when in canon it is more nuanced, with hints that the Ironborn's Drowned God and Storm God are an offshoot of the old faith of the First Men before they converted to the Old Gods, a dualistic religion centered on Sky and Sea, of which there are remnants throughout Westeros: the Lady of the Waves and the Lord of the Skies at the Three Sisters, the sea god and the goddess of the wind from the legend of Storm's End's building, etc. Likewise, the fic assumes Old Gods worship and First Men in the Reach, when canon had the more intriguing speculations that there may have already been men in the Reach before the First Men and that Garth Greehand may have been an old god of fertility. Finally, the fanfic tends to make the Old Gods more benevolent and gloss over the more creepier aspects of the religion, like how, as seen in Bran's vision in A Dance with Dragons, people used to practice Human Sacrifice in front of the heart trees.
      • On the other hand, it is also worth noting that while the Old Gods come across as relatively benevolent, their darker aspects are hinted at at various points: namely, Aemon Targaryen getting his sight back... which initially seems benevolent, until it becomes apparent that it's in exchange for the High Sparrow being blinded and driven insane. Likewise, Ramsay Snow dies to facilitate Robb's titular return. While both seem like Laser-Guided Karma, unlike the other case of equivalent exchange (when Patchface sacrificed himself in a bargain with the Old Gods to spare and heal Shireen), neither was a freely made bargain, and Ramsay's death was particularly horrible - even if he did probably deserve it.
      • Additionally, the properties of the Fist of Winter - specifically, what happens if you try to break an oath sworn on it - are... uncompromising, to say the least. Good Is Not Soft is the kindest interpretation.
      • Chapter 138 actually reveals that not everyone pre-Long Night worshipped the Old Gods, as the First Men themselves apparently didn't. They went around chopping down weirwood trees to make room for farmland, fought and killed the Children of the Forest (a war that shaped the very land of Westeros from the North to Dorne), and basically only stopped because they ran into the Others, who found that they could create wights out of the bodies of dead humans, resulting in the Others marching across Westeros and only being stopped by an alliance of the First Men and the Children of the Forest.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Some reviewers of the later chapters of the story complain about the lack of stakes, the heroes easily winning all the time and suffering no losses, and villains who were formidable in canon being dealt with extreme ease. Those problems have been there from the very beginning. The difference is that, since both the books and especially the show were rather dark settings in which most heroic characters ended up dying or undergoing severe traumatic experiences, and in contrast, many villanous characters thrived and suceded in their evil schemes led to a case of Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy, so reading a more optimistic story in which the heroes finally score the wins they deserve and villains get their karmic retribution felt very cathartic.

    But as the story progressed, the sense of catharsis began to wear off, and readers started to notice that the story is too good to the heroes and that there are almost no villanous characters either alive or active to stir up some conflict. This results in many chapters featuring nothing but heroic characters that get along well with each other talking about the impending threat of the Others, which, unfortunately, feels too distant to induce any kind of tension or drama.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Lysa Arryn lost her arm because of blood poisoning induced by Jon Arryn's poisoned knife as he defended himself from her attack. On June 2017, Cymraeg (the author) got bit in his arm by a spider and soon thereafter showed symptoms of blood poisoning. Fortunately, in his case the illness was treated before it could get threatening - because his wife took him immediately to the hospital.
    • The revelation that Rhaegar did indeed rape Lyanna in this timeline becomes a lot more disturbing when the actress who played Lyanna on the show went on to star in The Nightingale 2019, where her character is raped. Twice which also results in the deaths of her husband and baby.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Jon Arryn shows unexpected levels of this. When Baelish is captured, he makes sure to put him in a situation where he will die no matter what, seizes everything that Littlefinger owned and warns all the Lords Paramount about the event, telling them they can claim Littlefinger's businesses in their respective kingdoms, which (a) allows them to get money that will be fundamental for the soon-to-come war and (b) helps to erase the debt the Crown owes to the Lannisters, since the worth of the businesses (all paid with the Crown's money) in the Westerlands is much greater than said debt. Tywin Lannister, of all people, is grudgingly impressed. Annoyed, but impressed.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Cheesegrater Explanation 
    • Falcon photos Explanation 
    • The Barristan Selmy Facts Explanation 
  • Moral Event Horizon: Plenty of them.
    • Baelish has always been greedy and conniving, but the revelation that he has been convincing Lysa to poison her own child is the impetus for Jon Arryn wanting his death, for good reason. In-Universe, whatever respect for the weasel dissipates completely when it becomes clear that Baelish owns business dabbling in slavery in Meereen.
    • Ramsay Snow's first and only chapter opens up with him in the middle of raping a girl who had the misfortune to travel through the forests he has the gall to claim are his. After his death, the revelations of his crimes, as well as his journal revealing his plans to kill Domeric and usurp the Dreadfort make him In-Universe a special kind of Asshole Victim.
    • Lysa Arryn slowly poisoning her own son in a twisted effort to keep him dependent on her. If that doesn't do it, her attempted murder of her own husband comes close.
    • Janos Slynt was always known to be corrupt but after Baelish's demise, his dealings with the former Master of Coin become clear - as well as his history of bribery, murder and dereliction of duty. The big thing that really hurtles him past the horizon is the revelation that he aided in the cover up of a high born Serial Rapist by murdering his victims before they could come forward. That he did this for little more than gold is enough for Robert Baratheon to deny his right to be banished to the Wall, as he flatly refuses to insult the institution by sending them such worthless scum.
    • Aeron Damphair's bloody denial of the Call to Winterfell, claiming it to be little more than Greenlander mummery, and staking anyone who says otherwise as a heretic. Balon's decision to follow his advice in razing Harlaw to the ground could be considered his own (and he even calls his decision 'his Castamere'), enough that his daughter Asha turns on him, and his brother Victarion, who has been up to this point unquestionably loyal, openly calls him out on his nonsense.
    • It says something that even Aeron considers Euron's plan to kill Rodrik Harlaw and his followers during a parley a complete affront.
  • Stoic Woobie: Selyse Baratheon is revealed in Chapter 124 to have made multiple efforts to give birth, with Shireen being the only one to be born successfully, while the other pregnancies ended in stillbirths or miscarriages. It takes a conscious effort for her to remain calm as she explains this to Catelyn and Maester Luwin after she learns that she is bearing another child. When she leaves, Catelyn admits that she almost wanted to hug her.

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