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A Wolf Amongst Lions by Kallypso

Discussion in 'Game of Thrones / ASoIaF' started by Heather_Sinclair, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. Heather_Sinclair

    Heather_Sinclair Chief Warlock

    Jan 19, 2008
    The Eighth Circle of Hell
    Title: A Wolf Amongst Lions
    Author: Kallypso
    Rating: T
    Genre: General (It's ASoIaF grade without the porn)
    Status: WIP 78K+ atm
    Fandom: ASoIaF
    Pairings: Tywin/Arya Hostage/Ward type relationship
    Summary: Tywin Lannister discovers the true identity of his cup bearer at Harrenhal. Now, with another bargaining chip in his possession, he has a chance to turn the war. Arya Stark, despite her best efforts, falls back into the Game of Thrones. To survive in a lion's den, a wolf has no choice but to adapt.
    Link: AO3

    Sollol posted this on the ASoIaF thread. I'm posting it here.

    Starts with Arya being found out and builds from there.

    Arya is a tad too intelligent for her age, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. Everyone else is in perfect character in my opinion. The story obviously goes off canon rails, but certain things were meant to be, it seems: deaths, dismemberments, assassinations, etc.

    Still, it's a wonder story with few grammar mistakes and not religiously following the stages of canon.

    About the only thing I don't like is the constant reminders that Tywin finds Arya fascinating and someone notices at least once if not twice a chapter. Someone is obviously an Arya fangirl.

    Otherwise a fine example of fanfic. 5/5 from me.
  2. MonkeyEpoxy

    MonkeyEpoxy Master of Death DLP Supporter

    Aug 11, 2011
    So, I blitzed through this and enjoyed it immensely. It was kind of weird how they've somehow managed to diverge from canon so well and yet things still happen the same way anyway, but meh. The voices are great, Arya is a fun little shit and the author writes Tywin beautifully. It's an easy 5 - not perfect but about as close as most fanfiction gets. It's well worth your time.

    Cersei is going to go monkeyshit when she learns Tywin is going to marry Jaime to Arya in a few years
  3. sollol

    sollol Second Year

    Nov 16, 2014
    I would also include this in the Library.

    Arya is one of the most popular characters of ASOIAF, but there are very few stories with her as a main character that are actually written well. In this story, she is not just a fighter or a brave young girl alone on a dangerous journey. She has to survive in King's Landing, and this requires different skills. What I like most about this story are Arya's interactions with Twyin and Tyrion, but also Margaery, because all of them have such different world-views. Arya is confronted with these different world-views and, for the most part, she finds that she cannot just dismiss them out of hand. As a consequence, she is becoming even more nuanced as a character, and this is one of the best features of the story.

    As OP has pointed out, Arya does appear to be just little bit too clever at times. But, to the author's credit, it never feels as if Arya's various deductions are sudden or abrupt. The author embeds Arya's reasoning nicely into the flow of the story. The writting is good as well, and I have given it five stars, hoping that it will make it into the Library.

    It is a just an added bonus that Gendry, at least according to the character list, does not appear in this fic.
  4. Johnnyseattle

    Johnnyseattle Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

    Oct 25, 2011
    I only really picked up GoT on TV last year, so I don't have a large fic base to pull from, but this is easily the best one I've read. The biggest loss of the show due to character death was Tywin to begin with, and the author really does do him well. Easy 5/5.
  5. fire

    fire Unspeakable

    Dec 25, 2011
    Wouldn't call it top quality writing or anything, but it's pretty enjoyable a read.
  6. Barzûl

    Barzûl Seventh Year DLP Supporter

    Dec 31, 2011
    I enjoyed it, read all of it in an afternoon or two.
    Arya gets away with a bit too much sometimes, but it's not wholly immersion-breaking.
    I like the way Tywin is written, even if I think he took to Arya a bit too much too quickly.
    Tywin's smiles (or lack thereof) are commented on a bit too much imo.
    Consistent and fast updates so far, which is a huge plus.

    3,5 stars, rounded up to 4.
    Definitely worth a read if you're a fan of Arya and/or Tywin.
  7. Jester

    Jester Seventh Year DLP Supporter

    Apr 19, 2012
    This is a fun read. The highlight is definitely Tywin. I'd say it's a bit slow, and it almost feels like everything is going too well for the Lannisters.

    Littlefinger is a bit underutilized, same with a couple of the other major characters in Kings Landing.

    Arya is a bad ass throughout.

    I think it's a 3.5/5 rounded up for the easy reading factor.
  8. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

    Dec 12, 2009
    This story is really good. Definitely one of the better ASOIAF/GOT fanfics. But, given how few good stories there are, that's not really saying much. It was good enough that I devoured it completely over a couple of nights, which is actually pretty rare for me to do these days. That being said, I don't think it's a 5/5 story, but I do think it is slightly better than a 4/5 story. So, I guess that brings me to the point where I give my thoughts on the fic

    The writing itself is good. It's not flawless by any means, there are a handful of spelling errors, but 4 misspelled words out of 120k is easily forgettable. Add that with a fresh idea that I have't seen done before, and that piques my interest.

    I guess I'll get Tywin out of the way first. Generally speaking, Tywin here is written decently, he feels like Tywin, I can even picture Charles Dance speaking Tywin's lines as I'm reading. But that's because they are literally Tywin's lines. The author relies way too heavily on Tywinisms. It's the same thing you see in Dresden Files - people think a Dresden is well written just because the authors says "Hells Bells" and "Stars and Stones" a few times while dropping some stupid pop culture references. It's the same thing here. The author relies on Tywin saying all of his catch phrases like "A king who has to say he is king is no king at all" and phrases like that. There's like a dozen of them, and the author has pretty much used all of them. It's bad enough to the point where I don't think the author has come up with a single new one of their own.

    Secondly, the ages here are changed. Generally speaking, there's two camps here. There's the book ages, and there's the show ages. Everyone is older in the show by anywhere from 2-5 years, probably mostly because they didn't want to have Daenerys be 13 years old getting raped by Khal Drogo like in the books. Another example would be Jaime Lannister being in the early 30's in the book, while then being late 30's in the show (and eventually his 40's in the later seasons). Of course, a lot of this is both GRRM and the show writers writing themselves into a corner as far as travel times are concerned.

    Anyways, the point I'm getting at is that the author used neither of these benchmarks. Typically, I don't really care which is used so long as it's consistent. But it's not here, and the author decided to age up Arya Stark a bit. Obviously, you have to ask yourself why? I get it in the books, GRRM has Rickon Stark walking and talking at 3 years old which is a bit preposterous, but this is different, and obviously there's a reason for it. There's really only one reason to write Arya older, and that's some sort of romance related plot. Add in the fact that Jaime is seemingly younger, and anyone could see how I'm concerned. The author says something like Jaime being twice her age, in reality, he's about three times her age, not that the difference makes it any more palatable.

    To add onto that, it feels like the author is going to go ahead with the Arya/Jaime pairing. Like, around chapter 30ish, they started having Jaime doing the budding romance things of quirking small smiles and having barking laughs and things like that. The author is writing the story as neither one of the characters wanting the marriage at all and willing to do whatever it takes to get out of it, but their personal actions are contradictory to the point where Jaime says something like "no one marries for love, but that doesn't mean it can't develop". The author says something like Jaime being twice her age, in reality, he's about three times her age, not that the difference makes it any more palatable. Also, lets add in the general cliche of medieval times where everyone marries early. It's simply not true. In this story, Arya is set to get married when she's 16, and this is in peace time. What's the point? Even in war time, both Robert and Ned married older that, when their marriages had much more importance. But I guess here, the author can at least fall back on the whole "you were originally traded for a bridge, this is much better" line.

    Moving on, the plot. The plot is fine, I guess. But, I will say the author relies too much on canon, while the story itself is distinctly not canon. It's kinda the same thing with the Tywinisms. You have a perfectly find character, and then it feels like something is suddenly directly copy/pasted from the source material. Case in point: Jaime Lannister still loses his hand here. But, it's at a completely different battle at a completely different times. It's completely contrived. Jaime Lannister makes it back home after being Robb's prisoner with all limbs intact, goes months being just fine, and then Tywin decides they need to deal with Stannis once and for all, so they raid Dragonstone, where Jaime randomly gets his hand chopped of "Because Reasons". That kind of thing is actual bullshit. Honestly, the author has done fairly well with ignoring the "stations of canon" and then something like that pops up.

    That being said, the reliance on the stations of canon when it's convenient can be a saving grace to the previous point. Arya did get the assassin's coin (again, at a much later time than in canon, but she did end up getting it Because Reasons). So conceivably, she can still run off to Braavos instead of getting married, and I would rather read a canon rehash of that rather than Arya being paired with anyone.

    So yeah. As of now, there hasn't been anything that would make me drop the story yet. The next few chapters are dealing with the Boltons and the Freys (Because Reasons, again). So marriage stuff likely isn't going to come up for a couple more chapters. But, I can't actually see myself continuing the story if it happens. It's really hard to tell if that's the sort of thing the author really wants to do, or if the author is actually good enough to pull off the Sword of Damocles style plotline and build actual tension with the reader and never actually have any plans to go through with it.
  9. Donimo

    Donimo Auror

    Jul 4, 2015
    I haven't read this yet, but I understand your feeling of it well. The tension that can only exist in fanfiction when you feel an author approaching the line of something unpalatable and being unsure if it will happen. It can really suck the joy out of reading.
  10. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

    May 27, 2010
    For the most part, Tywin and Arya are written well enough and they're really the main focus of this story. The dynamic between them is a joy to read.

    Things work out a bit too well for Arya, and how convenient it is she managed to stop two assassination attempts.

    There's also a reliance here on stations of canon - generally, things play out almost exactly like canon (or missing scenes from canon), other than a few alterations. This seems most relevant with the latest Bolton/Frey plotline, but it does inject enough newness to the story even if it's fairly predictable to an active reader. It doesn't really do anything terribly interesting plotwise, just keeps it good enough to not be a point against the story. In the latest arc, a lot of the tension has really drained away, despite Arya being in great bodily danger.

    Pacing is good, doesn't spend too much time on irrelevance. I also like how the author focused on interpersonal conflict and less on action in the initial chapters. Whenever there's actual combat tends to be the weakest parts of the story.

    Enjoyable read for anyone who likes GoT / ASOIAF, but don't think the writing itself is anything to sing about if there's no initial buy in into the fandom.

  11. Dagro

    Dagro Fifth Year

    Sep 25, 2007
    IMHO this is never ever 4/5 material, more between 2 or maybe 3 stars. From start to finish, the lauded Tywin/Arya interactions are mostly cringy and this extends to most dialogues. All characters feel like they are caricatures of their canon counter parts. There is a huge mary sue theme going with Arya, that is mostly way over the top, at some point the weird interactions make a bit sense if you look from it only from 'infic canon' but I find myself constantly questioning the characters.. A lot feels like it is lazily written, skipping character development in favor of quick action/ (and later)angst fixes.

    Latest chapter for example, the introduced character, the dialogue (execution & content), tone - even the plot points of the whole meeting just felt lame. :/

    Another thing that really pulls the quality down, is the update speed I think. Often chapters feel not really thought through (I think there was even a retcon before?) and if the author would spend a little more time polishing per chapter, quality would shurely rise a lot. The author is certainly motivated! :) And I guess this is also a plus point that has to be noted, the story is now at chapter 65, every other day an update no shit.

    Anyone else following this?
  12. JimmyCranberry

    JimmyCranberry High Inquisitor

    Oct 3, 2010
    I've been following this for a while now. It's shameless Arya circlejerk, and a lot of the characters feel completely set up just to be foils for her. No one seems to have any genuine agency. Interactions are usually forced, and as Dagro pointed out, it's almost as if the author doesn't really think about what they are writing.

    That said, I'm still reading it. Go figure. Probably because it's ASOIAF and I'm hyped.

    2/5, for being readable and without many grammatical errors.
  13. Otters

    Otters Groundskeeper ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Jun 8, 2010
    High Score:
    Arya/Tywin mentorship? Yes please.

    I'm rather enjoying this, and it recently finished with nearly an insane 450k words, so there's a whole lot of content. I'm not too sure what the author intends to do with all those words and it may fizzle out, but so far it's pretty much solely Arya/Tywin interactions with the butterflies from that causing changes.

    The changes are a bit extreme for the minor actions Arya does, such as Robb not being a victim of the Red Wedding - but that's shown as a relatively reasonable chain of events starting from something small and expanding outwards, rather than Arya swooping in to save the day, so it works.

    The author also confronts Arya about her "internalized misogyny" of constantly thinking of women as only being strong if they can engage in typically masculine activities like fighting, something Hollywood is hyper guilty of at the moment, so that amused me a little.

    Prose isn't wonderful, but largely error-free if a bit sparse on colour. I'm thinking this is more of a just-scraped-in library fic than an almost recommended.

    @Halt senpai, fancy moving this bby? <3

  14. Longsword

    Longsword Banned

    Feb 1, 2015
    The writing is not spectacular, but as far as ASoIaF fiction goes this counts as a major positive.
    The character interactions are good but I found Arya-Tywin interactions, which are at the centre of this work, in the show to be uninteresting contrary to most opinions.
    The plotting is fine but nothing grabs my attention.
    4/5 as a decent ASoIaF work, 3-3.5 on its own merits.