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WIP Westeros: Shadow Beyond the Wall by ArchPsion - GoT/ASOIAF/Shadow of Mordor

Discussion in 'Other Fandoms Review Board' started by Silveron, Aug 27, 2019.

  1. Silveron

    Silveron First Year

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    Title: Westeros: Shadow Beyond the Wall
    Author: ArchPsion
    Fandom: Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire / Shadow of Mordor
    Genre: Action/Adventure, Supernatural.
    Wordses: 65k
    Chapters: 14
    Status: WiP
    Link: https://forums.spacebattles.com/threads/westeros-shadow-beyond-the-wall.759640/

    "The blood of kings holds a great power within. The Others know this. They did not know just what power Jon Snow's held when it was spilt by his own brothers, accomplishing through blind idiocy what was attempted long ago. Winter is coming, carrying death with it."

    Jon dies and is brought back.. albeit, not through the means of R'hollor. With access to knowledge and guidance from an unknown spirit, access to ancient magics and forgotten paths, Jon fights to re-unite the North alongside the Wildlings and King Stannis.

    I've a vague understanding of Shadow of Mordor but you honestly don't need to have played/know about it to be able to follow the fic, it's well explained without doing an information-dump and they're well rooted without having to embellish aspects of the native world. Characters are true to themselves and haven't been altered to fit and Jon isn't ridiculously overpowered as if it's a game, his act is true to his canon character in the fact that he doesn't suddenly start changing his ideals or beliefs and even has to come to terms with the fact unfaltering honour isn't necessarily a good thing when trying to wage a war.

    Being connected to an ancient spirit is a perfect excuse for the author to expand upon myths and legends, fleshing out the history of the Nights Watch and Bran the Builder and walking Jon through meeting with an Elder Creature in the Unicorns of Skagos. As mentioned above it's well explained and doesn't seem like the author is forcing information for no reason other than to cast a 'ooh magical' filter on everything.

    One thing I will say which was somewhat.. out of sync would be the White Walkers. The way the 'young' ones speak/think is too human, it retracts from them being cold inhuman beings who's primary goal is to end all life. I don't think it's a point that harms the story but it is something that stood out when reading.

    Easily a 3.5 leaning on 4/5 for me.

    (First time posting a review, don't think I cocked up but sorry if so!)
     
  2. Garden

    Garden Chief Warlock

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    Good fic with a strength in lore and worldbuilding.

    However, I think the characterization could use some work. Jon is something between book and TV show Jon. Not an idiot, but not funny like book Jon. And the fic has some well done emotional moments, but could use more..
     
  3. Paradise

    Paradise Professor DLP Supporter

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    Wrong link bruv

    https://forums.spacebattles.com/thr...-thrones-asoiaf-lotr-shadow-of-mordor.763058/

    4/5. It's good but it's very much some of the characters are overly capable in an inhuman way. Specifically the Magnars having a whole tradition of sending a boy to become a maester every few years is stupid imho. And would never work in real life.

    Next up is that one sellsword captain who spends all his free time studying maps and learning about the history of westeros. He then goes out of his way to save a minor Lady from a more or less forgotten house. All out of respect for a dead man he never met. Yeah right. Not even to mention he is Bravosi why should he give a shit

    4/5 despite those weird overly capable things this fic is good. Writing is good, and the crossover concept works out well.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  4. Salsa

    Salsa Groundskeeper

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    I've been offhandedly following this for a while.

    I'm going to largely echo @Paradise here.

    I couldn't find (rereading this) 'flaws' in the sense that there's something so hilariously illogical you have to press the red X on the screen to escape certain doom.

    There's some stupid shit, but it's minor at the very worst. It doesn't detract from the story horribly.

    The writer excellently fuses the two worlds together, and it's fun watching each of the characters progressing towards the point where they diverge.

    Great world-building with all the travel around the continent, and each of the characters discussing shit, sometimes randomly, in a way that reveals parcels that give us a greater glimpse at the whole tapestry of the world where the story takes place.

    At the moment, I'm going to rate this 4/5. It's objectively good enough to get 5/5, but stories are known to break before they finish. When it's done I'll re-rate it, or possibly keep the same rating.
     
  5. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I will say that I was pleasantly surprised at how well the 'bright stranger' worked, and how well it echoed the game without being horribly heavy handed. Game-like quests and elements are blended seamlessly, and the lore behind it all seems intriguing.

    Detractors are the whole section with the Others, and the fact that this is, in its core, an overpowered fix-it fic, complete with MacGuffin's and deus ex machina. It doesn't feel that way though, so I don't mind it. I'm entertained and I read the fic for what it is. A love letter to Shadow of Mordor written in ASOIAF font.

    It doesn't feel like what it really is because characters are not caricatures and the author has a strong grasp of individual voices. This bumps my rating from a 3 to a 4.

    4/5

    Tentatively hopeful, though sooner or later game inspiration will run out and the author will realize that oh shit, I have to write an ASOIAF story now.
     
  6. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

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    I've only started reading, and minor technical quibbles aside, I'm enjoying it so far despite my expectations.

    Character voices sound right, and none of the lore stuff comes across heavy handed. The first arc I do feel had some serious copouts like the Augur (not sure if this was a thing in Shadow of Mordor), but it generally handled the politics in a way that didn't make me mad.
     
  7. Paradise

    Paradise Professor DLP Supporter

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    Some spoilery stuff here but some general prediction for this

    The Glowing One or whatever, is going to be Brandon the Builder. Evidence being that the wielder of the Hammer in the game, is Celebrimbor which is the Bright One. And Jon now wield his hammer.

    Other big thing is the Valyrians on the Island are going to be Blackfyres. That or they are descendants of a forgotten Targ top choice being, Saera Targaryen.
     
  8. Donimo

    Donimo Professor

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    I'm pretty sure its going to be Brandon Snow.
     
  9. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

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    Rating this a 3.5, rounding up to 4/5.

    After the Night's Watch Arc ends, the Venturing Beyond the Wall really fails to live up. The author just flat out sucks at writing action scenes that make me care. They tend to be too long and drawn out, with a whole lot of nothing too important. I skimmed and read maybe 6 paragraphs of the Wight Fight and felt like I didn't miss anything at the end of it. If you can do that to a chapter, it's a good indication it's too long.

    The same thing happened when we reach Skagos.

    Normally this would be fine if the author didn't spend so many words on it, but unfortunately the fight chapters actually end up being the longest in the story.

    His handling of that Mercenary dude's POV and the taking of castles was several leagues ahead of whatever Jon gets up to, and when I'm more invested in some random OC mercenary's fights than your main character, you have a problem.

    I also dislike his inability to rely on subtlety. The story's very, very tell-y in places and it's clear he doesn't really trust his audience to "get" things on an intuitive level.

    All that said, it's still a genuinely interesting story to read about and vastly better than most stories in the fandom by not being afraid to go off the rails of canon.