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Wounds by Strangebloke - M - ASOIAF

Discussion in 'Game of Thrones / ASoIaF' started by Odran, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. Odran

    Odran Fourth Champion

    Aug 12, 2013
    Title: Wounds
    Author: Strangebloke
    Rating: M
    Genre: General
    Status: WIP
    Fandom: A Song of Ice and Fire
    Pairings: Not particularly relevant to the story
    Summary: In a knife fight, nobody wins. One man just gets the honor of dying in an ambulance.
    Link: Spacebattles/Alternate History

    It's been a while since there's been anything decently written in the ASOIAF fandom, as it suffers the same statistical likelihood that anywhere from 98-99% of stories submitted are drivel or just plain old shit.

    Wounds does not fall among those statistics. Wounds is one of those that stand out.

    So the summary is a bit vague, but as it's revealed in the very first few paragraphs, it's not much of a spoiler that the premise of this fanfiction piece uses the 'for want of a nail' trope where something significant differs from the canon sequence of events in the official books. In this alternate take on canon ASOIAF, Robert fights Rhaegar on the Trident, kills him, but also dies due to his wounds, leading to Stannis becoming king. The siege at Storm's End is not broken by arrival of Ned Stark, but rather Tywin, who's rushed to to gain favor with the new king. This also lead to the survival of Elia, Aegon and Rhaenys as Tywin's men were nowhere near them.

    Another significant divergence is that Lyanna lives. She lives and actually becomes a character unto herself, one which does not sicken me to read about. Why do I say this? Because most of the times, in fanfiction, Lyanna is presented as somehow being in the right for absconding with Rhaegar, throwing insult after insult on Robert Baratheon for sleeping with women before their marriage, while she elopes with a married man who has children. You could understand why that is absolutely contradictory to the narrative some try to push, but most people seem to clamor and applaud the brave Stark girl for defying the societal standards and expectations of ASOIAF. Here? That Stark girl is brave, if in another way. And she grows as a person and you actually might even like her, for all the mistakes she's made.

    I won't tell you more about her character growth, as it involves spoilers.

    So what can I tell you? I can tell you that the characterizations of almost everyone is bloody fucking good. Stannis is on point, he is hard, he is unflinching and he grind his teeth as furiously as his family's words do proclaim, but above all he is a fair king. But kings who try to rule fairly and justly do not fare well in ASOIAF. Unless they have dragons, I guess. Having that kind of deterrent against scheming lords seems to help.

    But it's not just Stannis we see here. Center stage is King's Landing and the people that live in it. Most of it is focused on the people at Stannis' court. Gossip, intrigue, treachery - the usual stuff for ASOIAF. But there's still trouble to be had in the realm. Stannis' rule is not exactly peaceful, and where the story is currently, events are really gearing up for a proper escalation.

    The one exception I'd take to characterizations mentioned above is Davos. Don't get me wrong, I like his character and his new role in this AU, but at times it can read as sort of forcibly written or perhaps out of character for the impressions you might have of him from canon. It doesn't poke you in the eyes much though. The main thing is that he is loyal to Stannis and Stannis depends greatly on his service, though perhaps there's not a focus on a budding friendship between the two. I would say this is more due to the far more stressful circumstances surrounding the both of them and the author's need to sacrifice a few tidbits here and there to avoid word-bloat, but I don't know their mind so I won't presume any further.

    So what do I rate this story? In the future, perhaps it will become even better and it will warrant a 5/5 stars, but for now I have to place it at a solid 4. It's not a 5 just yet, but it's been a great read thus far and if the author continues to update regularly (sometimes it's once every week or so, sometimes it's once per month), I can see it becoming an absolute favorite of mine.
  2. GiantMonkeyMan

    GiantMonkeyMan High Inquisitor

    Sep 8, 2008
    I held off reading this for a good while, don't know why, but when I got around to reading I was pleasantly surprised. One of the better ASOIAF stories updating. It's well written and the story unfolds logically. 4/5
  3. Dagro

    Dagro Fourth Year

    Sep 25, 2007
    Weirdly I had the same reluctance to jump into this story and was pleasantly surprised. I think the first chapter especially gives off a big 'alternate history' vibe, I had to google Rhaegars sword description for example (estoc never heard that before). This is followed by a little boring chapters with political setups. This story has a lot of 'bad turn next corner' alarmbells in the early bits but thankfully doesn't go there (mostly, I gotta reread but some stuff irked me a little when blitzing through).

    Now when the Lyanna bit starts a bit later, again: alarmbells. Everyone has read this shitty tower of joy scene a million ways and personally I already expect the worst. This one is not exceptional but works in this story, but more important is Lyannas development afterwards and I have to echo Odran, it's a real growing character, reminds a bit of Sansa, young and naive, thrown in a shit world and growing up quick. Found this bit very telling about her mindset:
    Lyanna chuckled, tired but happy. “Perhaps I will name him Robert.”

    Ned looked up abruptly, causing Lyanna’s chuckle to deepen into a laugh. “You are surprised, brother?”

    “I know that you don’t hate Robert anymore, but...”

    “I owe him a debt, Ned. The man killed Rhaegar for me. And truly, names are cheap. If a name can buy the boy some safety why should I not call him that?” She chuckled again. “What loyalist would fight to put a Robert on the throne?”

    Davos turn I kinda like but on the other hand feels way too effective at his job, but before finally judging on this, probably better to wait and see what comes up in the next chapters.

    Big spoiler from later chapters ahead:
    I really didn't like the repeat of Cersei's incest, I like the way the author tried to set it up, but still, it didn't work for me. But I can't really put my finger on why either, just that it felt off. Really like to hear all your input on it. Also am I the only one that feels that partly it's just a vehicle to setup Lyanna as Queen? (Can bear children/Loyal house that won't fuck with Stannis, want's security for son bla.)
  4. Puzzled

    Puzzled High Inquisitor

    Jul 24, 2014
    It’s not incest, she’s just cheating on Stannis which seems pretty on brand for Cersei. I think Jaime got sent to the Night’s Watch, some Florent is the presumed father of her son.

    I didn’t initially read this because usually writers on AH are irritatingly in love with Stannis, but when I saw it up for review I gave it a chance and I’m quite glad I did. It’s a really interesting take on the setting and a fairly novel one. It’s well worth reading, and I’ll be looking for updates.
  5. Stenstyren

    Stenstyren Professor

    Jan 9, 2009
    Yeah, I read this in one sitting and it's a good story.
    Alarmbells are ringing both left and right but the author manages to not delve to deep into clichéd territory, for example most characters actually have flaws that hamper their progress.

    The story is starting to widen it's lens now and we are treated to PoVs form different parts of the realm. I'm always torn on this as you need to be a really good author to make it work and not make it disjointed. Unsure how this is being pulled of at the moment.

    The story is basically 90% "hey, this would be cool" and 10% driven by it's characters which is not really my cup of tea but it does not make the story bad per se.

    In the last few chapters it feels a bit like Serpentguy is consulting on this fic? It's been knockdown after knockdown after knockdown that I'm not quite sure our characters deserve?

    Anyway, a cool story that I had fun reading. I will rate it 3/5 right now, but it could turn into a higher rating if the author manages to actually bring together everything they've set up thus far. The different PoV chapters means the story does not lend itself great to reading one chapter everytime it updates, so will check back on this when it has some more meat on it's bones.
  6. Wyatt Axford

    Wyatt Axford Second Year

    Apr 2, 2018
    This story is also posted on FFN
  7. KGB

    KGB Headmaster

    Jan 18, 2011
    This story kinda fell off a cliff in the last couple of chapters.

    Lyanna got out of the city and got north without any issues. The war against Lannisters was resolved in a single chapter. And Davos got captured by pirates on a boat, which is my personal pet peeve that I can rant on for a while, but won't.

    I guess the author is rushing to get to plot point he has been dying to write and everything else is getting trampled in the process.