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Zero Requiem - Lelouch in ASOIAF

Discussion in 'Game of Thrones / ASoIaF' started by Niez, Feb 8, 2020.

  1. Niez

    Niez DA Member

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    Hello :)
    Title: Zero Requiem - Lelouch in ASOIAF
    Author: @Halt
    Rating: T
    Genre: Adventure
    Status: WIP
    Library Category: Other Fandoms
    Pairings: ?
    Summary: Lelouch dreamed about the past glories of his Valyrian family, when they'd held great keeps and their fleets ruled the Narrow Sea. But some nights, he dreamed of a life that wasn't his. He dreamed of an empire, war, and tyranny. Most of all, Lelouch Velaryon dreamed of revolution..
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13336289/1/Zero-Requiem

    Ok then you silly fucks. No one thought to enter Halt's ASOIAF fic in for review, and now his feelings are hurt. He has written almost 100k for a great story and has been ghosted harder than I was by my past three dates, so no wonder really.

    Summary
    Zero Requiem is a crossover between Code Geass and A Song of Ice and Fire. In it, previous protagonist Lelouch is reborn as the heir of House Velaryon, a minor house in the Crownlands. In the backdrop of the War of the Ninepenny kings, prior to Robert's Rebellion, we see him rise to prominence through a careful balance of intrigue, charisma and martial prowess. A fast moving fic, populated by a diverse characters of old and new, it is as gripping as it is well written.

    Why I recommend it:
    Ok that last bit quickly degenerated into a Barnes & Noble's 'our staff suggestions' reading card, but I'm running on fumes today, so I apologise. In all seriousness Zero Requiem is a fantastic fic, full of politics and intrigue and all that which made ASOIAF so good. Unlike ASOIAF, it also moves at a brisk pace, expanding on the Canon established by Martin, without requiring more than a basic knowledge of the fandom. Most important of all, its is written by someone who clearly knows his craft, both when it comes to knowing the setting, and storytelling in general.

    If you like the original ASOIAF you will like this fic. If you though Lelouch was the dog the Soviets sent to space circa the 1960's, you will also like this fic, given that no knowledge of Code Geass is necessary to enjoy it.

    I will edit this later to expand a little bit more on this fic's strengths and why you should read it, if you haven't, but for the moment know that I give it a-

    Rating: 4.5/5

    - and only because I am such a pretentious fuck that it sometimes disgusts me.
     
  2. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Prestigious Tomato ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Author is a thot, 4.5/5.
     
  3. Celestin

    Celestin The Cursed Child

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    The beginning is just fine, but once Lulu gets his first taste of a battle and the War of the Ninepenny Kings beings, it gets better and better with each chapter. 5/5 from me.
     
  4. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

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    I thought it was okay, but the author really needs to stop waifu baiting SB.
     
  5. Feoffic

    Feoffic Alchemist DLP Supporter

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    There's a lot to love about this story, but what sets it apart for me is the writing quality. Halt has a way with how he structures a sentence and a scene that pulls me in and makes feel like I am right there with these characters. So much is shown through how the characters interact and react to each other; what they actually say and what they communicate through body language. You can pick up on subtle foreshadowing or personality quirks right away. It's not dense or wordy or impossible to understand, and you don't need to have deep knowledge of the source material to follow what's going on or know who these characters are and what their goals are.

    Solid 5/5 for me. One of the best stories I've read in recent memory.

    You've turned waifu baiting into a sport. Don't stop.
     
  6. Paradise

    Paradise Paraplegic Dice DLP Supporter

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    Its really great, and I quite like it.

    Lelouch is generally an annoying character but is fun to read as he roflstomps everyone, but the real interesting thing is making an overly-competent character interesting. Generally speaking this is difficult becuase they face no real conflict that they can't overcome, so all entertainment comes them being ingenious, and proposing solutions no one would think of, Halt manages to encapsulate this masterfully

    5/5
     
  7. trentjun

    trentjun Muggle

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    I agree that the author needs to put a halt to all the waifu baiting. Other than that it's a breath of fresh of air among all the mediocrity that spans the internet.

    5/5
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
  8. Tom Tat

    Tom Tat First Year

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    It's just human nature. We love to baits! You mister give us a relationship baits! How someone can refuse. )
    5/5
     
  9. bastur2

    bastur2 DA Member

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    I am waiting for the battle of dragons against giant flying mecha.

    Lol.

    But I love this story
     
  10. Anumidium

    Anumidium Second Year

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    As a Code Geass and ASOIAF fan, this story really tickles my fantasy. I have probably reread it about three times and it gets better every read. Lelouch is probably the perfect character to reincarnate in ASOIAF looking at his track record as an exiled prince, revolutionary, and emperor in his previous life. Not only that, but Halt took one of the periods I’ve been waiting to see more than anything (War of Ninepenny Kings) and made it real.
    Normally I’d also be incredibly turned off by the presence of multiple reincarnated characters, but Halt just makes it work (a testament to his ability as a writer). The constant waifu baiting to SB is also nothing but a plus: it’s hilarious to watch them lose their heads over it.

    The world building is also fantastic, I love to reread the first chapters often due to how good of a portrayal of Westerosi highborn culture Halt does. Not to mention Esoss’s with later chapters. Lelouch truly feels like one of the highborn interacting in their world. This story is an easy 5/5 from me. It’s definitely been my favorite fic for the past year.
     
  11. Celestin

    Celestin The Cursed Child

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    One thing that Halt does perfectly is expanding on what little information there is about characters that aren't around by the time of the books and making them into something that could easily be included in Fire & Blood part 2. Until that is published, his portrait of them, especially Maelys, is my canon.
     
  12. Inayeth Ali

    Inayeth Ali First Year DLP Supporter

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    The writer has a way with subtle wordplay that you generally don't see from others who write fics.

    His genius lies not in writing epic battle scenes, though there are quite a few of them, but how easily he gets the reader invested in his characters.

    It is typical of fanfic writers to stagnate the further along they are in their stories. Minor antagonists like the Lord Hand in Zero Requim may end up becoming annoying loud and proud naysayers of the protagonist even after he has proven himself.

    It is a breath of fresh air to see that this fic does not suffer that pitfall.

    The interactions between Lelouch and the people around him fleshes out the story very well without making it too wordy.

    Personally, I've always struggled with making the interactions between the characters in my stories sound less forceful and more natural but the author makes it seem simply effortless.

    The interaction between lelouch and one female character in particular are simply hilarious. ;)

    And on top of it all, the plot is well thought out and every action seems to be taken for a reason.

    All in all, this makes for a truly delightful read.

    I've never read a ASOIAF or CG fic, let alone a crossover, but I dread that Halt has ruined me for the entire ASOIAF ficdom.

    Easy 5/5 from me.
     
  13. MF DOOM

    MF DOOM Second Year

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    This story is not pizza enough.

    4.5/5.
     
  14. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

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    Ask and you shall receive.

     
  15. Mutton

    Mutton Unspeakable

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    It's fun but I really don't get why it's a crossover? It doesn't really gain anything from the CG side of things and if anything I find the CC parts to take away from the overall narrative
     
  16. aAlouda

    aAlouda Slug Club Member

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    Probably because fewer people read OCs and the reader automatically starts already caring about the main character, Halt can also blame any accusations that his MC is a Mary Sue on the writers of Code Geass.

    Or the most likely reason is that Halt simply wanted to write a story about Lelouch in Westeros.
     
  17. DrSarcasm

    DrSarcasm Order Member

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    I came into this story with high expectations; Code Geass is the perfect setting to crossover with ASOIAF. But I got to about chapter seven before I got burnt out. Time passed, I came back and reread the story...and I got to about chapter eighteen before I got burnt out again. It's not due to the story being bad in any way, but because Lelouch just doesn't read like Lelouch to me, and without the other aspects of Code Geass it just feels like an OC ASOIAF fic. I've read a couple ASOIAF fanfictions so far and when there's an OC or SI or crossover aspect, the new character brings something that changes the nature of the setting. The Black Prince/Prince Who Was Promised brought magic, A Farmer's Tale brought an agricultural revolution, The Bastard of Highgarden brought setting foreknowledge...at best, Zero Requiem brought pizza.

    Now, I'm not saying that the story needed Knightmares or Geasses in order to be good. I've read a few Code Geass fanfics where those aspects are either removed or take a backburner and they've still been very good. But I feel like there are core aspects of Lelouch's character that are needed in order to really feel like a Code Geass fanfic.

    1. His love (for his sister). Almost every single action that Lelouch undertakes throughout the series is based around how he loves Nunnally, wants to protect her, and wants to make the world a better place so that when she regains her eyesight, the world that she looks upon will be a better one.
    2. His hatred (for Britannia/His father). Lelouch hates Britannia and his father for how it killed his mother and crippled his sister, then cast them out to be used as expendable tools the moment they no longer had value. This duality of love and hate is at the core of Lelouch's character.
    3. His cunning. Lelouch has been described as having a genius-level intellect with an IQ in the 200s. On top of this, he has a particular affinity for looking at a battlefield, assessing what resources he has available to him, and managing to eke out a win even against far superior opponents due to thinking outside the box.
    4. His ego/pride (and his lack of it). Lelouch has been shown that he both has a massive ego and that he has practically none. He is willing to do whatever it takes to win, and his belief in his own abilities and how important his own goals are has enabled him to look someone willing to shoot him to protect him in the face, threaten suicide (as being unable to complete his goals would be a fate worse than death), and get them to back down because he absolutely would shoot himself if it was the only way forward.
    5. His belief in justice. Born of points one and two, Lelouch has a strong belief in justice. He does what he believes is the right thing, regardless of what others believe or whether he will get any praise for doing so.
    6. His theatricality and charisma. Lelouch wouldn't have been able to pull off any of the things he managed to do if he wasn't able to convince others to join him. The bit from the Christopher Nolan Batman movies, where Bruce takes the idea of theatricality and of how being a symbol is far more powerful than being a man a bit too literally? That's Lelouch's entire reason behind his Zero persona.
    7. His fallibility. Despite all the above points, Lelouch can still fail. He's no Light Yagami, who manages to plan fifty moves into the future. He makes mistakes. Sometimes big ones. He can fail to take into account one detail or another and have his whole plan go awry, he can misjudge the character of another person and have them act in a way that he didn't foresee, he can just plain not have all the information and be surprised.
    So, how does Zero Requiem stand up? Well, given that Halt has gone the Black Prince route of only having the knowledge of Lelouch Lamperouge gained through dreams as opposed to being a direct reincarnation means that points one and two are scratched off. There was some attempts to regain them through his sister and uncle's plight, but it really didn't sell it for me. There was some of number three and four, but for some reason they more came across as 'well-educated noble son' than what I perceive Lelouch as being. Maybe it's the medium of text not being able to get across Johnny Yong Bosch's VA work as Lelouch, maybe it's the fact that as it is Westeros his method of talking isn't terribly out of place... I don't know. Though kudos at having it that Lelouch can't replicate real-world technology, since he can't control what information he gets through his dreams--the line about wanting to meet the spider who spun the world wide web that contains all of human knowledge was particularly inspired.

    Point five is kind of there, but overshadowed by the other events. Point six is somewhat mentioned by Lelouch's father as his talent for mummery, but I personally don't see it. Point seven is there, but it's really only a point in contrast to the others.

    Really, all we're left with is Diet Lelouch, which just comes across to me as a generally intelligent and good-hearted noble of Westeros. Even with Diet Lelouch, the story could feel like Code Geass if there were good supporting characters or antagonists from the series, but all we got in the portion I read was CC (which is pronounced "see-two", not "see-see", btw) and her pizza. I think the failing is that Lelouch Valeryon is in just too good a starting position. Lelouch works best as an underdog, not when he's in a really good starting position.

    For example, there's a Code Geass fanfic called Lelouch of Britannia. In it, instead of being banished to Japan, Lelouch manages to make a last-second apology to his father that allows him to remain in Britannia more or less stripped of all status, permitting him to search for his mother's killers within the empire itself. One of the only ways available to him to regain the power he needs to achieve his goals is through the military, so he signs up. He ends up in a minor command position, fighting in Britannia's wars in Africa. However, his political rivals have cut his funding and his available equipment, leaving him with raw recruits and tanks instead of Knightmare frames. Yet even severely outmanned and outgunned, he manages to achieve total victory against the EU forces as well as his treacherous "allies." It feels straight out of Napoleon's or Hannibal's playbook.

    The part that really bugs me is that there are all the right story elements to make it work, it just felt like they weren't properly utilized. It bugged me enough to write them all down, in case Halt ever wants to do a rewrite. Spoilered for those who haven't read the story.

    Alarra:
    I really didn't feel all that attached to Lelouch's sister. Maybe it was the way I read it (on the WbA page, which is a bit disjointed), but I didn't even realize that the character was supposed to be his sister until after she got burned--somehow I completely missed that info. To play up the rage and loss of Lelouch at her injury, I'd spend some extra time with her in the beginning of the story and try connecting her to people in Lelouch's past life. Not by making her a Nunnally clone, since that was a good move in my opinion, but more by mixing bits of Shirley and Kaguya into her character. There's already core elements of them in her--the playfulness, the good heart, the 'princess-ness' (forcefully getting others to agree to her whims, but being cute and feminine about it). Using Shirley in particular would be good, since it makes an instant connection between the two versions of Lelouch and makes it more tragic when he fails her again.

    It provides the 'love for his sister' portion of his character. Add in a couple sections of Lelouch acting out plays for/with his sister, and you have an origin for his theatricality as well as bringing portions of Milly's character into the mix, on top of solidifying their relationship. Making it all the more tragic when she no longer wants to be seen.

    Code Geass Characters/Geasses:
    To be honest, CC contributes next to nothing in this story. Her importance to the original story was based solely around her Code and her personal history with certain characters. Without them, she is just the girl who lazes around eating pizza--barely palatable in CG, and completely unrealistic as a slave girl in Westeros. Like I've said, the story doesn't need any Geass to be a good Code Geass story (though it would be immensely important/powerful in the Game of Thrones). However, the story would benefit from some other characters from the Code Geass franchise.

    Schniezel being the secret antagonist behind the War of the Ninepenny Kings, or someone who personally benefits from it, would make a good foil for Lelouch. Schniezel was one of Lelouch's biggest threats, so making him (the ultimate diplomat) into a figure with a great deal of power in the lands of Essos (which are the closest to something that could be united through diplomacy) grants some real stakes to the story.

    If you lift the ban on Codes and Geasses, having Mao reborn with his and acting as a spymaster/manipulator in King's Landing who has been driven completely insane by his Geass would be good. Even better is having either Charles or VV acting as an immortal conqueror
    among the Dothraki or using their ability to grant codes to act as god-king wizards of places in the far eastern Essos.

    Then, for supporting cast, there's always Suzaku or Kallen. Kallen I'm less sold on due to the status of women in Planetos, but she'd make for an excellent Pirate Queen who gets absorbed into Lelouch's fleet. Suzaku works far better as a partner/foil than CC, and if he winds up as a lowborn who wants to become a knight to help better the lives of those under the thumb of the uncaring highborn, then he could get the chance to work with Lelouch unlike in canon.

    The Uncle:
    As a character, I didn't much care for Lelouch's uncle, nor did the fight in Myr didn't really drag me in. He was just kind of there as a plot device, not as a character I was particularly invested in. So when the split between him and Lelouch happened, I was so disinterested in what was going on that I ended up dropping the story the first time. I'm really not sure what can be done to fix this, since he functions better as a plot device than as a character, but it needed to be said.

    The Fire at Summerhall:
    Having his sister burned and her beauty ruined in the fire is a good touch, a good way to give Lelouch his hate from CG. But it feels too unfocused and easily resolved--his only target are the Alchemists and once he kills them, he's just left with unfocused rage. Canon Lelouch wasn't about being generally angry, he had very clear targets, even if he did not know exactly who they were. So, one main change with major effects: Lelouch's father dies in the fire as well, in a questionable manner. As in, he was in a place that he had no reason to be, as if someone lured him there to be burned. Similarly, Alarra was burned as a result of this series of events.

    This has a couple effects. First, Lelouch is now Lord Valeryon, as an untested youth. His mother would try to help out as best she could with at-home affairs, but she is lost in grief and can't take a leading role. Similarly, neither can his uncle, who is imprisoned in Essos and presumed dead. In the eyes of the court, House Valeryon has been severely weakened, possibly permanently. Lelouch, and his House, are in very dire straits, with an unknown enemy working against him. Not to mention the number of vassals that are showing to be fair-weather friends, withdrawing their support to avoid being drawn down with them.

    Second, without his father to temper the effects of his actions at court, Lelouch suffers the effects of his brusque interaction with the princess. Lord Baratheon isn't able to completely lock him out of the war effort, but he ensures that Lelouch is placed in the worst strategic and tactical position, with little chance for glory or success.

    Third, by having an unknown enemy agent acting against him, Lelouch can properly channel his hate for the nobility power game that claimed his sister and father, and gives him someone to work against.

    The War of the Ninepenny Kings:
    Like I said, this is about where I started to lose interest in the story the second time. The biggest reason is that we finally get to see Lelouch lead an army into battle and it...just...didn't feel like Lelouch. He won the sea battle using better ships and wildfire (although using the wildfire is the sort of thing Lelouch would do), he won against the Golden Company by attrition and not being a dumbass about positioning and using siege tactics, and in both cases he won because he had greater numbers.

    So with the loss of his father and thus the weaker starting position (in this case, not enough ships for all the men), he has to improvise. Instead of having the numbers to blockade the Tyroshi fleet, he instead uses his finest ship as bait. The fleet chases the ship containing the "Rich Lord of Westeros" into a cove. When they are corralled and lack maneuverability, he sets off the wildfire. Not only does it burn down a good portion of the fleet, but the blaze forces the ships to land on/get near the shore, where a series of bowman proceed to pick them off. He proceeds to capture the ships, adding them to his fleet, as making use of the enemy's resources is one of the hallmarks of a successful underdog.

    Then, using the captured pirate ships and coerced pirates, he proceeds to stage attacks against Westerosi ships. This has the triple purpose of gaining much-needed supplies, getting some payback from those lords who betrayed him, as well as spurring on the war effort that is dragging its feet in the Seven Kingdoms.

    Some of the supplies he received through these raids are oils. Possibly also Dornish poisons, which he uses to poison the water supplies of the Golden Company, but that might be a bit too underhanded for non-Dornish knights. When he has to fight the Golden Company, he lures them into a prepared location, like the hill of before, that has bundles of wet wood soaked in the oil. The oil is ignited, causing smoke and fire to travel up the hill, where the Company is stationed.

    Basically, use the environment and whatever resources are available to achieve victory, not relying on standard tactics.