The keen minds of my alternate-history forum are at it again, with two new alternate-universe stories taking place in the worlds of A Song of Ice and Fire and Lord of the Rings respectively.
The first one is entitled "The She-Wolf Reborn" and the gist of it is that Robb Stark is born a girl named Anna. Although she looks a great deal like her mother Catelyn Stark, she takes after her late aunt Lyanna in personality. Mayhem ensues.
"Butterflies" from this divergence include Theon Greyjoy at the Wall (for trying to rape Anna), Sansa Stark betrothed to Eddard Karstark and having the dreams of a three-eyed crow, actually meeting Willas Tyrell, and others I won't describe for reasons of spoilers. Author JBO has been so kind as to use some of my ideas, such as a different fate for Mycah the butcher's son. Although he said things are still going to go to hell, they'll go to hell rather differently from canon and I'd like to see it.
The second story is entitled "Saruman of Many Devices." The premise is that the palantir Saruman used in canon to communicate with (and be corrupted by) Sauron has some kind of defect. Instead of connecting Isengard to Mordor, it connects Isengard to Center, the artificial intelligence from David Drake and S.M. Stirling's "The General" series. Saruman in the books is an innovator already, with his Uruk-Hai using gunpowder at Helms Deep and Isengard being transformed into an industrialized war-production site. With the aid of Center, he brings rifles and artillery into Middle-Earth and hilarity (and awesomeness) ensue. Among other things, the Uruk-Hai (under the command of Lurtz) come to the aid of Arwen when she flees with Frodo from the Ringwraiths and earn grudging admission to the anti-Sauron alliance and Uruk armies battle Sauron's horse barbarians as they attack north of Gondor. But the secret of gunpowder weapons has begun to spread...
(As those more familiar with the LOTR books vs. the films can tell, the story draws a lot from the films, like the character Lurtz, Arwen being the one who takes Frodo to Rivendell, etc.)
You all have fun!
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