Thursday, May 28, 2015

What The Storm Brings, Or Stannis Captures Viserys and Danaerys...

The alternate-history forum I've been a member of since high school has spawned another alternate-universe fan-fiction. Behold "What The Storm Brings," another story posted on Archive of Our Own. 

The gist of it is that the winds blow a bit differently after the Sack of King's Landing and Robert Baratheon's coronation as King of the Seven Kingdoms. The fleet of Stannis Baratheon takes Dragonstone as Queen Rhaella, the wife of the Mad King, goes into labor with Danaerys. In her dying delirium she mistakes Stannis for his father Steffon and makes him promise to protect her children. This promise Stannis makes, and he sticks to it in the face of his vindictive brother's fury. Fortunately Jon Arryn is able to calm things down.

There are only three chapters posted thus far, but the opening drops some significant hints...

Wind blows differently one fateful day and a king's brother arrives on Dragonstone just as a queen gives birth, only to make a promise to this dying woman. More than a decade later on the very island, a silver-haired girl grows up a prisoner in all but name, betrothed to her guardian's son and craving for the world she has never had the chance to see. Elsewhere, a wolf loses his head and war erupts through the nation, a stag wearing a wreath of roses sets his eyes on a throne of swords, the suns and the spears dream of vengeance, and a pride of lions struggles to keep a carefully built kingdom from falling apart.


AU: Stannis Baratheon raises Daenerys Targaryen from infancy and nothing is ever the same again.

I'm getting a "Rapunzel from Tangled" vibe from Danaerys at the moment. Granted, Stannis is a much, much more benign guardian than Mother Goethel was, and he wouldn't deliberately deceive her or keep her ignorant the way Goethel did. However, I imagine Robert would forbid her from visiting King's Landing and might insist that she not leave Dragonstone, ever. Meanwhile, it looks like the events generally play out the same as canon--Ned is killed and this provokes a war, the youngest Baratheon brother Renly allies with House Tyrell to take the throne, the Martells plot and scheme, and the Lannisters are in charge.

I'd suggested that Danaerys be betrothed to Robert's firstborn for dynastic purposes--marrying her off to anybody else would give the resulting children a female-line Targaryen claim to the throne, much like the one Robert had--but it looks like silverandviolet isn't going for that. Some people were convinced Robert would be absolutely irrational on the issue and it looks like he is. Alternatively, he made the agreement and then broke it, perhaps with Cersei egging him on.

And some good news for Stannis--Robert makes a different marriage for him. No unpleasant Selyse to be found. Not going to give anything away right now though.

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