Sunday, May 29, 2011

In Which the Starks Don't Get Screwed... (Spoilers)

Last night I went to to see what kind of A Song of Ice and Fire stories were available.  Here's one I found, which I was the first to review:

It diverts from the canonical timeline before Ned leaves for King's Landing but we first see the divergence after Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish leaves Ned and Catelyn alone after their meeting--Catelyn reveals to Ned that she is pregnant.

The "butterflies" (successive changes caused by the first change) from the canonical timeline cascade after this.  Although Ned is still executed, things go much better for the Stark family.  I had to ask the writer for some clarification as to why things went differently, since I've only read A Clash of Kings, the second book in the series, and that was when I was in high school.  Those of you who've read the first book (A Game of Thrones) might have an easier time of it.

I like the Starks more than any of the other families due to their moral, honorable nature, but the bad decisions Ned and Robb make due to following honor before reason lead to all sorts of horrible things happening to their family.  Ned doesn't move against Cersei when he has the chance, Robb sends his friend--who is also his diplomatic hostage--back to his homeland to secure an alliance and said hostage's father invades instead, Robb promises a marital alliance with the Frey family and breaks it to marry a girl whose virginity he took (and is therefore going to have problems finding a husband) after Frey troops die in his service, then he trusts the Freys when the Frey patriarch says he's willing to reconcile...

Irnan (the author) explained how the "butterflies" worked.  I don't want to post them here because that would ruin the story, but they sound plausible to me.  That makes things all the more tragic when you realize how easily things could have gone better.

It would have been better if the dialogue snippet revealing the cause of all this would have been in the actual story instead of the synopsis on the author page.  I sent Irnan a suggestion about how this could be done (another letter at the beginning).

Still, I think it's worth a read.  And if you all could post reviews, that would be nice.  I'm the only one so far.

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