Author's Note: As this is a parody, these 'SIs' are generic entries in the 'self-insert into a fictional world' genre; none are my personal self-insert.
Content warning: Allusions to murder, torture, imprisonment, mind-rape, and rape. It's Westeros.
Disclaimer: Not Martin, obviously. Also not H.P. Lovecraft, to whom there's a reference or two.
When I woke up one day in Westeros, I had a single goal: getting the hell out of here.
Yeah, yeah, the poor Starks, the unjust world, the coming apocalypse – screw that. Martin's world is a hellhole designed to give villains tank-level plot armor and dump chamber pots over the heads of the heroes at every turn. Even if I tried to fix this place, the universe itself would start gunning for me.
The Summer Isles it was. The safest place in Westeros is 'off-screen', and Sothyros has velociraptors. Fucked if I was going there.
I won't bore you with the details of what I did to get there, starting off with nothing but my wits and cold, unquenchable desperation. Sometimes I still hear the screams… anyway. I drown my sorrows in cool wine and warm bodies. Bobby B had the right idea, you know.
If the White Walkers end up coming for this place after all, at least I'll have had a good time of it.
So of course you're here to hear the fabulous story of my life in Arda –
What? Westeros? Oh. Yeah. I was there briefly. Very briefly. Do I really have to recount what happened?
All right. After I got hit by a truck in my original life, I woke up in an inn in King's Landing, stumbled downstairs in a dumbfounded stupor, and tried to figure out what the hell was going on. I was so rattled that I bought myself a drink in the hopes it would soothe my nerves –
And wouldn't you know it, some huge brute lurched into me, and in a freak accident the contents of my mug went all over him.
You know where this is going, don't you?
It was Gregor Clegane.
I can't say what he did to me felt that much better than that eighteen-wheeler back home.
Anyway, as I was saying, let's get back on the topic of Arda…
This one's story? The question is not understood. This one has many stories –
Ah. The… original? Very well, then.
Long ago, there was a man who read a series of books. When he died, he awoke in another world, and recognized the names around him.
Alas, it was not of the time period of which he had read. It was a time of empire. A time of grandeur and glory, a time of cruelty and killing. The day of the dragonlords, a world of gossamer glories spiraling upwards from furnaces of flesh.
He was not a dragonlord.
Though he screamed and struggled, trying to trade his knowledge of the future for the barest shred of safety, no one believed him and no one cared. Deep were the tunnels beneath that land, but not dark – no, not dark at all. Glowing with heat they were, and with the shimmering scales of the things that lurked beneath. Slaves died. Slaves died often, slaves died in agony, slaves died with broken smiles upon their lips, for death was better than life.
The first time.
The sorcerers of old Valyria did not permit their chattel to escape even in death. With the kiss of fire, slaves came screaming back to charred semblances of bodies, and were driven back into the mines once more, there to work without ceasing until death took them again. And again. And again. Even bodily destruction was not quite enough. They understood the secrets of the essential saltes of life, did the sorcerers of old Valyria, and…
Horror. Horror upon horror, until there was scarce nothing left in those burn-blackened minds save horror. No name, no mind, no past, no future. Only the eternal now, an eternity of agony.
This man was different. Perhaps he was lucky, if retaining any sanity amid such circumstances could be said to be "luck", or perhaps his origin in another world preserved him against these tortures. He lost his name, and much of his identity, but still he remembered the books. They were all that was left of him, as he hid himself inside the memories as his body went about its eternal tasks.
And one day he remembered. He remembered there was an end to this. He remembered that one day a messiah would bring the gift of mercy to all who worked in these mines – even to the dragonlords themselves. He hid this thing inside himself and found the strength to endure each boiling moment, knowing with absolute, fervent faith that there would be an end to this misery. He prayed it would be soon.
Time passed. Perhaps he was impatient, but hope became despair, and despair became madness. There was no messiah, there would never be a messiah. His presence must have changed matters. There would be no Doom. This would go on forever –
And then he realized.
And, through the black and gnarled remains of what had been a face, he laughed.
He learned, from observations of his own deaths and those of others, a bit of how the sorcerers brought old life back to its body. He thought, his mind working more furiously even than his magic-warped body. He plotted. In time, he understood – if not perfectly, enough to warp the rites in two different directions.
The first – to comprehend a rite of banishing, the invocation of the descending node, that which would return a resurrected life to nothing but dust, and render one who had risen unable to ever rise again. A gift. The gift. The only gift, in this forsaken place, worth granting.
The second – to return a selected life not to the same body, but to another. It would be incomplete, of course, as the connection was incomplete, but it would be enough. A fine Valyrian chimera – yet not of man and beast, but of man and man. One man… with another man's face.
And so, in time, the gift was brought to all Valyria, as had been prophesied long ago.
Is this one that man? An interesting question. This one has worn many different faces. That man was not even that man, by the standards which he once would have judged himself: the man who loved books, who lived in a world of science, who held life as sacred – he was burned away in the mines of Valyria. Not even ash remained of him. The one who remained had no such complicated identity. Once "the scholar", "the dreamer", "the seeker", now no self-definition remained to him save…
There's no getting away.
Believe me, I've tried. You know something that sucks about being enslaved to a rogue greenseer? If it's a major action, he already knows what you're going to do before you do it. Such as, you know, assassinating him. Or just trying to flee him, when you have as much knowledge as I do.
Yes, I've given up my canon knowledge to him. You would, too, if you were in my place.
I know, I know – you think I'm a weakling. I would also have thought so, once. But – hey, you know how warging is really cool? So powerful, so magical, so badass?
Yeah. Warging is cool. Being warged is not.
He proved to me that he could extract any information from me if he wanted it. The only choice I had in the matter was whether I gave it up freely, and it only hurt a little, or whether I resisted, and it hurt a lot.
I tried to resist out of sheer spite at first. It didn't matter. I've… I've been here for years, you know. I can't kill myself, either. He has forewarning of that, too. If I would even have a chance of it, I'll wake up in chains for three days. And… I… He disincentivized me from attempting any form of resistance, we'll put it that way.
Pity he thinks Ramsay Snow's "beneath him". They would be such good friends if only he would consider it.
I don't know why he keeps me alive. He got all the useful information out of me long ago. Yes, including just of the modern world. He's actually taken an interest in uplift, you know. Mostly of the military kind. I think he's decided God-Emperor Greyjoy has a certain ring to it.
Maybe it's entertainment. Even now, I'm well aware the local clinical psychopath feels nothing resembling "fondness" towards anyone. He'll break me of that someday, just for the laughs of seeing me descend into utter delusion, but he's left me with a few scraps of sanity for now. I think it's the amusement of knowing that one person alive knows everything he is and can do nothing about it. Or, to plagiarize a famous author:
I have no tongue, but I can still scream…
Well… by some standards, I hit the fucking jackpot.
I'm at the very heart of Westerosi power, hiding out among all those wheelers and dealers with not a one of them suspecting me. Due to my unique position, no one can harm me, and I do mean no one. It's unthinkable. And I'm perfectly set up to kill even a king.
You might say "fucking overpowered Mary-Sue", right? Right! That would be totally true, except for one little thing. One little thing. Are you ready?
I'm the fucking Iron Throne!
So here I am, George R.R. Martin's Number One Fan. I memorized the books front to back, I bitched at the show every time they got something wrong (Season 8 gave me laryngitis), and I wrote up fan theories that got thousands of upvotes on Reddit. There's no one who loves this series more than me.
So of course I was ecstatic when a self-piloting Tesla mistook me for an alleyway entrance and launched me into my next great adventure. After all, upon awakening in a world without sanitation, running water, or any sort of technology, I knew I must be in the amazing world of Ice and Fire! I was going to be the best friend of the Starks, read every single book at the Citadel, and fuck over the vile Lannisters (or maybe fuck Cersei, circumstances permitting) –
And then I became aware I was nowhere near King's Landing. Or even on the same continent.
No, not near Braavos either. Or Essos at all. Or even in Dothraki territory… which is a blessing, I suppose.
No, I was in the boonies of Yi Ti. I knew absolutely nothing about the culture save that it was probably some form of rip– homage to real-world Chinese culture. Which I knew absolutely nothing about.
I managed to mortally offend three different prominent families before I got the hang of it, escaping only by fleeing to one neighboring province after another… which might as well be different countries, politically speaking. The lord of the one where I've been stuck for a while openly calls himself a 'Demon King', if that gives you a good idea of his personality. On Planetos, I can't even tell if he's bullshitting.
The usual tensions broke out into open warfare soon after I got to this one, so crossing borders except as part of an army is currently a good way to get yourself butchered and hung up as a warning to others. Not that your odds are any better if you end up as part of a defeated army, but the generals just view that as incentive to do well. Guess where I am now.
Maybe, if there's anything left of Westeros by the time I can get out of this army without being caught and executed by my own army for desertion, caught and tortured to death by the enemy army for information, or caught and killed by bandits for kicks, I can change fate. Or maybe I've already changed fate by breathing, being the metaphorical butterfly in Yi Ti, and I'll get over there only to find that Bran and Myrcella's bastard daughter is the Witch-Queen of the Greater North. Or that Samwell Tarly has exceeded all his father's expectations for manliness and controls Westeros with the might of his Valyrian Steel claymore, bitchin' three-headed dragon, and hundred-woman warrior harem.
I don't even fucking care anymore. I'm starving, I think I've got dysentery, and I'm slated for another battle in less than eight fucking hours. You know, when I dreamed of a life as grand and dramatic as those I read about the books, I was not thinking of that one infamous Dany chapter.
What an incredibly shitty fate…
Some self-inserts are into canon characters who got a bad break in life. Some start with noticeable handicaps. Some can't pass their knowledge of canon to others for some godforsaken reason.
I am a fetus.
A prominent fetus, to be sure. If I botch things up and they proceed as canon, I might be reincarnated as a dragon. Or I might just be magical spare parts to birth a dragon. I'm not keen on finding out.
Yes, I am (as far as I can tell) Rhaego Targaryen. I've definitely heard a few key phrases, like 'Khal Drogo' and 'The Stallion That Mounts The World', so it seems a fair guess. Either that or I'm among some really hardcore LARPers, but I think I'd have heard a modern language once if that was the case. (Yes, I seem to have gotten a basic understanding of Dothraki in utero. I suppose that would be the powers-that-be giving me a sporting chance.)
So, as you know, I'm going to die. At least, unless I can somehow get Dany not to trust the vengeful maegi who lost everything to the Dothraki. You will appreciate that I am a fetus. This is somewhat difficult.
Since I really can't do anything but wriggle around in here, I've taken to becoming quite agitated in Mirri Maz Duur's presence and hoping my dearest mother takes the hint that I don't like her. With my luck, Dany will think it means I'm happy to be around her. Goddamnit. I'd whine more about Dany's ability to read the situation or lack thereof, but I can't really complain about her lack of good sense when I'm counting on it – exactly how many women would superstitiously comply with their fetus's apparent extrasensory powers of intuition?
Well, while I'm hoping, I hope no one correctly recognizes 'pregnant woman ordered around by her suspiciously-aware fetus' as a horror-movie plot and decides to shank me for the good of the world. In my favor is the nonexistence of horror movies in this world. I just have to hope the Dothraki don't have any creepy mythology about demon babies.
If I can somehow get to birth without dying – I'm desperate enough I've considered trying to trigger birth a few weeks early, but that's likely as not to kill me early – then I'll be a little safer. Let's face it: I am an adult mind in an infant body, and I don't think even the best method acting is going to hide that. I am not entirely confident in my abilities to avoid intervening in the affairs around me, either, especially if I get a creeping suspicion that my life's in danger. So I'll likely be known as far more aware than any infant, toddler, or child my age should be, which, among a superstitious people like the Dothraki, will label me as either a god or a demon. I'd really prefer 'god', for obvious reasons, but some are bound to pick 'demon'. They will also need to be taken into consideration.
Oh, and there's the issue that Dany may not get her dragons – even if almost everything plays out as canon despite my survival, she's likely not going to be waltzing into the funeral pyre when she has a son to worry about, and I don't know if that's crucial. Hopefully they're not, you know, necessary for the destruction of the blizzard of howling undead death that might be sweeping across the world in a couple of years.
…and I'm thinking all this out while I'm not even sure I won't be turned into a heap of decaying flesh and scales by Mirri Maz Duur in extremely short order.
Well, it's not like there's anything else to do in here. Ever thought you were bored? Try being a fetus…