While the Game of Thrones TV show is pretty terrible when it comes to female representation, the books for A Song of Ice and Fire do a much better job. However, it still falls prey to some horrible tropes. At the beginning of the series, we learn that Robert Baratheon became king of the Seven Kingdoms after leading a revolt against the previous king. He did this because he believed Prince Rhaegar Targaryen kidnapped Lyanna Stark, the woman Robert loved. In the end, Lyanna passed away, and her fridging fueled Robert’s internal pain for the next fifteen some years until his own death.
Though both Robert’s and Lyanna’s characters are still affected by the “women in refrigerators” trope, at the very least A Song of Ice and Fire has a potentially different take on it.
Massive spoilers for Game of Thrones and a trigger warning for rape below.
I think I may have mentioned once or twice that I’m a sucker for stories in which two people who hate each other are forced together by extenuating circumstances and need to learn to get along. And that is exactly what we get in Of Sand and Snow by lj_todd. This is also the story that has single-handedly made me a shipper of, of all things, Oberyn Martell and Lyanna Stark.
This was not how it was supposed to be. But one mistake, one stupid mistake, has changed everything. Neither Lyanna nor Oberyn are happy with the demands of their families, neither wish to be married, most certainly not to each other, but they’ve little choice in the matter. They are expected to marry. To be husband and wife. Yet how can they be when they can barely be civil with one another? Dorne has seen its share of conflict, but nothing could have prepared the nation for the clash of wolf and viper that this union will bring about.
I can’t say that I ever thought about shipping Oberyn and Lyanna together until reading this fic, but now I’m obsessed with them—and mourning that they can sadly never be together in canon. Of Sand and Snow is yet another uncompleted work, but unlike many others I’ve recommended, this one is not abandoned. It’s also quite possibly my favorite piece of A Song of Ice and Fire fanfiction to date.