September 30th 2019

Fifield and the rest of the embassy staff watched the battle unfold in a sullen silence. They saw the breach, and the rapid collapse of the Stark lines. Maybe two thirds of the army would be able to escape, but thousands more would be lost. He poured himself another glass of wine. At least theirs could be chilled in a fridge.

The face of the new Prime Minister appeared on his laptop. He was still in Canberra, watching the proceedings from there. After the debacles of recent days, Mr. Scott Morrison had announced a sudden press conference, made a nervous sort of speech, full of regrets, where the phrase 'unforeseen circumstances' was used several times, then announced his immediate resignation. Instead, the face of Mr. Peter Dutton, the former Minister of Home Affairs, looked up at him.

"So in short, the Lannisters have been able to successfully retreat west?"


"With Myrcella as well?"

"Tywin still has his pretender to the throne." Fifield agreed, taking a sip of his drink. "We told Robb Stark marching that far south that quickly was dangerous. He insisted it was a good plan. It may even have worked, if they could have linked up with the Tyrell army in time…"

"But they changed course?"

"Lord Tarly has the command, but Garlan Tyrell is with him. It seems he persuaded him to return to the city when he heard what had happened to Renly and Loras."

Dutton was rubbing sleep out of one eye. After the events of the last few months, both of them were overdue for some relief, not that they could afford any.

"Will Highgarden stay with Stannis?"

"That remains to be seen. They would have preferred Renly, that much is obvious. Perhaps the more worrying question is, will they forgive us? We killed the Knight of Flowers, you know."

"We cannot tolerate attacks on our people, Mitch. Zero tolerance, that's the policy, my government will enforce that vigorously."

"I know. I hear the pilot lived?"

"He survived, yes, though it was too late to reattach his hand. The surgeons wouldn't even attempt it."

"Renly's death has upended everything, it seems, just as much as Robert's."

"And we're sure there is no um…natural explanation for his demise?" Dutton asked cautiously.

Mitch took a moment in replying. He looked out the window, at the rows of ramshackle shops and houses that made up King's Landing. He couldn't see the Red Keep from this vantage point, but it was ever in his thoughts. "You know it is as baffling to me as it is to you. The longer I stay here, the more I think there is even more to this place than meets the eye."

The Prime Minister nodded. "Perhaps our new friends in Braavos can help. If it really is something…magic?" The word hung there between the two men. The very idea was so crazy it was difficult to say out loud.

"We shall be asking, don't worry about that."

"But long story short, Tywin's cause remains alive today" Dutton went on "and the Westerosi Civil War is not going to be over by Christmas."

Fifield took another sip. "Correct, though for what it's worth, that's not what they're calling it here."

"Oh? What do they call it?" Dutton asked, curiously.

"Well some are calling it the war of the two Baratheons, the War of the King and Queen, or Lord Tywin's War" Fifield replied, ticking the names off his fingers. "Others call it the Stranger's War, or the War of the Flying Men. The most popular name however, appears to have been suggested by uh…Moon Boy, the king's fool, like a court jester here."


"Well sir, he's started calling it the uh…" Fifield coughed uneasily. "They're calling it the War of the Ring, sir."



And that's a wrap! (At least for now).

Hi everyone! stannisthemannis1993 here!

Author's Note: Have just updated the end of the last chapter as a separate epilogue. Devout readers will be pleased to know the first chapter of the sequel - "A Song of Guns, Germs and Steel (Book Two)" has now been posted, so feel free to look that up and continue the story.

I hope you have enjoyed where I've taken this so far. The idea of a modern world meets Westeros fanfic has been floating in my head for a while now (is that technically a crossover?) I'm glad now to at least look back on so many completed chapters. I'll admit the mechanism here – a giant portal suddenly appearing between worlds, is a bit of a lazy one. Isekai as a genre can be done badly, but I hope I have managed the story well enough to keep you, dear readers, engaged.

I've always been fascinated not just by fantasy as a genre, but especially by stories that throw in a mix of medieval and modern. 'Magic vs technology' if you will. Of course, the modern world is tangled by its own internal politics and ethics, so we haven't seen the quick curbstomp that would ensue if we came through the portal guns blazing, but why should we? Unlike in 'Gate' no invasion has come through from the other side, and the moral implications of our intervention are still murky. (Don't worry, I plan for the superpower competition to heat up in future chapters).

The inspiration for this story has come from several sources. I never used to be much into fanfiction, and we all know the generally low reputation of such stories. Occasionally though, you find a diamond in the rough that keeps your attention and can stay with you long after.

I'll give particularly praise to Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, which does a marvelous job of deconstructing that universe. After reading it a few years ago I found it so utterly clever, I started searching around for other worthy fanfiction. Another one I quite liked (although it appears to remain unfinished) was Saruman of Many Devices. I'll also give an honorable mention to Dragons of Ice and Fire which I read more recently (though it is a more conventional asoiaf fanfic, not introducing any wild technology or modern elements). All of these stories have helped tide me over while we endure the lengthy wait for The Winds of Winter.

I have many ideas for continuing this story forwards. Who will emerge victorious in this alternate Westerosi Civil War? Instead of five competing monarchs, we only have two (so far!) What happens when Daenerys finally turns up in Qarth (according to the "Vandal Proof asoiaf timeline" I'm using, at this point in the story she's still wandering the Red Waste, tending to her newborn dragons and totally oblivious to events half a world away).

What will be the next steps for the modern world? What will happen in Essos? How will the slaver cities of the east react, once they fully accept the knowledge of this gateway to another world? And how will we react, once we fully absorb the sheer misery and human suffering found in these places?

There are other anomalies in the world as well. What plagues still haunt Valyria, swallowing up every venturer there with no possibility of return? What dark powers might lurk in Asshai? What are the motivations of the mysterious Others who have returned out of the far north?

Without G.R.R.M. having given definitive answers to these questions, it makes it even harder for us humble fanfic writers to do more than take a wild stab. I plan to keep writing this story, but don't expect anything resembling a definitive conclusion until George has finished his saga and we can well and truly pick over the corpse at our leisure.

So thank you all! I welcome feedback. I have gone back and made (mostly minor) edits to this story here and there in response to reader comments. I do read nearly all of them. I am currently back to working full-time so the writing pace will probably be slow. I have averaged a chapter every couple of weeks lately and hope to stick to that if I can.

Thanks again! And may all true readers declare their loyalty!


The "Vandal Proof asoiaf timeline" can be found online. For a map of the situation in Westeros at this point, I have made a post under r/TheCitadel (A Song of Guns, Germs and Steel Map - End of Book One) which you can bookmark at your leisure. It is also the cover image I've used for BOOK TWO of this story.

If you are interested in my other projects, you can find me on Youtube under the username "homeworld22". Enjoy my spicy history memes!


Answers to some reader's questions: Most of the feedback to this story has been positive. A few issues crop up repeatedly however. One I'll address is - Why are we selling the Westerosi planes/gifting them with modern technology?

A fair question. If you go back and read the story, this is not something that happens immediately. Of all our modern tech, planes, to the Westerosi, are probably the most astonishing (or the quickest to be coveted at least). In a scenario like this, I think one of the first questions the lower-tech civilization would ask is – could we have one of those fancy flying machines? To which I think the modern world's answer shouldn't be a flat 'No, of course not'.

This would only offend the Westerosi. They would quickly become jealous and distrustful because we don't share any tech with them, and I think building friendly relations is a high priority. Sure we could beat them militarily, but it would still be a bloody mess. We'd rather be allowed to peacefully enter and explore/study their world, plus preventing a crisis like a refugee horde descending on the Ring, etc.

Instead, the modern world's answer is a much more sensible 'maybe…if you're good'. Renly then spends close to two months in our world as Robert's ambassador (the story jumps forward a fair bit around chapters 10-14). We can presume he impressed us, being a charismatic guy, and we decided that maybe we could deal with the Westerosi fairly after all (i.e. that they're not complete 'savages').

After Robert's 'hunting accident' we realized that a civil war was brewing in Westeros and Renly was someone we wanted to support, so we made good on this promise and sold him a small plane (in this case, a De Havilland Canada Dash 8 Q200 that seats about 40 people) and provided some pilots and engineers to run it, allowing him to return quickly to Storm's End. We also sent some ASIS officers (Australia's equivalent of the CIA) as liaisons to stay in contact with him.

Perhaps this move seems reckless, but its also a calculated experiment. If we want good relations with the Westerosi, then we have to use either the carrot or stick. The stick isn't very appealing (especially at first when they haven't done anything to us) so we try the carrot. We provide a small sample of modern technology, to someone we've known a little while and quite like, to see what happens next. Overall, I'd say this experiment was going well - until Loras blew it up in spectacular fashion. But this is something which occurs almost 4 months later, and due to circumstances (shadow demon baby-related) we couldn't have reasonably foreseen.

Interactions like this happen in the real world all the time. The US sells $30 billion worth of military armaments to Saudi Arabia every year, a kingdom in some ways as backwards and 'savage' as Westeros. The CIA would insert teams into Afghanistan in the 80s to give the Mujahideen stinger missiles. Heck, British colonists started selling muskets to the Maori in New Zealand as early as 1807. We have avoided this obvious mistake by not selling weapons of course, but even civilian goods can be converted into weapons if you try hard enough (as Loras proved).

By starting with Renly, we also send the message 'make friends with us, and we'll sell/gift you some of our technology' which makes it so much easier to get cooperation from everyone else, like the Braavosi. Of course there are risks, like a pilot getting his hand chopped off by an enraged knight, but this happens in the real world too. Just the other day (as of writing this) the news reported 17 US + Canadian missionaries being kidnapped in Haiti. They weren't stupid people, they just took a calculated risk and sometimes those risks don't pay off.