“I did warn you not to trust me”. Remember that moment when your stomach dropped as you looked into Littlefinger’s ratty little face and it dawned on you that Westeros is a brutal, two-faced land where good men either die or live long enough to turn bad? I’m afraid that if it was your first time realising that humanity isn’t all honour and loyalty then you wouldn’t last long in EVE Online.
Set in the very distant future, the sci-fi MMORPG revolves around war, politics, economic intrigue, and - most importantly - alliances (or cutthroat rivalries) between corporations, EVE’s version of guilds. Its fascinating yet undeniably sordid history is full of play-generated stories (none of these are scripted) that could have been taken straight from Game of Thrones… if it were set in the future where corporations instead of Houses used any means necessary to acquire power. And by any means necessary, I mean any. Assassinations, betrayals, outright war, friendships cultivated over years thrown in the trash, revenge stories - it’s got them all. Here are eight of the best.
1. RekkingCrew and Catelyn Stoneheart’s Titan: The hunter becomes the hunted
In Game of Thrones this is basically… the Red Wedding. Complete with betrayal under the guise of friendship, a massacre, plus the main character is even fittingly named Catelyn Stoneheart. You’ll soon learn that the Freys and Boneless Steve have a lot in common...
RekkingCrew hunt Titans. These gargantuan spaceships cost 100 billion ISK (EVE Online’s currency) with weapons that are so intimidating their name is literally ‘Doomsday’. So when a pilot called Boneless Steve came up to RekkingCrew with the opportunity to take one down, they listened. The plan was for Boneless Steve (a long-time enemy of the Titan in question’s pilot) to lure them out, so they were distracted while RekkingCrew pushed the Titan out of its shields and obliterated it. But when the time came to warp in RekkingCrew’s ships, their leader Rocket noticed that a mysterious foreign beacon had been sent out. Not good.
Before they knew it, rival corporation SnuffedOut arrived in force. RekkingCrew didn’t stand a chance. Boneless Steve - real name Catelyn Stoneheart - was working from the inside as a member of SnuffedOut, having lured RekkingCrew to the hunt only so they could be annihilated simply because he thought (opens in new tab) they “walked around EVE like they were untouchable”. Bringing 88 ships with them, SnuffedOut eviscerated RekkingCrew’s force. Rocket’s words sums it up perfectly. “There’s nothing I can do, you’re all going to die,” he said. “Just try and kill what you can”. Anyone else getting visions of Robb Stark?
2. The Battle of B-R5RB: The bigger they are, the harder they fall
In Game of Thrones this is basically… a replication of the stupidest, tiniest mistake that ended up pushing Westeros into war: Robert Baratheon getting drunk while hunting a boar. Getting gored lethally in the process, his death was about the biggest and most avoidable thing that pushed the battle for the Iron Throne into motion.
It started off simple. Thanks to a bug, a routine payment from the H A V O C corporation to EVE Online’s in-game security force CONCORD failed. This meant that B-R5RB, the star system they ruled, was suddenly up for grabs. And so it begins. The two sides - Pandemic Legion and N3, who formerly owned the star system, and CFC (Clusterfuck Corporation - no, not joking) and the Russian alliance who were trying to claim it - arrived and began to fight. The ensuing battle cost $330,000 of real money, lasted 21 hours, and had 2,500 players simultaneously fighting at one point.
So, it was a big deal. In the end CFC and the Russians won, but allowed the Pandemic Legion to evacuate their assets from the system. Rather poetically, after the Russian bloc suffered from infighting N3 recovered their B-R5RB territory as well as most of their enemy’s dominion. Wish I could say that Robert Baratheon had the same kind of comeback story, but unfortunately he was too busy being six feet under the earth to make any sort of victorious resurgence.
3. Darvo Thellere vs Kackpappe: Revenge is best served cold
In Game of Thrones this is basically... Arya getting revenge on Walder Frey for killing her mother and brother by feeding him his sons in a pie and then slitting his throat. Ahh, revenge is so sweet.
The story: Starting off in a game is always difficult. But for two new players named Darvo Thellere (opens in new tab) and Lunarion, who were trying to start a small corporation for newbies, it was a lot harder. Because someone called Kackpappe wouldn’t stop harrassing them, for some reason taking an immediate dislike to the two entrepreneurial players. For three months he prevented them from earning money, even when veteran players tried to help them avoid him. Kackpappe ended up leaving them alone once he tired of hounding them, but Darvo and Lunarion never forgot.
Four years later, after becoming successful mercenaries they changed their names, found Kackpappe, and invited him to join their corporation. Masterfully fooling him into fleeing his old corporation with all his stuff, they lured him into a trap. He arrived eager to start afresh with his new corporation. It wasn’t going to happen. As Darvo and Lunarion’s ships opened fire, they changed their names back to make their tormentor realise the mistake he’d made all those years ago. Thus their delicious revenge was complete. Apparently Kackpappe’s last words were “fuck... Darvo Thellere!”. Later on he apologised to the pair. We doubt Walder Frey would do the same if he was resurrected… not least because Arya severed his vocal chords.
4. Haargoth Agamar and the Mittani: Destroying a superpower
In Game of Thrones this is basically... Switching sides after becoming sickened with your fellow compatriots, betraying your home, and then helping your enemies dismantle it? Sounds like a job for Ser Jorah Mormont when he decided to stop spying on Dany and side with her instead.
Haargoth Agamar is sick of the legendary corporation Band of Brothers. As one of EVE Online’s most famous groups, he believes they’ve descended into tyranny (opens in new tab) and petty infighting. He doesn’t know it yet though, so he joins Goonswarm’s in disguise in order to try and infiltrate them as a spy for Band of Brothers. But turns out the people surrounding him - who are supposed to be his enemies, remember - are welcoming, and are actually pretty nice.
So Haargoth decides to switch sides. Instead of infiltrating Goonswarm, he reveals himself to be one of the highest-ranking members of Band of Brothers. Cue jawdrops from The Mittani, Goonswarm’s spymaster. After checking his claims and finding out he’s telling the truth, a plan springs into action. Haargoth transfers Band of Brother’s assets to Goonswarm, kicks every member, and disbands the alliance. At every single station he emptied, Haargoth left a beacon that read “The Mittani sends his regards”. Sound familiar at all? To rub salt into the wound, Goonswarm then steals the name Band of Brothers so it can never be used again. Jorah Mormont hasn’t quite gone that far, but I bet he and Haargoth would have a ton to chat about over a flagon of Arbor gold.
5. Mirial and the Guiding Hand Social Club: ten months of friendship for one assassination
In Game of Thrones this is basically... Myrcella Baratheon’s assassination. It’s equal in the shockwaves it sent as well as the tone of a particularly unexpected betrayal - but thankfully Myrcella’s corpse wasn’t frozen and delivered to a client.
Mirial didn’t know it yet, but there was a price on her head. As the CEO of Ubiqua Seraph, she was wealthy, powerful, and untouchable. Or so she thought when she went on a voyage with her trusted comrade and second-in-command Arenis Xemdal. But Xemdal wasn’t her friend. He was an assassin from the Guiding Hand Social Club, a group of elite assassins who had infiltrated Ubiqua Seraph. Commissioned to acquire Mirial’s frozen corpse, after ten months (opens in new tab) of working their way up the ladder in Ubiqua Seraph it took one word for everything Mirial knew to come crashing down. That word was ‘Nicole’.
When it was uttered, Mirial’s ship that she was piloting was suddenly fired on by Xemdal, who had convinced her to undertake the show of strength and had accompanied her as a show of solidarity. Within minutes the ambush was sprung as more assassin’s ships arrived and obliterated Mirial and her ship. They were no more, and soon her frozen corpse was in the palms of the Guiding Hand Social Club. Other agents that had infiltrated Ubiqua Seraph stole everything in the communal lockers, and left notes behind with their corporation claiming responsibility. 20 billion ISK now filled their pockets. Like the kiss between Ellaria Sand and Myrcella, Xemdal destroyed Mirial - and what she thought was their friendship - with one swift act.
6. The Judge and Gigx: Hell hath no fury like a diplomat scorned
In Game of Thrones this is basically... Tyrion becoming Dany’s Hand after Cersei turned on him. Switching allegiances so wildly vies with Haargoth Agamar’s story, yet even in Game of Thrones there’s no-one who switched sides, took their illicitly earned cash, and then ran.
One lesson you should learn from this is not to interfere with diplomatic efforts. Especially when the diplomat in question has had enough of your crap. The Judge, lead negotiator for the Circle-of-Two (CO2) corporation, decided he was fed up with playing nice when he found out his notoriously short-tempered leader, Gigx, was ruining his attempts at brokering peace between their group and the TEST alliance.
The Judge discovered his leader’s meddling when he was about to fly to Iceland for the annual Council of Stellar Management meeting between elected EVE Online players and the game’s developers to discuss EVE. Bad timing, right? Not in Aryth’s eyes. As rival corporation Goonswarm’s ‘puppetmaster’, he knew he could flip The Judge to come and work for them. What he didn’t realise is just how far The Judge was willing to go.
Not only did the Judge steal every last penny from CO2’s vault, he transferred its citadels to TEST alliance’s control, and sold the Keepstar citadel - CO2’s main base of operations - to the Goonswarm for 400 billion ISK. When you add everything up, The Judge’s profit is about 1.5 trillion ISK. Trillion. Which comes to roughly US$10,000 (although it’s worth pointing out that this can’t be converted into real money).
It didn’t stop there. Gigx was understandably quite miffed when he found out about The Judge’s treachery. So, deciding not to take a step back and calm down, he not only asked for The Judge’s address and real name in CO2’s group chat, but also wrote “The Judge feel free to use your hands by typing here - while you can”. Yeah. Gigx got permabanned shortly afterwards. The Judge happily joined the Goonswarm Federation and proclaimed to PCGamer (opens in new tab) "I've got plenty of money to fly whatever I want for as long as I want," he laughs. "I don't have to worry about that. Now I can play the metagame or I can go around and fly in faction warfare space. I can do whatever I want”. Let’s hope things end just as happily for Tyrion.
7. Scooter McCabe and the newbies: Assassination turned rescue mission
In Game of Thrones this is basically... Dany freeing the Unsullied and Astapor’s slaves from the slavers, obviously. Except there are no dragons in this example. Unfortunately.
Starting off in EVE Online as a newbie is hard. So, to help out beginners, veteran players offer to recruit them. At least, that’s they’re meant to do. Some just run outright scams. Like Scottmw15, who lured newbies to lawless outer space - where they face certain death if they left the safety of his territory - and made them kill respawning NPC ships for cash. Which Scottmw15 got most of. Just to confirm that he’s a tyrant, he also made people click on ads in dating sites he owned to generate revenue, and generally acted like the most unhinged of dictators.
Unknown to him, a spy was watching his every move from within this hellhole. Using an alternate account, Scooter McCabe - getting revenge on Scottmw15 for calling one of Goonswarm’s friends a rather unpleasant name - had infiltrated the ring under the name Neerah, feigning being a new player. He’d play mind games with Scottmw15, repeating the information he heard from the inside while shooting down every ship that undocked as Scooter, sending Scottmw15 into a frenzy. He accused everyone inside his corporation of being Scooter, even accusing a player diagnosed with cancer (opens in new tab) as using his illness as a distraction technique.
Upon realising Scottmw15 was a despicable human being, Scooter decided he had had enough. Now he was leading a rescue mission. Allying with multiple other corporations, he arrived with a ton of ships and brought hell down on Scottmw15’s head. The tyrant didn’t take it very well. A mutiny started in the chat, with any players who criticised him booted and effectively left to die at the hands of circling pirates. Scooter to the rescue. He revealed his true identity to his fellow newbies, writing in the chat (opens in new tab) “We’re the Goonberets and we’re coming to liberate the oppressed. Russians, if you undock we will fucking kill you. Scottmw15, you had this coming”. He escorted 25 players to safe space and most of them joined the Karmafleet, Goonwarm’s own corporation for new players. As for Scottmw15 - he logged out in fear and hasn’t been seen since. Poetic justice. Daenerys would be proud.
8. SirMolle and the Titan: Know thy enemy
In Game of Thrones this is basically… the Unsullied going to Casterly Rock in season 7 to ambush the Lannisters… when really the Lannister forces have anticipated their every move and are sacking Highgarden. In this case, SirMolle is the Lannisters. Not Olenna Tyrell (rest in peace, you glorious schemer).
SirMolle, back then the leader of Band of Brothers alliance, had a point to prove. He had never lost a battle, wanted to conquer the entire space system, and just heard that a superfleet from his enemies RedSwarm was on its way. They had found out that SirMolle was building a Titan, one of EVE Online’s most powerful ships. But SirMolle wasn’t scared. Oh no. He had a plan to show he was still one of EVE Online’s most formidable leaders - one that even Cersei would nod approvingly at.
What Redswarm didn’t know is that SirMolle had set up an additional decoy shipyard (opens in new tab). While one was genuinely building a Titan, there was another that lay empty (even though construction was well underway, the two looked identical). RedSwarm didn’t know which one was building the Titan, so Sir Molle took the biggest risk possible. He set up all his defences - that’s 300 ships vs RedSwarm’s 1000 - around the vacant shipyard, predicting that his enemies would take the bait and assume that one had the Titan in it, leaving the other one well alone. If he was wrong, his Titan was left defenceless and would have been destroyed quicker than Cersei can down a bottle of Dornish red.
He was right. The RedSwarm fleet fell for his trick and attacked the empty - but heavily defended - shipyard, and to complete the ruse SirMolle fought back with all his might against the attack. The structure was destroyed. The next day, SirMolle announced that his Titan had been annihilated and RedSwarm rejoiced. What they didn’t notice was that it was April Fool’s Day. Of course, SirMolle informed them of their tragic mistake the next day, proving his tactical acumen and undoubtedly enjoying the sight of his brand new Titan.