Do you like your shows full of heavy drama?
Do you want morally upright main characters?
Are you craving a classic American western show?
In that case, then The Big Valley may just be up your alley.
The Big Valley aired from September 1965 to May 1969 for four seasons.
Each one-hour episode follows the story of the ranch-owning Barkley Family.
The mother, Victoria, acts as a strong matriarch of the family.
She has three sons: Jarrod, Nick, and Eugene, and a daughter named Audra.
However, it doesn’t take long for the show to introduce Heath, the late Thomas Barkley’s illegitimate son.
Drama, action, suspense, and intrigue, the Big Valley has them all.
Fortunately, most of the series is available on Youtube.
Its availability is probably why the show’s fandom is still up and running.
And in this post, I’ll be providing summaries for the top 20 most popular Big Valley fanfiction stories online!
Here are our picks for the Top 20 Big Valley Fanfiction Stories to Read in 2023.
1. Brother Game
Brother Game may be one of the best fanfiction stories to read in this fandom.
In fact, at least 90 authors have it included in their list of favorite stories!
Fans of the show may take comfort in the fact that this one is a completed work with 38 chapters!
This story happens in an alternate universe in which the author changes the characters’ ages.
Also, the author also chooses not to include Eugene in the story.
Do not let these changes dissuade you from reading this gem, however.
Brother Game focuses on Heath, the illegitimate son of Thomas Barkley and how he was accepted and beloved as a true member of the Barkley family.
Indeed, Brother Game is one story that is hard to put down once you start reading it.
It is full of action and insights into the thoughts of the characters.
It also has touching descriptions of moments between the siblings.
This story has a fair bit of angst and some humor sprinkled in it, too!
78 authors love this story, and for good reason.
There is something magical about the Hurt/Comfort genre that makes it one of the most popular to write for in the Big Valley fandom.
Belonging is among those at the very top of that category.
This story is about Heath who is the “newest” member of the Barkley family.
In this story, Heath desperately wants to prove himself worthy to his brothers, especially to Nick, whom he feels does not accept him as a worthy brother yet.
This desperation ultimately leads him to get sick while working on their ranch – making his newfound family worry, Nick included.
This one-shot delves deep into Heath’s thoughts and feelings.
In particular, it makes readers see why he acts the way he does in front of his older brothers.
It fleshes him out as a character who craves the acceptance of his family – like any real person would.
58 authors included this story in their favorites list.
This 6-chaptered fanfiction takes our characters, especially Heath and Nick, on one heck of an emotional ride.
In Locked Memories, a character from Heath’s past shows up.
He fears this man’s presence will spell trouble for his family – a thought not shared by his brother, Nick.
Unfortunately, Heath is right to worry about this man.
It may even cost him his life!
This story is an excellent example of one that shows the positive progression of the relationship between Heath and Nick.
Especially as the two have yet to form a solid brotherhood between them by the time the plot in Locked Memories kicks in.
This story is also quite short at 10k words.
It’s perfect for those who want to read a finished story in a short amount of time!
Fourth on our list is a favorite story of 53 authors.
Unlike the others, this one is a work-in-progress – but readers hope it will be updated soon!
From the title you can probably gather that Learning to Love a Brother is a story about Nick trying to do just that.
It explores an alternate universe set in the Season 1 episode “My Son, My Son.”
Heath gets shot, and the family, especially Nick, has to learn how to deal with the events that follow that tragic moment.
This story is emotional and has solid characterizations all around.
Learning to Love a Brother is a interesting exploration of the growing bond between Nick and Heath.
It is a good reminder that we should show our love to our family every chance we can!
If you find yourself immersed in Brother Game, and you feel sad that it is finished, look no further than There is a Season, which the author wrote as a sequel to that story.
No wonder this latest one is in the favorites list of 53 readers!
In There is a Season, Heath is still finding his place in the Barkleys.
However, trouble soon brews for the family when the Barkley brothers’ little sister, Audra, gets kidnapped.
This story is a must-read if you are a fan of Brother Game and The Big Valley.
It is insightful, well-written, and has good action sequences.
6. In Step
This is a story many readers have included in their list of favorite stories.
In Step displays the growth of Big Valley’s characters, notably Heath and Nick.
In the story, both come to accept that they are now members of the same family.
This is a big step considering they only learned about the fact not too long ago.
In Step is heartbreakingly beautiful, sweet, and written with great insight into the characters.
This story is an excellent example of how talented this fandom’s authors are.
We hope you have a lot of free time set to dedicate to reading this story.
After all, it has 69 chapters and 170k words in total.
But it will be worth it!
The Price of His Word plays a bit with the characters’ ages, making Heath only about 20 years old.
This story has a bit of everything.
An accidental shooting happens in the family, resulting in Heath getting hurt.
This event leads them to grow closer as a family.
In other words, it’s just a typical day in the life of a Barkley!
This story has great action and tender moments between the characters.
The Price of His Word will make you feel like breezing through 69 chapters without breaking a sweat.
Now that is a hallmark of a terrific fanfiction story!
Don’t let this seemingly one-shot-looking story fool you.
This 32k-word fanfiction is published as a single chapter, but the story is broken down into 12 parts.
No Son of Mine explores the characters’ relationships like most of the stories in this list.
However, this one takes a slightly different route.
Aside from focusing on fan-favorite Heath, the story takes its time fleshing out Victoria.
An event occurs that threatens to take her away from her children.
But, it may also make her eventually realize that she has more than she thought she did.
This story is sweet, insightful, and true to the characters as they are portrayed in the show.
No Son of Mine is a good story to read if you want one that highlights the precious bond between a mother and a long-lost son.
Branded’s plot takes place at the very beginning of the series.
An unfortunate incident happens to Heath.
This makes him realize just how much he is valued by the Barkleys afterward.
Equally short and sweet, Branded can be a pretty quick read but is still impactful.
It gets deep into Heath’s head and shows insight into his character.
It also shows his believable reactions to his new family’s concern for his welfare.
10. What Makes a Man
Our next entry is a story set in an alternate universe.
At 97k+ words, this 44-chaptered story is a definite happy ending with an epilogue.
It is included in the favorites list of 41 authors at FF.Net.
While canonically Thomas Barkley is already dead by the time Big Valley’s plots kicked in, What Makes a Man explores a what-if situation where he is still alive and well.
The younger Barkley, Nick, hears about Thomas’s seeming infidelity and decides to ride out to see the truth for himself.
While he wants to prove everyone wrong along the way, he is soon confronted by the harsh reality of his Father’s situation – in the form of his other son, Heath.
Unlike most of the stories in this list, parts of What Makes a Man is taken from Nick’s point of view.
It takes the viewers along for the ride during the crucial moment he finds out about Heath’s presence.
Moreover, the POV switches to a young Heath, who has long learned to live by himself the moment Nick arrives.
It also shows how the truth impacts him in so many ways as well.
This story is very gripping and insightful.
It will definitely leave readers wanting more of this alternate universe.
11. Eye For An Eye
Drama just seems to follow the Barkleys everywhere.
Indeed, that’s what makes their stories so good to watch – and read about!
In Eye for An Eye, the brother of a deceased bank robber exacts his vengeance the only way he knows how.
And that’s to target one of the Barkleys in return.
Deeply enthralling, this story just shows the lengths a man can go to avenge his brother’s death.
This is in addition to the love and protectiveness of the Barkleys over one another!
However, be warned that this story is left unfinished by the author.
Fortunately, the 26 chapters they already published are still good to read!
12. One Man’s Hell
Sometimes it’s good to revisit the motivations of each character in order to understand them more.
One Man’s Hell is a 4k+ word story that does exactly that.
It starts with a misunderstanding between Nick and Heath over a horse.
As this is set near the beginning of the series, these two brothers haven’t accepted each other yet.
Nonetheless, Nick learning more about Heath’s past may just help him get a better look and understanding of the life his brother had lived.
This is a short story that manages to capture the characters vividly.
It’s well worth reading!
13. The Trap
Big Valley fanfiction authors just seem to like putting Heath in precarious situations.
The Trap is no exception!
This 10k+ word one-shot is a harrowing tale of Heath going after Audra in the rain to keep her safe.
However, he ends up getting caught in a bear trap all of a sudden!
Just how will the Barkleys save him in time?
You’ll have to read it to find out!
This story thoroughly explores Heath’s relationship with his sister, Audra.
It also shows how much a Barkley Heath has become when Nick and Jarrod ride out to save him no matter the cost!
Writing “missing scenes” from an episode is a great way to explore scenarios and characters more.
The story Boxes is one of those!
It’s written as a missing scene in the episode “The Iron Box” in Season Two.
In this episode, both Nick and Heath suffered when they were arrested and sent to a labor camp without trial.
It’s now up to Big Brother Jarrod how to save them from a horrific fate!
Fair warning, however, that this story hasn’t been updated since 2021.
Nonetheless, it’s still a fantastic story!
Have you ever wondered what would have happened if Heath had come into the Barkleys family in a different way?
That’s the scenario Thicker Than Waters throws at its readers.
In this story, Nick and Jarrod meet Heath in an auction and feel inexplicably drawn to the young man – without knowing they all shared a father.
Fate soon throws Heath and his daughter Leah into the Barkleys’ everyday lives, where they truly belong.
Thicker Than Water is a fantastic alternate universe that still contains the elements that make The Big Valley so loved!
Generally, Heath finding his way around the Barkleys is one of the more popular stories for Big Valley.
Something about strangers being bound by fate makes for great fanfic!
Overall, Trouble in a Small Town is an interesting exploration of this time in the Barkleys’ lives.
This 50k+ word one-shot is even included in the favorite stories’ list of 36 authors!
In this story, almost all the Barkleys have accepted Heath – except Nick.
But it’s Nick that Heath wanted acceptance and approval from the most!
This story really pulls at the heart of its readers.
And it rewards them with a very touching ending.
17. Brothers Be
This story is a favorite of 35 authors, and it’s not hard to see why.
While other Big Valley stories love exploring the relationship between Nick and Heath, Brothers Be aims for something different.
All in all, it shows us Jarrod’s point of view as he patiently deals with Heath.
Especially when the latter doesn’t yet understand what exactly families do for each other!
Sweet and to the point, Brothers Be shows just how good a brother Jarrod is.
And his growing bond with Heath is a tender thing to read about!
This story is a missing scene set after the episode “Winner Lose All” in Season 1.
It also shows how much heartache Heath suffered after Maria left at the end of the episode.
He travels to Scott Valley to oversee a mine, not mindful of the fact that he isn’t feeling his best.
Unexpectedly, Nick follows after him, all the while not willing to admit that he’s pretty worried about his brother!
This story illustrates how Heath has well acclimated to the Barkleys.
It also displays the great friendship and brotherhood that has grown between him and Nick!
Another missing scene, this story is set after the episode “The Guilt of Matt Bentell” in Season 1.
While in the show, Matt Bentell is the timber camp foreman who is also part of Heath’s painful past.
In Sacrifices, the story opens with Heath’s unexplained disappearance and Nick’s desperate attempts to find him – by questioning Matt Bentell.
This is a sweet story with family love, healing, and forgiveness at the very forefront of it.
20. Anything for You
Lastly, this entry on our list is also a missing scene for the episode “The Guilt of Matt Bentell” in Season 1 of the show.
Anything for You is a creative story that attempts to tell an interconnected tale set in between Now and Then.
For one thing, the author showcases Heath’s difficult life in the past while also relating it to his present circumstances – especially now with Matt Bentell in their lives.
this story is proof of how hard Heath’s life had been prior to his arrival in the Barkleys’ lives.
Basically, it shows how willing Heath is to do anything for his family – even to his own personal detriment.
The Big Valley Fanfiction: Conclusion
We hope this article has helped you find 20 of the Best Big Valley Fanfiction Stories to read this year.
These are just a sample of all the awesome Big Valley fics out there.
So if we missed one that should be included, let us know in the comments!
And if you have any questions about this topic, please leave a message in the comments below!
Also, if you want to read more great fanfic summaries on this site, check out: