So here we are, at the end of the sixth – and possibly most epic – season of HBO’s groundbreaking fantasy series, Game of Thrones. The characters we met six years ago have come so far in their respective journeys. Some have ascended to great power, while others have fallen into the depths of despair. And then there are those who, despite their best efforts, didn’t make it this far into the series. But winter is still coming. Dragons have taken flight. A new “prince who was promised” has supposedly been reborn. Magic and sorcery have seeped through the cracks as the world of man once again plunges into an age of chaos, conflict, and war. This is where it gets really interesting. The smaller antagonists have been purged, and what lies ahead will be a greater threat to everyone in Westeros. And yet, there are so many questions that still beg to be answered. There are so many mysteries in this song of ice and fire that tug at our curiosity and make us put the pieces together in our heads.
Who is Jon Snow’s father really? How will Cersei’s story finally end? Who, or what, are the White Walkers and where did the Night’s King come from? There is an abundance of theories and speculation all over the internet, but I’ve scoured its deepest recesses (not really, I kinda Googled it but it’s still research okay!) to find some of the most insane albeit popular Game Of Thrones theories that could turn out to be true as time goes by. Without the books to serve as the show’s backbone anymore, there’s no telling where this mythology will take us. So here they are, 13 Game of Thrones theories that sound too insane to be true, but are so plausible nonetheless that they could indeed become cannon in the near future. Be warned though, for there are spoilers beyond this point. Not intricate, detailed spoilers… but spoilers nonetheless for those of you who are not caught up on the show.
13. R + L = J
Let’s kick things off with the mother of all Game of Thrones theories, one that revolves around Jon Snow’s heritage and his true, extremely prophetic lineage. Ever since the first Game Of Thrones book was published some 17 years ago, fans have been dying to know who Jon Snow’s real parents are. Yes, Ned Stark claims that Jon is his bastard son whom he sired with an unnamed woman while he was away at war, but the fact that the patriarchal Stark who is known to be honorable to a fault would cheat on his wife seemed too farfetched a notion from the get-go. Fans believe that Jon is actually the son of Rhaegar Targaryen, who apparently lusted over and abducted Ned’s sister Lyanna, only to have a son with her. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The general consensus is that Rhaegar Targaryen was never a bad person to begin with, and that he didn’t abduct or force himself onto Lyanna at all. In fact, the two were in love and eloped together, causing a terrifying domino effect that started with Robert Baratheon’s rebellion against all Targaryens.
Robert, who so desperately loved Lyanna, believed in his heart that his to-be bride was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by Rhaegar, causing the ultimate exile of all Targs from Westeros, eradicating their claim to the Iron Throne. The truth is, Ned Stark knew of his sister’s child, Jon, and promised to protect him from Robert’s wrath before Lyanna succumbed to childbirth. With both Jon’s parents lost to the chaos of it all, Ned took it upon himself to raise his nephew as his illegitimate son, even sending him so far off to the Wall to ensure that his Targaryen lineage would never be realized.
However, destiny has a way of working itself out, and as we’ve seen so far in Game of Thrones, Jon Snow’s role is far more important and far more central than anyone would have first imagined. If this theory is true, it means that Jon Snow could very well be the literal “Song of Ice and Fire”; a hybrid between the chilling North and the raging flames of the Targaryen bloodline.
12. There Are Dragons Under Winterfell
This is an interesting theory that stems from the fact that the Stark stronghold of Winterfell is kept warm by water from hot springs. Now, before you put on your geography studies cap and explain to me how hot springs get hot, take a second to remember that this is a story about dragons and ice zombies so, bear with me for a bit okay?
The urban myth of Winterfell’s underbelly being warmed by dormant dragons may sound too farfetched, until you realize that rumors of the Stark castle sitting atop a clutch of dragon eggs are actually a real thing in the North. Centuries earlier, Good Queen Alysanne Targaryen’s dragon was rumored to have laid eggs in the vast underground beneath the Stark building, and although there is no news of what happened to the dragon or the eggs, the possibility of there being other dragons in this world sparks an ensemble of other, smaller theories. For one, if Jon Snow is the prophesized hybrid between Stark and Targaryen, it could mean that his presence at Winterfell could awaken the dormant dragons below. It could also spell trouble for Daenerys and her three loyal reptiles. And it could also mean the White Walkers may need to rethink their strategy.
There’s also the very real possibility that the dragons underneath Winterfell are wild and dangerous, as discussed in The World of Ice and Fire guidebook, and seemingly nothing good can come from beasts of that sort. One last thing, Winterfell’s vast catacombs that houses its tombs are referred to multiple times throughout the series. This gives credence to the fact that there is more underneath the Stark home that meets the eye.
11. Bran Stark, Bran the Builder, and The Mad King
I’ve already placed a spoiler warning above for those not caught up on the latest season of Game of Thrones (if you’re one of them, why are you even reading this article? Come back once you’re up to speed!) but I’m saying it again just in case. The night is dark and full of spoilers!
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about little Brandon Stark who so happens to be not so little anymore. The once fan favorite character has become a divisive name on the show thanks to his persistent impatience and constant bumbling during his warging sessions. Not only did he get everyone’s gentle giant killed (thanks for holding the door, old friend), he also seemingly gave way for the Night’s King to enter the realm of men. Oh Bran, why’d you have to mess things up for everyone?
Apparently that’s not the end of Bran’s f*ck-ups. Despite being one of the most interesting and obviously pivotal parts of the show, there’s a lot of reason to believe that young Bran is actually behind many characters in the show’s past. Since he has the ability to be a spectator in time and warg into certain characters, fans believe that the Mad King’s mental breakdown and subsequent orders to “Burn them all” is actually due to Bran once again fiddling with the time loop. Bran is now armoring up against the White Walkers, and we’ve seen that the only way to defeat them is to… you guessed it, “Burn them all”. Plus, we also saw glimpses of the Mad King in Bran’s prophetic visions while he was being carted away during the Walker invasion. This means that Bran could be responsible for the deaths of so many members of his own family, and not to mention countless other innocents.
There’s also the rumor that Bran Stark is the legendary “Bran the Builder”, who apparently built the whole of Winterfell. This basically means that, while Bran cannot change the past per se, he can go back and influence it to stay on course. Bran built Winterfell, Bran caused the Mad King’s tyrannous meltdown, and Bran probably has to go back in time to train the Three-Eyed Raven, so that he can in turn train Bran in a continuous time loop.
My head hurts.
10. Azor Ahai is “The Three-Headed Dragon”
Who is Azor Ahai? While it’s never implicitly stated in the books, Azor Ahai is sometimes believed to be the prophesized “Prince Who Was Promised”. And at other times they seem to be completely different personas. There’s also the notion that the word “prince” is not gender specific, just like “dragon” could refer to either male or female. This is all the more reason to believe that Daenerys Targaryen is indeed both Azor Ahai and the Prince Who Was Promised.
Nevertheless, it is said that Azor Ahai will be reborn to bring balance to the kingdom, but what’s more interesting is the way Azor Ahai is described. The tales tell of a “three-headed dragon” that will come into power… and many believe this isn’t a literal term for an actual dragon, but rather three different dragon riders. One head is obviously the Khaleesi herself, the silver-haired Daenerys Targaryen, ruler of Drogon and his winged siblings. The other, if the R + L = J theory is to be believed, is Jon Snow, who possesses Targaryen lineage and the ability to tame his own dragons as well. So who’s the third dragon whisperer?
Well, there can be only one who seems to perfectly fit the bill…
9. Tyrion is a Targaryen
Yes, you read that right. Many have believed since early on that Tyrion Lannister, son of Tywin and brother to weirdo siblings Cersei and Jaime, is actually the son of Mad King Aerys and Tywin’s wife, Joana. The fact that Aerys has the hots for Joana is no secret, but how exactly Tyrion was conceived remains unclear. Some believe that Aerys forced himself onto Joana, while others think Tywin himself masterminded the session between the two like a creepy old pimp, so that his wife could deliver a son of Targaryen lineage. Fast forward a few decades, and we have Tyrion Lannister who is not only one of the most pivotal parts of the series, but also very fond of… you guessed it, dragons.
When Tyrion descends to the catacombs to pay Drogon’s smaller siblings a visit while Daenerys is away, he speaks to the dragons about wanting one of his own when he was a child, and how people would mock him and laugh at him for his fascination with the winged reptiles. Surprisingly, the dragons don’t harm Tyrion, and we’re all left wondering if there is something more to this relationship than what the series is letting on.
Now, rewind a couple of seasons to that fateful night when Tyrion sent an arrow through his father’s chest while Tywin was on the toilet, and this rumor suddenly carries a lot more weight. Tywin, in his disgust, says that Tyrion is “no son of mine,” before he’s put to rest on the sh*tter on which he sits. Is Tyrion Lannister in fact, Tyrion Targaryen? It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
8. Bran Will Take Control of the Dragons
Now, we’ve covered the part where Bran can basically warg into other people and animals and make them do his bidding. We also know that the Night’s King and his undead horde are fast approaching, thanks in part to Bran himself, and the only real way to stop them is with magic derived from dragons. And as we all know, the only dragons on the show so far belong to the Queen of Mereen, Daenerys Targaryen. There’s also that rumor above that there are dormant albeit wild dragons under the stronghold of Bran’s birthplace, Winterfell.
Put two and two together and it suddenly makes sense that, while the rogue dragons cannot be tamed by either Stark or Targaryen, they can be warged into by a powerful greenseer like Brandon Stark. And that’s exactly what fans believe he’ll do in order to create a fierce army to battle the apocalyptic White Walkers. But is Game Of Thrones really that simple? Of course not. There also the little rumor of an Ice Dragon lying dormant somewhere beyond the wall, ready to be awakened by the Night’s King himself, so we’ll just have to see how all this plays out when winter finally comes around.
7. Meera is Jon’s Sister
Meera is a peculiar character in the Game of Thrones series. Not much is known of her other than the fact that the Three-Eyed Raven thinks she’s needed to ensure Bran’s safety, which to be fair, he was very right about. Good call, sir!
There’s a belief that Meera is actually the twin sister of Jon Snow. Let’s go back to the original R + L = J theory for a minute to see how this works. Now, let’s assume Jon Snow is indeed the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, but instead of being the only child to the forbidden couple, he also had a twin sister… Meera.
It would make sense that Ned Stark wouldn’t bundle both children with him, and therefore passed baby Meera off to Howland Reed to raise as his own instead. That would explain why Howland never attempted to bind Meera and Jon Snow or Robb Stark in marriage. It’s all very Luke and Leia, but it does make a lot of sense if you think about it. Other than that, people have also compared the two and you can’t deny that there’s a resemblance. I mean, I’d believe they were siblings if I didn’t know any better. As icing on this theoretical cake, Meera also happens to be around the same age as Lord Snow… so there you go.
6. Jaime is “the Valonqar”, Daenerys is the “Young Queen”
As far as interesting theories go, this one ranks way up high on the list. When the vile and oftentimes vengeful Cersei Lannister was a child, she paid a visit to a witch in the woods named Maggy the Frog, who prophesized that Cersei will be attacked, and possibly killed, by “the Valonqar.” For those of us who don’t speak High Valyrian, the Valonqar loosely translates to “little brother” or “little sibling.” Cersei always figured the witch was talking about Tyrion, her own little brother, and has since despised him out of fear and paranoia. But the translation doesn’t necessarily have to be gender specific. It could mean anyone’s little sibling… from Arya Stark to Sandor Clegane all being worthy candidates on that list. The general consensus though, is that the Valonqar is none other than Cersei’s most trusted person in the world, her twin sibling, Jaime Lannister. Gasp, plot twist!
The series has been hinting at Jaime’s renewed love – in more ways than one – for his sister over the last few episodes, which means a major twist that sees him slaying her for either his own personal agenda or for the betterment of the realm, is not too farfetched and not at all beyond George R.R Martin’s capacity. The witch also spoke of a “young queen” who would overthrow Cersei and take from her all that she held dear. This new queen would be younger, and far more beautiful, which explains Cersei’s disdain for both Sansa Stark and Margaery Tyrell. But let’s not forget that another queen is fast conquering the land; one that moves with such ferocity and is hailed as the most beautiful woman in the world. Daenerys Targaryen, for all intents and purposes, could be the queen to end Cersei and take from her the kingdom, the throne, and her life.
5. Syrio Forel is Jaqen H’ghar
Remember Syrio Forel? He was Arya Stark’s cool battle instructor, who unfortunately didn’t make it very far into the series. Or… did he? The character doesn’t really “die” on paper in the books, but the fact that he’s left to fend for himself with a training sword while Arya flees during all the chaos is proof enough that the guy didn’t make it.
Or… did he? Syrio is known as the First Sword of Braavos… and as we all know, those guys are pretty good at their swords and sh*t so what’s to say that their finest swordsman didn’t take on a bunch of guards and survive the siege in one piece? Fast forward a few chapters down the road, and Arya’s only trusted friend happens to be another Braavosi, the badass assassin Jaqen H’ghar, who also happens to take a strange interest in Arya’s welfare. Could it be that Syrio Forel is none other than Jaqen H’ghar himself? It isn’t as insane as it sounds, since the Faceless Men literally peel faces off and disguise themselves as other people so seamlessly. A lot of people believe that Syrio’s ultimate aim was to recruit Arya into the Faceless Men’s league of elite assassins.
Or… was it? Maybe that was his plan. Or maybe his plan was to set Arya straight all along. Was she supposed to have a name or not? It’s all very complicated, but I guess we may never really know if Syrio and Jaqen were one and the same.
Or… will we?
4. The Maester Conspiracy
Okay so this is one of those theories that is really quite plausible, but literally nobody gives a damn about. Because really, who gives a rat’s roundish behind about a bunch of old dudes conspiring with each other behind everyone’s backs? There are literally giants and dragons and ice zombies walking around and terrorizing people while a bunch of senior citizens could be plotting their evil scheme in the shadows.
Anyway, the theory suggests that these seemingly buffoon-like maesters are actually hatching a diabolical plan to overthrow the powerful families of King’s Landing and take the Iron Throne all for themselves. What they plan to do with it after that is as vague as the exact date winter is supposed to arrive, but hey, I never said any of these theories were foolproof. Apparently this brotherhood of old men in robes are bent on ridding the realm of all magic and restoring logic and order in its rightful place. Yeah, tell that to the vicious necro-army beyond the wall.
Apparently the maesters were instrumental in killing off all the dragons and also banished Aemon Targaryen to the Wall, thus preventing him from ascending to power within the Citadel. We’ve also seen assassins try to take out Daenerys Targaryen multiple times… another seemingly clever plot by those kooky old muppets up in King’s Landing.
3. The White Walkers Made the Wall
One of the most exciting theories out there is this one by redditor c_forrester_thorne. An obvious superfan of both the books and the TV show, c_forrester_throne claims that the Night’s King and his army of the undead aren’t really mindless beasts serving one master at all, but rather a people with culture and reason who are ready to wage war thanks to a broken treaty.
The theory suggests that the White Walkers (or the Others) made a pact with men a long time ago, and in order to ensure the survival of the two, a Wall was put up to separate the realms. The Others built this wall themselves, which would explain its supposed magical indestructible quality. Unfortunately, men are not known to keep their promises, and a breach in the treaty has now angered the Others. The presence of man beyond the Wall, and the rise of magic thanks to the Targaryen children, has given the Night’s King incentive to find their way into the realm of man and bring the cold with them. That’s why they don’t really attack the Wildlings. That’s why babies are given to them as sacrifice, although there’s no real evidence that anything happens to the infants. That’s also why the Walkers don’t breach the Wall, but rather push men against it in an attempt to shove them back out of their domain.
2. The Faceless Men are Everywhere
Is Daenerys’ loyal advisor Missandei a Faceless Man? Some people seem to believe she is. In fact, some people believe that the Faceless Men are everywhere and are far more important to the story than just being instruments in Arya Stark’s rise to prominence.
The cult of assassins for hire seem to be movers and shakers that work in the shadows, much like The League of Assassins led by Ra’s Al-Ghul for those of you who are into Batman references. They’re also not very fond of the Targaryen bloodline, which could explain why they’re motive is to destroy the Khaleesi and her three “sons” before she gets to King’s Landing. Then there’s also the fact that they could be protecting Daenerys and her dragons because, well, she’s being a badass by turning the system on its head and freeing thousands of innocents in the process. So which one is it? If they are a powerful cult out to place characters in the right place at the right time, it could explain Jaqen H’ghar’s interest in Arya Stark, a character who we all know is nothing short of a central piece of this complex web of chaos and conspiracies.
1. Daenerys is the Ultimate Villain
We all know that Daenerys Targaryen, breaker of chains and mother of dragons, is the hero in all of this… right? Well, maybe not. There have always been subtle hints comparing Daenerys’ impulsiveness and rage to her father, the Mad King Aerys, and with every new city she conquers her lust for the Iron Throne grows wilder. While she is a powerful force of good, she has also shown lapses in mercy a number of times, and her rage gets the better of her. Not to mention, hanging around fire-breathing dragons, as insanely cool they may be, can’t be healthy for anyone’s psyche. There’s also the fact that dragons were destroyed for a good reason… they were untamed and had the capacity to wipe out the armies of men from the earth.
With every step Jon Snow takes towards the Iron Throne himself, Daenerys takes bigger steps and secures her spot as a powerful adversary in this mad grab for power. When it comes down to Jon Snow, rumored to be Azor Ahai reborn and the prophesized Prince, going toe to toe with the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, whose side will you be on? Will the Khaleesi forgo all order in her attempt to secure her bloodline’s place on the Throne, and turn into a war-mongering tyrant in the process as her dragons scorch the land, or will Jon Snow find an ally in the silver-haired queen? I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.