One of the great things about HBO’s Game of Thrones is that literally anything can happen in that show. Whether it’s ice zombies, dragons, or Jon Snow being a secret Targaryen, nothing is beyond the realm of possibility. Season seven will be the second season that does not follow the A Song of Ice and Fire book series on which the HBO show is based. Though George R.R. Martin has been promising the sixth installment of his series, The Winds of Winter, for some time now, it seems unlikely that he will finish his series before HBO wraps up theirs. Because there is no book to tell us what will generally happen in season seven, and because this is the second season in a row to not have a book precedent, fans have been speculating like crazy about what will happen to our favorite (and least favorite) characters. While many of these speculations are perfectly rational, many more are completely bizarre–but then, it wouldn’t be Game of Thrones if things weren’t at least a little bit bizarre.
Even with the paparazzi shots of the filming in Spain and the allegedly “leaked spoilers” on Reddit, fan speculation is running wild. And unfortunately, since the air date has been pushed back to the summer of 2017 (as opposed to the usually early spring air date), it will be a long time before those speculations can be put to rest. But in the meantime, at least we have the 15 top fan theories about the show to keep us warm by the fires of Westeros.
15. Daenerys Will Legitimize Gendry
While this speculation isn’t out of the realm of possibility, it doesn’t make any sense when you think about it. Recent photos taken by sneaky paps show Joe Dempsie filming season seven and dressed like a lord. Folks over at winteriscoming.net believe that this means Daenerys has legitimized Gendry in a bid to win Westerosi support, especially in the Stormlands.
While the Stormlands might be more receptive to a Targaryen ruler if they are led by a Baratheon, this theory ignores one major point: Gendry will be a huge threat to Daenerys if he is legitimized. Robert Baratheon was the king, and though we know Joffrey and Tommen to be Lannisters, the smallfolk of Westeros believe they were also Baratheons. If Gendry is legitimized, he will continue the Baratheon line. It doesn’t matter if Daenerys is a Targaryen–she is the daughter of the Mad King, has lived her entire life in Essos, and is a woman. Gendry is a man, the spitting image of his father, and has lived his entire life in King’s Landing. While it’s not improbable that Gendry could be legitimized, it is highly unlikely that Daenerys is the person to do it.
14. Rhaegar Married Lyanna
From the very beginning of season one, Jon has been defined by his bastard status. It seemed like all of Westeros said, “You must be Ned Stark’s bastard” at some point or other. And even though season six has revealed that Jon is not actually Ned Stark’s bastard, he is still a bastard.
Or is he?
Though not a new theory, fans believe that season seven will reveal that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married before they died. Some believe he annulled his marriage to Elia Martell first, while others believe he was simply married to two women at the same time, not unlike his ancestors. Whatever the case, if Rhaegar did marry Lyanna, then that would make Jon legitimate, and therefore the heir to the iron throne–not Daenerys.
It’s highly unlikely Rhaegar did marry Lyanna–in both book and show canon, Rhaegar had two children (Rhaenys and Aegon) by his wife Elia. Rhaegar calls his son, Aegon, the prince that was promised, so it wouldn’t make sense for him to annul his marriage to Elia; many would have considered Aegon illegitimate and therefore unable to take the iron throne. Even if he didn’t annul his marriage, some record would have to exist of Rhaegar marrying Lyanna, and since roughly twenty years have passed since then without a peep from the septon presiding over the marriage, we can safely assume that Rhaegar did not, in fact, take Lyanna for his bride.
13. Sansa Will Side With Littlefinger
Littlefinger has been in Sansa’s life for a long time, and unfortunately, it doesn’t look like he’s leaving it anytime soon. What’s more, fans believe Sansa will align herself with Littlefinger once more.
Anyone who saw their interactions in season six (and remembers the hell Sansa lived through in season five because of Littlefinger) will hopefully dismiss this speculation. Sansa has literally no reason to trust Littlefinger–the fact that she hasn’t let Brienne pummel him yet is miraculous. If there’s any justice in the world, that’ll happen next season.
Weirdly enough, fans believe that Sansa will join forces with the man who gave her to Ramsay. Their shared look at the end of season six has been interpreted by many to mean that Littlefinger will work to make Sansa Queen in the North, or at least overpower Jon. Not only would this mean joining forces with a man she hates, but it would also mean Sansa would go back on her word.
12. Arya Stoneheart
Fans who have read the books will know that Catelyn’s death at the Red Wedding wasn’t her last appearance. After the wedding, the Freys dumped Catelyn’s body in a river; she washed up onshore some time later and was discovered by the Brotherhood Without Banners. Thoros, who has been consistently able to raise Beric Dondarrion from the dead, gave Catelyn the breath of life and brought her back from the dead. Because she was dead for several days (as opposed to a few minutes, as Beric usually is when Thoros brings him back from the dead), Catelyn (now called Lady Stoneheart) is unrecognizable from her usually just and merciful self and has become consumed by vengeance for those who killed her and her family.
Fans have been speculating for a while now that Arya is going to become the new Lady Stoneheart. Recently, a twist was added to this theory: that Arya would cut off Catelyn’s face and use it to become Catelyn Stark, and by so doing, become Lady Stoneheart.
Not only is this theory pretty gross, as it involves Arya finding her mother’s by now decayed body, cutting off her mottled face, and wearing it, but the logistics seem impossible. Why would Arya pretend to be her mother when she has just as much cause for vengeance? How would she find Catelyn’s body? What would she do as Catelyn Stark that she couldn’t do as Arya? Does that mean she wouldn’t go to Winterfell to find what’s left of her family? This is one speculation we hope doesn’t happen.
11. Sansa Is Pregnant
This speculation isn’t that new. Fans wondered if Sansa was pregnant before season six because promotional pictures made it look as if she had a baby bump, but it turned out to just be the way her costume settled.
Though season six came and went with no pregnancy (yet), the theory has risen again based off Sansa’s final interaction with Ramsay. Moments before being eaten by his own dogs, Ramsay told Sansa, “I am part of you now.” Fans have interpreted this to mean that Ramsay’s child is in Sansa’s belly–so part of him will quite literally be with her.
If Ramsay knew that Sansa was pregnant, he almost certainly would have mentioned it. Even if he didn’t know and was unwittingly alluding to a pregnancy, an entire season has gone by and Sansa has not shown any signs of pregnancy. Iwan Rheon has even dispelled the rumors, saying that the line means that Ramsay will always be in the back of Sansa’s mind.
10. Bran Will Let The White Walkers Through The Wall
The entire series has been building up to a battle between the people of Westeros and the white walkers, and if the rumors are true that season eight is going to be the final season, it would make sense that a second Battle for the Dawn would take place in season seven. While many believe that the people of Westeros will have to face the white walkers if and when the Wall falls down. Others believe that the white walkers will simply come through the Wall. How, you may ask?
If you remember the episode “Hold the Door,” you’ll remember that the three-eyed raven’s cave was protected by magical properties, making it impervious to the Night’s King and his fellow white walkers. When Bran encountered the Night’s King in a vision, however, the Night’s King marked him and thus was able to enter the cave. Some fans believe that the Wall is imbued with similar magical properties to the three-eyed raven’s dwelling, and that the Night’s King will mark Bran a second time (or his original mark will suffice) and be able to pass through the Wall in a way he was not able to previously.
9. Jon Will Marry Daenerys
This isn’t a new theory by any means, but now that leaked set photos indicate that Jon and Daenerys will meet this season, the theory has come back with a fury. Because Jon spends the majority of the series at a wall made of ice and Daenerys is known for taking what is hers with fire and blood, fans have speculated that the “song of ice and fire” actually refers to the union of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen.
It could work, in a convoluted sort of way. They are now the only two Targaryens left in the world, and if Daenerys is going to cement the reinstallation of Targaryens on the iron throne, she will need a consort, and who better than another Targaryen? Especially if the other theory is true and Jon really is Rhaegar’s legitimate heir–a claim that would trump Daenerys’s.
This may work in Daenerys’s favor, but it does not seem like Jon’s cup of tea. He has spent his entire life in the North and, even though he is half-Targaryen, he was raised as a Stark and considers himself one. He has also been recognized as the King in the North–that may change in season seven, but the sentiment remains. Jon’s place is in the North.
8. Jon Will Marry Sansa
Let’s be real: Kit Harington and Sophie Turner have a lot of chemistry. So much so, in fact, that fans now believe their characters are going to be the endgame. Even the wardrobe department has taken great pains to make the two cousins look like Ned and Catelyn Stark, something fans believe is indicative of their future.
These fans have even found evidence in canon that this pairing will come true. Tumblr user nobodysuspectsthebutterfly noticed something interesting in The Hedge Knight (a companion piece to the A Song of Ice and Fire series). In this book, Lord Ashford holds a tourney for his thirteen-year-old daughter’s birthday. The five champions of the tourney were Lyonel Baratheon, Leo Tyrell, Tybolt Lannister, Humfrey Hardyng, and Prince Valarr Targaryen. Nobodysuspectsthebutterfly noted that these are the same names and the same order of Sansa’s suitors–Baratheon (Joffrey), Tyrell (Loras and/or Willas Tyrell), Lannister (Tyrion), and Hardyng (Harry Hardyng, Sansa’s suitor in the book series and the heir to the Vale). Nobodysuspectsthebutterfly and other fans believe that we may see Sansa wooed by a Targaryen at some point in the future–and as there are only two Targaryens in the world (that we know of), all indicators point to Jon.
7. Jon Will Marry Sansa AND Daenerys
Yep, you read that correctly. Some fans have seen the virtues in a Jon/Daenerys endgame and some have seen the virtues in a Jon/Sansa endgame–and some have seen the virtues in both endgames. Rather than pit Daenerys against Sansa, some fans would rather see Jon marry both women. In the books, people (especially Daenerys) often say that there are three heads of the dragon. Just like Aegon and his sisters, fans believe that Jon will marry two of the women he is related to (his aunt and his cousin) and reunite the divided seven kingdoms. Of course, Sansa is not a Targaryen by blood, and nothing in her character arc has indicated she will ride one of the dragons, so there’s not much working in this theory’s favor.
6. The Stark-Snow-Lannister Love Triangle
A few years ago, George R.R. Martin’s proposal letter to Harper-Collins surfaced on the internet. Written in 1993, the letter outlines the plot of Martin’s proposed trilogy (LOL!), and a lot of it is pretty different from the series as we know it. For one thing, Sansa marries Joffrey and has a son with him. For another, Jaime Lannister kills his way to the iron throne. Strangest of all, however, is the love triangle. In the letter, George R.R. Martin explains that Arya will travel to the Wall, where she will fall in love with her half-brother Jon. While they are tormented by their forbidden love, Tyrion, who is also at the Wall, falls in love with Arya, something that will create a rivalry between him and Jon.
While this has not happened yet, some fans believe that there is still a possibility that Jon and Arya will fall in love, and Tyrion will fall in love with Arya. Not only is this really creepy, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense–something that other fans have been quick to notice. Some believe that Martin has replaced Arya with Sansa, and that Sansa’s marriage to Tyrion will complicate her growing relationship with Jon.
5. Jorah Will Use His Greyscale To Fight White Walkers
Okay, this theory is just crazy.
Jorah’s greyscale has become a huge part of his character arc, and while Daenerys has assigned him the task of curing his greyscale (sure, Daenerys, because that’s totally doable), it’s likely going to be the end of him. Were it not for sightings of Iain Glen in Belfast, Daenerys’s farewell to Jorah may have been the last time we saw him.
We can only guess what his role in season seven will be. Some fans believe that not only will he not have been cured by greyscale, but he will use it to fight the white walkers. Individuals with greyscale are sometimes called “the stone men” because the greyscale makes their skin resemble stone. In the books, wildlings say that Shireen is already dead because of the disease. One very bizarre theory says that because Jorah is “already dead,” he is not fully alive, and therefore cannot be killed by the white walkers. Subsequently, this theory suggests that his own undead state may prove fatal to the white walkers.
4. Tyrion Is A Targaryen
This is another theory that isn’t new, but each season fans keep bringing it up in the hopes that it will happen.
Book readers will know that Mad King Aerys lusted after Tywin’s wife Joanna. In Westeros it is traditional for men to accompany the bride to the bridal chamber on her wedding night and strip her of her clothes. Usually they only remove a few outer garments so as to preserve the dignity of the newlyweds, but Ser Barristan reports that Aerys took “certain liberties” with Joanna on her wedding night. Some fans have speculated that Aerys raped her–and this may not have been the only time he did so. Rumors spread that they were lovers, to the point where Queen Rhaella sent Joanna away from court. For whatever reason, some fans believe that Aerys raped Joanna and she conceived a child as monstrous as the deed that had been done–a dwarf named Tyrion.
There are a lot of problems with this theory, one of which being the idea that Tyrion is only disabled because his mother was raped, which is such a medieval way of thinking that we can’t believe someone came up with this idea in the 21st century. Additionally, while both Targaryens and Lannisters are indeed blonde, Targaryens have silver hair and Lannisters have golden hair. Tyrion is described as having golden hair–not silver.
Even if it were true, there would be no way of proving it. Joanna was married to Tywin, and unless they stopped having sex after the conception of Jaime and Cersei (unlikely), there would be no way to prove Tyrion was Aerys’s child and not Tywin’s, especially not now that Tywin is too dead to dispute it.
3. Mance Rayder Was Rhaegar
Mance Rayder has been a wildling, a brother of the Night’s Watch, and King-Beyond-the-Wall. Some believe there is another title he has held: Prince Rhaegar Targaryen.
It’s true that Rhaegar and Mance have certain similarities: both men loved to play the harp and sing. Mance is particularly fond of the story of Bael the Bard, a wildling who not only lay with a daughter of Winterfell, but also convinced her to live in the crypts; when she was discovered by her family, she had a baby son. Fans can’t help noticing the parallels here to Lyanna, who rests in the crypts of Winterfell, and had a bastard boy. Additionally, Mance likes to sing “The Dornishman’s Wife”, which fans argue is a reference to the fact that Rhaegar Targaryen had a Dornish wife.
But how to explain Rhaegar’s death?
The ruby at Melisandre’s throat changes her appearance into that of a young woman. In the books, she gives a similar charm to Mance Rayder, who then takes on the guise of Rattleshirt–Rattleshirt, disguised as Mance, dies in Mance’s place. When Rhaegar Targaryen was killed at the Trident, rubies from his armor fell everywhere. Some fans believe that Rhaegar used these rubies to change his appearance into that of Mance Rayder and go North to the Wall. In some variations, the real Mance Rayder (or the man who looked liked him) rode in Rhaegar’s place while Rhaegar was already booking it north. In the books, Mance also describes having snuck over the Wall purely to visit Winterfell, which is definitely a strange thing to do. Fans believe that Rhaegar as Mance did this to check on his son, and that is why Mance takes a shine to Jon.
2. There Is An Ice Dragon Living In The Wall
Get ready, because this theory is pretty wacky.
The Wall is a major location and plot point for much of the series. Built thousands of years ago by men and the children of the forest, the Wall is meant to protect the seven kingdoms from the beings of the Lands of Always Winter. Imbued with certain magical properties, the undead cannot pass through the Wall. Some fans believe that this magic is actually the magic of a dragon. Ice dragons once existed in Westeros, around the same time the Wall was built, but it’s unlikely that a dragon would be living in the Wall. Normal dragons have long lifespans, but 8,000 years is too long. Granted, we don’t know how long ice dragons can live, but since they’re all gone now, they probably also didn’t have such long lifespans. And how would the dragon have been encased in the Wall, and why?
1. There Is A Dragon Living Under Winterfell
If you thought a dragon living in the Wall was crazy, get ready for this: some fans think a dragon may be living underneath Winterfell.
The evidence for this speculation is pretty watery. Basically, Winterfell was built on top of hot springs, which the maesters of the Citadel say are heated “by the furnaces of the world.” These “furnaces” only appear in two other places in the world, both of which were home to dragons. The first location is the Fourteen Flames. The Fourteen Flames were located in Valyria and were the spot where dragons were first discovered. The second location is Dragonstone, which was home to the Targaryens before they conquered Westeros. So that’s already iffy, because dragons didn’t actually rise from the pits of Dragonstone, so who’s to say they could from the hot springs of Winterfell?
Additionally, Winterfell and Dragonstone are two of the only castles in Westeros to have gargoyles, which reaching fans think may be because both were home to dragons once. Fans of this theory believe a dragon (or possibly family of dragons) lives under Winterfell, that its fire keeps the hot springs hot, and that this dragon will rise from the depths if and when the white walkers and their army of wights reach Winterfell.
Ridiculous? Completely. But this is Game of Thrones, so anything could happen.