Does Game of Thrones feel like show that was created for the sole purpose of fan theories? Yes, 100% yes. There are so many theories on Game of Thrones because of the mystical aspect of the show. I mean, there are witches, magic, dragons, prophecies, and people literally coming back from the dead. Of course, some of these theories are farfetched and don’t necessarily pan out, but some of them do totally pan out.
The widest known theory – R + L = J – was finally revealed to be true in season six of Game of Thrones. If you’re unfamiliar, R + L = J was that Rhaegar Targaryen + Lyanna Stark = Jon Snow. It was one of the biggest fan theories since, well, since forever. And it totally came true. Because the R + L = J theory turned out to be true, it does mean that fan theories should be given some merit. Sure, some theories are crazy, like the one that Varys is a merman. Yes, there's an insane theory that Varys is a merman who wants the dragons to melt the ice so his mer-people will have more water to swim about in. That theory gets a big LOL. But there are still a ton of fan theories that deserve discussing, and we have 15 of them!
Below are 15 major fan theories that play into who will end up on the Iron Throne, because that’s the point of the whole show, right? Also, read ahead at your own risk because this article is dark and full of spoilers.
14 Daenerys Targaryen Will Be On The Iron Throne (Yawn)
Everyone has been gunning for Daenerys Targaryen to take the throne ever since she became an unburnt queen and mother of dragons, so pretty much since season one. The idea of Dany taking the Iron Throne seems inevitable since she has her dragon fire power, though I would argue that this is exactly why she wouldn’t be on the Iron Throne. Unlike many other characters who have had to be strategic, manipulative and intelligent to get to where they are – Cersei Lannister, Petyr Baelish, Tyrion Lannister, Sansa Stark, just to name a few – Dany has relied on her dragons. In sticky spots, she just burns the mother down. Her rise to the Iron Throne, if that’s what happens, has been uninteresting to say the very least. However, George R.R. Martin has been upfront about the fact that the ending will be bittersweet. Dany on the Iron Throne isn’t necessarily bittersweet, unless she has to lose something in order to gain said throne.
To further the Dany on the Iron Throne theory is the Azor Ahai/The Prince That Was Promised prophecy, in which Azor Ahai will be reborn when the red star bleeds and amidst smoke and salt. The prophecy also states that Azor Ahai will wake dragons out of stone and will have the blood of a dragon (so a Targaryen). Dany obviously fits several of these bills, as she is Targaryen and the mother of dragons. On the day she hatched the dragon eggs, which is seen as a day of rebirth, there was a red comet in the sky and she was amidst smoke and salt - salt in the form of tears.
Dany being Azor Ahai is a huge fan theory, but it's also pretty obvious, which is something Martin tends to avoid.
13 Daenerys Targaryen Will Be (Or Already Is) The Mad Queen
Most people have already crowned Cersei Lannister “The Mad Queen” after she blew up a large portion of King’s Landing in the finale of season six. However, there are still theories that Daenerys Targaryen could become (or already is) The Mad Queen, just like her father.
The Targaryen line is known for their inbreeding, as this keeps their blood pure. This accounts for why their features – purple eyes, silver hair – are so strong still, as they are not diluted. Because of this inbreeding, however, many of the Targaryens have gone mad, said to be a curse from the gods. Cersei even said that every time a Targaryen is born the gods flip a coin to determine if they’ll go mad or not.
There’s a popular theory that Game of Thrones will flip everything on its head in the final seasons, revealing that the White Walkers are actually good guys and that Dany has been villainous the entire time. Considering the fact that Dany almost always resorts to her fire power to win whatever battle she wants, there is a similarity to her father’s burn them all mentality.
While this would be epic storytelling, the audience might revolt if they find out their beloved Dany has been a baddie all along.
12 Jon Snow And Daenerys Targaryen Will Rule Together
In the past, Daenerys Targaryen has married for political gains. First, there was Khal Drogo, which wasn’t necessarily her decision but she made lemonade. In the books, she also marries Hizdahr zo Loraq for political gains. In the show, however, she expresses her intent to marry him, but he is killed in the fighting pits before said marriage comes to fruition.
That being said, Dany may marry someone in Westeros for political gains once again. There are quite a few options. She could marry Jaime Lannister, though it’s unlikely Cersei would ever allow that at all. She could marry Littlefinger, though it’s likely she would easily see through him. With Joffrey, Tommen, and Loras all dead, there are very few suitors, but there still is Jon Snow. Considering the fact that Jon Snow has the backing of The North, he would be a great ally in the war for the Iron Throne. Of course, there’s the whole part about Dany being his actual aunt, but we’ve seen stranger things in Game of Thrones – uh, Cersei and Jaimem anyone?
Jon and Dany marrying and ruling together would make the fans happy, but it seems too easy and too happy an ending. After all the bloodshed (never forget Ned Stark), it’s unlikely we’ll get this happy ending.
Jon Snow Is Actually Azor Ahai
This goddamn prophecy has paved the way for so many fan theories, and one of them is that Jon Snow is Azor Ahai. Being that Azor Ahai is reborn to basically slay all the White Walkers (or so we all think), it would make sense that Jon Snow would be the prince that was promised. But does he fit the criteria? Well, yes.
When we finally see the reveal of Jon Snow’s true parentage – Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen – we see young Ned Stark approach the bed and leave his sword at the foot of the bed. His sword is named Dawn and was forged from a fallen star. The sword is also bloody from Ned’s previous battle. So, the bleeding star! Also, if Rhaegar Targaryen is Jon’s father that means he has the blood of a dragon. People have also considered the fact that the smoke and salt could be the wreckage of Robert's Rebellion, of which Jon Snow was born at the end. Though, we're missing the part about bringing dragons from stone, but who knows what will happen in season seven? So, Jon Snow could very well be Azor Ahai, meaning the bastard who was put in his place most of his life is actually the most powerful of them all. Slay, Jon Snow.
For the record, I'll put my money on Jon Snow being Azor Ahai over Dany any day. Like I said, Dany saving the day just seems too obvious for the Game of Thrones style of storytelling. Also, I’ll state that the Azor Ahai prophecy doesn’t actually say anything about the Iron Throne. Though, one has to assume that if you take care of the White Walkers, you’ll earn the Iron Throne by default, right?
11 Jon Snow Will Kill Daenerys (Because He Has To)
Fans of a Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow love affair may be in for a rude awakening, y’know because no one actually gets to be happy and in love on Game of Thrones.
The legend of Azor Ahai says that he forged his sword – The Lightbringer – by stabbing his beloved wife Nissa Nissa. (Also, what is up with these names?) First he tried to forge the sword with water and it broke. Then the heart of a lion, and it broke. When Azor Ahai finally stabbed Nissa Nissa, her soul infused the blade. With this being part of the legend, if Jon does love Dany, he may have to forge his sword by driving it into her. Likewise, if Dany is Azor Ahai she may have to forge the sword by driving it into Jon Snow.
For those of you who were hoping for a happy ending, it’s unlikely that Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen will live happily ever after. If this comes true, though, at least his or her death won’t be in vain.
10 Jorah Mormont Is Azor Ahai
Like I said, this goddamn prophecy has made for so many theories, but that’s also half the appeal of Game of Thrones.
Of course, Daenerys Targaryen is an obvious choice for Azor Ahai. Jon Snow, though a less obvious choice, is still a frontrunner. The thing is George R.R. Martin loves to throw us off the scent. So, could Azor Ahai be someone random and right under our noses the whole time? Could it be... Jorah Mormont? Jorah Mormont has, after all, been on the show since the very first episode.
As far as the prophecy goes, Jorah was there when the dragons were born. He didn’t necessarily birth them himself, but he was there. He also protected the eggs before they were hatched. Though, the theory says that the promised one will wake dragons from stone. Since Jorah has greyscale and is turning into a stone man, his finding a cure could somehow be connected to waking dragons from stone. Again, who knows what will happen in season seven?
The prophecy talks about being born under the bleeding star and amidst salt and smoke. Well, the prophecy could also mean rebirth, which was the case used for Dany. So in that way, Jorah straight up told Tyrion that when he saw Dany come out of the fire with the dragons, he committed his life to her – rebirth! Which coincides with the red comet! And the salt and smoke from the fire and tears!
Here is the kicker at the heart of this theory, though: Jorah Mormont doesn’t have any dragon’s blood in his veins, but the prophecy actually says HAS dragon’s blood, not made of dragon’s blood. So, if Jorah Mormont had to forge his sword by plunging it into the heart of his love, clearly Dany who he's loved for forever, he would then have Targaryen blood in a certain way.
This is far out there, but it would account for Jorah Mormont’s ongoing love of Dany, which seems out of place in this world. Seriously, Jorah has had a crush on Dany since pretty much day one and this is a world in which crushes rarely exist. Has George R.R. Martin been setting us up for the darkest finale of all – Jorah killing Dany, the woman he has worshiped for forever, all in order to save everyone? HOLY. SH*T. That certainly sounds like George R.R. Martin. Also, it would be bittersweet. Just sayin', y'all.
9 One More: Jaime Lannister Is The Promised One
This is the final Azor Ahai theory, because even I’m getting tired of talking about this prophecy.
The final possible Azor Ahai is Jaime Lannister. I know what you’re thinking – where’s his dragon blood? Well, he may actually be Targaryen. It’s more heavily discussed in the books, but The Mad King was always fond of Joanna Lannister, Tywin’s wife. It’s assumed that The Mad King raped her, or that Tywin let The Mad King rape her, or that Tywin set up trysts with The Mad King that she was okay-ish with? Whatever the case, Tywin letting The Mad King bone his own wife in order to gain more power seems about right, because Tywin was pretty ruthless.
If Joanna had been with The Mad King, Jaime and Cersei could very well be half-Targaryen. Their hair is very light, almost as much so as Dany’s. There’s also the fact that Cersei and Jaime have engaged in the age old Targaryen tradition of incest, though I don’t know if Targaryens are genetically disposed to that urge, but still. This could also account for Cersei’s descent into madness – she may actually be the Targaryen who is the Mad Queen, not Dany! There's a twist!
Azor Ahai is said to be born amidst smoke and salt and under the bleeding star. Since many of these theories, other than Jon Snow, rest on the idea of rebirth, it’s theorized that Jaime’s rebirth could have happened in Westeros upon seeing what his sister had done. There was obviously smoke, and then salt in the form of tears. The bleeding star could then refer to the fatality of the explosion.
The last part comes to forging the Lightbringer. The pattern went water, then lion, then true love, which finally forged the sword. If Jaime drove his sword into the heart of Cersei, she would be both the lion and the one he loves.
You may still be skeptical, because, really, Jaime Lannister saving the day? But this is the stuff George R.R. Martin loves. He introduces us to the type of guy who throws a child out of windows to hide his sexual affair with his twin sister, and then this becomes the guy who saves everyone? YEP, that’s a George R.R. Martin thing to do.
8 Tyrion Is The Other Head Of The Dragon
This theory also has to do with Tywin Lannister possibly letting The Mad King bone down with his wife, but this one theorizes that Cersei and Jaime are actually Tywin’s children and Tyrion is not. This makes sense, as Tywin always HATED Tyrion. It was always believed that Tywin’s hatred came from Tyrion’s dwarfism, but it could very well be because Tyrion is not actually his son. And let us not forget, when Tyrion shot Tywin, Tywin’s last words were, “You’re no son of mine.”
Though, all three of the children could possibly be half-Targaryen, so there’s also that too.
This theory suggests that Tyrion is the other head of the dragon, but what does that mean? Well, the dragon having "three heads" is an ongoing theme on the show. Dany has three dragons, and now it’s likely that three Targaryen-blooded people will ride the three dragons. Clearly, Dany and Jon Show will be on board with the dragon riding, but it’s likely Tyrion could end up being the third rider.
Does this Targaryen connection mean Tyrion has a shot at the throne? As the son of the Mad King, he would have more claim to the throne than anyone else - even Dany or Jon Snow - so it’s a possibility. Also, George R.R. Martin has straight up said that Tyrion is his favorite character. He could be playing favorites.
7 Sansa Stark Will Sit On The Iron Throne
This is one of my favorite theories because I’m Team Sansa Stark. Quite frankly, after seeing her feed Ramsay Bolton to his own dogs, I don’t know how anyone could not be Team Sansa.
As stated earlier, Dany may rely on marriage in order to gain political pull, but it may not be her marriage on which she relies. Dany could use the marriage between Tyrion and Sansa in order to gain the support of the North. Technically, Sansa and Tyrion are still married, but that is admittedly shaky. While the marriage was never formally dissolved, it was also never consummated. Oh, and Sansa went and got married to Ramsay Bolton in the meantime, though I’m sure she’d be down to forget about that one. Being that Sansa and Tyrion have both proven to be strategic in their moves, they both may be open to embracing their marriage again for all the positive effects it’ll have. Also, would Cersei just lose her friggin’ mind over this being a powerful marriage or what?
There’s also a theory that points to Sansa ending up with a Targaryen, which Tyrion very well may be. In the books, the Ashford Tournament is detailed, though this hasn't popped up on the show in any regard. In the tournament, a Baratheon, a Tyrell, a Lannister, a Hardyng (not a family on the show), and a Targaryen vie for Lady Ashford. Likewise, Sansa’s romantic interests were Joffrey Baratheon, Loras Tyrell, and Tyrion Lannister - all following with the Ashford Tournament. Then, Sansa married Ramsay Bolton, which deviates from the tournament sequence, but that also deviates from the books, as she never actually married Bolton in the books. In the books, she is engaged to Harry Hardyng, which is on par with the list. What does this all mean? Well, if we’ve learned anything, it’s that everything in Game of Thrones (show and books) is there for a reason. So, Sansa’s last suitor could follow the Ashford Tournament and be a Targaryen. If Tyrion Lannister is actually of Targaryen blood, remarrying him would complete the list. BOOM!
Long story short, Sansa could very well remarry Tyrion. If Tyrion is the son of the Mad King, he could end up on the Iron Throne...with Sansa Stark as his queen. The idea of Sansa actually becoming the queen in this – the unlikeliest of ways – is just so poetic, since that was her dream all those years ago.
6 Jon Snow And Sansa Stark Will Marry (Gag)
Nope, nope, nope. Not liking this one. But, I guess we still should talk about it since it’s become a major theory.
Notably, marrying Jon Snow would still make the whole Ashford Tournament/Sansa Stark suitor theory come true, as Jon Snow is of Targaryen blood. There’s also the fact that Sansa and Jon Snow never actually spoke to one another in season one. This could have been a decision made to distance the characters from the fact that they were brought up together. There are some fans who have actually jumped on to shipping this couple, while there’s also still the huge team of fans rooting for Dany and Jon. What’s kind of funny is that people seem against the Sansa/Jon relationship since they’re cousins, yet their blood relation is actually less so than Dany and Jon’s aunt/nephew blood relation.
How exactly would Sansa and Jon end up married? Whatever would bring them together remains to be seen and whether they would end up on the Iron Throne together as a couple also remains to be seen, but it’s worthy pointing out as a potential theory.
5 There Will Be No More Iron Throne
We all know that famous Dany quote, “Lannister, Targaryen, Baratheon, Stark, Tyrell, they're all just spokes on a wheel. This ones on top, then that ones on top and on and on it spins crushing those on the ground.” At which point, Tyrion says her dream is to stop spinning the wheel and Dany replies, “I'm not going to stop the wheel, I'm going to break the wheel.”
BREAK. THE. WHEEL.
It’s a lovely idea, but Dany really doesn’t have a political mind. She’ll likely break the wheel and think it will be okay, people will govern themselves and be good people. No, girl. It would be chaos.
Though, we have to point out that the wheel being broken to some degree is certainly a possibility. George R.R. Martin created a whole world that dates back thousands and thousands of years. He basically knows the whole lineage of every family ever for thousands of years. Want to know Dany's great-great-great-great-great grandmother? Yeah, Martin knows that. So, why did he decide to tell this story at this time? It’s likely because a big change is coming. Will each country decide to govern themselves? Will there be a democracy? It’s unclear, but there is definitely a reason Martin is telling this particular part of the story and that could be because it’s the end of the Iron Throne/the wheel.
4 The Night King Will Sit On The Iron Throne
I don’t actually think the Night King has any intention of physically sitting on the Iron Throne, but they could certainly win the game.
There is a major theory floating around that we’ll find out that the White Walkers are actually the good guys and we’ve been on the wrong team all along. Supporting that theory is the scene in season six, in which we see the origin of the White Walkers. It was simply an unwilling man, who endured a piece of dragonglass being pressed into him. The White Walkers were then used by the Children of the Forest as a defense weapon, until they turned on the Children of the Forest. And we can’t blame them for turning since they were being used like guard dogs.
What are the signs that the White Walkers could possibly win? Well, the very first scene we ever see is of the White Walkers killing men. HELLO. We’ve all been worried about the Iron Throne, and yet we were shown the biggest, most important threat in the very first scene. There’s also the fact that the first episode is called “Winter is Coming.”
I personally think ending Game of Thrones with the White Walkers winning would be epic storytelling. The audience was distracted with the Iron Throne the whole time – as was every character on the show – when the largest threat, a more natural/supernatural threat, was looming. It would say so much about human nature – our greed and inability to see the larger picture. Of course, some fans would freak out if this was how it ended.
3 Gendry Will Take The Iron Throne Back
You remember Gendry, right? He’s been rowing a boat for about three seasons, so his biceps are probably pretty cut.
As the only bastard son of Robert Baratheon left, Melisandre was about to murder him because king’s blood turns her on. So Davos sent him rowing, and he’s still rowing. Fans have been anticipating a Gendry return for some time. But he'll most certainly return in season seven, and I say most certainly because Joe Dempsie, who plays the character, was spotted filming.
So Gendry is finally back, but what does this mean? It feels odd for him to come back if he isn’t playing into the end game, right? Like, they wouldn’t just bring him back just to kill him off? One theory is that he’s coming back to take the Iron Throne… kind of. Gendry doesn’t seem to have any desire to sit on the Iron Throne. He’s a chill ass dude. However, Dany could legitimize Gendry, who would have claim to the Iron Throne as Robert Baratheon’s legitimate child. If he has claim to the throne through Robert Baratheon, Dany could then use this to try to get Cersei off the Iron Throne, though Cersei isn't going anywhere without a fight. It’s also theorized that Dany would then marry Gendry, as she wouldn’t go legitimizing him without it benefiting her.
Also worth noting is that Gendry was a training as a smithy before, so he could also be significant in his ability to forge swords… swords like the Lightbringer.
2 Nothing Matters Because It's A Westworld Theme Park
This one I included for funsies, but it would be totally nuts. Also, feel free to skip this item is you've never seen Westworld, as it'll make no sense.
There’s a theory, without much merit mind you, that Game of Thrones is actually just a Westworld theme park, in which customers would pay to then compete for the Iron Throne. If it were following Westworld guidelines, that would mean that all the characters who died were hosts (aka robots). It’s noteworthy that real people cannot be truly harmed at Westworld parks. This rule against real people being hurt would make many characters hosts – like Jaime who lost his hand or Sansa who was raped. Basically, Littlefinger is one of the only character to have never really been harmed in any way, so he could be Game of Throne’s version of the Man in Black. Is Littlefinger is trying to find out what’s at the center of the maze by winning Iron Throne? Mind blown!
Of course, this is never, never, never going to be how it ends. But if HBO was doing a long con with these two television shows, that would be epic.
1 Littlefinger Will Get Exactly What He Wants
George R.R. Martin is not here for what the audience wants. He’s telling a story that's pretty screwed up at times. I mean, all Sansa wanted to do was be a princess and she ended up… well, girlfriend has been through a lot. The thing is, almost every single thing that has happened on the show has been the doing of Littlefinger. He is at the center of everything, most notably Ned Stark’s execution.
The whole show begins with Jon Arryn’s death, at which point Lysa Tully writes Catelyn to tell her she thinks the Lannisters poisoned him. This immediately creates a divide between the Lannisters and the Starks, two powerful families. It is also Jon Arryn’s death that brings Ned Stark to King’s Landing, as he replaced Jon Arryn as the Hand of the King.
The plot gets thicker when Littlefinger pushes Ned in the direction of finding out the true parentage of Joffrey, Tommen, and Myrcella. Ned finding out the true parentage of the Baratheon/Lannister children is what sealed his fate, which one can assume was Littlefinger's intent.
Adding to the theory of Littlefinger being the center of everything is that Joffrey decides to behead Ned Stark, instead of pardon him, which was what was promised. At this point, everyone on the platform is shocked, everyone but Littlefinger, who just smirks. It’s been assumed that Littlerfinger wasn’t shocked because he had actually convinced Joffrey not to pardon Ned.
AH, but there’s more. Lysa later admits to poisoning Jon Arryn herself and writing Catelyn that letter that implicated the Lannisters all because Littlefinger told her to do so. So Littlefinger killed Jon Arryn, bringing Ned Stark to King’s Landing. Then, Littlefinger pointed Ned Stark in the direction of information that would end his life. Littlefinger set into motion the events that forced everything else into motion. He’s at the center of everything. EVERYTHING! The whole first season is Littlefinger's doing. Him landing on the Iron Throne would not be embraced warmly by fans, but it would be on par with the tone of Game of Thrones, as it's all about playing the game and no one has played harder than Littlefinger.
Let’s end with this quote from Littlefinger, “Chaos isn't a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some, are given a chance to climb. They refuse, they cling to the realm or the gods or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.” Littlefinger knew the only way to the top was create a chaos that would bring all the other noble families down, and thus he created chaos.
You’ll have to tune in on July 16th to see if any of these theories play out. One thing is for sure though, winter will be here.
Sources: Inverse.com, Bustle.com, Mashable.com, Quora.com, Mashable.com