The seventh season of Game Of Thrones concluded this week and, depending on your tolerance for familial taboos, you either pumped your fist in triumph or scrunched your face behind your hands while sporting a really uncomfortable boner. Either way, a lot of epic things happened in the last episode of the year, prompting many to speculate how the whole show will end and what secrets have yet to be revealed. Now, some of these theories revolving around George R.R. Martin’s masterpiece are little more than an excuse to write erotic fan fiction about Jon Snow going down on Tyrian or whatever. But some are so convincing and thoroughly researched, that nobody would be surprised if the show-runners started trolling message boards for inspiration. It’s this latter group that we will be diving into and exploring today. And of course, I hope it goes without saying (but I will say it anyway), there are spoilers ahead. So if you’re not caught up, turn back now…
1.)Tyrion Lannister Is Actually A Targaryen
So this theory starts in The House Of The Undying, in which Dany (Daenerys Targaryen along with fourteen other names ) has many different visions while searching for her dragons in A Clash Of Kings, the second of Geroge R. R. Martin’s novels. Dany has a vision of her older brother, Rhaegar, as he and Lyanna talk about their infant son Aegon. The vision of Rhaegar speaks about the prophecy of “the prince that was promised” but adds that “there must be one more … The dragon has three heads.” Now, we know from the season finale this week that Jon Snow is, in fact, Aegon Targaryen. But Rhaegar also talks of a third surviving Targaryen family member.
Now, many people have dismissed this as a nod towards Viserys, Dany’s deceased brother who was murdered earlier in the adventure. But others point out that the vision didn’t come to Dany till long after his death, meaning that Rhaegar was speaking of another Targaryen sibling still out there somewhere. Surprisingly, many GoT theorists point out that there’s more than enough evidence that supports Tyrion Lannister being that long-lost sibling. For one, Tywin repeatedly tells Tyrion that he is no son of his throughout the series, even when Tyrion is about to shoot him dead with a crossbow, and makes it quite obvious that he hates him. Of course, most people just chock that up to Tyrion being a dwarf and “killing” his mother while she gave birth to him. But what if there’s more to it?
“Dragon Dwarf” sounds like a pretty sweet band name.
Which brings me to point two:
The mad king was really into Tywin’s wife. Like, Reeeaaallyyy into her. It isn’t really covered in the television show, but in the books Aerys Targaryen, the monarch that burned people alive and was eventually killed by Jaime Lannister, was borderline obsessed with Johanna Lannister, even going so far as to jokingly wish that the old custom of kings sleeping with new brides was still around.
And finally, point three:
It had long been rumored that Johanna and Aerys carried on an affair which Tywin Lannister refutes vehemently. But with how easily Tywin denies and ignores his own children’s sexual indiscretions, the affair could very-well be true. And if it is, it’s not that much farther of a stretch to conclude that the youngest Lannister child (Tyrion) could actually be a Targaryen and the “third head of the dragon.”
- Bran Broke King Aerys’ Brain, Just Like He Broke Hodor’s
This next theory gets a little timey whimey, so bear with me. It has been shown within the canon of the show that Bran can manipulate things in the past if he tries hard enough. He called to his dad while standing in the memory of Lyanna Stark’s rescue, prompting his father to look around as if he could almost hear him. And anyone who is still recovering from season six remembers that Hodor’s brain was summarily melted when Bran tried to control his mind while projected in the past, giving Hodor his signature pokemon-esque catchphrase. So it’s pretty clear that Bran’s powers can have adverse chronological effects on people.
You know what he says.
Now, flashback to the reign of the Mad King: Aerys Targaryen.
It was long assumed that Aerys’ madness was the inevitable byproduct of the Targaryens’ penchant for incest in order to “keep the bloodline pure.” Queen Cersei says as much as she laments the cruel nature of her son, Joffrey, who was likewise born from an incestuous relationship. She even makes a quip that “the Gods flip a coin” when deciding whether the current Targaryen ruler would be mad or not.
But what if ol’ Aerys wasn’t just the latest in his extremely stump-like family tree to go insane? What if he had a little help? As the story goes, Aerys began to hear voices telling him to “burn them all” which the king happily did, setting people ablaze for any transgression, imagined or otherwise. Before long, he took his favorite catchphrase to its craziest conclusion and decided to burn down King’s Landing and everyone in it, forcing Jaime Lannister to kill him and earn the nickname of “Kingslayer.” Jaime later recalls in one episode that as he struck him down, all he kept saying was “burn them all! Burn them all!” Even as the killing blow came.
But this story sounds eerily similar to something viewers have seen firsthand.
Theorists have sited the parallels between Hodor’s and Aerys’ cases as telltale signs of Bran’s involvement, and even go so far as to predict what will happen in season eight. The theory goes like this:
- The war with the White Walkers is going badly
- The forces of Weteros get desperate for any advantage they can find
- Bran comes up with the plan to project himself back to a time where someone could stop this war before it starts
- Settling on King Aerys, Bran attempts to incept the idea that fire is one of the only ways to kill them
- Sadly, Bran’s second attempt at meddling with time proves disastrous as he only manages to get “burn them all” to stick
- Aerys obsesses over what “the voices” told him until, like Hodor, its the only thing he can say or think
It’s a pretty convincing theory. It even has a fun Sci-Fi element in an otherwise straight-forward fantasy series. But, whether or not the writers will choose to take this avenue remains to be seen. However, George R. R. Martin did say that the story’s conclusion will be “bitter sweet.” And I can’t think of anything more bitter than a young boy trying to save the world. But instead, he inadvertently sets an entire series of events in motion that kills thousands of people including half of his own family. But also dragons and stuff! YAY!!!
The White-walkers Aren’t All Bad… Probably…
George R. R. Martin doesn’t write generic, one-dimensional characters. He writes elaborate and complex people that you manage to find sympathetic in some way, even if you reeeaaallly don’t wanna. Who else can make a knight, who fathered three children through incest and attempted to murder a child, into one of the most beloved characters in the series? Nobody. The answer is nobody. Martin is in a class all his own when it comes to capturing the scope of human complexity. So why would he make the ultimate villain of his multi-book universe so one-dimensional? Of course, the answer is he didn’t. Like J. R. R. Tolkien before him, Georgy-boy included a lot of lore in his epic tale. All you have to do to go looking for it.
As the story goes, there was a war between the white walkers and “the first men” thousands of years ago that ended in a battle known as “the battle for the dawn” that saw the white walkers routed and driven to north of the continent. Bran the Buidler, the founder of House Stark, built an ice wall to protect the realm from any future attacks from the north. The wall was 300 miles long and approximately 800 feet high with magic woven into it by the Children Of The Forest to prevent any white walkers from passing through. And the rest, as they say, is fictional history.
But the story gets a little hazy about what exactly stopped the white walkers in the first place. Lore tells of “The Last Hero” who, together with the Children Of The Forest, halted the White Walker invasion. But if their combined strength was enough to stop White Walkers from advancing any further, why wouldn’t the Children and The Last Hero use that same strength to destroy the immediate threat all together? Some theorists, like a youtube user named Nerd Soup, believe that The Last Hero and The Children Of The Forest didn’t stop the white walker invasion through military means, but rather through some sort of agreement. This would explain how a massive ice wall, that must have taken hundreds-if-not-thousands of years to build, could be constructed in the first place. If you were in charge of an invading army, would you wait thousands of years for your enemies to build up a defense that you can’t get through? I’d have to check The Art Of War again, but that doesn’t seem like a sound tactic.
Nerd Soup postulates that the wall wasn’t a wartime defense, but more of a fence along a property line. The two sides agreed to stay on their side, leaving the wall as sort of a de-militarized zone, watched over by a man known as The Night’s King. Not much is known about The Night’s King except that he lived at the Night Fort, the oldest castle along the wall that has an access way to the northern side, and that he would offer human sacrifices to the White Walkers. Soup goes on to say that he believes that human sacrifices were part of the deal made between the two races as we know that White Walkers do not reproduce through human means but by transforming human infants.
Craster even says as much when The Night’s Watch takes over his house north of the wall. Jon and Sam see an infant being sacrificed to White Walkers and Craster states that the Walkers don’t attack if you give them children.
So could it be that The White Walkers are attacking to avenge a broken treaty that was all but forgotten by men? It sure makes more sense than “they’re doing it for shits and giggles, my lord.”
Now, keep in mind these theories are just mere speculation. But, GoT fans figured out that Jon Snow was a Targaryen way before it was revealed on the show. So, who knows? Maybe you or I will be the first to crack one of Game Of Thrones’ biggest mysteries and ruin the final season for everyone. Dare to dream, right?