5 Fan Theories about A Song of Ice and Fire
As a kid, I was a massive fan of the fantasy genre. I refused to read any book that does not have magic, dragons or mystical objects in it. I devoured the whole Harry Potter series in less than two months, powering though them day and night, wrecking my eyesight in the process. I also spent a significant amount of time in the school library, hovering over the works of Tolkien and Gaiman. It was a crazy time indeed for my preteen self, fighting through cramps and tired eyes to get through my tenth reading of The Voyage of Dawn Treader. I even endured all four books from the Inheritance Cycle, and that series is the closest we could get to a male equivalent of Twilight. Good or bad, as long as it was fantasy, I would eat it up. Alas, all good things must come to an end, and my fantasy craze ended with the arrival of puberty and lip gloss.
Last year, my interest in fantasy was piqued once again, when an old friend of mine introduced me to A Song of Ice and Fire. I was skeptical at first, flicking through the pages of Game of Thrones and cringing at the name-typo abomination that is Joffrey. However, by the time I finished A Dance with Dragons, I was truly hungover from the richness of the story. I wanted more, so I ended up spending three weeks of my life (that I will never get back) reading post after post on asoiaf forums where fans of the series rage at each other and hold their own Miss World of Ice and Fire contest. There, I acquainted myself with various fan theories, and while some are absolutely crackpot, some are so well thought out that I could not help but think of the possibilities — possibilities that they might be true.
5. Jaime and Cersei are the children of Aerys “Mad King” Targaryen
In A Dance With Dragons, Ser Barristan and Daenerys had a little chat about the marriage of her parents. He revealed that the Mad King never loved his wife, instead lusting after the wife of his King’s Hand, Tywin Lannister. There was a long-standing tradition in Westeros where a noble could claim the right to spend the first night with the bride of his inferior, however this custom was banned ages ago as it was deemed barbaric. On the night of Tywin’s wedding, a drunken Aerys made a joke about claiming Joanna’s first night, much to the dismay of the guests. Inside, I really do believe that he was trying to be funny, though having a reputation as a psychopath must not have helped carry the message across. Now fast forward to the future, Ser Barristan alluded to the possibilities of what might have happened that night, creating another red herring in an already convoluted pool.
Let’s see the parallels between the Lannister twins and the Targaryen clan. To start off, there is the excessive sibling-loving, which Cersei, herself, justified as being ‘okay’, since the Targaryens had been fucking each other for all everyone could remember. If the Targaryens could stick it into each other, why could not Jaime stick it in her? However, it is important to note that this crazy talk might be due to her mental health going berserk, which is ironically another sign of having Targaryen genes. I mean, the house is well-known for producing psychotic broods. Another big parallel is Cersei’s fascination with fire. We see that from her demented captivation while watching the Tower of the Hand burned down. Of course, being a pyro fanatic is a common trait of the Targaryens.
However, this theory does have a massive downside: Tywin Lannister.
The relationship between the King and his Hand was known to be awfully volatile. Tywin never forgot the Mad King’s lustful jest about his beloved wife, and the former is famous of being extremely protective of his family. It would be almost impossible for Aerys to have gotten near Joanna in any sexual way possible. Though I am a big fan of this theory, it does sound quite crackpot. With the number of characters running around with mistaken identities, it seems unlikely for GRRM to reveal yet another plot twist, that really would contribute almost nothing to the overall storyline. The only input that this theory would give to the series, if it proves to be true, would be the ironic revelation of Tyrion as Tywin’s only heir and the rightful lord of Casterly Rock. The image of Tywin crawling out of his grave in shock over this discovery would indeed be a gratifying fan service.
4. Bran ate a paste made of Jojen Reed
I do not know if it is just me, but I feel that Bran is turning into the creepiest character in the series. He started off as the gallant, precious son of House Stark who spent most of his time climbing brittle-looking walls and fantasizing about becoming a knight. Just like any other rebellious tween, Bran completely ignored his mother when she told him to knock it off, and in the most predictable story twist, fell off the fucking wall. He survived only to live with having his legs (and possibly male parts) completely paralyzed.
Fast forward through all of his suicidal chapters, Bran is now the runaway heir of the seat of House Stark. He was driven out of Winterfell by his family’s once trusted compadre, Theon Greyjoy, and decided to venture North of the Wall. Accompanied by a direwolf, an oaf, a zombie, a scrawny prophet and his hot pubescent sister who Bran dreams of boning, this band of outsiders travel to search for the Three-Eyed Crow. During this perilous journey, Bran began developing supernatural powers, such as warging, where he can jump into another living being’s consciousness and control them. But that is not the creepy part. Starving in the freezing cold, he also started developing a taste for human flesh, which he hunted by warging into his direwolf, Summer.
Against all odds, Bran succeeded in finding the Three-Eyed Crow and became his student. The Three-Eyed Crow teaches him about warging and greenseeing, the two gifts that Bran apparently possesses. It was then that Bran was fed a mysterious weirwood paste, which awakened his greenseeing abilities. The paste itself was described as being bone white in color and lined with red veins which looked remarkably like blood. After, when Bran looked for his friends, Jojen and Meera were missing.
Jojen is a greenseer. He can see the time of his death and it is told that lately he had been feeling extremely ill and depressed. Could it be that Jojen might have seen his end as the weirwood paste? Parallel it to Bran’s new fondness of human parts as food source, it would not be surprising if that was the case. But until GRRM decided to get his writing hat on and finish The Winds of Winter, we would never know.
3. Young Griff is the descendant of House Blackfyre
Fans of the series will be familiar with the tale of Gregor Clegane’s brutality when he killed the infant Aegon Targaryen. It is often recounted by various characters in the books that The Mountain murdered the infant by dashing his head against the wall, leaving an unrecognizable bloody pulp of bone, gore and hanks of fair hair. It was a widely-known whisper that Gregor himself had confirmed to be true. Therefore, when a blue-haired teenage hipster named Young Griff claimed to be the young prince in A Dance with Dragons, numerous theories started to go around like wildfire.
The theory that many have subscribed to is that this new ‘Aegon’ is not actually the son of Rhaegar Targaryen, instead being a descendant of the semi-extinct House Blackfyre. A brief history of the house tells the story of Daemon Blackfyre, the legitimized bastard son of King Aegon IV, who named the house after the legendary sword his father had bestowed him. When Aegon IV passed, Daemon started a rebellion to overthrow his half-brother, Daeron II, off the Iron Throne based on the rumors that the new king was not the son of Aegon IV. A civil war tore Westeros apart, which resulted in the death of Daemon and a body count of more than ten thousand. In years to come, two more rebellions were sparked by the exiled members of House Blackfyre, but it ended when the last male heir of the house was slain by Ser Barristan. However, the status of the female Blackfyre line remains unknown, many believing that there are still some living in Essos, which creates a strong possibility that Young Griff might be its descendant.
The explanation that is given in the books is that Varys had swapped the infant Aegon with a tanner’s son for a jug of Arbor Gold. The real Aegon was spirited away to safety while the poor man’s baby got savagely killed by Gregor Clegane. However it is important to note that in a series full of unreliable narrators, Varys is probably the last person to be trusted. Various fan theories indicate that Varys might be a Blackfyre descendant himself and that he is the brother of Serra, a Lysene prostitute with silver-streaked hair who was married to Illyrio Mopatis, and Aegon is in fact Illyrio’s son with Serra. Though it might be painful to think of the grossly gargantuan Illyrio as a breeder, we see that Tyrion was given elaborate boy’s garb when he stayed at Illyrio’s manse. The clothes that might have once belonged to Young Griff.
Additionally, this theory is supported by Quaithe’s warning to Daenerys to beware of ‘the mummer’s dragon’. This can be interpreted as Aegon being a fake, or the fact that Varys was a mummer and master actor in his youth. Either way, if Aegon and Varys turn out to be Blackfyre descendants, it would actually give Varys a better motif for his various slimy acts in trying to wreck havoc between the lords of the Seven Kingdoms, which is to exact vengeance for his fallen house.
Also, let’s be honest, baby swapping is an extremely lazy explanation.