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.
2. Jon is the son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark
Jon Snow was introduced to the series as the pretty-boy bastard of the honorable Ned Stark. Lord Stark was so honorable that it was a big surprise for everyone when he came back after war with a bastard son in tow. Various rumors about the identity of Jon’s mother swirl around the Stark stronghold, but none could be proven true. In A Game of Thrones, before departing for King’s Landing, Ned promised Jon that he would tell him the truth about his parentage, sparking numerous questions from fans. Parentage? Wait, what? However, in the true tradition of money-grubbing business, Ned got his head chopped off before revealing this information, spawning four and possibly two to ten more books for fans to nitpick on.
The most popular theory of Jon’s parentage would be R + L = J. If you do not know what that means, let me give you a little back story.
Ned’s father, Lord Rickard Stark fathered four children: Brandon, Eddard, Lyanna and Benjen. In her youth, Lyanna is described as being beautiful and high-spirited. She was betrothed to Robert Baratheon, who was deeply infatuated with her, but it was clear that she did not reciprocate his feelings. During the Tourney of Harrenhal, another man fell in love with the her. After winning the tournament, Prince Rhaegar caused a deadly controversy by passing his own wife to crown Lyanna as the Queen of Love and Beauty. Some time after, she was kidnapped from Winterfell by the prince and his knights. Brandon Stark, upon hearing about his sister’s abduction, marched to King’s Landing to retrieve her. Instead, he was captured by the Mad King and charged with treason. To save his son, Lord Rickard demanded trial by combat, which Aerys approved. He was then roasted alive in his armor, since the Targaryen King chose fire to be his champion. Soon after, Brandon was strangled to death while trying to save his father. These unfortunate chain of events sparked the War of the Usurpers that would end the Targaryen reign.
For the rest of his life, Robert believed that Rhaegar had snatched Lyanna and raped her. However, many fans believe that the two were actually in love. When Ned went to the Tower of Joy to rescue his sister, he found her on her deathbed, with blood all over her lower body. She begged him to promise her something, to which he complied. The memory of the encounter continued to haunt Ned until his death, but its content remains concealed.
Drawing from the timeline of Robert’s Rebellion’s, which lasted for almost a year, it is safe to assume that Lyanna might have conceived from Rhaegar. Her baby could possibly be the boy who we know as Jon Snow, and Ned might have promised to keep her child away from harm by pretending to be his father, since Robert would have killed Jon straightaway if he ever found out about his parentage. This fan theory has become so deep-rooted with the fans, that it is almost canon.
Personally, I find it quite ironic that in a sprawling epic that combines elements of fantasy, politics and history flawlessly, our most urgent interest is to find out the two people who fucked and produced Jon Snow.
1. Jon will lead an army of White Walkers against Daenerys and her dragons
In Jon’s last chapter in A Dance with Dragons, he was stabbed repeatedly by his brothers’ of the Night’s Watch. It remains ambiguous whether he survived the assault or not, but it can be assumed that he was indeed killed. However, having survived this long in the series, fans think it unlikely for Jon to remain dead. His character arc is not yet finished and many believe that he will return.
Since Stannis Baratheon stationed his army at the Wall, Melisandre had developed a particular interest (or disdain) for the young Lord Commander. While she was looking into her flames and asked to see Azor Ahai, she saw Jon’s face instead, surrounded by skulls. There is a huge divide in how this information is interpreted. While many think that Jon might be Azor Ahai, others believe that Melisandre’s vision shows Jon defeating the legendary hero.
Based on ancient texts from Asshai, Azor Ahai is a legendary hero who defeated the Others (aka White Walkers) by wielding a sword of fire. The red priestess believes Stannis to be Azor Ahai, but evidences from the books point to another person: Daenerys Targaryen. In A Feast for Crows, Maester Aemon’s explains that there was a slight error in the translation of the Azor Ahai prophecy. Everyone has been looking for a male Azor Ahai, but since the prophecy was made by dragons, who are neither male or female, Azor Ahai’s embodiment might not necessarily be that of a man. He believed that Daenerys possesses all the qualities of the ancient hero. First, she was born in Dragonstone, a castle perched on a volcanic island in the sea. Later, she survived the fire of Khal Drogo’s funeral pyre which triggered her three dragon eggs to hatch. The following morning, a Red Comet appeared in the sky, possibly marking the birth of Daenerys as Azor Ahai.
From that theory, we can surmise that while Daenerys is fire, Jon will be the ice. In A Dance with Dragons, Jon found himself repeatedly remembering Old Nan’s fairy tale about the Ice Dragon, which breathes freezing air instead of fire. Though Old Nan’s stories are often ridiculous, they almost always turn out to have some truth. The Ice Dragon is thought to be very powerful that its breath can kill three fire-breathing dragons in one go and the area where it landed will forever remain frozen and barren. It is unknown whether the Ice Dragon had ever existed in the Song of Ice and Fire world, but if it actually did and is actually still alive, what better place to hide a gigantic lizard than inside the Wall? The structure has remained solid for centuries, allegedly through the use of spells, and it has been established that dragons are extremely magical creatures. Jon thinking of the Ice Dragon is no co-incident. Fan theories explain that he will be reborn from the cold of the Wall’s icy crypt, where bodies of dead Night’s Watch brothers are stored, and go on to find the enchanted Horn of Winter to bring the Ice Dragon back to life. By bringing the dragon back to life, he will also seize command of the White Walker army.
I subscribe to the notion that it is Daenerys who will bring destruction upon Westeros, not the White Walkers. GRRM himself has pointed out that they are deeply misunderstood creatures, possibly alluding to the prospective qualities of Daenerys’ destruction theory. It seems that her impending arrival to Westeros might have caused the White Walkers to rise again to protect their land. Also, if we assume that R + L = J is canon, the possible final battle between Daenerys and Jon will somewhat mirror the familial civil war between the Targaryens and the Blackfyres, which occured generations before. To conclude, this theory points out that Jon will fulfill the prophecy of The Prince that was Promised, by using ice, and save Westeros from Daenerys’ fiery annihilation. It will be one epic battle.
Except, if Aegon ends up winning the Iron Throne, in which case the series will turn into a big blob of cheese. Or a bar of soap.
This article merely skims through a few interesting fan theories that have the likelihood of being canon. The world of Ice and Fire is truly one of the most gripping fantasy universe gracing the contemporary bookshelf. With its intensely ‘real’ characters, it is unsurprising to see how much time and effort devoted fans have put into forming these detailed theories. In reality, there are a plethora of other fascinating theories on various internet forums that fans can indulge on while waiting for the upcoming The Winds of Winter. They will definitely keep you interested in the series, even though it may take years for the next book to be released.
Source: Monika Ponjavić
What do you think? Leave a comment.
My favorite fan theory is Syrio Forel isn’t dead!
I don’t think he is dead either. Maybe he is Jaqen H’ghar :))
And maybe Jaqen H’ghar is the kindly man :))
Jaqen is most likely the one impersonating Pate in Oldtown, seems unlikely for him to be the kindly man simultaneously!
Great article! I personally can’t see Rhaegar as Jon’s father. While that’s the road that we are being led down, I don’t know it seems too easy. My humble theory is that if Jon’s mother is Lyanna and his father is a Targaryen I think it might be… Aerys. Now hear me out, at the tournament where Lyanna and Rhaegar meet, Aerys was jealous and already mad. His jealously of Tywin led him to maybe or want to rape Joanna. With Rhaegar researching the prophecies about the prince that was promised perhaps he whisked away Lyanna to protect what he thought was this baby was going to be. Otherwise both Rhaegar and Lyanna were selfish people. Lyanna and Rhaegar acting like love struck teenagers ran off to Rhaegar’s brother-in-laws lands with his mistress (hard to believe). There Lyanna watched her father and eldest brother executed and her other brother and betrothed hunted down, Rhaegar abandoned his wife and two young children and watched as the kingdom ripped itself apart for a quick fling. If Rhaegar the heir and crown prince wanted Lyanna, I sure he could have. The Starks being allied to the crown would have been better than to Robert for them. I hope Jon’s parentage is not this obvious one. I either want Jon’s father to Robert whose love for Lyanna seemed to be deep, or just to be Ned and Ashara Dayne, then Jon can meet his mother.
Robert’s love for Lyanna was not “deep” at all, according to none other than Ned: he said Robert loved Lyanna’s “beauty” but “never knew the iron underneath”. In other words, he had no idea who Lyanna was as a person, he was just in love with a beautiful girl he wanted and didn’t get.
And while Lyanna and Rhaegar may have been selfish – what about Robert? He started a war just because he couldn’t accept the fact that the girl of his dreams didn’t want to marry him and preferred another man.
Your theory also doesn’t fit the timeline. Jon was conceived during the war, or else he would have been too old to be passed as a child Ned conceived during the war. Furthermore, it doesn’t fit the clues and Lyanna’s personality: Ned says she was willful and wild, and it lead to her early death. How would being a victim of rape and kidnapping and an unwilling live incubator be a result of Lyanna’s strong and willful character? And do you really think that your version of Rhaegar, who kidnaps a rape victim and forces her to come to term, is more likable than the Rhaegar who ran away with Lyanna? Or that he would call the place where he put the rape victim so she could have the prophecy baby, “A Tower of Joy”?
I’ve been reading the forum threads and consider this—from an NYT article: Recognizing that the novels couldn’t be condensed into films, Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss sought to adapt them as a television series for HBO, but had to pass several trials along the way. The first was winning over Mr. Martin in a lunchtime meeting that was mostly collegial, but where Mr. Weiss and Mr. Benioff were quizzed about the parents of Jon Snow, a “Game of Thrones” character of mysterious lineage. (“We had a whole conversation about it,” Mr. Benioff said, “and George was pleased that we got the answer right.”)
Interesting that it says “parents” not “mother”. Also, all the stuff about Lyanna dying with blue roses—the same as Rhaegar crowned her with at the tourney of Harrenhal. There are 3 Kingsguard members there, including the lord commander—they discuss how they too, a vow and don’t flee. Well that’s odd if they’re just guarding a prisoner of their dead prince—maybe they’re guarding his child? Also, she dies in a “bed of blood” exact same phrase uses to describe Dany’s birthing scene.
Considering that there is no combination of any two other characters that would equal the import of Lyanna and Rhaegar GRRM has pretty much written himself into a corner. There’s no way Jon’s parents haven’t been introduced yet and to make it such a mystery and a such a huge deal it would be sloppy storytelling to suddenly say “oh actually he is Ned’s bastard with that Willa chick” or that his mother is this random Dayne woman who has no impact on the story. He would have to artificially imbue a character with an unprecedented level of out-of-the-blue significance and that, to me, would be a departure from his usually well set-up writing style.
This isn’t an “oddball, now-bear-with-me-for-a-minute” theory or a desire for some sappy romance, it’s a legitimate theory based on the text of the novel.
And part of the fun of these things is to think about it, try to guess what happens, hope you’re right, be surprised with the author resolves it in a way you didn’t see coming. I hope GRRM can find a way to surprise me about Jon’s parentage. I’m just pointing out that of the four options for Jon’s mother; Willa, Lyanna, someone we’ve been introduced to, or a new face, the only one that lives up to the secret is Lyanna. Maybe GRRM will make Robert the father… it’s just fun to think about and if you don’t like the theorizing, don’t participate in it.
Or he could be brandon’s child- remember apparently one of the stark brothers fathered a child at the harrenhal tourney, i think after the lyanna rhaegar theory, this is the second most probable.
Roberts not the father. “The seed is strong”….
These theories ignore one important fact- the “dragon has three heads” meaning that there may be three targaryens left. Secondly, Jon could have been conceived before the war started- when ned took him back as a bastard, he could have been several months old. It would explain why it was so urgent for rhaegar to kidnap lyanna, it would have been kind of hard to hide a baby bump. jon being a targaryen also backs up the azhor azhai- ice dragon theory. “A song of ice and fire” what if this refers to the struggle between jon’s stark heritage and his dragon relations. ned claimed to have liked rhaegar- he seems like a good judge of character and do you think he would have liked a man who raped his sister? i don’t think so. Lastly, Elia was( after two hard pregnancies) was thought to be infertile, maybe that’s why rhaegar wangted to take lyanna on as his second wife. Kudos though, i had never heard of the joanna/aerys theory before.
That’s interesting, would Aegon be the third head then?
No just no
Aerys + Joanna = Tyrion!
I agree. Massive hint: Tyrion did not get grayscale while Jon Connington did. Dany says in one of her last chapters that Targs do not get diseases like other families.
Tyrion said once that as a child, he had a facination with dragons. He also seems to know a lot about them.
I didn’t really like the Jon being Targaryen bastard via Lyanna pitch. While it does make some narrative sense in a lot of ways, it’s also way too easy. The only reason for concealing it is that Robert would possibly kill the kid, because Robert is all “Targaryen, raarrr”, but at the same time, the kid would be Lyanna’s, and that would carry a crap-load of weight with Robert, even as it would with Ned.
And by hiding Jon’s Targaryen heritage from the Baratheons would mean assuming that G.Martin gave up on a perfect opportunity for “I love him because he’s Lyanna’s son, but hate him because he’s Rhaegar’s bastard” anger-angst from Ol’ King Fat, and that just doesn’t seem right.
Personally, I favor the pitch that Jon is Lyanna’s son, by Robert Baratheon, conceived prior to her kidnapping and born during her captivity. Ned then takes the kid and calls him his own bastard because his existence would’ve otherwise completely screwed over the alliance-by-marriage that united House Baratheon with House Lannister, which was necessary for the Rebellion to have any chance against the Targaryens at all.
Ned know how emotional Robert would get towards his own bastard, especially if he’s also Lyanna’s son, and how that emotionalism would doom the marriage to Cersei, and thus the financial prospects for Robert’s reign.
Think that this does have the added benefit of matching the theme of Hair Color that Martin has through-out the books. Jon is just as swarthy and dark-haired as all of Robert’s post-marriage, whore-mothered bastards, whereas all of the Targaryens have that same annoying platinum hair thing going on.
And also, it leads, narratively, to the possible outcome of Daenerys and Jon (with heritage revealed) joining together at some point, thus uniting the Houses of Targaryen and Baratheon (with a hint of Stark in there as well), healing the breach between the pre- and post-Robert’s Rebellion dynasties.
First of all, Jon is NOT swarthy and dark-haired. Read the books. He is supposed to be brown-haired and look like Ned – and Lyanna, the typical Stark look. They just happened to cast a black-haired actor. And they could simply cast a black-haired actress as Lyanna if they ever show flashbacks.
Secondly, your theory makes no sense, and you’ve provided the reasons why yourself. Robert would not want to kill his own son by Lyanna, and there would be no reason to hide him. But Robert would want to kill a son of Rhaegar and Lyanna. And so would a bunch of other people (like Tywin Lannister and lots of others on the side of the rebellion), who would see a Targaryen baby as a threat, bastard or not. Robert wanted to kill ALL Targaryens.
Thirdly, you’re saying that it would have been a great narrative that Jon was Robert’s bastard because it would have opened this great story for Robert… which never happened. So how is that an argument that Jon was Robert’s bastard? You’re rewriting the story instead of trying to figure out what happened. Arguing that it would make something happen that hasn’t happened and may never happen in the series – again, it’s not helping your argument.
Fourthly, you seem to be under the mistaken impression that Robert Baratheon is one of the main characters of the series and a more important character than Ned. ASOIAF id not Robert’s story, and he is just a supporting character. In your proposed rewritten story, he is the main character, but not in the actual books. You also seem to think that Robert was a really nice guy. He wasn’t. He was happy when Tywin presented him with the corpses of the Targaryen children, and wanted to kill Dany and her unborn child. There’s nothing to suggest that he wouldn’t immediately kill Lyanna’s child by Rhaegar.
Fifthly, you’re seriously suggesting that Ned Stark concealed Jon’s identity and kept the truth from his wife, straining their relationship, just in order to create more harmony between Robert and Cersei?! That really makes no sense. And they did not need any alliance against the Targaryens at that point – the Targaryens were dead and beaten. (Not to mention the fact that Robert had 16 bastards, some of them before the rebellion even started, and the marriage still went on.) Ned would, however, conceal the child’s identity to protect the child, and keep his promise to Lyanna. And Lyanna wouldn’t have even needed to ask him to promise her anything if Jon had been Robert’s son; Robert would have protected him and loved him.
And that’s not even taking into account the clues that Lyanna did not love Robert, had no illusion about him, was in love with Rhaegar, and was very willful and the kind of girl who would rebel against an arranged marriage.
And, of course, the fact that the timeline doesn’t match. Jon would have to be conceived before Lyanna’s “abduction” for him to be Robert’s son – which would make him noticeably too old to be passed as a child Ned conceived during the war. Catelyn would certainly notice if Ned’s “bastard” baby was older than her Robb, not younger.
VERY well put Ivana.
Well said! I wonder why people are still so against R + L = J. I’m not saying they should accept it as canon, but it just seems so plausible…
To add to that, think about how against Ned was of K. Robert killing Daenerys. The books never truly revealed why he was so against it except that he was morally against shedding the blood of children. Perhaps, he secretly was against it because he knew that daenerys was Jon Snow’s half sister…?
My first ever comment on a forum…that was supposed to be under Ivana’s thread. Well said btw.
Although R + L = J is not legitimate canon, it is the only viable option besides simply saying…we don’t know yet until GRRM finally writes the last “2” books!!
the thing about Snow being a Targaryen, why does he have black hair? isn’t all targaryens are very light blonde etc, they have very strong features – like the Lannisters. for me it seems like that in the GoT universe, being a lannister or a targaryen would definitely determine your look…
He doesn’t have black hair. Show =/= books. In the books, Jon has brown hair just like Ned and Lyanna. He and Arya are the only ones of the kids who have the typical Stark look – Arya is said to look a lot like Lyanna – while the others have the Tully look.
So, why doesn’t Jon look like a Targaryen? Uh, because he has more than one parent and he looks like his mother? Robb is not supposed to look like a Stark, so by that logic he can’t be Ned’s son.
“isn’t all targaryens are very light blonde etc”
No, some Targs have different coloured hair. Rhaegar’s daughter for example had dark hair like her mother.
Baelor breakspear was dark haired too.
The only House with dominating features (Black hair, Blue eyes) thus far is House Baratheon.
Jon has Stark features because the genes for brown hair and dark eyes are dominant, while the ones for light coloured hair and eyes are recesive. Purple eyes and silver hair don’t really exist in reallity but i assume they work like blond hair/blue eyes.
Also the Targaryen have the same features because they married each other, same goes for Cersei’s kids. If they were Robert’s kids they would definitly have his features.
I don’t think the black hair of Baratheon, brown of Stark, platinum of Targaryen, or red of Tully have anything to do with genealogy. If that were the case Robb, Sansa, Brann and Rickon would all be dark haired as auburn is almost always completely cancelled out by darker tones. I think it is more to do with “the seed is strong”. That quote comes up again and again, for more than just the not-Baratheon kids sittin’ on their thrones. It is to point out lines, something which was far more prominent in ancient and medieval times than it is today, particularly amongst nobility.
As we only have one (probable) child by Lyanna we cannot compare the look, but we can compare the look to Lyanna herself. Arya and Jon look similar, and Arya is said to resemble Lyanna greatly.
While sometimes the a character turns out not looking like their family, GRRM obviously made most of his characters look like their family for a reason.
On a somewhat aside, the “it is just too easy” thing…it took 3 books before the theory even came to prominence, and in 5 books has still not been conclusively shown. How is that easy?
Come on guys. The way Ned looks for signs of incest between Cersei and Jaime is looking for the colors of Robert’s ascendants and descendants. He gets a hint of the liaison between the two because all descendants of house Baratheon no matter who the spouse is are black-haired while Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella are blonde-haired. It’s genetics 🙂 In fact like someone says not all Targaryen had silver hair, some of them had other features – namely Aegor Rivers had long brown hair because he was only partly Targaryen. Shiera Seastar had mismatched eyes (one blue the other green). Silver hair and purple eyes are recesive.
Great read. It probably ends with Stannis becoming the ruler of the seven kingdoms, the red god said so and he was always right.
I seriously wouldn’t mind that at all. He will rule with an iron fist, but we all know deep down he’s one hell of a comedian.
Just check out this thread http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/66319-stannis-humor/
We have to consider that none of these theories are canon, since essentially they come from the minds of people reading the books, and we have yet to see the end game from the writer, but the fact that there are so many solid theories that can be pretty well fleshed out without contradicting something within the rest of the story is a very good sign that Martin has quite a good idea of where he is heading, and is maybe grappling with how to tie it all up.
We all have our own theories, I have a weird one though. Do you think Dany have the flux? She treated many people for it, and she has diarrhoea, and bloody legs near the end of Dance with Dragons. She also doesn’t think she is on her period. As she came into contact with any people with the disease, it is logical. I realize the evidence is pretty thin though. I hope she meets up with Aegon, and unleashes the dragons.
We are 5 books in and nothing particularly important seems to have happened. Do not get me wrong, each book is a treat, but he plans to finish the series in two novels and winter has only just started and we have no resolution for even the most minor of plot points.
Just in terms of plot and moving the story along in some kind of progressive way. It may just be me. Certainly a lot of occurrences have taken place but I don’t feel like we’ve been given five books and upward of 5000 pages worth of substance in the story. I still have literally no idea what the point of any of it is. I feel like there are a lot of conflicts going on which is great but none of them have taken any significant step toward resolution… I’ve never had more fun with so little to go on but I just don’t feel like enough has changed since Ned’s death. I mean, winter only just started, Danny is still on the wrong side of the narrow sea, Tyrion did some cool stuff and then was forced to flee, Jaime got captured, set free and went home… this is the same for practically every character. I’m hoping he starts to pull it together because I feel like we’ve got a hundred different threads that should have started weaving together by now but their still stubbornly running parallel… never connecting.
Sorry for the long winded reply… I don’t really know how to explain. I do, however, impatiently await the next installment which I will probably devour over a weekend or two.
Don’t think I have had this many enjoyable theories about a story since Lost… and we all know how that one turned out. I love reading between the lines and not being force fed story, thank god for literature.
Winds of Winter. Come to meeeeeeeee……..
Well, unless Martin dies before putting a bow on the series, we’ll all get to find out. Until then, people will get to keep treating themselves to borderline fanfiction.
My main qualm with the theory of Jon being a Targaryen is that, to me, A Jon/Daenerys romance seems pretty much inevitable. Especially considering that he’s not allowed to father any children and she can’t have any. And if the theory regarding Jon’s parentage is accurate that would make Daenerys is aunt I believe, which really throws a wrench into the gears of my theory.
It does seem like a plausible romance but for me personally it just seems so unGRRM-like to conclude with Jon and Dany falling in love. I don’t think that any of our beloved characters will end up happy. Even if there is a battle between Jon and Dany, and let’s assume that Jon will win according to the theory, I don’t think that he will want the throne. I, for one, hope he gives it to Stannis.
Given the chance, Jon would surely give the throne to Stannis – a man his father died to have justice done for.
GRRM did introduce the idea of the Horn of Winter, and there is a fan theory (sadly not present here) that the horn Sam keeps holding on to is it. So the Wall coming crumbling down might not be too farfetched! REally looking forward for the conclusion.
I was gonna put that in but realized that the part is already too long. Anyway, GRRM did say that we are going to see more of Land of Always Winter in TWoW so we might see the horn there instead.
Haha, oh man, I’m writing a similar article to this. Go away for one week, and then I see this pop up! Got to make some adjustments now, but kudos, a good read
Not sure if I should read this out of fear for spoilers, sadly I think I might of caught a glimpse of something :-\
10/10 wood bang #,
I think that your No. 1 theory uses the exact same title of my theory I wrote ages ago:
I didn’t write the theory. It says fan theories, so I’ve sourced a few from the internet and pick the ones I like for this article. It’s an awesome theory and very well written, I had a great time reading it. I’m pretty sure I’ve credited it but I’m not the one editing these articles (i’m only a trial writer here), so I’ll try to put credits for you guys on it if I can.
I agree. Good article by Mo Ponjavic.
We are honored by your consideration towards our theory as nº1, but you should add the credits for it (as Monika Ponjavic just did above) along with the links to the original theories. Some of them are so old that I really don’t know the creators, but the number is our and we wrote it this year. 🙂
Ah I’m pretty sure I have credited it in sources but apparently it isn’t shown! I’ll definitely add it in. Sorry about that. Awesome theory though 🙂
I don’t know how I feel about the possibility of Bran eating Jojen. I’m not a fan of either, but doesn’t mean I want Jojen to be mince paste.
On another note “Except, if Aegon ends up winning the Iron Throne, in which case the series will turn into a big blob of cheese” is a great line!
I’ve never come across the ice dragon theory before but an ice dragon emerging out of the wall sounds amazing! I’m not sure how I’d feel about Jon and Daenarys going up against each other, I always liked the idea of the two joining forces at some point.
Jon is definately the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna. Rhaegar never thought much of Lyanna – probably didn’t even notice her. But he was obsessed with the prophecy of the prince who was promised. At the tourney at Harrenhal, he saw the Mystery Knight (of the Laughing Tree) defeat three squires who humiliated Howland Reed. King Areys ordered his son Rhaegar to find the identity of the mystery knight. This is what I propose: the mystery knight was Lyanna. She was always a rough girl, beautiful but capable. When Rhaegar caught up to her, he saw the quaility of woman that she was and fell in love with her – and I think she with him. She became pregnant with his child and he “kidnapped” her and took her to the Tower of Joy for the pregnancy. He convinced his father the king to cover for him and he hid out there for most of the pregnancy – his father was suspicious of him and probably tried to keep him there even for the duration of the coming war. However, mad fool that Areys was, he executed Brandon and Rickard Stark, threatened Jon Arryn and Robert Baratheon, and sealed his own fate. When the war turned bad, Rhaegar insisted on leading his father’s army on the trident. He left his one true love, Lyanna in the care of Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning (is that not the coolest name ever). He then went to his death on the Trident. When Eddard Stark found his sister he had to fight Dayne and two other kingsgaurd knights (Howland Reed likely shot Dayne with a poisoned arrow when Eddard began to lose the fight). Eddard found his sister dying as the birth when wrong and she died making him promise to protect Jon as his own. Eddard then returned the sword Dawn to his old flame Ashara, who gave birth to a stillborn girl (Eddard’s child). She later committed suicide, robbed of the man she loved, Eddard, his child, and her brother. Eddard returned home to Catelyn with Jon.
It all makes sense when you really think about it.
Also, no way Young Griff is the real Aegon. Definately a pretender, either a member of house Blackfyre or Valeryon.
Not sure how I feel about Jon becoming a white walker general or an ice dragon. I kind of thought it would be cute if he and Danerys ended up a couple at the end – King and Queen of Westeros. We deserve a happy ending after all of the horrors of the story (after all, it is a fairy tale).
I just finished the first five books and I’m losing my mind waiting on The Winds of Winter. Here is my theory of what will happen in TWOW:
1. Victarion Greyjoy will capture two of Danerys’ dragons using the magical dragon horn he took from Euron. The dragons will obey him somewhat and will certainly roast the army from Yunkai. However, when he finds out that Danerys is missing, whom he wanted to marry, he’ll split, leaving Ser Barristan in charge. He’ll return to Pyke intending to kill his brother Euron, but Euron will find some way of out it and convince him to put aside their differences and join together. Euron takes one of the dragons and Victarion takes the other. Euron promises his brother the Seastone Chair of Pyke, while Euron himself pursues a different chair, the Iron Throne.
2. In the wake of Kevan Lannister’s death, accusations fly. The Tyrells make a power play and fail – and Cersei manuvers to get power back. But her scheming and paranoia has a cost, the friendship of the Tyrells. Margarey leaves King’s Landing and gets her marriage to Tommen annulled – the Tyrells side with Aegon VI (young griff).
3. Going for the gutter, Littlefinger forces Sansa to marry him and reveals her publicly as alive. He also sides with Aegon VI (seeing the chance) and now controls two of the seven kingdoms (the Vale through protectorship and Riverrun through lordship of Harrenhal), and now has claim to the third – the North through marriage to Sansa – who is older than the fake Ayra of the Boltons. He plans to betray Aegon as soon as it is advantageous to him – just like the Lannisters. However, Sansa escapes with Mya Stone’s help and this throws a wrench in his plans.
4. Jaime meets Lady Stoneheat a.k.a. zombie-Catelyn, and is questioned then killed (there is really nothing left for this character to do in the story). Brienne is upset by this, but Stoneheart offers her a chance to kill Stannis and avenge Renly, and she takes it, heading north.
5. Stannis’ army defeats the Boltons in the field, but Stannis himself takes a mortal wound. Mellisande sees this in her fires and goes to him (with the Queen and princess), but it is too late. Crushed, she looks into her fires and sees Jon Snow.
6. Jon Snow died at the end of DOD, but has been living on as a warg in Ghost. The night’s watch drive off the beast and he wanders away into the south. On her way back to the wall, Mellisandre finds him – Azor Azai reborn.
7. Now a greenseer, Bran finds out virtually all the secrets of the story, Jon’s parentage, everyone’s fate – his mother and sisters’ fate. He tries to help them all – but finds that he can change less than he wishes. He sees all the way to the ends of the world – to the Greyjoys in the west and all the way south to Danereys.
8. Danereys is challenged by the Dothrakhi Khal, whom her Dragon eats alive. The men khalasar see this and follow her, she leads them back to Mereen, where she plans with Ser Barristan to lead her army to Westeros.
9. Samwell learns the secrets of magic in Oldtown. However, his learning is interrupted by an attack of Victarion and his dragon on the city. The city is razed. Sam escapes after learning a secret long hidden.
10. Arya learns more in Bravos and it sent on her first real mission. She completes it, but her thoughts stray to her family in Westeros.
11. Aegon VI puts together his army of retainers from the Tyrells and the Stormlands and marches on kings landing. The city under Cersei’s incompetence is about to fall. Victory is at hand, but lo and behold, Euron Greyjoy arrives with Dragonfire, vanquising the enemy.
11. At the wall there is a massive storm, more cold than anything that any of the watch has ever felt before. The Others have come. No one at the wall survives.
I know I skipped Theon, Arianne, and others, but I can’t predict everything.
DollaBill, you’re in the ASOIAF hangover stage. Hang on my friend.
I really enjoyed this article and the theories that you presented. I think that your theory about the weir wood paste is very plausible and fits in with the idea that there must be some catalyst for beyond human abilities. It also makes sense that since he cannot use his legs, his ability would take the form of controlling others mentally. I’m currently writing a paper on the character constructs in The Game of Thrones and how they follow the Jungian archetypes. Lastly, the paper addresses how Bran is a perfect example of how the collective unconscious makes its appearance in the novel. My paper could possibly explain Bran’s bizarre behavior and his visions. However, I do not have an answer for the incestuous tendencies of many of the character’s in GOT.
Jon Snow will not lead the Others, he will defeat them. He dreams of himself on the Wall, with a sword glowing red in his hand like Azor Ahai before him, fighting off wights, ice spiders and Others. I believe he’ll need Danerys and the dragons help to defeat them due to the sheer number (many wights were created at Hardhome for a start), and he will ride one of the dragons. Once it is done he will discover his true parentage from Bran who has discovered the truth by looking back through the eyes of the weirwoods, fall in love with Dany and become King. As if R+L=J is true he is actually the rightful King of Westeros
That’s would blow so hard if he ends up with Dany in the end, I hope he does lead the others army I have always felt some kind of weird feeling that the Starks are meant to fight Dany
Oh, man some of these are really cool. I think R + L = J is the most popular one. I never even thought of the first one, however. I’m afraid of what might cause Dany to burn Westeros. I never heard the quote about the White Walkers being misunderstood, but that is a really interesting notion. Half of me wants it to be true because I want Dany to be Azor Ahai instead of Jon, but I don’t want that to mean that Dany is evil.
While I am not familiar with the series, I do enjoy reading fan theories. I see so many of them pop up in regards to my personal favorites (Harry Potter, particularly) and it never ceases to amaze me how creative the fan base is. Seeing how one artist can inspire another to spawn off of his or her own story is truly a magical thing, especially when the theories make sense!
I think the most likely of these so far is Rhaegar and Lyanna are Jon’s parents, which is exactly why I am wary of this theory being too easy and I expect GRRM to throw some sort of twist in there.
By far the best article I’ve read on this platform. Jon being Lyanna and Rhaegar’s son – the son of ice and fire – oh that gives me chills every time I think about it. I think ultimately he will end up as the Hand of the King (or Queen), or stay as Lord Commander. I don’t think he died at the end of TDWD, I think he’s living as a Warg in Ghost.
If he dies though… lots of fans will be devastated.
I was surprised to read the number one choice, as I have never heard of it before. Meanwhile Jon Snow’s parentage theory is so widespread on the message boards it has its own name, “R+L=J.” If anything I would think that Jon Snow and Daenerys would end up working together either ending up romantically linked or politically aligned.
The R+L=J theorist are so numerous that I believe if it turns how not be true fans may indeed riot or at least be highly disappointed. I am not sure how Martin is going to address it considering Howland Reed, who Ned has confessed to be his actual closest friend rather than Robert, was the only other person at the Tower of Joy who is still alive to tell what happened to Lyanna and what she had Ned promise.
OMFG I hope the last one it true also if you remember in A Game Of Thrones Jon has a dream he’s in the crypts at winterfell and all the Starks start coming out of the crypts then he wakes up…………….bad thing is if its not true then I will like the series much less
The ASOIAF readers love nothing more than to speculate on the theories, but we should keep in mind that the more we promote certain theories the more GRRM might be inclined to change his mind. He has said in the past he loves to do the unexpected, and I think we’re all in denial if we think he doesn’t keep up our latest theories. I get the sense he’s one of those authors who makes it a priority to know what his readers are thinking, and I think he gets a perverse kind of pleasure out of being oppositional defiant (a statement I make with love). I’m most definitely not saying we should stop, because it’s a wonderful way to pass time between books, but it’s always something to keep in mind.
Regarding Jon Snow’s parentage, the answer MUST be gleanable from the materials we have, which lends credit to the Lyanna/Rhaegar theory. If anyone remembers, when David Benioff and DB Weiss were trying to land the GoT job, they met with GRRM. As legend has it, GRRM gave them the job because they correctly answered the question ‘Who is Jon Snow’s mother?’. All three of them claim GRRM gave them no further information besides what was already in the books. There are other theories about his parentage, but I think the most obvious one is the Lyanna/Rhaegar one with the information we’ve already been given.
I like the theory that Jon is son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, and I’ve read a lot of comments saying this means that he is suitable to be Dany’s king/consort (or one of them, there’s always 3 dragons) but he did burn his hand when fighting off the wight which makes this far less likely. hadn’t considered the idea of an ice dragon though. possibly an ice dragon can be burned.
I don’t understand why people say the R+L=J is that easy… I’ve been reading the books and lately in the 4th or 5th book or so I was able to theorize that Lyanna and Rhaegar both be the parents of Jon Snow.
Before I’d never thought of that possibility.
Re-reading some chapters of the book, specially Ned’s POV I was able to think of that deeply… and because now I’m aware of the theory.Now everything is suspicious lol.
I’m not against that theory. I like it tbh. Now I want to understand Rhaegar and Lyanna’s motivations. That thing of only love, nah. It doesn’t suit with Lyanna’s character. Specially when she is introduced as an Arya type.
I don´t see Arya running way for love with a married man.
And for Rhaegar, if he is one of the fewest men to be honorable I don’t understand why he kidnapped a maiden bethroted to another man who is for worst his relative… far far but relative.
I think there is something beyond this love story of Rhaegar and Lyanna. May be they went on a mission and in the process they fall in love or may be they realized they had to stick together for the sake of Westeros.
I find the last theory about Jon becoming a white walker to be more appealing than I would like it to be. I’ve always thought that the giant in that scene would kill Jon’s attackers, saving him. But if he really is being stabbed to death, it seems unlikely that he would survive such an incident. Zombification seems to be a likely outcome, since I doubt his arc is finished.
Also, I don’t believe Jaimie is going to be killed by Lady Stoneheart. Perhaps she can do something about his missing hand, as the red priest does with Victarion, and use Jaimie somehow? I admit this is a bit of a stretch, but I don’t see Jaimie being killed off yet.
Wow…From the thousands of forums regarding asoiaf this thread is one of the best… my a.d.d. mind does nothin but race through thoughts of this epic series of books.As you mentioned grrmartin states the white walkers r misunderstood, i feel they are a component of the ice in the soiaf, while the dragons are the fire in a soiaf. dani is aligned with the dragons and its speculated that she is also Azhor Azhai ( oops…spelling lol.). Its theoried john snow(r+l=j) is the prince that was promised and his kings blood is spilled at the wall waking the ice dragon, since hes Targeryan he rides the ice dragon… ok seems probable, but are the white walkers aligned with the dark other, or as melisandre says he who must not be named, the stranger according to the 7, and other names by their different religions? Is dani a champion of the lord of light.? Maybe the nights king is the champion of the” DARK GOD” and it takes john and dani together to bring peace to the realms? Maybe john pulls an arragorn and bends the walkers to his will to battle evil. Is martin gonna allow dani or jon to be the “bad guy”? so if they each have a dragon who rides the other 2? Rheagal and viseron could be killed by the citadel? Ageon, or bran, tyrion, brown ben plum, jamie, or whomever ;any combo could be the other two dragon mounts, or jon if there isnt an ice dragon at the wall, but I bet there is a dragon in the wall. Sorry to be all over the place. I love these books and first read Got back in 1998.. also do u think all the dead under water especially up north can be a form of walker and the drowned god just another name for the dark god? This series could go any direction, but my gut says dani, jon, tyrion, and bran are the 4 protagonists to this song. Will they be pitted against each other or will they unite bringing balance to the world?
More than one of these theories could be right. As Dany keeps saying, “The dragon has three heads,” and she could have two husbands. If Aegon IV is the son of Prince Raeghar with Princess Elia and Jon Snow is his other son with Lyanna Stark then they are half-brothers. Aegon the Conquerer had married his two sisters. Queen Danyeris could marry her two nephews, with all three of them flying into the sunset together at the end.
One problem is that Dany allegedly cannot have children. She will need a heir, preferrably one related to her. Shireen Baratheon and the Martels of Dorn are all related to Targaryens. If Sersei and Jaime Lannister are children of the Mad King Aerys, then Myrcella and Tommen are closer related to Dany, Aegon, and Jon than the rest, although their parents would have to be legitimized as Targaryens first.
Thank you for helping salve my need for more Game of Thrones discussion. Still recovering from 3×08 on the show. I think it is a fair assumption at this point that Daernays is intended to be the destroyer of Westeros, considering her character arc into a tyrant. That said, I really hope Martin can pull it off. The Jaime and Cercei theory is pretty doubtful at this stage, especially considering the dwindling importance of the twins. As far as the Bran and Jojen theory goes… I don’t know. I like it, but I’m hoping there’s more to it than that.
I’m willing to lay down a great deal of money that Jon survived by warging into Ghost. Considering the book’s ending I don’t think it is physically possible to survive that kind of attack, but his psyche merging with Ghost’s would be perfect. How that will play out will be fascinating to watch (if it is in fact the case) especially concerning milady Melisandre.
Thank you for this piece! As a fan of the series, I’ve found it hard to stop myself from entering all the forums to discuss fan theories. Some of them are definitely crackpot, but I find what you’ve discussed here fascinating. Great piece! Looking forward to the day when GRRM finally publishes Winds of Winter!
You miss this one 😉
This is a quote from a dance with dragons, which is often over-looked. It is a coversation between Godrick borrel, and davos..’at the dawn of roberts rebellion. The mad king had sent to the eyrie for Starks head, but Jon arryn sent him back defiance. Gulltown stayed loyal to the throne, though. To get home and call his banners, stark had to cross the mountains to thr fingers and find a fisherman to carry him across the bite. A storm caught them on the way. The fisherman drowned, but his daughter got stark to the sisters before the boat went down. They say he left her with a bag of silver and a bastard in her belly. Jon snow she named him, after arryn.’
The idea that the Others will save Westeros is implausible because the others acquire their army by killing. To conquer Westeros they must kill enough to raise their army. Furthermore, although their war with the Watch would make sense, why do they attack the Wildlings? In every scene where they are encountered, the Others are violent and destructive, unlike the dragons who rarely are. The fact that they have armies of dead doesn’t say much for the chances of them saving the living from dragons. Anyway, Jon Snow was not killed by the Others, so he can hardly become a White Walker. Also, Jon’s position as leader of the Others would make no sense as he is presumably a Targaryen (R+L=J), the Targaryens being Dragonlords. Finally, even if Jon was a White Walker, the White Walkers are merely thralls of the Others, so Jon could not lead them. And a dead man on the Iron Throne?
I get that there is all of these theories. But at the end of the day the story is about the god of fire versus the god of ice, and the gods are manipulating/using the people to battle against each other. I personally think the fire god will win out in the end. I also think that Bran took over ghost to rescue Sam and that he will take over one or all of the dragons.
Good article. I roughly agree with about three of these, but they are thought-provoking nonetheless.
Thank you so much for this. As someone who has read through the books four times and is starved for new material, the theories are really all we have during the Long Night aka wait for Winds.
This was really intresting and most of them seem plausible. Now that we’ve confirmed that Jon is actually a Star-Garyen a face off between him and Danny might be true… Buuuuuut! If Jaime and Cersei are indeed the mad king’s offspring, it might be Targaryens vs Targaryens after all and fire and ice would be Jon and Dany who will restore peace in the seven kingdoms.