10 Crazy Theories We Believed Were Gospel Before Watching Game of Thrones Season 6
(In increasing order of bizarreness)
A Guest Post by Aishwarya
Game of Thrones has sparked more frenzied discussions, controversies and theories than any fantasy series before. Some, like R+L=J (the popular theory that Jon Snow is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark) are more or less canon, while others are a bit wackadoodle. In the good old days before season 6 came out, there were a ton of theories doing the rounds (some touted as canon by fans) that were made mincemeat of by the ruthless pen of George R.R. Martin- or David Benioff and Dan Weiss- as soon as season 6 was released. Let’s see how right or wrong we were.
[Note: Spoilers for All Five A Song of Ice and Fire novels]
10. Bran Stark is a time traveler.
Old Theory: One of the earliest shockers on Game of Thrones is nine-year old Bran Stark being pushed out of a window by Jaime Lannister, and losing the use of his legs. According to one fan, though, the catalyst for the chain of events that make up the grand epic fantasy that is A Song of Ice and Fire could very well be Brandon Stark himself.
In the fifth novel, A Dance with Dragons, Bran gains the ability to oversee future, present, and past events through the eyes of the weirwood tree. He can whisper and influence events to a degree, as is evident in the book by Theon Greyjoy overhearing Bran while near the weirwood. We have also seen that Bran is capable of warging into and controlling not only animals, but humans. He has, on occasion, warged successfully into Hodor, after all. It doesn’t take a huge flight of fancy to imagine Bran travelling into the past, warging into Jaime Lannister, and pushing his own past self out of the window.
Except why on earth would he do that to himself? According to this theory, the answer probably lies in his weirwood magic. The likelihood of Bran having witnessed an alternate timeline where he is NOT paralyzed, but Westeros is in a shambles with White Walkers having taken over the land, is quite high. Bran could conceivably have set in motion a chain of events that would counter this possibility, and that might have necessitated him being thrown out of the window.
Now: We do know that Bran can indeed time travel, and maybe even influence events. But there have been no signs of him displaying any tendencies to push himself hurtling to his own injury yet.
9. Jon Snow will become a White Walker.
Old Theory: The biggest threat to Westeros, or to humans in general, has to be the band of undead and seemingly indestructible ice creatures known as the White Walkers. The only defense against them is the ever-dwindling Night’s Watch- a ragtag bunch of thieves, rapists, and outlaws. Led by Jon Snow, the Night’s Watch is insufficient to counter the threat posed by the White Walkers, and their immensely dangerous leader, the Night’s King. Fabled in the books to be a former member of the Night’s Watch who fell in love with a White Walker and switched sides, the Night’s King is especially proficient at reanimating the dead as cold, blue-eyed wights.
The Night’s King and Jon Snow have already had a showdown once on the show, at Hardhome. If he kills Jon Snow and reanimates him as a wight, Jon Snow will have no choice but to turn against his former allies and brothers. What doesn’t seem like a very nice prospect for Snow, could well mean poetic justice for the book. Jon Snow would be the ice to Dany’s fire, in A Song Of Ice And Fire.
Now: Well, he did die and come back to life. Not as an ice-cold soulless killing machine, though. But as a smarter and hotter (just ask the girls) Lord Snow, determined to reclaim his home and inheritance.
8. “Hodor” has a secret meaning that could change everything.
Old Theory: “Hodor. Hodor hodor, hodor. Hodor.” A minor character in the books, Hodor has inspired many a meme for the online fandom. While Hodor jokes abound on the internet, some suspected there could be more to this giant of a man than just comic relief.
It’s obvious that Hodor has witnessed or been through something extremely traumatic that made him lose the skill of speech, and to communicate in a rudimentary fashion, using just the one word, “Hodor.” What if this traumatic experience in Hodor’s past holds the key to the major conflict in Game of Thrones? Hodor knows, or has seen something happening, presumably at Winterfell. If he could somehow be induced to tell, the listener would be in possession of considerably important information. Bran could coerce this knowledge out of Hodor using his warging abilities, but what is more likely is that the gist of the information lies in the word “Hodor” itself- possibly in coded form. Does his very name control dragons? A far-out theory, but if it had turned out to be true, it could have major ramifications for the White Walker-Night’s Watch tussle.
Now: “Hold the door” went on to become the most anticipated episode in the entirety of season 6, with the reveal of Hodor’s origins. The story behind Hodor’s limited speech, was interesting, sure, but a little lame too, considering it didn’t really have far-reaching ramifications for the story.
7. Bran ate Jojen?
Old Theory: Yes, you read that right. One of the more bizarre theories out there suggests that Bran Stark may have the remains of Jojen Reed resting inside his alimentary canal. The end of A Dance with Dragons has Jojen looking “weary” and “haunted,” and Bran being inducted into the ways of the three-eyed crow (three-eyed raven in the show), with a bowlful of what looks a lot like blood. (Or Jell-O.)
This “blood stew” is offered up to Bran by the three-eyed crow, and is described in the books as a “white paste, with dark red veins running through it,” and it looked “uncannily like blood.” The concept of cannibalism and blood sacrifice has been explored thoroughly in A Dance with Dragons. Added to this the fact that Jojen Reed seemed to sense his upcoming death, judging by his less than cheerful premonitions throughout the book, and we have the perfect recipe for “Jojen Paste.”
Now: Hasn’t been disproved, but we can safely assume this isn’t where the writers are headed.
6. Bolt-On: Roose the Vampire
Old Theory: The Bolt-On Theory suggests that Roose Bolton is secretly a vampire. Bolton has been described as ageless and immortal in the books. His eyes are cold and gray! He has mask-like skin! Ergo, Roose Bolton is a vampire! This extremely well-reasoned theory (yes, sarcasm) adds vampires to the smorgasbord of mythical creatures already on GoT including zombies and dragons.
The only sane thing to do in this situation would be to push him out into the sun and see if he sparkles.
Now: Bolton’s death brought a short-lived end to that theory. Unfortunate, because it would have been satisfying to watch him sink his fangs into his diabolical son’s neck and suck him dry.
5. The Valonqar isn’t Jaime or Tyrion.
And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.
Old Theory: Maggy the Frog’s prophecy to Cersei Lannister has sparked off many a discussion across forum boards. In A Feast for Crows, the Valonqar prophecy follows Maggy’s prediction that Cersei’s children will have gold crowns and gold shrouds. The show depicted the gold shroud prophecy but not the Valonqar.
The prophecy has been interpreted in many ways, but what intrigues readers the most is the identity of “the Valonqar.” Cersei seems to have taken it for granted that the Valonqar is her little brother Tyrion, so he is naturally ruled out by readers, leaving Jaime as the one.
The word “valonqar” means “little brother” in High Valyrian. However fans of the series have been quick to point out that the witch refers to the little brother, and not your little brother, which means that the Valonqar does not have to be related to Cersei at all, but could be any younger brother in the series.
Possible candidates include Tommen (Joffrey’s younger brother), who is shown to be getting tired of his mother’s constant interfering; Stannis Baratheon, who is Robert’s younger brother, and is likely to call a siege upon King’s Landing any day; or the Hound (the younger Clegane brother), who has fled King’s Landing, but might team up with Arya to kill Cersei, whom she hates.
Now: We still don’t know who the Valonqar is, but there’s a very good chance it will be Jaime, especially after finding out in the season 6 finale that Cersei unwittingly caused the death of his only remaining offspring.
4. Tyrion is Tywin Lannister’s only true heir.
Old Theory: “Ýou are no son of mine” were Tywin Lannister’s last words to his son Tyrion, just before he died as the result of arrows loosed by Tyrion himself. The tumultuous and bitter father-son relationship depicted in the books has long been a hot topic of discussion between ASoIaF fans. They have also led many to speculate that Tyrion may in fact not be Tywin’s real son, but the result of a union between Joanna Lannister and Aerys Targaryen, the then-king of Westeros. (J+A=T, anyone?)
But some wild theories out there would have us believe that not only is Tyrion Tywin’s true son, he is Tyrion’s only true son and heir.
The Mad King Aerys is known to have lusted after Tywin’s wife Joanna, and may have taken certain liberties during their wedding night, according to the books. If Joanna and Aerys slept together on her wedding night, it is likely that Jaime and Cersei, being the first-born children, are secretly half Targaryen. This theory is cemented by their fair hair and their propensity for incest- both known Targaryen characteristics. If this turns out to be true, that would mean that Tyrion is Tywin Lannister’s only son ,and the true heir to Casterly Rock.
Unless, of course, he turns out to be a Targaryen too…
Now: Still plausible, although season 6 has lent more weight to Tyrion being a Targaryen, what with his affinity for dragons.
3. Varys is a merman/mermaid.
Old Theory: This one clearly takes the cake for the most crackpot theory out there. The only canonical basis for the assumption that the sly, scheming eunuch Lord Varys is a merman seems to be the sea-related metaphors he made earlier on in the series.
In A Clash of Kings, when Tyrion threatens to have him thrown off a ship, Varys very enigmatically replies that he might well be “disappointed by the result..I keep on paddling.” His story about being a eunuch- if it is indeed a story and not the plain truth- provides perfect cover for him not being able to procreate with humans. (Which is something a merman wouldn’t be able to do. Or would he?) In addition to that, Varys is often described as being “slimy’” and has an affinity for water.
Now: It hasn’t been proved or disproved yet, but….yeah. No.
2. Hodor is the real Aegon Targaryen!
Old Theory: I have to admit, this theory made me sit up and take notice. Out of all the crackpot theories out there, this one is either the most foolish, or the closest to the truth. Fans have long suspected that the Aegon Targaryen shown in the books is a fake Targaryen planted by Illyrio Mopatis and Varys to gain control over the throne. The fact that the showrunners chose to do away with the Aegon plotline entirely lends credence to the fact that Young Griff-as-Aegon simply isn’t very important. But what if Aegon Targaryen is alive- only not who he claims to be?
According to this theory, Hodor is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia Martell. Aegon VI is said to have had his head smashed against the wall by the Mountain during the siege of King’s Landing. That would explain Hodor’s simple-mindedness and his inability to formulate words other than “Hodor.” While the timeline of the story would have Aegon be in his teens, and Hodor obviously appears older, that could just be him being big for his age. Targaryens have a history of mental instability, and that fits in perfectly with Hodor. What better disguise for young Aegon than to be a stable boy at the Starks? If, as is theorized, Ned Stark went in looking for his sister Lyanna, and instead found baby Aegon lying injured on the floor, it would be unthinkable for him to do anything but rescue the baby. This is Ned Stark we’re talking about, after all.
Now: Sadly Hodor’s death put paid to that theory, may he rest in peace. But Hodor as a Targaryen would have been beyond amazing.
1. The world as we know it will end.
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
Robert Frost’s iconic poem, “Fire and Ice,” makes it very clear that the world’s end lies either in fire or in ice. The title of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, is too close to “Fire and Ice” to be ignored. Martin’s epic series could very well finish with the world ending, falling prey to the fearsome and seemingly immortal White Walkers.
ASoIaF being an apocalypse story is a theory that doesn’t hold much water. However, let us examine the facts.
It is known that the White Walkers, apart from being nearly impossible to kill, have the ability to reanimate the dead, thereby replenishing their troops whenever required. Even with the combined might of the Seven Kingdoms, the Night’s Watch, and Daenerys and her dragons, the White Walkers are hard to defeat. To add to that, Westeros seems to be ignoring the looming threat and is involved in a petty tussle to decide who sits on the Iron Throne, leaving the defense of the Wall to a handful of fighters with dwindling supplies. If the White Walkers decide to attack before Westeros gets its act together, they will almost certainly win, ending the world.
This will also fit with the larger message Martin has been striving to convey, which is that winter is the biggest threat, not swords or wars. The internal conflicts in the realms of men are insignificant when it comes to the threats posed by nature. The world ending in an apocalyptic attack would be the perfect end to George R.R. Martin’s series, because as Ramsay Bolton says, “If you thought this was going to have a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.”
Now: This might still happen, and no one would put it past George R.R. Martin.
You can find Aishwarya on Twitter at @prettyredboom.