Game of Thrones Season 7: Seven awesomely crazy fan theories doing the rounds
Winter is here. Finally. For those of us that love Game of Thrones — and no, it's not just t@#s and dragons Ian McShane (not that we mind in the least) — this is the most exciting time of the year.
So, for your reading pleasure, our faithful minions have been hard at work, trawling the darkest regions of the interwebs and have unearthed the seven craziest fan theories doing the rounds.
1. Daenerys Targaryen is the villain of the series. And crazy.
Could it be possible that Daenerys Targaryen, the sweet child we meet at the very beginning of the series — who wants nothing more than a small house with a red door and a lemon tree — is actually the big bad of the series? Now, you might be tempted parade me through the streets as you throw stones and cry shame, shame! (all the while ringing a large bell) but hear me out:
In the latest trailer, The Mother of Dragons claims: "I was born to rule the seven kingdoms. And I will." Born to rule? Who does she think she is, Ivanka Trump?
The point is, Dany thinks of the seven kingdoms as her due. But why? What makes her claim better than a dozen other rulers? Her birth? That doesn't sound like a benevolent ruler fighting for the people. Also, she's repeatedly threatened to burn cities when she's angry. In fact, a Game of Thrones Season 6 director compared her to Hitler. Yes, that one.
Want more? At the end of A Dance With Dragons, Dany is wandering through a wasteland, starving and hallucinating. She thinks she's talking to Jorah Mormont, when in fact, she's having a conversation with herself.
Daenerys: It is such a long way. I was tired, Jorah. I was weary of war. I wanted to rest, to laugh, to plant trees and see them grow. I am only a young girl.
Jorah: No. You are the blood of the dragon. Dragons plant no trees. Remember that. Remember who you are, what you were made to be. Remember your words.
Daenerys: Fire and Blood.
This analysis, for smug book readers, comes from the always excellent Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire:
Dany’s arc in A Dance with Dragons ends with her recognition that dragons plant no trees and that her words are “fire and blood” – not just as the house words of her dynasty, but as her personal motto validating her rediscovered turn towards the mother of dragons and a violent vision of prophecy.
To sum up: Dany has rejected her own nature. She tried for peace in Mereen and found it lacking. She has come to understand that dragons are, above all, conquerors. And conquerors aren't famed for peace. Conquerors bring fire and blood. TV Dany is much the same. She wants the throne. At any price.
"They can live in my new world or die in their old one," she said.
Is GRRM pulling a Breaking Bad on us? Making us sympathise with the hero(ine) of the tale, only to pull the rug out from under us and turn them into the ultimate villain?
And about her being cray-cray? Try this one: Insanity famously runs in the Targaryens's blood. In the words of GRRM: “Madness and greatness are two sides of the same coin. Every time a new Targaryen is born, the gods toss the coin in the air and the world holds its breath to see how it will land.” Look no further than Dany's own sire, the Mad King.
But hey, it's just a theory.
A film theory.
2. The White Walker are the "good" guys
Let's check out GRRM's description of the White Walkers: They are strange, beautiful...think, oh...the Sidhe made of ice, something like that...a different sort of life...inhuman, elegant, dangerous."
We know the only thing George RR Martin loves more than food or a good wedding massacre (really, who doesn't?) is deconstructing archetypes. Why else have Ned Stark, who in any other series would be the protagonist, mercilessly bumped off? Why would you have a once-in-a-lifetime character like Oberyn Martell squished like a watermelon? Or Jon Snow turned into a human pinata by his Black Brothers at the Wall.
So let's examine this theory: Not only is Daenerys Targaryen the villain of this series, but the White Walkers are the good guys.
What do we know about the White Walkers? Not much. The show hasn't had a single dialogue from their point of view. We don't know their thoughts, we don't know their feelings, their motivations. All we know is that they're marching north. But why? And why did the White Walkers stir? Why now of all times?
One awesome theory that's far too detailed to state here goes thus goes thus: While the Targaryens are obviously fire, the Starks have secret ties to the White Walkers and are therefore ice. Dany and Jon. And the both of them, if you will, make up A Song of Ice and Fire. Heh. Clever.
So, assuming that the first theory is correct and Dany is the villain of the series, then who will stand in her way? The White Walkers of course. And keeping in mind GRRM's love for twists: What could be more twisty than completely doing a 360 with regard to the hero and villain of the series?
3. Arya Stark is dead
Perhaps my favourite theory. And while it is also the one most unlikely to be true, let me deliver the bad news to all you sweet summer children: Arya Stark, the favourite character of GRRM's beloved wife, is dead.
This wacky, but scarily persuasive theory, first appeared here. Breaking it down: As the episode, titled No One, winds down, Arya is on the run from the waif. We the viewers, think Arya is done for. After all, she's bleeding from multiple stab wounds and the waif is basically the Terminator.
There's no way Arya, as much as she's learned, would be able to beat the waif in a fair fight. So, Arya leads her nemesis into a dark room, where she'd hidden her sword Needle. To quote from the article that appeared in Wired:
(Arya) strikes a dramatic pose, and slices the flame off the room’s lone candle with a flourish that would make Syrio Forel proud. The room goes black.
Just so, as her former dancing master would say. And then we move to the House of Black and White. Which is when things get weird.
The conversation goes thus:
Arya: You told her to kill me
Jaqen: Yes. But there she is. And there you are. Finally, a girl is no one.
Wait. What? How is Arya no one? She did exactly what Jaqen told her not to do. She refused to give up Needle (her last remaining piece of identity), couldn't bring herself to kill Lady Crane, and went on the run from the Faceless Men. And that makes her no one?
Then Arya says: A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell. And I'm going home.
And Jaqen seems... perfectly content. He even gives her a half-smile and a nod. Which makes absolutely no sense. Unless... he isn't talking to Arya Stark. He's talking to the waif, who's given up her face and is now Arya Stark.
Remember, these are the Faceless Men we're dealing with. Cold-blooded contract killers. It's like the mafia. If you're in, you're in. Till death do you part.
As the Wired article rightly points out:
That little smile that Jaqen gives “Arya” when she says she's going home sealed it for me. Having a reliable member of the Faceless Men masquerading as Arya Stark would be worth a great deal to the Many-Faced God. Just think of how many targets she can take out before anybody catches on.
4. Jorah Mormont is Azor Ahai
Azor Ahai. The Prince that was Promised. A legendary hero with a tragic tale (is there any better kind of legendary hero?) This one is for book readers, so bear with me. From the lips of Sir Davos (everyone's favourite smuggler):
Do you know the tale of the forging of Lightbringer? I shall tell it to you. It was a time when darkness lay heavy on the world. To oppose it, the hero must have a hero’s blade, oh, like none that had ever been. And so for thirty days and thirty nights Azor Ahai laboured sleepless in the temple, forging a blade in the sacred fires. Heat and hammer and fold, heat and hammer and fold, oh, yes, until the sword was done. Yet when he plunged it into water to temper the steel it burst asunder.
“Being a hero, it was not for him to shrug and go in search of excellent grapes such as these, so again he began. The second time it took him fifty days and fifty nights, and this sword seemed even finer than the first. Azor Ahai captured a lion, to temper the blade by plunging it through the beast’s red heart, but once more the steel shattered and split. Great was his woe and great was his sorrow then, for he knew what he must do.
“A hundred days and a hundred nights he laboured on the third blade, and as it glowed white-hot in the sacred fires, he summoned his wife. ‘Nissa Nissa’ he said to her, for that was her name, ‘bare your breast, and know that I love you best of all that is in this world.’ She did this thing, why I cannot say, and Azor Ahai thrust the smoking sword through her living heart. It is said that her cry of anguish and ecstasy left a crack across the face of the moon, but her blood and her soul and her strength and her courage all went into the steel. Such is the tale of the forging of Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes.”
Rhaegar believed her was Azor Ahai reborn. For a time. Then he thought it was his son. The internet suggests other names: Jamie Fookin' Lannister, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen , Brienne of Tarth, even Tommen's kitten Ser Pounce (even we don't believe that one).
However, according to this clever, clever Reddit user, a close look at the evidence suggests only one candidate: Jorah Mormont. Dany's ever faithful servant. Her Bear.
Don't dismiss it just yet. The evidence is overwhelming. Remember that thing about GRRM loving to subvert stereotypes? Why have the handsome Jon Snow as the hero of the series or the impossibly beautiful Daenerys Targaryen when you can have the balding, overweight Lord Friendzone step in and save the day.
To quote directly from his Reddit post:
What's the fastest route from Slaver's Bay to Westeros?
The Smoking Sea.
What's in the Smoking Sea?
Smoke and salt, of course.
What else is in the Smoking Sea?
Brightroar, a super badass Valyrian sword that was plunged into the water.
Why hasn't it been recovered?
Most sailors fear the Smoking Sea and avoid it.
Who are the bravest sailors in the world?
Where are they?
On their way to pick up Dany and take her back to Westeros.
Would Victarion want to prove that he's Euron's equal by sailing the Smoking Sea?
Will Dany be keen to take a shortcut to get there faster when she hears that a fake Targaryen is stealing her birthright?
Who did Dany promise to give a super badass Valyrian sword to as soon as she has one?
Who captured a lion (Tyrion Lannister)?
Who loves a woman more deeply and passionately than anyone else in the series?
Who's going mad and may have to be killed by someone in her inner circle?
What character could be killed to give a sword maximum power against the Others?
What's the worst thing GRRM could do to Jorah?
Make him kill Daenerys.
What is now branded into Jorah's face?
A demon mask.
Brightroar is done being tempered in the water. It will be pulled from the smoke and salt and presented to Demon Jorah. He will kill Daenerys in the most powerful act of blood magic possible. When he removes the sword, it will be covered in fire and blood. He will take the black, as was his father's dying wish. He will be the 1000th Lord Commander. He will drive back the darkness. Demon Jorah is Azor Ahai reborn.
He even quotes Dany: Ser Jorah Mormont ... one day you shall have from my hands a longsword like none the world has ever seen.
Now that's a tale of woe if I've ever heard one. And you know GRRM is just dying to do it. After all, this is the same man who once famously said: Every time someone asks me when a book is done I kill another Stark. Well, actually he didn't. But it sounds like something he'd say. Right?
And for all those saying: Man, that would be so damn unfair to Jorah, let me quote Tyrion: If you want justice, you've come to the wrong place.
And speaking of the Lord imp...
5. Tyrion is a secret Targaryen
Let's begin with the obvious. Tyrion's looks. His brother and sister are drop dead gorgeous, with shiny golden hair. Tyrion... is not. While Peter Dinklage may be one sexy beast, he doesn't even faintly resemble his TV kin. And as for book Tyrion, let's go to a description from WinterIsComing:
Tyrion’s appearance may also provide some hints that he’s actually a Targaryen. The Targaryens are famed for their silver hair and purple eyes. In the books, Tyrion’s hair color is described as a mixture of pale blond hair that’s almost white (it’s more dirty blonde on the show). His eyes are also mismatched: one green and the other black. Tyrion’s appearance contrasts with that of Jaime and Cersei, who have classic Lannister looks: green eyes and golden blonde hair. Siblings obviously don’t always look alike, but Joanna and Tywin were first cousins, so how did Tyrion end up with a black eye and whitish hair?
It also helps to know the history of the realm. According to rumours, Dany's father Aerys, was infatuated with Tyrion's mother Joanna. In fact, after Tywin and Joanna married, Aerys took 'unwonted liberties' during the bedding ritual. Soon after the incident, Aerys' wife sent Joanna away from the court.
Joanna eventually returned to attend the 10th year celebrations of Aerys' reign. Tyrion was born the very next year. And there's more. Tyrion is fascinated by fire (much like Danaerys and Aerys). He confesses to staring into the fire at Casterly Rock, imagining Tywin or Cersei in the flames. Who else loved to watch his enemies burn? The Mad King.
Also, Tyrion loves dragons. Always has. He even has dragon dreams, which are basically premonitions.
All coincidence, right? Except for the fact that the TV show seems to be throwing breadcrumbs our way,
During Tyrion and Jon's first meet, the little man that casts a large shadow has this piece of advice for the Bastard of Winterfell:
Tyrion: Let me give you some advice bastard. Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.
Jon: What the hell do you know about being a bastard?
Tyrion: All dwarfs are bastards in their father's eyes.
Now, admittedly that doesn't seem like much. Just some friendly advice from one outcast to another. But this is George RR Martin we're talking about. While the rest of us are playing checkers, he's playing 3D chess. We think that a man with of noble lineage (Tyrion) is talking to a man of low status as bastards are regarded (Jon). But really, it's Jon that has royal blood in his veins (R+L=J) and Tyrion, the one who could very well be a bastard.
And Tywin hates Tyrion. Pathologically. He repeatedly places his "son" in harm's way, lobs insults at him and blames him for murdering his mother. That doesn't make much sense. And it's not very fatherly. Especially, compared with how he treats Jamie and Cersei.
From Tywin's lips to Tyrion's ears: Men’s laws give you the right to bear my name and display my colours, since I cannot prove that you are not mine. To teach my humility, the gods have condemned me to watch you waddle about wearing that proud lion that was my father’s sigil and his father’s before him. But neither gods nor men shall compel me to turn Casterly Rock into your whorehouse.
Ouch. And when Tyrion confronts Tywin on the privy? After he shoots Tywin in the stomach, Tywin says: "You're no son of mine."
Those were the final words of Tywin Lannister. A dying man. With nothing to lose. Perhaps, the truth, at last? And speaking of secret Targaeryns...
6. Jamie Lannister will murder Cersei
Before the series is over, the Kingslayer will turn into the Queenslayer. As a child, Cersei received this ominous prophecy from Maggy the Frog, a woods witch:
“Queen you shall be… until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear.”
Now, the obvious candidates to replace Cersei are: Margaery Tyrell, Sansa Stark and Daenerys Targaryen. While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, all three candidates are much younger than Cersei. And Dany has been oft described as "the most beautiful woman in the world."
But read the prophecy carefully. Examine the masterful way in which the prophecy is framed. Queen you shall be... until there comes another.
Not man or woman. Simply another. Younger. More beautiful.
Jamie is Cersei's younger brother. Many characters, including Cersei, Brienne and Catelyn Stark, have described him as beautiful.
When Cersei further questions Maggy if she will have any children, she gets this reply:
"Aye. Six-and-ten for him, and three for you."
And then she gets more than she bargained for. "Gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds." All Cersei's children are dead. This part of the prophecy has come true. Only the final part remains.
"And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.”
Valonqar means little brother in High Valyrian.
For years, Cersei thinks this is Tyrion. After all, she thinks he killed her mother (technically), her father (yup) and her son Joffrey (nope). Why wouldn't she think he'd want her dead? She's always hated him and been paranoid when it comes to him. But it never even occured to her that she's worried about the wrong little brother.
And look at how things stand in the show. Cersei is surrounded: Enemies to the east. Enemies to the west. Enemies to the north. Enemies to the south.
Imagine Dany at the gates. Dragons in tow. Would Cersei give in? I think not. After all, when Stannis Baratheon had nearly taken the city, she was prepared to commit suicide with her son. And all around King's Landing, are caches of wildfire. Picture this scenario: Rather than surrender to Dany, Cersei decides she'd rather watch the city go up in flames. And does so.
For Jamie, life comes full circle. Twenty odd years ago, he saved the city from the Mad King. His proudest achievement, for which he lost his honour and his good name, in ashes. Cersei takes it from him. He's lost his name, his hand and now his reason for living. He responds by choking the life from her and following her to the grave. Poetic, really.
7. Bran drove the Mad King mad
It's all Bran's fault. You had one job Bran. To warn everyone about the White Walkers. You had one job.
One theory from another Redditor goes thus:
While Bloodraven tells Bran "the past is written and the ink is dry", we have reason to doubt this. After all, when Bran cried out to Ned Stark at the Tower of Joy, the young lord paused and turned around. Bloodraven claimed it was merely the rustling of leaves, but was it?
Bran knows his father heard him. He also knows there's only one way to win against the Whiter Walkers: Burn them all.
And according to A Song of Ice and Fire history, the Mad King heard "whispers". And as Jamie said, when the Mad King died, he kept saying those very words: Burn them all.
Maybe he was just repeating the whispers in his head. Whispers put there by Bran. Whispers which slowly drive him insane. Leading him to kill Bran's grandfather and his uncles, which basically set the entire story in motion.
Your move, internet.