A Song Of Ice And Fire: exploring the fan theories

Feature Juliette Harrisson Louisa Mellor 27 Jun 2014 - 07:00

We cast our eye over some of the theories surrounding the George R.R. Martin books being adapted for HBO’s Game Of Thrones. Spoilers…

Warning: contains many, many A Song Of Ice And Fire spoilers all the way up to A Dance With Dragons.

A Song Of Ice And Fire readers are a curious people. Wise to the ways of our master, George R.R. Martin, we've grown suspicious over the years. In a saga where the same character can go by a dozen names, where identities are confused, hidden, and disguised, and where the dead can - quite literally - walk, we've learned not to take anything on trust. A character gets an axe to the head? They'll turn up a chapter later. A prophecy foretells certain doom? It's all in the interpretation. A young lad is called bastard and denied Lordly rights? He's probably the heir to the Seven Kingdoms.

We've gathered some of the juiciest fan theories from A Song Of Ice And Fire to chew over below. It's by no means an exhaustive list, but it covers the major bases. A sister piece, in which we tackle the big questions of the series including: who is Azor Ahai? Who are the three heads of the dragon? And who will ultimately win the Iron Throne? will follow...

 

What's the theory? R+L=J

(For the uninitiated, this stands for Rhaegar + Lyanna = Jon, i.e. Jon Snow is not Ned Stark’s illegitimate son at all, but the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.)

Prove it! We know that Rhaegar absconded with Lyanna (willingly or otherwise) and they were together for some months before Rhaegar’s death at the Trident. We know that Lyanna was sent to the Tower of Joy with half the Kingsguard protecting/guarding her. If she was taken unwillingly they might have been keeping her there, but if she went willingly, that doesn’t really make sense – the Kingsguard should be with either the King or the Crown Prince, not a woman who was active and not afraid to fight herself – unless she was heavily pregnant with the Crown Prince’s son. It’s possible that Rhaegar raped Lyanna as Robert believed, but the theory makes even more sense if we assume she willingly ran off with him, since everyone but Robert, including Ned, thinks of Rhaegar as a noble, generally good Crown Prince.

Ned Stark remembers finding Lyanna in ‘a bed of blood’, a description used elsewhere in the series to refer to childbirth. Ned made a promise to her on her deathbed that has cost him a lot of sleep over the years. Considering Robert’s satisfaction with the murder of Rhaegar’s children by Elia and the danger posed by any Targaryen heir (illegitimate children can be legitimised, like Ramsey Bolton, and there is some speculation that Rhaegar and Lyanna might have got married, since several earlier Targaryens had multiple wives), it would make sense if Ned’s promise were to protect Lyanna’s son. He did so by claiming the baby as his own son instead, something which cost him a lot because it hurt his new wife Catelyn and compromised his reputation for unimpeachable honour.

Jon is definitely a Stark – genetics is much simpler in Westeros than in reality and he looks far too much like a Stark not to be related to them. However, he looks like Arya, who in turn looks like Lyanna, so while he is ‘of Ned’s blood’, he isn’t necessarily his son. It’s also worth noting that in episode two of the TV series, Ned tells Jon that next time he sees him, they’ll talk about his mother. Ned expects that when they see each other again, Jon will be a sworn member of the Night’s Watch, meaning that, like Maester Aemon, he can never claim any birthright or inheritance from whoever his biological parents might be. It’s possible that Ned intended to tell him the truth once he had removed himself more firmly from any claim to the throne.

Finally, in the House of the Undying, Daenerys sees a blue rose growing out of a wall of ice. The wall of ice seems pretty easy to place as The Wall, as Lyanna Stark was fond of blue roses – so the implication is that Dany is seeing a vision relating to her biological nephew, Jon.

The only living person who knows Jon’s true parentage is Howland Reed, who followed Ned into the Tower of Joy. Howland Reed is a great old friend of the Starks who has yet to appear, though he sent his children to help Bran. He is also one of three characters Martin has stated can never be Point Of View characters because they know too much (the other two are Littlefinger and Varys). Presumably either Reed will eventually turn up and tell someone the truth, or it will turn out that Rhaegar and Lyanna got married in front of a weirwood tree while she was pregnant and Bran will see it in a vision and put two and two together.

Do we believe it? Yes. This is so strongly and so widely believed many fans take it almost as established fact. It may be that we’re all completely wrong and Martin will pull the rug out from under us at the last minute, but too much makes perfect sense if this theory is correct.

 

What’s the theory? Sandor Clegane (aka The Hound) is alive and living on the Quiet Isle

Prove it! The last time we saw The Hound, he was dying from infected wounds under a tree in the Trident in A Storm Of Swords after Arya refused him the mercy of a quick death. His infamous helm having been stolen by Rorge and worn during his plunder of Saltpans, many assumed The Hound was still alive and committing atrocities until Brienne uncovered the truth.

It’s not until Brienne, Pod, Ser Hyle Hunt and Septon Meribald visit the Quiet Isle that we’re given an account of Sandor Clegane’s last days. The Elder Brother on the Isle tells Brienne that he came upon Sandor in the Trident and “The Hound died there, in [his] arms” and is now “at rest”. There’s plenty, however, to suggest that the Elder Brother is only speaking figuratively, that ‘The Hound’ may well have died under that tree, but Sandor Clegane survived and now lives as a novice with the Brothers.

The particular attention Martin gives to a grave-digging “Brother bigger than Brienne” that the group pass by on their way to the Elder Brother has been interpreted by many as the first clue that the novice is in fact, Clegane. The grave-digger’s face, like that of the other Brothers, is obscured by a cowl and woollen strands, leaving only an eye visible. He walks “with the awkward gait of one half-crippled”, which could be the result of The Hound’s injuries, and he shows an affinity with another Hound - Dog, Septon Meribald’s pet - who lets him scratch his ear. More evidence arrives when Stranger, Clegane’s unruly black stallion, is discovered in the Brothers’ stables. It is widely known that Stranger – now renamed Driftwood – won’t let anybody but his master lead him, as the Brothers with the broken shin bone and missing ear found out to their cost.

More evidence still lies in the reactions of the Brothers when Brienne announces her intention as “hunting for the Hound”. Brother Narbert is “taken aback”, while the Elder Brother’s “smile flickered and faded when he learned the reason for their visit”. “The man you hunt is dead”, he told Brienne, which looks likely to have been a half-truth…

Do we believe it? Too right we do. There are too many nods here for it not to be true. The popularly held belief is that Sandor Clegane will return to fight his reanimated brother and Cersei’s supernatural champion, Ser Robert Strong (or FrankenGregor, if you prefer) so it has a narrative purpose too. It also explains the TV series encounter between Brienne and Sandor in the season four finale, we'd venture. Had she not fought him in that episode, how would she recognise him when season five comes to the Quiet Isle?

 

What's the theory? Tyrion is not a Lannister after all, but a Targaryen

This idea springs from two basic questions. Why did Tywin Lannister hate Tyrion so much, and who will be the three heads of the dragon? One possible answer is that Tyrion is not Tywin’s son at all, but the son of Joanna Lannister and the Mad King, Aerys Targaryen.

Prove it! In A Dance With Dragons, Barristan Selmy remembers that Aerys was attracted to Joanna Lannister and openly wished he could rape her on her and Tywin’s wedding night, and this was one of the things that eventually turned Tywin against him. Tyrion has slightly lighter blond hair than the other Lannisters, meaning it could be Targaryen colouring rather than Lannister, and his eyes are two different colours, one of which is nearly purple – Targaryens have violet eyes, and an historical Targaryen illegitimate child had mis-matched eyes. It also helps to explain the extent of Tywin’s hatred for Tyrion, particularly his carefully phrased statement, “I cannot prove you are not mine” and his refusal to pass Casterly Rock to Tyrion even though Tyrion is clearly his heir by Westerosi law.

Do we believe it? We’re not convinced by this one. For one thing, it’s unnecessary to the story. Tywin loved his wife deeply and needs no reason to hate Tyrion beyond resenting him for the death of his mother and general prejudice against him for his dwarfism. Telling Tyrion “You are no son of mine” as he dies by Tyrion’s hand is an emotional statement that actually loses its impact if it becomes a statement of fact. It’s also not necessary for Tyrion to be a Targaryen to be a head of the dragon, and we’re not sure Tyrion is destined to be one of the heads of the dragon anyway, since Daenerys has been warned against him – and warned about him as the ‘lion’. Tyrion also takes after Tywin more than his siblings in terms of personality, as Genna tells Jaime in A Feast For Crows, though that could be explained by Tywin’s having raised him. We have to admit that Tyrion’s eye colour and some of the precise wording given to Tywin suggest this is a possibility, but we think it’s a remote one.

 

What’s the theory? Young Griff is a fake

Prove it! Just to get everyone up to speed, Young Griff is believed by many – including himself – to be the real Aegon Targaryen, son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia Martell who was thought to have been murdered by The Mountain during Robert’s Rebellion (remember, “You raped her. You murdered her. You killed her children.”). The boy is the right age, and has the distinctive Targaryen colouring of silver hair and violet eyes - the former of which he dyes dark blue whilst in disguise as Young Griff.

As the story goes, Varys and Illyrio Mopatis colluded to swap baby Aegon for the boy The Mountain killed, smuggling away the real Aegon and giving him to former Hand of the King Jon Connington to raise, train, educate and keep safe until such time as he could return to the Iron Throne.

The question is, is Young Griff really Aegon, or just a Blackfyre lad with passable enough colouring to be taken for a Targaryen whom Varys and Illyrio have lied to everyone, including Griff himself, about? Is he a true heir to the Iron Throne, or simply a pretender? (If you squint, it’s sort of the Princes in the Tower bit of the Wars of the Roses that George R.R. Martin has plundered so effectively for this series.)

Some readers have interpreted the Quaithe’s prophecy to Daenerys about being beware of “the Mummer’s Dragon” to indicate that Griff is a fake. If Griff is “the Mummer’s Dragon”, it could either reference his being a fake, thus ‘acting’ Targaryen, or that he is simply a Dragon who belongs to Varys, who began life as part of a Mummers’ troupe…

Do we believe it? This one could go either way. Some have pointed out weaknesses in Varys’ baby-swapping story (how did he know The Mountain wouldn’t say, cut wee Aegon’s throat instead of making him unidentifiable by crushing his skull?), but for our money, it’s entirely possible that Varys – the ultimate pragmatist – might invent a fake Targaryen heir from a Blackfyre boy to stash away and use as a pawn in his long game. Whether Young Griff will survive long enough to play his part is another matter...

 

What’s the theory: Samwell Tarly has the horn of winter (no sniggering at the back, please)

According to Old Nan, who told its tale to the Stark children as a bedtime story, the Horn of Winter is a legendary instrument with the magical ability to awaken sleeping giants and bring down the Wall. In Northern legend, it was used by Joramun, a Wildling king beyond-the-Wall, to bring down the corrupt Night’s King, a lapsed Crow who fell in love with an Other woman and made sacrifices to her people.

Prove it! There are various magical items and weapons described in ASoIaF, not least of which is Azor Ahai's Lightbringer, of which more later. Mance Rayder’s horn (which he told Jon Snow as the real deal before Tormund Giantsbane shed doubt on its authenticity), was burnt by Melisandre in the flames that consumed Rattleshirt. Euron Greyjoy gave his brother Victarion a Valyrian instrument named Dragonbinder, an enormous horn that kills any mortal man who blows it, but which can reputedly be used to control dragons. Finally, Jon Snow discovered a war horn alongside the dragonglass buried at the First of the First Men and later gave it to Samwell Tarly who carried it to Oldtown. There’s some speculation that though small, Sam’s war horn is in fact, the real Horn of Winter.

Do we believe it: Why not? If the Horn of Winter exists, Sam the Slayer is its most likely owner in our estimation. How he’ll use it though, and what its exact powers are, remain to be seen…

 

What's the theory? Jon Snow is not dead, or will not stay dead

Things looked pretty bad for A Song Of Ice And Fire’s most traditional fantasy hero at the end of A Dance With Dragons, as he - like Jeor Mormont before him - was stabbed in the back by his own men. Granted, it wasn’t specified that he actually died, only that he lost consciousness, but it didn’t sound like an attack anyone was likely to come back from. However, many fans are confident that we haven’t seen the last of Jon Snow, however grim things may seem.

Prove it! Well, first off, we haven’t seen the body. Jon lost consciousness, just like Theon, Arya and Davos Seaworth before him. None of those were really dead, just injured. Even if the nasty-sounding stab wounds have killed him, that didn’t stop Catelyn from coming back, or Beric Dondarrion before her (Dondarrion with rather more of his personality intact than Catelyn, who notably ceased to be a viewpoint character when she died). If nothing else, Jon will rise as a Wight if not burned. In A Song Of Ice And Fire, no one is dead until their head has been removed from their body (in FrankenGregor’s case, not even then), or their whole body has been burned.

Then there are the external reasons for keeping Jon Snow alive, the laws of narrative and story-telling that suggest ‘anyone can die’ is never entirely true, at least not until the end of the series. Jon Snow is the classic fantasy hero of A Song Of Ice And Fire, the possibly-royal illegitimate son (see above) who works his way up from a lowly position (steward for Jeor Mormont) and displays natural leadership abilities, all building up to a grand finale in which presumably he takes the throne, or rides a dragon, or something equally spectacular, and he may or may not be Azor Ahai reborn. Jon hasn’t got that far yet. He’s also the only viewpoint character currently at the Wall apart from Melisandre, and it does not seem likely that Martin will leave us with only Melisandre, a mysterious and rather unlikeable character who has only had one viewpoint chapter so far, as our eyes and ears in such an important location. The possibilities open to wargs have also been clearly established so he will almost certainly continue in some form.

As for how Jon will survive, there are various possibilities. At one point in A Dance With Dragons, Melisandre looks into her fire and sees Jon’s face as a man, then he becomes a wolf, then a man again, so one of the most popular suggestions is that Jon will first warg into Ghost (the last thing he thinks about), then Melisandre will revive his body and put him back into it, making him more himself than Beric Dondarrion and certainly more recognisably the character we know than Lady Stoneheart. Another possibility is that his body will come back as a wight, but like Coldhands he may have more of a sense of himself than other wights, possibly due to warging into Ghost at the moment of death (this would fit with a dream of Bran’s in which he sees Jon’s flesh going pale). Were he able to get his hands on Dragonbinder, this new, improved, non-living Jon Snow, would be able to blow the sorcerer’s horn and control a dragon, too…

Do we believe it? Yes. Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen are the actual protagonists of A Song Of Ice And Fire (with Bran as their sidekick). Everyone else is filler (even Tyrion, who is highly popular and beloved filler). If either Jon or Dany die at all – which seems unlikely – they’ll do so right at the end of the story.

 

What’s the theory? Septa Lemore is Ashara Dayne

Ashara Dayne, the beautiful noblewoman rumoured by some in ASoIaF to be the mother of Ned Stark’s bastard son, was said to have jumped to her death from a cliff-top tower following the death of her brother. (Ashara’s story is arguably the subject of the song sung by Dareon the Black Singer about, in Arya’s words “some stupid lady throwing herself off some stupid tower”, in Braavosi brothel, The Happy Port.)

Dayne’s body was never discovered, which has led some readers to go looking for her amongst the series’ more mysterious women. One possible option appears in A Dance With Dragons in the character of Septa Lemore, the woman charged with educating Young Griff in the ways of the Seven. Tyrion observes on the Shy Maid that the so-called Septa, a beautiful woman in her forties given to swimming naked in the waters of the Rhoyne, sports stretch-marks that could only have been caused by childbirth, thus is not quite what she seems...

Prove it! We really can't. There's nothing substantial in the text to back up the theory.

Do we believe it? It’s possible we suppose, but quite a leap to go from ‘she’s not a real Septa’ to ‘she’s Ashara Dayne who gave birth, faked her death and travelled from Dorne to Essos in disguise’. There are problems with the theory, not limited to the fact that Jon Connington would likely recognise the real Ashara Dayne (though with so many disguised identities on board the Shy Maid, he may be in on the deception we suppose). There are also arguments to be heard that Lemore is the mother of Tyene Sand, opening up a whole other kettle of Dornish fish. The true identity of Septa Lemore is a mystery we want to solve, but we’re going to need a smidge more evidence to swallow this one.

 

What's the theory? Weirwood paste is people! Specifically, Jojen Reed

In A Dance With Dragons, Bran is fed something called ‘weirwood paste’ by the Children of the Forest and the Three-Eyed Crow. He’s told it’s made from weirdwood seeds and will help him to become a better greenseer. Some believe that Jojen Reed was sacrificed and his blood was used as an ingredient in the paste.

Prove it! Jojen appears to know and accept when he will die, and becomes increasingly ill throughout A Dance With Dragons. Neither he nor Meera are seen after Bran has eaten the paste – it’s possible that Meera was sacrificed as well, but since Jojen was a greenseer, it would make sense that his blood was needed to enhance Bran’s abilities in that area. The weirwood paste itself makes Bran feel sick at first and has red veins running through it that might be weirwood sap but look like blood. After he’s eaten it, he can taste blood in his mouth.

Jojen’s death in the season four finale of the TV show, while he’s still alive in the books, would seem to confirm that, as he’s been saying for a while, he’s not long for this world. The manner of his death would also seem to fit thematically while being different in terms of specifics – TV Jojen sacrificed himself to get Bran to the Three-Eyed Crow, while Book Jojen may have been sacrificed – willingly or otherwise – to help Bran to become a better greenseer (and possibly discover some of Westeros’ long-buried secrets in the process, thanks to some of the inhabitants’ convenient habit of doing important things like getting married in front of weirwood trees).

One problem with TV Jojen’s death in terms of this theory is that TV Jojen’s body was exploded by a Child of the Forest to stop him from becoming a White Walker, and is therefore unavailable for sandwich-paste preparation purposes. It’s possible that on the TV show Meera will be sacrificed instead, if she has no more important role in the story, or that this aspect of Bran’s story will be adapted out. Or that the whole theory is wrong in the first place and Jojen is just slowly dying of whatever it is he’s actually dying of and will finally succumb in the next book.

Do we believe it? It certainly sounds like someone’s blood was in that paste, though of course a person can be bled without being killed. It’s possible that Bran will discover Jojen and Meera, alive but trapped and being drained for their blood and nearly dead. Or it’s possible that we’ve just watched too many vampire shows. Whatever has happened or will happen to Jojen, it’s pretty clear from the TV show that he’s marked for death, and soon.

 

What’s the theory? Syrio Forel is still alive and wearing someone else’s face

So popular was Arya Stark’s water dancing teacher, Syrio Forel, that many refuse to believe he died in A Game Of Thrones. His Braavosi background and a single line from Arya has suggested to some that Forel is a Nameless Man who somehow escaped Ser Meryn Trant and the Kingsguard only to change his face.

Prove it! Nobody can. Not really. All we know is that Forel was last seen fighting Ser Meryn Trant and the Kingsguard to allow Arya to escape the castle, and that there’s no confirmation of his death in the books. Despite being a skilled fighter, Forel was armed only with a wooden sword when Trant and co. came to collect their Stark prize, so chances of his prospering against several armed attackers are slim.

That, however, hasn’t stopped readers speculating. Some suggest that Forel disarmed one of his opponents and escaped (and that Ser Trant neglected to mention this fact to Queen Cersei for fear of her displeasure) and changed his face. One popular bet for whose phiz Forel took is that of a certain Jaqen H’ghar, the criminal from the Red Keep’s black cells whom Arya helped to escape the night Yoren’s Night Watch party was attacked. The chief fuel for this particular fire is a line from early in A Clash Of Kings that “the way [Jaquen] talked reminded [Arya] of Syrio; it was the same, yet different too”.

Do we believe it? No. It’s hardly watertight as cases go. There are better arguments for Jaquen H’ghar being A Feast For Crows’ Alchemist and latterly, Pate of Oldtown, and Syrio Forel having simply died saving Arya’s life.

 

What’s the theory? Tysha is the Sailor’s Wife

The fate of poor Tysha, the young girl who secretly fell in love with and wedded a thirteen year old Tyrion Lannister, then was gang-raped by his father’s guards and her husband when Tywin discovered the marriage, is one of A Song Of Ice And Fire’s mysteries. “Where do whores go?” is a question preoccupying Tyrion throughout A Dance With Dragons, his father having told him his first wife Tysha went “wherever whores go” after her awful ordeal. To brothels is one answer.

Prove it! In A Feast For Crows, we hear tell of a prostitute known as the Sailor’s Wife who works in the Happy Port brothel in Braavos who only sleeps with men who marry her. She has a blonde fourteen year old daughter named Lanna who also works at Merry’s brothel, known to be the same age as her mother when she had her. The ages work out, and “Lanna” seems to be a tell that a Lannister was the child’s father (though if she did turn out to be Tysha, which Lannister - guard or husband - would horribly, be unknown).

Do we believe it? It’s a stretch. Especially as the Sailor’s Wife’s first husband is said to have been lost at sea, and Yna, the fortune-telling prostitute in Merry’s brothel, has sworn that he is dead, “I could taste that in her blood. If he should ever come back to her, it will be a corpse”.

 

What's the theory? Tyrion is going to hurt or work against Daenerys in some way

You’d think that Tyrion might want to help Daenerys. He’s either very angry with or outright hates all surviving members of his family except Tommen and Myrcella and he’s already killed his own father so his loyalty to the Lannisters would seem to be somewhat in doubt. He’s travelled across Essos looking for Daenerys, thanks to apparent Targaryen loyalist Varys, and she has inadvertently saved him from death in the fighting pit. And yet, one of the many prophecies directed at Dany across the series seems to imply that she is in some kind of danger from Tyrion.

Prove it! In A Dance With Dragons, the Quaithe warns Dany, “Kraken and dark flame, lion and griffin, the sun’s son and the mummer’s dragon. Trust none of them... Beware the perfumed seneschal.” The ‘sun’s son’ is Quentyn Martell, the ‘kraken and dark flame’ Victarion Greyjoy and Moqorro, and the lion must surely be Tyrion Lannister. The ‘perfumed seneschal’ could refer to Varys, but could also refer to the ship Tyrion and Jorah Mormont arrived on, the Selaesori Qhoran, a name Tyrion translates as Stinky Steward. The reference to the griffin is an odd one because it seems to refer to Jon Connington, who is no longer on his way to Daenerys, but overall the message seems to be that Tyrion, along with the others, poses some kind of threat to Daenerys, whether deliberately or inadvertently.

Do we believe it? Prophecies in works of fiction have an almost 100% accuracy rate. To be fair, some prophecies in A Song Of Ice And Fire appear to have been thwarted, but we’re willing to bet they’ll come true in the end, one way or another. So we’re expecting Tyrion to damage Daenerys in some way, deliberately or not.

 

What’s the theory? Benjen Stark is Coldhands

After his introduction in A Game Of Thrones, Benjen Stark set out a-ranging from the Wall one day and never returned. His absence has bred all kinds of speculation about Ned Stark’s brother’s fate, chief of which is that he is the mysterious Coldhands, who looks like a Wight but has black eyes and rides a live elk, as opposed to the reanimated dead mounts chosen by the Others.

Coldhands arrived to save Sam and Gilly in A Storm Of Swords and lead Bran and co. to the three-eyed raven in A Dance With Dragons.

Prove it! Despite this theory being so widespread it’s now considered old hat amongst many ASoIaF readers, there isn’t really much proof for it. Coldhands wears a scarf to obscure his face, and rags that were once the black of the Night’s Watch, which is pretty much it. Like the Syrio Forel and Ashara Dayne theories, this one seems to have come about simply because we haven’t been told explicitly what happened to Benjen.

Do we believe it? We don’t. Coldhands “died long ago” according to Leaf, one of the Children of the Forest and Benjen’s only been missing for three or so years, which would be a blink of an eye to a being like Leaf. A more tantalising suggestion is that Coldhands is the original Night's King, the ancient commander of the Night's Watch destroyed by the King In The North and the King Beyond-The-Wall.

Come back to read "A Song Of Ice And Fire: answering the big questions" on Monday, when we’ll throw our tuppence in to the following debates:

- Who is Azor Ahai?

- Who is the Valonquar?

- Who are the heads of the dragon?

- Will the Seven Kingdoms be united at the end of the series?

- Who will win the game of thrones?

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Disqus - noscript

I do enjoy the discussions of ASOIAF theories, even if they do get pretty intense and over analytical, but that's the nature of the beast. GRRM has such a deliberate and consistent writing style and created such a rich world that it's inevitable. The books are so dense that it's often impossible to detect the patterns of word usage, over time, but for some obsessive fans that's part of the fun. In the early stages the prophecies are pure gibberish - with hindsight of reading the later books it's much clearer.

My favourite theories surround the north, the Starks their ties to blood magic and the First Men. Also a firm believer that Boose Bolton's true agenda is ever murkier and he's a direct descendent of the Night's King - again some very deliberate language is used in regards to Roose.

Wot no Rickon theories?

And don't forget the HBO online credit booboo that apparently seems to confirm a popular theory about the Night's King

i feel quite ashamed despite reading the whole series, there was only a few of these i picked up on. really do need to re-read them again :(

Everyone knows Azor Ahai is Hot Pie

I mean, HOT right? It's a signifier.

Also, it rhymes: Ahai/Hot Pie. (That's assuming they do in fact rhyme. Admittedly, I don't actually know how to pronounce Azor Ahai)

And the way Hot Pie labours over his savoury pastry based dishes is an obvious and telling callback to the way Ahai had to labour over Lightbringer. Ahai never gave up, even going so far as to sacrifice Nissa Nissa to get it just right. And Hot Pie doesn't give up on the gravy, even when others would.

It will be fascinating to watch him fulfill the prophecy

That was a really interesting read. Look forward to the second part.

Adding to the R+L=J theory, as early as the 1st book a conversation happens between Arya and Jon when watching Robb sparring with Joffrey. Arya asks why Jon isn't there too, to which he tells her that Bastards are not allowed to hurt Princes. The irony of it all is that Joff was a bastard all along... and Jon might not be.

and a conversation between Ned & King Robert, also in AGOT
"Robert snorted. "Bogs and forests and fields, and scarcely a decent inn north of the Neck. I've never seen such a vast emptiness. Where are all your people?"
"Likely they were too shy to come out," Ned jested. He could feel the chill coming up the stairs, a cold breath from deep within the earth. "Kings are a rare sight in the north."
Robert snorted. "More likely they were hiding under the snow. Snow, Ned!"

I enjoyed this article, but I always felt that Tyrion was most like Tywin in personality because:

a) He was never going to be a fighter, given his physical circumstances, but he's a damn sight smarter than his brother (and slightly so than his sister, who if born a man would probably be King by now :p)

and

b) He wanted so much to be loved by his father, what better way than to show how much he's learned from him?

R+L = J is a popular theory amongst my friends and I and there is a large clue seemingly pointing towards it when Ned and Robert are heading to King's Landing. Ned thinks about Robert's rages and of the secret he could never tell him. Which I believe is just after Robert has been slamming the Targaryen's and how much he hates them.
There are other pointers too from stories people recall of the Wolf Lady and the Dragon Price at a tourney and how Rhaeger's advances were not quite as unwanted as the stories initially said.

I don't think the Tyrion theory has any credibility. Isn't he the younger of the Lannister siblings? So if Aegon did take 'liberties' on Tywin's wedding night it's Jamie and Cersei who are more likely to be of Targaryen blood (they do love incest!).

If I hadn't been at the office I would have emitted a huge belly laugh from this.
I thank you for it. :)

Isn't there also a theory that Jon is the son of Benjen and... someone?
What I like most about all these theories is how they cast events we thought we'd digested in a whole new light.

In regards to Tywin hating Tyrion I think it was strictly the dwarf thing. I haven't read the books in years, but I distinctly remember something about him hating is impishness because it spoiled the strong Lannister name.

The Horn of Winter theory works nicely if we go by the Raiders of the Lost Ark logic - the unassuming object is of course the historically authentic one.

I thought the griffin Dany should fear was Young Griff, but then I'm quite literal.

BTW thanks massively for writing this - enjoying a good old geek-out.

Me too! This just reminds me of how complex they are!

And where the heck is GENDRY? (I kid.)

And very long and so many characters to keep track of!

Fantastic article!!!!!!!

Another interesting theory I heard recently (although I think it's been around for awhile) is that Lyanna had twins, a boy and a girl, and that Meera is Jon's sister. Howland and Ned each decided to raise one as there own.

Great article. I agree with most of your conclusions. However, The Mountain's head was never actually removed. The skull returned to Dorne was not The Mountain's, it was just a large skull intended to pass for Gregor (forensics weren't so great in those times and that realm).
My own personal theory is that somehow Tyrion will end up killing Dany which will haunt him since he has cursed himself by killing his own father (Martin is big on this), and he will try to make up for it by helping Jon Snow-Targaryen-Stark rule the ruined kingdom...I hope not though. A Jon/Dany lead Westoros with Tyrion as the rich hand would be pretty cool (with Bran watching and guiding all).

What was that booboo??

Yes, Tyrion is the younger brother. That is why Cersei thinks he will kill her and fulfill the prophecy told to her when she was a kid that "a younger brother" will kill her (it's said in a different way, however, which to me means that either Jamie - the youngest of the twins, or just some other person who is a younger brother - like how Sandor is the younger brother of The Mountain). If The Hound does come back and kill The Mountain, then he will be killing Cersei by having her lose the trial by combat.

How about theory that Faceless Man (Jaquen H'Gaer) is in Oldtown posing as someone with the keys to the basement library looking for a book on dragons. Maybe he will come across Sam and the Horn of Winter?

Jon being Lyanna and Rhaegar's son makes too much sense for it to not be true. And I'm 99% sure he's not dead.

Great article, by the way.

This article is fantastic as are the comments, some of the theories do make sence which in turn makes you rethink certain characters entire story :D great article!

EXCELLENT ARTICLE! I cannot wait for Monday!

The younger brother was referred to as the "Valonquar" apparently DOG will address this theory on Monday. Looking forward to it.

That is definitely one of the reasons he hates him. He also hates him because his wife died giving birth to him because of his large head (that's what Tywin says).

Tywin raised Tyrion, so even if Tywin isn't Tyrion's actual father, he still was Tyrion's sole male influence. Also, Tyrion was highly intelligent because he spent all his time reading because he was shunned by his family and by society in general.
But according to Danys prophecy, Tyrion is referred to as the Lion, meaning he is a Lannister.

OK--having read all the books & watched all episodes multiple times, here's my take on the questions

1) Daenerys is Azor Ahai & we have YET to see the real Lightbringer sword since Stannis' does NOT give off heat. Oh, and its Dany who is the "younger queen" from the prophecy given to Cersei

2) Jamie will be the Valonquar who strangles Cersei

3) Dany, Jon Snow(R + L's son) & Griff are the 3 "heads of the Dragon" & OF COURSE Jon Snow IS alive & will be "saved" by moving his mind/spirit into Ghost while Melisandre will heal his body

4) there may well be 3 Kingdoms by the end--the North, the Middle & the South that all work together after the defeat of the White Walkers & the TRUE threat.

5) Daenerys, Jon & Griff are the 3 heads of the Dragon--although I would say that I expect Tyrion to have a prominent place at the side of Dany or Jon, Arya will be Jon's court assassin, Bran will be the green-seer watching over & communicating to all of them & Jamie & Brienne may well end up together by series end. Sansa will continue to "out-Littlefinger" Littlefinger & have some prominent position by the end of the series as well

6) Coldhands is LIKELY Benjen, but if not--the Night's King

Other points:
1) Sam May WELL have the actual "Horn of Winter" if it is a real item and not a legend.
2) Martin says Syrio is dead, but i prefer to think he escaped, but have no proof.
3) The Hound is DEFINITELY alive & will have a further part to play in the series
4) As for Ashara Dayne & weirwood paste--dont really care about either theory or think they matter in the big scheme of things

Jamie is ALSO a "younger brother"--Cersei was born first

there are three Lions. Tyrion, Cersei and Jamie that come to mind as the lion that shouldn't be trusted. of the three Cersei is obviously one who shouldn't be trusted. if you add this with a reading Cersei received before the story even began about how many children she would have.. and then how many children Robert would have.

on a side note did anyone find it strange that they knew exactly how many bastards Robert had? all goes back to Cersei's reading. someone even probably died because she heard it too.

I read all five of them on my Kindle, and I really regret that I can't see the illustrations and maps that well. I have a pretty good grasp of the characters, but sometimes I think if I had the hardback books I could go back and find out about whatever it is that has confused me. When I read an article like this, I really feel like I need to reread the books and invest in buying them in hardback form!!!

I so hope you are right! I was devasted when I finished reading book 5!

That's interesting, but way out there, IMO.

Poor Rickon seems to have totally disappeared off the canvas! Surely we will see him in subsequent books.

Tywin was certainly a fighter, wasn't he?

I have read all five books and have watched the TV series. For the life of me, I can't remember who is The Night's King?

Could Coldhands be The Last Hero, from the tale Old Nan was telling Bran when Maester Luwin interrupted?

I (almost) completely agree with your theory that R+L=J, however, I think the 'R' is Robert, not Rhaegar. Rhaegar has been floating around since book one came out. I still think that is a red herring. In book 5, Cersei remembers Maggie the Frog predicting that she will have 3 children and Robert will have 16. We have been given the names of seven of those children. Additionally, in a flashback, Lyanna stated she wouldn't sleep with Robert until he married her. So, following the Stark sense of morality, do you think she just jumped into bed with Rhaegar? Sure, the books are a bit rapey, but Rhaegar is mentioned as being a true knight and a good man, as well, by Selmy Barristan...who isn't overly rapey, either. Jon Snow is Robert's legitimate son from a secret marriage during the war. Ask yourself, why would Robert immediately want to pay his respects to Lyanna when arriving at Winterfell? In front of his wife? Why would he complain about where she was buried? You do that for a wife, not your high school sweetheart.

In addition, Robert was drunk at that Tourney at Harrenhaal, following a drinking game with Richard Lonmouth. Rhaegar showed attention to Lyanna who was sworn to Robert at that event. My guess is that Robert was mad at Rhaegar showing affection to his fiancee and in a drunken state "took" his "property" and had forgotten that he did. Cersei Lannister mentions this on the tv series that when he was drunk he didn't remember much of anything. Rhaegar - also a man of honor - then took a crying Lyanna out of there and hid her away, unknowing that she was pregnant with Robert's child. Somehow, the Knight of the Laughing Tree is involved in this and note: Howland Reed is the only person alive that knows the whole story. All they have to do is go ask him.

Jon was born around the time of the sack of KL, almost 2 years after Harrenhal. Your theory is impossible.

Erm Tourney at Harrenhal was in 281, Jon was born in 283.

ninja'd :D

I'm pretty sure the only evidence for that crackpot is that they were both born in 283.

Tommen will strangler her.

Harrenhal WAS in 281AC. Robert's Rebellion lasted "close to a year", according to GRRM and started in 282AC. No month is given. Jon Snow was born in 283AC. No month is given. We know that Lyanna was taken "sometime after" the Tourney. She could have been taken in 282AC for all we know. There isn't any specific information given. Jon could have been born at the beginning of 283AC. On top of all of this, we don't know if a year in Martin's world is 365 days like it is in our own. This is a place of multi-year Summers and Winters. I could be wrong, yes, but it is a different look at a theory than what everyone is supposing all along. I don't think it is impossible when we can clearly see raising the dead and dragons and zombies are the norm in this world.

Entertaining article

yeah so much so that they wrote "The rains of castamere" about him....

I can't remember in which book(s) but it's also intimated that Lyanna never had feelings for Robert. I don't even really think R+L=J is a theory. It's a fact that just hasn't been stated outright yet but will be via Howland Reed (I hope) or Bran someday. It's amazing that Varys seemingly has no clue.

No way. Benjen was a kid when Jon was born.

The ice and fire app is really handy. I'm on my second read and use the app constantly for maps and character refernces

Tommen and his sister are marked for death. It is told in prophecy. It is known.

I have my own personal vague Rickon theory. He will end up as Warden of the North married to Wylla Manderly. :)

It's often asserted that Howland Reed is the only witness to the events at the ToJ but surely Wylla (if still alive) would know the story, more so than Howland. If Lyanna was carrying a child then it's inconceivable that she was there only with three KG. Arthur Dayne was pretty handy with a sword but I doubt he was as skilled at midwifery. Given Wylla is mentioned several times by different sources and was a servant of House Dayne you'd have to think she was sent along to assist with the birth, along with perhaps a few other servants. Granted she may no longer be alive but surely there were more than just the four people at the Tower on that fateful day.

Ah good. One less theory to worry about then.

My personal theory for where Tysha went is that she dropped the "Ty" part and eventually ended up following an army around. Shae never did talk about her past much, and she also wanted Tyrion to treat her like they were married. There's probably a flaw in this, because Tyrion told Shae the story about Tysha, but I have to reread that part. But I think he told her the version where Tysha was a whore the whole time.

I like the terribleness of Tyrion killing her and then going to look for her.

the Night's Watch commander who fell in love with a female White Walker and brought her back to the Wall --probably a Stark from the way the legend is told. It's also Possible that the character we saw transform the baby into a WW in the TV series is the Night's King as he was originally referred to that way in the script--so sayeth the interwebs anyway

I am 99% certain the Hound will kill the Mountain, the 1% off chance being because the Hound COULD in actual fact be dead.
I forget exactly where it is, but I'm sure Cersei thinks at one time or another that no man living could slay the Mountain or Frankengregor. I wish I could remember when exactly she thinks this (and fervently hope it's not my imagination) but if my memories are correct it is very shakespeare, given the fact that the hound is 'dead'.

Actually it's 'The Last Crusade', not 'Raiders'. ;)

Yes! Thankyou, that's what I meant.

JON was NOT stabbed in the book ,at the wall. You silly silly people. JON was not even AT the wall! Jon is in winterfell under an illusion by the red queen singing(or trying to sing badly) as mance..... 1) Jon's direwolf growing at him 2) the "speech" (fake JON) makes inside the keep at the wall was NOTHING Jon Snow would ever say. 3) Fake mance, at winterfelll sang badly, yet... Mance was a great singer so how could it be mance? thus Mance (under a JON Snow illusion) is stabbed....while Jon is in winterfell, far far away

Tyrian a Targaryan? hahahahaha My belief he was the ONLY TRUE CHILD of Tywin! Ironic huh? I believe BOTH Jamie and cercie were the targaryans all along, what a story twist!

Both the Mountain and the Hound are NOT dead.... The hound will heal but the mountain may become even a worse monster than before

what no theories on Mance being Jon's father..?

We can't be sure. One of the reasons given as to why Tyrion can't be a Targ is that he is so like Tywin, even his aunt tells Jaime that Tyrion was Tywin's son in terms of temperament and approach.

What this objection fails to consider is just how a big a theme nature versus nurture is for this series.
Was Joffrey born a monster or was he made that way due to a psychopathic mother and an indifferent father? You could argue that as Myrcella and Tommen are 'normal' then clearly Joffrey was born that way, however conversely you could say that Cersei (and she clearly did from the books) focused on her eldest boy as she expected him to inherit the throne.

Or take Jon Snow, whom everyone agrees has both Stark and Targaryen blood. Who is Jon Snow taking after as much as he can? Ned Stark, to the point of making really stupid decisions, but the reason he is doing this is because he was nurtured this way, the stark influences burying the Targaryen side.

Or Dany. Set adrift in the world from her birthright, Dany has essentially raised herself since she broke the thrall her brother had over her. I subscribe to a theory that her sojourn in Mereen represented, through the persons of Hizdahr and Daario, Dany's warring desire to be the Queen she thinks she should be (of peace, compromise and civility) against the Queen she wants to be (damn negotiations, let me ride my Dragon and roast mine enemies to cinders). With no real nurturing influence, Dany succumbs to her Targaryen nature at the end of book 5.

So the theme GRRM promotes to my mind is clear. The family environment is the most important aspect of these character's upbringing to the point that it overwhelms their nature. Therefore, to say Tyrion is Tywin's true son is merely a validation of that fact rather than a statement of his legitimacy. If Tyrion is a Targaryen, then he has merely proven to be the most adept within the Lannister family environment. Consider Tywin's reaction to Genna's comment on Tyrion being his true son. He didn't speak to her for half the year. Everyone presumes this is because Tywin hated Tyrion, but let us presume firstly that I am correct and that GRRM is trying to say nurture is superior to nature. On a side note, Joanna Lannister is from a cadet branch of House Lannister, so whichever way this falls he DOES have Lion blood.

Bit more controversial, let's say the Tyrion is a Targ theory is true. I am not claiming this is correct, merely stating I believe there is a strong chance.
Given what we have learned about Joanna Lannister, I am going to say it is most likely that at some point Aerys Targaryen raped her.

Not only does this horrify Tywin (who did love Joanna) but it strikes him at the very core of his being, his pride. He has failed to protect his own wife, the basic duty of any husband. For this truth to come out, he would bear an unparalleled humiliation. For this reason, he likely sends Joanna back to Casterly Rock while he remains as Hand of the King, but the relationship between him and the King is now mutually antagonistic, with Aerys slighting Tywin as much as he can (removing Ilyn Payne's tongue, knighting Jaime Lannister to take Tywin's heir) till Tywin leaves abruptly several years later.

Of course by this point, Joanna has died giving birth to Tyrion. If Aerys had raped Joanna and shortly after she fell pregnant, a prudent measure in Tywin's view might have to been to administer an abortifacient. He can't be sure the child will be his and to suffer Aerys' progeny in his family would be endlessly humiliating. But it goes wrong. The attempted abortion fails, however it causes the child when born to be malformed. Other complications arising lead to the death of Tywin's beloved Joanna.

Tywin being Tywin, he transfers the anger at his wife's death to the mishappen 'son' he now has. He can't prove it's not his son, and to even begin to investigate could invite people to figure out the truth of his shame. He accepts Tyrion as his son because to do otherwise would merely compound the humiliation he feels, and the chance the child is actually his
prevents him from tossing Tyrion into the ocean. The endless contradictions are an endless poison wellspring that feeds Tywin's hatred of Tyrion.

And if true, it explains Tywin's final words as he is unable to believe a true Lannister, someone devoted to serving the family, would shoot him. Tywin is the INDISPENSABLE Lannister after all. In his dying moments Tywin decides after a lifetime of agonising that Tyrion isn't his son. In a way it also represents the Mad King's revenge after all these years, killing Tywin in the most humiliating way (dying on the toilet after all).

It also explains his reaction to Genna's comments, as the idea that Aerys Targaryen cuckold is more like him than Jaime would probably send him into paroxysms of rage.

Anyways, I don't think it is a completely outlandish theory. I don't think it is as unlikely as the article suggests either. However I do acknowledge it is a theory based on pure circumstantial evidence, on the wishful hope that dragon dreaming Tyrion will end up riding a Dragon majestically.

But to say it's unnecessary to the story misses the point that it very well could be. THE DRAGON HAS THREE HEADS. Jon, Dany and the final head is likely to be either Young Griff or Tyrion. And on young griff, I subscribe to the 'Young Griff' is a Blackfyre theory due to the fact it makes perfect sense, so I would rule him out.

Ah yes , The Hound appears down but is he bloody out ? Did Arya fetch a Maester from the one sick ole bag Lysa's Kingdom before departing to a distant land somewhere like, an Atlantis.. Arr maybe it's an early touch of Christianity, "Never give up bloody 'ope" ..Me always thought Arya was like me sister

Jon's still a bastard though, as his parents never married.

Or did they?

Bloody hell. As a 'non-reader/TV-only' type, I now see why no-one seems to know how GRRM is going to finish this in just two more books.

On the Aegon / Mummer's Dragon thing, it's worth pointing out two facts:
1. That Ilyrio seems exceptionally fond of 'Aegon', above and beyond what mere loyalty or self-interest would explain.
2. That Ilyrio's (now dead) wife is described as having a very Targaryenish appearance.
The idea that Illyrio and Varys are conspiring to put *Illyrio's son* on the throne is an intriguing one.

I never believed Syrio Forel died off screen. Yes he had only a wooden sword, but there were something like 5 swords in that room - held by other people. For a water dancer of his skill it would have been relatively easy for him to disarm one of them, and use that sword to kill the others.

i would just like to say, as far as the whole not trusting the griffin, they mention in the article that connington is across the world from dany, but, if the young aegon is fake, as some people believe, connington is essentialy betraying her by claiming the boy is the young aegon. and if he is aware, that the boy isn't the true aegon, that's why dany was warned against trusting him, but even if he is unaware of the betrayel by varys, the warning never said the people would knowingly deceive her.

I think that Bran will take over and control a dragon at some point

you misunderstand the Kingsguard. They do not guard bastards, or mistresses, they only guard the King and his family. those involved wouldn't hold Lyanna in a kidnapping plot. They would only have guarded Lyanna if Rhaegar married her in secret and would certainly not guard a bastard.

you think this is something. Pick up the Wheel of Time series. :) it's worth it if you liked Game of Thrones.. but be prepared for something that makes the Game of Thrones seem like a bunch of short novels.

I was reading the part the other day in "A Feast For Crows" where Cersei talks about sending men to the wall to kill Jon Snow. Maybe Jon's men wanted it to look like they killed him at the end of Dance of Dragons, because they knew of a plot to murder him. They got to him first and now they can take him away with the help of Melisandre and protect him. Just a crazy theory.

The theory isn't that Aegon took liberties with her on their wedding night. He joked about wanting to sleep with her on their wedding night.

The theory is that as Aegon spiraled into madness and became known as the Mad King that he eventually raped Joanna, who as the wife of the hand of the kind was living in King's Landing.

This caused Tywin to leave King's Landing, which was why he wasn't there during the war, and was why Tywin stopped supporting the Targaryens and eventually sided with the Baratheons despite being in high standing with the Targaryens. He essentially ran the kingdom under Aegon.

I think you're really missing the boat here. If John was Robert's son, why would Ned have to lie about him being his bastard for all these years? Robert loved Lyanna and would cherish a child with her.

The idea is this. Robert was in love with Lyanna, and was betrothed to marry her. This was great for Robert, because Lyanna was the sister of his best friend, Ned Stark. His friend would become a brother by marriage. But Lyanna and Rhaegar fell in love. The two eloped and ran away together.

Aerys was upset about the union, as Targaryens were only to wed other Targaryens in order to keep the bloodline clean. He summoned the Starks to King's Landing and in his fury and madness ended up executing Ned Stark's father and brother by fire in front of the Iron Throne.

Robert assumed that the Targaryens were all mad, deranged lunatics like Aerys, and began to imagine Rhaegar doing terrible things to Lyanna, and so Robert led the Baratheons into open rebellion against the Targaryens in order to save his love from Rhaegar.

Robert defeated Rhaegar in the battle at the Trident after about a year, winning the war. Meanwhile Ned Stark went to 'save' is sister, only to find her on her deathbed from complications of childbirth.

As she lay dying, Lyanna made Ned promise that he would protect her child. Ned, remembering the sack of King's Landing where Robert had put all the Targaryen children to death - even babies - Ned feared that if Robert knew the child was Rhaegar's he would assume that Rhaegar raped Lyanna and he would put the child to death out of jealousy and because he did not want to leave any Targaryen heir's alive to challenge his new claim to the throne.

So Ned Stark claimed that Jon was his own bastard son so that he could protect him from Robert and keep him safe.

Well, I think the Kingsguard would do anything they were instructed to do by the royal family, as long as that didn't involve harming the royal family or letting harm come to the royal family. If Rhaegar told them to protect a bastard, they'd protect a bastard.

But yes, I do think that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married.

I don't think those three would have

Ser Arthur Dayne, Sword of the morning
Ser Oswell Whent
Ser Gerold Hightower

Even Eddard considered Ser Arthur Dayne to be the best among all the knights. He wouldn't have guarded a bastard even if he was among Rhaegar's closest friends. they weren't men with any type of bend in them much like Stark. While they wouldn't judge a king for this character they would only guard the royal family. this is especially true of Ser Arthur Dayne. The fact he was there (much less the other three kingsguard) leads me to believe the child wasn't a bastard.

was enough of a conviction to take on 7 knights, although Eddard and Howland were both lucky to have survived the fight, they were the only ones to do so.

Probably true. With everything else going on with Robert's Rebellion, it's hard to imagine these three consenting and staying to guard a woman carrying an illegitimate child when the man they had sworn to protect, the king, was squaring off in a losing war.

You're really reaching on this one. I can't remember anyone recalling that Lyanna wouldn't sleep with Robert until they were married - when was this? Ned did remember that Lyanna doubted Robert would keep to the marriage bed.

If Jon Snow was Robert's legitimate son, why would Lyanna make Ned promise not to reveal that to Robert? As Cody notes, he would be cherished by Robert as his heir and as a living memory of his late wife. He never wanted to marry Cersei, or anyone for that matter, after Lyanna's death and he admits as much to Ned. As heir, Jon would have the pick of Westeros for a future wife and thus assure the Baratheon line after Robert.

Robert visited Lyanna's crypt at Winterfell because he was trapped in a loveless (and sexless) marriage. For Robert, Lyanna had assumed near-sainthood, as happens for people that die young and leave a love unsullied by passing time or the slow grind of age and marriage. Robert certainly loved Lyanna and this was only magnified by her early death and the contempt he held Cersei in.

Say what? A little clarity please.

You mean Aerys, the Mad King right?

Aerys, NOT Aegon!

Its as good as any other theory and may be why Ned trusts Howland so much. Meera didn't look much like Jojen does she? Why, oh why, would Howland Reed send his children with Brandon Stark if there is no better reason? That is a mystery no one seems to want to address. We all know he was with Ned when Arthur Dayne died, but we do not know what happened or if he was the Knight of the Smiling Tree or a lot of other things as well. Howland Reed has a lot to answer for. Or, at least George R.R. Martin does as his creator.

The Griffin could also be Jon Connington.

Ah, you share our angst and our ecstasies!

He loved Lyanna and seven kingdoms couldn't fill the hole she left in his heart. Robert Baratheon, A Game of Thrones

Wasn;t the tourney in the Year of the False Spring?

You ser, have a good argument. When I was reading the description of Illyrio's statue and of his wife, I thought along these lines as well. Why wouldn't Varys want to punish those who hurt him and help the one who helped him? It makes more sense than any other Varys theory or Mopatis theory I've read yet.

What Red Queen would that be? We have no Lancaster roses here.

If I'm reading this right and you're saying Shae is Tysha, then, yes, your theory is flawed. Tyrion would have recognized Tysha. Jaime probably would have too.

What about the possible surviving Lion of Castamere? Only a Cat of a different Coat.... Its all the truth I know. Is it so far fetched that one of the Reins of Castermere, or more, survived and is plotting revenge as well? Lion's are often called Griffins are they not?

Most people do think he is Pate. He has already crossed paths with Samwell. Book 5.

House Vikary is a possibility. as for Griffons they are a mix Lion's body rear legs and paws and the front legs, Snake, and often a Eagle face wings.part the claws being on the front paws.

so it's a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

House Vikary is a possibility since it's coat of arms suggests it was an offshoot or related to House Reyne

Jon stabbing is so that he can be reborn. Jon is Azor Ahai. Or so the theory goes (and it makes a lot of sense).

Rhaegar was married to Elia, so how could he legitimately marry Lyanna?

Polygamy was common amongst the Targs. And accepted.

Wheel of time was much easier to predict than a song of ice and fire. I only read each WOT book one time up to the last one and I could already tell you 75% of what happens in it before it came out(I even got Demandred showing up with the Sharan army right). Same with my sister. It should be noted that when I was reading ASOIF I spotted almost none of the things listed above after the first time I read the books. While I really did enjoy WOT it doesn't even begin to compare to the level of wrighting in ASOIF.

with ASOIF it helps to know the history of the War of the Roses as well as the History of the surrounding times. Even perhaps earlier times and broad representations of those times helps. R + L = J could easily be Rome + Celtic tribes = England for example. or Saxons + Normans = England (probably less so) still it has it's references much like WOT had it's references.

another example? if you take the Starks to be Scotland then the Red Wedding is predictable. Why? Because of the Black Dinner involving Clan Douglas. The head of the clan was beheaded as well. Sir William Crichton also betrayed them in much the same way that the Walder Frey betrayed Robb Stark, and was rewarded by the king much in the same way. it takes place just before the War of the Roses timewise but it is in the same period.

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