Over the past few decades, no television programme, movie or piece of cultural phenomena can match Game of Thrones for sheer impassioned speculation. With such a richly detailed universe, layered with a multitude of different characters and their backstories, GoT is fertile ground for television theorists who take it upon themselves to watch endless amounts of Thrones and construct conspiracies.
Some of those conspiracies are terrible and not worth remembering, but some really capture the imagination and let your imagination run wild as to what is going to happen in the show. Obviously, the amount of actual theories since the show first premiered in 2011 is endless. We’ve read dozens and dozens of theories since launching SquareEyed.tv at the start of the year – but there are surely so many we are yet to lay our eyes on. And that’s part of what makes the theory game so intriguing, so enticing and so irresistible.
What follows is a list of the most outlandish and speculative theories ever concocted about Game of Thrones. Some of these are genuinely plausible and may still be proven true in the seasons to come, while others are so blatantly insane, they serve merely as a piece of fun and something to laugh at.
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As obvious as it is, we’re still obliged to warn you about REALLY BIG SPOILERS!
10. Tywin Lannister knew about the plot to kill Joffrey
We really miss Tywin as a character. Not only did Charles Dance portray the head of the Lannister family with such theatrical poise and panache, he was quite simply one of the most interesting characters in the entire Game of Thrones universe. Intelligent. Ruthless. Deadly – Tywin was one hell of a King’s Hand.
Tywin always loved his children – well, Jaime and Cersei anyway, but he grew increasingly unsettled with his grandson Joffrey, who was turning out to be a fairly lousy King. Officially the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, Joffrey had waged nothing but trouble during his blood-soaked reign on the Iron Throne, including the public execution of Ned Stark.
Worse than that, though, he challenged Tywin’s authority which pretty much anyone in Westeros would strongly advise against.
So, the theory goes that Tywin was aware about the impending assassination attempt of Joffrey at his wedding feast. The theory that Tywin chose not to act against the plot to poison Joffrey is convincing on two grounds. First, he wanted Joffrey gone so that Tommen could become king. Tommen being a mild-mannered and calm child, Tywin knew he could control him, unlike Joffrey. Secondly, the assassination plot was the perfect opportunity to frame Tyrion for murder – and he’d been looking to get rid of his son for a long time.
9. Theon Greyjoy murdered his own children
This is an extremely dark theory, but one that could be true, considering the evidence. In A Clash of Kings, Theon takes over Winterfell to prove he’s worthy of the Greyjoy family name. But, we all know that didn’t end too well for him. Because Bran and Rickon Stark escaped, Theon decided to kill two miller’s sons and burn their bodies, hoping that he could pass them off as the Stark children.
However, the theory has it that those two children were actually Theon’s children. The eerie message he receives from a hooded figure at Winterfell during A Dance with Dragons forms the crux of this particular theory. “Theon Turncloak. Theon Kinslayer,” the hooded man says. The “kinslayer” crack could be a reference to the supposed killing of Bran and Rickon, who were Theon’s adoptive brothers, or it could mean something more.
8. Sansa Stark will marry Aegon Targaryen
Sansa Stark really has had it rough over the course of the last five seasons. She’s seen her father beheaded by a man she ended up marrying, before being betrothed to both Willas Tyrell and Tyrion Lannister, a man whose family had massacred a lot of her relatives.
So where does the theory of Sansa marrying Aegon Targaryen come from? It comes from George R.R. Martin’s novel The Hedge Knight, which features a tournament where a bunch of knights compete against each other. Their names are; Lyonel Baratheon, Leo Tyrell, Tybolt Lannister, Humfrey Hardyng, and Prince Valarr Targaryen.
Where’s the parallel? Sansa was married or supposed to marry a Baratheon, a Tyrell, a Lannister and a Hardyng in that order. So, who’s next on the list? A Targaryen, of course! In following that pattern, Sansa will marry a Targaryen and Aegon is young, wifeless and the perfect man to take her away from the abusive and sadistic Ramsay Bolton (yet another catastrophic romance in Sansa’s troubled life).
7. Three-eyed Raven
For this obscure but really fascinating theory, allow me to introduce RAZOR from Winter Is Coming:
“In the first book of the Song of Ice and Fire series, A Game of Thrones, we learn that the Three-Eyed Raven (Bloodraven) is guiding Bran Stark through his dreams. Much later, we learn that Bloodraven is actually situated far north of the Wall, so he can extend his conscious a ways south.
When Jon arrives at the Wall and is introduced to Lord Commander Mormont, he also meets the Old Bear’s raven. The bird is seemingly intelligent, and is constantly quorking for corn. However, it’s when the dead rangers reanimate and attack the Lord Commander that we get our first clue that something mysterious going on, as the bird begins to scream the word “burn,” which is the only way to kill a wight. This could be Bloodraven intervening on Jon’s behalf.
Because Jon saved the Lord Commander’s life, the Old Bear gives the Bastard of Winterfell a Valyrian steel sword called Longclaw. Jon later uses this sword to destroy a White Walker on the show, at Hardhome.
When the men of the Night’s Watch are choosing their new Lord Commander, the raven once again makes his presence known, and quorks the word “Snow!” Another time, the bird utters the word “King” when referring to Jon, who is letting wildlings through the Wall at the time. Many people who believe this theory claim that Bloodraven was trying to tell Jon that he was the new King beyond the Wall.”
6. Tyrion is part Targaryen
Everyone questions the parentage of Jon Snow, but he’s not the only whose mother and father is widely debated. Yes, according to one theory, Tyrion is actually the product of his mother, Joanna, being raped by the “Mad King” Aerys Targaryen. In the books, Martin wrote about how Aerys found Joanna very attractive and was annoyed when he wasn’t given “bedding rights.”
Among the reasons for this theory popping up time and time again is, erm Tyrion’s hair. It’s so blonde, it’s almost white, as to resemble a Targaryen. He also has two different coloured eyes, implying two different bloodlines.
Also, there is the fact that Tywin hated him so much…because he’s not really his son! If this was true – and it may well be – Tyrion would have a much stronger claim to the Iron Throne and there would be potential for forming a strong alliance with his half-sister Daenerys, who we have seen linking up with each other at the end of season five in Meereen. Interesting indeed…
5. Jaime will end up killing Cersei
This is a real starter, we feel. Cersei has a lot of character traits, one of them being paranoia. However, a fear that she will be murdered by her brother and former lover Jaime is a fear deeply embedded in her psyche from a young age, the product of a traumatic experience with a fortune teller by the name of Maggy the Frog.
There, Maggy told Cersei that she would be killed by the “valonqar,” which translates as “little brother” in Valyrian. Cersei always assumed this meant Tyrion but, let’s not forget, Jaime is still younger than Cersei, albeit by a few minutes.
The theory-breaker in this instance is that Maggy did predict that the valonqar would “wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you,” which may exclude the one-handed Jaime. Oh yeah, the word for the act of killing your sister is sororicide which is a really cool word.
4. Varys is some sort of Merman
Remember when we said some theories are concocted purely as a bit of fun? Yeah well this definitely falls under that category. Some fans have said in the past that Varys, the scheming Master of Whisperers, is actually some form of sea creature posing as a man. Specifically, they think he’s a Merling, an unseen creature a couple of characters have mentioned in passing in the books.
Huh? The evidence is as follows: Varys has always been described as having a “slimy smile” and his teeth have been perceived as sharp and small, like a fish. He also has an exchange with Tyrion during which the little man threatens to have him thrown into the sea, and Varys is all like, “Whatever,” since he’d be fine.
Yes, it’s as speculative and outlandish as they come but, as we said, it’s a bit of fun.
3. Roose Bolton is a skin-stealing vampire
Yep, another really weird one, but this has stronger evidence to it than the Varys theory. Roose Bolton is a terrible person. The northern lord sold out the Starks to the Freys and Lannisters. After that, the natural conclusion for many is that he’s not human. Literall not human. In fact, this theory purports that Roose is an immortal vampire, whose been alive for thousands of years.
The back-up to this outrageous claim is that Bolton family tradition involves skinning people alive (yeah, not exactly a game of football in the park). Also, thanks to Arya’s discoveries in the House of Black and White and the Faceless Men, we know skin can be treated to make people wear a different appearance.
Finally, the George R.R. Martin describes Roose as cold, calculating, and unfeeling, making him seem like a vampire.
2. Bran Stark is a magical time traveller
Another one that meets the criteria of the more “out there” Game of Thrones fan theories. However, is it really that incredible? Okay, maybe it is, but there is some interesting tidbits of information that support it. Firstly, we already know that Bran is not a normal child. He can possess animals – and people (Hordor) – and can also peer into the events of the past.
One theory suggests that an older version of Bran possessed Jaime Lannister on the day a young Bran caught the knight making incestuous love to his sister Cersei in a tower at Winterfell. What’s more, the older Bran did this to make sure that Jaime pushed the younger Bran out a window, the event that kicks off the whole series on television.
But why on earth would Bran want to push himself out a window!? Well, according to the theory, the older Bran is living in a version of Westeros where he never fell off that tower and therefore never lost the use of his legs, but it’s also a Westeros that has been overrun by White Walkers. So, using his special powers to move into the past and knock himself to a near-bloody death, Bran alters the path of the future from that moment.
Hey, wait a second, wasn’t this already done in, er, X-Men: Days of Future Past? Why yes, yes it was, but a Thrones fan can dream.
1. R + L = J
The question of Jon Snow’s parentage is the most fiercely-debated topic in all of Game of Thrones. From the beginning, we’re told that Snow is the bastard son of Ned Stark and a mysterious lady who most definitely wasn’t his wife. However, in a fan theory that has become so popular it’s basically GoT cannon at this stage, many believe Jon is actually the son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned’s sister Lyanna.
Lyanna died, presumably in childbirth, and Ned brought baby Jon home after making some vague promise to her on her deathbed. He promised to keep the baby safe, and the best way to do that was to claim it was his and take it under his protection – which is exactly what he did.
If true, this theory would drastically change Jon’s place in the world. He would be a serious contender to rule Westeros, since Rhaegar Targaryen was next in line for the crown before Robert Baratheon killed him during the rebellion that put him on the Iron Throne. This also provides an explanation for why Ned kept quiet about Jon’s parentage for so long, as known Targaryen-hater Robert would probably have killed Jon had he known the boy had Targaryen blood. Our mind is always blown when we hear this, and it may well come true in season 6!
What do you think is the greatest Game of Thrones theory of all time? Make sure to vote in our poll below out of the ten or comment with one we haven’t mentioned!