With the long-awaited return of HBO’s Game of Thrones on our screens, in its sixth season, the excitement is contagious, and fan theories about particular characters and possible plot twists are more wild than ever – even George R.R. Martin himself admits some predictions are correct.
I’ve scoured the internet for the most entertaining, amusing and it-could-actually-happen fan theories. These are the questions that are keeping me up at night:
DISCLAIMER: If you haven’t watched any of season six yet, CLICK AWAY NOW!
1. Is Tyrion really a Lannister?
Tywin Lannister was hand of the king to Aerys Targaryen – Daenerys’s father, who was killed by Jaime Lannister during Robert’s Rebellion. Aerys longed for Tywin’s wife, Joanna, and took “liberties” with her on her wedding night. The theory further claims he either had an affair with or raped Joanna, who got pregnant with Tyrion as a result, which would clearly explain Tywin’s deep hatred of Tyrion.
In the books; Tyrion’s described as having “one green eye and one black one”, which could indicate his “mixed” bloodlines. His hair is also described as “so blond it seemed white”, which seems to line up more with the “silver-blond” hair of the Targaryens rather than the “golden hair” of the Lannisters.
The strongest piece of evidence we have is a prophecy given to Daenerys in the House of the Undying:
“The dragon has three heads.”
The prophecy states that a dragon must be “born of blood”. Daenerys, Jon Snow and Tyrion all had mothers who died during childbirth.
And just to put the icing on the cake, this season’s episode titled ‘Home’ depicts Tyrion getting up close – extremely close – and personal to the dragons, something only one with Targaryen blood could successfully do… Hmmm….
2. Is Jon Snow half-Stark, half-Targaryen?
The identity of Jon Snow’s mother is a question we’ve all had in our minds since waaaaay back in first season, and correctly guessing Jon’s origins was actually the test George R. R. Martin gave David Benioff and D. B. Weiss when they asked if they could adapt his books into a TV show. The theory says that Jon’s mother is Ned Stark’s sister Lyanna, and that Ned isn’t actually the father of Jon, but Rhaegar Targaryen; he kidnapped Lyanna, causing her fiancé Robert Baratheon to go to war, kill Rhaegar, and become king.
Ned found Lyanna dying in a “bed of blood” – possibly from childbirth – and, after fighting alongside Robert, he went home to Winterfell with a new baby, who he supposedly claimed as his own bastard to protect him from Robert and the Lannisters, who were butchering Targaryens.
The most recent evidence to support this theory, commonly known as R+L=J, is in this season’s second episode, where we saw Lyanna in Bran’s flashback.
If this is true, it would mean Jon Snow is half-Stark, half-Targaryen, and could be one of the three heads of the dragon/dragon riders, therefore could potentially have a legitimate claim to the Iron Throne.
Can’t you just picture it!?
3. Was Hodor a Warg?
Thanks to Bran’s flashback in the season six’s second episode, it turns out that Hodor wasn’t always a friendly giant whose vocabulary consisted of a single word – he used to be a boy named Wylis (and his vocabulary had many more words)!
Through Bran’s vision, we learn that Wylis was a stable boy who worked with horses, and Lyanna – Ned’s Stark’s sister – is shown riding a white horse. Wylis seems to be very humble and kind – traits evident in the character of Hodor – and eager to impress Lyanna.
Two Reddit users, TazoGreenTea and gbinasia, discuss the possibility of Hodor being a warg (someone who can enter the minds of animals and control their actions). Wargs often control animals they’re close with, as it deepens the warg/animal bond.
However, as Jojen and Meera warned, with the ability to warg comes the threat of remaining too long inside the mind of an animal and losing yourself. Wanting to get close to Lyanna, he may have warged into her horse. TazoGreenTea also comments that being a stable hand, it makes perfect sense that Wylis would choose a horse to warg into;
“So why would Hodor lose his speaking abilities? My guess is that the horse was slain during battle while Hodor was warging into it, which would explain why he is a very much a simpleton now and is afraid of fighting and lightning.”
And like a horse, Hodor/Wylis has no problem carrying Bran around, as he would do if he were a horse.
4. What exactly is keeping the Red Woman young?
The plot twist at the end of episode ‘The Red Woman’ was not only the fact that Melisandre brought back Jon Snow (I mean, don’t get me wrong, I was jumping on my couch in excitement), she also revealed she’s actually a wrinkled old woman!
But what exactly is keeping her good looks around? The scene seemed to suggest it was her necklace, as she immediately transformed in the mirror after removing it, but fans were quick to point out that she was still glowing with her perfect skin back in season 4 when she took a bath without wearing the necklace.
Many are convinced it’s a simple error in continuity during production, however Reddit user Brashendeavours theorises that Selyse, Stannis’ wife, is actually seeing Melisandre in her true form. The scene depicts Melisandre discussing how she uses things like her appearance to lure people into converting, and tells Selyse that she doesn’t need these because she’s strong enough “to look into the Lord’s light and see his truth for [her]self. However harsh it is.”
“Selyse has this strange expression the entire time. Like she cannot look directly at Melisandre yet also cannot look away. At first you think it is that of a religious “uptight” person seeing a naked and very sexual woman. But if you rewatch the scene, and “pretend” to yourself that Selyse is seeing Melisandre as she actually appears, it actually fits better. WE still see the seductress, Selyse sees the hag. She is horrified yet fascinated and not at all shocked.”
If this theory is true, Brashendeavours points out that it is likely that Selyse knew what was going to happen to her daughter after she saw the “truth” in the flames.
Other theories of Melisandre’s youth suggest that Selyse is a “true believer” – that she (and therefore the viewer) is actually seeing Melisandre in her young, appealing form, even without the necklace, because of the strength of her faith. Or perhaps it’s has something to do with the potions she sprinkles into her bath as she lays in the water.
5. Will Jaime kill Cersei?
In season five, we saw a flashback to when Cersei was a child, stumbling across Maggie the Frog – a witch – and demanded to hear her future.
Hoping she’d wind up engaged to Rhaegar, she asked if she would marry the Prince,but was told she’d instead marry the King, who at the time, was King Robert. And she did. She also asked if they would have children with golden crowns. This, again, turned out to be true; Robert had a number of bastards, while Cersei had three golden-haired children to Jaime, with two of them wearing a golden crown.
The witch also proclaimed that the children would all die before her. So far, Myrcella and Joffery have been killed, so Tommen needs to sleep with one eye open. The final part of the prophecy was that, after her children are dead, “the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.”
Valonqar means ‘little brother’ in High Valyrian, and Cersei assumes that Tyrion will be the one who tries to kill her. However, her twin brother Jaime was born just after her, meaning he could also be considered her ‘little brother’…
6. Are the Clegane brothers still alive?
Sandor Clegane, aka The Hound, and Gregor Clegane, aka The Mountain, were two of the most fearsome and strongest fighters in The Seven Kingdoms, and they loved nothing more than a good fight (and ultimately both met gruesome ends because of it).
In the books, Brienne of Tarth travels to The Quiet Isle with Podrick looking for The Hound after hearing that he might have Arya, and along the way, encounters an elder brother that says The Hound is dead. However, she then spots a monk digging a grave, and The Hound’s horse happens to be there. There’s also the fact that the elder brother vaguely states that Sandor Clegane is “at rest” – we never actually saw The Hound die after Arya left him.
In season five, Cersei was arrested by The High Sparrow, and as a result, has to face a trial by combat – she chooses The Mountain as her champion. After being stabbed by Oberyn Martell during their fight, Gregor’s fate was left in the hands of Qyburn, who we see experimenting on a mysterious figure, and by the end of the season, the creature appears to be alive and ready for battle again.
Perhaps there’s a brotherly battle in the foreseeable future?
Whatever the upcoming episodes hold, there’s no doubt we can expect more deaths, more resurrections and more plot twists. Brace yourselves,
winter is coming!