While Game of Thrones debuted in 2011, it’s easy to forget that the first book, A Game of Thrones, was released in 1996. Over the past two decades, theories have come and gone, and we thought it would be fun to look back at some of the earliest and most insane fan theories, some of which are eerily accurate, while others are just seem so, so wrong:
Warning this article contains spoilers from both the Game of Thrones TV show and the Song of Ice and Fire book series. LIKE SERIOUSLY FULL OF SPOILERS!
1. Jon Snow and Catelyn Stark will hook up
Originally dug up by Reddit user YzermanToLidstrom, a Google Groups thread from 1998 contains some of the most insane tinfoil theories you’ll ever read including this gem which argues that Catelyn Stark will seek comfort in the arms of Jon Snow.
“Well, before I saw what you wrote below, I thought about Catelyn Stark. Why? Well, foremost because it would make for such a potent scandal. 🙂 Think about it. Throughout the years, Catelyn has made sure that Jon never will look on her as a mother. Catelyn now is (I think) ashamed of her behaviour towards Jon, and wants to try to make things up. She is raw with grief after losing her husband. She has also thought about having another baby with Ned. Jon, on the other hand, is growing into a man looking much like Eddard Stark. He is probably reluctant to go to Mole’s Town and get laid (honor and stuff), but OTOH, he is a teenager; ready to explode with hormones. And Catelyn is a pretty sexy lady. Or so I hear. 🙂“
We understand where they’re coming from. Jon likes redheads. Catelyn’s husband was murdered. On paper, they’re the perfect couple! Unfortunately for Catelyn, she died shortly thereafter and Jon found Ygritte to take care of his “exploding hormones”.
2. Sansa Stark and the Hound will fall in love
Speaking of terrible potential relationships, one the most persistent early theories was that Sansa Stark and the Hound, Sandor Clegane, would fall in love:
“I would think there is a man closer to Sansa’s heart, although she might not realize it herself yet…he’s not the shining knight Loras is, though… If Sansa is to escape King’s Landing alive, the Hound is her only hope, I think. And for all Ser Loras handsomeness and gallantry, I think Sansa will have learned that it isn’t what matters most.”
Affectionately dubbed “SanSan” by its supporters, this theory has actually maintained it’s popularity over the years and was addressed by Sophie Turner in a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone. Unfortunately for “SanSan” shippers, the theory lost steam after the Hound died in season four. Or maybe not…
3. The Hound is alive
“The Hound is not dead yet. Although Martin has no problem killing off any character at any time, none of the major characters have died off-page. And characters have escaped imminent demise before, like Davos in the Battle of Blackwater. He will go seeking after Sansa and his brother, not necessarily in that order.”
As early as 2003, fans have been arguing that the Hound was still alive citing Martin’s tendency to write fake “off-page” deaths and thanks to the rumors surrounding season six, we might finally find out if this theory is true next year.
4. Ned Stark is alive
“Eddard Stark will turn up at some point. Varys got someone who looked enough like Ned to face Joffrey’s verdict and secreted Ned away somewhere. Varys did in fact hint that he could sneak Ned out, and we know he snuck Tyrion out later. We (from Arya’s perspective) don’t see Ned very close up, and she hardly recognized him since he was so gaunt and dirty. Later, when Joffrey makes Sansa look at the head on a spike, she can’t see much resemblance either, with the tar and crows and all.”
Oh my sweet summer child. Another prediction from 2003 shows just how naive we all used to be. Even today, some people hold onto the hope that a Faceless Man (like Jaqen H’ghar) took Ned’s place during his execution.
5. Jon Snow is also still alive (sort of)
After the season five finale, Game of Thrones fans rushed to their computers to see what book readers had been debating for the past half decade: Was Jon Snow really dead? The consensus is probably not, but how will he come back? Some people believe Melisandre will resurrect him, while others believe Jon Snow warged into the body of his direwolf Ghost, and some particular crazy people believe he’ll come back an Other and fight alongside the White Walkers.
So what’s really going to happen? Well, remember when Daenerys Targaryen became the Mother of Dragons? Well the word is that despite Jon Snow’s apparent demise, he will be resurrected when the black brothers set his body on fire. Reddit user niltermini explains that this is because Jon’s body coming into contact with the flames will invoke magical properties due to his Targaryen blood. Oh yeah…
6. Jon is a Targaryen
This is possibly one of the biggest fan theories in the entire Game of Thrones franchise and it explains why Jon is so important. The R + L = J theory suggests that Jon Snow is the son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen (Daenerys’ brother) and Lyanna Stark (Ned’s sister). Basically this means that Jon Snow is the literal embodiment of both ‘fire’ and ‘ice.’ This theory also means that Jon Snow would be Daenerys’ nephew and he would have a more legitimate claim to the Iron Throne than the Mother of Dragons. It’s also widely speculated that Jon has a twin sister with possible candidates including Meera Reed and Daenerys herself.
7. The Mad twins!
We all know that Cersei and Jaime are quite gross, but, what if their incestuous relationship could be explained because they had some screws loose in the heads?! Remember when Barristan Selmy tells Dany that the Mad King was open in his lust for Tywin Lannister’s wife Joanna? Apparently he even took “liberties” regarding the old tradition of the king’s rights to visit newlywed wives during their bedding ceremonies.
In A Feast for Crows, Gemma Lannister tells Jaime, “Tyrion is Tywin’s son, not you. I said so once to your father’s face, and he would not speak to me for half a year.” There may be little to support this theory, but it would be so satisfying if Tyrion was Tywin’s only legitimate heir.
8. Dany will arrive in Westeros by season three
“[Daenerys] will probably land in the south ([where] the Martells burn to avenge [their] princess killed by the Lannisters/Baratheons), probably by Book 3.”
We have to appreciate the optimism on this prediction, but unfortunately, seventeen years and four Presidential elections later, fans are still waiting for Dany to cross the Narrow Sea. On the other hand, another poster pretty much nailed Dany’s story arc as early as 1998:
“First of all, her three dragons has to grow big enough to scare Dothraki with. Then she has to roam the Dothraki sea until she has assembled the scatterings of Drogo’s khalasar. Then she has to move west, and conquer/intimidate one of the Free Cities (probably Pentos), in order to acquire ships. And then she can start her invasion. How long this will take is dependent on how fast the Dragons grow, how scattered the khalasar is, how long it takes to scoop up enough hips. Lots of uncertainties.”
9. The Red Wedding
The Red Wedding is one of the defining moments of the series, and perhaps of the most shocking scenes in television history. It prompted hundreds “Red Wedding Reaction” videos that gave a sadistic pleasure to book readers everywhere. However, shortly before the release of A Storm of Swords, a poster by the name Charles the Uncivil had that shit nailed:
“Who I think will definitely die before the end of the series, and the reasons why: Robb, Sansa, Jaime, and Gregor Clegane. Why they will die: Robb: See Dany’s visions in the House of the Undying. She sees a dead man with the head of a wolf wearing an iron crown, presiding over a party of butchered banqueters. That is definitely Robb. I think that the Boltons or the Freys are going to betray him.”
That’s right, somebody correctly predicted the Red Wedding fifteen years ago, before some Game of Thrones fans were even conceived.
10. Dany will reunite with the Dothraki
At the end of season five, Daenerys is surrounded by a horde of Dothraki horselords, an event that one fan predicted back in 2001, ten years before the release of A Dance With Dragons:
“[Daenerys] isn’t finished with Kal Drogo’s people, before she lands in Westeros she will unify them, or at least a large part. This one comes from a gut feeling. The whole story of Drogo’s tribe falling apart, reeks of the real history story of Temujin aka [Genghis] Khan, i just can’t [believe] Martin stops where he is now.”
Earlier this year, a Game of Thrones actor accidentally leaked part of a season six script that hints at the rest of this theory being at least partially correct.
11. Dragon Glass is actually dragon poo
By now you’ve probably realized that weapons made of dragonglass are about the only things that can kill White Walkers. However, where did these weapons come from?! Well two years ago, Reddit user The_Others_Take_Ya suggested that dragon glass is actually frozen clumps of dragon poo. GROSS. Since dragons consumed a ton of sand, when it went through their fiery hot digestive system it came out as glass. We’re not sure how we feel about this one, but hey magical poo is always pretty fabulous.
12. Varys will put a Targaryen on the throne
For nearly two decades, fans had been wondering about Varys’ true intentions, who he supported, and where he was from. While the rest of the world was busy prepping for Y2K, several fans correctly predicted Varys was a secret Targaryen supporter back in 1998.
“Varys the Spider is currently thick in conspiracy with Magistrate (is that the right title?) Illyrio of the Free City of Pentos. I’m not quite sure what his scheme is, but I believe he wants to see Targaryen blood on the throne again. Remember, he was advisor for Aerys before Robert took the throne.”
“The point is that Varys wants Targaryen blood back on the throne, however weak the guy is. Remember, he served Aerys, the Mad King. If he could serve such a fellow, surely he could serve under the Beggar King as well. Varys’ claim of serving the realm might even be true, if he believes bringing back the Targaryens on the throne again will help the realm. This way or that, there is absolutely no doubt about there actually being a conspiracy between Illyrio and Varys. Arya spotted them in the Dragonskull chamber.”
In season five of the show, it was revealed that Varys had been working to put Daenerys on the throne, while in the books, Varys supports a different Targaryen…
(WARNING MAJOR BOOK SPOILERS)
13. A certain Targaryen prince is still alive
For show watchers, Aegon was a Targaryen prince killed during Robert’s Rebellion and one of the children that Oberyn Martell was trying to avenge before his mind-blowing death. While the character has probably been cut from the show, Aegon is very much alive in the books and some fans had been predicting his return for years before he suddenly appeared in A Dance With Dragons:
“Is Baby Aegon Still Alive? Aegon was the second child of Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia Martell; just an infant in the Sack of King’s Landing. We learn from numerous sources that Gregor slammed Aegon’s head against the wall during the sack, crushing his skull and killing him. Gregor himself confirms this in his duel with Oberyn Martell. However, it has been suggested that Aegon is still alive, possibly smuggled out of the city somehow, and the baby killed by Gregor was a substitute. Supporters of this theory think the grown Aegon will reappear and possibly become one of Dany’s heads of the dragon.”
Some theorists even suspected Samwell Tarly was our secret Targaryen prince which is kind of like how some Harry Potter fans believed Neville Longbottom was the real Chosen One.
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