Game of Thrones is rapidly approaching the end of its penultimate season, and there is still so much left to clear up. Even after revealing Jon Snow’s true parentage, the Hound’s survival, the origins of “Hodor” (RIP), season six of the show asked just as many questions as it answered, and fan speculation is higher than ever.
Of course, fan speculation has uncovered some of the series’ biggest mysteries (R+L=J was common knowledge for over a decade before it was confirmed in “The Winds of Winter”), but it has also led to an internet outbreak of crackpot theories. Most commonly found on Reddit, these theories are all trying to resolve the same questions – the identity of Azor Ahai, the White Walkers’ intentions, Gendry’s muscle mass now that he’s been rowing for four straight seasons – but occasionally you stumble across one that backs up its tinfoil claim with real evidence.
For this list, we’re attempting to answer the questions listed above using theories that shouldn’t make sense, but somehow do. That means that perfectly reasonable theories, like Jon being Azor Ahai or Tyrion a Targaryen, are excluded. George R.R. Martin has never been obvious in his writing, and so there is no shortage of unlikely, but entirely possible, replacements.
Here are 15 Game of Thrones Theories So Crazy They Might be True.
15 Davos is Azor Ahai
The most obvious candidates to fill the role of the Azor Ahai, prophesied to lead man in the war against the dead, are Jon and Daenerys, but growing speculation has them joined by Jaime Lannister, the Hound, and Jorah Mormont.
A more recent theory pins Davos Seaworth as Azor Ahai. We like it simply for the irony of Melisandre following Stannis and Jon while Azor Ahai was the man standing right next to them, but it ticks the right boxes.
According to Melisandre, “Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst salt and smoke to wake dragons out of stone.” Davos had a metaphorical rebirth after Blackwater, presumed dead to Tyrion’s wildfire and found alive in the salt of the ocean, while it was Davos’ will that resurrected Jon, a Targaryen “dragon”.
The original Azor Ahai wielded a flaming sword, tempered by his wife’s heart. Davos swears to kill Melisandre himself, and if a sword was ever going to set aflame, it might as well be through the heart of a Red Priestess.
Finally, George Martin told actor Liam Cunningham a secret that only he knows, so it’s pretty clear that there's more to Davos than meets the eye.
14 Theon Killed His Own Son
It’s fair to say that Theon has had a rough time of it over the past few seasons. After betraying Robb and sacking Winterfell in the name of his father, Theon’s reward was several years’ worth of torture at the hands of the Boltons, and to live with the guilt of burning two innocent boys alive.
But it gets even worse for Theon if you believe this theory, as it turns out there’s a decent chance that at least one of those boys was Theon’s own son.
In A Dance with Dragons, Theon remembers the boys’ mother: “He had known the miller’s wife for years, had even bedded her.” Theon would likely have been too young to father the first boy, but the second could well have been his.
It’s mentioned in the books that “no man is so accursed as the kinslayer,” but why would Theon have suffered so much for burning two farmer’s boys? He is often referred to as “kinslayer” by characters who believe the boys were Bran and Rickon, but we know that he couldn’t find his adoptive brothers. Maybe the insult if more literal than first thought.
13 Bran Hired His Own Assassin
It’s been seven seasons, and we still don’t know who sent the catspaw assassin to kill Bran Stark. In the books, Tyrion suggests that Joffrey sent the assassin in a twisted attempt to impress King Robert, but the show has made no such suggestion. Especially now that the Valyrian steel dagger has resurfaced, we’re surely building up to a bigger reveal than Joffrey.
Now that Bran can see and appear all throughout time, he is responsible for countless fan theories. Some think that he influenced Ned into adopting Jon at the Tower of Joy, while others say he turned Aerys into the Mad King by whispering in his ear. The latest (and craziest) idea is that Bran himself hired the catspaw assassin.
In season seven episode four, Littlefinger reminds Bran that the assassination attempt started the War of Five Kings. It may be that Bran needed the war to happen so that man would be ready for the upcoming White Walker invasion, or simply that the little humanity left within Bran tried to avenge Jojen, Hodor, and Summer by sacrificing himself in the past. Either way, at least it wasn’t Joffrey.
12 Varys is a Mermaid
A popular and entirely plausible Varys theory is that he’s a secret Blackfyre, but it doesn’t look as though this will be the case in the show. A slightly less popular and almost implausible theory (but one that does at least apply to both books and show) is that Varys is a merman. Hear us out.
In season one, Arya overhears Varys and Illyrio (two men of a similarly round stature who wear long cloaks) scheming together underneath the Red Keep. She discovers, once the pair are out of earshot, a well hidden within the wall, which provides the only discreet way in and out of the place.
Varys and Illyrio, incidentally, are plotting to restore the Targaryens to the iron throne. Why would the mermen favor the Targaryens?
Well, with winter comes ice, and with ice comes a lack of accessible water. Varys and Illyrio want Dany to retake Westeros so that her dragons can melt the ice that keeps the merpeople from their underwater homes. Obviously.
Finally, when Tyrion threatens to throw Varys from a ship, he suggests that Tyrion “might be disappointed by the result.”
11 Jon Snow is a Twin
Jon Snow’s parentage has been a debate among fans since the first book was released in 1996. When the show finally revealed Lyanna Stark as Jon’s mother in its season six finale, relieved fans turned their attention to other popular theories, but what if there’s one more twist in the R+L=J saga?
In last week’s episode, Meera Reed shared an awkward goodbye with Bran, before returning home to be with her father. Howland Reed may have a huge role to play in the series run-in, being the only one besides Bran able to confirm Jon’s legitimacy. But his importance to the story may stretch beyond that, as many believe that he also returned home from the Tower of Joy with a child.
Jon and Meera are exactly the same age and bear a striking resemblance, while Meera is physically far closer to Jon than she is Jojen and the Reeds.
Meera being the third head of the dragon would explain why Ned and Howland, supposed great friends, never visited one another following Robert’s Rebellion. It would also make for a far greater twist than if Tyrion were a Targaryen.
10 Jaime and Cersei (Not Tyrion) Are Targaryens
Everyone’s a Targaryen! In all seriousness, taking into account what we know about the three heads of the dragon prophecy and the series author, we would be surprised if Jon and Dany are the only Targaryens left in the world. If not Meera Reed, and if not Tyrion - as so many believe - then who?
If you’ve heard the Tyrion Targaryen theory, you’ll know that Aerys Targaryen, the Mad King, was infatuated with Joanna Lannister, and supposedly “took liberties” during the bedding ceremony of her own wedding to Tywin. Aerys could have fathered a Lannister, but why not Jaime and Cersei?
Let’s go ahead and start with the incest, which is most common in the Targaryen line, and the only reason Dany’s ancestors were able to hold the Iron Throne for so long. And, again, there’s the irony of Tyrion being Tywin’s only true heir.
Then there’s the obvious comparisons between Cersei and the Mad King. “Every time a new Targaryen is born, the gods toss the coin,” Barristan tells Dany. Many predict that Dany will wind up as mad as her father, with Jon as her opposite, and the Lannister twins fit the same pattern. A coin toss.
9 The Night King is Not a White Walker
As seen in season six, the Night King was created by the Children of the Forest. When Bran recovers from this particular vision, he confronts Leaf, to which she responds, “We were at war.” But Leaf doesn’t know exactly what Bran saw.
According to this theory, the Children created the original White Walkers several centuries before the Night King. When they became too powerful, the Children allied with the First Men to defeat them, but eventually, Leaf created the Night King to control the White Walkers. Bran was in a vision of the second event, while Leaf believes he refers to the first.
The Night King was created with dragonglass, though we know that dragonglass kills White Walkers, and Benjen claims that the Children used dragonglass to stop him becoming a White Walker.
The Night King is certainly more powerful than other White Walkers, and he even has his own way of creating Walkers (with a touch). There’s evidence to suggest that he’s a different breed entirely, and there’s even a suggestion that he might be Azor Ahai, having sacrificed his human body to keep the White Walkers in check.
8 Littlefinger Framed Tyrion for Joffrey’s Murder
Game of Thrones begins with the murder of Jon Arryn, set up by Petyr Baelish to create a rift between the Starks and Lannisters. He uses the ensuing chaos to try and further his own position, ensuring that the weakened Lannister forces defeat Stannis by recruiting the Tyrells, earning himself rule of the Riverlands. He then takes advantage of Lysa Arryn’s obsession with him to take control of the Vale.
Without lifting a sword, Littlefinger has two Kingdoms of Westeros under his thumb. Next on his list is the North, and with Bran and Rickon presumed dead, Sansa is the heir to Winterfell. But Sansa, at this point in the story, is married to Tyrion.
We know that Littlefinger conspires with Olenna Tyrell to kill Joffrey, and it’s not a huge leap to assume that Cersei would try and blame Tyrion, but does Littlefinger make sure that she has the evidence she needs to convict her brother?
Littlefinger sets up the dwarf re-enactment of the War of Five Kings, surely to create tension between Tyrion and Joffrey. It makes sense, as it effectively guarantees Tyrion’s execution, the end of Sansa’s marriage, and the key to the North.
7 Ned Stark is Alive
Game of Thrones became one of the first shows to kill its undisputed main character in the first season, and was immediately recognizable as the show where no character was safe. Some people would say that Ned’s return might lessen the impact his death had on television, but those people obviously haven’t heard the alternative.
In the books, most of the Starks have some control over warging, though Ned is never seen taking advantage of this power. That is, of course, until moments before his death, when he finally learns to harness the great power of his ancestors.
Ned wargs into the nearest person to him; his executioner, Ilyn Payne, whose involvement in the series slows down after this (which only means fewer brutal murders), and he does keep a conveniently close eye on Sansa at the Battle of Blackwater.
Alternatively, a flock of birds rushes from the scene at the swing of the axe, while Starks certainly have an affinity for warging into animals. Assuming he didn’t warg into Ilyn Payne, and he didn’t actually die (that would be ridiculous), Ned is quite literally watching over his children as a pigeon.
6 Gendry is a Legitimate Baratheon
After four seasons of rowing, we are finally set to see Gendry return in season seven, but for what reason? He may be the son of Robert Baratheon, but he is still a bastard, with no birthright and a serious shortage of people left to legitimize him. However, Cersei is still around, and with her the potential for a major twist in the game of thrones.
We know that Cersei did have Robert’s son, but this theory suggests that, rather than die in childbirth, the boy was sent away so that Cersei didn’t have to raise the son of a man she despised. But if Cersei sent her child away, she wouldn't have sent him too far (if Cersei has a redeeming quality, it’s her love for her children).
We know that Master Mott took Gendry as his apprentice when someone paid him double the standard apprenticeship fee, and that Gendry was conveniently sent away to the Wall when Joffrey ordered the murder of Robert’s bastards. Someone high up has been checking in on Gendry, who, incidentally, remembers his mother’s blonde hair.
5 Arya Becomes a Direwolf
It’s obvious that Jon, Dany, and Bran are the key players in the War for the Dawn, but it’s difficult to imagine where Arya fits in. And that’s exactly the problem: Arya doesn’t fit in anywhere.
She has gone through so many different names: Arry, Lanna of the Canals, even No One – and plenty more in the books. She travels with Gendry and the Hound, searching for her mother, brother, and aunt, and loses them all.
At the end of season six, Arya finally proclaims herself “Arya Stark of Winterfell,” but she’s lost so much of what made her Arya Stark that she doesn’t really know who that is anymore. It’s just another one of her names.
Arya is searching for an identity, and a YouTube theory thinks it knows exactly where she’ll find it. Like her brothers, Arya has wolf dreams. She dreams of Nymeria, who surely has a role to play following her season seven reappearance, leading her own pack of wolves.
The theory suggests that Arya will die a merciful death and finally learn to warg, becoming one with Nymeria and finding the identity she always wanted as a direwolf.
4 Bran is the Night King
It’s long been thought that the Night King is an ancestor of the Starks, but this latest theory claims that his true identity is not a Stark ancestor, but a Stark that we have known since the very beginning of the series.
There is certainly a connection between Bran and the Night King, who reached out and touched Bran while the latter was warging in season six. We don’t know how the Night King could have seen Bran in his own vision, but it might suggest that he’s a warg himself.
In a future where the White Walkers succeed in invading Westeros, it is possible that Bran might try and prevent the Children from creating them by warging into the First Man that we see become the Night King. But he’s gagged for his crazy future talk of a zombie apocalypse, and stabbed with dragonglass before he can return to his own body.
Bran has often been warned about the consequences of changing time. His becoming the Night King would be the ultimate consequence, while at the same time explaining their connection, and why the Night King has powers beyond your average ice zombie.
3 Missandei is a Faceless Man
Missandei is getting far more screen time this season, most recently when Jon and Davos tested her loyalty to Dany, and Nathalie Emmanuel’s one of only a handful of actors to get her own title card in the opening credits; make of that what you will, but the show definitely seems to be shaping up for a Missandei twist.
In the books, Missandei speaks 19 languages by the age of 10, and yet she struggles when refering to herself, preferring the term “this one” to “I” or “me”. She also claims to have memories of two Unsullied brothers, but Unsullied training takes longer than 10 years, so she would never have met them.
This is either a slip up on George Martin’s part (unlikely), or she’s lying to protect her identity as a Faceless Man. Incidentally, Arya, whose storyline revolves heavily around the Faceless Assassins, meets a young girl who is revealed later to be a 36-year-old woman wearing a child’s face. In Missandei’s case, this would certainly explain how she clearly has knowledge beyond her years.
But what would a Faceless Man want with Daenerys Targaryen? The answer might have something to do with this next theory.
2 Jaqen H’gar is Rhaegar Targaryen
Rhaegar Targaryen is arguably the single most important Game of Thrones character, and we’ve never even met him... Unless we have.
Rhaegar was killed by Robert at the Battle of the Trident, but his body was lost. Only the rubies from his chest plate, which, by the way, are synonymous with changing one’s appearance (see: Melisandre’s necklace) were recovered.
The first time we meet Jaqen, meanwhile, a man with a streak of silver hair, he is a prisoner of the Night’s Watch recruits. The Jaqen we know would never have been captured by accident; could it have been that he traveled voluntarily to watch over Arya, who is said to be the spitting image of Lyanna?
So what are the Faceless Men up to now? In the Feast for Crows prologue, a Faceless Man by the name of the Alchemist is in the Citadel, likely wearing a maester’s face, and asking after an ancient book about dragons.
Why would the Faceless Men concern themselves with dragons? Or is it more likely that Rhaegar, a man of knowledge who supposedly fathered Jon to fulfil the three heads of the dragon prophecy, is learning all that he can now that his sister has returned home?
1 The Pounce That Was Promised?
Though they are used interchangeably in the show, it’s a little less clear in the books as to whether Azor Ahai and the Prince That Was Promised are the same person. Or maybe the legendary warrior prophesied to save Westeros is not a person at all, but Tommen’s pet cat.
Ser Pounce was taken from the Red Keep by Margaery Tyrell, and given as a gift to King Tommen. The Red Keep overlooks the salty sea, while the torches that light the Keep are smoking. Aside from the salt and smoke, the dragon must also have three heads: Ser Pounce has two siblings, named Boots and Lady Whiskers.
Ser Pounce is also a black cat, and the only other black cat in the books is the tomcat Arya tries to catch as part of her training, described by a goldcloak as “the real king of the castle.” Add the fact that Cersei promised Tommen a kitten in A Feast for Crows, and you have the Prince That Was Promised.
You heard it here first. Ser Pounce is going to save the world.
Did we miss any crazy Game of Thrones theories? Leave your favorites in the comments!