As love is (possibly) in the air for Game of Thrones Season 7, it is time to look back at what could've been one of the more awkward relationships ever conceived in the entire Seven Kingdoms, which is a pretty high bar, all things considered.
We know some of you may have heard the story before, but forget the Jaime and Cersei twincest, there was originally a wholly different family affair brewing in the mind of author George R.R. Martin before his "A Song of Ice and Fire" saga found itself a publisher all those years ago.
Back in 2015, a bookstore owner leaked a pitch letter from Martin to publishers HarperCollins that dated back to 1993 before Martin had finished his first novel - Game of Thrones. Although the tweets were quickly deleted, Vanity Fair is reopening Pandora's Box to explore what could've, but shouldn't, happen in Westeros. In particular, the site remembers the original storyline that saw a plucky Arya Stark fall for Jon Snow:
"Arya will be more forgiving ... until she realizes, with terror, that she has fallen in love with Jon, who is not only her half-brother but a man of the Night's Watch, sworn to celibacy. Their passion will continue to torment Jon and Arya throughout the trilogy, until the secret of Jon's true parentage is finally revealed in the last book."
HarperCollins confirmed that the letter is legitimate, so these ideas must have been swirling around Martin's head at some point, and given that the Lannister incest plot is still a major part of both the books and the TV show, it isn't hard to imagine that Jon and Arya could've been brought together. However, there is a further twist, and it interestingly sounds like Tyrion Lannister was also supposed to find himself embroiled in a sticky love triangle:
"Exiled, Tyrion will change sides, making common cause with the surviving Starks to bring his brother down, and falling helplessly in love with Arya Stark while he's at it. His passion is, alas, unreciprocated, but no less intense for that, and it will lead to a deadly rivalry between Tyrion and Jon Snow."
George R.R. Martin's pitch originally saw five main players that would "survive" to the end and a very loose skeleton of the story compared to what we see today. There is still a redacted part of the story - which we can only assume will come into play before the end of Season 8 - however, bits like the Arya and Jon relationship would be seemingly impossible to pull off now. In the show at least, Jon and Tyrion seem to share some sort of bromance, while there hasn't been the slightest hint that Jon and Arya have any other feelings other than brother and sister. Even when Jon's Targaryen heritage is revealed, don't expect Arya to do anything other than complete her hit list and Jon to do anything other than try and rule the North.
Recently, we have seen Jon Snow worry about that threat beyond the Wall as Queen Daenerys has gathered herself a substantial Team Dany. It may not come true, but it seems Martin and HBO are destined to bring the leaders two together, which hopefully means the whole Arya and Jon thing has been thrown out the window. Also, the turning of Tyrion from fan-favorite comic relief to vengeful "Imp" would seem completely out of place at this point. However, with the cast not quite sure, and Martin promising a bittersweet ending to the story, who knows what could happen next.
Source: Vanity Fair