George RR Martin’s epic A Song of Ice and Fire has changed the entire discourse of both fantasy and storytelling. It has spawned thousands of theorists, many with YouTube channels, others with blogs, who have in turn created more theories than weirwood leaves in a godswood.
Some of these theories are…out there to say the least, but others deserve consideration.
So I present my favorite “crackpot” theories and I use the term “crackpot” lovingly as I prescribe or at least give merit to all of these ideas. None of them are mine, but belong to righteous others who will be credited. I did add or embellish some with my own flourishes, which I”ll try to indicate in order to glean one from the other, but in no particular order (until the last) here they are.
Before I begin with this, I have to tell you have how I usually read a story. My first time through I take everything at face value. I might pause a bit here and there to ponder something strange, but the first time I’m not on the hunt for anything deeply profound because I don’t know the entire narrative or enough of it to begin to look. One of the first stories that taught me you could be lied to through narrative was my beloved Final Fantasy VII, because it, like all others, was taken it at face value, and not until I’d seen it once and then read/watched theories and takes on it did I start to realize how deep down the dark ladder does go. Thus was the case with ASOIAF. When I first read A Game of Thrones, I never considered it any more than a political drama/medieval soap opera where Ned Stark was trying to find out the reasons behind Jon Arryn’s murder and that led to his own demise. Of course the reasons he finds out aren’t even the real reasons, but we the readers don’t know that until the third book when Lysa Arryn spills all before Littlefinger murders her.
Another roadblock to insight is my own self-doubt. By this point I know that many stories are far more than what they seem, but I have a validity problem as in I require it before I can say let alone completely think something. I noticed things about ASOIAF the first time I read it, but I almost always need to find someone else with corroborating support.
When I first heard about the Targaryen/Lannister connection, it raised my brow quite high. I’ve spoken of it before in my Game of Throne show analyses, but the idea behind it is that the Lannister twins are actually Targaryens due to the “liberties” Aerys took with Johanna going as far as first night, which would’ve been a huge insult to Tywin in not only was the king coupling with his wife, but it was generally something lords did to commoners and peasants. Aerys had refused Tywin’s offer to marry Cersei to Rhaegar, telling his Hand that he would never marry his son to the daughter of “his servant.” It would be an even more profound slap in the face to show Tywin what Aerys, his once best friend, now thought of him.
The evidence for Cersei and Jaime being Targs is that Aerys was long known to have lusted over Johanna nor would he have been above raping her as he raped his own sister/wife Rhaella. Also when the twins were born, he sent their (baby) weight in gold to Casterly Rock as a present. If the king knew the twins were his, it could also explain why he wanted Jaime for his kingsguard (though that worked out very poorly for him in the end). It may also explain Cersei’s growing paranoia and potential insanity (which may also have a trickle down effect to Joffrey’s psychopathic tendencies) as Aerys descended into his own through a series of dire events (Duskendale).
There are some theories that Tyrion is actually a Targaryen due to the potential similarities of features. In the book he is described as having hair so blond it looks white and one green and one black eye.
Some take that “black eye” to be a very dark purple, but I think that’s reaching a bit. I think it far more likely that the twins are Targs, and Tyrion is Tywin’s only son, which would be the cruelest jest of fate. Tywin has always hated Tyrion for being dwarfish and grotesque and for “killing” his beloved Johanna (an explanation of the quotes in a moment), but Genna (Lannister) Frey, Tywin’s sister told Jaime that she once said to Tywin that “Tywin was his son,” and the Lord of Casterly Rock did not speak to her for over a year.
I cannot recall where I first heard the Twin Targ theory, but James and LaDonna mention it in their Potpourri video below.
There is a second part to this theory that I can 100% attribute to James and LaDonna, because though I read that chapter in A Feast for Crows, I never once considered it. Johanna Lannister may still be alive as a Silent Sister.
There is another video where LaDonna explains this in detail (honestly…I’d just watch all of their things if you’re reading this), but the gist is that Tywin lied about Johanna dying in childbirth. In reality he was so appalled by what issued from her loins that he (possibly under the assumption of cuckolding) forced her to leave and forced her to keep her silence lest he do something drastic rather than suffer the sight of the one he’d loved so well. Perhaps he believed she had slept with Aerys (though she’d been long from court having been dismissed by Rhaella for some “unknown” reason, which lends credence to the Twin Targ theory), but the idea is she was dead to Tywin if not necessarily dead for true.
Jaime’s fever dream is very compelling for numerous reasons. One, the fact that he always has two hands in his dreams and also that the woman in it knows that he lost a hand. Two, she has “glass candles burning in her eyes,” which suggests she is sending this vision to Jaime because at Tywin’s death she can finally break her silence.
This is my most recently prescribe to “crackpot” theory. I…think I was watching either Preston Jacob’s channel or James and LaDonna’s latest video on the Tower of Joy, but something made me think about Dany’s dead baby. Something prompted me to consider whether or not he was still alive, but I can’t remember what. So we first have a (potentially not) dead mother and a (potentially not) dead baby. I had to do some digging and the internet was not remiss. We have the forum article Could Rhaego Be Alive by MasterJack and Fat King Robert also has something to say about both Dany’s lost child and Jon Snow, too.
Face value: a pregnant Daenerys is carried into a tent full of shadows by Jorah (either deliberately to cause a miscarriage or because he didn’t know what else to do) as Mirri Maaz Duur is performing her rite to bring Khal Drogo back and this causes Dany to birth a monster.
“’Monstrous,’ Mirri Maz Duur finished for him. The knight was a powerful man, yet Dany understood in that moment that the maegi was stronger, and crueler, and infinitely more dangerous. ‘Twisted. I drew him forth myself. He was scaled like a lizard, blind, with the stub of a tail and small leather wings like the wings of a bat. When I touched him, the flesh sloughed off the bone, and inside he was full of graveworms and the stink of corruption. He had been dead for years.'”
Thus spake MMD, which is cause enough to question. MMD has no love for the Dothraki or their khaleesi. She also said that she’d been trained by Marwyn in Oldtown. There are a lot of incongruent things with Mirri and her story. Why is clearly knowledgeable and Citadel (kind of…Marwyn and the Citadel have an interesting relationship similar but not quite like Qyburn…we can only hope *shudders*) trained individual doing in the middle of the Dothraki Sea? She seems almost like a plant, someone who was supposed to have been there. There is some very due suspicion that the Citadel was instrumental in ridding the world of dragons the first time around. It’s possible Mirri was sent there in order to cause a repeat of history or to stop the Stallion That Mounts the World from being born. Much of ASOIAF seems concerned with either fulfilling prophecy or stopping prophecy from being fulfilled depending on which side you’re on.
Evidence for Rheago being alive is one, MMD is more than likely a liar. She and Jorah (another liar) are the only ones who claim to have seen him, and no one questions the horrifying and grotesque description she gave of the child?! Dany barely bats a (not) silver eyelash at the abomination that issued from her loins. It’s like she was drugged…or something else was in her.
Another factor that suggests Rhaego is still alive is Daenerys’s vision in the House of the Undying. Fat King Robert’s post explains this in detail above, but the vision that doesn’t fit is the one of “the tall lord with copper-skin and silver-gold hair…” The incongruence comes from the fact that the rest of the visions are things that have happened or will happen, but Rhaego is dead, so this is the only sight that’s false?
It’s possible that Rhaego was not a stillborn welter of corruption, but rather MMD had him spirited away to Vaes Dothrak to be raised by the crones there unknowing his destiny so that he wouldn’t become the Stallion That Mounts the World. This of course presents a very Oedipus Rex like set up (no, he’s not going to fuck his mother! Yuck! Dear god I hope not…) in terms of the child being sent away to not fulfill some terrible prophecy, but the very act of sending the child away causes the terrible prophecy to be fulfilled.
Now at the end of A Dance with Dragons and the end of Season 5, Dany is found by a khalasar that is Jhaqo’s per the book. Prior to her fire walk, the bloodriders were honor bound to take her to Vaes Dothrak and only did not because you don’t fuck with someone who can walk through fire.
They made the correction decision and knelt before her because when you see such a miracle you get on your goddamn knees, but I believe Jhaqo left before this happened so he would more than likely be in the “take you to Vaes Dothrak” mode (and Seven willingly not in the “rape you” mode…ugh, enough is enough). If such happens, then we may see a reunion if yon crackpot theory is the truth.
I don’t completely prescribe to this one. It’s more of a “I wouldn’t be overly surprised if this were to occur.” GRRM could’ve put these vague details in for the potential of it later. Whether this theory comes to fruition (like all of them) remains to be seen.
Jenny’s Song of Ice and Fire
This is a major foundation theory, a linchpin that could be binding it all together. From my oft mentioned Cantuse in an essay entitled Rhaegar’s Song of Love and Doom, we may have an explanation for Jenny’s elusive melody for it could be the Song of Ice and Fire.
Rhaegar was known to frequent the ruins of Summerhall with only his harp for company. We also know or it’s highly implied that the Ghost of High Heart is Jenny’s dwarf woman who lost her dear friend there.
“I gorged on grief at Summerhall. I need none of yours.”
If in his excursions, Rhaegar encountered the Ghost of High Heart, she might have told him the story, and he might have written the song to remember. This could also explain why and how the prince became so obsessed with prophecy. Jenny’s Song could be a chronicle of what truly happened at Summerhall, an event that haunted Rhaegar all of his life though he could not have remembered the tragedy. It could also be the Song of Ice and Fire as fore stated, and the crux to the entire tale.
The Crypts of Winterfell
I have spoken of the crypts and what secrets they might hold before in my Jon Snow theory post, but as mentioned before none of “my” theories came out of the air unless we’re talking about the etymology of “air” as the aether so, yes, they were pulled from the zeitgeist. I (as always) digress.
We’ll being with Cantuse’s manifesto The Secret in the Crypts of Winterfell, where not only the mystery of Jon’s mother (literally) lays but also proof of his father, too. Numerous theorists believe that Dawn (Lightbringer) is hidden there, and when Jon finds it, he’ll become the Sword of the Morning, the Sword of Dawn so the meta layers will flow. According to James and LaDonna, the sword could hidden in Lyanna’s statue…so Rhaegar’s sword is still in her *groan*
But neither they nor I think that this is a rape metaphor, because Rhaegar was not a rapist.
Cantuse goes one farther in his manifesto linked above and suggests that the prince’s harp is there as well. In Westeros (as elsewhere), it’s not enough to just say you’re the rightful heir to the throne, you have to prove it. (F)Aegon and Daanerys have the look, and Jon might have the blood, but if he can’t prove it, he’s just a bastard trying to climb higher than his place. If Rhaegar’s harp is hidden in the tomb and if it can be proven that Lyanna is Jon’s mother, then there’s a possible chance.
Lyanna is not supposed to be buried in the crypts as she was not (and could not have been) a lord. Brandon technically became Lord of Winterfell when his father Rickard was burned. Granted it was a short lordship, but he was a high lord still. It’s said/implied that Ned loved Lyanna so much that he gave her a place in Winterfell’s crypts, but that doesn’t sit right with me. Lord Eddard was a man of honor and tradition, but if she were the wife of the next true king and gave birth to the next true prince…also she looks almost exactly like Mary, you know, the Mother of God.
There’s also the matter off the dragon’s egg that might be hidden there, as well. This has less to do with Jon and more to do with The Ice Dragon and that pool in the Winterfell godswood that has no bottom. In one of Bran’s visions, he sees a woman step out of that pool. She is heavily pregnant and prays for a son to avenge her, but…avenge her for what?
The Ice Dragon concerns a little girl named Adara, Westeros’ equivalent to Elsa from Frozen. I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard it summarized. At the end of the story *spoiler* the ice dragon melts into a large puddle/pool, and this could very well be that body of water in the godswood. *end spoiler* Everyone is explicitly told not to ever go into that pool, and there is an eeriness about it (as there is in the godswood in general), but if there were an ice dragon and it left some eggs those might be hidden in the crypts.
Also, there could be tunnels leading as far as those northern caverns beyond the wall. Leaf, the Child of the Forest, tells Bran that not even she has explored all of the tunnels there, and they could very well be dwelling in the house of the worm…if there is a fire dragon digging in the north and an ice dragon digging farther south, what shall happen if they meet?
This is one of the creepier theories, but it still doesn’t chill my heart like the last and my favorite of them all…
The Red Comet/Red Meteor
This is the theory that may get me the most raised eyebrows because it is very, very similar to my all time favorite story, FFVII, but I’ve already stated numerous times that Song and VII share myriad paradigms (I could’ve mentioned Grim Up North in the Winterfell Crypts entry, but I didn’t), and in truth, the comet/meteor was the entire reason I started reading Song to begin with. I suppose I should tell my Song of Ice and Fire story, and there will be a bit of an FFVII story in there, too.
Nearly all of the narratives I absolutely adore did not hold my interest when first I found them: Final Fantasy VII and A Song of Ice and Fire only the top two. There’s also the Harry Potter Series, My Little Pony, Frozen, Bob’s Burgers, Dexter (except for the last episode GTFO), and Arrested Development to name a few. My love/obsession/connection with FFVII is (more than) thoroughly explained here, and I came into the world of Song with that in my heart.
When I first picked up A Game of Thrones I read the blurb, but was too disappointed that the Thrones in the title didn’t refer to the choir of angels that I put the volume down. Oh, it didn’t seem bad, but that sundering of expectations kept me from even reading the first page, which more than likely would’ve hooked me. It wasn’t until the second installment A Clash of Kings that I knew I’d have to read this, because Clash talked about “a comet the color of blood.” That reminded me of the infamous meteor from VII, so I went back and read Game, then Clash, and then all the others and a new obsession was born, revived by the show and strengthened by all the theorists I now follow.
The red comet/meteor idea comes from the latest and greatest theorist I discovered Daendrew (formerly Daen Targaryen) with two entries: The Red Meteor and the Long Night and its update The Hammerhorn of the Waters. I talk about this theory (at length) in my review of Mother’s Mercy.
“The comet/meteor could just be a gigantic red herring. It does fit in with the Revelation template that ASOIAF is laid upon, but GRRM loves to twist paradigms, and he could very well be taking the 6th Seal and saying, “Put not your trust in false signs.” He’s stated on numerous occasions that we will see no gods in this narrative. The comet shows up in A Clash of Kings, and then we hear no mention of it ever again. That…is suspicious to me, because it just seems odd to throw something like that in and not use it, a huge, looming Chekhov’s Gun that appears to be forgotten by the characters in the story.
“The Doom of Valyria destroyed the world’s premier civilization of the era, leveling the great city and sending nearly all of the Dragonlords to their deaths.
“From that day to this no one know what exactly the Doom entailed, but the earth is still corrupted because of it. Valyria was known for its unmatched skills in sword-making. The art of created Valyrian steel was lost in that cataclysm, and only a select few can still even work the blades so left behind. The Freehold was known for its Fourteen Flames, an immense chain of volcanoes along the Valyrian peninsula. It was thought that it was the heat of these fourteen flames that made it so Valyrian steel could be forged (there’s also the matter of weirwood and bone, but that’s for others to speak on).
“Armed with this background information, it is not too far-fetched to believe the Doom that came was the eruption of one if not all of these volcanoes that turned Valyria into dust. We can safely surmise that their destruction came from the foundation of their success. Wouldn’t it a sensuous song, a beautiful balance, a perfect parallel if the next Doom came from above? If it rains fire (and “blood” oh shit…Dany constantly says “I will take back what is mine with fire and blood. READ DAEN’S METEOR/COMET ARTICLE LINKED ABOVE. A meteor rains fire and looks like blood) from heaven and Westeros is beset by a comet/meteor strike, that would most certainly cause a Long Night and a winter without end. The ash thrown up from the violence would block out the sun for an age and that would also bring the cold. And finally if the comet/meteor is called Winter, then Winter is Coming.”
I…was quite worked up about this theory, and I never could’ve even considered it if not for Daendrew. I did consider it, but because it’s so closely aligned with VII, any mention I made of it without sufficient backing would’ve been met with disdain, *rolls eyes anyway* though I have no idea why. It’s not like fire from heaven is that odd of a paradigm, but Daendrew does state that Dany may be tricked into blowing the Horn of Winter, which will change the comet into a meteor, and beautiful silver-haired people with a propensity for fire and (false) savior/god complexes being manipulated into making it rain fire is oddly specific *blinks* so I’m glad someone else said it without necessarily saying it…if that makes any sense. In any event, I’m happy that not only did someone else have this idea, but they expanded it on in ways I never saw before.
Thus are my top favorite “crackpot” theories. I hope in this explanation, they don’t seem so far-fetched after all. We have quite a long wait before The Winds of Winter blows our way. What else is there to do but theorize and speculate?