Join Date: Jun 2006
Re: A Song of Ice and Fire Novels
major spoilers in white:
If there's two things fans of the A Song of Ice and Fire book series can agree on, it's that 1) author George R.R. Martin is weaving an incredibly dense tale where far more happens (and has happened) than what's just on the page, and 2) that no character is safe from GRRM's murderous pen. In regards to the former, fans have spent the last 17 years since A Game of Thrones was first published reading between the lines, trying to figure out the series' many, many mysteries. One astute fan by the name of Full-Faced Braavosi took the time to compile all the theories, both likely and insane, over at the mega-fansite Westeros.org; we thought we'd take the chance to make sure all you ASoIaF readers are caught up on every fan theory you absolutely need to know.
Warning: Spoilers for all five books ahead! And click the links at the end of each section for more details and discussion over at Westeros.org.
Who Are Jon Snow's Parents?
It's the question all A Song of Ice and Fire readers ask themselves in book one, and never stop asking. The most prevalent theory is that Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, who abducted Eddard's siter Lyanna and the love of Robert Baratheon's life and inadvertently started the rebellion that deposed the Targaryens, had sex with Lyanna –- maybe consensually, maybe not –- and Lyanna died giving birth to Jon. Knowing that Jon would be in considerable danger if his half-Targaryen blood were revealed (remember, Robert was determined to kill every last Targaryen on the planet), he pretended the boy was his own bastard, and took him to Winterfell, telling nobody the truth. Although Ned is incredibly secretive regarding Jon's parentage, he does remember making Lyanna a promise on her death bed, which was likely to keep Jon secret and safe.
Jon's parentage seems likely to most readers – so likely, in fact, that some people believe it's too obvious to be true. Other fans have theorized that Jon is genuinely Ned's child, possibly with some random woman, or possibly with Ashara Dayne, whom Ned was rumored to love. The question is whether Ned's honor is great enough to have precluded him from fathering a bastard — certainly Catelyn and Ned's friends were shocked at the idea Ned had cheated –- and as shown in GoT, Ned is honorable to a fault. So it seems unlikely, although if he did lapse, his shame might be the reason he's so quiet about Jon's parentage. But if his mother is Ashara Dayne or some random wench, that doesn't really explain why he wouldn't at least tell Jon.
Certainly, George R.R. Martin loves his head games, but the idea that Rhaegar and Lyanna are Jon's true parents makes the most narrative sense. And it seems unlikely that Martin would be hinting at the mystery so much only to reveal Jon is just Ned's regular ol' bastard. (For more details and theories continue reading here.)
Who Is Azor Ahai?
Azor Ahai (also commonly called the Prince That Was Promised) is the legendary hero who defeated the Others long, long ago, and is said to come again to fight the Others again, when they return, with his sword Lightbringer. The red priestess Melisandre clearly believes Stannis Baratheon is Azor Ahai, and wants everyone to know it. However, Melisandre's visions of Azor Ahai don't seem to be nearly as Stannis-oriented as she seems to think, and most readers think if one character fits the bill, it will be Jon Snow, despite –- or perhaps because of –- his current, uh, situation, which would make being "reborn" rather… uniquely appropriate.
But it might not just be one character. In The House of the Undying, Daenerys sees a prophecy/vision of Rhaegar naming his son Aegon, claiming he will be the Prince That Was Promised –- but then he also says "The Dragon shall have three heads." Could that means Azor Ahai is not one person, but three? That would hint that Daenerys and Jon Snow are two of the Dragon's heads, but then who would be the third? There are two possible answers below. (For more, continue reading here.)
Might Tyrion Lannister Actually Be a Targaryen?
We all know "dragons" equal "Targaryens" in A Song of Ice and Fire. Daenerys is already a Targaryen, and as per above, most people think Jon is, too. So what about Tyrion? Some readers believe that the Mad King Aerys is Tyrion's real father, having forced himself on Tywin's wife Joanna, with Tywin never knowing, or possibly even being a willing pimp. GRRM mentions at one point that Aerys definitely found Joanna attractive. Jon describes Tyrion as having hair so blonde as to be white, which sounds a lot more like Targaryen's hair color than the Lannister blonde; plus, Tyrion has one green eye (very Lannister) and one black eye… and Daenerys' eye color is described as to be so purple it's practically black. Last but not least, Tywin himself tells Tyrion he's "no son of mine," although admittedly, that's immediately after Tyrion shoots him with a crossbow, so perhaps he was just being shitty.
The biggest reason for this theory seems to be Tyrion's prominence in the story, which equals Jon Snow and Daenerys, making them the three primary protagonists. Tyrion being a secret Targaryen would easily explain why GRRM has followed his story so closely, even when he flees King's Landing at the end of A Storm of Swords, and essentially leaves the "Game" for quite some time. Besides, the next most obvious Targaryen candidate is Aegon (more on him below), who only showed up in the most recent book, and has had no point-of-view chapters.
On the other hand, someone claiming Aerys found Joanna hot is hardly proof he took her for her own. And Tyrion being a Targaryen would negate all the wonderful issues he's had with his father and Lannister siblings, and that would be an enormous waste. (For more, continue reading here.)