Join Date: Jun 2006
Re: A Song of Ice and Fire Novels
What Is Varys' Deal?
We all know what Littlefinger wants –- power. But what about the eunuch Varys? He does at least as much political maneuvering as Littlefinger, but his intentions are not nearly so clear. He tells the imprisoned Ned that he's trying to help the people of Westeros, which is a situation he definitely didn't need to lie in. But if he's telling the truth, how does he plan to help the people?
Arya hears him plotting with Illyrio Mopatis in GoT, planning for the Targaryen-led Khals to attack while Westeros is already at war., and the possibility of needing to kill Ned. And Illyrio is the one who wed Daenerys with Khal Drogo, theoretically giving Viserys a cavalry of barbarians (we all know ho that worked out, but still). He also helped warn Daenerys that Robert had sent assassins after her. More importantly, Varys is reportedly the person who apparently spirited Prince Rhaegar's infant son Aegon VI out of Westeros to be raised by Illyrio. It seems quite obvious that Varys is a Targaryen supporter, albeit one that realized King Aerys was too mad to rule. The real question is whether Varys truly puts the smallfolk ahead of Targaryen rule –- and if it comes down to Aegon or Daenerys, who would he pick? (For more, continue reading here.)
Is Aegon VI Real?
The biggest gamechanger in A Dance with Dragons was the supposed arrival of Aegon, Prince Rhaegar's lost son, who was reportedly killed as a baby by The Mountain (along with all the other Targaryens they could get their hands on) at the end of the Rebellion. It's not at all impossible to believe that someone switched infants before the Mountain's rampage, and spirited Aegon away. Illyrio has spent time and money raising Aegon in secret, educating him to be the best king possible, having him work with the people and experience life as a commoner so he'll be sympathetic to the plight of the smallfolk. If Varys' (and Illyrio's) real goal is to help the people, building a king from the ground up is a pretty smart move.
Certainly, Aegon believes himself to be legitimate. Many ASoIaF fans don't, mostly because 1) they don't believe that GRRM would bring in another Targaryen this late in the game, and 2) they really want Tyrion to be that third head of the dragon. However, Aegon being real makes the most sense. This theory explains all the reasons, but most of all, Daenerys' prophetic dream about Rhaegar saying the dragon has three heads? In it, he names his infant Aegon, and explains the child is one of the heads. It would be an odd thing for a prophetic dream to get wrong. And last but certainly not least. Varys tells the dying Kevan Lannister that Aegon VI is real, and he'd have absolutely no reason to lie to a man seconds from death.
There's a more elaborate theory here, about Aegon -– and possibly Varys –- being Blackfyre, a part of the Targaryen family that split off over 100 years ago, tried to take over the throne, and was outlawed and (supposedly) destroyed. GRRM has been discussing the Blackfyre rebellion in his "Dunk and Egg" short stories, but whether that means the Blackfyre line will play a part in the ASoIaF books remains to be seen. (For more about Aegon's authenticity, read here, and for more about his potential Blackfyre connection, read here).
Was Balon Greyjoy Murdered?
The king of the Iron Islands is currently Euron Greyjoy, one of the biggest assholes in the entire series (and that's saying something). He gained the throne when King Balon was walking along one of the high bridges that connected the islands rocky spires, when he fell off and died. Shortly after Balon's death, his brother Euron coincidentally arrives even though Balon had exiled him and there's no way he should have been able to know about Balon's death. The leading theory is that Euron, who had been sailing and pirating in the East, hired a Faceless Man to assassinate his brother, making it look like an accident (their specialty). He had the means, the motive and the opportunity. Plus, the old prophet woman known as the Ghost of High Heart says, "I dreamt of a man without a face, waiting on a bridge that swayed and swung. On his shoulder perched a drowned crow with seaweed hanging from his wings." So most fans believe it's pretty much a lock. (For more, continue reading here.)
Is Syrio Forel Alive?
Everyone wants Syrio Forel, Arya's awesome "dancing instructor" from A Game of Thrones, to be alive. That's how awesome he is. In truth, he doesn't die "on page," so to speak — he sends Arya away, and takes on the armed Lannister guards sent to capture Arya with a wooden training sword. It's dire, but Syrio is the First Sword of Braavos, so it's not completely unreasonable to imagine he still beat the guards, and then went on his merry way. But given that Syrio is Braavosi, and Arya's next adult friend is the Braavosi assassin Jaqen H'ghar, who takes an odd interest in Arya and who can also magically change his face, a lot of people think Jaqen might have been Syrio, still watching over his charge. This would indicate a very early interest in Arya by the Faceless Men, the highly skilled league of assassins that Arya has ended up with, but for no known reason. Still, such is the awesomeness of Syrio. (For more, continue reading here.)
What Is Jaqen H'ghar Doing?
When Jaqen leaves Arya (with the Braavosi coin and the phrase "valar morghuli," which eventually brings her to Braavos and the Faceless Men), that's not the last we see of him. It is undoubtedly Jaqen in the prologue to A Feast for Crows, who –- in the guise of the Alchemist, the face Arya saw him change into –- murders the novice Pate at the Citadel… the same Citadel where Sam Tarly has gone to become a Maester and research the Others… and who meets the same Pate, alive and well. So Jaqen is definitely at the Citadel. Seeing as the Citadel is the most learned place in the world, it seem Jaqen is trying to learn something… or prevent someone else from learning something. The real question is if he's working for someone specific, or on behalf of all the Faceless Men? (For more, continue reading here.)
What Was the Real Reason for Robert's Rebellion?
There's no real easy way to summarize the amazing fan theory usually referred to as "Southron Ambitions," but the simplest version is that there was a lot more going on in Westeros before Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna Stark and kickstarted Robert's Rebellion. In fact, Rickard Stark, Ned's father, may have had a grand plan to unite the kingdoms against the Targaryen rule on his own, creating relationships with House Tully Baratheon, Arryn, and even House Lannister in preparation for this war. It all went to hell when Rhaegar stole Lyanna and Aerys burned Rickard and Ned's brother Brandon alive, but seriously, read this admittedly lengthy theory here, and prepare to have your mind blown.
Remember, there are many many more theories -– none quite as major as these, and not all of them completely sane –- over at Westeros.org.