7 Wild 'Game of Thrones' Fan Theories That Probably Seemed So Smart at the Time
In the meantime, fans have spent countless hours generating elaborate and well-thought out theories about the future of Westeros and of Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister and the other 25,000 protagonists that have survived the bloodbath until now.
These are not those theories. These are the ones you've probably never thought of, either because they're too far-fetched, silly or outright wrong.
1. Roose Bolton is an ancient, immortal skin-changer.
Roose Bolton is a terribly unsettling figure whose reign over the much-feared Dreadfort has been rife with whispers and speculation — most notably that his clan never really gave up its long-held practice of flaying its enemies and saving the skins as grisly trophies. Some even say they wear the skins as cloaks.
After all, the flayed man remains their house banner:
In the books, observers tend to remark that Bolton has an extraordinarily youthful appearance, while much has been made of Roose's more curious habits, such as bloodletting with leeches. It's also curious that no other members of House Bolton have been seen aside from Roose's bastard Ramsay and the only occasionally mentioned true-born son Domeric (who Roose admits Ramsay probably killed to become Roose's heir).
All these factors have led to one sinister fan theory: Perhaps Bolton isn't a man at all. Perhaps Bolton is actually an immortal skin-changer who every four or five decades murders and flays his sons, wearing their skins like a Faceless Man to avoid detection. Roose keeps Ramsay around only for the opportunity to cut him open and assume his identity.
This would also explain Roose's "a peaceful land, a quiet people" theory of leadership, the better to hide his true nature. Finally, the theory would fit Roose's practice of jus primae noctis, because he needs a ready supply of potential skins to slip into at any time.
It's also probably too far-fetched. Most fans generally dismiss this theory and jokingly refer to it as "Bolt-On."
2. Meera Reed and Jon Snow are twins.
One of the longest-running theories of Jon Snow's parentage is that he is not actually Ned Stark's bastard, but the illicit child of Stark's sister, Lyanna, and Rhaegar Targaryen. As the theory goes, Snow was rescued from the Tower of Joy at the end of the rebellion against the Targaryen dynasty that brought Robert Baratheon to power.
The Meera Reed connection stems from the fact that when Ned went to the Tower of Joy at the end of the war to rescue Lyanna, Meera's father, Howland Reed, accompanied him. The small battle that ensued claimed the lives of everyone but Stark and Reed, and Lyanna was found close to death inside the tower. Most fans believe Lyanna was dying of complications from childbirth, and the baby was Jon Snow, who is thus actually a Targaryen.
But what if Lyanna actually gave birth to twins? Meera is roughly Jon's age, and Howland Reed could have taken the second child as his own to help clear suspicion as to the identity of the babies.
While the show's version of the two characters do look remarkably similar, there's nothing else in the books to suggest this theory is true. Meera may play a bigger role in the story to come, but throwing in a convoluted long-lost-twin plotline seems a little strained, even for Martin.
3. Syrio Forel is alive and is also Jaqen H'ghar.
This one is simple: Syrio Forel, Arya's former fencing instructor, never actually died when he was left unarmed to delay Lannister soldiers from seizing her at the end of the first season. In fact, Syrio was a Faceless Man sent to train Arya for her eventual absorption into their order.
The evidence for this one is clear. Syrio is from Braavos, which is where the Faceless Men have their dark temple, and the Faceless Men worship the Many-Faced God of Death, while Syrio is fond of reminding Arya: "There is only one God, and his name is 'Death.'" Finally, Syrio's sacrifice is reminiscent of the common saying, "Only death can pay for life," a recurring motif among the Faceless Men.
But not only is this a little too obvious, there are also multiple problems with this theory. For one, Syrio was the first sword of Braavos, one of the world's most renowned swordsmen, and his thoughts on death could easily simply be a bit of cultural flavor.
Also, Syrio's last stand was against Meryn Trant, a member of the Kingsguard armed with full-plate armor and a sword, while the former held only a broken wooden training sword. Trant is still alive, meaning he must have either killed Syrio or let him flee. Fleeing doesn't exactly seem like Syrio's style — in fact, one of the last things he says to Arya is, "The first sword of Braavos does not run!"
Sorry to disappoint, but Syrio's probably just another dead body floating in the Blackwater.
4. Varys is a fish monster.
This theory is almost certainly a joke, but it is worth repeating for the entertainment value. Some fans have taken to speculating that Varys, the kingdom's former Master of Whisperers, is not a man at all but some kind of half-man, half-fish hybrid.
As Fansided explains, the world of Game of Thrones has a similar mermaid myth to the real world, except it refers to the creatures as "merlings." There is also a strange number of times Varys is mentioned in the books in relation to water and the ocean, and he does not own a bed.
At one point, Tyrion threatens to throw Varys into the sea, earning a curious response from the eunuch. "You might be disappointed in the results," Varys responds. "The storms come and go. The big fish eat the little fish and I keep on paddling."
This is probably all coincidence.
5. Jon Snow is going to become the king of the White Walkers.
A little backstory: The leader of the White Walkers, the gnarly dude with all those ice horns in the show, might be an ancient Stark known as the Night's King.
Thousands of years ago, not long after the Wall in the North was built, the Night's King was a commander of the Night's Watch who betrayed his comrades after falling in love with a beautiful woman beyond the wall whose skin was "cold as ice." He used his power to subject much of the North to a reign of terror and darkness that was finally ended by a hero named Joramun.
The leader of the White Walkers that Jon Snow sees leading the assault on Hardhome could be that same Night's King (though Martin has suggested otherwise on his blog, saying the odds were low anyone could survive that long). The Night's King may have deliberately let Jon escape in that dinky little canoe at the end of the massacre in the hopes that he could convert another Stark to his side, either as a successor or just because, sympathetic takes aside, the White Walkers are clearly kind of evil.
Now that Jon is dead or dying, the red priest Melisandre (who may hold the power to resurrect him) and the Night's King may be competing to see who can claim his body first.
Either way, some fans believe the Stark connection to the White Walkers indicates Jon will join up with the undead army at some point. While this theory would indeed throw most of the predictions about the future of the series right out the window, it's probably not going to happen. Besides, can you really imagine Snow changing sides at this point?
6. This awful time-traveling theory from Reddit.
One Reddit user spent at least several hours coming up with this deliberately ridiculous, convoluted theory alleging Tyrion is actually Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo's misshapen stillborn child, transplanted in time to the past. In the present-day setting of Game of Thrones, he will marry his own mother, becoming the Stallion That Mounts the World. Uproxx calls this the "worst theory yet."
The whole thing is below, if you have the stomach for it.
7. Any theory involving Hot Pie
Remember Hot Pie, the young cook who Arya briefly traveled with on her way north? People really like making up elaborate theories about Hot Pie.
For example: He's actually Azor Ahai reborn. He's been spreading news about Arya to everyone who stops to eat his food. He's off somewhere with Gendry, Robert Baratheon's bastard. Then there's the fact that Hot Pie's pies may or may not be laced with deadly cyanide.
"You need sour cherries to make it right, and the secret is you dry the stones, and then you break them with a mallet. That's where the real flavor is," he told Arya in season two. "You crush 'em up real fine and then, when you're finished, sprinkle them over the pie crust."
Consuming crushed or broken cherry pits results in a chemical reaction in the stomach that creates cyanide, an extremely dangerous poison.
Is Hot Pie secretly a master assassin who uses the art of baking as a cover to close in on his targets? Or is he just not very smart? Westeros may never know.