Fan of Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire certainly come up with some interesting theories – ranging from brilliant (R+L=J), to brilliantly tinfoil (D+D=T), to brilliantly idiotic (N+L=J). Sometimes they get a little too carried away and either create theories without much to back them up, or they hold onto theories despite all evidence to the contrary. Here are 5 theories I hope are put to rest after Season 7 airs next summer.
5 – Sansa is pregnant with Ramsay’s child
Take some unflattering promotional photos, add some VERY circumstantial evidence, and you get this theory. Speculation began when the first Season 6 photos were released, and fans remarked on the possible baby bump Sansa appeared to be sporting. Once the season aired, people noticed Sansa didn’t appear to eat much (morning sickness?). Later she made a comment to Littlefinger about being able to physically feel inside what Ramsay did to her, and in episode 9 Ramsay told Sansa he would always be a part of her – fans took these remarks literally, assuming it meant a baby.
Setting aside the fact that physical and psychological torture, leaping from a castle wall, and being chased through snow and freezing water would likely lead to a miscarriage, enough time had passed that surely Sansa would be showing by season’s end. Even if she were pregnant, how would Ramsay know? I find it hard to believe she would have sent him a raven with the unhappy news. A Sansa pregnancy wouldn’t serve the plot in any meaningful way; given the limited time the show has left and the much more important storylines coming to a head, this theory doesn’t make much sense.
4 – Jon will marry Sansa
Jon and Sansa’s reunion was one of the most touching moments of Season 6, evoking smiles, tears, and apparently, Jonsa shippers. There isn’t much to substantiate this theory aside from “chemistry” and “vibes” (I call it wishful thinking). Guys, I know incest is a thing on Game of Thrones, but this is just too much. To be fair, this particular pairing was circulated as a possibility among readers of A Song of Ice and Fire before their onscreen reunion, but I don’t want to see it happen in either medium. Now that Jon has been confirmed as Lyanna’s son we know he is Sansa’s cousin and not her half-brother (which is still a little icky though accepted in-universe), but they don’t know that. Besides, they grew up as siblings and didn’t even particularly like each other.
Jon is now King in the North in his own right, and marrying Sansa isn’t necessary to solidify his claim. She is ostensibly already his ally, so how would a union with her help him politically? It would benefit Sansa of course, as she would become Queen in the North, but that would likely cause Littlefinger to withdraw the Vale’s support (slimy little weasel that he is). Besides, Jon being available for a marriage alliance could help him bring other regions of Westeros to his side; he will need much more than the North to stop the White Walkers in their tracks.
3 – Arya is actually the Waif
Arya’s Season 6 storyline in Braavos wasn’t one of the highlights for me. It was a bit confusing, and – at times – boring (how many times can you watch someone get beaten with a stick anyway?). So I was glad to see Arya decide to head back home in episode 7…until she got shanked. That began one of the most unbelievable parts of her storyline – not only did she survive the initial stab wounds, she avoided infection despite not receiving adequate medical care, and then she was able to outrun the Waif through the streets of Braavos.
Even more incredibly, Arya was able to kill the Waif and remove her face, which she displayed in the Hall of Faces before having her mic drop moment with Jaqen. Some fans believe that Arya beating the Waif wasn’t actually unrealistic writing – they think the Waif killed Arya instead. They theorize that Arya would have been too tired and weak to defeat her, so the person we think is Arya is really the Waif wearing Arya’s face. There really isn’t any other evidence to support it, and I don’t think it would serve the plot for the Waif to act as Arya for the rest of the series. Plus, could the Waif really remove her own face? Somehow I doubt it.
2 – Bran was all the Brandon Starks
Everyone was excited to see Bran back in Season 6, and we were anxious to see what impact he would have in the story. The answer to that question was, quite a lot (and most of it negative). Not only did he discover Jon isn’t Ned’s bastard and witness the origin of the White Walkers, he singlehandedly led to the deaths of the Three Eyed Raven, Summer, several Children of the Forest, and Hodor. If that weren’t bad enough, we also discovered that Bran was responsible for “Wyllis” becoming Hodor in the first place.
Now we know that not only can Bran see the past, he can interact with and influence it. That has led to speculation about other events he may have affected (such as driving King Aerys mad). Some fans believe Bran has skinchanged into all of the past Brandon Starks (Brandon the Builder, Brandon the Shipwright, Brandon the Breaker) and is responsible for their legendary deeds.
The support for this idea seems to be that they all have the same name, and that Old Nan confuses Bran with all the other Brandons she has known. Seriously, that’s it. There are several problems with this: one, skinchanging into humans with normal brain function is pretty much impossible (see what happened to Hodor as an example); two, why would Bran only do this with Brandons and not other important Starks of the past?; three, with all of the threats facing Westeros in the present, why would he spend time influencing past characters who don’t necessarily impact the current situation? We may well see Bran affecting other events, but for him to have been every Brandon Stark seems pointless and silly.
1 – Anything other than R+L=J
Ever since the release of the first book, A Game of Thrones, fans have been theorizing about Jon’s Snow’s mother: was it Ashara Dayne, Wylla the wet nurse, or the fisherman’s daughter? It wasn’t long before people questioned whether Ned was even the father, leading to the theory that Jon was the son of Ned’s sister Lyanna Stark and her “abductor” Rhaegar Targaryen (R+L=J).
The evidence in the text is overwhelming once you know to look for it (there have even been hints on the show), and fans have had 20 years to put it all together. Of course 20 years of wondering has also allowed alternate theories to crop up like annoying little weeds – that Jon is the son of Ned’s brother Brandon and Ashara, or that Lyanna was his mother and someone other than Rhaegar was the father. Even confirming Jon’s parentage in the Season 6 finale (and via an HBO infographic) wasn’t enough to quiet the dissent; there are still people who wonder if Robert, Aerys, or (for the incest obsessed) Ned is Jon’s father.
Let me just say it – anything other than R+L=J MAKES NO SENSE. It doesn’t make sense with the timeline, it doesn’t make sense with the secrecy, and it doesn’t make sense in the story. I just pray Bran has a vision next season that includes Rhaegar with Lyanna and leaves no room for doubt. My peace of mind depends on it.
(Dis)Honorable Mention: Meera is Jon’s twin
This. Just, why? There is NO evidence. None. Having similar hair doesn’t make you related, I promise. And there was no second baby at the Tower of Joy, unless she was hidden away somewhere. Please people, let it go.