I can’t help it – I like to speculate and make up theories about what will happen next in Game of Thrones. I have read all of the books and watch the show as well. Just don’t read any further if you are trying to avoid spoilers. Here are my (not so) crazy theories about what’s to come.
SERIOUSLY! – SPOILERS AHEAD
R+L = J
If you don’t already know about Jon Snow’s questionable parentage, there is plenty already written about this. It has been all but confirmed by GRRM, so I’m not going to rehash why it is almost certainly true (despite book 5).
R+L = J + M
Lyanna died in childbirth. In GoT level medicine, this is not that unlikely. But you know what would make childbirth even riskier? Twins. Yeah – not only is Jon the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, he may have a twin sister. Who is the right age? Who is a character that has been included in the show and looks an awful lot like Jon on TV? Who comes from a family that is isolated enough to keep this an absolute secret? Who was with Ned Stark and had the opportunity to take a baby girl home to raise as his own?
Howland Reed. He’s also still alive as far as we know. His “daughter” is Meera Reed. What purpose would this serve in the story? I have no idea. Crazy theory or not, it’s fun to think about.
Hmm, what else…
A x D
So there is no way that Daenerys will survive the series to claim the throne. Think about how GRRM likes to twist his readers’ expectations. Since Daenerys has been obsessed with retaking her throne, there is absolutely no way that she will succeed at this. However, she is so determined to do so that the only way she will fail is if she dies.
This brings us to Arya. It has been well-established that she is going to be an assassin. What is the purpose of her storyline if she doesn’t kill someone important? My suspicion is that she will be sent as a Faceless Man to kill Jon. She will come on scene just as Daenerys and Jon meet and fight. Arya never forgot that she is a Stark and she kills Daenerys to save Jon.
I think that we have also been misled by the three-headed dragon theory/prophecy. Rhaegar thought that he needed to have a third child to fulfill the prophecy (and thus R + L = J). Daenerys has three dragons, so it has been assumed that three people will ride the dragons, with one being Daenerys. I think this has been overinterpreted and I’m not sure that the dragons will survive any longer than Daenerys does.
But How Can R+L = J Possibly Work?
There is one main problem with R+L = J (+/-M) – no one knows about it. In order for Jon to have a valid claim to the Iron Throne, there are many obstacles. First – he has to live (yeah, book 5 again, but that’s a separate set of theories). Then, he has to learn who he is. But this alone is not enough. Jon can’t just waltz into King’s Landing and claim to be Rhaegar’s son. He needs some type of proof, or enough power in some other sense that his parentage doesn’t matter.
What type of proof could exist? I’ve read speculation that Lyanna’s wedding cloak lies beneath Winterfell, emblazoned with Stark and Targaryen emblems. If it does exist, is this enough?
Who is left alive that may have first-hand knowledge? Howland Reed. But does his word alone carry enough weight to give Jon a legitimate claim? Not really. He’s hardly an influential Lord at this point in the game. So either Ned, Lyanna, or Rhaegar could have make up a document outlining Jon’s parentage and had it stashed at Greywater Watch under Howland Reed’s care. That still doesn’t let anyone find out unless Howland crawls out of his swamp or… someone else arrives.
Where are Littlefinger and Sansa headed after the first episode of Season 5? Somewhere west of the Eyrie, somewhere beyond the reach of King’s Landing. Greywater Watch is a good fit for that. Littlefinger grew up with the Tullys and Starks. He was alive during Robert’s Rebellion and is a clever man. He may have an inkling of who Jon really is. If he takes Sansa to Howland Reed, will R+L = J finally be revealed?
What do YOU think? Do you have any favorite theories about what’s to come?