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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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