We’re a week on from the Game of Thrones season finale, but our heads are still spinning with the (sort of) shocking revelation that Kit Harington’s Jon Snow is no bastard son of Ned Stark at all.
In fact, as many fans had predicted over the years he was revealed to be the secret offspring of deceased Targaryen Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned’s sister Lyanna, making him the nephew of Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys and somewhere in line to the Iron Throne. Quite a rise from his status as a corpse at the end of last year’s series.
However, one fan believes that the unveiling of secret Targaryens doesn’t end there – because there may have been TWO more of the dragon-loving royal House hiding in plain sight since the series’ first episode.
To explain this, we first need to explore a much older theory from a different source – that Tyrion is a secret Targaryen. Basically the theory goes that Daenerys’ father Aerys “The Mad King” Targaryen may have forced himself on Tywin Lannister’s wife Joanna, with the books the series is based on noting his desire for her and the fact that he apparently “took certain liberties” during the traditional bedding ceremony (where brides are stripped and taken to the bedchamber by male guests) after the newly-minted Lannister Lord and Lady were married.
In the books, Tyrion’s appearance is actually quite close to that of the Targaryens – he has white-blond hair and different-coloured eyes, one dark like Daenerys’ – and his fascination with dragons is noted in both George RR Martin’s source material and the Game of Thrones TV show.
If Tyrion really was a Targaryen, it would also explain his father’s hatred of him and refusal to let him inherit Casterly Rock, as hinted at by this line (and others like it).
Oh, and it would tie in nicely with one of the series’ many prophecies, when Rhaegar Targaryen said in one of Daenerys’ dreams that “The Dragon has Three Heads”, implying that there would be a Targaryen rider for each of Dany’s dragons. If Dany was one and Jon is the other, who’s to say that Tyrion – who showed an affinity with her dragons this season when he freed them without getting his face scorched off – isn’t the third? It’s a convincing theory.
However, it’s NOT the theory that we’re here to discuss today. Instead, redditor hamvvar has laid out the prospect that two entirely different characters are actually Aerys’ secret offspring instead – Tyrion’s twin siblings Jaime and Cersei Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).
Ok, ok, this seems a bit far-fetched, but hear us out. As many have pointed out over the years, the timelines of Tyrion being Aerys’ bastard don’t quite line up, especially if it had something to do with the bedding. Surely it would make more sense for his older children to be Aerys’ offspring if the King had some kind of dalliance with Joanna while she and Tywin were newly married, rather than Aerys siring Tyrion later on?
And when you think about how the twins turned out, the idea of them being secret Targaryens doesn’t seem too far-fetched. It’s been said in the series that the gods flipped a coin when every Targaryen was born to decide whether they’d be mad or sane, and that seems to apply quite directly to the crazed Cersei and the comparatively stable Jaime.
More recently, Cersei’s decision to destroy the Sept of Baelor and burn all her enemies to death with wildfire is taken directly from a plan worked up by the Mad King, and it could be argued that her increasing paranoia is an inherited mental condition from him.
So yeah, there are a few points in this idea’s favour, and Tywin’s hatred of Tyrion could still make sense – perhaps he simply detested the idea that his only trueborn child was a dwarf, and turned against him for that reason alone. And there’s no reason the “Three Heads of the Dragon” idea couldn’t still work either, perhaps with Jaime taking the role after murdering Cersei for her crimes (which is something else fans have been predicting).
On the other hand, it feels like both the books and the series have laid more groundwork for it to be Tyrion who’ll turn out to have the Targaryen background (even with the dodgy timelines), and while making the connection to Jaime and Cersei instead would be a brilliant twist it’s probably overly-complicated. More broadly, it could be argued that the very idea of bringing in another secret Targaryen might be a step too far after Jon Snow, and so the whole idea could be doomed from the start.
But we’re going to ignore that kind of boring logic for now, and keep alive the idea of a Lannisterian Targaryen. We need SOMETHING to keep us going over the next 12 months, and you have to admit, it has a certain ring to it…
Game of Thrones will continue next year