Thursday, May 3, 2018

4 Bonkers Theories That Still Might Pan Out in Game of Thrones' Final Season [Contributor: Melanie]

In any normal year Game of Thrones would have started by now, someone would probably be dead, we’d be throwing back Ommegang’s yearly Game of Thrones themed brew, and trying to make these ten weeks last as long as possible. Unfortunately, this is not a normal year. This is, in fact, the last time we will be waiting for a new season of the HBO series. And because of the nature of the last season, we’ve got a little bit longer to wait.

While the final season is only six episodes, each episode is projected to be as long as two hours in length (RIP to any productivity on my Monday morning). The combination of delayed start time on production — due in part to a disagreement between showrunners and HBO on the episode number and length — and the actual minute length of the season being longer than any of the normal 10 episode seasons, we’re still in production almost a year since last year’s premiere.

Said production is scheduled to wrap its primary shooting in June and so far we know very little about anything (compared to a massive treatment leak last year that revealed the season’s trajectory early on in season eight's production). Rumor has it they’re being so tight about information on this one that they’ve scripted multiple last episodes, which they intend to film, to confuse would-be hackers and to keep the real information at least a bit muddled if anything ever got out. We do know that there was a massive 55-day night shoot in Iceland all for a single battle scene that featured, to our knowledge, Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington. We also know that Kit Harington was spotted filming a scene with Lena Headey at the King’s Landing set and several characters returned to the Dragon Pit set (scene of last year’s epic sass battle).

But beyond that, we’re pretty much way outside the loop. There’s no telling when teaser material will come, let alone the season itself (though the rumored premiere is April 2019). Ultimately, we should really be trying to enjoy this since it’s the last time it’ll ever happen and the weeks leading up to a Game of Thrones premiere can contain some of the best cultural moments — not to mention the Twitter echo chamber we all contribute to before, during, and after episodes.

In honor of us normally getting an episode by now, I thought I’d do a quick look at some of the most out there, fringe theories surrounding the plot that — while odd — have yet to be completely disproven. So, what might we get to see when the song of ice and fire sings its final verse?

Tyrion, son of... Aerys

I’ve mentioned this theory once or twice; not only has it not died in the decades of books, but it’s actually gained more and more credence among fans — especially with the show giving some clever, quick nods to the possibility. The theory generally goes that Tyrion is the bastard son of Joanna Lannister and Aerys Targaryen, a.k.a. the Mad King. How is this possible, you ask? Well, we know that Aerys had a thing for Joanna — to the point that Tywin sent his wife away from capital to protect her from his leering eye. However a little less than a year before Tyrion was born, she returned to King’s Landing for a tournament. So the timing matches.

Further evidence for this comes in some random bits of odd details about Tyrion. His hair is described as so blonde it almost seems white (a far more Targaryen description compared to the normally “golden” look of the Lannisters) and in one of his first scenes, he mentions how he always wanted to ride a dragon, a scene echoed in the show in season six when Tyrion approached Dany’s dragons and was able to touch them, unharmed (the only other person known to do this was Jon, a Targaryen himself).

I’m not saying it’s probable — and would require a whole slew of events to happen and the hush-hush of a few people — but it’s entirely still possible that the long-held theory that Tyrion is secretly a dragon just can’t seem to die.

An out-of-place lemon tree could make Jon and Dany twins

If you thought the first one was a doozy, be prepared for how bizarre this is about to get. In the books Dany routinely recalls her childhood home with a red front door and a lemon tree just outside her window. That’s all fine and dandy but the big problem fans noticed was that this house is meant to be located in Braavos, which is geographically almost as far north as Winterfell and botanically unlikely to sustain a warm weather plant. What makes this stand out even more is that there is a place absolutely swimming with lemon trees, so much so that the air is said to smell of citrus all the time. That place is Dorne. When asked about the discrepancy, George RR Martin replied: “Very perceptive of you. It’s almost as if... but that would be telling.”

What was Dany doing in Dorne as a child, and why was she made to believe it was Braavos? One clue might lie in the another character who had some early childhood experiences in Dorne: Jon Snow. While officially Jon is Dany’s nephew, many have taken this lemon tree debacle and applied it to the long-held theory that Dany is, in fact, Rhaegar’s daughter, not his younger sister. There’s a whole plethora of reasons why people think that, but since we don’t have an hour I’ll just say that a lot of people have given that theory some thought and come away with diehard beliefs about it.

As for the lemon tree memory... well, Dany was hidden in the south while her twin brother was hidden in the north and she was, eventually, stolen or spirited away to broker a better position for the exiled prince Viserys — disguised as a legitimate child of Aerys.

Thematically, the pair being twins resolves a lot of things: like the fact that Dany and Jon seem to be the same person on paper, narratively, and they’re both the most viable candidates for the prophecies of the Prince That Was Promised. It also explains why Jon doesn’t have any Targaryen looks, despite the fact that several generations of Targaryen mixed kids show a fair amount of Targaryen genes. It also answers the mysteries around Ned Stark’s nine-month absence after Jon was born (his concern for Dany in the first book has lead many to believe he knew about the second child).

A companion theory to this is that Dany is his half-sister, by Rhaegar and Ashara Dayne. Several hints have been dropped linking Dany to Ashara Dayne who was said to have a child that was either stillborn or stolen (depending on which Westeros rumor mill you subscribe to).

Could Bran be the Night King? 

This theory has been around on the Internet for years and usual gets an eyeroll for a response, but let's assume for a minute that there’s something to it. Subject belief about the similar looks between actors aside, is it possible? And if it was... what would it mean? We know Bran can travel back in time through warging and even affect the past (create a causal loop of predestination that leaves quantum physics minded fans reeling). Perhaps he takes his arrogance as the Three Eyed Raven to the next level and attempts to rewrite the past. But we know from our original Three Eyed Raven that “the ink is dry” where the past is concerned. So if he goes back and does something... well he’s already done it. Yay time travel!

Just as he messed with Hodor and became responsible for the gentle giant’s mental affliction as an adult, perhaps he’s already created himself as the Night King in the past. Maybe he he goes to do battle with Azor Ahai 8,000 years ago while our Azor Ahai reborn (Jon, Dany, or both) must fight his reawakened version in the present. It would explain the Night King’s lack of surprise at Dany’s dragons. He already knew and was waiting for her. It thematically plays into the repetition of history that GRRM likes to play with. It also fires the Chekhov's Gun that is Bran’s time travel powers.

The “gotcha!” endings

We’ve all seen them — the endings of a book or movie or show where you find out the bonkers story you just watched is a dream (Twin Peaks recently played with this trope). They’re frustrating ways to end a story and are major cop-outs for someone who didn’t know how to narratively close their world. While it’s doubtful that Game of Thrones will find itself ending this way, there was a conversation in season one where Rob Stark mentioned how Old Nan once told him the sky was blue because everything existed inside the eye of a blue-eyed giant.

While that’s probably not the case here, there are plenty of options as to what actually might be going on. There is the possibility that this is all a dream: Bran’s specifically. There’s the chance this all ends up being a story someone in the distant future is telling. Maybe the show is, in fact, taking place inside the eye of a blue-eyed giant. While it’s most likely the story will end with a somber, bittersweet look at the lone survivors facing the ongoing threat of the White Walkers, there’s always that chance we all get duped in the end.

There’s plenty of other crack theories out there: Perhaps Jaime is the Prince That Was Promised? Dany is the story’s true villain? (That one about Rickon getting the Iron Throne at the end is obviously out). And we’ve got about a year left of waiting to do before it’s all said and done. So keep a sharp eye out, kids and emotionally prepare yourself for next spring.


Post a Comment