Two preliminary notes:
- This theory has been floating around Game of Thrones bookreader forums for a few years now, but I, a non-bookreader, just stumbled across it for the first time today and found it interesting. A hearty congratulations and a dozen balloons for you if you were already aware of it. This post is for the rest of us, though.
- Spoilers, obviously.
And away we go.
The most popular theory among Game of Thrones fans is “R+L=J,” which we’ve discussed already. The basic gist is as follows: What if Jon Snow isn’t actually Ned Stark’s bastard son, as he (and the audience) has been led to believe, but is instead the son of Lyanna Stark (Ned’s sister) and Rhaegar Targaryen (Daenerys’s brother)? You can find more information on this theory literally anywhere on the Internet. Open up a website. Someone will be discussing it in the comments, at least.
A second, somewhat less popular, somewhat less likely theory involves Tyrion Lannister and whether he too is a secret Targaryen. (“Secret Targaryen” being, of course, both the best possible name for your GoT-themed prog rock band and a great name for a new character if George R.R. Martin decides to start mailing it in halfway through the next book.) It all supposedly stems from an encounter between the Mad King Aerys Targaryen and Tyrion’s mother, Joanna, who died giving birth to him. Here it is laid out neatly in a post from 2010 at TowerOfTheHand:
The theory that King Aerys was Tyrion’s real father goes something like this. Once upon a time, either through coercion, seduction or flat-out rape, Aerys and Joanna Lannister knew one another in the carnal fashion. For this union to result in Tyrion, it would have had to happen during Tywin’s stint as Aerys’ Hand, and thus become a major factor in the deepening bad blood between the two. After his wife became pregnant with the king’s bastard, Tywin, fearing that the child would reveal his being cuckolded by physically taking after the real father, attempted to abort the pregnancy using moon tea, tansy, what have you; some type of contraceptive. This attempt failed to stop the child’s birth, but resulted in his deformity and the death of Joanna. These circumstances were also a major factor in the king choosing Jaime for the kingsguard, Tywin helping to dethrone him, and Tywin’s refusal to name Tyrion heir to Casterly Rock.
The post then goes on to explain the evidence for and against the theory, citing direct passages from the books, which I will now summarize:
EVIDENCE FOR: Tyrion is described as having “hair so blond it seemed white” and “a morbid fascination with dragons,” which are both very Targaryen-y things, I suppose. (And there’s also Tywin’s “You…you are no…no son of mine” dying words, although that could easily be explained as a figurative disowning, seeing as Tyrion just murdered him while he was sitting on the toilet and that kind of thing will upset most dads.)
EVIDENCE AGAINST: Believing this theory means accepting either (a) that Tywin Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock and all-around ruthless S.O.B., knew his wife had another man’s bastard dwarf son all along and chose to raise it as his own after she died during childbirth, or (b) that only half of the theory is right and Tywin Lannister, the most powerful man in the Seven Kingdoms and knower of almost all things, was totally unaware of his wife’s wanted or unwanted encounter with the Mad King and had no idea Tyrion wasn’t his son. That seems far-fetched until you remember that Tywin had no idea about Jaime and Cersei. The man has a blind spot for his family, apparently.
So, is Tyrion Lannister actually another secret Targaryan? More importantly, is everyone on this show secretly a Targaryen? MAYBE, especially since the post goes on to speculate that Jaime and Cersei could be, too. Hell, you could be a Targaryen at this point and not even know it. Too soon to tell.