We’re getting far into uncharted territory with Game of Thrones, as the HBO show continues to push past the source material written by George R.R. Martin. But there’s more than enough depth to Martin’s work to keep fans guessing at what may happen next on the show based on a rogue paragraph in one of the books. In the latest example of this, some fans think they’ve figured out who Sansa Stark may marry sometime during the last two seasons of the show, and the evidence comes hidden in a short story from over ten years ago.
In 2005, George R.R. Martin released The Hedge Knight, the first of three short stories set in Westeros a hundred years before the events of Game of Thrones. The tale takes place at the Tourney of Ashford Meadow, where entrants compete to be one of five champions vying for the hand of Lord Ashford’s daughter. Game of Thrones book readers are an obsessive bunch and some of them noticed that the five champions at the end of the tournament line up rather well with the five houses that have and may vie for Sansa’s hand in marriage.
For such a young woman, Sansa sure has gone through a lot in this regard. First she’s betrothed to Joffrey Baratheon. After his death, the Tyrells plot to marry her into their house but the Lannisters strike first, marrying her to Tyrion. In the show Sansa escapes north and marries Ramsay Bolton, but in the books she remains in the Vale where Littlefinger plots to marry her to Harrold Hardyng, who just happens to be next in line to rule the Vale should something happen to Robin Arryn.
In The Hedge Knight, the houses of Lady Ashford’s first four champions are nearly identical to Sansa’s suitors: Ser Lyonel Baratheon, Lord Leo Tyrell, Ser Tybolt Lannister, and Ser Humfrey Hardyng. If George R.R. Martin really hid the path of Sansa’s courtships in this story, the fifth champion becomes pretty important: Prince Valarr Targaryen. That would imply Sansa will end up with a Targaryen.
As we’ve just learned from the end of Game of Thrones season six, Jon Snow isn’t the bastard son of Ned Stark. Rather, he’s the son of Ned’s sister Lyanna Stark and Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. That makes him a perfect fit for the role of the Targaryen that will end up marrying Sansa.
So what’s the hard evidence? Well, there’s not a whole lot, but some of the circumstantial evidence is interesting. The theorists point to the fact that the Hardyngs are an obscure house in the books, and having them pop up and matching in these two situations would be a pretty amazing coincidence. An early series outline from George R.R. Martin to his publishers also said Jon Snow would end up marrying one of his sisters (although in the outline it was Arya). This seems to say Martin planned on having his secret Targaryen Stark marrying a true Stark in the end.
Who knows if the fan behind this video has found a secret message, or if he’s just gone a bit wacky re-reading all the Game of Thrones releases while waiting for The Winds of Winter to finally be published. It’s an interesting theory either way, one that we’ll know the answer to soon, since HBO is wrapping things up in two more seasons.
(Via The Independent)