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WMG / A Song Of Ice And Fire Part I

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Page I of Wild Mass Guessing for the A Song of Ice and Fire novels. Please only expand on the current theories on this page, and add new theories to Page II.

R'hllor is not the force of good, but neither is whatever entity that's commanding the Others.
They are just two cosmic forces that are fighting for supremacy, giving no thought as to who's hurt or lives are ruined in the crossfire. Lords, Kings, Red Priests, Dragons, Others, Wights, Children of the Forest, etc are all just their pawns in their planetary scale dick-waving contest. In the end, it'll become clear that all the factions in the Game of Thrones are just as disposable and helpless to those two forces as the peasants caught in the middle of their civil war are to them. Its a delightfully nasty parallel that seems right up GRRM alley.

Daenerys will refuse the Iron Throne.
There's plenty of evidence to be found here. For one, she is infertile, meaning that if she were to win the throne, she'd just bring back all the trouble that the lack of a certain heirs has caused already. She's been a queen too, meaning she knows the horrors of the feudal system better than anyone. Also, the Iron Throne was forged by dragonfire, and so it shall be destroyed. She'll probably start Westeros on the road to democracy.
  • Well, she might try, anyway. Danaerys' plans tend not to go that well.
  • Come to think of it, Dany accepting the Iron Throne, with no chance of an heir, could be an interesting way to end ASoIaF. Leaving us with the knowledge that history is doomed to repeat itself once she dies would fit in well with the general cynicism of the series.
  • You don't need a biological child to be heir: Dany could always adopt.
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    • Perhaps but adopting is not nearly as strong a guarantee as a biological child in this kind of system.
      • Only if people knew her heir was adopted. She could concoct an elaborate charade where she pretends to be pregnant for about 9 months, then "gives birth" and passes off some low-born bastard child as her own. Or, she could adopt an infant before invading Westeros. Without DNA testing to prove the parentage, what basis could the Lords of Westeros possibly use to challenge her "heir's" claim to the throne?
      • ....Don't Esoss or Asshai have maegi to fix that?
  • There are hints that she might not actually be infertile: at the end of aDwD, she notes that her period is unusually heavy. An early-term miscarriage could easily be mistaken as an extra-heavy flow. You have to be pregnant in the first place to have a miscarriage...
    • She might be able to become pregnant, but if she can't carry it to term, then that's pretty much the same deal.
      • There's no evidence she can't carry to term yet. A lot of women have early-term miscarriages without any severe damage to their bodies, and simply miscarrying one baby doesn't mean she can't successfully have another.
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Shireen is Undead via the Gift of R'hllor
We all know that Shireen has some pretty obvious greyscale scars from having it in early childhood. We also haven't seen her grow at all over the course of the series. Then, when Val first meets her, she is highly alarmed because any wildling who has ever gotten greyscale has died. Tyrion claims otherwise, but it's still possible that she had the fatal version.

What supports this theory is the obvious fervor that Queen Selyse has for the Red God and Melisandre. She might be so faithful becuase Melisandre gave Shireen the Gift of R'hllor after she died of greyscale. Val was adamant that the girl was dead and should be given the gift of mercy just to make sure. While death is not cheap in this series, it is certaily possible to come back to life in this way.

  • Well, wilding kids probably don't survive greyscale because the food and shelter and care that they have access to isn't great, but your point still stands. it would certainly explain the queen's sudden and total conversion.
  • We haven't seen her grow over the series, but we haven't seen enough of her to be able to say that she isn't growing, and we know she had greyscale as a baby "in her cradle", so she has clearly grown quite considerably since. Not to mention that I get the impression (though I don't know for sure; anyone?) that Selyse's conversion to R'hllor is relatively recent. I suspect that all wildlings who get greyscale die because they're given "the gift of mercy"; the wildlings obviously fear greyscale even more than southerners, perhaps because they know it's possible to be a carrier even if you survive it?
  • /\ What this one said. Val says "Hemlock is a sure cure, but a pillow or blade will work as well." The reason the kids always die of it North of the Wall is because the wildlings kill them, not because the greyscale does. If Val and the wildlings are right, though, Shireen is pretty damn cursed...
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    • Indeed, in one of Tyrion's chapters of Book V, he describes the greyscale as a disease usually but not always fatal in children (and notes that survivors are immune to the grey plague). Clearly, a child surviving it is not something that requires supernatural explanation.
      • Like chicken pox. Kids usually get through it but it's more serious in adults.

"Beware the Perfumed Seneschal"
So, when Quaithe once again shows up to give Dany her trademark vague warnings, amongst them is the line "beware the perfumed seneschal." Dany assumes him to mean either Reznak or Hizdahr, which are both fair enough assumptions... But as always with these prophercies, she doesn't have all the information.

The warning is actually referring to the Selaesori Qhoran, the ship taking Tyrion and Moqorro toward her. Tyrion translates its Valyrian name as "Stinky Steward" but another way of saying this...

  • Alternatively, Varys makes a big deal of serving the Realm and is frequently described as wearing a lot of perfume, so...
  • Is there an inverse to Occam's Razor for interpreting prophecies? The more obscure of two theories almost always turns out to be right. Varys pops straight into your head, but the name of the boat requires some lateral thinking. On the other hand, Quaithe's already warned her about Tyrion and Moqorro, and the ship itself sinks before Dany ever has anything to do with it.
    • Regular Occams Razor might be applicable here. The first person that Dany thinks of when she hears the prophecy is Reznak, her actual perfumed seneschal. Seeing this as too simple, the reader automatically dismisses Reznak as the answer— but he does end up betraying her and for all we know may have had a hand in the assassination attempt. Martin may be employing the reader's mistrust of anything appearing straightforward here...

The Rest of the Series According to the Prophecies
Note that none of these are particularly wild guesses, they are just interpretations of the various prophecies in the series so they may act as spoilers. Readers be warned.

On a non-prophecy related side note: If the dragonriders are to be balanced out since Jon is both fire and ice and Daenerys is fire, then one of the Starks (either Bran, Arya, Rickon, or Sansa) must be the last rider (and Arya or Bran are the most likely). It is likely they will be elementally balanced out simply because balance is a major theme in the book.

Responses to my theories:

  • The Sansa prophercy there seems more likely to refer to Rob Arryn to me: he comes into her castle made of snow, pretending to be a giant, and she pushes him over.
    • Most likely that's another foreshadowing this time revealing that the castle 'made of snow' is Winterfell. We need to consider the Ghost of High Heart has a had a strong record with predictions, she has predicted so far some huge events, and it would be out of place for her to waste her powers on something so pointless. It makes more sense for that to be a reinforcing of the prohpecy. After all the Red Wedding, Balon's death, Purple Wedding were foreshadowed many times, for example Melisandre had seen all three, but this one was new to the reader.
  • Not 'the real Aegon'. He'd be the real Aegon (who, if Young Griff isn't him, is most likely dead after all)'s bastard half-brother. And he wouldn't technically have any claim to the throne, as in Westeros illegitimate children don't seem to inherit even after all other heirs. However, that wouldn't necessarily stop him from having a go, and if he was successful, possession is 9/10 of the law.
  • Dance of Dragons implied with the force of a sledgehammer that Jon's mother is just a captain's daughter that Ned was trapped on a ship with for a time. It's also stated several times that Jon looks very much like Ned Stark, who looks nothing like Rhaegar. Jon has sworn to never leave the Wall until death, and if he didn't leave it for his family I don't see a dragon changing that.
    • The force of a sledgehammer? Some character (I forget who) believed that they'd had sex; even assuming he was right, that he'd got her pregnant and the child was Jon was pure conjecture. Certainly much less compelling than the story - believed by Robert as well as by Edric Dayne - that Jon's mother was Wylla, Edric's wetnurse. As for not looking like Rhaegar, most kids in the series take strongly after one parent, the mother as often as the father. Lyanna had the Stark looks as well as Ned.

The return of the Others will wipe out the kingdoms of Westeros, just as the Doom wiped out Valyria
The title of the series, A Song of Ice and Fire, is meant to allude to this cycle of destruction. In ancient times, the world's greatest civilization was destroyed in a series of fiery explosions. Thousands of years later, in the present day, the greatest kingdoms of the western world will be destroyed by an invasion of ice-based creatures from the Far North. One civilization was destroyed by fire, and the next will be destroyed by ice—all part of some grand cycle that we don't yet understand.
  • Don't forget the Long Night - even further back, in the Age Of Myths, there was a threat of an icy apocalypse that was only stopped thanks to Azor Ahai.
  • If so, the cycles are getting shorter: the Winter that Lasted for a Generation (the last time the Others were around) supposedly happened some eight thousand years ago, the Doom of Valyria only four hundred.
    • Not necessarily. If fire and ice both make up one cycle, who says the time between them has to be half that? Maybe they happen a few hundred years apart, every few thousand years.

Aegon Targaryen is a fake.
Aegon did die and none of the baby-switching shenanigans actually took place. The visions of a mummer's dragon imply there might be fake Targaryen around, and Aegon fits the bill.

And let's not forget:"Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less."

  • I think he's a fake, but I don't think the real Aegon is dead. My guess is that there were two swaps. First, someone swapped Aegon with Baby Boy Dayne, who wasn't stillborn after all. Ashara Dayne may gave been tricked or may have been coerced into giving up her child like Gilly, and killed herself after hearing of (as she thought) her son's murder. As for who was behind the swap, or what they did with Aegon, I wouldn't like to say. Then, Varys et al went ahead with their swap. Varys being Varys, he might have known about the first swap, but probably didn't care. The Daynes also have the Valyrian looks associated with the Targaryens, and if he'd taken after his father he could probably have been passed off as taking after Elia as long as he never stood next to a Stark. So there were three babies, Aegon; Baby Dayne, who is Young Griff; and the Pisswater Prince, who is dead. Possibly a fourth, most likely a stillborn peasant child, if Ashara or anyone else was tricked into thinking her baby was dead. Jon is not Aegon, because he's too obviously a Stark, but if the popular theory about his parentage is true, it's quite interesting that he's believed to be Ned's son and 'Young Griff' is believed to be Rheagar's.
    • Or maybe Ashara is Septa Lemore and Young Griff is her son?
      • Both are unlikely as Ashara had a stillborn daughter according to Selmy's inner monologue, and there's little reason to think he's wrong.
      • It's only a guess - this is the page for it. I'm not claiming to have actual evidence for it, but there's nothing that I'm aware of to preclude it. I would hazard a further guess that there was a dead baby (the possible fourth baby mentioned in my original post), it just wasn't the one it was supposed to be. The old warming pan trick is what I am referring to.
  • For what it's worth, Tyrion accepts the story that Young Griff is Aegon. Considering that Tyrion is Martin's favourite and defined in no small part by his analytic skills, it would a curious thing if Aegon were revealed to be fake and the thought never so much as occurred to Tyrion. Even if Moqorro's vision about "dragons old and young, true and false" refers to Young Griff, "false" does not necessarily mean "fake" — it could just mean that he will fail in his promise to revive the Targaryen dynasty, or that he will prove false in the sense of loyalty.
    • Actually, he implicitly assumes that "Aegon" is a fraud until he actually meets him, when he thinks "He may actually be a Targaeryen after all." So that's ambiguous.
  • Given that Game of Thrones is loosely based on the Wars of the Roses I am quite sure that 'Aegon' is as phony as Lambert Simmel and Perkin Warbeck. I mean look who is behind him, Varys and Illyrio, would you believe ANYTHING they say? Boys with Valyrian characteristics are not exactly impossible to find after all, especially in the Free Cities.

It's no coincidence that the Dragons and the Others are returning at the same time
The Dragons and the Others are the personifications of Fire and Ice, respectively. When the Others inevitably breach the Wall and try to invade the southern lands, Dany and her Dragons will ultimately have to meet them in battle to save Westeros—thus fulfilling some ancient prophecy about "Fire and Ice" having to battle it out for the fate of the world. (Another possible interpretation of the series' title).

At some point, one or more characters will travel to the ruins of Old Valyria
Seeing the remains of Valyria would be an important part of bringing the series full circle, since Valyrian culture shapes so much of the present-day world that the characters inhabit. And the continued cryptic references to the Doom seem to suggest that Valyria's fate is important to the series in some way, so actually seeing the ruins might be a good way to conclusively confirm what went down (or at least clarify it somewhat). And (going off of the above theory about the Doom and the Others) finding out what caused the "fiery" destruction of Valyria might be instrumental in stopping the "icy" destruction of the Others—maybe the characters will have to stop one threat by awakening another long-dormant one.
  • Also, don't forget Gerion Lannister, Tywin's brother. He had plannd to sail to Old Valyria and disappeared. He was only mentioned once or twice in the entire series, but in ADWD Tyrion suddenly reflects about him and his journey quite a lot. So it's probably a given that either Gerion himself shows up, or that we at least find out what happened to him on the way to Valyria.

The Faceless Men will be instrumental in defeating the Others
Their motto, "Valar Morghulis"/"All Men Must Die" is more than just a Badass Creed used by assassins. We've already seen that they're essentially a cult dedicated to serving the world's various death gods, and their entire philosophy rests on the idea that all men are subordinate to Death. Since the Others bend the rules of Death by resurrecting the dead as wights, they're in direct opposition to everything that the Faceless Men stand for. In the Faceless Men's eyes, the use of dead people as servants doesn't just pose a physical threat to the humans of the world—it violates the sanctity of Death. When the climax of the series comes around, they will prove their motto true by showing the world that even the undead can (and must) die.
  • But are the others "men"? (And no, I'm not suggesting that they're actually women.)
  • The Others themselves might not be, but the wights that serve them definitely are. Stopping them from resurrecting the dead would be an important step in saving Westeros from their invasion.
    • I think the point was that wights aren't men. Nobody would consider them to be men, and when one is a wight, they aren't "living". When someone's wight comes back, nobody rejoices that their friend is still alive, even for a moment, the fact that it is still a corpse is unmistakable... These men have, in fact, died.
      • Aren't they? How do we know? We don't really understand how death works in our world (if there are things like souls etc.), let alone in Westeros. The wights are, without question, controlled by unknown forces, and appear to have lost all remnants of their previous life. But how can we really be sure? Maybe they are very much "alive". Maybe their souls, if something like that exists in this universe, are still within them when they become wights. Maybe the unknown force just modifies their bodies and takes control of their minds, and we will find out that there actually is a way to reverse the process (at least to give them back their free will). We were already introduced to Coldhands, who appears to have all characteristics of a wight, but free will.
      • Don't forget, "What is dead can never die."

Lyanna is still alive
This might be really far fetched but this is a WMG after all. It really bugs me that Ned Stark did not name either of his daughters after Lyanna. If you assume that he named Robb after Robert, then all of Jon, Robb, Bran and Rickon are named after people important to Ned. I'd argue that Lyanna and Ned for some reason had a falling out at the end and she didn't die in her 'bloody bed' but exiled herself and her child. This might be the 'promise' that Ned keeps referring to. He's a little mad at her for leaving and she's not dead so he doesn't name either of his daughters after her, but does name children after his dead brother and father.I know I'm putting 2 and 2 together and getting twenty thousand but there's a chance she's Septa Lemore.
  • No. In his own thoughts Ned remembers her dying and thinks of her as dead. She's not secretly alive.
  • That's actually not bad. Septa Lemore's age matches, although I don't think her appearance does. It would make sense though that Lyanna Stark would stick close to somebody she knew (Aegon Targaeryen and Jon Connington) in so alien a land. BUT... wouldn't Tyrion have known Lyanna Stark? He seems to keep court often with Jaime and Cersei, and Cersei claims she knew Lyanna, or had at least seen her before.
    • Lyanna's age doesn't match. Lyanna would be in her early 30's if she were still alive, Lemore is over 40.
    • Tyrion was a very young child at the time of the rebellion, so he would be highly unlikely to recognize Lyanna, especially not years later.
      • No he wasn't. He's canonically older than Jaime.
      • He's not. You've probably gotten that impression because Tyrion is heir to Casterly Rock, and you assumed it was because he was older, when it's actually because Jaime joined the Kingsguard and cannot inherit.
      • That would be a neat trick, considering that their mother died birthing Tyrion.
  • Why would Lyanna give up the Old Gods for the New, though?
    • To better the disguise. If someone is known for worshipping the Old Gods as the Starks are/were, why would anyone suspect a Septa of being one?
    • For Rhaeghar, she would.
  • Like the above respondent said, that's really not bad. Just to add 2 and 2 to get Avogadro's Number, if she isn't Septa Mordane, maybe Lyanna's alive and well and hanging out at Greywater Watch with Howland Reed? Perhaps that's why we have yet to meet him.
  • A simpler explanation, it's possible that Ned named their sons and Cat named their daughters. We know less of her history before she married, perhaps she knew a Sansa and an Arya at some point. They definitely sound less like Northern names to me.
    • Ned's maternal grandmother is Arya Flint, so that could be who Arya Stark was named after.
  • Maybe it was just too painful to have a constant reminder. And if you want to wander off into Creepyville, maybe he didn't want to attract unhealthy attention from Robert. Poor Sansa has enough trouble with Littlefinger's issues, imagine Robert's piled on top!

At the end of the series, Bronn will be king of Westeros
Given his absurd talent for seizing power and defeating foes that are superior to him, it would be no surprise if Bronn managed to win himself the Iron Throne in the final battle.
  • Alternatively, he'll become Hand of the King to Tyrion.

R'hllor is the Other
Or at least the power behind them, and not even his followers realize this. Melisandre makes a point of talking about how R'hllor controls shadows as well as light, which means that its not too much of a leap to think he rules ice as well as fire. Add to that the fact that he gains power from human sacrifice, all its clergy are slaves, the fact that it can bring back the dead into something akin to a Coldhands-style wight, and that his priestess gains power from the enchantments of the Wall (possibly by draining their power) and R'hllor seems much closer to the Other than the Seven or the Old Gods do. It doesn't help that his priests actively suppresses the other religions, up and including burning Godswoods. One can only guess what its plan is, but its playing both sides of the field to get there.

The letter at the end of "A Dance With Dragons" wasn't from Ramsay at all....
...It was from Roose. Think about it: Roose got a raven from Ramsay saying something to the extent of "Reek and 'Arya' escaped, Stannis is coming, help me daddy." Roose, who has always remembered that Ramsay killed his trueborn son (perhaps the only person Roose ever really loved). He kept Ramsay around because he needed an heir, but now, with Fat Walda pregnant with a legitimate heir (who Ramsay would probably kill anyway), Ramsay has outlived his usefulness. So instead of sending reinforcements for Ramsay, Roose forged a letter to send reinforcements *against* Ramsay. This explains why the letter had so many inconsistencies, and proves once and for all that Roose Frigging Bolton is the coldest man in the North.
  • That would be quite a gamble. While it's very likely that Roose wants to get rid of Ramsay, it's not like the issue of the missing heir disappears just because his wife is pregnant. The child has to be born without complications, ideally has to be male, and has to survive infancy. If he keeps Ramsay ONLY around because he needs an heir, well, then he will have to keep him a bit longer. So if he really turned against his bastard it's less outliving his usefullness and more becoming a liability.
    • Ramsay's marriage to "Arya" is also useful to Roose. Makes sense to keep him around, at least until he produces another possible heir to Winterfell.
  • It seems within Roose's character to do that, but why would he send the letter to Jon Snow? As Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, he's bound to the Wall, besides which he doesn't command a large enough force to fight Ramsay. Theoretically he could have written to Jon in order to get him to transfer the info to either the remaining members of Stannis' forces (of which there aren't that many) or the wildlings (hence the references to Mance Rayder) but something about that doesn't seem right.
  • It was poison pen from Bowen Marsh and his cabal. Deliverer was shaking in his boots. Bad weather, no birds flying, hence Jon hasn't heard from Stannis lately, and writer knows this. Aim was to get Jon to abandon his Hardhome wilding rescue plan, forsake his vows to go riding to his sister's rescue, and give the Bowen cabal the excuse and opportunity to kill Jon.
    • To elaborate, Marsh is ultraconservative, but not stupid. He never trusted Jon so he was always watching for deception. Jon had earlier received an authentic letter from Roose Bolton in a similar format before (except signed by multiple lords and written in blood), so a similar formatted letter from Ramsay is concocted. Jon screwed up one time talking about Tormund and Rayder as "living men" (crow goes crazy then too, probably warged) Letter doesn't spell anyone's name except Ramsay, probably the writer wasn't too familiar with the name spellings and wanted to take few chances. Every other word practically is "bastard". Since Ramsay flays people who remind him of his bastardy, he would never write like this, nor refer to himself as "trueborn". Bowen's false letter was basically saying "stannis is dead" (lie), "rayder is caught" (unknown), "Arya is lost" (accidental truth), so nobody is gonna rescue your little sister. All to get Jon to lose his head and react. We tend to forget Jon is 16 or 17 at most.
    • Also Ramsay probably knows Arya/Jeyne is a fake, at least Theon/Reek thought so. So if Ramsay imagined Arya/Jeyne had already reached Jon at the Wall, he would know the jig is up and flee. Because Jon would certainly tell the entire north how the Boltons had deceived them. Ramsay's only hope is to recapture or kill Arya/Jeyne himself before she reaches Jon or anyone who knows the real Arya (or the real Jeyne).
    • Not everything adds up for either Roose or Bowen et. al. Would Roose (or Ramsey, for that matter) call Val "the wildling princess"? Sure, he could know about her existence from Mance, but the only people we've seen using that term are Stannis' people. And on the other side, would Bowen and the other Brothers know about Reek? I think the letter was written by someone who was at the Wall for a while, and then was with Stannis' forces down the road from Winterfell. Personally, my money is on Ser Justin 'we're all going to die' Massey. The tWoW chapter shows him being sent off on a mission that entrusts him with Stannis' money from the Iron Bank. Massey sends the letter to sow confusion on the battlefield and maybe get Stannis killed. Then he vanishes with the gold.

Sweetrobin is Littlefinger's son
He's "small for his age," Littlefinger had gotten Lysa pregnant once before and we were never quite clear on the timing of his birth as opposed to their affair in King's Landing. Keeping his "plans" for Sweetrobin (who views Sansa as a creepy crush/mother) . . . ick, just when you thought the plot in the Vale couldn't get squickier...

There is no "Jojen Reed"
Howland Reed has among other tricks he learned as the "Knight of the Laughing Tree" de-aging powers. Because seriously, what kid acts like that?
  • A kid who's a seer, maybe? A kid who acts older than their years isn't so unusual in fiction. And the Knight of the Laughing Tree version of Howland Reed has all the Crannogmen's abilities. Jojen has green dreams but otherwise can't begin to match Meera's skills, and if it's an act it would be an inconvenient cover for the long and hazardous journey north. Not to mention that Jojen's frailty would be hard to fake - he's at death's door by the time they reach the three-eyed crow.

Jon will fight Lady Stoneheart. And she'll meet one of her surviving children.
The two didn't get along. And think of the drama of Catelyn meeting one of her surviving children in her undead state.
  • Lady Stoneheart's sustaining vengeance hasn't stretched beyond the Freys. I'm marking her for release after dispatching the big Walder... once all the others are dead, of course.
  • Somewhere along the way LSH will learn that R+L=J, so Ned never cheated on her, and she was always been mistreating Jon for nothing. She will fall apart from sheer guilt.

Franken Gregor will kill Cersei
The prophecy says that Cersei will be strangled by her younger brother's hand. Jaime (who is younger than Cersei by seconds) lost a hand to the Bloody Mummers. What if Qyburn kept it? And, in making a super-strong champion, gave it the right hand of one of the greatest swordsmen of the day- Jaime Lannister? Maggy the Frog never said the valonqar's hand would necessarily be attached to his body...
  • While it's a neat idea, and may even happen, the reasoning is unsound. There's no way Jaime's hand would be in a usuable state- it was rotting even when he was being taken to Harrenhal by the Bloody Mummers, it'd be nothing but bones by the time Qyburn got around to making Ser Robert Strong.
    • It was rotting, but still intact, and Gregor's body was in pretty bad shape by the time he died, which doesn't seem to have been a problem. And if Qyburn wanted to keep it he'd have pickled it or something. It wouldn't have deteriorated much further.
  • Her younger brother's hands, plural. It's interesting that this is how Shae died - Tyrion wrapped his chain of golden hands around her neck and choked the life out of her. And now that Tommen has so few living relatives left, Jaime might well be the next owner of that chain (with all the requisite sick jokes about a Hand without a hand)...
  • Or better yet, it's not her valonqar that kills her, but the valonqar... as in the little brother of a guy she brought back to life, which the little brother would have a big problem with.
    • For that matter the valongar could also mean Aegon - who's motivation for killing her would stem from her family's involvement in the death of his sister.

Daenerys will confront Jaime
It's only fair that Dany gets a chance to confront one of the people who brought down her family. Especially the one who killed her father.
  • "It's only fair"? Please remember where we are. Nothing "fair" ever happens in ASOIAF . . .
    • Exactly. Of COURSE there'll be a confrontation: just as soon as there's finally a chance for a lasting peace, they'll run into each other at precisely the right moment to send events spiralling off in the worst direction possible.
  • Alternatively, circumstances could allow Dany and Jaime to meet, and for Jaime to give a thorough explanation of her father's true nature to her once and for all. And unlike Sir Barristan, he wouldn't attempt to spare her feelings about it.
  • Imagine this confrontation between the two:
    Daenerys: Kingslayer, for the punishment of killing my father, you shall be put to death.
    Jaime: A wise ruler might treat injustice with mercy.
    Daenerys: I choose to treat injustice with justice.
    Jaime: And what justice would you give to a man who ordered the death of thousands?

Littlefinger is going to have a Villainous Breakdown
Because damn it would be fitting for the once bold Magnificent Bastard to achieve his goals and become increasingly unhinged and psychotic before his demise (if he doesn't do a Karma Houdini that is). And we all know how much GRRM loves ironic deaths or failures such as Tywin's death, Ned's blind faith in honour, Jaime losing his hand and Gregor Clegane's horrifically painful death.
  • And the most karmic demise for LF would be for the girl he's pervily grooming in his image to use the training he's giving her to take revenge for all the shit he's put her family through.
  • Much more karmic would be to die at the hand of the reanimated corpse of the only woman he has ever loved and who he indirectly put through hell due to his actions.

Oathkeeper and/or Widow's Wail will turn out to be crucial for the final battle.
... assuming that's where things are heading, of course. They're all that's left of Ice, after all, a blade connected to Stark history and thereby possibly to the fight against the Others. And there haven't been that many drops of the "ice" part of the title.
  • Remember that dream Jaime had when he went to sleep with his head on a weirwood stump? The one about him and Brienne fighting something terrible under Casterly Rock with matching swords? Some fun possibilities there, wouldn't you say?

Mance Rayder is working with Littlefinger.
We know that Mance was in King's Landing during the events of A Game of Thrones. It wasn't just curiosity, though, he was there to nail out the details of the plan with Littlefinger. By starting the War of Five Kings, most of the military force in Westeros became concentrated in the South, leaving the North virtually undefended against Mance and his wildlings. How this would benefit Littlefinger ... well, even in a Wild Mass Guessing thread, I'm not gonna even try to figure out what Littlefinger's long term plan is.
  • Until recently, his plan seemed to be "screw people over so I can stick it in Catelyn." Now, -Catelyn +Sansa. Squick.
  • Mance was in Winterfell, not King's Landing. And he was only there to see King Robert, since Mance was King-Beyond-the-Wall. Also, Littlefinger wasn't in Winterfell.

Melisandre is the series' true protagonist.
She honestly believes Stannis is Azor Ahai, and she truly believes that supporting him Knight Templar style is the only way to defeat the Others. In the end, all other characters will bow to her in gratitude.
  • No. No, she's not. One of the many theme's of A Song of Ice and Fire is that both extremism towards "light" and extremism towards "dark" bring nothing but ruin. As Salladhor Saan said, "Too much Light can hurt the eyes. And fire burns."
  • Alternatively, she can't be the series's true protagonist because she hasn't been murdered or horribly mentally scarred yet.

Sansa is planning to betray Littlefinger and take the allegiance of the Vale for herself.
She's shown affection for Robert Arryn and knows of Littlefinger's plot to have him killed, so that Sansa's presumable fiancee Harry becomes heir to the Eyrie. Littlefinger has been schooling her in the game of thrones for a while now. It would be a fitting graduation for this apprentice to betray her master, reveal his plot and her identity, and in doing so earn the loyalty of the knighthood of the Vale and Robin as an eventual husband - in effect, taking the Eyrie and Winterfell just as Littlefinger had hoped to. It is also the only likely way for Littlefinger to get his comeuppance, as Sansa (like her mother before her) is the only weak point in Littlefinger's plots and emotional aloofness. The resulting moment would also be fitting of Martin. Note that it is possible that Sansa would not plan this act but end up performing it on impulse anyways.
  • This ends up badly for her.
    • The above is true, regardless of the truth of what it's about.
  • Except she really wasn't upset about the idea of killing Robert Arryn, and seems to put up with him because she has to.
    • Maybe she'll let Littlefinger kill Robert, then point the finger at him after she reveals her true identity. And to top it all off, she shows that she is a true Stark by personally beheading Littlefinger.
  • Or maybe reunite with Arya then manipulate her into killing him since Arya is more the killing type.
    • But Arya is more manipulative than Sansa, so I don't know how will Sansa be the one to maniuplate her. It takes a lot of skill to blackmail a Faceless Man and she has only gotten better from there. If that happens, it will happen out of Arya's willingness. Which it's doubtful because there's a line in the Maiden's song "she puts little children to sleep." The Maiden is Sansa's motif, and she is giving Robin sweetsleep in larger doses than needed. The Maester is terrified from what she is doing to him. She was poisoning Robin last time we read of her.
      • Arya also kills more for justice, not for power. Maybe Sansa will kill for power, that's something she wanted she wanted from the very beginning. Sweetrobin is only in her way.

Aegon Targaryen was not really murdered, and is one of the following people: Edric Dayne, Hot Pie, Samwell Tarly, Gendry, Jon Snow, Aurane Waters, Darkstar, Viserys, Quentyn Martell.
Baby Aegon was swapped with a different infant before the sack of King's Landing, and has been brought up not knowing the secret of his true identity. Assuming he also does not know his true age, any male character between the ages of 10 and 20 is a candidate.
  • It should be noted that GRRM has been close-mouthed about little Aegon's death; when asked point-blank about the Sack of King's Landing, he would only confirm that Rhaenys was killed. So his being alive isn't really a Wild Mass Guess.
    • Not confirmed, either. This could also mean an Aegon pretender will show up at some point and Martin doesn't want to spoil it. Or he could just be messing with the fans.
      • ADWD has Aegon show up, as himself and not anybody on the list, but whether or not he's a pretender is up for more WMG
  • Not Gendry or Jon. Their resemblance to their fathers is too great, and has been emphasized in the books. Unless you propose that Aegon was a bastard?
    • Jon has the classic Stark 'look,' which could have been inherited from his potential mother, Lyanna. If Jon is Aegon, that means Rhaegar's affair with Lyanna would have had to be going on before he named her Queen of Love and Beauty—but why not?
      • Aegon was Elia's son. Many people would have seen her pregnant and there would have been several people at attendence at the birth of a prince. It's not like you could show up with the child of your mistress/other wife and say "look, Elia had a baby!" While Jon being Rhaegor's son is such a commonly-held WMG to be Fanon, Jon being Aegon is nigh impossible.
      • If Martin knows anything of genetics, then he also knows that generally in children, that the mother's genetics are strongest in the male child, while the father's genetics are strongest in the mother. It's completely plausible that even with Rhaegar's dragon blood that Jon takes after his mother's father's genetics more-so than his father. Dark features in humans are dominant traits, so it's not too far off that the northerner traits in Jon would be the most prominent if he really is from Lyanna and Rhaegar, as every description of the other Targaryens has shown very light features, but the Baratheon bloodline is generally of a darker tone, despite having Targaryen blood as well. It seems really unlikely that Jon is Aegon, unless Aegon is the union of Lyanna and Rhaegar.
      • If above posters knows anything about genetics, s/he should know that your gentics do not care whether they came from the maternal or paternal side of the family (else I'd have my father's brown eyes, not they grey they are), it's dominante/recessiveness that counts. And we've seen that the Targaryen blood is not dominant is its light coloring unless they intermarry, so it's quite possible that Aegon would look more like his mother and less like the typical Targaryen, but for differnt reasons.
      • While dominant and recessive traits are what counts, males are more likely to "favor" the mother's dominant traits, while the females are more likely to "favor" their father's dominant traits, but this is not always the case.
      • You Fail Biology Forever. The other poster get a C. Yes recessiveness/dominance is important but definitely more complex than just that (cumulative effect of more than one gene). The parent's sex linked to inherited traits is irrelevant. You can't guess based on physical appearance which child is who's. Deal with it.
  • Edric Dayne and Hot Pie are too young to be Aegon, the Darkstar and Viserys are all too old. Aegon would be a little older than Jon Snow if he were alive. I don't know what Aurane's age is, but I believe he was older than 16-17. There's very little way you could mistake a 12-year-old (Edric) for a 17-year-old. If Aegon is alive or if an impostor is going to try to claim to be Aegon, I doubt we've seen him yet.
  • Aegon wasn't Hot Pie, because Hot Pie's probably dead; Polliver mentions explicitly that when The Mountain took Harrenhal back from Vargo Hoat, he put everyone to the sword except a turncloak cook (not a baker, and not a boy; a cook) and the Goat himself. Later we find out that two others were spared: a blacksmith, and Pia, the slut from the buttery. But neither of them are Hot Pie either. Unless you wanna start a new WMG...
    • Hot Pie escaped with Arya and Gendry and is presumably still living at the inn with Gendry. Still too young to be Aegon.
      • Hot Pie is not at the Crossroads Inn with Gendry, but in the Inn of the Kneeling Man, because they needed a baker (and he probably felt quietly disappearing makes for a far better chance of surviving this series).
      • Yeah, realized I'd got my facts wrong about three hours later. Failed A Brain Check much?
  • Wasn't Viserys either, as he is described as being too much older than Daenerys to have been born within a year or so of her.
  • Aegon might also be Quentyn Martell, who is the right age and so far suspiciously absent. And Prince Doran was willing to marry him to Daenerys. What were the Targaryens known for? Bingo. Incest.
    • My money's on Quentyn Martell too, given that his father clearly plans for him to rule, even though his older sister will inherit Dorne. Quentyn and Aegon are first cousins so it's not improbable that they were swapped.
    • It's worth pointing out that Prince Doran's marriage broke up due to his wife's anger about him "sacrificing" Quentyn. Arianne believes this refers to Doran sending Quentyn away to be fostered, but it is possible it could be something else...
      • Quentyn was fostered to Lord Yronwood to make peace with the family after Oberyn fatality wounded the old Lord Yronwood in a duel. So it stands to make sense that yes, he was "sacrificed", by being fostered out to keep peace between the two houses.
      • And while were on the topic of this, let's throw some Fanon in here, and reference an above WMG about Daenerys, Jon and Tyrion being the Three-Headed Dragon. If we follow the above, Dany is one head, Jon (if you follow the Fanon) could be the second head, and if Quentyn is actually Aegon, then it stands to reason he could be a strong (if not the only) contender for the third Targaryen blood for the "Dragon". While the original three-headed dragon was Aegon I and his two sisters, if this theory holds out, then the three would all be first cousins, which is close enough in lineage to give this theory something of reason.
      • Aegon, Jon, and Dany wouldn't be first cousins. Jon and Aegon would be half-brothers and Dany would be their aunt.
      • You're correct. This also proves why I shouldn't be wearing my ASOIAF tin foil hat at 7am. Still, the important part is, they would all be related, and all of Targaryen blood to some degree.
      • This actually makes a great deal of sense, given the parallels with Aegon I and his two sisters (King and two female sibling relations, Queen and two male sibling relations).

Eddard Stark is alive.
The man who was beheaded on the steps of the Great Sept was either a Faceless Man or a lookalike whom Lord Varys somehow convinced/coerced into sacrificing his life. When Joffrey shows Sansa her father's head after the execution, Sansa thinks to herself that it doesn't really look like Ned. Catelyn expresses similar unfamiliarity when presented with Ned's skeleton. The real Ned is in hiding.
  • Also, consider what the last whackjob king did to Ilyn Payne. I don't think he'd gladly serve Joffrey, who already proved he was just as much of a psychopath, so maybe he sided with Varys and Cersei instead.
  • That would make a lie of the dreams Bran and Rickon had. But, I still call shenanigans on Ned's death: It was strangely 'off camera' and the confession he recited was word for word what Cersei had said earlier. Also, there's Varys little hint to Tyrion "So, who killed him? Joffrey? Ser Ilyn? Or somebody else?". I have no doubt that Ned is dead, but he probably died before that show. Given the symptoms he experiences in his last POV chapter as well as the sadistic choice given by Varys, he probably died in his cell - either from his wound or by his own hand. But, since that would not do for the things both Cersei and Varys had planned, a show was concocted - either a mummer's farce with somebody faking the voice and Ser Ilyn beheading a corpse, or executing a double. It would certainly have been easy enough to drop a hint to Joff to order the execution without informing Cersei that somebody fucked up and let her captive die. Of course, this means both head and skeleton are really Ned's.
    • I haven't read A Game of Thrones in a year or so, but I'm pretty sure the narrative made it clear that Varys and Cersei were planning on sending Ned to the Wall and the only reason he died at all was because of Joffrey's impulsiveness. As for the notion of Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell offing himself in a cell — that would be completely out of character, not to mention pointless. I agree I found the "off camera" nature of Ned's death weird on first read-through, but wasn't that a Sansa chapter? Of course the poor girl would have trouble coming to terms with her father's death. We found it hard to believe he was dead because she did.
    • Arya was the POV for that chapter. She only didn't witness it because Yoren pulled her off the statue of Baelor the Blessed, so he could steal her out of the city. And it was more that he didn't want her to see it or let her see it; Yoren ended up dragging Arya away from the steps of the Great Sept. And as for Sansa, her chapter is two after Arya's, with Bran's coming first. The snippet I want to mention is "and her father’s legs … that was what she remembered, his legs, the way they’d jerked when Ser Ilyn … when the sword …". Eddard was beheaded. Or, as the WMG states, a Faceless man hired to look like him. And if that's the case, then again, we go back to the dreams Bran and Rickon being false, and also of where is Eddard now.
    • A slight alternative theory: Varys et al couldn't get Ned to falsely confess, even for his daughter's life. So they hired a Faceless Man to impersonate him so he could make the false confession, be sent to the Wall, and either join the Night's Watch (although Jon's presence would complicate things), be exchanged for the real Ned (who might be convinced to send himself into exile on the Wall if he didn't have to lie) or be lost on the way. However, Joffery's execution order threw a spanner in the works, killed the Faceless Man, and now Ned is still rotting in a Kings Landing jail. The main problems: would a Faceless Man participate in a charade that did not end in death/ would a Faceless Man's worship of death go on to his own (remember, Jaqen H'gar didn't want to kill himself)?
  • Problem for the Faceless Man Impersonates Ned theory. Judging by the room full of faces Arya sees at the House of Black and White in ADWD and the guy who may or may not be Jaqen H'gar retaining the same appearance until he kills Pace at the Citadel in AFFC, the Faceless Men can only impersonate dead people. This would make it difficult for a Faceless Man's impersonation of Ned to imply that Ned is alive.
    • However, a Faceless Man would be able to impersonate Eddard's brother or father, both killed in King's Landing by the last Aerys, relying on family resemblance to get away with the imitation. Differences in appearance between the Eddard and his brother or father could account for Sansa's thoughts when shown the severed head.
  • Ned Stark is played by Sean Bean in the TV Show. He couldn't be deader if he were the young protagonist's elderly mentor and he went off to confront the prodigal student.

Sandor Clegane is Baelor the Blessed reborn.
After the duel with Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr said to Sandor, "The Lord of Light judged you innocent. He did not proclaim you Baelor the Blessed come again." In an ironic twist, Thoros was wrong.

Jaqen H'gar is Arya from the future.
In this Stable Time Loop, Arya in the future is a successful Faceless Man in possession of the iron coin she must give her nine-year-old self to encourage her to seek out the Temple of the Many-Faced God and train to become a Faceless Man.

Hodor is a Clegane.
He's tall like his brothers. His name ends in -or just like theirs. And the sigil of House Clegane is three dogs. Perhaps when he was a baby, Gregor dashed his head against a wall when he wouldn't stop crying, and left him with brain damage.
  • It's been mentioned by Old Nan, one of Hodor's ancestors, that his real name is Walder, which doesn't end in -or. But the other points stand.
    • Perhaps Hodor is his real name, which is why he keeps on repeating it. This doesn't answer the question of why he's in Winterfell instead of in the south, or his relation to Old Nan though.
    • Is he a Frey? We know they like to call their kids Walder to curry favour with their patriarch, though I can't imagine him being altogether flattered in that case.
      • Which is the reason why he took up another name: he really doesn't like his given name. As mentioned below also makes you think what will happen if Un Cat ever meets Hodor.
    • There's a vision that Bran has in A Dance With Dragons that shows a very tall knight having a romance with someone at Winterfell, and some have interpreted the scene to show Ser Dunk the Tall and young Old Nan, which would be a quite appropriate lineage for Hodor- and it's good for him not being a Frey, given the whole "kill all Freys" thing going around lately. Although, even if this interpretation is correct, Hodor's parentage still remains a mystery.

Various theories that have been put forth involving the identity or true nature of Lord Varys.
  • Varys is a skinchanger who wargs into birds to spy on people.
  • Varys is a Faceless Man.
  • Varys is an alien.
  • Varys is a Targaryen bastard. (He does seem to have a Valyrian name, and is actively working to return Dany to the throne, as in his own words "I serve the realm.")
    • Or possibly even legitimate. The Dunk and Egg prequel novellas mention that Aerion Targaryen spent some time in the free cities, where Varys came from; and it's mentioned in a Clash of Kings that Aerion Targaryen had a son.
  • Varys is Lady Merryweather.
  • Varys is working for the Others.
  • Varys is a merling (fish man).
    • Going with this one. He doesn't even have a real bed in the keep.
    • Uses secret passages that go down to the sewers and the river (as Arya found).
    • Told Tyrion he would be surprised if he ever threw Varys in the ocean.
    • When it was hinted he might have another use for pretty girls, licked his lips...just so.
    • Varys was castrated because male merlings turn vicious at puberty, like Biter.
    • The castrated merling is considerably smarter than the lower animals. This includes humans.
  • Varys doesn't actually have any sort of spy network, and just gets all his information by setting himself as EVERYONE'S confidant and advisor.
    • This is lent credence by the fact that in AFFC it is remarked by Qyburn that finding information is not all that difficult, it just takes the right people and the right amount of coin.
    • Although it must be acknowledged that he does canonically have an unusual knowledge of secret passages and an unusual talent for disguise.
    • He also mentions during the "mummer" conversation (overheard by Arya) that he needs "little birds" to keep things going, and his fat conversational partner mentions that young children who can read and write are hard to come by. He probably does have a spy network going. His playing one party against the other certainly does stand to reason, though.
    • Also it is revealed how much of his knowledge is gained at the end of AFFC, however: his "little birds" came out to play in the epilogue of ADWD.
      • Not to mention that Illyrio Mopatis flat-out tells Tyrion that he and Varys used to use children as spies, which they nicknamed "rats" while in Pentos, but which Varys has taken to calling little birds in Westeros.
      • I'm pretty sure the guy Varys was talking with was Illyrio Mopatis.
      • At least in the show, which has varying degrees of canonicity (is that a word?), it was Illyrio. Roger Allam's voice is rather distinctive, and he was listed in the credits for that episode.
      • Ser Dontos mentioned to Sansa at one point Varys was paying him for information ; so presumably he does have a network of people paid that way.
  • Varys has all the SOIAF books in his study, having obtained them from a passing Time Lord.
    • That time Lord being Jaqen H'ghar, aka Arya from the future (see above).
    • Can I borrow them?
    • Can GRRM borrow them?
  • Varys is George R. R. Martin.
  • Varys is literally a spider - a spider demon with supernatural spy powers.
  • Varys and Illyrio are still playing the same game that made them wealthy. They first started to make their fortunes getting stolen goods from the thieves and returning them to the original owners for a fee. This time the "stolen goods" are the Seven Kingdoms
  • Varys is several children standing on each other's shoulders.
  • Varys and Illyrio are Butch Lesbians.
  • Varys is not actually a eunuch. Has this been Jossed in the later books? (Only got a few books in yet.) Basically:
    • He's a master of disguises, and a known unreliable source. So unless anyone has actually seen the evidence, how hard would it be to pitch your voice up, shave really close, and maybe put on some weight?
      • As a bonus, he can now not just have a secret identity, but be a secret dad, too.
  • Of course, he could also be a woman. Distaff Villainous Crossdresser or Wholesome Crossdresser as needed. In which case "he" could also be a secret mother.
    • Maybe he's Jon's mother.
  • Some of Varys "little birds", are actually birds. Varis, by the way, means crow in Finnish, so he could have the same powers like Bran have, but with birds.
  • Varys is not actually a eunuch, he has in fact been tucking it between his legs at any time someone checks.
  • Varys is Edward D'Eath. Not literally, but they have the same goal- they want to restore a good king for the realm and make a good romantic story of it. He backed Joff (at least, stopped Ned from deposing him) so the story would have a good villain. Then he rounds up a "rightful heir" type, whether actually rightful or not, to take the place. He's opposed by Littlefinger, who's only interested in stirring up chaos.

Littlefinger didn't kill Joffrey to remove an unpredictable piece from the Game of Thrones, but in revenge for Lord Eddard's death.
If Ned hadn't been executed, the War of the Five Kings would probably have been much less brutal (if it happened at all), and more importantly, Catelyn wouldn't have become a grieving widow. His original plan was to have Ned exiled to the Wall, and somehow meet up with Catelyn to... comfort her in her time of distress.
  • Seems like Petyr would be overjoyed to see Ned die, and wouldn't even remotely be interested in getting revenge for his death. After all, making Catelyn a widow (more importantly, the widow of a "traitor" whose remarriage value thus drops, potentially allowing even one as "lowborn" as he to have a shot) opens the door for him to try and step in and marry her himself. About the only reasons things didn't go perfectly for him was because Catelyn immediately rushed off to grab Robb, start a rebellion, and get herself killed.
    • The flaw in that argument is that Petyr's original plan would have worked just as well - sending Ned to the Wall would have canceled the marriage too (and, like you said, her remarriage value would still drop). But if Ned was sent to the wall, sure, the Starks might have been pretty furious. But they would have been far less likely to plunge the Seven Kingdoms into chaos and put Cat in serious risk. Littlefinger's first plan gets rid of Ned, but keeps Cat stable. Joffrey sticks a huge Spanner in the Works.
  • No reason it can't be both...
  • Or neither. My favorite WMG is Joffrey killed himself, by eating Tyrion's pie, which was poisoned by Olenna and Cersei's minions. (Joffrey even said "its the pie" as he died.) LF lies about it to Sansa to impress her. LF's obsession with Catelyn, and later Sansa, is due to the prophecy he received as a boy. Just like Cersei, it messed him up big time.
    • Hot Pie killed Joffrey.
      • Well played, sir.
  • In Cersei's POV in ADWD, she says after Ned was arrested, Littlefinger asked to be married to 'Sansa', not Catelyn. (Catelyn might have been Plan A, though.) Cersei refused because he was too lowborn.

Jon is Lyanna and Rhaegar's son
Finding Lyanna on a "bloody bed," a euphemism used elsewhere for childbirth, the promise he made to her and sacrificed much to keep. The rumor that the mother was Ashara Dayne, who was of Valyrian stock like the Targaryens and so would have explained any resemblance to Rhaegar in Jon.
  • The Daynes are not of Valyrian stock. They have First Men ancestry. Ashara had dark hair.
  • No resemblance between Rhaegar and Jon has been mentioned. However, Jon and Arya have been said to look alike, and Arya and Lyanna have been said to look alike - which means that Jon and Lyanna might well look alike.
    • If some fan did what Ned did to Cersei, but on the Targaryens ?detective work on Targaryen marriages to other houses, and the colorings of offspring sired thereof?one wonders what would come up. It is known that the stag is stronger than the dragon, for instance; Robert had coal-black hair despite his Targaryen grandmother. If a Stark and a Targaryen had issue, would the silver hair and purple eyes come through?
      • Quite likely not. For example, in the "Dunk and Egg" stories we meet Baelor "Breakspear" Targaryen, whose mother was a Dornish princess and not another Targaryen. In addition to being far saner than typical for the Targaryen line, Baelor has dark brown hair and brown eyes like his mother, with no sign of the Targaryen coloring. At least one of his brothers, however, DID get the hair and eyes (Maekar), so it seems it's something of a crapshoot. In any case, it has been proven possible for a "half breed" Targaryen to take strongly after the non-Targaryen parent, so Jon's lack of traditional coloration could easily be Lyanna's influence.
      • A Stark/Baratheon marriage could only produce a white-haired or purple-eyed child if the Starks have some Valyrian ancestry, which they don't (or at least, if they do, it's so far back that the odds of one particular recessive gene being passed down for so many generations are extremely small. Now, if Ned had married Ashara Dayne, the odds of a Stark/Baratheon child having Valyrian colorings would be somewhat higher, but still low.
      • The idea is that Ned deliberately had the rumor about Ashara spread so that if Jon did take after his father, there would be a ready explanation. He didn't, so it wasn't necessary.
  • This also explains Ned's insistence on not sending assassins after the remaining Targaryen children; his promise on Lyanna's deathbed was to protect her son and he couldn't do both. The confrontation also allowed him to judge the possibility of coming clean on the whole thing to Robert.
  • This also helps explain why half the Kingsguard was in the south guarding Lyanna, including their Lord Commander, instead of actually, y'know, protecting the king in Landing or the crown prince at the Ruby Ford.
  • Once the Crown Prince dies, his son becomes heir apparent (since GRRM uses classic primogeniture in Westeros, as proven by the Freys). It would not make sense for them to have been guarding a mere hostage (Lyanna). If there was no member of the Royal Family at the TOJ then they should have been heading to Dragonstone to guard Viserys and Dany, not lurking in the Dornish Marches with a hostage of dubious value.
    • Wrong. Since the Dance of the Dragons (not the book "A Dance With Dragons", but the storical event in which the Rhaenyra and Aegon II fought for the Iron Throne after their father's death), House Targaryen has practiced a highly modified version of agnatic primogeniture, placing female claimants in the line of succession behind all possible male ones, even collateral relations.
    • Of course, if most of the Kingsguard knew the truth, Ser Barristan Selmy may be one of the only survivors who know. Jaime likely wouldn't've been told since he was only appointed to the Kingsguard to annoy Cersei and Tywin and therefore not trusted with the whole story. The rest of the Kingsguard died during Robert's Rebellion.
    • While it is possible that Ser Barristan knows of Jon's parentage, it is quite unlikely given what we know of his character and actions. Renly says that when he left King's Landing he vowed to take up service with "the true king" (Likely meaning Viserys at the time). If R+L=J is true, Jon's claim supersedes Viserys' or Dany's, and Ser Barristan should have made contact with him instead. Also, if he knew about Jon, wouldn't he have told Daenarys "oh, and you're not the only living member of House Targaryen" by now? The odds are likely that only the people who were with Rhaegar and Lyanna had any knowledge of their child, in order to maintain secrecy. Considering the efforts Rhaegar went to to hide Jon, wouldn't it be a bit strange to risk enclosing the secret in a message to send off to the rest of the Kingsguard, who might tell Aerys?
      • Correction: Jon's claim would supersede Viserys' or Dany's, but by then, Jon had renounced any claim he might have had by joining the Night's Watch.
      • Actually, because Rhaegar and Lyanna were not married, Jon would still be a bastard and not a legitimate heir. Rhaegar's siblings (Viserys and Daenerys) would still be ahead of Rhaegar's illigitimate son (Jon) in the line of succession.
      • Rhaegar's son Aegon is ahead of all of them in any case.
      • Do we know for sure that Rhaegar's children would come higher than Viserys in succession, given that Rhaegar died before Aerys?
      • They would by real-world laws of male primogeniture, which seem to match Westeros' rules in very other respect. Case in point, Richard II was the son of the late Edward the Black Prince (who incidentally is totally Rhaegar) — he inherited his grandfather's crown over his uncles.
      • In most forms of primogeniture there is not only a single heir apparant (or possible heir presumptive), but also a well-defined line of succession (if someone in that line tries to mess wih it via political or military force is another matter). Rhaegar is heir apparent and first in line, and since he already has a son (Aegon), that son is second in line, while Viserys (as the younger brother) is third. The moment Rhaegar died his son moved up a spot and became heir to Aerys, not that it mattered at that point.
    • Additionally, this implies that Rhaegar married Lyanna (not so improbably, given Targaryens were given to polygamy in the past). Only a trueborn son of Rhaegar would be an heir to the throne, a bastard born of a mistress wouldn't be worth more than the lives of Daenerys and Viserys. This would actually give Jon a better claim to the throne than Danny, if true.
      • 'Given to polygamy'? The only Targaryen king known to have had more than one wife at the same time is Aegon the Conqueror, who was wholly foreign to Westerosi laws and customs when he and his wives invaded. This does not appear to be the case with later kings, who were known to have lovers and mistresses but not additional wives.
      • And in any case even if Rhaegar had married Lyanna given he had kept her hidden away there would be no credible living witnesses to such a union, making it suspect at best.
      • Polygamy seems to mostly be shunned because it makes determining the line of succession a nightmare. However, by now we might have reached the point where this doesn't matter anymore. If Aegon can not sustain his claim (by, for example, being killed - HE has no heirs) then there is simply no male Targaryan left who is a contender for being Aerys rightful heir. And therefore a Targaryan loyalist might very well acknowledge that Rhaegar had a second wife and thereby a legitimate son (Jon or not), because this way you get around the problem of him being a bastard. And there is precedent for polygamy, so you might as well turn a blind eye if it means that this gives you a trueborn Targaryan son of Rhaegar.
    • Prior to his fight with Ned, Arthur Dayne states that had he and his comrades fought at the trident, Rhaegar would have been victorious. So, then, why did Rhaegar have them stay behind? What was so important to him that he would sacrifice his own life and his dynasty's hold on the kingdom. The only answer is that he believed that something more important than politics was at stake. And we know Rhaegar was a great believer in the Price-that-was-promised prophesy.
      • Keep in mind that we're seeing this scene through a fever dream of Ned's. We don't know how accurate it was at this point. It's also quite possible that it was hyperbole if he actually said it, one knight, no matter how good, isn't guaranteed or even likely to tilt the balance in a major battle.
      • One knight, no matter how great, would not have been able to tip the balance by strength of arms alone, but three of the best seven knights in the kingdom fighting on Rhaegar's side (in addition to Barristan Selmy) would have greatly raised morale. It's also likely that at least one of the three was an experianced General (who may have been able to come up with an alternative to Rhaegar's 'honourable' defeat at the river), it has been mentioned before that members of the Kingsguard have been known to lead armies in the King's name when he is unable or unwilling to do battle himself.
      • It's very obviously just trash-talk before a fight. Also, Rhaegar wasn't planning to lose at the Trident. He was an intelligent man, and obviously believed that his plan had a good chance of success.
      • It's entirely possible that Dayne didn't say that at all; it's a dream, and Dream-Dayne is voicing Ned's fears. The fight with the Kingsguard is the closest Ned had come to dying up until that point. He likely had a "Thank the seven those three weren't at the trident" moment afterwards.
      • As i recall the battle was won when Robert killed Rhaegar, and as Selmy implied when asked by Dany, Rhaegar wasn't as good as Arthur Dayne, the implication being that if Dayne had been there Robert would never had gotten to fight Rhaegar in the first place.
  • You realize of course that such a revelation opens the door to Jon/Arya shipping. Just saying.
    • Is that better or worse than the Jon/Dany shipping that seems inevitable given the Targaryen habit of intermarriage? After all, there's a piece of paper heading towards the Wall naming Jon trueborn, and if he's Rhaegar's kid he has a better claim to the throne of Westeros than anybody.
      • That paper, assuming it does name Jon trueborn (it's never said for sure), was written by Robb, who was declared a traitor and killed. Only a king can remove bastardry, and Robb is not acknowledged as ever having been one by anyone with power right now. Besides, I don't think he was ever really a bastard. See above.
      • Of course, given that the dragon has three heads that'd be Jon/Dany/?
      • Jon/Dany/Aegon. See above.
      • He took the black either way, though - and the only way I'd expect Martin to go that route is if it begins early in the sixth book and causes Stannis or whoever to spill a heck of a lot more blood.
      • Didn't Mormont say that the High Septon himself offered to free Maester Aemon of his vow once, so that he could become king for the good of the realm. If so there is a precedent for the same thing happening to Jon.
      • The Wall has to come down at some point, or else the Others are no threat at all because they can't pass it. Since that would be a pretty sad anticlimax, we can conclude that the Wall will be destroyed sometime in the next couple books. No Wall, no Night's Watch anymore. So it is possible that Jon Snow could be released from his vows since there wouldn't be anything left to have a vow to.
      • The wall doesn't need to come down, not if they have spiders (the red ants that bit Dany had their anthill behind what?).
      • Actually, now that Jon is dead, he should be free of his vow if he comes back—which I'm betting he will, via red priest magic. The vows specify that the watch ends with the black brother's death.
      • To quote George R.R. Martin on the subject of Jon: "Oh, you think he's dead, do you?"
  • Additionally, Eddard Stark only refers to Jon Snow as "my blood," not "my son." Ta-da, more evidence for Lord Snow being Ned's nephew.
    • Actually, in the very first Bran chapter of book one, he does refer to Robb and Jon as "my sons." But I agree with this theory, he never actually names Jon's mother (just a woman he slept with, if you read), his promise to Lyanna haunts him constantly, and the facts and dates fit.
    • More notable is that in his chapters, Eddard never thinks of Jon as his son. There'd be no reason not to if the official account were true, bastard or not.
  • You're all fools! This is how it goes down:
    • The dragon has three heads. Dany/?/?
    • One is Jon, since Lyanna was raped by Rhaegar (the crime that Ned and Robers will never forgive him for) and bore his bastard child (check the timing, ~9 months after the rape Ned is at war, away from Cat). Dany/Jon/?
      • It's pretty clear at this point that Rhaegar was not a rapist. Ned feels no grudge towards him at all and he's described by everyone but Robert as noble, honorable, and melancholic. However, Dany sees a blue (winter) rose growing out of an ice wall when she sees the visions related to the dragon having three heads. Lyanna is strongly associated with blue roses, and guess who's at an ice wall (or rather, Wall) right now? Jon being one of the three heads is the most popular and best supported theory.
    • Finally, the last head of the dragon is... wait for it... Tyrion! First, Rhaegar visits Casterly Rock ~1 year before his birth. Next, his father never really liked him (although, to be fair, there are other reasons for that). Third, by this point he's probably escaped to the free cities on the other continient, where he may just meet up with someone. Tell me this wouldn't be amazing.
      • We already know Tyrion is heading for Dany right now, it was one of the released chapters of Dance with Dragons. I think he has a pretty good chance of him being one of the three heads: he dreamed of riding dragons as a child and researched them in his youth, making him a good candidate to help Dany control her wayward dragons (see the released Dany chapter). He even designed a special saddle to help him ride, a skill that would be invaluable in designing saddles for dragons.
      • Tyrion's chances is a bit uncertain as of Dw D cause Dany has been warned to be beware of the "lion". Since Tywin is dead, Cersei is not in control and Jaime is off on his own, the only "lion" that will be trouble for Dany is Tyrion.
      • On the other hand, Bran also seems like a possible candidate. He could help control the dragons via his warging ability, and he's got similar motivations for wanting to ride a dragon as Tyrion. And Dany coming to trust Tyrion enough to marry him and give him a dragon seems a tiny bit farfetched at this point in time. He's a member of the family who murdered her cousins and aunt and part of the government that's been trying to kill her all her life. I doubt acceptance will come easily. Bran has no such hurdle to cross.
      • Bran, being a Stark (considering Dany equated Ned as being one of the Usurper Robert's lapdogs) might have equal animosity from Dany so to expect Bran to have such as easy time of it unlikely. The Starks were no more friends than the Lannisters to the Targaryens.
  • This one is actually a real theory, which editors at The Other Wiki sometimes have trouble keeping off the page. Head over to the official forums for more info.
  • Interestingly enough, this ties neatly into the whole "ice and fire" thing. The Targaryens are closely tied to fire, while the Starks are equally tied with ice.
  • Jon is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, but not in the way everyone thinks. Lyanna was actually Elia Martell's lover, but impregnated with Rhaegar's errant semen. Eddard is not only protecting the identity of Jon's mother, but the secret behind her sexuality as well.
    • Sex doesn't work that way. Lesbian sex doesn't work that way.
  • Something I don't think anyone has brought up is that, as old Maester Aegon tells Sam, Rhaegar gets very excited on the night his son is concieved because a dragon star (one of those bright red ones) appears in the sky. I see two possibilities: a) "his son" was Jon, and that's why he had so many guards with Lyanna (he knew the child was special, probably the "prince that was promised" and ergo Jon can be important without Rhaegar and Lyanna nessessarily being married or b) "his son" was indeed Aegon, and if so, if Aegon was so special, why should he care so much about Lyanna's baby?
    • He believed that for the Prince-That-Was-Promised to be fulfilled, the Dragon must have Three Heads, which meant for him that Aegon had to have two sister-wives like Aegon the Conquerer. So if R+L=J is true, Rhaegar was hoping Jon was to be born a girl.
  • When Jon was stabbed, it said his wound "smoked." It might mean the warmth condensed into white mist like breathe, but wouldn't "misted" or "fogged" have been a better word? The chapter (and his POV in the book) end just a paragraph later so it isn't explained. Another subtle way of linking Jon to fire, and ergo dragons and Targaryens?
  • Really important to this theory is "The Dragon has Three Heads," which Dany sees Rhaegar discussing with Elia in her sojourn to the House of the Undying. In ADWD Dragons, Ser Barristan, if I recall correctly, remembers that Elia is sick for months after the birth of Rhaenys, and infertile after the birth of Aegon. Rhaegar realizes he isn't one of the three heads of the dragon and needs another child... and along comes Lyanna. Jon Snow is born by her, and Rhaenys' seat is taken up by Daenerys. So, Three heads? Dany, Aegon, And Jon Snow. All of Targaryen stock, and Jon refused the name Stark when offered to him. Dragons, Dany takes Drogon, named after her husband, Aegon takes Rhaegal, after his father (and as a true born son he gets first pick,) and Jon picks up Viserion, a white dragon and white wolf for Lord Snow.
  • About Ghost: The character's all assume that Jon has Ghost because albino=less than ideal=bastard. But the Targaryens are well known for their white-blond hair, so albino direwolf could=what do you get when you cross a Stark with a Targaryen. Also, when they found the wolves, everyone thought Ghost was the weakest and wouldn't survive, but he turned out to be the strongest, or at least he grew the fastest. Similarly, everyone thinks that Jon the bastard is the least of the Stark siblings, but he turns out to be the greatest—though this may be true regardless of his lineage, by virtue of his being Lord Commander of the Wall.
  • A satellite of this theory is that Lyanna Stark was the mystery knight at that Harrenhall Tourney that the Reeds recount. Being (as we recall) something of a tomboy and a skilled horsewoman she might well have been jouster enough to unseat a few green squires. When Rhaegar went to investigate this mysterious knight the two fell in love, he crowned her Queen of Love and Beauty for the tournament and everything went downhill from there.
    • Jaime himself said that most of jousting is horsemanship, and Arya's skills with horses are favorably compared to her Aunt Lyanna.
  • Alternate theory: Jon is the son of ROBERT and Lyanna. Rhaegar wanted him dead because he DIDN'T have the Targaryen eyes and hair (but he does have a Baratheon look about him!), and Tywin wanted him dead because, well, Tywin's a power-hungry dickhead. Ned, being the awesome friend that he is to Robert, pulls a Zero-Approval Gambit and appears to have let his honor slip up, just this once, to preserve the life of his BFF's trueborn son (who WOULD be the rightful heir to Westeros but, again, Targaryen loyalists or the Lannister family's genetic predisposition to dickery prevents this).
    • In the books, Jon has brown hair and eyes(I'm pretty sure on the eyes, could be wrong), not the black hair and blue eyes of the Baratheons. Also, there is no way in hell Robert wouldn't raise his son by Lyanna. It's suggested in the books that the main reason Robert was such a crappy father towards Joffery and the younger two was because on some subconscious level, he knew they weren't his. He never felt any parental bond towards them. Comparatively, he had a fairly good relationship with his one acknowledged bastard, the Storm boy. The only reason he acknowledged that boy was to spare the honor of his mother, a the daughter of relatively minor house. If he had a child by the one woman he actually loved, he'd keep the kid at court and damn the consequences.
      • Bran's first POV chapter says "Jon's eyes were a grey so dark they seemed almost black..."
  • I do think that this theory actually fits with the known facts:
    • Rhaegar and Lyanna either run away together or Rhaegar takes Lyanna with him against her will.
    • Brandon Stark goes to King's Landing to demand that Rhaegar frees Lyanna. The Mad King arrests him and his companions.
    • When Rickon Stark and the fathers of Brandon's companions arrive to King's Landing, all of them are killed.
    • Jon Arryn, Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark start Robert's Rebellion against the Targaryens.
    • The Rebellion starts in the year 282 AL and ends in 283 AL, the same year Lyanna and Rhaegar die.
    • During the time between her kidnapping and the Battle of the Trident (where Rhaegar dies) they would have get it on, and perhaps she could have become pregnant.
    • Lyanna gives birth to a baby in the Tower of Joy.
    • Eddard arrives to the Tower of Joy just moments before Lyanna dies. Lyanna makes him promise to take care of her son and to never say that he is the son of a Targaryen, because she knows they are getting killed left and right at the moment.
    • Given that he can't say that the baby is Lyanna's son, the onl thing Eddard can do is to say that he is his son, even if it means that other people (especially his wife) will think that he is Eddard's bastard son.
  • Arguably supported by Word of God, when JRRM said that Jon's parentage "involves a bit of a Luke Skywalker situation."
  • PROBLEM WITH THIS THEORY: Jon Snow's hand was burned by fire when he killed the wight attacking Mormont: He isn't a Dragon. (Doesn't mean he can't still be a Targaryen, but Dany's imperviousness to flame is an important part of her ability to control the dragons—and Quentyn's, er, lack of the same is what puts the end to his ambitions of the same.)
    • Dany is not impervious to flame. Drogon burned her - not too badly, but that was down to a combination of luck and ordinary animal training. The pyre thing was obviously helped by some additional magic.
      • Drogon burnt her hair, otherwise the flames didn't harm her, and she says that her hair was burned in the funeral pyre also. And there's no indication any of the other two heads of the dragon would be immune to fire, this seems to be an unique ability of the Prince(ss) That Was Promised.
      • Not so, she had burns on her arms.
    • The Taragaryen magic is connected with Dragons and Fire. The Starks are of the North and if they have magic it would be connected with the Direwoves and Ice. If Jon is son of Rheagar and Lyanna, than I see one of two options: 1) Jon has no magic because the Ice and Fire are constantly canceling each other out. 2)The Fire and Ice of his blood mixed together and made Cold Fire or Electricity. He couldn't be protected from the Fire but if he got struck by lighting...
    • It's never said that ALL Targaryens are impervious to flame; it pretty much says outright that they're not. Dany's great-grandfather Aegon V died in a fire SPECIFICALLY while trying to hatch dragon eggs.
    • Even if the Targaryens have a limited resistance to heat, Jon may still be burned because of psychosomatics. He is absolutely sure that he isn't a Targaryen and fire will hurt him badly, and his body reacts just so. Did you hear of that experiment when a hypnotist convinces you really sure that a pencil is a lit cigarette and touches you with it, and then you get burned? Jon was convinced just as sure that he isn't a dragon, and was burned.

The Seven was actually a Faceless Man
The fact that the Priests of the Seven seem so intent on insisting that they are all the same entity.
  • The Seven are the optimal traits of an agrarian, feudal god. While not * impossible* , there's no reason to believe this.
  • According to official Faceless Man dogma, at least, it's the other way around - one of the faces of the Many-Faced God is The Stranger of the Seven, who is described in a way that sort of resembles the Grim Reaper. There's a statue of him in their temple.

Daenerys Targaryen is not Daenerys Targaryen.
She's Jon Snow's sister from Rhaegar and Lyanna. We still don't know the secret between Lyanna and Ned (although it's accepted that it's Ned looks after her son, Jon) but what if it were more than that? Lyanna might have had two children from Rhaegar, one who took after her, Jon, and another that took after Rhaegar, Dany. Ned took in Jon, being able to realistically pass off that Jon was his son, but could not take in Dany without it being obvious of her Targaryen parentage.Facts:

1. Lyanna was found in the Tower of Joy, in the Kingdom of Dorne.

2. The events in the Tower of Joy took place less than a year before Daenerys' birth at sea, so the two children would be similar in age.

3. While staying at the house with the red door, Willem Darry was visited by an accompaniment including Oberyn Martell at an undeterminable amount of time after their arrival in Braavos.

The real Daenerys died shortly after her birth. Ned went to Oberyn Martell and Doran Martell with Lyanna's child (maybe claiming it as Elia's) and requested she be placed in protection overseas with the other Targaryen children to prevent Robert's wrath. When she was taken to Braavos and it was learned that the real Daenerys died, he and Willem arranged to pass her off as the real Daenerys in the event of Viserys' death as a bastard could not inherit the throne. This also explains Ned's adamancy that Robert not kill Daenerys, as she was actually his bastard niece. This may help or hinder Jon/Dany shippers, as they would be full siblings.

Jon Snow's mother is no one of importance.
Despite the evidence, and his own personal hope, that he is the son of a highborn lady (Lyanna Stark or Ashara Dayne), it will be revealed that Jon Snow's mother was a commoner, and his conception was simply the result of a moment of infidelity by the otherwise noble Eddard Stark. Alternatively, his true parentage will never be revealed, a la Taran of the Chronicles of Prydain.
  • Actually, this is the only guess that actually has evidence from the books behind it. From Ned's own mouth we hear that Jon's mother was a common woman named Wylla, and later on in the third book Edric Dayne tells Arya that he knew Jon as a baby, and that his nurse was Jon's mother. Jon being Ashara Dayne's son is just speculation by other characters and there's nothing in the books suggesting that Lyanna was Jon's mother.
    • He responds to Robert naming Wylla as "his woman" while all the while thinking of Lyanna laying in a bed of blood and making him promise her something and how Robert reacted to the dead Targeryan kids. And he actually scares Cat when she brings up Ashara Dayne to him. And that Lord from the Sisters told Davos that Ned got a local fisherman's daughter pregnant and that's how he got his bastard. At this point there are too many false leads for it not to mean anything. As for a wet nurse of the Daynes nursing Jon... Ned came to Starfall right after the events at the Tower of Joy, to give Dawn back to them.
    • Well, they sure did mention promises and winter roses a lot. At weird moments.
    • He names Wylla as a woman he slept with, not specifically as Jon's mother. Re-read the chapter.
    • Also, Edric Dayne says that he and Jon are "milk brothers" — all that means is they shared a wet nurse. Edric has no way of knowing if the wet nurse is Jon's real mother. She wasn't Edric's, after all.
      • Actually, she does say he was her son.
      • Edric still has no way of knowing for sure. Assuming the above is not a typo, it's easy for a woman to say "this is my son" regardless of whether it's true — babies look alike. Differences in coloring can be explained away by the father, or by the fact that most babies are born with lighter eyes that later settle.
      • The fact that this entry is in WMG and not Jon's character sheet says a lot about the this series' fandom. :o
      • Yup, it says that we're intelligent enough to catch subtle hints and to distinguish between what the characters say and what we know for fact because the author says it.
    • And wouldn't Jon being the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna be a little too picture-perfect? Sickeningly so, IMO, though I guess feeling that way and simultaneously hoping for Daenerys to make it back to Westeros and actually do some good instead and not fail in a spectacular Shoot the Shaggy Dog manner makes me a hypocrite.
    • As far as crazy theories go (finding new ones has become this tropers hobby), how about the following: Jon is Brandon's son by Ashara Dayne. In an interview, Martin explained Ashara Dayne had been in King's Landing before the war. Now, there's no hint Ned was there, but Brandon was. And he lied to spare Cat's feelings, since she had loved Brandon, but did not love him (at that point).
    • And for Ashara or Wylla, maybe that was just a lie - Ashara is the mother, but she's a noble and it would ruin her socially to have a bastard, so they just claim it's the child of her servant, not hers.
  • To throw more wood on the fire, ADWD says Ashara had a stillborn daughter from "Stark", which could mean Ned or Brandon (Described as a bit of a player earlier in the book). Also, Ned apparently impregnated a fisherman's daughter from the Sister Islands as he headed north to gain support for Robert's Rebellion.
  • Whether Lyanna is his mom or not, there is definitely SOMETHING behind Lyanna and Reaghar.
  • One thing; when looking for Gendry, Ned wonders to himself why Jon Arryn had been so interested "in a king's bastard" - if he himself had knowingly covered up the existence of a king's bastard for 15 years, this is a strange thought to occur to him.
    • Not really. Remember that Robert approved the killing of Rhaegar's infant and toddler simply because they were "dragon spawn". Ned would have very good reason to keep Jon's parentage a secret. On the other hand, Robert's bastards are in no danger (that Ned knows of, anyway) and he openly acknowledges and supports them. There's a lot of reason to be interested in a child that might be a contender for the throne and whose surname is a Berserk Button for an unreasonable monarch. Not a lot of reason to be interested in one of more than a dozen acknowledged bastards of the king. The two things aren't at all equivalent.
    • And as mentioned elsewhere, it's possible that Lyanna and Rhaegar were married. In any case, the reason Ned thought it was strange is because bastards aren't in the running for the throne and because he didn't know what Jon Arryn could possibly be trying to learn.
    • There's also a huge difference between the bastard of a sitting monarch, and a child (legit or no) who has blood ties to a recently overthrown and exiled dynasty.
  • This is an unlikely theory, as part of the way that the showrunners of the television adaptation were given permission by GRRM was for them to correctly guess the identity of Jon's mother, which implies that she's at least someone of importance.

The Others are not all evil.
In this series of Black and Grey Morality, the only possible way to make things grayer than they already are is to make the Always Chaotic Evil demons not Always Chaotic Evil, and knowing Martin, be given the the treatment.
  • Not evil, but still dangerous to humans.
  • With ADWD out, it appears you are right since Coldhands is officially revealed to be an Other
  • Coldhands is not an Other, he is a wight a reanimated corpse. The Others are the ice demon things
    • I believe something to this effect has been said by the author, that the Others aren't necessarily evil just for the sake of being evil. That said, there's a huge gap between "not evil for evil's sake" and "not evil." Even if all they want is land and conquest, the same as any of the houses of Westeros, they can still be a massive threat if that requires purging the warm-blooded humans off the land they want.
      • I think the Others aren't evil for the same reason that hurricanes aren't evil...they just do what they do, bring the cold and clear out the warm bloods. I think they also are possibly controlled by some...thing else...a direct counterpart to R'hllor that no one believes in.
      • At one point, it IS mentioned that the physical Others who can be killed are only the lesser versions, and that the true evil is more like unnaturally animated mist and cold.
      • The unnaturally animated mist and cold HAVE appeared in the books. In the prologue of the first book, and also the thing Sam kills with the dagger. All the other things (including Coldhands) have been wights, not Others themselves.
      • More to the point, they aren't evil in the same way that dragons aren't evil — just wild, destructive, lethal to humans unless controlled and dangerous even if they are. Ice and Fire can both kill people in their extremes, and we need them in balance to survive. Perhaps the off-kilter seasons are a battle between R'hllor and the Other, and the best outcome for humanity is to find that balance.

R'hllor and the Great Other are the same God.
The Faceless men are right about all the Gods in Westeros being the same God of Many Faces. The Others are the Many Faced God's servants coming to take away humanity's pain and suffering. Leads to...

The Faceless Men will ally with The Others.
The Faceless Men will believe the last WMG, and help the Others invade Westeros.
  • This does not seem likely. I don't think the Others have enough reasoning capacity to recognize an ally (or they wouldn't care). What seems more likely is that some Faceless Men would go and try to ally with the Others, and become more wights.
    • The Others have their own language; we know this from the prologue to A Go T. They clearly have the intelligence to understand the concept of an alliance (though whether they'd want one is another matter).
  • Could the Faceless Men's god of death be the same as the force behind the Others and the antagonist of R'hlorr, Lord of Light? Also, the ice demons may be a lot smarter than the walking corpses. But there's no need to go North of the Wall to help the Others - assassins would be more effective south of the Wall.

Theories on Cersei's childhood prophecy.
  • Valonqar: It's Jaime, not Tyrion. She's been giving Jaime a lot of reasons to do so. And for the whole "little brother" thing, it will turn out that Jaime was born a few minutes after Cersei, so the prophecy will be fulfilled on a technicality. Or she has another (half) brother she isn't aware of.
    • Jaime being younger than Cersei is canon — it is described at one point that he "came out of the womb holding Cersei's foot". Ergo, he was born second and is younger than her by the barest margin.
      • Or Cersei was a breech birth.
      • Would have been mentioned. That birth got talked about a lot.
    • Jaime is definitely younger—in AFFC, Cersei specifically notes that the only thing keeping her from inheriting Casterly Rock is gender; although she and Jaime are twins, all that would matter otherwise is who came into the world first. It's stated that by Dornish Law, it would have been Cersei, not Jamie, who was Tywin's heir.
    • Cersei does indeed have two little brothers. However, it's not as clear-cut as that. Maggy the Frog specifically says "the valonqar", not "your little brother", and there are two points about this phrasing that can be made. The first is that it was specifically mentioned in reference to a different prophecy that the Valyrian "Prince that was Promised" is a mistranslation, and is not specifically male, so it's possible that no Valyrian words are gendered and "younger brother" could similarly just mean "younger sibling". The second is that Maggy says THE valonqar, not YOUR valonqar. So basically it could be any character in the series that has an older sibling, especially if it's a significant part of their character that they do: possibilities include Sandor Clegane, Kevan Lannister, Benjen, Bran, Sansa, Arya, or Rickon Stark (or Jon Snow, even if R+ L=J doesn't turn out to be true), Tommen or Myrcella, Daenarys, Margaery, Loras, or Garlan Tyrell, Brynden Blackfish, Quentyn or Trystane Martell, seven of the eight Sand Snakes, Euron, Victarion, or Aeron Greyjoy, Stannis Baratheon, or potentially even any of the Black Brothers, Silent Sisters, or Brotherhood without Banners.
      • Lets not forget Maggy's own younger relatives: Jeyne Westerling and her brothers, one of whom has a suspicious "never found the body" fate...
      • Question; does "valonqar" translate to "younger sibling" or "little sibling" specifically? If it's younger, then the above holds true. If it's little, then Tyrion is probably still the best option.
    • Here's the quote proper, so everyone remembers (young Cersei asks Maggy if she and the king will have any kids): "Six-and-ten for him, and three for you. Gold shall be their crowns, and gold their shrouds. And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you." Cersei later informs us that valonqar means "little brother". From this, you can probably rule out Jaime, since he doesn't have two hands, and any female possibilities, since even if "valonqar" is gender-neutral, Maggy specifically says "his". I also think we can rule out Tyrion because that's who Cersei thinks it is, and the characters in stories are almost never right when they offer an interpretation of a prophecy. Thus, it has to be someone's younger brother. My personal theory is that it's Stannis, since in the first part of Maggy's answer, she mentions the king ("six-and-ten for him", referring to Robert Baratheon). Robert has two younger brothers, and since Renly is dead, that only leaves Stannis. Adding to this theory, in my opinion, is the fact that Stannis has already shown the ability to long-range murder someone through the use of "shadow-babies" spawned by Melisandre. First he killed his own brother with a sword through the neck and then he managed to push Ser Courtnay Penrose off the battlements of Storm's End. Who's to say he couldn't wrap his shadowy fingers around Cersei's throat? And he also has motive; with Joffrey, Tywin and Kevan dead, Tyrion disappeared and Tommen and Myrcella just children, the Queen Regent is really the only one left posing any kind of Lannister-based resistance to Stannis's claim.
      • I think it has to be Tommen, based off of when this part of the prophecy is voiced. It doesn't seem to make sense that the prophecy of her death would be given to her as a response to her asking how many children she would have, unless it were directly relevant. "Will I have kids?" "Yes, and the little brother will kill you." True, it never says WHOSE little brother, but it seems that it is implying that the valonqar is the little brother among her children, meaning Tommen.
      • But doesn't the prophecy also imply that Cersei will outlive all of her children? Perhaps Tommen will kill Cersei as a wight.
      • If we're banking on a literal interpretation of the choking, it can't be a shadow-baby, because of the 'pale white hands'. If it's to be any kind of monster, pale white suggests Others - though not wights, as their hands are black. My view is it's unlikely to be a literal strangling, just a metaphor for murder. Prophesies tend to speak in metaphors.
      • It's not "pale white hands", it's "pale white throat" (please see quote above), therefore any colour hands, including shadow-hands, are a possibility
      • Also including golden ones, one might think.
      • I do apologise. You know those times when you misread something the first time you see it and then keep on reading it that way until someone points it out? I still think she's likely not to be literally choked, though.
      • What if it refers to Benjen Stark? Depending on what happened to him. He is, after all, Ned's younger brother.
      • Aegon is also a possibility. Not only is he a "younger brother", but his primary motivation for murdering Cersei (so far) would be in revenge for her family's role in his sister's death. So he would be murdering her because he is the (royal) valongar. Also the "hands" and strangling could be symbolic of military movements resulting in Cersei's deposition and death, perhaps even at the hands of her own people during a protracted siege of King's Landing - and not necessarily a physical strangling.
  • Two other ways the prophesy's wording can be interpreted euphemistically, just to muddy the waters:
    • If Valonqar literally means 'little (small) brother,' it could mean a physically small person who is know as a Brother- a Sworn Brother of the Night's Watch, a Brother of the Kingsguard, a member of the Brotherhood Without Banners, that little begging brother Brienne was hanging around with, etc.
    • If the Valonqar is indeed Tommen, then 'his hands' could refer to the Hand of The King. Mace Tyrell currently holds that position and would love to see Cersei dead, and its been a revolving door position since well before the books anyway, so he could be joined by a past or future Hand to make it Hands, plural, and kill her in some way that can be seen as 'wrapping around her neck' such as sending her to the noose.

  • It will be Ser Robert Strong/Gregorstein who kills Cersei. Bear with me for a sec: the prophecy specifically mentioned the valonqar's hand. That can't be a coincidence. Qyburn used to run with Vargo Hoat. Hoat cut off Jaime's sword hand: Qyburn asked for it and got it (or maybe he stole it) because hey, what better sword hand for your corpse warrior than the Kingslayer's? I know the hand itself wouldn't really be able to bestow excellent swordsmanship upon the owner, but since we're talking about a friggin' Frankenstein's monster here I think we can let this one slide. Anyway, Strong is going to kill Cersei with Jaime's hand.
    • Hands plural were mentioned in the prophesy, and Jaime only lost the one. That being said, it's also theorized above that the strangling in this case could be metaphorical. If both Jaime and Strong contribute in some way to Cersei's death, then it could be said that Jaime's "hands" (albeit on two different people) did her in.
  • We assume that she will be killed because of her shiny personality, but what if it’s not the point? The one who kills her will do so out of pity, because “she will be drowned in tears” after losing her children, probably insane. So if she goes all Lady Macbeth, the one who loves her is going to want to end her suffering. So, I guess the valonqar is Jaime, but for a totally different reason.
  • Younger queen: Daenerys, most likely. She has the motive and means to do so, and she is stated to be beautiful. Another likely choice is Sansa, who is also said to be beautiful and might become a queen via Littlefinger's manipulations.
    • And it's probably not Margaery at this point, since Cersei has her locked up by the end of the fourth book.
      • But Margaery is likely to be pardoned since she's actually innocent of the charges and is very popular with Tommen and the smallfolk. Cersei, on the other hand, is going to get hoist by her own petard in a spectacular fashion.
      • Wait, what? If she's innocent, how do you explain the Moon Tea?
      • Simple. She jumped the gun with her beloved Joffrey. She was keeping him very happy That Way, unlike his earlier betrothal to the more innocent and naive Sansa. Once Joffrey unexpectedly died, her pregnancy suddenly became a big problem. Yes that's right, Margery aborted Cersei's grandchild, although Cersei doesnt know it.
      • Maybe she's innocent, it was for one of her cousins or another, and she was hiding her? Alternatively, she may und up proven innocent. Or... She is so BadAss, she ordered herself Moon Tea to lure Cersei into action, what she'll end up turning to her advantage. Probably she'll finish off (or scare into submission) old septon to remove him as witness against her. Oh yeah.
      • It may be that she was in league with Pycelle (who was given a lot of reasons to hate Cersei in AFFC and is the source for the moon tea information) to manipulate Cersei into making accusations which could be turned against her (with the supposed defector from her retinue to Cersei being a plant who was feeding her all Cersei's plans). However, she didn't take the upsurge in religious fundamentalism and the Church's new militancy (or the fact that most people are apparantly too stupid to realise that regular horse riding could make her physically appear not to be a virgin) into account.
      • Note that Cersei's plan was for her to set the only competent Kingsguard on Margaery's champion in a trial by combat. This worked because the other decent warriors in the Kingsguard were away (Jaime's besieging Riverrun, Balon Swann is delivering Gregor's head to Dorne etc). What nobody knows, however, is that Arys Oakheart is dead, so there's likely to be a vacancy in the Kingsguard soon- possibly for Garlan the Gallant, Margaery's brother and several times stated to be the most deadly sword in Westeros, to fill.
      • While there is an open Kingsguard spot, it probably won't be Garlan filling it. He's Happily Married if you recall, and recently was given a large keep with extensive lands, turning him into a great lord in a single stroke. He's unlikely to give all that up.
      • He might do it to save his sister's life. The Tyrells seem to be a lot less dysfunctional than most Westerosi families. His sister is also the queen, her death and the shaming of her reputation could destroy his family's otherwise good position in the Game of Thrones, and lead them to ruin. And for bonus points, it's an extra slap in the face for Cersei; her own brother isn't coming to her aid, since she's burned the hell out of that bridge. The idea that Garlan would give up everything and join the Kingsguard for his sister parallels what Jaime once did for Cersei quite nicely, but without the incest angle. Just another way Mergaery is better than her.
      • While it is certainly traditional, and expected, for a Queen of Westros to have her champion be one of the Kingsguard, is it really necessary that it be so? After all, much of the irony is still intact if Margaery's bother fights on her behalf and Jamie will not do the same for Cersei, regardless of him not being one of the Kingsguard.
      • Whenever Kings' Landing does find out about Arys Oakheart's demise, Qyburn already has someone that he's lined up to be the next member of the Kingsguard (mentioned twice in aFfF, both before and after Cersei's incarceration). But the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard is the one who gets to appoint new members, they've only been appointed by the Regency thus far because Jaime (who was named the new commander after Selmy was relieved) was a prisoner and unreachable.
      • What if the young queen is Margaery, but instead of actively taking action that casts Cersei down and such, she provides the motivation for Cersei to destroy herself? Would that count. Also on the Margaery-as-motivation thing, Cersei loves Joffrey and if Littlefinger is to be believed Olenna killed Joffrey to protect her.
    • Perhaps the young queen is Jeyne Westerling — Robb's wife.
      • There must be some relevance to Maggy (Maegi) being Jeyne's grandmother, after all. Why mention it so often?
      • Despite loving this theory, (Jeyne certainly deserves some good fortune), the prophecy states that the young queen will be more beautiful than Cersei is. Jeyne is stated as being pretty, but compared to Dany, Sansa or Margaery, who are all strikingly gorgeous...
      • Maybe the beauty isn't meant to be aesthetic, but internal? Jeyne is more pretty than beautiful, but it's mentioned over and over and over again how kind she is (Jaime outright tells Lady Westerling that Jeyne is worth ten of her in terms of goodness and honour), and it would be an excellent development for the queen who felt least like a queen (she says to Cat at one point "I don't feel much like a Grace") to bring down the queen who felt most like a queen.
    • ...which lead us to the younger queen being Sansa. SHE strarted the plot to remove joffrey and was UNKNOWINGLY a part of it.
    • Myrcella. Bear with me: if Myrcella gets married, thennote  she will technically no longer be one of Cersei's children, but instead part of her new husband's family. If she's still in Dorne when this happens, or if the new husband has a claim to the throne, then she could very easily end up being the younger/more beautiful queen that supplants Cersei. This might also answer the apparent non sequitor in Maggy's prediction.
      • Now that Myrcella's face has been scarred this seems less likely. Although as of A Dw D Cersei's famed beauty does seem to be... diminished.
  • Arya, despite being trained against it, will retain her identity, and with it, her quest for revenge. Since there are only a few people left, and Cersei would be the easiest to find, Faceless Man Arya will be the one that strangles her, with or without the use of her abilities to keep the prophecy intact, but deliciously subverted.
  • Cersei isn't concerned with her children out of maternal instinct, but because of self-preservation. I cite Stavro Mueller Beta: Cersei cannot die until all three of her children have been crowned and died before her and the younger queen finishes her off. Part of why she's so high and mighty is because she knows until that happens, she's effectively immortal. Joff's death in Storm of Swords shook her, and now she's taking a more proactive role in her kid's wellbeing.
    • Well, if that were true, she'd keep him off the Iron Throne. High mortality rate there, and it has the advantage of proving the prophecy wrong.
  • On the fate of her children: Joffrey's dead, but Tommen and Myrcella might make it out alive. The series has done enough with fake versions of the nobility (the fake Arya) and feigned deaths (Bran and Rickon) to make sure that, just because you're fated to see your children die before you, doesn't mean they'll actually die.
    • maybe Tyrion/or Jaime will "declare" to Cersei that their kids died of accident. Then she'll fling herself of the wall
  • Or her younger cousin might decide the trial
  • Am I the only person who thinks that the Younger Brother who will kill her might be Tommen? It'd be figurative, of course, but all they'd need to do would be to stick the piece of paper in front of him that says "Execute Cersei" and he'd place his seal on that without looking at it.
    • Tommen seems a bit wimpy for any such thing :/
      • Samwell Tarly seemed pretty wimpy, too. That's no stopper.
    • I was wondering about that; Tommen's Hand is Mace Tyrell, whose daughter Cersei is constantly scheming against, maybe one day she'll go too far and Mace will want his revenge
    • Examining the wording of the prophecy itself, it seems like it can really only be unTommen. The Maegi is specifically talking about Cersei's children; she is answering one of the direct questions Cersei was allowed to ask. Even ignoring the obvious question, within that context, of why she would give Cersei extra information about something entirely unrelated, she's already talking about Cersei's children. As in, "These will be your three children, they'll all rule, predecease you, and of those children, the younger brother's going to choke you." As we know, it's about to get colder in King's Landing, and when Tommen has a deadly visit from a few chilly gentlemen, he'll be all too happy to seek out Mommy Dearest and give her a nice big hug. Cersei is just so short-sighted that she fails to notice that anyone else would be a nonsensical non-sequitur. Jaime is a red-herring for the audience, Tyrion is a red-herring for the character. Tommen is going to get killed and shrouded in gold and then his revenant will choke Cersei. It is likely that his sister will quickly (but not immediately, because she has to rule at least for a moment, unless the "crowns" part refers to their hair) follow him into death, since his dead body probably won't be just "lying in state" for very long. The tidiest order of events has unTommen killing Queen Myrcella on his way to Cersei, since it requires the least amount of time for his body to be on display.
  • We are all assuming that this prophecy is true. We know "Maggy" was a Meagi, but the last one of those we met turned out to be a nasty little traitor indeed. Could just be that the sour old women was just saying things? After all, Cersei blows things way out of proportion on a regular basis.
    • Is there a single other prophecy (or indeed ordinary dream) in this series that hasn't come true From a Certain Point of View? It looks very much like You Can't Fight Fate in this universe. And what reason would she have to lie? Mirri Maz Duur had her city sacked by Dany's husband; Cersei was just rude to Maggy.
      • Dany's child will become the Stallion who mounts the world?...
      • He certainly is! All three of them are! Shit, two of them alone wrought havoc in Meereen once poor Quentyn let them out! And that's not even talking about how all her freed slaves call her "Mother".
      • Maybe this prophecy is doomed now because Myrcella can't wear a crown, lacking an ear as she does...
  • All Cercei's children were born crowned with gold — they're golden-haired Lannisters when they should have been raven-haired Baratheons. Actually getting to sit on the Iron Throne itself may not matter to meet the prophecy. Our dear Maggy was telling Cersei to her face that she was going to be an incestuous adulator, instead. Perhaps.
    • In addition: being Lannister-"Baratheon"s — the odds of being sent of with shrouds of gold would be high, regardless of being rulers. The House colours of Lannister: red and gold(en yellow — for when you can't go full-on, shiny-shiny gold). The House colours of Baratheon: black and gold(en yellow). Spot the common denominator.
  • Maybe the younger and more beautiful queen is a post-marriage to Aegon VI Arianne Martell? I really do hope it's Myrcella and her inner beauty, though. Kid's earned it by now, scarring-be-damned.
Tommen and Rickon are going to be friends.
  • When this series is over and everyone else is dead, Tommen and Rickon are going to meet up and be bestest friends, and rule the North and South fairly. You will be able to cut the symbolism of those two being friends with a knife. I'm really just basing this on them being similar ages and that they are the only two members of their families that are not seriously messed up.
    • Rickon not messed up? Poor kid's practically a dire wolf already. He's going to be a warg.
  • Alternatively, Tommen will make friends with Bran They're of an age, and Bran seems genuinely dedicated to being a good little Lordling. Tommen needs somebody'' to set an example.
    • But he's gone of to the North to develop his third eye or whatever it is. Tommen is going to be the only one left.
  • This theory also assumes that Cersei's prophecy?that all her children will be crowned (true) and all of them will die before her (1/3rd true so far)?gets averted. Somehow, I'm not holding my breath. (Which is too bad for Tommen, really. He's a cute kid. "When I'm king I'm going to outlaw beets!")
    • If I remember correctly, the prophecy says that she will see her children crowned and die. It's possible that something could cause Cersei to believe Tommen and Myrcella are dead, when in actuality one or even both of them survived. I really hope GRRM does something like this. These two are some of the few genuinely good people in the series. It would be a shame if they were killed off.
  • You really think there's going to be a happy ending to all this?
    • At this point, the question could be whether or not there will be an end at all.
  • It's pretty obvious it's gonna be Jaime. She'd never expect it, even if the readers do, and it'd definitely tie into all that about them coming into the world together and leaving it together, particularly if Jaime dies soon after

House Frey will be wiped out to a man by the end of the series.
  • Once old Walder Frey dies, there's guaranteed to be conflict between the heirs, particularly Black Walder and Edwyn. Plus most of the other riverlords dislike them, the Brotherhood Without Banners plans to kill as many as they can, and the fact that they've disgraced their house by killing their guest. It seems only fitting that the one house with no shortage of heirs will end up extinct.
    • And a large portion of the fanbase will cheer, although the death of Walder Frey would be the main attraction.
    • For that matter, it may in fact happen or at least become obviously inevitable before Walder dies. Having his pride stripped before he dies would seem to be what natural justice would require, after all...
    • A curious happening at the end of A Feast for Crows. Tom Sevenstrings is at Riverrun, along with its new Frey Lord. Given that he was present and gleefully a part of the previous hanging at the end of the previous book, I think its safe to say he didn't move into Riverrun because he felt that the Brotherhood Without Banners has lost sight of its original goal...
    • You obviously didn't pay enough attention - this is almost stated outright. Ryman Frey, the heir to the Twins (and Catelyn's killer), was hanged after Riverrun fell, along with several other Freys. Tom Sevenstrings organized that attack, and he is the reason why the Brotherhood Without Banners have so much inside information on the Freys.
  • Wyman Manderly will certainly be doing his best, as A Dance With Dragons confirms. Frey pie, anyone?

Daenerys won't survive the series.
  • If you're about to say "like he would really do it," please take a moment to remember where we are. Raise your hands if you thought the same regarding Ned and Robb Stark. There have already been subtle hints that Daenerys, despite having Taken Several Levels In Badass, still isn't quite nasty enough for this world. I grant, she has thus far proven to be a very difficult person to dispose of, but none of the majors players in Westeros are actively seeking her death; she's not important enough. Once she tries to actually invade Westeros, she's in for a nasty shock. After managing to cause a healthy dose of mayhem, confusion, and consternation, she'll end up being demolished the minute someone sends her dragons to the Void.
    • The released chapter of her shows her getting rather used to Assassination attacks and learning to be a good fair ruler while still being rather ruthless. She also has Tyrion, Quentyn Martell, Victarion Greyjoy all heading toward her. Tyrion is his father's son to the point of shooting his father in the crotch with a crossbow...
    • I think Dany may die before the end of the series, because she was prophesized to have three betrayals in her life. What kind of monarch is only betrayed three times? ...A monarch with a short life. Wildly guessing here, but it seems possible the third betrayal will kill her.
    • I've been assuming this almost has to be the case, if only because of the constant emphasis on how she's barren. A queen who returned to Westeros, conquered, and reestablished the ancient dynasty only to die childless because she cannot produce an heir would only plunge the kingdom back into anarchy and civil war a generation later. The mythological overtones of the story almost require a new king who can found a new, stronger dynasty that will be able to thrive for hundreds (if not thousands) of years.
      • Plus, to throw in the "Martin started writing this series based off the Wars of the Roses" angle, as the exiled and returning spawn of the old kings, she doesn't really fit the role of Henry Tudor. Jon is a far better fit, (likely) being the fusion of both the ancient blood of the Kings of the North and the ruling blood of the dragon kings.

Tyrion will join Dany.
  • Related to the above, he's smart enough to keep her alive. I could even imagine them being married (whether or not they have sex is something else entirely, but as a co-ruler, she could do a lot worse).

Jaime Lannister will become King of the Seven Kingdoms
  • GRRM is very good at subverting audience expectations. It would be like him, akin to the Red Wedding, to go: "Look, all this hokey magic and ancient prophesying is no match for a good sword by your side. Sure, Azor Ahai would have helped defeat the Others, but a Four-Star Badass will do, Dany is prophesied to become queen, but she spent too much time farting about in Mereen and now the moment's passed, etc" So the "prophesied" destinies of the more likely candidates could prove to be meaningless. So why Jaime? Well, it would fit with the series' cynicism to make the Kingslayer the King. Also, there has been some blink-and-you'll-miss-it description that could be seen as foreshadowing: when Jon first sees him at Winterfell in Game Of Thrones, he thinks to himself "that is how a king should look." He is also first introduced as a conciliator between Robert and Cersei, possibly foreshadowing some pretty impressive diplomacy to get the kingdom back together. He is now the only Lannister who seems to give a crap about actually trying to govern. Finally, he is a Father to His Men, and has the potential to be a father to his people. GRRM could end the series leaving it ambiguous as to whether Jaime will be a useless dilletante or an efficient monarch - Robert Baratheon Mk. II or Jaime, of the House Lannister, The First of His Name, King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, Lord of Casterly Rock and Kingslayer.
    • Try Getting That on a Business Card

The Others are not evil.
  • All we've ever seen them do that could even be considered "evil" is kill members of the Night's Watch. Which, one must remember, is a hostile armed force that regularly goes on forays into territory that they do not own, kills the largely harmless denizens of said territory, and retreats to the security of its Wall.
  • Possibly related theory: the Others are the Children of the Forest.
  • It seems very likely that the Others are not flat-out evil. There is very little black in Martin's world. But just because they're not evil doesn't mean that they're not antagonists and not a threat to Westeros.
    • "Very little black"? This series has minor characters that are worse than the primary antagonists of other High Fantasy series. They just happen to be distributed fairly equally among the different factions. That said, it's quite possible that we'll get some kind of backstory or fleshing out for the Others that reveals that they have some reason for slaughtering and re-animating living things other than shits and giggles and makes them somewhat more sympathetic or understandable - a la the Norns from Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn (the series that got GRRM interested in fantasy as a genre), which were also eerie, pale-skinned humanoids associated with deathly cold. So they may turn out to be somewhat sympathetic villains rather than the inscrutable monsters they are now.
      • There is indeed very little black. In that there are only "black" individuals (like Ramsay Bolton or Gregor Clegane). There are no "black" races, tribes or houses, in which every single member is Always Chaotic Evil (with maybe ONE good guy), like in many other fantasy settings (or, in many other stories in general).
  • The Others kill wildlings too. Mance told Jon that their wights were killing more of his men than the Night's Watch (at least until Stannis showed up). There is good evidence that they aren't the Children of the Forest either. If Old Nan's story from book one is to be believed, it was the Children who taught the First Men how to defeat the Others the first time they invaded.
  • There's said to have been one Lord Commander of the Watch who in the past married an Other. And while he was a pretty despicable person, they stayed together for 13 years. That suggests at least that a White Walker need not be an Omnicidal Maniac, and can get along with a human.

Val is now a wight.
When she is first described, Val has long blonde hair and grey eyes. When she comes back from her mission in the last book she appears in, she has bright blue eyes. While this possibly could be dismissed as carelessness on GRRM's part, it's highly unlikely that a physical detail like that would change for no reason. Blue and gray are close enough for the casual observer, or someone who's just going 'Look how pretty she is' not to notice, but the wights have blue eyes. Further, as Coldhands has shown us, wights aren't necessarily mindless zombies.
  • In the same passage where she is mentioned as having blue eyes, she is also described as having flushed cheeks from the cold and as having her breath fog in the cold air, which would require her to have flowing blood and breathing lungs, both things that the wights lack — their black hands are caused by blood pooling and congealing at their extremities, while the lack of condensed frost on the scarf around Coldhands' mouth, and thus his lack of breath, was part of how Bran and his companions realized what he was.

Tysha is the Sailor's Wife.
  • In Braavos, Arya encounters a prostitute known only as the Sailor's Wife, famous for marrying every one of her clients. The Wife is also able to speak Westerosi, unlike most people in Braavos; has a daughter called Lanna; and constantly mourns for her "first husband," her one true love, who was allegedly lost at sea. This "first husband," however, was none other than Tyrion Lannister, and she named her daughter after the Lannisters in memory of their relationship, unpleasant end notwithstanding. Where do whores go? Braavos, as it turns out.
    • This is one of the most disturbing things I've read on this website. Why would Tysha have undying love for a hideous midget who participated in her gang rape???
      • "Hideous midget"? Shockingly, both dwarfs and "hideous" people have been known to find true love. And sometimes it even lasts a long time!
      • Because she loved him before, and knows he didn't know the truth after a rant by his father. That and years of a harsh fantasy world having Tyrion's love be the only peace she knew. It's horribly disturbing because that's the sort of series this is...
      • Since it seems that Tyrion will be joining up with Daenerys shortly, the logical conclusion would be that Tyrion would betray Daenerys to save Braavos. This would fulfill the final part of the blood/gold/love prophecy. (Jorah never betrayed Daenerys for love, quite the opposite. IMO the whole Jorah romance plotline is likely to be a red herring in that regard.)
      • She may not love him anymore, even if she doesn't blame him for what happened to her, but I doubt that would have anything to do with his appearance since she didn't seem to mind that he was a "hideous midget" before. Although even if she forgives him on the basis that he was coerced by his father, I doubt she would want to have a relationship with him ever again. Which is why I don't really buy the theory that the Sailor's Wife is Tysha, unless she's lying about waiting for her love to return to her.
      • It is possible that she is waiting for her love to return so that she can get her revenge. Which would fit nicely in with the way GRRM likes to subvert ideas. Because I really could not get behind a character waiting for a man who gang raped her (and only felt bad about it when he found out that she wasn't really a whore. Because apparently whores deserve to be raped)
      • Look, Tyrion still loved Tysha for years and years even when he believed that she had only ever faked being in love with him for money and that every single thing she had ever said to him was a lie. Love is weird and illogical, especially when you're looking back and love that you had when you were young and innocent from a long time afterwards.
    • Why does everyone assume that you have to be a whore if you are raped? Only because Tywin called her a whore and had her gang-raped doesn't mean that she actually is a whore. That's some serious Unfortunate Implications there. And why on earth would Dany waste her strength by attacking Braavos?
      • Do you remember Tywin's Famous Last Words? Supposedly Tysha'd been sent to a whorehouse.
      • Tywin's words were that she went 'wherever whores go'. I always took that as a flippant dismissal that Tyrion, in his self-pitying (and I love the guy, but that is one of his flaws. Perhaps understandably, but it is.) obsession with her, took far too seriously. Why does Tywin care where Tysha went? He assumed she was a whore, so he figured wherever she wandered off to afterwards was 'wherever whores go'.
      • I thought it meant she was dead. You know, good men go to heaven, bad men go to hell, Tysha is wherever whores go.
      • Sad thing is, either one is very likely given Tywin's character. Depending on how merciful he was feeling, he might have had her shipped off to a whore house, and regardless of whether or not she had been a whore previously, she'd be forced into it after that. Then again, it's as likely as not he had her killed.
      • Also, this is the Dark Ages we're talking about. There aren't a lot of career choices out there for girls who have most likely been threatened with death if they ever go near their homes or tell anyone where they've gone. You need training and probably references to be a servant, family support to get into some kind of craft, virginity to get married (or, at least, to have enough say in who you marry to be able to choose someone who isn't completely horrible), and if you're pregnant (as Lanna's name and age imply), nobody's going to give you a chance to do any of those things. Pimps have been preying on desperate people with nowhere to go for a very, very long time in human history. Hell, even Varys had to sell his body to survive when he was a kid, and he was a boy without a baby to support.
    • And what's even more disturbing is that Tyrion managed to get an erection and rape Tysha. After a dozen guards had raped her. In front of Tywin and everything.
      • Folks tend to get erections when distressed or confused, not just sexually excited. Getting an erection has nothing to do with wanting to have sex. Note that 3 out of 5 men can get erect while being raped.
      • Between fear of Tywin Lannister's punishment for not doing it and the distress and confusion mentioned above, it doesn't seem so far fetched.
    • People keep talking about how Tyrion raped Tysha—does no one realize that Tywin forced him to? Think about it with the genders switched—a father forces his barely teenage, terrified daughter to have sex with her equally unwilling boyfriend. She's not a rapist, and neither is Tyrion. What happened was just as much an assault on him as it was on Tysha. The guilty party here is Tywin.
      • The whole "he had an erection, therefore he wanted it" troubles me. Men can get an erection just from being put in a sexual situation, even an unwanted one. This isn't something that's hard to believe, it's happened in real life. It can be difficult to get an erection in such a stressful situation, but it's hardly impossible.
  • Is Braavosi "where whores go?"
  • The other whore, who could read someone's future in a drop of blood, said that the Sailor's Wife's husband was dead.
    • But if you don't take it literally it would make quite a bit of sense.
    • Look at it this way: Tysha mourns her first marriage because it was a time when she was happy. Her husband being dead could just mean dead to her after he let her be raped numerous times. (From her point of view)
    • Considering how she "marries" all of her clients, she probably has thousands of "husbands," any one of whom could be dead.
  • Why is everyone assuming that if the Sailor's Wife turns out to be Tysha, she and Tyrion would have to have a joyous reunion? It could be, or it could be bittersweet, or it could be just bitter, or they could never bump into each other and it's all just an ambiguous background detail.
  • The Sailor's Wife is almost certainly not Tysha. Tyrion and Tysha married about 11 years prior to the start of the series, with the Sailor's Wife being introduced about a year later. The daughter of the Sailor's Wife is 14 years old. Even if Tysha got pregnant on the first try, her child couldn't be older than ten or 11. The again, it might just be that writers cannot do math.
    • Or it could just be a case of you can't do math. Tyrion was born in 273, and turned 13 in 286. Lanna is 14(ish) meaning that she is the exact age that Tysha's child would be if Tyrion and Tysha had a child.
    • It is wishful thinking that a gang-raped woman would become pregnant precisely from the one 13 year old boy in the pile.

Tysha is Taena Merryweather
She has wormed her way into Cersei's good graces and is working from within to bring down the Lannisters in revenge for her rape and humiliation. Taena has no real backstory or lineage besides being Myrish, but that could be an invention.
  • You'd think Tyrion would have noticed by now . . .

The Wall is going to fall before the end of things.
  • Mance Rayder supposedly found the Horn of Winter, and was going to use it as leverage in getting his way past the wall. Since it was balked so much, it must be the right horn. This will lead to the Wall falling, and freeing everyone who didn't want to be working there from their vows once and for all.
    • Well if it doesn't, the Others sure aren't much of a threat.
    • This theory is already further up the page buried under bullets, but I agree the wall is going to fall. However, I don't think Mance's horn is the Horn of Winter. Ygritte said they didn't find it, and at that point she trusted and loved Jon. She had no reason to lie. I believe that horn was a bluff on Mance's part. I think the true Horn of Winter is the one Ghost found at the Fist of the First Men, that Jon gave to Sam. It was buried with the obsidian, so someone thought it was important. Sam has been carrying it ever since. Even after he loses all of his belongings but the clothes on his back, Martin is sure to mention he still has the horn. It's important since Martin isn't one for dropping unneeded details or red herrings.
      • Speaking of small details, when Ygritte and Jon are in the cave discussing the horn, Ygritte starts crying. She tells him they never found The Horn, but that when they were digging through those graves, they "set them free." I believe that while they were looking for The Horn, the Wildlings accidentally set The Others free. Accidentally unleashing an ancient evil while crypt robbing? Seems very GRRM to me.
      • And Sam, being Sam, will eventually blow the Horn thinking it's, you know, a normal horn, accidentally knocking the wall down?
      • Wasn't it also said of the horn that Jon couldn't produce any sound from it? It would make sense for a magical horn intended to bring down the wall to be unusable on the wrong side of the wall.
    • Ygritte had no reason to lie to Jon, but Mance had every reason to lie to Ygritte. He tells Jon as much when he threatens to blow the horn.
    • The horn is now destroyed.
    • According to Tormund Giantsbane in ADWD, the horn that Mance claims is the Horn of Joramun is just some giant's horn they found in a tomb. The real Horn could still be out there.
  • The wight-ish Coldhands couldn't pass the Wall, and it's been said repeatedly that the Wall was built with powerful magics as well as ice. It's likely that the Others are physically incapable of passing the Wall, which means that in order to invade Westeros, they'll have to bring down the Wall somehow. This is where the Horn of Winter becomes even more important, if the Others were to somehow get their mitts on it. (Prediction: The Winds of Winter will end with the Oh Shit moment of someone blowing the Horn, the Wall coming down and the Others riding over the Night's Watch keeps.)

All red-haired people in Westeros share a hive mind by way of R'hllor.
  • Released chapters from Dance with Dragons show Melisandre knows the catchphrase "You know nothing, Jon Snow." But the woman who said this died before Melisandre ever arrived on the Wall, so there is no way that she could have known the phrase would be pertinent. However, Melisandre and the aforementioned Ygritte both have red hair, a fact which is specifically remarked upon several times ? Ygritte is outright referred to as "kissed by fire," while Melisandre is a priestess of a god of fire. Clearly, R'hllor gives mystical telepathy to all those in the world with red hair ? possibly also including Beric Dondarrion (at least, until he finally kicked the bucket for good), the Tullys and those Starks with Tully features (debatable, as they have auburn hair, but it's fairly close to red), and maybe several others, as redheads are not massively uncommon.
    • Melisandre probably has some psychic powers, that doesn't necessarily mean it has anything to do with hair colour. She could have taken the phrase from Jon's own head, not Ygritte's.
  • The first time Mel said the phrase, it was very "OH hoho?" but then Val and others continued to say it multiple times with no special effect, leading me to think "You know nothing" is actually just a common wildling phrase.

Daenerys will be tricked by the Martells into destroying their enemies.
  • Fact, The Martells support Dany. Fact, they're sending an suitor to treat with her. Fact, the Lannisters killed Dany's family. Opinion, Dany being duped into killing (mostly) innocent people is a great way for her to get into mega-mad queen mode, also it would teach her the Targaryens weren't great people, and that people will use her.

Rickon will kill Littlefinger.
  • Direwolves are expressions of the Starks' (and Jon's)personalities. Lady was gentle, Summer is excitement-loving and a little childish, Nymeria is jaded, Ghost is The Stoic, and Grey Wind...we don't really know that much about. Regardless, Shaggydog is terrifying EVEN TO THE OTHER WOLVES. And it takes FOUR GROWN MEN TO RESTRAIN RICKON. Think about this. Rickon's been slowly losing his humanity - note: he's the only Stark kid still near his wolf, and, as Jojen told Bran, it is very difficult for a warg to keep his humanity. I.e., by the time we see Rickon again, he will be essentially a NIGH UNKILLABLE homicidal maniac with distrust for all near his siblings. Littlefinger's plan was jostled only once - when Joffrey killed Ned. And Rickon is WAY more chaotic and insane than Joffrey, though less evil. Rickon will catch Littlefinger...doing something to Sansa, and then RIP HIS FUCKING FACE OFF.
    • Not necessarily a bad theory, though Rickon isn't really the only Stark kid still near his wolf. Bran is still fairly close to Summer, and Jon has Ghost around him all the time.
      • Bran is a trained warg/greenseer, and Jon is pretty much a grown man. Rickon, however, literally grew up with his wolf beside him; if they share a mind, he could well end up feral. (Compare a child raised with a pet dog, and a child raised by dogs.)
      • Ooh, I like this. Think how much of Jojen's training it's taking to prevent Bran giving himself up to the wolf (while he has psychic potential most of his brothers don't, Rickon had the same prophetic dream about Ned's death that Bran did). What does Rickon (wherever he is) have? Osha, a wildling - if she's still alive. Wildlings fear wargs at worst and revere them at best, but at any rate she's likely to have no idea how to control one. When Rickon shows up he'll at the very least be Raised by Wolves.

Daenerys' return to Westeros will be an Anti-Climax
  • This strikes me as the kind of thing GRRM would do. I'm probably wrong (I've not read book four yet), but I can't say I'd be surprised if Daenerys gets home either to find it's an absolute wreck and there'll be no fighting involved, the people reject her outright for some reason, her dragons die of magic swine flu or something like that.
    • The most likely way this will happen is probably this: when she meets up with Euron Crow's-Eye, he uses his magic dragon horn, but instead of putting the dragons under his control, it causes them to go mad, and they kill him and Dany.

Stannis is not a Baratheon
  • The unique Baratheon coloration is pretty much a constant throughout the series. Everyone with a drop of Baratheon blood before and after Robert has coal-black hair and blue eyes. Stannis may look similar, but not to the extent of EVERY OTHER RELATIVE OF ROBERTS. More damningly, Melisandre must use a leech full of a king's blood to work her magic, and instead of leeching Stannis (to whom she has had access for months) she uses Edric Storm. Stannis will discover this at some point and either submit to execution for treason or take the black.
    • But Mel does does use Stannis' blood to bring about the death's of Joffery, Robb and Balon. Her main objection to using his blood to wake the dragons was that it would require taking all of it. You know, as in killing he own messiah. Hence the need for an alternate blood source...
      • At that point she had and was leeching Edric Storm.
      • The point stands, though; it would hardly have been practical for her to burn Stannis.
      • She tells Stannis that there's power in the blood of Kings; i.e., Robert's Blood. Robert may have been a shit king, but he was the acknowledged king of a united kingdom, something Stannis has yet to obtain, making Stannis king in name only as of yet.
    • Also, the Baratheon coloration is described as being black-haired and blue-eyed. Also, all three of the Baratheon brothers are described as being big men, that is, tall, strong, and broad-shouldered. Stannis is black-haired and blue-eyed, tall, strong, and broad-shouldered.

George R. R. Martin will Kill ’Em All. Literally
  • The others will break through the wall, the people of Westeros, the Free Cities, Ghis, the wildlings, etc will all, eventually, come to the realisation that they have to combine their strength to fight them - but it won't matter - the Others will keep killing people, turning more and more people into Others, and A Dream of Spring will end with not a speck of life remaining on the planet and George R. R. Martin pissing himself laughing.
    • No, they'll manage to defeat the Others, but in doing so will unwittingly unleash whatever caused the Doom of Valyria, destroying Westeros anyway.
      • Ooh, I like this one. Because what is the Doom of Valyria pretty confidently assumed to be? A supervolcano. What is Dargonstone quite clearly built on? A dormant volcano (and not the only place in Westeros that has volcanic activity - Winterfell does too. What is Melisandre trying to do in order to defeat the Others? Wake Dragonstone. I can't imagine the spirits of ice surviving fire enough to render a continent a smoking uninhabitable ruin, so I daresay when she manages it, it will defeat them. And probably save most of the world, but not many of the people whose names we know.

  • The final showdown between the only surviving factions in Westeros will be Nymeria's wolfpack vs. the suspiciously intelligent ravens.

Arya will join Dany
Arya's in the area, she has reason to wander the world, Arya's a good rider so the Dothraki * would respect her, and Dany needs to know about the sordid past of the Targaryeans.
  • Arya isn't Arya anymore, she's a Faceless (Wo)Man.
    • Not true. She's on her way to being that, but she seems to be retaining her self thus far, though barely. There are two possibilities of that plot. Either she'll become a Faceless, who you know will end up with a bigger role once the Others plot sets in, or she'll resist and end up fighting them. And probably Dany.
      • or she'll find a surgorate familiy in Victarion's crew
      • Scary thought. Iron-woman Arya. I like it. She's being pushed from one 'pack' to another, getting increasingly hardcore each time. First the Night's Watch recruits, then the Brotherhood Without Banners, then the Hound, then the Faceless Men. Now the ironborn. Makes sense. And consider, the ironborn are making a bid for Dany and the dragons. My theory is that one of the dragon-riders will be a skinchanger (explained some way below). Which probably means a Stark. I'd been betting on Jon, but...

Daenerys will marry Tommen
Assuming Martin plans on ending the series on a stable note, this is the only possible outcome. Jon is the natural candidate of course, seeing as he and Dany are GRRM's pet characters, but at this point Winterfell is practically nonexistent, and holds no political power. This rules out Bran, too. Marrying Tommen is the only peaceful solution that will satisfy Dany and her army (which by this point could crush Westeros without breaking a sweat) and not involve murdering every other protagonist in the book.
  • That's far from the only "stable" outcome. In fact, one could actually argue that it wouldn't be a stable outcome at all, since it would leave a queen who cannot bear heirs on the throne, while failing to resolve any number of other pretty significant issues (Tommen isn't truly of the blood of kings, he's supposed to die soon anyway according to Cersei's prophecy, simply having Daenerys come back doesn't actually work in the narrative context because it's a reimposition of the old order, rather than the birth of a new one, etc). Jon's ass is pretty much destined to wind up on that throne, with huge odds that neither Tommen or Daenerys survive the next two books. It can go multiple ways (Daenerys discovers Jon is her nephew and they marry, or conversely, Jon is revealed to be Rhaegar's heir and the kingdom acknowledges him, and then he either takes Dany's place (and her dragons) when she dies, or actively becomes a rival to her). Jon is almost certainly the fusion of old and new blood, and is pretty much poetically destined to eventually rule.
    • Side-note - even his oath doesn't necessarily preclude becoming king - if he dies and is reborn, his death would end his oath.
  • Dany's army could certainly not 'crush Westeros without breaking a sweat'. She has Dothraki calvalry, a load of sellswords and the elite Unsullied Legion(s), but without a significant alliance with at least one of the Great Houses (and preferably more than one), her forces would probably be bled to the bone during her first siege attempt - which by itself would tie up a third to half her forces while she waits for whichever castle it is to fall. The warriors that make up Dany's army are very good at what they do, but there are many different facets of warfare, and the Westerosi use of heavy armor and fortifications could toss a spanner in the works of any plans she has for complete conquest. At this point, her dragons are as likely to kill her own men as they are the other side.
    • TV!Robert explained the true threat Dany poses; her army can't successfully besiege a castle, but if she leaves the castles alone and goes on a scorched earth campaign against everyone who can't hide behind stone walls, it's only a matter of time until the people decide they'd rather have her as their leader than the nobles who abandoned them to hide in their fortresses. Better to be at the devil's side than in her path, as it were. Whether or not Dany would be smart enough to come up with this plan, or have the will to go through with it if she did are different questions, however.
      • Correction, on the show it is talked about how a Dothraki army do not lay effective siege and that no sane commander would engage them in the field, but that the counter point to this argument was that they would start a scorched earth campaign that would force the king and his nobles to engage them for political reasons. that has nothing to do with an army of unsullied, the men-at-arms Selmy is training, and the mercenary companies in her employ. on top of that, the golden company, one of, if not the most, highly trained and respected mercenary company has landed and has sacked at least one castle and i think we can agree that they would be receptive of Dany, giving her an influx of elite troops and a staging area. So assuming she isn't raped and enslaved by the khalasar that finds her at the end of ADWD and she some how ends up leading them she should have a very good sized army and a great chance to really make a dent if she ever leaves Essos.

GRRM is a Ricardian
Making Tyrion (the deformed, snarky Evil Uncleesque noble with bad publicity) one of the most sympathetic characters in the series was a deliberate invocation of the stereotypes surrounding popular depictions of Richard III in order to subvert them.
  • This also seems to be echoed a bit in the character of Renly. Renly is also Joffrey's uncle, and likes his nephew about as much as Tyrion does and in the tv series, is pretty much openly shown plotting to murder him and Cersei, which really isn't all that bad of a decision. It's implied that this was the idea of Renly's boyfriend, Ser Loras Tyrell- note that the man who Richard supposedly had kill the "Princes in the Tower" was Sir James Tyrrell.
  • Stannis also has some of Richard III in him; Renly is also a bit of a mixture between George, 1st Duke of Clarence and Edmund, Earl of Rutlan.

Syrio Forel is a Faceless Man
  • After Arya flees the scen of his (supposed) death, he is captured by Ser Meryn and thrown into the Black Cells. There, he changes is identity to that of Jaqen H'ghar, and leaves the King's Landing with the other convicts bound for the Wall. That doesn't work out, and after his business with Arya is concluded, he becomes the Alchemist from the prologue of A Feast for Crows. He then kills Pate, assumes his identity, and greets Sam Tarly in that personality at the end of A Ff C.
    • Alternatively, In the series verse is Syrio Forel is Jaqen H'ghar. Syrio Forel's discussion on death sounds a heck of a lot like a faceless man. Alternatively he just knows it well being of Bravvos
    • Furthermore Syrio/Jaqen is also Arya's new mentor the kindly old man who likes to put on a cadaver face.
      • Sadly, this one doesn't seem likely (and this is coming from a Syrio=Jaqen supporter). The description of the man Jaqen turns into in Co K exactly matches the description of the man who kills Pate in the beginning of A Ff C, so Jaqen is almost definitely Pate.
Gerion Lannister is still alive.
  • He'll put in an appearance when Dany goes to the ruins of Old Valyria. He'll be half-crazy and still looking for Brightroar. ,
  • He made it to Old Valyria but was stranded. Now, he is one of Euron's tongueless thralls that crew the Silence.

Sansa or Rickon will rebuild Winterfell.
We know the House of Stark will rise again, and they're best candidates - Robb is dead, Arya will become a Faceless Woman, Jon is commanding the Night Watch and most likely has a bigger destiny, and Bran will probably be busy fighting the Others. Sansa building a snow castle might be forshadowing, and Martin may be planning something for Rickon.

Jaime will take the black
If everything works out in Daenerys's favor, then Jaime will have to answer for his crimes as traitor and king-killer. To avoid being executed and finally give up on any chance of being respected or honored, Jaime will go to the Wall. He'll then become a Big Brother Mentor to Jon Snow and, parallel to Tyrion, give him advice of how to command the Wall at his young age.
  • Possible, but as mentioned above, there's a good chance the Wall is going to come down sooner or later, and Jon could end up elsewhere. Besides I think if any mentor-ish figure were going to take the Black it would probably be Jorah Mormont, as per his father's last request.
  • If the Wall doesn't come down (I think the chances of that are about 50-50 with it returning to its former glory as a post of distinction), this actually makes a lot of sense— as pointed out elsewhere, the Kingsguard and the Night's Watch are essentially parallels (one wears white, is elite, and guards the king, the other wears black, is open to all, and guards the kingdom). It'd be incredibly poetic for Jaime to end the series atoning for his crimes in the Kingsguard by serving in the Night's Watch. (I personally think he's going to end up Lord Commander, as a sort of reward/penance, and as Jon is almost certainly going to be the Stark in Winterfell. Then Sam would slot in nicely at Aemon's position, and Jorah, if he joins up as suggested above, as Lord Steward [the position he failed to serve for Dany].)
    • Jamie or Mormont will probably wind up Lord Commander, assuming the Night's Watch still exists at the end of the series. Rickon will probably wind up becoming the Stark who ultimately reclaims Winterfell, while Jon winds up sitting on the Iron Throne.

Tyrion is Aerys' son, not Tywin's
It's possible that Aerys slept with Joanna - in his twisted mind, maybe it was a way to "punish" Tywin. Tyrion's fair hair may be the Targaryen white-blond hair, and his one black eye can be very dark purple. It also fits nicely with Tyrion's fascination with dragons, and with the theory that he's one of dragon heads. After all, dragons are magical - it makes sense that only people with Targaryen blood will be able to control them (Jon is commonly thought to be the other dragon head, and the "Jon is half-Targaryen" theory is very popular and makes a lot of sense).Also, if Tyrion is really Aerys' son, then Jaime killed his father. 17 years later, Tyrion killed Jaime's father... and as we know, "A Lannister always pays his debts".
  • This would sort of fly in the face of Genna telling Jaime in no uncertain terms that Tyrion is the only one of the three Lannisters who is truly Tywin's son (of course she only meant figuratively - he has the same personality as his father, probably in his younger days when he was known to smile).
  • This is supported in ADWD. Ser Barristan tells Dany that Aerys loved/lusted after/had some kind of affection for Joanna Lancaster, Tywin's wife and Tyrion's mother. And Tyrion could have developed his personality from being raised by Tywin.
    • Specifically, from ADWD: “Prince Aerys … as a youth, he was taken with a certain lady of Casterly Rock, a cousin of Tywin Lannister. When she and Tywin wed, your father drank too much wine at the wedding feast and was heard to say that it was a great pity that the lord’s right to the first night had been abolished. A drunken jape, no more, but Tywin Lannister was not a man to forget such words, or the … the liberties your father took during the bedding.” What is to say Aerys didn't take his lord's right by force later? Would explain Tywin's hatred of Tyrion even beyond causing his mother's death.
  • Also, there's at least one other character in the canon notable for having heterochromia- Shiera Seastar, one of the Great Bastards of Aegon IV. Furthermore, it would make a great "out" for Tyrion- in Westeros, kinslaying is considered one of the great Moral Event Horizons, but if he's not Tywin's real son then he's basically "off the hook" for killing him. Speaking of which, Tywin's Last Words were "You are no son of mine", even though Tyrion hadn't even just addressed him as "father", which may have counted as a Deathbed Confession rather than merely an I Have No Son! moment.
    • If Tywin wasn't his father, he was still (I believe) something like a cousin once removed — whatever you call your mother's first cousin — so he's not COMPLETELY off the hook for kinslaying, but it's certainly a lot better (especially since in Westeros, it's not considered incest to marry your first cousin).
  • This also accounts for why Tywin broke up Tyrion's marriage the way he did, and why he would only let Tyrion have whores (including providing Shae). Any Targaryen-looking progeny could be passed off as passing customers. But if Tyrion had such offspring in a monogamous relationship, Tywin's secret shame would be known by all. Tyrion's marriage to Sansa was only meant to be a stopgap to block the Tyrells. Which mean Tywin never expected Tyrion to ever consummate that marriage... which means...
  • Also, worth noting: "Man's laws give you the right to take my name and bear my colors, since I cannot prove that you are not mine, but you will never have Casterly Rock, I promise you that."
  • Interesting because if this were true, it might actually bring Jaime and Tyrion a lot closer to making up. Okay, yes, I did kill your father — but, in fairness, you killed mine...
  • This would also help explain why Tywin betrayed Aerys. The friction caused by what happened with Jaime and Cersei hardly seems proper cause to sack King's Landing and brutally kill the royal family.
  • In The World Of Ice and Fire, Joanna was rumored to be Aerys's mistress, and Aerys was the one who took her maidenhead. Since Pycelle was the one insisting the rumors are nothing but that... It should also be noted that the year before Tyrion was born, Joanna left Casterly Rock to attend a tourney held to celebrate Aerys's decade on the throne. It was documented that Aerys insulted her at the function. Being Aerys, I wouldn't put it past him to mock Joanna during the day and demanding that the Kingsguard drag her to his bed during the night...
  • The series makes a big deal of family hair and eyes when it comes to true born children. Tyrion is heterochromal, unlike any other Lannister (who's' eyes are universally just green), and has "hair so blonde it's almost white." What if the "blond" part was just what people expected to see, and he really just has white hair?

If the R+ L=J theory is true, Melisandre will be the one to discover it.
According to her, peering into the fire allows her to see the past as well as the future, which might be the only way to tell Jon's heritage for sure and have a (technically) reliable source to vouch for his heritage. Even if Howland Reed, and possibly his children as well, knew this, his word wouldn't count for very much since he's a crannogman. If Melisandre does find out that Jon is of Royal Blood, Targaryen no less, then she could very well demand that he be burned, thus creating a good excuse for the Night Watch to kick Stannis and his people out of the Wall.
  • The Night's Watch isn't really in a position to be laying the smack down on Stannis at the moment. They barely have enough men to mount an adequate defense against the Wildlings from the other side of the Wall.
    • I think it's just as likely now that Bran discovers it, what with his newfound powers over seeing the past through the weirwoods.
      • Agreed. His visions of his younger father and Lyanna seem to be the closest thing so far to finally revealing the "secret" (as if we haven't figured it out by now) behind Lyanna

Margaery isn't really going to be tried for adultery by the High Septon.
The High Septon knew immediately that Osney's confession was false. However, having Cersei arrested while protected by the Kingsguard would be very difficult; arresting Margaery and waiting for Cersei to come to the High Sept without her guard so she can gloat would be very easy.
  • Alternatively, her grandmother will come and advise her to publicly confess to the High Septon and swear her loyalty to the Faith, while making a private deal with the High Septon to give her a light punishment in exchange for her future loyalty to him as queen since it seems Cersei will soon be out of the way.
    • Doubtful. The High Septon is much, much too pious for any kind of under-the-table agreement like this. I get a sense that from a political perspective he's too rigidly, short-sightedly pious to really pull off any kind of serious politics. He may not be what he seems, but I think he is.

Jeyne Westerling is on the run.
When we meet Jeyne Westerling (Robb's wife), we get several pages of Catelyn rhapsodising over her childbearing hips. By the end of A Feast for Crows, when Jaime meets her, he describes her as a "narrow-hipped" girl. The real Jeyne must have given her mother the slip, probably running (swimming?) away with the Blackfish or disguised as a maid somewhere in Riverrun- the replacement was tricked up to keep the Lannisters happy (in much the same way as there's a fake Arya who's going to marry the Bastard of Bolton), with her mother's forced connivance (it's either that or admit to the Lannisters that she messed up, which would endanger her family's pardon). Oh, and it's even money that the real Jeyne is pregnant with an heir to the King in the North.
  • The difference in the hips description between her two appearances has merit. But man oh man, it would take balls of Valarian steel for Jeyne's mother to pull off a performance like that in front of the Kingslayer, in addition to demanding even more highborn marriages for her other children on top of her family's pardon. That kind of Refuge in Audacity seems a bit hard to credit for a relatively minor Lannister bannerman, who would have a small amount to gain but everything to lose. Especially since the real Jeyne Westerling, Queen Regent of the North, would have no qualms about keeping her survival quiet. Though with the fall of Riverrun, 'the North' is kind of a nebulous term nowadays.
  • I don't know. I can't really see this theory becoming canon. I think Cat's description of Jeyne's hips may have just been hopefulness on her part—wanting to believe that her son's wife would be capable of bearing children and heirs to the throne she wanted Rob to win.
  • On the other hand, we've already established that while Jaime once met Jeyne Westerling a very long time ago, he is terrible with faces. (He has to remember Aerys' Hands of the King by sigil). Interestingly, that's sometimes a side effect of dyslexia, although I don't think that was ever actually canonical in the books.
  • Well, the TV show may have just given this a massive boost: in Season 3, Episode 7, Talisa (the replacement for Jeyne Westerling) tells Robb that she's pregnant. In fact, her fate on the show may confirm or joss this theory. If she survives the Red Wedding, it's likely true. If she dies, it's likely false.
    • Aaand she died in the Red Wedding, almost certainly Jossing this theory.

The god that revives Beric Dondarrion and Catelyn Stark is the Great Other, not the Lord of Light.
Catelyn has gone noticeably crazier since being slain and reborn. One might attribute this to her desire to get revenge on the Freys, but I believe that the influence of the god that granted her life once again might be behind this. The Brotherhood Without Banners might be actually serving the Great Other. The reasoning behind this? The resurrection itself. Melisandre might have been protected from forces that would have otherwise killed her, but she hasn't actually died and been revived like Beric and Catelyn, which leads me to believe that resurrection may not be a part of the Lord of Light's powers. Also, what else do we know of that dies and comes back to life? The Wights, which are typically people killed by the Others.
  • Also, the wights have blue eyes. Catelyn & Beric have blue eyes. Sure, they had blue eyes before they were raised from the dead, but...
    • Actually, wights have glowing blue eyes, while Cat's glow red (see her description in A Ff C). I think we can rule out that they are wights - that they still might not be revived by anything even remotely considered good, is another thing. On the other hand, the Freys did break some very important rules, rules that - at least according to the story of the rat king - might justify the gods taking a direct hand. I'd rather consider her resurrection divine retribution on the Freys.
  • Alternatively, The Lord of Light is one of the others. After all, 'Night' is just Shadow, and Shadow is another side of light. Perhaps there are two factions that go to war, and that's what destroys everything.

Jon Snow is being set up for the most massive subversion in history.
GRRM has set up this character that can sometimes read like a checklist of fantasy cliches. Heroic Bastard? Check. Improbable Age? Check. BFS? Check. But it's all just showmanship. Jon will simply serve as a convinent viewpoint character and in the end serve no real purpose beyond stopping the Wildlings. It will be brutal and come right the fuck outta nowhere. Evidence? It's A Song Of Fucking Ice And Fire!
  • In other words, there is no evidence. Jon's parentage is clearly being set up for something, whether you believe R+L=J or not, The Law of Conservation of Detail suggests that all of the foreshadowing has to have a bigger purpose than simply giving readers the finger.
    • Tell it to Robb. Also see: Brienne's long and pointless goosechase.
    • Well, considering Jon's recent maybe-death sequence, you could be right.

Tyrion has a son.
Ok, maybe it's just my fondness for our lovable Imp that has me saying this, but something in my gut tells me that Tyrion got Tysha pregnant during the gang-rape before they separated. He was the last one who mounted her-maybe his seed flushed the others' out, and maybe the Lannister sperm was a little stronger than the other men's. Remember when he once remarked that if he married and had a son he'd hopefully "look like his uncle and think like his father"? What if during his flight he meets up with Tysha again in a twist of fate, and she intoduces him to her son who is a close image of Lannister beauty-though a little unpolished(and maybe a few odd quirks around him, but still a pretty good looking guy), but has all of his father's wits and cunning in him. Then after a hard while maybe we can have the two bond. I mean it's about time something good actually happened to him-even if, knowing what series this is, it was only for a while.
  • "his seed flushed the others' out." Biology doesn't really work this way. It is possible that he got her pregnant, but more likely it would be like what happened to Lollys—no one is quite sure who got her pregnant. It's more likely that Tyrion got her pregnant before the gang-rape, so the point still stands.
    • Or you know, he got her pregnant one of the other times they had sex before Tywin found out, which was a while, seeing how Tyrion had set her up with a house and has good memories of then in it.
    • Maybe not a son but how 'bout a daughter? It ties into the Tysha = Sailor's Wife theory as the Sailor's Wife has a blonde, fourteen-year-old daughter named Lanna, a common Lannister name.
  • I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Tyrion has almost as many bastards running around as Robert. He's been whoring long enough.

Penny is Tyrion's daughter.
Expanding on the above theory, this is one prevalent Tysha conjecture that has not, surprisingly, made it onto this page. Consider the following facts about Tysha: we know that Tyrion and she were together for several weeks before Tywin got a hold of them; we know she had dark brown hair; we know she loved to sing; we know that she was one of the small folk; we know she was not a dwarf. Now, what we know about Penny; we know she also has dark brown hair; we know her mother loved to sing to her; we know her mother was not a dwarf; we know her mother was a commoner; we know she acts far younger and more immature than what Tyrion’s estimate of her age would dictate, indicating that perhaps his estimate is too high, and she is in fact closer to thirteen than seventeen (something reinforced by her general sexual innocence). Her brother Groat was killed by bounty hunters looking for Tyrion; it’s therefore likely he had some resemblance to him, at least in the colouring. Thanks to Jaime and Cersei, we also know twins run in the Lannister bloodline. Granted, while there is no evidence that Groat was Penny’s twin, there is no evidence against it, either. If Tysha found herself left pregnant from the few weeks of her marriage, and gave birth to twin dwarves, it makes sense that she would go on to marry someone who could easily pass as their father and who would not encourage her to abandon the children – i.e. Penny’s “father” Hop-Bean (and, obviously, we can see from her relationship with Tyrion that Tysha didn’t care about dwarfism when it came to love). It would be very, very like GRRM to have things go too far with Penny, and in the aftermath hear her singing her mother’s favourite “Seasons of my Love” as the pieces fall sickeningly into place for Tyrion...To read a more convincing outline supported with textual evidence, see here for the origin of the theory: http://nobodysuspectsthebutterfly.tumblr.com/post/18626024653/the-dwarfs-penny-part-2

Sam will have another The So-Called Coward moment in Oldtown
The ironmen will attack Oldtown and Sam is one of the few men there that actually has battle experience. Sam will then have to participate in the battle and might even be integral in saving Oldtown. He'll end up getting yet another heroic nickname as a result like "The Black Maester" or something, and will bitterly rue saving the day as his reputation for being a hero will only make people more disappointed in him as a person.

Tywin Killed Joffrey
He was talking with Tyrion at one point about how much better of a king Tommen would be, especially since Joffery had morphed into another Mad King Aerys, who Tywin suffered under as Hand. For about two books now all the major chessmasters in King's Landing have been thinking about removing Joffery - Tywin certainly was ruthless enough to do it.
  • Littlefinger admits blatantly to Sansa that he is responsible for orchestrating Joffrey's death: The poison used to kill Joffrey was in a gem from Sansa's hair net (the one given to her by Ser Dontos, who got it from Littlefinger). Olenna takes the gem from Sansa's hairnet when pretending to adjust her hair and then slips it in his drink at an opportune time to frame Tyrion. The Tyrells want Joffrey dead because he's a monster and don't want Margery to marry him, and Littlefinger needs to dispose of Tyrion so he can whisk Sansa away for himself.
    • Littlefinger says a lot of things, tho. In fact, "Littlefinger says a lot of things" would be pretty decent words to go with that new mockingbird sigil he just designed.
  • It is very likely that Tywin greenlighted the general idea of poisoning Joffrey. The big argument for that is the fact that "the lesson" Joffrey needed according to Tywin's words never comes about. Why so? Because Tywin already wrote his grandson off.
  • Remember, too, that all Tywin had to do to set the RW in motion was send a few ravens promising to protect whoever did it from retaliation. (A promise, interestingly enough, that he doesn't seem to be keeping very well where the Freys are concerned). It's hard to believe that the perpetrators of the RW would be too scared to act without that kind of promise, but the people planning to kill Tywin's own grandson wouldn't be. He wouldn't actually have to lift a finger against Joffrey - he'd just have to promise that he wouldn't send this particular debt to the Lannister Collection Agency.
    • Well, seeing as the Frey murders really took off around and immediately after Tywin's death, he can't do much to help out on that. Regarding the rest, it's certainly possible, but Tywin's entire life has been about preserving his family's legacy; it's unlikely that he would approve of the murder of the most famous member of his family.
    • His family's most infamous member. He might have Joffry killed because he doesn't want a sociopathic tyrant sullying the family line any more than he already has.

Sandor Clegane is alive
And living at the Septry on the Quiet Isle where Brienne discovered his horse, Stranger, and learned that Sandor was "dead." The brothers of the Septry found him alive, as they said they did, but were actually able to heal his infection (the Elder Brother is noted for having a powerful healing ability that he uses on the local smallfolk).
Narbert: The Seven have blessed our Elder Brother with healing hands. He has restored many a man to health that even the maesters could not cure, and many a woman, too.
Sandor, after his ordeal with Arya and perhaps spending some time with the brothers at the Septry, does a Heel–Face Turn and decides to start over with a new life, abandoning his horse and characteristic helm.
Elder Brother: There is one thing I do know, however. The man you hunt is dead.
Brienne: How did he die?
Elder Brother: By the sword, as he had lived.
  • The best candidate for Sandor at the Septry is the Gravedigger who was noted to be "bigger than Brienne," and struggling to dig a grave due to being lame. Sandor was noted to be large (the only larger person in the book being his brother, Gregor) and would be still recovering from his injuries. The Gravedigger also lowers his head (presumably to hide his face) and stops his work to give affection to Septon Meribald's Dog (with whom the Hound would surely identify). Brother Narbert also identifies the Gravedigger as a new Novice, supposedly so that Septon Meribald would not wonder why they had not met before.
  • Another possible outcome is that after Sandor is revived/healed by the Elder Brother, he still does his Heel–Face Turn, but leaves the Septry and strikes out on adventures anew.
  • I think we'll never find out, unless by word of God, whether the gravedigger is Sandor. If it is him, he'll stay on the Quiet Isle as a brother for the rest of his life. The Hound is indeed dead. And actually, I hope that happens. I'm fond of Sandor Clegane, and I would like to think that maybe he finds some peace at last.
  • There's no doubt Sandor's still alive. He's supposed to serve some sort of higher purpose, otherwise he should've been found guilty by R'hollor for killing Mycah because he did kill Mycah. Much like how Beric Dondarrion was allowed to keep coming back to life so he could give his life to revive Catelyn Stark. However, this also means whatever peace he may be finding on the Quiet Isle to be short-lived. The Gods seemed to have shown him favor—R'hollor spared him when he was guilty, and Mother answered Sansa's prayer to soothe his soul. So like Beric, Sandor being spared from divine punishment and also getting a Heel–Face Turn on the Quiet Isle is preparing him for something bigger. Whether it does lead to his own death like it did for Beric or not isn't certain. But the Gods aren't done with Sandor yet, so that means we haven't seen the last of him.
    • We'll see Sandor Clegane as he should have been if Gregor hadn't held him in the fire and twisted all the innocence out of him. The Hound was born in that fire, now he is dead. The Gravedigger!Sandor on the island is in the process of rebirth, amidst the salt of the sea. He's been tempered twice now, like Lightbringer. Lightbringer is a man who has learned to wield his fiery passion with control, and he is Sandor Clegane, Azor Ahai reborn.
    • Another point is that The Elder Brother never refers to the dead man by name. He says "The Hound" is dead, never Sandor Clegane, meaning the persona of The Hound is dead but the man is alive.

Jon Snow will discover the truth of his past via Melisandre
He'll take her offer to peer into the flames, as Stannis did, and go on a mind journey similar to Dany's visit to the House of the Undying. Hopefully this should resolve the great mystery of his heritage, unless the author decides to be particularly sadistic...

Stannis will be the "Big Bad"... with the help of the Others.
Dany's vision saw a Person with a sword of fire and a Lacking of shadow. And not to mentions Catelyn's words, that he rather breaks than bend and the parable of the falcon.

The Others are unleashed experiments that the Organization unleashes every thousand years
Westeros is nothing more than another test bed for the Organization of Claymore, where they're still trying to develope weapons to take on the Dragonkin.

Dany and Jon will get married . . . to Tyrion
Pretty basic. I'm surprised it's not already up here. I think it would simply be a marriage of convenience for Tyrion (He's still looking for his gal, isn't he?). I'd say Jon and Dany would be united in grief for their lost loves and start humping like bunnies but Dany is infertile so . . . Platonic Life-Partners?
  • Unless two dudes can make a baby in the Westeros universe, that's going to be a three-way Targaryen marriage that won't solve the one major problem a three-way Targaryen marriage should actually help to solve — the problem of taking over Westeros but setting up a dynasty that can only be one generation long, i.e. just putting the civil war off for another fifty years instead of ending it. The only way it could work is if Dany finally getting her period in ADWD means that whatever problem or injury had left her infertile was finally starting to heal itself. Otherwise, if Jon and Dany marry a third person, that third person has to be a lady.

The Others and The Children of the Forest are actually the same race
With the Others being the equivalent of what the wights are to humans - dead individuals returned to evil, freezing cold life via some kind of evil sorcery. Said sorcery may be some kind of curse or the work of an as-of-yet unrevealed Big Bad. It would explain the apparent disappearance of the Children at the same time the Others are in resurgence, as well as the apparent desire of the last of the Children to enlist humanity's aid via calling to Bran.
  • they aren't. Children are met in Dw D and they are nothing like the White Walkers.
    • Maybe the Others/White Walkers descend from a splinter group of Children who were twisted by their hatred of humans into their current forms.

The (Living) Starks Will Live Happily Ever After
By the end of A Dream of Spring, the Wall will be rebuilt, the Seven Kingdoms will be re-united under a new king on the Iron Throne, and Winterfell will be restored (or in the process of being restored), with at least several Starks in attendance. My proof? The last book's original title was A Time For Wolves!

Sansa Was Raped
We've seen before events that happened but characters just didn't comment on (example: Arya killing the Night's Watch singer). Sansa thinks about no longer being a maiden and how someone came and "left her cloak bloodied" or something like that near the end of AFFC. It is my belief that she was probably raped by The Hound. I don't think she mis-remembered him kissing her at all, I just think she left that detail out originally. After all, her maidenhead is never tested again after that. I don't think it was Petyr or she would've been more specific seeing as she was going to meet him with Robert at the end of AFFC.
  • I'm pretty sure that when Sansa refers to the bloody cloak while remembering the Hound ("He took a song and a kiss, and left me nothing but a bloody cloak") she means the actual literal piece of clothing that the Hound left behind in A Co K ("She found his cloak on the floor, twisted up tight, the white wool stained by blood and fire.")
  • There are a couple probems with this theory. One, the events characters didn't comment on were insignificant to them. What made Arya's POV particularly chilling was that killing the singer really wasn't an event. It just happened. It would be completely out of character for Sansa to just not comment on getting raped. She'd never been shown to block out traumatizing events. She stares at her father's and septa's heads and details her wedding night with Tyrion. Both events were quite disturbing for her. But even if she blocked out the memories, would The Hound? When he was talking to Arya, he said that he meant to take Sansa, that he should have fucked her bloody, not that he did. He was trying to make her made enough to kill him, so why wouldn't he say that he'd actually raped her sister? That probably would've done it. Third, Sansa seems to think well of Sandor, even illogically thinking that he was her rescuer during one of her many Attempted Rapes. There's no way she'd be anything but afraid of him if he actually had attacked her. Fourth, all the details that were skimmed over were made pretty clear afterwards. Also, seeing as Sandor had just gotten out of a war zone, it makes perfect sense for there to be blood on his cloak. Finally, Word of God states that the kiss is a false memory. Interesting theory, but doesn't hold.

Robb's going to return, with the help of Roose Bolton with his POV
Who will see this coming.

The Doom of Valyria was a series of volcanic eruptions
We know that the Fourteen Fires (the places where dragons were discovered) are massive volcanoes. Maybe Valyria was destroyed like Pompeii or Krakatoa, except on a massive scale. With fourteen huge volcanoes, it seems plausible. It would also explain why the characters see the Doom as some sort of mythic disaster. Westeros has nothing like that to compare to.
  • Also the opening credits to the series, it shows an erupting volcano a city on fire and dragon, on one of the metal bands.
  • A Dance With Dragons lends a great deal of evidence to this theory, if not outright confirming it.
  • ADWD mentions a huge tidal wave / tsunami wiping away huge portions of Valyria during the event, suggesting that a massive earthquake was the culprit (this also explains the volcanic eruptions).

Rhaegar Intentionally Lost the War
Every character, except Robert, speaks of Rhaegar as though he was the greatest man to ever live. Factually, he was a very intelligent man with oodles of talent, who became a great warrior even though he had no love of combat. Despite this, he fought with an honorable, terribly flawed battle plan at the trident, and was killed by Robert, a warrior of lesser skill. If Jon was Rhaegar's son, and possibly the prince that was promised, he may have let his cause, and himself die, so his child could be spared the inevitable wrath of the Mad King. If not, it is possible that he believed one of his other children was the heir that was promised, and figured their rule was guarenteed regardless of his victory or defeat, and simply wanted to spare Westros of Aerys's continued rule. Alternatively, He was always described as melancholy, and only became a great warrior because he initially believed that he was going to be the prince that was promised. Once he had the child that Dany saw him claim as the prince that was promised (in the house of the Undying), he lost all sense of purpose for his life, and all taste for combat, and simply committed meaningless suicide by warhammer.
  • Unlikely. Rhaegar spoke with Jaime and told him that when he got back there would be changes to be made. He clearly expected to be coming out, and no, Jaime was not important enough yet untrustworthy enough to dupe with some kind of lie like that. Also, there is no reason to consider Robert of 'lesser skill' he was quite a renown warrior, his only shortcomings were stated to be jousting since he preferred melee combat. His own friends even said he was a better fighter then a king. The reason the loyalist forces lost was because Rhaegar was killed in combat, seeing your leader get killed would be a very huge blow to morale, it would definately cause his sellswords to flee, once part of the army flees, it easily turned into a full rout with no more leaders to rally the men.
  • Not every character speaks of Rhaegar as the greatest man, or greatest warrior, who ever lived. Arstan explicitly rejects this idea, telling Dany that while Rhaegar was certainly a skilled fighter, there's no such thing as "the greatest warrior," and that no matter how skilled you may be, there will always be someone who can beat you under the right circumstances. Also, where is it said that Rhaegar's battle-plan was terribly flawed? I don't think we're ever told what Rhaegar's plan was, specifically, except that it involved one of the two armies involved attempting to ford the Trident in the face of the other army's opposition. Granted, that's certainly a risky move, but all battle plans involve calculated risks.

Dany, Jon Snow and Quentyn Martell (actually Aegon Targaryen) are the three heads of the dragon
Quentyn is heading across the Narrow Sea in search of Dany. He gives her evidence that he is Aegon (see above) and they marry. They land in Dorne and, with the aid of Dany's army, the dragons and a Dornish army, invade the rest of Westeros. At some point, Howland Reed tells the truth about Jon Snow. Dany takes him as a second husband and they rule their own regions: Aegon gets the South, Dany the midlands and Jon the North. Dany is infertile but, as the Targaryens practice polygamy, both men could take second wives and have trueblood Targaryen children through them.
  • Er... There's no statement anywhere in the books that states the Targaryens practiced polygamy. Save for Aegon the Conqueror himself no Targrayen king has been known to take more than one wife at a time. Else Aegon the Unworthy would have had several wives instead of several mistresses.
  • Actually: if you have time, check out the Targaryen family trees over at Wiki of Ice and Fire. A lot of them married two separate people, although not all of them did. (The first Viserys, to choose one example).
  • Well, I sure hope Quentyn and Jon can find themselves alive enough to do that.
    • Jon Snow isn't dead. That scene is far too reminiscent of Theon at the sack of Winterfell. And others: Asha, Arya, Brienne, Tyrion, to name just a few. Even Quentyn didn't actually die in that scene. If the scene ends with them losing consciousness, they're still alive.
      • Quentyn "breathed his last" at the beginning of Barristan's next chapter, so it's probably safe to say that he's dead
      • I'm not denying that. What I said was, he didn't actually die in that scene. Unfortunately for him.

All Melisandre will achieve with her efforts to "wake the dragons" is make Daenerys angry.
"You don't want to wake the dragon, do you?"

Bran will become the great Other to save Westeros from the Lord of Light.
It fits to the overall theme of the series

Arya will be forced to kill somebody close to her.
As one of the tests by the Faceless Men to prove that she has discarded her original identity, Arya will be tasked with hunting down and assassinating somebody close to her, like one of her surviving siblings. Jon Snow would be the most obvious choice, but it's entirely possible that the Faceless Men are aware of Sansa, Bran, and/or Rickon.
  • Most likely, Jon Snow as they seem to sabotage their efforts to beat the Others
  • Actually doubtful. When we see the Faceless Men debate who gets which assignment in Dance, one of the ways to reject an assignment is to say that they know the target.
    • Not necessarily an argument against - the Faceless Men we see in Dance are already fully initiated, so there's no reason to assume they're subject to the same requirements or tests that apprentices must face (ie, perhaps being able to refuse assignments is a privilege you must earn BY killing someone connected to your past). More to the point, their refusals don't seem like a selfish choice (ie, I know and like this person, thus would feel bad killing them) as much as a professional one (ie, this person might recognize me, making my job harder, and raising the risk that I would be seen and accused of the killing).
      • Actually it is an argument against being forced by FM, and your next part relies on too much speculation. Still, might kill someone on her own, not out of malice though. Arya's main lesson in her arc is mercy, and nobody in the series needs mercy more than Mother Merciless.
  • They seem to be very big on ignoring who they used to be to an extreme length; making her hunt down a loved one would just be admitting that she still is, to some degree, Arya Stark. Also the faceless don't kill innocent people, only those they are contracted to kill.
  • I think it would be more likely she would have to go after her mother. Since she is simply known as Lady Stoneheart a mistake could be made and the Faceless Men could send Arya after her.
    • I don't think Stoneheart will be killed necessarily out of duty, but out of mercy.
  • Faceless Men aren't just able to reject an assassination because they know a person, they explicitly can't give "the gift" to anyone whose name they know (per the kindly man). On a side note, once you know that it explains why the sailors who brought Arya to Braavos were so insistent on her knowing their names.

The three heads of the dragon are Dany, Quentyn Martell, and Victarion Greyjoy.
The prophecy said that Dany would ride three mounts: "One to bed and one to dread and one to love." She's already had the one to love—Khal Drogo. The one to bed would be Quentyn, in order to cement the alliance with the Martells and fulfill Prince Doran's plans. The one to dread would be Victarion, not only because he could potentially betray her to Euron and the dragon horn, but also because he had beaten his previous wife to death.
  • Not Quentyn, though not for a lack of trying on his part.
  • If we assume "riding" the mounts is a literal reference to sex, then she's already ridden her three. Drogo, obviously. Daario Naharis. Hizdahr zo Loraq. Generally speaking, Drogo is probably the one to love (because she loved him), Daario is the one to bed (because it was more about the physical attraction and sex than love), and Hizdahr was the one to dread, because she only married him to stop the killings, and should have dreaded him as her potential enemy/killer.

Robb Stark and Theon Greyjoy were lovers.
Robb clearly loved and looked up to Theon, and could not be persuaded that Theon would betray them if he were released. For Theon's part, he clearly did like Robb, to the point of being willing to fight for him.
  • WOOT WOOO

The Clegane brothers and Hodor have a Giant ancestor.
That's why they're so freakishly large. And if I recall correctly, Osha actually speculated that Hodor was part-giant.

Rhaegar wasn't in love with Lyanna.
He was actually in love with Robert and kidnapped Lyanna out of jealousy.
  • WOOT WOO

R'hllor and Balerion are the same god under different names and his wrath was responsible for the Doom of Valyria.
Way back when, Balerion was the head of the Valyrian pantheon. Worshipping him helped the Valyrians subdue almost the entire continent of Essos. But after time, the Valyrians, like the Romans they're based on, grew bored of their gods and began embracing other religions. Balerion was MAD and as punishment, decided to destroy their capital WITH FIRE AND FLAMES, MWAHAHAHAHA. He also helped cause the extinction of the Targaryens' dragons and has been driving many of the Targaryens mad just For the Evulz.

Edric Dayne aka Ned is Eddard Stark's real bastard with Ashara Dayne.
His age fits. Postpartum depression is a good enough explanation for Ashara's suicide. Combined with her angsting at Ned for not telling the world her brother fell protecting the princess rather than a traitor.
  • Jossed. Ashara had a still born daughter, and killed herself out of maternal grief.
    • That's what Selmy says happened, but as far as we know he didn't witness the events first-hand.
  • His age doesn't fit. He's 12 years old in ASOS, while Jon Snow is 15/16 by that point. Put another way, he's the same age as/a few months younger than Sansa. There's no hint that Ned fathered a child with another woman (least of all Ashara Dayne) after fathering two with Catelyn.

Melisandre will convince Stannis to sacrifice his daughter, Shireen, to wake the dragons.
For starters, the whole situation reminds me very much of the Greek myth where Agamemnon is told to sacrifice his daughter to go to war. And we know that Shireen is of royal blood and Davos and Jon have been working diligently to keep almost every single other child with royal blood far away from Melisandre.

It would certainly be in-character for Stannis to do something like that. As Donal Noye said, he'll break before he bends and his moral standards are pretty screwy as it is. If Shireen is sacrificed, I can imagine several things happening: Stannis breaks down and has an My God, What Have I Done? moment. OR he could shrug it off as a necessary evil and crosses the Moral Event Horizon quite efficiently. OR it could stay close to the Greek myth and Stannis is killed by his pissed-off wife.

  • However, given that kin-slaying is apparently universally seen as a monstrous crime, and Stannis is nothing if not unambiguous in his rule-following, I don't think he'd be willing to condemn his own blood to die.
    • Tell that to his brother Renly.
  • Stannis seems to honestly believe himself the rightful ruler of Westeros. He wouldn't go and kill is only heir. (since he seems to have erectile disfunction or something which is preventing him from making any new ones . . . lol jk? But hey, 40 over 40, guys! It could be true!)
    • In Stannis' case, it seem more like the problem is that he doesn't actually like Selyse, and she's a bit frigid herself, so they probably haven't slept together in about 10 years. Combined with Stannis' beliefs on "duty" and "law", it means he's never going to set her aside and marry someone new with a potentially more fertile womb, even if it means going without strong heirs.
      • In hia prologue chapter, Cressen says they only sleep together about three times a year, and that he's uncomfortable around women.
    • Stannis could be asexual. There would be a certain sense to it, given Robert's legendary womanizing and Renly's being gay, and it's consistent with his personality, especially the dislike of brothels.
  • "Two kings to wake the dragon. The father first and then the son, so both die kings." There isn't much sense in sacrificing Shireen, unless Stannis dies first (which kind of makes the whole thing pointless).
  • Considering in the Winds of Winter preview chapter, Stannis has made it VERY clear that Shireen is his heir and should he die, his soldiers are to put her on the Iron Throne.
    • True, however, since I kind of like this theory, I'm going to try and justify it. Stannis isn't all that concerned about heirs and his legacy in the books (a stark contrast to his TV portrayal); he wants the Iron Throne not because he desires power but because it's rightfully his. The Winds chapter kind of confirms this for me; he is telling his men that it's his claim as Robert's heir (which Shireen would inherit should he die) that they are fighting for, not Stannis himself. I fully believe that Stannis would have supported Renly had Renly been the older brother. However, his fatal flaw seems to be his willingness to set aside his honor more and more as things get worse. I think that sacrificing Shireen when he is otherwise short of king's blood will be his M.E.H. for sure.
      • Just because you like a theory doesn't mean it's going to happen, particularly when there's no evidence in canon for it to do so. Stannis BARELY (if that) consented to burning Edric Storm, and threatened Melisandre with death if it didn't work. The idea that he'd sacrifice his daughter, particularly when evidence indicates he's moving away from Mel's power (especially since if he discovers Mance in Winterfell, he'll have CLEAR evidence that she betrayed him) is shaky at best. He's not even willing to let his men burn Asha. The way I see it, Stannis' fatal flaw is his slavish devotion devotion to duty not his willingness to set aside honour. And if you desperately want Shireen to die that badly, while I also don't think she'd go for it, Selyse would be a more likely candidate. She's the one that was encouraging Stannis to burn Edric, and she's the one that actually believes in R'Hllor.
  • Shireen has the ultimative life insurance apart from her father's orders: Patchface, who manages to give Melisandre the creeps, and who is very close to Shireen and would be very unhappy, if something happened to her.

Aerys and Rhaella were behind the Tragedy of Summerhall and maybe even their father's early death.
In "A Dance With Dragons", Barristan Selmy tells Dany that Rhaella and Aerys were forced into marriage by their grandfather, Aegon... when Aegon himself and his sons all married for love. We also know that those marriages ruffled some feathers, so perhaps Aerys and Rhaella plotted with some other nobles to orchestrate a tragic "accident" at Summerhall. That also explains Aerys' extreme paranoia, aside from the Targaryen madness... wouldn't you be paranoid if you plotted the deaths of your grandfather and uncle? It also explains why his marriage to Rhaella went so South. He knew that she had plotted against her own kin before and perhaps he suspected that she might plan to get rid of him and put Rhaegar on the throne.

The Wall will never fall.
That's just a red herring. The Others have no need to topple or breach the Wall. Take another look at the map. When the Others do finally make their move, they may demonstrate in front of the Wall in order to draw defenders to the Wall and its fortifications, but they will then outflank the defenses by crossing the Milkwater River southwest of the Shadow Tower. After all, the Others are likely to attack in the dead of winter, when even a fast-flowing river might very well freeze over solidly enough for an army to cross, especially given the cold-causing powers the Others appear to possess. Then the Others can simply march on Queenscrown and take the defenders from the south. And if the Others can seize the bridge over the Last River before anyone realizes that they're already south of the Wall, then, well, there's no obvious place to try to stop them north of the Neck. Especially with Winterfell destroyed, they can just march down the Kingsroad.

Hodor gets a POV in the next book
I have 3 theories on this one. Either A) Hodor actually attained enlightenment from years of meditation and only says 'Hodor' to underscore the inherent futility of communication between groups woth different values, Hodor is extremely intelligent but was cursed by Maggie the Frog to only say one word, or C) Hodor is a brilliant mastermind who uses Obfuscating Stupidity to get everyone else to underestimate him while he secretly controls Littlefinger, Varys, and Euron as the Puppetmaster from the shadows.
  • No Hodor POV in A Dance With Dragons. Still holding out hope for Winds of Winter.
    • Martin has said that no new POV characters will be introduced from here on, so the odds may be small.
  • Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor. Hodor Hodor Hodor. Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor.

Ultimately, Bran will lose his body and warg into Hodor
Kind of related to the above theory, as this plot line might open the door for giving more of a glimpse into Hodor's thoughts. It's unlikely Bran would do this on purpose, but it seems a plausible step if his body is mortally wounded. At worst, this will lead to Hodor being totally mind-raped, but it could also play out as a Split-Personality Merge. The end result though will be Bran's mind in Hodor's body. Everyone who knows Hodor will be shocked to see him suddenly talking eloquently, and until he reveals himself, Bran can hide and plan using Obfuscating Stupidity. Further, rumor is that a rebuilt and unstoppable Gregor Clegane is just around the corner, and a Bran-controled Hodor seems like the right (only?) person around to stop him.
  • One does not simply warg into Hodor.

The world of A Song of Ice and Fire has a regular orbit around its sun.
The long and irregular seasons are not caused by the irregularity of the planet's orbit and its tilted axis. Instead, its sun varies in its radiance much more radically than ours, so while, for us, a decade of high solar radiance might mean ten summers and ten mild winters, for them, it might mean ten years of summer. This is a much simpler explanation for the strange seasons than the idea of a planet with a highly variable orbit and axial shift. Evidence: if this theory were correct, it would be the same season on both sides of the equator, instead of being opposite seasons as is the case in the real world. But if it were summer on one side of the equator whenever it were winter on the other side, there would be massive migrations during the long and brutal winters. That's not to say that there would be no settled populations whatsoever, but there would also be a lot of migration. The fact that we don't hear of any such migration suggests that it doesn't occur, because it's the same season on both sides of the equator.
  • WMG EXTREME, brace yerself! This is the lynchpin of the whole series. The world was originally an iceworld with a dim sun. The "human" species that evolved there was cold adapted, with at least 2 forms. This accounts for why the wildings all expect to turn into wights if not burned, no zombie bites or infections needed. Its their "normal" biology. Much later a new species of "man" arrived and heated up the sun, with magical dragonfire. (Might be be just a small nearby iron asteroid, if heating up a star is too much to swallow.) Later still the magically heated sun began to become unstable. Thus the secret conspiracy to control the dragons (the same people who made Varys) Ultimately they will be used to reheat the Westeros sun. Of course they will need riders. Being "dead" is very handy for working in the cold and airlessness of space...
    • OP here: I don't know about the whole second sun idea, or some of the rest, but I do like the idea of the Others or the Wights being the natural second stage of human life in this world. I don't buy it, but it sure would be interesting.

Jon Snow is the son of Eddard Stark and Ashara Dayne.
Consider the following facts: First, the Tower of Joy was on the other side of the Mountains of Dorne, a long ride from Starfall, and longer still if Eddard was bringing a newborn babe with him across those mountains; we know he was bringing the mortal remains of Ashara's brother Ser Arthur Dayne and his sword Dawn; we also know that he was at the Tower of Joy long enough to oversee its demolition. Second, Ned presumably had to remain at Starfall long enough at least for it to be credible that Ashara Dayne was Jon's mother. Granted, he could have impregnated her in one night, but since he ended up riding north again with the babe, he presumably remained there for at least nine months, and probably at least a little longer. Now, if Jon really were Lyanna's son by Rhaegar, born at the Tower of Joy, then Jon would have been about a year old, maybe a year and a few months, when he reached Winterfell, versus a couple of months old if he were Ashara's by Eddard. There are very visible differences between a 3-month old and a 1-year old. On top of which, if Eddard had shown up at Starfall with a babe in arms, or if he'd been caring for a newborn while his men were tearing down the Tower of Joy, people would have noticed and that story would have spread. So there's no way Jon was born at the Tower of Joy the day Lyanna died. He had to have been born at Starfall nearly a year later. One might say it could have been some other woman at Starfall, perhaps Wylla the wetnurse. But consider the other following fact: Eddard never denies that it was Ashara; he just commands that she never be spoken of, whereas he certainly implies to Robert that it was Wylla. Why would Eddard refuse to confirm or deny that it was Ashara? If it wasn't her, why not just say it wasn't her? Why not just tell Catelyn it was Wylla? Whatever happened between Eddard and Ashara, he still had feelings for her even afterwards.
  • Jossed In Barristan Selmy's chapter in Dance with Dragons he states Ashara had a still born daughter, and killed herself out of grief.
    • That's just what Selmy thinks happened, and he wasn't there when Ashara died, so how would he know? Also, don't forget that Selmy also thinks that Eddard "dishonored" Ashara at the tourney at Harrenhal, the same tournament wherein Rhaegar named Lyanna Stark the Queen of Love and Beauty. That happened a year before Robert's rebellion, which itself lasted for over a year. Ashara didn't kill herself until after Robert's rebellion, so again, the timeline just doesn't work. Also, Catelyn was still betrothed to Brandon Stark at the time of the tourney at Harrenhal, so Eddard would have been free to marry Ashara Dayne if they were already lovers then. The fact that they didn't suggests that they didn't become lovers until after Eddard was no longer free to marry her.
  • Not necessarily jossed yet, but the timeline in the theory is off. Jon wasn't born 9 months after the rebellion, he was born within a month (before or after) the sacking of King's Landing. So he would have had to of been conceived during the Rebellion, not after or at Harrenhal. But that doesn't mean Ned and Ashara didn't have an affair after he married Catelyn. Like GRRM said, "Ashara Dayne was not nailed to the floor in Starfall, as some of the fans who write me seem to assume. They have horses in Dorne too, you know." The fact that the author put out this info about her and wants the readers to know she was out and about proves that she was doing something that will come into play later in the series, whether that's being Jon's mother or something else.
    • That actually lends further credence to the theory that Ashara and Ned were Jon's parents. We are told that Robb and Jon were approximately the same age, which suggest that they were conceived at around the same time. We also know that Catelyn traveled north to Winterfell with a newborn Robb at around the end of the war, which lasted about a year. We also know that the war began in the East when Jon Arryn raised his banners. He, with Robert and Ned, then led his army to Gulltown, which had refused to join the rebellion. They took Gulltown, whence Robert sailed for Storm's End and Ned for White Harbor, to raise their own banners. Ned then marched his army south, while Jon Arryn led his west, both into the Riverlands, where they cemented an alliance with the Tullys by marrying Catelyn and Lysa, respectively. That sounds like it could have taken about three months, meaning Ned impregnated Catelyn on their wedding night or shortly thereafter. If Ashara was traveling around the country during the war, it's possible that she met up with Ned at around this time. She might have already been in the Riverlands: she was at the tourney at Harrenhal, when the whole mess started. It's possible she hung around afterward. Consider what Ned's just been through: his father and elder brother have just been horribly murdered, and he's suddenly had to marry his brother's fiancee, a woman he barely knows, even though he was really in love with Ashara, and had been since the tourney at Harrenhal. Is it really so strange that he would want to be with his girlfriend, at least one last time? Maybe they made love one last time before he had to marry Cat?
    • I agree. There is good evidence that Jon's mother is Ashara Dayne. I think sometimes it's easy to think of Ned as a saint (a lot of characters in the book sure do, especially after his execution), but he could have cheated on Cat right before or even after their wedding while he was between battles. The fact that GRRM is so vague about Ashara and what she was doing during the rebellion convinces me that she will be important as the story goes forward. My personal theories: she is Jon's mother AND she is Septa Lemore. She pushed Ned to take their son while and raise him above his bastard station so she could go protect Aegon, her best friend's son.

Cat's not going to be the ONLY Stark who Came Back Wrong
Desecrated bodies that have been dead for quite a while can still be revived, as Cat proved. While the mention of Robb's body being subjected to such horrifying indignities even after his death seems to just be the final bullet in a Shoot the Shaggy Dog story, it will actually come back to haunt the conspirators when the Others break through the wall and winter comes; Robb will be revived as a Wight, but since Martin mentioned all the Stark children, including Robb, can Warg, the cruel act of sewing Grey Wind's head to Robb's body will result in the revived Robb coming back from the dead as an honest-to-god Werewolf instead of a latent skinchanger. This resulting monster will go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge (or Howling Rampage, more accurately) that will involve Roose Bolton and Jeyne's family (along with any surviving Freys) meeting a rather gristly end before Jon, Bran, or Arya has to put the thing that used to be Robb out of its misery. The creature will either be horrifying, a Tragic Monster, or both, and seeing it will be a source of further trauma for the surviving Starks, so previous patterns suggest it could happen. Also calling an In-Series Nickname for the resulting creature as "The Crowned Wolf".
  • This may happen, but not in the way the spoiler suggests. Jon Snow is stabbed in the back (literally and figuratively) by the other Watchmen at the end of Dance with Dragons. It is my theory that he did not survive. Melisandre, realizing that she was wrong to think Stannis was Azor Ahai but still believing her flames were right and the mistake was hers alone, will ressurect Jon Snow as Thoros revived Dondarrion, and he will be very very mad.
    • Actually, the fact that the Starks are wargs may prevent this Jon's mind, when he dies, will go into Ghost. Maybe what drive the undead mad is entering the afterlife and then being torn out of it. For a warg to be killed and brought back to life wouldn't really be any different from any other time they shift into their beast's skin.

Jaime will end up as Hand of the King (or Queen)
You know, because he now only has one hand.

I agree especially with the last point... also especially after the fun he makes of being the King's hand to Eddard Stark, and as of AFFC, he seems to be the only one trying in some way to do the work of the Hand... also of note are the words he shares with Loras Tyrell in ASOS.

  • Seconded. Really, at this point, who the heck else is it going to be? They're pretty rapidly running out of Lannisters — everybody's either dead, on the run, a religious fanatic, under ten, or female. The Baratheons are clearly not an option. They can't appoint a Martell without pissing off the Tyrells, they can't appoint a Tyrell without pissing off the Martells, and they can't choose someone from a different house without pissing off both the Martells and the Tyrells. (And that's not even taking into account that appointing either a Tyrell or a Martell would cause Cersei to lose her shit even more thoroughly than she already has). It's got to be either Jaime or some distant Lannister cousin we've never heard of.
  • Plus, Jaime needs to get that hand necklace, because if he's going to be the valonqar, he needs hands — plural — in order to do his job.

The Starks will be everybody's Spanner in the Works
  • The most obvious is Sansa to Littlefinger... Or more like Hoist by His Own Petard
  • Rickon and Bran to the Boltons (Roose losing his allies in one swoop would make a good Oh, Crap! momnent)
  • Arya and Nymeria to the Freys and/or Tyrion
  • and Robb to everone by coming back
    • Oooh, addendum! The Starks will be everybody's Spanner In The Works BECAUSE they learn (or, at least, Bran learns) to use their warg abilities to communicate with one another. They don't just mess up other people's plans - they do it simultaneously, as part of a coordinated plan.

Dany is the last Targaryen
There has been several prophecies that refer to a mummer's dragon. Aside from his age, true hair color and his eye color, there is no proof that Young Griff is truly Aegon VI. Instead, he is the son of Ashara Dayne, who wasn't actually stillborn. The Daynes have similar appearances to the Targeryens, after all.
  • However Aegon is Varys' piece in the game of thrones. Since Varys was once a mummer and still uses the skills he learned from being so, the phrase "mummer's dragon" might just refer to Varys' status of being the Man Behind the Man for Aegon.
    • Supported, perhaps, by the fact that Martin has acknowledged that he drew on the real history of the War of the Roses for inspiration. The war finally ended with the defeat of Lambert Simnel, who claimed to be a legitimate heir through the male line of the Plantagenet dynasty. Young Griff frankly reads like Martin's version of Simnel.
      • Maybe, maybe not. Lambert Simnel's role in the War of Roses is irrelevant to his legitimacy. He lost, so he's remembered as a pretender. If he had won, history would likely read that he was in fact one of the Princes in the Tower who had been whisked away for safekeeping until he could reclaim his throne. Young Griff might be a fake. He might really be Aegon. He might be Aegon, lose his bid for the throne and be forced to confess that he's John Connington's bastard before he's executed.

Jon Snow will become the Prince Who Was Promised
After the events of A Dance with Dragons Jon bleeds out. Melisandre gives him the kiss of fire and resurrects him. The reason why she only sees Jon Snow in the fires when she looks for Azor Azai reborn is because that's who Jon is. Jon is descended from the Kings in the North and will be sustained by the fire of R'hllor. He has both ice and fire in him.
  • Jon may very well be "born again when the red star bleeds and darkness gathers, amidst smoke and salt." Bowen Marsh cried tears of salt during the attack, and Jon's wound smoked. The bleeding star is Ser Patrek, hanging dead in the giant's arms - though the sigil of his house is a blue star.
    • My theory is that Jon will kill Zombie Cat or Melisandre (possibly consensually) and when he does, the supernatural fire inside of them will transform his sword into Lightbringer.
  • Well he is strongly implied to be the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. Ice and Fire

The many visions of Melisandre
Some of my interpretations to Melisandre's visions in ADWD:

  • "Snowflakes swirled from a dark sky and ashes rose to meet them, the grey and the white whirling around each other as flaming arrows arced above a wooden wall and dead things shambled silent through the cold, beneath a great grey cliff where fires burned inside a hundred caves. Then the wind rose and the white mist came sweeping in, impossibly cold, and one by one the fires went out. Afterward only the skulls remained. Death, thought Melisandre. The skulls are death."

    Interpretation:I thought that the meeting of the snow flakes and ashes cold be a metaphor for the meeting of the ice king (Jon) and the fire queen (Daenerys). I don't know what the flaming arrows could mean, but Jon also mentions flaming arrows in his dream. Dead things=Others.

    • I think this one is about the wild folks and watchmen at Hardhome and is pretty literal. After Jon's assassination and the resulting chaos no help is sent and pretty much everybody there dies.

  • "The flames crackled softly, and in their crackling she heard the whispered name Jon Snow. His long face floated before her, limned in tongues of red and orange, appearing and disappearing again, a shadow half- seen behind a fluttering curtain. Now he was a man, now a wolf, now a man again. But the skulls were here as well, the skulls were all around him."

    Interpretation: The flickering between wolf and man could refer to i) The fact that he is a worg ii) That his spirit escaped into Ghost when he was murdered at the end of ADWD iii) GRRM has stated that Jon will become much more morally grey in coming novels, so it could refer to an inter battle between Jon's humanity and his need to be strong enough to lead (he often remarks how he need to "kill the child" within himself) or iv) some combination of the above. The skulls all around him may mean that he will be the cause of a great many deaths, which supports iii. Flames may hint that he is Azor Ahai reborn.

    • IMO the second vision about Jon being a human, then a wolf, then human again is Foreshadowing the way Jon will die from his wounds, escape in Ghost (Sixskins mentions that the gift is very strong in Jon), then return to his body when reborn. Damned spoilers!

  • "I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai, and R’hllor shows me only Snow.""

    Interpretation: Again, a hint that Jon is Azor Ahai reborn. Jon Snow=Snow.

  • "She saw the eyeless faces again, staring out at her from sockets weeping blood. Then the towers by the sea, crumbling as the dark tide came sweeping over them, rising from the depths. Shadows in the shape of skulls, skulls that turned to mist, bodies locked together in lust, writhing and rolling and clawing. Through curtains of fire great winged shadows wheeled against a hard blue sky."

    Interpretation: Eyeless faces= the unfortunate rangers that were caught by the weeper. Towers by the sea could refer to Eastwitch or Hardhome, and the waves could indicate a Greyjoy up to no good, like in Jojen's dream about Winterfell drowning (it turned Theon Greyjoy invading Winterfell). The winged shadows are obviously dragon... could the bodies locked in lust be Daenerys and Daario? The skulls that turn into mist could refer to all the people that Dany's Dragons have killed and will kill, and the shadow skulls could just refer to all of people that Dany has lost/killed, and that their memory still haunts her.

Would love to hear other people's interpretations!

Septa Lemore is Ashara Dayne
There's definitely more to Lemore than she's letting on, Griff refers to her in internal monologues as "Lady", and she's about the right age. Ashara faked her death and now she's working incognito to help reclaim the throne for Aegon.
  • Possible, but Ashara has generally been described in ways that imply her to have been a willowy, ethereal beauty, whereas Lemore is generally described as a more voluptuous, sensual beauty. Also, Lemore seems to have a generally cheerful disposition, which also clashes with my impression of Ashara Dayne.

Bran is meant to control the dragons
The greenseer repeatedly promises that he's going to fly and starts teaching him how to control flying creatures. He don't trust Danaerys to master them herself/ just don't trust Danaerys, and wants Bran to have them instead.

ADWD: Jon is ...not dead/will be revived (reborn) by R'hllor
What makes me say this is Melisandre's disappearance after Jon read the letter from Winterfell. She quickly realizes that she made a blunder and will do everything she can in order to make things right. She is too devoted to her cause, and by her words she is the most powerful/skilled of the red priests. She also said that at the Wall she feels more powerful than ever (or something along those lines). Therefore, she will be able to help out, one way or another. Now, whether this will be good or bad, is unclear. See WMG about R'hllor being a part of The Other.

Bloodraven is the real villain of the series
He's controlling/sending the Others to Westeros. Of course his ultimate purpose is to unite Westeros to a common cause.

The Bastard of Bolton is mistaken
So at the end of Dance With Dragons, the Bastard claims that he has killed Stannis, taken his crown and taken his magic sword. There seems to be some truth to this claim, as he knows about Mance Rayder and the spearwives. However, he doesn't mention the banker or Asha, doesn't know where Theon is and doesn't have Jeyne. Furthermore, the last we saw of Stannis's army had the banker arriving with reinforcement and the news that Arnolf Karstark is a traitor. Also, there's the Manderleys, who are blatantly waiting to turn their cloaks at the first possible moment. So I think there's some confusion. My theory is that the "Stannis" killed by the Bastard was actually a ringer, glamoured by Melisandre to look like Stannis- possibly Arnolf Karstark himself. As to where the real Stannis is- no idea. Still hiding in the snow, biding his time? Secreted within Winterfell under a disguise of his own?
  • Isn't he just lying? He caught at least some of the spearwives, and presumably found out enough about their plot from them that he was able to construct a plausible lie.
  • He could just be lying, yes- but that'd be a bit anticlimactic. Also, I'm not sure he has a motivation to lie, other than For The Evulz, unless he has good reason to think Jon has his wife.
    • Anticlimactic, maybe, but not necessarily. Also, the only ending to the book is somewhat anticlimactic in that regard, since we don't actually get to find out what really happened.
    • It wouldn't really be an anticlimax, since it causes Jon to desert and be murdered
  • The recently released sample chapter from The Winds of Winter lends credence to the idea that Stannis is planning to fake his death: "In Braavos you may hear that I am dead. It may even be true." So it could be that Ramsay has fallen for a ruse.

Robert Strong is Gregor Clegane's body, but Gregor Clegane is dead
More specifically Gregor Clegane's body acts as a shell, and Robert Strong is like a golem, completely devoted to his task.
  • That has already been heavily implied. Some people in King's Landing, including ser Kevan (if I remember correctly) are already suspecting this.
    • All but confirmed that Mad Scientist Qyburn has been using science to replicate what the Others/wights (and possibly the maegi/Shadow priests of Asshai/R'hllor priesthood) do with Black Magic.
      • I think his implication was that, instead of being "Zombie Gregor" in the same sense that "Lady Stoneheart" is "Zombie Catelyn", Robert Strong is more or less a meat golem made out of Gregor's parts, but completely lacking in the personality, memories, or soul that was once Gregor. In that sense, it would actually be more controllable than Gregor ever was.

The Iron Bank is a front for/controlled by the Faceless Men
The Faceless Men's symbol is an iron coin, they are stated to be hideously expensive to hire, and they take whatever wealth their "worshippers" bring the the House of Black and White. The Iron Bank is said to be extremely wealthy, and those who default on the loans of the Iron Bank are supposedly not long for this world... It seems logical that the Faceless Men are manipulating the politics of the free cities through the Iron Bank, either for the betterment of Braavos, or towards some other goal. * The Faceless Men don't accept money in payment. The Sorrowful Men, on the other hand...
  • Actually, per the waif, the Faceless Men do take money as payment, however, money isn't enough of a payment by itself (for example the waif's father had to give up two thirds of his enormous wealth and his daughter).
  • Alternately, the Faceless Men are a Church of Happyology with a made-up backstory who perform expensive assassinations to make money for the Iron Bank and also kill people who default on their loans.
  • Alternately: the Iron Bank has the Faceless Men on retainer. As the richest bank in the world, even if the faceless men aren't cheap, the bank is good for whatever they want. Meanwhile, no one in the world is safe from not paying the bank, so it works out for the bank in the long run.

Rickon is on Skagos.
Lord Manderly needs Davos to pilot a ship to get Rickon because the trip to his location is perlious and requires a skilled captain. Skagos is infamous for crashing ships on its shores. If Rickon weren't on an island, Manderly would send someone by land to get him, even though it would take longer. Also, Davos fears this place because it is inhabited by cannibals, which Skagos is known to have.
  • Seems a good bet. Bran has a wolf-dream where he sees Shaggydog fighting a large one-horned goat, which sounds like one of the "unicorns" which are supposed to be on Skagos.
  • The other possibility would be Greywater Watch. A smuggler might be good at navigating the swampy channels. It's a place where Rickon would be safe. And how would Otha have crossed the sea to Skagos? The unicorn does seem to imply Skagos, though.

Daario Naharis is Jaqen H'ghar.
Jaqen H'ghar has a gold tooth in his Alchemist identity, as does Daario. Otherwise, it's a long shot, as "Pate" is at the citadel, and Daario is apparently in the eastern continent concurrently.

Brienne of Tarth is a granddaughter or great-granddaughter of Duncan the Tall
He didn't died in the fire at Summerhall. Instead he escaped, but because of what happend during the fire or caused it, he chose to drop his name and go into exile. On the way he found the last true heir to Tarth near dead after an attack by bandits. Duncan had to promise him to rule over Tarth in his name. So Duncan went there and claimed to be the long lost brother of the heir. The people accepted it, solely because they needed a ruler. Duncan left behind his old shield in the armory where Brienne later found it and copied it's sigil. He became father or grandfather of Brienne's father. Her relative great height, strength, combat abilities and sense of honor are callbacks to Duncan's.

R'hllor does not exist
So far as we've seen, the only true magic in the world comes from three sources: A psychic mind-powered sort (Skinchangers and Seers), Blood magic (The warlocks and Mirri Maz Durr), and R'hllor. However, all the magic coming from R'hllor is powered by pain and sacrifice, either physical pain to the caster (As Melisandre comments on with the glamor she does for Mance) or a sacrifice (The burning Moqorro asks for). In another word, powered by blood. R'hllor's "priests" are no more than blood-magic users and on occasion powerful psychics who are able to use their talent to pierce the future in the flames. They've been casting their powers in the guise of a god for so long, many of the them truly believe their magic is from R'hllor and not blood.
  • But there was no pain/sacrifice that accompanied Thoros of Myr's revivals of Beric Dondarrion. Unless you count the sacrifice associated with the deaths themselves (but sacrificing X just to revive X is moronic as a magic power) or the sacrificies made to Beric's personality, but since those are part of the effects of the magic, that also seems unlikely.
    • Actually during a discussion of the revivals, Thoros admits that he thinks bringing back Beric a seventh time would be more likely to kill them both. This implies that Thoros loses a bit of his own "life force" (much the way Stannis was implied to have lost life to create the shadow assassins) with every resurrection and ties into the sacrifice element.

Galazza Galare is actually the harpy
Pretty self-explanatory. Near the end of the final Barristan viewpoint chapter in A Dance with Dragons, he thinks about how faithful and helpful she's been to Daenerys. Keep in mind that George R.R. Martin is the one writing this series...
  • Adding to this, she is openly supportive of the Daenarys-Hzidhar marriage, and could certainly have stopped the Harpy raids to ensure it would happen. As high-priestess of the local religion, she's highly enough place to be capable of getting people to follow her in the name of the gods, but innocuous enough to not be suspicious.
  • Strongly seconded. In this chapter Barristan thinks about how the Harpy is probably someone known to them, someone influential...then immediately afterwards meets with Galazza Galare. And doesn't suspect her at all. Classic set-up. Plus, she is an older woman who is intimately involved with the life of Meereen - the title of "the Harpy" seems like a natural one.

The red priests of R'hllor can't actually see the future in their fires
They just have an immense information-gathering network. They share information through their fires. There was a red priest (albeit a pretty useless one) in King Robert's court in the beginning. There's Melisandre with Stannis, and now Moqorro with Victarion. The way that Moqorro knew how to find Victarion's ships was because the priests with Euron told them when he left, what speed he was going, etc. That seems more likely than just imagining Moqorro was floating around in the ocean doing nothing from the point Tyrion's ship went down to the point Victarion picked him up. In addition, the reason Melisandre can't see Stannis in her fires anymore is because there's no one to add pictures of him to the fire.
  • But surely she'd know that there weren't any red priests with Stannis, so she wouldn't bother looking for information on him? Besides, she does seem fairly convinced that it's R'hllor sending her the info in her POV chapters, and if the prophecies are just tricks then how do the resurrections work?

Tyrion is a Targaryen, his father being Aerys.
In aDwD Barristan Selmy tells Daenerys how the only woman Aerys ever loved was a Lannister cousin who later ended up marrying Tywin, and before being interrupted begins telling her about certain liberties that a very drunk Aerys tried to take on the wedding night. In addition, if memory serves Tyrion is sometimes described as having hair that is a little on the silvery side in addition to the gold. Lastly, right before Tywin dies he tells Tyrion "you are no son of mine"; this seems meant to be taken as hyperbole by the reader, but it could just as easily be actual truth. Tywin doesn't just hate Tyrion for being a dwarf and for killing Tywin's wife via his birth, he also hates him because he knows or suspects him to be Aerys' son, not his own. If true, this also opens up Tyrion to being the third head of the Targaryen dragon.

Stannis isn't going to survive the series.
Not exactly a revolutionary idea, considering the nature of the series, but still. It's less a matter of Stannis having little to no plot armor, and more on the fact that there's almost no conceivable way that Stannis can survive the series and still have any real number of other theories pan out. He almost certainly isn't Azor Ahai, and he almost certainly won't be king in the end, and there's no way he'd settle for bending his knee to Daenerys or anyone else, so that pretty much leaves him with death, probably killed by the Others in battle.
  • Counterpoint. Stannis is a man obsessed with doing what is right regardless of emotional involvement. The only time he subverted this that we see is Robert's Rebellion, and in one chapter he goes on about the moral problem of supporting his brother, or his King. Considering this, it would actually fit Stannis more or less PERFECTLY to bend the knee to Daenerys, being the rightful queen (From A Certain Point Of View)
  • Or he will at some point, thinking he will die soon, make sure to marry Shireen to someone capable, feeling this will give legitimacy to a new ruler.

Daenerys has the pale mare
In her last chapter in ADWD, it's described that she has massive, painful diarrhea, and she wakes up with blood on her thighs, which she interprets as being her period. Some theories state that she was pregnant but miscarried, but I think that's just a red herring, being that diarrhea and bloody feces are repeatedly stated to be symptoms of the bloody flux, which she could easily have caught while visiting Meereen's plague slums. The supposed Targaryen immunity to disease could easily have been a mistaken boast she heard from Viserys. Either the Dothraki have an easy cure for the pale mare, or she'll die early in The Winds of Winter.
  • More likely she was that she was pregnant and accidently aborted Daario's child by eating certain berries. Mirri pointed out that Dany wouldn't be pregnant again until certain conditions were met. Of course, Dany thought that the conditions were impossible to meet, but the sun did rise in the west and set in the east (Quentyn dying in Meereen), the mountains did crumble (the dragons burning the pyramids of Meereen), and the seas did dry up (the Dothraki sea is undergoing a drought).
  • Wouldn't that mean that Drogo is going to come back to life?
    • Unless it just means that she's going to find love again with someone capable of filling Drogo's shoes (i.e. not Daario.)
    • Lets go with Drogo coming back to life as that would be more awesome.
    • Drogo reborn = Victarion?
    • No! None of THAT! SHAME ON YOU! Drogo would materialize out of smoke and salt made of pure badasstanium.
  • Bloody feces wouldn't lead to blood on her thighs. It would be mixed with, well, feces, and she'd have to be laying on her stomach for it to be on her thighs well enough to mistake it for a period. A lot of blood doesn't necessarily mean she miscarried/aborted, either; the first day of a period can be VERY heavy, and they tend to do weird things when a woman's diet is bad (like living solely on charred, half-cooked meat). Sometimes, a period is just a period.
    • I took it to mean that she had her period, but that she was now CAPABLE of bearing a child. She says she can't remember the last time she had her period, and if all of the above fufillments of the prophecy are true, she can get pregnant.
  • Looks more like a miscarriage. Dany says she doesn't remember exactly, but thinks its been a couple of moons (ie months). Also her last periods were synched with the full moon, but this current heavy flow occurs at the crescent moon. All this is consistent with a miscarriage somewhere in the first trimester.
  • 'Bloody flux' is the name of a historical illness and a real world symptom. Specifically, it refers to the purging of the body when someone is in the last stage of dying of extreme starvation. It was assumed it was an actual illness that died out until it was seen again in areas like the Sudan. So, for Dany, she probably is not about to drop dead from starvation.
    • "Flux" is an old-timey term for dysentery: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysentery. The "pale mare" is similar to real diseases like cholera, typhus, etc. many of which have bloody diarrhea as a symptom. Starvation can cause similar symptoms but is not all that relevant here except that malnutrition weakens the immune system. The original theory is plausible.
  • She doesn't just wake up with blood on her thighs. It keeps coming, and she's surprised by how heavy the flow is. She repeatedly identifies it as her period. Do you really think she can't tell which body orifice the blood is coming from?

So, who's next?
So, let's play the death game. Which characters do you think will very likely not survive the series, and why? Only individuals, if the series ends with a Kill ’Em All or not is another question entirely. This is still the Song of Ice and Fire and while I think that most of the major protagonists (the Stark children) end up surviving, I expect lots of deaths before that.UNMARKED Spoilers for ADWD.

  • Ramsey Bolton. As cynical as the series is, when it comes to the worst villains, they usually DO get a messy Karmic Death (Gregor Clegane, Joffrey, Vargo Hoat...). Currently Ramsey is the most evil (as in, pointlessly evil) character alive, so I think it's save to say that he will also die screaming. Maybe at the hands of Theon.

  • Catelyn/Lady Stoneheart. Since coming back from the dead, her only purpose seems to be revenge against anyone who may have had something to do with the deaths of her husband and children. Nothing short of being killed again is going to stop her, and I don't think this is the kind of series that ends with the surviving Stark children peacefully reuniting with their undead mother.
    • Oddly enough, I almost think this is exactly kind of series that ends with the surviving Stark children reuniting with their undead mother, continuing the cycle of hellish torment and horror.
      • To me, this is more the kind of series where the surviving Stark children are forced to destroy their undead mother, for the same reason.

  • Lord Walder Frey. Seriously, this man managed to alienate pretty much everyone in the Seven Kingdoms. The North hates him, because most houses lost someone at the Red Wedding, for the Brotherhood without Banners he is probably one of the main targets, and everyone else thinks him a dishonourable bastard, too. Also, with forces loyal to the Iron Throne now both North and South of The Twins, he Outlived His Usefulness as the gatekeeper to the north, and, as a meta-example, in my opinion the only thing he could still contribute to the story is his live. And look at how old this guy is, anyway.

  • Barristan Selmy. I hesitate to even put him on the list, because his death was so obviously set up in the last chapters of ADWD, that I think Martin is deliberately letting him survive all of it just to subvert expectations. But he is an aging warrior, who fears that he will soon not be able to fight anymore, he is a mentor figure to Daenerys and one of the only people who does not try to use her for his own ends, and he takes great care in raising a young generation of knights to suceed him. All of which makes him a prime canditate to kick the bucket.

  • Tommen and/or Myrcella. Not so much because of Cersei's prophecy, but because this would be the thing to finally break her, and the series has made a point of breaking her as thoroughly as possible.

  • Jorah Mormont. No matter what the Second Sons will do next, the only thing Jorah wants is Daenerys. Even if Tyrion's plan works and the company travels to Westeros, it's plain that Jorah does not want to go there (at least not without his queen), else he would have just returned Tyrion to King's Landing, which would almost certainly have given him a royal pardon. But Daenerys will not want him either. So on the lighter side, he will at one point sacrifice himself for her, on the darker side, he will went Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and try to take her by force, resulting in him getting killed by a dragon or someone else.

  • Melisandre. Just because it would seem so damn appropriate for her to die in a fire.
    • Melisandre's death could give birth to the true Lightbringer, the legendary sword of Azor Ahai, who had to kill his wife with it to complete it.

  • Jon Connington. Aside from him slowly dying of Greyscale, he is also the only one who really has any control over Aegon. If he dies, we will see if Aegon is like his father, or more like his grandfather.

  • Mormont's raven. Just so.

  • Stannis Baratheon and his family. I think that Selyse ends up dying in the next book along with Shireen. They get either killed in the ensuing chaos at the Wall after Jon's assassination or Shireen gets burned in the fires by a desperate Stannis or eaten by the stone dragon. I think that Stannis Baratheon gets a heroic last stand and death at the Wall ensuring that the refugees can flee South.
    • To me, a Heroic Sacrifice doesn't really sound fitting for Stannis. It's unclear how much he himself believes in Melisandre's prophecy, but in any case, he appears to be determined to be king, seeing it as both his right and his duty (and rights and duty are things Stannis is obsessed with). So I don't think he would give his life for any cause short of gaining the Iron Throne. On the other hand, this could be his In-Universe Moment of Awesome, finally elevating him above Robert and Renly, as that seems to be what he always wanted. Renly has already failed and died, and Robert may have won the throne from Aerys, but only twenty years have passed since then (compare that to the several hundred years the Targaryans have ruled), there are two members of the old ruling family laying claim on the throne right now, and one has already invaded. So Robert probably won't go down in history as that great of a king, especially if the truth about his children is exposed. However, if Stannis manages to delay or even repel the invasion from the north and gives his live in the process, he will be a hero and martyr, and outshine his brothers.
    • Could even come out of his obsession with duty; one of the duties of the king is to serve as Protector of the Realm. Stannis could take that title to it's logical conclusion in his Heroic Sacrifice.

  • Margaery ends getting killed by the Faith for adultery. Varys manipulates it so it happens.

  • Euron, Victarion, and Aeron (thank god). Euron and Victarion become dragon snacks and Aeron dies for being boring.

  • Roose Bolton must go because he killed Robb. He ends up getting killed by Jon Snow in a great take on the Red Wedding scene. Perhaps, Theon Greyjoy says hello or something of that sort.
    • Unless Roose Bolton is dead already - why else would the letter to Jon have come from Ramsay? It would be very in-character for Ramsay to have killed his own father to prevent the possibility of new heirs to the Bolton lands.

  • Brienne betrays Jaime to the Brotherhood Without Banners (*sob) and he is executed. Although this one may be too obvious.
    • Or she can't hold it anymore, admits leading Jaime into a trap and instead of fleeing tells her to write down his history in the white book and faces the Brotherhood who he gives a "What the Hell, Hero?" speech either dying honestly or getting away alive.
    • This particular WMG fails to take into account that if there is one goddamn character in this entire series who would not betray anyone, let alone Jaime Lannister (at least not wittingly), it's Brienne of Tarth. She may very well be leading him into a trap, but if she is, she doesn't know it and she will be pissed when she finds out.

  • Arya, and she will die abruptly and in a thoroughly undignified manner moments before reuniting with one of her siblings or taking out someone on her "list", either slain by a random no-name guard or kicked in the head by an irate horse. Since she will be wearing someone else's face no one will recognise her and her fate will never be discovered by the surviving starks.

  • Littlefinger is going to be betrayed by Sansa for the awful things he has done to her family. Or Un-Cat will kill him in revenge instead.

Feel free to add your own.

Bran will take a more sinister turn.
The prologue chapter of ADWD elaborates on Wargs, and also mentions how it is considered despicable for a Skinchanger to take control of other human beings. Then we turn to Bran, and find out: Yeah, that's what he has been doing all the time to Hodor, and it's no big deal for him. Right now it does not seem that malevolent - he mostly uses him to experience being able to walk again. But in the future he may decide that warging into people is also justified to reach other goals, making him a master manipulator, not even having to influence other people, or maskerading as them, but just being able to BECOME everyone he desires.Of course, that would probably mean leaving Bloodraven's cave (unless he can manipulate through the weirwoods), but I think that's going to happen anyway.

Hodor is trying to say "Other"
Halfway through the first book, we learn that Hodor's real name is not Hodor, but Walder. So why does he say Hodor? What sort of trauma caused him to be left with a single word, which is not even his real name?

Simple. His great-grandmother Old Nan's constant stories of the Others made me realise that perhaps Hodor is trying to say Other but no one else hears it for what it is. I'm only in the middle of the first book, so I can't give any more logical reasons, but it seems very likely that Hodor was traumatised either by a story Old Nan told, or something he experienced when he was very young.

I'll add more to this theory as I read the books.

  • Well, as of the fifth book it has not been disproven, however, I don't think it's very likely, for the simple reason that he does not use the word as if it were a warning or a callback to a traumatic event. He also says it when he is happy, or just tired. If 'Hodor'/'Other' is something he is deeply afraid of, or associates with scary stories, he should only use it when he is afraid, or maybe angry.
    • Oh, I completely overlooked that. But still, it might have blurred in significance in his head over the years, becoming simply a sound he uses to communicate with the people around him. Then again, as you can see, I'm no expert on trauma. Initially, I noticed that 'Hodor' and 'Other' sounded very similar, then I remembered Old Nan talked about them a lot.
    • His real name is Walder though (like the Frey, which has been pointed out already) which sounds more like "(White) Walker" as they're called in the TV series despite neither being white, nor walking so much as "loping". If that were the case his Pokémon Speak name would sound like "Walder" with a stutter.
    • If he has trouble speaking, "Hodor" could just as easily be an attempt to say "Walder"

aDwD spoilers: Jon will become a wight a la Coldhands, retaining his memories.
We don't know exactly what is required to create a wight. Jon probably has the dubious honor of being one of only a few people to be touched by a wight and live out the next hour; indeed, the next couple of years. Does it require an Other to create a wight, or can wight beget wight? Does the body need to be touched when dead, or will still living suffice? If so, does the touch ever "expire"? If not, will touching through clothing/other close combat suffice or does it need to be skin (I don't recall whether the wight ever touched Jon's skin but I seem to recall that it did)? Is it possible that an "old" touch is what's required to create a wight that retains its humanity?

And overall, possibly the most interesting question: what will happen if this process occurs south of the Wall?

  • In answer to the last question, I think the most realistic answer, assuming the rest of this insane conjecture is correct, is that somehow Jon's body will end up on the north side of the Wall, and only then will he rise. But that would be boring.
  • It already happened south of the wall. Since the wights do not seem sophisticated enough to play dead, we can assume that the dead rangers in the first book died north of the wall, were brought south by their brothers, and then rose as wights. This means that wights CAN exist south of the wall, they just seem unable to pass it after they have woken up again.
    • The wights are shown to still possess some reasoning ability, as seen by their ability to target important members of the Night's Watch, and both wights had the characteristic blue eyes before being brought back across the wall. It's heavily implied that they were playing possum. Further evidence can be found in Game of Thrones season one, episode eight ("The Pointy End"), for which Martin is credited as the writer, in which a wight plays dead in order to disarm Jon Snow.
    • Then it means that wights can pass the wall as long as someone else drags them. Maybe they can pass it on their own as well, and just never had a reason to do so (keep in mind, no one actually knows what the Others even want). Coldhands was apparently unable to pass, but maybe there is another reason for that. All we know is that they definitely can't enter the Greenseer cave.
      • Okay, all this is true. But we can also apply it to the original theory: will being a wight stop Jon from the things he was planning to do? Will he try to hide it? Will other people get involved? (There's no end to the interesting questions I'd have with this theory, really, unlikely as it might be.)

The Valar Dohareis reply to Valar Morghulis is a figurative way of saying "All Men Must Live"
Props to people on the Westeros forums for this brilliant theory. Valar Dohareis is literally translated as "All Men Must Serve", which doesn't seem like an obvious counterpoint to Valar Morghulis, which literally means "All Men Must Die". However, when you remember that the original Braavosi were slaves, this makes a lot of sense. Living meant service, which only ended at death (note the origin story of the Faceless Men involves someone mercy killing a slave). Thus, the idea is that someone is acknowledging that death is certainly eventual, but at the moment, the speaker is still serving. Consequently, saying Valar Dohareis to a Faceless Man probably loosely translates as something like "I'm still serving, please don't kill me yet."

To support this (this is my own idea here), in Game of Thrones, the Braavosi Syrio is given a line like "All men must die. But not today." The "not today" part is original to the series, but might reflect a (still to come) book explanation of Valar Dohareis, and it's a good way of simplifying the phrases to young Arya.

There is no Westermarck effect in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire.
They have powerful legal and religious prohibitions against incest, but no instinctive revulsion at it. The Targaryens, for example, did not force themselves against their natural inclinations to marry brother to sister solely to preserve their Valyrian bloodline; they positively lusted after their own siblings. Baelor the Blessed, for instance, had to lock his sisters away in the Maidenvault so he wouldn't be tempted by them, and Aemon the Dragonknight is rumored to have been Queen Naerys' lover. Or look at Jaime and Cersei Lannister. Not only did they lust after one another, they appear never to have felt any guilt or conflict over that fact. For that matter, look at Eddard's reaction when he found out: he was certainly very unhappy about it, but he showed no signs, even in his private thoughts, of being instinctively or viscerally revulsed or disgusted by it. He clearly regards it as a terrible crime, but not an unnatural one.
  • But this raises the question, if humans in this universe do not have a biological aversion to incest, then why WOULD it be prohibited by faith or law? I seriously doubt that they know about things like genetic diversity, and even if they do (or suspect), incest would be considered a, let's say, "suboptimal mating arrangement", not a straight crime against nature. The reason we perceive incest as unnatural is because it feels, y'know unnatural to most. That's what the Westermarck effect describes in the first place. Keep in mind that the whole incest thing was started by Aegon I, the first Targaryen king, and an important role model for all Targaryens to follow. It's not hard to see that his successors would also marry their sisters, if their great ancestor did it to 'keep the blood pure'. Also, don't forget that only a few of them actually married their siblings - many married into other houses of Valyrian descent, like Velaryon, who would only be distant relatives (completely acceptable even by real world medieval standards), or even 'outsiders' (like Rhaegar and Elia of Dorne). And aside from the Targaryans, that pretty much only leaves Cersei and Jaime - well, and it can't be denied that incest DOES happen in real life, so these two were probably just attracted to each other despite the Westermarck effect. As for why Ned didn't care that much... he was mostly concerned with making sure that Robert's true heir (Stannis) would be crowned, so he just didn't care much for whose children they were - not Robert's, that was the important part. And maybe he really doesn't care about their incestous relationship in itself.
  • Averting the Westermarck effect is easy, and was achieved by many Real Life royal houses by simply not having the siblings live together until they were to be wed. It's also unconnected to one's opinion of other people's relationships, which is all cultural. As far as reasons for prohibition go, in Real Life marrying-out has a solid history of being encouraged because it builds links across communities, and encourages more trade and economic activity, bringing life to the whole town; it long pre-dates any solid concept of genetic diversity.
  • Plus, remember, the only family who regularly practised incest were the Targaryens, who in the early years of their reign could get away with just about anything and no doubt felt entitled to indulge themselves in any way they wanted. If that included keeping it in the family from preference rather than apparent necessity, so be it; the children were probably so conditioned to see their siblings as prospective future spouses that it became natural to them. Otherwise people in Westeros see incest as a sin; Catelyn, for example, is clearly disgusted and appalled when she learns the truth in the second book, and in the past, Joanna Lannister is horrified when she learns what her children have been doing and takes steps to prevent it.
  • Fosterage is clearly very common among Westerosi nobility, and that could counteract the effect. On the other hand, it seems to begin around the age of 8-10, too late to affect the WE, and in the particular case of C+J they seem to have had a close childhood relationship. No word on how the Targs raised their kids though, so they could well have split them up in early childhood.
  • The Targaryens probably had their own deal, but the thing going on between Cersei and Jaime always kind of reminded me of one episode of Criminal Minds (yes, I know it's a fictional show, but they usually try to base it on real psychological theory) where these two siblings became intensely attracted to one another because they lost their whole family at a very young age and spent years with no one else TO love, to the point where they sort of weren't capable of even figuring out HOW to love anybody else. Jaime and Cersei didn't fall in love because it felt normal — they fell in love because they were very alone, and very damaged.
    • Consider: they lost their mother (and, in many ways, their father) when they were eight. They started sleeping together (as opposed to just fooling around) when they were nine.
  • Or, possibly, Valyrians are immune to the Westermarck effect. If they had a cultural bias towards sibling marriage, then anyone without a natural disinclination to incest would be more likely to have more children, passing on the trait, and thus over the five thousand years of Valyria's history whatever causes the Westermarck effect was bred out of them. (This could also tie in with the theory that Jaime and Cersei are Aerys' children and not Tywin's, as they also seem immune to the effect.)

Winterfell will never be rebuilt.
Winterfell was too safe and comforting. It has to stay destroyed so that the characters can grow beyond the world's stasis. And because we really want it back.
  • To be fair, once said characters have gone away and grown, it's not impossible for one of them to come back and rebuild it, because by definition, it would be a new place (they'll never be able to rebuild it exactly the same). Thus, it will have changed just as they have. But yes, odds are, even if one of the Stark's returns to Winterfell and rebuilds, the others will remain tied to their new lives, and not return.
  • One hopeful note against this theory is that Bran and Rickon were still inside Winterfell right to the moment when it burned down. In other words: they haven't broken the streak. There was never a time when there was not a Stark in Winterfell. If they had broken the streak, I feel like it would have been impossible to rebuild, but they haven't.

Nymeria's wolfpack is a Chekhov's Army.
Because nothing would be sweeter than an army of literal wolves storming King's Landing or the Twins.

Hodor.
Hodor hodor hodor HODOR!
  • Brilliant theory. I completely agree.
  • Hodor, hodor. Hodor? Hodor!
    • Jossed. Hodor.
  • Hodor
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