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Fans of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series have had to wait a very, very long time in between each installment, because writing 1,000-page fantasy books is time-consuming and Martin could give two honey-glazed ham-shits about the fans who are demanding he rush the job. So, devotees of the novels and the Game of Thrones TV series are forced to sit around for years, coming up with their own theories about what bizarre twists are still waiting to be unleashed on our fragile brains.

According to the laws of the Internet, some of these theories are utterly insane, yet so well thought out that they can't be dismissed out of hand. So, we're left with a mix of predictions ranging from plausible to utterly baffling, and any of them could be true. SPOILERS AHEAD! And we mean spoilers for the series and books up to now, and for possible upcoming bombshells:

6
Bran Stark Is a Time Traveler (and Possessed Jaime to Throw Bran's Past Self Out of a Window)

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The first episode of the Game of Thrones HBO series ends with a cliffhanger that was both the most shocking moment of the episode and the precise moment most fans got hooked: The young son of doomed hero Ned Stark, Bran, gets shoved out of a tower window after peeping on a round of vigorous incest.

Later, the puppet-legged Bran Stark discovers he has a whole host of magical mind powers, including the ability to see his father in the past. He is told he can only visit the past and not influence it, but Bran also has an even mightier super power: He can take control of people and animals for brief periods of time. So, who's to say he couldn't beam his psychic brain meat into someone else's head while on one of his time-hopping sojourns? Because, if so, that unlocks some pretty weird possibilities.

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Such as riding a guy with a physique like Shaq and the vocabulary of a Pokemon.

Our favorite is this fan theory posted by a Reddit user, in which a Future Bran is living in a version of Westeros that has been completely destroyed, perhaps overrun by ice zombies. Through his mental time-traveling abilities, he is able to see an alternate future in which everything turns out (more or less) OK and pinpoint the exact moment in the past when the two realities split: The day he catches Jaime and Cersei up in the broken tower of Winterfell, making each other more nieces and nephews. In his version of the future, Bran was never crippled, and a whole alternate (worse) history played out instead.

So, he Quantum Leaps into Jaime and throws himself out of the tower, crippling himself and tipping the first domino in the series of events we're all familiar with. Of course, it's entirely possible that George R.R. Martin will read this and then have Bran be eaten by a Sharknado in Book 6 just to spite us.

And while we're looking at crazy time travel possibilities ...

5
Daenerys Is a Time Traveler Who Goes Back to Warn Herself (in Disguise)

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Remember Quaithe, that creepy masked lady Daenerys meets in Qarth who spits a bunch of vague psychic wisdom like Yoda in a gimp mask?

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Also, she hangs out painting naked dudes because, you know, HBO.

We don't know much about her, other than the fact that she seems to be deeply invested in Daenerys for no apparent reason. Theories abound as to who she is, the most interesting being that she's actually Daenerys. From the future.

Think about it: When Daenerys arrives in Qarth, Quaithe immediately knows about the dangers awaiting her there and warns her. When Daenerys asks her to elaborate, Quaithe cryptically responds, "To go north, you must go south. To reach the west, you must go east. To go forward you must go back, and to touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow." If you insert "in time" after "back," it pretty much spells it out.

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Which makes Daario GoT's Jennifer Parker.

There's more -- Daenerys' skin tingles after Quaithe touches her (like the temporal paradox that melts Ron Silver's character in Timecop), and one of her companions bitterly refers to Quaithe as the "spawn of shadows," implying that she may have already "passed beneath the shadow" herself (either that, or that guy was just super racist). Besides, she must have some reason for hiding her face, unless she got splashed with acid by a Gotham City kingpin or has hideously aggressive facial hair.

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4
Roose Bolton Is an Ancient Skin-Stealing Vampire

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George R.R. Martin likes to put his own spin on horror tropes like zombies, werewolves, sea monsters, and even Frankenstein's monster (keep your eye on The Mountain, all you folks who haven't read the books). Know what's conspicuously missing from that list? Vampires. Unless you count Roose Bolton, who, according to one fan theory, is totally a vampire.

Roose, the dead-eyed turncloak who sold out the Starks to the Freys and Lannisters, loves to skin people. His freaking sigil is the flayed man. Some fans think this predilection stems from a need to skin his enemies and wear their human pelts as disguises to conceal his eternal life.

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Or he's secretly repping House Goodbody.

The theory goes: Roose is secretly the son of the Night's King, waging a multi-generational war against the Starks and their werewolf-ish powers. His penchant for leeching could even be explained by his clandestine vampirism, as the living dead tend to have poor circulation and this would prevent blood from pooling in his hands, feet, and groin drapes.

Keep in mind -- the Game of Thrones universe has already established that cured skin can be used to magically take on the appearance of another person. Add to that the fact that Roose is described almost as if he's wearing a mask -- "Only his eyes moved; they were very pale, the color of ice." -- and it all starts to add up to Dracula. Plus, there's little mention of Roose's ancestors in the books, which is unusual considering the fact that each volume contains a 100-page appendix laboriously detailing the family trees of each of the named houses of Westeros. Maybe Roose's only has one branch because he's been tooling around the five kingdoms for centuries. It sure would explain why he keeps his psychotic son Ramsay around.

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Or it could be that even ghoulish, backstabbing murderers still enjoy someone who can make a good dick joke.

And, if you somehow were able to wrap your head around that one, try this shit on for size ...

3
Varys Is a Sea Creature

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No, really.

The only thing we know for sure about Varys is that nobody knows what the hell Varys is up to. He seems to play for every possible team depending on what time of day it is, and theories about the object of his true loyalty range all the way from Pentos to the Blackfyres to, according to this fan theory, the king of the mermaids.

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They do have the manatee resemblance going for them.

And yes, they do have them in that universe -- though we haven't actually seen any of them (that we know of), there have been a few references to mer-folk scattered throughout the story: Brienne is warned of fish-like creatures called squishers who walk on land and eat the flesh of humans, and Tyrion jokingly mentions "Merlings" as an example of something made-up while dismissing the existence of White Walkers beyond The Wall (note that the White Walkers responded by being totally real).

There are several references to Varys having a "slimy smile," and he takes great care not to show his teeth -- perhaps because they're pointy fish teeth that would betray his secret. Varys and Illyrio Mopatis, his co-conspirator, both emerge from a well when we first see them together, and both are noted to be extremely light on their feet despite being a pair of undulating fat men, which could indicate superhuman fish strength. Varys' name even looks like it's derived from two aquatic words ("vari," meaning "stream," and "varish," meaning "to sleep on the sea"). Then there's the time Tyrion threatened to throw Varys into the sea, to which Varys replies, "You might be disappointed in the results":

Littlefinger, meanwhile, comes from a long line of seafarers, owns a ship named The Merling King, and once bragged about having Varys totally under his control (which could just mean he has pockets full of butterscotch, but could also be evidence of his dominion over the mer-people). From his comfortable perch atop the Vale, Littlefinger is in the perfect position to lord over the flooded Westeros after his Merling stickmen melt The Wall with dragonfire. Also, that Moon Door would make a badass high dive, and that's really all the evidence we need.

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Now try and watch this scene again without hoping he'll do a cannonball.

WARNING:

For these final two, they are less bizarre but, as a result, far more likely to actually turn out to be true. These could be legitimate spoilers here, people, so don't say we didn't warn you.

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2
Tyrion Lannister Is Secretly a Targaryen

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The Targaryens, for those of you who lose track of all of the surnames in the series, are the platinum-haired royal family who ruled the land for centuries prior to the events of the show/books. Daenerys' entire claim to the throne is based on the idea that she's the last surviving member of that family. She intends to press this claim using her inherent genetic ability to befriend dragons, which is how the Targaryens came to power in the first place.

So, anyone who turns out to be a Targaryen in this universe automatically is a big deal, because they can make a plausible claim to the throne. According to Internet theorists, the reason Tyrion is everyone's favorite Lannister (aside from the stone-fisted awesomeness of Peter Dinklage) might be because he isn't actually a Lannister at all -- he's half Targaryen.

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Unfortunately, the Targaryens always default on their debts, so this may require some catch-phrase reevaluation.

First, there's the fact that Tywin, Tyrion's official father, hates Tyrion with every fiber of his being and loathes calling him "son." He even says to Tyrion, "Men's laws give you the right to bear my name and display my colors since I cannot prove that you are not mine."

Now, you could just chalk that up to another gilded gauntlet full of the cold-blooded shit Tywin is so fond of hurling around, but the fact that he said "I cannot prove that you are not mine" seems to indicate that he really doesn't think Tyrion is his child.

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"Being a suave motherfucker probably just came from mom's side of the family."

See, in the books, Tyrion is described as having hair so blond that it's nearly white (all the Targaryens have white hair), as well as one green eye and one dark eye that's almost black (it could conceivably be a deep purple, which is the color of the Targaryens' eyes). Add to that the fact that King Aerys Targaryen, whom Tywin worked for, totally wanted to bang Tywin's wife, and the evidence begins to stack up to right around waist height -- the former king is Tyrion's real dad.

Some fans even extend the theory to Tywin's less-shame-inducing offspring, Jaime and Cersei. If you think about it, they certainly display some undeniably Targaryen characteristics: They carry on the age-old Targaryen tradition of hyper incest, they're both absurdly narcissistic, and Cersei is obsessed with fire. Jaime even compares her to King Aerys after she burns down the Tower of the Hand, and Jaime would know, because he personally stabbed King Aerys to death.

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"In retrospect, maybe some family counseling would've been a good idea."

The real smoking crossbow, though, is that on Tywin and Joanna's wedding night, Aerys said that it was a "great pity that the lord's right to the first night had been abolished" before taking "liberties ... during the bedding." Exactly what sort of "liberties" are unclear, but it's entirely possible that not a damn one of Tywin's children are actually his.

And now, for a fan theory that crosses the line from "plausible" to "this is probably where the show is going."

1
Jon Snow Is the True Heir to the Throne

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This one is a bit complicated, so feel free to draw a diagram if you need to (and we're not being sarcastic, this may literally require a diagram).

This theory revolves around this guy, Jon Snow:

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You may recognize the name from your girlfriend's dream journal.

He is the bastard son of Ned Stark, and nobody knows who his mother is -- Ned refuses to say, only implying it was some random whore he banged when he was traveling, because they had not invented condoms back then. For much of the series, it's not at all clear why Jon's even in the story -- he goes off to the north and does shit duty along the icy Wall bordering the frozen wilderness. He sort of just ... hangs around the series, the only major character we follow who doesn't seem to have some kind of tie to the core story. Or so we thought ...

To explain this theory, we need to rewind a bit. One of the most pivotal events in Game of Thrones occurs before the story even begins -- a war, triggered by a kidnapping. At the time, the aforementioned Targaryens were still the ruling family. There was a pair of friends who controlled parts of the kingdom under them -- Robert Baratheon, aka this guy:

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"Ladies ..."

And Ned Stark, aka Sean Bean:

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aka The Walking Dead.

Ned had a sister, Lyanna Stark, who was going to marry Robert. But before that could happen, the evil Prince Rhaegar Targaryen kidnapped her. Robert and Ned were so enraged that they rallied their friends and launched a rebellion that ultimately deposed the Targaryens and led to Robert Baratheon seizing the throne and becoming king. The climax of this conflict is Robert hammer-killing the kidnapping shit out of Rhaegar at the Battle of the Trident, while Ned rushed inside the tower where Lyanna was being kept, only to find her dying in a "bed of blood" just in time to hear her last words: "Promise me, Ned." In retrospect, her choice of dying gasps was remarkably unhelpful.

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"Last words for her headstone? Um...'Winter is coming.' Yeah, let's go with that."

Now, initially we're given the impression that Rhaegar is a mustache-twirling villain with a head full of rape, but as the series unfolds, we learn that our image of him was somewhat tainted by Robert and Ned's perspective. It's heavily implied that Rhaegar loved Lyanna, and, more importantly, that Lyanna loved him back.

Now, we're led to believe that Rhaegar killed her, or she was otherwise wounded in battle somehow, but here's where the theory steps in: Lyanna was pretty well protected inside a fortified tower, with a bunch of Kingsguard watching over her. It seems unlikely that an errant sword thrust or poorly aimed arrow could've found its way to her. Also, if Rhaegar actually did care about her, he probably wouldn't have stabbed her on his way out to fight a losing battle to keep her. So why was she lying in a "bed of blood"? Because, the theory goes, she'd just given birth, to Rhaegar's son.

Who would later be named Jon Snow.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"I didn't feel comfortable creating your favorite character unless someone died in the process."

Ned's unspecified promise, then, would have involved not telling Robert that his arch nemesis Rhaegar had impregnated the love of his life with a child that could some day quash his claim to the throne. So Ned took the baby and claimed it as his own illegitimate son, though how he managed to smuggle a screaming infant out onto the battlefield without Robert noticing is anyone's guess.

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Unless he was all quietly brooding and angsty as a newborn too.

There are several different references in the books that support this: Daenerys has a vision of Lyanna's favorite flower blooming on a wall of ice (Jon Snow on The Wall); Ned is said to have "lived lies" for 14 years (Jon is 14 when the story begins); Ned always calls Jon his blood, rather than his son; Lyanna's chamber was guarded by Kingsguard, who would only have been there to protect royal blood (as Rhaegar's child would be).

Why does this potentially spoil the whole series? Because George R.R. Martin has come out and said that one of the fan theories has correctly guessed the ending, and this one spells it out: Daenerys Targaryen will show up with her dragons, Jon Snow will be revealed to also be a Targaryen, and the two of them will end the war once and for all by getting married and taking the throne as king and queen.

Jon Snow on The Wall = Ice

Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons = Fire

Thus, "A Song of Ice and Fire."

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That was our reaction, too.

Congratulations: You now know the ending at least a decade before anyone else will.


William Kosh has been obsessing about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Twin Peaks on www.gamevolution.co.uk for quite a long time now. It's all very sad.

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