The Wild World of Game of Thrones Fan Theories, Part 2
Get your tinfoil hats!
Ah, tinfoil theories. Ask anyone in any fandom about crazy fan theories and they’d be able to hit you with at least one. Game of Thrones has, well… substantially more than that. What drives fans to think up this stuff? Is it the agonizing wait between installments? Is it the drive to be right about something? It probably depends on the person who creates the theory, really. However, I’d argue that fans create wild theories because it’s just plain fun! In the spirit of sharing the aluminium hat love, I’ve complied a few tinfoil theories from around the net. This is in no way a complete list, as there are plenty of others out there! Of those I’ve listed, some border on the fringe of possibly (though none have as much evidence to back them up as the theories in part one), while others will just make you laugh.
Once again, I want to give a big shoutout to the members of r/asoiaf, the tumblr asongoftheories, and westeros.org for keeping records of theories both probable and preposterous. Additionally, please know that this article is full of spoilers! In The Mary Sue tradition: The column of Catelyn Stark judges all, especially if they haven’t read all the books and then complain about being spoiled. Beware, for beyond here there be spoilers for all published books!
Winterfoil is Coming
At the end of A Dance with Dragons, Winterfell isn’t doing so great. It’s been taken over by the Boltons and the Freys, it’s surrounded by a seemingly never-ending snowstorm, and people are dying left and right. If the Starks aren’t saying “Winter is Coming,” they’re muttering “There must always be a Stark in Winterfell.” Is this just familial narcissism, or is there more to it?
Because winter is coming. In the “way back when,” long before the events of the books started taking place, there was a supernatural pact made between the Children of the Forest and the First Men. This pact included a curse of sorts placed on the Starks. If a Stark wasn’t in charge of Winterfell, then the long, dark winters of old would return. Some have taken this idea a step further, taking it to mean the storm is literally coming from Winterfell itself. Popular evidence backing these theories include: At the Wall, Night’s Watchmen Othell Yarwyck observes the storm winds are coming from the south, not the north. And the snow shows up shortly after Ramsay marries Fake!Arya, aka the first time (in known history) that a Stark isn’t in charge of Winterfell.
Take curses, Children of the Forest, and vengeful snows, mix in a dash of Jon-Snow-had-a-goddamn-dragon-at-Winterfell, and you’ve got yourself a lovely tinfoil hat!
Theon Turncloak, Kinslayer
We all know how much of a player Theon is… er, used to be. Truth is the guy got around a lot. He doesn’t seem to really think about sex much since his time with Ramsay Bolton, but what happened to all those women he took a tumble with?
In a Theon/Reek chapter in ADwD, Theon walks about the castle brooding when he happens upon a hooded figure.
Farther on, he came upon a man striding in the opposite direction, a hooded cloak flapping behind him. When they found themselves face-to-face their eyes met briefly. The man put a hand on his dagger. “Theon Turncloak. Theon Kinslayer.”
“I’m not. I never… I was ironborn.”
This isn’t the first time someone’s called Theon a turncloak, but it is the first time he’s named a kinslayer. Many readers assume this is an accusation about the Stark boys, but looking closer that might not be the case. In A Clash of Kings, Theon seemingly does the unthinkable and kills off Bran and Rickon. Of course we know that’s not true and that he killed a local miller’s sons and dressed them as the Stark lordlings instead. The mother is killed off as well. Theon remembers the mother was his lover on several occasions and even has nightmares centering around her and the boys. Why? Well, killing children would likely be traumatic for anyone, but there could be more to it. The boys were young enough for one or both to be Theon’s own sons. Theon could have killed his own children.
If you’re looking for the character with the most speculation as to some sort of secret identity (outside of Jon, that is), Coldhands would be a pretty big contender. He’s dressed in black; he’s tall, dark, and brooding; and he’s pretty much a dead ringer for a wight. He just doesn’t act like it. His clothing suggests he was part of the Night’s Watch at some point, but other than this we know very little about him. So who is Coldhands? Theories span to everyone from Waymar Royce to Benjen Stark.
But there’s another, much, much, much older option for Coldhand’s true identity: The Night’s King, the 13th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch and the subject of a fan theory I told you about in part one. But wait, didn’t that dude die? Well, it’s not really said in the stories. The closest we get to the Night’s King dying is that we know he fell from power. What happened after that is a mystery. This theory says Coldhands is the Night’s King, forced to serve penitence for his crimes as a wandering wight.
Jojen is Paste
Throughout the books it’s proven time and time again that if you want something done, you better do it with blood magic. Bran, Jojen, and Meera have been traveling for quite some time to get to the Three Eyed Crow (AKA Bloodraven), and when they find him he’s literally grown into a tree. Jojen hasn’t been doing too hot lately, and keeps talking about dying, because he’s just fun like that. Meanwhile, Bran has to eat this awful paste made of weirwood parts and something that looks suspiciously like blood. The better Bran gets at warging into trees, the sicker Jojen becomes.
The Jojen is Paste theory states that Jojen is giving up his life blood a little at a time and feeding it to Bran through the paste. Cannibalism is a common theme throughout the series (Frey pies, cannibal islands, the Rat King), and blood seems to help magic do its thing, so the theory may not be as unlikely as it sounds. It would just be a super sad fate for Jojen, although an honorable one.
Patchface and the Drowned God are Homeboys
A bit of back story first: Patchface, the jester of Stannis’ court, used to be a really witty and clever slave in Volantis. He was picked up by Stannis’ dad Steffon and was in the shipwreck that killed both Steffon and his wife (officially making the Baratheon boys Disney princes, considering the dead parents and everything). Anyway, three days after the wreck, who should wash up on shore but Patchface! Miraculously, the freed slave coughed up water and went on living with about a 1/4 of his brains left. He’s no longer clever, but he pleases Stannis’ daughter Shireen, so he’s kept around.
So here’s what we’re looking at: Patchface spent three days missing from the wreck, after which he coughed up water and came back an entirely new person. All Patchface talks about is the sea. Almost every one of his lines are little jingles about mermaids, crabs, waves, or starfish. The scary part is some of his jingles turn out bone-chillingly similar to events in the story (like that time he predicted the Red Wedding). GRRM could just be using him as a foreshadowing device… or Patchface is totally a prophet for the Drowned God!
Some fans have gone as far to say that Patchface is an avatar of sorts for the Drowned God, which would explain why Melisandre sees him in her flames “…surrounded by skulls, lips red with blood.” Check out this theory for even more tinfoil fun, wherein Patchface becomes a leader of The Others and Shireen is a sacrificial pawn.
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