People love talking about Game of Thrones. Of course, the spectacle — the battles, dragons, monstrous locations — makes for great viewing, but that’s not why HBO’s show has transcended others; its the conversation surrounding Game of Thrones, regarding theories and predictions, has led to legions of fans feverishly watching every week.
Over here at The Independent, we adore a good theory, writing about everything from Azor Ahai, to Jaime being Cersei’s murderer. This week, we’re looking into the widely posited theory that Tyrion Lannister may not actually be a Lannister at all.
Where to begin? The theory, of course, starts with Joanna Lannister, mother of Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion. While in her early teens, Joanna attended the coronation of King Jaehaerys II Targaryen. Rumour spread that, on that evening, Joanna lost her virginity to Prince Aerys — AKA the future Mad King — that night, although the rumours were denied.
Years later, when Aerys sat upon the throne, Joanna married Tywin Lannister, her first cousin and hand of the king. As noted in A Dance with Dragons, upon their wedding night, Aerys took certain “unwonted liberties” during her bedding ceremony, much to Tywin’s displeasure.
“Not long thereafter, Queen Rhaella (Aerys wife) dismissed Joanna Lannister from her service,” reads a passage in The World of Ice and Fire. “No reason for this was ever given, but Lady Joanna departed at once for Casterly Rock and seldom visited King’s Landing thereafter.”
However, Joanna did visit King’s Landing again. An Anniversary Tourney was held in the capitol city, marking Aerys's tenth year on the Iron Throne. As noted in The World of Ice & Fire, Aerys asked whether breast feeding her children had ruined her breasts, Tywin attempting to resign as Hand of the King following the incident.
That tournament took place in 272 AC; Joanna died giving birth to Tyrion in 273 AC. Could the two have slept with each other that night leading to Tyrion’s birth a year later? Possibly.
Tywin’s relationship with Aerys was strained after the death, Joanna being the only woman Tywin ever loved. Twin would, of course, turn on Aerys during Robert’s Rebellion; was there a hatred towards Aerys, a former friend and close ally, because Tywin blamed the Mad King for his wife’s death?
Tywin also unfairly detested Tyrion for murdering Joanna. Throughout Game of Thrones, we’ve seen the Lannister father tell Tyrion "You are no son of mine” multiple times, most notably before being shot with a crossbow. Some fans believe Tywin’s words to be literal, the Lannister believing Tyrion may actually be Aerys Targaryen’s son.
There’s also Tyrion’s relationship with dragons, a Targaryen family trait. While growing up, Tyrion was obsessed with Dragons, always wishing to have one as a pet. Come the sixth season, we see Tyrion unchain one of Daenerys’ dragons locked away, the dragon being particularly calm around Tyrion. Could the magical beast know Tyrion has Targaryen blood?
Then there’s the prophecy about three dragon riders. The show has established Jon Snow as a Targaryen, making it likely himself and Daenerys will ride dragons together at some stage.
So, could there be another hidden Targaryen on Game of Thrones? Seeing as we already have one, it’s unlikely George RR Martin would introduce another Daenerys relative anytime soon. Who knows, but we’ll be keeping an eye out for any future clues.
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