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40 Thousand Skeletons

[TWOIAF Spoilers] Tyrion, Son of the Mad King

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Ok I'm not here to argue the evidence for or against A+J=T. But I do have one question. If it IS true, who or what would be able to confirm it with hard evidence, or at least as a firsthand witness? Barristan seems to know of the rumors of A and J, but he cannot say for certain. For R+L=J, there is still at least Howland Reed (theoretically) who can confirm Jon's parentage. (I know there's Bran/Bloodraven too but I'm talking about something/someone the whole realm could potentially believe). But A+J=T? If it were true, everyone who could have confirmed is either dead or not a named character, that I can think of. Anyone have any guesses?

Also, to the people who think that Jaime and Cersei are instead Aerys' children, if it were true, I find it peculiar that they ended up in an incestuous relationship naturally, as many Targaryens have before. It's certainly not hard evidence that they are Targaryen, but it is somewhat coincidental. It's not like every pair of bro/sis out there end up in the sack together.

So you think GRRM is not creative enough to come up with a convincing reveal? Come on. Barristan might have been outside the door guarding the king while he raped Joanna. Tyrion might be given a vision that lets him know that he is son of Aerys and then when he ride a dragon, it becomes accepted as the only realistic explanation. Or GRRM introduces some new character we have not met yet that it turns out has the information. These are just a partial list of the top of my head for how it could be revealed. I really don't know, but the how is not really a big deal--GRRM will know how he wants it revealed. The idea that there is no way to reveal is greatly underestimating GRRM's creativity.

Oh, and incest is not really a hereditary characteristic--it is more cultural.

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So you think GRRM is not creative enough to come up with a convincing reveal? Come on. Barristan might have been outside the door guarding the king while he raped Joanna. Tyrion might be given a vision that lets him know that he is son of Aerys and then when he ride a dragon, it becomes accepted as the only realistic explanation. Or GRRM introduces some new character we have not met yet that it turns out has the information. These are just a partial list of the top of my head for how it could be revealed. I really don't know, but the how is not really a big deal--GRRM will know how he wants it revealed. The idea that there is no way to reveal is greatly underestimating GRRM's creativity.

Oh, and incest is not really a hereditary characteristic--it is more cultural.

Oh I think he would be incredibly creative with a reveal like that. But I am not creative at all. Thus why I posed the question, to see what people's thoughts were :) Or there could have been a more obvious character that I completely missed.

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Oh I think he would be incredibly creative with a reveal like that. But I am not creative at all. Thus why I posed the question, to see what people's thoughts were :) Or there could have been a more obvious character that I completely missed.

I should have started my last post with "Welcome to the boards." To elaborate on your question, while I think it is interesting to speculate on how the reveal would happen, I think it is almost impossible to anticipate how GRRM would do the reveal. As I think about it, others that might know about Aerys raping Joanna might be Varys (he seems to know everything that happens at KL) and maybe Gerion Lannister as Tywin's brother (although that seems less likely). While most people who were around during that period were either quite young or are dead--but not everyone. And in a fantasy story, there are always "magical" ways (such as visions).

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I am still confused. You suggest it is unreasonable that the maester would have included the information about the affair--but he did include it so he must not have thought it was unreasonable. What are you suggesting? Why do you think he included this information if including it would be considered so dangerous for him?

As to the Targ blood issue--I think the evidence is overwhelming. I find it interesting that no one seems to doubt that First Man blood is necessary to warg (or skinchange) but somehow people don't believe that Targ blood is needed to bond with a dragon--despite all the information suggesting that it is. Everyone known to have bonded with a dragon after the Doom has Targ blood (WoIaF identified Nettles as a dragonseed, i.e., Targ bastard). There were other Valaryians that were not dragonlords before the doom--so if certain bloodlines were not needed, why didn't all Valaryians ride dragons? The Doom suggests that some powerful blood magic was done that disrupted the area (a price for powerful blood magic)--what could that have been other than binding the dragons to certain bloodlines? GRRM has said that the Targs practiced incest to keep the bloodlines more pure to better control dragons--why say this statement if bloodlines are irrelevant to controlling dragons? Follow the clues--they will lead you to the right conclusion.

I always assumed that most Valyrians didn't ride dragons because dragons are difficult to obtain, expensive to feed and house (only nobles could ever afford that much meat), and possibly require some kind of magic to properly control that dragonlord families didn't share with the hoi polloi. There is no need for them to be bound to specific bloodlines to explain what we observe. And even if they were bound to specific bloodlines, there would have been leakage over time as dragonlords sired bastards. Give it a thousand years and everyone in Valyria would have dragonlord blood from several different lines.

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Oh, and incest is not really a hereditary characteristic--it is more cultural.

There's a way it could be hereditary, at least in theory. Most of us are naturally blocked from having sex with siblings by the Westermarck Effect, by which we psychologically mark any child with whom we were raised in close proximity as someone we should not have sex with once we become adults. Children raised together are normally very resistant to having sex as adults, even when they are under strong social pressure to mate.

Jaime and Cersei were raised side by side, yet still they fell passionately in love and had sex even though they knew nobody would approve if they found out. That makes me wonder if they have some kind of genetic variant that disables the Westermarck Effect. Such a variant could have been common among Valyrians. Targaryens seem to have been remarkably unresistant to marrying their siblings - Aegon the Conqueror was clearly quite passionate for Rhaenys, and most of the sibling marriages that were arranged don't seem to have required much forcing.

TWOIAF didn't prove or disprove anything concerning the paternity of Joanna's children, but it did make A+J=C+J weaker while making A+J=T stronger. Still, I nurse a suspicion that A+J=C+J is true nonetheless. These theories aren't slam dunks like R+L=J, but they've got a lot going for them.

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I always assumed that most Valyrians didn't ride dragons because dragons are difficult to obtain, expensive to feed and house (only nobles could ever afford that much meat), and possibly require some kind of magic to properly control that dragonlord families didn't share with the hoi polloi. There is no need for them to be bound to specific bloodlines to explain what we observe. And even if they were bound to specific bloodlines, there would have been leakage over time as dragonlords sired bastards. Give it a thousand years and everyone in Valyria would have dragonlord blood from several different lines.

I think the entire point of the incest is to make it clear to readers that you need the dragon-rider gene to ride dragons (or alternatively perhaps a high enough % of dragon blood). If the original Valyrian dragon lord families faithfully practiced incest, than they have 100% chance of passing on the gene. Their numerous bastards, however, do not marry back into the families, and the gene may get passed on but will very likely be gone from the blood line within a few generations, meaning that dragon abilities are kept within the families.

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Oh I think he would be incredibly creative with a reveal like that. But I am not creative at all. Thus why I posed the question, to see what people's thoughts were :) Or there could have been a more obvious character that I completely missed.

I think Tyrion could deduce that he has Targ blood if he bonds with a dragon. I don't know that he would conclude that he is Aerys' son outright, but that could be left up to the reader to infer. My prediction is that Tyrion will reveal some good info about dragons in TWOW, because he has been reading about them forever but never talks about it with people. Now he will have to teach Daenerys about the dragons though, and that should be interesting dialogue.

And welcome to the boards!

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I have seen people proposing that Ilyn Payne is the last witness alive of Aerys raping Joanna and the loss of his tongue is in fact because of this.


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There's a way it could be hereditary, at least in theory. Most of us are naturally blocked from having sex with siblings by the Westermarck Effect, by which we psychologically mark any child with whom we were raised in close proximity as someone we should not have sex with once we become adults. Children raised together are normally very resistant to having sex as adults, even when they are under strong social pressure to mate.

Jaime and Cersei were raised side by side, yet still they fell passionately in love and had sex even though they knew nobody would approve if they found out. That makes me wonder if they have some kind of genetic variant that disables the Westermarck Effect. Such a variant could have been common among Valyrians. Targaryens seem to have been remarkably unresistant to marrying their siblings - Aegon the Conqueror was clearly quite passionate for Rhaenys, and most of the sibling marriages that were arranged don't seem to have required much forcing.

TWOIAF didn't prove or disprove anything concerning the paternity of Joanna's children, but it did make A+J=C+J weaker while making A+J=T stronger. Still, I nurse a suspicion that A+J=C+J is true nonetheless. These theories aren't slam dunks like R+L=J, but they've got a lot going for them.

I have heard of that before. Although, in this case, I think it's called the WesterOSmarck Effect. Aw Yeaaaaaaa!!!! (sorry i just had to)

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I used to gravitate toward the ideas that Tyrion is not a Targ but will ride a dragon anyways somehow, and J+C could possibly be the children of the mad king. I especially liked the idea of yet another parallel existing between Tyrion and Jaime as they would have both killed their own fathers, and we still don't yet know the full consequences of kin-slaying, so that could be important.

However, with TWOIAF out, it seems basically confirmed that:

1) J+C are Tywin's children.

2) You need Valyrian blood to ride a dragon, possibly even more specific than that (families of dragons bonded to specific Valyrian families possibly, doesn't matter much anymore)

3) Lannisters never married any Targs, so no Targ blood in them (100% EDIT: 99% confirmed by family tree, Plumm blood technically possible as some people here have pointed out, though I think there would be some mention of it by now)

SO... For the sake of this argument, let's assume that Tyrion will ride a dragon, because all the foreshadowing, including from tWoW chapter:

Guy gets killed awesomely by Jorah, the white dragon piece from the cevasse board falls to the ground with blood on it and Tyrion picks it up and examines it. This, along with the fact that Tyrion knows more about dragons than almost anyone alive, seems to strongly suggest that Viserion will be injured in battle, and Tyrion will heal him and ride him and make saddles for himself and Daenerys, happy times ahead.

Based on this info, and the other info about Aerys and Joanna and the visit to KL in 272 and some other tidbits from TWOIAF, I find it very difficult to believe at this point that Tyrion is Tywin's son. It would also mean that Tyrion and Jaime killed EACH OTHER'S fathers which is hilarious, and neither would be kin-slayers which may be important for reasons yet unknown. Obviously this topic has been discussed a ton before TWOIAF, but this really gives us some fresh context. Thoughts? And please refrain from "it would be bad writing". That is not much of an argument here.

EDIT: english

spoilers for the tWoW Tyrion chapter:

I don't understand why Tyrion picking up the white dragon, is taken as a clue that he Tyrion, will ride or heal Viserion.

In aDwD, during the Tyrion/fAegon cyvasse game, the black onyx dragon Tyrion plays with is very clearly symbolizing Dany.

No one takes the onyx dragon as a clue that Tyrion will ride Drogon.... if GRRM is coherent in his use of symbolism, the white cyvasse piece should also represent a Targaryen, not a real dragon.

The white cyvasse piece is covered in blood. Blood! That Viserion will get hurt during the battle of Meereen is probable for the sake of symmetry (Jon/Viserion); but there's so much more to that!

  • the colors: red on white = the colors of the weirwood tree = ghost = Jon.
  • the white dragon is "wounded" (the blood); Jon is wounded physically from having been stabbed; and on another level it's the North, the Stark's cause, Jon's cause that has been wounded grievously because of the war.

So, the cyvasse piece Tyrion picks up? to me, it's a clear reference to Jon, another subtle nod toward R+L; not to Tyrion riding Viserion.

Tyrion is made for politics and strategies, not for riding a dragon. And actually, I wouldn't be surprised if Tyrion betrayed Dany (the onyx dragon he first used to defeat fAegon) for Jon (the wounded dragon; the white cyvasse pieces he picks up and examines; as if considering an option; a throne pretender)...

There's clues for that: Tyrion and Jon's friendship, Quaithe including "the lion" in her warning to Dany...and well, Tyrion and Sansa are still married :) and also the context of the Tyrion chapter: Tyrion is in the midst of persuading the Second Sons to turn cloak.

"Dragons old and young, true and false, bright and dark. And you. A small man with a big shadow, snarling in the midst of it all." says Moquorro...

Tyrion is literally the only character to have met four "dragons": fAegon, Jon, Dany + Aemon...( Varys and Illyrio might fit in there too)...imo, the "big shadow" reference (x2, ref. already made in the Jon chapter, at the feast in Winterfell) means Tyrion's actions will be decisive for the course of history: he'll stand as tall as the King, possibly because Tyrion will "make" the King.

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spoilers for the tWoW Tyrion chapter:

I don't understand why Tyrion picking up the white dragon, is taken as a clue that he Tyrion, will ride or heal Viserion.

In aDwD, during the Tyrion/fAegon cyvasse game, the black onyx dragon Tyrion plays with is very clearly symbolizing Dany.

No one takes the onyx dragon as a clue that Tyrion will ride Drogon.... if GRRM is coherent in his use of symbolism, the white cyvasse piece should also represent a Targaryen, not a real dragon.

The white cyvasse piece is covered in blood. Blood! That Viserion will get hurt during the battle of Meereen is probable for the sake of symmetry (Jon/Viserion); but there's so much more to that!

  • the colors: red on white = the colors of the weirwood tree = ghost = Jon.
  • the white dragon is "wounded" (the blood); Jon is wounded physically from having been stabbed; and on another level it's the North, the Stark's cause, Jon's cause that has been wounded grievously because of the war.

So, the cyvasse piece Tyrion picks up? to me, it's a clear reference to Jon, another subtle nod toward R+L; not to Tyrion riding Viserion.

Tyrion is made for politics and strategies, not for riding a dragon. And actually, I wouldn't be surprised if Tyrion betrayed Dany (the onyx dragon he first used to defeat fAegon) for Jon (the wounded dragon; the white cyvasse pieces he picks up and examines; as if considering an option; a throne pretender)...

There's clues for that: Tyrion and Jon's friendship, Quaithe including "the lion" in her warning to Dany...and well, Tyrion and Sansa are still married :) and also the context of the Tyrion chapter: Tyrion is in the midst of persuading the Second Sons to turn cloak.

"Dragons old and young, true and false, bright and dark. And you. A small man with a big shadow, snarling in the midst of it all." says Moquorro...

Tyrion is literally the only character to have met four "dragons": fAegon, Jon, Dany + Aemon...( Varys and Illyrio might fit in there too)...imo, the "big shadow" reference (x2, ref. already made in the Jon chapter, at the feast in Winterfell) means Tyrion's actions will be decisive for the course of history: he'll stand as tall as the King, possibly because Tyrion will "make" the King.

It could certainly be foreshadowing something else, I just posted what I think may be a likely interpretation of the symbolism, but you make very good points. But I disagree that Tyrion is made just for politics and not riding a dragon. We have seen him in battle twice now, and at the Blackwater he went full Jaime on everyone. Also I do think he is destined to end up king, and I think the only way for that to happen is with him on a dragon.

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By the time Joanna got pregnant of Tyrion she was not in King's Landing for a long time and she never met Aerys after she left court, so I really doubt Tyrion is his son. I can bet on Jaime and Cersei, but I think all Tywin's children are really Tywin's


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By the time Joanna got pregnant of Tyrion she was not in King's Landing for a long time and she never met Aerys after she left court, so I really doubt Tyrion is his son. I can bet on Jaime and Cersei, but I think all Tywin's children are really Tywin's

If you read up-thread, you would know that WoIaF specifically notes that Joanna went to KL for the 10-year anniversary tourney in 272 AC, the year prior to Tyrion's birth year of 273 AC. Aerys made a humiliating sexual remark about Joanna's breasts at the time, and Tywin unsuccessfully tried to resign as hand of the king the next day (Aerys would not accept the resignation).

So the potential opportunity for Aerys to have sex with Joanna at a time that could have been the time of Tyrion's conception has been explicitly established by GRRM in WoIaF. These new facts are essentially the impetus for this thread. The implication is that Aerys might have had his guards bring Joanna to his bed that night and raped her. This action would be a better rationale for why Tywin tried to resign than some inappropriate comment (the "cover story" for the attempted resignation).

While admittedly, the added facts in WoIaF do not establish that Aerys raped Joanna that night or if he did that Tyrion is the result of that rape. But you are incorrect when you state that Joanna was not in KL after she left court--we know for a fact from WoIaF that she went back to KL in 272 AC. Even one of the co-authors who maintains this cite (Ran) indicated that GRRM added fuel to the fire of A+J=T with these added facts about Joanna going to court in 272 AC.

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I totally forgot this detail, well, it seems possible, but would Joanna let Aerys have her?



It seems Joanna loved Tywin deeply, the same way he loved her.



I know he is the king and he could have whoever he wanted, but I don't know, I still think Tyrion is very like Tywin, even his aunt Genna tells Jaime Tyrion is Tywin's son and not him (remarking the attitudes).


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^^ 40 thousand Skeletons,



well....I just don't believe in the A+J=T theory, and am convinced that Valyrian blood is necessary to ride a dragon...



I find that Tyrion's character arc is richer if he is indeed Tywin's son. Their relationship is such a defining pillar of Tyrion's identity that it would be a shame if they weren't father and son. And we do have enough other potential secret Targs around to pick from. There's plenty of things Tyrion can and will do without riding a dragon; what did Robert say? The King shits, and the Hand...?



Also Tyrion's martial prowess during the battle for Blackwater bay was rather a stretch no? -- didn't GRRM admit that he might have gone over the top?



Tyrion's one defining trait from the beginning is his genius, cunning and knowledge, his ability to read people. His one strength is his mind. His ingenuity and wit. Most importantly, Tyrion enjoyed being Hand and he certainly enjoys playing cyvasse. And that to me hints at a future of devising battle stratagems and/or of advising kings... Like Genna said, from among his two sons, Tyrion is the one resembling Tywin most.

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I totally forgot this detail, well, it seems possible, but would Joanna let Aerys have her?

It seems Joanna loved Tywin deeply, the same way he loved her.

I know he is the king and he could have whoever he wanted, but I don't know, I still think Tyrion is very like Tywin, even his aunt Genna tells Jaime Tyrion is Tywin's son and not him (remarking the attitudes).

If Aerys orders his guards to bring Joanna to his bed, neither the guards, Tywin nor Joanna would have any real say in the matter--it would happen. So Joanna's feelings for Tywin are not relevant to whether Aerys took her in this manner.

As for Tyrion being much like Tywin--it is a matter of nurture over nature. Tyrion wanted Tywin's approval, and Tyrion tried to emulate Tywin. Of course, Tyrion ended up being the "spiritual" heir of Tywin, but in no way does that require Tywin to be the bio-dad. And Tywin's reaction to the comment--refusing to speak to his sister for a year--cuts that other way. He was as upset as he was because he knew it was possible Tyrion was not even really Tywin's son.

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. But A+J=T? If it were true, everyone who could have confirmed is either dead or not a named character, that I can think of. Anyone have any guesses?.

Barristan. Apart from possibly having been in position to witness something during Joanna's last soujourn in KL in 272, he would have seen Aerys's short-lived children and a variety of other Targaryens and could tell if Tyrion shares any physical traits with them. Like, did any of Aerys's babies have black eyes? Heterochromia? Did Egg's youngest son Daeron have black streaks in otherwise almost white hair, as depicted on the picture of Aegon V and his sons? Was Rhaegar and/or Viserys born with black hair that subsequently lightened to Targaryen silver?

And, of course, Tyrion's knowledge of the secret entrance into the sleeping chamber of the Hand could supply means for the encounter, even if nobody saw or heard anything incriminating.

We also have Genna, who may have been close to Joanna, since they were very likely raised together, being only a few years apart in age, and due to the fact that they both lived at Casterly Rock after their marriages. She clearly had no clue re: Tyrion's possibly contentious ancestry as of AFFC (or maybe she did and was trying to convince Tywin that he was wrong about it? Which is why she pointed out to him how alike he and Tyrion were?) but she might have seen or heard something that might make a very different kind of sense to her once she hears about Tyrion riding a dragon ;).

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Barristan is bound to Victarion's axe. Genna is bound to UnCat's hempen rope. It is known. Besides, was not Genna the one who said Tyrion is Tywin writ small?


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Tyrion is Tywins son... I have never had doubts about this. Jaimie and Cercei on the other hand might very well be Aerys's bastards...it would ad a bittersweet irony and a cruel symmetry to the story. Tyrion not being Tywin's son - on the other hand - would make so many things so not cool.



I know, I know... to many of you, the notion of an endgame, in which all comes down to being Targaryan or not and three dragon riders fending of an attack by the others, has become semi-canon, but I'm still not sold on that. What I hate most about the Tyrion also being a royal bastard theory is that it is based on a - to my mind still not confirmed - axiom that says that being Targaryan is somehow special. You may laugh at me - but I very much doubt this. Aerys wasn't special, Viserys wasn't most of the other Targaryan Kings wern't. Daenerys on the other hand is very special; and so are the Stark children. Tyrion is also special but because of being Tywin's son.... not ispite of it.


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Tyrion is Tywins son... I have never had doubts about this. Jaimie and Cercei on the other hand might very well be Aerys's bastards...it would ad a bittersweet irony and a cruel symmetry to the story. Tyrion not being Tywin's son - on the other hand - would make so many things so not cool.

I know, I know... to many of you, the notion of an endgame, in which all comes down to being Targaryan or not and three dragon riders fending of an attack by the others, has become semi-canon, but I'm still not sold on that. What I hate most about the Tyrion also being a royal bastard theory is that it is based on a - to my mind still not confirmed - axiom that says that being Targaryan is somehow special. You may laugh at me - but I very much doubt this. Aerys wasn't special, Viserys wasn't most of the other Targaryan Kings wern't. Daenerys on the other hand is very special; and so are the Stark children. Tyrion is also special but because of being Tywin's son.... not ispite of it.

The Starks or someone else with First Man Blood are the only people that have been shown to be able to warg (or skinchange). Not everyone with First Man Blood has this power, but everyone the readers have seen with this power has First Man Blood. Do you doubt that First Man Blood is required to warg (or skinchange)? Similarly, not every Targ can bond with a dragon, but everyone that the readers have been told has bonded with a dragon (post Doom) had Targ blood. The implication is that blood magic was required to enable the Targs to bond with a dragon. Why is it hard to believe that Targ blood is necessary to bond with a dragon if the bond is only possible due to ancient blood magic? Do you think that simply random "special" people are endowed with this power and the Targs merely fooled people for centuries? And if anyone might have this power, where does it come from?

The clues that Tyrion is a Targ bastard are not just based on dragonriding endgame theories (although these theories are part of the analysis). GRRM has been planting hints since GoT that Tyrion might have Targ blood. I think that next week when the one-month moratorium on WOIAF spoilers for the main forum has expired, I will post a long list of all of the clues in an OP in the main forum. Until then, I will just note that GRRM added quite a few clues and not all dealing with endgame issues. But in terms of endgame, if you agree that Tyrion is one of the three heads of the dragon, explain how someone who is 100% "lion" can be described as a head "of the dragon"?

Even a co-author of WOIAF (Ran) acknowledged after the book came out that the information about Joanna going to KL in 272 AC added fuel to the fire of A+J=T. So there are many clues intentionally added by GRRM. If he did not mean these clues to lead to A+J=T being true, then what are the purposes for the clues?

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