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What are your personal favorite theories?

Ser Arthurs Dawn

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Work is slow, per usual, and I like to fill the void with interesting asoiaf theories. I tend to read the same few over and over. However, I keep discovering good theories that have been out for years, and most of them I've never even heard of. So please share your favorites! (Theories that you find plausible.)

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Favorites are Poisoned Pigeon Pie and Meli saved Edric.

- Tyrion sent Petyr to Tyrells camp in hoping of winning them to their cause, there Olenna and LF decided they need to murder Tyrion. Basically, the world revolves around Sansa, Olenna and LF are mad sketchy around her, not to mention after Joffrey died. Imo if you read that scene it really looks like Tyrions pie is what did Joff in, which really neither Olenna or LF needs, as opposed to the Imp who want him dead for reasons.

-Mel saw Davos plotting her murder but she also saw Edric "charming" Davos and waited for the knight to be charmed before arresting him and throwing him into the dark cells that we call a game of thrones. My theory goes, why the hell would she do that unless its all her plan. And if it is her plan that means she is the reason Edric is safe and away from his uncle

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Theories I like that are not certainties or ridiculous (which is most of them - ridiculous, that is).

Lem Lemoncloak is really Richard Lonmouth, one of Rhaegar's squires.  Lonmouth's fate is not given, nor is Lem's background.  I seem to recall other hints as well.  If so, we will probably find out when Jaime shows up at the BwB's hideout.  He could be an infodump about Rhaegar.

Ashara Dayne is either Septa Lemore or Howland Reed's wife and Meera and Jojen's mother.  I tend to go with Lemore but Mrs. Reed intrigues me.  Meera's story has an awful lot about her.

Roose Bolton knew or suspected who Arya was, which is why he made her his page and arranged for her to spend time with Elmar.  I find his comments to Theon about how peasants talk differently from highborns interesting; Arya talks like a noble.  I think GRRM has left his options open on this one.

Stuff I believe but haven't seen mentioned by anyone.

Davos will end up at Hardhome and the Far North, and will end TWOW still north of the Wall.  No way is he doing an out and back to Skagos.  Nothing is ever that simple.

The Faceless Men have no intention of making Arya an assassin and never did.  Her training is more suited to spying than killing.  I have occasionally entertained the idea that the Faceless Men have a sideline in information and intelligence.  Probably not, though.

While I like discussing theories like the Pink Letter, the catspaw, Dany having alternative parentage, and even the poison in the pie, I tend to think the explanation given in the story is the correct one.  They may be unsatisfactory (catspaw especially), but the alternatives are invariably much worse.


Edited by Nevets
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I find Jon Snow is Arthur Dayne's son and will be the next Sword of the Morning intriguing and I like it a lot. but in all honesty, I don't have much hope!

my other favorite theories, regardless of evidence: 

1. Dragons and the Others will survive the conflict and human exploitation and will live in the wild by the end!

2. Seasons will become normal after the Long Night

3. Jon Snow will become a Night King figure who is a tragic hero who will be remembered as a villain. 

4. Aegon is Aegon and Lemore is Ashara . (I like the Ashara=Jyanna Reed theory but when I think Ned and Howland killed Arthur I cannot imagine how Ashara might want to have anything to do with either of them...)

5. Lem is Richard and Jaimie will reveal it 

6. Tommen is the Valanquer and he'll mercy kill his mother . dark . I know . but it's GRRM. 


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One I've seen recently that I love is that Beric is the Hooded Man - or not necessarily the Hooded Man, but he's still alive. I appreciate that Cat was dead for A LONG time, however was it really necessary and part of the Lord of Light's plan to bring Beric back five or six times solely to give his life to bring Cat back? If so, what is the major role that Cat has to play against the Others? (And no, she will not bring Jon back to life) I think Beric has a bigger role to play and can do more damage from the shadows as a "dead man" now that he's passed the leadership over to Lady Stoneheart.

The thing that puts me off him being the Hooded Man is the fact that although he has a hood, surely Theon would notice his eye-patch? Also if I were GRRM I would at least throw in a back-ground character with one eye or something but then he knows how on-the-ball all of his readers are, so they would guess.

My suspicions are that he was either sent to Winterfell to rescue Arya, or he (and Brynden hopefully) will be the one sent to rescue Jeyne (who will be pregnant).


Another is that I do like the idea of JonCon going crazy at the "Bells" and burning King's Landing. But I'm also a firm believer that Tyrion will break bad fully and be the Devil on Dany's shoulder. He will be the one to convince her to burn the city with Drogon

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My own crazy theory is that all magic and supernatural disruption on Planetos comes from the weirwoods. Or really: three or more warring factions of weirwoods, each adapted to mutually incompatible terrains.

The unbalanced seasons, the Long Night, the Hammer of the Waters, the Others, the fire visions, the resurrections, the dragons, grayscale, Faceless Men face-changing...it all comes from a psionic blood-bonding entity whose females sometimes resemble weird trees, krakens, the source of the Fourteen Flames, and the heart of winter. The males are mobile guardians, though each faction of the species has also roped in various other species to protect them and provide blood over the ages.

All of the calamities that threaten life on the planet ultimately stem from the same supernatural source. But the ice, fire, and green weir-factions likely didn't cross paths and start warring until humans entered the scene. Especially once they started tapping into these systems of power themselves, and man's destructive urges were amplified into truly destabilizing forces. 


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Also, another one that I love is the Vampire of the Dreadfort theory. That Roose Bolton is actually a vampire who shifts his skin and has done for generations, just by either warging into his sons and living through them, or by some weird skin changing magic where he kills his son and steals their skin. All that remains is his eyes - and that's why he keeps Ramsay around, because Ramsay has his eyes. There's a video done by Alt Shift X on YouTube who goes into this in more detail which I love

It goes into explain that Roose was the one who killed Domerick Bolton (and the other children) because they did not have his eyes.

Edited by KingStoneheart
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Sorry for the spam but I keep remembering new ones that I’ve heard…

I really love the theory that Littlefinger started Robert’s Rebellion - he accidentally intercepted a letter from Lyanna to Brandon explaining that she has in fact run off with Rhaegar (not kidnapped) because she has such a good relationship with him and thinks out of everyone, he would understand her. Feeling very bitter, Littlefinger burns the letter which in turn results in Brandon storming to (and dying in) King’s Landing.

This accidental interception and butterfly effect caused by Petyr gives him that little push that he needs to become the formidable mastermind behind the War of the Five Kings and many more to come.

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I really like the Lyanna is the Knight of the Laughing Tree theory. It’s one of those that might never be out and out revealed, but if I remember correctly I think the shield was found by Rhaegar hanging on a weirwood tree. So I think Bran can have a vision of Rhaegar finding Lyanna near that weirwood. Bran wouldn’t know their names, but he can describe their features and we can assume as the reader that they are Rhaegar and Lyanna. It’s also interesting that Jojen and Meera are surprised that Bran has never heard the story which implies that they know it’s Lyanna which is why they would assume that Ned would have told Bran that story. So I guess this means that Howland would also know that it was Lyanna in the end, but how would he know that? Did she tell Howland at some point? Is Howland a greenseer? I find it all very interesting. 

I also like all the fAegon theories. Especially the one that he is a Blackfyre. I feel like it makes most sense for him not to be the real Aegon and of all the fAegon theories I think that one makes the most sense, but even if he isn’t a Blackfyre I still think it makes more sense for him not to be the real Aegon. I also think he could be Ashara’s child somehow and that would also be cool, but the Blackfyre one is still coolest in my opinion. 

I also think that the Pink Letter theories are cool because GRRM has definitely opened the door for us to theorize as to who wrote it, but there isn’t really any clear candidate in my opinion, they all have problems that makes me question whether it could be them so Ramsey is the most likely, but unlike other theories, I wouldn’t be too surprised if someone out there gets it right and it isn’t Ramsay. A theory like “Lyanna is the Knight of the Laughing Tree” is based on how Lyanna makes more sense than the answer we are given on the text. The Pink Letter theories are based on details that open the door for it to be someone other than Ramsay, but with the info we have right now, it still makes more sense for it to be Ramsay. So we’ll see I guess…

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  • 3 months later...

Some of my favourites were already mentioned.

Here they are:

1. Jon is Arthur's and Lyanna's son. This is mostly based on symbolism and parallels for me. One of my favourite parallels are Jon - Pyp - Grenn = Arthur - Oswell - Gerold = Sword - Bat - Bull and Jon's dilemma with broken vows if Arthur + Lyanna took place. We are also shown the same struggle of Arys Oakheart. Also Arthur's Camaris and Lancelot parallels.

2. Still considering it, but Arthur = Mance and Gerold = Qhorin. It's like an intuitive attraction to the idea. And I strictly opposed it at some point. I don't really see the point of Arthur being there other than for the revelation for Jon, for whom it might be not even valuable if he resurrects less emotional and stuff. So a beat weak. 

3. Joffrey got poisoned circumstantially by Tyrion's pie. Littlefinger wanted to kill Tyrion, Olenna got on board only after Sansa's marriage.

4. Still unclear, but something should have happened at Wolf's Den connected to Ned during the Rebellion. Too much details are given in ADWD when Davos is there.

5. Dany's father is Rhaegar. Probably Ashara is the mother.

6. Shadrich, Morgarth and Byron theory by sweeticeandfiresunray.

7. Cantuse theories about what's happening in Winterfell in ADWD.

8. Not a theory in any sense, but just a feeling that we don't know anything about the real reasons why the Rebellion started. I don't see Lyanna and Rhaegar fleeing together. I believe that maybe some third party (either Aerys or Tywin) tried to capture one or both of them and a rescue took place, which might be successful or, on the opposite, not. I am really not sure about the pieces in this game, who was on which side and who did what. Just that it was not a fairytale elopement for the prophecy.

I'll probably remember more later.

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I really like the split timeline endgame theory.

I don't think it will prove to be true (because George probably wouldn't write a partly alternative timeline when he couldn't write a 5 year gap), but it really fits the story.

Let me copy it:

0. The Long Night endgame

Some of the first information we get on the Long Night comes from Old Nan.

"The Others," Old Nan agreed. "Thousands and thousands of years ago, a winter fell that was cold and hard and endless beyond all memory of man. There came a night that lasted a generation, and kings shivered and died in their castles even as the swineherds in their hovels. Women* smothered their children rather than see them starve, and cried, and felt their tears freeze on their cheeks." Her voice and her needles fell silent, and she glanced up at Bran with pale, filmy eyes and asked, "So, child. This is the sort of story you like?" - Bran IV, AGOT

As described in legends, the Long Night is a generation long apocalypse. It isn't described as something which is resolved quickly, nor can take place in the span of a single book. People criticize the show for reducing the Long Night to a single battle that characters basically just forget about afterwards (hold this thought), but to be fair the expectations of the fandom aren't much different. Most theories expect the Long Night to take place over a year at most, culminate in a climactic final battle(as per the original outline) and be condensed into a single book with Dany's invasion, Jon's parentage reveal, the valonqar, Sansa killing Littlefinger, and the final political resolution of the story where Bran Stark is made king.

Every once in a while someone may suggest the Long Night will start a bit earlier and last a bit longer, but compared to the legends this isn't much different. Unless you expect that Martin was planning a second time skip in addition to the scrapped 5 year gap, this is a story about Westeros averting a true Long Night, not lasting through the whole ordeal. Which begs a question:

How can a totally unprepared Westeros manage to not only survive, but speedrun the Long Night?


You can't kill the apocalypse

"But when the dead walk, walls and stakes and swords mean nothing. You cannot fight the dead, Jon Snow. No man knows that half so well as me." - Mance Rayder

The show offered no answer as to how the plotline of the Others would be resolved. In the show, stopping the Long Night hinged on killing a show only character. The showrunners admit they made him up(there is no Night King in the books), and they admit that they made up who would kill him and how(Arya in the godswood with Aegon's the dagger), and they even admit when they made that decision (around season 6).

But to be fair, the fandom (in my opinion anyways) also lacks a good answer. Theories around how the Others will be defeated tend to all boil down to some kind of superhero team-up where the right characters with the right battle skills come together for a big battle and save the world (A warrior, an assassin, a dragonrider, an imp, a tree wizard). Usually through some variant of the following:

  1. Kill switch (AKA destroy the "big bad")

  2. Psychic kill switch (AKA Bran is Eleven from Stranger Things)

  3. Military victory (AKA kill them with a big army and small dragons)

  4. Magic trap (AKA Hammer of Waters/wildfire)

  5. Peace treaty (AKA sex with a white walker)

  6. Ritual sacrifice (AKA Lightbringer)

Each of the above options are possible, but they all require the Others to have some kind of off switch or to make some grave tactical error like on the show. Regardless, the Long Night can't live up to the legend without a time skip, and it hasn't introduced a chekhov's gun that would believably avert the generation's long catastrophe that we've been warned about.

Except it has.

Let me introduce option 7. Time Travel.

AKA what if Bran could go back in time and stop the Others from ever crossing the Wall?

*"It’s an obscenity to go into somebody’s mind. So Bran may be responsible for Hodor’s simplicity, due to going into his mind so powerfully that it rippled back through time. The explanation of Bran’s powers, the whole question of time and causality—can we affect the past? Is time a river you can only sail one way or an ocean that can be affected wherever you drop into it? These are issues I want to explore in the book, but it’s harder to explain in a show." - GRRM, Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon

First of all I acknowledge that Martin is talking about Hold the Door here. Whether time travel will have any further effect on the story after Hodor is purely speculative on my part.

But it's worth noting that Martin is interested in the potential of Bran changing the past, and he feels the capacity to depict it on the show was limited. It's also worth noting that the show didn't really have Bran effect the final battle. The only things he does is give Arya the dagger (which D&D describe as him setting in motion the chain of events that would kill the Night King) and offer a few kind words to Theon. Meanwhile the books set Bran up to have the biggest effect of anybody.

Yet time travel is the one thing Bran can do that seemingly no one else can. While the narrative has given no answer for how the Others can be defeated, it has given Bran the potential to send his consciousness back in time and communicate with the past. Which brings me to the essential question: Is there any moment Bran would return to that could prevent the Long Night?

And the answer is... maybe.

So this is the part where I actually give my crackpot theory.

I. How does a 9 year old boy stop the apocalypse?

Now is the winter of our discontent

Made glorious summer by this sun of York

Before we get into the two timelines, I need to explain the split.

How Bran saves Theon:

The starting point of this theory is recognizing that Martin is not setting up the threat of the Others to be resolved by war or truce. The Wall being breached is essentially the Westerosi equivalent of Sauron obtaining the ring. It's the Cold War going all out. The Long Night breaks the world.

When the Long Night is at it's darkest, Bran will be brought to the point of death and project his consciousness into a weirwood and back to the past, with no plan other than to escape to his happy place. Because Bran is not a puppet master. He's a nine year old boy who wants to go back to the way things were, and so that is where he will go.

Eventually Bran will return to perhaps his happiest memory of the series, which is the day Robb took him out riding for the first time after his fall, using Tyrion's special saddle.

He snapped the reins again. Smooth as silk, Dancer slid into a gallop. The distance closed. By the time he caught Robb on the edge of the wolfswood, two miles beyond the winter town, they had left the others well behind. "I can ride!" Bran shouted, grinning. It felt almost as good as flying." - Bran V, AGOT

At first, the events of this day will play out exactly the same way. Once again Bran will wander off and be captured by wildling raiders, once again Theon will save Bran's life, and once again Robb will get angry at Theon.

But this time Bran will do something different. Having come to truly appreciate the life he once had, and seen the suffering that is to befall Theon, Bran will blurt out a simple thank you.

"Even Robb . . . he ought to have won a smile the day he'd saved Bran from that wildling, but instead he'd gotten a scolding, as if he were some cook who'd burned the stew." - Theon III, ACOK

As it turns out a little gratitude was all Theon ever wanted. Words are wind, so these few little words will be enough to redirect the timeline and save the world.


How Theon saves the world:

In the altered timeline Theon feels appreciated by Bran, so he does not take Winterfell to win his father's acceptance. Wherever else Theon ends up raiding, he is never captured by Ramsay, and is thus never broken. Eventually, Theon is able to invoke the Torgon Latecomer precedent and stop his uncle from ruling the Iron Islands. Because the rightful king returns, the Horn of Winter will not be blown, and the Others will not be able to invade south of the Wall.

"What … what do you owe me, m'lord?"

"The north. The Starks were done and doomed the night that you took Winterfell." He waved a pale hand, dismissive. "All this is only squabbling over spoils." - Roose Bolton (Reek III, ADWD)

The taking of Winterfell by Theon Greyjoy is one of the most significant betrayals of the entire story, and even Roose Bolton acknowledges that this action is what doomed the Starks.

I saved Bran's life with this bow, he reminded himself. Would that I could save my own. - Theon VI, ACOK

While we can't prove that Bran simply being more appreciative would have changed Theon's choice to take Winterfell, in ACOK he thinks of having saved Bran's life repeatedly. He brings it up in almost all of his chapters, and consistently uses it to rationalize his betrayal.

"There is no shame in that. A lord must protect his smallfolk. Cruel places breed cruel peoples, Bran, remember that as you deal with these ironmen. Your lord father did what he could to gentle Theon, but I fear it was too little and too late." - Maester Luwin (Bran IV, ACOK)

Following the betrayal, Maester Luwin remarks that the Starks failed to change Theon's nature.

"No Stark but Robb was ever brotherly toward me" - Theon IV, ACOK

Theon felt that Bran and Jon never treated him as a brother. Bran specifically thinks of how he'd never warmed to Theon, and Theon later recalls how Ned was never warm to him.

Now answer my question. Why do you love the Starks?"

"I …" Theon put a gloved hand against a pillar. "… I wanted to be one of them …"

"And never could. We have more in common than you know, my lord. But come." - The Turncloak

And Lady Dustin even gets him to confess that he wanted to be one of the Starks. Like his namesake, Theon was always hungry. . . for acceptance.

Stopping Euron is key because he will cause Horn of Winter to be blown and the Wall to be breached.

Then Euron lifted a great horn to his lips and blew, and dragons and krakens and sphinxes came at his command and bowed before him. - The Forsaken, TWOW

Aeron has dreams of Euron blowing a horn, Sam Tarly of Horn Hill has unknowingly brought the horn to the Citadel, and Euron is on the way. So Leyton Hightower is rightfully afraid. The apocalypse begins at Oldtown, and soon.

Finally, Asha abandons the Torgon Latecomer precedent too quickly for it to be a red herring.

When Torgon Greyiron returned at last to the Iron Islands, he declared the kingsmoot to be invalid because he had not been present to make a claim. The priests supported him in this, for they had grown weary of Badbrother's arrogance and impiety. Smallfolk and great lords alike arose at their call, rallying to Torgon's banners, until Urrathon's own captains hacked Urrathon into pieces. - TWOIAF

The parallel between Torgon vs Urrathon and Theon vs Euron is one of the most blatant in the entire series. This is GRRM is spelling out exactly how Euron will be brought down; not in an epic battle of magic swords and dragons, but in the same political proceeding through which he rose to power. The Ironborn will redeem themselves by collectively making the choice to end the war and thereby avert the apocalypse.

This is why the story spends so much time on Ironborn politics and gives us 4 POV characters from House Greyjoy. Even Baelor Blacktyde sets up that there is an underlying desire among the Ironborn to stop the war. All they need to reject Euron is a king to rally behind. As Aeron says, "only a godly man may sit the Seastone chair," and Theon literally means godly. The challenge is delivering him before he and the world are broken. Only a time traveling Bran can make that possible.

Note: This means the first chapter was Ned taking 4 kings he raised to see the king's justice. Robb, Jon, Theon and Bran. All are kings.


Bran's second chance:

In the new timeline, Bran's consciousness will merge with his 7 year old self and he will re-live the past two years, except he won't go north. Essentially Bran's "second life" will be within himself.

Keep in mind Bran doesn't read scifi and so he won't know what time travel is. To Bran, it will be unclear whether the past few years was a nightmare, or if the new timeline is a dream. From Bran's perspective he will have died and entered into a sort of afterlife, and so his perception of time and reality will be warped.

That was just another silly dream, though. Some days Bran wondered if all of this wasn't just some dream. Maybe he had fallen asleep out in the snows and dreamed himself a safe, warm place. You have to wake, he would tell himself, you have to wake right now, or you'll go dreaming into death. Once or twice he pinched his arm with his fingers, really hard, but the only thing that did was make his arm hurt. In the beginning he had tried to count the days by making note of when he woke and slept, but down here sleeping and waking had a way of melting into one another. Dreams became lessons, lessons became dreams, things happened all at once or not at all. Had he done that or only dreamed it? - Bran III, ADWD

Furthermore, because he will be a 7 year old again, Bran would essentially become the boy who cried wolf. He can't convince Robb not to go to war, nor can he convince Maester Luwin that the Long Night is coming. People will just assume he'd had a bad dream or that his fall had caused some kind of brain damage, which given his strange new memories would seem plausible.

"What was he now? Only Bran the broken boy, Brandon of House Stark, prince of a lost kingdom, lord of a burned castle, heir to ruins. He had thought the three-eyed crow would be a sorcerer, a wise old wizard who could fix his legs, but that was some stupid child's dream, he realized now." - Bran III, ADWD

All Bran can do is be more appreciative of his life and the people in it. But as it turns out, that was really all he ever needed to do. The key to stopping the war that ends the world isn't dragons or a fire sword, it's the appreciation of life.

In conclusion, Bran's story isn't about using magic to become a spymaster or learning to pilot dragons or having psychic duels with dark wizards. It's not about overpowering anyone. Rather, Bran needs to understand a person he couldn't accepted growing up, and simply appreciate them. Bran seeks the three-eyed crow to save himself from being broken, but what he really needs to do is save Theon from being broken. After that, Theon will unknowingly save the world from being broken.

This is really the most grounded possible way for a 9 year old boy to stop the apocalypse. The story is doomed, so Bran changes the story.



II. Some say the story will end in ice, Some say in fire

In many ways this twist redefines the entire story. It not only explains the disjointed ending of the show, but it challenges the notion that fate is predetermined, and gives new context to the divergent paths being laid out for each character. GRRM is setting up two endings because in a way the story will have two endings.

Let's identify the timelines.

The Winter Timeline:

This is the timeline we have been reading thus far.

"Dragons and darker things," said Leo. "The grey sheep have closed their eyes, but the mastiff sees the truth. Old powers waken. Shadows stir. An age of wonder and terror will soon be upon us, an age for gods and heroes." He stretched, smiling his lazy smile. "That's worth a round, I'd say." ~ Leo Tyrell, Prologue AFFC

The Winter Timeline leads to the Long Night. Just as in Aegon's dream an external enemy arrives to test humanity and characters are forged in war as the most heroic versions of themselves. In the end, the Song of Ice and Fire will be remembered only as Bran's story.

The ending of this timeline is that everyone faces death. Some heroically in battle, others running for their lives, but all will face it. Winter is a time for wolves (former title of the last book), and what that ultimately means is that the Stark children will die separately and reunite as their direwolves.

But the war will not save humanity.

There is no Night King, no kill switch, no secret weapon or magic ritual that solves the Long Night. Dany's dragons are small, Westeros is unprepared, divided, and too filled with corpses for a military victory. Martin is not writing a story about a group of teens that rally humanity behind a chosen hero and win the war against death. That is a fairy tale.

Instead, Martin is writing an anti-war story about a world hurdling toward armageddon. The Long Night may provide a chance for protagonists to show heroism and achieve redemption, but the best anyone will be able to do is to rage against the dying of the light. Even the show depicts this up until the point Arya jumps out of the bushes. Death is the enemy, and the enemy always wins. The only real solution is prevention and the only takeaway is the lesson of what could have been.

Note: This is why the fandom has no agreed upon or even popular theory on how the Others will be defeated. Because GRRM isn't setting it up.


The Spring Timeline:

This is the new timeline Bran creates by thanking Theon for saving his life.

"The first dance or the second? The second [Dance of the Dragons] will be the subject of a book. The first will be mentioned from time to time, I'm sure." - GRRM

The Spring Timeline leads to the Second Dance of the Dragons. In the absence of an external enemy humanity continue to tear each other apart and characters are driven by their desires. This timeline is essentially Bran's dream of spring (new title of the last book), and it culminates in Bran becoming king.

Though this is a new timeline, it plays out basically the same for the main characters up until the Others make it south of the Wall (then everything changes completely). Jon still makes peace with the wildlings who seek to flee south. Robb loses the war and Joffrey dies at the Purple Wedding, after which Arya and Sansa still escape to Braavos and the Vale. Tyrion still flees across the narrow sea to plot his vengeance. Dany still wages her crusade against slavery.

There would be slight differences in memories of events, with the main variable being the downstream effects of Theon's betrayal. For example, Jon doesn't even hear about Winterfell being taken till the end of Storm, and it doesn't necessarily change the course of his story till he receives the Pink Letter. Meanwhile someone as far out as Dany may not have been effected at all yet. So while small details are altered, the main arcs are mostly the same up till the Long Night.

But certain character's paths change completely..

If Theon never takes Winterfell, he isn't broken by Ramsay and never helps Jeyne. If Theon's squire isn't there to report on Rickon's whereabouts, Davos won't be sent to Skagos. If Catelyn doesn't receive news of Bran and Rickon's death, then she doesn't release Jaime with Brienne in the place and time where he is captured by the Brave Companions and loses his hand.

"The dragon is time. It has no beginning and no ending, so all things come round again. - AFFC, The Soiled Knight

Because the Others do not come south of the Wall in the this timeline, both the Wall and the Night's Watch remain. When spring comes the Others retreat back to the Lands of Always Winter, but the potential for the Long Night to fall upon the world someday still remains. Just as people will still seek the power of dragons, humanity cannot truly rid itself of the Other. There is no permanent solution. Time is cyclical.

Note: This is why the show ending feels like two divergent paths that don't effect each other, and why almost no one is killed in the Long Night. Because they tried to cram the events of both timelines into one.


The River of Time:

For men, time is a river. We are trapped in its flow, hurtling from past to present, always in the same direction. The lives of trees are different. - Bloodraven (Bran III, ADWD)

As outlined above, the first half of A Dream of Spring will detail the events of the Long Night and culminate in the end of the world. Then Bran "dies," send his consciousness back up the river of time, changes the past, and the story transports us to right before the Long Night began and traverses the same stretch of the river of time again. Only this time the Others do not invade and the game of thrones is resolved.

This is basically what happens to Tyrion at the Bridge of Dream.

In perhaps the most mysterious scene of the series, Tyrion is aboard the Shy Maid sailing down the river Rhoyne. The ship passes beneath the Bridge of Dream, the stone men do not attack, and instead a scene plays out where Tyrion unravels the identities of Aegon Targaryen and Jon Connington, reveals his own, and speaks of having killed his family.

Suddenly the crew inexplicably finds they've been transported back up the river.

"The Bridge of Dream," said Tyrion.

"Inconceivable," said Haldon Halfmaester. "We've left the bridge behind. Rivers only run one way." - Tyrion V, ADWD

They pass beneath the Bridge of Dream for a second time, only this time the stone men actually do attack and the crew fights them back with steel and fire. In the struggle Tyrion is knocked overboard into the icy water and sinks into darkness, imagining that his ghost will return to haunt the Seven Kingdoms.

This scene is about time travel, right down to the Kingfisher (AKA the Fisher King). The river Rhoyne represents the river of time, and the structure of A Dream of Spring will be an inverse of the Bridge of Dream (here is a more in depth analysis on the Bridge of Dream).

An even easier way to explain this theory is with the poem A Song of Ice and Fire is inspired by.

Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

From what I've tasted of desire

I hold with those who favor fire.

But if it had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate

To know that for destruction ice

Is also great

And would suffice.

~ Robert Frost

The Robert Frost poem "Fire and Ice" can be read as being about two alternate ways for the world to end, and that is essentially what this theory is offering. In one timeline comes the Long Night. In the second timeline comes the second Dance of the Dragons. Some say the world will end in ice, some say in fire. But if it had to perish twice?

In conclusion, A Dream of Spring will mimic the structure of the Bridge of Dream and take us down the river of time twice.

In the first timeline comes the Long Night, and in the second timeline comes the is the second Dance of the Dragons. The first is a reconstruction of the fantasy genre where humanity must face the Other, and the second is a deconstruction of the genre where humanity must face themselves.

Edited by csuszka1948
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1. The reason Theon is called a kinslayer, is because he fathered a child on the miller’s wife.

2. Val is related in some way, to the Others. Perhaps, she is working for them.

3. The Ghost of High Heart is the witch that Jenny brought to Summerhall.

And last but not least.  Dany is the daughter of Rhaegar and Rhaella.

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What are your personal favorite theories?

  1. The Targaryens have their roots in the rulers of The Great Empire Of The Dawn.  Targaryen is only their Valyrian name.  
  2. The Maiden-Made-Of-Light and the Lion Of Night are the Sun and the Moon.  Daenerys Targaryen and Bran Stark.  Bran the Lion will once again send his wights to menace the land as he did in the past.  
  3. Drogo is the Icarus.  He got too close to the Sun and burned.  His burning released forth the dragons.  The third burning will bring forth a human child and fulfill the "one to love" prophecy.  I don't think Daenerys will have a child through conventional means.  
  4. Sansa will be the murderer of Robert Arryn.  
  5. The real Prince Aegon was murdered by Tywin's men.  This Aegon is a prop.  A mummer's prop to steal the throne. 
  6. Arya will commit mass murder the likes of which has not been seen before.  The faceless men are plotting to bring down a major city and Arya is their loaded weapon.  
  7. Tyrion will become the lord of casterly rock and reconcile with Jaime for a big battle with Bran Stark and the wights.  
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49 minutes ago, James West said:

Arya will commit mass murder the likes of which has not been seen before.  The faceless men are plotting to bring down a major city and Arya is their loaded weapon.  

There's one tiny tiny thing about this though... nowhere at all is there any evidence that the Faceless Men want to bring down a major city and neither is there any evidence that Arya would do that or that they would pick her for such a job.

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If we mean the most likely to be true? The best theory for me then is the Stannis / Night Lamp one as it makes very plausible ‘in-world’ sense and would be a satisfying solution to his predicament.

But my favourite theories are usually the ones that have a bit of ‘out-there’ nonsense to them, as even when they’re wrong they at least nudge your brain to think in unexpected directions. 

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1. The Miasma Theory. There's a lot to this but, essentially, the white walkers are a disease and Jon Snow is the physician who will devise a cure. (If the link doesn't work, google "Last Hearth Miasma" to find the well-reasoned and researched explanation.) 

2. Septa Mordane is Ashara (and possibly Lyanna, as well) and she is Jon Snow's mother. There is a reason her head is on the wall at the Red Keep next to Ned's head. (I.e., she is important.)

3. Shae is Tywin's daughter. Tyrion's love affair with half-sister Shae is a parallel to Jaime's love affair with Cersei. Tyrion strangling Shae foreshadows the death of Cersei.

4. We are preoccupied with the struggle for the Iron Throne, but there is a reason the book is called The Game of Thrones: there is more than one throne in play and more than one king battling to be part of the next generation of rulers. I suspect we are looking for seven kings (although the War of the Ninepenny Kings might also be a model) and this is the real reason there are seven kingdoms. (I believe GRRM may use the term "king" loosely to include Queens, Hands of the King, regents, King-Queen combos, etc.) 

5. Penny is Tyrion's woods witch "wife," with Tyrion in the role of Ser Clarence Crabb / Odysseus.

6. Jon Snow and Bran are playing out a Gendel and Gorne story. And/or a Bael the Bard story.

7. Littlefinger is a hidden Blackfyre / Targaryen. He is playing the role of kingmaker.

There are others but this is probably enough for now. 

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There are more theories I don't like because I don't understand how the conclusion is made.  This comes in most often with parentage ideas and Bran/Bloodraven/Arya eventualities.  Personally, I am good with the story as it reads:

Dany is the child of Aerys and Rhaella just as Jon is the child of Lyanna and Rhaegar.  Aegon is a fake planted by Varys.   

The theories that answered most of my questions, so I'm not sure if these are convenient or really resonate, are that Ashara Dayne married Howland Reed, becoming Jyanna Reed.  The fate of not only Westeros but each other relies on Dany, Jon and Tyrion working together.  

My favorite ideas lie in those ancient pacts, the forming of the NW, the coming of the Others and the point of magical weapons.  This sword of the morning and last greenseer stuff is fascinating.  

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2 hours ago, Seams said:

3. Shae is Tywin's daughter. Tyrion's love affair with half-sister Shae is a parallel to Jaime's love affair with Cersei. Tyrion strangling Shae foreshadows the death of Cersei.

I know Tywin ain't freaky enough to sleep with his own daughter :ack:


21 hours ago, nimlot said:

3. Joffrey got poisoned circumstantially by Tyrion's pie. Littlefinger wanted to kill Tyrion, Olenna got on board only after Sansa's marriage.

This one has really grown on me recently. It would be fun to see what would happen if this played out like we theorize. Tyrion is dead, Sansa of course looks guilty. Let's say Littlefinger is somehow unsuccessful in whisking Sansa away and she remains in KL. The Tyrells would obviously still want her, so how would they convince Tywin to hand her over to them?


22 hours ago, nimlot said:

6. Shadrich, Morgarth and Byron theory by sweeticeandfiresunray.

This has probably become my top favorite theory. At least, MM = HR. I honestly don't care about the identities of Morgarth or Byron. Sansa has been completely alone and isolated from any allies since the death of her father. It would be sweet to finally see her under the protection of someone who truly cares for her well being.

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