Game of Thrones, if you’ll forgive the pun, changed the game on fan theories. The HBO show has inspired countless Reddit threads, discussion forums, and crazy homemade conspiracy walls decked out with pictures, names, and string in hopes of tying all the pieces together. Some of those theories have actually come true, most notably “R+L=J.” However, others seem like they’re too dumb to exist—and yet here we are.
Behold, some of the weirdest and most implausible fan theories for Game of Thrones that could still technically happen. (But won’t. Because they’re ludicrous.)
In season seven, fans rejoiced when Hot Pie told Arya Stark that Jon Snow was alive and had retaken Winterfell from Ramsay Bolton. That took Arya off her path of vengeance against Cersei Lannister and brought her home to her family. Even though that didn’t exactly pan out into the season’s best storyline, it was nice to see the surviving Stark children reunited. But did it fuck up the entire world?
Redditor abdo0000 suggests that the White Walkers would never have breached the Wall if Hot Pie had kept his damn mouth shut. If Arya hadn’t turned away from her quest, she would’ve presumably succeeded in killing Cersei—which would not only mean that Daenerys would’ve had a clear path to the Iron Throne, but it also means Jon Snow wouldn’t have needed to venture North of the Wall to bring a wight south as proof of the coming invasion. And if he’d stayed south, he would never have needed a rescue by Dany and her dragons, which means Viserion would still be alive instead of part of the White Walkers’ army. And thus the Night’s King would still be chilling north of the Wall, without a way to tear it down.
The biggest problem with this theory, of course, is that Daenerys didn’t believe Jon Snow either, meaning it’s still possible she and her dragons would’ve needed to take a peek north of the Wall to see the encroaching wight army. However, she probably wouldn’t have needed an entire arsenal, so Viserion could’ve stayed at home. But come on, who could dare believe Hot Pie doomed Westeros? Look at his cute face. And the actor has a real-life Game of Thrones bakery!
An oldie but a goodie. It’s been years since Ned Stark was beheaded in one of television’s biggest and most shocking surprises. How could a main character—the main character—be killed off in the first season finale? Well, if this theory is to be believed... he never was.
The theory suggests that Jaqen H’ghar of the Faceless Men was at the Red Keep at the same time as Ned Stark, but not by coincidence. Rather, Varys hired the Faceless Men to replace Ned Stark at his execution, so that Ned could escape and someone else would be killed in his place. This is vaguely supported in the books, as both Sansa and Catelyn Stark notice differences between Ned’s body before and after his death.
However, this one is absolutely ridiculous, not least because there’s no proof the Faceless Men can wear the faces of living people, and all evidence suggests a person has to be dead before their likenesses are appropriated. But more importantly, if Ned Stark was actually alive, wouldn’t he have absolutely shown up by now?!
Tormund Giantsbane once bragged about fucking a bear, leading plenty to wonder how the hell that could actually happen. However, what if it was a metaphor, for someone from Bear Island—namely the Mormonts, who rule the island and whose sigil is a bear?
The theory suggests that Tormund had an affair with Maege Mormont, who became Lady of Bear Island after her older brother Jeor joined the Night’s Watch. It says Tormund would’ve likely discovered Maege during one of the wildling raids, resulting in a longstanding relationship—one that led Tormund to becoming the father of all her daughters, including Lyanna Mormont—but was kept secret so Maege’s daughters wouldn’t be considered outcasts. In the books, it’s stated that the Mormont women can “skinchange” into bears, which also supports the possibility that Tormund fucked a bear who’s also a real woman.
Out of all the theories on this list, this one technically makes the most sense, at least in the books. Maege has never revealed who the father of her children is, and Tormund would’ve likely participated in raids south of the Wall. But it also seems way too bizarre... especially for the show. Plus, Tormund was at Winterfell when Lyanna Mormont and the other lords were debating, and there was never an indication that they had any kind of connection. It’s too late to introduce something like that now. And besides, Tormund might be dead anyway.
What if the Long Winter was actually a nuclear winter? That’s the theory introduced last year by YouTuber Preston Jacobs, who posits Westeros takes place thousands of years after the collapse of a technologically advanced society.
Jacobs draws on some of George R.R. Martin’s earlier science fiction work, most notably 1976's In the House of the Worm (about an advanced society that regresses back to a medieval state), to support his argument. He suggests that most of Westeros’ impressive structures, like the Wall and Storm’s End, weren’t actually built by magic, but rather by a futuristic society that destroyed itself with an apocalypse. In addition, magic is nothing more than radiation.
Of course, none of this explains how the White Walkers can bring corpses back from the dead as wights... or basically anything else in Westeros.
There are actually quite a few people who believe this theory, but I still think it’s kind of ridiculous—at the very least for the show. (In the books, who the hell knows?) A few months ago, YouTube channel Game of Theories proposed that Bran Stark is actually the Night King, and the reason they exist in the same timeline is because of time travel, of course.
In season six, we saw Bran warg into Hodor in the past in order to control Hodor in the present. The theory poses that Bran will use this ability to try—or has tried—to defeat the White Walkers. If fact, he’ll try to fix the present by changing the past a bunch of times—first by becoming Bran the Builder and making the Wall, next by finding the source of the Others, and finally by traveling into that random blonde First Man to prevent the Children of the Forest from turning him into the Night King.
Unfortunately, by that time he’ll have made a mistake, staying the past for too long and unable to come back. And it’ll turn out that Bran’s magic, combined with the Children’s, was what morphed their creation into the Night King, causing him to turn on the Children and forge his White Walker army.
There are some interesting arguments that have been made about this theory, but it also has a lot of holes. Repetitive time travel doesn’t really match Game of Thrones’ style, and it puts Bran at the center of just about every world-changing event in the show’s history, which bucks the Ice and Fire themes that center around Jon and Dany. Even actor Isaac Hempstead-Wright himself doubts that it’s actually true, in an interview with Esquire.
I personally think the Night King theory is a bit far-fetched, but I would have said the same thing about the Hodor theory. And when I saw that on paper, I was like, “What! No way!” But this is Game of Thrones, and anything is possible. I’d love to be the Night King. That would be so fun to be like, “It was me all along.” But I don’t know—I doubt it.
This one is my personal favorite, and I will defend it to the death. According to Nerdist, Varys is actually a member of the “merlings” species whose entire life has been dedicated to freeing his fellow merlings, which exist in A Song of Ice and Fire. He wants Dany’s dragons to melt the ice in the North, turning Westeros into a giant ocean for him and his buddies.
You might be wondering how the hell this could actually be true, and the “proof” came down to that damn Fast Travel. In the season six finale, people were very confused how the hell Varys traveled from Dorne to standing on the deck of Daenerys’ ship bound for Westeros so quickly. Up to this point, distance actually mattered on the series, and it took time—screentime—for characters to change locations. Varys instantly traveling from Dorne to Essos, just in time to sail back to Westeros with Dany seemed impossible, leading people to seek an answer to how the Spider could possibly have made the trip. The answer, obviously, was that Varys secretly had a mermaid’s tail and he swam there. Makes. Perfect. Sense.
Of course, as it turns out this was just the show’s first egregious use of fast travel, a phenomenon that was repeated many times throughout season seven. However, some people still believe there’s something fishy about Varys. Of course, the rest of us know the way everyone in Westeros is suddenly getting around so fast is mainly thanks to four-wheel drive.