Over the last few years, a number of changes have been made while adapting George R. R. Martin's literary phenomenon for the small screen. For one, showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss often diverge from the source material. The characters are much older on the show, Robb Stark survived longer than his ASOIAF counterpart and the complete lack of Lady Stoneheart are just a few I'll name here. Given all that's changed already, it's safe to say that there may be other differences that we might not even be aware of yet.
Who Is Gendry?
Gendry is one of those "shove two characters together" types. The first one being Gendry, the blacksmith and Arya's friend, and the second being Edric Storm, one of King Robert Baratheon's many bastards. In the books, the last time we saw Gendry, as he joined the Brotherhood Without Banners as a smith. On the show, however, Davos freed him from being sacrificed to the Lord of Light on Dragonstone, chucks him in a boat and Gendry goes rowing. So, he's either dead or has some massive biceps by now.
Are You My Mommy?
After Jaime's failed murder attempt on Bran, Cersei visits Catelyn Stark by Bran's bedside and appears as though she empathizes with Catelyn. She tells Lady Stark of her black-haired beauty and shares how her firstborn son died of a fever soon after being born. Cersei also states that she never visited his crypt, which is a weird thing for a smother — sorry, mother — to do.
When Gendry talks to Arya about his mother, all he remembers of her was that she was a tavern wench with yellow hair. Who else has yellow hair? That's right, Cersei Lannister! In A Feast For Crows when Jaime is standing vigil over Tywin's funeral bier in the Sept of Baelor, Cersei shows up in disguise as — you guessed it — a tavern wench. We also find out that this was not the first time that she'd done this; in fact, it was quite a regular thing back in the day.
The Seed Is Strong
Jon Arryn is running around King's Landing collecting information on as many of King Robert Baratheon's bastards as he can, noting that every child that is Robert's has dark hair, unlike the "trueborn" Baratheon children.
The mystery at the core of the first season of #GameofThrones is the murder of the Hand of the King. The question remains though — why go all Columbo in the months leading up to his demise? Surely this was something that Jon would have been checking once the second blond Baratheon popped out. Perhaps he was taking a leisurely stroll and saw a boy with a striking resemblance to a young Robert.
If Gendry is the secret son of Cersei and Robert, then who smuggled him out of the castle and how?
- Grandmaester Pycelle has been "true" to house Lannister since the Mad King's reign, plus he was in a prime position to acquire a poor infant for the Queen.
- Varys could of certainly pulled off some Freaky Friday razzmatazz, and he doesn't hurt children.
Knowing what we do about the characters, either Cersei asked for help to get rid of the baby or she killed him. If Gendry is the true heir to the throne then a substitute baby would have to been found, with or without the Queen's knowledge.
Who's A Lucky Boy, Then?
Many palms must have been greased in order to get an orphan boy from Fleabottom an apprenticeship with the most prestigious blacksmith in all of King's Landing. It's a position that would have been procured for him, but why him? Why keep this one safe and not the other mini-Roberts running around the Capital — what makes this one special?
After King Robert's death, Tobho Mott sends his apprentice away just before all of the Baratheon bastards are slaughtered. Someone got the message to Mott to send Gendry to The Wall, where he would be safe from the assassin's knife.
A Triumphant Return?
The rumor mill has been awash with news that Gendry will be returning to the show, after four years of rowing — or whatever he has been up to — while the world burned. Will he have a bigger part to play in the story? Is there more to him than meets the eye? We'll just have to wait and see.
Game of Thrones returns to screens on July 16.