ByEmily Browne, writer at
Twitter: @emrbrowne
Emily Browne

Having lost her brother Rhaegar during Robert's Rebellion, her other brother Viserys to his own greed and her son to some unknown demon, Daenerys Targaryen truly believed she was the last of her name. After trekking up and down the Great Grass Sea and Bay of Dragons for six seasons, Dany finally returned to Westeros to claim the usurped land that's rightfully hers — until, that is, she discovers her new bedfellow (literally) is really her nephew who has more claim than she does. Yikes.

Game of Thrones hit us with the big reveal in the final moments of Season 7, when Bran watched Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen tie the knot before giving birth to Jon "Aegon Targaryen" Snow. Season 8 will likely deal with the fallout of this tremendously awkward situation, but a quick history lesson reveals the loved-up couple have some further competition for the Iron Throne — a third who has been hiding in plain site all along.

While this secret Targaryen is not as closely linked to the family as Jon and Dany are, he is very closely tied to the Baratheon clan, and as it turns out, the Targaryens as well. I am of course talking about Robert's bastard-born son, Gendry.

'Game of Thrones' [Credit: HBO]
'Game of Thrones' [Credit: HBO]

When we were first introduced to in Season 1, he was a lowly blacksmith in Flea Bottom, hidden away after Cersei's rampage to murder all threats to Joffrey's reign after Robert's death. Through his father, Gendry is Daenerys's second cousin once removed and Jon Snow's third cousin, although this may differ depending on whether you're taking the show or books into account.

It's no secret that royal bloodlines are complicated and convoluted affairs, especially as the Great Houses of Westeros have been swapping partners for alliances for centuries, so it's small wonder all these connections are crawling out of the woodwork now. According to Game of Thrones lore (and this is where things get a little complicated) we can trace Gendry's Targaryen lineage back to Robert Baratheon's grandmother Rhaelle, who was a full-blooded Targaryen. Rhaelle was married to Ormund Baratheon, and their son Steffon was father to Renly, Stannis and Robert.

In , it's made clear that Robert's Targaryen connection is what gave him legitimacy to the throne after the Rebellion. Rhaelle, after all, was the Mad King's aunt so the Targaryen line only survived through her descendants.

But That's Not All...

'Game of Thrones' [Credit: HBO]
'Game of Thrones' [Credit: HBO]

There's further evidence from the Citadel library (and the internet) that confirm Gendry's royal blood, and it stretches way back to the establishment of the Great Houses. It's highly rumored that the founder of House Baratheon was actually Aegon the Conquerer's brother!

Aegon's father Aerion had a bastard son named Orys Baratheon, who was Aegon's best friend and Hand during his takeover of the Seven Kingdoms. It was Orys Baratheon who killed the Storm King Argilac Durrandon and married his daughter, which is what established House Baratheon as the great house of the Stormlands. This connection means that the Baratheons have always been closely bonded to the Targaryens. This means that Gendry's Baratheon blood could put him third-in-line to the Iron Throne — assuming Dany and Jon don't conceive a child.

To add even more fuel to the Gendry fire, fan theories have been circulating recently to suggest that Gendry is Cersei and Robert's first-born son who she claimed had died not long after birth. The theory suggests that those still loyal to House Baratheon and by proxy House Lannister, would be more likely to accept Gendry as the true heir to the Iron Throne — especially now that that we know just how nobel his lineage really is.

In conclusion, many believe that bringing Gendry back in Season 7 had more significance beyond 's hot bod, and he may have a major role still to play in the game of thrones. Some have even made the link between Jon Snow and Aegon the Conqueror, who might share more than just a name, but also a legacy. Perhaps Gendry is Jon's Orys, his next Hand and loyal soldier, or perhaps he will realize his own legitimacy and challenge the crown after Cersei has fallen.

What do you think? Could Gendry be the third head of the dragon? Let us know in the comments!


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