Somehow HBO's Game of Thrones has managed to get bigger and bigger despite an abridged run for its final two seasons. You can't google "Game of Thrones" without having to climb an icy wall of spoilers, tell-all interviews, and tinfoil hat theories. However, away from R+L=J or what do to with a mine of dragonglass, Season 7 has seen the return of a long forgotten puzzler from the show's earliest days.
Now firmly in the grasp of Arya Stark, that catspaw dagger has caused nothing but trouble since it arrived on the show in the very first episode all those years ago. With theories that Bran Stark sent it for his own assassination, to hopes that this dagger will end the life of Littlefinger, the jazzy little blade is surely set to spill some blood before the show reaches its end. However, the latest theory goes much deeper into the flames about the weapon's secrets and who can claim it as their own.
Forged In Fire
Due to the digging of Alex Hazlett at Mashable, fans have now come to guess that the Valyrian dagger will actually be key in exposing Jon Snow's true heritage as half-Stark half-Targaryen. We have already seen a clueless Gilly discover that Rhaegar Targaryen had wed Lyanna Stark in secret, but Sam's trip to the Citadel also provided context for him to come across the dagger earlier in the season.
You may remember that when searching for a Greyscale cure, the camera lingered on a very familiar looking weapon tucked in the dusty pages. In a text about Targaryen weaponry and dragonglass, the book may have inadvertently revealed that the dagger actually belonged to a rather famous Targaryen — Rhaegar Targaryen himself, to be precise!
While the show has only given us fleeting glances at the dagger, Entertainment Weekly may as well have done a whole cover story on it. Looking closer though, notice that the gem in the hilt appears to be a precious stone, most likely a ruby. Tying to Rhaegar further, those who have read up on their Thrones history will know that Rhaegar was famed for having ruby-studded armor. During his dramatic defeat by King Robert at the Trident, the Baratheon beast hit Rhaegar with his war hammer and the rubies flew into the water — this area affectionately became known as the Ruby Ford after that.
We have also been questioning what our resident supercomputer Bran Stark has been up to. It assumed that Bran (now) knows Jon's lineage and is (maybe) waiting for the right moment to reveal all. Bran may indeed know the dagger's owner, but #GeorgeRRMartin's books aren't quite so clear — or are they? Littlefinger IMPlicated Tyrion Lannister by saying that he won it in a bet, but Jaime says it was Robert's. Jaime and Tyrion then guess that it was stolen off Robert, possibly by Joffrey.
Cast your minds back to when Baelish gave Bran the dagger, the creepy cripple muttered, "Do you know who this belonged to?" It seemed like a throwaway question, but it could suggest that Bran is aware of the weapon's true potential to stir the proverbial pot if it were revealed to be Rhaegar's.
'Reed' It And Weep
This could all conveniently come out another way when we look at one huge member of the Thrones crew who is still MIA. As we prepare for Season 8, fans are are rightly questioning, "Where is Howland Reed?" Present at the Tower of Joy, if anyone can shed any light on what happened that fateful evening it is Howland.
If the Reed patriarch does ever show up, he could recognize the dagger or even recall the tale of how Robert Baratheon took it off a dying Rhaegar. Also, with Sam's new stash of stolen scrolls and Gilly's forgotten bombshell, we are waiting for that Targaryen reveal any day now. It is all ifs and buts, but isn't most #GameofThrones theorizing these days?
Beyond your usual GoT reach for the truth, let's also remember that Rhaegar is destined to come to the show and we may already have an actor cast in the role. All the pieces fit neatly into place, and while we may not get a full-blown Battle of the Trident (we can hope), expect to see a well-timed flashback of Robert taking the dagger from a deceased Rhaegar. Either way, who really cares? Personally I just want to see Arya Stark continue her Kill Bill streak and cross a few more names off that ever-shortening death list with the dagger.
Check out the trailer for Episode 6 and don't forget our poll below:
Do you think the dagger belongs to Rhaegar Targaryen?