ByAlexander Sly Shaddix, writer at
A huge geek with a passion about Superheroes, yet still find time for Fantasy and Sci-Fi. DC specialist.
Alexander Sly Shaddix

Winter has come and winter is about to go, giving his way to Spring. And what's the most important event during Spring? Not Spring Break, nor the reincarnation of a half-God, half-human hybrid.

The most important event during Spring, is the 'Game of Thrones' premiere.

Now everybody knows that the Game of Thrones series is based on a series of books called 'A Song of Ice and Fire'. These books are massive and were written years apart from each other, giving the fan base abundant time for speculation and theories.

And now that the show oversteps the boundaries of the books, some of these fan theories have a chance of coming true on the TV show way before they are confirmed in the books.

So before we start I'd like to say: Spoiler Alert for Season 5 and potentially Season 6 of Game of Thrones.

5. The Gravedigger Theory

The 'Gravedigger' theory in one sentence, is the theory of Sandor 'The Hound' Clegane's survival from his fatal wounds and his eventual resurgence as a gravedigger on a remote island.

After his chicken spree and his fight with Brienne of Tarth, Sandor was presumed dead as Arya left him to die in a field.

In the books things were a little different. Sandor and Brienne never meet and much more; never fought. Instead the closest these two characters came to interacting with each other, was Brienne learning about Sandor's death.

Brienne in her search for Arya had to resort to visiting the Quiet Isle, an island located in the mouth of the Trident. To get to this island one must walk the Path of Faith, a treacherous swampy path to the island full of quicksands and a deadly tide every few days, said to swallow many people. After reaching the island Brienne notices a gravedigger, who surprisingly, is taller than her. He is also limping to the side where Sandor's fight (with Rorge and Bitter in the books) gets him wounded, and conveniently his face is covered with a scarf.

The strongest evidence for Sandor being the Gravedigger though, is his horse, the Stranger. Warhorses during medieval times were training to be aggressive and violent, and Sandor's horse was on another level. It could not be touched, nor tamed by anyone expect Sandor and was said to attack anyone on sight if not accompanied by him. This horse was also seen on that island, being all unruly in the stables. How on Earth, or Planetos, could that horse make the treacherous swamp trip without drowning in quicksands, to reach the Quiet Isle? The only acceptable answer is; Sandor was with the horse when it made the journey. On a side note to his possible true identity, the Gravedigger also halts his Grave digging, to pet a dog that approached him, dogs being the Sigil of his House.

To add insult to injury, Rory McCann, the actor playing Sandor was seen close to Game of Thrones sets, giving more strength to this theory.

4. Arya will not become a Faceless Man

There is more than one theory that suggests that Arya won't finish her Faceless Man training. As a matter of fact nearly all theories on Arya's journey in the house of Black and White, end with her failing. The only thing that differs is the reason for that. I don't have the time and space to write all these theories in detail but these are three most prominent ones:

  • Arya fails her training as a Faceless man. Arya wasn't exactly the most diligent of students. She failed all tests the Faceless men put her through. She didn't drop her identity, she didn't get rid of her possessions and she killed while her mission was spying. This theory suggests that Arya fails her next assignment and the Faceless Men are not pleased this time. Because of her actions she is expelled from the House and begrudgingly returns to Westeros.
  • Arya, using her dormant warg abilities, sees something important in Westeros, either the "death" of Jon or that Sansa is alive, and decides to escape the House of Black and White and return to Westeros.
  • The Faceless Men keep Arya around only to kill her and take her face for their own gain. Arya finds out about this and escapes the House of Black and White, using the few abilities she learned from them to return to Westeros and complete her list.

3. The Northern Conspiracy Theory

Just how many Northmen were happy with the power change in the North? Eh, about zero. How many take actions against the Boltons? Well according to this theory, all of them.

As you all know by now, the Starks were loved in the North. Sure there were some Houses that rebelled or disagreed with the Starks occasionally. But even these Houses respected the Starks. Roose Bolton himself seems to have deep respect for Eddard even though he desired the North for himself.

Without going into much detail, potentially, spoiling anything. This theory suggests that there are some specific Houses that try to amass forces and position themselves close to Winterfell. At the same time, other Houses are working inside of Winterfell against the Boltons, undermining them in any way possible.

They derive these speculations from a lot of characters that were cut from the show, like a particular Lord too Fat to sit a horse. The theory believers suggest that these characters were cut, so that their actions do not spoil the conspiracy.

This theory was presumed dead after Stannis's failure (no pun intended) but after images of one particular character in Stark garb fighting on the Winterfell set, this theory gained some new momentum.

2. Cleganebowl

Well this is one of the most famous Game of Thrones fan theories out there (for the most famous theory, look below). This theory is tied to the first theory and as a matter of fact it takes that one for granted.

Based on this theory, the Zombie Mountain will be chosen as the champion for Cersei after she demands a Trial by Combat for her freedom. The champion the High Sparrow will choose is to be non-other than the Gravedigger. The Gravedigger, a.k.a. Sandor, trying to atone for his crimes, accepts this in an attempt to stop his brother from committing any more atrocities. This works as poetic justice as the Hound defeats the Mountain, who molested him as a child and left him with his burns, fulfills his lifelong goal of killing him, but at the same time, redeeming himself not out of selfishness, but out of selflessness.

1. R+L = J

This is the most famous of theories Game of Thrones has ever had. It is so famous it has papers written about it, and forums have more than 50 different threads dedicated to proving this theory correct.

In short this theory suggests that Jon is not the son of Eddard but is instead the lovechild of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. The reason why this theory seems to be getting stronger and stronger, is the presumed confirmation of a very important moment from Book 1 (A Game of Thrones) in Season 6; the Tower of Joy scene.

Tower of Joy: Season 6
Tower of Joy: Season 6

The Tower of Joy scene is the heart and soul of the entire R+L=J theory. This scene is actually a fever dream that Eddard had after his attack by Jaime Lannister all the way back in Book 1. In it, Eddard dreams of him and six other notable Northmen (including Howland Reed, father of Jojen and Meera Reed) riding down to Dorne to retrieve Lyanna from the place that Rhaegar has left her at. That place of course is the eponymous Tower of Joy.

There Eddard and his men had to fight three Kingsguard: Oswell Whent, Gerold Hightower and Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. After remarking how they should have been with the King and the Kingsguard very vague retort, Eddard and his Northmen battle the Kingsguard with the only survivors of that Battle being Eddard and Howland Reed. After the battle, Eddard finds his sister dying in "a bed of blood" and is made keep a promise we are never told about.

Eddard suddenly wakes up and any more details about the particular event were shrouded in mystery.

Now the theory suggests that the "bed of blood" Lyanna died in, was childbirth, the Kingsguard were there to protect Rhaegar's son (and potentially heir) and the promise Eddard made was to protect that child, from Robert and anyone else.

With this scene probably appearing in the next season, we might have some shed about this event, and maybe learn if Jon is really the son of Rhaegar or not.


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