36 of the best Game of Thrones fan theories

Who's going to kill whom? Who's already dead? And who will ride the dragons?

Joal Ryan
Lance Cartelli
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What happened to all of our Game of Thrones fan theories?

We've pulled together 36 of the best Game of Thrones fan theories on where the George R.R. Martin-based series is headed. (Updated through season 8's "The Bells.")

Theory No. 1: The Game of Thrones universe is but a glint in a giant's eye.

This theory had its roots in the episode "Lord Snow," where Robb Stark noted that Old Nan once told him "the sky is blue because we live inside the eye of a blue-eyed giant named Macumber." 

If this theory were true, the showrunners forgot to clue us in before the finale.

Originally published June 23, 2017.
Update, May 20, 2019: Adds theories related to events of season 8. 

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Debunked: Jaime Lannister will kill Cersei

This was a widely popular theory. And it's one Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, the actor who portrays Cersei's twin sibling and lover, Jaime Lannister, didn't necessarily buy.  

"It's probably too obvious," Coster-Waldau has said

And Coster-Waldau was right. Cersei was killed by falling rubble in Jaime's arms.   

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False: Arya Stark will kill Cersei

Arya had a kill list

Melisandre's prophecy said Arya would permanently close brown, blue and green eyes. 

Arya set off to kill Cersei, but the Night Kingslayer wasn't the one who ended her.

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Nope: Jon Snow will kill Cersei

This was a less popular theory, but a good one. Like the Jaime-kills-Cersei supposition, it was rooted in a scene from the books in which the witch Maggy tells a teenage Cersei she will be choked to death by "the Valonqar." The latter is said to be High Valyrian for "little sibling."

In the end, Jon was never even in a position to kill Cersei. 

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Debunked: It's all a big dream, literally

Giant theorists think more hints at this potential twist have dropped through the years. One of the biggest is in "Sigils," a teaser trailer for season 7, which closes with a giant shot of -- wait for it -- a blue eye.  

By the end of the finale, it was pretty clear: This was no dream.

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Unlikely: Jon Snow is Azor Ahai

Called the "biggest" fan theory about Game of Thrones, this one holds that our resurrected hero is "The Prince That Was Promised," aka Azor Ahai, a legendary, fire-sword-wielding savior figure from the books whose name has not yet been uttered on the series. 

Kit Harington told Huffington Post his character wouldn't "pay much attention" to being the prophesied one.

In the finale, we see Jon travel beyond the Wall -- but not as any sort of chosen one.

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Debunked: Daenerys will become a White Walker

If we assume Jon Snow is the "Prince That Was Promised," that may spell trouble for Daenerys. 

One fan theory says Dany will share the same fate as the beloved wife of Azor Ahai. As the story goes, Azor had to turn his wife into a wight with the sword Lightbringer to seal the treaty that ended the first Long Night.

Jon Snow killed Daenerys in the show's final episode to prevent her from becoming an unrepentant warlord.

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Debunked: Daenerys Targaryen is Azor Ahai

This theory was nearly as accepted as the Jon-is-Azor theory. There's even a Redditor who made a color-coded chart that showed the princess as the odds-on-favorite. It showed her hitting all the right Azor notes, including a shared talent for bringing stone dragons to life.

We never really got any closure on the Azor Ahai prophecy, but Dany definitely didn't bring peace to the realm.

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Nope: Davos Seaworth is Azor Ahai

The reformed smuggler was viewed as something of a dark-horse candidate. But an elaborate theory made a case that the series had hinted at the so-called Onion Knight's destiny going back to when Davos retrieved a cooled, but once-flaming, sword from the sand. 

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Debunked: Jaime Lannister is Azor Ahai

This "crazy" theory posited that the Lord of Light was actually more like the Lord of Gold, and that Lord of Gold was Jaime.

But Jaime died and could not be Azor Ahai.

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Debunked: Samwell Tarly and Jon Snow do not reunite

Jon and Sam reunited in the first episode of season 8.

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Confirmed: Tyrion Lannister betrays the Lannisters

This theory -- borne out in season 7, episode 3 -- featured Daenerys' army attacking the Lannisters' Casterly Rock. The attack was planned with insider knowledge provided by one of the royal family's own: Tyrion.  

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Quashed: Bran Stark will lead the Night King through the Wall

Fans thought the the young warg would unwittingly bring the leader of the White Walkers -- and his army -- into the Seven Kingdoms. Bran's arm, marked by the Night King in season 6, would act as a GPS device and show them the way inside.  

Now we know the real way that the Night King breached the wall, and it wasn't via Bran.

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Debunked: Cersei becomes the Mad Queen

This theory supposed that Jaime's beloved would go down the same path as the Mad King, and order the fiery destruction of King's Landing. After all, she'd already blown up half the city.

However, in the episode "The Bells," Daenerys sure seemed to take the mantle of Mad Queen.

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Confirmed: Jon Snow learns who his parents really are

We now know once and for all who begat Jon Snow: the secretly married Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen.

Sam told Jon about his true parentage in the season 8 premiere.

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Confirmed: Jon Snow will be a dragon rider

Jon rode Rhaegal, the dragon named for his biological father, in the first episode of season 8.

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Debunked: Tyrion Lannister will be a dragon rider

Even if Drogon returned to Westeros after the events of the show, after all Tyrion has seen, it seems unlikely that he would be interested in climbing atop a dragon.

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Confirmed: There will be an ice dragon

This theory suggested that one of Daenerys Targaryen's three dragons -- most likely Viserion -- would die and be resurrected as an ice dragon by the Night King. 

This exact theory proved to be true in season 7, episode 6.

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Debunked: Arya dies killing the ice dragon

There wasn't a ton of evidence to back up this fan theory, but one Redditor posited that Arya would meet her end while taking down the ice dragon, Viserion.

Arya killed the Night King, ending the Battle of Winterfell, shattering the White Walkers and killing the ice dragon.

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Debunked: The ice dragon will fight for Jon Snow

The ice dragon theory also posited that the zombie would, oddly enough, fight for Jon Snow and the North. The King in the North, who was also resurrected, would be able to tame the ice dragon and ride it.

But during the Battle of Winterfell, Jon Snow spent a lot of time battling the ice dragon.

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Confirmed: The Night King will be a dragon rider

Given that the ice dragon theory proved true, then of course the Night King would be able to mount Viserion.

And he did just that in the season 7 finale.

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Debunked: There was another ice dragon in the Wall

After the defeat of the Night King, it seems like this theory is probably moot.

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False: Euron Greyjoy will control a dragon

Euron, who was able to kill Rhaegal, died before he could ever control a dragon. 

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Confirmed: The Cleganebowl is happening

Fans had been waiting for the Clegane brothers -- the Mountain and the Hound -- to battle to the death since the two fought in season 1.

The season 7 finale all but confirmed that these two were bound for a major showdown. And in the penultimate episode of the series, the Hound and the Mountain clashed in epic fashion. 

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Debunked: Bran is Bran the Builder

Bran the Builder -- also known as the first Brandon Stark -- built the Wall and Winterfell centuries ago. This theory suggested that the second Bran would warg into the past to construct the Wall... and tells people his name while he's there.

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Debunked: Bran is the Night King

In this concept, Bran would warg into the past and into the man who would become the Night King. Bran would then trapped in the Night King's body.

But now that the Night King's body is shattered into a zillion pieces, it's pretty clear that Bran was never squatting in the Night King's body. 

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Doubtful: Bran is the Lord of Light

This popular theory suggested Bran was the Night King's foil rather than the Night King himself. The finale of the show didn't seem to bear that out.

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Debunked: Bran caused Aerys Targaryen to go mad

The crux of this theory: Bran would warg into the past and call out to Aerys Targaryen, causing him to hear voices. That didn't happen.

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Halfway confirmed: The union of fire and ice

Many fans believed that Dany the Dragon Queen and the King of the North would get hitched. Given what went down in the season 7 finale, things seemed headed in that direction.

There was a union between fire and ice, sure, but there was no wedding.

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Confirmed: The return of Gendry

Remember Gendry, the illegitimate son of Robert Baratheon, who was shipped off on a boat earlier in the series? The rumor that Gendry would make a triumphant return to team with Jon Snow and Co. also came true in season 7. 

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Debunked: Tyrion Lannister kills Cersei

Perhaps the only thing less surprising to Game of Thrones fans than Jaime Lannister taking the life of his sister would be Tyrion Lannister, another of the queen's brothers, doing the deed. Like Jaime, Tyrion pretty much fits the Maggy prophecy to a T.  

However, the Volanqar Prophecy did not come true. 

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Confirmed: Arya Stark kills Petyr Baelish

This Reddit-borne theory held that the smarmy Baelish, aka Littlefinger, would plot the demise of Jon Snow only to get offed himself by Arya.

The theory came pretty close: Sansa and Arya tag-teamed that one.

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Debunked: There's a parallel between each direwolf and its master

One theory about the Starks suggested that the fate of their dire wolves reflects their own futures.

Greywind and Robb were both beheaded. Rickon and Shaggy Dog were killed by Ramsay Bolton and his goons, respectively. Even Nymeria and Arya walked similar paths, both escaping into the wild. But as for Sansa...

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The theory did not extend to her

In the end, Sansa, unlike Lady, was not killed by someone she trusted

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Debunked: Arya Stark is dead ... and had been dead for a while

In season 6, Arya kills the Waif in a darkened alley... or does she? The Arya-is-dead theory held that it was actually the Waif who prevailed, and then assumed Arya's identity by wearing her face. This turn of events was hinted at, believers speculate, when Jaqen H'ghar told Arya (or should we say, the Waif?) that she had "become no one."

We doubt that the Waif would have left the Red Keep or attempted to save townspeople of King's Landing. We also don't believe that the Waif would have given up her life as an assassin to explore the world beyond the map.

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Confirmed: Ed Sheeran gets out alive, probably

The British singer-songwriter said that he doesn't die in his role on the show. And he was right.

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Nope: What about that White Walker art?

Why would the Night King order his White Walkers to dismember and arrange the bodies of their victims as we've seen twice before? Isn't that kinda ... wasteful?

There was a fan theory about that too.

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Probably debunked: Another tribe of wights?

This theory hypothesized that the dismembered wildling bodies were arranged in those bizarre formations as a message from a warring tribe of wights working against the Night King.

Now that the dead have been defeated, it's unlikely we'll ever learn if this theory had any moth-eaten legs.

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