5 theories on what will happen next on Game of Thrones
IT is the ‘death’ that has spawned more conspiracies than the execution of JFK on a sunny day in Texas in November, 1963.
At the end of the fifth series of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Jon Snow, also known as the Bastard of Winterfell, was seen lying in a pool of blood after being stabbed repeatedly by his own soldiers.
But are rumours of his death greatly exaggerated?
The recent release of a trailer for the new series of the epic fantasy show – which airs on 24 April - has sent ‘super-fans’ and their theories into overdrive.
The trailer alone received 22 million views on YouTube and eight million views from the Game of Thrones Facebook page within the first 24 hours of its release.
And each frame of the clip has been forensically analysed – probably by people living in a converted shed in their parents’ garden – leading to a number of weird and wonderful theories being published on the web.
Today, the Sunday World looks at some of the best internet theories about what is going to happen in the world’s biggest show.
Now is the time to give the traditional ‘spoiler alert’ for fans who don’t want to know what’s happening in advance.
But of course, since nobody actually knows what is going to happen, and anything written about the show is just total speculation, you do not really need a proper spoiler.
But when it comes to Game of Thrones, some fans get angrier than a hungry dragon if their surprise is ruined.
This week, veteran actor Ian McShane spoke about how he came under fire when he appeared to reveal details of the show’s upcoming plot during an interview.
He said: “You say the slightest thing and the internet goes ape,” he said. “I was accused of giving the plot away, but I just think get a f***ing life. It’s only t**s and dragons.”
THEORY 1: JON SNOW IS NOT DEAD
He has been the main character since the show started and, despite his apparent murder, many fans are convinced we haven’t seen the last of Jon Snow.
Some eagle-eyed viewers believe they saw Jon alive and riding a horse in the latest trailer.
Although the Game of Thrones trailer starts with Jon lying on the ground at the foot of the Wall, later someone who looks like him can be seen riding a horse into battle.
There are several ways that Jon Snow may still live another day, according to obsessed fans.
He could be brought back to life by red witch Melisandre, who has shown an unhealthy interest in Jon since they first met.
While others claim he could be reborn in fire when the Night’s Watch tries to burn his body.
Less likely, some claim Jon will be able to ‘warg’ into his wolf, Ghost, and survive in this way.
Game of Thrones director David Nutter said even US President Barack Obama quizzed him about Jon’s fate when they met at the White House.
He said: “[Obama] shook my hand and he said, ‘You didn’t kill Jon Snow did you?’ and I said, ‘Mr President, Jon Snow is deader than dead’.”
THEORY 2: JON SNOW IS ACTUALLY A TARGARYEN
The most popular, and least disputed, theory on the internet is that Jon Snow is not Ned Stark’s bastard.
According to this theory, Jon Snow still has Stark blood in his veins — but he is actually the son of Ned’s sister, Lyanna Stark and Prince Rhaegar
Before Jon’s birth, Rhaegar ran away with Lyanna, causing Robert Baratheon – her husband-to-be – to start the rebellion that destroyed the Targaryen empire.
King Tommen Baratheon, Jaime Lannister and Myrcella Baratheon
It is suggested by some that before Rhaegar was killed, he and Lyanna had sex and she got pregnant.
When Ned arrived at the Tower of Joy, he said he found his sister in a “bed of blood” - but this could have been caused by childbirth rather than being attacked.
Her final words before she died were “promise me, Ned.” It’s not known what that promise is - but it could be a promise for Ned to raise Jon as his own son.
Throughout the series Ned never seems the type to be unfaithful to his wife and no details are ever given of Jon’s mother’s identity.
It doesn’t fit Ned, or the Starks, at all.
VERDICT: Very Likely.
THEORY 3: TYRION LANNISTER IS ALSO A TARGARYEN
Things were not looking particularly good for everyone’s favourite smart-ass dwarf at the end of the fifth series.
But according to some fans, better things are on the way for Tyrion when he will soon be revealed to be a royal member of the House Targaryen.
There are a number of subtle hints that Tyrion could also be a secret Targaryen — mainly based around the fact that Mad King” Aery Targaryen’s lusted after Tyrion’s mother, Joanna.
It is believed that when Tyrion’s parents were based at King’s Landing with Aerys, he could have forced himself on Joanna.
It would explain why Tywin never liked or trusted his son.
Tyrion’s father’s final words to Tyrion, before he kills him, are “you are no son of mine.”
Was this the truth or simply a way to hurt his son before he dies? According to his theory, Tyrion will become one of the dragon’s “three heads” and will help Daenerys conquer Westeros.
THEORY 4: HODOR IS A GOD
He can only say one word and has never shown much signs of being particularly special – but some fans believe Hodor could still be a God.
Despite the fact he hasn’t done much of interest in the five series so far, many fans think that Hodor must be more important to the series than just being a glorified donkey for Bran Stark.
Some say that his repeated use of the word ‘Hodor’ is his simple way of trying to pronounce R’hllor the Red God, who saved him from a terrible childhood accident.
However, other more popular theories say that Hodor could be the The Great Other or the god of the White Walkers.
Backing up this theory is the fact that in Norse mythology, the god of winter is named Höðr or Hodor.
Still another theory claims that the simple-minded half giant is actually a brother of the feared Cleganes – also known as the Hound and the Mountain.
VERDICT: Very Unlikely.
THEORY 5: VARYS ‘THE SPIDER’ IS A MERMAN
While some Games of Thrones theories seem rooted in common sense, others require a total suspension of disbelief.
According to this crackpot – but surprisingly popular theory - Varys ‘the Spider’ is in fact, a merman plotting the invasion of the above-sea-level world.
The logic seems to be that Varys, due to his large size, must be hiding something underneath their robes, and that thing must be a fish’s tail.
Along with his equally corpulent ally Illyrio, Vrys is said to be plotting a merling invasion of Westeros and Essos.
There is also a suggestion that Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish is in on the plan, although this hinges entirely on the fact that his boat is called ‘The Merling King’.
VERDICT: Forget about it.