As George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series began way back in 1996, fans have had a long time to speculate and formulate theories on the future of the Game of Thrones saga. Over the years, a number of fan theories have come and gone, some of them later proven true, some proven false.
Usually, when it comes to HBO's Game of Thrones show, book fans know what to expect from any given season. The theories have already been proven or disproven by the time the new season of the show airs. That's not the case with season six. As the show will now surpass the source material, book-reading fans will be in the dark just like everybody else.
However, reading the books does come with various advantages. For example, an important scene from the latest book, A Dance with Dragons, looks to be making its way into the show if the latest trailer for Game of Thrones season six is to believed. The only difference is that, unlike in the books, it is Tyrion we see in this scene, rather than a book character that doesn't look to be appearing on the show. That opens up an interesting possibility, one that just might link back to a long-held fan theory about Tyrion's secret parentage. Get ready, because we're going in deep.
Potential spoilers for Game of Thrones season six below! You've been warned!
At the tail-end of the second trailer for season six, we see Tyrion exploring the catacombs under Meereen where Daenerys keeps two of her three dragons. Dany keeps her dragons there because she is no longer able to control them, and they've grown so large in size that they are incredibly dangerous.
In the books, Tyrion has yet to even meet up with Dany, much less investigate her dragon prison. Instead, Dany encounters an entirely different stranger from Westeros in the form of Quentyn Martell. He is the eldest son of the Prince of Dorne, sent to Meereen to (hopefully) woo Dany into marrying. Together, Dorne and Dany's armies will conquer Westeros.
That doesn't exactly work out. Dany isn't interested in Quentyn or his offer, but the Dornishman wasn't quick to give up. Afraid to head back to Dorne empty-handed, he devises a plan to sneak into the catacombs housing Dany's dragons and tame one of them. Quentyn's plan revolves around him having the "blood of the dragons" in his veins, in that he is at least partly Targaryen, going back all the way to the first Princess Daenarys, who took a Dornish husband. He believes this will allow him to tame the dragons as the ancient Targaryens did, while also making him immune to their fire, just like Daenarys.
Unsurprisingly, Quentyn's plan goes horribly wrong. He is bathed in dragon fire, the dragons escape and he dies days later due to his injuries. The blood of the dragon was not strong enough to save him.
So, what does any of this have to do with Tyrion? As one popular fan theory goes, Tyrion is secretly a Targaryen. It sounds silly at first, but there is plenty of evidence that, when taken all together, does paint a fairly convincing picture. It was known that Aerys II, aka the Mad King, had taken to lusting after the wife of Tywin Lannister, who, for a long time, served as Hand of the King to Aerys. The growing tension between Aerys and Tywin over Joanna (and the growing paranoia of Aerys) would eventually lead to a falling out between the two former friends.
With that in mind, it's certainly possible that Tyrion is the bastard child of Aerys and Joanna. Aerys was king, after all, and though despicable and disgusting, could have used his power to force Joanna into having an affair. Rumors of an affair between the two floated around the royal court at the time the three were alive as well, and there is evidence of Tyrion's appearance (his mismatched eye color in the books, his dwarf status) having to do with the Targaryens' long tradition of incest.
There is also the fact that Tywin, with his dying breath, declares that Tyrion is "no son of mine." Most fans don't take this literally and see it as Tywin disowning his son, but what if Tywin is indeed being literal? If Tyrion is the son of Aerys and Joanna, it would certainly give Tywin yet another reason to hate Tyrion.
This brings us back to the scene depicted at the end of the trailer, where Tyrion seems to be taking Quentyn's place in breaking into the dragon pit. This wouldn't be the first time the show had combined characters or taken one out entirely. Indeed, a large part of Quentyn's role in A Dance with Dragons is informing Dany more of the ways of Westeros and her heritage. Tyrion has already been doing that on the show, making it seem even more likely that the character is replacing Quentyn.
The trailer makes it look like Tyrion's life will be in grave danger while investigating the dragons, but what if that is all misdirection? Rather than being grilled alive like Quentyn, what if Tyrion is actually revealed to be immune to fire? We are assuming Tyrion will not, in fact, die. He's one of the main characters on the show, along with Jon Snow (who probably isn't dead and is also probably a secret Targaryen) and Daenarys. This could be the moment in which it's revealed that this long-held fan theory is actually a fan fact.
Plenty of questions still remain: why is Tyrion in the dragon pit to begin with? What causes him to confront such clear danger? Does he perhaps suspect his own heritage? Is he hoping to unleash the dragons upon an enemy army? Tame one himself?
We simply don't know quite yet. All of the above is mere speculation, of course. Tyrion might simply be what we've been led to believe all this time. It does, however, match up almost too nicely with various prophecies seen in the book series, such as the idea of the Targaryen dragon having "three heads." One is obviously Daenarys. The second is likely Jon. Now, it looks increasingly likely that Tyrion could be the third, but we'll have to wait for the new season, and eventually, the next book, to see if these theories prove true.