This post contains information about season seven of Game of Thrones as well as theories about the show and books, so if you consider those spoilers and reading them will feel like being bathed in dragonflame, don’t go below into the Dragon Pit for this major Tyrion theory.
Sunday night’s Game of Thrones episode “Eastwatch” contained arguably the show’s single biggest revelation ever, when Gilly stumbled upon proof that Jon Snow isn’t a bastard, but that he’s the legal son of Rhaegar Targaryen and therefore the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. While Sam failed to pick up on the connection between that info and Jon’s heritage, it wasn’t a relationship missed by Drogon.
However, while we were focused on the ramifications of Jon’s birth, that tender moment between dragon and secret Targaryen might have been proof of another major theory about another lost, unknown relative of Daenerys. Drogon’s reaction to Jon may just reveal that Tyrion Lannister is really the son of the Mad King.
Tyrion being a secret Targaryen is an old and popular fan theory, though not without its detractors. The theory holds that the Mad King raped his mother Joanna Lannister, conceiving Tyrion in the process. You can read about it in greater detail here, but hints include the fact that Tyrion’s mother died during childbirth, just as Daenerys’ and Jon’s did, plus many comments dropped by his supposed father Tywin that would call into question whether or not Tyrion was really his son. For instance:
“You are an ill-made, spiteful little creature. Full of envy, lust, and low-cunning. Men’s laws give you the right to bear my name and display my colors, since I cannot prove that you are not mine.”
And then there was this doozy to Tyrion’s question about what sacrifice Tywin ever made for his family:
“The day that you were born, I wanted to carry you into the sea and let the waves wash you away. Instead, I let you live. And I brought you up as my son. Because you’re a Lannister.”
Which was nothing compared to when Tywin used his dying breath to tell Tyrion:
“You’re no son of mine.”
These just might be the metaphorical insults of a disappointed and bigoted father. In fact, all the evidence for the Mad King being Tyrion’s dad is circumstantial. But the theory got a major boost in Meereen, when Tyrion freed Rhaegal and Viserion from their chains. “Dragons are intelligent–more intelligent than men according to some maesters,” said Tyrion, “They have affection for their friends and fury for their enemies. I am their friend.”
He was proved right; instead of eating him, the dragons let their mother’s new adviser get between them so he could unlock their chains. There seemed to be a genuine connection of trust between him and the pair. Still, it was just one more piece of circumstantial evidence.
But then came “Eastwatch,” in which we saw a stunned Daenerys observe Drogon allow Jon Snow to get up close and touch his face–the only other person we’ve ever seen do that is Daenerys herself. Drogon knows what Sam missed, that Jon is the blood of the dragon and his family.
With this scene now at our disposal, Tyrion’s interaction with Rhaegal and Viserion feels so much more important. Dragons are smart, but in a different way than humans. They don’t need Gilly or Bran to tell them who is a Targaryen; they just know intuitively.
Jon being her secret nephew and Tyrion being her secret half brother is a theory with even stronger ties to the novels. In George R.R. Martin’s books, Daenerys is obsessed with the idea of the three heads of the dragon. After all, the sigil of House Targaryen is a three-headed dragon; Aegon had his two sisters to ride into Westeros with him, and she has two children who remain without their own dragonriders (dragons and their mounts exclusively ride together while one of them lives, without exception).
But just because the show hasn’t focused on that idea doesn’t mean it hasn’t been laying the groundwork for another grand revelation about a lost Targaryen. Tyrion grew up always wanting a dragon of his own, and now he just might get one.
Granted, if true, Tyrion would be the bastard of the family, not Jon. He wouldn’t have a claim to the Iron Throne nearly as strong as either Jon or Daenerys. But that wouldn’t matter. Dragons don’t care about the line of succession. They don’t care about bastards and annulments. They only care about fire and blood.
What do you think? Did Drogon’s reaction to Jon confirm the theory about Tyrion’s real father? Tell us what you think in the comments below.