But when it comes to Game of Thrones, it doesn't get better than r/gameofthrones. I gobble that shit up, especially during the season. I'll read through pages and pages of theories and recaps and artwork.
(Ha ha just kidding, I always skip over the artwork because art is for nerds and Europeans.)
I happened to be browsing this morning, and I stumbled across a new Gendry theory that I hadn't heard before.
Gendry, of course, is Robert Baratheon's supposed bastard, which gives him as good a claim to the Iron Throne as anybody at this point in the show's timeline. He's been in a rowboat for like four and a half seasons now, and there is certainly no shortage of theories about where he is and where he's headed.
Maybe he's going to meet up with Dany and be her master blacksmith. Maybe he's going to run into Jon Snow at Winterfell. Maybe he and The Hound will get together to bash skulls. Maybe he's just fucking dead.
But this new theory is an interesting one. In case you didn't click the link above, here's the gist of it:
- Gendry is the son of Robert Baratheon and Cersei Lannister.
- He was taken away from the King and Queen immediately after he was born.
- He is the only trueborn heir to the throne.
A few things here:
His Parents and Lineage
Cersei makes vague references to Catelyn Stark in season one about her firstborn son. She described him, and the only point that really matters for our purposes is his brown hair.
The rest of Cersei's (dead) kids all had blonde hair, but they were fathered by Jaime.
That first son having brown hair, according to Gregor Mendel, must mean that someone other than Jaime was the father. So either it was Robert, or Cersei had a baby before she got married. Given what we know about Cersei, I would think it's safe to assume that Robert and Jaime are the only two men she's been with.
That makes her firstborn brunette son a True Baratheon, and if that happens to be Gendry then a lot of people are going to be really pumped for the reveal.
He Was Taken Away At Birth
One issue with Gendry being Robert and Cersei's heir is Why Would The Two Most Powerful People On The Continent Give Up Their Firstborn Son?
You can answer this a few ways. I think the most logical answer is Jon Arryn. He, like Gendry, was a prominent character early on who tailed off as the show developed in other ways. Jon was Robert's right hand man, and he's described as a very intelligent and honest guy.
Perhaps Jon Arryn knew about Cersei and Jaime, and knew Cersei's ultimate goal would be to have her incest children as her heirs. Jon saved the baby, lied to Robert and Cersei about its death, and drove them both to drinking problems that killed Robert and will ultimately kill Cersei.
But maybe it wasn't Jon Arryn. Maybe Cersei asked Varys or Jaime or someone else (Littlefinger?) to kill the baby, and that person went behind her back to save an innocent life (or save a trueborn heir for a time when they really needed a trump card). That person eventually told their secret to Jon Arryn, and that's how he found Gendry at the armor shop just before the first season.
There are a TON of ways this could shake out, if this is the direction the Gendry plotline goes. Hiding secrets from the King and Queen or conspiring to kill the heir to the Iron Throne, there are some major cliffhangers and surprises that could happen if Westeros learns that Gendry is a Baratheon-Lannister hybrid.
He's The Trueborn Heir
But can the people of Westeros actually learn that? We went through something similar with Jon Snow's parents. If nobody knows about his bloodline, who the fuck cares if his claim is true or not?
Jon lucked out because everyone gave him the benefit of the doubt and decided to overlook the whole "bastard" thing. But if his crown was dependent on proving who his actual parents were, he probably wouldn't be able to do that. I mean, at this point, Jon doesn't even know about his own secret.
The only living people who know about Jon Snow's parents are Bran (his crippled magician brother, so it's tough to say if people would believe it) and Howland Reed (who lives on a floating island in the swamp somewhere). That's something else to watch for in the next two seasons - how is everyone in the show going to learn about R+L=J?
We're getting sidetracked, I'm sorry.
Gendry is not going to get the same benefit of the doubt that Jon did. While his real identity might be King, everyone on the continent (except for maybe whoever saved him at birth) just thinks he's a poor orphan blacksmith.
Here are a few ways Gendry could come back into the fold with a crown on his head:
- Varys/Littlefinger/Ilyrio - I'm combining these three conniving fucks into one because the storyline would be exactly the same. The whole world is a game to them, and saving a piece like a Trueborn Heir is exactly something they'd all do. They're also all powerful enough to announce Gendry's claim to the throne and have it actually supported by the general public.
- Jaime - If Cersei told Jaime to kill the boy and Jaime instead chose to send him to the armory, then all Uncle Jaime needs to do is announce his nephew to the world. Cersei would be pissed, but I think Jaime's a bit mad that she blew up half of King's Landing.
- Samwell Tarly - That library was really big. Maybe there's a book there that will lead him into learning about Gendry. Even as I type this I realize it's a ridiculous thought.
- Bran - It would be lame for both Jon and Gendry to have their parentage found out by Bran's Wizard Trees. I would like to see a little more creativity out of the GOT crew.
- Daenerys - I guess maybe he could row his boat out to her army of ships and they could bang, and she could make him her Dragon King. But I don't think that's going to happen.
Howland Reed. This is the one that I'm rooting for. I want Howland to call a meeting of the most powerful people in Westeros. Dany, Cersei, Jon, Littlefinger, Varys, and 6-8 other people that I can't think of off the top of my head right now. Get all of those people around a table for a rousing political discussion about what's going to happen with the (probably) impending war.
He starts up a "You're probably wondering why I've gathered you here today, other than for Derek's birthday" speech.
(Sick Step Brothers reference, right?)
Howland chooses his words carefully - or, I guess, the writers of the show choose his words carefully - and the audience thinks he's going to announce R+L=J to the big swinging dicks of Westeros.
And then, when we're all expecting him to point a finger at Jon, he points to the door and Gendry walks in with Melisandre. The screen cuts to black and season six is over.
Bang! Hire me as a writer, or at least as an ideas guy. If that (or something similar) is how they end season six, I'm going to gouge out my own eyeballs. But in a good way.
So there you go, I just wrote 1,300 words about a probably-not-even-close-to-true fan theory from Reddit. I am so fucking ready for Game of Thrones that I might not physically be able to make it to mid-2017 when it's supposed to air.
And if Benioff and Weiss try to Frank Ocean us and make us wait for the new season, I say we riot outside of the HBO headquarters in New York.