As HBO’s Game of Thrones comes to an end, fans are still hoping for some of their theories to play out. In particular, many fans are wishing that Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) is actually a secret Targaryen.
Game of Thrones started with the premise that all of the Targaryens had been wiped out after Robert’s Rebellion. However, it was quickly discovered that the siblings, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd) were still alive, having been smuggled out of Westeros when Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) killed the rest of their family.
Aemon Targaryen (Peter Vaughan) was also discovered at Castle Black. However, he had survived the slaughter thanks to being an old man, blind and having taken the black in order to defend Westeros at the Wall, so was not considered a threat to Robert.
After that, it was revealed that Jon Snow (Kit Harington) was also a secret Targaryen after his mother, Lyanna, married Daenerys’ brother, Rhaegal. His identity was hidden by Lyanna’s brother, Ned Stark (Sean Bean), in order to keep him alive as he was considered the true heir to the Iron Throne.
Along with these Targaryens, many fans have also wondered if Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) is also a secret Targaryen. Fans of the book series on which Game of Thrones is based have wondered this for years. However, in the television series, the theory was questioned pretty heavily in Episode 2 of Season 6, when Tyrion freed two of Daenerys’ dragons from captivity, according to Winter is Coming.
When Tyrion was not killed by the dragons, fans started looking further into the clues potentially hidden within Game of Thrones. There are only a few mentions in the TV series by Tyrion’s father, Tywin (Charles Dance), about how much he resents his son.
“You are an ill-made, spiteful little creature, full of envy, lust, and low cunning,” Tywin tells Tyrion in Season 3 of Game of Thrones, according to Time.
“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 to teach me humility the gods have condemned me to watch you waddle about wearing that proud lion that was my father’s sigil and his father’s before him”
Tywin’s dying words were also of him telling Tyrion that he was no son of his. Although, this was likely in reaction to the situation as Tyrion was threatening to kill Tywin at the time.
The TV series also has Tyrion speak of his fascination with dragons. This is even less of a confirmation that Tyrion is a secret Targaryen than his father’s harsh words.
However, in the books, there are plenty more hints that Tyrion might be a secret Targaryen.
Most notably, it has been revealed in the books that the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen, was infatuated with Tyrion’s mother, Joanna. This makes it possible that Aerys may have had liberties with Joanna at some point during her marriage to Tywin, be it consensual, or otherwise. So, the potential is certainly there, within the book series, for Tyrion to be born from a union involving Aerys and Joanna.
In addition to Aerys’ fascination with Joanna Lannister, Tyrion’s description of his physical features in the books could also be a clue that he is a secret Targaryen. In the book series, Tyrion is described as having “a mixture of pale blond hair that’s almost white,” according to Winter is Coming. He also has one green and one black eye. On the other hand, the Lannisters are considered to be traditionally green-eyed and to have golden blond hair, not pale or white like the Targaryens.
If Tyrion were a secret Targaryen in Game of Thrones, it would mean that Daenerys would have yet another threat against her claim to the Iron Throne. And, considering Tyrion is currently standing on thin ice regarding her trust in him, a reveal this late in the game could spell the end for Tyrion as Daenerys, who has descended into madness like her father at this point in Game of Thrones, would likely kill him rather than have his identity revealed.
However, viewers will just have to wait a little longer until the Season 8 finale of Game of Thrones to find out if this theory comes true or not.
Season 8 of Game of Thrones returns to HBO with Episode 6, the series finale, on Sunday, May 19, at 9 p.m. ET.