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Game Of Thrones Theory: Is Tyrion Lannister A Secret Targaryen?

There were a lot of cool fan theories about "Game of Thrones" that never came to pass, but there's one about Tyrion Lannister — the iconic character played perfectly by Peter Dinklage — that might make you stop and think.

Tyrion is, as any "Game of Thrones" fan knows, the least loved of his father Tywin Lannister's (Charles Dance) three children; before Tyrion fatally shoots his dad with a crossbow while the old guy is on the toilet, Tywin's favorite thing to tell his youngest kid is "you're no son of mine." This could very well just be a euphemism regarding the fact that Tywin openly hates Tyrion, but it also could mean something else ... and some fans think it means that Tyrion literally isn't Tywin's son and is actually a secret Targaryen.

In the original "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels by George R.R. Martin, it's discussed here and there that Tywin's wife Joanna Lannister — never seen on the show — was a favorite of Aerys II Targaryen (also known as the "Mad King"). In the Season 3 finale of the show, Tywin tells Tyrion, "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." The wording here is certainly questionable, and it could possibly mean that Aerys II took advantage of his power and assaulted Joanna, which resulted in Tyrion. Tyrion's birth was so dangerous that Joanna died afterwards, which doesn't help anything, but Tywin being suspicious of his son's parentage could possibly contribute to his feelings towards the Lannister known as the "half-man." There's also the fact that, in the books, Tyrion has a strange mix of black and blonde hair, indicating he could be half-Targaryen.

The adaptation of Game of Thrones has some strange moments that could confirm this theory

The show never addresses a possible non-consensual union between Aerys II and Joanna, but there definitely are moments like the one previously mentioned that could make a viewer wonder about Tyrion's real lineage. At another point, Tyrion tells his father that, in the wake of the battle of Blackwater Bay — where Tyrion successfully defended King's Landing and ended up with a huge facial scar as a result — he believes he deserves control of the Lannister fort Casterly Rock. How does Tywin respond? He lays into Tyrion: "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 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."

That feels fairly telling, especially when you pair it with the moment when Tyrion comes face to face with two massive dragons and lives to tell the tale. After Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) locks up two of her dragons thanks to their destructive tendencies, Tyrion lets Viserion and Rhaegal loose from their chains, and the dragons don't immediately barbecue him. The only other person on the show — besides Daenerys — to pull off this feat is Jon Snow (Kit Harington), who is, in fact, a secret Targaryen.

Is Tyrion just too level-headed to truly be a Targaryen?

The series never comes to any sort of conclusion regarding Tyrion's real parentage — and frankly, even the Jon Snow reveal has absolutely no bearing on anything, but more on that momentarily — but George R.R. Martin's books aren't finished just yet, so anything could happen. Here's something to consider, though: is Tyrion simply too rational and level-headed to possibly have Targaryen blood?

There's a saying within the "Game of Thrones" universe that every time a Targaryen is born, the gods flip a coin, which is a cute way of saying that a lot of Targaryens genetically go "mad" (like Aerys). Daenerys ends up fulfilling this destiny at the end of the series, but as she slides into insanity and starts murdering everything that moves, Tyrion is, to put it gently, not on board. A careful and shrewd strategist who considers every side of everything, Tyrion isn't one to act first and think later, whereas Daenerys loves to hop aboard one of her dragons and flambé enemies ... an urge that results in her leveling King's Landing and killing countless innocent civilians. After this happens, Tyrion quits his job as her Hand of the Queen, resulting in his imprisonment, and it's Tyrion who encourages Jon Snow to kill Daenerys for the good of the realm. Tyrion is many things — and certainly gets suspiciously stupider as the show reaches its final episodes — but he's certainly not driven by pure impulse, so in this way, he's definitely more of a true Lannister than a potential half-Targaryen.

A lot of fan theories got left behind when Game of Thrones wrapped up its run

Tyrion's parentage — and the breadcrumbs dropped about it — isn't the only unfinished business "Game of Thrones" left behind in its wake when it wrapped up its run in May of 2019. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were famously offered as many seasons as they'd like by the powers that be at HBO, but they wanted to go make a "Star Wars" movie, so they elected to end the show with a six-episode eighth season that was, to put it lightly, widely disliked. (Their "Star Wars" project was subsequently canceled.) 

Aside from questions about Tyrion's real father, the show left behind a bunch of unresolved plot threads that are doomed to simply dangle in fans' minds until the end of time. What purpose did Jon Snow's parentage even serve, considering the fact that he ends the show by simply rejoining the Night's Watch? Also, why does the Night's Watch still exist if its main enemy, the army of White Walkers and wights, got destroyed during Season 8? What happened to the face-changing assassins, and why didn't Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) use that learned power once in the final season? Did anyone ever call Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman) over in the Bay of Dragons and fill him in on all of this? Did a single prophecy on the show even really matter in the end? These are just a few of the show's unanswered questions, honestly — but Tyrion's real bloodline is definitely up there.