George R. R. Martin’s new book, Fire and Blood, recounts the 300 years of Targaryen history before the events of Game of Thrones. But it also has plenty of potential fodder for theories directly tied to the time period we know and love on the show.
But they’re also very well hidden.
“There are a few that are definitely important, but I’m not going to flag them,” Martin told EW in regards to whether the book contained hints. “Readers will have to find them and puzzle out whether they’re hints or red herrings.”
As a in-universe textbook by an Archmaester named Gyldayn, we can’t take everything stated in Fire and Blood as totally accurate. He’s writing down history that happened centuries before he was alive, and a lot of accurate information has been lost to time.
But here are some of the most likely ways what we learned from Fire and Blood will play into the Song of Ice and Fire books and the HBO show’s final season.
Gendry’s dragon blood, and his potential destiny to kill a dragon
Fire and Blood confirms a long-held rumor that Baratheon House was founded by Orys, a half-brother to the legendary Conqueror Aegon I Targaryen and his Hand. This means that, though he may not look it, Gendry has blood of the dragon in him — which could have all sorts of implications. Targaryen blood is required for magic like riding or even hatching dragons.
So if anyone’s going to be raising new dragons from stone, you might want to include Gendry. There is a lot of prophecy around “the three heads of the dragon” (Targaryen sigil), so we know that at least one more secret Targaryen will emerge to take a significant role in the end game.
From what we’ve heard about the actor behind Gendry, Joe Dempsie, it sounds like he’ll for sure be in the final battle to come in Season 8. Why else bring him back from all that rowing?
But dragon riding or hatching isn’t the only way his destiny could be tied to House Targaryen’s future. At two different points, the book mentions of a mysterious and ancient prophecy that sounds a whole lot like either Gendry, or his father Robert Baratheon:
“When the hammer shall fall upon the dragon, a new king shall arise, and none shall stand before him.”
While mistakenly attributed to a different character in Fire and Blood, this sounds like the battle in Roberts Rebellion when he cut down Rhaegar and all of House Targayen from the throne. That only accounts for the “new king” that rises, though, with no clear connection to the ominous second part of the prophecy.
Martin likes to purposefully phrase his prophecies as red herrings. So who else could it be about?
Perhaps another Baratheon with a hammer, and a dragon to kill: our blacksmith bastard Gendry. I mean, the show couldn’t have a whole hammer-making montage in Season 7 without bringing it back later. Gendry also knows best how to smelt Valyrian steel, the only weapon against white walkers and most likely white walker dragons.
If Gendry brings down undead Viserion, then that would make way for a new king (Jon), reigning over the wasteland of Westeros ravaged by the army of the dead.
There are more dragons, potentially even in Winterfell
Speculation over the birth of new dragons has been swirling around the fandom for ages.
Before, they were generally confined to prophecies and visions about Dragonstone. Chiefly, the Azor Ahai prophecy about a legendary Prince that was Promised who would “wake dragons out of stone” to save the day from the White Walkers.
Melisandre claims to see fire visions a dragon rising from the literal stone of Dragonstone. But what if this stone refers to all the damn fossilized Targaryen eggs scattered all over the damn place?
Hatching dragons requires very specific and mysterious conditions. But as Dany proved, the stones left behind still carry the potential for birth even after several centuries have passed. Fire and Blood leaves the door open for eggs to be found all over, hatched, and maybe even repopulated from the brink of extinction.
For one there’s the feral-turned-domestic dragon Sheepstealer, spotted all over Westeros and Essos, and even near the Vale where a hill tribe worships the dragon and its rider as the “Fire Witch.”
Many also speculate that, ultimately, this dragon ended up in Skagos. A magical island in the North populated by descendants of the First Men, its name translates to “stone.” Some even believe the wild dragons mentioned in the book could’ve survived to this day, since they live for hundreds of years.
The even more tantalizing possibility is the rumor that there are dragon eggs in Winterfell.
While the Grandmaester writing the book disregards the rumor, there was already solid evidence to suggest that dragon eggs are . Early into Targaryen rule, a Prince Jacaerys made a deal with Lord Cregan Stark for his support in battle.
And while many presumed Jacaerys dragon, Vermax, was male, it is admittedly impossible to tell the sex of a dragon. Some maesters even think they can change their sex as needed.
Also wouldn’t it be lovely if Jon, this other embodiment of a dragon who was bred in Winterfell, raised his own dragon hatchlings to join Dany’s. I mean, why else would they have had that very odd conversation about children in the dragon pit during Season 7’s finale?
Varys might be a Targaryen descendent of saera targaryen?
A joke among fandom is that everyone’s a secret Targaryen.
But this theory is particularly well-founded for either Varys or even Tyrion Lannister. For the purposes of this speculation, though, let’s focus on Varys potential.
We don’t have to get into the details of the Varys Targaryen theory. But do consider: He’s teamed up with many people to protect the Targaryen house (Daenerys), and might keep his head shaved to hide the dead giveaway of Targaryen silver hair.
While some believe Varys to be a descendant of a famous Targaryen bastard line, the Blackfyres, one new story learned in Fire and Blood offers another possibility.
MDuring the long reign of King Jaehaerys, one of his daughters Princess Saera was embroiled in such scandal that she ran away to Essos. There, she became a coveted whore in Lys, supposedly fathering tons of Targayen bastards in the continent. Later in Fire and Blood, she’s mentioned as still being alive and well in Volantis, becoming wildly rich as the owner of a famous pleasure house.
Why does this matter to the Varys Targaryen theory?
Well, Varys says he was born a slave in Lys. While this would be centuries after Saera Targaryen passed, bastard Targaryen blood could still run through his veins. And that matters for the same reasons it matters for Gendry: because only the blood of old Valyria can ride or help hatch dragons.
As Melisandre told him cryptically in Season 7, Varys will also have a big part to play, before dying in this foreign land of Westeros.
We will probably go back to Valyria, where horror awaits
In Season 4, Tyrion and Ser Jorah rode through the ruins of Old Valyria. While this is damn near impossible in the books, the show’s insistence on showing audiences the ancient, doomed home of the Targaryens and dragons felt like a clear signal that it would come back later.
Now Season 8 and winter is upon us, and uncovering the mysteries of Valyria has never been more pressing.
Fire and Blood gives one horrifying glimpse into what awaits people who venture into the dangerous and toxic ruins, though. And it’s much worse than just greyscale.
One young and willful Targaryen Princess, Aerea, makes the terrible mistake of running away by stealing the biggest, baddest, oldest dragon of all time: Balerion the Black Dread. She disappears for a year, before returning to King’s Landing dying from the most grotesque Aliens-esque horrors the Seven Kingdoms have ever seen.
These snake-like worm parasites are not only boiling her alive from the inside, but squirming under her skin — particularly her stomach — as if they had impregnated her.
Many interpreted these as an evolution of firewyrms. There are many tales of Valyrians doing monstrous hybrid human-beast experiments, specifically by impregnating slave women with firewyrms.
Most fascinatingly, Balerion the Black Dread — again, the fiercest dragon to ever grace Westeros — also came back severely wounded with claw marks. Not much in this world can harm a dragon, other than other dragons and maybe fully grown firewyrms.
So what hurt Balerion? Are there other, even fiercer dragons left in Valyria, who might turn the tide in favor of the humans when they clash with the Night King and his White Walker ice dragon?
Only time can tell how the blood of Valyria will play out in this song of ice and fire.
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