Azor Ahai is a legendary figure who, 8,000 years prior to Aegon’s Landing, defeated the Others (White Walkers) with a sword of fire called “Lightbringer.” According to Melisandre, Azor Ahai will be reborn amidst salt and smoke to defend the world once again, this time from the Red God’s nemesis, the Other. Melisandre clearly believes Stannis to be Azor Ahai reborn — “the prince that was promised.” However, Maester Aemon (Targaryen) believes it to be Daenerys, and many fans think it will be Jon Snow.
However, Victarian Greyjoy, Aegon VI Targaryen, and Rhaegar Targaryen are also considered to be Azor Ahai reborn. (Though when Robert killed Rhaegar, he doomed Westeros.) (Art courtesy of Amok)
Some believe that Tyrion Lannister is actually a Targaryen, his parents being Joanna Lannister and the Mad King, King Aerys II Targaryen. Aerys certainly thought Joanna attractive, and he had no real qualms about rape. In the books, Tyrion’s hair is described to be so blond as to be white — see: Daenerys, Viserys, and every other Targaryen — and as having one green eye, one black (Daenerys’ eyes are written as so violet they’re nearly black). The theory is a bit out there, but not as out there as the Mad King was!
(Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, courtesy of HBO)
There are a few vague theories floating around about Sansa. For one, some say she will marry Aegon VI Targaryen, turning her luck around and finally becoming a queen. If Jon Snow turns out to be a Targaryen, others believe that they will marry. Finally, others believe that Sansa will get out from under Littlefinger’s thumb by getting hers and killing him dead. Fingers crossed for that last one, really.
(Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, courtesy of HBO)
Some say that Lord Varys is actually a woman, and Aegon is not a Targaryen but the son of Varys and Illyrio Mopatis. All of Varys’ machinations have been to get Aegon on the throne, not because he is a Targaryen, but because he is their son. What? I don’t know either.
(Conleth Hill as Lord Varys, courtesy of HBO)
Petyr Baelish is one sneaky dude. Littlefinger has been behind a lot of chaos in Westeros — including Joffrey’s death — but could he have also been behind Ned Stark’s death? Some say that, while it was Joffrey that killed Ned, it was Littlefinger who convinced him of the idea. And hey, if it’s true, and Sansa ever found out, she would have no qualms killing him.<br.
(Aiden Gillen as Petyr Baelish, courtesy of HBO)
Not too much is known about Benjen Stark in either the books or the HBO series, but there are several theories surrounding him nonetheless. Many believe (or hope) that he did not actually die went he went ranging beyond the wall, but that he is just biding his time, waiting in the wings to save one of his nephews in the way-too-North. Other say that he is Coldhands, a mysterious figure from beyond the wall who helps Samwell and Gilly, who is dressed all in black like one of the NIght’s Watch, dead yet still alive. Check out the full post to vote for your favorite fan theory!
(Benjen Stark as Joseph Mawle, courtesy of HBO)
Joffrey Baratheon was poisoned at his wedding — thereafter dubbed the Purple Wedding — in Season 4, Episode 2, “The Lion And The Rose.” His uncle, Tyrion Lannister, was accused of and tried for the crime, when it was actually Lady Olenna Tyrell who poisoned him and Lord Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger) who orchestrated it. (Courtesy of HBO)
Lysa Arryn, sister to Catelyn Stark, was thrown through her own Moon Door in her castle, the Eyrie, by her husband, Petyr Baelish, after she threatened to do the same to Sansa Stark, believing her to be seducing Petyr. Before he killed her, Petyr cruelly told her that he had only ever loved one woman — her sister. This happened in Season 4, Episode 7 — “Mockingbird”. (Courtesy of HBO)
Ned Stark was the OG Game Of Thrones shocking death for those who hadn’t read the books. All the way back in Season 1, Ned discovered that the Baratheon children were bastards of incest with false claims to the throne. He was accused of treason and he was given the option surrender and be sent to the Wall, but Joffrey had him executed regardless in Episode 9, “Baelor”. (Courtesy of HBO)
Robb Stark & Talisa Stark were both murdered at Edmure Tully’s wedding, apparently setting off a Westerosi trend. Robb broke his vow to Walder Frey promising to marry a Frey girl, and the Freys were none too pleased. However, they pretended to play nice, hosting Robb and Talisa’s wedding at their castle, but nearly every Northman was fairly promptly slaughtered during the wedding feast. Grey Wind, Robb’s direwolf, was also klled, and his head was sewn onto Robb’s decapitated body. Lovely! This was in Season 3, Episode 9 — “The Rains Of Castamere”. (Courtesy of HBO)
Catelyn Stark also met her end at the Red Wedding. She took Frey’s young wife, Joyeuse, and threatened to slit her throat lest Walder set Robb free. Robb was, of course, stabbed instead, and in her mad grief, Catelyn killed Joyeuse’s throat, anyway. Then, her throat was slit by a Frey. (Courtesy of HBO)
For all his glory on the battlefield, Khal Drogo was felled by his own knife when he is challenged by one of his riders, Mago, who doesn’t want to listen to Daenerys’ orders, calling her a “foreign whore”. Drogo’s wound festers, and he falls from his horse. He finally dies in Season 1, Episode 10 — “Fire And Blood”. R.I.P., you handsome devil. (Courtesy of HBO)
In Season 3, Episode 4 — “And Now His Watch Is Ended” — Lord Commander Mormont was murdered by his own unruly men at Craster’s Keep. Rast, specifically, kills him, but it was generally a mutinous group effort. (Courtesy of HBO)
In “You Win Or You Die”, Episode 7 of Season 1, Robert Baratheon succumbs to injuries he sustained while away on a hunt after being gored by a boar. After that, Joffrey was named king — Cersei was not too upset about it. (Courtesy of HBO)
In The War Of The Five Kings, Renly Baratheon throws his gilded crown into the ring, calling himself the rightful heir to Robert’s recently-vacated throne over Joffrey, whom many believed (correctly) to be a bastard of incest. However, Renly’s elder brother, Stannis, and the true successor to the throne, had him killed by a strange shadow creature that was birthed by Melisandra, a priestess of the Lord of Light. Don’t think too hard about it. This was in Season 2, Episode 5 — “The Ghost Of Harrenhal”. (Courtesy of HBO)
Viserys Targaryen clearly had his death coming to him, and so it wasn’t shocking that he was murdered, but more so how it was done. He married off his sister, Daenerys, to Khal Drogo in exchange for an army that would help him take back Westeros. He was a vicious brat during their travels, threatened to kill Daenerys, and Drogo gave him his crown by melting some gold medallions and pouring the molten gold over Viserys’ head, killing him dead. This was in Season 1, Episode 6 — “A Golden Crown”. (Courtesy of HBO)
In possibly the saddest death of all, Maester Luwin was murdered by Dagmer, an ironborn, after he knocks out Theon. At the time, their twenty men were outnumbered by Ramsay Snow’s northern army, and Theon was trying to convince his men to rally and fight. Luewin did not die right away; instead, he dragged himself to the godswood to die. Luwin’s was a totally senseless death — he was an old man, no threat, and the de facto parent to Bran and Rickon. This was in Season 2, Episode 10 — “Valar Morghulis”. (Courtesy of HBO)