Game of Thrones came to a shocking conclusion with the literal and figurative explosive Season 6 finale on June 26. The game-changing episode saw the deaths of several key characters (including King Tommen Baratheon, Queen Margaery Tyrell, and the villainous High Sparrow) and the introduction of a surprising new ruler of the Seven Kingdoms (all hail the Mad Queen Cersei?). The finale also settled one long-standing fan theory: that Jon Snow is actually the child of Ned's sister Lyanna and her supposed "captor" Rhaegar Targaryen. But Jon's now-confirmed parentage wasn't the only "secret Targaryen" theory floating around in the Game of Thrones fandom. Many strongly believe that fan-favorite, wine-swilling, wise-cracking character Tyrion Lannister is secretly yet another Targaryen bastard.

While the idea may sound a bit far-fetched to show-only viewers, fans of the series who have also read the books have been stock-piling "evidence" to back up this theory for a while now. Specifically, as laid out by the Redditor deathproof-ish, many fans believe that, like R+L=J, A+J=T – Aerys Targaryen (aka the Mad King) and Joanna Lannister had sexual relations (either consensual or not), resulting in illegitimate child Tyrion.

Tywin Lannister's extreme hatred for his youngest son (and what Tywin said to him right before Tyrion killed him) is one such piece of evidence. Tywin was a cruel, ruthless man who never accepted his youngest son and hated Tyrion for having "killed" his mother, Tywin's wife, in childbirth. When Tyrion found his lover Shae in bed with his father (right after his father falsely convinced him of murdering King Joffrey), Tyrion snapped and killed them both.

Tywin's very last words were "You shot me. You're no son of mine." As far as evidence for Tyrion-isn't-Tywin's-kid goes, that moment is pretty on-the-nose. Of course, that could also just have been one last jerk moment in Tywin's jerk-moment-filled life.

Tyrion's affinity for dragons also seems to point towards the fact that he's a secret Targaryen. The Targaryen clan has a historical bond with dragons, in the fictional world of Game of Thrones. Daenerys' ancestors in House Targaryen used dragons to conquer the Seven Kingdoms, kicking off the several-hundred-years reign of their house. Within the series, only specific people can command dragons – Targaryens, for the most part.


Earlier in the season, Tyrion recounted a dream he had of riding dragons, and was obsessed with them in his youth. While in Meereen when Daenerys was away, Tyrion even managed to approach the dragons she had in lock-up — and they didn't incinerate him. It's not as if Tyrion hopped on the dragon and rode it around the city, but not getting burned alive is pretty significant proof that Tyrion has at least some kind of bond with the dragons.

There's also the three-headed dragon motif. There are, literally, exactly three dragons in the known world (Dany's dragons). While in the House of the Undying earlier in the series, Dany had a vision of her long-dead brother Rhaegar confirming that "the dragon has three heads." The House Targaryen sigil is even a dragon with three heads.

Some fans have taken that to mean that each of Dany's three dragons must have a rider before she takes back the Iron Throne. Jon, now essentially confirmed to be a secret Targaryen, and Dany, a known Targaryen, would obviously be two of them. The third? Dragon-loving Tyrion, the newly-appointed Hand of the Queen.

Whether Tyrion is a Lannister or a Targaryen is yet another plot point that has me anxiously awaiting the return of Game of Thrones Season 7. Is it April 2017 yet?