One of the biggest Game of Thrones theories around might not be answered in Season 8, but there’s still a chance for series creator George R. R. Martin to reveal Tyrion Lannister’s true heritage. Here’s why the show will likely skip over this revelation, while the long-promised final books could provide fans with the closure they need.
Possible Game of Thrones Season 8 spoilers ahead.
The theory that Tyrion might really be a Targaryen (gasp!) hinges on two key details: one established and one speculative. The first is that Tywin has always hated his son, Tyrion. This could be because Tywin’s wife died in childbirth, but as fans have pointed out, Tywin strongly suggests he knows Tyrion isn’t his son but simply can’t prove it. There’s even a scene from the show where he says as much straight to Tyrion’s face.
In a recent post, redditor u/YBHunted also notes that Tyrion, Jon, and Dany’s mothers all died in childbirth, which may suggest a pattern. They also note that “Tyrion was able to approach the dragons in the crypt and they were accepting of him just as they were to Jon on the cliff side. The only three characters we’ve ever seen this with are yet again Daenerys, Jon and Tyrion.”
The speculative part of this theory is that Tyrion would be one of three Targaryens to ride the three dragons into battle, alongside Dany and Jon. However, as u/YBHunted points out, that’s no longer necessary in Game of Thrones Season 8 after the events of Season 7.
“After the loss of Viserion, there are now just 2 dragons remaining on the side of the living leaving no real need for a third rider,” they write. “That or the Night King is now the third rider.”
The idea of two main characters learning they’re secret Targaryens in the show’s final six episodes also just feels rushed. So you can probably rule out Tyrion’s real father will be revealed in Game of Thrones Season 8. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t still happen in the books.
As redditor u/aphrahannah points out in a comment, the books that inspired Game of Thrones have now lagged so far behind that they could depart from the HBO show’s plot. What if Viserion doesn’t get turned into an ice dragon? Then we would need a third rider, and Tyrion could step in to fill that role. Compared to a rushed final season, the books can take as long as they need to tell the story in even greater detail.
So while you probably shouldn’t expect a big reveal about Tyrion’s true ancestry in Game of Thrones Season 8, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen at all. Instead, the remaining books could provide closure that fans have been waiting on for years — assuming George R. R. Martin ever gets around to writing them.
Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres April 14 on HBO.