This is the first article of a new series. Since there are a lot of theories floating out there and I'm asked often enough what I think of them, I thought I write it down. You can then laugh about me when I am totally proven wrong by "The Winds of Winter" or something like that. Rules are as follows: you put a question about any theory or plot element (really, let's stress "theory" a bit for the sake of interesting questions) either in the comments of any theory post or by mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will answer them in an upcoming post. And if you now ask "Stefan, isn't this a shameless rip-off of Sean T. Collin's "Ask me anything"?", I would tell you to shut up, because you are right.
Prepare for Part 1. Spoilers for "A Song of Ice and Fire", obviously.
Is Varys a Blackfyre?
The idea behind this is that Varys belongs to the Blackfyres and has therefore reason to want to see the Downfall of house Targaryen. This is often matched with the idea that Aegon is in truth a Blackfyre, too, groomed to believe in his Targaryen heritage. The theory has the advantage of shedding some light on Varys' really very floggy motives. I don't think this is the case, however, and the main reason is a narrative one. For a house that we learned in "Game of Thrones" is near extinct, there are too many possible characters with possible Targaryen blood around already, Jon and Tyrion chief among them. Varys doesn't need a Targaryen heritage, he works - as a character - entirely without it. Him being the upstart thief with a gift for hand wringing, always silent, always knowing, is in and of itself sufficient, and I have the feeling that his story arc would be somehow devalued by a secret Targaryen heritage. Just like Littlefinger suddenly turning up "Hey, I'm a Targaryen, and I did it all for Dany" or something. It just would destroy what these characters are. That being said, it might be that a later reveal makes the arc more plausible, narrative wise. At the moment, it would be abrupt. But I never believed in Aegon suriving the sack of King`s Landing before "A Dance with Dragons", neither, and the same is true for "Tyrion is a son of Aerys", which gathered some strong evidence in the book as well. So, I'm sceptical but not really sure.
Was Theon's dick cut off?
When I did my reread of "A Dance with Dragons" a year ago and undertook the monumental task of recording it in my reread-blog, I was quite convinced that Theon's dick was still intact and that there is not enough evidence there to support the other idea. Now, a year later, I'm humbled. Dozens of fellow fans supported so much evidence and context that I can't deny the strong hints anymore. That being said, it makes Theon's chapters in "A Dance with Dragons" even more gross. The thought alone gives me creeps. I mean, such a sensitive area, and flayed - I should stop right here.
Jeyne was swapped with a double and is hidden by the Blackfish, carrying Robb's offspring.
This theory was popularized by Ghostlovesinger, fellow contributor to "The Tower of the Hand", in his essay "Heir to the North". It essentially rests on the idea that while Catelyn in her chapters emphasizes the big hips Jeyne has - good for childbirth - while in Jaime's chapter in "A Feast for Crows", Jeyne is described as having small hips. Since Jaime didn't know her by sight, it is therefore possible. I don't like this theory, because for me it's a case of greatly over-interpreting the given text. Not only are Martin's POVs notoriously unreliable, he also makes mistakes, and this could easily one of them because there is nothing else to support the idea. It does seem rather pointless, too - even if she carried Robb's child, what happens next? I can't imagine her running with the Blackfish, playing Robin Hood and delivering the child in the midst of winter at the High Heart or something, so it can grow up swearing revenge. It's not that kind of story. That being said, I could be wrong, and if I am, I owe Ghostlovesinger at least a beer for constantly dissing him over the issue.
That's it for today. Ask your own questions in the comment or by mail!