bastard trueborn game of thrones tyrion lannister rhaegal viserion
Watch, TV

Bastards and Trueborns

In Game of Thrones, the legitimacy of one’s birth defines a good portion of their life, but the last season showed us that our understanding of who is trueborn isn’t always as we thought. We learned that Jon Snow is not only not Ned Stark’s son, he’s also not a bastard. But I’m pretty sure he’s not the only one we’ve been fooled about.

Gendry Baratheon

If there’s one thing you can count on about Game of Thrones it’s that if something is repeated constantly the opposite is likely true. This certainly happened with Jon and I think it applies to Gendry as well.

There a few instances throughout the show that point in the direction of Gendry not being a bastard. In the second episode of Season 1, Cersei shares a story with Catelyn Stark about how she lost her firstborn to a fever and that baby had black hair and “looked just like” King Robert Baratheon. At first, you might think it’s one of Cersei’s many lies, but the existence of that child is confirmed in Episode 5 when Cersei has a conversation with Robert and asks about Lyanna Stark for the first time.

You might also be thinking, “what about the prophecy?” A witch told Cersei when she was a girl that she would have three children with blonde hair who would die, but we already know that there was a fourth child because it’s confirmed in Season 1. So, as Melisandre told us last season, prophecies are dangerous things and aren’t always true.

Another thing that is said time and time again throughout the show about Cersei is that she loves her children. This is another clue that there might be something else going on. I would amend that to say Cersei loves her children…by Jaime. I believe Cersei actually killed who she thought was her baby and passed it off as a fever. We know Cersei is capable of killing her own child because Jaime says as much at Joffrey’s wedding when he’s talking to Ser Loras.

If you were to marry Cersei, she’d murder you in your sleep. If you somehow manage to put a child in her, she’d murder it too.

More things that point to Gendry actually being a trueborn was that he was an apprentice to the best blacksmith in King’s Landing, who “got tired of” him and sent him off with the Night’s Watch right as Joffrey was crowned. We know Joffrey hunted down and killed all of Robert’s bastards at the beginning of Season 2, but someone knew enough to get Gendry out of King’s Landing before that happened.

So how did someone pull the whole thing off? We know from Jon Arryn’s death, that the Tears of Lys poison can manifest like a fever. Cersei could have gone to Grand Maester Pycelle to secure the poison, but someone could have been spying on that conversation… say a “little bird.”

Learning that Cersei was planning to kill Robert’s heir, Varys, who is always thinking of the realm, may have performed a baby swap, as terrible as that is to imagine. And while a baby swap might seem like a stretch, George R.R. Martin has used that plot device in the books. Varys could also have been the one to secure Gendry’s place as an apprentice and to make sure he got out of King’s Landing safely. Once the Night’s Watch was attacked, it may have appeared to Varys that Gendry was killed as Arya threw the scent off by claiming one of the boys who was killed was actually Gendry. Thinking that Gendry was dead would have made him move onto other options for the throne.

Tyrion Lannister-Targaryen

Another thing that’s said over and over throughout the show is that Tyrion is a Lannister. It’s most emphatically said by Tywin, who also makes a comment that he’s not completely sure it’s true. In Season 3, he says:

Men’s laws give you the right to bear my name and display my colors, since I cannot prove that you are not mine.

But you may be thinking how could Tyrion possibly be the son of a Targaryen. Well, it’s only mentioned once in the show, but Tywin served as Hand of the King to Aerys Targaryen for many years. If Joanna Lannister, like Lysa Arryn, had accompanied her husband to King’s Landing there would have been plenty of opportunities for an affair with the Mad King himself.

But in the end, it all comes down to the dragons. In Game of Thrones lore, only a special group of people known as Dragon Lords were able to tame dragons. These people lived in Valyria and all of them died during the doom, except for the Targaryens. So even though they hadn’t had dragons for many years, that same talent would have been passed down to all Targaryens. It’s the reason Jon Snow (Aegon Targaryen) was able to pet Drogon.

And Tyrion pets some dragons too. During the second episode of Season 6, Tyrion goes into the catacombs to remove the collars from Rhaegal and Viserion in the hopes that they’ll start eating again. Tyrion says in that episode that dragons are intelligent beings who know who their friends are. That may be true, but having never seen Tyrion before, it’s unlikely they would have let him near them… except if he was a Targaryen.

I’m very much looking forward to April 14 when we might learn if these two predictions are true. So what do you think? Let us know in the comments.