The Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers is busy this summer with more than training camp — he’s also busy watching “Game of Thrones.”
Rodgers is a big fan of HBO’s successful fantasy series, and subscribes to a popular fan theory that Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinkleage) are all related.
“I think that Jon Snow, Daenerys, and the Hand of the Queen [Tyrion Lannister] — I think they are all related. Three dragons, three riders, three siblings,” Rodgers told The Ringer‘s Kevin Clark. “We know from Bran, the Three-Eyed Raven, that Ned Stark was not Jon Snow’s father. The Mad King might have been his father, might have been him–and that would make Daenerys and Jon brother and sister. And then Tyrion, we don’t know who his mother is, who Tywin slept with. I think there’s some sort of relationship. At least Jon Snow and Daenerys are going to be working together, and they are mining the dragon glass.”
What does Rodgers mean when he says “three dragons, three riders, three siblings”? He’s referring to a fan theory based on a prophecy made in “A Clash of Kings,” the second novel in the series on which “Game of Thrones” is based.
When Dany enters the House of the Undying, she sees a vision of man presumed by fans to be her brother Rhaegar, speaking to a woman nursing a newborn baby. Rhaegar declares that the baby is “the prince that was promised,” a messianic figure said to be of Targaryen blood and destined to save the world from the White Walkers. He then appears to tell Dany directly that “there must be one more… the dragon has three heads.”
The vision of Rhaegar and the phrase “…three heads” doesn’t appear in the TV series version of the scene, but other elements of the prophecy of the Prince that was promised do.
Because Dany has three dragons, fans have theorized ever since that the vision refers not to a three headed dragon, but to three riders — one for each of Dany’s dragons, Drogon, Viserion and Rhaegal. Note however that the prophecy and theories about it do not require the three heads to be siblings, only to be Targaryens.
Daenerys is of course a confirmed Targaryen and well known rider of dragons. so who are the other two riders? The most persistent theory says Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister.
Rodgers is correct that Jon Snow isn’t Ned Stark’s son. But Jon is not Daenerys’ brother, he’s her nephew. We discovered along with Bran in the finale of Season 6 that Lyanna Stark (Ned’s sister) was his mother and Rhaegar Targaryen, eldest son of the Mad King and older brother to Dany, was his father. (In case there’s any doubt, HBO confirmed it in this infographic.)
As for Tyrion Lannister, things get a little more convoluted. He has no obvious Targaryen traits (at least on the show), but in season 6 he was shown to have an unusual ability to relate to dragons, which is a Targaryen trait. The fan theory is that on the wedding night of Tyrion’s parents, Tywin and Joanna Lannister, tthe Mad King claim first bedding rights for Joanna. Then through either seduction or blackmail, he kept up a secret relationship with Joanna for years, which eventually led to Tyrion’s birth.
Joanna died giving birth to Tyrion. Tywin always hated the Imp for bringing about the death of the only person in Westeros he ever truly loved, but that hatred might have been doubled if he knew who Tyrion’s father really was. Or so the theory goes. See more here.
Rodgers told The Ringer he likes stories that provide a ton of room for fan theory. “There are just so many storylines and you have to really pay attention to keep up,” he said. “With these shows, I’m dialed in and I really want to tie everything together. I love the [‘previously on’ recaps] to start the episodes. It’s very interesting stuff.” He said that “Game of Thrones” is the first show since “Lost” that fit that bill for him.
Like most of us viewers, Rodgers loved the scene in “The Queen’s Justice” when his favorite character–Dany–rode over the Lannister camp on Drogon, lighting the army on fire. “I hope more stuff happens like what happened Sunday,” he said.
Rodgers isn’t the only Green Bay player who is a fan of the show. Packers tackle Bryan Bulaga also weighed in: “I can see the Jon Snow and Khaleesi combination coming, but I think there’s a lot of things to play out. I think she will take the Iron Throne and I think obviously it will drag out for the rest of this season,” he told Clark. “Next season, I think we’ll finally get a battle with a White Walker, dragon, Jon Snow, and the rest of the seven kingdoms.”
The Packers have their first pre-season game August 10 against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field. “Game of Thrones” Season 7 continues Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.