If Game of Thrones fans have learned one thing over the course of seven seasons, it’s that the Targaryen line’s demise has been greatly exaggerated. There’s Daenerys, of course, and at the end of Season 7 it was finally confirmed that Jon Snow is a true born Targaryen too. But could Tyrion be a Targaryen as well? Rumors that the youngest Lannister may not be Tywin’s biological son have been circulating for quite some time now, and with the final season fast approaching, fans are more convinced than ever before that he could be related to Daenerys and Jon.
The proof, if there is any, can be found in these episodes that hint that Tyrion is a Targaryen. Whether the show has been joyously trolling viewers for seven seasons or actually setting up a second secret Targaryen twist remains to be seen, but there have definitely been moments when it felt like Tyrion’s heritage isn’t what it seems.
In general, Tyrion has always felt like an outsider in his own family, thanks to his appearance. His father regards him as an embarrassment, while Cersei seems to blame her little brother for their mother’s death. Meanwhile, Tyrion is studious, clever, and has a tactical mind that sets him apart from his brasher siblings. He also has a longstanding fascination with dragons that could point to Targaryen blood running through his veins.
So far, at least seven episodes of Game of Thrones have hinted that Tyrion might be the son of the Mad King instead of Tywin. That would make him Daenerys’ brother and Jon’s uncle — and go a long way in paving the path for a future where the Targaryens reign supreme once more.
1. “Valar Dohaeris”
One of the earliest instances of Tyrion possibly being a Targaryen occurs in Season 3. During a confrontation with his youngest son, Tywin tells Tyrion that he’ll never inherit Casterly Rock because: “You are an ill-made, spiteful little creature full of envy, lust, and low cunning. Men’s laws give you the right to bear my name and display my colors since I cannot prove that you are not mine.”
Why would Tywin suggest that Tyrion isn’t his son? Because he may believe his wife, Joanna, and King Aerys had an affair. (In the books, it’s established that the King’s fondness for Joanna caused a rift between him and Tywin.)
2. “The Children”
Tywin’s last words to Tyrion before the youngest Lannister shot him with an arrow? “You’re no son of mine.” Was it just another way to hurt Tyrion or was he about to tell him a dark truth about his parentage?
3. “Kill the Boy”
In Season 5, Tyrion and Jorah row through the ruins of Valyria, Daenerys’ ancestral homeland. It’s here, in this place that holds so much significance to the Targaryens, that Tyrion sees a living dragon for the first time. That has to mean something, right?
There is no scene that feels more significant to the Tyrion is a Targaryen theory than the one that occurs in “Home.” With Daenerys gone, Tyrion ventures into the dragons’ lair to unchain Rhaegal and Viserion. While he’s there, he tells the dragons about his boyhood dream of having one of the supposedly long extinct creatures himself. However, what’s most remarkable is that they allow Tyrion to unchain them, almost as if they know he means them no harm.
5. “The Winds Of Winter”
Daenerys chooses Tyrion to be the Hand of the Queen, and their conversation hints at deep similarities. This could simply be the parallels between their backgrounds, but it would be just like this show to reveal that their fast bond is at least in part due to being family.
Aerys was mad, but Rhaegar was said to have a gentle spirit and keen mind. When Daenerys chooses to burn the Tarlys for not kneeling, she shows shades of her father, but Tyrion advises her to show mercy. In doing so, he further suggests that he may be part of the Targaryen bloodline, and the most likely candidate to curb Daenerys’ darker impulses.
7. “The Dragon and the Wolf”
This episode should have been titled “The Dragon and the Wolf and the Lion,” because Tyrion plays just as pivotal a role in the Season 7 finale as Daenerys and Jon did. In the scene where Tyrion observes Jon entering Daenerys’ room, the show seemed to subtly suggest that these three characters may be the most important of the entire series. That’s not proof that Tyrion is a Targaryen, but it certainly points to him playing a key role in whatever comes next for Jon and the Dragon Queen.
With just six episodes left in the entire series, it’s unclear whether or not there’s a big Tyrion reveal coming — but if it does happen, it won’t be entirely unexpected.