Next to pornography, the internet’s biggest export is theories about George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song Of Ice And Fire, and its TV adaptation Game Of Thrones. While some theories have become widespread and widely accepted (R+L=J), and some unlikely (we still can’t get anyone to take our Jon=Spongebob, Mance=Patrick, Stannis=Squidward theory seriously), few are as thorough as the theory expounded in 2013 by a blogger known as Dorian the Historian.
On his blog, Game Of Thrones & Norse Mythology, Dorian posits that Game Of Thrones is based on… wait for it… Norse mythology. Specifically, the myth of Ragnarök, in which gods, men, and monsters go to war, and the result is the end of the world. This post on Outcryer.com gives a slightly less-lengthy summary, but the upshot is that Martin—who draws from several strains of myth and fantasy for his series—used the Ragnarök myth as a framework to hang his entire epic on.
Dorian draws parallels for numerous characters, claiming that Brandon Stark is a stand-in for Fenrir, the Bound Wolf, son of trickster god and Avengers villain Loki, who in this theory is the Three-Eyed Raven whom Bran spends most of the series seeking out. Jon Snow is Surtr, a demon with a flaming sword whose name means “The Black.” One-handed Jamie Lannister is one-handed hero Tyr, while his sister Cersei, a queen who takes perhaps too much stock in a prophecy, lines up with Frigg, the queen of Asgard who can make prophecies of her own. Even relatively minor characters like Walder Frey, Joffrey, Samwell, Brienne, and Theon have their Norse counterparts in Dorian’s all-encompassing theory.
Whether this theory unlocks all of the mysteries of Martin’s labyrinthine story or is merely two stories with so many characters that each one is bound to line up with someone on the other side, it’s a fascinating read for fans of the series. And the lesson Dorian draws from Thrones’ apocalpytic underpinnings is one readers learned long ago: Don’t get too attached to your favorite characters. Valar morghulis. All men must die.