This article contains major spoilers for the entirety of Game of Thrones season six, including the finale The Winds of Winter. This is your only warning.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my review of Game of Thrones season six, episode 10. It was an explosive (ba dum tish) finale, with lots of dreams made, as well as dreams crushed.
There are a thousand and one fan theories floating around now that the series is over, as we wait forever and a day for season seven. The theory I want to discuss here is that of the valonqar.
People who haven’t read the books won’t be familiar with the valonqar, as he was left out from the show. However, in the books the valonqar is actually in the prophecy from Maggie the Frog, which predicted the death of Cersei’s children.
Here is the full prophecy as read in the books.
Cersei: “When will I wed the prince?”
Maggy: “Never. You will wed the king.”
Cersei: “I will be queen, though?”
Maggy: “Aye. Queen you shall be . . . until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear.”
Cersei: “Will the king and I have children?”
Maggy: “Oh, aye. Six-and-ten for him, and three for you. Gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds. And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.”
Now, valonqar is High Valyrian for “little brother”. While the valonqar segment of the prophecy was removed from the show, I don’t necessarily think that this means it will not be included.
That is entirely possible, of course, but I am of the belief that the showrunners didn’t include as it’s too huge a clue to giveaway, especially as we see this prophecy at the start of the beleaguered season five.
So let’s move on to the theories as to who the valonqar will actually be. The obvious and one of the more popular theories is of course Tyrion Lannister.
There is a solid argument that the valonqar is Tyrion, as he doesn’t exactly hide his hate for Cersei. That is one of the main reasons he joins up with Danaerys, is his hate for his family – especially Cersei.
While Tyrion of course had no hand in the death of Cersei’s children, Maggy doesn’t imply that the valonqar will. Just that when “tears have drowned you”, he will kill her. Now, he was discounted for a long time because, well, he was all the way in Meereen and Cersei was the last thing from his mind. But now, with Dany and her fleet heading to Westeros, it is technically possible that he could be the valonqar.
The main reason I dislike this theory, is that it’s far too obvious. While the showrunners have made some blunders with the writing, such as the sand sneks and Arya’s puzzling overconfidence in Braavos, I would think they would shy from choosing the glaring neon sign in the room.
My favourite theory is Jaime Lannister.
Now I know what you’re thinking, why would Jaime kill Cersei after he spent the entire season being her boytoy accessory and proclaiming his love for her? Also, aren’t they twins? Well, there are a couple of pretty strong arguments to be made about the first part, but in the books it is stated that he was born a couple of minutes after Cersei, technically making him the little brother.
The arguements centre around a couple of things, the first is that Jaime’s arc has been all about redemption. He has changed a lot from the man who pushed Bran from the tower in season one, and as we saw with his exchange with Brienne, and the later one with Walder Frey, he does still have some honour left. At the end of The Winds of Winter, Jaime returns to King’s Landing to see the awful devastation Cersei has wrought.
The Sept is a pile of rubble, countless innocent lives have been lost, not to mention the total obliteration of the Tyrells, their only remaining allies. Not only that, but Cersei prioritised torturing Septa Unella over comforting Tommen, and because of that she directly caused their son to commit suicide.
His face as he watches Cersei take the throne is a mixed one, but there is not a single positive emotion to be found. I see despair at his loss, but also a horrible realisation as to what Cersei truly is. I believe he does not see Cersei there, but the Mad King.
My theory is that when Dany invades in season seven, Cersei will go full Mad Queen and attempt to use the remaining caches of wildfire to get rid of the invading Targaryen army and once again, Jaime will be forced to kill to stop King’s Landing from being obliterated.
With the two main theories out of the way, let’s discuss the main outlier: Sandor “The Hound” Clegane.
Now while Sandor is not related to Cersei in any way, he is technically a “little brother”, albeit to his brother The Mountain. Keep in mind Maggy did not say “your valonqar” she said “the valonqar”, so it is totally possible for the valonqar to be someone like the Hound.
While I don’t like this theory as much as the Jaime one, Sandor is still a strong contender. Last we saw of him, he was with the Brotherhood Without Banners somewhere in Westeros. While they didn’t touch too much on their future plans, the BWB undoubtedly know about the Night King and the coming war, plus they will likely hear rumours about Dany’s incoming invasion.
Sandor certainly hates the Lannisters, and Cersei, so he has the motivation. He also might meet up with what remains of his brother, resulting in the epic clash fans have been hankering for called the “Cleganebowl”.
However, while Sandor certainly has the skill and motivation to kill Cersei, I still think it will be Jaime.
But, you’ve read my theories, what about yours? There are even arguments that the word valonqar could technically be genderless, opening the possibilites to include people such as Arya Stark.