Throughout the last seven seasons of Game of Thrones, we’ve learned about some of the legacies following the series’ most prominent families—particularly the Starks and the Targaryens.
For the Stark family, we have always heard the figure of speech:
“The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.”
And, for the Targaryens:
“The dragon has three heads.”
For years, many have wondered just who the three-headed dragon truly was and if the pack will truly survive. With it being the final season of the show, fans are on the edge of their seats wondering if these two sayings will be addressed.
Recently, one Reddit user—u/coconuciferaa—shared a theory about just who the three-headed dragon could be—bringing in the Stark family saying to dissect alongside it.
The Reddit user starts off by saying that for too long, many people take the Targaryen saying too literally and don’t focus on the idea that it’s not just a three-headed dragon, but instead working together in one united purpose.
Everyone understands that the gist of the second saying isn’t about actual wolves, but most people take the first one too literally, assuming it is a prophecy about three Targaryens or three dragons or three dragon-riders. Both suggest the same message: the importance of a united family. The Targaryen sigil depicts one dragon with three heads, representing Aegon the Conqueror, Visenya and Rhaenys. It’s not about them having dragons but the three of them being united in purpose. Aegon the Conqueror alone wouldn’t have succeeded, which brings me to…
The Reddit user then moves on to discuss, in depth, that both sayings also hit on the danger of lack of unity.
The danger of lack of unity, as explained by Targaryens and Starks:
“A Targaryen alone in the world is a terrible thing.”
“The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.”
Many people think that each saying is designated to only one family—the first to the Targaryens and the second to the Starks, but the Reddit user points out that although each saying may be from a different house, they both mean the same exact thing—no one can be successful alone.
This is relevant to all Houses. It explains why House Lannister, House Baratheon, House Martell, House Greyjoy, House Bolton are all in disarray.
The dragon with three heads was a prophecy that Rhaegar believed to be related to “The Prince That Was Promised.”
He believed if The Prince That Was Promised was to succeed, he would need to be like Aegon the Conquerer with two sisters at his side – living embodiments of the Targaryen sigil. He got an Aegon and Rhaenys from Elia Martell but felt there had to be a Visenya, which is why he went to Lyanna. His plan appears to have backfired: Aegon and Rhaenys died, there was no Visenya; instead another boy (Aegon/Jon), and he and Lyanna also died.
So—how does this relate to Jon, Arya, and Sansa?
Ned, who doesn’t know about any prophecy, brings Jon to Winterfell. In the process, Jon gains five siblings. That number has now whittled down to three: Sansa, Arya and Bran. If we take Bran at his word that he is the Three-Eyed Raven now and has given up his birthright, then Jon’s only siblings are Sansa and Arya. Two sisters, just like Aegon the Conqueror. Which makes them the three heads of the dragon. Note: I’m not suggesting Jon, Sansa, Arya are secret Targaryens or will ride dragons or will marry each other. All I’m saying is these threerepresent a powerful and united trio.
The user also points out that Sansa and Arya have “similarities” to Rhaenys and Visenya.
Sansa, like Rhaenys, is lady-like and understands diplomacy. In GRRM’s Fire and Blood book, Rhaenys was a patron of singers and bards, ensuring that they spread the message of Aegon’s heroics through songs. It’s not unlike when Sansa stitches Jon a cloak similar to Ned Stark’s to make others see him as an incarnation of Ned. Arya, like her idol Visenya, is someone who dabbles in dark arts and is skilled with a sword – she even has a Valyrianweapon. They aren’t carbon copies, of course, but the similarities are interesting.
And, you probably missed the Easter Egg in Season 2, Episode 7 where Tywin discusses Aegon’s legacy with Arya.
An easter egg earlier in the series is Arya’s conversation with Tywin, where he talks about Aegon’s legacy and she tells him: “Aegon and his sisters. It wasn’t just Aegon riding his dragon.”
In the very first episode of Season 8, Arya and Jon have an iconic conversation about the importance of family, in which Jon says to Arya, “I’m her family too,” in regards to Sansa. Arya says “don’t forget it,” in response.
This is not throwaway dialogue or even irony, but foreshadowing that there will come a point where Jon rejects Dany in favor of his sisters. Dany has already suggested to Jon that Sansa has a problem with her and vice-versa (with some excellent bit of eyebrow-acting from Emilia Clarke). That, and the fact that Jon has spoken to Sansa about having faith in him — it’s building up to something.
The Reddit user brings the entire theory together by saying:
Just as I believe the three heads of the dragon, the pack who survives, are Jon, Sansa and Arya, I also feel the lone wolf who dies is Dany. Jon, Sansa and Arya were fortunate to have Ned impart the importance of family to them, but Dany was unlucky in that regard.
The only Targaryen family member that she knew was Viserys, who believed he was destined to rule the Iron Throne and believed Dany was merely a tool to get there. Dany had Barristan and still has Jorah, Missandei, Tyrion and Varys, but considers them her advisors, not family. Varys doesn’t quite trust her. Tyrion will always be loyalto Jaime and has even some familial feelings towards Cersei, which Dany won’t appreciate. And what happens if Jorah dies? Who will Dany have in her corner then?
All in all, the theory is not that farfetched. And, with Jon Snow being both a Stark and a Targaryen, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him fulfill both of those legacies.