Before we begin, I must warn you that the following post contains some pretty heavy spoilers for Season 7, Episode 5 of Game of Thrones. Read on at your own peril.
One of the beauties of Game of Thrones is that with every question comes a *thousand* fan theories. Like, a lot of fan theories, ranging from “probable,” to “I like the effort but unlikely,” to “so far-fetched it’s almost creative.” We’ve been spending a lot of time talking about Jon Snow’s real parents, Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, but according to this out-there fan theory, there’s another bastard whose parentage is worth some investigation.
As long as we’ve known him, Gendry has been a bastard of Robert Baratheon and a tavern wench, who died when he was young.
But according to this fan theory, Gendry’s biological mom is *actually* Cersei Lannister.
While it may seem far-fetched — and honestly, probably is — there are a few clues along the way that make it just plausible enough.
Way back in Season 1, as Catelyn Stark sat vigil next to her son Bran, who was in a coma after falling being pushed from a tower by Jaime Lannister in order to cover up his forbidden romance with his sister, she is visited by Cersei. She stands before an inconsolable Cat, and in a seemingly legitimate attempt to empathize with Cat’s agony, the Queen reveals that she lost her first-born son, who apparently looked like Robert Baratheon. Cersei describes him as “a black haired beauty” and “a fighter.”
Sound like anyone we know?
Cersei admits that she never visited the baby’s crypt and had obviously never spoken of the child before. As we all know, her subsequent three children, all of whom survived to reach double digits at least, were fathered by her brother Jaime, and all possessed the fair and gold features of Lannisters. The Queen and Robert had a volatile relationship (to say the least) and this fan theory suggests that she wouldn’t want to raise one of Robert’s legitimate children.
As winteriscoming.net points out, Cersei explains motherhood and, to an extent, her relationship with the King to Sansa in Season 1. While she tells Catelyn that Robert was present during the death of their firstborn, she explains to Sansa that he was never present for the births, saying that he would go hunting and return after the baby’s birth.
The GoT fan website suggests that since she’s a cunning planner, Cersei wouldn’t have found it *too* hard to switch out her healthy baby with a sick one — this is a fantastical theory, after all. Despite admitting to loving Robert for a short time, for most of their relationship, Cersei and the King were at odds, and if Cersei was looking to establish more control in King’s Landing, especially considering how little time Robert spent with his children, having heirs to the throne that weren’t *actually* his isn’t a terrible idea.
Gendry even grew up in King’s Landing — in the poorest slum Flea Bottom — not too far from his biological dad (and mom). Additionally, his apprenticeship with Tobho Mott, a specialty blacksmith, came at a cost, but one that was paid double by unknown nobility — Cersei or one of her proxies, maybe? When asked by Ned Stark about Jon Arryn’s questions about his mother, Gendry tells him, “She died when I was little. She had yellow hair.”
Yellow…or gold, maybe?
After Robert dies, and Joffrey decides to ensure his position on the Iron Throne by ordering all of Robert’s bastards to be slaughtered, Gendry somehow makes it out of King’s Landing alive. He’s led to believe it’s because Mott got sick of him, and as viewers, we believed that the secret noble person (or Mott himself) forced Gendry out of town to save him from the certain death. Since we last checked in with Gendry in Season 7, three seasons after being rescued from certain death by Davos and sent back to King’s Landing to hide in plain sight, he’s completely embraced his Baratheon heritage. He wields a war hammer complete with a stag sigil and admits to being a fighter.
However, there’s *still* one major hole to this theory: Maggy the Frog’s prophecy. Maggy is adamant that Cersei would only have three children and they’d have gold crown and shrouds aka be Jaime’s children. But it’s been pointed out that if Cersei didn’t acknowledge Gendry as her son, and instead claimed her first born died, she would have publicly only had three children survive infancy.
While this theory is pretty out there, it’s also *very* thorough, seeming to have a response for most of the holes. In the HBO series, Gendry is the combination of book Gendry and another of Robert’s bastards, Edric Storm, so it definitely creates enough materials and unanswered questions to seem like a possibility. Cersei’s conversation with Catelyn was the most out of character we’ve seen her, as it *actually* seemed like she was still mourning the loss. So we mostly think the theory is a hardcore read between the lines.
Regardless, it’s clear that Gendry is on the Jon Snow level of “knows nothing.” Hopefully he survives the suicide mission beyond The Wall to learn more about his family.