Sunday, August 30, 2015

What is the Great Northern Conspiracy?

As we all eagerly await Season 6 of Game of Thrones, those of you who have read the books may be wondering: What is the Great Northern Conspiracy?

Considering the  Season 5 finale, you may be surprised that -- like so many other fan theories -- the Great Northern Conspiracy revolves around Jon Snow.
Jon Snow. Image: HBO

The theory holds that sometime before the Red Wedding, Robb Stark drafted a will, in which he legitimized Jon Snow and named him heir to Winterfell and the North. However, because of the tension between Houses Stark, Lannister, Bolton, and Baratheon, many people don't know about this specific detail of Robb's death. In fact, it doesn't seem like Jon even knows.
Roose Bolton killing Robb Stark. Image: HBO

The North is crawling with Boltons (named the "true" Wardens of the North after Robb's death and the fall of House Stark) and Baratheons as Stannis seeks to pull Northern Houses into his battle for the Iron Throne. So where is the "conspiracy" in all of this random action? The key lies with the great houses of the North.

See, people who follow the Great Northern Conspiracy believe that the northerners know about Robb making Jon Snow a legitimate Stark and heir to Winterfell. In an effort to bring House Stark back into power, the great houses of the North are putting events in play that will ensure Robb's will plays out: Jon Stark will become King of the North.

Greatjon Umber, a key player in the Great Northern Conspiracy. Image: HBO.

But what about the Boltons and Baratheons? you may ask. In both the television show and the books, the northern houses have divided and thrown in with either Roose Bolton or Stannis Baratheon: Some of the Umbers, the Dustins, and the Manderlys are with Bolton, and the rest of the Umbers, the Mormonts, the Glovers, and some of the rogue mountainous clans are with Baratheon.

The northerners are slowly working to turn the Boltons against the Baratheons, hoping to weaken both sides to the point that the North can sweep them both aside and reinstate a Stark (the newly-legitimized Jon Stark, specifically) as the King in the North.

What do you think about the Great Northern Conspiracy?

Will it come to fruition, or is Jon Stark really dead?

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