What if I told you that one of the most shocking and upsetting moments in the entirety of Game of Thrones may have actually been a trick? That Ned Stark is still alive and kicking in Westeros? That Sean Bean actually didn't die for once!?
It sounds crazy, but so does almost everything in this show, and one fan theory makes a surprisingly convincing case for Ned Stark still being alive. That's right — there's totally a chance that we could see a very much alive Ned Stark surprising everyone by popping up in Season 7 or 8!
There are actually two theories that have been floating around the fandom that offer explanations for Ned Stark possible surviving his own public beheading, as summarized by the YouTube account The Last Harpy.
The first theory, which is less convincing, points to the birds we see flying away from King's Landing during Ned's execution scene and his inaudible muttering before the beheading. Since we know warging ability runs in the Stark blood, some fans have theorized that Ned could have warged into one of the birds and escaped.
The problem with that theory is that it means Ned is either a secret master of warging with unheard of abilities, or he's stuck as a random bird for the rest of his life.
The more likely theory is Ned Stark got some help from Jaqen H'ghar to fool everyone into thinking he was executed, when he actually escaped. This theory puts forth the idea that Ned met Jaqen while being held in the Black Cells before his death, and the Faceless Man used his ability to switch places with Ned.
Yep — that means that the Jaqen who winds up training Arya would actually be her own father in disguise the whole time! Fans point out the fact that Jaqen is uncharacteristically paternal towards Arya as further evidence of this theory.
Check out the full Ned Stark theory video below:
So what do you think — could we discover that Jaqen H'ghar has secretly been Ned Stark this whole time when Season 7 premieres on July 16? Or is it all just the wishful thinking of fans who don't think Ned deserved such an early death?