The internet recently flooded with spoilers for George R.R. Martin's latest tome, A Dance With Dragons. Some of these were dead-on accurate, like a dwarf with a crossbow. And some of them... weren't.
The internet being what it is, there were tons of incorrect, misleading and downright ludicrous spoilers for A Dance With Dragons. Here are our favorites. No spoilers below — except fake ones!
Fan art by Christine M. Griffin.
We will refer in passing to stuff that happened in books one through four, however. So be warned if you haven't read the first four books. Also, please do not post actual Dance With Dragons spoilers in the comments — this post is only for fake spoilers.
We promise none of this stuff actually happens in A Song of Ice and Fire book five:
Roose Bolton kills Walder Frey We wish. If you had to name two major characters in these books that everybody loathes, it would be the leech-crazy Lord Roose Bolton and the treacherous Lord Walder Frey. (Although actually, Roose Bolton's bastard son Ramsay might be up there as well.) One spoiler from a message-board poster who swore he'd read the new book claimed that A Dance With Dragons ends just a short time after the Red Wedding. (Even with Martin's byzantine chronology, that's a hard one to get our heads around.) And it ends with Roose Bolton murdering Walder Frey. Why? Maybe because Fat Walda (Roose's wife) told him to. We're not sure.
Bran is forced to kill Hodor, after Hodor tries to rape Meera. Okay, really? I mean, I know that George R.R. Martin's books are violent, bleak and full of rape — but Hodor? The dialogue in that scene would have been pretty memorable, though. Hodor would have probably shouted something like "Hodor" as he attempted to assault Meera, and then when Bran caught Hodor in the act, he might have tried to explain his unforgiveable actions by saying something along the lines of "Hodor." But what would Hodor's final words have been? We'll never know.
Theon Greyjoy joins the Night's Watch. This one would have been interesting, given that Jon Snow and Theon Greyjoy haven't seen each other since the start of book one, and since then Theon has done rather a lot of bad things. But Jon would presumably be bound to honor the principle that all your sins are washed away once you take the black. According to one version of this rumor, Theon winds up killing Lord Snow. I like it not.
Howland Reed kicks some butt! Howland Reed to the rescue! We've been waiting four books for Howland Reed to swoop down and bust some heads, like the badass he is. Who is Howland Reed? He's the lord of the Crannogmen, and father of Jojen and Meera. He was one of Ned Stark's best friends, who fought alongside him in Robert's Rebellion and saved his life once. Some speculate he was the mysterious masked knight who won every joust in a tourney, back in the day. He may be the only one who knows the truth of Jon Snow's parentage. There were a lot of fake spoilers suggesting that the Others attack the Wall, and Howland Reed shows up at the last minute to save the day.
In one version of this fake spoiler, Howland Reed is occupying the dead body of Ser Arthur Dayne, a knight of the Kingsguard who played a role in the death of Ned Stark's sister. In another version, Howland is fighting alongside Gendry, the blacksmith and bastard son of King Robert. Anyway, you'll just have to imagine Howland Reed's valiant ride to glory, since it's not in the book. Sorry.
Meera and Jojen are killed! Not only did people claim that Howland Reed single-handedly goes to the rescue and defeats the Others, there were also lots of rumors that his kids get killed while they accompany Bran. Poor Meera and Jojen, they just can't win.
Melisandre is actually working for the Others, and she melts the Wall. Why would the red witch Melisandre be working for the Others, when she's spent all this time talking about how she believes King Stannis is Azhor Ahai reborn, come to save humanity from their threat? Why would she have waited a whole book and a half to melt the Wall, if that's why she came North? And what exactly are the Others paying her in? Even if people want a reason to hate Melisandre, this one made no sense.
Quentyn Martell gets engaged to marry Daenerys. The Prince of Dorne has been missing for a while, but we found out in one of the previous books that he was on a secret mission to find Daenerys and her dragons. And according to one fake spoiler, he gets to Daenerys and she immediately agrees to marry him. And the two of them set up together as dragon tamers, working together to train her dragons and get them fighting fit.
Fake Arya comes to the Wall. Those of you who read the first four books know that there's a fake Arya Stark, who is being used as a pawn in the Game of Thrones. And people who swore they had read A Dance With Dragons were absolutely certain that Fake Arya meets Jon Snow early on in the book, presumably because she visits the Wall for some reason. And Jon, of course, realizes that she's a fake and exposes the whole scheme.
Tyrion is really a Targaryen! You didn't see that one coming, did you? According to tipsters, in Dance With Dragons, it's revealed that Tywin Lannister was not really Tyrion's father — and that might be why Tywin hated Tyrion so much. Instead, Aerys Targaryen, the Mad King, fathered Tyrion with Joanna Lannister (in one version, Aerys raped Joanna.) And that's why Tyrion's eyes are mismatched — one of them is a Targeryen eye, the other is Lannister-ish. Not only that, but other rumors claim Aurane Waters, the Bastard of Driftmark and the Master of Ships under Queen Cersei, gets revealed to be secretly a lost Targaryen Prince. (Despite being the wrong age.)
Thanks to Elio and Adam for your help with this!