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Not all fan theories are created equal. Some are brilliant breakthroughs that unlock a whole new understanding of a popular show or movie. Others are ... implausible. That’s okay, because part of being a fan is interacting with what you love! There are bad fan theories, but no bad fan theorists, in other words.
The problem arises when a legitimate entertainment news source spreads around one of these specious theories, milking it for your hard-earned click rather than actually engaging with the theory on its merits and contributing to the discourse. When that happens, SYFY WIRE will let you know which viral fan theories should be dismissed.
Last week was a mixed bag as far as the spread of shoddy fan theories went. The teaser trailer for Game of Thrones’ final season and the first trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home gave fans a lot of new information to chew over, and for the most part, the theories they sparked were worthwhile and deserving of a write-up by a bigger news source. Like, does the lack of dates on Peter Parker’s passport hint that Avengers: Endgame will straight-up undo the events of Infinity War? It’s a distinct possibility, and worth writing about.
However, despite most of the fan theory discourse being grounded, there were still a few theories that didn’t quite merit aggregation — especially when there were so many good theories floating around. One’s a slightly misguided MCU theory, and another is the bane of my personal existence. But, first, here’s a crazy Star Wars theory that got picked up for some reason.
01. Kylo Ren subconsciously created Snoke using the Force
"Before you destroy me over this, this theory is meant as fun fan speculation and nothing more," the Redditor behind this theory writes, which is truly a great attitude — that's exactly what a silly fan theory should be, fun fan speculation. The problem is with the site that decided to aggregate the theory as news.
The theory posits that Kylo Ren is so powerful in the ways of the Force that he subconsciously manifested Supreme Leader Snoke. While there are some neat aspects of this theory — like the idea that Snoke's derivative nature is a feature, not a bug, since Kylo looked up to Darth Vader and Palpatine and might've unwittingly shaped Snoke in their image — it's asking a little too much.
Kylo Ren manifesting Snoke would certainly be a major step up from Darth Plagueis' much more subtle ability to create life or Anakin Skywalker's possible Palpatine-induced "virgin" birth, but even if we assume Kylo has access to a new Force power, then what? How did Kylo's subconscious know what was needed to build the First Order? How did he have the resources?
Perhaps most importantly — what would Episode IX do with this information? Snoke's sudden death in The Last Jedi was as divisive as Kylo's lightsaber, but it put a shocking end to the Supreme Leader. From a narrative perspective, is it worth it for Star Wars to go back and squeeze plot twists out of Snoke corpse? That's hardly letting the past die.
02. Thanos' snap divided the MCU into two universes that will never be reunited again
There have been all sorts of theories about what, exactly, Thanos' snap in Infinity War did. There have also been plenty of theories about how it will be undone in Endgame. Many have guessed that, rather than kill all the heroes that turned to dust at the end of Infinity War, Thanos sent them to a different parallel dimension. This theory, one which was picked up by at least one big entertainment news site, takes this idea and runs with it in a way that goes counter to everything Marvel has done with its cinematic universe so far.
While noting that every character who appears in the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer was either dusted in Infinity War or had their fate unknown, this Redditor posits that they were all sent to a separate dimension. Nothing too crazy so far. Where things get wild, though, is that they suggest that the two dimensions do not recombine by Endgame's conclusion, though they are aware of one another. This would mean that the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe from this point on would actually be the Marvel Cinematic Universes.
The whole brilliant concept of the MCU was that it brought its heroes together — a series of solo films that bled into The Avengers. The allure of the MCU, the thing that makes its relative complicatedness easy enough for the average moviegoer to follow is that the movies are all part of the same story. To now suddenly make it so casual fans need to keep track if Doctor Strange 2 takes place in Marvel Cinematic Universe A or Marvel Cinematic Universe B would be terrible for Marvel.
Also, this would mean that Rocket and Groot would be forever separated. The future of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is somewhat in flux, but Marvel isn't gonna let these two be separated forever.
03. Bran is the Night King, I am in hell
This is an old fan theory. It's also one of the most popular fan theories. It is also a terrible fan theory, one that refuses to die, rising from the grave periodically with each new, twisted piece of misguided "evidence." It is my nemesis.
Anyway, the "Bran is the Night King" crowd got some new wind in their sails because of the new Game of Thrones teaser, which showed Jon Snow, Sansa, and Arya walking into the Winterfell crypts. Bran isn't there, but there is frost, ergo Bran is secretly in the trailer because Bran is the Night King.
If you're an adherent to the "Bran is the Night King" theory, there's probably nothing that can be said that will dissuade you from the belief at this point. But let's examine why Bran could've been missing from that trailer. He's a much less popular character than Jon, Sansa, or Arya, to start. Heck, HBO just didn't have him in the show for an entire season, it's not too crazy to think they wouldn’t want to over-complicate a trailer by wheeling him into Winterfell's crypts along with his siblings.
As for the frost? Remember the first Season 8 teaser? Well, a bunch of frost took over the carved Westeros-shaped table that sits in Dragonstone. There weren't any characters in that teaser, but that doesn't mean they're the Night King.
This is all folly, though. The only way the "Bran is the Night King" theory will be put to bed is when the show ends without confirming it (either that or I'm going to have to eat a lot of s***). But, c'mon. The biggest mystery throughout the entire show — the mystery that got David Benioff and D.D. Weiss their job as Game of Thrones' showrunners — was "who is Jon Snow, really?"
There were clues throughout, and it was a mystery decades in the making that was only fully revealed in the penultimate season. What kind of storytelling would it be to one-up the central, identity-based twist of the show with another one involving some really contrived time travel in the same final stretch of episodes where they need to resolve that first identity-based twist?
Bad storytelling. It would be bad storytelling.