Welcome to The Week in Fan Theories, your guide to what fan theories are taking the internet by storm!
With so many fan theories floating around the web, it can be hard to know which ones to take seriously and which ones are wildly off the mark. Some theories are brilliant breakthroughs that reveal a whole new understanding of what a work of fiction means, or they're spot-on predictions about what's going to happen in the next installment. Others are deeply flawed theories that nevertheless get traction on news sites.
In this week’s installment, we return to the Game of Thrones well for a post-game theory about Grey Worm, an officially debunked Star Wars theory, and two MCU theories (one of which is really more of a clever joke). Let’s get the party started.
GREY WORM WILL BE MURDERED BY BUTTERFLIES
All things considered, there weren’t that many major deaths in the series finale of Game of Thrones (pour some out for Daenerys Targaryen). However, one theory that’s been making the rounds suggests that another major character is almost certainly sailing off to their doom — and it’s not Arya.
Grey Worm ends the series by preparing to sail to the Island of Naath, fulfilling a promise he made to Missandei before her execution that he would protect the people of the island. The thing is, while the beaches of Naath might be wonderful, Missandei neglected to tell Grey Worm about the flesh-rotting butterflies.
In The World of Ice and Fire, an encyclopedia about the world of the George R.R. Martin books on which the show is based, it’s revealed that Naath is home to a species of large butterfly that carries a disease that “makes the flesh literally slough off of a man’s bones," also noting that the Naathi themselves are immune to it. This is why Naath has never technically been conquered, although slavers (like the ones who captured Missandei when she was little) were able to briefly visit the island at night to avoid infection. If Grey Worm and his fellow unsullied, who do not share the Naathi’s immunity to “butterfly fever,” plan on staying there, chances are they’re not long for this world.
Now, there’s nothing explicitly in the TV series confirming that Naath is a deadly butterfly garden, so it’s possible the show version of Naath is not a death trap. And, since the series is over, Grey Worm’s canon fate is unknown. If you prefer to think that he’s going to face death-by-butterfly, that's a-okay.
HAN SOLO IS, AND I CAN’T STRESS THIS ENOUGH, NOT REY’S FATHER
One of the boldest things Star Wars: The Last Jedi did was seemingly confirm that Rey’s parents don’t matter. Still, many fans don’t love the idea of Rey being a rando, and they would rather her parents be some familiar or important figures in Star Wars lore. A theory that Han Solo fathered Rey while having an affair during the time Leia was training with Luke following Star Wars: Return of the Jedi started making waves on the Star Wars web. Pablo Hidalgo, a creative executive for Lucasfilm, debunked this rumor on Twitter.
“That doesn’t fit with the timeline,” he wrote. “Han and Leia were together up until about 5 years before [The Force Awakens] when it all went to hell, and Rey is 19.
As Hidalgo notes, Rey’s age would mean that Han cheated on Leia a long time ago, which seems like a wild character twist, especially one that the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker would have to reveal without being able to include either Han or Leia, since Han is dead and Carrie Fisher is no longer with us.
THE AGE OF ULTRON ISN’T OVER?
This fan theory, which apparently merited aggregation despite having only 20 upvotes on Reddit, suggests that the MCU hasn’t seen the last of James Spader’s villainous robot, Ultron. Perhaps, the theory posits, Phase 4 of the MCU will be based on a 2007 comic miniseries that itself was a sequel to a 2006 comic miniseries. In Annihilation: Conquest, Ultron takes control of a hive-mind species of cybernetic beings named the Phalanx and launches a war to exterminate life.
Maybe Ultron survived by uploading himself into the Quinjet the Hulk took to Sakar, and he’s slowly been building an army in space? The theorist notes that if Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 introduces Adam Warlock, the supposed “perfect” organic being, there would be some neat symmetry to bring back Ultron, the “perfect” inorganic being.
The issue with this theory is that it’s wild, baseless speculation. Could Marvel bring back the villain from the least-popular Avengers movie? Sure. Is there any reason to think Marvel's going to revisit Ultron instead of introducing any of the hundreds of new characters and villains the comics have in store? Nope.
DEADPOOL IS A GAMER
Finally, we’ll end with a theory that isn’t so much an earnest prediction as it is a fun idea. Should Deadpool ever become part of the MCU — a tall order, since his trademark R-rated antics aren’t exactly fitting with the MCU’s extremely PG-13 vibes — this theory offers up a fun way to reveal that the Merc With a Mouth had been there all along.
“Introduce him playing Fortnite under the username NoobMaster69,” one Twitter user wrote, suggesting that Deadpool could end up being the Fortnite player who taunted Korg in Avengers: Endgame. Thor threatened to rip off NoobMaster69’s arms and shove them up his butt, which would actually be an injury that Deadpool could fully recover from, given his regenerative powers.
Marvel has done these retroactive cameos before, like the decision to make Peter Parker’s “first” appearance in Iron Man 2 canon. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch, should the studio solve the tricky problem of integrating Deadpool into the MCU in the first place, to make his gamer handle be NoobMaster69.
Although… Thor does tell NoobMaster69 to “go cry to your father, you little weasel,” indicating that the God of Thunder is threatening a child. The MCU’s version of Deadpool probably isn’t a child playing games in his father’s basement. Nevermind, this theory is bogus.