"Game of Thrones" spoilers time again. And this week, it's a tough one. That's because the most recent episode of "Game of Thrones" season 3 contains the single biggest divergence from the books since the series started.
What's more, the episode was written by George R. R. Martin, the author of the books. So what does the change mean? Is it real? Is it a trick? Read on for our analysis.
Warning: Major "Game of Thrones" Season 3 Spoilers and Possible "The Winds of Winter" Spoilers Follow
The biggest of the "Game of Thrones" season 3 spoilers in the latest episode, which was surprisingly uneventful considering that GRRM scripted it, is the revelation that Talisa, Robb Stark's wife, is pregnant. My jaw dropped to the floor when this scene happened. Because this very emphatically did not happen in "A Storm of Swords." And this is not a relatively idle change, like the consolidation of Edric Storm and Gendry, who needed something to do anyway. This is a dramatic departure from the books -- or, possibly, a major spoiler for something that until now has only been speculation.
A few possibilities exist to explain these "Game of Thrones" season 3 spoilers. Book spoilers start right now. As you know, we are now very close to the Red Wedding and Robb Stark's death. In the books, shortly before his death, he writes a will that announces a new heir to the North in event of misfortune: Jon Snow, whom he legitimizes. If Talisa (the actually more interesting show version of Jeyne Westerling) is pregnant, Robb has no reason to write that will. More importantly, any son of Robb would be heir to Winterfell and the North over any of his siblings (overriding the current order of legitimized Jon, Bran, Rickon, Sansa, Arya, Benjen if living, and nobody).
So where do these "Game of Thrones" season 3 spoilers, with Talisa pregnant, leave us? There are a few possibilities. The most obvious is that, instead of remaining at Riverrun, Talisa will accompany Robb to the Red Wedding and die there along with him. This makes sense because Jeyne Westerling was and remains a loose end in the novels: she has been seen only twice since the Red Wedding, and her description is slightly different each time -- suggesting subterfuge to conceal a possible secret pregnancy, or possible authorial error.
Jeyne Westerling/Talisa, pregnant, has been a theory for ages, well before these "Game of Thrones" season 3 spoilers. Making that pregnancy explicit is a dramatic reveal, if it's true. One way or another, it's safe to say that if Talisa survives the Red Wedding (by not going), it's pretty likely that it means Jeyne Westerling is actually pregnant in the books. And if Talisa dies at the Red Wedding, it means that Jeyne Westerling was not pregnant, and the speculation otherwise was just that.
A change from the books of this magnitude doesn't come down the pipe without GRRM's approval -- especially when he wrote the episode himself.
There's a third possibility to explain the "Game of Thrones" season 3 spoilers of the Talisa pregnancy. That theory is called the Lannister Honeypot. According to this theory, detailed in the following video, Talisa is simply lying about being pregnant. Because she is a Lannister spy. Robb has never been defeated in the field. Tywin knows that, and wanted to defeat him some other way. Having Talisa seduce him into breaking his marriage pact with the Freys is one way to do that.
What do you think? Is Talisa really pregnant? Is the Lannister Honeypot theory right? I personally think it's a bit of a longshot, and that she's going to die in the Red Wedding, and that GRRM put in this plot twist to put to rest speculation about Jeyne Westerling.
Let me know what you think in the comments!