All that rowing seems to have paid off for Gendry — and we don’t just mean because of his beefy upper body muscles.
The actor behind the blacksmith-turned-magic-king-blooded-bastard Joe Dempsie confirmed in an interview with Digital Spy that he’ll have a bigger role to play in the final season of Game of Thrones. Most tantalizingly, he said Gendry will be there at the final climax (though that doesn’t mean he’ll survive it).
That could mean a lot of different and hugely important things for the final plot of Game of Thrones, Season 8, according to many theorists.
Dempsie was obviously tight-lipped about the circumstances, but said he’d been filming “a fair bit,” and that shooting extended “well out of it this year, for sure.” Then, he dropped the big bomb:
For me personally, the only real hope I had for the character was just that he would be there when the reckoning came. You got the sense – even back in season 3 – that this was a show that was building towards some incredible climax, so you just wanted to be there when it all happened… Not even necessarily just from a character point-of-view, [but] from a personal point of view – to be stood there on the set when they’re making that ending… that end game.
What could Gendry’s presence at the end mean? Well, let’s put on our Game of Thrones tin foil conspiracy hats, and get into the most popular theories about why Gendry is an important player.
1. Gendry’s mom could actually be Cersei
This one has been going around for a while, and it only gained traction in Season 7.
Like a certain other bastard with plot-twisting parentage, the identity of Gendry’s mother has always been a mystery. There are a few key clues sprinkled throughout, though, which lead redditor to an eye-opening conclusion:
This Season 8 reveal would be the perfect way to solve the Cersei problem from last season, while staying true to her character. A reunion with her long-lost child (and, technically, one of the best claims to the throne after Jon) would give Cersei a reason to fight alongside everyone else to defend Westeros against the White Walkers.
And here’s one question you probably never thought to ask: Isn’t it suspicious that Gendry was “sent away” by his master for no reason, then sentenced to the Wall only like a day before Cersei purged King’s Landing of Baratheon bastards?
There’s lots of other evidence for this one, which you can check out in this Winter is Coming post.
2. Gendry will forge the weapons to defeat the Army of the Dead
As we all know, only one thing can kill White Walkers: Valyrian steel. And you know what’s funny? Gendry’s blacksmith master, Tohbo Mott, is specifically mentioned in both the show and book as one of the last remaining people on the planet skilled enough to reforge Valyrian steel.
In fact, that’s how Season 4 starts: with Mott breaking Ned Stark’s Ice down into two swords (which later become Oathkeeper and Widow’s Wail) on Tywin Lannister’s orders. Valar_Morghulis7 even resurfaced a familiarly vague and leading response from George R. R. Martin about whether Mott ever taught Gendry this skill:
Now, forging new Valyrian still is very different from reworking it. Still, it’s clear Gendry’s apprentice had some special knowledge about how the mysterious metal works.
But there’s more. Eagle-eyed fans noticed that in a lingering shot of a book Sam was reading in Oldtown, it mentions that, “eastern tales tell of how their dragons would thaw the stone with dragonflame until it became molten and malleable.”
That’s a huge damn deal! Because this means that the reason why no one could create more Valyrian steel was because a) No one had enough dragonglass, and b) The dragons were hone. But now Daenerys is sitting on a pile of it, along with two dragons. And Gendry likely has the blacksmithing knowledge.
Which means: Hello Valyrian-wielding human army!
Relatedly, he could also forge the legendary flaming sword of Azor Ahai (AKA the Prince/Princess Who Was Promised), Lightbringer, which will once again banish darkness from the realm. But the details for that are much too complicated and book-heavy to get into here.
3. He marries Arya
We’re sailing this ship so hard. You might even say we’re rowing it to shore as fast as we possibly can.
So basically, this theory relies on a couple hard pieces of evidence from the lore and books, but also the undeniably adorable relationship established between Gendry (the stag) and Arya (the she-wolf).
Here it is in full:
The TL; DR of it is that: Gendry is the only Baratheon left to continue his line. And Jon Snow (or, as we learned in Season 7, Aegon Targaryen) will mirror the story of Aegon the Conquerer — who made peace with the son of the man who killed his own father (for Jon, that’s actually Robert Baratheon, who killed Rhaegar Targaryen).
What’s the best way to forge a bond with Gendry, rebuild House Baratheon, and also ensure his beloved sister Arya marries a good man that she likes?
Oh hell yeah. Garya all the way.