Half the fun of watching Game Of Thrones and now House Of The Dragon is theorizing where the show might be going. Whether they’ve read the books or not, I think most fans are doing some level of speculating. What this story is about, however, goes way beyond any normal levels of speculating. As Game Of Thrones theories go, this one is an unhinged, deep cut conspiracy. This story is about Lemongate and how House Of The Dragon seems to have acknowledged it or at least winked at it.
I don’t have nearly enough words or enough knowledge to give you the full backstory on Lemongate, but I will do my best to summarize. Daenerys Targaryen claims, after her family fled from Westeros, that she grew up in Braavos and had a lemon tree in her front yard. Lemons, however, are repeatedly said to come from Dorne in the books, and some of her other earliest memories of childhood, especially about the climate, don’t seem to match Braavos. As such, some book readers speculate she did not actually grow up in Braavos, and some even take it a step further and say her parents aren’t who we think.
If you want to fall down a rabbit hole, you can explore Lemongate in this pretty extensive Reddit thread. The evidence is actually a little more compelling than you’d probably suspect, though I’m not on board enough to tell people I actually believe it. Instead, I’d put it more in the hmmmmmmmmm file.
Anyway, this theory hasn’t gotten a ton of attention over the last few years, at least until last week’s House Of The Dragon episode when we got to see a very interesting conversation between Lady Alicent Hightower and Larys Strong, the son of the new Hand Of The King. The A-plot of the conversation is Larys talking about Rhaenyra getting Plan B from the Maester, but at the beginning, he talks about a plant called Malvales and how he it’s indigenous to Braavos but inexplicably thrives in King’s Landing. While he’s talking, there just so happens to be a large mural of a lemon tree behind him.
Now, he’s clearly talking about Alicent during the conversation. She’s the plant that inexplicably thrives in King’s Landing, despite being so far from home, but it’s not surprising that many Game Of Thrones fans are also seeing a deeper connection to Lemongate, given the background and the conversation about plants growing outside their natural environment.
Of course, even if the showrunners confirm this is a reference to Lemongate, it provides no answers to any questions about Daenerys’ childhood. It could mean a lemon tree grew in her front yard because plants grow in weird places and we should all shut up about it. Or it could be a hat tip that people are onto something and maybe we’ll get more answers someday. I really have no idea what was intended or if it was intended at all. So, I guess I’ll just keep speculating.
Few shows in television history have ever generated as much analyzing, theorizing and speculating as Game Of Thrones. Chatter around the fantasy epic was noisy when it first premiered, but by the time the show passed up the books its last few seasons, all the conversation was overwhelming. That has carried into House Of The Dragon with huge numbers watching, most of whom are actively guessing where things are going, or in this case, digging into conspiracy theories.
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