Ohhhh, Gendry. He’s had a pretty rough life on Game of Thrones thus far—although, much better off than Theon, Jon Snow, Sansa Stark…OK, so maybe he just had to row a boat for a little too long on his own.
We first met Gendry (played by Joe Dempsie) in season one. He’s the *supposed* bastard of Robert Baratheon and escapes Cersei’s massacre of Robert’s other bastard children at King’s Landing before making his way north to join the Night’s Watch. He never makes it there though, and is instead traded to Tywin Lannister, then to the Brotherhood without Banners, and then to Stannis Baratheon (where he was seduced and then covered in leeches for a weird blood sacrifice ritual, under the orders of Melisandre).
He then escapes his uncle (or so we think…) Stannis, who wants him killed under the direction of Melisandre, in a rowboat with the help of Ser Davos, and rows back to King’s Landing to work at his blacksmith shop once again. Ser Davos seeks him out, though, and recruits him to join Jon Snow’s company to visit Daenerys at Dragonstone. He does, and ends up going North of the Wall on Jon’s mission to bring back a wight. He’s one of the lucky ones to make it back and is likely going to end up working at Winterfell to forge weapons to fight the Army of the Dead in the final season.
But here’s the question: Is he really a Baratheon? If so, it would make Gendry the last living descendent of House Baratheon, officially or unofficially (since all of Cersei and Robert’s “children”—which were Jaime’s children born from incest anyway—are dead). Stannis is dead, Renly is dead, his father Robert is dead. Even Shireen, Stannis’s daughter, is dead (R.I.P., and we can’t say that enough…).
So it’s Gendry and his hammer carrying the last Baratheon sigil that make his character so important. But one theory could blow this whole season of Game of Thrones wide open:
That Gendry is actually a Targaryen. (There’s another theory that Gendry is the true son of Cersei and Robert Baratheon, but we’re going to sidestep that one for now).
In George R. R. Martin’s Fire and Blood, the book he just released that offers an in-depth history of House Targaryen, a revelation is made: House Baratheon actually has some Targaryen blood, because the founder of House Baratheon, Orys, was actually a “baseborn half-brother to Lord Aegon, it was whispered.” If Gendry has Targaryen blood, could he be another dragon rider? It’s definitely possible.
There’s also a character in Fire and Blood whom a prophecy was made about that sounds a lot like Gendry: The prophecy is about Hugh the Hammer, who rode a dragon and was a Baratheon bastard. “And talk was heard in camp of a prophecy of ancient days that said, ‘When the hammer shall fall upon the dragon, a new king shall arise, and none shall stand before him.’”
We know our boy George LOVES prophecies, so it’s probably going to play into the show at some point (because it hasn’t yet).
What this could possibly mean is that Gendry, who has Targaryen blood, will forge a dragonglass hammer to help kill White Walkers, but will end up having to kill a white walker dragon with his hammer too. (Yup, look out Viserion.)
Then, when the hammer falls upon the dragon, a new king shall rise. When Gendry’s dragonglass hammer falls upon Viserion, a new king will rise in Westeros. Who that king will be is yet to be seen in the flames…
In the meantime, take Davos’s advice and just keep rowin’, you guys.