‘House of the Dragon’ Fans Think the Troubling ‘Game of Thrones’ Mystery Has Been Solved


Dragon House shipped game of thrones fandom in a tizzy after referencing an infamous mystery from the show and A song of ice and fire books in this weekend’s episode. The mystery is commonly referred to as “Lemongate” online, and it’s a point of contention among fan theorists. Whereas Dragon House may not have provided an answer, many fans seem convinced he at least acknowledged the existence of “Lemongate” in Season 1 Episode 5, “We Light the Way.”

Succinctly summarizing “Lemongate” will be a disappointment to forum users all over the Internet, so if you’re interested, be sure to search more info elsewhere. To put it simply, it refers to the observation that lemon trees should not be able to grow in the climate of Braavos. However, in the first book in the series by George RR Martin, A game of thrones, Daenerys Targaryen looks back on her earliest childhood memories, which include a house with a red door and a lemon tree outside her window. Dany believed this house was in Braavos, so the presence of a lemon tree there spawned all sorts of fan theories.

Over the past two decades, “Lemongate” has spawned some of the most compelling and outlandish fan theories anywhere. ASoIaF fandom. Some fans have extrapolated that Dany was lied to about being in Braavos, others think she simply misremembers her early years. Down the rabbit hole you’ll find theories that Daenerys is actually the secret child of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, or that she’s the daughter of Ashara Dayne and grew up in Dorne.

Of course, many fans buy into some variations of the simpler explanations – first, Martin may have made mistakes and written inconsistencies in his books, especially in the early stages. Second, the defining characteristic of this fictional world is its magically altered climate. It may just be a function of extended seasons which we don’t yet understand.

Still, fans are often dying for Martin or anyone else with insight into the making of the books to comment on Lemongate, and they may have finally gotten it on Sunday. A scene between Larys Strong (Matthew Needham) and Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) seemed to feature heavy references to this mystery for those watching. It starts at around 11 minutes and 42 seconds on HBO Max and takes place in the Godswood of King’s Landing.

“An outsider among the natives,” thinks Larys to start the conversation. It outwardly references a flowering plant called Malvales, but also seems to be talking about Alice herself in code. He says the Malvales are “natives of Braavos” and they “should not thrive” in King’s Landing. It may also allude to the fact that Alicent has found a unique place at the royal court and is “thriving” against all odds.

The reference to a rare Braavos plant surviving outside of its climate no doubt made some die-hard fans prick up their ears, and if they took a closer look at this scene, they were rewarded. A painted wall behind Larys clearly shows two lemon trees with fruit on their branches. Many took to social media, thinking that if nothing else, the show’s producers were at least referencing Lemongate for their benefit.

Whether you can draw conclusions from this reference is an entirely different matter. Martin said that his last two books will have a different ending than the game of thrones TV show, but it’s hard to imagine it will be so different that Dany has secret parents. On the other hand, some fans believe that the more different the ending of the books is from the series, the better.

Martin continues his work on the next book in the series, The Winds of Winter, and promises its release soon. He does not have commented on theories like “Lemongate” for some time. For the moment, Dragon House airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.

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Raymond I. Langston