With Pokemon Sword and Shield's Crown Tundra DLC still several months away, trainers are already speculating as to what surprises Game Freak may have in store for the second expansion pack.
Over the numerous generations of Pokemon, new evolutions of existing species and alternative forms have been added to the games. The Alola region introduced Alolan forms of Pokemon such as Diglett, Geodude and Grimer.
This phenomenon was seen for the second time in the Galar region with new Galarian forms, with examples including the popular Galarian Ponyta. We already know that the legendary Kanto birds - Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres - will be returning in Galarian form as part of the Crown Tundra expansion.
So, could there be more surprises?
Dragonite in The Crown Tundra?
One fan theory suggests there is. Ever since the very first Pokemon games Dragonite has been curiously left untouched. So, is a reboot of sorts overdue for the iconic Kantonian?
If it does return, given the theme of the Crown Tundra, a dragon and ice-type seems most likely. It could look similar to the concept image below - after all it would have made sense if Dragonite looked like this all along!
Not touched since Gen 1
The Dratini line is among the more popular throughout the entire series of Pokemon. Other popular lines such as the Kanto starters, Pikachu, Mewtwo, Larvitar, etc have all had some form of change over the generations.
New regional forms, mega evolutions and most recently Gigantamax forms have provided ample opportunity for older Pokemon to be given a fresh coat of paint. Yet, Dragonite has remained the same. This at the very least suggests it is overdue to be brought back in the spotlight.
Crown Tundra lore
While we may not know a lot about The Crown Tundra DLC, we do know it will have a focus on past legendary Pokemon. It also has an official theme of exploration.
The Redditor who posted the theory, Ch1ld1shOne, also says: "The person you’re exploring under appearing to be Raihan’s dad (who is probably out there looking for a rare dragon)." Rare dragon, Dragonite?
The poster goes on to add to their theory: "The setting for this specific expansion as an icy tundra and Raihan is a dragon trainer whose team focuses on weather conditions (no present dragon who utilizes hail)."
This could of course be circumstantial but the points do add up. It's certainly understandable why this theory has gained some traction.
Ash catches Dragonite
Elsewhere, in the Pokemon anime, Ash finally caught a Dragonite. Historically connections between the anime and game have been few and far between but it does seem a little coincidental.
It might have taken 23 series and 10 episodes but the most famous Pokemon trainer finally managed to do it. The other Pokemon in his team are Pikachu (of course) and Mr. Mime, which also has a Galarian form. Again, it could be coincidence but is also noteworthy.
Perhaps the most interesting point of all is that Dragonite hasn't been mentioned, even at all. Images of nearly every legendary Pokemon were included in the Pokemon Sword and Shield expansion pass trailer.
On top of that all the pseudo-legenedary Pokemon are currently in the game or have been confirmed to be added in the expansions.
This theory could prove to be nothing more than that. However, there are many too many points here to simply ignore.
We'll find out when the Pokemon Sword and Shield Crown Tundra DLC is released in the fall of 2020.