Who Is Azor Ahai? 4 Theories About the Prophesied Savior on ‘Game of Thrones’
Game of Thrones and its source material, George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, are full of weird and vague prophecies, but none is the subject of more theories and speculation than the theory of Azor Ahai.
Also known as The Prince Who Was Promised, the legend of Azor Ahai involves a hero who ended The Long Night, a dark winter lasting generations, by wielding a sword of fire called Lightbringer.
The prophecy says Azor Ahai will return, and the identity of this resurrected messiah is said to be hidden somewhere in the shaky Valyrian translation.
We're pretty sure this prophecy will come to fruition, but who will be revealed as the second coming of Azor Ahai? Here is every possible suspect, along with one we have considered and eliminated.
Early in the series, Melisandre predicted one of Robert Baratheon's brothers would be revealed as the Prince Who Was Promised, and she hitched her wagon to the decidedly not heroic Stannis Baratheon.
There are plenty reasons to knock Stannis out of the running, chief among them the fact that he is super dead. So let's not waste any more time on the Red Priestess's first mistake.
For a long time now, Daenerys has seemed like the character who most matches up with the prophecy.
"When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone," Melisandre's interpretation says.
Now, Mel felt certain that was about Stannis, but it seems pretty clear she was reaching, and she didn't know much about Dany, about whom a lot of this is far more applicable.
Daenerys hatched three dragons from fossilized (aka stone) eggs. She walked through her husband's funeral pyre while a red comet soared in the sky. And salt could refer to her birthplace, the island of Dragonstone.
Now that we know the Valyrian word for "prince" is gender neutral, it seems all the more clear. Maybe too clear.
For those who find it just a little too neat that Dany = Azor Ahai, here is the theory that Jon, her nephew, is the true Prince Who Was Promised.
He was born under a bleeding star, according to the episode that reveals his true parentage.
Steam, not smoke, rose from his wounds when he was stabbed to death in the Mutiny at Castle Black, with a tearful Olly landing the final blow. These could refer to the rebirth from smoke and salt.
Other support for this theory lies in the books — including a dream where Jon wields a flaming sword (maybe Lightbringer?) in battle against the wights.
And there's some possibility Gendry will forge a sword of dragonglass for Jon that could end up being that mythical sword.
This theory is a bit younger and more out there than the others, but let's hear it out. A recent Reddit thread pointed out a few reasons Jaime might fit the bill, starting with his near death by dragon.
Singed by fire and plunged into water as seen in, perhaps Jaime was "reborn" in a way a bit less dramatic than Dany's firewalk or Jon's literal resurrection.
Also, since there always seem to be troubles translating Old Valyrian to the common tongue, the theory suggests the interpretation involving the "Lord of Light" might actually be confusing the words for "lord" and "light" for the similar words meaning "hand" and "gold."
Sort of like the one Jaime's been rocking since his hand was chopped off...
Oh, also, the legend of Azor Ahai involves the hero sacrificing his greatest love. Before he does so, he tries to temper his sword twice — in water and then in the heart of a lion — before tempering it a third time through the heart of his wife, Nissa Nissa.
As this intrepid Redditor points out, Jaime has Widow's Wail, one of two swords created from the melted down Valyrian steel of Ned Stark's longsword, Ice. (The other is Oathkeeper, the blade Brienne of Tarth currently wields).
Ice melted down is water, so that could be the first tempering, whereas the second — the heart of a lion — clearly refers to the death of a Lannister. And here is where the theory Jaime is Azor Ahai conjoins with another theory: that he will ultimately kill Cersei.
Cersei is the closest thing to a wife Jaime has ever had, and as his twin grows more and more like the Mad King every day, it becomes more likely the Kingslayer could live up to that name again, killing Queen Cersei to prevent her from destroying the seven kingdoms.
So, Jaime could kill two forges with one blow if he puts the blade through Cersei's heart.
Who do you think is more likely to end up fulfilling the prophecy of Azor Ahai: Dany, Jon, or Jaime? Or is there another angle we haven't considered?
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.