Spoilers for Game of Thrones, season 7 below.
Everyone from Jon to Stannis to Dany to Moonboy has been floated as the possible fulfillment for the notorious "Azor Ahai" prophecy, the age-old foretelling that a "prince/ss that was promised" will return to Westeros, essentially, to defeat the White Walkers forever.
The prophecy is unbelievably complex, but these are the main points that the coming savior must hit in order to satisfy the foretelling. Via Westeros.org:
- After a long summer, when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world
- Variant: When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers
- He shall be born again amidst smoke and salt
- He shall wake dragons out of stone
- He shall draw from the fire a burning sword, Lightbringer
At first glance, the most obvious choices to fulfill this prophecy are Jon and Dany. But even Rhaegar Targaryen, Jon Snow's real father, was once thought to satisfy it. Rhaegar even believed himself to be Azor Ahai—for a while—before shifting the burden in his own mind to his children.
But now a new theory's tearing up Reddit's must-read r/Asoiaf community, and it brings the theory right back to Rheagar... with a twist.
Here's the theory that dominated the forum even as Sunday night's episode was still fresh for discussion.
Azor Ahai, the prince that was promised, is Rhaegar Targaryn.
That's kind of lame, since he even thought he himself was The One, but then after a while, he began to think his son was the prince that was promised. Remember that Rhaegar was born at Summerhall on the same day as when it burned down, meaning he was born amidst salt and smoke.
Well, if Rhaegar is Azor Ahai, then that could mean Jon Snow is Lightbringer. Think about it. The original Azor Ahai finally tempered the sword that defeated the darkness by driving it into the heart of his lover Nissa Nissa, killing her.
Rhaegar put Jon Snow (Lightbringer) into Lyanna, and when he was born, it killed her.
Nissa Nissa died with a cry of anguish and ecstasy, much like Lyanna might have when birthing her only son, but knowing she would perish shortly thereafter.
Now, Jon is the guy who has already been fighting the Others, and he is now in cahoots with Dany to hopefully bring her dragons (dragon fire = light) to fight the wights.
Summerhall is a very mysterious topic in the books and this is probably because it holds a great secret that's too revealing to the overall story.
So, to me, that's just more fuel in the fire for this theory.
The Azor Ahai theory, in large part, pulls from mythical events that already happened. Azor Ahai, during the last period of "darkness," forged an incredible weapon. He did so by "driving his sword into" the breast of his lover, Nissa Nissa, killing her and combining her soul with its steel. (You can read more about the sword, here.)
So, according to this kinda phallic theory, Rhaegar Targaryen was the Prince That Was Promised—but his son Jon Snow is his sword. In impregnating Jon's mother, who would die in childbirth, he kills her and binds her soul with his ultimate weapon—Jon himself.
As the theory blew up on Reddit, the author added a few clarifying edits based on the comments. If you haven't already reached your nerdy Thrones quota for the day, I highly recommend you check it out:
1. Jon is already described as a sword - "I am the SWORD in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the FIRE that burns against the cold, the LIGHT that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. "
2. "The dragon has 3 heads" - Jon is Rhaegar's third child. This further aligns with the ancient Azor Ahai story where he tempered the sword perfectly on the third try when killing Nissa Nissa. Ergo, Rhaegar's third kid killed the love of his life as well.
3. Born amongst salt and smoke - Rhaegar was born at Summerhall on the same day it burned to the ground (fire = smoke). The kingdom lost the current king at the time, a prince, and the captain of the Kingsguard (King Aegon V, prince Duncan, Duncan the Tall). These deaths would certainly lead to many tears (tears are salty). Also, recall that once he was older, Rhaegar wrote sad songs that made the maidens cry.
4. Several have been adamant that Lightbringer has to be a sword, which I get it, it's what you'd think since the story is about a sword. But isn't that too simple and cookie cutter for GRRM? If Rhaegar is the PtwP, then Jon being Lightbringer has to be the twist that satisfies, yet keeps the mystery from being guessed a mile away.
5. Just as Lightbringer was a flaming sword, Jon is a reanimated human powered by the fires of the Lord of Light. He is most certainly hot to the touch like Mel (not confirmed).
Are you confused? Well, imagine how Jon will feel when he finds out he's the mythical sword Lightbringer. Hopefully Dany's into it.