The biggest battle that Game of Thrones has ever seen is going to hit screens in the next few months, as the living and the dead fight it out for the future of Westeros. This is a showdown that has been teased since the very first season of the series, when the White Walkers were still seen as a myth, and not a legitimate threat. Now, the White Walkers are going to be facing off against Jon Snow and his army, and there may be only one person who can save them.
Azor Ahai is a figure from legend in the faith of R'hllor, who defeated 'the darkness' thousands of years ago. It has been prophesied that he has now returned, reincarnated and ready to re-forge his sword Lightbringer and save Westeros from the Night King... but who could be Azor Ahai in the show?
From the prophecies, it has been determined that (assuming Azor Ahai and the Prince that was Promised are the same person), "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", and that they will be a descendant of the Targaryens, with something to do with 'ice and fire'. So - with the basics laid out... who could be Azor Ahai in Season 8?
8 Hot Pie
We're clearly starting with the most logical and likely possibility for the hero of Westeros... Hot Pie! The lovely baker's apprentice and friend of Arya Stark may not seem like the person who will rise up and save the kingdom, even if he is a survivor, but the evidence actually lines up. He was born 'amid salt and smoke', if we assume that this could refer to the bakery he was born in in fleabottom. Other, similar stretches of the imagination (from this Redditor's theory) suggest the burning star may be a star-shaped berry pie, and that the dragons he wakes from stone could be shaped loaves of bread, like the wolf he gave Arya. Likely? Not at all. Amazing if it should happen, or if Hot Pie could turn out to be a secret Targaryen? Absolutely.
7 The Hound
Other theories suggest that the Hound may be the valonqar, but it's also possible that Sandor Clegane could be the hero of Westeros. For one thing, he's a warrior, and he's in the right place - fighting in the North on the side of Jon Snow. He's also powerfully connected to fire - thanks to his burns, which Azor Ahai is.
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Seeing the Hound overcome his fear in order to pick up the burning sword of legend would also be an incredible arc for this surprisingly popular character. He's most definitely not Targaryen, or waking any dragons, though - but he has been essentially resurrected, when Arya left him for dead and he was nursed back to health.
6 Jorah Mormont
Nicknamed Ajorah Ahai, this theory puts Daenerys' loyal friend Jorah Mormont in the position of hero of Westeros, and this actually makes quite a bit of sense. He may not be a Targaryen (and isn't likely to be a secret Targaryen, either), but there is a lot of other evidence that he could become Azor Ahai. A lot of the theory is connected to details from the books, but in the show, Jorah is still connected to the Bleeding Star, salt and smoke, and of course, now that his greyscale is cured he could be said to have cheated death... a resurrection of sorts.
One of the biggest reasons that Jorah may be Azor Ahai, though, comes from his relationship with Daenerys. In legend, Azor had to sacrifice the woman he loved on a sword in order to create the weapon that would allow him to defeat the darkness. In Game of Thrones, Jorah is completely in love with Daenerys, and having to sacrifice her on a sword (perhaps his own family sword, currently in Jon's possession) would be an extremely Game Of Thrones-ian way to do it.
5 Samwell Tarly
Unassuming Samwell Tarly, the coward of the Night's Watch who has become one of the bravest characters and Jon Snow's greatest supporter... could also be Azor Ahai. This one is a little more of a stretch than some, but there is still a lot of evidence for it. For one, there is the possibility that Sam is actually a secret Targaryen, the son of Elia Martell, spirited away by Varys. He may also wake a dragon, not literally, but by revealing to Jon his true Targaryen heritage.
RELATED: How Sam Could Be Azor Ahai
He also has his family sword in his possession, and a woman that he loves completely, and that he could sacrifice in order to re-create the sword of legend.
4 Daenerys Targaryen
One of the most obvious possibilities for the title has to be Daenerys Targaryen. Yes, she is a woman, and the prophecy refers to a Prince, but as Missandei points out, High Valyrian doesn't gender words in the same way as English, so the prophecy could point to a woman as well as a man.
Once we accept that Azor Ahai could be female, Daenerys ticks every other box for this legendary figure. She was born 'amid salt and smoke' on Dragonstone, she is clearly a Targaryen, and she has literally woken dragons from stone - burning herself with her stone eggs to hatch them into dragons. Her tendency to set things on fire around her also acts as a kind of resurrection.
3 Beric Dondarrion
For this one, fans would have to accept that the show is going very, very far from the books - because Beric is no longer living in A Song Of Ice And Fire. However, the series has already deviated from the books in so many ways that this would certainly still be possible. In Game of Thrones, of course, Beric is very much still alive - and has been brought back by the Lord of Light multiple times. As the only person on this list who is actually a believer in the faith of R'hllor, and who already wields a flaming sword and is in the North, ready to fight, Beric cannot be discounted as Azor Ahai just yet.
2 Jon Snow
The other obvious choice for Azor Ahai is, of course, Jon Snow. This theory really started to come into play when Jon was 'killed' by some of the men of the Night's Watch and resurrected by Melisandre (and the Lord of Light, of course). He's also got a powerful Valyrian steel sword and is a Targaryen. More than anything, though, he is the one who has been leading the fight against the White Walkers since the beginning, so it would make sense that he will be the one to take down the Night King.
1 Ser Pounce
Ready for some full-in tinfoil hat stuff? Because this may be obviously incorrect (in fact, the showrunners have confirmed the untimely death of Tommen's kitten, Ser Pounce), but it's just too much fun not to include. Yes - this theory posits that the little cat from King's Landing will be the savior of Westeros. Why not?