Game of Thrones is the type of series that contains multiple prophecies and mythical characters who may play a role in future events, and one such character is Azor Ahai, who might actually be Samwell Tarly, according to a new theory. Game of Thrones season 8's premiere date is quickly approaching, and it will mark the beginning of the end for HBO's acclaimed drama that has captured the imaginations of its viewers for years.
But since the Game of Thrones series has overtaken George R.R. Martin's books, fans are left only with theories about what may transpire in the show's final six episodes. With discussions ranging from the obvious (who will win the Iron Throne) to the obscure (will the Valonqar prophecy from the books lead to Cersei's on-screen death), a lot can get lost in the mix. And so, one of the more interesting questions to debate at this point is that of Azor Ahai, or the Prince Who Was Promised - a legendary figure (or figures, if they aren't the same one) who will be reborn; the person will also reforge a magical sword and defeat the darkness/the long night.
This is the person who will be able to not only defeat Night King but defeat the White Walkers as well, not to mention save Westeros from the army of the dead... so that the armies of the living can continue duking it out over the Iron Throne. There are some major contenders for the title at the start of Game of Thrones season 8, most notably Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, but there's another fan-favorite underdog (via YouSnowNothingJon) who may just ride in to save the day: Samwell Tarly.
- This Page: Who Is Azor Ahai & Melisandre Keeps Getting His Identity Wrong
- Page 2: Sam Is Azor Ahai & What It Would Mean For Game Of Thrones
Who Is Azor Ahai (And Why Does It Matter)
The original Azor Ahai was a mythical figure who lived in this world thousands of years ago. He's worshipped by the followers of R'Hillor, and is said to be someone who forged a magical flaming sword (by killing his beloved wife with it) and used it to defeat The Great Other. According to Melisandre, Azor Ahai has been reborn and will come into play once again to defeat the Long Night:
There will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world. In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him.
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.
What this means is that one of season 8's characters could be the reborn Azor Ahai, who will once again create a magical sword by sacrificing something that he loves, and then use that sword to defeat the White Walkers and save Westeros. This figure is also assumed by many to be the same as another legendary figure from Essos mythology: The Prince Who Was Promised. Melisandre uses the two names interchangeably, and although some fans will argue that they are different, it stands to reason that they are one and the same.
The prophecy, the books, and the show provide a few more details on who the Prince/Azor could be. According to a woods witch, the Prince Who Was Promised will be a Targaryen, and as we know from Missendei, the Valyrian for "prince" is a gender-neutral word, which means that the Prince doesn't have to be a man. All of this has led to some interesting observations about who could fulfill all the elements of the prophecy: the Targaryen line, making sacrifices, connected to comets, and waking dragons, as well as ice, fire, salt, and stone.
Melisandre Keeps Getting It Wrong
The Red Woman, Melisandre, has been driven by this prophecy from the start as she waits for the resurrected Azor Ahai to appear. However, she's gotten the prophecy wrong multiple times. Originally, Melisandre sided with Stannis Baratheon, believing him to be the Prince Who Was Promised; he had a flaming sword, he sacrificed his own daughter, and he got his "smoke and salt" connection through being the Lord of Dragonstone (and through a ceremony involving burning the statues of the Seven). However, all these things were essentially manufactured by Melisandre in order to make him the subject of her prophecy - and as Stannis has now been killed, it's clear that he was not the reincarnated Azor Ahai at all.
Since then, Melisandre has pinned her hopes on both Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow being Azor Ahai - both of whom actually have a reasonable claim to the title. Both characters are of the Targaryen line, plus Jon has been reborn (thanks to Melisandre) while Daenerys survived walking into her husband's funeral pyre. Moreover, both have lost the ones they loved (Drogo and Ygritte, respectively). Daenerys has also quite literally woken dragons from stone, although there are various interpretations of this part of the prophecy that allow Jon to have done this as well; waking the stony Daenerys to love again, or even waking himself as a Targaryen. Melisandre, meanwhile, seems to be hedging her bets at this point.
Beric Dondarrion is another major contender for the title of Azor Ahai, having been resurrected multiple times from death by his own priest of R'Hillor, and he is the only one who is still alive and who uses a flaming sword. However, he's not a Targaryen and has no dragons - and other fan theories suggest that anyone from Tyrion to the Hound may be the Prince That Was Promised.