SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers for Season 7 of Game of Thrones.
As Season 7 of Game of Thrones comes to an end, many fans are left wondering if there is a Chosen One. The most popular fan theories have identified Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow as the most likely candidates to fulfill the prophecy of “The One That Was Promised.” However, other fans insist that there may be some unlikely candidates in the running as well.
So, how does Azor Ahai’s legend of the Chosen One fit in with the potential candidates?
The Legend and Prophecy
The legend of Azor Ahai is at least 5,000 years old. It tells of the long night when Azor Ahai drove the White Walkers to the far North with his flaming sword, the Lightbringer, thus defeating the darkness.
Azor Ahai forged Lightbringer three times. First, he tempered it in water and then in the heart of a lion, but with each of these attempts, the sword shattered. On his third attempt, he successfully tempered the sword by driving it into the heart of his lover, Nissa Nissa, killing her.
The legend holds that Azor Ahai will be reborn when the long night comes again, to drive the darkness away. This is the root of the prophecy of the “Prince That Was Promised.”
Melisandre mentions Azor Ahai and the “Prince That Was Promised” interchangeably, so it’s unclear whether they are the same person or not.
The ancient book of Asshai states that:
“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.”
Another version of the prophecy reads:
“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.”
Concerning the legend of Azor Ahai, Jaime has a Valyrian steel sword forged from ice, but there is little else that ties him to the prophecy. He is, however, a likely candidate to fulfill the valonqar prophecy that foretells that a “valonqar,” or “little brother,” will kill the lioness, aka Cersei.
The primary connection that Gendry has to the prophecy is that he is the only one capable of forging Lightbringer. As far as the story goes, we are yet seen him transform in any significant way that fits the prophecy.
Whether or not he is “The Prince That Was Promised,” Gendry might be instrumental in the forging of the Lightbringer for whoever Azor Ahai happens to be.
Tyrion’s first problem with the prophecy is that he is not Targaryen. However, some fans insist that he might be Targaryen after all. Given the Mad King’s reputation and his infatuation with Joanna Lannister, it’s possible he either seduced or raped Tywin’s wife and impregnated her with Tyrion.
Tyrion’s bravery at Blackwater, the killing of his father and his love, Shae, mirrors Azor Ahai’s attempt to forge his sword. His attempt to free the dragons from the lair without being burned alive is also evidence that he might be of Targaryen blood.
Daenerys was born at Dragonstone, a volcanic island surrounded by a salt water sea. There you have the salt and smoke that fits the prophecy of Azor Ahai’s rebirth.
Daenerys’ rebirth from the pyre of Khal Drogo strongly links her to the prophecy as well. The smoke comes from burning Drogo’s body, and the salt from the tears shed for him. The red comet that appeared after she emerged with the dragons as she awoke “from stones” also points to the bleeding star referenced in the prophecy.
Daenerys’ case is peculiar in the sense that she is a princess and not a prince. However, as Missandei explained in Season 7, Episode 2, “Stormborn,” the word for “prince” in Valyrian is gender-neutral. This means that the prophecy could refer to either a male or female, thereby keeping Daenerys in the running.
Jon Snow (Now Aegon Targaryen)
In Season 6, Jon was literally reborn after Melisandre brought him back from the dead. The reference to salt would again be from the tears of his men, while the smoke comes from Melisandre burning a lock of his hair for the ritual.
An argument can be made that Jon’s fear of the Night King transformed into rage at seeing Viserion’s death in Season 7 Episode 6, “Beyond the Wall,” as he saw the dragon falling from the sky, bleeding to death could be considered his moment of rebirth under a bleeding star. In this case, the salt is from the sea surrounding him, and the smoke is from the wights burning under the dragons’ breath.
The reveal of Jon’s identity in the Season 7 finale also confirms his Targaryen origin, making him a stronger candidate to fulfill the prophecy.
The Chosen One — or Three?
The problem with prophecies is that they tend to be vague and can be easily interpreted in many different ways. Another likely possibility is that Azor Ahai is an amalgamation of more than one character, and rather “a three-headed dragon,” as hinted in the books.
In terms of Azor Ahai’s reincarnation being a single person, Jon and Daenerys come the closest to fitting the criteria. If it turns out to be three people, then it is most likely to be those two and some other character. Either way, Jon and Daenerys will likely have a major role to play in Azor Ahai’s rebirth.