WARNING: Possible spoilers for Game Of Thrones season 7 ahead. Read at your own risk.
The theory behind the identity and return of Azor Ahai on Game Of Thrones has been a hot debate for fans of the show and George R.R. Martin’s books for quite a while now. The legendary hero who fought back the darkness thousands of years before any of the events we’ve seen in the series is prophesied to return with the sword Lightbringer and drive away the dark once again.
With White Walkers on the march and the army of the dead ready to invade Westeros, we’re either drawing close to the “return” of Azor Ahai and the fulfillment of Melisandre’s mystic babble or we’re about to witness a bloodbath. While it’s likely we’ll see both before the show comes to an end — this is Game Of Thrones after all — fans are still theorizing who Azor Ahai could be and what it means for the main characters heading into the conclusion of the story.
Jon Snow has been one of the favorites to be the legendary figure reborn, checking off plenty of boxes as the child of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, but the other major character in the running is Daenerys Targaryen. We have said in the past that she has a better claim to the mythical role than Snow, giving “birth” to dragons and covering some of the same territory as her relative, but now there’s some new theorizing going on that supports her claim to the name and his/her heroic destiny.
In A Clash Of Kings, the prophecy of Azor Ahai is laid out in the way that everybody has believed up to this point:
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
We’ve mentioned before how Daenerys’ birth in the flames alongside the dragons could count as stars bleeding and how the Night King’s army of White Walkers and Wights is making the darkness pretty heavy. But this new theory from user mattwee over at Reddit fills in a few of the gaps to show how season 7 has set the stage for Daenerys to fully follow the myth’s path while guaranteeing things could get very dark before it is all over.
The theory is based upon the creation of Lightbringer and how it corresponds to the events of this season. For Azor Ahai, he failed to temper his sword on two occasions that our theorist is trying to connect to Daenerys. The first was in water and the second was in the heart of a lion, both breaking the blade. Then the third try sees him drive the sword through his wife’s heart, successfully creating the blade.
As we saw in episode two, the “prince or princess” talk helps to add to the mystery while opening the door for Khaleesi. The Reddit theory points out that this was enough for some to be convinced that the show was setting her up to be the mythical hero reborn, but then the events of episode three drove things home with some interesting correlations:
Let’s look at the two battles that involved Daenerys’ armies in each episode the past two weeks. The first, Yara/Dorne vs. Euron’s naval battle. Euron crushed their forces, taking their ships as well as Yara, Ellaria, and Tyene as prisoners. This attempt was a failure for Daenerys. The second, Unsullied vs. Casterly Rock. While Daenerys comes out with a victory in the battle itself, Cersei outsmarts her here. Only a fraction of the Lannister army is defeated, and Euron burned her fleet. The Unsullied have to march across Westeros to return to Dragonstone, where Lannister forces will most likely be waiting for them. Another failure for Daenerys.
The location of Daenerys’ failures is the key here. The first, in water. The second, Casterly Rock, the seat of House Lannister, whose sigil is a lion. And if we’re thinking figuratively you could say Casterly Rock is the heart of the lion.
If these battles represent any sort of pattern, it is pointing to the fact that Daenerys Targaryen is Azor Ahai. We don’t know yet who will be standing in for the third part of the prophecy, Azor Ahai’s lover, but I’d be willing to guess that it is Jorah Mormont. He’s been cured of grayscale, and is heading back to Daenerys, it seems logical. The only thing I’m still unsure of is what or who exactly Lightbringer will be for Daenerys. It seems to be some sort of army, maybe involving dragons, but who knows.
So yes, there’s a lot to digest there, but it is interesting. The latter part of the theory is where things could get tricky for the folks in Westeros. Jorah is certainly more than willing to die for his queen, he’s proven that many times at this point, but would she really consider him a lover? As BroBible adds, the real kicker would be if the “love” isn’t a person at all, but is a dragon. Namely Drogon, the largest of the three dragons and the one that is named after Khal Drogo, her fallen Dothraki husband.
If Daenerys has to kill one of her dragons to forge this weapon, it would be worth it if the prophecy proved to be correct. But if it is false, that could be bad news for everybody. Dragon fire is one of the only things that can kill the White Walkers, along with dragon glass and Valyrian steel, so they’d be short one dragon. Another wrinkle comes from some of the leaks that dropped ahead of the season 7 premiere. So far, some of them have been spot on with Sam curing Jorah’s greyscale and the brief return of Nymeria, but it is the one involving the other dragons that makes above a risky gamble:
The group are rescued by Daenerys and her three dragons – but not before Viserion is killed by the Night’s King. He then resurrects the dragon as his own mount – who now breathes blue flame – and uses him to destroy The Wall.
There are ice dragons within the Game Of Thrones universe, so that could also be a possibility. However, they are different than Daenerys’ dragons and this rumor would create a moment that would drive home that the White Walkers are the true threat. The saving grace here is that this is unverified, so it can’t be fully trusted.
Would this turn Daenerys into a favorite for Azor Ahai? Or is it too much of a stretch? Without any books to spoil details, everything is up for grabs and we’ll just have to watch to find out.