All the People Who Might Be Azor Ahai Reborn
Basically, the prophecy goes like this: the legendary hero Azor Ahai will be “reborn amidst salt and smoke” when “the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers.” This hero will go on to “wake dragons out of stone” and “draw from the fire a burning sword, Lightbringer,” which will almost certainly require a great sacrifice (the original Azor Ahai tempered the blade by stabbing it through the heart of his wife, Nissa Nissa). While prophecies aren’t a guarantee, a whole lot of emphasis has been placed on this one, meaning that most fans don’t ask the question of if, but who this hero might be. And a lot of people have a lot of ideas, some of which are remarkably creative. Here are some highlights:
Daenerys Targaryen [Probability: High]
She was born on Dragonstone (salt) and “reborn” as the mother of dragons amidst fire from her husband’s funeral pyre (smoke), which also hatched three dragons from eggs formerly believed to have been petrified. As such, she’s generally the frontrunner here. The only thing that doesn’t quite fit is the Lightbringer part, considering we have yet to see Daenerys use a weapon unless you count her dragons. That being said, a few people have pitched Jorah Mormont for the role of Nissa Nissa, which seems like something he would do. Daenerys could also potentially be the Princess Who Was Promised, which may or may not be the same prophecy involving a descendant of Mad King Aerys II.
Jon Snow [Probability: Medium]
If we’re being honest, all the parts of the prophecy that best suit Jon are those that come from the “Prince(ss) who was Promised.” He’s a descendant of Aerys II and his song is “a song of ice and fire,” considering his Targaryen-Stark parentage. There are those who say that Daenerys being Azor Ahai is just too obvious and Jon fits the all of the prophecy prerequisites in a figurative sense. He was born under the “bleeding star” of the Sword of the Morning, the ancestral blade supposedly forged from the heart of a fallen star. There’s also the bloodstained sword at the foot of Lyanna Stark’s birthing bed. Melisandre and Davos’ presence at his resurrection represent the smoke and salt, respectively, as a Red Priestess and a smuggler/sailor. Admittedly, Jon hasn’t woken dragons from stone, but it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine he might be told about his parentage down in the Crypts of Winterfell considering how many significant conversations take place down there, in which case that reveal could tentatively function as a “wake dragons out of stone” moment considering he is “awakened” to his dragon origins. If Jon is Azor Ahai, Daenerys, unfortunately, becomes the most likely Nissa Nissa, so some people think this pairs nicely with the “Daenerys becomes the Night Queen” theory.
Jaime Lannister [Probability: Low]
The most compelling argument for Jaime Lannister proving to be Azor Ahai actually involves the prophecy, and all the worship surrounding R’hllor, being a little bit wrong. Or at the very least mistranslated. In Valyrian, the words for lord and light are aeksio and onos respectively, while gold and hand are aeksion and ondos. Between Missandei’s correction of the gendered translation of the “Prince who was Promised” prophecy and Tyrion’s Valyrian blunders, it wouldn’t be the first time Game of Thrones features the concept of things getting lost in translation. And if the promised hero is actually the “gold of hand” instead of a “lord of light,” Jaime shoots to the top of the list for obvious reasons. There are compelling reasons to believe Jaime’s going to do something big in the final season: his lack of heroic deeds in the book of Kingsguard achievements pretty much screams “foreshadowing.” But he’s still a longshot for Azor Ahai. There’s actually quite a bit more built up around this theory, you can check out all the details here.
Sandor Clegane [Probability: Low]
He’s risen from smoke (the fire that burnt his face) and salt (Blackwater). He wasn’t actually reborn like Jon, but he did make a very unlikely recovery from “mostly dead,” so there’s that. However, there’s really no dragon connection and no clear way in which one would emerge. In sum, it’s unlikely as hell but you never know.
Drogon [Probability: Low]
Who specified Azor Ahai had to be human? Nobody, that’s who, which brings us to one of the more recent Azor Ahai candidates to gain traction on the interwebs: Daenerys’s favored son, who some suggest could be both Azor Ahai and the Stallion Who Mounts the World. After all, the most obvious candidate for the red bleeding star described in the prophecy is the comet seen at the start of Season 2, and Daenerys’s dragons are the only individuals in the series actually born around that time. How would the whole Nissa Nissa bit work? Would Drogon hold a sword in his mouth? Tbd.
Davos Seaworth [Probability: Low]
THE ONION SMUGGLER THAT WAS PROMISED. Reborn amidst salt and smoke after the Battle of Blackwater Bay—in Season 2, the season featuring the red comet, Davos barely manages to survive Tyrion’s wildfire attack and is actually presumed dead until sailors find our woebegone castaway stranded on a rocky isle. Jon is the dragon that he wakes from “stone” (laid out on a stone slab) after convincing Melisandre to try resurrecting him. Also, Liam Cunningham has gone on multiple talk show and mentioned GRRM told him a “secret” that he’s not allowed to tell anybody, which has lead people to speculate that it must be some big Davos-related twist. Again, this one is a stretch, but we’re always down for more Davos content.
The Azor Ahai sampler platter [Probability: Medium]
Basically, this theory goes that the whole “Azor Ahai reborn” thing will end up playing out as a deconstruction of the whole Chosen One/“hero with a thousand faces” shebang and that a range of characters fulfill the different aspects of the prophecy and collectively defeat the Night King. If you imagine this as a multiple choice test, this right here is the “all of the above” option. #squadgoals