A new round of Season 7 promotional images for HBO’s Game of Thrones has just been released. Along with poring over the gorgeous costume choices, fans have already started to speculate about what each image means. One image, in particular, has gotten fans excited in regard to a book theory about Azor Ahai.
SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses Season 7 of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.
HBO released 15 new images from the upcoming Season 7 of Game of Thrones. Among the images was one that has gotten some fans more than a little excited. The image (seen above) seems simple enough at first: Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) is writing while Gilly (Hannah Murray) is reading from an old book. The assumption is that they are both in the maesters’ library in Oldtown, since that is where the ended up at the end of Season 6 of Game of Thrones.
However, as The Verge points out, what Gilly is reading could be a vital clue about Season 7. It is a little hard to read. However, a few words can be identified towards the bottom of the page. One sentence seems to contain the following words: “lord of light,” “Azor Ahai,” and “prophecy.”
For fans of the television version of Game of Thrones, Azor Ahai is likely a new name. Although for those who have been listening closely to everything Melisandre (Carice van Houten) has been saying, the name might be somewhat familiar. However, for fans of the book series, the TV show is based on, it is an exciting development.
So, who is Azor Ahai? And what does his prophecy mean?
According to the book series, the Azor Ahai myth involves a prophecy that a “prince that was promised” will be reborn amidst smoke and salt. He will be brandishing the mighty sword known as Lightbringer. His return will herald a battle between him and R’hllor’s nemesis, called the Other.
According to the story, Azor Ahai will return after a particularly long summer, and will be able to draw dragons from stone. A few characters in the book series have made some observations about Azor Ahai. A wood witch spoke of Azor Ahai being born of the line of Aerys II and Rhaella, making them a Targaryen. Rhaegar Targaryen felt this man was the song of fire and ice personified, whereas Maester Aemon questioned whether Azor Ahai was even male. As was also discussed in the TV series, Aemon suggested that the original interpretation is from a gender-neutral word. Melisandre has also spoken of this prophecy in HBO’s version of Game of Thrones. At one time, she thought Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) was Azor Ahai reincarnate. However, his death has shown him not to be.
So, who could be born from the Targaryen line?
Most fans of this theory have narrowed it down to two characters: Jon Snow (Kit Harington), who we discovered is a Targaryen in Season 6 of Game of Thrones, and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). We know Daenerys can draw dragons from stone, as she did this with her dragon eggs very early on in Game of Thrones. It is unclear whether Jon Snow can also do this. She also brought these dragons forth by walking into a fire, considering she was close to the sea at that point, it also suggests she was reborn amidst smoke and salt.
However, Jon Snow has recently been resurrected from the dead thanks to Melisandre, so many fans suggest he has truly been ”reborn.” He is also now considered a direct decedent of Aerys II and Rhaella.
What does Azor Ahai mean for Season 7 of Game of Thrones?
The prophecy indicates that the arrival of Azor Ahai would mean the beginning of a massive war to defeat the darkness blanketing the earth, hence bringing renewed light with his victory. In Season 6 of Game of Thrones, fans saw Cersei (Lena Headey) take over as supreme ruler of Westeros, and this could be considered a darkness settling over the landscape, especially considering the manner in which she took out all of her competition.
Other fans suggest this darkness could also mean the Night king and his white walkers that are currently being held behind the massive wall at Castle Black. If he were to somehow manage to break through the wall, he could also be considered a darkness entering Westeros.
Other fans, still, suggest that winter itself, which has finally arrived in Game of Thrones, is the dangerous darkness across the land.
However, until Season 7 of Game of Thrones premieres on July 16, fans will just have to speculate about what this new image really means.
You can view all 15 new images from Season 7 of Game of Thrones via this link.
What do you think will happen in Season 7 of Game of Thrones? Let us know your thoughts and theories by commenting below.
Season 7 of HBO’s Game of Thrones will premiere on July 16, 2017, with a shortened season.
[Featured Image by Helen Sloan/HBO]