‘Game Of Thrones’: Does The ‘Prince Who Was Promised’ Prophecy Mean One Targaryen Will Have To Kill The Other?

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains information on the Season 6 finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones as well as speculation on Season 7. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.

Now that it has been revealed Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is actually a Targaryen, it seems like the right time to bring up a prophecy in Game of Thrones that could see one of the remaining Targaryens — Jon and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) — having to kill the other.

The specific prophecy is in relation to the Prince that was promised. It also relates to a character from the books Game of Thrones is based on called Azor Ahai. Along with Azor Ahai, there is also a mythical sword called Lightbringer. So what is this prophecy and why does it predict one Targaryen will kill another?

Azor Ahai

Azor Ahai is someone who lived between 1,000-8,000 years prior to present day Westeros, depending on who you listen to in Game of Thrones or the books the TV series is based on. He forged a magical sword called Lightbringer in order to defeat the Great Other. The Great Other is believed to be the antithesis to R’hllor, the god Melisandre (Carice van Houten) follows. Some legends also refer to Azor Ahai helping to defeat the white walkers (or the “Others” as they are referred to in the books) during the Long Night. Melisandre refers to the white walkers as the “cold children” of the Great Other. Thanks to Bran’s greensight, Game of Thrones fans have discovered the Night King (also considered the father of the white walkers) was created by the Children of the Forest. So it certainly suggests the prophecy could be tied up with this event.

HBO's Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 5 The Door the Night King
[Image via HBO]

The Prince That Was Promised

Throughout the books Game of Thrones is based on, Azor Ahai is used interchangeably with the term “the Prince that was promised.” While it seems these two people are the same, it is likely the Prince who was promised is a separate person from Azor Ahai, or, alternatively, a reincarnation of Azor Ahai. Various snippets of the prophecy in regards to the Prince who was promised include the Prince being born “amidst salt and smoke,” he would be a Targaryen and will bring the sword, Lightbringer.

While the prophecy has always referred the “Prince,” in the books Maester Aemon points out the fact that in High Valyrian, nouns are gender neutral. This means that the prince could also be a princess.


According to the stories, Lightbringer must glow and radiate heat, burning those who touch it. In the TV series, Melisandre claimed Stannis Baratheon’s (Stephen Dillane) sword was the fabled Lightbringer. But, after she wove her magic over it, Stannis’ sword only emitted light rather than radiated it, meaning he wasn’t likely the fabled Prince who was promised.

HBO's Game of Thrones Stannis Baratheon with what he thinks is the fabled Lightbringer sword [Image via HBO]According to legend, Lightbringer was forged by Azor Ahai. In the end, it took him one hundred days to forge and he then had to stab his wife with it to make the sword potent. It is said that Lightbringer will be brought forward from the flames by the Prince who was promised when “the stars bleed and the cold winds blow.” Many fans pointed out in Episode 10 of Game of Thrones that maybe this prophecy is already showing itself when a sword leaning over the bed in which Lyanna Stark lay dying appeared to have a star-shaped pommel.

Now, if the prophecy is true, Time suggests maybe the Prince who is promised will have to stab their significant other in order for Lightbringer to appear, in the same way it was originally forged by Azor Ahai. Time suggests Jon and Daenerys will wed in Game of Thrones in accordance to Targaryen traditions as well as to forge a strong union. Jon will then have to stab Daenerys with Lightbringer. But, if the assumption about the term “Prince” being gender neutral is true, it could just as easily be Daenerys who will have to stab Jon. However, it is unclear whether Lightbringer will have to be activated in this way again when it is brought froth for the second time.

While it seems likely one Targaryen will have to kill the other in order for the prophecy to come true, considering the conversation between Jon and Melisandre in Episode 9 of Game of Thrones, perhaps one will have to kill the other. The conversation in question was prior to the Battle of the Bastards. Jon was asking Melisandre not to resurrect him if he should die on the battlefield. Melisandre said she would do no such thing unless the Lord of Light told her otherwise. She brought up the fact Jon may have only been resurrected in order to die soon after. Could HBO be alluding to the Prince who was promised prophecy here, indicating Jon was only resurrected in order for Daenerys to be able to bring forth Lightbringer? Only by tuning into Season 7 of Game of Thrones will all be revealed.

What do you think about the Prince who was promised prophecy? Let us know your thoughts and theories by commenting below!

According to a recent interview with Deadline, Game of Thrones will return to HBO with a shortened Season 7 in 2017.

[Image via HBO]