The Azor Ahai theory in HBO’s Game of Thrones sees the “Prince That Was Promised” return to Westeros to help when darkness filled the land. However, does this prophecy still hold any weight, now that the Night King (Vladimir Furdik) has been defeated?
Azor Ahai is spoken of by Melisandre (Carice van Houten) in relation to her belief in the Lord of Light. Also referred to as the Prince That Was Promised, according to the books, Azor Ahai is a character that will return and help to defeat the darkness. He had previously come into existence and helped to bring an end to the Long Night, according to the legends of Westeros. It is also believed that Azor Ahai is the “song of ice and fire,” alluding to the title of the book series on which Game of Thrones is based.
As a result of this, it was often believed that Jon Snow (Kit Harington), who is both a Stark (from the cold North) and a Targaryen (the owners of firebreathing dragons) could fulfill this prophecy. In addition, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) could just as easily fit the description. While she is a Targaryen, she was also given the same “Stormborn” due to the fact she was born during a dreadful storm, indicating the ice part of the prophecy. While she is not a prince, it has been noted previously that the language the prophecy was translated from — High Valyrian — is gender-neutral, so it could just as likely be the Princess That Was Promised.
A part of this prophecy sees Azor Ahai being born in order to defeat the darkness. And considering the Night King’s name implies that he is the darkness, it is assumed this prophecy has played out completely. If this is the case, it is unclear who exactly filled the role of Azor Ahai, since Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) killed the Night King and doesn’t really fit any of the varied criteria for the Prince That Was Promised prophecy. And, with the title of Episode 3 being given by HBO as “The Long Night,” it seems probable that the Azor Ahai theory is complete.
However, some believe that the prophecy is still to unfold in the remaining episodes of Season 8 of Game of Thrones. As Inverse points out, there are a couple of good theories that suggest the darkness threatening Westeros is not the Night King at all.
The first theory sees Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) as the darkness to blanket Westeros. Considering the fact that Cersei has previously blown up a Sept with wildfire in order to eliminate her problems, this seems like a valid claim. As Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) heads towards conflict with Cersei in the remaining episodes of Game of Thrones, it could still be argued that she is Azor Ahai.
The second theory sees Daenerys herself as the darkness encroaching on Westeros. Her bid for the Iron Throne throughout Game of Thrones has, at times, seen her destroy her enemies. So, it is possible she could be considered a threat to the safety of Westeros. In particular, Episode 4 of the final season has seen Daenerys set up to a possible descent into darkness — or madness. Considering her father was known as the Mad King, this is a worrying sign.
If this is the case, it would mean that Jon Snow would still end up being Azor Ahai. However, this adds a worrying possible conclusion for fans of Daenerys, because a part of the Azor Ahai prophecy sees the Prince That Was Promised have to plunge his sword into someone dear to him in order to produce the mythical sword, Lightbringer. As a result of this part of the prophecy, fans are theorizing that Jon might have to kill Daenerys in order to save Westeros from the Long Night.
Of course, as per usual with any Game of Thrones theories and prophecies, viewers will just have to tune in to future episodes to find out the truth.
Season 8 of Game of Thrones returns to HBO with Episode 5 on Sunday, May 12, at 9 p.m. ET.