There’s an ancient prophecy established in the Lord of the Light religion that purports a savior “born amidst salt and smoke” will pull a sword called Lightbringer from the flames to combat perpetual darkness. He or she will “have a song…of fire and ice.” It’s believed that this savior is the reincarnation of a hero named Azor Ahai, a warrior who lived thousands of years ago in Essos.
The prophecy was first mentioned in the second Game of Thrones novel A Clash of Kings, and though this person is most frequently called “The Prince That Was Promised,” they’re also sometimes known as “The Prince Who Was Promised,” “The One Who Was Promised,” the “Lord’s Chosen,” the “Son of Fire” and the “Warrior of Light.”
This person is mostly believed to be Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Samwell Tarly (John Bradley), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) or Bran Stark (Isaac Hampstead-Wright) in the series, but there’s one little hang-up that I can’t shake. If the “Prince That Was Promised” is a person, then why aren’t they most commonly referred to as the “Prince Who Was Promised.”
Now, as far as the books explain, the prophecy was written in High Valyrian, so the translation could just be grammatically inaccurate. But that hardly seems like something George R.R. Martin or GoT series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss would throw in just for fun.
After watching the season-eight premiere and reading my colleague’s theory that Rhaegal was staring at Daenerys and Jon because he’s actually the reincarnation of Rhaegar Targaryen (aka Jon’s real dad and Dany’s brother), something clicked for me.
Hear me out: I have a sneaking suspicion that Rhaegar actually is “The Prince That Was Promised” and that he’s been reincarnated as Rhaegal in order to save the Seven Kingdoms. It’s important to know that Rhaegar was deeply obsessed with the “Prince That Was Promised” prophecy and believed that he was this predicted savior. His great-great-uncle, Maester Aemon, also believed this. That’s why Rhaegar rode into battle at Robert’s Rebellion so ill-prepared and ended up dying. The “Prince That Was Promised” isn’t supposed to die, but what if he, like Azor Ahai, is reincarnated, only instead of a person he’s now a dragon?
Think about it. Rhaegal was born in salt (Dany’s tears) and smoke (the flames she walked through with her dragon eggs). His fire can kill the Night King, White Walkers and wights to end perpetual darkness. He definitely has a “song of fire,” and while he doesn’t have any ice powers, his White Walker/wight brother Viserion definitely does. The “dragon has three heads” prophecy has also been a component of the “The Prince That Was Promised” prophecy, so perhaps the three dragons are mentally connected. Dragons don’t have opposable thumbs to pull swords out with, but they do have talons.
Chew on that until Game of Thrones returns with season eight, episode two on Sunday, April 21, at 9 p.m. PT/ET on HBO.