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- As we near the end of Game of Thrones (opens in new tab), fans are taking theories about the end of the series to new levels.
- One of the biggest mysteries still remaining is which character will turn out to be The Prince That Was Promised (opens in new tab) (the second coming of the legendary Azor Ahai, who defeated the last great evil that threatened Westeros).
- A popular theory makes the case that Jorah Mormont might be a contender to fulfill the prophecy.
This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8.
Game of Thrones (opens in new tab) has been building to its sure-to-be epic finale for the better part of a decade now, which means a few things. First, we know quite a bit about what that finale will entail and second, fans have had lots and lots of time to develop theories about which characters will play which pivotal roles in the story's ending.
One of the things we know for sure about the end of the series is that it will involve someone finally fulfilling the Azor Ahai prophecy and defeating the Night King (opens in new tab) (or, alternatively, the White Walkers could win the war, but that seems unlikely). Even though the obvious contenders to fulfill the prophecy are Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen (opens in new tab), there's a pretty compelling fan theory out there that points to Jorah Mormont as the true Prince That Was Promised.
Who is Azor Ahai?
Need a refresher on the Azor Ahai prophecy (opens in new tab)? It's what Melisandre (aka the Red Woman) has been talking about since we met her way back in Season 2. The prophecy is part of the religion of the Lord of Light (the religion Melisandre is a priestess in) and refers to a legendary figure who defeated the "Great Other" untold years ago using a magical sword called Lightbringer.
Since the White Walkers are basically the second coming of the Great Other, that means the good guys are going to need the second coming of Azor Ahai to defeat them. Azor's reincarnation is known as The Prince That Was Promised and he (or she—the prophecy was written in High Valyrian, in which the word for "prince" is gender neutral, which means it could refer to a prince or princess that was promised) will be instrumental in killing the Night King and destroying the White Walkers/saving Westeros from a cold, icy zombie fate.
What does the prophecy tell us about The Prince That Was Promised?
According to the prophecy, the Prince That Was Promised will be someone born "amidst salt and smoke" and they will pull Lightbringer from flames and use the legendary sword to fight the darkness.
We know from the legend of Azor Ahai that Lightbringer was originally imbued with its power only after Azor ran it through the heart of his beloved, which has led many fans to speculate that the Prince (or Princess) That Was Promised will have to do the same and kill the love of their life as a sacrifice in order to gain the power to actually defeat the Night King.
Why do people think Jorah Mormont is The Prince That Was Promised/Azor Ahai?
Over the years, fans have discussed just about every character on the show as possible Princes/Princesses That Were Promised, but the most obvious contenders have always been Jon Snow (opens in new tab) and Daenerys Targaryen (opens in new tab). Melisandre, our main link to the Lord of Light and the prophecy, is even currently on Team Jon Is Azor (she used to believe it was Stanis Baratheon, but changed her tune when he was defeated and Jon Snow rose from the dead).
The Jorah theory has two main components. The first lies in Samwell Tarley's family sword, Heartsbane, which Jorah is seen wielding in a telling moment from the Season 8 trailer:
As Reddit user Severian_of_Nessus (opens in new tab) explains, the Valyrian steel sword might play a pivotal role in defeating the Night King, as evidenced by a telling passage in the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series (on which Game of Thrones is based). As Severian_of_Nessus writes:
The name of the sword is Heartsbane, which has a dual meaning. The first is obvious - it's a badass name to strike fear in the hearts of foes. But it has a second meaning, which can be inferred from the curious wording in one of Bran's visions:
And he looked past the wall, past endless forests cloaked in snow, past the frozen shore and the great blue-white rivers of ice and the dead plains where nothing grew or lived. North and north and north he looked, to the curtain of light at the end of the world, and then beyond that curtain. He looked deep into the heart of winter, and then he cried out, afraid, and the heat of his tears burned on his cheeks.
Like many things regarding magic and history in the books, the true meaning of the swords name has been distorted and lost over time. It is not the bane of human hearts, but of winter.
Then, there's the whole Azor Ahai killing his love to power the sword piece of the puzzle. Jorah has been very clearly in love with Dany for years now, even though his feelings are unrequited.
Since there are also fans who fear Dany might go the way of her father and become the Mad Queen (see: her brutal execution of Sam's father and brother as evidence that she might go crazy and just start burning lots of people to death), the Jorah as Azor Ahai theory contends that he will have to kill Daenerys and that will be what makes Heartsbane into the new Lightbringer, capable of killing the Night King and winning the war.
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Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
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