A long time ago, Azor Ahai defeated the darkness and ended the Long Night. It is said that he will be reborn, and if that happens, it will happen in Game of Thrones Season 8. But who is Azor Ahai? Here’s a refresher so you’re ready for the final season of the HBO series.
Possible spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8 below.
Who Is Azor Ahai?
Azor Ahai has never been mentioned by name on Game of Thrones. However, the Prince Who Was Promised (or sometimes The Prince That Was Promised), said to be Azor Ahai reborn, has come up a few times.
But first, let’s break down legend of Azor Ahai. He was the one chosen to fight the darkness of the Great Other. He needed to forge a sword, and doing so cost him greatly.
The story goes that his first attempt took him thirty days and thirty nights, but it broke when he tried to temper it in water. His second attempt took fifty days and fifty nights, but it broke when he stabbed it into a lion’s heart.
It wasn’t until his third attempt that he succeeded. After a hundred days and nights, he stabbed the sword into his wife Nissa Nissa’s heart, and the steel of the sword became infused with her soul. That was how he created Lightbringer.
According to prophecy, Azor Ahai will be reborn to fight the darkness once again:
There will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world. In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him.
When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone.
On the HBO series, Melisandre, a red priestess of the Lord of Light, first thinks Stannis Baratheon is the Prince Who Was Promised and many have come to believe this is the same person as Azor Ahai reborn. However, after Jon Snow comes back to life, she believes it’s him.
Why This Matters for Game of Thrones Season 8
All signs seem to be pointing to Azor Ahai reborn, the Prince Who Was Promised, being either Jon Snow or Daenerys Targaryen. Both fit the terms laid out by the prophecy. (The Valyrian word for “prince” doesn’t have a gender, so it could stand for “princess.”) But it’s likely that if one is the prophesized champion that the other will also have a role to play.
To defeat the Night King, whoever is Azor Ahai reborn is presumably going to have to make a sacrifice just like the original hero did. For Jon and Daenerys, that would likely mean killing the other to forge their weapon.
If this does happen, that may explain Emilia Clarke telling Vanity Fair that Daenerys’ ending “fucked [her] up, knowing that is going to be a lasting flavor in someone’s mouth of what Daenerys is…” That would be fitting whether she kills Jon or he kills her.
Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres Sunday, April 14 at 9 p.m. on HBO.