The Game of Thrones opening credits got a major redesign for Season 8, and while much of the attention has gone to new detailed depictions of Winterfell and King’s Landing, there could be a major spoiler hiding right in plain sight. The reimagined astrolabe now shows historic moments from the past seven seasons of Game of Thrones, but one image in particular could also hint at a big reveal coming in Season 8. Do the new opening credits confirm that Daenerys Targaryen is the Prince That Was Promised (aka Azor Ahai reborn)?
Speculative spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8 below.
Azor Ahai, Explained
Before we dive into this theory, it’s worth revisiting what the Azor Ahai prophecy is all about. Here’s the short story: Way back before Game of Thrones began, there was an epic battle between the White Walkers and an army made up of early humans and the Children of the Forest (basically, GoT elves). Azor Ahai led that army while wielding his flaming sword, Lightbringer, which got its power after he stabbed it through the heart of his wife, Nissa Nissa.
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Now, with the White Walkers once again on the attack, some characters are hoping that Azor Ahai will return, reincarnated into one of the show’s main characters. The biggest proponent of this theory is probably the Red Witch Melisandre, who originally thought Stannis was “the Prince That Was Promised” but later shifted her attention to Jon Snow. (It’s worth noting that in the original High Valyrian, “prince” is a non-gendered word, so it could be a man or a woman.)
More importantly, at least to my theory, is the prophecy that Azor Ahai will be “born amidst salt and smoke under a bleeding star.” (Read even more about the Prince That Was Promised here.)
Why Dany Is Azor Ahai
Still with me? Great. Remember a few minutes ago when we were talking about the new Game of Thrones intro credits and one image in particular. Here it is again:
That thing in the top left corner is clearly the red comet that streaked across the sky back in Season 2. It was visible in both Westeros and Essos, and the books go into more detail on how different people interpreted it. In King’s Landing, it’s King Joffrey’s comet, but Dany’s Dothraki followers call it “bleeding star.”
In a way, Daenerys really was born “under a bleeding star.” When she stepped into the flames at the end of Season 1, she emerged a new person, the Mother of Dragons. The astrolabe seems to confirm this, too, showing Dany as a fourth dragon, which suggests she was spiritually reborn when her dragons hatched.
“Born amidst salt and smoke” could also refer to that same moment when she emerged from the flames unharmed, or it could be a reference to her Targaryen ancestry. Either way, the fact that the “bleeding star” shows up in a drawing of Dany and her dragons feels like a very big hint that Dany might just end up being Azor Ahai, the Prince That Was Promised and the one who defeats the Night King once and for all.
If that’s the case, it may mean she also has to kill her lover, Jon Snow, to activate her own version of the legendary sword Lightbringer. But considering their last interaction with Jon, she might not hesitate to do it.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.