The Prince Who Was Promised was originally believed by readers to be Jon Snow. Nobody was ever convinced by Melisandre’s conviction it could be Stannis Baratheon. But then it was pointed out that the gender did not have to mean a man. Suddenly Daenerys became the prime suspect. Until, of course, Arya shocked viewers by being the one to dispatch the great evil which threatened the entire world. But, actually, it is still Jon and always was. The Lord of Light actually showed Meisandre but she did not understand. Her god brought the Stark (and secret Targaryen) back to life for one clear reason.
The books contain numerous prophecies and mentions of this mythical prince who will return at a time of greatest need to turn back the darkness.
Daenerys has a vision during A Clash of Kings in the House of the Undying. She sees her brother Rhaegar with his first wife Elia Martell and their new baby son where Rahegar names him Aegon and says: “He has a song. He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire. There must be one more. The dragon has three heads.”
Rhaegar’s secret son Jon, of course, was also named Aegon. He is the only character in the entire saga whose blood combines Targaryen and Stark, fire and ice. Was Dany’s vision purposefully misleading to keep the truth from her – and the readers?
Later, in A Dance With Dragons, an increasingly confused Melisandre searches for answers from her god: “I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai, and R’hllor shows me only Snow.” It is easy to misread this and think she is only seeing snow, which would still be a big clue to Jon, but the upper case indicates the god is actually showing her the man.
It is The Lord of Light who gives his priestess the guidance and power to bring Jon back from the dead.
Why? What purpose does he still have? Ultimately, he doesn’t defeat the Night King, he doesn’t even defeat Ramsay Bolton to save the North and restore Winterfell.
It caused huge fan dismay when it was revealed on the HBO final season that the Night King had been rather a red herring. The threat from beyond the Wall was never the central plot, or the central danger.
It seems R’hillor and presumably the Old Gods of Westeros had one end game and Jon was the final tool to ensure it came to pass.
The throne and future of Westeros were always intended for Barn Stark, it seems.
The greatest danger turned out to be Daenerys. It is not just the increasingly horrified Westerosi lords who do not want her on their throne, it is the land itself.
Jon was brought back to life and manoeuvred to the Dragon Queen’s side so he could fulfil his destiny. Dany’s death even incorporated the terrible part of the prophecy which needed The Prince Who Was Promised to plunge his blade into the heart of his beloved to create the mythical sword Lightbringer.
Martin’s books, of course, revel in prophecies but also make it clear they should never be trusted. However, if anyone is Azor Ahai, it is Jon.
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