Game of Thrones is gearing up to finally kick off the Great War between the dead and the living, and it's only a matter of time before the prophecy of Azor Ahai's return comes to pass. Prophecy states that a prince who was promised will wield the flaming sword known as Lightbringer and use it to battle the dead. According to Melisandre, darkness will fall heavy on the world once the long summer comes to an end. Stars will bleed, the seas will freeze due to the icy winter winds, and the dead will rise in the North. A hero by the name of Azor Ahai, reborn in salt and smoke, will use Lightbringer to restore light and life.
Of course, Melisandre has been very wrong when it comes to prophecies in the past, as she was quite convinced that Stannis Baratheon was the Prince That Was Promised that would fulfill the prophecy. With Stannis dead and the full legitimate Baratheon line extinguished, the Prince That Was Promised must be somebody else entirely. We learned in Season 7 that the original prophecy in its High Valyrian form referred to a savior without specifying a man or a woman. Unfortunately for whoever is the subject of the prophecy, a sacrifice is required for Lightbringer to turn the tide of the war. The original Azor Ahai had to kill his beloved wife; the new Azor Ahai would likely have to give up something or someone beloved as well.
Now that many of the major players of Game of Thrones are coming together, the time has come to try and figure out the identity of the reborn Azor Ahai. We've come up with a handful of characters who could fit the bill (and one wild card), and we've ranked their likelihood. Take a look!
5. Ser Jorah Mormont
Ser Jorah as Azor Ahai is a theory that has been around for quite a while, and for a long time it was too wild even for our list of wild Game of Thrones theories. Given what we know of Jorah in Season 7, however, it's time to reevaluate. While Jorah is no prince, he has gone through a couple of different "rebirths" of sorts. When Dany emerged from the smoke and ashes of Drogo's funeral pyre, Jorah gave himself wholly to her cause and her faith. He was changed from the exiled knight into Dany's most loyal advisor, so much so that he tried to forget his early days of betraying her to Varys.
Jorah went through a less figurative rebirth later in the series, when he sailed through the ruins of Valyria and contracted greyscale from the stone men there. Even despite his grim prognosis, Jorah is still going and still dedicated to Dany's cause. As a man of the North whose ancestral house is fully on board with preparing for the Great War, he might even feel the pull to try and ally Jon and Dany and therefore create the song of ice and fire. I'm not sure that he has it in him to sacrifice his beloved Daenerys, but it would be a great twist if Melisandre's Prince That Was Promised didn't have king's blood or any mystical beasts.
4. Bran Stark
Given that Jon Snow is King of the North, Bran Stark technically is a prince. While he and Jon may actually only be cousins, they were raised as siblings, and we can bet that Bran still thinks of Jon as a brother even after what he learned in his blast from the past to the Tower of Joy in Season 6. Due to his damaged spine and legs, Bran won't be wielding a sword and leading any armies into battle with a magical sword, but prophecies are rarely straightforward. Maybe the reborn Azor Ahai won't need to wield a physical sword; maybe he'll just need a certain set of powers to help the living take a stand against the dead.
Bran certainly does have powers thanks to his lessons from the Three-Eyed Raven. As for the sacrifice, isn't it possible that Bran already lost something precious to him when he lost the use of his legs? Bran was reborn into a different person after his ability to walk was taken from him; perhaps we'll discover that Bran's whole life was building up to the moment when he seizes his destiny as the Prince That Was Promised, just as Hodor's life was building up to the moment when he needed to hold the door.
3. Beric Dondarrion
Beric Dondarrion is probably the closest thing we've gotten to a version of Azor Ahai on Game of Thrones so far. He has been resurrected from the dead thanks to the efforts of Thoros of Myr a number of times, and he is the only character to wield a flaming sword without needing to protect his hands. Although not a prince, he is a knight, and he has become a savior of sorts to many of the common folks of the riverlands. Maybe we'll discover that we've been looking for Azor Ahai in all the wrong places, and the Prince That Was Promised was in front of us all along.
It's worth noting as well as Beric is currently on his way North, and footage from Season 7 trailers indicates that he and his flaming sword will have a significant part to play in the Great War. Even if Beric Dondarrion isn't Azor Ahai and his sword isn't Lightbringer, he's at least a character who has given viewers a good look at what is possible with the Lord of Light at work without Melisandre getting in the way and misinterpreting signs.
2. Daenerys Targaryen
All of this said, there have always been two obvious candidates for Azor Ahai reborn, and Daenerys Targaryen is one of them. Thanks to generations of Targaryen inbreeding, she has the most pure royal blood of any living character on the series, and the High Valyrian of the prophecy allows the Prince That Was Promised to be translated as the Princess That Was Promised. Dany has come to Westeros with three dragons, whose fire will be able to take out White Walkers and wights easily. She already has the approval of a number of the Lord of Light's followers thanks to her actions over in Essos.
There's also the point that Season 7 really seems to be the season for the ladies of Game of Thrones to take charge. It would be truly fitting if, after years of hearing Melisandre go on and on about a Prince who was promised, we ended up with a Princess who fits the prophecy without Melisandre needing to try and shape her into the role. Besides, Game of Throne__s is a song of ice and fire, and the Night King is bringing the cold down with him from Beyond the Wall. Dany can bring the fire. Dany almost perfectly fits the prophecy for Azor Ahai reborn. She did already kill her beloved Drogo, and if that doesn't qualify, she does have three dragons... and does she really need all three?
1. Jon Snow
While Dany almost perfectly fits the Azor Ahai prophecy, Jon Snow pretty much perfectly fits. As the presumed child of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, he is literally the product of the union of ice and fire. He has been reborn after death and even already used his Valyrian steel sword to take out a White Walker north of the Wall. Assuming Rhaegar and Lyanna married before he was born, Jon is technically the rightful heir to the Iron Throne by even Dany's standards, which could actually make for a hilarious conversation if the truth ever comes out. Something tells me she won't just give up her claim if she learns her brother had a son and there's somebody ahead of her in the blood line of succession.
Jon admittedly doesn't have one obvious person to sacrifice in order to fulfill the prophecy, although Arya is heading North again, and they were always close. He also still has Ghost handy, and Ghost is one of only two survivors of the litter of direwolf pups from way back in the series premiere. Ghost is the only companion who has been with Jon through everything; wouldn't he be a devastatingly fitting sacrifice for the sake of the prophecy? There is the point that Jon fits the prophecy so perfectly that a reveal of him as the Prince That Was Promised would be somewhat anticlimactic, but the reveal that he is (probably) the product of Lyanna + Rhaegar wasn't any less epic for how relatively obvious a twist it was.
At the end of the day, Jon Snow is by far the most likely candidate to be revealed as Azor Ahai, if the reborn Azor Ahai is truly only one person. That said, there's one wild card still living in the Seven Kingdoms who could possibly be Azor Ahai. Head on to the next page to discover our pick for the Azor Ahai wild card!
Wild Card: Gendry
There is one last person living in the Seven Kingdoms with Baratheon king's blood in his veins, and that person is Gendry. Although a bastard and not a Baratheon by name, both Melisandre and Stannis believed that his Baratheon blood made him valuable to the Lord of Light back in Season 3. He hasn't been seen since Davos sent him away from Dragonstone in a rowboat to save him from being sacrificed by Melisandre. Assuming he didn't fall out of the boat and drown, he probably made it back to King's Landing and is working as a blacksmith under a different name. King's Landing isn't terribly far from Dragonstone, where Jon and Dany will finally meet.
Jon's whole reason for meeting Dany is that he needs dragonglass weapons for the Great War, and Davos came with him to Dragonstone. Might Davos not recall the handy blacksmith he knows in King's Landing who might be willing to join their group and create weapons for them? Gendry was close with Arya, and he might be inclined to help her brother, although he probably won't be too happy to see Melisandre, and it would likely be a bad idea for Dany to learn his true identity. Besides, as a blacksmith, Gendry might actually be able to forge a magical sword without needing to plunge it into the heart of someone or something he loves. He's probably coming back in Season 7. Could it be to take his place as Azor Ahai?
Okay, probably not, but this is Game of Thrones. No wild card should ever be counted out when it comes to Game of Thrones. You can catch new episodes on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. Let us know in the comments who you think will seize Lightbringer and fulfill the prophecy of Azor Ahai reborn!