Thursday, February 23, 2017

Intricacies of the Azor Ahai Prophecy

While working on the Rin Duology series I've become more familiar with the Game of Thrones universe. Partially because I have been binging YouTube videos explaining the vast lore of the series (both tv show and books) and when writing you can't help but become more familiar with things. Sometimes when writing you understand a character more or understand a certain setting better.

One of the things in my fic that I had to deal with at some time was the Azor Ahai Prophecy. As I plan to go all the way to the war with the White Walkers, it isn't something I can avoid. When I decided to cover the prophecy in my fic I decided to add twists and turns so it wouldn't be clear what was going on.

Such as Azor Ahai wouldn't be Daenerys or Jon. Also each element of the prophecy would add to bigger themes in the fic. Such as Azor Ahai becomes a sign that a character has been redeemed while Nissa Nissa is a discussion about romantic versus platonic love.

But I don't want to bore the people not reading my fic and I'm betting some of you are confused about who Azor Ahai and Nissa Nissa are. You might also be wondering why the prophecy is a big deal and how it's connected to the White Walkers. Finally, you might be wondering why this prophecy isn't clear cut.

So let's waste no more time and get started...
The Legend of Azor Ahai

One of Azor Ahai's claim to fame was making the sword Lightbringer to fight off 'the darkness'. This was a special sword that took many tries and a long time to make. It was a sword that was on fire which makes it even cooler in my opinion. Yes it has its place in the lore of Game of Thrones but just melts my heart.

Lightbringer is supposed to signal who Azor Ahai is according to prophecy. The Red Priestesses use it in their ceremonies for this reason.
The first time Azor Ahai attempted to make Lightbringer, he did it in the normal fashion. Nothing fancy or insane, just the usual. After thirty days and thirty nights it turned out to be a waste of time. The usual wouldn't cut it for this sword.

Next time he tried to make Lightbringer he took fifty days and fifty nights to make it. To temper the blade he killed a lion because...well...because reasons. This didn't work and so he had to try to make it yet another way.

Oh, and the lion is the symbol for House Lannister. Remember that for later because I will bring it up.
The third and final time Azor Ahai tried to make Lightbringer he took a hundred days and a hundred nights. All during this time he wasn't happy as he knew what he would have to do to make this sword. To make the sword to defeat the darkness. What was one sacrifice if it would save everyone?

He called Nissa Nissa, his wife, and she bore her chest for him. With her death her soul combined with the steel. Now Lightbringer was made.
With Lightbringer Azor Ahai defeated the darkness. Thrusting the sword into monsters made them burst into flames. I don't know what the darkness is and, for the sake of this post, it doesn't matter for exacts.

I believe in the books, I haven't read books just listen to people who know things, but I think there are other walls like in the North. If true then it is possible the darkness is some other form of White Walkers. Or White Walkers from somewhere other than Westeros. And I might just be speaking out of my butt.
What Makes this Complicated

The main reason, that every other reason derives from, that the Azor Ahai prophecy is so hard to work out is because the legend of the man wasn't accurately recorded. Or it was. But we don't know how accurately or inaccurately it was recorded.
Azor Ahai lived during the Age of Heroes. It's a time in Westeros history that is more myth than fact. So telling what exactly took place during that age can't be told for certain. Unless you can use Bran's time traveling abilities to find out.

This means that defeating the White Walkers might not have been because of bloodshed but because of a peace treaty of some kind. This also might mean that the original Azor Ahai might actually be a combination of people instead of one lone man.
In the show multiple people have been thought to be Azor Ahai. Melisandre has claimed that Stannis Baratheon is Azor Ahai and so helped him during the majority of the show's run. She was able to convince him to sacrifice his own daughter to win a battle. Only after Stannis was defeated did she claim Jon Snow was Azor Ahai.

In Meereen Daenerys Targaryen was called Azor Ahai. The Red Priestesses believing she is indeed the hero of legends is why some calm was able to be kept in that city.

Whether or not Jon or Daenerys will be Azor Ahai can't be told for certain. Personally, I hope it is someone off the radar of most people so it will be a surprise.
People who might be Nissa Nissa haven't been pointed out in the show like Azor Ahai has. Both are part of the prophecy. You need to know who Azor Ahai is before having an inkling of who Nissa Nissa is.

As she was his wife it might be a romantic partner of Azor Ahai reborn. It might also be a close family member.

One reason I want Jorah Mormont to be Azor Ahai is because Daenerys will be Nissa Nissa. Then he'll have to kill her and...I'll be talking about that later in the post. For now know I am in constant misery and I want the whole world to join me in sadness.
Just as the identity of Azor Ahai and Nissa Nissa are wrapped in a cloak of mystery, so to is Lightbringer. Even if we go the simple route of Lightbringer being a sword there is a variety of swords to choose from. To narrow the sword list down you can look at the ancestral swords of different Houses.

But you also have to remember that Lightbringer doesn't have to be an actual sword. Legends and myths have ways of lying but also telling the truth. A sword could be taken as metaphorical which opens the floodgates to creatures and groups that could be considered Lightbringer.
Candidates for Azor Ahai
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.

So what are the requirements for Azor Ahai? How will people know who is the hero reborn?

Before I continue I must remind everyone that Azor Ahai and the Prince that was Promised aren't the same person. Or they are. It's actually a little confusing and there doesn't seem to be a canon answer at the moment.

After a long summer, when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world.
On the show there have been remarks that the recent summer has been a long one.

He shall be born again amidst smoke and salt
This could be referring to Khal Drogo's funeral pyre.

He shall wake dragons out of stone

He shall draw from the fire a burning sword, Lightbringer

I found the requirements HERE. Just want to let you know as more information is on that page then I can get to on this post.
Since to find Nissa Nissa you need to first know who Azor Azhai is, I will be combining them. If I had found enough information on her to give her her own section, I would. Not that Nissa Nissa reborn will be a she. So she's in the same boat as Azor Ahai is on that point.
One of the most obvious and talked about candidates for Azor Ahai is Daenerys Targaryen. Different characters on the show have said or implied she is Azor Ahai. So what qualifies her?

She was reborn when she survived Khal Drogo's funeral pyre. She didn't just survive, she was reborn. The woman who stepped out of the ashes was a much different person than the one who stepped in. In my not so humble opinion, born in this context means reborn.

Daenerys' dragons' eggs were basically stone when she got them. Waking in this context means birthing/hatching. This is something she has done and gained her the title Mother of Dragons.

There was a comet seen after her dragons were born. The comet, or bleeding star, could signal that she is the legendary hero.

Depending on what Lightbringer is...she might have done this. But I'll talk more about that later in this post.

So who would be her Nissa Nissa?

At this point in time it would be Jorah Mormont. He is the one character that has been with her on her entire journey. Minus the part where she exiled him for some time. Even if you don't believe she loves him, there is a bond there. A bond so great that she admitted to Jorah that she needs him. Might I add that was an emotional send off unlike the one she gave Daario?
Another popular pick for Azor Ahai is Jon Snow. Melisandre currently believe he is the hero reborn. Like Daenerys, I don't want Jon to be the legendary hero because it would be predictable. I want it to be someone most people wouldn't even consider. That when a small group of people say it's this character it turns out to be true. Prophecies in the Game of Thrones universe aren't cut and dry. So what qualifies Jon Snow to be Azor Ahai?

In the sixth season of Game of Thrones we finally get to see the end of the Tower of Joy scene. When Ned goes to Lyanna's side he lays one of Ser Arthur Dayne's swords by her bed. The sigil has a star on it and there was blood on the sword for obvious reasons. Thus fulfilling the 'being born under a bleeding star' part of the prophecy.
Salt and smoke I'm not too sure about. As for waking dragons...depends if the rumors of there being a dragon egg or two in Winterfell are true or not.

For now Jon has not pulled a burning sword.

So who is his Nissa Nissa? Jon is very connected to his family he grew up with. He's connected so much that I doubt he'd ever take the Targaryen name. So his Nissa Nissa would come from his family. As of the end of the latest season Sansa, Arya, and Bran are all alive. My bet is on Arya as he shared a deeper bond with her than his other siblings.

If a Jon and Arya reunion happens I will be so happy and then most likely cry in the next scene. Game of Thrones is brutal like that at times.
I'm going to finish this very short list of possible candidates for Azor Ahai with someone that most people don't look at. Well, at least for characters they think will be the legendary hero reborn. Jorah Mormont has never been looked at as Azor Ahai like Jon or Daenerys has. He's the kind of character I would want to be the legendary hero for the reason of no one really considering him. I want to be surprised. So what qualifies him?

With Jorah the prophecy mainly deals with his rebirth. When Daenerys stepped out of the funeral pyre he was reborn. His love and dedication to the woman was cemented at that time. In my mind two people came out of that pyre changed. He was reborn in salt and smoke. He was reborn and there was a bleeding star also known as a comet.

You could consider Jorah not stopping Daenerys from entering the flames as helping to birth dragons. If he had stopped her there would be no Drogon or Viserion or Rhaegal.

Jorah hasn't wielded a flaming sword yet.

Remember when Azor Ahai killed a lion while trying to make Lightbringer? Remember that a lion is House Lannister's sigil?

Tyrion is a Lannister and Jorah captured him as a gift for Daenerys. This could be seen as a version of 'slaying'. Prophecies in Game of Thrones are very hard to figure out as they are tricky to say the least. To date this has been the hardest post for me to write because of that fact.

Jorah Mormont's Nissa Nissa would be Daenerys Targaryen. He loves her with all his being and it can't be anyone else. I admit I sort of like the idea of Jorah being Azor Ahai because he would have to kill Daenerys. The woman that changed him and he loves would be the one he would have to kill. I like the thought of the pain I would feel just seeing his anguish. Daenerys and Jorah are my OTP of the series to put this want into perspective.

As this was a short list of candidates feel more than free to talk about your own picks.
Candidates for Lightbringer

Remember that Lightbringer doesn't have to be an actual sword. Prophecies in the Game of Thrones universe are rarely easy to read. Cersei's Valonqar Prophecy has the problem of valonqar meaning both little sister and little brother. Also that prophecy doesn't state whose sibling is being referred to. Guesses range from the obvious Tyrion Lannister to the not likely Daenerys Targaryen.

So it's not out of the norm for Lightbringer's status as an actual sword to be put into question.
Dawn is the ancestral blade of House Dayne. Unlike the majority of Houses, this blade isn't passed down from father to son. Instead the blade is given only to the best knights of the House. The person that wields Dawn is called the Sword of the Morning. The last person to wield this ancient blade was Ser Arthur Dayne.

The ancestral seat of House Dayne is Starfall. The place is called such as the first Dayne followed a shooting star and found a magic stone. This magic stone was used to help make Dawn.

Because of Dawn's unique history in Game of Thrones, many have speculated that it is actually Lightbringer.

The Battle for the Dawn is a legendary battle where the White Walkers were defeated. This took place in the Age of Heroes so the exacts can't be known about it. However, the information at hand makes 'Dawn' and 'Sword of the Morning' take on new meanings to indicate Dawn being Lightbringer.
Longclaw doesn't have the remarkable history of Dawn so I won't mention it here. That and I'm unfamiliar with its history. What I do know is that it's the ancestral Valyrian blade of House Mormont.

When Jorah fled into exile he left Longclaw behind out of respect. He's an honorable man but does bad things from time to time. Anyways, this left the sword in the hands of Jeor Mormont. After the Lord Commander died Jon Snow took ownership of it.

From what I can gather it is really Jon's connection to Longclaw that fuels the fan theories about it being Lightbringer. The sword is also connected to another man I suspect to be Azor Ahai: Jorah Mormont.
Lightbringer doesn't have to be a sword which makes figuring out if we've actually seen it extremely difficult. I wish prophecies were easier to decipher because of instances like these...anyways...since the legendary sword doesn't have to be a sword there is nothing saying it can't be Daenerys' dragons.
The Azor Ahai prophecy is about stopping the White Walkers and fire is effective against such foes. It would also be a great twist as it is a surprise and we actually have an emotional connection to the dragons. Swords can be cool but nothing beats being invested in a character. Having the dragons be Lightbringer would give this part of the prophecy an emotional connection that it would otherwise lack.
Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come. 

For this I am using the oath from the books. The show's version leaves out a few things and I want to be able to talk about the full oath.

One reason the Night's Watch could be Lightbringer is that its whole purpose is to protect Westeros from the White Walkers. Azor Ahai stopped the darkness which could be another word for White Walkers. When the White Walkers attack in Season 7 or 8, the Night's Watch will be more invested than most in stopping the threat. Again, it's their purpose to stop the White Walkers.

The oath says 'I am the sword in the darkness'. Sword in the darkness? What is one legendary sword that was used in the darkness? Ligthbringer of course. Also the 'sword' part of the oath seems off as if there were another word that was meant to be there.

The oath also says 'I am the fire that burns against the cold'. Earlier there was a reference to a sword and, again, Lightbringer is a flaming sword. There is fire involved there.

The oath also states 'the light that brings the dawn'. Lightbringer is the sword wielded by Azor Ahai that stopped the darkness' reign of terror. That sword brought the ability for people to see the dawn yet again.

The oath also says 'the horn that wakes the sleepers'. This could possibly reference the Horn of Winter, aka Horn of Joramun, and so isn't really connected to Lightbringer. Or maybe it is. I haven't heard too much about it yet.

The final part of the oath I'll mention is 'the shield that guards the realms of men'. While a sword is a weapon used to attack, it can also be seen as a shield in a certain context. If there are people fighting to protect others they could be seen as a shield. Lightbringer protected people in such a manner and ended the reign of terror of the White Walkers.

As this was a short list of candidates, feel more than free to comment your own picks.
Why Azor Ahai is so Important

In Game of Thrones it is easy to forget about the threat of the White Walkers. They aren't as prominent as Cersei Lannister blowing up the Great Sept of Baelor. They don't have the same growth as Daenerys Targaryen and her three dragons. While deadly, they haven't had as much screen time as the despicable Ramsay Bolton. There are so many plots and sub-plots that it is easy to push the White Walkers to the back burner. Sure they will be a threat but for now there are so many other interesting things like if Jorah Mormont will be able to cure his grey scale!

Fangirling about Jorah aside...the White Walkers will make their return very soon. We are coming to the end of the series which means they will show us how deadly they really are.
When the White Walkers finally attack there needs to be those that can fight them. Jon Snow and Sam Tully have both killed the creatures. They are more than hard to kill but it can be done. As long as you wield the right kind of weapon that is.

With Sam becoming a maester, he will be able to find how to better kill the monsters. Maybe he'll even find out about the history of the White Walkers. While they might seem like scary monsters, there's a good chance they are more intelligent than we think. If Sam can find out any of their history that could help with battles, that will be just as important as any sword or dragon.
Having people that can fight is important. Without soldiers you can't hope to win a war. However, if enough humans die the war will never be won and the known world will be lost. So there needs to be someone that can win it. This time win the war for good.

What hero could possibly hope to win the war against the White Walkers? Who carries a weapon that is famous for killing monsters? Who is a hero reborn that is prophesied to stop the darkness?

None other than Azor Ahai!

So you can see why the Azor Ahai Prophecy is so important. It isn't just about defeating some enemies, it's about saving the world and protecting mankind.
Please leave a comment about your thoughts on the Azor Ahai Prophecy. Who do you think Azor Ahai is? Who do you think Nissa Nissa is? What/who do you think Lightbringer is? Also comment below to suggest future posts for this blog.




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