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Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire news, theories, and other nerdy goodness

Tag: Melisandre

Who is the Prince that was Promised? (Spoilers and specuation)

During Game of Thrones episodes three and four – “Oathbreaker” and “Book of the Stranger” – Melisandre calls Jon the Prince that was Promised. Is she right? What is the Prince that was Promised anyway?

In the A Song of Ice and Fire books, there are two saviors that are referenced – Azor Ahai Reborn and the Prince that was Promised. There are many overlapping qualities, and many people suspect they refer to the same person. There are prophecies associated with both, and they both concern saving the world from the Long Night/the darkness/the Others (White Walkers).

According to followers of R’hllor (The Lord of Light), Azor Ahai was a legendary hero who wielded a burning sword and fought the darkness that lay over the world. He may be connected to the Last Hero, who fought the Others during the Long Night with a blade of dragonsteel. Azor Ahai is prophesied to be reborn “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.”

Melisandre also states “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.” She seems to believe the dragons will be made out of stone, because she later tells Stannis that “only a king’s blood can wake the stone dragon.” Melisandre wants him to sacrifice his nephew Edric Storm (a bastard sired by Robert Baratheon – replaced by Gendry on the show) and his “dragon shall awaken and spread his stony wings.”

Melisandre uses the Prince that was Promised interchangeably with Azor Azai Reborn, so she obviously believes they are one and the same. We get very little information about the Prince that was Promised, other than that he will be instrumental in the war for the dawn (presumably the fight against the Others), will be born from the line of Aerys (the Mad King) and Rhaella, and that his song is the song of ice and fire.

Since there are many similarities between the two prophecies, for the sake of argument let’s assume they are about the same person. Is Melisandre right in thinking it’s Jon? She first believed it was Stannis which was obviously incorrect (and appears to be the case in the books as well), and on the surface Daenerys seems to be a better fit.

Daenerys was born (literally) amidst salt (the sea) when she was born on the island fortress of Dragonstone. She was born again (figuratively) amidst smoke when she walked unburnt out of the fire of Khal Drogo’s funeral pyre. The bleeding red star (comet) also appeared at this time, while the darkness (Others) were gathering beyond the Wall. She woke dragons out of stone when she hatched the stony eggs in the pyre (using the Khal’s blood), and the dragons could be metaphorical swords.

Melisandre may have believed that Stannis was The Prince that was Promised if she saw Dragonstone in hear flames. He was the current Lord of Dragonstone, so it would make sense for her to seek him out. She believed in this vision so strongly that she tried to force the prophecy to fit him, giving him an illusory “burning” sword. However, he is not from the line of Aerys and Rhaella (although he does have Targaryen ancestry). Daenerys is both from their line – their daughter – and was born on Dragonstone.

Everything seems to point to Daenerys, but George R. R. Martin is quoted as saying that prophecies shouldn’t be “too literal or too easy,” and that they should “come true in unexpected ways.” With that in mind, how could this be applied to Jon Snow?

If you believe he is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, then he would be the grandson of Aerys and Rhaella and potentially the heir to the Iron Throne (if legitimate). That would make him the Prince of Dragonstone as his father was before him, so if Dragonstone was the key to Melisandre’s vision – and she assumed it was associated with the Prince that was Promised – it could have been pointing toward Jon.

We don’t know much of the circumstances of his birth, but likely there were tears (salt). His resurrection hasn’t happened in A Song of Ice and Fire, but on Game of Thrones he was resurrected amidst smoke (Melisandre burning his hair). There has also been speculation that salt and smoke were used to describe snow and steamy breath in cold air by people that had never seen it. Additionally as Jon was stabbed in the books, Bowen Marsh was crying, and his wounds were “smoking.”

There are theories in the books about the red star bleeding – that it could be the knight with the star sigil who was torn apart by Wun Wun right before Jon’s murder, or that it could refer to Melisandre (the theory for that is detailed here). We haven’t seen much evidence for this in the show, but they could be simplifying it for television.

Regarding “waking dragons out of stone,” this is where is gets tricky. Since Jon is unlikely to find dragon eggs or a literal stone dragon, some believe that Shireen’s burning is what leads to Jon’s rebirth. Greyscale looks like the skin turning to stone, so using magic caused by burning her (releasing her king’s blood) would be waking a dragon (Targaryens are frequently referred to as dragons in both the books and the show) from stone.

My personal belief is that there is proof of Jon’s Targaryen lineage in Lyanna’s crypt. One very convincing theory is that it is Rhaegar’s harp. Discovery of this proof would be a metaphorical way of waking a dragon from stone. Blood is used many times to refer to a relative – not actual blood – so perhaps the king’s blood of the prophecy means a relative of the king. Perhaps you don’t need this person’s actual blood, but just their presence. Jon is a king’s “blood” so he may find the evidence himself, or Bran (related to King Robb Stark) could discover this proof in a vision.

Finally, Lyanna asks Ned to promise her something before she dies. Most likely she asks him to protect Jon, or preserve his heritage by burying evidence with her, or both. Assuming Jon truly is a prince (not bastard born), then he is literally a promised prince.

Do you think Jon will be the savior of Westeros? If not, who do you predict it will be?

Will Melisandre Find Redemption and Help Save Westeros?

Happy premiere day everyone! The long wait for Game of Thrones season 6 is finally just a few short hours from being over. In honor of tonight’s episode – The Red Woman – I am doing my character prediction on none other than Melisandre. Love to hate her or hate to love her, no one can deny she is an intriguing character who looks to have a big impact on the story. Possible spoilers below, so read at your own risk.

Melisandre in A Song of Ice of Fire

She first appears in the books under mysterious and villainous circumstances. Most of her actions are seen through Davos Seaworth’s point of view, and he sees her as an evil, negative influence on Stannis Baratheon. Indeed, she does many things that disturb the reader and paint her as an antagonist.

It isn’t until Melisandre’s POV chapter in A Dance with Dragons that we get the opportunity to see inside her head. We then get the impression that whether or not you believe in her cause or her methods, she truly believes in what she does and that it’s necessary to save Westeros from annihilation.

Melisandre’s story ends with her warning Jon about the danger he faces and his impending betrayal. Many readers assume that she will resurrect Jon in the next book, since we have seen this done by Thoros of Myr (another red priest of R’hllor). Unlike in the show, Melisandre did not see this feat being performed, so it’s not guaranteed that she knows about it.

I do believe Melisandre will bring Jon back. Thoros brought Beric back by accident, not knowing it was possible, so it may be a similar circumstance for her. Many think that she will burn Shireen to perform the resurrection (believing she will need king’s blood to give her power). Although this is likely to happen, I don’t see it being done in conjunction with Jon.

The rest of her story is a mystery to me. There are many theories about Melisandre, but it seems to be certain she is much older than she appears (and possibly the daughter of Bloodraven – there is a wonderful synopsis of that theory here). She has seen Bloodraven and Bran in her fires, believing them to be agents of the enemy – perhaps their stories with intersect. I do think she will become a believer in Jon as Azor Ahai Reborn (whether he actually is or not) once he returns from the dead.

Melisandre in Game of Thrones

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Her purpose seems more straightforward on the show – we are clearly set up for Melisandre to resurrect Jon after she witnesses Thoros bring back Beric in season 3, and then she returns to Castle Black in season 5 right before Jon’s stabbing. From the released footage we’ve received, Davos and the other loyal Night’s Watch brothers seem to be protecting Jon’s body for a reason. Surely Melisandre would have shared the possibility of bringing him back.

As much as I would like for Jon to come back in the premiere, I think we might be kept in suspense a while longer. Carice van Houten and Liam Cunningham have said something big happens with Melisandre in the premiere, and that it isn’t what we think. What seems likely is that it will involve something surprising about her – her true age perhaps, or maybe more about her backstory.

I, for one, can’t wait to find out what this season has in store for Melisandre. Will she redeem herself after her failure with Stannis? Will she atone for Shireen? I find her fascinating and look forward to seeing more of “The Red Woman.”

Just 5 hours left – enjoy the show!

 

To Watch or Not to Watch?

The Game of Thrones season 6 premiere is rapidly approaching – just over 2 weeks to go! – and I know many book readers have decided to skip this season in favor of waiting for The Winds of Winter to be released. I definitely understand the desire to see some of the big cliffhangers from A Dance with Dragons resolved on the page rather than the screen, but I can’t wait to see how things play out this year.

There has definitely been a divergence between the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and Game of Thrones. The main thrust of the story will likely be the same, but many of the side plots and stories have changed. I don’t think seeing the TV adaptation will in any way ruin my appreciation and love for the remaining novels once they are released. The books contain so many wonderful details that unfortunately don’t make it into the show.

My biggest reason for tuning in is that I have been waiting 5 long years to find out what happens to Jon Snow (since finishing A Dance with Dragons in 2011). Ideally The Winds of Winter would have revealed his fate to me before the show, but unfortunately that wasn’t to be. I (along with the majority of book readers and plenty of show watchers) believe he will be back with a huge role to play in the remainder of the series, and I think it will be exciting to see.

On that note, Carice van Houten (Melisandre) and Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) have been heavily promoting season 6, and it appears that their characters will have a significant impact on the storyline this year. Carice has stated in The Telegraph that Melisandre will be insecure and having a crisis of faith in the wake of Stannis’s death, and has previously mentioned she has a “pivotal” role this year. Liam teases new alliances, shocking developments, and that the first episode (titled “The Red Woman”) is “astonishing.” Liam’s latest interview on Conan contained an extended version of a clip from the trailer:

It certainly seems that something huge will be taking place at Castle Black early on, and if it’s Jon’s resurrection I would rather watch it happen on Game of Thrones than read about online after the fact. After reading filming reports last year, seeing the teasers and trailers, and reading cast interviews my excitement level is reaching an all time high. These last 15 days of waiting are going be tough!

Are you planning to watch this year? What are your expectations for season 6?

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