With only three episodes left in the entire series, Game of Thrones fans are clamoring for their long-standing questions to finally be answered. Chief among them: is Jaime the Prince That Was Promised? Season 8's third episode, "The Long Night," seemed to answer that question pretty definitively when Arya Stark killed the Night King during the Battle of Winterfell, suggesting it's actually her who is the frequently theorized-about Azor Ahai. But is the answer really that simple?
Book readers have been divided for years about whether the prophesied hero will turn out to be Jon Snow or Daenerys Targaryen, and when viewers of the show got into the debate, they offered up a bevy of other possible candidates for the title. Probably the most popular pick other than Jon or Dany is Jaime Lannister. He's had one of the biggest and most complex character arcs on the show, and some people are hoping that though he started GoT by screwing his sister and shoving a little boy out the window, he'll end it by proving himself a hero and saving Westeros from the forces of evil. But if Arya has already been proven to be Azor Ahai, that sort of puts a damper on that theory, right?
Well, maybe not. Fans are nothing if not resilient with their favorite theories, and there still might be a way for Jaime to turn out to be the Prince That Was Promised. Even though she killed the Night King, Arya might not be Azor Ahai; she doesn't really fulfill any of the parts of the prophecy, like being born amidst salt and smoke or beneath the sign of a bleeding star. Could the true identity of that hero still be forthcoming, even after the death of the Night King?
We learned in Season 7 that the prophecy of the Prince That Was Promised was actually a mistranslation of a gender-less Old Valyrian word that could mean either "prince" or "princess." Could there be more mistranslations in the legend? Reddit user byrd82 points out that the Valyrian words for "Lord" and "Light" (aeksio and onos) are uncannily similar to the Valyrian words for "gold" and "hand" (aeksion and ondos). And which character do we know with a golden hand?
If the striking parallel between these sets of words is a tease that Jaime is the Prince That Was Promised, then he should be destined to vanquish the great evil threatening Westeros. And even though, yes, the Night King is already dead… there is another great evil now threatening to destroy Westeros, one less existential and much more human (and therefore more dangerous): Cersei Lannister.
If Jaime is Azor Ahai, then he will have to kill his own sister and lover — which would also fulfill one of the story's other long-running prophecies. A woods witch warned Cersei when she was a young girl that, "When your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you." In Old Valyrian, valonqar means "little brother." All her life, Cersei assumed this prophecy referred to Tyrion, which is why she hated him so passionately, but many fans believe the "little brother" in question is actually her twin Jaime, who was technically born several minutes after Cersei.
If Jaime kills Cersei, he could fulfill two prophecies with one stone. Remember that, according to the legend of Azor Ahai, the hero needed to sacrifice his beloved wife Nissa Nissa in order to fulfill his destiny and vanquish evil. This could very well be the ending of Jaime's story — only, in an ironic twist, his lover and the great evil are one and the same. In order to fulfill his destiny, Jaime will have to sacrifice his love and defeat evil in one fell swoop by killing Cersei and saving Westeros.