Dany's Recent Defeats On 'GoT' May Prove This Popular Theory True

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If there's one thing that bitterly divides the Thrones fandom — usually so united in feelings like hatred for Joffrey or love for Tyrion — is the question of which character will turn out to be the Prince(ss) That Was Promised. Is Daenerys Azor Ahai on Game Of Thrones? She did manage to hatch three dragons from stone, no mean feat. Or is Jon Snow the second coming of the mythical warrior? He is, after all, the literal embodiment of ice (Starks) and fire (Targaryens). Well, one fan might have finally found the Azor Ahai proof viewers needed to put this matter to rest once and for all and unite behind their one true savior… and it all hinges on the events that have taken place in Season 7 so far.

The theory, as outlined by Reddit user matttwee, hinges on a detail of the Azor Ahai prophecy concerning the warrior's weapon, Lightbringer. According to legend, Lightbringer was a flaming sword he used to defeat the White Walkers; sometimes referred to as the Red Sword of Heroes, when a wight or Walker was stabbed with it, it would burn and perish. The issue of Lightbringer is a key piece of evidence when identifying the Prince That Was Promised; and it can be used — metaphorically, at least — to apply the prophecy to either Dany or Jon.

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Jon has the sword but not the flame: the Valyrian steel blade Longclaw, which can kill White Walkers but boasts no literal fire. Dany has the flame but not the sword: Her trio of dragons, which are the ultimate Walker-killing weapon, but not a literal sword. So which of them is the true Prince or Princess? According to this theory, the answer lies in analyzing exactly how Lightbringer was forged.

The myth of Azor Ahai says that the hero labored for 30 days and nights to forge his weapon… but when he went to temper the molten steel in a vat of water, the blade shattered. The next time, he worked the metal for 50 days and nights, and tempered it by plunging it into the heart of a lion… but again it shattered. The third time, he toiled over the furnace for 100 days and nights… and when the time came to temper the sword, he knew he what he would have to sacrifice. So he called forth the thing he loved most in this world — his beloved wife, Nissa Nissa — and stabbed her in the heart. Legend has it that, in that moment, Nissa Nissa cried out so loudly she put a crack in the face of the moon, the weapon burst into flame, and her soul combined with the steel to successfully create Lightbringer.

So what does any of that have to do with the events of Season 7? Well, matttwee's theory points out that the story of Lightbringer's forging is echoed very strangely in the unexpected military defeats that Dany has suffered this season. In Episode 2, "Stormborn," Yara's ships were ambushed by Euron and his Iron Fleet on their way to pick up the Dornish army, eliminating the Mother of Dragons' two closest Westerosi allies. Then in Episode 3, "The Queen's Justice," the Lannisters allowed the Unsullied to take Casterly Rock and then cut off the soldiers' escape, effectively stranding Dany's most fearsome warriors halfway across the continent.

Now, remember the legend of Azor Ahai and Lightbringer. First, he plunged the sword into water, and it shattered — like Dany's defeat at sea by Euron Greyjoy. Then, he plunged the sword into the heart of a lion, and it shattered again — like Dany's defeat at Casterly Rock, the home of the Lannisters. One failure on the water, one failure in the literal heart of the lion's kingdom. For a show with an attention to detail as meticulous as Thrones', that's too accurate to be a coincidence. If that's not proof that Dany is the one who fulfills the prophecy of Azor Ahai, well… then it must be straight-up trolling on the part of the writers.

If these striking parallels are proof that Dany is the Princess That Was Promised, then what does that mean for her future? What about the third, successful attempt to forge Lightbringer? Proponents of the idea that Dany is Azor Ahai have long speculated that she will be required to make a literal sacrifice of a loved one: perhaps the deaths of Khal Drogo and their unborn son have already fulfilled this part of the prophecy; perhaps it will be one of her dragons, felled in battle; perhaps she will even be required to sacrifice her future lover Jon Snow in order to defeat the White Walkers (if you believe in that budding romance).

But I can't help but feel like Dany's sacrifice will ultimately be of the more metaphorical variety. If her defeat at sea was a metaphor for the first attempt, and her defeat at Casterly Rock was a metaphor for the second attempt, then what will she metaphorically have to sacrifice in order to truly become the Princess That Was Promised? What's the one thing Dany loves most in the world? What has she wanted since the first time viewers met her in Season 1? What has she fought tooth and nail to reclaim for the past seven years?

I believe that, some point soon, Daenerys Targaryen will have to sacrifice her family's legacy and her own birthright. Whether that means symbolically abandoning her quest to rule the Seven Kingdoms — or literally sacrificing the Iron Throne by destroying the Red Keep with her dragons — it's possible that Dany will have to kill her own ambition in order to fulfill her destiny and save the continent she has come to conquer. She will have to put aside her own quest for personal power and glory for the good of the realm.

Now that sounds like the stuff of heroes.