Warning: SPOILERS for House of the DragonThe prophecy of The Prince That Was Promised has gained a new prominence in House of the Dragon but did Game of Thrones actually pay it off? As described in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the Prince That Was Promised is the legend of Azor Ahai, the champion of the Lord of Light, who will be reborn to fight a great darkness. The Prince That Was Promised was a peripheral part of Game of Thrones, never quite taking center stage in the show’s narrative, yet book readers searched for clues that Azor Ahai could be one of Game of Thrones‘ main characters in the war against the Night King.

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House of the Dragon‘s premiere shockingly retconned The Prince That Was Promised when King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) told his daughter and named heir, Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), the great secret of the Targaryen kings: Aegon the Conqueror had a dream of The Long Night and the end of the world via a great darkness coming from the North. Aegon’s conquest of the Seven Kingdoms wasn’t just for House Targaryen’s glory, it was because he believed that only the Targaryens and their dragons could lead the Seven Kingdoms against the Night King. This is why the Targaryens believed it was crucial that their family must always rule Westeros. Rhaenyra’s knowledge of Aegon’s dream is just one reason why she believes she has to sit upon the Iron Throne.

House of the Dragon episode 4 further tied Aegon’s dream into the prophecy of The Prince That Was Promised. Viserys showed Rhaenyra Aegon’s dagger, which had the prophecy emblazoned onto its Valyrian steel blade that becomes exposed by fire: “From my blood come the prince that was promised, and his will be the song of ice and fire.” This effectively establishes Aegon’s belief that The Prince That Was Promised – the reincarnation of Azor Ahai – will come from Aegon Targaryen’s bloodline. Of course, The Long Night did come 200 years later in Game of Thrones, and the Night King was eventually defeated by the combined forces of Westeros. But did any of Game of Thrones‘ heroes turn out to be The Prince That Was Promised?

Was Jon Snow Or Daenerys Targaryen The Prince That Was Promised?

The two most obvious contenders for The Prince That Was Promised in Game of Thrones are Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). Both stem from Aegon Targaryen’s bloodline. As the daughter of the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen, Daenerys is a pure-blooded Targaryen descended from Aegon the Conqueror. After he was raised in the cold North as a Stark bastard, Jon Snow eventually discovered that he is Daenerys’ nephew and that his true identity is Aegon Targaryen, the son of Daeneys’ older brother Rhaegar Targaryen and his secret wife, Lyanna Stark. This makes Jon half-Targaryen, but still a part of Aegon the Conqueror’s bloodline.

The prophecy of The Prince That Was Promised favors Jon Snow. After all, Jon is a Targaryen male, and he spent years fighting bloody battles and forging his reputation as one of the greatest warriors in the Seven Kingdoms. Jon also shared a unique animosity with the Night King after several face-to-face confrontations. However, Jon was not the one who ultimately killed the Night King. Meanwhile, Daenerys’ dragons were crucial to beating the White Walkers. Jon ended up murdering Daenerys out of fear that she was becoming a Mad Queen. Yet together, Jon and Dany appear to be the Song of Ice and Fire, but it’s left ambiguous by Game of Thrones if either or both are supposed to be The Prince That Was Promised.

Arya Killed The Night King With Aegon’s Dagger — Was She The Prince That Was Promised?

Ultimately, it was Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) who killed the Night King at the end of The Long Night. Arya, who was trained by the Faceless Men to become an assassin, used Aegon’s Valyrian steel dagger to destroy the Night King. The dagger, also known as the catspaw dagger, has a dark tie to Arya’s family as it was once meant to kill her brother, Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright).

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Arya’s killing blow to the Night King could mean she is the surprise incarnation of The Prince That Was Promised. There are hints that this is the case, especially after Melisandre (Carice van Houten) told Arya of her vision to kill those with brown eyes, green eyes, and blue eyes. However, Arya has no ties to Aegon Targaryen’s bloodline, which seems to disqualify her as The Prince That Was Promised as prophecized by Aegon.

Why GoT Didn’t Properly Resolve The Prince That Was Promised Prophecy

The prophecy of The Prince That Was Promised and Azor Ahai is far more prominent in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, but much of the book’s dense narrative and many characters were excised from Game of Thrones. As the TV show continued past the completed books Martin wrote, showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff charted their own course for the characters which may or may not synch with Martin’s plans for how his saga will end. Ultimately, Game of Thrones’ showrunners weren’t interested in this esoteric part of Martin’s mythology, and they opted, instead, to focus on telling the TV series’ story in the manner they did.

The Prince That Was Promised was really more of a subject known to book readers who expected Game of Thrones to incorporate it eventually and were left disappointed when the TV series did not. Yet elements of The Prince That Was Promised were unavoidably part of Game of Thrones, although the prophecy was never placed in the forefront of the narrative. This is why it was so surprising when House of the Dragon not only wove The Prince That Was Promised into the prequel’s story but made it a crucial part of the Targaryens’ succession story involving Rhaenyra. But it is also to be expected considering George R.R. Martin has more creative influence over House of the Dragon than he had with Game of Thrones.

Will GRRM’s Books Confirm Who The Prince That Was Promised Is?

The million-dollar question is whether George R.R. Martin will eventually confirm the identity of The Prince That Was Promised in A Song of Ice and Fire. It’s safe to assume Martin knows the answer; after all, he was aware that the prophecy was actually Aegon the Conqueror’s dream, a factoid he kept to himself until he revealed it to House of the Dragon‘s showrunners when the series was in development. (And it’s not known if Martin ever told Benioff and Weiss.)

Unfortunately, it’s been over 11 years and counting since Martin’s last Game of Thrones novel, A Dance With Dragons, was released. There is no release date in sight for Martin’s still-incomplete sixth book, The Winds of Winter. If George R.R. Martin never completes A Song of Ice and Fire, perhaps there is hope that the answer to who The Prince Who Was Promised is meant to be will be revealed somehow in House of the Dragon or one of the other Game of Thrones spinoffs being developed by HBO.

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House of the Dragon airs Sundays @ 9pm ET and streams on HBO Max.