As we wait for Season 8, one of the biggest questions left in Game of Thrones remains: Who is Azor Ahai? Fans spend countless hours poring over the very specific criteria of the prophecy, obsessing over who might be The Prince That Was Promised. The general consensus seems to be that Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow are tied for first place in the race to be the reborn Prince of Unspecified Gender. But, they are the more, shall we say, predictable choices. And when has Game of Thrones ever been predictable? This series loves a twist. One Redditor byrd82 has been working on a pretty solid Game of Thrones theory that posits Jaime Lannister might be the Champion of Light.
Byrd82 crunched the numbers, dug through the evidence, and came up with a pretty convincing argument that Jaime Lannister—one-handed, sister-loving, Kingslaying Jaime Lannister—is, in fact, the oft-promised Prince who will single-handedly save the Seven Kingdoms.
There's a lot of evidence on the table, in fact, that suggests Jaime Lannister will forge a diplomatic peace with the White Walkers. At the end of this, you could come away thinking that Jaime Lannister is the hero of Game of Thrones—an unlikely hero who once shoved a child out of a tower window, but a hero nonetheless.
The Azor Ahai prophecy was brought up in Season 7, when Melisandre mentioned it to Daenerys in the second episode. Melisandre, who had previously put all her eggs in the Stannis Baratheon basket, hopped aboard the Dany bandwagon, because she is now certain that Dany is the Lord of Light. But what is the prophecy? And how does this relate to Jaime facing down the oncoming onslaught of White Walkers?
Way back when, during the Long Night, Azor Ahai made a huge sacrifice by killing his wife. With her blood, he forged himself the best sword in the world (named Lightbringer) and went around slaying the White Walkers. Now, rumor has it Azor Ahai is about to be reborn. But who will that vessel be? Dany and Jon Snow are in contention for the role of Prince Who Was Promised, but Jaime Lannister might be our best bet.
So, who is Azor Ahai? Well, in the books there's a lot of talk about a prophesied hero, destined to save mankind from the White Walkers. This hero is going to be a reborn Azor Ahai, a man who famously forged a sword called Lightbringer by making a great sacrifice. He knew he had to make a powerful tool to defeat the enemy, but it was an arduous process:
"He labored for thirty days and thirty nights until it was done. However, when he went to temper it in water, the sword broke. He was not one to give up easily, so he started over.
The second time he took fifty days and fifty nights to make the sword, even better than the first. To temper it this time, he captured a lion and drove the sword into its heart, but once more the steel shattered.
The third time, with a heavy heart, for he knew before hand what he must do to finish the blade, he worked for a hundred days and nights until it was finished. This time, he called for his wife, Nissa Nissa, and asked her to bare her breast.
He drove his sword into her breast, her soul combining with the steel of the sword, creating Lightbringer, while her cry of anguish and ecstasy left a crack across the face of the moon."
It was an act of unimaginable sacrifice. It has been said time and again that Azor Ahai will be reborn to lead the current generation of Westerosi against the threat of the White Walkers. Someone, it seems, is destined to take up this tragic mantle.
But, just who will fill that role in Game of Thrones is still up for debate. Jaime fits the bill pretty nicely, however. After several long seasons, he's finally started to shed the identity of "Kingslayer" and begun the process of becoming The Prince Who Was Promised.
This rebirthing process began right after Jaime lost his hand. Just look at the scene he and Brienne share in the bath. If you look to Chapter 37 of A Storm of Swords, the text makes Jaime's identity crisis fairly explicit:
"The water had grown cool. When Jaime opened his eyes, he found himself staring at the stump of his sword hand. The hand that made me Kingslayer. The goat had robbed him of his glory and his shame, both at once. Leaving what? Who am I now?"
Right after this passage, Jaime passed out. Brienne shouted for help, referring to Jaime as "Kingslayer," but Jaime managed to correct her in his weakened state, saying "My name is Jaime." This is especially interesting when compared to the first time Azor Ahai tried to forge Lightbringer. Azor Ahai made a great-looking sword, but as soon as he took it to the water to temper it, the steel broke. Jaime, similarly, broke down in the water.
The real Azor Ahai took a second crack at sword forging, this time finishing the process by plunging his blade into the heart of a lion. The second time, however, was not the charm. The steel shattered again, so Azor Ahai basically took down a lion for no reason. Reddit user byrd82 pointed out there are some parallels between Azor Ahai's second attempt at making the ultimate sword and Jaime's next attempt to shed the Kingslayer identity.
Shortly after Joffrey's end at the Purple Wedding, Jaime tried to leave his past behind him by releasing Tyrion from prison. Tyrion then went up to the Tower of the Hand to confront their father, Tywin Lannister, shooting him with a crossbow.
There was a lot of lion imagery in this scene, and Shae calling Tywin "my lion" really hammered that home. Don't forget, the Lannisters' sigil is a roaring, golden lion, and their words are "Hear Me Roar." So, Tyrion was, in effect, shooting a lion in the chest. Now, you may be thinking, "Well Tyrion did that, not Jaime, so who's Azor Ahai now?" And that's fair.
But Cersei linked the end of Tywin—the head lion of House Lannister—back to Jaime, saying, “Tyrion may be a monster, but at least he killed our father on purpose. You killed him by mistake with stupidity.” So Jaime indirectly plunged an arrow into the heart of a metaphorical lion, thus furthering his journey to rebirth as Azor Ahai.