Jon Snow and his band of merry men are heading north of The Wall to capture a White Walker. The plan is exceedingly stupid, but will collect seven of the hardest men in Westeros on a mission that has fans hyped.
However, an old fairytale from George R. R. Martin’s books suggests the Eastwatch Seven’ probably won’t make it back behind The Wall in one piece.
By now Game of Thrones fans should be familiar with the prophecy of ‘The Prince that was Promised’. The legend has underpinned the second half of Game of Thrones and refers to a figure (sometimes referred to as Azor Ahai) who was responsible for vanquishing the army of the dead the first time around and ending the Long Night.
As Ser Davos explains in the third Song of Ice and Fire book, A Storm Of Swords: “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.”
The Prince is prophesied to return again to defeat the Night King, with many people both in the show, and IRL thinking that Jon Snow will be that figure. His secret father Rhaegar Targaryen was a firm believer of the prophecy, with many book fans viewing his marriage to Lyanna Stark as an attempt to create Azor Ahai.
Jon Snow is the son of a Targaryen father and a Stark mother. He is literally a creation of ice and fire.
Jon has been reborn. He lost his love in Ygritte (a key part of the prophecy revolves around Azor Ahai losing his wife Nissa Nissa, though perhaps this may refer to Daenerys, if Jon and Dany do indeed marry), and in ‘Eastwatch’ he got rather close to Drogon.
While Daenerys and (oddly) Jaime Lannister are also in the running, many imagine Jon Snow eventually becoming The Prince that was Promised.
Which could mean the Eastwatch Seven is DOOMED, and it’s all Bran’s babysitter’s fault, kinda.
It all harks back to a fairytale in the original Game of Thrones book, where the character of Old Nan, a long standing servant to the House Stark, tells Bran about the Long Night.
As Old Nan explains, to stop the White Walkers from taking over, the last hero, “Set out into the dead lands with a sword, a horse, a dog, and a dozen companions. … One by one his friends died, and his horse, and finally even his dog.
“His sword froze so hard the blade snapped when he tried to use it.”
Dear readers, if you’ll allow us to theorise:
- Jon has just set off beyond The Wall - that’ll be the deadlands.
- Jon has six other men on his ranging quest – exactly half a dozen companions.
- Jon hasn’t got a horse or his direwolf with him (Ghost is in Winterfell) – but he has got a man with him named The Hound.
- Jon’s wields a Valyrian steel sword called Longclaw, which should mean it stays sharp and can beat White Walkers… BUT when Jon last killed a White Walker with it, everyone got rather… spooked.
It is at this point we admit, Robb Stark once mentioned Old Nan said the sky is blue because they live in the eye of a blue-eyed giant named Macumber.
So: we’re not saying the majority of the Eastwatch Seven will die and Jon will smash his sword trying to kill the Night King next episode because of a old fairytale.
But we’re not not saying that as well.
It’s a stretch, but maybe there’s something in it.