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The Prince That Was Promised

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Melisandre initially believed Stannis Baratheon to be the prophesied Lord's Chosen, the Warrior of Light.

"The Lord let you come back for a reason. Stannis was not the Prince Who Was Promised, but someone has to be."
―Melisandre to Jon Snow[src]

"The Prince That Was Promised", sometimes called "The Prince Who Was Promised"[1] or "The One Who Was Promised"[2], also known as the Lord's Chosen, the Son of Fire and the Warrior of Light[3], is a mythic figure in the religion of the Lord of Light. According to prophecy, this figure would be reborn "amidst salt and smoke"[4] and pull a flaming sword from the flames, Lightbringer, to combat the coming darkness.[5]

According to Melisandre, a red priestess of the Lord of Light, Stannis Baratheon, Lord of Dragonstone and self-proclaimed King of the Andals and the First Men, is the prophesied Prince. However, after Stannis is defeated in battle[6] and Jon Snow, the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, is raised from the dead, Melisandre claims Stannis was not the Prince, but "someone must be", suggesting she may now believe it is Jon.[1] She later confirms her belief in Jon as the Prince Who Was Promised to Davos.

Another Red Priestess, established in Volantis, preaches to a group of slaves and freedmen that Daenerys Targaryen is their prophesied savior.[7] Kinvara, the High Priestess of the Red Temple of Volantis, is also certain that Daenerys is the one who was promised, citing her freeing of slaves and birthing of dragons from stone as evidence. She agrees to send her best priests and preachers throughout Essos, spreading the good word about the Queen.[8]

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the Prince That Was Promised is implied to be the reincarnation of a hero known as Azor Ahai. This legendary warrior supposedly lived thousands of years ago and - wielding a sword of fire called Lightbringer - rose up to defeat the darkness of the Long Night. There is some debate among fans as to the interchangeability of "Azor Ahai" and "The Prince That Was Promised": It seems that Azor Ahai is the name given to the legendary figure, while the Prince That Was Promised is more properly his reincarnation. Melisandre, a red priestess of R'hllor, has mentioned the Prince that was Promised and Azor Ahai interchangeably, but tends to use the name Azor Ahai far more often. In any case, the books do not make an explicit connection between the stories of Azor Ahai and the prophecies of the Prince That Was Promised.

Moreover, it is never clearly revealed where the prophecy about the Prince originated, or what culture/religion made the original prediction. Legends of Azor Ahai are widespread across the further east of Essos (though he is known by different names, depending on the region), but the prophecy about the Prince That Was Promised was made only five thousand years ago (according to Melisandre), millennia after Azor Ahai supposedly lived.

The prophecy about the Prince That Was Promised said he would be born from the line of House Targaryen - Stannis Baratheon does match this description because his grandmother was a Targaryen.

Although Daenerys's gender should raise doubts as to the Red Priestess's identification of her as the Prince That Was Promised, in the books Maester Aemon points out that in High Valyrian (the language most versions of the prophecy were written in), the word corresponding to "Prince" is gender-neutral.

See also


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