The Great War is here, Jon Snow says ominously at the end of the latest Game of Thrones trailer, reminding us that despite the all-out war that will consume Westeros an even bigger threat still loomsas well as the hero might save everyone. But that person might not be who you think it is.
That person is Azor Ahai, a legendary hero who lived over 5,000 years ago and wielded a flaming sword called Lightbringer (although its unclear if that hero is the same hero who stopped the original Nights Kings reign of terror thousands of years ago). A prophecy located in ancient books of Asshai and touted by followers of Rhllor (the Lord of Light) claimed that Azor Ahai will come again to fight the darkness. Followers of Rhllor like the Red Priestess Melisandre believe the time for Azor Ahais return has arrived, and she initially believed its Stannis Baratheonwho wielded a flaming sword as his subjects burned statues of the Seven. But Melisandre was wrongand Stannis died so the question of who Azor Ahai remains open.
In season 6, both Jon Snow, who Melisandre resurrected after asking Rhllor for that power, and Daenerys Targaryen, who stepped into Khal Drogos funeral pyre and emerged unharmed with three newly hatched dragons, have emerged as prime candidates. After he returned, Melisandre became convinced Jon was the Prince That Was Promised, which is often used interchangeably with Azor Ahai but could also refer to another prophecy. After talking with Tyrion in Meereen, the Red Priestess Kinvara took to Volantis to proclaim that Daenerys was the Prince That Was Promised. (In High Valyrian, the word for prince is gender neutral so it could refer to Daenerys too.)
But revealing Jon or Daenerys as Azor Ahai, while satisfying, probably isnt the most surprising thing to happen on Game of Thrones; after all, theres plenty of breadcrumbs to lead you that way. What could be an even bigger reveal is if its been someone we wouldve never expected. Someone like the Onion Knight himself.
The theory that Ser Davos Seaworth, who served Stannis as Hand of the King and now advises Jon Snow, could be Azor Ahai has been circulating online for at least three years. It regained steam last week on Reddit as one redditor put together a case based mostly on the show on why Davos might end up saving everyone.
Even before looking into the circumstantial evidence, Davos is more logical and pragmatic than most of the characters around himhe urged Stannis to aid the Nights Watch after receiving a letter on the threat of the White Walkersand still reminds us of the true threat of Westeros, so that definitely puts him a leg up. But the evidence offers a compelling argument too.
The theory points to Davos lifting Lightbringer shortly after Stannis did and his unlikely return after the Battle of Blackwater. Everyone had assumed he died after being blasted off his ship from Kings Landings wildfire, but he found himself on an island instead, which could refer to a rebirth amidst salt and smoke The theory even argues that it wasnt Melisandre but Davosthe last one to leave Jons body apart from Jons loyal direwolf Ghostwho brought Jon back to life. And Melisandre had a crisis of faith before Davos, who adamantly doesnt believe in Rhllor, gave her some encouragement.
Another curious tidbit is from a 2016 interview Liam Cunningham, who plays Davos, did with Conan OBrien. It gained attention for how Cunningham dealt with the Jon Snow question, but he also revealed that George R.R. Martin told him a secret about the books the first time they met, which is now leading some to believe that Davos becoming Azor Ahai is the secret Cunningham learned from Martin.
If we take book evidence into consideration, the argument for Davos being Azor Ahai becomes a little shakier, although theres still plenty of evidence to support it. We have yet to see Jons resurrection (if that were to happen), but he isnt the one to pick up Lightbringer after the display of flames. Its Davos son Devan, a squire for Stannis who doesnt appear in the show, along with Bryen Farring in A Clash of Kings, who roll up Lightbringerafter the statues burn on Dragonstone.
But whether Davos actually is Azor Ahai reborn, its a great demonstration of just how important Davos will be in these final episodes. Hes got Jons ear and is fully aware of the White Walker threat, and having spent time with Stannis, he could offer insight and could convince someone like Daenerys to help him. Chances are we might end up seeing Jon or Daenerys take up the mantle of Azor Ahai, but as one of the few characters in Game of Thrones prominently featured who doesnt come from one of Westeros ruling families, Davos becoming the hero Westeros needs could subvert the trope that the only person who will save everyone is a king or a queen.
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