It's no secret that diehard Game Of Thrones fans comb over every second of every scene, looking for clues that will bolster their own theories. And while the most recent episode, "The Spoils of War," gave us plenty of jaw-dropping moments, it also may have dropped a major hint about a longstanding theory: Jon Snow is Azor Ahai, "the Prince That Was Promised."
If you haven't read the novels, that may sound confusing. Let's break it down...
Note: heavy spoilers follow for Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 4, “The Spoils of War."
The Last Hero Story
For the past few years, fans have gravitated towards a story from George R.R. Martin's books — and, in the show, mentioned by Melisandre (Carice van Houten), who mistakenly believed Stannis Baratheon was the Prince That Was Promised.
The story takes place during the Long Night centuries ago. The Last Hero and his 12 companions search for the Children of the Forest, who had created the White Walkers but lost control of them. The Last Hero eventually finds Children of the Forest and asks for their help; the Night's Watch is then formed and the White Walkers lose the battle.
Fans of the show believe that Jon Snow will become the new Last Hero to help vanquish the White Walkers, as history repeats itself.
Spirals, Spirals Everywhere
Game Of Thrones fans have noticed a theme emerging: the use of spirals. We've seen them appear during the funeral fire for Khal Drogo; when Daenerys is surrounded by her new subjects; and when Jon emerges from "The Battle Of The Bastards." In Season 1 and Season 6, the White Walkers even created spirals using dead bodies and horses.
And we saw spirals again in the dragonglass cave last night, along with ancient paintings of White Walkers...
Jon tells Dany that the Children of the Forest met here with the First Men to join forces against the White Walkers:
"The Children of the Forest made these. They were here together, the Children and the First Men. They fought together against their common enemy. Despite their differences, despite their suspicions, together. We need to do the same if we're going to survive. Because the enemy is real — it's always been real."
In the center of the spiral symbol are 12 circles. The Last Hero (or Azor Ahai) traveled with 12 companions, which seems like no coincidence.
Not only do the symbols show a connection between Jon and Daenerys, but they also seem to represent time and balance. As the story progresses, we know that Daenerys wants to restore balance to the Kingdoms, and Jon wants to create balance across the lands by defeating the White Walkers. As showrunner David Benioff explained after "The Spoils of War" aired:
"It's supposed to be something that’s very evocative of the thousands of years that have passed since those caves were first explored and the paintings were first made. And it’s quite relevant to the current storyline about how these two disparate peoples united to defeat a common enemy."
As Jon and Daenerys both look upon the symbols in the cave, she begins to realize that they must work together.
So, How Is Jon Snow Azor Ahai?
There is some debate as to who will emerge as the Last Hero. Some fans strongly believe it will either be Daenerys or Bran Stark — but many fans have Jon Snow pinned as the Prince That Was Promised. We know that Jon is willing to do anything (and join with anyone) that will help him in his cause.
And here's the most fascinating part: HBO's trailers for Season 7 hinted at another spiral image in the North beyond the wall ... with an image of 12 people standing in a circle, weapons drawn:
Does that mean Snow will soon venture off with a gang of 12 in search of the Children of the Forest, a repetition of ancient history and a fulfillment of the prophecy that a hero will arise to stop the White Walkers? If that's where the story is headed, then the meaning behind the symbols will have come full circle.
Do you think Jon Snow is the Last Hero? Sound off in the comments below!