|Theories may be removed if ...
According to the prophecy recounted by Melisandre, after a long summer, Azor Ahai will be reborn amidst smoke and salt wielding the flaming sword Lightbringer to defend the world from R'hllor's nemesis, the Other. While Melisandre is certain Stannis Baratheon is Azor Ahai, others are not so sure.
It seems very possible Dragonstone is the place Azor Ahai will be reborn as it is a volcanic island, thus providing both smoke from the mountain and salt from the sea.
Azor Ahai reborn
According to the prophecy, as recounted by Melisandre, these are the indicators of the coming of Azor Ahai:
- After a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world
- Variant: When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers
- He shall be born again amidst smoke and salt
- He shall wake dragons out of stone
- He shall draw from the fire a burning sword, Lightbringer
If Azor Ahai is the same as the prince that was promised:
- He is born of the line of Aerys II and Rhaella Targaryen, according to a woods witch
- His is the song of ice and fire, according to Rhaegar Targaryen
- According to Maester Aemon, the word used to describe the prince in the prophecy was a gender-neutral word. While all assumed that the prince must be male, Aemon recently came to believe the prophecy could point to a female as well.
- Azor Ahai was born from smoke and salt
- Azor Ahai will make the world anew
- Azor Ahai's triumph over darkness will bring a summer that will never end
- Death itself will bend its knee, and all those who die fighting in Azor Ahai's cause shall be reborn
- According to Melisandre, Stannis is Azor Ahai reborn.
- Stannis wields a magic sword that was forged by plunging a blade through a burning statue of the Maiden at the sept at Dragonstone. This ceremony is meant to be his 'rebirth' as Azor Ahai. The burning statues of the Seven provide the smoke and the waves on the shores of Dragonstone provide the salt.
- Stannis was named the Lord of Dragonstone after Robert's Rebellion, Dragonstone being a place of smoke and salt.
- Stannis' paternal grandmother was Rhaelle Targaryen, meaning that he has the Blood of the Dragon, which may or may not be a prerequisite.
- However, Stannis wasn't born from the line of Mad Aerys and Rhaella.
- Maester Aemon also remarks that Stannis's sword, while shining brilliantly thanks to Melisandre's magic, gives off no heat and so could not possibly be Lightbringer.
- After Samwell Tarly tells Maester Aemon of the rumors about Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons, Aemon becomes certain that Daenerys is the prophesied leader. He says to Sam:
No one ever looked for a girl..It was a prince that was promised, not a princess. Rhaegar, I thought … the smoke was from the fire that devoured Summerhall on the day of his birth, the salt from the tears shed for those who died. He shared my belief when he was young, but later he became persuaded that it was his own son who fulfilled the prophecy, for a comet had been seen above King’s Landing on the night Aegon was conceived, and Rhaegar Targaryen was certain the bleeding star had to be a comet.
What fools we were, who thought ourselves so wise! The error crept in from the translation. Dragons are neither male nor female, Barth saw the truth of that, but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame. The language misled us all for a thousand years.Daenerys is the one, born amidst salt and smoke. The dragons prove it.
He subsequently bids Sam relate all their findings to the maesters in Oldtown and convince them to send a maester to Daenerys.
- The prophecy was originally made using the Valyrian word for "dragons", who are neither male or female, meaning Azor Ahai reborn may not necessarily be a man.
- Daenerys was born on Dragonstone, an island in the narrow sea ("amidst salt"), and reborn as the Mother of Dragons on Khal Drogo's burning funeral pyre ("amidst smoke"). On that pyre her three petrified dragon eggs hatched ("born amidst salt and smoke to wake dragons from stone"), and on that morning for the first time the Red Comet appeared in the sky ("When the stars bleed...").
- An additional prophecy from a woods witch prophesied that the Prince That Was Promised would be born from the line of Prince Aerys and Princess Rhaella. Daenerys is the daughter of Aerys and Rhaella.
- Benerro of Volantis proclaims that Daenerys Targaryen is Azor Ahai returned.
- Jon's wounds smoke while Bowen Marsh cries, providing the prophecised salt, and Ser Patrek's bloody, star laden heraldry is in the air above.
- When Melisandre looks into her fires for Azor Ahai, she sees only things to do with Jon or snow, which he thinks must just be ash but she sees a possible connection to Jon.
- Jon Snow has a dream where he fights the Others with a red sword burning in his hand.
- If having the blood of the dragon is a prerequisite, if Jon's father is truly Rhaegar, Jon would satisfy that prerequisite. He would be the grandson of Aerys and Rhaella and thus come from their line.
- Jon chose his duty to the Night's Watch over his love for Ygritte. He indirectly caused her death by warning Castle Black of the incoming wildling raid. Similar to Azor Ahai sacrificing Nissa Nissa to complete Lightbringer.
- In the TV show adaptation, whose showrunners know from GRRM himself who Azor Ahai is, it is revealed in the tenth episode of season 6 that Lyanna Stark is Jon's mother, and that Jon was born under a bleeding star. Eddard Stark enters the Tower of Joy with a bloodied Dawn, the ancestral sword of House Dayne which was forged from a fallen star, therefore ensuring that in accordance with the prophecy Jon or Azor Ahai was born when stars bleed.
- While traveling to capture Daenerys, Victarion Greyjoy's likely mortal sword wound is healed by Moqorro, a red priest of R'hllor. Afterward, his arm resembles roast pig and visibly smokes.
- The ritual was performed at sea, which provides the salt. Victarion's arm smokes afterward, which provides the smoke.
- Victarion was saved from death, which could be considered a form of rebirth.
- Moqorro says he sees a great future for Victarion in the service to R'hllor.
- Victarion previously beat his wife to death, which is a possible Nissa Nissa connection.
- Rhaegar Targaryen believed his son to be the prince that was promised.
- Aegon was born on Dragonstone, an island in the narrow sea ("amidst salt"). The Dragonmont on Dragonstone is a smoking volcano ("amidst smoke").
- On the night of his conception, a red comet was seen above King's Landing.
- A prophecy from a woods witch prophesied that the prince that was promised would be born from the line of Aerys II Targaryen and Rhaella Targaryen. Aegon is their grandson.
- In his youth, Rhaegar Targaryen and Maester Aemon thought Rhaegar was the prince that was promised, as Rhaegar was born during the Tragedy at Summerhall, amidst the smoke of the burning castle, with the salt coming from the tears shed for those who had died.
- A prophecy from a woods witch prophesied that the Prince That Was Promised would be born from the line of Aerys II Targaryen and Rhaella Targaryen. Rhaegar was their eldest child, and, until 276 AC, their only child.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10, Davos I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 25, Davos III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 23, Daenerys IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 48, Daenerys IV.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 35, Samwell IV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 22, Tyrion VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 63, Davos VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 78, Samwell V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 69, Jon XIII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 31, Melisandre I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 58, Jon XII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 56, The Iron Suitor.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 63, Daenerys V.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 34, Cat Of The Canals.