In the books and to some degree in the show as well there is a prophesy about the legendary figure Azor Ahai. But in the latest Game of Thrones episode (S08E03) we see Arya

killing the Night King.

However in a past question we discussed​ all possible candidates but nobody thought about Arya. Does she even fulfill the prophecy? If she does, how?

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    is it really necessary for the one who kills the night king be Azor Ahai?
    – J M
    Apr 29, 2019 at 6:41
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    @JM I never said she should I said, did she? If yes then how?
    – Ankit Sharma
    Apr 29, 2019 at 6:43
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    It's not dawn yet. Apr 29, 2019 at 6:47
  • It's unclear. As it stands it would seem that Arya could be the princess that was promised and that the Azor Ahia aspects of Jon and Dany seem to fall away to this notion. However, even though the episode makes the history and mythology points seem deflating and completely subverts the hard work of this fantasy epic, it might be possible that TNK isn't actually defeated yet, should of he warged into a certain someone.... Apr 29, 2019 at 14:44
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    @DarthLocke “As it stands it would seem that Arya could be the princess that was promised ” — Little Ol’ ’Arry? A princess?? That's not her! Apr 29, 2019 at 16:44

5 Answers 5


I can't talk about the Azor Ahai prophecy from the books as I haven't read them.

In the show, however, the prophecy, as told by Melisandre, goes like this

"The Long Night is coming. Only the prince (prince or princess, according to Missandei’s translation) that was promised can bring the dawn … I believe you have a role to play, as does another. Summon Jon Snow.”

She also claims that Prophecies are dangerous things and she has been wrong in interpreting them.

In the show, Melisandre never claims that Daenerys or Jon Snow is the "Prince That Was Promised". She only claims they have a role to play.

Back in S03, Melisandre prophecises that Arya will shut brown, green and blue eyes and repeats it today because she can now correctly interprete the vision she saw in the flames.

What's stopping Arya from being the Azor Ahai. She became Azor Ahai because she acted on the prophecy and made it true.

Edit:- Here is an excellent review of the episode by Laura Hudson for The Wired about The Problem With Prophecies

Like so many fundamentalists, she(Melisandre) saw a cataclysmic threat solely through the lens of her scripture, insisting it was being fulfilled chapter and verse, pointing to all the prophetic "evidence" with the myopic, connect-the-dots-sheeple fervor of a conspiracy theorist.

But prophecies and magic are a slippery business in Game of Thrones, both real and fallible, true and apocryphal. In that sense they are stories, and all stories are true in one sense or another—but what they tell us about our future depends not on what they say so much as what we decide that they mean.

Stannis was not Azor Ahai, after all, and the show remains agnostic on whether Arya's shanking of the Night King makes her the Princess Who Was Promised or just a kick-ass girl with a cool dagger at the right time. Sure, we can go back through the legend and find ways to connect Arya to passages about smoke and salt and blood—and sure, Valyrian steel was forged by dragonfire according to some accounts, so in that sense she was wielding a fiery blade. But if we can squint and make enough of the piece fit, does that mean a prophecy has been fulfilled or just that we've skillfully reimagined the outcome to line up with the story we expected to hear?

That's the thing about stories, the ones we tell both about ourselves and the world we live in; they're only useful insofar as they get us where we need to go, when they serve us and not the other way around.


It remains to be seen...

It's not that we should inherently dismiss magic and prophecies, because at the very least they drive the characters to react, and more over, it seems that it is more about a lack of being able to well interpret things, then the idea that prophecies/visions/beliefs are always wrong.

But the real issue is that everything from The Age of Heroes is told in riddles and fables and whose era is relatively unknown in terms of what the truth about the exact nature of their reality really was. It's why book fans have SO MANY theories about who legendary figures are, including TV and book viewers alike also have about the former identity of Night King and/or if some of these figures from this era are one in the same or completely different (Azor Ahai, The Prince or Princess that was Promised, The Last Hero, Nissa Nissa, etc), let alone the idea that there could be reincarnates of these people...

"There is only one god, and His name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death: 'not today'." -Syrio Forel

In addition Arya's whole story is about "facing death" by becoming a Faceless Man (a master of death), who allegedly serves Many-Faced God; the God of Death.

"I know death, it's got many faces. I look forward to seeing this one." -Arya

The White Walkers and the Knight King are often thought of as Death too, perhaps even a manifestation of The Great Other, R'hllor's antithesis.

Samwell Tarly: Why? What does he want?

Bran Stark: An endless night. He wants to erase this world, and I am its memory.

Samwell Tarly: That's what death is, isn't it? Forgetting, being forgotten. If we forget where we've been and what we've done, we're not men anymore, just animals. [to Bran] Your memories don't come from books. Your stories aren't just stories. If I wanted to erase the world of Men, I'd start with you.

So If Death has many faces and the souls of faces are all we have to offer Death, then one could argue that Arya is someone who is using death to fight death and that "Catspaw" creates a strong threw line for this conclusion, whether we are talking about the set up with the dagger in the Citadel book pages, Catspaw being a metaphor for the revenge and justice of Catelyn Stark by saving the Stark house from extinction ('Cat's Paw' = an extension of Cat aka her daughter), or even that from season one on she was destined for this moment (Syrio Forel basically told her that she needs to be quicker than a cat to catch a cat). After all Melisandre once again quoted from the dead something meaningful to a person (Arya) who needed to hear it, "What do we say to death? Not today."

However, as deflated as the episode makes the history and mythology seem

by sidelining Jon and Dany, not taking in a very high casualty count of main heavy-weight characters and their beloved pets, and seemingly killing the Night King so soon without revealing anything more about his former identity or the secret history of Westoros or not letting Cersei also have to face the same consequences,

the truth is we don't yet know if it is truly the end of him.

For most of the episode Bran had been "traveling", whose to say at some point

The Night King and Bran didn't switch out bodies and Bran's thank you Theon was really a ruse of The Knight King?


It's possible, but questionable.

It certainly seems natural that opposing the Night King would be something a new Azor Ahai would be into, but it's all guesswork as to whether or not that would be his or her specific, ordained purpose.

She seems to fit the stated criteria of the prophecy poorly:

  • Not a male
  • Wrong lineage
  • Circumstances of birth unknown
  • She certainly isn't holding Lightbringer (yet, at least)

Any and all of those can be corrected with more expansive interpretations of the prophecy, but twisting the prophecy to fit events is not the same as events fitting the prophecy.

After the most recent episode, Arya qualifies well enough-- she did a momentous and consequential thing, upon which the fate of all in Westeros (at least!) depended, and that thing seems to be up R'hllor's alley. And, through Melisandre's interactions with Arya, R'hllor was at least tangentially involved in making that happen. Unless a more obvious candidate comes up soon, that would probably be enough for followers of R'hllor to decide that Arya really was Azor Ahai (or the PWWP), and any details from the prophecy that don't fit will be classified as those read wrongly by people.

But one of the recurring themes in GoT is that prophecies aren't worth a whole lot. There are some that pay off, really specifically and very accurately:

Cersei's fortune from Maggie, for instance. The predictions about her and Robert's children (non-overlapping!) seem very accurate, at least on Cersei's side. We can't really evaluate Robert's.

But others wither away to nothing:

The prophecy that Drogo and Daenerys' child would be the Stallion That Mounts the World, leading to an era of Dothraki ascendancy.

Some prophecies are inherently unreliable, and pretty vague in detail:

Mirri Maz Duur makes some claims about Daenerys being betrayed three times, for specific reasons. This leads to lots of guessing about which events might qualify, but Mirri may not wish Daenerys well at all, and may not have been interested in providing her with accurate information. And a powerful noble in Westeros is likely to be betrayed plenty of times, making the claim a safe cold-reading bet.

And that's to say nothing of the fact that prophecies are perceived and interpreted by people, who could very well be wrong about what they mean:

Melisandre and Stannis both read futures in the flames regarding the siege of Winterfell while it's held by the Boltons. Things don't work out as they expected.

So, with those in mind, I'll posit that the existence of a prophecy regarding Azor Ahai is basically irrelevant to events-- prophecies are common and don't have much currency.

Even to the extent that we disregard that, it's not totally clear exactly what Azor Ahai did the first time around (in a broad sense; we know how he made his sword, but to what purpose is less clear), nor is it totally clear what his new incarnation would be intended to do. We also don't know very much about what the Prince Who Was Promised is to do, in the event that this is a different personality from Azor Ahai.

tl;dr: Assuming that a GoT prophecy is accurate gives that prophecy way too much credit. Had Arya not done what she did in the most recent episode, there wouldn't even be a question that she might fit (see the thread linked in the question), despite that event not even being referred to in the Azor Ahai prophecy.

The evidence that Arya is Azor Ahai reborn is weak, weaker for her than several other characters even now, and the idea that someone must be Azor Ahai reborn already takes us beyond evidence anyhow.

  • I would argue in retrospect that the dragons, as the "children" of Drogo/Daeny, are "Stallion(s) who would mount the world". There was an ascendancy of the Dothraki as a result of joining forces with Daeny. Apr 29, 2019 at 15:50
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    @duct_tape_coder And that's the point where we're really twisting the prophecies. Neither Drogo nor the Dothraki were really involved with the dragons, certainly not as their "father", and the Dothraki didn't exactly dominate the world under Daeny's direction (they don't seem to be doing so well right now, either). If you really need the prophecies to be true, you can probably force a reading that will fit, but the need for retrospective sophistries and loose readings makes the prophecies largely irrelevant-- they just become poetry.
    – Upper_Case
    Apr 29, 2019 at 16:03
  • A fair point, but did that prophecy actually contain language dictating that the Dothraki ascendancy be descended from the stallion? And just because the ascendancy faded and didn't reach full 'world climax', doesn't mean it didn't happen as predicted. More 'loose reading' could argue they ruled their own 'world' and Westeros is 'another world'. Apr 29, 2019 at 16:18
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    @duct_tape_coder I'm not going to get too into specifics of any given prophecy, given the larger issues. But describing future events is what a prophecy is. If reading a prophecy doesn't tell you what it's predicting, that's a problem. If you have to pick and choose elements of a prophecy that do and do not "count" for fulfillment, that's a problem. If you have to squint to explain how observed events might fit a prophecy when they don't seem to, that's a problem. Asserting that prophecies are accurate, but then necessarily fudging on what "accurate" means, is self-defeating.
    – Upper_Case
    Apr 29, 2019 at 16:36

With Melisandre's focus on royal blood, I would say that the "Prince That Was Promised" will be Arya and Gendry's future son.

We don't know Gendry's mother but we know Gendry himself has been approached by Melisandre. With all the male heirs of Winterfell out of the picture, this potential offspring would be the only character with a "claim" on both the north and the Iron Throne.

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    Why? Robert took the throne from the Targaryens and isn't related to them and so neither is Gendry. He only has claim if they ignore the Targaryen's family claim
    – Draken
    Apr 29, 2019 at 12:27
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    The question is about Arya though, not really a future character... (It might be worth a comment on the linked one, though)
    – Jenayah
    Apr 29, 2019 at 12:29
  • The whole Stannis + Mel arc happened because she thought that he fulfilled the prophecy. For magic, it seems that Baratheon blood is as good as Targaryen
    – 5AM
    Apr 29, 2019 at 12:31
  • While Jon may not be a "real" Stark, I'm willing to bet the North would accept him as king long before Arya and Gendry manage to have any offspring. Indeed they already have.They know him and respect him already. The only reason they lost any sort of faith in him is that he bent the knee to Daenerys. If that becomes undone by the revelation of his lineage, they have no real reason not to accept him wholeheartedly. Well, what's left of the North, anyway.
    – Geobits
    Apr 29, 2019 at 12:54
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    @Draken Robert is related to the targaryens, by his grandmother, Rhaelle Targaryen, sister of Jaehaerys II Targaryen (the father of mad king). The rebellion wasn't without any claim.
    – Kepotx
    Apr 29, 2019 at 13:53

A major theme of ASOIF (the books) is the unreliability of narrative. This is post-modern element of the books, and even extends to differing accounts in the books vs. the television series. The show does touch on this theme, though less extensively.

Most likely, the prophecy has been obscured and clouded over the centuries. As others have noted, prophecy is subject to mis-translation and misinterpretation.

  • Prophecy is often notoriously obscure

The idea being that the true meaning is only revealed when the prophecy is fulfilled, which forestalls attempts to escape destiny, with Oedipus Rex as perhaps the most famous example.

Oedipus believe himself the child Polybus & Merope, rulers of Corinth. This leads Oedipus to kill a random stranger on the road, later revealed to be his biological father, and marry a woman, later revealed to be his mother.

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