Are the Valonqar and the Prince That Was Promised prophecies about the same person?
Spoilers for Game of Thrones season 7 episode 3 follow.
Last night, a mega Game of Thrones theory – combining the prophecy about Cersei’s death with the prophecy about the Prince that was Promised – came one step closer to reality. The reason the theory’s become more credible is because in last night’s episode, ‘The Queen’s Justice’, Jaime Lannister was given a crucial bit of information that could change the way his season 7 pans out: Olenna Tyrell revealed that she, not Tyrion, had been behind Joffrey’s death. Cersei’s continued hatred of Tyrion has no grounds, and this will probably put Jaime in a difficult position with Cersei, whom Olenna called a “disease”.
Olenna went on: “I regret my role in spreading it. You will too”. Those words can’t be for nothing, fans think. But how does that affect Jaime’s future? Well, there are two prophecies to look at before we get into that: the prophecy of the Valonqar, and the prophecy of the Prince that was Promised.
In season 5, a younger Cersei met a seer called Maggy the Frog. Maggy told her three things:
- She would marry a king (Robert Baratheon) – not the prince she was meant to marry (Rhaegar Targaryen).
- That king would have 20 children – all bastards, like Gendry – but Cersei would have just three. ‘Gold will be their crowns, gold their shrouds’, she was told – and now these illegitimate Lannister kids are all indeed dead.
- She would be queen “for a time. In comes another, younger, more beautiful, to cast you down and take all you hold dear.”
That bit of the prophecy covers how Dany takes Cersei’s throne from her, but not her death. There was another part of the prophecy in the book that never made it to the screen, where Maggy says: “When your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.” George R.R. Martin says ‘valonqar’ means ‘younger sibling’, which could be either her twin brother Jaime (born after her) or Tyrion, whose relationship with Cersei is already toxic.
It’s pretty obvious why Tyrion might hate Cersei enough to kill her – she asked for his head after he supposedly ‘killed’ Joffrey – but it looks like season 7 has been setting up Jaime as this valonqar. In the show’s recent history, Cersei has hurt or irked Jaime by:
A. using wildfire to blow up the sept of Baelor, despite Jaime’s hatred of the stuff (he killed the Mad King to stop him using it)
B. refusing to discuss Tommen’s suicide, which Cersei partially caused
C. coercing Jaime into sex, then revealing their relationship to her servants against his wishes
D. promising to (eventually) marry Euron Greyjoy, whom Jaime hates and is openly jealous of.
Cersei is bound to do more stuff that Jaime disagrees with across this season, and the seeds of doubt have already been planted by Olenna Tyrell: her description of Cersei as a “disease” is sure to give him doubt. With that in mind, let’s look at how Jaime could also be the Prince that was Promised.
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Right, so this is where things get interesting, with two seemingly unrelated statements:
- The Prince that was Promised is a prophesied figure about the reborn Azor Ahai. Azor Ahai is supposedly a legendary figure chosen by the Lord of Light, the deity worshipped in the religion of R’hllor, and is meant to one day save Westeros from the long night with a sword called ‘Lightbringer’.
- Jaime has joked that he will one day be known as ‘Goldenhand’ – because of his gold hand, obviously.
As this Reddit post explains, the High Valyrian words for ‘lord‘ and ‘light‘ are ‘aeksio‘ and ‘onos‘ respectively, while ‘gold’ and ‘hand’ are ‘aeksion‘ and ‘ondos‘. While this could be a red herring, it’s likely that this is a significant pointer about the Prince that was Promised prophecy: George R.R. Martin likes exploring how history is passed down through generations, and the idea here is that the two terms could have been interchanged, corrupted, or mistranslated when copied by scribes across hundreds of years. Some Redditors think that Goldenhand and the mythical ‘Lord of Light’ could therefore originally have been the same thing – so Goldenhand could have been the name of the original Azor Ahai too.
The prophecy about the Prince that was Promised runs: “In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him.” Jaime could be that Prince: but first he’d need Lightbringer, right?
Could Jaime be the Prince that was Promised?
The original Azor Ahai forged his sword Lightbringer using his wife Nissa Nissa’s heart – yep, it’s fucked up – and some Redditors are suggesting that Jaime could do the same thing to Cersei, the mother of his children, with the sword Joffrey named ‘Widow’s Wail’. You’ll remember that Olenna Tyrell raised the name at the end of ‘The Queen’s Justice’. Some theorists reckon the show brought it up again so that viewers will remember it when Jaime eventually uses it on Cersei – a notable Thrones widow. In doing so, people think he’ll turn it into the flaming sword Lightbringer.
Wait – how could Jaime kill Cersei with Lightbringer but also strangle her as the Valonqar?
Good question. The Reddit theorist byrd82 reckons Lightbringer isn’t a sword so much as a concept: in Jaime’s case, Lightbringer is his hand. “This is purposeful deception,” they write. “Lightbringer will not be a sword itself, but the return of Jaime’s sword hand ablaze… What was once Jaime’s corruption embodied is reborn, the mark of a prophesied hero. Once the best swordsman in Westeros, Jaime will be whole once again.” This is supposedly backed up by one of Jojen Reed’s visions in season 4: Meera asks how it will end, and he’s pictured with his hand on fire.
What do you reckon of the theory? Is Jaime the Prince that was Promised, the valonqar, or both at once? Or could the ‘Prince or Princess that was Promised’ actually be Daenerys, as previously thought?
Let us know what you reckon in the comments.