‘Game of Thrones’: Jenny of Oldstones and what Podrick’s song might mean for the show’s ending

Podrick Payne's fireside song could reveal a lot about the show's ending

This article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8 episode 2, ‘A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms’

With precious little time left, Game of Thrones is taking every possible opportunity to advance its story. In last week’s season 8 opener, a seemingly off-hand aside from a prostitute actually revealed the grisly fate of Ed Sheeran’s much-maligned character, and in episode 2 Podrick Payne’s fireside song was rich with history that could tell us a lot about how the show will conclude.

It was ‘Jenny’s Song’ that he was singing, which has appeared in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, but never with full stanzas.

Podrick sang:

High in the halls of the kings who are gone

Jenny would dance with her ghosts.

The ones she had lost and the ones she had found

And the ones who had loved her the most.

 

The ones who’d been gone for so very long

She couldn’t remember their names

They spun her around on the damp cold stone

Spun away all her sorrow and pain

 

And she never wanted to leave

Never wanted to leave

Never wanted to leave

Never wanted to leave

Never wanted to leave

Never wanted to leave

The Jenny in question is Jenny of Oldstones, the wife of Duncan Targaryen who also lends her name to a new song performed by Florence and the Machine over episode 2’s credits.

So why weave her into the narrative at this late stage in the show?

For casual viewers, Podrick’s sweet song served as simply a haunting accompaniment to shots of lovers in Winterfell sharing what might be their last night together before the White Walkers lay siege to the Stark seat.

But Duncan and Jenny’s story resonates with Jon and Daenerys’s. Duncan was so in love with Jenny that he broke a betrothal to a Baratheon daughter and married Jenny against his father’s wishes. Crucially, Duncan Targaryen ended up giving up his right to the Iron Throne for her.

In season 8 episode 2, the song about Jenny is heard moments before Daenerys Targaryen learns of Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen’s secret claim to the throne (and appears to agonise over it). Does this indicate, then, that Jon will – like his Targaryen ancestor before him – forego his claim to the throne in the name of love?

In the books, Jenny is also friends with a woods witch who prophesied that the prince that was promised (Azor Ahai) would be a descendent of Prince Aerys Targaryen and Princess Rhaella Targaryen. So here were have more symmetries swirling – Targaryen incest, and the Azor Ahai prophecy Melisandre has been fixated on across the show’s seasons.

Finally, the lyrics of the song find Jenny dancing with the ghosts of loved ones in the halls of kings who are gone. Might Daenerys find herself in a similar situation, with King Jon not surviving the White Walkers onslaught?

It’s important not to give too much credence to elements from the books that the TV series has chosen not to dwell on or even include, but there is a strong sense of doom here, and the referencing of Jenny of Oldstones appears inauspicious for Jon.