The prince that was promised

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In his youth, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen thought he might be the prince that was promised - by Silvenger ©

The prince that was promised is a prophesized leader or savior. The prince may be part of an ancient prophecy, a prophecy that foretells the coming of a hero to deliver the world from darkness. A "bleeding star" is supposed to herald the coming of the prince.

At the moment it is not known where the prophecy originates, information on the prince that was promised is rather scant. Based on the fact that Maester Aemon mentions “a thousand years” to Samwell Tarly it should be safe to say the prince that was promised prophecy is a thousand years old. It appears as if the Targaryen family had been awaiting the arrival of the prince so the prophecy may come from Old Valyria - but that is conjecture. There is not as much clear information on the prince as, for example, Azor Ahai.

Thus far there has been no mention of the prince wielding a sword - unlike the last hero and Azor Ahai. However at one point Prince Rhaegar Targaryen believed that he might be the prince that was promised. According to a tale told of Rhaegar one day he found something in his scrolls that changed him and he decided to become a knight. He said to Ser Willem Darry, the master-at-arms,

I will require a sword and armor. It seems I must be a warrior.

Therefore the prince may be a warrior who wields a sword.

The prince that was promised is first mentioned in the House of the Undying when Daenerys Targaryen sees a vision of her brother Rhaegar Targaryen who names his son Aegon, and says,

He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire.[1]

Rhaegar looks up as he says those words and he eyes met Dany’s and it seems to her as if he sees her standing there. [1]

Melisandre, a worshipper of R’hllor has stated that,

“When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt.

Much later in Braavos, when talking of the prince to Samwell Tarly Maester Aemon mentions smoke and salt as being part of the heralding of the prince that was promised coming. Obviously the mention of smoke and salt immediately brings to mind Melisandre’s abovementioned statement. However it is important to keep in mind what Tyrion Lannister has stated about prophesy,

Prophecy is like a half-trained mule. It looks as though it might be useful, but the moment you trust in it, it kicks you in the head." [2]

Therefore readers have to be careful of being kicked in the head by smoke and salt also being mentioned in relation to the prince who was promised. Azor Ahai and the prince that was promised may be two distinct prophesies. It is easy get rather confused. Indeed the prince may not even be male; the prince may have been referred to as male erroneously for centuries. Before his death Maester Aemon came to firmly believe that the prince is not a prince but a princess.

Sings of the coming of the prince that was promised

  • The birth of a male child (erroneous according to Maester Aemon) [3]
  • The prince is of the blood of the dragon. [3]
  • Born amidst smoke. [3]
  • Born amidst salt. [3]
  • A bleeding star in the skies. [3]
  • The return of dragons? (when he was a boy Aegon V recalled that King Aerys read about the return of dragons in a prophecy.) [4]

The prince that was promised theories

References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 48, Daenerys IV.
  2. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 40, Tyrion IX, page 534.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 35, Samwell IV.
  4. The Mystery Knight, Warriors 1, ISBN 978-0-7653-6026-7, page 282 of 251-394.