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 prophesied 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” [1] 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.[2]

Rhaegar looks up as he says those words and his eyes met Dany’s and it seems to her as if he sees her standing there. [2]

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 above mentioned statement. However it is important to keep in mind what Tyrion Lannister has stated about prophecy,

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." [3]

Therefore, readers have to be careful of being kicked in the head by smoke and salt also being mentioned in relation to the prince that was promised. Azor Ahai and the prince that was promised may be two distinct prophecies, or they may be one in the same in a prophecy that has the potential to turn out to be about two separate people. 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.

Maester Aemon also says to Samwell that the dragon must have three heads. He wakes up weeping, wailing:

The dragon must have three heads…but I am too old to be one of them. I should be with her, showing her the way, but my body has betrayed me. [1]

It may be that the three-headed dragon is a part of the prince that was promised prophecy, and there are two other people whom the prince will need to have by his side, to show him the way.

Sings of the coming of the prince that was promised

  • The birth of a male child - a prince. (erroneous according to Maester Aemon) [1]
  • The prince is of the blood of the dragon. [1]
  • Born amidst smoke. [1]
  • Born amidst salt. [1]
  • A bleeding star in the skies. [1]
  • 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 dark eye falls upon the prince?

The prince that was promised theories


Maester Aemon believed that Daenerys Targaryen was the fulfillment of a prophecy …..her, not Stannis, nor Prince Rhaegar, nor the princeling whose head was dashed against the wall. [5]

- Samwell Tarly, to Marwyn

References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 35, Samwell IV.
  2. 2.0 2.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 48, Daenerys IV.
  3. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 40, Tyrion IX, page 534.
  4. The Mystery Knight, Warriors 1, ISBN 978-0-7653-6026-7, page 282 of 251-394.
  5. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 45, Samwell V.