Over the years, everyone from Samwell Tarly to Jaime Lannister have been put forth as dark horse candidates on Game of Thrones for Azor Ahai, the hero destined to deliver Westeros from the evil Night King. Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen are the obvious candidates, but it seems equally as possible that Game of Thrones might surprise us. Recent evidence heading into Season 8, Episode 2 is helping to build a case that the real Azor Ahai might actually be Jorah Mormont.
Exhibit A: Clips from the Game of Thrones Season 8 trailer and the Episode 2 teaser pretty much confirm that Samwell Tarly gives Jorah Mormont Heartsbane, the Valyrian steel greatsword that’s been the ancestral blade of House Tarly for generations.
Exhibit B: A two-year-old Reddit theory posits that Heartsbane could be crucial in defeating the Night King, and other fan theories just as old think Jorah is the Prince That Was Promised.
Jorah’s newfound connection to Heartsbane only further supports these theories, because a huge part of the Azor Ahai theory involves the hero stabbing their beloved through the heart to forge a magical sword capable of defeating great evil.
“Hearts-bane.” Get it? Yeah, it’s a little on the nose, but it could be a huge clue that later this season, Jorah could kill Daenerys Targaryen after she pulls a Mad Queen just like her father. She demonstrated early in Season 7 by killing Randyll and Dickon Tarly that she didn’t have much restraint (something we were reminded of in the Season 8 premiere when she met Sam). If, later in the season, Daenerys goes fully “Mad” just like her dear old dad, then Jorah might have to kill her to save everyone else.
There’s also the possibility the Night King wants her as his Night Queen. If she’s turned into a White Walker, only a Valyrian steel sword or dragonglass blade could kill her. What better circumstance than Jorah killing her with Heartsbane, fueled by the anguish of unrequited love?
Either of these cases would set up a lot of interesting narrative parallels for the series between Jorah and Azor Ahai, Daenerys and Aerys Targaryen, and even Jorah and Jaime Lannister.
Lady Melisandre, the Red Witch, has been ranting about the Prince That Was Promised (the reincarnation of Azor Ahai) since Season 2. Lord’s Chosen. Son of Fire. Warrior of Light. These are all the same thing, a person reborn “amidst salt and smoke” who would wield a flaming sword against the coming darkness. The original hero supposedly existed thousands of years ago and had to forge their sword Lightbringer by stabbing their beloved right in the heart, imbuing it with some kind of weird Lord of Light magic. Only then did they gain the power needed to defeat some great darkness.
Most assume this legend refers to the creation of the Night King, when the Children of the Forest allied with the First Men to force the White Walkers far enough north that they could build the Wall to keep them there. Azor Ahai led the charge with Lightbringer.
Like most legends, however, the truth is shrouded in metaphor and mystery. We don’t know what can really be taken literally or what actually happened. The Game of Thrones prequel series might explore this exact story, but for know, all we can do is speculate about what happened and how it might inform the final season of Game of Thrones.
For now, though, we think it’s Jorah’s destiny to kill Daenerys and, eventually, the Night King.
Game of Thrones Season 8 airs Sundays on HBO at 9 p.m. Eastern.