There’s been no holding George RR Martin back ahead of Game of Thrones’ final season, much to the annoyance of HBO, because it’s his world and he’ll do whatever the heck he wants with it.
The latest canon leaked by the 70-year-old has basically confirmed a huge theory tying Jon Snow to Aegon the Conqueror, the first Targaryen King, who Martin has just let slip knew all about the impending war between the White Walkers and the living, which will presumably be the overriding arc of season eight.
Aegon’s vision became the catalyst for his quest to unite the Seven Kingdoms, which, until now, we’ve been lead to presume was simply a conquest of power, when actually Martin’s latest comments suggest the king was uniting Westeros in preparation for the return of The Night King and his army of the dead.
Legend has it that The Long Night, which took place 8,000 years before the events in Game of Thrones, was a battle between the First Men, The Children of The Forest and The White Walkers, and saw an ice-cold darkness loom over Westeros for years.
All fingers are pointing to Jon Snow being the second coming of Azor Ahai (Picture: HBO) The Red Witch, Melissandre, often refers to Azor Ahai – aka The Prince That Was Promised – as a chosen warrior who brought an end to the conflict when he destroyed the Others with his sword, the Lightbringer. But according to the religion of Rhellior, practised by The Red Witch, Azor Ahai’s second coming is imminent as The Night King returns to reign his darkness over Westeros.
While it remains unclear how Aegon knew another long night was looming, it appears he either presumed he was himself Azor Ahai or he was preparing his heirs for the battle of all battles, which makes sense following the final scenes of season seven when Jon Snow arrived at King’s Landing with a wight in order to unite the Seven Kingdoms.
What’s more, we’ve now learned Jon Snow isn’t called Jon Snow at all and is in fact Aegon Targaryen, raising all sorts of problems for his relationship with Daenerys Targaryen (need we say more?), and voila – Aegon’s vision is unfolding before our very eyes.
While Aegon had nothing to protect the Seven Kingdoms from, Jon does, which basically seals the deal: we have our Azor Ahai.
While Daeneryrs will have to come to terms with the fact she’s been sleeping with her nephew, the revelation spells even more bad news for our Mother of Dragons. In the prophecy of the Prince That Was Promised, Azor Ahai had to sacrifice his wife by plunging his sword into her heart to make the weapon which would defeat the Others.
Should the prophecy ring true again, unless another resident of Westeros catches Jon’s eye, we’re guessing he’ll be making a similar sacrifice, and as it stands it’s all eyes on Dany.
12 Things We Just Learned About “Game Of Thrones” Season 8
This is a blessed day for Game of Thrones fans: not only do we finally have a release date for Season 8 (April 2019), but the director of three of the six Season 8 episodes, David Nutter, has done an AMA on Reddit.
1. All episodes will definitely be longer than an hour.
We knew the episodes would be longer than the old standard of around 50 minutes, but Nutter said, “Season 8 episodes will all I think be longer than 60 minutes. They’ll be dancing around the bigger numbers, I know that for sure.”
2. The Season 8 premiere will “make a splash”.
On directing the first episode – which will include Daenerys and Jon’s arrival at Winterfell – Nutter said, “I’ve never directed an opening episode of GoT before, until season 8, but I think it’s really important to make a splash. You have to reset the table, put everyone back in their place, you have to take them to their next position. But you have to entertain, that’s what’s most important.”
3. The whole season will be “satisfying”.
Nutter summed up the season in three words: “Spectacular, Inspiring, Satisfying.” He added, “I’m completely satisfied with how Season 8 ends. I think that David and Dan did a tremendous job, and they took into consideration what the fans want, as well as what is right as far as storytelling is concerned. I guarantee there’s going to be lots of surprises and shocking moments, but it’s really very compelling stuff.
4. And “special” – although whether that’s a good or bad thing is rather dubious.
When asked if the final season had events comparable to the Red Wedding (which Nutter also directed), he said, “I just have to tell you – hang onto your seat cause it’s going to be special.”
5. Following the ensemble vibe established in the Season 7 finale, a lot of Season 8 will see scenes with “many” actors involved.
“It was a chance for a lot of characters to work together that hadn’t worked together before. Or at least hadn’t worked together in a long time.”
6. But there will also be plenty of “wonderfully intimate” moments.
“The biggest challenge directing the final season of Game of Thrones is just the importance of getting it right,” Nutter said. “There was not a second chance to get all of these sequences right, and a lot of sequences had many actors in them and some wonderfully intimate scenes as well. So really it was about taking these characters from point A to B to C to D to E in the various episodes that I did, and making sure that it all balances out properly… I think it turned out quite well.”
7. Characters will definitely die (duh) and new characters will also be introduced.
When Nutter was asked which dead character he’d like to bring back, he said, “The bastard was a lot of fun – Roose Bolton’s bastard son. He’s a wonderful actor. And you always like a nice little bit of Littlefinger, he’s always fun to play with. But they’re gone, alas, and new characters will be joining them, and new characters will be introduced, so we’ll see what happens.”
8. Season 8 isn’t just about the White Walkers.
“The White Walker army will not be the only issue our characters have to face in Season 8, they have to also face each other,” Nutter said.
9. We will see at least one direwolf in Season 8.
“I have to say that you will see a direwolf in Season 8. That’s all I can say,” Nutter said. Visual effects supervisor Joe Bauer has previously said Ghost appears this season, so it’s nice to get extra confirmation! Although if he gets killed (or if any of the direwolves come back as wights) I’m going to be FURIOUS.
10. A big reason Season 8 needed two years of work instead of the usual one was the visual effects.
On why we have such a long wait between seasons, Nutter said, “Visual effects! Things take time my friends — they take a lot of time to create and GoT is the last place you’re going to find half baked work so it’s all about making sure they fill the frame with as much capacity as possible and making it as real and right as possible. Small price to pay for the amazing quality that comes out of that show.”
11. Nutter listens to the Game of Thrones score and watches old episodes to find inspiration for his own episodes.
“I think they’ve really done a tremendous job of creating their own world and all that entails, and me I just want to match what I’m doing to what other people have done.”
12. Season 8 may or may not involve time travel/flashbacks.
Clear as mud, I know. When a Redditor asked “Will season 8 involve time travel (hello Bran)?”, Nutter said, “I’ll be the first to tell you that I have no time travel in my episodes. That’s the only clue I’m going to give you.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean the other three episodes won’t…
Bring on April 2019!