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aeverett

Is the Azor Ahai Prophesy a Sexual Metaphor?

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I remember taking a classics course in college for a humanities requirement where the professor mentioned that bladed weapons were often used metaphorically in mythology to represent masculinity and traditionally male attributes.  If the Azor Ahai prophesy were looked at as such, the act of tempering the sword could be metaphor for three sexual relationships, two that fail and one that succeeds but at great cost.  Lightbringer, could then be a son (since it's a sword) brought forth from that sexual union.   Remember, the long night is a LONG night.  It could take decades to end, allowing a child to grow up and fulfill their destiny, thus bringing the dawn.  

What do you guys think?  Am I wondering too far into the weeds on this?

Edited by aeverett

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As far as metaphors goes, I'm willing to submit to the theory of Rhaegar being AA and the "swords" being offspring and not actual swords. Lightbringer too is a metaphor in that it's a title for someone who will successfully lead the fight against the AotD and not an actual burning sword.

AA made two swords which shattered.
Rhaegar made two children with Elia Martell which also shattered (cleaved in half by the Mountain.)

AA's third sword, which became Lightbringer, didn't shatter, but it ended up costing his wife (Nissa Nissa) her life.
Rhaegars third child, would successfully grow up and fight the AotD in the shape of Jon Snow, but just as with Nissa Nissa, the birth of Jon Snow/Lightbringer caused the death of Lyanna Stark.

 

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7 hours ago, MinscS2 said:

AA's third sword, which became Lightbringer, didn't shatter, but it ended up costing his wife (Nissa Nissa) her life.
Rhaegars third child, would successfully grow up and fight the AotD in the shape of Jon Snow, but just as with Nissa Nissa, the birth of Jon Snow/Lightbringer caused the death of Lyanna Stark.

I believe GRRM likes to have more than one explanation or interpretation for important things. And Rhaegar 3 children and Azor Ahai 3 attempts to forge his sword may be one such. I like this idea.

BTW, an awful lot of people died in relation with Jon's birth: Lyanna, her brother, her father, Rhaegar, his wife and children, his father, the 3 Kingsguards at the ToJ, Arthur's sister and child, even more people thru the rebellion.

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On 17/10/2017 at 0:33 AM, aeverett said:

I remember taking a classics course in college for a humanities requirement where the professor mentioned that bladed weapons were often used metaphorically in mythology to represent masculinity and traditionally male attributes.  If the Azor Ahai prophesy were looked at as such, the act of tempering the sword could be metaphor for three sexual relationships, two that fail and one that succeeds but at great cost.  Lightbringer, could then be a son (since it's a sword) brought forth from that sexual union.   Remember, the long night is a LONG night.  It could take decades to end, allowing a child to grow up and fulfill their destiny, thus bringing the dawn.  

What do you guys think?  Am I wondering too far into the weeds on this?

I really wouldn't be surprised if the Azor Ahai legend of Lightbringer and the prophecy of his return is supposed to be symbolic. My belief has always been that there is no single AA/TPtwP and that there might be many ways several people can fit the clauses. There is a reason why there are so many AA theories out there. For example, Daenerys Targaryen could be argued to fit the clauses on a literal level whereas Jon Snow can be argued to fit on a symbolic level.

There something bittersweet about the idea that Rhaegar was 'The Prince that was Promised', because then it weirdly means the foretold hero to save the world is long dead before the beginning and it is his "Lightbringer" - his third child - who must be the weapon to save the world.

Edited by Faera

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On 17.10.2017 at 1:33 AM, aeverett said:

could be metaphor for three sexual relationships, two that fail and one that succeeds but at great cost.  Lightbringer, could then be a son (since it's a sword) brought forth from that sexual union. 

Indeed, a valid hypothesis.

21 hours ago, MinscS2 said:

AA made two swords which shattered.
Rhaegar made two children with Elia Martell which also shattered (cleaved in half by the Mountain.)

AA's third sword, which became Lightbringer, didn't shatter, but it ended up costing his wife (Nissa Nissa) her life.
Rhaegars third child, would successfully grow up and fight the AotD in the shape of Jon Snow, but just as with Nissa Nissa, the birth of Jon Snow/Lightbringer caused the death of Lyanna Stark.

...and well explained here. This could work out. The best theory so far.

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I think the very fact that the Lightbringer legend describes forging a steel sword, but takes place long before the iron age, is a clue that we should be looking for metaphorical interpretations. The only literal interpretation is that someone (presumably the Children) looked into the future to learn how to build a blast furnace for Azor Ahai, but for some reason that was a one-time-only thing, and the furnace (and all knowledge of how to rebuild it) disappeared after his three attempts. Which is, of course, not impossible—who knows what happens to a forge when it produces a sword that literally turns into living fire? But still, once you realize that's what a literal interpretation of the story means, metaphorical interpretations start looking a lot better.

Meanwhile, people have proposed numerous metaphorical interpretations on this forum and elsewhere, from your chosen-one son idea to dragons to the Night's Watch as an organization. I think the fact that so many of them work, and there's little to distinguish which one is "the right one", implies that the future may well metaphorically echo the story in more than one way, just as @BalerionTheCat and @Faera suggest.

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One more thing to keep in mind:

Everyone in fandom always assumes that whoever is Azor Ahai Reborn is going to have to repeat the forging of Lightbringer. But there's nothing light that in the AAR prophecy. He's supposed to reach his hand into a fire and draw out a sword, which becomes Lightbringer.

Narratively, it seems to make more sense for there to be an echo (or multiple echoes) of the legend in the present. GRRM does give us a lot of legends just for background, but when D&D streamlined the story, would they really include a legend that doesn't affect anything?

But from an in-universe perspective, there's still no reason for anyone to expect Dany to forge Lightbringer just because they think she's AAR. And, in fact, we saw that Melisandre didn't try to forcibly recreate the forging of Lightbringer for Stannis, she tried to forcibly create the drawing-it-from-a-fire story.

In the novels, I think this means the recognition of the one or more matches for the Lightbringer forging story will have to be subtle, because nobody is going to mention it in their conversations or thoughts. But in the show, I don't think they can pull that off, so I'm not sure what they're going to do. Maybe they'll just change the prophecy and hope we don't notice?

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On 18/10/2017 at 9:19 PM, falcotron said:

In the novels, I think this means the recognition of the one or more matches for the Lightbringer forging story will have to be subtle, because nobody is going to mention it in their conversations or thoughts. But in the show, I don't think they can pull that off, so I'm not sure what they're going to do. Maybe they'll just change the prophecy and hope we don't notice?

In the show, it feels as though it's going to be straightforward: Jon and Dany are going to collectively be Azor Ahai on paper, with a few other characters fitting the prophecy themselves at different points as a nod to the numerous "it could be anyone" notion for us audience members to pick up. Seeing as no one can agree on who AA is, it seems only fitting it be left completely ambiguous as I suspect it will be in the books.

Like, if Jon is brought back to life in the books I think it'll be treated as a bigger deal than it was in the show. Literally, only Daenerys and Davos seemed to think it was a big deal. So, he might gather a bit of a TPWWP following from that.

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5 minutes ago, Faera said:

Literally, only Daenerys and Davos seemed to think it was a big deal. 

And Melissandre and all the wildlings.

But yeah, it's amazing how most people on the show just seem to shrug at the notion that Jon was brought back from the dead. Oh well, if there's anyone you want to actually care about it, it's your future wife and future hand.

Edited by MinscS2

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11 minutes ago, MinscS2 said:

And Melissandre and all the wildlings.

And even the wildlings didn't seem to care all that much.

11 minutes ago, MinscS2 said:

But yeah, it's amazing how most people on the show just seem to shrug at the notion that Jon was brought back from the dead. Oh well, if there's anyone you want to actually care about it, it's your future wife and future hand.

It's actually quite funny also how modest Jon us about the whole resurrection thing. Though, I guess I kind of get it. He's the bloke running around to his fellow reigning monarchs that they need to band together because an army of undead has risen to take over Westeros "- oh, by the way! I rose from the dead but that was totally different."

Edited by Faera

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4 hours ago, Faera said:

And even the wildlings didn't seem to care all that much.

I might be completely wrong, but I had the impression that they (wildlings) cared, at the end of the Battle of Winterfell (BoB): remember how the wildling archers looked at Jon when he grabs the Mormont shield and walk towards Ramsey, and they don't do anything to help him… These guys are no longer in a battle, they are watching a supernatural mystical event…

Edited by Nowy Tends

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1 minute ago, Nowy Tends said:

I might be completely wrong, but I had the impression that they (wildlings) cared, at the end of the Battle of Winterfell (BoB): remember how the wildling archers looked at Jon when he grabs the Mormont shield and walk towards Ramsey, and they don't do anything to help him… These guys are no longer in a battle, they are watching a supernatural mystical event…

To be fair, they sort of cared when he came out after being initially resurrected. Tormund even tells him they think he's a god... but they really didn't do much with it. It was just forgotten.

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27 minutes ago, Faera said:

Tormund even tells him they think he's a god... but they really didn't do much with it. It was just forgotten.

Until this scene in Winterfell… at least in my eyes… After all, isn't it strange that these warriors full of adrenaline don't shoot a single arrow to the enemy commander who is trying to kill their commander?

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11 minutes ago, Nowy Tends said:

Until this scene in Winterfell… at least in my eyes… After all, isn't it strange that these warriors full of adrenaline don't shoot a single arrow to the enemy commander who is trying to kill their commander?

I can't really remember the scene that well. One thing I do remember though was that the cinematography was very, very focused on Jon throughout the battle, so it might have been a simple directional/writing choice to keep the focus squarely on Jon and Ramsay. But I'll have to rewatch it when I have time.

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The wildlings do think that Jon is "some kind of god" as Tormund put it, even if the show only does a semi-decent job of showing it. They're in awe when Jon is resurrected and it's one of the reasons they chose to fight for him at the BotB, and still follow Jon (in a way).

It's also a parallel to the dothraki who think that Daenerys is a goddess. 

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20 hours ago, Faera said:

And even the wildlings didn't seem to care all that much.

It's actually quite funny also how modest Jon us about the whole resurrection thing. Though, I guess I kind of get it. He's the bloke running around to his fellow reigning monarchs that they need to band together because an army of undead has risen to take over Westeros "- oh, by the way! I rose from the dead but that was totally different."

I don’t think its modesty. 

I think its a combination of it being a very traumatic event for him - getting literally killed by your men must be one of the worst things you can go through - and feeling unworthy at being brought back because he doesn’t know why him. 

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20 hours ago, MinscS2 said:

And Melissandre and all the wildlings.

But yeah, it's amazing how most people on the show just seem to shrug at the notion that Jon was brought back from the dead. Oh well, if there's anyone you want to actually care about it, it's your future wife and future hand.

I think the show for narrative economy purposes avoids having different people have the exact same reaction to things. 

Whether that is a good decision or not, i don’t know but I do think its a concious storytelling decision. For example, if they are going to explore shock of it through Dany, they will not also explore it through Sansa. 

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This topic has been brought up many times before. It is nothing new honestly. Three swords represented three children of Rhaegar. First two failed miserably but the last one succeeded. And Lyanna is the Nissa Nissa, etc. (but how come water and lion relate to Elia or Rhaenys or Aegon? )

In fact, not only "lightbringer" can serve as a symbol of Rhaegar's member since he had to stick it into Lyanna's body to produce Jon Snow, people also proposed before that "tower of joy" is also a symbol of Rhaegar's member. And "Prince's pass", where the tower of joy located inside, is a symbol of Lyanna's female part. it is the very "pass" where Jon Snow, the Prince, had to go through during birth. 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 11/27/2017 at 11:32 AM, btfu806 said:

Sigmund Freud would agree with you.

Freud would probably think this series is a metaphor for sex, particularly the incest. 

Edited by Angel Eyes

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