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Schmendrick

R + L = Lightbringer -- Updated with Part II

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So Rhaegar dipped his penis in a pond first, then he banged a lion?

wait what? I'm not the one arguing Rhaeger's penis = AA's sword. I agreed with the OP that "sword" is frequently used as a euphemism for penis in the book. Dany does have a water/ lion connection though-- the Womb of the Word, then the hrakkar (that white lion thing). I think the OP is posting the water/ lion thing in part 2.

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Boom goes the dynamite. I think you hit the nail on the head.

Now to completely oversimplify it:

Fenrir wolf: Bran?

Jormungandr: Iron Islands?

Loki: Mance????

Zoroastrian Wolf: ummmm, Arya and her Nymeria pack??

Zoroastrian Serpent: Dorne?

Three headed dragon: Dany and ?? and ??

There's definitely a Fenrir/Bran connection, like you note. Jaime (Tyr) tricked Bran into a false sense of security before pushing him out of the tower (just as Tyr tricked Fenris while the other gods bound him). And Jaime lost a hand, just like Tyr (though not as a result of pushing Bran). Plus there's the whole Bran/winged wolf in chains thing (mirroring Fenrir being bound by the gods).

Aži Dahāka definitely has some Dany parallels, though I don't think Dany is evil like the three-headed dragon. Oddly, one of Aži Dahāka's main epithets is the "Stormfiend," which makes me think of "Stormborn." And some of the legend of Aži Dahāka potentially fits Dany. The Stormfiend took advantage of internal unrest in a far-away kingdom in order to win the support of enough lords of that kingdom to conquer and rule it (admittedly, that could apply to Aegon, too). Here's where the Jon parallels kick in: Aži Dahāka is eventually taken down by Fereydun, a descendant of the king that Aži Dahāka overthrew. Fereydun had been raised in secret, unaware of his true identity and the fact that he was the rightful king all along. So ... there's that.

I'll have to give some more thought to the rest. I'm not sure how much predictive value there is in these parallels, though it's still fun to spot them.

oh, hey, it's ok. I think there's benefit to doing something this complex piecemeal.

I guess I was asking because I might approach the AA business from a different premise, and wondered if you'd contemplated the same angle when writing this. In general, I see AA as an agent of fire (Mel calls him the "warrior of fire," which would seem to go against the idea of an ice and fire composition, at least in terms of AA himself. So, from my premise, that AA and everything related to him pertains to fire exclusively, your OP fit with my understanding of Lightbringer, only with a different referent (Jon instead of dragons). It was just interesting to me-- I guess if you understand Lightbringer/ AA as the story's overall hero, those clues add up to Jon, but if you're looking at it from the view he's a champion of fire, your OP might yield dragons = Lightbringer.

I agree with your framing of AA as an agent of fire. I don't think Lightbringer is necessarily a weapon of fire, though. I think we associate Lightbringer with "team fire" because that's the lens through which we're introduced to him/it. There's a distinct (or at least potential) Ice connection too, imo. This is one of those Part II things.

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So Rhaegar dipped his penis in a pond first, then he banged a lion?

No?

For my part, I think that George is using the sword/sex/pleasure/pain/pregnancy parallels to call attention to a reading of the Lightbringer story that involves procreation, rather than wife-killing. They're literary hints.

wait what? I'm not the one arguing Rhaeger's penis = AA's sword. I agreed with the OP that "sword" is frequently used as a euphemism for penis in the book. Dany does have a water/ lion connection though-- the Womb of the Word, then the hrakkar (that white lion thing). I think the OP is posting the water/ lion thing in part 2.

I don't think anybody's arguing that (not literally, anyway). :P

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I'm just posting to mark this thread. Looking forward to pt. II. A lot of interesting ideas, and you put a lot of work into this, very nice.



This loosely connects to my previous preferred theory on who or what Lightbringer is, i.e. the Night's Watch ("I am the sword in the darkness"). With Jon being Lord Commander and all.


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*looks at bowl* I'll go make more.....

To ask a question how does this tie in Rheagar stealing away Lyanna. Did they fall in love in Harrenhall and run away together? (Honestly I dont think Lyanna would disgrace herself and family by doing so) Did Rheagar realize the truth of the prophecy and steal her away? (Doubtful since AA was in love with Nisa....that was the point) I suppose they could have fallen in love and shared a moment at Harrenhall and afterwards when she wound up pregnant he whisked he away. I suppose that could be plausible as far as the prophecy goes. (Correct me if I'm wrong but I dont believe the books reference her reaction to receiving the crown that day, so while everyone else was in shock she might have not been so surprised or even hopeful) but I dont think that its necessarily probable, considering Lyanna would have to have some idea what those implications meant. Thoughts?

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There's definitely a Fenrir/Bran connection, like you note. Jaime (Tyr) tricked Bran into a false sense of security before pushing him out of the tower (just as Tyr tricked Fenris while the other gods bound him). And Jaime lost a hand, just like Tyr (though not as a result of pushing Bran). Plus there's the whole Bran/winged wolf in chains thing (mirroring Fenrir being bound by the gods).

Aži Dahāka definitely has some Dany parallels, though I don't think Dany is evil like the three-headed dragon. Oddly, one of Aži Dahāka's main epithets is the "Stormfiend," which makes me think of "Stormborn." And some of the legend of Aži Dahāka potentially fits Dany. The Stormfiend took advantage of internal unrest in a far-away kingdom in order to win the support of enough lords of that kingdom to conquer and rule it (admittedly, that could apply to Aegon, too). Here's where the Jon parallels kick in: Aži Dahāka is eventually taken down by Fereydun, a descendant of the king that Aži Dahāka overthrew. Fereydun had been raised in secret, unaware of his true identity and the fact that he was the rightful king all along. So ... there's that.

I'll have to give some more thought to the rest. I'm not sure how much predictive value there is in these parallels, though it's still fun to spot them.

Oh I fully admit I'm criminally oversimplifying your theory and ignoring many of the other inspiration for the characters so I can pidgeonhole them, but like you said it's fun.

And one of the reasons you can't predict future events even when you spot GRRM's original source for the characters is that GRRM likes to subvert the tales he's referencing. It doesn't stop me from doing it however, because once again it's fun.

BTW congrats on the most interesting thread I've come across in about a year, anxiously waiting your second part.

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Good read, I'm definitely more open to the idea of Jon being LB now, although I am still not convinced. I enjoyed your theory, or at least the main subject of it, as with all other theories there's a lot of stretching and reading into things too much, but I think you argued the main point very well.



I'd be interested to read your take on Azor Ahai. I don't see how the comet could be Azor Ahai unless it turns out to be an alien or something, otherwise it's a rock that may cause some kind of a catastrophe, but then, it would have nothing to do with forging LB.



The main problem with your theory is that if we assume that the prophecy gets fulfilled, the only candidate for Azor Ahai is Rhaegar, because no one else loved and killed Nissa Nissa, or Lyanna. Unless the forging of the sword was only necessary for the original AA. Anyway, for your theory to be correct, the story / prophecy of AA has to be incorrect, which if of course a possibility too.


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And perhaps the conclusion is that people put too much importance on prophecies, and naming people, look how they fit them. At the end, no matter if you're called the Prince that was Promised, Lightbringer, The Last Hero or Azor Ahai Reborn, that fight will still need to be fought and there's no guarantee that if you've identified that supposed Prince you'll actually win.


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The main problem with your theory is that if we assume that the prophecy gets fulfilled, the only candidate for Azor Ahai is Rhaegar, because no one else loved and killed Nissa Nissa, or Lyanna. Unless the forging of the sword was only necessary for the original AA. Anyway, for your theory to be correct, the story / prophecy of AA has to be incorrect, which if of course a possibility too.

I think the question then is how necessary AA is to the actual war. Maybe he's only necessary in forging Lightbringer, and then the "sword" does all the work.

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To ask a question how does this tie in Rheagar stealing away Lyanna. Did they fall in love in Harrenhall and run away together? (Honestly I dont think Lyanna would disgrace herself and family by doing so) Did Rheagar realize the truth of the prophecy and steal her away? (Doubtful since AA was in love with Nisa....that was the point) I suppose they could have fallen in love and shared a moment at Harrenhall and afterwards when she wound up pregnant he whisked he away. I suppose that could be plausible as far as the prophecy goes. (Correct me if I'm wrong but I dont believe the books reference her reaction to receiving the crown that day, so while everyone else was in shock she might have not been so surprised or even hopeful) but I dont think that its necessarily probable, considering Lyanna would have to have some idea what those implications meant. Thoughts?

It's hard to know for sure, because George hasn't given us enough information yet. Perhaps Rhaegar saw something in Lyanna when he met her (after being tasked with identifying the Knight of the Laughing Tree) that made him think that she was supposed to be the mother of the third dragon head (assuming he really did think the heads were his children).

As far as why they ran away together ... that's the big mystery. Maybe Rhaegar was trying to protect Lyanna (and later, unborn Jon) from people who had a vested interest in stopping or delaying whatever was prophesied to happen when the PtwP and the three heads of the dragon were all born. Qyburn tells Cersei that you can stop prophecy ... by killing one of the people associated with the prophecy. If there was a faction that wanted to stop the prophecy associated with the PtwP, perhaps Rhaegar feared they would try to kill Lyanna or Jon .... But that's all guesswork.

Oh I fully admit I'm criminally oversimplifying your theory and ignoring many of the other inspiration for the characters so I can pidgeonhole them, but like you said it's fun.

And one of the reasons you can't predict future events even when you spot GRRM's original source for the characters is that GRRM likes to subvert the tales he's referencing. It doesn't stop me from doing it however, because once again it's fun.

BTW congrats on the most interesting thread I've come across in about a year, anxiously waiting your second part.

Oh, when I mentioned predictive value, I wasn't referring to your guesses (which I like). I just wanted to make sure it was clear that, just because I think there might be some parallels between Dany's arc and the legends of the ancient Persian equivalent of the Antichrist, that doesn't mean I think Dany is evil or will become evil. I'm in butterbumps!'s camp when it comes to Dany ("Catalyst" is the perfect way to describe her).

Good read, I'm definitely more open to the idea of Jon being LB now, although I am still not convinced. I enjoyed your theory, or at least the main subject of it, as with all other theories there's a lot of stretching and reading into things too much, but I think you argued the main point very well.

I'd be interested to read your take on Azor Ahai. I don't see how the comet could be Azor Ahai unless it turns out to be an alien or something, otherwise it's a rock that may cause some kind of a catastrophe, but then, it would have nothing to do with forging LB.

The main problem with your theory is that if we assume that the prophecy gets fulfilled, the only candidate for Azor Ahai is Rhaegar, because no one else loved and killed Nissa Nissa, or Lyanna. Unless the forging of the sword was only necessary for the original AA. Anyway, for your theory to be correct, the story / prophecy of AA has to be incorrect, which if of course a possibility too.

Thanks for reading it with an open mind. :) Like I said before, I think there will be a person identified as AA, not just the comet (as far as how there can be both ... it has to do with Zoroastrianism again ... I'll write it up some day).

I think it's important to distinguish between (what Mel claims to be) prophecy and what the legends say about the original AA and Lightbringer. Here's what Mel says about AA and Lightbringer:

"There will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world. In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him." ACoK, Davos I.

This is the "prophecy" about Lightbringer (or Mel seems to think it is). There's absolutely no mention of AAR forging the sword (drawing it from the fire can mean all sorts of things). And we know Mel believes Stannis is AAR, but he didn't forge his Lightbringer. All the stuff about the three forging attempts and killing Nissa Nissa is part of the legend of AA, not the prophecy of AAR.

Like I said before, I think the story of the forging of Lightbringer is there to provide the reader with some literary clues. It might very well be that the original AA did forge a sword (probably Dawn). But we know that AA had help from at least one other person the first time around, too. As Stannis tells Jon:

“Even Azor Ahai did not win his war alone.” ASoS, Jon XI.

I think that "Lightbringer" was an epithet for one of the people who helped AA. Over time (we're talking about thousands and thousands of years), the legend of the person and the legend of the sword got conflated, and the sword came to be remembered as Lightbringer. It's not too hard to imagine how this could happen. There are people in the books who are colloquially referred to as swords, after all (like the "white swords" of the KG). If, 8,000 years in Westeros' future, some historian were to find a document from the current time in the books referring to a white sword slaying a monster, they might get confused, too. And that kind of thing is exactly what the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail claim happened with the Merovingian princes of France. Over time, their continued bloodline came to be conflated with a holy relic (the grail). Considering that George flat out said that the Cathar (the supposed keepers of the truth about the Merovingians) were one of his two inspirations for the Red Religion (through which we hear about Lightbringer), I think I'm on solid ground here.

And perhaps the conclusion is that people put too much importance on prophecies, and naming people, look how they fit them. At the end, no matter if you're called the Prince that was Promised, Lightbringer, The Last Hero or Azor Ahai Reborn, that fight will still need to be fought and there's no guarantee that if you've identified that supposed Prince you'll actually win.

I think you're probably right.

I think the question then is how necessary AA is to the actual war. Maybe he's only necessary in forging Lightbringer, and then the "sword" does all the work.

My guess is that AA's only necessary if Jon chooses to side with him/her. :) Edit: In other words, I think that when Mel says "a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword .... and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again," she's making a prediction that the "warrior" will be AAR and not someone else (as in "the Superbowl will happen again next year ... and our team will win it"). Note that "clasp" is used to describe a handshake quite a bit in the books (more than once, a handshake between Jon and another party).

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The dragons being lightbringer just seem more likely to me. Maybe the original LB was a child but the dragons are also kind of children to Dany. I like Jon being LB but its the question of who AA is if Jon is LB. Can't be Rhaegar and no one else makes much sense..


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Great OP, even if I somewhat disagree with the thesis. Your essay is brilliantly put up and gives a lot of food for thought and enlightment on aSoIaF.



My main counter-argument is that I think it is now established that the PtwP and AA are the same person, a unique person... And that the PtwP is Jon (the "promised me Ned" R+L=J).


Therefore Jon will wield (and weld) LB... How could that be him?



Granted, LB is not necessarily a sword and can be a person or many persons:


- A popular theory (Apple Martini I think) is that LB is the whole NW, the sword in the darkness (...), the light that brings the dawn.


- Derived from this, an alternate possibility is that LB can be one NW member in particular, someone fully dedicated to his duty and able to bring light. Sam comes to mind, he is a somewhat Enlightened character ("Lumière" as in France XVIII Century) and as someone said it above, knowledge is a weapon.


- And of course Dany could fit the bill, with her obvious fire connection, but also as someone arriving from the East (sunrise brings light after the night...).



But my inner feeling is that LB will indeed be a sword (and no it won't be a penis!). I feel - through Ice and Dawn arcs in particular, that there is a kind of connection that must be established between a Valyrian Sword and its wielder (think Harry Potter and his wand) to make the most of it and therefore have it become a 'super weapon'. At present, Jon has not established this link with Longclaw... which is IMO 'connected' to Jorah Mormont as the true heir of Jeor. I can see the connection happening after a Nissa Nissa situation between Jorah and Dany. Something along the lines of Jorah (truly in love) killing Dany with Longclaw out of jealousy (of Jon? So Jon would kill Nissa Nissa in a way) and Jon somehow 'winning' the sword fair and square afterwards. Not much textual evidence to support this intuition, apart from Jeor's last wish (Jeor did want Longclaw to be returned to Jorah, he said so to Sam) or Dany's promise to Jorah to give him his sword back.



ETA: knowledge is a weapon.


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I've also been working on this theory ( in my case it came from a mention of a NW=LB, and when i realised that Jon could well have been the 3rd child of Rhaegar Targaryen, when the first two had been "broken" and the 3rd's birth had led to the death of the mother, i got a shiver down my spine.) I also thought the NW oath "I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the wall. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn...."



Just to move on from "Needle was Jon Snow's smile", Jon gave somebody a sword, Needle to Arya. Needle's quite a distinctive sword. If somehow (and i know this is barking mad) Jon giving Arya Needle makes Needle Lightbringer, and Arya Azor Ahai. Nobody is quite as "reborn" as Arya (well, maybe Beric Dondarrion, but hey...) She's seen a great deal of smoke and salt, the House of Black and White and her trial of blindness could be passing under the shadow and well, give her time to work on the waking dragons stuff ok?



Arya for AA, she's got my vote!


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Valyrian Sword and its wielder (think Harry Potter and his wand) to make the most of it and therefore have it become a 'super weapon'.

Bit off topic, but Daemon Blackfyre for king in that case!

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