Now that Winter Is Here, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some plotlines of interest for the coming two seasons and get all your ideas and imput on them. Let's start with The Prince That Was Promised!
The Prince or Princess That Was Promised:
Followers of the Lord of Light believe in the prophecy of a saviour reborn amid salt and smoke, who pulls a flaming sword called Lightbringer from the flames to combat the darkness. It is said that this prince/princess will be from the Targaryen line.
Shall we first look at the possible candidates? Yes I think so!
1) Stannis Baratheon
Melisandre believed that Stannis was The One and staged the flaming sword being pulled out of a fire to show it to her supporters. His grandmother was Targaryen which fits into the prophecy as does the beach ceremony featuring smoke and salt air from the sea. This was stage managed by Melisandre to fit her thoughts but I'm not as convinced. I also can't recall any special meaning to his sword other than Melisandre's stunt and her calling it Lightbringer. However, though Stannis is dead in the tv series, at the moment he is alive in the books and can't be discounted.
2) Jon Snow
Jon Snow is the alleged son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, raised from the dead by Melisandre and the Lord of Light. Technically he was killed in the snow and reborn in smoke as fire is the power of the Lord of Light. He has a Valyrian steel sword called Longclaw, a gift from Jeor Mormont which allows him to fight White Walkers. In the North he is the best hope of defeating the White Walkers and the free folk are loyal to him.
3) Daenerys Targaryen
Obviously Dany is Targaryen and was reborn on several occasions from the flames. The first time happened close to the sea so that gives you the salt and smoke. She may not have a flaming sword but she has three fire breathing dragons that could be Lightbringer, killing the wights in battle. But is Dany too obvious a choice?
4) Arya Stark
Arya is mentally reborn as soon as she leaves King's Landing but her real transformation occurs in Braavos as a Faceless Man. It is beside the water for the salt but not too sure where the smoke fits in. She has Needle but I don't see that as the sword that could be Lightbringer and she is a Stark, not a Targaryen. Being an assassin doesn't lend itself to saving the world but she is taking out the trash!
5) Theon Greyjoy
No Targaryen blood to my knowledge and I can't see a Targaryen wanting to get involved in a relationship with an Ironborn. There is the Salt Throne and rebirth through The Drowned God and the reaving could link to the smoke but Theon does not strike me as the saviour of mankind in any way.
6) Euron Greyjoy
The Greyjoys were loyal to the Targaryens but I don't know if there is Targaryen blood. Euron is King of the Iron Islands and sits on the Salt Throne. He was resurrected by the Drowned God when chosen as King and you could say that his famous reaving creates smoke and flames wherever he goes which would fit the prophecy. He carries a battle axe and it is doubtful it is valyrian steel unless he stole it. He does have a fleet capable of winning sea battles and is ruthless and ambitious. I'm not seeing him as a saviour and he is loyal to the Drowned God.
7) Brienne of Tarth
I have no information on Brienne's extended family tree so I don't know if there is any Targaryen blood in it. At a stretch you could say her purpose was born again in the smoke of the monster that killed Renly and justice was served in the snow of Winterfell when she executed Stannis. Oathkeeper was made from the valyrian steel of Ned Stark's sword Ice, given to Brienne by Jaime Lannister to help her find the Stark girls. She is at Winterfell ready to fight for the Starks against the threats in the North.
As the bastard son of Robert Baratheon, Gendry also has Targaryen blood. As the bastard son of Robert Baratheon, he could perhaps rally some support from the right people. His redemption came when Davos set him free before his execution, escaping on the sea, his blood used in the flames and smoke to curse Joffrey, Robb and Balon. He has no great weapon but has skills as a blacksmith and could be taught in the free cities to make valyrian steel. If he married Dany, there could be a joint Baratheon-Targaryen dynasty. Perhaps their son could be the Prince...?
9) Yara Greyjoy
Again I don't know if the Greyjoys have Targaryen blood, but Yara is the alternative choice for the Salt Throne for those unhappy about Euron killing Balon. Ironborn are resurrected in the sea by the Drowned God so the ressurection and reaving link to the prophecy is just as relevant to her as it is to Euron.
10) Samwell Tarly
House Florent and House Tarly support House Tyrell in following Renly Baratheon before switching to follow Stannis. I don't know if they have Targaryen blood. Sam is intelligent and finds his bravery defending Gilly from a White Walker and Castle Black by killing a Thenn. Sam discovers that dragon glass kills White Walkers and there is plenty on Dragonstone. He is reborn from coward to brave in the snow and nearby fire from where he and Gilly sheltered. The crows warn him of the impending attack by White Walker. Is that a sign of his importance? His family sword, which he stole from his father, is Valyrian steel and is called Heartsbane.
11) Tyrion Lannister
This is where I go into theory mode. The Mad King took a liking to his mother Joanna Lannister so could Tyrion actually be a Targaryen son? Varys has always thought Tyrion had a role to play in the upcoming war so could he sit on the Iron Throne? OK he is not a warrior but his escape across the sea is really his rebirth and on his way to Dany he is spotted by a fire priestess, linking him to smoke. He has the brains and personality to rule and could defeat darkness using these qualities. I'm not so sure about the sword part though.
12) Jaime Lannister
This is probably stretching it a little as both Jaime and Cersei would also have to have been fathered by The Mad King for Jaime to have Targaryen blood. He has always been a warrior but now has limited capacity. He could pull a sword and fight darkness perhaps going out in a blaze of glory. His redemption came on his journey with Brienne so the campfire could be the smoke though I'm unsure about the salt part. It is believed that Jaime now uses Joffrey's valyrian steel blade Widow's Wail.
13) Beric Dondarrion
I do not know anything about his family connections for Targaryen blood. We do see Beric Dondarrion fight for the Lord of Light with a flaming sword against The Hound but his deteriorating physical condition may mean he is leading the Brotherhood to the true prince in the way that Jojen led Bran to his destination. His rebirths have been varied though and may fit the prophecy.
14) The Hound
I know nothing about his bloodline but unless he is a Targaryen bastard, I can't see him being of that bloodline. I'd love him to be Targaryen though as it would be a good twist! His real rebirth was the Battle of the Blackwater where he fought on the beach beside the water with fire raging everywhere. He first tried to help Sansa and then Arya before a second rebirth after his fight with Brienne. The interesting thing is that The Hound sees a vision in the flames about the fight in the North. Is he the Chosen One? That would be fun!
15) Podrick Payne
Podrick does not appear to have any links to the Targaryens but his mother cared more about men than her children so anything is possible. He is brave and loyal and that comes out during the Battle of the Blackwater when he saves Tyrion. So Pod was reborn in the salt and smoke in a manner of speaking. He is being trained by Brienne and quite possibly has an important part to play in future events.
The smart money would be on Jon or Dany I guess but I can't help feeling that GRRM has something more complex in mind. I like the idea of reborn as someone who becomes a new person after certain events change them and I'm leaning towards something like Tyrion, Sam or The Hound. What do you think?