Like many others, I’ve been re-reading George R.R. Martin’s ‘Ice and Fire’ series while waiting for the long-delayed next book, ‘A Feast for Crows’. Henry was in Paris last weekend and we three (he, me and our youngest sister Eleanor, aka Nelly) spent several dinners discussing our theories of how the next three books will pan out.
My favourite aspect of this series is the many hints Martin drops about his characters’ side-plots and back stories but that he never bothers to confirm. This makes me feel like a very clever reader (at least about the ones I’ve figured out). For example, we can infer that Jeyne Westerling, Robb Stark’s frisky young bride, is being fed contraceptives by family members during her doomed marriage. And the Knight of Flowers, beautiful Loras Tyrell, is in love with and loved by Renly Baratheon, a pretender to the Iron Throne. So we all had a grand old time running through the evidence for these and other revelations.
Then Nelly’s theory of how the next three books will go blew us away. It’s all there already in the first three, but for some reason I’m the only one who thinks old George has given us so much to chew on, he can relax and let his readers write the rest of the books ourselves.
Over to Nelly:
The first three books, gargantuan though they are (around 2400 pages so far), are nothing but a curtain-raiser for the main act. The civil war which has been devouring Westeros simply sets the scene for the main event; the fight between the forces of light and darkness. The main player for the good guys, the Prince That Was Promised (PTWP), has yet to be revealed.
Who is the PTWP? Stannis Baratheon has been hailed by the Red Priestess as the PTWP. Beric Dondarrion is another strong contender, as a messianic figure to the ‘small people’ and strong links to the mystical. But Martin has left plenty of clues pointing to another, stronger possibility; Jon Snow.
Firstly, we must consider the popular theory that Jon is not Ned Stark’s son, but Ned’s sister Lyanna’s, with Rhaegar Targaryen as his father. Now remember
the prophecy that Azor Ahai, an ancient hero, will come again and defeat the Others, in the form of the Prince That Was Promised. Ser Barristan tells Dany a story in which her bookish elder brother, Rhaegar, comes across a scroll which convinces him to become a warrior. Earlier, when Dany was in the House of the Undying, she had a vision of Rhaeger with his wife Elia, standing over their son, Aegon. Rhaegar remarks that Aegon is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of Ice and Fire. Unfortunately, Aegon later has his brains smashed in by Gregor Clegane, counting him out.
My theory is that Rhaegar came across a prophecy which convinced him that he would father the PTWP. If this is true, and if Rhaegar is indeed Jon Snow’s father, then that leaves Jon perfectly placed as the PTWP. He has the right parentage. The coming together of Stark and Targaryen symbolise the main theme of the books; ice and fire. Even more importantly, as part of the Night’s Watch, he has already started to fight the Others and is most definitely in the right place at the right time.
Jon may not have a glow-in-the-dark sword, or have been brought back to life several times, but he gets my vote for the Prince That Was Promised.
So, all going well (though it never seems to in Martin’s books), Jon will lead the lead the war against the Others, and, who knows, might even win. Maybe his prize will be to join two family traditions (ice and fire and,um, brotherly love) by also winning a queen, Daenerys.