In Symbolism of the Others: Kingsguard, we saw how the white knights of the Kingsuard are described with the same language as the white walkers, being white shadows armored in ice and snow and ghostly moonlight and all the rest, and thereby serve as symbolic stand-ins for the Others. The first implication of this seems to be that the Others were created in part as a kind of Kingsuard for some sort of royalty, a King and / or Queen of the Others. We began our attempt to explore what this means in Origin of the Others: Night’s Queen, where I made the case that Night’s King and Queen were the ones who created the Others during the Long Night and led their invasion of Westeros. I feel pretty solid about that, and I hope you do too, lest we fall through the ice and drown, only to have our corpses hauled out of the ice lake by the Night King’s mysterious icy chains and turned into an ice dragon.
Okay, so let’s say Night’s King fathered the Others with Night’s Queen, who was some sort of magical, ice-transformed woman kind of like Melisandre, but cold. I mentioned last time that Melisandre’s shadow beings are actually shadow clones of King Stannis, and that the Others appear to be clones as well, since the six of them that we see in the AGOT prologue are all named as twins to one another. The clear implication here is that the original Others would have been shadow clones of Night’s King, made from his seed and soul which he gave to Night’s Queen, and this brings us to today’s big question: so who was Night’s King, then? Who was this person from whom the Others were cloned?
Well, let’s go back to the Kingsguard as symbolic proxies for the Others. Who created the Kingsguard? Who did the Kingsguard guard, for almost all of their history?
The answer is: dragons. (Old Nan: “it be dragons, boy”)The Other-like Kingsguard was created by the dragon kings and queens to guard the dragon kings and queens, and their dragon-spawn as well. Try to picture the throne room of the Red Keep as the people of Westeros would have seen it for nearly three centuries: a dragon king and queen, dressed in black, surrounded by white shadow knights with armor like ice and snowy cloaks swirling about them. Night’s King was said to be a man of the Night’s Watch at first, which puts him in black, and of course the very name “Night’s King” implies darkness and shadow. The picture fits pretty well, doesn’t it? Suddenly the throne room of Kings Landing looks like the Heart of Winter.
Thus we can see that one of the main purposes of our author choosing to dress the Kingsguard in the exact symbolic language of the Others may be to imply their creator, Night’s King, as a dragon king. I’ll say that another way: there’s really no way that George R. R. Martin created this vivid, detailed symbolic parallel between the Kingsguard and the Others if he didn’t want us to compare Night’s King and Queen to the dragon kings and queens who made the Kingsguard. In another video in this series, we’ll actually take a detailed look at Aegon and Visenya, the dragons they rode, and the things they did as symbolic parallels to Night’s King and Queen business, but today we are going to just start with the basic idea of the Others descending from a “blood of the dragon” person.
I’ll just cut to the chase and tell you that this dragon king who made the Others can be none other than Azor Ahai himself, and I’m not the first person to suggest this. Anyone who’s listened to my older podcasts knows I’ve held this belief for a long time, Gray Area has done a great video about this, and I remember the idea being bandied about the old Westeros.org forums in days of yore. There’s a ton of evidence for this theory, lots more than can fit in this one video (so check out the Moons of Ice and Fire podcast series), but let’s start with the Stannis and Melisandre parallel to Night’s King and Queen that we just laid out in the origins of the Others video.
It should be obvious that Stannis is playing into the Azor Ahai archetype. He may not be the “real” Azor Ahai reborn like Jon or Dany, but like Beric Dondarrion, Bloodraven, Euron, and many characters from the past such as Daemon Targaryen or the Red Kraken Dalton Greyjoy, Stannis is wearing the symbolism of Azor Ahai, he’s doing Azor Ahai things, and therefore he’s “manifesting the archetype” as I like to say, much in the way the Kingsguard are manifesting the archetype of the Others. This is one of the primary ways George uses symbolism to feed us clues about secret things, so it’s important to understand how it works. Stannis is “manifesting the Azor Ahai archetype” by waving around a flaming sword he calls Lightbringer, worshiping the god of fire, showing a willingness to commit human sacrifice to try to gain magical weapons, being concerned with defeating the Others, rallying and strengthening the Night’s Watch and manning their castles, and last but not least, by calling himself Azor Ahai reborn. Even the fiery heart on his sigil calls to mind the heart of Nissa Nissa, set on fire when Azor Ahai tempered Lightbringer in her living heart.
Crucially, Stannis is also implied as a kind of honorary dragon king: he makes his home on Dragonstone, ancestral seat of House Targaryen; he’s trying everything he can to wake a dragon from stone or anywhere else, and he and Robert kinda sorta used their Targaryen grandmother to aid their claim to the throne. Put it this way: Stannis has more dragonblood than Brown Ben Plumm, okay?
So Stannis is basically cosplaying Azor Ahai as a dragonlord, but on the Other hand… Stannis is also doing Night’s King things. It starts with him giving his seed and soul to Melisandre make magical shadow children in a process that parallels Night’s King and Queen creating the Others, as we discussed last time, but it continues with… well, this:
“The Nightfort is the largest and oldest of the castles on the Wall,” the king said. “That is where I intend to make my seat, whilst I fight this war.”
Azor Ahai, king of the Nightfort, everyone. First it was Azor Ahai, father of shadows, now it’s Azor Ahai, King of the Nightfort. Stannis is specifically a rebel king taking the Nightfort as his seat, a great match to Night’s King being a rebel king at the Nightfort. Night’s King was the Lord Commander of the Watch, and though Stannis isn’t (yet, anyway, some think he could end up that), Stannis does come to the Wall and start telling the Watch what to do and taking over and manning some of their castles as if he was the Lord Commander.
After that, he even leads his armies south to enforce his claim over Westeros, just like a Night King leading the Others down from the north to invade Westeros! Specifically, Stannis is starting that campaign by attacking Winterfell, and one thing that I think the books and show ill have in common is a major showdown with the white walkers at Winterfell, right? It probably happened in the past, and it’ll probably happen in the future. We can find another Stannis – Night’s King correlation in the part of the Night’s King legend where he was was thrown down by the combination of a Stark of Winterfell and a King Beyond the Wall, because Stannis has warred against those same two forces, first defeating the King Beyond the Wall, Mance Raydar, at the Wall, and now Stannis headed down to war against the Boltons, who have claimed the title of Lord of Winterfell. Heck, Mance is still hanging out in Winterfell, so maybe he’ll run into Stannis before it’s all said and done and they can talk symbolism.
As for using sorcery to win friends and influence people – Night’s King was said to bind his brothers to his will with stranger sorceries, remember – Stannis does do that, albeit indirectly. Stannis is well known for using the power of Melisandre’s sorcery to command fear and respect, from both his subjects and his enemies, and though he’s not exactly bewitching anyone and controlling anyone’s minds, he is sort of dazzling and mesmerizing with his use of sorcery and ritual. This is a good thematic parallel if nothing else, but it’s also possible that Night’s King didn’t hypnotize anyone either, but instead just commanded fear and respect by virtue of his demonstration of sorcery.
Now if we have a look at the symbolic language used to describe Stannis the first time we see him on page, well… just have look:
Though he was not yet five-and-thirty, only a fringe of thin black hair remained on his head, circling behind his ears like the shadow of a crown.
Hmm, okay, a shadow crown – what is he, some sort of king of shadows? King of night? The passage continues:
Stannis kept his own whiskers cropped tight and short. They lay like a blue-black shadow across his square jaw and the bony hollows of his cheeks. His eyes were open wounds beneath his heavy brows, a blue as dark as the sea by night.
A blue-black shadow, and blue eyes “as dark as a sea by night?” It’s just descriptive language, but why is George evoking so much night, darkness, and shadow when describing Stannis? His eyes are open wounds, as if he were undead, and he’s gaunt to the point of skeletal as well, having bony hollows in his cheeks, and leathery skin like steel in a line I didn’t quote. This only gets more exaggerated after he spawns a shadow or two, such as when the sight of him “shocks” Davos in ASOS:
He had never been a fleshy man, but now the bones moved beneath his skin like spears, fighting to cut free. Even his crown seemed too large for his head. His eyes were blue pits lost in deep hollows, and the shape of a skull could be seen beneath his face.
A blue-black, shadowy skeleton king with blue eyes of night who spawns shadows and takes the Nightfort as his seat, who leads armies down on Westeros from the north. Notice that it is specifically Stannis’s giving his seed to his witch queen that is transforming him; along the same lines, I suspect Night’s King was transformed in some way as he gave his seed and soul to the magical and icy Night’s Queen.
The stark juxtaposition of Azor Ahai and Night’s King ideas which defines Stannis symbolism also makes an appearance when Daenerys catches a glimpse of Stannis in her House of the Undying visions:
Glowing like sunset, a red sword was raised in the hand of a blue-eyed king who cast no shadow.
Stannis no longer casts a shadow in this vision because he’s made so many shadow babies and his life-fires now burn low. The red sword is an unmistakable reference to Lightbringer; sunset makes sense as a reference to the Long Night, when Lightbringer, Azor Ahai, and (according to me) Night’s King existed; and the blue-eyes thing refers to… what, Stannis’s natural eye color? That’s the other detail that’s so important about Stannis that it manifests in the dream realm? No, of course not; blue eyes are the signature mark of the Others. Perhaps Stannis will be wighted and get actual blue star eyes, but I think what’s going on here is that George is giving us the picture of the joint Azor Ahai – Night’s King archetype, especially since all of Stannis’s symbolism seems dedicated to showing us an Azor Ahai person turning into a Night’s King person. A blue-eyed king with a red sword who comes out at sunset and whose shadow has been peeled away to make demon warriors – that’s our Night’s King Azor Ahai, I believe.
As I alluded to last time, Stannis isn’t the only one who combines Azor Ahai and Night’s King symbolism – Jon Snow, Euron Crowseye, Aegon the Conqueror, and several other characters do it as well. That’s the magic of using symbolic archetypes as George does – all we have to do is put all the figures corresponding to a given archetype in a pile and then compare them to one another, and the commonalities begin to emerge right away. All of our Night King Azor Ahai figures will paint a similar symbolic picture, and that’s how we can feel confident about drawing a few conclusions from such analysis.
For the remainder of this video, we shall consider Jon Snow, since he, along with Dany, is the most obvious Azor Ahai reborn person in the story. Dany has already checked all the prophetic boxes, and although Jon hasn’t yet, I expect Jon’s resurrection to complete the picture for him. Even still, we have two majors indicators that Jon is in fact Azor Ahai reborn in some real sense, completely separate and apart from his R+L=J bloodline and the Prince That Was Promised prophecy. The first one is the fact that Melisandre has begun to see Jon when she asks the flames for glimpses of Azor Ahai reborn:
“What do you see, my lady?” the boy asked, softly.
Skulls. A thousand skulls, and the bastard boy again. Jon Snow. ( . . . )
I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai, and R’hllor shows me only Snow.
The capital S snow and the reference to Jon a couple lines earlier make it clear: Mel is focusing her intent on seeing “Azor Ahai reborn” in the flames, expecting to see Stannis, but is seeing Jon Snow instead. By the time she helps resurrect Jon or helps put his spirit back in his body, she’ll have figured this out I would guess, but right now it’s still confusing her. Now if Jon does at some point become powered by R’hllor, like Beric, then he should be able to light his own sword on fire with his own blood, just like Beric does. I love pointing that out – you don’t actually need to kill anyone to make a flaming sword, you just need to be powered by R’hllor.
An Azor Ahai with the name Snow kind of hints at the the Azor Ahai Night’s King thing too, doesn’t it? He’s like a snowy, cold version of Azor Ahai or something. I’ll also point out that the name “Jon Snow” roughly translates to “Jack Frost,” since Jack is a nickname for John and frost and snow are very similar. Just to jog your memory, wikipedia describes the figure of Jack Frost as “a personification of frost, ice, snow, sleet, winter, and freezing cold. He is a variant of Old Man Winter who is held responsible for frosty weather, nipping the fingers and toes in such weather.” So Jon is somehow.. that guy… but also Azor Ahai? You see what I mean about Jon having a similar “frozen Azor Ahai” symbolism to Stannis.
Think also of Bran’s coma dream from AGOT, where he sees “his bastard brother Jon, sleeping alone in a cold bed, his skin growing pale and hard as the memory of all warmth fled from him.” True, life at the Wall is cold, but might not this line be foreshadowing even more cold transformation for Jon? It’s definitely foreshadowing for his becoming a cold corpse, and remember when he died, “he never felt the fourth knife, only the cold.” But I’ve also suggested many times that Jon could be temporarily resurrected by the ice magic of the Others before Melisandre gets involved – that’s the “Jon becomes a leader of the others for a time” scenario, basically – so it’s possible Jon’s body will literally be covered in ice and frost.
Then there is the fact that the other big clue about Jon being Azor Ahai reborn – his dream of defending the Wall with a burning red sword – dresses him up in ice armor, like an Other! It’s a pretty good match to that vision of Stannis as a blue-eyed king with a red sword that glows like sunset, in that it’s implying an Otherized, frozen Azor Ahai:
Burning shafts hissed upward, trailing tongues of fire. Scarecrow brothers tumbled down, black cloaks ablaze. “Snow,” an eagle cried, as foemen scuttled up the ice like spiders. Jon was armored in black ice, but his blade burned red in his fist. As the dead men reached the top of the Wall he sent them down to die again. He slew a greybeard and a beardless boy, a giant, a gaunt man with filed teeth, a girl with thick red hair. Too late he recognized Ygritte. She was gone as quick as she’d appeared.
The world dissolved into a red mist. Jon stabbed and slashed and cut. He hacked down Donal Noye and gutted Deaf Dick Follard. Qhorin Halfhand stumbled to his knees, trying in vain to staunch the flow of blood from his neck. “I am the Lord of Winterfell,” Jon screamed. It was Robb before him now, his hair wet with melting snow. Longclaw took his head off.
So here it is, Jon’s big “Azor Ahai reborn” dream – his sword burns red just as Lightbringer was said to burn red, so that’s hard to miss. You’ll notice that Jon’s internalized guilt for Ygritte’s death manifests itself here in Jon’s nightmare as him killing her with his flaming red sword, which… is a clear echo of Azor Ahai killing Nissa Nissa with Lightbringer. As I’ve pointed out, the fact that Azor Ahai murders his wife is a big clue that he isn’t a hero, even before he turned into Night’s King if that’s what he did, so check out “Azor Ahai” The Bad Guy” for more on that, but the point here is that Jon dreaming of killing Ygritte, his true love, with his burning red sword, simply nails down this sequence as a depiction of the famous deeds of Azor Ahai. Jon doesn’t kill Ygritte in real life – he’d never kill his girlfriend in real life, that’s just ridiculous, I mean – but he does feel responsible, and he does find her as she lies dying with a Night’s Watch arrow through her chest in yet another echo of Nissa Nissa’s death.
Notably, Lightbringer-wielding Jon is defending the Wall against the forces of the Others: living dead men who need to “die again” and foes who “scuttle up the ice like spiders,” a line clearly meant to evoke the idea of ice spiders scuttling up the Wall. Which, by the way, yikes. Can you even imagine? Anyway, defending the Wall against the forces of the Others is what Jon thinks Azor Ahai reborn is supposed to do, and even with my heretical idea that Azor Ahai became Night’s King, leader of the Others, I’m suggesting that his brother, son, or perhaps nephew became the last hero who lead the Watch against the Others with his own magic sword of “dragonsteel,” so it’s very much a cyclical, family affair with magic swords to go around. I’ve even referred to the Azor Ahai archetype as being split in two – the Night’s King version is villainous (think Euron), and last hero version is the heroic form of Azor Ahai.
Point being, the part of Jon’s dream that has him defending the Wall with a burning red sword, later named in the dream as the Valyrian steel sword Longclaw, correlates to the last hero version of the flaming sword hero. Another specific last hero correlation for Jon can be found in the fact that Jon starts off the dream by realizing that he’s all alone against the Others, just as the last hero’s companions all died and he was left fleeing the Others on his own. Jon’s not totally alone though, as the scarecrow knights the Watch made in the fight against the Mance Raydar make an appearance in Jon’s dream, but those scarecrow knights ended up being named after the black brothers who died in the fight, so this is just another way of implying Jon as the last hero who companions have died.
All in all, Jon is hitting both Azor Ahai and last hero beats in this dream, but he’s very conspicuously sporting that ice armor as his blade burns red, and of course ice armor is one of the defining characteristics of the Others. Talk about his body growing cold and hard. You’ll also notice that Jon kills his brother Robb with his red sword… and Night’s King was said to have been cast down, in part, by Brandon the Breaker Stark, who was Night’s King’s brother, according to some versions of the story. Think about it – Night’s King was supposedly Lord Commander of the Watch while his brother was the King of Winter / King in the North, just as Robb was King in the North right before Jon became Lord Commander, so Jon fighting Robb in this dream is a good parallel.
Getting back to Jon’s ice armor, you will notice that it is specifically black ice armor, as opposed to the white and pale look of the Others and their ice. That could be a reference to Night’s King as a black brother of the Watch who became “armored in ice,” but there’s another possibility that’s interesting too. The Stark ancestral Valyrian steel sword is called Ice, and it’s so dark grey as to look black; Ned’s ancestor Barth Blacksword got his nickname because he carried Ice, for example. Thus Ned’s sword can be thought of as black ice, and by extension, Jon’s black ice armor might represent Valyrian steel armor, which would be a good thing to have while fighting the Others with a flaming sword. Euron has a suit; maybe Jon can kill him and take it or something.
So just like Stannis is a blue eyed, shadow making king with a burning red sword, Jon Snow is combining obvious symbols of the Others and Night’s King with symbols of Azor Ahai in this dream / nightmare. He’s doing it at the Wall too, which is where Azor Ahai would have found Night’s Queen, made the Others, and declared himself Night’s King.
And I can’t help but notice… Jon is kind of a rebel Lord Commander who has broken almost all of the Night’s Watch oaths to some extent. According to wildling custom, he married Ygritte by “stealing her” and sleeping with her, which is both a sorta kinda breaking of his vows and an echo of Night’s King finding a wife beyond the Wall. Jon is named a rebel to the throne by Cersei as well, and when he decides to lead a wildling army against Ramsay Bolton at Winterfell, he becomes an actual rebel Lord Commander, clearly breaking his vow not to meddle in the affairs of the realm. Then we have this passage that comes in ASOS when he’s sent to try to kill Mance Raydar, King beyond the Wall, against his will. He’s in the iron cage that goes up and down the Wall at castle Black here:
A grim day. Jon Snow wrapped gloved hands around the bars and held tight as the wind hammered at the cage once more. When he looked straight down past his feet, the ground was lost in shadow, as if he were being lowered into some bottomless pit. Well, death is a bottomless pit of sorts, he reflected, and when this day’s work is done my name will be shadowed forever.
Bastard children were born from lust and lies, men said; their nature was wanton and treacherous. Once Jon had meant to prove them wrong, to show his lord father that he could be as good and true a son as Robb. I made a botch of that. Robb had become a hero king; if Jon was remembered at all, it would be as a turncloak, an oathbreaker, and a murderer. He was glad that Lord Eddard was not alive to see his shame.
Turncloak, oathbreaker, murderer, wanton and treacherous, name forever shadowed: this could be the Night’s King we are talking about as Jon is lowered into the abyss. Don’t forget Night’s King’s name was supposedly erased from the record, which is why we don’t have the name “Azor Ahai” in Westeros, by the way (Homer: it’s funny because it’s true).
As for Jon’s brother Robb, he’s again suggested as a Brandon the Breaker / last hero figure, being named as a hero king and King in the North. This is in contrast to Jon, who is shamed and lowered into the abyss and all that. I’ll also point out that just as Stannis emulates Night’s King by warring against a King in the North and a King Beyond the Wall, Jon is on his way to try to kill the King Beyond the Wall while thinking of Robb, whom he kills in the dream we just read. Right before he died, Jon was about to lead a force south against a different lord of Winterfell, Ramsay Bolton, and of course Jon actually commanded the defense of the Wall against Mance’s initial attack. He’s got those parallels covered, in other words.
Since we’re talking about Night’s King and Brandon the Breaker, I’ll go ahead an address the obvious timeline heresy question that arises from my theorycrafting – namely, “if Night’s King is Azor Ahai, then how is Night’s King also the brother of the Lord of Winterfell / King in the North, Brandon the Breaker?” Well, first of all, I’m think that the last hero was Brandon the Breaker – he broke the hold of the Long Night, and named his castle “Winterfell” in memory of slaying the winter, perhaps. I suspect that Azor Ahai might have had children before he transformed into Night’s King, and he probably has brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews as well, and I think it was one of these people who became the last hero / Brandon the Breaker. It’s hard to say when the name Stark came into use, or when Winterfell was founded, but having already looked at all the Azor Ahai and Night’s King and last hero parallel figures in my older podcasts, I can tell you that the relationship between Night’s King, leader of the Others, and last hero, leader of the Watch, is always suggested as father-son, uncle-nephew, or brother-brother. If it was one of these scenarios, then House Stark is either related to Night’s King or directly descended from him, and I’ve always believed something like that had to be the case, that the Starks are actually related to both Night’s King and the Others themselves.
Getting back to Jon, well, he just needs to wander north of the Wall and give his seed and soul to a moon pale, icy woman, and his journey to the dark side will be complete.
Then Ghost emerged from between two trees, with Val beside him.
They look as though they belong together. Val was clad all in white; white woolen breeches tucked into high boots of bleached white leather, white bearskin cloak pinned at the shoulder with a carved weirwood face, white tunic with bone fastenings. Her breath was white as well … but her eyes were blue, her long braid the color of dark honey, her cheeks flushed red from the cold. It had been a long while since Jon Snow had seen a sight so lovely.
“Have you been trying to steal my wolf?” he asked her.
But Jon’s wolf is named Ghost, so Jon is asking Val if she’s stealing his ghost! That’s next best thing to taking someone’s soul, I think. Night’s King spied his lovely Night’s Queen from atop the Wall, while Jon is standing in front of the Wall on the north side here, but he’s certainly captivated with Val’s beauty as she possess his ghost. He’ll later be accused of keeping her locked up and hidden at Castle Black, echoing Night’s King taking Night’s Queen back to the Nightfort and making her his queen. Along the same lines, when Stannis offers to make Jon Lord of Winterfell, marrying Val is part of the proposal again implying Val as Jon’s potential queen and wife. Val herself makes a great winter queen, dressed in all white with a snowbear cloak and a weirwood broach, and with her blue eyes. The scene we just quoted is Val returning from making contact with Tormund and the wildlings; and when she left on this trip two weeks earlier, the Night’s Queen symbolism is even more obvious:
When they emerged north of the Wall, through a thick door made of freshly hewn green wood, the wildling princess paused for a moment to gaze out across the snow-covered field where King Stannis had won his battle. Beyond, the haunted forest waited, dark and silent. The light of the half-moon turned Val’s honey-blond hair a pale silver and left her cheeks as white as snow. She took a deep breath. “The air tastes sweet.”
“My tongue is too numb to tell. All I can taste is cold.”
“Cold?” Val laughed lightly. “No. When it is cold it will hurt to breathe. When the Others come …”
Okay, well, blue eyes are one thing, lots of people have blue eyes, but skin as white as snow is clear Night’s Queen language. Val’s also acting as if she’s untroubled by the cold which makes Dolorous Edd so cold as to be numb, and warning about them about the Others as if she knows them. Val also has no fear of the Haunted Forest and is able to come and go as she pleases, so she really comes across as some sort of icy queen of the north in these scenes.
And she’s stealing Jon’s Ghost.
Which, by the way, is already a white shadow anyway, and this is from ADWD:
Ahead he glimpsed a pale white trunk that could only be a weirwood, crowned with a head of dark red leaves. Jon Snow reached back and pulled Longclaw from his sheath. He looked to right and left, gave Satin and Horse a nod, watched them pass it on to the men beyond. They rushed the grove together, kicking through drifts of old snow with no sound but their breathing. Ghost ran with them, a white shadow at Jon’s side.
Another less dramatic scene in ADWD also describes Ghost as “a white shadow at his side,” and a scene in ACOK describes him as “a pale shadow moving through the night.” Although Ghost has burning red eyes like two red suns and not blue star eyes, this is nevertheless disturbing. I’ve always wondered about what this means, to be honest, why George would describe Ghost with the white shadow and pale shadow language of the Others. Now it makes sense though, and I actually just put together writing this script – Jon is playing the role of Azor Ahai turned Night’s King, and he’s giving his Ghost to a Night’s Queen to make white shadows. His ghost is a white shadow! This is an absolutely fabulous confirmation of our theorizing… both of the idea that Night’s King made white shadows with Night’s Queen, and that Night’s King was Azor Ahai and a dragon person.
Indeed, Ghost’s eyes, which “shone like two red suns” in ACOK, reflect the fiery nature of Azor Ahai’s seed and soul, which was then given to Night’s Queen and used to create the Others… and in a future video, we’ll dive into how that all that temperature conversion works and what if means that the Others were potentially fathered by a dragon.
I’m almost skipping over the obvious things here – naming Ghost a white shadow at Jon’s side basically implies Jon as both a dragon king and a Night’s King, even before Val enters into it, because the white shadow term has been applied the most to the Kingsguard and the Others, by far. The kings of Westeros are well known for having white shadows at their side, and Jon is a potential candidate for King of Westeros via his Targaryen blood. If we see a white shadow at Jon’s side and think “the Others,” then Jon looks a Night’s Watch commander with an Other following him around, which can really only be an image of Night’s King.
And that, dear friends brings us full circle: Jon, like Stannis, is playing the combined role of Azor Ahai person and Night’s King person. Like Stannis, he’s implied both a dragon king and a symbolic father of the Others. At the risk of stating the obvious, I believe George did this is because someone thought of as “Azor Ahai” did in fact become the “Night’s King” of Westerosi legend.
From a thematic perspective, I don’t think it should be too hard to accept that the “hero” who slew his wife to work blood magic and broke the moon in doing so turned into the villain who created the Others. As most of you know, I have always thought that it was the moon breaking in the Azor Ahai myth which led to the Long Night, by virtue of the cracking moon shedding moon meteors that impacted on the Planetos. Thus, the man who caused the Long Night, Azor Ahai, would have become the King of the Long Night, which makes perfect sense to me. If you want the story about how Azor Ahai, who is from Asshai, came to Westeros and eventually north to the Wall, I’ll refer you to my Great Empire of the Dawn videos titled “Dragonlords of Ancient Asshai” and “Westeros,” but suffice to say there is abundant evidence that Azor Ahai did just that, and that his story does end in the north, in the frozen lands. What I am suggesting is that at some point, he became the figure known as Night’s King, the original father of the Others.
Only to have his stupid son or nephew or whatever come and spoil things, the brat. The brat hero, that’s what he should be called.