The Super Secret Origin of the Azor Ahai Myth in Game of Thrones

Posted: April 1, 2017 by patricksponaugle in Blogging, Game of Thrones
Tags: , , , ,

It’s April 1st, so of course anything you read on the Internet is going to be bogus. It remains to be seen how bogus this post will be. (I solemnly swear I am up to no good. No, that’s not right. This post will be legit.)

Although I mostly crank out weekly (usually weekly) posts about Game of Thrones for my blog, I occasionally contribute a geeky post to the Comparative Geeks website, run by the wonderful Holly and Dave. The two of them have a squad of regular contributors, but earlier this year Dave asked me if I had anything I’d be interested in sharing with the CompGeeks site. As it turned out, I did.

For some time I’ve been following a variety of in-depth and rather unusual analyses of the source material for Game of Thrones, George RR Martin’s unfinished A Song of Ice and Fire. On my blog, I tend to focus more on details from HBO’s show, but I felt I should try my hand at some of the symbolic and metaphorical study of Martin’s written works, which are rich in details, history, and myth.

He’s well known for using real world inspirations for the physical and political realities found in Westeros and Essos, but I took a step back from that to consider what might be the definitive primary source for the most important mythic cycle found in his stories, the tale of Azor Ahai.

Look, I could go on and spill the beans about that here, but as I said above I wrote the article for Comparative Geeks. You can find the full article here:

The Super Secret Origin of the Azor Ahai Myth in Game of Thrones

The conclusions I draw in the post are potentially … surprising.

Okay, it’s more fair to say that they’re off-base and loony.

I’ll repeat that today’s April 1: don’t believe just anything you read on the Internet. Consider this your fair warning.

We’re here to warn you about April 1st. Bark! Bark! That’s the only reason. Or is it?

If you do check out my post on Comparative Geeks (I hope you do), if you’re so inclined please come back here and tell me what you thought of it. I had legitimate reasons for drinking the figurative shade of the evening and letting the crazy flow through me.

As usual, there will be a new Game of Thrones post out on the blog next week (and every week until Season Seven kicks in) – it’ll be more my usual fare. I think in next week’s post I’ll be sort of trash-talking Margaery Tyrell.

If you are interested in my more-usual, non April 1st thoughts on Game of Thrones, I have all of my related articles on my handy-dandy Game of Thrones page should you want to read more but don’t want to navigate around my site.

© Patrick Sponaugle 2017 Some Rights Reserved

  1. Sharon Fargo says:

    Patrick, are you familiar with Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series? There’s a similar concept in those books about the Dragon Reborn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sharon Fargo says:

      I tried to post something about 10 times, to no avail. Please forgive me if all the posts appear at once! I tried to copy and paste from the WoT wikia, but let me paraphrase the prophecy of the Dragon Reborn:

      He will be born on the shores of Dragonmount, to a maid who is the wife of no man. He will be of the ancient blood, raised by the old blood.

      That could be Jon Snow!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Sharon, I have to admit not having read the Wheel of Time books. I know Robert Jordan’s epic series is well loved.

        That’s a pretty good description of Jon Snow. (Or Superman! Okay, I’d have to work a bit, to make that fit.)

        Maybe one day I’ll start reading the series.


      • And thank you for the comment, I’m sorry the posting wasn’t working for you initially. If all of the posts show up, consider yourself forgiven in advance.


  2. Hey Patrick, I thought the superman post was a gas. No idea such crazy stuff went down in Superman-land.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t think he was inspired by it, but both SM and JS are Jesus figures so some similarities are to be expected. Writers and well all creators definitely pick up motifs from the zeitgeist, but I’m always hesitant to say they’re directly inspired by them unless they come out and say it themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, my assertion that Azor Ahai/Jon Snow is inspired by Superman is clearly bogus, intentionally so. In many ways, my April Fool’s post about Azor Ahai is satirizing people who profess hidden knowledge of symbolism in A Song of Ice and Fire. Martin clearly is good with symbols, metaphor, and foreshadowing stuff, but the analysis I see is often Tin Foil Conspiracy crazy. My Superman post is an expression of how easy it is to find patterns and similarities, in a large enough dataset. (This answer sounds way more pompous than I intend.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh see I read it as a “these stories are parallel” not a “Jon was inspired by this” so I was super excited lol. As I said before they’re both Jesus parallels so they’ll have some similarities. I started to suspect things when you brought up the dragons/comets thing, because that seemed a bit of a reach.

        There’s a really great trope called Epileptic Tress that pretty much explains this, though I do love a good Tin Foil Conspiracy. You can pick out the grains of truth and leave the rest :p

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah, I can’t defend the dragons/comets thing, that’s all from the stuff I was kind of poking fun of. If you check out the link I had to the Mythical Astronomy of Ice and Fire blogs (or if you have a lot of time, want to listen to the podcasts, which are listenable and well produced) then there’s endless ENDLESS discussion of the dragons being symbolic moon meteors. Pretty soon everything becomes symbolic moon meteors. Arrows, ravens, the leaves of the weirwood trees, heads mounted on spears. Even Sandor Clegane.

          I’m just reporting what I’ve bewilderingly heard, not what I necessarily cotton to.

          Anyway, I’m glad you identified it as a bit of a reach, because it totally is.

          Oh, I’ll look up this Epileptic Tress trope. Thanks for sharing that info.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I followed them! I cannot wait to read and listen to what they have to say, because it looks brilliant. I’ll probably listen to the podcast tomorrow while at work. I love that when bloggers do that because it means I can more easily “read” stuff (I’m planning on hopping on that train soon myself).

            Liked by 1 person

            • Cool. I’ve listened to many many of his stuff, and some of it I really like, and some of it makes me grind my teeth. Fair warning.

              Hopefully we can chat further about it. And as usual, I have the utmost respect for your opinions. You might end up liking the stuff that makes me mad, and that’s totally cool, of course. You might get angry at stuff I love, and that’s also cool.

              Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, this right here: “but I’m always hesitant to say they’re directly inspired by them unless they come out and say it themselves.” – this is the exact attitude to have.

      I applaud that approach.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have a whole series of essays that compare ASOIAF to something else, because there are a LOT of similarities, but it makes no sense that GRRM was inspired by it. I think it’s more they pull from the same pool of paradigms, are both epic in scope, and have some similar messages. There’s also the fact that narratives that come out around the same time will often be similar just due to the zeitgeist, though I DO believe you can put things into a work without realizing it, because nothing comes from a vacuum, and you don’t always know your influences because it’s just the cultural stew you’ve been simmering in all your life hehe. Lord knows that’s happened to me with some of my writing.

        It’s the best approach to have! Assumption is the mother of all…well you know 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Right! I’m not trying to discourage fun comparisons. In fact, my Superman essay would be more fun if I pulled out all the bogus “clearly this inspired X” and “what GRRM is saying here is Y” – because that’s all ridiculous.

          Anyway, the core of the essay is at the very end, where I basically debunk my Superman as Azor Ahai premise.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. writingjems says:

    Born amid salt and smoke… Is he a ham?

    Interesting post. I was surprised to see an Azor Ahai/Superman comparison, but I was starting to buy into it. Then I realized it was an April Fool’s post lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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