Remember Lightbringer On 'Game Of Thrones'? You'd Better Refresh Your Memory ASAP

by Ani Bundel

This coming week on Game of Thrones might just be one of the most terrifying hours of the show so far, as Band of Seven Brothers head north of the Wall to find the Night King's army, capture a live wight, and somehow get out of there with their lives. While the leader of the fight might be Jon Snow, Real Westerosi Hero™, the MVP might be Beric and his flaming sword. But what is that anyway? Let's talk about the story of Lightbringer on Game of Thrones.

When we first met Stannis, and Melisandre was declaring him Azor Ahai reborn, we knew things were off because his flaming sword, "Lightbringer," was a fake, a fire trick she was producing. By Season 3, we had met the Brotherhood, and Beric Dondarrion, who could not only rise from the dead on the regular, but actually had the real deal sword that burst into flame.

But what is Lightbringer? Why is it so important? And what does it mean that Beric has it, and not either of Melisandre's declared candidates for The Prince That Was Promised/Azor Ahai reborn?

Lightbringer was the name of the original sword carried by Azor Ahai, when he went to fight in the great battle that defeated the Long Night the first time. It is also called The Red Sword of Heroes. Here is the legend, as published in A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10:

Darkness lay over the world and a hero, Azor Ahai, was chosen to fight against it. To fight the darkness, Azor Ahai needed to forge a hero's sword. He labored for thirty days and thirty nights until it was done. However, when he went to temper it in water, the sword broke. He was not one to give up easily, so he started over. The second time he took fifty days and fifty nights to make the sword, even better than the first. To temper it this time, he captured a lion and drove the sword into its heart, but once more the steel shattered. The third time, with a heavy heart, for he knew before hand what he must do to finish the blade, he worked for a hundred days and nights until it was finished. This time, he called for his wife, Nissa Nissa, and asked her to bare her breast. He drove his sword into her breast, her soul combining with the steel of the sword, creating Lightbringer, while her cry of anguish and ecstasy left a crack across the face of the moon.

This is the sword that was carried the first time against the forces that are coming now to Westeros. And according to the prophecies, when Azor Ahai is reborn into the world to defeat the "Great Other" (aka the Night King), he shall carry Lightbringer once more. (A Clash of Kings, same chapter)

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.

Of course, that was a time before dragons, or Valyria, or Valyrian steel. Jon Snow has a Valyrian steel sword, and Dany has dragons, so both are actually better armed than Ahai was back in the day.

But prophecies can be tricksy things. If Beric were to die north of the Wall, he could be resurrected. (Again.) We're sure Jon Snow, who considers resurrection a private affair, will be appalled to see it abused like this. But that's neither here nor there.

But what if Thoros of Myr were to die? Then Beric is suddenly out of free refills. Would Beric, upon learning of Jon Snow's own resurrection, bequeath him the flaming sword? (Longclaw could then be passed back to Jorah, the rightful owner.)

Or will it turn out this whole "Beric carrying a flaming sword" is all a red herring anyway? The prophecy says "a warrior will draw from the fire a burning sword." What if they mean that Jon will draw Longclaw out of fire from a dragon's breath, in the middle of a battle somewhere in Season 8, and suddenly "Oh, lookit! The Prince That Was Promised is here!"

Either way, we're excited to see it in action come next week.