Sam is the Prince That Was Promised, Says This Well-Reasoned Theory


In George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, Azor Ahai is a legendary figure "who fought against [the darkness] with a red sword" and "arose to give courage to the race of men and lead the virtuous into battle with his blazing sword Lightbringer." According to prophecy, "When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone." Throughout Game of Thrones, Melisandre has been searching for The Prince That Was Promised, who is often considered to be a reincarnation of the legendary hero.

Now, the easy answer is that this Prince That Was Promised is Jon Snow, but the show has made clear that it's possible this could also be Daenerys Targaryen. But, what if it was neither of them? What if this mythical hero was actually a neckbearded nerd who's scared of battle, and spent most of last season cleaning shit? What if The Prince That Was Promised is actually Samwell Tarly?

As one massive Game of Thrones theory (which I've written about before) outlines, Sam could very well be a secret Targaryen—the child of Rhaegar and Elia Martell (his first wife whose marriage he had annulled).

The third head is no one else than Aegon Targaryen, first son of Rhaegar & Elia Martell, that had truly been smuggled by Varys. After Robert's Rebellion, Varys could not afford to lose the little Prince. To protect him, Varys sent baby Aegon to be fostered by one of the strongest and most faithful supporters of the Targaryen reign, to the man that had inflicted Robert his only defeat at the Battle of Ashford, Lord Randyll Tarly.


This child, who doesn't fit in with his family at all, is our lovable outcast Samwell Tarly.

Samwell had inherited his mother's Dornish looks and most of her character: kind and clever, with a gentle heart and a sweet wit, though with a delicate health; exactly like Ser Barristan Selmy had described Elia. From his father, Sam had inherited Rhaegar's love for books and songs instead of his ability for battle. Lord Randyll, being the Tarly that he is, tried his best to raise the young Prince as a fighter. But even after giving it his all, poor Sam could not do it. His training was proving a failure. And to cope with the stress and the pain, Sam hid behind food...

Honestly, it all adds up. But what's really interesting is how this will change the ending of the show. As we know, George R.R. Martin himself will appear in the final season, and we already have hints that Sam is preparing to write what we know as the Song of Ice and Fire. So, the last thing we see in Game of Thrones could be our Prince That Was Promised (GRRM/Sam) finishing his books as an old man. Very meta.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

watch now
View More Articles About:
More Videos You Can Watch
About The Author
Matt Miller
Matt Miller is the Associate Culture Editor for
View Other Articles From Matt
Latest Feed
Load More Articles
Connect With Us