HBO has just released the first official photos from the upcoming season of Game of Thrones.
Among the collection of familiar stoic faces bracing themselves for winter was one curious entry featuring Sam and Gilly poring over books and texts in what has to be Oldtown.
One look at the photo, and the question almost asks itself: What is Gilly reading?
Lucky for us, the internet is on it. The text was just legible enough to the naked eye for several Redditors to instantly point to its source: The World of Ice and Fire.
In the photo, Gilly is reading the following words:
It is also written that there are annals in Asshai of such a darkness, and of a hero who fought against it with a red sword. His deeds are said to have been performed before the rise of Valyria, in the earliest age when Old Ghis was first forming its empire. This legend has spread west from Asshai, and the followers of R’hllor claim that this hero was named Azor Ahai, and prophesy his return. In the Jade Compendium, Colloquo Votar recounts a curious legend from Yi Ti, which states that the sun hid its face from the earth for a lifetime, ashamed at something none could discover, and that disaster was averted only by the deeds of a woman with a monkey’s tail.
Redditors were also quick to note that the only difference between this text and the one Gilly is reading is that "R’hllor" has been replaced with "the Lord of Light."
So what does all this mean? Beware of spoilers if you choose to read on.
The passage speaks of a prophecy that legendary hero Azor Ahai will be reborn to save the world from the enemies of the Lord of Light, which many believe to be the White Walkers.
In the books, Melisandre explains the prophecy, stating that the reborn hero comes after a long summer, when the "stars bleed" and "the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world." The hero is also thought to have the same bloodline of Rhaegar Targaryen.
Specifically, Jon Snow, who everyone currently thinks the prophecy speaks of. Most notably, the show revealed in Season 6 that Lyanna Stark was Jon’s mother, which points to the fact that Rhaegar Targaryen is probably Jon’s father.
So are Gilly and Sam sitting in Oldtown, unknowingly reading up on their old friend Jon Snow?
We shall see, we suppose. Game of Thrones returns to HBO July 16.