Songs play a big part in “Game of Thrones,” and we don’t just mean the *awesome* opening number. Most popular among the series’ songs is “Rains of Castamere” or what is more commonly known as the Lannister song. Tyrion often whistles it as he walks, Bronn sang it before the Battle of Blackwater, and it was the song that played at the Red Wedding before – you already know what happened.
But in Game of Thrones history, “Rains of Castamere” holds a lot of history for the Lannisters – it cemented them as a dominant force in Westeros. The short story behind the song is, the Reyne family rebelled against the Lannisters; so to show how lions deal with their prey, the Lannisters trapped them underground, and flooded the caves thus “the rains weep o’er his halls with no one there to hear.”
So whenever you hear the Lannister song, you can expect that the lions of Casterly Rock are about to prove their power – whether it’s against a sieging Stannis Baratheon or a usurper like Robb Stark. But in the latest episode of “Game of Thrones”, a new song was heard that might have predicted how the hit series will end (so thanks Podrick for letting us hear your beautiful voice).
Jenny of Oldstones
A few moments before the army of the dead arrive outside Winterfell, Podrick sings the sad ballad “Jenny of Oldstones”. The song sings about a woman Jenny who dances with ghosts she loved dearly. It is actually based on a real person in Game of Thrones history, also named Jenny of Oldstones. She was assumed to be descended from the Children of the Forest – the people who protected Bran when he was becoming the Three-Eyed Raven; but Jenny plays a bigger role in history, and could be a reflection of another major character.
During the reign of Aegon V Targaryen (the brother of Maester Aemon), his eldest son and heir Duncan fell in love with Jenny to the point he wanted to marry her. Members of the royal family aren’t allowed to wed low-borns like Jenny, so Duncan went out of his way and gave up his right to throne and married Jenny. Because of this, Aegon V’s new heir became his second son Jaehaerys, the father of the Mad King Aerys, Daenerys’ grandfather, and Jon Snow’s great-grandfather.
But even with her low-born status, Jenny was accepted by the royal family and was called “Lady Jenny” at court; she was even loved by her fellow commoners throughout Westeros, becoming an inspiration for many songs because of her beauty. But one day the old Aegon V wanted to try and bring dragons back to Westeros (the last ones died many years ago in a great battle). So he brought friends and family to the Targaryen resthouse of Summerhall, but an unknown great tragedy struck causing a great fire and took the lives of many people including Aegon V, Duncan, and presumably Jenny.
The Jenny-Daenerys Connection
As mentioned earlier, Jenny became a popular figure songs such as ”Jenny of Oldstones”. It is presumed that in the song, the ghosts she dances with are the people she met after marrying Duncan. Now here is where things get interesting; not only did Aegon V want to attempt reviving dragons, he also wanted to celebrate the birth of his first great-grandson. Sadly Aegon V died in the fire, but while the flames raged the young Prince Rhaegar was born.
Rhaegar, as we all know by now, is Jon Snow’s real father. But the major character we mentioned earlier who possibly reflects Jenny is not Jon, but Daenerys (Rhaegar’s sister). Daenerys never met Rhaegar, as she was born during the end of the Targaryen dynasty and both Rhaegar & the Mad King Aerys already died. But there was a moment where Daenerys did see Rhaegar – in a vision.
In Season 2, Daenerys tries to look for her baby dragons in the House of the Undying. There she has a vision of walking in the ruins of the Red Keep, with snow falling through the broken ceiling. Before she gets a chance to approach the icy Iron Throne, she turns and sees her deceased husband Khal Drogo and son Rhaego (had they both lived). These events do not happen in the book series “Game of Thrones” is based on, instead she has a series of visions which includes seeing what we think is Rhaegar singing to his newborn son Aegon.
Rhaegar was always fascinated with the smoky ruins of Summerhall, perhaps by the fact he was born as the tragedy struck. Because he was a lover of music, many now assume that it was he who wrote the lyrics to “Jenny of Oldstones”. Putting two and two together – the lyrics of the song and Daenerys’ vision – it’s possible that the series will end with Daenerys surviving the war but be surrounded by the ghosts of the people who will die at the hands of the Night King (Winterfell and Summerhall, that can’t be a coincidence, right?)
Daenerys’ vision brought up the possibility of the White Walkers coming to Westeros many years ago, but hearing “Jenny of Oldstones” being sung as we see many of our beloved characters before the arrival of the dead all but assumes an unfortunate ending for “Game of Thrones”. But all hope should not be lost! Daenerys, Jon, and everyone in Winterfell may still survive next episode’s great battle – we can only pray no one will be dancing with ghosts just like Jenny, never wanting to leave them.
Information from George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”, “The World of Ice & Fire”, and HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”