What was the song Pod sang in Season 8 Episode 2 of Game of Thrones? The sad, sweet song that brought viewers around Winterfell as the living prepared for the massive battle against the dead actually (partially) came from the books. And the song is much more important than you might realize.
“High in the halls of the kings who are gone, Jenny would dance with her ghosts,” Pod sang. That opening line actually comes directly from the books (A Storm of Swords, Epilogue).
The song is called Jenny’s song (or some variation thereof) and is about Jenny of Oldstones — a character who lived decades before the current events in Game of Thrones.
Who was Jenny of Oldstones?
Here’s a description straight from The World of Ice and Fire:
“Aegon’s eldest son Duncan, Prince of Dragonstone and heir to the throne, was the first to defy him. Though betrothed to a daughter of House Baratheon of Storm’s End, Duncan became enamored of a strange, lovely, and mysterious girl who called herself Jenny of Oldstones in 239 AC, whilst traveling in the riverlands. Though she dwelt half-wild amidst ruins and claimed descent from the long- vanished kings of the First Men, the smallfolk of surrounding villages mocked such tales, insisting that she was only some half-mad peasant girl, and perhaps even a witch.”The World of Ice and Fire
Duncan, the Prince, loved Jenny so much that he gave up his right to the throne in order to be with her. Prince Duncan died at the Tragedy at Summerhall, when King Aegon Targaryen V attempted to bring dragons back to Westeros.
What does Jenny of Oldstones have to do with current event in Game of Thrones?
Here’s the too long, didn’t read version:
- Jenny of Oldstones was a common girl, and Prince Duncan Targaryen fell in love with her and renounced his right to the throne to be with her
- Jenny was friends with a woods witch, and the woods witch told the Targaryen king that the Prince That Was Promised would be born of his bloodline
- The woods witch is still alive, known as the ghost of High Heart; she requests Jenny’s song to be sung to her and she weeps when she hears it
Jenny of Oldstones was close friends with a woods witch. One day, Jenny brought the woods witch to court, and the woods witch prophesied that Azor Ahai, or the Prince That Was Promised, would be born of the Targaryen bloodline.
“A woods witch had told [Jaeherys Targaryen II] that the prince was promised would be born of their line.”– See Barristan Selmy speaking with Daenerys Targaryen in A Dance with Dragons
“A woods witch?” Dany was astonished.
“She came to court with Jenny of Oldstones. A stunted thing, grotesque to look upon. A dwarf, most people said, though dear to Lady Jenny, who always claimed that she was one of the children of the forest.”
The woods witch — Jenny’s friend — matches the description of the ghost of High Heart, whom Arya encounters in A Storm of Swords. The ghost of High Heart requests a song from Tom Sevenstrings in exchange for information.
When it comes time for Sevenstrings to sing the song, he asks: “The same song as before?” — indicating that the ghost of High Heart usually asks for the same song.
The song she asks for? Jenny’s song.
Jenny’s song is about love — and it’s an allusion to the Prince That Was Promised and the war to come
While Jenny’s song is about the forbidden love between a prince and a commoner, it’s also an indirect reference to the Prince That Was Promised. And we know that the Targaryen family took that prophecy very seriously:
“Ser Barristan went on. “I saw your father and your mother wed as well. Forgive me, but there was no fondness there, and the realm paid dearly for that, my queen.”– See Barristan Selmy speaking with Daenerys Targaryen in A Dance with Dragons
“Why did they wed if they did not love each other?”
“Your grandsire commanded it. A woods witch had told him that the prince was promised would be born of their line.”
Rhaegar Targaryen would always play the harp, and he was obsessed with the prophecy about the Prince That Was Promised
“His is the song of ice and fire, my brother said. I’m certain it was my brother. Not Viserys, Rhaegar. He had a harp with silver strings.”– A Clash of Kings, Daenerys V
Ser Jorah’s frown deepened until his eyebrows came together. “Prince Rhaegar played such a harp,” he conceded. “You saw him?”
She nodded. “There was a woman in a bed with a babe at her breast. My brother said the babe was the prince that was promised and told her to name him Aegon.”
We know now that the babe Daenerys speaks of in the quote above (which she saw in a vision) is actually Jon Snow aka Aegon Targaryen. Rheagar was convinced that he was the Prince That Was Promised — or that his son (Jon Snow) would be.
Rhaegar was renowned for playing the harp. And he once famously played a song “of love and doom” that made every woman in the hall weep when he was done.
Is it possible that his song of “love and doom” was Jenny’s song?
Game of Thrones alludes to Jon Snow as the Prince That Was Promised
In the scene immediately after Pod finishes singing Jenny’s song, Game of Thrones cuts to Jon Snow standing in front of Lyanna Stark’s grave, and Daenerys approaches and mentions how Rhaegar loved music. That’s when Jon tells Dany who he really is, but Dany has a hard time believing it.
Is it possible that Rhaegar’s famous harp is in the crypt with Lyanna, a symbol of his undying love and his obsession with the prophecy of the Prince That Was Promised? If so, the presence of the harp could be the physical evidence Dany needs to know that Jon is telling the truth about his heritage.