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For a few episodes in the show, in Season 2, there was a heavy emphasis on this Red Comet that was falling from the sky. All of a sudden it was just sort of... not a thing anymore?

Red Comet from Winterfell

What is the comet's importance and where did it suddenly disappear off to?

Or was it really just a comet?

Note: I have not yet read the books so if it's explained in there, I'd still like to know about it.

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  • Interesting... Nothing showed up in my search or related questions when asking mine. Still there's no actual answer there - he even says that it's not entirely accurate. I'm also looking for its significance, not just where it went and why/how it went there. – Mkalafut Apr 8 '14 at 20:45
  • Which is why I didn't vote to close as a duplicate. It addresses one part of your question (where did it suddenly disappear off to?) so I thought you might be interested in knowing it's there. It does, sort of, have an implied answer: we don't really know where it went to because it's not explicitly mentioned again (I don't think there's any merit at all to the single answer posted on that question), but we might find out. – Anthony Grist Apr 8 '14 at 20:53
  • Sounds good Anthony. You think it'd be worth keeping this open then? You have far more experience on this SE than I. – Mkalafut Apr 8 '14 at 20:55
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    Definitely worth keeping it open. I'm not aware of any questions that address the other part of your question (though I may have missed it if it does exist), so it's good to have around. – Anthony Grist Apr 8 '14 at 20:57
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I believe The Red Comet is what is mentioned in the prophecy of Azor Ahai

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.

The red comet -- or the bleeding star, if you will -- is the fulfilment of part of that prophecy, and it appears when Dany hatches her dragon eggs in Drogo's funeral pyre.

There are many theories and much speculation on this, and it is also related to the Prince that was promised, something that Rhaegar Targaryen was preoccupied with investigating.

It is also said

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.

We can note that Daenerys has done all of these things. Her final sacrifice is also mirrored in the story of Nissa Nissa, the wife of Azor Ahai, who had to be sacrificed to make the legendary sword Lightbringer. (Yes, Melisandre tried to create a magic sword for Stannis, which she claimed was Lightbringer) Daenerys burned her husband Drogo, and Mirri Maaz Duur.

She woke the dragons from stone eggs. She was reborn in the fire (smoke). Lightbringer is her dragons.

Oh, and also, (Spoiler AFFC)

Maester Aemon became convinced of this after meeting Xhondo:

Daenerys is the one, born amidst salt and smoke. The dragons prove it.

Xhondo's captain is Quhuru Mo, who met Daenerys and her dragons in Qarth (A Clash of Kings)

Q.E.D.

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    If you like that, you will enjoy the story of the Ghost of High Heart and her Jenny, who was the wife of Aegon V's (Egg) son and heir, the Prince of Dragonflies, Duncan Targaryen. She foretold that the Prince that was promised would come of the line of Aerys II and Rhaella Targaryen, but it ended in the tragedy at Summerhall, on the day Rhaegar was born. – TLP Apr 9 '14 at 21:26
  • Comets are indeed things that are, and then suddenly are not, a thing. The typical naked-eye visibility of a great comet is about a week. At best, after the comet swings around the sun, it will be visible in the morning instead of the evening. But it can also simply no longer be visible to the north or south hemisphere. – Ernie Jan 28 '15 at 17:56
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To my mind (and given how the world of the books work) I think it really was just a comet. In the real world there is a long history of comets being tied to prophecy and the supernatural. Which makes sense when put into context. The night sky has always been likened to clockwork. People may not have understood how and why the stars and planets moved the way they do, but they knew enough to predict how they would shift through the heavens. Then boom comes this alarmingly strange object in the sky that disturbingly looks like a falling star and has no explanation at all. It wasn't until Edmund Halley that we could predict the periodical movement of comets.

So we have this comet that suddenly appears in the skies of the world of Ice and Fire, and it's red. Predictably people attempt to find meaning into it. It becomes a convenient literary vehicle to showcase the characters' inner thoughts as they superimpose their fears and hopes on the comet. Dany believes that comet is there to guide her back home. Melisandre (a priest of a fiery god) and Nan (a teller of old tales) look at the comet and see dragons. Joffrey's supporters see Lannister crimson and prophecize victory, while (amusingly) Tully supporters see Tully mud red. More somber characters like Bryndan Tully and Aeron Greyjoy see war and bloodshed. Interestingly enough, the only people who see nothing special about the red comet are the Maesters (i.e. the scientists). To them the red comet is a curious astronomical phenomena but nothing more.

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