Azor Ahai is some mythical hero, who may or may not coincide with other mythical heros that are supposed to be born and save us from the eternal night (which is dark and full of terrors, if we are to believe Melisandre).

But I'm interested in the origins of the name, here, in our world. More specifically because in Hebrew "Azor Ahai" means (albeit ungrammatically) "Help my brothers", or if you transliterate it differently you'd get "The Living Help".

Since writers often take meaningful names to be terms from other languages (and mangle them a bit), I can't help but wonder Did GRRM reveal the origin of the name "Azor Ahai" at some point?

  • There are many coincidental occurrences of names within GRRM lore and the real-world, (e.g. Lightbringer means Lucifer; or Val being short for Valeria, etc.), but my research has lead me to believe that most of these are coincidental. – Möoz Jun 15 '15 at 2:42
  • The closest I've come is this thread on westeros.org and this youtube video of a GRRM interview, re how he comes up with names - in which he basically says they are made up but somewhat based on historical names (no specific mention of AA though). The main point for him is that it has to "sound right". – Möoz Jun 15 '15 at 2:51
  • Yes, at least can confirm that as a Hebrew speaker, it roughly means "help my brothers" azor is עזור and ahai looks like achai/akhai אחיי, or a bit less similarly "the living" e.g. החיי but I have no clue if this is what he meant – Eran Medan Jun 15 '15 at 5:51
  • @Eran: I am a native Hebrew speaker myself, which is why the name strikes me as slightly mangled Hebrew. – user46271 Jun 15 '15 at 7:01
  • @Mooz: Thank you very much for the effort. The last two sentences of your second comment work to both reinforce my belief that there is something behind it, and that it is just a coincidence. – user46271 Jun 15 '15 at 7:03
up vote 17 down vote accepted
+150

I have done a fair amount of research and have found nothing specific about the origins of the name Azor Ahai.

Let's talk names
In general though, George R. R. Martin tends to create his names based on what he wants them to sound like. As per the below youtube video:

His main points within that interview are:

  • He dislikes most Fantasy names (e.g. Riznakh)
  • He has tried many methods of name creation
    • Including those funny online name generators
    • Baby name books
  • He wants his names to be meaningful
  • He wants his names to "fit" and "sound right"
    • This can be based on whether the person is "important" or not, ethnicity / exoticness within the story, etc
  • He bases his names on existing or historical figures, but usually gives them a slight twist so as to sound realistic and relatable
    • John becomes Jon, Edward becomes Eddard, etc.

It's important to point out though that The George takes a lot of care in choosing his names, pretty much all of them are chosen with purpose and a huge deal of thought. It wouldn't be surprising if some of them had deeper philosophical or religious import to them.

See also: How did George R. R. Martin come up with the names of his characters? where @SystemDown points out about GRRM's name choices:

Coming up with the names for the characters is very tough. They can't be too weird (with like apostrophies and stuff) and they can't be too "real", like Francois or Patrick or any kind of a name that is tied to a place (Sandor being a Hungarian name was unintentional)
-http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1316.

There is also an excellent break-down of GRRM's (possible) name choices and meanings in this article, published by Jamie Adair, in History of Game of Thrones, July 7th 2014, in which Jamie points out that some of GRRM's names are used in honour or as a reference to real-life people. But again, unfortunately, nothing specific about Azor Ahai

Come on, be specific
The closest break-down we have on the name Azor Ahai is from this thread on Westeros.org, where user "King of Winters" points out that

I always thought Azor Ahai meant "A Helper", Azor, "Favoured By God", Ahai.
I think they're from the Jewish language

As well as our own user Eran Medan pointing out in the comments that:

Yes, at least can confirm that as a Hebrew speaker, it roughly means "help my brothers" azor is עזור and ahai looks like achai/akhai אחיי, or a bit less similarly "the living" e.g. החיי but I have no clue if this is what he meant

Where to next?
The only thing left is for either GRRM to write the meaning of the name within one of the chapters of the story, or to discuss the name specifically in one of his myriad interviews, until then, this is all we have to go by.

But it's what I think that matters
Ok, my personal opinion on the matter is that the name Azor is GRRM's invented derivative of the word Azure. Azure, as defined by dictionary.com means:

adjective
1. of or having a light, purplish shade of blue, like that of a clear and unclouded sky.
2. Heraldry. of the tincture or color blue.
noun
3. the blue of a clear or unclouded sky.
4. a light, purplish blue.
5. Heraldry. the tincture or color blue.
6. the clear, cloudless sky.

[possible spoilers for post season 5 and post-ADWD]

This can be tied into Jon Snow's character and storyline:

I have a strong feeling that this 'blue' character will 'clear the skies' and remove the fog which the Others bring with them[4]

He already said he has been inspired by Persian Zoroastrianism and its Ahura Mazda. In Persian Azar means FIRE. It's also the name given to the astrological month of Sagittarius or month of fire. Xmas which is a copy cat of Yalda or winter solstice as the biggest night in the ancient world ( Zoroastrian origin, also celebrated by Mithraic people who also had created Mithraism from Zoroastrianism blending w some pagan mythologies) as in this night, the longest night, in the end of the month of Azar or Sagittarius, the battle between good and evil occurs and good or Mithra or the son God is reborn. Anyways , all the Hebrew stuff is probably a copy cat of Zoroastrianism because all ancient religions of Middle East, specially Judaism were significantly impacted by Zoroastrian since Jews lived in Persian lands for a millennium so modern Judaism is nothing like the Israelite version of Moses Lots about Zoroastrianism was ignored when historical books are compiled in the 18th century because it was going to blow the cover on Christianity of its Zoroastrian and pagan origin so it was intentionally ignored. Also, The entire theme of game of throne is very very similar to be a coincidence to ' epic of kings' a very famous book written in the 10th century by renowned Persian poet Ferdowsi. It's filled with fights over throne and albino King and his phoenix and lots of Angelic demonic / good and evil battles. A fascinating must read for anyone who's into mythologies.

  • Do you have a source to back up your claim of him saying that? – Telestia May 3 '16 at 12:34

Azor Ahai in Hebrew may refer to heroic siblings.

Ahai is spelled אחאי‎ (wikipedia ahai)

Hebrew to english dictionary at morflix.co.il shows that it means siblings

And this link shows that Azor comes from Azur which means mighty or heroic

Therefore, Azor Ahai = Heroic Siblings

Also, see this link

The ambiguity of translation if this is a real clue allows for the ambiguity of it being the night's watch or jon and dany.

  • The correct Hebrew spelling is אחי, not אחאי. Although with Niqud symbols, this would be understood as "my brothers". Moreover, Azor means literally "help!" in imperative (as a command). – user46271 Jun 29 '15 at 17:59
  • By the way, as far as Hebrew/GoT goes, the connection you present of Azor via the local municipality name feels completely forced. – user46271 Jun 29 '15 at 22:39
  • As to your last question: feel free to post it as a new Question by clicking Ask Question. – Möoz Dec 15 '15 at 23:15
  • 1
    Also, No, Dany was essentially witnessed being born from Rhaella; and tracked pretty closely her entire life. There's way too many logistical problems of a baby switch at that point. Also, Dany's age is roughly one year younger than Jon's. Also, the lack of evidence suggesting this possibility would make it an "Ass Pull" if GRRM revealed it now, and "GRRM don't play that way!" – Möoz Dec 15 '15 at 23:17
  • I agree with Mooz. How would you explain death of Queen Rhaella on Dragonstone if Daenerys was in KL? Aerys sent Rhaella (Pregnant with Daenerys) and Viserys to Dragonstone after Trident. Willem Darry can be counted as one of the witnesses of Dany's parentage, so can be Viserys. – Aegon May 23 '16 at 13:06

Azor Ahai could be simply a name made up covering something important. Like Darth Vader (Dark Father).

Azor=azure Ahai=eye . The sounds is pretty close and the blue eye is a distinct trait.

What do you think?

  • Was Azor Ahai confirmed to have blue eyes though? If so this is possible, but seems unlikely – Edlothiad Aug 22 '17 at 12:23

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