A song is just a song — unless it’s on Game Of Thrones. Last night’s episode ended with Lady Brienne’s squire, Podrick Payne, singing “Jenny’s Song” to a group at Winterfell preparing to fight the Night King’s army come morning. The song, first introduced in George R. R. Martin’s books, is filled with loaded references to the Targaryen bloodline, and, as Bran would put it, “the things we do for love.”
The only lyric of Jenny’s Song included in the books is this: “High in the halls of the kings who are gone, Jenny would dance with her ghosts.” According to the Song Of Ice and Fire series, the Jenny song is a reference to Jenny of Oldstones, wife of Prince Duncan Targaryen. Apparently, Duncan dissolved his previous marriage to Lyonel Baratheon — and gave up his seat on the throne to Mad King Aerys, Dany’s father — to be with Jenny. In A Dance with Dragons, Daenerys hears the story of Jenny like this: “The Prince of Dragonflies loved Jenny of Oldstones so much he cast aside a crown, and Westeros paid the price in corpses.”
Also in the books, Jenny’s Song comes up as a request from the ghost of High Heart, the woods witch responsible for the Prince That Was Promised prophecy. This prophecy predicts that the Prince, or Azor Ahai, would be a descendent of Aerys and Rhaella Targaryen — Dany’s parents, and Jon’s grandparents. Some also theorize that the song was originally written by Rhaegar Targaryen, Dany’s brother. Dany mentions in this episode that he loved to sing, and, prior to his death, he had fixated on this prophecy, and whether he was the one intended to fulfill it. So, it’s likely that this song was intended to remind viewers of this prophecy either way.
Tellingly, the episode jumps right from Podrick’s song to a scene in which Jon tells Dany the truth about his heritage. This could have several meanings. Duncan gives up his throne out of love for Jenny, which could be a hint that Jon will do the same thing for Dany. Or, the song could point to Jon or Dany fulfilling the prophecy and taking the Iron Throne at the end of this. Finally, the song’s reference to ghosts, played over a montage of GoT’s most beloved characters the night before battle, could be a simple reference to the losses we’ll suffer in this war. Whatever the meaning, we can be sure of one thing: after the war that comes in the morning, none of these characters will be the same.