During tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones, “Episode 802,” Podrick Payne sang a song titled “Jenny’s Song.” If you aren’t familiar with the books, then you might not know where this song comes from, so we’re going to explain it all right here.
“Jenny’s Song” is about a character named Jenny of Oldstones, from author George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books. She isn’t a character that’s alive during the current book timeline but is someone who had an impact on the Targaryen dynasty.
As the story goes, King Aegon V Targaryen’s firstborn son, Duncan Targaryen — who was the heir to the Iron Throne — fell in love with Jenny and married her, thus breaking his betrothal to the daughter of Lord Lyonel Baratheon. King Aegon tried to undo his son’s marriage to Jenny, but Duncan refused, and told his father he wanted to marry for love, and not for political alliance. So, King Aegon allowed the marriage to stand, passing the crown to his other son Jaehaerys.
Jenny brought her friend to court with her, who was known to be a woods witch and possibly a child of the forest. While at court, the woods witch told the prophecy of The Prince that was Promised, and when King Jaehearys II (Duncan’s younger brother) heard it, he made sure his son and daughter — Aerys and Rhaella — would marry so that they would fulfill the prophecy.
“High in the halls of the kings who are gone, Jenny would dance with her ghosts…”
“Jenny’s Song” connects the characters of the show in many ways, but mostly this one was for the fans the books. In A Song of Ice and Fire, the woods witch is still alive, and Arya meets her a couple of times. Aegon V used to be nicknamed Egg, and he served as Duncan the Tall’s squire in Martin’s A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms novellas. When he became king Aegon, he made Ser Duncan the Tall the Lord Commander of his Kingsguard, and named his first born son after him.
Because Aegon aka Egg gave up his claim to the Iron Throne, Jaehaerys’ son Aerys eventually became king, and later the Mad King who was slain by Jaime Lannister. Aerys and Rhaella’s children were Rhaegar (Jon’s father), Viserys, and Daenerys (Jon’s aunt and current lover). Since Jon is the true born heir of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, his real name is Aegon Targaryen, sixth of his name. As you can see, “Jenny’s Song” connects Jaime Lannister to Daenerys and Jon through the events of Robert’s Rebellion.
It’s a haunting and beautiful song — and apropos for this episode. Also, Podrick’s amazing voice aside, it was a great way to play through the final credits of Episode 802. Much like “The Rains of Castamere” and “Hands of Gold,” “Jenny’s Song” is destined to become a Game of Thrones fan-favorite.