The second episode into Game of Thrones Season 8, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” ends with a melancholy song, “Jenny’s Song,” as night — maybe the last night ever — stretches on at Winterfell. The North is preparing to fight the army of the dead that’s going to show up at their doorstep any second now, and more than likely kill a considerable amount of them. Trying to stay as calm and peaceful as possible, in the hall by the fire, Podrick Payne (Daniel Portman) begins to sing “Jenny’s Song” as the episode closes out just before the battle begins. If you thought that this song was just a regular old song for the show, think again, because it’s, of course, got a deeper meaning and possibly hints at one of the show’s many prophecies.
“Jenny’s Song” (or “Jenny of Oldstone” as the episode calls it) is actually featured in A Song of Ice and Fire, but it’s not sung by Podrick Payne. Instead, the song is somewhat a payment demanded by a character called the ghost of High Heart. This ghost had prophetic dreams and asked for the song as payment from the Brotherhood Without Banners for telling them her dreams. The song is named for Jenny of Oldstones who married Prince Duncan Targaryen after he left his position on the throne; the Mad King Aerys, aka Dany’s dad, took the throne in Duncan’s place.
In the books, only one lyric from the song is known: “High in the halls of the kings who are gone, Jenny would dance with her ghosts.” The show features a full-length song, as Game of Thrones composer Ramin Djawadi wrote some additional verses for it. Also if the version of the song over the episode’s credits sounds familiar, it’s because Florence + the Machine recorded their own version of it.
Additional lyrics in the song include, “The ones she had lost and the ones she had found / And the ones who had loved her the most,” along with the repeated lyrics of “And she never wanted to leave / Never wanted to leave.”
Essentially, the song is about love. All of “Knight” seems to be about love — both romantic and platonic — with Bran even muttering the line “the things we do for love.” “Jenny of Oldstone” reinforces that, especially taking into account the fact that it’s supposedly about a prince who left his throne to follow the woman he loves. That’s an interesting thing to sing about, considering in this episode we learn that Jon not only loves Dany (we knew that all along), but that he then tells her he’s the rightful heir to the throne. Is the song suggesting that Jon will eventually give up the throne for Dany? Could that be something he does for love before the series ends?
But how does this tie into the Game of Thrones prophecies? In the books, it’s explained that Jenny knew the woods witch, the same which who prophesied about The Prince that was Promised. It’s believed that the woods witch and the ghost of High Heart are one and the same, which means that, regardless of the lyrics that were written for the show, in the books she’s possibly singing about Targaryens and their children — including Jon Snow.
It’s hard not to notice that as soon as Podrick stops singing the song, we cut to Jon and Dany in the crypt, where he reveals the secret he’s been sitting on. In the end, “Jenny of Oldstone” might end up being a song about them, too.