In a world full of curious people, who like to know what will happen in the future, prophecy has always played an important role. Though prophecies had a huge power over people’s lives in the past, nowadays, prophecy seems to be loosing its power as people who think logically seem to outnumber the ones who believe in fortune telling. No matter how we interpret this concept of a prophecy, we all have to agree it has become on of the greatest tools that arouse curiosity and mystery in stories.
The first great prophecy in storytelling that completely changed the plot of the story, for me, was the prophecy of the three witches in Macbeth. Three old women appear and tell Macbeth prophecies, which leads him to betray his king and assassinate him. He even go as far as killing his best friend, Banquo, because the witches’ prophecies for Banquo states that his children would be kings. The greed for power created by these prophecies are very powerful that Macbeth, the hero of the people until then, becomes a usurper,a traitor and man of no honour. The whole story revolves around how Macbeth reacts to his prophecies and the reactions of other people. As a result, this drama by Shakespeare becomes one of the greatest dramas that explore human flaws.
In Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series both of the stories are based on prophecies uttered by the Greek oracle. Since all god related stories seems to come with prophecies it is not unrealistic in that genre of storytelling. The prophecy lets us, as the reader, at one time suspect our own favourite characters. In each story, a prophecy sets out the goals for the demi-gods. They follow it and face a lot of challenges in an attempt to save the world. In Percy Jackson, the demi-gods fight against Titans. In Heroes of Olympus, they fight against the giants.
Currently, there is one more prophecy that is winning a lot of attention. This prophecy belong to A Song of Ice and Fire. There are several prophecies. However, the most intriguing one is that of Azor Ahai, the prince that was promised to fight against the darkness. Azor Ahai is supposed to be leading the battle against the darkness using light. Some fans believe Jon Snow is Azor Ahai and some believe it is Daenerys Targaryen. We will be able to find an answer to that question soon as the TV series, Game of Thrones will soon conclude. However, the books may have a different interpretation of this particular prophecy of Azor Ahai.
Based on all these facts, it is safe to say that prophecy, however improbable it is in a real world, can add mystery and intrigue to a story. That is why prophecy has been used as a tool of storytelling since time immemorial.