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Ser Gerold Dayne aka Darkstar: Character Analysis


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#1 The Taxman

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 05:03 AM

90% of the readers hate this dude. They hate his character, they hate his name, they hate his wannabe badass shtick, and the fact that he failed to kill an unharmed girl. With that being said, I do not think Darkstar will end up being Red Viper or Quentyn Martell 2.0.

Darkstar will have an important part to play and his role will only get bigger as the story pushes forward.


"Last, but first in Valor, I give you Ser Gerold Dayne, a knight of Starfall."

Ser Gerold went to one knee. The moonlight shone in his dark eyes as he studied the child coolly.

"There was an Arthur Dayne," Myrcella said. "He was a knight of the Kingsguard in the days of Mad King Aerys."

"He was the Sword of the Morning. He is dead."

"Are you the Sword of the Morning now?"

"No. Men call me Darkstar, and I am of the night."


This is the infamous line that has the forums abuzz with laughter. Is it really that bad? The Dayne doesn't call himself Darkstar despite what most people think. The Red Viper, The Mountain, The Hound, The Knight of Flowers... all of these nicknames are corny in their own right. No need to single out Ser Gerold Dayne in this regard.

As she led the princess to the fire, Arianne found Ser Gerold behind her. "My house goes back ten thousand years, unto the dawn of days," he complained. "Why is it that my cousin is the only Dayne that anyone remembers?"

"He was a great knight," Ser Arys Oakheart put in.

"He had a great sword," Darkstar said.

"And a great heart."


A very interesting exchange between Oakheart and Darkstar. Given how little we know of House Dayne, I believe it is of great importance to read between the lines each time that it is mentioned. At this point in the story I think we can all agree that House Dayne produced some of the best knights and swordsmen in Westeros given Ser Arthur Dayne's renown.

"He had a great sword," Darkstar said.


Darkstar believes that Ser Arthur Dayne was only impressive and renown due to his sword, Dawn. This may sound like a ridiculous statement, but think about it for a minute here. Are there any stories of Ser Arthur before he inherited Dawn? He has been known as the Sword of the Morning since his introduction to the story so we don't know how capable of a swordsmen he was before Dawn, but we can assume he was pretty damn good as the title of Sword of the Morning is only bestowed to the finest knight.

With that being said, we know in the world of ASOIAF that having a unique type of sword (Valyrian, Dawn, Lightbringer, etc.) will grant you a commanding advantage regardless of the difference in skill. Now I ask, if Arthur Dayne was truly the finest knight in the land, the "I can kill 5 guys while I'm pissing with one hand", hell even old man Barristan Selmy thought he could kill 5 members of the KG without caution, why did he die to the hands of Ned Stark and 6 other men when he had Dawn, the LC of the KG, and Oswell Whent?

During the battle at TOJ, Howland Reed must have somehow through whatever means gotten Dawn out of the hands of Ser Arthur Dayne. Perhaps when Ser Arthur Dayne was slain in battle, he died with a regular sword in hand and not Dawn? Maybe the legend of Ser Arthur Dayne is a bit exaggerated? Darkstar knew as much. Darkstar knows that he is just as good of a swordsmen as Arthur Dayne, if not better, should he ever get a hold of Dawn.

Ser Gerold drew his sword. It glimmered in the starlight, sharp as lies. "This is how you start a war. Not with a crown of gold, but with a blade of steel."

"Put that away. Myrcella is under my protection. And Ser Arys will permit no harm to come to his precious princess, you know that."

"No, my lady. What I know is that Daynes have been killing Oakhearts for several thousand years."

His arrogance took her breath away. "It seems to me that Oakhearts have been killing Daynes for just as long."


So apparently the Daynes and Oakhearts have been at each other's throat since the beginning of time.

"You will not take her whilst I still draw breath." You reckless fool, was all that Arianne had time to think, what do you think you're doing? Darkstar's laughter rang out. "Are you blind or stupid, Oakheart? There are too many. Put up your sword."


Obviously Darkstar isn't as big a fool as Ser Arys Oakheart. As a matter of fact, after Darkstar maimed Myrcella, he escaped Areo Hotah and his men unscathed. Keep in mind that when Areo Hotah and his men pursued Darkstar on horses, they had crossbows and spears on hand and still couldn't catch Darkstar.

More proof of Darkstar's swordsmanship...

He must have felt her gaze upon him, for he looked up from his sword, met her eyes, and smiled. Arianne felt heat rushing to her face. I should never have brought him. If he gives me such a look when Arys is here, we will have blood on the sand. Whose, she could not say. By tradition the Kingsguard were the finest knights in all the Seven Kingdoms... but Darkstar was Darkstar.


Arianne believed that the KG are the finest knights in all of Westeros. Ser Arys Oarkheart was a member of the KG that was handpicked to escort Princess Myrcella to Dorne and to be her protector. But, given that, she is still uncertain if a knight of the KG could best Darkstar.

"We need him," Arianne reminded them. "It may be that we will need his sword, and we will surely need his castle."


So not only does Arianne need Darkstar's sword, but she will also need his castle. Darkstar is head of the cadet branch of House Dayne in High Hermitage. Darkstar is the best swordsmen in all of Dorne... and possibly all of Westeros. Take a look at this:

The Yronwoods might declare for Quentyn, but alone they were no threat. If they went over to Tommen and the Lannisters, she would have Darkstar destroy them root and branch.

Apparently Darkstar is capable annihilating an entire branch right off the map. But just who are the Yronwoods?

The most powerful of the Dornish lords was Anders Yronwood, the Bloodroyal, Lord of Yronwood and Warden of the Stone Way, but Arianne knew better than to look for help from the man who had fostered her brother Quentyn

Is this why Darkstar is the most dangerous man in Dorne?

"Aside from Darkstar, your fellow plotters were no more than foolish children."


"You were a fool to make him part of this. Darkstar is the most dangerous man in Dorne. You and he have done us all great harm."


"Princess." Ser Gerold Dayne stood behind her, half in starlight and half in shadow.

"How was your piss?" Arianne inquired archly.

"The sands were duly grateful." Dayne put a foot upon the head of a statue that might have been the Maiden till the sands had scoured her face away. "It occurred to me as I was pissing that this plan of yours may not yield you what you want."

"And what is it I want, Ser?"

"The Sand Snakes freed. vengeance for Oberyn and Elia. Do I know the song? You want a little taste of lion blood."

"I want justice."

"Call it what you will. Crowning the Lannister girl is a hollow gesture. She will never sit the Iron Throne. Nor will you get the war you want. The lion is not so easily provoked."

"The lion's dead. Who knows which club the lioness prefers?"

"The one in her own den."



Or perhaps this is why he is "the most dangerous man in Dorne". What does Darkstar have to do with the Lannisters? And what exactly is Darkstar and Arianne talking about? Whose the lioness that they are referring to?

"Darkstar could put an end to Lady Obara just as easily."

"She has Areo Hotah with her." Prince Doran's captain of guards had dispatched Ser Arys Oakheart with a single blow, though the Kingsguard were supposed to be the finest knights in all the realm. "No man can stand against Hotah."
"Is that what Darkstar is? A man?" Ser Daemon grimaced. "A man would not have done what he did to Princess Myrcella. Ser Gerold is more a viper than your uncle ever was. Prince Oberyn could see that he was poison, he said so more than once. It's just a pity that he never got around to killing him."


I have no doubt that Lady Obara and Ser Balon Swann will be killed by Darkstar by POV of Areo Hotah. As a matter of fact, I would not be surprised if Darkstar took out all three.

"I was weaned on venom, Dalt. Any viper takes a bite of me will rue it."


I don't think Darkstar is the type of guy to defeat his foes by way of poison a la The Red Viper. Ser Gerold Dayne of High Hermitage doesn't have to resort to poison... he has a reputation to live up being a Dayne.

Ser Gerold Hightower, LC of the the Mad King's KG.

Ser Arthur Dayne of the Mad King's KG.

Ser Gerold Dayne... aka Darkstar.

 

Edit:

 

A different analysis of Darkstar from ASOIAF university: The Dorne Identity.

 

http://asoiafunivers...artins-darkstar


Edited by The Taxman, 08 June 2014 - 02:19 AM.


#2 Dragonstoned

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 05:06 AM

Well he made sure Myrcella wasn't in the end unharmed...

#3 Esa1996

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 05:22 AM

Great thread. I agree Darkstar is an awesome and interesting character.

#4 The Taxman

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:14 AM

how on earth can you analyze this guy over 2 pages worth of material ?

not sure if impressed or think that this is stupid


If you think this is stupid I can only imagine what other adjectives you would use to describe some of the other topics on these forums.

#5 Samwell Gamgi

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:15 AM

I'm pretty indifferent to this dude. Maybe when he actually does something else, I'll pay attention.

#6 Amoracchius

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:27 AM

I've been wondering if Doran's "Aside from Darkstar, your fellow plotters were no more than foolish children," line was a clue that Darkstar was the member of her group that ratted. Maybe Doran actually let Darkstar escape and he is part of Doran's long-game strategy.

#7 King of Winters

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:30 AM

Just to say I like Darkstar as well, but I think the reason why he's a bit sour towards Ser Arthur Dayne is because Darkstar was jealous of Ser Arthur being a great warrior, and the Sword of the Morning.
Ser Gerold is in his late twenties so he'd have been old enough to know and remember Ser Arthur.

#8 ~Red~Viper~

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:35 AM

The lioness they're referring to is obviously Cersei, and which of her cubs she might prefer, a la Tommen or Myrcella.

Truth is Darkstar hasn't done anything of note, as of yet. Except try and kill a child.

Edited by ~Red~Viper~, 07 August 2013 - 09:36 AM.


#9 Lord_of_the_Nightfort

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:58 AM

Though it is an interesting note that his martial abilities are held in such high esteem. Does High Hermitage have the man power to decimate major houses on it's own? Or is Darkstar just a part of something much bigger? I for one am very interested to see what comes of Darkstar and what exactly makes him so "dangerous". Personally i think he is symbolicly a polar opposite of Arthur Dayne, Darkstar lacks the "honor" that made Arthur so well respected. Arthur is the Jedi to Gerold's Sith so to speak. /tongue.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':P' />

#10 The Dornishman's Wife

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:00 AM

Arthur is the Jedi to Gerold's Sith so to speak. /tongue.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':P' />


Come to the side of the night... I like it /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> Also, Arianne mentions how his eyes are full of anger, and we know what that leads to, and we know what that leads to.

Edited by The Dornishman's Wife, 07 August 2013 - 10:00 AM.


#11 ~Red~Viper~

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:12 AM

Come to the side of the night... I like it /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> Also, Arianne mentions how his eyes are full of anger, and we know what that leads to, and we know what that leads to.


Yeah, you have to pay attention to the context in which he says ''I am of the night.'' It's right after Myrcella mentions Arthur, who was the Sword of the Morning. Arthur was known as honorable and chivalrous, whereas Darkstar, being of the night, would make him the complete opposite of this. Cruel, sly etc.

I am interested to see what Darkstar will be up to in the future, I said a while ago, I think he'll kill Balon Swann. The KG don't seem to do well in Dorne..

#12 Vengeance

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:13 AM

That 'of the night' line only seems odd when it's quoted out of context, it's a direct corollary to what Myrcella said about Arthur Dayne being of the morning - he's pitting himself as Arthur's polar opposite

Edited by Vengeance, 07 August 2013 - 10:14 AM.


#13 Vengeance

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:13 AM

OOH SNAP

#14 daario's man

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:24 AM

Arthur Dayne was more than just a good swordsman, although he was that (equal to Barristan in his prime without Dawn), the way he dealt with the Kingswood Brotherhood showed intelligence beyond military strategies.

As for Darkstar, being a great swordsman he may well be but comparing him to the current KG and comparing him to Aerys' KG are two very different things.

#15 Ser_Cortnay_Penrose

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:26 AM

Well done, OP. One thing to add: There's a cool GRRM quote in the "So Spake Martin" section that was in response to a fan asking whether Barristan Selmy or Author Dayne would win in single combat. He says that, with Dawn, Dayne would win without question, but equally armed, it might be a fair fight. Very interesting. I wonder if Dawn is somehow beyond the other Valyrian steel weapons we've encountered.

#16 King of Winters

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:28 AM

I wonder if Dawn is somehow beyond the other Valyrian steel weapons we've encountered.

Dawn is not Valyrian Steel.

#17 Ser_Cortnay_Penrose

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:29 AM

Dawn is not Valyrian Steel.


Oooh you're right! Interesting indeed. Thanks!

#18 daario's man

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:33 AM

Well done, OP. One thing to add: There's a cool GRRM quote in the "So Spake Martin" section that was in response to a fan asking whether Barristan Selmy or Author Dayne would win in single combat. He says that, with Dawn, Dayne would win without question, but equally armed, it might be a fair fight. Very interesting. I wonder if Dawn is somehow beyond the other Valyrian steel weapons we've encountered.


Dawn made Dayne better, but without it he was still the equal of Barristan in his prime. Do you think Darkstar is?

#19 Jossy

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:35 AM

This is the infamous line that has the forums abuzz with laughter. Is it really that bad? The Dayne doesn't call himself Darkstar despite what most people think. The Red Viper, The Mountain, The Hound, The Knight of Flowers... all of these nicknames are corny in their own right. No need to single out Ser Gerold Dayne in this regard.


The line is that men call him Darkstar. Sure, we can't really call him out for the nickname if that's true. But he says "and I am of the night." The diction implies that is all him and that part of the line is the one that's really funny, not the nickname itself.

Obviously Darkstar isn't as big a fool as Ser Arys Oakheart. As a matter of fact, after Darkstar maimed Myrcella, he escaped Areo Hotah and his men unscathed. Keep in mind that when Areo Hotah and his men pursued Darkstar on horses, they had crossbows and spears on hand and still couldn't catch Darkstar.

More proof of Darkstar's swordsmanship...


I don't think it could be of any real proof of swordsmanship, it just means he's probably quick and knows the land well. At the end of the day, all his done is maimed a princess

#20 Reek Da Villain

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:35 AM

I don't think the "finest knight" necessarily means the best swordsman. Arthur Dayne is as renowned for his skill as he is for being chivalrous.

The lioness Darkstar and Arianne are referring to is Cersei. Who would Cersei prefer if there was a Dance of Lions, Tommen or Myrcella? The one in her den-Tommen.

I like Darkstar, I really do. But no man can stand against Hotah. No man!

Good thread though. I love me some Darkstar so any analysis of him is welcomed by me. Just remember what I said about Hotah.

Edited by Reek Da Villain, 07 August 2013 - 10:39 AM.