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.
A different analysis of Darkstar from ASOIAF university: The Dorne Identity.
Edited by The Taxman, 08 June 2014 - 02:19 AM.