Sly Wren

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  1. Yup. Though perhaps less a tunnel and more a portal--Sam seems to think that Bran and Co. might not even be able to see the Gate unless he's with them. And the Nightfort is next to the Wall--with steps carved into it. And the Black Gate does seem likely to have been there before or right at the time of the start of the Wall. But it's off--cold and deathly. Weirwood that looks like an ancient living man, not the faces of the regular weirwoods. And Bran makes it note that it's not black but white--why is it the Black Gate, then? Was it always that. . . strange and cold? Something seems off. Like something about that Gate has been changed. Yup. But it has become one--the 79 Sentinels alone prove that. Something's not right at the Nightfort. Yup. Though how exactly BtB built it is unclear. And Martin has said it has grown. Seems like there's a chance it's a growing, living thing. And I apologize if I made it sound like I thought it was a pyramid for the Night's King. Not at all my intent. Possible. Or, as @LynnS has suggested, the weirwood at Whitetree. But something is up with that thousand+ year-old man face in the Gate. Yes--though if the NK is in the Gate, he seems more enslaved than ruling--he's in permanent serving mode. Opens for any brother who says the words. And the Gate could have been added after--IE: if the portal was always there, but the Gate and the "passcode" system came later after the Night's King abused his power (I am now imagining all of the Watchmen having to carry key cards--which would be stupid). If the Gate came later, it could be a way to reign in the power and abuse of the Watch and its leader. After all, the Watch seems to be the original Brotherhood Without Banners--a band of brothers protecting the realm. As Thoros and Beric claim to be. A King claiming power after that kind of unity--yes. That would make sense the rest might want to restore the unity--and reign in the power of the leader. I think this is VERY likely. The hero who eventually overreached his power. That's pretty much the story of the Night's King, after all. We see it echoed (roughly) a few times: Beric and the Brotherhood--but it goes off when Beric dies to raise Lady Stoneheart. Or the Smiling Knight--the Kingswood Brotherhood is technically fighting for the small folk. It's only when Arthur Dayne begins to serve the people and fight for their rights better than the Smiling Knight can that the small folk give up the Smiling Knight--and Arthur puts him down. So--hero figure gone too far: that would fit. 1. The idea that Brandon the Builder built all of the things he's supposed to have built seems. . . . unlikely. Winterfell and the Wall make sense--and no idea what order they came in. The rest? Seems like the actual builders could have been lost to time. 2. As for NK = BtB = AA: seems like they could be related stories. Actually equalling each other. . no idea if Martin will even confirm or deny that. He's actually said in an SSM that "who knows" if Bran the Builder and Lann the Clever were actually real people. So. . . the idea that the legends are all mixed up makes sense. 3. I'm not really sold on the Wall being Lightbringer. . . . any reason why that legend can't apply to his sword? Or another sword? 4. Why the sword is red. . . well, I'm currently of the (potentially fanatical) thinking that Dawn will burn red. Seeing as in the novels, fallen stars, when given a color, burn red. On the bold: all fair. But really seems like the novels allow for if not encourage the idea that the Night's King was at least named Brandon--Nan makes that clear. And the novels allow for if not encourage the idea that a great man can fall from overreach--and the Night's King really seems like he overreached--or like his brothers thought he overreached. . . . Though all that said--I could very obviously be completely wrong on the Gate being a sacrifice. Still--something is wrong about that face. And the cold. Really, really wrong.
  2. Apparently my reading comprehension needs improving. Yes--this I buy. And there's Dany's almost blissful dreams of turning into a dragon--though they sometimes end with her mouth tasting of ashes. Hmmm. . . I wonder if this is a longing for immortality/a second life in something powerful rather than an ability to actually skinchange. It's definitely a longing for power--the entire concept of "wake the dragon," from the first time Viserys says it, is a phrase for unlimited power and license to do as one pleases. Dominance and conquering. Though we see Bran indulge in that, too, when he likes being in Summer when Summer is dominating other animals. Which would fit with the dragons being like the Others--if the Others are also a form of second life for Craster's boys.
  3. Good to see you, ser! Very cool. Sorry about the pun. Excellent! Will keep an eye out! I don't much like it either--since it makes me fear Jon will have to sacrifice Bran. And I don't like that--AT ALL! That scene I quote at the end where Jon shows Bran how to behave. The dream Jon has of Bran as a young weirwood--like Bran's growing into the weirnet--where Bran says he likes it in the dark. If the Black Gate is a sacrifice-based abomination (#TeamAbomination, dude!), ending it and the Others with justice makes a LOT of sense in the novels. But Ned's justice requires execution. So, who exactly is Jon going to execute? No--I don't like this at all. Really hope I'm wrong--I so often am, that there's a very good chance of it. Yup. Reckless, fearless dominance is the opposite of serving, generous justice. Martin seems to keep hitting those ideas. Hard. And justice is the "right" way in Martinlandia--though figuring it out can be hard. Yes--his story of the sword is very different from the story of Just Maid. Makes me wonder all of a sudden if the Just Maid story is how the sword was given--only to be used against a supernatural foe. NEVER used against people--because it would be too unfair. And the AA story is how the sword was. . . misused. For dominance instead of "justice." Dawn becoming Ice. . . . Maybe.
  4. Whoops! Sorry--I could have sworn it was you. My apologies. Yup--this is one of the things that was running through my head when this idea started messing with me. Especially that tree at Whitetree--looks like an abomination. @LynnS argues that the Whitetree tree is the Night's King's sacrifice tree. Which would make sense--given how monstrous it's face is. The faces of the first sacrifices. I waffle on whether the Black Gate is the Night's King's tree or was made from the Night's King's tree. But the idea that the faces reflect the sacrifices--that I buy as very likely. Doesn't sound like semantics to me--we've potentially got living swords in these books. And all the talk of second lives. The faces "living on" in the trees they were sacrificed to--makes sense. 1. Have the books established that the Targs can become dragons via skin changing? That would be a game changer. 2. Would the Starks have to "skinchange" to become walkers? Or just be "changed"--in whatever manner the Others are changed? Are you thinking that's hinted at in Varamyr's phrase of "second life?" But given how different the face on the Gate is, the idea that the Night's King became an Other seems like it's worth considering. Especially since it seems to weep over the current Brandon Stark that willingly passes through it--a willing (if unknowing) sacrifice. The whole idea has been making me fear that part of "restoring justice" will involve Jon sacrificing Bran. Which freaks me out. HA! It's all on topic far as I can see. But I've been off Heresy far too long, good ser. Will be back very soon.
  5. PART VIII: DAY'S KING'S JUSTICE ENDS NIGHT'S KING'S HORROR — Á LA ARTHUR AND THE SMILING KNIGHT: WINNER TAKES DAWN. 1. As @Voice has argued, the Others’ “blue eyes of death” likely re-entered Westeros when a Stark of Winterfell killed the Sword of the Morning--a fight between a Night’s King (Stark) descendant and a Day’s (Dayne) King—and Night defeated Day. 2. To restore justice and the old ways, Jon must be the Stark of Winterfell who learns what Ned taught. He must do what the Stark who threw down his Night’s King brother failed to do: look into the oathbreaker’s eyes, hear his final words, and take his life—the Sword of the Morning ending the fearless Night’s King. As Arthur Dayne ended the fearless Smiling Knight. The Smiling Knight was a madman, cruelty and chivalry all jumbled up together, but he did not know the meaning of fear. And Dayne, with Dawn in hand . . . The outlaw's longsword had so many notches by the end that Ser Arthur had stopped to let him fetch a new one. "It's that white sword of yours I want," the robber knight told him as they resumed, though he was bleeding from a dozen wounds by then. "Then you shall have it, ser," the Sword of the Morning replied, and made an end of it. Storm, Jaime VIII NOTE: We hear the Smiling Knight didn’t “know the meaning of fear” in the same novel where we hear the Night’s King was “a warrior who knew no fear.” Old Nan is right: “All men must know fear." 3. As @superunknown5 points out, this fight makes Arthur look reckless--he lets his opponent get a new sword. But it’s not just recklessness—it’s insisting on a fair fight—a “just” fight. Not conquering and vengeance—even over a dangerous, fearless man. The Sword of the Morning looks in the Smiling Knight’s eyes, hears his last words, and makes an end of it—in a fair fight. 4. The importance of only using overwhelming power in a fair fight—we have that in the story of Just Maid—the sword of Galladon of Morne the “Perfect Knight” (Morne and Dawn? Gotta be a connection). That sword was only to be used against supernatural foes—out of fairness. Justice and fairness, not just dominance and vengeance. "Ser Galladon was a champion of such valor that the Maiden herself lost her heart to him. She gave him an enchanted sword as a token of her love. The Just Maid, it was called. No common sword could check her, nor any shield withstand her kiss. Ser Galladon bore the Just Maid proudly, but only thrice did he unsheathe her. He would not use the Maid against a mortal man, for she was so potent as to make any fight unfair." Feast, Brienne IV 5. “The Battle for the Dawn”—a battle to end the Long Night. But perhaps also a pun—a battle to control the greatsword Dawn: the fearless Night’s King (Sword of the Evening) or the just Day’s King (Sword of the Morning). A sword for justice, not dominance. "It's that white sword of yours I want," the robber knight told him as they resumed, though he was bleeding from a dozen wounds by then. "Then you shall have it, ser," the Sword of the Morning replied, and made an end of it. Storm, Jaime VIII 6. The champion gets the sword—a history echoed in the Northern Mountain Clans’ tradition of champions fighting with greatswords (like Dawn), as Jon tells Stannis: "Men have lived in the high valleys and mountain meadows for thousands of years, ruled by their clan chiefs. [snip] Clan champions fight with huge two-handed greatswords, while the common men sling stones and batter one another with staffs of mountain ash." Dance, Jon IV 7. The Sword of the Morning wins Dawn through worthiness. He serves out justice, not vengeance or conquering—as Ned taught his boys. As Arthur did to the Smiling Knight. 8. That “worthiness” breeds jealousy—the Smiling Knight wants “that white sword.” So does Darkstar—a Dayne who’s NOT the Sword of the Morning. He’s a watered down “Night’s King,” jealous of his kinsman’s sword and fame. "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." [snip] 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." Feast, The Queenmaker 9. Like the Black Gate, Dawn is innately entwined with its wielder’s identity—the chosen wielder “becomes” a completely unique sword: “The Sword of the Morning.” “I am the sword in the darkness.” NOT a “dark star”—the Sword of the Morning lasts though the night into the dawn: Jon took a breath of the crisp morning air and allowed himself to hope. The eastern sky was pink near the horizon and pale grey higher up. The Sword of the Morning still hung in the south, the bright white star in its hilt blazing like a diamond in the dawn. Storm, Jon IV 10. And that sword-entwined, justice-based identity must end the Long Night. PART IX: BUT WHY JON? BECAUSE HE'S “AN OLD HAND AT JUSTICE.” AND HE KEEPS THE OATH THAT THE BLACK GATE RECOGNIZES BUT FAILED TO KEEP HIMSELF. 1. In the first novel’s first chapter, Jon understands and applies Ned’s lessons of justice: listen to the man and don’t look away. Jon shows Bran what to do, even before Ned explains things to Bran. His father [snip] took hold of Ice with both hands [snip]. He lifted the greatsword high above his head. Bran's bastard brother Jon Snow moved closer. "Keep the pony well in hand," he whispered. "And don't look away. Father will know if you do." Bran kept his pony well in hand, and did not look away. His father took off the man's head with a single sure stroke. [snip] [Jon] put a hand on Bran's shoulder, and Bran looked over at his bastard brother. "You did well," Jon told him solemnly. Jon was fourteen, an old hand at justice. Game, Bran I 2. Unlike Theon, who treats the dismembered head like a joke, Jon learns Ned’s lessons very well—justice, not vengeance, not showing off. An “old hand at justice.” 3. Jon has kept to that justice—protection, not vengeance or dominance. He understands the Night’s Watch oath far better than most. And does his best (if imperfectly) to follow it. "I know what I swore." Jon said the words. "I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. Were those the same words you said when you took your vows?" "They were. As the lord commander knows." "Are you certain that I have not forgotten some? The ones about the king and his laws, and how we must defend every foot of his land and cling to each ruined castle? How does that part go?" Jon waited for an answer. None came. "I am the shield that guards the realms of men. Those are the words. So tell me, my lord—what are these wildlings, if not men?" Dance, Jon XI 4. Jon, an old hand at justice who keeps his oaths—the Sword of the Morning must make “an end of it.” Justly killing the man who knew no fear. Bringing back the day. With Dawn. PART X: SUMMING UP 1. Milkglass Dawn glows alive with light like the living Black Gate because it is the Night King’s sword—the sword of a fallen star, taken from him in the Battle for the Dawn. 2. The Night’s King was sacrificed to his heart tree—the Black Gate—not executed justly and properly by a Stark as he should have been. 3. To end Westeros’ unnatural state of nature, the oathbreaking Night’s King must finally be executed by a Stark—as Ned tells Bran at the start of the series. 4. The Sword of the Morning (the Day’s King) must do what the Stark of Winterfell (the Night’s King’s brother) failed to do: justly execute the oathbreaker, restore justice, and end the unnatural torture that disrupts all the natural life processes in Westeros. 5. “Dawn remains at Starfall, until another Sword of the Morning shall arise.” GRRM 6. And the Long Night shall fall. THE END
  6. PART V. THE BLACK GATE IS THE NIGHT'S KING. ENTOMBED, NOT EXECUTED, FOR OATHBREAKING, DOMINANCE, AND "OVERREACH" 1.The milky Black Gate is not a normal heart tree—it’s an ancient man whose eyes open and close. His eyes are white and blind, not red. He speaks with a living mouth in common tongue—no windy whispers. This heart tree is a living man—a fallen star[k]. “He was a Stark, the brother of the man who brought him down.” [snip] "He was a Stark of Winterfell, and who can say? Mayhaps his name was Brandon." Storm, Bran IV 2. The Night’s King (Brandon) is far more entwined in his heart tree than even Brynden (a form of Brandon) Rivers. Roots coiled around his legs like wooden serpents. One burrowed through his breeches into the desiccated flesh of his thigh, to emerge again from his shoulder. A spray of dark red leaves sprouted from his skull. Dance, Bran II 3. The Night’s King was “sacrificed” to his heart tree and the Wall. Similarly, the 79 Sentinels were “sacrificed” to the Wall at the Nightfort for oathbreaking—not justly executed by a Stark like Ned. The Lord Commander had holes hewn in the top of the Wall and he put the deserters in them and sealed them up alive in the ice. They have spears and horns and they all face north. The seventy-nine sentinels, they're called. They left their posts in life, so in death their watch goes on forever. Storm, Bran IV There’s even Arson Iceaxe—trapped in the Wall for trying to tunnel through it (Storm, Jon III). 4. Ygritte is right: the Wall is a tomb. "You know nothing, Jon Snow. This wall is made o' blood." Storm, Jon IV Part VI. OTHERS, WARGS, AND AN ABOMINABLE LIVING GATE : HOW NOT TO DEAL WITH OATHBREAKERS. 1. So, why is the Black Gate alive, unlike other heart trees? Because the Night’s King was “fearless.” In the novels, fearless men are living dead or wargs in their wolves—the Night’s King was an Other and/or a warg. Sam recognizes “fearlessness” in the Others in the same novel where we hear of the fearless Night’s King: "Hey, now that we know that dragonglass kills them, maybe they won't come at all. Maybe they're frightened of us now!" Sam wished he could believe that, but it seemed to him that when you were dead, fear had no more meaning than pain or love or duty. Storm, Sam II Arya is fearless in her “second life”—dreaming in Nymeria: She dreamed of wolves that night, stalking through a wet wood with the smell of rain and rot and blood thick in the air. Only they were good smells in the dream, and Arya knew she had nothing to fear. She was strong and swift and fierce, and her pack was all around her, her brothers and her sisters. [snip] And when the moon broke through the clouds, she threw back her head and howled. Storm, Arya II Varamyr ends up in his second life—fearless in the fearless One Eye: A shiver went through Varamyr. He knew that howl as well as Lump had once known his mother's voice. One Eye. He was the oldest of his three, the biggest, the fiercest. Stalker was leaner, quicker, younger, Sly more cunning, but both went in fear of One Eye. The old wolf was fearless, relentless, savage. Dance, Prologue And Bran sees Varamyr’s One-Eyed fearlessness via Summer: The eyes of the three wolves glowed yellow. The direwolf swung his head from side to side, nostrils flaring, then bared his fangs in a snarl. The younger male backed away. The direwolf could smell the fear in him. Tail, he knew. But the one-eyed wolf answered with a growl and moved to block his advance. Head. And he does not fear me though I am twice his size. Dance, Bran I 2. As Sam says, for the dead, fear has “no more meaning than pain or love or duty.” But the Night’s King in the Black Gate now waits eternally to serve any Watchman who knows his oath/duty. And only the part of the oath that’s about his identity. His “heart.” I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. 3. Ned teaches his Stark children that this is NOT the right way to deal with oathbreakers. “[O]ur way is the older way. The blood of the First Men still flows in the veins of the Starks, and we hold to the belief that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die. Game, Bran I 4. No wonder the Black Gate (named for the Black Brother inside it?) and its entrance are so cold—it’s an abomination—a colder and colder spiral into absolute darkness. The well grew darker and colder with every turn. When Bran finally lifted his head around to look back up the shaft, the top of the well was no bigger than a half-moon [snip]. The water sounds were close, but when Bran peered down he saw only blackness. Storm, Bran IV 5. And the Nightfort above the Black Gate is an abomination, too—Bran’s list of horror stories makes that very clear. From the start of the Nightfort chapter, the current Brandon Stark knows this place is wrong. It is only another empty castle," Meera Reed said as she gazed across the desolation of rubble, ruins, and weeds. No, thought Bran, it is the Nightfort, and this is the end of the world. Storm, Bran IV PART VII: SO—WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH A CURSED OATHBREAKER? LISTEN TO NED AND EXECUTE HIM—LIKE A STARK. JUSTICE, NOT TARGARYEN VENGEANCE OR CONQUERING RESTORES ORDER. 1. In the first novel’s first chapter, Ned tells Bran how to deal with oathbreakers—and why. From the Targaryen kings onward, this justice was forgotten. But the Starks remember. "[T]he man was an oathbreaker, a deserter from the Night's Watch. No man is more dangerous. The deserter knows his life is forfeit if he is taken, so he will not flinch from any crime, no matter how vile. But you mistake me. The question was not why the man had to die, but why I must do it." Bran had no answer for that. "King Robert has a headsman," he said, uncertainly. "He does," his father admitted. "As did the Targaryen kings before him. Yet our way is the older way. The blood of the First Men still flows in the veins of the Starks, and we hold to the belief that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die. "One day, Bran, you will be Robb's bannerman, holding a keep of your own for your brother and your king, and justice will fall to you. When that day comes, you must take no pleasure in the task, but neither must you look away. A ruler who hides behind paid executioners soon forgets what death is." Game, Bran I 2. Entombing a man alive for millennia instead of executing him—never hearing his “final” words—that definitely violates justice and forgets what death is. 3. Westeros’ unnatural seasons are a violated life cycle—life and death, summer and winter, day and night. All must be restored to the old ways—to justice. 4. The first paragraph of the first novel’s first chapter, right after the “Prologue” where the Others kill Waymar—that paragraph tells us what’s needed: Justice at dawn. The morning had dawned clear and cold, with a crispness that hinted at the end of summer. They set forth at daybreak to see a man beheaded [snip]. This was the first time [Bran] had been deemed old enough to go with his lord father and his brothers to see the king's justice done. Game, Bran I 5. The Night’s King must finally be executed with justice. With Dawn. CONTINUED IN JUST ONE MORE POST
  7. 4. Bottom Line of the Data Points List From Previous Post (Sorry--the forum keeps messing up my format): In the published works, the exact phrase “fallen star” only references Dawn and fires burning in darkness—red or orange fires, when the color is given. The most instances of the phrase “fallen star” occur in the same novel (Clash) where Ned says Dawn is forged from the heart of a fallen star. And where Jon sees a red fire glimmering like a fallen star—at the start of the same chapter where he meets the woman who almost leads him to “fall” from the Watch. When not a fire, a “fallen star” is a great man who fell—a “star” who has “fallen.” 5. Dawn’s “fallen star” is a metaphor for both fallen men and fires in the night. Dawn will burn like a fallen star when the Long Night falls. Jon was armored in black ice, but his blade burned red in his fist. Dance, Jon XII PART III: THE “FALLEN STAR” IS A GREAT MAN WHO FELL FROM HIS HIGH POSITION OF FEARLESS DOMINANCE. LIKE THE NIGHT'S KING, DROGO, OR TYWIN. A STAR WHO FELL. 1. But wait! “Forged from the heart of a falling star” must mean a meteor! Not at all necessarily. “Fallen star” or “star who has fallen” is always a metaphor in the novels. 2. Jon Connington gives an interesting phrase for what leads one to fall. [H]is father and his father's father had never lost their lands. He had. I rose too high, loved too hard, dared too much. I tried to grasp a star, overreached, and fell. Dance, The Griffin Reborn Aerys stripped JonCon of his lands and titles and gave them to his cousin. JonCon was thrown down in favor of relatives—because (in his mind) he tried to “grasp a star.” 3. Like JonCon, the Night’s King fell after grasping a star—a star-eyed woman. His brother cast him down because he fearlessly “overreached”—to dominate his “brothers.” He was a warrior who knew no fear. "And that was the fault in him, [snip] for all men must know fear." “A woman was his downfall; [snip] with [snip] eyes like blue stars. Fearing nothing, he chased her and caught her and loved her.” He declared himself king. “Bound his Sworn Brothers to his will” with sorcery. The Stark of Winterfell and Joramun joined to free the Watch from bondage. After his fall, they found he had sacrificed to the Others. All records of the Night's King were destroyed, his very name forbidden. Storm, Bran IV 4. Like the Night’s King, both Drogo and Tywin are described as stars that have fallen—fearless men cast down by “family”—Tywin by Tyrion, Drogo by his “brothers.” Tywin—a man who rose far and broke many “rules.” Cast down by family. The bright star of the west has fallen, and the nights will be darker now. Feast, Cersei I Drogo: A “sun-and-stars” reaching greater power than any before. His beloved foreign queen has unusual eyes. And he’s brought down in a fight with “brothers.” In Vaes Dothrak, beneath the Mother of Mountains, [snip] every rider was a brother and all quarrels were put aside.” Game, Dany VII After falling, he’ll burn like a star. Her sun-and-stars had fallen from his horse. Dance, Dany X When a horselord dies, his horse is slain with him [snip]. The bodies are burned beneath the open sky, and the khal rises on his fiery steed to take his place among the stars. Game, Dany X. 5. Thus, Dawn’s “fallen star” is the Night’s King, who reached too high and was cast down. PART IV: HEART SURGERY: HEART TREE, NOT HEARTS, GLOW WHITE LIKE DAWN. 1. Then what about the “heart” of the “fallen star?” Someone ripped out a fallen man’s heart to make a sword? Blech! No—not his literal, human heart. His heart tree. 2. Weirwoods are the heart of Westeros—undying, interconnected, holding memories. 3. And heart trees are the centers of castles and families, humanized by the faces carved into them. Winterfell’s heart tree’s roots extend into the family crypts—the family’s heart. 4. And a sword can also be a person’s metaphorical “heart” and identity: "It's just a sword," she said, aloud this time . . . . . . but it wasn't. Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell's grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan's stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow's smile. Feast, Arya II 5. Similarly, whoever wields Dawn becomes a sword—“The Sword of the Morning.” 6. Weirwoods are also used to make weapons for both children of the forest and humans. 7. So—“heart trees” aren’t called “heart trees” for no reason. But how does this relate to Dawn? The weirwood Black Gate glows “like milk.” Like milkglass Dawn. Finally, there’s a “heart” that glows white, is “alive with light,” and can be a weapon. It was white weirwood, and there was a face on it. A glow came from the wood, like milk and moonlight, so faint it scarcely seemed to touch anything beyond the door itself. Storm, Bran IV "He unsheathed Dawn and held it with both hands. The blade was pale as milkglass, alive with light. Game, Eddard X. 8. A “heart” that glows white, alive with light. A “heart” tied to identity, family, gods, vows over which family will cast each other down for overreach—the source of Dawn. CONTINUED IN NEXT POST
  8. DAWN'S JUSTICE ENDS THE LONG NIGHT: THE NIGHT'S KING IN THE BLACK GATE [Dawn] was pale as milkglass, alive with light. Game, Eddard X. A glow came from the wood, like milk and moonlight. Storm, Bran IV The morning had dawned clear and cold [. . .]. This was the first time he had been deemed old enough [. . .] to see the king's justice done. Game, Bran I Jon was fourteen, an old hand at justice. Game, Bran I VERY SHORT VERSION: 1. The Black Gate is the fearless Night’s King’s heart tree and Dawn was his weirwood sword—metaphorically “forged from the heart of a fallen star[k].” 2. That’s why milkglass Dawn is alive with light like the milky Black Gate. Taken from the Night’s King in the “Battle for the Dawn.” 3. But where Ned executes oathbreakers himself, the Night’s King’s brothers put him into his heart tree, entombing him alive in the Wall—like the 79 Sentinels. 4. The Night’s King was very likely a warg and/or an Other—thus “fearless.” This made his sacrifice to his heart tree VERY different—he lives on in a living, growing Wall. 5. Just as Ned Stark justly executes oathbreakers, the Sword of the Morning (Jon) must end the fearless Night’s King, once and for all. With Dawn—administering justice, not vengeance, greed, or dominance. 6. Dawn brings justice. Restoring the natural cycles of night and day, life and death. Set up and Shout Outs: Shout out to @ravenous reader for staring me on looking for this here. I first posted a version of this argument here. My thanks to those who commented and helped make it better (I think). A lot of these ideas build off of @Voicetheory about fallen Star[k]s and swords. Big shout-outs to @DarkSister1001, @Lady Dyanna, @LmL, @Lady Barbrey and everyone else for the ideas they put into my “Jon’s the Sword of the Morning” threads. @Voice and @LmL asserted that Dawn could be a weirwood sword long before I did. I think @Black Crow (or someone on Heresy) has argued something akin to the idea that the Night’s King was sacrificed to/turned into the Black Gate, but I could not find the posts. If you’ve argued this, just tell me so and I’ll cite it here. And I believe @Black Crow has also argued that the Night’s King became an Other. Thus: The following arguments are largely derived from a group effort. My apologies to anyone I’ve forgotten to mention. Remind me and I’ll amend this section ASAP. Disclaimer: I do not assert that posters listed above agree with the following arguments. They are not responsible for my madness. PART I: DAWN AND THE HEART OF A FALLEN STAR: WHAT EXACTLY IS THIS SWORD? 1. Dawn is completely unique and as sharp and strong as Valyrian steel. It looks like no Valyrian steel they know, being pale as milkglass but in all other respects it seems to share the properties of Valyrian blades, being incredibly strong and sharp. World Book: Dorne: The Andals Arrive. 2. Ned tells Bran that Dawn was “forged from the “heart of a fallen star.” Clash, Bran III 3. Ned’s dream tells us that Dawn is “pale as milkglass, alive with light.” Game, Eddard X 4. Dawn makes its wielder a better fighter. When asked, “Who would win in a fight, Barristan Selmy or Arthur Dayne (in their best days)?” Martin answered, “Dayne. . . if he was armed with Dawn. If both men had equivalent weaponry, it might be a toss-up.” SSM 5. And the Daynes are very choosey about whom they give Dawn. A Dayne must earn it. “George said the Sword of the Morning is always a member of House Dayne, someone who is deemed worthy of wielding Dawn as decided within the House, that whoever it is would have to earn the right to wield it.” SSM 6. So, that’s it, right? Dawn glows white, is really sharp and strong. It improves its wielder and the family only bestows it on one who’s worthy. 7. No: Dawn was “forged from the heart of a fallen star.” And in Martinlandia, “fallen stars” burn like fires. PART II: COUNTING UP WORDS AND PHRASES (NOT CLAUSES): “FALLEN STARS” BURN LIKE RED/ORANGE FIRES 1. Martin uses the exact phrase “fallen star” very sparingly—only four times in all of the published works (so far). One is Ned’s statement that Dawn is forged from the heart of a fallen star. The other three: “fallen stars” are metaphorical comparisons to fires/flames burning in darkness. When narrators mention colors, the fires burn red or orange. And Martin uses similar phrases just as sparingly. 2. Instances of “fallen star” or something very close to “fallen star.” I’ll put this in a spoiler for those who’d rather not read a list of data points and just skip to the bottom line. ETA: The formatting went nuts on me and I couldn't figure out how to fix it. So the bottom line of the data points list is at the start of the next post.
  9. 1. I agree that the Daynes are unlikely to be "Valyrian"--the Daynes really, really seem to predate the Valyrian empire. 2. But we do have one more purple-eyed Dayne in the books: Edric: blue eyes so dark they looked almost purple--sounds like "indigo" to me. Like Rhaegar's eyes in Dany's vision. So, out of the 5 named Daynes in the novels, the only three for whom we have eye color (no mention of Arthur or Allyria's eyes), all three have purplish eyes. 3. All that said: This seems very likely. We even have Dany's vision of the ghosts with the sword of pale fire--which REALLY sounds like Dawn. But the ghosts have eyes of different jeweled colors. Seems like the Valyrians and the Daynes are all from a much older root. Great Empire of the Dawn with their Emperors with jewel names would work and fit really well.
  10. Well--Oberyn's called the Viper. Perhaps he has brain-injecting fangs? In all seriousness--Martin took a fair amount of time starting from Dany's first POV to show that Dany's backstory has holes, inconsistencies, and clashes with other facts. Which could all be dismissed as character development--except that he took the time on it. Martin could just as easily have had Dany grow up with JonCon, or with Darry--someone who knew the facts and taught her well. Or some other option. He didn't--he has Dany's backstory be a mess with gaps. Not too unlike Jon's backstory has big gaps with multiple people guessing in the text at filling those gaps in. And so far Martin hasn't shown why he did that for Dany. Seems like we shouldn't dismiss it just yet.
  11. I do like this idea--though do we have evidence that glamours help people fight well? Or changes their personal abilities in any way? Mance was always a good fighter--so when he takes on Jon as Rattleshirt, it's not surprising that he'd still be a good fighter. Unless you are thinking that Rhaegar wasn't the one who fought at Harrenhal? Could be--though that quote could also work if he's afraid she'll spill the beans. Plus, if she's Aerys' by another mother, or (as I think is very likely) Rhaegar and Ashara's--she is a Targaryen. She is the "blood of the dragon." Just not his sister. And, since Dany agree with Jorah in Game that Rhaegar, NOT Viserys, is a dragon, if she is Rhaegar's kid, that statement by Viserys has some fun irony. One quick thing--in the quote you gave: That green sail--I actually searched for it. There are lots of mentions of colored sails in the novels. But green? There's Dany's memory and exactly one other mention: Godric knows that these colors for sails mean not just Lyseni, by Salladhor. The Same Salladhor who tells the Lightbringer story in Clash. Nowhere near enough info yet--but I'm thinking Salladhor may know something about Dany's past Not sure I'm following your train of thought here--are you thinking that the Targs would need a new influx of magical blood to be able to hatch dragons?
  12. Apologies for the delay--the forum kept throwing me off. This I could absolutely buy--though sending Dany out with those mind-numbingly expensive dragon eggs still seems like an odd move if you don't expect some return on that sizable investment. And without question, Dorne has ulterior motives. The Braavosi. . . . we need more data. But if they were trying to undermine Westeros--why do it with a dragon? Or are you thinking they wanted to use Viserys for something else? Huh. Well, I'm a world-class illiterate idiot. Good to know. I could buy some of this--especially since I'm pretty sold on Ashara's being Quaithe. No idea if there is a history of witches in House Dayne. But the idea that women and men can become powerful via magics--we've seen that with Mel--another shadow binder who entrances a powerful part Targ man into her prophecy driven crusade. And seen power in MMD, even in Thoros. Or--like Mel, she could just be really gorgeous and driven. I'm not ruling out magic to get attention, but seems like she may not need it. If she has magic like Mel, she could use it for other things. Mel's gorgeousness seems to get attention without any need for potions. Could be. And Dany's backstory has to be a mess for a reason. Martin had her first POV chapter full of stuff that later ended up being shown as off. But would Aerys need a gorgeous girl to tempt him via glamour? Seems like she could just . . . be gorgeous. I like this potential. . . . just not sure she'd need the glamour to get this. 1. I agree that Aerys and Ashara wouldn't fulfill that prophecy. 2. But any child or grandchildren of Aerys and Rhaella would be of the line, right? So, if Dany is Rhaegar's child by any woman. . . that should get it done, no?
  13. @Unchained--whoops! I hit post before I was done and now the site isn't letting me edit--sorry for the mess. 1. YUP!! On the song of Amergin. 2. His song is a song of unity--I am all in one. Even echoes Jojen's statement to Bran that the land is one--there isn't supposed to be a Wall or huge divisions. Or weird seasons. Unity is needed. I'm thinking the fight has been brewing for a while because of the divisions. But as for why it's happening again: when the Stark of Winterfell fights the Sword of the Morning Ned's dream, it's the ONlY time in any of the novels that anything is described as "blue as the eyes of death." Wight eyes and Other eyes are compared to stars. But ONLY in the moment of the fight, the rush of steel and shadow, does anything get compared to the Others' eyes. As @Voice argued--I think this is the moment when the Others rose again in power.
  14. Something's up with Viserys' creepy need to make Dany act like a princess. If this baby swap happened, really think Viserys knew. Or only one to survive the first year of Rhaella's daughter's birth--the death could have happened a number of places. Yes--the Braavos part is very interesting and frustrating to me. Oberyn's being there is easy--Martin's made a point of making Oberyn a world traveller. But why would any Braavosi, let alone the Sealord, ally with the Dragons? I can see why Oberyn would want to use the kids against the Lannisters and Robert. But Tycho Nestoris is NOT subtle on the anti-dragon stuff. If they really were in the Sealord's palace, what was the guy up to? 1. I agree that current Dany seems likely to have lived on the Greenblood at some point. 2. But I really doubt she's just a kid who looks right--if she's not Aerys and Rhaella's last child, she's Rhaegar's. The symbolism around her; the vision of herself in Rhaegar's armor; the dragons; the Undying--Dany's a dragon. And I think she's the daughter of the Last Dragon. Yup. And Viserys struggles to keep his temper and insecurities about this kid in check. OOOH! I hadn't thought of this angle--so, you're thinking Oberyn poisoned her when they lost control of her to the Dothraki? Or are you thinking they poisoned Dany earlier than that? Not sure I'm following you here--any chance you'd be willing to explain? NICE! I hadn't thought of this parallel. I like it. It's one of the reasons (aside from Barristan's Ashara musings and Quaithe) that I think Dany is part Dayne. Rhaegar seems to think he was the necessary dragon-producing ingredient. But only Dany pulls this off. The dragons died even with the Targs in power and the Velaryons out there. I think some other magic is in play. Maybe that's about bloodline, maybe it's about timing. But given Dany's seeing herself in Rhaegar's armor--I really think she's a Targ at least half. And that it's very, very likely she's Rhaegar's kid. A kid Oberyn may have little sympathy for--since she's not Elia's. And we know Oberyn will use/manipulate/shape his own daughters to further his plans. Back in a few hours to get caught up on the rest of y'all's posts.