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Sly Wren

From Death to Dawn: Jon Will Rise and The Sword of the Morning

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From Death to Dawn:

Jon Snow Will Rise as The Sword of the Morning

 

 “The finest knight I ever saw was Ser Arthur Dayne, who fought with a blade called Dawn, forged from the heart of a fallen star. They called him the Sword of the Morning, and he would have killed me but for Howland Reed." Father had gotten sad then, and he would say no more. Bran wished he had asked him what he meant.  Clash Bran III

 

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, but the blacks and greys of the darkling forest were turning once again to greens and golds, reds and russets. Storm Jon IV

 

VERY Short Version: After his night of despair and descent into the cave/underworld, Jon has an epiphany with the Sword of the Morning constellation. This foreshadows his upcoming epiphany after “death.” Jon’s had multiple dreams of the underworld. Has earned a magical sword via merit. Has learned what’s really threatening humanity and that he needs to fight it. During his next descent into the underworld, Jon will learn he is the next Sword of the Morning. And rise.

RLJ questions? See Part IV below.

 

Long Version with Actual Support

Part I: Jon Snow’s Long Night and Death of Self

The night before Jon and climbs the Wall is a dark, painful, night. “The last night fell black and moonless” (Storm Jon III). This night, Jon realizes who he thought he was is gone. Dead. The chapter is Jon’s realization that he’s lost himself. Then he descends into the cave/underworld with Ygritte. ETA: A fairy-like underworld, tempting him away from what he must do.

 

A. In this black night, The Sword of the Morning is only one of many stars reminding him of his old life. Jon focuses on the Thief, the Wildling name that now applies to him.

--So many stars, he thought as he trudged up the slope through pines and firs and ash. Maester Luwin had taught him his stars as a boy in Winterfell; he had learned the names of the twelve houses of heaven and the rulers of each; he could find the seven wanderers sacred to the Faith; he was old friends with the Ice Dragon, the Shadowcat, the Moonmaid, and the Sword of the Morning. All those he shared with Ygritte, but not some of the others. We look up at the same stars, and see such different things. The King's Crown was the Cradle, to hear her tell it; the Stallion was the Horned Lord; the red wanderer that septons preached was sacred to their Smith up here was called the Thief. And when the Thief was in the Moonmaid, that was a propitious time for a man to steal a woman, Ygritte insisted. "Like the night you stole me. The Thief was bright that night."

 

B. Ghost, Jon’s other self, is also focused on the stars:  

--He found Ghost atop the hill, as he thought he might. The white wolf never howled, yet something drew him to the heights all the same, and he would squat there on his hindquarters, hot breath rising in a white mist as his red eyes drank the stars.

--"Do you have names for them as well?" Jon asked, as he went to one knee beside the direwolf and scratched the thick white fur on his neck.”

 

C. His family identity is also coming apart, because of his choices:

--Jon had never met anyone so stubborn, except maybe for his little sister Arya. Is she still my sister? he wondered. Was she ever? He had never truly been a Stark, only Lord Eddard's motherless bastard, with no more place at Winterfell than Theon Greyjoy. And even that he'd lost. When a man of the Night's Watch said his words, he put aside his old family and joined a new one, but Jon Snow had lost those brothers too.

 

D. He sends Ghost away, hoping his other self can find the way into the dawn, warn the NW:

--"You cannot come with me," Jon said, cupping the wolf's head in his hands and looking deep into those eyes. "You have to go to Castle Black. Do you understand? Castle Black. Can you find it? The way home? Just follow the ice, east and east, into the sun, and you'll find it. They will know you at Castle Black, and maybe your coming will warn them." He had thought of writing out a warning for Ghost to carry, but he had no ink, no parchment, not even a writing quill, and the risk of discovery was too great. "I will meet you again at Castle Black, but you have to get there by yourself. We must each hunt alone for a time. Alone."

 

E. Jon is truly alone—no Ghost. He doesn’t know if Ghost understood. His identity is gone.

--For wildling raiders, he thought. Like us. Like me.

--Beyond that Wall lay the Seven Kingdoms, and everything he had sworn to protect. He had said the words, had pledged his life and honor, and by rights he should be up there standing sentry. He should be raising a horn to his lips to rouse the Night's Watch to arms. He had no horn, though. It would not be hard to steal one from the wildlings, he suspected, but what would that accomplish? Even if he blew it, there was no one to hear. The Wall was a hundred leagues long and the Watch sadly dwindled. All but three of the strongholds had been abandoned; there might not be a brother within forty miles of here, but for Jon. If he was a brother still . . .

 

F. He’s succumbed to Ygritte, thinking it was necessary, hating himself for loving it. He’s done what Ned did. What he swore he’d never do. He doesn’t know who he is. And he feels debased:

--Like a pair of rutting dogs, Jon thought afterward. Was that what he'd become? I am a man of the Night's Watch, a small voice inside insisted, but every night it seemed a little fainter, and when Ygritte kissed his ears or bit his neck, he could not hear it at all. Was this how it was for my father? he wondered. Was he as weak as I am, when he dishonored himself in my mother's bed?

 

G. Next he has to tell the Magnar about the NW patrols. Must to tell the truth without hesitating or he risks death and failure. Jon’s miserable over doing everything he never thought he would. He breaks oaths, risks fathering a bastard—he’s failing at everything he thought he was. Dying.

 

H. Ygritte lures him into the cave and offers him an out—just stay in the cave. Underworld. He confesses his love. He wants to stay in the Gendel and Gorne underworld. With Ygritte:

--“Let's not go back t' Styr and Jarl. Let's go down inside, and join up with Gendel's children. I don't ever want t' leave this cave, Jon Snow. Not ever.”

 

The chapter ends.

 

Part II: Jon Awakens to Hope and The Sword of the Morning

After his long night of the soul, his death of self, Jon doesn’t stay in the cave. As Jon’s next chapter starts, Jon emerges. He’s worried about Ghost, his other self. But even with all the despair and confusion of the previous chapter, he doesn’t hide in the cave. He dares to hope. And EPIPHANY!!!!:

--Ghost was gone when the wildlings led their horses from the cave. Did he understand about Castle Black? 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, but the blacks and greys of the darkling forest were turning once again to greens and golds, reds and russets. And above the soldier pines and oaks and ash and sentinels stood the Wall, the ice pale and glimmering beneath the dust and dirt that pocked its surface.

A. The Sword of the Morning is the only constellation left. No Thief. No Moonmaid. None of the old friends. No questions of identity. Only the Sword. And unlike the night before, these stars give him hope. He knows this Sword. It stands alone at Dawn. Glorious.

B. Jon told Ghost to go east. Now he looks east—and sees life and color come back into the world. Even the Wall is beautiful.

C. Jon doesn’t intellectualize the moment. Doesn’t ask why he feels hope. Which makes sense—in the next paragraph, they start climbing the Wall. Harrowing.

 

Continued in next post.

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Part III: Jon’s Dreams of Descent into the Underworld

So why does Jon see this coming out of the cave? He’s emerging from an underworld after a death of self. Jon’s NW stabbing sets him up for a descent into the underworld. But this doesn’t start at his NW death. Jon’s been repeatedly dreaming of a descent into the underworld. He just didn’t know it.

 

#1: Old Recurring Dream: Winterfell Crypts turn into the underworld. Jon is terrified.

--The castle is always empty… Even the ravens are gone from the rookery, and the stables are full of bones. That always scares me. I start to run then, throwing open doors, climbing the tower three steps at a time, screaming for someone, for anyone. And then I find myself in front of the door to the crypts. It’s black inside, and I can see the steps spiraling down. Somehow I know I have to go down there, but I don’t want to. I’m afraid of what might be waiting for me. The old Kings of Winter are down there, sitting on their thrones with stone wolves at their feet and iron swords across their laps, but it’s not them I’m afraid of. I scream that I’m not a Stark that this isn’t my place, but it’s no good, I have to go anyway, so I start down, feeling the walls as I descend, with no torch to light the way. It gets darker and darker, until I want to scream.” Game Jon IV

A. This is not Winterfell per se. This is an empty and dead Winterfell. A realm of the dead.

B. He’s “climbing the tower” (before his NW death, Jon runs to Hardin’s tower) but ends up down in front of crypts (death). Steps spiral down, like the Winterfell crypts and the Nightfort well.

C. Jon’s NOT afraid of the Kings of Winter. He used to play in the crypts. But now he’s afraid of what’s “waiting.” Not of the Starks. He doesn’t realize it’s the Underworld, not just the crypts.

D. No lantern like the one Ned had—Jon can’t see where this is going. He screams. No good. He must go down into darkness—into the realm of the dead. Descend into underworld.

 

#2: New Dream: Tree-Bran tells Ghost-Jon: don’t fear the underworld. “Open your eyes.”

--Jon?

The call came from behind him, softer than a whisper, but strong too. Can a shout be silent? He turned his head, searching for his brother, for a glimpse of a lean grey shape moving beneath the trees, but there was nothing, only. . .

A weirwood.

It seemed to sprout from solid rock, its pale roots twisting up from a myriad of fissures and hairline cracks. The tree was slender compared to other weirwoods he had seen, no more than a sapling, yet it was growing as he watched, its limbs thickening as they reached for the sky. Wary, he circled the smooth white trunk until he came to the face. Red eyes looked at him. Fierce eyes they were, yet glad to see him. The weirwood had his brother's face. Had his brother always had three eyes? Not always, came the silent shout. Not before the crow. He sniffed at the bark, smelled wolf and tree and boy, but behind that there were other scents, the rich brown smell of warm earth and the hard grey smell of stone and something else, something terrible. Death, he knew. He was smelling death. He cringed back, his hair bristling, and bared his fangs.

Don’t be afraid, I like it in the dark. No one can see you, but you can see them. But first you have to open your eyes. See? Like this. And the tree reached down and touched him. Clash Jon VII

 

A. Here Tree-Bran’s shout is silent—but Ghost-Jon hears—not useless.

B. The scene is strange, but familiar and loving. Tree-Bran and Ghost-Jon know each other as brothers, despite the strangeness. Both Tree-Bran and Ghost-Jon are white with red eyes.

C. Like the crypts—Ghost-Jon fears the smell of death. But Tree-Bran’s teaching him. He can see in this underworld. Bran will see/learn through the memories of the dead. What will Jon learn if he can get past his fear of the underworld? With Ghost?

D. Ghost-Jon must open his eyes--plural. Jojen tells Bran to open his “eye”—third eye (Clash Bran IV). Here, Tree-Bran tells Ghost-Jon to open his eyes. To not fear dark and death. Because in the underworld, he can see without being seen. So, what does Jon need to open his eyes to see?

E. Ghost-Jon can commune with the underworld and Tree-Bran without much fear vs. Jon’s Winterfell dream. And before Jon passes out from excess of NW knives, he says “Ghost.”

F. With Ghost, Jon can connect with the underworld/dead. Can open his eyes and see.

 

Part IV: Logistics: Can Jon Snow Become Sword of The Morning,

a Title for Worthy Daynes? Books Let us Judge Worthiness, not Blood.

Books don’t say how much Dayne blood is necessary for worthiness. But Jon would have Dayne blood via RLJ, ALJ, or NAJ.  So, Martin can make this work however he chooses.

We don’t know what makes a Dayne worthy to wield Dawn. But we can discern what makes one worthy in-world. In-world, worthiness requires (among other things) duty and self-sacrifice to help others. And Jon’s learned this.

A. Ned sacrifices first his honor and then his life for Sansa; Maester Aemon struggled to stay at the Wall vs. going to family; Quorin sacrifices himself on Jon’s sword to save the Watch.

B. Jon: sacrifices his Starkness by not going to Robb but returning to the NW.

C. Sacrifices his identity by submitting to Mance. Sacrifices to survive so can help the NW.

D. Sends Ghost away—his comfort/identity. Climbing Wall blocks his connection to Ghost.

 

Part V: Jon has Already Earned a Magical Sword Through Valor, not Blood.

The greatsword Dawn is not passed via inheritance. It’s awarded to one who is worthy. And Jon’s already earned a magical sword outside of blood inheritance. Earned it via worth and valor.

 

Where Ice was a true two-handed greatsword, this was a hand-and-a-halfer, sometimes named a "bastard sword." Yet the wolf sword actually seemed lighter than the blades he had wielded before. When Jon turned it sideways, he could see the ripples in the dark steel where the metal had been folded back on itself again and again. "This is Valyrian steel, my lord," he said wonderingly. His father had let him handle Ice often enough; he knew the look, the feel.

 

"It is," the Old Bear told him. "It was my father's sword, and his father's before him. The Mormonts have carried it for five centuries. I wielded it in my day and passed it on to my son when I took the black."

 

He is giving me his son's sword. Jon could scarcely believe it. The blade was exquisitely balanced. The edges glimmered faintly as they kissed the light. "Your son—" [. . .]

 

When Jon had been Bran's age, he had dreamed of doing great deeds, as boys always did. The details of his feats changed with every dreaming, but quite often he imagined saving his father's life. Afterward Lord Eddard would declare that Jon had proved himself a true Stark, and place Ice in his hand. Even then he had known it was only a child's folly; no bastard could ever hope to wield a father's sword. Even the memory shamed him. What kind of man stole his own brother's birthright? I have no right to this, he thought, no more than to Ice. He twitched his burned fingers, feeling a throb of pain deep under the skin. "My lord, you honor me, but—"

 

"Spare me your but's, boy," Lord Mormont interrupted. "I would not be sitting here were it not for you and that beast of yours. You fought bravely . . . and more to the point, you thought quickly.” Game Jon VIII

 

A. For his valor, Jon is given a magical (Valyrian) sword that isn’t his by blood—he earned it.

B. Jon dreams of earning his father’s sword. The magical Ice. Knows it’s wrong via standard inheritance. But he does earn Longclaw—an in-between sword, earned defending a father-figure.

C. Jon’s bastard status is irrelevant in gaining the sword. He wasn’t seeking it. Gets mystical “advice” fighting the wight (burn! burn!)—but his quick thinking and valor against a supernatural foe earns the sword. That’s all that matters. Valor matters more than inheritance when battling undead.

D. Winning Longclaw costs him—his hand aches horribly. Will always carry those scars.

E. Pommel is re-fashioned, but the name still fits Jon—blade’s value remains with new holder.

F. Earned Longclaw with Ghost. Has a vision through Ghost. Sees SotM while missing Ghost. Jon and Ghost’s fate are united with the underworld, and “seeing,” and the magical swords.

G. But Longclaw is an in-between sword. A bastard sword—between regular sword and greatsword. An intermediate magical sword. What comes next? A true greatsword

 

Continued in just one more post.

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Part VI: Jon’s Epiphany Comes because he Broke his Vows

for a More Important Purpose. Now, Jon Needs Hope.

If the Sword of the Morning must be worthy, why would Jon have his glorious moment with the Sword of the Morning after breaking his NW vows so completely the night before?

Because he stays faithful to defending the realms of men. He sacrifices his identity so that he can protect NW and North from what’s coming. The Sword appears when he needs it most—because Jon is worthy. And he needs hope.

 

A. Jon’s worthiness: Jon keeps his word to Quorin as best he can. Gives up information as necessary to keep himself in place with the Wildlings, though he hates himself—a kind of death.

B. Cave with Ygritte: lures Jon in like Nimue’s tempting into a cave. Jon declares he loves her. Ygritte never wants to leave. Jon wants to stay. In his mind, he’s betrayed his vows entirely to keep his word to Quorin. Feels massively guilty (because he likes it). But still fulfills his role.

C. Thus, when Jon emerges from this underworld, despondent, missing Ghost, feeling like he’s abandoned all he believes in, the Sword of the Morning appears in his time of need (like Excalibur)—HOPE!!!! DAWN!!!!

D. Jon’s vision of Sword of the Morning is like Galahad’s vision of the Grail. This is what

Jon is working towards. He’s proving worthy. Dawn and hope and life. After a long night—Dawn.

 

Part VII: Jon Learns, Discerns, and Focuses on the Real Threat

Jon doesn’t just sacrifice. He prioritizes and discerns. With the wildlings, Jon manages to focus on the larger purpose of warning the NW of the impending threat.

Once Jon realizes the Others are coming, he reassesses and focuses on the real threat, though it means angering the NW by protecting everyone. Jon has learned his lessons: to sacrifice himself, to do what’s necessary to protect others. To learn and reassess. To open his eyes. No matter the cost.

A. Risks his life to counter the Wildlings’ raiding at the tower. Gives up Ygritte.

B. Risks everything to first live with Wildlings and then get back to the Wall.

C. Risks his life to meet Mance after Battle for the Wall.

D. Willing to work with Stannis and Mance vs. absoluteness of Watch vows.

E. Works to protect the realms of men (including Wildlings) from the impending Others, no matter how angry the NW gets. “Kill the boy.”

F. Willing to anger Watch—asks for volunteers to go to Winterfell. Result: knives.

 

Part VIII: Jon’s Next Epiphany via Next Descent to the Underworld

Jon is prepared. He’s earned an intermediate /bastard magic sword. He’s sacrificed his identity for others. He’s dreamt of his descent and overcome despair to see the Sword of the Morning. He’s proven himself through valor. He’s opened his eyes to see the real threat to humans—the Others. And he will do whatever it takes to protect all people, no matter the cost.

 

But he doesn’t know what it all means. Still doesn’t know who he is. Or why he saw the Sword of the Morning. Why he dreams of magical swords. He’s “dying” because of what he’s learned. Kill the boy. Time to descend. To see with open eyes. Time for a magical, true greatsword. Jon will rise as Sword of the Morning—how? To be determined. But Jon’s rising from the underworld. With Dawn.

 

The end.

 

ETA: This got cut somehow. But quick thanks to Mother of Dragons for reminding me of the epiphany quote. And to Voice of the First Men for this: http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/131027-how-ice-became-dawn/

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I just wanted to congratulate you on your first original post! I am too sleepy right now to do it justice, but look forward to getting back. :cheers:

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Very cool Sly Wren, I have a couple quotes to contribute that you might like. I too am headed to bed but I swill share them tomorrow. I enjoyed your analysis of Jon's symbolic death and underworld scene with Ygritte. Of course all of the "moon maidens in the underworld" call to mind myths like Persephone and Io, where the abuduction into the underworld causes winter and famine, and only the return of the abducted goddess brings the spring. George is playing with this idea in a few ways, with his many "maidens stuck in a tower," but sometimes he flips the gender as well. Male deities die to bring the spring as well, and these are of course referred to as "Corn King" archetypes, which receive a specific shoutout from Mormont's raven when he says "corn... king... corn king Jon Snow." Garth the Green was a corn king as well, and Jon has many scenes where he plays this role, such as when he let's the wildlings through the Wall and accepts their sacrifice. 

The meaning of the blue rose "filling the air with sweetness" refers to bringing the spring, in my opinion. The winter rose is like a promise of spring, a flower that blooms amidst the death of winter, kind of like a light blooming in the darkness. The morningstar "brings" the dawn, it "heralds" the dawn. It rises BEFORE the dawn and ushers it in... that's what the blue rose does, and that's what Jon will do. Jon's sacrifice and eventual resurrection will be intimately tied to bringing the spring and the "dawn."

 

Now here's a question: I am sure you have seen either myself or Voice of the First Men propose that Dawn is in fact the original Ice of House Stark. I won't go over that argument here, but it adds an interesting twist to the notions of Jon desiring his father's sword, "Ice." If Dawn is the original sword of House Stark, the original Ice, then it is "his father's sword." That could work out pretty nicely for your theory here.

If however the sword Jon is destined to use is not Dawn, but Ned's Ice, now in the form of Oathkeeper, then we have the other meaning of Jon being destined for his father's sword. Add in my theory that Ned's sword which was split into Oathkeeper and Widow's Wail is the original Lightbringer, and Jon's desire to wield his "father's sword, Ice" could refer to his great great great....great grandfather, Azor Ahai. Remember, Jon dreams of wielding a sword of red fire while being armored in black ice. Black ice IS Ned's sword - it's called Ice, and it is black (very dark grey). I don't think Dawn would have red flame if it were tonight up - i suspect it would have pale flame, either white or blue or silver or some combination. Oathkeeper, I believe, would take fire with red and black flame to match it's steel. 

So, essentially, what I am saying is that I think Dawn was the original Ice and that Ned's sword "Ice" was actually Azor Ahai's Lightbringer. They got switched (insert long LmL theory here) in the Dawn Age. Both swords are "lightbringer" swords, in a way, because they both seem to be made from comet steel. Even if Ned's sword isn't Lightbringer, i am sure that Lightbringer was a black steel sword, like a prototype of Valyrian steel. Point being, we have a black sword with red fire and a white sword with some kind of pale flame (hypothesis) which clashed in the Dawn Age.

 

The question is, if you follow me this far, which sword was the Last Hero's sword? The white one or the black one? I do not have a strong opinion yet. But it seems likely that Jon might be destined to wield one of them... and both can be considered his "father's sword." He is descended of both the King of Winter (magically and genetically) and Azor Ahai (magically and maybe genetically), I believe, so either sword might be his destiny to wield. Of the two, Oathkeeper seems closer to ending up at the Wall some time in the near future... but who knows. Maybe Darkstar will steal Dawn and bring it north for someone to take. 

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This is fantastic, well done. I'm 100% convinced: Jon must be the sword of the morning (or evening...).

 

 I like the idea of Jon having to descend again, and that the has already. That's such a good catch.

 

 I also really like the Longclaw sword metaphors! Bastard sword comes before greatsword. Awesome.

 

 I do think that this lends credence to the idea that Arthur is Jon's daddy. Perhaps Rhaegar's prophecy madness was driven by his closeness with Dayne and his connection to prophecy?

 

 If you consider the following - "Was this how it was for my father? he wondered. Was he as weak as I am, when he dishonored himself in my mother's bed?" - it's an interesting parallel: father and son breaking vows for the greater good.

Damn you, I'm changing my sig back to A+L=J  :fencing:

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*Slow clap* this was really good. 

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The pommel was a hunk of pale stone weighted with lead to balance the long blade. It had been carved into the likeness of a snarling wolf’s head, with chips of garnet set into the eyes. The grip was virgin leather, soft and black, as yet unstained by sweat or blood. The blade itself was a good half foot longer than those Jon was used to, tapered to thrust as well as slash, with three fullers deeply incised in the metal. Where Ice was a true two-handed greatsword, this was a hand-and-a-halfer, sometimes named a “bastard sword.” Yet the wolf sword actually seemed lighter than the blades he had wielded before. When Jon turned it sideways, he could see the ripples in the dark steel where the metal had been folded back on itself again and again. “This is Valyrian steel, my lord,” he said wonderingly. His father had let him handle Ice often enough; he knew the look, the feel.
 
I'm shocked you didn't use this bit - Jon's sword has a pale stone. Pale stone sword - that's the name of the tower at Starfall where Ashara Dayne leapt to her death.
 
Maybe once she got to Riverrun she could write Jon a letter and tell him what Ned Dayne had said. “There was an Arthur Dayne,” she remembered. “The one they called the Sword of the Morning.”
 
“My father was Ser Arthur’s elder brother. Lady Ashara was my aunt. I never knew her, though. She threw herself into the sea from atop the Palestone Sword before I was born.”
 
Note the mention of Jon, someone named "Ned Dayne" (that's like a Stark - Dayne, in a way), and then the sword of the morning. 
 
Then the bit you quoted about giving him his son's sword (or, his "sun sword," if we are foreshadowing Jon wielding Lightbringer, the "sun made steel.") I am re-quoting this part, which again mentions Ned and Ice right next to Longclaw:
 
When Jon had been Bran’s age, he had dreamed of doing great deeds, as boys always did. The details of his feats changed with every dreaming, but quite often he imagined saving his father’s life. Afterward Lord Eddard would declare that Jon had proved himself a true Stark, and place Ice in his hand. Even then he had known it was only a child’s folly; no bastard could ever hope to wield a father’s sword. Even the memory shamed him. What kind of man stole his own brother’s birthright?  I have no right to this, he thought, no more than to Ice. He twitched his burned fingers, feeling a throb of pain deep under the skin. “My lord, you honor me, but—”
 
[...]
 

 

“Yes, my lord.” The soft leather gave beneath Jon’s fingers, as if the sword were molding itself to his grip already. He knew he should be honored, and he was, and yet … He is not my father. The thought leapt unbidden to Jon’s mind. Lord Eddard Stark is my father. I will not forget him, no matter how many swords they give me. Yet he could scarcely tell Lord Mormont that it was another man’s sword he dreamt of …
 
What sword does he dream of?
 
That night he dreamt of wildlings howling from the woods, advancing to the moan of warhorns and the roll of drums. Boom DOOM boom DOOM boom DOOM came the sound, a thousand hearts with a single beat. Some had spears and some had bows and some had axes. Others rode on chariots made of bones, drawn by teams of dogs as big as ponies. Giants lumbered amongst them, forty feet tall, with mauls the size of oak trees. “Stand fast,” Jon Snow called. “Throw them back.” He stood atop the Wall, alone. (like the Last Hero?) “Flame,” he cried, “feed them flame,” but there was no one to pay heed. They are all gone. They have abandoned me . (Last Hero, alone) Burning shafts hissed upward, trailing tongues of fire. Scarecrow brothers tumbled down, black cloaks ablaze. “Snow,” an eagle cried, as foemen scuttled up the ice like spiders. Jon was armored in black ice, but his blade burned red in his fist. As the dead men reached the top of the Wall he sent them down to die again.

 

Even when he pulls out Longclaw to kill Ygritte in the Skirling Pass, he thinks of his father and Ice. There is a repeated association between Longclaw and Ice, or the idea of "his father's sword."  

 

Meanwhile, he's armored in black ice while wielding the red fire sword - black ice again makes me think of Ned's sword which is now Oathkeeper, as it used to be a black sword named Ice. And this dream appears to depict Jon as the Last hero, wielding Lightbringer. He also acts like Azor Ahai, killing Ygritte (his Nissa Nissa), and like the bloodstone Emperor, usurping the throne of his sibling through murder (the Blood Betrayal of the Amethyst Empress). I already think AA = the BSE, and maybe he's the Last Hero too... or maybe the LH is AA's son... who knows. Rabbit trails and all that. Point being, the Last Hero could have been part Dayne, or maybe Stark and Dayne, it's hard to say. 

 

Ok, so last quote. Red fire and black ice - that was Jon in his dream. He sees these two one other time, and oddly, he sees it in the cracks of the Wall - the same place we saw the blue rose which represents Jon:

 

Jon Snow turned away. The last light of the sun (think the Long Night) had begun to fade. He watched the cracks along the Wall go from red to grey to black, from streaks of fire to rivers of black ice. Down below, Lady Melisandre would be lighting her nightfire and chanting, Lord of Light, defend us, for the night is dark and full of terrors . “Winter is coming,” Jon said at last, breaking the awkward silence, “and with it the white walkers. The Wall is where we stop them. The Wall was made to stop them … but the Wall must be manned.

JON, ADWD 

 

Red fire and black ice, and here in the place where the blue rose was. It's almost like the black ice and red fire represents one side of Jon, or a certain aspect of Jon. It's Targaryen colors, but frozen. 

Ok, I lied, one more quote. Compare the red fire and black ice to the colors of Oathkeeper, waves of night and blood. Note the reference to Stannis and magic swords, the flaming cross guard, the light "streaming," etc:

 

His father glanced up. “I did. Come have a look at this.” A bundle of oilcloth lay on the table between them, and Lord Tywin had a longsword in his hand. “A wedding gift for Joffrey,” he told Tyrion. The light streaming through the diamond- shaped panes of glass made the blade shimmer black and red as Lord Tywin turned it to inspect the edge, while the pommel and crossguard flamed gold. “With this fool’s jabber of Stannis and his magic sword, it seemed to me that we had best give Joffrey something extraordinary as well. A king should bear a kingly weapon.” 

 
“That’s much too much sword for Joff,” Tyrion said. 
 
“He will grow into it. Here, feel the weight of it.” He offered the weapon hilt first. The sword was much lighter than he had expected. As he turned it in his hand he saw why. Only one metal could be beaten so thin and still have strength enough to fight with, and there was no mistaking those ripples, the mark of steel that has been folded back on itself many thousands of times. “Valyrian steel?” 
 
“Yes,” Lord Tywin said, in a tone of deep satisfaction.
[...]
Tyrion wondered where the metal for this one had come from. A few master armorers could rework old Valyrian steel, but the secrets of its making had been lost when the Doom came to old Valyria. “The colors are strange,” he commented as he turned the blade in the sunlight. Most Valyrian steel was a grey so dark it looked almost black, as was true here as well. But blended into the folds was a red as deep as the grey. The two colors lapped over one another without ever touching, each ripple distinct, like waves of night and blood upon some steely shore. “How did you get this patterning? I’ve never seen anything like it.” 
 
“Nor I, my lord,” said the armorer. “I confess, these colors were not what I intended, and I do not know that I could duplicate them. Your lord father had asked for the crimson of your House, and it was that color I set out to infuse into the metal. But Valyrian steel is stubborn. These old swords remember, it is said, and they do not change easily. I worked half a hundred spells and brightened the red time and time again, but always the color would darken, as if the blade was drinking the sun from it. And some folds would not take the red at all, as you can see. If my lords of Lannister are displeased, I will of course try again, as many times as you should require, but— ” 

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Something I posted in another thread:

 

If Dawn was important, we would have seen it in action until now. I don’t want to be invested to a sword that did not take part in the story yet. And I don’t want such a sword to be used to save the world.

 

OTOH take Oathkeeper. It was introduced right in the first chapter of the saga. That sword has a real story. It transformed. It changed several owners. It was used in action. It is travelling through Westeros. That sword has to have an important part in the future, not some sword locked in a tower for five books.

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Something I posted in another thread:
 
If Dawn was important, we would have seen it in action until now. I don’t want to be invested to a sword that did not take part in the story yet. And I don’t want such a sword to be used to save the world.
 
OTOH take Oathkeeper. It was introduced right in the first chapter of the saga. That sword has a real story. It transformed. It changed several owners. It was used in action. It is travelling through Westeros. That sword has to have an important part in the future, not some sword locked in a tower for five books.



this does beg the question though: how is a sword going to 'save the world'? For me, a swordfight against a 'big baddy' would be a tremendous let down. I think the wielder, not the sword, is important.

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this does beg the question though: how is a sword going to 'save the world'? For me, a swordfight against a 'big baddy' would be a tremendous let down. I think the wielder, not the sword, is important.

 

That was figurative speaking.

 

All the heroes have important swords that define and complete their characters. This is stated in-universe too. So, both the wielder and the sword matter for a character that we root for as a leader of the mankind.

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Not yet completely convinced, but I truly like the analysis, certainly regarding the chtonic voyages Jon makes. And I do think that at least you make a convincing proposition for Jon to earn a greatsword, with the bastard sword as an intermediate. This brings to mind how Jon fails to unsheath his sword when the knives are drawn out against him. He must descend into the underworld once more, and he has "outgrown" the bastard sword.

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I just wanted to congratulate you on your first original post! I am too sleepy right now to do it justice, but look forward to getting back. :cheers:

:cheers: Thanks! And sleep well, friend!

 

This is fantastic, well done. I'm 100% convinced: Jon must be the sword of the morning (or evening...).

 

 I like the idea of Jon having to descend again, and that the has already. That's such a good catch.

 

 I also really like the Longclaw sword metaphors! Bastard sword comes before greatsword. Awesome.

 

 I do think that this lends credence to the idea that Arthur is Jon's daddy. Perhaps Rhaegar's prophecy madness was driven by his closeness with Dayne and his connection to prophecy?

 

 If you consider the following - "Was this how it was for my father? he wondered. Was he as weak as I am, when he dishonored himself in my mother's bed?" - it's an interesting parallel: father and son breaking vows for the greater good.

Damn you, I'm changing my sig back to A+L=J  :fencing:

:cheers: Thanks!

 

Yes, this does have implications re: ALJ. It's one of the reasons I put the RLJ note on the first page--we don't know the magical Dayne blood formula--so, genetically this will be hard to pin down. But, no way around it completely--Jon sees Arthur's sword. He just does.

 

But symbolically--Jon's wide awake when he comes out and sees the Sword standing alone in the sky at Dawn. NOT a dream--no mixing with other images or fears or anything else. Just SWORD! And Arthur was the last Sword of the Morning. . . 

 

And I agree re: the "dishonor." It works for Jon's own loss of identity and self-respect. Works for how he sees Ned--how he wanted to NOT repeat Ned's "mistake." Would work for either Rhaegar or Arthur, though.

 

Something I posted in another thread:

 

If Dawn was important, we would have seen it in action until now. I don’t want to be invested to a sword that did not take part in the story yet. And I don’t want such a sword to be used to save the world.

 

OTOH take Oathkeeper. It was introduced right in the first chapter of the saga. That sword has a real story. It transformed. It changed several owners. It was used in action. It is travelling through Westeros. That sword has to have an important part in the future, not some sword locked in a tower for five books.

Fair enough, but Dawn is mentioned and praised and dreamt of in multiple books, from multiple POVs. It's the only truly unique weapon in-world that's both a legend and completely real. 

 

We have seen Oathkeeper's journey. I really like the idea that a sword would have a journey and hopefully a restoration (after Cersei trips over Widow's Wail and impales herself--it's the "little brother" sword of Ice). 

 

But none of that negates the fact that Dawn is real and in-world. And Jon sees that epiphany--wide awake and without any shade of the evening or weirwood paste. It's a straight up epiphany.

 

this does beg the question though: how is a sword going to 'save the world'? For me, a swordfight against a 'big baddy' would be a tremendous let down. I think the wielder, not the sword, is important.

Agreed. I'm not going to pretend for a second to know how a sword could save the world. But the wielder--the constellation is called the Sword of the Morning. Jon sees it standing alone (vs. in a group the night before) after questioning his identity and his role in the world, not his questioning his weapon.

 

The wielder must be worthy--only then can he wield the magic sword--as he dreamed of doing with Ice (also magic).

 

Not yet completely convinced, but I truly like the analysis, certainly regarding the chtonic voyages Jon makes. And I do think that at least you make a convincing proposition for Jon to earn a greatsword, with the bastard sword as an intermediate. This brings to mind how Jon fails to unsheath his sword when the knives are drawn out against him. He must descend into the underworld once more, and he has "outgrown" the bastard sword.

:cheers: Thanks!

 

Good point! For all of Jon's repeated dreams of the Winterfell crypts, he isn't expecting this descent. But he needs to descend--the bastard sword isn't enough any more.

 

I like this--thanks!!!

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*Slow clap* this was really good. 

:cheers: Thank you!

 

 

Very cool Sly Wren, I have a couple quotes to contribute that you might like. I too am headed to bed but I swill share them tomorrow. I enjoyed your analysis of Jon's symbolic death and underworld scene with Ygritte. Of course all of the "moon maidens in the underworld" call to mind myths like Persephone and Io, where the abuduction into the underworld causes winter and famine, and only the return of the abducted goddess brings the spring. George is playing with this idea in a few ways, with his many "maidens stuck in a tower," but sometimes he flips the gender as well. Male deities die to bring the spring as well, and these are of course referred to as "Corn King" archetypes, which receive a specific shoutout from Mormont's raven when he says "corn... king... corn king Jon Snow." Garth the Green was a corn king as well, and Jon has many scenes where he plays this role, such as when he let's the wildlings through the Wall and accepts their sacrifice. 

:cheers: Thanks!

 

I like the reverse-Persephone for Ygritte. She keeps him in the cave with sex instead of pomegranates. And she makes it very clear she sees the cave as its own underground world with Gendel and Gorne's children.

 

I only nodded at this because I was trying to streamline the argument as much as possible (she says after posting a three page argument)--but Ygritte also has Nimue/Vivienne/Lady of the Lake imagery in the Storm Jon III chapter I discussed first.

 

Lady of the Lake imagery isn't my forte, but there are a number of legends. In some, Nimue/Vivienne doesn't just lure Merlin into the cave and ply him with sex. She's also involved in the giving of Excalibur--like the Lady of the Lake. And the water imagery in the cave--a bit like a baptism--Jon's old self buried in water (the literal meaning of baptism) to rise as a new person emerging from the cave.

 

But the Lady of the Lake presents Excalibur in time of need--Jon needed that restoration of identity. A new sense of self for all he'd lost--and SWORD! Presented in time of need.

 

And agree on the corn king and reborn deities. Jon is reborn when he emerges from the cave from his own determination. Will need some kind of rebirth after an excess of NW knives. 

 

The meaning of the blue rose "filling the air with sweetness" refers to bringing the spring, in my opinion. The winter rose is like a promise of spring, a flower that blooms amidst the death of winter, kind of like a light blooming in the darkness. The morningstar "brings" the dawn, it "heralds" the dawn. It rises BEFORE the dawn and ushers it in... that's what the blue rose does, and that's what Jon will do. Jon's sacrifice and eventual resurrection will be intimately tied to bringing the spring and the "dawn."

I like this!! The rose represent Lya's specific sacrifice to bring her son to life. Her death which brings a new spring--even in the ice. Like Jon. Very nice.

 

Now here's a question: I am sure you have seen either myself or Voice of the First Men propose that Dawn is in fact the original Ice of House Stark. I won't go over that argument here, but it adds an interesting twist to the notions of Jon desiring his father's sword, "Ice." If Dawn is the original sword of House Stark, the original Ice, then it is "his father's sword." That could work out pretty nicely for your theory here.

If however the sword Jon is destined to use is not Dawn, but Ned's Ice, now in the form of Oathkeeper, then we have the other meaning of Jon being destined for his father's sword. Add in my theory that Ned's sword which was split into Oathkeeper and Widow's Wail is the original Lightbringer, and Jon's desire to wield his "father's sword, Ice" could refer to his great great great....great grandfather, Azor Ahai. Remember, Jon dreams of wielding a sword of red fire while being armored in black ice. Black ice IS Ned's sword - it's called Ice, and it is black (very dark grey). I don't think Dawn would have red flame if it were tonight up - i suspect it would have pale flame, either white or blue or silver or some combination. Oathkeeper, I believe, would take fire with red and black flame to match it's steel. 

So, essentially, what I am saying is that I think Dawn was the original Ice and that Ned's sword "Ice" was actually Azor Ahai's Lightbringer. They got switched (insert long LmL theory here) in the Dawn Age. Both swords are "lightbringer" swords, in a way, because they both seem to be made from comet steel. Even if Ned's sword isn't Lightbringer, i am sure that Lightbringer was a black steel sword, like a prototype of Valyrian steel. Point being, we have a black sword with red fire and a white sword with some kind of pale flame (hypothesis) which clashed in the Dawn Age.

 

The question is, if you follow me this far, which sword was the Last Hero's sword? The white one or the black one? I do not have a strong opinion yet. But it seems likely that Jon might be destined to wield one of them... and both can be considered his "father's sword." He is descended of both the King of Winter (magically and genetically) and Azor Ahai (magically and maybe genetically), I believe, so either sword might be his destiny to wield. Of the two, Oathkeeper seems closer to ending up at the Wall some time in the near future... but who knows. Maybe Darkstar will steal Dawn and bring it north for someone to take. 

1. I've read and like both your and Voice's theories. I actually originally referenced Voice's at the end of the argument and it didn't get copied over--will have to edit the post in a minute.

 

2. Agree that whether Ice and Dawn are who they say they are (can swords assert identity?) or if they were switched--my argument works. Jon wants to earn his father's sword. If "father" is Arthur (or Rhaegar via Dayne line), Jon is earning Dawn. If Ice is what Jon needs, Ned is Jon's "father" in every way that counts. 

 

Bottom line: switched or not--the "father" part of Jon's sword yearnings would work.

 

3. As for which one Jon needs--I lean towards the Sword of the Morning and Dawn because Jon sees that epiphany fully awake. No shade of the evening. No weirwood paste. The first two sections of my OP are just following Martin's actual chapter structure--he lays it out straight. Jon III to the beginning of Jon IV--Martin sets up the epiphany and then delivers. Delivers the Sword of the Morning at Dawn to Jon.

 

And it comes not just after Jon's despair, but before the climbing of the Wall and all the actual and symbolic dangers of that. If the swords were switched (you and Voice make excellent cases for a switch), this changes. But, for now. really seems like Jon needs Dawn.

 

 

The pommel was a hunk of pale stone weighted with lead to balance the long blade. It had been carved into the likeness of a snarling wolf’s head, with chips of garnet set into the eyes. <snip>
 
I'm shocked you didn't use this bit - Jon's sword has a pale stone. Pale stone sword - that's the name of the tower at Starfall where Ashara Dayne leapt to her death.
 
Note the mention of Jon, someone named "Ned Dayne" (that's like a Stark - Dayne, in a way), and then the sword of the morning. 

HA! I actively snipped that quote you started with because I was trying so hard to keep very focused.

 

The amount of stuff I could have put in here would have made the argument 10 times longer.

 

You're right--there's a pale stone reference to the Daynes. But I stuck with what I think is the more direct point of the scene. Longclaw is not Jon's sword by blood. But when he gets it, the name and sword remain intact. They perfectly fit a wolf--nothing of the efficacy of the sword is lost.

 

Whereas when Tywin has Ice melted down--the sword is desecrated. Tywin had no right to reforge the stolen sword of a murdered man. Half goes to Joffrey--the worm-boy who murdered Ned. Jaime's giving Oathkeeper to Brienne--it's a kind of redemption for Ice. Back to a Stark-oriented purpose.

 

But Jaime really didn't have the right to re-name or re-bestow Ice. Mormont does. It's his sword. His family--he has the right. He passes it on to Jon for valor. The name and the sword are intact. For me, that's the focus of the sword pommel--it's pale and a wolf vs. bear, but it fits the sword. 

 

Then the bit you quoted about giving him his son's sword (or, his "sun sword," if we are foreshadowing Jon wielding Lightbringer, the "sun made steel.") I am re-quoting this part, which again mentions Ned and Ice right next to Longclaw:

 
[spoiler]When Jon had been Bran’s age, he had dreamed of doing great deeds, as boys always did. The details of his feats changed with every dreaming, but quite often he imagined saving his father’s life. Afterward Lord Eddard would declare that Jon had proved himself a true Stark, and place Ice in his hand. Even then he had known it was only a child’s folly; no bastard could ever hope to wield a father’s sword. Even the memory shamed him. What kind of man stole his own brother’s birthright?  I have no right to this, he thought, no more than to Ice. He twitched his burned fingers, feeling a throb of pain deep under the skin. “My lord, you honor me, but—”[/spoiler]

 

[spoiler]“Yes, my lord.” The soft leather gave beneath Jon’s fingers, as if the sword were molding itself to his grip already. He knew he should be honored, and he was, and yet … He is not my father. The thought leapt unbidden to Jon’s mind. Lord Eddard Stark is my father. I will not forget him, no matter how many swords they give me. Yet he could scarcely tell Lord Mormont that it was another man’s sword he dreamt of[/spoiler]
 
What sword does he dream of?
 
[spoiler]That night he dreamt of wildlings howling from the woods, advancing to the moan of warhorns and the roll of drums. Boom DOOM boom DOOM boom DOOM came the sound, a thousand hearts with a single beat. Some had spears and some had bows and some had axes. Others rode on chariots made of bones, drawn by teams of dogs as big as ponies. Giants lumbered amongst them, forty feet tall, with mauls the size of oak trees. “Stand fast,” Jon Snow called. “Throw them back.” He stood atop the Wall, alone. (like the Last Hero?) “Flame,” he cried, “feed them flame,” but there was no one to pay heed. They are all gone. They have abandoned me . (Last Hero, alone) Burning shafts hissed upward, trailing tongues of fire. Scarecrow brothers tumbled down, black cloaks ablaze. “Snow,” an eagle cried, as foemen scuttled up the ice like spiders. Jon was armored in black ice, but his blade burned red in his fist. As the dead men reached the top of the Wall he sent them down to die again.[/spoiler]

 

Even when he pulls out Longclaw to kill Ygritte in the Skirling Pass, he thinks of his father and Ice. There is a repeated association between Longclaw and Ice, or the idea of "his father's sword."  

 

Meanwhile, he's armored in black ice while wielding the red fire sword - black ice again makes me think of Ned's sword which is now Oathkeeper, as it used to be a black sword named Ice. And this dream appears to depict Jon as the Last hero, wielding Lightbringer. He also acts like Azor Ahai, killing Ygritte (his Nissa Nissa), and like the bloodstone Emperor, usurping the throne of his sibling through murder (the Blood Betrayal of the Amethyst Empress). I already think AA = the BSE, and maybe he's the Last Hero too... or maybe the LH is AA's son... who knows. Rabbit trails and all that. Point being, the Last Hero could have been part Dayne, or maybe Stark and Dayne, it's hard to say. 

Yup--the above is why I am still not sure re: Ice. Is Jon dreaming of black ice and red sword because that's literally what will happen? Is he in black ice because the Wall looks like black ice in the complete dark? Will he be armed with black Ice

 

It is worth noting the point you've probably already noted--he's not wielding black Ice. He's armored in black ice, wielding a sword that burns red. Does it burn red per se, or just glows/reflects the fire?

 

I'm not yet ready to throw down one way or another. But will come back to the point I made above--Jon sees the Sword of the Morning awake and under this influence of nothing but hope. He's questioning his identity in the previous chapter. And the Sword of the Morning--an identity--is his answer/epiphany. Gotta think that has weight.

 

Ok, so last quote. Red fire and black ice - that was Jon in his dream. He sees these two one other time, and oddly, he sees it in the cracks of the Wall - the same place we saw the blue rose which represents Jon:

 

Red fire and black ice, and here in the place where the blue rose was. It's almost like the black ice and red fire represents one side of Jon, or a certain aspect of Jon. It's Targaryen colors, but frozen. 

Ok, I lied, one more quote. Compare the red fire and black ice to the colors of Oathkeeper, waves of night and blood. Note the reference to Stannis and magic swords, the flaming cross guard, the light "streaming," etc:

HA!  Don't apologize for lots of quotes--as I said, the amount I cut trying to make my argument easy to scan would fill volumes.

 

Excellent stuff on the black and red imagery. And the chaining colors of defiled Ice are fascinating. It's resisting defilement. Resisting the break of its identity--a will of its own. Remaining black Ice as much as it can. And any red that does make its way in is an abomination.

 

So, can the "personality" of the sword change because it was defiled?

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What can i say?, congrats, this is so good, i like the allegory of Jon's multiple descends to the underworld, but im not convinced that Dawn will play an important part,OathKeeper OTOH as mithras said fita Jon even in his name

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What can i say?, congrats, this is so good, i like the allegory of Jon's multiple descends to the underworld, but im not convinced that Dawn will play an important part,OathKeeper OTOH as mithras said fita Jon even in his name

Thanks! :cheers:

 

And, as I said to Mithras--it's a fair point. Dawn's been physically absent despite lots of people talking about it.

 

Would only add one thing concerning your point to what I said to Mithras above: in Storm Jon III (discussed in the first section above), Jon's not questioning his weapon. He's questioning his identity. Stark, not Stark. NW now not. Wildling? Thief? Rutting dog? And then sends Ghost away. He's looking to the stars as part of this--identity of the stars is changing--people have different names. Different identities.

 

Jon's asking "who am I?"

 

The answer, right at the start of Jon IV, written in the stars: The Sword of the Morning. It's an answer to identity. Not weaponry.

 

So, yes, Dawn has been AWOL--but it's real and known. And Jon's seen a glimpse of who he is. And the Sword of the Morning wields Dawn.

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Thanks! :cheers:
 
And, as I said to Mithras--it's a fair point. Dawn's been physically absent despite lots of people talking about it.
 
Would only add one thing concerning your point to what I said to Mithras above: in Storm Jon III (discussed in the first section above), Jon's not questioning his weapon. He's questioning his identity. Stark, not Stark. NW now not. Wildling? Thief? Rutting dog? And then sends Ghost away. He's looking to the stars as part of this--identity of the stars is changing--people have different names. Different identities.
 
Jon's asking "who am I?"
 
The answer, right at the start of Jon IV, written in the stars: The Sword of the Morning. It's an answer to identity. Not weaponry.
 
So, yes, Dawn has been AWOL--but it's real and known. And Jon's seen a glimpse of who he is. And the Sword of the Morning wields Dawn.


Well, i know im being redundant since you must likely discussed this with LmL, what if ice is the real dawn? And the dawn we know is a red herring?... When i read mithra's post the name of the sword hit me like a brick, Oathkeeper, Jon is one of the characters that have been struggling to keep his vows since the first book, he even broke a few in order to keep others..

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Thanks! :cheers:

 

And, as I said to Mithras--it's a fair point. Dawn's been physically absent despite lots of people talking about it.

 

Would only add one thing concerning your point to what I said to Mithras above: in Storm Jon III (discussed in the first section above), Jon's not questioning his weapon. He's questioning his identity. Stark, not Stark. NW now not. Wildling? Thief? Rutting dog? And then sends Ghost away. He's looking to the stars as part of this--identity of the stars is changing--people have different names. Different identities.

 

Jon's asking "who am I?"

 

The answer, right at the start of Jon IV, written in the stars: The Sword of the Morning. It's an answer to identity. Not weaponry.

 

So, yes, Dawn has been AWOL--but it's real and known. And Jon's seen a glimpse of who he is. And the Sword of the Morning wields Dawn.

 

I could have swore I remember some theory that Ice and Dawn were switched or something strange like that. The name "Ice" was the name of the Stark sword in the Age of Heroes for it likely predated Valyrian Steel.

 

Mithras does make a good point. Perhaps its hiding in the crypts of Winterfell or something like that. Who knows?

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Dawn belongs to House Dayne. 

Only finest knight of their house can wield Dawn.

They are not sword-keeper for Jon Snow.

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Well, i know im being redundant since you must likely discussed this with LmL, what if ice is the real dawn? And the dawn we know is a red herring?... When i read mithra's post the name of the sword hit me like a brick, Oathkeeper, Jon is one of the characters that have been struggling to keep his vows since the first book, he even broke a few in order to keep others..

1. First--the name. I agree--it fits Jon. But it also really fits the two people directly involved with it: Jaime and Brienne. They are a split sword, in a way. Jaime is certainly a defiled sword looking for redemption--and Tywin defiled Ice when splitting it and trying to put red into Widow's Wail.

 

And Jaime named the sword, not a Stark. It's a defiled, renamed sword stolen and given by those who had no right to do so. Brienne's giving it a chance a redemption. I really think she's the hope for it. 

 

But I really like the idea of Ice getting back to the Starks in some form. Preferably reforged. So am thinking of the Last Hero story. Nan says when the Last Hero tried to use his sword, it snapped--perhaps into two pieces?

 

So, when the Last Hero finally found the Children, did they reforge his broken sword (Ice) or did they give him a new and better sword (Dawn)?

 

2. As for Ice's being Dawn, I like a lot of the ideas both LmL and Voice bring up. Am not sure how it would work, but the idea intrigues me.

 

As for Dawn's being a red-herring--usually, red-herrings are the obvious or easy option. The one you have to work at a bit, but still not too hard. But Jon as Sword of the Morning with Dawn--can't see how the texts make that obvious until the epiphany moment. Even then, as has been pointed out--Jon wants Ice. Doesn't understand he might want Dawn. Seems like if there's a red herring, it might be Ice. It pulls Jon's focus.

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