Kevin Brightflame

House Dayne and the Great Empire of the Dawn

30 posts in this topic

After reading through the WoIaF again recently, I was going through the section that covers the Great Empire of the Dawn and it got me thinking.  If this has been discussed in the passed, my bad but I would love to hear what people think.  Anyways, here it goes: 

The Great Empire of the Dawn was said to end when the Bloodstone Emperor committed the Blood Betrayal/practiced some dark arts and necromancy, etc.  Now every culture has their own story of the Long Night, but when I read through this one the name "Great Empire of the Dawn" and the mention of the Long Night immediately made me think of House Dayne/The Sword of the Morning/Dawn.  The Daynes claim that their ancestry dates back to the Dawn Age, which was before the Long Night, and are potentially some form of proto-Valyrian origin (which I've seen in the forums that some believe the people of the GEotD could be pre-Valyrians).  Given all these references and mentions of the word Dawn, I started to believe that the Daynes were from the GEotD, and a member of this family was the wielder of Lightbringer.

So, lets go back to the Long Night.  A warrior from the GEotD sets out to defeat the evil of this time and forges a sword and names it Lightbringer (bringing some light into the darkness that is the Long Night), he defeats the enemy in the Battle for the Dawn.  What comes after night? dawn/morning. To me this sounds like the sword Dawn, is Lightbringer.  After the Battle for the Dawn and the original wielder of Lightbringer eventually dies, the sword is renamed Dawn and kept in the family.  Why was it renamed you ask?  Because the light was brought back into the world during the Battle for the Dawn, it no longer needs to "bring light", the world has entered the "dawn" of a new age finally.  But this is no ordinary sword, and a legendary warrior bore it, so it is too good to just be passed down lord to lord.  It must be wielded only by someone with the warrior ability to carry on the legacy of its original owner... therefore the person who wields Dawn/Lightbringer will be called the Sword of the Morning since this is the sword that brought the world out of the Long Night and into the dawn/morning of a new age.  

 

What are your thoughts? It may be more plausible that Dawn is Lightbringer rather than the Daynes are from the GEotD, but that empire is "mythical" and the Daynes bloodline has something similar to Valyrian in it going back to the Dawn Age.. Not to mention that unique sword of theirs.

 

 

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Yep. You should listen to the History of Westeros podcast. They have two episodes about House Dayne, and later two on the GEotD that cover this in great detail. 

They also feature LmL, a regular here, whose podcast Mythical Astronomy of Ice and Fire goes real deep into the Long Night and other related topics. 

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Just now, Jon Ice-Eyes said:

Yep. You should listen to the History of Westeros podcast. They have two episodes about House Dayne, and later two on the GEotD that cover this in great detail. 

They also feature LmL, a regular here, whose podcast Mythical Astronomy of Ice and Fire goes real deep into the Long Night and other related topics. 

^this

53 minutes ago, Kevin Brightflame said:

After reading through the WoIaF again recently, I was going through the section that covers the Great Empire of the Dawn and it got me thinking.  If this has been discussed in the passed, my bad but I would love to hear what people think.  Anyways, here it goes: 

The Great Empire of the Dawn was said to end when the Bloodstone Emperor committed the Blood Betrayal/practiced some dark arts and necromancy, etc.  Now every culture has their own story of the Long Night, but when I read through this one the name "Great Empire of the Dawn" and the mention of the Long Night immediately made me think of House Dayne/The Sword of the Morning/Dawn.  The Daynes claim that their ancestry dates back to the Dawn Age, which was before the Long Night, and are potentially some form of proto-Valyrian origin (which I've seen in the forums that some believe the people of the GEotD could be pre-Valyrians).  Given all these references and mentions of the word Dawn, I started to believe that the Daynes were from the GEotD, and a member of this family was the wielder of Lightbringer.

So, lets go back to the Long Night.  A warrior from the GEotD sets out to defeat the evil of this time and forges a sword and names it Lightbringer (bringing some light into the darkness that is the Long Night), he defeats the enemy in the Battle for the Dawn.  What comes after night? dawn/morning. To me this sounds like the sword Dawn, is Lightbringer.  After the Battle for the Dawn and the original wielder of Lightbringer eventually dies, the sword is renamed Dawn and kept in the family.  Why was it renamed you ask?  Because the light was brought back into the world during the Battle for the Dawn, it no longer needs to "bring light", the world has entered the "dawn" of a new age finally.  But this is no ordinary sword, and a legendary warrior bore it, so it is too good to just be passed down lord to lord.  It must be wielded only by someone with the warrior ability to carry on the legacy of its original owner... therefore the person who wields Dawn/Lightbringer will be called the Sword of the Morning since this is the sword that brought the world out of the Long Night and into the dawn/morning of a new age.  

 

What are your thoughts? It may be more plausible that Dawn is Lightbringer rather than the Daynes are from the GEotD, but that empire is "mythical" and the Daynes bloodline has something similar to Valyrian in it going back to the Dawn Age.. Not to mention that unique sword of theirs.

 

 

I'd also like to add that I believe the name 'Dorne' comes from the word 'Dawn' / Great Empire of Dawn.

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7 hours ago, Kevin Brightflame said:

<snip>

But this is no ordinary sword, and a legendary warrior bore it, so it is too good to just be passed down lord to lord.  It must be wielded only by someone with the warrior ability to carry on the legacy of its original owner... therefore the person who wields Dawn/Lightbringer will be called the Sword of the Morning since this is the sword that brought the world out of the Long Night and into the dawn/morning of a new age.  

<snip>

Something that has always puzzled me is how is the Sword of the Morning chosen? Who decides who shall wield Dawn?

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1 hour ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

Something that has always puzzled me is how is the Sword of the Morning chosen? Who decides who shall wield Dawn?

Quote

The same guy asked about the Daynes and the Sword of the Morning, asking how that title is decided. 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.

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Category/C92/P90

I think that's about all we know.

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33 minutes ago, Humble Maester said:

I think that's about all we know.

I know the Sword of the Morning has to be in house Dayne, but who decides which member is worthy of the title and sword, and how does this person, or people, decide?

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46 minutes ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

I know the Sword of the Morning has to be in house Dayne, but who decides which member is worthy of the title and sword, and how does this person, or people, decide?

Maybe there's a really big block of stone...

seriously, probably some kind of ritual combat.  But with this world, the sword itself choosing a wielder is entirely possible.  Maybe the thing lights up in the right hands.

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There's nothing that says the selection of a Sword of the Morning has to be standardized.  Different SotM'ings could have been chosen in different ways.  I think the only underlying requirement is being a superior swordsmen.  The other required traits are subjective and will change depending who's currently in power.  

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14 hours ago, Vaedys Targaryen said:

I know the Sword of the Morning has to be in house Dayne, but who decides which member is worthy of the title and sword, and how does this person, or people, decide?

We have never been told. Hopefully someone will spill the secrets in the next book.

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Posted (edited)

There's lots of clues that the Daynes are descended from the Great Empire of the Dawn ("Geodawnians" is the shorthand that I like best as a name for this people).

My favourite is the cluster of clues that comes via House Hightower. It's assumed that the fortress on Battle Isle at the base of the High Tower was a Geodawnian outpost in Westeros, pre-Long Night. The first Hightower (the one who cleared Battle Isle of dragons) was called Uthor. In the real world, Uther is the name of King Arthur's father, and the most famous Dayne in the book is Arthur Dayne. It seems to me that this hints that the Daynes are descended from the Hightowers (metaphorical father-son), who are themselves originally Geodawnians.

Was Uthor himself a Geodawnian though? The only way to know at this stage is if the Hightowers also retain purple eyes or silvery hair.

This has been hotly debated, but it's possible that the Hightowers do have some "Valyrian" looks (in fact, like with the Daynes, these are Geodawnian looks). Unlike for the Daynes, whose purple eyes are widely advertised, the clues for the Hightower features are subtle and sophisticated, like the family itself. Jorah says Dany looks like Lynesse; Alerie has white hair even though she's much to young to have gone gray; Jaehaerys mistakes Alicent for his runaway (Targaryen) daughter. Each of these moments by itself is not much, and there's always a second explanation (Jorah is in love with both women; Alerie went gray really young; Jaehaerys was just senile) - but the moments all hint in the same direction, and are about the same family. In fact, at every point at which a Hightower's looks are described, there is subtle ambiguity that could be read as a clue towards this theory. There are threads that discuss this in more detail. I think it's one of the most carefully planted series of clues by GRRM.

So if you buy that the Hightowers were Geodawnians, and the Daynes are a cadet branch of the Hightowers, then the Daynes are Geodawnians too.

There's also the mysterious family names. The Hightower name is obviously something they adopted after the High Tower was built, so we don't know their original family name. Same with Dayne, which is also a descriptive name - other than the "day" association, in the real world the old English name Dayne means a "worthy" citizen (worthy, like one who wields Dawn must be - hint hint).

The way I see it, Uthor led a rebellious faction of the Geodawnians that defeated the Bloodstone Emperor at Battle Isle, and his son was the "first" Dayne - the one who followed a fallen star. He followed it from Battle Isle /High Tower to the site where Starfall now stands.

It all gets even more complicated if you consider that there were possibly two major battles: one against the BSE and his dragons (at Battle Isle), and the other against the Others (at Winterfell?). Were there two swords that won the day as well? If I remember right, @LmL whose posts and podcasts are great on all things Long Night, thinks that there were two swords - represented by the duality of Dawn and Ice.

As for what makes Dawn special, my theory is that it's got to do with sacrifice. The more we've learnt about Valyrian steel (the black swords that drink the souls of the slain, as per TWOIAF), it seems that they don't just require human sacrifice to make, but that slaying people with them is what enables them to "stay" magic. As if every death by this sword is another sacrifice to it and to its dark magic. If Dawn is different (and it seems to be), and it's wielder must be "worthy" - my suggestion was that the sacrifice that maintains Dawn's magic comes from the wielder himself. He takes an oath to take his own life with his sword at the end - mirroring the huge difference between personal sacrifice for an important cause and sacrificing someone else for power (which is what Valyrian steel is). Unlike for a Valyrian steel sword, killing someone with Dawn doesn't imbue it with magic - it only happens when the sacrifice is personal and willing. That's why only a particularly worthy person can be trusted with Dawn.

Edited by Lord_Pepsi_Cupps

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On 5/20/2017 at 1:12 AM, Lord_Pepsi_Cupps said:

There's lots of clues that the Daynes are descended from the Great Empire of the Dawn ("Geodawnians" is the shorthand that I like best as a name for this people).

My favourite is the cluster of clues that comes via House Hightower. It's assumed that the fortress on Battle Isle at the base of the High Tower was a Geodawnian outpost in Westeros, pre-Long Night. The first Hightower (the one who cleared Battle Isle of dragons) was called Uthor. In the real world, Uther is the name of King Arthur's father, and the most famous Dayne in the book is Arthur Dayne. It seems to me that this hints that the Daynes are descended from the Hightowers (metaphorical father-son), who are themselves originally Geodawnians.

Was Uthor himself a Geodawnian though? The only way to know at this stage is if the Hightowers also retain purple eyes or silvery hair.

This has been hotly debated, but it's possible that the Hightowers do have some "Valyrian" looks (in fact, like with the Daynes, these are Geodawnian looks). Unlike for the Daynes, whose purple eyes are widely advertised, the clues for the Hightower features are subtle and sophisticated, like the family itself. Jorah says Dany looks like Lynesse; Alerie has white hair even though she's much to young to have gone gray; Jaehaerys mistakes Alicent for his runaway (Targaryen) daughter. Each of these moments by itself is not much, and there's always a second explanation (Jorah is in love with both women; Alerie went gray really young; Jaehaerys was just senile) - but the moments all hint in the same direction, and are about the same family. In fact, at every point at which a Hightower's looks are described, there is subtle ambiguity that could be read as a clue towards this theory. There are threads that discuss this in more detail. I think it's one of the most carefully planted series of clues by GRRM.

So if you buy that the Hightowers were Geodawnians, and the Daynes are a cadet branch of the Hightowers, then the Daynes are Geodawnians too.

There's also the mysterious family names. The Hightower name is obviously something they adopted after the High Tower was built, so we don't know their original family name. Same with Dayne, which is also a descriptive name - other than the "day" association, in the real world the old English name Dayne means a "worthy" citizen (worthy, like one who wields Dawn must be - hint hint).

The way I see it, Uthor led a rebellious faction of the Geodawnians that defeated the Bloodstone Emperor at Battle Isle, and his son was the "first" Dayne - the one who followed a fallen star. He followed it from Battle Isle /High Tower to the site where Starfall now stands.

It all gets even more complicated if you consider that there were possibly two major battles: one against the BSE and his dragons (at Battle Isle), and the other against the Others (at Winterfell?). Were there two swords that won the day as well? If I remember right, @LmL whose posts and podcasts are great on all things Long Night, thinks that there were two swords - represented by the duality of Dawn and Ice.

As for what makes Dawn special, my theory is that it's got to do with sacrifice. The more we've learnt about Valyrian steel (the black swords that drink the souls of the slain, as per TWOIAF), it seems that they don't just require human sacrifice to make, but that slaying people with them is what enables them to "stay" magic. As if every death by this sword is another sacrifice to it and to its dark magic. If Dawn is different (and it seems to be), and it's wielder must be "worthy" - my suggestion was that the sacrifice that maintains Dawn's magic comes from the wielder himself. He takes an oath to take his own life with his sword at the end - mirroring the huge difference between personal sacrifice for an important cause and sacrificing someone else for power (which is what Valyrian steel is). Unlike for a Valyrian steel sword, killing someone with Dawn doesn't imbue it with magic - it only happens when the sacrifice is personal and willing. That's why only a particularly worthy person can be trusted with Dawn.

First thanks for summoning @LmL he is the resident expert in the GEotD in my opinion.

I agree that both Hightower and Dayne like come from the GEotD, could be more but definitely those two. Also remember there were dragons in Westeros before the Targaryens, hence wouldn't there be dragonlords of some kind?

I have a slightly different take on Dawn vs Valyrian Steel. They are so comparable it hurts. What if Dawn was made via willing sacrifice aka Nissa Nissa, making it Lightbringer. Most Valyrian Steel was probably made by sacrificed slaves, aka unwilling sacrifices.

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Posted (edited)

On 5/20/2017 at 1:12 AM, Lord_Pepsi_Cupps said:

There's lots of clues that the Daynes are descended from the Great Empire of the Dawn ("Geodawnians" is the shorthand that I like best as a name for this people).

My favourite is the cluster of clues that comes via House Hightower. It's assumed that the fortress on Battle Isle at the base of the High Tower was a Geodawnian outpost in Westeros, pre-Long Night. The first Hightower (the one who cleared Battle Isle of dragons) was called Uthor. In the real world, Uther is the name of King Arthur's father, and the most famous Dayne in the book is Arthur Dayne. It seems to me that this hints that the Daynes are descended from the Hightowers (metaphorical father-son), who are themselves originally Geodawnians.

Was Uthor himself a Geodawnian though? The only way to know at this stage is if the Hightowers also retain purple eyes or silvery hair.

This has been hotly debated, but it's possible that the Hightowers do have some "Valyrian" looks (in fact, like with the Daynes, these are Geodawnian looks). Unlike for the Daynes, whose purple eyes are widely advertised, the clues for the Hightower features are subtle and sophisticated, like the family itself. Jorah says Dany looks like Lynesse; Alerie has white hair even though she's much to young to have gone gray; Jaehaerys mistakes Alicent for his runaway (Targaryen) daughter. Each of these moments by itself is not much, and there's always a second explanation (Jorah is in love with both women; Alerie went gray really young; Jaehaerys was just senile) - but the moments all hint in the same direction, and are about the same family. In fact, at every point at which a Hightower's looks are described, there is subtle ambiguity that could be read as a clue towards this theory. There are threads that discuss this in more detail. I think it's one of the most carefully planted series of clues by GRRM.

So if you buy that the Hightowers were Geodawnians, and the Daynes are a cadet branch of the Hightowers, then the Daynes are Geodawnians too.

There's also the mysterious family names. The Hightower name is obviously something they adopted after the High Tower was built, so we don't know their original family name. Same with Dayne, which is also a descriptive name - other than the "day" association, in the real world the old English name Dayne means a "worthy" citizen (worthy, like one who wields Dawn must be - hint hint).

The way I see it, Uthor led a rebellious faction of the Geodawnians that defeated the Bloodstone Emperor at Battle Isle, and his son was the "first" Dayne - the one who followed a fallen star. He followed it from Battle Isle /High Tower to the site where Starfall now stands.

It all gets even more complicated if you consider that there were possibly two major battles: one against the BSE and his dragons (at Battle Isle), and the other against the Others (at Winterfell?). Were there two swords that won the day as well? If I remember right, @LmL whose posts and podcasts are great on all things Long Night, thinks that there were two swords - represented by the duality of Dawn and Ice.

As for what makes Dawn special, my theory is that it's got to do with sacrifice. The more we've learnt about Valyrian steel (the black swords that drink the souls of the slain, as per TWOIAF), it seems that they don't just require human sacrifice to make, but that slaying people with them is what enables them to "stay" magic. As if every death by this sword is another sacrifice to it and to its dark magic. If Dawn is different (and it seems to be), and it's wielder must be "worthy" - my suggestion was that the sacrifice that maintains Dawn's magic comes from the wielder himself. He takes an oath to take his own life with his sword at the end - mirroring the huge difference between personal sacrifice for an important cause and sacrificing someone else for power (which is what Valyrian steel is). Unlike for a Valyrian steel sword, killing someone with Dawn doesn't imbue it with magic - it only happens when the sacrifice is personal and willing. That's why only a particularly worthy person can be trusted with Dawn.

Interesting thoughts here. My personal theory is that there was one battle (for the dawn), and it took place at Basttle Isle, and it was the BSE vs the Others. And then the BSE himself could be the ancestor of House Hightower/Dayne.

More specifically, I think the potential reason why there had to be a battle at that geographic location was due to massive snow and ice buildup causing a Battle at Thermopylae-like situation. If the Others wanted to march into Essos, but ice formations funneled their army of wights into Battle Isle, that could explain why the defensive tower would be useful at all. I don't know of any large opposing naval forces being around Westeros back then, so I can't think of another good tactical reason for the tower. Also, the description of the Long Night in TWOIAF says that at least in Essos, the Rhoyne was frozen as far south as where it is joined by the Selhoru, which is at almost the exact same latitude as Battle Isle. It would make sense to me if the fight against the Others was right at the edge of "winter" and if the unknown battle at Battle Isle was that battle.

Edited by 40 Thousand Skeletons

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*puff of smoke*

Oh hey there! Thanks for all the kind words @Lord Wraith, @Jon Ice-Eyes, @Falcon2909. I wanted to say that I agree with almost everything @Lord_Pepsi_Cupps said, and deserves a lot of credit for originality as well, as he was on to a lot of the same ideas I was after TWOIAF came out (the same ones which struck you, @Kevin Brightflame) (cool name by the way!) 

LPC, that was a very nice summary. I originally locked on to the Daynes as being of GEotD descent without thinking about the Hightowers, apart from the fused stone fortress at Battle Isle, but at this point, I agree wholeheartedly about the Hightowers. The Ironborn too, for a certainty imo. The idea of the Last Hero i my mind for some time now is of a person borne of eastern dragon blood and Westerosi greenseer blood. Both Jon and Dany recreate this - it's no accident that George made Dany as much as "half" Blackwood, because Aegon "Egg" Targaryen married Black Betha Blackwood, and their children practiced incest for three generations leading to Dany.  One generation before Egg married Black Betha, Maekar married Alyria "Valyria" Dayne (my nickname for her). So... that's the formula, I believe. I have been writing a ton lately about the intersection of dragon / fire magic and the weirwoods and greenseers, as I have found it to be of central importance, and this is essentially the story of "Azor Ahai comes to Westeros."

That is really THE point of the whole Great Empire of the Dawn theory - it tells how some dude from Asshai named Azor Ahai came to Westeros to create the myth of the Last Hero with Dragonsteel. It's the answer to the question "what does all this eastern / Asshai / dragon shit have to do with a story that seems to be primarily centered on Westeros and the Starks?" For people who have read any of my ideas, the question pops up quickly: "So what do the moon meteors that you say caused the Long Night have to do with the Others, who are the main feature of the Long Night?" The answer is Azor Ahai the greenseer, or maybe Azor Ahai's son the greenseer. I don't get to locked into very specific details, there's a lot of father - son, brother - brother, and even uncle-nephew and uncle-niece dramas running throughout the story, so I expect the relationships between The Bloodstone Emperor, Azor Ahai, the Last Hero, and the Night's King to be one of those permutations. I consider "Azor Ahai" to be primarily an archetype, and that's how I think we are supposed to see it. He represents the idea of a dragon person with a flaming sword, whether that's one dude or 13 dudes or a clan or bloodline. 

As for Dawn and Lightbringer, everyone's favorite topic, Lord Pepsi is correct that I see two swords, a black and a white one. It's very likely imo that there is sword breaking, splitting, and reforging going on, so one might become the other or both may come from the same sword, who knows. But above all, i see the dark Valyrian steel and the black meteor of the Bloodstone Emperor, and I picture Azor Ahai's Lightbringer as a black sword burning with black and red flame - basically, the Targ ancestral sword Blackfyre gives it away. The fire fo the black dragons is "black shot through with red" and sometimes "bits of gold," and the Blackfyre sword implies a dragon-forged black blade burning with that same black and red fire. Look at Oathkeeper and Widow's Wail:

Quote

 

Tyrion cleared his throat. "My lord. You sent for me?"

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?"

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.

At long last, Father? Valyrian steel blades were scarce and costly, yet thousands remained in the world, perhaps two hundred in the Seven Kingdoms alone. It had always irked his father that none belonged to House Lannister. The old Kings of the Rock had owned such a weapon, but the greatsword Brightroar had been lost when the second King Tommen carried it back to Valyria on his fool's quest. He had never returned; nor had Uncle Gery, the youngest and most reckless of his father's brothers, who had gone seeking after the lost sword some eight years past.

Thrice at least Lord Tywin had offered to buy Valyrian longswords from impoverished lesser houses, but his advances had always been firmly rebuffed. The little lordlings would gladly part with their daughters should a Lannister come asking, but they cherished their old family swords.

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—"

"No need," Lord Tywin said. "This will serve."

"A crimson sword might flash prettily in the sun, but if truth be told I like these colors better," said Tyrion. "They have an ominous beauty . . . and they make this blade unique. There is no other sword like it in all the world, I should think."

"There is one." The armorer bent over the table and unfolded the bundle of oilcloth, to reveal a second longsword.

Tyrion put down Joffrey's sword and took up the other. If not twins, the two were at least close cousins. This one was thicker and heavier, a half-inch wider and three inches longer, but they shared the same fine clean lines and the same distinctive color, the ripples of blood and night. Three fullers, deeply incised, ran down the second blade from hilt to point; the king's sword had only two. Joff's hilt was a good deal more ornate, the arms of its crossguard done as lions' paws with ruby claws unsheathed, but both swords had grips of finely tooled red leather and gold lions' heads for pommels.

Magnificent." Even in hands as unskilled as Tyrion's, the blade felt alive. "I have never felt better balance."

"It is meant for my son."

No need to ask which son. Tyrion placed Jaime's sword back on the table beside Joffrey's, wondering if Robb Stark would let his brother live long enough to wield it. Our father must surely think so, else why have this blade forged?

 

Basically, this one of the big clues about Azor Ahai's sword, imo. This thing matches Drogon's and Balerion's black fire shot with red and gold. I am seeing a certain synergy with black meteors, black sword, and black dragons, I think that's the simplest way to say it. Drogon has a habit of causing eclipses and shadows (his nickname is the winged shadow).I also think it's quite revealing that the shadowbaby version of Stannis has a "shadowsword," also called "the shadow of a sword that wasn't there," and that sword would be his fake Lightbringer. Theon talks about the shadow of Ned's Longsword lying between them, and there is some other stuff relate to this idea. Basically, Azor Ahai's sword should have been called "Darkbringer," or perhaps "Nightbringer," just as those black meteor caused the Long Night (according to my theory of course). 

But then we have Dawn! It's bright white, and it glows - kind of the opposite of "light-drinking." Also, in Dany's vision of her ancestors who seem to be the GEotD emperors and empresses, they hold swords of pale fire. Now, I am very tempted to link Dawn to the idea of pale fire and white fire, or even the silvery blue flame of the swords in Jaime's weirwood stump dream (which is interchangeably called "pale fire" in that same dream). If this is so, then Dawn would seem to be the original "Lightbringer technology," that of the GEotD people before the Bloodstone E and Azor Ahai (whom I think were the same person, or a father-son deal). Then along comes the night-bringing BSE with his black meteor magic. I believe that he made his "Lightbringer sword" from this black meteor, and that is the "Lightbringer" we hear of in the east, the LB of AA. Essentially, this black sword would be a corrupted version of the Dawn technology, and Valyrian steel after it. In this schema, Dawn is the last remaining sword of the GEotD, from before the Long Night. That would be damn cool. 

Also, dawn swords grow like grass near Asshai:

Quote

 

Down in the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai, they say there are oceans of ghost grass, taller than a man on horseback with stalks as pale as milkglass. It murders all other grass and glows in the dark with the spirits of the damned. The Dothraki claim that someday ghost grass will cover the entire world, and then all life will end."

That thought gave Dany the shivers. "I don't want to talk about that now," she said. "It's so beautiful here, I don't want to think about everything dying."

AGOT, Daenerys

 

TWOIAF says, of Asshai:

Quote

Most arrive laden with foodstuffs and wine, for beyond the walls of Asshai little grows save ghost grass, whose glassy, glowing stalks are inedible

So, I am not saying Dawn is literally a piece of ghost grass, but I am saying those ghost grass "blades" of grass look like milkglass and glow - like Dawn - and they glow with the spirits of the damned. A spirit locked in side a sword is classic fantasy, and implied by the idea of LB drinking Nissa Nissa's life and soul and whatnot. So those ghost grass stalks - they seem like tombstone for the GEotD, to me. The glow with the spirits of the damned - and who is more damned than the people living in and near Asshai when the meteors struck and the Long Night fell and the BSE's reign of dark magic took hold? I think the GG is a two-fold clue, perhaps, memorializing a great Dawn Age civilization, and implying Dawn as a legacy of the GEotD.

Or...

...maybe Dawn is the original Ice of House Stark. I mean, look at it. It's a big white sword. Calling it "Ice" would be highly logical, as Mr. Spock would say. Milkglass symbolism is found in the bones of the Others, which are as pale as milkglass, and although the sword of the Others are crystal, which is markedly different from Dawn, they are called "pale swords," as Dawn is, and they also glow faintly. The Others are spirits of the damned in some sense. The Others are "milky white" and "sword slim," so they are milky white swords themselves. People who wear the title "Sword of the Morning" are themselves white swords, named after a milkglass sword, and if they join the Kingsguard like Arthur Dayne, they are once more "white swords," as the KG are called. In fact there is a wonderful three-way of symbolism between Dawn and the SOTM, the Others, and the KG. The KG have moon-pale armor and cloaks, or sometimes snowy white armor and cloaks. Their white standard can also "blaze like the dawn," but sometimes their snow white armor looks ghostly. The fact that Arthur joined the KG is just redundant, hit-you-over-the-head symbolism, and it screams "Others." 

The other place we see milkglass is on the temple of the moonsingers in Bravos, with it's snowy white dome and milkglass phases of the moon windows. I won't go into the moon side of all this, save to say the KG and the Others both have moon symbolism. 

If you like parallels in the narrative, consider that Ned, the King of Winter archetype, fought a battle and then took Dawn to Starfall. If Dawn was originally Ice of House Stark, at some point, a King of Winter might have delivered it to Starfall for whatever reason ( I have my ideas, revolving around the fight at Battle Isle). Back at Winterfell, Ned has a black dragon-forged sword. I mean, think about that. Think about the first scenes we saw Ned in - the beheading of the NW runaway, and the scene in the Godswood. Ice is so prominent in those scenes, it might as well be a character. It's iconic - Theon handing Ned Ice, the beheading, Ned cleaning Ice in the black pond and 'stroking' it oh so sensually in the godswood while speaking to Cat. Why does the icy lord of Winterfell (who is really playing the King of Winter role) have this black dragon sword? Well, I think the idea of a black sword named Ice is a clue about black ice, a.k.a. dragonglass (that's my association, not canon), but it's still weird. And down in the south, we have the Daynes with trace Valyrian features... and do they have a dragon-forged Valyrian sword? No. They have this big honkin white thing that is either the femur of an Other or a piece of Ghost Grass from Asshai (kidding, kidding).

I am seeing some sort of sword switching - @Lord_Pepsi_Cupps, this was in my original, first ever draft - with the primary idea being that you need an icy sword to kill dragon people, and you need a dragon sword to kill Others. The idea of using Valyrian steel and dragonglass (which are parallel frozen fire symbols imo) to kill Others, so all I am saying is that if a bunch of dragonlords were to invade Westeros at Battle Isle in the distant past, you might need some serious firepower to stop them. You might need a sword imbued with ice magic, the original Ice of the King of Winter. You might have needed the King of Winter - let's call him Brandon (of the Bloody Blade, perhaps?) - to beat or humble the invading dragonlord. But after doing so - obviously Westeros didn't lose the battle at Battle Isle - it might have been a good idea to use that black sword of his to kill the Others. 

Or something. That's just one scenario I like. I usually think of the Daynes and Hightowers as dragon-descended people who became loyal to Westeros and fought against evil BSE / AA, with the big clues being in that part about the original Hightowers driving dragons away from the fortress, yet having dragon symbolism themselves. So there are a few ways for dragon sword tech to transfer into the hands of Westeros, and surely the dragonsteel of the last hero has something to do with all of this. That, to me, is the ultimate question - what color was the sword of the last hero? White or black?

Cheers y'all, I am about to post a new Weirwood Compendium essay tomorrow morning.

Here's the link to the two episodes I did with History of Westeros. 

Part 1 is Asshai centered:

Part 2 is all GEotD and their potential legacy in Westeros:

 

Edited by LmL

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On 5/19/2017 at 10:51 AM, Tom Cruise said:

There's nothing that says the selection of a Sword of the Morning has to be standardized.  Different SotM'ings could have been chosen in different ways.  I think the only underlying requirement is being a superior swordsmen.  The other required traits are subjective and will change depending who's currently in power.  

This could very well be the truth of it.  Whoever has achieved the most in terms of martial prowess combined with renown.  

So some ancient Dayne, perhaps the first Arthur,  found the meteor.  He refines the ore and out comes a unique metal that looks nothing like metal.  He gets this idea to fashion a blade from the material and discovers its desirable properties.  He uses his new blade to slay countless Children of the Forest, some greenseers, and maybe even a few bog devils.  Thus becoming the very first Sword of the Morning.

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2 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

This could very well be the truth of it.  Whoever has achieved the most in terms of martial prowess combined with renown.  

So some ancient Dayne, perhaps the first Arthur,  found the meteor.  He refines the ore and out comes a unique metal that looks nothing like metal.  He gets this idea to fashion a blade from the material and discovers its desirable properties.  He uses his new blade to slay countless Children of the Forest, some greenseers, and maybe even a few bog devils.  Thus becoming the very first Sword of the Morning.

The big mystery is the advanced forging knowledge needed to make steel, which the First Men do not seem to have had. The obvious answer would be the seemingly advanced GEotD, right? Whether the sword was made in the east or in Westeros, the knowledge to do so must have come from elsewhere, I would think. 

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On 5/18/2017 at 10:12 PM, Kevin Brightflame said:

After reading through the WoIaF again recently, I was going through the section that covers the Great Empire of the Dawn and it got me thinking.  If this has been discussed in the passed, my bad but I would love to hear what people think.  Anyways, here it goes: 

The Great Empire of the Dawn was said to end when the Bloodstone Emperor committed the Blood Betrayal/practiced some dark arts and necromancy, etc.  Now every culture has their own story of the Long Night, but when I read through this one the name "Great Empire of the Dawn" and the mention of the Long Night immediately made me think of House Dayne/The Sword of the Morning/Dawn.  The Daynes claim that their ancestry dates back to the Dawn Age, which was before the Long Night, and are potentially some form of proto-Valyrian origin (which I've seen in the forums that some believe the people of the GEotD could be pre-Valyrians).  Given all these references and mentions of the word Dawn, I started to believe that the Daynes were from the GEotD, and a member of this family was the wielder of Lightbringer.

So, lets go back to the Long Night.  A warrior from the GEotD sets out to defeat the evil of this time and forges a sword and names it Lightbringer (bringing some light into the darkness that is the Long Night), he defeats the enemy in the Battle for the Dawn.  What comes after night? dawn/morning. To me this sounds like the sword Dawn, is Lightbringer.  After the Battle for the Dawn and the original wielder of Lightbringer eventually dies, the sword is renamed Dawn and kept in the family.  Why was it renamed you ask?  Because the light was brought back into the world during the Battle for the Dawn, it no longer needs to "bring light", the world has entered the "dawn" of a new age finally.  But this is no ordinary sword, and a legendary warrior bore it, so it is too good to just be passed down lord to lord.  It must be wielded only by someone with the warrior ability to carry on the legacy of its original owner... therefore the person who wields Dawn/Lightbringer will be called the Sword of the Morning since this is the sword that brought the world out of the Long Night and into the dawn/morning of a new age.  

 

What are your thoughts? It may be more plausible that Dawn is Lightbringer rather than the Daynes are from the GEotD, but that empire is "mythical" and the Daynes bloodline has something similar to Valyrian in it going back to the Dawn Age.. Not to mention that unique sword of theirs.

 

 

Maybe this takes the fun out of the discussion, but I thought I'd share a link. It's larger in scope than your initial questions, but it covers them all and provides ample textual evidence to back it all up. Here's a summary of the firs three (of four) parts (I bolded the more pertinent topics):

Part 1: The Five Forts and Asshai are absolutely massive and ancient. Whichever civilization built them had its core territory encompassing both regions. The old base of the Hightower and the Five Forts are fused stone structures only capable of being built by a civilization with dragons. The only known civilization that could have built all three is the Great Empire of the Dawn.

Part 2: The Great Empire of the Dawn is the most ancient civilization in the world and was founded by the Gemstone Emperors and based in Asshai. These Asshai'i were dragon riders before Valyria and taught them their arts. Dany sees these ancient emperors in her dreams and they look like Valyrians. But the Great Empire of the Dawn was cut down by the terrors of the Long Night and the lands of Asshai have never recovered.

Part 3: The chaos and destruction of the Long Night led to a diaspora out of Asshai. The Valyrians may have been founded by Asshai'i who became the ruling dragon riders of the Freehold. The founders of House Dayne may have been Asshai'i adventurers following a meteor under orders from the Bloodstone Emperor. Asshai'i may have also founded House Hightower and stayed behind to guard the realm. And all three groups are tied together through their appearance which matches the Gemstone Emperors Dany sees in her dream.

Enjoy!

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I love House Dayne. Starfall has something magical about the place and people. The flag is gorgeous. The swords are really special too.

Edited by Wolfgirly

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51 minutes ago, LmL said:

The big mystery is the advanced forging knowledge needed to make steel, which the First Men do not seem to have had. The obvious answer would be the seemingly advanced GEotD, right? Whether the sword was made in the east or in Westeros, the knowledge to do so must have come from elsewhere, I would think. 

I don't recall that the Daynes were the ones that forged Dawn.  My own personal feeling has always been that Dawn was originally owned by the Starks (under the name of Ice), who than found a noble family (of shared, ancient blood) far away from the North to keep the sword safe, or out of the hands of the Others or perhaps the Nights King.  Or perhaps the Starks gave up the sword due to some great shame.  or whatever the reason may be....

Edited by Tom Cruise
Sorry LML: On 2nd read I realize you weren't implying the Daynes forged Dawn :)

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5 minutes ago, Tom Cruise said:

I don't recall that the Daynes were the ones that forged Dawn.  My own personal feeling has always been that Dawn was originally owned by the Starks (under the name of Ice), who than found a noble family (of shared, ancient blood) far away from the North to keep the sword safe, or out of the hands of the Others or perhaps the Nights King.  Or perhaps the Starks gave up the sword due to some great shame.  or whatever the reason may be....

Well, the legend is that the Daynes forged it. I don't put a lot of stick in that, but it is the official story. What I am saying is that if they DID forge it, the knowledge to do so is the big mystery. It probably came from the east, I am thinking, unless Dawn is original Ice and was not forged like steel is at all, but rather through some entirely magical process we cannot fathom. I am pretty open-minded about it.

 

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