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The Great Empire of the Dawn


Caspoi

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This thread has been devised to summarise all the information and speculation that we have about the Great Empire of the Dawn (or GED for short).



GED did claim to be a World-spanning empire but this is probably nothing more than when Alexander the Great claimed to have conquered to world. It was probably based primarly i the Land of Always Shadow, possibly with Stygai as the capital, and it did most likely controll Yi Ti and surrounding lands. I also suspect that their empire stretced at least to Valyria for reasons mentioned later.



The people of GED did probably have valyrian features (or at least the nobility did), this is derived both from the fact that their emperors are named after jewels (like amethysts) of such colour in the same manner that the Targaryens were and also from the Daynes who I think orginated from GED (they have valyrian fetures but are not from Valyria).



I doubt that GED ever stretched to Westeros but they probably had a trading colony/military outpost there in the form of Oldtown, its lighthouse is evidence for that. I don't have any proof for this but I would guess that the Daynes were the governors of Oldtown (or whatever it was called then) but as GED fell the first men ousted them from it. There is evidence that the order of Maesters is very old (from the time when the Children were still at large) and if they had always originated from Oldtown then this could explain why: they wanted to research the technology of GED.



The emperors of GED were quite few despite its alleged longevity. From this I see Three conclusions:



1. The empire was in fact quite shortlived and the first emperors spent their entire time conquering new lands.



2. The emperors had increased their own longevity through magic or other means which would make them powerful sorcerers and might be an indication of the level of magic in GED.



3. The "emperors" were actually imperial dynasties that have been put together into a single being by legend so that the "Opal emperor" was like the Yellow emperors.



I am most inclined to believe the second one because we know that there are people who have countinued living through unnatural means and this tie in nicely to what we know of GED and its fall.



GED's fall came according to legend through the Bloodstone emperor, who usurped the Amethyst empress and introduced dark magic to GED. He allegedly caused the Long Night through this (although I have a hard time connecting him with the Others and they too are connected to the Long Night somehow) and I Believe that it was he who tainted the Land of Always Shadow and made it inhabited by demonic beasts of all kind. It is likely that the surviving inhabitants fled to Valyria (which is why I believe that the land was part of the empire) and there lost most of their cultural heritage.



Is there something you disagree with or think that I should change in this assessment of the Great Empire of the Dawn?


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If there were outpost in Westeros before the coming of the First Man, surely the children of the forest acquired their technology but during the war with the First Men they show none.

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There is no reason to believe that the Great Empire of the Dawn had anything to do with the Valyrians or people with Valyrian features. It was supposed to encompass the entirety of Yi Ti as well as the surrounding lands like what later became the Plains of the Jogos Nhai and the Patrimony of Hyrkoon.



Whatever trade there was in Oldtown would have been - according to Yandel - with ancient Valyrians or Ghiscari, not the Yi Tish Great Empire.



Whether the gemstone emperors ever existed or not is still an open question. The Yi Tish have their own explanation - the usurpation of the Amethyst Empress through the Bloodstone Emperor, general sin and vice in the Empire - as explanation why the Lion of the Night was unleashed on the empire, causing the Long Night. This does not have to be the case. It could just be a made-up legend - either in it's entirety (there never was a Great Empire of the Dawn) or partially (there was a Great Empire but it was neither great nor were its rulers named after gemstones or lived as long as they supposedly did), or only in regards to the Long Night (which occurred but may not have been caused by the things the Yi Tish claim (the usurpation or general sin/vice, or this 'Lion of the Night' entity which may not exist, either).



Finally, the hero who supposedly ended the Long Night (Yin Tar, Hyrkoon, Eldric Shadowchaser, Azor Ahai) may not have done this if he did it in Yi Ti/the east in general. Considering the fact that the Long Night devastated/affected the whole world the best take would be that its ending caused people to attribute the fact that it ended to the deeds of their (mythological) heroes and leaders (or directly to their gods) as the people would have believed that the Long Night was a punishment done to them, not a natural phenomenon that had nothing to do with them or something magical that was caused by the Others back in distant Westeros.


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I don't have to have arrived Before the first men but rather around the same time and it is quite possible that there were hostile relations between the Children and GED, especially considering that the Children often are hostile against humans, and as such there might not have been an Exchange of technology between them.


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Lord [email protected] Remember that Oldtown is older than Valyria or Ghiscar (as shown by its lighthouse) and the only reasonable state responsible for it is GED. You also accuse the emperors of being a myth but then againthe whole empire might as well have been a myth. With both the Daynes (who are not valyrians but still with valyrian features) and the emperors I believe that it is likely that they have valyrian features. You do't have to believe me of course but it is likely that the Lands of Always Shadow were once the heartlands of the empire and the people who lived there are now dead (apart from in Asshai and those people seem to be of mixed descent). Finally I am unsure whether the Bloodstone emperor actually caused the Long Night but we don't know if the Others did so either (r if they were a reaction rather than cause of things).


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I will throw in the Worldbook quote for reference:





In the beginning, the priestly scribes of Yin declare, all the land between the Bones and the freezing desert called the Grey Waste, from the Shivering Sea to the Jade Sea (including even the great and holy isle of Leng), formed a single realm ruled by the God-on-Earth, the only begotten son of the Lion of Night and the Maiden-Made-of-Light, who traveled about his domains in a palanquin carved from a single pearl and carried by a hundred queens, his wives. For ten thousand years the Great Empire of the Dawn flourished in peace and plenty under the God-on-Earth, until at last he ascended to the starts to join his forebears.


Dominion over mankind then passed to his eldest son, who was known as the Pearl Emperor and ruled for a thousand years. The Jade Emperor, the Tourmaline Emperor, the Onyx Emperor, the Topaz Emperor, and the Opal Emperor followed in turn, each reigning for centuries…yet every reign was shorter and more troubled than the one preceding it, for wild men and baleful beasts pressed at the borders of the Great Empire, lesser kings grew prideful and rebellious, and the common people gave themselves over to avarice, envy, lust murder, incest, gluttony, and sloth.


When the daughter of the Opal Emperor succeeded him as the Amethyst Empress, her envious younger brother cast her down and slew her, proclaiming himself the Bloodstone Emperor and beginning a reign of terror. He practiced dark arts, torture, and necromancy, enslaved his people, took a tiger-woman for his bride, feasted on human flesh, and cast down the true gods to worship a black stone that had fallen from the sky. (Many scholars count the Bloodstone Emperor as the first High Priest of the sinister Church of Starry Wisdom, which persists to this day in many port cities throughout the known world).


In the annals of the Further East, it was the Blood Betrayal, as his usurpation is named, that ushered in the age of darkness called the Long Night. Despairing of the evil that had been unleashed on earth, the Maiden-Made-of-Light turned her back upon the world, and the Lion of Night came forth in all his wroth to punish the wickedness of men.


How long the darkness endured no man can say, but all agree that it was only when a great warrior-known variously as Hyrkoon the Hero, Azor Ahai, Yin Tar, Neferion, and Eldric Shadowchaser—arose to give courage to the race of men and lead the virtuous into battle with his blazing sword Lightbringer that the darkness was put to rout, and light and love returned once more to the world.


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Lord Varys I happen disagree with everyone you said, pretty much. There is a ton, a ton of evidence connecting the GEotD to Oldtown. You can disagree, but to say there is no evidence is simply false.

The Valyrians absolutely, positively did not build the fused stone structure on Battle Isle, because it was found there by the first First Men to arrive there, which was before the Long Night and thus centuries or millennia before Valyria ever existed. Thus, we know that sorcerers with the ability to control dragon fire and shape stone in the way Valyrians later did existed before Valyria, and came to Westeros. The only other pre-Valyrian fused stone structure we know of is the Five Forts, which is squarely in the middle of the Great Empire of the Dawn's supposed borders. Then we have Daenery's dream of the gemstone emperors all the way back in book one... That's just scratching the surface.

Caspoi you may be interested to read the links in my signature, I've done a buttload of research into all of these topics, and I have a lot of evidence to support many of your ideas, which are (in my opinion) barking up the right tree.

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Thank you.

No problem.

The gemstone theory links in my signature also pertain to GED (or GEotD as I'm more used to calling it). Illyrio's Fingers builds on LmL's and Durran Durrandon's work connecting GEotD to current events in the story.

'A God-King by Any Other Name' pulls together several things from the Worldbook and novels to speculate on a "secret history" surrounding GeoDawnian's role in the Long Night. (GeoDawnian being a term coined by LmL to describe the gemstone emperors and their culture.)

I've been working from the premise that the gemstone emperors were beings who appeared human but were actually powerful demigods. Although I'm also open to the idea that they were sorcerers who extended their lives magically. I guess the difference there is really six of one and a half dozen of the other. :-P

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The kings in Dany's dreams are the Targaryen kings who reigned from Aegon I to Aerys II, not some long-dead mythical Yi Tish people. They are not described as each wearing different colours/gemstones - if that was the case, your point would make at least some sense.



The foundations of the Hightower remain a mystery - but does this necessarily mean they are Yi Tish in origin? No - especially since nothing suggests the Yi Tish ever had dragons (aside from the emperor whose wife brought a dragon with her from Valyria), it could have been the Deep Ones, the mazemakers of Lorath (although that is less likely), or some ancient Asshai'i. Hell, it could even have been the Children of the Forest or the First Men using dragonfire and its magic who figured out some of the stuff the Valyrians later perfected - that would explain why the fused stone of Battle Island is similar to Valyrian stone but lacks the characteristic Valyrian style.



And if the Long Night did not happen 8,000 years ago but only, say, 5,000 years ago, then early Valyrians - who did not yet develop their unique later style - could actually have been involved in the building of the structures on Battle Island.


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The kings in Dany's dreams are the Targaryen kings who reigned from Aegon I to Aerys II, not some long-dead mythical Yi Tish people. They are not described as each wearing different colours/gemstones - if that was the case, your point would make at least some sense.

What makes you think these are Targaryens? If they were all targaryens, they would all have amethyst eyes. And yes, they are described as having different color eyes:

Ghosts lined the hallway, dressed in the faded raiment of kings. In their hands were swords of pale fire. They had hair of silver and hair of gold and hair of platinum white and their eyes were Opal and Amethyst, Tourmaline and Jade. "Faster," they cried. "Faster, faster!"

She raised her feet, melting the stone wherever she touched.

"Faster!" The ghosts cried as one, and she screamed and threw herself forward."

(AGOT, Daenerys)

Their eyes are opal and amethyst, tourmaline and jade. Those are all different gems, and they are all on the list of the Gemstone emperors of the great Empire of the Dawn (which is not Yi Ti).

Targaryens definitely never had swords of pale fire, and we've never heard of Valyrians having fire swords either.

The foundations of the Hightower remain a mystery - but does this necessarily mean they are Yi Tish in origin? No - especially since nothing suggests the Yi Tish ever had dragons (aside from the emperor whose wife brought a dragon with her from Valyria), it could have been the Deep Ones, the mazemakers of Lorath (although that is less likely), or some ancient Asshai'i. Hell, it could even have been the Children of the Forest or the First Men using dragonfire and its magic who figured out some of the stuff the Valyrians later perfected - that would explain why the fused stone of Battle Island is similar to Valyrian stone but lacks the characteristic Valyrian style.

And if the Long Night did not happen 8,000 years ago but only, say, 5,000 years ago, then early Valyrians - who did not yet develop their unique later style - could actually have been involved in the building of the structures on Battle Island.

Not Yi Tish. Yi Ti arose after the Long, as Valyria did. The Yi Tish have a story about an empire which came before them and perished during the Long Night, which they refer to as the great Empire of the Dawn. Was that their actual name? Who knows. But it's a Dawn Age empire which perished, and "was not reborn:"

How long the darkness endured no man can say, but all agree it was only when a great warrior - known variously as [titles, titles] - arose to give courage to the race of men and lead the virtuous into battle with his blazing sword Lightbringer that the darkness was put to rout, and light and love returned once more to the world.

Yet the Great Empire of the Dawn was not reborn, for the restored world was a broken place where every tribe of men went it's own way, fearful of all the others, and war and lust and murder endured, even to our present day. Or so of the men and women of the further east believe.

So Yi Ti =/= GEotD. GEotD came first, perished, and the Yi Tish were the first and most successful to create a new empire in some of the same areas. It's logical that they would attempt to take up the mantle of the GEotD to some extent to give themselves legitimacy - hence the title "god-emperor" and the gold and jade, etc.

I agree we should generally be flexible as far as dating things from thousands of years ago, but the Long Night itself is a line of demarcation which many things can be placed before or after. Ghis seems to be the first civilization to rise AFTER the LN, according to TWOIAF. The wiki erroneously states they existed pre-LN, but I have checked all their sources, and this information appears nowhere in the text... while TWOAIF says Ghis was first AFTER the LN, followed by Valyria and Sarnor and others. The Rhoynar have a story about the LN, which means they probably date back, in some form, to that time with an unbroken line of cultural transmission. But Valyria, by all information that we have, arose after the Long Night.

Meanwhile, the Hightower fortress was found in situ by the first Fist Men to arrive, who then built structures on top of the fused stone structure. We don't know how long the FM were in Westeros before the LN, it may not have been the millennia that we are told about, but it was likely at least a few centuries before the LN fell. Ergo, there's really no way the valyrians could have built it.

The Valyrians DEFINITELY did not build the Five Forts, which are pre-Yi Ti and pre-LN. The Five Forts and Hightower fortress are very, very similar - fused black stone walls, utilitarian design, no ornamentation, and both are fortresses / military outposts. The same technique (fused stone) as Valyrian construction, but a different style completely.

Fused stone itself is important - we only are given one way to produce it - dragon flame and sorcery. There are no other possibilities even hinted at. Therefore, the existence of fused stone structures in these two ovations means that a race of dragonlords existed prior to Valyria's rise. These folks almost assuredly came from Asshai. And that's basically why I think the GEotD is important - because I think they ARE the ancient Asshai people. I've laid out all the evidence in my third essay, and I think the case is strong. But even if I am totally wrong about the GEotD, we do know that dragonlords existed prior to Valyria and built fused stone structures at Battle Isle and the Five Forts.

The swords of pale fire seem like a pretty damn big clue that these kingly, gemstone-eyed ghosts of Daenerys's dream are connected to Azor Ahai in some way... which leads us right back to Asshai and the Great Empire of the Dawn story.

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"As Westeros recovered from the Long Night, a new power was rising in Essos. The vast continent, stretching from the narrow sea to the fabled Jade Sea and faraway Ulthos, seems to be the place where civilization as we know it developed. The first of these (not withstanding the dubious claims of Qarth, the YiTish legends of the Great Empire of the Dawn, and the difficulties of finding any truth in the tales of legendary Asshai) was rooted in Old Ghis: a city built on slavery. (TWOAIF)

First, notice that the Yi Tish have a legend of the GEotD - they are separate things. There's Yi Ti, and this other empire which they have a story about, the GEotD. Not the same. Sorry to keep beating this horse but it's an important distinction.

The maester's dismissal of the GEotD is in line with his dismissal of the weirwood magics and skinchanging magics and many other fantastical things which we know are true. This is a consistent bias we know to look for and take into account.

But even this maester, who thinks Ghis was the very first civilization, places their rise to AFTER the Long Night. This make sense, because no empire or nation state would have survived the inevitable widespread famine, death, and anarchy which a prolonged nuclear winter scenario would entail. The first empires in recorded history would be the first to arise after the LN, as Ghis did, followed shortly by Valyria and Sarnor.

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If there were outpost in Westeros before the coming of the First Man, surely the children of the forest acquired their technology but during the war with the First Men they show none.

Actually, the CotF were apparently not interested in technology. When Garth Greenhands tried to teach them agriculture they laughed and said the Old Gods saw to all of their needs. They seem to have stuck with dragonglass and other low-tech weapons out of choice, not because they didn't know anything better. They didn't begin using bronze weapons when the First Men showed up, either.

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The kings in Dany's dreams are the Targaryen kings who reigned from Aegon I to Aerys II, not some long-dead mythical Yi Tish people. They are not described as each wearing different colours/gemstones - if that was the case, your point would make at least some sense.

The foundations of the Hightower remain a mystery - but does this necessarily mean they are Yi Tish in origin? No - especially since nothing suggests the Yi Tish ever had dragons (aside from the emperor whose wife brought a dragon with her from Valyria), it could have been the Deep Ones, the mazemakers of Lorath (although that is less likely), or some ancient Asshai'i. Hell, it could even have been the Children of the Forest or the First Men using dragonfire and its magic who figured out some of the stuff the Valyrians later perfected - that would explain why the fused stone of Battle Island is similar to Valyrian stone but lacks the characteristic Valyrian style.

And if the Long Night did not happen 8,000 years ago but only, say, 5,000 years ago, then early Valyrians - who did not yet develop their unique later style - could actually have been involved in the building of the structures on Battle Island.

In the other thread, you proposed that the CotF could not warg into dragons, otherwise they would use them to annihilate the First Men. Here you claim that the CotF might have built the foundation of Hightower with their dragons. :rolleyes:

Not to mention, the CotF didnot build any structure as far as we know.

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The YiTish have a glorified version of the GEotD as they assume to be the natural descendants and heirs to that great civilization. That is most probably not accurate but the existence of the GEotD cannot be denied.


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"As Westeros recovered from the Long Night, a new power was rising in Essos. The vast continent, stretching from the narrow sea to the fabled Jade Sea and faraway Ulthos, seems to be the place where civilization as we know it developed. The first of these (not withstanding the dubious claims of Qarth, the YiTish legends of the Great Empire of the Dawn, and the difficulties of finding any truth in the tales of legendary Asshai) was rooted in Old Ghis: a city built on slavery. (TWOAIF)

First, notice that the Yi Tish have a legend of the GEotD - they are separate things. There's Yi Ti, and this other empire which they have a story about, the GEotD. Not the same. Sorry to keep beating this horse but it's an important distinction.

The maester's dismissal of the GEotD is in line with his dismissal of the weirwood magics and skinchanging magics and many other fantastical things which we know are true. This is a consistent bias we know to look for and take into account.

But even this maester, who thinks Ghis was the very first civilization, places their rise to AFTER the Long Night. This make sense, because no empire or nation state would have survived the inevitable widespread famine, death, and anarchy which a prolonged nuclear winter scenario would entail. The first empires in recorded history would be the first to arise after the LN, as Ghis did, followed shortly by Valyria and Sarnor.

One quibble--I think there were a few civilizations that survived in some manner, such as the Rhoynish, because some have legends about local heroes during the Long Night. So I think there were tiny bits of civilization that just barely squeaked through--not the GEotD, though, of course.

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I mentioned the Rhoynar:

The Rhoynar have a story about the LN, which means they probably date back, in some form, to that time with an unbroken line of cultural transmission.

But that only means their ancestors passed along the story, as the First men did. It means they were around, but I maintain that no nation states or city states would have survived. Once the food runs out, lawlessness is inevitable. If the Long Night even lasted 6 years, most people would have died, straight up. It's likely that the cotf helped the FM survive in Westeros during this time - there are hints about this in Bran's last chapter where he sees that the cotf have a mini underground ecosystem, with blind fish, goats, mushrooms, etc.

While interesting, that's all basically a side-tangent to the fact that Valyria most certainly is a post-LN civilization.

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You should all know that I do not claim to be an expert on GED (I prefer that before GEotD) and that this thread is mainly for different posters to try and form some sort of unified picture of the mythological country.



And lord [email protected], even if the peoplein Daenarys visions were Targaryens then this would only sort of confirm that their features, and the features of the people of GED was similar.


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The way I see it is something like this, so far as the various races go:



Human origins in Planetos are in the east.



GEotD - very early human civilization, probably the most advanced, a long way above any others.



First Men - probably came to Westeros around a similar time to when the GEotD was already a big thing in the east. They were probably an offshoot of a common ancestor with those in the far east, but never developed the same tools and technology that the GEotD did. We know they came only once the GEotD was established because they found the remains on Battle Isle with no way to know who or what built it, but we know that it was very likely an outpost of the empire.



Rhoynar - may well have existed in some minor form as a less well developed civilization, they probably predate the LN at least according to their legends.



GEotD destroyed/Long Night - remains of the people spread out into the rest of Essos, seeding various tribes and groups of people.


The dragons the used fly off into the world and settle in what will be Valyria.



Valyrians - descendant from GEotD people, after moving west they settle as shepherds in Valyria. They find dragons and possible with help of other survivors from the east they tame them. Or possibly they just knew what to do because their ancestors could also do the same? They try to keep their bloodlines pure hence the incest.




I'd like to think of the people of the GEotD as proto-Valyrians. Their empire was destroyed but their genetics and possibly some of their knowledge lived on through the Valyrians.


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