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From Death to Dawn #2: Jon's Nightmare Battle and the King of Winter

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From Death to Dawn #2

Jon’s Nightmare Battle and the King of Winter

Dawn Burns Red

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. [. . . ] The world dissolved into a red mist. Jon stabbed and slashed and cut. [. . . ] “I am the Lord of Winterfell,” Jon screamed. It was Robb before him now, his hair wet with melting snow. Longclaw took his head off. Dance Jon XI.

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 I

VERY Short Version:  In his nightmare battle for the Wall, Jon thinks he is the Lord Commander fighting with Longclaw. He’s actually the Sword of the Morning, fighting the Battle for the Dawn with the greatsword Dawn. Dawn burns red. Like dawn, Dawn transforms ice and cold through light. Jon is seeing what he must eventually do. He’s the Sword of the Morning and is becoming the King of Winter—fighting the Battle for the Dawn to defeat Winter.

Continuing and building on arguments from the previous thread: From Death to Dawn: Jon Will Rise and the Sword of the Morning.

ETA: CONCERNING THE ''LOST THREADS:"

The "original" version of "From Death to Dawn #3: Jon as Sword of the Morning--and Any Related Issues" including all of the posts from that version (vs. the current one) is here.

Thread #4 got lost in the upgrade (only the first part of the OP remains). But the sandbox is open here.

RLJ questions?

Spoiler

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 or ALJ.  So, Martin can make this work as he chooses.

 

Plus, the Daynes do NOT inherit Dawn. They hold it for the next worthy wielder. Where did they get this tradition? Does this milkglass sword, that Jon sees in conjunction with the milkglass Wall, really belong to the Stoney Dornish Daynes? Or are they holding it in trust, until the true Sword of the Morning rises?

We don’t know what makes a Dayne—or anyone else—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 has 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 for NW.

D. Sends Ghost away—his comfort/identity.

Not convinced? Try Julia H’s argument from the first thread’s comments:

With regard to solving the apparent contradiction between Jon longing for his father’s sword and becoming the Sword of the Morning without being a Dayne… I still think Rhaegar is the most likely biological father for Jon (I don’t really see the Arthur – Lyanna thing), and I also find LmL’s theory of Dawn as the original Ice compelling. So what if, what if all these theories can be tied together somehow?

Jon longs for Ned’s sword. Regardless of who his biological father is, Ned is his “true” father, and the Starks are his true family. If Dawn is the original, lost Ice, then it is originally a Stark sword. The Starks and the Daynes may share the same ancestor even.

Who is the Sword of the Morning? A warrior of House Dayne deemed worthy of wielding a legendary blade. If Dawn has anything to do with ending the Long Night or defeating some dark enemy (as the name and the star/light symbolism clearly suggest), then the true vocation of the Sword of the Morning is to fight against the darkness, to fight for dawn. Yet, judging from Arthur (and the known historical circumstances), recent Swords of the Morning have had somewhat more “mundane” jobs – like being the king’s bodyguard and fighting rebels and brigands. Until the Long Night returns, the wielders of Dawn can “simply” keep up a code of honour and behaviour and remember what the title really means. I wonder if the Sword of the Morning has to take a vow when he receives Dawn. It sounds rather probable, and this vow could be somewhat similar to the Night’s Watch vow - sword in the darkness, light that brings the dawn etc. (I’m not sure about fathering no children, but hey, we do know that Dawn is not passed down from father to son, and Arthur certainly chose a profession where he was prevented from having a family of his own.)

As an aside, it is interesting to imagine how such a vow may have combined with the Kingsguard vow for Arthur. The king was clearly sliding fast into darkness, so the idea of “saving the king from himself” as well as his Sword of the Morning duty to prevent the smaller scale darkness of a cruel madman ruling the realm could well lead to Arthur realizing that he had to support Rhaegar even against Aerys, to make sure that the king would abdicate and spend the rest of his life in more or less peaceful retirement. If he regarded Rhaegar as the “true king”, then it is understandable that he also regarded baby Jon, rather than Viserys, as the new king.

Anyway, what I’m trying to get to is that the Daynes may still remember that they are keeping Dawn safe (and pure and intact) until such time when it is needed again for a greater, magical purpose, when the current Sword of the Morning has to use it to fight the ultimate darkness again, to save the realms of men. If Dawn originally belonged to the Starks / to a Stark, then what if the Daynes acquired it on the promise that should one day a true Sword of the Morning rise in House Stark – a warrior whose vocation is to fight for the realm against the darkness, a warrior who (unlike the Night’s King) resists all temptation at the right moment in order to remain true to the realm, a warrior who has the potential to save the realms of men in a time of great need – then House Stark (and specifically this warrior) will be allowed to get back the original Ice, i.e. Dawn? 

In this context, Ned returning Dawn to House Dayne may have special significance. The Starks have not deserved to get the sword back yet, even if a Stark has apparently "won" it in battle.

Jon has Stark blood on the mother’s side. His biological father notwithstanding, his “true” father is Ned Stark, thus Jon is a Stark both by blood (through his mother) and by spirit (through his father). He probably received the Stark name from Robb. His loyalty and his abilities are constantly tested in every possible way. He calls himself the sword in the darkness as well as the shield that guards the realms of men. If he becomes the Sword of the Morning through merit, then he may well regard it as wielding his father’s sword – the original sword of his House.

For those of you more ALJ-inclined, check out superunknown5’s excellent essay: Arthur+ Lyanna=Jon. Also The Heresy Essays: X+Y=J: Arthur+Lyanna=J.

Big thanks to LmL for reminding and chiding me about this sword imagery. To Mother of Dragons for reminding me of the epiphany quote. And Voice of the First Men for

Part I: Jon’s Battle dream is a Nightmare.

But the Nightmare Becomes the Battle for the Dawn against the Others and wights.

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. “Flame,” he cried, “feed them flame,” but there was no one to pay heed.

They are all gone. They have abandoned me.

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. He slew a greybeard and a beardless boy, a giant, a gaunt man with filed teeth, a girl with thick red hair. Too late he recognized Ygritte. She was gone as quick as she’d appeared.

   The world dissolved into a red mist. Jon stabbed and slashed and cut. He hacked down Donal Noye and gutted Deaf Dick Follard. Qhorin Halfhand stumbled to his knees, trying in vain to staunch the flow of blood from his neck. “I am the Lord of Winterfell,” Jon screamed. It was Robb before him now, his hair wet with melting snow. Longclaw took his head off. Then a gnarled hand seized Jon roughly by the shoulder. He whirled …

A. Dance Jon XII opens with Jon’s nightmare of the Battle for the Wall. The Wildlings have morphed into a single entity. The giants are much gianter. Standard nightmare.

B. But the Nightmare turns into a battle with wights that is not going well. The fire he’d used to kill the first wight—the wight he killed to protect Mormont and earn Longclaw—that fire is now killing the NW instead, setting their “cloaks ablaze.”

C. The wights are turning into ice-spider-like foes. And they’ve gotten MUCH faster. The Battle for the Dawn seems to be at full force.

D. The fight is now with Jon’s dead—his guilt rising with wights who bleed. And culminates with his beheading Robb—it’s pure horror.

Part II: Despite this horror, Jon’s got the right Sword. He just doesn’t know it.

A. “The blade burned red.” Other swords burn in text. Beric sets his sword on fire with his blood. Here, Jon does nothing of the sort. He’s surrounded by fire, calls for more. Mel glamours Stannis’ sword. But not Jon’s dream sword. Mel’s not even thought of.

B. Jon’s “burning red” sword is only mentioned after the dream shifts to the wights. The Wildlings and giants are gone. Now, as wights climb the Wall, the sword burns red—now, against the wights.

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.

C. In the next paragraph, Jon calls his burning sword “Longclaw.” Why? As far as we know, Valyrian steel doesn’t burn red, even against the undead. And Jon does not set Longclaw on fire nor get glamour tips from Mel. His sword just burns red as the wights scuttle up the Wall. So, why does Jon call it “Longclaw” vs. “crazy burning sword?”

D. Because Longclaw is the magical sword he earned out of the line of inheritance while fighting a wight. This makes Jon the only person in the story who has:

1. Earned an ancestral magical (Valyrian) sword out of the line of inheritance, bestowed upon him by the man who had the right to bestow it.

2. Received an ancestral sword where nothing about the blade is changed, and keeps the original name which also fits him—and his direwolf (his other self).

E. The only other sword in-world that is bestowed via merit is Dawn. And Jon has already had a vision of the Sword of the Morning, with dawn turning the world red.

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. Storm Jon IV

1. The Sword of the Morning blazes white (like the greatsword Dawn) but it brings color: reds and russets. Dawn, turning the black and grey world to reds and russets.

F. Dawn-the-sword is pale and ice-like, like the Others’ swords. But the Others’ swords only show up and glow in moonlight. Dawn-the-sword gleams in the sun. An icy sword which, like the Others’ swords, reflects and changes in light. In Dawn’s case, daylight. And actual dawn burns red. It transforms ice and cold into color with light.

G. In Jon’s dream, Longclaw—dark grey Valyrian steel—now burns red. Dawn turns blacks and grays to reds and russets. Dawn the sword reflects light.

H. THUS: “Longclaw” isn’t burning red in Jon’s fist. Longclaw is the bastard sword, half-way between a longsword and a true greatsword, like the one Jon always wanted. The true greatsword is Dawn—only earned by merit. That’s why Jon calls it Longclaw—because it’s what Longclaw is leading up to, but he doesn’t know that yet.

We will see, Jon thought, remembering the things that Sam had told him, the things he’d found in his old books. Longclaw had been forged in the fires of old Valyria, forged in dragonflame and set with spells. Dragonsteel, Sam called it. Stronger than any common steel, light, harder, sharper. . . But words were one thing. The true test came in battle. Dance Jon XI

1. The true test does come in battle—a dream battle. Longclaw doesn’t magically change. Jon’s dreaming of Dawn—a magical sword that can change. Can burn without glamours or being lit on fire. Like the Wall and a milkglass sword—reflecting the light around it. Can shine like the dawn. Jon just doesn’t know this yet.

CONTINUED IN NEXT POST

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Part III: “I am the Lord of Winterfell!” No, You’re the King of Winter.

 

He slew a greybeard and a beardless boy, a giant, a gaunt man with filed teeth, a girl with thick red hair. Too late he recognized Ygritte. She was gone as quick as she’d appeared.

The world dissolved into a red mist. Jon stabbed and slashed and cut. He hacked down Donal Noye and gutted Deaf Dick Follard. Qhorin Halfhand stumbled to his knees, trying in vain to staunch the flow of blood from his neck. “I am the Lord of Winterfell,” Jon screamed. It was Robb before him now, his hair wet with melting snow. Longclaw took his head off.

 

 A. First, Jon’s killing unknown Wildling wights. The horror factor rises when he kills Ygritte—the lover he abandoned for the Watch. Next, Jon’s killing men who defended the Wall against Wildlings, now risen as wights. Donal Noye, who died slaying Mag the mighty on Jon’s orders; Deaf Dick, who was killed by Ygritte as he talked to Jon.

B. But then Jon beheads Robb—that took a turn! Robb was not involved in the Battle for the Wall. Instead, Jon kills Robb in a horrifying version of their old “Lord of Winterfell” competition.

Every morning they had trained together, since they were big enough to walk; Snow and Stark, spinning and slashing about the wards of Winterfell, shouting and laughing, sometimes crying when there was no one else to see. They were not little boys when they fought, but knights and mighty heroes. "I'm Prince Aemon the Dragonknight," Jon would call out, and Robb would shout back, "Well, I'm Florian the Fool." Or Robb would say, "I'm the Young Dragon," and Jon would reply, "I'm Ser Ryam Redwyne."

That morning he called it first. "I'm Lord of Winterfell!" he cried, as he had a hundred times before. Only this time, this time, Robb had answered, "You can't be Lord of Winterfell, you're bastard-born. My lady mother says you can't ever be the Lord of Winterfell."

I thought I had forgotten that. Jon could taste blood in his mouth, from the blow he'd taken. Storm Jon XII

C. But this is a battle, not a game. What’s up? Jon clearly feels guilty about specific deaths. He probably feels he could have saved Robb—irrational, but understandable.

D. But those emotions don’t fit “I am the Lord of Winterfell,” let alone killing Robb with Longclaw. Jon’s fighting for the Wall, not Winterfell. Ice, a greatsword, belongs to the Lord of Winterfell, not Longclaw—the bastard sword. And Robb wasn’t Lord of Winterfell—he was King in the North.

E. So, is this just nightmare thought salad? Not with that burning sword. Longclaw is the sword Jon won for valor, not inheritance. Jon wanted Ice—the sword that represents the ancient sword of King of Winter. And “Lord of Winterfell” represents an ancient lost title. The boy has become an actual “mighty hero:” King of Winter.

F. Both the inherited title Lord of Winterfell (Ned) and his inherited sword (Ice) have fallen. So has the King in the North. The “representative” titles have fallen. Jon, chosen as Lord Commander, is becoming King of Winter, a title earned not by conquering people, but by defending them from the Others. As Jon earned Longclaw, he’s earned Dawn. In this battle, he’s earning the title King of Winter. The ancient Starks are back.

G. Same with the Wall—the Watch was sworn to fight the Others, not Wildlings. So, Jon isn’t fighting as Lord Commander. He’s really fighting and becoming King of Winter—armored in ice with a blade burning red like dawn. The symbols—Ice, Lord of Winterfell, King in the North—have fallen away. The original title and sword are back.

H. This IS the Battle for the Dawn—the King of Winter defeating the Long Night—again. With Dawn. The Watch’s purpose is back. The ancient Battle for the Dawn is come again.

Part IV: Why can’t Jon interpret what he’s seeing?

He’s missing information.

A. Jon doesn’t know about a Stark-Dayne connection. Ned knows. But death impedes communication. Edric tells Arya about the Daynes. She thinks she must tell Jon about his mother. Arya’s next thought: there’s “another Dayne called Sword of the Morning.”

B. Thus, Arya and Ned have info on the Daynes. Jon has the vision about the Sword of the Morning. But Jon can’t communicate with Arya, let alone Ned. So Jon can’t see he’s not holding Longclaw. He can’t yet understand his “Sword of the Morning” vision. He must still open his eyes, as Tree-Bran told him.

C. Thus Jon uses the wrong names—Longclaw and Lord of Winterfell. He sees what will happen. But he can’t process it. As Mel says of her “Arya” vision, “The vision was a true one. It was my reading that was false.” Jon’s mind applies known names to an unknown situation. But the reality behind the nightmare comes through in the context.

D. For better or worse, Jon’s about to be knifed. In the very next POV. Putting him in a dead or semi-dead underworld with a Tree-Bran who can see the past. A Sansa-Lady who’s both alive and dead. And all of the other dead Starks—with all of their information. The wolf-pack needs to reconnect. Only then will Jon have what he needs.

CONTINUED IN JUST ONE MORE POST

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Part V: Why can’t the burning sword be Oathkeeper? Or Ice re-forged?

Because Ice isn’t the original sword—it’s a stand-in.

And Oathkeepker drinks light in, not out.

A. Jon’s dreamt of saving his father’s life. In return, Ned would give Jon Ice, recognize Jon as his son and give Jon his name—worthy to be a Stark.

B. But Ice and Ned are fallen. Jon can’t get what he wants that way. Plus, Ice wasn’t the original sword to begin with. Now it has been split, colored, and renamed Oathkeeper.

C. And Ice is NOT happy about this. Oathkeeper changes the bright red Mott puts into it with spells, making it dark. Oathkeeper drinks light in and darkens it. It doesn’t give light out.

D. So, what natural force produces light out of the blackest hour? Dawn. Dawn gives light OUT of darkness. Transforms not by consuming (fire) but by lighting up the world. And ice/milkglass (like Dawn) don’t “drink light in”—they reflect it out.

He woke to the sight of his own breath misting in the cold morning air. When he moved, his bones ached. Ghost was gone, the fire burnt out. Jon reached to pull aside the cloak he'd hung over the rock, and found it stiff and frozen. He crept beneath it and stood up in a forest turned to crystal.

The pale pink light of dawn sparkled on branch and leaf and stone. Every blade of grass was carved from emerald, every drip of water turned to diamond. Flowers and mushrooms alike wore coats of glass. Even the mud puddles had a bright brown sheen. Through the shimmering greenery, the black tents of his brothers were encased in a fine glaze of ice. Clash, Jon III

E. Ice is getting some redemption as Oathkeeper via Brienne. She’s using it for its true purpose—Starks. But Ice is broken—not a greatsword. And in a fight against the Others, Valyrian steel (like Ice) most likely matches, not exceeds, the Others’ swords: big thanks to DarkSister1001 for this: The Fate of Craster's Sons

F. My take on that—the swords match each other. Dragonglass (and probably Valyrian steel) can kill an Other, as a sword can kill a human. Thus dragonglass can only do to the Others what Others’ swords can do to humans. It matches, but does not exceed.

G. But Dawn exceeds the Others’ swords—it gleams in sunlight, not just moonlight. Unlike Ice, it is a true greatsword that can be used in battle (Ice was too cumbersome to be used in battle). Thus, Jon needs Dawn. The unique sword that exceeds the Others’ swords. That glows in sunlight, not moonlight. Dawn burns red against the Others.

 

Part VI: The Wolf Brings the Dawn

Right after his nightmare of the Battle and “Longclaw” burning red, Jon thinks: “The day had come. It was the hour of the wolf. Soon enough the sun would rise” (Dance Jon XII).

The hour of the wolf is the blackest hour of the night—right before the dawn. Jon, the white wolf, armored in black ice, with red Dawn in his fist. A proven Stark wielding the earned Stark sword. The Hour of the Wolf brings Dawn.

The End

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Great OP. I'd really love to have something to debate about this or a new idea, but I really think you covered it all. I still think ALJ would simplify things, but I agree there's nothing here that would insist on that being the case.

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Great OP. I'd really love to have something to debate about this or a new idea, but I really think you covered it all. I still think ALJ would simplify things, but I agree there's nothing here that would insist on that being the case.

:cheers:

And you're right on ALJ--I think I may be in a bit of denial.

 

On new topics--from the last thread:

 

@LADY DYANNA

Posted Today, 12:09 AM2. Agree on the fire magic. And that Asshai is parallel to heart of winter in Bran's dream.

In one way, I almost agree with this. However, might we not possibly see a parallel with Valyria in the destruction at Hardhome? No one seems to know what happened there either. In addition it is attributed with a similar description to Valyria after its destruction, to the point that I've seen speculation that the destruction there was caused by a volcano. Maybe it was an icy parallel to Valyria's Fire magic destruction.

 

Me: I agree on Hardhome. Problem is--burned up. Like the other places. Everyone knows to be afraid, but the stories are lacking. Whereas in the North, there are fables and tales of how to behave and not.

 

@LADY DYANNA

Posted Today, 12:36 AM

snapback.png

[spoiler]I agree--the red door with Darry she sees in HotU has transformed--and really think that's not a good sign. As you said a little bit back, Dany's one of the most ethical and moral people in the books. She has a strong sense of empathy--derived in part from her own helpless, frightened past.
 
Embracing the dragon, flying, burning--these things are NOT human. They consume. They cause her pain and fill the air with ash. Her descriptions of embracing the fire sound like Mel--and we know how that went.
 
Dany's most human, sympathetic, family-based memory is being consumed in her desire for dragons. Home=dragons, NOT humanity or family. This seems like a problem.
 
Agree--she sees her dragons as protection. But dragons are at least a double-edged sword. Dance of the Dragons, Asshai, Valyria--plenty of evidence that relying on fire magic and dragons vs. humanity and sympathy create serious problems.
 
So, am thinking that Dany's belief in safety is skewed--the dragons only keep her "safe" if she doesn't over-rely on them. Like many of the Targ kings. Like the Valyrians--but her sense of humanity is being subsumed in the dragons, as shown by the quotes LmL just gave.
 
ETA: And, yes, you have the meaning of "ninjaed" right--far as I know.  [/spoiler]

 But to take it one step further, might this be just a step in the direction that she needs to go and not the final destination? She needs to associate herself with the dragons and with fire and blood to get to ultimate end game, her strong control over both. We see this in the beginning with the Stark kids as well. The I'm not a wolf syndrome. It is only in accepting that the dire wolves are a part of them, that they are able to in the end gain control over the wolves as opposed to allowing the wolves to control them.

 

Me: Agreed--but Bran is also getting advice on the dangers of over-identifying with and getting lost in Summer. How it messes up his ability to live as and with humans. And Rickon seems rather far gone.

 

Seems like they need to connect, but also balance. So, I guess I'm mostly worried about Dany's losing balance.

 

ETA:

@LADY DYANNA

 Posted Today, 01:21 AM

Lady Dyanna, on 13 Sept 2015 - 2:34 PM, said:

I haven't gotten very far as of yet. I just happened to notice the colors fading to b&w when Sansa goes down a spiral stair and out into the garden of snow. I think there's a lot of foreshadowing in the scene that follows. Then I kept reading and when Sansa later goes to meet Lysa in the throne room I caught that echo feeling. I have a thread open over on The Last Hearth trying to do a reread and SW has been helping me out. I haven't had a lot of time to put into it as of yet unfortunately.

 

Me: On that score--it's interesting (to me at least) that Jon's "ice is magic!" moment outside Craster's and Sansa' "snow is magic! and innocence!" moment at the Eyrie both happen at dawn. Yet Jon's is in light--life and color back to the world. Sansa's is in the grey light--down a spiral stair into a black and white world. More like death.

 

So, dawn for both of them--a liminal space, opening up access to see things not otherwise seen.

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i'm curious as to how you'd think he'll end up with dawn.  perhaps his milk brother bestows it upon him.

I'm hoping to see more of Edric--if for no other reason than I want that kid to get out of the mess alive--seems like a nice kid.

 

But I doubt he has the sword with him, and getting all the way back to Starfall and then back up to the Wall--the logistics of a normal, temporal moving of Dawn are difficult.

 

Which is why I think (emphasis on the uncertainty of this proposition) that the Sword of the Morning presenting itself to Jon might be a clue. Arthurian myths have swords that present themselves in time of need. Same with other traditions.

 

Might even explain why Dawn isn't in the North--has to go back to whence it came after purpose is fulfilled. We were playing ideas like those on the first thread. Don't think we came to a consensus, so very happy to hear all opinions.

 

But, to overcome the time and space issues, seems like a magical presentation might be an option.

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If magical, or at least following a legendary tradition, it will come from a stone or water, in actuality or metaphorically I would think.  But it will still need a human agent to transport it, I think, if it is currently in Dorne.  I say Darkstar has stolen it. but is sent to the Wall for cutting of Myrcella's ear, and Jon gets it from him after a fight.  Alternately, it's in the "stone" crypts in his mother's stone tomb?

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If magical, or at least following a legendary tradition, it will come from a stone or water, in actuality or metaphorically I would think.  But it will still need a human agent to transport it, I think, if it is currently in Dorne.  I say Darkstar has stolen it. but is sent to the Wall for cutting of Myrcella's ear, and Jon gets it from him after a fight.  Alternately, it's in the "stone" crypts in his mother's stone tomb?

Darkstar--workable. Though Dawn is a greatsword--might be hard to disguise on his way to the Wall.

 

Have a harder time with the idea of something hidden in the crypt--really think Ned took that sword back to Starfall. Unless you're saying someone else might have brought it North?

 

Legends of stone: the Stony Dornish--like the Daynes--First Men blood, different from the the other Dornish. Plus, as some of us were discussing elsewhere, the Yronwoods--blue eyed and blood--ironwoods are included in godswoods. But the wiki says they are native to the North. Seems odd for stony dornish, first men house to be called "Yronwoods"--what are they guarding in "We Guard the Way?" Guarding the Boneway, which is also called the Stone Way?

 

I may be engaging in random word association--but sound like "stone" has some potential associations here. 

 

As for legends of water--the Game prologue gets fairly descriptive in all the ways shifting light changes the color and appearance of the Others' weapons and armor. Ice-like armor. Ice and water--not too much of a stretch. So, sword coming from ice or water--possible.

 

But, as you say--Darkstar is in Dorne. A potential human conduit. And given how Martin deals with time and distances (aka: imprecisely)--Darkstar as carrier of weapon--has to be on the table of options.

 

And, responding to something from the last thread that I didn't get to before it closed: 

@Lady Barbery Posted Yesterday, 10:32 PM

[spoiler]Absolutely agree.  But the dragons are  fact for her now.  And needed.  Here's the thing: if you look at almost any hero in folklore and history, they are all flawed.  King Arthur murdered a bunch of children trying to rub out the sin of Mordred, a fact conveniently forgotten when we look back at that romantic age.  Achilles was an asshole but the Greeks thought him the greatest hero of all time.  The Irish heroes are often the worst.  But these heroes partake in a kind of divinity, something larger than themselves that shines.  That might be why they're always being turned into constellations. I think it's brilliant how George is constructing that: a vulnerable human girl with something divine (malignantly or benevolently, I fear the former) in her that makes her something more than human.  She can reject that or she can embrace it, and she's going to embrace it, I think, burning out some of that humanity.  The nice thing about Dany is that she is compassionate, she is human, she does want to do the right thing.  If those dragons were born to Drogo or Viserys or anyone else, the world would burn.  Dany has a chance to not let that happen.  There will be burning for sure, she might do some horrid things, but if she keeps some scraps of humanity, she could well help save the world.  The same I would argue is happening to Arya..  And maybe Jon when he wakes up.  They are based on heroic archetypes, and every now and then you notice the archetype take over.  Like when Arya could have killed the Hound for mercy.  She slipped into her Valkyrie/Lady Justice role right then, the scales were balanced for the Hound, so she let Fate take its course.  The decision wasn't hers to make.  I truly love how George is dealing with this archetype/human theme.[/spoiler]

Agree with all of the bolded--am just worried that A: Dany goes too far and brings herself down (like many mythic heroes) and B: that others misread her mistakes as evil--think she's the Mad King come again or something--and then they take her out. before she can reunite the country.

 

And fully agree on how Martin uses the archetypes-made-flesh in his novels. It does enable him to make heroes without making paragons. 

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alright i think this thread might be ok for me to lay down my little theory

 

so after the BSE usurped the AE and the long night happened. the great empire of the dawn splintered throughout the world such as the dothraki sea, valyria and westeros. in danys visions during her trip to the house of the undying, we get a glimpse of these mighty beings with their pale bladed swords on fire.

 

one such blade made it to westeros. we know it by the name Dawn. this magnificent sword crafted by the ppl from the great empire of the dawn with their magical spells was used by azor ahai.

 

the daynes are first men related, but they did not know how to make such weapons. so after the long night ended, the hero of our story AA did the most logical thing  after being submitted to winter like weather for ages and traveled as far south as u can almost get to what we know as starfall.

 

it is most likely that the sword was made from either a comet or possibly from the moon, but this meteor did not land where starfall is. we all know about the tale of how azor ahai forged his weapon. if u subscribe to the LmL's theory on how the first long night happened. then u know that a comet collided with a moon to start a chain reaction of events.

 

this event, can also be seen as the depiction of azor ahai forging his weapon lightbringer. but in this case the sun(azor ahai) thrust his weapon a comet(lightbringer) through the moon(nissa nissa).

 

as we all know the sun is a star. so the fallen star in the dayne sigil can also be representing azor ahai. starfall is named after where azor ahai landed to make his home.

 

it is prophesized that azor ahai will come again. the daynes only let ppl who they deem worthy to wield their ancient sword, almost like they are waiting for some past hero to come again, hoping that day will come.

 

to me they are one in the same. the same prophecy just from different regions.  just like the tales of all the different heroes that have been said to end the long night. 1 story just with many tellings.

 

Jon is azor ahai come again so in default is also the sword of the morning, he doesnt need Dawn to be so.

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Darkstar--workable. Though Dawn is a greatsword--might be hard to disguise on his way to the Wall.

 

Have a harder time with the idea of something hidden in the crypt--really think Ned took that sword back to Starfall. Unless you're saying someone else might have brought it North?

 

Legends of stone: the Stony Dornish--like the Daynes--First Men blood, different from the the other Dornish. Plus, as some of us were discussing elsewhere, the Yronwoods--blue eyed and blood--ironwoods are included in godswoods. But the wiki says they are native to the North. Seems odd for stony dornish, first men house to be called "Yronwoods"--what are they guarding in "We Guard the Way?" Guarding the Boneway, which is also called the Stone Way?

 

I may be engaging in random word association--but sound like "stone" has some potential associations here. 

 

As for legends of water--the Game prologue gets fairly descriptive in all the ways shifting light changes the color and appearance of the Others' weapons and armor. Ice-like armor. Ice and water--not too much of a stretch. So, sword coming from ice or water--possible.

 

But, as you say--Darkstar is in Dorne. A potential human conduit. And given how Martin deals with time and distances (aka: imprecisely)--Darkstar as carrier of weapon--has to be on the table of options.

 

And, responding to something from the last thread that I didn't get to before it closed: 

@Lady Barbery Posted Yesterday, 10:32 PM

[spoiler]Absolutely agree.  But the dragons are  fact for her now.  And needed.  Here's the thing: if you look at almost any hero in folklore and history, they are all flawed.  King Arthur murdered a bunch of children trying to rub out the sin of Mordred, a fact conveniently forgotten when we look back at that romantic age.  Achilles was an asshole but the Greeks thought him the greatest hero of all time.  The Irish heroes are often the worst.  But these heroes partake in a kind of divinity, something larger than themselves that shines.  That might be why they're always being turned into constellations. I think it's brilliant how George is constructing that: a vulnerable human girl with something divine (malignantly or benevolently, I fear the former) in her that makes her something more than human.  She can reject that or she can embrace it, and she's going to embrace it, I think, burning out some of that humanity.  The nice thing about Dany is that she is compassionate, she is human, she does want to do the right thing.  If those dragons were born to Drogo or Viserys or anyone else, the world would burn.  Dany has a chance to not let that happen.  There will be burning for sure, she might do some horrid things, but if she keeps some scraps of humanity, she could well help save the world.  The same I would argue is happening to Arya..  And maybe Jon when he wakes up.  They are based on heroic archetypes, and every now and then you notice the archetype take over.  Like when Arya could have killed the Hound for mercy.  She slipped into her Valkyrie/Lady Justice role right then, the scales were balanced for the Hound, so she let Fate take its course.  The decision wasn't hers to make.  I truly love how George is dealing with this archetype/human theme.[/spoiler]

Agree with all of the bolded--am just worried that A: Dany goes too far and brings herself down (like many mythic heroes) and B: that others misread her mistakes as evil--think she's the Mad King come again or something--and then they take her out. before she can reunite the country.

 

And fully agree on how Martin uses the archetypes-made-flesh in his novels. It does enable him to make heroes without making paragons. 

Well we've discussed this before and I've come to agree with your view that at least so far, Jon is not tempted by sorcery and rejects - to the bone - Craster's blood sacrifices.  Dany has shown no such rejection and even precipitates the death of Mirri by burning her alive, not in punishment, or not solely (depending on your point of view) but to birth dragons.  So her humanity is being partly burned out of her, and that is not a good thing for her as a person.  It might be a good thing for her as a hero, we will have to see. I definitely don't see her going the Mad King route.  And I don't see her being a full-fledged monster in any way.  I do see her becoming as single-minded as her brother Rhaegar, which we've been told was one of his defining characteristics.

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I was wondering when you were gonna post part 2. The discussion was so good on the last one, I figured you'd keep it rolling. I guess you'll have to repost when the update is through.

 

Thanks for the shoutout - I'm going to keep giving you a hard time though, in love of course. 

 

So, I'm just gonna leave these flies in the ointment right here, as I feel you're tossing out evidence which contradicts your conclusion that Dawn burns red. We already discussed this, so we don't to go round again, but it should be stated for the record.

The Sword of the Morning still hung in the south, the bright white star in its hilt blazing like a diamond in the dawnbut the blacks and greys of the darkling forest were turning once again to greens and golds, reds and russets

 

Here you've tossed out the green and gold as if they were not important to create this idea that Dawn turns things red. You're right to say it returns color - but it returns all the colors. No preference for red. Green and gold are the colors of summer, they are important too. Dawn is returning color to the world by ending winter, which will lead to summer. 

 

Although sunrise can OCCASSIONALY be described as red in the books, it is usually pale light, grey mists, pinks, or the entire spectrum.  Yes, there are a couple of Red Dawns, as Voice pointed out, but sunset is ALWAYS described as red, with the occasionally purple thrown in. 


The maester did not believe in omens. And yet … old as he was, Cressen had never seen a comet half so bright, nor yet that color, that terrible color, the color of blood and flame and sunsets.

 
There is simply a much stronger case for a sword associated with nightfall to burn red. The burning red swords that we see in the story are always to be found in the darkness. I'm not saying you are necessarily wrong - but you are clearly cherry picking the data here to associate Dawn with red. 

The list of quotes associating nightfall with red fire would fill up the entire page.
 
The fact is, in Jon's dream, he is wielding Longclaw, which is made of black steel. That is a black steel sword, burning red.  
 
Is there a quote with the sword Dawn shining in the sun? I can't recall one. 
 
“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. He went to sleep with his head full of knights in gleaming armor, fighting with swords that shone like starfire, but when the dream came he was in the godswood again.
 
What color starfire? We have red and blue stars both. But what color is the star in the Sword of the Morning Constellation? White. 
 
I looked over the Tower of Joy dream - no mention of the sun. Certainly not gleaming on the blade of Dawn.
 
“And now it begins,” said Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. He unsheathed Dawn and held it with both hands. The blade was pale as milkglass, alive with light.
 
“No,” Ned said with sadness in his voice. “Now it ends.” As they came together in a rush of steel and shadow, he could hear Lyanna screaming. “Eddard!” she called. A storm of rose petals blew across a blood-streaked sky, as blue as the eyes of death.
 
Dawn is associated with beginnings, and it's alive with light. But this is no beginning here - "Now it ends." The we have steel and shadow.  The blood streaked sky (a red sky) is clearly associated with Lyanna's death. 
 
I'm not necessarily against Jon getting Dawn the sword (although it seems like a longshot), because I do think it is the original sword of the Starks, but I will be very surprised it if burns red.  Blood and fire, which are the red of sunset, are just so much more associated with death. When we do see a red dawn in the books, it is also death associated. That's not restoring color to the world or bringing hope. 
 
You said:
 
Me: On that score--it's interesting (to me at least) that Jon's "ice is magic!" moment outside Craster's and Sansa' "snow is magic! and innocence!" moment at the Eyrie both happen at dawn. Yet Jon's is in light--life and color back to the world. Sansa's is in the grey light--down a spiral stair into a black and white world. More like death.
 
I agree this scene outside Craster's is heavy foreshadowing for Jon to be bringing the dawn. At daybreak, everything is encased in ice - the term "icy brightness" is used - but again, no preference for red is shown. It's another "all the colors" scene. This makes sense, because the Wall, which is made of Ice, throws rainbows in the light. Rainbows come from crystals also - and the Others have crystal swords. Dawn is pale as milkglass, like the Others' bones. Dawn is called a "pale sword," and the Others' swords are called "pale swords." The Others swords are alive with moonlight, and Dawn is alive with light. NOT SUNLIGHT - it never says that. It has its own glow. That comes from the magical pale stone from which it was made. Everything about Dawn is ice symbolism. Rainbows, icy brightness - its white light. It's like the opposite of the light of the black dragonglass candle. That light is weird and discomforting, and the shadows are like holes in the world. The brightness is unpleasant. Compare that to the magical dawn / sunrise scenes, which are marked by "pale light" - this phrase is never used with sunset, always with sunrise or the moonlight. Dawn light is pale - not burning red. And Dawn the sword is pale. 

The Great Empire of the DAWN had swords of Pale Fire, not red fire:
 
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 AmethystTourmaline and Jade. "Faster," they cried. "Faster, faster!"
 
The red fire sword of Azor Ahai only appears when the Long Night falls. Before the Long Night, in the Dawn Age, we had no red fire sword, but we did have these pale fire ones. 
 
Red fire is associated with black things. Targaryen colors, red and black. They come at nightfall.
 
Jon Snow turned away. The last light of the sun 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.
 
This is from the same chapter where Jon dreams of fighting the Others with a black steel blade burning red in his fist, armored in black ice. Here we see that at nightfall, red fire leads to color draining from the world - from grey to black - which is the opposite of the Dawn process of returning light and all colors to the world.  At nightfall, the place where we previously saw the blue rose, a crack / chink in the Wall, turns from red fire to black ice. Ned's "Ice" is in fact black (a grey so dark it looked black). Opposite of Dawn's pale nature, black steel has a "dark glow." When it is split into Oathkeeper and Widows Wail, the colors are described as "waves of night and blood." Since we know that blood red is fire red, the red fire is symbolically equivalent with blood. The rivers of black ice sound a lot like waves of night. Ned's sword, "black Ice,"is a match to Jon's dreams of manning the Wall and this scene above. Waves of night and blood, red fire and black ice. 
 
“You will not hear me scream,” Mirri responded as the oil dripped from her hair and soaked her clothing.
 
“I will,” Dany said, “but it is not your screams I want, only your life. I remember what you told me. Only death can pay for life.” Mirri Maz Duur opened her mouth, but made no reply. As she stepped away, Dany saw that the contempt was gone from the maegi’s flat black eyes; in its place was something that might have been fear. Then there was nothing to be done but watch the sun (as in watch the sun go down) and look for the first star.
 
When a horselord dies, his horse is slain with him, so he might ride proud into the night lands. The bodies are burned beneath the open sky, and the khal rises on his fiery steed to take his place among the stars. The more fiercely the man burned in life, the brighter his star will shine in the darkness.
 
Jhogo spied it first. “There,” he said in a hushed voice. Dany looked and saw it, low in the east. The first star was a comet, burning red. Bloodred; fire red; the dragon’s tail. She could not have asked for a stronger sign.
 
[...]
 
She could smell the odor of burning flesh, no different than horseflesh roasting in a firepit. The pyre roared in the deepening dusk like some great beast, drowning out the fainter sound of Mirri Maz Duur’s screaming and sending up long tongues of flame to lick at the belly of the night. As the smoke grew thicker, the Dothraki backed away, coughing. Huge orange gouts of fire unfurled their banners in that hellish wind, the logs hissing and cracking, glowing cinders rising on the smoke to float away into the dark like so many newborn fireflies. The heat beat at the air with great red wings, driving the Dothraki back, driving off even Mormont, but Dany stood her ground. She was the blood of the dragon, and the fire was in her.
 
This is a kind of opposite Jon's SOTM experience. He sees the white star in Dawn's hilt as night is evaporating, while here Dany sees the red star when night falls. 
 
When the comet appears at daybreak, in book two, it burns against the dawn:
 
The comet’s tail spread across the dawn, a red slash that bled above the crags of Dragonstone like a wound in the pink and purple sky.
 
The Dawn sky is pink and purple, and the red comet "crosses" it like two swords crossing, and "slashes" at the dawn sky like a sword. Red comet, antagonistic to the dawn in this scene. And indeed, this is what I propose - Dawn, the original ice, a white blade with pale light or perhaps pale fire if it lights up, crossing against a black sword which burns red. The comet, which is a dragon-stone, bleeds over the crags of dragon-stone. And what color is dragonstone? It's black. Black and red, the colors of the dragon. 

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That night she lay upon her thin blanket on the hard ground, staring up at the great red comet. The comet was splendid and scary

all at once. “The Red Sword,” the Bull named it; he claimed it looked like a sword, the blade still red-hot from the forge. When Arya squinted the right way she could see the sword too, only it wasn’t a new sword, it was Ice, her father’s greatsword, all ripply Valyrian steel, and the red was Lord Eddard’s blood on the blade after Ser Ilyn the King’s Justice had cut off his head. Yoren had made her look away when it happened, yet it seemed to her that the comet looked like Ice must have, after.
 
When at last she slept, she dreamed of home. The kingsroad wound its way past Winterfell on its way to the Wall, and Yoren had promised he’d leave her there with no one any wiser about who she’d been. She yearned to see her mother again, and Robb and Bran and Rickon … but it was Jon Snow she thought of most. She wished somehow they could come to the Wall before Winterfell, so Jon might muss up her hair and call her “little sister.” She’d tell him, “I missed you,” and he’d say it too at the very same moment, the way they always used to say things together. She would have liked that. She would have liked that better than anything.
 
Here's the thing Sly Wren - I totally agree with your thematic analysis. Jon rejects blood sacrifice, instead becoming a sacrifice himself. Bu the only way a sword ever turns red is through blood sacrifice of others. The comet is compared directly to Ned's sword, covered in blood, and lest we think george is somehow referring to original Ice (Dawn), he notes the "Valyrian steel" aspect of it. That's burning red comet, which resembles a black sword covered in blood. Blood red = fire red. 
 
Lightbringer turns red in the Azor Ahai story when it is thrust into Nissa Nissa's heart. Beric's sword burns red (in the darkness of the cave) when he coats it with blood. Black Valyrian steel is made with blood sacrifice. Ned's black Ice becomes covered in blood, so he dips it in the black pond to clean it.  Blood, darkness, death, nightfall, and the comet. Glass candles also seem to require blood to activate. All Valyrian magic is rooted in blood and fire - and they make black swords through a magic process. 

If Jon is rejecting blood sacrifice and dark sorcery, he should NOT, under any circumstances, have a red sword. What happens in his dream when his sword is red? He acts out the actions of the Bloodstone Emperor, usurping and murdering his sibling, and of Azor Ahai, murdering his love with a black sword burning red. Red fire sword always equals death. Jon can't tell his friends from his enemies with that red sword. 
 
It's this pale WHITE sword which returns color to the world, and is associated with beginnings.  Again, it needs be said, the only occurrences of a red dawn are heavily death-aspected, not associated with hope. In the Arya scene above, after thinking about Ned's Valyrian steel sword covered in blood and the red comet, she thinks of Jon Snow. She despairs because she knows she cannot go to the Wall and say hi, though she wishes she could. 
 
So in other words, if that white sword does burn red, that means it's received blood sacrifice, and that probably won't be a good thing. 
 
One last thought - the NW vows say "I am the sword in the darkness." The Black Brother itself is a sword. In the darkness. And the black brothers are black. Jon IS his sword - and his sword is black steel Longclaw, which burns red. Jon himself is armored in black ice, just like his sword. The NW brothers are black shadows, an opposite to the Other's pale shadows and white shadows. If a NW brother is a sword, he's a black sword. 
 
The black brothers moved through black shadows amidst black rocks, working their way up a steep, twisting trail as their breath frosted in the black air.
 
Up they went, and up, and up, black shadows creeping across the moonlit wall of rock.
 
Once he had watched a shadowcat stalk a ram, flowing down the mountainside like liquid smoke until it was ready to pounce. Now it is our turn to pounce. He wished he could move as sure and silent as that shadowcat, and kill as quickly. Longclaw was sheathed across his back, but he might not have room to use it. He carried dirk and dagger for closer work. They will have weapons as well, and I am not armored. He wondered who would prove the shadowcat by night’s end, and who the ram.
 
Of course Jon does draw Longclaw, almost killing a moon maiden kissed by fire (Nissa Nissa figure). So, the black brothers are black shadows, they are comported to the shadowcat, which is like liquid smoke. 
 
Throughout this chapter, the NW are acting like the comet. We have a ranger named Ebben (think ebony, black) who is misled lie a bag of rocks. Then we have the black brother stone snake - another comet idea. Jon of course is AA reborn, so he's a comet by default.   This chapter starts of with talk of a red fire like a fallen star, which burns against the black mountains. 
 
They could see the fire in the night, glimmering against the side of the mountain like a fallen star. It burned redder than the other stars, and did not twinkle, though sometimes it flared up bright and sometimes dwindled down to no more than a distant spark, dull and faint.
 
Half a mile ahead and two thousand feet up, Jon judged, and perfectly placed to see anything moving in the pass below. “Watchers in the Skirling Pass,” (usually the NW are the watchers, and they battle the wights with fire. The watchers here also wield fire as weapon as one attacks with a burning brand. Night watchers = red fire) wondered the oldest among them. In the spring of his youth, he had been squire to a king, so the black brothers still called him Squire Dalbridge. “What is it Mance Rayder fears, I wonder?”
 
“If he knew they’d lit a fire, he’d flay the poor bastards,” said Ebben, a squat bald man muscled like a bag of rocks.
 
“Fire is life up here,” said Qhorin Halfhand, “but it can be death as well.” By his command, they’d risked no open flames since entering the mountains.
 

 

“They’ll have a horn,” said Stonesnake.
 
The Halfhand said, “A horn they must not blow.”
 
“That’s a long cruel climb by night,” Ebben said as he eyed the distant spark through a cleft in the rocks that sheltered them. The sky was cloudless, the jagged mountains rising black on black until the very top, where their cold crowns of snow and ice shone palely in the moonlight.
 
Ice = light, but pale light. The red fire burns against jagged black stone. Later on in the chapter:
 
Dawn and Qhorin Halfhand arrived together. The black stones had turned to grey and the eastern sky had gone indigo when Stonesnake spied the rangers below, wending their way upward. Jon woke his captive and held her by the arm as they descended to meet them.
 
This is JUST AFTER the armored in black ice with burning red sword quote (like one page later):
 
He rose and dressed in darkness, as Mormont’s raven muttered across the room. “Corn,” the bird said, and, “King,” and, “Snow, Jon Snow, Jon Snow.” That was queer. The bird had never said his full name before, as best Jon could recall. He broke his fast in the cellar with his officers. Fried bread, fried eggs, blood sausages, and barley porridge made up the meal, washed down with thin yellow beer. As they ate they went over the preparations yet again. “All is in readiness,” Bowen Marsh assured him. “If the wildlings uphold the terms of the bargain, all will go as you’ve commanded.” And if not, it may turn to blood and carnage. “Remember,” Jon said, “Tormund’s people are hungry, cold, and fearful. Some of them hate us as much as some of you hate them. We are dancing on rotten ice here, them and us. One crack, and we all drown. If blood should be shed today, it had best not be one of us who strikes the first blow, or I swear by the old gods and the new that I will have the head of the man who strikes it.”
 
Read that first sentence a different way, and he is dressing himself in robes of darkness, like being armored in black ice. The there is talk of rotten ice - and rotten ice is dark in color. It's treacherous, and leads to bloodshed.  A bit later in this same chapter:
 
On either end of the long tunnel, gates swung open and iron bars unlocked. Dawn light shimmered on the ice above, pink and gold and purple. Dolorous Edd had not been wrong. The Wall would soon be weeping. Gods grant it weeps alone.
 
It is the previous chapter at nightfall that Jon sees the streaks of red fire turning to rivers of black ice. But Dawn brings all the colors, and red is not even mentioned here.  Now to be fair, just before this, before the sun rises, there is a "deep red blush to the east." But that happens before the sun comes up, as the stars are going out. The dawn light itself has no red here. The sword in the darkness burns red, and brings the dawn, seems to be the message. But when dawn arrives, there is no more red. Dawn itself brings all the colors back. 
 
Also from this chapter:
 
Tormund turned back. “You know nothing. You killed a dead man, aye, I heard. Mance killed a hundred. A man can fight the dead, but when their masters come, when the white mists rise up … how do you fight a mist, crow? Shadows with teeth … air so cold it hurts to breathe, like a knife inside your chest … you do not know, you cannot know … can your sword cut cold?”
 
We will see, Jon thought, remembering the things that Sam had told him, the things he’d found in his old books. Longclaw had been forged in the fires of old Valyria, forged in dragonflame and set with spells. Dragonsteel, Sam called it. Stronger than any common steel, lighter, harder, sharper … But words in a book were one thing. The true test came in battle.
 
This is from the previous chapter where Jon sees red fire and black ice as the sun sets:
 
“Lord Bowen, you shall collect the tolls. The gold and silver, the amber, the torques and armbands and necklaces. Sort it all, count it, see that it reaches Eastwatch safely.”
 
“Yes, Lord Snow,” said Bowen Marsh.
 
And Jon thought, “Ice,” she said, “and daggers in the dark. Blood frozen red and hard, and naked steel.” His sword hand flexed. The wind was rising.
 
Compare these icy daggers in the darkness with frozen blood to the dawn light here:
 
As she slept amidst the rolling grasslands, Catelyn dreamt that Bran was whole again, that Arya and Sansa held hands, that Rickon was still a babe at her breast. Robb, crownless, played with a wooden sword, and when all were safe asleep, she found Ned in her bed, smiling. Sweet it was, sweet and gone too soon. Dawn came cruel, a dagger of light.  
(ACOK, Catelyn)
 
More darkness daggers:
 
Then the dragon opened its mouth, and light and heat washed over them. Behind a fence of sharp black teeth he glimpsed the furnace glow, the shimmer of a sleeping fire a hundred times brighter than his torch.  (ADWD, The Dragontamer)
 
He had expected to find them impressive, perhaps even frightening. He had not thought to find them beautiful. Yet they were. As black as onyx, polished smooth, so the bone seemed to shimmer in the light of his torch. They liked the fire, he sensed. He’d thrust the torch into the mouth of one of the larger skulls and made the shadows leap and dance on the wall behind him. The teeth were long, curving knives of black diamond. The flame of the torch was nothing to them; they had bathed in the heat of far greater fires. When he had moved away, Tyrion could have sworn that the beast’s empty eye sockets had watched him go.
 
Tyrion stood in that dank cellar for a long time, staring at Balerion’s huge, empty-eyed skull until his torch burned low, trying to grasp the size of the living animal, to imagine how it must have looked when it spread its great black wings and swept across the skies, breathing fire.
 
Arya got to her feet, moving warily. The heads were all around her. She touched one, curious, wondering if it was real. Her fingertips brushed a massive jaw. It felt real enough. The bone was smooth beneath her hand, cold and hard to the touch. She ran her fingers down a tooth, black and sharp, a dagger made of darkness. It made her shiver.
 
Another skull loomed ahead, the biggest monster of all, but Arya did not even slow. She leapt over a ridge of black teeth as tall as swords, dashed through hungry jaws, and threw herself against the door.
 
If the room with the monsters had been dark, the hall was the blackest pit in the seven hells.
 
 

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Great OP, Sly Wren! I am very busy lately and pretty much absent from the forum, so I am really glad I noticed this, nice work  :cheers:

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Great OP, Sly Wren! I am very busy lately and pretty much absent from the forum, so I am really glad I noticed this, nice work  :cheers:

:cheers: Thanks!

 

Great read Sly Wren!

I'd love to see Jon somehow wielding Dawn

:cheers: Thanks! And amen--how Jon gets Dawn? That should be interesting.

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Well we've discussed this before and I've come to agree with your view that at least so far, Jon is not tempted by sorcery and rejects - to the bone - Craster's blood sacrifices.  Dany has shown no such rejection and even precipitates the death of Mirri by burning her alive, not in punishment, or not solely (depending on your point of view) but to birth dragons.  So her humanity is being partly burned out of her, and that is not a good thing for her as a person.  It might be a good thing for her as a hero, we will have to see. I definitely don't see her going the Mad King route.  And I don't see her being a full-fledged monster in any way.  I do see her becoming as single-minded as her brother Rhaegar, which we've been told was one of his defining characteristics.

I agree. Am thinking that focus could backfire. Like it might have for Rhaegar. And Like it clearly has for Jon--though he was helped by a completely lack of communicative skills.

 

Could see Dany's being full of good (if single-minded) intent--backed by dragons and Dothraki. And that combo gets misread and--problems.

 

[spoiler]alright i think this thread might be ok for me to lay down my little theory

 

so after the BSE usurped the AE and the long night happened. the great empire of the dawn splintered throughout the world such as the dothraki sea, valyria and westeros. in danys visions during her trip to the house of the undying, we get a glimpse of these mighty beings with their pale bladed swords on fire.

 

one such blade made it to westeros. we know it by the name Dawn. this magnificent sword crafted by the ppl from the great empire of the dawn with their magical spells was used by azor ahai.

 

the daynes are first men related, but they did not know how to make such weapons. so after the long night ended, the hero of our story AA did the most logical thing  after being submitted to winter like weather for ages and traveled as far south as u can almost get to what we know as starfall.

 

it is most likely that the sword was made from either a comet or possibly from the moon, but this meteor did not land where starfall is. we all know about the tale of how azor ahai forged his weapon. if u subscribe to the LmL's theory on how the first long night happened. then u know that a comet collided with a moon to start a chain reaction of events.

 

this event, can also be seen as the depiction of azor ahai forging his weapon lightbringer. but in this case the sun(azor ahai) thrust his weapon a comet(lightbringer) through the moon(nissa nissa).

 

as we all know the sun is a star. so the fallen star in the dayne sigil can also be representing azor ahai. starfall is named after where azor ahai landed to make his home.

 

it is prophesized that azor ahai will come again. the daynes only let ppl who they deem worthy to wield their ancient sword, almost like they are waiting for some past hero to come again, hoping that day will come.

 

to me they are one in the same. the same prophecy just from different regions.  just like the tales of all the different heroes that have been said to end the long night. 1 story just with many tellings.

 

Jon is azor ahai come again so in default is also the sword of the morning, he doesnt need Dawn to be so.[/spoiler]

1. I like this!! Agree re: the pale bladed burning swords. Given "Great Empire of the Dawn" and sword named Dawn wielded by VERY early First Men who do NOT look like Starks--this seems very likely.

 

2. I am not yet sold on LmL's long night theory. But the fact that AA made Dawn and brought it south--maybe. But the Long Night and all of the heroes--agree that it's one night with one story--but that doesn't preclude multiple heroes or stories getting mixed together.

The Northern Long Night story (per Nan) stresses there was NOT a singular hero. But a man who works with companions and the Children. AA story focuses on a single figure--sacrificing another, but still a single figure. Slaying a monster. Suggests that the stories have gotten mixed--likely with stories of other heroes. So, all remember a Long Night, but mix it with other hero legends.

 

But Nan's stories hold for the North. Really think that's the key--a man with companions/allies, not a single figure, asking for magical help. The oath said at the Black Gate--men working as a single entity as one sword and shield.

 

3. Bottom line--agree that AA is a pattern/archetype. To be an AA figure (slaying monsters) one does not need the original sword. THis is why I suspect that it is Brienne or Jaime. Heroes developing along with a broken sword.

 

But while the Last Hero story has similarities with AA, really think it's the pattern for the North. And that the sword that looks like the Wall is needed at the Wall.

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im more inclined to believe that the last hero and azor ahai are not one and the same but actual 2 different figures that did great deeds during the long night.

 

for instance, the long night would never have ended if not from the help of the last hero. but his deeds go unknown and doesnt get any recognition. kinda like bran

 

while azor ahai is seen by many as he delivers the killing stroke to end the darkness and gets all the praise and glory. like what jon might get.

 

just my 2 cents

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