Hello everyone, and hello any old friends that may remember me from my theorycrafting days of the past.
Anyway, what brings me back to the board is my belief and interest with the "Great Empire of the Dawn being connected to House Dayne/Hightower" theories that have been put forth. I honestly think that the whole Dawn Empire basically gives us the history, or the majority of the history, that deals with the Long Night. I think it basically goes to show that ultimately Fire and Ice warring began at the beginning of known human civilization. From what we at least know, the Great Empire of the Dawn predates even the First Men being in Westeros. However I think there is proof that definitely shows how so far things have happened in PAIRS throughout history.
Basically during the first "Long Night" it's not called the long night necessarily but known as when the Lion of the Night (Lion of the NIght an Long night somewhat sound similar) punished man for the supposed shame of the Maiden made of Light. This is the first time that we see a Night v Light deities that are paired with each other. I think this is ultimately what turned into R'hllor v the Great Other, especially since R'Hllorism started in Asshai, which many people believe is the capitol of what used to be the Dawn Empire. WELL, as the first Long Night that happened would have been what kicked off the whole ice v fire imbalance, then the Grey Waste is definitely the ice catastrophe, and whatever happened with Asshai and the Shadow is the result of the fire catastrophe. You now know that the "Heart of Darkness" now resides in these lands around Asshai, but what happens to the Heart if Winter which presumably would have also been there? Well you take these two warring elements far far away from each other.....and we know that even though the Dawn Empire spread super far and wide, the only remaining reminence being Yi Ti and Leng....sooo where did all those other people go, the survivors of the catastrophes that made their lands uninhabitable?
Thus enter the First Men, and the Valyrians. you have a tide of people moving East. So lets say that some of them come to Valyria and see that its volcanic....a land that kind of like Asshai. And there definitely seems like the people who settled Asshai may have done so for its volcanic origins....as its also said that it may have been people from ASSHAI AKA THE DAWN EMPIRE THAT TAUGHT THE VALYRIANS ABOUT THE DRAGONS. So what if they set up a colony there knowing that in the future it could perhaps return them to their former selves......but ok they have to push out some people for it.....and then those people become the First Men of Westeros. Not only the First Men, but perhaps even some of the people from the Dawn Empire, especialy those wh are trying to take the Heart of Winter as far as possible. So they cross the narrow sea, those with the Heart of Winter going as far as they can North, the others who don't want to be a part of either power going as far west as possible. This would somewhat mirror the way House Targaryen came to Dragonstone along with the Celtigar and Velaryons.
However then the power of the ICE goes erratic in the North. The Long Night comes again and cuts through the nations of the First Men. Until the family of that came from the Dawn Empire, what may now be House Hightower, finally intercede with perhaps knowledge they remember or find from when they fled the Dawn Empire. this of course would be a kind of "chosen family" like the Targaryens were. The girst Sword of the Morning is made as he wields Dawn and goes North. Where he finds the Last Hero, Brandon the Builder who has successfully made a pact with the Children of the Forest. With both of their knowledge and power combined, they cast down the Long Night, and build a Wall so no one can ever find the Heart of Winter and its power. Brandon the Builder creates the three eyed crow or becomes the first in the line of "Brandons" that guards House Stark, who will guard where Winterfell. The other Hero goes back home but wants to keep the sword and what happened in memory, especially calling back to the Dawn Empire, so he creates a House based on his sword, (which is mirrored later by Daemon Blackfyre doing to House Targaryen) and possibly even declares his bloodline royal. This suddenly puts him above everyone else around House Hightower, so this somewhat breaks ties.
The Long Night is gone now and steeped in memory, but it changed Westeros.
To where if you go to Essos, you find it changed much later but by the other element.....perhaps people who wanted the Heart of Darkness (fire) to come again, as remember there are heavy implications that Valyrians were taught dragoncraft by the Asshai'i- EVEN TO THIS DAY.....
Valyria comes, creates the empire, but then ultimately gets destroyed and it changed Essos. The difference there being that you had a people that already possibly had magic in their blood, that could harness power. But it also appears that the Valyrians simply KNEW to stay away from Westeros. There is no record or anything pointing the Valyrian's even ever thinking of attempting to come to Westeros...why? Because they had prior knowledge about the power that lived there. They were content with Dragonstone where they could watch and trade but never be close enough to get noticed by the other power.
-We only hear about the things being the "Heart Of" twice within the series. You see when Bran goes North and sees the curtain of LIGHT that he associates with the Heart of Winter....as when he sees the heart he doesn't describe it with other than fear..he never talks of darkness, though.
-Then in the World Book you have the lands of Asshai being described as being the Heart of Darkness or Heart of Shadow.
-This is interesting as both places have seemed extremely prejudiced and themed with them being the center for their proper magical element. It is said that dragons first came from Asshai, as did R'hllorism- so you have the two most powerful magic essences of fire coming from this place. As to where the Heart of Winter is obviously the home to White Walkers, possibly Ice Dragons and who knows what else.
-The word Dawn is almost always associated with Long Night in the series. War of Dawn was how the Long Night 2 ended, Empire of Great DAWN is what began the Long Night's in the first place. It seems only appropriate that House DAYne, wielders of DAWN, who are sword of the MORNING- have to do with the Long Night as well.
-House Hightower has a penchant for knowledge and sorcery.....while also having at least 3 members of the family being described with PROTOVALYRIAN appearances. It is also said that Ulthos Hightower (the progenitor of the House) took the DRAGON(s) out at Battle Isle....for someone to do this, especially at a time during the First Men....it could stand that he possibly had knowledge of dragons or a way to control/kill them.
-It's possible that the progenitors of House Hightower could have even come with the very first wave of First Men or before. If Battle Isle was an outpost like Dragonstone was for Valyria, the Hightowers could have mirrored the Targaryens in getting out way ahead of any DOOM like situation.
-We definitely see much of this falling into the "time is a cycle" theme, which Martin employs and eludes to very much so in the series and elsewhere.
-Valyria was a smaller version of the Great Empire of Dawn, and only experienced the fire side of chaos and the Doom. Much like the Long Night 2 was probably only slightly what happened during the Great Empire of Dawn as well.
It's tinfoil-y I know. But in many ways I feel like Martin kinda comes off that he has answered many of the questions people have asked within the content provided, people just need to piece them together.