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Black Crow

Heresy 218 a brief walk on the dark side

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8 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

While I also favor reading Lightbringer as a sword, of all of the oft-proposed alternative readings for Lightbringer - that it's Jon, that it's the Watch, that it's Dany's dragons, etc. - I think reading Lightbringer as Drogon, specifically, is the least tortured metaphorical alternative; the pyre occurs beneath the bleeding star, he was drawn from the fire, he can be 'clasped' and wielded by Dany as a weapon, he fits Aemon's expectation that Lightbringer will burn with a heat all its own, and he literally breathes red fire (well...red and black).

The only question I would have is whether or not Melisandre's expectation that AA will be associated with "waking dragons from stone" is a part of the main text of the prophesy - AA will forge Lightbringer and wake dragons from stone, as separate distinct acts - or whether she's conflating several different texts, which would allow for some overlap.

I'm rather of the view that the sword is a red herring. What's more important is the protagonist who draws the sword from the stone or wakes the dragons - and I certainly wouldn't rule out the protagonist in question being multiple individuals

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I think the forging is literal as well.  AA forges the sword in water in a first attempt as a normal part of the process.  The sword shatters.  Step 2 involves the heart of a lion which I don't take literally.  In this case, I think the lion is a king or king's blood is involved. Step 3 in the heart of his beloved.  In this case, I think a bonded female dragon.

We're told that AA once slew a beast and the sword was warm to the touch afterwards, presuming it wasn't beforehand.  The description of the beast and Dany transformation in spiritual fire are virtually the same.    

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

Now, if a sword is a person, how does this work?  Do we have a great hero clasping another person, and drawing that person from a fire, and the person is burning red?

Clasping is joining, allying, befriending, pledging:

Quote

He smiled.  “Lord Eddard Stark, I would name you the Hand of the King.”

Ned dropped to one knee...

The king reached down, clasped Ned by the hand, and pulled him roughly to his feet.

Quote

Tyrion found himself oddly touched.  “Most of my kin are bastards,” he said with a wry smile, “but you’re the first I’ve had to friend.”  He pulled a glove off with his teeth and clasped Snow by the hand, flesh against flesh.  The boy’s grip was firm and strong.

Quote

Gren nodded, and Sam clasped Jon’s hand, “You’re my brother now, so he’s my father too,” the fat boy said.  “If you want to go out to the weirwoods and pray to the old gods, I’ll go with you.”

Quote

The tall girl knelt awkwardly, unsheathed Renly’s longsword, and laid it at her feet.  “Then I am yours, my lady.  Your liege man, or ... whatever you would have me be.  I will shield your back and keep your counsel and give my life for yours, if need be.  I swear it by the old gods and the new.”

”And I vow that you shall always have a place by my hearth and meat and mead at my table, and pledge to ask no service of you that might bring you into dishonor.  I swear it by the old gods and the new.  Arise.”  As she clasped the other woman’s hands between her own, Catelyn could not help but smile.  How many times did I watch Ned accept a man’s oath of service?  She wondered what he would think if he could see he

Drawing the sword from the fire.  In other words, drawing the person from his furnace, the environment creating the person crafting him into a weapon.  

For example, Jaime starts the series more as a weapon of his father, a weapon more sworn to Casterly Rock then to his vows as a knight and a Kingsguard.  Then he meets Brienne and he is slowly drawn from Casterly Rock.  It echos the King Arthur tale, drawing the sword from the stone.  Brienne is drawing Jaime from Casterly Rock.

Davos is literally drawn from the flaming Blackwater Bay.

Ironically, as ADWD comes to a close, we find Jon drawn from his oath to the Night’s Watch.  You may argue that he isn’t being drawn from fire, just the opposite, he is being drawn from the ice cold Wall.  But then again if he is being drawn from the Night’s Watch, isn’t he also being drawn from his oath?

Quote

I am the fire that burns against the cold,

Or does Jon become resurrected by Melisandre?  Becoming her creature reborn in fire?  Her Red Sword?  Does someone then draw Jon away from that servitude.

Depending on how literal you want to be, there are numerous possibilities.  Does Jon become transformed into someone like Beric?  Someone who is resurrected by fire, who can summon fire?  Does Jon’s consciousness get transferred into a dragon?  Or does Jon become a sacrifice, a Corn King, literally becoming burned to be transformed or sacrificed to create a great magic?

Edited by Frey family reunion

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1 hour ago, Matthew. said:

...whether or not Melisandre's expectation that AA will be associated with "waking dragons from stone" is a part of the main text of the prophesy - AA will forge Lightbringer and wake dragons from stone, as separate distinct acts - or whether she's conflating several different texts, which would allow for some overlap.

^^ A good question. Has long interested me.

IIRC, the waking of stone dragons receives no emphasis at all from Melisandre until ASOS, which is after Stannis’ defeat on the Blackwater.  And clearly, it is associated more closely with the PtwP figure/prophecy than with Azor Ahai.  That, in part, is why Stannis is so hesitant about it... as he points out, the Targs were all obsessed with waking dragons, and they all went cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, for generations.

So, was Mel just avoiding that part of the prophecy to begin with - because she needed to win Stannis over?  Or is she now conflating different texts, to keep his interest and convince him she knows what he was missing?  

Edited by The Snowfyre Chorus

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1 hour ago, The Snowfyre Chorus said:

^^ A good question. Has long interested me.

IIRC, the waking of stone dragons receives no emphasis at all from Melisandre until ASOS, which is after Stannis’ defeat on the Blackwater.  And clearly, it is associated more closely with the PtwP figure/prophecy than with Azor Ahai.  That, in part, is why Stannis is so hesitant about it... as he points out, the Targs were all obsessed with waking dragons, and they all went cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, for generations.

So, was Mel just avoiding that part of the prophecy to begin with - because she needed to win Stannis over?  Or is she now conflating different texts, to keep his interest and convince him she knows what he was missing?  

Benerro probably knows about the same prophecy. He doesn't mention dragons from stone, but he includes dragons, salt, smoke and Azor Ahai:

Quote

“Aye. The dragons have come to carry her to glory.”

“Her. Daenerys?” Haldon nodded.

“Benerro has sent forth the word from Volantis. Her coming is the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. From smoke and salt was she born to make the world anew. She is Azor Ahai returned … and her triumph over darkness will bring a summer that will never enddeath itself will bend its knee, and all those who die fighting in her cause shall be reborn …”

<...>

“In Volantis, thousands of slaves and freedmen crowd the temple plaza every night to hear Benerro shriek of bleeding stars and a sword of fire that will cleanse the world."

The mixing of Azor Ahai and TPTwP seems to predate Mel's visit to Dragonstone.

Notice that Benerro thinks she is Azor Ahai because she has dragons. To cleanse the world she would need more than a magical sword or dragons, maybe a comet?

Edited by Tucu

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2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

I'm rather of the view that the sword is a red herring. What's more important is the protagonist who draws the sword from the stone or wakes the dragons - and I certainly wouldn't rule out the protagonist in question being multiple individuals

I don't disagree with the prophesy being fulfilled in multiple symbolic ways - including FFR's well-articulated case for how a person could be Lightbringer - as fitting interpretations; on the contrary, it's more that I have pessimistic expectations for GRRM when it comes to his use of visions and prophesies. I think much of what Heretics offer up (on a variety of topics) is more clever, more subtle, and more thoughtful than the actual contents of ASOIAF.
 

1 hour ago, The Snowfyre Chorus said:

So, was Mel just avoiding that part of the prophecy to begin with - because she needed to win Stannis over?  Or is she now conflating different texts, to keep his interest and convince him she knows what he was missing?  

If nothing else, we've seen that she seems pretty comfortable improvising, and incorporating new information into her worldview; for example, the Watch and the Wall appeared to hold no particular significance to her until she'd actually gone there, and seen how it could fit into her apocalyptic ideology. 

With that context, it's hard to tell how much of what Melisandre is saying is R'hllorist dogma, stuff she's learned in Westeros, stuff she's coming up with on the fly to stay in Stannis' (and now Jon's) good graces, and how much of what she says is lore from Asshai and the shadowbinders. It has always been my assumption that shadowbinders are distinct from (and older than) the Red Priesthood--for example, I don't think Quaithe is a R'hllor believer, though that could just be incorrect head canon on my part.

Edited by Matthew.

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3 hours ago, Matthew. said:

I think reading Lightbringer as Drogon, specifically, is the least tortured metaphorical alternative;

Certainly no problem showing how this Lightbringer generates heat.

I've read similar theories suggesting Drogon, or all the dragons collectively, as the PtwP: born under the comet, smoke, salt of tears from Dany's followers assuming she had committed suicide, etc.   I don't buy these theories, but I can follow the reasoning and accept them as legit.

3 hours ago, Matthew. said:

someone wielding a weapon called Dawn to end the Long Night just seems so intuitive that it's almost more strange if that's all just a coincidence

Someone whose successors in wielding that sword are all called "the Sword of the Morning," even.   Morning being the time Dawn happens and the Night ends.

It's so very on the nose, that's almost a problem (would GRRM be so on the nose?), but on balance, I think it just works too well to deny.  Especially since the fabled meteoric origin of Dawn neatly explains why there would be no other such blades, and we're explicitly told House Dayne goes back "ten thousand years," which would certainly make it an old enough family.

We could even extrapolate that "Dayne" is how the word "dawn" was once pronounced, long ago.  All it requires is a vowel shift.

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1 hour ago, The Snowfyre Chorus said:

the Targs were all obsessed with waking dragons, and they all went cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, for generations

...when they really should have given more thought to Popsicles and Oreos.

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47 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

I think much of what Heretics offer up (on a variety of topics) is more clever, more subtle, and more thoughtful than the actual contents of ASOIAF

I would say it's more offbeat, at least.  It's less obvious.

The first time I read the series, I thought references like this one from AGOT must be metaphorical:

Quote

Their wise men were called greenseers, and carved strange faces in the weirwoods to keep watch on the woods.

I mean, how would carving faces in trees achieve this goal?  How could that possibly make sense?

But now I know there's no metaphor at all.  Bran's experiences in ADWD clearly show the above to be  simple and literal.  I think Lightbringer will turn out to be too... though many other things are not at all simple or easy or literal.

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On 2/7/2019 at 2:48 PM, alienarea said:

One thing to remember is that the Targaryens were dragonlords before they came to Westeros. There were other dragonlords among the Valyrians as well, but IIRC there aren't any skinchangers in Essos. Once they move to Westeros and realized there are skinchangers, it must have been an epiphany for them. Do we know whether they dreaamed of becoming dragons before moving to Westeros?

This is a super interesting thought!!! Maybe that is something that was new with their move to a new continent!

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On 2/8/2019 at 9:34 AM, lalt said:

The "white like milk glass" has always got my attention and I believe it may be telling. So I checked...

And: milk glass tecnically speaking is the white version of a specific kind of glass - "opal glass" - invented in Venice. The interesting thing (imo) is that the secret to make this kind of glass was to add into the process substances obtained by the "calcination" of bones.
And calcination is basically to heat something at such an high temperature to the point of reducing it to ashes.
So much so that "milk glass" was also known as "bones glass".

This information on milk glass is interesting, especially the idea that bone ash is used in the process. Thanks for triggering this line of thought, as I had never considered it before.  If Dawn is made of milkglass, does that mean it's made of a special person or beings bones? I did just a little looking into milk glass and it comes in a variety of colors, not just while, but blue, yellow, pink and black (very interesting!!), and it can be quite opaque or quite translucent. In my head, I always imagined that the Dawn sword was somewhat translucent but it might not be. Most people refer to it as a "white sword" so it must be pretty opaque, and if it was more translucent, they might call it a glass sword or something.

Still is very interesting to me that in Ned' fever dream, he sees the sword as "alive with light" but the rest of the descriptions that we have for it call it "white". So, what happened when Ned saw Dawn? Did the sword react to Ned, as I have previously speculated, or was it part of some sort of sacrifice or magic ritual that Ned came upon, which other people have speculated.

Other things in the story that are associated with milkglass are the "ghost grass" of the Dothraki sea, bottles that hold maester's medicines and the bones of the Other that Samwell killed, the bones of which seemed to dissolve into a mist. Could the bones of the Other's OR the ghost grass be a part of making Dawn? Is there a hint in the idea that this white glass is used for medicine (perhaps hinting at magic)?

 

On 2/8/2019 at 9:34 AM, lalt said:

I tried to speculate something starting from that... drangon bones bured and turned into ashes, and then what? or... weirwood branches, white as bones - as we know all too well - possibly petrified (if the weirwood tree was dead) and then burned by drangon fire? Fascinating but... I don't know.

Can you turn dragonbone into ash? Does it ever breakdown to that state? I don't know if it does. We have several mentions of dragonbone, all black so far, and hard and shiny. But no signs of ash. But I suppose a person could beat at it until it forms into smaller particles. I used to think that dragonbone could be melted in a forge and that process helped to form Valyrian steel, but now I really doubt any forge could get hot enough to change the consistency of dragonbone. But maybe it can! Maybe other dragons are needed to heat a forge high enough to melt or dissolve or breakdown dragonglass?

 

On 2/8/2019 at 10:11 AM, JNR said:
On 2/8/2019 at 7:16 AM, Brad Stark said:

The legend of forging Lightbringer is at odds with the meteoric legend of Dawn. 

Oh, not really.  The concept of the base metal coming from the meteorite, per se, says nothing about the new forging process that would probably be required to work a completely novel metal into a sword.

I certainly wouldn't expect a smith to nail it the first time, any more than smiths in our world did when they first began combining carbon and iron to create steel.

Dragons are something that comes from the sky, and one that crashed might fit the imagery of a meteorite. So, what if a dragon fell from the sky, a dragon with white bones, and those bones are what is part of forging the Dawn sword. Since the dragonbone we see in the story seems to be black, how rare would a dragon with white bones be? As rare as the Dawn sword? One of a kind, perhaps!

 

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6 minutes ago, St Daga said:

This information on milk glass is interesting, especially the idea that bone ash is used in the process. Thanks for triggering this line of thought, as I had never considered it before.  If Dawn is made of milkglass, does that mean it's made of a special person or beings bones? I did just a little looking into milk glass and it comes in a variety of colors, not just while, but blue, yellow, pink and black (very interesting!!), and it can be quite opaque or quite translucent. In my head, I always imagined that the Dawn sword was somewhat translucent but it might not be. Most people refer to it as a "white sword" so it must be pretty opaque, and if it was more translucent, they might call it a glass sword or something.

Still is very interesting to me that in Ned' fever dream, he sees the sword as "alive with light" but the rest of the descriptions that we have for it call it "white". So, what happened when Ned saw Dawn? Did the sword react to Ned, as I have previously speculated, or was it part of some sort of sacrifice or magic ritual that Ned came upon, which other people have speculated.

Other things in the story that are associated with milkglass are the "ghost grass" of the Dothraki sea, bottles that hold maester's medicines and the bones of the Other that Samwell killed, the bones of which seemed to dissolve into a mist. Could the bones of the Other's OR the ghost grass be a part of making Dawn? Is there a hint in the idea that this white glass is used for medicine (perhaps hinting at magic)?

 

Can you turn dragonbone into ash? Does it ever breakdown to that state? I don't know if it does. We have several mentions of dragonbone, all black so far, and hard and shiny. But no signs of ash. But I suppose a person could beat at it until it forms into smaller particles. I used to think that dragonbone could be melted in a forge and that process helped to form Valyrian steel, but now I really doubt any forge could get hot enough to change the consistency of dragonbone. But maybe it can! Maybe other dragons are needed to heat a forge high enough to melt or dissolve or breakdown dragonglass?

 

Dragons are something that comes from the sky, and one that crashed might fit the imagery of a meteorite. So, what if a dragon fell from the sky, a dragon with white bones, and those bones are what is part of forging the Dawn sword. Since the dragonbone we see in the story seems to be black, how rare would a dragon with white bones be? As rare as the Dawn sword? One of a kind, perhaps!

 

I have a recollection of an SSM in which GRRM denied that dragonbone went into the forging of Valyrian steel, but can't quote chapter and verse.

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On 2/8/2019 at 10:11 AM, Matthew. said:

My more crackpot theory is that Ice will eventually be reforged as one blade, quenched in Stoneheart's heart, and absorb her animating fire to become a new Lightbringer; I'm giving the succinct version of that idea so that this doesn't turn into too much of an unwieldy wall of text.

Edit note: The more frequently suggested modern Nissa Nissa candidates, such as Melisandre or Dany, would work here as well.

I have also speculated in the past that Ice would be reforged into one blade, a weapon wielded by a special person of Stark blood. I have kind of let that idea slide in the last couple years, because I have begun to see the potential of Ice becoming two blades, meaning we have twice the specialness related to these two blades. Although the swords are red and black, and that does not fit ice or winter imagery very well, I think the black blade with the red ripples might fit the idea of dragon's and weirwoods, two things that seem important in this story.

However, if Ice is reforged (which would make my heart happy, I can't lie) then I speculate that we have already seen the sword hilt that will be used. In the prologue of Game, we have Waymar's sword shattered but the hilt remaining, a jeweled hilt, and then books later, in Dance, we have Jon noting a sword hilt in the pile of treasures the wildlings are using to pay their way across the wall. One of those "treasures" was "a broken sword with three sapphires in the hilt". I think this is Waymar's sword hilt and I think it's important in the story. I still think it could be used to reforge Ice, (and the sapphires do fit the color concept of blue that is associated with the Starks) but I also have some tinfoil that it is Dawn that is broken, and might need to be reforged.

I don't know if stabbing Lady Stoneheart is what the sword would need to bring it some magic, but there is imagery of Ned "stabbing" Catelyn with his "weapon" in Game-Cat II, when they have sex (pardon the puns) and there are hints in the story about Ned and Catelyn trying to have another child. Cat notes that Ned's body does not have Ice, which mirrors the Osiris myth, when his body is put back together but his phallus is missing, and another must be made it it's place so Isis and Osiris 2.0 can create their child, Horus. Perhaps Ice, which does seemed changed by Eddards blood, being plunged into Catelyn/Stoneheart, which could mimic the sex act, then would give creation to a very special child/sword!

 

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20 hours ago, JNR said:

We could even extrapolate that "Dayne" is how the word "dawn" was once pronounced, long ago.  All it requires is a vowel shift.

It does seem hard to ignore Dayne name as having "day" or "dawn" sound to it, just like Stark certainly rhymes with "dark". Dawn and Dark, Day and Dark. Perhaps they are yin and yang, two parts of a whole, but it's important that balance remains! This does hint that what ever happned between SAD/SotM and the Neddard at the toj upset some type of balance!

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17 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

I have a recollection of an SSM in which GRRM denied that dragonbone went into the forging of Valyrian steel, but can't quote chapter and verse.

Thanks. I have not read all the SSM's and I really think they have recently been purged of some information, but I will try to see if I can find this information. If dragonbone doesn't have anything to do with a forming of Valyrian steel, then it's doubtful that the idea of milkglass being made from "bone calcination" will in anyway relate to Dawn and it's milkglass imagery!

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23 hours ago, The Snowfyre Chorus said:

^^ A good question. Has long interested me.

IIRC, the waking of stone dragons receives no emphasis at all from Melisandre until ASOS, which is after Stannis’ defeat on the Blackwater.  And clearly, it is associated more closely with the PtwP figure/prophecy than with Azor Ahai.  That, in part, is why Stannis is so hesitant about it... as he points out, the Targs were all obsessed with waking dragons, and they all went cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, for generations.

So, was Mel just avoiding that part of the prophecy to begin with - because she needed to win Stannis over?  Or is she now conflating different texts, to keep his interest and convince him she knows what he was missing?  

According to Mel at least, the prophecy of waking dragons from stone directly comes from prophecies concerning Azor Ahai:

Quote

He is the Lord's chosen, the warrior of fire.  I have seen him leading the fight against the dark, I have seen it in the flames.  The flames do not lie, else you would not be here.  It is written in prophecy as well.  When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone.

 The only time that Azor Ahai is mentioned in ACOK, is during the ceremony where Stannis is pulling "Lightbringer" from the burning maiden.  So it probably makes sense that Melisandre only includes the part of the prophecy dealing with Azor Ahai's sword lightbringer.  She's glamored a sword to match the prophecy, however, she's not in a position to wake a dragon from stone yet.  So no need to bring that part of the prophecy up, because she can't use it to convert her followers.

So I don't think we should assume that the Prince that Was Promised prophecy necessarily deals with waking dragons from stone, unless we can assume that the Prince that Was Promised prophecy mirrors that of Azor Ahai.  Which it might.  Aemon uses the same language when he speaks of the Prince that was Promised that both Melisandre and Benerro uses in discussing Azor Ahai.

Quote

“It was a prince that was promised, not a princess. Rhaegar, I thought … the smoke was from the fire that devoured Summerhall on the day of his birth, the salt from the tears shed for those who died. He shared my belief when he was young, but later he became persuaded that it was his own son who fulfilled the prophecy, for a comet had been seen above King’s Landing on the night Aegon was conceived, and Rhaegar was certain the bleeding star had to be a comet. ”

Quote

“Haldon nodded. “Benerro has sent forth the word from Volantis. Her coming is the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. From smoke and salt was she born to make the world anew. She is Azor Ahai returned … and her triumph over darkness will bring a summer that will never end … death itself will bend its knee, and all those who die fighting in her cause shall be reborn …”

Quote

“In Volantis, thousands of slaves and freedmen crowd the temple plaza every night to hear Benerro shriek of bleeding stars and a sword of fire that will cleanse the world. He has been preaching that Volantis will surely burn if the triarchs take up arms against the silver queen.”

And the fact that neither one specifically speaks of waking dragons from stone, may not matter because both Aemon and Benerro seem to believe that Dany is PTWP/AA because of the existence of her dragons, which were in fact woken from stone.

Edited by Frey family reunion

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

I have a recollection of an SSM in which GRRM denied that dragonbone went into the forging of Valyrian steel, but can't quote chapter and verse.

It's here.

Quote

In Valyria did they work Dragonbone into Valyrian steel?

No.

Of course, Dawn isn't Valyrian steel, so this isn't necessarily an issue. 

But it's hard for me to believe if Dawn weren't metal -- if it were, for instance, bone or weirwood -- that we wouldn't have been told this. 

What Ned says is:

Quote

"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."

Now Ned, of course, has no sure way to know how Dawn was forged. 

But he has certainly seen Dawn -- up close, and probably a lot closer than he would have liked. 

And after seeing it up close, he still believes, as we see above, that it was "forged from the heart of a fallen star," which tells me Dawn is visibly made of metal.

50 minutes ago, St Daga said:

I have not read all the SSM's and I really think they have recently been purged of some information

What makes you think that?  I can recall one such instance, but it isn't recent.

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2 hours ago, JNR said:

It's here.

Of course, Dawn isn't Valyrian steel, so this isn't necessarily an issue. 

But it's hard for me to believe if Dawn weren't metal -- if it were, for instance, bone or weirwood -- that we wouldn't have been told this. 

What Ned says is:

Now Ned, of course, has no sure way to know how Dawn was forged. 

But he has certainly seen Dawn -- up close, and probably a lot closer than he would have liked. 

And after seeing it up close, he still believes, as we see above, that it was "forged from the heart of a fallen star," which tells me Dawn is visibly made of metal.

What makes you think that?  I can recall one such instance, but it isn't recent.

Ned isn't an expert on meteorites, and probably has never seen or been taught what they are. 

The concept of 'fallen star' is itself unscientific and shows ignorance on what stars, asteroids and meteorites really are. 

If you ever saw marble, stone or alabaster carvings, that is the sort of translucency I picture for Dawn.  People would definitely say they are white and not clear and not really notice the translucency without careful observation or having it pointed out.  But if you painted such an object white, it would look completely different, it isn't subtle at all. 

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30 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

The concept of 'fallen star' is itself unscientific and shows ignorance on what stars, asteroids and meteorites really are. 

It's an idiom, but Ned certainly means Dawn was created from a chunk of rock that contained ore that could be forged.

Notice that he spells it out: forged.  He knows what forging is all about. 

Ned's world certainly contains steel, and he seems quite familiar with metalworking in general.  Mikken, at Winterfell, reports to him; he investigates Tobho Mott's armory in AGOT and is shocked by nothing he sees. 

So when he says Dawn was forged, he means it is metal.

32 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

If you ever saw marble, stone or alabaster carvings, that is the sort of translucency I picture for Dawn. 

Well, as it happen I have seen marble, stone, and alabaster, and I couldn't confuse any of them with metal.  I don't think Ned could either.

When Ned returned Dawn to Starfall, he had ample opportunity to look at the sword as much as he wanted, and he concluded it was forged.  Not carved.

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