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Plain, Simple Tailor

Why Does Darkstar Matter?

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12 minutes ago, Back door hodor said:

I remember reading on this forum that some believe Darkstar is actually Doran's mole in Arriannes group, and that he is still working for him , and the plan the send Balon Swan to kill him is actually in fact, the other way around, an way to discreetly kill Balon and keep some plausible deniability 

I'm certain Doran means for Balon to die. This was a KG who meant to get Trystane killed by Shagga's mountain clan men in the Kingswood. When Balon wrote his message to the crown to confirm Myrcella's story about who had maimed her and who got Arys Oakheart killed, then Dorne doesn't need him to return to KL anymore. Both Areo Hotah and Obara are accompanying Balon to High Hermitage. Both these two know what Balon was meant to do to Trystane. Obara is one of the Sand Snakes, and they were already suggesting ways to kill Balon, before they learned about Cersei's plans and Doran's counter move. Areo Hotah already thought that one day he would have to fight Balon, and it won't be as easy as Arys. It's a trap for Balon to end up dead.

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3 hours ago, White Ravens said:

He's the most dangerous man in Dorne because Doran Martell, Prince of Dorne, says he is.   

There’s this thing called “show don’t tell”, y’see... 

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Posted (edited)

A literary theory, if anyone wants to analyze Darkstar on this level. 

As pointed out, we have three known contemporary Daynes:

1) Allyria, betrothed to Beric Dondarrion

2) Edric, known as Ned, who meets Arya and tells her about Wylla

3) Gerold, from a "minor branch" of House Dayne and known as Darkstar.

I believe Beric is a symbolic Ned Stark. He was sent to the Riverlands by Ned, acting as Hand of the King. He also gives his "kiss of life" to Catelyn, sacrificing his own life. Kissing Catelyn is done only by Ned. (Except for Bran, remembering his mother's last kiss when he eats his weirwood paste. Edit and mea culpa: Of course Catelyn practices making out with Petyr Baelish in a flash back to their Jenny / Prince of Dragonflies roleplaying.) The Brotherhood without Banners members all purport to be king's men, working for King Robert, but their sense of honor seems more in keeping with Ned's character, who was in charge of the kingdom when they began their mission.

Ser Beric's betrothal to a Dayne is also a Ned Stark parallel because of the strong suspicion that Ned was the Quiet Wolf who wanted to dance with Ashara Dayne. 

Edric may be another symbolic Ned Stark. The nickname is an obvious clue. We read a conversation between Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon in an early chapter where Ned Stark produces the name Wylla as the woman with whom he had an affair and fathered a bastard. The fact that Edric Dayne tells the same story may be another clue that he is a Ned manifestation.

There is also a strong whiff of Podrick Payne in Edric, taking the form of the sound-alike first names as well as the super-squire behavior of protecting his master when he is felled in battle. (Edric pulls Ser Beric out of the river at the Mummer's Ford, which might create a parallel to Arya's direwolf, Nymeria, who pulls Catelyn's body out of the Green Fork of the Trident.) Podrick pushes Ser Mandon Moore into the Blackwater after the king's guard attacks Tyrion.

Is Gerold yet another Ned Stark? We are told that he is from a different, lesser branch of House Dayne, and is not a descendant of Arthur or his immediate family. He also seems to have a chip on his shoulder and resents the fact that the other House Dayne has the important sword, Dawn. 

It's an inference but, based on the other Dayne-related clues, I would say that Darkstar is a parallel for Jon Snow. Jon wishes that the could have the sword Ice and be the Lord of Winterfell. Like Darkstar, he has a secret that makes him dangerous. Like Darkstar, Jon's true relationship to the Stark family is ambiguous. 

It's possible that the maiming of Myrcella is like the killing of Qhorin Half-Hand. Anyone who hears about the incidents will believe that Darkstar tried to kill a princess and that Jon Snow was a traitor who turned on a Night's Watch brother. But there is another side to Jon Snow's killing of Qhorin, and there may be clarification coming if we ever hear Darkstar's version of what happened with Myrcella. 

Alternatively, Darkstar's sudden departure from Arianne's traveling party may be comparable to Jon Snow's departure from Ygritte and the other Free Folk at the ruined inn where they killed the silent old man. 

I guess we will know more when we read TWoW.

Edited by Seams

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I generally find it odd for people to declare characters (main, minor, or otherwise) as pointless filler or unlikeable for reasons as Darkstar is often described as... first off... he gets how many pages of screentime? How many lines? It just bizarre to me that fans latch on to hating certain characters, almost comical. But to each their own, I suppose.

I look at Darkstar in the same light as I look at characters like Lyn Corbray, or Garlan Tyrell... each region, or "kingdom", has their own local heroes, notorious knights, or infamous celebrity figure. The Reach has Loras and Garlan Tyrell, the Vale has Lyn Corbray with Lady Forlorn in hand, etc... 

We finally get a glimpse at Dorne, and we just started learning about their local notables. Darkstar is just that. 

To answer the OP question... Why does he matter?

The short of it, and the only answer we know right now... is that we don't know yet. Not to be captain obvious here, but the speculative answers are just speculation. Does he suck? According to Arriane's PoV, he apparently sucks quite well...

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@Seams I would say Darkstar resents Arthur because everyone keeps claiming he is a great knight with a great heart, but Gerold says he only had a great sword. It was Dawn that gave Arthur an edge and he didn't had any chivalrous aspects of knighthood with him, it would be easier for Gerold to know Arthur's real character as his kin, Gerold is also bitter everyone wanks over Arthur when his house go back to Dawn Age. I also don't believe Darkstar maimed Myrcella as he said crowning her isn't going to create any conflict as Cersei will care more about Tommen and they should kill him first. 

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Maybe we need to look at Darkstar in the light of the song by the Grateful Dead:

“Dark star crashes, pouring its light into ashes. Reason tatters, the forces tear loose from the axis. Searchlight casting for faults in the clouds of delusion.”

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3 hours ago, Jova Snow said:

@Seams I would say Darkstar resents Arthur because everyone keeps claiming he is a great knight with a great heart, but Gerold says he only had a great sword. It was Dawn that gave Arthur an edge and he didn't had any chivalrous aspects of knighthood with him, it would be easier for Gerold to know Arthur's real character as his kin, Gerold is also bitter everyone wanks over Arthur when his house go back to Dawn Age. I also don't believe Darkstar maimed Myrcella as he said crowning her isn't going to create any conflict as Cersei will care more about Tommen and they should kill him first. 

It really intrigues me that Darkstar's real name is Gerold. There are several Gerolds in ASOIAF and in Westeros history, but the other Gerold who was close to the Daynes was Gerold Hightower, the White Bull, and a member of the king's guard with Arthur Dayne. Darkstar is the Knight of High Hermitage (the name of his family seat). So we have high tower and high hermitage. 

Maybe a tangent, but there is another Gerold who is of House Grafton, loyal to House Arryn of the Vale. Their sigil looks a lot like the Hightower sigil, showing a tower with a fire at the top. 

If Arthur is truly dead these many years, it seems like Darkstar could let go of his resentment. There's something going on here that is not explained on the surface. 

Little wordplay hints lead me to be curious about a possible link between Darkstar and the burning of Summerhall. Maybe he is a secret survivor? Would he be old enough? 

The Gerald Grafton name may be linked through wordplay to the word "forlorn." If correct, this would obviously raise the question of a link to House Corbray, who were key in bringing Littlefinger's family to Westeros. But "forlorn" is related to the German word "verloren," which means "lost." I wonder whether this chain of symbols tells us anything about Darkstar's past or his true identity? 

All speculative, I realize, until GRRM gives us more info. 

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@Seams

3 hours ago, Seams said:

It really intrigues me that Darkstar's real name is Gerold. There are several Gerolds in ASOIAF and in Westeros history, but the other Gerold who was close to the Daynes was Gerold Hightower, the White Bull, and a member of the king's guard with Arthur Dayne. Darkstar is the Knight of High Hermitage (the name of his family seat). So we have high tower and high hermitage. 

Maybe a tangent, but there is another Gerold who is of House Grafton, loyal to House Arryn of the Vale. Their sigil looks a lot like the Hightower sigil, showing a tower with a fire at the top. 

If Arthur is truly dead these many years, it seems like Darkstar could let go of his resentment. There's something going on here that is not explained on the surface. 

Little wordplay hints lead me to be curious about a possible link between Darkstar and the burning of Summerhall. Maybe he is a secret survivor? Would he be old enough? 

The Gerald Grafton name may be linked through wordplay to the word "forlorn." If correct, this would obviously raise the question of a link to House Corbray, who were key in bringing Littlefinger's family to Westeros. But "forlorn" is related to the German word "verloren," which means "lost." I wonder whether this chain of symbols tells us anything about Darkstar's past or his true identity? 

All speculative, I realize, until GRRM gives us more info. 

I think Gerold is younger than Arthur, but yes him being the only Rebellion Dayne without an a name is interesting, I like the tinfoil of Halfhand being Gerold Hightower and Halfhand did forsake his own life for his mission. I can speculate Darkstar being a Brightflame but how? I think there could be someone from Betha's circle who killed baby Maegor so he won't be a threat to Aegon V. 

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Because someone will wield Dawn before this series is over, and it's likely him.

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On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 9:09 PM, Plain, Simple Tailor said:

Seriously. Why do people like this character? Why does he exist? 

We are constantly told that Darkstar is THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN DORNE, but we never see him actually do anything. He has a sword he barely uses, he’s just kind of a dick, and he tries to kill a defenseless child - what here makes him interesting? 

WHY DOES HE EXIST 

(oh, and please don’t say it’s because Jon’s mom is Ashara Dayne, if the sh*w was going to change one thing, it wouldn’t have been the central mystery of the series) 

He may have a stronger claim to the lordship of Dorne under Westeros law of male inheritance .

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 Taking your word for it, that'd give us two ways to get Dorne, and we have two Targs.   DStar will have street cred with Stormborn cuz he took more of a swipe at the usurpers than she has (to date).  Doran will go pro-aegon / anti-stormy cuz of CrispyPrince (her rejection of Dorne's offer.)    You'd have some Daynes with Aegon, if ashara already is, and Dstar going against them?  Wresting the sword away.  Or will Edric (?) or some Dayne ride with Jon?  Jeesh.  Trying to figure out the Daynes makes me just want to refocus on porn.  

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10 hours ago, BRANDON GREYSTARK said:

He may have a stronger claim to the lordship of Dorne under Westeros law of male inheritance .

No, he doesn't. Lord Edric Dayne is the lord of Starfall and Allyria is his heir. Darkstar is Lord of High Hermitage, the cadet branch. 

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Posted (edited)

I think it's GRRM poking fun at the female fans who went ga-ga over Sandor. This fan account sounds tongue-in-cheek with all the winks: 

"Oh ... and George doesn't seem to have known that Darkstar isn't very popular. ;) He thought that a 'bad boy' character would go over well, since people seem to love the Hound and even Theon Greyjoy so very much. We will probably have to have a discussion about this at the BwB party. ;)"

Also, GRRM has pushed back on the fans who fawn over the "bad boy" characters and has admitted that fans' romanticization of Sandor and Theon took him off guard

So it could be his experiment: if he creates a stock Theon/Sandor type without the sympathetic backstory, will fans still be into him? If not, it might say something about how fans look past bad deeds and get trapped by the characters' own traumas which shouldn't really matter as much as their murderous behavior.

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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I prefer the idea of this repeating duality/symmetry in the story. In house Dayne you have Vorian Dayne, last King of the Torrentine, called Sword of the Evening. In contrast more recently you have Arthur Dayne, Sword of the Morning, most chivalrous knight in the seven kingdoms. 

Superficially, I think Darkstar continues this cycle. Bright and dark characters from house Dayne. If you want to don the tinfoil a bit there is the argument that GRRM is importing mythology about the planet Venus onto House Dayne (There's a whole blog of essays on that (Apolgies, I'm sure most people here know it, but I'm new). Basically, Morningstar and Eveningstar are the planet Venus which at various times appears before Sunrise (I.e. Dawn) and Sunset. Lucifer is the Roman name for Venus and "Lucifer" translated from Latin to English means "Lightbringer". The tinfoily but somewhat obvious reading between the lines is that it's a hint that the sword Dawn is magical and literally changes its configuration or colour. The other, which I prefer, is that its a commentary on morality, swords like Dawn or Lightbringer can be both good and evil, depending on the wielder's choices. For example, Lightbringer kills Nissa Nissa but also fights the Night. 

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Look at Ice and Fire as a collection of many individual stories.  They each have their own protagonists and antagonists.  The Iron Born have Asha vs. Euron.  Dorne then has Doran vs. the war party.  The war party are the Sand Snakes and Darkstar.  He is the antagonists to Doran and peace.  The Arianne mission will lead to an alliance between the Martells and Young Griff.  Darkstar and the Sand Snakes will be their opposition. 

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On 6/17/2019 at 7:24 AM, BRANDON GREYSTARK said:

He may have a stronger claim to the lordship of Dorne under Westeros law of male inheritance .

No he doesn't, Edric is from the main branch of House Dayne with his aunt as  regent and heir, Darkstar is from a cadet branch and we can't be sure if there is anyone before him in line to High Hermitage. 

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He's the most dangerous man in Dorne probably because of something he knows. And that could be a number of things, about Jon, about Arianne's plot, about Doran's support of his outlawed Targaryen distant cousins during Robert's reign.

The only other option that makes any sense would be that he's dangerous because of who he is. The Dayne side doesn't make him dangerous, so it would have to be the other half of the genes. Ran said he's not a bastard, so there's that to consider.  I argue for Martell blood, because of the venom references and the widow's peak. Not necessarily Oberyn. Could be Oberyn and Doran's dad. Could be Uncle Lewyn. Could be a female cousin we haven't heard about yet. If Darkstar is a Martell, by blood if not in name, he could sell them all out to the Iron Throne (no matter who's sitting on it) and become Prince of Dorne. 

I'd rather he not be a direct Targaryen descendant, but if he is, there are tons of legitimate, non-secret options for that. He could be descended from any of the female Targaryens known to have lived to childbearing age, or even from little Maegor (who could have had nothing but daughters). Aegon IV spread enough dragonseeds around to populate a small city in the time since his death. And of course the Martells themselves have dragonblood.

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