I’m currently working away at a mega-Ashara post that I’m hoping to give you all in the next few weeks or so, but House Dayne’s timeline has always looked just a bit wonky to me, so a while back I dove into it. Check it out at the cut.
House Dayne: the mystery house we love, and the house we are left with next to no details about. At first glance, we are left with mysteries about Ashara, Arthur, who Ashara’s stillborn baby is, are they alive? Who! Are! They!
George hasn’t given us much on House Dayne- and that’s for a reason. When he wants to withhold information from us, boy, does he.
I don’t plan on disassembling anything too important for you today (EG: Ashara and Arthur’s crazy timelines will not have any real effect on why I’m here), but in analyzing all of this crazy information, I’ve had a few questions. Specifically surrounding Edric Dayne, his father, the “Eldest Dayne”, and who in the heck his mother could be.
There’s nowhere near enough text to tear apart to get answers to any of these questions, so we get to * DIVE IN * to pure speculation and any surrounding text.
House Dayne’s timeline in Robert’s Rebellion is very weird when you lay it out. The decade of 280 AC is wonky and power packed with birth and death.
This is where you have to buckle up friends- we’re going on a wild ride
(it couldn’t hurt to grab some aluminum foil while you’re buckling up, either).
First, let’s look into some rough estimated dates that are preconceived off textual notions and death and life of others surrounding them.
Here’s the rough cut of my jib, but below I’ll break down some of the assumptions.
- Mom and Dad Dayne: 230-240 AC Birth, 280-287 AC Death
- Eldest Dayne: 250-255 AC Birth (Lord of Starfall 287 AC – 297) 294-297 AC Death
- Arthur: 255-260 AC Birth, 283 AC Death
- Ashara: 260-265 AC Birth, 283 AC “Death” (based off of SSM )
- Allyria: 280-285 AC Birth (rough estimate: 282 AC, but that’s a whole other theory)
- Edric: 287 AC Birth, Lord of Starfall somewhere in 294-297 AC
- Mom and Dad Dayne’s births are assumed off of Arthur’s 260 AC estimated birth, putting them somewhere between 20-30 at his birth.
- The eldest Dayne brother estimated birth would put him somewhere between his parents aged 15-25 upon his birth.
- Allyria is betrothed to Beric Dondarrion in 294 AC, putting her birth some 12-14 years earlier (assuming highborn betrothals occur around age 11-14, flowering same)
- Eldest Dayne Brother would have been the Lord of Starfall somewhere from at latest 287 AC on, putting the Mom and Dad Dayne deaths somewhere between Allyria’s estimated birth, 280 to 287 AC.
- Allyria’s betrothal is in 294, and the match is a very political one- marrying the youngest Dayne “sister” to a Marcher Lord. Eldest Dayne Brother probably made this match.
- Edric Dayne is the Lord of Starfall as of 297 AC, putting his father’s death at 294-297 AC
- The Eldest Dayne didn’t have an heir/Edric until 287 AC (didn’t really have a need for one, until most of his family died off between 283-287 AC). He would have had Edric when he was 32-37 years old.
We won’t go into what this truly means for the text (at least not today), but Allyria being born in 282 AC would align with Ashara being “dishonored” at the Tourney at Harrenhal and possibly having a kid. Her 20 year age gap from Ashara puts the Mom and Dad Dayne between 42-52 years old at her birth – would not be surprising if they passed Allyria off as their own daughter. The timing is weird. *Anyway. Moving on.
Advantageous Political Matches: part A
Allyria was engaged to Beric Dondarrion when she was around 12. Someone had to make that match, and I’m sure it wasn’t 7 year old Edric Dayne.
We don’t have an established textual death date for the Eldest Dayne brother, but in ASOS, it seems like 12 year-old Edric hasn’t been the lord for too long.
When Allyria was betrothed in 294 AC, Edric went along as a page for Beric, making this match a package deal, and probably not his doing. Edric Dayne is 12 in 300 AC.
“How long have you been Lord Beric’s squire?” She asked, to take his mind from his misery.
“He took me for his page when he espoused my aunt.” He coughed. “I was seven, but when I turned ten he raised me to squire. I won a prize once, riding at rings.” “I never learned the lance, but I could beat you with a sword,” Said Arya. “Have you killed anyone?” That seemed to startle him. “I’m only twelve.”
This passage in Arya’s chapter, along with several other small quotes, give us small details that help us figure out the when/where of Allyria’s betrothal and Ned’s squiring. But they don’t give us insight as to “why” they would betroth Allyria to Beric Dondarrion, who held a castle on the Marches and was the lord of Blackhaven.
Advantageous Political Matches: part B
While every left out character in the books does not always have to “be” someone- EG, the Eldest Dayne’s wife is really just Lady Dayne- I have no doubt in my mind that George has definitely written down somewhere who the Eldest Dayne’s wife was, and who Ned Dayne’s mom is. No, I don’t think it’s some ‘secret’ theory or person- I think there’s a perfectly logical explanation that doesn’t detract or truly add too much to the main narrative.
The Squire seemed nice enough to Arya; maybe a little shy, but good-natured. She had always heard that Dornishmen were small and swarthy, with black hair and small black eyes, but Ned had big blue eyes, so dark that they almost looked purple. And his hair was a pale blonde, more ash than honey.
A physical description of Ned Dayne gave me a run for my money. There were no Hightowers or Velaryons that could fit the timeline, no notable fair blonde maids born in a fifteen-year span that could possibly match up to half of Ned. While all hope seemed lost, I realized that I was looking for “who”, when politically, I needed to be looking for “why”.
I settled on another stony Dornish family, with what little family tree and textual evidence we have.
I settled on the Fowlers.
The Fowlers, a house sworn to Martell, highborn enough to befit a match with the heir to House Dayne. A house known for tawny maidens with blonde hair, and a house famous for warring against Marcher Lords- the first Dornish War alone in 10 AC, Lord Fowler led a Dornish host, burning Nightsong and taking hostages from the castle.
So how does it fit?
If the Eldest Dayne brother had married a lady of house Fowler, him creating a match for Allyria (and sending Edric along to page and eventually squire) could be seen as an advantageous political match to bind a Marcher Lord (Beric) to House Dayne, especially if it meant peace between house Fowler and the Marches.
*Now as we know, it wouldn’t really matter, since Beric did the whole dead on and off and on thing, and Eldest Dayne died at some point, so the Eldest Dayne’s political motions were quite literally dead on arrival. *
Underwhelming? Entirely. But at a glance, it fits. The biggest con/hole in my fit would be that the Fowlers are described as having yellow hair, while Edric is very much so described as having ash blonde hair. Geneology isn’t VERY important in the scope of such a minor ASOIAF detail, but George did distinctly specify Ned’s hair being ash blonde and not “honey”.
Do I think this is 100% right/will we ever find out? Nah, probably not in the slightest, unless George eventually releases a huge encyclopedia/tome style piece with these small answers and family trees. As stated above, I definitely think Edric has a mom, and I am sure somewhere George has it written down, but it isn’t very important to the narrative and the direction of the story.
I’ve puzzled over this timeline for ages, and found some of the crossover entirely insane and weird. There’s so much speculating we can do when it comes to having a lack of information, and House Dayne is certainly fun to speculate upon!
TL;DR: The Eldest Dayne brother married a Fowler, and arranged a match for Allyria to marry Beric to make sure there was peace between the Fowlers and the Marcher Lords. Also, the Daynes have a crazy timeline.