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First off, it is undisputed that House Dayne is descended from the First Men and are described as what Daeron II would have called, stone Dornish. But when we see the known members of House Dayne, we notice:

  1. Edric Dayne has dark blue eyes (that appear purple) and pale blonde hair.
  2. Arthur Dayne had pale blonde hair.
  3. Ashara Dayne had violet eyes.
  4. Gerold Dayne is the prime specimen: silver hair streaked with black, aquiline nose, high cheekbones, and a strong jaw. His eyes are described as dark purple.

Then we have the name of the last Dayne King, Vorian Dayne. The name Vorian strikes me as Valyrian rather than the traditional names of the Rhoynar, First Men and Andals.

Possible explanations that I could find:

  1. Daynes intermarried with Martells who were born from Targaryen-Martell marriages.
  2. Daynes took Brides from Lys which is not that far from Starfall.
  3. It is actually the Valyrians who have the Dayne looks, not the other way around. (The crowd gasps)

Do we have any Canon reference explaining these phenomena? There is an interesting debate on this topic here.

  • It could be either a genetic anomaly or they might have some Valyrian blood from some distant past that nobody remembers. I have no idea and I do not believe the worldbook addresses this, but i'll have another look ;) – JDSweetBeat May 13 '16 at 13:04
  • @DJMethaneMan I have looked up TWOIAF as well. Nothing suggests any genetical relation between Daynes and Valyrian AFAIK – Aegon May 13 '16 at 13:07
  • Hence the comment of uncertainty and not an answer ;). It could very well be a genetic anomaly. It appears that the valyrians gained their looks by being isolated from the rest of the world on their peninsula. I am looking through some old interviews with Martin now though so there might be an out-of-universe answer... – JDSweetBeat May 13 '16 at 13:12
  • The Daynes are one of the most enigmatic family of this entire series. No doubt we'll find out something special about them by the end. – Möoz May 15 '16 at 22:27
  • @Mooz Ikr. There is already speculation that previous Azor Ahai was a member of house Dayne and red sword of heroes is actually Dawn. – Aegon May 16 '16 at 4:07
5

Common Misconception

It is commonly incorrectly assumed that anyone with silver-blond hair and or purple eyes are of Valyrian descent[1]. Here's what the author, George R. R. Martin has to say about this topic in a conversation with Ran (Elio Garcia):

Ran: Ashara Dayne is described as having violet eyes. Is this from a marriage to the Martells after Daeron II's sister married into that line, thus giving them some Targaryen features? From other Valyrian descendants? And, um, mind telling us the Dayne banner (emblem and field)? The Sword of the Morning and his sister has caught my imagination. ;)

George_RR_Martin: I would have to consult my notes to tell you the Dayne arms. Offhand I don't recall. As for the violet eyes . . . look, Elizabeth Taylor has violet eyes, and she's not of Valyrian descent (that I know). Nor is she related to Aegon the Conquerer. Many Swedes have blue eyes, but not all those with blue eyes are Swedes, and not all Swedes have blue eyes. The same confusions exist in the 7 Kingdoms.

Ran: So many banners, I was shooting in the dark. And I was actually arguing that she was a Liz Taylor type. Thanks. :)

George_RR_Martin: If you want to figure out a family's descent, the names are a better clue than the eyes. Houses descended from the First Men tend to have simple short names, often descriptive. Stark. Reed. Flint. Tallhart (tall hart). Etc. The Valyrian names are fairly distinct are well: The "ae" usage usually suggests a Valyrian in the family tree. The Andal names are . . . well, neith Stark nor Targaryen, if that makes sense. Lannister. Arryn. Tyrell. Etc. Of course, you also need to remember that there have been hundreds and in some cases thousands of years of interbreeding, so hardly anyone is pure Andal or First Man.
-https://archive.is/St3S6#selection-3631.0-3715.252

So just remember, "all that glitters is not gold"[2].

  • +1 but I think this does not cover the silver hair which even by GRRM's own rhetoric marks only those with Valyrian blood. Sure eye color can be similar but there aren't any people with silver/silver-gold hair except the Valyrians or their colonies. – Aegon Aug 25 '16 at 8:26

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