Discussing a recent question on M&TV, It occurred to me that the duel between Ser Arthur Dayne and the Smiling Knight isn't all that clear.
The passage says:
And he'd held his own against the Smiling Knight, though it was Ser Arthur who slew him. What a fight that was, and what a foe. The Smiling Knight was a madman, cruelty and chivalry all jumbled up together, but he did not know the meaning of fear. And Dayne, with Dawn in hand . . .
The outlaw's longsword had so many notches by the end that Ser Arthur had stopped to let him fetch a new one. "It's that white sword of yours I want," the robber knight told him as they resumed, though he was bleeding from a dozen wounds by then. "Then you shall have it, ser," the Sword of the Morning replied, and made an end of it.
The world was simpler in those days, Jaime thought, and men as well as swords were made of finer steel.
ASOS - Jaime VIII
When reading this, I always thought it meant that Arthur handed over his sword to his foe but still won. But there are those who read it as Arthur Dayne killing the Smiling Knight right there, denying his request for Dawn. My understanding is based on the following reasons:
- Arthur Dayne had the reputation of being the finest and most chivalrous Knight who ever lived.
- Jaime remembers both men and their fight with admiration. It would have been very dishonourable and unchivalrous of him to mislead his opponent that he was considering his request. Jaime would have made some cynical comment about it then. Like he made about Ser Gerold Hightower on his response to Jaime on Aerys burning Rickard Stark to death and Ser Oswell Whent on his refusal to do something about protecting the Queen from savagery of the King. As he notes right after his recollection of the duel, men were made of finer steel back in those days, there is nothing fine about relying on superior quality of your sword rather than your skill. That too in face of an enemy bleeding from a dozen wounds taken from that very sword, who also happens to be more or less equally chivalrous.
- It makes no sense for Arthur Dayne to stop the fight to allow his opponent to rearm himself if he was just going to kill him anyways.
So is there any official, explicit indicator as to what really happened there? Did Arthur Dayne really give his sword to the Smiling Knight and finish the job with a new sword? Or did he just kill the robber Knight with Dawn?