|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
A lighteyes is a person with lightly colored, bright eyes, such as blue, green, yellow, light grey, or violet. In the Vorin kingdoms of Alethkar, Jah Keved, and Kharbranth, they form the nobility, ruling over the darkeyes. Lighteyes are ranked in ten different levels, in accordance with the dahn caste system.
The defining characteristic of a lighteyes is not merely the actual color of their eyes, but that they have a light and distinguishable color. For example, although grey is not normally considered a bright color, having light grey eyes qualifies one as a lighteyes. Conversely, although green is normally seen as a light color, having deep, dark green eyes that look muddled and is hard to distinguish from brown or black in average light would qualify one as a darkeyes.
A male lighteyes of notable rank is addressed by the title Brightlord. Similarly, Brightlady is used to address high-ranking females, although the more common term of address is Brightness. Brightness can be used to address a lighteyed lady of any rank.
Changing eye color
Permanently changing one's birth eye color is generally not possible. However, two exceedingly rare methods are currently known to change one's eye color.
It is a well-known legend within Vorin society that if a man wins a Shardblade on the battlefield, he will become a lighteyes, regardless of his previous station in life. The exact color of the Shardbearer's eyes depends on the specific type of Blade they bonded to. This would also be accompanied with a promotion to the fourth dahn for the Shardbearer. This legend, though a foundation of Vorin society, went untested for centuries, until Kaladin Stormblessed won a full set of Shards and gifted them to his lieutenant, Moash. Upon receiving the Shards, Moash's eyes did indeed lighten, from a dark brown to a tan color. This effect lasts only as long as the formerly darkeyed shardbearer keeps ownership of his shardblade, as Moash's eyes changed again upon losing his.
A second and even rarer method of becoming a lighteyes is to become either a Surgebinder or Knight Radiant. According to Skar, Kaladin's eyes changed while fighting to save Dalinar during the Battle of the Tower, although it was only for a short moment, as other men still recognize him as a darkeyes during the fight. During this battle, Kaladin only said up to the Second Ideal of the Immortal Words and did not recognize himself as a Knight Radiant. Later, during the Battle of Narak, after Kaladin says the Third Ideal of the Immortal Words and recognizes himself as a true Knight Radiant, his eyes turn pale blue, lighter than any king. They stay pale blue for several hours after using stormlight before returning to brown.
It is speculated that the distinction between lighteyes and darkeyes stems from the Knights Radiant. The Knights Radiant all used Surgebinding and Shards, which granted them light-colored eyes even if they didn't have them at birth. Because the weapons and magic that the Radiants wielded were so superior, the belief that light colored eyes being superior to dark colored ones came to be. The bond between spren and humans is what actually causes the color change.
Hoid thinks that he should be amused by the import given to the color of one's eyes, but he isn't, since he has seen other arbitrary systems of governance; additionally, he recalls that there is a good reason why the belief in the superiority of lighteyes came to be.
|Dahn||Who is in it|
|2nd||Highprinces, their direct heirs, and the King's direct heir.|
|3rd||Generals, Highlords, and the non-inheriting children of 1st and 2nd dahn lighteyes.|
|4th||Battalionlords, Citylords, Shardbearers, and other mid-ranked nobles.|
|5th||Companylords, along with lower-ranked nobles.|
|6th||Captainlords, along with the lowest-ranked nobles and landholders.|
|7th||Lower-ranking landless officers, higher-ranking (or very wealthy) landless lighteyes.|
|8th||Soldiers, high-ranking (or moderately wealthy) landless lighteyes.|
|9th||Landless lighteyes with some wealth, like merchants and master craftsmen.|
|10th||"Tenners", essentially any lighteyes who has to work for a living.|
General Dahn Information
Since lighteyes are nobility in the Vorin kingdoms, the dahn system is superior to the nahn system. Holding even the tenth and lowest dahn socially outranks the highest level of nahn. However, there are situations in which practical reality makes the social standing between two persons less relevant or even reversed. For example, after Kaladin, a darkeyes, was promoted to captain, he was socially outranked by many lighteyed soldiers, yet still possessed higher military rank and authority than them. A worker, such as a carriage driver, would treat a wealthy darkeyes as any other master, since their wages would be paid by the darkeyed passenger.
Within the dahn system itself, there are ten different levels ranging from one to ten, with one being the highest and ten being the lowest. The highest levels of dahn implies immense power and authority while those at the lowest level of dahn are merely ordinary people.
The first dahn consists of the king. The second dahn contains the highprinces. The third dahn is made up, at least in part, by the non-heir children of the king, the non-heir children of highprinces, and highlords. The fourth dahn includes lighteyes who hold the position of battalionlord in the army; battalionlords command a full battalion of a thousand men. The seventh dahn includes lower ranking officers in the army who are landless and attached to a more powerful officer's retinue.
People in the tenth and lowest level of dahn are colloquially known as "tenners" and are looked down upon as being barely above darkeyes. Unlike high dahn lighteyes—who might make a living from their landed estates or by ruling over other men—or even high nahn darkeyes—who might be merchants or master craftsmen—tenners have to actually work for a living.
Moving between ranks
It is difficult for a lighteyed person to raise their dahn, especially at the higher dahns. At the lower dahns, one can buy themselves up a rank. Alternatively, one can be appointed to a position; a position such as a citylord conveys a certain rank and if the person does not currently have that rank, they will receive it along with the appointment. A person can potentially jump up two or three dahns by receiving such an appointment.
One can raise his dahn through two other, much more rare, methods. The first is through direct intervention by the king or a highprince. The second is to become a Shardbearer; by doing so, one immediately raises his dahn to that of the fourth rank, if he is not already at or above this rank.
Inheritance of dahn
The dahn of a lighteyed child is influenced by the dahn that his parents hold. Generally, the child's dahn will be equivalent to the highest dahn that either of his parents hold. For example, a child from a union of a fifth dahn husband and sixth dahn wife would be fifth dahn.
However, special rules apply to those of very high dahn or who hold certain special positions. In such a circumstance, the heir apparent will receive the highest parent's dahn and eventually succeed the parent's position while the non-heir children will slip one or two ranks down until they reach a "stable rank." A stable rank is one in which the child will always inherit the rank of their parent; the third dahn is a stable rank, while the first and second are not.
- Queen Aesudan Kholin, Queen of Alethkar
- Highprince Dalinar Kholin, Highprince of War
- Adolin Kholin, Heir to the Kholin princedom and son of Dalinar Kholin
- Highprince Torol Sadeas, Highprince of Information
- Highprince Aladar
- Highprince Bethab
- Highprince Hatham
- Highprince Roion
- Highprince Ruthar
- Highprince Sebarial
- Highprince Thanadal
- Highprince Vamah
- Highlord Meridas Amaram, absendiar highmarshal of the Sadeas princedom
- Jakamav, landlord and Shardbearer under Highprince Roion
- Renarin Kholin, son of Highprince Dalinar Kholin
- Moash, Lieutenant of the bridgemen and Shardbearer under Highprince Dalinar
- Lin Davar, Head of House Davar and Shallan's father
- Nan Balat, Shallan's brother
- The Way of Kings chapter 1
- The Way of Kings chapter 5
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- Words of Radiance chapter 14
- The Way of Kings chapter 16
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