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Lighteyes

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Lighteyes
Related to Vorinism
World Roshar
Featured In The Stormlight Archive

A lighteyes is a person with lightly colored, bright eyes, such as blue, green, yellow, light grey, or violet.[1][2] 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.

Overview[edit]

According to the Vorin religion, all lighteyes are born to rule and are superior to the darkeyes, leading to a class system based on eye color.

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.[1] 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.[3]

A male lighteyes of notable rank is addressed by the title Brightlord. Similarly, Brightlady is used to address high-ranking females,[4] although the more common term of address is Brightness. Brightness can be used to address a lighteyed lady of any rank.

Changing eye color[edit]

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.[5] 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.[6] It is unknown if this effect is permanent or only temporary while the holder is in possession of his Shards.

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.[7] 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.[8] They stay pale blue for several hours after using stormlight before returning to brown.

Origins[edit]

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.

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.[9]

Dahn[edit]

Dahn Rankings[edit]

Dahn Who is in it
1st The King
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.

Anything italicized is speculated here.[10]

General Dahn Information[edit]

Dahn is the caste system for lighteyes.[11] Its counterpart for darkeyes is the nahn system.

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.[7] 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.[12] 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.[13]

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[14][15]. The fourth dahn includes lighteyes who hold the position of battalionlord in the army; battalionlords command a full battalion of a thousand men.[16] The seventh dahn includes lower ranking officers in the army who are landless and attached to a more powerful officer's retinue.[17]

People in the tenth and lowest level of dahn are colloquially known as "tenners" and are looked down upon as being barely above darkeyes.[18][7][19] 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.[19]

Moving between ranks[edit]

It is difficult for a lighteyed person to raise their dahn, especially at the higher dahns.[14] 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.[14] A person can potentially jump up two or three dahns by receiving such an appointment.[14]

One can raise his dahn through two other, much more rare, methods. The first is through direct intervention by the king or a highprince.[14] 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.[20]

A person can also be demoted in dahn if they perform poorly in a given role.[14] In particular, if an ardent leaves the ardentia, he will be demoted to the tenth dahn.[18]

Inheritance of dahn[edit]

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.[14] 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."[14] 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.[14]

Notable lighteyes[edit]

First dahn[edit]

Second dahn[edit]

Third dahn[edit]

Fourth dahn[edit]

Fifth dahn[edit]

Eighth dahn[edit]

Tenth dahn[edit]

  • Rind, Kholin head quartermaster[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. a b c The Way of Kings chapter 1
  2. The Way of Kings chapter 5
  3. The Way of Kings chapter 2
  4. Words of Radiance chapter 14
  5. The Way of Kings chapter 16
  6. a b Words of Radiance chapter 68
  7. a b c d e Words of Radiance chapter 2
  8. Words of Radiance chapter 87
  9. The Way of Kings epilogue
  10. Brandon-approved list of Dahns
    — Reddit - 2017-08-07
  11. The Way of Kings chapter 8
  12. Words of Radiance chapter 5
  13. Words of Radiance chapter 63
  14. a b c d e f g h i Tor.com The Way of Kings Re-read Interview with Brandon Sanderson
    Theoryland - Jun 10th, 2014
  15. a b c d e Words of Radiance chapter 52
  16. The Way of Kings chapter 73
  17. The Way of Kings chapter 27
  18. a b The Way of Kings chapter 45
  19. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 45
  20. a b Words of Radiance chapter 66
  21. The Way of Kings prologue
  22. The Way of Kings chapter 44
  23. The Way of Kings chapter 58
  24. Words of Radiance chapter 26
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