The War for the Dawn was a conflict fought beyond the Wall in 303 AC which has since fallen into myth. According to some sources it was fought between humanity and the Others to stop the coming of the Long Night, while other sources suggest it was fought between The Night's Watch and the Wildlings.
It is surrounded in similar myth as the mythical war against the Others that occurred thousands of years ago and ends with the Last Hero, or Azor Azai pushing the mythical creatures back.
It is not known what exactly happened beyond the wall in 303 AC especially to the south, but the Night's Watch and the North maintain that it was a war against the Others and that Jon Snow was the one who led the charge into the night.
The threats of the Others became a very real threat for humanity during and after the War of the Five Kings with the first man to see an Other being Ser Wymar Royce. The Night's Watch would have further encounters with Wights and Others, such as when one entered Castle Black and was repelled by Jon Snow.
Others realized the dangers that the Long Night possessed, such as Stannis Baratheon and the Red Priestess Melisandre who arrived at the Wall in late 300 AC. Preaching the dangers of Winter, Melisandre convinced many that Stannis Baratheon was Azor Azai, however this claim would prove to false when the Fiery Stag was slain shortly after the Battle of Ice.
While Stannis had been an ally to the Night's Watch, the rest of his armies proved to not be as loyal and many disbanded after his death. However the cause was not dead, as Jon Snow marched to the Dreadfort and then Winterfell to win the support of the Northern Lords after their victory, despite the rumours that he had be slain at the Wall some months earlier.
Jon would convince the Northern lords of the danger and they would agree to march with him to the Wall shortly after.
The Battle for Dawn Edit
Upon arriving at the Wall, the combined forces of the North, Night's Watch and Wildlings would depart and move to meet the threat where it originate -- beyond the wall.
It was one of the worst Winters man had ever seen, with the march from the Wall nearly impossible and had it not been for the Wildling's knowledge of the land, the forces might have never made it. The host departed the wall nearly 20,000 and by the end of the first week, nearly five thousand had perished to Winter. By the end of the first month, over half were gone either out of fear, injury or disease.
The march was stagnant but the forces led under Jon Snow first set their sights upon Hardhome, where an old letter warning of 'dead things in the water' had sparked interest. When the force eventually arrived their horrors were realized as an army of wights could be seen across the horizon and was advancing south at an alarming rate. At the head of the wights was some otherwordly creature, something you would only hear about in the stories and upon it's head sat a Crown of Ice.
Armed with fire and Dragonglass, Jon Snow led the attack against the Others at Hardhome and engaged in a furious fight, filled with ice and fire.
By the end of it the tired men of the Watch and the Wildlings were no match for the army of wights despite their precautions and they were forced to run and watch as their dead friends were risen once again and gave chase.
At this point, all hope seemed lost and what soldiers and wildlings remained seemed to be giving up hope. They continued their retreat through Winter, settling upon a small gorge from which they needed to pass through to get back to the Wall. Knowing that they couldn't run much longer, the remaining forces decided to take a stand against the amassing forces of Winter that would arrive on the hour.
Taking positions within the gorge and in the snow covered banks, and using what little Dragonglass they had left, Jon Snow and his allies awaited the arrival of the Others, determined to fight them off as long as they could.
The fighting would start again that night and the army of the undead had grown tenfold as hosts of wights lead by others marched towards what remained of the defensive forces.
However, this time thing's would be different. Some would say it was the persistence of the defense, the enormous fires which erupted in the area, or even the work of the Last Greenseer or perhaps a blend of all three. Whatever happened at that fight, the Others were pushed back and the armies of wights fell back to the earth as corpses, and the crown on the head of the Night's King ripped apart and torn to shreds by whom the stories call Azor Azai.
Whatever happened work, and the War for Dawn was won. Some would say that it was in fact only postponed and that the children of the forest and the greenseers had simply mediated the conflict and that the threat of the Long Night would come again one day, once more. Other stories said that it was all over, and that the Night's King and the others were put to rest just as they had been thousands of years ago.
The harshness of Winter would cease immedietly after this victory, and winter itself would end only a year or two later, making it one of the shortest ever.
However the cost had been enormous, thousands upon thousands of Northman, Watchman and Wildlings had perished and would never sing the Dream of Spring. Jon Snow would be among the survivors and would return to his home in Winterfell where his brother, Rickon Stark awaited his return. Jon would be named as Regent until he came of age, and would serve the Stark of Winterfell until he died.
The War for the Dawn is shrouded in mystery across the North but even more so in the South. Southerners attribute it to the Wildlings, saying that the North and the Watch rode forth to combat the one who had continued what Mance Rayder had started. The North and the Watch however, did know the truth of it despite the sheer number of them which had been slaughtered beyond the wall. Over the years the story would be twisted and again turned to myth just as most tales had, but you could still find parts of the truth in the North who remembered what their valiant heroes had done to save the realm.