|The title of this article is conjecture based on information revealed in the A Song of Ice and Fire novels or related material and may be subject to change.
- "In the far east...the Lion of Night, who fathered the world's first emperor on the Maiden-Made-of-Light, and whose wrath nearly ended the world."
- ―Jaqen H'ghar
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, "God-on-Earth" was the legendary first emperor of the Great Empire of the Dawn - the first empire of Yi Ti back during the Dawn Age, before the Long Night more than 8,000 years ago. The Golden Empire itself is semi-mythical and it is unconfirmed if it truly existed, being filled with emperors who allegedly lived for thousands of years and warred with gods.
According to the legends told in Yi Ti, God-On-Earth was the only begotten son of their religion's two primary deities, the Lion of Night and the Maiden-Made-of-Light. He allegedly lived for ten thousand years, and traveled about his domains in a palanquin carved from a single pearl and carried by a hundred queens, his wives. At the end of his reign, God-on-Earth ascended to the heavens to join his forbearers.
He was succeeded by his eldest son, the Pearl Emperor, who allegedly lived for one thousand years. All subsequent rulers of the Great Empire of the Dawn were God-on-Earth's descendants. Eventually, the seventh ruler (known as the Opal Emperor) was succeeded by his daughter, known as the Amethyst Empress - however she was usurped and murdered by her own younger brother, an evil necromancer known as the Bloodstone Emperor. The Maiden-Made-of-Light turned her back on humanity in shame over this betrayal, and the Lion of Night came forth in his wrath to scourge humanity by plunging the world into darkness - which is how the legends of Yi Ti explain why the Long Night happened. The Great Empire of the Dawn (if it ever really existed) collapsed, and Yi Ti had to rebuild its civilization. Yi Ti's current civilization, "the Golden Empire of Yi Ti", was founded a few generations after the Long Night (still nearly 8,000 years ago, the oldest continuous civilization in the world).
All of the emperors in Yi Ti's subsequent eleven dynasties, between the Long Night and the present, claim descent in one form or another from God-on-Earth, and through him the gods. For this reason the rulers of Yi Ti are referred to as "god-emperors", and worshiped by their subjects as demigods (or actual gods). This is somewhat similar to the real-life title "Son of Heaven", used to refer to East Asian monarchs. For Chinese emperors, the term was understood figuratively (the ruler was a mortal chosen by the gods, but not their literal descendant). In Japan, however, the emperors were literally believed to be descended from the gods - the beliefs in Yi Ti are closer to this.