Valyrian steel

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Valyrian steel was invented in Valyria and was used to make weapons and various other items of unparalleled quality. Being spell-forged steel, it is the spells and magic that make the steel special.[1][2]

History

Valyrian steel was manufactured in the Valyrian Freehold with dragonfire before the freehold fell.[3] Valyrian steel blades are lighter, stronger, and sharper than even the best castle-forged steel, and feature distinctive rippled patterns similar to Damascus steel, the mark of steel that has been folded back on itself many thousands of times.[4] Most Valyrian steel blades in Westeros are treasured heirlooms of noble houses, each with its own name and storied history. Valyrian steel keeps its edge forever.[3] Valyrian steel was always costly, but it became considerably more so when there was no more Valyria, the secret of its making lost with the Doom.

Only the greatest weaponsmiths can reforge swords from existing Valyrian steel, making those remaining weapons highly treasured and extremely rare. The blacksmiths of Qohor claim to know how to reforge Valyrian steel.

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Lord Eddard Stark uses Ice to execute Gared, a deserter from the Night's Watch.

A catspaw tries to assassinate Bran Stark with a Valyrian steel dagger, but he is instead slain by Summer. Bran's mother, Catelyn Tully, show the dagger to Petyr Baelish, who claims to have lost the dagger in the tourney on Prince Joffrey's name day.

Ser Ilyn Payne uses Ice to execute Ned Stark in King's Landing.

In gratitude for having been saved from a wight, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont gives Longclaw to Jon Snow.

A Storm of Swords

Lord Tywin Lannister has Tobho Mott, a blacksmith trained in Qohor, reforge Ice into two new Valyrian blades. The first, Widow's Wail, is given to King Joffrey Baratheon as a wedding gift by his grandfather, Tywin. Joffrey chooses its name from the shouted suggestion of an unnamed guest. Following Joffrey's death at his wedding feast, ownership of Widow's Wail presumably passes to his younger brother, King Tommen.

Tywin gives the second blade to his son, Ser Jaime Lannister. Jaime then gives it to Brienne of Tarth for use in her quest to locate Sansa Stark, and he asks her to name it Oathkeeper.

A Feast for Crows

When looking in the Night's Watch's archives, Samwell Tarly reads about dragonsteel, which he and Jon Snow think might have been Valyrian steel.[5][6]

List of known Valyrian steel blades

Blades known to still exist:

Blades with known fates:

Blades with unknown fates:

Other objects

  • A small number of maesters, including Maester Luwin and Archmaester Marwyn, have Valyrian steel links in their collars, representing their study of magic and occultism. Marwyn also has a ring, a rod and a mask of Valyrian steel.[13][14]
  • Dragonbinder - a dragon horn banded with red gold and Valyrian steel.
  • The crown worn by Aegon I Targaryen (and a few other kings), embedded with rubies.

Dragonsteel

When looking in the archives of the Night's Watch for a way to combat the Others Samwell Tarly reads about dragonsteel. He and Jon Snow think Valyrian steel may be meant by this.[5][6]

Quotes

Valyrian steel blades were scarce and costly, yet thousands remained in the world, perhaps two hundred in the Seven Kingdoms alone.[4]
– thoughts of Tyrion Lannister


A man who bears Valyrian steel should use it for more than scratching his arse.[15]
- Godry Farring to Jon Snow


Valyrian steel is a fantasy metal. Which means it has magical characteristics, and magic plays a role in its forging.[16]
George R. R. Martin


Valyrian steel was always costly, but it became considerably more so when there was no more Valyria, and the secret of its making were lost.[17]
George R. R. Martin

References and Sources

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