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. Magic and spells play a role in its forging, which makes the steel special and gives it magical characteristics.[1][2][3]

History

Valyrian steel, possibly forged with dragons,[4] was manufactured in the Valyrian Freehold of old. Valyrian steel blades are lighter, stronger, and sharper than even the best castle-forged steel. The blades feature distinctive rippled patterns (similar to real-world Damascus steel), the mark of steel that has been folded back on itself many thousands of times.[5] There may be thousands of Valyrian steel blades remaining in the world, but in Westeros there are only 227 such weapons according to Archmaester Thurgood's Inventories, some of which have since been lost or have disappeared from recorded history.[6] Most Valyrian steel blades in Westeros are treasured heirlooms of noble houses, each with its own name and storied history, and even impoverished lesser houses are unwilling to give them up.[5]

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.[7] Only the greatest weaponsmiths can reforge swords from existing Valyrian steel, making those remaining weapons highly treasured and extremely rare.[5] The blacksmiths of Qohor claim to know the magics for reforging Valyrian steel without losing its strength or unsurpassed ability to hold an edge.[8][6]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Lord Eddard Stark uses Ice to execute Gared, a deserter from the Night's Watch.[9]

A catspaw tries to assassinate Bran Stark with a Valyrian steel dagger, but he is instead slain by Summer. Bran's mother, Catelyn Stark, show the dagger to Petyr Baelish, who claims to have lost the dagger in the tourney on Prince Joffrey's name day.[10]

In gratitude for having been saved from a wight, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont gives Longclaw to Jon Snow.[11]

Ser Ilyn Payne uses Ice to execute Ned Stark in King's Landing.[12]

A Storm of Swords

Lord Tywin Lannister has Tobho Mott, a blacksmith trained in Qohor, reforge Ice into two new Valyrian blades.[5] The first, Widow's Wail, is given to King Joffrey I Baratheon as a wedding gift by his grandfather, Tywin. Joffrey chooses its name from the shouted suggestion of an unnamed guest.[13] Following Joffrey's death at his wedding feast, ownership of Widow's Wail presumably passes to his younger brother, King Tommen I.

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.[14]

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.[15][16]

A Dance with Dragons

During the siege of Astapor, the sellsword Caggo fights with a Valyrian steel arakh.[17]

The Winds of Winter

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Warning
This information has thus far been released in a sample chapter for The Winds of Winter, and might therefore not be in finalized form. Keep in mind that the content as described below is still subject to change.

Euron Greyjoy is seen by his captive brother, Aeron, in a suit of black scale armor which Aeron believes to be Valyrian steel. Aeron believes it would have cost a kingdom even before the Doom of Valyria.[18]

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.[25][26] The maesters who gain Valyrian steel links do not have to forge the metal themselves.[27]
  • Dragonbinder - a dragon horn banded with red gold and Valyrian steel.[19]
  • The crown worn by Aegon I Targaryen and some of his successors in the Targaryen dynasty, a circlet of Valyrian steel studded with rubies.[28] It was last worn by King Daeron I Targaryen, and lost after his death in Dorne.[29]
  • A suit of black scale armor worn by Euron Greyjoy.[18]

Quotes

"Ice," that sword was called. It was as wide across as a man's hand, and taller even than Robb Stark. The blade was Valyrian steel, spell-forged and dark as smoke. Nothing held an edge like Valyrian steel.[9]
- thoughts of Bran Stark


I heard of a man who had a razor made of Valyrian steel. He cut his head off trying to shave.[11]
- Toad to Jon Snow


Valyrian steel blades were scarce and costly, yet thousands remained in the world, perhaps two hundred in the Seven Kingdoms alone.[5]
- thoughts of Tyrion Lannister


A man who bears Valyrian steel should use it for more than scratching his arse.[30]
- 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.[3]
- 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.[7]
- George R. R. Martin

References and Sources

  1. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
  2. So Spake Martin: Producing Valyrian Steel, March 11, 2001
  3. 3.0 3.1 So Spake Martin: The Process of Making Valyrian Steel, November 06, 2002
  4. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 72, Daenerys X.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 32, Tyrion IV.
  6. 6.0 6.1 The World of Ice and Fire, Ancient History: Valyria's Children.
  7. 7.0 7.1 So Spake Martin: On Valyrian Steel and Twist Endings, March 16, 2008
  8. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
  9. 9.0 9.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 1, Bran I.
  10. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 18, Catelyn IV.
  11. 11.0 11.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 60, Jon VIII.
  12. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 65, Arya V.
  13. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 60, Tyrion VIII.
  14. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72, Jaime IX.
  15. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 5, Samwell I.
  16. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 7, Jon II.
  17. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 60, The Spurned Suitor.
  18. 18.0 18.1 The Winds of Winter, The Forsaken
  19. 19.0 19.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 19, The Drowned Man.
  20. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 25, The Windblown.
  21. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36, Davos IV.
  22. The World of Ice and Fire.
  23. 23.0 23.1 The Princess and the Queen.
  24. The World of Ice and Fire, The Quarrelsome Daughters: Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh.
  25. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 28, Bran IV.
  26. A Feast for Crows, Appendix.
  27. So Spake Martin: Maester Chains and Valyrian Steel Links, June 20, 2001
  28. The World of Ice and Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
  29. The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I.
  30. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 3, Jon I.

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