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Dragonglass is the name used by the smallfolk for a volcanic glass[1] which the maesters of the Citadel call obsidian.[2][3] Obsidian was used by the children of the forest to fabricate weapons.[4] The Valyrians called obsidian frozen fire and made use of obsidian to make their glass candles.[5] The smallfolk like to say that dragonglass is made by dragons, while maesters say it comes from the fires of the earth.[3][4]

Jon Snow gives Samwell Tarly a dragonglass dagger. Art by Algesiras


There are large deposits of dragonglass on Dragonstone.[6] It is an export product from Asshai,[7] and possibly the Shivering Sea,[8] while the Skagosi trade obsidian blades and arrowheads.[9] Obsidian blades are sharper than steel but far more brittle.[10]

Dragonglass weapons are one of the few weaknesses of the Others. An Other that is pierced by an obsidian blade dies almost instantaneously.

According to George R. R. Martin, he has given obsidian,

...magical characteristics that of course real obsidian doesn't necessarily have. After all, we live in a world that has no magic. My world does have magic, so it's a little bit different.[11]


The children of the forest made weapons out of dragonglass, including daggers, blades, and arrowheads.[4] During the Dawn Age, the children of the forest fought against their greatest foes, the giants, with obsidian weapons, as possibly proved by Maester Kennet, whose study describes a giant's burial at a barrow near the Long Lake, who had obsidian arrowheads amidst his extant ribs.[12] During the Age of Heroes, it was recorded by the Night's Watch that the children of the forest gave the black brothers a hundred obsidian daggers every year.[13]

In their war against the First Men, the children with their dragonglass weapons could not stand against the First Men, and were overwhelmed.[14]

During the Doom of Valyria, red clouds rained down dragonglass.[15]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

In his turret in Winterfell Maester Luwin pours a handful of shiny black arrowheads out of a green jar and shows them to Bran Stark, Rickon Stark, and Osha. Osha names the material dragonglass, and Maester Luwin tells them that it is obsidian; he says that the children of the forest worked no metal and hunted with obsidian instead, and in place of swords they carried blades of obsidian. Osha remarks that they still do. Bran examines the arrowhead, noticing that the black glass is slick and shiny. He thinks it's beautiful, and asks Maester Luwin if he can keep one.[4]

A Clash of Kings

At the Fist of the First Men, Jon Snow discovers a cache of knives, leaf-shaped spearheads, and numerous arrowheads made of obsidian. Dragonglass, he thinks to himself. Beneath the dragonglass is an old warhorn, and when Jon shakes the dirt from inside it, a stream of arrowheads falls out. Jon gives Samwell Tarly a spearhead and a dozen arrowheads as well, and passes the rest out among his other friends for luck.[10]

Mors Umber is said to wear a chunk of dragonglass in place of a lost eye.[16]

As Daenerys Targaryen enters Qarth, she passes under a bronze arch depicting two snakes mating, whose scales are made of jade, obsidian, and lapis lazuli.[17] During her stay in Qarth, Daenerys receives multiple gifts from people seeking to learn the truth behind the rumors about living dragons. These gifts include dragonglass from Asshai. The dragonglass is among the many offerings Daenerys sells, to gather the wealth she ends up wasting on the Pureborn.[7]

After the death of the Undying Ones, Xaro Xhoan Daxos tells Daenerys Targaryen that glass candles that have not burned in a hundred years are now burning in the house of Urrathon Night-Walker.[18]

A Storm of Swords

Samwell Tarly and the few survivors from the Fist are escaping south, with a heavy snow falling. Upon an undead horse, a lone Other appears. In a blind panic, Sam slays the Other by stabbing it with the dragonglass dagger given to him by Jon Snow. The dagger causes the Other to shrink and puddle, dissolving away in twenty heartbeats. Only the dagger remains, wreathed in steam. Grenn goes to scoop up the dragonglass dagger, but has to fling it down again as it is extremely cold.[19]

At Craster's Keep, Samwell discusses obsidian with Jeor Mormont. The Lord Commander tells Sam that if dragonglass kills the Others as Sam claims, he wants more of it. Sam remarks that the children of the forest would know where to find obsidian, but Lord Commander Mormont tells him that the children are all dead.[3]

Sam and Gilly, escaping from the mutiny at Craster's Keep, are menaced by a wight, what remains of Small Paul. Sam attempts to stab him with the dragonglass dagger, but it shatters upon contact with Paul's chainmail.[20]

At the Wall, after hearing about the properties of dragonglass from Sam, King Stannis Baratheon sends word to his castellan Ser Rolland Storm on Dragonstone to begin mining obsidian. He fears he will not hold his seat much longer but hopes that the Lord of Light shall grant them enough frozen fire to arm themselves against the Others before the Dragonstone falls.[6]

A Feast For Crows

An acolyte of the Citadel attempts to light a dragonglass candle. ©HBO

In Oldtown, Leo Tyrell tells his fellow Citadel acolytes and novices that there is a glass candle burning in Archmaester Marwyn's chambers. Armen explains the vigil an acolyte must hold to become a maester, where one fruitlessly attempts to light one of the Citadel's glass candles, and says that obsidian does not burn. Pate remembers that the smallfolk call obsidian dragonglass, and Alleras wonders if the return of dragons is what lets the candle burn again.[1]

At the Wall, Samwell Tarly tells Jon Snow that he has learned that the children of the forest used to give the Night's Watch a hundred obsidian daggers every year, during the Age of Heroes.[13]

When Sam arrives at the Citadel, there is a black glass candle burning in Marwyn's study on the Isle of Ravens. Marwyn tells him that it burns but is not consumed.[5]

A Dance With Dragons

In Meereen, Quaithe tells Daenerys Targaryen that the glass candles are burning.[21]


Obsidian. Forged in the fires of the gods, far below the earth. The children of the forest hunted with that, thousands of years ago. The children worked no metal... In place of swords, they carried blades of obsidian.[4]

—Maester Luwin

Finally only the dragonglass dagger remained, wreathed in steam as if it were alive and sweating. Grenn bent to scoop it up and flung it down again at once. “Mother, that’s cold.”[19]

They are vulnerable to obsidian. [21]

Samwell Tarly, to Lord Commander Jon Snow

Dragonglass. Frozen fire, in the tongue of old Valyria. Small wonder it is anathema to these cold children of the Other.[6]