Ice

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Ice against a weirwood tree, by Sara Biddle © Fantasy Flight Games

Ice is the ancestral greatsword of House Stark. The two-handed sword[1] is made of Valyrian steel.[2]

Appearance

See also: Images of Ice

Ice is a greatsword as wide across as a man's hand.[3] The blade is taller than an adolescent Robb Stark[3] and near as tall as Ser Ilyn Payne.[4] Its Valyrian steel is dark and smoky[3] with deep rippling.[2]

History

Ice by John Goodenough © Fantasy Flight Games

The name "Ice" is a legacy from the Age of Heroes and predates the current sword. About four hundred years before King Robert I Baratheon's reign, the Valyrian steel greatsword was spell-forged in Valyria and acquired by House Stark, who named it after that legacy.[2]

In 50 AC Lord Walton Stark used Ice to execute Ser Olyver Bracken, who had rebelled against the Night's Watch.[5]

Lord Cregan Stark used Ice to behead Ser Gyles Belgrave and Lord Larys Strong in King's Landing during the Hour of the Wolf.[6]

Lord Eddard Stark uses Ice whenever to condemns a man to death.[7] Eddard has allowed his bastard son, Jon Snow, to handle Ice; Jon has sometimes dreamed of being regarded as a Stark and being given Ice.[1]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Eddard Stark cleaning Ice in the godswood of Winterfell, by Michael Komarck ©

Lord Eddard Stark uses Ice to execute Gared, a deserter from the Night's Watch.[3] Ned then cleans the blade with a swatch of oiled leather in the godswood of Winterfell.[2]

After Prince Joffrey Baratheon is attacked by Nymeria, the direwolf of Arya Stark, Queen Cersei Lannister insists that a direwolf be killed. Since Nymeria has gone missing, King Robert I Baratheon approves of Ser Ilyn Payne, the King's Justice, killing Lady, the direwolf of Sansa Stark. Eddard instead volunteers to kill his daughter's direwolf with Ice, and he orders Jory Cassel to have men bring Lady's bones to Winterfell to be buried.[8]

Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, gifts Jon Snow with Longclaw, a Valyrian steel sword which reminds the youth of Ice.[1]

After Eddard is arrested for treason in King's Landing, Ilyn wears Ice in a scabbard on his back.[9] Joffrey, now king after Robert's death, orders Ilyn to behead Ned at the Great Sept of Baelor. A screaming Sansa is present in the royal retinue, but in the assembled crowd Yoren prevents her sister Arya from witnessing the beheading.[9] While imprisoned in the Red Keep, Sansa has a nightmare of Ilyn coming to behead her with Ice.[10]

A Clash of Kings

When Gendry refers to the red comet as the Red Sword, Arya thinks of Ice and her father's blood.[11]

Eddard's heir Robb, now the King in the North, sends Ser Cleos Frey as an envoy during the War of the Five Kings. Robb has Cleos ask for the return of Ice, but Tyrion Lannister, the acting Hand of the King, informs Cleos that the greatsword will only be returned when Robb makes peace with the Iron Throne.[12]

During the Battle of the Blackwater, Sansa is scared when she sees Ilyn in the Queen's Ballroom of Maegor's Holdfast with the highborn women of the capital.[4] Queen Cersei claims the knight is there for protection,[4] but she later reveals she wants Ilyn to execute Sansa and herself if Stannis Baratheon is victorious in the battle.[13] Cersei has Ilyn execute three servants who attempt to flee the castle. When he returns, Sansa notices blood drying on Ice, as Ilyn has not yet cleaned the blade.[13] Stannis is defeated and forced to retreat.[14] When Joffrey receives prisoners in the throne room after the battle, the king orders Ilyn to behead a Florent bastard who remains loyal to Stannis.[15]

A Storm of Swords

Lord Tywin Lannister takes Ice from Ilyn and has Tobho Mott re-forge the greatsword into two Valyrian steel longswords.[16] When Tyrion sees Ilyn with a new silver greatsword, he regrets not having sent Ice back to Robb,[17] who was killed in the Red Wedding.[18]

King Joffrey receives one of the new longswords from his grandfather Tywin as a wedding gift and names it Widow's Wail.[19] Tywin gives the other new blade to his elder son, Ser Jaime Lannister, but Jaime rejects the gift. Jaime instead gives the sword to Brienne of Tarth and, sending her to find the missing Sansa, asks her to call the sword Oathkeeper.[20]

Known wielders

Quotes

Ice from the Valyrian Steel ® Collection

The blade was Valyrian steel, spell-forged and dark as smoke. Nothing held an edge like Valyrian steel.[3]

—thoughts of Bran Stark

Catelyn had no love for swords, but she could not deny that Ice had its own beauty.[2]

—thoughts of Catelyn Stark

What has Ser Ilyn done with my father's sword?[17]

When Ned Stark died, his greatsword was given to the King's Justice. But my father felt that such a fine blade was wasted on a mere headsman. He gave Ser Ilyn a new sword, and had Ice melted down and reforged. There was enough metal for two new blades. You're holding one. So you'll be defending Ned Stark's daughter with Ned Stark's own steel, if that makes any difference to you.[20]

References