Longclaw is a bastard sword or hand and a half sword, which means it is a good half a foot longer than a standard long sword, tapered to thrust as well as slash. With three fullers incised into the blade to reduce weight. There are ripples in the dark steel indicating it is of Valyrian steel. It has a bear's head for the pommel.
The Mormonts have carried Longclaw for five hundred years. Jeor Mormont gave the blade to his son, Jorah Mormont, when Jeor joined the Night's Watch. Jorah later brought dishonor to the House by selling poachers to a slaver, however, but he had the grace to leave the sword behind before he fled Bear Island. His aunt Maege Mormont returned the sword to her brother Jeor, who put it aside at Castle Black since the sight of it reminded him of his son's shame.
A Game of Thrones
In saving Lord Commander Jeor Mormont's life from a wight attack at Castle Black, Jon Snow sets a fire that damages Longclaw's hilt, melting silver on the bear's head pommel and burning the crossguard and grip.
After finding the blade in the ashes of his bedchamber, Jeor has a stonecarving builder of the Night's Watch replace the hilt with one capped by a snarling wolf's head of pale stone with chips of garnet for the eyes to reflect Jon's Stark heritage. It is also weighted with lead to give better balance. Jeor gives the blade to Jon, who notes the appropriateness of a bastard wielding a bastard sword.
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Dance with Dragons
The hilt had been fashioned new for him, adorned with a wolf's-head pommel in pale stone, but the blade itself was Valyrian steel, old and light and deadly sharp.
- thoughts of Jon Snow
Godry: A man who bears Valyrian steel should use it for more than scratching his arse.
Jon: I use Longclaw when I must, ser.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 60, Jon VIII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 51, Jon VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 68, Jon VIII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 41, Jon V.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 55, Jon VII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 7, Jon II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 13, Jon II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 3, Jon I.