Iron

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Iron links on a maester's chain, by Tim Durning

Iron is a strong metal often used in tools and armament. It is the base metal of steel.

Usage

Iron can be used for mail,[1] breastplates,[2] helms,[3] boots,[4] swords,[5] dirks,[6] axes,[7] mauls,[6] cudgels,[1] morningstars,[8] staves,[9] the tips of spears[10] or lances,[11] crossbow quarrels,[12] and horseshoes.[13] Naval rams and battering rams are often of iron.[14][2][15] Iron manacles and shackles are used on captives.[3] Prisoners can also be held in iron crow cages.[16]

Shields, gates, and doors can be banded or studded with iron;[17][18][3][19] the Iron Gate is one of the gates of King's Landing.[20] Fortifications can have iron spikes on their walls[21] or in dry moats.[22] Steps can be made of iron.[23]

Maesters are rewarded with iron chains for their skill in warcraft,[24] while black iron is used for knowledge in ravenry.[25] Brown brothers who are devoted to the Seven wear a small iron hammer about their neck.[26][27]

Culture

The Iron Throne by Jake Murray © Fantasy Flight Games

Deposits of iron ore are plentiful on Great Wyk, Harlaw, Orkmont, and Pyke in the Iron Islands.[28] While it is often believed the island chain is named after the ore, the ironborn themselves insist their lands are instead named after their people's fierce, hard, unbending nature.[29] Followers of the Old Way desire to claim treasures by paying the iron price.[2] Iron Holt is the seat of House Wynch on Pyke.[30] Iron Kiss, Iron Lady, Iron Vengeance, Iron Victory, Iron Wind, and Iron Wing are ships of the Iron Fleet. Their Lord Captain, Victarion Greyjoy, thinks of himself as an iron captain.[31] Silence has a black iron maiden on its prow.[32]

Singers say that demons can be killed by cold iron;[33] according to Old Nan, the legendary Others hated iron.[34] "Iron Lances" is a popular song.[35]

The Starks traditionally place an iron longsword on the lap of each statue of the Lords of Winterfell within their crypt. This is said to keep vengeful spirits in the crypt.[5]

Ser Jacelyn Bywater is known as Ironhand for his replacement hand.[36] Areo Hotah refers to his axe as his his ash-and-iron wife.[37] Roger Ryswell uses an iron horsehead brooch.[38]

Dragonbone is said to be black because of its high iron content.[39]

The Gallery of the Iron Torches is located within the Guildhall of the Alchemists.[40]

Free folk who live beyond the Wall often raid the south for iron and steel.[41] Mance Rayder, King-Beyond-the-Wall, wears a bronze-and-iron helm with raven wings.[42] Some free folk refer to armor-clad southron knights as iron men.[43]

New Ghis organizes its soldiers into iron legions.[44]

The warrior women of Bayasabhad, Kayakayanaya, and Samyriana wear iron rings in their nipples and rubies in their cheeks.[45] Kayakayanaya, has walls of black basalt, black iron, and yellow bone.[46]

Those who dwell in Asshai often ride in palanquins of ebony and iron, hidden behind dark curtains and carried upon the backs of slaves.[47]

History

Antiquity

An Andal killing a First Man, from Game of Thrones Blu-ray

The Cymmeri are believed to have been the first people to work iron.[48]

Septons claim that the Smith wrought a suit of iron plates for each of the forty-four sons of Hugor of the Hill.[49] In Essos, however, it is believed that the Andals learned how to work iron from the Rhoynar.[49] The Andals used iron weapons and armor to defeat various tribes, including possibly hairy men.[50][51] During the coming of the Andals to Westeros, the Andals' usage of iron aided in their triumph over the First Men, who mostly used bronze.[50]

The Valyrian Freehold used slavery to unearth iron for making Valyrian steel.[52]

House Yronwood grew wealthy from deposits of iron, tin, and silver in their Dornish lands.[53]

Some Kings of the Reach from House Gardener wore crowns of iron thorns when they rode to war.[54] Andals who were welcomed to the Reach taught First Men how to work iron.[55]

After slaughtering rivals on Old Wyk, Urron Greyiron established the tradition of Kings of the Iron Islands wearing a black iron crown instead of a driftwood crown.[56] The ironborn traded iron for timber in the era of House Hoare.[28]

Northwestern Essos is rich in iron, tin, lead, and slate. The Iron Bank of Braavos was founded in an abandoned iron mine.[57] The mountains of Ib are rich in iron, gold, and tin.[58]

Targaryen Era

Aegon I Targaryen on the Iron Throne, by Michael Komarck ©

The Iron Throne, the seat of the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, was created from the swords of men defeated by Aegon the Conqueror.[59]

Lord Jasper Wylde was known as Ironrod,[60] while Ser Harmon of the Reeds was called Iron-Banger.[8] During the Dance of the Dragons, Ser Hugh Hammer infuriated Prince Daeron Targaryen by wearing a crown of black iron.[8]

King Aegon IV Targaryen ordered the construction of artificial dragon of wood and iron. The siege engines faltered and burned in the kingswood, however.[61] King Maekar I Targaryen wore a crown with black iron points in a band of red gold.[62]

Lord Lyonel Baratheon decorated his helm with a rack of iron antlers.[63] While serving as Hand of the King, Lord Brynden Rivers wore a brooch in the shape of an iron hand.[64]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Daenerys Targaryen sees black iron dragons with jewels for eyes when she travels the godsway at Vaes Dothrak.[65]

A Clash of Kings

The iron coin of the Faceless Men, by Shire Post Mint ©

Robb Stark, King in the North, wears a bronze circlet with iron spikes as his crown.[66]

When Meera and Jojen Reed renew an oath of fealty to Winterfell during the harvest feast, they swear by bronze and iron.[35]

Jaqen H'ghar gives Arya Stark a small iron penny before he departs Harrenhal.[67][68]

Theon Greyjoy, claiming the title Prince of Winterfell, dons a slim band of iron set with chunks of black diamond and nuggets of gold.[69]

While in the skin of Summer, Bran Stark thinks of the hard cold smell of iron as the stuff of man-claws and hardskin.[70]

A Feast for Crows

Pate meets an alchemist who claims to be able to change iron into gold.[71]

Arya uses the iron penny to gain admittance to the House of Black and White in Braavos.[72]

A Dance with Dragons

Prince Aegon Targaryen wears three huge square-cut rubies on a chain of black iron; the youth had received them as a gift from Magister Illyrio Mopatis.[73]

A smith in Barrowton creates a crude iron kraken brooch for Theon.[74]

Tyrion Lannister, Penny, and Ser Jorah Mormont are forced to wear gilded iron collars after becoming slaves of Yezzan zo Qaggaz.[75]

Quotes

Oak and iron guard me well, or else I'm dead and doomed to hell.[63]

—thoughts of Duncan the Tall

Robert was the true steel. Stannis is pure iron, black and hard and strong, yes, but brittle, the way iron gets. He'll break before he bends. And Renly, that one, he's copper, bright and shiny, pretty to look at but not worth all that much at the end of the day.[76]

Iron, lead, tin, those are our treasures. Small wonder the ironmen of old turned to raiding.[2]

Walder: Some would say it's a poor king who crowns himself with bronze, Your Grace.
Robb: Bronze and iron are stronger than gold and silver.[77]

Laws should be made of iron, not of pudding.[78]

Gold has its uses, but wars are won with iron.[49]

Gave you my word on it, didn't I? The word of Tormund Giantsbane. Strong as iron, 'tis.[79]

Only cowards dress in iron.[80]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 65, Arya V.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 11, Theon I.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 53, Bran VI.
  4. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 63, Catelyn X.
  5. 5.0 5.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
  6. 6.0 6.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 31, Tyrion IV.
  7. A Game of Thrones, Prologue.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Overthrown.
  9. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 33, Tyrion VIII.
  10. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 21, Tyrion III.
  11. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 49, Eddard XIV.
  12. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 32, Sansa III.
  13. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 15, Tyrion III.
  14. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 18, Catelyn IV.
  15. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 61, Tyrion XIV.
  16. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 29, Arya V.
  17. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
  18. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 40, Catelyn VII.
  19. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 59, Catelyn IX.
  20. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 62, Sansa VII.
  21. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34, Catelyn VI.
  22. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47, Eddard XIII.
  23. A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
  24. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 41, Jon V.
  25. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 28, Bran IV.
  26. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 39, Arya VII.
  27. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 8, Jaime I.
  28. 28.0 28.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Black Blood.
  29. The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands.
  30. A Storm of Swords, Appendix.
  31. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 29, The Reaver.
  32. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 18, The Iron Captain.
  33. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 10, Davos II.
  34. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 24, Bran IV.
  35. 35.0 35.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 21, Bran III.
  36. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 8, Tyrion II.
  37. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 2, The Captain Of Guards.
  38. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 46, A Ghost in Winterfell.
  39. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 13, Tyrion II.
  40. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 20, Tyrion V.
  41. The World of Ice & Fire, The Wall and Beyond: The Wildlings.
  42. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 15, Jon II.
  43. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 73, Jon X.
  44. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 50, Daenerys VIII.
  45. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 54, Daenerys VI.
  46. The World of Ice & Fire, The Bones and Beyond.
  47. The World of Ice & Fire, Asshai-by-the-Shadow.
  48. The World of Ice & Fire, Beyond the Free Cities: The Grasslands.
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
  50. 50.0 50.1 The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: The Arrival of the Andals.
  51. The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: Lorath.
  52. The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: Valyria's Children.
  53. The World of Ice & Fire, Dorne: Kingdoms of the First Men.
  54. The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach: The Gardener Kings.
  55. The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach: Andals in the Reach.
  56. The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Iron Kings.
  57. The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: Braavos.
  58. The World of Ice & Fire, Beyond the Free Cities: Ib.
  59. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 43, Eddard XI.
  60. Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
  61. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon IV.
  62. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I.
  63. 63.0 63.1 The Hedge Knight.
  64. The Mystery Knight.
  65. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 36, Daenerys IV.
  66. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
  67. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 47, Arya IX.
  68. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 64, Arya X.
  69. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 50, Theon IV.
  70. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 69, Bran VII.
  71. A Feast for Crows, Prologue.
  72. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 6, Arya I.
  73. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 24, The Lost Lord.
  74. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 37, The Prince of Winterfell.
  75. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 47, Tyrion X.
  76. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
  77. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 49, Catelyn VI.
  78. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 3, Jon I.
  79. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 58, Jon XII.
  80. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.