Steel

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Northern Steel, by Federico Piatti © Fantasy Flight Games

Steel is a hard alloy often used to make weapons and armor. Iron is the base metal of steel.

Properties

The shop of Tobho Mott, by Logan Feliciano © Fantasy Flight Games

Steel is forged by blacksmiths.[1] Cheap steel can be brittle, while castle-forged steel is considered higher quality.[2][3][4] Polished steel can reflect light,[5] but steel will rust if not cared for, especially if it is cheap.[4][6] Using spells,[1] the smiths of Qohor are said to make items superior even to the castle-forged steel of the Seven Kingdoms.[7]

Steel can appear blue,[8][9] silver-blue,[10] grey,[11] and black,[11][12] and some artisans decorate steel with paint or enamel.[1] The House Targaryen guards of old wore black steel,[13] for instance, and the knights of the Kingsguard wear white steel plate.[14] Steel can also be jeweled, silvered, gilded, and filigreed.[1][15][16]

Valyrian steel is lighter than common steel,[17] and Valyrian-made blades are harder and sharper.[18]

Steel gives greater protection than lesser armor, but the wearer is in greater risk of drowning while wearing the heavier equipment.[19][20][21][22]

The blades of the Others are so cold that they shatter a steel blade on impact.[23][24] Wildfire can seep into steel, which then goes up in flames.[25] The goldenheart bows of the Summer Isles can penetrate plate.[26]

The scales of a full-grown dragon are harder than steel.[27] The fire of such a dragon is hot enough to melt steel and stone.[28] Dragons can also bite through steel plate.[28]

Armament

Weapons made of steel include axes,[29] caltrops,[30] crossbow bolts,[31] daggers,[32] lance points,[4] maces,[32] morningstars,[32] pike points,[5] scythes,[33] spearheads,[34] swords,[23] and the tips of whips.[35] Masters-at-arms can provide blunted weapons for training instead of live steel.[36] Steel attire includes boots,[11] caps,[1] codpieces,[37] gauntlets,[38] gorgets,[39] greaves,[40] hauberks,[41] helms,[39] ringmail,[42] plate,[15] rondels,[39] shinguards,[39] and vambraces.[43] Wooden shields can be banded with steel,[11] and small shields can be made of the alloy.[31] Horseshoes can also be made of steel.[44]

Princess Rhaenys Targaryen wore a steel and copper armor which flashed in the sun.[45]

Ser Brynden Tully owns grey ringmail under blackened steel, with a black trout adorning the helm's crest.[46]

Lord Tywin Lannister's plate armor is made of steel and is enameled in deep crimson and highlighted with gold, and its rondels are golden sunbursts.[11][47] Although Ser Jaime Lannister's armor appears to be made of gold, it is actually gilded steel.[16] Steel lions crest the helms of House Lannister guards.[48]

In the field Lord Randyll Tarly wears mail and boiled leather with a breastplate of grey steel.[49]

Brienne of Tarth's dented steel armor is of a brilliant deep blue cobalt.[5]

Sandor Clegane wears a steel helm shaped like a hound's head,[50] while Vargo Hoat's black steel helm resembles the head of a goat.[51] Ser Jorah Mormont owns a flat-topped greathelm of dark grey steel.[52] Gendry made a steel helm shaped like a bull's head.[1] Bronn owns a round steel halfhelm with a noseguard.[39]

Instead of good steel, Thoros of Myr uses cheap steel for his swords, as wildfire ruins the blade.[53]

Culture

The steel link in a maester's chain, by Anna Christenson © Fantasy Flight Games

Worthy warriors can be considered true steel, in comparison to lesser men.[54][55][56]

Steel is one of the metals used by maesters for their chain links.[57]

The Street of Steel in King's Landing contains numerous shops and forges.[1]

When priests of the Drowned God pray for a believer, they ask that the follower be blessed with salt, stone, and steel.[58][59] "Steel Rain" is an old reaving song sung by ironborn.[60]

The Steel Road is one of the three mountain passes through the Bone Mountains in Essos.[61]

It is forbidden to bare steel in Vaes Dothrak.[62]

Free folk raiders steal iron and steel weapons from the north,[63] as they lack the skill to forge steel themselves.[64] The Vale mountain clans also wield scavenged steel of inferior quality.[65]

Several individuals have aliases based on the metal:

History

Jousting steed, by Tomasz Jedruszek © Fantasy Flight Games

The bronze weapons of the First Men were stronger than the stone and obsidian weapons of the children of the forest,[71] but both peoples were no match for the iron and steel of the Andals.[29][72]

The Valyrian Freehold made a metal of unparalleled quality, Valyrian steel.[73]

King Aegon I Targaryen used the dragonflame of Balerion to forge the Iron Throne out of the swords and daggers of his enemies.[74][75]

Ser Byron Swann meant to kill a dragon during the Dance of the Dragons with a spear and a shield of silvered steel, thus mimicking the legend of Serwyn of the Mirror Shield who slew the dragon Urrax.[35]

Hugh Hammer was said to be so strong he could twist steel bars into torcs with his bare hands.[35]

Prince Daemon Targaryen used a steel-tipped whip to control his dragon Caraxes.[35]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

In return for their service, Tyrion Lannister promises to arm several Vale mountain clans with steel weapons and armor.[11]

A Clash of Kings

Tyrion Lannister's chain, by Davis Engel © Fantasy Flight Games

In preparation for his defense of King's Landing during the War of the Five Kings, Tyrion has the blacksmiths of the city forge a chain of immense steel links long enough to cross the Blackwater Rush.[76] During the Battle of the Blackwater, the royal fleets of King Joffrey I Baratheon and his rival, Stannis Baratheon, are blocked by the chain and largely destroyed by wildfire.[77]

A Storm of Swords

Arya Stark learns that the clansmen of the Vale of Arryn have become bolder after being armed with steel.[78]

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.[24][79]

Since the babe was born during the battle beneath the Wall, Gilly gives the name "Aemon Steelsong" to the son of Mance Rayder and his late wife, Dalla.[80]

A Dance with Dragons

The company steel of the Second Sons is poorly maintained.[81]

Quotes

Tyrion Lannister and the company steel of the Second Sons, by Jamga ©

Rogar: Sheath your steel and move aside. Have you forgotten? I am the King's Hand.
Samgood: Aye, but we're the Kingsguard, not the Hand's guard, and it's the lad who sits the chair, not you.[82]

My new Hand is a steel fist. We are done with writing letters.[45]

If you're ever to be a knight, you'll need to know good steel from bad.[4]

Lawless men are everywhere in this dark time, oh, yes. Men with cold steel and colder hearts.[83]

Varys to Shae

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.[55]

Sharp steel and strong arms rule this world, don't ever believe any different.[84]

At sea, heavy steel was as like to cost a man his life as to save it, he believed.[77]

—thoughts of Davos Seaworth

You can buy a man with gold, but only blood and steel will keep him true.[85]

—thoughts of Tyrion Lannister

This is what I was made for, he thought. The dance, the sweet steel song, a sword in my hand and a foe before me.[68]

—thoughts of Barristan Selmy

References

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  2. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 1, Arya I.
  3. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 30, Jon IV.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 The Hedge Knight.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 22, Catelyn II.
  6. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 31, Tyrion IV.
  7. The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: Qohor.
  8. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 10, Jon II.
  9. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 15, Sansa I.
  10. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 64, The Ugly Little Girl.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 62, Tyrion VIII.
  12. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 23, Jon III.
  13. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard IV.
  14. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47, Eddard XIII.
  15. 15.0 15.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
  16. 16.0 16.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
  17. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 28, Jon VI.
  18. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 58, Jon XII.
  19. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
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  21. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 29, The Reaver.
  22. The Sworn Sword.
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  26. The World of Ice & Fire, Beyond the Free Cities: The Summer Isles.
  27. Fire & Blood, Reign of the Dragon - The Wars of King Aegon I.
  28. 28.0 28.1 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Overthrown.
  29. 29.0 29.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands.
  30. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 64, Jon VIII.
  31. 31.0 31.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 57, Daenerys V.
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 55, Jon VII.
  33. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 7, Jon I.
  34. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 37, Bran V.
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 35.4 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant.
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  38. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 64, Daenerys VIII.
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 39.4 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 40, Catelyn VII.
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  43. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 49, Catelyn VI.
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  46. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 38, Jaime VI.
  47. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 65, Sansa VIII.
  48. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 49, Eddard XIV.
  49. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 14, Brienne III.
  50. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 16, Eddard III.
  51. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 30, Arya VII.
  52. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 61, Daenerys VII.
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  56. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 70, The Queen's Hand.
  57. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 41, Jon V.
  58. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 11, Theon I.
  59. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 1, The Prophet.
  60. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 18, The Iron Captain.
  61. The World of Ice & Fire, The Bones and Beyond.
  62. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 46, Daenerys V.
  63. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 53, Jon XI.
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  67. A Feast for Crows, Appendix.
  68. 68.0 68.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.
  69. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 24, The Lost Lord.
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  79. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 7, Jon II.
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  84. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 52, Sansa IV.
  85. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 18, Tyrion V.