In both the TV show and the book series Game of Thrones is based on, Valyrian swords are a rare commodity. This is thanks to the fact the skill of how to forge Valyrian steel is a long lost technique. But just how many Valyrian steel swords are there really, and just how lost is this technique?
SPOILER ALERT: This article contains information and speculation about HBO’s Game of Thrones as well as the book series the show is based on. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.
It seems that regularly during HBO’s Game of Thrones the Valyrian steel sword is brought up. Usually it is to mention just how rare they are, or how they are great for killing white walkers. As recently as Episode 6 of Game of Thrones, we saw Samwell Tarly (John Bradley-West) steal his father’s Valyrian sword. And considering he knows just how important one of these swords is as a defense against white walkers, it is likely this commodity will become more important, especially now that Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) has just reminded the white walkers of the rest of Westeros and poor Hodor (Kristian Nairn) couldn’t quite hold the door.
But just how rare are these swords? The Wrap recently composed a comprehensive list of the Valyrian swords already mentioned in the TV series as well as those that may still be relevant from the book series. While, according to the books, there are certainly hundreds of Valyrian steel swords currently known about, many of them belong to characters that are not likely to appear in the TV version. According to this list, besides the Tarly’s Heartsbane, there are five other Valyrian steel implements already in play and four others that may cross over from the book series.
Jon Snow has a Valyrian steel sword called Longclaw that was given to him by former Night’s Watch lord commander Jeor Mormont (James Cosmo). The Starks originally had a Valyrian steel sword, but this was confiscated by the Lannisters after Ned Stark (Sean Bean) was executed in Season 1 of Game of Thrones. While the mystery of how to make Valyrian steel has been lost, some people are still trained on how to reforge the special steel. As a result of this, the Stark sword, Ice, was reforged into two new swords for the Lannisters, Oathbreaker and Widow’s Wail. Oathbreaker originally went to Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) who then gifted it to Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie). Widow’s Wail was given to Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and then, after his death, to his brother, Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman). The Lannisters also hold a third Valyrian steel piece, a dagger that Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) won off Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen).
The Wrap also mentions four other swords that may come into play; a pair of House Targaryen swords called Blackfyre and Lost Sister, interesting names considering Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) is basically the lost Targaryen and her brother died as a result of molten gold. Although that didn’t create a “black fire,” it certainly did burn Viserys (Harry Lloyd). The Lannisters may also have another sword to add to their vast collection, one called Brightroar that is currently lost. The last remaining Valyrian steel sword that may be important in Game of Thrones is one from the House Corbray called Lady Forlorn. This family was introduced in Season 4 of Game of Thrones.
But How Is Valyrian Steel Made, Why Was This Skill Lost, And Who Could Make It Again?
Valyria (or Old Valyria as it is now know) is a ruined city of Essos, destroyed by an event known as the Doom of Valyria more than a thousand years prior to the events now unfolding in Game of Thrones. It is also known as the ancestral home of House Targaryen. According to the myths surrounding Valyrian steel, in order to make this type of steel, one must use both dragons and magic.
Now who do we know that owns some dragons? Could Daenerys Targaryen have something to do with working out how to Valyrian steel? And what about the magic? Who do we know in Game of Thrones that has been involved with magic lately? Perhaps Jon Snow (Kit Harington)? Jon Snow was magically raised from the dead by Melisandre (Carice van Houten). Could her magic combined with Daenerys’ dragons be enough to start forging Valyrian steel again? Or is it Jon Snow and his magical rebirth that could be required to help bring this skill back? And, considering the long held theory that Jon Snow is actually a Targaryen, he might be the only person alive who could help Daenerys with this task. Even if these two characters did get together, myths and legends are not enough to revive the lost skill. But what if there was someone who could go back to the past and check these sort of things out?
Asshai.com (a translation of this interview can be found here) once asked George R.R. Martin about Valyria and whether TV viewers would get a chance to see the mythical land. At the time his comment didn’t make a lot of sense, but now that Bran has been greenseeing to the past, perhaps GRRM was dropping a substantial hint about the reemergence of the skill of forging Valyrian steel?
“Well…. there may be. Not a great chance, mind you. The question is, is it going to be a look at Valyria now, or Valyria in the past?”
Therefore, could Jon and Daenerys find out how to make Valyrian steel with the help of Bran in upcoming episodes of Game of Thrones? If Bran can manage to greensight all the way back to the fall of Valyria, he just might be helpful. And, if this is the case, Jon and Daenerys could very well defeat the white walkers and Daenerys could make claim to Westeros like she has always wanted.
Do you think Jon Snow and Daenerys might be able to forge Valyrian steel with the help of Bran’s greensighting? Let us know by commenting below!
Season 6 of Game of Thrones returns to HBO with Episode 7, entitled “The Broken Man.” It airs on Sunday, June 5, at 9 p.m. ET. The official synopsis for Episode 7 is as follows.
“The High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) eyes another target. Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) confronts a hero. Arya (Maisie Williams) makes a plan. The North is reminded.”
[Image via HBO]