From the Maester’s Desk: A Brief History of Swords and their Role in Season 8

Two Swords Ice Heartsbane Widow's Wail 401 Season 4

There’s a saying around these parts that ‘what is dead may never die’ and with the final season already upon us the maester decided to pen a bit more words before we say goodbye to Game of Thrones as we know it. Today’s lesson: swords. Valyrian steel swords are the best weapons the living have against the dead, so what better moment than now, before the battle is done, to go through them, and a few other named swords as well.

Named swords (and other kind of weapons) can be found in both fantasy and history. Take Excalibur as an example, the legendary sword from the legends of King Arthur -which may be even more popular than the king himself. Or Sting, the Elvish blade that belonged to Bilbo Baggins (and then Frodo) in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Why would people name their swords, though? To be fair, naming inanimate objects (like ships, guitars or even cars) isn’t that uncommon. But when it comes to weapons, there can be a number of different reasons.

A well-manufactured sword wasn’t cheap. Bear in mind that making one can take a lot of time, especially if it’s a labor of love. A sword is a unique kind of weapon – hardly just a piece of pointy metal. It comes in a variety of shapes and designs (two-handed swords such as the claymore, double-edged swords like the greatswords or the longswords, edgeless such as the rapier, curved like the falchion or the katana), each with its own traits.

As an audience, we’re used to see brief montages of molten metal being poured into a cast, then some hammering here and there and ta-da, the sword is done.

A standard, cheap sword could be ready in a matter of days, but a more ornate one could take weeks – at best. It’s not just a butter knife, after all.

Swordmaking was an art, so it stands to reason that a good sword couldn’t be made by any blacksmith. You’d need a swordsmith, someone with the skill to not just shape the iron into a steel blade that is hard enough – but resilient and flexible as well, so they can bend but not break.

But most importantly, a swordsmith needed to know how to temper a blade. Back then there was no way to measure time or temperature like we can nowadays – no clocks or thermometers of any kind. So he had to rely on his experience and trust his instincts.

No easy task, as one mistake may possibly ruin a good blade, and then all that work would go to waste.

And that’s not even half of the process, since the blade would later need to be quenched (in water, oil or brine) and then polished, sharpened and decorated (if requested by the client).

Once done with all that, the blade still needed a hilt. And not just any hilt, there were no “one size fits all” kind of hilt, oh no – it had to fit perfectly, so the blade could be useable. Hilts could be made of metal, hard wood or bone, and decorated by incrusting jewels in it, give the pommel a particular shape or etch patterns in the grip.

As it still happens with people who are good at their job, talented swordsmiths were recommended and thrived thanks to word of mouth. And swords, especially if custom-made, were among the most valuable things someone might have in the Middle Ages. So it’s no surprise that the people who owned a sword would want to call attention to them (especially if we’re talking about kings or skilled warriors).

Some historical swords survive to this day and are on display at museums, such as “Tizona”, which belonged to Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (“El Cid”) or Charlemagne’s sword, “Joyeuse”. And mythical swords keep showing up in fiction and are sold as non-lethal replicas.

There are places like Toledo (in Spain) where you can find “Ice and Fire” swords, from both the novels and the TV show. And it’s in this case where arguably Arya got the last laugh, because Needle can be obtained by collectors but the Hound’s sword is nowhere to be seen (his helmet is another story, but alas, it’s not a sword).

Just a handful of (named) swords have appeared in Game of Thrones, and even less of them remain in play. No doubt that they’ll prove valuable in the battle against the Army of the Dead, so I’d expect to see them along with their owners.

But which ones are they? Here’s a bit of a refresher:

ICE

ice

Eddard’s sword, Ice, is no more. But the Valyrian steel greatsword belonged to House Stark for hundreds of years (it comes from the Age of Heroes! Perhaps we’ll see it in the prequel?) before being melted by Tywin Lannister in order to make two other swords.

Greatswords were the largest weapons of their kind, and couldn’t be wielded with only one hand, since they were both long and heavy. They were as big as a person, so GRRM’s description of Ice (as taller than Robb) was pretty accurate.

Despite Valyrian steel is no common steel (it’s much lighter and also sharper, and doesn’t need to be sharpened since it won’t lose its edge), George himself suggests that it’s not likely Ned ever used Ice in battle, since it was so large and heavy (remember Theon had to hold it for Ned to be able to remove it from its scabbard!), which would have made him slow and clumsy.

So it seems it was more of a family heirloom reserved for special occasions (beheadings!) than a sword used for actual combat.

NEEDLE

needle

Arya’s weapon, according to actual medieval weapon experts, is more similar to a foil than a medieval weapon, since it’s not a full blade and its most important part was -you guessed it- the pointy end. Although it was used as a practice weapon for small-swords (the weapon of choice between mid 17th and late 18th century) you just needed to take away the protection to make it sharp and dangerous.

Much like Syrio Forel taught Arya about the water dance, the foil wasn’t used to hack, slash or hammer the opponent. It required near-perfect accuracy, since the user would need to target the vital organs of the enemy.

Duel weapons weren’t meant to be used in warfare (they were more useful as sidearms, like a bayonet), but they were highly effective in one-on-one fights, and they were also used as status symbols, not too different to, say, a top hat. If you wanted to look elegant and/or important, carrying a duel sword with you was a must.

Of course, that’s not the case nowadays, though small swords are still part of uniforms in both military academies or institutions.

LONGCLAW

longclaw

Longclaw is a bastard sword, which is either ironic or appropriate depending on how you look at it.

Bastard swords were in the middle of the road between greatswords (such as Ice) and longswords (like both Oathkeeper and Widow’s Wail). That’s one of the reasons this weapon got a name like that, since it couldn’t be categorized as one or the other.

The grip is long enough it can be held with two hands, but it’s not as heavy as a greatsword, which allows it to be used with one hand, no problem.

But what really makes it stand out from the other weapons in the show is the pommel, which looks like the head of Jon’s direwolf, Ghost. Originally a bear, Jeor Mormont had it replaced so the sword could be a present for his then personal steward.

It should be noted that pommels weren’t just decorative, they were meant to act as counterweights – a heavy pommel will result in a lighter tip, easier to maneuver, whereas a lighter pommel will have the opposite effect (but in that case the blade will hit harder). There wasn’t a blueprint for a “correct balance” since there could be different purposes for a blade.

A heavier tip would be useful to knock an opponent down with a strong enough blow, causing damage both to the body (and possibly the armor or chainmail) in the process. A forceful whack may also either break a shield or make the foe drop it.

On the other hand, a lighter tip was easier to direct to a vulnerable spot – and then thrust. Stick them with the pointy end.

Pommels doubled as weapons in their own right, too, as blunt instruments. Useful for striking enemies in weak spots – the face, for instance. It was a non-lethal (albeit painful) alternative to fell someone, unless the pommel was used to hit repeatedly, in which case things could get messy.

A lot of pommels were plain and round (or shaped like a pear of sorts), but some of them (like Jon’s) were unique, reflecting their owners’ beliefs or culture. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different varieties and all of them tell different stories. We’ll soon get to see how Jon’s story will conclude – and I think the Night King may (or shouldn’t) not be too eager to get close to his valyrian steel blade.

OATHKEEPER / WIDOW’S WAIL

oathkeeper

Both Oathkeeper and Widow’s Wail are Valyrian steel longswords that were made from Ned Stark’s greatsword, Ice. The longsword got its namesake not for having a long blade, but a grip that was intended for two-handed use. Its purpose was to be a weapon for warfare, and were mostly used by full-plate armored knights.

Longswords have a great reach and were able to cut off limbs or heads with a single clean stroke. If used by a knight on horseback, the thrusting ability of the weapon became especially dangerous, being able to be lodged deep into the bodies of enemy combatants.

They were quick, reliable and strong weapons, useful both for the battlefield and one-on-one duels, which made them a standard military sword for at least a couple of centuries. By the late 15th century they started to decline, though, and became obsolete by the time the 16th century arrived, replaced by rapiers and broadswords, among other kinds of blades.

It’s safe to assume Oathkeeper will remain in Brienne’s hands, and the same can be said about Jaime and Widow’s Wail – though it’s gonna be interesting to see how the Kingslayer handles himself against the undead. Losing his right hand turned him into a mediocre fighter to say the least (he has received help by both Dickon and Bronn in battle), but he remains a brave warrior who’s willing to risk his skin in order to change the outcome of a fight – he did try to take Dany out even if it meant getting burned to a crisp by Drogon.

The name of Brienne’s sword perfectly sums her up – she’s loyal and determined and fulfilled his oaths to both Renly Baratheon and Catelyn Stark (which was quite satisfying to watch, considering Brienne’s quest in the novels has been unfortunate so far). Jaime’s weapon keeps the name Joffrey chose for it (“He really was a cunt”, in the words of the late Olenna Tyrell), which is a bit curious. Conscious choice to honor the memory of his deceased son? Or not enough interest to rename it? Be that as it may, it’s rather apt that, in a way, Ned’s sword is coming home at long last.

HEARTSBANE

heartsbane

The ancestral sword of House Tarly is a two-handed greatsword, a (seemingly) smaller one than Ice however, and thus easier to handle: Sam was able to remove it from its stand with a single hand!

As one of the few remaining Valyrian steel blades, it is sure to see battle against the Army of the Dead soon enough, which is yet another difference with the Stark ancestral sword, which was more of a ceremonial weapon than one designed for combat.

While Ned’s sword was relatively plain-looking, Heartsbane is richly decorated, its hilt depicting a hunting scene and the blade itself sporting a beautiful pattern. The prop makers really went to town with it, and it’s kind of a shame the camera just cannot pick up every detail.

Since Sam is not a fighter and we probably won’t see him riding into battle, he’ll give up the sword so someone else can use it. It’d be far too valuable an asset to waste. In the trailer, and the next episode preview, we see it’s Jorah he gives it to, appropriately.

Assuming Heartsbane doesn’t get lost (if, say, Jorah gets killed), then by the time all is said and done, it should return to Sam’s hands.

LIGHTBRINGER

lightbringer

It is possible that the show is done with Lightbringer – it was never given all that much attention to begin with, and once Stannis was out of the picture, the sword was gone as well. The legend of Azor Ahai could make its way to the final season if one of my theories regarding Melisandre proves to be correct, but I’m not sure the screenwriters will want to drop some more lore in what surely will be some action-packed episodes.

So why include Lightbringer at all? Well, it has to do with the “magic sword” theme, which I feel couldn’t be left out from the article.

Magic or legendary swords are a staple of the fantasy genre, there’s at least one in most popular written fiction. But they have their roots in real ancient history.

Much like in Game of Thrones, there were swords that passed down from generation to generation, and were kept as a symbol of status (especially if the sword was used in an important battle, killed many enemies or belonged to a famous warrior) and beloved family treasures.

And some of them were believed to hold a soul (or many souls) inside – it could be one of its own, its maker’s soul or the stolen spirits of its victims.

There were swords that were considered to be cursed or bloodthirsty, or even worse, possessed by a demon. It was up to the wielder to see if he was able to control such blades.

The story of Lightbringer in the Ice and Fire novels follows this well-established path, by describing how Azor Ahai’s sword was imbued with the soul of his wife Nissa Nissa after he drove the blade through her heart, turning it into a magic sword made of living fire.

Whether or not a variation of Azor Ahai’s legend will happen in the adaptation remains to be seen.


Hello again. It’s been a while.

Much like the Starks after retaking Winterfell from the Boltons, I feel happy to be back at writing about Game of Thrones. The show is about to complete the final lap, and the journey we started back in 2011 is coming to an end.

It’s both with a sense of excitement and curiosity that I’ll be finally be able to find out how my “Endgame” theories stack up against the final six episodes. I’m expecting to be wrong about a lot of things, but that’s part of the fun, to be surprised by the twists and turns of the narrative.

It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to the show, even if we still have two novels and a HBO prequel to look forward to. There’s nothing quite like it, and I’m confident David and Dan will stick the landing, thus cementing its place as one of the best TV series from our time. Surely not everyone will like the ending, but hopefully it’ll be satisfying for most fans.

But the epilogue is still some weeks away, and even after the credits roll for the last time, there’ll be still a lot to discuss and write about. I hope you enjoyed this new article and the ones that’ll follow, this time with a bit of historical flavor. 🙂

48 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. I think the concept of Valarian steel is based on the age old principle of Damascus steel, which was famously rare, hard, kept its edge and was VERY expensive. The reason for this was basically it’s “flaky pastry” process, (anyone who bakes will know it), where a piece of metal is heated, folded in half, again into quarters and then is bashed flat. The process is repeated again. And again. And another hundred or so times. what results is a composite of hundreds of fine layers with unique qualities for blades. It is this painstakingly laborious process that makes Damascus steel so expensive.

      That whole business of Tywin having two swords being cast from the one is a joke, because he just melted out all the layers, so they just become ordinary steel again.
      Not to mention he probably boiled off the fairy dust.

      Oh, and only c**ts name their swords.

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    2. “Why would people name their swords, though?”

      A: Because they’re lots of c*nts.”

      – S. Clegane, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Royal War College

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    3. Re: Needle

      “Much like Syrio Forel taught Arya about the water dance, the foil wasn’t used to hack, slash or hammer the opponent. It required near-perfect accuracy, since the user would need to target the vital organs of the enemy.”

      Rorge; heart ✅🗡
      Stable boy; ?? ✅🗡
      Polliver; trachea ✅🗡
      Waif; ?? ✅🗡

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    4. tryptych,

      1. Thanks for that info.

      2. I just noticed you cited the scholarly works of Prof. Clegane before I did. Nonetheless, it may bear repeating that “only c*nts name their swords.” Contrary to what Jaime told Brienne and Jon told Arya (“some of the best swords have names”), many sword owners pick lame names [Joffrey, I’m talking to you].

      3. In addition to swords, the practice of “naming” inanimate objects often gets downright silly. Unless the name is really unique and clever, or is necessary for registration and identification (eg a boat), naming one’s gun, car, bathrobe, baseball bat, motorcycle, or power tool suggests a weird emotional attachment.

      4. I’ll give a pass to musical instruments. Since they convey emotion if played well and often, the best ones used by the best musicians deserve cool names. Plus, I’ve read quite a few fascinating articles about “mythic” guitars presumed lost, stolen or destroyed that resurface decades later*, or that serendipitously pass from one rock icon to another.**

      * I’m trying to remember where I read an interview of a Jefferson Airplane? guitarist whose beloved Les Paul ? was presumed destroyed by angry rioting fans after a last-minute cancellation by the band because Grace Slick was too sloshed to perform. Or maybe the mob set fire to the stage. I forget. Anyway, thirty or forty years later the guitar turned up “alive”, though the guitarist had to engage in a long legal battle to get it back.

      ** I also recently read that many years ago a young Eric Carmen either lost or was forced to sell his beloved guitar. Maybe it was during one of the lulls in his career between starting out as lead singer of The Raspberries, until he shot back up the charts with “Hungry Eyes” from “Dirty Dancing”; I think that’s the song that plays during the montage showing Johnny Castle teaching Frances “Baby” Houseman how to perform as a replacement for his incapacitated dance partner. Anyway, I digress…
      The point was that Eric Carmen discovered many years later that somehow the guitar he’d had to part with had wound up as Joan Jett’s iconic guitar.

      Sorry to ramble off topic.

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    5. I’m oddly excited that with Jaime, the Stark sword is finally coming home.

      In the show we only have 5 Valyrian weapons (though in books there were like 10 known and 10 missing or something)
      Arya’s no name dagger-which I want to believe is kin to Dark Sister and/or something Rhaegar owned.
      Jon’s Longclaw
      Sam’s Heartsbane
      Jaime’s Widow’s Wail
      and
      Brienne’s Oathkeeper

      We also saw Dawn in the Tower of Joy scene, which is one of the most famous swords in the series and possibly the oldest, though its not made from Valyrian steel, but the heart of a fallen star. I’d hoped since it was there at Jon’s birth we’d see it again, but it’s not looking good for that theory. I always thought if Lightbringer was actually a sword and not a metaphor, that would be a top contender.

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    6. RG,

      As of this morning, I’m wondering if WW and Oathkeeper won’t be reforged into a new Ice. I don’t want this to be true however since I imagine awful things would need to happen before this could 🙁

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    7. Veena:
      RG,

      As of this morning, I’m wondering if WW and Oathkeeper won’t be reforged into a new Ice.I don’t want this to be true however since I imagine awful things would need to happen before this could 🙁

      It might be at the end. But I think Jon, being the wise commander and killer of White Walkers, probably knows that two Valyrian swords are better than one.

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    8. In all seriousness, though…

      Thank you for the wonderful article!!! Now I’m Googling “Joyeuse” and “Tizona.” 🗡

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    9. Ten Bears: naming one’s gun, car, bathrobe, baseball bat, motorcycle, or power tool suggests a weird emotional attachment.

      That’s just, like, your opinion, man.

      Edwina* and I disagree.

      *Edwina is my 2006 Honda CR-V. She’s taken me lots of places, has never needed a major repair, and is about to turn 214,000.

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    10. ’s safe to assume Oathkeeper will remain in Brienne’s hands, and the same can be said about Jaime and Widow’s Wail –

      Oh now that would be interesting – either the two of them fight side by side, bringing the swords together so to speak, or at the end they are reforged (?) to remake Ice again…

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    11. Great read
      I think it’s kind of funny that I and probably many others learned what we do know about sword styles from playing various mmo and rpg games. Whether it be ingame or looking up information online we had to know what the swords were and what we wanted to use. 😊

      One of my favorites on the show is Tormund’s, which appears to be more a type of falchion sword. I think it’s cool lookin.’ It’s very similar to what I used in one game for months, even transferring the skin to better stat swords several times.

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    12. RG,

      Arya’s no name dagger-which I want to believe is kin to Dark Sister and/or something Rhaegar owned….”
      ________
      • I too hope it is somehow related to Dark Sister, since she name-dropped that sword belonging to Visenya Targaryen in her conversation with Tywin. Plus, an illustration of that dagger was conspicuously shown in the book Gilly and Sam were looking through at the Citadel. And why re-introduce that assassin’s dagger from S1 by having idiot LF gift it to Bran in S7 if there was no reason for Arya to wind up with it?

      • After S8e1 aired, I suggested half-seriously – and saw the same suggestion in online articles – that Arya’s “no-name dagger” should be called
      “Cold Little Bitch.” 😎

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    13. Wolfish,

      My sincere apologies to you and Edwina. I should know better. I once had an old Buick Century – that thing was like a tank – my uncle gave to me. My brother and I christened it “SuperCruiser.”

      Unfortunately, my then-carefree brother was driving SuperCruiser on New Year’s Eve (the night before the Orange Bowl Parade), ran out of gas on Biscayne Blvd. in downtown Miami – and left SuperCruiser on the side of the road. By the next day, SuperCruiser had disappeared without a trace – probably pilfered or towed somewhere by the city’s Parade preparation crew.

      I forgave my brother, but I still miss SuperCruiser. 😢Best wishes to Edwina for a long and happy life.

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    14. What? No Dawn? As a show only fan, I’ve wondered if there is more to know than its belonging to House Dayne, made of meteorites and last seen at the Tower of Joy next to Lyanna’s death bed!

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    15. My own tinfoil…

      1. The Hound and Arya: “That’s where the heart is.” “Go on, girl, do it. Kill me!”
      2. Benjen to Meera and Bran: The CotF stopped the wightification process in him, once it had already begun, the same way they created it in the first place—by stabbing him in the heart with a dragonglass dagger.

      My scenario: A White Walker does the Hound in with an ice sword and leaves him for dead. He begs for mercy from Arya, and this time she gives it to him—but instead of killing him, much to the surprise of both she Benjenifies him.

      Too obvious? Cheesier than County Cheshire? Would stabbing a wight-in-the-making with Valyrian steel work the same way as doing so with dragonglass? And will we ever know what happened with the jackass and the honeycomb—or is this another poodle-and-two-foot-salami situation?

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    16. I am really wondering whether Jaime will, at least try, to return Widow’s Wail, given the fact that it was stolen from Starks and reforged. It would be awful for Ice to be forgotten. Sansa was there when Tywin presented the sword to Joffrey. And I think Brienne knows about the origin of her sword.

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    17. Ten Bears:
      RG,

      Arya’s no name dagger-which I want to believe is kin to Dark Sister and/or something Rhaegar owned….”
      ________• I too hope it is somehow related to Dark Sister, since she name-dropped that sword belonging to Visenya Targaryen in her conversation with Tywin. Plus, an illustration of that dagger was conspicuously shown in the book Gilly and Sam were looking through at the Citadel. And why re-introduce that assassin’s dagger from S1 by having idiot LF gift it to Bran in S7 if there was no reason for Arya to wind up with it?

      • After S8e1 aired, I suggested half-seriously – and saw the same suggestion in online articles – that Arya’s “no-name dagger” should be called
      “Cold Little Bitch.” 😎

      I was hoping that Arya’s mention of Dark Sister had portents of her actually getting Dark Sister …. could still happen.

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    18. Ten Bears:
      tryptych,

      3. In addition to swords, the practice of “naming” inanimate objects often gets downright silly. Unless the name is really unique and clever, or is necessary for registration and identification (eg a boat), naming one’s gun, car, bathrobe, baseball bat,

      Someone named a bathrobe???

      You don’t need to name a boat to register it, so boat names are choices and not required by law. Back when I owned guns, my first and favorite was a Beretta 9mm and I called him Pietro, since that was Beretta’s first name. I always name my computers and some of my other electronic devices. I’m typing this on Athena, first of her silicon name.

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    19. Thank-you Morgoth & WotW for all these excellent articles
      I’m eating up every bit of them as long as they last

      The battles aren’t my favs, but the weapons are beautiful & its really interesting to learn how they’re forged & the history of ea one

      🐲

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    20. Speaking of Dawn, I just watched a show on the Science channel that had a segment on an unrusted iron blade, whose origin had long baffled researchers, found in King Tut’s tomb. I thought that might have been the inspiration for Dawn, but apparently it wasn’t identified as meteorite iron until 2016! GRRM must have been pretty stoked…

      Tutankhamun’s knife was ‘made from meteorite iron’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-36432635

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    21. Boojam: I was hoping that Arya’s mention of Dark Sister had portents of her actually getting Dark Sister …. could still happen.

      It really would fit. It was with Visenya-Arya’s hero. Then Aemon the dragonknight-Jon’s hero. Then, well, the guy who became the 3 eyed raven prior to Bran in the books. I’d love it if it made an appearance.

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    22. Ice Hunter,

      You know what? I’ll take back everything I said about naming inanimate objects. I realize I’m prejudiced by so-called “modern” devices that seem to be cheaply manufactured with built-in obsolescence so they break down in a year or two – forcing you to incur costly repairs for a new flux capacitor or buy a whole new device. These days, cars seem to be made out of fiberglass and plastic, with onboard “computers” that always have glitches, short circuits, and defective parts. It makes it difficult to form attachments to unreliable possessions, unlike in years past when a trusty car or tool was dependable, made out of metal, and built to last decades.

      As for boats: I always see corny names painted on the stern. I guess that’s a tradition, and not mandatory. (Sorry – I have an aversion to pleasure boat owners; too many of them run their engines loudly early in the morning on weekends, pollute the waterway with oil and gas slicks, and speed through no-wake zones, shredding and killing manatees. I hate to admit it, but the last time we had a hurricane here I got a kick out of watching rich as*holes’ boats come loose from their moorings; smash up against the piers; get carried by the storm surge onto land; or float out to sea.)

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    23. RG,

      But where is Dark Sister? On the show, there’s been no indication of its provenance or whereabouts. It’d be kind of late in the game for it to show up now, unless… say, it’s in someone’s tomb in the WF crypts.

      I think all of the known Valyrian Steel weapons on the show are now in WF:
      • Heartsbane (Sam)*;
      • Longclaw (Jon);
      • Dagger to be named later (Arya); and
      • Ice (= Oathkeeper-Brienne + Widow’s Wail-Jaime).

      *“I always wanted me some Valyrian Steel.” – Sandor, S4e10. I hope he gets Heartsbane – maybe by drawing it out of a fire????

      Any thoughts how they could introduce Dark Sister now without it coming off as a VS ex machina?

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    24. Ten Bears:
      RG,

      Any thoughts how they could introduce Dark Sister now without it coming off as a VS ex machina?

      Well you mentioned the crypts. In the books there are a ridiculous number of references to those crypts. Jon dreams about them all the time. There are lower levels no one can get to and tunnels and rumors of tunnels.
      Also in the books only the kings of winter and lords of winterfell get put down there, so it’s really unusual for Lyanna to be there at all.
      So I’m not saying they could have something important show up conveniently in the crypts but…they could totally have something important show up conveniently in the crypts.
      On the other hand, does Arya really need another weapon? lol

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    25. Our best bet for Dark Sister is if once Arya reclaims Widow’s Wail from Jaime (Brienne will get to keep Oathkeeper because she kept her oath & helped the Starks) she will have a new hilt put on it by Gendry and rename it Dark Sister. It’s really the perfect name of a sword for Arya. Almost like “Dawn” is the perfect name of a sword that will become lightbringer & end the long night. Too bad it wasn’t listed in this article & hasn’t returned in the show.

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    26. RG,

      If any sword is in the crypts, it will be Dawn. It’s the sword of the morning. The one to end the long night. I think it’s gonna be the main sword of the prequel series.

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    27. Aegon the IceDragon:
      RG,

      If any sword is in the crypts, it will be Dawn.It’s the sword of the morning. The one to end the long night.I think it’s gonna be the main sword of the prequel series.

      I would LOVE that. I love the story of Dawn. And it would make sense, since it was there at Jon’s birth.

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    28. RG,

      “….On the other hand, does Arya really need another weapon? lol”

      ——–
      You’re right about that. 😄. Except that Needle will be useless against WWs and wights. (We saw at Hardhome that even an arrow through the head didn’t stop a wight.) I suppose she could overlay Needle with dragonglass, but that doesn’t seem like a great idea: to get close enough to use Needle would force her to get “up close and personal” with a zombie.

      She could use her quickness and nifty ninja moves to fight with her VS dagger, but will still have the proximity problem.

      All the hype from the show’s weapon making department about the weapon Arya sketched for Gendry has me psyched. I can’t believe it’s just going to be a dragonglass spear that can be separated into two shorter spears, though preview snippets seem to show her fighting with a stick or spear.

      I’m really hoping she’s designed some kind of spring-loaded device that enables her to fire multiple high-speed dragonglass mini-harpoons from her sleeve. That way, a WW or wight might think she’s defenseless – as she runs away – umvjgvvkyturns around and launches a dragonglass bolt into the snookered zombie’s face.

      NK has roughly 100,000 soldiers. I don’t know the troop strength of WF’s defenders, but even if NK only sends in a 10,000 – 20,000 splinter force, WF’s fighters will likely be outnumberedor and at a further disadvantage if they also have to protect Winter Town civilians from being killed or wightened.

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    29. I’ve been curious for a while – when Ice is reforged, it is stated in the show that one of the swords is longer than the other. We never see Widow’s Wail and Oathkeeper side by side and it’s never mentioned which of them is longer (in the show, perhaps the books mention it?). It would make sense to give Joffrey a shorter one, since he was still a kid and not fully grown.

      By the way, another named sword in the show (other than Dawn, which others already mentioned) was Joffrey’s previous sword (the one he has Sansa kiss before Battle of the Blackwater), I believe it was called Hearteater.

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    30. I am sad so few Valyrian steel swords made it to the show, but I realize I’m just being a super nerd. It is cool and satisfying they all converge now to the North and WF.

      Had super doubts that Jorah will get Heartsbane because I thought I read John Bradly needed to tone down a fighting scene, he was looking too bad ass and Sam isn’t supposed to be looking like that. Though I must say to travel the beyond the wall, destroy an Other, clean so many shits at the Citadel and survive Randyll Tarly’s family dinner is more than bad ass, it’s Azor Ahai Reborn stuff. Anyway, if you say you saw the sword held by Jorah in the previews I believe you. I didn’t see it but my eyesite is terrible.

      Dawn is gone. I don’t even care it’s not Valyrian steel! To think the camera focused on it and the pommel when they shot the TOJ scenes. I’m not sad.

      On the other hand Charlemagne’s sword name is cool. Thanks for the info, had no idea. Opposite of Joffrey really. But Joff was a little shit.

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    31. Ten Bears,

      Where are you in Florida? I live on Pine Island, near Ft. Myers. We too have boat owners that speed in no wake zones and behave like jerks, but most of them are visitors or brand new snow birds. Islanders know better.

      Back on topic, it probably won’t happen, but what if we learn that Dark Sister underwent the Tywin treatment and Arya’s dagger is one of the blades that came from it? The dagger was featured in a book at the Citadel, so….

      I’m glad Sam “stole” Heartsbane, since when the war is over and there is no need for the Night’s Watch, he will be (hopefully) able to become the head of House Tarly and live out his days at Horn Hill with Gilly and baby Sam. In the meantime, that sword can cut down a lot of the walking dead, either in his hands or in Jorah’s.

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    32. If Stannis’s sword was known to be Valerian Steel and they know they need it would Brienne not have mentioned where she killed him so that it could be recovered and at least remove any chance it could end up in the hands of the enemy.

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    33. Dark Sister is not a dagger, but a sword. Bloodraven was its last known bearer. Possibly lost beyond the wall but it would be strange if a wight carried it.
      Blackfyre went to Essos, Bittersteel bore it when he founded the Golden Company. Maybe Harry Strickland has it now.

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    34. Great article, and SO stoked reading all these comments. Thank you, fellow nerds. Count me as one of those who are bummed by the lack of Valyrian steel, targaryean and dayne history, and in general, all the minutiae I loved reading about in ASOIAF. I do recognize the reasoning behind pairing it all down, but I feel like the endgame could have been really poetically centered around the mythology of the ancient weapons being brought back to light, so to speak. Can’t wait to see what happens, with what remains, of the ancient weaponry still in play.

      Some thoughts: will Arya attach the dagger to the design she has drawn up? Will it be a staff, or some kindof chained weapon?

      I had a suburu loyale in college. I named it the “Loyale with cheese”

      I had a friend who swore that the only way to not lose a demolition tool such as a prybar, was to name it. He named his Jerome.

      The largest diameter boring machine (62’) ever to be used has recently been retired after drilling a massive tunnel under my hometown of Seattle, was given the name Bertha. Every few months we had a situation where Bertha refused to move. As many of us expected- the project took much longer and was much more expensive than was projected.

      I feel like only lifetime guitars really deserve names. BB King named his guitar Lucille, Willie Nelson has Trigger- they are iconic guitars played by icons themselves. Amateurs might as well name their bongs.

      I feel like Sandor needs heartsbane- but probably, given the connection that has been established, Jorah will end up with it. I didn’t see anything in the trailer suggesting that tho.

      I still stand by my theory that gendry will forge Widows wail to Jaimes golden right hand.

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    35. RG: Also in the books only the kings of winter and lords of winterfell get put down there, so it’s really unusual for Lyanna to be there at all.

      All of the Stark family members can or do have tombs in the crypt. Only the Lords of Winterfell and old Kings in the North had statues though. Ned made an exception for Lyanna so that’s why she has a statue in lieu of a standard tomb.

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