Valyrian steel: who has the swords that can defeat white walkers?

It looks like the big threat to Westeros in
Game of Thrones Season 7 are the Others, or white walkers, with their army of the dead
, marching on the Wall to bring a “night that never ends” . These guys are a… problem,
cause the walkers are not only super-strong, super-angry ice demons, but their swords can
shatter steel – they seem immune to normal weapons . There are just two known ways to
kill a walker – one is with a blade of dragonglass – go watch that video – and the other
way is with a blade of Valyrian steel – we see this in Season 5 , and it’s also hinted
in the books . Valyrian steel is a special kind of metal, used to make swords that are
sharper, stronger and lighter than blades of regular steel . The steel was made in Valyria
hundreds of years ago, but when Valyria was destroyed in a mysterious Doom, the secret
of making Valyrian steel was lost . So the Valyrian blades that remain are really valuable
– there are a couple of hundred of them in Westeros , but only about twenty are mentioned
in the books. Most are the treasured heirlooms of noble
houses, handed from generation to generation through the centuries . Lots of these swords
have great backstories and histories, and some of them may play a role in the war with
the walkers to come. So let’s have a look at the Valyrian blades
of Game of Thrones. Probably the most obvious Valyrian sword is
Longclaw, the sword used by Jon Snow. Longclaw is a bastard sword, which means it’s
a bit longer than a normal longsword . This is also pretty fitting given that Jon is a
bastard – or he’s believed to be a bastard, but that’s another story. Longclaw is given to Jon by Jeor Mormont,
whose family held the sword for hundreds of years . Jeor originally gave Longclaw to his
son Jorah, but Jorah dishonoured the family by selling slaves and fleeing Westeros. He leaves the sword though , so Jeor gives
it to Jon. It’d be interesting to see Jorah’s reaction
if he ever sees Jon with his family’s sword. But with its bastard blade and white wolf
pommel, Longclaw is very symbolic of Jon’s identity. It’ll no doubt play a big role in Jon’s
fight against the white walkers, and the sword might even tie in to the prophecies about
a hero called Azor Ahai who’s expected to lead the fight against the walkers with a
flaming sword called Lightbringer – that’s what Stannis and Melisandre try to emulate. There are theories suggesting that Jon’s
sword Longclaw might somehow become the true Lightbringer, to be the fire and the light
needed to face the darkness and cold. Another sword that appears in the show is
Heartsbane, the Valyrian steel greatsword of House Tarly . Randyll Tarly makes a big
deal of how he doesn’t want his fat cowardly son Sam inheriting the fabled blade Heartsbane,
which is part of the reason why Randyll forces Sam to join the Night’s Watch . Heartsbane
does have a long history – a few hundred years ago, an outlaw from Dorne called the
Vulture King was stopped when men led by a Savage Sam Tarly hunted him down, using Heartsbane
to slay dozens of Dornishmen . There’s a pretty good chance our Sam was named after
this historical Savage Sam. In the books, Heartsbane is held by Randyll
Tarly , who’s known as one of the great soldiers of Westeros . In the show, Sam visits
home and takes Heartsbane from Randyll, bringing it with him to the Citadel, the sorta Hogwartsy
university of the maesters. Which could play out in some interesting ways. Maybe Sam and the maesters could study Heartsbane,
try to unlock the secrets of Valyrian steel, or maybe find more Valyrian blades. But whatever happens at the Citadel, Randyll
will want his sword back. Another important sword is Ice, the Valyrian
steel greatsword of House Stark . Ice is really big, apparently too big to use in battle – it’s
more of a ceremonial sword . Ned Stark uses it to execute Gared at the start of Book 1
– and near the end of Book 1, Ilyn Payne uses it to execute Ned . So the Lannisters
end up with Ice, and Tywin Lannister decides to melt Ice down and reforge it into two smaller
swords. Cause while no one knows how to make new Valyrian
steel, some skilled smiths can reforge it into new forms – in this case Tywin hires
the armorer Tobho Mott – who happens to be the teacher of Gendry. So some people speculate that Gendry knows
a thing or two about Valyrian steel . But yeah Ice is melted down and forged into
two smaller swords – Tywin gives one to his son Jaime, and the other to his grandson
Joffrey. Joffrey names his sword Widow’s Wail, because
he’s a nasty little shit, while Jaime does something more meaningful. He names his sword Oathkeeper, and gives it
to Brienne. Cause remember, Jaime swears an oath to Catelyn
Stark that in return for being set free, Jaime would return to her Sansa and Arya. So Jaime gives Brienne Oathkeeper to uphold
this oath on his behalf, to defend “Ned Stark’s daughter with Ned Stark’s own
steel” . The sword is also symbolic of the respect Jaime has for Brienne – he used
to hold her in contempt, but now he gives her a “sword fit for a hero”. Joffrey, meanwhile, uses his Valyrian sword
to slay a book and then a pie, and then he dies . The sword then presumably then goes
to Joff’s brother Tommen, though in the show Tommen’s dead too – so it’s not
clear who’ll use the sword next. Widow’s Wail is now the only known Valyrian
sword in the city of King’s Landing – surely it’ll come in handy sometime. So those are major Valyrian swords that appear
in the story – there are also some interesting historical ones. Perhaps the most famous Valyrian blade is
Blackfyre . Blackfyre was the sword of King Aegon Targaryen, the Conqueror who first took
over Westeros. Aegon was a great warrior , and used Blackfyre
in the battles that founded the Targaryen dynasty. Each king after Aegon bore his sword , so
Blackfyre became an important symbol of Targaryen political legitimacy – if you had the sword,
you were seen as the rightful king. That’s why it was so shocking when King
Aegon the Fourth, one of the worst Targaryen kings, gave Blackfyre to one of his bastard
sons, Daemon . Daemon took Blackfyre as his house name, and later claimed to be the rightful
king, beginning a war for succession called the First Blackfyre Rebellion . The great
battle of this rebellion was at the Redgrass Field, where Daemon used Blackfyre in a duel
against Gwayne Corbray, who had his own famous Valyrian blade , called Lady Forlorn. It’s said they fought for near an hour,
and each time Blackfyre and Lady Forlorn clashed, you could hear the sound from leagues away
– “half a song and half a scream” . Eventually Daemon won the duel, but then he was killed
by arrows from his half-brother Bloodraven, who by the way, is the same guy who later
becomes a tree god and teaches Bran how to magic – more on him later. So Daemon died on the Redgrass Field, but
his Blackfyre ancestors continued to rebel against the Targaryens for years , and all
of this began partly because Aegon the Fourth gave the Conqueror’s sword to his bastard
son. The sword represents being the rightful king
, but for the hundred years or so, no one seems to know where the sword is. Which could have implications for the schemes
of Varys and Illyrio. In the books, Varys and Illyrio have this
crazy complex conspiracy to put a kid called Young Griff – who they say is Aegon the
Sixth – on the Iron Throne – go watch that video. But basically there’s evidence that this
Aegon kid might actually be a Blackfyre, a descendent of Daemon. So it’s very interesting that in a reading
by George Martin of a draft version of a chapter from Dance, Illyrio mentions a gift for Young
Griff, and a “sword”, and “things Griff must know”. Fans speculate that Illyrio may have Blackfyre,
the fabled blade of Aegon, and will give it to Griff to grant him political legitimacy
as a king. This is very speculative, but could make a
lot of sense – it’d solve the mystery of what happened to Blackfyre, and would tie
present plots to the past in a really cool way. So yeah, Blackfyre is important, and Lady
Forlorn is also a thing. After the duel at the Redgrass Field, the
sword returned to House Corbray, and a hundred years later, Lyn Corbray used it in Robert’s
Rebellion, killing Prince Lewyn Martell of the Kingsguard. Lyn is now involved in the plots in the Vale,
working with Littlefinger, but it’s not clear if he can be trusted . Lyn’s a dangerous
man , violent, and possibly a paedophile , depending on how you interpret this line about “boys”
. But yeah that’s what’s happening with Lady Forlorn now. Historically, there was also a sword called
Lady Forlorn used in the wars of the Andals in the Vale, but apparently that may’ve
been a different Lady Forlorn? People keep naming swords after famous older
swords, which confuses things, but anyway –
Another important Targaryen sword is called Dark Sister. While Aegon the Conqueror had Blackfyre, his
sister Queen Visenya had Dark Sister, a “slender blade” designed for a female warrior . Visenya
used the sword during Aegon’s Conquest, when she wasn’t roasting people with her
dragon. And many years later, Dark Sister went to
Daemon Targaryen, the “rogue prince”, who used the sword during the Dance of the
Dragons – the big Targaryen civil war. During a mid-air dragon battle with his nephew
Aemond One-Eye, Daemon leapt from his dragon onto Aemond’s dragon, and drove Dark Sister
through Aemond’s one good eye , before both men and their dragons fell from the sky and
died. This is why we need a Game of Thrones prequel
movie, guys. After Daemon, Dark Sister went to Aemon Targaryen,
the famous Dragonknight said to be one of the greatest and noblest knights that ever
lived – he’s the namesake of Maester Aemon Targaryen. And after the Dragonknight, Dark Sister went
to a man called Brynden Rivers, or Bloodraven . Bloodraven really needs his own video, but
basically he was a king’s bastard, a spymaster, sorcerer , Hand of the King, he killed Daemon
Blackfyre at the Redgrass Field, had a relationship with Shiera Seastar – who might possibly
be Quaithe? – then Bloodraven joined the Night’s Watch, became Lord Commander, went
north and finally became a tree wizard man, the guy who’s known in the show as the three-eyed
raven. But the question here is – what happened
to the sword Dark Sister? Did Bloodraven bring it with him to the Night’s
Watch – like Jeor did? And if he did, is the sword in the cave where
Bloodraven trains Bran? If so, it’s possible that Bran’s friend
Meera might take up the sword – it’s designed for a woman’s hand, after all. In fact, some people think that in the show,
she already has it – she does grab a sword from the cave in in Season 6. Another possibility is for Dark Sister to
go to Arya. Needle is cool and all, but surely a ninja
assassin like Arya should have a storied Valyrian sword like Dark Sister – Arya herself kind
of is a ‘dark sister’. This is all wild speculation, but given the
history and importance of Dark Sister, it seems likely that the sword will reappear
in the story. Another lost Valyrian sword is Brightroar. House Lannister bought Brightroar for a huge
amount of gold before the Doom of Valyria . But a hundred years later, after Valyria
was destroyed, King Tommen Lannister went on an expedition to plunder its ruins. He took Brightroar with him – and “never
returned” . House Lannister lost one of its most valuable treasures, which always
frustrated Tywin when he led House Lannister. So at one point, Tywin’s younger brother
Gerion went on a quest to find Brightroar, but he never returned either – go watch
the Gerion video. But in the end, Tywin got his Valyrian sword
in the form of Ice, which he made into Oathkeeper and Widow’s Wail. By the way, in the books those swords are
coloured red, Tywin has the metal dyed to a sorta rippling Lannister crimson, cause
Tywin’s all about that house pride family legacy stuff. Anyway the next couple swords are owned by
ironborn – there’s Red Rain and Nightfall. Red Rain is a Valyrian sword held by Dunstan
Drumm , the Lord of Old Wyk. He whips it out at the Kingsmoot and recounts
how his ancestor, Hilmar Drumm the Cunning, famously took Red Rain from some knight, armed
only with his wits and a cudgel. And there’s a theory that that the knight
who Drumm took Red Rain from might have been from House Reyne , a family in the westerlands
who Tywin Lannister wiped out. The Reynes have a red lion for their sigil,
and their name is Reyne, so Red Rain is a fitting name in more ways than one. And the westerlands have historically been
raided by ironborn , so it makes a lot of sense for the Drumms to have taken Red Rain
from the Reynes. In Book 4, Drumm is on raids with Red Rain
in the reach. Nightfall is Valyrian sword held by the knight
Ser Harras Harlaw. Harras supports Asha or Yara Greyjoy at the
kingsmoot , though Euron later kinda steals him from her by making Harras a lord . The
sword Nightfall was historically wielded by the infamous ironborn raider Dalton Greyjoy
, called the Red Kraken for all the blood he shed . It’s said Dalton loved three things,
the sea, women, and his Valyrian sword Nightfall . It’s not clear how Red Rain and Nightfall
will tie into the broader story of Thrones, but some speculate that King Euron might take
these swords from their owners – in the books Euron has a set of armour made of Valyrian
steel, he might wanna complement that with a Valyrian sword or two. Also Nightfall is a pretty appropriate name
for someone who is low-key trying to cause a Lovecraftian blood magic apocalypse type
situation, which, he is – we’ll have to explain that in another video. Euron is scary. But another Valyrian blade that’s had a
big impact on the story is not another sword, but a knife. In Book and Season 1, an assassin tries to
kill Bran Stark with a knife of Valyrian steel. Catelyn takes the blade to King’s Landing,
and Littlefinger tells her the knife is Tyrion’s – so Catelyn, thinking the dwarf tried to
kill her son, arrests Tyrion, which kicks off the War of the Five Kings. Thing is, the real culprit behind the catspaw
is Joffrey – Littlefinger lied about the knife in a deliberate attempt to cause war. After betraying Ned Stark and profiting off
the downfall of his family, Littlefinger carries the Valyrian knife in later books – shamelessly
wearing a symbol of his lies and betrayal. Now, in the books, Sansa in the Vale with
Littlefinger and the knife – some people speculate that Sansa will use the knife to
kill him, destroying Littlefinger with the same blade he used to destroy her family. There’d be a great poetry to that – though
things’ll prolly go differently in the show. There are a few more Valyrian swords that
were used in the Dance of the Dragons, the Targaryen civil war from a hundred years ago. Lamentation is a sword carried by a guy called
Willum Royce. He got caught up in the Storming of the Dragonpit,
when a rioting mob of common folk killed some chained-up dragons. In all the violence and the chaos, Willum
Royce and his sword were lost . There was also Bold Jon Roxton and Ormund Hightower,
who bore the swords Orphan-Maker and Vigilance . Roxton was killed , and we haven’t heard
from his family since, but the Hightowers are still around, so they might have Vigilance
at Oldtown – where Euron may be closing in. There are a few more Valyrian blades that
are only briefly mentioned in the text. Some soldier from Lys had a Valyrian sword
called Truth , the Celtigars of Claw Isle are said to have a Valyrian steel axe , and
a guy called Caggo has a Valyrian steel arakh – one of those curvy Dothraki scythey things
– which is apparently rare in Valyrian steel . Caggo is a captain of the Windblown mercenaries,
so he’ll be involved in the story ahead. And finally, there are a bunch of Valyrian
daggers among the treasure Euron presents at the Kingsmoot. It’s a little weird the way these are off-handedly
mentioned , as though a buncha Valyrian blades is no big deal – maybe Valyrian daggers
are more common than the swords are, though you’d think, that if so, someone like Tywin
could buy a bunch of Valyrian daggers and reforge them into the sword Tywin so desperately
wanted for so long. The true value and rarity of Valyrian steel
is not very clear. But regardless, this is every Valyrian blade
mentioned in Game of Thrones. Longclaw and Heartsbane, Ice, Oathkeeper and
Widow’s Wail, Blackfyre, Dark Sister, Lady Forlorn, Brightroar, Red Rain and Nightfall,
the swords of the Dance, Littlefinger’s dagger and this other miscellaneous stuff
too. There are more swords out there somewhere
of course – bout a hundred and eighty more – and Westeros might need them all to win
the war against the walkers. Thanks for watching. If you wanna learn more about the histories
and backstories of Thrones, you might like to read The World of Ice and Fire, George
Martin’s worldbook, which is all about this sorta stuff. There’s a link to buy it below, which supports
this channel at no extra cost to you. Some of this art is from The World of Ice
and Fire, other pieces are by Amok, and kethryn, check the description for details. Thanks to the translators for translating
captions, and thanks to the Patrons for making Alt Shift X possible, including James Beagles,
Yelda Aktuna, Avery Calvert, Rufus T Firefly, Suikoshiningforce2, and Hodor Targaryen. Cheers.

Maurice Vega

100 Responses

  1. FAQ:
    – Wights (zombies) can be killed with fire, but we've never seen a white walker (icy blokes) killed by fire – only by dragonglass or Valyrian steel
    – Yes, in the real world, longswords are longer than bastard swords. But in ASOIAF, bastard swords are longer than longswords. (Jon VIII, AGOT)
    – Yes, in the tv show, Tywin hires a Volantene smith to reforge Ice. But in the books, it's Tobho Mott. (Tyrion IV, ASOS)
    – Yes, in the tv show, Brienne names Oathkeeper. But in the books, Jaime names Oathkeeper. (Jaime IX, ASOS)
    – No, Arya's sword Needle is not Valyrian steel. It's regular steel forged in Winterfell.
    – No, the Iron Throne isn't Valyrian steel
    – Yes, Dawn is cool as fuck, but it's never referred to as Valyrian steel.
    Yall can stop commenting about this stuff now 😶

  2. Not to be “that guy” but sorry I can’t resist

    Arming Swords are one handed swords
    Hand and Half, Longswords and Bastard swords are all the same thing, 2 handed swords you can draw from a scabbard on your side
    A Greatsword is a 2 handed sword you can’t draw from your side

    Sorry for being that guy

  3. What if Valerian steel is just regular steel that is forged through dragon fire and fusing dragon magic within it, making the steel Valerian. This could explain why they can’t recreate it, why it has the ability to kill white walkers, and why the Valerians where the ones who discovered it

  4. Oh man remember the time when we thought the show was being written by competent writers, that things like these would matter, and plot points will actually lead somewhere ??! lmao, subverted expectations amirite

  5. I hate seeing all these types of prediction videos because they’re more interesting and satisfying than that horrible ending we got.

  6. "Widow's Wail is now the only known Valyrian sword in the city of King's Landing, so it surely will come in handy sometime."
    Yeaaahhhhh… no.

  7. It's pretty fun how Some of the predictions in those old videos are ON POINT. like the dagger killing little finger. And about Jon being Aegon IV and so on.

  8. This shouldve happened this is dumb. I would have rather have Jon have a 1 on 1 with the night king and beat him in a final climax. With every other important character about to die. But Jon saves them in the end

  9. Slight error in 1:33 , a bastard sword is longer than an arming sword not than a longsword, it is in between the arming sword and the longsword

  10. I noticed that the sword Jamie wields in season one very closely resembles the art picture of Brightroar, same lion head pommel, length and fuller of blade, similarly decorated hilt as well. Maybe just a sword made for him to be just a regular steel replica of Brightroar. Idk, it was something I just noticed while browsing the Valyrian Steel website.

  11. "the sword will play a big role in jon's fight against he white walkers"
    season 8 happens
    It's better to be ignorant and live in bliss than know the truth and live in agony

  12. Im guessing valyrian steel is made from regular steel tempered with dragon fire

  13. 'A bastard sword meaning it's a bit longer than a normal long sword' long sword were exclusively two handed weapons and were longer than bastard sword what you were thinking of was an arming sword which is a one handed sword and are often mixed up with long swords

  14. Joffrey named his sword the Widow's Wail. Only one widow wailed and that was Catelyn whose husband Ned owned Ice. Joffrey's own widow didn't really wail for him. She knew he was a cunt.

  15. I loved reading about the vulture king in Fire and Blood because I was imagining good ol morbidly obese Sam fighting against a dornish army XD

  16. If the long night happened thousands of years ago, before the discovery of dragons and the rise of the Valyrian freehold, how did they have "dragonsteel"? They were the First Men, there was no steel or iron working in Westeros at all until the Andal invasion.

  17. "Longclaw is a bastard sword which means it's a bit longer than a long sword"

    I know that's what GRRM's said but it doesn't even make sense why they'd call them 'bastard swords' in that case – I just think he's covering up his own fuck up and that just makes me


    even more.

  18. Watching this after the Battle of Winterfell, I’m laughing like “nope, that didn’t happen” “that was actually unimportant” “ that’s actually a good idea though” like 😅

  19. yeah too bad the show had shitty writers, i expected to see dark sister again but as we all now know, the final season was a major disappointment..

  20. A bastard sword is shorter than a general longsword in both blade and handle. Every bastard sword is a longsword but not every longsword is a bastard sword. It is shorter to provide the user a viable one handed grip on the blade where as with a normal longsword using one hand alone would be inefficient due to the blade and handles length.

  21. Isn't there a knife/razor that is Valyrian steel that is the Bolton's blade? I think the books mention that they use it to flay their victims.

  22. Heartsbane,
    Lady Forlorn
    Red Rain
    Widow's Wail
    arakh ( owned by Caggo)
    Dark Sister
    Orphan-Maker ( the ancestral sword of House Roxton)
    Vigilance ( the ancestral sword of House Hightower )

  23. The Joffrey/Catspaw thing is left out of the show fwiw. We’re supposed to think that Littlefinger did it, I think.

  24. See that’s nice and all but I wanna know how and why it can cut through the white walkers ice and kill them

  25. HeartsBane is one of the coolest Valyrian Steel swords ever made. It has a superior look and it’s also the protector of the men’s realm.

  26. Alt Shift X : who has the swords that can defeat the white walkers !

    The Directors of Game of thrones : I'm about to destroy this man's whole career

  27. There's so much potential plot in there, but the thing is none of them were involved, kind of disappointed actually.

  28. After watching all the available videos on YouTube or other places and after completion of GOT season 8 HBO is left with much more stories of past i.e, TARGARYEN dynasty. So now HBO must make a series on it.

  29. “The big threat are the white walkers-“ apparently not according to D&D. What a disappointment. It felt like human squabbling over power while a threat that was like a force of nature descended upon them was such a powerful story angle, and apparently it was too much for those guys. Never seen such a universally condemned example of writing. What a magnificent waste of time and mental energy and world building and intrigue if the walkers are dealt with so quickly and easily, and so many of the plot arcs and mysteries disappear into the night like a khalasar being snuffed out by white walker fog machines.

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