Curled Finger

Fire or Blood?

37 posts in this topic

Back to Valyrian Steel Swords with new intel from The Sons of The Dragon.   I’ve long held the 12 + 1 swords theory.   That’s out there, let’s move on.   The information that was available at the time I began investigating the magic swords was limited on its best day.   New information just fogs all that information up and forces me to take a new look at those cool swords.   New position:

Widows Wail and Oathkeeper may well be reforged into a new Ice.   Unsure if I’m more shocked or depressed at this, but there it is.    

 Despite my curiosity at the wording of Sons of the Dragon with respect to Vhagar lighting Aegon’s pyre and Blackfyre becoming darker for having er, participated in the festivities, I have an even stronger conviction that Lamentation was Lost, Killed, Destroyed in the Dragon Pit.   Lesson to all my fellow sword geeks, the sword is GONE FOREVER if it is listed among the dead.      

This deal with Blackfyre darkening in the pyre which we have to take on faith was common fire only started by Vhagar, is interesting.  Modern steel can be heat treated to achieve certain colors, specifically grey and black.  The only colors of VS that we know of are degrees of grey.   Red Rain may or may not be red and OK and WW are of course, night and blood.   The only really good reference I can cite is Tobho Mott when he explains the color of OK & WW to Tyrion.

"I confess, these colors were not what I intended, and I do not know that I could duplicate them. Your lord father had asked for the crimson of your House, and it was that color I set out to infuse into the metal. But Valyrian steel is stubborn. These old swords remember, it is said, and they do not change easily. I worked half a hundred spells and brightened the red time and time again, but always the color would darken, as if the blade was drinking the sun from it. And some folds would not take the red at all, as you can see. If my lords of Lannister are displeased, I will of course try again, as many times as you should require, but—"  ASOS Tyrion 4

I really want a look at Dark Sister and Orphan Maker now.  

We have looked at the colors of the swords (that we know of), the stones or adornment of pommels, the length of blades, the width of blades and the potential weight of a Valyrian Steel longsword.   We have looked at the houses we know had the swords originally.   We have looked at how the swords were lost and found.   We have marveled at VS ability to “remember” and act of its own accord.   Go read a Brienne chapter if you don’t remember. We have looked for all the ingredients, confirmed and speculated, as well as every potential process for making Valyrian Steel.   We can tell you confidently that VS requires dragon fire, blood magic, steel and spells.   (Even if I do still think obsidian is part of the recipe)  We have discussed and argued over whether VS is Dragon Steel.   For the sake of this discussion, meaning no disrespect to all the wonderful real world sword geeks and metallurgists, let’s leave it at the swords are magical.  

With advance knowledge that Valyrian Steel is made in large by magic, what caused Blackfyre to darken?  Was it fire or was it blood or a combination of both?   Common fire has no impact upon VS, so I’m betting dragon fire is at least part of this metamorphosis.   If you are of the blood did it persuasion is it exclusive to king’s blood, Targ blood or what?  Lady Forlorn may have been used to execute more people in the story than the other blades.   If it is blood why hasn’t this blade’s color changed?  Is there something else to blades that remember that we may not have identified? 

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Tobho Mott was frustrated with the red element not being bright enough, not the entire blade(s) becoming darker.

IMO magic has nothing to do with forging valyrian steel.  It's just steel with obsidian added in and tons of work folding and refolding.

Blackfyre darkened due to the carbon materials used to make the funeral pyre. Blacksmiths use materials like beeswax to coat steel prior to introducing into a "dirty fire" to blacken.

 

 

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I know next to nothing about swords. I have always presumed that Valyrian steel and the art of making it is a homage to the real-life Damascus Steel, which we still haven't been able to reverse engineer or replicate perfectly today. So, we might never find out what goes into it in the books either. That said, I have always suspected that it has something to do with dragonglass due to the volcanic activity in Valyrian probably making it quite abundant. We also know from Stannis that it comes in many colours other than black.

Then there are the dragons themselves and possibly spells that were lost in the Doom that went into creating it. So, it is a lost art. I don't think there is going to be any Valyrian blood in the swords, personally, or that it has anything to do with royal blood either. Though the idea that blood sacrifice (or, dare I say, the souls of the dead went into the swords like some Azor Ahai legend) makes me wonder if a method or version of Valyrian steel was borrowed knowledge from Asshai.

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6 minutes ago, Ahl of the House Cutler said:

Tobho Mott was frustrated with the red element not being bright enough, not the entire blade(s) becoming darker.

IMO magic has nothing to do with forging valyrian steel.  It's just steel with obsidian added in and tons of work folding and refolding.

Blackfyre darkened due to the carbon materials used to make the funeral pyre. Blacksmiths use materials like beeswax to coat steel prior to introducing into a "dirty fire" to blacken.

 

 

Yah, I must have misread what Tobho said.   Silly me.   It's clear no magic is involved in making VS despite multiple references directly to the making and remaking of VS.   Wish I'd brought up real steel being darkened by heat.   Dang.   Back to the drawing board. 

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8 minutes ago, Faera said:

I know next to nothing about swords. I have always presumed that Valyrian steel and the art of making it is a homage to the real-life Damascus Steel, which we still haven't been able to reverse engineer or replicate perfectly today. So, we might never find out what goes into it in the books either. That said, I have always suspected that it has something to do with dragonglass due to the volcanic activity in Valyrian probably making it quite abundant. We also know from Stannis that it comes in many colours other than black.

Then there are the dragons themselves and possibly spells that were lost in the Doom that went into creating it. So, it is a lost art. I don't think there is going to be any Valyrian blood in the swords, personally, or that it has anything to do with royal blood either. Though the idea that blood sacrifice (or, dare I say, the souls of the dead went into the swords like some Azor Ahai legend) makes me wonder if a method or version of Valyrian steel was borrowed knowledge from Asshai.

I believe VS was inspired by Damascus Steel.  The books already tell us specifically that dragon fire, spells, blood magic and steel are required to make and or remake VS with the substitution of wyldfire for dragon fire.   Other materials are up for discussion, but thus far unproven.   A non-Targ Valyrian dragon lord avoided the doom curiously, in Qohor, of all places.    I'm thinking this is how the Qohori learned to rework VS.   And you are quite right that the art of making VS is lost, but the art of remaking VS is alive and well with the Qohori.   I think you're talking about obsidian coming in many colors, right?   Mel makes the big deal about kings blood but the World Book cites:

In folklore, even as far as Westeros, Qohor is sometimes known as the City of Sorcerers, for it is widely believed that the dark arts are practiced here even to this day. Divination, bloodmagic, and necromancy are whispered of, though such reports can seldom be proved. One truth remains undisputed, however: The dark god of Qohor, the deity known as the Black Goat, demands daily blood sacrifice. Calves, bullocks, and horses are the animals most often brought before the Black Goat's altars, but on holy days condemned criminals go beneath the knives of his cowled priests, and in times of danger and crisis it is written that the high nobles of the city offer up their own children to placate the god, that he might defend the city.  AWOIAF  The Free Cities: Qohor

which goes a long way in my mind to substantiate the use of blood magic. All I've got for Asshai is that it is written somewhere that it's suspected the Valyrians learned to handle their dragons.    I like that souls of the dead entering steel.   Nice.    

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I'm too tired right now to post anything, gotta go to  bed XD But I will come back!  I was writing something more in Sons-of-the-Dragon-thread but I  stopped for not being OT. There are a lot of questions about it ...

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59 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

Yah, I must have misread what Tobho said.   Silly me.   It's clear no magic is involved in making VS despite multiple references directly to the making and remaking of VS.   Wish I'd brought up real steel being darkened by heat.   Dang.   Back to the drawing board. 

I don't care about multiple references to magic in creating anything in the ASOIAF world.  Magic is a blanket term for anything that people don't understand, and the inhabitants in the book are living in a world that hasn't progressed technologically in at least 6,000 years.  "Magic" could just be some sort of lost technology that only a few characters are privy to.

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8 minutes ago, Ahl of the House Cutler said:

I don't care about multiple references to magic in creating anything in the ASOIAF world.  Magic is a blanket term for anything that people don't understand, and the inhabitants in the book are living in a world that hasn't progressed technologically in at least 6,000 years.  "Magic" could just be some sort of lost technology that only a few characters are privy to.

I sincerely hope you enjoy this fantasy epic with dragons, resurrections, flaming swords, telepathy, necromancy and 125 year-old men living as trees.    

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Second lifed steel. Some magic used on steel to make it consume, and when it consumes a soul or souls Valyrian steel is the end product.

When a Valyrian steel blade takes Dany's life her fiery soul will cause it to flame and that will be Lightbringer. The Tobho red issues are basically for a contrast against what Dany's blood will do to a sword. Aegon's colour was black, makes sense the sword would blacken for his input.

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45 minutes ago, Cridefea said:

I'm too tired right now to post anything, gotta go to  bed XD But I will come back!  I was writing something more in Sons-of-the-Dragon-thread but I  stopped for not being OT. There are a lot of questions about it ...

Get some rest, you know we like you at the top of your game, my friend.   

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5 minutes ago, chrisdaw said:

Second lifed steel. Some magic used on steel to make it consume, and when it consumes a soul or souls Valyrian steel is the end product.

When a Valyrian steel blade takes Dany's life her fiery soul will cause it to flame and that will be Lightbringer. The Tobho red issues are basically for a contrast against what Dany's blood will do to a sword. Aegon's colour was black, makes sense the sword would blacken for his input.

Well done.   I really do like this whole absorbing souls line of thinking.    

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5 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

I sincerely hope you enjoy this fantasy epic with dragons, resurrections, flaming swords, telepathy, necromancy and 125 year-old men living as trees.    

I do.  As I have enjoyed all of GRRMs other titles.  But that doesn't mean I have to enjoy it the same way you do.

You call it fantasy, I call it science fiction with a fantasy glamour (another hidden tech in ASOIAF, I might add).

 

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On 22/10/2017 at 11:44 PM, Curled Finger said:

New information just fogs all that information up and forces me to take a new look at those cool swords.   New position:

Widows Wail and Oathkeeper may well be reforged into a new Ice. 

why?

On 22/10/2017 at 11:44 PM, Curled Finger said:

I have an even stronger conviction that Lamentation was Lost

why stronger?

On 22/10/2017 at 11:44 PM, Curled Finger said:

I really want a look at Dark Sister and Orphan Maker now.

Orphan maker is black, now i would like to know how it became black.....

Spoiler

(probably we also have to think about Euron's black armor)

 

On 22/10/2017 at 11:44 PM, Curled Finger said:

Was it fire or was it blood or a combination of both? 

I think it's fire and that would be not so banal. We have 3 infos: common fire cannot harm it, Vs seems to "drink" light, Vs swords "remember".  If it absorbed light and can remember then Blackfyre could really important in the war to come. I wonder what fire can destroy VS. 

Anyhow I'm not so shocked to know dragon fire doesn't  harm VS, it is forged with it and spells. 

Blood is always "absorbed", every time the swords is used. Then it's interesting: what does it happen when in a fight 2 swords remember past battles and heros and souls. I still have in mind the sound of Blackfyre and Lady Forlorn fighting.

23 hours ago, Ahl of the House Cutler said:

I don't care about multiple references to magic in creating anything in the ASOIAF world.  Magic is a blanket term for anything that people don't understand, and the inhabitants in the book are living in a world that hasn't progressed technologically in at least 6,000 years.  "Magic" could just be some sort of lost technology that only a few characters are privy to.

Different words same concepts. Instead of asking what kind of magic do you think they used, it's: what kind of technology do you think it is implicated? how it works?

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On 10/22/2017 at 5:20 PM, Ahl of the House Cutler said:

Tobho Mott was frustrated with the red element not being bright enough, not the entire blade(s) becoming darker.

IMO magic has nothing to do with forging valyrian steel.  It's just steel with obsidian added in and tons of work folding and refolding.

Blackfyre darkened due to the carbon materials used to make the funeral pyre. Blacksmiths use materials like beeswax to coat steel prior to introducing into a "dirty fire" to blacken.

UHHHHHHH

The closest real life analog is Damascus steel, but Valyrian steel is a fantasy metal. Which means it has magical characteristics, and magic plays a role in its forging.

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/The_Process_of_Making_Valyrian_Steel

So your opinion is wrong.

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On 10/22/2017 at 5:44 PM, Curled Finger said:

I’ve long held the 12 + 1 swords theory.

What's that?

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On 10/23/2017 at 3:48 PM, Cridefea said:

why?

why stronger?

Orphan maker is black, now i would like to know how it became black.....

  Reveal hidden contents

(probably we also have to think about Euron's black armor)

 

I think it's fire and that would be not so banal. We have 3 infos: common fire cannot harm it, Vs seems to "drink" light, Vs swords "remember".  If it absorbed light and can remember then Blackfyre could really important in the war to come. I wonder what fire can destroy VS. 

Anyhow I'm not so shocked to know dragon fire doesn't  harm VS, it is forged with it and spells. 

Blood is always "absorbed", every time the swords is used. Then it's interesting: what does it happen when in a fight 2 swords remember past battles and heros and souls. I still have in mind the sound of Blackfyre and Lady Forlorn fighting.

Different words same concepts. Instead of asking what kind of magic do you think they used, it's: what kind of technology do you think it is implicated? how it works?

Hi Cridefea!  Great way to start a topic then abandon it.   So let's get to it , better late than never.   I think after reading many comments and hearing History of Westeros take on the funeral pyre, Vhaghar was just the match to the pyre.  The fire was probably just a wood fire and she sneezed on it to get it started.   Not at all the same as what happened in the dragon pit with Lamentation.  The dragon pit had 5 crazed enraged probably terrified dragons spitting hell fire on everything.   Lamentation is gone.   As to reforging Ice...you know I hold my 12 + 1 swords very dear.  I believe we've got 14 VS Swords named.  All the swords are important, whether they come into play at the end or not.   My feelings about Ice/OK/WW are softening to perhaps accept that Brightroar may actually come back into play.  That's it, I'm done with Jamie Lannister and studying his sorry butt.   He screws up everything I think about everything.   I find myself persuaded by the constant reappearances of Gendry.    I hold Gendry in far less esteem than most readers.   He's not really anyone.    He wont be legitimized,   He won't rule Storms End or the Stormlands.    But he is a knight, which is a big deal, and he is a blacksmith, which got him his acceptance and eventually knight hood from the BWB.  He will do something important related to being both a knight and a blacksmith.  The obvious thing is reforging Ice.   I hate it but I can't come up with anything else this beloved if insignificant character can do to really impact the story.  Brightroar will have to come into play if that happens.  Yes, I'm afraid I'm getting ahead of myself in all this going straight for end game.    Sorry. 

Now my friend, let me pose the question of fire or blood to you again.  I think it's absolutely imperative to put dragonfire in its own category.  The only other thing that burns as hot as dragon fire is wildfyre,which the Qohori use to melt VS.  We've got a man made magical substance here.  Some of the red took to the steel in OK and WW.  Brienne mentions OK moving of its own accord and seeming to know where to land a blow many times.   Jon does the same with Longclaw.   There is some interesting talk of soul absorption above.  I've found no other mention of swords darkening, lightening or changing in any respect.  I'm taking Blackfyre's darkening as happening due to perhaps both fire and blood, the finished product, a magical sword, rejoining with the essence of its magic a burning Targaryen.   Though it says no common fire can harm VS, it doesn't  say dragon fire or wildfyre can't harm it.  If there is any harm to these weapons it is in pommels or adornment to the finished product.   I am getting the vibe that the sword blades can not be chipped or broken.  What say ye, Cridefea?

 

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On 10/23/2017 at 3:55 PM, Universal Sword Donor said:

UHHHHHHH

The closest real life analog is Damascus steel, but Valyrian steel is a fantasy metal. Which means it has magical characteristics, and magic plays a role in its forging.

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/The_Process_of_Making_Valyrian_Steel

So your opinion is wrong.

Dont feed the trolls.

 

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On 10/25/2017 at 3:23 PM, Eiko Dragonhorn said:

What's that?

I'm so sorry it took so long for me to reply.  12 + 1 theory is that there will be a re-enactment of the Last Hero's quest.  The Last Hero will of course carry Light Bringer where the 12 companions of the Last Hero will carry Valyrian Steel.   If you get a chance to go back and read some of the sword topics over the past couple of years we've really found some imaginative posters and excellent detectives.  12 + 1 was the 1st thing I found in the books that made any sense at all to me.    My 2nd reread was focused exclusively on the swords and their relevance to this political horror story.   Hope that was a reasonable if brief explanation of a long held fan theory.. 

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@Curled Finger

Where does the fact that Ned's Ice wasn't the original Ice fit in to your theory? 

The Greatsword Ice we see reforged wasn't acquired by the Starks until after the rise of Valyria... long after the Long Night.

Quote

Catelyn had no love for swords, but she could not deny that Ice had its own beauty. It had been forged in Valyria, before the Doom had come to the old Freehold, when the ironsmiths had worked their metal with spells as well as hammers. Four hundred years old it was, and as sharp as the day it was forged. The name it bore was older still, a legacy from the age of heroes, when the Starks were Kings in the North.

 

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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On 10/22/2017 at 5:44 PM, Curled Finger said:

With advance knowledge that Valyrian Steel is made in large by magic, what caused Blackfyre to darken?  Was it fire or was it blood or a combination of both?   Common fire has no impact upon VS, so I’m betting dragon fire is at least part of this metamorphosis.   If you are of the blood did it persuasion is it exclusive to king’s blood, Targ blood or what?  Lady Forlorn may have been used to execute more people in the story than the other blades.   If it is blood why hasn’t this blade’s color changed?  Is there something else to blades that remember that we may not have identified? 

Tinfoil: Not just flame, not just dragonflame, not just blood, not just Targ blood, but Aegon's soul itself went into the blade.

Edited by hiemal

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