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Quick question for R+L=J believers.

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13 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Is this question of yours based on the video theory by that group order of the greenpalms (or whatever they are called?). If so, I would be extremely leary of believing everything they claim without doing your own, full, research first. Maybe that is why you posted this question? :dunno:, but I just wanted to ask real quickly to try and help me figure it out.

No, that passage just really stuck out to me on re-read. I've seen a couple of their videos though. Pretty out there stuff, but well presented. 

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On 3/9/2018 at 7:50 AM, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

Third, the Ashara lie wasn't at all safe. Say, Ned confirms it - and the rumor, with its uncanny ability to reach the farthest corners of the Universe (even if maybe in a little deformed shape), spreads south. And, one fine morning, Maester Luwin finds a raven sent from Starfall, with a short message: "Hey, wait a fucking minute!". Now what?

I'm not really disagreeing with anything, but I feel certain that the Daynes of that generation (Arthur, Ashara, and Edric's parents) were completely aware of Jon and his parentage. I don't think they would have said anything about any rumors that got started, thus allowing as much confusion around the issue as possible.

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8 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Well then you'd like my twist on the theory...that Ashara did indeed marry Howland and is Meera's mother, but she got sick and died.

:o

No, no no. I am so not into this. I'm just not into this whole Howland marriage. I can't wrap my head around it.

I think what we know of Ashara sounds tragic enough without her dying from some swamp fever. It's odd, there are characters I hope are still alive, but she's not one of them. I just feel like her story is complete in the way it has been presented to us, you know.

Even the whole Ashara and Ned fell in love feels more like something manufactured to protect whatever honor she had left. Ashara maybe fell in love with a Stark who was already promised to another, he dishonored her, knocked her up and left her high and dry, then he was murdered by a king who had lost his marbles. Enter Ned, who was unpromised, a second son, who could be used as a cover for what Brandon did. But Brandon died and the war happened ridiculous custom decrees that Ned marry his brother's fiancée in his stead. And the two families are on opposite sides of the war, so then it just becomes tragic circumstances. It fixes some of the harm that Brandon did, no one needs to know the true story, but she kills herself anyway and the story is the one perpetuated at Starfall. Rickard may even have been aware of what his philandering son did, because I can't imagine Lord Dayne (be it the father or the son) would have been pleased with this at all.

I thought for a while that she might have been Septa Lemore, but even that, I have doubts. 

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10 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Thank you! Always nice to meet another person who notices such things and has reached this conclusion.

If we few are correct (have your read the H+A = M&J thread?), then Ashara's family would be mightily displeased that she would want to throw herself away on some crannogman. They'd probably rather she were dead...

Well then you'd like my twist on the theory...that Ashara did indeed marry Howland and is Meera's mother, but she got sick and died. 

Yeah. The romance between Howland and Ashara was positively sizzling. GRRM left the clues everywhere. Goodness, the two share as many paragraphs, as Olenna Tyrell and Mance Rayder, it must needs mean something! ;)

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1 hour ago, Widow's Watch said:

Even the whole Ashara and Ned fell in love feels more like something manufactured to protect whatever honor she had left. Ashara maybe fell in love with a Stark who was already promised to another, he dishonored her, knocked her up and left her high and dry, then he was murdered by a king who had lost his marbles. Enter Ned, who was unpromised, a second son, who could be used as a cover for what Brandon did. But Brandon died and the war happened ridiculous custom decrees that Ned marry his brother's fiancée in his stead. And the two families are on opposite sides of the war, so then it just becomes tragic circumstances. It fixes some of the harm that Brandon did, no one needs to know the true story, but she kills herself anyway and the story is the one perpetuated at Starfall. Rickard may even have been aware of what his philandering son did, because I can't imagine Lord Dayne (be it the father or the son) would have been pleased with this at all.

Are you sure you are not me? I mean, with all the switcheroos going on, one can never be sure!

1 hour ago, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

Yeah. The romance between Howland and Ashara was positively sizzling. GRRM left the clues everywhere. Goodness, the two share as many paragraphs, as Olenna Tyrell and Mance Rayder, it must needs mean something! ;)

Gosh, those two share a paragraph somewhere? How did I miss this?!

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, SirArthur said:

And that is the core of the problem. If I start with Dany I "he died for the woman he loved" together with the knowledge that Elia was held captive by Aerys or with Cersei's crush on Rhaegar and her hate for Jon, I can certainly come to other conclusions. At least when it comes to the idea who the father is.

Well, I didn't start at that point. I couldn't start with that line because I didn't know what was going to be relevant or not the first time I read. I am one of the people, as @Ygrain put it, "who arrived at the conclusion [of R+L=J] on their own." Without any preconceptions or much knowledge outside of a friend telling me the series was "interesting", is based on War of the Roses and Tudors "so I was bound to love it" and they were going to be doing a show for it soon as a motivator to read so we could watch the first season together.

I definitely remember a sort of "wow!" feeling during my first read when I surmised that Jon was Lyanna's. From there, I made an educated guess that Rhaegar probably fathered Jon though I can't remember whether it was in AGoT or ACoK I decided that, since it didn't "hit me" the same way the Lyanna aspect did. I don't even think I remembered that line from Dany's chapter until a re-read through of the books; the only time I would have had RLJ in the back of my mind to pick up such a line.

My point is that I didn't go into this series looking for clues of R+L=J because I didn't know what I'd be getting. I didn't even begin reading online theories of the books or TV series until only a few years ago when I completed the series and wanted to know what other people though. Until then I thought I was quite clever to have worked out Jon being Lyanna's son, most likely with Rhaegar, only to find it was a decade old theory with a catchy little title to-boot.

Needless to say, I showed up late to the party. :lol:

6 hours ago, Light a wight tonight said:

So, Brandon wasn't talking theoretically when he told Jon to reserve judgement about fathering bastards until he had one of his own?

I presume you mean Benjen. Either way, I think that line says more about Benjen's personal regret that joining the Watch meant he never had any children. He joined very young from the sounds of it, probably about Jon's age even.

If Brandon (as in Wild Big Bro) had a kid or kids I doubt we'll ever get clear confirmation either way.:dunno:

17 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

And this isn't the real problem. This is a problem only for arseholes like me. The actual, real problem is that everything they propose (that's I've seen) requires enormous leaps of faith and excruciating mental gymnastics (is saying 'excruciating gymnastics' being redundant?:huh: ). Oh, and there's lots of things they speak of as it fact but are actually downright wrong. 

Aha, I vaguely remember us talking about a podcast they did with some other dude.

Sometimes the ideas they put out there make me go, "oooo", such as the Doran series they're doing now. My issue is that in the past when I have looked into the theories myself, books in hand, they don't really hold up to close scurinity. Perhaps, if I look into the Doran series I'd find it's no different. Plus, the ideas they are putting out there about Doran aren't terribly original, since 'The Dornish Masterplan' etc. They are very good at drawing out an idea, sound interesting when you listen to them, and present their videos in a "pretty" way but I admit they rely little too much of theory stacking (i.e. harking back to other things they purport to be true) and really stretch out their ideas, sometimes even leaving ideas just hanging there without proper follow up.

(Also, they're so mean about the Andals! Yes, history is written by the winners. Big wow. Whenever I hear someone say they are "lying pieces of...", yeah, I know it's the mark of the Green Hand. It really takes me out of the theory when they throw in language like that, if that makes sense?) 

3 hours ago, Widow's Watch said:

:o

No, no no. I am so not into this. I'm just not into this whole Howland marriage. I can't wrap my head around it.

I think what we know of Ashara sounds tragic enough without her dying from some swamp fever. It's odd, there are characters I hope are still alive, but she's not one of them. I just feel like her story is complete in the way it has been presented to us, you know.

I don't get this one either or where it is coming from.

When it comes to Howland Reed, I'm pretty sure his wife is just as she is presented in the appendix. She is 'Jyana, of the crannogmen,' and mother to Meera and Jojen. When I saw that she lacked a family name, especially given ADwD was the first time I think GRRM did a "roll call" of the noble houses of the Neck and that when a wife is mentioned GRRM will typically tell us which house they are from, my first and only presumption was that Jyana might have been a commoner, not someone else in disguise.

3 hours ago, Widow's Watch said:

I thought for a while that she might have been Septa Lemore, but even that, I have doubts. 

I have heavy doubts of this myself though I'm not against the idea necessarily. Basically, I'm not buying it 'til I know her eye colour or some concrete proof she's wearing a glamour. Otherwise, Tyene's mother is just as plausible to me as her being Ashara.

Edited by Faera

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53 minutes ago, Faera said:

I don't even think I remembered that line from Dany's chapter until a re-read through of the books

Exactly. The line comes so early in the books and lumped together with all the romanticised BS Viserys had fed Dany that it gets completely lost; I only noticed it at a re-read, as well. The Starks as the good guys with the story about a black-hearted prince who kidnapped and raped Lyanna steal the show instead, and it was only in Dany's later chapters which painted a starkly contrasting picture of Rhaegar that I started to doubt the "official" version. When I figured out that Lyanna was Jon's mother, Rhaegar as his father clicked in, along with the realisation that it wasn't rape (based on Ned's comment about Lyanna's wolf blood that led her to an early grave, his weird thought about Rhaegar not frequenting brothels and Jorah speaking about Rhaegar as the type who would save women from rape).

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Are you sure you are not me? I mean, with all the switcheroos going on, one can never be sure!

This is one thing I had not realized. RLJ, I zeroed in on rather quickly. I wasn't sure if he raped a baby into her if it had been consensual, but that notion gets dispelled quickly enough during Ned's brothel adventure. Until a few months ago, I never frequented message boards or anything like that. I hadn't realized there were so many theories about a character not being the character they say they are. I get it, we have characters who pretend they're other people, have new identities. 

I have to say though that I am 100% on board with Ser Pounce's true identity being Azor Ahai. 

1 hour ago, Faera said:

When it comes to Howland Reed, I'm pretty sure his wife is just as she is presented in the appendix. She is 'Jyana, of the crannogmen,' and mother to Meera and Jojen. When I saw that she lacked a family name, especially given ADwD was the first time I think GRRM did a "roll call" of the noble houses of the Neck and that when a wife is mentioned GRRM will typically tell us which house they are from, my first and only presumption was that Jyana might have been a commoner, not someone else in disguise.

I have heavy doubts of this myself though I'm not against the idea necessarily. Basically, I'm not buying it 'til I know her eye colour or some concrete proof she's wearing a glamour. Otherwise, Tyene's mother is just as plausible to me as her being Ashara.

I'm more intrigued who Leyton Hightower's first wife and mother to his ten children was, bth. And I think her name has been kept back for a reason. 

I got excited when I read ADWD, because I was certain Lemore was Ashara, but 7 years later, I am no longer convinced of that. As far as Jyana goes, the descriptions of Jojen and Meera don't give me anything to think that their mother is not a crannogman as well. It doesn't seem like the crannogmen marry outside of the Neck.

Edited by Widow's Watch

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4 hours ago, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

Yeah. The romance between Howland and Ashara was positively sizzling. GRRM left the clues everywhere. Goodness, the two share as many paragraphs, as Olenna Tyrell and Mance Rayder, it must needs mean something! ;)

 

2 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Gosh, those two share a paragraph somewhere? How did I miss this?

They don't.

I thought that also was the case for H+A, a quick search confirmed it, yet, if one looks closer, there's this passage where The crannogman saw a maid with laughing purple eyes dance with a white sword, a red snake, and the lord of griffins, and lastly with the quiet wolf.

So, H+A lead 1:0 against M+O. Still, it's very close. :)

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12 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

If we few are correct (have your read the H+A = M&J thread?), then Ashara's family would be mightily displeased that she would want to throw herself away on some crannogman. They'd probably rather she were dead...

:agree: Especially if it was Howland who killed Arthur. Arthur was Daynes' pride and hope, and he was killed by Ashara's lover.

I haven't read that thread, but I'm favouring a theory that H+A = M&J, and END :) (Edric Ned Dayne). 

So could be, that the Reeds had to give away one of their babies to Daynes, not only because Edric didn't looked like cranogman, but also because he was a compensation from Howland to Daynes, for Arthur's death.

13 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

There is nothing in the books that states that VS can kill the Others.

Maybe nothing directly, but there are indirect clues.

1. Dragonglass can kill the Others. But what is dragonglass? Just a volcanic glass? How exactly was it created?

"The smallfolk like to say that dragonglass is made by dragons, while Maesters say it comes from the fires of the earth." - I think both versions are correct. What created dragonglass is intense heat, such as fire of volcano, OR dragonfire.

"The Valyrians called obsidian frozen fire and made use of obsidian to make their glass candles."

2. "Ghosts lined the hallway, dressed in the faded raiment of kings. In their hands were swords of pale fire." - Valyrian steel has remnants of fire left inside the metal.

Thus VS, same as dragonglass, can kill the Others.

13 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Sam and Jon think that maybe dragonsteel refers to VS

Dragonsteel is VS, because VS is forged in dragonflame. Dany said so to Jorah.

13 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

However, VS or no VS, I think the IT will be destroyed (and just like it took a dragon to make it, it will take a dragon to break it), and replaced with a new throne.

Yes, it's ugly and uncomfortable. Next master of Red Keep, should do a total make over, in the castle.

11 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Do you really think that Ned, who was sitting on the IT and also possessed a Valyrian blade, wouldn't recognize it for what it was?

Maybe.

But even if some characters do know/realise that IT is made of Valyrian steel, there was no reason for them to think about dismantling/reforging it. Yes, Valyrian steel is costly, so the metal of that throne, can earn a fortune, for whoever will sell it. But the Throne itself, is seen merely as a symbol of power and leadership. Also it's a part of history. And previously there was no reasons for people near it, to think about that Throne's material, as a potential source of making Valyrian blades. Until now people didn't needed to arm westerosi with Valyrian weapons.

11 hours ago, Ygrain said:

ETA: Furthermore, the IT is hardly the only chunk of iron ever exposed to dragon fire. If such an exposure was all it took, Westeros would have been flooded with VS after Aegon's conquest...

There's a difference between temporal exposure to dragonfire, and metal molded in dragonflame for 59 days.

8 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

But even if it is 1,000, that's not nearly enough to be the decisive factor. 

One thousand is better than none.

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22 minutes ago, Megorova said:

But even if some characters do know/realise that IT is made of Valyrian steel, there was no reason for them to think about dismantling/reforging it. Yes, Valyrian steel is costly, so the metal of that throne, can earn a fortune, for whoever will sell it. But the Throne itself, is seen merely as a symbol of power and leadership. Also it's a part of history. And previously there was no reasons for people near it, to think about that Throne's material, as a potential source of making Valyrian blades. Until now people didn't needed to arm westerosi with Valyrian weapons.

So what? What does it have to do with merely noticing the material? Given how valued VS is, not noticing that the whole throne is now of VS blades doesn't make any sense.

22 minutes ago, Megorova said:

There's a difference between temporal exposure to dragonfire, and metal molded in dragonflame for 59 days.

59 days assembling the throne =/= all swords being exposed to dragonfire for 59 days. Just saying. 

Plus, heating something for an infinite amount of time won't achieve the Damascus structure, anyway.

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23 minutes ago, Megorova said:

So could be, that the Reeds had to give away one of their babies to Daynes, not only because Edric didn't looked like cranogman, but also because he was a compensation from Howland to Daynes, for Arthur's death.

I'm sure they added a big bag of fresh frogs and a mini-Eiffel Tower made of reed strands for good measure… :rolleyes:

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4 hours ago, Ygrain said:

So what? What does it have to do with merely noticing the material? Given how valued VS is, not noticing that the whole throne is now of VS blades doesn't make any sense.

It doesn't. Not once, by any of several characters, in thousands of pages. Then at some point in Winds someone just goes, "oh yeah, the IT is VS!" I think not. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

It doesn't. Not once, by any of several characters, in thousands of pages. Then at some point in Winds someone just goes, "oh yeah, the IT is VS!" I think not. 

Stannis - "The barbs along the back, the ribbons of twisted steel", Ned - "fanged steel behind". They didn't elaborated that the steel is Valyrian, but two of those characters did said/thought "steel".

Based on their POV, barbs along the back, is made of steel, and the entire throne (aside from iron steps in front) is made of ribbons of twisted steel. Those ribbons are made from swords melted together, as long steel serpentines.  

Though there's a reason why Iron Throne needs to be a Valyrian steel. They need to have lots of Valyrian blades, otherwise people of 7K won't survive thru Long Night.

There are only three dragons, and there are probably hundreds thousands of white walkers behind The Wall. So those three dragons are not enough to kill entire Undead Army. Because WW can separate and run, and dragons aren't immortal, so they will die from old age, if they will be killing WW one by one.

Also the dragons will be useless, if the wights will go into the cities, inside houses and castles. Will Dany burn houses, together with people that live there, to kill white walkers? Obviously that she won't. And there's no guaranty, that first wave of the Others will be stopped, before they will cross The Wall, and spread all over Westeros.

Also, when Jon burned that first wight, with it also burned the Lord's tower. So fire can't be used as an ultimate weapon against Undead. Otherwise people will burn their own houses, and entire cities, and afterwards will die from cold, because the winter will be still ongoing.

Of course, there's still dragonglass. But there's one problem with it. It's brittle. And it breaks. That's why the Children, each year were giving 100 new daggers to the Night's Watch, to replace those that shattered.

See, from where is coming this reasoning? -> They crucially need more Valyrian blades. And GRRM did gave a hint thru Dany, that Valyrian steel is result of forging in dragonflame, add to this the fact that Iron Throne was also forged in dragonflame, and two characters said/thought about Iron Throne - steel, and add to this description given by GRRM himself, that Iron Throne is black, and Bran's description that Ice is dark as smoke, and there we have it - Iron Throne is Valyrian steel.

5 hours ago, Ygrain said:

So what? What does it have to do with merely noticing the material? Given how valued VS is, not noticing that the whole throne is now of VS blades doesn't make any sense.

It does make sense if GRRM is planning to "surprise" readers with this revelation.

But I could be wrong.

Edited by Megorova

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This discussion about whether the Iron Throne is or is not Valyrian steel seems to be deadlocked by two opposing viewpoints unwilling to give any ground. What do we know of VS? As opposed to VS blades?

To put it at its most basic, Valyrian steel is a material, whereas a Valyrian blade is an artefact created from that material. We know from the books that new Valyrian steel cannot be made - but EXISTING Valyrian steel can be reforged. The likes of Tobho Mott might claim to know the 'spells', but can we take them at their word? The whole appearance of VS blades is a product of their manufacture PLUS the nature of the material from which they are created. The darkness of the metal is a property of the material, the rippling and alternating bands of colour are a property of their manufacture.

The conclusion is that the material of the IT could be Valyrian steel due to the application of dragonfire, though that does not make the individual swords within it Valyrian blades as they currently exist. That doesn't rule out the possibility that the material of the IT could be reforged and hammered and folded a thousand times to make new Valyrian blades note new artefacts, not new material.

Megorova's idea that the IT could have been transformed to Valyrian steel does not prove that the individual blades within it are now automatically Valyrian blades, and the gainsayers' assertion that these are not Valyrian blades does not prove that the material is not Valyrian steel. They are not Valyrian blades - but properly reforged they could well become 'Valyrian blades'.

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The Valyrian steel in the books is like our own earthly historic Damascus steel all magicked-up on steroids and performance enhancing drugs.  It is said that even today no one is quite sure how the-high carbon Damscus steel alloy was produced other than the strip welding of steel and iron that is repeatedly heated, hammered thin, folded back on itself, heated, hammered thin, etc. It became much sought after because of its resilience when forged into blades and its extremely long lasting and very sharp edge but the rarity of Damascus steel really drove up the price and desirability.  If any mundane steel blade could be transformed into Valyrian steel by simply reforging it by heating with dragon flame there would be no rareness to it.  Rather than a steel even rarer than Damascus steel because of its even sharper and stronger qualities that involves spells and magic in its production we would likely see the majority of knights wielding Valyrian blades and no cachet or mystery to it either.  If any steel blade could be transformed into Valyrian steel simply by re-forging it with dragon flame as a heat source Aegon the Conqueror could have outfitted his entire invading force with Valyrian blades.  But how is the Valyrian steel alloy created in the first place?

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5 hours ago, Megorova said:

Stannis - "The barbs along the back, the ribbons of twisted steel", Ned - "fanged steel behind". They didn't elaborated that the steel is Valyrian, but two of those characters did said/thought "steel".

Please. Except perhaps prehistoric times, ALL swords are made from steel, i.e. iron + carbon, in a particular ratio. A pure iron sword is practically useless, if you remember what Donal Noye says about iron. 

4 hours ago, Rufus Snow said:

This discussion about whether the Iron Throne is or is not Valyrian steel seems to be deadlocked by two opposing viewpoints unwilling to give any ground. What do we know of VS? As opposed to VS blades?

To put it at its most basic, Valyrian steel is a material, whereas a Valyrian blade is an artefact created from that material. We know from the books that new Valyrian steel cannot be made - but EXISTING Valyrian steel can be reforged. The likes of Tobho Mott might claim to know the 'spells', but can we take them at their word? The whole appearance of VS blades is a product of their manufacture PLUS the nature of the material from which they are created. The darkness of the metal is a property of the material, the rippling and alternating bands of colour are a property of their manufacture.

The conclusion is that the material of the IT could be Valyrian steel due to the application of dragonfire, though that does not make the individual swords within it Valyrian blades as they currently exist. That doesn't rule out the possibility that the material of the IT could be reforged and hammered and folded a thousand times to make new Valyrian blades note new artefacts, not new material.

Sorry but your differentiation of material and manufacture doesn't make sense. Whatever may have been added to iron to make Valyrian steel, the proces of folding and forging is an inseparable part of the material. Any item made from Valyrian steel will have that specific structure, regardless of the shape into which it is forged, a blade or something else. You can check the Aeron sample chapter of TWoW, where Euron

Spoiler

has an armour of Valyrian steel, with that typical pattern

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Sorry but your differentiation of material and manufacture doesn't make sense. Whatever may have been added to iron to make Valyrian steel, the proces of folding and forging is an inseparable part of the material. Any item made from Valyrian steel will have that specific structure, regardless of the shape into which it is forged, a blade or something else. You can check the Aeron sample chapter of TWoW, where Euron

I'm still keeping an open mind on this, whether I can convince anyone else or not. I still believe the rippling effect is created by the folding, and is not inherent to the metal itself. The rippling effect is described repeatedly in the context of blades (and maybe armour, but I'm avoiding TWoW until it's published...), but there is one other class of Valyrian steel artefact which has been described - without any reference to rippling - and that is the maesters' link.

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Bran IV

Luwin slid a finger up under his collar and began to turn it, inch by inch. He had a thick neck for a small man, and the chain was tight, but a few pulls had it all the way around. "This is Valyrian steel," he said when the link of dark grey metal lay against the apple of his throat. "Only one maester in a hundred wears such a link. This signifies that I have studied what the Citadel calls the higher mysteries—magic, for want of a better word. A fascinating pursuit, but of small use, which is why so few maesters trouble themselves with it.

I realise absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but equally it cannot be said for sure that all Valyrian steel has a rippled effect - that is pure assumption from the evidence of blades alone. The actual composition of the steel is not known to any PoV character, and this is a universe where magic is real and strongly associated with dragons. One element of 'dragonsteel' is magic in this world, some physical incorporation of fire - just as 'dragonglass' is said to incorporate fire.

Drawing parallels to real world Damascene steel only takes us so far. If I'm not mistaken the intense working of that steel had the effect of removing impurities, so it cannot be ruled out that the material from the IT, when suitably worked, could result in 'dragonsteel'. Because we do not know the composition. The evidence in the text is insufficient to come to a solid conclusion and any assertion otherwise is unfounded. There is a hole in the evidence big enough to drive a plot device through - only time will tell whether that hole is going to be closed up or a big fat plot device is going to come along and poke us all in the eye.

 

 

EDIT TO ADD:

There is absolute evidence that the rippling in the swords is due to the mode of manufacture:

Quote

 A Game of Thrones - Jon VIII
The pommel was a hunk of pale stone weighted with lead to balance the long blade. It had been carved into the likeness of a snarling wolf's head, with chips of garnet set into the eyes. The grip was virgin leather, soft and black, as yet unstained by sweat or blood. The blade itself was a good half foot longer than those Jon was used to, tapered to thrust as well as slash, with three fullers deeply incised in the metal. Where Ice was a true two-handed greatsword, this was a hand-and-a-halfer, sometimes named a "bastard sword." Yet the wolf sword actually seemed lighter than the blades he had wielded before. When Jon turned it sideways, he could see the ripples in the dark steel where the metal had been folded back on itself again and again. "This is Valyrian steel, my lord," he said wonderingly. His father had let him handle Ice often enough; he knew the look, the feel.

 A Clash of Kings - Catelyn VII
"Send my daughters back unharmed?" Catelyn smiled sadly. "There is a sweet innocence about you, child. I could wish . . . but no. Robb will avenge his brothers. Ice can kill as dead as fire. Ice was Ned's greatsword. Valyrian steel, marked with the ripples of a thousand foldings, so sharp I feared to touch it. Robb's blade is dull as a cudgel compared to Ice. It will not be easy for him to get Theon's head off, I fear. The Starks do not use headsmen. Ned always said that the man who passes the sentence should swing the blade, though he never took any joy in the duty. But I would, oh, yes." She stared at her scarred hands, opened and closed them, then slowly raised her eyes. "I've sent him wine."

 A Storm of Swords - Tyrion IV
"He will grow into it. Here, feel the weight of it." He offered the weapon hilt first.
The sword was much lighter than he had expected. As he turned it in his hand he saw why. Only one metal could be beaten so thin and still have strength enough to fight with, and there was no mistaking those ripples, the mark of steel that has been folded back on itself many thousands of times. "Valyrian steel?" 

 

Edited by Rufus Snow

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Rufus Snow said:

To put it at its most basic, Valyrian steel is a material, whereas a Valyrian blade is an artefact created from that material. We know from the books that new Valyrian steel cannot be made - but EXISTING Valyrian steel can be reforged.

But we know spells go into making Valyrian steel (the material), and there's no indication whatsoever that spells were used during the 59 days it took to make the IT. 

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1153/

A brief question about Valyrian steel - is it the metal that makes the sword so special (provenance, age, etc), or is it the forging (spells, techniques)

Forging techniques and spells, actually. There is magic involved in the making of Valyrian steel.

In other words, if a smith knew how, could he take some fresh, high-quality steel and produce an equally fine sword?

Not unless he could work the magic.

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

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.

And then we have what Ygrain brought up a few posts back... that in all we've read so far there is no indication whatsoever, from any of the characters in a position to reveal or hint at this,   pointing to the IT being made of VS. 

Edited by kissdbyfire

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10 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

But we know spells go into making Valyrian steel (the material), and there's no indication whatsoever that spells were used during the 59 days it took to make the IT. 

I'm not suggesting there were any spells used then, they could come now. But dragonfire was used.

...

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.

Exactly - Valyrian steel is not Damascus steel, and dragons are strongly associated with the rebirth of magic.

All I'm suggesting is that the effects of the dragonfire on the steel in the IT could have imbued it with some magical properties - the evidence simply is not there to say whether or not this is impossible.

I could see a situation where in desperation someone gives Tobho Mott* a chunk of the Iron Throne, so he can try out his knowledge of the spells and the forging techniques to see if he could harness that relict dragonfire imbued into the steel. At the end of the day, he could succeed or he could fail - the point is, the text leaves enough gaps in the evidence that it could go either way. Anyone claiming any certainty that it would either work or not is going beyond the evidence.

 

* I can't remember if Mott is still alive, but if he's dead, substitute a Qohorik swordsmith

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