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I was wondering Officially about Coal in A Song of Ice and Fire, Who controls it in Westeros and how much it worth, now Coal in Middle Ages was the Oil of it's day. In England there was Cartel in Newcastle that controled the output of Coal the Hoistman's. Cartel did much like OPEC does with Oil.

 

I figure that the Newcastle Cartel was the inpersation for Frey House and the Twins.

 

LW

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Interesting point. There are plenty of mentions of "coal-black hair" and "coal-black mares", plus there is steel, which can be made without coal but not very well. So it would seem that Essos must have a source of bituminous coal, and yet there is no mention of any mines nor any surface or outcrop coal deposits.

But since virtually all the realms of Westeros appear likely to have coal, there probably isn't a single region or house that supplies the majority.

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Coal mining was for most of history very small scale. The mines would not be large operations like they are today or with the Lannisters but small pits around the place so wouldn't warrant a mention as it would be rare to run out. Also coal would be very common judging from the fact that Westeros is based of the British Isles which have large amounts of coal (especially in the northern region, around Newcastle) so isn't very special

To add to that, coal in the British Isles between the Romans leaving in 410 AD and the 1200s receives limited use judging from texts from the time. It was mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon chronicle as a rent of "twelve loads of coal" in 852 but received limited mention. Also it was a lot easier to go and collect wood or cut down a tree than it was to get your hands on coal from elsewhere in the country)  Therefore, Coal was probably used in limited amounts around the country but not on a large scale. 

Also, by the 1300s it had been realised that coal was poor for your health and was banned from use in London and there was a enforced return to wood and charcoal. Therefore, in the books the POV characters are all noble so wouldn't want to have smoky unpleasant coal in their castles so wouldn't use it.

Finally coal was mainly used not to heat homes but by Artisans for lime burning and metal work. This is because it releases quite a lot of energy but also a lot of smoke, which was part of the reason it was banned in 1306 in London.

Overall, Coal mining is probably quite common in Westeros but would not have typically be used for homes especially for nobles

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On 3/19/2019 at 2:25 AM, The Pink Letter said:

The wightified northern army marching on the trident will be charcoaled by the time Drogon is done with them.  They will be turned to steaming lumps of coal.  

:D

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It’s dragon glass. They haven’t realized all this time that all their steel swords are valyrian steel, and valyrian steel is just what we consider regular steel!:D

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On 4/7/2019 at 2:36 PM, NonoNono said:

It’s dragon glass. They haven’t realized all this time that all their steel swords are valyrian steel, and valyrian steel is just what we consider regular steel!:D

But dragonglass is obsidian, volcanic glass that in the real world has nothing to do with coal.

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On 3/19/2019 at 2:25 AM, The Pink Letter said:

The wightified northern army marching on the trident will be charcoaled by the time Drogon is done with them.  They will be turned to steaming lumps of coal.  

Love it

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Some references to coal in the series:

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Inside, Jon hung sword and scabbard from a hook in the stone wall, ignoring the others around him. Methodically, he began to strip off his mail, leather, and sweat-soaked woolens. Chunks of coal burned in iron braziers at either end of the long room, but Jon found himself shivering. The chill was always with him here. In a few years he would forget what it felt like to be warm. (Jon III, AGOT)

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Far above him, outlined against a vast pale moon, he thought he could see the shapes of gargoyles. His arms were sore and aching, but he dared not rest. He forced himself to climb faster. The gargoyles watched him ascend. Their eyes glowed red as hot coals in a brazier. Perhaps once they had been lions, but now they were twisted and grotesque. Bran could hear them whispering to each other in soft stone voices terrible to hear. (Bran IV, AGOT)

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There was a brazier in the room. Gregor never said a word, just picked me up under his arm and shoved the side of my face down in the burning coals and held me there while I screamed and screamed. (Sansa II, AGOT)

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She tossed her bundle through and doubled back to light her candle. That was chancy; the fire she'd remembered seeing had burnt down to embers, and she heard voices as she was blowing on the coals. Cupping her fingers around the flickering candle, she went out the window as they were coming in the door, without ever getting a glimpse of who it was. (Arya IV, AGOT)

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When the coals were afire, Dany sent Ser Jorah from her. She had to be alone to do what she must do. This is madness, she told herself as she lifted the black-and-scarlet egg from the velvet. It will only crack and burn, and it's so beautiful, Ser Jorah will call me a fool if I ruin it, and yet, and yet …
Cradling the egg with both hands, she carried it to the fire and pushed it down amongst the burning coals. The black scales seemed to glow as they drank the heat. Flames licked against the stone with small red tongues. Dany placed the other two eggs beside the black one in the fire. As she stepped back from the brazier, the breath trembled in her throat. (Daenerys IV, AGOT)

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Braziers were lit. Mirri Maz Duur tossed a red powder onto the coals. It gave the smoke a spicy scent, a pleasant enough smell, yet Eroeh fled sobbing, and Dany was filled with fear. But she had gone too far to turn back now. She sent her handmaids away. "Go with them, Silver Lady," Mirri Maz Duur told her. (Daenerys VIII, AGOT)

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He dropped the broken chain onto the brazier, where it slid down among the coals. (Theon I, ACOK)

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Within, Catelyn found Brienne armoring the king for battle while the Lords Tarly and Rowan spoke of dispositions and tactics. It was pleasantly warm inside, the heat shimmering off the coals in a dozen small iron braziers. (Catelyn IV, ACOK)

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"Half a year gone, that man could scarcely wake fire from dragonglass. He had some small skill with powders and wildfire, sufficient to entrance a crowd while his cutpurses did their work. He could walk across hot coals and make burning roses bloom in the air, but he could no more aspire to climb the fiery ladder than a common fisherman could hope to catch a kraken in his nets." (Daenerys III, ACOK)

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Reaching up her left sleeve with her right hand, she flung a handful of powder into the brazier. The coals roared. As pale flames writhed atop them, the red woman retrieved the silver dish and brought it to the king. (Davos IV, ASOS)

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He remembered the sullen orange glow of the coals in the iron dragon's mouth. The brazier warmed a chamber at the bottom of a shaft where half a dozen tunnels met. (Jaime I, AFFC)

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She fed some wood chips to the brazier on the afterdeck, stirred the coals with a blackened blade, and began to knead the dough for the morning biscuits. (Tyrion IV, ADWD)

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A brazier of coals lit the interior and made the air pleasantly warm.  (The Hedge Knight)

 

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Interesting collection. I think one or two of those might be using "coals" to refer to the embers of a fire in a more broadly defined way than the mineral that you mine from the earth - as in "blowing on the coals". It's also possible that some of these uses refer to charcoal rather than coal which would be readily available in any wooded areas. Coal is not actually necessary to smelt iron or make steel. Anyway, I doubt there are any serious coal mining operations in Westeros. Perhaps the Valyrians made use of coal (they probably did considering their similarity to ancient Rome along with how much they loved fire), but I don't really see why the Westerosi would necessarily value coal.

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11 hours ago, Syl of Syl said:

Interesting collection. I think one or two of those might be using "coals" to refer to the embers of a fire in a more broadly defined way than the mineral that you mine from the earth - as in "blowing on the coals". It's also possible that some of these uses refer to charcoal rather than coal which would be readily available in any wooded areas. Coal is not actually necessary to smelt iron or make steel. Anyway, I doubt there are any serious coal mining operations in Westeros. Perhaps the Valyrians made use of coal (they probably did considering their similarity to ancient Rome along with how much they loved fire), but I don't really see why the Westerosi would necessarily value coal.

Westeros has winters that can last for years, so I imagine that's a particular motivation to invest in a source of heat.

I think volcanic rock might have actually been key to Valyrian smelting, to be honest, as well as a good dollop of blood magic. The Fourteen Fires were important in Valyrian magic (and all exploded mysteriously one day...) and obsidian is named "dragonglass," implying a strong cultural connection to the Valyrian dragonlords. 

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