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Syl of Syl

Where does the Iron in the Iron Isles come from?

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The Ironborn maintain their livelihood by exacting the iron price. They've got an Iron Fleet and one of the oldest dynasties of Kings had the name Greyiron which dates back before the Andal invasion. But the First Men fought with bronze weapons before the coming of the Andals. How come the Ironborn then have this association with iron? Did they fight with iron weapons while the rest of Westeros was working with bronze? Maybe the Greyiron kings were the first to acquire iron weapons through their reaving in the Summer Seas. They could have acquired the weapons without learning the art of smithing iron I suppose. Yet still it seems something of an anomaly that the isles also are rich in iron ore which is said by some to be the reason for the Iron moniker. And if the Ironborn were mining and smithing iron before the coming of the Andals, how did the lords of mainland Westeros remain so ignorant of this art?

 

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Spreading of iron metallurgy took time. Especially with the social barriers between Ironborn and First Men.

Iron may be the explanation for their reaving culture. Theon explains reaving with poverty of Iron Islands - but this is not a sufficient explanation. Look around Westeros. There are other isles. Bear Isle, Fair Isle, Shield Isles, Arbor, Stepstones, Greenstone, Tarth, Dragonstone archipelago, Skagos... All save Arbour are poor. None are reaving.

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Posted (edited)

Seems that Ironborn have different ancestors, than the rest of 7K's population. They were not First Men. Based on similarity between First Men and Dothraki, I think, that they had a common ancestor in Essos, prior First Men departed to Westeros. Both were using bronze weapons, both were horsemen, etc. First Men then, same as Dothraki now, weren't using ships or boats, they were traveling only on land. While ancestors of Ironborn were using ships. They arrived from somewhere to Iron Islands, and then something happened with their ships, like with Nymeria's fleet, or Targaryen fleet, or something like that, so they were stranded on those islands, and weren't sailing to mainland (though they made boats, and were able to go from one Iron Island to the next one). So they had iron on those islands, and were making weapons from it, but it was unavailable for inhabitants of mainland, such as First Men, until arrival of Andals, that brought knowledge about iron and use of it to Westeros(mainland).

Edited by Megorova

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Wouldn't it be something if it turned out the IB were the ones who fought the Others thousands of years in the past.  The bitter winter confined them to the island for decades and they became sailors.

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There are mines In the hills on great wick,  aeron complains that lord(I think goodfoot, but I cant remember off the top) holdfast is inland, away from the sea, he also muses that thier smallfolk are miners and such, I'll look up specifics if anyone is interested, this is just from memory

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