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Ozzy.Ze

Valyrian Armor

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Over the last few days I thought about something:

They talk about alot of swords made from Valyrian Steel but never about armor. why is that?

if the Valyrians were to made an armor from Valyrian Steel it would be virtually impregnable by anything other than maybe a VS sword,

not to mention it would be extremely light compared to other armors.

thoughts?

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A very similar thread already exists: http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/52982-valyrian-armour/ and also http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/70394-what-would-be-your-weapon-in-battle/page__st__160__p__3633543#entry3633543

What I said there:

Valyrian steel sword, Valyrian steel shield and Valyrian steel armor.

BTW why is there no valyrian steel armor?? if it is as unbreakable as the books say, surely it would much more useful as armor.

This has been discussed several times: The price of a valyrian sword is "as much as you can pay", so you can't sell a 40 pounds valyrian armor for more money than a 2 pounds valyrian sword, since the sword is already pretty much the most expensive object in the world.

So, if you have 40 pounds of valyrian steel, you can make a single suit of armor and sell it to a single lord or king, or 20 valyrian swords and sell them to 20 different lords or kings, each sword being as expensive as the suit of armor.

It has been said that most of the valyrian swords in Westeros were sold by the Targayrens before the Conquest: They slowly sold their pieces one by one. So, if they had valyrian armor, they probably melt it to make swords.

Who knows? Maybe they kept a suit of valyrian armor somewhere and it got lost.

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Euron's dragon horn was decorated with red gold and thin bands of Valyrian steel. This shows that even to the Valyrians, the material was extremely precious. Only the most important generals would have afforded such armor, but from what we know they likely fought on dragon back where it would have little use.

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Maybe the black armor Jon dreamed of wearing, when he had a red sword, was Valyrian armor? That was the first thing I thought of when I read that passage, taking into consideration how Valyrian steel sword blades look anyhow.

Then again it could have just been a visual representation of his black brothers protecting him somehow...

I have too many ideas/theorys and not enough proof..

I had wondered (if it was Valyrian armor in the dream) how he would get it. Considering all of the magic that went into building the wall and all of the things the Nights watch has forgotten about over time (like the door only black brothers can go through that Bran exited through to meet Coldhands) maybe there is at least one set of Valyrian armor hidden there. When the targ king went to visit Winterfell to discuss something important and the queen got bored and rode her dragon to the wall... maybe the armor was what needed to be talked about with the current Stark. Just a theory though, no proof.

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Over the last few days I thought about something:

They talk about alot of swords made from Valyrian Steel but never about armor. why is that?

if the Valyrians were to made an armor from Valyrian Steel it would be virtually impregnable by anything other than maybe a VS sword,

not to mention it would be extremely light compared to other armors.

thoughts?

Steel plate is not impenetrable to any sword. So is iron chain mail, for most of the time. Yes, even against piercing attacks.

Why? Due to limitations of human strength - not the properties of the metal used in weapons.

If you are looking for armor piercing weapons, it's crossbows, weighted polearms and lances. Not fucking swords.

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Simple cost/benefit analysis.

Valyrian steel is insanely expensive. It would take much more Valyrian steel to make a cuirass than it would to make a sword. Meanwhile, the benefit of the Valyrian steel in a cuirass would be much less.

Why? Firstly because in general, regular steel cuirasses are sufficient to be impenetrable to regular steel weapons. And those are 99.9% of the weapons you're ever going to see. Second, because most of the damage a man in full plate takes in battle is from the concussive force of the blow, not slashing damage. This is still going to be true if you're wearing Valyrian steel. It's not going to offer any superior protection from this type of damage. And third, you're still going to have vulnerable joints, etc.

The expense would be massive and the benefits solely restricted to fighting opponents with Valyrian steel weapons. By contrast, a Valyrian steel weapon offers an advantage in any combat and is much cheaper. If Valyrian steel is in short supply, simple economics dictates that many more customers will want to buy weapons, so that's what smiths will make. Hence, no VS armour.

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The relieve lightness of VS vs its hardness I think Would mean, yes, out there somwhere, there is valyrian plate armour, chain mail, bits and bobs tht are now weapons.

How much of it was lost in the doom? Probably 99% because these are the items you keep at home.

A sword comes with you.

The cost benefit analysis by mormont makes sense, but I have no doubt that Valyrians Would have made exceptions, this was the wealthiest and largest empire of its time. Perhaps VS armour has fire proof capababilities to allow dragon riders to not be burned off the back of their mounts by other dragons.

It's not been touched on by GRRM so far, so to me, that says its has to be at some point.

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There likely was Valyrian armour before of the doom but since the secret to it was lost the precious metal was used to generate the most profit per unit, which would have been in swords.

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How many examples of Damascus steel armor are there? A quick Google search yields not as much commonality as Damascus steel weapons (which would be the basis for Valyrian steel).

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Simple cost/benefit analysis.

Valyrian steel is insanely expensive. It would take much more Valyrian steel to make a cuirass than it would to make a sword. Meanwhile, the benefit of the Valyrian steel in a cuirass would be much less.

Why? Firstly because in general, regular steel cuirasses are sufficient to be impenetrable to regular steel weapons. And those are 99.9% of the weapons you're ever going to see. Second, because most of the damage a man in full plate takes in battle is from the concussive force of the blow, not slashing damage. This is still going to be true if you're wearing Valyrian steel. It's not going to offer any superior protection from this type of damage. And third, you're still going to have vulnerable joints, etc.

The expense would be massive and the benefits solely restricted to fighting opponents with Valyrian steel weapons. By contrast, a Valyrian steel weapon offers an advantage in any combat and is much cheaper. If Valyrian steel is in short supply, simple economics dictates that many more customers will want to buy weapons, so that's what smiths will make. Hence, no VS armour.

Another possibility is simply that VS isn't very good for armour. Lightness is good, but the real issue for armour is how well the weight is distributed. And that's an issue of skill not materials. Another is hardness, you want a certain amount of flexibility in armour, which is exactly what you don't want in a sword. Else you'd have trouble keeping an edge.

If VS is being used in swords chances are that it's only really good for bladed weapons.

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How many examples of Damascus steel armor are there? A quick Google search yields not as much commonality as Damascus steel weapons (which would be the basis for Valyrian steel).

Damascus steel is not so much a special material as a sword-forging technique, so there can't be damascus steel armor. However, one of the main traits of damascus swords is the use of layers of steel of different hardness, and some bulletproof armor was made using a combination of layers of steel of different hardness (but that couldn't be never called a "damascus steel armor")

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Simple cost/benefit analysis.

Valyrian steel is insanely expensive. It would take much more Valyrian steel to make a cuirass than it would to make a sword. Meanwhile, the benefit of the Valyrian steel in a cuirass would be much less.

Why? Firstly because in general, regular steel cuirasses are sufficient to be impenetrable to regular steel weapons. And those are 99.9% of the weapons you're ever going to see. Second, because most of the damage a man in full plate takes in battle is from the concussive force of the blow, not slashing damage. This is still going to be true if you're wearing Valyrian steel. It's not going to offer any superior protection from this type of damage. And third, you're still going to have vulnerable joints, etc.

The expense would be massive and the benefits solely restricted to fighting opponents with Valyrian steel weapons. By contrast, a Valyrian steel weapon offers an advantage in any combat and is much cheaper. If Valyrian steel is in short supply, simple economics dictates that many more customers will want to buy weapons, so that's what smiths will make. Hence, no VS armour.

This, and also remember there is clearly some kind magic process involved in making valyrian steel weapons; something that might not translate beyond a tool designed for drawing blood and killing, only GRRM knows some of these weird ins and outs.

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Simple cost/benefit analysis.

Valyrian steel is insanely expensive. It would take much more Valyrian steel to make a cuirass than it would to make a sword. Meanwhile, the benefit of the Valyrian steel in a cuirass would be much less.

Why? Firstly because in general, regular steel cuirasses are sufficient to be impenetrable to regular steel weapons. And those are 99.9% of the weapons you're ever going to see. Second, because most of the damage a man in full plate takes in battle is from the concussive force of the blow, not slashing damage. This is still going to be true if you're wearing Valyrian steel. It's not going to offer any superior protection from this type of damage. And third, you're still going to have vulnerable joints, etc.

The expense would be massive and the benefits solely restricted to fighting opponents with Valyrian steel weapons. By contrast, a Valyrian steel weapon offers an advantage in any combat and is much cheaper. If Valyrian steel is in short supply, simple economics dictates that many more customers will want to buy weapons, so that's what smiths will make. Hence, no VS armour.

It's expensive now, but we have no idea how expensive it was during the time of the old freehold. And if it is forged in a dragon's breath as many people think (or is that confirmed?) then Valyrian nobility could theoretically have a constant supply of it.

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Another is hardness, you want a certain amount of flexibility in armour, which is exactly what you don't want in a sword.

LOLWUT? Do you know anything about swords? All swords need flexibility, far more than armor does, otherwise they'd break whenever you hit a piece or armor, or stab someone.

Most 15th century bastard swords can be bent nearly in half by hand.

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LOLWUT? Do you know anything about swords? All swords need flexibility, far more than armor does, otherwise they'd break whenever you hit a piece or armor, or stab someone.

Most 15th century bastard swords can be bent nearly in half by hand.

Source? Cause everything I know about metal says a sword that could do that wouldn't be able to hold an edge.

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Perhaps there were pieces of Valyrian Armor, but they were re-forged as weapons, in order to better utilise the limited amount of metal. :)

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Re: flexibility of swords - to some extent it depends on the type of sword. Some stabbing or piercing swords such as estocs worked better with little flexibility: the Roman gladius was the same, as it was short of blade. But longer, slashing weapons needed some 'bend' or they'd break easily when they hit a solid surface, as did thin-bladed thrusting weapons like rapiers. And there's a difference between flexibility and softness, of course. You wanted a blade that would bend and then spring back into shape, not one that would simply bend - that would be worse than useless.

Bastard sword blades would certainly bend to about 45 degrees (I've handled a few reproduction and reenactment blades that do).

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Source? Cause everything I know about metal says a sword that could do that wouldn't be able to hold an edge.

Not much you know about metal, then. Flexibility is very important due to the massive shocks involved when using a sword, just see any of the high-speed footage of the tests done by the royal armouries. Also, a sword that is too hard would be chipped more often than a flexible one - flexibility does not equal softness, but crystal minerals are often easier to chip away at than steel, since they lack the ability to absorb shock.

If you don't believe me, read anything written by any competent sword expert. This site would be a good start:

http://www.myarmoury.com/home.php

P.S. Just apply basic physics. When the material is too soft, it gets deformed by pressure. When the material is too hard, it has no way of absorbing the pressure without losing its structural integrity. But if it's both hard and flexible, it will get neither deformed, nor broken, due to the ability to absorb shock through reversible deformation.

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