Warning: spoilers for season seven of “Game of Thrones,” up to episode five, “Eastwatch.”
The dead are coming for Westeros, and while there are many ways to kill living people, there’s a limited number of ways to kill the dead.
When Jon Snow reduces a White Walker to bits in the battle at Hardhome in season five, he uses dragonglass.
Valyrian steel, a metal forged in the days of the Valyrian Freehold that remains sharp forever, is another way to kill White Walkers. It’s recognisable by its intense sharpness and light weight.
Since the Doom of Valyria, most Valyrian steel weapons have been heirlooms in the great houses of Westeros. Over the past seven seasons, several characters have stolen, stumbled upon, or been gifted Valyrian steel blades.
Valyrian steel is also hard to forge since it’s not like other metals, hence the rarity of the weapons. Only a few smiths in Westeros can do it out of existing weapons. But the method of forging new blades was lost after the Doom of Valyria and was said to have involved dragons and magic.
Here’s everyone on “Game of Thrones” who has a Valyrian steel weapon, which can kill the White Walkers:
Longclaw is the ancestral sword of House Mormont. Lord Commander Jeor Mormont originally left it to his son, Jorah, before going to the Night's Watch. But Jorah left it behind in shame when he left Westeros. Then Jeor gave it to Jon Snow, basically as a thank you for saving him from a wight.
Jaime Lannister gave Brienne Oathkeeper -- made out of Ned Stark's sword, Ice -- when he sent her out to complete her mission of bringing the Stark girls home to Winterfell. At the beginning of season four, Tywin Lannister has it melted down into two blades.
After Joffrey's death, Jaime took Widow's Wail, which was also made out of Ned Stark's sword.
Sam stole Heartsbane, the sword of House Tarly, from his father, Randyll, who kept it hanging on a mantel in their home in Horn Hill.
The dagger that made Catelyn Stark put Tyrion Lannister under arrest for the assassination attempt on her son Bran's life makes a resurgence in season seven. Littlefinger once owned the sword and gave it to Bran, who gave it to Arya. It's sometimes referred to as the Catspaw Dagger.
Gendry, all finished with his rowing, makes a triumphant return in season seven episode five, 'Eastwatch.'
Ser Davos finds him doing smith worth in Flea Bottom. King Robert Baratheon's bastard immediately wants to leave to help Davos with whatever he's doing, and he brings a giant war hammer, the same weapon his father used.
Gendry's return probably isn't random. In the books, his master, Tobho Mott, is one of the few smiths in Westeros who can forge a weapon out of an existing Valyrian steel weapon. Can Gendry figure out how to do that? Probably, because making them is a great reason to bring him back into the mix this late in the game -- and there are dragons who can help him out.
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