Guide to the Swords of Westeros Part 1
Dawn Sword of the morning
Dawn belongs to House Dayne. While the blade carries the same properties like other swords made from Valyrian steel, incredibly strong and sharp, it is not Valyrian. The wielder of this sword is also known as the "Sword of the Morning"
The blade is believed to be made of a metal derived from the heart of a fallen star, and it is pale as milkglass.
The sword was wielded by the renowned Ser Arthur Dayne of the Kingsguard. This greatsword is not passed in the House of Dayne by virtue of inheritance, but rather to the knight who is worthy to wield it.
Dawn is an exceptional sword in Westeros and is a mark of greatness for any knight that gets to wield it.
For one to earn the title of Dawn, he has to be an exceptional swordsman, as opposed to other ancestral swords in Westeros, which are passed to other members of the house that are next in line to inherit it.
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The sword and the title "Sword of the Morning" were given to Arthur Dayne for being a phenomenal and an exceptional swordsman, not only in all the seven kingdoms but also in Starfall.
It is amazing to note that the sword marked his greatness, considering the fact that he was neither an heir in Starfall nor the first born son.
For being the holder of that title, Arthur Dayne enjoys that fame mainly attributed to the House Dayne by virtue of this great sword.
The uniqueness of Dawn is derived from the fact that the sword is not hereditary.
All the members of the Dayne family who gets to wield it have to prove they are worthy of the honor as there is no automatic passing down. This is a fascinating twist that is not displayed by other major houses.
In some generation of House Dayne, we see the head of the family wielding the sword as a sign of authority, but there are generations where the sword is entitled to other members of the family such as a cousin of a younger brother.
It is surprising that there are some generations where no member of the family is allowed to wield the sword, especially where it is deemed that no family member has proven themselves worthy of the title and the sword.
A holder of the title "Sword of the Morning" does not pass the sword down to his children after death if there is no one worthy to hold it.
Instead, the sword is brought back to the Starfall castle to wait for the next exceptional swordsman.
If no one is found, the sword will remain without a holder for generations until the rise of the next "Sword of the Morning".
We can see that after the death of Ser Arthur Dayne at the Tower of Joy, Dawn is delivered to Arthur's sister, Ashara Dayne by Eddard Stark in Starfall.
The sword remains there during the War of the Five Kings as no new Sword of the Morning has risen since the death of Arthur Dayne.
Hearteater was King Joffrey’s sword. He personally gave the sword that name on the eve of the Battle of the Blackwater.
The sword is a ruby cut bearing the shape of a heart between the jaws of a lion, and three fullers that are incised in the blade deeply.
It replaced the lost Lion's Tooth lost by young Arya Stark.
It is prudent to note that the sword is a manifestation of bitterness, threats, and insecurity embodied by King Joffrey.
The king mainly uses the sword to cast fear on Sansa.
During the time when he would polish this long, beloved sword, Joffrey would threaten his wife that he would use the sword to punish his family.
While the king never acted on his threats, Sansa would feign sleep and remain petrified fearing that maybe one day he would act on his threats.
The presence of Hearteater on his hands meant cruelty, and there was fear that he would use the sword to murder someone.
It’s interesting that this sword shows some degree of imagery. Joffrey does not wield it against anyone but spends most of his time sharpening and polishing it, but it ends up cutting him.
One can’t help laughing when he angrily says, “Bloody thing…I polish and admire it, and then it cuts me”.
Hearteater is also an embodiment of hostility and vengeance.
Before setting off to oversee King's Landing's defenses against Stannis Baratheon’s attack, we see king Joffrey ordering his wife Sansa Baratheon to bid him goodbye with a kiss.
After kissing him, he draws Hearteater and orders her to kiss it. Since he was going to battle with her uncle, he tells her that she will have to kiss the sword again after his return from the battle so that she can taste the blood of her uncle after beheading him in the attack.
Since Sansa is used to being bullied by her husband, it is incredible to see her sarcastically asking her husband whether he would be fighting in battle, or he would be pretending to fight.
Here, we notice that even his wife is aware of the fact that his husband, the king, is a coward.
This is remarkable since we already know that Joffrey only boosts of fighting, but has so far not been actively involved in an attack.
Although Hearteater is a very beloved sword in Westeros, it has not achieved any active role whether in battle or for performing minor tasks. Joffrey is in the habit of acquiring new swords, which are impressively made, but he has no record of wielding any sword against an opponent.
At the time when he needs to execute people, one may expect him to draw the Hearteater and use it, but he doesn’t. Instead, he uses a crossbow. We are inclined to infer that he lacks the skills to tactfully swing the sword.
While this is such an excellent and incredibly sharp and strong sword, it is such a shame that Joffrey Baratheon never wielded it in battle nor used it to kill anyone.
Lion's Tooth Sword
Lion's Tooth was Joffrey Baratheon's brief sword when he was still a prince, which was given to him by Tywin Lannister, his grandfather.
The sword is named in reference to the House Lannister's sigil, a lion, Queen Cersei, mother to Prince Jeffrey.
It is interesting to note that the house of Lannister didn’t have any swords made of real Valyrian steel.
The Lion's Tooth, being an ancestral sword of the house of the Lannister, was made of forged steel.
I can’t help but note that, just like other swords owned by Joffrey Baratheon, Lion’s Tooth has a very ridiculous name, rather preferable because it was fit for his intolerable character.
It serves him right that the sword is taken from him by Arya, and she throws it at the bottom of the waters of the Trident.
While the prince is riding with Sansa Stark, he comes across Arya Stark playing with Mycah, the butcher’s boy. Joffrey threatens Mycah, but Arya does not let him get away with it.
She attacks him and throws the sword into the river. His act of retribution at this point looks rather cowardly as he resorts to tearing her chest catching her ribs and bone.
It’s such a shame that he saw Hearteater and Widow’s Wail as a replacement for Lion's Tooth.
It’s clear that he was not worthy of another sword, leave alone naming it a replacement of a sword he had cowardly lost.
This sword, its holder and the way it gets lost is a symbol of the little significance and value that the weapons in the house of Lannister held compared to other noble houses.
Unlike all the other major houses in Westeros who had Valyrian blades, the Lannister no longer had one. Well, they had one at some point known as Brightroar, held by King Tommen II of the Rock prior to Targaryen conquest.
Unfortunately, it was lost and was never recovered. Interestingly, Tywin Lannister had tried thrice to find a Valyrian blade from people from lesser houses, but was unfortunate in every attempt.
When it comes to the quality of their swords, the Lannister have continually had an inferiority complex.
This is why, even though Lion's Tooth was made specifically for the prince to accommodate a 12 years old, there was no concern when it got lost, since it was not deemed important.
It is quite laughable to listen to Arya’s argument with the Hound as she recalls about the incident. She says, "I hit Joffrey and threw Lion's Paw in the river."
The fact that he even forgot the name of Joffrey’s sword shows that it was neither popular nor important. With her captivating nature, we may not tell whether she seriously misremembered the sword’s name, or she was enjoying needling Joffrey.
Whatever the case, it shows that the sword attracted very less importance in Westeros.
Two Brothers Sword
Two Brothers was a sword that was made of wood, and was carved by Ryon Forrester.
While Ryon is in Ironwood Grove playing with a stick, he views the stick as some important type of sword.
This inspiration triggers him to make this sword. While it not clear if he made it or had someone else make it for him, the uniqueness of this sword is immense, considering most of the swords in Westeros were made of steel.
According to Ryon, he carved the sword to give him strength. Since most of the incredible swords in Westeros had a name, I guess that the sword he was carving was no exception.
Ryan was so much attached to his deceased brothers, which inspired him to name the sword "Two Brothers". This sword serves a rather symbolic role in the narrative, rather than active, as it is not meant for combat.
It is prudent to note the significance of the name of this sword and the attachment it attracted. On one side, the name Rodrik is carved as a commemoration of his deceased brother, and the other side Ethan’ to symbolize his surviving brother.
Ryon hoped that one day he would be able to make a real sword that he could use to avenge Rodrik and Gregor foster. According to Ryon, those who do evil should be punished, and the sword he was carving was meant for that purpose.
This sword has a mark of weakness and vengeance. Ryon is inspired to carve this sword so he could avenge the murder of his brothers.
He is filled with bitterness as seen when he watches his brother Ethan play with his friend Erik. It is sad to see him insinuate that Erik is bad, and he should be punished, even when he does not have any real reason to wish him bad.
Later, we realize that he makes this reference to the people who murdered his Rodrik and Gregor.
Two Brothers sword is also a representation of how inferior the Forresters and other minor families were. They would only afford swords that were not considered worthy such as those of made of wood.
This sword is inferior since it cannot be wielded in battle. After carving his toy sword from sticks and wood, Ryon does not seem to let it go.
To him, it is a sign of strength. A representation of hope that one day he may get to avenge those who murdered his brothers.
It is rather unfortunate that he does not fulfill his wish of seeing his family get the justice they deserved.
In the end, this sword is not used as the whole Forrester family is last seen screaming for help, with Ethan already stabbed in the throat, and Ryon is being dragged away mercilessly.