Guide to the Swords of Westeros Part 2
A great number of named swords in Game of Thrones serve as a source and symbol of prestige, greatness or fear.
It is worth noting that swords made of Valyrian steel are the most valuable and coveted such as Heartsbane, Brightroar, and Lady Forlorn.
This material is very light yet so strong, and nothing could hold an edge like it. Nobody can comprehend how the Valyrians forged their steel.
The process of how the Valyrians forged their steel was lost in the Doom. It was thought that the process include waving magic spell into the molten metal and blasting it with dragon fire.
It is worth noting that Forrester Greatsword, even though it was not made of Valyrian steel, was equality valuable.
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Heartsbane sword is made of Valyrian steel, a possession of the House of Tarly of Horn Hill. The weapon is a two-handed greatsword and has been in existence in the family for approximately five hundred years.
It was wielded by Lord Randyll Tarly during the War of the Five Kings. Hertsbane was owned by RandyII Tarly, who had advanced his position throughout the series.
He went from Tyrell bannerman to Master of Laws, and Kevan Lannister wished to promote him to Hand of the King. He was a respected commander and had a strong force of men.
Heartsbane was a symbol of prominence and an ancestral sword in House of Tarly, which was supposed to pass the greatness to subsequent generations.
RandyII is the stern father of Samwell Tarly. The fact that he had sent Samwell to the wall raised doubts on whether he would allow Samwell Tarly to inherit the Heartsborne sword.
Samwell was the eldest son RandyII, hence, the heir to rich lands, strong keep, and Heartsbane. It was a family tradition that the Sword should be passed from father to son.
Contempt towards Samwell grew as he grew up. Lord RandyII was so proud of Samwell’s birth, but that changed since Samwell grew up plump and soft.
This was contrary to RandyII’s character, and he felt let down and disappointed. Samwell loved music, wore soft velvet and played around the castle.
It was evident that he could not be like his father who was a great soldier, sometimes described as “the finest soldier in the realm.”
Samwell was so much afraid of blood that he couldn’t stand and watch slaughtering of a chicken.
Heartsbane was an active sword that had been used in battle to defend House of Tarly.
However, Samwell’s character was worrying and threatened to change the tradition. If Samwell were to inherit Heartsbane, then the sword would not be put to proper use.
Some masters-at-arm tried to intervene this situation. They were determined to change Samwell into the knight his father always wanted.
Samwell was taken to Horn Hill for training where he was caned, slapped and starved. The men made sure that the boy received utmost hardship, which include making him sleep on chainmail to make him more martial.
Unfortunately, all these efforts didn’t yield any results as Samwell continued to be more afraid and weak.
Heartsbane plays an integral part in restoring hope in House of Tarly, but brings the feeling of anguish to RandyII with regards to the succession of the sword.
After all attempts to make a knight out of his eldest son, and failing in each attempt, there was hope with the coming of a new heir.
RandyII ignored Samwell even more when Lady Tarly gave birth to a second son. The child was very vibrant and fierce, which pleased Lord RanyII.
Heartsbane was a very important symbol in this family, and the holder of the sword was expected to be fierce and strong. Samwell was the preferred heir to Lord RandyII since he was the eldest son.
Due to this fact RandyII was very disheartened and couldn’t bear this fact.
In season 1 of Game of Thrones, Samwell reveals how his father threatened his life.
Samwell was supposed to join the Night’s Watch or suffer a “hunting accident.”
Heartsbane was supposed to be wielded by a man strong enough to wield it, and in this case, Samwell too weak for the tough task.
No justified reason could warrant RandyII to disown Samwell; hence, the only way his younger brother would inherit Heartsbane is through Samwell’s death.
Heartsbane was a crucial emblem of this family, which meant that it was supposed to be inherited by a strong man no matter the cost or consequence.
Brightroar is a Valyrian steel sword made by Valyrian Freehold.
The sword was owned by Tommen Lannister, King of the Rock, but it disappeared when he went on an expedition in the ruins of Valyria and couldn’t recover it.
Gerion Lannister also went to look for the sword in the ruins of Valyria but didn’t return.
House Lannister tried all means to replace the lost sword thrice, but to no avail.
Such efforts include the moment when Lord Tywin Lannister tried to buy a replacement from lesser and unfortunate houses but was always rebuffed.
Since the sword could not be found, House of Lannister was forced to live without the sword for centuries.
Brightroar is an incredibly coveted possession of the Lannister and a mark of great value, given that it belonged to the great House Lannister.
Brightroar is said to be bought by a Lannister king from the Valyrians a century before the Doom.
The sword was purchased with a lot of gold, which was enough to raise an army. Valyrian steel blades were scarce and very expensive, but they existed in thousands around the world.
Would you believe that in the Seven Kingdoms, it was estimated that the swords were almost two hundred in number, and Brightroar was the greatest of them all.
You will be surprised that Tommen II had sailed to the ruins of Valyria with an intention of plundering the wealth and sorcery that he believes still existed in those ruins.
I’m tempted to accept some of the theories that try to explain the where about of the sword. One suggests that Tommen stopped in Volantis, “a golden fleet bearing a lion king.”
It is reported that the Volantenes gave him so much gift that he promised to return the favor by giving them half the fortune he will find in the ruins. Tommen sailed away but never returned, either he or Brightroar was found.
Brightroar was very special and a mark of greatness in all manner especially since it was made of the treasured Valyrian steel.
Every great sword is linked to an act of heroism, and Brighroar was not different.
Lancel IV is said to have beheaded the iron born King Harrald Halfdrowned using only a single stroke of Brightroar at the battle of Lann’s Point.
Brightroar was a legendary sword, and it was a big deal to House Lannister when it was lost by Tommen.
The quest to find the Sword didn’t bear any fruit, and since then the great Sword Brightroar has never been found.
Lady Forlorn Sword
Lady Forlorn is a greatsword in the possession of House Corbray. This splendid sword is made of Valyrian steel, making it an exceptional weapon during battle.
The sword is not only light, but distinctively sharp and strong. It has a heart-shaped pommel, a real mark of legacy.
Lady Forlorn was the mightiest sword in House Corbray, and arguably presents one of the most sensational battle against Daemon Blackfyre during the Blackfyre Rebellion.
The sword makes its first encounter it the narrative during the Blackfyre Rebellion. Gwayne Corbray of the Kingsguard wields the sword in the battle as he duels Daemon Blackfyre.
It is remarkable that at the Battle of the Redgrass Field in Lord Arryn's van, during the First Blackfyre Rebellion, Daemon had a faceoff with Maekar and Hayford before he defeated them.
He then turns to duel Ser Gwayne Corbray. This was a decisive moment that resulted in a memorable sight-seeing event.
The two swordsmen fought with two great Valyrian steel swords in what is considered a tough and epic fight, which lasted an hour before the defeat of Ser Gwayne Corbray.
This sword is a symbol of greatness and power, even though the pitched battle resulted in a loss.
The fact that Gwayne Corbray wielded the sword for nearly an hour against a martial master like Daemon Blackfyre, without seeming weak, showed a great deal of power and greatness.
The duel has been described by many viewers of the show as a sight to behold, relatively because both weapons are Valyrian steel swords clashing powerfully against each other, and also because of the prowess of the two swordsmen.
This phenomenal event has been illustrated as both a song and a scream, "It's said that whenever Blackfyre and Lady Forlorn clashed, you could hear the sound for a league around.
It was half a song and half a scream, they say." In the end, Gwayne Corbray lost the battle to Daemon.
Interestingly, Daemon did not want to leave the wounded Gwayne Corbray in the field and asked for him to be carried off the field so he could check his wounds.
It’s imperative to note that the epic one-hour sword clash between Daemon and Gwayne Corbray may have been a memorable sight-seeing event, but not entirely a blessing even to the winner.
This is because Bloodraven and his archers rained fire on Daemon and his sons, as he was waiting to attend to Corbray’s injuries, and killed all of them. It’s such a shame that the event had to end in tragedy.
Lady Forlorn is a symbol of power shift, in a world where power, the throne, and titles are inherited in an ancestral succession.
During the Battle of the Trident, Ser Lyn Corbray, who fights alongside his father, then Lord Corbray inherited the sword, as opposed to his eldest brother, Lord Lyonel Corbray.
Since Lady Forlorn is an ancestral sword, it should have become the possession of the eldest son, together with other lands and titles.
However, Lord Lyonel Corbray did not inherit the blade. In Robert Baratheon's Rebellion during the Battle of the Trident, the Lord became wounded, leaving this sword to Ser Lyn Corbray due to his valor in combat.
Ser Lyn Corbray continued to slay Prince Lewyn Martell, but was instead killed. His father rewarded his martial prowess by having Lady Forlorn entombed with him.
Forrester Greatsword is a weapon in possession of House Forrester. This ancestral sword is passed down through the Lords of House Forrester.
It is highly coveted and incredibly valuable. While this sword is made of castle-forged steel, one is left to wonder why it has such as great value in Westeros, and why it’s such a coveted possession like Valyrian steel swords.
This sword is incredibly heavier and longer compared to other swords. As such, it requires people of normal build to use both hands while wielding it.
Forrester Greatsword is a phenomenal symbol of power, especially for a minor house like House Forrester.
Lord Forrester's Greatsword is one of the most coveted and valuable weapon, yet theirs is a lowly house compared to some major houses such as House Lannister, that doesn’t even have a valuable sword to pride in.
I think such a sword is too overpowering for such a house, just like it is too overpowering for a person like Gared Tuttle to wield it, defend his people with it or even kill anyone with it.
This sword demonstrates hope and survival of a weaker being, even in the midst of a grisly situation.
When we first encounter this sword, Gared Tuttle, is polishing the sword for Lord Gregor Forrester. It is the desire of this simple Lord’s squire to own such a fine blade.
At the time of his wish, he had no idea of the situation they were going to encounter in the Red Wedding.
During the Red Wedding, precisely the night of Robb Stark’s wedding, tragedy descends swirling down on the Forresters as the traitorous troops of Lord Roose Bolton and Lord Walder Frey kill everyone devoted to the young Wolf.
Both Lord Forrester and his eldest son Rodrik are thrashed in the battle, leaving Gared Tuttle as the lone survivor. Gared escapes from the Red Wedding and returns to Ironrath with the Forrester greatsword.
It is such a thrilling experience to watch how dedicated Gared is to protect the Forrester Greatsword.
What’s more amusing is the size of the sword compared to his size. As such, when he encounters two Bolton and Britt soldiers attacking his family, one is left to think that is the end of the Forrester’s possession of the Forrester Greatsword.
Even though Gared is not accustomed to the heavy weight of the sword, he fights them off with this sword.
It is such a relief to see him save the sword and restore both the dignity of his family as well as that of the Forresters by recovering the sword.
Since Lord Gregor is killed, his son Rodrik supposedly dead, and his young son Ethan without sufficient training in arms, and could not handle the weight of the sword, the sword remains in House Forrester, but it is left untouched.