The Citadel

The Archive of 'A Song of Ice and Fire' Lore

So Spake Martin

The Process of Making Valyrian Steel

I hope all goes well with you and this finds you in good health. I was just wondering if you could settle something for me in relation to Valyrian steel and I I just wondering if I have taken you up correctly on the matter. I belive I'm right in saying it differs from say Mithril (from LOTR) in that it is not a material which in itself bears advantageous properties but rather ordinary steel which has been subjected to a process (the physical manipulation of the steel combined with spells) which embues it with the desired elements.

Yes, that is correct. You don't mine Valyrian steel (actually, you don't mine any steel), you make it.

What I'm less sure of is whether Valyrian steel ever exists as a raw material.

It does not.

I believe it doesn't but only as a finished blade, what I mean is that it is the actual process of making the sword from run of the mill steel which gives us a Valyrian weapon rather than Valyrian steel being made beforehand and then this product being used to make an item.

The closest real life analog is Damascus steel, but Valyrian steel is a fantasy metal. Which means it has magical characteristics, and magic plays a role in its forging.

Thanks for taking the time from your no doubt over burdened schedule to read this none too clear mail. May I take the opportunity to thank you for the enjoyment you've already given me and say I wait with eager anticipation for A Feast For Crows and The second Dunk & Egg tale.

I'm at work on both. Thanks for your enthusiasm, and your patience.