Longclaw Blade Texture

Here is a glimpse of the concept art for Longclaw’s blade. This texture is going to be achieved with an etch and glaze wash combination. We went through around 16 different styles of blade coloring & texturing with George R.R. Martin before he picked this style for Longclaw. It is very dark, almost black, with jagged lightning bolt-like streaks. I know many people envision modern damascus steel when they think of Valyrian, but GRRM wanted something significantly darker.

Interesting though, in the design revision process he mentioned that while he liked this style for Longclaw, other blades might have different texture patterns. So apparently different Valyrian steel blades can exhibit different textures.

We’ve finalized the techical drawings for the blade, from crossguard to tip it will be around 39 3/4 inches, and at the crossguard the blade measures almost 2 3/4 inches wide.

Manufacturing tooling should begin in June or July, and we expect a prototype to be ready in September or October. Assuming GRRM has no problems with the protoype we’ll start taking preorders at that point for delivery in early 2008.

More concept art shall be released at a later date.

37 Thoughts on “Longclaw: Blade Texture

  1. Interesting. GRRM described Blackfyre of being somehow reminiscent of “flames”. My first thought when seeing the image for Longclaw’s texture was that it looked like long rips from claws. I’d guess that that was a factor in the naming of the sword, and that Blackfyre’s “flames” must be referring to its texture.

    Thanks for posting it!

  2. Nice design. I wonder how the same steel can have varying textures though…I would have thought Valyrian steel has a universal look with all the universal recognition it gets in the series. Unless the designs are only going to be slight variances of above.

    I am, however, truly more interested in the hilts. :)

  3. Saisei on May 11, 2007 at 9:13 am said:

    I like it, though I thought the ripples running through the blade were supposed to be red, or was I mistaken?

    As for the varying textures on each blade, this doesn’t surprise me. When Tywin has the Valyrian blades made or Jaime and Joffrey the have to be diluted with a different metal which gives them a different texture to other Valyrian blades.

    Oh wait… Maybe that’s where I’m getting the black with red streaks idea… :D

  4. Jacob on May 11, 2007 at 9:26 am said:

    Looks nice! But I also seem to remember that Valyrian steel is decribed as having red/crimson ripples. Still, I’m intrigued by this design.

  5. Jamie on May 11, 2007 at 9:39 am said:

    It does look like tears from claws, very interesting, and it looks great too.

    Also, to those who thought it was valyrian steel has red ripples, thats only in the case of the two swords Tywin gives to Joff and Jaime. A crimson dye was added when they were forged I think.

  6. Frank on May 11, 2007 at 9:47 am said:

    very interesting design, though i’m also more interested in the hilt for this sword. can’t wait for the ripples in oathkeeper when it comes out.

  7. Eric on May 11, 2007 at 9:51 am said:

    I believe most Valyrian steel blades have dark ripples, and it was only the Lannister swords made from Ice that had the red coloring.

  8. Jason on May 11, 2007 at 12:14 pm said:

    If I remember correctly, the swords forged for Jaime and Joffrey came from Ned Stark’s sword ice, which did not have the crimson ripples.

  9. That is correct. Tywin Lannister, being the type of man he is, had Ice melted down to form 2 Lannister valyrian blades, something his house has never had. However he took it a step further and asked the weaponsmith to add red coloring to the metal, red being the color of house Lannister.

    The weaponsmith though could only get the red dye to half take, most of it failed to show through. So Widow’s Wail and Oathkeeper have partial red coloring.

  10. nick on May 11, 2007 at 4:47 pm said:

    Awesome! looking forward to seeing the prototype. I am also interested in the design of the hilt and especially the dimensions of “ICE”.

  11. JesAnn on May 11, 2007 at 8:12 pm said:

    thank you, valyrian! I was beginning to truely worry about these “fans” of the series. These swords are described so often and in such fantastic detail that it’s amazing that things like that are forgotten. And I would think that the colors would be right since George approved the design. But wow am I looking forward to these swords.

  12. Sword of the Morning on May 12, 2007 at 3:35 pm said:

    Only sword im looking forward too more is Dawn. Looks great by the way.

  13. Phillip Dunagan on May 12, 2007 at 10:54 pm said:

    Awesome it really fits with the book description of what Valyrian steel is supposed to look like. As for me the only Swords I want to see more then this one are the ones Tywin made for Jamie and Joffery from Ice.

  14. Meri on May 13, 2007 at 7:50 pm said:

    As far as textures being different between the various swords- isn’t Valyrian steel made using magic? If so, it could be conceivable that slightly different spells were used to make separate blades, thus creating differing patterns.

  15. looks really great

    nice work on the design!

  16. mattie the great on May 14, 2007 at 7:06 am said:

    Yay! Long claw! This looks really good. The pattern exceedes my expectations and is truly beautiful. I’m very excited about this.

  17. hobie on May 14, 2007 at 4:36 pm said:

    This blade looks fantastic, and as exotic as its description in the book.

    You said the texture was achieved using etching and glazing, which I imagine gives a little more control over the result, and also allows it to be reproduced a bit more consistently from blade to blade.

    Do you envision producing any future blades using folded steel, such as the modern “Damascus” that you find at high-quality blade dealers at renfaires? Some of those patterns can be quite dramatic (such as a ‘dragon scale’ dagger I own), but I’m not sure the process lends itself to production in any great quantity. Any thoughts on this?

    And by the way, hilts are nice, but I happen to love the blades…

  18. Jason on May 15, 2007 at 7:10 am said:

    I know its not valyrian but are there any planes to re-create Needle ?

  19. IIRC, they’ve suggested Needle will be the very next weapon after Longclaw.

  20. Longclaw will be a must have. That pattern is spectacular. I cannot wait to see what Oathbreaker will look like.

  21. doug allred on May 23, 2007 at 2:28 pm said:

    I always figured valyrian steel was something similar to titanium

  22. doug allred on May 23, 2007 at 2:31 pm said:

    I also figured the ripples in the steel were supposed to be folds from the forging, not fake lines painted on it

  23. James on May 25, 2007 at 9:29 am said:

    As I understand modern Damascus, chemical treatments are necessary to make those folds visible. Otherwise, the two different steels blend so perfectly that the “ripple effect” would be invisible to the human eye. I believe that “etching” refers to the chemical treatment process that makes Damascus patterns visible. As for “glaze”, I’m not so sure . . .

  24. Chris on May 27, 2007 at 11:43 pm said:

    Please optimize the images you are using on your page. The site is nearly a half meg, with 5 medium sized images on it, and none of them take up a lot of real estate.

    Nice work on the sword, though. :)

  25. idaho515 on May 29, 2007 at 1:13 am said:

    I would really like to see Blackfyre as the next sword or Dawn. We read about these swords in the series, but in my opinion they don’t get enough play.

  26. Michael on May 29, 2007 at 6:04 pm said:

    I would personally like to see Dawn and Ice re-created, however, I was wondering if you are limiting yourselves to swords. It would be very interesting if you were also re-creating armour, dragon eggs, Coins, and other props.

  27. chris on May 29, 2007 at 6:56 pm said:

    For those curious, damascus steel got its famed strength from the fact that the process actually created carbon nanotubes as part of the structure, lending it strength and amazing cutting ability. Of course, the smiths would have had no idea that’s exactly what they were doing, but it is still remarkable that these structures that have come into the news over the last decade were actually produced by humans hundreds of years ago. Unfortunately, as is the case with Valyrian steel, the process of Damascus steel has been lost to archaeologists and weapon-smiths alike.

  28. Swordknives on May 31, 2007 at 3:00 pm said:

    wondering like a few others if a scabbard will be made, perhaps can be sold as an option instead of the wall hanger..?

  29. Elijah on June 16, 2007 at 2:58 am said:

    Hey, I guess I’m a just a bit confused by the picture, but the black between is just… Separating different samples of the blade texture, right?

    Wasn’t Valyrian steel supposed to be black? I guess probably not if this is the confirmed texture and stuff, but for some reason I’d been thinking of it as black this whole time. That’s odd… Guess I’m just a bit slow.

  30. In reply to Sword of the Morning:

    How can you only be excited for Dawn? Dawn sounds like an awesome sword, but you have to be excited for Ice too….you have to! LOL

  31. Longclaw’s blade is going to be 39 and 3/4 in. long? Thats quick a long draw (no pun intended) I thought, as a bastard sword, it woould be slightly shorter, like 33-36 inches long. Almost 40 inches makes it seem like it could be a Great Sword.
    But my knowlege is nowhere near always correct, maybe this bastard sword should be thing long, always learning.

  32. Oh, please include a scabbard and no writing or stamping on the blade.

  33. I’m pretty sure they’ll need or at least want to put thier mark on the blade. But it will most likely only be on one side, so no worries

  34. The painted on pattern will make it hit the couple hundred dollar QVC level collectors mark.

    You could get a similar effect with the patter welded or Wootz methods. It would cost a LOT more though.

    My father and I have made a number of pattern welded blades from old steel cable. It can produce some very nice dragon or snake scale looking parrterns. If you finish it smooth and then acid etch it it will reveal the grain or pattern and not be a bright (reflective) blade.

    We did a few “letter openers” that were etched on one side then etched and polished on the other… Then you could display it as you wanted it to be seen. The pattern was visable on both methods but I liked the non-reflective etched look best.

    I look forward to seeing your finished products.

    If your justgetting into blade smithing really…
    Look up a guy named Tai Goo, he can poduce some very nice blades, from just a bucket of rusty nails…lol

    I’m still waiting on some flint nappers to know out some dragon glass daggers.

  35. PS: A bastard sword (also called a hand and a half) is the same blade length as a long sword. The differnce is that it has a longer tang (handle) area.

    Its not as large as a 2 handed sword but longer then a long sword. Fitting into neither catagory its refered to as a Bastard.

    Average size:
    38″ to 40″ blade with 50″ overall length.

  36. Satrapo on November 2, 2008 at 7:28 am said:

    Great sword!
    I hope you will make soon some new models.
    I agree with guys who are asking for scabbards. =)


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