So, here is the Ice concept art. Let me stress that this sword is not even close to being released, think late 2010 at the earliest. We have a whole bunch of Longclaws and Needles to sell first. And the Damascus Longclaw will come out before it.

As always, we worked closely with GRRM in creating this design. In fact, as has been true with all our blades, I tend to have a design in my mind and then I go to him and explain it and he tells me how wrong I am. For those who worry that perhaps we influence GRRMs design decisions a certain way, believe me, it doesn’t happen.

So, anyways, for Ice we had a couple thing to consider. First, it was the ceremonial sword of a great house. Both tool of war, and symbolic scepter of power, as such, it is more ornamental than Longclaw is. Secondly, it is of course, big, and GRRM insisted we make it as large as is possible to mass produce. It should be the biggest sword any collector has hanging on their wall. The blade will be as wide as Longclaw’s (itself a large sword) but longer, with less taper.

The blade will have a distressed white leather grip, and a central ring embossed with running wolves plated in genuine silver. We plan to make two concurrent versions, one stainless steel with a faux damascus finish, the other true damascus.

83 Thoughts on “Is it cold in here or is it just….

  1. Oh please do want!

  2. Lovely image! Can I ask about how long it’d be, both just the blade and total height?

  3. Very cool!

  4. Wow, amazing.

    And since this won’t be out until late 2010, I’ll go ahead and buy Longclaw as soon as I get some money in.

  5. ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! I may have to build a new room for all these exquisite swords.

  6. AlbertoB on October 8, 2009 at 2:44 am said:

    Looks great!!! And the true damascus one…even more!!! :)

  7. Naturally, I’ve got to ask the general price on this. It seems like it’ll cost a good bit more than Longclaw. Why are you releasing two concurrent versions, though? I take it the faux-damascus blade will be cheaper, then?

  8. Yes, it will be more.

    If I had go guess, the stainless version would be around $300, the damascus $800. But it is too far off to know for certain.

  9. Alright. With the two different price ranges, it definitely makes sense to make two of them. I’ll try to shoot for the Damascus version.

    It looks wonderful. I cannot wait for this to come out.

    What’s planned for the next item after Ice?

  10. i think i just died and went to heaven. looks amazing. now i need to save up enough for the damascus longclaw and damascuc Ice.

  11. Ohhhh, wow, that is breathtaking. I’m not fond of the “Winter is Coming” engraved on the sword AND the plaque, but I’m sure it’ll grow on me.

    The husband and I were discussing this sword and where we were going to put it. Notice, no “if” we order it, but “when” we order it. (^_^)

  12. WesMan on October 8, 2009 at 7:50 am said:

    Ice is the one that I have been waiting for and the concept looks excellent. My only suggestion would be to choose the lettering on the cross guard very carefully. If it is too scripty or gothicy it will look cheesy . . . something more runic in nature would be a much better fit. Looking forward to seeing the final design.

  13. Becky: I’m doing the exact same thing. I’ve got a couple of blank walls to put stuff on, so I know where it’s going.

    For some very strange reason, I figured that, as long as Ice should be (based on the book’s description), it would warrant a horizontal plaque. But with your most likely smaller design, I think the vertical one will work quite well. Longclaw’s length was pretty accurate, but Ice being a greatsword I’d expect there would be some limitations. Hopefully it all works out for the best.

  14. Patrick on October 8, 2009 at 8:04 am said:

    Like the many of the others, no pun intended, I’m very excited about the commission of this great-sword. I’m wondering if there isn’t some “ancient” runes of the First Men that can be used for the the cross guard. Other than that I like what I see. When hanging next to Longclaw on the wall it should look like father and son.

  15. Martin on October 8, 2009 at 8:15 am said:

    I like the Concept Art very much. Only thing is the engraving, as mentioned by others… I’m not convinced of that design… But as it is a concept art, I think there will come a final version of it? =)

  16. Sign me up for Damascus

  17. Great Work!!! Can’t wait!

  18. Patrick, we actually ran that by GRRM. A non-English engraving, but he wanted english, and we ran through a few different fonts as well.

  19. I would only suggest to make the crosspiece a bit wider to help even out the overall dimensions of the blade. But Ice is beautiful!

  20. The pommel and grip look great, but I would have expected a much wider crossguard on a sword like this. The crossguard of this design just looks truncated somehow.
    Still, nice design overall, I’m seriously considering the damascus version.

  21. Looks Great!

    Obviously GRRM has the final say on the crosspeice lettering, but runes would be cool as well.

    If the crosspeice stays the same as in the concept art, could we see a change on the mounting plate wordings? “Winter is coming” twice seems a bit much. Perhaps “House Stark” or “King of the North”?

    Either way, it looks great and i’ll be pre-ordering as soon as it’s available.

  22. It looks lovely! I agree with the others that the English writing on the crossguard, but GRRM is the boss. If you keep it that way, then I think Adam’s idea of changing the words on the mounting plate. Maybe even not having words on that one at all..

  23. It looks lovely! I agree with the others about the English writing on the crossguard, but GRRM is the boss. If you keep it that way, then I think Adam’s idea of changing the words on the mounting plate. Maybe even not having words on that one at all..

  24. Kallisto on October 8, 2009 at 10:40 am said:

    Only a word Beautiful!!

  25. This gives me a years notice to save 800 dollars. Great work.

    Did you guys finalize an official number of damascus for Longclaw? and do you expect a similar sized run for Ice?

  26. Magnificent! Absolutely stunning!

    That Damascus sounds tempting…we’ll see if my finances can stand the extra $500. :)

  27. a truly awesome piece, will get the damascus for sure.

    just a question, could you post the measurements for the sword, both blade and total, if possible

  28. Martin on October 8, 2009 at 2:43 pm said:

    Well okay, obviously GRRM has to decide how he would like ICE in the end. How about that: if you try to center the “IS” in “winter is coming”, it would look way better…because it doesn’t look that symetric to me the way it is on the concept art…but well, just my humble opinion =)

  29. Richard Clough on October 8, 2009 at 7:14 pm said:

    Honestly I pictured the handle to be black. I don’t remember reading that it was white. Also agree witho thers. Greatsword should have a great hilt to match. But then again i didn’t write the books. We will just have to wait to see what GRRM’s final word is.

  30. Marin Zambata on October 9, 2009 at 2:09 am said:

    i am impressed again, didn’t have plans of buying needle but if that would speed up the release of ice i definitely will. could someone please tell me one thing because i am not sure did i get it right, is damascus version a battle-ready sword?

  31. Damascus is a higher carbon steel and is considered to be of “battle ready” quality.

    Whether you’ll want to take your $800 collectible out fighting will be your decision. The only sword truly impervious to damage is the kind Luke Skywalker uses.

  32. Very impressive, though I imagined it darker all around. It is none the less very much Ice. I’m gonna have to start saving my sheckalls for the damascus one.

    One thing I’m not a fan of, the writeing on the guard. And thats it, if the blade could be made darker that’d be cool but I imagine if you could do it you would. I like that it hass a smaller guard and that it’s a longer sword.
    All in all I can’t wait.

  33. It looks amazing, I have been waiting for this one for a long time. I too was wondering the size Ice, How big is a two handed great sword?

  34. Jason H on October 10, 2009 at 6:58 pm said:

    I wasn’t planning on actually buying Ice until I saw the design for it. Now I pretty much have. Curse your epic desgins!

  35. Brett H on October 11, 2009 at 9:35 am said:

    I always saw it having a weirwod handle carved with direwolves for sure gripping(ever tried to grip a smooth sword handle? not easy or comfortable) and certainly a bigger cross guard with the pommel and guard in bronze to kinda mimic the sword crown worn by the kings in the north plus when a sword hilt is open to the elements like the north steel guards and pommels would quickly rust, even under constant care(unless they are valyrian steel as well). This kinda reminds me of the witchking sword hilt from LOTR with a viking style blade, but the blade does look beautiful

  36. Brett H on October 11, 2009 at 9:45 am said:

    I admit I did not read the little paragraph above the sword and see that you guys put leather on the handle(still imagine the weirwood), thought it looked like wood, it could use some bulking up though. maybe a more tapered grip staring wide at the guard and tapering toward the pommel? That just doesnt look like a martially sound grip, spacer looks sweet but generally doesnt look as though it would sit well in the hand. I apologize for the harshness of my comments. Figured you guys put the design up to get some input back.

  37. Scott E on October 12, 2009 at 11:04 pm said:

    Love the design. Not to fond of the words on the cross guard but that’s just me, and a few others I guess. I also pictured the cross guard designed a little more historic like. But If thats what George envisioned, Its not far from what I imagined.

    Would love to buy it. My thoughts lean to. “Damn, I would love that design in a slightly larger than usual letter opener version!”

    Was this the final concept George Ok’d? Or is it still in the final decision stages of design?

  38. The concept art is finalized unless George ends up seeing something in the prototype he dislikes.

    You have to remember that style springs from purpose and not the other way around. I think I know of the big wide huge crossguards many of you are thinking of, that were put on swords used primarily by ground troops in the late middle ages because of the functional need of having a really wide crossguard to protect yourself as you swept the blade in front of you like a spear.

    Ice is a ceremonial beheading sword. A crossguard that wide would have only interfered with the downstroke, making the executioner wish he was a woman. In the end it still is not that narrow of a guard, it is just the blade is so wide that it looks it.

    There is also of course the issue of age, GRRM likes to somewhat mirror true medieval history. Crossguards started out nonexistant, and they gradually grew larger as time progressed. The Starks are an old house.

  39. Brett H on October 13, 2009 at 11:53 am said:

    Maybe not a big huge wide guard just one thats 8 or 9 inches long and not at wide or chunky. A guards main purpose was not for protecting the hands but to keep them from sliding up the blade and mainly to use in binding and trapping your opponents sword or weapon or for striking an opponent. Guards also dont hamper downward strokes(student of HEMA for 15 years, not to sound snobby)proper technique simply does not alloow this to happen. I see the logic behing it being short due to the age of House Stark. But also historically as blades lengthened so did guards.
    Was Ice meant to be only a beheading sword? If so it would have no tip and I dont think Eddard would have carried it to war, or any Stark for that matter. When GRRM said “greatsword” I always assumed he meant an epee de guerre or sword of war which is a 50 odd inch wider bladed sword with a handle that can accommodate two hands or one if need be and he says “longsword” (which is a typical two handed cut and thrust in HEMA) that he means a standard one handed sword.

  40. Scott E on October 14, 2009 at 2:46 pm said:

    Brett H. Eddard did carry Ice into battle, and used it in battle. It’s a Valyrian sword. Legendary swords of awesomeness. He carried it into the Rebellion against Mad King Aerys. He carried Ice into Greyjoys rebellion. He also fought with it against Kings guard Arthur Dayne and his legendary sword, Dawn in the Roberts Rebellion. It’s not only a symbol of the Lords of the North, But also used in battle and ceremony and handing out judgement. I don’t know if this is canon. But from my readings of the books. It seems Aegon the 1st. Forged valyrian swords for each warden and major lord. I do believe also the books mentioning valyrian swords being lighter then they look. And hold their sharpness very well.

    With Valyrians response. Yes, the crossguard makes more sense being its an the Starks are an old house. And its Georges vision.

  41. Hey, as a collector, i have a few greatswords, claymores and such. I just want to repeat the question: about how long will Ice be? 60″? Just curious.
    Also, which swords/versions of the swords count as battle-ready? Just the Damascus versions? What about Needle?
    They all look great, by the way. I’m hoping I can scratch together enough for all three swords. :-)

  42. now please correct me if im wrong because i dont feel like skimming back through the book right now, but isnt ice red? I seem to remember it that way, and the swords that were reforged from it had red ripples a a result. Again i could be wrong maybe someone not as lazy as me could find a passage or two describing how it looks

  43. Scott E on October 15, 2009 at 1:28 pm said:

    Rick. here yah go
    “”Ice,” that sword was called. It was as wide across as a man’s hand, and taller even than Robb. The blade was Valyrian steel, spell-forged and dark as smoke.”

  44. read the books again.

  45. Hi guys! Just a query question? I thought all valyrian steel swords were unique? The only common factor is ‘weight'(comparison to size) and its undisputed color.(dark/smokey plus tinges of color). If I remember clearly, Longclaw was distinct for its claw markings in the blade. (why its named Longclaw). ICE had its own distinctions. Not only in size but in discription. (as mentioned by another fan ‘Quoted from the book’.) To me! ICE is the North. Has the longest known recorded history. And is definately unique. But the ‘Concept Art’ depicts the same type of blade as Longclaw. Maybe a small delimma, but a delimma non the less. I hope George notices it too. To me -ICE- is ‘a song of ice and fire’.

  46. Longclaw did not have clawmarks it was named longclaw because wolves and bears both have claws.

    Ice is definitely different from Longclaw. Longclaw is a hand a half sword, Ice is a two hander. Longclaw tapers for the entire length, Ice does not. Longclaw has 3 fullers, Ice has 1. Ice is also longer.

    But in the end we’re not making off the wall fantasy swords, they have to look functional, have to appear as if they could have existed, and indeed, roughly from the same time in history. So there will be similarities.

    Also, the ONLY valyrian steel swords with color were Oathkeeper and Widow’s Wail, which Tywin Lannister had made by melting down Ice, and which were colored by a dye during the melting process. The guy loved red so much he just had to have it in his sword.

  47. Everything is great, I would have prefered a slightly larger crossgaurd but I see your reasoning. The only thing I don’t agree with is the words ‘winter is coming’. Since the sword was made in old Valaria probably before the starks were even in westeros. Did the words even exist? I just think it’s unnecessary when you already have the words on the holder. I just think the words make the sword (which is beautiful) look a little cheesy.

  48. im not so fond of the witer is coming engravings but besides that its great ;-)

  49. Longclaw was not made in old Valyria.

    Valyrian steel, originally smelted, was made only by the Valyrians, but Westerosi can obviously reforge it, fit on new handle parts, etc. They reforge Ice and retrofit Longclaw remember.

    We actually went over this exact topic (age of ice, artifact of valyria vs. custom sword made by Starks) with GRRM. The sword then is an explicit statement that Ice was made by or for the Starks way back when.

  50. Withy a blade that long a bit more distal taper will be well worth it or push the major rounding part an inch or so further from the tip proper – As it stands the blade almost looks like it was a long rectangular piece with the tip rounded enough to know it was the tip. A bit more taper will give the sword a slightly more fluid look, grant it some grace.

    Size of the guard is alright, but it would look better if it and the pommel were a few shades darker.

    And the handle itself, I love the riser. I’m with some of the other comments thought with expecting wierwood though. I think the best combination would to have the portion between riser and guard to be leather (black or brown) with the portion between pommel and riser be the natural wierwood. That would be absolutely stellar.

  51. I think slightly more flared shoulders would be a nice addition also.. and I like “winter is coming” on the guard. just needs the “is” to be centered – as mentioned earlier – to give it more symmetry. Perhaps decrease the size of the font as well, just a little.

  52. Zak the taper, as is, was a feature GRRM requested specifically.

  53. Jon Snow on November 7, 2009 at 9:34 pm said:

    Sign me up for the damascus version

  54. do u think needle will be ready for christmas?

  55. Excellent design!!!
    I really don’t like the letters on the sword. I think that must be like 80% of the comments on here state that they dont like it, HOWEVER:
    It occurs to me that if you dont like the lettering, couldn’t you just turn the sword around? I doubt there will be lettering on Both Sides…
    But seriously, I’m not 100% sure I will buy Ice, the only reason being the lettering. No Lettering, and I would buy it instantly.
    Just sayin.

  56. Is the grip thick enough? it seems pencil thin from the pic(pic can be decieving) would be hard to hold on to with a super thin grip as oposed to something thicker…

  57. I agree with the comments on the lettering. If the words are going to stay, so be it. Just please do something about that font. It needs something…else.

    But I’m probably too late on the bandwagon, huh?

  58. This is the one i’m gonna buy,no matter what:)

  59. absolutely amazing concept! the only grievance i have is the crossguard.(i know everybody has something to say about it) the only thought i have on this is that rather than “winter is coming” i would suggest “the king in the north” rather than previous accounts of “the king of the north” (just seems more traditional in keeping with the citings of GRRM

  60. One thing about the supposed “Winter is Coming” redundancy.

    The Starks didn’t have a silkscreend MDF sword plaque to hang Ice on a wall with. Designing the sword based around our made-up plaque wouldn’t be appropriate.

    We could remove the words on the plaque, but every other plaque for every other sword we make will have words, and so if you have a full collection this will look odd.

  61. Stephen on March 1, 2010 at 11:57 pm said:

    So perhaps I’ve missed this from elsewhere in the site but have there been any updates as to the expected release time for this sword?

    I am certainly impatient but please don’t take that to mean that I want you to rush the process. I want this sword to be just right, I’m just a little anxious for any bit of updated info I can get.

    Also, something else I may have missed, is there any sort of pre-order for this yet?

    Thanks for any updates you can give!

  62. Pingback: HBO announces pickup of Game of Thrones, and other news » Valyrian Steel - Swords from George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”

  63. LordSnow on March 3, 2010 at 1:52 pm said:

    Quick question? Is the sword “as wide across as a man’s hand, and taller even than Robb.”?

  64. How tall is Robb?

    Believe me, we went through all of this with GRRM in the design process. In the end, we’re making Ice as big as we possibly can.

  65. Robb on March 5, 2010 at 1:07 pm said:

    I Don’t Like it at all…

    It just doesn’t stand out for me it looks like every other sword you see.

    Ice should be a sword that you can pick outta a hundred.

    Was hoping it would resemble more towards the art piece by Dabel Bro of Eddard with Ice , know that looked bad ass.

  66. If you’re talking about the picture of Ned in the godswood polishing Ice…

    The artist used Anduril from Lord of the Rings for that picture, or there is an amazing coincidence at work. For obvious reasons we cannot just take a sword design from a feature film.

    If you want Anduril, you can purchase it here.

  67. Oh is it, didn’t no that. I just like how the blade gets wider near the cross guard.

    The concept of Ice here just seems like it’s
    missing something. I guess you can’t take the same idea but it kinda needs its own signature to distinguish itself from every other blade out there.

    It just my Two cents about it…

  68. That flare at the base of the blade is the only thing the artist did, otherwise, pretty much straight Anduril.

    GRRM actually specified wanting a straight wide blade as shown here, with very little taper.

    I think you’ll find ice very distinguished, both because of the size of the blade (usually such long blades are going to be narrower) but perhaps the most striking feature, or unique, will be the distressed white leather grip. That was GRRM’s idea straight up and it is fairly unique, I know I’ve not seen a white leather grip on a sword.

    Additionally there will be a high level of detail. The mid-grip cuff is actually embossed with running wolves.

    But in the end, Ice is just a sword. GRRM’s flavor of fantasy is not over the top, not really. He has always said he wants the creations to appear as if they could have actually existed, and not being mere fantasy constructs. No off-the-wall fantasy designs.

  69. Robb on March 9, 2010 at 3:21 am said:

    OK,looking at it that way know I get the concept. I see what your striving for which is more of a true looking blade.

    I guess I was thinking to over the top and you’ve helped me see it in a different light. Thanks, I appreciate the quick response’s.

  70. Timmy on March 24, 2010 at 5:03 pm said:

    This is a REALLY good looking blade, but will it be the one used in the HBO series this fall of 2010.?? And I also always imagined ICE as being a darker damascus blade… But in my opinion its a fine piece of work. I have looked over it many times and the more I do the more I like the look of it, did an incredible job on Longclaw too, thats what I half expected ICE to look like till I scrolled down, but again, its a fine piece. Winter Is Coming…..

  71. I just asked George RR Martin himself at C2E2 in Chicago this past weekend whether the Valyrian Steel sword designs would be used in the HBO series and he said they would not be. I guess the sword guy for the series didn’t want to use someone else’s designs. I own Longclaw and will be getting Needle in the near future It seems to me that the Valyrian Steel guys really, really care about the swords and have put a fantastic amount of research into them and have quizzed Martin every step of the way. For my money, their swords are the ones used in the books. And at the end of the day, the books are what counts. Even if the HBO series turns out amazing.

  72. HBO has no agreement with us to use our designs.

    However, our designs are made in close concert with GRRM, thus giving them officiality (is that a word?) and we can hope that existing as prior art, as they do, they influence the HBO designers. For instance I happen to know our Longclaw is hanging on the walls of their LA production office.

  73. Timmy on April 20, 2010 at 3:10 pm said:

    Thank you for responding to my question, I’am highly greatful for you to take your time and answer it. And thank you Josh for also answerinng. :)

  74. Stefanos on May 1, 2010 at 7:41 am said:

    I love everything about the sword i hope i can buy it.

  75. Tony D. on May 2, 2010 at 9:46 pm said:

    Any update on when we’ll there will be pre-orders for Ice?

  76. Timmy on May 11, 2010 at 11:07 am said:

    Hey, Timmy here again… How is the ‘faux damascus’ design made compared to just pattern-welding designed? (I dont know if I quite stated the question right but I hope you get what I mean to say.) Please respond to my question.

  77. Shawn on June 5, 2010 at 9:21 pm said:

    This sword in my humble opinion, is exactly what I would have expected the Lord of Winterfell to wear on his hip. Remember, this is a Stark sword, not something carried by the Lannister House. It is like the dire wolf, huge, hard and deadly. Its all business here.

  78. Lilly on July 2, 2010 at 8:31 pm said:

    If you dislike the redundancy of the sword/plaque combination then just don’t use the plaques. I plan on purchasing all three and hanging them horizontally on the wall with Ice in the middle, thus, making the plaques unnecessary. Like other posters, I do hope the final template addresses the need for the “is” to be centered, fix that small detail, and I’ll be even more ecstatic.

  79. Richard on July 24, 2010 at 9:13 am said:

    I would still really like to know the exact (or even aproximate) measurements. More than a few people have asked this question, and a response to it would be apreciated.

  80. I thought we had posted them, in anycase it is no secret. The sword will be 55″. The longest we could make it without going over 60″ for total packaging length (which would have put it out of reach for most of the world, what with dimensional shipping limitations). If anyone has the Witchking Sword from Lord of the Rings it will be just under one inch longer. But of course wider. Picture the width of longclaw’s blade and the length of that witchking sword.

    The cross guard is 8 and a quarter inches wide.

  81. Richard on August 31, 2010 at 6:04 pm said:

    Are these swords “battle ready?”

  82. I thought the great swords were supposed to be thicker than the others, including bastard blades. if i remember correctly Ice is supposed to be as thick as a mans hand. I agree with the others, not too fond of the Winter is Coming on the cross guard, or the white on the grip.

  83. Personally, I love the design. From the large, straight blade, the smaller crossguard, and the white leather grip, this sword looks amazing. If this template is used for the final product, I’ll gladly purchase this as my next sword.

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