It is revealed that the Maesters have acess to Valyrian Steel when Maester Luwin shows Bran his Valyrian steel link. We are told that when Maesters learn a new skill, they forge a new link, I assume this is literal.

Marwyn the Mage, also has a Rod, ring and mask of Valyrian Steel. I assume the mask and ring would be reforged every time a new arch maester is appointed.

These pieces of evidence show that the Citadel does have a seemingly large stockpile of Valyrian steel and that perhaps, they have someone who can rework it. Tywin says that there are only three living smiths capable of doing so. Is there any direct reference to a stockpile of Valyrian Steel in the Citadel or a Maester who knows who to rework it?

  • I wouldn't necessarily say that they have or would need stockpiles of VS. You only get the VS Li K if you e studies magic and the occult; a practice which is actually frowned upon. It is said that only one in one hundred maesters hold these titles. Read more
    – Möoz
    Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 11:50
  • Related
    – Möoz
    Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 11:52
  • Does this rely on snippets from book 6? If so, this definitely calls for spoiler tags on all < book 5, < season 6 material.
    – E.P.
    Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 14:59
  • @E.P. This is all information from season 3-4 of the show. Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 21:13
  • @Mooz It's true that Maester Luwin states that only one maester in a hundred wear the link but there are hundreds of maesters and new ones are sworn in all the time as old ones die. Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 21:14

2 Answers 2


GRRM has answered at least part of your question:

Fan: Do maesters fully forge the links of their chokers from raw metal, or do they take strips of existing metal and forge it into the links?

GRRM: When he said a maester "forges" his chain, it is more metaphorical. They do study metals, but that doesn't necessarily include training as blacksmiths.

Fan: I had assumed the former, but the latter would be simpler. I ask, of course, because of the link of Valyrian steel in Maester Luwin's chain. Did he know the spells, or did he take an existing strip and beat it into shape?

GRRM: He studied magical tomes and histories, and mastered enough of the arcane lore to impress an archmaester into granting him a link. He did not necessarily have to make the steel himself.

  • 2
    IIRC, when a maester dies, the citadel takes his chain back and recycles the links...
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 14:32
  • @KutuluMike But that's clearly still unsustainable. Maesters die in war, drown, get robbed/looted etc. They'll eventually run out of the material they cannot recreate. Luwin's chain? Maesters on the Iron Isles?
    – DariM
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 21:13

As for if the Maesters can reforge Valyrion steel themselves, I doubt it. The only people in the known world who claim to know how to rework Valyrian steel are those in Qohor.

Only here, in all the world, has the art of reworking Valyrian steel been preserved, its secrets jealously guarded.
Maester Pol's treatise on Qohorik metalworking, written during several years of residence in the Free City, reveals just how jealously the secrets are guarded: He was thrice publicly whipped and cast out from the city for making too many inquiries. The final time, his hand was also removed following the allegation that he stole a Valyrian steel blade. According to Pol, the true reason for his final exile was his discovery of blood sacrifices—including the killing of slaves as young as infants—which the Qohorik smiths used in their efforts to produce a steel to equal that of the Freehold.
The World of Ice and Fire, The Free Cities: Qohor

As I cover here that is why Tobho Mott is likely Qohorik and so how he knew how to rework the metal.

On a side note this trend is actually broken by the show when an unnamed Volantene blacksmith is used to reforge Ice. This was because the actor who played Tobho was unavailable.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.