22

In Game of Thrones, dragonglass seems to be used as weapons against White Walkers.

Sam finds
Sam finds an arrow head and other little obsidian object

Jorah with dragonglass daggers
Jorah fights with dragonglass daggers

Why don't they use dragonglass swords instead of daggers?

  • 24
    It's literally volcanic glass. What do you think would happen if you tried to swing a sword made of glass? What would happen if you even dropped it? – ApproachingDarknessFish Aug 25 '17 at 7:21
  • 5
    @ApproachingDarknessFish But it works in The Elder Scrolls! You can make an entire suit of armor out of it! The White Walkers are the same thing as Falmer, right? – Thunderforge Aug 25 '17 at 16:01
  • 1
    @Thunderforge I would add that The Elder Scrolls doesn't strictly adhere to much logic or reason. – Restioson Aug 25 '17 at 17:31
47

Dragonglass, if it is like our obsidian, would be too brittle to make classical swords. But that does not mean that they are limited to arrowheads, spears (by the way, the first picture seems to show spear head and not arrow head) or daggers. The lack of good metallurgy gave a good incentive for mesoamericans civilizations to use obsidian

They used, for example the macuahuitl, which is a sort of wooden sword with encrusted obsidian blades. Macuahuitl

I don't know of any other way to make weapons from obsidian that have the same properties as a sword. Whether or not they could find a way to make swords with dragonglass (by making macuhatil or through some other means) is pure speculation though.

Also, keep in mind that they just started the extraction of obsidian, so they need more time to make proper weapons. It will not be an easy task as a blacksmith is not used to make dragonglass weapons.

Here's Tormund's Dragon glass weapon for an example:

Tormund's Dragonglass "Axe"

  • 2
    Given that Thormund's axe has two separate blades at the front, that seemingly supports the idea that dragonglass is brittle enough that a large (thin) shard would not last very long. – Flater Aug 25 '17 at 11:04
  • 3
    By the way, I just realised that at the begening of the episode, Tormund had a classical axe. Why the fuck would he take a weapon known to have no effect against wights ? For the hammer, i understand, as it is a blunt weapon (at least give the hammer a try, and if it don't work, switch to dragonglass), but i really dont se the point for the axe – Kepotx Aug 25 '17 at 11:22
  • 9
    @Keptx point of correction. Wights in the show can be killed with steel weapons (in the books it seems fire or hacking them to bits is the only way). It's the White Walkers (Others) who are vulnerable to dragonglass. – Paul Aug 25 '17 at 11:42
  • 4
    @Daevin at the risk of wandering off topic, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets extremely frustrated with it. Asking a blacksmith to shape obsidian is like asking an electrician to build furniture; completely different skillsets. Can they do it? Sure. Are they going to be good at it? Probably not. – Doktor J Aug 25 '17 at 13:37
  • 4
    @DoktorJ at the risk of getting lost off topic, I agree. I just think that for plot reasons he will be good at/succeed with it. i.e. they'll have it treated (incorrectly) like ore and embed it into the blades, or just make Gendry frustrated but somehow have a miracle moment about how he can do it, or have Sam come back with documents that incidentally give difficult (nigh impossible) instructions on how to use obsidian to make a sword and Gendry (being an excellent smith) tries following the recipe and can't quite get it but then finally succeeds and starts mass-producing. I'd say the last one – Daevin Aug 25 '17 at 13:46
17

Dragonglass (obsidian) is a brittle material. Daggers are short and less likely to break. Furthermore, obsidian cannot really be forged. You're effectively breaking shards off and hope that one comes out roughly dagger-shaped.

So swords would be prone to breaking or shattering rather quickly. And it's quite difficult to get something sword-shaped from obsidian since that'd require a large elongated pointy shape, instead of just a small elongated pointy shape.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy