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Can white walkers be killed by Valyrian steel weapons, too? (latest television episode on HBO indicated obsidian weapons stabbing a white walker will destroy them)

  • Other than fan speculation, we don't know yet. – System Down May 20 '13 at 17:58
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    @Secko - LOL they changed their names from The Others to White Walkers to avoid comparisons to Lost, and instead got confused with The Walking Dead :) – System Down May 20 '13 at 19:59
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    @SystemDown Actually, White walkers is not a name change, they are called that in the books as well. I suspect they just found Others to be too confusing to the audience. E.g. "Who are these others she's talking about?" – TLP May 20 '13 at 20:23
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    @TLP you are right, "In that darkness the White Walkers came for the first time. They swept through cities and kingdoms, riding their dead horses, hunting with their packs of pale spiders big as hounds." ―Old Nan – Secko May 20 '13 at 21:06
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    @Secko Indeed. Poor Old Nan. I was surprised when watching an episode of Beauty and the Beast (only because GRRM wrote the episode) and I heard someone say "Stories are like old friends. You have to visit them now and again." – TLP May 20 '13 at 21:09
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The book has stated that the following things can kill the Others:

  1. Fire- This one is very well known, but might not be effective.
  2. Obsidian- This has worked at least once, but isn't really well known. The Wildings seem to have these weapons, and might know more.
  3. Valyrian Steel- This has been speculated, but never definitively proved. It was a discussion between Sam and Jon at the beginning of book 4 (And book 5) where this revelation came to play. Update: in episode "Hardhome" of season 5, it is shown that Valyrian steel can kill the White Walkers: Jon Snow kills one using his sword Longclaw. So as far as the TV show goes, this has been proven.
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    I know wights were killed by fire, but I can't recall a White Walker/Other being killed with it. – System Down May 20 '13 at 19:56
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    I believe the books say about the Others that fire dismays them and dragonsteel, supposedly they cannot stand before it. Which is to say fire might hurt them, and if "dragonsteel" is Valyrian steel, it may hurt them. The only thing we know for a fact is that fire hurts wights, and obsidian hurts Others. – TLP May 20 '13 at 20:19
  • ya I noticed ordinary sword steel that Samwell thrust into the white walker's face, turned into steelflakes. Then the Borg drone swatted 280 lb Sam out of the way like Sam was a barking pug dog, as the white walker needed Giily's tasty baby for the white walker barbeque coming up, I guessed. – Tugeye May 20 '13 at 21:42
  • Since this has been answered in S05E08, please update your answer regarding Valyrian steel and White Walkers! (because the OP asked about White Walkers, I assume he/she is primarily interested in the TV show) – Andres F. Jun 6 '15 at 23:39
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    In Books, According to Melisandre, Others can't be killed by fire. Necromancy animates these wights, yet they are still only dead flesh. Steel and fire will serve for them. The ones you call the Others are something more. – Aegon Jun 29 '16 at 7:39
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In answer to the specific question, "can White Walkers be killed by Valyrian steel?", the TV show has answered this in episode 8 of season 5, "Hardhome":

Yes, Valyrian steel can kill White Walkers in much the same way as Dragonglass. In the episode, Jon Snow battles and destroys a White Walker with his Valyrian-steel sword Longclaw, given to him by the previous Lord Commander.

It should be noted that, much like with Dragonglass, the effect of Valyrian steel on White Walkers seems to be magical in nature: it does not shatter when in contact with the ice swords/spears the Walkers use, and in turn it shatters the Walkers as well as their armor.

In this the TV show has progressed beyond the plot of the books, since George Martin hasn't yet shown us a battle with the Others where they are defeated by Valyrian steel.

3

The only two examples we have of weapons that can kill White Walkers are those made from Valyrian Steel and those from obsidian/dragonglass.

Dragonglass

In season 3 episode 8, "Second Sons", Sam stabs a White Walker with a dragonglass dagger and kills it.

In season 6 episode 5, "The Door", Meera Reed kills a White Walker with a dragonglass spear.

Valyrian steel

In season 5 episode 8, "Hardhome", Jon kills a White Walker with his Valyrian steel blade Longclaw.

In season 7 episode 6, "Beyond the Wall", Jon kills a White Walker again with Longclaw when the merry men capture a wight.

These are the only White Walker deaths we have seen as of yet though it is speculated that dragon fire can also kill them. As for whether regular fire can kill them, well I doubt it seeing as the fire ring at the Three Eyed Ravens cave parted when they got near to it.

Night King parts fire

We have confirmation from Season 8 Episode 3, "The Long Night", that

Dragon fire can not kill the Night King and so presumably can not kill the White Walkers as well.

-1

I would venture a *guess *- not supported by either the show or the books at this point (well, not that I know of), which is:

White walkers can be killed only by Dragon Fire, or by weapons forged with Dragon Fire.

If my guess is correct, then _naturally_occurring_ Obsidian might not kill White Walkers.

Please correct me if the books contradict my guess.

  • It's possible that the obsidian is what kills them and that valyrian steel is made with obsidian, hence the black swirl in the metal. – Dedwards Jul 14 '16 at 18:25
  • @Dedwards: You realize that obsidian is merely another form of oxidized Silicon (i.e. rock)... I don't think that Valyrian steel being special due to the use of Silicon would make sense enough to GRRM as a story choice. – einpoklum Jul 14 '16 at 18:48
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    There are dragons, shadows that can kill, and undead popsicle people, and you're worried about crushed rock in metal making no sense... :P – Dedwards Jul 14 '16 at 18:55
  • Somehow I don't imagine this as how Valyrian steel would be made :-) – einpoklum Jul 14 '16 at 19:24
  • @einpoklum obsidian on Planetos has magical properties. Like most things in Martin's world it is not a 1 to 1 comparison. – Skooba Jan 8 '18 at 15:20

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