Alright, let me admit right off the bat that I am a HUGE fan of George R. R. Martin and his "Song of Ice and Fire" novels (I also love his short story "Hedge Knight" and the graphic novel that they made out of it. So this Limited Edition Longclaw sword is a particularly cool item for me. And looking at the design and work they put into it, it should be pretty cool for all of you, too.
The manufacturer worked hand-in-hand with George R. R. Martin while they designed Longclaw (not to imply that they held hands while they ... oh never mind. You get the point), so every detail was signed off by Martin. You wanna know how I know this (besides the fact that I'm in the industry, I mean)? Because every one of the certificates of authenticiy for this sword is personally autographed by George R. R. Martin, that's how. That alone is worth the purchase price, in my book. Hmm. That's kind of a confusing statement. Mental note: Don't use the expression "in my book" when speaking about authors.
Longclaw, Jon Snow's sword, is made from Valyrian Steel in the novels. This mythical metal is unmatched by any other steel in the world and the technique for making it has been lost. In reality, the sword is made from a fantastically etched stainless steel that looks amazing and won't need any additional care to maintain.
The blade is 39 inches in length and features three beautiful fullers. The guard is made from antiqued metal with a nickel plating, and the pommel is made from powder-coated metal with acrylic red eyes that look just like garnets.
The sword is a limited edition, restricted to 1,500 swords worldwide. That's an amazingly small number of swords considering that Martin ha sold about 3.5 MILLION of his books. Yeah. I know. Might want to buy one soon.
For five centuries the Valyrian steel sword Longclaw was carried by the Lords of Bear Island in the service of the Starks of Winterfell. Passed from father to son, the hand-and-a-half sword - called a bastard sword by the uncouth - had a great history while in their possession. That came to an end, however, when the last lord of the House, Jorah Mormont, was disgraced and fled Lord Stark's justice. Jorah went into exile, but left behind the sword which then found its way back to his father, Jeor, the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.
Longclaw was kept out of sight, until the fateful night came when a wight - a dead man brought to life by creatures out of nightmarish legend - sought to throttle the Old Bear in his sleep. It was his squire, Jon Snow, and Snow's albino direwolf Ghost who rescued him by setting the wight ablaze. Though part of Lord Jeor's apartments were burned down following this, the fire would need to have burned a hundred times hotter to harm the blade that was forged in old Valyria before the Doom. The ancient silver bear's head pommel and the hilt was burned, but these were replaced at the Old Bear's command with something befitting Snow. Given the sword, now adorned with a wolf's head pommel, and the opportunity to rename it as a gift. Jon Snow responded that wolves have claws just as bears do, and kept the proud name as it was.
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When Strongblade refers to a "Battle Sword," we are referring to most European medieval swords with blades longer than 35i nches or so. These type of swords included hand-and-a-half swords (sometimes refered to as Bastard Swords) and the big two-handed swords. Real battle swords had blades well in excess of this, and, in fact, a 35 inch sword was considered a bit skimpy for fighting skirmishes. But for home use and light sparring, a 36" blade is fairly long.