Last night's Game of Thrones was quick to remind us of that looming, ever-growing threat: The army of the dead emerged from the winds of winterand oh shit they have undead giants now.
But it also gave us a small hint at how the humans of Westeros might finally get a fighting chance in the battle.
Aside from Dany's dragons, the only effective weapons in the war against the dead are Valyrian steel and Dragonglass. For those who need a refresher on why Valyrian steel matters so much, it's the super-rare material used to make Valyrian swords, AKA the only weapons that don't shatter into a million pieces when fighting a White Walker.
Remember that rad moment at Hardhome when Jon totes owned that White Walker with Longclaw? Yeah. We're gonna need more of those. Like, lots more, STAT.
Up until now, we were lead to believe that there was a finite (and dwindling) number of White Walker-destroying Valyrian weapons. Only a dozen or so known swords, daggers, and axes are scattered among the great houses (plus Brienne, because Jaime hearts Brienne).
Forged with the mysterious magic of Old Valyria, the knowledge of how to create more Valyrian steel was also presumed to have died with the ancient city after the mysterious volcanic event known as the Doom.
Or did it?
We have two key clues that Dragonglass may play a significant role in events to come. King of the North Jon Snow, commanded the collection of every piece of Dragonglass anyone can get their hands on. And as the penultimate scene with Sam and Gilly in the Citadel revealed, Dany's sitting atop an entire mountain of the stuff in Dragonstone.
While we know Sam killed his own White Walker with an obsidian blade, that may not be the only thing Dragonglass is good for.
Because RenatoGallifaQ had another thought:
Just had a thought watching the episode. Since a Jon and Sam mentioned dragonglass and the importance of it I remembered that Jon killed a WW in Hardhome. So heres my theory:
Dragonglass is the missing material for people to forge Valyrian steel. Valyria was a volcanic region and we know that dragonglass is an abundant material in volcanic regions because Dragonstone had lots of it. Since the doom of Valyria, Valyrian steel swords havent been made. I think that Dragonglass is involved in the creation of these swords since both of them can kill WW.
That's right, we could be on the way to getting back the recipe for Valyrian steel, courtesy of trial and error and aided by Sam's nocturnal library visits.
Another Redditor added fuel to our flames by suggesting that the equation might be as simple as regular steel (check!) + Dragonglass (check!) + dragonfire (check!) = Valyrian steel. If that doesn't make you stand up and scream, "Dracarys," then you might be on the wrong side of history.
Are you seeing a vision of Valyrian steel forging factories in the flames like we are right now? Well, hold your undead horses. Because it's going to take more than just knowing the secret ingredient. Evidence suggests that some sort of old Valyrian magic is also needed.
When Tywin split the iconic Stark longsword Ice into two smaller Valyrian blades (Oathkeeper and Widow's Wail) back in Season 4, he reminded us that only a select few blacksmiths know how to work with Valyrian steel.
Conveniently, one such blacksmith lives in King's Landing, and our boy Gendry happened to be his apprentice. So this could be the plot point that finally brings the poor lad out of his rowboat exile, a return we know is coming.
Granted, that's a lot of "if's." But the show really does seem to be setting up the possibility of a Westerosi army equipped with all manner of badass Valyrian weapons.
So here's to hoping that a Making Valyrian Swords for Dummies book is sitting the restricted section of the Citadel. Or that curmudgeon of an Archmaester is just withholding this knowledge for dramatic effect.