If you see a sword or weapon in fiction, master swordsmith Tony Swatton has probably made a replica of it. Creating real life versions of props in sci-fi, fantasy, and gaming seems to be Swatton’s specialty, and he focuses on those builds in Man at Arms. His web series documents the construction of a weapon each week, and the most recent episode focused on a beauty from Game of Thrones: Jon Snow’s sword Longclaw.
Before you ask, no, Swatton did not get his hands on the rare and coveted Valyrian steel. Instead he forged the giant sword from several layers of 1075 steel and crafted the hilt from an ingot of bronze. He worked with master blacksmith K.C. Lund and had a sculptor create the pommel from chavant clay to craft a screen accurate replica of Longclaw. Watching the weapon being made is nothing short of fascinating.
In the series, Jon Snow was gifted the sword. The Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Jeor Mormont, passed the family heirloom to Jon instead of his son (Jorah Mormont disgraced the House before he went off to help Daenerys). Mormont had the pommel replaced with a white direwolf head that is the sigil of House Stark and happens to resemble Jon’s direwolf, Ghost.
In reality, the propmakers working on Game of Thrones probably used a method similar to Swatton’s to craft the sword. However, Swatton made his version of Longclaw sharp enough to cut through glass. The one used as a prop on the series won’t have quite such a deadly edge – or any edge for that matter.
HT: Geeks Are Sexy