4 Quick Facts About Longclaw and How to Get Your Own
The Night’s Watch oath to protect Westeros from white walkers couldn’t be carried out with their only effective weapons. Instead, Valyrian steel swords are required as they carry the essence of fire and light. This allows them to destroy armies of undead wights. But the rarity of the metal means that the few Valyrian steel swords in the Home Box Office, Inc. (HBO) hit series go unnoticed by characters who own them.
That’s exactly what happens with Longclaw, the Valyrian steel blade of Jon Snow.
4 Lore Tidbits About Longclaw
Longclaw is a favorite among Game of Thrones (GOT) fans because of its association with Jon Snow and House Mormont in general. The simplistic yet noble looking sword has been the subject of fan speculation and cosplays, but it wouldn’t be so fascinating if not for the background lore of the sword.
- Longclaw is designed after the European longsword
Because of GOT’s European medieval fantasy setting, many of the swords used in the show are patterned after historic European blades. In the case of Longclaw, it’s designed to resemble a classic European longsword, a blade with a straight-edged blade and a minimalistic crossguard and handle.
- It was once the heirloom sword of House Mormont
You might remember that Jon Snow is believed to be the bastard of Ned Stark, Lord of Winterfell, by most other characters in the series. This meant that even though the Starks had an heirloom Valyrian steel sword, Ice, Jon was never in the running to inherit it because of his illegitimate status.
His sister, Arya Stark, would have been ahead of him in that regard despite being a woman and the youngest child because she was a “trueborn” daughter.
Jon only received an heirloom sword after joining the Night’s Watch. While serving as a crow, he met Jeor Mormont, a member of House Mormont. Jeor gifted Longclaw to Jon who he saw fit to be his successor as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.
- Longclaw used to have a bear’s head pommel
Because Longclaw was originally a Mormont sword, it once had a bear’s head for its pommel. Jeor Mormont had a swordsmith replace the pommel with a wolf head to better suit Jon because House Stark’s crest was a direwolf.
- Longclaw is Jon Snow’s only sword throughout the series
Unlike other heroes in fantasy shows, Jon Snow never changes his sword for a more mystical one. Though fans expected that Melisandre would give him a flaming sword for the season finale, GOT ended with Jon Snow only having Longclaw for a sword.
The choice baffled fans, but it was thematically in line with Jon Snow’s character arc since his story deals with him learning how to build his own identity outside of being a “bastard Stark”. By keeping Longclaw, a sword given to him by a second father figure, he was able to convey that being Lord Commander was his new life now and the life he chose for himself, regardless of his heritage.
Replica Swords vs. “Real” Replica Swords
Buying a Game of Thrones sword is simple as long as you’ve decided which kind of replica you need: a display replica sword or a battle-ready replica sword.
Display replica swords are copies made of either wood, foam, plastic, or stainless steel that are designed to look like the original sword but aren’t built for actual fighting. This means they have no sharp edges and even if you tried to sharpen the edge, you’d only end up with a ruined sword since it isn’t made to withstand the strain and pressure of fighting, let alone keep an edge.
If you’re only looking to start a Game of Thrones collection or cosplay as Jon Snow, you can opt for a display replica sword.
Meanwhile, battle-ready replica movie swords are replicas designed to look like and function exactly like the swords they’re based on. For a sword like Longclaw, you’re likely to get a European longsword or bastard sword depending on the blade length offered by the manufacturer.
Stainless steel blades are favored for these types of replicas though it isn’t uncommon to see damascus steel blades, especially if it’s a limited edition replica.
Longclaw Replicas We Recommend
Shopping for a replica of Longclaw can be hard, especially if you’re doing it blind. The sword is difficult to replicate well because of its fine details and weathered appearance, but these following replicas are the ones we recommend for collectors and cosplayers alike.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a battle-ready replica because of how few Longclaw replicas are produced. You’ll typically have to keep an eye out for interest checks and group buys or have a custom sword forged for you by a specialty sword maker.
1. EGHK’s Carbon Steel Longclaw Replica
This Longclaw replica isn’t going to win awards for realism right off the bat given that the blade, hilt, and pommel all appear to be brand new and shiny. That said, it’s a perfect copy of Jon Snow’s sword that has all the right details, including the blood groove running down the center of the blade.
The handle is wrapped with synthetic leather material and the sword even comes with a wall mount for displaying the sword with. If you’re planning on cosplaying with it and need to age the sword a bit, a little coffee or diluted brown paint should do the trick.
- Material: Stainless steel
- Length: 106.68 cm
2. King of the North Edition Longclaw Replica
There’s a massive price difference between this replica and the previous one, but if you’re looking for a Longclaw copy that looks and feels exactly like a real sword, this King of the North edition replica is for you.
The sword has a heavier feel to it and the antique metal wolf pommel is weighted to act as a balance to the crossguard and blade. The handle gets an upgrade with a genuine leather wrap, giving it a more grainy and textured feel. The blood groove on the blade is also deeper, changing the overall look of the sword into something more menacing.
Like the previous replica, it comes with its own wall mount, but this time it’s a gray shield-shaped mount with Stark direwolves on the sides.
- Material: Damascus steel
- Length: 114.3 cm
Jon Snow’s Longclaw plays a central part in the story of Game of Thrones, mainly because it’s the sword of a key protagonist. This makes the long claw sword an excellent collectors item for fans of the show and books who want to remember the series by displaying and using it for the occasional convention or fan meet.