Game of Thrones lied! Obsidian casting is not a thing!
April 16, 2019 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Dragonglass (Game of Thrones wiki), the common name in Westeros for volcanic glass also known as obsidian, was recently forged or cast in Game of Thrones, but don't try that at home. While you can knap obsidian, trying to cast an obsidian sword is a very hot, messy process, and glass blowing and bending a obsidian knife doesn't go much better, if your goal is to make an actual weapon (How To Make Everything YouTube videos x3).
posted by filthy light thief (141 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
In the very first season, Khal Drogo melts down a golden belt (that, since it was loot, I'm going to assume was made of gold and not foiled chocolate) in a COOKING pot (they throw the soup out of it!) over an open fire. and then he pours it on Viserys' head, killing him.

For reference, the boiling point of soup is 212°F, and the melting point of gold is 1,948°F. That was some hot soup.

Even with this previous egregious occurrence on the part of GoT, I did think it was strange though that they weren't just shown knapping the obsidian... or perhaps using dragonfire somehow to melt and cast it?
posted by euphoria066 at 11:26 AM on April 16 [25 favorites]


Westerosi obsidian is high in obsurdium. That's got a much lower melting point.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:30 AM on April 16 [71 favorites]


Also, if you soak your ships and sails in obsurdium, you can build an entire fleet in a couple of weeks out of bull kelp and sand and sail them half way around the sea in a couple of hours. And the color will never fade! Obsurdium. What's in your wallet?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:34 AM on April 16 [26 favorites]


I'll admit, I was surprised to see that they were trying to make swords out of the stuff on the show -- even if glass could be worked into steel (apparently that's the secret of Valyrian steel?) it just seems far too brittle for long-bladed weapons that are meant to have a little bit of give to them. I figured they'd save the dragonglass for arrow- and spear-heads, and maybe chip out some knives for up-close fighting. Heck, they could just smear a bunch of wooden clubs with tar and roll them in dragonglass shards -- all it has to do is cut the wights and Walkers, right?
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:35 AM on April 16 [9 favorites]


Shawn Woods obsidian knapping videos. He is the guy that recreated all of the gear Otzi the iceman was carrying with only primitive tools.
posted by Bee'sWing at 11:46 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


i think you've all missed a VITAL point. obsidian forms when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly with minimal crystal growth - yet there is no mention of felsic lava at all in any of the canonical ASIOF much less the tv show - oh wait i have the answer for you.
posted by lalochezia at 11:49 AM on April 16 [9 favorites]


+5 points for Shatner
minus a billion for no Lucy Lawless saying "A wizard did it."
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 12:03 PM on April 16 [14 favorites]


Well, wait, is it ever called Obsidian in the books or show? Like, it obviously appears to us as obsidian but this being a fictional material, in a world with incompatible laws or reality, physics, and chemistry - none of our assumptions about material science can be applied here. Actually, it doesn't matter if they do call it Obsidian, it doesn't matter if they say it's obsidian from our universe and planet Earth, our underlying knowledge about the material cannot apply.
posted by GoblinHoney at 12:14 PM on April 16 [9 favorites]


It is, repeatedly.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:17 PM on April 16 [4 favorites]


Someone's been playing MINECRAFT!
posted by rikschell at 12:18 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Beric's flaming sword wouldn't do a whole lot of good, either.

I've watched enough Forged in Fire that I totally feel like an expert now. It will not keal.
posted by Fish Sauce at 12:25 PM on April 16 [7 favorites]


He's got 15 million views on that video, so I feel like he's made his money back, but he destroyed what seemed like a few thousand dollars worth of equipment to make an non-threatening amorphous blob that's vaguely sword shaped.
posted by codacorolla at 12:34 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


it doesn't matter if they say it's obsidian from our universe and planet Earth, our underlying knowledge about the material cannot apply

I strongly disagree with this response to any incongruity between a fantasy world and a real world. Fantasy worlds are never created from scratch; they always draw heavily on elements of the real world and rely on the audience's understanding of the real world to make sense. In a well-written fantasy story, departures from the real world are intentional and follow an internal logic; they are also signaled to the audience in a way that the audience understands. "It's just fantasy" doesn't mean that anything goes. If you indicate that a material is obsidian, then it's reasonable that your audience will expect it to behave like obsidian, absent some explanation of why not.

Obviously, different audience members have different thresholds for suspension of disbelief, and sometimes it's not always worth it to sweat the small details for worry that a really pedantic and knowledgable person will come along and "well, actually" your story. But this is an important aspect of world-building that good writers of fantasy take into account, and make considered choices about.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 12:40 PM on April 16 [22 favorites]


Obsurdium if you find it easy to suspend disbelief. Obstinidium if you don't.
posted by clawsoon at 12:51 PM on April 16 [9 favorites]


Game of Thrones is pretty ludicrous when it comes to weapons. Did anyone see Gendry's "warhammer"? Here's a pic, in case you forgot. For reference, they're actually supposed to look like this. That thing that Gendry is carrying looks like it weighs at least 20 lbs., and it's got a big dumb SMOOTHLY ROUNDED head. But that's no surprise, because it is said that his father, Robert Baratheon, wielded a warhammer that Ned Stark could barely lift.

There's no reason for a warhammer to be this heavy, and no reason to stick a smooth mace where the head of the hammer should be. The thing is so big and ridiculous that I half expected to hear a little squeak when he bopped a wight over the head with it, since it makes more sense as an inflatable toy.
posted by Edgewise at 12:52 PM on April 16 [15 favorites]


Nevermind the dragons.
posted by vitout at 12:52 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


There's no reason for a warhammer to be this heavy

EK = ½mv2, amiright?
posted by clawsoon at 12:55 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


""It's just fantasy" doesn't mean that anything goes. If you indicate that a material is obsidian, then it's reasonable that your audience will expect it to behave like obsidian, absent some explanation of why not. "

I would not argue "anything goes" but I would argue this material through magic or mundane rules of the world behaves different than our expectations from the analogous material. For one thing, it actually functions more like our natural expectations plus fits well with our fantastic expectations.

"If you indicate that a material is obsidian, then it's reasonable that your audience will expect it to behave like obsidian, absent some explanation of why not."

It's reasonable up until we are told or shown otherwise. Whatever you choose to rationalize it, we now have seen dragonglass has properties unique from obsidian.
posted by GoblinHoney at 12:59 PM on April 16 [4 favorites]


That thing that Gendry is carrying looks like it weighs at least 20 lbs., and it's got a big dumb SMOOTHLY ROUNDED head.

I blame the Lord of the Rings and Thor movies for normalizing warhammers that are clearly sized for superhumans and demigods.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:02 PM on April 16 [9 favorites]


yet there is no mention of felsic lava at all in any of the canonical ASIOF much less the tv show

OH I beg to differ. Volcanology is definitely a part of the books. Have you heard of the Doom of Valyria and it's FOURTEEN FIRES? (Which sounds a lot like a supervolcano.) And yeah, to quote Samwell Tarly: "The Maesters call it 'obsidian'." CHECKPOINT, totally normal people who don't think too much about this! ;)

Seriously, I loved this, and laughed out loud in delight at the glassblower trying to glassblow what is essentially solidified lava. It's kind of amazing how the impurities in the obsidian affected what they were trying to do, as well as how obvious it was that multiple experiments and attempts would be required to get all the conditions right. I want to think the reason it was greener the second time around is that the sand he added had some iron in it, which would not be surprising in Mississippi. But maybe it was uranium! (Pre WWII, uranium used to be added to glass to make it green.) You can just imagine some historical crafts person in all different parts of the world trying to figure out similar questions in a similar way millennia ago; even if the equipment has changed since then the basic process hasn't.

I just love works like this - even if the origin is from a made up world, people pursuing questions like this often lead to opportunities to learn more about our world, for both viewer and creator. It was cool to see him pursue even basic questions like, what would happen if I just melted obsidian (and that result made me think!) It seems like a simple question that they were pursuing, but it involves pondering and using areas of mineralogy, materials science, manufacturing processes, thermodynamics and phase changes, weapons design, and skilled artisan work - that's just off the top of my head, so undoubtedly even more subjects. It seems like a great way to flex creative muscle and challenge assumptions/biases as well as answer the question, is it possible? Works like this encourage curiosity! So it's super fun and just plain neat to see people do this. Thanks for posting this, flt!
posted by barchan at 1:05 PM on April 16 [21 favorites]


Surely we should be blaming... Um.. Warhammer? Or the aesthetics of Warcraft, which is essentially the same thing.
posted by Telf at 1:06 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


I see that soap operas have become VPN documentaries.
posted by clawsoon at 1:07 PM on April 16


That thing that Gendry is carrying looks like it weighs at least 20 lbs

Hey, smart guy, they don't actually mention how much it weighs, so that hammer's head could easily just be hollow aluminum. Doesn't seem like such a ridiculous weapon now, does it?
posted by Greg Nog at 1:08 PM on April 16 [9 favorites]


If you indicate that a material is obsidian, then it's reasonable that your audience will expect it to behave like obsidian, absent some explanation of why not.

Such as... magical dragons?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 1:10 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


So are you suggesting that Gendry's weapon changed from being a warhammer in the books to a maul in the show? Oh wait shit that's still the wiki article for war hammer. I guess that's cause war hammers have been a lot of different things in a lot of different cultures and time periods.

"It's just fantasy" does in fact mean there's a lot of leeway. Besides, I'm pretty sure filthy light thief's title for this post was firmly tongue in cheek. But anyway as long as the story is working, then yeah, sure, dragonglass can be forged like metal b/c magic is real -- but then like, does Gendry have magic? Blacksmith magic? I mean I'm here for blacksmith magic. I'm here for Magical Gendry.

If we wanna talk about the story not working, I'm still so super mad about Sansa not telling Jon she had an army prior to the battle of the bastards, we keep getting told that Sansa is so super smart but we don't get to see it very much, and that seemed really dumb.
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 1:11 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


Maybe they’re going to charge into battle with the White Walkers and get decimated because their poorly-conceived Dragonglass weapons will shatter on first use?

Seriously, though, Gendry said that not just anyone could forge Dragonglass, so everyone’s concerns were already addressed in the story.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 1:14 PM on April 16


Surely we should be blaming... Um.. Warhammer? Or the aesthetics of Warcraft, which is essentially the same thing.

WAIT A FUCKING SECOND NOW.

Also: Aztec style clubs embedded with obsidian shards FTW.
posted by Artw at 1:19 PM on April 16 [8 favorites]


I'm pretty sure they don't refer to it as obsidian in the show, only dragon glass. If GRR called it both obsidian and dragon glass in the books, and then just came up with a bunch of new properties for obsidian, that's annoying and unnecessary. He could have just said it was a thing called dragon glass with these properties: x, y, z.
posted by bleep at 1:25 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


we now have seen dragonglass has properties unique from obsidian

Does ability to kill white walkers count as a property? If so, we already knew that.

Regardless, I trust Gendry's blacksmithing skills in an increasingly magical world (where one of the gods is a smith) more than some random YouTube personality.

Side note: I'm hoping he accidentally stumbles upon the secret ingredient in Valyrian steel.
posted by tempestuoso at 1:27 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


How big a chunk of obsidian would you need to drop, and from what height, to puncture a white walker's cranium? Perhaps flying dragons could be used to air drop shards and take the entire horde out. Must act quickly!
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:27 PM on April 16 [18 favorites]


You could just get some logs, cover them with tar, cover the tar with shards and roll them in to the undead. If it needed to be pushed, just get some light armour, cover that with tar too and again with the dragonglass shards for undead protection. Maybe stick a wheel on either end of the log. The dead are too stupid to run for cover, so they'd be all-but annihilated before they'd be a huge threat. Archers clean up the rest along with the dragons killing the walkers who don't have any dead to command, so they're pretty weak against a mess of pissed off humans.
Dragons to King's Landing and Cersei and the Golden Co. are BBQ'ed and threat #2 is defeated.
Epilogue: put your feet up, it's mojitos-time.
posted by Zack_Replica at 1:30 PM on April 16 [12 favorites]


I'm pretty sure they don't refer to it as obsidian in the show, only dragon glass.

In episode 5 of season 5, Stannis and Sam have the following exchange:
STANNIS: Dragonglass?

SAM: What the maesters call obsidian -

STANNIS: I know what it is. We have it in Dragonstone. Why would obsidian kill a walker?
There may be other instances. That was just the one I remembered.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 1:30 PM on April 16 [6 favorites]


The fact that they cast obsidian isn't even the biggest fuckup in the show; every time they refer to a knight, they accidentally spell it "Ser" instead of "Sir." It's funny that they can drop millions of dollars on CGI but somehow can't afford a spell-checker??? Mine even came free with my computer's Word Processing Program (Microsoft Word Office 2011), and it can also do word counts and change the margins sizes.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:35 PM on April 16 [44 favorites]


we now have seen dragonglass has properties unique from obsidian
> Does ability to kill white walkers count as a property? If so, we already knew that.


To be scientifically rigorous, you don't actually have any experimental evidence that obsidian doesn't kill the reanimated dead.
posted by cardboard at 1:38 PM on April 16 [29 favorites]


STANNIS: I know what it is. We have it in Dragonstone. Why would obsidian kill a walker?

Ah. Well I agree this annoying and unnecessary. But every tv show has instances where they do something weird for no particular reason. I just assume it's clueless execs shoehorning their bad opinions into the script.
posted by bleep at 1:40 PM on April 16


This is really just making me remember how very badly I need an obsidian scalpel for work.
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 1:43 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


euphoria066 : In the very first season, Khal Drogo melts down a golden belt [...] and then he pours it on Viserys' head, killing him.

For reference, that's how Mithridates VI of Pontus executed Manius Aquillius, but he had time and opportunity to prepare a proper furnace.
posted by sukeban at 1:44 PM on April 16 [4 favorites]


Greg Nog: The fact that they cast obsidian isn't even the biggest fuckup in the show; every time they refer to a knight, they accidentally spell it "Ser" instead of "Sir."

That's straight from the books, blame GRRM for it.
posted by sukeban at 1:46 PM on April 16 [4 favorites]


fwiw my reaction on watching the episode was "what the fuck, you can't forge obsidian" which slid quickly into "wait, can you forge obsidian?" so I think this is an interesting post but by all means please keep all the "did you know FICTION is FICTIONAL" takes coming
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:49 PM on April 16 [7 favorites]


When you think of a really stupid idea/joke re GoT but then keep to yourself because it might be an actual plot development and you are hardcore re spoilering
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:49 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder.
posted by memento maury at 1:50 PM on April 16 [7 favorites]


To be scientifically rigorous, you don't actually have any experimental evidence that obsidian doesn't kill the reanimated dead.


THANK you.



Empiricism FTW!
posted by darkstar at 1:50 PM on April 16 [7 favorites]


The fact that they cast obsidian isn't even the biggest fuckup in the show; every time they refer to a knight, they accidentally spell it "Ser" instead of "Sir." It's funny that they can drop millions of dollars on CGI but somehow can't afford a spell-checker??? Mine even came free with my computer's Word Processing Program (Microsoft Word Office 2011), and it can also do word counts and change the margins sizes.

Oh, jeez, don't get me started! A lot of the actors can't even pronounce "York" and "Lancaster" correctly! It's subtle, but definitely noticeable
posted by clockzero at 1:51 PM on April 16 [50 favorites]


To talk about the linked videos for a moment: The video creator ultimately tried less than a dozen ways to cast and blow obsidian. Put a Dow Corning scientist on this for a couple of years and I bet there'd be different outcome.
posted by clawsoon at 1:53 PM on April 16 [11 favorites]


To be scientifically rigorous, you don't actually have any experimental evidence that obsidian doesn't kill the reanimated dead.

White Walkers appear not to be reanimated dead, but rather cursed living (with the possible exception of the Night King). And so to be properly scientifically rigorous, we should establish whether or not obsidian kills cursed things.
posted by tempestuoso at 2:07 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


White Walkers appear not to be reanimated dead, but rather cursed living


How is that? They definitely appear dead between being alive and being a White Walker.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 2:10 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


The feral wights are not the White Walkers. The Walkers are the Night King's lieutenants, and (as best is known) were created by the same process used on Craster's baby in S04E04, which didn't involve death or killing.
posted by hanov3r at 2:15 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


I would be happy to co-write a grant that tests obsidian against both cursed beings as well as against undead creatures.

I’m now wondering if a straightforward ANOVA analysis of a series of t-tests would be sufficient to determine strong correlation, or, given the nature of the tests, it would be more appropriate to use nonparametric methods...
posted by darkstar at 2:16 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


They definitely appear dead between being alive and being a White Walker.

The dead become wights. It's the living that magically get transformed into White Walkers. First one, at least in the show, is some dude, and after that probably a bunch of Craster's baby sons.
posted by tclark at 2:16 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


How is that? They definitely appear dead between being alive and being a White Walker.

You're confusing walking wights with white walkers. White Walkers, according to the show anyway, are made from living babies being touched on the cheek by the Night King in some mystic stone circle in the Land of Always Winter. Wights, which *are* undead, appear to be made when something dies and a white walker wishes them reanimated, and (apparently) are de-animated when their re-animating white walker deceases.

The Night King appears to have been cursed when he was ritually stabbed in the heart with a dragonglass dagger. If I recall correctly, he transformed before dying, but my memory may be wrong. So he might be undead.
posted by tempestuoso at 2:16 PM on April 16 [7 favorites]


also good lord everyone seasons last a few months apiece and rotate so you get one of each per year. you never have a bunch of summers in a row followed by a bunch of winters. that's ridiculous.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 2:17 PM on April 16 [10 favorites]


Such as... magical dragons?

My response was specifically to GoblinHoney's statement that even if they called it obsidian and said it's Earth obsidian, we shouldn't expect it to behave like obsidian... because it's fantasy. I don't think that's a particularly accurate or constructive way to think about fantasy worldbuilding.

GoT already calls it something other than obsidian, and it's obviously made in a special way, so whatever. However, some audience members still clearly think it's obsidian, and when it doesn't behave like obsidian their suspension of disbelief is broken. Audience members are bringing their assumptions about how the real world works into the fantasy world, and they're not wrong to; this is how fantasy world building works - not by building from the ground up with brand-new assumptions, but by making changes to what already exists. Deliberate changes are different than lazy oversights.

It's really minor and discussing it is more fun than anything. I still think they could have also done something like make it look different, though. That's a relatively easy way to signal that it's not just obsidian by another name. Honestly, though, I just don't think that kind of thought is being put into the show, though.

Though, on preview, apparently they DO call it obsidian sometimes...
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 2:18 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


I did a Youtube series on reanimating the dead, and let me tell you, the whole thing is lies. You can't do it. GoT is completely unrealistic about this.

Anybody want some partially used corpses?
posted by clawsoon at 2:20 PM on April 16 [7 favorites]


Honestly, though, I just don't think that kind of thought is being put into the show, though.


Thus missing a great opportunity to appeal to the beanplater demographic...
posted by darkstar at 2:20 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


You can totally reanimate the dead. It's animating them that's hard.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:24 PM on April 16 [6 favorites]


For a moment, can I just vent about the term “necromancy”?

The “-mancy” suffix is intended to imply a prophetic or divination application of the root word. Hence, “oneiromancy” uses dreams to foretell the future, “chiromancy” divines the future from reading palms, etc.

But “necromancers” don’t use dead people for divination, per se. They seem more interested in working with and reanimating the dead, manipulating the dead, researching how to become a lich, etc.

I kind of feel like they should be called necrosmiths, or somesuch. As in, “Hi, I’m John Necrosmith, from the village of Hayseed-on-Thames”.

I’m open to suggestions.
posted by darkstar at 2:32 PM on April 16 [23 favorites]


I dunno, "King-Beyond-The-Wall Smith Rayder" doesn't have quite the same ring to it
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:33 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


So the whole thing about casting the obsidian sword is more of a Minecraft reference. The Valyrian weapons in GoT are steel doctored with obsidian instead, right? As temperamental as obsidian seems to be, that still seems a little more reasonable -- depending on what dosage of obsidian is required to have the desired effect on wights and walkers -- than just straight-up casting a blade from obsidian.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:35 PM on April 16


For a moment, can I just vent about the term “necromancy”?

Maybe the necromancers started with divination and then branched out. Like how cordwainers started with general leather work, and then ended up just doing boots.
posted by clawsoon at 2:38 PM on April 16 [6 favorites]


If Gendry just discovers the secret of forging Valyrian steel is adding obsidian into steel in order to show that he's the bestest Smith ever I'm gonna--well, nothing, it will probably be only the 2nd or 3rd most awkwardly shoehorned plot development in the next episode.
posted by skewed at 2:38 PM on April 16


Never mind whether this is obsidian or dragonglass: are they riding horses or schmorses? Is the water H2O or XYZ?

(Any philosophers in tonight?)
posted by Segundus at 2:43 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


I've been assuming that's what's going to happen myself. And now I'm wondering if (SPOILER) it's going to happen as as result of him trying to forge the weapon Arya asked him to make.
posted by barchan at 2:43 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I love this whole discussion just as much as I do the breathlessness around the new Star Wars trailer.

Fucking laser swords and space wizards.

Dragons and zombies in the magic Kingdom!

I fucking love them both but for for godsakes get the fuck on with it, I've been waiting 42 & 23 years respectively.
posted by djseafood at 2:44 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I'm just wondering why Gendry put the knapping marks in the Hound's obsidian axe, and cringing on how bad that thing is going to shatter the first time he swings it against something hard.

On the other hand, obsidian edges are SHARP! Slice your hand up right quick.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 2:47 PM on April 16


You know, I'm thinking there's a whole lot of stuff in Game of Thrones you probably shouldn't try at home.
posted by Naberius at 2:52 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


On the other hand, obsidian edges are SHARP! Slice your hand up right quick.

I've always assumed that's what obsidian and Valerian steel have in common. Super sharp.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:53 PM on April 16


I've always assumed that's what obsidian and Valerian steel have in common. Super sharp.

As soon as you said that, it was clear to me that there must be people trying to shave with obsidian.

Of course there are.
posted by clawsoon at 2:59 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


Surely we should be blaming... Um.. Warhammer? Or the aesthetics of Warcraft, which is essentially the same thing.

In fairness, we should probably go back farther than that. You can't even get through one chapter of the Bible before God chucks a landscape blocking flaming sword into the earth (does Christianity account for the invention of weapons and swords, or was that event also indicate it's where Adam and Eve learned what a sword was?). Even before gigantic weapons, a lot of the earliest art objects feature men and women with giant-sized sexual organs.
posted by GoblinHoney at 3:05 PM on April 16


I've always assumed that's what obsidian and Valerian steel have in common.
Lore-logic-wise, I think it's actually supposed to be an elemental-opposites magic type thing.

Dragonglass/obsidian is volcanic glass, so coming from the fires of the earth, blah blah.
So being elemental-fire-based, it's fatal to Ice Zombies. (As is, just, y'know, fire. Like from wood. Or dragons if you've got one around.)
We don't know what the secret to Valyrian Steel is, but I imagine it's forged from meteoric iron, fire from the sky, blahblah. Or it requires such intense amounts of heat to produce that it's 'imbued with fire', blahblah.
That's why regular steel just dismembers Ice Zombies, but touch them with the Valerian stuff and they go boom.

I wonder if anyone's going to be upset with Cersei later for using up the massive stored amounts of DragonFire (magic napalm) when blowing up the cathedral - that could have been used to make a fire-moat around King's Landing, yaknow?
posted by bartleby at 3:12 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


I was really enjoying the discussion of whether it's ok that GoT calls its magical undead-killing supermaterial "obsidian" when it's clearly not quite the same as what we call by that name in the real world, but then I got sidetracked into thinking about whether I would or would not enjoy the hypothetical music of Necrosmith, which I assume is a GoT-themed black metal Aerosmith cover band fronted by undead Steven Tyler (or would that be Ser Styven Tylerian?).
posted by The World Famous at 3:23 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Never mind whether this is obsidian or dragonglass: are they riding horses or schmorses?

Clickhole addressed this some time ago.
posted by mordax at 3:28 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


But “necromancers” don’t use dead people for divination, per se. They seem more interested in working with and reanimating the dead, manipulating the dead, researching how to become a lich, etc.

Originally necromancers actually were doing that, summoning or contacting the dead to see "what's up" or whatever. King Solomon and his crew in the Bible were big fans of summoning demons and spirits and the dead to ask for advice or sweet new ideas or to find out if so-and-so has a crush on them. As Christianity continued to evolve, eventually Christians started to act like all the spirit summoning stuff was actually just summoning demons who pretended to be the dead. Even later they just started to say it was all just stories or a metaphor or something else to dismiss the exciting parts of their religion's metaphysical rules.

I'm with you though that aside from sounding badass and being in the general death sphere of magic, it's not an appropriate title for the modern day magic-user we refer to as necromancers. Necrosmith isn't a bad idea but it kind of sounds like someone named Smith rebranding themselves once they become undead. I think raising the dead seems like doctor's work to me, something that deserves a noble or positive title. Full disclosure: I am a radical undead rights advocate and I also support other alternate forms of life.
posted by GoblinHoney at 3:31 PM on April 16 [13 favorites]


As soon as you said that, it was clear to me that there must be people trying to shave with obsidian.

Of course there are.


Please. It's 2019.

It's Butter Obsidian shaving. And it is 100% Geolo.
posted by srboisvert at 3:34 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


I think raising the dead seems like doctor's work to me

So necrobarbers, then?
posted by clawsoon at 3:34 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


For a moment, can I just vent about the term “necromancy”?

Not without pre-declaration of orifice choice. Otherwise you could just be talking out of your ass!
posted by srboisvert at 3:36 PM on April 16


The dead become wights. It's the living that magically get transformed into White Walkers. First one, at least in the show, is some dude, and after that probably a bunch of Craster's baby sons.

But the Craster baby sons age? Or will there be the most horrifying enemy of all: The White Toddlers?
posted by srboisvert at 3:39 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


We don't know what the secret to Valyrian Steel is, but I imagine it's forged from meteoric iron

There's actually a sword in the books called Dawn that's made of meteoritic iron, which is distinguished from Valyrian steel. (And if "ancient" dates are to be believed, Dawn might be thousands of years older than Valyria.)
posted by The Tensor at 3:41 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


But the Craster baby sons age? Or will there be the most horrifying enemy of all: The White Toddlers?

New headcannon: the White Walkers are adult-sized inbred hillbilly toddlers, which explains why they can only shriek and destroy things.
posted by dephlogisticated at 3:59 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


!!!EXCLUSIVE!!! SCRIPT FOR THE ANTEPENULTIMATE EPISODE:
INT. THE CITADEL - NIGHT

The Archmaester's private study: a tastefully jumbled collection of books, furniture and art from every era of Westeros. A glowing fireplace. An overstuffed corduroy armchair. JIM BROADBENT'S CHARACTER enters, pours himself a tumbler of brandy from a sideboard, then takes a seat facing the camera.

JIM BROADBENT'S CHARACTER
Well, well. They have given me, ah, little more than one hour and seventeen minutes in which to explain to you the gods and prophecies of Westeros, address that whole winter business, reconcile the observed behaviors of molten substances with materials science, and confirm or dismiss any number of bizarre and ludicrous theories.
(sips brandy)
Mm. Ah. Let us dispense then with the most pressing matter: Ser Mandon Moore of the Kingsguard was indeed a merling in disguise. We would like to congratulate Reddit user GrimaceDaSuperSaiyan on their discernment.
posted by Iridic at 4:03 PM on April 16 [11 favorites]


> are they riding horses or schmorses?

Mostly horses, though sometimes they ride zorses. No schmorses, as far as I know, but my eyes sort of glazed over for most of book 4 so
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 4:14 PM on April 16


I’m just really bent out of shape right now because, according to Google, I am not, in fact, the first person to coin the phrase “Hayseed-on-Thames”.


I am NOT refunding my Internet Points.
posted by darkstar at 4:23 PM on April 16


I kind of feel like they should be called necrosmiths, or somesuch.

wightwrights
posted by oulipian at 4:25 PM on April 16 [19 favorites]


Aerosmith cover band fronted by undead Steven Tyler

AKA Aerosmith.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:05 PM on April 16 [13 favorites]


Empiricism FTW!
posted by darkstar at 4:50 PM on April 16 [1 favorite +] [!]


Whoa whoa whoa, I know better than to trust you again, Gerold!
posted by Navelgazer at 6:03 PM on April 16


Hey, smart guy, they don't actually mention how much it weighs, so that hammer's head could easily just be hollow aluminum.

Gah! You win this time...

Surely we should be blaming... Um.. Warhammer? Or the aesthetics of Warcraft, which is essentially the same thing.

I'd go a little further back and blame Marvel for having Thor carry around a beveled metal brick on a stick.

So are you suggesting that Gendry's weapon changed from being a warhammer in the books to a maul in the show?

No, I'm suggesting that Gendry's weapon is hilarious no matter what you call it.

It's true that these are not even close to the worst reality violations in Throne Game. My personal favorite came from later in the Gendry's Hammer episode, when dragons and ravens were shooting back-and-forth across Westeros like Concordes. I don't even think that you can launch a raven at those speeds, in an atmosphere, much less train it to fly like that.
posted by Edgewise at 6:47 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


I’d estimate the average airspeed velocity of an unladen Westeros raven at significantly slower than portrayed on the show, certainly.
posted by The World Famous at 7:17 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


For reference, the boiling point of soup is 212°F, and the melting point of gold is 1,948°F. That was some hot soup.

I haven't seen this scene but was anyone shirtless or otherwise not covered in leather?

Because that's the other thing everyone almost always gets wrong about any kind of metal smelting, melting or smithing is that all too often there's some shirtless, swarthy blacksmith just standing there in front of a fully stoked bank of coals, a furnace or happily pouring hot steel or gold in little more than a loincloth.

It's not just about the sparks, but that you'll burn and get a hell of a forge tan standing in front of that much heat without something to block it. You will non-metaphorically cook and slow roast yourself and baste in your own sweat and juices.
posted by loquacious at 7:28 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


You guys are all worried about the silly axe and cast arrowheads and blah blah glass blah blah science, and not the important part of that scene: How fucking cute Arya and Gendry are flirting with each other?

I hope for both their sakes they bone down, they deserve it and are the only couple worth shipping on the entire show.
posted by maxwelton at 8:14 PM on April 16 [6 favorites]


My personal favorite came from later in the Gendry's Hammer episode, when dragons and ravens were shooting back-and-forth across Westeros like Concordes.

The show's intro indicates that the topology of Westeros has an inverse (concave) curvature. Therefore one can achieve faster transit times by utilizing a straight-line, rather than ground-hugging trajectory, while also benefiting from the reduced drag of higher altitudes. In this TED Talk I will demonstrate that
posted by dephlogisticated at 8:18 PM on April 16 [15 favorites]


I have not read the books so forgive me, but is Valyrian steel ever clearly indicated to be steel alloyed somehow with dragonglass/obsidian? In the context of the medieval weapons, valyrian steel is clearly a GRRM fantasy-transformation of true Damascus steel, which people like to think has been lost to time because nobody remembers how to make it. It was high carbon, created from many folds, and so held an edge really well. No magic white-walker killing powers though.

The wikis of the world apparently tell me that in the books something called “dragon steel” is referenced, which Samwell thinks is another word for valyrian (and, as an aside that is more on topic, the books apparently do call dragonglass obsidian).

In any case, these blacksmithing plot holes are hardly the largest maws that yawn in yonder HBO flagship drama.
posted by dis_integration at 8:20 PM on April 16


I have not read the books so forgive me, but is Valyrian steel ever clearly indicated to be steel alloyed somehow with dragonglass/obsidian?

Not in the books, but the books also have Valyrian steel swords melted or reforged into other Valyrian steel swords, which is not how Damascus steel works, either.
posted by sukeban at 10:19 PM on April 16


On the question of whether something called "obsidian" is meant to be real-world obsidian, I don't know what the prevailing conventions are for high fantasy, but there is definitely a convention in science fiction that if characters refer to a creature from an alien planet as a "dog", it's definitely not a real-world dog, but rather something that appears generally dog-like to the characters, and which the audience can assume will mostly function like a real-world dog. This is sometimes spelled out explicitly, but it's often just implied. If you watch more than a few episodes of any Star Trek series, for instance, you're almost certain to encounter this convention.

Since the world of Game of Thrones is very obviously not Earth, ISTM it makes sense to treat it as an alien planet and apply the same conventions, especially since there are already very mundane words like "year" in GoT that can't possibly mean what they mean in the real world.
posted by shponglespore at 12:42 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


The Night's King does divine a bit with the dead, looking through their eyes. He does craft a bit with them, for artistic purposes (sculptures, dioramas, murals, that sort of thing). But fundamentally he *controls* them. If he's not a necromancer then he's not a necrosmith either. This isn't intelligo corporem or muto corporem, it's rego corporem magic. In short, he's a necrocrat.
posted by Easy problem of consciousness at 4:36 AM on April 17 [6 favorites]


I think we all ought to stop and pour one out for those poor necromongers in the silly Riddick movies.

NECRO! they shout. FRESH NECRO FOR SALE! GETCHER NECRO RIGHT HERE! ringing their little necro-bell, pushing their necro-cart. NECRO! STEAMIN' HOT NECRO!
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:48 AM on April 17 [9 favorites]


The maesters calling it obsidian doesn't mean it is obsidian. The maesters are revealed to be mostly wankers anyway.
posted by Brocktoon at 5:16 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Feels like we should draw attention to the old saw about calling a rabbit a smeerp vs calling a smeerp a rabbit. (Originally.)

Neal Stephenson played with both those ideas in Anathem, where he even references the old Smeerp adage while going on to play with various etymologies of theoretical and technological examples.

Also relevant is the xkcd comic about the inverse relationship between quality of fantasy writing and the number of neologisms coined by an author.

Hang on, let me insert a Keanu Reeves mind blown meme really quick*:
< img src="imkeanureevesmindblown.jpg" width="100" height="80" alt="mind blown" >

But also, what if like when I see the color green, you see the color red, but like because you've grown up thinking green is red, we can never explain it to each other?

So like what if when they say obsidian, they mean some sort of Smeerpsidian that's like something else!! So even though it's been translated as Obsidian and everyone is saying it, Martin has just translated it for us, and the Dragon Glass thing is just accounting for regional differences?

*I know we can't insert images, but just imagine I did.

posted by Telf at 6:20 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Since the world of Game of Thrones is very obviously not Earth, ISTM it makes sense to treat it as an alien planet and apply the same conventions, especially since there are already very mundane words like "year" in GoT that can't possibly mean what they mean in the real world.

If you're going to come at it that way, then you also have to ask why GRRM chose to use the word "obsidian" at all. It's meant to telegraph something having to do with vulcanism and presumably related to the fire half of the central Manichean duology vs. ice.

And, realistically, GRRM can be pretty half-assed about this stuff (as versus food, which is a much more serious matter) so maybe it's just meant to be "shiny fire material."
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:22 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Separate thought regarding the size of weapons in fantasy franchises. Yes, I know people had silly big swords/axes/hammers before Warhammer and then Warcraft. But, if we charted the size of depicted weapons from 1937's The Hobbit up to modern day, including video games, we'd see a sort of hockey stick curve.

Yes there might be a few blibs but the truly silly weapon sizes didn't really come about until Warhammer. Then giant weapons exploded in size. Remember, that aesthetic was originally supposed to be a parody of tropes; everything was dialled to 11. Gendry's hammer definitely looks more like something out of WOW than something from an early Tolkien derived title.

There's a sort of brinkmanship, once people start embracing giant weapons, it's hard to go back. Look at Animes like Bleach, Video games like Soul Calibur or Final Fantasy. Who wants a normal sized hatchet or ax when you can have a double bitted Orcish greataxe?

I'm going to go look at 1980s movies like Excalibur and Willow to check this out. I might be very wrong.
posted by Telf at 6:28 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Mad Martigan had a roughly normal looking bastard sword.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:31 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I just looked through Willow, Krull and Excalibur. Here are my exhibits of oversized weapons before the dominance of the Games Workshop (Warhammer) and Blizzard (Warcraft.) Influence.

General Krael from Willow and his sword.
Torquil from Krull and his Axe.
The swords of Excalibur.

All miniscule by modern standards. Embarrassing really.
posted by Telf at 6:40 AM on April 17


Cloud Strife is only two feet tall yet his sword is 12 feet long. Do I need to make a video and submit my findings to physics journals, Square? Don't make me go there! I want to speak to the manager.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:00 AM on April 17


*giggle* always worth linking my favorite behind the scenes moment in LOTR: Peter Jackson and the witch king's ridiculously large mace in which the designers are embarrassed about the size of the mace

And on the subject of weapons and obsidian, here's a little quote from the first book that people might find interesting or might mean nothing at all, as said by Maester Luwin: "Take a lesson, Bran. The man who trusts in spells is dueling with a glass sword."
posted by barchan at 7:17 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Made of Star Stuff: I'm pretty sure filthy light thief's title for this post was firmly tongue in cheek.

Very much so :)

My faux outrage was a framing device for the post, following comments on this in the recent FanFare thread (S08E01). I wanted to see how realistic this was, and I thought that those videos were pretty interesting.

But on the general topic of magic vs realism, I used to promote the Invisible Zombie Rule, where if you can accept that the dead can be reanimated through any means, then an invisible zombie isn't suddenly a leap too far. But I've come to see that there are different levels of "potential" fictional realities that can be accepted, and for some, reanimating the dead could be more of near-term soft sci-fi, but invisibility is far-out soft sci-fi, where they can imagine reanimating the dead more easily than they can imagine something being truly and completely invisible.

And like Telf's comment on the xkcd comic about the inverse relationship between quality of fantasy writing and the number of neologisms coined by an author, I imagine the same could be said about breaking laws of this world, like gold is able to melt in a soup, or obsidian is just fancy black glass, but is also really durable. Break too many laws without invoking some sort of magic, and more people are taken out of the moment and start focusing on how unrealistic that thing just was.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:27 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Then again, Tolkien gave us GROND, the "Hammer of the Underworld."
posted by Iridic at 7:29 AM on April 17


If GRRM wants to cite the medieval worldview to explain why his Africa analogue is filled with violent, stupid, tribal half-men and his fanboys want to cite "realism" to justify all the sexual violence, then he doesn't get to pretend obsidian isn't obsidian.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:56 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


I think the show has way more sex and sexual violence than the books and why I gave up watching it despite having read all the books.

Watching this last season tho.

I’ve always figured it was a different obsidian because ya know this place has summers that last 10 years so I’m guessing there’s stuff that’s different in their Science.

And I think melty gold pot killing scene lasts longer in the book.

Anyways, I’m in it for Arya and Sansa and a bunch of side characters because Jon and Daenerys are boring and prob not fun at parties.
posted by sio42 at 8:27 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


> If GRRM wants to cite the medieval worldview to explain why his Africa analogue is filled with violent, stupid, tribal half-men and his fanboys want to cite "realism" to justify all the sexual violence, then he doesn't get to pretend obsidian isn't obsidian.

Exactly. Also, he's using the meaning of all other words in ways that are consistent with English. Water is wet, walls are stones mortared into a fortification, wine is an intoxicant, books are bound volumes of paper containing writing. The laws of gravity apply, there are oceans and land, rain falls from the sky, wind blows, each day is followed by night. These are humans: their bodies are just like ours with the same parts (as we have seen, repeatedly).
posted by desuetude at 8:35 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Yeah, but will there be obsidian smithing in the books? Maybe he's just trolling Benioff and Weiss to see what they'll actually put in the show. This has the benefit of making his books seem much better if he ever finishes them.
posted by Telf at 9:10 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Mad Martigan had a roughly normal looking bastard sword.

I used to have a hand-and-a-half bastard sword just like that, if not a bit smaller. It was the real deal, hand forged flexibile steel, none of that brittle milled plate crap, full tang, brass hilt and pommel with a walnut grip. You could actually bend the blade and it would spring back and all that good stuff. The guard was curved instead of straight, though, and you find that more often than straight guards because curved ones are better at locking up and even breaking an opponents blade. Amazing balance, you could hold it one handed and swivel it around like it was a piece of rattan.

It wasn't sharpened because it was a renfaire prop but otherwise utterly historically accurate as a plain old hand wrought lower class sword. I was tempted to put an edge on it but then it'd be way too dangerous for LARPin and horsing around, much less letting someone else take it out of the scabbard and swing it around. I wacked myself in the legs and shins a few times and it left a hell of a bruise.

I actually kind of miss that thing. If I had it today I'd probably put an edge on it and use it as a machete for clearing bramble. Granted, I have a machete but it just wouldn't be as fun to wear around the property and going on rambles.

This should be my once-yearly nerding out about swords.
posted by loquacious at 9:20 AM on April 17 [5 favorites]


Next up you'll be telling me that an internet based on crows isn't a real thing?
posted by 0bvious at 10:37 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Maybe someone's already pointed this out, but if you can suspend your disbelief about the physics problem presented by giant flying dragons, I feel like a little hand-waving over the properties of volcanic glass is kind of an easy one.
posted by aspersioncast at 10:59 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


I didn't want to reveal this so early into the season, but I have access to leaked, partially redacted scripts through my connections at the justice department. Not all the details are there, but I do have a good idea of who dies and who survives.

This scene from the second to last episode seems relevant to the obsidian as a weapon debate.


Sam: Hello Ser Jorah, how are you feeling since the time I scraped all your skin off with a dragonglass blade?
Jorah: You know that feeling when you break a glass and you try to pick up the little pieces but one gets stuck in your index finger and you can't get it out?
Sam: Mmmm, yes.
Jorah: Imagine you have that feeling all over your body, especially my right arm. Hundreds of little fragments of dragonglass, forever embedded into my skin.
Sam: Ouch. Well, it's better than greyscale I suppose.

Suddenly a shamble of wights, white walkers and the Night King burst through the the windows. (Several of the wights wearing Umber colours appear to be missing their limbs.)

Sam: Oh no! The white walkers, surely we are doomed!!!

Jorah looks down at his right fist, which is inexplicably shimmering with an ultraviolet glow. All of Jorah's body previously affected by the greyscale is luminescent.

An orchestral rendition of Rage Against the Machine's "Wake Up" begins to play

Jorah: Sam, save yourself! Warn Daenerys!

Jorah runs up to the Night King, all the wights and walkers are repulsed by his presence and cower in horror. Jorah swings his fist right into the Night King's face and the whole room explodes in a burst of white fire.

I don't want to reveal the rest of the scene, but I thought it would contribute to the conversation.
posted by Telf at 12:03 PM on April 17 [9 favorites]


Next up you'll be telling me that an internet based on crows isn't a real thing?

Of course it's a real thing, you silly.
posted by sukeban at 12:10 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Left hand. Dang it. Maybe the above script isn't legit after all.
posted by Telf at 12:13 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Probably an early draft. The version I read had The Hound just swinging Ser Jorah around the room by his ankles like a warhammer.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:25 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Maybe someone's already pointed this out, but if you can suspend your disbelief about the physics problem presented by giant flying dragons, I feel like a little hand-waving over the properties of volcanic glass is kind of an easy one.

Being serious for a sec: the difference is that the story requires dragons to function. They're a necessary break from realism, physics, etc. to tell the story at all.

The story doesn't require anything to be different about obsidian to function. You can make obsidian weapons already. The process is well understood. They could be using spears and knives and clubs just fine. If anything, that'd be more fun.

Breaks from reality that increase fun are easy to swallow, ones that are superfluous or boring tend to draw audience ire.
posted by mordax at 12:26 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


You must have Q level security clearances to get those primo scripts.

While we're on it, does Jon Snow still end up marrying Sansa in your version?
posted by Telf at 12:27 PM on April 17


Messenger pigeons were a real thing, widely used up until the mid-20th century when radio became cheap and widespread. Using ravens instead for the same purpose is an acceptable Rule of Cool thing, especially since we all know that ravens are smart and probably could be trained to carry messages if there were sufficient motivation to do such a thing.

But if your obsidian is going to behave absolutely nothing like obsidian apart from being black and glass-like, just don't fucking call it obsidian.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:30 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Sounds like someone is being a snobsidian!


(I kid. The obsidian forging is silly.)
posted by Telf at 12:36 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


In my version, Sansa marries Euron Greyjoy. On their wedding night, Sansa has a gift waiting for him in the royal suite: Yara and Theon, armed and waiting.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:38 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


So, uh, on the whole "how real is reanimating the dead?" question -- Scientists Restore Some Function In The Brains Of Dead Pigs (NPR, April 17, 2019).

Meanwhile, the Predator's invisibility cloaking ability is still sci-fi, mostly (Forbes, Sep. 24, 2018)
posted by filthy light thief at 12:50 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


I think we all ought to stop and pour one out for those poor necromongers in the silly Riddick movies.

NECRO! they shout. FRESH NECRO FOR SALE! GETCHER NECRO RIGHT HERE! ringing their little necro-bell, pushing their necro-cart. NECRO! STEAMIN' HOT NECRO!
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace


Oh you sweet summer contact unit. Necromongers keep what they kill. It's the Necromonger way. It is known.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 2:18 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


But if they keep it, they're not monging it. How can they be mongers if they don't mong their mong-ables?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 2:23 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


The percentages of keep versus monger depend on the dynamics of the market at any given time. It's simple necroeconomics.
posted by The World Famous at 3:09 PM on April 17 [12 favorites]


It's been mostly covered, but Valyrian Steel is a totally separate beast from dragonglass. The idea is that Valyrian steel was created in old Valyria with magic and dragon fire. But like everything else from Valyria, nobody really knows.

The Maesters who study magic get a link made of it, which implies that they're the ones who keep the secrets of reworking it and share it grudgingly.
posted by lumpenprole at 4:32 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Necroeconomics, as described in the well-known text on undead market theory, the Necroeconomicon.

Anyway, RE “and are the only couple worth shipping on the entire show”, I would be willing to read a slashfic of no more than five pages involving John Snow / Loras Tyrell, pre-Sparrow era.
posted by darkstar at 4:49 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


Maybe it's not the obsidian behaving stupidly, but the fire/heat. Fire behaves very strangely in this universe. How is Dany able to survive immolation? Shrug.
posted by Brocktoon at 4:56 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


HOW ARE YOU LOT NOT SAYING "NECRONOMICS"?!!?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:06 PM on April 17 [8 favorites]


Because it's a completely different discipline, which you would know if you had looked over the syllabus. Sheesh.
posted by The World Famous at 5:23 PM on April 17 [6 favorites]


Indeed. It’s like the difference between murderology and murderonomy.
posted by darkstar at 5:31 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


You know, at first glance I read that as:

“How is Dany able to survive immolation? Smaug.”

Which...
posted by darkstar at 5:35 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


plz back the kickstarter for my new fortune telling business, Murdermancy Unlimited, which -- whoa my lawyer just ran in here
posted by prize bull octorok at 5:42 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]




Originally necromancers actually were doing that, summoning or contacting the dead to see "what's up" or whatever.

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate this sample question directed to those who have passed beyond the vale?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:49 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Originally necromancers actually were doing that, summoning or contacting the dead to see "what's up" or whatever.

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate this sample question directed to those who have passed beyond the vale?


shade: FROM BEYOND THE STYGIAN CHASM YOU HAVE SUMMONED ME! FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF LIFE I HAVE SEEN WHAT NO MORTAL EYES CAN SEE! INTO THE LAND OF LIGHT AND LIFE I COME TO ANSWER YOUR ONE QUESTION!

necrodude: Oh, hey bro, what's happening?

shade: .....SERIOUSLY?
posted by lumpenprole at 3:01 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


The version I read had The Hound just swinging Ser Jorah around the room by his ankles like a warhammer.

I'm 100% ready for the Jorhammer.
posted by The Tensor at 3:23 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


when you hit something with the Jorhammer it does not go "whang" or "bonk" or other normal hammer sounds, instead it goes "Khaleesi" in a sort of whiny/patronizing tone
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:25 PM on April 18 [11 favorites]


Wait... Jorhammer... I've got a different portmanteau on the tip of my tongue.

Jorah Maulmont?
Jorah Mormjolnir?
Jorah Mormartel?

Not quite. There's something out there though.
posted by Telf at 9:02 AM on April 19


Jorhammer 40,000
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:48 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Maybe the necromancers started with divination and then branched out. Like how cordwainers started with general leather work, and then ended up just doing boots.


Now, the crafting suffix -wright might work, here. As in wightwright.

Or maybe a related derivative like necrowain.

No, no, that...last one sounds too much like “necrowang”, which is...is something else entirely.
posted by darkstar at 1:08 PM on April 30


The death game show that simply everyone is talking about?
posted by The World Famous at 1:43 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


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