Forging the Game Of Thrones sword

Master blacksmith Tony Swatton of Sword & Stone is Hollywood's favorite weapons maker. Here he is forging Jaime Lannister's sword for "Games of Thrones."


  1. Is cutting the pattern out of a sheet of steel a modern convenience? It seems to me traditional sword makers would not have done it that way, rather they would have pounded it out from a raw slug.

    1. I agree, but he probably has to crank out a dozen or so identical copies so it doesn’t really bug me. It is a prop that has to withstand some abuse, but nothing like a real sword. I am sure it does not have much of an edge either.

      You can watch some of Niels Provos’s videos if you want the feel for making real items:

    2. I suspect that traditional sword makers with access to sheets of contemporary-quality steel, along with cutting tools suitable to the task, would have swooned for joy and then cut the pattern out of a sheet of steel…

    3. You’d be surprised. Archaeological evidence points to both options. Mass production of sword blades dates back to pre-Roman times, where you’d have large numbers of blade blanks or billets made in steel/iron manufacturing centers. These would then be sold, traded, transported etc to craftsmen else where or finished on site. A blade blank wasn’t much different than the bar steal this guy is using and would be ground into shape before being mounted and sharpened (often by a 3rd craftsmen elsewhere). A billet would have to be hammered into shape. Like wise a craftsman could make his own steel and move forward from there. Doesn’t seem to have been much difference in quality between the two approaches, since final quality was very much a factor of initial steel quality and final heat treating. So basically both were an option pretty far into the past.

      1. Forgot to point out that in either case beating/working the steel was technically necessary to make steel (or steel with the right properties). But with pre-made steel that work was just being done before hand when the steel was made, rather than as the sword was formed. Like wise modern tool steels will have all that taken care of.

    4. They’ve been making swords from blanks of steel and grinding them to shape on (water powered) wheels at least since the fifteenth century.

  2. This is the same as the outrage that happened when some folks decided to sell horse as beef. It’s not forging, it’s machining. Stock removal, while it is a convenient way to make blades, is nothing compared to actual smithing.

  3. OK he is making a prop – I’m not going to knock him for that. 

    If you want to see a proper sword (and a meditation on ritual as the forerunner of science) then this clip from the Ascent of Man is the business.

    NB this guy cant just plunge it all back in the furnace if it comes out of the water bent.

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