Oh sweet Jesus.
The Valyrian Steel Swords of Westeros - giclée / screen print
16.5” x 23.4” giclée archival pigment inks print with silkscreen varnish, on Hahnemühle German Etching 310gsm paper
Hand-numbered edition of 150
Available now from my Shop
Inspired by the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ books by G. R. R. Martin and the subsequent homage poster by Darrin Crescenzi, I was keen to create a visual catalogue of the Valyrian steel swords of Westeros.
Forged from a magical metal in the days of old Valyria, Valyrian steel swords are of the highest quality and extremely rare, which makes them some of the most sought after prizes in A Song of Ice and Fire. I wanted to illustrate the main* swords, referencing their last known wielders and each wielder’s house. Similar to Crescenzi’s poster, I intended the illustrations to feel modern and clean, juxtaposing the book’s grittiness.
Contrary to the description given in the books, I chose to make the blades almost luminous and glowing but retained the subtle waves in the steel and the red tinge within Oathkeeper and Widow’s Wail. The screen layer adds a varnish to the blades to give them a gloss shine.
I used a varsity-esque font for the sword names because I like the idea of them feeling like a sports team you might support. Everyone has a favourite character or house from the series, so that was something I wanted to bring through using a visual language that people would be familiar with but not necessarily expect. This is echoed in the use of only 2 ‘house colours’ to create each sword handle and name scroll.
*whilst other swords are mentioned, I have attempted to visualise the ones named and given importance by the book.